Appeals Court denies Galligan petition in controller's race

The California Court of Appeals has denied a request by Joe Galligan, a candidate in the June 3 election for county controller, to keep the name of another candidate, Assistant Controller Juan Raigoza, off the ballot on the grounds that he does not meet state qualifications for the position.

Mr. Galligan's attorney filed a petition Wednesday, March 26, for an "extraordinary writ" that would have ordered San Mateo County Elections Officer Mark Church to keep Mr. Raigoza's name off the ballot. The court denied the petition today (March 27).

The ruling should not be thought of as a comment on the merits of the petition, said Dennis Zell, Mr. Galligan's attorney. "In the appellate courts, a petition for a writ of mandate is truly an extraordinary remedy in as much as 94 percent are denied," he said. "The odds are sometimes better in election cases, but not always. Generally no reason is given for denial, which is one of the reasons why a denial carries so little significance."

Mr. Galligan still has options, Mr. Zell said. He has 60 days to appeal a Superior Court decision on March 24 that rejected his assertion that Mr. Raigoza did not meet the state's qualifications.

In a statement to the Almanac following that decision, Mr. Galligan said he was told that he had the burden of proving that Mr. Raigoza was not qualified. The judge told him that he had not proved his case with "clear and convincing evidence," Mr. Galligan said. Another key factor in the decision: The law is ambiguous in defining terms, including the term "senior fiscal management."

Under state law, a candidate for controller must be a certified public accountant; or, hold a bachelor's degree in accounting and have served within the last five years in a senior fiscal management position; or, hold a professional internal auditor certificate with a minimum of 16 college semester units, or their equivalents, in accounting, auditing or finance; or, have served at a specified level as a county auditor for a continuous period of at least three years.

On his candidacy website, Mr. Raigoza asserts that he has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in business from California State University in Chico. His statement goes on to say that he has "lived and breathed the work of the County Controller's Office for the past thirteen years," including leading the payroll and information systems divisions and as a "senior internal auditor."

Remarking on the Appeals Court ruling, Mr. Galligan said: "I just hope in the future that the courts or our Legislature define the wording of 'senior fiscal management' so no one else has to go through this process."


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Posted by Frank Fortunato
a resident of another community
on Mar 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Shameless Joe Galligan apparently may not give up pursuing his cynical legal strategy funded by taxpayers. When will this [Portion removed; name-calling violates terms of use.] start running a real campaign now that his opponent, Assistant Controller Juan Raigoza, will be on the ballot despite Shameless Joe's attempt to deny the voters a choice?

Maybe never because who wants to support someone who not only came in third when he ran for Treasurer in 2010 but was palling around with Sarah Palin back in 2008: Web Link and:

Joe Galligan, the former mayor of Burlingame, was impressed by Palin's performance and message.

"She did a great presentation," he said. "I think she's starting to really articulate the differences between John McCain and Obama."

Web Link

Shameless Joe hasn't recanted his pro Palin message since then as he came out against the Affordable Care Act in 2012 parroting Tea Party talking points:

Web Link

It will be interesting to see who among the County politicos will support Shameless Joe in view of his Tea Party tendencies and losing record.

Stay tuned, I'll keep you posted.

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Posted by Ben
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 27, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Wow. This Joe guy has some gall. Sounds pretty ironic the guy with only income tax experience is trying to say his opponent who worked his way up through the department to the level of Asssitant Controller is the one without experience! That's some interesting logic! Not to mention trying to subvert the democratic process.

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Posted by Frank Fortunato
a resident of another community
on Mar 27, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Ben, I couldn't agree more with you. At least it's clear why Galligan starts with "Gall".

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Posted by Status Quo?
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Mar 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm

If I read these comments correctly, we have a candidate, and I say "we" because he will represent all of us, who will perform the duties of controller. We all paid good money to have someone outline the qualifications for this position. However, we have people on the comment roll that think its "galling", hehe-funny illiteration, and "shameless" to ask applicants to follow the rules, to be qualified to the minimum level that "the people - ya, you and me" requested be met.
I do not support the "I have been an assistant, therefore I should be the leader" perspective. Does the role of controller require the qualifications sited? If not, the problem lies not in Mr. Galligan questioning Mr. Raigoza's run to office, but rather in the set of qualifications period.

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Posted by Meredith R.
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 29, 2014 at 10:26 am

As I read the article, there is no problem with the qualifications. We've got a candidate, Galligan, who is trying to twist the words of the qualifications to say his (only) opponent does not meet them, when clearly he does, as the Elections office, Superior Court, and now appeals court have affirmed. I for one do not appreciate someone using the courts frivolously for personal gain, trying to avoid going to the voters and secure the office without a real election. Seems like the last person we would want in charge of the money.

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Posted by Kevin Woods
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 31, 2014 at 7:03 am

Word has it that this Galligan does not have good reputation in Burlingame.
Is known as a bully.
He is on a mosquito committee.
Squash this bug and vote for Mr.Raigoza!

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Posted by Cathy Oyster
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Apr 1, 2014 at 12:49 pm

I have known Joe Galligan for decades. I find him thoughtful and cautious with regard to exploring options, business practices and tax planning. I would much rather have someone from the private sector that desires to perform his civic duty, than someone who has chosen the public sector as his career. I appreciate the depth of knowledge he will bring to the position.

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Posted by Irving Jizorsky
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2014 at 2:45 pm

So far the only option that "thoughtful and cautious" Joe Galligan has pursued in this race is to saddle the taxpayers with the court costs for his self-serving attempt to keep his only opponent off the ballot. Furthermore, I don't see what tax planning has to do with running the Controller's office. I'm not aware that the County is a taxable entity.

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Posted by Cheryl
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2014 at 7:09 am

Vote for Juan Raigoza.

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