A Coast News commentary makes it clear that Julie Thunder won't answer simple questions about her positions on key issues - because she is trying to have it both ways:
"Thunder struggled and resisted answering basic policy questions because she understands that one answer aligns with her minority base, and the other answer aligns with Mayor Blakespear and most Encinitas voters.
"On issue after issue–from safe storage of firearms ordinance (Blakespear voted yes), to climate mitigation efforts (Blakespear voted yes), to investing in improvements along the Leucadia 101 corridor (Blakespear voted yes), to concrete armoring of our natural beach bluffs (Thunder supports SB1090’s concrete seawalls)–on so many issues, core supporters of Julie Thunder generally line up one way, while most Encinitas voters generally come down on the other side.
"In order to win the election, candidate Thunder must convince people with heartfelt disagreements on both sides of important local policy matters to think she’s 'on their side.'
"Ultimately, she needs many of us to vote against our own policy preferences because we are confused about what the candidate really stands for. Being on everyone’s side sounds nice, but ultimately, it’s about confusion and misdirection.
"Is it a winning strategy? That is up to you."
Julie Thunder is a polarizing figure in the community. Her former political ally and a past candidate for state and local office had this to say about her:
"Julie Thunder is NOT on your side. Encinitas deserves a mayor with integrity, moral clarity and leadership skills. Julie Thunder lacks these qualities."
These words come from Phil Graham, a pillar of the community who ran for State Assembly in 2018 and Encinitas City Council in 2016. He was initially listed as an endorser on Julie Thunder's campaign website. No longer. Why? Because of Julie's tacit support of an illegal and dirty robo-calling campaign smearing him in the 2018 election, masterminded by her political mentor and partner Mark Muir. Julie didn't support Phil Graham when principle was at stake... she turned on him for the sake of political expediency.
Even more concerning is that Julie Thunder is trying to hide her true colors from Encinitas.
She touts her "independence" as a major asset on her campaign website and Facebook page:
But in truth, she has a well established partisan affiliation that she's working really hard to conceal, which gives the impression that she has a hidden agenda as well.
Julie Thunder changed her voter registration from "Republican" to “No Party Preference” just over a month before launching her mayoral campaign. Obviously this is an attempt to deceive and deflect scrutiny.
She has a long history of endorsing and working tirelessly to elect Republican candidates to political offices at all levels.
She was endorsed by the Trump-supporting right-wing Executive Director of the San Diego Gun Owners PAC, who said that the election in Encinitas was "one of the most important races in the county". He also called our current council "ridiculous":
Her campaign treasurer is Briana Baleskie, co-founder of a Trump-supporting "Build the Wall" PAC and also treasurer for Republican Supervisor Kristin Gaspar (who voted proudly for Trump in 2016).
Julie Thunder associates with far-right activists like Crista Curtis (who led aggressive protests in favor of re-opening too early and harassed the mayor by leading a mob to her house) and Kim Spada Morris (who fought against the Safe Parking Lot for 25 cars for unsheltered residents). Below is a Facebook post thanking Julie for attending a Republican event, with a picture showing her hanging out with her Republican friends:
Thunder is also co-publisher of a so-called "community news" website which is actually a partisan political platform. She's partnered up with scandal-ridden Republican Mark Muir to publish "The Encinitas Current". Mark Muir and his family are embroiled in FCC and FPPC investigations into an illegal and deceptive robo-calling campaign during the 2018 State Assembly election.
On the merits, Julie Thunder's campaign is one of grievance. She's against a great many things, including long overdue improvements to Leucadia, projects to help our most vulnerable residents, and the certified housing plan getting the city out of a legal quagmire.
She led a divisive fight to stop the Cardiff segment of the Coastal Rail Trail (a battle which she fortunately lost - the Cardiff Rail Trail is now an enormously popular community gem). It's not entirely clear what she is actually *for* other than to try to take Encinitas back to the 1980s.
True leadership isn't about pointing out what's wrong and saying "NO" to everything - it's about having the political courage to find the path forward, to make hard decisions, and to take a stand on principles. Julie Thunder has shown no sign of these traits.
Finally, it's worth noting that Julie Thunder has no experience in government. She's never even served on a commission. She has decided that any office short of mayor is apparently beneath her.
Don't vote for Julie Thunder. She's a divisive force in our community, earning a public rebuke from a former political ally based on issues of character and integrity. She's the candidate of "NO". And she's hiding her true colors, masquerading as an independent while it's crystal clear that she's been a hard-right Republican for years. Over 75% of Encinitas voters care about the partisan affiliation of their officials and candidates, even for technically non-partisan offices such as Mayor and Council member.
So... know your candidates for mayor:
By Michael Verdu, Encinitas resident
Going deeper than sound bites and slogans, I thought I'd share some of my personal reasons for why I support our mayor and why I work so hard to get her re-elected. It's important to note that my wife and I have no financial interests in Encinitas beyond our home; there's nothing we want or need from our elected leaders except for them to do a good job, serve our community, and act with integrity. Here is my case for our mayor.
Competence: I personally value competence in our leaders - and Catherine has proven to be very competent. She understands the issues that we face in Encinitas and the entire region. She does her homework. She is careful to weigh all sides of an issue. Mike Levin recently said that she is one of the most knowledgeable local leaders, grasping the details and nuances of regional and local policy. Along with our City Council, she's competently steering our city through a pandemic, a crushing recession, an unprecedented level of polarization in the community, a global environmental crisis, a housing affordability crisis, a growing wave of homelessness, and the denouement of a years-long crisis around the city's housing plan. Through it all we've kept our AAA bond rating, we have one of the safest cities in the county (#1 in 2019, #2 this year), we are moving forward with community improvements including parks and pedestrian rail crossings and trails, we are protecting our environment and safeguarding our beaches, and our community has maintained its character, vibrancy, and soul.
Commitment: She works tirelessly on behalf of our community. Serving as mayor or Council member was originally supposed to be a part-time role, something a citizen does in addition to a day job. Catherine performs her role as a full time job. She's all-in for our city, and I am grateful for that.
Compassion: She cares about ALL of the people in our community, including our homeless residents. And she's willing to fight for us... ALL of us. She fearlessly fought to help the most vulnerable members of our community with the Safe Parking Lot for 25 cars for unsheltered residents. This was an important first step and it not only showed our city's compassion but also our willingness to lead the region in addressing one of our nation's deepest problems.
Leadership: Catherine understands that leadership is more than obstructing or pushing back or pointing out the negatives. A leader must find a path forward, balancing the interests of the community, obeying the law, and trying to do the most good for the largest number of residents while protecting the interests and rights of the minority. She does all of that... again and again.
Courage: Catherine has taken stands that are based on principle, even at risk of being unpopular. She acts locally while thinking globally with the Climate Action Plan, the shore restoration projects, bans on single use plastics, and the support for active transportation. She and the Council have been steadfast in support of the long-overdue improvements in Leucadia, which also have the support of the majority of residents but are opposed by an active minority. She strongly supported the Safe Parking Lot in the face of opposition from an angry minority of residents. These are just a few examples of leadership and political courage in the face of adversity.
Integrity and Values: Catharine's integrity is above reproach. And everything she does in office is guided by principles which ultimately flow from a wellspring of values. She is a true public servant and is devoted to democracy. Her emotional connections to the ideals of democracy shine through when she writes about elections, voting, and our country's history. Given the trying times that we live in, I am sometimes tempted to become cynical about our democracy. Catherine is NEVER cynical about our democracy. She believes in it with every fiber of her being... and she strives to act every day according to democratic ideals. Her faith reminds me to have faith. I am grateful for that.
Pragmatism: She understands that we can never win with extremes. For example, we can't tell the state to pound sand with regards to our housing plan. The Governor and the State Legislature are committed to solving a statewide housing affordability crisis and are requiring cities to create plans for new housing, including affordable housing. Encinitas was out of compliance for years due to the lack of a natural constituency to advocate in favor of housing plans that were difficult compromises. The Council attempted to pass compromise plans twice in the face of fierce opposition from special interest groups. We paid the price in lawsuits, legal bills, and lost state grants (which could have paid for more pedestrian rail crossings, among other projects). This housing issue is perhaps the most thorny and difficult problem facing our mayor and Council. It's very complicated... with a local law (Prop A) conflicting with state law. The conflict is incredibly hard to resolve because of the dynamics involved in passing a city-wide housing plan (by a vote) that can be certified by the state.
When we look forward, we need a housing plan that balances all interests. Those who believe that we can push back on the state and stop all new housing projects are misleading the public with simplistic messaging. In reality, local law does not pre-empt state law. A housing plan that is compliant with state law will be an uneasy compromise, no matter how it shakes out. Why? Because we can't force owners of private property to develop nothing but affordable housing (that would constitute taking their property). Instead, we have to incent landowners to develop the right kind of housing, and that's a frustrating and indirect mechanism. We must live in the real world and find compromises that work for all of us. That means the elements of any housing plan will be unpopular with some residents, no matter what is proposed.
I trust Catherine as well as the current Council to get this right. To thread this needle, to navigate us out of the current litigation and eventually find the practical and balanced path forward. I don't trust Julie Thunder, Susan Turney, and Alex to get this right. They betray a lack of experience, pragmatism, and common sense by taking a very complex issue and reducing it down to misleading slogans for campaign signs. To me, what they say sounds like pandering to residents, a highly unrealistic "have your cake and eat it too" approach. I believe they will plunge Encinitas back into a legal war with the state.
I trust Catherine to do the right thing for Encinitas. She's competent, compassionate, pragmatic, and courageous. I share and respect her values. Maybe she won't get it perfectly right every time... but she'll get it right most of the time. And that's all we can really ask of our leaders.
Julie Thunder, Susan Turney, and Alex Riley are spreading misinformation
The outrageous claims that the city sued its residents are false and we can prove it
The city did NOT sue its residents. Not a single resident was named. Nobody was served.
In fact, the Mayor and Council are fighting to *PROTECT* your vote.
We're so sure about this that we'll give $1,000 to a charity of your choice if you're the first person that can prove you were named or served in connection with the city's Prop A housing litigation. And we'll eat humble pie with a public apology in a post here and on our Faceboook page.
Now to the proof: We've provided a link to a court records search that will show you if you've been a party to any lawsuit. Enter your name as defendant in a civil suit at all court locations since 2017. If the city has sued you (even if you were later removed from the case), the search results will show it.
Or just take a phone snapshot of a court document that specifically names you and email it to us (or post it on our Facebook group if that makes you more comfortable. Feel free to black out any personal information other than your name. We're not picky.
We're quite sure that no such court documents exist. But if they do... we'll fess up.
Click below to see the messages of support coming directly from your Encinitas neighbors:
TRUMP-LOVING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SAN DIEGO GUN OWNERS PAC ENTHUSIASTICALLY ENDORSES JULIE THUNDER
Michael Schwartz is Executive Director of the San Diego County Gun Owners PAC. He loves Trump. He recently posted a link to an article about Trump defending the violent actions of his supporters in Portland and Kenosha - with the comment: "Love Trump. I just love the guy." (local Republican activist Crista Curtis chimes in "Yep! Me too." in the comment thread below).
Just above the adoring post about Trump is a glowing endorsement of Julie Thunder. Here's what this right-wing gun advocate says about Julie: "FINALLY! A good candidate in Encinitas... In my personal opinion, this is one of the most important races in the county. Getting some sanity back into those ridiculous coastal city councils is HUGE."
Even more confirmation that Julie Thunder remains an enthusiastic Republican even though she cynically switched her voter registration to "No Party Preference" right before announcing her candidacy for mayor. She is a long-time Republican. She worked to elect Republican candidates to office... partners with a Republican to put out her political newspaper ("The Encinitas Current")... hangs out with right-wing activists like Crista Curtis... and raised most of her money from Republicans.
Here are the posts from Schwartz's Facebook feed:
Phil Graham was a candidate for the California State Assembly in 2018. He made a recent post about Julie Thunder's character and suitability for office in a Facebook group focused on Encinitas politics.
The post content is below:
Julie Thunder is NOT on your side.
Encinitas deserves a mayor with integrity, moral clarity and leadership skills.
Julie Thunder lacks these qualities.
Last election cycle, I ran for the 76th Assembly seat. In July of this year, Mark and Mo Muir were exposed at the culprits who disparaged my good name and disenfranchised North County Voters by paying for 50,000 salacious robocalls saying I sexually assaulted a woman. The robocalls were sent by spoofing a phone number out of Mexico, disguising who paid for them. Read the story here.
This was done AFTER I was 100% exonerated, and led to 50,000 North County voters being misled by these smears. The woman who made the accusations pled guilty and went to jail. Read the story here.
I lost the race. Mark and Mo Muir didn't care, they only cared about their own power. They are responsible for Tasha being our Assemblywoman.
When told about the Muir's disgusting acts, Julie Thunder emailed me "Oh man, I wished it was Tasha - Ugh." When I explained the Muir's serious damage to the election process, disenfranchising 50,000 North County Voters, and serious damage to my reputation, Julie texted me "Wow, I completely understand. I'll stay on the sidelines and focus on my race for now. Hugs to you." Read the story here.
But Julie didn't stay on the sidelines. She didn't distance herself from the Muirs. She continues to partner with Mark Muir on her newsletter and her campaign. Read the story here.
Julie let me know that her friendship with the Muirs is more important than defending an innocent person from outrageous false charges, leadership, and integrity. The home that I've made for over 22 years deserves better.
Click below to see messages of support coming directly from your Encinitas neighbors:
Mayor Catherine Blakespear wrote a great little history of the city's troubled housing plan - which was recently certified by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
Here's a quick summary with some added color:
After the voters passed Proposition A in 2013, which requires voter approval of any up-zoning, the city tried to pass long term housing plans that would comply with state law in two different elections (Measure T in 2016 and Measure U in 2018). A coalition of special interest groups fought against both plans, running online ads, placing signs around the city, and campaigning against the measures. There was no natural constituency in favor of the plans... and so there was no balancing force against the NIMBY groups. Both measures went down to defeat.
The city was sued because it was out of compliance with state law (which requires that cities create a path for building enough housing - including affordable housing - to provide for future population growth).
The court required the city to suspend Prop A and comply with state law by adopting a housing plan that could be certified by the state. Encinitas submitted Measure U (the second housing plan put in front of voters in 2018). As a condition of approval, the state required Encinitas to pursue city-initiated litigation to establish the limits of Prop A (formally resolving the issue of pre-emption, namely that this local law does not pre-empt state law).
Encinitas found a defendant willing to take the other side of the argument: A special interest group called "Preserve Prop A". This group initially signed up to be the defendant, hoping to make their case in court. However, the group turned tail before the lawsuit got off the ground... so the city dropped them as a defendant and sued the state instead. Preserve Prop A was never served.
The city never sued Preserve Prop A. The city sure as hell didn't sue any residents.
The coda to this whole mess is that Preserve Prop A decided to jump back into the lawsuit recently, making an about-face after their about-face. That little maneuver will simply cost us all more money... because ultimately we are on the hook for the costs.
Catherine Blakespear's much longer and more comprehensive story is at the link below:
Julie Thunder is running for mayor against Catherine Blakespear.
We should all take a hard look at Thunder, because she's not being straight with us.
She claims to be an "independent", taking pains to say that she has no partisan affiliation. This is what she posted on her campaign website:
In a number of online posts, Julie Thunder pushes this theme even farther:
Don't be deceived. The truth is that Julie Thunder is a long-time Republican with strong partisan beliefs and deep party connections, and she's been working to conceal this from Encinitas voters.
Here are the facts:
If all that wasn't enough, Thunder was endorsed by the Trump-supporting, right-wing Executive Director of the San Diego Gun Owners PAC, who said that the election in Encinitas was "one of the most important races in the county". He also called our current council "ridiculous":
And here is a Facebook post showing Thunder hanging out with Curtis and Morris, the two right-wing activists, at a gathering for the Republican Women of Del Mar (with no masks, apparently):
Julie Thunder is not an independent. She's a hardcore partisan Republican. And that means she's a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Encinitas voters deserve to know where Julie Thunder's loyalties lie. 75% of Encinitas residents care about the partisan affiliation of their candidates for Encinitas Mayor and City Council. Julie should be straight with us.
She should not pretend to be something that she's not.
It makes you wonder what else she's hiding from us.
In sharp contrast to Julie Thunder, Mayor Catherine Blakespear was endorsed by the Democratic Party in the last two election cycles and openly supports other Democratic candidates and causes. She is completely transparent about her partisan affiliation and her actions and her words reflect her values.
Like Julie's political affiliation, this "newsletter" pretends to be one thing while being something else entirely
Julie Thunder and scandal-ridden former City Council member Mark Muir are co-publishers of a newsletter called "The Encintas Current". It is ostensibly a non-partisan source of community news but in truth, it's a platform for partisan politics.
Check out the front page for July, 2020:
All of the features circled in red are political in nature, and specifically emphasize themes of Julie Thunder's campaign for mayor.
She's featured under "Campaign 2020" (yep, that's the co-publisher herself in the upper right).
The article with the innocuous sounding "Downtown 101 lane closures" headline is actually a hatchet job on the current City Council.
The article on bike crashes is a hit piece on the bike lane improvements along Coast Highway south of Cardiff.
And we round out the top features with Alex Riley's announcement for his City Council campaign (he's part of a slate with Julie Thunder and Susan Turney challenging the current mayor and Council).
It's really not cool to pretend to be a community newsletter when the real objective is to score political points and advance the interests of the co-publisher's mayoral campaign. Wow, how cynical!
If all this weren't bad enough, Julie usurped the "Current" name from a legitimate community paper that's been around for years: The "North Coast Current". Once again, designed to deceive.
The editor of the "North Coast Current" is clearly not amused and had this pointed response to Julie's political rag in the form of an editorial in his own paper (excerpt below, full article at the link).
Excerpt from "North Coast Current" editorial about the deliberate confusion between the "North Coast Current" and "The Encinitas Current":
EDITORIAL: Which Current are you reading? Encinitas site stirs election season confusion
Are you reading the North Coast Current or Encinitas Current? Look carefully. Not just at the nameplate, but at the web address. If you thought you were reading one and not the other, beware. It might be by design in this era of murky news outlets, leading to confusion stoked by political parties, bureaucracies, candidates and special interests.
The North Coast Current, an award-winning Encinitas-based news outlet founded 18 years ago, has battled misperceptions about its purpose and content since mayoral candidate Julie Thunder and former Encinitas Councilman Mark Muir founded the Cardiff Current in early 2018.
Given the years it’s taken to build the North Coast Current’s brand, it has every right to defend itself against this potential confusion.
Had Thunder and Muir named their sites “Cardiff Coast News” and “Encinitas Coast News,” would the ownership of the long-established Coast News accept it?
“Our original goal, conceptually, was just to have a community newspaper online and just focus on issues that were important to Cardiff,” Muir told the North Coast Current in 2018.
Thunder said in the same article that she had never heard of the North Coast Current. That claim is inconsistent with her outlet’s statement on the site: “Both Mark and Julie would be the first to say ‘We’re not journalists!’” Why would such a statement be necessary unless they already knew a journalistic enterprise with the Current name already existed, covering the same communities?
Neither explained to the reporter why there was such a similarity in name to the North Coast Current.
What happened, however, was that the Cardiff Current website disappeared not long after Muir’s run for City Council as Cardiff’s representative, a race he lost to Jody Hubbard. Then, in a quick turnaround, the Encinitas Current website appeared, incorporating the content from its earlier version. Within a year, on Jan. 31, Thunder announced her candidacy for Encinitas mayor on the site.
Without more transparency from Thunder or Muir in 2018, when the Cardiff Current first appeared, and the behavior of the sites leading up to election seasons 2018 and 2020, the North Coast Current is left with this impression — that the Cardiff and Encinitas “Currents” are designed to mislead residents into reading political sites as news sites.
Since Thunder announced her candidacy for mayor, the North Coast Current has received notes of congratulations and offers of campaign assistance meant for her.
The [North Coast] Current has been derided for supporting a candidate it has nothing to do with.
Thunder supporters have attempted to post free political advertising on the North Coast Current’s social media sites.
Thunder’s Encinitas Current posted an almost exact screen capture from a City Council meeting — labeled “Campaign 2020” — included in a Jan. 23 North Coast Current news story about her candidacy.
The Cardiff School District incorrectly referred to a North Coast Current news report as one from the Encinitas Current.
The [North Coast] Current would prefer to give Thunder and Muir the benefit of the doubt, but a recent trend in politics makes that more challenging.
This is a pretty scathing editorial. And just to rub it in, "The North Coast Current" put their front page side right next to "The Encinitas Current" front page (below). Ummm... yeah. It's confusing. And that's no accident... it appears to be quite deliberate.
The link to the full "North Coast Current" editorial is below:
The Mayor recently updated her website to include a great summary of her record and her positions on the issues.
She's running on a strong record of leadership - with several notable accomplishments. In her words:
The City of Encinitas is financially stable, one of the safest places to live in the county and deeply committed to environmental stewardship. In the four years that I’ve been your mayor, we’ve made substantial investments in our community’s public spaces, including the creation of a Coastal Rail Trail, a quiet railroad crossing, more sand and dunes on the beaches, and road connectivity improvements throughout the city.
Follow the link below to see the whole thing:
Some of you may have seen a few of these signs around Encinitas:
Who wants their mayor and city council to sue them? Especially to overturn their vote!
Seems bad, right? Well, don't be deceived!
Go up to one of the folks who put out one of these signs and ask if they were specifically named in a lawsuit and served by the city.
Well, were they notified of an impending lawsuit that named them?
So, what's up with the sign?
If they were straight with you, they might tell you a long, long story, about the city being out of compliance with state law for years and years because special interest groups thwarted the city's multiple attempts to pass a compliant housing plan, of the city finally being sued to comply, of a judge forcing the city to get declaratory relief to establish that local law doesn't pre-empt state law, of a group that volunteered to be on the other side of the argument and then promptly turned tail and ran, of abstract legal constructs, of twists and turns, and of the final form of a lawsuit to protect Proposition A, which is the ostensible "vote" that is supposedly being overturned in the slogan on this ridiculous sign.
It's not a simple tale, but one thing is for damned sure: The city is NOT suing you to overturn your vote.
Mayor Catherine Blakespear explains what really happened:
"The City of Encinitas sued the State of California, not our residents, and we did it to protect, not overturn, our citizens’ right to vote.
"I believe what’s motivating this sign is a twisted version of the following saga. As part of the city’s housing litigation, we invited a group called 'Preserve Prop. A' to participate as a party because we’d understood that they wanted to make their case. After filing a motion asking to be a part of earlier litigation, with their attorney communicating that they wanted a seat at the table, they made a politically motivated about-face and accused the city of 'suing our residents'. Nothing could be further from the truth.
"Given their changed position, the city dismissed the group 'Preserve Prop. A' from the city’s motion for declaratory relief. They have not been a party to the legal process for more than four months, since March. Instead, the city named the State of California.
"Now, the city is the party standing up for the right to vote under Prop. A, given that 'Preserve Prop. A' didn’t want to participate.
We are not suing our residents. We are protecting our residents’ right to vote."
Seems like a more accurate version of the sign would look like this:
Those goofy "My Mayor and Council Sued Me" signs were made by a group that believes the city should have defied the judge in the lawsuit forcing the city into compliance with state law. That would have meant declaring a full scale legal war on the State of California.
This trigger-happy group seems eager to plunge Encinitas into a long term, ultimately hopeless fight with the state, potentially costing us millions of dollars in legal fees, penalties, administrative fees, and foregone grants. Why would we lose out on grants? Because we don't get certain types of state grants - for example, money to build pedestrian rail crossings - when we're out of compliance with state law.
The state is very serious about its housing laws. The laws exist to promote affordable housing to relieve California's dire housing shortage. The Governor and the legislature are committed to solving the housing crisis. We may disagree with their methods, but we don't question their resolve.
The people who are itching for a fight shouldn't take our word for this. They can call Governor Gavin Newsom's office directly and ask him how serious he is about this issue. He did threaten to "make an example" out of cities that refused to come into compliance... a list that Encinitas was on for a long time. He seems pretty serious to us, but shucks, if he can be talked off his position, please let us know immediately!
Here's his number: 916-445-2841
Oh, wait. There's still the State Assembly and the State Senate, where majorities also support state housing laws. After all, they made those laws. They'll need to be convinced that they're wrong as well. Their phone numbers are... well, never mind.
The point is that fighting the state over housing law can sound like a noble cause - but it's really just a path into a hopeless quagmire that will cost all of us dearly.
Julie Thunder, the die-hard Republican candidate for mayor (who is trying to oust current Mayor Blakespear), seems like she's eager for a fight with the state based on what she's said online and on her website. She doesn't talk at all about the millions of dollars this bad decision will cost residents. Funny, that.
Here's the sign that should really be popping up around town:
...even when surveyed by an opposition group that framed the question as negatively as possible!
An opposition group calling themselves "Concerned Citizens of Encinitas" surveyed 4,000 residents and one of the questions was about the Leucadia Streetscape improvements along Coast Highway. The question in the survey was framed in a very negative way (emphasizing the lane reductions and ignoring all of the improvements to pedestrian safety, the new parking, and the multiple benefits to local businesses).
And yet... a solid majority of residents expressed support for Streetscape. Well, that must have been a surprise to those "Concerned Citizens".
Here are some visualizations of this long-overdue improvement to Leucadia:
Don't believe the heated rhetoric from the narrowly focused opposition groups. This is a wonderful project for Leucadia and will benefit the entire City of Encinitas.
JULIE THUNDER'S POLITICAL ALLY AND "ENCINITAS CURRENT" CO-PUBLISHER MARK MUIR IS ENGULFED IN SCANDAL
It turns out that Julie Thunder's close partner Mark Muir was behind the illegal and dirty robo-calling campaign that took down Republican Assembly candidate Phil Graham in the 2018 primary campaign for the 76th District.
Mark Muir and an unspecified, younger Muir family member hired Ken Moser, a political consultant, to run the robo-calling campaign smearing Phil Graham by amplifying false accusations against him (Phil had just been exonerated of an alleged charge of battery against a young woman in a local bar). Mark's wife, Maureen Muir, was running against Graham, and would presumably benefit from these robo-calls.
Moser made 47,000 "spoofed" robo-calls on behalf of the Muirs, masking the identity of the caller with the phone number of a business rival to hide what he was doing. (Who does this?)
The Federal Communications Commission investigated the robo-calling campaign and has accused Moser of spreading false information about Graham just days before the primary election. The FCC also frowns on "spoofing" calls. The FCC has proposed a $10 million fine against Moser. Yikes!
Moser recently identified the Muirs as his clients, saying that Mark Muir specifically gave him the messaging and the targeting for the robo-calls. Mark Muir was an Encinitas City Council member at the time. A younger female Muir family member signed the paperwork, which means that Mark encouraged a young relative to step into deep doodoo, landing right in the middle of a major scandal. (I'll bet Mark and his ambitious wife, "Mo" are no longer this young family member's favorite relatives).
The California Fair Political Practices Commission, California's political watchdog agency, has also opened an investigation.
This is the company that Julie Thunder keeps.
The full "Voice of San Diego" article about this can be found at the link below.
According to a survey of 4,000 residents conducted in the spring of this year, people who live in Encinitas think our mayor and City Council are doing a good job. Residents approve of the mayor and City Council's performance by a 3:1 margin. The survey was run by a group that doesn't like the mayor or the City Council at all (the so-called "Concerned Citizens of Encinitas"). We suspect they thought the survey would confirm that residents all secretly felt the same way they did. Not so much. They surveyed enough people (4,000 out of a population of 60,000+) that the truth shined right through.
This survey confirms our own internal data - but we used their results because nobody can accuse us of gaming the survey if we're reporting out conclusions from research conducted by our opposition.
We have the best mayor and City Council in many years. They are doing a great job for us. Encinitas is running a budget surplus, moving improvement projects forward, and helping our most vulnerable residents. We're in compliance with state law for housing for the first time in the city's history. Residents approve of the job our leaders are doing - and 70% also feel like our quality of life here in paradise is stable or improving.