Got the first “hit” piece of the 4th District Assembly race in my East Davis mailbox yesterday, though the 4th District is not mentioned anywhere in this exceedingly large glossy mailer.
The intended target was Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd, but as usually happens when the mud starts to fly, those doing the slinging end up with more dirt on them than those they’re aiming at.
Dodd is perceived by many to be the front-runner in this five-person race, partly because he’s sitting on a very large wad of cash and partly because his two most formidable opponents, Davis City Councilmen Dan Wolk and Joe Krovoza, signed a mutual suicide pact by declaring for the same race at the same time.
The mailer is proof that someone out there is taking Dodd’s candidacy very seriously.
Of course, in this day and age of Political Action Committees, just about everyone can deny knowledge of exactly where this mailer came from.
All we know for sure is that it was “Paid for by Opportunity PAC — A coalition of teachers, health care givers, faculty members, school employees and public and private associations” and lists a return address on East Colorado Boulevard in beautiful downtown Pasadena.
A nonsensical disclaimer states that the mailer was “Not authorized by a candidate or committee controlled by a candidate.”
Yep, just like the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, this thing simply materialized out of thin air.
But thank God that a bunch of health care providers in Pasadena care enough about the 4th Assembly District to let us know just how despicable a human being Bill Dodd truly is before some of us accidentally vote for him.
These mud-filled mailers are all cut from the same cloth. First, find the least flattering picture ever taken of the candidate to be slammed, then find the most alarming newspaper headline available. Put the two together and you’re ready to lick the stamp and take it to the post office.
“Bill Dodd Pushed a Tax Increase … Then Gave Himself a Pay Raise,” screams the mailer’s headline in a type size generally reserved for the death of a president, the seventh game of the World Series or the Second Coming of Christ.
“Tell Bill Dodd we don’t need another politician in Sacramento putting himself first,” reads the copy. Included are headlines from the Napa Valley Register that tell us “Napa County Supervisors Approve Their Pay Raise” and “Supervisors get $1,000.”
According to The Register, “Just in time for the holidays, members of the Napa County Board of Supervisors are set to get a 1.4 percent pay raise that will add about $1,000 to their annual salary.”
If the best dirt all those concerned Pasadenans can come up with on Bill Dodd is that he raised his own salary by 1.4 percent, which translates to a whopping $83-a-month increase, they don’t have much. Certainly not enough to waste on a mailer.
On the mailer’s flip side we see someone with his feet up on the desk that we’re supposed to believe is Bill Dodd, though his face is hidden. We are then told that “Being a politician is hard work — just ask Bill Dodd.”
The Napa Register story was published on Dec. 10, 2013. As it so happens, less than three months prior to that, the Davis City Council voted itself a 70 percent raise, which amounted to an annual increase of $5,623 per member.
And now that same Davis City Council wants to raise the local sales tax by half a percent and plans to put a parcel tax on the November ballot as well.
The Davis vote was 4-1, with Mayor Joe Krovoza siding with the majority and Councilman Dan Wolk providing the lone voice of dissent.
Said Wolk at the time, “In this financial period where we’re cutting, and every dollar counts, I think raising council compensation is not a good idea.”
How that sentiment will play in Pasadena remains to be seen.
— Reach Bob Dunning at firstname.lastname@example.org