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Inland Empire Political News.001
Inland Empire Political News.001

Ok, one last deep breath before election day on Tuesday.

Ok, one last deep breath before election day on Tuesday.

The City of San Bernardino’s usual election shenanigans have been in overdrive for months.   Recalls, bankruptcy, FBI wiretapping, and a scam to divert city funds to the Chamber of Commerce for “economic development” are just some of the eyebrow-raising goings on in Mayberry.  Even Police Chief Barney Fife abandoned ship and swam to the beach (as if he didn’t know what he was getting into when he took the job).

Then another hammer landed on October 16th with charges filed against two Councilmembers in completely separate cases.  Former Councilman Chas Kelley was charged and pled guilty to a felony for using campaign funds for personal use, something more common for the District Attorney himself.

Not to be outdone, the Riverside County District Attorney filed 16 felony and 12 misdemeanor charges against Councilman Robert Jenkins on the same day for identify theft and stalking.  According to the charges and further information, Councilman Jenkins allegedly posted gay sex ads on Craigslist sending numerous potential paramours to his former lover’s home.  He is also accused of misusing Police Department and City Seals to create a false memorandum stating that he too was a victim of internet harassment.

Jenkins supporters wasted no time in defending him.  City Attorney James Penman attempted to debunk the charges against Jenkins by stating that Jenkins former boyfriend had been witnessed entering Jenkins home (he apparently had a key) and accusing the boyfriend of framing Jenkins!  Yes, that makes sense.  “I am going to enter my jilted lovers house to post Craigslist ads soliciting sex and send gay men to my home!  That will fix him!”  You have to be kidding!

Perhaps Penman should have read the District Attorney’s press release before spouting off.  It clearly states that the IP address for some of the Craigslist ads were generated from Jenkins place of work, in Riverside and parent’s home.  So unless Jenkins was giving out his work and home keys to his boyfriends, that defense doesn’t hold water.

Penman’s comments also invite real problems for the city.  As the attorney representing the entire city government, Penman’s comments require his recusal on any matters of civil liability derived from Jenkins’ alleged actions, including his own City of San Bernardino Police Officers who are also alleged to be victims.  WOW!

The most interesting aspect to the Jenkins saga is that he has a better than 75% chance of being re-elected.  Yes, that is what I said, re-elected.  Jenkins has drawn a do-nothing opponent who hasn’t said a peep until Wednesday.  Jenkins is relatively popular in his ward and was only recently elected in a special election a few years ago.  He also benefits from the utter confusion created by the recall and the other major headlines afflicting the city over the last 12 months.  His base has refused to abandon him, as Chief Barney Fife recently stated in the newspaper.   With an off-year, low turnout election that is all one needs to win.

Only in San Bernardino!

Did I say that election cycle shenanigans were in “overdrive?”  I should restate that.  The shenanigans in this election are on Steroids and Viagra with a meth addiction.

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