WHITTIER – The Presidents’ Council, a pro-business and development group, has established a political action committee to raise money for City Council candidates.Allan Nakken, the council’s founder, said the 100-member group already has decided to support Councilwoman Cathy Warner and Councilman Joe Vinatieri in the April election and Councilman Greg Nordbak in 2010.“We’re going to fund people who want to see our city change, get better and get cleaned up,” Nakken said.Left off the endorsement list are Mayor Owen Newcomer and Councilman Bob Henderson. The lawsuit is pending in Norwalk Superior Court.Both sides have swapped offers, but no settlement has been reached.Nakken criticized the conservancy’s decision at the time, saying it was potentially stopping the development of a Portillo’s Restaurant.The restaurant is expected to gross $5.8 million annually, Nakken said. That would mean $58,000 annually in sales tax to the city.“I think we’re missing a great opportunity,” he said.Henderson pointed out that the restaurant was asking the city for a subsidy – as much as half the sales tax that would be generated.“While it was never settled, the only way it was coming in was with a subsidy from the city,” he said. “We would give away at least half that sales tax over four years. I don’t think that economic argument makes much sense.”Still, Henderson and Newcomer said they’re not bothered by the Presidents’ Council deciding to raise money and give it to candidates – possibly in opposition to them.“It’s a good thing for people to be involved in the political process,” Newcomer said. “Hopefully, we can find some common ground and make Whittier a better place to live.”Vinatieri said he, too, thinks it’s a good idea for more involvement.“I think what it says is the Presidents’ Council is very serious about what they’re doing and making a difference for the community from their philosophical viewpoint,” he said.Dorothea Boyd, president of the conservancy, said she isn’t surprised by the Presidents’ Council’s entry into city politics.“I would expect them to do it because I know their agenda,” Boyd said.The PAC’s steering committee consists of Don Alvarado, senior counsel for Smart and Final; Leighton Anderson, an attorney and Whittier Union High School District board member; Jeff Ball, president of Friendly Hills Bank; Bob Haendiges, an attorney; Nakken; and Ron Ridout, owner of Cornerstone [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre But Nakken said as of now he doesn’t know of any other candidates running in 2008.“Our game is not to bring candidates in,” he said. “We will fund existing candidates in 2008.”The Presidents’ Council was founded last spring in response to the controversy over whether three California Domestic Water Co. buildings across from the Whittwood Town Center should be considered historic and saved.The City Council in May voted 3-2 – Henderson and Newcomer dissenting – to allow the buildings to be demolished.A couple of weeks later, the Whittier Conservancy sued the city, seeking to prevent the demolition of the three buildings.