County Assessor Announces Campaign…uhhh, using County Email System

Barry Jantz Barry Jantz 7 Comments


From last night’s column at the FlashReport

The speculation has lasted for several months whether appointed incumbent San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk David Butler would seek election in his own right.

Appointed by the Board of Supervisors last year after 25-year office holder Greg Smith resigned in late 2008, Butler offficially announced today he will run for the seat.  Very officially.  After all, what better way to get the word out than by letting County employees know through use of the publicly-owned email system?

His first campaign missive has established Butler’s efficiency!  Why develop your own campaign distribution list, when the taxpayers’ system is already in place?

Okay, some might say that the message below from Butler doesn’t actually say anything akin to “Vote for me,” or direct anyone to a campaign website.  It could be construed as pertinent information for the office.  Yet, it does include items for which he is taking credit, while titling them “Critical Long Term Projects,” the implication clearly being they are important enough that Butler needs to continue to serve.

After the recent Walt Ekard flap over his email noting that as CAO he opposes term limits for the Supervisors, one might think caution would be paramount at the County of San Diego.  Yet, Ekard is not running for office.  Butler is, ironically, as the “internal” email so notes…

From: Delacruz, Lizza On Behalf Of Butler, David L
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 4:39 PM
Subject: Critical Long Term Projects

Over the last few weeks there has been much speculation regarding the future direction of the office. I have also received numerous inquiries regarding my plans as they relate to my official capacity as the Assessor /Recorder/ County Clerk in the department.

As most of you are aware I have initiated several changes, including the new recording system, the pending integrated property tax system, and a restructured budget that I believe are necessary to make this department more efficient, both economically and technologically.  I am very committed to these projects and want to ensure they are completed as I have envisioned.

As a result I have decided to run for election for the office in June, with the intention of serving at least one full term.

David L. Butler
Assessor /Recorder/ County Clerk
County of San Diego
619.531.5507 | Fax 619.557.4056

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail


How about… Please consider the ramifications before hitting “send”?

The email distribution is to the Finance & General Government (FGG) and Assessor Recorder County Clerk (ARCC) staffs, estimated to be more than 400 employees.


Comments 7

  1. Barry:

    I’m waiting for an apology from the smug, anonymous
    poster who told us here that Butler would never run,
    that it was all a charade, that we had been taken in,
    etc….. but I’m not holding my breath!

  2. I did not think he would run, but now I am wondering if the FIX IS IN, is this going to be another Greg Smith move, run and then resign? His ballot designation should be enough to win…. The supervisors should never have appointed…..

  3. The word is this. The reason Greg Smith supported David Butler for the interim appointment, but endorsed Jeff Olson for the seat in this year’s election, was to provide Butler a higher salary prior to his retirement, thus bolstering his pension. However, no commitment was obtained that Butler wouldn’t run for the seat, it was simply assumed he would not. Gasps and dohs aside, no one will of course admit any of this. Olson wasn’t part of any such “agreement,” as the man has lots of integrity, he simply asked for Smith’s support and received it, but only for the election. With Butler’s decision to run, it isn’t Olson that is hurt as much as it is the taxpayers in once again getting shafted by back room deals. My opinion.

  4. Greg Larkin is absolutely right!

    In my opinion Butler should appologize to San Diego County Taxpayers for misuse of County resources to advance his personal/political agenda. This is not the first time he has put his own priorites ahead of the taxpayers of San Diego. The so called “Restructured Budget” that’s referenced in the email included a 4.5% increase to his own salary. Did he really think we’d be impressed?

  5. The original post here and the comments are why politics in this county are a joke.

    Is this campaigning on the county email system? Well, since you asked, it’s not. He didn’t say “vote for me”. In fact, it’s pretty much admitted so in the rest of your post.

    The other candidates include a career politician and another who’s going around making speeches about how he’ll “defend prop. 13”, as if the assessor has any choice of which laws to follow.

    Maybe Smith endorsed Butler for the job because he was the most qualified. He was his assistant for years.

    And Larken’s post above is classic. It begins with the declarative “the word is this….” then ends with “my opinion”. What are we supposed to make of that?

    I guess that’s too reasoned to understand.

  6. Ahh yes, clearly the reason politics is a joke. You ever see the comments at the UT website? Comparatively, SD Rostra has some pretty reasoned and politically astute commenters, although admittedly way smaller in readership, of course. Maybe the real reason politics is a joke in the county is the great expectation on the part of some (many?) that they deserve something handed to them on a silver platter, they shouldn’t be questioned, and that there should be no legitimate questioning or debate as to their actions. That goes for their followers as well. If Butler’s email meets the test of not campaigning with public resources, so be it, great in fact, but if he or his minions thought it would pass without a question, maybe that’s the joke.

  7. “What are we supposed to make of that?” How about what we are to make of it is that it’s my opinion, just like I wrote. Oh, I see, anyone that questions backroom deals isn’t allowed to have an opinion, just the elites are allowed to have one. A fool doesn’t see the hypocrisy of his own heart.

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