“I just want to find 11,780 votes,” said then-President Donald Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “Find a way to disqualify the recall,” said then-D.A. Art Danner to Santa Cruz County Clerk Richard Bedal in 1995. “I can tell you this now,” said the former County Clerk to me at a memorial service we serendipitously attended December 29, 2016 for Carolyn Busenhart.
Fred Keeley + Bob Lamonica email exchange 2-7-21 to 2-8-21 (with 2 Attachments A and B).
Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Ariadne Symons was caught fixing her own red light ticket in 2016. She knew she was driving the car. She knew she was filing false information. That we are even having this conversation on the assuaged culpability of a former sitting Judge is remarkable. As a culture we do not know how to deal with abuse of power. If recognition and response to abuse of power is not important, nothing is.
It’s been total avoidance with public silence like it never happened from the Santa Cruz Chapter ACLU, which has repeatedly and continually acted to discount truth and deceive the public about blatant local application of values abuse of power malfeasance for over three decades now and counting. This is documented since 1987 when the victim of the District Attorney’s at-fault bodily injury car wreck was blood tested and the D.A. was not, and he had just been drinking.
The grand old Santa Cruz Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union epitomizes petty power over principle. Ask Mike Rotkin, the emeritus presence of the modern, duck and cover configured SC ACLU, why they don’t stand up. I will give Mike Rotkin plenty and often due praise and credit for supporting social and environmental cause issue politics, including an advisory measure for rent control in Santa Cruz in 1999 launched by yours truly. Unfortunately, it’s not that way with Mr. Rotkin or the SC ACLU with egregious local application of values abuse of power issue politics. Apparently, it’s too hot, as in “Down in flames,” to quote Mr. Rotkin.
By a distinctive, traceable pattern of historical evasion the SC ACLU does not stand up to local abuse of power, they downplay, they slough off accountability, and by their silence, condone. Over long historical precedence their influentially pivotal role in the community is shown to be, when called upon, to deny glaring local abuse of power while vigorously upholding their pretense as protectors of civil liberties and defenders of the Constitution—to the very heights of hypocrisy. Their track record responding to local abuse of power is dismal. Not a peep. Nada. They’re busy with showboating bombast. They are and were, in the way.
Many well known local collaborators have been covering-up flagrant local abuse of power, usually with look the other way and go along to get along silence, but sometimes with actual blocking action, as objectively documented since ‘95, even ’87! Enthusiastic Symons lead deflector, the former California Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Fred Keeley, who earned his opportunist “trust” peddling obfuscation while Chair of the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors in 1995, making his career-building decision to cover-up abuse of power for political favor (Resolution #114-95)… July 30, 2019 Keeley says to me about the Symons censure, “Don’t you think I read the fucking thing!” then walks away in classic last-word finale style. I keep reminding myself, he’s a hotshot and I’m nobody.
Symons was indeed officially censured by the California Commission on Judicial Performance May 8, 2019. The penned and pushed by Fred Keeley post-censure “alternative facts” revisionist history “Statement of Support for Judge Symons” emphatically states, with bold alacrity, “She is a person with impeccable ethics and always places service above self.” It is signed by a stunning list of prominent Symons aggrandizers that includes 18 former and current elected officials, 12 members of the legal community, four members of the law enforcement community and 10 community “leaders.”
It is impossible to find a context for the Symons “Statement of Support” except as an inability to deal with the truth when it’s local and one of your own. From Sam Farr, former US House of Representatives to Rene Schlaepfer, Senior Pastor Twin Lakes Church, Symons red light fixing post-censure “supporters” list is startling and shows the degree some will engage in petty power over principle, corruption enabling cover-up rather than standing up to acknowledge abuse of power malfeasance when it’s a question of local application of values.
November 6, 2019 Santa Cruz Sentinel: Judge Symons calls off reelection bid, announces retirement. Because it would mean naming collaborators, the most fear of outcome dismissed story in recent Santa Cruz history is the aforementioned Fred Keeley orchestrated Endorsements for Symons 2020 Re-election. Endorsed by numerous notables and elected officials, the page remained active on her re-election website well past the election of March 3, 2020, none of whom have publicly ever retracted. (See also https://asymonslaw.com/services and https://asymonslaw.com/projects.)
When is a documented account of abuse of power sufficient to demand resignation? How about Judge Symons fixing her own red light ticket? Not for the bloated list of Symons aggrandizers. They simply moved on to their next dinner party set enabled photo-op puff piece. Let them publicly justify themselves.
Had Ariadne Symons gone to traffic school it would have been an honor for her and a teaching for us all. But she did not. She abused power, without acknowledgement and without accountability, and most certainly, to date, with NO REMORSE. Never forget we’re talking about a sitting Judge here. To impudently run for re-election in 2020 with “brand name” support is the real scandal.
1998-2001 Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo web archive.
Bob Lamonica for Supervisor 2014 web archive.
Bob Lamonica 2014 biography.
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