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Hoping the voting public will ignore important qualities a candidate may possess, a large dose of cheap shots and unproven allegations are here again in 2016.

Unfortunately, these simplistic attacks by political rivals are common because they work.

Should we ignore or succumb to representations that may not be true? The real dilemma with elections may not be with deciding for whom to vote, but with having to come to terms with an out-of-integrity political process.

Cable news ads and fliers brand candidates as “too extreme” and “too dangerous,” as though tossing out a simple label is enough to scare away votes.

It would seem mailers, hit pieces and cable ads are geared at influencing dull-witted bombasts eager to vote for or against someone based on a supposition or claim that may not be true.

If you examine this most recent exercise in democracy, you know that lying and misrepresenting is rampant, an integrated part of our political fabric.

The Supreme Court has ruled there is a free-speech right to lie and misrepresent in politics. Here is the real problem: Misleading information and lies are allowed.

I see the legalization of misleading information and mischaracterization of events as one cause for our tendency to follow simplistic processes to determine for whom we cast our votes.

Culling through all the garbage often leads us to make quick decisions without close examination.

What also scares me is that some of our neighbors ignore the character and decision-making elements altogether and follow fear over truth.

Some end up voting strictly by denominators, which include non-issue or non-party-based factors such race, religion, group, ethnicity, neighborhood or gender. I cringe when a person selects a candidate only because of a common trait and ignores pertinent qualities.

A key-issue vote is one based solely on a single issue – such as immigration, the environment, military strength or jobs – regardless of other factors. At least key-issue voters have something of content in mind.

Some simply vote because of party affiliation, even if the candidate has demonstrated bad character, is against key issues the voter supports or exhibits poor decision-making.

Others use “character” in choosing candidates, including qualities such as trustworthiness, personal conduct and ethics. Character does count.

Local Assembly candidate Dante Acosta has been accused by a woman acquaintance of inappropriate conduct, which may or may not be accurate. Acosta’s opponent, Christy Smith, has been portrayed as selfish since she voted to raise Newhall School Board members’ salaries, including her own.

There are deeper stories here. I would ignore both complaints.

Cable news ads against 25th Congressional District candidate Bryan Caforio argue that he is a “Beverly Hills attorney” and therefore “he is not one of us.”

We will see if this simplistic-denominator attack by the Steve Knight campaign has any traction. Knight, on the other hand, has been accused of being “in the pocket” of “special interests,” a character attack. I would ignore both allegations.

Trump has proudly boasted of sexual misconduct and has had numerous accusers. He downplays these allegations and his past comments, all while pivoting to highlighting his decision-making skills.

But his personal decisions show Trump keeping lots of money while stifling his financial backers. To me, Trump’s penchant for personal gain over ethics as a business practice means he has failed both the character and decision-making tests.

Clinton has my vote because of her experience in government, while Trump has none, and I think it’s trivial that a private computer server setup for her personal emails may have contained some business emails. If you ignore unfounded allegations and stick with character and decision-making, I think you will agree.

Wise voters should cast a vote by selecting the best person to serve on the public’s behalf, rather than using a single, possibly irrelevant or false factor as a reason to cast or deny a valuable vote.

A week from today Trump will complain that the system is rigged because he lost and will sue for slander those who have made truthful allegations against him.

We are not a thin-skinned, complaining, lying, greedy nation, nor should we be represented by anyone with these qualities. While local races are tough to call, Clinton clearly is the candidate who will create a more stable and prosperous world.

Jonathan Kraut directs private investigations and private security firms, is a published author, Democratic Party activist, and SCV Interfaith Council member. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or of other organizations.

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  • Brian Baker

    Well, Kraut, you did a pretty good job right up until the point about Clinton’s email issue as being “trivial”.

    I guess you just couldn’t help yourself.

    There’s nothing “trivial” about blatantly ignoring, and violating, federal statutes on securing classified data. Nor is there anything trivial about using that email rig to avoid FOIA accountability on the unclassified data. But that’s exactly what she did.

    She and her accomplices knowingly violated federal law, then participated in a spree of evidence destruction and associated corruption that makes Nixon and his Watergate hombres look like rank amateurs by comparison.

    If you think that’s “trivial”, then it’s YOUR values and ethics that come under suspicion.

    • indy

      Unfortunately, too many voters base their vote on ‘trust’ . . . regardless of the facts.

      Others are influenced if they trust media outlets like Fox that present ‘news’ ‘framed’ in their innuendo and speculations making it difficult to assess what’s true and what’s not.

      The personal side of things for me ‘personally’ isn’t the key issue . . . but as we see it plays well since most folks are familiar with say ‘infidelity’ but not say 2nd order partial derivatives modeling regarding economic issues.

      Thus, we get the ‘limitless’ growth recitals from both parties . . . disrespect the public’s right to get good information versus nonsense.

      Unfortunately, with the media putting mindless political theater above responsible journalism, most of the posts now are just filled with name calling and other forms of character assassination that do nothing to inform the voter as to whether a candidate is qualified or not.

      In the Trump case, he’s a real estate promoter who’s ‘sold’ good and bad projects. Many of his businesses outside of his main real estate sales have failed due to poor management and planning.

      Likewise, simply having a lot of ‘wealth’ isn’t a good indicator of business, management, economics, or environmental science knowledge as we again see with Trump.

      As far as Hillary goes, attorneys are not the ‘preferred’ background I would use to elect her.

      And as far as globalization with respect to bringing back jobs, neither candidate knows what they are talking about.

      So, I’m afraid that if Trump gets the nod, we’re in for a ride that could literally go anywhere with his ego from financial collapse to defaulting on the debt to getting into a massive ground war in the Middle East.

      Hillary is a traditional politician that follows ‘polls’ so you have a chance to get public input.

      Either way, the public will remain frustrated . . . since neither candidate can explain the current economic reality we face . . . we only get outdated folklore from Hillary and outrageous promises from Trump.

      Unfortunately, our reluctance to accept reality has placed these two ‘talkers’ on the ballot and both are unpopular as if no other possible politician could be found.

      This is sadly the result of party politics where either you walk ‘lock step’ with the traditional ideology or you don’t get to move up the political ladder . . . Trump being the exception leveraging the public anger of ‘establishment’ politics which is just partisan based ramblings to the fears of either side.

      What concerns me most is the ‘hatred’ we see on both sides as if ‘hating’ somebody creates the environment for ‘positive’ change.

      So, for now, I give Hillary my vote . . . with the hope of change . . . versus Trump’s explosive rhetoric and promises . . . using made up stuff to sway his followers.

      It’s a shame our elections have set the bar so low for political discourse . . . but the media is lazy and leaves the public uninformed.

      • Brian Baker

        Utterly and completely irrelevant to what I wrote, which is supposedly what you’re “replying” to.

        But then, that’s par for the course for you, isn’t it, wIndybag?

        • What’s with the name calling? From my perspective, those who continuously attempt to humiliate and bully other posters are are of poor moral character. Please change your MO. Thanks.

  • tech

    “Clinton has my vote because of her experience in government, while Trump has none, and I think it’s trivial that a private computer server setup for her personal emails may have contained some business emails. If you ignore unfounded allegations and stick with character and decision-making, I think you will agree.”

    Trivial? No, I don’t agree, Mr. Kraut. And there’s no “may” according to the FBI. Here you demonstrate an astonishing ignorance of the governing statute and Clinton’s serial mendacity. Since you’re an investigator, this can only be for political purposes, exploiting the ignorance on the details by the average voter.

    Readers should review the felony that you dismiss as “trivial”.

    18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

    (f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

  • tech

    Your misrepresentation of Hillary Clinton is really appalling, Mr. Kraut.

    FBI Director Comey Congressional Testimony:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC1Mc6-RDyQ

    Clinton’s claim that the FBI director said her email answers were ‘truthful’

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/07/31/clintons-claim-that-the-fbi-director-said-her-email-answers-were-truthful/

    Fact checking the Hillary Clinton email controversy

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/03/09/fact-checking-the-hillary-clinton-email-controversy/



    Clinton’s pathological mendacity has been well known for the decades she’s been in the public eye.

    Historical perspective to prompt your memory:

    “Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady — a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation — is a congenital liar.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/08/opinion/essay-blizzard-of-lies.html?_r=0

  • tech

    To address broken link:

    Fact checking the Hillary Clinton email controversy

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/03/09/fact-checking-the-hillary-clinton-email-controversy/

  • nohatejustdebate

    Nearly 70% of all Americans polled believe that Clinton is untrustworthy – and that was before the FBI re-opened their investigation. Mr. Kraut and the Democrats are so out of touch with reality. Seeing the race slip away has made them really desperate. For them to now demand more transparency with the FBI’s emails is like Hillary condemning fat, old, ugly women for wearing pantsuits.

    Happy Halloweiner!

  • robert stauffer

    I for one am interested that the author participates with the “Interfaith Council”. I am not a religious scholar, but I wonder what other ‘religions’ think about abortion, ‘women’s rights’, or religious liberty.

    At Interfaith meetings, knowing the author supports Hillary Clinton, do the others give this guy stares, a wink and a nod, or what?

  • nohatejustdebate

    Courtesy of Wikileaks:

    “We’ve taken on a lot of water that won’t be easy to pump out of the boat. Most of that has to do with terrible decisions made pre-campaign, but a lot has to do with her instincts.” Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta

  • robert stauffer

    High fives?

  • noonan

    “To me, Trump’s penchant for personal gain over ethics as a business practice means he has failed both the character and decision-making tests.

    Clinton has my vote because of her experience in government…”

    Yet another example of the left being impervious to the concepts of irony and hypocrisy. You aren’t voting for Trump because of his penchant for personal gain over ethics? Really? I mean, come on, really? You actually typed those words without any hesitation? You’re voting for Clinton because she has experience in government? Do you people ever consider the fact that experience doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good experience but nonetheless apparently respect her character and decision making? Really?

  • robert stauffer

    I can see it now…Trump riding into DC on the back of a donkey (Hillary)…

  • Nishka

    LOVE TRUMPS HATE AND FEAR!!!!

    BRIDGES TRUMP DEPLORABLE WALLS!!!!

    TOLERANCE AND KINDNESS TRUMP BIGOTRY AND RACISM !!!

    PAYING TAXES TRUMPS NOT PAYING TAXES!!

    KINDNESS TRUMPS BEING MALICIOUS!!!

    SHOWING RESPECT TRUMPS RUDENESS !!!

    POLITENESS TRUMPS CRUDENESS!!

    RESPECT TRUMPS DISRESPECT!!!!

    KNOWLEDGE TRUMPS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE!!

    TASTEFUL TRUMPS DISTASTEFULNESS!!

    SENSIBILITY TRUMPS NONSENSICAL!!!

    ETHICS TRUMP EVIL AND MORAL VALUES!!!

    SANITY TRUMPS INSANITY !!!!

    DECENCY TRUMPS INDECENCY !!

    PAYING A BUSINESS DEBT TRUMPS NOT PAYING A BUSINESS DEBT!!!

    A PROMISE TRUMPS RENEGING!!

  • Brian Baker

    I thought it was particularly weird that Kraut characterized Clinton’s unindicted felonies as “personal emails may have contained some business emails”, as if she accidentally mentioned an upcoming company price change in a chat with a co-worker.

    It wasn’t “may”, it was “definitely”. It wasn’t “some”, it was tens of thousands. They weren’t “business emails”, they were state secrets as well as other sensitive government data.

    Kraut’s as dumb as a box of rocks if he thinks this is gonna fly.

  • noonan

    Brilliant analysis as usual Lois.

    INTELLIGENCE TRUMPS IGNORANCE AND IDIOCY.

    Here is another gem from Kraut:

    “I think it’s trivial that a private computer server setup for her personal emails may have contained some business emails.”

    So Kraut thinks it’s trivial that a senior leader of our government uses a non-secure server to conduct national security business in violation of procedures and the law then deletes 33,000 emails after being told by congress to preserve all records. Kraut thinks the statement, “I did not send or receive classified material” was truthful notwithstanding WTF does she do if she doesn’t send and receive classified material? It’s being a quarterback who brags he doesn’t know how to throw a ball.

    It just begs the question, what exactly would it take for these sycophants to denounce Hillary for her lying and corruption?

    And finally, this Hillary creature may still win and probably will. She will enter the Whitehouse as THE most damaged new President in history. She will accomplish nothing and she will spend her entire presidency fighting congress on her corruption. If she really gave a damn about America, she would bow out and let Tim Kaine be President. He would win in a landslide, but she wont do that will she? And what does that say about her?

    • Brian Baker

      “It just begs the question, what exactly would it take for these sycophants to denounce Hillary for her lying and corruption?”

      There could be video of the Hildebeest pushing a little old lady in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs to her death and it wouldn’t matter to these fools.

      In fact, they’d probably blame the old lady for reckless wheelchairing, or something.

  • Nishka

    “And what does that say about her?” SHE IS A FIGHTER AND NOT A QUITTER !!!

    • tech

      No one is going to be distracted with your nonsensical shouting. You’re done here.

  • Nishka

    ” little old lady in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs to her death”

    I understand that it was BIG old lady !!!!!
    EXAGGERATING AGAIN 111

  • Nishka

    INTELLIGENCE TRUMPS REPETITIVE POSTING !!!!

    INTELLIGENCE TRUMPS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE!!!

    INTELLIGENCE TRUMPS THE LACK OF INTELLECTUAL POWERS !!!!

  • noonan

    ““And what does that say about her?” SHE IS A FIGHTER AND NOT A QUITTER !!!”

    Come on Lois, are you honestly looking forward to at least 4 years of Hillary? Nobody can be that stupid to want that for our country. She wont be effective. She wont get anything done. Nobody will work with her, 85% of the country think, no, knows she’s a liar. Are you really telling me you would rather have her than any other democrat? For once, be honest! Here, let me show you how it’s done: I would rather have almost any other Republican run this county than Trump!

    See, it’s not hard.

    • Brian Baker

      “Nobody can be that stupid…”

      I think that’s been disproven already, right here.

  • Nishka

    NON GROPING TRUMPS GROPING !!

    GOOD WOMEN TRUMP NASTY WOMEN !!!!

    CLIMATE CHANGE TRUMPS THE DENIERS OF CLIMATE CHANGE !!!

  • JM

    I feel like we may need to send out some sort of suicide watch team to Lois on Tuesday just in case…

  • noonan

    “GOOD WOMEN TRUMP NASTY WOMEN !!!!”

    Good women like Hill and Huma? One attacks women who her husband raped and assaulted. She called them a bimbo eruption while staying with the man who was getting oral sex in the oval office. Imagine your husband, if you had/have one, getting oral sex from a 20 year old at his office and then you attack the woman and not your husband. Or Hill’s rand hand woman, Huma. Imagine Lois if your husband was texting picture of his junk to young ladies throughout the country. Just think of the job that would bring you. My husband, congressman from NY and someone that uses his phone to text young women picture of his erect manhood. How proud you would be! But that’s not enough. When Huma’s husband was caught and he was forced to resign in disgrace, he later did the same with another woman named Sidney Leathers. He thought he was being smart by using a name of Carlos Danger, you just cant make this stuff up, but alas your heroes right hand woman’s husband was caught again. But that’s ok, but we have a war on women and that means we stand by our men when the sext pictures of their penis and when they obtain oral sex at their job. But wait, it gets even better. Now ol Anthony is sexting 15 year olds while his infant soon sits inches away on his bed. What a good woman that Huma is. She and Hillary are definitely not nasty for encouraging this behavior, to say nothing of Bill’s frequent trips on the Lolita Express with his convicted pedophile buddy Epstein.

    How proud you must feel Lois!

    • As long as her husband was a democrat she would not only stay with him, she would defend and protect him, because that’s what democrats do: Der Party Uber Alles.

  • noonan

    Ok, not being able to edit is really annoying, but I’m sure the point was received.

  • Nishka

    “Paul D. Ryan is not defending Mr. Trump or campaigning with him, but he did vote for him.”

    THE WIMP VOTING FOR THE GROPER!!!!

  • Nishka

    “How proud you must feel Lois!”
    VERY PROUD OF HUMA AND HILLARY !!!!!

  • JM

    VERY PROUD OF HUMA AND HILLARY !!!!!

    Then your devotion is blind and there is no reason to continue the conversation

  • Nishka

    “VERY PROUD”
    PROUD: “HAVING OR SHOWING EXCESSIVE SELF-ESTEEM”
    “HAVING PROPER SELF-RESPECT”

  • Nishka

    “Donald J. Trump avoided reporting hundreds of millions in taxable income with a tactic so legally dubious that his lawyers said an I.R.S. audit would most likely find it improper.
    Tax experts who reviewed documents for The Times said Mr. Trump trampled a core tax policy tenet by receiving tax benefits for losing vast amounts of other people’s money.”

    CORRUPT, CORRUPT, CORRUPT

  • noonan

    THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING HILLARY CLINTON!

    THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING THE CLINTON FOUNDATION

    THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING TERRY MCCAULIFFE, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA, FORMER CLINTON FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBER, AND FORMER WHITEHOUSE CONFIDANT TO BILL

    THE FBI IS INFESTIGATING CHERYL MILLS AND HOW SHE MAY HAVE MONETIZED HILLARY’S ROLE AS SECRETARY OF STATE

    THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING HUMA ABADIN FOR PERJURY AND NEGLIGENT HANDLING OF NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION

    THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING PHILIP RAINES, CLINTON CONFIDANT, OVER HIS ROLE IN BENGHAZI, THE ILLEGAL SERVER, AND PAY TO PLAY

    THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING JOHN PODESTA, FORMER HEAD OF THE CLINTON FOUNDATION AND CURRENT CAMPAIGN CHAIR FOR HILLARY ON PAY FOR PLAY ALLEGATIONS, INFLUENCE PEDLING AND MONEY LAUNDERING

    THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING TONY PODESTA, BROTHER OF JOHN, FOR CORRUPTION RELATED TO THE UKRAINE AND FOR NOT REGISTERING AS A FOREIGN LOBBYIST

    THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING DOUG BAND FORMER HEAD OF THE CLINTON FOUNDATION AND CURRENT HEAD OF TENEO, A CONSULTING SERVICE, ON PAY FOR PLAY ALLEGATIONS THROUGH TENEO AND THE CLINTON FOUNDATION. HUMA WAS ALSO A CONTRACTED EMPLOYEE FOR TENEO WHILE WORKING AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT

    THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING ANTHONY WEINER, CURRENT ESTRANGED HUSBAND ON HUMA ON CHARGES OF ENGAGING IN ILLICIT ACTIVITIES WITH UNDERAGE FEMALES AND HIS POSSESSION OF THOUSANDS OF EMAILS FROM HUMA AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT THAT HE DIDN’T HAVE THE CLASSIFICATION TO BE IN CONTROL OF

    HONEST, HONEST, HONEST, RIGHT LOIS! DID ANOTHONY EVER SEND YOU ANYTHING IN EXCHANGE FOR YOUR SUPPORT?

  • Nishka

    “THE FBI IS VERY GOOD AT INVESTIGATING”
    WITH THAT SAID I’M GOING TO WATCH THE WORLD SERIES WHILE THE THIN-SKINNED
    POSTERS PONDER THEIR UNCALLED FOR REMARKS!!!!!

    GO CUBS!!!!

    • tech

      LOL! Don’t go away mad, just go away. You can shout at your TV.

  • Nishka

    GO CUBS !!!!!!!!!

  • nohatejustdebate

    According to the LA Times daily tracking poll, Trump/Pence are now up by six points.

    • tech

      Seems to be a consistent outlier.

    • tech

      Apparently correct, however.