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All About Ed: A very bad week for District 7 contender

Public Eye

Voss Kapital

It could be voice-over time for Ed Voss. His District 7 council bid has gone from bad to worse and taken on the feel of a reality TV show where contestants are whispering before a vote. On Monday, Oct. 28, the Mercury News conveniently copped out of endorsing in the high-profile labor vs. biz lobby race, citing "two flawed candidates." (Since when does the Merc not back candidates with blemishes? Eye recalls an Oct. 20 endorsement of Guv. Gray called "Davis, A Difficult Choice.") Also, as of 2:30am on Oct. 29, Voss no longer has a campaign manager. The beleaguered Voss asked Ed McGovern to resign immediately following a third (but not final) San Jose Ethics Board hearing on Monday, Oct. 28. After a 6 1/2 hour hearing, the board came to the grand conclusion that Voss' campaign screwed up. The board, led by extended chair Alex Stuart (the guy who couldn't get termed-out despite his reaching the eight-year limit) found that David Garretson Jr. indeed acted as an agent of Voss' campaign when he and campaign mastermind Ed McGovern got too close to what was supposed to be an independent expenditure using developer Robert Emami's $20,000. The board also found that Voss had no clue about the shady inner workings of his campaign. Voss' response to the disintegration of campaign central? "Campaigns can be extremely competitive and sometimes even decent individuals can cross the line. I regret what happened." He also notes that Stuart and another board commissioner told him at the hearing's close that he was the only person at the three hearings who "was honest at all times." Voss says he cut ties with Garretson as well as McGovern after the hearing. Additionally, Voss' opponent Terry Gregory filed a complaint with the Campaign Ethics Foundation alleging that Voss broke his pledge to be ethical. That hearing is on Friday, Nov. 1. ... To add insult to injury, Eye hears that more than 300 of Voss' campaign signs have been plucked from District 7 front yards in the final days of the race, and the candidate isn't scratching his head about who took them. "My own sign was stolen from my front yard," an indignant Voss tells Eye. "This is childish. Who else is gonna do that? I want to make it crystal clear that this campaign does not engage in this kind of behavior." Voss campaign staffers guess that about 20 to 40 signs are reported missing each night and, in their scramble to replace them, have assembled a specialized unit of volunteers who canvass neighborhoods and ask residents if they want new signs. With replacement signs coming at about $4 a pop, the rash of thefts has cost the Voss campaign more than $1,000. "I'm not going to point fingers," NAACP president and Voss supporter Rick Callendar says immediately before doing so, "but obviously it's not the sign gremlin. I'd like to look in Terry Gregory's garage." No one from Gregory's campaign returned Eye's calls.

Jailhouse Doc

For all you loyal Metro readers wondering what's up with the Stanford patient-sexing psychotherapist and biofeedback pro Ian Edward Wickram (see "A Touch Too Much," Oct. 10), he's off to the slammer. For three months. Starting in the more convenient month of January. (He reportedly has some health issues to deal with before lockup.) The judge also sentenced Wickram to five years probation, community service and sex-offender registration. Deputy District Attorney Jeff Rosen, who prosecuted the criminal case against world-renowned therapist Wickram, got everything he asked for. Was justice served? "I personally feel that there should be harsher penalties for sexually exploiting patients," grouses attorney John Weiner, who plans to file a civil suit against Stanford and Wickram this week, asking for $2 million in damages. "The feeling I have is that [my clients] are going to be prisoners of Wickram's blatant negligent misconduct for the rest of their lives, while Wickram at the most is going to spend 60 to 90 days in jail, and that doesn't feel fair."

Ethics-arama

Milpitas community web empress Ann Zeise has turned her Go Milpitas! site into a venue for an ethics complaint against City Council candidate Althea Polanski just in time for the upcoming election. "Althea Polanski, Milpitas School Board member and City Council candidate, has broken two laws with the posting of an illegally acquired, copyrighted photograph I own," Zeise announced on gomilpitas.com. She's referring to copyright infringement and State Code 3206, which states, "no officer or employee of a local agency shall participate in political activities of any kind while in uniform." The photo features Polanski with skateboarder Steve Cabellero, city Planning Commissioner Cliff Williams and Police Chief Charles Lawson, who appears in uniform. Zeise says she asked Polanski to remove the photo from her campaign site and Polanski agreed. But the photo was still there when Zeise checked 24 hours later. ... So she posted a rant about it on the community site and set up a chat room dedicated to it. "From an ethical standpoint, what kind of example does this school board member set for our children who need to learn that you don't copy things found on the web and then pretend they are your own work!" Zeise wrote. ... Polanski tells Eye the whole thing was just an innocent misunderstanding. "She had forgotten that she had sent it to me in October 2000," Polanski says about Zeise's photo. She admits, however, that she doesn't remember whether Zeise gave her permission to use the photo in her campaign. She also says she's unfamiliar with any laws against officers campaigning in uniform.


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From the October 31-November 6, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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