David Curtis offered demonstrably false claims about us to radio station, published them on his campaign website...
By Brad Friedman on 5/21/2014, 7:43pm PT  

California's 2014 Green Party nominee for Sec. of State David Curtis has pretty blatantly lied about both me and this blog in a recent defamatory statement sent to a Monterey radio station, charging us with, among other things, having "post[ed] fabrications masquerading as journalism."

The demonstrably inaccurate allegations made by Curtis were included in a statement he posted on his campaign website "to KRXA/MontereyRadio.com," presumably in response to a discussion on the station about Curtis, following one or more of several articles we recently published here about the candidate.

Curtis, who in 2010 ran as the Green Party candidate for Governor in Nevada, is one of several Sec. of State candidates on California's June 3rd primary ballot, where the two highest vote-getters, from any political party, will then go on to compete in the general election this November.

The BRAD BLOG has run several different stories on Curtis of late, and he appeared live as my guest on KPFK/Pacifica Radio's The BradCast in April...

Here's Curtis' rather remarkable full statement, posted by Curtis on his own campaign website on May 16th. My response follows below it...

I have no position on online voting. Brad Friedman invented a position
implying that I "strongly support" online voting.
He then did an apology story regarding my exclusion from the
Sacramento Press Club forum.
I have said repeatedly that I support multiple modes of voting.
The state of CA already supports multiple (more than one) modes of voting.

The state of journalism seems to be very weakened by the disruptive
influence of the internet. (Some) Blog owners like Mr Friedman,
(sometimes) post fabrications masquerading as journalism.

The best way to get information about my campaign is to follow me on
Twitter at dc_us or one can go to my website
my cell phone # is 415 317 4002

Calnewsroom.org did an excellent piece RE: the Sac Press Club exclusion.

David Curtis via email from the Lucas Valley

I'm unsure if Curtis is mentally unbalanced or not, but given the lack of veracity of his claims --- which is all fairly easily and independently demonstrated here and elsewhere --- it's difficult to know what he is thinking.

KRXA recently stopped broadcasting over the air, and is now RadioMonterey.com. The station's owner, general manager and morning show host Hal Ginsberg told me that he hadn't heard of Curtis' statement until I asked him about it moments ago. He said that Curtis did come up in conversation on air, that he'd had concerns about his position on hand-counted paper ballots (Ginsberg told me he believed Curtis opposed them), and that he'd cited our reporting during some of the on-air discussion. He knew nothing about Curtis' posted statement, however.

As to the content of that statement, first, Curtis' charge that I have "invented a position" for him regarding online voting is demonstrably false.

The BRAD BLOG's March 3, 2014 article about Curtis, our first about him and his candidacy, followed a conversation he and I had on Twitter, in response to his assertion that he was a supporter of online voting. The entire Twitter conversation, a fairly lengthy one, in which he asserted that Internet voting could be made "secure and verifiable", was posted in full with that article, including links to each actual tweet. The Twitter "conservation" went on for some time, in response to his initial Tweet on the matter:

Curtis then went on, at some length, explaining that he thinks Internet Voting "can be done"; that it could be secured "with PINs. Just like a credit union account"; that "the transaction would generate a PDF (or other paper-like substance)"; and that he had "facilitated an e-vote for the Green Party of Nevada."

As mentioned, the entire conversation was very well-documented here, so it's somewhat bizarre that Curtis would even try to suggest otherwise, much less aver that I "invented a position" for him or "fabricated" anything.

When he joined me on my Pacifica Radio show in April, he similarly defended his interest in Internet Voting, reiterating that he supports "people trying to get there", to the point where online voting was possible, while making his position clear that we are "not there" right now. He also lauded, once again, the Green Party for using online voting for their internal elections, asserting that "it works very well". (You can listen to the cordial and friendly interview here. The part of the discussion on Internet Voting begins just after the 21:45 mark.)

Again, you can read the entire story I did on Curtis' documented advocacy for Internet Voting, as well as listen to the interview in which we subsequently discussed it, if only briefly, on Pacifica Radio. Decide for yourself who is "fabricating" what here.

Curtis' next bizarre claim in his "statement to KRXA" was that I "then did an apology story regarding [his] exclusion from the Sacramento Press Club forum." If by "apology story" he means, somehow, that the subsequent story I wrote was some form of an "apology" for having "invented" or "fabricated" his position on online voting in an earlier story, then that too is absurd.

When I learned that Curtis was denied a seat at the Sacramento Press Club's Secretary of State debate, despite placing 3rd in a Field Poll released just days earlier, and despite the fact that the other SoS candidates who placed 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th in that very same poll were invited, I reported as much on The BRAD BLOG. We have, over the years, published many stories about candidates, from all sorts of parties, who were inappropriately excluded from debates. My story on Curtis' exclusion was posted on Monday, April 21 and the debate from which he was excluded was held on Wednesday, April 23, the same day I then had him on my radio show to discuss what I had described as an "outrageous" exclusion.

As I wrote, in part, in the April 21 article about the SPC's snub:

Last month, The BRAD BLOG highlighted a conversation we'd recently had with Curtis over social media in response to his advocacy for an optional "online method of voting".

The BRAD BLOG has long been on record documenting the many dangers of Internet elections. As we noted when posting our conversation with Curtis: "While the ease of hacking such elections is certainly a major concern (among many others), the over-arching problem with Internet Voting is that, after voting is complete, it is 100% impossible for citizens to oversee their own election results in order to determine that any vote has been tallied as per any voter's intent."

So, while we do not necessarily agree with all of Curtis' positions ... we are more than happy to participate in spirited debate with the candidate, along with the others also in the running this year (even as some have proven less than interested in debating, or even responding to us). Unfortunately, the Sacramento Press Club doesn't appear to share that spirit of free and open debate, at least based on their exclusion of Curtis and their subsequent responses to the call to include him in this week's luncheon debate.

When posting the audio archive from The BradCast on April 23, when he was my guest from Sacramento just after that debate had finished, I similarly wrote:

While he and I disagree on a few important things (like Internet Voting, which he still hopes for, despite our Twitter conversation last month), there's one thing we certainly agree on: It was outrageous that he was excluded from today's SoS candidates debate held by the Sacramento Press Club. That, despite the fact that he recently polled higher than two of the candidates who were invited to participate.

Again. You can decide for yourself whether any of that coverage was an "apology" for having "invented a position" for him on Internet Voting, or for having "fabricated" anything.

As to the rest of the remarks from his "statement to KRXA", where he charges that "(Some) Blog owners like Mr Friedman, (sometimes) post fabrications masquerading as journalism," well, that's just out and out defamatory. If David Curtis has evidence of "fabrications" posted by The BRAD BLOG, ever, he would do well to offer it. If not, adding a correction and apology to the top of that same page where his defamatory statement is currently posted would be the appropriate thing to do right now. I hope he'll consider this a friendly, if official request for him to do so immediately, and that he will do the right thing in very short order.

As an independent blogger and journalist, credibility is a very important commodity. I take defamatory claims about that credibility, and the harm that can be done to it, particularly from otherwise legitimate folks, like a candidate for Sec. or State, very seriously.

After learning about his statement today, I noted on Twitter how bizarre it was that he had "found it necs. to blatantly lie abt me to media."

His tweeted response: "my article is accurate"

The BRAD BLOG doesn't currently have a dog in the CA Sec. of State's race. While we have only endorsed one candidate in any election, during our entire 10+ year history (Debra Bowen, during her first successful run for CA Sec. of State in 2006), we've been working hard to find someone among the current batch running for the job that we can support, even on a personal level as a CA voter, if not with an official endorsement. So far, we've not had a lot of luck on that score. (Here are articles highlighting concerns about state Sen. Alex Padilla and Derek Cressman, the two Democratic candidates currently running. We hope to have another soon about the leading Republican candidate, Pete Peterson.)

While we tend to have a soft spot for many of the progressive policies frequently put forward by the Green Party (both nationally as well as in the various states), there are many skill sets needed for a competent Secretary of State, in any state. One of them is certainly the ability to tell the truth and/or the willingness to make good when they've failed to do so. It's fairly plain, at least as of now, that David Curtis, the Green Party's 2014 candidate for Sec. of State in CA, is shamefully lacking in those skills. I hope he'll do the right thing, very quickly, to prove me wrong.

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