When San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert “Bob” Lovingood voted in favor of a Lewis Operating Company project in the unincorporated Deep Creek area of Apple Valley on January 26, 2016, observers allege he did so with no concern for the existing lifestyle of residents in the area. The project required that zoning be changed from an agriculture designation to a residential designation. The Lewis project will divide the 249-acre parcel into 202 home sites, forever transforming the quiet farming and equestrian community.
Although community members appeared before the board of supervisors to express their concerns about adopting a General Plan Amendment that would rezone the property, those concerns fell on deaf ears, especially the ears of their elected representative, Supervisor “Bob” Lovingood. Those in attendance claim he was arrogant towards residents and his mind was clearly made up before the hearing. Unlike Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales, who approached the concerned residents after the hearing to explain her vote, Lovingood high-tailed it out the back door to avoid his constituents.
A review of Lovingood’s Fair Political Practices Commission Form 460s since 2012 sheds light on one possible reason for his vote. The FPPC 460 is required to be filed to show all campaign contributions received and disbursed by a candidate running for office.
According to Lovingood’s FPPC 460, below are the contributions he received from The Lewis Group and all of its companies. The contributions received from Lewis to date total $9,100.
- August 1, 2012 — $1,500
- September 17, 2012 — $500
- November 23, 2013 — $500
- August 15, 2013 — $1,500 (There is no record of Lovingood reporting this contribution but Lewis reported it to the state.)
- January 12, 2014 — $1,000
- June 7, 2014 — $1,500
- February 7, 2015 — $750
- June 18, 2015 — $1,600
- August 6, 2015 — $250
Additionally, one of California’s most powerful lobbying groups, the Building Industry Association, also contributed to Lovingood. Its contributions total $6,900.
- October 22 2012 — $2,000
- January 13 2013 — $1,900
- January 31, 2014 — $1,000
- April 22, 2015 — $1,000
- August 15, 2015 — $1,000
Several items are of particular interest in reviewing Lovingood’s FPPC 460s. He has had to amend and re-amend numerous filings. There is considerable lag in the time from which some donors report they contributed until the date Lovingood reports he received the donations, sometimes many months. And finally, as noted above, at least one donation of $1,500 was never reported. It appears his recordkeeping is sloppy at best.
According to the California Secretary of State, Lewis Pacific Partners contributed $193,916 to candidates and political action committees in 2015. The Building Industry Association made contributions in the amount of $372,813 during the same period.