Tag Archives: Roxann Ploss

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.

Palm Springs City Council – Roxann Ploss Deceives Desert Sun Blog Readers

The online edition of the Desert Sun at mydesert.com reported today that one of the Candidates for Palm Springs City Council has been attempting to deceive the public for at least two months by setting up an account under a fictitious name for the purpose of undermining the candidacies of her opponents.  This will clearly be a focus of the Republican dirty tricks in the current election cycle.

Roxann Ploss, by her own admission once a Republican but now a Decline to State, has apparently been posing as a 70-year-old man named John Morris for two months on mydesert.com.  Under the alias, Ploss attempted to denigrate the candidacy of John Williams as well as others.  (Truth be told, BlueBeaumontBoyz is a financial supporter to the Williams’ campaign.)

Ploss denies that she meant to be “deceptive.”  But she posted over two dozen times as Morris just what did she intend by hiding behind a pen name and slinging mud about her Democratic opponents?  She must have had Blogging Tourette’s Syndrome!  This is too ridiculous.  One only has to Hahahahahahahahlolololol.

The Desert Sun will have details on the deceptive campaign practices in their Sunday edition.

Although the mydesert.com site indicates that ‘National media and public policy experts’ term the use of nom de plumes for such a purpose “deceptive,” the so-called newspaper does not identify those “experts.”  Given the standing of the Desert Sun in the Coachella Valley, the lack of journalistic expertise (i.e., answer the questions “Who?” “What?” “Where?” “When?” “Why?” and “How?” in the narative.  I learned that as the Fourth Page Editor of my high school newspaper in Altoona, PA!