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October 23, 2014

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I wasn't able to play the audio, so I don't really know what was said. From what has been said about it, the call sounds like an error in judgment. I happen to like everybody who is running this time, but, of course, only three candidates have made the commitment to seriously consider alternatives to Caltrans' disastrous plan. Those would be John Keener, Sue Digre, and Matt Dougherty. We get three votes and we have three candidates willing to take a stand against this bad idea and on the side of our gorgeous little town. Let's put them in there and see what they can do.

Pacifica does not need a candidate who phones in a threat to a voter when she expresses her opinions about the candidate.

Imagine the number of lawsuits this unstable behavior would bring.

I have a bit of advice for all the council candidates: You cannot lead if you take public criticism personally. You should listen to what is being said and keep an open mind, remembering that if you are elected, you will be representing all the people, not just the ones who voted for you.

Hutch:

Send in your wrestling promo tape.

We need a guy like you. You can be like Hacksaw Jim Duggan!

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I volunteer for the steel cage match. Please pick me.

As they say on the legal blog popehat.com, "vagueness in a legal demand is the hallmark of frivolous legal thuggery." Spano could have just sent his rebuttal to the Tribune or left a polite offer to talk, but instead he played the defamation card. If this is how he deals with criticism, then he is unfit to serve on the City Council.

It's fortunate that we get to see Spano's true nature before the election rather than after.

Thanks for airing this. It gives us new Pacificans some behind-the-scenes knowledge of what is going on beyond the campaign signs!

In my opinion, Pacifica should not recognize the candidate if he is elected. Pacifica does not need City Council persons who phone up private citizens with real or implied threats.

I propose a steel cage match between the Yes-ies and No-ies.

Pay per view or 20 bucks to get in at the door.

All money goes to local charities.

I have to say that the slogan "Fix Pacifica" is a fairly obvious one. To say that it means the Spano campaign endorses the Pacifica blog by that name is a leap. The fact that blog moderator Kathy Meeh endorses the Spano campaign is irrelevant.

California Civil Codes 44, 45, and 46 deal directly with defamation, slander, and libel. I doubt Candidate Spano talked to an attorney because if he had, that attorney would have advised him on libel, not slander. Victor is truly not for us. We already have a reactionary council member or two. Victor, just give up and enjoy your retirement. Get an RV and do some traveling.

I just re-read the Nathanson letter and listened to this recorded message. I note that Spano never actually accuses anyone of slander, possibly because if he actually spoke to an attorney he would have been told the obvious: When it's in writing it's libel, not slander. So next steps would actually be trying to find an attorney who had law books and was desperate enough to take on a client who had no chance of winning.

The message was odd -- it was indirect, with weasel words that hinted, never saying outright what was defamatory and what remedy he was seeking. Oh, and why didn't the attorney call, or write a letter? This was almost like a high school prank. Next time, disguise your voice! (BJ, have you got Prince Albert in a can -- Hey, Beavis, check it out, her name is BJ.)

So this brings up some interesting questions. What was Spano's motivation to imply a threat of legal action? Was it pique about water bottles? An abhorrence of publicizing the FACT that he has been endorsed by a website? Or a fake threat of a political SLAP suit to stifle the most fundamental right of free speech -- a citizen's opinion about a candidate and his positions, which the Nathanson letter hardly even addresses.

I think there may be more going on here. I think we have, in my OPINION (can't say that it's true), a white male so full of his own sense of privilege that even the hint of criticism by a woman has driven him to play the intimidation by voicemail game, invoking "lawyers" and without understanding how utterly pathetic, childish, and petty it makes him look.

Someone acting in this manner is unfit to hold office and should withdraw from the race. His supporters should come out and condemn this, and call for his withdrawal. Tar and feathers!!! That's my opinion and if you don' like it -- SO SUE ME!

Timely comment by Kathy Meeh tonight on FixPacifica:

"The Court declared that the First Amendment protects open and robust debate on public issues even when such debate includes "vehement, caustic, unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials." A public official or other plaintiff who has voluntarily assumed a position in the public eye must prove that defamatory statements were made with knowledge that they were false or with reckless disregard of whether they were false." NIMBIES have never been very good at "free speech" issues."

Says it better than I could!

Alan, I have an audio recording of the message and it is posted now on Riptide at the top of this story.

The city council campaign just took a sharp turn into ... the Twilight Zone.
Neener neener neener neener neener neener neener neener.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU

I think the Spano threat, if it is real, would be of interest to broader news outlets. Play the message -- the voters have a right to know.

Shouldn't we be hearing the voicemail message with an audio file link posted here on Riptide?

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