Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, April 07, 2006

Black Eye of an Endorsement

With two dozen sheriff's deputies disputing the results of the recent endorsement of Sheriff Anderson and his campaign consultant accusing Jimmy the T's campaign of collusion, we are in for a story that has legs. This morning's editorial calling for disclosure in the Santa Maria Times means the spotlight's on the DSA. Here's part of what the SMT said:
Without such information, this endorsement really is little more than a political charade.

As in most things, the public interest would be best served by full disclosure. We hope it's forthcoming soon.
We couldn't agree more here at BlogBarbara -- we understand why DSA won't and respect it politically -- but couldn't agree more.

KEY News Story Interviewing Butch | SB Independent Story on Sheriff Campaign Fundraising


Anonymous Valerio said...

So a plurality versus a majority is not such a SEMANTIC difference after all!!

4/07/2006 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on bringing up an important political topic and somehow not managing to work Travis Armstrong into it. It's a constant distraction from the real issues.

Sure the DSA should disclose its internal vote. It would certainly be in the public interest for voters to know how strong DSA support is of the various candidates. Those union members are closest to the fundamental law enforcement issues and their opinions matter, particularly since they have had first hand experience with two of the candidates.

The top vote getter could still receive the union's campaign cash and other support, but at least those of us in the public would have a better idea of what the rank and file deputies actually think.

I agree with your support of disclosure being in the public interest. Sunlight and getting everything on the table are good thing. In that spirit, here's a quote from your post above: "WE couldn't agree more here at BlogBarbara -- WE understand why DSA won't and respect it politically," etc.

Who's the "WE"?! In the community interest you cite, the public knows who the county's editorial writers are, who the union representatives are, and who our elected officials and staff are. But in line with your thoughts about the public interest, shouldn't you (Sara) disclose the "WE" of Blogabarbara, in particular any financial ties to anyone you are writing your strongly worded posts about?? It's in the public interest and ethical to know about any financial or other conflicts of interest you may have, so we can weigh the value of what you say on lots of we would like to do with the DSA and the sheriff's race.

4/08/2006 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As in most things, the public interest would be best served by full disclosure. We hope it's forthcoming soon."

Well said, Blogabarbara and Santa Maria Times. So true, especially, of the DSA, given its political power and public safety.

"As in most things," who does the editorial or papal "We" in Blogabarbara refer to? "We" hope the answer is forthcoming soon.

4/08/2006 7:48 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

As I have stated before, there are several of us who write for BlogaBarbara that started this blog as a response to what we see as a lack of integrity in the editorials of the News-Press.

Far from a distraction, Armstrong's agenda needs a response from someone. He isn't all we talk about (the majority of posts this month posts from other news sources and NP articles that have nothing to do with editorial section), but is the reason why we began this blog.

We will remain anonymous as is the tradition with blogs such as this. There are no financial ties to anything we write about and I think it's pretty clear that we aren't taking sides in the supervisorial race or the Sheriff's race. We are an alternative source of opinion where you actually have the ability to give yours too -- in just as anonymous of a fashion as they are provided, and as the last two comments asking for our disclosure took advantage of. Good for you for giving your opinion -- if it's civil and to the point, we will publish it here.

Unlike a newspaper, there are no advertising ties with BlogaBarbara and we volunteer our time. We don't need to promote an agenda to gain readership and are just interested in creating discussion around current, local happenings in the news. Like a newspaper, you don't always know who writes the editorial. With the News-Press, for instance, it could be Armstrong, McCaw or even Joe Cole.

So, I won't be able to fulfill your request -- but I am glad to give you a space where you can ask. Thanks for being active in BlogaBarbara -- we look forward to hearing more from you.

4/08/2006 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sara--since the topic is questionable endorsement practices/processes---
how about the SEIU endorsement of Das, wherein there were NO letters to, questionaiires of or interviews of the other candidates.
If not herein, then this really does beg another post....

4/08/2006 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There are no financial ties to anything we write about ..."

This means that no one who writes for Blogabarbara has worked for any of the successful candidates, such as Mayor Blum when she was running, since she is written about here often. None of you also work for the city or county entities that are written about here all of the time.

We will will take you at your word and it's good to hear. But of course there's no way to confirm the truth of what you're saying.

And it's tough to give any substance to your opinion about the lack of "integrity" in the newspaper's editorials when you refuse to even simply identify yourselves, so that participants here can determine conflicts of interest or other bias. Is there something to hide?

If you're calling for DSA disclosure--still don't see why you don't practice some yourself. For example, whether it's Armstrong, McCaw or even Cole writing, we know it's one of the three. As with the request of the DSA, we can evaluate the opinions in context, being able to consider the source.

Now that you are editing and deleting, in a new position to censure, you've joined a different tradition of blogging, where the norm at a minimum is the simple disclosing of identity, so that readers can determine first hand whether there are conflicts of interest. This is less than we all would like to see from the DSA.

Thank you for the space.

4/08/2006 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the DSA wants to increase its effectiveness, both publicly and within the department itself, it should release the vote count. If the numbers in support of Anderson are strong, then its endorsement gains meaning and is shown to be a true endorsement and not political gamesmanship. If the numbers in support of Anderson are not strong, then the DSA is sending a message that it takes its endorsement process seriously and does not want it to be abused by claims of being a mandate by the rank and file, or a vote of confidence. Either way the DSA gains credibility, not only with the public, but with whoever is elected sheriff.

4/08/2006 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though the DSA ousted Mike Durant as President has his term actually ended? He is generally regarded as an ardent Anderson supporter. What is his role in the DSA Board decisions on how the endorsement is/was to be handled? Does anyone know?

4/08/2006 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, but you know it is Cole, Mc Caw and Armstrong with their names on the masthead. And Travis has his picture on his column and that is pretty staightforward.


4/08/2006 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If "integrity" and "public interest" are the intertwined principles and "full disclosure" the best solution, how about some names on the "masthead" of this blog, and how about a release by the DSA of its sheriff's endorsement count?

One doesn't see the editorial board or Armstrong personally (when writing a column) hiding like the editors of Blogabarbara. And Blogabarbara's right in that the DSA vote count should be disclosed.

What's the saying: what's sauce for the goose (DSA) is sauce for the gander (Blogabarbara)?

Or will sunlight in each case cause sunburn????

4/08/2006 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you please stop whining about DAS..this discussion is about the SHERIFF. If Sara wants to post a story about the 2nd District endorsement race that's fine but stop obsessing about Das getting more endoresements than Wolfee already!

4/09/2006 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is the above reader confusing the letters in the acronym DSA?

4/10/2006 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Janet has Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Lois, Harriet, Naomi, Salud, Susan. The news press reported she has the most individual donations. No billionaires are supporting her but she has the most supporters!

4/10/2006 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Self Governance in the Second District said...

ditto, 840am; and most importantly Janet has the most supporters WHO LIVE AND VOTE IN THE SECOND DISTRICT.......looking at Das' endorsement list one wonders if this isn't a trial run for first or third district supe...........

4/11/2006 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone has thought that maybe Secord win's the whole thing in June? These endorsments would be meaningless.

4/13/2006 1:39 PM  

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