Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, April 28, 2008

Murky, Faux Green Ballot Designation for Tony Strickland Rankles...

Interesting article in the Ventura County Star the other day on former Assembly Member Tony Strickland calling himself an Alternative Energy Executive for his ballot designation when he has either worked for, ran or served in the State Legislature for his entire working life. This is just so wrong on so many different levels....

Based on a $5,000 investment that Strickland hasn't even made as of yet for a not yet proven technology -- he is using this au courant, rather green title in his effort to overcome former Assembly Member Hannah Beth Jackson. Strickland's environmental record is less than stellar and he in fact has voted against several alternative energy-related bills. Jackson, on the other hand, co-authored two bills to expand markets for green companies (SB 1038, SB 1078 in 2002).

I think I might be able to come up with $5,000 and call myself an Alternative Energy Executive as well. With the sweat equity I've put into BlogaBarbara, maybe I could call myself an Owner/Publisher or maybe better yet a High Tech Executive. At least with the latter two, I've actually made some decisions, put up some money, time and thought into what I would be claiming to be.

Give me your own faux ballot designations when you comment on this one!

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Did the DEA overstep their bounds?

Santa Barbara Housing Bubble Blog had a creative and interesting post last week about marijuana dispensaries -- something we have had a few comments on over the last few months here at BlogaBarbara. Taking a script out of Leave It to Beaver, Saint Barbara told the story of a small cottage on Victoria Street that was recently sold. The untold story in the real estate sections of the newspaper was that it was a dispensary of gange, mota, Mary Jane...(add your favorite Weeds vocabulary here).

A side story included in the post was the following:
Just last month (March 2008), DEA agents hand-delivered another round of threatening notices to the remaining 10 or so local dispensaries. During the weekend of March 15, DEA agents, in cooperation with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, purportedly raided and shut down Pacific Greens on North Milpas Street (located within Santa Barbara’s city limits). A few days later, on March 18, the Santa Barbara City Council finally approved a new city ordinance governing the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries (or "clubs") within city limits. For details, see this 3/20/08 Independent article....

The City's efforts were designed to create more security and certainty as to where the dispensaries are located and to create a more transparent process. Good for them as medical marijuana was an issue approved and voted on by an overwhelming number of Californians...although, as has been pointed out in other articles, it doesn't mean we need more of them than the many Starbucks we have in town or near schools and the like.

The DEA showing who da' man begs the question, however, as to whether their actions undermined the efforts of council. Apparently, the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department made a foray into city limits to assist the Feds. Does this require at least tacit approval from the SBPD? Is the relative quiet from council on this rather clear violation of city government jurisdiction not worth fighting because of the subject matter? Sure -- Feds trump the City any day of the week, but this is murky legal water for which they must have had approval to tread.

No matter where any of us come down on the addictive qualities of marijuana -- one has to want to protect someone's right to obtain it (if they desire) when they are suffering from cancer, glaucoma and the like. It is state law -- whether the DEA and the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department disagree with the result of a statewide election or not. That being said -- yes, let's bust dispensaries that are selling to anyone that shouldn't receive medical marijuana under state and local law. I am all for it...but did they have to choose that time to do it and what kind of precedent does it set?

If you want to put them on your real estate watch list or save them on Google Maps -- NORML has a list of Santa Barbara/Goleta dispensaries on their web site. Hopefully, DEA raids prior to public policies being set will not become a common occurrence -- it could be construed as intimidating.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Armstrong Responds to Travistorial

Although I haven't seen the editorial -- I received this from City Administrator Jim Armstrong today. -- Sara


April 25, 2008

Re: Response to April 25, 2008 Editorial – “Red ink city – once again”

I am writing to clarify several points in your April 25, 2008 editorial.

  • The proposed General Fund budget recently submitted to the City Council is balanced. There is no deficit. With recent declines in the growth rates of some of our key revenues, we lowered our revenue estimates for next year by $3.3 million. In order to maintain a balanced budget, we have proposed adjustments, to both revenues and expenditures, totaling $4.1 million. These adjustments are sufficient to re-balance the budget and create an $800,000 contingency reserve in case of additional bad fiscal news.

  • The proposed Police Department budget for next year is not being cut. In fact, it is $500,000 more than the department’s adopted budget for the current fiscal year. While this increase is not as large as originally planned, the City’s lowered revenue limits our ability to fund the original increase. The proposed adjustments do not reduce any patrol positions or gang enforcement activities. Regarding the other half of public safety, the recommended Fire Department budget represents an increase of almost $1.6 million over the current-year’s adopted budget.

  • The City’s General Fund reserves total $21.6 million, over 20% of annual expenditures. Additionally, the City’s other funds, including water, airport, parking and waterfront, maintain their own, separate reserves. Taken together, the City’s liquid reserves total approximately $100 million. In addition, City assets such as the Granada Garage are covered by insurance, including earthquake coverage.

In summary, the proposed Fiscal Year 2009 General Fund budget is balanced without the use of reserves and contains over $800,000 of unallocated funds to provide a hedge against additional revenue weakness or possible state budget impacts.


James L. Armstrong
City Administrator

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Beware of Fraudulent Telemarketing Campaign for Firefighters

Thanks to Pat Mc Elroy from the Santa Barbara Firefighters Association for sending me the following about a local scam telemarketing campaign:

We have been made aware of a telephone solicitation campaign purportedly raising money for "Santa Barbara Firefighters". We want the people of the Santa Barbara area to know that we are not affiliated with any telemarketing program and that any money raised will, in all probability, be lining the pockets of scam artists. We are periodically beset by these types of operations most notably in the wake of the line of duty death of a local Fireifghter in 1999. At that time telemarketers told unsuspecting residents that the money would be used to pay for "counseling for his young widow". Please don't be taken in by this completely fraudulent operation.


Non Sequitur Travistorial

Nice train of thought in a recent editorial from her man at De la Guerra on Measure A which a faithful reader passed on to me this morning:

This episode is yet another example of the rush by certain individuals and organizations to endorse proposals before the wording and possible consequences are fully discussed in public. They hold press conferences and present them as done deals to the community.

Then it backfires.

Take Measure A on last November's city ballot. Group after group lined up to support the idea of moving city elections from odd-number years to even ones to "save money on election costs." The News-Press opposed Measure A on a variety of grounds. The measure amounted to a power grab by some council members to extend their terms by one year.

Voters rebuked the City Council and Measure A's campaign managers at the ballot box.

Our reader liked the non sequitur matching "group after group" with "campaign managers"...whaaa? I also like the assumption that campaign managers want fewer elections so they don't have to make money in off years....

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Former News-Press Reporters to be Honored

While News-Press Editor Travis continued his cabal-making rants today against Dave Davis on the editorial pages (Dave is a long-time cabal member and Executive Director of CEC) the Association for Women in Communication is honoring some of his former colleagues. Although old habits may die hard for each of us -- I have to ask how long before the AWC or some of their key members become part of the cabal as well? Here is the press release with all the info...


===============AWC-SB Press Release===============

Santa, Barbara, CA. - The public is invited to join the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications (AWC-SB) for the presentation of the 2008 Women of Achievement Awards at their annual luncheon on Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 from 11:30-1:30 at the Canary Hotel (formerly Hotel Andalucia), 31 West Carrillo, Santa Barbara, California. AWC-SB will acknowledge the work of outstanding women who are role models, demonstrating integrity in their practice and mastery in their respective fields.

Tickets for the luncheon will be $50 for AWC members, $70 for non-members, and $150 for Friends of the AWCSB. There will be a no-host bar. For more info, to RSVP and to purchase tickets, go to, or call 962-5884, or email Sponsorship options are also available. Parking for the Canary Hotel is available in the public lot on Canon Perdido Street.

We are honored to announce that the 2008 Women of Achievement Awards will go to film and multimedia producer Deborah Hutchison, CEO of Panther Productions and "Gutsy Gals Inspire Me" Animated Films, as well as to five former Santa Barbara News-Press journalists Jane Hulse, Melinda Burns, Dawn Hobbs, Melissa Evans, and Anna Davison. Together, these women represent excellence, inspiration and integrity: excelling for many years in their respective communications careers, inspiring through actions and words, and standing, despite great challenges and with incredible courage, for ethics and integrity.

AWC is a 100-year-old national organization which began as a Society for Women Journalists. Established in July 2007, the Santa Barbara chapterof the AWC champions the advancement of women across all communications disciplines by recognizing excellence, promoting leadership and promoting its members at the forefront of the evolving communications era.

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Earth Day Pics at EdHat

There are some pics at EdHat of the Earth Day festivities at the Sunken Gardens....check it out if you went, you might be in them!

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Height Limit Truce Good for City

Architect Brian Cearnal called the proposed height limit of forty feet for buildings downtown "draconian" in an article in The Daily Sound yesterday, pointing out that the Coffee Cat building is taller than that, yet an appropriate use of space. Meanwhile Council Member Das Williams wondered out loud why he was butting heads with friends and mentors over the issue.

Both sides have agreed to a truce if council votes for an interim ordinance while the specifics of the General Plan update is worked out. Sounds like a deal the council shouldn't refuse to me....

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Craig's Got the Lowe-Down!

For an interesting story of E! TV proportions, see Craig's post on Rob Lowe's effort to sue his former staff members for allegedly trying to extort him. It turns out one of them has hired Gloria Allred to be her attorney. For Lowe's part, he's hired one of Wendy McCaw's attorneys to represent his interest in the case which perhaps should have been handled by the Sheriff's Department.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Cabal Updated, Indy Suit Settled and Hypocricy Still Remains

Criag Smith reported yesterday that The Santa Barbara News-Press settled their suit against the Santa Barbara Independent on copyright issues for an undisclosed sum. As Craig points out, it will be interesting to see who covers it and how.

Apparently Film Fest Czar (and the name of the Vice-President character in Tom Clancy's Sum of All Fears) Roger Durling is now a member of the cabal as well as per an editorial piece yesterday. Paula Lopez, who was recently seen at the Citizen McCaw screening, got another jab from Armstrong as well. Considering the work situation at the News-Press, I was surprised to see the following from Armstrong about the KEYT video he wrote about last month: "The whole sorry episode makes you wonder about what kind of workplace atmosphere, hostile or otherwise, that female employees must put up with at the station". Interestingly enough, we don't see KEYT employees leaving en masse do we? Then again, TKA may know of what he speaks.

If that wasn't enough hypocrisy for your morning coffee yesterday, TKA also wondered out loud whether the television station would cover "all the news about themselves". True enough -- KEYT and KSBY should cover news about themselves when relevant. Under prior logic made by Armstrong and others, however, can't they run their business the way the want? TKA can start by making sure the News-Press leads by example.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just a few events! Election forums and other announcements from CPA and CPF

Citizens Planning Association (CPA) & Citizens Planning Foundation (CPF)
are excited about several upcoming forums & events for which we hope you will join us!

THE BASICS (details follow further below)...

Thurs, April 24 - Forum on Propositions 98 & 99
Wed, April 30 - 3rd District County Supervisor Candidates Forum
Wed, April 30 - 4th District County Supervisor Candidates Forum
Sat, May 3 - "Coast Boast" Hike & BBQ @ Arroyo Hondo Preserve
Sat, May 31 - CPA & CPF's Annual Meeting & Luncheon!


Forum on Propositions 98 & 99
Wednesday, April 24, 2008 (6:00-7:15pm)
@ SB Public Library, Faulkner Gallery, 40 E. Anapamu St.

FREE Community Forum!
Find out what the June Ballot has to do with Clean Water, Affordable Housing, Salamanders & Grandma's House!
Hosted by CPA

3rd District County Supervisor Candidates Forum
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 (7-9pm)
@ Goleta Valley Community Center, Auditorium, 5679 Hollister Ave, Goleta

FREE Community Forum!
Come hear where the candidates stand on issues important to you.
Co-sponsored by CPF & League of Women Voters Education Fund


4th District County Supervisor Candidates Forum
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 (7pm)
@ Lompoc Public Library, Grossman Gallery, 501 E. North Ave, Lompoc

FREE Community Forum!
Come hear where the candidates stand on issues important to you.
Co-sponsored by CPF & American Association of University Women (AAUW)


"Coast Boast" at the Arroyo Hondo Preserve
Saturday, May 3, 2008 (10am-2pm)
@ the Arroyo Hondo Preserve on the Gaviota Coast
Organized by CPF
(see attached invitation flyer)

Join us for a walk or hike and lunch, and discover the wonders of the "Jewel of the Gaviota Coast," the beautiful 782-acre Arroyo Hondo Preserve, a magnificent canyon west of Santa Barbara between Refugio State Beach and Gaviota State Park. (Check out It doesn't matter if you're up for joining a docent on a more strenuous hike or a moderate walk, or would just like to leisurely walk on your own, you'll have a great time. We have done this event annually for the past few years, and people love it!

Tickets (includes parking, entrance fee & lunch):
$25 adults; $15 children (12 & under) and students

1) Send payment by Monday, April 28th, to "CPF" at 916 Anacapa St, SB, CA 93101
-OR- pay online via PayPal at, and
2) Include a note with your check or send us an email indicating your email address*, the full names of everyone in your party, and # of vegetarians for lunch.
(* Note: We need your email address if you want us to send you directions and other information pertinent to the event.)

QUESTIONS? Contact Naomi at (805) 966-3979

Saturday, May 31, 2008 (11am-2pm)
@ Santa Barbara City College's Fe Bland Forum (West Campus)

Join us as we share what we've been up to this past year and what we have on our front burners right now, enjoy lunch overlooking the rolling lawn of SBCC & the ocean below, help us celebrate our honorees, and hear this year's keynote presentation.

HONOREES: To be announced soon!
"Veronica Meadows: How Citizens Shape Local Planning & What to do When the System Fails" by CPA's attorney Bill Parkin of Wittwer & Parkin, LLP

Tickets (includes parking & lunch):
$25 adults; $15 children (12 & under) and students

1) Send payment by Monday, May 26th, to "CPA" at 916 Anacapa St, SB, CA 93101
-OR- pay online via PayPal at, and
2) Include a note with your check or send us an email indicating the full names of everyone in your party, and # of vegetarians for lunch.

QUESTIONS? Contact Naomi at (805) 966-3979

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tax the Internet? Time for a Tea Party!

Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association Executive Director Joe Armendariz sent the following to the the media. It's interesting food for thought as VoIP technology is clearly within the realm of the Internet rather than traditional telephony.

Last week, there were a few stories on Google's possible buy of Skype from eBay. Google with their new Android cell phone operating system, free 411 and Grand Central voice mail technology could easily change the telephony landscape with wireless internet based calls that they host. Indeed, Google recently made a play with the FCC for a new part of the wireless spectrum. Does that mean we should be taxed on innovation? And, how would you tax someone that uses a proxy server in Timbuktu? -- SDLG

Below Written by Joe Armendariz from the SB Taxpayers Association

The Santa Barbara City Council "ordinance committee" (which consists of three sitting council members) voted today to move ahead with a new expanded local Utility Users Tax (UUT) which will impose a new tax on cell phone, satellite television and VoiP service.

This is an interesting issue. The question I have is whether or not new technologies such as VoiP should be exempt from taxation due to the federal governments moratorium on taxing internet access. Voice over internet Protocol (VoiP) is clearly an internet based communications technology. Why should an economically clumsy, technology illiterate municipality attempt to swoop in and force national and/or international providers like Vonage to begin collecting a local utility tax on only those customers unfortunate enough to live within a certain zip code? Because they need the revenue of course. But this will be a nightmare for the provider and impossible to enforce by the city.

Plus, VoiP service is completely mobile, all it requires is a notebook computer with an internet connection to function. There are local area codes associated with the phone numbers, but area codes cover large regions of the state and transcend individual city boundaries. Collecting this new UUT on VoiP's will prove challenging at best as subscribers simply use out of town mailing addresses to avoid the new tax.

Furthermore, the suggestion by local government officials that this expansion in the UUT is to level the existing playing field is absurd. There are other ways to level the playing field when it comes to the existing level of taxation; eliminate the current utility users tax on telecommunications service across the board…treat all information technologies equal, make them a tax free zone to help spur innovation.

Consumers are shrewd when it come to this stuff. The status quo, where some providers (COX/Comcast) services are being taxed while others (DirecTV) are not, is bad enough. Imposing a utility tax on all providers isn't the solution. Indeed, even without taxing DirecTV, the status quo places COX and Comcast at risk of losing market share as more sophisticated and especially younger consumers access all of their information and entertainment content online (YouTube/MySpace).

If local governments need the money in order to balance their budgets, which they always do, they should find other sources of revenue. Besides, what entitles local governments to tax these new technologies and information services in the first place? What public owned infrastructure exists to avail these internet based technologies to local residents? I think California should lead the way in abolishing all user taxes on local telecommunications and other information technologies to help incentivize the next generation of technological innovation.

It is worth remembering that when you tax something, you get less of it…why is the City of Santa Barbara trying to discourage innovation by taxing it? Maybe a statewide taxpayer initiative is the remedy?

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Angry Journalist Dot Com!

For any of you erstwhile journalists out there, check out to vent your frustrations with your paper or the people that read it. A running list, it's an interesting read of subscribers and what they call a reporter about -- as if they are their own personal 411. Many thanks to a dedicated reader who sent the link in.

Treat Your County Well! Dr. Dave Gets Crosby Endorsement

I know. People will talk. Two posts in one week on Dr. Dave? Still, I received a press release yesterday from Dr. Dave Bearman announcing the support of David Crosby. Doreen Farr isn't mentioned at all in the release -- as if it is a two person race! I also have to wonder whether the Crosby endorsement helps or hinders Dr. Dave in the Valley. Here's part of the release:
International music superstar David Crosby has endorsed Dr. David Bearman for 3rd district Supervisor on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

Crosby, a Santa Barbara native and longtime resident of the Santa Ynez Valley, said "Fighting excessive development in the 3rd district means more than preserving quaint tourist attractions. It's part of a greater struggle to preserve the delicate environmental equilibrium of this area. I believe strongly that Dr. Dave is the candidate who will rein in the developers and preserve our shoreline, hills, streams and bountiful pastures." Crosby added that after considering the field of candidates, he decided that Bearman was the candidate who will draw the student and independent voters necessary to defeat David Smyzer, a pro-growth candidate appearing to favor the fast growth, environmentally damaging developers.

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Local Story on Soldier Poignant

I happened across the well-written story by Nora Wallace in yesterday's News-Press on Sgt. Michael Rider of the 82nd Airborne and a Lompoc native while getting a coffee. Nora's work is one of the few things I do miss since I stopped reading the News-Press. Here's a snippet of her excellent article:

"We each have saluted a casket, or a flag, or a set of dog tags in honor of someone who has given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation," he wrote. "And when we go home, we won't be able to explain to civilians why we wear a bracelet on our wrist nor will we be able to explain why we walk with our heads high, filled with thankfulness that we have had the opportunity to serve in such outstanding units among America's true unsung heroes."

Every soldier, he said in an interview from his base in Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the 82nd Airborne, has had to go through such a service.

"The general public doesn't get the concept," of what goes through a soldier's thoughts during such a time, said Sgt. Rider, who graduated Lompoc High School in 1996.

News from the NLRB Front: Latest SBNP Charges Dismissed

This press release is in from the Teamsters:

NLRB Dismisses News-Press' Latest Meritless Charge Against Teamsters

On April 3, 2008, Region 31 of the National Labor Relations Board dismissed another meritless charge filed by the Santa Barbara News-Press against the Graphics Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The charge falsely claimed that union supporters Melinda Burns, Melissa Evans, Rob Kuznia, Dawn Hobbs and Tom Schultz interfered with the News-Press' sale of newspapers at the Santa Barbara Farmers' Market. The Region, in dismissing the charge, noted both that there was insufficient evidence of any violation of the National Labor Relations Act by the Union, and that the SBNP had filed this set of charges too late.

This dismissal further illustrates and reiterates the SBNP's repeated cynical pattern of attempting to harm the reputations of union supporters without basis in fact or law by inserting their names into legal charges falsely accusing them of alleged wrongdoing and publicizing the filing (see March 5 News-Press story), fully aware that
misrepresentations such as these contained in legal filings are ordinarily entitled to legal protection, regardless of their merit.

This is an abuse of the law enforcement machinery and resources of the NLRB. The News-Press has now filed no fewer than 10 charges against the Union, and all have been investigated and dismissed by the federal labor law agency.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Are you a cabalista? Senator Boxer is...

The list grows longer....Senator Barbara Boxer joined the anti-News-Press cabal at a Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee event according to Off-Leash Public Affairs. Welcome!

Also, the last showing of the News-Press Mess documentary Citizen McCaw will be today at Marjorie Luke Theater at 3 pm.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Measure V gets Support from Chamber and Taxpayers Association

I was surprised to see that Measure V for the June Ballot which provides building and infrastructure support for Santa Barbara City College has the support of the Santa Barbara Taxpayers Association and the Chamber of Commerce. Impressive. I'm glad to see they support education as it makes for a better community, workforce and citizenry. I'm all for it.

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NCAA Made Wrong Call...

With thirty one fouls and seven yellow cards, it is not a soccer game -- it's a brawl. I'm not sure what the NCAA thought when they fined Coach Tim Vom Steeg for comments he made after a referee led loss in the third round of the NCAA tournament to Ohio State last year. Maybe bigger school, mo' money. No football team.

Ummmm, this is what he said according to The Daily Sound: "We gave up three free kick goals so every call became very important, every corner kick became important and unfortunately, that is part of the story so I can’t really sit up here and talk about the game without necessarily talking about the fact that three of the four goals went in off of a call…”

Big deal. What's up with UCSB Assistant Media Relations Director Ryan Hall telling The Daily Sound that he knew Vom Steeg said the wrong thing at a press conference after the game? To top it off UCSB Assistant Athletics Director Diane O’Brien issued an "official statement". Where's the Gaucho spirit? Most professional games have twenty fouls or less -- thirty one with the majority being in the second half is just bad officiating. They should have fined the ref.

The truth is that Vom Steeg told the truth and was fined only $300. The game was worth a lot more -- I would have said the same thing. UCSB Media Relations should have just kept quiet. Ohio State and the NCAA should not have pushed the envelope in the name of public relations.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dr. Dave Launches First Salvo in 3rd District Race

"Mr. Smyser has some 'splaining' to do!", says Dr. Dave Bearman in an April Fool's Day shot over the bough on the 3rd District Supervisorial race. Saying David Smyser has a "lack of curiosity about the affiliations of his mystery campaign donors", Dr. Dave points to a Santa Ynez Journal article which questions several donations from businesses with apparently no connection to Santa Barbara County. Here's what the good doctor says about it:

So far Smyser has raised $55,000 in campaign donations with over half coming from outside Santa Barbara County. The questions originally arose from a total of $20,000 in contributions from four San Francisco sources, three of whom remain unidentified and are not listed in the California Corporate Record. Currently Smyser only vaguely claims he did not know the identity of his three mystery donors and didn't care to originally find out who they might be. But Dr. Bearman says Smyser has an obligation to investigate or, at least, be curious about his own large campaign donors.

Apparently, many of the donors have associations with Bacara developer Alvin Dworman and Bacara President B.J. Hoppe.

In true Dr. Dave fashion, he brought up a few more issues about growth and "instant cities" in his rather long press release -- the most relevant secondary issue being:

"For some reason, long needed community general plans for the Lompoc, Santa Ynez and Orcutt areas remain delayed and unfunded by the County and that needs to be changed. The people of Santa Barbara County must be allowed to have a voice in their own future. As I was quoted in the Santa Ynez Valley Journal,' Mr. Smyser has some 'splaining' to do.'"

It's hard to fault Dr. Dave for asking these questions for a race that is hardly on the radar for most voters. Mixing Goleta anti-growth politics with 3rd District electioneering may or may not work for Dr. Dave considering the ease at which the Goleta Council saw new faces in the last election. Still, it has been a formula that worked for years -- at least until Brooks Firestone was elected. It's also hard to fault Dr. Dave for trying to distinguish himself from the pack of candidates where he has been seen as a spoiler to Doreen Farr's candidacy. Perhaps the most important aspect of this issue is whether or not Smyser will have the money and stature in the race to at least gain a run off with another candidate. If these donations are indicative of what's to come, he certainly will have the funds to do so.

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