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City Council Campaign Gets Dirty With Anonymous Fliers

An anonymous flier deriding candidate Pamela Comstock was placed on cars around the city.

First time city council candidate Pamela Comstock wasn't ready for the calls she got Tuesday and the kind of dirty politics they represented.

They told her that hundreds of fliers had been placed on cars downtown smearing her and the community group she helped found, Take Back Santa Cruz, a neighborhood group working to cut crime in the city.

"My belief is that if someone doesn't like me, just don't vote for me," said the mother of one, who is running her first city council race.

"To go out of your way and spread lies is indecent. They are taking issue with Take Back Santa Cruz. I want to stand firmly on what I've done with Take Back. I'm really proud of what I've done."

The fliers claim that on May 2, 2010 Take Back Santa Cruz unfairly printed the name of a man they alleged was part of the May Day riots that caused thousands of dollars of damage downtown. It said the man and his family received threats as a result of the claim and he was never accused by police of the crimes.

It goes on to accuse the group of "Vigilantism, Paranoia, And Lies."

"Their lies have stirred up vigilantism and moo-mentality," says the flier. "And they have refused to work with anyone who has a difference of opinion."

There was no signature on the fliers.

"If there is a message they truly believe in, they should put their name on them," said Comstock.

Comstock deferred questions about Take Back's actions to its founder Analicia Cube. Cube said that she did print the name of a person who had made comments inciting violence on May Day and brought media members to the SubRosa Cafe, which police were investigating for its ties to anarchists who threw rocks through downtown windows.

"After the May Day Riot I knew that I had to expose the Black Bloc Anarchists that were a strong under belly in our community," said Cube, who read their posts on the Internet.

"I felt guilty that I had all this information about them wanting to 'Tear down our community brick by brick.'  So, yes on May 2nd I not only wrote a letter but I brought the media to their doors on lower Pacific.  All I did was give the media the facts I had.  They wrote the stories... I don't think all involved in SubRosa or the Anarchistic community were physically running down the street in black unitards.  I do however believe that community leaders are responsible for they preach and teach."

See video of the riot here.

This article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel backs Cube's claim. While people at the cafe denied involvement, its website supported the violence. Even former Mayor Mike Rotkin, a self-proclaimed socialist and one of the more liberal people to serve in Santa Cruz, criticized the SubRosa for hypocrisy.

SubRosa's statement, according to the Sentinel was:

"This is a time for us all to band together, to show support and solidarity with each other in the face of a police state that has always blamed anarchists for everything destructive, while actively trying to prevent people from exercising creativity that would create alternatives to capitalist relations. The people who make this town a fantastic place to be are far more important than the walls and windows of businesses that suck our souls away for their profit."

Wes Modes, named in the article and by Take Back Santa Cruz, is the owner of SubRosa and denied the cafe was responsible for the riot, even though one of those arrested claimed to have worked there.

The flier also criticizes Comstock for raising more than the $26,640 that some candidates think should be the limit for the election. She is the top money raiser at $31,800 as of the first week of October.

"I think that speaks to my message resonating with people," she said. "Where's the crime in supporting a person you believe in?"

Donors to the council race are limited to $325 each.

Comstock, who has a fulltime job with Anteres Audio Technologies, the company that makes Auto-Tune, said that she doesn't want to be in government for the money. The council pays a little more than $300 a week.

"This is about serving the city," she said. "I think service above self is important."

Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 07:29 AM
you're on the verge of deleting my account because you dont want a critical voice on patch. nice to see you recycle the fox news insult we made against you, but know you are the real fox news. you will never stop reading indybay, kava, you are hooked.
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 07:31 AM
i think take back santa cruz has had an adverse effect on safety in santa cruz.
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 07:32 AM
the bill of rights does not allow me to come over to your house and lie to you in your living room, its the same thing with a news website, they have rules to prevent people from hurting others, and lying, etc
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 07:35 AM
i'm not sure which of my 'reactions' you are referring to, but if you broke the law and had to settle with people, that's the same as admitting you are a criminal. i dont know that anyone wants to hear you brag about making a lot of money as a result. or your personal journey.
Brad Kava (Editor) October 24, 2012 at 07:42 AM
Dexter: you have shown integrity in answering charges from a coward who won't even use their name. Don't let this idiocy bother you. I think anyone who reads this realizes that you have told the truth and shown true community concern. This nameless person is a coward and shows zero integrity. The truth is evident to anyone who reads his or her comments.
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 07:43 AM
i guess i'm going to be the first person 'deleted' from patch for posting anonymously. thats a great reason to delete someone, especially when the comments section of patch is filled with anonymous coments posted by people everyday. brad kava, you sir, are the chickenshit, for that threat. especially since you sidestepped the issue of why the area surrounding the river downtown is now closed to the public. go ahead and 'take back patch'
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 07:44 AM
yes, he told us that he broke the law and had to settle with those he ripped off. case closed.
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 07:46 AM
'take back santa cruz patch' does that sound better ?
Dexter Cube October 24, 2012 at 08:01 AM
I didn't break the law nor did I pay a penny out of my pocket to settle on my end. If I solicited a trade based on a firm recommended stock/bond/mutual fund, and it fell within the client's stated investment objectives, the firm paid for the restitution to the client and my legal fees. In some professions like legal, medical, and those in the investment arena, sometimes it is best to settle with clients and move on. Please try to look at the facts, Jonny instead of spinning them they way you wish for them to be interpreted.
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 08:10 AM
i wouldnt settle with someone if i didnt break the law, but that's me, and thats plain logic. you can reword this a million ways, but people know whats up. you just want to try and make what you did un-describable, but it is easy to describe, and that article about you would be down if you were right. this whole issue is very dead horseish at this point.
Dexter Cube October 24, 2012 at 08:22 AM
Your first post was about me. You thought I was a "criminal" because I settled with clients, that lost money in dot com bubble, over a decade ago, when I lived in Manhattan,3,000 miles away, when I was in my 20's. I am not. I never had to pay a legal fee or restitution to a client out of MY pocket. The firm picked up every bit of it . So why wouldn't I settle and move on? I have written to IndyBay and have received not 1 opportunity to set the record straight. I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU BRINGING THIS UP. I REALLY MEAN THAT. I have wanted to tell my side of the weblink, and you have given me an opportunity to do so. Best of luck to you in the future. Go Giants.
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 08:42 AM
you have not set the record straight with that statement, but you are getting closer. i'll give you some more advice, if you want to get your side out to more people, ask the sentinel if you can do a guest editorial. also, i'm sure master kava would love to have you blog for him and then you can tell everyone your story as often as you like. i'm not sure what to tell you about indybay. best of luck to you as well.
Tish Frankel October 24, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Why would Dexter "want to get his side out to more people?" No one cares about this; it has NOTHING to do with the present day in Santa Cruz. Only you and your A-team, trying so desperately to smear a hard-working mom who wants to make a difference, give a hoot about this. If anyone does want to know about it, it's right here for all of us to read. In the end, I predict that your relentless attempts to malign Pamela will be something most Santa Cruzans will thank you for, Mr. Rotting.
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 05:35 PM
because dexter cube wrote this two comments up: "I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU BRINGING THIS UP. I REALLY MEAN THAT. I have wanted to tell my side of the weblink, and you have given me an opportunity to do so." learn to read, tish ? and you are welcome now lets talk about why this is important: because comstock is trying to buy her council seat with an unfair financial advantage
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 05:41 PM
hahahaha, i just saw a mitt romney ad on the front page of santa cruz patch kava, you work for romney!!!!!!!!!!
Tish Frankel October 24, 2012 at 06:01 PM
People open their wallets when they believe they are investing in a safer Santa Cruz. 'Nuff said. :)
Jonny Rotting October 24, 2012 at 06:16 PM
rich business owners open up their wallets when they know that they wont have to pay for their own security downtown with council members like pamela normal, working citizens cant afford to donate to candidates they like at the same rate the rich business interests have donated to comstock
Wes Modes October 24, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Keep the A-Team out of this. I know it is really really hard for you to fathom that there may be more than one group in town who doesn't have your appreciation for a bigoted bullying vigilante group that styles itself as a silent majority of concerned middle-class moms and grannies, but you would do well to understand that people want freedom and cooperation, not coercion. And yes, I know that the next thing you'll say is, "Ha, you should talk about coercion. Breaking windows, vandalism, blah blah blah." You've said it before and you have many times tried to level that accusation at anyone who opposed your agenda. But again, I oppose that kind of bullying coercion too, as do most of the A-Team that I know. Instead, we focus on cooperatively and collectively building community spaces, gardens, alternative economies, art, celebrations, education, entertainment, and so on outside of the capitalist economy.
Ed Natol October 25, 2012 at 07:44 AM
Jonny, Robert has a number of nicknames for people too. One or two might be cruel, but most of them are just stupid. does that discredit him and make him a bully? Is it ok because he's a noble activist standing up for the poor and downtrodden, and people belong to TBSC are just fascists, bigots and trolls? Which is what he seems to call people that disagree with him...
Jonny Rotting October 25, 2012 at 08:39 AM
ed you have been really talking a lot without providing specific examples. give me one example of a name norse has called someone that contains a pejorative as strong as 'creepy' i'll bet you cant people do troll him harder than anyone else locally, so he should call those folks trolls also, he always has a strong factual foundation for his accusations of fascism and bigotry. and i mean always.
Brian October 25, 2012 at 07:46 PM
anybody want to explain why it took almost an hour for the police to show up to the mayday riot window smashing?
Brad Kava (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I seriously doubt it took anywhere near an hour. When you watch the video, the people saying it took an hour are by Jamba Juice. The vandalism happened two blocks back. Would it really take them an hour to walk from Urban Outfitters to Jamba Juice? No. In so many cases people at the scene overestimate how long it takes police or fire to arrive. As to why they weren't there in the first place, I'd say it was intimidation and accusations by people who claim this is a police state, and they thought this would be a peaceful march and didn't want to be obtrusive. I'd think they were honoring the requests of the people who employ them. In this case, it backfired. They won't be laying back on Halloween, you can be sure.
Rosanne Vallejo October 26, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Police were dispatched to bogus calls in what seemed like an effort to divert them from downtown. Brian, you've had an explanation for over two years now... http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_15012195
Rosanne Vallejo October 26, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Where is Subrosa mentioned in the specific article linked in my post?
Robert Norse October 28, 2012 at 03:13 PM
To hold a strongly critical view of some businesses and their policies downtown is not to advocate breaking their windows. To suggest one necessarily implies the other seems a smear. It seems to me the real issue is what the substantive proposals of Comstock (and other candidates) are in this election (where, as usual, money seems to rule the roost). That's been hard for me to find. With Comstock (and others associated with Take Back Santa Cruz), I've asked the simple question, "do you favor the right of everyone to sleep at night, not anywhere and everywhere, but somewhere?" That is, do you support the current laws (and police drive) to criminalize homeless people at night under the "camping" laws? Do you support the rather nasty notion that all survival camping at night in the city is "illegal" and should be eliminated? Given that there's shelter for less than 5% of those outside this would seem a rather harsh position. Perhaps Pamela, Analicia, or Dexter could answer this question--as individuals and as opinion-leaders in Take Back Santa Cruz? It's always seemed to me TBSC's answer to the first question is "no", and the next two is "yes". If I'm wrong, I'd be relieved to hear it.
Rosanna October 30, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Cher & Madonna wouldn't be famous without it, which would be great.
Brian November 06, 2012 at 05:03 AM
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/watsonville/ci_21936470/take-back-watsonville-founder-stepping-down
Analicia November 06, 2012 at 07:40 AM
This person has nothing to do with Take Back Santa Cruz. Other than hijacking our name. We have never met with, organized or planned anything with the people in this group. I wish Watsonville love and safety but not affiliated. Sorry.
Wes Modes November 06, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Frankly, I'm not sure I care whether Dexter Cube or Paul Gutierrez has had challenges with the law in the past. It simply isn't relevant to efforts to come together to make good things happen as a community. Particularly, since it is relatively easy to run afoul of the law, even sometimes when you are doing the right thing. Slavery was legal in this country and freeing a slave was a serious crime (a property crime, no less), a situation from our historical hindsight that looks like morality turned on its head. So not everyone who is branded a criminal is a bad person. This is precisely why it is hard for me to support a myopic focus on legality, laws, and police, and prefer instead community organizing at the grassroots level. Neil Gaiman was talking about freedom of speech when he said it, but it applies equally well to resistance against Santa Cruz' well-meaning but oppressive laws regulating where you can sit, play music, or lie down: "The Law is a blunt instrument. It's not a scalpel. It's a club. If there is something you consider indefensible, and there is something you consider defensible, and the same laws can take them both out, you are going to find yourself defending the indefensible." It isn't that we like theft, violence and drugs, but that the methods that some people and groups use to get them off the street, risk the very things matter in this town: acceptance, originality, generosity, art, and magic.
Brian November 06, 2012 at 09:22 PM
well said wes

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