Kristjansson, Kuenzi Write Response to "Smear Campaign"

Darcy Kuenzi (left) and Sue Kristjansson have refuted fliers they describe as "inaccurate, mi...

Darcy Kuenzi (left) and Sue Kristjansson have refuted fliers
they describe as "inaccurate, misleading and slanderous."
Menifee City Council members Sue Kristjansson and Darcy Kuenzi have prepared a public rebuttal in response to questions from residents who have received unsigned fliers with accusations about the candidates.

In her closing comments during tonight's 6 p.m. candidates forum, Kristjansson will make reference to the letter, co-authored by her and Kuenzi. Copies of that letter will be made available to those who attend the forum, which will take place in Webb Hall at the Sun City Civic Association campus, 26850 Sun City Blvd.

Kristjansson is one of four candidates running for the District 1 city council seat who are scheduled to take part in tonight's forum. Mayoral candidate Scott Mann also is scheduled to participate. Kuenzi, also a candidate for mayor, will not be in attendance in order to support a close family friend who is undergoing surgery, but a statement will be read in her behalf.

In a Sept. 10 report on Menifee 24/7, Kristjansson and Kuenzi denied all allegations made against them in the fliers, which they had discovered were being left on the doorsteps of Menifee residents. The author of those fliers has not been determined since then, but both candidates say many residents still have copies of the fliers or are concerned about their content.

"People still have these fliers or remember getting them," said Kristjansson, who said she doesn't know if new copies are being distributed. "They are asking why I haven't issued a rebuttal. If there are still people who believe these things, it's necessary for us to refute them."

In the rebuttal letter that will be presented at tonight's forum, Kristjansson and Kuenzi describe the fliers as "a vicious smear campaign by a person or group that is circulating an unsigned, crudely prepared flier filled with inaccurate, misleading and slanderous statements."

In the letter, they refer to two sections of the California Code of Fair Campaign Practices. One prohibits the use of character defamation against any candidate and the other requires that candidates publicly repudiate support from any individual or group who participates in this kind of activity against an opposing candidate.

"Not only is this flier offensive to us, it is an affront on the seniors of the Sun City area where it has been distributed," the letter continues. "Many of the ones being targeted do not have access to outside source of information and may be unfairly influenced by such hateful means to affect their vote."

The letter asks any resident receiving one of the fliers to contact Kristjansson or Kuenzi so they can determine the source of the fliers and address the individuals face to face.

"People have seen these fliers and some have contacted me," Kuenzi said. "They are not fooled by it. I've lived in this community for 20 years and people know me better than that. I have faith and trust