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Punk is Bullshit?

March 8, 2013

Good piece of music journalism, whether you agree or disagree:


the fun continues

May 30, 2012


The campaign of 19th Senate District candidate Hannah-Beth Jackson has fired the vendor it used to make political calls to voters after learning the call center’s number showed up on recipients’ caller IDs as coming from the National Weather Service’s Oxnard office.

“This is never going to happen again,” said campaign spokesman Rudy Ramirez. “They had been specifically instructed to make the calls with a blocked caller ID.”

The calls last week sparked outrage from public safety workers, who said the number displayed is the same number from which they receive calls with weather advisories such as fire danger alerts and tsunami warnings.

“A deputy sheriff reported receiving the call from the number we rely on to alert us, only to find himself on the receiving end of a Jackson campaign pitch,” said Oxnard Firefighters Association President Jeff Donabedian in an email to reporters. “If this is a mistake by the Jackson campaign, it must be corrected immediately. If it is done intentionally, it is a terrible campaign tactic and reflects poor judgment.”

Donabedian’s union, the California Professional Fighters and local firefighter unions across the state, are backing Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jason Hodge in the Senate race. Hodge is a Ventura County firefighter.

Jackson and Hodge are Democrats who, along with Republican Mike Stoker, are vying to become one of the top two finalists in the June 5 primary.

Hodge, who said the calls were “disgusting to me as a firefighter,” issued complaints about them Tuesday to the Fair Political Practices Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

Ramirez said the company it contracted to make the calls learned of the erroneous caller ID on Thursday evening about one hour into its task of making 7,000 phone calls and stopped the error “immediately.” The campaign estimates about 200 calls had been issued with Weather Service caller ID.

Stuart Seto, a weather specialist at the National Weather Service office in Oxnard, said he and his co-workers were inundated with calls from people concerned about having received a call that indicated it was from the weather agency.

“We couldn’t do anything but answer the phone,” he said, adding that complaints started coming in Thursday night and continued through Friday afternoon.

Ramirez said any complaint calls to the weather service Friday must have been from people calling after having checked their voice mails from the previous evening. The contract specified calls would be made only between 4 and 8 p.m.

Seto said the weather service did not receive complaints after 4 p.m. Friday. The agency does not make calls to the public to issue weather-related alerts but makes advisory calls to fire departments when conditions merit.

The Jackson campaign released a letter from Jeffrey Fell, president of Signia Marketing in Denver, in which the company took full responsibility.

“This error was made on our end, and was not a result of the client’s direction or instruction,” Fell wrote. “We are truly sorry for this mistake.”

In a statement issued Tuesday, Jackson said that although the company has apologized: “My campaign has terminated them because of this problem. It was a technical error on their part, not an intentional attempt to mislead anybody.”

Complaints of deceptive caller IDs from campaign phone calls have been raised in previous election cycles in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Florida.

In the Missouri incident two years ago, voters reporting receiving calls that showed up on their phones as originating from a Kansas City hospital.

Weather service?

May 29, 2012

just received this email:


Oxnard Firefighters President Jeff Donabedian today asked Senate Candidate Hannah Beth Jackson to stop her campaign from using the National Weather Service telephone number for her calls to voters.
“Last week, just as we were being notified by the National Weather Service of fire danger, voters were receiving campaign phone calls from Hannah Beth Jackson’s campaign from the same telephone number. 
“The telephone number that appeared on caller-ID was the number first responders rely on to receive fire danger alerts and tsunami warnings from the National Weather Service.  A deputy sheriff reported receiving the call from the number we rely on to alert us, only to find himself on the receiving end of a Jackson campaign pitch.
“If this is a mistake by the Jackson campaign, it must be corrected immediately.  If it is done intentionally, it is a terrible campaign tactic and reflects poor judgment.”

Jeff Donabedian
President, Oxnard Firefighters Association 

IAFF Local 1684

Perfect Crime

April 19, 2012

It looks like Oxnard city officials got away with the perfect crime. A nearly two-year investigation into the city’s misuse of public funds turns up nothing criminal. The reason? Oxnard’s bookkeeping and recordkeeping was such a mess that it made the investigation nearly impossible.

So what do we learn from this? If you run a business, or a city, and you want to use other people’s money to have fun, you can do it as long as you don’t keep records of anything.  Just pretend you thought everything was okay.

You’ve really outdone yourself this time, Oxnard.

Mike Stoker’s spin on the 4/12 forum

April 16, 2012

From Mike Stoker HQ:

(Oxnard, CA) – The first debate with all three candidates squaring off in the 19th Senate race took place today at the Marriott Residence Inn in Oxnard, California. The debate was hosted by the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce. In her opening statement Hannah Beth Jackson said that California needs to be business friendly to small businesses stating, “…the key to turning the economy around here in California is to help support our small businesses who are critical to growing the economy.” Mike Stoker responded by saying, “I couldn’t agree more with Hannah Beth but is this the same Hannah Beth Jackson that as an Assemblywoman was 100% in opposition to the California Chamber’s position on “Job Killing” legislation from 1999-2004? The fact is the Chamber listed 112 Job Killing bills during that period of time. Hannah Beth voted on 93 of those bills and voted against the Chamber 92 times with one abstention. So the only votes she took for or against the Chamber she was 100% opposed to the Chamber when it came to job killing legislation. I would welcome her explanation how those votes helped small businesses in California?” Hannah Beth refused to address Stoker’s question and attempted to divert attention from the fact by saying, “…we don’t need to stoop to the level of name calling in this campaign.” Stoker responded, “I am not name calling. I am holding you accountable for your voting record which was one of the worst, if not the worst, when it came to supporting business in California during your days in the Assembly.” While Stoker had come to the debate expecting to focus on Hannah Beth’s record over the years of never seeing a tax increase proposal she didn’t support earning her the statewide nickname “Taxin Jackson”, the issue of taxes took back seat to the issue of job creation. However Stoker did conclude with a comment tying taxes in with the job killing legislation stating, “Whether its a “Taxin Jackson” or a “Job Killer Jackson” in trying economic times like these I don’t think California needs either and with Hannah Beth you get both!”

Senate District 19

April 16, 2012

Below is from Jason Hodge. I’ll re-post any info from candidates that we receive at VCReporter:

Firefighter/Harbor Commissioner Jason Hodge will begin airing television commercials this week introducing himself to the voters along the Central Coast.
“My ads are simple.  I tell you who I am. I explain why I don’t think you need more taxes.  And I point out how I am different from my opponents.”
“I don’t use actors, or professional voices, or fake photos.  It’s just me talking straight to you.”
By defining himself as “The Democrat who doesn’t think you need higher taxes” Hodge has shaken up the traditional political formula.
“I work hard every day as a firefighter.  I know what real people do for a living.  And I know how our politicians have continued to miss the point that average Californians need jobs not taxes. I simply don’t believe we should continue to raise taxes on the middle class while giving tax breaks to the special interest class.” 
To view our first ad go to:
Born in western Ventura County, Jason Hodge currently serves as a full-time firefighter with the Ventura County Fire Department and an elected Commissioner of the Oxnard Harbor District. Hodge has been on the front lines in some of the largest fires in modern California history, has helped manage major disasters, and has served with state and federal emergency response teams.  He holds a B.A. in Political Science and is a resident of Oxnard.  Learn more at

Cost of Print

March 28, 2012

I held an intership with the VCReporter back in 1998, when the office was in the Ventura Harbor Village. The editor was David Rolland, who later moved to San Diego to start SD City Beat. He recently penned an Editor’s Note for City Beat, which I think is required reading for anybody interested in the future of print journalism. Check it out: