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By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2016 (El Cajon) — After having 62 campaign signs stolen or defaced, El Cajon City Council candidate Ben Kalasho set up “bait signs” with hidden surveillance cameras.  Two thieves were quickly caught on tape and police were notified.

One day later, Kalasho posted on Facebook, “Catching criminals is way too easy.”  He published Facebook posts by multiple people discussing the crimes online.

In a discussion thread about Kalasho’s signs, one person wrote, “One very large sign has been taken down, and wil not be placed back, ever.” Another asked for “help” to vandalize or steal a Kalasho banner.

Kalasho believes he’s become the target of Middle Eastern residents who oppose his stance on limiting the influx of refugees into El Cajon due to economic uncertainty in a city with high poverty and unemployment rates. Kalasho says he has also received death threats.  Ironically, Kalasho is Chaldean, of Iraqi Christian descent; he is President and Founder of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce.

He defends his stand on limiting immigrants (a federal issue), stating, “We all have to be American first and look out for the well being of our residents before accepting anyone else into our city.”

This is Kalasho’s second run for the Council.  Last election, he lost by only about 400 votes.  This time, he is one of 10 candidates running for three seats.

The incident has sparked discussion online, with some siding with Kalasho and others against at a time when some have been lobbying federal leaders to allow more Christian and Muslim refugees fleeing war in the Middle East to come to the U.S.

“Damn, the hate is real,” one resident observed.

Another wrote,” Does it concern you at all that the people you aspire to represent have these opinions? Are you seeking retribution or try to serve the people?”

Kalasho replied, “I do not aspire to represent one ethnicity, minority or race. I am running to serve everyone in El Cajon. So, the short answer is No, I am not concerned with a dozen terrorists.”



There are many problems with those refugees and the people harassing Ben Kalasho's signs is just a taste. Even when German news interview the refugees they talk about it as an invasion. We must be cautious when dealing with them and not let antimidation and thug-like actions get the best of San Diego and it's neighboring towns.

Stay Strong El Cajon

Love to live in a city with great diversity that lives in relative peace. I do not fear walking the streets, I do not think we hate each other as what others seem to think. May not be San Diego's richer or more affluent cities and we may not agree 100% of the time. I sense no true hate as I walk the streets of El Cajon. I greet those with gratitude and friendliness when it is appropiate. I love living in El Cajon despite all it's faults. Why harbor hate it does seem to be the hidden agenda with this politician. Why else would he single out a particular ethnicity? It is our job as Americans to help those immigrating here to assimilate. Isn't that a core belief of being American, To welcome immigrants? Help me out if I am wrong or a different perspective. Thank you!!

Be smarter El Cajon

Xx SpeOpsSniper You're in LaLa land if you think you can walk thru El Cajon safe and sound. Clearly you have not checked the crime stats at the El Cajon Police Department. You are either hiding behind a false identity and commenting here or you don't actually live in the city. El Cajon has one of the highest crime rates per capita in Southern California. FACT. Another thing, he is not singling out any minority or ethnicity. In fact, he is the one being singled out. Here is a direct quote of his reasons for his position. “We all have to be American first and look out for the well being of our residents before accepting anyone else into our city.” “We all have to be American first and look out for the well being of our residents before accepting anyone else into our city.”

You just negated yourself

You just negated yourself from any further productive commentary. Clearly a near sighted, Idiot. I can not debate a topic with whom displays not one thread of intelligence. GOOD DAY SIR.

I see that we have resulted

I see that we have resulted to name-calling. I love my city and America too much to stoop to your level.

Ben Kalasho being silenced by ignorant refugee sympathizers

I am glad I am the first one to comment before it gets taken over by rambling chaldeans who oppose of Ben's plans taking care of El Cajonians as a WHOLE. Chaldeans are entitled whiny system cheats. Sure, not all of them but be assured that the ones who will comment after my post are. They all live in Rancho San Diego and don't vote or care about the city of El Cajon. Ben's 5 plans address everyone and not just certain groups. He has done great things in his organizations. What have the Chaldeans given us? Card Rooms? Arabic Writing in Downtown El Cajon? Stolen free lunches at schools? Drying out our welfare system, no thanks. It will take someone like Kalasho who upholds American values and to set this population straight. The Reader Article he was in hit the nail right on the head: Ben is redefining what it means to be Chaldean, we "white" people see that. We support Ben 100% through his campaign and the more we see and read about sign theft or underhanded attempts at his campaign the more we support him. See, that's something Chaldeans and other Middle Easterners just don't get. We see through dirty politics, we respect our democratic process. We'd rather have ONE Ben Kalasho then 100 freeloading, petty refugee sympathizers. Ben gets it, he will do great things. Now, let's see how many idiots write negative things.....