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As Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush all learned, a relative’s legal troubles can become embarrassing baggage in a political campaign. That can be especially true, political consultants say, when questions are raised about the conduct of the candidate’s spouse. And that’s just the predicament two of Santa Clara’s five judicial candidates now face. Teresa-Guerrero Daley, the San Jose independent police auditor running to fill Seat 18, is married to Frank Daley, a retired Hayward police detective whose work is being reexamined by Alameda prosecutors after another officer accused him of trying to frame a man for rape. Enrique Colin, a deputy public defender running to fill Seat 7, is married to Georgina Galvan-Colin, who was the court reporter for William Danser, the Santa Clara County Superior Court judge indicted for fixing traffic tickets. Galvan-Colin had asked Danser to fix a ticket for her father. She later testified against Danser in front of the grand jury, after securing immunity from prosecution. “Everyone has an oddball brother, from Roger Clinton to Neil Bush to Billy Carter,” said San Francisco political consultant Michael Terris. “In the [case] of a spouse, it’s different.” Both candidates said their spouses’ woes have nothing to do with their campaigns. “I am my own person. I am an ethical person,” Colin said. “I have a reputation for being ethical.” “This whole subject matter is totally inappropriate in a judicial race. It’s mudslinging at its worst,” said Guerrero-Daley. “Nobody else will feel it’s relevant.” But voters may not agree, political consultants say, especially in a judicial race, where candidates are barred from campaigning on issues and thus run on their reputations. “Voters, when they look to choose who they think they should put on the bench, ethics is one of [their] highest priorities,” said Terris, who has worked on judicial campaigns. “For years, candidates have been judged by what their spouses do.” “You have to look at it in a case-by-case basis, but if you can reasonably conclude the spouse has knowledge of the activity, it’s a huge liability,” said Sacramento political strategist Dave Gilliard, who has advised judicial candidates in Orange and Sacramento counties. “It’s almost a disqualification.” Guerrero-Daley’s husband came under fire last November when prosecutors were trying defendant Patrick Baylis for a 1997 rape and kidnap. The victim had identified Baylis. But Hayward Officer Rodney Posey, who worked the case with the more senior Daley, testified that he didn’t put the identification in the report because Daley had ordered him not to. Daley was called as a witness and denied telling Posey to alter the report. But prosecutors believed Posey and theorized to the jury that Daley wanted to pin the crime on Patrick Baylis’ brother, Rodney, a convicted rapist who had warrants out for his arrest. DNA evidence exonerated Rodney Baylis and implicated Patrick. Alameda prosecutors and Hayward police began reviewing all cases handled by Daley and Posey. “His credibility came under vigorous attack by the prosecutor,” Alameda Assistant DA Thomas Rogers said Tuesday. Rogers said the office looked at charging Daley with obstruction of justice, but the three-year statute of limitations had already expired. He also said prosecutors have identified eight cases that Daley worked on where the defendants were convicted and are still in either jail or prison. The DA sent letters two weeks ago to defense attorneys explaining the situation. “We’re waiting to hear from them,” Rogers said. “They can take whatever appeal or other action they feel is appropriate.” Guerrero-Daley said her husband has denied any wrongdoing. “I had no involvement or firsthand knowledge of this case. I am trying to understand the connection between what I do in San Jose and this allegation.” Colin likewise says voters should judge his conduct, not his spouse’s. According to the grand jury transcript, Galvan-Colin overheard her father complaining to her husband about an unfair ticket. Galvan-Colin testified that she later came across the ticket in her father’s house. She took it, she said, so she could have the matter calendared in Danser’s courtroom. “I thought he’d be fair in listening to the matter,” Galvan-Colin told the grand jury. Erasmo Galvan never appeared in court but his ticket was dismissed. Galvan-Colin testified that she and Enrique now live with her father, who contributed $250 to the election campaign. Colin said his wife’s involvement in Danser’s case shouldn’t be a black mark on his credibility. “I don’t think the sheriff would endorse me if she felt otherwise. I don’t think our congressmen would have endorsed me if they thought otherwise. As a judge I know to uphold the highest standard of ethics.” It’s too soon to say whether any of this will affect Colin and Guerrero-Daley’s campaigns. Colin’s wife’s relationship to the Danser case was reported last fall, and Colin said he’s been answering questions about it on the campaign trail and from politicians whose endorsements he has sought. Guerrero-Daley’s husband’s involvement in the Baylis case hasn’t been a matter of public record. Both candidates boast a long list of community supporters. Guerrero-Daley and Colin are both endorsed by Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith, San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, and San Jose’s two representatives in Congress, Zoe Lofgren and Mike Honda. Campaign consultants differ on what steps candidates should take to minimize the damage from relative embarrassments. Gilliard said candidates should reveal the situation early on. “You don’t want them to be surprised later and think something is being hidden.” But Terris said that in a low-key and typically little-noticed judicial race, it might be better to keep quiet. “It’s pretty hard to come clean when no one is paying attention,” Terris said. “A come-clean effort would amount to more exposure, not less.” The other candidates seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach. “It’s not up to me to decide what influence it has on the voters,” said one of Colin’s opponents, Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Griffin Bonini. “But I don’t want to be elected on the behavior of Enrique Colin’s wife.” San Jose civil attorney Billy Lance Burrow, the other candidate in that race, said he liked Colin, but said it’s fair for the public to consider the issue. Guerrero-Daley’s rival, Mountain View civil attorney William Monahan, said the charges against Frank Daley “are ironic given her position. I don’t know that it necessarily reflects on her. Her husband is not the candidate.” And that’s a distinction that isn’t lost on a lot of voters. Terris said he represented a candidate challenging Susan Golding for mayor of San Diego. Golding’s husband had been convicted of money laundering after an FBI sting. “We tried to use that as an issue in the campaign,” Terris said. But voters elected Golding, who was in the midst of a divorce. “Voters make the distinction between a candidate and a spouse’s behavior,” Terris said. But it’s tougher in judicial races, said Gilliard, whose wife is a Sacramento judge. “You have to be squeaky clean if you are running for judge.”

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