Spreading the political wealth – Voices of Monterey Bay – Voices of Monterey Bay
By Royal Calkins
The conventional way for news folks to write about campaign contributions is to start by declaring which candidate raised the most money and then listing the people and companies that put up the biggest chunks of money in hopes of either fostering their idea of good government or, in some cases, getting favors or a nice government contract.
Most people stop reading after they see who raised the most money. But reports on campaign finances can be so much more than a box score. In the case of law enforcement-related campaigns, they can tell you who is likely to be promoted if so and so wins or who might get low-cost security for their next big event. Or, if it is for a Board of Supervisors campaign, the reports might help predict which subdivisions will get built in your neighborhood, or who in the environmentalist camp isn’t in step with others of a similar mindset.
Stories such as this are worth your time even if you think you don’t care about the Sheriff’s Department or what happens in Prunedale. They are worth it if you live anywhere in Monterey County, or if you care about the size of your tax bill, or if you like your view, or if you’re worried about crime and justice, or if you want some clues about how those numbskull county supervisors make such cockamamie decisions.
There are other potential races on the ballot but they are mostly uncontested at this point. There is a race for district attorney. We’ll get to that later.
Many who don’t live in supervisorial District 2 probably don’t think they care about who represents that territory, mostly north Monterey County. But that person will make many decisions affecting you in Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, etc., etc. The supervisors are in charge of most social services in the county and public health matters, including mask mandates and the like.
And if you think you don’t care about who runs the Sheriff’s Department because you live in a city with a very fine police department of its own, think again. The sheriff runs the terribly expensive operations at the jail, where you kids might end up if they do something stupid. And the sheriff helps decide what laws will be enforced and what crimes will be investigated, and not just in rural areas. If you’ve been paying any attention to the Sheriff’s Department in recent years, you probably don’t realize that it is supposed to investigate political corruption, embezzlement, other …….