Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Accountability or Bias?

Leave it to Mr. Armstrong to insert the following on an editorial piece that is ostensibly on housing:

  1. The 6,453rd bash on Mayor Blum for using city email for campaign purposes. If you can't see that Armstrong has some kind of vendetta going here --- you aren't paying attention. His mentions are old and tired and this has nothing to do with the subject matter.
  2. Yet another bash on Janet Wolf -- what do campaign signs have to do with the rather radical notion of dismantling Community Development? This is the new old and tired mention that we will likely see a few hundred times before election day in November.
  3. What's up with the direct, press release-like quotes from Secord doing in an editorial? Will Wolf be able to have direct quotes in future editorials? Wouldn't that be fair and not show bias? I'm not sure I've seen many candidates for public office get free space like that in the past...

Armstrong would be better served to stick to the one issue he seemed to want to write about but couldn't quite get to in the editorial -- dismantling Community Development and starting over with a new department run by other department heads. It's not old and tired and it is worth talking about. Or is it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Sara for keeping the lights on. A interesting sideline to the whole e-mail issue, Travis's guy, Joe Guzzardi, used County e-mail several times during the campaign to solicit support. It isn't that had to check it out. They are still out there, plenty of people still have them in their mailboxes. When Joe went ballistic during the whole campaign sign fiasco there where more than of few of us who thought he was protesting a little too much. As far as Travis showing up at the fire station with a camera and pretending to be a Wolf supporter, well............

6/22/2006 9:08 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

I don't think Travis understands that the entire administration of both the city and county boards could all be found guilty of some type of campaign violation.

Once you are elected into office, no matter how hard you try to follow the letter of the law, you or your staff inadvertantly or blatantly, use your office supplies and materials in your quest for re-election. Whether it's using your publicly owned telephone, computer to surf the net, etc, it happens. You'd have to throw out every politican every election year to assure that that type of behavior doesn't occur. And that's impossible. It would be nice to see Travis take on the whole system and not be so highly selective in who he outs as violators. And be less of a mouthpiece for his favorites!

As far as the housing fiasco, I agree CD should be folded into an existing and accountable department, and the current workers of CD should find employment elsewhere. Taxpayers shouldn't be forced to fund sloppiness, especially in such a lightening rod issue department like affordable housing. dd

6/22/2006 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is really amusing is that some people just can't let go of the fact that the election is over. There will be another election in November. That campaign will start later this year. In the mean time why not think about something other than an election that ended last year and an election that ended a couple weeks ago?

6/22/2006 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Trusting of Travis's truthiness said...

I'm waiting for Travis to release what I know to be information he has about candidate Guzzardi's use of County email to promote his own candidacy----cause I just know Travis is at his core a fair and noble man who would NEVER selectively criticize one candidate and ignore the same or worse misdeeds by another...would he? would he???

6/22/2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger john san roque said...

I'm not surprised by the fact that Armstrong continues to use his column to trash the people he doesn't like, but I am surprised at his lack of professionalism in going about it. There's no need to rehash what he did in this recent editorial, but I find it hard to believe that his childish repetition and vindictiveness is not an embarrassment to the management of the News-Press. It's hard to think that anyone could be comfortable with Armstrong being the public face of the News-Press. He's evidently on some type of crusade, but it's really dumb.

I wrote to Jerry Roberts last year after he wrote a column explaining how the news section is separate from the editorials. I didn't find that true then, and I don't now. The fact that the Wolf campaign signs got a front page article this week is a statement of the NP's editorial stance being given prime space that's not warranted by news value. And how many times did the NP (as well as the editorials) cover the city budget using reserve funds in past years? Now that they've passed a balanced budget, where's the news coverage? The News-Press did the same thing with the Goleta City Council and their budget. What is newsworthy to the News-Press is only that which advances their own positions.

6/22/2006 7:38 PM  
Blogger Joe Guzzardi said...

An interesting sideline to the whole Blog issue is how anonymous posters can submit false and misleading statements in the hope that they’re taken as gospel.

I did not use the County email “several times during the campaign to solicit support.” During the protracted endorsement process I made a few attempts to lobby the Local 2046 Executive Board, stewards and representatives. In an effort to make contact, I accessed the Local 2046 firefighters union web site for the various email addresses. My intent was to educate the board members as to my qualifications (assuming they cared) and hopefully gain their support. Many of the union representatives listed their County email addresses on the contact page of the union web site. It is not a violation of any law or policy for a candidate to send an email from a personal email account to a public email address. At no time did I use the County email system to generate campaign messages to other County employees.

If “plenty of people have them in their mailboxes” anyone can also confirm that the box is a County email box, and the originating message is from my own personal account.

Also, I did not go “ballistic during the whole campaign sign fiasco”. For the record, an email was sent from County Fire Station 13 to almost the entire County Fire Department in an effort to communicate that County Fire Station 13 would be used as a staging area for the Janet Wolf campaign. The email stated, “Station 13 will be the hub for the Janet Wolf campaign.” When this email came to my attention, I brought a copy to a high-ranking member of County Fire management and asked that something be done to stop what was obviously an illegal activity. At no time did I go “ballistic” or “protest too much”.

Lastly…for Travis Armstrong to “pretend to be a Wolf supporter” to get his story is no more misleading than for Local 2046 executive board members to pretend to endorse candidates based on a knowledge of and/or commitment to public safety. In shunning a candidate with extensive emergency management experience during their recent endorsement process, some of the 2046 board members shattered their own credibility and brought into question the real meaning of the Local 2046 endorsement. Were they looking to endorse a seasoned champion of public safety issues, or a novice who was simply willing to protect “wages and benefits”?

The good news about this Blog is that folks can engage in interesting and sometimes amusing dialogue. The bad news is that some folks can hide behind their anonymity and spread false and misleading information. I have attached my name to this post because I am proud of the fact that I ran a fair, open and honest campaign. Will my detractors (within or without county government) come out from the shadows, or will they continue to hide and lie? If the 9:08am post is any indication....

P.S. In two separate interviews about this subject, the newspaper failed to report my quote that I did not want to see any firefighters punished for their on-the-job campaigning activities. I simply wanted them to stop. Despite some recent and completely misguided animosity on the part of a few bad apples, I continue to support the mission of our local fire and law enforcement agencies.

6/22/2006 7:42 PM  
Anonymous lost in space said...

Sara, can you please reference which editorials you are commenting on?

And hey, thanks to Joe Guzzardi for the honest open post. I would like to see a topic posted here regarding the fact that Guzzardi won the Eastern Goleta Valley vote.

6/22/2006 9:31 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

Joe - thanks for coming forward and clearing up the email usage myth - I appreciate the explanation and will be sure to pass it along to others. I had not thought of that aspect when contacting potential political supporters.... My apologies! dd

6/22/2006 10:19 PM  

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