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ELECTION 2012

Roseville City Council candidate’s mailer claims under fire

Bonnie Gore says she’s ‘law enforcement’s choice, ‘small business expert’
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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For more local election coverage: www.thepresstribune.com/categories/political.

A recent campaign mailer sent out by Roseville City Council candidate Bonnie Gore has some residents scratching their heads.

The red banner across the top reads: “Law enforcement’s choice for city council.” But just whose choice that reflects is the cause of confusion.

Gore didn’t receive the endorsement of the Roseville Police Officers Association. Those endorsements went to incumbents Pauline Roccucci and Carol Garcia and candidate Scott Alvord. Nor did Gore earn the endorsement of the Roseville Firefighters Association, which endorsed the same three candidates.

Gore isn’t claiming to have received these groups’ endorsements, but some residents consider the phrasing on her campaign literature misleading.

“A lot of people have commented to me asking if the RPOA has endorsed Bonnie Gore,” said President Jerry Wernli. “I have had to explain to them that we haven’t. When I read her campaign flier, it certainly can be inferred that Bonnie is the choice for the Roseville Police Department. That isn’t the case.”

Gore has received the endorsement of Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner and Placer County District Attorney Scott Owens, as stated on the mailer.

“(Bonner) is one of the foremost law enforcement voices in California,” Gore told the Press Tribune. “(Owens) is on the front lines of fighting for tougher sentences and longer jail time for hardened criminals. Bonner and Owens are Placer County’s top law enforcers. Having their support is certainly worth being labeled ‘law enforcement’s choice.’” 

Gore said she doesn’t have the support of local police and firefighter associations because she’s “not the labor union candidate.”

On the mailer, Owens states: “Bonnie Gore will fight for tough sentencing and no early release.” The statement references Assembly Bill 109, also known as the Criminal Justice Realignment Plan, which mandates that nonviolent, non-serious and non-sexual offenders serve their sentence in county jails instead of state prisons. 

“Placer County and the cities within it have taken a proactive, collaborative approach to law enforcement in order to deal with these impacts,” Owens said in an email to the Press Tribune. “These impacts include lighter sentences that are served locally and not in state prison. These impacts also include the overcrowding of local jails which has lead to the early release of criminal defendants.”

Owens said addressing these impacts will require community leaders who understand the issue and that Gore fits the bill.

This isn’t the first time Gore’s claims on mailers have come under fire. In letters to the editor, some Press Tribune readers have questioned her use of the phrase “proven small business expert.” Gore’s day job is doing public affairs for Kaiser Permanente.

Roseville resident Jim Gibson wrote that he was surprised to find out that she has never owned or operated a small business — and most of her background seems to be in politics and working for a large health care provider.

Gore cites her involvement with the Roseville Chamber of Commerce, along with her previous experience working for small businesses as giving her insight into regulations, job creation, economic growth and other business-related issues.

“That’s why the Roseville Chamber of Commerce presented to me the Athena Award in 2011, which recognizes businesswomen who contribute to the community,” Gore said. “I’m also the chair of the (chamber’s) Leadership Roseville program.”