We’ve known now for months that the deputies have endorsed Kevin Jensen for our next sheriff in Santa Clara County. They have made no secret through their votes, through their actions, through allowing me to speak out for them about things happening in the office under Smith’s management or lack thereof.
We have seen the deputies called “gaffe machines”, “Keystone Kops”, “mislead” and implied that they were every kind of stupid the incumbent’s political machine could come up with. The incumbent was so accepting of a campaign of petty insults that she listed many of the blog articles on the “news” page of her campaign page; ignoring many were written by her campaign manager or other political associates of hers.
We have pointed out abuse of deputies, violation of ethics and potentially laws, disrespect and abuse of communities and citizens. We have seen deputies speak out about sexual harassment, failed investigations and attempts to drive investigations based on monetary gain rather than results. She has never once responded to any of the issues brought to the table, instead talking about a “coup” against her and trying to reduce hundreds of her employees across several unions standing up against her into a “small cabal” seeking revenge for her disciplinary practices.
The attack on deputies continues to this day. Our incumbent thinks that refusing to speak to the press and deferring to her campaign manager, Rich Robinson, excuses the attacks that continue to come from him — like today’s latest where he compares the vote of “No Confidence” to a vote Vladimir Putin could be proud of in a comment to NBC Bay Area News.
Let’s talk about this vote of No Confidence and how it happens. Rich Robinson probably would appreciate the substance behind our position… or maybe not, since his name calling continues to lack any. (Seriously, anyone considering dropping $40K to hire this bag of schoolyard taunts — rethink that plan.)
First off, the vote has to pass through a quorum vote to be allowed to be voted on by the entire DSA body. This happened on May 27th, 2014. Legitimate and fair. If a majority of the quorum did not agree, the vote would not have been held. However this small quorum could not hold the vote itself — it’s not allowed.
Second, the vote was sent, via ElectionBuddy.com, per bylaws on electronic and paper ballot voting, to the entire body of the DSA membership. They were given until 11:59 PM Saturday to submit their electronic votes, or until just before the opening of the meeting set for Sunday to county ballots to turn in a paper ballot.
A special meeting was set for Sunday, the soonest available date per bylaws on special elections. A quorum was required to conduct a count; the DSA managed to easily gather more than a quorum on this Sunday afternoon before the election to count this No Confidence vote.
Below is the screen seen by voters, and the options that were given them to vote:
This was a fair and democratic vote. A vote that was held in accordance with bylaws. A vote that was fair to all involved. Rich Robinson calls himself a campaign manager and a lawyer, yet his only argument for his “popular” candidate against a fair vote of No Confidence is to again to launch baseless attacks. No proof, no evidence, nothing but his tired opinion — we get it Rich, you support labor, just not these labor groups; you support democracy and voting; just not for deputies and jail guards. You are willing to push aside all your values about fair employment, worker safety, labor having a voice for Laurie Smith — or more importantly, to win at any price, no matter the damage that your candidate has done and has promised to do if she wins yet another term.
Their next argument will be that this was a “small cabal” that voted and controlled the vote. From my understanding:
- The person the Sheriff is exhibiting a severe paranoia over, one she has repeatedly accuse of manipulating information and people, did not take an active role in making this vote happen.
- Approx. 72% of the eligible DSA body submitted their vote — another great turnout for the DSA, a statistically significant number.
- 89% of the vote was “I do not have confidence in Laurie Smith to lead the Sheriff’s Office.”
- 5% of the voters abstained
- Only 6% of the voters stated “I do have confidence in Laurie Smith to lead the Sheriff’s Office.
The reality is, last July, 90% of the DSA voted to support Kevin Jensen. A statistically equal number has stated unequivocally this past week that they have NO CONFIDENCE in the incumbent, Laurie Smith. If you have 90% of an office saying, publicly and repeatedly, they want… NEED a new boss to be affective, and the voting public choses not to hear, what exactly are you voting for?
Can the county afford an exodus of deputies like SJPD has seen with their officers? It was a different issue, but the same end result — the voting public took an issue into their hands and chose to ignore the voices of the many people who could, and later did, vote with their feet.
If you were forced into the position of asking the public for a new boss, and the public, despite overwhelming evidence ignored you — ask yourself, what would you do on June 4th? Resign yourself to 4 years of trying to work with an ineffective, vengeful administration who continually allows critical, complex investigations to be put at risk? Or go find a new employer where you could thrive in your chosen career with at least a modicum of mutual respect with voters who at least gave the appearance of caring about what happens in their public safety services and what their elected officials are doing?
vote Kevin Jensen tomorrow