Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

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".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

More on Anderson's claim to being Sheriff during 9/11 at

5/18/2006 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I urge anyone who hasn't done so yet to watch one of the debates. Bill Brown stands out heads and shoulders above the rest as the only option for more enlightened leadership of the Sheriff's Department. He's not perfect but considering the pool, and law enforcement chiefs in general, he's by far the best

5/18/2006 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News Press got it right when it reported on Auditor-Controller Bob Geis' analysis of the forensic audit the same day Judge Brown issued his tentative ruling on Jepsen's countersuit. It looks like the past presidents were in the right, and that any "politicization" of the audit was by Jepsen, a supporter of the current sheriff.

The Santa Maria Times has it right on Anderson's 9/11 claim.

Bill Brown has a poignant anecdote on the Sheriff's law enforcement position on the illegal alien claim.

5/18/2006 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

The new sheriff will have to answer to the board of supervisors. All the more reason we need progressive balance on the board. Das will bring that balance to put policy limits on the sheriff. Instead of trying to capture and return non-native born americans to their homeland, the sheriff should be instructed to protect them from the long arm of the federal government.

5/18/2006 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for 8:24 am -

For kicks, I did attend a debate for sheriff's candidates and can say this without much hesitation.

There Is No Difference Between the 4 Candidates! Here are some interesting notes about them:

Bill Brown is actively seeking a job as Chief of Police in other cities - hmmm.

Arnoldi wants non-profits to pick up the slack for mental health patients - but has no idea who will pay for it. Non-profits can't and won't do it for free.

Thomas will donate his current retirement pay to a non-profit agency - but won't say what he'll do after he retires (again) and gets even more money.

Anderson thinks everything is hunky dory and won't reign in his out-of-control administration.

In essence, they all said the same thing, but what is more important that NOTHING will change at the Sheriff's Department. Their problems with jail overcrowding, staffing levels and cost of living in recruitment issues are too large to overcome in political sound bites. All you have to do is ask a veteran deputy of the street what's really going on and you'll get an honest assessment. And they'll tell you it doesn't matter who the sheriff is, meaningful change will not happen anytime soon.

I guess it's a choice between, past, present and outta here! (Thomas, Anderson & Brown). Arnoldi doesn't count because he doesn't have anything but personal endorsements - and that's waaaaay bad.

The way I see it, I never repeat the past, outta here has long-term commitment issues and not even in the playing field is a wasted vote. It's not much of a choice but the only one left is present. (Sigh)

5/18/2006 6:28 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

Ah, 12:45 pm - did you also not notice in the article that Bob Geis is a supporter of Candidate Jim Thomas? Gee, that didn't make me feel very confident that Geis's report to the board wasn't biased.

Which is it just me, or does anyone else see that the 5 past presidents, Bob Geis, and Joni Gray, for instance, are actively supporting the former sheriff's candidacy - is all of this audit stuff really just a tainted, manufactured distraction to be used for political fodder?

I did read the report - and 2004 & 2005 were sloppy bookkeeping. Errors abounded on all sides, but the last 2 presidents (Edgecomb & Jepsen) followed protocol that was established by all the other past presidents. The how come "now" just the ONLY WOMAN president is wrong???

Anderson was not too bright again, to make that 9/11 gaffe. As for Bill Brown - too many officers have left Lompoc because of his management style - Santa Maria Police gained many a trained officers because of Brown!

5/18/2006 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

The Sheriff does not answer to the board of Supervisors. He is elected separately.

At least if you are going to spin, and it IS very creative, please get your facts correct.

No one "instructs" the Sheriff.

Das invented adverbs.

5/18/2006 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ROFLOL to Mike Pinto. And how exactly is the BOS going to put "policy limits" on the Sheriff? The BOS can't direct the Sheriff or any sworn officer to disobey penal code or disregard crimes.

The only control arm that the BOS is through the budget. But the BOS has to be very, very careful here. Taxpayers don't like politicians messing with their security blankets.

5/18/2006 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Sheriff is elected as required by the State Constitution. The Board of Supervisors have no legal authority over a Sheriff and how he or she operates the Department. When Anderson says the BOS forced him to cut DARE 2 years ago, he is not being truthful. Only the Sheriff can assign deputies and set policy for the Department. If Das have some notion of "controlling" the Sheriff, he is in for a rude awakening.

5/19/2006 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says..

Policy limits are set-up within the budgeting process. The sheriff is elected independently but still must operate in an advise and consent manner. If he wants to spend his time chasing non-native born americans then let him round up the volunteer posse. Let him take unpaid time off but don't waste the county's resources on it. He needs to devote his time to preventing crime before it happens and not running around the county with lights and siren on chasing hard working non native americans.

5/19/2006 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote that whoever is elected Sheriff not arrest drug sellers and prostitutes, either. They don't bother you unless you want them to.

We know who the real lawbreakers are. Let's get a sheriff who is smart enough to interpret the laws in the right way.

5/19/2006 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the limited resources they have, I agree with Pinto - the Sheriff should be chasing violent criminals and sex offenders, not undocumented immigrants. But there is no "advise and concent". Law is quite clear on that. The Sheriff is responsible only to the voters.

5/19/2006 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee Mike, whens the last time you've read a newspaper and seen the names listed that have been arrested for committing crimes, both misdeameanor and felony?

Perhaps deportation of those arrested to their homeland might "prevent crimes before it happens". Anderson wasn't talking about checking everybody's green card, he was stating that once they are in the detention system (which means they committed a crime), then they should be scrutinized further.

Did you ever wonder, Mike, where all that Meth is coming from that poisons our community? It comes from the southern borders. What's a good way to get rid of it? Shut down the carriers.

5/20/2006 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have been checking the arrested people in the jail for immigration status for 10 years. Upon completion of their sentence, they have been deported. Nothing new here - it was started under Thomas' regime.

5/21/2006 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said we should be checking criminals in jail for being ilegal. We've been doing that for about 10 years. In fact, we were the first county to do that - under Sheriff Thomas. Anderson is just trying to backtrack . . . he's getting good at that.

5/21/2006 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just thought all of you would like to see this letter that was in the Independent 5/11/06. It gets to the nitty gritty of things.....

All Sheriffs Considered

I was a deputy sheriff for 30 years in Santa Barbara County. I see the pending sheriff’s election as an opportunity for the community. I know all of the candidates personally, except for the Lompoc police chief.

When Jim Thomas was the jail administrative lieutenant, I shared an office with him. I’ve worked patrol shifts with Butch Arnoldi and, years later, we were detective supervisors together. I knew Jim Anderson the least, but we were peers for a while and had several interactions. I feel Jim Thomas had his shot and didn’t do very well. The overriding factor people must fear about him is his tendency to support whatever feeds his ego. The sheriff prior to Thomas was an overbearing tyrant who crushed people who didn’t agree with him, and Thomas learned that lesson well.

Jim Anderson is, in my opinion, incompetent. He blamed a subordinate for the fiasco that resulted after an assault involving two members of the Sheriff’s Council that happened right in front of him. A leader would have taken responsibility — especially when he is supposed to be a department head and a sworn peace officer. He turned out to be a politician who seemed more worried about how the incident would play out in the press than about the truth. That incident did not show the kind of leadership the department needs.

I know Butch Arnoldi to be hardheaded and opinionated. That is not necessarily a bad thing. I also know him to be as honest as the day is long. People may not always agree with him, but at least they will know where he stands and he will admit when he is wrong. I don’t know for certain that Butch will make a good sheriff, but given what we’ve had, he could only do better. Personally, I am more willing to vote for a man I know to be honest and hardworking than one who will tell me whatever he thinks benefits him. Arnoldi is not out to inflate his ego. His goal is to improve our community. Isn’t that what we all want?  — Gary Spiegel

5/21/2006 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says..
By the looks at the above entries maybe we need a county human rights committee to make certain non native born working americans human rights are not being violated while in custody. I can already see the responses..they have no rights they are illegal. Wrong! They are human and there appears to be a lot of anger out there pointed right at them. There needs to be a progressive balance on the board. Don't tell me the policys of the San Francisco Police are not influanced by the enlightened leadership of Gavin Newsome!

5/21/2006 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duh Mike! They have a Human Rights Commission already - the BOS appoints the commission members. And besides, we have the ACLU protecting illegal immigrants right along with Americans.

5/21/2006 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW - has the NP endorsed anyone for sheriff yet?

5/21/2006 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike: you must be the same person proofreading Das's campaign lit----take a spelling course!!!!

5/21/2006 9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...
Sometimes my mind races too fast when writing about Das. Sorry for the errors. I will try and get this one right.....DAS WINS ON JUNE 6TH.

5/22/2006 11:30 AM  

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