Money flows in San Mateo City Council race

As San Mateo voters near a choice for who they want representing them on the City Council, big money is flowing in from landlord and Realtor lobbyist groups.

Campaign finance forms are being submitted as the Nov. 7 election nears with seven vying for three seats on the San Mateo City Council. In a throwback to last year’s contentious debate over rent control when national as well as state apartment associations and Realtor groups raised more than $1 million to defeat two ballot measures in San Mateo and Burlingame, similar groups are again funneling thousands of dollars into the local election.

Nearly $102,085.78 has been spent or raised to elect Eric Rodriguez, a city planning commissioner and small business owner. That includes Rodriguez’s campaign raising $45,445, about $5,000 of which was a loan, according to forms filed with the city. Contributors to Rodriguez’s campaign fund include $1,000 from San Mateo-based Wall Street Properties; $1,000 from the Bohannon Development Company, which owns Hillsdale Shopping Center; $3,000 from Carstens Realty and its associations, which own apartments as well as the Laurelwood and Bel Mateo shopping centers; and $1,925 through several donations from people affiliated with W.L. Butler Construction.

Separately, the National Association of Realtors spent $34,992 on urging voters to pick Rodriguez, primarily using its resources to buy mailers and online advertising, according to expenditure reports. The California Apartment Association has also thrown its weight behind Rodriguez allocating $20,649.39 on mailers and $1,000 toward his campaign, according to reports. The advertisements emphasize they were not authorized by the candidate. – See more.

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