Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pappas Legal Challenge All But Over

Saying “It’s over” to the Santa Ynez Valley News -- County Supervisor Doreen Farr's attorney Phil Seymour pointed out that Steve Pappas wasn't able to disqualify a single vote in the last supervisorial race. The judge in the case denied a last challenge yesterday by Pappas to prove that voter fraud occurred in the 3rd District race. A formal judgement is expected in the coming days but it looks like the weight-challenged opera singer sang -- ergo the opera is over.

The Santa Barbara Independent has an article about the case as well and quotes Farr's attorney other attorney Fred Woocher referencing Shakespeare's Macbeth -- "saying the election contest from the beginning had been “a tale… of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

I wonder if Nancy Crawford-Hall, rancher and owner of the Santa Ynez Valley Journal, might feel like she had wasted her money. Even Pappas' attorney at one point strangely stated that he didn't think it was up to him to bring cases of fraud before the judge. Excuse me? Sounds like a legal stimulus package paid for by Crawford-Hall.

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Blogger Dick said...

When you consider the need for wise investment of precious funds -- private and public -- this expenditure is one of the worst.

3/17/2009 8:06 AM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

I've read complimentary things about Pappas. He's reportedly on the independent side. But I can't help wonder why, as an independent he would be involved in this desperate litigation. It is common knowledge that the far right does not want votes to be counted. When informed people vote and the votes are actually counted, the far right have a difficult time winning. I am questioning if this wasn't one of those stealthy campaigns. Does anyone know more about the financiers of this litigation?

3/17/2009 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Early N. Often said...

What an embarassment Pappas turned out to be... so much sound and fury, and a total letdown when asked for evidence.

I thought maybe there was some fraud that he could prove... all those last-minute registrations seemed careless. But in the end he came up with zippo, nada, goose-egg, zilch.

What a flaming pork-pie selling, pants-on fire, phony effort.

I was not a big Doreen suppporter, but I am now.

3/17/2009 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Pappas should have to pay all of Farr's legal expenses. The judge basically told Pappas that his case was without any merit whatsoever. Why should those dragged into court under spurious circumstances be forced to foot the bill for their attorney fees? Having Pappas pay all attorney fees for this case would send a signal to other would be sore losers that using the courts to try to disenfranchise voters will cost dearly.

3/17/2009 11:03 AM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Pappas is a truly good guy, not at all deserving of this harsh criticism. He would have made a fine Supervisor for the Third District. I actually find more fault with a judge that feels the need to publicly ostracize him for exercising his democratic rights. So much for blind justice.

We’ve seen plenty of examples of corruption in all corners of these United States. What makes all you self-righteous bloggers think that Santa Barbara is immune to rule-breaking, cheating or fraud? Sure, Steve’s lawyer couldn’t prove his case, but do all of you actually believe he didn’t have a right to try? Think hard before you answer.

And, do all of you actually believe that our electoral process is as pure as the driven snow? Look at the way government handles most other public services. C’mon, be serious. Are you willing to say that those 6,000 registrations that happened in the last 6 days were all on the up-and-up? Again, think hard before you answer.

Our country was founded on the right of the common man/woman to question his/her government. I see this much differently. I thank Steve for questioning the process. It is in this way that we keep our process more honest and accountable.

3/17/2009 8:07 PM  
Anonymous AN50 said...

Hot chilly peppers! I agree with Bill Carson! Ok, so I was no fan of either Doreen or Steve, but the voter fraud issue has boiled below the surface in this district for to long. Steve for what ever reason decided to bring it into the light. Can’t find fault with that. Of course I believe voting is a privilege not a right and that voters and those they vote for should have to take a competency test in order to participate. That alone would reduce the need for campaign financing since most people would be eliminated. But even the hint of voter fraud should be vigorously investigated and the perpetrators and participators imprisoned. Its bad enough they let any moron run for office or let morons vote for office, but allowing them to do so illegally, what’s the point of having elections at all?

3/17/2009 10:27 PM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

Bill Carson; I do think very hard about these things. I am very willing to entertain fraud and as you say corruption, even in this case. I am glad that you were the one who stated that this is a corrupt nation. If a liberal had made that statement they would have been called anti-america. Hopefully we're on our way to recovery.

Even though I could entertain fraud in this case the litigant hasn't provided any evidence. The judge may have been understandably harsh due to the lack of evidence. It was also too bad the integrity of the elections office was challenged. Well, let us see what proof surfaces should Pappas "a truly good guy" be charmed into an appeal by his financiers.

3/17/2009 11:44 PM  
Anonymous Early N. Often said...

Pappas absolutely has a right to make a total fool of himself, and he strongly exercised that right.

I too think their might have been some fraud in the 1000's of registrations in the last few days.

But if Pappas couldn't find any hard evidence after spending $50,000 or so, I conclude that there was no fraud. He was motivated and able to find any fraud, and he failed.

Ergo, no fraud. And now his pants are on fire.

3/18/2009 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Bill, if there had been a shred of evidence that fraud had tainted the 3rd District election to the extent that the winner was determined by false votes, then I would agree with you that Pappas had every right to question the outcome. However, as the judge pointed out, there was no such evidence and the County Clerk's staff followed all the correct rules and procedures in a very open, visible process. Pappas' case was spurious from the beginning. To quote Gertrude Stein, "There was no there there." Nothing about this case will do anything to "keep our process more honest and accountable." All it did is waste time and money.

3/18/2009 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

What is kind of sad about all this is that Pappas will never be elected to anything after all this. He's a nice guy who had to dance to the tune of his benefactress and her conspiracy theories.

He got his day in court. It didn't turn out his way. I see an appeal in our future.

Poor Puppet Steve Pappas.

3/18/2009 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Remember to Use Name/URL said...

You can't just compare median salaries for public and private employees; you need to look at pay for comparable positions, education and seniority. If a higher percentage of public than private sector employees have college degrees, this will be reflected in the pay comparison. But how do those with equal education compare? As for teachers, private school pay varies dramatically from school to school. Some in SB pay much more than the local public schools, others far less. In higher ed., the best private schools pay much higher salaries than their public competitors.

By the way, Joe Armendariz's expert is a public employee.

3/20/2009 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Attack dog said...

The best way to compare public and private salaries is to get rid of the public job security and put all those jobs out on the market place based upon merit and performance.

Then the market, and not some union demanded job security benefit will determine the value of these jobs. You are letting the tail wag the dog here for these relatively low -skill, easily trainable jobs.

You are claiming YOU are worth something because your version of your credentials. Guess what, the job is what is worth something, not you. No one owes you either in private or public employment more than the job itself is worth.

And this is where the public employee unions have gotten it all wrong. They think the employee is worth more than the job and sticks it to the taxpayers to keep forking over with no accountability.

Guess what, the taxpayers are now pushing back. The free ride is over, public employees. You forgot who was paying your bills.

What, you don't like this idea? What a surprise.

3/21/2009 3:39 PM  

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