Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lopez, Stogner, De Paula and more!

Election Day is nearing.

The Mercury News(pdf) has refused to endorse incumbent Sheriff Munks, and instead has recommended Write-In Candidate Juan Lopez.

Even though Lopez is new to the political scene, according to the Merc, "He has worked patrol, jails, gang investigations, sex crimes unit, community policing and inmate transfers" in San Mateo County since 1987. Additionally, Lopez launched the San Mateo County Sheriff's office community policing unit. I feel that it is significant to note that Lopez is championing bringing back the County's sex crimes unit -- Something that the current sheriff discontinued due to "budgetary concerns" a few years after being busted by the FBI in the "Operation Dollhouse" raid on an illegal brothel said to be employing underage prostitutes. (For which no apparent investigation of Munks happened, and for which Sheriff Munks has never clarified for the public, beyond saying that he wasn't going to talk about it...)

The Mercury News reports that Munks refused to come in for an endorsement interview, "noting in his response that he is "running alone on the ballot.""

Michael Stogner and Mark De Paula have both spent some time during their campaigns pointing out the importance of writing in Juan Lopez. If you are in Stogner's (District 3) or De Paula's (District 2) voting district, you should thank them for calling attention to the Munks issue by voting for them as your County Supervisor!

NOTE: To vote for Juan, (and you should) you need to select the "Write-In Candidate" option, and fill in the name "Juan Lopez."

----- On different tack, but one not completely unrelated: -----

On June 14, 2014, USA Swimming is slated to induct executive director Chuck Wielgus to the "International Swimming Hall of Fame"

Many victims of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of swimming coaches within the organization have stated that Wielgus has in many of the cases helped to quash knowledge of these abuses from spreading, acting to protect the abusers; much as bishops and cardinals in the Catholic church have downplayed or covered up abuses in order to protect the organization.

These victims have started a petition that is worthy of your signature, asking that this induction into the "International Swimming Hall of Fame" not occur.

You can read a story about the matter on Yahoo.
You can read and sign the petition on


  1. Are things looking up in San Mateo County? Very cool that the Merc refused to endorse Munks.

  2. Today is Election Day. Don't forget to vote!

  3. 70,651 votes were cast.

    19, 627 did not vote for Munks.

    18, 037 did not vote for Wagstaffe

    That's a huge number of people who didn't vote for these two corrupt officials.

  4. Wagstaffe received 40,002 fewer votes than he did in 2010.

    Munks received 37, 054 fewer votes than he did in 2010.

  5. Voting for Juan Lopez was easy; he was a legitimate write in candidate. As such, it was just as easy for me not to vote for Munks.

    But I suspect some people voted for Wagstaffe by default, as unfortunately I did. Wagstaffe ran unopposed. Someone on this site recently wrote that elections officials may disqualify your ballot if you do not fill in every box therein. I found nothing in the San Mateo County's Shape The Future site that tells voters whether they can leave any boxes blank and still have their ballot count. I have received what I later realized was conflicting, and sometimes very bad, information when I've talked over the phone with election office employees in past years. So, I voted for Wagstaffe because I feared the county would disqualify my ballot if I did not vote for him or for a current legitimate write in candidate. Of the latter, I did not know whose name I should have written. I am steamed about this.

    I assume 18,037 voters did not vote for Wagstaffe AND they did not for a write in candidate. If so, can I assume that San Mateo County did, in fact, qualify and count their ballots?

    1. Yes, I've heard conflicting info about write-ins as well.

      What I've heard is that empty boxes in a given section (individual candidate, proposition, etc..) can trigger a REVIEW to see if there is a problem with the ballot. This means that a human becomes involved, and if they can't figure out what you're trying to do, then they have to invalidate the ballot. Again... don't know how accurate that is.

      Also, if you write in a candidate who's not on their pre-approved write-in list, the vote is just thrown out.

      On mine, for Wags, I just did a write-in, and listed whoever... figured it would be less likely to be tossed...

      ... Who knows -- it's all part of the big mystery surrounding why we bother to even have elections.

    2. Thanks for your information, Deep.

      I did not know empty boxes can trigger a review. This alone makes me nervous. How easily can a reviewer toss or alter a ballot, without detection let alone sanction, if he or she disagrees with a voter's choices?

      I did not know that counties have pre-approved write in list. If true, this is very helpful info. Is every county's pre-approved list publicly available before election days?

      Sounds like you took a risk that your ballot would be tossed. Sorry, but isn't that counterproductive? :-(

    3. Again, I don't know about the empty box thing for sure, it's just what I recall reading in a newspaper somewhere in a story about recount and invalid ballots, ever since then, I try not to leave stuff blank.

      On the write-in: I don't know if it's ALL counties, but the pre-approved list info was in either the voter info pamphlet, the sample ballot, or written on the ballot instructions themselves for this past election. It surprised me as well, but there it was.

      I figured the risk of writing in was less than leaving blank, so that's what I did. No way was I going to mark the ballot for Wags.

      Apparently, it's safe enough, as many people apparently did not vote for Wags.

      I don't know if I'd call it counterproductive -- Even though the whole thing seems to be a sham, it's still a free enough republic that they can't force me to check a box that I don't want to check.

    4. Your comments made me curious enough to visit San Mateo County's Elections Division site (

      The pre-approved list to which you refer is, apparently, called the Roster of Candidates on said site.

      There, I found the most current roster. The roster includes the names of both qualified and unqualified candidates. If you are interested, please see > Upcoming Elections > June 3, 2014 Statewide Direct Primary Election.

      Wagstaffe was the only candidate whose name appeared in the roster.

      So, thank you for the heads up on the pre-approved list / roster. Until now, did not know about the list - or if I ever saw similar lists in the past, I did not know to vote only for qualified candidates. Again, thanks!

      The site's FAQ page says the following regarding write in candidates:

      21. Can I vote for someone whose name is not listed on the ballot?

      Yes. You may vote for a qualified write-in candidate whose name is not printed or displayed on the ballot. Only votes for qualified write-in candidates will be counted. Ask Election Officers or call the Election Office for a list of those candidates. Elections Officials can also assist you with write-in voting procedures.

      Source: > Upcoming Elections > June 3, 2014 Statewide Direct Primary Election > Frequently Asked Questions.

      * * *

      I'll see if I can dig up anything this week regarding leaving boxes empty on San Mateo County ballots ...

    5. A current employee of the San Mateo County Elections Office has this to say about empty boxes (undervotes) on an otherwise completed election ballot:

      An undervoted contest only invalidates that contest. No votes will be recorded for a undervoted contest but all the votes for the rest of the contests will be counted. An undervoted contest includes not voting on a measure, not voting for a candidate in a single seat contest, or not voting for as many candidates as there are positions available in a contest. In the last scenario, an example would be a school board with a "vote for three" option, and the voter only votes for one candidate. That would be two undervotes.

      Likewise, in a contest that is overvoted, none of the votes in that contest would be counted but the rest of the ballot would be. An overvote is where a voter marks both Yes and No for a measure/proposition or votes for more candidates than there are seats available in that contest. Voting for four candidates in a contest with only 3 seats available, would invalidate all the votes cast in just that contest - the rest of the ballot would be counted.

      * * *

      So, now I know I could have left the box next to Wagstaffe's name empty and still had the rest of my ballot count. You were right, Deep.

  6. Wagstaffe was the only candidate whose name appeared in the roster ... for District Attorney.