County Supervisorial District 2

The Context

County Supervisorial District 2 is located out in the Conejo Valley, as well as parts of Camarillo. There is a lot of wildlife to protect, open spaces, and this is the area of the county that has walked the slowest with regards to developing housing, especially adequate that meets affordability guidelines.

The supervisor currently occupying this seat is Linda Parks. Parks has been a staunch advocate of environmental issues, but also doesn’t strike me as the brightest star in the sky. She often makes completely nonsensical comments, and will outright attack people that don’t parrot the most simplistic ideas she manages to gargle out of her mouth.

There was a movement afoot last year to recall her by a right wing group that was trying to pick up on the coattails of the gubernatorial attempt at recall (which failed). They weren’t able to garner even the bare minimum of signatures to force a vote; a true testament both to the recall group’s ineffective and disorganized agenda, as well as the fact that Linda Parks is like the wind: mostly inconsequential, and consisting of very little but air (including that which blows between her ears).

I have been of highest hopes that some sound and aggressive candidates would step up to the plate, though I remain unimpressed. Bill-de La Peña is the sweetheart of Thousand Oaks and the Democratic Party, but she unilaterally lobbied as mayor in 2021 on behalf of the city of Thousand Oaks to the governor to veto SBs 8 and 9, which greatly expand housing. If you’re unfamiliar, housing is at an absolute crisis point in California, a direct result of the slow-walking of politicians like her and Parks. Bill-de La Peña just recently launched an attack ad in spite of having signed a fair campaign pledge to not do so, which I suspect is a desperate attempt to counter the massive influx of funds Gorell has at his disposal. Nevertheless, I should hope she at least answers for these issues to her voters, who deserve politicians that realize they are accountable for their missteps.

On Gorell’s part, the Firefights have launched a separate Political Action Committee to infuse funds into both Gorell and Parvin’s campaigns, in the neighboring district. They have so far raised and spent over $100K on Gorell’s behalf.

There are three candidates in this race.

Spending Breakdown

Bill-de la Peña’s 2022 Spending:

Spent $34K

$9,900 unpaid expenditures

Gave herself a $50K loan

$126K cash on hand

Gorell’s 2022 Spending:

Spent $58K

Gave himself a $10K loan

$87K remaining cash on hand

McCarthy’s 2022 Spending:

Spent $25K

$2K unpaid expenditures

$63K cash on hand

*$703.92 expense to Chaz Sportswear (clothing)*

Bill-de la Peña’s Notable Donations

Claudia Bill-de la Peña has more donations from local Democrats – elected, party insiders, members of the Central Committee, Democratic clubs, and volunteers – than any other candidate on the localized ballot. To that end, many also maxed out their contributions, with spouses also contributing in equal, maximum amounts.

Of note:

  • Carmen Ramirez – County Supervisor
  • Mark Lisagor – Trustee for the Ventura County Board of Education
  • Limon for Senate 2024
  • Retired State Senator Fran Pavley
  • Democratic Womens Council of the Conejo Valley
  • Democratic Club of Conejo Valley
  • United Democrats for Progress of Ventura County
  • Steve Bennett – California State Assembly Member
  • Democratic Club of Camarillo
  • Committee to Elect John C Zaragoa for Mayor 2020
  • Ed Jones – Councilmember for the City of Thousand Oaks*
  • SEIU 721

*One note about Ed Jones: he is the only member of the city council in Thousand Oaks that has shown Bill-de la Peña support monetarily. In 2021, when discussing the city’s general plan amendments, an apartment complex was being discussed, and Ed Jones famously stated that renters are people who don’t care about their community, and thus they should not be looking to supply more opportunities for people to rent if at all possible. (45% of Californians are renters, comprising almost half the entire state… in a city like Thousand Oaks, that amounts to more than 60,000 people.)

Gorell’s Notable Donations

Gorell has garnered the support of a wide array of farmers, farm owners, ranchers, attorneys, financial advisors, and local business owners. Listed on his candidacy filing page as the Director of Homeland Security, Gorell has received over $2000 in in-kind donations for legal fees this year, alone. Every farm in his district has donated to him, including Underwood, Terry, and Willow.

What stunned me, though, was his support from local unions.

Of note:

  • IBEW (union) PAC Educational Fund
  • Ventura County Agricultural Association PAC
  • California Real Estate PAC
  • Joseph Parra – Policy Consultant to the CA State Senate
  • George Erb (owner of George Erb Physical Therapy and Fitness Center)
  • Michael Osborn (owner of Fitness 19)
  • Several individuals at The Latigo Group, who Bill-de la Peña voted against as the lone Councilmember against a proposed development in 2021

McCarthy’s Notable Donations

What I cannot get past on McCarthy is not only the donation portion, but his expenditures and the way his treasurer filled out his campaign disclosure form. A true novice, clearly, everything is itemized to the “t.” Only a total newb will list in-kind contributions in exhaustive lists, like that Dennis McCarthy from Florida donated 5 coolers, wine coolers, a beverage cart, and a blue tooth speaker. Also, the treasurer filed the disclosure twice, one day apart (did she forget??); and I’m still waiting for an answer on Tim spending $703.92 at Chaz Sportswear on clothing.

There are, ultimately, a lot of nobodies on McCarthy’s campaign disclosure, so it is difficult to articulate where he stands politically, until you get to the couple of red flags. Hargleroad, who is running for County-Clerk, had his wife give McCarthy some money. John Barrick, running for District Attorney, donated as himself. A company called VC Defense, Inc offered a donation. And a man named Timothy Toton gave $100 then asked for $50 of it back.

There was, however, one bright red flag flying for me in his donations, another local crackpot that rides with Bruce Boyer to every meeting possible to cause a scene. Deborah Baber, who went viral for her impassioned speech about not wanting to wear a mask during the earliest days of a pandemic, because – among several reasons – she does not identify as a sexual sadist, appears on McCarthy’s campaign disclosure form several times. She ended that speech by ringing a cowbell and singing God Bless America. She also was arrested at the Ojai Trader Joes for throwing vegetables at an employee that asked her to put on a mask in those earliest days of COVID.