Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this


By Van K. Collinsworth, Executive Director/Resource Analyst

October 31, 2016 (Santee)--Analysis shows 98% of Santee City Council candidate Mason Herron's donors are from outside of Santee; much of these contributors are easily identified as being traffic gridlock producing development interests. (CA Form 460’s are required disclosures.)

In contrast,  Stephen Houlahan has not taken any developer dollars and 76% of his contributors are Santee residents.

Herron’s "Developer’s Delight Campaign” has raised $74,516 total, or $58,111 if his own $15,000 loan and $1,405 in cash are subtracted. However, it is probable that a “Victory Campaign/Party" would be launched where the debt would be repaid by development interests in exchange for the expectation of favors.

The "Developer’s Delight Campaign" consists of 85 of a total 87 contributions coming from outside of Santee or 98% outside influence. Additional development interest funds are coming from "Independent Expenditures" and have not been included.

Heavy donors include:

  • HomeFed Corporation (owner of Fanita Ranch/Santee’s northern hills)
  • TC Construction
  • Newland
  • Cornerstone 
  • Mastercraft Homes

So what are these developers purchasing?

Recently obtained court documents state, “HomeFed anticipates submittal of a project application to the City in the next few months.” It is clear that HomeFed is attempting to purchase favor for their massive project application.

HomeFed and other development interests think that they will delight in M. Herron’s future votes on their proposals despite the traffic gridlock that they will create.

Don’t let Mason Herron sell-out Santee — vote Stephen Houlahan!

Follow the $ and the choice is clear. Stephen Houlahan's contributors are over 3/4 Santee residents and Houlahan has not taken any developer dollars. Vote Houlahan! 

The opinions expressed in this editorial reflect the view of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.  To submit an editorial for consideration,  contact

Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.


Public Record Serves a Vital Purpose

There is so much more on all the candidates, like PAC $ contributions (except Houlahan which shows only grassroots donors/sum)--but here are Herron and Trotter's Campaign Contributors. Deceit/fraud of collecting donations from any citizen joe/jane when you're well-padded, backed by $pecial interests that are obviously in self-interest and political career aspirations, is unethical.

The new way!

Small cities, it seems, are now to be the political party farm system for outsiders to breeze into town and buy council seats with special interest money!

Sad state for Locals that care for their hometowns

Craig, I believe it is reasonable to request a return of your contribution from Herron. It infuriates me to think that folks in Santee (a mere 2% of his support) that really could not afford it, may have been conned into giving. The Herron insult/injury is as bad, my understanding is that he's also a newcomer in Santee. Carpetbagging is alive and making our hometowns very un-well.

Having supported Mason Herron

Having supported Mason Herron, I'm sorry to learn this.
Even worse is La Mesa council candidate Colin Parent who, so far, has raised nearly 83K--all but 2K of it from out-of-town lawyers, politicians and developers.
To add insult to injury: he's only lived here 18 months.


While it's true Colin Parent's donations are mostly from  outside of La Mesa (primarily San Diego and Sacramento, where he previously lived and worked)  it's not accurate to say it's all from lawyers,politiicans and developers, though there were some substantial sums in those categories. He also got donations fron envorironmentalists, family, and people in a variety of other businesses and occupations.


So Craig, how much did you contribute to Herron? You should indeed request your $$$$ back!