Political extremism in Mission Viejo was not the California Promise

Following are two posts from the popular Mission Viejo Dispatch. Both connected posts relate to our city council election that is truly getting ugly.  www.missionviejodispatch.com
Activist Dan Avery, who has been banned from our blog, is in the center of the firestorm as he defends his First Amendment rights. I need to point out that Dan is the webmaster of council member Dave Leckness who did not attempt to stop Dan from his personal attacks and intimidation of another council member at the September 20th council meeting.

“Dirty Tricks Alleged To Dave Leckness

by MissionViejoDispatch.com on September 21, 2010

“At Monday night’s council meeting two public speakers alleged Dave Leckness was affiliated with an anonymous campaign attack website.  One of the speakers said he was able to trace the site to the computer server of Dave Leckness’ website manager. Leckness is seeking re-election against the candidates who were personally assailed. The speaker noted the website manager’s wife is the treasurer for the Leckness campaign. 

 Another speaker, disclosing he was Brian Skalsky’s treasurer, condemned the ethics of anonymous political speech.  He called it “gutter politics” which inhibits good government and substantive discussion of issues by avoiding transparency and responsibility to voters.  He called the level of “personal venom” on the site “disgusting.” 

  Also exposed was an email from Frank Ury to some residents which included a link to the attack site.  Ury’s email forced him to admit and defend the low-blow content. He justified it by analogizing the situation with political attacks on President Andrew Jackson’s wife in the 1800’s.  The councilman then chided the speakers for being naive, telling them to “man up and deal with it.”  

 Dirty sites are more common with independent political groups than elected officeholders, making the alleged connection with Leckness and Ury more significant.  Trish Kelley, who is also seeking re-election against the targets of the website, is the mentor and running mate of Dave Leckness.  

 Leckness’ website manager later spoke to the council. He didn’t deny his and the wife’s campaign role with Leckness, nor that his server was implicated, but he claimed the attack website as his own. He argued the site was not “licensed” to Dave Leckness, and as a business owner he had the right “to donate space to whoever he wanted.” He angrily directed his remarks to Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht, who is not supporting the incumbents. “You need to know who you are tangling with – someone who was maced, gassed, beat with night sticks, and had a firehose turned on him for standing up for what I believed in. You people are going to fold long before we get there,” he vehemently proclaimed. He was a member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and has described himself far left on the political spectrum.”

The follow up Letter to the Editor,approved for reprint by the Editor is entitled “Dirty Tricks & The S.D.S.” follows:

by MissionViejoDispatch.com on September 21, 2010

“Few  articles  that  I   have  read  in  the M.V. Dispatch have disgusted me more than “Dirty Tricks Alleged To Dave Leckness”. I understand that “going negative” in political campaigns is a standard tactic because, unfortunately, it works. Voters are directed away from the candidate’s positions on important issues, and instead encouraged to focus on the candidate’s alleged bad character or misdeeds. The targeted candidate is forced to address the charges, which diverts valuable campaign resources that could be better used to further the candidate’s message.

Then when an email from Frank Ury to some residents, which included a link to a political attack site against his opponents was exposed, he justified it by analogizing the situation with political attacks on President Andrew Jackson’s wife in the 1800’s. His statement to speakers that they were “being naive”, and telling them to “man up and deal with it”, is the height of political arrogance.

Learning that Leckness’ website manager also claimed ownership of the attack website, and as “a business owner” and “former member of the S.D.S.” he had the right “to donate space to whoever he wanted”, and his admonishment/threat of “you need to know who you are tangling with”, and “you people are going to fold long before we get there”, was interesting to me in several respects.

I am a Viet Nam Era veteran, and was attending college on the G.I.Bill during the heyday of the S.D.S. As a member and President of the campus veterans fraternity, Chi Gamma Iota (X-G I), we protected the Administration Building when the S.D.S. tried to occupy it. Showing more wisdom than they normally exhibited, they decided not to mess with a bunch of combat veterans. Ultimately, however, the S.D.S. did prevail in the U.S., and the NORTH Vietnamese Communist government credited the S.D.S. with helping THEM to win the Viet Nam War.

Most S.D.S. members upon graduation went into teaching and influenced your children with their politics and concepts of Victimization, Class Warfare, radical Environmentalism, Statism, no individual property rights, and the re-distribution of wealth. Today they are the Deans at Major Colleges, and influence what your Grand Children are learning.

Having a former member of the S.D.S. as a business owner arguing his rights to do with his business as he sees fit, I find ironic. As a proud member of the T.E.A. Party movement, and a veteran, I believe it is time to clean house at the local, as well as the State and National levels. I do not trust ANY politician with friends that describe themselves as “far left on the political spectrum”.
Norm Jones” 


Gilbert comment: We have a first in our city council elections.
Back during the February recall campaign Dave Leckness signs were seen nailed to trees on our major streets.  Apparently Dave cannot control his volunteers, or simply doesn’t care that once again several residents, including one of the candidates, have notified me that vote for Dave signs are again being found nailed on our trees. He sent me photos for proof.  Dave has been notified yet I await confirmation that they have been removed.

About Larry Gilbert