It doesn’t matter what the truth is, it’s who discredits whom. As a culture, we don’t know how to deal with abuse of power. If recognition and response to abuse of power is not important, nothing is. Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Ariadne Symons was caught fixing her own red light ticket. 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 sitting Judge is remarkable. If this were a Judge outside the Santa Cruz area, even escapist groups like Santa Cruz Indivisible would demand her resignation.
Deception is the privilege
Of the politically correct.
When “we” do it, it’s strategy,
When “they” do it, it’s treachery.
It’s been total avoidance with public silence, like it never happened, from the institutional fraud and farce cowardly joke Santa Cruz Chapter ACLU, which has repeatedly and continually acted as a front 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.
Ask Mike Rotkin, the “socialist-feminist,” political opposition sign stealing (It’s OK when Rotkin does it, he’s a “progressive”), emeritus essence of the modern configured SC ACLU duck and cover front. Rotkin epitomizes “petty power over principle.” I’ve met with him one-on-one twice, in 1995 and 2011. He showed up 20 minutes late both times. It was a naive, mutual respect assuming, mistake for me to wait. It merely emboldened his self-righteousness, both times. Both meetings resulted in nothing. Both times requesting principled political courage. He is one of the most duplicitous politicians I know.
By a distinctive and traceable pattern of evasion, the Santa Cruz Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union doesn’t stand up, they downplay, they slough off accountability, and by their silence, condone. Thus, we may assume, over long historical precedence, their true role in the community is, 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 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 abuse of power, usually with go along to get along silence, sometimes with actual blocking action, since ‘95, even ’87! Enthusiastic Symons lead deflector, the former California Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Fred Keeley, 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. (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 Fred Keeley orchestrated post-censure “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 loyalists 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 that “Statement of Support” except as an inability to deal with the truth when it’s local and one of your own. It reads like something out of Kafka. Stalin would be proud. 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. All claims of “no jurisdiction” are made moot by this document.
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 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 ever retracted.
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 bloated lists 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, remorselessly, without accountability and without acknowledgement. Never forget we’re talking about a 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.
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