Another DeMaio Oops moment

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Carl DeMaio's campaign has been thrown off a bit in recent weeks, losing the initiative and being forced to react as other candidates set the topics for debate. The response from Team DeMaio has been a series of stunts in the hopes of seizing some of that initiative back -- but they just keep backfiring.

First, DeMaio tried for a dramatic 'gotcha' moment against Nathan Fletcher in the first televised debate of the election. DeMaio triumphantly asked Fletcher whether he was currently the subject of any ethics investigation, and seemed surprised when Fletcher said no. Team DeMaio distributed copies of an ethics complaint after the debate, but it turned out that the complaint had already been dismissed and, according to the city's ethics chief "It's 100% correct that Nathan had no way of knowing about this unless the complainant told him."

Oops. Big moment to shine, but the ethics commission moved too quickly on the bogus claim. Maybe this is another reason that DeMaio tried to de-fund the ethics commission after it fined him for bad ethics.

He tried again today, criticizing Nathan Fletcher for receiving a donation from former San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory, who served during the early years of the pension underfunding. This presents a tricky standard for DeMaio, since it suggests that DeMaio agrees with the record of any donor whose money he keeps, past, present, and future. But as it turns out it also makes him a hypocrite, since the first reaction from Team DeMaio (before criticizing) was to... also ask McGrory for money.

This is a tough spot for DeMaio. It would strain credulity to imagine that DeMaio would have rejected a donation had it been offered by McGrory, so any criticism DeMaio has for Fletcher, it's for something DeMaio was wishing to be too. And as was also noted today, this isn't the only time DeMaio has played the jilted lover in this campaign. For all DeMaio's talk about not wanting support from public employees, and about public employees being his real opponents, he solicited the San Diego Police Officers Association for their endorsement (He didn't get it). So now he criticizes the endorsement instead.

If DeMaio is going to continue with all the stunts, he might want to stop tripping over himself every time.