By Doug Porter
Denial is a long river. And yesterday it wound its way through Mission Valley after NBC7 News released a story about emails from the DeMaio campaign boasting about having composed an editorial that appeared in UT-San Diego back in December, 2013
The emails came from former staffer Todd Bosnich, who has been at the center of other recent controversies regarding the GOP candidate for the 52nd Congressional District. Bosnich says candidate DeMaio sexually harassed him. DeMaio says Bosnich is responsible for a break-in and vandalism at his headquarters.
The district attorney says there’s not enough evidence in either case to move forward with prosecution. Bosnich’s attorneys say a lawsuit is in the works. DeMaio’s campaign is vacillating between refusing to comment and denying the validity of the emails. Bosnich has granted access to his laptop computer to cyber experts who have informed reporters that the emails appear to be genuine.
Emails from an inactive DeMaio campaign account have surfaced pointing the finger at Bosnich as being responsible for an incident involving plagiarism last spring. The former staffer points out that the emails were sent after he was dismissed from the campaign.
And so it goes, in what’s got to be the most bizarre campaign for the House of Representatives in the 2014 election. And that’s really saying something, given all the teahadist fear-mongering about Ebola, immigrants and terrorism.
Last a night Rancho Penasquitos forum between candidates featured a small group of protesters, one of whom was wearing a paper mache head with dollar signs for eyes, claiming Peters was opposed to paying fair wages. As far as I have been able to ascertain there have never been any assertions regarding the Democratic incumbent position or actions one way or the other on this issue.
This tweet from Carl DeMaio this morning seemed especially ironic:
Sad but not surprised that @RepScottPeters has created a circus-like environment in this campaign rather than focus on the issues.
— Carl DeMaio (@carldemaio) October 23, 2014
Back to the NBC7 story:
Controversial and highly disputed emails provided to NBC 7 Investigates include statements from Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio where he appears to be bragging about his campaign writing a UT San Diego editorial that was highly critical of DeMaio’s opponent and had a “UT San Diego editorial board” byline.
Former DeMaio staffer Todd Bosnich said he and campaign spokesman Dave McCulloch were the authors of an editorial entitled “Scott Peters and the Mount Soledad Shuffle.”
The denials coming out of UT San Diego’s Mission Valley headquarters were immediate and forceful. Editor-in-Chief Jeff Light created a website with the news story at the heart of the matter (the crosses on Mt. Soledad) , the original email from the DeMaio campaign complaining about Scott Peters and the editorial the paper says was penned by editorial board member Chris Reed.
Regardless of who actually wrote the editorial–and I think it’s probable that Chris Reed actually typed it, putting the DeMaio campaign talking points into his acerbic style–the NBC emails do indicate the campaign was claiming credit.
The emails provided to NBC 7 indicate that after the editorial ran, McCulloch reached out to a consultant, other campaign staff and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) boasting that “UT San Diego scorched Peters over the Soledad Cross today, saying ‘Peters has a history of being both slippery and insubstantive’ and that ‘rewriting his own history and ducking responsibility for his actions have always come easy to Scott Peters.’”
In response, Alleigh Marree of the NRCC said: “This is great. Will be able to use these lines A LOT.” In the email thread provided to NBC 7 Investigates,
DeMaio wrote back, “Well, we did wrote (sic) it ourselves.”
It certainly wouldn’t be the first time DeMaio and his staffers claimed credit for another group’s work.
In the meantime, a cloud of funk-denial has descended over the story. I don’t think it actually aired, although it was referred to as a web exclusive in one NBC7 newscast. Voice of San Diego omitted any mention of it in today’s morning report and it’s does not appear on any other local news sites that I perused this morning.
FYI–Today’s editorial offering from Manchester’s Minions is trying to gin up fears over Obamacare. I wonder who provided the talking points?
The Slippery Slope of Get Out the Vote in San Diego
The refusal of the local transit system (MTS) to accept Get Out the Vote advertising on buses continues.
Initially an MTS spokesman told KPBS that current policies prohibited ads of this type:
Rob Schupp, director of marketing for MTS, said the transit agency has tightened its ad policy in the past couple of years. MTS ads are limited to a commercial service — things that can be bought, sold or leased.
“So what might be objectionable ads to some parties are not on our property to create controversy,” Schupp said. “This has nothing to do with the Alliance or their mission to get out the vote. It’s an admirable cause, but the ad just did not follow our policy.”
Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego, said MTS is “capricious and arbitrary” in the way it applies the policy.
Capricious and arbitrary indeed. It seems as though MTS accepted ads from Alliance San Diego in 2010 encouraging people to participate in the census.
“Voting is the most shallow gesture of citizenship there is,” says Kevin Williamson of National Review, trying to convince people that there’s no shame in not coming out to vote.
Asked about ads on buses for the non-profit First Five, the director said that in the past some non-commercial ads slipped through but they are tightening their oversight. When it was pointed out that there were ads for City College currently on transit vehicles, he said that the ad was ostensibly for a commercial purpose because it invited a transaction to enroll in courses.
The ad is below. It simply shows faces of students with the words “Agents of Change” and “Vehicle for Success.”
When Alliance representatives pointed out water conservation ads also running right now and asked how they could possibly construed as commercial and he said that MTS makes exceptions, allowing for non-commercial ads with its partners.
Asked about how one becomes a partner, the MTS said they would have to demonstrate how the group would increase ridership in order to become a partner. The requirement of increasing ridership was on top of paying for the ads.
Holy crap. These people have got to be kidding.
It would be one thing if this was just some sort of mindless corporate policy. But MTS is publicly funded, with a board made up of almost entirely elected public officials. And if you put this action in the context of voter suppression efforts by the right wing media and the Republican party, it’s especially pernicious.
It’s as if they don’t want the transit riders in this city to vote. Even if this does get resolved, the election will probably be over with.
Here’s a video with various right wing media personalities disparaging the idea of the non-elites voting.
Here’s a link to the “Board of Directors” for the Metropolitan Transit System. Can it really be true that Todd Gloria, Myrtle Cole, Marti Emerald and Ron Roberts (among others) really endorse a policy prohibiting Get Out The Vote and advertising?
In other voting news, the Center on Policy Initiatives announced yesterday they’ll be placing billboards in a couple of low voter turnout San Diego neighborhoods.
Police Violence Protested in City Heights
Police brutality and shootings were protested Wednesday night in City Heights, as more than 100 people rallied at the City Heights Performance Annex and marched through the neighborhood.
From the Times of San Diego:
A male protester in his 20s who identified himself only as “Tennessee” said: “Tonight’s activity is to bring about awareness and let people know that people are fed up and tired of dealing with nonsense of local police agencies.”
He continued: “The young are seeing people being stopped and harassed for almost no reason. They’re seeing people being shackled, handcuffed and shot in the head….”
…Marchers blocked the intersection of Wightman Street and Fairmount Avenue as they walked in circles with signs shouting “Our street.” Police on motorcycles and bicycles remained on the perimeter.
The protest was part of a nationwide National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation — organized in large part through Facebook postings and other social media.
Al Jazeera had an extensive report on the background of the current wave of unrest, which goes way beyond people upset over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The story included interviews with ProPublica reporter Ryan Gabrielson and D. Brian Burghart of Reno News and Review who’ve both done research into police shootings around the US.
Gabrielson and his team decided to turn the numbers that were available into rates and ratios, which he said could expose trends in police violence. They found that black males between the ages of 15 and 19 were 21 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than white males in the same age group.
“It blew us away,” Gabrielson said, noting that this rate had a margin of error because of the scant reporting available — but he said it was still clear that black teenage males were at significantly higher risk than any other demographic.
Burghart said he also reached some startling conclusions based on data he has compiled on Fatal Encounters. In states for which he had comprehensive data, the percentage of homicides carried out by law enforcement officers was 7.4 percent. His findings echo a recent report by the Youth Justice Coalition, a California-based organization working to reform Los Angeles’ juvenile justice system. It found that the percentage of homicides carried out by police in Los Angeles county more than doubled from 3 to 7 percent between 2000 and 2014.
“That’s an incredible number that should be national news by itself,” Burghart said. “There’s more police homicides than drug homicides.”
The FBI’s most recent general homicide data shows that law enforcement agencies reported 720 incidents in which Americans were killed by police in 2012 — but that figure does not include officer-involved homicides that were not voluntarily reported. By contrast, in the past two years German police have killed a total of eight people and British police have killed none.
On This Day: 1902 – President Theodore Roosevelt established a fact-finding commission, suspending a nine-months-long strike by Western Pennsylvania coal miners fighting for better pay, shorter workdays and union recognition. The strikers ended up winning more pay for fewer hours, but failed to get union recognition. It was the first time that the federal government had intervened as a neutral arbitrator in a labor dispute. 1929 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged, starting the stock-market crash that began the Great Depression. 1962 – Steveland Morris Judkins, later known as Little Stevie Wonder, at the age of 12 recorded his first single. The song was “Thank you for Loving Me All the Way.”
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