Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Dudley Has the Sound, Lynn Has The $80,000 Man

Yesterday the Daily Sound endorsed Joyce Dudley over Josh Lynn for Santa Barbara County District Attorney, becoming, as far as I can determine, the first print outlet in the county to recommend a candidate in this feverishly contested race.

Describing both candidates as "impressive" and "well-qualified," the Daily Sound editorial cited Dudley's "energy and experience" as the reason it was endorsing her.

The editorial went on to observe that one of the criticisms of Dudley, that she was willing to oppose the incumbent, an ill Christie Stanley, for the job, was one of the things they liked about her. Or as they put it, "Dudley's decision to challenge the very powers that she believed were doing wrong by the people of Santa Barbara County should be celebrated. And it's this quality that the next district attorney should possess."

I give the Daily Sound credit for not trying to mute the voices of Lynn supporters. On that same page where the editorial endorsing Dudley appeared they published a letter to the editor from Lynn supporter Dan Raimer, that bashed Dudley.

While the Daily Sound viewed Dudley's decision to run as admirable, Raimer, a retired DA investigator, had a different take on it. "Sadly, Mrs. Dudley viewed District Attorney Christie Stanley's battle with cancer as an opportunity to further her own unending ambition rather than public safety."

I guess that proves that two people witnessing the same event can often see it differently. In other words, it's all in the eye of the beholder.

Earlier in his letter Raimer wrote, "I am supporting Mr. Lynn for District Attorney because he is a prosecutor uniquely dedicated to public safety and possesses a moral compass fixed on justice and truth."

Raimer can't be accused of not putting his money where his mouth is. He recently loaned Lynn's campaign $80,000. When I asked Raimer if he expected the loan to eventually be paid back, his answer was, "absolutely."

That infusion of money undoubtedly has been a big help to Lynn's campaign. I've heard that Lynn has been able to lock up all of the significant slate mailers that will be going out before the election, even the so-called "Democratic" party mailers, despite the fact that Lynn is a Republican. My own personal experience with slate mailers is that they can be a rather shady business, but that's a different story for another day.

In the meantime, Raimer hasn't been content to simply write a check and leave the day-to-day grunt work of a campaign to others. He told me he has been spending as much as 12 hours a day working on behalf of Lynn.

That includes driving a pick-up truck around town with a "Lynn for DA" billboard mounted on the back, out of which he distributes yard signs, campaign literature and "Lynn for DA" T-shirts. By the way, the truck actually belongs to Lynn but evidently he's too shy to drive it. So Raimer and Lynn have swapped vehicles with Lynn driving Raimer's car.

Both Dudley and Lynn have their share of impressive endorsements and hard working supporters. But at the moment, none seem to loom larger than the Daily Sound for Dudley and Dan Raimer for Lynn.

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