Third James F. Penman for San Bernardino City Attorney November 8, 2011 Mailer

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

A preface: Why We Try To Keep Partisan Politics Out of These Postings. These posts are provided as  a public service  to inform the voting public about who is running and what they are saying.  If I get it, this blog posts and comments about the campaign material.   With the dearth (and death) of good reporting coming from our local newspapers, this may be one of the few places to get neutral reporting about the candidates.

The third mailer from the Jim Penman for City Attorney 2011 campaign has arrived, quick on the heels of the first mailer.  This mailer is in color and is four pages long.  Here is page 1, page 2, page 3, and Page 4.

Page one, or the cover of the mailer, has a manila  folder labeled “The People of San Bernardino vs.Politician David McKenna” with the headline in red letters: “UNFIT for Public Office”

The case file theme continues as the reader opens up the mailer.  Again, in red, “The People vs. Politician David McKenna”

The flier continues:

Exhibit A: Financial Misconduct

  • David McKenna was forced to resign as San Bernardino County Public Defender after he was caught illegally spending millions of dollars.
  • McKenna admitted that he “intentionally violated” county rules by spending public monies without authorization because he knew the County “would turn down his requests.

A quote from the Press-Enterprise from January 1999 reads “Public defender to resign today” By David Wert – January 1999:

San Bernardino Public Defender David McKenna under pressure from the Board Supervisors after disclosing that [highlighted in yellow]  he had intentionally violated county spending policies for nearly a decade, [end yellow highlighting] on Thursday notified the county that today will be his last day on the job . . .

“He was violating county policy for years,” said Supervisor Fred Aguiar.  “… it’s imperative that the Board of Supervisors appoint a public defender we have confidence in.  Someone who complies with all the regulations of the county.”

The third City Attorney Jim Penman mailer continues with a quote attributed to the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association which reads “McKenna’s arrogant and unethical behavior as County Public Defender disqualifies him from holding a position of trust in city government.”

Starting on the bottom of page 2 and continuing to page 3 reads:

Exhibit B: Lack of Integrity

  • David McKenna sent an unsolicited email to thousands of San Bernardino voters which falsely accused City Attorney Jim Penman of taking campaign funds from the scandalized Colonies Developers
  • Those Developer monies were actually used to OPPOSE City Attorney Penman who is known for his hard-line stand against political corruption.

There is another quote from the Press-Enterprise titled “McKenna apologized for erroneous email” by Brian Rokos, dated August 2, 2011.

San Bernardino city attorney challenger David McKenna today phoned incumbent Jim Penman to apologize for an email McKenna sent to 6,000 people that inaccurately said Penman’s campaign for city attorney in 2007 received $8,605 in “Colonies scandal payoff money.”

[Yellow highlighting] The money … actually was an independent expenditure … opposing Penman’s election.

The flier continues on page 3 with the text “Exhibit C: Soft on Crime”

  • Since 1983, McKenna has represented criminals as Public Defender and a Private Defense Attorney.
  • McKenna says that, if elected, he will eliminate City Attorney investigators even though it means reducing enforcement measures against street gangs.

Next to the Exhibit C text is a picture of facsimile San Bernardino police badge and shoulder patch.  “‘The last thing San Bernardino needs is a pro-parolee, soft on crime City Attorney like Mr. McKenna.’ Mike Reynolds San Bernardino police Detective.

The third page of the  flier finishes with “The Verdict Is Clear! David McKenna is unfit to serve as our City Attorney.”

The fourth page of the flier says, in red letters “You Just CAN’T Trust Politician McKenna!”:

LIED about his residency                                   ——–>                  FACT: McKenna is a carpetbagger

On his Facebook Page, McKenna says                                             McKenna has not lived in San Bernardino for many years.  He moved from Sun City to San

he has “lived and worked here for decades.”                                 Bernardino on June 24, 2011 just to run for political office here.

LIED about his law experience                       ——–>                   FACT: McKenna defends criminals
McKenna told the Sun newspaper that he                                      The Riverside Law Firm where McKenna works lists him as “Chief Defense Counsel” on its

did most of his legal work on “civil                                                   Corporate website.

litigation and family law.”

LIED about his government record                ——–>              FACT: McKenna ousted for corruption

In his official ballot statement, McKenna                                   McKenna was forced out of his County job for “intentionally” violating county spending rules and

claims he was a “reform leader” and a                                          wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.

“taxpayer’s advocate”.

Certainly, this is a hard-hitting mailer.  It hits the carpetbagger issue, the resignation from the public defender’s office (mentioned in both endorsements of McKenna from the Press-Enterprise and the Sun.  The design is very clean and not too cluttered with facts.   The only other thing expected is tying David McKenna to Mayor Pat Morris, a figure that no one is linking themselves with at this time, except Tobin Brinker.  Perhaps that is for future mailers, perhaps with a quote from David McKenna from the Rotary City Attorney forum wherein he said that he knew nothing about the San Bernardino International Airport except that it was an airport.  That would work with the carpetbagger theme and tying David McKenna to Mayor Patrick Morris.

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