Bare Knuckle Politics in Cooper v Fong For California's Ninth District Assembly Seat

May 19, 2014 | With the June 3 primary just over two weeks from now, the gloves are off in the race between Democratic candidates J...

May 19, 2014 |

With the June 3 primary just over two weeks from now, the gloves are off in the race between Democratic candidates Jim Cooper and Darrell Fong in the California Assembly Ninth District race.

Although there are one more Democrat and two Republicans in the race, the money and attention has been focused on the two law enforcement professionals who seek to replace Dr. Richard Pan. Both are expected to be the top two finishers and, therefore, advance to the November general election.

Nonetheless, both candidates have thrown off the gloves and either through surrogate Independent Expenditures committees or their own campaigns, are seeking to impugn the other.

The latest skirmish centers on a mailer sent by Fong's campaign.

Fong's rather innocuous mailer touting his green credentials, endorsement bullet points and family photo, also contained an unrelated dig at Cooper. Tucked in the corner of the mailer with a grayish background, the controversial copy reads "When Jim Cooper ran the county jail, woman were stripped and videotaped - 'including women who were pregnant ... and those subjected to humiliating tactics such as forcing them to dance (naked) ..."

Almost immediately Cooper's campaign responded seeking to repudiate the claims by calling them "doctored" and redirecting their ire with quotes from other law enforcement professionals including former Sacramento County Sheriff's Lou Blanas and Glen Craig. Although none of the comments denied the essence of Fong's claim, Blanas' quote sought to portray Fong negatively by saying "Darrell ran for City Council promising that he wasn’t a politician and within a year of holding office decided he was running for the Assembly."

Fong's campaign cites a Sacramento Bee story dated October 23, 2004 by Denny Walsh providing highlights of a class action lawsuit. That class action covered what were determined to be illegal searches of people arrested for minor violations between March 14, 2000 and June 6, 2003. 

As part of his story, Walsh bullet-pointed the following:
  • "Another 1,999 plaintiffs are claiming enhanced amounts up to a maximum $3,500 on top of the basis $1,000, depending on how aggravated the circumstances of the search were. This category included, for instance, people under 21 or 65, disabled people, or women who were pregnant or menstruating. It also included arrestees subjected to humiliating tactic by sheriff's deputies, such as forcing them to jump, dance or stand one foot during searches or endure language or jokes." 

The story does not specifically mention Cooper, who was the jail commander during a portion of the time covered by the class action lawsuit. The word naked  was not used in Walsh's story.

Should Cooper and Fong both advance as expected, following a summer respite, Ninth Assembly voters can expect to be barraged by much more this autumn.   


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Anonymous said...

No vision-Just a state salary and the pension benefits...

Anonymous said...

City pension as retired Sac PD Captain.

Anonymous said...

When Cooper retires, I bet he has a very generous pension from both the county and then the city.

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