By Stephen Meiche, in response to “Commentary: Whose Side is Julie Thunder On?”
Integrity. Trust. High moral and ethical conduct.
These are the qualities and characteristics of a competent and effective leader. These attributes must be demonstrated consistently, and an effective leader must always exercise good judgment to uphold these leadership values in public and in private.
Mayor Catherine Blakespear let us all down as a leader and has clearly demonstrated her lack of integrity and moral discipline by violating several important and significant pledges she made to campaign conduct.
Blakespear signed two pledges: the city’s Code of Fair Campaign Practices and The Coast News Clean Campaign Pledge. Both pledges are critical statements of fairness and a measurement of the candidates’ integrity.
On August 13, 2020, Blakespear boasted on her campaign Facebook page that she signed the city’s Code of Fair Campaign Practices:
“I shall not use or permit the use of character defamation, whispering campaigns, libel, slander, or scurrilous attacks on any candidate or his or her personal or family life.”
Yet one month later in an email on September 12, 2020, Blakespear violated her oath and pledge by making disparaging and derogatory statements accusing her “opponents” of being anti-homeless, anti-immigrant, anti-BLM (Black Lives Matter).
Blakespear claimed in her email:
“My opponents are anti-homeless, anti-immigrant, anti-BLM, and they are trying to paint me as a radical pro-growth extremist.”
It is unknown if Blakespear was referring to any citizen who opposes her, mayoral challenger Julie Thunder, or both. Accusing someone of being anti-homeless is accusing someone of being a bigot; even more damaging is accusing someone of being anti-immigrant and anti-BLM, which seems clearly to be accusing someone of being a racist. These accusations must be explained by the mayor to the public.
Blakespear spoke out against “toxicity” this election cycle and pledged again to run fair and honest campaigns during a Sept. 18 episode of The Coast News’ podcast.
An article was published in the Coast News on September 24th, Encinitas mayoral candidates further discuss toxicity, online abuse by Caitlin Steinberg.
Since its publication, Blakespear’s supporters and her PACs have increased personal attacks against candidate Julie Thunder on multiple social media outlets and in the public comments and commentary in the Coast News.
One particular comment by “Confused Bill” used language curiously close to that of the mayor’s in her Sept. 12 email, stating that mayoral opponent Julie Thunder engaged in “nearly a year of anti-homeless, antisemitic, anti-BLM, anti-immigrant, bigotry and hatred.”
It appears that the “whispering campaign” in the mayor’s email spread as intended.
This is especially disturbing as I know Julie Thunder personally and have never observed her engaging in the things the mayor accuses her of behind her back.
The mayor must be held accountable for her violation of trust for participating in the very behavior she pledged against and for not publicly denouncing the behavior of her supporters on social media.
Hopefully, the mayor will make a public apology to Julie Thunder and call off the attacks by her supporters. I ask that the Coast News investigate Blakespear’s pledge violations and sanction the mayor for her betrayal.