As some of you may recall, the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots have been working to set up a public forum between Sheriff’s candidates since February when one of their members spoke with the incumbent at the Republican Central Committee.
To be clear, the incumbent and her challenger, Kevin Jensen, both agreed to appear for the debate to be held at the San Martin’s Lion’s Club on May 22 at 7 PM.
When the organizers confirmed the date recently, the incumbent’s campaign operations manager from Robinson Communications, Star Dormanesh, indicated that the incumbent would not participate in the debate. Ms. Dormanesh stated two reasons that the Sheriff was backing out of the debate.
1. The incumbent felt that the organization had already endorsed and organized for Jensen. Despite explaining to Ms. Dormanesh that the organization itself does not endorse, and that members are free to use their group resources to organize for any candidate, the sheriff still refuses to appear at the debate. Despite making clear that this is an open event intended to educate the public on the candidates and there are likely to be many undecided, and even potential supporters of the incumbent, who the sheriff would have the opportunity to reach out to and explain why she feels she is the better candidate, the sheriff still refuses to appear at the debate. Despite pointing out you can’t change minds or win hearts if you won’t talk to the public, the sheriff will not appear.
The second reason though, this is the one that is priceless. To quote the organizer that contacted me, it’s “inappropriate and unprofessional.”
2. And I quote this one so we can all enjoy the full impact and child-like pettiness of this statement in an adult political forum: “…Sheriff Smith will not partake in any debate or forum until Kevin Jensen disavows and apologizes for the dishonest and anonymous personal attacks on her.”
Yes, that is right. The Sheriff won’t talk to you, until we stop pointing out her poor leadership and the failures of her administration. She feels telling people about how poorly she runs her office is a “personal” attack. That letting people know she is destroying the office is a “personal” attack. She thinks that pointing out her lack of professional respect for anyone around her who doesn’t heel, is a personal attack. And best of all, she won’t tell you what she has done or will do as sheriff in a 5th term until Kevin debases himself for her pleasure with an apology for my blog, which has nothing to do with the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots nor the Jensen campaign itself.
This is the leadership shown by our incumbent that the deputies want you to see — the one who negotiates by saying you will do what I want or I won’t work with you. Imagine trying to work with this kind of attitude? This is the attitude, my way or the highway, that so many people in law enforcement have seen and are speaking out in support of Kevin Jensen to get away from. Agencies across the county, across the Bay Area and even throughout the state have said it’s time for Santa Clara County to have a Sheriff we can work with.
A recent example of this “my way or the highway” behavior by the incumbent is when it was determined there were accounting discrepancies in the RATTF program which she administered and the program was removed from her control. Rather than graciously relinquishing administration of the program she proceeded to kick the program out of the offices she provided and threatened to pull all SO personnel on the program. She shortly thereafter realized it was an election year coming up and kept the personnel in place, but could not convince the program to stay in the SO provided offices since they were already moving out due to the short noticed of eviction provided by the incumbent.
Clearly, as you can see here, that would not be a result with a 5th term under the incumbent.
Time for change, time for community, time for cooperation — Vote Kevin Jensen for Sheriff on June 3rd. (Don’t forget, if you can’t vote on June 3rd, early voting has also started!)
PS – Sheriff, you’re really paying far to much for the services of Robinson Communications if they are allowed to represent you in such an unprofessional and laughable manner. Surely $20+K could have bought you at least a modicum of professional response.
The Midpeninsula Community Media Center has released their candidate statement videos, so you can at least get some idea of what the incumbent thinks she has to offer the public. The first part is Kevin Jensen, the second is the incumbent’s statement. You can find this video also posted on Kevin Jensen’s News & Events page; you can’t find it on the incumbent’s page so I can’t provide a link to it there. It must either be she doesn’t stand by her words, or she’s afraid that if her supporters here Jensen, they will change their mind about her. Another sign of “true leadership”, fear of a challenge.