Chief Deputy DA Raven Takes to Nextdoor to Attack Rodriguez

by Robert J. Hansen

Woodland, CA – Yolo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven took to Nextdoor to comment about the sign controversy happening in the race for district attorney.

In recent weeks, campaign signs for both challenger Cynthia Rodriguez and incumbent Jeff Reisig have been removed by property owners who say the signs did not have permission to be there, and there are allegations of signs being stolen and vandalized signs.

Some of the signs belong to Maria Grijalva, the founder of Citizens for a Progressive West Sacramento (CPWS), and support the Rodriguez campaign.

Grijalva says around ten of her signs have been stolen.

According to some property owners, Grijalva has put some signs up without their permission.

Yolo County even released a statement clarifying county laws regarding where campaign signs are and are not allowed.

On Nextdoor, Raven falsely tells Davis residents that Grijalva was a former campaign chair of the Rodriguez campaign.

“Just to be clear, Maria has at no point in time been Cynthia’s campaign manager,” Dillan Horton, Chair of the Rodriguez Campaign, said.

However, a Deputy Attorney General has been assigned to investigate the sign incidents according to an email the Vanguard has obtained.

An email obtained telling the Yolo Sheriff’s Office that a Deputy AG has been assigned to the Yolo DA election.

Raven’s main point in his Nextdoor chat that he makes to Davis residents was, if Rodriguez’s supporters were asked what they want in a DA, that Reisig’s office is already doing 95 percent of that.

A letter by Marty Behrens, a Rodriguez supporter, published in the Davis Enterprise, disputes Raven’s assessment.

“What is tragic is that programs that could make us safer, like mental health diversion and restorative justice programs, are instead tightly controlled by this D.A. and never given the resources and independence that would best serve our county,” Behrens said.

Raven insinuates campaign funds from George Soros, a dog whistle, have found their way into the Yolo DA race, which there is no evidence of—in either candidate’s campaign finance filings.

“But so much of this sadly is identity politics. People believe what they want to believe,” Raven said. “Facts don’t matter.”

Regardless of who was responsible for the controversy,

Raven believes Rodriguez could have intervened to stop Grijalva from putting signs in places that caused controversy.

“So Cynthia says she has no control over the PAC,” Raven said. “I call bs.”

He thinks someone wanting to be a district attorney must be able to call out or control their friends and supporters.

Raven, seemingly on behalf of Yolo DA Jeff Reisig, denied the claims that sheriff deputies were used by the DA to remove campaign signs.

“There have been people saying sheriffs or the Reisig campaign is taking down signs,” Raven said. “Nope, never.”

This is despite twice deputies coming to Rodriguez’s house to have her take down signs that neighbors had put up. Albeit that was before the campaign period for being able to post campaign signs, it was their property, something now used to remove signs that are on the edges of private property.

The Reisig campaign could not be reached for comment.

The Rodriguez campaign maintains that its signs are following the law and reiterated it has no control over what other supporters or PACs decide to do.

There are roughly three weeks left before the June 7 primary.

About The Author

Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Robert is covering the Yolo County DA's race for the Vanguard.

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  1. Ron Glick

    Sign wars in the DA’s race. Ugh.

    Meanwhile, little is being said about the DA’s office getting three first degree murder convictions this week, in two murder cases, without ever finding the bodies, something that makes the cases much harder to prosecute. District Attorney is a serious position. Campaigning for District Attorney not so much.

    1. Robert Canning

      Ron, getting convictions in criminal cases is one piece of a DA’s job. There’s a lot more to it than simply getting convictions. And there is no obvious reason that a different DA wouldn’t also have gotten convictions in those cases. You might want to take a look at the DA’s own data portal which shows that the number of cases that ended in a conviction is down over the last year as well as cases that are closed. One might surmise that these numbers should be going up rather than down.

    2. Bill Marshall

      Ron… with all due respects (same for Robert C!)…

      Trials and convictions are ‘team efforts’… sometimes mis-guided, sometimes ‘spot on’… many factors, and the DA plays a small role… it’s being hyped, but it is minor…

      Police/sheriffs receive reports, investigate… The DA TEAM decides if a matter goes to ‘court’… the DA has veto power, but is not involved in all charges… the DA does not dictate how any matter is prosecuted (if I’m incorrect, the DA has too much power, and the rest of the teams are not professional, unless they are members of “the oldest profession”)… there are the defense attorneys, public and private… there are the juries (most cases)…

      The DA is a tiny, yet potentially influential, part of the process… and should neither take a bow, as an individual, for outcomes, nor be excoriated for outcomes…

      The basic question, for the election, is who would best serve as the leader of the ‘teams’… I’m leaning towards a change…

    1. Richard_McCann

      Unfortunately, “Soros money” is a dog whistle for reactionary and authoritarian-oriented voters. I would hope that Jonathan is not seriously trying to appeal to those folks.

  2. Sharla Cheney

    Jonathan Raven posted picture after picture of vandalized campaign signs, spray painted with obscenities. We have one vandalized Yes on H sign in Davis and the No campaign quickly and publicly condemns this.  Has the Rodriguez campaign done likewise?

  3. Ron Glick

    Robert I agree that both candidates would have vigorously pursued the murder convictions handed out this week. Perhaps I didn’t make my point clearly enough so let me try again.

    District Attorney is a serious job and this election should focus on the subtle differences on how the two candidates would handle the job. Instead we are bombarded with nonsense about lawn signs. I believe these distractions are a disservice to the voters.

    1. Robert JHansen

      The take away from the article is not about the lawn sign “controversy.” It is the Chief Deputy DA spreading misinformation whether it be unintentional or deliberate. Grijalva has never been staffed by let alone campaign manager for Rodriguez nor did Soros need be mentioned.

      What I found most interesting is Reisig’s silence yet his top DA making public statements which I have a hard time believing Reisig is not aware of. The Chief Deputy is a good guy, never brought into question, I really just want Reisig to speak to me. My reporting lacks balance without it, something this publication is often criticized for.

      1. Ron Glick

        For sixteen years the Davis Vanguard hasn’t said one nice thing about Reisig. The DA long ago gave up on talking to or reading the Davis Vanguard. Who could blame him? Perhaps if you stay on and provide some actual fair coverage that might change in the future but to expect the DA to talk to a Vanguard reporter is wishing for something that isn’t going to happen.

  4. Chris Griffith

    My reporting lacks balance without it, something this publication is often criticized for.

    I think you answered your own question.


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