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Erlene Demarcus a lobbyist for James Tong?

Original post made by Wondering, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Oct 16, 2012

I received a mailer from Erlene Demarcus with a picture of her that claimed she was a regional transportation leader.

But this photograph from "Around Dublin" entitled Promenade Owner Charter Properties to Cash in on Dublin Land Holdings in Spite of Public Outcry at Web Link shows a woman sitting to the left of James Tong that looks just like the picture on the mailer.

The article from the Around Dublin blog is about the high end retail Promenade and says "As a major land owner and developer in the Tri-Valley, Charter Properties has allegedly bundled large political campaign donations for many local candidates" and goes on to dive into more details.

Is that picture from the Dublin Blog actually Erlene Demarcus the same one that is the lobbyist for Charter Properties pictured in the photo?

Comments (18)

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Posted by Jill
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm

One and the same person. If you have been at Pleasanton City Council meetings you would have seen Erlene as part of the Tong development group at hearings.

My guess is that Tong has hired her to run for council so that if she makes it she can work to get Tong's developments approved much easier. This is the cheapest investment Tong can make to get around the will of the people. For $20K - $30K of "campaign contributions", he has an insider in the Council to get him what he wants, and who is also in the closed sessions when dealing with his current lawsuits (he is part of the Oak Grove development and suing to say that the vote of the people against his development does not apply to him). This is all REALLY SCARY. With Erlene in a closed session, Tong knows everything that was discussed. The residents will be screwed.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Screwed? I think the residents already got screwed when the first approved project on the Oak Grove site, Kottinger Hills, was recalled. Kottinger Hills was going to provide the citizens of Pleasanton a public golf course for free. Instead, we had to build one ourselves for a cool 45 million...


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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm

This is scary, why? It is not up to a vote of the people to tell private property owners that they can't ever use their property as it was intended. Good for him if he is suing. I'll be happy to help in any way I can.


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Posted by Wondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I'm sure most Pleasanton residents can't wait for the proposals for 21-story-high condo tower complexes to be built in the Vintage Hills area and around town to be submitted. After all, tall buildings and parking problems are the norm!

per Web Link
->
"At the monthly meeting of the Pleasanton Housing Commission held Nov. 21, the discussion was on the development of the Vintage Hills Shopping Center. While the meeting was billed as a work session to address issues in the proposal related to affordable housing, the spotlight was clearly on the viability of the project as a whole. The developer, Charter Properties, was represented by James Tong. After opening remarks, Tong evasively answered questions from the commission. At one point, when asked about the height of the buildings (in some cases three stories) and the parking situation, Tong responded that in his native Hong Kong tall buildings and parking problems were the norm. I would like to politely point out that this is not Hong Kong, and that remark among others reflects Charter Properties' total lack of understanding of the Vintage Hills community."


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Posted by No integrity
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2012 at 8:16 am

I am a democrat and I was shocked when Erlene's post card, dropped by a volunteer from the Democratic Party, had the headline "integrity!" Nothing could be further from the truth. If she had integrity, she would talk about her many relationship and financial donations from unscrupulous developers like Tong, not hide it debates or TV interviews.

But she has no problem taking HUGE donations like $13,000 from him and his family!


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Posted by OF COURSE she's a lobbyist for Tong!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2012 at 10:10 am

To paraphrase Mitt Rmoney, OF COURSE she's a lobbyist for Tong! Cook-Kallio, Thorne, and Hosterman have all received thousands from the Tong-Lin Development Group over the years and dutifully carried out their wishes, but this goes a step further. Tong and Lin will have their own, personal Councilmember representing their interests on the Council – and especially during closed sessions where litigation strategy is developed. And guess who is suing the city?!?!. And guess what project will be first in line?!?! The new and improved Oak Grove!!

It's really cool to have your own personal bought and paid for Councilmember. Too bad the public doesn't have the same luxury.


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Posted by excuseme
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2012 at 10:37 am

Excuse me but the financial disclosure reports for Thorne show that he took NO money from Tong in 2010 & only $250 from him in 2012. (I suspect that was probably for the fundraiser Capilla hosted for Thorne.)
Cook-Kallio received $1,000 from Tong in 2011 and $500 from him in 2012 towards her campign for Mayor. This doesn't include the money that was bundled through her other out-of-town contributors.


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Posted by To Jack
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Oct 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

To Jack's comments, BOTH of Tong's destructive Pleasanton Ridge projects were put on the ballot for the CITIZENS to vote on - and they citizens said NO. Sad that you can't move on and work towards a project that is GOOD for Pleasanton. Hopefully all of those sour grapes will turn to wine one day.


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Posted by excuseme
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

And i don't understand why the Weekly has chosen not to write a single article on the campaign financial disclosures from the current campign? In the last several elections, they've been quick to post a summary of contributions for the various local candidates. The amount of out-of town money coming into particularly DeMarcus & Cook-Kallio's committees is concerning!!


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Posted by jack
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Hey "Wondering",

It said 3 stories, not 21.

To "To Jack"

It isn't up to a vote of the people. It is called personal property. It is what this country is all about.


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Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I think 'wondering' was thinking about the 21 story building that Tong wanted to build in Dublin, along the freeway, with Demarcus at his side at the Dublin Council meetings.


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Posted by Wondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I'm pretty sure that is the same person because in looking at the Pleasanton Weekly issue from two weeks ago, the necklace she is wearing in the photo is the exact same as the one in the Pleasanton Weekly!!!

Why is the consulting business called The Demarcus Group that Demarcus claims to be a principal of since January 1999 not defined as a California business or corporation?

Or is this a company that really doesn't exist? Who are the employees?


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm

My grapes aren't sour, and having lived in this town long enough to know that when a street such as Hearst ends with a barracade and not a cul-de-sac, it's intended to be extended some day. That said, the initial Kottinger Hills project gave us a public golf course and it included 86-87 homes. The project was recalled. Since then the city has built a public golf course that cost the tax-payers some 45 million. I think our city would be better off with the 87 homes and 45 million in the bank...


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Posted by To Jack
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Oct 17, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Dear Jack-You've got 1 vote for the golf course on the Lin property, and I have one vote to say "no thank you." But the majority of voters agreed with me, so why keep re-hashing this? The golf course proposal was 15 years ago when it was referended (cars and elected officials are recalled, not land deals).

Jack, do you think the Planning commission, the council and the people should be rubber stamps for a landowner and his unsavory projects? The Lin family still owns their land, so you don't have a case for property right losses. The Lins have ALL of their land and all of the legal benefits of this land that they had before.

So if you would have planted wine grapes 15 years ago, you would have grown, harvested, aged and enjoyed a nice case of Cabernet. Instead you are belly aching, you have no golf course, and no case for a loss of property rights. Just sour grapes.


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Posted by Wondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2012 at 12:30 am

I received a very large Eric Swalwell for Congress mailer today that barely fit in my mailbox. I looked up the Federal FEC campaign contributions on-line and found almost$30,000 given to him, most in $2,500 increments and most on the same day (9/28/2011). According to the Independent article in June, Tong represents Lin family development interests and their holdings include large blocks of land in North Livermore and property on the westside of Doolan Canyon and in Pleasanton.

9/28/2011 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress James Tong
6/20/2012 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress James Tong
9/28/2011 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress Michael Tong
9/28/2011 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress Rebecca Tong
9/28/2011 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress Jennifer Tong
9/28/2011 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress Ronald Tong
9/28/2011 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress Hong Yao Lin
6/30/2012 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress Hong Yao Lin
9/28/2011 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress Mei-Chun Lin
9/28/2011 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress John Wong
9/28/2011 2500.00 Swalwell for Congress Daniel Tsai

Where can I find the campaign contributions for local candidates that are not Federal candidates?


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 18, 2012 at 8:20 am

To "To Jack," First off, your handle is flattering, thank you...
Two corrections to your earlier post: I do have a golf course. It cost me and my fellow tax-payers 45 million dollars, when Kottinger Hills would have provided us one for free. So that's not what I would call a "rubber stamp" by that city council. I'd call that fiscally responsible representative government.
Secondly: Your attempted correction of my use of the word "recalled" for which you would have preferred "referended." I am assumming you are trying to make a verb from the word "referendum?" Present tense or past tense, no such word exists in the English language.
45 million dollars buys a lot of cops, fire-fighters, or dictionaries...


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Posted by ?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:13 am

Shame on us voting citizens if we elect such a deplorable candidate such as Demarcus. We deserve what we get if we do.


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Posted by Wondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2012 at 9:50 am

fyi-The Dublin news site in an article called The Secret That Pleasanton City Council Candidate Erlene DeMarcus Does Not Want You to Know has confirmed that the picture they had on their blog from their own photographer is indeed Erlene Demarcus with James Tong Web Link in the Dublin City Council chambers.

They indicate on the blog that Demarcus has also recently been at Dublin City Council meetings as a consultant with James Tong and defying "popular opposition against rezoning the Promenade from the promised upscale shopping destination to just another high density housing project."


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