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Gary Kreep Says His ‘Birther’ Positions Do Not Relate To Being A Judge

Evening Edition

Gary Kreep,who appears to have won the race for a San Diego County Superior Court Judge seat, talks to KPBS.

Aired 6/20/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Former San Diego County District Attorney Paul Pfingst

Carl Luna, Professor of political science, Mesa College


Gary Kreep, who appears to have won the race for a San Diego County Superior Court Judge seat, caught national attention recently for his belief that President Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake.

After Obama's inauguration, Kreep took on a so-called "birther" lawsuit demanding proof of Obama's birth certificate. He is also currently suing the California Secretary of State, demanding she verify citizenship of all candidates before they appear on the November ballot.

But Kreep did not include this information in his description on the sample ballot. He told KPBS' "Evening Edition" the information wasn't relevant.

"What's that got to do with being a judge?" he asked.

He called the San Diego County Bar Association "bigoted" and said his stance on other issues led the association to state he is "lacking qualifications" to be a judge.

"They did it on the basis that you can't be pro-life and you can't oppose same-sex marriage and be a judge, that's what they told me," Kreep said. "That's a religiously bigoted statement, which will be further investigated by me, and I'm going to move forward on that because that is discrimination."

Kreep said he was going to take action against the bar association.

He added that he did not think including his stance on Obama's citizenship in the sample ballot would have affected the election because supporters of his opponent, Garland Peed, sent out emails detailing Kreep's positions.

"So obviously it must not have had too much of an impact," he said.

U-T San Diego and the alternative weekly San Diego CityBeat covered Kreep and his positions before the election.

Although there was snickering about the two names in the race, Kreep and Peed, Kreep said he did not think names had any impact. He said voters do not randomly choose candidates based on their names.

"That type of thought is exemplified by people like Rachel Maddow and that OB Rag or whatever it is that said today my election is the reason why people shouldn't be allowed to vote for judges," he said. "The liberal elitist establishment believes that the common people are too stupid to make the decisions, that's why they want to have people like Mr. Obama in the White House who rules by executive decree and executive order rather than dealing with the legislative process."

Kreep said he is merely asking President Obama to do what every other president has been required to do: prove he's a citizen.

Kreep said earlier this year, the governor of Hawaii announced he was going to produce Obama's birth certificate.

"To prove to everybody, to get rid of all those crazy birthers," Kreep said. "Then he announced that he didn't have it. All of a sudden, three months later, the state of Hawaii has it!"

Kreep said he was told his judge seat would handle family law cases, but "I've also been told by people inside that I'm going to be punished for daring to take on the favorite golden boy of certain leaders in the judicial branch of the government."

The "golden boy" Kreep referred to was his opponent, Garland Peed.

Kreep said he was told he will be punished, which means handling small claims and traffic court.

"If that's what I'm assigned, I'll do the very best job I can," he said.

Evening Edition

Former San Diego County District Attorney Paul Pfingst and Carl Luna, professor of political science at Mesa College, talk to KPBS about judicial elections.

Evening Edition

Gary George Kreep, a candidate for San Diego County Superior Court Judge, talks to KPBS.

Correction: An earlier version of the story stated only San Diego CityBeat covered Kreep before the election. U-T San Diego also did a story. The error has been corrected.

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Avatar for user 'suzieQ'

suzieQ | June 20, 2012 at 12:38 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't get it. Didn't people look into Mr Kreep's background before going to the Polls? Google him, People!

People get so concerned that judges have unacceptable personal opinions and that judges' personal opinions determine their legal rulings--and then people turn around and vote for someone without getting information about his public personal opinions?

Or, maybe other people, in deciding numbers, believe Obama was not born in this country? Maybe others believe the earth is flat and the moon is made of green cheese--or maybe they just didn't bother to look into the information available to them for making a sound decision.

Look for some of his other views. You may love his views about women and their medical rights and their proper place in our society.

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Avatar for user 'DonInHillcrest'

DonInHillcrest | June 20, 2012 at 1:12 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

It's clear that KPBS and other news media failed to do their job on this prior to the election. Even minimal research on their part would have brought to light Mr. Kreep's far-right views. How do I know this? Please read on:

Over the years, Bryan Wildenthal, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, has circulated to his friends an email with his judicial recommendations. Please read this excerpt from Bryan Wildenthal's email sent on 5/8/2012:

"Superior Court Judge - Office 34

There are only two candidates for this seat, both with rather strange
names: Gary Kreep and Garland Peed.

Mr. Peed is a Deputy DA (yet another one!!) with the same type of
narrow criminal prosecution experience that generally makes we yawn
(yet again) with irritated familiarity. On paper, Peed appears fully
qualified, though probably more conservative than would be my taste.
He is endorsed by current Sheriff Gore and former Sheriff Kolender,
and numerous law enforcement associations, though curiously not by his
own boss, DA Bonnie Dumanis (but neither has she endorsed his
opponent, who is a rightwing wacko, see below; QUESTION: is Peed so
lackluster that Dumanis won't even endorse him, one of her own
deputies, over a demonstrably wacko lunatic-fringe candidate???).

Peed is also endorsed by a range of leading Republican officeholders,
from moderate Mayor Jerry Sanders to rightwing Congressman Brian
Bilbray, and County Supervisors Ron Roberts and Greg Cox. On the other
hand, he is also endorsed by Democratic City Councilmember Tony Young,
and numerous local judges.

Mr. Kreep claims to be a "constitutional law attorney" but his ballot
statement is short on specifics about his professional background and
filled with red-flag rightwing "Tea Party" style rhetoric. The website
of the "United States Justice Foundation" which he heads ---
see ---
indicates, sure enough, that Mr. Kreep has numerous extreme-right
political affiliations. He appears to be a rightwing political gadfly
candidate, not a serious choice for Superior Court Judge.
Mmong other things, is supporting "birther" groups suing to remove
President Obama's name from the 2012 ballot on grounds he is not
legally qualified to be President. 'Nuff said!! See:

So the choice for Office 34 is clear: an apparently qualified (if
disappointingly prosecution-oriented) candidate, or a completely
unqualified and frighteningly rightwing extremist.

I am voting for Garland Peed for Office 34, though mainly just to stop
his dangerous and unqualified opponent. I don't think we have the
luxury of sitting this one out!"

-Don Skolnik

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 20, 2012 at 1:25 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Don and SuzieQ:

I agree with both of your posts, but unfortunately hindsight is 20/20.

I actually consider myself above the average voter in terms of researching candidates, but I had no clue about this one.

I recall a section for judges on my ballot, but don't recall these names, so not sure if I am not in their district or what. I do know that I left the judge section blank because I never simply mark names at random. If I am unaware of a particular field, I just leave it blank.

As far as the media, they tend to flow with the hype and the big ticket races which in this case was the mayoral race and the Prop 29 initiative (and even that only seemed to garner attention the week before the election).

Apparently, fom what I have read, the only place Mr. Kreep did not go under the radar was on far right wing blogs who were endorsing him to their mainly evangelical/birther readers.

I think many in the media and in the public became complacent hen the tea party tried to infiltrate the courts with several of their loony candidates a couple years ago and thy all failed.

Peope seemed to take that as evidence tht an extremist whackjob like Mr. Kreep would never win.

Well, he won.

All we can do now is learn fom this.

**I will absolutely scrutinize any and all judges from this point forward before voting.**

I hope the media will do the same.

In the meantime, San Diego gets to bask in the glow of yet one more draconian step backwards cementing our image to be world as the nation's largest Cow Town tht caters to bigots, extremists, and evangelical crazies.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 20, 2012 at 3:23 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Since when did the responsibility we have as voters to educate ourselves about the candidates presented fall upon KPBS?

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Avatar for user 'Joanne Faryon'

Joanne Faryon, KPBS Staff | June 20, 2012 at 7:38 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

I mistakenly said SD CityBeat was the only media outlet to write about Gary Kreep and his "birther" beliefs. The UT San Diego reported on Kreep and the other candidates in May. Here's the link
Sorry about that Greg Moran and Dana Littlefield!

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Avatar for user 'kjd92116'

kjd92116 | June 20, 2012 at 7:43 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Joanne blew it with guy. By chasing his delusional belief, she offered him the opportunity to continue his denial of fact by blaming others for his persistence of this delusion. The only question for this clown is why as a lawyer and now a judge, he does not understand the Constitution regarding "natural born citizens", nor any subsequent clarifications, nor legal precedent!

This guy is not qualified to hold office and, if there is a way to impeach him before he takes office, it should be done!

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Avatar for user 'Joanne Faryon'

Joanne Faryon, KPBS Staff | June 20, 2012 at 7:55 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Hi kjd9116,

watch last week's interview (3rd video on this page) where I didn't challenge him on birth certificate - had lots of comments that I should have. so....what's a host to do?

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Avatar for user 'kjd92116'

kjd92116 | June 20, 2012 at 9:06 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Joanne, thanks for pointing out the earlier interview. It didn't help as it was not so much that question or lack of it. The issue is that all of the birther's push the lack of a valid birth certificate, despite proof to the contrary, as if that is the determining factor. It is not. The President's mother was a natural born citizen" which makes him or anyone else one by definition. That is the question you did not ask. In your defense no other reporter has either. So, it is a free pass for these liars and the lies continue.

Also, he repeated lies about the President's family, with no comment from you, with the "he was born in Kinshasa" comment. Again, his mother was an American, so , who cares!.

BTW, it was Mitt's dad, George who was born in Mexico, but notice how he glossed over that. John McCain was born in Panama City, Panama, so by their definition, he's not a citizen either, but no law suit or quibble was initiated about his birth certificate by Kreep or any other birther during the 2008 campaign about him.

It is sad that someone this unqualified can get to this sort of public position. I'd like to believe that his "I'll follow the law and the Constitution comment was sincere, but his past activities with fringe groups and causes show him to be unfit. I really don't want this man on the bench, whatever the level. He is dangerous, delusional and unfit for his office.

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Avatar for user 'edwardtlp'

edwardtlp | June 21, 2012 at 8:29 a.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Really lame interview...The "host" first sets up the interviewee then dodges the answers!! She asks why he didn't put the birther information in his sample ballot statement, he responds asking why that matters...she doesn't have an answer or even a follow-up question!!
She says that, ' most people and most experts agree that Obama. is an American citizen.' First, that's yellow journalism because if you're going to quote statistics you say who you're quoting, not just "most experts" or "most people". Otherwise you're mudracking. Second, she's ignorant...The requirement is that one must be a "natural born citizen"...not merely a "citizen". That's a distinction of which she should be's key to the whole birther argument, for crying out loud, and she doesn't appear to have a clue. She's also "not qualified" to be a journalist...(KPBS doesn't need or want real journalist, in my experience.) Oh, well, she was probably just hired for her looks anyway. :)

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Avatar for user 'GeraldFnord'

GeraldFnord | June 21, 2012 at 8:42 a.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

It could be relevant:

As he believes that Obama were not legitimately the President, he might further claim that that meant that it were legal to ignore laws and treaties signed by him or to assist federal officers in executing executive orders issued by him.

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Avatar for user 'edwardtlp'

edwardtlp | June 21, 2012 at 8:54 a.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Hmmm...Gee, GeraldFnord, I really don't know how often interpreting a U.S. treaty (which would have to be independently ratified by the Senate) would come up in family law court, but my guess, is not very often.
In any case, now that he's been chosen by the people (e.g., conceptually, the same sort of democratic process that made Obama president) we all need to take a deep breath and wait and see how he actually does as a judge. Let's see what comes out before attacking him for just being honest in his beliefs.
It also wouldn't hurt if maybe, just maybe, someone connected to the "media" would also do comprehensive reporting on _all_ the other judges that up for election, whether or not those judges names appear on the ballot...after all, one reason for the First Amendment was to allow the voters to keep an eye on our elected officials, politicians and judges, all the rest..Gee, do you think that maybe KPBS would do that? Huh? Do you think? Huh, hun......???


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Avatar for user 'Joanne Faryon'

Joanne Faryon, KPBS Staff | June 21, 2012 at 10:18 a.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

kjd92116, I appreciate the thoughtful comments, and you're right about Romney's dad - as soon as I saw the playback I realized my mistake.

edwardtip - thanks for watching and commenting - sorry you are so disappointed in my journalistic ability, however, on the bright side, I will take your comment about my looks as a compliment.

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Avatar for user 'JohnL'

JohnL | June 21, 2012 at 5:49 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

A 2011 Washington Post/ABC poll showed that only 10% of American's believe Obama was born in a foreign country. A newer PPP poll shows that "Birthers" comprise a majority of likely GOP voters.It appears that the insanity has actually on the rise!This is largely due to years of outright lies by the right media bubble such as fox,Texas based KUSI, various websites, chain e-mail spam, fundie mega-churchs and actual GOP officials saying they take him at his word (nudge,nudge)As to Hot-Air trollie edward, smearing Faryon
and KPBS in his "experience"(nada), She has over 20yrs of experience and numerous awards
I'm sure many 10's of thousands of people appreciate her consumate impartial
professionalism. If anything she's sometimes just a little to nice to the liars.

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Avatar for user 'terryberry'

terryberry | June 22, 2012 at 9:21 a.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Kreep is the right guy for the job. He's brilliant. Some like his opinions - others don't. Just let him do his job. Upholding the law.

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | June 22, 2012 at 12:44 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Ms Faryon. "What's a host to do?" Her homework would be a good start. As commenters have shown, the information on his "birther" issue was available. Try listening to the BBC interviewers caried by your station. Terri Gross is another role model for interviewers. You even had to correct your comment here, when there was no on-the-air pressure.

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Avatar for user 'mcwilmot'

mcwilmot | June 22, 2012 at 3:46 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Anyone who questions established fact, in this case, that Barak Obama was born in the United States, and proceeds to run to court, waste taxpayer money and resources in the pursuit of his corrupt lunacy - has zero credibility, and should not be in any elected office, especially as a judge. How does this man think? Since over 203,000 people voted for him, we have to try and learn something from this. The media needs to step up and reveal extremists. People need to learn to gather information which is right here at our fingertips (literally). Educate yourself, your children, and others and hope that voters make informed decisions.

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Avatar for user 'Joanne Faryon'

Joanne Faryon, KPBS Staff | June 22, 2012 at 4 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Are you suggesting I needed to debate the authenticity of Mr. Obama's birth certificate - or not debate it? My somewhat flip comment was making the point neither strategy would have pleased all viewers.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 22, 2012 at 7:55 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

People are upset that an internationally known Koo-Koo got elected and is making San Diego look misplaced in California as a long lost county of rural backwoods Mississippi.

Now many want to blame KPBS, which really isn't fair.

I am not always satisfied with every interview on KPBS, but overall I think it's journalistically sound, unlike most other local options we have.

Compare KPBS to other local news stations, in particular *KUSI: News For The Small Minded*.

That outlet is basically a pimping service for Mr. Carl DeMaio and has a weatherman/anthropognic climate change denier who is pretty infamously known as a being a few dots short on the dice just like Mr. Kreep is. (I'm referring to, of course, the aged, twirling, friend of the extremist right deniers club Mr. John Coleman whom I can almost guarantee probably is one of those who voted for Mr. Kreep).

I have seen Ms. Faryon take on local crooks and do an excellent job. The swindling cowards who control the County's food stamp program is just one example. She is a solid journalist.

A long, drawn-out debate about Obama's birth certificate would have simply brought her to Kreep's level, made KPBS look unprofessional, and brought about accusations from the radical right that KPBS is a mouthpiece for "liberal media" and "Communist agendas."

Non-editorial journalism needs to set forth the facts, and then let the viewers decide if Mr. Kreep is worthy of his judicial win or not.

Besides, I have seen journalists try and debate these birther loons before, it goes nowhere.

It's like trying to debate Donald Trump or Jan Goldsmith's hair pieces - you're not going to get anything from it but a media circus. Both are fake, both are funny looking, both are ridiculous - we all know this - but for whatever reason the people upon whos heads they sit like dead animals have been granted political clout so they are featured pominently on serious news channels in all their baldaphobic glory looking like circus dopes forced to be taken seriously.

Look at the peope of North Korea - poor dears - for decades they had to suffer under the reign of a 4 ft tall pudgy man in 9 inch platform stilts wearing an Imelda Marcos wig who literally had a slave inspect every individual kernal of rice he ate for imperfections - yet they - and the world - had to take that psychopath seriously because he held powerful office.

Like the clowns, circus freaks, and ridiculous people mentioned above, Kreep is now - for better or for worse - a sitting judge elected by the people, and therefore Ms. Faryon, as a professional journalist, must give him some respect and the chance to speak without being attacked or belittled. She maintained professionalism, and I firmly disagree with those above saying otherwise.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 22, 2012 at 7:57 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago


Mr. Kreep's equivalent of a ridiculous hairpiece is his racism.  We all know it's a root cause for his craziness, but like Trump and Godsmith's pompadoo quafs, it figuratively sits atop his head for all to see and goes unspoken even though we all know it's there.

Yet one more joke of a person has managed to gain political clout.

He **says** his birther views won't interfere with his out decisions.

This is where KPBS becomes a watchdog.

Don't attack someone who just got elected as that's not professional, but **watch this man's every move** once he's making judicial decisions and if and when he does let his fringe beliefs interfere, **THAT'S** when you take him to task.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 22, 2012 at 8:09 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh dear, that should read **"quaff"** and not **"quaf"**. I just looked up the latter in Urban Dictionary and, well, it's definitely not what I meant to write :/

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Avatar for user 'shaunmccarron1'

shaunmccarron1 | June 25, 2012 at 12:45 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

So, we have this gentleman, who in his professional life, takes on a hardline position, one that of course is unrepresented or supported by any evidence, visual, factual or other, and then the San Diego voters make him a Superior Court Judge? I'm a bit nervous, even at a Small Claims Court level, having this clearly unqualified individual preside over cases at any level. A judge makes decisions based on FACT, this one clearly does not. Can we all say "appelate court"!

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Avatar for user 'shaunmccarron1'

shaunmccarron1 | June 25, 2012 at 12:52 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Hey "edwardtlp", by your logic, if an individual intentionally omits information from an employment application, is hired and then is caught, he/she should at least be afforded the opportunity to retain the job and later prove that they won't be decietful in the future? The very fact that he has taken steps in his professional career to cultivate his position, which if founded in no factual evidence, well that should be enough to at least say, "gee, during the course of adjudication, this guy may not be impartial"... Just sayin'...

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