Monday, October 18, 2010

False Advertising and Deals vs. The Truth

Like it or not, campaigns and election outcomes largely depend on money. Yard signs, commercials, banners, mailers, and other forms of getting the word out require cash. Lots of cash. We know this, and--grudgingly or not--accept it as the way business is done.

What some of us are not so ready to accept is bad business, deceptive business: candidates who misrepresent themselves and their supporters, figuring that no one will notice, and if they do, oh well, the lie got out there anyway.

We've already addressed
Yolanda Salcido's I'm-an-honorable-judge early Halloween costume. Now, a recent article in the Southwestern Sun [link updated Oct. 20] reveals that Salcido used Associated Student Organization (ASO) officer photos and a fake quote in her publicity materials.

According to The Sun, ASO President Manuel Lopez and Vice President of Public Relations Nick Serrano both "feverently denied supporting Salcido and demanded that she remove their photos and false endorsements from her campaign website and all printed campaign materials."

As they say in TV-land, though, that's not all! What many voters don't realize is that space on a lot of slate mailers is bought: despite the appearance of organization endorsement, all that's being endorsed is a fat check.

According to the
San Diego County Registrar of Voters Campaign Finance Disclosure Public Site, both Yolanda Salcido and Terri Valladolid have so far spent $15,311 each to appear on these mailers:

California Democratic Voter Guide: $4,500

California Latino Voter Guide: $3,811

California Voter Guide: $7,000


Total: $15,311 X 2 = $30,622 to buy two candidates the appearance of widespread support.

And where did all this money come from? Construction interests, of course!

Check it out for yourself by looking at their 460 Recipient Committee Campaign Statements:

Salcido's 460 Jan to June 2010 (shows early donations)
Salcido's 460 July to Sept 2010 (shows additional donations and expenditures)

Valladolid's 460 Jan to June (shows early donations)
Valladolid's 460 July to Sept (shows additional donations and expenditures)

(The third incumbent running for election, Jorge Dominguez, has raised and spent very little money, so we're not covering him here.)

For a comparison, look at Norma L. Hernandez's
latest 460. In contrast to Salcido's and Valladolid's big bucks construction money, Hernandez's donations are almost all from individuals and in the amount of $100-$200.

To be fair, Hernandez's campaign has also invested in some slate mailers, but on a much smaller scale, spending less than a third ($4889) what Salcido and Valladolid each have thrown around.

So how do you get a fair election when big money perpetuates itself by supporting candidates that will later reward it with contracts? You
fight the incumbent political machine any way you can: by donating, by volunteering, by painting your car window, by doing anything and everything you can to tell the truth.

Campaign contacts:

Volunteer contacts:

  • Campus outreach: Patti Flores-Charter
  • Phone banking: Veronica Burton
  • Precinct walking: Diane Gustafon
Tell the truth. Save Our Southwestern College.

Update: Here are a couple more articles from The Sun that you shouldn't miss:


  1. The article reporting Yolanda Salcido's fake student endorsement is NOT on the electronic version of the Sun that's posted on the SWC website. Curious, no?

    Of course, when you click on the link in this Save Our SWC post, it goes to a different article, too.

    Too bad the public can't read the article because this is as slimy as it gets. Salcido took the ASO President's picture under false pretenses, wrote his "endorsement" herself, and published it in her mailer that went out to the voters.

    What would happen if a SWC employee made up a letter of reference or a student testimonial while applying for a job?

    --Philip Lopez

  2. Phil, was there an article other than the one we linked to? The reference to the fake endorsement is at the very end. Please let us know if we missed something.

  3. The link in the 10/18 post is to "A Pointed Exchange." There is a reference to the fake endorsement in the final paragraph.

    But the above-the-fold, headline article in the Sun is "Student leaders deny endorsing Salcido." It's NOT in the online version of the Sun that's available through the SWC website.


  4. Hey, Phil, located the article:

    I have updated the link in the post.

  5. Thanks! Now people can get the whole story.

    I just wish the public--especially voters--had access to it, and I can't understand why other media outlets aren't interested.

    Sure, in the big picture, SWC and our GB election is small potatoes, but Yolanda Salcido's absolute lack of ethics and her outright fabrication is a GOOD story. People will read about a two-headed snake at the San Diego zoo whether it's a garter snake or a giant anaconda.

    Even better: Just last week, the GB passed a code of ethics policy. Yolanda voted for it, but either she didn't read the policy, or maybe she thinks that it doesn't apply to her, or perhaps she doesn't understand that lying is, um, unethical.

    Mas y mas mejor: Jorge Dominguez has an ad in today's South County edition of the U-T. He says that there were no layoffs last year and no class cuts, either. He also says that he's a good Christian.


  6. Please do not count on folks to read every blog message. Many voters do not have that level of interest. This is why we must talk to neighbors, friends, and those we meet at church and events. Word of mouth is one of the most effective communication tools. Spread the word.
    The entire community has been affected by the college's being on probation with the accrediting agency, which is entirely the fault of the governing board that abdicated its responsbility to provide leadership. That is the primary message that will resonate with most people. Keep it simple.

  7. I suppose anything IS possible. Imagine Adolph Hitler resurrected to take over at SWC...oh, I forgot, his spirit is already here, occupying the soul, if not the body, of a guy named Alioto.

    Southwestern College already has one accreditation foot on a banana peel and the other in the air. It will take a dedicated NEW board to help right the ship. We'll take our chances with a fresh start, thank you.

  8. Anon, 22 Oct 5:11 pm: I'm guessing you're responding to the comment that went with an earlier post that said something along the lines of "best to choose the evil" (

    I totally agree with you. And this situation is way too complex, way too documented for coffee cup proverbs to have top billing.

    Thank you.