Jan. 11 2012 12:00 AM

Labor-backed group relaunches website in time for campaign season

Plans are being released, debates are being scheduled and DirtyDeMaio.com's back up. Yup—it's election season.

First launched in 2008 when Carl DeMaio was running for the District 5 City Council seat, the website aimed to let folks know a little more about the guy who parachuted into town only a few years earlier, promising to "clean up city hall." The site claimed that DeMaio had violated tax laws, lied about his place of residence and was in the pocket of special interests. But, it did little harm—DeMaio won the District 5 seat easily in the primary, getting 19,461 votes to George George's (yes, George George) 9,953.

The website, paid for by the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, stuck around for awhile, then disappeared over the summer. This morning, it was re-launched "new and improved," said Lucas O'Connor, spokesperson for the website. "A one-stop shop for all things DeMaio."

The site's currently funded by the labor-backed committee Too Extreme for San Diego, formed to oppose DeMaio's mayoral campaign. DeMaio's made unions his main target, blaming them for the city's budget deficit.

Much of what's on the site is known—that DeMaio spent some time working for Newt Gingrich, was the "Director of Government Redesign" for the libertarian Reason Foundation and got rich during the Bush era teaching government employees to be more efficient through his Performance Institute and American Strategic Management Institute, both of which he sold to Thompson Publishing in 2007. O'Connor said the site will be updated throughout the campaign.

CityBeat's written frequently about DeMaio's shenanigans—from him embellishing his Wikipedia page, to lying about a homeless-services nonprofit's involvement in one of his community events (and then, when caught, dug himself an even deeper hole with more lies), to spending thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on things like teleprompters for his state of the district address, glossy mailers and booklets*, and an iPhone app.

* The link is a PDF listing what DeMaio's office spent at the city's print shop between July 1, 2010 and April 25, 2011. The info was obtained last year through a public records request.


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