Dirty politics mars DA’s race

May 9, 2014
Jody Langford

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.


Who is Jody Langford and why should I care about his opinion on the DA’s race? Oh, he lives in Templeton and he isn’t an attorney. That clarifies everything.


If you read and listen you may find enough information to form your own opinion.

Check out YouTube and the Trib. Also there are podcasts of the Dave Congleton radio show where you can listen to both candidates. KSBY 1230 am radio also has them on from time to time. Mr. Covello will be on on Monday at 1 PM with Dan DelCampo.

They both have websites. And you can join them at events to hear what they have to say personally. With all that I’m sure you can make your own decision.


Jody Langford = John Q Public, with an o p i n i o n favoring Dow.

Old Ned could make an effort to write an opinion piece favoring whomever he favors, too.

Downtown Bob

Old end, you don’t have the balls to write an opinion piece and therefore no one has the chance to care about your opinion or lack thereof.

As the world turns

I don’t know who I will vote for it would be nice to have equal time with someone advocating Covello. It always bothers me when a biased piece is written and makes me want to vote for the underdog.

just thinking

The most dangerous voter is the one that votes on their “feelings” and not the facts.

That’s why our nation and D.C is in the shape it’s in.


While there may be some who vote on their “feelings”, I would argue with you that most uninformed voters cast their ballot based solely on campaign ads they have seen, with absolutely no effort at researching the candidates and the veracity of the campaign ads. The old adage “you get the politicians you deserve” is directed at those who do not follow politics until a day or two before an election, if even then.

I will admit that I don’t always research each and every candidate for each and every race on the ballot (judges, school board members, other seemingly less important positions), but for those positions that can truly have an impact on the quality of our lives, it really is imperative for each of us to understand the person we are casting our ballot for.

As for the shape of our nation and particularly D.C.; ask yourself which political party is dedicated to obstructing the role of government by issuing filibusters, refusing to vote on conformation of appointed positions, and generally NOT doing the work they were elected to do. When you elect people who claim government cannot do anything right, they often make damn sure it doesn’t.

Downtown Bob

Bob, who are you supporting I this race?…and why?


Our county, our citizens need Dan Dow to be our next district attorney. When you elect Dan, you will be giving your consent to a qualified, caring man to use his expertise in helping bring about long-needed and important changes in a department that has allowed injustices far too long.

Many local citizens with whom I’ve spoken have no recollection of ever having seen Gerry Shea nor do they have any idea what he does. Interesting for a man who has been in his current position over 16 years and is paid a hefty salary funded solely through our hard-earned tax dollars. Ask yourself whether you should realistically expect more from Dan Dow’s opponent if he is elected. Mr. Shea has endorsed Tim Covello, a man highly aligned with Mr. Shea’s very own “management” style and ethics.

Either you want business as it has been for nearly two decades – or – you want to be instrumental in bringing fresh air into the San Luis Obispo County Office of the District Attorney by voting for Dan Dow.


Ahh…and yet another oxymoron so vividly characterizing the very nature of politics in our once beloved county.

Mr. Covello needs to understand that while something may not be illegal, it can certainly be unethical and immoral.

Mr. Covello, you must remember that politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.


actually politics is the art of the possible

the guy paso

Dow will win, it won’t even be close. But, please ignore my solid prediction and don’t forget to vote


I still haven’t seen anything that makes me want to vote for either one and this obviously biased attack on Covello won’t do the trick. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of it was true but there is a lot of speculative opinion mixed in and that makes me distrust Mr. Langford as a source in this case. I can do my own speculating and it includes possibilities of some short-comings by Mr. Dow as well.

I am hoping the new write-in candidate can come up with a more palatable platform and some sort of background to make me think he will follow through with it.


Ontheotherhand, look right up there next to Jody Langford’s name. There is a word there and I believe it is “OPINION”. I don’t see “source” anywhere.


True enough — it is an opinion piece and I took it as such. However, I try not to take opinion pieces as fact unless some supporting facts are provided by the person stating the opinion. And that was my point. Mr. Langford is certainly entitled to his opinion and I have seen him express it off and on over the years. However, it is the credibility of his opinion that I am questioning. I may well agree with his comments about Mr. Covello in this case but see no real evidence to support them so I am withholding judgment until more than speculation is provided.

If someone is going to write an opinion piece, it seems that they would want to make it convincing by providing proof. Julie Tacker does a much better job of this although I still find some of her assertions hard to believe and suspect that she is quite selective in what facts she uses when the whole truth looks less convincing.

Downtown Bob

There are a lot of facts able to be researched by listening to podcasts and listening to radio ads. Not to mention looking at ads paid for by others in the office supporting Dow. Other questions mr langford asked cannot be answered unless shea and covello were to admit to the scheme they have possibly hatched.


I too am voting for Dan Dow. He has had a life outside of college and law school and the DA’s office. I think his life experiences are broader and I like his military background. I think he has a more realistic view of the world than Mr. Covello.

Also if Covello is such a great prosecutor, perhaps we should keep him there. Crime doesn’t seem to be going down any especially with realignment. The head DA is an administrator not a prosecutor. We need someone with administrative experience and support from the employees. Dan Dow seems to have both.


Covello does have the backing of the outgoing boss Gerry Shea but that’s NOT a plus for me, considering the past troubles of the County DA’s office and Shea’s “good ol’ boy” mentality.

I’m voting for Dan Dow and the main reason why is that he has the support of the vast majority of his co-workers. I put more stock in what fellow deputy DA’s say than I do in what Shea says. It’s impressive that most employees in that office want Dow to lead them, not Covello.


Just got my Vote By Mail ballot with the Information Guide.

Dow had his statement in English and Spanish.

Covello statement was only in English.

The Hispanic community must not mean much to Covello.