Solano County

DA pumps $50,000 into campaign war chest

By From page A4 | April 09, 2014

FAIRFIELD — District Attorney Donald A. du Bain pumped $20,000 of his own money into his campaign coffers shortly after his challenger announced Friday she had garnered the endorsements of most law enforcement and firefighters in the county.

The contribution, reported Monday, came less than a week after du Bain put an additional $30,000 into his campaign for the June 3 election. The $50,000 is the largest sum of money donated to any local candidate in the upcoming contest.

Du Bain’s challenger, Krishna Abrams, also benefitted last week when the Solano County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and the Vacaville Police Officers Association both withdrew their previous endorsements of du Bain.

Over the weekend, du Bain revised his Facebook list of law enforcement support. That support is currently Sheriff Thomas Ferrara, his predecessor and three retired chiefs of police.

Du Bain, who is very well-to-do, launched his 2010 campaign for district attorney by loaning his campaign nearly $100,000 – most of which has been sitting in the campaign’s war chest since he was elected after running unopposed.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 52 comments

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  • How much does it cost to buy the office of DAApril 07, 2014 - 9:36 pm

    So Dubain will buy his seat for $150,000 of his own money? Why is this position so important to someone who doesn't do his job? Lots of questions here.

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  • boomApril 08, 2014 - 12:12 am

    Its roughly a year of his salary. Would you spend 1 year's income to maintain employment at his pay grade for another 4 years? I can already see in my mind which popular corners in town will become the battlefield for this election, with the incumbent's deep pockets, he might achieve a 3:1 ratio for campaign sign placement.

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  • Mr. PracticalApril 08, 2014 - 5:43 am

    All candidates are trying to "buy" the election. Would you rather see a candidate using his or her own money, or receiving donations from others that may want influence? Until the system changes, that's your choice.

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  • The MisterApril 08, 2014 - 6:31 am

    "Over the weekend, du Bain revised his Facebook list of law enforcement support. That support is currently Sheriff Thomas Ferrara, his predecessor and three retired chiefs of police." Want to know the direction of the corruption in Solano County? Start by looking at Ferrara, his predecessor (Stanton), and the three retired chiefs of police. The only thing we the people can do is vote out du Bain and, if someone steps up for a write-in campaign, vote out Ferrara. We have to cut out all the cancer... we need someone to step up to be sheriff who will serve the people, not the good-old-boy network.

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  • CD BrooksApril 08, 2014 - 6:46 am

    The Mister, if there was a write-in candidate would you do so? I'd like to know if other voters would step up and actually write in a name rather than checking a box? It is not unprecedented but hardly an easy goal for any particular candidate in that position.

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  • Curious ObserverApril 08, 2014 - 8:51 am

    All elections have costs for the candidates running for each position. Some candidates choose to run a campaign where they spend more money that the other candidates. Just because a candidate spends more money does not mean they are going to win the election. Best example I can think of was Meg Whitman (Ebay CEO) when she pumped 150 million dollars into her race against Jerry Brown for Governor and still lost. Regardless of how much candidates spend on their campaign, it is the informed voters that are going to elect them, the candidates are not buying the position. I find it very interesting and compelling that all the law enforcement agencies are now endorsing Ms. Abrams. That those law enforcement associations would re-evaluate their endorsements and ultimately back another candidate shows me their willingness to explore alternatives and make an informed decision on who they believe would be best for the position. With such support from the law enforcement community, Mr. DuBain might be fighting an uphill battle. I also find it interesting that when those same associations make an informed decision to endorse the current Sheriff, certain people call it corruption. That seems a bit inconsistent to me. These associations could have just withheld their support for the Sheriff sending that sort of message. But they did not. I do not buy the arguments that there is corruption in the Sheriff’s Office as few have argued in various threads in this paper. Of course that is only my opinion. Certainly others are entitled form a different conclusion.

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  • Birds Landing BobApril 08, 2014 - 2:18 pm

    Are you suggesting that "informed" voters elected Gerry Moonbeam?

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  • SalApril 09, 2014 - 1:05 pm

    Did not hear a peep out of The Mister when the unions gave Pam 15K, to begin. Double standards much?

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  • Rich GiddensApril 08, 2014 - 6:37 am

    The investigation of Du Bain continues and any and all discoveries will be turned over to the feds and news media, won't it? I suppose du Bain isn't conducting any malicious prosecutions, is he? You know, the kind where he knows of irrefutable exculpatory evidence and where accusers have been committing crimes that du Bain ignores but moves forward anyway and orders his staff to do so despite their concerns.

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  • JazzAzzApril 08, 2014 - 6:47 am

    I know nothing about the challenger or the DA, other than the fact that crime is out of control and so many Perps aren't properly charged or put away, LONG ENOUGH, IMO. But I do think, also IMO, that this DA might as well be flushing his money down the toilet, because with these endorsements I plan on voting for the challenger. Where there's smoke, there's fire, but not enough fire under the criminal's BUTTS in Solano County County, that's for sure.

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  • Majic JohnsonApril 08, 2014 - 8:40 am

    Dubain has so much money flushing $100k isn't a problem. With that much money why would you want to be the DA? Well Dubain is much like Ferrera. Small mans complex and he likes the power. When you are the chief law enforcment agent in a county and no law enforcement endorses you the message has been sent. He's in effective and is NO leader. This ain't the Dodgers Donny Boy, ya can't buy a championship!!!

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  • Suisun1April 08, 2014 - 8:50 am

    It'll be a sad day when DuBain still wins. We'll see if money politics rules in Solano County, as it does in Russia.

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  • MDSApril 08, 2014 - 9:15 am

    He's only flushing the money away if he actually spends the money. You notice how the article says he's "loaning" the money to his campaign. Candidates never "give" money to their campaign. Odds are he's not going to spend $150k on this election. So whatever money is left goes to pay back the loan to himself. I don't know his exact motivation, but my guess is he wants to pump this money into his account so people will look at how much he has versus how much his opponent has and think he must have more support since he has more campaign money. And I don't know the exact tax laws on this, but whatever money his campaign does spend and doesn't pay back on the loan, I think he gets to write off as a bad debt on his taxes.

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  • Mrs. PracticalApril 08, 2014 - 5:32 pm

    The article says he put $50,000 not $150k. 100K was from his first campaign which we have no idea if he ever used. I'm guessing not since it went uncontested. Also, if I had more energy to put into this theory of yours, I would just go down and pull the info myself but I don't. Anyone who is curious to know who donated what can find out. It's a matter of public record. So, it doesn't make sense Dubain would put money into an account that any curious person could see where it came from as an attempt to dupe. What are the contributions from others to his campaign? I'd like to know. I'd like to know what the contributions are to Abrams' campaign. This story is lacking in vital information for anyone to judge who has what from whom. Jess could've shared this info when he dug up the material but chose not to. Hmmm.

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  • MDSApril 08, 2014 - 8:24 pm

    Huh? It's right in the article where all$150k came from. It all came from him. He put the $100k in last time and left it there and just put another $50k in. The only thing the article doesn't mention is if there is more than the $150k which would have come from others.

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  • The MisterApril 08, 2014 - 11:08 am

    Something just doesn't pass the smell test here. The Solano County Deputy Sheriffs' Association (DSA) withdrew its support from Du Bain. For background, the DSA not only represents the sheriff deputies but also the DA Investigators. Also, the DSA President, Ken Kramer, is brother-in-law to incumbent Sheriff Ferrara and the DSA is supporting Ferrara in his election bid to continue as Sheriff. What doesn't smell right here is the DSA, which is a powerful association that can make or break an election bid, is composed of insiders from within the DA's office and has a corroborating relationship with the current Sheriff. We know from recent press accounts that the DA's office is a failure or corrupt and this was brought to light via the failure or corruption from within the Sheriff/Coroner's Office (of which Sheriff incumbent Ferrara has ultimate authority) that is being examined in Dan Healy's court. It looks as if the DA Investigators, through their Association, are distancing themselves from Du Bain in an attempt to paint Du Bain as the center of corruption within the Solano County Justice system. The DA Investigators are in league with the DSA as it distances itself from Du Bain. (I'm talking about the DSA leadership here... many or most of the members may prefer the truth be exposed.) The DA Investigators and the DSA, headed by Sheriff Ferrara's brother-in-law, seem to be pointing their fingers at Du Bain implying that he, alone, is responsible for the corruption exposed in the "Coroner Scandal". Do you see the deception going on here? It seems that Ferrara is using his influence to make it look as if Du Bain in the sole corrupt player in County government... making Ferrara appear to have no part in any failure and corruption. But it's not so! What's come out so far in Healy's court is that Ferrara is responsible for just as much corruption as Du Bain. What you're seeing now is Ferrara attempting to cover up, or at least minimize and deflect, his true level of complicity and corruption. So that's what smells... Ferrara, who is as corrupt as Du Bain, is effecting a cover up and trying to make Du Bain take the heat for their shared corruption. Now won't somebody take out the trash!

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  • MDSApril 08, 2014 - 12:37 pm

    Oh geez, you never met a conspiracy theory you didn't like did you? You want to know how employee association endorsements work? They vote on them. Sometimes it's just the board, but my guess is this case they put it to a vote of all their members. The President only gets one vote and the DA Investigators only get one vote each. I don't know the exact numbers, but I'll guess the DA Investigators are outnumbered by Deputy Sheriff's by at least a 10 to 1 margin. I'm not saying the DA Investigators didn't vote to withdraw support, but you don't know that they did. Every single one of them could have voted for du Bain for all you know. Unless the DSA is willing to put out information on exactly who voted for what (which they likely won't do) you will not know how the vote took place and everything you've written here is a wild conspiracy theory.

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  • The MisterApril 08, 2014 - 1:38 pm

    MDS, you think it's a conspiracy THEORY that the Sheriff is the brother-in-law of the President of the Deputy Sheriffs' Association and the Deputy Sheriffs' Association supports the Sheriff in his election bid? Those are facts. The only theory might be in how the conversation went, but the outcome is fact. BTW, I don't know, but I do wonder how the DSA members can be satisfied with their President being intimately related to the head administrator of the SO, the Sheriff himself. Associations like this are supposed to be for the benefit of the members. If I were a member, I'd be hard pressed to believe any negotiation by the DSA leadership with the SO administration wouldn't be tainted by such an intimate relationship as that between Kramer and Ferrara. No conspiracy theory there, MDS... just pondering the facts.

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  • MDSApril 08, 2014 - 4:13 pm

    Yes it's a whacky conspiracy theory! How do you think this guy became President? You think he took the job in a coop? No, he was voted into the job by the members. They knew good and well what they were doing and who they voted for. That's how they feel about it. You can find a conspiracy behind every tree if you get whacky enough and you're getting there. You need to try and understand the difference between a fact and your make believe. If the members of the association did not want this person to be President he would not be President. And I don't know that he is even related as you say, so I'm not even giving you that one without proof from somebody who isn't a conspiracy nut.

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  • CD BrooksApril 08, 2014 - 12:46 pm

    Everybody! Would you write in a candidate's name? Presume you're only slightly or not at all aware of the person. Is the current unopposed choice good enough for you?

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  • CD BrooksApril 08, 2014 - 12:49 pm

    Sorry I am referring to Sheriff...

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  • LoveMyCommunityApril 08, 2014 - 1:02 pm

    What you're all missing here is that these are unions, not agencies. Nothing more. This is purely political. And quite embarrassing on the part of those who pulled their previous endorsement from du Bain.

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  • FF64April 08, 2014 - 1:46 pm

    Political endorsements are just that, political. For the DSA to withdraw support of Mr Du Bain and support his challenger, Ms Abrams sends a clear message. It is also very clear that the other sworn police officer associations are also endorsing Ms Abrams. I have opined for the past four years on this blog that Mr Du Bain bought the office of DA and is not competent for that job. I also continue to maintain that Sheriff Ferrara is not competent for the position of Sheriff. With that said, I would never endorse the man who attempted top run against Ferrara. I'd love it if a viable candidate entered the race for Sheriff, but that isn't likely. I've worked with all these people and the only one I'd endorse is Ms Abrams. She is very capable and willing to make the hard decisions that Mr Du Bain leaves to his political advisor. Maybe we could get a Solano County resident with command experience in a large Sheriff's Department in a nearby county to run against Ferrara. I'd vote for him/her in a flash!

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  • disappointedApril 08, 2014 - 1:56 pm

    Everyone knows you are a disgruntled ex-cop. Save it.

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  • FF64April 08, 2014 - 3:22 pm

    You are confused. I'm not disgruntled at all. I will never endorse Du Bain because of his refusal to file death penalty charges against Ricardo DeLeon. The evidence was overwhelming, including recovery of the weapon from DeLeon and his confession that he stole the gun to kill one of the victims. Du Bain was intimidated by the Mexican Consulate and his own political advisor. This was unfortunately what I expected of him from his prior inaction as a prosecutor.

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  • AbramsasnakeApril 08, 2014 - 4:35 pm

    I'm sure that's the story Abrams fed you as she was the prosecutor on that case; that it was Dubain's decision and only his. You must not know that in cases such as this one, the lead prosecutor has a huge influence on what they believe they can ultimately get in a verdict. It doesn't surprise me that Krishna would throw the DA under the bus, though. As she is known around the DA's office as being a backstabber, rumor starter and being vindictive. This is the same reason the Deputy DA's are NOT endorsing her. She is a snake. Additionally, perhaps Dubain learned something from his predecessor's tenure (yes, Paulson, the same guy who was found guilty by a jury for maliciously violating a citizen's rights and Abrams has sought out for his support in this campaign) that being, his predecessor sought the death penalty 10 TIMES before the good people of Solano County and 10 TIMES they did not agree with him. 10 TIMES they said NO we do not want to put this person to death. By the way, your theory on the Mexican Consulate is ridiculous but it did give me a chuckle.

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  • MDSApril 08, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    Abramssnake wrote, "yes, Paulson, the same guy who was found guilty by a jury for maliciously violating a citizen's rights..." Really Paulson was convicted of a civil rights violation? I don't recall such a trial. Was he sent to prison for this conviction? I know you can't be talking about the civil case against him because people aren't "convicted" in civil cases.

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  • AbramsasnakeApril 08, 2014 - 5:08 pm

    It was a civil trial. He was found guilty and was fined along with his chief investigator. I believe the County ended up picking up the fine tab.

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  • MDSApril 08, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    He wasn't found guilty. There is no such thing as a "guilty" verdict in a civil case. Guilty findings are in criminal cases and required the case be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case the burden is the case must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence. What you should have said is the jury found for the plaintiff in the civil case.

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  • office4saleApril 08, 2014 - 9:59 pm

    30k personal loan? At least du Bain believes in himself along with Abramsasnake. Nobody else does these days, including law enforcement. When you have nothing of substance you go with character assassination. Guess we'll be seeing plenty of that from du Bain apologists. Abrams may not have the money but she has the momentum and endorsements that matter.

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  • disappointedApril 08, 2014 - 1:31 pm

    I have a few questions that beg to be answered. Where is the information on how much Dubain has raised from others? Where is the information on how much Abrams has raised? C'mon! This is blatant YELLOW journalism and that is another question; Why? Why the slant??? MDS, I am very curious to know if the union members had a choice/vote on whom they endorse or if it was only a handful of board members the arbitrarily decided for the hundreds of members. As LoveMyCommunity mentioned, these are unions not law enforcement agencies. Sounds political to me. Also, respected retired police chiefs like Rich Word who endorse Dubain are not endorsing for political gain. Think about it. The conspiracy theories here are ridiculous. If you have ever met Dubain, you know immediately there IS NOT a corrupt bone in his body.

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  • PrecisionApril 08, 2014 - 2:26 pm

    Sorry to disappoint you even further, disappointed but meeting someone doesn't tell you a thing about whether they are corrupt. No one who's met Leland Yee seems to think he's corrupt but so far the FBI info on him seems pretty solid. One of the most sincere and dedicated ER physicians I ever worked with was Jefferey MacDonald. Yes, this was the same Jefferey MacDonald who was later convicted of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters in the 70's! That experience taught me that the impression someone gives can belie their underlying character. Critical thinking is the most important tool voters possess.

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  • AbramsasnakeApril 08, 2014 - 4:44 pm

    Precision, you know everyone who has ever met Leland Yee? That's incredible and I'm impressed with how much you get around and know others' opinions on him. And Precision, you had to reach back to the 70's to demonstrate how precisely wrong you were about the murder's character? Thanks for reassuring me your judgment is off. I'll keep that in mind while deciding who to vote for.

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  • MDSApril 08, 2014 - 4:58 pm

    Normally in a matter such as this, the entire union membership would get to vote. However, I'm not a member of that association and never was so I don't know how they did it. You would have to find a member and ask them. And you think this sounds political??? Really?? Endorsing a candidate in a "political" race is political? What was your first clue?

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  • AbramsasnakeApril 08, 2014 - 5:13 pm

    Funny on the political comment. However, I think the point being made is don't lend too much credence to a POA endorsement if it's politcally motivated and only a few voted for the masses. Also, don't you find it strange there is no report on Abrams' campaign contributions? I do. I like having the full scoop not half.

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  • TheReelDubaneApril 08, 2014 - 6:35 pm

    Armchair political advisor committee is in full effect. There's about 10 people on here posting. Your ten votes and opinions mean Jack Squat. You sit here and bemoan your local government everyday and then make suggestions as to what could be done to make things better, but just sit on your hands. Mister, CD, Mds all you guys are some discontent people. You are not happy in your life, you can sit here and blow smoke up my bum about how happy you are but reading, reading and reading your negative comments everyday for the last 6 months has brought me to the conclusion that every single one of you are miserable. All of you disgust me. Each and every one of you is all talk and no walk. So, why don't you keep your comments to yourself, as they don't matter anyway.

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  • The MisterApril 08, 2014 - 7:03 pm

    Glory be!!! I have a reason to live!!!

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  • MDSApril 08, 2014 - 8:31 pm

    You haven't been reading me for six months because I haven't been posting here that long. However, I would comment that your own advice seems to describe your own post!

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  • CD BrooksApril 08, 2014 - 8:49 pm

    TheReelDubane, I on the other hand, have been writing to and in this publication for 20 years! SO happy I could move you in some way. Stay tuned, I'm far from finished. Thanks! :)

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  • CD BrooksApril 08, 2014 - 9:06 pm

    TheReelDubane, LMAO! I just read your post again, I LOVE it when folks like you hiding behind an alias come in here and tell me how miserable I am. Discontent? Unhappy? Hilarious! I will tell you just like I've told others bringing the same silly nonsense...You should have it so good! Good evening to you.

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  • archieApril 08, 2014 - 9:24 pm

    CD,,, if you truly try to understand what dubane is saying,,,,,,, he or possibly she has a point. Not necessarily describing you CD but in general I agree,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I prefer the "outside looking in"/ "people observer" standpoint myself. TheReelDubane I applaud you

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  • CD BrooksApril 09, 2014 - 6:07 am

    Archie, not sure what is bothering you but you made it clear you don't care for my involvement here. That is more your problem then mine.

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  • TheReelDubaneApril 08, 2014 - 11:57 pm

    @CD, LMAO I just reread your reply again. Unknowingly(to you, but everyone else sees the irony of your response)you have proved the exact problem of what I was referring to. 20 years eh? Thanks;-)

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  • CD BrooksApril 09, 2014 - 6:20 am

    TheReelDubane, seems you and archie suffer from the same affliction. So far you have only succeeded in attempting to offend me yet you've offered nothing of value. "BTW, this is me doing the walk." If you really were paying attention you’d recognize my efforts are for the common good. Since I am not in a position of power I have to ask those that are to do their job. If you noticed, things are out of control because they haven’t. Fear not, I will keep trying! I have to ask why you’d waste your time here getting after me rather than acknowledging the issues and suggest alternatives to fix them?

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  • LoveMyCommunityApril 09, 2014 - 9:32 am

    I also find it strange that fire unions have signed on with her.... What in the world do fire unions have to do with a DA race???

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  • The MisterApril 09, 2014 - 7:08 am

    @ disappointed: You asked why no one is providing more positive information on du Bain and more negative news on Abrams. It seems the answer is that du Bain has been tapped to be the fall guy for the corrupt/failed County power players. du Bain may not have agree to it, but the fallout of the Coroner/Sheriff's Office scandal is being diverted to du Bain alone. Bad for du Bain, good for incumbent Sheriff Ferrara (and for Gary Stanton and any bodies he may have buried). Also good for Abrams because the charges of failure and corruption seem to only be sticking to du Bain and not Abrams or other DA staff. Abrams' coworkers, the DA Investigators, are represented by the Deputy Sheriffs' Association (DSA) which is lead by Sheriff Ferrara's brother-in-law. To me it looks like a palace coup (or coop for MDS!) within the DA's office with the cooperating help of the current sheriff, Ferrara, and the DSA. The result? du Bain takes the political hit for incompetence, failure and corruption within the Solano County law-enforcement and justice system... Sheriff Ferrara has plausible deniability for not being corrupt... Gary Stanton's bodies remained buried... the DSA is owed a big favor by current (and presumably continuing) Sheriff Ferrara... and the corruption within Solano County government continues on; perhaps more brazen than before... after the election.

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  • Curious ObserverApril 09, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    @ The MIster, "plausible deniability" on Sheriff Ferrara's part; is that a concession from you? Plausible deniability means that a person can reasonably claim they did not know anything about the situation. It normally refers to an action that is taken at a lower level without the upper level's knowledge. In this case, it appears some things were broken in the Coroner's Office, that they needed to be fixed, and the issues were not discovered until the investigation was complete. In my opinion, it sounds like you are indicating, based on your statement, that Sheriff Ferrara had no knowledge of the events in the Coroner's Office until he initiated the investigation (as has been my opinion all along)? If that is the case, we finally agree on something. :)

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  • disappointedApril 09, 2014 - 7:13 pm

    Actually, I am not asking why there isn't more positive information being printed about Dubain and more negative about Abrams. I just want to know why an investigative reporter only gives us info they want us to know. Why not the whole scoop? Bizarre. As an unbiased reporter, we should expect that if you report on one candidate's campaign contributions then why not the other candidate's? And why not all the contributions? Are we suppose to be outraged the Mr. Dubain is well off? It just seems like a nonsense article that is clearly aimed at trying to belittle a candidate for putting money into a campaign. What would be more informative is an article on how much Dubain has raised via citizens versus Abrams. That gives us more of an idea of the support the candidates have in our community, no?

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  • BJApril 08, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    Seems Fairfield votes a lot of mediocre people in, like Pam Bertani.

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  • Mr. JonesApril 08, 2014 - 10:18 pm

    And what choice do we have? All we ever get are mediocre candidates.

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  • Rich GiddensApril 09, 2014 - 10:04 am

    Seems only insiders posting anonomously get to post here at the government-media complex local newspaper that barely survives on the government's money---sort of like what's happening to the citizens! Meanwhile corruption and treason resides in high local offices and innocent families are being injured by bad cops, DA's, Judges and politicians. Where do you think this will go and exactly what will it lead to? Remember your preamble in the declaration----''where in the course of human events''......

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  • BJApril 09, 2014 - 1:04 pm

    It's a rotten state where big interests pour big monies into pony candidates who in turn do nothing for the community, Pam Bertani being one such rotten candidate.

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