Tuesday, a spat broke out between Carl DeMaio and a consultant who had worked for his 2012 mayoral campaign. It seemed unexpected because it produced a rare public rebuke of the candidate from someone ostensibly on his side.
It probably shouldn’t have been a surprise, though. It was the first surfacing of a year’s worth of awkwardness, if not hostility, between DeMaio and several of the people who helped him rise to the top of San Diego’s Republican Party politics.
It began late last summer when conservative and business leaders chose to support Kevin Faulconer in the special mayoral race to replace Bob Filner, who had resigned in disgrace. Since then, a feud between DeMaio and the consultants who ran his 2012 mayoral campaign has simmered under the surface.
Now it’s no longer hidden and it threatens to become a bigger distraction for DeMaio, who is in a tight race for Congress against incumbent Democratic Rep. Scott Peters. DeMaio’s falling out with his former consultants might also explain erratic campaign moves and some of his increasingly passionate critiques of people he referred to this week as “so-called Republicans.”
The tension got worse later in the week. After I posted the story of DeMaio’s criticism of Republicans efforts to throw out the minimum wage increase, DeMaio emailed me.
He said I had gotten something wrong about Jason Roe, a partner at the consulting firm Revolvis.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
What representatives the people have... Scott Peters who tried to destroy non-agenda public comment when he was this city's council president on one hand...and Carl DeMaio who said he opposed the proposed Jacobs/Sanders bypass bridge at Balboa Park and then voted for it....on the other hand. Are these the choices that the public has to represent them?
How does Carl DeMaio believe he will be accepted by the stridently anti-gay Republicans in Congress? It would seem that the lust for power has short-circuited all common sense.
What sad choices San Diegan's have to "represent" us in DC. Both candidates bought and paid for and working for the one percent's interests. One will get elected and proceed to do nothing but vote on "party" lines until the next election. So much taxpayer money spent for do nothings with their salaries, staff, pensions and perks.
What has happened to our government?
@Dennis $$$DC BABY!$$$ ... it's all about making it to the big lotto win in DC. Sad really to see humans at that level as if it's an accomplishment based on integrity and service.
@Dennis Have you ever attempted to call Scott Peters' office on anything? Because I have, and many people I know have, and he acts exactly as a Congressmember should. If it's a policy concern, Scott personally meets with people, listens and tries to figure out what practical steps he can take to help. If it's a constituent matter, his staff bends over backward to assist the person. I've sent so many constituents to the main line of his office to request whatever it is they want, and they all come away satisfied that they were treated with the respect and service they deserve as members of the taxpaying public. These people were just normal people, with no influential ties or riches, yet they got what they asked for. This is why I'm so thoroughly in favor of his candidacy. Public servants like Scott are few and far between.
"they all come away satisfied that they were treated with the respect and service they deserve as members of the taxpaying public."
Yep. Gives the taxpayers a big pension bill that will not be satisfied till at least 2025 with hundreds of millions of dollars that could go towards parks,libraries and infrastructure. He changed the dynamic of the city so that the "mission" is about pensions not services.
He demonstrated he could give a rats damn about the taxpayers in San Diego.
The man is not worthy of office. He sold us out.
If there weren't a literal pot of gold in congress so much fewer of these men and women would serve year after year, decade after decade. Well, let's not say serve and let's say enrich oneself because if they were so socially concerned there would be far less self-indulgence financially and much more actual service (selfless acts of kindness, charity and goodwill for one's constituents and a return to their pre-'service' lives).
The fact that you call his office and get results, your being a political consultant and all, isn't quite representative of everyday constituents you would grant no?
@MaryW @Rachel Laing @Dennis I would agree, except that I'm not talking about my own needs. I'm talking about people who don't know where to turn and who have no relationship or money or other things people claim are what gets you services from your Congressional office. I direct them straight to the district office -- not with my name attached -- because I know Scott's staff will take care of the issue without any special influence. And they have.
I have to say, Carl's "distrust of consultants" shows pretty poor judgment on his part. His 2012 mayoral campaign was nearly flawless. The level to which his consultants at Revolvis kept his famous temper and ego in check was remarkable. All who know Carl and his tantrums and how he tends to spin out were genuinely impressed (and slightly terrified) by his discipline in the 2012 mayor's race. It was not a bad campaign (or even the GOP's "sullied brand") that lost him that race; it was voter demographics (presidential election year) and perhaps the extreme distance to the center that he couldn't convincingly traverse. In fact, the campaign for a flawed candidate was so flawless, I could barely wrap my head around Filner's victory. Since his loss, insiders have been treated to all sorts of evidence of Carl's true nature -- how he threw all of his past (and some current) allies under the bus without a care, how he attempted to recast himself as champion of equality and social justice after years of being the lapdog of the bigoted and the elite, and how the only thing he truly believes in is his own political career (whatever it might stand for at the moment). It astounds me that anyone could find him worthy of the public's trust.
@Rachel Laing Are you the same Rachael Laing who appeared ad nauseum as a "spokesperson" for mayor Sanders engaging in a permanent stonewall when necessary, or an unbiased observer, totally ignoring the obvious bad blood between Sanders and DeMaio.
@Bill Bradshaw @Rachel Laing Perhaps strategically enabling and fueling the obvious bad blood? And was working for Public Strategies during Filner's campaign and win... then ditched them after Filner's hands were found everywhere? Where's the accountability around here? The loyalty? Ethics even? Is it really just all about the money?
@Bill Bradshaw I worked for Mayor Sanders for nearly four years. I think most reporters would strongly disagree with the characterization of me as a "stonewaller." My strong feelings toward Mr. DeMaio come from seeing him in action, day in and day out, forming my impression from my own interactions and observations of him as well as those of people who worked with and for him. On the flip side, my positive impression of Congressman Peters comes from personal interactions of his openness and willingness to hear out "regular people," to genuinely seek solutions to problems that are brought to him, and his long record of support for the things I believe in and care about most. He's been a PROACTIVE champion of women's rights, LGBT equality, and the environment. Congressman Peters is smart, engaged, hard-working and doesn't have a gimmicky bone in his body. He's exactly the type of person we hope to have in Congress. In conclusion, thanks for asking.
@MaryW @Bill Bradshaw Mary, I was not paid for any work on Filner's campaign, though I did work for a company owned by Filner's campaign strategist, and I did prefer Filner over DeMaio. My first choice was Fletcher, and voting in the runoff between Filner and DeMaio was for me (and many San Diegans) like choosing between firing squad and hanging. They were both bullies who lacked the temperament for the job, in my mind. But Filner's core (policy) values were closer to my own, and I voted for him, As soon as I learned (along with the rest of San Diego) about what Filner had been doing to women -- not flirting or asking for dates, but actually abusing and assaulting them -- I left my job (and salary) to join the fight to get him out of office. This was done at considerable financial sacrifice, but I believed it was the right thing to do at the time. I still do.
@Rachel Laing @MaryW @Bill Bradshaw I loved Fletcher too and wish he would've advanced, at least to give a more fair runoff against Mayor Faulconer. Although I have to say I love seeing what he's doing so far!
I'm also not intending to criticize or attack you Rachel. I just thought it was so amazing that Public Strategies switched sides... it seemed so profit-motivated (i.e. Filner's deep resources) vs. good political strategy (i.e. don't screw the GOP camp). So, I was confused about that strategy. Too bad in any case since you and many others left PS.
So, good on you for following your conscience. No qualms here!
@MaryW @Rachel Laing @Bill Bradshaw Thank you, Mary. Tom's switching sides definitely had nothing to do with money. There was a lot more money to be made doing independent expenditures for Carl, if money were what Tom was after (Filner's resources also were not especially vast.) Tom also lost a few GOP clients when he took Filner on. So to characterize it as being about money for anyone isn't really accurate. All water under the bridge now. Of course, I would have loved to see a Mayor Fletcher, but I certainly think we're better off with Mayor Faulconer than we would have been with DeMaio winning in 2012. As a Dem, I don't agree with our current mayor on all policy matters, but I think he's reasonable and genuinely interseted in making our city better.
Previously Carl DeMaio stated he will not wait to be elected to public office 2008 City Council or 2012 Mayor before solving civic problems.
“We should not wait until a decision is made to begin thinking about how best to implement reform,"
Carl has helped us with issues regarding the Homeless, and the Successor Agency (SA) to the former shady Redevelopment Agency (RDA). In order to not interfere with City business and Mayor Faulconer, Homeless advocates have to wait until after November 4, 2014 before Carl will take action. We have claimed City staff and Civic San Diego have been misleading Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council regarding Successor Agency's $102 Million in Cash Reserves, Other Funds, and Unencumbered Bonds in ROPS-7 they promised did not exist.
Our solution would be for Carl DeMaio and his campaign to analyze the Successor Agency and Civic San Diego's financials to show Mayor Faulconer and Mr. Monroig how they have been bamboozled by their staff. Carl is smart and would understand the complicated policy issues which could free up $102 Million in Cash into San Diego neighborhoods during the upcoming ROPS-7 time period of January 1 to June 30, 2015.
Mayor Faulconer, Carl DeMaio, and Revolvis could be heroes, if they act and cooperate.
No mention of Tom Shepard's seasoned GOP firm uncharacteristically abandoning DeMaio and joining Filner's team? And didn't one of his firm's leadership even join DeMaio's campaign as I believe the finance director? One would have to be awfully trusting to believe that inside-information wasn't fed back to Filner's camp.
I don't know what DeMaio did to piss off the GOP establishment since he had a squeaky clean record - a story you ran about the same GOP powers-that-be hiring a private investigator to find dirt on DeMaio (and didn't). Then the whole council chambers bathroom slander (the only claimants and 'witnesses' were Dems?).
Talk about gutting a campaign from the inside out. And the local media played right along if I recall correctly?
Unbelievably sloppy. DeMaio, in hindsight could have saved this city a lot of embarrassment, shame, legal costs, settlements and likely we'd be further in the black than now.
Now I'm going to throw it out there but, the ONLY thing I can imagine, as an outsider looking in, is that DeMaio is openly gay. My belief is that alone is too much for the GOP to get behind and they skewered DeMaio from the get go.
I don't really expect anyone to touch this with a ten-foot pole because of your conflicts but, for the record there was a concerted effort to chop DeMaio at the knees, and by all accounts it seems unfair.
@MaryW No, the media did not "play right along." Your memory is wrong. The media ignored the restroom claims for years despite endless rumors and attempts by anti-DeMaio folks to get coverage.
It took an out-of-town news outlet to bring the story out into the open, and there was quite a lot of debate within the media about whether it should have done so. (My opinion: No.)
In my view the GOP establishment doesn't care about Mr. DeMaio being gay. They want a winner. (The socially conservative GOP constituency may care a lot though.) But the GOP establishment wants team players who will reliably back their platform. Mr. DeMaio doesn't offer that. He could do anything on any given day; and his temper is as volatile as that of Mr. Filner.
@Chris Brewster What surprised me what the the much more senior and now Mayor Faulconer stepped aside and let DeMaio advance. It seems the way things work around here is there's a lot of back-slapping and people who play ball get rewarded, those who don't don't.
That being said, isn't it strange that if DeMaio was so volatile, and was clearly opinionated, using a hammer for diplomacy vs. a scalpel, the establishment got out of his way? Perhaps what scared the GOP whales were the threat to their lucrative projects? Seems a seasoned (38 years?) Senator like Filner would play ball much more quickly... so much so it got the GOP bigwigs to turn on their own?
As for the news folks: I don't know how the media is supposed to decide that a story is too questionable when there are not one but TWO elected officials making claims about an alleged event.
The real issue here: If it did happen, who cares? What happens in the restroom should stay in the restroom. In this case, somebody sneaked in to spy on someone else. (Ew.) But, if course, no one on either side was making that argument.
@MaryW All of your recollections are slightly off. Tom Shepard -- the campaign consultant -- chose to work for Filner after Fletcher lost because of Tom's strong dislike for Carl. This dislike was based in personal knowledge of what a disruptive, unproductive and harmful person Carl is. The lobbying company owned by Tom (but run by someone else) chose to back DeMaio, serving on his finance team and raising money for him, but not being privy to any insider information.
No one hired a "private investigator," but rather just a regular old reporter to look at public records. The bathroom incident was not part of the reporter's findings. That was City Hall lore for many years, and no San Diego journalists touched the story, though they all knew about it.
@MaryW Nope. The GOP unanimously backed DeMaio over Filner with everything they had. DeMaio was the developers' angel. He promised them all -- and he would have delivered.
@Randy Dotinga @MaryW Great point. Yah, I think DeMaio using that 'what I do in the bathroom' argument would've had unintended consequences. I agree too on the media's dilemma and was really surprised at outside news agency picked up the story vs. encouraging you guys or UT, Reader or CityBeat to. Perhaps a little encouragement from some established anti-DeMaio entity encouraged their interest? If there was ever a clear hit-piece that was one in my opinion so that last suggestion isn't that unrealistic.
I can't wait to hear more about the already mentioned possibility that 2 of his volunteers/workers did the recent breakin at his campaign office. I had recently talked to a former volunteer in the mayoral campaign that he was nasty to his helpers/workers. So can see that he seems to have trouble with getting along with people which is of concern to me as we've seen the likes of that trait in a recent mayor we had for a very short time.
“Carl has long questioned the general consultant model used in campaigns today,” Dave McCulloch, told me in an email. Really? Just how long has he questioned the model since according to this article he's used one in every race to date. Based on Mr. McCulloch's statement, apparently even the people around Carl have no problem making up a new set of facts to suit the moment. I guess that's not exactly surprising.
Is it just me or does this article once again reinforce the new image Carl has invented for himself of exactly the type of person to go Washington who can work across the aisle, build bipartisan consensus, make lasting friends everywhere, and er, um, gag barf.
@drolland thanks Dave.
@StopCarlDemaio Not to mention u seem to be predicting a Peters loss. Why don't u run? U have the tactics for campaigning, but not the guts
@StopCarlDemaio Peters was in New York, raising money on Wall St. Surrogates attended in his place. He had known of the conflict for weeks
@StopCarlDemaio So if you want to play hardball politics, just let me know. Each tweet you put out, I will match w/inside stories like this.
@vosdscott @LoriSaldanaSD @carldemaio How about an analysis on Scott Peters Unchecked power as City Council President? Through the power of the new City Council President, Peters refused to docket civic issues brought forth by City Council Member Donna Frye and others.
As City Council President Scott Peters fleeced the taxpayers by gifting $1 Million dollars to his fellow La Jolla lawyer Paul Kennerson on the seal issue at Children’s Pool through manipulation of the City Council Docket and Agenda Items.
Because Peters he was in charge of setting the Docket and City Council Agenda Items, Peters refused to allow the issue of amending the 1931 Trust to come before the City Council for a vote. Therefore though the seals were legal, the accumulated sand on the beach was deemed illegal. Therefore multi-year dredging was required to remove the illegal sand and change the area back into a “swimming pool” configuration, which would have caused cliff collapse and retreat along Scripps Park, at the beginning of the littoral cell.
As soon as Peters was termed out, City Council Members Carl DeMaio and Donna Frye fixed the problem through Municipal Code changes.
With bipartisan leadership, the City Council moved the Agenda and Docketing to the City Clerk. Plus allowed for Council Members to vote to put an issue on the City Council docket, without approval by the all powerful City Council President first.
@StopCarlDemaio Then, during the Q&A, he literally called in his interview over a cell phone.
@StopCarlDemaio A local Veterans Club invited both us to seek their endorsement. Peters RSVPd yes, then declined to attend.
He seems petty and vindictive to me, and kind of a cry-baby. I can't give my vote to someone like that.