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September 13, 2006

Comments

Lurk

The elephant in the room here is the rejection of all the petition lines where signers were told that they didn't need to completely fill out the form, and then the Recall Committee did it for them.

The two bullets above, "We can find no evidence that OCROV employees would have told proponents that it was permissible to complete the address portion of the recall petitions for the signers." and "Once (the petitions) were submitted the OCROV had no option but to invalidate such signers (who did not personally affix their information) in accordance with the law and Secretary of State verification guidelines." are inadequate for resolving this issue.

Surely the Recall Committee knows and can name who had told them this (and in hindsight should've confirmed the opinion in writing) and that individual needed to be identified and put on the record. Perhaps this information is in the text of the report which I've not seen, but these two bullets just gloss over the most important issue in this mess that the ROV, perhaps inadvertently, created. A good number of people were denied the ability to express their legal right via the petitions, and the error was large enough that the Recall Drive failed. Even though they're in deep stuff, the CUSD Trustees are still in power and still making crappy decisions (like supporting the costs of Fleming's defense).

This $25k investigation has failed in not getting to the bottom of this particular issue. I wonder also if it would it have been more appropriate for the Grand Jury to have done it?

Adam D. Probolsky

The Grand Jury is a joke Lurk and you know it. Grandpa and grandma serve a purpose as the yes men and women for the DA, but investigating is not what they do best.

But it sure would have saved some money.

And if I relied on what the average government employee told me regarding the law I would be in big trouble. That is why there are some very well schooled political lawyers who make a lot of money.

SOC Watchdog

Jubal,

As much as I generally agree with your perspective on things, I think even you have been duped to a cover-up this time. The key issue that was glossed over, and Mr. Probolsky just referenced it, is Neal Kelly's "honest mistake" in not reading the law correctly when he allowed CUSD access to those petitions.

If he is not competent enough to read a section of the law that applies to the position that he is responsible for and performs, then he should be held accountable for the error. What happened in this respect was a serious breach of the public's trust and should not be glossed over. This is particulary critical when we are talking about the Elections Official for the county, who is responsible for everything related to the public's right to "petition their government" (and I know you know where that comes from)

Further, there was written evidence provided to the county special "investigators" that proved that Kelley knew the law PRIOR to him granting permission to CUSD. In a letter dated January 20, 2006 from the County Counsel's office to the CUSD Recall Committee chairman Mike Winsten and signed by Ann Fletcher, Senior Deputy, the law was specifically referenced concerning confidentiality of those petitions, and that access to them could only be granted to the petition PROPONENTS under special circumstances. Neal Kelley and Kay Cotten were both copied on that letter. It was some time AFTER that letter was issued that he allowed Fleming access to those petitions. A copy of that letter was attached to the CUSD Recall Committee's 55 page report, and that report was made available to the county special "investigators".

Sorry Jubal, there is a cover-up, and the public deserves much better.

Lurk

I appreciate your opinion, Adam, however snarky. I referenced the GJ as I assume they have subpoena power and can call witnesses -- there's been nothing in what Jubal's referenced so far to that (but again, perhaps there's something in the complete report).

The question then becomes was this a special BOS-appointed committee to avoid the GJ for, perhaps, the reasons you listed or was it just an exercise to appear that something was being done? To whom was the $25k paid?

The head-banging part of all this is that the sigs were rejected for a non-sensical, purely bureaucratic rule. Remember when Ted Costa screwed up that Proposition last year by submitting the wrong version of the text? The Court saw that as bureaucratic nit-packing and allows the Initiative to go forward. The same should've happened here.

The Plan Is Working!!

We need a "Loose Change" video to show that Neal Kelley has been carefully plotting for decades to infiltrate the ROV so that he could stymie the recall effort in an obscure school district in South Orange County. Mwuh-ha-ha! (twists moustache).

Look out SOC Watchdog! The black copters are out to get you!

cathy schlicht

From the Wikipedia:

"Ignorantia juris non excusat or Ignorantia legis neminem excusat (Latin for "ignorance of the law is no excuse") is a public policy holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because he or she was unaware of its content; that is, persons have presumed knowledge of the law."

As I have stated once before, Neal Kelley's mishandling of the CUSD recall effort was a threat to the integrity of the electoral process, and excusing improper behavior undermines election integrity which is a direct threat to democracy. cathy schlicht

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