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Sunday, July 12, 2009 | As 50th Congressional District Candidate Francine Busby recently learned, a woman aspiring to elected office faces an antagonistic political environment in the City of Encinitas.

The profanity-laced heckling Busby and her supporters witnessed by a male opponent, lurking in the bushes at a recent Cardiff fundraiser, is eerily reminiscent of the derogatory opposition tactics employed against Encinitas City Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan during the course of her political career.

Who can forget the 72-square-foot sign, posted prominently on the property of one of Houlihan’s male opponents, declaring her a word so offensive that it is not fit to print? (Clue: the word is slang for “prostitute.”) Another male detractor — exhibiting the maturity of a three-year-old — hired a clown to stalk Houlihan for months on the campaign trail.

Busby has stated her belief that the offensive taunts that disrupted her campaign event, and subsequent noise complaint filed with the Sheriff’s Department, are politically motivated. Once the track record of attacks on female political candidates in the City of Encinitas is examined, who can question her theory?

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