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Playing Koi

As the Balboa Park lily pond scandal reaches new heights, I have advice for Councilman Carl DeMaio and his life partner, Johnathan Hale:  Don’t play coy with the truth.

DeMaio has vehemently denied that Hale had any involvement with the water gun fight in Balboa Park that caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to one of the city’s crown jewels.

Unfortunately for DeMaio and Hale, the Internet is an unforgiving place. On a Web site belonging to Hale Media, the water gun event was a suggested activity in the column “Jim Winsor’s Out & About.”  The event was entitled “Waterfight!”

While DeMaio denies Hale’s involvement, the column reads as follows:

“And this Saturday, we have a unique and unusual event coming up: A midnight water gun fight in Balboa Park being organized by Ken St. Pierre and others. …First squirt will be at midnight and then it is a free-for-all of water gun madness!!!”  Madness indeed.

One question is who are the “we” referred to in Winsor’s column? When he used the term in the entry above “Waterfight!” Winsor says “we
got a big night at Rich’s this Friday for Circuit Pop.”  Circuit Pop is a Hale Media promoted event.  When Winsor uses
“we” referring to the Balboa Park event, any reader would assume it is also a Hale Media promoted event.

As a publisher, I understand the challenges that my editor makes concerning the use of our media properties to publicize public events. One of the issues we deal with frequently is whether an event has the proper permits.  While there are exceptions concerning public protests, it is clear that the water gun event did not have permission from the city to have thousands of people in the park at midnight.

It was completely irresponsible for Hale Media to promote an unpermitted gathering in Balboa Park that was not a protest or an exercise of free speech.  It was just a bunch of folks who wanted to have an activity at midnight that resulted in the desecration of one of San Diego’s civic treasures.

Executive members of Hale Media properties were in attendance at the water gun fight and have been identified in video from the crime scene.

The organizers and attendees of the event may face felony charges from the city. The threshold for being charged with “felony vandalism” is damages exceeding $400.  Tens of thousands of dollars in damage could result in a lot of people being charged with felony vandalism. “Calling District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Stat!”

My additional advice to DeMaio and Hale (and I know they’re waiting for it)  is to come clean. Everyone knows the cover-up is worse than the scandal itself.  It will come out if Hale Media either forwarded or generated emails or Facebook invites to the event. As I said, the Internet is very unforgiving.

At the very least, Hale Media helped generate participation at the water gun fight through Jim Winsor’s Out & About column. Hale Media recently claimed that  more than 100,000 people accessed their Web site in July. Therefore, they promoted the water fight to those 100,000 people.

DeMaio is playing coy with the truth. When will we see media interviews with Hale and the organizers? That might help set the record straight.


Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=27493

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012. Filed under Editorial, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

9 Comments for “Playing Koi”

  1. Yet because Labor folks re-tweeted info on my Turn Your Back to DeMaio Protest during Pride, Hale said they (Big Labor) helped organize the protest, http://sdgln.com/commentary/2012/07/26/letter-community-real-lgbt-leaders-don-t-put-politics-above-pride-0 but when an event is posted in a column on a Hale owned website http://www.sdgln.com/entertainment/2012/08/09/jim-winsor-out-about-cityfest-festivities-sunday it is not considered helping to organize? That’s very convenient for Mr Hale.

  2. I understand the desire to debate whether Hale/SeMaio promoted the event and bear some responsibility for the damages.

    However I believe the real issue for Mr. DeMaio, Mr. Gloria, The Mayor and Police Chief is this : They all knew of the Water Fight event at least 10 days before the event. They all also knew the Bea Evenson fountain in the Park was dry, and being repaired. They all knew the event had no permit, no insurance, and no provisions for water refills of the water guns.

    The Event Facebook page showed first perhaps 100 people would attend, then 200, then 800, and in the days before the event, they showed more that 2,000 attending. Todd Gloria had the same information and represents the Park in his District. DeMaio had all of this same information for at least 10 days. DeMaio’s boyfriend was promoting the event in his On-line newspaper.

    This was not a State Secret.

    Carl should have called Gloria and the Mayor, and asked about security, water, potential problems. They should have contacted the event sponsors. Perhaps the entire enent could have been delayed a week or two, until the Evenson fountain was full of water and working, and appropriate, friendly and supportive security in place.

    But DeMaio did NOTHING. Gloria did NOTHING. The Mayor did NOTHING. The Police Chief did NOTHING.

    THE question for Mr. DeMaio is one of political and executive leadership. Ask him why he made the conscious decision when faced with these facts to sit on his butt and do NOTHING ? NOTHING.

    And now , after the fact, he holds a press conference to whine. Perhaps his greatest and only political skill.

    But ask him that question, and ask again and again ultil he actually answers it.

  3. If you take a second and actually read the punctuation from the hale media page it puts in quotes the entire statement suggesting that it was somebody else’s words. the original facebook page invite has the exact same wording as well as yelp. obviously it was copied and pasted. do your research before you start trashing other people. everyone is so quick to point blame.

  4. The people that run this website knew all about the watergun fight in advance. I guess you are all felons.

  5. LibertariansConcerned

    Wow, what a sleazy article! Bash a competitor by claiming they are responsible for the results of the event because a columnist mentioned it was being held. That is very, very low.

  6. this is hysterical; and not in a funny hah hah way,
    but in a hysteria riddled way. lgbt weekly is so sad
    i dont know where to begin!

  7. Re: LibertariansConcerned

    Hey, Jonathan Hale did and said worse things about Michael Portantino of the GLT- and now he cries like a baby. He can dish it, but he can’t take it

  8. Glbt. Is a joke a. Waste of space and energy. No one went there with Intentions to do damage. It unfortunately happen. Shit happens! The pond was not destroyed. And now it’s fixed. The park has been giving over 9 thousand of dollars
    You people have nothing better to do than bitch at people who happen to make a mistake.
    I sure hope all of your track records are clean. And you NEVER make a mistake. Maybe your just pissed because you weren’t invited.
    Get a fuckin live. I’ll never support GLBT again

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