HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Hillcrest -- City council candidate Todd Gloria is allegedly using tactics that violate state law in his campaign against the now-favored Stephen Whitburn.

Both are gay democrats running in the Third District that includes Hillcrest, North Park and City Heights, among other neighborhoods.

"The call invariably comes at night - typically at dinner time or prime time. It's a pre-recorded voice promoting a candidate or an initiative, or issues stinging (and usually inaccurate) criticism of the opposition," writes Associated Press reporter Juliet Williams.

"Either way, the so-called robo-calls are as annoying as they are ubiquitous at election time.

"They also happen to be illegal in California,

"(I)t is illegal for campaigns and companies to send automated messages to California residents unless a live person introduces the call and asks permission to play the message.

"The agency that oversees telephone communications, the state's Public Utilities Commission, can regulate (these) call . . . (but) does virtually nothing to enforce its own regulation," William's reports.

Today (Sat., 11/1) San Diego News Service received a message by phone that was recorded (or so it sounded) by Whitburn's opponent, Todd Gloria.

No live person was on the line and asked permission to play that tape by Gloria.

"I received one of those d_ _ _ n calls, too," said a senior in Hillcrest, who asked that her name not be used.

"There ought to be a law prohibiting that kind of dumb campaigning," she added. She was "delighted" to learn that such a law already exists, but "disappointed" that it isn't enforced.

Gloria is also sending out thousands of mailers - the usual stuff with pretty pictures of the candidate - and they are also annoying Hillcrest residents. "There's no reason to send me three, totally boring mailers in one day," a long-time gay resident complained.

He had favored Gloria "because he's cute," but got turned off by the flood of mailers from the Gloria campaign. He is now supporting Whitburn.

The Whitburn campaign is also the victim of an attack - albeit indirectly, but nonetheless serious - in an on-line campaign involving the Minutemen.

E-mail messages are going to thousands in the city's Third District, which involves the Whiteburn/Gloria camapign, with surprising connections to the Minutemen..

The e-mails suggest that, if the recipient wants to learn about the real Stephen Whitburn, they should go to www.whoisstephenwhitburn.com website.

In the on-line process of getting to that website, you come across the identity of the Minutemen's involvement. But, at the bottom of the website which you eventually reach - which doesn't involve the Third District - you read of republican involvement.


The Todd Gloria-for-Dist. 3 isn't the only campaign allegedly using the unlawful tactic of robo-calls to promote a position on the Nov. 4th ballot.

Someone named Warren Prentice is identified as the caller on a recent robo-call received by San Diego News Service promoting Prop-8, which is on the Nov. 4th ballot and will abolish gay marriages.

No live person introduced the recorded message and asked permission to roll it.

The damaging aspect of the pro-Prop-8 robo-call message is that it was inaccurate, as are the hundreds of TV ads running in prime time.

Those TV ads and the robo-calls say that - if Prop-8 fails - gay marriage will be taught in elementary school. They urge voters to support Prop-8 "to protect our children."

TV viewers are believing this rubbish, unfortunately.

The vote on Prop-8 is very, very close as of today (11/1).

Gays and Lesbians - many of whom have lots of money -- reportedly like U-T publisher David Copley, Jr -- have NOT donated serious money to the No-on-8 campaign, to counter the millions of dollars given by the Mormons.

Those TV ads and unlawful robo-calls are being financed largely by tens of thousands of Mormon Church members --- nationwide.

Defeating Prop-8 has at best only a 50-50 chance, according to the latest (and sometimes inaccurate) polls.

Readers cab get more information on these issues by calling San Diego News Service at (619) 757-4909 or e-mail at leopowerhere@msn.com.
Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service


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