Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Truth in Politics

I've been taking it easy the last couple of days while Travis asks where Susan Rose is...and then saw a Wolf mailer the next day with her photo on it. That's pretty public. Capps spending money on Wolf? I don't know if it's the best policy for a congressional representative but as Anderson manager Richard Cochran says -- it's a free speech right. At least Capps isn't having a Democrat no one has ever heard of do her dirty work for her -- see for yourself what the fuss is about at Truth About Has anybody ever met this Tony Simmons who paid for the letter? The NP says the URL is registered to a former Cochran employee...

"It is this type of crap that keeps good people from running for public office and unnecessarily hurts the families of the candidates," Mr. Thomas said.

I may not agree with you most of the time -- but AMEN Jim.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

KEYT and Video News Reports's news release about the Video News Releases is available here. KEYT sounds like they were on the up and up by disclosing the source of the COMDEX show in Vegas but this is a growing problem in the media. More interesting than the news release from the Center for Media and Democracy is their wiki that has video clips and case studies of some of the offenders.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Indie Endorses Wolf

Saying "To be a supervisor on the Santa Barbara County board, you can run but can't hide", the Santa Barbara Independent endorsed Janet Wolf today saying she understands the issues, lives in Goleta and earned her wings on the Goleta School Board. I'm glad they didn't endorse two candidates at opposite ends of the spectrum like the News-Press did....

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Goleta Valley Growth Plan

Kudos to the Board of Supervisors for voting to make updating the growth plan a priority. A lot of our readers will be cynical -- as Gary Earle expressed in today's article in the News-Press -- and that is probably justified at the $228,000 price tag. Let's hope the BOS puts their money where their mouth is.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Secord/Guzzardi Endorsement

Here's space for endorsement talk -- this wasn't some sort of glaring omission based in who I'm supporting (haven't decided yet) -- was just busy over the last couple of days.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Travis Takes On Capps

PLEASE NOTE: I made a huge mistake which you'll see outlined by several anonymous commenters -- TV stations do have to give out this information...I'm keeping this up here as I am not afraid to say I made a mistake and the comments herein are still valuable.

Travis Armstrong took on Lois Capps today adding another woman to his hit list -- the article which talked about political spinmeisters "touting poll results to help their causes but won't give you the actual data." -- do you think he's been reading BlogaBarbara? We've been talking about these ghost results for at least a week.

It is not necessarily common for a congressperson to spend so much money on a local race -- I'll give Travis that much. I won't touch his unrespectful attitude towards Capps as this is not news when it comes to women office holders and the News-Press editorial department. I do have to question though how he actually got KEYT-TV (I assume) to show him a copy of the check her campaign wrote. What right does any local TV station have to share that kind of information? Yes, it will be made public soon anyway -- but does that make it right?

Is it anything like the big TELCOS giving our phone information to NSA without our permission? Maybe not, but you've got to wonder why our local television station is sharing their client information so easily. Travis wonders out loud why a member of congress is interjecting themselves so heavily into a local race -- I wonder why our community newspaper is interjecting themselves so heavily in several local races (see the Valley Voice endorsement of Guzzardi and Secord, as well as their own) to such an extent that they are getting sensitive client information....did he threaten them with a law suit? Why was the information handed out so freely?

Much like Skybox tickets at Staples Center -- I couldn't go to a "local TV station" (read TV Hill?) and get this kind of information on my this the pot calling the kettle black? Did he use his position and the paper's attorneys to find out how much was spent? He's got some 'splainin to do.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sheriff Anderson Falters: The Whole Story

In the News-Press today, Anderson's consultant says they took a poll to see whether he should continue feinting right on immigration? Ridiculous. Yes, protect our borders -- but that's not your job Jim! Leave that to the INS and Homeland Security. Brown is right to question whether the Night Stalker would have been caught without undocumented aliens. Fear, it seems, is the great motivator among voters.

The bigger story wasn't covered by the News-Press and can be found at the Santa Maria Times. Former Sheriff Thomas accused Anderson of taking too much credit in a recent editorial about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Anderson mentioned the challenges of being Sheriff before and after the attack. The problem is that Thomas was Sheriff on September 11th. My quote of the week is Anderson's response -- he said the paragraph long passage was a "typo".

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

That's Me?

We've already been talking about the "where did Das grow up and is he Latino" issue quite a bit on these pages -- and assuming the quote from the council pay raise which Travis Armstrong wrote about today is correct, this won't be end of the story.

Here's how he addressed the issue here at BlogaBarbara -- and as far as I am concerned, he gets points for addressing this head on:

To set the record straight on the race issue, I informed the Latino Today newspaper that I was not Latino by blood, but they decided to give the award to me because of my service to the Latino community. I am part Native American, Indonesian, Dutch, yankee caucasian, and maybe African (unknown side of the family), but in Isla Vista and Goleta, where I grew up, i was adopted by the Latinos as part of the gente. I am honored by that, and the award and Barney knows all this, but, more drama presenting it like a smoking gun, right?

I understand where Armstrong is coming from but also think that racial identity has a lot to do with self-identity and one's experiences growing up. If I were Das, I might have been more careful about how I described myself but does one's race have to do with genetics only? One could say Das is bicultural because of his background, no?

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Sheriff Characters

It looked kind of like a character synopsis for a novel or a movie with the article on the Sheriff candidates today. The Incumbent, The Outsider, The Former least they all agree that meth is bad for us.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Is Janet Steely or Sweet?

In case anyone was wondering what treacly means -- it means cloyingly sweet or sentimental. The first paragraph described her as steely....a study in contrasts perhaps, it's clear that the template for these article at least includes finding one detractor. It's got to hurt being called a puppet -- but Das, Dr. Dan and The Guzz got a hit too. Equal opportunity I guess....

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Das Williams On Fire?

Today's candidate installment simply points to the crazy, up and down nature of this race and how the second spot in a run off is very likely up for grabs. Does Das have the "x" factor that will get him there or will Janet's endorsements be the deciding factor?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Dr. Dan's Turn

Today's article on Dr. Dan brought differing opinions from the community and council members -- is he really that pro-development? One thing for sure, I've never heard a candidate that admits he has attention deficit disorder -- good for him for his honesty....

Budget Hearings

The budget talks sounded pretty bleak with the police department playing a 911 tape and painting such a dreary picture. Sound off on it here...


I've been sitting on the Travis Armstrong DUI story for a couple of days after getting an anonymous comment...the truth is, even with the lapse of judgement on his part, it could happen to any of us. It will be interesting to see how his radio interview with Joe Armenderiz goes tomorrow. The article in today's paper, although seemingly spinned heavily, hopefully represents his true intentions about the matter.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Vitriol and Seethingness

Today's profile on The Guzz quotes him as saying this about housing: "My theory doesn't ruin the quality of life here," Mr. Guzzardi said. "I'd rather bet on my theory than theirs."

I somewhat agree with you but Joe -- housing above fire stations and elementary schools? I think we'd run across a Megan's Law problem here and there wouldn't we? I think this could cause people to seethe more than you've ever seethed before.

It's interesting that a large part of the article was on his personality -- how important is that here? Is that how we get to know someone few voters really meet?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

V is for Vendetta

If anyone had any doubt of Travis Armstrong's vendetta against Mayor Blum -- today's opinion will certainly erase any doubts they may have had.

He also finally brought a man unto his hit list in Council Member Barnwell but then immediately added Barnwell's girlfriend into the ring -- who happens to be a fellow employee at the News-Press!

Armstrong has now made it clear he has problems with every single council member with the exception of Iya Falcone. At some point, she will be set in his sights as well if she ever wanders away from his agenda. When does the problem not be about the duly elected members of council?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Affiliate Marketing and Campaigning

Got some spam from Sheriff Anderson today and I am not sure why...he broke the first rule of permission marketing which is about allowing me to opt in -- where did he get my email address? Where do we have a prior business relationship? The email says I bought a product or service or subscribed...but doesn't say where. The reply email is from a Gmail account but his website uses a Hotmail account....

Spam is not going to make people like public officials more -- that's for sure.

In any event -- thought you BlogaBarbarians would want to see this...interesting to note that there was no "Paid for" disclaimer or ID Number in the piece...


You are receiving this email from Sheriff Jim
Anderson because you purchased a product/service or
subscribed on our website.

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Dear SARA,

I'd like to share with you important information
about crime in Santa Barbara County. Feel free to
e-mail me at if you have
any questions.



Jim Anderson

Santa Barbara County Sheriff


State Crime Report Confirms That Crime is Down;
Sheriff Anderson Continues His Pledge to Make Santa
Barbara County The Safest in the Country

SANTA BARBARA, CA – 2 MAY 2006 – Violent and
property crimes are down in Santa Barbara County
according to a preliminary report released late last
week by California State Attorney General Bill

The report compares preliminary crime counts for
January thru December 2005 with the same period in
2004. According to the report, violent crime in
Santa Barbara County is down 16.3 percent and
property crime is down 4.4 percent. Within the
violent crime category, aggravated assaults have
decreased by 11.3 percent. Burglary which is
considered a property crime has decreased 16

“The Sheriff’s Department works diligently to keep
Santa Barbara County one of the safest in the
Country and I’m proud of these statistics,” said
Sheriff Jim Anderson. “By retaining deputies and
giving them the best tools available to do their
jobs, the community benefits. My goal is to make
Santa Barbara the safest county in the Country.”

Santa Barbara County experienced the third largest
decline in violent crimes behind Contra Costa and
Monterey Counties. The State Crime Report can be
viewed online at (

Since taking office in 2002, Sheriff Anderson has
received full funding for 18 deputies; eight new
corrections officers; three new dispatchers and a
forensic pathologist; five new deputies assigned to
school resource positions at high schools to provide
safe campuses; $2 million for purchase of North
County Jail property; and homeland security grant
funding that includes personal protective equipment,
training for deputies, a new bomb truck, a new robot
and a K-9 detail.

Anderson has pledged that his focus will remain on
the safety and security of the County. He will
continue to recruit more deputies, enlarge school
safety programs, prepare for terrorism threats, and
proceed with plans to build the North County Jail.

Among other achievements, Anderson’s successes

* A decrease in traffic accidents in Goleta due to
increased enforcement;

* Helped to resolve one of the nation’s largest
animal cruelty cases; rescued 400 malnourished and
mistreated horses in Santa Ynez;

* Developed the Vision, Mission, Guiding
Principles and Leadership Workshops for supervisory
and management staff

* Improved communications and enhanced public
support of Department services with Public Service
Announcements and monthly videos; and

* Opened a Sheriff’s storefront office in

Sheriff Anderson is responsible for all department
functions, 709 employees, an annual operating budget
of $85 million dollars and all 2,800 square miles of
Santa Barbara County.

Sheriff Anderson has a lengthy list of endorsements
from Santa Barbara County politicians, and
residents, to law enforcement officials from
throughout the State. For the second time, Sheriff
Anderson was endorsed by the Santa Barbara County
Deputies Sheriff Association (DSA). To view the list
of endorsements and to learn more about Sheriff
Anderson, please visit

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