Supervisor candidate’s education in question
by Peter Burke
Oct 31, 2012 | 3836 views | 36 36 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eric Hammer
Eric Hammer
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The campaign for 5th District Santa Cruz County Supervisor took an ugly turn as information came to light this week that candidate Eric Hammer was untruthful about being awarded a degree from San Francisco State University.

On an application Hammer submitted in January 2011 to Santa Cruz County to become a member of the Santa Cruz County Treasury Oversight Commission, he claimed to have received a Bachelor of Science in hospitality/business from San Francisco State in 2000.

According to the university’s admission records, however, Hammer attended San Francisco State from 1995 to 1999 but did not earn a degree.

“I should have done a better job representing myself,” Hammer said Tuesday, Oct. 30. “I’ve earned all the credits and then some. Instead of calling it a B.S., I should have said that I earned all the credits for a B.S. I look forward to working through the process and getting the final paperwork.”

Hammer was named to the Treasury Oversight Commission last year and is a member until 2013.

On his application to the commission, Hammer also listed that he received an associate degree from Cabrillo College in 1995. The community college verified that Hammer was awarded that degree.

Neither San Francisco State nor Cabrillo College officials would release specific information about credits earned, citing privacy restrictions.

In November 2010, Hammer submitted a separate application to the Santa Cruz County Local Agency Formation Commission as a special district alternate member representing the Boulder Creek Recreation and Parks District.

In that application, Hammer stated that “all coursework (is) completed for B.S. in Hospitality Management (with a minor in Business Administration); awaiting corrected documentation regarding transferred credits to finalize degree”.

On the LAFCO application, Hammer also claimed an A.S. in Business/Hospitality Management from Cabrillo.

The actual degree, according to Cabrillo, was Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management, not “Business/Hospitality Management” as Hammer claimed on the application.

The McPherson campaign jumped at the information, releasing a scathing mailer that arrived in mailboxes Oct. 29. It pointed out the inconsistencies in the application Hammer submitted for the Treasury Oversight Commission position and a candidate profile he did with Scotts Valley Patch, a local-news reporting website, in which he also claimed to have graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in 2000.

The campaign has picked up intensity in recent weeks with letters to the editor, campaign signs, mailers and advertisements. In those materials, Hammer supporters have tried to paint McPherson as a career politician who does not represent the San Lorenzo Valley, while McPherson’s supporters have emphasized his long-term success working in the state Legislature and as California secretary of state. The recent mailer was the first outright attack aimed at Hammer.

Last week, a Santa Cruz man who gave $250 to the Hammer campaign was caught vandalizing McPherson signs. Hammer denied personally knowing him.

To comment, email editor Peter Burke at peter@pressbanner.com, call 438-2500 or post a comment at www.pressbanner.com.

Comments
(36)
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Fauna Creek
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November 06, 2012
Bruce McPherson! Our next supervisor. Can't wait.

And, yes, Rich Chatoff as well. Great guy!
Mpita
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November 05, 2012
Dear Mr. Cabrillo "friend",

Do you normally throw your " friends" under the bus like that? I AM a friend of Eric's from Cabrillo and yes he did host parties, A LOT of them were filled with club members that he belonged to on campus. Not only did try to make sure that all were safe and had a good time but he also was no where near the only one hosting parties at any point. Not to say it was "ok" to party in college, we did it from time to time ( not weekly). And you know what our most fun was, sitting around singing to a friend playing the guitar. Why do I go into detail? Because like my defense of him, it had nothing to do with his campaign OR his abilities! Not only must we remember that it was over 17 years ago, but also no matter what we ALL deserve 2 nd chances in life.
Michael D
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November 06, 2012
Vote Richard Chatoff for Boulder Creek Rec Board of directors and vote McPhearson for 5th District Supervisor! Both men are men you can trust!
cabrillo friend
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November 05, 2012
Yes, Eric went to Cabrillo. He was the guy to find if you liked to party. Now goes to Bill's meetings. Thank god
BC downtown
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November 06, 2012
That comment just earned you an E ticket to bad Karma-ville...Shame on you...
Already Voted
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November 03, 2012
The fact that Eric Hammer lied about his college degree -- including on a government document -- is one thing.

The fact that he doubled-down on the lie by trying to cover it up is another -- it shows that he has absolutely no integrity and is capable of calculated duplicity and deceit.

That alone should disqualify his candidacy.

But even more than that, the fact that he claims to have the requisite credits and didn't do the work necessary to complete his degree says a lot about his incompetence and lack of follow-through. That's what really frightens me about his candidacy.

Eric Hammer's lack of integrity and incompetence should be clear now to anyone who examines his record -- that's why I'm voting for Bruce.
Gina in BL
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November 02, 2012
Lets be clear. They took one of their clueless own, dusted him off, put clean clothes on him, and fed him lines with not too many syllables.

Eric had to lie about his degree because he has few accomplishments and even less smarts. Dropping out of college, then lying about it, then lying to cover it up speaks volumes about the character of the person.

If we're shooting for shared values here - lying, obfuscation, incompetence are not on the list.

Eric is not smart enough or capable enough or emotionally rational enough to handle the job of supervisor. Simple. End of story.
Gina in BL
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November 02, 2012
However, even given the above, there's always the possibility of redemption. I would hope that Hammer would clear up his degree problems, or complete the coursework. Mend damaged valley relationships and work really hard to understand the ins and outs of public policy.

4 years is a long time. Maybe he'll be a viable candidate sometime in the future.
Michael D
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November 02, 2012
Wow OMG.... are you gullible and misled. Mr. Hammer has even more lies under his belt, just a matter of time and they too will be made public.
OMG....
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November 02, 2012
In your opinion. and that's all it is, and not worthy of much credence- certainly NOT based on facts. feel free to tell us all about these so called lies.

People post crap here all the time. Doesn't mean any of it is true, including the Boulder Creek Coalition of NIMBY's nonsense, luckily intelligent people know to take all of it with a grain of salt.
VInce Voter
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November 01, 2012
If Eric Hammer will lie about his education, qualifications, and thin accomplishments. If he will bully women who endorse Bruce McPherson. If he smirks while signs are vandalized. And if he justifies all that because "that's how it's done in Boulder Creek" or because he's Valley Womens Club....

Then he is nowhere near ready to be supervisor.
else
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November 01, 2012
Well said. The issue is not level of education, but personal and professional integrity.
Ken Dasian
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November 02, 2012
Please read this - Eric Hammer Falsifies Credentials: On an application to the County of Santa Cruz Treasury Oversight Commission from 2011, current Fifth District Supervisor candidate Eric Hammer listed a Bachelor’s of Science degree from San Francisco State in 2000 as one of his credentials, in addition to an Associate’s from Cabrillo College.



The only problem? He doesn’t have a Bachelor’s of Science degree from San Francisco State. The same untruth was also listed on his construction company’s website, under the heading, “About Eric.”



When queried by Lompico resident Paula Gee recently about the matter, Hammer played dumb: “I have been very clear that I have the credits and I did attend SFSU, but have yet to receive a diploma,” he wrote. “I have not stated anywhere that I have a Bachelor’s degree.”



But, of course, he had. Hammer’s construction company website was suddenly taken down for “maintenance.” As of press time, the site is still down.



Clearly, the stonewalling had begun. Unfortunately for the Hammer campaign, County Treasurer Fred Keeley, a key supporter of Hammer’s opponent Bruce McPherson in this campaign, wasn’t having it. Between this and the recent controversy over whether Hammer knew a supporter who vandalized McPherson’s signs, Keeley sees a pattern of lying.



“It’s not quite like saying, ‘I was co-captain of the JV soccer team in 6th grade.’ This is a substantial issue…That’s a pattern of resorting to lying as your first response,” says Keeley. “I don’t know a voter who, if the call is relatively close, if they knew a candidate whose first reaction on fundamental issues is to lie, that they would then say, ‘Gee, all other things being equal, I’ll go with the liar.”



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It quickly got worse. In a phone interview with the Weekly, Hammer’s campaign manager Amanda Robinson at first insisted no diploma has been mentioned in any of Hammer’s campaign for supervisor literature. She mentioned the numerous awards Hammer won at SF State and then tried to steer the conversation into a bigger picture look at the woes of community college students who transfer to four-year institutions: “Lots of students are struggling with getting their courses transferred, that’s really the issue here,” she says.



Mmm, maybe. Or maybe the issue is that Hammer lied about a diploma and then tried to cover it up.



Finally, Hammer came clean, maintaining that “I’ve earned all the credits and then some! But I should have done a better job representing myself—instead of calling it a BS, I should have said that I earned all the credits for a BS. I look forward to working through the process and getting the final paperwork.”



To be sure, the position of county supervisor doesn’t require a college degree. But no one would argue with the assertion that it demands integrity. While McPherson himself is staying above the fray, his supporters are turning this last week of the campaign into a referendum on character. They’re out to prove the issue with Hammer is no longer just inexperience, but that he’s flat out too immature for the office. Unfortunately for the Hammer campaign, their candidate suddenly seems intent on helping them.
OMG....
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November 02, 2012
Yes, it is very simple. and a simple oversight. That is all it is. but in an election, people who have something to gain make a big deal out of it, whereas it wouldn't matter much in the end.

As for your assumption, any intelligent person would understand the facts once heard from Hammer and work with him as a duly elected official regardless. In fact, a job on a board like this requires one to have the ability to compromise with their peers to accomplish the common good. Were you expecting instead that the likes of McPherson would just come in and just take over because he is the all-powerful ex- state government guy who knows all and can through his weight around?

This is all eleventh hour panic politics being played out by a nervous now closet Republican concerned that the Democratic majority of the district may very well elect the Democrat.

karen long
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November 02, 2012
This is directed at OMG. It is really very simple. Does Eric have a degree from SFSU? No? Then he lied. If he completed all of the course work in 2000, twelve years ago, when, by my math, he was a 30 year old adult, one would think he had the maturity to figure out how to get the paperwork done. If he couldn't handle that how can we expect him to lead this district?

Sadly, if he wins, he will walk into the job with a ruputation for having the willingness to compromise. I wonder how much respect he will get from the other supervisors? Makes us country folk look a little stupid if we elect someone who clearly didn't think his credetials measured up, so he manufactured some.
mojca
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November 02, 2012
Hammer is a loser.
BABC
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November 02, 2012
TO OMG: You're kidding right?
OMG....
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November 02, 2012
Once again we are inundated with smoke and mirrors from the People of Boulder Street an BC, all of whom are clearly still angry over the possibility of improving the BC community.

Simple little mistakes clearly timed to be released at the last minute of the campaign that was supposed to be a clean fight. Instead it's turning the contest from one of issues to one of BS. its a friggen paperwork issue, NOT an issue of integrity you fools. Nice job McPherson. NOT.
mojca
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November 01, 2012
So glad Hammer has finally been exposed. Sadly, this is only a small fraction of his lies..... wake up people! Hammer has deceived you way too long.....
Look in the mirror
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November 01, 2012
Moralist, it was actually the Hammer supporters that wanted to develop an illegally rezoned meadow in Felton.
Moralist
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November 01, 2012
You are right! Be sure and vote for the person who wants the office so they can commit moral sins later after he is elected instead of showing his true colors before the choice is made! Vote for the one who needs to make sure he and his cronies can develop their land in Santa Cruz against current zoning laws! Vote for McPherson!
BABC
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November 02, 2012
OMG -- I disagree. He LIED about a degree he knew he did not have. People lose jobs over untruths on their resumes, as they should. To me honest is the measure of the man or woman, and this fellow does not measure up.
just one more lie
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November 01, 2012
Why would anyone be surprised that the Hammer man and his mommy are lying this is what the have done all there life's bully businesses who support a different point of view.

Eric has been exposed its just a matter of time when the Valley women's Club are exposed for illegal contracts with the County and exposed to the state as a political pac not a nonprofit. The hammers ambition have destroyed the little bit of reputation the Valley women's Club once had.

I am not Bruce fan i wanted someone from the Valley but this guy is a lier we can not trust and i am tired of being bullied by this family and there friends in my own town.
English Teacher
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November 01, 2012
Great comment from an illiterate.
Al Sentari
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November 01, 2012
Wow. That was mean.
keith b
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November 02, 2012
u peaple all need to wakeup
Mojca
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November 02, 2012
...and to think he lives next to BCE!
Tom in Felton
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October 31, 2012
There are two things that bother me here. Firstly, does he have the required units to graduate, or the coursework. I personally have enough units for a doctorate - are they relevant to any degree - no. And, I know the titles of the degrees that were conferred upon me. Why does he not know his?
Tom Ben Lomond
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October 31, 2012
Nice work Press Banner and Santa Cruz Weekly.

2 weekly papers beat the daily Sentinel to the story. I wonder why.
Martha Hammer
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November 03, 2012
Because Jason Hoppin is the "reporter" for the Valley and is firmly in Hammer's camp - that's why you won't see an article in the Sentinel. There is no way to spin lying about credentials, lying about knowing the vandal then lying about lying. Incredible, but true.

karen long
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October 31, 2012
"... instead of calling it a BS, I [Eric] should have said ... IT IS BS."
Here we go again...
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October 31, 2012
This is ultimately pretty silly stuff. Eric isn't campaigning as a highly educated guy, after all. And Bruce's degrees (whatever they might be) are from, what, the 1960s? Neither of these guys, or their campaigns, really need to resort to 'gotcha' tactics. It's the old vs. the new, the proven vs. the unproven, the city vs. the forest, the calm vs. the maybe not-so-calm, the republican vs. the democrat. Do we really need to make the contrast any more obvious than that?
Dana Tanner
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October 31, 2012
Nice try, but um, no. We won't be writing it off as just silly stuff. It's actually extremely telling that a candidate would lie about his background to gain positions on committees and public office.

And it's obviously serious enough that Eric Hammer's wife, Susan, would post a snarky comment on her facebook page suggesting that McPherson should watch out because dirt is coming his way from the Hammer camp. The comment has been taken down, but there is a screen capture.
Mike Crow
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November 01, 2012
And McPherson isn't lying about why he is spending $175,000 for this spot! He acknowledges he was asked to run. But by whom? By those who own empty lots in Santa Cruz that would like to have them re-zoned for development? Hmm...follow the money...
Donatellla
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November 01, 2012
If Mrs. Hammer is aware in advance of a hit piece against Bruce, well then, that's just terrible.

And isn't Eric looking more and more like Chastity Bono every day? I mean Chas Bono.
Gail Levey
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November 02, 2012
I'd love to see that screen shot Dana - if you would please, email a copy to gaillevey@gmail.com

Thanks!


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