The San Diego Establishment Is Really Afraid of Lori Saldaña

by on May 19, 2022 · 3 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, San Diego

San Diego City Council, Fall 2020. Not many of these faces are still there.

By Geoff Page

Here is what passes for leadership in city council District 2. This came out yesterday:

For Immediate Release:
May 18, 2022
Contact: Dan Rottenstreich,, (619) 213 9839

Breaking: Lori Saldaña Caught Lying to Voters Again, Taking Money From Big Polluters

Lori Saldaña, candidate for San Diego City Council, has been caught lying to San Diego voters about her record of accepting campaign contributions and lavish gifts from California’s biggest fossil fuel polluters.

Saldaña is papering San Diego neighborhoods with seemingly bold claims that she ‘never’ takes money from fossil fuel corporations, but just a quick google reveals that’s yet another bold-faced lie from a politician with an already established reputation for saying and doing virtually anything to advance her political career.

In fact, Saldaña has filled up at fossil fuel corporations’ trough time and again—and not just for campaign contributions, but for lavish, all-expense paid trips to luxury destinations for herself.

Official campaign finance reports reveal Saldaña actually has taken in excess of $16,000 from some of the biggest corporate polluters in the world:

* $12,500 in travel expenses for a trip to Rio de Janeiro paid for by Chevron, Sempra Energy and PG&E.
* $3,300 from PG&E in 2006   – 23 others
* $1,000 from Chevron Oil in 2006

[The rest of the statement is not reprinted here.]

Before moving on to the mailer quotes, a few observations about this part of Campbell’s hit piece. The Gloria-Campbell Democrats are trying very hard to paint Saldaña as anti-environmental. On the one hand the mailers say she opposes alternative energy and on the other hand the mailers say she supports big oil. Why?

The answer may be in the voting demographics. The most energized of the voters have climate change as their number one issue. Anyone who is perceived to veer even slightly from the orthodox path is in trouble.

The problem is this hit piece provided no facts to back up either of these lies about Saldaña.

Just consider this sentence:

“Official campaign finance reports reveal Saldaña actually has taken in excess of $16,000 from some of the biggest corporate polluters in the world.”

To “substantiate” this claim, Campbell’s hit piece listed three items that added up to the $16,000. The first was $12,500 in travel expenses supposedly footed by big oil and big power. The problem is that, if travel expenses were accepted by an assemblymember, they would not be on “Official campaign finance reports.”

Any accepted travel expenses would be reported separately as a gift. Travel expenses are not donated to campaigns for office. None of the two hit piece mailers from Gil Cabrera’s New San Diego or Campbell’s hit piece substantiated that anyone paid $12,500 in travel expenses for Saldaña ever. Campbell just repeated Cabrera’s unsupported accusation.

The second donation was the $3,300 from PG&E. A review of the contributions to Saldaña’s 2006 campaign showed that PG&E and 23 other donors also each gave $3,300.

The third donation Campbell’s hit piece listed was $1,000 from Chevron Oil in 2006. The record showed that an entity called Chevron Texaco made a $1,000 donation along with 78 other donors who also gave $1,000. And, there were a lot more donations.

Campbell’s deceptive attempt to make something of these few things is just a further indication of her lack of character.

Campbell’s hit piece contained a quote from a person named Livia Borak listed as an “Environmental Attorney.” The quote just consisted of the same lies just discussed as if she was reading from a script. Borak is a partner in the Coast Law Group, founded by Marco Gonzalez but why her opinion should matter to anyone is not explained.

The second quote was from Gretchen Newsom, the former President of the Ocean Beach Town Council.  Her quotation on the second mailer by Cabrera was discussed in The Rag piece about that mailer. Sadly, Newsom repeats the same script of falsehoods.

Campbell’s hit piece then goes after Saldaña’s voting record while holding state office. Campbell claims that Saldaña voted for a bill that would have eliminated rate freezes for residential customers of electric utilities, a bill supported by PG&E and Southern California Edison.

Of course, the name or number of the one bill Campbell cited that showed Saldaña “voted to advance the interests of the polluters plying her with campaign contributions” was not provided.

Utility legislation is very complicated; if Saldaña did vote against it, there could have been myriad reasons. And, seeing who voted for and against the bill would tell a lot. But, those would be the facts, the real truth, and Campbell’s hit piece did not contain any of these.

Campbell then repeats Cabrera’s New San Diego lies about Saldaña opposing solar power distorting the truth that Saldaña was on the side of the Jacumba community that only wanted the project down-sized.

Then, Campbell sinks to a new low by creating a Tweet hastag and encouraging people to use it to bash Saldaña. Of course, anyone who uses Twitter will see through this tactic.

The last quote was by Dan Rottenstreich, Campbell’s campaign spokesperson and main attack dog. This guy gets paid to work for politicians so why would any thinking person put any stock in anything he was quoted as saying?

What Rottenstreich had to say was beyond reprehensible. It was despicable and positively Trumpian. One wonders if people like this have to avoid mirrors to make it through their day. These Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.

One thing is very clear, the establishment Republicans, masquerading as Democrats, are really afraid of Saldaña.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike May 19, 2022 at 6:51 pm

The author of this frantic delusion has made a lucrative career of lying about Lori Saldaña. According to the party chair at the time of a former campaign that hired him, he was involved with his candidate and his candidate’s wife in authoring and mailing piles more of this type of gaslighting mailers falsely attacking Lori that were paid for and sent from the Democratic Party. This is the crew that, as the former chair who was in the room at the time explained to me, did not accuse Lori of “treason” in a series of attack mailers because she stopped them from using that message. That was a few years ago when, evidently, there was a bottom. They got away with it. So they are at it again. This election is an opportunity for voters to stop them cold and put an end to Trump-style democracy-killing politics in San Diego. This act is juvenile and irresponsible but it is what everyone hates about politics in America and it is what prevents a lot of good people from becoming candidates for public office.


Roy McMakin May 19, 2022 at 7:50 pm

Same thing was done to Barbara Bry, and it worked. Bry ran for mayor because she saw what was going on after winning her City Council seat. Just like Lori the powers that control SD knew Bry wasn’t going to play along with their agenda to mine our city to benefit wealthy individuals and corporations that have fun and get richer playing Monopoly with our city. It the current smear doesn’t seem to be working they will find another one.


Frances O'Neill Zimmerman May 21, 2022 at 4:08 pm

With luck, voters will remember (or understand for the first time) that Lori Saldana is their best choice for City Council District 2. Lori Saldana is ethical, honest, an environmentalist and an experienced legislator. With luck, Lori Saldana will be elected by the people who live in the community who routinely have been overlooked by self-serving councilmember Jen Campbell.


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