The Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee (SCCDCC) on Wednesday sent a cease and desist letter to Jimmy Dutra, who is running for the Santa Cruz County Fourth District Supervisor seat, after he sent an election mailer bearing the logo of the Democrat party.
The logo, a blue “D” in a blue circle, is a federally registered trademark. The mailer includes a “Democratic Voters Guide,” says SCCDCC President Andrew Goldenkrantz.
The problem, he says, is that including the logo falsely implies Dutra has the endorsement of the party, when candidate Felipe Hernandez has earned that endorsement.
Dutra has not said that he has the endorsement, Goldenkrantz said.
The County Party’s endorsement carries with it endorsements by the California Democratic Party.
Dutra said he is skeptical of the intentions behind the letter.
“When political special interest groups see a risk to their candidate, it is not uncommon for frivolous last minute allegations to be thrown against a wall to see what can stick,” he said. “I have faith in our community to see past these desperate allegations.”
Dutra said he has a wide array of support from all groups in the community, including Democrats.
“I am proud of being the candidate of bringing all of our community members together,” he said. “Special interest groups are upset because they have been purchasing and controlling this county for decades. It is now time to have representation that can bring all of us together to address the challenges in front of us. I am the real voice for the broad and diverse community of the Pajaro Valley.”
Asked about the timing of the letter to Dutra and the SCCDCC outreach to the media—coming as they did less than a week before election day—Goldenkrantz said that the mailer was sent out early this week, and that the organization acted immediately.
“I think Jimmy misrepresented this thing,” he said. “He is clearly intending to show an endorsement that did not happen for him. Politics is an important business, but we expect honesty from our public officials.”
Dutra’s mailer, and the reaction it has garnered, is nearly identical to what happened last month in San Jose, when the Santa Clara County Democratic Party demanded that City Planning Commission Chair Rolando Bonilla, who is running the District 5 seat on the San Jose City Council, stop using Democrat Party logos.