Devil Comes Down to District 3

Just in time for Halloween — or is it Election Day? — comes this mailer against District 3 City Council candidate Stephen Whitburn (you can click on the button below to get the full-screen presentation):

The mailer is put out by the San Diego Voter Education Project, which according to this campaign document, is funded by $5,000 each from Robert Lehman, RSF Execare CEO, and Eugene P. Heytow, CEO of Amalgamated Bank of Chicago. Their donations are labeled as supporting Todd Gloria, Whitburn’s opponent.

Additionally, developer Thomas Sudberry, whose Quarry Falls project just passed through City Council, is listed on the filings as having donated $1,000.

The third page of the group’s mailer shows a list of Whitburn’s campaign contributions above the text: “Say NO to back room deals. Say NO to developers.”

I got this note from Jerelyn Dino, who is listed as one of the donors on the mailer:

As one of the donors identified in the piece, I want to clarify that neither I nor my company are a “developer.” My occupation is listed as “editor” in the official records. The company I work for has no work before City Council and does the majority of its work in the county. We are land use consultants and advise landowners on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements. I have never been to a “back room.”

But, more importantly, this hit piece ushers in a new low. There have been several hard fought elections in District 3 and I have never seen anything to match the misinformation contained in this mailer. The cover alone is worth condemning: A hand shake between the Devil (or a person with a severe sunburn and an addiction to ghoulish black fingernails). The ad is paid for by a group calling themselves “San Diego Voter Educaton Project,” which records show is registered to Bob Lehman and Eugene Heytow. Mr. Lehman is an activist in the LGBT community and a supporter of Todd Gloria; and Mr. Heytow is a Chicago banker with a home in San Diego. For the first time in my memory a well-qualified candidate from the LGBT community is being attacked from within that community. As for a Chicago banker, one can only guess his reason for injecting such vitriol into a campaign that while hard fought has been fair up to now. For the first time in District 3 we are seeing a gay man attack another and Democrat attacking Democrat.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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