Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Low Turnout, Pappas Perseveres

With a low turnout of just 12,383 votes, Doreen Farr garnered first place in the 3rd District race with almost 36% of the vote. Perhaps surprisingly to many, Steven Pappas received 25% of the vote and beat out Solvang Council Member David Smyser for second place. Did Dr. Dave's 10% of the vote keep Farr from getting to the magic 50% plus 1? Not really as 36% and 10% does not a primary win make, but it might have changed the dynamics of the race if he hadn't been in it. From another perspective -- any candidate for Supervisor has to be in it for the long haul and anyone should run if they have the fire in the belly. It's a bit too easy for us to use 20/20 hindsight the day after, no?

MacKinnon won the Judge race and Measure V got an amazingly close to 70% of the vote. For a bond initiative, it says a lot about how the campaign was run, what people think about City College and how bipartisan endorsements make a huge difference.


Anonymous GVG said...


Why are you so certain that Bearman's 10% of the votes would have gone to Farr had he not run? I would assume that a good deal of his votes came from Isla Vista where Pappas was well organized and had the endorsement of the Daily Nexus. Also, at the Goleta debates Bearman said that if citizens didn't vote for him that they should vote for Pappas and not Farr or Smyzer.

I believe that Farr will have an uphill battle against Pappas going forward. It is most likely Smyzer and Bearman votes will now go to Pappas. I can't see Smyzer's Republican backers voting for Farr and Bearman will probably endorse Pappas.

6/04/2008 6:26 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Of course, one can't be sure where the votes would go...and you may very well be right. My initial thought was the Isla Vist vote would have gone to Farr -- but you make some very good points.

6/04/2008 6:41 AM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

What dynamics? Bearman has no dynamics, just intelligence. He doesn't hustle to get the votes to the polling place.

Farr has no dynamics either.

Pappas' folks were on fire in IV over the past week. He got the Nexus endorsement. That is the real story of this election.

Second is Smyser's collapse. Bo Derek and Jim Thomas were at Pappas' party... enough to send chills down my spine.

We're seeing the first opportunistic Republican figure out how to get IV's vote. That is a real milestone. And all the progressives missed the real story... only Bearman could have mobilized IV to vote if Bearman had been more dynamic. Farr should have helped him do so, and the converted those votes to hers in the general.

Instead, the Farr folks lacerated Bearman, and now Pappas might win IV.

6/04/2008 6:44 AM  
Anonymous xyz said...

Interesting analysis, A.Den. Particularly interesting to know that Jim Thomas was at Pappas' party; was David Crosby, also a Pappas supporter, there? Would have been fun to see Thomas and Crosby hanging together.

As for Bearman and IV, it's a long summer before the students return and hopefully Farr will be able to study the precinct returns and point out clearly and well how she as supervisor working with Carbajal and Wolf would protect the environment, especially the Gaviota environment, and work for good planning and governance of the county.

In November there will be an important Goleta City Council race also on the ballot. ...

6/04/2008 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Yes We Can said...

Gee, I wonder if anything else of special interest to Isla Vista voters will be on the ballot in November?

The Pappas campaign there, based on free beer and pizza and enjoying the increasingly shallow Daily Nexus analysis, will have a few other issues to contend with as Democrats prevail against current Republicans or those pretending they are not one anymore.

6/04/2008 8:37 AM  
Anonymous infomaniac said...


You can spin all you want but you can't avoid 2 undeniable facts:

1. Initially Bearman publicly stated that he was running to HELP Doreen win. He was planning to bring out more voters and keep Smyser from winning in the primary.

2. Instead Bearman spent all his time campaigning AGAINST Farr about revenue neutrality and other fairly thin and misleading issues, such as accusing her of opposing the Maravilla Senior complex. He also repeatedly told voters to vote for him, Pappas or Pointer and to NOT vote for Farr.

Who knows what would have happened if Bearman had thrown his considerable support behind Farr instead of attacking her and promoting Pappas?

Now it's Bearman who has a lot of explaining to do, and we have to foot the bill for an expensive fall campaign for Supervisor.

Thanks SO MUCH Dave.

6/04/2008 8:37 AM  
Anonymous SBCC Grad said...

Thank you Santa Barbara for loving SBCC. You set a record yes vote approval for local community college bond issues. This is money very well spent. The tradition of excellence continues at SBCC.

6/04/2008 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Christine! said...

Wonder how Travis feels about the Pappas win? And I really wonder how he feels about his selection eatting a dirt sandwich? His election day swipe at Pappas on the editorial page went unread apparently.


As for todays editorial- If I lived in Idaho, Montana- I'd protect my animals from wolves too! What exactley do Travis/Wendy expect from animal owners? I don't want Grizzly Bears roaming at Figueroa, do you?

6/04/2008 10:01 AM  
Anonymous working girl said...

These results are terrifying.

Steve Pappas is a puppet for a couple of very wealthy folks in Santa Ynez. They are well-intentioned but certainly don't have the interests of the entire district at heart (this is good intel, not conjecture). I'm pretty sure they wouldn't mind if Goleta/IV fell into the sea..

Smyser clearly thought he had it all sewn up by virtue of his Brooks association and was cruising for a run-off spot.

So now its time to really mobilize for Farr in November. Because if Pappas gets all of the Smyser vote, we have a problem.

6/04/2008 4:13 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Congratulations to Steve! It's refreshing to see an outsider win once in a while.

Watch out, though. Look for Salud and Lois to fight very hard to get their puppet elected. Round two will get messy.

6/04/2008 11:15 PM  
Blogger The Barron said...

It seems Dave Smyser's credibility is now at question - Just two to three weeks ago, he told a reporter in the S.Y. Valley his wife Sandra was working as an interim superintendent in Colorado. When you check this front page from the Steamboat (Springs) Pilot & Today ( it appears that old Dave had his facts wrong! It was announced by the Eagle County School District on MARCH 20, 2008, that she was hired for the permanent position that officially beings July 1, 2008. It goes on to say that she's been there since September of 2007. Hmmmmmm

Guess that also answers the other question he dodged throughout the campaign, "Are you and your wife still together?" Perhaps now Dave will be joining his wife now that she'll be making $175,000 per year plus additional perks and benefits. Say, isn't that close to, or more, than S.B. County Schools chief Bill Cirone pulls in for a much larger county? - Dave will now be free to start something else, but let's all hope it's in somebody else's backyard and not here in S.B. County.

6/05/2008 6:44 AM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

iManiac, hard to see how Bearman's support could have exceeded his 9.9% of the vote. Had Farr gotten every Bearman vote, she'd still not be over 50%.

Can't argue with the laws of arithmetic.

But the Santa Maria Times had a nice breakdown of the vote today.

Actually, Pappas did not do so well in IV... better than Firestone in 2004 but not fabulous.

So, IV is not really the issue. It is Santa Ynez, where Pappas pretty much wiped out Farr.

But I wouldn't bet on Pappas missing the lesson of IV. If he gets David Crosby and Bo Derek to lead folks into the precincts on election day, Farr is in trouble.

Although it will be very hard to beat Obama-fueled voters in IV this November.

6/05/2008 8:05 AM  
Anonymous infomaniac said...


Please try to take some responsibility for your actions and Dave's. It's true that Dave's votes wouldn't have put Doreen over the top. But we don't know how many voters Dave sent over to Pappas. And we don't know how much damage Dave did to Doreen in Goleta and IV. People otherwise inclined to vote Doreen in Goleta and IV might have moved their votes to Bearman, Pappas, Smyser or Pointer.

I noticed you ducked the main point, that Bearman said he was running to help Doreen and then criticized her repeatedly, at every turn, often with gratuitous half-truths "Explain why you opposed Maravilla."

Augusto, you need to re-evaluate your role too for putting the unfair knock on Doreen that will cause hundreds of thousands of dollars to be wasted in the run-off instead of being spent electing other worthy people.

6/05/2008 9:42 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

I'm glad to take responsibility for asking Doreen Farr completely fair questions about her prior positions.

It is totally fair to ask why she opposed inclusion of IV in Goleta in 2001, but now claims to be an advocate of IV.

You know, 4 young people died on Sabado Tarde in 2001 and one was seriously injured. The main reason was a nut named Attias, but the absence of sidewalks was the second most important factor.

If people didn't have to walk in the streets in IV, it would be way safer. Or, if there were raisable/lowerable bollards on the pedestrian-heavy streets of IV that could block cars on Friday/Saturday nights.

But the problem is road money, and the one huge benefit of putting IV in a city is way more State money available due to IV's population and huge ratio of population/street length, due to the density.

If you don't think saving lives on the street is a legitimate concern, or should be subsumed to other legimate concerns like the Gaviota cost, iManiac, I don't agree with you.

Doreen was willfully ignorant of these IV issues in 2001. Raising these issues is absolutely legitimate, and if Doreen couldn't figure out how to handle them, it is her shortcoming.

But in any case, Pappas popularity in Santa Ynez is *way* more important than poor weak Doreen being asked hard questions and taking great offense at those questions.

6/06/2008 8:48 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home