Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Note to Steve Pappas: Nothing Changes on New Year's Day.

First of all, Happy New Year to you all. I was thinking of taking a BlogaHoliday today but this news is too rich to pass up.

In an end of the year move sure to rankle taxpayer advocates, Steve Pappas is asking Superior Court to contest the November 4th Third District election. Interestingly enough, the only place the story seems to be available is over at the Santa Ynez Journal -- home of his uber-supporter Nancy Crawford Hall. A relatively even piece written by SYVJ Staff writer Leah Etling tells us the story, including a quote from Doreen Farr, but also strangely includes a full copy of Pappas' press release afterwards. Objective enough?

Pappas has already cost the Elections Office a good amount of time and money in asking for a recount for which he only gained one vote.

What's different this time? In this action, he is saying that a very specific group of voters were improperly registered and therefore their votes should not be counted. If you know anything about 3rd District politics, you are probably shaking your head right now in understanding as it is often "those damned students" who take the brunt of the losing side's ire in 3rd District contests. According to Pappas, some registration cards were turned in late, improperly filled out and represented re-registrations. There are also rules around turning in registration cards within a certain amount of days and not holding on to the cards. He also points to a Help America Vote Act (“HAVA”) which requires that a person's ID be cleared through something called the Calvalidator system -- I'll have to do some research on that as I've never heard of it.

Not being a constitutional lawyer, I'm not sure what the opposing side arguments will be other than despite any timing issues with registration cards, for instance, voters registered to vote expect to be able to vote on election day. I'm not clear a court would take that right away from them on a technicality. This effort also seems so student-centered when there were plenty of registrations accepted in Goleta and the Santa Ynez Valley during a major election as well.

Why Pappas would invest so much in a losing battle seems only centered on the fact he has a financial backer willing to spend the money. Although it seems that he has convinced himself that he is championing democracy, it's hard to think that this effort will get very far.

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Anonymous hate sore losers said...

what a complete loser Pappas is. After pandering to I.V. and UCSB voters throughout the primary and general, now HE has the nerve to question UCSB registrations, after the Elections office has already done recounts, validations, etc?
imagine what kind of supervisor he would have been---didn't get his way? waaaahhhhhh---run to Nancy Crawford and see if her money can fixit

1/01/2009 6:37 AM  
Anonymous Augusto Den said...

Nice that he filed the suit when UCSB and SBCC students are out of town...

UCSB and SBCC students have been in our community far longer than Nancy Crawford and/or Steve Pappas. Actually Pappas did way, way better in IV and UCSB than any other non-democratic candidate has done in years.

But this suit shows how insincere and small-minded Crawford and Pappas are. They're not challenging registrations made throughout the County by the same elections department, only those in IV/UCSB.

And after all Doreen Farr lives north of the Mountains. Crawford and Farr are saying residents south of the Mountains or heaven forbid a resident of IV should have no representation.

1/01/2009 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Basing his deperate and vain hope of overturning the election on the disenfranchisement of the Isla Vista voters is a vestige of the old Southern States attempt to suppress the African American vote by diqualifying Black voters. This moves reveals that Pappas is even more unqualified to serve than anyone thought. The Board of Supervisors is not the House of Lords where membership is confered by heredity nor is Santa Barbara County some mid-20th century Cracker state. Pappas lost by over 800 votes. The election will not be overturned. He needs to get over it.

1/01/2009 9:50 AM  
Anonymous David Pritchett said...

Publishing the whole news release is fine, but one wonders about whether that was the publisher or the writer who decided to do that.

Maybe the intent was that the action was so absurd and desperate that the full news release had to be included as evidence so readers would really believe it?

Pappas had a lot of opportunity for future influential positions (elected or appointed) as he was a close second place in the election, especially considering his campaign was not too nasty as they usually are in the 3rd District.

However, he has fully blown all that goodwill and political capital and forever will be known as a more than sore loser who wasted all this county money.

Maybe he should now move to Colorado?

1/01/2009 10:21 AM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

What are you afraid of? What's wrong with Steve exercising his legal rights?

I guess you all think political corruption only exists in Illinois.

1/01/2009 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Augusto Den said...

Steve Pappas and Nancy Crawford have every right to exercise their right to sue until they're blue in the face.

They can sue early and often (or, in this case, late and during the UCSB/SBCC break) to deny voting rights to whomever they want.

They don't seem to care about political corruption if it helps Pappas' chance of election. If there is political corruption that changed the IV/UCSB vote, then similar political corruption might have changed the Santa Ynez vote or the Vandenberg Village vote.

But Pappas and Crawford only sued to investigate a few precincts, not ever precinct. That shows that they don't think IV/UCSB deserve a voice in County government.

(above I meant Crawford and *Pappas* at the end of my first post).

1/01/2009 5:08 PM  
Anonymous CRB said...

Of course, he (or anyone) can exercise his rights but maybe, if he is proved wrong, he should have to pay the costs incurred by the County elections office, ie. the costs incurred by the County taxpayers. Even though not presently required it would be a generous offer; he seems to have no problem with campaign funds.

He's already cost the County taxpayers thousands for his one extra vote.

1/01/2009 6:58 PM  
Anonymous fyi said...

The press release also went out to the daily sound, santa maria times, news-press and other outlets wednesday night.

1/01/2009 8:27 PM  
Anonymous seemstome said...

Seems to me that it's better to be able to read the press release for oneself. News story seemed pretty fair, and having read Etling's stuff over the years, she's a credible journalist who knows the Valley, as is her father.

1/01/2009 8:34 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Anonymous -- please remember to use an identity. I didn't publish your comment because of it.

The anon did suggest I was stupid for not knowing about some of the abuse -- especially about returning registration cards. I actually did mention it in the post. I, like those above, question why this public service spotlight on registration abuse wouldn't include the whole district....

1/02/2009 6:02 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

seemstone -- I agree about your comments on the Etlings -- good writers. What I question is containing the press release like a necessary footnote. The other outlets did not likely run with the press release in it's entirety, right? There's a time and place for puboishing press releases..I do it myself, but not many traditional news outlets do that.

1/02/2009 6:06 AM  
Blogger RML said...

Its the same ol modus operandi that Pappas and his banker/boss Crawford-Hall have shown as founders of POLO and thier crusade against the Chumash. If the results dont come out in thier favor then there is obviously something wrong with how the results were derived.

They always equate not getting what they want with flaws in the process from county elections to the US Interior.

I agree with the previous post about Pappas/Crawford-Hall and the rest of POLO (yes they are a small political machine)that thier actions will brand them as sore losers and prevent them from being elected to any future county positions.

1/02/2009 7:19 AM  
Anonymous William Etling said...

Thanks Sara! Happy New Year.

1/02/2009 7:54 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Anon -- ignorant, stupid....not much different there but you are welcome to publish your opinion herein.

Your identity is safe if you use a different identity than your own....please see our FAQ on identities. I'm not interested in outing anyone that participates here.....thanks for reading BlogaBarbara.

1/02/2009 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Kate Smith said...

Have you forgotten about Florida, Gore and hanging chads?

Do you really think a person, wealthy or not, would pursue something if they thought there wasn't something to it?

As my mother would say, jealous or complaining?

Society DEPENDS upon people standing up against INJUSTICE wherever it rears its upgly head.

There is corruption in Santa Barbara. I was disqualified from the ballot. Illegally? You bet!

Ask Suzanne Post, in the Elections Office. She was told TEN YEARS AGO by the president of the boudary line committee that "it was a mistake that had to be corrected."

Ask the former Voter Registrar, Ken Petitt. He'll tell you the same thing.

What I can't understand is Billy Alvarez saying in The Daily Sound, "This has never happened before!"

Ten years ago, I showed her where the Old Sunburst was on the map. She said it was up to the SBSD, and when they wrote back that I was in the district, I was placed on the ballot. (SB News-Press, August 13, 1998)

So the ancient map, which places houses all the way down to Carpinteria IN THE SANTA YNEZ VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT, is meaningless.


I am in this district but the COE and SBSD superintendents knew that if I was on the board, that would be the end of them. So.....

If Flores Flats on Gibraltar Road (the Old Sunburst between Climbing Rock and Hanglider's Skyport, where three co-eds went off the cliff and where Kendra Payne was murdered by an unlicensed trucker) is in the Santa Ynez School District, my children should go to school an hour and a half away whereas Roosevelt School is down the mountain, a fifteen minute drive?

If the Old Sunbursters were in the SY Valley district, they could have swung the votes for the supervisoral elections....there were hundreds who lived here, and they even had a polling place set up for this address.

There is corruption in Santa Barbara, in most school administrations, and there is collusion with other politicos, agencies, and elected politicians BECAUSE THERE IS MONEY AND POWER INVOLVED.

Remember, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Elections office shenanigans? You bet! SIX out of EIGHT COE Board of Education members were up for re-election but Bill Cirone didn't want the public to know that he HAD a board, so they were not on the ballot because they were uncontested.

BUT THEY FILED CANDIDATES STATEMENTS so, by law, those had to be paid for, by the candidate (my filing fee was almost $900.) and they had to be on the ballot.

But they weren't. Superintendent Bill Cirone is the most powerful in the country and he is controlling the education money with ruthless tactics of retaliation.

That's nothing compared to the real fraud, embezzlement, abuse of power, cronyism, nepotism, retaliation, and co-optation that's entrenched---I don't have the time nor the inclination to go into it---but why don't you come over from the Dark Side and look up FBI, ACLU, NAACP, and Marian Wright Edelman's Children's Defense Fund---could THEY ALL be screaming about "nothing?"

Good people are co-opted. Peter Mac Dougall was appointed to the board, and with an even number, Bill Cirone casts the deciding vote.

Beloved Mac Dougall, became president, and then was re-elected WITHOUT A SINGLE VOTE CAST FOR HIM, and now he is an unsuspecting dupe for Cirone's ILLEGAL, UNETHICAL, AND UNCIVIL PROGRAMS, PRACTICES, AND POLICIES.

Bloggers, stop your bitchy little gang-banging and read "School Corruption: Betraying Our Children and the Public Trust" by Armand Fusco, Ph.D. www.yankeeinstitute,org

and "Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline" (

Steve Pappas and Nancy Crawford- Hall are exposing corruption and the bloggers who hide behind pseudonyms and castigate people when you DON'T HAVE A CLUE should have to eat their virtual words.

Remember, Bernie Madoff's WHISTLEBLOWER was UNHEEDED for nine years---he was called a disgruntled competitor.

My colleagues and I have been at this for nineteen years---and our time has come.

It would be of great help if bloggers would use the internet to EDUCATE themselves about school corruption, democratic education, and help restore justice in our schools and society by assisting the investigations rather than pounding the keys and publicly flogging people.

Have a nice uprising---and Happy New Year!

1/02/2009 6:27 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I have no idea whether this is really Kate Smith -- but if it is, we can tell why she wasn't the right person for school board. It is to bad her candidacy may have seriously affected the results in the race.

I hesitated to allow this post but I think people should see the vitriol...the commenter has maligned myself and several others who don't deserve it. Billie Alvarez, for instance, is one of the more professional county employees I know...

1/02/2009 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Kate Smith said...

Dear Sarah,

I ran for the school board to expose corruption, and so I have.

There's a parent-teacher uprising in the SBSD and it will continue all the way to Cirone's door.

Geez Louise, Sarah, I said that GOOD PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CO-OPTED.

I didn't malign Billie Alvarez---just that I couldn't understand how she had forgotten that this had all happened before. It's been through the courts so I should not have been disqualified without due process.

I asked that the bloggers read articles about the issues instead of resorting to name-calling and castigation. I admit I stooped to the same level so, mea culpa.

1/02/2009 9:01 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

hot dog you all are fired up.

1/03/2009 12:15 AM  
Anonymous Oy-Enough Already said...

Sara---can we all agree, now we've heard enough from Kate? This post wasn't about her. She's wasted so much public meeting time over the past year, and decade, time that is taken away from important issues and discussions. Must she now hijack this blog?

1/03/2009 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

I am by no means an apologist for the Santa Barbara School District, but Ms. Smith's conspiracy theories are very wide from the mark. I believe that it has been attributed to Napolean the advice that one should "never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence." The problems with the Santa Barbara School District are more a matter of administrative incompetence than Macheavellian plots. They are trying their best to accomplish often conflicting priorities with inadequate funding. Sadly, their best is simply not good enough. Making wild accusations of vast conspiracies does not contibute productively to the conversation.

1/03/2009 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Jefferson said...

Kate Smith should join the fight with Steve Pappas.

They are both so good for each other and would work well together.

1/05/2009 3:23 PM  

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