Local Political Dustup: Anna Taylor takes on Wendy Roberts vs. Janie Sheppard (Updated)


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Janie Sheppard writes a Ukiah Blog post: Wendy Roberts — The Company She Keeps accusing Roberts of illegally leaving her campaign signs up after the election on a supporter’s property in the Russian River Estates, stuffing mail boxes with her propaganda, also illegal, and accepting money and support from the conservative ruling class while pretending she is a liberal. Anna Taylor posts it on the local listservs.

Roberts, writing defensively without naming the very credible Janie Sheppard, responds:

This post from Anna Taylor, Dan Hamburg’s spokeswoman, requires a response. It originally came from one of his supporters in Russian River Estates:

1. I have supporters in Russian River Estates as a result both of personal friendships and campaign outreach.
2. The owner of the property at the entrance to RRE kindly offered to let me post a sign on his property. We were late in removing the small sign placed there during the primary, but did so a few weeks ago. I replaced it when the 90-day window for signs arrived and have now placed a larger sign there.
3. I do not apologize, for one moment, either for my personal voting decisions or for having a broad base of support in my campaign for this non-partisan position. We have a desperate need for supervisors who will set extremist ideologies aside and do the people’s work in a fair and rational manner. The fact that I am prepared to do so is a significant strength and difference between the two candidates.
4. I have never and would never put anything but stamped mail in a post box. I have put flyers in newspaper boxes, as is legally permissible. The individual who has accused me of this Federal offense is simply not telling the truth, as is the case with a great many of the statements made about me on my opponent’s behalf.
5. The number one comment I heard while canvassing in this neighborhood was heartfelt objections to the several backyard marijuana farms in the neighborhood. The specific objections were not to the plant, but to the resulting traffic, odor and fears about home invasion robberies.

A Roberts supporter, Barbara Rice, immediately jumps in with questionable advice:

WENDY! You SHOULD NOT reply to anything Anna Taylor says EVER. We heard from numerous people that they simply delete her email. If you reward her by responding she knows she has been read by somebody and has gotten to you. Weren’t you ever teased as a kid and your mom said ignore them. If you have to say something SAY IT. DON’T reply to her. DAMN, DAMN, DAMN.

Mitch Clogg offers solid support of Taylor:

Anna Taylor is one of the more formidable minds, skillful writers, and retentive historians in Mendocino County. She also has one of the sharpest tongues, which she uses to deadly effect. I have never known her to lie. We disagree often enough, and I have not been spared her lash, but she’s a Democrat’s Democrat, and anybody who is too chicken to face Anna is too chicken for the the melee that is called “politics” or “public affairs” hereabouts.

And finally, Taylor has the last devastating words:

“The individual who has accused me of this Federal offense is simply not telling the truth … “

Sticking campaign material into mailboxes at Russian River Estates isn’t really MUCH of a “Federal offense”, and it’s probably obvious to most voters that Roberts’ failure to cleave to the state’s Fair Political Practices Code dictum on campaign signs — that they be placed “not sooner than 90 days prior to the scheduled election and [are] removed within 10 days after that election” — falls short of a major felony.

But sheesh! Wendy Roberts … protests too much: in the American folk expression of this Shakesperean sentiment, “A hit dog always hollers.”

A suggestion for propaganda sleuths: scroll down for Janie Sheppard’s “The Company She Keeps” (from UkiahBlog):

Sheppard writes: “While in the neighborhood [Roberts] replaced a smaller sign left from the June primary election (having never removed it, in violation of election law) … “,

… then note Roberts’ extended reply… especially her claim of the supposed temporary (if “late” :^) removal of her Ukiah-area campaign signs, and the charge that Sheppard is lying about Roberts campaign material in Sheppard’s mailbox:

“The individual who has accused me of this Federal offense is simply not telling the truth,” Roberts writes, then takes a BIGGER bite: “as is the case with a great many of the statements made about me on my opponent’s behalf.”

Presumably Roberts is just er clowning around, about the signs: certainly anybody who drives through Anderson Valley — far from Russian River Estates — knows that the few Roberts signs in the area NEVER came down since the primary … unless the campaign ordered them taken down yesterday :^|. Two of Roberts’ perma-signs — at the Barbara Rice-Grant Miller Caspar abode — have even blighted the FOURTH District …

Voters may want to peruse the Fair Political Practices Code, some of which appears in the “CANDIDATE INFORMATION PACKET” — page 7 is particularly interesting — posted on the Mendocino County website here.

Note that while the Roberts campaign fudges on and/or flouts this and that detail of campaigning — those with something to report can do it here: “FPPC Complaint Process” here*– sticklers FOR detail are pressing the Hamburg campaign on non-listing of “non-monetary donations or expenditures” with respect to some primary campaign fund-raising events, and blablabla. (Roberts had NO fundraisers. Are these people Just Jealous? :^)
—–
* From the FPPC website: “do not hesitate to call and speak with a Political Reform Consultant in the Commission’s Enforcement Division 916-322-5660 or toll free at 866-ASK-FPPC. Often, discussing your complaint with a consultant will expedite its processing and resolution.”
~

Sheppard finishes with…

If Wendy Roberts is implying that I do only what Dan Hamburg directs me to do, she is just wrong.  As most people know, who have read what I have written over the years, I write only about what concerns me.  Election law is one of those concerns:  I have worked at the polls in every election but one since moving to Mendocino County in 1998, and I have written extensively on election issues, as a search of the archives of the Ukiah Daily Journal will attest.  No, Roberts, my concern with election law is longstanding and not connected to this or that campaign.

~

[UPDATE] Jim Mastin delivers the final fatal blow to Wendy Roberts’ credibility…

I’ve stayed out of the fray on the listservs so you and Dan can duke it out without me adding to the chaos, but this one I can’t let slide. There were two signs on the property in question, one higher up the hill from the other. They were not removed after the primary. The lower one was merely replaced by a slightly larger one a few days ago which apparently coincided with the removal of the upper sign. I know this because I drive by the location every day.
~

With Roberts’ most rabid political attack dog, Grant Miller, constantly whining about “character issues,” one wonders, on a scale of 1 – 10, where he would rank “honesty”…
~~

5 Comments

Jonathan Middlebrook September 2, 2010 at 9:57 am

While I’m interested in garbage, public and private,I’m not much interested in the Federal Offense of putting campaign flyers in mailboxes.

What are the candidates’ opinions of, say, the waste management contracts and the possibility of a local, New Zealand style slaughterhouse? How and why will they work to further, or block, those projects?

This excellent blog does not need character gutshots. Please, Dan and Wendy, give us your thoughts on matters which actually matter in Mendocino County.

–Jonathan M.

I agree with Jonathan. Garbage is garbage on both sides. My recommendation for the blog is to choose a list of key issues and ask each candidate to respond, with it understood up front that putting down their opponent won’t be accepted. I ask that they tell us not only where the stand, but what personal background supports their stance. Enough of the shit!

If Wendy Roberts is implying that I do only what Dan Hamburg directs me to do, she is just wrong. As most people know, who have read what I have written over the years, I write only about what concerns me. Election law is one of those concerns: I have worked at the polls in every election but one since moving to Mendocino County in 1998, and I have written extensively
on election issues, as a search of the archives of the Ukiah Daily Journal will attest. No, Roberts, my concern with election law is longstanding and not connected to this or that campaign.

Hurray! Seems that there are no problems in Mendocino County other than campaign signs and mailers! Break out the champagne!

All this small stuff aside, the only large issue at stake is that Wendy is supported by those people, blue dog Democrats and Republicans whose support of issues in the past has brought us the loss of an ongoing timber business and the loss of a fishing business in this county. At that time, they claimed that allowing environmental damage was necessary for, you guessed it—JOBS!

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