By Doug Porter
Monday should have been a good day for 52nd District congressional candidate Carl DeMaio. But it wasn’t.
County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced that an inquiry into sexual harassment allegations from an ex-aide was being closed due to lack of evidence.
She also announced the investigation into a campaign office break-in that DeMaio campaign had sought to link to the ex-aide was also being closed for the same reason. The GOP candidate’s campaign was the only source for that claim, which had already served its purpose, to deflect attention away from DeMaio’s behavior.
UT-San Diego whipped out its congratulatory editorial, patting the DA on the head for getting this lurid matter settled before election day, pronouncing “throughout this flap, DeMaio has seemed far more credible than former aide Todd Bosnich.” Voters were urged to get back to the “issues” in the campaign, namely that incumbent Scott Peters was under the influence of the evil Barack Obama.
An earlier UT-San Diego article repeated DeMaio charges that the Peters campaign was “actively promoting” allegations concerning the sexual harassment claim.
The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C., is quoting DeMaio as saying on Saturday, “I guess you can say anything about the gay guy and some people will believe it.”
A Handshake and Some Strategy
An NBC7 debate between the candidates airing on Sunday (but taped on Friday) got off to a bad start for DeMaio as he refused to shake Scott Peters hand as he walked on stage.
During the debate DeMaio let fly with what I’m sure he thought would be a bombshell question.
From UT-San Diego:
DeMaio, the Republican challenger in the white-hot, tossup 52nd Congressional District election, was discussing his campaign office break-in on May 27 when he asked Peters directly about the matter.
“Something was stolen that day, and that was our entire campaign strategy book, and Mr. Peters, I just want to ask a very simple question: Did your campaign come into possession of our strategy book with all of our direct mail pieces in the last five months?”
Peters calmly responded, saying that materials anonymously sent to his campaign had been forwarded to the police shortly after being discovered.
Again, from the UT story:
DeMaio suggested that was proof the break-in was an effort to derail his effort to unseat the first-term Democratic incumbent.
“There you go, I mean, this is clearly politically motivated,” DeMaio said in response to Peters’ comment.
Peters’ spokesperson Alex Roth issued a statement later in the day:
“There have been references in today’s news to something Carl DeMaio called a ‘campaign playbook,’ ” Roth said. “To clarify, we do not know what a campaign playbook is, nor has our campaign ever received anything that could be characterized as an a campaign playbook as Mr. DeMaio called it. To reiterate, our campaign staff received information in early June that we immediately transmitted in its entirety to the police.”
Emails Under Investigation by FBI
The former DeMaio aide at the center of this controversy, Todd Bosnich, during an un-aired June radio interview claimed he and his mother had received threatening emails following his refusal to accept $50,000 in hush money.
NBC7’s Wendy Fry broke the story yesterday about these emails being the focus of a federal investigation:
…several sources close to the investigation told NBC7 that FBI agents and a lawyer from the U.S. Attorney’s office asked questions focused on the accusation the Bosniches had received harassing emails, and an alleged hack of his Gmail account.
The investigators also inquired about Bosnich’s claim that he was offered $50,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
A source close to the investigation told NBC7 Investigates the emails threatened Bosnich’s political career and put pressure on him to accept the $50,000, saying “you better keep your mouth shut and take the deal.
Misogynist Email Released
“I encourage you to examine the record of every single candidate by that measure of whether they treat women w/ respect,” –Carl DeMaio on former mayor Bob Filner
City Beat’s Kelly Davis had what I considered to be the biggest scoop yet, revealing an DeMaio email oozing with misogynist loathing aimed at a woman working in the Peters campaign. It’s the kind of nastiness long associated with the man but difficult to document.
From City Beat:
On Jan. 22, DeMaio sent an email to two members of his staff, campaign spokesperson Dave McCulloch and then-policy director Todd Bosnich (Bosnich has accused DeMaio of sexually harassing him and trying to buy his silence). The email’s subject line is “Kate Lyon” and includes a photo of an overweight woman wearing a bra and eating what looks to be a
Twinkie chicken nugget. (The woman in the photo is not Lyon.) Based on the email’s metadata, it appears to be authentic.
Kate Lyon is the deputy campaign manager for Scott Peters, the 52nd District congressional representative whom DeMaio’s challenging in the upcoming election. Earlier in the day on Jan. 22, she’s responded to a tweet from McCulloch and was critical of a new DeMaio TV ad that compared Congress to Lindsey Lohan and cockroaches. “U thought ur boss’s cockroach ad was representative of new type of [Republican], someone trying to change Washington? Typical,” Lyon tweeted at McCulloch.
I’m not including the City Beat picture of the email. Get ready to be angry should you feel the need to click on the link.
UT editor Ricky Young tweeted:
I asked DeMaio’s office if he sent the Kate Lyon email. The response: “We are done responding to Mr. Bosnich’s politically motivated smears”
— Ricky Young (@RickyWhy) October 20, 2014
Voter Suppression, San Diego Style
Here in America’s Finest City you need not worry about defacto poll taxes or voter ID laws (like Texas) where a gun permit is acceptable for voting, but a college ID isn’t. Here all they need is a good surf report and a solid dose of apathy.
San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has an advertising policy that’s right in tune with that sort of thinking, as Alliance San Diego found out recently when their non-partisan Get Out The Vote ads were rejected.
The North Park-based non-profit launched a non-partisan effort several weeks ago, hoping to increase awareness about the election in communities with historically low voter turnout. Part of the effort included paying for printed bus ads with the message, Vote for San Diego, along with the date of the election. Images of native San Diegans were included with motivational messages such as, “Vote for what’s best for your community”.
MTS’ advertising agency, Michael Allen & Associates, informed Alliance San Diego that the ads were too “political”. When then group appealed that decision, the MTS general counsel came back at them with a different response; that the MTS policy only allows ads that serve a commercial purpose.
As Alliance San Diego Board Member Isidro Ortiz put it, “In other words, MTS will only allow messages that strengthen the corporate wallet, not our democracy,”
If this isn’t defacto voter suppression, I don’t know what is.
Alliance San Diego has scheduled a press conference for later today. I’ll keep you up to date on any new developments.
(Full disclosure: I have worked on Get Out the Vote Campaigns with this group in the past.)
VA Registered Nurses Vote for a Union
Registered nurses working at the VA San Diego Hospital and seven clinics in the area have voted overwhelmingly in favor of representation by National Nurses United.
The election was conducted by the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which oversees collective bargaining for federal employees. The vote was 349-97.
The nurses organized in response to what they felt were deficiencies in patient care in the system.
“This will allow us to give the very best care to our vets,” said RNs Nury Cubillos and Deb Rice in a joint statement. “It is essential we have the ability to make critical decisions and advocate on their behalf without fear of reprisal. That’s why we voted ‘yes’.”
“For years administration ignored us when we told them what patient care resources we needed,” said John Lallo, RN. “We voted ‘yes’ for guaranteed patient care improvements in writing.”
City Council: Put Minimum Wage to a Vote
When it came down to it yesterday, the San Diego City Council went with the flow. Earlier discussions about rescinding the minimum wage ordinance passed last summer in favor of an even bigger boost to be on the ballot in November 2016, went away. The City Council unanimously voted to put the question to the voters–as demanded via a Chamber of Commerce backed referendum campaign–on the June 2016 ballot.
There were some interesting sideshows along the way. Some of the Chamber types who’d piously stated in the past that they just wanted the voters to have a say argued for rescinding the law.
Jerry Sanders, the former mayor who is now head of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, called for the repeal of the “bad policy, which will make it harder for our 45,000 unemployed to find jobs, drive up the cost of goods and services, and make it more difficult for the very businesses that we rely on to create jobs to succeed.”
Also, it seems as though there might be some unintended consequences.
From UT-San Diego:
City Council: What Proposition A?
The City Council also took up the question of what to do about Proposition A, the business community/Carl DeMaio measure restricting the use of Project Labor Agreements on city contracts. It seems as though a side effect (told ya so!) of Prop A is that it conflicts with state law, meaning the city could be ineligible to receive funding for infrastructure projects.
Proposition A was a straw man put up by anti-union interests. In fact there had never been a city project with a Project Labor Agreement (PLA).
From the Daily Transcript:
The San Diego City Council on Monday unanimously approved a measure that should allow the city to continue to get state funds for construction projects, which have been under threat of voter-approved restrictions against requiring “project labor agreements” for construction contracts.
“A financial crisis was averted today,” said City Council President Todd Gloria, adding that if the city hadn’t reaffirmed a loophole in the restrictions, it could have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure aid. He said that last year alone, the city could have lost $383 million because of the dispute.
The crisis revolved around Proposition A, a measure that voters passed in 2012 — with heavy backing from the San Diego Regional Chamber and local builders and developers — to block the city from requiring developers to enter collective bargaining agreements with labor unions, setting the wages and benefits of all employees on a particular project.
On This Day: 1849 – The first tattooed man, James F. O’Connell, was put on exhibition at the Franklin Theatre in New York City. 1964 – The movie musical “My Fair Lady” made its world premier in New York. 1967 – One hundred thousand demonstrators marched in Washington, DC, in opposition to the Vietnam War.
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