Letter: Owen is right choice in race for El Dorado County auditor-controller (opinion)
June 1, 2018
Endorsements are an important element of political campaigns. Because it is hard to obtain unslanted data about candidates from websites and social media (and some people do not use those tools), voters look to a candidate's alignment with causes or figures that are meaningful to them via the endorsement process.
Likewise, debates and forums allow voters to vet candidates based on their actual words and (sometimes) unscripted responses to questions posed by an audience. This is a time-tested process designed to help determine how candidates respond under pressure and how well they can think on their feet and react to situations.
Both of them become much less meaningful when the involvement does not include the entire pool of candidates. A debate become a speech and an endorsement becomes a self-serving press release without involvement of more than one candidate.
For instance, take the case of Owen vs. Harn in the race for auditor-controller.
Sheriff D'Agostini and Wendy and Dennis Thomas made their endorsements of Owen after considering their history and experiences with both candidates. The realtors group EDCAR, whose committee interviewed both candidates based on criteria developed by their membership, chose to endorse Owen unanimously.
Harn's endorsements are far different. The El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce appears to have made a trade with "certain officials at the county" for a $1 lease payment for their endorsement of Harn.
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The Mountain Democrat and Village Life endorsed Harn and sicced their attack felon on his opponent after cancelling a scheduled meeting on short notice with no apology.
The Howard Jarvis Foundation broke its own organizational bylaws and published rules regarding not endorsing candidates in local races by endorsing Harn.
ALL of these organizations skipped the seemingly important step of interviewing both candidates.
The question is: Will the Voters be hoodwinked again? Or will Voters ask "why?"
One can only hope the second question is asked.
Diamond Springs, California
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