Dirty politics mars DA’s race
May 9, 2014
OPINION By JODY LANGFORD
In the first debate between the San Luis Obispo County district attorney candidates, Assistant District Attorney Tim Covello made public a private email from Deputy District Attorney Dan Dow and accused Dow of being political, saying, in essence, that he hoped this campaign would not become politicized and that he was disappointed in Dow.
In recent days, Covello has done a complete flip-flop on his stand against politicizing the campaign. Desperate to save his failing campaign, the only thing he has left is to attempt to tarnish Dow’s reputation in the eyes of the voters by creating a controversy where there is none.
When questioned by Dave Congalton about this situation, Covello admitted that nothing illegal was done but hesitated, stuttered, and stammered his way to an accusation of serious ethics violations. He also said that except for recent reported events, he did not believe there was any corruption in the district attorney’s office. He is implying that Dow is corrupt and that he took money from a defense attorney for nefarious purposes.
Several questions remain regarding this incident. Did District Attorney Gerry Shea and Covello leak an internal investigation? Did the district attorney, working with Covello, conspire to manufacture an ethical issue? Did Shea and Covello knowingly inflate a clear nonfeasance into an attorney general complaint, simply for the purpose of influencing the election?
Did Shea personally deliver the complaint to the attorney general’s office? Shea says he made no judgment on the matter. Is that true? Or, did Shea obfuscate the simple facts, instead posturing as if a real breach of ethics may have occurred, and purposefully forwarding a non-matter to the A.G. to create a story?
Dow did nothing wrong, ethically or legally. Covello, willing to try anything, is not going to let it drop. The voters should be prepared to see attack ads in the future, most likely painting Dow as some sort of evil, corrupt, politician, willing to do anything, including offering justice for a price. I hope that the voters are smart enough to see through this smear tactic and recognize it for what it is — a desperate act from a failing campaign.
Covello’s radio commercials are attacking Dow’s character, saying at least Covello knows right from wrong. Apparently Covello does not, as he was caught red-handed lying about his support for the veterans’ treatment court. Covello is making a fool of himself with these commercials because just about everybody who has worked with Dow does vouch for his character.
On another note, in the last few days, several large Dow campaign signs have been destroyed and stolen, to say nothing of the countless, smaller yard signs stolen and destroyed. Perhaps it is indicative of the type of supporters Covello has. Perhaps.
Finally, Covello has been trying to make Dow out to be some sort of union guy and therefore a crook. Ironically, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union donated $1,000 to Covello’s campaign and has a huge sign erected in front of its office.
The above, along with the recent United States Postal Service crimes, should convince any reasonable person that Covello is NOT the right person for this job. Dan Dow is. Dow’s real record speaks for itself.
Jody Langford lives in Templeton. He is not an attorney.