If any Tea Party or constitutional conservative group nation-wide had their pick of any candidate to stand up in a local race, they would choose a candidate exactly like John Colbert, running very successfully to replace Adam Schiff in California’s CD29 (Pasadena/Burbank). Donate.
In researching a candidate for a story like this one, the writer is immediately confronted with a gratifying problem. Google and Bing search results return almost no information. This is obviously not a man who has been building a political constituency for 10 or 20 years. That’s a good sign to conservatives who want to send a genuine ‘outsider’ to Washington.
John started his career in public service as a helicopter crew chief in the US army, winning ‘Soldier of the Month’ at his (large) post and winning a meritorious service citation. Next he spent 13 years with the LA Sheriff’s Department rising to become the lead white collar crime investigator who put the BTK killer and many terrorists behind bars. John was not considering a political career at this point, but instead thinking of further quiet service to our communities by going further to put cyber-criminals behind bars.
The forensic tools to put cyber-criminals behind bars simply did not exist, so John created them and made them available to the Law Enforcement community.
If you’ve ever watched CSI or the other CSI-type shows, you’ve seen the evidence techs use special software to do the forensic thing on computers they’ve recovered or on internet activities. That is actually Colbert’s EnCase software, designed to help investigators recover cyber-evidence needed for conviction and preserve it so it will withstand devastating scrutiny in court. EnCase is now the recognized standard for evidence and discovery when credible cyber-evidence must be used in court to obtain a conviction or win a civil case.
But it wasn’t a easy journey. Colbert was not handed a nice CEO job for a billion dollar company that had a viral lock on media attention and internet mindspace from the instant it was conceived (as say… eBay was). No. Guidance Software had to start with only 4 partners and build from there, selling only to highly skeptical investigators at law enforcement agencies with budgets that had to be very carefully managed. One. Agency. At. A. Time. Wait for the PO to be processed. Wait for next year’s agency budget. This, folks, is a tough sell. Yet Colbert led his company in this tough marketplace to establish what is now a recognized legal standard.
Then he finally lead his company through its IPO. That’s enough, right? Any CEO deserves a break after that.
Colbert still was not thinking of a political career. It took Michael Alexander from TEAPAC in Pasadena to convince him that he should switch from quiet public service to more visible public service and run for US Congress against incumbent Adam Schiff (who has abandoned his district and now lives in Maryland, with his wife serving in the PTA in Bethesda).
So quietly and anonymously, John has served his country and his community well. He has done well by doing good with Guidance and EnCase. But what about his politics?
John is a small-government conservative who believes in liberty for citizens and putting a stop to huge government budgets and interventions. He is unrelenting in criticizing incumbent Schiff (who is mistakenly identified in the MSM as a blue dog) for his moves in Congress, voting for bailouts, union ‘defined benefit’ pensions, DISCLOSE, and abandoning his constituents not only physically, but philosophically as well. He is outraged that Arizona is paying such a terrible price for doing only what governments are supposed to do: protect its citizens.
Frankly, John has little patience for any conversation that hints of government intervention in the marketplace or limiting the liberties of private citizens.
I regard it as very unlikely that upon arrival in Washington, John will be ‘captured’ by the Beltway.
His candidacy has not deprived him of his everyday, every-man humanity.
In a community (and now, an office) where I see candidates frequently, I try not to inflict myself on them unnecessarily. At a recent Tea Party rally in Burbank, John and I were standing just a few feet apart, but hadn’t greeted each other yet. My 12-year-old son was running around as kids do and he had no idea he had just walked up to a candidate for US Congress. John bent down and shook my son’s hand and introduced himself. My son wasn’t a bit impressed. I thought it was cute. But now, it’s a ‘spot weld’ moment I will cherish forever. I’m not fooled for a second that John wasn’t promoting his candidacy by introducing himself. But what I do believe is the John had the correct context in doing so – of harnessing his true humanity in service of his candidacy and not the other way around.
There is a big, big difference.
Colbert shows every promise of arriving in Washington without having made deals that will compromise his representation of his district, and distinct whispers I have heard confirm this.
Consider how Continental’s inflight magazine quoted him in 2006, before John ever suspected he would ever run for Congress:
As Colbert has progressed from one phase of his career to the next, he has realized that there comes a point when reflection starts to take hold. “People either think back with regret or satisfaction, and I want my recollections to be those of satisfaction,” he says. “This is something that more business leaders need to consider as they work to develop their organizations. You need to look within and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing, and whether it makes an impact on the world. That is when you know you are working from the heart. If you are simply building something with the sole intention of selling it down the road, you are really missing the boat.”
Those words sound to me like a man whose true context is service. And his track record soundly suggests that guess is correct.
Today I learn that Colbert goes the distance to do the right thing. Recently I reported vandalism on the property of a Democrat who is supporting Colbert. The vandal, of course, is an angry Schiff supporter and probably not under the ‘direct supervision’ of Schiff’s campaign (or perhaps…). Yet Schiff will not do what it takes to see that this continued vandalism stops. He must feel it benefits him. Colbert, on the other hand, has pledged to make the damage good and pay the $420.00 it will take to restore a Democrat’s property to its pre-vandalism condition.
Two more points for Colbert. The right thing is the only thing.
I won’t go into the numbers now, but the cranking and churning we did at TEAPAC on June 9, the day after the CA primary, spell a big loss for Schiff on Nov 2. Schiff had only half the support he had in the previous primary and Colbert was well within 8,000 votes on his side of the ballot. Our precinct operation will only need to find 19 votes per precinct for Colbert, not counting the Democrat defections we can probably count on. Those are the numbers of death for carpetbagging blue dog poseurs. And a big win for citizens.
This man is going to win. Big.
We have only one word for Schiff, and we take them from Brother Neil: G’bye.
Enjoy your new life in Maryland, Adam.
Donate to John here with the thanks of everyone in SoCal.