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After Outcry, Police Reviewer Answers Council on Delayed Report
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 years ago on
October 16, 2020

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Fresno police auditor John Gliatta received praise and understanding during a hearing at Thursday’s city council meeting.

The council called Gliatta in for a workshop after controversy erupted over the delayed release of a report from his office on a police brutality claim.

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David Taub

Politics 101

Last month, Gliatta told the Fresno Commission on Police Reform that he didn’t include his findings of the January 2019 incident during his July quarterly report. He expressed concern about how the community would react to it in the wake of national outrage sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“It was delayed. It was never going to be withheld,” Gliatta told the council. “There was no deception.”

Despite questions raised previously by council members and criticism by members of the community, Gliatta’s answers seemed to satisfy council president Miguel Arias.

I think it’s fair to say that the national environment and the recent incidents have just made everybody super hypersensitive and a little bit distrusting of public entities. There was criticism. There was a clear misunderstanding. You’ve clarified it. So thank you for doing that,” Arias said.

Gliatta planned to include his findings in his October quarterly report, but released it early after community complaints. Gliatta concluded that police did use excessive force in the London Wallace incident. That case is now in federal court.


Also in Politics 101: 

  • Bredefeld praises auditor, blasts newspaper.
  • Who has raised what for local congressional races.
  • Clovis nixes local fundraising limits.
  • Ballot returns on pace to set records.

Bredefeld Blasts Bee

Councilman Garry Bredefeld praised Gliatta — calling him a man of great integrity  — while at the same time blasting the auditor’s critics, specifically a Fresno Bee columnist.

“People were criticizing you. They didn’t even really know your report was critical of the police, which is antithetical to what one columnist hack at the Fresno Bee who loves to attack the police and attack you on a personal level as well. I mean, his columns are worthless. His opinions are worthless. There’s a big reason why The Fresno Bee is bankrupt. And he attacked you personally,” Bredefeld said.

The reference was to Marek Warszawski, and a column he penned about the Gliatta controversy.

Warszawski replied on Twitter, “Didn’t know I rented space in Garry’s head.”

Congressional Cash: Cox Edges Valadao. But Like Race, It is Close

TJ Cox and David Valadao are close in the cash race in what is again expected to be one of the nation’s tightest congressional races.

Cox (D-Fresno) upended Valadao (R-Hanford) by 862 votes in 2018 to win the seat. Valadao hopes to win the rematch.

According to third-quarter campaign fundraising totals from the Federal Election Commission, Cox outraised Valadao in the quarter by less than $600,000, and has raised more than $1.8 million overall.

However, Valadao has $480,000 more cash on hand. Both candidates are ubiquitous on TV.

The other two races from Fresno have significant advantages for the incumbents. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) raised more than $800,000 more in the quarter than Phil Arballo (D-Fresno) and nearly $8 million overall.

Jim Costa (D-Fresno) raised twice as much in the quarter than Kevin Cookingham (R-Madera County) and eight times as much overall. The two will meet in a debate on October 20 at 6 p.m., carried live by CW 59 and KMJ radio (580 AM/105.9 FM).

Race Candidate Raised 3rd Quarter Raised overall Spent overall Cash on hand
Congress 16 Jim Costa (D)* $232,656 $1,920,876 $1,516,917 $573,482
Congress 16 Kevin Cookingham (R) $105,658 $232,341 $194,249 $38,091

 

Congress 21 TJ Cox (D)* $1,637,074 $4,920,923 $3,993,168 $1,104,612
Congress 21 David Valadao (R) $1,056,209 $3,472,519 $2,007,153 $1,584,627
Congress 22 Devin Nunes (R)* $2,289,376 $11,872,951 $7,605,044 $8,764,195
Congress 22 Phil Arballo (D) $1,404,923 $4,029,386 $3,683,142 $346,243

* incumbent

No Campaign Limits in Clovis Council Race

The Clovis City Council opted not to set campaign contribution limits for candidates seeking city offices.

Because of a 2019 state law, any jurisdiction that does not set its own limits would default to the state amount of $4,700 per contributor per election cycle.

Clovis did not have a limit, and voted it to keep it that way. It’s only restriction is voluntary — spending limits equaling $1 per city resident. It was a 4-0 vote with Vong Mouanoutoua absent.

Councilwoman Lynne Ashbeck, who is running for re-election in March, felt the state limit was to high.

“If it’s not broken, why fix it?” asked councilman Bob Whalen.

By comparison, the city of Fresno already tied its contribution limits to the state level. Fresno County voted to set a $30,000 limit.

Ballot Returns Are Up

By any metric, Fresno County is shattering records for early voting.

As of Friday, more than 80,000 voters have returned ballots either by mail or drop box. That is 17% of all registered voters.

Compared to this point in the last presidential election, 2020 is up 50,000 ballots.

In March, Fresno County mailed ballots to every active registered voter for the first time. Now, every county in the state is engaging in the process. Only 14% of voters in the county actually voted in the polls, with the rest either mailing or dropping off ballots.

Election Total turnout (% of registered voters) Total Mail-in ballots (% of turnout) Mail-in 18 days prior
June 2016 169,333 (40.8%) 102,067 (60.2%) 21,956
November 2016 291,890 (66.7%) 160,103 (54.9%) 28,375
June 2018 136,888 (31.1%) 88,451 (64.7%) 13,988
November 2018 256,972 (56.4%) 155,324 (60.4%) 12,982
March 2020 199,118 (42.2%) 172,603 (86.7%)

Drop box: 14,998

Mail: 34,861

Drop box: 2,125

November 2020 n/a n/a Mail: 50,435

Drop box: 31,364

Note: for March 2020, total mail-in number reflects both mail-in and drop box. Total registered voters for November 2020: 481,837

Reparations Update

Earlier this week, Politics 101 reported that the General Plan Implementation Review Committee voted on a motion for reparations for Black Fresnans.

The motion maker, Grecia Elenes of the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, reached out to Politics 101 to note that the motion was amended to include indigenous community. However, despite the request from member Darius Assemi of Granville Homes, Elenes did not accept an amendment to include the Armenian community.

Elenes preferred that reparations for Armenians would be included in a separate motion, which no other member made.

Assemi is publisher of GV Wire.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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