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Kate Sears admits hiring FM3 and responds by attacking Toni Shroyer

In response to inquiries made to Marin Supervisor Kate Sears, regarding the opinion survey highlighted in All The Supervisor's Men, the Marin Post received a written statement from Michael Terris at Terris, Barnes & Walters, San Francisco, a professional political campaign consulting firm. Terris, Barnes & Walters is the type of firm that can handle things like direct mailers, something that one our sources noted might be the true purpose of the "survey," in question.

In his unrepentant statement, posted below, Mr. Terris confirms that Ms. Sears hired FM3, the opinion research firm that created what Marin Post readers have called a blatant "hit piece" against Susan Kirsch (for the full story, go here...). At the behest of Supervisor Sears, Mr. Terris then attempts to spin the entire situation, casting Sears as the victim and claiming self defense.

Amid boilerplate, self-congratulatory comments about the survey's creators and the "opinion poll," itself, and while categorically denying all comments made by our readers, Mr. Terris makes a somewhat amazing leap of logic and justifies the survey as follows [bold emphasis added]:

Kate asked me to respond to your inquiry. The campaign hired a highly-respected public opinion research firm that has worked on thousands of campaigns up and down California for the last 35 years. They asked voters positives and negatives about both Kate and her opponent. As a campaign, we need to be ready for the negativity that challengers like Toni Shroyer engaged in during the 2014 race against Judy Arnold – run by the same consultant as Susan Kirsch hired for her campaign. A survey like this one is not designed to persuade voters to support Kate – it is designed to find out how voters feel about the problems they face in the community and who is the best candidate to solve those problems for them. We heard from several people that they had been polled and were not sure whether we were conducting the poll or our opponent. That is the sign of a balanced poll.

This statement is quite remarkable in a number of ways. In this response, Kate Sears and her campaign managers are condoning the smear tactics they employed in the survey, which were confirmed to the Marin Post by at least four independent, unrelated sources. Furthermore, Supervisor Sears, without any evidence, whatsoever, is claiming the "Devil made me do it" defense, by attacking Toni Shroyer, her campaign, and her campaign consultant to justify the launching of a malicious, "pre-emptive" attack on Susan Kirsch's personal integrity and character.

All I can say is "Wow."

Wikipedia defines "paranoia" as...

A thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety and fear, often to the point of delusion and irrationality. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory feelings, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself (e.g. "Everyone is out to get me").

I suppose we should get ready for a very dirty campaign season from the Sears camp.


By Bob Silvestri, editor of the Marin Post


Board of Supervisors, Election 2016