Activist Kevin Rice behind controversial SLO County voter robocall

February 28, 2020

Kevin Rice

By CCT STAFF

Activist Kevin Rice informed the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office Thursday evening that he was responsible for a controversial robocall sent to some voters on Tuesday.

The homophobic call purportedly asked residents to vote for Supervisor Adam Hill, while repeating information from a harassing and threatening email sent from Hill’s residence to a local radio show host in 2016. The call also reminded the public about a homophobic email Hill sent to a former mayoral candidate.

While the caller, a friend of Rice who said she is the granddaughter of a Klu Klux Klan member, asked people to vote for Hill, the call clearly repeated negative events from Hill’s past.

The robocall also degraded Hill’s opponent Stacy Korsgaden based on her sexual orientation.

“That woman running against Adam Hill is a lesbian,” the caller said. “We can’t have those selfish perverts running for government. Adam Hill will put a stop to that.”

Offended by the call, Korsgaden asked the District Attorney’s Office to investigate.

Investigators questioned Rice on Friday, who said he “acted independently.” Prosecutors are working to determine if Rice violated campaign laws or regulations regarding robocalls, which could be a misdemeanor.

“The integrity of our election system is of paramount importance to our American system of government by the people,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “I am firmly committed to aggressively enforcing violations of election and campaign law to ensure that members of our community are able to cast their vote without interference of unlawful campaigning activity.”

After discovering Rice sent the robocall, Hill insinuated radio host Dave Congalton and CalCoastNews were working with Rice. Congalton and reporters with CalCoastNews deny any involvement in the robocalls.

In 2016, a handful of harassing and threatening emails were sent under an alias from Hill’s home. The emails were sexually demeaning and degrading, and targeted Congalton and CalCoastNews reporters Daniel Blackburn and Karen Velie.

In late 2019, the district attorney first revealed the emails had come from Hill’s home. Even though prosecutors determined the sender had committed a crime, they were unsure who in the Hill’s household sent the emails. In the end, no charges were filed.

After a CalCoastNews exclusive linked Hill to the threatening emails, Tribune reporters responded by questioning Congalton about taking “nearly three months” to release the information. A few weeks later, a Tribune columnist trashed the Tribune for reporting about he emails, on his social media account, claiming prosecutors determined the emails were not criminal.

After Rice reported he sent the robocall on his own, Tribune reporters sent an email asking CalCoastNews reporters if they were involved in the robocalls, which they were not.

Yet, Tribune reporters have never asked why someone would send emails containing allegations of bestiality, homosexual relationships and adultery to demean other reporters who have written articles critical of Hill.

Hill’s household emails also demeaned Rice with allegations of sodomy and killing puppies after sex.


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oldtimer

And activist is a strong term for a troll whom receives a state Pension and stirs up crap on many people’s expense and suffrage. And calling Adam fit for office is a joke too, 2 peas in a pod as someone said, arrest them both and extreme counseling and therapy; together. Maybe handcuff them together?


Cindy

Hopefully, Adam Hill will someday be charged not only for his corruption, but also for his attempts to destroy several members of the media, political opponents and anyone who questions him. Our community is better with a strong, vigilant media and activists who point out wrongdoing. I feel for all those who Adam Hill and his troop of creeps have targeted.


mercut1469

While I realize Hill is truly a scumbag, as evidenced by his bullying and emails to Congalton, I wonder what exact “corruption” he has been accused of? I don’t believe he has ever been indicted for any official wrongdoing, or am I wrong?


slocalgal

What about Hill’s relationship with developer John Belsher and Ryan Petitit?https://calcoastnews.com/2015/10/supervisor-hills-2-jobs-raise-conflict-of-interest/


mercut1469

Thanks for that. I knew there had to be something like that in his past. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to make much difference because a year after that article was written he won reelection by 11 points. I suspect that just like then, none of this will matter and he will win again. I think until someone who people actually know and like runs against him, he’s a winner. But, as I’m not in his district, I’m not sure who that is.


TKG

“Corrupt” is Hill’s middle name…


Erik T

Adam Hill has been accused of extortion from local business owners. Just because Dow allows it doesn’t mean it’s not highly illegal and criminal.


Erik T
analyticone

Kudos to Rice for reaching out to the DA instead of wasting the public’s time and money for over a year and lying as Hill has done repeatedly. Rice, along with many candidates locally, has used robocalls to campaign for decades. Until this week no robo callers were victims of criminal accusations. While Rice’s activism may have offended some, he has always been a stickler for following the law and posted under his own name when most of us fear to do so. It would be out of character for him to now break the law.


Rice’s satirical robocall was motivated by good character, by patriotism, wanting to expose Hill’s horrific actions. Going to the DA shows good character – respect for the law and for the public – preventing the wasting of public funds and seeking to understand the concern that the robocall had violated the law.


The DA’s aggressive attempts to stifle Rice’s legitimate political speech at the eleventh hour before an election is frightening. If legal action should be taken, it is against the DA and Hill, arguably collaborating to put a chill on Rice’s freedom of speech; not against Rice because he stuck his neck out to expose Hill.


panflash

With regard to the points made above here by analyticone, Kevin may want to take into account a legal term referred to as “Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.”


analyticone

Panflash, that says it all. Thanks for bringing the right words to describe wrong acts!


oldtimer

BS statement analyticone, stop condoning election tampering and criminal behavior like some Anarchist, from anyone with any BS beliefs.


JThomas

Is Kevin Rice saying he did it to let DownHill off the hook?


Ted R

I’m sorry for going so low, but Adam Hill is such a sleazy dirtbag and Dan Dow is just as bad for protecting him for so long. Just disgusting


KAG2020

This is so obviously a parody of Hill’s behavior and actions it is hilarious! If someone doesn’t get that then they are severely intellectually challenged. For Hill to be “offended” is laughable.


MrYan

We keep forgetting basic lessons learned in childhood; two wrongs don’t make it right.


Kevin should not be lauded. Adam should not be re-elected.


And the rest of us should demand better from all those involved in the political sphere.


All sides here need to get out of the gutter, and then encourage others to join them. Not the other way around.


UnReasoned

I’m glad you said it. It all seems petty and childish.


copperhead

yet another reason not to have a land line.


slo-to-load

Not surprised at all. K-Rice has had a smoldering obsession with Hill for years and has a history of abusing robocalls since his own failed political bid. A-Hill and K-Rice are two peas in a pod. Maybe they can share a prison cell when Hill’s many illegal acts also catch up to him.