Monday, June 4, 2012

Picking a Bohn

Posted By on Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Today, the Journal was made aware of numerous mailers that have reportedly been sent over the past week to residents of Humboldt County's 1st District. All the mailers claim to have been paid for, at least in part, by Rex Bohn's campaign for a seat on the Board of Supervisors. Taken together, they offer decidedly mixed messages, allying Bohn with both major political parties and both sides on two propositions. Take a look (click each image to enlarge):

Here's one sent under a banner reading "THE TEAM FOR DEMOCRATIC VOTERS." It includes quotes from Democratic Party heroes like John F. Kennedy and recommends voting for the full Democratic ticket: Barack Obama, Dianne Feinstein, Jared Huffman and Wes Chesbro. Also, Rex Bohn.

click to enlarge dem_vote_a.jpg

Here's the flip-side of the same mailer:

click to enlarge dem_b.jpg

According to the fine print (below), the mailer was paid for and authorized by Bohn's campaign and the "Yes on 29" campaign. That's what the asterisks means.

click to enlarge dem_b_detail.jpg

This apparent Democratic support might come as a surprise to many, considering Bohn was registered Republican until June of last year -- the same month he announced his candidacy for 1st District Supervisor. He changed his registration to Independent. Yet, according to the mailer below, Republicans aren't holding it against him: 

click to enlarge repubs_2.jpg

Here's yet another mailer, this one from "Election Digest." It recommends voting for Barack Obama for president, Dianne Feinstein for U.S. Senate and, yes, Rex Bohn for Humboldt County Supervisor. Bohn reportedly split the cost of this mailer with the campaigns for "Yes on 28" and "No on 29." That's right, "No" on 29 -- the opposite position of the "Democratic Team" mailer above. 

click to enlarge digest_a.jpg

The true-blue Democrat mailer says, "The American Cancer Society wrote Prop 29 to fund life-saving cancer research in California." The mailer above says it has "too many flaws."

Does "Yes on 29" know Bohn is associating with "No on 29?" 

At least he's consistent on Prop. 28, right? Um...


click to enlarge budget_a.jpg

Above is yet another flier, this one for the "Budget Watchdogs" out there. It claims to have been paid for by Bohn, Daniel Roberts (a Republican candidate for U.S. Congress), "No on 29" (again) and "No on 28."

The Election Digest mailer says Prop 28 "will make Legislature more effective and accountable." Budget Watchdogs call it a "SCAM," in all caps.

To sum up: In the last week, Bohn has appeared on mailers supporting both Democrats and Republicans, both "Yes on 28" and "No on 28," and both "Yes on 29" and "No on 29." And according to the mailers themselves, he has paid to share space with each and every one of these positions.

We called Bohn earlier today after seeing the top mailer over at the Humboldt Herald blog. He claimed not to know what the Humboldt Herald is and said he couldn't comment on the mailer because he hadn't seen it. We offered to email him a link to the image. He said to send it to his campaign email address but warned he wouldn't be able to look at it until "after 4:30 or 5 because I'm at work."

We offered to send it to a work email. "I don't use it," he said. Then, "It's for work only."

He again said he couldn't comment on the mailer because he couldn't see it. Then he said, "I'm leaving here about 4 and I'm gonna go walk until about 5:30, 6 or 6:30."

We offered to send him a link while on the phone. "Well I don't work -- pretty much -- in an office. I'm out in the field mainly. I'm actually out in the yard on a piece of equipment right now."

We offered to describe the mailer to him and then did so, mentioning the full slate of Democratic endorsements with his name in the middle of the flier. We read the phrase beneath his name: "Rex Bohn the Best Call! For ensuring jobs, public safety and preservation of the beautiful north coast environment."

"Hmm, good statement," Bohn said. But he still didn't know whether or not the mailer came from his campaign, as it clearly stated. "I can't say if it's mine or not. I don't know."

After learning of the other mailers, we sent Bohn an email and left two message on his cell phone. We'll update this post with his response, once we hear back.

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Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns worked for the Journal from 2008 to 2013, covering a diverse mix of North Coast subjects, from education, politics and marijuana to human suspension, sex parties and amateur fight contests. He won awards for investigative reporting, feature stories and news coverage.

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