By Doug Porter
Democratic incumbent Congressman Scott Peters has emerged victorious in the contentious electoral contest to represent the 52nd district in the House of Representatives. But that victory may yet come with an asterisk.
GOP candidate Carl DeMaio conceded defeat in an interview with the Associated Press on Sunday. He reportedly will make the formal concession to Peters, who is vacationing in Europe, following the final vote count late on Monday. As this is being written the incumbent has a 4700 vote lead over the challenger.
The fallout from the race in the 52nd may be far from over. The San Diego Police Department released 211 pages of documents this weekend associated with eight search warrant affidavits issued over a two month period last summer. New bits and pieces of the story surrounding the break-in of DeMaio’s office and allegations of sexual harassment have emerged. It’s a conspiracy theorists field day.
News accounts have focused on previously unreported contacts between the Peters campaign and Todd Bosnich, the former DeMaio staffer whose allegations of sexual harassment have emerged in recent weeks. There are also questions being raised about the timeline concerning contacts between the Peters campaign and the SDPD.
DeMaio, 40, sharply criticized Peters over the extent to which his campaign communicated with Bosnich, the first accuser, as disclosed in search warrant affidavits that were unsealed Friday. U-T San Diego and KNSD-TV reported on the disclosures.
MaryAnne Pintar, Peters’ campaign manager, informed police of the allegations against DeMaio, U-T San Diego reported, a role that was never acknowledged during the campaign. The documents reveal that Pintar met with Bosnich at a coffee shop, took delivery of DeMaio campaign materials and kept possession of them for some time — counter to Peters’ statement during a televised debate that they were handed over to police immediately.
“Given the evidence that is emerging and is likely to emerge in coming weeks and days, Mr. Peters has significant, serious questions that he must answer,” DeMaio said.
Peters told KPBS on Sunday that he “messed up the timeline” during the debate when he said the campaign material was turned over to police immediately. “I wasn’t expecting the question at the time it came,” Peters told KPBS.
From UT-San Diego:
The records show that it was May 31 when police learned of Bosnich’s sexual harassment claims from Pintar. She called police and said that Bosnich had contacted her and said he was a victim of sexual harassment. In an affidavit, Detective Garrick Nugent said Pintar said she knew police were investigating the break-in and thought it was “prudent” to tell police about his claims. She said she was worried about him.
After speaking with Pintar, police went to Bosnich’s home and said that if he was a victim of a crime he could make a complaint and get an investigation started. Bosnich asked the police whether Pintar had told them of the allegations, the records show. He told officers he wanted to think about it and worried that making such an accusation would hurt his career.
Bosnich also told police he had told DeMaio campaign manager Tommy Knepper about the harassment from DeMaio the week of May 19. On May 26, he said, Knepper fired him and warned him he would ruin his career if he revealed the harassment to anyone else.
He told police he was afraid, and believed he was being followed.
The search warrants executed by the police included Mr. Bosnich’s home, along with phone and computer records. San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis issued a statement a little more than two weeks before the election saying there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against DeMaio for harassment or Bosnich for the burglary.
There have been a spate of tweets and comments made on social media about the timing of the SDPD’s document release, but the fact is this material was made available through public record requests, which could not made until the investigations were closed.
The materials released certainly open up the possibility that, despite their denials, the Peters campaign or individuals associated with the campaign might have had a role in the disclosures about the sexual harassment allegations.
There’s one other thing about this that bothers me, and that is the disappearance of Peter’s campaign PR guy Alex Roth from social media since election day. It’s just plain weird for a campaign spokesperson to vanish on November 4th. Maybe he’s just on vacation or has a personal emergency. (And I’ll update this if I learn more) UPDATE: He’s alive! See 11/11 column.
A couple of final notes:
While these latest developments raise questions, they are not, as far as I can tell conclusive. The DeMaio campaign told the police about mystery emails going back as early as the first week in May. This doesn’t explain the infamous “fat shaming” email alleged to have sent by the candidate in January.
Let us not forget about Carl DeMaio; his abrasive personal behavior was no secret in local political circles And his ideological heritage–all campaign rhetoric aside– is clearly associated with a reactionary vision for this country.
Business as Usual at Belmont Park?
City Councilwoman Lori Zapf along with volunteers are, according the 10News, passing petitions around intended to show public support for $6 million dollars in taxpayer dollars for restoration of the Plunge pool at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. This subsidy would take the form of rent credits to Pacifica, a local developer and current leaseholder of the park’s commercial buildings
“It’s one of the most important venues in all of San Diego. It’s a top tourist attraction, but also for the locals,” said San Diego City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf.
She and volunteers collected signatures to show support for what is called the Neighborhood Plan, which would inject nearly $6 million to restore the indoor salt water pool. It was built in 1925, and closed in 2011.
“It’s important for me because I have a small business, and I love that I have a place I can tell people to go to that’s safe,” said restaurant owner Sarah Mattinson.
What’s missing from this story are the concerns raised by City Councilman Ed Harris two months ago when the subject originally came before the city council.
When the matter finally came to Council on September 22, I had real concerns: The projected revenues; the insistence on a 55-year lease; and the lack of accountability to the City to maintain the property over time. Furthermore, the lease numbers I had been provided kept changing: The total amount of square footage; the total revenue Pacifica had already invested into the property; and the amount of revenue the City would realize.
The proposed new lease also called for valet parking at Belmont Park. Since when do we encourage paid parking at the beach? That’s a slippery slope that will undermine the character of our beach communities, and the ability for residents of all income levels to enjoy access to the public seashore.
At the Council hearing when I asked how this was a good deal for the City, I never received a good explanation. It’s my job on the Council to hold our private sector partners and myself accountable for the good of San Diego’s taxpayers.
The City Council has a closed meeting today (Nov 10) to talk about extending the developer’s lease to 40 years. There is no word on the other issues raised by Councilman Harris. The City of San Diego gave millions of dollars in rent credits over the past 26 years to previous park operators for the purpose of maintaining the facility. Harris says that maintenance did not occur.
Perhaps there have been significant updates to the original proposal. More likely it’s more business as usual.
Bad California Climate News: More Smog
With the “I am not a scientist” Republicans in charge in Congress, we can expect a continuous stream of fake news and views about the environment to be given “balanced coverage” by the Sunday morning talk shows.
Here’s a bit of Real News from the Los Angeles Times:
Heat and extreme drought have worsened smog in California over the last year, stalling decades of progress toward cleaner air and increasing health risks.
The state’s prolonged dry spells have brought more temperature inversions, with a layer of warmer air trapping cooler air below, concentrating pollution near the ground. Mother Nature could clear away much of the bad air with rain or wind, but high-pressure systems have resulted in fewer storms, less circulation and unusually stagnant conditions.
“There’s a steady trend of air quality getting better, but layered on top of that is the meteorology, which is a crazy, up-and-down thing that is very hard to predict,” said Anthony Wexler, director of the Air Quality Research Center at UC Davis.
— ClimateCentral (@ClimateCentral) November 9, 2014
Issa’s Staff Gets Punk’d on Twitter
From Don Bauder at the Reader:
According to Americablog and thedailybanter.com, somebody on Issa’s staff had the idea of having people send in photos of relatives who fought in America’s wars in honor of Veterans Day.
It was an invitation to wise guys.
Some photos who showed up: Heinrich Himmler, one of the most powerful members of the Nazi Party and greatly responsible for the Holocaust; Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of John F. Kennedy; Lt. William Calley, who ordered the My Lai massacre in Vietnam; and Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the building in Oklahoma City.
Issa’s staff has deleted the offending re-tweets, but they live on, thanks to the Sunlight Foundation’s ‘Politwoops’ tool.
On This Day: 1933– A sit-down strike began at the Austin, Minn., Hormel plant with the help of a Wobbly organizer, leading to the creation of the Independent Union of All Workers. Labor historians believe this may have been the first sit-down strike of the 1930s. Workers held the plant for three days, demanding a wage increase. Some 400 men crashed through the plant entrance and chased out nonunion workers. One group rushed through the doors of a conference room where Jay Hormel and five company executives were meeting and declared: “We’re taking possession. So move out.” Within four days the company agreed to binding arbitration 1954 – The Iwo Jima Memorial was dedicated in Arlington, VA. 1978 – The Clash’s second album “Give ‘Em Enough Rope,” was released in England. The album would be their first U.S. release.
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