Michael Schwartz wrote an opinion as the employee of the Gun Owners of San Diego on SD Rostra that is riddled with lies and personal attacks on myself. Therefore, I need to set the record straight, because he is spending his organization’s money, time, and resources attacking me with a false story and an untrue narrative.
In addition, this is a warning to all elected officials, candidates and anyone who would like to get involved in politics to be aware that Michael Schwartz requires you to agree with him 100 percent all the time or he goes into his bully tactics. After positively assisting Schwartz per his requests in the past, in good faith I proactively tried to work with him on the potential nonbinding symbolic gun safety resolution in Chula Vista. The final nonbinding symbolic gun safety resolution from the City Council of Chula Vista supported no new gun restrictions in California. But as I found out after the vote, it did not exactly align with Schwartz’s gun beliefs.
So, if you deviate one iota, do not exactly vote his way, have any independent thoughts or beliefs yourself, Schwartz will use the resources of the San Diego Guns Owners to slander you, publicly defame you and make up stories to assassinate your character.
Below is a text from Michael Schwartz to me the morning after the vote on behalf of his organization calling me a douche bag. This unprofessionalism and abusive comments toward me and others are just the tip of the iceberg. In my thirty years of public service and almost two decades of being an elected official, I have never met a paid special interest lobbyist who was so unprofessional, disrespectful and dishonest.
I support the right of self-defense, I support the 2nd Amendment and I have been an ally to this organization on issues in the past. I am a rational thinker and I am not in lock step with any organization. I know very few individuals who are sheep and agree 100 percent with most organizations.
The final nonbinding symbolic gun safety resolution from the City Council of Chula Vista I voted for did not support any new gun ownership restrictions in California. It supported comprehensive background checks. It supported red flag laws with due process. It supported the availability and funding of mental health services. The gun safety resolution the Chula Vista City Council passed was only a statement. (See the attached resolution.)
I want to thank all the outpouring of phone calls and emails supporting me. People who agreed and disagreed with my vote do not agree with Michael Schwartz’s attacks and wonder how a nonbinding symbolic gun safety resolution that does not support any new gun ownership restrictions in California has created this much hate from Schwartz. Their main comment is, “Really? Schwartz continues to alienate people.”
One Republican Central Committee member who called me about the resolution called it a “Do Nothing Resolution” and wondered why Schwartz was acting so ballistic about it. Another Central Committee member called to tell me that this was Schwartz’s MO. Another believes he is using his position for a separate political agenda than the San Diego Gun Owners.
The first major lie that Schwartz states in his Rostra post is that on August 12 I approached him with the nonbinding symbolic gun safety resolution at the Central Committee, that I gave him a copy and he read the resolution. Completely false. On August 12 the gun safety resolution was not completed and not available yet. If the resolution was not available yet, how could I give him a copy and have him read it? The resolution was not available that day.
A prior gun safety resolution approximately two year ago was brought to the former City Council by Councilman Mike Diaz, a hardcore gun owner, and Pat Aguilar, a progressive. It did not support any new gun ownership restrictions in California. Schwartz did not show up to that meeting and he did not oppose the resolution. I voted for the resolution with Mike Diaz and Pat Aguilar. The two other members voted against the resolution, because they thought it did not include gun restrictions.
The new push, then, was a new statement for a stricter gun safety resolution by the Mayor in response to the recent mass shootings. The Mayor at the prior Council meeting had a long list of restrictions that I did not entirely support.
Here is the truth about our interaction on August 12 at the Central Committee meeting. Proactively and in good faith, I approached Schwartz letting him know that a gun safety resolution was coming and that it may oppose the 2nd Amendment. I said the resolution was not out yet, but I had talked to the City Attorney about my concerns and I was hoping the resolution would be without any new gun ownership restrictions in California. Schwartz made a commitment to me that he would follow up with me in the morning to talk about it. I never received a follow up from him the next morning.
I never committed to Schwartz on which way I would vote on the nonbinding symbolic gun safety resolution. After being in elected office for almost two decades, I consistently do not commit and do not tell people how I am going to vote on items prior to Council meetings and especially not to paid special interest lobbyists. Plus, there was no resolution available to read yet and it is ludicrous to think I would make a commitment without reading an item. That is not the way I work. I work to be fully informed prior to making a decision and try to listen to both sides.
If the resolution was palatable like the prior one a couple years ago at the City or if it would impose any new gun ownership restrictions in California it would point me in different directions. So, again I made no commitment to vote against the resolution, because there was not a resolution available yet.
The following day, the resolution was posted and I reviewed it. I read the resolution and it had no new gun ownership restrictions in California. I was still waiting for Michael Schwartz to contact me.
In the afternoon, I then e-mailed Schwartz for him to review and hoped he would contact me like he had committed.
I then did my homework with law enforcement. I talked with an ATF officer who is an expert in guns and a local police captain, both concurred that the resolution did not support any additional gun restrictions in California. I still did not have any response from Schwartz, so I called his cell phone with no answer.
I then finished up a work meeting and went to the City Council meeting. I never received a phone call or e-mail from Schwartz. Now, Schwartz shows a screenshot of him calling me after 3:30 p.m., which may be the case, but I did not have any calls logged from him on my phone. In addition, he again lied and stated that he left me a voicemail. He could not leave me a voicemail, because my voicemail was full.
I went to the City Council meeting. Schwartz was nowhere to be found. He did not have anyone come speak on the resolution. Therefore, I believed the San Diego County Gun Owners association was not opposed to this nonbinding symbolic gun safety resolution like the prior gun safety resolution we voted on a couple years ago.
I have had disagreements in the past with allies and foes, you then have civil discussions and look for opportunities where you can work together. When I spoke with Michael on the phone the next morning following the vote, he admitted to me that I have to agree with him 100% of the time or he will attack me.
During the phone call Michael was livid and very abuse towards me. The douche bag text was tame to the many abusive insults he yelled at me. I tried to calm him down and asked him to have civil conversation with me multiple times about the nonbinding symbolic gun safety resolution. He just continued his abusive rants toward me and screamed about many other political issues that had nothing to do with gun ownership.
If this issue was so important to Schwartz and the San Diego Gun Owners, then why did he fail to communicate with me and fail these basic lobbying steps? Here are some facts where Schwartz failed the organization that he is paid to represent. Schwartz did not attend the City Council meeting for the vote on the nonbinding symbolic gun safety resolution. Schwartz did not send someone to speak at the City Council meeting on the nonbinding symbolic gun safety resolution. Schwartz failed to follow up with me on Tuesday morning after committing to call me when I talked with him on Monday night. On Tuesday afternoon, he never responded to my e-mail after the posting of the gun resolution. Schwartz never answered my phone call when I called him on Tuesday afternoon. I did more than my part in trying to communicate with Schwartz and the San Diego Gun Owners.
Having an open dialog with the Gun Owners Association may not have changed my vote, but at least I would have known where they stood. Their argument may have helped me shape a different opinion, but I am an independent thinker.
I do not expect everyone to agree with me, but I do expect honesty and professionalism.