Ernesto Gutierrez supporters launch attack on his opponent, Rick Saldivar
CATHEDRAL CITY — With voting already underway and less than three weeks until Election Day, supporters of Mayor Ernesto Gutierrez — or at least one supporter — sent a mailer “exposing” what they claim is Rick Saldivar’s criminal record.
There is nothing new to see here, folks. Saldivar has always been transparent about his past. He has addressed it in multiple media interviews.
One of the most telling signs that’s it’s much ado about nothing is that Saldivar, an associate outreach pastor for Destiny Church, has the endorsement of the influential Cathedral City Police Officers’ Association.
“After hearing his heart, his plans for the city and sharing his personal journey with us, it was apparent, Rick Saldivar is the change the residents of this wonderful city need,” Jessse Borrego told Uken Report. “His integrity and unwavering love for the community is unquestionable.”
The attack ad is paid for by a so-called Deborah De Sellem. There is an artfully crafted disclaimer at the bottom of the mailer that states, “This ad was not authorized by a candidate or committee controlled by a candidate.”
Many Cathedral City residents who have contacted Uken Report about the questionable mailer say they believe Gutierrez behind it because he won’t let Saldivar’s past stay in the past. In a September interview with Uken Report, Gutierrez was asked to say one nice thing about his opponent.
This is what he said, “As for Mr. Rick Saldivar, I am very pleased to see that he has embraced the ministry and is following the word of God. I know he has had many challenges to overcome because of his previous past. Finding God and preaching His word was a blessing for him and his family.”
Guiterrez did not return a phone call or text message Friday morning.
Both Gutierrez and Saldivar voluntarily signed the Code of Fair Campaign Practices Form. The Code of Fair Campaign Practices Form states that there are basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play which every candidate for public office in the State of California has a moral obligation to observe and uphold.
Saldivar told Uken Report, “Ernesto Gutierez’s campaign cowardly sent a mailer highlighting my past, an incident that happened over 27 years ago. It has been dismissed by Riverside County Court. I have never kept my past a secret.
“In fact,” Saldivar continued, “my own experience is what gives me strength to help communities be safer by lowering crime and helping many individuals better their lives. (Through the anti-recidivism program, I lead.) “My past has kept me humble, honest, integral and most important empathetic to the person in front of me.
“I have never taken anything for granted. I used my second chance for the betterment of communities and individuals. I have earned the respect and trust of top elected officials, law enforcement agencies throughout Riverside County and most importantly the trust of my community. Redemption is beautiful and I’m truly a testament of redemption!”
Saldivar said not succumb to the “political fear” his opponent is going through, adding that he will not succumb to attacks he says are coming from Gutierrez’s girlfriend.
“I’m so grateful to have the courage and passion to represent District 4 with honor and integrity,” Saldivar said. “I’m encouraged to win this election with honesty, humbleness and joy!”
- Smear Campaign: Shutterstock