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Though the San Diego County Registrar of Voters has until July 3 to certify election results, the votes are counted and some results merit more analysis. Why did the campaign efforts of the influential, pro-business Lincoln Club fare so poorly in the South Bay?

The Lincoln Club supported incumbent Chula Vista council member Pamela Bensoussan, who also enjoyed Democratic Party support. However, she garnered only 34.11 % of the vote. As a result, in November Bensoussan will face Republican Larry Breitfelder, who received 37.11 %.

The Club also supported Jerry Rindone, a South County incumbent for the County Board of Education. However, Lyn Neylon defeated Rindone.

Also the Lincoln Club urged a "no" vote on Chula Vista's Proposition C. The proposition called for term limits for Chula Vista's city attorney and authorized the city council to hire an outside counsel when the city attorney has a conflict of interest. The proposition passed with 53.44 % voting "yes."

David Malcolm co-chairs the Lincoln Club Political Action Committee. Malcolm no longer resides in Chula Vista but is rooted in the city through his personal and political history and because of his long-standing friendship with Mayor Cheryl Cox.

A recent U-T article credits Malcolm and his company, Suncoast Financial Mortgage Corporation, with donating $62,508 to the Lincoln Club. The article states that Democratic political consultant Chris Crotty "called the Lincoln Club 'the No. 1 influencer' in San Diego politics right now."

On June 25 Malcolm responded to the question: What happened to Lincoln Club influence in the South County?

Malcolm's view of the scenario was framed by optimism.

For starters, he pointed out that the election results for the Lincoln Club in the whole county represented an 89% success rate.

Malcolm attributed council member Bensoussan's lack of success to low voter turnout in the primary which he said is traditionally dominated by Republicans. Bensoussan is a Democrat.

According to Malcolm, "Breitfelder's only chance of winning was in the primary." (Breitfelder was the only Republican challenger.)

It appears the Lincoln Club is ready to throw money against Bensoussan's opponent as Malcolm said, "In November you can be assured Mr. Breitfelder's background at the water board will be brought forward." (Curiously, the Lincoln Club supported Breitfelder in his 2010 bid for a council seat. Breitfelder served on the Otay Water Board from 2002-2010.)

Breitfelder, in a subsequent interview said, "I feel honored to come out in first place when there was an incumbent [Bensoussan] in the race. If an incumbent only gets 1/3 of the vote, there is obviously real voter dissatisfaction."

As for Jerry Rindone and the County Board of Education seat, Malcolm believes Rindone was simply outspent by Lyn Neylon.

Proposition C was another story. Malcolm lamented "People still believe strongly in term limits and that is why the proposition passed. But what happens to institutional memory?"

If there was an error in Lincoln Club strategy, Malcolm said it was to link the two candidates, Bensoussan and Rindone, with Proposition C in the campaign literature.

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Comments

Pancho June 25, 2012 @ 7:58 p.m.

I was surprised to see Pamela Bensoussan endorsed by the Lincoln Club also. Breitfelder portrays himself as a right-wing fiscal conservative and I tend to disagree with him on almost everything he says. Beyond that, I whole heartedly supported Prop H in the Nov 2010 election and Breitfelder was one of the two leading opponents of it. Therefore, I will do whatever I can to get Bensoussan re-elected, even if she is endorsed by the Lincoln Club over Breitfelder. Politics sure does make strange bed fellows, as the saying goes.

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Susan Luzzaro June 25, 2012 @ 9:01 p.m.

Pancho, the recent vote and the interesting realignments reinforces your comment about politics and bedfellows. As we look around Chula Vista, we all ask ourselves--is Chula Vista going forward, and what is the best option to go forward....

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Pancho June 25, 2012 @ 10:06 p.m.

True. I have wondered a lot lately what direction the city is going. It seems as though the council meetings have been hijacked by Ramirez with Castaneda & Aguilar following most if not all of his motions that the mayor and Bensoussan oppose.

Susan, have you been following all the last minute budget changes by council (3 to 2 vote) with realigning the library and recreation departments, among other things? Lots of people are upset and planning a protest in front of council chambers at 3 pm on Thursday, June 28, an hour before the meeting is set to start for the final vote on the budget. Are you going to be there?

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bonitaresident June 25, 2012 @ 9:39 p.m.

I am thinking one of the reasons is the backing of John McCann, a board member of Sweetwater Union High School District. There is much publicity regarding this Districts problems, both historically and present - most involve alleged corruption.

Many in the district listened to his living room discussions where he vowed to clean up the district however now,

McCann is seen as the board member who failed to share a second legal opinion which allegedly suggested that Dr. Gandara (x superintendent currently under indictment) could be fired for cause. Recently he filed a restraining order on one of those persons who went to the DA with their concerns about the district and then McCann requested and received his legal representation paid for by the taxpaying public even though the judge evidently failed to issue a permanent restraining order. The judge allegedly stated that McCann had changed the events of the evening as the initial statement given to police officers differed from the statement he provided to the courts.

Putting all of the politics aside there is much talk about some of McCann's perceived immature actions i.e. he allegedly became upset with one of his fellow board members and turned off their mic. He was taping certain speakers the night the board voted on whether to pay for the legal counsel of those under indictment - sat there with a bizarre grin on his face when he was asked why he was doing it - refusing to stop. The night of the alleged threat of assault one of his complaints was that the community member called him Howdy Doody.

Recent articles in the UT elude to the fact that the current interim superintendent may be double dipping - he is receiving his pension from the state based on his tenure with his school employment and is also receiving around $20,000.00 as a salary under the name Brand & Associates. Additionally the CFO of the district is doing the same, even though she took an early retirement and received an financial incentive to do so - but in fact she never left, she was rehired after her alleged early retirement under her intials with associates tacked on the end. So, if McCann is truly a politician who is calling for fiscal responsibility why is he voting for these contracts?

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bonitaresident June 25, 2012 @ 9:40 p.m.

Then there is the issue of the while legal, quite worrisome, campaign contributions of the last election that were given to not only McCann but James Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa as well. It has been stated that McCann received donations from one of the contractors that recently pled guilty in the Sweetwater indictments over a year after McCann took office. Many are questioning this since this same firm appears to be the firm that was given many of the architectural contracts for the Prop O Bond Construction. In all fairness it is important to note that all of the candidates that WON Sweetwater seats in the last election were the recipients of many thousands of dollars from contractors who were or now are working on Prop O projects. One of the board members received $20,000.00 with one phone call, from the management company overseeing Prop O so it is reported on the Registrar of Voters. When community member Maty Adato submitted the paper work to have campaign contributions and gifts brought to a halt, the board decided they would vote in a new policy in (June 2012 meeting) where an item can be heard only once a year. When the item was initially brought before the board the board simply sat there and failed to even open it up for discussion the item died for lack of motion. True, McCann sent an email to someone (UT or Brand??) requesting a limit on gifts, the item however has never been brought forward, kind of suspicious don't you think? It is time, I think for each one of us to truly consider the facts as reported by the Registrar of Voter - compare them to the Prop O contracts that were awarded and then make up your own minds.

There was an issue a few months back when the board was voting on paying for the defense of those indicted, it is alleged that the Republican Party paid for the robo calls that went out the same day of the board meeting - the robo call states that McCann would be voting No. Kind of peculiar, why not wait and vote with the rest of the board - this was not received well by either Party's constituents, and seemed to backfire big time as an attempt for McCann to grandstand. And, it was McCann who brought Dr. Brand in as the interim - the very night Gandara was retired. So how did that happen, how did Brand know what was coming down the pike before the vote to retire Gandara ever took place? Brand lives in the North County and the meeting was held at Southwest, now that is what one would call due south.

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bonitaresident June 25, 2012 @ 9:40 p.m.

In any event it is clear that the South Bay is beginning to take notice of candidates and their affiliations - does McCann really represent the Lincoln Club? Whether right or wrong it appears that the South Bay thinks so. It is a shame as many members of the Lincoln Club are seen as positive members of San Diego city and county.

No matter what your affiliation it is imperative that all representatives carry themselves in a manner that reflects integrity. Many in the South Bay are beginning to question the votes they cast in the past, and truly becoming reflective about who they will choose in November. Will McCann, Cartmill and Ricasa be RECALLED, who knows - one thing is for sure, politics as usual may not be politics as usual for Cartmill or McCann - their political futures are surely in doubt - whether it be this November or next it appears they will forced out by the voting populous - as the community wants a change in direction. Ricasa and Quiones, well the two of them are up to 12 of their peers. The community of the South Bay is sick with all that is wrong with Sweetwater and are looking to break the pac of McCann, Cartmill and Ricasa. Up until the indictments it was a standard 4-1 vote, Quinones use to run with the pac - now it depends on which way the wind is blowing as to how she will cast her vote. The only person who is seen as a viable board member at this time is Bertha Lopez - her documented votes on the Board docs is indicative of her direction.

Can we just get back to candidates who vote their conscience - some where along the way things got broken. Where are all of the good Republicans?, surely you are there - where are all of the good Democrats ?, where are all of the good Independents? You are out there, you have to be - for if you were not God help us all.

just my opinion.

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bonitaresident June 25, 2012 @ 9:43 p.m.

Ms. Luzzaro: I apologize for the long post.

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anniej June 25, 2012 @ 10:37 p.m.

Bonitaresident: I believe you have about summed it up - hopefully many in the south bay, both voters and candidates will read this post and give pause - no matter what side of the political tape you are on one thing is for sure we all deserve the best representation possible. i, for one, do not expect my candidate(s) of choice to always share my point of view - i just want them to have one - point of view that is - i can not condone candidates or elected officers who simply vote the party line. i stopped being 'led' when i took my first breath (so say my parents) - been an independent thinker ever since. i enjoy others points of view, i respect others opinions and have discovered there is much to be learned by simply listening to those of opposing views - it opens the doors to ones mind, expands ones horizons of thought so to speak.

regarding john mccann, well it is hard to dispute what is well documented. many of those i call friend voted for him, one of those cases of 'we' agreed to disagree. it is a shame, just when the district needed another strong board member. perhaps this time around, with a new candidate going against quinones we can begin to sweep the place clean, 4 new board members then a new superintendent.

campaign contribution reform is a must if we are going to ever have a clean board again. one thing for sure, the chance of another bond passing in this community - about as much as a snow balls chance in h e double l.

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Susan Luzzaro June 25, 2012 @ 11:28 p.m.

Pancho, I heard there was something planned for Thursday. Thanks for the details. I remember in last year's comments you were concerned about Parks and Rec. I did a public records request and found that since 2006 the city had laid off something like 233 employees and not replaced close to 70. I wonder how many of those were from Park and Rec?

I am following the city budget dialogue.

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anniej June 26, 2012 @ 8:59 a.m.

Susan: parks and rec - time and time again those holding the purse strings look to this budget to cut. we, the adults are suppose to be the protectors of the youth. how often do we see a story or read an article where a young man and these days many more young women simply loose their way.

how many lives have persons like Frank Carson of Parkway Rec positively influenced? how many lessons has this man taught to the youth of our community? how many paths has he and his staff been able to steer towards a positive lifes journey? many, many, many - this man and his superior staff watched and guided my two grandchildren in their pursuit to learn to play the game of basketball. he taught them how to be good sports, how to respect the opposing team. and so it is in life - so to Mr. Carson and his group of positive role models i say THANK YOU - (my special favorite, the female no nonsense blonde ref who truly knows the game (i apologize for not remembering her name) who once put me in my place when i became a little over zealous at a game of 10 year olds (shame on me).

and to those who plan to merge parks and rec with the library i say CAUTION. think of the young lives you will be impacting - is this truly the right decision - my opinion NO, it is not.

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Susan Luzzaro June 25, 2012 @ 11:29 p.m.

no worries bonita resident. long comments are for late night reading.

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Woodchuck June 26, 2012 @ 10:12 a.m.

The "Club of Lincoln"- what a misnomer! Lincoln stood up for justice and a voice/representation for all. Our modern Club wants a return to a time when the privileged few determine the results for all. Oh, wait, thanks to the "Citizens United" supreme court ruling, that is what is happening right now! It is a good thing Chula Vista is such a small player the big money from super pacs won't make an appearance. Thank you AnnieJ for your comment regarding park and rec. Add libraries to that list and you have a nice chunk of what should be prioritized in our budget. I am hoping for a "changing of the guard" here in the South Bay. Out with the greed and in with the good.

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joepublic June 26, 2012 @ 11:50 a.m.

"We believed that Bensoussan cared about the community only later to find out that Bensoussan only cared about Bensoussan, her campaign debts, and re-election. Four years ago we endorsed Pamela Bensoussan for Chula Vista City Council. Over the years we have grown to regret that endorsement. The person we met before the election, the candidate we endorsed, was not the person that became a council person!" [La Prensa, May 11, 2012]

This is more likely the reason why Ms. Bensoussan lost in the primary. Those that she fooled last time around aren't going to forget, and Mr. Malcom's anti-union, pro-Republican Lincoln Club's deep pockets are going to have a hard time convincing the voters to repeat their mistake.

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anniej June 26, 2012 @ 9:19 p.m.

Joepublic: could it be that running for office is now only obtainable if you have financial backing? i mean real financial backing. i can think of many persons in our community who would make excellent city council representatives - most of them simply do not want to expose themselves or their family members to some of the questionable practices of some representing certain entities.

it is time that we as a society really look at the person staring back at us in the mirror - what are each one of us doing to help our community our country prosper? what are each one of us doing to pay it forward? and finally are the tactics of some really necessary?

bottom line the south bay has a bad reputation, of that there is no mistake, so what are each one of you doing to help change that perception?

just a thought............

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johndewey June 26, 2012 @ 12:21 p.m.

Pancho: You write that many are upset about realigning the library and recreation departments. Where was everybody when they laid off the staff that actually provided the recreation department services? By cutting top management positions and saving around a quarter of a million dollars, hopefully the city will now hire them back.

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anniej June 26, 2012 @ 9:12 p.m.

JohnDewey: i Sir was there speaking on behalf of Parks & Rec in front of the City Council. while my children had a great support system which has now been passed down to my grandchildren, there are many many of the south bay's youth who do not. historically what did kids do, they played in open spaces - do you see much of that any more? so, where are kids suppose to go to be with other kids and 'hang out'? they can not go to the high schools, and play tennis, basketball, or handball as they are locked down tight. they can not go to the elementary schools to play either. high school sports has become so competitive that only those who excel find themselves on a team. sure there are private clubs, but many do not have the money, or their parents work and transportation is a problem. and now this - cuts to the recs and cuts to the libraries - in other words, you can not vote so we really don't give a rutty rat; is that really the message we want to send?

now i know that times are tough and money is sparse and i am sure that Mayor Cox is doing her best - i am simply challenging them to work a little harder; i am respectfully asking that they prioritize the youth - think of them as if they were the third avenue beautification project. find the money you need elsewhere. our children should not be seen as pawns on the chess table of the city's budget - hell they are already being short changed by the sweetwater district, now the city wants to pile on? those in power know better and should do better.

just my humble opinion

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Pancho June 26, 2012 @ 9:52 p.m.

johndewey: Being that you have only seven posts total, I'm going to assume that you haven't seen a lot of my posts and activity regarding parks & rec and Chula Vista. Yes I have protested and opposed many of council's actions publicly and in writing since 2008.

Now onto your other question. NO! The city will not use the money to hire back the full-time rec staff they cut. The city council was clear about that. They did not want that money to pay for another person. They have already cut the top management in recreation. Pay attention. In 2006, the rec dept had 6 top management positions. They now have two managers after their director of recreation was let go last week. So your cookie cutter approach will not work here. According to 10 News, the director that was released last week was responsible for bringing in 3.4 million dollars in grants.

I feel this is an ill-conceived idea that is doomed to fail. Managing the size and complexity of a department as large as the CV Recreation Department requires executive management with expertise in Recreation. The proposal eliminates that and puts an additional department under the City’s Library director. Inevitably, a manager will be hired to head the Recreation division, thereby eliminating any savings anticipated by the elimination of the current director. BAD IDEA!

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johndewey June 28, 2012 @ 12:32 p.m.

Pancho: Thanks for the link. Mr. Castaneda's comment, "Are we going to fund bureaucracy or are we going to fund programs for our community? And at least three of us decided that we're going to fund programs for the community", should be read back to him, and he should be held accountable for doing just that.

Hopefully the protest will hold the council's feet to the fire and assure that the $250,000+ top manager's salary will be spent on hiring people who will give direct service to the community and ideally, those would be workers who were laid off.

One fear I have is that they're going try and privatize the whole recreation department; and who knows what would be next?

By the way, you're correct. I wasn't aware of your prior involvement in protesting the layoffs of so many employees. Thanks for the background information.

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