KSBY political ad chopped, but participants still feeling the heat

May 27, 2014

UPDATE: The South County Advisory Council Chair Sandra Caughell responded with the following comment: “The concern was the reference to South County Advisory Council in Ms. Ray’s campaign ad. We as a council do not endorse any candidates for office or will we in the future, it is against our by-laws to do so.”


After receiving several complaints, including one from San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson, KSBY removed a portion of an ad showing governmental support for supervisor candidate Caren Ray.

While individuals are permitted to endorse and promote candidates for political office, government agencies are not. In addition, law enforcement agency logos are not permitted to be displayed in political advertisements.

In Ray’s original ad, which began running last week, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputy Matt Soenksen stands in front of the sheriff‘s department in full uniform and says, “Supervisor Ray helps us keep neighborhoods safe and secure for our families.”

Shortly after the ad began airing, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson asked KSBY to remove the portion of the ad showing the sheriff’s logo and alleging department support for Ray. Within hours, that portion of the ad was removed.

Nevertheless, it then was posted in its original form with the sheriff department logo on the elect Caren Ray Facebook page, though it was later changed.

After viewing the ad, an attorney for supervisor candidate Lynn Compton sent a cease and desist demand to the Arroyo Grande City Council, Lucia Mar School Board, the Oceano Community Services District and the South County Advisory Board, asking the agencies to have the Ray campaign remove the ad because it violates the law.

“It was an appalling attempt to imply that public agencies and even the sheriff endorsed Caren Ray, none of them have done that,” said Compton’s attorney Charles Bell, with the Sacramento based firm of Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk.

Several days after the cease and desist demands were delivered, Ray changed her ad a third time. The latest version states that the “titles and organization names are for identification purposes only.”

Nevertheless, the disclaimer is in a type set similar in color to the commercial’s background and difficult to read.

Caren Ray's latest ad with a disclaimer.

Caren Ray’s latest ad with a disclaimer.


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Another typical political race, which loser is the least offensive and which will do the least harm, I would vote for Mike Byrd

Thank you, isoslo. Least offensive and doing the least harm isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement but I’ll take it :).

The comment was not meant as a slight to you, but rather a condemnation of the two ladies opposing you. I know less about you but you seem to be a good candidate.

Let me elaborate on the UPDATE which said:

UPDATE: The South County Advisory Council Chair Sandra Caughell responded with the following comment: “The concern was the reference to South County Advisory Council in Ms. Ray’s campaign ad. We as a council do not endorse any candidates for office or will we in the future, it is against our by-laws to do so.”

The by-laws say two things about this:

“The name of this organization shall be the South County Advisory Council, herein referred to as the SCAC.”

“The SCAC will not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of, or, in opposition to, any candidate for public office.”

The organization is the SCAC, not the individual members.

The organization did not participate or intervene (or as Caughell said, “endorse”. Individual members did.

Given the above facts, Compton’s Republican Party law firm from Sacramento threatened the SCAC said they would file a complaint with the FPPC for an SCAC “contribution” to the campaign. A contribution is a monetary or nonmonetary donation of appraisable value (like use of an entertainment hall, or a van or trailer.) How is an individual endorsement a contribution? Are Compton’s endorsements from elected officials on her website contributions? Watch out endorsers!

It’s good to see a contested election in South County, a place where so many council members are appointed or run unopposed. But, South County would be better served if the discussion as we approach election time was about candidate public service, candidate performance, and the candidate’s position on vital issues.

Next Tuesday, we have a choice!

However, on an issue that was central to Cal Coast News for many months, the South SLO County Sanitation District, Caren Ray took a backseat ride. The appointed Supervisor (then appointed to Arroyo Grande City Council) was unable to recognize that having an Engineering group (ANY Engineering group!) in charge of contacting out the public’s money to themselves and other friendly firms was NOT in the best interest of the public she served. Caren Ray is on the record supporting the status quo at the Sanitation District, claiming Mayor Ferrara’s limited actions in response to the Civil Grand Jury’s investigation were sufficient. That warped reality was safe political ground until Mayor Peterson from Grover Beach was elected and displaced Bill Nicolls on the Sanitation District’s Board of Directors in 2012. Mayor Peterson’s election shifted the balance, allowed tough questions to be asked and answered, and finally allowed significant positive changes to the organizational structure and operations of the district under the more critical and watchful eyes of Mayor Peterson (Grover Beach) and Matt Guerrero (Oceano).

This campaign (and Supervisor Ray’s campaign commercial) has been more like a high school election than a serious proposal for your endorsement. If you vote for Caren Ray, you support a warped governmental perspective in South County that has been supported by both political parties for too long. If you think it’s time for a change, you shouldn’t vote for her.

Wallace Group is on the Board of Supervisors Consent Calendar for a $326,000 contract related to Paso this coming Tuesday.

An old saying comes to mind…

“When you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.”

In this case, the best we can hope for is a mutual exchange of fleas which may serve to confuse and disable both hosts.

You can’t change spots on a Leopard. It’s time to clean house and quit sweeping these losers under the rug.

I think Soenksen is not a deputy anyways, but a correctional officer. He apparently has trouble with following the rules in other areas as well:http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2010/12/24/1420592/top-stories-of-2010-no-8-soenksen.html

It is very difficult for a skunk to change its stripes.

So, whoever made this ad is being somewhat disingenuous.

This is indeed telling about the Compton campaign. “an attorney for supervisor candidate Lynn Compton . . . “ delivered cease and desist demands several days ago. That was before the latest 460 forms were filed. Where, on the May 17 campaign disclosure (460) forms, does it show the real or nonmonetary contributions of that lawyer’s time? Where does it show that lawyer was paid or owed? Is this yet another violation to be reported to the FPPC for the Compton campaign’s failure to disclose financial information? Are these people above the law?

Interesting question. Perhaps it is next to the unreported donations in-kind of perhaps a hundred thousand or more in vehicles that remain unreported and under FPPC investigation.

But heck, the only 460 we care about is Ray’s. Never mind that Byrd’s latest makes one question if the campaign even read the instructions or bothered with an adding machine. It is pretty much a complete abandonment of filing rules.

But let’s keep focused, somewhere a PO box may be reported where a street address is required. We must keep this in perspective.

It seems this issue regarding Lynn Compton’s campaign has been addressed to the satisfaction of the FPPC and all other agencies with any interest but not to yours and I am not sure why you will not accept that there is no problem but I do have a theory.

Wrong. Nothing has been addressed to their satisfaction contrary to your wish. The FPPC has 14 days to impose a penalty on the Compton Campaign after the complaint was filed five days ago.

You’ve got to be joking, bserious….it will be reported on the form 460 that covers the time period in which the activity occurred. How could an activity that occurred after the reporting period ended be reported?

So when then when will the hidden vehicle contributions be reported?

There is no vehicle contribution. That is a manufactured sham from Caren Ray’s supporters.

That is right Kevin. Where is the complaint from the FPPC to the Compton

campaign? There was none, complete fabrication out of desperation.

Mary, the complaint is in Sacramento, and by now the Compton Campaign has a copy. Why don’t you ask them to show it to you?

Yes, it does seem Caren Ray thinks she is above the law.

Maybe they had not yet received a bill, invoice, etc. I yet to receive a bill from a hospital for services over 90 days ago. Not to many professional services issue an invoice on the spot if they know the client. Just saying!

Interesting story, almost identical to what irons in Morro Bay did, by using the Police Chief and Police Commander’s photograph, without their permission or even knowledge, in a mailer that I received. Of course the point was to lead residents that are not very “in tune” with local politics to believe the Police Administration and/or Police Department supports irons.

Ms. Ray might not have known this was illegal, more likely it was just “clerical error”, another one. How many of those, “clerical errors”, has she had so far?? So glad she has such great experience to be a supervisor , she just never learned how to avoid “clerical errors”.

She is , however, quite adroit at throwing pros under buses.


Couldent really speak for the others but when Mr Richards (fire) endorsed Ray I knew for sure where Ray stood. She’ll never get our vote.