Timm Herdt and David Maron from the League of Women Voters

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This is a segment from CAPPS TV that Timm taped recently about the June ballot initiatives. This is broken in to the three parts:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Leage of Women Voters events

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Despite some empty seats at a forum this week, it looks like commitments are solid for the May 7 and May 13 events.
From LWV-VC  

Friday, May 7. Ventura County Candidates Forum sponsored by California Lutheran University, et al.
California Lutheran University Oxnard Campus, 2201 Outlet Center Drive, Suite 600, Oxnard.

5:30 p.m. - 6:40 p.m. Candidates for Treasurer / Tax Collector
6:45 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Candidates for County Clerk / Recorder
7:20 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. Candidates for Sheriff
Moderated by David Maron, member, League of Women Voters and Dr. Herb Gooch, 
Masters in Public Policy and Administration Program, at California Lutheran University.

Thursday, May 13. Ventura County Candidates Forum co-sponsored by California Lutheran University,
Ventura County Civic Alliance, Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law, and American Association of University Women, Thousand Oaks Unit.

7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Candidates for Sheriff
7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Candidates for Supervisor, 2nd District

24th Congressional District Democratic debate Thursday

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The Democratic Club of Ventura will host a debate on Thursday featuring the two of the three candidates seeking the party's nomination in the county's 24th Congressional District, Tim Allison and Marie Panec.

The club's meeting will begin at 6:30, and the 75-minute debate will start shortly after what is desribed as a "small amount of club business" is dispensed with. The event will take place in the Topping Room at Ventura's Foster Library, 651 W. Main Street. It is free to the public and snacks will be served.

The debate will be moderated by David Maron, a member of the League of Women Voters and a frequent moderator of political forums and debates in the county.


Audra Strickland to meet with voters Friday

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Assemblywoman Audra Strickland will be in Newbury Park Friday morning to meet with constituents. The coffee is a get-together with voters she represents in the state Assembly, but she may also be answering questions on her race against Linda Parks for the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. Parks is seeking her third term in the June 8 election. The coffee is scheduled from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Pickles Deli & Restaurant, 1940 Newbury Road, Suite 100. 

A programming note

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Today is my last day at The Star -- I'll be leaving for another job in journalism -- so this is the last post I'll be writing for this blog. As both of the blog's loyal readers know, I've been writing most of the posts here at Vote. Starting very soon, you'll be reading more from Scott Hadly, Kathleen Wilson and the rest of our news team.

I'd like to thank everyone who's been reading so far for their patience while we work out the glitches. This blog is going to become much more active as the June and November elections approach, so keep it in your bookmarks.

And don't forget the commenting rules, spelled out in our very first post. They pretty much boil down to Bill and Ted's first commandment: "Be excellent to each other."

Yet another debate

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Geoff Dean and Dennis Carpenter seem a lot more interested in debating each other than some of this season's other candidates. Last night they faced off for the 5th time already, and there are three more debates scheduled that will be open to the general public (plus a few more for smaller groups that might not be open to everyone).

Our coverage is here. As you can see, there weren't a lot of fireworks. Dean and Carpenter don't seem to disagree on their basic approaches to police work. There was one awkward moment for Carpenter: one of the panelists asked the candidates which new programs or community policing initiatives they would put into place as sheriff, and Carpenter drew a blank. He paused for a moment and then passed on the question. Dean seized the opportunity to talk about how he thinks the department needs a greater emphasis on community policing, better use of crime stats, and better use of technology in general.

We've had some requests to broadcast one of these debates live on our website, and we do plan to do that. That does take some resources on our part, so we can really only do it once for this race. We've decided to webcast one of the League of Women Voters debates next month. Keep your eyes on the paper and this blog for more information.

The Star is often asked to participate in those debates, by supplying some of the questions. What do you think we should ask the candidates for sheriff? Comment away and we'll pass your suggestions along to whoever ends up moderating.

For you Ojai political junkies

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Leonard Klaif and Paul Blatz are the running for the open seat on the Ojai City Council, and they faced off in a debate on March 22, hosted by the Ojai Valley Democratic Club. The club was thoughtful enough to tape the whole thing and post it to YouTube, and they've sent us a link to the videos. It's chopped up into 14 different clips, available here. Enjoy.

Back online

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The executive management of the Vote blog has been on vacation for the past five days. Now that we're back, we'll be getting you some of the latest, freshest, steaming-hot election news we can find. Look for the debut of our "truth meter" very soon, in which we evaluate the factual claims made in a political mailer. We'll also be bringing you the latest on efforts to get Linda Parks and Audra Strickland together for a debate.

Bennett endorses Dean

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Geoff Dean's campaign announced today that Supervisor Steve Bennett has endorsed Dean's candidacy for Sheriff. That means a majority of the Board of Supervisors -- Bennett, Kathy Long and John Zaragoza -- are all in the Dean camp. Interestingly enough, those are the three supervisors who represent West County districts. The two East County supes -- Peter Foy and Linda Parks -- haven't made endorsements in the sheriff's race. Maybe that's because they're both busy running their own re-election campaigns.

Dean's opponent, Dennis Carpenter, doesn't have as many endorsements from local elected officials. But he has one that might be the biggest of all: current Sheriff Bob Brooks.

For a full list of Dean's endorsements, click here. Carpenter's endorsement page is here.

As the election gets closer, we'll be compiling our own list of each candidate's top supporters. In the meantime, tell us what you think -- do endorsements matter? Does it matter that the current sheriff wants Carpenter in the job, or that the sheriff before him endorsed Dean?

Just how confidential was the sheriff's database?

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There's one big question about the whole brouhaha over Sheriff Bob Brooks' contacts database, the one that he fired Geoff Dean for asking about (or trying to steal, depending on whom you believe): Just what's in that database?

We don't want to leave any questions unanswered, so we've posted the entire database online. Just go to this article and click on the link under "documents," on the upper left-hand side of the page.

The file is pretty much just what Brooks says it is: an electronic Rolodex, a long list (331 pages) of everybody who's passed the sheriff a business card during his career. There are a lot of blanks, because the sheriff's office redacted some of the contact information and a few of the names, for purposes of security and confidentiality (for example, some of the sheriff's contacts might be people who do undercover police work).

The database would certainly be useful to someone who wanted to run for sheriff -- otherwise, Dean wouldn't have been interested in it. But it doesn't appear to be a fundraising database. There's nothing in it that notes anyone's political leanings or campaign donations.

I asked the sheriff's office for the database last year, after I read the Civil Service Commission report on Dean's alleged attempts to access it. I cited the California Public Records Act, which guarantees public access to government records unless they fall into a few well-defined exemptions. By complying with my request, the sheriff seemed to admit that the database was indeed a public record.

So, if it was public, why was Geoff Dean disciplined for asking about it? Couldn't he have just filed his own public records request?

I'm not entirely certain, but there are a few possible answers. First, if Dean had gotten the version of the database that the sheriff gave us, it would have been missing a lot of valuable information (the names and phone numbers that were redacted).

Second, perhaps Brooks would have had to comply with a public records request and given Dean the database, but the sheriff still could have disciplined Dean for asking. Dean was a chief deputy at the time, which means he was essentially a political appointee, serving at the pleasure of the sheriff. Civil service rules don't protect his right to be a chief deputy -- which is why the Civil Service Commission couldn't order Brooks to bring Dean back at that rank. Instead, he was rehired as a commander, which is a civil service-protected position.
All the coverage you can handle of the 2010 elections. You can get the rumors and advertisements anywhere -- this is where to turn for the truth about all the local, state and federal races going on here in Ventura County.

If you’ve got a tip or a campaign announcement, e-mail us at gmacchiarella@vcstar.com. And look for our tweets at www.twitter.com/vcspolitics.
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