Assembly candidate Michele Martinez today blasted a reporter who overheard her phone call on a train to Northern California as “creepy” in an emailed statement to the Orange County Register. California Watch investigative journalist Bob Salladay, a senior editor, tweeted from his train seat across Martinez this morning from Southern California to Oakland regarding statements Martinez made about her campaign.
Martinez responded with an emailed statement: “I don’t know what’s worse; someone secretly listening to a private conversation without consent or misrepresenting that conversation publicly. It’s disrespectful, dishonest and downright creepy. Now, I’m even more motivated to bring integrity, civility and honor back to public service in Sacramento.”
Salladay emailed a photo of Martinez to us and we were able to confirm her identity to the reporter but we did not have permission to publish it. And Salladay responded with a Tweet of his own this afternoon saying, “There is nothing secret about an elected official talking loudly on a public train. http://j.mp/ylGLtI”
“I don’t know of any IE period. It’s too early and we’re gearing up to run a grassroots campaign in Orange County,” said Lupe De La Cruz, campaign manager for Martinez for Assembly 2012.
Reporter Andrew Galvin’s story seems to give Martinez a free pass on coordinating an IE with Robert Smith of the Pala Indian Tribe. Galvin reports its not a violation for a candidate to be aware of a planned IE and it’s not. But Sallady quoted Martinez as saying “I’m working with chairman Robert Smith from Pala. Yeah, they are going to come in real big with some IEs,” which seems to go beyond knowing about the IE. The Pala tribe is based in Northern San Diego County, not close to Santa Ana, so it’s hard to ascertain what benefit an IE for a candidate in Santa Ana/Anaheim would be for them.
The LiberalOC contacted the Martinez campaign for a statement to explain what she meant by “I’m working with Robert Smith…” and the campaign has no further statement. And one thing is clear — there’s nothing secret about a phone call so loud that others around you can hear it clearly.
We’d like to know how her statements were “misrepresented” by a journalist respected throughout the State of California for his coverage. We’ll point out Sallady didn’t know who she was until he had culled enough information from her call loud enough to be heard on the other side of the aisle.
Additionally, no one was available from the Tribe when we called for a statement this afternoon.