Jun 222015

Well, well, well… I got sent a copy of a Grand Jury Report attacking (DRUMROLL) Ron “Mik” the supervisor in El Dorado’s First District.

It just so happens that “Mik” is all that stands between termed out Beth Gaines and her next government paycheck. Cozy.

The Grand Jury Report starts out like a political hit piece:

Before he was elected, Mikulaco was not known for his background and qualifications, but best known for standing on El Dorado Hills Boulevard with a sign urging drivers to vote for him. At first, that Depression-era sandwich board tactic seemed ineffective to many. Yet, Mikulaco was elected in 2012.

I guess Grand Juries are not subject to the rules of the real jury system? Or, perhaps, they can engage in the same sort of shilling and yellow journalism that the Placerville paper is famous for?

Well – I started asking questions as to why I felt like I was looking at a campaign hit piece.

I poked around and found out the shocking details – Local mega-donor and wealthy El Dorado County Businessman Ken Steers is an actual member of the Grand Jury!

I can write with a high level of confidence that Steers and Gaines likely have each other on speed-dial. Heck, Beth may be renting one of Steers’ rental properties in El Dorado Hills!

What did Ken Steers do to influence the outcome of this “report”? It really does not matter what eeeeevil things “Mik” is alleged to have done according to the report. The fingerprints of Ken Steers should make anyone take pause – especially with his political conflict of interest and the unprofessional language that the report starts with.

It would be like me sitting on the Placer Grand Jury recommending the disbarment of Jack Duran for eating too many donuts.

Missing from the Grand Jury Report is any mention of the malicious prosecution of Dan Dellinger. Things that make you go hmmmm… I wonder if Steers and company are going to ignore the pending lawsuit(s) against Mr’s. Pierson and Harn?

I also hear that the fish is starting to spoil…

To be continued…

Joe Harn Update – Files Lawsuit Against Political Opponents

 El Dorado County, Joe Harn  Comments Off on Joe Harn Update – Files Lawsuit Against Political Opponents
Mar 212015

I’ve written that Joe Harn is a bully. I’ve written about his temper and abusive pattern. Now he is suing a political opponent. Credit: Placerville Newswire

In an inexplicable move, Auditor/Controller Joe Harn initiates a lawsuit that is nearly impossible to win and one that calls his own actions into question.
On March 18th Courthouse News Service Reported “Small-Town NorCal Election Gets Nasty” by Barbara Wallace. The story reports on a lawsuit filed by Auditor/Controller Joe Harn related to campaign charges that he is a  a “sexual predator” and a “sociopath.”  The lawsuit is Joe Harn suing Chris McCaffree for comments he made in an email during Harn’s last campaign.  The original story wrote that neither Harn or McCaffree were available for comment.  We contacted McCaffree and he was unaware of the lawsuit and added that he had not been contacted by Harn, Harn’s legal representatives, or the Courthouse News Service.
Chris McCaffree has been a fixture in the community for many years and was most notable during a public investigation of a “Hostile Workplace” for El Dorado County employees where Joe Harn was a central figure of the investigation.  Chris McCaffree’s public testimony was given to the Board of Supervisors about two years ago. [http://eldorado.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=329 At bottom you can slide video to 00:27:50, 01:19:43 and 03:04:17 for relevant testimony from Chris]
McCaffree, a CPA, past Scout Master and father of five sons, is considered by most people who know him as almost “too nice”.  McCaffree has lived in El Dorado County for over 15 years and has enjoyed living here among good people – for the most part.  According to McCaffree, when he went to work for El Dorado County, he discovered that Joe Harn was making a complete mockery of what should be “Civil Servant’s” position of Auditor-Controller.
In McCaffree’s response to the lawsuit by Audtor-Controller, Joe Harn, defendant Chris McCaffre indicated that, “It is unfortunate that Joe Harn has brought this lawsuit against me.  I am normally a very nice guy, and it pains me to make Joe Harn a very public example of humiliation and disgrace in open view of all El Dorado County citizens who will follow this case.”
“The best defense to a Libel law suit is the truth – which will be made known very clearly now through the investigation and testimony of witnesses in this case.” explained McCaffree.
McCaffree insists that he believes what he wrote to be the truth and that he looks forward to proving that in court.  McCaffree says his only reluctance in addressing this lawsuit is due to the large number of people involved – “some will feel bad that they did not get a chance to give their testimonies against Joe Harn,” he said.
In addition to McCaffree’s own testimony, Mike Applegarth also testified about Joe Harn and gave supporting testimony to McCaffree’s claims. Applegarth was a highly placed analysit for the county that came forward to expose Joe Harn.  He did so on moral grounds and is widely known as an extremely ethical and moral man.  He has left the county since then and was immediately snapped up by another a city in Utah as their new top leader. [ http://eldorado.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=402 Move slider to 1:49:20 into the video]
In that public testimony a most unflattering picture is painted of entrenched political incumbent Joseph Harn as the primary “Bully” of the county and even the County Counsel testified that he was beyond the reach of most “Personnel” laws.
Harn’s lawsuit invites the public to come forward to testify for or against the behavior of Joe Harn as Chris McCaffree vows to include those that, “did not get a chance to give their testimonies against Joe Harn” at the County hearing, will in his response to Harn’s lawsuit.
Not only will the self-initiated Harn lawsuit put his own character in the spotlight, it is nearly impossible to win.
Proving Fault: Actual Malice and not just Negligence

Under U.S. law a plaintiff must prove that the defendant was at fault when he published the defamatory statement. In this case, Harn will need to prove that the defendant acted with actual malice not just negligence, because Joe Harn is a public official.
Celebrities, politicians, high-ranking or powerful government officials, and others with power in society are generally considered public figures/officials and are required to prove actual malice. Unlike these well-known and powerful individuals, your shy neighbor is likely to be a private figure who is only required to prove negligence if McCaffree published something defamatory about her.
Actual Malice:
In a legal sense, “actual malice” has nothing to do with ill will or disliking someone and wishing him harm. Rather, courts have defined “actual malice” in the defamation context as publishing a statement while either:
knowing that it is false;or acting with reckless disregard for the statement’s truth or falsity.
It should be noted that the actual malice standard focuses on the defendant’s actual state of mind at the time of publication. Unlike the negligence standard, the actual malice standard is not measured by what a reasonable person would have published or investigated prior to publication. Instead, the plaintiff must produce clear and convincing evidence that the defendant actually knew the information was false or entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication.
In making this determination, a court will look for evidence of the defendant’s state of mind at the time of publication and will likely examine the steps he took in researching, editing, and fact checking his work. It is generally not sufficient, however, for a plaintiff to merely show that the defendant didn’t like him, failed to contact her for comment, knew he had denied the information, relied on a single biased source, or failed to correct the statement after publication.
Not surprisingly, this is a very difficult standard for a plaintiff to establish. Indeed, in only a handful of cases over the last decades have plaintiffs been successful in establishing the requisite actual malice to prove defamation.
The actual malice standard applies when a defamatory statement concerns three general categories of individuals: public officials, all-purpose public figures, and limited-purpose public figures.
Public Officials
The “public officials” category includes politicians and high-ranking governmental figures, but also extends to government employees who have, or appear to the public to have, substantial responsibility for or control over the conduct of government affairs. Courts have interpreted these criteria broadly, extending the public figure classification to civil servants far down the government hierarchy.
In general, if an individual is classified as a public official, defamatory statements relating to any aspects of their lives must meet the actual malice standard of fault for there to be liability. Moreover, even after passage of time or leaving office, public officials must still meet the actual malice standard because the public has a continued interest in the misdeeds of its leaders.
The actual malice standard extends to statements touching on virtually any aspect of the public official’s life.
This untenable case may prove to be the undoing of Joe Harn as he already stands in public distrust after he enjoyed a very significant raise and bonus while he fights against the requested Cost of Living increases for county employees.  Will a public court case of his behavior, including witnesses testifying under oath, paint a picture of a man the voters simply cannot support for another term.  Will this testimony lead to a recall campaign against this old pol?
Time will determine that and we will keep you informed of developments.

Cris Alarcon.

(Disclosure, Cris Alarcon did participate in the campaign of Mike Owen, the most recent challenger to Joe Harn for the Office of Auditor/Controller in El Dorado County.  Unrelated, but concurrent to that campaign, in the course of a County Investigation of a Hostile Workplace, Chris McCaffree made the statements that Joe Harn is objecting to in this lawsuit)


El Dorado County Sup D2 Race Update: Nutting gets Page One Above the Fold and…

 Dead Fish Society, El Dorado County, Vern Pierson  Comments Off on El Dorado County Sup D2 Race Update: Nutting gets Page One Above the Fold and…
Jul 292014

… the Dead Fish Society can’t figure out whether Dave Pratt or Clair (no e) McNeal is their Choice.

Dave Pratt sits on the El Dorado County Planning Commission. Pratt was appointed to said board by none other than Ray Nutting. The question this blogger has is will that association prevent the godfathers of the Dead Fish Society from anointing him as the next Dead Fish?

Vern Pierson may choose to lay low coming off of yet another embarrassing shellacking in an appellate court.  Apparently, Pierson went on a publicity-whoring rampage against a local restaurant owner and got all but the disturbing the peace conviction tossed… the reason, WITHHELD EVIDENCE.

I am not sure Pratt or Clair (no e) McNeal want that sort of “endorsement”.

Another “Endorsement” that Dave Pratt claims to not publicly want is developer money. There is a problem – one, Pratt is rumored to be in the running if not already on retainer for an 1800 house development called Marble Valley. Second, the rumor mill also is suggesting that left-wing gazillionaire developer Angelo Tskapolos is also eyeing a large development and is looking to bankroll Pratt.

The alleged Tskapolos bankrolling is supposed to work as a Pratt loan to himself, then after he wins, “fundraisers” to retire the debt. I’ve seen this before in other races (and while not illegal, smells like dead fish), so this rumor is plausible. Please also note that Tskapolos is an extreme leftist and helped fund every loser in California Politics even Phil Angeledes over Arnold! (Apparently Arnold wasn’t far enough left for him)

Speaking of “endorsements”, did Clair (no e) McNeal rent out her train-wreck to the local Red Cross? According to accounts, her “campaign manager” was “helping” the local relief efforts and managed to get his sunken face on TV. I am not sure if this was the aforementioned Stanhope attempting to crank up McNeal’s campaign with some goodwill and service – or if it was the latest in a 12 year pattern of self-serving attention whoring.  (I’ve only known Stanhope for 12 years, so I can’t speak for his pattern before 2002)

Accounts on the ground in the Sand Fire operation indicated that Mr. Stanhope attempted to assume control of the operation, claimed that he got people kicked out of the operation, claimed to know several higher-ups in the area in an attempt to curry influence, called several people involved in the relief operation several times, appeared to be intoxicated and/or under the influence of narcotics, made liberal use of the F-Bomb everywhere and anywhere, alienated several people and was finally asked to leave altogether.

My sources tell me that Clair (no e) McNeal has hired a young man who is part of a prominent local family for her campaign as well, it is unclear when and it is unclear if she has separated from the train-wreck or not.

While Clair (no e) McNeal ruminates on her campaign staff and Pratt decides who his political daddy will be… Jennifer Nutting got a nice, fat, above-the-fold article in the Sacramento Bee.

You see, the El Dorado Mountain Democrat have proven to be whores for Vern Pierson – they smeared Dan Dellinger in their paper numerous times and gave a story as limp-wristed as any of Harn or Pierson’s handshakes when Dellinger beat Pierson’s ass to a pulp. The El Dorado Paper dutifully smeared the above mentioned Restaraunteur and of course gave scant coverage to the epic beat-down by the appeals court when Pierson’s felony rampage was completely gutted. This time, Pierson won’t be able to shop for a judge to throw the Restaranteur out of office over the remaining misdemeanor conviction. (as I believe he did regarding Nutting)

I am wondering if the editor of that rag will be remanded to suicide watch when either Ray Nutting is restored to office on appeal or Jennifer Nutting beats the field.

The Bee on the other hand chose life instead of doing their usual journalistic abortions.

For the record – I like Ray Nutting and I have been clear about how I believe that his lack of attention to detail and his devil-may-care attitude toward his personal finances and paperwork allowed the Psychotic DA to get him. I don’t know Jennifer Nutting. I am rooting for her simply because the people that have abused their offices (and people) deserve to suffer by seeing the name Nutting in office another seven years.

Pratt? I don’t know him from adam – I am sincerely hopeful that his “connections” to both developers are not true, or that he will come clean and take a couple of fat checks from them! IF not, he deserves to be beaten up bad politically for attempting to deceive voters.

Regarding the actual issues in this tilt:

While I am not anti-growth at all… I read the questionnaire from the “Keep Shingle Springs in the Stone Age” group and was aghast at the tenor and the scope of the questions. I’d probably be labeled public enemy number one if I attempted to answer that questionniare. (Start with my desire to see US-50 be 6-8 lanes thru Pollock Pines and 4 lanes thru South Lake Tahoe.. and of course my desire to see massive traffic improvements for Apple Hill).

I will be interested to see if the Shingle Springs anti-growth group endorses Shiva Frentzen as many are speculating. If that happens, this disqualifies her from serious consideration. I’ve been told that Frentzen is a great person, good businesswoman and the like. I am not sure if that translates in to good government if a group of BANANA’s whose stated purpose is to keep Shingle Springs in the Stone Age endorses you. (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) If Frentzen proves that she is legitimately approachable on growth issues and can demonstrate sincere conviction on the issues vexing El Dorado County, she could be a surprise come election day.

IMO, Pratt disqualifies himself if A) the allegation of him being a consultant on the Marble Valley project is true and/or B) he has been working with Tskapolos behind the scenes on creative financing. You don’t tell people you are not taking developer money while doing either of the above. That is called lying and unless you’re President Clinton (with a bigger band of media whores than the el dorado paper) you don’t get away with lying. I do believe that Pratt will be funded and will end up in the fish wrapper. In my mind’s eye, I just can not see the good ‘ol boys associating with…

Clair (no e) McNeal, who disqualified herself with her attitude and the abusive manner with which she treats people she perceives to be lesser than her (which is most people). She makes it easy for me to criticize her since she hired the trainwreck for her campaign and also supported him for Vice Chairman of the State GOP.

The Above leaves us with loveable loser George Turnboo. Turnboo is just misunderstood, which also disqualifies him from consideration.

This leaves me rooting for Jennifer Nutting for even more reasons than just to rub the face of the psychotic Vern Pierson in political dog doo. However, if Jennifer Nutting wasn’t compelling in her own right – just being able to rip on Vern Pierson would be enough.

El Dorado County Politics are a colossal mess. Unbelievable.