Tag Archives: City Council

1 Day To Go

(From the diaries. Disclaimer: I’m doing blog out reach for Eric’s re-election campaign – Todd)

(cross-posted from my campaign blog)

As many of you know, I’m running for my third term as City Councilman representing the 13th Council District of Los Angeles (which consists of parts of Hollywood, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Echo Park, Elysian Valley and Glassell Park – map here.) Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3rd, Los Angeles will hold its primary nominating elections. If any candidate receives 50%+1 of the vote on Tuesday, he or she is elected outright; if not, the top 2 candidates will compete in the general municipal election on May 19th.

Several seats are up for election on Tuesday including Mayor, City Attorney, City Controller, odd numbered City Council district seats (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15), even numbered L.A. Unified School District seats (2, 4, 6) and even numbered L.A. Board of Trustee seats (2, 4, 6.) A complete list of candidates competing in each race can be found here.

There are also 5 initiatives on the ballot:

Prop A: Fire Department Independent Assessor

Prop B: Solar Energy and Job Creation Program

Prop C: Disabled Children Survivor Benefit of the Fire and Police Pension Plan

Prop D: Survivor Benefit Purchase Program for Retirees of the Fire and Police Pension Plan

Prop E: Economic Incentives for Business Development

SmartVoter.com has complete summaries of the measures and check out Courage Campaign’s voter guide for a complete rundown of which measures have the support of which progressive orgs.

Eight years ago, I had a crazy idea to run for City Council. I bought a pair of shoes and walked my district every day until I literally wore holes in them introducing myself to voters and rediscovering my city. Now, eight years later, while I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made rebuilding Hollywood into a safer more business friendly city center again, nearly tripling the number of parks in my district and making city hall more relevant and accessible to Angelenos through my Government 101 and Neighborhood Leadership Academy programs, there is still much more to be done to change Los Angeles. So I humbly ask for the support of those of you in the 13th L.A. City Council District.

If you have friends and family in Los Angeles, please remind them to vote tomorrow and if they’re in the 13th district you can direct them to my website to learn more about me, what I’ve done and what I intend to continue to do if I’m fortunate enough to be re-elected to the City Council.

If I do win outright tomorrow, I can assure you, neither my neighborhood walks to engage with the communities in my district nor my posts here at Calitics to engage with the online community will end; in fact I see Tuesday as just the beginning.

[UPDATE]By the way, polls are open from 7am-8pm tomorrow and you can find your polling place HERE. Join us for an election night party at Avalon in Hollywood starting at 8pm (details at the blog) – Todd.

Election 2007: Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley Turning Further Blue

Well, it looks like the totals are now in this a.m.  This was an excellent day to be a Democrat in the Coachella Valley!!!  Democrats easily won the race for Mayor in Palm Springs, one of two City Council races in Palm Springs, one of two City Council races in Desert Hot Springs, and one of two seats on the Desert Water Agency.  In addition, No on C easily won as well.

What these wins mean is that progressive Democrats have gained control of Palm Springs City Council and now have a presence on both the Desert Hot Springs City Council and on the Desert Water Agency.  This is evidence of the continuing surge of progressive Democratic leadership in the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley!  Next step?  Solidify the wins and take over the CA 80th Assembly District where Democrats now outnumber Republicans by 13,000 voters!  Congratulations to all candidates, volunteers, and their supporters for fighting the good fight!

Regarding irregularities, a poll watcher reported that in some instances, the chain of custody was not completed with at least four vans arriving at the central location with only one occupant.  Less serious concerns involved the ‘packaging’ of some of the cartridges as they were not in clear plastic bags as apparently required. 

Concerning campaigning and mudslinging, Republican candidates and/or their backers issued a mailing over the weekend that was a smear campaign clearly aimed at either suppressing or redistributing the vote.  Republican candidates had also been consistently attacking Pougnet, Hutcheson, Williams, and Mahlowitz as minions of ‘Ma Foat,’ hardly an effective approach to winning.  (Ginny Foat is a City Councilwoman who during the 2005 election received the largest vote totals for any Councilperson ever and remains highly popular in Palm Springs).  Republican candidates and their lackey, The Desert Sun also engaged in subliminal homophobic attacks against the above candidates, calling for a ‘balanced’ City Council.  Most recently, City Council included three openly-gay members including Mayor Ron Oden, Foat, and Pougnet.  If Pougnet, Hutcheson, and Williams all won, then four of five councilmembers would be openly-gay.  (Presently, three of five Councilmembers in Cathedral City are also gay, though only two openly).  ‘Balanced’ is now the code word amongst the Republicans in the Coachella Valley for electing White Republican heterosexuals.  Another concern is the developing story involving the alleged ‘illegal activities’ of the General Manager and CBS affiliate Channel 2.

As expected, Steve Pougnet (D) won handily.  In its editorial endorsement, the Desert Sun predicted him to win about 75% of the vote, and he almost met that estimate with 71.07%.  Arlene Battishill, a resident who divides her time between Palm Springs and Los Angeles, garnered 17.73%.  It is clear that Pougnet has a mandate for his first term.  With this election, Palm Springs now has a Democratic mayor who will actually vote according to Democratic principles.  Congratulations, Steve!!!

I’ll have to check these total versus totals from prior year elections in a future post to shed further light on these amazing wins.

More below the flip…

Palm Springs Mayor (NP – Non-Partisan)
36/36 100.00%

Vote Count Percent
NP – BILL FERRA 458 4.93%
NP – JOHN TYMON 210 2.26%
NP – STEVE POUGNET (D) 6,601 71.07%
NP – DON COOK 372 4.01%
Total 9,288 100.00%

The overall numbers for Democrats in the races for Palm Springs City Council are impressive.  Of the 18,056 votes, 11,506 or 63.72% were given to Democrats (Hutcheson, Williams, Mahlowitz, and Gainer).  Unfortunately, at least thus far, the votes were diffused between the four Democrats, and as a result, we did not thump as clearly.  Rick Hutcheson (D) is a clear winner with 25.23% of the vote.  John Williams is a close second with 20.08% of the vote, but trails Lee Weigel by 104 votes!  Although these votes mimic the Vote By Mail totals that I cited earlier today, they may not include the late Vote By Mail or the provisional ballots.

In an early assessment, it looks like the major contributing factor is the fact that the major Democratic Clubs in Palm Springs did not coallesce on two candidates.  The Riverside County Democratic Central Committee cited this as the deciding factor in its decision not to endorse for Palm Springs City Council.  Other factors also probably include the negative campaigning conducted by Republican candidates and the sandbagging of Williams by the Desert Sun once again on a non-issue for most of Palm Springs residents (i.e., that so-called pornography had been filmed at his Warm Sands hotel.  When last we looked, pornography was legal and protected by the U.S. Constitution as an expression of Freedom of Speech).

Nevertheless, Hutcheson and Williams both need to be proud of their positive and issue-based campaigns, and Congratulations to Rick! and hopefully to John as well!!

Palm Springs City Council

36/36 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
NP – ROXANN PLOSS 1,128 6.25%
NP – RICK HUTCHESON 4,555 25.23%
NP – LEE WEIGEL 3,729 20.65%
NP – JOHN WILLIAMS 3,625 20.08%
NP – SHEILA GRATTAN 1,442 7.99%
NP – VIC GAINER 880 4.87%
NP – BOB MAHLOWITZ 2,446 13.55%
Total 18,056 100.00%

In the race for Desert Water Agency, Craig Ewing (D), unseated a Republican incumbant and came in second with 32.31% of the vote.

Dir, Desert Water Agency
94/94 100.00%
  Vote Count Percent
NP – TOM KIELEY, III 7,469 38.63%
NP – CRAIG A. EWING 6,247 32.31%
NP – WILLIAM ”BILL” BYRNE 5,619 29.06%
Total 19,335 100.00%

Regarding Measure C, an attempt to open up the Chino Cone for more unrestricted development, No on C won 60.03% of the vote.  Proponents of Measure C spent $750,000 in a failed attempt to change development code.  Congratulations to activists involved in furthering reasonable and measured development on and near the Chino Cone!!!

Measure C – City of Palm Springs

36/36 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
Yes 3,822 39.97%
No 5,741 60.03%
Total 9,563 100.00%

In Desert Hot Springs, Adam Sanchez (D), barely lost to Yvonne Parks by 113 votes!

Desert Hot Springs Mayor

14/14 100.00%
  Vote Count Percent
NP – ALEX BIAS 252 14.10%
NP – ADAM SANCHEZ 578 32.34%
NP – YVONNE PARKS 691 38.67%
Total 1,787 100.00%

On another positive note, Karl Baker rebounded from his earlier loss in the election for the City Council seat of the late, great Gary Bosworth by winning his first term as Desert Hot Springs City Councilman with 17.87% of the vote.  Congratulations to Karl!!!

14/14 100.00%

Vote Count Percent
NP – RUSSELL BETTS 906 26.80%
NP – KARL BAKER, JR. 604 17.87%
NP – MARY K. STEPHENS 359 10.62%
NP – TERRY SCHEURER 395 11.69%
NP – AL SCHMIDT 400 11.83%
Total 3,380 100.00%

Coachella Valley, Palm Springs Election Results

Elections results have been painfully slow in coming in.  Thus far, as of 1:44 a.m., apparently only the Vote By Mail ballots have been counted and released to the news media.  The tallies are as follows:

Mayor of Palm Springs:  Steve Pougnet (D) leads with 71.61% of the vote.

Council of Palm Springs (Two Seats Open):  Rick Hutcheson (D) leads with 26.26% of the vote counted thus far; John Williams (D) is in third place with 19.86%; Bob Mahlowitz (D) is in fourth place with 12.68%.

Desert Water Agency (Two Seats Open): Craig Ewing (D) is in second place with 32.70% of the vote

Proposition C:  No on C votes lead with 62.02% of the total vote

Re full disclosure, BBBz is a supporter of Pougnet, Hutcheson, Williams, Ewing, Sanchez, Baker, and No on C and is a member of Desert Stonewall Democrats.

More details below the flip…

Palm Springs Mayor
6/36 16.67%

Vote Count Percent
NP – BILL FERRA 279 5.59%
NP – JOHN TYMON 102 2.04%
NP – STEVE POUGNET 3,577 71.61%
NP – DON COOK 213 4.26%
Total 4,995 100.00%

Pougnet was endorsed by the Desert Stonewall Democrats and the Palm Springs Democrats.  BlueBeaumontBoyz wonders about the Democrats of the Desert Democratic Club decision to not endorse for mayor and to only endorse for City Council.  BBB would like to be a fly on the wall when Pougnet meets next with the leaders of the DoD.

Palm Springs City Council
6/36 16.67%

Vote Count Percent
NP – ROXANN PLOSS 670 6.89%
NP – RICK HUTCHESON* 2,554 26.26%
NP – LEE WEIGEL 2,063 21.21%
NP – JOHN WILLIAMS** 1,931 19.86%
NP – VIC GAINER 458 4.71%
NP – BOB MAHLOWITZ*** 1,233 12.68%
Total 9,725 100.00%

*Endorsed by the Desert Stonewall Democrats, the Palm Springs Democrats, and the Democrats of the Desert.
**Endorsed by the Desert Stonewall Democrats and the Palm Springs Democrats.
***Endorsed by the Democrats of the Desert.

Hmmmm.  Again, DoD seems out of step not only with the other Democratic Clubs but also with the results thus far.  It will be interesting to see how voters split their ballots.  If Mahlowitz siphoned votes from Williams, then one could argue that DoD cost the Democrats the election.  (As a reminder, DoD leadership endorsed Mahlowitz and Gainer for Palm Springs City Council, but the membership voted to endorse Hutcheson and Mahlowitz.  In addition, the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee declined to endorse in these races since the DoD endorsements did not correspond to the DSD and PSD endorsements.)

Dir, Desert Water Agency
60/94 63.83%
  Vote Count Percent
NP – TOM KIELEY, III 4,584 37.64%
NP – CRAIG A. EWING 3,982 32.70%
NP – WILLIAM ”BILL” BYRNE 3,613 29.67%
Total 12,179 100.00%

Ewing (D) was endorsed by the Desert Stonewall Democrats

Measure C – City of Palm Springs
6/36 16.67%

Vote Count Percent
Yes 1,952 37.98%
No 3,188 62.02%
Total 5,140 100.00%

Proposition C:  No votes lead with 62.02% thus far.  Yes on C spent approximately $750,000 while No on C spent about $50,000 on the respective campaigns.  Desert Stonewall Democrats voted to endorse No on C.

Desert Hot Springs Mayor
13/14 92.86%

Vote Count Percent
NP – ALEX BIAS 252 14.17%
NP – ADAM SANCHEZ 574 32.28%
NP – YVONNE PARKS 689 38.75%
Total 1,778 100.00%

Sanchez was endorsed by the Desert Stonewall Democrats for Mayor of Desert Hot Springs.

Desert Hot Springs City Council
13/14 92.86%

Vote Count Percent
NP – RUSSELL BETTS 901 26.78%
NP – KARL BAKER, JR. 600 17.83%
NP – MARY K. STEPHENS 357 10.61%
NP – TERRY SCHEURER 394 11.71%
NP – AL SCHMIDT 398 11.83%
Total 3,365 100.00%

Baker was endorsed by the Desert Stonewall Democrats for Desert Hot Springs City Council.

Palm Springs City Council – John Williams’ Endorsement – Sierra Club

I received this press release from the John Williams for Palm Springs City Council campaign.  Williams received the enthusiastic endorsement from the Sierra Club.

Williams said:

“I am extremely pleased to receive the endorsement of the Sierra Club.  The endorsement was announced on Sunday, October 21st.  The letter going to Sierra Club members states On Tuesday, November 6 Sierra Club strongly urges you to vote:

“John Williams for City Council!

“Being a successful hotelier himself, John understands what brings people to Palm Springs,” states Joan Taylor, Conservation Chair of Sierra Club.  “Clearly, sprawling development on our scenic hillside backdrop is not good for tourism or our quality of life.  John supports conservation of water and energy and clean air.  With John on the City Council, the environment will have a friend at City Hall.”

“As a long time supporter of the environment and clean water and air, I respect the Sierra Club and the great work they have done to help California and the rest of the country maintain our planet.  We all have to work together to curb global warming, and the Sierra Club is taking the lead.

“A Note To My Supporters: This week is your last chance to write a letter to The Desert Sun; Friday is the deadline. These letters are literally read by thousands of people.  PLEASE write a letter to the Desert Sun on my behalf, if you have the time.  Your support is greatly appreciated!  Simple go to www.mydesert.com and click on “Get Published”, then click on “Letters to the Editor” and follow the instructions.  It is really easy.  Please remember there is a 250 word limit on your letter submissions.
Remember to Vote on November 6, 2007

Friends of John Williams for Palm Springs City Council,
P.O.Box 1611,
Palm Springs, CA 92263,
United States,
(760) 416-8848
Email: [email protected]

Previously, Williams was endorsed by the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club and the Palm Springs Democratic Club.  In addition, he has received numerous other endorsements from community leaders, civic and business organizations, and political leaders in Palm Springs and in the Coachella Valley.

Palm Springs City Council – John Williams’ Victory Party – November 6, 2007

John Williams, Candidate for Palm Springs City Council has announced that “It’s time for a Victory Party!”  Williams has the endorsement of the Desert Stonewall Democrats Democratic Club and the Palm Springs Democratic Club as well as endorsements from the San Bernardino/Riverside County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the Committee on Political Education (COPE), the Palm Springs Police Officers Association, the Building Industry Association of Southern California Desert Chapter, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers West.

In addition, Williams has endorsements from Joy Meredith, President, Mainstreet Downtown Merchants Association, Michael C. Green, President, Palm Springs Hospitality Association (hence the Williams’ signs in front of many of Palm Springs hotels), Bill Scott, Commissioner, Palm Springs Planning Commission, April Hildner, Vice-President, Tahquitz River Estates Neighborhood Association, Greg Pettis, Mayor Pro-Tem, Cathedral City and Candidate for CA 80th AD, Ginny Foat, Palm Springs City Council, Pamela Genevrino, Mark Leno, Assemblyman, Jono Hildner, No on C, Mike and Carol Balasa, PFLAG-Coachella Valley, and many more (click here).

“Please join us in celebrating VICTORY on Tuesday, November 6th.

MATCHBOX Vintage Pizza Bistro

“155 South Palm Canyon Drive
“Palm Springs

“8:00 PM until Victory!

“Hors d’oeuvres and No-host Bar

“This election will be very close. Please remember to return your absentee ballot early or if you vote at the poll, please remember to vote on November 6th.

“I respectfully ask for your vote and support in this important election. I hope to see everyone at Matchbox to celebrate VICTORY!

“Please vote: 
“John Williams for City Council!

“Remember to Vote on November 6, 2007

Friends of John Williams for Palm Springs City Council,
P.O.Box 1161,
Palm Springs, CA 92263,
United States,
(760) 416-8848
Email: [email protected]

See you there.  (As point of reference, I am a supporter of Williams4Council).

LA City Council votes for immediate withdrawal from Iraq

Today is a historic day in Los Angeles city history. By a vote of 12-2, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution calling for the immediate return of our troops from Iraq. Originally drafted and spearheaded by the great Councilman Rosendahl, it was great to see the city put on record for this.


Nearly 100 citizens filled the city council in support of the resolution this morning. Of those 100 citizens, roughly one dozen of them (including myself) spoke in 1:30 minute increments about the importance of passing the resolution. There was only one dissenting voice in the audience in opposition to the resolution.

Passing the resolution was important for Los Angeles and the country because of the impact the war is having here at home. California has lost nearly $60 billion in tax revenue because of the war, with Los Angeles losing approximately $5 billion in revenue. In a stroke of perfect timing, the discussion prior the ours was about 17 bridges that are rated structurally deficient in the city of Los Angeles.

Thank you to all of the citizens that took time out of their busy day to attend this and support the resolution. And I’d like to extend a special thank you to all councilmembers who voted their conscience and supported the troops today by calling for their safe and expedient return.

Below is text from the resolution as passed:

CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION (ROSENDAHL – PARKS – WESSON – ET AL) relative to the withdrawal of United States military personnel from Iraq.
Recommendation for Council action, SUBJECT TO THE CONCURRENCE OF THE MAYOR:
RESOLVE that the City of Los Angeles include in its 2007-08 Federal Legislative Program the following positions:
a. On behalf of the citizens of the City of Los Angeles, the City URGE the President of the United
States to immediately commence a rapid, humane, and complete withdrawal of United States
military personnel, contractors supporting the military effort, and military bases from Iraq.
b. URGE the United States Congress to appropriate medical, psychological, financial, and educational assistance for veterans.
c. URGE redirection of the financial resources used to prosecute the war in order to address
neglected domestic needs, including health, education, mass transit and infrastructure, and
homeland security.
d. RECOGNIZE that the stability of Iraq is crucial to the security of the citizens of Los Angeles andto all Americans, URGE the United States government to provide the people of Iraq with nonmilitary material aid to support the security of Iraq’s citizens and the rebuilding of Iraq.

Palm Springs City Council – Rick Hutcheson Endorsed by The Desert Sun

The Desert Sun in its Sunday, October 14, 2007, edition, endorsed Rick Hutcheson for Palm Springs City Council.

“Hutcheson, a planning commissioner and co-owner of a real estate company, is a creative thinker with an impressive background in business and government. He brings ideas for the future.

More below the flip…

The Desert Sun continued:

“On the Planning Commission, Hutcheson pushed for conservation, green building standards and renewable energy in the general plan.

“He’s voted for developments like the Mondrian Hotel and Port Lawrence, showing he recognizes the importance of development to the city’s economic vitality.  But he also understands the need to balance development and preserve neighborhoods.

“He is proposing an emergency ordinance to review current regulations, like signage and parking, that affect businesses.  He wants “ambassadors” to assist people seeking permits or approvals from the city.  He also favors using the city’s business improvement district to develop a block-by-block marketing plan.  “This is not Manhattan,” he said.  “This is a workable amount of space and working with our local residents we can figure out how to do a better job.”

“He wants to create more signature events to bring people downtown in slow months, and he favors giving John Wessman a deadline for replacing the Desert Fashion Plaza.  He said the city must “act quickly.”  But we think it will be harder and far more complex than he realizes.

“Strong leadership in business will be tantamount to ensuring the type of downtown revitalization Palm Springs is going to need. Hutcheson can do this job.  He has great ideas.

Hutcheson recognizes the importance of public safety and has some ideas for increasing the number of police officers on the street. One idea: consider using private security to respond to alarms. He said the city responds to 2,000 false alarms a year.”

The Desert Sun continues:

“He knows what matters.  “First thing, the city has to deliver on the basics,” he said.  “That means clean streets, clean benches, stop the graffiti and vandalism, trim the Palm Trees.”

“He has broad-based support from the planning commissioners, neighborhood groups and three Democratic clubs, the AFL-CIO, the Palm Springs Police Officers Association and the Fire Safety Unit.  He also counts councilman and mayoral candidate Steve Pougnet as one of his closest advisers.

Hutcheson is smart, has been actively involved in the city and is a progressive thinker.

The endorsement of The Desert Sun along with the ringing endorsements of the three major Democratic Clubs in Palm Springs, including the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club, the Palm Springs Democratic Club, and the Democrats of the Desert Democratic Club, aa well as the endorsements of many civic, political, and neighborhood organizations should go a long way towards helping Hutcheson attain his goal of a first term on Palm Springs City Council.

Palm Springs City Council – Roxann Ploss’ Deceptions May Be Illegal

As you probably know by now, Roxann Ploss, nee a Republican and now a Decline to State according to her, continually posted on mydesert.com under a fictitious name even after officially drawing papers for the race for Palm Springs City Council and even after declaring her candidacy (Ploss also ran for City Council in the last election.)

For two months, Ploss repeatedly denounced her fellow candidate, John Williams, for some of his positions and some of his past business dealings.  Ploss hammered Williams under the guise of being a 70-year-old ‘John Morris,’ probably since the seniors are a target population for Williams who is a boardmember of the Mizell Senior Center.

This weekend, The Desert Sun discovered Ploss’ deception and bared her all.

I have now received notification from Kurt Barrie, via the mydesert.com diarist, The Observer, that Ploss’ actions may in fact be not only deceptive but also illegal!  More below the flip…

On KurtBarrie2007’s page in mydesert.com, dated October 14, 2007 at 5:24 a.m., Barrie writes that Ploss’ actions seem to be illegal under the Elections Code 18320-18323:

“(a) This act shall be known and may be cited as the “California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act.

“(b) It is unlawful for a person, with intent to mislead, deceive, or defraud, to commit an act of political cyberfraud. 

“(c) As used in this section: 

(1) ‘Political cyberfraud’ means a knowing and willful act concerning a political Web site that is committed with the intent to deny a person access to a political Web site, deny a person the opportunity to register a domain name for a political Web site, or cause a person reasonably to believe that a political Web site has been posted by a person other than the person who posted the Web site.”

As a result, it appears that Ploss broke the law of California!  I am sure that more is to follow on this.

Palm Springs City Council Race Turning Ugly

It is an open secret that homophobia is becoming the central issue to Campaign 2008 in Palm Springs.  The leading contender for Mayor of Palm Springs is Steve Pougnet, presently a sitting City Councilman and an openly gay man.  He has the endorsement of the local newspaper, the Desert Sun and of two of the local Democratic Clubs, i.e., the Desert Stonewall Democrats and the Palm Springs Democrats.  Pougnet, however, did not receive the endorsement of the Democrats of the Desert as they did not endorse in this race.

The leading Democratic contenders to fill the two open seats for Palm Springs City Council are John Williams, Rick Hutcheson, and Bob Mahlowitz, all openly gay men.  Hutcheson received the endorsement of all three Democratic clubs, including the Desert Stonewall Democrats, the Palm Springs Democrats, and the Democrats of the Desert (despite the latter’s leadership failing to recommend him to the membership).  Williams received the endorsement of the Desert Stonewall Democrats and the Palm Springs Democrats.  Mahlowitz received the endorsement of the Democrats of the Desert.

The winner of the mayor’s race and the two races for City Council will join Ginny Foat, an openly gay woman, on City Council.  If Pougnet and any combinations of Williams, Hutcheson, or Mahlowitz join Foat on Council, then four of the five sitting council members would be openly gay or lesbian.

Those with a long memory will recall the long history of tension between the straight white establishment in Palm Springs and the growing political power of the GLBT community.  Apparently, this tension is again rising to the surface.  More below the flip…

Eloise Garcia-Mohsin, Candidate for City Council, has compared Williams and Hutcheson to “prostitutes” in her Candidate blog entitled “Palm Springs Politics and Prostitutes,” dated October 13, 2007, 1:37 p.m.:

“I titled this blog Palm Springs Politics and Prostitutes for a reason.  The reason is they have a lot in common.  Some local candidates (mayor and council) are taking money from developers, land managers and windmill groups.  I believe in turn you will see projects pushed through City Hall in 08.  The candidates have sold your voice, the voters voice. Cha Ching…

John Williams states he listens to the voters.  Why did he spend over $16,000 on “consulting”? $16,000.00?  Take a very, very close look at the Rick Hutcheson donations…

“I will not prostitute the voters’ voice…Candidates…stop prostituting the voters’ rights.

Also in mydesert.com, the Observer’s Page recounts guest columnist Alden Godfrey’s “Hit Piece” in the The Desert Sun dated October 12, 2007.  In this piece, the Observer notes that Godfrey

“…alleges callers are being tricked into participating in a question and answer exchange for the purpose of increasing their name recognition of Palm Springs city council candidates Rick Hutcheson, John Williams or Bob Mahlowitz.  Mr. Godfrey explicitly states this information “…will be reported revealing the three ‘favored’ candidates as front-runners.”  He also cleverly weaves into his story a claim these are the only city council candidates who happen to be gay…

“I’m also left wondering about the appearance of  homophobia in the piece and whether it’s there by deliberate intent?”

It is apparent to some, perhaps to many, that the campaign in Palm Springs for Mayor and for City Council is not only becoming ugly, but also openly homophobic.  This is a direct result of the open homphobia of the current Administrations in Washington, D.C., and in Sacramento, CA, that continue to pursue anti-gay agendas and that continue to perpetuate heterosexism.

Nevertheless, Democrats in Palm Springs need to remember that no gay or lesbian candidate will be elected as mayor or to City Council without the support of the entire Democratic community.  At the same time, the rest of the Democratic community needs to remember that it cannot remain dominant in Palm Springs without the support of the GLBT community.  It is time for Democrats in Palm Springs to unite and to make it perfectly clear to the community at large that homophobia will not be tolerated either during or after the campaign.

Palm Springs City Council – Roxann Ploss’ Deceptive Campaign Practices

Roxann Ploss, Candidate for Palm Springs City Council, has admitted to using a fictitious identity to blog negative statements about John Williams, a leading Candidate for Palm Springs City Council, and others in the race.  According to mydesert.com and The Desert Sun, Ploss has been deceptive for two months during the campaign, posing as a 70 year-old male named ‘John Morris.’

According to Stephanie Frith, Desert Sun writer in an article dated October 13, 2007 and entitled Candidate for Council Busted for Online Posts, National media and policy experts term such blogging as ‘deceptive.’

Other bloggers and diarists on mydesert.com have decried Ploss’ behavior as ‘deceptive’ and as ‘poor judgment.’  Many have asked for Ploss to withdraw from the campaign.  Indeed, one other Candidate for City Council, Arlene Battishill, who previously endorsed Ploss for City Council, has labeled Ploss’ behavior as deceptive, lacking in integrity, and ‘underhanded.’

“As a fictitious person, that is something designed to deceive people…You have to maintain your integrity. That was not the case here.  It’s underhanded.”

More below the flip.

National media experts who decry such activities as Ploss evidenced include Peter Scheer of the California First Amendment Coalition which is based in San Rafael, CA.  Scheer stated

“It strikes me that candidates should not do this because it is an element of deception.”

In addition, according to the Desert Sun, another National media expert, Brian Steffens, Executive Director of the National Newspaper Association, established in 1885 and based in Columbia, MO, indicated that as more and more newspapers expand their online efforts and allow the public to post blogs, stories and comments, the media is going to have to be more diligent about staying on top of anonymous posts.

“If it’s a public servant, I would think they ought to be held accountable.”

Yet another National media expert, Steve Carpinelli, spokesman for the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., said anonymous citations from Candidates could become the new wave of disinformation and deception.

“It would become more common as campaigns go online.”

It is clear that although deceptive campaign practices have always been present (remember the Republican efforts to disenfranchise the African-American electorate in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004, to overwhelm the phone banks in New Hampshire in 2004, and to ‘Swiftboat’ Sen. John Kerry in 2004?), deception will become the electronic wave of the future.  We progressive Democrats need to be vigilant and we need volunteers to scout the blogs to ferret out the deception of the oppositon party in Campaign 2008.