McWhirter Helped Fund England Hit Piece

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LA MESA -- Guy McWhirter, one of five City Council candidates, has acknowledged helping bankroll a portion of the largely unsigned negative campaign mailings that have targeted candidate Mary England in recent weeks.

Questioned by La Mesa Today about a $5,000 contribution he made to the Public Safety Advocates organization that paid for and circulated the critical mailings, McWhirter acknowledged the funds were intended to help "differentiate the candidates and even the playing field.''
McWhirter said he doesn't like "negative politics'' so he kept his name off the mailing, but felt it was necessary to draw what he says is a clear distinction between England, a relative new resident of La Mesa, and the other candidates, including himself, who have much longer tenures in the Jewel of the Hills.

"I like Mary England,'' he said Thursday. "But I just don't think it is right to move to La Mesa and run for City Council. She has name recognition, but for people like me, with 30 years of public service, I felt we needed to even the playing field.''

England heads the La Mesa Chamber and often refers to her years of working for the business community here, though she was officially a resident of Lemon Grove, where she served as a City Council member there.

McWhirter cited his relative newcomer status to political campaigning and said he was directed by others he would not name to use the Public Safety Advocates group to aid him in his efforts in La Mesa. Calls to Public Safety Advocates' treasurer are referred to a political consultant who did not return calls for comment.

McWhirter said he realizes some may be critical of him for "going negative,'' but he said he rejected a number of more personal attacks the consultants were proposing while supporting the mailer that criticized her for raising council salaries in Lemon Grove. "That's a public issue and I think it is fair,'' he said, "but I won't get more personal than that.''

McWhirter said he didn't target any of the other candidates because he felt they were long-time residents and had put in the time in the community to make such a run. With the exception of Bill Baber, a political ally of his, the other two candidates -- Patrick Dean and Pete Gregorovic -- also lacked the name recognition England's work with the Chamber of Commerce might have built up, McWhirter said.

"I'm just trying to differentiate between the candidates and even the playing field,'' McWhirter said. "Please don't crucify me.'' 

England said Thursday it was clear McWhirter "just wanted to do a hit piece on me.'' She said it is illegal for a candidate to raise their own salaries during a term and the increases noted in the "hit piece" represented about $200 per month, were proposed by others and didn't take effect during the term.

She said her record in Lemon Grove was substantial and the characterizations in the mailing were "inaccurate, deceitful lies.''

She said she has worked in La Mesa for six years and has long had ties to this community.

"Is it how long you've been in La Mesa or what you've accomplished since you've been here?'' England asked.

In a posting on La Mesa Today, Marcia Tolin, a local businesswoman and England supporter, expressed outrage at the attacks on England. A board member of the Chamber, Tolin said in "serving, I have had the opportunity to get to know Mary, her work ethic, her fiscal conservatism, and her ability to bring sides together and solve problems with good old fashioned common sense.''

While not unprecedented in La Mesa politics, the frequency and tone of negative mailings has sped up during this 2014 campaign. In the past week, in a mailing clearly acknowledged as the work of his own campaign, La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid circulated a direct mail that attacked his opponent, City Councilman Mark Arapostathis. Madrid has said repeatedly he considers the mailer is a factual presentation, not the negative hit piece others have criticized him for sending.

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Tags: Bill Baber, City of La Mesa, Guy McWhirter, La Mesa, La Mesa Today, La Mesa news, La Mesa newspaper, Marcia Tolin, Mary England, Patrick Dean, More…Pete Gregorovic

Comments are closed for this blog post

Comment by Bill Baber on October 29, 2014 at 11:03pm

Comment by David Smyle on October 29, 2014 at 9:14pm

Baber had foreclosure in Nov 1996.  

Looks like all the candidates have had their problems.  Bill Baber had a Foreclosure in Nov 1996 for $110,000 so there goes the argument about allowing candidates with past financial problems not being qualified, right Kristine?

Comment by Bill Baber on October 29, 2014 at 9:04pm

Why Term Limits in La Mesa?

* To limit politicians to three consecutive terms as either Mayor or City Councilmember (or any combination thereof).  After serving three consecutive terms (12 years) the politician must wait one term (4 years) before running for office again. 
* To take government back from career politicians. Politicians who spend too much time in office stop representing us, and start representing themselves. If they are periodically forced to return to normal civilian life, they will consider the long term effects of the legislation they impose on the rest of us.
* To help ensure the voice of the people will be heard, not special interests. This allows new faces with fresh ideas and energy to serve our community. We need a City Council that reflects the diversity of our community. Term Limits to help reduce career politicians overwhelming campaign advantages. High name recognition – regulatory power – special interest contributions – tip the scales against start-up candidates. Enough is enough! Prop K is democracy in action - this is your vote to limit career politicians.
​* This ordinance is a measured balanced approach modeled after the state term limits law passed by La Mesa voters in June 2012. We have term limits for our President, Governor, State Legislators, and County Supervisors - why should our Mayor and Council be exempt?
*Let’s help break the lifetime incumbent stranglehold on City Hall and return the keys of government to its rightful owners: the ordinary, hard-working, taxpaying citizens of La Mesa. 


Call to Donate




Mark Twain

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often and for the same reason"

Comment by David Smyle on October 29, 2014 at 3:46pm

McWhirter Foreclosure in 2008.  Lender loses nearly $200,000 when they re-sell the house for $350,000 after being owed $547,000.  McWhirter got an initial loan of $526K on a sales price of $585K or 90% LTV in April 2005.  And we are to trust him to make good financial decision on the Council after leveraging 90% on his house?

Comment by David Smyle on October 29, 2014 at 2:40pm

McWhirter Financial Troubles

Guy G McWhirter
La Mesa, CA | Age: 59
Liens and Judgements
Lien or Judgement
Alan G McWhirter
Type: STATE TAX LIEN RELEASE | Amount: $4,837
Case Number: 960565791
TMS ID: HG9604827014837CASDGC1
Date Filed: 09/23/1996
Jurisdiction: California
Debtors: McWhirter,alan G
Debtor Address: 4752 Palm Ave Rm 103, LA MESA, CA 91941

More info on his foreclosure to come

Comment by David Smyle on October 29, 2014 at 1:42pm

Bill Baber apparently is no stranger to delinquent accounts and political shenanigans.  Is this really what we want for La Mesa?  Candidates with a history of political corruption and another who can't win on his own merits and resorts to smear campaigns to try and win?  NO ON BABER AND MCWHIRTER.

June 2012 FPPC Violation

FPPC Warning Letter

2009 State Investigates Republican Corruption  2009 Corruption

Baber delinquent on Sewer taxes $470 in 2011

2008 FPPC Complaint

Baber's PAC hit with $2,500 fine 2012  "Bill Baber, director of government affairs with the Associated Builders and Contractors, said: “We felt that a small fine was reasonable and settling the matter quickly was better for everyone than litigating it.”

We deserve better than a campaign bought by special interests

McWhirter Donors-2/3 of his money raised came from Lincoln Club

Lincoln Club-$2,500

Lincoln Club PAC-$17,500

Donation to PAC to send hit pieces on McWhirter's behalf

BIA PAC-$7,000

Seville Group Developer-$2,500

Cornerstone Communities-$5,000

CK Diamond -$2,500

Camppbell Creek Ranch-$700

Baber Donors

Lincoln Club PAC-$2,333

Association of Building Contractors and PAC-$2,500

Real Estate PAC-$500

Assoc of General Contractors-$1,000

Lincoln Club-$4,500

Pac Bldg Group-$2,500

Pac Rim Mechanical-$500

Western Electrical Contractors Assoc $1,500

William Lynch Co-$500

South Baltimore LLC-$500

Urban Hosuing Partners-$250

Deanna Verbeke $500 and Chuck Muse $100 both HWD directors and both have never voted against a water rate increase

What kind of favors are Bill Baber and McWhirter going to have to pay back for all this financial support whereas England financed 48% ($15,500) of her cash for her campaign.

Pretty clear who is being bought and who isn't.

Any comment Theresea?  Batman?

Comment by David Smyle on October 29, 2014 at 7:01am

Hey Chris, I think Batman has lost the right to his anonymity.

Fact, England is the only candidate being endorsed by the La Mesa PD Officers Assoc.  She is also endorsed by the firefighters and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc.  Our public safety and taxpayer advocates trust her, good enough for me.

As to her residence question, Government Code that applies to her situation -  Government Code Section 2021 discusses  second residences for elected officials:

            (a)        A person who leaves his or her home to go into another state of precinct in this state for temporary purposes merely, with the intention of returning, does not lose his or her domicile.
            (b)        A person does not gain a domicile in any precinct into which he or she comes for temporary purposes merely, with the intention of making that precinct his or her home.

While looking for a new home in Lemon Grove purchase in April 2011, she found temporary apartment housing  in La Mesa which she kept as a second residence until she left the LG CIty Council and moved their permanently.  Now stop the whining about her residence.

What you should all be concerned about is Bill Baber's registered Lobbyist Status for the Associated Builders Council.  How many times is he going to have to recuse from voting on land issues?  How will it affect is voting on land issues?  How many times did he have to recuse himself while on the school board?  Baber has also had complaints filed agaisnt him to the FPPC for unfair pollitical practices (see below). Baber and McWhirter have no character, scruples and will do anything to win.  Is that what we want for La Mesa?  People so focused on their own self interest?

Still waiting for someone to investigate (Theresa) Baber and McWhirter's prior foreclosures.

Baber and McWhirter bad for La Mesa.  Bad character and bad characters.

uncil and who th

Comment by Batman on October 28, 2014 at 9:19pm

What does the Chamber of Commerce do for your business other than collect your dues and give you a little plaque with your name on it?

Comment by Lisa Moore on October 28, 2014 at 2:05pm

Batman (?), in case you forget, Mary already tried the state assembly race I believe.  As I said in an earlier comment, those that have to hide behind a pseudo name such as Batman or one of the others if that is the case,  here in this discussion really lose my respect.  Maybe you think it's cute, but no one is that important that they should feel they need to hide their real identity behind a pseudo name.     

Comment by Batman on October 28, 2014 at 11:49am

Professional? Not quite. Hired? No. Batman is an independent, equal-opportunity insulter. I have nothing against Mary England per se. She is a nice lady. I just think she doesn't belong in this particular race and will only do damage to her own party. I've been following politics, especially La Mesa politics, for many years. I've seen all the dirty tricks. I strongly believe a politician should live within the city of district they serve. A state assembly or senate district would give Mrs. England a lot more room to move around.

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