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Fresno District Attorney Debate
by Mike Rhodes (mikerhodes [at]
Thursday May 1st, 2014 5:09 PM
Since the size of this video is too large for Indybay, I have posted this video on You Tube and it is available here:

This is a video of the Fresno County District Attorney debate held April 30, 2014 at Fresno City College. The video shows the entire debate with nothing of substance edited out, which makes it rather long (an hour and twenty minutes). There were over 200 people (standing room only) in attendance.

It is significant that Elizabeth Egan, the incumbent, is being challenged. If you watch the video, you will see why. Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp, who is challenging Egan, articulates the reasons, which include more support for alternative sentencing like drug and alcohol diversion programs. Sondergaard Smittcamp says she will take a more hands on approach to running the DA’s office, be a strong supporter of the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP), and address the problem of jail overcrowding by reducing the number of people who are incarcerated and waiting to go on trial (approx 70% of people in the Fresno County Jail have not been convicted of a crime).

Both candidates support the death penalty, are strong supporters of law enforcement, and will work tirelessly to fight gangs in Fresno County.

Candidates were asked tough questions about police accountability, the disparity in sentencing on drug charges (for example, crack vs. powder cocain), jail overcrowding, and gang injunctions. These are questions rarely asked at candidate forums.

The organizers of the event were the Fresno Partnership, NAACP, ACLU, MAPA, the Central California Latino PAC, the Central Valley Progressive PAC, the Concerned Citizens for Representative Government, the Sierra Nevada Opportunity Political Action Committee, and Latino Peace Officers Association.