Editor’s Note: Jack Morris is a former Mayor of Menlo Park and has worked in the technology industry for 50 years.
He began following the Solyndra debacle and discovered the Madrone connection to DMB.
Morris is personally opposed to the Cargill/DMB Saltworks proposal and signed Save the Bay’s petition against the project.
He first came to the area in 1958 when Foster City was being built, and groups of people organized to prevent any more in-filling of the Bay.
“The EIR [environmental impact report] is a waste of money and investigation of a project that shouldn’t be built in the first place,” he said.
“But I’d never be elected to the Redwood City city council with that sentiment,” he said. “Most of the councilmembers are generally pro-building.”
By Jack Morris
Republicans in Washington are calling the bankruptcy of solar manufacturer Solyndra . After the Department of Energy made their $535 million loan guarantee, Argonaut Private Equity and Madrone Capital Partners loaned Solyndra $69.3 million under an arrangement in which they will recover funds before the federal government does. Yes, before U.S. taxpayers are repaid!
Both Argonaut and Madrone are savvy investors who line up by political party with Argonaut favoring Democratic interests and Madrone favoring Republican interests. So, the “scandal” is neither Democratic nor Republican. However the source of funding from Madrone has a local angle right here in Silicon Valley.
has a Sand Hill Road address with managing partners living here on the Peninsula. They are affiliated with the Walton family, which founded Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Internet research shows Madrone’s enthusiasm for green investments. But this is a “green” investment firm that may have another story. In 2009 Madrone formed an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Arizona with DMB Associates.
Where have we heard the name, DMB? Think Redwood City. Think salt ponds. DMB Associates is the Arizona development company in the middle of on the Peninsula as it wages war for a 12,000-unit housing development on the salt ponds owned by Cargill. DMB has a robust history of constructing large luxury housing developments in Arizona, Hawaii and California (Tahoe’s Martis Camp and Kern County’s Tejon Mountain Village.
Cargill is a powerful entity that has an and reputation. It is a secretive, privately held, global giant that is cutting down rainforests and allowing contaminated turkey into supermarkets. Now they want to build a new city on the bay shoreline parcel that has long been a priority for the National Wildlife Refuge to protect and restore to crucial wetlands.
Opposition to the Cargill/DMB plan to pave over a salt pond on the San Francisco Bay has grown. More than 150 Bay Area elected officials, environmental and community organizations like Sierra Club, business and labor unions are opposing DMB’s project. Peninsula residents, passionate about the future of our communities and of San Francisco Bay, need to know the truth and follow the money behind the “green development” claims.
We should not be distracted by Solyndra’s demise or by the fact that a local capital investment firm was clever enough to secure a priority position over the federal government for repayment. The focus needs to center on these powerful out of state companies that are posing a real threat to the future of our local communities and the health of San Francisco Bay.
We need to ask the smart questions. Is there a Sand Hill Road investor with ties to Walmart that has joined Cargill and DMB in their scheme to make billions by filling San Francisco Bay? Why else would Menlo Park’s Madrone Capital Partners form an LLC with developer DMB in 2009? We live in a global economy. Walmart has far reaching tendrils that may have arrived in our community, thanks to Cargill’s greed.