Realtors spend another $8,000 to support Ogorchock for Mayor, bringing total to $28,500 for race

Wright challenges interview process and questions

By Allen Payton

In what appears to be an unprecedented amount of spending on behalf of a candidate for either Antioch Mayor or City Council, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) increased their support for Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchock’s campaign for Mayor by another $8,074.01, this past week. That brings the total to $23,504 in independent expenditures (IE’s) the organization has spent to support her election effort.

The latest expenditure for a mailer, was reported on a state-required 496 form, for IE’s to support or oppose a candidate. Such forms must be completed and submitted to the City Clerk within 24 hours of spending $1,000 or more by an individual or organization.  ogorchock-realtors-496-10272016

The support by the national organization is in addition to a $5,000 contribution made directly to Ogorchock’s campaign by the California Association of Realtors’ (CAR) California Real Estate PAC. That brings her total support by Realtors to $28,504, which is more than the rest of the amount of funds raised and spent by her campaign committee.

A licensed Realtor, Ogorchock is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Delta Association of Realtors (DAR), and a member of the organization’s Local Government Affairs Committee. It was the Local Candidate Recommendation (LCR) sub-committee which handled the candidate interviews, which were used to determine how much to contribute to each of their campaigns.

When reached for comment about the money being spent by NAR, Ogorchock responded: “I’m very appreciative that they are spending the money on me, sending out the flyers and the online advertising.”

Asked if she was concerned that it appeared the organization was trying to buy the Mayor’s seat, she replied, “Are you kidding? Just because they’re spending money on me, they’re buying an election? I don’t think so.”

Asked about money coming from NAR, versus money from CAR or DAR, Ogorchock said, “CAR gave me $5,000 and everyone else got money who interviewed before them (the DAR sub-committee). The only person they didn’t give money to was Gil Murillo because he didn’t have an FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission) ID#.”

However, Murillo stated he did have an ID#, but not at the time of his interview, and later provided it to DAR once he had obtained one. Murillo has since suspended his campaign and given his support to Wright.

She was asked why NAR was making the expenditures rather than CAR or DAR.

“I do know that NAR has done this before,” Ogorchock shared. “I believe it was a woman in Solano County two years ago who got some money. How they go about it, I don’t know. I didn’t get help from them last time,” when she ran for City Council in 2014.

“We had a different AE (Administrative Executive) at DAR, last time,” she continued. “So our management structure has changed at the local level.”

Candidate Interviews

Asked if she sat in on the interview for former fellow candidate for Mayor, Murillo, Ogorchock replied, “Part of it, yeah. He said it was all fine with him. He wanted me to hear what his platform was. I did not stay for the whole interview.”

Murillo confirmed that he invited her to stay during his interview.

Asked about the process for endorsements and contributions, she replied, “I was not endorsed by the DAR. DAR doesn’t endorse anyone. All I know is there is an interview process. DAR reaches out to every elected official and candidate. I interviewed like everyone else did. They were done for a contribution,” not an endorsement.

“I’m on the local government relations subcommittee that I’ve sat on for five years,” Ogorchock explained. “They made the decisions on the monetary amounts. Then that went to the board for final approval.”

Asked if she sat in on any of the Antioch City Council candidate interviews, she said “I believe I was there for Kenny’s (Turnage). I wasn’t there for Mary’s (Rocha), Monica’s (Wilson) or Lamar’s (Thorpe). I don’t believe Karl (Dietzel) interviewed. I can’t remember if I was there for Fred’s (Rouse).”

Asked about the amounts contributed to the various candidates, Ogorchock stated, “I don’t get into the financial part of it. When the board voted on how much to give I was excused from the room.”

One issue that was of concern to fellow candidate for Mayor, Dr. Sean Wright was the questions of how much he planned to spend on his campaign. dar-candidate-questionnaire

“I’m concerned about questions 8 & 10, of how much money do I think I need to win and how I was going to raise the money,” he stated. “If this organization is going to ask those kinds of questions and then go and spend $23,000 on behalf of a candidate, that calls into question an issue of ethics.”

Question 8 on the DAR questionnaire to candidates asked, “What level of funding do you think is required to run a competitive campaign?” Question 10 was two parts which asked, “What are the primary financial resources you anticipate for your campaign?” and “Are you willing to commit personal funds, if so how much?”

“Is it ethical to ask those questions of candidates and then use that information to help one of their competitors?” Wright asked.

When asked if Ogorchock sat in on his interview, he responded, “she didn’t sit in on my interview.”

“All these answers were typed up and submitted prior to the interviews,” Wright explained. “So they had access to all our answers. When we went in for questions, the committee members who were sitting there already had our answers.”

“It looks like they’re spending enough money to try and match what my goal was,” he added.

Asked what Wright told the committee his goal was, he said, “I told them that (Mayor) Wade (Harper) raised and spent $40,000, four years ago. So that’s what I think the goal is. But, my goal was to raise it with local funds and local residents.”

When asked who came up with the list of questions, Ogorchock replied, “Byron Bogaard, the AE. I did not participate in developing the questions.”

Antioch Councilman Tony Tiscareno is also a member of the sub-committee and sat in on the interviews. A concern was raised about that, both as a current council member and because he had already contributed to is supporting Harper’s re-election effort.

However, Ogorchock stated that Tiscareno asked each candidate if it was acceptable to them if he sat in on their interviews. He confirmed that, and added that he didn’t make any decision about the contributions.

According to Local Government Relations Committee Chairman Scott MacIntyre, it’s the LCR sub-committee, which he also sits on, that conducted the candidate interviews and recommended to CAR who to support and how much to contribute.

“Every candidate is invited to interview,” MacIntyre reiterated.

When asked if each candidate who interviews receives a check, he replied, “not necessarily. Generally we’ll throw them something. But, it’s not automatic.”


In contrast to the contributions to and amounts spent for Ogorchock, CAR gave $1,500 to Turnage’s campaign for City Council, $1,000 to Councilwoman Wilson’s campaign, $500 to Thorpe’s campaign according to their latest campaign finance reports. Wright, whose campaign received a check from CAR last week, after the latest reporting period ended, said it was for $250. Councilwoman Mary Rocha said she, too participated in the interview process and her campaign received $1,000 from CAR, also last week, after the latest finance reporting period had passed.

“That’s the first time ever that they’ve supported me,” she stated.

LCR sub-committee Chairman Aaron Meadows said Mayor Wade Harper did not participate in the interview process.

When asked if he had a comment about the amount of money being spent by the Realtors on Ogorchock’s behalf and the interview questions, Harper did not respond.

Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen was asked if he had ever seen this amount of spending by an organization on behalf of a candidate for either Antioch Mayor or City Council.

“Walmart may have back in 2004, as they did an IE,” he responded.

The election is Tuesday, November 8th.


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4 Comments to “Realtors spend another $8,000 to support Ogorchock for Mayor, bringing total to $28,500 for race”

  1. Gil Murillo says:

    Correction, I did provide FPPC number.

  2. Martha Steele Spellman says:

    Why don’t you look into the amount of money that the California Charter Schools Association contributed to the three school board candidates you have endorsed? According to the Secretary of State’s website, more than $2,000 has been used for EACH of the campaigns of Alonzo Terry, Fernando Navarro, and Crystal Sawyer-White. It seems a little too cozy that a charter school PAC is funneling this kind of money into the candidates the Herald endorses. Additionally, Gregory Stanger, who is on the Board of Directors of Rocketship has contributed to the campaigns of Alonzo Terry and Fernando Navarro. It’s unseemly that these candidates accepted charter school money when Rocketship has a petition in front of the school board.

    • Publisher says:

      Ms. Spellman,

      We just completed the November issue of the print edition of the Herald.

      I am now working on articles regarding the campaign finances of the candidates for Antioch Mayor, City Council and School Board, today.

      You can read them once they’re posted on our website, this week.

      Allen Payton, Publisher

  3. Julio says:

    Oh, gosh, the Herald is such an evil news paper. Ms Spellman works for who? Perhaps the school district?

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