2014 Simi Valley Election Results

Bob Huber was re-elected as Mayor of Simi Valley. Congratulations to Bob Huber for earning another term as Mayor.

In 2012, the people spoke and told Barbra Williamson they were ready for her to move on. They have spoken again and confirmed their decision was final. Both Mike Judge and Glen Becerra were re-elected to the City Council. The people of Simi Valley sent a message yesterday that it takes more than a smear campaign to change their minds about who represents them on the council. Congratulations to Mike Judge and Glen Becerra.

For Simi Valley School Board, Bill Daniels is the top vote getter and has earned a spot on the Board. Scott Blough appears to be the second most vote getter, earning 18.79% of the vote. Right behind him is Elaine Litster, with 18% of the votes and a discrepancy of just under 300 votes behind Blough. She outperformed the incumbent candidate and a three time experienced candidate, gaining momentum for her campaign late in the race, and without a boost from any of the active unions. If these are the final figures and Daniels and Blough are for sure our new trustees, Litster MUST run again. She will surely be victorious if she tries again in two years.

Congratulations to everyone!  And brace yourselves… the next election is in two years and it’s unlikely that it will be as quiet as this one.

The Barbra Williamson Mistake

Debbie Thomas, Paula Cornell and Judy Pepiot have chosen to rescind their endorsement of Barbra Williamson. They are planning to mail a letter to Simi Valley women who previously received their first letter of endorsement. What follows is the text of that letter…

We made a mistake.

We love Simi Valley and in our effort to support qualified women to the city council we asked you to support Barbra Williamson as someone who would bring people together and work collaboratively.

We were wrong and we need your help to fix it.

We’re rescinding our endorsement of Barbra Williamson as a result of a vicious smear campaign she is running that smacks of Washington and Sacramento politics that has no place in Simi Valley.

We know that disagreements are part of politics. We know that different opinions are healthy parts of campaigns. We also know that personal attacks and destruction are ruining our ability to work as a community and we all need to stand up against it when we see it.

Standing up against this type of politics is what we’re doing now and we strongly encourage you to join us. The only way this behavior will stop is if we all take a stand.

We made a mistake. We were wrong. We’re embarrassed to have been fooled. Please help us make it right by rejecting the campaign attacks of Barbra Williamson.

There’s no place for personal attacks in Simi Valley.”

– Debbie Thomas, Paula Cornell and Judy Pepiot

Women Displeased With Barbra Williamson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Women of Simi Valley Disgusted with Barbra Williamson’s Vicious Tactics

Simi Valley, CA (Oct. 30, 2014): Last month, Paula Cornell, Judy Pepiot and Debbie Thomas sent a letter to the women of Simi Valley urging them to vote for Barbra Williamson for the Simi Valley City Council. Today, in light of the disgusting and vicious hit piece Williamson mailed about City Councilman Glen Becerra, the three denounced Williamson’s tactics and urged voters to vote against her.

“Barbra Williamson surprised us all with a hit piece on Glen Becerra today that is reprehensible,” Cornell, Pepiot and Thomas said in a follow-up letter to the women of Simi Valley. “It is politics at its worse. It was meant to do harm to a city councilman who is highly respected in our city. Simi Valley deserves better and it deserves a City Council who can and will work together to continue doing what is best for our community.”

Cornell, Pepiot and Thomas are all involved in numerous volunteer roles that sustain and bolster the quality of life in Simi Valley. Each tackle their volunteer jobs by working with all sectors of government, as well as nonprofit groups, service clubs and the public. Over the years, they have had close encounters with almost everyone involved in Simi Valley’s decision-making processes. They endorsed Williamson because they believed the city needed a woman’s perspective on the City Council.

“We signed the original letter on the understanding that Barbra would run a clean campaign. Now we fear this may not be the last hit piece from her. Shame on Barbra for stooping as low as she did to say nasty untruths about a city councilman” Thomas said.

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Candidate Halub Turns Over a New Leaf?

Ordinarily, the election cycle means that you can count on outrageous commentary from City Council Candidate Eric Halub. In the past, Mr. Halub has served as a convenient proxy for those wishing to disseminate dirty commentary on one’s political opponents without actually attaching one’s name to it. In Simi Valley politics, people love to make misleading, sleazy or outright incorrect statements anonymously and Eric Halub could always be counted on to deliver the message.

Tonight, to my surprise, was very different. Moments ago, Eric Halub shared the main points of his campaign, including public safety among other points. He referenced his past negative commentary and pledged to run a clean, positive campaign.  He concluded his remarks by saying there was no room in Simi Valley for negative politics and that he wanted to be able to hold his head high in town, win or lose. It was easily the most refreshing commentary I have ever heard from him!

Congratulations to Eric Halub for opting to make positive comments for a change. I hope this represents a new strategy for his campaign. If it is, I think he’ll find it significantly more effective than his previous strategies.

Mike Judge’s Campaign Kick-off

If you’re looking to actually “re-elect” a candidate to the Simi Valley City Council, then you might want to take a look at Mike Judge. Council Member Judge officially kicked off his campaign tonight at the Junkyard Cafe here in Simi Valley.

Mike addressed the crowd and expressed his desire to be re-elected to the City Council. He wants to continue his work on the Council and focus on a few important key items. Among those key issues are continuing to explore a community liaison program with the police department and strengthening economic development, particularly the business community.

You can learn more about Mike Judge and his City Council campaign on his website at judgementsv.com.

Mike Judge - Campaign Kick off Mike Judge Campaign Kick-off

Elect or Re-Elect? Words Matter.

A couple of years ago, Barbra Williamson was quoted in the paper as saying the following after she filed a complaint about Keith Mashburn regarding his ballot designation of “retired fire chief.”

“You’ve got to play on a level playing field,” she said. “Everybody has to play by the rules. I know there are people upset with me—so be it. I’ve never been one to shy away from a problem.”

Right now, Barbra Williamson is asking people to “re-elect” her as a member of the Simi Valley City Council. She’s doing so with the “Re-elect Barbra Williamson” materials that she passes out at events like the Simi Valley Street Fair, on her campaign website and while walking precincts to talk to voters. The problem with that is that she is not a sitting councilmember. Per California law, only an incumbent can use the word “re-elect” to describe their actual re-election effort. Doing so otherwise is a violation of California Elections Code section 18350.

“I have no ill will toward Keith Mashburn; I’ve known him for years and years and years,” she said. “I think he’s a good person. I think when he put down ‘retired fire chief’ that he knew it was slippery slope and that he even had reservations about it.” – Barbra Williamson, 2012

Likewise, I’m sure Barbra knew it was a slippery slope to use the word “re-elect” and fully appreciates this coming to light so she can address it appropriately. Right? Right. Of course, failure to comply and update the campaign and associated materials is more than just a violation of California Election Code, but it also serves to mislead voters. This campaign will be a critical one for Barbra because it’s her attempt to earn back her seat on the City Council after her two year hiatus. But as the 2012 robocall indicates, misleading voters is ineffective. To assist in this process, I have informed the Ventura County DA, the Simi Valley City Manager’s office, and the Secretary of State Elections Office, among others, all of whom can provide oversight to ensure that voters have a fair chance of knowing who the candidates really are.

In the 2012 election for City Council, Barbra Williamson was defeated by Keith Mashburn, who received 16,800+ votes to her 14,800+ votes, with Steve Sojka taking the top number of votes and being re-elected. Back in 2008, Steve Sojka was easily re-elected as the top vote-getter, with Barbra being re-elected with 22,900+ votes to challenger Mike Judge’s 13,500+ showing at the polls. If history tells us anything, it’s that Barbra has no hope of defeating Glen Becerra’s anticipated numbers this election and that she’s hoping to oust Mike Judge, repeating her success in 2008. His showing as a new candidate in 2008 was impressive, but this time he’s returning with a lot of new support and as an incumbent, which, despite arguments to the contrary, matters to the Simi Valley electorate. She will need to campaign hard this time around, and with more than just a “re-elect” word-play trick up her sleeve. This city is full of surprises, so we’ll see what happens in November. More to come later on the Barbra Williamson campaign…

DISCLOSURE: I was once a very enthusiastic supporter of Barbra Williamson but did not support her re-election in 2012.

2012 Simi Valley Election Results

Bob Huber defeated Ken Sandberg for Simi Valley Mayor, though Ken captured 20% of the vote.

As predicted, Steve Sojka achieved a very comfortable victory for Simi Valley City Council with 30.38% of the vote. Joining him on the City Council will be Keith Mashburn, who took 21.07% of the vote.  Congratulations to Steve Sojka and Keith Mashburn!

Election Day in Simi Valley

Today is Election Day and despite the loud opposition to Steve Sojka, I predict he will enjoy a sound victory tonight. Some of his loudest critics have opted to attack from the shadows with anonymous robocalls which makes supporters rally, and pushes those on the fence to cry foul and show support.

What I can’t predict is who will be joining him. After years of practically worshiping the ground she walked on, Barbra Williamson lost my support this election. But as an incumbent with a lot of support, a lengthy history on the Council, and a name the city recognizes, she stands a good chance. Tim Shannon has put in a lot of work and a good deal of money to get his message out to the voters. His campaign has been precise and coordinated, and stands a good chance of being effective. Keith Mashburn has run a clean campaign, keeping it honest and staying clear of the negative. His name is out there and his key endorsements give him an advantage.

I think Randy Nemecek has done a great job through his campaign. Having first met with him when he started several months back, seeing how far his reach expanded has been impressive. If we don’t see a victory for Randy tonight, I hope to see him run again in the next election. Mark Littleton appears to have a very loyal following online. With more fundraising, he could have spread the word to a broader audience. I would have liked to see more of him and I suspect that I will if he isn’t victorious tonight. Eric Halub campaigned harder than I expected. His signs are everywhere, suggesting he’s investing the time to knock on doors and spread the word. Though he’s outperformed the expectations of most who are familiar with him, I’m skeptical that it will be a victory for him tonight.

Good luck, candidates!

Sneaky Robocall the Last Straw

Robocalls and lies are a common occurance in this election. And the funny thing is the people behind them truly believe THEY are the good guys.

The robocall that several Simi voters received included a distinct lie about Sojka disbanding the police department. Sojka indicated firmly that he would never pursue dismantling the police department. So who was behind the deceptive robocall?

Listen to the call again by viewing the video below. Pay close attention to the words in the script and follow along with the screen capture of the discussion online. This casual poll came from a close associate of Council Member Barbra Williamson.

Maybe this is just a coincidence. If it is purely coincidental, will we ever know who’s behind this? Considering the deceptive nature of the robocall and the culprits’ efforts to stay hidden, we may never know for sure. I’ve drawn my own conclusions and I know who will NOT be getting my vote.

Meet Randy Nemecek on October 30th

Election day is quickly approaching and your opportunities to meet the candidates are becoming more limited. Have you met Randy Nemecek yet? If not, here’s your chance.

Join Randy Nemecek at Topper’s Pizza on Erringer and Cochran for a Meet and Greet event at 7:00pm. Randy will discuss the issues and answer questions. Attendees are invited to swing by, meet Randy, and enjoy some pizza!