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“The distortion and the outright lies coming from Bruce Porter’s campaign are having a corrosive effect on our community,” said Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara’s 3rd District County Supervisor, at a press conference today near the Ellwood butterfly grove.
To support Hartmann and counter the Porter campaign’s allegation she had diverted money from local schools, the county’s former superintendent of schools, Bill Cirone, stated, “I am disturbed and appalled that one of her opponents, Bruce Porter, has stooped to the distortion and lies that seem to be the norm in today’s political environment.” He denounced the accusation that Hartmann had lost Santa Ynez High School District money by not negotiating with the Santa Ynez Chumash tribe. “As a former school board member, and of that district, Bruce knows that a supervisor’s job is not to lobby for the district with the Chumash,” said Cirone. In fact, the Chumash and the school board have negotiated well and funded the new football field, Cirone said.
Katie Davis, chair of the Santa Barbara chapter of the Sierra Club, endorsed Hartmann, calling her “one of the most effective environmental champions we’ve ever had in office.” Davis continued, “Of concern here is climate change. The fossil-fuel interests supporting Bruce Porter don’t seem to care.” She urged voters to understand that oil companies are working with the Trump administration to target the Central Coast for its resources. In Santa Barbara, the oil industry is giving money to the county’s Republican Party, Davis said, “handing Porter $58,000.” When Porter ran in 2016, “most of the nearly $200,000 he took from oil interests came in at the very end of his campaign, making it hard to track, and deliberately so,” Davis said.
Hugh Montgomery of the Santa Barbara County Firefighters Union stepped up to the mic next to speak in favor of Hartmann. “Joan has supported the goal of borderless dispatch and ensured the continuance of property-tax shift that increase firefighting resources within the county,” he included in his statement.
In her closing remarks, Hartmann contrasted her campaign to her opponent’s: “Serving the last three years and two months as supervisor has been the greatest privilege of my life,” she said. “I’m proud to serve with honesty, integrity and care for the people of Santa Barbara. I’m proud that we have run our campaign guided by the same principles, unlike the Porter campaign.”