Elections 2011


    Today, November 8, 2011, voters will be going to the polls or turning in (hopefully not mailing) their vote-by-mail ballots.  And today, we will start to see the shape of City of San Bernardino politics for the next two years until the next Mayoral/Council election in 2013.  Additionally, a majority of the San Bernardino City Unified School District will be elected today.



    First, a disclaimer:  this site is neutral as explained in the post “Why We Try To Keep Partisan Politics Out of These Postings”  These postings are provided as a community service, and not to push a particular candidate, or slate of candidates.

    This is a slate mailer, which comes from a company that campaigns can pay to include their candidates.  I have not seen any studies on these, but I would guess that they are most effective when you have a national race, and you also have a local election, and you can send it to people registered in a party, or decline-t0-state, and include your measure or candidate to ride the coattails of a nationwide or statewide candidate.  They often include paid and non-paid “endorsements.”  This mailer only includes paid endorsements, as shown by an asterisk.

    The back of this slate mailer has photographs of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.  It includes a quote, from no one in particular,

    “Voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden was just the beginning of the change our country needs.  To move forward we also have to vote  for good local elected officials who will work with the people to make our communities a better place to live.  On November 8th, you will have a chance to move our country forward by voting for our communities Democratic Team.  Please take this card to the polls and consider our recommendations.  Thank you!”

    The back also has a little graphic that says “Vote Democratic” with a donkey kicking on an American Flag shield.  Below the address, it says “ELECTION DAY IS TUESDAY NOV. 8TH VOTER GUIDE ON BACK OF THIS CARD”   The fine print says “NOTICE TO VOTERS THIS DOCUMENT WAS PREPARED BY DEMOCRATIC VOTERS CHOICE, NOT AN OFFICIAL PARTY ORGANIZATION.  Appearance in this mailer does not necessarily imply endorsement of others appearing in this mailer,.[sic] nor does it imply endorsement of, or opposition to, any issues set forth in this mailer.  Appearance is paid for and authorized by each candidate and ballot measure designated by an*.”  The slate mailer shows an Arcadia mailing permit.


    On the left, it has a left of offices, with the name of one of the candidates in bold with an asterisk after each: City Attorney JIM PENMAN* CITY CLERK AMELIA SANCHEZ-LOPEZ* CITY COUNCIL WARD 3 JOHN VALDIVIA* CITY COUNCIL WARD 5 CHAS KELLEY* CITY COUNCIL WARD 7 WENDY McCAMMACK* and the legend, “Take this card with you to the polls.”

    Then to the right of the list is a picture of each of the candidates mentioned in the list and a little blurb about each.  It says “JIM PENMAN for City Attorney.  Our City Attorney Jim Penman. Former Director of Home of Neighborly Service.  Endorsed by AFL-CIO, San Bernardino PublicEmployees [sic] Associa tion [sic] and former Mayor Judith Valles.”

    Next: “AMELIA SANCHEZ-LOPEZ for San Bernardino City Clerk.  Our Voice for Integrity.  Our Democratic Choice for City Clerk!  Endorsed by San Bernardino Democratic Party, Central Labor Council AFL-CIO and Congressman Joe Baca.

    Then: “JOHN VALDIVIA for 3rd Ward City Council.  Vote Valdivia. Replace the failed Republican incumbent!  John Valdivia is endorsed by our Teachers, Firefighters, Police Officers and Central Labor Council AFL-CIO.

    CHAS KELLEY for 5th Ward Council.  Re-Elect 5th Ward Councilman Chas Kelley.  Effective leader for our neighborhoods.  Endorsed by the Central Labor Council AFL-CIO and Democratic leaders like former Mayor Judith Valles.”

    WENDY MCCAMACK for 7th Ward.  She fights for seniors and working families![ ]Endorsed by the AFL-CIO, SB Firefighters, P olice[sic] Officers and former Mayor Judith Valles.

    Of course, as anyone paying attention already knows, only one of these people actually claims the endorsement of the actual San Bernardino County Democratic party, and only one of them is a registered Democrat, and of course, two of them are well-known Republicans.    The San Bernardino County Democratic Party, on their website, cries foul.  However, I don’t think anyone takes paid slate mailers seriously, and careful reading of the document shows it comes from a non-party organization.  Further, it is a non-partisan race.

    How much does it cost to be on a slate mailer like this?  On his September 28, 2011 FPPC Form 460, City Attorney James F. Penman had a payment to “Democratic Voters Choice” in the amount of $1,200.  He also had a payment of $960 to “Citizens for Good Government” of $960, which shares the same address in Covina as Democratic Voters Choice.

    Even though it is a non-partisan election, if you really care about the local Democratic party’s choices, from their website:

    These are the endorsements of the San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee:

    San Bernardino City Attorney – No Endorsement

    San Bernardino City Clerk – Amelia Sanchez-Lopez

    San Bernardino City Council- 3rd Ward – No Democratic Candidate

    San Bernardino City Council – 7th Ward – No Democratic Candidate

    San Bernardino Unified School District (In order of most votes rec’d)
    Juan Lopez
    Dr. Margaret Hill
    Sharon “Bobbie” Perong
    Elsa Valdez

    As far as I can tell, the San Bernardino County Republican Central Committee didn’t make any endorsements in these elections.




    First, a disclaimer:  this site is neutral as explained in the post “Why We Try To Keep Partisan Politics Out of These Postings”  These postings are provided as a community service, and not to push a particular candidate, or slate of candidates.

    This is the sixth mailer that I have seen from incumbent City Attorney Jim Penman.  The front of the mailer is glossy and in color  On the front, the headline says in blue letters on a red background “FBI Raids San Bernardino Airport!”  In the top middle of the front is a picture of FBI agents loading seized files at the San Bernardino Airport.  Flanking the photograph are these words: “The County Grand Jury Report (June 20, 2011) found specific irregularities (GJR pg. 2-29) and “a clear conflict of interest” (GJR pg. 2-31) with contracts awarded to a federally “convicted felon” at the San Bernardino Airport. [Press Enterprise – Sept. 22, 2011][.]”

    It continues in the next paragraph:

    “Mayor Morris, as President of the Airport Authority, is the “man in charge” there, as he is at City Hall.”
    On the other side of the photograph of the FBI agents loading seized files at the San Bernardino Airport is this paragraph “San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris is the only elected official named in the federal search warrants served at the airport on Sept. 21, 2011.  The warrants seek “evidence of bribery, theft, fraud, money laundering and more”. [Source: Press Enterprise, 9-22-11.]”

    Below the picture and the two sets of text flaking it are blue letters that say “City Attorney Investigators are also investigating charges of irregularities in contracts at City Hall.  The same City officials who are in charge at the airport are also in charge at City Hall.”

    Below that paragraph is a paragraph in white text on a black background:
    “‘For the City to move forward we must investigate and, if verified, expose any mismanagement or corruption at City Hall similar to that now being investigated by the FBI at the San Bernardino airport.  The people of San Bernardino deserve honest city government.’ ~City Attorney Jim Penman”

    Below that is a San Bernardino Police Officers Association badge with the text: “San Bernardino Police Officers Association Members Say: ‘On Election Day, Let Jim Penman finish the City Hall Investigations.”

    The back of the mailer has the Police Officers Logo and their address, and is in black and white.

    The headline of the back of the mailer says “Question: Why is Mr. McKenna running for City Attorney?  Answer: To Stop City Attorney Investigations into charges of contract irregularities at City Hall.”

    Below the headline is a quote from Mayor Patrick Morris from May 10, 2011 in the State of the City Speech “Corruption and scandals are not our concerns”.  To the right is a quote form challenger David McKenna and a picture of David McKenna.  It says “Corruption is not a priority for me.” with this legend below “[David McKenna, Oct. 11, 2011, Rotary Club debate.]”

    Below the Mayor Patrick Morris quote of “Corruption and scandals are not our concerns” are these quotes:

    “County Public Defender David McKenna, under pressure from the Board of Supervisors . . . after disclosing that he had intentionally violated County spending policies for nearly a decade . . .” resigned today.

    “. . .  he was violating county policies for years . . . it’s imperative the Board . . . appoint a public defender that we have confidence in.  Someone who complies with all the regulations of the County,” said Supervisor Fred Aguiar. [Source – Press Enterprise, July 2, 1999]

    In the middle of the back side is a question to the reader: “Is McKenna a responsible public servant and citizen? (You decide – see left and below.)  Left, refers to the Press-Enterprise article about David McKenna’s resignation as San Bernardino County Public Defender.  Below the rhetorical question is this quote: “Until moving to San Bernardino this year, McKenna lived in Riverside County for the past five years without registering to vote.”   This is a quote from the Riverside Press Enterprise, October 23, 2011.

    Finally, below the picture of David McKenna, which for political  attack ads is not a bad photo at all, says “. . . (if elected) I will eliminate the City Attorney (corruption) Investigators”.   The mailer attributes the quote to David McKenna at the October 11, 2011 Rotary Club debate.  The picture of David McKenna also has the wording “Paid for by Jim Penman for City Attorney 2011” on it.

    What City Attorney Jim Penman campaign themes have been addressed in this, the sixth mailer?  City Attorney Penman as elected watchdog.  David McKenna as carpetbagger.  David McKenna as Mayor Morris surrogate.  Corruption.  Corruption at the San Bernardino International Airport.  David McKenna’s past as an appointed official.

    Earlier, there were posts on the Rotary Club of San Bernardino City Attorney Forum and the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce City Attorney Forum.




    First, a disclaimer:  this site is neutral as explained in the post “Why We Try To Keep Partisan Politics Out of These Postings”  These postings are provided as a community service, and not to push a particular candidate, or slate of candidates.

    This is the fifth mailer that I have seen from incumbent City Attorney Jim Penman.  It has Chas Kelley’s signature Kelly green.  On the front, non-glossy side is a letter from incumbent City Council Member Chas A. Kelley.  It reads:

    From the Desk of
    City Councilman Chas Kelley

    Dear Fifth Ward Neighbor,
    The office of City Attorney serves as an important check and balance for
    the public at City Hall. That’s why I am supporting the re-election of City
    Attorney Jim Penman.
    I haven’t always agreed with Mr. Penman, but I admire his sincere dedication
    to our community, his active leadership in fighting crime and his strong
    stands against government corruption.
    As City Attorney, Jim wrote San Bernardino’s tough moratorium law
    against parolee housing. He directed the city’s most successful crackdown against
    irresponsible out-of-town landlords. He also led the successful fight to shut
    down the drug-infested Hudson Theater Rave Club.
    Jim Penman is NOT afraid to stand up for the citizens of
    Sail Bernardino even if it means taking on other politicians. He understands
    that the role of the City Attorney is to be an independent advocate for integrity
    and justice.
    Please join me in casting your vote for City Attorney Jim Penman.
    Thank you and God Bless.
    5th Ward Councilman, City of San Bernardino

    Under the letter is “Vote Jim Penman For City Attorney,” which repeats on the back.

    The back of the mailer has a “Special Message from Councilman Chas Kelley.”  It says “Jim Penman’s crime fighting leadership and strong stand against corruption are great assets for the people of “San Bernardino.”  Chas”  To the right of the quote, there is a photograph of Council Member Chas Kelley with City Attorney Penman at what appears to be a Robert Jenkins fundraiser or victory party.

    I have no idea if these have been sent in other wards featuring other council members.  If they are, I would expect them to be sent in the 2nd and 7th Wards as well with their council members, and possibly one with Third Ward challenger John Valdivia.   The 7th Ward Council Member, Wendy McCammack, is running for reelection this cycle, as is Chas Kelley.  John Valdivia is running for the 3rd Ward Council seat this cycle.  Robert Jenkins won election in the 2nd Ward for the remainder of Jason Desjardins term earlier this year.