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Commentary: Blakespear let us down

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.

Stephen Meiche


Ralph Chaney October 4, 2020 at 4:50 pm

1. Most posts above for Thunder are clear examples of her own breaking of the pledge.
2. Are you kidding us? Thunder and crew are doing the Same Thing, ONLY WORSE.
3. The writer says he like trust and transparency. HA! In Thunder and crew you get lies and manipulation.
– There was NO SUIT against cutizens. Name one person who got a summons?
– Thunder claims she’s an Independent. Pure nonTransparent baloney. She switched parties just before starting her campaign
– Housing numbers they use in their Zooms were simply wrong. Not correct at all. But they sure sound good when complaining.
-Thunder has been against helping homeless here for a long time. Her crew can be seen at Encinitas Watchdogs. She Co-started that group!

If you can’t admit their falsities, the you yourself are not being trustworthy.

Robert October 2, 2020 at 5:03 pm

Nicely written Steve! Catherine Blakespear has been caught lying to this community over and over again throughout the years. She’s failed to listen to her constituents, cancelling more “open session” public city council meetings and turning them into “closed session”than any other previous administration, zero transparency on her part. She’s received more lawsuits from our local community members and city employees than any previous administration (Anita Pupping “Encinitas Fire Marshal” suing Blakespear for harassment, Roberta Walker lawsuit naming Blakespear, and now there’s a Class Action lawsuit that’s recently been filed for all cycle accidents that have occurred on her new pet project that the community warned her was “too dangerous” for pedestrians and cyclist. The list goes on an on in regard to disasters and fiscal irresponsibility Blakespear has brought to this community. My family and I will be voting for Julie Thunder, Susan Turney and Alex Riley this November.

steve October 2, 2020 at 11:33 am

Great article, Steve. I agree 100%.
Thunder for Mayor, Riley and Turney for City Council.
Let’s take back Encinitas from the outside interests and developers. Enough is enough!

Lea October 2, 2020 at 11:06 am

I feel Steve takes Blakespear’s comments out of context and it is misleading not to have the full text of her email or the exchanges preceding it, it seems as if it was part of a larger conversation and Steve’s faux outrage only serves as a megaphone through which he shares his support of Julie Thunder.
To ignore the fact that many Thunder supporters display anti-homeless, ant-immigrant, and anti-BLM language online is disingenuous and instead of Thunder and supporters like Steve disavowing such behavior, they attack Blakespear. None of what she said is name calling or violates her clean campaign pledge. She is simply describing the vitriol she has been on the receiving end of and she did so very politely.

Catherine October 2, 2020 at 10:32 am

Blakespear is by far the worst mayor Encinitas has ever seen. A member of the socialist party who still lives at home with her mother has outright lied in her campaign promises to keep Encinitas a quaint and safe beach town. Instead, she has invited thousands of homeless to our town and is buying and housing them in 5 local hotels. Crime is up 58%! Just the other night a 20 year-old woman was raped at Moonlight beach at 8:30 PM. Transients are littering sidewalks in front of businesses with urine and feces. She built a cycle death trap on Hwy. 101 that has seen 22 accidents and 1 lawsuit since April that the mayor claims are only “incidents.” She claims our town is now a “bike” town rather than an iconic surf paradise. Our train no longer toots its horn. A homeless parking lot, where she coached out of town advocates to speak in favor of, sits mostly empty. She claims we need more density and can bear more congestion, longer drive times, and can park much further from our homes to accommodate that density. She ignores serious code violations and disparately enforces the code. I found my wiring spliced together with my electrician neighbors, like in a marijuana grow house in an illegal and dangerous junction box, and he wired his wife’s condo to my subpanel. The city ignored our complaints, but made my neighbor rip out a toilet that he built. The Sheriff is told to stand down and is preoccupied with babysitting the criminal transient element day and night. To add insult to injury she sued to overturn the will of the voters on Prop.A which gives us a say in zoning issues. I don’t recognize Encinitas any more. Blakespear isn’t even her real name and her husband receives payments at an address that doesn’t exist. She’s got to go before we greet each other as “comrade” in her communist fiefdom. Vote for Thunder, Turney and Riley.

Lynn Marr October 1, 2020 at 9:02 pm

Thank you, Steve. Excellent commentary, well supported by the facts of our (we hope) outgoing mayor, Catherine Blakespears’ breaking her pledges, demonstrating a blatant lack of ethics and lack of good judgment. We need to be able to trust our elected officials. That’s why I am voting for Julie Thunder for Mayor, and why I support Susan Turney and Alex Riley as new faces and new vision as Council Members for Districts One and Two.

I agree, Catherine Blaskespear could and should issue a public apology. To me, it seems as though she is trying to align herself with victims of injustice and mental illness, homelessness, by portraying her opponents , opponents of her packed Council incumbents, as opposing those same victims. CB is attempting to manipulate and twist public perception of reality by being dishonest.

What we need now, more than anything, is to be able to trust our leaders to tell the truth, to keep their pledges;that is, to uphold the public trust, NOT to betray it.

Bhavani Kirnak October 1, 2020 at 8:51 pm

Thank you for stepping up with this article!

I challenge Coast News to follow through by investigating the adherence to its own Clean Campaign Pledge by the mayoral campaigns. By investigation, I mean going beyond just giving equal time to both sides and taking notes while the candidates speak. I mean, doing to work and checking the facts independently.

For example, please check the stealing of campaign signs. Nearly every day, I hear about Julie Thunder signs being stolen. The number and sizes of Thunder signs stolen seems to exceed the total number of Blakespear signs that I have seen posted; so it’s hard to imagine that it is happening on both sides equally. I have even come across vandalized Thunder signs lying on the ground when out running. “Checking facts” would mean getting specific locations and property owners’ names where signs have been stolen, and validating them. I also understand when the City picks up improperly placed signs, they take them somewhere where candidates can reclaim them again. Check these records. Finally, check SeeClickFix, where improperly placed signs can be reported.

I also see pro-Blakespear signs being posted all over town on public property, which is not allowed in the rules. In the last week, I have seen at least 10 red signs that appear to have been placed by a firefighters’ PAC on Leucadia Encinitas Blvd and Quail Gardens Road. Why are firefighters violating code by improperly placing signs on public property? Why are firefighters supporting the incumbents at all? These are the answers I seek in a publication like the Coast News.

As much as I hate to tattle on firefighters, I care about a fair election more, so I reported the latter today on SeeClickFix. I am promised by “Code” that the sign sweeping occurs once a week and that my report will be given attention. I urge everyone to report signs seen on public property to SeeClickFix – another source of information that could be “investigated”.

Lea October 1, 2020 at 8:09 pm
Lea October 1, 2020 at 8:08 pm

Given that her opponents set up the site http://encinitaswatchdog.coma quick glance at the content there will show that Blakespear using the descriptions anti homeless, anti BLM, are all accurate descriptors.

Andrew Matuszeski October 1, 2020 at 5:18 pm

I welcome Stephen’s commentary for two reasons:

First, he fails to refute, address, or even mention a single point made in my editorial. In failing to do so, he confirms that the points made were sound and valid.

Second, he brings additional attention and readers to the original editorial. Anyone curious about what Stephen is responding to can find it here:

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