I received, at the same time as a ballot, the “Official San Bernardino County Law Enforcement Recommendations Voter Information Guide” in the mail yesterday.  It is targeted towards voters in the 31st Congressional District, presumably, other mailers went out for different areas.  The mailer was paid for by the San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association Local PAC.  San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association is the recognized bargaining unit for San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriffs, District Attorney Investigators, Welfare Fraud Investigators, Probation Corrections Officers and others.

    The mailer is full color and two sided and folded.  The front has a message from Laren Leichliter, the President of SEBA and sets the tone for the mailer.  It says “SEBA represents over 3,200 law enforcement professionals in San Bernardino County.  We’re your deputy sheriffs, crime scene investigators, and district attorney investigators, and law enforcement personnel. Our mission is to make our neighborhoods, schools and businesses safe.  As a service to the community, we are recommending that you support the individuals and issues in this mailer.  Each of the candidates and issues has been reviewed, analyzed, and approved by SEBA.”

    The inside says “THESE CANDIDATES & ISSUES HELP PUBLIC SAFETY.”

    The inside of the mailer is dominated with a discussion of Measure Q, one of two competing Charter initiatives regarding pay for the Board of Supervisors, and placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors.  A large text/graphic box dominates and says “MEASURE Q – VOTE NO” and “FRAUD ALERT.”  It continues “Measure Q was placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors to protect their $270,000 compensation packaged. It has a sneaky loophole that keeps the Board’s salary in place for their current term in office.  It’s an underhanded attempt to confuse you. Clean up county government. VOTE NO ON Q – IT’S A FRAUD”

    Of local interest to the voters that received the mailer, it endorses Bob Dutton for Congress, Mike Morrell in the 40th Assembly and John Futch for San Bernardino Community College District.  It also recommends a vote no on Proposition 34 (abolishing the death penalty), Yes on Proposition 35 (Human Trafficking), and No on Proposition 36 (weakening three strikes).  A large portion of the bottom of the inside is devoted to No on Proposition 32.

    The entire back of the mailer is devoted to Yes on County Charter Amendment Measure R.  The tag line is “Yes on MEASURE R – IT REFORMS THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.”

    An info box titled “Measure R – In a Nutshell” gives the following argument:

    Reduces Salary & Benefits

    The Board of Supervisors is paid five times more than the average San Bernardino county family earns. Measure R cuts the Board of Supervisors salary and benefits from a an average of $270,000 to $60,000 a year, still more than the average San Bernardino County family salary.

    Cuts Staff Budget

    Taxpayers spend over $6 million per year on the Board and their bloated staff budget. Measure R cuts this budget to $250,000 per Board member.

    Part Time Pay for Part Time Work

    The Board met barely 50% of the time last year. They hired an unelected manager to handle day to day issues so they can play politics. Measure R makes the Board of Supervisors PART-TIME and pays them part-time wages.

    The other side continues “MEASURE R CLEANS UP TH COUNTY GOVERNMENT MESS – ‘R’ IS FOR REFORM” and argues the following:

    In the past three years, three county supervisors and three of their top aides have been charged for numerous crimes, including corruption.  One aide allegedly received a Rolex watch, prostitutes, and a trip on a developers’ private jet to New York City as gifts.  One supervisor pled guilty to campaign money laundering. The Board of Supervisors is out-of-control and must be reformed. Measure R brings the reforms we need.”

    It continues with a break-out box of white text on a blue background: “Vote Yes on Measure R. It’s time to reform the Board of Supervisors and return ‘Citizen Legislators’ to county government.” quoting Burrel Woodring, identified as a past Foreman of the San Bernardino County Grand Jury.

    Underneath is a box with three pictures, with no names under  “INDICTED” in large black letters.  It also includes a picture of a wanted poster of former Supervisor Paul Biane.

    The image appears to have come from an Inland Valley Daily Bulletin online story dated May 10, 2011 by Joe Nelson, Mike Cruz and Will Bingham titled “Four indicted in San Bernardino corruption probe”.  Though the voter guide does not identify them, the story identifies them as Jeffrey Burum, Jim Erwin, Mark Kirk and Paul Biane.

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