Riverside County, California

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Major institutions

Government bodies

  • Riverside County District Attorney's Office
  • County of Riverside Registrar of Voters



Political connections

Intelligence operations

  • Sid Siemer?

Election fraud


External links

Drug trafficking

Indian reservations

Spook outfits and biowarfare

County law enforcement

Elections office

  • Suspect election on March 2, 2004
    • Bev Harris, "Inside Sequoia's Vote Counting Program", 2004/04/02: "On election night, March 2nd 2004, two people who do not work for the County, Sequoia employees Michael Frontera and Eddie Campbell were observed to access the WinEds central tabulator during the middle of the count. At this time, approximately 8:50 on election night, about one-third of Riverside's 157 precincts had been counted. At that point, the count was such that an automatic runoff would have been required between Linda Soubirous, a candidate for County Supervisor, and her opponent, Bob Buster.

      In the central count room of Riverside County at this time, no vote tabulation activity appeared to be going on. Two men were at the central tabulation terminals, the computers that add up all the votes from precincts around the county. Sequoia employee Michael Frontera was sitting at central tabulator terminal typing into the program, and Sequoia employee Eddie Campbell was standing next to him talking to him.


      After the count resumed, the count for Bob Buster, which had been around 47 percent, rose methodically until it reached exactly the vote total needed to eliminate a mandatory runoff: 50 percent, plus 1 vote.


      Recently, Registrar Mischelle Townsend made a peculiar statement. She said that she could see why people might rig slot machines, because there is money involved, but she could not imagine why anyone would have a motive to rig an election.

      One of the most traditional motives for local, city, or county-wide election-rigging is to place candidates in office who will be kind to certain construction companies. I am not imputing any specific ties, or motives, to any candidate at all. However, to say that there is no motive to tamper with election results for the county supervisor positions is naive. Riverside County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, with lucrative projects for new housing developments, and new industrial parks, going up for approval by county supervisors quite frequently.


      Michael Frontera is a former Denver Elections Commission executive who took a position with Sequoia shortly after placing $6.6 million in Sequoia orders with Denver. Eddie Campbell is a Sequoia employee who lives in Denver."
    • Los Angeles Times, "Buster Wins Again; Inquiries Continue", 2004/04/16: "A recount of the March 2 election confirmed earlier results: incumbent Supervisor Bob Buster won the race to represent Riverside County’s 1st District. Buster received 24,772 votes, or 50.07% of the 49,472 ballots cast, narrowly avoiding a runoff against public-safety union candidate Linda Soubirous, who received 17,069 votes. [...] Had Buster received 35 fewer votes, he and Soubirous would have faced off in the November election. [...] The recount was requested by Soubirous, whose supporters have been criticizing the county’s registrar of voters and the county’s electronic-voting equipment. At the request of Registrar Mischelle Townsend, the county district attorney’s office and the state attorney general’s office are investigating two Soubirous supporters’ allegations of improper vote tallying. [...] Buster, who has been on the county’s Board of Supervisors for 12 years and previously served on the Riverside City Council for seven years, said this was the ugliest election he has seen in Riverside County. “Ms. Soubirous owes Mischelle Townsend, the election department, the county of Riverside and particularly the voters in this county an apology for this kind of really terrible behavior,” he said. “I’ve never seen such poor losers.” Greg Luke, Soubirous’ attorney, called the recount a “dog-and-pony show.”"
    • "DOWN FOR THE COUNT", 2004/06/24: "As the first official results came in, it looked as if the Soubirous campaign had forced Buster into a runoff, which was as much as she had hoped for. [...] But then some very strange things started to happen. The expectation was that the rest of the results would come in very quickly. Speed, after all, was one of the big attractions of Riverside’s pioneering touchscreen computer voting system – with its instant precinct-by-precinct vote tallies and ostensibly easy-to-operate system for centralized results tabulation. But the anticipated rapid-fire updates simply failed to materialize. After the initial results posting at 8:13 p.m., there followed a long period of silence. At around 8:50, Soubirous’s campaign manager, Brian Floyd, received a call from an election observer in Temecula informing him that the vote count had been stopped – apparently by Registrar Mischelle Townsend herself. The reason was not made clear. So Floyd and another Soubirous campaigner named Art Cassel jumped into a car and drove to Townsend’s office to investigate. Sure enough, the counting area appeared to be near-deserted. But then they noticed two men huddled at one of the vote tabulation computers. The two men turned out to be employees of Sequoia Voting Systems, the private company which manufactures Riverside County’s AVC Edge touchscreen machinery. [...] When Floyd confronted Registrar Townsend directly, she denied that the vote count had been halted. But at 9:10, according to Cassel’s account, something seemed to have changed because county employees piled back into the counting area, and results from the outstanding precincts began to be posted shortly afterward. As the night went on, Buster’s lead over Soubirous steadily lengthened until he finished up a slender 92 votes over the 50 percent threshold he needed to avoid a runoff. Over the next few days, as the totals from absentee and mail-in ballots were added, the margin shrunk down to a tantalizing 45 votes. And that part of the count remains highly contentious, too. On March 4, Floyd and Cassel saw the second Sequoia employee, Eddie Campbell, return to the registrar’s office and watched him pop into his pocket what looked like a PCMCIA card similar to those used to store votes on individual touchscreen machines. [...] Accompanied by different county employees, Campbell walked all the way to the vote tabulation terminals where, according to Cassel, he sat down at the same computer he and Frontera had used on election night. Cassel says he saw the head of the registrar’s information technology department, Brian Foss, log Campbell on to the computer – presumably with his own password – and then leave the room. Campbell, now on his own, called up a screen that Cassel said he recognized as the WinEds tabulation software used on the Sequoia system. [...] Floyd, meanwhile, was anxious for an explanation and tried to track down Mischelle Townsend. It took him all day to find her, and when he did she at first said that Eddie Campbell was not authorized to be in the system and then, in the presence of Brian Foss, changed her tune and said he was."
    • NBC, "California case highlights e-voting woes", 2004/08/30: "Traditionally, the registrar publishes results on printouts and online, continuously updating them as new data arrive. In the first printout, at 8:13 p.m., three-term incumbent Bob Buster had 47 percent of the vote — shy of the majority needed to avoid a runoff. Updates from the Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreens then stalled for more than an hour. During that time, Soubirous supporter Art Cassel spotted two Sequoia employees typing on a county computer. When updates resumed about 9:15 p.m., Buster’s lead had widened to 50.2 percent of the vote. After 49,196 votes were logged, Buster finished by 49 votes above 50 percent, narrowly avoiding a runoff. Sequoia spokesman Alfie Charles said the Sequoia employees were given identification badges and access to the computers on Election Day simply to ensure that the vote tabulation proceeded smoothly. [...] Soubirous, a registered nurse, paid more than $1,600 for a recount — but says she didn’t get her money’s worth. A re-examination of paper absentee ballots found 276 more votes, narrowing the margin for avoiding a runoff to 36 votes. But most of the voting took place electronically, and Townsend reproduced only the vote total delivered by each machine. [...] Soubirous demanded to see audit logs, computer diskettes, internal memory cards, surveillance tapes from polling stations and other data Townsend touted as “checks and balances” that ensured the accuracy of paperless systems. Attorneys representing Townsend responded that most of the items requested — including some electronic data from the voting machines and tabulation software — “do not exist” or “do not constitute "relevant materials" according to California election law. [...] The March election wasn’t the first to raise concerns about vote fraud among county residents. In November 2000, Riverside became California’s first county to install touchscreens in every precinct. A tax hike — rejected twice when voters were using optical scan equipment — unexpectedly passed. An accountant in Riverside, Susan Marie Weber, became suspicious and sued Townsend and former Secretary of State Bill Jones, blasting Sequoia’s closed system as “anathema to the one-person, one-vote basis of our representative government.”"
    • Bob Buster background
      • Los Angeles Times, "Riverside Officials Delay Action as FBI Probes Waste Firm", 1996/10/30: "Stung by federal grand jury subpoenas for their financial and office records, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to postpone action on a controversial landfill expansion proposal sought by Western Waste Industries, one of Southern California’s biggest refuse companies and the focus of an FBI political corruption probe. The board, on a 4-1 vote, also agreed to refer the landfill project for review by the county Planning Commission, which was bypassed when the supervisors gave initial approval to the expansion earlier this year. “I don’t believe it would be proper to move forward under this cloud,” said Supervisor Tom Mullen, a former undersheriff, who called for the postponement until completion of the federal probe. [...] Mullen said he had no information that any members of the board were targets of the investigation and he insisted that the FBI was “just doing its job.” But colleague Bob Buster, the leading supporter of the Western Waste proposal, accused the FBI of “impeding the legislative process.” Never before in California history, he said, have the personal and office records of an entire board of supervisors been subpoenaed in a criminal investigation. [...] The probe of Western Waste, headquartered in Torrance, is an outgrowth of earlier FBI investigations into political corruption in Compton and Louisiana. According to testimony in her recently concluded extortion trial, former Compton Councilwoman Patricia Moore confessed to federal agents in 1994 that she received payoffs of $500 to $1,000 a month from a Western Waste vice president with the knowledge of company Chairman Kosti Shirvanian and his sister, Savey Tufenkian, who served as secretary-treasurer. [...] In the Louisiana case, Vernon Hizel, a onetime Western Waste vice president, admitted taking part in a $150,000 payoff to a Louisiana state lawmaker who was helping Western Waste obtain permits to open a landfill near Baton Rouge. Hizel received probation and a fine earlier this year in exchange for cooperating with the FBI. [...] In brief appearances before the board of supervisors Tuesday, Les Bittenson, Western Waste’s chief executive officer, and Donald F. Moorehead Jr., an executive with its parent company, USA Waste Services of Dallas, denied any improprieties by Western Waste. [...] Tuesday’s vote climaxed several weeks of high tension in county political circles as FBI agents descended on government offices with grand jury subpoenas for records concerning Western Waste and El Sobrante dating back more than a decade. This was followed by subpoenas for the personal and office records of the three strongest supporters of the expansion, Supervisors Buster and [Roy] Wilson and board Chairwoman Kay Ceniceros."
        • Los Angeles Times, "FBI’s Scrutiny of Waste Firm Extends to O.C.", 1996/12/26: "Shirvanian moved to Southern California in 1955, where he and his sister, Savey Tufenkian of Glendale, started a scavenging business around the time that many Armenians were setting up small waste-hauling companies. [...] By 1990, Western Waste had blossomed into a regional giant, with more than 1,500 employees and hundreds of distinctive orange trash trucks. The company has contracts with about 90 municipalities in California, many of which are exclusive and long-term. They help to account for much of Western Waste’s revenues, which last year exceeded $270 million. [...] Shirvanian, who for years rejected offers to sell his company, agreed to be acquired by USA Waste Services of Dallas in a $525-million stock deal last year. Under the deal, Western became a subsidiary of the Dallas firm. [...] “He’s always doing business,” said Judy Muncy, a Newport Beach real estate broker who is a friend of Shirvanian. “He’s always looking for a deal, and he doesn’t overpay.” Muncy said she got a good idea of Shirvanian’s influence when she attended a $500-a-plate fund-raiser for Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan at Shirvanian’s Linda Isle home last year. Shirvanian’s firm has a $1.1-million contract to pick up waste for several Los Angeles city departments, a city spokesman said. “Kosti Shirvanian is a what America is all about,” said Dave Ellis, an Orange County political consultant who has worked for Shirvanian on a few projects. “He’s a true Horatio Alger story.” Friends and critics of Shirvanian say that the hauler owes a large part of his success to his ability to negotiate exclusive contracts with cities, guaranteeing a steady and abundant source of revenue for Western. [...] Kevin J. Murphy, city manager of Newport Beach, which contracts with 12 haulers to pick up residential waste, said Shirvanian walked into his office a few years ago and told him Western was willing to pay the city $2 million for an exclusive franchise to haul Newport’s residential trash. Murphy said he later told Shirvanian that he and other council members were overwhelmingly opposed to entering into such an agreement. [...] Over the years, Shirvanian and other company officials have seized the opportunity to develop friendships with city council members and other politicians. Records and interviews with city council members show that Shirvanian and his company gave gifts--ranging from lunches, dinners and cowboy boots--and contributed thousands of dollars to help elect city council members."
      • Inside Riverside, "San Bernardino County Scandal Spills Into Riverside County", 2009/04/08: "Of interest to us dear readers is the involvement of Patrick O'Reilly in this mess. O'Reilly is a fixture in the Riverside County political establishment and has been for years. Along with San Diego consultant Tom Sheppard's Campaign Strategies, O'Reilly has an active hand in several campaigns in Riverside County.

        Patrick O'Reilly's past and current political clients include the following politicans:

        Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster
        Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley
        Riverside County Supervisor Roy Wilson
        Former Riverside County Supervisor Tom Mullen
        Former Riverside County Supervisor Jim Venable
        Former Riverside County Supervisor Norton Younglove
        Former Riverside County Sheriff Bob Doyle (the Royal Doyle himself!)
        Former Riverside County District Attorney Grover Trask
        Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge
        Former Riverside City Councilman Dom Betro
        Former Riverside City Councilman Ed Adkison
        Former Riverside City Councilwoman Maureen Kane

        According to our sources, Patrick O'Reilly helped get these people elected, then used his relationship with them to sell his lobbying services to those with business before the County and the City of Riverside. His biggest source of business had been developers. They would pay him, he'd walk them into meet a County Supervisor or a City Councilmember and viola! More houses were being approved without the adequate infrastructure of roads, schools, waters, and parks were suddenly approved."
      • SEIU 721, "Riverside County Members to Bob Buster – Don’t Steal Our Christmas", 2011/12/05: "Following the declaration of imposition by Riverside County management, SEIU 721 members protested outside of the historic Mission Inn Hotel, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, at a fundraiser for Supervisor Bob Buster. The event was a $5,000 a plate dinner for his re-election campaign, at a time when county employees are being forced to take severe cuts and are already struggling to make ends meet. SEIU 721 members held signs critical of Buster at each of the hotel’s entrances. One sign was held by a member with a Ginch mask on that read, “Bob Buster Riverside’s Grinch.” Buster has been one of the most vocal critics of SEIU 721 members and has pushed for drastic cuts in a time when members are barely hanging on to their homes."
      • Empire Logistics, "Supervisor Bob Buster, District #1" by Michael Wilson, 2012/04/21: "An example of his extreme misrepresentation of the issues with “pollution”, “particulates”, “air quality” and “diesel” is how many times he is mentioned in all articles in contrast to how many of the issues mainly affecting Latino communities are represented. In one of the databases titled the Buster Proquest Articles, running a word search of his name produces over ninety-three tags, with a majority of the mentions an attributed statement from him. In contrast, in running a search of all four of the words, only two results are produced, many statements or articles citing his failure to comment. This lack of representation by Bob Buster in these issues important to the Latino community is a clear effort by him to avoid these topics. Even in the statements attributed to Bob Buster they are usually in a joint statement with other officials, or in a vague agreement that “something should be done” or that the findings will be noted in the next decision. It seems that over the years, the pattern in Bob Buster’s press is that at first he had some suspicious support from companies planning on developing in his district, and avoiding the accusations. Then over the years he seemed to start responding a bit more to the questions of pollution, particularly in relation to quality of life problems in the neighborhoods, but it seems that it may be out of the increased pressure for him to respond as he only did so when he seemed the most pushed. [...] He, however, does have a voice [...] especially in defending the questions regarding his contributions received from the Western Waste Company and his failure to report them in a legal manner. In relation to this company, and other similar companies, Buster seemed to push for plans that are in the interest of these contributing companies, many of which are bad for the environment and for the citizens of the district he represents."
  • Mischelle Townsend - Registrar of Voters from 1997 until 2004
    • NNDB page on Mischelle Townsend
    • Los Angeles Times, "Buster Wins Again; Inquiries Continue", 2004/04/16: "The state Fair Political Practices Commission also is investigating a complaint by one of Soubirous’ supporters alleging that Townsend failed to file financial disclosure forms and improperly accepted travel from Sequoia Voting Systems, the supplier of the county’s touch-screen voting machines."
    • "DOWN FOR THE COUNT", 2004/06/24: "Late Monday, word came that Mischelle Townsend, Riverside County’s Registrar of Voters, had abruptly quit her job mid-term. She said she wanted to spend more time with her family, and nurse her father-in-law through his impending knee surgery. Worthy sentiments, for sure. But she didn’t mention anything about a controversial March 2 election for county supervisor that was still being contested, and the recount that had become entangled in problems attributable, in part, to the county’s electronic voting machines. [...] The two men [working on the tabulation computers] turned out to be employees of Sequoia Voting Systems, the private company which manufactures Riverside County’s AVC Edge touchscreen machinery. Their presence was unusual, to say the least, and even the possibility that they might be making changes to the vote tabulation software in the middle of an election was alarming to Cassel and Floyd. Sequoia insists the two men’s activities were entirely benign – merely generating lists of data to send to the Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento that had nothing to do with the tabulation software. Soubirous’s campaign staff has made no direct accusations, although it has strongly criticized the registrar’s office for allowing at least an appearance of impropriety at a time when the sanctity of the electoral process should have been paramount. Cassel and Floyd said the man at the keyboard, a Sequoia vice president called Mike Frontera, was wearing a county employees’ ID badge – something that has not been adequately explained by anyone. “What they were doing there we’ll never know,” Cassel said."
    • DU thread: "BBV: More dirt on Sequoia , Riverside Cnty , & Mischelle Townsend?"
    • United States of America Congressional Record, "TRIBUTE TO MISCHELLE TOWNSEND" by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), 2004/07/19 - mentions she worked at the North American Rockwell Corporation on the space program before entering Riverside County local politics
    • 2007/06/22 document on Riverside County wastewater is titled with Townsend's name for some reason
    • San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego County hires Vu as assistant registrar", 2007/04/12 - says Mischelle Townsend became interim director (of what?)
  • Michael Vu, known for corrupt election audits in multiple counties that he supervised, was mentored by Riverside County registrar Mischelle Townsend
  • Late 2006 challenge by the Riverside County supervisor to hack their Sequoia machines, which he subsequently backed out of

City of Riverside

Desert Hot Springs

Sex trafficking and mind control