Two of Gary DeLong's Republican rivals for Congress today entered the controversy over whether the 3rd District councilman misused his city email account for political purposes, issuing statements through their campaigns that question his integrity and urge him to answer the charge.
In a brief email headlined: "DeLong Has Some Explaining To Do," Steve Kuykendall said of DeLong, whose Long Beach district includes Naples and Belmont Shore: "At the very least our elected leaders should be honorable, use good judgment and hold themselves accountable for their own actions. Sadly, Gary DeLong has failed to demonstrate these basic requirements." The email sent in support of Kuykendall, who is a former congressman and state assemblyman, led off by linking to about the allegation and DeLong's reaction.
Steve Foley also suggested that DeLong had revealed a "character flaw" but was more direct and lengthy in his criticism, saying "DeLong has not effectively explained how email addresses submitted for subscriptions to his City Council office's newsletters and updates on local issues are receiving emails from DeLong's U.S. House of Representative campaign. The Council subscription clearly states that emails for that account are not released in any way to anyone else for any purpose. To have done so would be a violation of campaign laws as well."
While Foley, a businessman and conservative blogger, appeared willing to excuse DeLong on that issue if the accusations proved true, saying, "It's just a little thing, I know," he maintained that "too many little things have started stacking up -- too many questions about character and integrity; too little response from Councilman DeLong."
Along with the Patch article on the controversy, the Foley campaign's email also cited one in the Long Beach Press-Telegram about the accusations.
With the election for the GOP nomination in the 47th Congressional District only days away, on June 5, at least two complaints have been lodged with Long Beach City Attorney Bob Shannon, the Los Angeles District Attorney and California's Secretary of State. They allege the same essential thing: that DeLong misused city staff or resources to obtain email addresses that residents submitted to get official 3rd District updates.
Doing so would violate state campaign law that forbids use of public resources for private campaigns, which might carry a fine, depending on the relative value of the proprietary information. DeLong has said that his 47th Congressional District campaign purchased numerous email lists, and there are bound to be crossovers with 3rd District newsletter subscribers.
One of the complaints filed by retired deputy city attorney Jim McCabe noted that his partner emailed a request to DeLong's City Council office requesting a 3rd District Council newsletter for neighborhood updates on road closures. McCabe said on Thursday night that his partner did so on a rarely used email address, ironically, so that his more personal address is not commpromised.
His partner allegedly received a response from DeLong's Council office chief of staff and another staffer that featured Facebook and Twitter links to the DeLong campaign. And a day or two later, he received a DeLong campaign email. Several Patch complained of the same scenario: after getting signed up for a district newsletter for road closures or trash day changes -several said they used seldom used e-mail addresses - suddenly they received DeLong campaign material on it.
The P-T tested the allegation with two newly created email addresses through which 3rd District newsletters were requested. In short order, the newspaper said, each of the email addresses received DeLong campaign emails.
The City Attorney's office returned a May 30 phone call from Patch on the morning of May 31, stating that it would make no comment about the investigation. But the Press Telegram has City Attorney comment here.