Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Sure Thing and A Surprise

First, the sure thing.

You could see this one coming from a mile away.

Today the News-Press announces that they are endorsing Dale Francisco for mayor.

In backing Francisco, the News-Press assures us, "he won't be bought. Mr. Francisco has vowed not to take campaign donations from public employee unions or local high-density developers."

The emphasis on local is mine. While he may not be accepting any donations from developers with zip codes in the 93100's, Francisco, along with Frank Hotchkiss, Michael Self and Cathie McCammon are the main individual beneficiaries of money spent by Texas gazillionaire developer Randall Van Wolfswinkel. Over a quarter of a million dollars and counting in fact.

Not only is Van Wolfswinkel's Preserve Our Santa Barbara PAC saturating the airwaves and stuffing our mailboxes with commercials and literature promoting this cantankerous quartet, they are now running TV ads that say "Vote No on Schneider, Cushman and House."

Wednesday's News-Press editorial endorsing Hotchkiss, made reference to, "A well-funded partisan machine (that) has had a virtual stranglehold on our city government."

Van Wolfswinkel has created a better-funded machine that threatens to steamroll anything and everything that gets in its way.

How ubiquitous has Van Wolfswinkel's "organization" gotten? Try this experiment, suggested by blog reader Kathleen Scott. Google "Santa Barbara elections" and see what appears at the top of the page as a sponsored link.

* * *

And now, onto the surprise.

KEYT reported on Wednesday that Santa Barbara District Attorney Christie Stanley, who for most of her term has been battling illness, has put Chief Trial Deputy, and candidate for DA in the June election, Josh Lynn, in charge of the office.

That raises a couple of questions: Lynn is only third in the chain of command in the DA's office. Why didn't Stanley put Assistant District Attorney Eric Hanson in charge?

The state's Government Code gives the County Board of Supervisors the authority to fill vacancies that occur in elective county offices. With Supervisors Salud Carbajal and Doreen Farr already on record as endorsing Lynn's opponent, Senior Deputy DA Joyce Dudley, will either of them question this move as one that circumvents the Board's appointment authority?

My guess: You haven't heard the last of this.
© 2009 by Craig Smith and