Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 10/22/2010 06:45:15 PM PDT

Inland Empire business owners and developers have been linked to three campaign mailers opposing the challenger for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor’s 2nd District seat.

The committee responsible for the mailers, Citizens Against Corruption Opposing Rutherford for Supervisor 2010, filed its campaign contribution and expenditure forms Friday with the county’s Registrar of Voters Office, naming five donors.

The contributions, totaling $35,000, came from Frank Glankler III, Urban Advisors Inc., Arron Corporation doing business as Alta Loma Limo, Harold Kneller and Gregory Severson.

Total expenditures by the committee equaled $66,840.

The mailers targeted Janice Rutherford, a Fontana City Councilwoman running against incumbent Paul Biane for the 2nd District supervisor seat on Nov. 2. Both candidates denied any involvement in the production of the mailers.

None of the donors could be reached for comment on Friday.

Glankler donated the largest contribution of $25,000.

Glankler is retired and living in Henderson, Nev., according to the contribution listing for the independent expenditure committee. But he has local ties.

According to a 2005 Daily Bulletin article, a Frank Glankler has been associated with developer Jim Previti since 1992. In 2005, he was on the board of Frontier Homes and Prestige Homes, two companies run by Previti and his son Jim Previti, Jr.

“Glankler is currently president of Voyager Companies and serves as COO and Vice Chairman for Frontier Companies as well as serving as Vice Chairman for Empire Companies,” according to his Web site.

Glankler listed an office number with a 909 area code on his website, but he could not be reached there Friday. A Rancho Cucamonga address listed on his website is a post office box number.

Rutherford said she has heard rumors that James Previti is involved.

“I don’t know what Mr. Previti and former employees have against me or if they’re doing a favor for someone who is covering Mr. Biane’s back,” she said.

Severson, the owner of Duke Pacific Construction, donated $5,000.

Alta Loma Limo donated $2,000.

Harold Kneller, owner of HK Construction in Rancho Cucamonga, donated $2,000.

Urban Advisors, in Rancho Cucamonga, donated $1,000. The company is owned by Ted Dutton, the father of state Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

Urban Advisors is the only donor that Rutherford and Biane said they recognize.

“It’s not a shock at all. Mr. Dutton has made it very clear he thinks he’s going to be the 2nd District supervisor after Mr. Biane,” Rutherford said. “He wants it to be an open seat in four years.”

Dutton has registered two campaign committees with the Secretary of State’s Office, including “Dutton for Assembly 2012” and “Dutton For Supervisor 2014,” which donated $10,000 to Biane’s campaign on Oct. 13.

Dutton has not announced officially if he plans to run for supervisor in 2014, but he is keeping his options open, said Larry Venus, Dutton’s press secretary.

“He never made it a secret that he would like to be on the Board of Supervisors at some point,” Venus said. “That is an option he’s looking at down the road.”

Right now Dutton is focused on his last two years in the state Senate and was not aware of his father’s donation, Venus said.

One mailer was sent to Upland voters linking Rutherford to a federal investigation into Upland Mayor John “JP” Pomierski.

The ad says Rutherford had accepted a loan and endorsement from Pomierski and alleges Pomierski is being investigated for “influence peddling,” “pay-to-play,” “selling access” and “shaking down businesses.”

Another mailer sent to Upland residents depicts Rutherford in gag glasses with a fake nose and mustache accusing her and her late husband of legally changing their last name to “hide lawsuits and failure to pay employee wages.”

A mailer sent to Rancho Cucamonga residents has drawn fire from Biane’s campaign as well.

The mailer features a baseball cap with the word “Fontana” and a top hat, presumably representing the city of Rancho Cucamonga, warning that “Rancho Cucamonga doesn’t need Fontana’s problem,” including “high crime,” “high taxes,” “traffic congestion” and “shady developers.”

Little information on the committee has been made available so far. The statement of organization filed with the secretary of state lists only the names of the treasurer and assistant treasurer, and an address.

The address belongs to San Francisco-based Sutton Law Firm, which specializes in political and election-related law and litigation.

Jesse Mainardi, a lawyer with the firm, is the assistant treasurer.

Frank Williams is named as the treasurer.

Biane and Rutherford both believe it is the same Frank Williams who recently retired as executive director of the Baldy View Chapter of the Building Industry Association.

Williams “has had a problem as far as the building industry working with Janice on several issues in Fontana, so I can understand why he would be part of this,” Biane said.

Williams did not returned telephone calls. An auto-response from his e-mail said he is on his honeymoon until Dec. 1.

The mailers acquired by The Sun/Daily Bulletin appear to have violated the state Political Reform Act by failing to note that they were not approved by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.

Last week, Mainardi said the missing note was the result of “an error during the production and distribution of the mailers.”

The mailers were produced by the Monaco Group, a Tustin-based printing firm. A Monaco Group representative on Friday said, “We only print what we get.” Mainardi did not return calls for comment.

A mailer was sent to voters Friday from Rutherford’s campaign claiming the “mudslinging is meant to distract voters from the criminal investigation for John Doe No. 5.”

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