Bill Bertain has chosen the lawsuit.
First of all a couple of points… I thank Bill Bertain for speaking with me and confirming that I had not lost my mind and their was a lawn sign for Nick Angeloff at some time prior to the lawsuit being announced. He didn’t have to do either, the fact he did both demonstrates integrity.
Bill Bertain would not admit that the lawsuit that he has brought with Leo Sears against Harbor Commissioner incumbent is a political prop. However, he seems to have a much more … fluid … understanding of the practice of politics, policy and law than I do. I don’t believe that our courts should be used, primarily, to affect change in elections. I think Bill would probably agree with that. However when asked why not wait until after the election to bring up a lawsuit Bill might argue that the voters have a right to know what is going on before the election.
This election is by design by Angeloff supporters politically extremely complicated. This lawsuit is, based on timing alone, frivolous at best and at worst abuse of our justice system for political gain. For more on the merits of the lawsuit please read LoCO’s write-up.
The absolute bottom line is this. If the financial conflict of interest is a real problem, then the left is completely on board. It involves section 1090 of the California Government Code which begins with …
Members of the Legislature, state, county, district, judicial district, and city officers or employees shall not be financially interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity, or by any body or board of which they are members.
Absolutely! On board 110% Bill. Let’s take a good look at financial interests and connections between private interests and public policy. (Actually county GPU and upcoming Weed ordinances come to mind too now that you mention it.)
Remember, it’s the left who is very concerned when private money influences and corrupts public policy. So, if this is a problem, bring it up on the day after the first Tuesday in November (election day) NOT before. If the charges are as egregious as charged then surely a legitimate and successful lawsuit will have it’s own influences on their career path – as the less-politically-important allegations of poaching have had for the soon-to-be-former commissioner Aaron Newman.
My example to Bill was this. Think about the recent ACLU lawsuit against Eureka City Schools. Look at the date stamp on that URL – it’s from December 2013, a month after incumbent Eureka Schools Board President John Fullerton ran and lost to Lisa Ollivier. (and less than 2 weeks after the results were official)
Now, the timing of the above may have been fortuitous for the ethically-minded of us. It may have been that behind the scenes ACLU staff were scrambling to get the lawsuit filed either before the election, or perhaps, were not concerned one way or another about the election. However, it the end, a lawsuit which would have placed John Fullerton is a politically challenging position was not made public until after the election.
And rightfully so. Pervasive and intrenched racism is more important than any one election. Financial impropriety affecting public policy is also more important than the results of any one election. These issues should be brought up on their own merits and treated with the seriousness and time that elections do not allow.
Assuming those bringing them up actually believe the lawsuit does have merit.
Bill and I seem to agree on one thing. One can’t have both a political lawsuit and a political yard sign at the same time. I, unlike Mr. Bertain, would have stuck with the yard sign.