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Doug Scheer’s Political Inconsistency

Rowena Coetsee of the Contra Costa Times put out a nice article on the spending of the Oakley City Council Candidates.  One thing stood out to me was that Doug Scheer, my opponent for Ironhouse Sanitary District, donated $250 towards Ron Borland which is essentially 33% of his campaign.  Scheer, who leans to the right is now apparently backing an extreme liberal activist along with Mike Hudson who is an extreme Tea Party activist. It’s political confusion at best.

Before I get to Mr. Scheer, Ms. Coetsee is reporting the following:

  • Dave Hansen has raised $3,380 including a $525 loan to himself
  • Diane Burgis has raised $850 with support of Jim Frazier.
  • Ron Borland has raised $760
  • Doug Hardcastle did not report any contributions, but indicated that he has spent $1,366.65 so far.
  • Kevin Romick filed the one page form required of candidates who don’t expect to receive or spend more than $999 in 2012.
  • Randi Adler has not filed any financial forms which is likely an FPPC Violation.

Now back to Doug Scheer who has become very political in the past year as the Oakley Chamber President which is a no-no for a non-profit.

But what is most bizarre is Mr. Scheer and has jeopardized the Oakley Chambers non-profit status by not publicly making it clear that his endorsements are as a private citizen and not as the Chamber President which is a no-no with the IRS because the impression currently given is the Chamber endorses these candidates because he is the President.

Here is Doug Hardcastles SmartVoter page.  It  shows Scheer is listed as the Oakley Chamber of Commerce President.  There is a reason why many non-profit Presidents and Board Members do not get political, its not because of the FPPC, but its because of the IRS.

This endorsement of Hardcastle comes as no surprise as Scheer is the  hand picked pawn by Ironhouse Sanitary District leadership to replace Doug Hardcastle–remember, Doug Scheer and Ironhouse General Manager Tom Williams are buddy-buddy on the Oakley Chamber of Commerce Board.  This is similar to how Tom Williams hand picked David Contreras last year in the appointment as they are trying to stack the Board in their favor.

But lets look at other political folks Mr. Scheer supports to show why its even more confusing, if not opportunistic.

  • Mr. Scheer supports Mike Hudson for Assembly District 11 who is a hardcore Tea Party candidate and even takes credit for forming a Tea Party Chapter in Solano County.   Mr. Hudson currently has a 4×8 sign outside of Scheers business.
  • Mr. Scheer is supporting Ron Borland for Oakley City Council who is not only a Democrat, but is a hard core Democrat and activist.
  • Mr. Scheer is listed as one of two supporters of Doug Hardcastle according to which conflicts with the donation to Borland.  In my opinion, Hardcastle has been proven to abuse the ratepayers with his excessive stipend claims and medical benefits.
  • Randy Pope is a known hard-core libertarian. During his time on the Council he has zero committees and accomplished nothing.
  • Paul Seger is a known hard-core Green Party candidate.  If you remember, Seger lost his council race while receiving just 9.7% of the vote.

These are not exactly the most shining examples of political achievement in the area.  If anything, those above are nothing more than opportunist using their position for their own personal gains. All of these folks have pandered to whatever audience they are in front of to gain a vote. For Scheer, this isn’t about trying to work across the aisle, its simply political schizophrenia as you have extremists from all parties tied together to try and reshape Oakley into their vision which is a vision few people actually want and working together.

This political schizophrenia began last year with a common goal of trying to fire City Manager Bryan Montgomery and go after council members Jim Frazier and Kevin Romick. It was Scheer who was working with Randy Pope, Ron Borland and Paul Seger to undermine the city and its residents. Remember, Mr. Seger and Mr. Borland worked with AD-11 Candidate Patricia Hernandez to try and take out Frazier in the Primary. During the Council Race, you have Borland teaming up with other candidates to take out Romick citing the city manager deal.

Like I said, its political schizophrenia because they don’t care about their political values as long as they can push through their agenda at the expense of the City. Doug Scheer, Ron Borland, Mike Hudson, Doug Hardcastle are not candidates Oakley can trust and should be rejected.

Since Mr. Scheer wants to get political, maybe voters should start asking him questions on why he is running for Ironhouse Sanitary District. It’s not about the ratepayers, its about the benefits as he came out in support of protecting them for current and future directors–this can be verified in Susan Morgans report to the Oakley City Council.

In contrast,  I blasted the plan where I wanted them eliminated–at the very least, Doug Hardcastle somewhat agreed with me and tried to get the Board to pay the minimum allowed. At least Aaron Meadows has come out with a platform of trying to protect taxpayers.

Should voters judge Mr. Scheer on his most public job as Oakley Chamber President where he admitted in a Letter on this very site to his failure as President citing event cancellations were due to financial reasons, lack of participation, and residents did not mail any ballots which means they were 0 for 12,000? Or the fact he had to issue an apology for being unable to control staff from setting up an event based on one candidates schedule instead of allowing all the candidates to respond?

The truth is, I’ve talked to many business owners around town who are simply waiting for Doug Scheer to leave the Chamber before they come back.  This attitude says one of two things. He is not easy to work with or he has failed to ensure members are provided with value under his leadership.

The truth is, when you associate with the people he supports and associates with, their failures ultimately become your own. As my dad once said, if you want to be a good painter, don’t hang out with a carpenter.

Mr. Scheer should choose his associations more carefully and next time become more consistent with his political beliefs as opposed to confusing people by supporting extremist from all types of political parties.  Most importantly, for starters,  if he wants to get political then he should step down as Oakley Chamber of Commerce President immediately to remove any conflict of interest that jeopardizes the Chambers non-profit status.

Doug Scheer deserves a no-vote for Ironhouse Sanitary District and those associated with him should also be rejected!


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10 Responses »

  1. Burk, I am confused as hell right now. Doug Scheer is supporting way too many different candidates with different philosophies. I can understand one or two, but you laid it out he is supporting nearly ever party out there. People like this are dangerous because you never will know where they stand.

    I can see now that Mr. Scheer is nothing more than a plant by Ironhouse Sanitary District. This is unacceptable to Oakley and the ratepayers. Protecting the boards benefits is inexcusable in my opinion and I agree with you he must be rejected.

  2. Wow, I was forwarded this article from a friend and I must ask if Mr. Scheer purposely found every malcontent from each party to hang out with? Each of these people have been rejected from their own party. You know what they say, the kooks are bound find each other and stick together at any cost.

    Borland, Scheer, Hudson, should join the likes of Seger and Hernandez who were widely rejected by voters. Thank you to the author for pointing out these connections and uncanny behavior.

    Great site by the way!


  3. Mr. Hardcaslte and Mr. Scheer should both know better than to use Mr. Scheers title as chamber president in an endorsement. This is bad news for the Chamber if the FPPC or IRS get a hold of this. This is why non-profits stick to ballot initiatives and not candidates.

    Burke is spot on with the odd web of connections. I don’t know Mr. Scheer but he is obviously all over the map. Voters may want to protect themselves to stay clear of Mr. Scheer on election day as he is trying to play all political sides for votes.

    • Agreed, rules have been broken by two who should know better. Jill you nailed it, non-profits typically do not get involved with candidates for this very reason. Is Burke the only one paying attention? Where is the media? Charactor of a person matters just as much as a persons platform and political beliefs.

  4. Doug Scheer is hanging out with the class clowns of each political party. His record stands on its own in the Oakley Chambers own failure. People would be stupid to vote for him and those he supports. I agree with the first comment, the kooks always find each other.

    Best line you have ever used is “political schizophrenia” to go along with the “chamber of NO commerce” I hope people laugh as hard as I did as you untangled this web!

  5. I think Mr Scheer should host a fundraiser for all his buddies out in front of his business- Ron Borland can put on a concert and sell CDs of the catchy little tunes that make Oakley look oh so great! (If you all haven’t seen some of his catchy tunes I recommend you look them up and ask yourself “Is this the image of Oakley I want to support?”). Perhaps Mr Borland could come up with a jingle for Scheer’s business AND the Chamber of Commerce- they could put them on YouTube. Seriously, if Borland is elected I will be REALLY embarrassed for Oakley. It has been suggested that the Times endorsed Borland because they wanted to make sure they had plenty of entertaining stuff to write about in the future.

    Mr Scheer, Mr Hardcastle and Mr Borland seem to have some strange bed fellows and you know what they say- you are what you hang out with. Seemingly the term political schizophrenia applies to the whole lot of them. Thanks for pointing this all out Mr Burkholder.

    By the way, what’s up with Randi Adler not filing?

  6. Seems pretty clear to me. and I am curious why would the Chamber or its leadership even get involved? Even in gray areas. Showing support for a candidate on social media sites may be allowed. A higher standard may exist for the nonprofit’s leadership, particularly executive directors. Endorsing or opposing a candidate in your off time may be fine for most employees, but it may seem like an endorsement from the organization if it comes from the executive director.

    What restrictions does the IRS place on tax-exempt organizations?

    The IRS prohibits 501(c)(3) organizations from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.

    This means that 501(c)(3) organizations cannot endorse candidates, donate money or resources to candidates, or rate candidates based on how they feel about issues affecting the nonprofit.

    If your organization violates this prohibition, your organization could lose its tax-exempt status and be subject to certain excise taxes.

    What political campaign activities can tax-exempt organizations do?

    The IRS allows 501(c)(3) organizations to participate in nonpartisan voter engagement activities designed to encourage voter participation, including

    Voter registration – Promoting and encouraging voter registration is allowable as long as parties or candidates are not endorsed or opposed.

    Voter education – Organizations can provide voters information on how to vote, where to vote, and nonpartisan voter guides. However, they cannot compare their position on issues with candidates.

    Candidate engagement – Candidates can be invited to events and forums, and to participate in questionnaires, but all candidates must be invited.

    Mobilizing individuals to vote – Encouraging and enabling people to vote is permissible as long as the organization is only endorsing the act of voting, not candidates.

    Can employees engage in political campaign activities?

    The IRS prohibits the use of nonprofit resources for partisan activities. Nonprofits should be clear with employees that any participation in partisan activities should take place on vacation days, off days, or utilizing unpaid leave and should not use the organization’s resources (like the copy machine).

    Showing support for a candidate on social media sites may be allowed. A higher standard may exist for the nonprofit’s leadership, particularly executive directors. Endorsing or opposing a candidate in your off time may be fine for most employees, but it may seem like an endorsement from the organization if it comes from the executive director.

    Nonprofit employees are also free to run for a political office. Like any political campaign activity, the individual must keep the campaign activity out of the office.

    • Thanks Rob, this is exactly what I am talking about. Executive Directors or Presidents/Board Members have no business even getting involved even in their off time.

      • The Chamber can have a PAC but the President had better not be involved. And Chamber money cannot mingle. Other members can form the PAC etc. Seems Mr Scheer has over stepped his bounds and is overly impressed with who he thinks he is.

  7. The web is deeper than what Mike has provided. Stay clear of Scheer and any of these people.

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