Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

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.


Anonymous kelly said...

Splainin' to do? Puh-leez! Travis has sources. He's a newspaper editor.

I am offended by Lois Capps spending her time and resources to encourage people to vote for the one of the least favorite of the candidates. In addition, Sara and others, I'm a woman, too, and would appreciate it if people would stop throwing out the gender card. Come on, girls, can't we do better than that? If women want to compete and be acknowledged as equal to men, then stop using gender as a handicap.

Back to Lois...she made her endorsement in December, long before the candidates had officially announced or met with voters. Agenda? You think? This race is for a representative of the people. Lois Capps needs to stick to her job and stop campaigning for the establishment. Neighborhoods at ground zero for dense development nearly took action to recall Susan Rose, and Wolf is spouting the same ideologies as Rose. We are looking for a true representative, not another Susan. So Lois, please leave it alone.

5/21/2006 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, an absolute ommission by Blogabarbara to start a thread about the fact that the Newspress has endorsed Guzzardi and Secord. Someone's got some 'splainin to do.

5/21/2006 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think he's watching and getting advice from the Sheriff's candidates, the Sheriff's Council minions and DSA whistleblowers.

Make enough noise, and people will be cowed by your threats - and then give you what you want so you'll hopefully leave them alone.

Very spineless and/or naive concession by KEYT - sure will make other contributors think twice before donating...

5/21/2006 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Sara----now you're propping up Travis'? hmmm could be when he is taking on people you don't like, its ok?

Yea where's the post about the SECORD/GUZZARDI endorsements----

5/21/2006 10:08 AM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Sara, you have completely misrepresented the facts on this issue (and exhibited quite a bit of ignorance on the subject).

Federal FCC laws require that campaign advertising be part of the public record. KEYT (and all licensed broadcasters) must disclose details about political campaign ad buys. This is not a is an example of a transparent democracy! And YES, you could go get this information on your own.

By the way, similar rules require Ms. Capps to disclose the names of her contributors...which, for the record, include local developers such as Michael Towbes, Jeff Bermant, Bill Levy and others.

As for the "gender card", you should be ashamed. The News-Press is owned by a woman. I'm sure she has the last word on the editorials AND the endorsements. I thought we learned a long time ago that race and gender should not be part of this discussion. Seems like some of us still have a long way to go.

Lastly, your non-post regarding the N-P endorsement for Supervisor was a glaring ommission, making this blog seem very selective and one-sided.

5/21/2006 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty paranoid posting. He is a newspaperman. Lois says during the ad that she paid for it. Just a another in the Travis is boogeyman litany. And this gender thing, get over it. He trashed Das Williams the other day, he trashes men all the time, ask Brian Barnwell.

5/21/2006 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

KEYT has no duty to keep confidential the ad buys of political candidates, especially federal candidates. I think that is somewhere in the generally weak federal election laws. Something like the law will not limit contributions and from whom, but at least the public can know who the contributors and advertising are.

Besides, KEYT business staff and owners support Secord, so they would be very cooperative to assist the News-Press in an editorial that criticizes a challenger against Secord.

KEYT also, no doubt, wants to be purchased by Ampersand, so is now helping out with that cozy relationship. This is another reason why to watch KSBY.

Karl Rove and John Davies are at work again, with the focus on the endorsements and advertising for Wolf instead of the evils of Developer Dan.

5/21/2006 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, Sara, Sara... How could you have missed the news? The open 2nd district supervisor seat is the hottest topic on this blog. Your favorite newspaper to dish on endorsed Joe Guzzardi and Dan Secord, and yet you didn't open a topic for comment. Why not?

Me thinks if it had been your favorite candidate, the news might have made it onto your blog. What's up? You accuse Travis of discrimating against women. You're not biased against experienced candidates with white hair, are you?

5/21/2006 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you the same Kelly who appears with Joe Guzzardi in his tv ad and wrote an angry letter to the editor attacking our local firefighters? I wonder how your good friend Joe feels about you attacking the men and women he works with....

5/21/2006 1:10 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

You are right -- my bad. KEYT does have to disclose. I was thinking about campaign disclosures that come later and forgot.

Biased against candidates with white hair? No -- I'm not sure who I would vote for actually.

5/21/2006 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karl Rove?????? The only for sure thing in this paranoid fantasy is that Secord/Davies are salivating over a chance to run against Das. That's why they are interested in Janet looking bad. They would wipe the deck with Das. There is just too much material.

5/21/2006 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

Lois Capps represents whats wrong with our party. She is sticking her nose into local politics. She is the new "king/queen maker". I guess we all need to apply to her before we run for office.Maybe she would be kind enough to post a endorsment form on her website to save time. Capp's is a sell out to developers. Look at her campaign reports. Maybe Mike Towbes tell's her " If we can't get Secord let's get Janet" They know that the hidden corporate powers can't control Das. So maybe they funnel money to Janet by giving it to Capp's who then does a commercial for Janet. They ought to be a law.Wait there is a law stating you cant do this.Hopefully the FEC or FPPC or county grand jury or u.s attorney is getting this information.

5/21/2006 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto, Das' mouthpiece is laying out the reasons Das would apparently never want Capps' endorsement. Well good for him. Mike's also laying out his ignorance of campaign finance law.
Whatever the motivation is beyond the vitriol, I'm saving all of these comments so in the future we'll have a record of just how the once strong progresive base of the South Coast was devastated by the political ambititions of one young man.

5/21/2006 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, you probably won't publish this, but, with the KEYT thing, think before you write. Otherwise, we'll think you're losing it.

5/21/2006 8:06 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I don't mind publishing this -- I'm willing to acknowledge I made a mistake and didn't think it all the way through. It happens to all of us.

5/21/2006 8:49 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

3:20 pm spinner:

A contest between Das and Dan Secord is exactly what we are hoping for.

Developer Dan is soooo vulnerable in so many ways, and in serious campaigns he is his own worst enemy. But this pathetic intra-Dem, dueling endorsements, indirect federal funding, Karl-Rovian-inspired pissing spat that has been going on only helps Secord get the weakest opponent for the real election in November.

Dr. Dan will be Jeanne Graffy is pants. Remember Graffy? She is why Goleta is Goleta and what inspired the new City there. Secord will finish that job with Noleta next, but only if elected.

5/21/2006 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says..

If Lois Capps has made an expenditure over $1,000 she must file with the Ca. Sec. of State and the county. I have not been able to find the disclosure. Maybe somebody in the Wolf Camp can scurry over and tell her to do it. She also must allocate her fed. donors on the local exp. She hasn't done that either. So it looks like the law has been broken.

5/22/2006 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, this is what is wrong with "bloggers" taking over for the "main stream media". It's rather easy to be uneducated, throw a few jabs out there and get readership. I'm thoroughly disgusted that you would mislead anyone by leaving that post up there like that. Only if someone reads the comments can they see that you made a mistake. For the sake of honesty and forthrightness, I believe that you should post an update to this post as soon as possible and correct the misinformation you're responsible for publishing. Also, Federal Election law is fairly easy to understand. Take the time to educate yourself in the future.

Also, below is the money that "Developer Lois" has taken from developers:

Developer donations to Lois Capps (2006):
1 . Towbes, Michael
6/20/2001 $1,000.00
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Towbes Group Inc./Developer/bui [Contribution]
[View Image]

2 . Towbes, Michael
2/27/2002 $1,000.00
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Towbes Group Inc./Developer/bui [Contribution]
[View Image]

3 . Towbes, Michael
5/27/2004 $1,000.00
Santa Barbara, CA 93120
The Towbes Group Inc/Builder [Contribution]
[View Image]

4 . Towbes, Michael
3/19/2003 $1,000.00
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Towbes Group Inc./Developer/bui [Contribution]
[View Image]

5 . Towbes, Michael
6/30/2003 $1,000.00
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Towbes Group Inc./Developer/bui [Contribution]
[View Image]

6 . Towbes, Michael
8/30/2004 $2,000.00
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Towbes Group Inc./Developer/bui [Contribution]
[View Image]

Levy, William
6/30/2002 $1,000.00
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
William Levy Investment/CEO [Contribution]
[View Image]

(partial list, you can find more at or

I sincerely hope you will do more research before you make such a glaring mistake again.

5/22/2006 1:11 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

You are right except for the fact that I never purported to be of the mainstream media! I comment on it and you can take or leave my comments as you will. I put a note on the post just now -- have been working all day and unable to make that kind of update. If I was mainstream media -- I could get paid to do this, hunh?

As for the TV issue -- I apologize and am clear it was wrong to post otherwise. As with any form of journalism or commentary -- I'd encourage all of my readers to do their own research too. I knew better on this one and wrote the piece too fast. Isn't it great though that you can and have the freedom to correct me immediately -- that is what is great about blogging.

In any event, mea culpa.

5/22/2006 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow $8,000 over a period of 7 years! For a candidate who runs campaigns that cost in the neighborhood of $1,000,000 each...

Yep, developer Lois is going to come and develop your neighborhood away.

And just out of curiosity....

how much money has Dan Secord taken from developers over the same period of time?

How much money did Guzzardi take from Fess Parker who was trying to do a huge hotel expansion along Cabrillo Boulevard, when he ran for City Council?

Grow up people!

5/22/2006 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Janet's camp needs to thank Travis for publicizing Lois' endorsement of her farther and wider than it could ever have been imagined! thank you Travis!!!!!

When does Travis plan to probe Secord's donations??? If he thinks developers like Das or Janet just WAIT what they will lavish upon Secord. Is Travis really that dumb or has his vision been impaired more than we're even aware of.................

5/23/2006 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The backlash against Capps is growing. It doesn't sit well with many of us and is another black stain on her record of broken promises. How can you defend what Capps is doing? The hatred of Das behind the Capps team is wild. The ads addiotnally are squarely aimed at Hannah-Beth trying to put her in her place by Lois. I don't get why Travis FACT STRONG pointing out the money trail makes people so uncomfortable, if there is nothing wrong with the Capps spending. The protests suggest everyone knows Lois has just soiled her rep, again.

5/23/2006 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 447 you just.........well, you make ZERO sense....backlash against Capps? hatred [sic] of Das? How do you get all that from the wacky ramblings of one Travis Armstrong.....if that's what Das is hedging his bets on...well, wow is all I can say..........

many of us suspected Das was one of the forces behind the provocation of Travis but lay it all out there so...unsuccinctly.....what a mess.

5/23/2006 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...
Next time Capps needs a primary. She is a sell-out of the first degree.

5/24/2006 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


How is she a sell-out? Because she is supporting a different candidate than the one you chose for 2nd district? Please. She has done so much to protect our community and has represented us well in Congress.

5/25/2006 2:47 PM  

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