As I’ve said for many months now, there are no more important election contests on June 5 than the various County of San Diego positions. The news over the past couple of days, starting with the Board of Supervisors’ pandering to nativists, to scandal after scandal with the Sheriff’s office and bs going on all the way down to the Assessor’s office proves my point.
The County Board of Supervisors met in closed session yesterday and voted 3-1 (Cox voted against, Roberts was absent) to submit an amicus brief in support of the Trump administration’s lawsuit challenging California’s legislation on deportations.
Considering that the deadline for submitting such a brief passed on April 6, you could easily say this was just some posturing. Someday–if the lawsuit gets appealed–the document might be useful, except that courts generally ignore these filings.
Dozens of activists rallied outside the County Administration building on Tuesday and submitted comments in open session expressing their opposition to this motion.
They, too, were posturing; taking a stand against an administration who fundamental values are warped by fear of the “other.” The activists were standing on the right side of history.
The decline of the State GOP in the post-Prop 187 era of history offers a preview of what to expect in the future coming out of this political skirmish. The majority of Supervisors chose to stand with bigots who cloak their hatred in the rhetoric of law and order.
From the Union-Tribune coverage:
Many accused [Supervisor Kristin] Gaspar of bringing the issue to a board vote to gain media attention for her campaign in the 49th Congressional District, a seat being vacated by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista. Gaspar represents supervisorial district 3, which stretches from Miramar to Encinitas and Escondido…
…Some criticized support for the Trump administration’s lawsuit as “racist,” while others pointed out that despite San Diego’s diverse population, none of the supervisors are people of color.
Still others told the supervisors that a “yes” vote would be on the wrong side of history and asked them what legacy they wanted to leave behind.
County Supervisors Ron Roberts, who represents the district covering most of metropolitan San Diego, and Bill Horn, whose district covers much of the North County, are termed out. Two more of their compatriots are termed out in 2020.
All that needs to happen to change the political makeup of the board is for Democrats to show up and vote for their party’s candidate in the next two elections. Republicans know this, and that’s why ex-District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a political shape-shifter, is their candidate in District 4 on June 5.
Columnist Michael Smolens cataloged incumbent County Sheriff Bill Gore’s many woes in today’s paper.
Gore would be politically dead in the water in many jurisdictions were it not for the massive efforts of his cronies to save his job.
A recent story detailed how women prisoners at the county jail are shackled while giving birth. A jury in a civil case rebuked his department’s suicide ruling in the death of Rebecca Zahau, making the point that it’s kind of hard to hang oneself with hands tied behind the back. And Gore flip-flopped on where or not Trump’s immigration lawsuit has anything to do with public safety.
The news isn’t getting any better for Sheriff Bill Gore as the June election approaches. This latest string of trouble came in less than a week’s time earlier this month.
That follows another rough stretch for Gore several weeks ago: A deputy was charged with 14 counts related to sexual misconduct accusations by numerous women, a lawsuit accusing a now-retired assistant sheriff of sexual harassment, renewed attention to deaths in the county jail, a claim by a commander that he was demoted because he’s running against Gore.
The sheriff himself poured gasoline on that last fire recently by freely admitting he considered firing Cmdr. Dave Myers after he announced his candidacy.
Elsewhere in today’s Union-Tribune, the death of a yet another mentally ill prisoner is chronicled. The family of Paul Silva, 39, who died on March 28 at UCSD Medical Center, is filing suit saying he died as a result of injuries he received while in the county jail.
The claim says that Silva didn’t get mental health treatment while in custody. Instead he was assaulted by deputies, Tasered and hit by less-than-lethal water balls. At one point he was wrestled to the ground with such force that his lung collapsed, he suffered a heart attack and eventual brain damage, the claim says….
…The Medical Examiner’s office said Tuesday that Silva’s cause of death is still pending. The Sheriff’s Department in a statement said that the death is under investigation.
In an interview, [Attorney Eugene] Iredale said the case highlights how the jail mistreats the mentally ill and deputies use excessive force. He faulted the department for not revealing more about the circumstances surrounding the death. While the case is under investigation, he said, no one has contacted Silva’s parents or family members.
County Sheriff Bill Gore is in charge of local jails. He used an interview in the UT on Sunday to whine about award-winning reporting by Dave Maass and Kelly Davis about jail deaths.
Maass was having none of it.
Gore’s people smeared us five years ago. Now they’ve bullied Kelly with a subpoena, and Gore continues to bullshit.
At the end if the day, he’s the one with the dead bodies. He’s the one costing taxpayers millions in settlements. We’re just reporters.
— Dave Maass 🔦 (@maassive) April 17, 2018
Sheriff Gore is being opposed by Dave Myers in the June 5 election. All you have to do to stop this nonsense is to show up and vote.
Finally, a little nugget about goings on in the incumbent County Assessor Ernest Dronenberg’s office.
Tyler Fowler, an African-American appraiser for the County Assessor’s Office is suing the County for racial discrimination. She says her supervisor, Mark Sitzer made racially disparaging remarks on numerous occasions and county administrators failed to address it.
From the San Diego Reader:
Less than three weeks later, Sitzer again approached Fowler and patted her on the head. Referring to another employee’s looks, also an African-American female, Sitzer then told Fowler that he was a “nigger lover.”
Disturbed and upset, Fowler left the office. She went home and typed up a letter to an employee from the human resources department, detailing the interaction.
‘”…The situation being what it is, [Sitzer’s] actions of late and now, his words seem to be escalating so that I don’t feel comfortable coming to work and being allowed to do my job without having to consider what I will have to endure or put up with from him next,” Fowler wrote. “I’m concerned about what other liberties he might feel it’s ok to take with me. I never thought things would’ve gone this far. It’s at the point where I can no longer excuse his behavior as harmless and ignorant, especially when he calls me a nigger to my face.”
Although was suspended pending an investigation, Sitzer was re-instated. He was transferred to another office location but was not reprimanded, suspended, or otherwise penalized in any meaningful way.
In January, Sitzer came to the office where Tyler works. She was deeply upset by his presence and notified human resources that she would be leaving for the remainder of the day.
Since Tyler hadn’t put in for leave, county human resources determined she would be docked a sick day.
Attorney Dan Gilleon, who represents Tyler in her lawsuit against the county, has filed a second claim against Sitzer by another African-American employee.
Incumbent Ernest Dronenberg, Jr., who also been in the news about some of his investments posing a conflict of interest, is being opposed by Matt Strabone. All you have to do to fix this is vote.
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