Elections marked by mud-slinging

first_imgIf you received a flier sent to homes in South El Monte before Tuesday’s mayoral election, you might think candidate Allen Co is being sued for paternity payments, that he was caught on videotape stealing, that he filed for bankruptcy and that he solicited a bribe from a local business person.Co denies all of it, and court records to back up the claims could not be found.In Tuesday’s election, bizarre accusations were not hard to find. “I thought about suing for libel, but I don’t know if it will be worth it, financially, and for all the time it would take,” said Co, who denied charges in the campaign piece, titled “South El Monte Community News: All News All the Time” and distributed by the American Latin Family Association.On Tuesday, 584 people in South El Monte voted for Co, compared with 1,384 for winner Blanca Figueroa, who was endorsed by the American Latin Family Society. A call to the number listed for the American Latin Family Association was not immediately returned. A message on the Society’s answer machine said it was the office for Rosemead Pride, another political action committee.Co put out some mailers of his own, accusing opponents of taking money from a political action committee supported by a developer.Cal State Fullerton political science Professor Barbara Stone said love them or hate them, dirty politics work.“When charges like that are leveled, if (the candidate) does not respond or does not have time to respond, the rumors can take on a life of their own,” she said. “They have an effect.”In Diamond Bar, a city with manicured lawns and one of the highest median-income levels in the eastern San Gabriel Valley, politics this election were not exactly clean-cut, candidates said.A flier criticized incumbent City Councilwoman Debby O’Connor, who lost her seat, for failing to get along with other parents at the Diamond Point Elementary School PTA. The same flier, which says it was distributed by the Diamond Bar Residents Against Government Abuse, accused O’Connor of campaigning during a prayer service. The service was held to support a fellow councilman who had cancer.“I refuse to even read them,” O’Connor said of the campaign pieces. “From what I hear, the only thing they didn’t accuse me of was abusing my children.”Typically called “hit pieces,” campaign literature with the most drastic charges were almost always produced and circulated by political action committees just days before election. It is often hard to find out who is behind the committees.“There often is no backlash for running a dirty campaign,” Stone said.And, when someone runs for office, they become a “public figure” in the eyes of the law, which makes it tougher for them to prove a libel case, Stone said. [email protected]@sgvn.com(626) 962-9911, Ext. 2703, 3029 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Inmates caught soon after escape

first_imgADRIAN, Mich. – A convicted murderer and another inmate escaped from prison Friday by hiding in the back of a garbage truck, but they were quickly arrested, a state corrections spokesman said. Lyle Harvey Curtis, 37, and William Dean Michels, 47, left the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in a garbage truck but were captured less than an hour later, said Russ Marlan, the prisons spokesman. Curtis broke his leg when the two men jumped from the back of the truck at a nearby landfill, but the two kept going, Marlan said. He said the prisoners abducted a man shoveling his driveway and forced him to drive them to a strip mall, but neighbors who witnessed the abduction called authorities. The men were arrested when they arrived at the strip mall, he said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Curtis is serving a 40 to 70 years for second-degree murder, Marlan said. Michels is serving 34 to 60 years for rape, he said. There was no immediate word on additional escape or abduction charges. Last month in South Carolina, two inmates escaped from a maximum security prison in a garbage truck. The two, a convicted kidnapper and a convicted murderer, were captured at a motel two days later. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more