Endorsements, Congress and the Metcalf Substation Attack

I’ve written this three times now, trying to figure out how to best approach this. I guess the best way is to start out blunt — much of my time has been invested in creating, updating and posting to this blog, talking to people, finding information and actually taking time away from what I do to help get out the reasons that we want to see Kevin Jensen as the new leader of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

I am asking for reciprocation now, I am asking you to take some time out of your day to help us move this forward in a very real manner.  I am going to ask you, after I explain myself, to reach out to your congress critters in a “We the People” effort to participate in our government as our founding fathers intended.  Then I am going to ask you to bring this concern to others around you and ask them to take a few moments to do the same.

I am asking you to return the favor of some of the time I’ve spent trying to be a public voice bringing the increasingly concerning issues regarding the incumbent, Sheriff Smith and the failing policies of the Sheriff’s Office some public light.

If you care enough about the integrity of your office, the security of your family and your county and are willing to put a few minutes toward this, please continue.

I have spent some time now investigating what happened the night of the Metcalf Substation attack in regards to the response of the Sheriff’s office.  As the first response to what is now being billed as a terrorist attack now that actual facts have come to light, the public should be notified and duly appalled by the administrative reluctance to even attempt to determine what had happened, with repeated demands to call off the investigation, write it off as vandalism and stop wasting time and resources.  While many of these issues may outweigh my blog by the time I’ve manage to tell as much of the story I can in the near future, little to nothing has to escape Congress if we demand it be addressed in a big enough, loud enough voice to ensure they hear and understand our concerns.

I will be perfectly clear here — from the people I have talked to so far, I have come to understand if this had ended up being an extended attack, the Sheriff and her hand chosen people at the top would have allowed the continuation of events through complicity because they again put their budget before the security of the community and their own deputies on site and the integrity of the investigation.

As for earlier claims by some on this blog that lieutenants and/or captains always respond on scene to events because sergeants and deputies can’t be trusted — I can not find a single person who puts an LT or higher at the scene prior to business hours — at least 5 hours after deputies on site reportedly determined the seriousness of the event — and only then did they determine the critical nature of the situation and allow deputies to officially take proper actions and use appropriate resources to conduct an investigation.

For hours after the events that shut down the station and disrupted communication utilities, command staff repeatedly refused resources and increased response to conduct safe and immediate investigation of the substation and surrounding areas.  Several people are reporting that more than one member of the command staff repeatedly tried to shut the investigation down as “vandalism” and return deputies on site to regular patrol functions rather than investigate the incident any further.

I will hopefully have more coming on this in the not too far future as I continue to reach out to people to confirm various information.  But for now I want to point out my goal in this post and address three names that are very important to you for a number of reasons.

My goal is for as many of us and our neighbors as possible to reach out to the members of our federal representation that have announced they will investigate this incident through the House Committee of Energy and Commerce as well as our local representatives (there is some overlap here) to ensure this investigation into the security of our utility infrastructure includes the actions of first responder agencies as part of that security infrastructure.  It is critical we understand how capable an agency is of recognizing potential attacks of a significant nature against our infrastructure when it may not be as blatant as planting a bomb (as they did just the day before in Boston, building two pressure cooker bombs and setting them off in the Finish Line crowd of the Boston Marathon.) and responding appropriately to that attack.

The three names are those of our local House representatives.  All three are clearly aware of the situation having requested an update and acknowledged the serious potential of these attacks through Homeland Security, though they appear to be under the misguided interpretation that the incident was “contained” rather than, luckily, ended.  Their correspondence notes, “A larger attack is not difficult to imagine and the effects could be crippling.”  If the attack had been broader reaching, if the attackers intended on moving on to another location to continue an infrastructure attack or intended to attack responders to the incident, the command staff of the Sheriff’s office would have been wholly unprepared to let go their fists on their budget argument to protect our responders and our communities.

Anna Eshoo – Ms. Eshoo is the representative of California’s 18th District (map).  Ms. Eshoo also sits on the House Committee for Energy and Commerce that will be holding hearings regarding the Metcalf incident at some point in the future.  Ms. Eshoo is of particular interest for two reasons here beyond the above — she is currently competing for the ranking member seat of this committee when Henry Waxman steps down AND she is a listed endorser of the very Sheriff who runs the office whose command staff did everything in their power to kill this investigation before it started.

If you are a constituent of Ms. Eshoo (if you’re unsure, click on the map link by her district) please contact her by calling her local office at 650-323-2984 – constituents can email using this email form on her site.  If you are a constituent of one of the other nearby districts, please call Ms. Eshoo’s office as well as contacting your own representative.

Please let her know that as a constituent, you are not pleased with her endorsement of a sheriff that continues to put the safety of your family second to her budget and that you would like her to reconsider her endorsement of our incumbent sheriff and to work to ensure her committee conducts a full top to bottom investigation to include not only the infrastructure security, but first responder policies and practices by subpoenaing the documented communications, texts, radio traffic and the decisions made during these contacts by all people involve at the Sheriff’s Office in the initial 6 hours after the incident occurred.

Zoe Lofgren – Ms. Lofgren is the representative of California’s 19th District (map).  Ms. Lofgren is not part of the committee to hear the Metcalf incident, however, she is an endorser of our incumbent sheriff.  Please let Ms. Lofgren know that as a constituent, you are not pleased with her endorsement of a sheriff that continues to put the safety of your family second to her budget and that you would like her to work with Anna Eshoo to ensure that there is an invetigation to include not only the infrastructure security, but first responder policy and practice by subpoenaing the documented communications, texts, radio traffic and the decisions made during these contacts by all people involve at the Sheriff’s Office in the initial 6 hours after the incident occurred.

If you are a constituent of Ms. Lofgren (if you’re unsure, click on the map link by her district) please contact her by calling her local office at 408-271-8700  – constituents can email using this email form on her site.  If you are a constituent of one of the other nearby districts, please call Ms. Lofgren’s office as well as contacting your own representative.

Mike Honda – Mr. Honda is the representative of California’s 17th District (map) and is also an endorser of our incumbent sheriff.  Mr. Honda was also a co-author to the letter to the Homeland Security Secretary along with the aforementioned representatives.  Constituents of Mr. Honda should be asking him to reconsider his endorsement for our incumbent sheriff and for his assistance in ensuring that the issue of our first responder policies and practices are in line with the potential of threat in the hearings by the committee.

If you are a constituent of Mr. Honda (if you’re unsure, click on the map link by his district) please contact him by calling his local office at at 408-436-2720 or  can email using this email form on her site.  If you are a constituent of one of the other nearby districts, please call Mr. Honda’s office as well as contacting your own representative.

I have included suggested emails at the very end for each of the above people.

*****

I want to close this with an upsetting and increasingly visible trend that I have notice in the Sheriff’s office.  I am increasingly noticing that knowledge and experience are the least of reasons to talk to some one.  That the best person for the job is not the person who will get the job, but the person who will sell out the most in an exchange of favors that benefit the Sheriff.   The person who may know the most about a situation or a problem, will not be the go-to person, or even included in the information loop to ensure the best practices are in place.

Repeatedly, in virtually every subject I have dug into involving the incompetence at the top, people who do attempt to interject knowledge into the process who are uninvited are rebuffed, often in a manner that involves public ridicule and/or extensive undermining of their professional reputation and access.  As near as I can understand the reasons why people with knowledge are outcast from the information cycle, it’s threefold:

1) Knowledge, experience, reason and best practice has nothing to do with what happens at the command level of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office;

2) Knowledge, experience, reason and best practice interjects a level of integrity as part of the process, eliminating a large layer of plausible deniability by removing the argument of, “we didn’t know.” as if that has a valid professional role; and

3) People who have taken the time to become knowledgeable about what the job of law enforcement involves make the people who have been promoted beyond their capabilities very, very, very uncomfortable and with a need to lash out to establish their professional dominance.

I will give the sheriff credit on one point of integrity though, especially recently.  Her actions, without a doubt, show, she will return the favor of you selling out your integrity and self-respect with an assignment or project of your choice, regardless of the outrageous level it reaches in the context of best known practices.   I think we can all figure out what kind of corruption this behavior is starting to lead too among the Sheriff’s cherished few.

Our community deserves better, we deserve new leadership in Kevin Jensen and we deserve elected officials that don’t endorse the continued neglect by the current incumbent.

******

Cut & Paste to Anna Eshoo:
Ms. Eshoo, I am writing to you to ask you in your capacity on the Committee for Energy and Commerce, to please review the management of the response by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office to the Metcalf Substation attack on April 16 2013.  It is my understanding that Sheriff Laurie Smith’s command staff attempted to draw down the investigation as “vandalism” despite numerous concerns  voiced by first responders on scene at that time.  Her command staff’s refusal to approve resources held back the investigation for as long as 6 hours after on-scene personnel started to believe they had potential attack on their hands.  I feel it is a critical gap in our security if the command staff of responding agencies fails to understand how to assess the risks of an event or refuses to listen to those in their agencies that do know how to do those assessments.  Homeland Security is responsible to ensure all our agencies close these knowledge gaps, but first we must find them.

In light of the poor response and leadership in this incident and other events, I would also like to ask you reconsider your endorsement of Sheriff Smith in her current re-election campaign. Sheriff Smith has failed to not only garner the endorsements of any major law enforcement groups in her county, but both her agency’s unions, have endorsed her opponent Kevin Jensen.  Sheriff Smith and her command has shown a continued disregard for public safety and have failed to address numerous issues involving the management of this office that has resulted in a direct negative impact on the office and the community.  Repeatedly she and her command staff have attempted to hold back investigations to conserve funds resulting in delays in justice for the public in cases like Audrie Pott and Sierra Lamar as well as shown critical lapses of judgement as in the case of Sheriff Smith inviting a person under criminal investigation for a private event at the Sheriff’s range.

I appreciate your time and concern in this matter.

Cut & Paste to Zoe Lofgren:
Ms. Lofgren, I am writing to you to ask you, as my congressional representative to support the investigation by the House Committee for Energy and Commerce in regards too the Metcalf Substation attack on April 16, 2013, and to please include in that investigation a review the management of the response by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.  It is my understanding that Sheriff Laurie Smith’s command staff repeatedly attempted to draw down the investigation as “vandalism” despite numerous concerns  voiced by first responders on scene at that time.  Her command staff’s refusal to approve resources held back the investigation for as long as 6 hours after on-scene personnel started to believe they had potential attack on their hands.  I feel it is a critical gap in our security if the command staff of responding agencies fails to understand how to assess the risks of an event or refuses to listen to those in their agencies that do know how to do those assessments.  Homeland Security is responsible to ensure all our agencies close these knowledge gaps, but first we must find them.

In light of the poor response and leadership in this incident and other events, I would also like to ask you reconsider your endorsement of Sheriff Smith in her current re-election campaign. Sheriff Smith has failed to not only garner the endorsements of any major law enforcement groups in her county, but both her agency’s unions, have endorsed her opponent Kevin Jensen.  Sheriff Smith and her command has shown a continued disregard for public safety and have failed to address numerous issues involving the management of this office that has resulted in a direct negative impact on the office and the community.  Repeatedly she and her command staff have attempted to hold back investigations to conserve funds resulting in delays in justice for the public in cases like Audrie Pott and Sierra Lamar as well as shown critical lapses of judgement as in the case of Sheriff Smith inviting a person under criminal investigation for a private event at the Sheriff’s range.

I appreciate your time and concern in this matter.

Cut & Paste to Mike Honda:
Mr. Honda, I am writing to you to ask you, as my congressional representative to support the investigation by the House Committee for Energy and Commerce in regards too the Metcalf Substation attack on April 16, 2013, and to please include in that investigation a review the management of the response by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.  It is my understanding that Sheriff Laurie Smith’s command staff repeatedly attempted to draw down the investigation as “vandalism” despite numerous concerns  voiced by first responders on scene at that time.  Her command staff’s refusal to approve resources held back the investigation for as long as 6 hours after on-scene personnel started to believe they had potential attack on their hands.  I feel it is a critical gap in our security if the command staff of responding agencies fails to understand how to assess the risks of an event or refuses to listen to those in their agencies that do know how to do those assessments.  Homeland Security is responsible to ensure all our agencies close these knowledge gaps, but first we must find them.

In light of the poor response and leadership in this incident and other events, I would also like to ask you reconsider your endorsement of Sheriff Smith in her current re-election campaign. Sheriff Smith has failed to not only garner the endorsements of any major law enforcement groups in her county, but both her agency’s unions, have endorsed her opponent Kevin Jensen.  Sheriff Smith and her command has shown a continued disregard for public safety and have failed to address numerous issues involving the management of this office that has resulted in a direct negative impact on the office and the community.  Repeatedly she and her command staff have attempted to hold back investigations to conserve funds resulting in delays in justice for the public in cases like Audrie Pott and Sierra Lamar as well as shown critical lapses of judgement as in the case of Sheriff Smith inviting a person under criminal investigation for a private event at the Sheriff’s range.

I appreciate your time and concern in this matter.

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7 thoughts on “Endorsements, Congress and the Metcalf Substation Attack

  1. Pingback: Democracy Doesn’t Happen on it’s Own | Casey Thomas' World

  2. Done. Maybe if the 95,000 viewers of this blog send a letter to our local representatives we can get to the truth of what is happening and why budget is a greater concern than public safety in the face of a terror attack in Santa Clara County.

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  3. Sent mine! Thank you for putting this together, maybe a list of the local elected people would be good too?

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    • Thank you for taking the time to send a message to your elected official. This is the best way to let them know where we stand, but we have to speak up so they know how to best represent us.

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