"There's not a democracy in Stockton."
That's what Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva told a small group of people during a meet and greet Saturday inside a Weston Ranch Mountain Mike's pizzeria. The statement was, in part, an effort to explain his stance against the city's Big Box ordinance which has stopped Walmart from opening a superstore on land the company owns in Weston Ranch.
Although Stockton has multiple Walmart stores in the city, Weston Ranch's only store is Food 4 Less, a company that donated money to Democratic candidate Michael Tubbs’ campaign.
The assertion was also a slight toward Tubbs, who Silva says is in the pockets of the "elite few" who control the City of Stockton.
"You think there's a democracy in this state, you think there's a democracy in this country, and that's not the case," Silva explained to the small crowd. "It's called an oligarchy, which means it's ruled by the elite few."
Silva, the Republican incumbent, who was elected Stockton's mayor in 2012, went on to add, "[The elite few] like to have businesses, be able to donate to charities of their choices, and the also like to donate to candidates of their choices. Why do they like to donate to those candidates? Because those candidates are going to do what they tell them to do."
Following the meet and greet, Tubbs told the Stockton Record that it was a "lie" to say he's in the pockets of his campaign donors. (Tubbs didn't return phone calls to ABC10 in time for the publishing of this story.)
A quick search of both candidates' campaign disclosure statements reveal Tubbs received six times more in donations than Silva, more than half of which were individual donations.
But records also seem to indicate Silva's recent court issues could be hindering his campaign contributions. Silva has only had one donation of $600 since he was arrested August 4, 2016 for allegedly holding strip poker games at his youth camps. Records show the campaign donation was from himself.
Days before the arrest, the San Joaquin District Attorney's Office reported that a gun that was stolen from Silva's house in 2015 was used in multiple crimes, including the death of a 13-year-old boy.
Silva agreed that the controversies affected his fundraising capabilities, throwing off his campaign schedule by three months.
"It was all B.S. from Tubbs' friends," Silva told ABC10, adding that he's been able to raise an additional $8,000 in the past weeks. Records aren't available for those contributions.
"The councilmember [Tubbs] has spent a quarter million dollars in this race," Silva said. "That's 10 times more than me."
Regardless of the reason behind the campaigns' size of donations, one thing is certain: Silva hasn't been able to keep up with the monetary donations given to Tubbs.
- Total monetary contributions: $37,150
- Individual donations: $17,200
- Non-individual donations: $19,950
- Top individual donors:
- San Francisco dentist: $5,000
- Galt veterinarian: $1,500
- Five donations from Stockton and Manteca residents: $1,000/each
- Top non-individual donations:
- Midway of Fun: $3,000
- Construction workers union: $2,500
- CVR Management: $2,000
- Total monetary contributions: $241,967
- Individual donations: $132,987
- Non-individual donations: $108,980
- Top individual donors:
- Washington D.C. developer: $10,000
- Retiree in Wilson, Wy.: $7,500
- San Francisco "community leader": $5,000
- Top non-individual donors:
- Alex G. Spanos Companies: $20,000
- Weber LLC: $5,000
- Grupe Commercial Company: $5,000