Kuenzi, Kristjansson Victims of Apparent Smear Campaign

Menifee City Council members Darcy Kuenzi and Sue Kristjansson Monday denied allegations against the...

Menifee City Council members Darcy Kuenzi and Sue Kristjansson Monday denied allegations against them made in unsigned fliers being left on the doorsteps of residents throughout Menifee.

The fliers do not voice support of any opponent in the Nov. 6 city election but clearly are intended to turn the public against Kuenzi, who is running for mayor, and Kristjansson, who is running for re-election as a council member in District 1.

The flier concerning Kuenzi includes a photo of her with her head and hands locked in a pillory -- a wooden frame in which prisoners were locked and subjected to public ridicule centuries ago. The photo is accompanied by the headline "We think this is where she belongs, not mayor of the city of Menifee."

Kuenzi said the photo was taken from her website and pictured a "get out of jail" fundraising stunt at a Mayor's Ball. She said all the accusations listed on the flier are false, offensive and would be a violation of the candidates' ethics pledge if they are proven to have come from another candidate.

"It's unfortunate that this behavior is happening in Menifee," Kuenzi said after seeing the flier for the first time Monday. "I have faith and confidence that Menifee voters will see the truth and know that these false statements are made as an attack against my integrity. I have and will continue to stay focused on my campaign and doing what is best for the people of Menifee."

Kuenzi said she has heard for at least two weeks that the fliers were being circulated. She said members of her calling committee were told by residents that they had received them, and that most had thrown them away. She also said that Bill Zimmerman, candidate for a council seat in District 3, had been told about them when knocking on the door of residents in the city.

"I don't have proof of who did this," Kuenzi said, "but if it turns out there is enough evidence about unfair campaign practices, I could consider filing a complaint (with the California Fair Political Practices Commission)," she said.

"This is not right. If someone wants to criticize me for my record, that's one thing, but to spread outright lies like this is not right."

Among the allegations against Kuenzi was a charge that she cost taxpayers approximately $10,000 by pulling copies of council member Wallace Edgerton's and former council member Scott Mann's city emails. Kuenzi said she did make an informational request for Edgerton's emails over a three-month period, but the cost was only $400 and she paid it herself.

In the fliers concerning both Kuenzi and Kristjansson, they were accused of approving low income housing and homeless shelters to be built in Sun City at a cost of $3.2 million. There is no record of any such council action.

Some residents have spoken out against a recent majority vote by the city council approving a draft housing element -- required by the state of all cities -- that provides the ability to accommodate low income housing if it becomes necessary. No low income projects have been approved as a result of this action. One large apartment complex is being built in the Sun City area on Encanto Drive adjacent to Interstate 215, but that was approved by Riverside County officials in 2006, before Menifee was incorporated.

The fliers also claim that Kuenzi and Kristjansson refer to the seniors of Menifee as "cockroaches" -- something both vehemently denied Monday.

"I have never, ever called anyone a cockroach," said Kristjansson. "The entirety of this flier is a mischaracterization of what I have done on council.

"Today was the first time I've seen it, but I knew these were going around. People can say whatever lies they want to put out there. I know the truth about what I've done as a council member. It's absolutely pathetic that someone is putting lies out there as some kind of bullying tactic. If they have something to say about me, do it in an open forum and we'll discuss it -- not in an anonymous flier or during your three minutes at council, when I can't respond."

Kristjansson's reference was to the public comments portion of city council meetings, when she, Kuenzi and Mayor John Denver are the subject of verbal attacks by a small group of residents on a regular basis.

Kristjansson's flier includes her picture and the headline, "Beware, don't vote for Sue Kristjansson. Keep her out of district One."

"I don't know who sent this," Kristjansson said about the flier. "I can't call it actual hatred, because you can't hate someone you don't know. This entire argument is based on this incorrectly perceived conspiracy theory."

Kristjansson took particular exception to a statement accusing her of approving of a plan to tear down the Sun City Shopping Center and build high-rise buildings in its place.

"Nothing in there is more of a lie than that," she said. "I never said that and no one has ever said that in my presence. I did talk about beautifying and upgrading the center visually, but I certainly never talked about tearing it down."



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Post a Comment

  1. Every candidate vying for election in this campaign should come forward and denounce this type of action. Any one of them that doesn't could certainly be a suspect.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A close scrutiny of the document is a dead give away to the source

    ReplyDelete
  3. I did not see the flyer. But I would of loved too, just for the laugh.
    Bad Press is still Press.
    Now issues ppl may of believed about her that were lies are now addressed and proved to be false.
    Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Same old dissonant song from the same old "voices" ?
    Perhaps, perhaps not. Whoever is responsible for this
    hateful piece of fiction should be ashamed of this strategy
    which , by the way, may reveal their problem with intelligent,
    capable and forward-thinking women - very unappealing personality
    trait, usually reserved for the misogynist.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "If they have something to say about me, do it in an open forum and we'll discuss it -- not in an anonymous flier or during your three minutes at council, when I can't respond."

    Doesn't section 54954.2 allow you to respond? Or do you just hide behind the Brown act so you don't have to respond?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brown Act has nothing to do with replying back. Where do you get your information?

      Delete
    2. Why don't you reply back following the three minutes? Because of the Brown act, correct?

      Delete
  6. Are the authors of this misinformation so afraid they can't win the election on their own merit that they sink to character assassination?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am all for rigorous discourse and severe disagreement even a little passion and shouting. Sadly, the climate at city council meetings is not about being a community and solving problems with the officials the electorate has chosen to lead our city; it is just complaining. I am sure that someone feels they need to discredit these two women, because they do not trust the process. There are plenty of ways to effect the outcome of the election and in ways the preserve civility and community in our fine city. I shutter to think about what people like this are teaching our up and coming generation about the political process.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wish the good folks of Menifee would get involved, come to counsel meetings and see what is really going on.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hope this publication will print the name of the one responsible for this. Also the names of any candidates that may condone this type of campaigning. The voters need to decide the suitability to sit on the council of any one involved

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Anonymous 10:03 -- Menifee 24/7 does not have the name of the person responsible for these fliers. There is no reason to speculate about who it is. We are simply reporting the news.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Red Sullivan - As a candidate for District 1, I find this type of behavior to be inappropriate. Whether or not you like any of the candidates is a personal opinion but to spread information regarding Darcy and Sue in unsigned flyers is a cowardly to say the least. The Council has had their problems and do always seem to get along with each others or the public at times. Well folks that is democracy in action! In some countries either side would not have the "freedom" to express their opinions. . As Seniors we need to set examples for the youth of our community and is this type of behavior what you want to see from our young adults? I do not believe that to be true.
    That being said, I do not believe that this action is acceptsble and I do not condone this type of behavior from our community!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment.Will we hear from the other candidates as well? I am pretty sure if one them is responsible they are not going to fess up.

      Delete

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