Maldonado Running Dishonest Campaign

Monday, November 5, 2012
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I’ve known Abel Maldonado for a long time. I consider us to be friends. We served together in Sacramento, and while we disagreed on a woman’s right to choose, funding for education, and immigration reform, among other issues, I always respected his long devotion to public service.

I’m sorry to say this version of Abel Maldonado who is now campaigning for Congress is not the same person I knew and served with in Sacramento.

I’ve watched this election unfold, and it’s clear that Mr. Maldonado is running a dishonest campaign. Central Coast voters deserve better.

His latest ad is one of the most brazenly untrue I have ever seen. I’ve never seen a candidate sit in a chair and talk straight into the camera and say something that has not even a kernel of truth. It can’t even be twisted into the truth.

He said he has always paid his taxes and that his tax liens were paid off 20 years ago. This is impossible to be true.

First, as we all know, he currently is in tax court against the IRS for claiming obviously improper deductions for his home remodeling, his country club membership, luxury homes and even his own political fundraiser. He owes $4.2 million in unpaid taxes, according to court filings.

Second, on his tax liens, he has had 9 tax liens, and the most recent was in 2010, not 20 years ago, for $111,146. He’s well aware of this, since the Los Angeles Times and nearly every media outlet in the Central Coast reported on this in 2010 when he was running for Lieutenant Governor.

But it’s not just his latest ad. Let’s look at his debates. Many of us have seen the clip where he claimed that he wasn’t running negative ads, and then the crowd roared in disbelief since they’ve seen his attack ads running all over their TVs. He’s actually still claiming that he is not attacking Lois Capps, when four of his own TV ads have done just that. Frankly the residents are sick of all of the negative campaigning.

Most alarmingly, he has spread misinformation about his own record. At UCSB, he said he supported the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” when he actually voted against a resolution calling for its repeal - twice. He then said he “actually has a good record on domestic partnerships,” when in fact he voted against domestic partnership rights for LGBT couples at least four times, signed a pledge to oppose marriage equality, voted for Proposition 8, and received failing scores from Equality California every year.

He’s given confusing statements on a woman’s right to choose in this election, but when he was in Sacramento he voted against a resolution supporting the Roe v. Wade decision. He received failing scores from Planned Parenthood every year and refused to answer their questionnaire – or the California Right to Life questionnaire – when he ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2010.

On immigration, he told the Associated Press in 1998 that he voted for Proposition 187, the most divisive anti-immigrant ballot measure in California history. Now he says that’s not true.

On health care reform, he says he would support allowing kids to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 – except what he doesn’t tell you is that he voted against that in Sacramento.

On offshore oil drilling, he now says he always opposed it. Yet he doesn’t say that he refused to rule out more offshore oil drilling in a 2009 interview with the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

And remember, it was just four months ago when he said he would publicly release his tax returns so the voters could see for themselves if Mr. Maldonado’s really paid his taxes like he says in his ad. He has not released his tax returns as he promised.

I expected better from Mr. Maldonado.

Jack O'Connell represented San Luis Obispo and the Central Coast as a state assemblymember, as a state senator, and as California's Superintendent of Public Instruction.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Thank you Mr. O'Connell. Maldonado has disgraced the entire central coast with his campaign and insulted every voter with his lies.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 2:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, and Lois Capps has run a pristine campaign with no distortions of either of their records. Her campaign ads are as pure as the driven snow! Vote Lois Capps for Saint!

Botany (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 3:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If long-time favorite public servant Jack O'Connell say it, I AGREE 1000%! Jack remains the BEST political figure I have ever encountered. He knows the true meaning of public service and it is NOT to be used to line one's own pockets. Thank you, Jack, for your honesty and integrity.

Abel, not so much. Latino-Republican remains the most puzzling oxymoron ever. Stockholm Syndrome at its most profane.


Draxor (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 5:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Draxor: Jack told me he likes me better than he likes you.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 5:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

O'Connell is an honest politician, I know I know, but this is damning and Maldonado is finished.
Vote Lois Capps!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 6:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What a crock. Look at the state of our school system and then ask yourself if you should trust anything this man has to say. I'm sorry, but I don't. I'm supporting Obama (because I am a Democrat) but I will not support Lois. She is incompetent and never replies to my requests for help. I SUPPORT MALDONADO!

sbdem805 (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 6:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@sbdem805 - No tricks played by the Indy. Some of the same Maldonado lies were covered by Nick Welsh in his 10/25 Angry Poodle column:

Jack O'Connell is a straight shooter. If Maldonado is caving already, imagine how much caving he'd do if elected.

Say what you want about Capp's rent kerfuffle. Maldonado has already sold his soul.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 7:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If anything this letter simply shows how DISHONEST JACK O’CONNELL is.

As a political science major and volunteer on a few campaigns back home I can say that many Dems thought Jack O’Connell was a traitor for commuting to and from Sacramento with Abel Maldonado.


I actually think Maldonado is okay. He seems bipartisan and this area is ready for someone new. After 14 yrs what is Capps going to do that she hasn’t already done? NOTHING.

StephanieSB (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 8:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Once again Mr. O'Connell has distinguished himself as ineffectual and irrelevant. He waits to submit this op/ed piece until the day before the election, thus appearing on election day in which he says he likes Maldonado but alleges Abel's campaign is untrue. O'Connell's career was always marked by "playing it safe" and now is no different. Had he seriously hoped to affect or influence the debate he would have participated when his comments had hope of reaching anyone. Instead, he straddled the fence avoiding the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution for fear of angering someone. A more half-hearted endorsement for Capps I have yet to see, but I'm sure he is happy that he didn't piss anybody off. At least Maldonado is in the kitchen taking the heat.

bulldog80 (anonymous profile)
November 6, 2012 at 8:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

one's technical capacity to pilot an airplane doesn't have much to do with his moral integrity, his political judgement, and his desire to render faithful service to his constituents. Maldonado simply lies, and often, and it's on record. However, O'Connell most unfortunately did wait until awfully late to put this out.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 6, 2012 at 9:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Botany.....Um, I don't know about sainthood. But her campaign hasn't included lies. Maldonado's has. Get over it and face facts. It doesn't hurt as much as living in a dream world. I promise.

Native1 (anonymous profile)
November 6, 2012 at 9:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I tried on three occasions to find out Maldonado's position on the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act. (Which he doesn't address on his website) Since I am against these laws, and Capps is for them, and his staff who I spoke to and left messages for weeks ago couldn't seem to answer these simple questions, I did not vote for him or Capps. If nothing else, Maldonado was not clear on the issues and lost my vote as a result.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 6, 2012 at 11:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@billclausen ... I assume you object to the indefinite detention parts of the NDAA? I do too. Those parts (I'm pretty sure) are only in the 2012 NDAA and were added by Senators Levin and McCain.

Capps voted ***AGAINST*** the 2012 NDAA because of that! Here's proof - see the May 18, 2012 entry for HR.4310:

The first NDAA was passed in 2007 and is re-written each year because its main purpose is to authorize the defense budget which changes every year.

If you find evidence to the contrary, please post here. But I don't think you will.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 12:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Given the amount of expressed public concern over NDAA 2012 it would've been nice if officials addressed people's questions and why did Maldonado duck the question/issue? Because he's a hawk who desires war with Iran.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 1:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Scroll to December 14, 2011.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 1:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You are absolutely correct bill_Clausen. I made a mistake and was looking at Capp's vote on NDAA 2013, not NDAA 2012.

That said, the detention portions (sections 1021 & 1022 of NDAA 2012) are still in NDAA 2013 and I give Capps credit for voting NAY on NDAA 2013.

And while Capps voted for the original Patriot Act, I give her full credit for supporting every single vote that's come along since to repeal or to not extend the Patriot Act (there have been at least 4 or 5).

One of the problems with Congressional bills is they often address multiple issues, some of which are not even related. I respect how difficult it can be to decide whether to vote for a bill when its got a mix of good & bad things. The wording of NDAA 2012 sections 1021/2022 related to detention is vague and there was a lot of debate about it's real legal impact. So I would not blame Capps if she voted for the 2012 version to wait for clarification or other things to play out until the next year's version for 2013.

NDAA 2012 did have one important issue I support which is a 6-year extension of the SBIR grant system for small businesses. On her website, Capps says she supported NDAA 2012 for that reason.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 2:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@StephanieSB - the qualifications of piloting an airplane are slightly different than being a congressman.

As a poli sci major, you should probably know this.

Native1 (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 5:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Where I disagree with you EastBeach is that by voting for it, the precedent was set. While I don't know what she's thinking, it's also plausible to suggest that she is playing to both sides of the aisle. Unless she were to come out and say "I should not have voted for this and will work to overturn it" then she is for it, and a cursory look at the sixth amendment will show that the National Defense Authorization Act contradicts the constitution.

The revolutionary war was fought so that we could get away from this sort of intrusiveness.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 5:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess we'll never really know the rationale behind Capp's NDAA 2012 vote unless someone calls or writes her.

But at least I now know why you think about Capps the way you do. As for myself, I am more forgiving. She's already voted against NDAA 2013 so in my book has tried to overturn it ... that's good enough for me.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 9:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I am both thankful and not surprised she won.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 8, 2012 at 1:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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