Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this



By Miriam Raftery

August 17, 2017 (La Mesa, California)—La Mesa Councilmember and Vice Mayor Kristine C. Alessio has quit the Republican Party over the party’s failure to take a stand against racism.

“I’m out of the Republican Party,” Alessio announced on her Facebook page yesterday. “I’ll never be pro choice, never be against the second amendment, but I cannot stand with anyone who will not say no to racism and prejudice. Count me as decline to state and in favor of liberty.”

 Her action comes on the heels of President Donald Trump claiming there are “good people”  on “both sides” in the Charlottesville, Virginia tragedy, where a white supremacist rally included leaders carrying Nazi flags, torches and Ku Klux Klan symbols.   A Nazi sympathizer at the rally rammed a car into a crowd of protesters, killing a young woman and injuring 19 others.

Trump took two days before denouncing Nazis and the clan by name, but one day later, backtracked on those statements and doubled down on his insistance that "both sides" were equally at fault. While some prominent officials in both parties have spoken out against Trump's remarks, as have the leaders of all four military branches, there has been no official censure or other action from the Republican led-Congress or the Republican National  Committee (RNC). 

Alessio further stated in her Facebook comments that  anyone with “true conservative beliefs should be willing to call him out…yet most just sit there, ignoring him, hoping some policy of his will somehow fit with their beliefs. He’s abased Republican leaders with insults and threats, insulted them, insulted their wives,” adding, “this is not in any way, shape or form a person who should be protected by the Republican party.”

In her resignation letter as an alternate to the Republican Central Committee, she cited events in recent days and the party’s “inability or unwillingness to squarely denounce President Trump for his divisive comments which have been widely condemned by every true conservative mind, from Bill Kristol to Charles Krauthammer.  It is impossible to see our party as the party of Lincoln or Reagan, a truly conservative party. I cannot with clear conscious continue to be a registered Republican.”  She added that she will  “not be associated with a party that has descended to defending tribalism, divisiveness and profound indecency.”

In an interview on San Diego Rostra, a libertarian and conservative leaning site,  Alessio  indicated she is considering running for Supervisor, but only if retiring Supervisor Dianne Jacob gives her endorsement for the race in 2020. Alessio added that she might return to the Republican party if it “ever returns to sanity.”  There is precedent for that; Randy Voepel left the Republican Party while serving as Mayor of Santee to join a more conservative minor party, but later rejoined the GOP and was successfully elected to the state Assembly, where he currently serves.

Alessio, who has self funded her campaigns in the past, says she will continue to support qualified candidates including both Republicans and Democrats. She recently drew fire from party leaders for crossing the aisle to endorse Jay Steiger, a Democrat, to fill a vacancy on the La Mesa Spring Valley School District Board.  (The board chose a church employee instead, despite Steiger’s many years of service in the district including on bond oversight commissions and as a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) president.)

La Mesa Councilman Colin Parent, a Democrat, posted on Facebook, “Proud of my council colleague Kristine C. Alessio for leaving the GOP to protest Trump’s failure to `say no to racism and prejudice.’ She is not alone. I’ve heard the same sentiment from many old friends in East County, and La Mesa. She is representing well the views of the La Mesa and the region by denouncing hate.”

But in a blistering post on San Diego Rostra, Brian Brady slammed Alessio’s action as “Kabuki theater” to position herself for a possible Supervisorial run.  “This isn’t `courage,’  it’s a political stunt,” he wrote.

 La Mesa politicians have a long history of independence that hasn’t hurt them in this city, though it’s unclear what impact their actions might have had on any higher office aspirations.

La Mesa Councilman David Allan left the Republican Party to join the Democratic Party in 2008 and won reelection later that year.  He made the shift when George W. Bush was president and explained his shift this way: “I represent everybody. I don’t agree with everything on either side. But we forgot about the working person,” said Allan, a former union firefighter.  “I’m going to do what’s right.”

Long-serving former La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, who held office in La Mesa for a quarter of a century, was known to cross the political aisle.  A Republican,  Madrid most notably ired GOP party officials and defied party rules when he endorsed New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a Democrat, in the 2008 presidential primary. He won reelection that same year and again in 2012. 

Current La Mesa Councilman Bill Baber, also a Republican, told the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2016 during the GOP primary season, “I do not believe Donald Trump is fit to be president. He does not have the experience or character to handle the office.”  Baber confirmed to East County Magazine today that he still holds this opinion. "Kristine Alessio is of a higher character, and more qualified, than our current President."



Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.



Members of my family fled Germany and moved to Columbia to begin a new life and start a business. Due to the unstable political climate there my aunt brought emerald and gold jewelry and rolls of 100 dollar bills to the US. She was fatigued and a little drunk when I met her at Lindbergh Field at ten PM. She unbuttoned her coat and her vest was covered with jewels!

Link Back Would Provide Context

I wish you had linked back to the SDRostra post I wrote because it would show context for my comments. I admire Kristine for her principled opposition to the President; on that she hasn't wavered (I have vacillated). The context of my post was that this event was a convenient excuse to do what she said she would do two weeks ago. In fact, I wrote the post two weeks ago and kept it in DRAFT mode because I knew she was leaving the GOP. This move was political too. Kristine is running for Supervisor in 2020 and the SDGOP will probably endorse Joel Anderson (as it did in the last election when he considered challenging Jacob). I also said (in the post) that is may be a smart move too. Context matters, Miriam and a link back would have provided that. That's why I deep link everything I write

Links added, Brian.

Odd, I had links to several storise in my draft that must've disappeared when I ran this through a deformatting program due to a few spacing issues.  They're now restored.

Thank you

That can happen if you're a journalist/blogger and not an IT guru. It happens to me a lot. I appreciate the correction. I think it puts my comments into perspective

So Inspired?

You were so inspired by Trumps comments that you posted anonymously? Why is it that all these supporters of hate almost always stand up for what they purport to believe in so strongly anonymously or behind a Troll pseudo-name? Your claimed convictions are rendered completely barren when you hide, expecting others to respect and believe what you yourself are unwilling to stand up for by not putting your name to it! Most important, show your willing to be true to yourself and have the courage to put your name on the line for what you believe in.

Support for Trump’s statement by notable leaders

We know East County Magazine will NOT report the other side of the story, but will only report the liberal spin for anything anti-GOP or anti-conservative, so it is up to the populace to provide more balanced information. If nothing else, see the first video from Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Support for Trump’s statement by notable leaders: - Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr • • “I listened to all the President’s remarks, and I was inspired.” • “The President is leading us to sanity.” • “He was right!” • - Day Gardner, President, National Black Pro-Life Union –

The King quote

was before Trump backpedalled away from a strong statement denouncing the hate groups and he went back to blaming both sides and worse, saying there wree "good people" in both groups.   To me, if you join a march led by people carrying Nazi swastika signs and torches, you're not a good person. Any good person should not be part of such a group.

This is personal to me,  as my great-grandparents were killed by Nazis in the German concentration camps.

Condemning Nazis should not be a partisan issue.   Every decent person should condemn Nazis, condemn the death at the hands of a Nazi sympathizer in Charlottesville, and denounce the president for suggesting that it's okay to participate in a march with Nazis and KKK racial hatemongers.



A Historical Rerun

Like a fissile atom, today's Republican Party is unstable. Trump, it seems, plays the part of the slow Neutron, striking the unstable nucleus of the GOP, causing the reaction that splits it. Here we see La Mesa's part in the national split along the racist - anti-racist axis. This is the same battle the Democratic Party fought at their 1948 convention, where they ejected the Dixiecrats.