Who’s Using Whom?

There’s a lot of controversy about the fact that my blog, the DSA/CPOA PAC and other individuals have chosen to point out specific cases where the incumbent sheriff has allowed administrative interference in a manner that has cost victims justice.

I can’t speak for anyone other than myself and the decisions involving this blog. Let me be perfectly clear here — I have never and would never approach any of the families to ask them to endorse, support or otherwise act on Kevin Jensen’s behalf. It is not and has never been my goal to drag these families into this for quotes, opinions, endorsements or any other effort on their part to act on Kevin Jensen’s behalf — or against the incumbent.

People like Marc Klaas, Danny Domingo and the whole of Search for Sierra stepped up on their own. Danny Domingo approached me on his own asking if he could use my blog to publish a letter expressing his experience in working with the incumbent and her administration while searching for Sierra. Marc Klaas approached, to the best of my knowledge, Kevin Jensen’s campaign through his own efforts.

The Pott family, the women involved in the De Anza case… we’ve never approached them either. And that they did not want to step up and get involved in this, I completely understand and would never presume to speak on their behalf or ask them to get involved in this if it was not their idea.

What I have spoken about is not what happened “in court,” not what the families knew or were told (because I don’t know). What I have spoken about is what the deputies and personnel involved in the investigations have said. What was done wrong, what was delayed, what should have been done, what they were told when people tried to address Incident Command issues with the LaMar case… those are the types of issues that concern me, concern the deputies and should concern the taxpaying public that relies on an efficient and well-run public safety system.

My heart breaks for these families. And if there were another way to make the public understand that the incumbent does not have your public safety interests at heart, I would do it. But without bringing up these cases, we were brushed off and laughed at by the “politically powerful” that the incumbent calls “friends” who are trying so hard to get her back into office. So sure were they in their political position that letters were openly sent threatening the DSA and CPOA at the outset of their endorsement votes.

We’ve seen their concern for our public safety — using the helicopter like a merry-go-round, shooting untold amounts of ammunition on the range when deputies are allowed less than 100 bullets a year to qualify with their weapons and none to practice between qualifications. Using the range to have “fundraiser” parties while promising for the last 10 years that they were going to build a “SWAT City” — all they’ve managed to raise is a pole barn.

But the sheriff wants to hide behind her pointing finger, screaming at us for “using” these families even as she sends out fundraiser emails using the Pott family as “proof” that we’re using them.

Yes, you heard me. The incumbent sheriff is fundraising on the backs of the Pott family via email* even as she accuses us of trying to pretend Kevin Jensen has their endorsement when we’ve done no such thing. The incumbent fundraises on the backs of the Pott family outrage that she has twisted into an attempt to change the subject from her poor oversight and administration to “dirty campaigns.” I, nor to the best of my knowledge, the DSA/CPOA, nor the Jensen campaign has ever asked any of the families for endorsements, quotes and certainly not to use them as a fundraising tool.

You may not like that we brought up these cases. Or you may just not like the approach that is used. That’s fine. All we ask you is to ask the incumbent for the truth and see what kind of response you get. She has pulled out of or refused to appear at 3 debates. She has refused to allow people to verify the credentials she herself put on her resume. She has repeatedly changed her story about Aldon Smith, refuses to acknowledge that her office has two different timelines for the Metcalf attack, and rather than respond to Marc Klaas’ allegations, chose to attack him as “misinformed” and that he was being “used” by the DSA. Instead of realizing that she had a problem when Crime Victims United’s Harriet Salarno endorsed Kevin Jensen, she attacked the organization saying the DSA/CPOA “bought” the endorsement by going to a fundraiser a month or so prior to the endorsement process beginning. If you look at the CPOA and DSA records, it is not uncommon for them to support groups like Crime Victims United. It should have been no concern, but the incumbent had nothing else to fight back with….

We only have 11 days until the election. All I’m asking you is that you find out more. Ask the incumbent what she has done to improve the office in the past 8 years. Then turn around and contact the DSA and CPOA and ask them the same questions (please not while they’re in uniform).

When the incumbent’s response to questions is that there is a “secret cabal” from SJ trying to run her out by tricking the DSA and CPOA, then we hear that Kevin Jensen is running a “coup” against her and now finally, she’s and her campaign manager settled on a “hijacking” of the unions because the unions won’t get behind her… these are not the arguments of a candidate who is anything more than clinging desperately to the fringes trying to stay in office.  These aren’t responses to questions, they’re delusional paranoia that is nothing short of ridiculous to hear in a democratic styled election.

Her supporters have stooped to ugly accusations from claims of bullying when we ask questions, accusations of misogyny* in campaign emails, in claiming Kevin Jensen supports murdering immigrants at the border with no basis in fact if you go to the original post on the incumbent’s FB page, you can see that not only has she allowed this to remain, but her campaign manager actually “liked” this horrific lie.   Kevin Jensen’s wife’s response to this was: “I take offense to that comment from “Wendy Stegeman” as I, Kevin’s wife, am of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent. Two of our grandchildren are 3/4 Mexican. What a misinformed person. Kevin has always celebrated diversity and loved the Latin American cultures. I would not be married to someone for 31 years if I thought he was a murderer. So Wendy, you check your facts before stating such false and ugly rumors.

Ask yourself who is behaving and responding with more credibility, who is indulging in truly dirty campaigning with lies like the above? Look at the candidate’s webpages and see who’s endorsements are about public safety, who’s news pages have real stories vs. blogs written by their campaign manager and one of the nastiest, biased political blogs in the area. Look at each one and see what they’re offering to do for the community and who seems truly excited about doing something for the community vs. just spouting words in hopes of getting your vote.

The incumbent has been in office 16 years. You can see her promises from 1998… you can see virtually none have been kept, not from building bridges to a domestic violence response unit. She has cut all the programs — DARE, SCOPE, SROs (other than contract cities of course) — that would “keep kids off drugs, out of gangs and in school” like she keeps telling us she’s focused on. The things she talks about having successfully implemented — she was touting back in 1998 as an Assistant Sheriff, and many of those accomplishments from back then have been decimated today in comparison.

It’s time for change. It’s time for something new. It’s time for some one who wants to be sheriff for the right reasons — not so they can have a record 5th term and keep their friends on the helicopter.

Please vote on June 3rd, Please vote for Kevin Jensen.

* have emails, will forward upon request

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6 thoughts on “Who’s Using Whom?

  1. One of the many concerns that I have about Laurie Smith is that she is supposed to be the leader of an organization where her employees must follow in order to be successful. When the followers are reluctant to stand behind their leader during times when the organization is attacked for failing to carry out their mission, change is needed. Why, except for ego, would a leader want to stay where she is not wanted? I had the change to read a very interesting book called the Courageous Follower. This book taught me that the organization comes before any individual, any supervisor and even the head of the organization. I believe the members of the organization has overwhelming said to Laurie that they do not have confidence in her as their leader and they are begging for change. I will be voting for Kevin, in fact already have. I hope that you all do the same so that organization can go about its business….Protecting the public.

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    • Tim, that has been one of my ongoing points to voters — if there is a mutual lack of respect in the office, regardless of who is at fault, to the point where the organization can’t work effectively with the leadership in place, do you replace 400 deputies or do you replace the leadership at the top? The voters can either elect a new sheriff that the organization feels it can work with or, if the voters choose to keep the incumbent, the deputies can elect to find an organization they feel they can respect and work more effectively within.

      I’ve made no secret of the fact that I know many that are looking to leave as quickly as they can if she stays. The reputation of the office under the incumbent is already such that they’re having trouble convincing quality recruits to come to SCCSO over other agencies… that will only get worse. We’ve seen it happen in SJPD, albeit for different reasons, but it’s an agency people don’t want to work at, does the reason matter if the people who can fix it are unwilling to do so?

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  2. Anyone who would drag a victims family through heartbreak again, use family members for a political agenda, lie about what’s really going on in the department and still look themselves in a mirror and sleep well, has no boundaries. If you live in a glass house, hold up on throwing those stones. Eventually, your house will shatter.

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  3. It’s funny when you look back at Sheriff Smiths campaign promises, “Smith says she will institute a “participatory management” style to help bring her department together. Decisions will be made by a team of people made up of anyone from the sheriff herself to the officers on the street. Her goal is to build trust and morale.

    “I think I have a very hands-on style,” she said. “I’d like to have more informal meetings so we can have good communication. This is something that has been lacking in the past.” 

    Her idea of “hands on style” must be promoting vicious and petty people into positions of leadership. Her goal of building trust and morale has been replaced with using a giant hammer to drive the “wedge” that is her idea of leadership deeper and deeper into this department.

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  4. Sadly politics in 2014 usually have nothing to do with making things better, just “business as usual” attitudes. Anyone who meets, knows or listens to Kevin Jensen, has a positive vibe when done. He WANTS to be Sheriff, he knows all the negatives, secrets and is still all in. The troops support him, other agencies and even PORAC supports him. Those are real endorsements, not BS campaign fliers, no phone solicitation, real people who know him and want him to lead the Sheriff’s Office out from under the current administration. Change is good, just like the transfer policy, keeps things fresh.

    Vote for Kevin Jensen.

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  5. Pingback: Libel Isn’t “Clean” Campaigning | Casey Thomas' World

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