Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Flak, Hack and Sack

By Jennifer Solis

I was beginning to think that the 2006 California governor election was doomed to boredom, until a couple of enterprising campaign staffers of the challenger, Phil Angeledis – now perhaps known as “Scandalides,” opened up a can of worms that has re-awakened local bloggers.

The massive spinning over how Gov. Schwarzenegger commented on a “hot and feisty” Republican assemblyperson, and then apologized, is actually a secondary issue compared to the legality of how these comments became public knowledge.

Schwarzenegger occasionally records his private meetings so that his speechwriters can get an insight to his thoughts and cadence. Attending the March 3rd session was his chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, former television director Walter Von Huene, and Gary Delsohn, a former Sacramento Bee reporter recently hired as the governor’s chief speech writer.

Bonnie Garcia, the 44-year old single mom from Cathedral City who is completing her second term in the California Assembly, said she got a call from the Times reporter last Thursday, who told her that the paper would run the story “with or without your comments.” When Garcia asked him where he got the “tape,” the reporter replied, “A little bird dropped it off to him.”

Garcia represents a district that is 67-percent Latino and mostly Democrat. She has not been allowed to participate in the legislature’s Latino Caucus because she is Republican and a daughter of Puerto Rico immigrants. As for the governor’s comment that she is “hot and feisty,” she says, “I am so outspoken that if I really believed that this was something sexist or racist, I would have been down at the governor’s office punching his nose in.”

The Angelides campaign has revealed that two persons, Sean Sullivan, a researcher director, and Dan Newman, a campaign spokesperson, participated in downloading the audio file on August 29th.

Campaign manager Cathy Calfo (pictured above) stated Tuesday morning that she was “not happy” with the actions of her two aides, who provided the Los Angeles Times reporter, Robert Salladay, with the audio file “without my authorization or permission.” She has ordered a complete internal review in order to “make a decision about how to proceed.” But she insists that the information was public record, not marked “confidential” and could have been accessed by anyone. Such a claim was not made in the original Times story last Friday.

David Garcia, director of Media Relations at the Los Angeles Times, stated that the newspaper does not reveal its confidential news sources. Therefore, as of Tuesday afternoon, the Times would not confirm or deny that it was someone in the Angelides campaign that leaked the contents of the six-minute audio clip from the governor’s files, even though the Angelides campaign confessed to being the source earlier in the day.

Katie Levinson, communications director for the Schwartznegger campaign, insists that the access to the audio file was accomplished by illegal hacking, and that “this was one of the most unethical acts in recent California political history.” She said that an internal audit of the penetration into a non-public area of the governor’s state website … were in a password-protected area.

The Sacramento Bee was able to trace the Internet Protocol address of the computer which accessed the Governor’s website. The IP address is a code which identifies anyone’s computer, and is recorded anytime someone accesses a website. The computer account which copied the governor’s files was owned by the Angelides campaign, according to the database at “IP-lookup.net.”

Directing the continuing investigation is the California Highway Patrol, which acts as California’s “Secret Service,” and is charged with protecting state assets, which would include the computer system of the governor.

The question the CHP investigation will determine is whether the audio file of the governor’s private meeting was a public website “discovery,” or a private website “hack.” The latter could lead to criminal charges filed against the two campaign staffers.

If the audio file was downloaded from a link in a public website, why didn’t the Angelides campaign simply hold a press conference and direct all the media to look at the governor’s website location? Why didn’t the newspaper story reveal the file location, instead of stating that it was “obtained by the Times?” The absence of either of these scenarios would lead one to believe that the file was actually stolen from a legally confidential folder, especially since the Times chose to give the source of the file anonymity.

The Times editors also made a judgment about Schwartznegger’s comments by running the story two days in a row on the front page of the newspaper. It’s a reminder of how the Times ran the “groping” allegations in the final days of the recall election in 2003.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Angelides was praised at National latino congress. Two peas in a pod. CORRUPT.

September 13, 2006 12:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Angelides attack ads fall flat on linking Governor Schwarenegger to President Bush. Angelides campaign smells as good as three day old dead fish. All of the attack ads and advertising in the world is not going to make dead fish smell better.

September 13, 2006 1:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

-True Story-

I had a Latino guy working at my house during the governor's race and he called Arnold.... Swat-A-Nigger.

And no, I don't think it's funny. But he surely did.

September 13, 2006 2:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

you must of been listening to KFI yesterday afternoon. ASSEMBLYWOMAN BONNIE GARCIA was a "HOT" breath of fresh air in discussing her take on "HOTTIE AUDIOGATE". The "HATE ARNOLD DAILY TIMES" is already taking the heat, rightfully so, for their bias, unethical attempt to influence the govenor race. Just wonder if their are any subscribers left who will cancel their fish wrap.

P.S. Jennifer
Bonnie Garcia would be a great role model if you enter the world of politics.

September 13, 2006 2:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

One Problem. Jennifer is a true blue in red drags.

September 13, 2006 8:47 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ooooh.. Cathy Calfo's hot!

September 13, 2006 9:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ick! I knew someone would bring up her boobs when I saw that picture. Too bad they're attached to such a hideous face. Yikes.

September 13, 2006 7:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Paper or Plastic for mug??

September 13, 2006 7:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This thing will blow over very quickly. "Scandelides" is being deserted even by his fellow Democrats.

Notice how Fabian Nunez hasn't made a peep about this?

MAV must be laughing his ass off. His plan to be Gov in 2010 is right on schedule!

September 14, 2006 12:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"And we clean your toilets" MAV

September 15, 2006 9:03 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home