SD Rostra readers and local politicos are well aware of the sordid story of the eleventh hour false accusations against Assembly candidate Phil Graham in the 2018 primary election. Graham was tainted enough by the allegations to ensure he was left out of the 76th Assembly District general, in what many consider a run-off a Republican like Graham would have won handily against any Democrat.
Which of course was the point of keeping Graham out of the November general election in the first place — thus ensuring a run-off between two Democrats including eventual winner Tasha Boerner Horvath.
It’s important to note that Graham accuser Nichole Burgan ended up being criminally charged for her made up tale, resulting in a guilty plea to false allegations.
Yet what really is being glossed over locally is the continuing developments in the aftermath of the 2018 election, including the reports of expenditures made by labor groups to push the false Graham allegations in front of the voters, as well as a nearly $10 million fine against a longtime local Republican activist for what the FCC claims was his telemarketing company making calls critical of Graham, while — astonishingly — deceiving the public by making it look like the calls were coming from a competing company.
Katy Grimes, investigative journalist and editor of the California Globe, has the complete details in her story, “No Justice Yet for Republican Assembly Candidate Falsely Accused of Sexual Harassment During 2018 Election”
Just some of the excerpts:
“(The) Federal Communications Commission … found that ‘Kenneth Moser, doing business as a telemarketing enterprise under the name Marketing Support Systems (Moser), apparently made 47,610 unlawful spoofed calls over the course of a two-day calling campaign. Moser apparently spoofed the phone number assigned to another telemarketing company, HomeyTel, Inc., to transmit a prerecorded voice message containing false statements critical of California State Assembly candidate Philip Graham. … Given the egregious circumstances, we propose a forfeiture of $9,997,750.'”
“Graham and his attorneys filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission, which responded June 18, 2018, acknowledging his complaint, and saying they would investigate the matter. And that was the last Philip Graham heard from the FPPC – nearly two years ago.”
“With the California FPPC and Secretary of State ignoring this obvious fraud, as well as ignoring the FCC fine, the U.S. Department of Justice can and should launch an investigation. If the outcome of a hot political race can be predetermined with only a false allegation against the Republican, a $10 million fine is apparently a worthy investment.”
Both the The San Diego Union-Tribune and Voice of San Diego covered the FCC action against Moser, a former San Diego Community College District board trustee.
Considering the amount of the fine and the blatant efforts to hide the source of the phone calls, what hasn’t been adequately investigated by local media is whether the DOJ or any State agency is pursuing action against Moser’s client, or even trying to identify a connection between false accuser Burgan and the anti-Graham efforts. Why is it apparent the Fair Political Practices Commission and Secretary of State — both alerted to the potential of crimes early on — are doing little, if anything?
A couple of weeks prior to the election, a woman makes false allegations against Graham. Within a matter of days, phone calls go to voters recounting the supposed indiscretions, while purposely masking and misidentifying the source of the calls.
Move along, there’s nothing to see here.
As for Graham, he’s not letting up. “Election integrity is the backbone of a functioning society,” he told SD Rostra. “Why haven’t the two State agencies that are in charge of it in California not commented on proven illegal acts that affected a State election? The voters who were cheated out of a fair election deserve to know and deserve justice.”
The Grimes story is well worth a read.