Inmate claims threats on his life after TV ad
By Andy Furillo -- Bee Staff Writer
A California Medical Facility inmate in Vacaville claims he was subjected to a barrage of death threats by fellow prisoners who mistakenly took him for a child molester after he was pictured in a No on 66 television advertisement.
David T. Chubbuck is a "three-strikes" inmate serving 25 years to life for soliciting a beating of his wife that was never carried out. The manager of the campaign against Proposition 66 confirmed that Chubbuck's picture was used in the ad but denied that the inmate was portrayed as a child molester, the most despised type of offender on any prison yard and commonly targeted for violence by fellow inmates.
Chubbuck, 45, has prior "strike" convictions for burglary and assault with a firearm, according to the Department of Corrections. He also has prior convictions for receiving stolen property, vehicle theft and computer fraud.
In a telephone interview Monday, Chubbuck said he received an estimated 20 written death threats after the ads began to run.
"You got some serious explaining to do," said one of the written threats, which was sent to The Bee by a lawyer friend of Chubbuck's who is a law instructor at Santa Clara University.
"Some day you gona (sic) be the victim of one of your sick crimes, so watch out," another note said. "It might be sooner than you think. We've seen your face on the tube."
"If I ever see you out of your wing I'm gonna stick you & I won't stop until your (sic) dead," said a third.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Margot Bach said it is "unfortunate" that Chubbuck's picture was shown as part of a montage in the advertisement, which included some infamous child molesters as well as murderers, rapists and other criminals who stood to gain their releases from prison if Proposition 66 passed.
"He is not a child molester," Bach said of Chubbuck. "He is a career criminal, but not a child molester."
The advertisement, "He Raped Me," began with a victim warning that her attacker, John Bunyard, the so-called Nob Hill Rapist, could be released from prison if Proposition 66 passed.
After showing a close-up of Bunyard, the ad scrolled over three rows of about 25 mug shots, including Chubbuck's, while a voice-over intoned that Proposition 66 "creates a loophole that will release 26,000 dangerous felons."
Chubbuck's easily-identifiable picture remained on screen for a few seconds until the footage switched to David Paulson, president of the California District Attorneys Association, who said, "These aren't petty offenders. They're career criminals with long histories of serious crime."
The ad then showed Marc Klaas, the father of murder victim Polly Klaas, who said, "Murderers, rapists and some very dangerous child molesters."
Chubbuck said his "stomach dropped out" when he saw the ads that ran the week before Proposition 66 was defeated at the polls. "I felt numb."
Almost immediately, the inmate said he began to receive the written death threats slipped into his cell by unnamed prisoners. He said he refused to come out of his cell for two days or to show up for his prison job as a clerk.
Chubbuck said he was able to show paperwork documenting his solicitation conviction to some of the inmates on his tier. But he said some of the other prisoners suspect he forged the paperwork.
"They said, 'We'll see,' " Chubbuck said.
Chubbuck's picture is not included in the two ads filmed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
No on 66 campaign manager Richard Temple said there is nothing in the advertisement that is incorrect and that Chubbuck was never depicted as a child molester.
"Any casual or objective observer looking at the ad is not going to believe that what Marc Klaas is talking about is the picture prior to that," Temple said of the montage. "His picture is in there, but we also say, 'dangerous people are going to get out,' and that's what he is."
Proponents of the initiative disputed points made in the No on 66 campaign, including the numbers of inmates eligible for release, which they said would be limited to 4,200 third-strikers.
Temple said the campaign obtained Chubbuck's picture and his rap sheet from the district attorneys' association.
A "release report" produced by the No on 66 campaign said that in the 1999 solicitation on his wife, Chubbuck, while in the Monterey County jail, tried to get two inmates to break his wife's pubic bone.
"I was just immature," Chubbuck said in the interview. "If I had to do it it all over again, I would never have wrote (sic) it. I'm not violent. I've never hit anybody in my life."
Temple, however, said Chubbuck is out to gain attention for himself as a precursor to filing a taxpayer-funded lawsuit against the state.
"This is another example of these guys using the system for their advantage," Temple said.
In an Oct. 31 letter to his lawyer friend in San Jose, Chubbuck did ask about the possibility of filing a lawsuit.
"If something happens to me, sue the crap out of them," Chubbuck wrote.
About the writer:
How Prospects for Prop. 66 Fell So Far, So Fast
November 7, 2004
The phone rang at midnight.
Jeff Randle, one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's political consultants, was working in a hotel room near LAX on the night of Oct. 21 as he grabbed his cellphone. Who, Randle wondered, could be calling him at such an hour?
Pete Wilson was on the line. The former California governor had just clinched an agreement that, only 12 days before the election, would mean the collapse of Proposition 66, a measure to limit the state's three-strikes law.
Henry T. Nicholas III, an Orange County billionaire whose sister was slain in 1984, had just promised Wilson a donation of $1.5 million for the campaign to defeat the initiative. That money would allow its opponents to broadcast TV commercials for the first time.
"My message on that call was: OK, you've got the money, so let's go," Wilson recalled last week. "This was the cavalry coming over the ridge."
The day before Wilson's midnight call, Californians appeared ready to pass Proposition 66. A Times poll showed it leading 62%-21% among registered voters. Less than two weeks later, after a media blitz financed by Nicholas, Proposition 66 lost, with 53.2% of voters against it. A final tally will not be available until all absentee and provisional ballots are counted.
"We've seen steep declines before," says Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, which recorded a 65%-18% lead for Proposition 66 in early October. "The very late-breaking nature of this decline, I think, is unprecedented."
The story of that turnaround highlights not only the power of money and the volatility of initiative politics, but also the continuing political partnership between the state's two most recent Republican governors.
On Oct. 22, the day after Wilson's call, Schwarzenegger made "No on 66" the top priority of his ballot measure campaigning. On Oct. 23, the governor spent the afternoon making TV advertisements opposing the initiative in a Los Angeles studio. Schwarzenegger also converted TV time he had bought to fight two gambling measures into time for "No on 66" ads.
"What I basically did was brought everyone together and said, 'Look, guys … we've got to go and communicate to the people,' " Schwarzenegger said last week.
Schwarzenegger also said he had asked Wilson to get involved. Wilson campaigned for the original three-strikes initiative in 1994 and maintains long-standing relationships with law enforcement and crime victims groups. Those involved in the No on 66 campaign say he provided a crucial bridge to Nicholas, law enforcement groups and Schwarzenegger's political advisors, among them several one-time Wilson aides.
"We couldn't generate momentum until Gov. Wilson and Gov. Schwarzenegger became involved," said Ventura County Dist. Atty. Greg Totten, who has known Wilson for years.
"I was a nag," said Wilson, who downplays his work and credits Nicholas and Schwarzenegger with the No on 66 comeback. The anti-66 campaign had been kept alive since the spring by the California District Attorneys Assn. and the state prison guards union, which hired the campaign's political consultants and paid for focus groups.
Schwarzenegger agreed to oppose 66 and sign the official ballot argument against it in early summer. But until mid-October, the governor had focused his attention and political money on defeating two gambling measures, Propositions 68 and 70. No other major donors had stepped up to help the No on 66 campaign.
In early October, campaign manager Richard Temple told a meeting of district attorneys: "If we don't get up on TV, we'll lose." Solano County Dist. Atty. Dave Paulson and California District Attorneys Assn. executive director Dave LaBahn went to Randle's office shortly thereafter, the two men say, to plead for Schwarzenegger's help.
With 68 and 70 badly trailing, the governor's team debated whether to make the defeat of 66 its next priority, or focus more on two other ballot measures — Propositions 64 and 72 — of concern to the business community.
Schwarzenegger answered that question after attending a No on 66 news conference in Ontario on Oct. 20. The day did not begin auspiciously. Some local TV reporters who had been expected to attend the event were reassigned to cover a large Southern California rainstorm. No on 66 campaign aides gave the news media a DVD with a TV advertisement they had not found the money to air.
But the governor was visibly moved when he met victims of criminals who might have been released if 66 had passed. At the end of the event, he asked the victims to attend other public events for No on 66, according to one victim and an aide. He told political advisors he wanted to do more to help the campaign.
"It hit him in the heart," said Don Sipple, a strategist who makes the governor's ads.
The next night, Wilson got Nicholas on the phone. The No on 66 campaign had been asking Nicholas for money since September, but the founder of the semiconductor company Broadcom had been distracted by his search for a new chief executive.
Wilson had worked with Nicholas on Proposition 21 — a juvenile crime measure passed in March 2000 — and knew Nicholas' mother, Marcella Leach, who had started a victims' rights group. Nicholas was shocked to learn from Wilson that polls showed Proposition 66 would pass. He was impressed that Schwarzenegger opposed the measure.
"I said, 'I trust your judgment, Pete,' " said Nicholas. "If you think Arnold is willing to go all out, I'll put $1.5 million in."
The next day, Schwarzenegger agreed to jump in. Sipple wrote scripts for ads juxtaposing the governor against blown-up mug shots of three-strikes criminals; the ads were just 15 seconds, so air time could be bought on short notice and the ads could be repeated often.
The governor's political advisors have sought to emphasize that Schwarzenegger, criticized for being too cautious in picking fights, was challenging a ballot measure that had majority support in polls. "I think it shows the governor was willing to take a risk," said Randle.
The Schwarzenegger ads were on the air by the morning of Oct. 27. That same week, the prison guards union contributed $500,000 more to the campaign. The governor contributed more than $2 million through the California Recovery Team, a fund he established last year to pay for his ballot initiative campaigns. Nicholas made additional donations throughout the week — in the end, he gave a total of $3.5 million to fight 66.
On Oct. 28, Schwarzenegger and Wilson appeared together at a Los Angeles news conference, along with former governors Jerry Brown and Gray Davis, to denounce 66. The governor made a No on 66 message a central part of his bus tour around the state that Saturday and declared all his last-minute appearances with Republican legislative candidates Monday to be No on 66 events.
Nicholas, who stayed in close touch with Wilson, spent the weekend making and buying his own radio ads — at times with his personal credit card.
On Saturday night, he sent his private plane to Oakland to pick up the city's mayor, former Gov. Brown, and fly him to Long Beach. Brown was taken to a studio at the home of Ryan Shuck, guitarist of the group Orgy. Joined by musicians that included Korn drummer David Silvera, he recorded radio ads from 11:30 p.m. until 2:30 a.m.
"It was a very loose, cool mood," said Shuck. "I had Korn, Orgy, Jerry Brown and Dr. Nicholas in my house all at once. Pretty bizarre."
Proposition 66 supporters dogged the governor's public appearances throughout the weekend, seeking out reporters to give them instant responses to Schwarzenegger's statements. But Yes on 66 campaign officials said they were overwhelmed by the size and scope of the No on 66 media campaign.
"The suddenness of it all was just stunning," said Sandy Harrison, a spokesman for Yes on 66. Harrison called attacks on the measure "flat-out false."
But he added: "Everything changed in the last few days. They basically bought up every inch of unused air time that was available. And the governor was just an awesome messenger for them."
On election night, early returns showed the measure passing. But the Yes tally lost ground as the night went on. At 11:30 p.m., Schwarzenegger took the stage at his Beverly Hilton celebration and declared victory — even though 66 still held a slight majority.
After his speech, results began to show the number of No votes surpassing the Yes votes. A cheer went up from the district attorneys in one of the ballrooms. The clock read midnight.
Wilson stayed past 1 a.m., shaking hands and chatting with former aides now working for Schwarzenegger. "Our guys have been thanking both governors," said LaBahn, the executive director of the district attorneys group. "Wilson and Schwarzenegger — that's a tough team to beat."
Times staff writer Jenifer Warren contributed to this report.
Second chance to reform '3 strikes'
Sunday, November 7, 2004
THE DEFEAT of Proposition 66 at the ballot box last week does not lessen the urgency of the need to reform California's "three strikes" law.
Thousands of inmates are serving 25-year-to-life sentences in California's jails for nonviolent crimes. Their continued incarceration runs counter to the intent of the law, which was to lock up murderers, rapists and other violent criminals.
No criminal should go unpunished. But we continue to believe that in a civilized society a life sentence should only be imposed only for the most serious crimes.
One of the main reasons the initiative was defeated -- by a relatively small margin -- was because of a series of misleading and inflammatory television ads starring Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that blanketed the state in the closing days of the campaign.
In one ad, Schwarzenegger strolled past a rogue's gallery of some of the state's most notorious criminals. "Murderers, rapists and child molesters -- 26,000 dangerous criminals will be releeased under Prop. 66," he intoned. "Keep them off the streets and out of your neighborhood." Earlier a judge had declared that a similar claim -- made in the original ballot argument signed by Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Bill Lockyer against Prop. 66 -- was "patently false."
Facts counted for little in the campaign. Of the 42,930 inmates now serving second- and third-strike sentences, 703 were convicted for second- degree murder and manslaughter, 372 for rape and 991 for committing "lewd acts with a child." (For the latest statistics on California's three-strike population, go to www.corr.ca.gov). None would have been released as a result of Prop. 66.
But the election results did show that for the first time in a decade, a majority of voters favor essential reform of the "three strikes" law -- just not the more extensive reforms prooposed by Prop. 66. This fall several Bay Area district attorneys told us that even though they opposed Prop. 66, they were willing to work on finding a more "rational" way to reform the law.
Now it is time for them to put their words into action.
Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff has applied the "three strikes" law more judiciously than many others throughout the state. He opposed Prop. 66, but also said he would want to look at whether crimes such as petty theft with a prior conviction, simple drug possession, forgery, nonviolent robbery or possession of stolen property should count as "strikes." After Prop. 66's defeat this week, he told us he and his fellow district attorneys will "definitely be talking" about developing an approach to reforming the law before the Legislature is sworn in next year. "We need to get district attorneys from both parties to sit down and get a consensus," he said.
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who also opposed Prop. 66, says she is planning to meet with Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley in December to discuss a strategy for "three strikes" reform. "There are abuses, there are excesses (in implementation of the law)," she told us. "There is a will for it to be reformed. It is just a matter of to what extent. " Harris believes that the district attorneys from the state's two largest cities -- one a Democrat and the other a Republican -- could provide a significant impetus for necessary changes.
Despite almost single-handedly defeating Prop. 66, Gov. Schwarzenegger said he planned to talk with state Attorney General Bill Lockyer about "improvements" to the law. "'If there's something wrong with it that you know needs to be adjusted, then we should do that,'' he said.
Until now, the Legislature has balked at reforming the "three strikes" law. We urge Schwarzenegger and influential district attorneys to get together with lawmakers and commit to reforming the law in Sacramento, rather than relying on the unwieldy and expensive initiative process.
California does not have the luxury to spend $31,000 a year -- in current dollars -- to incarcerate nonviolent inmates for decades at a time. These are sentences California taxpayers cannot afford to impose, either morally or financially. As the "three strikes" population ages, Barry Krisberg, president of the Oakland-based National Council on Crime and Delinquency, points out, "it is only going to get more expensive."
Editorial: Scaremongering wins
Published 2:15 am PST Saturday, November 6, 2004
Fear sells. Just ask Karl Rove, the political Svengali who parlayed fears of terrorism and gay marriage into a second term for President Bush. Or, closer to home, ask the folks who campaigned successfully to defeat Proposition 66, which would have amended California's "Three Strikes and You're Out" law.
They will tell you: Put up the face of a few heinous criminals on the television screen or in a piece of campaign literature and you're guaranteed to scare voters into action.
Here's an example from the catalog of criminals Proposition 66 opponents used to scare voters.
Steven Matthews was convicted of murder and three counts of attempted murder in 1978, but got out of prison eight years later. He then raped his mother and threatened to kill her. He served 10 years in prison. But he was arrested for possessing a filed-down rock hammer and a 2-foot machete and given a 25-years-to-life sentence.
No one would argue that this guy shouldn't have been put away for a long time before the three-strikes law went on the books. He should have. Outrage over cases like this was what led to the passage of the three-strikes law.
But the real issue, addressed by neither the three-strikes law nor other parts of the state's criminal code, is the need for rational and consistent sentencing. California's sentencing system would be more rational if it established longer sentences for violent crimes.
Instead, it sets up a system that, while tough, is far from rational. It's ridiculous to have twice as many people given a three-strikes sentence of 25 years to life for a nonviolent crime as for rape, murder, armed robbery and all other violent crimes. Proposition 66 aimed to change that. The measure's failure and the fear tactics used to defeat it shouldn't obscure the need for change.
Another message jumps out: California's prison guard union still holds sway over governors, past and current. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the last-minute campaign to defeat Proposition 66. Behind the scenes, too, CCPOA lobbyists and former president Don Novey buttonholed players that eventually came forward with funding and commercials in the last days before the election.
This effort by the union adds to the perception that the guards support self-serving policies that increase the numbers of prisoners - and thus preserve and add guard jobs. It adds to the perception that politicians - including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger - llack the courage to buck the powerful union.
California's prison-industrial complex is strangling the state's future. It's soaking up dollars that could go to education, housing, transportation and other basic infrastructure that enhances the state's prosperity and quality of life. That system locks away for too long people who are not dangerous and makes them more dangerous. Yet it fails to lock away for long enough people who truly are dangerous.
Proposition 66 was defeated, but that shouldn't end efforts to reform
California's irrational sentencing system. Reformers should bring this
one to voters again - and be better prepared for last-minute scare tactics.
Re-sentencing Provisions of Prop 66 Will Keep Criminals in Prison!
Re-sentencing provisions are the least understood and most controversial
sections in Proposition 66.
It is absolutely crucial that voters understand why they were written and how they will work.
The following provisions are easily understood by any one who reads the text of the initiative:
Re-sentencing was added to Prop 66 to keep strikers from getting out of prison without serving appropriate time for their crimes.
Had re-sentencing not been included, after Prop 66 passes strikers could
overturn their sentences and walk out of jail free by appealing that serving
a strike-enhanced sentence for a crime that is no longer a crime constitutes
"cruel and unusual punishment." But, because re-sentencing exists,
no prisoner can make that appeal unless they have completed a
A striker must waive double-jeopardy rights to receive a re-sentencing hearing. This allows the DA to waive any plea-bargains, to file new charges against the striker, or to re-file dropped charges. Therefore, re-sentencing does not guarantee any striker will be released.
Re-sentencing can only be conducted by the court of origin so that the original Judge and DA, who know the striker and his criminal history best, can conduct the re-sentencing hearing. This prevents the striker from slipping through a court that has no knowledge of his criminal history. It also allows the striker's victims to participate in the re-sentencing process.
Re-sentencing is not automatic. Prisoners must apply for a hearing and be granted that privilege by the Judge in their court of origin.
Re-sentencing will only apply to non-violent offenders who have behaved while they were in prison. Any striker who has attempted escape or been violent while in prison will not qualify for re-sentencing.
Prop 66 does not erase the conviction nor change the primary sentence for any striker. Prop 66 only deletes the enhancement of the convict's prison sentence.
The only restriction on re-sentencing is that the striker cannot be sentenced to more time than would have been served without Prop 66. That means that a third striker can still receive a sentence of 25-years-to-life as the primary sentence for a crime.
A DA can use at least the following laws to keep a striker in prison indefinitely:
The 5-year enhancement for repeat offenders can be used to add 5 years to a sentence for each prior felony conviction -- 5 years for the second, 10 years for the third, 15 years for the fourth, etc.
The Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) law can be used to re-commit offenders for 2-year sentences indefinitely.
The Mentally Disordered Offender (MDO) law can be used to re-commit offenders to 1-year sentences indefinitely.
In summary, the re-sentencing provisions were written explicitly for the purpose of keeping strikers in prison, even if their strike is non-violent, if they truly represent a potential threat to public safety.
Please get this word out to the voters so they will not be misinformed by opponents who are intentionally lying about the re-sentencing provisions in Prop 66.
If you have received this email more than once, please reply identifying each email address you received it at, and specify which ones to delete. If you would like to not receive any more email from this campaign, please reply with the word "remove" in the subject box. "Yes On 66" Committee, FPPC ID #1267337 Sam H. Clauder II, Political Director 12865 Main Street, #106-637, Garden Grove, CA 92840 8-66-4-2-VOTE-66, (951) 653-3500 YesOn66@charter.net
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2004
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sam H. Clauder II, Political Director
8-66-4-2-VOTE-66, (951) 653-3500
Mike Kaspar, (949) 338-0646
Best Source of Additional Information on Prop 66
The very best website for more information on Prop 66 and California's three-strikes law in general is maintained by the charitable, non-profit corporation, Justice Policy Institute.
Here is their URL for the most comprehensive and accurate information
-- If you have received this email more than once, please reply identifying each email address you received it at, and specify which ones to delete. If you would like to not receive any more email from this campaign, please reply with the word "remove" in the subject box. "Yes On 66" Committee, FPPC ID #1267337 Sam H. Clauder II, Political Director 12865 Main Street, #106-637, Garden Grove, CA 92840 8-66-4-2-VOTE-66, (951) 653-3500 YesOn66@charter.net
Editorial: Ignore attack on Prop. 66 Amend '3 strikes' to target violent crime Published 2:15 am PST Monday, November 1, 2004 In the waning days of the 2004 campaign, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is resorting to the worst kind of late attack ads. In a desperate bid to defeat Proposition 66, which would amend California's "three strikes and you're out" law, he has taken to the airwaves with claims that Superior Court Judge Raymond Cadei in July called "patently false" and "mathematically impossible." In his ads, Schwarzenegger says that under Proposition 66 "26,000 dangerous criminals will be released from prison." Not true. Not one person would be automatically released from prison. Proposition 66 simply allows 4,300 third-strikers who were put away for 25-years-to-life on a nonviolent felony to ask for a limited, one-time resentencing hearing to see if the time fits the crime. They are eligible for possible resentencing, not for release. The only prisoners who could be released are those who have served their full sentence. Say, for example, a prisoner already served a full sentence for two robberies committed 20 years ago, but was convicted two years ago of check forgery. That prisoner could request a hearing to see whether he should serve a three-strikes life sentence or a sentence for check forgery with two priors. He would still have to serve out the full sentence for the crimes for which he was convicted. Proposition 66 would affect the following kinds of third-strikers convicted of nonviolent felonies: 357 prisoners serving three-strikes life sentences for petty theft; 235 serving life sentences for vehicle theft; 70 serving life sentences for forgery; and 678 serving life sentences for possessing small amounts of drugs. Those who are serving three-strikes life sentences for violent crimes - such as murder, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping - would not be eligible for a resentencing hearing. To reach the false, mathematically impossible 26,000 number, Schwarzenegger is including in his tally second-strikers serving doubled sentences. The language of Proposition 66, however, is clear that only those currently charged with a nonviolent felony that resulted in a 25-to-life three-strikes sentence are eligible for a resentencing hearing. California's three-strikes law should target habitual violent criminals. Proposition 66 would do just that. Voters should ignore misleading last-minute, misleading attacks and vote Yes on Proposition 66.
Three Strikes Legal - Index