Democratic House candidate Francine Busby (CA-50), whose fundraising house party last Friday night ended disastrously with a now-infamous raid by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, met yesterday with the county’s new Sheriff William D. Gore, who was just sworn in yesterday, and she told me today that it was a constructive meeting.
The incident began after an unnamed person, believed to have been a heckler who reportedly shouted obscenities and anti-gay slurs at the event, phoned in a noise complaint.
“I congratulated him on being sworn in. We had a conversation about this incident. I told him that I’m going to be completely cooperative with him, because I think it’s going to be so important that we find out how this happened, and why this happened, and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Busby. “And I told him that it’s very important to me to find out that if there was political motivation behind the phone call, for two reasons. One, is these types of political meetings occur all the time for all candidates. It’s important that people feel safe when they attend one of these, and it should be a protected right in our democratic process. And two, law enforcement should never be put in a position to be used in a political way.”Busby made clear to me that she believes the call itself was politically motivated — the deputy who came to the house said the complaint was about a Democratic demonstration — but she is not saying the actions by the deputies were based in politics.
“He [Gore] was receptive,” said Busby. “He commented that he’s already started the internal investigation, and they will do a thorough job on this and they will do it as completely as possible, because they want to find resolution on this as much as anybody. I said I regretted the incident, and he and his undersheriff both nodded and said everybody involved in it regrets it.”
Busby did ask the department for the audio of the 911 call to be released, for the sake of full transparency. However, the Sheriff’s Department is declining to do so because of their ongoing internal investigation.
The Sheriff’s Department has not released a statement on the meeting with Busby.