San Bernardino Seal

Joseph Turner
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 – 5:37 p.m.

A San Bernardino City government employee has contributed money to campaign committee for a sitting member of the council according to Form 460 filings available to the public.

City councilman John Valdivia received the $100 contribution from Christopher Alanis back on May 16th. Mr. Alanis is listed as the Interim Public Works Director on the city website. See the image below:

valdivia-alanis-contribution

It was a revelation that made me pause. I honestly can’t remember if I have ever seen a department head wade into the political realm with a campaign contribution before. Have you? It just struck me as being fairly odd and a little unsettling.

On the same campaign finance report there is also a contribution from a company called Soiltec, Inc. This contribution was made on the same day for $100 as well. See the image below:

valdivia-soiltec-contribution

When you search the Secretary of State’s database you come across a listing for a Soiltec, Inc. Listed as an “agent for service of process” is a Christopher Alanis. His address also matches the address for the entity itself. See the image below:

valdivia-soiltec-sos-page

Though I cannot be 100 percent positive that Mr. Alanis of Soiltec is the same Mr. Alanis working for the City of San Bernardino, it would be a crazy coincidence. I tried searching for a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest filing for Mr. Alanis but it does not appear that he is required to file one based on this link.

According to the state, Soiltec first filed in December of 2007 but it is no longer listed as an active corporation. Though it is possible that the company was an active and going concern at the time of the May 2016 donation, it would seem more likely that the business had its status suspended by the state before this date.

Please understand that “suspension” is not meant to be interpreted as a negative or punitive action, but merely the adjective used for those businesses who simply do not complete their annual filing with the state.

Assuming that the business was active at the time of the donation, it seems odd that a company on the verge of going out of business would be donating to a political campaign. And assuming that the business wasn’t active and recognized by the state at the time of the donation, then what is going on there?

I was unable to locate a website for Soiltec, Inc., or really any other signs of an online presence.

If you are familiar with any other past instances where a city employee at the department head level contributed to an elected officials campaign, I would appreciate you sharing your examples.