Pubdate: Sat, 10 Mar 2001
Source: Marin Independent Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Marin Independent Journal
Contact:  150 Alameda del Prado, Novato, CA 94949
Author: Richard Halstead
Cited: Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana


Marin voters will have a choice between two candidates when they cast
their ballots in the May 22 special recall election.

Thomas Van Zandt, a 37-year-old Mill Valley patent lawyer, filed
papers yesterday to appear on the recall ballot as the alternative to
District Attorney Paula Kamena.

Van Zandt is the brother of Carol Mardeusz, the Novato woman whose
child custody case sparked the recall effort against Kamena and four
Marin County Superior Court judges.

Van Zandt has not returned telephone calls from the Marin Independent
Journal seeking comment about his candidacy, but in a statement filed
with elections officials he wrote, "We need a county government we can
have confidence in.

"We cannot have confidence in local government when allegations of
gross abuse by elected officials remain uninvestigated."

Van Zandt, who paid a $1,435 filing fee on Monday, submitted 90
signatures in support of this candidacy yesterday. Marin County
election clerk Yvonne Guenza said she confirmed that he has met the
minimum requirement of signatures from 20 registered Marin voters.

Kamena reacted to the news by saying, "I'm sorry for our office and my
family and for the community that this is happening."

The special recall election will cost Marin taxpayers about

She added, "I will be even sorrier if a patent attorney admitted to
the California bar in 1998 becomes the district attorney of this
county. And I'm still waiting for the proponents to file financial
disclosure forms as required by the law."

Van Zandt's candidacy is supported by Lynnette Shaw, founding director
of the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Fairfax, who
spearheaded the call for Kamena's removal.

"He asked for my endorsement yesterday. We talked and I agreed to
endorse him," said Shaw, who has objected to Kamena's approach to
enforcing marijuana laws.

Shaw previously said she had no intention of supplying information on
who supplied the money to pay professional signature gathers on recall

Yesterday, however, Shaw said she is preparing to submit the data
within the next few days. A spokesman from the state Fair Political
Practices Commission has said the recall petitioners were required to
file such information.

Although Shaw's criticism of Kamena focused on her marijuana policies,
the recall petition signed by 13,942 Marin registered voters did not
address marijuana.

The petition accused the district attorney of acting in a criminal
conspiracy by prosecuting Mardeusz for attempting to abduct her own
daughter and for committing perjury.

In July, a Marin jury convicted Mardeusz of five felonies and two
misdemeanors, after deliberating for less than a day. She is serving a
nine-month sentence in the Marin County Jail.

Another recall deadline - for submitting the signatures necessary to
recall Superior Court Judge Verna Adams - expired yesterday, virtually
unnoticed. No signatures were submitted, Guenza said.

Adams was one of four Marin judges, along with Kamena, who had recall
petitions taken out against them by a group upset about child custody
case rulings. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake