Mayor Butt Misses the Point, Again

Mayor Butt Misses the Point, Again

We know there will be retribution when we push back on corporate money in Richmond politics.

When RPA published our findings that the supposed grassroots group Richmond Represented was actually corporations meddling in city elections, we knew someone would come after us – the Richmond Progressive Alliance and the people who volunteer here.

The first wave of that attack is from Mayor Tom Butt.

In “Where is Claudia?,” Mayor Butt emails out what he thinks is a bombshell—that RPA leader and City Council Jimenez member has been staying at the home of friends in Point Richmond. What Mayor Butt didn’t tell you is that Claudia’s own house, in D6 where she’s always lived, is having construction done. Like most people in that situation, she and her family needed a place to stay until work finishes.

In “Careless Internal Memo Leak Explodes RPA Hypocritical No Corporate Donations Claim,” Mayor Butt drops another supposed bombshell: that in advance of making a decision about whether to accept a large donation, RPA members scrutinized the source of the money to make sure it is consistent with our no-corporate values.

Our response:

  • -It is normal for people to stay outside their home during a large-scale construction project. The city clerk and city attorney confirmed that Claudia’s temporary relocation did not violate any laws or rules.
  • -It is appropriate for any organization to have internal discussions to make decisions about money—how to raise it and how to spend it.
  • -RPA does not take corporate money. The Preston-Werner Foundation is not a corporation, nor does it serve corporate interests. None of the Preston-Werner Foundation donation has been used for political purposes, nor will it be.

When presented with clear evidence that there are problems with the current election, Mayor Butt’s response was to attack the organization that was bringing these problems to light. As mayor, he should be investigating possibly illegal campaign contributions and abuse of our Neighborhood Council system. His misguided obsession with the RPA continues to interfere with his ability to effectively lead our city.


Updated 2 PM: Look what hit mailboxes in Richmond today! A Richmond Represented flyer blaming sideshows on the Richmond Progressive Alliance and featuring Mayor Butt. Perhaps his emails this morning were an attempt to distract from what we now know: Tom Butt was working with whatever organization is pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into paper mailers, TV ads, and social media ads to defeat progressive candidates in Richmond. And he's among the small circle of Richmonders who know who is paying for all this. If it's not Chevron or their helpers at the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, he has an opportunity to set the record straight -- who IS paying for this? Feel free to ask him directly on Facebook @tom.butt1944 or Twitter @MayorTomButt or via email [email protected].