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Endorsement shenanigan or miscommunication?

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Friday, April 11th, 2008 at 2:14 pm in 2008 June primary.

Discovery Bay Chamber of Commerce President Tim Mobley and chamber Director Amanda Dove signed and sent a lovely endorsement letter in March to supervisor candidate Guy Houston, the San Ramon Assemblyman who will term out this year. (Pictured on the right.)

Houston is challenging incumbent Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho, who just happens to live in Discovery Bay. (Pictured bottom right.) The two will appear on the June 3 primary ballot.

“We are pleased to endorse you as our choice for Contra Costa county supervisor,” the letter said of Houston.

The Houston campaign sent out a press release a few days later touting the endorsement of the Discovery Bay Chamber of Commerce, although they eliminated Dove’s signature from the letter for “space reasons,” I was told.

But the “we” of the letter wasn’t the “we” the Houston campaign thought.

The Chamber of Commerce as a whole apparently didn’t endorse Houston. The letter was meant as the personal endorsements of Mobley and Dove, publisher of the Delta Sun Times.

Mobley says he cleared things up this month with a short item in the Delta Sun, writing that the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors would remain neutral in the race although individual members were free to endorse as they saw fit.

As for the elimination of Amanda Dove’s name from Houston’s press release, this brings up a curious question.

Cut for space? One signature? Do we worry about “space” on the Internet? Or is it because that Dove is the daughter-in-law of Discovery Bay Community Services District Director Dave Dove, who is a vocal critic of board colleague and Piepho’s husband, David Piepho?

Houston campaign spokesman Don Parsons says I’m reading “way, way too much into this.”

Perhaps that’s true.

Sometimes a misunderstanding is just a misunderstanding.

But either way, don’t you just love small towns?

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  • Renegade GOP

    Lisa,
    In general I think you are a very balanced reporter but it seems you are a little overly sympathetic to Mary Piepho. As the incumbent she deserves a higher level of scrutiny. The county is in a huge financial crisis.
    Thank God someone with the experience of Guy Houston is running for this job. I think you post is a little petty.

    An yes we love small towns. Just ask B. Obama

  • Renegade GOP

    Lisa,
    In general I think you are a very balanced reporter but it seems you are a little overly sympathetic to Mary Piepho. As the incumbent she deserves a higher level of scrutiny. The county is in a huge financial crisis.
    Thank God someone with the experience of Guy Houston is running for this job. I think you post is a little petty.

    An yes we love small towns. Just ask B. Obama

  • Greg Spivak

    Hi Lisa, I’m just curious since we are a “small town” way out here in the back end of Contra Costa County, how is it that an endorsement by an individual whom happens to be a local Chamber of Commerce president should come to your attention? And how did you know Amanda Dove had been removed since her name was not on the Houston announcement touting the endorsement? You are alleging in your piece that there is some subversive behavior on the part of Amanda Dove, on the behalf of Dave Dove, whom she is related to by marriage. Do you have any basis for this accusation? Is there any proof that you have to show Mrs. Dove is acting as an agent for Mr. Dove? How do you connect Mrs. Dove to her father-in-law through a political endorsement? I would very much be interested in seeing any documentation to verify the accusations you have made.
    See, I have an incredible intolerance for “journalists” who feel it is okay to throw ideas around mixed with a little fact for flavor and present it as truth. Am I to infer from your piece that perhaps you are representing other interests that you are not fully disclosing? Are you, your husband, children, friends, family or anyone you do business with involved with the Piepho campaign in anyway that you would want to disclose so as not to present the idea you are misusing your platform for political favor or gain? As I understand it, I person has the right to endorse any individual or organization they choose. If you had done some more research, you might think it logical that Mrs. Dove, as editor of the Delta Sun Times, was representing her paper, since that is how she signed her endorsement according to you. But perhaps I am off base. Perhaps, “Sometimes a misunderstanding is just a misunderstanding” as you state. In that case, we can just pretend the as of yet unsupported statements and suggestions you and I have made here are just folly, and we should shrug our shoulders and go about our business, none the worse for wear. Although, I am going to insist on a response to my above questions as to proof of your allegations. And for full disclosure, I am both a resident of Discovery Bay, and a member of the Discovery Bay Chamber of Commerce. I will eagerly look forward to your response.

    Sincerely,
    Greg Spivak
    gregspivak@comcast.net

  • Greg Spivak

    Hi Lisa, I’m just curious since we are a “small town” way out here in the back end of Contra Costa County, how is it that an endorsement by an individual whom happens to be a local Chamber of Commerce president should come to your attention? And how did you know Amanda Dove had been removed since her name was not on the Houston announcement touting the endorsement? You are alleging in your piece that there is some subversive behavior on the part of Amanda Dove, on the behalf of Dave Dove, whom she is related to by marriage. Do you have any basis for this accusation? Is there any proof that you have to show Mrs. Dove is acting as an agent for Mr. Dove? How do you connect Mrs. Dove to her father-in-law through a political endorsement? I would very much be interested in seeing any documentation to verify the accusations you have made.
    See, I have an incredible intolerance for “journalists” who feel it is okay to throw ideas around mixed with a little fact for flavor and present it as truth. Am I to infer from your piece that perhaps you are representing other interests that you are not fully disclosing? Are you, your husband, children, friends, family or anyone you do business with involved with the Piepho campaign in anyway that you would want to disclose so as not to present the idea you are misusing your platform for political favor or gain? As I understand it, I person has the right to endorse any individual or organization they choose. If you had done some more research, you might think it logical that Mrs. Dove, as editor of the Delta Sun Times, was representing her paper, since that is how she signed her endorsement according to you. But perhaps I am off base. Perhaps, “Sometimes a misunderstanding is just a misunderstanding” as you state. In that case, we can just pretend the as of yet unsupported statements and suggestions you and I have made here are just folly, and we should shrug our shoulders and go about our business, none the worse for wear. Although, I am going to insist on a response to my above questions as to proof of your allegations. And for full disclosure, I am both a resident of Discovery Bay, and a member of the Discovery Bay Chamber of Commerce. I will eagerly look forward to your response.

    Sincerely,
    Greg Spivak
    gregspivak@comcast.net

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Dear Mr. Spivak,

    I come from a very small Oregon town — 2,000 people — where my father was a city councilman when I was growing up. I have lived mostly in small towns all my life and I know about small-town politics. I currently live in Martinez, whose residents take small-town politics to new heights every year! It’s different than big-city politics. Not better. Not worse. Just different. (For the record, I prefer covering small-town politics.)

    As for making “accusations,” I have made no accusations. I merely raised questions suggested by the circumstances. That’s what political columnists do. Readers are free to agree or disagree with my observations.

    I learned that Ms. Dove signed the original endorsement letter after Houston’s campaign staff sent me the original endorsement. I had asked the campaign spokesman why the campaign represented, in a press release to me, an endorsement from the chamber as a whole rather than as an endorsement from two individuals. The campaign said it was a misunderstanding.

    Ms. Dove signed the letter with both affiliations, that of the chamber and that of the Delta-Sun. The chamber president, Tim Mobley, signed it with both his business and chamber affiliations, as well.

    Interestingly, Mr. Mobley told me he didn’t know who else had signed the letter.

    I asked the Houston campaign spokesman why Ms. Dove’s name had been removed and he said it was “for space.”

    As for the political connection to Houston between the Doves, both Amanda and Dave Dove have endorsed Houston. He gave Houston $250 campaign contribution on Oct. 17, 2007, and she signed the endorsement letter. Whatever else they may agree or disagree on, as family members will do, they both support Houston.

    No, I am not working for the Piepho campaign and neither do any of my relatives. My family typically votes and comes from a wide political philosophical spectrum. But they have little interest in politics and you won’t find any of their names on any volunteer lists, GOTV action days or contribution reports.

    Look, you can believe this or not, but I don’t care who wins or loses an election. I have a half-dozen contested East Bay races on my plate in the primary and several dozen pending for November. If I started caring about the outcome, I would lose what little sanity I have left after working 28 years in this business. (LOL)

    I cover the winners after Election Day and then get ready for the next election and the next crop of winners.

    I hope this response is satisfactory to you,

    Lisa v.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Dear Mr. Spivak,

    I come from a very small Oregon town — 2,000 people — where my father was a city councilman when I was growing up. I have lived mostly in small towns all my life and I know about small-town politics. I currently live in Martinez, whose residents take small-town politics to new heights every year! It’s different than big-city politics. Not better. Not worse. Just different. (For the record, I prefer covering small-town politics.)

    As for making “accusations,” I have made no accusations. I merely raised questions suggested by the circumstances. That’s what political columnists do. Readers are free to agree or disagree with my observations.

    I learned that Ms. Dove signed the original endorsement letter after Houston’s campaign staff sent me the original endorsement. I had asked the campaign spokesman why the campaign represented, in a press release to me, an endorsement from the chamber as a whole rather than as an endorsement from two individuals. The campaign said it was a misunderstanding.

    Ms. Dove signed the letter with both affiliations, that of the chamber and that of the Delta-Sun. The chamber president, Tim Mobley, signed it with both his business and chamber affiliations, as well.

    Interestingly, Mr. Mobley told me he didn’t know who else had signed the letter.

    I asked the Houston campaign spokesman why Ms. Dove’s name had been removed and he said it was “for space.”

    As for the political connection to Houston between the Doves, both Amanda and Dave Dove have endorsed Houston. He gave Houston $250 campaign contribution on Oct. 17, 2007, and she signed the endorsement letter. Whatever else they may agree or disagree on, as family members will do, they both support Houston.

    No, I am not working for the Piepho campaign and neither do any of my relatives. My family typically votes and comes from a wide political philosophical spectrum. But they have little interest in politics and you won’t find any of their names on any volunteer lists, GOTV action days or contribution reports.

    Look, you can believe this or not, but I don’t care who wins or loses an election. I have a half-dozen contested East Bay races on my plate in the primary and several dozen pending for November. If I started caring about the outcome, I would lose what little sanity I have left after working 28 years in this business. (LOL)

    I cover the winners after Election Day and then get ready for the next election and the next crop of winners.

    I hope this response is satisfactory to you,

    Lisa v.

  • Patriot Johnny

    Hey ,

    Why does only Houston’s picture come up on my screen ?
    There is another picture of something below his thats not loading. Was it missed due to internet space ? Was it a computer download error ? Is it just coincidence ? Maybe it’s a misunderstanding , either way don’t you just love the media ? :-)

  • Patriot Johnny

    Hey ,

    Why does only Houston’s picture come up on my screen ?
    There is another picture of something below his thats not loading. Was it missed due to internet space ? Was it a computer download error ? Is it just coincidence ? Maybe it’s a misunderstanding , either way don’t you just love the media ? :-)