Schwarzenegger Stumps for Smith

Calling Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith “an absolute jewel,” California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared on the elected official’s behalf at a May 5 Los Gatos fundraiser that may have raised close to $100,000 by some early estimates. Smith called it her most successful fundraiser ever.

Held at the historic mansion of David and Cindy Kenyon Lazares, once home to the famous trial attorney James Boccardo, Schwarzenegger arrived and spoke on Smith’s behalf and posed for photographs with the sheriff’s supporters.

The popular three-term law enforcement official is facing off against two former San Jose Police Department officers, Richard Calderon and Martin Monica, each of whom briefly served as a small town police chief.

In addition to the governor, Smith introduced her mentor, former Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Ruch, who sued the county in the 1970s for gender equality. Back then, women in the department were known as “matrons” and the men were called “deputies.”

“We didn’t get the same pay even though we were in the same danger,” Ruch said.

Smith became California’s first female sheriff in 1998.

Contributors paid $500 to attend the fundraiser, which included wine and a buffet of paella and soft tacos.

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. Pat Ruch achieved the rank of Captain during her glass ceiling breaking career.  She was “mentor” to many of us back in the “good old days” and deserves every accolade she receives and then some.

  2. This race reminds me of the Mayoral race between Chuck Reed and Cindy Chavez. Cindy, whom I think very highly of by the way, brought in the Clintons and Gavin Newsom in an effort to beat Chuck. It didn’t work, and hopefully bringing in the Governor to help Smith doesn’t work. 

    Laurie Smith has proven to me, in the several forums I’ve attended, to be someone who lacks integrity, and seems to lead by intimidation. I was completely surprised to hear so many Deputies tell one horror story after another about her. I was surprised to hear in one forums that anyone (including Deputies) must be escorted to and from her office when she meets with him or her. WOW! When confronted about this, Ms. Smith acted surprised and said she would put a stop to that practice. What? How could she not know?

    One major thing that troubles me about Smith, beside the fact that her employees seem to feel very intimidated by her is, that she has endorsed DA Carr but has never come forward to defend Carr over Rosen’s false allegations about the lack of prosecution of the De Anza rape case. The reason DA Carr could not file charges is because the evidence gathered by HER department was faulty and the crime scene contaminated. If Laurie Smith had one once of integrity she would come forward and own up to her failure as a leader, and give the public the facts instead of watching DA Carr be falsely and unfairly accussed.

    The things that Smith did during these forums greatly disturbed me. She continually denied things that were rebutted successfully by Monica and Calderon. Calderon brought quite a few members of the Gustine PD to a forum that said Richard was treated unfairly when asked to leave. They also said he was a very affective leader.

    Monica gave facts about how he got the letter of recommendation from Smith. He gave the names, dates, and facts about his meeting with Smith. Interestingly enough, Smith’s attorney walked in during Monica’s statement, and left immediately after Monica was finished. Smith fained ignorance and a failed memory of how the letter came to be. Hum…

    All I can say to you voters is to be very careful when casting your vote. She is NOT good for Sheriff. I did NOT know the other candidates until I attended several forums. I immediately knew Charvez was a ringer sent in to split the vote. His clear allegiance to Smith was obvious. Martin Monica is very sweet, but I think he is too inexperienced yet to be Sheriff. His ties to Raj are also a concern for me. Richard Calderon seemed to be the best of the bunch, so I’ll be casting my vote for him.

    • There’s always been something about Laurie Smith that has rubbed me the wrong way.  I eventually voted for her in the run-off (albeit not in the first round) when she was first elected in 1998, but left the Sheriff’s line of my ballot blank in 2002 & 2006.  This year we have a couple of other choices, and I will definitely be casting my ballot for one of those two men (probably Calderon).

      Her endorsement of Cindy Chavez for Mayor in 2006 pretty much put her beyond the pale, as far as I was concerned.

    • My question is this:  Why has Laurie Smith refused to show to several public forums that she has been invited to?  At one forum she and her husband drove several miles to a Santa Cruz Mountain community only to show up and say she had to leave.

      She constantly refuses to appear at forums. How many “important meeting” scheduling conflicts can she really have?

      More importantly, ask her about what she has done to minimize the risk of another bicycle death(s) incident?  Deputies are working 12 hour shifts and are likely fatigued working those long hours.  Ask her about the class she took regarding fatigue and 12 hour shifts BEFORE that terrible accident occurred.  Her answer was that her department checked with NASA about fatigue.

      Either way, I believe people can see through the mire and will vote for another candidate who really has the communities interests above her own.

  3. People will continue to see LAurie Smiths lies and lack of law enforcement skills. Her higher ranking deputies do not believe in working with the public. And Laurie herself has stayed “We DO NOT HAVE A GANG OR DRUG PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTY!” Yet she claims she works to protect our kids from gangs and drugs ! YOU CANT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!!  And getting supports and endorcements by intimidation! people in fear not supporting you in case by some miricle you win and they pay the price by the wrath of Laurie. What a great role model for the citizens of this county. YOU GO GIRL !!!!! AS IN GET OUT !!!!!!!!

    • Interesting.  I had been unsure who to support for sheriff, but now that I’ve read that folks who comment on this forum don’t trust her and support Calderon, I’ve made up my mind – I’m voting for Smith.  This forum is a good place to find out who NOT to support.

  4. Correction:

    Pat Ruch was the first woman to become a Captain in Sheriff’s Department of Santa Clara County.

    Los Gatos grads don’t stop at Lieutenant.

    • That’s right she was the first and the last until last year when Laurie Smith promoted Estella Frontella.  Why did it take twelve years for a female to make Captain under Laurie Smith!!!  I know there are qualified females in the Sheriff’s Office and Laurie had the opportunity to promote one several times.  Well at least there is one now and she is a good choice in my opinion.

      I knew Pat Ruch and her husband Ernie.  Both were class act individuals.  Had Pat ever decided to run for Sheriff, I would have backed her big time.  Hope your enjoying retirement!!!!!!

  5. Its funny to see all the comments on this forum. bbecause people read them and then still DO NOT believe what a underhanded and vindictive person Smith is. She doesn’t even converse with her own deputies on any level. And her 2 captains are not people that work well with others or appologize when they are wrong. she only is concerned with the people who kiss up to her. There are hard working deputies that are out there doing what they can, with what she gives them. and support is not one of the things she gives. i have heard people say lets go committ crime in the sheriff area, they will never catch us. too many resourses need to be replenished and the budget looked at and adjusted. AND HELD RESPONCIBLE. As we citizens are told… “Ignoerance is No Excuse, heres your ticket.” WELL SMITH DENIAL AND IGNORANCE AND BROWN NOSING IS NO EXCUSE! HERES YOUR TICKET TO LEAVE!!!!!

    • I agree with your message.  However, the 2 you are speaking of are commanders, not captains.  There are many captains that do a great job despite the commanders and shouldn’t be lumped in.

  6. I have Great concern about our County and are state. I state budget ..ran by Gov. Arnold S. Whom supports Laurie S. has our state in major debt. And Laurie S. has our county tax payers paying out over 8 million dollars in civial suites in just the last 6 yrs. On this video … the gov. says Smith taught him about law enforcement.  COULD THIS BE WHY HE HAS NO CLUE.. And Smith has used under handed tactics in running her dept. I agree we need someone we can trust to do the actual job. Calderon is a team player and very interactive with his officers and with community support. He is one for working together towards the goal of multi law enforcement agencies in this county working towards main concerns and safety of the public…. MY VOTE WILL BE FOR CALDERON !!!

  7. I would have kind words for some one who donated $10,000 to my political campaign too.

    Of course the kind feeling did not extend to offering her the position with CHP now, did it.

  8. People, all that has to happen is for Princess Laurie to not get over 50% of the vote and be forced into a run off.  More people will pay attention if she’s forced into a run off.

    We can hope that another candidate can get 50+% but we can be happy if she’s forced into a run off.

    Urge everyone you know, anyone who wants a pro-active, involved Sheriff who’s goal is to provide the people with the best service possible with the money they’re given.

    Yes, things are “okay” right now in the county, but how many years of neglect will it take to go downhill?  Things are already going downhill.

    Gang Task force?  She’s kidding, she has the same two people who do Gang Task force doing Drug Task force, Vice and 3 other jobs – how effective do you think that program is?  Hanging a title on some one doesn’t mean that you have a “gang task force” it just means you have some thing you can point to during election time to bullshit the people.

    The county doesn’t have a gang problem.  Yet.  Laurie’s working hard to make sure your tax dollars don’t pay to keep it that way.  Maybe a new candidate can take all the money saved from shuttling her friends around in the helicopter and put together a real gang task force or a critical incident response plan or any of the other things she keeps telling the public she has and doesn’t.

    If an earthquake hits tomorrow – the deputies are going to be to busy looking for their own food and water to even worry about what you need, just like what happened in Texas a few years ago with the Hurricane.

  9. FYI:

    Last night, I went to the last Willow Glen Neighborhood Association’s candidate forum. Guess who didn’t bother to show up? You’ve got it, SMITH! I guess she’s so sure she’s going to win that answering questions from we VOTERS isn’t important.

    Please consider voting for Calderon before voting her back in again. We need a change NOW!

  10. There are some people and newspapers when they endorse candidates that tells you not to vote for their choices –

    California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsing ” Laurie Smith“

    Mercury Metro and Rep. Zoe Lofgren endorsing Jeff Rosen

  11. The Governor came all this way to back Laurie Smith yet he didn’t hire her as the Commissioner of the Highway Patrol?  His actions speak louder than his words.  I will vote for Rich Calderon, the best candidate, not the one who is just okay.

    I thought the Governor learned about law enforcement by being an actor.  It is a more reliable source than Smith.

    By the way who shot the video?  It looks like they attached the camera to the dog.  Jerky movements and all upshots.  The upshots are the same techniques used in movies to make this “action hero” look taller.  Does this mean a dog could make Arnold Schwarzenegger movies?

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