VC Sheriff candidate Bruce Boyer continues in his struggle to get on ballot

Appeal denied. Next: Federal injunction filing.

By George Miller

Some have compared him to Don Quixote in his quest to become Ventura County Sheriff. Without significant law enforcement credentials, but with major commitment to constitutional government, he fervently believes he has something to offer and is trying to use the law to pry open an opportunity to do so. We can’t be sure whether he is serious about getting in, or is he using this as a “bully pulpit” to expose what he says is flouting of constitutional law– by law enforcement. Both, he says.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Vincent O’Neill, Jr. ruled on April 18 in court against Sheriff candidate and civil rights activist Bruce Boyer in his attempt to get on the ballot. We asked Boyer what his next move was as he was walking out of the courtroom. Before we even finished the question, he said “APPEAL!” At this point, we see no way he can be on the June 5 primary ballot, effectively sealing the doom of his primary candidacy, but not necessarily in the future.

(L-R): Plaintiff- would-be Ventura County Sheriff candidate Bruce Boyer; Defendant- County Registrar Mark Lunn

Security consultant and sometime rancher Boyer is a well-known, highly outspoken area civil liberties guy, often seen loudly and theatrically opining at city council meetings, outside courthouses and at controversial events. He seemed neither surprised nor particularly disappointed about the headwinds he is encountering to his candidacy. People at this publication are quite familiar with him, as he bombards us with articles and phone calls. We don’t know how serious he is about his candidacy, but he is quite serious about what he contends are highly unconstitutional moves by county and city law enforcement.

Boyer filed his paperwork, paid fees, even took an oath of office, to run for Ventura County Sheriff. The County Elections Division took his money. But he says Registrar Mark Lunn later informed him that he did not qualify because he did not have the requisite law enforcement qualifications. Boyer had claimed he was qualified (he meant on constitutional grounds), but County Registrar Mark Lunn said he provided insufficient evidence of statutory qualifications– law enforcement experience. 

Mark Lunn has served since his election in 2010 as County Clerk/Registrar, after a distinguished career with the California Highway Patrol, retiring in executive management.

April 18 Court Hearing

Boyer dragged County Registrar Mark Lunn into court on Wednesday, April 18, via a last-ditch expedited request for a writ of mandate, to force his way onto the ballot. It did not go well. He, via his attorney Joel S. Farkas, claimed that qualifications for a constitutional office such as Sheriff could only be imposed via a CA constitutional change. He based that upon a CO court ruling precedent: Gangemi v Rosengard.

Boyer’s attorney, Joel S. Farkas, after 4-18-18 ballot hearing in Ventura County Superior Court. Photo: George Miller/CitizensJournal.us

But the judge was not at all sympathetic to Boyer’s pleadings. Boyer, who showed up at least a half hour late with his attorney, due to a claimed accident causing freeway congestion, was first grilled on why he submitted his pleading late. Boyer responded that it required changes and that the court had a delay in entering it after that. Our understanding was that it was due 3-31-18, but not actually recorded by the court until 4-3-18. But O’Neill accepted and acted upon it. It appeared that O’Neil  had already digested the case evidence and came to a tentative conclusion before anyone walked in the door, but did his due diligence to help ensure he properly understood everything before ruling.

Lunn’s attorney, VC Assistant County Counsel Roberto R. Orellana, countered with his own moves. He cited the Rawls v Zamora precedent ruling, which he claimed confirmed that the CA legislature can indeed impose qualifications for elective offices. Plaintiff’s counsel Farkas countered that it wasn’t even directly applicable and labeled it “dicta,” which means that it was incidental to the main legal thrust of the case and so may arguably not be used as a legal precedent. O’Neill evidently disagreed.

L-R: Tracy Saucedo, Assistant Registrar of Voters; VC Assistant County Counsel Roberto R. Orellana; VC Clerk/Registrar Mark Lunn. Photo: George Miller/CitizensJournal.us

Farkas also raised the possibility that in the event Boyer prevailed, that the election could instead be decided in the November general election. This is uncharted territory, as all the ramifications of the “top two,” also known as “jungle primary.” have not been fully legally tested since its passage as Proposition 14  in 2010. O’Neill seemed skeptical about this novel solution, saying “it is probably illegal,” without actually researching or ruling on it. At least that leaves something for political junkies to look forward to.

Boyer had previously contended that Lunn could not stop his candidacy on his own and that only a court ruling could. But he dropped that line in court and conceded Lunn’s ministerial duties encompassed that, but just believed that the decision was incorrect. 

Boyer takes issue with Lunn on several grounds:

  • VC selectively vets candidates
  • The state requirements which are not constitutional were previously overturned by legal precedent.
  • The statute Lunn is relying upon is discriminatory

For all practical purposes, it is now too late to get on the June primary ballot, so Boyer is fighting this for a future run or on principle, something he has a long history of doing. His attorney also suggested that he contest his opponent Bill Ayub on the November ballot, which goes into territory uncharted since the Proposition 14 “Top 2” primary was voted into law by the public in 2010.

Mark Lunn Interview

I interviewed Mark Lunn briefly after the hearing. He maintained that his counsel had proven that the legislature can legally impose elective office qualifications and that Boyer did not meet them. He added that he didn’t think that Boyer really understood the complexity of the job, which requires extensive knowledge and experience- not just statutory, but practically, in the law and procedures. Lunn had held high level law enforcement positions and had retired from that before being elected as VC Registrar. He said that he had been in charge of CHP (California Highway Patrol)  for both Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, a very big assignment- bigger than the VC Sheriff job, he stated. Either job would also require heavyweight executive management skills as well.

Boyer Strikes back

Boyer is not one to go quietly away into the night, as we have seen before. He and his attorney Mr. Joel S. Farkas told us after the hearing that they would be appealing and went right to work on that. They issued a plea for a temporary stay of the 6-5-18 Sheriff primary election on 5-8-18: BoyerRequestforStay050818

He attempted to explain his approach and rationale in the press release linked below and the PDF below that:

Candidate files appeal | Bruce Boyer campaign for Ventura County Sheriff

Candidate files appeal | Bruce Boyer campaign for Ventura County Sheriff

Bruce Boyer, candidate for Ventura County Sheriff as represented by attorney Joel Farkas: We have filed for a writ of supersedeas with the Appellate Court. A supersedeas is a writ that suspends the authority of a trial court to issue an execution on a judgment that has been appealed. It is a process designed to stop enforcement […]

More: BoyerMay 8th Where do you stand

 

ADDED: Mark Lunn response of August 8, 2018:

George,

Thank you for asking me for a response.

You’re right, he doesn’t give up. He also doesn’t know or abide by the laws of the State, an odd thing for someone who seeks the highest law enforcement position in the County of Ventura.  He also is severely misinformed about his chances on appeal.

My decision to keep Mr. Boyer off the ballot was based on very clear law and was confirmed by the trial court judge.  The court of appeal then immediately (within one day) unanimously denied Boyer’s almost unheard of petition to place him on the June ballot. For Mr. Boyer to think that he has the skill set to run a high performing professional law enforcement agency, like the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, is incredulous to me. I know, from being a former law enforcement executive, that holding public office and leading a law enforcement agency requires unquestioned integrity and a profound respect for the rule of law. Mr. Boyer’s record is that regard is dubious at best. You can Google his and his company’s record of prior rebukes in California courts for yourself.

Now to comment on Mr. Boyer’s writings. The conversation he states he had with me regarding my background and the CHP never occurred. In fact, all the information he cites from that conversation is factually incorrect. For example, the information concerning the CHP’s actual hiring of African American officers is documented here:  https://www.thecahp.org/post/homer-garrott-blazed-trail-chp. Not only are Boyer’s claims false, they are defamatory and expose him to a lawsuit. Respectfully, as the publisher, it exposes you and the Journal as well. I might suggest that you could lessen the ongoing impact of his libel against me by correcting the record or at least by linking the attached redacted document in place of the one you are currently publishing, in which Boyer defames me and which has no factual basis. I suppose this may place you and the Journal in a difficult position with an advertising client, but it would enhance subscribers’ belief that your publication is objective in running articles about Boyer.

While I support, defend and encourage participation in the democratic process for those seeking public office, those efforts must be accomplished legally and without wrongfully damaging the reputation of others. Voters need to be informed that Mr. Boyer is not a candidate for Sheriff and his name will not appear on the ballot in November.  They also need to know he is not being honest.

Thanks again for the opportunity to respond.

BoyerMay-8th-Where-do-you-stand_Redacted

.

Appeals Court Strikes Back at Boyer

As of May 15: Mr. Boyer told us: “So the Appellate Court told us to **** Off!, no hearing. We are working on our planned Federal Injunction filing.”

————————-

Boyer wrote this to us on Mark Lunn:

As an elected official who is a lifelong Republican: what is his position as to SB54 Sanctuary State Rebellion? If he’s against it, will he be out calling on the County Supervisors and local cities to repudiate it? What is his position and actions as to Illegal Aliens voting? Does he  agree with the law that says only salaried LEOs may run for elected County Sheriffs, to the exclusion of all other citizens?

 

As he wrote in a previous article in this publication:

Bruce Boyer, candidate for Ventura County Sheriff for the June 5th election; as represented by attorney Joel Farkas has a hearing scheduled for April 18th Dept 41, VC Superior Court, on his request for a writ of mandate that he, as he is a fully filed candidate, be placed on the ballot.

 

Qualifications/Violations?

Boyer freely admits that candidate Bill Ayub is far better technically qualified than he is and hopes that Ayub stays on as part of Sheriff Boyer’s team. He believes that Ayub and retiring incumbent Geoff Dean are both in violation of their oaths to the Constitution. Where Boyer thinks he is more qualified than incumbent Dean and candidate Ayub combined is in high-level policy- specifically restoring constitutional governance. He has previously cited alleged VC violations such as:

  • Enforcing unconstitutional SB54 Sanctuary State bill, formally known as “The Values Act.”
  • Conducting DUI checkpoints- a 4th Amendment violation of illegal search and seizure
  • Asset forfeiture seizures- a 5th Amendment illegal taking
  • Blocking distribution of jury nullification advice- a 1st Amendment violation
  • Illegally suppressing use of mobile billboards a 1st Amendment violation
  • Not adhering to a “shall issue” policy for concealed carry (CCW) gun permits, which he says is a 2nd amendment violation.
  • Enforcing federal drug laws which are in conflict with state laws and probably fall under the Tenth Amendment, since this is outside of federal enumerated powers per Article I Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

That there are statutes enabling enforcement of the above and in some cases, even court rulings, makes no difference to Boyer, who maintains that these are outrageous violations of constitutional rights and that a sheriff, who he says is the highest constitutional law enforcement officer in the county, should stand up for the right thing.

We have previously spoken to Ventura and LAPD and LA County lawmen who are very reluctant to go up against statutes and policy directives when conflicting constitutional principles are involved. They seem to think that statutes and policy directives take precedence and that only court rulings can trump them.

 

The applicable Sheriff qualifications statute is contained in:

California Code, Elections Code – ELEC § 13.5

Specifically in:

24004.3. – Law section

Which reads:

GOVERNMENT CODE – GOV

TITLE 3. GOVERNMENT OF COUNTIES [23000 – 33205]

  ( Title 3 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. )

  DIVISION 2. OFFICERS [24000 – 28085]

  ( Division 2 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. )

  PART 1. OFFICERS GENERALLY [24000 – 24356]

  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. )

CHAPTER 1. County Officers [24000 – 24012]

  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. )

24004.3.  

(a) No person is eligible to become a candidate for the office of sheriff in any county unless, at the time of the final filing date for election, he or she meets one of the following criteria:

(1) An active or inactive advanced certificate issued by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

(2) One year of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses a master’s degree from an accredited college or university.

(3) Two years of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

(4) Three years of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses an associate in arts or associate in science degree, or the equivalent, from an accredited college.

(5) Four years of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses a high school diploma or the equivalent.

(b) All persons holding the office of sheriff on January 1, 1989 shall be deemed to have met all qualifications required for candidates seeking election or appointment to the office of sheriff.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 57, Sec. 1.)

 

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George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard


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2 Responses to VC Sheriff candidate Bruce Boyer continues in his struggle to get on ballot

  1. William Hicks May 19, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    UNQUALIDIFIED. He doesn’t meet the minimum entry qualifications. I guess he can enter into a lawsuit because he isn’t provided a “special status.” And, anymore you can sue a ham sandwich as well.

    Reply
  2. Bruce Boyer May 17, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Lots to cover! We were denied by the CA Appellate Court in our request to have them issue a writ to enjoin the election results; we are now appealing that to the CA Supreme Court. Even if unsuccessful; the case is still active. The County did not even contest that the law lacks Constitutionality. They know it does not and did not try to fabricate it. We will get a hearing. The Office is a ‘public one” therefore the ‘public’ has the right to run for it. They will not be able to defend a law that excludes American Citizens from running for a public office. Now once we get there is when it gets crazy. The Clerk will certify the results of June 5th; my opponent is not actually elected as CA election law states correctly that if there is only one candidate on the ballot they they are not ‘elected” but that they are ‘recognized”. We will ask the Court to rule that as the law that kept me off the ballot is unconstitutional; that the outcome is as well. That will mean that the Court will invalidate the Clerks certification; and Ventura County would have no sheriff; we would have a vacancy; to which a special election would be held ( the County may not ‘appoint’ anyone to fill a vacancy as to an ‘elected’ position. It will get even more interesting! The end result is that we will restore the right of citizens to choose their candidates. That this ties in with the Rebellion of SB54 and the VCSD is a leading part of the Rebellion makes my ability to defeat them in an election a very real possibility. There will be no room for Rebels in the VCSD if Boyer is Sheriff.

    Reply

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