Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sheriff or Godfather?

In the real world they call it blackmail, maybe even extortion -- at the Sheriff's Department, I guess it's no worse than failing to report an assault.

News reports say that Sheriff Anderson may have threatened possible candidate Cmdr. Domick Palera in a phone call saying that Palera might lose his position and have to undergo a lengthy Civil Service process.

Anderson said he "provided education". Nice euphemism from the head law enforcement officer in our county. Sounds more like a Mario Puzo novel. Sheriff Anderson forgot one of the first rules in the business which Hymon Roth told Michael Corleone in the Godfather: "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

Too bad for Palera -- although I understand his decision, I think he should run anyway.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares?

maybe das should run for sheriff?

1/05/2006 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

Rally behind Arnoldi instead.

See the Independent article of Jan.5th.

1/05/2006 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

All the King’s Men
Lt. Arnoldi First to Challenge Sheriff Anderson
by Nick Welsh

As the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Council meltdown escalates from name-calling to dueling lawsuits, one political candidate has officially stepped forward to challenge Sheriff Jim Anderson for his job. Lieutenant Ugo “Butch” Arnoldi, a 32-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, confirmed he would run against Anderson in this coming June’s election. Arnoldi, who came up short in a bid for sheriff four years ago, charged, “Morale here is at an all-time low. It’s never been worse. We need some real leadership and new vision.”
Arnoldi faulted Anderson for mishandling the ongoing fracas within the Sheriff’s Council — the private nonprofit made up of deep-pocketed volunteers who raise funds for bulletproof vests, search-and-rescue helicopters, and other big-ticket items — but insisted he would have run anyway. While Arnoldi is regarded with respect and affection in local law-enforcement circles, he is not perceived as the serious threat to Anderson that Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Commander Dominick Palera or Lompoc Police Chief Bill Brown might be. On Monday, Chief Brown confirmed he’s interested in running for sheriff, but said he hasn’t yet made up his mind. Palera had been widely expected to run, but after meeting with Anderson on Tuesday, the 23-year veteran of the department decided against it.

1/05/2006 9:42 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Das for Sheriff? PUHLEEEZ! We are going to have 20 posts now by tomorrow morning. Yikes.

One thing you have to say about Das is that he's not afraid to post here at Blogabarbara -- I have a lot of respect for that.

Valerio -- thanks for the text. Butch is a great guy but I don't know if he could lead the deparmtent effectively -- he's gonna have to show us something.

1/05/2006 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

who cares?

Where is he/she coming from? The second most powerful (after the DA) official in the County strong-arming a fellow sheriff into not running for public office at the risk of losing his job!!! Shades of the USSR and Tom DeLay. We all should care - and many do.

It's totally outrageous - and I, no supporter (before this) of the highhanded Jim Thomas, will vote for anyone but Anderson. His entire command should be investigated and not just by the weak Grand Jury, no matter how many investigatory powers it has.

1/06/2006 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, I know this blog sometimes delights in calling people names, but saying that our county's elected chief law enforcement officer is comparable to the murderous head of an organized crime family? That he's guilty of blackmail or maybe even a crime like extortion?

Blogs can cross the line. Even for a public figure like the sheriff, the blog could be liable for libel or defamation under some circumstances. To paraphrase badly from a couple of other movies, don't "Make his Day," or it may be "Hasta la Vista, Baby."

1/06/2006 7:02 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I hear you anon and the Sheriff is a public, elected figure that should really be appointed by the Board of Supes.

I don't have it that he is comparable to a leader of organized crime because I don't think Sheriff Anderson is a criminal at all -- but as I pointed out, news reports say that he "may" have threatened or "provided education" to Commander Palera. Threatening someone with their job if they don't do what they want is akin to blackmail.

His actions, if the reports are true, certainly invoke the simile (a comparison of two unlike things) of a crime boss coming heavy on a foot soldier.

I'm not out to offend anyone but I do want to have a little fun with the news now and then. It's like Jon Stewart making fun of politicians on The Daily Show -- often the same one will show up for an interview a few months later because they realize it's all in fun.

1/07/2006 1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole mess is about two things:

1. Edgecomb's ego

2. Thomas' ego

First Edgecomb:

He should be behind bars and not as a sheriff but as a theif. He ripped off the market for $500 Million. Spent money on his parties, his ego and his home.

The company want BK and left investors with huge loses.

Edgecomb is a a crook.

Second, Thomas:

Jim Thomas, call wants to be a media star, cannot accept that he lost the election last time. His choosen Sheriff lost badly.

Thomas needs money and ego feeding.

He wanted to be the third district supervisor and lost and then Firestone came around.

Thomas is still smarting - he wants to be king and he does not have the the intellect or power.

Thomas needs to sit back.

He created this mess with the crook Edgecomb. He has pushed it with his friend Dawn Hobbs at the News Press.

Been a good effort.

But in the end he has lost.

No real candidate.


In the end Anderson took over a Thomas mess and has done well.

Thomas - come on down and we can talk the dirt about you and your friends like Edgecomb.

It will be fun and you will fry in Fed. courts

1/07/2006 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard Thomas was really dirty - what is the story?

When he led the recall after Marshall it seemed he was running away from something.

What is the dirt? Is it Edgecomb?

1/07/2006 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Edgecomb's wedding. it had to cost millions. Who paid for it. I know people who worked with him. He sucked the company dry. Thomas sucked up to him for his money. Feels like Delay and Abramaoff - we have Thomas and Edgecomb.

Anderson is not the best at dealing with the media but at least he is honest.

1/07/2006 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about we talk about something important. What was going on at the beach last weekend - see this from KEYT:

Beach Foam
The major weekend storms may have passed but problems persist. An excessive amount of white foam and residue coats several Santa Barbara County beaches, especially Arroyo Burro in Santa Barbara. Officials say they're trying to determine what the foam is. City Clean Water manager, Jill Zachary admits she's never seen this much foam at one time. With traces of foam spotted in gutters as well, officials think household additives may be a factor. Officials advise people to always stay out of the water for at least three days after significant rainfall.

Jill Zachary is in charge - we pay her to know. What is going on here? $2,000,000 a year and she does not know what it was or what was going on. Maybe it is time for Jill to step aside.

1/07/2006 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheriff Anderson committed "... blackmail, maybe even extortion..." ?

"Edgecomb is a crook." ?

Former Sheriff Thomas "... was really dirty..." and "... will fry in Fed. courts." ?

And Sara thinks she has no exposure for libel or defamation because she's "not out to offend anyone" but wants "to have a little fun with the news now and then...." ?

All of these statements, found on this blog, are not true--particularly the last one.

1/08/2006 6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last one may be true...but what Sara THINKS, however, and the REALITY of being accountable are two different things.

1/08/2006 8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back to the foam on the beach: after every large winter storm there is foam on west beach, at least - I don't know about Hendry's, don't go there.

What was there seemed to no more extreme than after other large storms - it's always the most, the greatest, the best, the worst....

To call for Jill Zachary's possible resignation is out of line, but, yes, it would be interesting to know the causes of the foam.

Maybe Jim Thomas knows. ;)

1/08/2006 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Jim Thomas is responsible for the dirty foam.

1/08/2006 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he had his fifteen minutes' of fame on the cable networks during the MJ Trial, and needs a new gig....

1/08/2006 10:58 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

again, all the more why to support Arnoldi for Sheriff...

just keep the posts about ocean foam and pollution to a separate topic hopefully started by the moderators

1/08/2006 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, moderator, how about a discussion about the foam? Great topic. Wonderful photo in the News-Press.

What DOES the city, with all of its resources, know about it?

1/08/2006 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is time for a new sheriff in town..........

1/08/2006 10:12 PM  
Anonymous SBR said...


I urge you one last time, some of the rageaholics above do not serve your interests well at all.
This all may be entertaining to some and attract a greater number of hits, but they tend to make a slum out of where they write.
Aside from any liability, they downgrade the community.

1/09/2006 3:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, I agree. This blog has become like screamy right wing talk radio, but only left, and maybe libelous.

How about two new rules for 2006:

1. No name calling, not even you in habitually attacking your favorite target, the Editorial Page Editor. Calling Edgecomb "a crook" and Thomas "dirty" certainly crosses the line. You can set an example with your initial post and then delete posts violating the rule.

2. An almost exclusive focus on solving the tough policy issues that confront our community.

You'll be surprised; your hits will increase; the quality of the discussion will go up...way up; and our region will be much better off.

Set an example and some standards, please...

1/09/2006 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you solve the tough policy issues when you allow those that govern, the Sheriff included, to carry on in such an unethical manner.

1/09/2006 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good question, anon. Here's one answer: The ethics of our elected officials IS a policy issue. It can be addressed without calling people names (like, Sheriff/Gangster; Edgecomb/crook; former Sheriff/dirty). The local daily recently called for an ethics panel, due to the city's Mayor watching a concert in the Staples skybox of a utility with business pending before the city. Ethics panel--a good policy question that could extend to the county. The thrust of the blog debate? Name calling of the paper's editorial editor, not to mention some ridicule of the Mayor rocking out in L.A. to SCE's tune.

1/09/2006 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Listen to What the Man Said..."

1/09/2006 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helllloooo????????Does anyone care that Dan Secord retired? That Das announces next week? That the Wolf announced yesterday or that the GUZZ is about to have a big forum in goleta to talk about his pet issues?

1/10/2006 9:51 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Gosh -- I wish I could make money on this blog so I didn't have to work during the day :)

Just did a post on the inauguration/retirement...there will be plenty of time for Wolf and I'm not sure a GUZZ forum warrants a post yet -- I'm waiting to see what he has to say. Convince us and I will make one...

What I have to say about the libel issues is only that political satire and debate have a long history of protection in our country -- many of my posts will be straight forward and some will poke fun -- please hold it as fun and not so seriously. I'm willing to generally hold to the suggestion for rules for 2006 above -- but let's all work together on this.

1/11/2006 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

Very amusing that the Helllllooooo-ey anonymous commenter above notes that The Guzz "is about to have a big forum", rather than the sponsors the neighborhood advocacy-gadfly group is the one actually about to have the forum, which the sponsors call an outright debate.

So obviously that forum is a venue FOR the Guzz, in the view of that commenter.

1/11/2006 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so thomas and edgecomb - interesting combo

1/11/2006 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe edgecomb can call some star telcom investors to donate to thomas if they have any money left

1/12/2006 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe thomas and edgecomb can sell ego for money. when edgecomb was sheiffs council president didn't we see star power rentals all over the event - did he charge? did he charge retail? did anyone shop for better prices? lets investigate edgecomb and see who thomas has as friends.

1/13/2006 12:31 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Let's refrain from name calling guys....just had to delete a post.

1/13/2006 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me rephrase, is there any connection between Star Telecom and Star Lighting? No. So it would not neccesarily follow that any product or business with the word Star in it would be owned or controlled by Chris Edgecomb. Like Star Magazine or Star Rug Cleaners or Star Tech Auto Repair. Get a grip. You will end up in a pool of drool if you try to keep this level of hysteria up until June. That better Sara?

1/13/2006 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I know---DAS should run for Sheriff;

1/13/2006 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

star power is owned by edgecomb.

1/13/2006 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

star power is owned by edgecomb.

1/13/2006 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is edgecomb running - why do we car?

1/14/2006 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is edgecomb running - why do we car?

1/14/2006 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this blog and read with great interest, especially with the "godfather" implications.

Well placed rumors within the sheriff's department walls and outside of them have said that Chris Edgecomb will give a $250K campaign donation to whomever runs against Sheriff Anderson.

I suppose this candidate would have to meet with Edgecomb's approval - and since he attended former sheriff Thomas's kick-off one would presume this is where the donation, if in fact it is true, would go to.

I am really uncomfotable with that $250K rumor. Edgecomb is accusing Sheriff Anderson of using undue influence, yet Edgecomb seems to have no problem, if rumor is true, to resorting to the somewhat parallel tactics. It puts this entire lawsuit by the 5 past presidents, of which Edgecomb is one of, in a murky position. Who's the real godfather? Anderson or Edgecomb/Thomas......

Am I off base in thinking this?


1/24/2006 6:06 PM  

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