Although rent control already exist in half of Miley’s supervisorial district, including East Oakland, no such restrictions exist in unincorporated Alameda County. Along with Pleasanton, unincorporated areas, primarily Castro Valley, make up a sizable portion of the district.
Miley has publicly voiced opposition to rent control in incorporated Alameda County, areas in which Miley is its most powerful voice.
“We don’t need rent control,” Miley said during a candidate forum last March. “Rent control is a disincentive to investment and it’s also a disincentive for landlords to keep their property maintained.” Miley then offered landlord-tenant mediation as one solution.
He added later, “We can look for other measures for tenant protection, but we don’t need rent control. It’s a disincentive. It will bring down the quality of life in our communities.”
Bryan Parker, Miley’s opponent this June, also opposes rent control for unincorporated Alameda County.
Landlord and real estate interests contributed $11,500 to Miley’s campaign just this week, according to campaign finance records. On Thursday, Miley’s campaign received $4,000 from the California Apartment Association Political Action Committee, a statewide organization that advocates on behalf of landlords and often registers strong opposition to rent control. The apartment group typically argues in favor of private mediation to resolve rent increase disputes. The same PAC gave Miley’s campaign $8,500 earlier this year.
In addition, Fuller Enterprises, headed by big-time landlord Doug Smith, contributed $2,500 to Miley’s coffers on Thursday. In the past, Smith, an anti-rent control voice heard all over the East Bay, and especially in Alameda, has often made derogatory comments toward Oakland over the matter. Smith owns 22 apartment building in and around the Bay Area, according to the Mercury News.
During an Alameda City Council meeting last year, Smith said publicly that any attempt to enact restrictions against landlords would result in crime coming to Alameda from Oakland.
“You will see higher rents due to supply and demand. you will see crime increase as the Oakland renters flee poorly-maintained, graffiti-ridden rent control housing in favor of our safe neighborhoods, top-notch schools and well-maintained housing,” said Smith. “Eventually Alameda will be Oakland.”
Other landlord and real estate interests have given large donations to Miley’s campaign this year, too, as he faces his toughest re-election campaign yet.
They include Vasona Management, a Los Gatos-based property management firm that contributed $2,000 this week to Miley’s campaign, and the California Real Estate Political Action Committee ($1,000 this week, $1,500 total this election cycle).
Patrick O’Brien, principal of LSI Management Services, LLC, contributed $1,000 to Miley’s campaign this week, in addition, to $4,662 earlier this year. O’Brien is also the chief financial officer at Pleasanton-based Leisure Sports, which also donated $1,000 this week; and San Lorenzo-based Eden Realty, a common donor to many East Bay campaigns, which contributed $2,628 earlier this year.