We’re not all “boys”… and legitimate questions aren’t “bullying”

Update:  see Angelica’s response to this piece at the end.  Sometimes I’m just left shaking my head.  Now I’m “tweet hating”?

I was shot over an email last night asking if I was the “bully.”  I guess I was.  I kind of had to laugh. I’ve never directed a post to the Angelica’s personal twitter account (and later, I found quite by accident, she blocked me, despite this fact) but have directed tweets to the National Women’s Political Caucus of Silicon Valley of which she is the current president if I remember my information accurately.

The first thing I want to address, is I’m not trying to scare anyone.  I’m trying to let voters know a few facts about the incumbent which NWPC chose to endorse without research into the quality of her work.  Secondly, if you know anything about this blog, you know that I have a number of contributing authors and have built a little group working on this blog and have an ever growing number of people who have joined us as sources of information — we are not all boys.  We are women and we are men, we are law enforcement, we are community supporters, we are us and we are representative of our community. If you read the comments, our Facebook page, our twitter — we are clearly not monochromatic in our group… not in race, color or gender, or even political beliefs; we have grown to span all areas of our community.  Kevin has broad reach, because he is willing to give everyone a fair voice at the table and that over 90% of his former co-workers – regardless of such facades as gender or color or politics — support Kevin should tell people that as a community, their voices will be heard too.

But on to this complaint that I’ve bullied someone (because I will admit, it was me, Casey Thomas, behind the tweet).  No one gets the right to be a political leader and not have their position questioned. A little advice for everyone here:   If you can not elucidate your support when questioned, calling people a bully is not going to gain you any respect.  A little introspection into why you’re supporting someone you can’t argue in support of may be warranted here.  NWPC endorsed a candidate, a poor candidate at that… yet their president expects, in our great democracy, for people to remain silent in the face of that endorsement, while they freely question others?  That’s not how it works.

So here’s the accusation:
bullyOkay… for starters, I’m supposed to know she’s sick and approach accordingly… and that a friend passed away (I am sorry for your loss)… and again, use proper social networking etiquette without this knowledge.

I’m fairly certain, other than the handful of people close to me on this project, I haven’t made my gender a matter of knowledge.  Careful you don’t fall into your own mind trap with those assumptions, Angelica.

I’m personally impressed at the assumption that KJ supporters are all men, clearly one has only to look at Jensen’s endorsement lists, or the list that came out yesterday of law enforcement leadership endorsers that included a number of strong, respected women from the highest ranks of law enforcement leadership endorsing him.

The claim that I’m “bullying” because Angelica is “proud to endorse a pro-choice candidate.”  Ummmm… WTF?  Let me count the ways this is just disturbing:

1.  I never mentioned “choice” as an issue, as far as I am aware, neither has NWPC_SF until this point.  Curious as to why they would now?
2.  I would love to know how a non-legislative position like Sheriff is relevant to the matter of “choice.”
3.  You haven’t the first clue if I am pro-choice or not, yet that is the attack you choose rather than to answer any of the questions?  Shameful for women, shameful for voters.  If one endorses a candidate they should be able to defend that decision with more than that.
4.  It’s strawman arguments like the “choice” argument launched here that do the most detriment to the rest of us by failing to provide valid information for voters to make valid decision, hoping we can drive candidates on sheer emotion without fact.  Both sides have their emotional drivers, and people who want good candidates need to look past those when appropriate.

So every one must be curious by now, what horrible thing have I done to this poor person who was just supporting a candidate of her choice?  What have I done that they can make a national campaign out of how not to behave?  Well here you go:

This tweet came after a tweet at approximately 12:30 AM announcing Laurie Smith’s fall-flat campaign video by NWPC_SV as you can see.  The author (apparently Angelica) should have put a warning that all responses would be considered offensive and “bullying.”

For the record, here are the remainder of my “bullying” tweets to NWPC_SF:

So please, if I have asked or addressed anything inappropriate here towards an organization that has endorsed a poor candidate on the sole basis of being female, please tell me.  Am I wrong to feel that there should be more than gender behind a decision to endorse a candidate responsible for our public safety?  Am I wrong to believe that if an organization endorses a candidate they should be able to tell those that follow them why they support that candidate?  Am I wrong to believe that if an organization endorses a poor candidate, choosing to ignore the failures of that person in office, that they should be called out on that failure?

Let me be clear in my philosophy here, my own gender aside (make all the assumptions you want about it, Angelica):

I absolutely believe women are underrepresented in government and in business.  Being approximately half the population it’s shameful they aren’t half the political voice of this nation — be they professional women, homemakers or something else.  Our legislation affects women and they should be a part of making it, regardless of their roles in society.  I did notice the recent bashing by NWCP_SV of women who remain homemakers… choice is about choice… a lot of choices, from staying home with the kids, to aiming for the Oval Office and women should be proud of being able to have all those choices.  Not just the “pro-choice” choice.

I believe in “choice” on the basis that what personal decisions you make are yours and mine are mine, and what works for me, may not work for you, but that is what women fought for.  But in endorsing the incumbent, you’re making a “choice” that affects me and potentially nearly 2 million other people in the county.  I think when there are questions, as a self-proclaimed political entity aiming for leadership for women, you have an obligation to answer those questions with integrity rather than hide behind stereotypes and allow women and their position to be further degraded by that kind of behavior.

I believe that above all, when dealing with political candidates, the best candidate should be endorsed.  I don’t think their gender is a primary factor in considering ideas and visions for the office their running for.  Ideas come from men, from women, from children, from Republicans, from Democrats.  I believe in pragmatism and I believe until we stop listening to lies and misrepresentations (like calling political questions to an organization who makes political endorsements “bullying”) and start listening to the candidates and holding them accountable for their actions at the voting booth, regardless of party, we will continue down this pathetic path of finger pointing and self-victimization by our political entities.

Here’s the problem Angelica, your organization has endorsed a candidate, who happens to be a woman (the only kind of candidate your organization endorses), who is apparently “pro-choice” (as if that is relevant to the conversation), who has cost justice to the families of any number of children and young women — young women like Audrie Pott and Sierra Lamar.  She has treated women in her own office as less than, promoting not one single woman to Assistant Sheriff or higher in 16 years and only promoting women to the level of Captain during the last election season when she was called on it.  She has allowed sexual harassment to be a problem within her office, using it to her advantage even at times to manipulate the people involved to her own means rather than do the right thing.  What has she done, other than be a woman, to advance women?  Because I know a lot of women in the Sheriff’s office and many feel that she has set woman back, not move them forward.  Are you even aware of that?  Does it even matter to you?

Sheriff Smith hasn’t even been in her office for any recognizable period of time since before Thanksgiving, yet we’re still paying her for all that time she’s not even doing her job at this point.

NWPC wants to endorse women candidates?  I get it, I do.  It’s important and as a women’s organization, they should endorse every solid, female candidate they can find.  But if Darrel Issa’s philosophy was transplanted to a woman (with the changed position in “choice”) and she was the only candidate running against Kevin Jensen, would they endorse her just because she was a woman?

The expectation that endorsements come from ideas and not gender is what will gain women (and men, for that matter) respect in politics.  Not telling one gender they aren’t eligible for your endorsement and certainly not endorsing candidates who have performed a specific job at a substandard level.  As a nation, we must lift everyone up and demand only the best in our elected officials, not just our chosen biases.

So while Angelica will probably consider this post more “bullying,” I hope that some people, both men and women, learn that we need to set aside gender, we need to set aside party, we need to set aside the preference to live in our echo chambers and we must move all of us forward.

We must be able to point to a candidate and say more in support of them than their gender, religion, color, or position on “choice.”  While all or any of those may be important at some level, they, in reality, are the facade we need to get past.

So to be blunt, either lead or get out of the way, Madam President, but don’t stand there complaining that some one confronted your ideology with legitimate questions you can’t respond too.

Here’s an idea for NWPC_SV, since you stand behind your candidate, the incumbent, how about your organization hosting the debate?  If you think she’s the better candidate, then put her out there and prove it to the women who trust in you and follow you.  Bet you won’t.

Casey Thomas
A Proud Political Pragmatist

Angelica’s response to this blog post.  My hashtag… #BUYACLUE… and that’s the last I have to say about NWPC_SV.  What a shame when we as women do more damage to ourselves through our own actions than we prevent others from doing.

angelica response

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13 thoughts on “We’re not all “boys”… and legitimate questions aren’t “bullying”

  1. I started as a Correctional officer and retired a Correctional officer. When I started Kevin Jensen was a Deputy working Elmwood. He was always positive, never negative towards the Correctional Officers hired. He never played games as some Deputies did.

    After 24 years he still knew my first name as he did with almost all Correctional Officers, and now with both Deputies and Correctional Officers/Deputies under one umbrella I can guarantee he knows at least 95-99% by name! who they are. Plus civilian staff. I know Sheriff Smith would not who I am.

    And when there was a Correctional Academy Kevin was there greeting each one and congratulating them. You never saw the Sheriff there or even the director of Corrections who allegedly was in charge of Corrections, under her management.

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  2. Angelica,

    If you are reading this, a majority of the women at the sheriff’s office support Kevin Jensen because he is a man who leads with integrity and empowers women.

    Another thing Angelica, if you also want to be a good leader do your homework before making your endorsement. The entire law enforcement community in the Silicon Valley is behind Kevin Jensen including hundreds of women.

    Women working under the incumbent are not treated fairly and have been harassed or treated poorly and if the perpetrator happens to be one of Laurie’s supporters they are taken care of without consequence.

    So Angelica, endorsing the incumbent is you and your organization turning their backs on all the women of the sheriff’s office to support one corrupt, unethical women in charge. I also have to agree with everyone else a public debate would open everyone’s eyes…

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  3. Hi Casey, Angelica is a friend of mine, we talked about you. I just had Coffee with Kevin. We talked about you. If you’d like to find out what we all talked about, contact me on gmail chat. Robert at Robert Cortese dot com.

    I understand that you’ve been through more pain than anyone with Smith as sheriff, I can empathize, which is why I want to talk to you backstage.

    Yours Truly,
    Robert Cortese

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    • Robert, my email is open to all, without the production or drama. Always has been. Not sure why you posted this here but if you feel the need to tell me something through a more private means, by all means, contact me via email.

      I’m not sure what you or Kevin or Angelica believe you know about my “pain” but that’s an interesting thought on your part. I appreciate your empathy, but not sure exactly what you think you’re empathizing with.

      This, to me, is a lot of production over a few questions that really shouldn’t have been that difficult to answer. Nothing more, nothing less.

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        • Mr Cortese you lost all standing when you wrote a few weeks ago that the empty plan proffered by Dave Cortese and the Sheriff to assist San Jose PD was a great idea. There is no plan and there is not one step taken or planned in the near future to assist that department. What he and the Sheriff did with their press release was to raise unreal hopes and expectations for the citizens of San Jose. NBC11 was quick to interview frustrated and worried citizens who have been recent victims of crimes. The message of that report and the article in the Mercury was that help is soon on the way. Mr. Cortese and the Sheriff launched this solely to gain votes in this election. It is as cynical a political act as I have seen. They are playing on the genuine fear in the community. The fact that the Sheriff wrote in her ballot statement in early March that she “is currently assisted the City of San Jose” proves this was nothing but a political move. It is typical of someone who has been in office in too long and has forgotten about who she really serves.

          Let me address the blind support of the local chapter of the NWPC. They may be deluded into thinking that they are doing all women a service by supporting a woman for political office. Nothing could be further from the truth. In my experience under Laurie Smith, I saw a female who was “bullied” by male supervisors and wrongly demoted (her rank was restored by an arbitrator), all with the tacit approval of Smith. I was a witness in an sexual discrimination/harassment complaint in which the highly regarded Commander who conducted the investigation (this had to be a while back to describe a commander in those terms) sustained the complaint against a sergeant. Another commander changed the finding and exonerated that person. That person did not change his ways and was known throughout the department for using colloquial terms such as “broad, dish and dame” to refer to women (yes in the 21st century not the 1940s) including in reference to the Sheriff herself. He also referred to women using anatomical slang not suitable for a family blog. Not only was this tolerated, he was promoted to the highest levels of the department. In another case a female deputy had legitimate reason to feel that she was the victim of gender discrimination. She went to the County EEOC, not to file a complaint but merely on a fact finding mission to find out what her rights were. As soon as she left that office, a call was made to the Sheriff’s Administration to “warn” them. Upon learning that, Sheriff Smith did another act of discrimination in retaliation.

          This is who you are backing or trying to justify. Under Kevin Jensen this type of behavior will not be tolerated or condoned.

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      • Casey I didn’t see the email link before, got it. It was late when I sent the original message.

        Everyone else, chill out.

        I endorsed Kevin weeks ago, endorsement still stands. Not sure where you get This is who you are backing or trying to justify. from.

        My concern here is you’ve possibly opened up a pandora’s box to be slung at Kevin’s campaign. I don’t want to see his campaign hurt, and frankly you just did more damage than you can imagine. I just cannot say everything about this publicly, so for gods sake, stop being so dogmatic.

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        • “you’ve possibly opened up a pandora’s box to be slung at Kevin’s campaign. I don’t want to see his campaign hurt, and frankly you just did more damage than you can imagine.”

          Who’s bullying who again?

          I received your email. I will respond to it tomorrow when I have more time.

          I will say this, as I said in my last blog post, I am not forgetting why we’re here and as I’ve told you before, I have only one objective on this blog — to let the public know what Laurie is and get Kevin Jensen in her place. If someone else chooses to take the low road on Monday, so be it. I personally think that would be a poor strategy.

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    • Hey Robert,

      I don’t think you get it. Casey Thomas is all of us. Casey Thomas is the voice of the men and women of the sheriff’s office that put our lives on the line day in and day out. All we want is a good leader that has our safety and the publics safety at the top of the list.

      The public deserves more than this. Trust me you might think you want to work with the incumbent but wait until she disagrees with you and throws a fit. You will not want to be there. Kevin Jensen is a great man and is very easy to work with. Robert do us all a favor and vote for Kevin Jensen on June 3rd.

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  4. I have to agree with Casey on this one. I have watched this from afar and now is the time to say something. Having spoken with Casey, I can assure you she is not a he. She has not acted on information that has not been backed with supporting information. Casey’s political views are not right leaning from what I could tell from our conversations. Casey is disgusted with the mismanagement at the Sheriff’s Office and wants everyone to know. I don’t know Casey even if I were to bump into her on the street.

    In reading the tweets I would ask NWCP_SV to define “bullying.” I saw no name calling, derogatory comments, “hate tweets” or the like as claimed by NWCP_SV . What I saw were questions posed to NWCP_SV that they elected not to answer, but rather deflect, attack the questioner as being a “bully” and name call. While reading the replies of NWCP_SV it reminded me of the incumbent’s candidate statement, vague, untruthful and withou substance.

    Another thing I agree with, NWPC_SV should host an open candidate debate. If they’re sure their candidate can stand up on her merits, then let’s see it.

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  5. It doesn’t matter if our sheriff was a woman or man.

    When you don’t work well with any chiefs in the county, its time to go. She just has a negative vibe.

    I worked courts when Jensen would show up and he had a smile on his face, shakes everyone’s hand even if doesn’t know you and it’s great. I also was there when the sheriff showed up and there weren’t any smiles and awkward silence. Same thing for all admin. It’s sad

    I would think its common sense for a sheriff to attend briefings and get to know who works at her department and not to rely on emails from Dan Rodriguez to determine who she should promote that hasn’t done her a solid.

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  6. Semperviren, I support groups that level the playing field, always. However, I don’t believe that this particular woman speaking for NWPC_SV understands what leveling the playing field involves. She seems to be throwing away facts that actually harm women in order to stay in her echo chamber and keep a positive view of the incumbent.

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  7. I was spurred by this blog to venture over to the National Women’s Political Caucus of Silicon Valley web site. I found that they probably do good work and as the parent of a daughter, I support any organization that helps to level the playing field for women. I also found that their endorsement of Laurie Smith is as meaningless as the rest of the ones she has received. Their mission is to support progressive pro-choice women candidates so by the very nature of their organization they would not support Kevin Jensen because he does not meet at least one of the criteria. I am not sure how you classify Laurie Smith as progressive but maybe someone can ask her at the next public forum.

    One more point for Laurie and her highly paid election team regarding her 30 second commercial (there is a link on this site). You misspelled Southbay (sic). It is two words, not one. Even my iOS device caught it as I type this. If you are going to take their money at least spell their name correctly.

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