The race for 2nd District County Supervisor is the most contentious election campaign in San Bernardino County (outside of District Attorney Mike Ramos’ disastrous reelection bid.)
Eight year incumbent Janice Rutherford has garnered an unexpected opponent in this year’s election, current 40th District Assemblyman Marc Steinorth.
Steinorth has certain advantages in his bid. He has run successfully twice for State Assembly in a competitive district, served on the City Council in Rancho Cucamonga, the heart of the 2nd Supervisorial District and owns a number of successful businesses in the region.
There is also no other regional candidate from any party that campaigns harder than Steinorth, as he has had to survive two election cycles where Sacramento Democrats have spent literally millions in an effort to defeat him.
Rutherford, on the other hand has not run a real campaign since her first election when she was narrowly elected in 2010 against incumbent Supervisor Paul Biane, who was falsely accused of corruption and was recently acquitted of the bogus charges brought against him in the Colonies Corruption Case.
Prior to her election as Supervisor, Rutherford was a member of the Fontana City Council and was a long-time employee of Assemblyman, then Senator, then Board of Equalization member Bill Leonard. Rutherford has no private sector experience.
According to recent financial reports, Steinorth is easily outpacing Rutherford in both fundraising and organization, having outraised his opponent by more than a 4 to 1 margin. Rutherford’s fundraising has been hampered by her own actions as Supervisor when she championed campaign finance limits for the county that mirrored those of the state legislature making it difficult for Supervisors to raise large donations.
At the time of Rutherford’s campaign finance measure’s passage some Supervisors warned the Board of the First Amendment limitations it placed on county elected officials, but their admonishments were ignored by Rutherford.
Unfortunately for Rutherford, those limits have not seemed to hamper Steinorth. Steinorth’s ability to draw support for his campaign has apparently caught Rutherford flat-footed. Last week, Rutherford sent out a desperate fundraising email to persons on her county email list requesting donations of $10 to $50 dollars, or “any amount” to “keep Sacramento values out of our neighborhoods!”
Really? Sacramento values? From any other politician, that would be a good pitch, but not from Janice Rutherford who’s entire career has been as an employee for Bill Leonard, a lifer in the State Legislature and Board of Equalization. Supervisor Janice Rutherford served at least 20 years (her bio doesn’t state exactly) as a Sacramento staffer.
Marc Steinorth, on the other hand has less than 4 years as a local State Assemblyman. For Rutherford to somehow claim that Steinorth is an established Sacramento politician, while she qualifies for a state pension is the height of hypocrisy.
Worse than that, Rutherford’s long employment on the public dime going on 30 years qualifies her to double dip as she now qualifies for a County pension as well.
While anyone can take issue with a particular elected official’s voting record, the idea that a long-time employee from the state legislature could call out a two-time assembly member with a long and robust business background for “Sacramento values” is rather desperate.