WatchSonoma Watch

‘Hogwash’ mailer roils 5th district supervisor’s race


The latest fallout in the acerbic battle for the 5th District seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors stems from an election flier some are calling a hit piece.

One side of the color flier shows a black and white pig nearly up to its loins in muck, with the word “hogwash” printed in big, red block letters.

The Efren Carrillo campaign mass mailer asserts that former Sonoma County Supervisor Ernie Carpenter, who is vying for the post he held from 1980 to 1996, is “running fast and loose with the fact” and that his “campaign rhetoric is ‘Hogwash.’”

The flier quotes an April 29 Press Democrat editorial endorsing incumbent Carrillo, in which the word “hogwash” was used to characterize one of Carpenter’s campaign claims. The flier ends, “Say ‘No’ to Hogwash! Say ‘No’ to Ernie Carpenter!”

Carpenter’s response: “His hog, his wash.” Carrillo, he said, “Continues to avoid the issues … I do appreciate the fact that he mentioned my name four times. That was good.”

Carpenter said he considered the flier a hit-piece and that he would respond in an appropriate manner.

“I’m going to be circumspect,” he said. “All I can tell you is that it will be above board,”

Carrillo said the flier was meant to be humorous and to point out what he said were Carpenter’s deceptive campaign tactics.

“It was simply an informative piece acknowledging Ernie’s misrepresentation of not only himself but also his misrepresentation of some of the issues he’s describing.”

At issue is the contentious debate over the Preservation Ranch development outside Annapolis, a timber-to-vineyard conversion project that Carrillo says he cannot support or oppose until it’s been through environmental review and had a fair hearing before the Board of Supervisors.

Carpenter claims his Carrillo’s position, along with past votes in favor of the Dutra asphalt plant in Petaluma and gravel mining along the Russian River, show he and others on the board are willing to abandon the general plan and undo a generation of conservation and land use accomplishments.

Carrillo has pushed back on the Preservation Ranch issue by pointing out that Carpenter was a paid consultant in the late 1990s for a timber-to-vineyard conversion project on property that later became Preservation Ranch. Carpenter has described that work as environmental consulting.

Carrillo said the flier, which cost a little more than $10,000 to produce, print and distribute, was the product of a “volunteer committee.” He would not say who was on the committee.

He said it was sent out to “potential voters” in the 5th District.

The third candidate in the race, former Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Veronica Jacobi, said the flier was the type of negative campaigning often used in the Sonoma County Supervisors race.

“It’s happened before … that’s disappointing,” she said.

For his part, Carpenter said he’ll spend the weekend campaigning in the Russian River area, walking precincts and attending campaign events, and “maybe I’ll be giving my pig a bath.”

Staff Writer Martin Espinoza can be reached at 521-5213 and martin.espinoza@pressdemocrat.com.

17 Responses to “‘Hogwash’ mailer roils 5th district supervisor’s race”

  1. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Bear, Ernie did speak up for the health benefits to not be cut for county employees. I know, I was there. He WAS NOT a BOS member when this decision was made. No one is perfect on the board. We can pick apart each and every one of them if we look hard enough.

    I want BALANCED board members. I understand how important business is as well as jobs. Can’t have one without another. It should be more of a partnership between workers and business where both prosper. Businesses can’t succeed without people with paychecks, and people need the jobs that businesses provide. We feed one another. That goes for government workers too. They support the businesses in the community. It all should balance out like a well oiled machine.

    Unfortunately, the big financial institutions screwed up this balance while they made BILLIONS and continue to prosper beyond reason. THERE’S WHERE THE ANGER SHOULD BE DIRECTED.

  2. HOG-OSHA says:

    Sure the cost of the piece was kept down–by exploiting the hog, who, no doubt, worked for free in deplorable conditions.

  3. bear says:


    Ernie may have some good positions (other than killing forest for grapes), but one-on-one he is a supreme egotist with an anger management problem.

    He didn’t do a thing to prevent the rape of County employees on health insurance, which is way more than my mortage, consumes half my pension, and has a marriage penalty, as well as penalties for living outside Sonoma County.

    Hasn’t anyone else out there lost promised benefits? We all ought to be working together.

    GE made $14 billion in profits last year, yet got a $3 billion federal tax refund.

    Help me out and tell me what is good about that.

  4. SoCo Voter says:

    What the mailer should have said that Ernie wants to come back and feed at the public trough. He is only running for one more term to double his pension benefits and stroke his own ego..

  5. Bob walker says:

    So what are our choices…a communist,marxist or socialist?
    Tough call

  6. I was at the Sonoma County Demo forum two nights ago as a CA State Assembly Candidate the Supervisor candidates where also invited Efren Carrillo was a no show. To bad I’d like to have heard from him.

  7. John says:

    Why do people keep thinking that “politics as usual” is going to miraculously change to something else? That’s why they have the phrase politics as usual…

  8. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Efren dodges questions and is never specific. I have seen him interviewed many times. He did it when he was running which is why the unions didn’t endorse him then(another reason was who his campaign donors were-said where his allegience truly was). He’s doing it now.
    When he was asked about the county contracting out during the last election he flatly said that he didn’t believe county jobs should be contracted out. He says now that he doesn’t consider nonprofit groups contracting out. The county is currently contracting jobs out with the okay from the BOS because the managers who are supposed to do these jobs by their job descriptions AREN’T QUALIFIED. One specific contracting out is an outside group to do the contract negotiations for the workers FOR 3 TIMES THE COST and the manager is still working. Count up the dollars being wasted right there. Negotiations were previously done BY A COUNTY MANAGER. The board admits this but those managers are still working. And the county keeps adding new management positions.

    When you talk to Ernie or Veronica you get facts and a real personality. They don’t dodge your questions. Both are also known quantities. Ernie spoke up for the rank and file county employees to the BOS and wouldn’t shut up when they tried to muzzle him. This was when county employees were fighting to keep their health insurance benefits for their family members. Now, cost wise, it looks like the changes that were made were a costly mistake. Veronica is a true environmentalist, lives what she preaches, and is full of knowledge that could be used on the BOS.

    From my perspective, anyone but Efren would be my vote if I were in his district.

  9. Efren must go says:

    “Carpenter claims his Carrillo’s position, along with past votes in favor of the Dutra asphalt plant in Petaluma and gravel mining along the Russian River, show he and others on the board are willing to abandon the general plan and undo a generation of conservation and land use accomplishments.”

    This isn’t a “Carpenter claim”, it’s a well known fact. Efren was bought and sold to us by land use developers and resource extraction groups interested in one thing – how much profits they can suck out of Sonoma County without regards to the environment, our future, and the industries that thrive on selling Sonoma County as a destination for tourism.

    If you want Sonoma County to look like Silicon Valley…or worse, San Fernando, vote for fakes like Carrillo. If you want someone who has more qualified and more committed to the environment, support Carpenter.

  10. ross says:

    efren likes to slop out the campaign muck allright! and he comes across as such a nice caring young man…

    i hope ernie washes this pig right out of office. yes i do vote and family ask me who to vote for, because i pay attention and believe that policy makers make a difference. clean up your act carrillo or you will have no future in public office!

  11. R2 says:

    Actually the editorial was written by the Press Democrat Editorial Board, not a reader…

  12. @john lennon says:

    This is an excerpt from the PD’s editorial titled…”In the Fifth District, Voters Should RE-ELECT Efren Carrillo”

    You can fact check this here…and maybe read something before commenting:


  13. Donna Norton says:

    I appreciate the fact that both Carpenter and Jacobi are straightforward with voters in clearly stating on their websites specifics on issues and their positions. THANK YOU.

    Pull up Carrillo’s website. Not even an “issues” link. Only links to pages for volunteering and donating. Not much there there.

    Was looking forward to getting some answers from the candidates at the Santa Rosa Dem Club meeting last night. Ernie and Jacobi showed up, but Efren was a last minute no-show. Understand he’s missed a number of opportunities to present his positions to interested voters. THANK YOU CARPENTER AND JACOBI FOR BEING THERE TO EXPLAIN YOUR POSITIONS AND ANSWER QUESTIONS.

    When I received the voters’ guide from Planned Parenthood a few days ago, I noticed there was no endorsement for the 5th District. On a linked page both Carpenter and Jacobi had received a 100% rating. I called and was told Carrillo didn’t even bother to respond to their questionnaire. They were hesitant to put out an endorsement when the race included an incumbent that had not responded. I told them the good guys should not be penalized by an indifferent candidate, just because he’s an incumbent. Especially not on this issue! THANK YOU CARPENTER AND JACOBI FOR YOUR CLEAR STAND ON A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE.

    Given his developer and wine industry backers, I’m sure Carrillo will have lots of money for expensive mailers. But, I suggest voters would do better to check out the candidates websites to determine who deserves their vote.

  14. Steveguy says:

    I like it. If I changed my name to ‘ None Of The Above ‘ I could hold multiple offices and really make some bank !

    With 5 different pensions !!

  15. Ruben says:

    Efren is simply untrustworthy. Always has been. He votes for votes. He isn’t in this for the community but himself. He wants to get ahead in politics and couches his votes for that purpose. Nice guy but not genuine and not trustworthy. I vote NO on Efren Carillo.

  16. Wilson says:

    What sane person would think that this is good campaign strategy, especially in the 5th District? Efren Carrillo has got to go.

  17. john Lennon says:

    I love the fact that they printed ” the press Democrat got it right” then they printed a editorial from a reader.

    If this is the type of honesty to be expected from Efren Carrillo, imagine all the dishonest things he’s done in the past.

    I also love the fact these people pretend to be green yet put tons of paper and chemical waste in our mailboxes (spam) that goes into the landfill. I bet Efren is for the plastic bag ban as well.

    What a scumbag.