Friday, May 30, 2008

Oneto conflicted on both casinos

When Brian Oneto ran for District 5 supervisor two years ago, he promised to fight the two new casinos proposed for Amador County.
"As your Supervisor, I will continue to fight against new casinos in Amador County!"
That's a direct quote from Brian's campaign website.

Problem is -- Brian has conflicts of interest on both the Buena Vista and Plymouth casinos due to his and his family's ownership of adjoining properties. This issue was raised during the 2006 campaign, but as you can see on Brian's website, he pledged to fight the casinos -- and evidently, voters thought that's what he would do.

Amador Ledger-Dispatch
Publisher Jack Mitchell brushed off the conflict concern when he endorsed Oneto that year (he and I had a rather spirited e-mail exchange about the subject).

This last year, Oneto stepped down during the Buena Vista process after participating in a number of closed sessions. And now, the Fair Political Practices Commission has opined that he has a conflict on Plymouth as well.

Here's what the HomeTown Radio website had to say about it:

Supervisor Oneto will not participate in Plymouth Casino talks due to conflict of interest

Due to a conflict of interest as determined by the Fair Political Practices Commission, FPPC, District 5 Supervisor Brian Oneto will not participate in the governmental decisions facing the Amador County Board of Supervisors related to the efforts of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians to take land into trust for the construction of a proposed casino. According to the Supervisors Office, Oneto has not and will not participate in closed session decisions and open session discussions. Oneto has been stepping out of meetings on this issue from the start.

And now the residents of District 5 find themselves without representation on this important issue. Oneto can't even be in the supervisors' chamber when the matter is discussed.

I can't help but wonder what Butch Cranford is thinking today. Cranford, an ardent casino opponent and another District 5 supervisor candidate, endorsed Oneto after the June primary. I wonder if he's rethinking that decision now.

No comments: