Friday, August 28 , 2015, 7:53 am | Fair 64.0º




Falcone Fails to Qualify for Santa Barbara Mayoral Ballot

In signature surprise, two dozen names are ruled invalid on councilwoman's nomination papers. Write-in run may be option

Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Iya Falcone announced plans to run for mayor at a February news conference in Storke Placita. Among her supporters on hand were, from left, Supervisor Salud Carbajal, former Mayor Hal Conklin, Supervisor Janet Wolf, Goleta Councilman Michael Bennett and former Mayor Harriet Miller.

Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Iya Falcone announced plans to run for mayor at a February news conference in Storke Placita. Among her supporters on hand were, from left, Supervisor Salud Carbajal, former Mayor Hal Conklin, Supervisor Janet Wolf, Goleta Councilman Michael Bennett and former Mayor Harriet Miller.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk file photo)

By William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk Publisher |

Two weeks after she reported raising more than $63,000 in the race to be Santa Barbara’s next mayor, Iya Falcone apparently came up short with the only numbers that count right now: The 100 signatures necessary to place her name on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Rumors of the development began circulating late Thursday afternoon, but calls to Falcone were not answered Thursday evening. Late Thursday, a city source confirmed to Noozhawk that while Falcone had submitted 118 required signatures, nearly two dozen had been ruled invalid by the city clerk’s office. As a result, the source said, her nomination papers were declared “not qualified” and her name will not appear on the ballot. Falcone could run as a write-in candidate, however.

Falcone’s possible exit from the race — and the earlier departure of fellow candidate Justin Michael — winnows the field to Steve Cushman, Dale Francisco, Isaac Garrett, Bob Hansen and Helene Schneider, all of whom have qualified for the ballot.

But it was a surprising twist for the two-term councilwoman, whom many political observers had characterized as an early front-runner. According to the Santa Barbara Independent, Falcone will conduct an independent investigation of the signatures to determine her next move. Craig Smith speculated on his blog, Craig Smith’s Blog, that an appeal or a recount request may be options.

Falcone appeared with Cushman and Schneider at the Santa Barbara County Action Network’s mayoral forum Wednesday night at the Santa Barbara Central Library’s Faulkner Gallery. The South Coast Community Coalition is hosting a mayoral forum at 6 p.m. Friday and organizers confirmed Friday that Falcone would attend the event at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. Click here for more information on the forum.

Last month, Falcone reported raising $63,164 through June 30, with $29,564 in the bank. Among her larger contributors: the Santa Barbara Police Officers Association, $7,500 ($12,000 including other filing periods); the Santa Barbara City Firefighters Association Inc., $2,500; and the Santa Barbara County Firefighter Government Committee, $2,500.

In her February news conference announcing her candidacy, Falcone emphasized her experience and declared a commitment to get “back to basics” with public safety and infrastructure.

“The city needs strong leadership,” she said. “These are very dire times.”

An attorney and former crisis counselor, Falcone was first elected to the council in 2000. She received a bachelor’s degree in child development from Cal State Northridge, with a concentration in abnormal psychology. She earned her law degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Her late husband, Vince, died last October.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Bill on Twitter: @noozhawk.




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» on 08.14.09 @ 09:11 AM

Interesting stuff about our mayor’s race already and it has barely begun! Hopefully we will get some one who is going to do the job and do it well . Justin Tevis has my vote!!!

» on 08.14.09 @ 09:25 AM

How could a veteran politician not make sure she (or he) had enough valid signatures?
Why would anyone running for a major office and raising so much money not get double or even triple the amount needed just to be “safe?”

I believe that signatures have to be registered CITY of SB voters AND if they have already signed 3 other petitions submitted for other candidates, then their signature on the 4th one is invalid.

Good reason to take the time to get many more signatures than needed.

I know that and I’m one of the few NOT running for public office!

» on 08.14.09 @ 09:52 AM

Does this mean another gear has fallen off of our city’s once powerful political machine? Is there a chance a real “outsider” could get elected? I suspect not, but it’s worth hoping for!

» on 08.14.09 @ 09:56 AM

Do we really want someone who lakes the mental ability to screen 100 petition signatures to be running our city?

» on 08.14.09 @ 10:20 AM

It’s mysterious as to why the two backed out and the limelight went to Thyne. Rumor has it JMIKe was offered a starring role in Bones, the hit TV series, TJ Thyne stars in. TJ having put up 20k. 4 signatures off? Justin turned in over 160. Looks like possible fraud. Both Iya Falcone and JMike should technically be on the ballot if the people that signed currently reside in SB itself! If Thyne or even Palminteri runs for Mayor pen in last minute using Michael’s purported multi tens of thousand email list compiled by UCSB PhD tech students, since the ballot is mail in, Thyne could come out of nowhere and take the city’s top spot. John Thyne is the most qualified candidate in the entire race and should be Mayor.

» on 08.14.09 @ 10:53 AM

Shows a lot about the quality of a mayor she’d make if she can’t even get this right!

» on 08.14.09 @ 11:10 AM

See above to see who’s running for mayor. The list includes neither Tevis nor Thyne, both of whom are running for council.

» on 08.14.09 @ 11:27 AM

Early big mistakes may foretell a lack of ability for careful administration. A mayor can’t overlook the details.

» on 08.14.09 @ 11:32 AM

Observer, Justin Tevis isn’t running for Mayor. Observe a little closer, or just actually READ something rather than just forming opinions.

» on 08.14.09 @ 11:35 AM

Interesting error. Falcone is calculating and politically savvy.  So could this have happened on purpose?

But the other story here is this new group “South Coast Community Coalition.” Clicking on the link provided we can determine that it purports to be an independent minded group but if you look at the line up of it’s political operatives it is a fairly right wing organization. It even includes what I consider to be a very hateful columnist from another online publication. The “forum” held at Fess Parker’s Red Lion I suppose will be filled with teabaggers, birthers and deathers. If I had to I’d rather meet at a downtown nightclub before going to the Red Lion for a public forum (not.) I don’t know why a serious candidate would even consider gracing this particular “forum.”

» on 08.14.09 @ 12:34 PM

how did ANY of the candidates fail to get 100 signatures?  i could get 100 signatures in a 1 day…...

***proof*** that these candidates deserve to lose

» on 08.14.09 @ 12:41 PM

Something is fishy or a lack of paying attention to details, how could this happen?

» on 08.14.09 @ 12:46 PM

I was incorrect in my earlier post. Candidates for mayor may only submit up to 200 signatures for the 100 needed to qualify, so she should have had twice the number on her petition (not 3x).

And the ones who sign for City Council candidates don’t count against the quota (can sign no more than 3 petitions for city council) in the mayoral petition.

Guess I’m not ready to run for office.

I think that if anyone is to blame it was whomever she paid to run her campaign.

» on 08.14.09 @ 12:50 PM

I wonder if it is possible for one to verify that signatures on a petition are in fact registered voters before submitting the petition?  I wonder also if, just maybe, some of the more diabolical anti-Falcone’s signed her ballot knowing their signatures would be disqualified?  Not like the opposition in any election is above dirty tricks - look what happened to Riordan in LA…

» on 08.14.09 @ 02:00 PM

The time is right to vote out the tax and spend liberals, who are paid off by the unions..take your city back

» on 08.14.09 @ 02:07 PM

This definitely stinks to high heaven and reeks of manipulation. No one could be this stupid. Iya has clearly been thrown under the bus, but to whose benefit?
Maybe 60-foot building Steve Cushman who was drawing support heavily from Iya’s side and cutting deeply into her base of fiscally-conservative pro-growthers. The only question was whether Iya went willingly under the bus. Sounds like she may have.

» on 08.14.09 @ 02:08 PM

Boo Hoo.  She had the oppotunity and the ability to verify that every one of those signatures were valid, and she didn’t do her due diligence.  This is not her first run for office, she knows the rules, but as many of us know, she acts like rules are for someone else. We are better off with out that type of arrogance behind the dais.

» on 08.14.09 @ 02:10 PM

Wow! I am sorry to see that this occurred.  Iya is a wonerful woman, intelligent and articulate woman, and would make a great mayor.

» on 08.14.09 @ 02:19 PM

It was nice of “mind boggling” to check on his/her facts and issue a correction (re: numbers of max. signatures on a candidate’s petition), but the blame for too few valid signatures can be assigned to no one except the candidate. It is a candidate’s place to insure that all t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted in ALL of the fundamental documents of a campaign - and signatures on a petition are the most basic of those fundamentals. Ms. Falcone has no one to blame but herself, and may have done a service to SB voters by revealing a carelessness that does not auger well in a would-be leader. 
Now, when does she have to return all that campaign money from interest groups?

» on 08.14.09 @ 02:21 PM

Why am I not surprised? The decision to submit only 118 signatures is of similar quality and displays the lack of logic and leadership of many other decisions made from her seat on the City Council. This time there are consequences.  How quickly a person with power becomes a lame duck.

» on 08.14.09 @ 02:24 PM

Missing Numbers

It seems there is a very simple answer here that no one wants to admit. She could not find 100 qualified voters to sign the petition. “Nough said.” Leave her alone.

» on 08.14.09 @ 03:21 PM

A couple observations:

1. Iya raised a ton of money from the unions - Fire, Police and SEIU (representing City’s workforce). I think the inability to gather 100 legitimate signatures exposes the fact that a great majority of city workers (including fire and police) don’t live withing the City of Santa Barbara. That should tell us all something. The potential “front runner” for Mayor was being supported by non-residents. Very eye opening.

2. The lack of Iya to personally gather a minimum of 100 (maximum of 200) registered voters is a clear indication of how she would/could perform the larger role of Mayor. It’s like the episode of “Weeds” where the lawyer buddy of the character played by Kevin Nealon “forgets” to turn in his city council candidate papers. It’s that comical.

3. From my point of view this should make the race more interesting. It will allow the other candidates to really tell us about their positions, capabilities and vision for the city, without the “noise” from the city worker unions (although I’m sure they’ll jump heavily on the Helene bandwagon, if they haven’t already). So far, from what I’ve seen Cushman may be the best candidate left standing at this point. Either way, it should be mildly amusing for next few months.

» on 08.14.09 @ 03:24 PM

I repeat my earlier questions.  Is it actually possible for a candidate to validate signatures before submitting as some of you allege?  Are the candidates allowed to check the list of registered voters?  How might the candidates determine if any of their signatories signed more than one candidate’s petition before the petitions are submitted.  Some of you are a bit to willing and quick to accuse Iya of incompetence.  Can you answer any of these questions?

» on 08.14.09 @ 03:50 PM

The county elections office will sell the voter data, in a nice Excel file, to anyone who legally promises only to use the data for election-related purposes.  That costs a whopping $28 to acquire the city voter data.

Someone effed up big time on this and is now in another career path.  Iya should have been closer to the details of her campaign and turned in the forms a few days earlier, when the city clerk staff would verify the names in just a few hours.

» on 08.14.09 @ 03:54 PM

A couple observations:

1. Iya raised a ton of money from the unions - Fire, Police and SEIU (representing City’s workforce). I think the inability to gather 100 legitimate signatures exposes the fact that a great majority of city workers (including fire and police) don’t live withing the City of Santa Barbara. That should tell us all something. The potential “front runner” for Mayor was being supported by non-residents. Very eye opening.

2. The lack of Iya to personally gather a minimum of 100 (maximum of 200) registered voters is a clear indication of how she would/could perform the larger role of Mayor. It’s like the episode of “Weeds” where the lawyer buddy of the character played by Kevin Nealon “forgets” to turn in his city council candidate papers. It’s that comical.

3. From my point of view this should make the race more interesting. It will allow the other candidates to really tell us about their positions, capabilities and vision for the city, without the “noise” from the city worker unions (although I’m sure they’ll jump heavily on the Helene bandwagon, if they haven’t already). So far, from what I’ve seen Cushman may be the best candidate left standing at this point. Either way, it should be mildly amusing for next few months.

» on 08.14.09 @ 04:18 PM

much of the opining above is clearly from individuals who have no idea of what they speak.  More will be revealed. Stay tuned.

» on 08.14.09 @ 05:45 PM

Thanks, Oy, that answers one question.  Now what about those signatures who appear on multiple candidates’ petitions, thus invalidating said signature.  Any way to check that?  Probably not.  What a wonderful way for the dark forces to sink a candidate before she even gets to run.

» on 08.14.09 @ 07:03 PM

City clerk keeps a data set to verify that the same voter on the list does not sign the nomination papers for multiple candidates for the same elected seat.  The way to avoid that is for candidates and their helpers at the same places as the other candidates are when seeking out voters to sign the form.

As the Independent reports, duplications were not the problem for Iya. Instead, it was not enough good matches with the voter name and the voter addresses.  The voter data is not a secret.  Iya should have monitored her people much better to get this done earlier and also to do their own verification from the readily available list of voters and addresses.

No doubt Chris Marquardt is packing up to move back to Virginia.

» on 08.14.09 @ 07:09 PM

I know Iya.

She is very smart.  So smart that she knew one had to submit a minimum of 150 in order to get 100 registered voters.  This is because half of the residents of the south coast live outside city limits and half of those living inside the city are not registered to vote.  This means only 1 resident in 4 on the south coast is registered to vote in the City. 
On top of that everyone knows that many residents of the south coast don’t know whether or not they live inside the city limits or just outside.


What this most likely means is that Iya did this on purpose.  It mist be nice to collect $63,000 then decide not to run and keep it.

Pretty Pretty shrewd.    The mind of a lawyer.

» on 08.14.09 @ 10:57 PM

Does she actually get to keep the money?  How do you know that?

» on 08.15.09 @ 01:10 AM

John,
I called the County elections office.

They have a computer in their lobby where anyone can go and for free look up a name and verify whether or not they are a registered voter in the City of Santa Barbara. 

City hall, new to doing elections,  does not yet have such a computer, but all a person has to do is go to the County elections office and use theirs.

» on 08.15.09 @ 01:21 AM

Shes going to take the money and open up a medical marijuana club on State Street, near city hall…She will make millions..

» on 08.15.09 @ 02:20 PM

Thanks, ‘reply to John Locke’.  But still, what about multiple signatures on multiple petitions.  Looks like a gaping loophole to me.

» on 08.15.09 @ 04:15 PM

Smell Test, that’s idiotic, but funny!

And, Locke, yes, the candidates get to keep the money. Ethics, if not morality, would say they should return it, especially if, as Uribe’s and Falcone’s cases, the drop out had nothing to do with the actual purposes the money was given, ie. to campaign.

Uribe has indicated to the Independent that she hasn’t decided whether she’ll keep the approximately $9,000. Falcone has not been asked the question ... and apparently still thinks she may be in the race since she participated in the candidates’ forum last night.

It’s a big loophole in the campaign financing rules that I think should be tightened up. (But don’t expect the Supervisors (Carbajal with a huge warchest) or Council so long as Das Williams is on board to do that.)

To some it seems the next thing to theft to keep money that was given for a different purpose, a different race.

» on 08.15.09 @ 08:30 PM

Now let me get this straight.  She is an experienced campaign manager.  She is an experienced council member.  She didn’t know that you need to get 50% more than the required signatures to insure candidacy.

Isn’t this a message? Don’t we want someone more detail oriented sitting at the helm of a city with a budget crisis?

» on 08.15.09 @ 09:26 PM

Anyone can be a write-in candidate without filing papers.

» on 08.16.09 @ 12:51 AM

Yeah Iya run as a write in!

» on 08.16.09 @ 07:44 PM

Tax payers should be happy, she works for the unions.

» on 08.17.09 @ 11:56 PM

If only this didn’t hand the election to Schneider….

» on 08.18.09 @ 02:04 AM

All of you who think the mayor has any power in the City are fooling yourselves.  All the mayor does is cut ribbons, respond to complaints by passing the buck to staff, and follow the recommendation of the City Administrator.  The City Administrator is the real power and decision maker.  The mayor and Council just follow the lead.  What we need is a strong mayor and council who won’t just nod their heads up there and stand up to the administrator.

» on 08.20.09 @ 10:06 AM

It made my day to see that Iya is not running. We need fresh action where the stale was.  I hope that Tevis wins a seat on council and then goes on to get the mayor position, heard him speak at the tea bag party and he was on fire. Oh well just get us someone that will do the job unlike the WHITE HEAD!

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