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Month: August 2010

Deborah Ortiz: “Let them eat cake. No, wait – give me their cake…” UPDATED

Deborah Ortiz: “Let them eat cake. No, wait – give me their cake…” UPDATED

Ken Barnes, running for Trustee Area 6 position on the Los Rios Community College District (LRCCD) Board of Trustees, notes that former California State Senator Deborah Ortiz has friends in high places, and is not afraid to use them. Failing to meet the filing deadline for LRCCD Area 6 Trustee election in November, she had Sacramento County extend the filing deadline, just for her.

Ken posts this on his Facebook Page:

Former State Senator Deborah Ortiz Seeks Special Consideration, Flaunts Election Law
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Yesterday at 6:30pm
Former State Senator Deborah Ortiz Seeks Special Consideration,
Flaunts Election Law
Forces Sacramento County Counsel to Extend Her Personal Filing Deadline from Friday August 6 at 5p to Monday August 9 at Noon

Dear Friends,

While my plans were to make individual, personal calls to announce my first campaign for elective office, emergency circumstances have forced me to communicate en masse. This past Friday August 6th I filed nomination papers to run for the vacant Trustee Area 6 position on the Los Rios Community College District (LRCCD) Board of Trustees. My former representative on the board, Bruce Pomer, resigned his position for job related reasons this past spring. Former State Senator, and current Vice President of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Deborah Ortiz pulled nomination papers for LRCCD, but failed to file them by Friday’s 5p deadline. Ortiz then contacted the Sacramento County Elections Office and the County Counsel, demanding that she be given special consideration and an extended filing period. On the afternoon of Saturday August 7th I was contacted by Campaign Services Manager Brad Buyse, who informed me that the Sacramento County Counsel had instructed him to extend the filing period for Ortiz until Monday August 9th at 12 Noon. According to Buyse, Ortiz claims she called the county elections office earlier in the day to clarify the filing deadline, and was told by a staffer it was Wednesday August 11th at 5p.

Background
In April 2010 Bruce Pomer, the 20 year incumbent, resigned from his seat on the LRCCD. During the May 26, 2010 LRCCD Board of Trustees meeting it was decided that no temporary appointment would be made, and that the seat would be filled in the November general election (as the seat was already up for re-election in November). Under California election law if an incumbent fails to file for re-election, then the filing period is extended by 5 days (83 days from the election). However, because Pomer resigned his seat there is no incumbent, and the deadline to file is not extended. Ortiz, a well trained attorney and long time elected official, claims she was confused by the notes in the Candidate’s Guide (listed below), although I and a 22 year old Los Rios student (Andrey Rytikoff) were able to understand the clear instructions.

Requested Action
Contact Sacramento County Counsel Robert Ryan, Jr. RRyan@saccounty.net and Sacramento County Campaign Services Manager Brad Buyse BuyseB@saccounty.net, and demand that 14th amendment protections for equality under the law be respected. While I was standing inside the elections office I noticed an employee stationed at the entrance. At exactly 5:00p the door was locked, and at 5:01p a young woman came running to the door to file election papers. She was told “sorry, the deadline is exactly 5p.” If a regular citizen cannot be granted an extra 72 seconds, why should the powerful Ortiz be given an extra 72 hours?

Filing a legal injunction against Ortiz will cost $5,000 to $10,000, therefore it is my hope that elected officials of good conscious will immediately step forward and speak out against this abuse of power. The question here is not one concerning the simpleminded arguments of left versus right, or republican versus democrat, but rather a vertical question with societal implications: will we continue to allow the well connected and powerful to trample on the rights of regular citizens?

References and Notes
Los Rios Community College District Board Meeting Agenda May 26, 2010
Action Item 4-A. Trustee Area 6 Vacancy

Los Rios Community College District Press Releases – May 27, 2010
Los Rios Trustee Vacancy to Be Filled in November Election
“Sacramento—Last night at its regularly scheduled meeting the Los Rios Community College District Board of Trustees approved the filling of the Area 6 Trustee vacancy by election on November 2, 2010. The Area 6 Trustee seat was held by Bruce Pomer who resigned from the Board for job related reasons …. The deadline for candidates to file to run in the November 2 General Election is August 6, 2010.”

Los Rios Community College District Board of Trustees
Trustee Name Area 6 = Vacant

Sacramento County Candidate’s Guide for November 2010 Election
• Cover Sheet from Brad R. Buyse, Campaign Services Manager
“This guide has been compiled to assist candidates in preparing for the November 2, 2010 General Election. It is intended to provide general information about the nomination and election of candidates and does not have the force of law, regulation or rule. It is distributed with the understanding that we are not rendering legal advice and, therefore, the guide is not to be a substitute for legal counsel for any individual, organization or candidate. In case of conflict, the law, regulation or rule will apply.”
• Page 1: Nomination Period July 12 through August 6 – For school and special districts, nomination papers are issued and filed with the Registrar of Voters during these dates.
• Page 13: Activity Schedule – August 6, 5:00pm. Filing of Nomination Papers – Nomination papers must be filed with the Registrar of Voters, 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento, not later than 5:00 p.m. on August 6, 2010.

Sacramento County General Election Nominations Calendar
• Page 1: E-88 (88 days until Election Day). AUG 6. All nomination documents and any candidate statements must be filed by 5:00 p.m. (EC 10407; 10510; 13307)

California Elections Code 10407(a)(b)
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever
other elections are consolidated with a regularly scheduled election,
the period for the filing of nomination documents by candidates in
elections consolidated with the regularly scheduled election shall
commence on the 113th day prior to the election. The nomination
documents shall be filed not later than 5 p.m. on the 88th day prior
to the regularly scheduled election in the office of the appropriate
officer, during regular office hours.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if nomination documents for
an incumbent officer of a political subdivision are not filed by 5
p.m. on the 88th day before the election, any person other than the
person who was the incumbent on the 88th day shall have until 5 p.m.
on the 83rd day before the election to file nomination documents for
the elective office. This section is not applicable where there is no
incumbent eligible to be elected.

California Elections Code 10510(a)(b)(c)
10510. (a) Forms for declarations of candidacy for all district
offices shall be obtained from the office of the county elections
official. The county elections official may, for convenience or
necessity, authorize the district secretary to issue declarations of
candidacy. The forms shall first be available on the 113th day prior
to the general district election and shall be filed not later than 5
p.m. on the 88th day prior to the general district election in the
office of the county elections official during regular office hours
or may be filed by certified mail so that the forms reach the office
of the county election official no later than the deadline for filing
in that office. The county elections official shall record the date
of filing upon the first page of each declaration of candidacy filed
pursuant to this section. No candidate shall withdraw his or her
declaration of candidacy after 5 p.m. on the 88th day prior to the
general district election.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person shall not
file nomination papers for more than one district office or term of
office for the same district at the same election.
(c) On request of the district secretary, the county elections
official shall provide the secretary with a copy of each declaration
of candidacy filed pursuant to this section.

UPDATE 08/09/10 @10:25AM

Ken posts on his Facebook page this charming tidbit from the California Secretary of State’s office:

I’m just now leaving the California Secretary of State Elections Division. They told me there is no help available to me because this is not a statewide or legislative election … I thought the purpose of the Sect’y of State was to ensure fair elections across California at all levels.