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By Buck Shott

October 25, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- The mud is flying as the clock ticks down to the November 4th election.  Here are some of the latest juicy stories, scandals and mud-slinging tactics on the campaign trail in San Diego and East County.

PARTY ANIMAL:  Congress Duncan Hunter was voted the biggest “party animal” in the House by Congressional staffers, a dubious distinction reported by Washingtonian Magazine.

SEAL OF DISAPPROVAL: Hunter’s opponent, former Navy Corpsman James Kimber, has a blight in his own past; UT San Diego reported that after a back injury ended his Navy Seal training, Kimber wore a Seal trident some 20 years ago, a blunder for which he has apologized.

SNEAK ATTACK IN LA MESA:  La Mesa Council candidate Guy McWhirter has admitted that he paid a PAC to publish hit-piece mailers attacking his opponent, Mary England, instead of putting his own name on the flyers because he doesn’t like “negative politics” yet wanted to draw a clear distinction between himself and his opponent.  The latest flyer is filled with innuendos and misleading material. It appears McWhirter succeeded in drawing a distinction—at least when it comes to ethics and transparency!

MAYORAL MUD-SLINGING:  La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid sent a mailer titled “The Real Dr. A” to disparage his opponent, Councilman Mark Arapostathis.  Dr. A calls the flyer “untrue” and “intended to deceive.  Read details on the allegations and Arapostathis’ rebuttal here.  With a quarter century of experience at the helm, why didn’t Madrid just run on his record?

ALPINE ASSAULT:  Public Safety PAC, the same shadowy group that funded a hit piece on La Mesa’s Mary England, also paid for a mailer to attack Alpine Union High School Board candidate Lou Russo.  Russo, like England, actually has support from law enforcement. The PAC got big bucks from diamond dealer Charles Kaderabek—who perhaps not coincidentally was discredited by Russo when Kaderabek sought appointment to Alpine’s Planning Group.  After his string of tax liens, delinquencies and a lapsed law license  revealed Kaderabek was not a jewel of a candidate, he withdrew his application.  Revenge politics in play? You decide.

DEMAIO AND ACCUSER CLEARED OF CHARGES:  In one of the tawdrier news stories this campaign season, an aide accused Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio of sexual harassment; DeMaio’s campaign in turn blamed a campaign office break-in on the aide.  Now District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has announced her office will not file charges against either DeMaio or his aide, UT San Diego reports.






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An unfortunate but seemingly

An unfortunate but seemingly unavoidable element in political campaigns. Question: If it's true, is it "mudslinging?"

Good question...

There is a distinction between negative campaigning that's at least accurate and hit pieces that are false or misleading on some or all points. We've seem all of these in East County races in recent weeks. Personally I much prefer candidates to focus on their own strengths as much as possible.