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Posted by: thepinetree on 06/02/2014 05:38 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 06/02/2014 05:38 PM
Expires: 01/01/2019 12:00 AM

Beware the Misleading Candidate Slate Mailers ~ By Cory Burnell

Valley Springs, CA...You’ve probably received a number of cards in the mail, if you’re a registered voter, with titles like “Conservative” or “Republican” Voters Guide, and they’ve even had legitimate conservative Republicans on them like Tim Donnelly. BUT they’ve also included liberals and/or Democrats who’ve paid to be on the card. Don’t be duped! Listen, if you were a liberal and/or a Democrat running for office in Calaveras County, which is a 2 to 1 conservative county, you’d be tempted to stoop to low tactics like falsely presenting yourself as conservative or Republican. It’s morally reprehensible and certainly disingenuous. Of course, I’m sure Republicans buy their way onto Democrat-portrayed cards in liberal counties, so I’m not suggesting they occupy higher moral ground on the subject, but we voters need to be aware of this underhanded practice...

In our current local elections, there are only two Republicans running for Judge: Dana Pfeil for Department 1 and Tim Healy for Department 2. Yet, Hugh Swift, a Democrat appointed to the bench by ultra liberal Jerry Brown, is on a slate mailer to Republicans presenting himself as a Republican. I don’t know Judge Swift or his personal character, but such a ploy does not demonstrate the level of integrity we should desire in a judge. I’ll be voting for Tim Healy instead, a man who’s said, “As a prosecutor it’s not my job to win convictions, but rather to seek justice.” Now that’s the type of man we should elect judge.

Commissioner Grant Barrett is also showing up in mailboxes on the same “Republican Voter Guide” slate card despite not being registered a Republican. I have no idea whether he’s a liberal or conservative, but voters should know that his party affiliation is not Republican. Dana Pfeil is the only Republican running for Department 1 Judge and has the endorsement of the Calaveras Republican Party and former state Senator Rico Oller. Note that Tim Healy also has these same endorsements.
I received a call today from a confused voter wondering why he received a “Republican” mailer with supervisor candidate Marty Crane on it. I explained that Ms. Crane paid to be on the mailer and, though a very nice, kind and enjoyable person, she holds political views anathema to Republicans and all small government conservatives. Conservative voters must choose someone other than Ms. Crane if they’d like a Supervisor who reflects their views on the purpose and proper role of government. It was his confusion that led me to write this column condemning these dishonest campaign tactics.

A truly “conservative” slate of candidates for local office could look like this: Tim Healy (Judge), Dana Pfeil (Judge), Gary Kuntz (Sheriff) and Darren Spellman (Supervisor). I leave it to you to do your own homework whether or not these are the right conservatives for you, but they’ll be my selections on Tuesday. In any event, now you know better than to be fooled by phony slate mailers, and hopefully no one using such despicable tactics will hold positions of public authority in our community.

More info about sleazy slate mailers can be found in the following L.A. Times article:

Comments - Make a comment
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No Subject
Posted on: 2014-06-02 18:42:47   By: Anonymous
A superior court judge is entrusted to apply the law fairly and impartially to all who come before him or her. It is not Republican law or Democrat law; it is California law. A superior court judge must be totally non-partisan. It is not in keeping with this basic principle for any political party to endorse or support a judicial candidate.

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2014-06-02 18:52:36   By: Anonymous

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2014-06-02 18:55:45   By: Anonymous
      As a women who went before Barrett, I agree. He clearly is against women


      [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2014-06-03 07:46:16   By: Anonymous

        [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2014-06-02 19:22:23   By: Anonymous
      Thank you for screaming in ALL CAPS. There are upper and lowercase letters for a reason. I thought all Liberals were preconditioned to favor anything woman related

      [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2014-06-02 19:29:35   By: Anonymous
      This comment makes no sense. If brown and Barrett were alike, he would have chosen him. The judicial position should not be affiliated with party.
      Dana should not have accepted those endorsements under any circumstances. Had she known the law as you state. This mistake would not have been made by her.

      [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2014-06-02 19:33:15   By: Anonymous
      Barrett is conservative...way too consrvative for Brown which is why he did not get the appointment. He is an accomplished attorney and has impressive judicial experience. Please get your facts straight.

      [Reply ]

    Posted on: 2014-06-02 21:40:52   By: Anonymous
    If "A superior court judge must be totally non-partisan," then why are Barrett and Swift PAYING to present themselves as Republicans?

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2014-06-02 22:05:45   By: Anonymous
      Don't see it that why! They are not endorsed. It's paid advertising! If the candidate you supported was on it, and was smart to advertise. Would you feel the same way?

      [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2014-06-03 00:08:20   By: Anonymous
        It's false advertising. A paid advertisement that suggests you're a Republican when in fact you're not is still a lie. The fact it's paid for makes it even more morally outrageous because it's purposeful.

        [Reply ]

Posted on: 2014-06-02 23:03:12   By: Anonymous
Burnell was a founding member of the Christian Exodus movement.[8] Founded in November 2003 and officially started in May 2004, this Christian movement seeks to relocate its members to South Carolina with the objective of concentrating enough ideological homogeneity to influence the political process.[12][13] Its ultimate goal was for South Carolina to secede and create a Christian-run sovereign nation.[14] Burnell cites Roy Moore's removal as Chief Justice of Alabama's Supreme Court and the Lawrence v. Texas case as two turning points that drove him to found Christian Exodus.[15]

Burnell's plans to relocate to Anderson, South Carolina in July 2007 were canceled when his new employer disagreed with his political views. In June 2007 Burnell revealed that his plans to relocate himself and his family to South Carolina had been canceled. Writing in an email to supporters Burnell said:

"I sensed from my colleague on the phone that the firm desired to distance itself from me. Indeed they do, and I received a termination letter this morning. As a result, I no longer have an employment “opportunity” in South Carolina, and having a Biblical mandate to provide for my family, I must therefore remain in California with my existing client base until I find another "opportunity" in the Palmetto State."[16]

[Reply ]

    Re: WOW.
    Posted on: 2014-06-03 00:24:18   By: Anonymous
    Haha typical Leftist ploy: deflect. You libs always change the subject and deflect to a different topic when you're beaten, as Burnell clearly whooped you by outting your unethical marketing practices. You're so predictable and such pathetic intellectual midgets.

    [Reply ]

      Re: WOW.
      Posted on: 2014-06-03 08:11:28   By: Anonymous
      Thanks for the heads up.

      Knowing this about Burnell tells us he is a loon and knows a lot about starting a cult and practically nothing about how to run a government or how to pick people to represent us in government.

      [Reply ]

        Re: WOW.
        Posted on: 2014-06-03 09:54:28   By: Anonymous
        Again, no discussion or criticism of the issue Burnell raised, because he's right. So you resort to calling him a "loon". Interesting that you can't even marshal a retort to a "loon" because he's so correct on the topic.

        [Reply ]

Slate Mailers
Posted on: 2014-06-02 23:40:53   By: Anonymous
Slate Mailers are not truly endorsements...they are run by money making advertising firms. When a candidate's campaign manager submits the material, he/she does not know who will be on the slate. The ad firm does the selecting. I have not seen the cards in question. I can understand why a couple of judicial candidates might end up on a Republican or Democratic slate as Judgeships are non-partisan and candidates are not identified by politcial affiliation. In Barrett's case, it is somewhat understandable as he has a conservative, balanced approach to his responsibilities. As a Commissioner he has remained non-partisan.

It is more difficult to understand how the ad firm put a Democratic candidate for Supervisor on the Republican slate, even though this too is a non-partisan office. In the is not the candidate's choice...the card is designed by the ad-firm. This firm is clearly inept. I would imagine very few of the candidates of either ilk will use them again. As the listed Republicans probably don't relish being listed with candidates of a clearly dfferent persuasion. Beyond that the Republican candidates could have the same mistake made for them in the future.

The voters and the candidates are both mis-served if the author is correctly reporting the facts. The only winner here is the Ad firm that pocketed the money after doing such shoddy work. Let's hope they are not used in our area again.

[Reply ]

    Re: Slate Mailers
    Posted on: 2014-06-03 00:19:52   By: Anonymous
    The author didn't claim the slate cards are endorsements. His disgust was precisely because the cards are not endorsements but rather paid advertisements purporting falsehoods. I don't believe the candidates don't know what type of card they'll be on. In fact, I know for certain that these partisan "Voter Guide" cards are targeted to registered voters of their respective parties because I received two different Republican cards and a "Conservative" voter guide card, but not one Democrat card. I'm supposed to believe that Swift didn't know he'd be on two different Republican cards mailed to registered Republicans even though he was paying for the ads? Yeah right! He and Barrett and Marti Crane all knew. No one buys advertising they don't know the specifics about.

    [Reply ]

      Re: Slate Mailers
      Posted on: 2014-06-03 09:21:47   By: Anonymous
      Correct. The author did not claim it. The cards are meant to imply as much. Do you think that Pfeil and Healy chose to be on a slate with their opponents? Think about it! A discerning reader would be suspicious.

      [Reply ]

        Re: Slate Mailers
        Posted on: 2014-06-03 09:58:40   By: Anonymous
        Pfeil chose to be on a "Republican" slate card (I didn't see Healy on one) because she's a Republican. Barrett and Swift chose to be on a "Republican Voter Guide" slate card because Calaveras County is 2 to 1 conservative. Is that too hard for you to understand? They're running for office in a Republican county so they presented themselves as Republicans to registered Republicans. It's not complicated to understand WHY they chose to do so. Doesn't change the fact they were misleading the voters who received those cards.

        [Reply ]

Kearney is just as bad
Posted on: 2014-06-03 10:57:47   By: Anonymous
District 5 voters received a "Democratic Voter" guide that had Steve Kearney on it but he has said he is a Republican. What kind of scams are these candidates trying to pull? Very sleazy.

[Reply ]

    Re: Kearney is just as bad
    Posted on: 2014-06-03 11:59:18   By: Anonymous
    Yeah, that's terrible and underhanded! It shouldn't be done by ANY candidates, Republican or Democrat. They should only put themselves on cards that truly reflect their views and positions.

    [Reply ]

      Re: Kearney is just as bad
      Posted on: 2014-06-03 14:47:01   By: Anonymous
      Agreed. Any candidate Democratic or Republican that represents themselves as something they're not are already showing their hand for what we could expect from them if elected. People tend to focus on what is legal or illegal but there are plenty of things that are not illegal per se but should not be done by someone asking for a position of public trust.

      I also agree with posted comments above about judge candidates taking or advertising receipt of partisan central committee endorsements. Endorsing solely on the basis of party affiliation is just not acceptable in a judge election. I think I remember Buzz Eggleston (retired Calaveras Enterprise Editor) posting a link on line recently to a state election code that actually prohibits partisan endorsement of judge candidates by local partisan central committees. I didn't click the link and read it but if he posted it I'm sure it proved this point or he wouldn't have posted it.

      [Reply ]

        Re: Kearney is just as bad
        Posted on: 2014-06-03 19:08:41   By: Anonymous
        Buzz did post it but go read the whole thing. The law was changed from "endorse" to "nominate". Parties are legally allowed to endorse judges.

        [Reply ]

Beware the misguided voter who erroneously equates integrity with Republic partisanship
Posted on: 2014-06-03 13:57:22   By: Anonymous
I am a conservative Republican. I have worked as a litigation consultant in the field of economics for attorneys who do civil litigation for over 20 years. As such, I use statistics on a daily basis and critique opposing economists' use of statistics. I also understand the importance of a judge's willingness and ability to set aside their political and other biases when deciding on the interpretation and application of the law.

I am voting for Judge Swift because he, too, is committed to following the law with integrity and impartiality. I have know Judge Swift for many, many years and as anyone else who has know him for any amount of time would tell you, he is one of, if not the most genuine, honest, principled, and highly moralistic individuals I have ever known.

Mr. Burnell, you should be very careful when you go about accusing a candidate of attempting to misrepresent themself. I know the election mailer of which you are speaking and they not only allow candidates of all political affiliations to advertise there, but they are also clear that a candidate's appearance in the publication is not to be construed as an endorsement or that they are supported by the publishers. If that conservative mailer only wanted to list conservative, Republican candidates, then that is what they would do.

You also apparently do not know how judges are appointed in California. They are always appointed by the governor, as this is his constitutional right. Thankfully, because some time ago the public decided the governor should not have that much power in appointing judges, the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission was created in order to independently and thoroughly evaluate the qualifications of potential appointees. Judge Swift is the only candidate for Department 2 that applied for appointment and was extensively evaluated in all areas. He did not know the governor, nor was he sought out by the governor. He was examined in areas that the JNE Commission has determined to be important to the judicial office, such as his "industry, judicial temperament, honesty, objectivity, community respect, integrity, health, ability, and legal experience" according to the State Bar of California's website. Evidently, your list of important qualifications would look something like this: Is the applicant Republican?

Finally, if it is the truth we voters are seeking, then the public should understand that the statistic that at least one of the Republican candidates is using as evidence to support his opinion regarding the importance of his experience as a prosecutor. "75% of all cases filed in Calaveras County are criminal" if you include traffic infractions, which account for the majority of that 75%. Traffic infractions are classified as criminal cases by the court simply because they are brought by the government rather than an individual or business. Does this candidate really expect the public to believe that his experience as a prosecutor uniquely qualifies him to make judgements regarding infraction cases? The truth is that the number of misdemeanor and felony cases filed in Calaveras County last year was less than 20%. As an economist I would call that a statistically significant difference.

Each of the candidates may have their experience in one area of law or another, but in our small county with only two judges, they may be required to hear and make rulings in all types of cases including civil law, family law, juvenile delinquency, juvenile dependency, probate, infractions, mental health, misdemeanors, felonies, and even writs of Habeus Corpus. Experience in one area of law or another is not mentioned on any of the lists of the most important qualities of a judge that I could find, or that the JNE Commission sets forth.

Republican partisanship does not equal integrity, Mr. Burnell. And there is no room in the courtroom for either politics or deception.

[Reply ]

    Re: Beware the misguided voter who erroneously equates integrity with Republic partisanship
    Posted on: 2014-06-03 19:36:51   By: coryburnell
    What else do you call it when a Democrat pays to be on a mailer entitled "Republican Voter Guide" that's only mailed to registered Republicans if not misrepresentation? It is CLEARLY intended to deceive the recipient about the candidate's party affiliation. It makes no difference that any candidate can buy his way on. That doesn't absolve Mr. Swift of misrepresenting himself. And no, an asterisk and very small print on the other side of the card does not constitute "clearly" disclosing the paid ad's nature as evidenced by the number of discussions I've had with confused voters about it.

    My column's topic is not, nor does it even imply to be, whether Mr. Swift is qualified to be judge or whether the appointment process is adequate. The column reveals that Democrats, even one appointed by a liberal Democrat governor, are representing themselves to Republicans as Republicans in a disingenuous manner.

    Lastly, I didn't suggest anywhere that party affiliation indicates integrity. On the contrary, I condemned Republicans who employ the same dishonest slate mailer tactics, e.g. Republicans on "Democrat Voter Guide" mailers to Dems. I do stand by my position that such tactics should not be employed by men of integrity.

    [Reply ]

Posted on: 2014-06-04 10:32:35   By: Anonymous
WkQKxX Very informative blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

[Reply ]

Posted on: 2015-06-09 06:38:06   By: Anonymous
fWE3G0 Wow, great blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on...

[Reply ]

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