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COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:Keep campaigns clean

October 22, 2006

The Daily Pilot has raised the issue of campaign ethics, and I want to take this opportunity to tell the voters where I stand. This is a personal issue to me because last spring, some of my political opponents leveled the same charges at me that were alleged against Barbara Venezia. In my case, the city attorney investigated and determined the charges were without merit, and the Daily Pilot declared the charges for what they were — politically motivated.

On the day I filed my nominating papers, I signed the campaign code of conduct, presented to each candidate by the city clerk. This sets forth specific prohibitions against dirty campaigning. Every word that is put out by my campaign is either written or approved by me. I am responsible for every word published on my behalf. I expect my opponent to be equally responsible for the things said by her and her supporters.

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Although we are not required to do so until 14 days before the election, I have filed my campaign mass mailings with the city clerk for inspection. An examination of my mail will demonstrate that there have been no negative words about my opponent's character or family. I trust she will have the honesty and integrity to acknowledge that no mud has come from my campaign.

As a public official, you need to be responsible for your actions, and in a democracy, some people will disagree. Let's keep the disagreements centered on the issues, the experience and the vision offered by each candidate.

There is no place in Newport Beach for character attacks.

And while we are at it, perhaps now that the Daily Pilot has issued the challenge, the guilt-by-association innuendos, attacks on our occupations and supporters, and use of "appointed incumbent" as a pejorative term — which have been the mainstays of the candidate forums — will cease and the challengers can move on to discuss issues that really affect the residents of Newport Beach.

I am proud of the conduct of my campaign and the message we have articulated. It's a message of positive accomplishment on airport containment, traffic synchronization, Marinapark, the Back Bay Science Center and eminent domain reform. It should be noted in fairness that so far, Dolores Otting has also avoided personal attacks. I am hopeful that in District 7 we can set a standard for campaign conduct worthy of our great city.


  • KEITH CURRY is a Newport Beach city councilman who is running to keep that post.

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