Marx attacks Harmon for taking money from Kevin Rice
October 4, 2016
San Luis Obispo’s two left-leaning mayoral candidates are quarrelling over a donation one of them received from right-leaning activist and government watchdog, Kevin Rice. Incumbent Mayor Jan Marx is faulting challenger Hedi Harmon for accepting the donation, while Harmon is faulting Marx for not running a positive campaign.
On Sunday, Marx published a newsletter comparing her supporters to Harmon’s. The newsletter stated Harmon received a maximum donation from Rice’s organization, Integrity SLO. Marx then described Rice as a “familiar political operative” and said his antics have recently been exposed.
As proof of her claim, Marx linked to a post on the website SLO Truth, which is operated by Aaron Ochs, a government troll who admitted recently in depositions that many of his claims about his targets are untrue or conjecture. On Monday, Ochs posted a message on social media thanking Harmon for subsequently returning Rice’s donation.
Rice said he has yet to receive the $300 he contributed to Harmon’s campaign. Also, Harmon has not contacted him about the donation, Rice said.
Harmon responded to Marx’s newsletter with a statement criticizing Marx’s negativity and calling on the mayor to join her in a positive campaign.
“The mayor and the local political establishment have sounded the alarm and are resorting to negative campaigning tactics and personal attacks,” Harmon stated. “The disdain coming from our opponent only exemplifies the fact the the people of SLO do not feel heard. They are trying to divide us in a hyper-partisan world. “Let’s stand together, rise above and use this race to create more good in our city and our world.”
Harmon’s statement was accompanied online by a photo of Marx and her standing together, both smiling.
“There’s only time to stand together. I stand with you! “#staypositive #staystrong #standtogether #community,” Harmon wrote on her campaign Facebook page.
As of Sept. 24, Harmon raised $12,771 in total campaign contributions. Marx raised $12,409. Harmon had raised more money than Marx despite entering the race after the incumbent had already begun fundraising.
During the campaign, Marx has received criticism for her stance, or lack thereof, on the city’s rental inspection ordinance. Marx previously voted for and promoted the controversial ordinance, but amid outrage over the regulation, she asked city staff to place a review of the rental inspection program on a March council agenda. Harmon opposes the rental inspection ordinance.