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Youtube video was an attempt to smear a diligent supervisor
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Perhaps we'll never know who actually produced and posted the shameful video on manipulating half truths, rumor and innuendo to portrays Supervisor Jim DeMartini as a sleazy politician and a shady county leader.

The professionally produced video was posted anonymously on the popular website, and insinuated that DeMartini, a Ceres area farmer and member of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, was sexually involved with former intern Serrena Essapour. DeMartini met Essapour when they jointly worked for local Republicans. DeMartini loaned the Turlock woman money to buy a car when she was down and out but Essapour allegedly used DeMartini's name to apply for credit cards which she received and used. She faces charges of identity fraud.

There has been no indication that DeMartini did anything inappropriate with Essapour in a personal way. But he should have known how it would look to a skeptical outside world, though.

Some have suspected that Essapour's attorney, Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos, had something to do with it.

Another suspect was developer Gerry Kamilos of the West Park project, who denied having anything to do with it. Claude Delphia of Patterson accused Kamilos of masterminding the video to embarrass DeMartini. The supervisor, after all, opposed West Park.

West Park was approved in a 3-2 vote in February 2007 to convert the former Crows Landing air station to a 4,800-acre business park. The city of Patterson opposed the project as did Delphia's group, WS-PACE.

Last Thursday he issued a statement saying that "No member of the West Park team, including me, had anything to do with this video. "Delphia and I agree that it is shameful for those responsible for this video to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. It is also shameful for Delphia to blame others without any evidence or facts.

"Those who posted the YouTube video should remove it immediately. This type of malicious act diverts focus from the real issues facing Stanislaus County and the facts regarding West Park."

West Park has been a controversial issue on the west side. Delphia's group, WS-PACE, has opposed the business park citing that it is much larger than originally proposed and because of train traffic. Kamilos stated that his project's short- haul trains would take two minutes to pass through a rail crossing (24 minutes a day for up to six trains round-trip). WS-PACE has stated that trains would block crossings for hours.

We have found DeMartini to be a very involved and dedicated county supervisor. We see him sit through Ceres City Council meeting after council meeting, which has not been done in our memory, to keep his finger on the pulse of the third largest city in the county. But the west side of District 5 always tend to be the side that consumes the most time for DeMartini.

The youtube video was a shameful attempt to smear a pretty decent supervisor. Fortunately because of controversy that played out in local media, the video has been removed from youtube.

Welcome to politics Stanislaus County style.