The battle for the 52nd District seat in San Diego, California is heating up. Republican Carl DeMaio is attempting to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Scott Peters for his congressional House of Representatives seat. Peters was elected to the position in 2012.
Instead of it being an austere moment in an upcoming election, the campaign seems more like a soap opera at times.
DeMaio, an openly gay Republican and former member of the San Diego City Council, 5th District, who ran an unsuccessful bid for Mayor of San Diego recently, has been hit hard with what some may feel he brought on himself.
It appears that DeMaio has not always been well-liked by his staffers, fundraisers and even those that have campaigned on his behalf.
Apparently, there is a consensus among those that work for him that he is an extremely difficult person to serve. He demands results, often impatiently.
Additionally, DeMaio is seen as someone having a maniacal work ethic. He sends messages at night and early in the morning. He demands results from subordinates and has an intense daily schedule. It is often said that he can be hurtful and abusive if he feels let down.
Perhaps, many staffers previously worked for politicians who didn’t care about getting the job done and who failed to set expectations?
A local female fundraiser for the GOP and DeMaio’s congressional fundraiser, also says she no longer supports DeMaio.
“I am not supporting Carl because of the disrespectful way he treated me and others during and after I worked with him,” according to Ashley Hayek. Hayek would not go into details.
Other people, however, spoke highly of DeMaio and said that he gave them skills that they would not have had without him.
“He gave me a shot,” his own long-time executive assistant, Heather Ingram said. “He hires them young and likes to train them to put them in the right state of mind for the work ethic he expects of people.”
Perhaps some Democrats aspire to the more laid back approach of Democratic President Barack Obama who often misses important national security briefings to play golf.
One former staffer has even gone so far as to accuse DeMaio of sexual harassment.
Todd Bosnich, accused DeMaio of unwelcome touching and repeated sexual harassment while working on the congressional campaign. Bosnich even released polygraph results that allegedly supported his claims.
DeMaio claims that Bosnich made these allegations after Bosnich was let go earlier this year following plagiarism claims made against him and for allegations that Bosnich may have been a part of an office break-in at DeMaio’s campaign office this year.
However, the controversies may have been put to rest following an announcement from San Diego’s District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, October 20, 2014, that her office would not be pursuing sexual harassment charges against DeMaio nor was there sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Bosnich.
Dave McCullough, spokesman for DeMaio, said that the DeMaio campaign was glad that Dumanis had found Bosnich’s “politically-motivated smears are without merit.”
Now it appears to be full steam ahead with Peters’ sophomoric name calling against DeMaio in TV ads.
DeMaio has been accused by a campaign ad for Peters’ of “hiding something, his allegiance to the ‘tea party’.” “DeMaio even told the tea party, ‘I will owe…you…and our collective movement everything,’” according to the narrator.
I’ve personally heard DeMaio referred to in ads as a ‘tea party extremist’ while a clip runs showing him addressing those ‘infamous’ tea partiers.
This go-to tactic by the Democrats is an overused ploy that we’ll probably see more of as the 2014 and 2016 elections draw closer.
Additionally, Peters came close to criticizing DeMaio for being a gay Republican when he said about DeMaio, in a video released by the Republican opposition research group, America Rising, “Now he’s saying, ‘Well, I’m a gay man. I must be moderate. And I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-environment.’ And I’ve got to tell you, around the country, where people don’t know him, they completely buy it. Carl DeMaio has gotten more- it’s so unusual for them to see a gay man running as a Republican.”
Alex Roth, Peters’ spokesman said that Peters stands by his statement and that San Diego is “proudly ahead of the curve when it comes to electing LGBT leaders-but Carl DeMaio isn’t a moderate.”
Republicans see the video as a desperate act on Peters’ part, according to Kevin Spillane, a Republican strategist.
Many are beginning to ask if these two candidates will ever really get down to the real issues and step out of the drama.
DeMaio has spent much of his campaign being on the defense while Peters’ campaign has been a virtual mudslinging machine. DeMaio, however, has begun to fight back with his own finger pointing.
Constituents deserve better but will they get better? Not, if the candidates’ debate on October 9, 2014, is any proof.
The debate in California’s most expensive House race seemed to continue the tradition of the two men exchanging barbs.
As you might expect when the candidates did focus on the issues, Peters’ praised Obama’s handling of the Islamic State and wants comprehensive immigration reform while DeMaio criticized Obama for his strategy against the Islamic State and wants to close the borders first.
While this campaign is not dissimilar to other major national campaigns, I, like many Americans, am done with the constant personal attack ads and avoidance of the issues.
We need to expect more from our politicians and send a clear signal that we mean business. We must contact our representative about our dissatisfaction, cease giving donations in support of them and vote them out.
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