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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

What's Behind Measure A, Prop. 1 and the SB GOP's Civil War; Plus: Indy Dumps Das - Only Non-Endorsed Incumbent

In a 2024 campaign surprise, the Santa Barbara Independent declined to endorse the re-election of Das Williams this week, after recommending its readers vote for him in all but one of the multiple races the First District Supervisor has run in his job-hopping political career.

After backing Williams in seven of his eight bids for office[1] the Indy this time withheld its seal of approval, second in local influence only to the prepotent Democratic Party's, and stated in an editorial that it has been "staggered by how someone so politically gifted as Williams has gone so far out of his way to anger constituents and alienate supporters."

Although the paper stopped short of endorsing challenger and Carpinteria City Council member Roy Lee, its "No Endorsement" stance makes Williams the only unendorsed local incumbent.

Nick Welsh, executive editor of the liberal weekly, talks about the assessment and judgment behind the decision on this week's edition of Newsmakers TV, joining conservative columnist Dale Francisco, political reporter Josh Molina and the genial host in breaking down all the key races and issues confronting voters in the March 5 election.

Beyond the Das-Roy campaign, the gang also dissects:

  • Measure A, a proposed city charter amendment, aimed at making important changes in the way Santa Barbara City Hall awards public works construction contracts;

  • Proposition 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom's proposed $6.5 billion bond measure to overhaul mental health treatment in California -- at a price to local governments;

  • The battle for control of the Santa Barbara County Republican Party, a political junkie special, as the GOP struggles to regain influence here and around the state.

  • The race for the Board of Supervisors seat now held by Joan Hartmann, as the incumbent seeks re-election against two rivals in a newly reapportioned Third District.

Plus: Why Dale appears in the official voter handbook as both a supporter and an opponent of the city's low-profile proposed charter amendment. You could look it up.

All this and more, right here, right now on Newsmakers TV.


Check out our new episode via YouTube below or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here. TVSB, Channel 17, airs the show every weeknight at 8 p.m. and at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. KCSB, 91.9 FM, broadcasts the program at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

[1] The previous sole exception to the Independent's support for Williams came in 2006, when he made an ill-advised attempt in the primary election to jump from the SB City Council to the Board of Supervisors, but finished out of the money for the run-off, behind eventual winner Janet Wolf and the late Dr. Dan Secord. Otherwise, the newspaper backed Williams twice for city council, three times for the state Assembly, and in his two previous, successful elections to the First District supervisorial seat.


Cartoon by Frank Cotham for The New Yorker.


By Ezra Klein, New York Times Opinion. "

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