Congressional candidate Gary DeLong blamed opponent and State Sen. Alan Lowenthal's campaign for complaints to the Secretary of State that he or his staff misused his Long Beach City Hall access to official databases for his campaign.
Using public property or resources for campaigning is against state election law, and former Long Beach deputy city attorney James McCabe and another man filed complaints with the City Attorney, District Attorney and Secretary of State last Thursday. They, and others Wednesday, assert that city staff, time and resources were misused in the accessing and/or transferring of residents' e-mail addresses kept on a city database only staff can use.
DeLong said his campaign has purchased numerous e-mail distribution lists and his campaign e-mails about his candidacy for the U.S. 47th Congressional District were not sent from city e-mail addresses.
Asked whether the City of Long Beach sold his campaign access to proprietary e-mails residents submit in order to receive Third Council District news updates, he said Wednesday night: "I will definitely take questions on this issue, and hope I get asked. I look forward to exposing this issue as Lowenthal campaign nonsense."
Lowenthal's campaign manager, Michael Shimpock, released a statement Wednesday morning reiterating the investigation intoDeLong's alleged use of staff and resources meant to serve taxpayers who fund them, not DeLong's campaign for higher office.
It quoted directly from the complaint against DeLong, in part:
"Delong and his staff have collected thousands of residents' email addresses through the course of their official, city council responsibilities. Delong has illegally misappropriated this database of email addresses for his congressional campaign. The misappropriation of the existing database of email addresses is not an isolated event. On the contrary, Delong has set up his publicly-funded city council website so that any resident who sends his office (at District3@longbeach.gov) District 3-related correspondence is then automatically, and without consent, added to his congressional campaign email mailing list."
Lowenthal's campaign cited the Press Telegram's story in which the paper tested the allegations by using new e-mail addresses to subscribe to the Third District Council office newsletter, and reported swiftly getting DeLong Congressional campaign e-mail that essentially could not have been purchased from another e-mail distribution source because it was made up. The paper's Eric Bradley wrote that this suggested DeLong's campaign was using private residents' e-mail entrusted for official city business.
If true, Lowenthal's campaign stated, it amounted to a breach of trust by the Long Beach Councilman. DeLong did not answer a submitted to him about the e-mail. But he vowed to field questions at his online town hall. He announced it at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon:
Tomorrow, Thursday May 31st, at 5:30pm I will be hosting a "TeleForum" for residents of the new 47th Congressional District. The purpose of the electronic meeting is to give voters the opportunity to hear me publicly discuss my positions on the various issues facing our country. I look forward to discussing the economy, healthcare, education, balancing the Federal budget, and more. Most importantly, I'm eager to hear your thoughts on how to make the Federal government more responsive to all Americans.
You'll be able to ask me questions live, or listen to me talk with your neighbors about issues that are important to you.
If you would like to join the conference call, please email your name and phone number to Gary@GaryDeLong.com and we'll make sure you're included.
I look forward to speaking with you tomorrow (Thursday) evening at 5:30pm.
Visit our Website
To learn more about my campaign for Congress, please click here.
The new 47th Congressional District is approximately 60% Los Angeles County, including the communities of Avalon, Long Beach, SIgnal Hill and a portion of Lakewood. The remaining 40% is in Orange County, including the communities of Cypress, Los Alamitos and Rossmoor, and portions of Buena Park, Garden Grove, Stanton and Westminster.