DeMaio, Alvarez respond to Ethics Commission's decision to fine local political consultants

SAN DIEGO - A group of local Democratic political consultants behind dozens of robocalls and a flier that aimed to keep Carl DeMaio from being elected mayor in 2012 has been fined thousands of dollars by the San Diego Ethics Commission for violating city election laws.

10News went to an office building in Fashion Valley to speak with Jesus Cardenas, one of the Democratic consultants fined and also behind the flier, but were told by Neighborhood Market Association staff that they evicted him and his consulting company Innovation Media Group last month.

Cardenas, Juan Boyce and Cynara Velazquez made up the group, "Conservatives For Gay Rights Supporting Carl DeMaio For Mayor 2012," according to the San Diego Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission found Cardenas and Velazquez were behind robocalls and a flier that were both aimed at using former mayoral candidate DeMaio's sexuality for political gain during the 2012 race for mayor.

"This is actually one of those cases that's all about the fundamentals. It's not in the weeds of all the laws or anything else, it's right up there on the surface of what the voters expect," said Stacey Fulhorst, the executive director of the city of San Diego Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission charged the group $7,500 for failing to provide an address, failing to disclose their principal officers and failing to maintain records reflecting the number of robocalls the group sent out.

On Friday, DeMaio issued a statement that read in part, "Our opponents can't argue with our ideas – so instead, they go nasty, negative and dirty in their personal attacks."

Political analyst John Dadian told 10News, "We don't know now so many months later if this affected the campaign or not and that's the sad part about this whole situation. Everybody should denounce this – Democrats, Republicans, anybody, who believes in good campaigning."

Friday night, San Diego mayoral candidate David Alvarez condemned the group's behavior after the U-T San Diego reported Velazquez was scheduled to host a fundraiser for him on Oct. 20.

Alvarez said what U-T San Diego reported was incorrect and that instead, "Velazquez had volunteered to bring a group of her neighbors together to learn more about my campaign. In light of today's news, she has canceled the event."


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