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DeMaio Warns Stations To Stop Running Negative Ad

Evening Edition

Above: Katie Orr, KPBS metro reporter, talks about a new TV ad against Carl DeMaio.

— City Councilman and leading San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio is striking out against a political ad he calls libelous.

The ad features the voice of Michelle Bennett, widow of San Diego Police Officer Terry Bennett, who was killed in the line of duty. Text in the ad says DeMaio voted to deny benefits to widows and orphans of fallen officers.

Aired 6/1/12 on KPBS News.

Leading San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio is striking out against a political ad he calls libelous. But the group behind the ad is standing by it.

DeMaio’s attorney has sent cease and desist letters to several San Diego TV stations warning them to stop airing the ad or risk a libel and slander lawsuit.

Brian Marvel is the president of the San Diego Police Officers Association, which paid for the ad.

“I’m a little bit shocked by the tone of the letter. I really felt that he was being a bully and he’s bullying the stations into taking the ad down,” he said. “We stand by the content that he voted against those benefits.”

Marvel said all of the stations are continuing to run the ad. POA's attorney sent the stations a letter advising them to keep running the spot. The widow featured in the ad issued a statement reaffirming her part in the ad.

DeMaio did vote against legislation at the July 27, 2011 City Council meeting that modified San Diego’s agreement with the Police Officers Association. The issue came up about 40 minutes into the meeting. Part of the legislation called for increasing, but not denying, survivor benefits. Article 67 of Item S400 on the meeting's agenda reads:

"LINE OF DUTY DEATH

The City will pay for the reasonable burial and interment expenses for the family of any officer killed in the line of duty, not to exceed $5,000. The City will also provide an additional $5,000 to an officer’s family to use at their discretion. The City will pay for the highest cost HMO health plan for the surviving spouse and eligible dependents of any officer killed in the line of duty by external violence or physical force, or as a result of an accident or injury caused by external violence or physical force and suffered in the line of duty."

The language in bold represents the increase in benefits.

DeMaio said he would have supported the increase in benefits if he could have voted on it separately. He pointed out he wrote a similar benefit into Proposition B, the pension reform measure on Tuesday’s ballot.

DeMaio said the ad represents a new low in the campaign.

“As someone who lost my own mother as a young child, I understand how important these benefits are,” he said. “And it’s just so offensive that the labor union would misrepresent who I am in this campaign.”

DeMaio said he believes the union waited until the last minute to run the ad so he wouldn’t have time to respond. The POA said it took time to raise the money needed to pay for it.

According to www.broadcastlawblog.com, the Federal Communication Commission gives stations a lot of leeway when it comes to political ads. Terry Francke is an attorney with CalAware, an open government advocacy group. He said as a public figure, DeMaio would have a high standard to meet to prove the stations are liable.

“(That) the defendant knew that the statement was essentially a lie, or had strong serious doubts about its truthfulness,” Francke said.

DeMaio said he went after the stations so aggressively in an attempt to keep the ad from getting out because he doesn’t have time to respond. He said if the stations continue to air it, so be it.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Hardcover'

Hardcover | June 1, 2012 at 5:18 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Is Terry Bennett the officer whose funeral DeMaio was texting during, where he left early and dropped his program on the floor? If it is, I can see why his widow would be upset.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 1, 2012 at 5:39 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Bullying. Lawsuits. Threats. Intimidation.

Welcome to the world of a DeMaio-run city hall should the citizens of San Diego be unfortunate enough to have him for mayor.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 1, 2012 at 5:42 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if Mr. DeMaio unleashed his lawyers on the *LGBT Weekly* for exposing his lover as a felon?

http://lgbtweekly.com/2012/05/17/tweets-ignite-questions-about-checkered-past-of-demaios-life-partner/

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | June 2, 2012 at 8:04 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Don't pitch a fit Carl, no one pays any attention to all the bogus political ads up to an election , ( theirs or yours) the voters are not as dumb as you hope they are.

( the ads are actually and insult to the voters, in that the politicians think the voters will be influenced by this b.s.)

It does demonstrate how dumb the candidates are to pay money for stupid ads. although , the ad companies are the only ones that benefit from the profits.

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | June 2, 2012 at 5:12 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

@MMikey. Studies show the sad fact is negative ads work. Campaign chiefs are pros, or hire pros, who wouldn't use them if they didn't work--they use ANYTHING that works. Voters as a group are influenced by the ads--as a group voters are uninfvormed and not too smart. Something like half of registered Republicans believe Obama was born in Kenya, is a Muslim, is not a citizen--or all three. Someone famously said "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average American." Another sad fact is that 94% of the time, the candidate who spends most, wins.

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | June 4, 2012 at 7:19 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Len

NO doubt you are correct, but its a sad commentary on the voters
lassitude.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 4, 2012 at 9:12 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Not to worry. CDM will always have free air time on KOGO's La Dona Harpyshow.

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Avatar for user 'wakeupsd'

wakeupsd | June 4, 2012 at 3:13 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

To Hardcover: DeMaio may have been texting during Terry Bennett's funeral too, but we saw him texting during Officer Jeremy Henwood's funeral and we saw him leave early and throw the program on the ground. When everyone else was clearly moved he was very disrespectful at such a tragic time. Are his multi-millions going to continue to give him the loudest voice?? It sure looks that way.

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Avatar for user 'JohnL'

JohnL | June 4, 2012 at 5:53 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

What no one seems to talk about is that we have 3 anti-gay conservatives running in a city with a huge gay and minority population and 2 are gay? Does this even make any sense?How can they represent SD?

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Avatar for user 'no_soup_for_you'

no_soup_for_you | June 4, 2012 at 6:37 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Is this how DeMaio is going to handle difficult situations as Mayor? Whine and pout and lawyer up against anyone he doesn't agree with? Oh, poor baby. Poor little crybaby. No thanks, I already voted and the bubble in front of Carl DeMaio's name was not filled in. With all the problems at city hall the last thing we need is a big cry baby taking over.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 5, 2012 at 9:56 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Sorry Mmikey, but unfortunately the majority of the population can be herded about in such a manner quite easily. Appeal to peoples emotions, without logic, and you control them.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 5, 2012 at 10:01 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

JohnL a gay person does not represent the majority of the population in San Diego, nor, by definition, does a minority. What you might mean is how can a candidate represent the minorities (gay, racial minorities etc) but the way democracy works is that elected officials represent the majority of voters, not the minority.

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Avatar for user 'topbuck1'

topbuck1 | June 5, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Honestly I could care less who runs San Diego or California for that matters. They are ALL corrupt crooks in this state. So cal has been given back to mexico its now called northern mexico, just take a look around. Thats why im leaving this hell hole of a state, ive lived here my whole life. Its full of a bunch of liberal, entitlement leaching, illegals and personally I dont care to be here anymore...IT SUCKS HERE!!!!!

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 6, 2012 at 1:25 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

JOHN L claims:

"What no one seems to talk about is that we have 3 anti-gay conservatives running in a city with a huge gay and minority population and 2 are gay? Does this even make any sense?How can they represent SD?"

Where are they?

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | June 7, 2012 at 11:42 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

TB1,

Moving away from a beautiful place like San Diego because of ethnic preferences makes as much sense as voting against your own economic self-interests for the same reason. Oh, wait a minute ....

Send postcards from Idaho. Don't be a stranger.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 7, 2012 at 7:50 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

DeLaRick - - I say if people are too racist to live in diverse communities, let them go!! We are much better without them here!!!! :)

With that said, a DeMaio mayoral win might give them hopes to stay.

DeMaio is actually pretty similar to Wisconsin's Scott Walker if you look at their policies, and DeMaio (backed by his cronies like Manchester) will do everything they can to create a "Wisconsin of the West".

And, of course, an added "bonus" of a DeMaio win is that DeMaio's partner can vindictively troll around the bars in Hillcrest and threaten anyone he doesn't like with the wrath of city hall (I've heard he's already doing this, getting messy drunk in public and then making veiled threats involving his lover's potential win implying he will have direct power to retaliate against personal foes that have nothing to do with city business).

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 7, 2012 at 8:01 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

By the way, is KPBS covering the **Kreep** v **Peed** race?

I left it blank on the ballot and had never heard of these two until Rachel Maddow reported on it today :

http://video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/birther-kreep-or-peed-into-the-win/17yl5kolu

If I had known Mr. **Kreep** was a right wing birther with ties to Orly Taitz, I most certainly would have voted for **Peed** because we certainly don't need a **Kreep** on the bench when we could have **Peed** on the bench.

Take that, KPBS, you tell me I can't call DeMaio dirty, but in the case of the hotly contested **Peed** v **Kreep** race, I'm only using their actual names ;)

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 7, 2012 at 8:39 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Either that or Mr. Peed and Mr. Kreep aren't in my district?

I don't know I just left the judge section blank because I didn't know about any of them.

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Avatar for user 'Tammy Carpowich'

Tammy Carpowich, KPBS Staff | June 8, 2012 at 2:15 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

This made me laugh out loud:

"Take that, KPBS, you tell me I can't call DeMaio dirty, but in the case of the hotly contested Peed v Kreep race, I'm only using their actual names ;)"

Thanks, Peking_Duck_SD, for starting my weekend off right.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 8, 2012 at 8:01 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Tammy,

I'm happy I could start your weekend off on a good note :)

~PD

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