By Miriam Raftery
Mike Thaller also contributed to this report
Updated February 25
February 23, 2010 (San Diego) San Diego County Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric has told East County Magazine writer Mike Thaller that he did not send a “vile” e-mail harshly critical of Mason Weaver, one of three Republicans in the 53rd Congressional District primary race. An email bearing the return address firstname.lastname@example.org was sent to local media yesterday urging an investigation into Weaver. Krvaric said he called authorities to ask if laws were broken.
An email service check of the e-mail's IPN (172.17.0.95) seems to confirm Krvaric’s contention. It returns a message stating the email address is invalid and suggests messages received from the address were likely 'spoofed' and and actually from someone else.”
The e-mail accused Weaver of “slandering and lying about his opponents,” as well as “playing the race card as a black man” and more. The e-mail also accused Weaver, an author, of being uneducated (despite a college education) and said his four books are “littered with typos and poor grammar…”
Ironically, the apparently bogus e-mail itself contained several misspellings, grammatical errors, a capitalization error, pronoun misuse, and incorrect use of the past tense. For example, the e-mail misspells “punish” as “punsih” and contains the phrase “He cannot even educated himself.”
The e-mail observes that “it’s humorous to see politics getting this dirty for a campaign against Susan Davis, when everyone knows that Susan will be re-elected.”
Davis, a Democratic incumbent has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for her reelection campaign so far. By contrast, the three Republicans squaring off in the June primary have raised minimal amounts, according to their just-filed campaign finance reports: Michael Crimmins and Three Republican challengers raised money: Matt Friedman of San Diego, $11,400; C. Mason Weaver of San Diego, $10,100; and Michael Crimmins of San Diego, $18,700.
Crimmins has, himself, been the target of scandal. The San Diego Republican Central Committee, by a 44-1 vote, recently voted to oust him off the committee for allegedly making racist remarks. Crimmins has also suspected of being behind an anonymous email campaign that sought to discredit both Krvaric and California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring.
Crimmins has denied those charges. "None were proven," he said, adding that charges were "fabricated to cover up both Nehring and Krvaric's behaviors when they found out the Sac Bee was coming out with a story about alleged abuse of a former girlfriend of Nehring." The Sacramento Bee report indicated the woman had photos and text messages, also claiming Krvaric pressured her employer to dismiss her. However the Bee did not publish documentation to substantiate the anonymous charges. Crmmins noted that 10 to 12 Central Committee members in the room did not participate in the vote to oust him "for fear of reprisals against them for opposing Tony Krvaric."
Kravric’s own ethics and tactics have been called into question in the past on other issues (http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/mutiny_at_the_gop; http://www.rawstory.com/news/2008/San_Diego_GOP_chairman_cofounded_inter... http://www.rawstory.com/news/2008/San_Diego_GOP_chairman_Part_2_0430.html). However it appears in this case, he has likely been the victim of a hoax.
If Krvaric didn’t send the email smearing Weaver, who did?
Crimmins or Friedman would potentially stand to gain by seeing Weaver discredited, and Crimmins is said to hold a grudge against Krvaric over his ouster from the Central Committee.
But in a Feb. 25 e-mail to ECM, Crimmins denied sending the messages tarring Weaver. "As a retired Marine Corps officer, the one thing I value is my integrity," he wrote. "I do not participate in whispering campaigns." He added that there is "plenty of other stuff out thre in the public domain about Mason Weaver for him to be discredited."
Crimmins said he does not believe Krvaric sent the e-mails. "A hoax? Probably. Tony Krvaric has a host of enemies, for sure," he observed. He insisted he has no "ax to grind" but does want to hold his party's leadership accountable to follow its rules and bylaws. "Kravic has failed and been compromised in his position as chairman," he suggested, calling Krvaric's leadership style "thugocracy" akin to "Chicago-style politics" in the San Diego Republican Party.
While Democrats could potentially benefit from having Republicans appear to discredit each other, party insiders have informed ECM that they knew nothing about the e-mails. Nor does it seem likely that Democrats would resort to such a risky ploy in a race that the incumbent Democrat appears likely to win handily, particularly with more hotly contested Congressional races elsewhere in the County.
“Unfortunately, in the brave new world of the internet, it's easy to hide behind anonymous email addresses and even impersonate other persons,” Krvaric wrote in a blog post on the San Diego Republican Party website. “As far as the Republican Party of San Diego County goes or myself as chairman, unless a post appears on, or an email arrives from SanDiegoRepublicans.org, it's not a legitimate email.”
Krvaric applauded ECM for checking out the e-mails and concluded, "Keep up the good work."