Three Candidates You Should Avoid Voting for on Nov. 6: San Diego County’s Bottom of the Political Barrel

by on October 9, 2018 · 4 comments

in San Diego

Pre-modified image: Pixabay

Mail-by-vote ballots will be arriving at homes in California next week and, after posting more than three dozen articles about candidates and issue since the June primary, it’s time to wrap up this phase of our election coverage. There were lots of contests I wanted to cover, but couldn’t for lack of time.

My parting shot in this series involves a short-but-sweet essay warning folks about some people NOT to vote for. There are people running for office who you shouldn’t vote for, and then there are candidates are so bad you should consider crossing the street to avoid them if you see them coming your way.

Very soon, we’ll be posting the San Diego Free Press Progressive Voter Guide. The editorial board met last week to consider endorsements; those will be announced in the guide. We endorsed 14 ballot measures and 37 candidates. Three candidates were so bad they deserved special mention.

Office: Judge of the Superior Court

Every voter in San Diego County will be asked to vote on “Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 37.

It’s the box right above the Superintendent of Public Instruction* and at the end of all the judicial contests on my sample ballot.
(*Another critical race. Make sure you vote for Tony Thurmond.)

Here are your choices for this ‘non-partisan’ office:

Matt Brower
Deputy District Attorney, County of San Diego
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Sample Endorsements: San Diego County Democratic Party, San Diego County Deputy District Attorneys Association, San Diego City Attorneys Association, Lawyers Club of San Diego, Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, The Sierra Club, Service Employees International Union Local 221, Barrio Carlsbad Community Advocates

Note: I researched over 200 candidates for the general elections, and without a doubt, Matt Brower has the most endorsements of anybody running for local office.

Gary Kreep
Incumbent Judge in Office 37
Website | Facebook

Sample Endorsements: The San Diego Republican Party, East County California Republican Assembly, East County Tea Party, Patriots Union.

In this contest, it’s not a case of partisan politics, even though that’s how it might appear at first glance. (The local GOP has no shame.)

Judge Gary Kreep is an example of what happens when voters aren’t paying attention. He’s drawn national attention to San Diego Superior Courts from, among others: TPM Muckraker, Politico, Maddow Blog,, OC Weekly and KPBS.

City Beat–and Dave Maass specifically– have covered him since day one.

Here’s a couple of paragraphs from 2012 that are still relevant to understanding Judge Kreep.

In 1979, Kreep founded the United States Justice Foundation to serve as the right wing’s answer to the American Civil Liberties Union. Through the nonprofit, he’s inserted himself into some of the greatest political and constitutional controversies in American history. The group, which rents office space in a building that Kreep owns in Ramona, has represented the gamut of right-wing clients, from defending members of the nativist Minutemen Civil Defense Force to writing briefs in support of Texas’ sodomy laws for the Pro-Family Law Center. He petitioned the U.S. Senate in 1989 to reopen its investigation of the so-called “Chappaquiddick incident,” in which Sen. Ted Kennedy had been involved in a fatal car accident. In 2005, he launched the Hillary Clinton Accountability Project and filed a lawsuit against Clinton, alleging campaign-finance fraud. In recent years, Kreep has gained notoriety for mounting legal challenges to President Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency, claiming he was born in Kenya. The press has dubbed it the “Birther” movement due to Kreep and his followers’ fixation on Obama’s birth certificate. Through an assortment of political committees, Kreep has also supported the election of Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Allen West, Herman Cain and Gov. Sarah Palin.

Throughout the 2012 election cycle, Kreep has walked a thin line in terms of permissible political activity for judicial candidates, as proscribed by the California Code of Judicial Ethics. Kreep and his Tea Party colleagues have also exploited loopholes in federal and state campaign-finance regulations to escape filing deadlines and disclosure requirements.

Kreep was censured by the nonpartisan California Commission on Judicial Performance for campaign violations in 2012, and for bias, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority (among other things) in office. He is currently rated as “lacking qualifications” by the San Diego Bar Association.

Don’t take my word for his unsuitability for office. Check out these stories:

Washington Post Birther’ judge Gary Kreep accused of making crude and racist comments is still on the bench. For now.
San Diego Union-TribuneDisciplined judge Gary Kreep often absent from courtroom

Virtually the entire legal community has banded together to support Matt Brower against Gary Kreep. Don’t pass up your opportunity to vote in this contest.

Voters in El Cajon should take the opportunity to NOT vote for Ben Kalasho, who’s running for re-election to the City Council. You can read about his shenanigans here, here, here, and here.

And wouldn’t you know it, just as I’m getting prepared to write this article, the Union-Tribune drops another story about his malfeasance in office.

The El Cajon councilman has, once again, been caught using the city’s official seal/logo for campaign purposes. His second warning on this subject from the city comes in response to citizen complaints about a campaign mailer on city letterhead critical of Kalasho’s opponent in the upcoming election. At the bottom of the mailer, there’s a blue box titled “Who is really fighting for El Cajon?” with a link to his campaign website.

The city manager warned Kalasho that further use of the city’s logo or seal “may require the city to seek a court injunction or to take other measures.”

Kalasho has been under fire since being elected in 2016. Among charges against him are claims against him and his wife, Jessica, by contestants of a beauty pageant run by a for-profit chamber of commerce that Kalasho runs out of his Fletcher Hills home.

One contestant accused Kalasho of offering her the crown if she slept with him; the other said Kalasho or his wife posted her face on photos of naked women on the internet following a dispute over the prize money.

A San Diego lawyer and a group of restaurant owners have also accused the couple of creating fake social-media profiles to disparage their businesses.

At one time Kalasho was a Democrat. Recently, he attempted to re-register as a Federalist, a right-wing resurrection of an early 19th-century party not recognized by the State of California.

Whatever. He’s a crappy candidate.

Last, but not least, here’s a shout out to National City’s Ron Morrison.

Since he’s termed out as Mayor and couldn’t get voters to buy into his ballot measure extending his term of office, Morrison is now running for city council.

From circumventing popular resolutions to the political labeling of water bottles intended for schools with poor-quality water to removing seats from the City Council chambers as a means of stifling protest, Morrison has what it takes to make this short list.

Please, National City voters, send this clown packing.


I’d like to apologize to all the other unworthy candidates out there for excluding you from this list. You just weren’t sleazy enough. Better luck next time.

From San Diego Free Press

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

NOT DUMANIS October 10, 2018 at 10:23 am

Perhaps weasel Bonnie Dumanis is not as much a pariah as she once was, but certainly the old battle-ax should have made your “Ones to Avoid” list for nostalgia reasons. Many citizens have fought long and hard against this tool of the good ole boys and now that she stands at the edge of political defeat at the BOS thanks to Nathan Fletcher, it would be an honor to see the Rag and friends help push her out that door to permanent pasture. Just because pot is legal now doesn’t mean that Dirty Dumanis gets a pass for all her previous misdeeds. I am offended that she was overlooked and hope this oversight will be rectified by you before election day. NOT DUMANIS!


Frank Gormlie October 10, 2018 at 12:31 pm

See our new “Progressive Voters Guide” published today.


Jabra1 October 16, 2018 at 8:33 pm

The above is a staggeringly obvious and failed attempt to gloss over Bessmon Kalasho’s long history of participation and membership in the Democratic Party. To say, “At one time Kalasho was a Democrat” was highly misleading and a clear attempt to distort the facts. Kalasho is a long time Democrat and was a Democrat when he committed every offense listed on this page.

When he threatened East County Magazine and the UT with lawsuits, he was a Democrat.

When he lost the non-profit status of his chamber and his pageant, he was a Democrat.

When he committed the fraud to which he pled guilty and for which he remains on probation to this day, Kalasho was a Democrat.

When he committed all the acts found true by Judge Timothy Taylor like posting faked nude photos of a pageant contestant who dared complain when he failed to award her the promised prize money for her win, Kalasho was a Democrat.

When he libeled an innocent restaurant owner who denied his request to post a campaign sign in his restaurant window, Kalasho was a Democrat.

When he offered to trade sex for a pageant crown in the pageant he ran, Kalasho was a Democrat.

And when he threatened a reporter with his trained attack dog, Kalasho was a registered Democrat.

He left the party only when he received condemnation for his unlawful actions from Democratic quarters. And while he may no longer be registered as a Democrat, he remains a liberal progressive and one who will likely continue to vote for Democratic Party candidates who best represent his progressive political ideology.


Geoff Page October 17, 2018 at 11:01 am

So what is your point Jabra 1? All Democrats are crooks? I would no more say that Duncan Hunter represents all Republicans than I would say Kalasho represents all Democrats. I think Mr. Porter’s article did a good job informing about this guy.


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