by Kimberly Rivers

Supervisor Linda Parks has stated that, with the assistance of an attorney, she has confirmed an unwelcome package containing a chocolate penis that was delivered to her home last month was shipped from a company called “Dick At Your Door.” The process is underway to obtain the identity of who placed the order. (“Gutter politics”: Chocolate penis mailed to county supervisor, Kimberly Rivers, Ventura County Reporter, July 14, 2021.)

The company has a San Diego shipping address and states on its website that its products are meant to be used as “gag gifts,” and that the company will not give out the shipper’s information, “unless you do something illegal (don’t do that) or involved in a legal lawsuit (sexual harassment, stalking, etc) and we are required by law.”

In the company’s legal disclaimer it states that by placing an order on the site, “You agree not to order and send our products with malicious intent or the intent to harm anyone . . .You understand that if the receiver of a package considers it harassment or not welcomed, or if you violate any terms of our site, we are authorized to release your information to the requesting party.”

When Parks spoke with the Ventura County Reporter, she referenced the active recall effort against her, as well as developers who disagree with her positions on various projects being proposed as possible culprits who might have sent the package. 

Two groups, including the official recall committee, Conejo Valley Cares – Recall Linda Parks, have both disavowed any knowledge or connections to the unwelcome parcel Parks received. 

Karen Meyer, listed as the principal of Conejo Valley Cares – Recall Linda Parks, said she knew nothing about the package and they confirmed with their steering committee and volunteers that none of them were responsible either. 

A Thousand Oaks-based Super PAC (Political Action Committee) called Move the Needle, which according to its website is “focused on trying to stop the leftist agenda towards socialism and bring back common-sense leadership for our local, state and national elected officials,” also stated the group was not responsible for the package, and further clarified that the group does not fund the recall effort. 

In an email statement dated July 15, to the VCReporter, Tim McCarthy of Thousand Oaks, a founder of Move the Needle, took objection to Park’s reference of the organization having any connection to the package as well as a “reference that Move the Needle is funding the recall . . . Move The Needle categorically denies any funding for the recall.”

McCarthy did not respond to requests for comment on the flyers containing the Move the Needle logo and name that direct people to two recall petition events in April and May of this year where the recall effort was gathering signatures. However, in an email statement dated July 19, following requests for comment, McCarthy wrote, “Move the Needle DOES support the recall of Linda Parks. We did not initiate nor fund the recall, but we agree with the community’s desire to remove her from office as soon as possible.”

Why is Parks being recalled? 

Meyer clarified that Conejo Valley Cares is the only committee “currently working” officially on the recall. She wanted to clarify that the group is not affiliated with Move the Needle. 

“The main thing I want to make sure is clear is that we are the recall effort, the only one going on right now. We have not received any donations from Move the Needle at all. No money or donations whatsoever from Move the Needle,” said Meyer, although she understands that other committees or individuals can spend money in support of the recall effort. 

She explained that their donations are coming from “citizens and most of our donations are under $50. This is a grassroots thing.” She said many contributors are giving $49, just under the threshold requiring that their name be listed. “A lot are afraid of Linda Parks, they don’t want [their name] listed so they stay under that number.” 

When asked why she is involved in the recall, she pointed out her past support for Parks. 

“I actually voted for Linda Parks. I’ve been a registered Democrat for 48 years. I voted for her because I liked her stance on open space and protecting oak trees . . . but what she did to the small businesses was wrong. If she had done one thing, I wouldn’t be talking to you.”

Meyer said all the small businesses could have been notified after the initial shutdown “and given two choices.” They could shutdown, lay off their workers and “when this is all over we will give you financial help to open back up.” Or they could remain open “but you must abide by all the rules and regulations that we set . . . They could have given them the option, a possibility of staying open and keeping afloat. But she didn’t do that. She simply closed them all.” 

When asked about the other supervisors, a majority of whom joined Parks in the votes to support orders that businesses be shuttered, Meyer said the group plans to recall them as well. 

Meyer said hundreds of businesses have closed “and will never reopen. It’s a very sad thing. There’s a certain thing about living in Thousand Oaks, you know not only your neighbors but the people working in the stores and businesses. It’s one of the joys of living in a middle-size small town, you know people.” The policies that caused the businesses to close have been “devastating” she said. 

Meyer understands that the state mandated certain businesses to close, but said that the board of supervisors had a choice to allow businesses in the county to remain open. She pointed to the fact that larger retail stores like Costco and Walmart, which sold both essential and nonessential items, were allowed to remain open, while small businesses with  a narrower scope had to close. 

“They let [big box stores] continue their business as usual,” she said, pointing out that they were able to keep selling nonessential items the whole time. The small businesses “weren’t given any options. They were just closed.” 

Meyer said Parks is the only supervisor who has been in office long enough to allow a recall to take place. “The only person we feel has actually voted for and stood up for the people of Ventura County is [Supervisor Bob] Huber.” The group will not recall him and she said the recall efforts for the other supervisors will come after the Parks recall is complete. 

McCarthy cited reasons for the Super PAC’s support of the recall effort, including “her demonstrated government overreach,” noting her vote “to sue businesses and a local church” when they did not adhere to local closure mandates. McCarthy said the businesses and church were “practicing their First Amendment rights.” The group also views certain declarations Parks brought forward in her role as being outside the scope of what a county supervisor should be doing, “like declaring racism as a public health crisis, or making a resolution against the Capitol violence when no facts had been presented. She merely repeated what TV reporters were saying,” stated McCarthy. He called the resolution a “misguided attempt at marginalizing conservative voters,” and that her actions and votes during the pandemic demonstrate “she has proven to work for Sacramento, not her constituents.” 

“I have nothing against her. I’ve never met her. I’m not saying she is a bad person,” said Meyer. “I think they were unprepared, they didn’t know what to do and they just abdicated and did whatever [Gov] Gavin Newsom says.”