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One has to ask why would the Riverside County Board of Supervisors vote to approve a project that will eventually lead to the construction of 11,150 homes, with an ongoing major recession not likely to end anytime soon?

Yes, I wrote 11,150.

This very approval happened last Tuesday. The beneficiary of course was the Lewis Group of Companies.

Lewis will be the master developer for the development known as the Villages of Lakeview.

What InlandPolitics discovered when examining campaign contributions to county supervisors was a peppering of contributions by two different entities within the Lewis organization.

Supervisor Marion Ashley, the supervisor for the area where the project is to be located has been the most ardent supporter for approval.

The supervisors approved the massive project on 3-1 vote. Supervisors Marion Ashley, John Benoit, and Jeff Stone voted to approve. Supervisor Bob Buster voted against. Supervisor John Tavaglione was absent.

In the two years prior to the approval by county supervisors, Lewis entities made 27 separate contributions totaling $36,000.00.

Interestingly, Supervisor Ashley received 49.3% of the total.

Here is the contribution breakdown by supervisor.

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Marion Ashley
12/18/09     Lewis Investment Company     $  1,250.00
10/20/09     Lewis Investment Company     $  1,200.00
10/06/09     Lewis Investment Company     $  2,000.00
09/29/09     Lewis Investment Company     $    300.00
07/16/09     Lewis Investment Company     $  2,500.00
05/05/09     Lewis Investment Company     $  2,500.00
02/18/09     Lewis Investment Company     $  2,500.00
06/26/08     Lewis Investment Company     $  1,500.00
06/18/08     Lewis Investment Company     $  1,500.00
03/05/08     Lewis Investment Company     $  2,500.00
Total (Ashley)                          $ 17,750.00
Jeff Stone
12/09/09     Lewis Investment Company     $    300.00
10/06/08     Lewis Investment Company     $  1,250.00
04/22/08     Lewis Investment Company     $  1,500.00
03/18/08     Lewis Investment Company     $  1,200.00
Total (Stone)                           $  4,250.00
John Tavaglione
04/30/09     Lewis Pacific Partners       $ 2,000.00
08/07/08     Lewis Pacific Partners       $ 3,000.00
07/09/08     Lewis Pacific Partners       $ 1,000.00
06/06/08     Lewis Pacific Partners       $ 1,000.00
Total (Tavaglione)                      $  7,000.00
Bob Buster
06/30/09     Lewis Investment Company/    $ 1,000.00
             Lewis Pacific Partners
11/13/08     Lewis Investment Company/    $   500.00
             Lewis Pacific Partners
04/24/08     Lewis Investment Company/    $ 1,000.00
             Lewis Pacific Partners
03/04/08     Lewis Investment Company/    $ 1,000.00
             Lewis Pacific Partners
01/29/08     Lewis Investment Company/    $   500.00
             Lewis Pacific Partners
01/25/08     Lewis Investment Company/    $   500.00
             Lewis Pacific Partners
01/13/08     Lewis Investment Company/    $   500.00
             Lewis Pacific Partners
Total (Buster)                          $ 5,000.00
John Benoit*
11/19/09     Lewis Investment Company     $ 1,000.00
Total (Benoit)                          $ 1,000.00
Roy Wilson*
04/28/09     Lewis Pacific Partners       $ 1,000.00
Total (Wilson)                          $ 1,000.00
Grand Total                             $ 36,000.00
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*Note John Benoit was appointed to replace the late Supervisor Roy Wilson
who passed away suddenly last year.