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Randall Stone takes responsibility for phony election mailer, says it was legal

24 Mar

City of Chico Elections?

When I found this post card in my mailbox, I did a double take – it looked like an official city of Chico mailer, but I realized – there is no “City of Chico Elections” department.

A couple of readers asked me to follow up on this post – so I sent an e-mail to the county and city clerks’ offices, and cc-d Karl Ory and Randall Stone. I left Ann Schwab off by mistake, but intentionally ignored Tami Ritter because she seems to have to have done a Rumpelstiltskin since losing to Karl Ory, her running mate.

I got an immediate response from Randall Stone, who was able to retain his seat in the election. 

“1) I knew about it.  It is (in part) my mailing and I authorized it (as is indicated on the envelope…that’s not counterfeit).
2) I sent it (in part).  I paid for it (in part).  Both of these details are part of my campaign disclosures.
3) I’m sorry you find it misleading.
4) It is legal (and not uncommon).
5) I don’t know who you should ask and for what purpose.  But if you believe something about it is untoward, I would encourage you to ask anyone you feel appropriate – up to and including the FPPC.
Sorry I can’t be of more help than that.  We get a lot of accusations of violations about any number of things (you wouldn’t believe some of the wild charges that have been levied in the past), including requests for us to file accusations against our “opponents” or detractors.  Generally, I leave these types of requests for others to address.  I haven’t got the time.


The city clerk’s office is responsible for accepting filings from candidates and groups who want to place items on the ballot, but she told me, “I do not have any authority over mailer content and format.”

The city clerk had forwarded my inquiry to the county clerk, who asked me if I wanted to come in to her office to talk about it? What? Why can’t you just give somebody a straight answer Candy Baby? 

She’s still pissed at me over this:

So, there’s election accountability in Chico and Butte County – two women who just won’t do their jobs, and candidates who do whatever they want. And then there’s the voters, who apparently couldn’t care less.

No, Measure K was not “about the kids”

1 Feb

I forwarded the article from the Sacramento Bee that I posted here yesterday

to Chico Unified School District Finance Director Kevin Bultema, asking how the failure of California Teachers Retirement System would affect our school district. He responded,

Good afternoon Ms. Sumner,

This has been one of the key budget issues facing CUSD.  The recent downward adjustments in CalSTRS estimated investment earnings is adding additional pressure to employer contribution rates in future years.  Employees did have a small increase in their contribution rate in 2015-16 from 10% to 10.25%.  The employer contribution rate has increased since 2015-16 and is projected to increase each year through 2020-21.  We discuss the financial impact of the projected PERS and STRS rates at every budget presentation.  Below is a slide we include in all of our budget presentations to keep our board and the community informed of this issue.  I hope this helps answer your question.  Have a great evening. 

Bultema ran the Measure K campaign, but gee Beav, none of this stuff came up in his Argument For, nor in the rebuttal to my argument, where he and Mark Sorensen chastised me for not getting it. 

Maureen Kirk told me she was supporting Measure K because “The more I looked into it, I came to the conclusion that the schools really need our help and support. This does not support retirement and benefits and directly helps the students.”

I wrote to Kirk and Sorensen and chastised them for their support of Measure K, forwarding Bultema’s e-mail with the link to the Sac Bee. I hope you will do same:

The rebuttal to my argument against Measure K claimed I didn’t “get it.” Well, do you get it now Mark?  Here Kevin Bultema admits, CalSTRS has been failing, but nobody mentioned that during the Measure K campaign.  It’s all about the kids, huh Maureen?  Just in case you don’t read The Bee, I included a link to the article I had referenced to Bultema, although I know Mark already knows exactly what’s going on.  Sincerely disgusted, Juanita

Kirk and Sorensen are both up in 2018.  Where can we find suitable replacements? 

Meanwhile, another thing to remember, Chico Area Recreation District has hired the same consultant to run their bond/assessment campaign, so be ready for LIES LIES LIES.

Enterprise Record a “conservative” paper? Really?

26 Dec

Here’ s the latest editorial from the man who endorsed Measure K and then refused to interview me when I mounted official opposition to the bond measure.  I had to post the whole thing because it’s not available online, there’s no link.

NOTE:  This editorial ran in the Monday December 26 edition of the Enterprise Record, but for some reason,  as of Wednesday the 28, it has still not appeared in the online edition.

NOTE-NOTE:  Looks like Little picked up this editorial from the Mercury News, but failed to identify it as a pick-up in the the e-edition that I get.

So, I took the opportunity to add my own commentary.

CalPERS keeps loading public with huge debt

Chico Enterprise Record, Monday December 26,  2016

The nation’s largest pension system last week demonstrated once again that it’s willing to drive taxpayers deeper into debt to placate government worker labor unions.

Why drive the taxpayers deeper into debt? Why not demand that the workers either pay their own pensions or lower their expectations for retirement bling?

Directors of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System voted to lower their investment forecast, a move in the right direction that means employers and in many cases employees will contribute more to shore up the ailing pension plan.

Again he’s saying employers – and that’s the taxpayers – should have to pay this debt – why? 

But the changes will be phased in at a glacial rate over the next eight years and CalPERS’ own numbers show they’re not nearly enough.

CalPERS has known about this pension debt problem for at least ten years, I’ve been blogging it myself for at least four years. 

By its actions Wednesday, CalPERS acknowledged it has only 63.5 percent of the assets it should. That places the system’s shortfall at about $170 billion and on the backs of taxpayers. It averages more than $13,000 of debt for each California household.

The backs of the taxpayers? Why? We were never consulted when Gray  Davis made this scheme, we recalled him, but we still got stuck with the deal he struck with the employees’ unions.

It’s actually worse than that. And the longer the union- dominated CalPERS board fails to comprehensively address its funding problems, the larger that debt will likely grow. Unlike upfront contributions that are shared between government employers and workers, the shortfall lands solely on taxpayers.


Nevertheless, Gov. Jerry Brown touted the deal, which his office struck behind the scenes with labor. He said the change is “ more reflective of the financial returns (CalPERS) can expect in the future. This will make for a more sustainable system.”

More than what? Yes, it’s closer to a reasonable target than the past policy, which was completely divorced from reality, but it doesn’t come close to actually putting CalPERS on a sustainable path.

Like the governor’s muchtouted pension law changes of 2012, this CalPERS adjustment only marginally slows the bleeding. It doesn’t come close to solving the problem.

Specifically, the CalPERS board voted to lower its assumed rate of investment return from 7.5 percent to 7.375 percent in fiscal year 2017, 7.25 percent in 2018 and 7.0 percent in 2019.

That means the pension system will lower its expectation for how much interest it can earn from its assets and instead turn to government employers to kick in more.

But that increase in contribution rates for state and local governments, many of whom are likely to pass on some of the burden to workers, won’t be fully phased in until 2024.

Oh my God – he’s calling pensions of 70 – 90 percent of a worker’s highest year’s earnings a burden on the workers!

To understand how far short this move falls, consider that CalPERS announced Wednesday that it hadn’t hit a 7 percent average over the last 20 years and, going forward, it estimates that there’s only roughly a 1-in- 4 chance that it will meet that target.

And CalPERS’ consultant warns that the pension system should anticipate only an average 6.2 percent in each of the next 10 years.

CalPERS officials rationalize that state and local governments couldn’t afford higher payments that would result from lower investment forecasts.

If that’s true, the solution is to change the system, not keep denying reality.

I believe Little is talking about further raising taxes to float these pensions. That’s why he endorsed Measure K, and that’s why I believe he will back up CARD and eventually the city of Chico when they put their own tax increase measures on the ballot. He refuses to admit that these pensions are unsustainable, period, he just keeps expecting the rest of us to set up these public workers like Phay-rohs!

When are we going to get a real newspaper in this town?

NOTE: I contacted a managing editor at the San Jose Mercury Register – this piece was actually written by one of his co-workers and reprinted by permission in the ER (same owner owns both papers…)

Chico Unified lost the lawsuit and was ordered to make the e-mails public – but now the link doesn’t work? What is Chico Unified trying to hide?

13 Dec

Here’s a story from Chico Enterprise Record regarding the lawsuit Chico Unified pressed against Chico State last year:

Most of the details are there, and a link is included so that the public can view the e-mails that were the subject of the lawsuit – unfortunately the link doesn’t work.  

Look at the comments below – at one point lawyer Paul Boylan says the district removed the link. Olson responds to him that a new link has been provided. Geez, that link doesn’t work either!

I sent an e-mail to ER staffer Ryan Olson, we’ll see if he can help us out.

Looks like the school district is still trying to hide something.

Daugherty still refuses to either print my letter or do her own investigating

6 Dec

I offered to change my letter for Melissa Daugherty  – I offered to pose my charges to the school district as questions. That’s called “opinion,” but Daugherty charges I am spreading “fake news,” and would not print my letter without editing it by about half.

She wouldn’t even look at the stuff I’d found online, nor would she do her own investigating.  JB called it right on the nose in his comment to my last post, so I stole  his words and wrote a new letter.

Chico Unified issued $126 million in school bonds between 1998 and 2012, built new facilities at both high schools, but the questionable portables are still standing.  Why is the editor surprised? As claimed in this latest bond campaign, Chico schools still contain asbestos and are non-compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990.  The district promised to upgrade computer labs  back in 2012, claims made again in the 2016 campaign.  

Last year  CUSD spent roughly a million dollars suing Chico State to keep the college from making public  e-mails sent through the college server by Chico Unified staff and board members. What were they hiding? I suspect the district is hiding information from the public, but the editor would neither investigate the evidence for herself nor let me include it in my letter. 

The News and Review has launched a “foundation” to ask funding from the community  ” to inform, engage and empower citizens”.   Apparently the editor believes that is a special category of journalism that her publication doesn’t have the time or wherewithal to pursue, so she throws up her hands and endorses the bond.

I got the boldface remark from JB – thanks JB, you nailed it. We have no real journalists in this town, we have propagandists. 


And then there’s our local media…

30 Nov

I hate to cry sour grapes, but I am confounded at the passage of Measure K (Chico Unified school bond) because of the lies, lack of information, and general disinterest of the public in  finding out the truth.  I found out a lot of distressing stuff about the school district – not the least of it, “about a million dollars” spent on a lawsuit against Chico State last year to keep the college from handing over secret e-mails sent between Chico Unified board members, staff, and the district’s attorney.

I got that information almost by accident – I was perusing the county superior court website to see how many times Chico Unified had been sued, I was just curious. There it was – Chico Unified sued Chico State.  When I began digging into the lawsuit, I found invoices for the attorneys – thousands of dollars just in one bill – for advising Chico Unified board members and employees about dumping e-mails requested by the Grand Jury and other individuals. I saw an e-mail from the district’s attorney telling Bob Feaster’s secretary that she didn’t have to give up e-mails from her computer trash bin – wink wink!

I re-read the stories about the district’s near failure in 2008, when the state threatened a takeover because of poor record keeping, major deficit spending, closures of schools due to an $8 million deficit. I couldn’t believe neither local newspaper reminded the voters of any of this mismanagement over the course of this latest election, instead they actually ran favorable pieces about how the district had supposedly been spending the bond money. Alot of the new sports field and new building they built at the high schools was done with separate grant funding, that had to be matched  dollar for dollar out of the budget that was supposed to be going toward removing asbestos and bringing the schools up to par.  

A week or so ago, the News and Review, which endorsed  Measure K, ran a snide editorial saying since this latest bond had passed, it was time the district made good on replacing the portables.

I read about the portables too. The district promised to get rid of them in bond campaign ’98, again in bond  campaign 2012. In the Measure K campaign, they admitted they still had asbestos in the schools and they aren’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Yeah,  they’ve had almost 30 years to get the schools compliant with federal and state law, passed $126 million in  bonds, but still aren’t compliant.

So, I had to respond to the News and Review. Why hadn’t they made that criticism before the election? 

Chico Unified issued $126 million in school bonds between 1998 and 2012, built new facilities at both high schools, but the poorly ventilated portables long ago acknowledged to contain carcinogens are still standing.  Why is the editor surprised? As claimed in this latest bond campaign, Chico schools still contain asbestos and are non-compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990.  The district promised to upgrade computer labs for the kids  back in 2012, claims made again in the 2016 campaign.  

Last year  CUSD spent roughly a million dollars suing Chico State to keep the college from making public  e-mails sent through the college server by Chico Unified staff and board members. What were they hiding? E-mails sent between Chico Unified superintendents advising their staff to destroy records requested by the Grand Jury and other individuals. Enrollment projections showing the district lied about overcrowding in 1998 and again in 2012.  Documents proving the district knew they would not be able to build on the Schmidbauer property when they promised that site to the voters in 1998. 

This newspaper endorsed Measure K so I expect to see a reporter at every board meeting. 

Juanita Sumner, Chico CA

I was surprised how quickly editor Melissa Daugherty got back to me:

Hi, Juanita,

I am having trouble fact-checking everything in your letter. If you can
provide links to documentation, that would be helpful. I will have to
hold off on printing this until I can verify your claims.


She had less than three hours to do any fact-checking, I don’t believe she did squat. For one thing, I got a lot of my information from past issues of her newspaper. Everything I told her could be checked out online. She could have asked district finance superintendent Kevin  Bultema for the pricetag on that lawsuit – I have, and I still don’t have anything from him besides promises he’ll get back to me.  She could also get enrollment figures from the district. 

I suggested she do her own digging – since when does an opinion come with footnotes? She responded again within minutes:

I’m happy to print a response on the portables editorial, but I cannot publish what you’ve written without fact-checking your claims. And, after digging around, I cannot find many of the specifics you mention, especially in the latter part of the letter.


Wow, to think this woman calls herself a journalist, but she can’t do a little research? Lazy, lazy girl.

So I sent her some clues.  A lot of the stuff I found didn’t have a direct link – like the court case. You just have to go to the index and search  for it, and you will find different stuff every time.  I also had found e-mails that I couldn’t forward, and most of them won’t cut-and-paste – hey, I don’t get paid to do this, I don’t get paid to take courses in Tech-BS, I do the best I can. Read it from the bottom.

 Done. Mkki Gillett, Director of lnformation Technology Willett@mail.chie CHICO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 1163 E. 7th St, Chico, CA 90928-5999 5301891-3000, ext 150 From: Ray Quinto Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 B:2G AM To: VikkiGillett Subject FW: Block – Jeff Sloan FYI Fro m : Robert Wilcox [mailto : rwilcox@] Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 3:28 pM To: Ray Quinto Subject: RE: Block – Jeff Sloan Hi Ray, I have added this email address to a black hole. Let me know if you need anything else. Robert Wilcox Network and Operations Manager Butte Coung Office of Education 530-s32-5770 From : Ray Quinto [mailto : rquinto@mail,] Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 3:25 pM To: Robert Wilcox Subject FW: Block – Jeff Stoan Can you black hole this one for us? Ray

They’re talking about cleaning their computers of anything requested by former Marsh Junior High principal Jeff Sloan and his attorney. “Block – Jeff Sloan“? How obvious does this stuff have to be to get the attention of Snoop Daugherty? 

But, I realize, she had a point. I was “stating facts not in evidence,” which is allowed in court, but see, I’m not a lawyer. So I asked her, could I make my “claims” in the form of questions? Would that suit her?

We’ll see if she even bothers to respond. 

Grubbs claims 20,000 uncounted ballots will not affect election results

12 Nov

A couple of weeks after telling me she resented my asking questions about missing ballots, Candace Grubbs tells the Enterprise Record she’s got over 20,000 un-tabulated ballots, but she’s sure they won’t affect the results she announced on election night.  

Early vote- by- mail ballots tend to be different than votes at the polling place, but the county clerk said even with about 18,000 mail- in ballots dropped off at polling places yet to count and another 4,000 provisional ballots still to be counted, she doesn’t expect to see much change in results percentages.

‘ Ones turned in at the polls mirror the poll vote,’ she said. ‘Usually.’

She also claims to be calling people when there’s a problem with their ballot, giving them a chance to fix it. This is the first I’ve ever heard of that. 

Grubbs told the ER, “ We’re trying to get done by Thanksgiving because the staff is tired…We’re ready for a break.”

This is the woman who told me she resented my asking questions. She also refused my invitation to appear at the library to speak to the voters when she ran in 2014, saying she didn’t want to drive to Chico on her “family day” (Sunday was the only day I could do the meetings).  I hope she gets her wish for “a break” – I hope somebody runs against her in 2018 and sends her running home to her family. 


Yes Virginia – a bond is a tax – a turd by any other name, will still stink

7 Nov


I have to laugh when I realize, some people do not consider a bond a tax.  They don’t see how much it adds to their cost of living.

Measure K asks $60 for every $100,000 of property valuation – with today’s home prices and the assessor jacking up evaluations for permitted work, the average house in Chico is valuated at over $300,000.  We put new siding and a new roof on our old crapper and the assessor added about $100,000 to our evaluation. 

So, that’s an average of $240 a year for the homeowner. 

The district will tell you that’s chump change, but at my house, it’s a lot of groceries. For other people, it’s trips to  restaurants and movie theaters, shopping trips to the mall. If there’s 40,000 households in the city of Chico, that would add up to a little over $9 million in discretionary spending that is about to be sponged up by the school district.


Turn those ballots in! According to Butte County clerk, less than a third of mail-in ballots had been received by October 29, with 1,789 of them “undeliverable”

7 Nov

 My friend finally reported to me, after a couple of inquiries, he received his mail-in ballot – on Thursday of last week.  I told him he should deliver it so there’s no excuses about the mail not being fast enough.

On October 29th I received this update from Candace Grubbs by way of my Third District Supervisor Maureen Kirk: 

To date we have issued:

91,431 vote by mail ballots including 1839 2nd ballots to voters who either did not get the first or had made mistakes on the first ballot.
27,248 voted ballots have been received plus 1789 Undeliverable ballots by today (Sat. Oct.29th)
                As normal, Butte County voters are hanging onto their ballots so I expect to see thousands returned to the polls, although we will keep encouraging them to vote and return prior to Election Day.  Remember only those ballots received by Monday, Nov. 7th will be processed in time to be in the first release of election votes after 8pm on Election Night.

There she says there were 1789 “Undeliverable ballots” – a friend of mine told me the post office declared him “undeliverable,” but continues to deliver his ex-girlfriend’s voting materials years after she moved to Missouri.  My husband, for some reason, was declared “undeliverable” one year and he had to ask for a “provisional” ballot at the polling station.  

Here’s my theory – the post office is still  living in the 1950’s. They seem to be unaware that people can live together (i.e. – “shack up“) in a one-bedroom apartment without being married.  Nor do they seem hip to the fact that often times married couples do not have the same last name. So they see two ballots going to the same address with different last names, and they decide one of them is a fraud. 

Yes, the post office – your mail man – has the power to take your name off the voter rolls without even mentioning it to you. 

To me, this is a mis-guided action of a lazy person who wants to be perceived as being on-top-of voter fraud.  Only the county clerk should be able to remove a person from the rolls, and there should be a process by which they prove this person is not living at the given address. Instead Grubbs is allowed to drop  people from the rolls on the advice of a mailman who may not even be on the same route more than a week.

Grubbs says she regularly checks the rolls for evidence of phony addresses. I think that’s a crock – if she did,  I’m betting she’d find a bunch of people registered at Chico  State, the school district office, and various schools around the city. My  belief is there are a lot of people who work here in Chico but don’t actually live in town, so they register at their job. I wouldn’t be surprised to find people registered at 411 Main Street.

She never had any excuse for my friend’s missing ballot aside from blaming the post office. When she finally resent him a ballot he had less than a week to return it. 

In that last paragraph she blames the voters. She’s worried she’ll have a lot of work to do on election day – well, I have to ask – isn’t that the job she runs for every four years? 

91,430 vote by mail ballots issued, and on October 29, only 27,248 had been returned ( and that includes the 1,789 “undeliverable” ballots). This information given in response to my questions sent via Supervisor Kirk.  That was only about a week and a half before Election Day. 

I hope Grubbs is right – I hope there’s a landslide of ballots coming in tomorrow. Otherwise, a person has to ask herself – why don’t Butte County  voters come to the polls? 


Looks like neither Karl Ory, Ann Schwab, Randall Stone nor Tami Ritter have any respect for the voters or the rules

3 Nov
I don't know if this mailer is illegal, but it's certainly misleading.

I don’t know if this mailer is illegal, but it’s certainly misleading.

City council candidate Karl Ory should certainly know the election  laws of Chico – according to his own website, he’s already served six years on Chico City Council, two of those in the mayor’s seat. I don’t remember Ory’s tenure, but I know, this town is in the heap, because of decisions that have been made over the last 25 – 30 years.  

I don’t know the laws regarding mailers, but I know the Chico Democrats have pulled something illegal in almost every election – most recently, Chico Dems purse-man Kelly Meagher was hit with thousands in fines for disregarding the filing rules – he was apparently supposed to be filing in Chico for Chico elections but for years the Dems filed  in Oroville. I thought that was weird – they did it because Candace Grubbs did not have a good campaign finance page on her website, it was really hard to see where candidates/PAC’s money was coming from.  All the  sudden a law must have changed or maybe Grubbs woke up at her post and decided to hit Meagher with a violation.

Both Michael Worley and Dave Guzzetti have been hit with fines for their abuses of the campaign laws too. They send mailers out with false names of fake organizations  for years, including a hit-piece on Larry Wahl made to look as though it came from the established organization “Mothers Against Drunk Drivers”.  They get fined for these hijinx election  after election,  but they just keep doing it.

Ann Schwab, who has been on council for what,  12 years, at least 4 of those as mayor, should know better, and so should Randall Stone and Tami Ritter, but I’m guessing it was with their permission that the above mailer was sent out, purporting to be from the city of Chico.

I sent this picture to city clerk Debbie “Have a Great Day!” Presson,  and she responded that she was forwarding it to county clerk Candace Grubbs. Grubbs responded that I should call her to discuss it, and I told her she should just take care of it herself. I’m the watchdog, I bark,  these salaried people are supposed to do the leg work. 

We’ll  see what they come up with. For now, you know, Schwab, Ory, Stone and Ritter are cheaters, and that’s how they operate.