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June 2010 Archives

Keith Mashburn Declares He Is Running For Simi Valley City Council

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Keith Mashburn came close to running for city council before but this time he told me he is definitely running. Keith was appointed to the planning commission by Mayor Paul Miller and is a retired firefighter. He said I was the first blogger or reporter that he mentioned it to because I treated him fairly last time.

With his experience on the planning commission Kieth Mashburn has the most experience at city hall of the challengers, except if former Assistant City Attorney Mitch Green runs.

Elections serve many purposes including who will hold the office after the votes are counted. Candidates become educators who help explain the position that they are running for to many voters. When offices go unchallenged voters often know less about the importance of the position. Often candidates in a contested election are forced to take policy positions instead of relying on slogans as they campaign for an office.

As an example the Simi Valley Landfill is in the process of expanding their operations. There are arguments to be made about the value of that expansion including added jobs, increased traffic, air pollution, and an added tax base. But without contested elections candidates aren't always forced to have a clear position.


What has been among the toughest decisions since you have been on the planning commission?

Let me know what Thursday night you would like to be interviewed.

Rep. Elton Gallegly Raising Money For Bob Huber

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The election to replace Paul Miller as mayor of Simi Valley is this November. So far the two candidates are Bob Huber and Steve Sojka.

Rep. Elton Gallegly is holding a high priced fundraiser for Bob Huber. Click on continue reading to see the invitation and host committee. Having Rep. Elton Gallegly on his team appears to be a strong addition but after seeing what happened in two other recent races where the only two candidates were running we should question that assumption.

Linda Parks has been a Republican since 1996. She does support some Democratic causes including environmental issues. Democrats do respect her but I didn't expect the massive support for her until Audra Strickland declared and made it into a partisan campaign. Linda Parks became the de facto Democratic candidate .Democrats rallied around Linda Parks so much that it could be said Linda Parks is the best Democrat that progressives have in the Republican Party.

Dennis Carpenter on paper was a strong candidate. He has a career full of honors and achievements that should impress voters. He had the endorsement of the local Republican establishment too. That obviously helped him raise money and earned him votes but at what cost? Rival candidate Republican Geoff Dean became the de facto Democratic candidate. Many activist Democrats supported Geoff Dean because of the visible involvement of local Republican leaders. I even heard that Democratic Congressional nominee Tim Allison had a Geoff Dean bumper sticker on his car!

So, what does this have to do with Steve Sojka and Bob Huber? Both of the candidates are Republicans and will split the support of local Republicans. But which candidate will give Democrats a reason to work against them? Better yet, which candidate will reach out the best to local Democrats?

Sidenote: Rep. Gallegly if you have time to fundraise you should be able to finally fit a townhall into your schedule. Every other local Member of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, seem to be able to fit into scheduled events where local citizens don't have to pay or know someone to be able to ask you questions in public.

Working Blue Democratic Club July 3rd Democratic FUNdraiser

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A friend of this blog, Jason Hodge, along with the Working Blue Democratic Club are putting together a large fundraiser to finance offices in East Ventura County for the 2010 General Election. Democrats running for local office in East County should attend and show support for a united GOTV effort in East County. That includes city council, park board, school board, and other positions.

Some of the guests include:

Senator Fran Pavley
Assemblymember Pedro Nava
Assemblymember Julia Brownley
Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma
Ventura Mayor Bill Fulton

Click on continue reading for the invitation and details.

The Working Blue Democratic Club has also been traveling to help John Laird in the special election for State Senate. Send me more photos and I will post them.

When googling John Laird I found a link to Ebaum's World, a crude humor website, where "CalChamberjobs" posted a negative video of him. Strange spot to push an attack ad but that's how politics works I guess.


When is the next time you plan to have Ventura County Democrats travel to help John Laird? Have you met John Laird before? What do you think of him?

2010 Primary Edition: Take Down Those Old SIgns

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This blast from the past picture is of Tony Strickland many years ago when he was working on a campaign posing with some of the signs from the opposition. Click here to see what I wrote when I first posted this picture. Short version: I think it was after a campaign, Calitics.com thinks it was during a campaign. Either way, it was a long time ago.

After every election there are a few stray signs standing. Sometimes candidate forgot where they put them and sometimes their supporters that put them up didn't let the campaign know where they placed them. I don't mind seeing signs all over the place during an election season. Part of me sees it as evidence of a vibrant democracy but part of me is frustrated that candidates need to reach out to voters without much substance. That said we all know they are a part of modern democracy.

But now it is time for those signs to be cleaned up. Send me any pictures of stray signs across Ventura County that you see that remain posted. Let me know the location and if you want me to use your name. Send them to briandennert@yahoo.com and let's work together to clean up from the primary.

Simi Valley Candidate For Mayor Steve Sojka Walking Precincts

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(The photos above were taken by Sojka supporters Don Norris and Kevin Underwood. Send in your photos from your events and I will keep posting them.)

Steve Sojka is running for Mayor of Simi Valley against Bob Huber, although with Rep. Elton Gallegly helping Huber out the joke is a council member is running against a Member of Congress. Time will tell if other candidates declare they are running or if local Democratic activists will support either of the candidates.

The election isn't until November but Steve Sojka's campaign has fully started campaigning with fundraisers, precinct walks and more.

I will post pictures from either of the candidates of their precinct walks, phonebanks, or other campaign activities.

It is going to be a long summer for these candidates.

Working Blue Democratic Club Taking Action In State Senate Special Election

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Heather Lacayo, who is being mentioned for a new leadership role on the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee, sent in the following note with the picture above:

Hi Brian,

A group of Ventura County democrats, led by Working Blue Democratic Club President, Jason Hodge, rented a van this morning to drive volunteers to Santa Maria to support the Laird campaign, in SD 15, that will be held on Tuesday, June 22nd. This seat runs 5 counties long and is very important to our goal of a 2/3 majority in the State Senate.

We're on our way now and wanted to send a note to say hello and to get out the word that we're on our way...but we'll be back!

Pictured left to right:

Raul Razo
Heather Lacayo
AC Carbajal
Rick Mora
Monica Mora
Jason Hodge

All the best,


The special election to fill the seat that became vacant when Abel Maldonado was confirmed as Lt. Governor is tomorrow. I am impressed how quickly one election season ends and the next begins. Thanks for the update Heather! Keep sending them in.

Bob Huber's Strange Campaign Tactics

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UPDATE: His campaign manager wrote and told me that he has been sending them to The Star and didn't realize they weren't shared with me that way. I will be posting Bob Huber's events and press releases as he starts to send them in. I will also post their Facebook Fanpage when they send it in.

Bob Huber is running for Mayor of Simi Valley but if you read this blog you won't see much coverage. I post press releases and events from all sorts of candidates, even those I plan on voting against. But Bob Huber's campaign has chosen to not send me press releases because they don't like my coverage of their campaign.

That's strange because I have posted their campaign video, their pictures, and have requested the HTML for the Facebook fanbox.

No hard feelings guys but can I get your press releases or are you planning on running some sort of stealth campaign? Seriously, do you think the papers are going to cover your recent press release discussing how you spoke in front of the Board of Supervisors. I will be really impressed if they do. Was the goal to get coverage only on another blog?

Do you need to see my traffic numbers or is there some policy on who gets your press releases? Do you realize that this blog is the second result on Google when people search for Bob Huber? Your press releases get forwarded to me anyways so why not send them directly to me?

So I didn't like your campaign video. I agree it has high production value but cliches don't do much for me. Here it is again for my readers:

The video hasn't exactly gone viral with 208 views currently. It does have many character testimonials but I don't see it reaching an audience that doesn't personally know the candidates. How many of those views are by your opponent's team?

I get press releases from Tony Strickland. Does your team really think I have been tougher on your campaign then I have on him?

Local Political Looklikes W/ Camarillo City Council Member Mike Morgan

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pimp myspace with Gickr

Camarillo City Council Member Mike Morgan as Ron Burgundy and Nathan Lane.

Thanks to Shirley, Fred, Chris, and Sean for the suggestions.

I took a break from posting lookalikes for local politicos because of the primary season but I am back with more lookalikes. Next up I need suggestions for the candidates running to be mayor of Simi Valley. Who do these two look like?

Bob Huber:


( Next to Bob Huber is Elton Gallegly.)

Steve Sojka:


(Next to Sojka is Paul Miller.)

Click on continue reading for the other lookalikes before you vote for who looks like their celebrity counterpart. You can vote for as many candidates as you want.

Linda Parks Beats Audra Strickland

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Supervisor Linda Parks with two Firefighters that worked on her GOTV operation.

Like many of you I thought the contest between Audra Strickland and Linda Parks would be close. I don't have much to add to what Timm Herdt and Eric Ingemunson have already written. If the race was close then it would be easy to dismiss arguments like the voters have rejected negative campaigning. But with a stunning defeat many factors are likely true.

Mike Osbourn tried to blame the money unions spent on the race but that can't be the prime cause when the VCRCC spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Audra Strickland. They can't blame turnout when Republican turnout was much higher than DTS and Democratic voters. Besides, blaming turnout admits that Audra Strickland didn't have cross party appeal.

Blaming incumbency doesn't work either because both of the candidates currently represent most of the same people. Incumbency is usually very powerful because of name ID and the ability to raise money. Audra Strickland's supporters can't claim those worked against her because she is a well-known elected official and she was very-well funded.

I was amused that Audra Strickland's team played so many games including demanding that a fundrasier of hers or a past candidate against Linda Parks moderate a debate. She might have technically been correct that Linda Parks didn't demand a neutral moderator but did her team really think the news stories on the issue would look good to voters?

I don't know exactly what motivated voters to reject Audra Strickland's arguments or I would put it in a binder and sell it to other politicians. What do you think influenced voters the most?


It is approximately the % by which Linda Parks defeated Audra Strickland and it is also the approximate number of negative mailers Audra Strickland sent out during the campaign.

Over the next few weeks I will review some of the other campaigns. Next up: The Clerk / Recorder race.

State Assembly Candidates Jeff Gorell and Ferial Masry Tie In Kern County W/ ONE Vote Each!

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Fellow Ventura County Star Blogger Eric Eric Ingemunson posted that Jeff Gorell swept Kern County by claiming the only vote in the Republican Primary. That was so funny I went to the elections page and found out that Democrat Ferial Masry also earned the only vote in the Democratic Primary.

Being that these two candidates have tied in Kern County I suggest that Eric and I travel with the candidates to hold a debate for these voters. Sure it wouldn't normally be a wise use of campaign time but I am confident it will attract media attention.

Mike Judge Shooting For A Seat On The Simi Valley City Council

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Candidate for Simi Valley City Council Mike Judge is holding a fundraiser at a shooting range. Here are the details:


The election for the city council is this November. Both incumbents, Michelle Foster and Glen Becerra, are running for re-election.

Mike Judge,

If Waste Management builds a shooting range on their property for police and the public would you support their expansion?

Scrolling Election Results & Election Result Reactions

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This photo was posted on Facebook from inside Geoff Dean's victory party. Thanks to Albert Chen for permission to post it. Here is what Albert Chen wrote about the party:

A great ending to an amazing campaign. Sheriff Elect Geoff Dean celebrated his Ventura County Sheriff's election party in Thousand Oaks, CA with a short speech thanking his family, all of his supporters, volunteers, and campaign manager Nancy Frawley. As testimony to his support base, Dean noted that campaign volunteers walked over 25,000 homes in Ventura County. Keeping to his promise, Dean ran a positive campaign from start to finish. Some notable attendees included Supervisor Kathy Long, Oxnard Police Chief John Cronbach, Tim Allison and many others. KCAL 9 ran television coverage and Scott Hadley reported on behalf of the Ventura County Star.

Here is the link for Ventura County elections:


Here is the link for statewide elections:


I am really enjoying their map function that enables you to see the base of support for candidates. I have been very impressed with the job Debra Bowen has been doing.

This is an open thread.

What's on your mind? What do you think of the way my blog covered the local campaigns? What are some of your initial reactions to the results?

Post the reactions at any election night parties you are at or post the locations for your supporters.

Send me any pictures from the night you want me to post.

Steven Hintz Wins! Readers Select Heather Lacayo!

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I have been running a contest to find the top political animal in Ventura County. I was inspired by Mark Lunn who posted a picture of himself with his pug and a campaign sign on Facebook. To take a break from all of the seriousness and negativity that has recently been dominating politics I made it into a contest.

As I said I was going to do I asked a couple of little children to pick the winner. Here are some of their comments:

That dog is too big.

Look at the orange dog ( the dog on the sign)

That's a wolf!

Neither of the children are in kindergarten yet so I believe their ability to detect a cute dog is very high.

A consensus emerged and Steven Hintz's little white dog was the winner.

I also had a poll for my readers to choose their favorite political animal. A few of the candidates used Facebook and asked their friends to vote for their dog. I can usually tell when one person tries to vote multiple times and I feel confident this poll is as accurate as online polls get.

Heather Lacayo's dog Ty is the choice of my readers.
Ash Givargis and Jim Dantona also had many votes for their dogs.


Here is the final vote tally:


Some candidates entered recently and didn't have time during the last few days of the election season to get their supporters to vote in an online cute dog poll.

I really appreciate candidates sending in photos of their dogs. I think it helps to remind each other that although we are often political opponents what unites us is stronger than what divides us. I am glad I didn't have to judge the contest as I had several pictures I really liked.

Click on continue reading to see all of the dogs.

To The Men And Women In The Arena Plus Elections Predictions

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How do you think the local elections are going to turn out? Post a comment with your predictions. I have as a prize a ticket to see State Senator Tony Strickland's basketball team play for the person that gets the closest in predicting the margin of difference in the campaigns for Sheriff, Clerk Recorder, and Treasurer Tax Collector.

I will not taunt any losing candidate nor will I celebrate too much the victory of any candidate. I remember that the night Barack Obama won he said:

"This victory alone is not the change we seek; it is only the chance for us to make that change."

Many of the candidates running have been slandered, seen friendships torn apart, and have been mocked for the ways they ran their campaigns. These candidates have put their reputation on the line and their name on the ballot to be voted for or against by people they may never meet.

To the hardworking candidates of different backgrounds and ideologies I am posting this Theodore Roosevelt quote for you:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Click here for the full speech.

Thanks for giving Ventura County voters choices in this season and showing us what a robust democracy looks like locally. In many contests I know we have some decent choices. Because of that I don't feel like telling my readers how to vote in each of those contests.

My blog isn't going away just because this season has ended. There are many candidates and issues to cover over the summer as we approach November.

I appreciate my readers and the people that post comments. You don't have to register to post but please keep it classy. Thanks for the massive surge in readership over the last few months.

Tea Party Comes To Simi Valley Republican Women Group

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1Jun10CarlaBonney from SVRWF on Vimeo.

Ventura County Tea Party Leader Carla Bonney recently addressed the Simi Valley Republican Women Federated Group. The group posted the video of their event including the entire speech which I think is a great public service.

She was prominently featured in a Ventura County Star profile that included this exchange:

Still, Bonney wouldn't rule out the idea that Obama isn't a natural-born U.S. citizen. The state of Hawaii has vouched for his birth there, and his campaign released a copy of his birth certificate in 2008. "I have no idea whether or not he's a citizen," Bonney said. She doesn't budge on this. When told that Hawaiian newspapers carried birth announcements for Obama, she counters that Kenyans believe he was born there. "I don't really know," she said. "That's pure speculation, I don't get involved in that."

At the local Tea Party website you can find videos and blog posts supporting the debunked conspiracy that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. There is even a blog post supporting Orly Taitz, a fringe candidate running for California Secretary of State. Taitz has filed numerous junk lawsuits claiming Barack Obama is not eligible to be president and has even been fined for it.

I didn't attend but one of the attendees said that Republican candidates Mike Judge, Lela Henke Dobroth, Steven Hintz, Ryan Wright, Peter Foy, Jeff Gorell, Mark Lunn, and Elton Gallegly came to listen to Carla Bonney speak and to meet with club members.

It is interesting that Mark Lunn attended because he has been trying to distance himself from the Tea Party and has denied even going to their website. I don't see a problem with any candidate going to a variety of websites to learn more about the people they want to represent but his strong denial is strange being that he Rsvped for the event and attended it when the guest speaker was Carla Bonney.

Mark Lunn has denied being a member of the Tea Party ( which is obviously true being that nobody is officially a member of it) even though he has a profile on their local website, the local group supports him, and he attended an event where the main speaker is the leader of the local Tea Party group.

Why not just admit you like their Tea? Other candidates including Steven Hintz is proud to have support from members of this group and post on their website.

I watched the video and here are some short observations:

She called President Barack Obama a dictator multiple times.
I would like someone to ask the candidates that were there, on the record, if they think Barack Obama is a dictator.

She strongly supports Rep. Elton Gallegly.
That isn't a big surprise but reinforces my argument that the local Tea Party group is basically a faction or caucus in The Republican Party. They are the new California Republican Assembly, a group that shares their values.

She has read multiple versions of the Healthcare Insurance Reform Bill.

If she has really read literally thousands of pages of different versions of the Healthcare Insurance Reform Bill I really respect her for that dedication. I doubt members of congress that voted for or against it really read the whole bill.

She strongly suggests Republican activists use Facebook and send friend requests to many people listed on Republican websites.

She didn't mention Farmville but if she could rally support against it we will have more in common. I do agree with her that Facebook is an amazing tool for campaigns.

She had a blast at Rep. Lois Capps' Town Hall Meeting.
She didn't mention that Rep. Gallegly didn't hold any town hall forums on Healthcare Insurance Reform even though all other area Representatives, of both parties did.

She likes Fox News and Glenn Beck.
No surprise there.

Thinks American is moving towards communism.

She said Barack Obama came back from Indonesia with an attitude.
I looked it up and I think young Barack Obama was 11 when he came back from Indonesia. I wonder what 11 year old Barack Obama was thinking about the relationship between capitalism and democracy.

She supports new laws to make voters prove their identity to vote and she mentioned Mark Lunn could be in charge of local elections.
I am curious how much voter fraud ( not voter registration fraud) happens. When candidates for high office have histories of not voting I am not convinced there are conspiracies to commit felonies to alter the outcomes of local elections.

Candidate For The Republican Nomination In CA 23 Dave Stockdale's Contest Entry

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This is the last contest entry in my top political animal contest. The judging is being done by a couple of little kids. The poll below is for fun as we all know that there isn't much that can be done to stop a person from voting over and over.

Dave Stockdale is running for the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Rep. Lois Capps in the district that includes Oxnard and Santa Barbara. Barack Obama won this district by almost a 2 to 1 margin and Rep. Capps isn't on the top target list of any serious nationwide group. Dave offers conservative solutions to the problems he sees including supporting more offshore oil drilling. His website says that he is prolife and against gay marriage. I don't see him having much cross party appeal with his conservative ideology.

That said I appreciate that incumbents don't go unchallenged and he is willing to take his conservative arguments to voters in a liberal district. If Rep. Lois Capps was defeated it would surely be a wave election that changes party control of congress.

Here is his message he sent in with his dog picture:


Here is my entry in your "Top Dogs" contest. Arnold is a Great Dane/Lab mix who adopted us from the Humane Society some years ago. He loves to walk, bark, and play with our 21 pound cat (yes, 21 pounds.) Arnold is truly our gentle giant.


Dave Stockdale

Voter Guides From The Ventura County Democratic Party & Conservative Christian Group

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The Democratic Ventura County Central Committee has sent out their endorsements.

Click on continue reading to see them.

The Conservative Christian group Americans of Faith have also sent out their voter guide, which although it doesn't technically endorse any candidates their ideology is clear by their choice of questions.

Click on continue reading to see standard conservative questions plus some real odd questions they included.

For example:

Mandatory public trail easements across private property.

Sounds like a backer of theirs doesn't want a public trail across their property. Does stopping public trails energize base conservative voters?

Guest Blog Entry: Proud JFK Democrat Audra Strickland

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How many of my readers remember this video clip?

Even though the Ventura County Republican Central Committee is outraged a candidate would obscure their party membership on a mailer their candidate Audra Strickland did just that by paying to be on a slate mailer sent to Democratic households that make it look like she is a Democrat. Meanwhile she is sending to Republican households mailers attacking her opponent for not being Republican enough.

Here is the guest blog entry from Democratic Party Activist KK Holland:

Hi Brian,

I got this REALLY interesting and wacky "pay to play" mailer today, with JFK on the front, and a banner saying "take this Democratic voter guide to the polls!" The four candidates with the biggest pictures were on the inside page, and Audra Strickland was one of them--over a big box reading "Democrats" and encouraging me to "vote DEMOCRATIC on Tuesday, June 8." Her name has an asterisk on the opposing page, which the mailer states means "Appearance is paid for and authorized by each candidate and ballot measure which is designated by an * " .

Like everyone, I've gotten a ton of these, but the Strickland campaign involves a Republican central committee going up against one of their own under the premise that Strickland is the real Republican. Strickland's entire campaign is premised on making the race not about nonpartisan, county-level representation, but identity, values and a fight over the legitimacy of who represents real Republican values here in Ventura County. That makes it super problematic for her to resort to this type of cheap trick. While these types of mailers are generally irrelevant to the process, this mailer seems different because of how deeply contradictory and damaging it is to the entire reason for her campaign. If this campaign isn't a litmus test of values and party identity, then there really isn't any reason for Republicans to support her over Parks--and it seems tough for Strickland to continue to make that case with a straight face given the powerful visual imagery she chooses to associate herself with here. Strickland is already contending with allegations of being a career politician looking for the next pay check, having run for three offices in the last six or so months. This really reinforces the meme of a vanity candidacy.

I've attached three of the four pages. If you want the back piece, let me know and I can get it for you.

KK Holland

Thanks for your post KK. If any of my other readers would like to analyze campaign mailers for a guest blog entry send me an email.

Candidate For The Democratic Nomination For Congress Shawn Stern's Contest Entry

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The contest to see who has the best political animal picture ends tomorrow with the winner getting the top post on my blog on election day. There is a poll below but the final judgment will be made by a couple of little children.

Here is Shawn Stern's email that came with his entry:

Hi Brian,
Here is a photo of my 8 month old 85lbs mastiff/pitbull mix puppy "Plato". I adopted him from just 6 days before the shelter was going to kill him. He is gentle with both my cats and loves everyone. He us a great campaigner too!!!

Knowing Shawn I am not surprised he named his dog Plato.

Before you vote click on continue reading to see all of the dogs.

Jim Dantona Firefighter Mailer

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I am posting all mailers that my readers send to me. I want to not only share with you political news before the election but also to use my blog as a local archive of mailers. If you send in a mailer tonight I will get it up before Tuesday.

I want to post all of the slates in the next couple of weeks. I won't have time before Tuesday but I have a stack of them here.

Jim Dantona's latest mailer brings attention to the support he has from Ventura County Firefighters. Dantona's campaign understands that they have only a few moments before most people throw away their junk mail on the way from the mailbox to their home. This mailer quickly gets across their message.



Das Williams Photoshop Contest

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Click on continue reading to see the original photo and the photoshopped version.

free graphic for myspace

( I am thinking of titles for this animated .gif I created. How about watch Susan Jordan's make wine appear magic trick? Please suggest others in the comments section. You don't need to register to comment but keep it classy.)

Ventura County Star Reporter Timm Herdt has already covered this story in detail but it is worth mentioning again in case you didn't see it. Susan Jordan went on on overseas trip which her opponent Das Williams is alleging was a junket paid for by tax dollars. Susan Jordan's team is countering she was representing environmental groups and it was a working trip.

To make their case Das Williams' campaign photoshopped a picture from Susan Jordan's website of what they imagined the trip looked like. Instead of showing Susan Jordan working on environmental issues they photoshopped a wine glass in her hand.

His supporters argue that a photoshopped picture is less deceptive than quotes and statements used in mailers out of context to make it appear he is a big fan of off shore oil drilling. Out of context quotes seem to be such an expected part of our politics they don't seem to shock us anymore. But are photoshopped pictures taking it too far?

Instead of getting more involved in that story I am hosting a photoshop contest. No photoshops of serious policy matters will be posted. I am thinking Das Williams hanging out with George W. Bush back in college. You get the idea. Post other ideas in the comments section. Entries will be posted after the election with a political prize valued at $10.

Guess Where In Ventura County

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My sister sent me in this picture of a cluttered street corner that was taken somewhere in Ventura County. Do you know Ventura County well enough to describe the exact location?

Send me any interesting pictures of political signs you see. After the election is over send I post photos of old signs that haven't been removed. Check out the archives for examples. Start sending me photos of signs that need to be removed in a week or so.

I want to thank my readers for the highest traffic my blog has ever seen. This primary was bigger than the 2008 Presidential election because I focus mainly on local politics.

I also want to thanks Audra Strickland and Jim Dantona. I call them my personal blog traffic stimulus plan.

Ventura County Treasurer / Tax Collector candidate Jeff Walker won by posting the correct answer in the comments section.

Candidate for Sheriff Dennis Carpenter's Contest Entry

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I am running a best political animal contest. Candidates are sending in pictures of their pet with a sign. All of the pictures will be posted and the winning candidate will be at the top of my blog the day of the June Primary election.

This dog picture was taken from a rally where his campaign said over 300 people attended.

Dennis Carpenter
might not have as many endorsements from police chiefs or as much money but his campaign has plenty of energy. I saw them last week at the corner off the Erringer exit on the 118. I didn't have my camera with me but I asked them to send in some photos and they did. These pictures are from some of their Burma Shaving events across Ventura County.

berma shaving 2.jpg

berma shaving 3(2).jpg

berma shaving(2).jpg

Santa Barbara Democratic Central Committee Candidate David Pritchett's Contest Entry

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Pritchett dog Dennert.jpg

With just a few days to go before the election David Pritchett is taking me up on my offer to submit a picture of a pet with a sign as a part of my best political animals contest. The winner gets the top blog post on the day of the election, but every contestant gets their picture posted. My editors noticed the great reception from the community to this contest and put a link to it on the front page of The Star's website:


Here is what David sent in:

David Pritchett for Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee

My campaign website via SmartVoter:

Notice the conspicuous cross-selling with Vote NO on Carpinteria Measure J.
No PhotoShop image manipulation here.

And do not underestimate the Dennert Blog readers here in Santa Barbara County!

Roxie, a blue-dog Dem lab mix, was adopted in 2004 from K-9 PALS, a non-profit dog welfare group operating at the SB County animal shelter.

6 candidates, all incumbents, are competing for 5 seats in this election for the Democratic Party Committee representatives for the First Supervisorial District of Santa Barbara County, the District closest to Ventura County.

Click on continue reading to see the other animals before voting in the poll. You can vote for as many animals as you want.

Steven Hintz Gets Facebook Bombed By That Guy

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Steven Hintz has a great sense of humor. If that was the prime requisite for Ventura County Tax Collector / Treasurer I would endorse him. He often sends me lines so funny it would be great to share them. Recently, I clicked on a link to his page and noticed one of his many opponents , Keith McLaughlin, had his ad show up on Hintz's page. I know Facebook ads are placed by keywords but that's funny.

Steven, thanks for giving me permission to post a screenshot of your page.

Ventura County Democratic Central Committe Candidate Heather Lacayo

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I am running the cutest political animal contest with the top prize being a blog post at the top of my page next Tuesday for the primary election. All candidates will have their dog picture posted. I was inspired after seeing a picture of Mark Lunn that he posted on his Facebook page. While the issues we face are serious we should take opportunities to have hearts like children.

Also, I like animals.

Heather Lacayo clearly understands the concept in the picture above.

In addition to working on Lela Henke-Dobroth's campaign for Judge, Heather Lacayo is running for a position on the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee. Central Committees can be debating societies or powerful players in local elections. But to get elected to a position that many voters don't even know exists requires candidates to find ways to get their message out. That's where social networking and blogs come in. Here is an e-mail from Heather about her contest entry.

Hi Brian,

My dog Ty is camera shy but I got him into a pic at the beach with me. :-) My mom rescued him and I got him the first chance I had with a decent yard. He's 11 and has been with me for the past 6 years. I've been told he's a mix of shepherd, chow, boxer and?? He's super mellow, well behaved, and really gets along well with others. Occasionally he'll chase a ball, but only if HE feels like it. :-)

Thought I'd have a little fun with the pic since I don't have any signs so I photo-chalked the wall behind me. :-)

Thanks for asking for the pic! Hope it gets in.

All the best,


Click on continue reading to see the other animals before voting in the poll. You can vote for as many animals as you want.

Ventura County Democratic Central Committee Goes After Foy And Lunn

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The Ventura County Democratic Central Committee is becoming more involved in local elections, copying something Ventura County Republicans have been doing for years. Their latest mailer ties Peter Foy and Mark Lunn together, something voters paying attention to the proximity and pattern of the many Foy / Lunn signs will have noticed.

The VCDCC is currently the most effective I ever remember it. What do you think of their mailers?

Send me any mailers you want me to post. If you don't see a mailer it is safe to assume a campaign didn't send it to me.

UPDATE: Here is another blog post on the same subject.



For a long time Democrats have complained that Republicans were getting involved in local nonpartisan races but Democrats didn't have a plan to respond. This election cycle is different.

In the last few days they sent a mailer to Democrats in East County attacking Peter Foy and supporting their candidates Bruce Thomas for Supervisor and Jim Dantona for Clerk / Recorder. Earlier today I received a robocall from Brian Leshon acting as Ventura County Democratic Central Committee Chair in support of Ed Summers.

There are spending restrictions in many of these races but these mailers find loopholes including arguing they are only sending them to party members.

I know the Ventura County Republican Party has been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Democrat Audra Strickland in her campaign against Republican Linda Parks but are they sending mailers in support of Mark Lunn? Send them to me and I will post them too.

This latest mailer hits an easy target when they go after Waste Managements plan to expand the Simi Valley Landfill. I have mixed feelings on the expansion and I could be persuaded to support it if will be in the best interest of Simi Valley. I am interested in hiw many more jobs it will bring to the area and the environmental impact. That said expanding the dump has a very low support in polls and I doubt any politician will make a clear statement of support anytime soon.

In addition to this member communications I saw this ad for Jim Dantona on Facebook. Send me any screenshots of ads for local candidates you want me to post.


Jim Dantona's other recent mailer mixes his vision for the office with an another attack on Lunn's massive pension.



I like his ideas for the office but his attack on Lunn's pension doesn't move me. But Lunn's quote that he isn't a politician is hilarious. Mark Lunn is a Chief of Staff to a politician, he sits on a planning commission, and he was on the Ventura County Republican Central Committee. Add to that he is running in an election and Mark Lunn is literally a politician.

When he denies that he is a politician he insinuates that elected office public service is something unseemly that shouldn't be admired. If he has a problem with the ways politicians act he should set a better example instead of denying the obvious.

Massive Mistakes In Mailers

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This political season has had its share of lies, distortions, and out of context statements being used against candidates. But these two mailers have mistakes that aren't debatable.

Audra Strickland's campaign sent out a mailer with the wild claim that President Bill Clinton was impeached before he ran for re-election. If it was just a date that was wrong it wouldn't be a big deal but claiming he won re-election after he was impeached makes President Bill Clinton into an even more effective politician. Did someone putting together this mailer feel so confident in their memory they didn't even bother to google it?

Go to Linda Parks' website to see the many other mailers Audra Strickland has been sending out. In future elections I would like to see every mailer posted.

Strickland_impeachment .png

The next mailer comes from Bruce Thomas' campaign. Bruce is running a low budget challenge to incumbent Supervisor Peter Foy. I haven't seen much activity from his campaign but I am glad when incumbent politicians have challengers. His mailer doesn't have a mistake that most people would catch. The mailer has a quote that appeared in The Acorn:


The only problem is that if you read the article the full quote in context is from Peter Foy praising himself.

Here is the context of the quote:

Foy said he welcomes the competition in his race.

"My ideas and track record prove I can create and manage a fiscally strong county," he said. "Those are the policies the public wants to see as we continue to face deficits. In a troubled economy, people are looking for a candidate who can ensure that their taxpayer dollars are protected."

Foy said he's been working hard to ensure that residents in both cities and unincorporated areas have access to their supervisor and county services.

Keep sending in mailers and I will keep posting them.

Candidate For Judge Lela Henke-Dobroth's Contest Entry

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Lela Henke-Dobroth is running for Judge in Ventura County. Many voters know very little about the candidates beyond ballot titles and the statements in the sample ballot. To help out voters I interviewed both Lela-Henke Dobroth and her opponent Ryan Wright.

Click here for my past interview with Lela Henke-Dobroth.

Here is Lela's recent mailer that her campaign sent in:



I like her mailer because unlike so many candidates running for different positions instead of only cliches we get to see headlines from trials she has been involved with that I remember.

Click on continue reading to see the other animals before voting in the poll. You can vote for as many animals as you want.

Supervisor Linda Parks' Contest Entry

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I am running a contest to win the top spot on my blog next Tuesday. In an era with so many negative and desperate attacks I think it is refreshing to remind each other that although we have political differences our opponents are not the monsters that they are made out to be.

Linda Parks has posted the negative mailers her opponent Audra Strickland has been bombarding voters with over and over again. I especially like the mailer that says Bill Clinton was impeached in 1996 before he ran for reelection. If they missed a simple historical fact imagine how wrong some of their interpretations of county government actions on their mailers must be.

I have found many faults with Audra Strickland's political tactics. The latest comedy involves her paying to be on a Democratic slate mailer as a protector of open space as she attacks her opponent ferociously for working too often with Democrats and supporting open space. But politics aside she is a nice person that comes from a caring family. I don't like her politics but she isn't maliciously trying to destroy the state.

Let's temper our words and remember that what we have in common is greater than our differences. That said let's get back to our top political animal contest.

Linda Parks' Field Coordinator sent me the following message:

Please find attached a picture of Supervisor Linda Parks with her dog, Travis. Travis the yellow lab is in dog heaven, but if he were here with, this is what he'd look like with her political sign.



Linda Parks on Facebook

Click on continue reading to see the other dogs before you vote. You can vote for as many dogs as you want.

Candidate For Ventura County Central Commitee Ash Givargis's Contest Entry

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Ash Givargis has entered my contest to get the top of my blog on the day of the primary election by sending in a picture of a pet with his campaign sign. Ash is running for a position on the Ventura County Republican Central Committee. Getting attention for a campaign to be a central committee is difficult and a candidate can use all of the earned publicity they can get.

Click here for my past interview with Ash. Here is just one quote that shows why I think he deserves to be on the committee:

If anyone thinks Barack Obama is NOT an American citizen they're just morons. I say, get a life!!! They're just mean spirited people who should re-direct their bad research skills to finding Atlantis, or mermaids, or my damn keys. Where did I put those?

Click on continue reading to see the other animals before voting in the poll. You can vote for as many animals as you want.

Brian Dennert here

This blog is dedicated to Ventura County politics. Send in ideas for posts to briandennert@gmail.com
Follow me on Twitter Twitter.com/dennert The Facebook page for this blog is facebook.com/briandennerthere You do not need to register to comment but keep it classy. Report abusive language to me at my email address.

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