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Off the Record (May 28, 2014)

MENDOCINO COUNTY is less broke than it has been, CEO Carmel Angelo told her captive board of supervisors last week. Supervisor John McCowen didn't leap to his feet to shout hossanahs, but he did express a muted form of optimism. “With a $131 million unfunded liability in the pension fund, it’s not really possible to say … we’ve come through all this; we’re in the clear now; we don’t have to worry,” McCowen said. “But I do think we need to start taking a balanced approach to how we apply those future revenues. It’s time to start talking about the light at the end of the tunnel, I think.”

THE COUNTY'S CREDIT RATING has been restored by the same national credit rating businesses that said High Finance was A-1, and then 2008 occurred, at least partly because Fitch, Standard&Poor etc. was telling the world that a lot of swindles were not only viable but good investments. Mendocino County has a paper balance of about $10 mil, with looming capital improvements estimated at $16 mil and a new roof for the twenty year old admin center estimated at $3.2 mil. Unfunded liabilities such as the County's pension fund? As McCowen said, it's $131 million (which may actually be closer to $250 mil depending on who's cooking the books.) And growing. That light McCowen sees in the tunnel is an oncoming train that just keeps on coming. Mendocino County is broke, and will never be unbroke.

THE KZYX LISTSERVE is buzzing with a discussion about tightening up the station's Programmer Handbook as to how a certain programmer who just might be John Sakowicz could lose his airtime for his off-air assessments of station management. Off-air? Off-air. Dissent at “Free Speech Radio, Philo” has always meant free speech is fine so long as it's confined to big controversies over the hills and far away, and Sako, all by himself, seems to have thrown the whole KZYX apparatus into a major tiz. Which, of course, the apparatus exacerbates by fighting the canny Sako instead of at least attempting to cool him out.

Wallace Clark
Wallace Clark

WALLACE ‘WALLY’ CLARK has been appointed Interim County Library boss. Clark has been the head librarian at Fort Bragg for some time. Odd thing about the appointment was Supervisor John Pinches' announcement, and it's only odd to those of us who track liberal rhetoric. “On behalf of the Board, I know we are all very excited to see Mr. Clark in his new role, understanding that he brings with him both experience and passion for the work he does.”

EXCITED? Pinches, alone in official Mendo, is a vivid talker and writer. Someone wrote this and tacked his name on it. Pinches wouldn't say he's excited unless he was excited. The libs, however, given their public statements, exist in a perpetual tingle. Wally's definitely got the bona fides, and probably even enjoys his work. Passion is probably lib overkill.

Sanders
Sanders

THERE'S IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE and then there's Trevor Sanders of Point Arena, a Social Science teacher at Point Arena High School, member of the Point Arena City Council, baseball coach of Point Arena's freshly crowned small school champions. It's that championship that got Sanders celebrating Saturday night. And celebrating. And celebrating some more. Despite the determined efforts of the fogbelt drinking establishment and patrons where Sanders was belting them down, he managed to get his car keys, and this is where the non-celebratory events began. Although he lives only a block away from the bar, Sanders decided to drive home. Spotting a recent PA grad he apparently dislikes, Sanders flipped the kid off and playfully swerved his vehicle at the boy and, according to witnesses, struck him with the vehicle without seriously hurting the lad. The kid, unamused at his former teacher's hijinks, immediately began pummeling and pulling on the booze-befuddled Sanders, who was still seated in his vehicle. Very soon, a small army of cops were on-scene and Sanders was hauled over two sets of Coast Range hills to the County Jail in Ukiah. When the poor guy sobered up Sunday it was to the prospect of unemployment, and perhaps even removal from that august deliberative body, the PA City Council.

Rodriguez
Rodriguez

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT detectives are investigating the weekend slaying of a 21-year-old Covelo woman. The body of Rosalena Bell Rodriguez was found Sunday morning lying on the pavement in the 78000 block of Hopper Lane, Covelo. The motorist who found her contacted the Sheriff's Office about 7:15 a.m. to report the body, adding that it appeared Rodriguez had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Rodriguez had indeed suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Detectives began an investigation Sunday and resumed their work Monday, said Sheriff's Captain Greg Van Patten. Rodriguez has family in Covelo and apparently was a lifelong resident, he said. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

A FORT BRAGG MAN, 49, but still not identified by name, was killed Sunday afternoon about 1:30 in a head-on collision near Cleone. The Fort Bragg man, northbound in a 2001 Volvo, had drifted into the oncoming lane where he collided with a southbound 2000 Ford driven by Michael A. Jensen of Chehalis, Washington. The Fort Bragg man was declared dead at the scene of the accident. Jensen, 68, was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial with serious injuries.

DOPE PRICES, an on-line comment: “Outdoor pounds still going for $1300, in late May! Expect some $900 pounds this coming winter as desperation kicks in. The big crash is coming soon. This is only the lead-in to what will surely be…less than pretty.”

Lamken
Lamken

SIGN THIEF REVEALED! Rich Lamken, MCOE Director of Human Resources, was caught last week in a MCOE neighbor’s yard at Talmage trying to take down one of Warren Galletti’s campaign signs. Consistent with the history of an agency long synonymous with incompetence, Lamken was unable to remove the sign and was spotted in the act of doing it.

BLOOD FROM A TURNIP mostly by Tiffany Revelle, courtesy of the Ukiah Daily Journal. A restitution hearing was delayed in Mendocino County Superior Court Wednesday for Willits bypass protester and AVA writer Will Parrish in the trespassing case against him stemming from his 11-day occupation of a Caltrans wick drain crane last summer to delay construction. Caltrans originally asked for $500,000 in restitution costs for the delay, but has lowered the request to $150,000, according to prosecutor Paul Sequeira of the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office... Which Big Orange is just as unlikely to get from him because Parrish is an old fashioned pauper, meaning a pauper not coveting worldly goods and comforts.

PARRISH STRAPPED HIMSELF to a Caltrans wick drain crane from June 20th and July 1st that was set to “turn the wetland into a desert,” according to his San Francisco attorney, Omar Figueroa.

THE DA's Office initially charged Parrish with three infractions in the case, but changed the charges to 16 misdemeanors when Parrish demanded his right to a jury trial.

Parrish took a plea deal in January, entering a “West” no-contest plea to two misdemeanor trespassing charges with the understanding that sentencing is delayed for two years if he serves 100 hours of community service, stays away from the bypass project except where the public is allowed and doesn't interfere with equipment, among other terms. If he meets the terms for the two-year time period, the misdemeanors will be reduced to infractions.

HERE'S HOW DOUGLAS BERMAN, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and now law professor at Ohio State University, reacted in his blog to the Los Angeles Times piece on Mendocino County Dave Eyster's marijuana restitution program:

“The Los Angeles Times has this fascinating new article on a fascinating drug war innovation being utilized by a local district attorney in California. The article is headlined “Mendocino County D.A. takes a new approach to marijuana cases."

Regular readers should not be at all surprised that I am inclined to praise Mendocino County DA for engineering a seemingly more efficient and perhaps more effective way to wage the modern drug war. Indeed, given the muddled mess that is both California's medical marijuana laws and the opaque federal enforcement of prohibition in that state, this “Mendocino model” for modern marijuana enforcement for lower-level marijuana cases strikes me as a very wise way to use prosecutorial discretion and triage prosecutorial resources.

I would like to believe that the federal grand jury investigating the “Mendocino model” is focused on seeing if a local success story can be turned into a national program. But I fear that the feds are looking into what DA Eyster is doing because they fear even the prospect of somebody inventing any better drug war mousetraps.

Finally, though I suppose I should be concerned about the potential for prosecutors extorting criminal defendants in this setting, this form of extortion troubles me much less than when prosecutors demand that defendants give up various rights to avoid a crazy-long mandatory prison sentences in traditional plea bargaining. When DA Eyster seeks money from marijuana defendants as part of the plea process, it seems he is only seeking to have them relinquish what were likely ill-gotten gains (much of which might end up going to defense attorneys' pockets without such a deal available); when other prosecutors seek pleas and cooperation from other defendants facing extreme prison terms, these prosecutors are demanding that defendants relinquish constitutional and statutory rights created specifically to limit and check the power of government officials.”

ACCORDING TO A RECENT article by Susan Gardner in the Redwood Times out of Garberville, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman told the Garberville Rotary Club that he is “looking into a crisis program that is currently being used in Sonoma County.” Instead of sending deputies to respond to non-violent calls, SoCo sends specially trained members of a crisis team to cool out domestic battles, teen flipouts, street nuts, and miscellaneous 5150s. Allman, as shoals of mentally unstable persons walked Garberville's streets outside, told the Emerald Triangle Rotarians that having a deputy arrive in a patrol car can aggravate tension where a social worker or trained crisis intervention person can often restore serenity to troubled venues. The sheriff did clarify that if there was any indication of violence his deputies would be right there to intervene and no one would ever be sent into an unstable or dangerous situation. The program in Sonoma seems to be working well, Allman said.

SHERIFF ALLMAN said much the same thing in Boonville last year while on tour with Steve Sparks as they flogged the book they'd co-authored about the Aaron Bassler manhunt. One assumes a Crisis Van will soon appear in Mendocino County.

WE’VE PROPOSED something like this for years going all the way back to the first year after Proposition 63 passed which was supposed to fund new and different kinds of mental health services using a 1% tax on California’s highest incomes. The idea arose in early Mental Health Board and staff discussions and went all the way to a really REALLY dumb idea of being put out to bid. Obviously, nobody bid on it. And good — because we don’t want this kind of service to go to a low bidder, which might mean two thugs and a 2000 Chevy van, although for some “clients” that would do just fine. Allman could probably start a pilot program out of his own staff (with help from what’s left of the County's Mental Health department). Once it’s underway as a pilot program, simply announce it a success and put one van in Fort Bragg and one in Ukiah/Willits. It would save taxpayers money in that mental health pros tend to know the 5150s and how to calm them without locking them down in the County Jail.

IS SOMEBODY MONKEYING AROUND with the Sheriff’s booking photos? Most of the time when you use the sheriff’s booking lookup webpage you get a mugshot (or two if there are previous bookings) and some info about the arrest. However, on May 21 the ordinary booking page for a Mr. Gibran Sloane of Leggett includes what looks like a facebook picture of Mr. Sloane. And as of today May 22 it was still there.

GibranSloane

DEPUTY CRAIG WALKER appeared before the Board of Supervisors last Tuesday morning to make the following remarks during public expression:

Walker
Walker

“Good morning. Craig Walker appearing strictly in my capacity as President of the Deputy Sheriff's Association. You might be surprised that I'm here this morning not to talk about negotiations or money. Rather, we’d like to talk about an issue that we would like to take a stand on and we would welcome your participation as well. That would be the prospective new courthouse. I think everyone in the room is familiar with some of the well-known issues involved there and the impact it would have on the downtown should the courthouse be relocated. Although we share those sentiments, our organization is concerned about the county's potential exposure to costs that will be in our opinion forced upon us by the relocation. We are referring specifically to the idea that the proposed new courthouse would house strictly court employees and that the county employees who currently are housed within the existing court facility and nearby would have to travel that extra distance. We don't think that's a feasible alternative for the medium or long term. What we envision is the county being forced at some point to construct another building down by the new courthouse or lease space at substantial cost and that we would then be on the hook for maintenance of the old and abandoned facility and all of these things could easily run into the millions of dollars in cost for the county that the state, as far as we can tell, is not factoring into their planning. So for those reasons our organization is adamantly opposed to relocating the courthouse. We feel that some reasonable renovations to the existing structure could be made at a fraction of the cost. We realize that this project is being driven by the State Office of the Courts and not by the county and not by some other local agency. Nevertheless, we think that because of that ancillary exposure to the County and to the county employees that we really need to work together and oppose this project and we will be contacting the Governor’s office and the Administrative Office of the Court to express our displeasure and we would like to think that you would join us in that regard. Thank you.”

The Board did not inquire or comment on Deputy Walker’s remarks.

WHY NO RESPONSE? Because, and we're about 99% certain about this, County CEO Angelo, and the five supervisors Angelo leads like Snow White leads her dwarves, are quietly planning to invest limited County money in land adjacent to the proposed Courthouse site on East Perkins in anticipation of the new structure's ancillary services.

WHY THE SUPERVISORS would even consider such an investment given their perennially precarious fiscal situation may stem from the Supe's (and judges) associations with the jive Democrats of the Northcoast who also control some of the old railway property in the area of the proposed Courthouse.

NO ONE, HOWEVER, except for our nine (9, count 'em) judges wants a new Courthouse because there's nothing wrong with the present Courthouse that couldn't be remedied by a modest remodel for far less money than a new Courthouse, which will serve only the judges, will cost.

MOVING THE COUNTY COURTHOUSE to a major new eyesore of a structure (see the now abandoned Willits courthouse) nearly a half mile south of Ukiah's battered downtown, will also destroy a large number of small businesses presently thriving in the neighborhood of the present Courthouse.

BUT THIS SWINDLE moves quietly ahead, and seems to be a done deal. But good for Walker and his fellow cops for objecting to it.

AN MTA BUS RIDER WONDERS: “It always strikes me as a curious coincidence how MTA schedules its public policy meetings at hours when the people who actually ride the bus are indisposed — at work or scrambling around to get their weekly shopping done in town; it's pretty much a rule of thumb that if you don't come early, you'll be left, except on days you do come early, the bus will invariably run late. In the morning, the timing is crucial, because you've just finished a pot of coffee and know that by the time you get to Ukiah your bladder will be howling bloody murder; if you're running late… sorry to hear about your bad luck. Betimes I've had to get off at a turnout and walk or hitch the last five or ten miles.”

THREE STATISTICIANS go out duck hunting one early morning. After a flurry of noise, a duck flies up out of the mist and the first hunter fires a shot. But it sails a foot over the duck. The second man fires a shot that goes a foot under it. “Woo-hoo!” exults the third, “We got it!”

Flubacher
Flubacher

FLUBACHER’S INDICATIVE RECORDATIONS. On May 16th at about noon Ukiah Police responded to WalMart, at 1155 Airport Park Boulevard, for a shoplifter. Officers learned 26 year old William Howard Flubacher of Little River was seen buying a cellular telephone, then exiting the store without paying for a shirt he was wearing or an electronic device he had in his cart. Flubacher was detained by store employees, and taken into custody by Ukiah Police for shoplifting. Flubacher was found to possess $1000 cash in his wallet, and a vial with heroin. Flubacher had additional heroin hidden in the additional cash he had secreted inside his hat. Flubacher also had less than a gram of methamphetamine on his person, and cash hidden in each shoe. Additionally, the Little River rambler had items commonly used to smoke heroin, and recordations [a new word freshly minted by the Ukiah Police Department] indicative of drug sales. Over $6000 in total cash was removed from Flubacher’s body and subsequently seized pursuant to state asset seizure laws. Flubacher was charged with shoplifting and possessing heroin for sale. (A slightly amended Ukiah PD Press Release)

A YOUNG, RICH KID goes berserk in Isla Vista and guns down random other young people from his BMW because he's unlucky in love, at least that's the implication of what he suggests in his pre-rampage video. I'd suppose the root cause is the boy's sense of entitlement in the larger secure upper middleclass parental context of Everyone Gets Straight A's and Everyone Gets a Trophy and Everyone Gets Whatever He or She Wants Right Now! Which is much more prevalent among the comfortable classes than it is in, say, Boonville or Ukiah where there aren't very many rich kids, although there are lots of people who've ridden The Big Comfort Wave and raise their kids in the same kind of psycho-social ambiance as Little Lord Gun 'Em Down.

THE GHOST FOREST and the corporeal Greg King, Gualala Arts Center, Thursday, June 12, 2014, 7:00 p.m. $5 Admission

Sponsored by the Friends of the Gualala River In this June 12 presentation, “The Ghost Forest,” at 7:00 p.m. in the Coleman Auditorium at Gualala Arts Center, “King examines this intense era of ancient redwood liquidation by Maxxam Corp., the equally fervent efforts to save the last of this unparalleled ecosystem, and the current state of the forest. King played a critical role in protecting Headwaters Forest. His talk explores the natural history of the redwood ecosystem, illustrated by his own beautiful and widely-published photos. His presentation also chronicles the redwood’s wider collision with Western humanity and discusses key elements of state, federal and corporate timber policy.”

RE THE WILLITS BYPASS, a reader writes: “The truth is (as far as I can see) the latest last-gasp attempt to “downsize” the northern interchange has more potential of bearing positive results than any other efforts since the bypass was funded in 2012. The proposal actually is to eliminate altogether the huge northern interchange that’s being built to accommodate the 4-lane bypass Caltrans says it will come back and build later, and to get travelers on and off the 2-lane bypass that is actually being built via the roundabout on Highway 101 that Caltrans already plans to build. No, the tree-sitters didn’t succeed in stopping the bypass, not with Jerry Brown in office (Gov. Brown apparently personally dedicated to proving his “Moonbeam” days are over) and with the majority of City of Willits and Mendocino County politicians firmly in favor over the years, and with so many local residents in favor, too (when the California Transportation Commission declined to fund the 4-lane bypass in 2007, they got 500 letters – not emails, not petition signatures, but letters – asking CTC to change their minds). Yes, many of such pro-bypass letter writers didn’t know there wouldn’t be any exits inside the city for locals to use, and they didn’t understand that the purpose of the Willits bypass was not to solve traffic congestion inside Willits. They will likely be sorely disappointed. Anyway, this “downsizing” effort won’t stop the bypass either, of course, and as City Councilwoman Madge Strong says, at this point stopping the bypass – leaving it partially built out there as Mark Scaramella has envisioned – would be the worst outcome. But if Caltrans would agree to abandon this interchange needed only for a future 4-lane freeway that none of us are likely to see, it will save money, lessen impacts, save time on the already-behind construction schedule (started late, not just due to protests), help make it possible for mitigation that CT has promised but does not now have sufficient funds to pay for to actually happen, and help solve the impasse we are at right now between the water board and Caltrans, without the water board totally abandoning its oversight responsibilities. Holly is publicly behind these efforts; the other three candidates are not. Holly has a long history and record of working and voting against Caltrans’ vision of a bypass – see her efforts at Willits City Council and Mendocino Council of Governments to release local matching funds put away for the bypass to use for local traffic projects, and her trip to Sacramento in spring 2010 where she stood up in a room full of bypass supporters and asked the California Transportation Commission not to fund the Willits bypass. Holly also has a history of promoting a reasonable common-sense alternative for traffic relief in Willits: the Baechtel Road Railroad Avenue corridor. At the recent forum, Hal and Tom both suggested that supporting such a corridor was stupid: “no money” “got to focus on priorities.” But this corridor is a priority for Willits: last year, the Baechtel Road Railroad Avenue corridor was identified as the top planning goal for the City of Willits, with all five councilmembers agreeing that the corridor was a top or near-top priority. To repeat: the councilmembers know, even if some of their constituents don’t, that the Willits bypass will not solve traffic congestion problems in Willits.

MICHAEL MOORE WRITES: “To those who are asking me to comment on last night's tragic mass shooting at UCSB in Isla Vista, CA — I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life. Everything I have to say about this, I said it 12 years ago: We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps. We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) “interests.” The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol. While other countries have more violent pasts (Germany, Japan), more guns per capita in their homes (Canada [mostly hunting guns]), and the kids in most other countries watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that our kids play, no one even comes close to killing as many of its own citizens on a daily basis as we do — and yet we don't seem to want to ask ourselves this simple question: “Why us? What is it about US?” Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males. None of them are committed by the majority gender, women. Hmmm, why is that? Even when 90% of the American public calls for stronger gun laws, Congress refuses — and then we the people refuse to remove them from office. So the onus is on us, all of us. We won't pass the necessary laws, but more importantly we won't consider why this happens here all the time. When the NRA says, “Guns don't kill people — people kill people,” they've got it half-right. Except I would amend it to this: ‘Guns don't kill people — Americans kill people.’ Enjoy the rest of your day, and rest assured this will all happen again very soon.”

FINAL PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN STATEMENTS for the June 3 primary election were due May 22 and those received by the deadline have been posted on the county website. Statements can either be hand delivered, submitted on-line or sent by overnight delivery, so it may be possible that some of the missing statements were sent overnight delivery but received too late for posting on the county's website. The statements are intended to tell the public where the candidates are getting their money and where they are spending it. The statements can also be revealing regarding the candidates attitudes about support for local business and living within one's means.

CHALLENGER ROBIN SUNBEAM and incumbent Susan Ranochak both filed statements for County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder. Ranochak reported a total of $10,648, including an $8,000 loan from herself and $2,000 in contributions from her mother, which means she isn't exactly the people's choice in terms of where her money comes from. Sunbeam reported a total of $7,616, including a $1,479 loan from herself, and the rest in individual contributions. Sunbeam is running on a platform of investigating fraudulent foreclosures and restoring neighborhood polling places.

SUNBEAM DESERVES A VOTE just for her willingness to challenge a status quo that allows important county offices to be handed down from one well-paid bureaucrat to another without serious challenge. Ranochak was handed the job when her predecessor, Marsha Wharf, retired mid-term. Auditor/Controller Meredith Ford, who was handed her job from her predecessor, Dennis Huey, has now passed the lucrative sinecure-baton to her assistant, Lloyd Weer, who will appear on the ballot unopposed. And Treasurer/Tax Collector Shari Schapmire, who was handed her job from Tim Knudsen, also appears on the ballot unopposed. Theoretically, the voters are able to hold the occupants of these important positions accountable at the ballot box. But there is no accountability with hand picked successors running unopposed, which has been the Mendoland practice for decades.

TOM WOODHOUSE was the only candidate to submit a money statement in the race for Third District Supervisor. Woodhouse, a local realtor, has raised a total of $16,226, mostly from real estate and business interests. A newcomer to electoral politics, Woodhouse has been a long- time volunteer with local schools and also is known and admired for organizing community cleanups and graffiti removal. Woodhouse will probably be in a November run-off with Holly Madrigal, a ten-year veteran on the Willits City Council and Hal Wagenet, a former supervisor whose record in office ranges from opaque to non-existent. Clay Romero rounds out the field, but probably doesn't stand a chance, given his penchant for saying what he thinks.

HOLLY MADRIGAL raised $8,000 through March 24, the previous filing deadline, including almost $5,000 from various relatives. She also picked up $150 from former Ukiah Mayor Jim Mastin, a signal that the conservative liberals who comprise the oppressively non-progressive Democratic Party, is solidly behind Madrigal, a fact that probably won't help much in Laytonville and Covelo, and won't help at all with area lefties who regard Democrats and Republicans as co-evils. Holly's mom topped the list with $2,200 but hubby was close behind with $2,000. And for all those inquisitive people who have wondered what Mr. Madrigal does for a living, he's a "contractor."

CANDIDATE MADRIGAL has been a member of the Willits Economic Localization (WELL) Coordinating Committee since 2007. Not surprisingly, she lists support for local business as one of her top campaign priorities. But how does she spend her money? Her March campaign statement shows that Madrigal spent over $2,400 dollars for campaign signs in Sonoma County. Which means she had to drive right past several local sign shops that could have supplied the same product. Madrigal also paid Estelle Clifton of Redwood Valley $2,000 for "campaign manager services". Madrigal has been elected to the Willits City Council three times, but has to pay someone to tell her how to run a campaign? Apparently so, since Madrigal paid Jennifer Poole a similar amount during Madrigal's previous unsuccessful campaign against John Pinches. Hal Wagenet, as of the previous filing deadline, had raised only $2,000, which is understandable since he waited until March to announce he was running.

PAUL JOENS-POULTON, handpicked by incumbent Paul Tichinin, who has ruled the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) for twenty years, was the only candidate for County Superintendent of Schools to get his campaign statement turned in, but might have been better off if he hadn't. The campaign statement seems to reveal a pattern of hidden transactions and deficit spending. But Tichinin probably views Joens-Poulton (aka "The Hyphenate", or P-J, for short) as the perfect embodiment of the kind of business as usual sleazy mediocrity characteristic of that office all the way back to Lou Delsol.

JOENS-POULTON received a total of $3,484 in contributions, including a $1,000 "loan" from himself. Most of the balance derives from county educrats, a woeful collection of semi-literate hacks and hack-ettes. Natch, MCOE Human Resources Director, Richard Lamken, recently caught in broad daylight attempting to remove a Galletti campaign sign from private property next to MCOE headquarters, kicked in $250 bills for The Hyphenate. Lamken lives in Union City, which makes for the longest commute of any public Mendo employee we know of, and we have to wonder if he commutes in an edu-funded vehicle fueled out of an edu-credit card.

MOST TELLING is that The Hyphenate has spent more than three times more money than he has received, most of it by running up his credit card. At least we hope it was his credit card and not one from MCOE. J-P shows an ending cash balance of minus $2,100 plus an outstanding credit card balance due of almost $3,500 with total charges of more than $4,500 and a payment of $1,000. The prob with the credit card, aside from the deficit spending aspect, is that The Hyphenate has concealed how the money was spent. By law, campaign costs are considered spent when the goods or services are received, not when the bill finally gets paid. Did J-P spend lavishly to buy signs and campaign literature from outtahere or hire an outside consultant? We will never know based on the lack of transparent campaign finance reporting. J-P did report spending $400 for a Montgomery, New York web designer, which is an indication that most of his money probably went to outside contractors.

BY USING A CREDIT CARD and not itemizing the purchases, The Hyphenate has failed to report where he spent much of his campaign cash. He also failed to report where he got the $1,000 to make a payment on his credit card balance. Likewise, he failed to report where he got the money to make payments resulting in a negative cash balance of $2,100. If he paid these amounts out of his own pocket they need to be listed as donations or loans from himself to his campaign. Or did the money come from Paul Tichinin, Richard Lamken or some other overpaid drone at MCOE's Talmage compound? Or did he write bum checks? In short, J-P can't fill out a simple campaign finance statement or keep his own expenditures in line, but this guy wants to run a multi-million dollar operation with a history of financial malfeasance. Warren Galletti and Kathy Wylie are both running hard against J-P and either one, with lots of the usual blah-blah so-called school experience, would be a welcome alternative to a continuation of the Jack Ward, Hal Titen, Paul Tichinin regime.

One Comment

  1. Trelanie Hill May 28, 2014

    Mendicino is broke and will never be unbroke.

    That’s what I’ve been trying to say. But, sadly the sand looks like a better place for the corporeal to place his head, or was that colonel, or major, oh well let him know if he really wants to reduce all those pensions that were promised to County workers that the bankruptcy is still an option. Of course the County probably holds a bunch of Cal-pers bonds in their portfolio, so in a way, they may be defaulting on themselves. But the County can always sell some more pension obligation bonds at 2% to invest in their mythical 8% portfolio and to try and juice the system for 6%. Playing banker and evaluating risk only has them 131 million in the hole so far. But, don’t worry they can always defer mainenance on a few of the buildings and have an extra 3 million or so.
    It worked out so well funding the retIrees health care system, what could go wrong?
    Someday there are going to be a bunch of pi**ed off County retIrees. Sad.

    Just my opinion,
    Jim Hill
    Potter Valley

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