IID employees host IID debate

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IID divisions 2 and 4 debate

 

EL CENTRO – District 2 and 4 IID candidates went tooth and nail in Wednesday night’s debate hosted by the Professional and Salaried Association and the Goyette Associates.

 

Stella Mendoza, incumbent for District 4, let her opening remarks set the mood for the evening. She accused opponent, Steve Benson, of being a pawn of the group IV First, running to take control of the board and stealing the water. “The IID has spent one hundred thirty million dollars defending twenty lawsuits this group has brought against the IID. They haven’t won any. What they can’t do through the judicial system, then they will do by buying my seat.”

 

IV First, a local superPAC,  and several of the alternate energy companies that are either operating here or wanting to have an operation, were hot topics throughout the debate.

 

Both John Pierre Menville (District 2 incumbent) and Mendoza defended their acceptance of contributions from competing utilities and contractors that do business with the IID, stressing their support of companies that bring high paying jobs to the county.

 

“I have received money from solar companies because they are here to produce good paying jobs for working families,” Mendoza told the crowd of forty.

 

Benson countered with his belief that it was wrong to accept money from solar companies and then vote on their solar issues.

 

Menvielle read a legal statement that it is legal for IID board members to accept campaign contributions from businesses they do businesses with, but Bruce Kuhn, candidate for District 2, said, “I never said it was illegal to take campaign contributions from vendors, but it sure as hell is immoral.”

 

“You’re taking money from a vendor, then you vote on their contract, where are their loyalties?” Kuhn asked the room.

 

Menvielle accused Kuhn of taking money from IV First, as Mendoza did of Benson. Menvielle said IV First had a campaign budget over $250,000 to take his seat.

 

 IV First describes themselves as an issues-oriented independent expenditures committee dedicated to educating the Imperial Valley Community about the issues affecting the local government. They have targeted Menvielle and Mendoza to unseat them from the IID board.

 

Benson admitted to receiving donation from the superPAC saying, “You take money from companies whose main offices are outside the valley, their profits don’t stay here, they go back to where they are from. IV First is made up of people who live and work here. What they earn is spent here.”

 

The hotly contested Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA) was another topic the four fought about. Menvielle reminded the IID employees and other attendees that Bruce Kuhn signed the QSA when he was on the board and that Menvielle, when elected, was hired to uphold it.

 

Menvielle said, “When I came on, the QSA was already signed by Kuhn, I moved it forward. I didn’t agree with it, it was too long, for too little money and for too much water.”

 

 Stella Mendoza said she voted against the QSA, but once passed, she has worked to make it as good for the valley as she could.

 

Kuhn agreed that he signed the QSA, “The QSA you have to today is not the one I signed. It’s been changed, amended, or re-ratified a total of 48 times since I left this board and that was by Mr. Menvielle.  I asked Mr. Osias, “Is this thing worth more today or is it worth less?’ And the man sat right here in a public hearing and he said, ‘less’”.

 

 

 

The other controversial topic centered on the ECA (Energy Cost Adjustment) charge.  Menvielle and Mendoza took great pride in having the lowest power rates in the state, but Kuhn charged the two of overcharging hundreds of millions of dollars and the trust fund is the result of overcollecting to cover for the losses on a bad hedge fund investment.

 

Mendoza said that the state has mandated the IID to carry a 33% renewable energy in their portfolio. “This renewable energy is expensive, rates will go sky high. Keeping money in the trust fund will subsidize rates for two or three years. Folks, it’s going to get expensive.”

 

Benson believed the people should be reimbursed the over charged amount immediately. “These are the people that overpaid; these are the people that should get the refunds.”

 

Kuhn agreed in his blunt style, “This money was stolen to cover up bad hedge fund investments. Overall, $750,000,000 was over-collected.”

 

The closing statements mirrored their opening statements to a large degree, Menvielle and Mendoza said Kuhn and Benson were in the pockets of the big farmers; they would steal and control all the water, and take over the IID. While the challengers charged the incumbents with poor management, loyalties outside the valley, and putting the IID in great debt.

 

21 COMMENTS

  1. MORE ON THE SUPERPAC: IVMMP

    In the Oct 31, 2012 edition of the IVMMP SUPERPAC, Menveille posts the question: “Shouldn’t your IID Director have the support of more than a single special interest group?” And then answers the question by placing an IID ad from his other SUPERPAC, IID MENDOZA/MENVEILLE right next to it.
    For those of you that need a picture drawn, Menveille just drew it.

  2. At this late date Menvielle is pulling out all the stops relying heavily on his SUPERPACa: The IIDAB (IID Adverising Budget), and the IVMMP (Imperial Valley Menvielle/Medoza Press). IN EL SOL DEL vALLE Menveille placed an ad along with his pencil necked image and right below it is a 1/4 page ad admonishing IID rate payers NOT TO STEAL. Talk about ironies! Isn’t it the other way around?

  3. How about checking out Marcie’s relatives and friends, too. She’s taken care of her family and friends as well as those of Stella and those chosen for looking the other way when certain favors were needed. How else did so many unqualified people get jobs over $100 thousand?Dan hasn’t been in charge. Marcie has and used it to award her followers.

    • “IF YOU WANT TO KNW WHAT DAN THINKS ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK MARCIE”. MARCIE WONT BE ABLE TO SURVIVE IN THE NEW WORLD OF ENHANCED AND ENFORCED GOVERNANCE AND HUMAN RESOURCE POLICY. THE STRONG AND THE COMPETENT WILL BE REWARDED AND THE DEAD WEIGHT WILL FALL OUT JUST LIKE IN A REAL BUSINESS. AND THE IID EMPLOYEES WILL FINALLY BE LIBERATED FROM THE YOKE OF MEDIOCRITY AND CRONYISM. SWEET BABY JESUS!!!!!

  4. BTW – The Araujos have been rabid Mendoza supporters. How many of their relatives have been employed by Mendoza/IID? How many Mendoza relatives, in-laws etc. have been employed by Mendoza/IID?
    After the Consent Decree imposed by the courts was “satisfied”, it seems time for another full-blown investigation. It seems incredible that with 30% unemployment that the best the Mendoza/IId personnel department can do is hire Mencoza’s otherwise uneducated, unempoyed relatives.
    Maybe Sue Giller can hire them.

    • ENHANCED AND ENFORCED GOVERNANCE POLICY WILL TAKE CARE OF ALL THIS OPERATIONAL INTERFERENCE AND CORRUPTION

  5. Several years ago Arn Lahde and Kris Fontaine exposed the huge several hundred million dollar gas hedging losses and numerous cover ups to hide the use of the ECA money to conceal the losses. Let’s finally get rid of Menviele and Mendoza so
    Bruce Kuhn and Steve Benson can help return the ratepayer’s ECA money. It’s past due to get rid of the last 2 of the of the infamous 3 directors who voted in collusion to withhold so much of the public’s money for so long and brought in so many outside interests to extract our resources and money.

  6. VOTE ONLY FOR IID CANDIDATES THAT ENDORSE FOR THE ENHANCEMENT AND ENFORCEMENT OF IID’S GOVERNANCE POLICY. THOSE CANDIDATES THAT DO WILL PLACE THE INTERESTS OF IID RATEPAYERS, OUR COMMUNITIES AND OUR REGION BEFORE THEIR OWN POLITICAL OR PERSONAL INTERESTS AND BENEFIT AND BEFORE THE INTERESTS AND BENEFIT OF CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS AND SPECIAL INTERESTS.

    • I take it, Homegirl, that that means cleaning house & voting out Menvielle and Mendoza as their outsider friends have donated tens of thousands to each and green energy doesn’t create lasting jobs, only a large net loss of jobs in the valley.

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