She who forgets history is destined to relive it: the media campaign to whitewash the image of outgoing Congresswoman Lois Capps

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By Peter Lance. October 17th, 2015. In the past few weeks, including an event Friday in which Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) hosted a breakfast for veterans, efforts have been made to scrub her image following the 2013-14 scandal in which her District aide and Iraq war veteran Raymond Victor Morua III struck and killed 27-year-old UCSB double major Mallory Rae Dies in a DUI hit-and-run manslaughter accident, for which Mrs. Capps has never acknowledged culpability, even though Mr. Morua pled guilty and is now serving 20 years to life in state prison. 

After I chronicled the efforts by Mrs. Capps District Director (and former 2012 Obama elector Mollie Culver) to forge Mr. Morua’s name on two separate VA forms in an effort to get him into a veterans treatment facility:  (Death On The American Rivierathe Feds quietly settled with the Dies family for a paltry $2.5 million four days before Mrs. Capps’ election to a 9th term in Congress. Then, five months later, in a surprise move, Mrs. Capps announced that she would not seek a 10th term and later, her daughter, Laura Burton Capps, who was expected to continue the family dynasty, also bowed out.

As a citizen I’m a Liberal. In fact, I voted for Mrs. Capps six times previously. But as a journalist I was shocked to learn that the former nurse, whose late husband died in office, steadfastly refused to answer the charges raised in my series, even after the civil case by the Dies family was settled.

Ironically, considering the moral ambiguity of this scandal, the center at UCSB named for the one term congressman is The Walter Capps Center for The Study of Ethics, Religion and The Public Life, 

I stayed on the story and filed a piece in late December citing “The 15 Unanswered Questions” which Lois Capps has yet to address, as she continues to duck responsibility for the loss of this young woman’s life.

Friday’s news coverage follows two recent attempts to rehabilitate Mrs. Capps’ image:

First on September 13th there was a fawning Q&A by Roger Durling in The Santa Barbara Independent, the weekly, whose ex-crime reporter Chris Meagher left six months before the fatal hit-and-run to become Mrs. Capps’ Press Secretary.

Nine days later on September 22nd, nurse.com published a softball interview entitled “Lois Capps closes chapter in Congress.” Neither piece even hinted at the Mallory Dies homicide.

Meagher, by the way, is now working as a Communications Manager (PR flack) for auto colossus GM. a job what will surely test his ability to spin a story.

But on Friday, in perhaps her ultimate expression of denial and audacity, Mrs. Capps hosted an event for veterans, reported by KSBY TV.

Updated: Oct 16, 2015 7:22 PM PDT

Lois Capps hosts veterans breakfast Friday morning

By KSBY Staff Friday morning, Lois Capps hosted a free veterans breakfast at the Veterans Memorial building in San Luis Obispo. The breakfast was a way to thank local veterans for their services and a variety of veterans support organizations showed up to show vets how to get access to those services. Capps also met with veterans who need assistance receiving benefits from the federal government such as help with the veteran’s administration or the social security administration.
Throughout 2012 and 2013 Mrs. Capps repeatedly appeared at public events with Mr. Morua who wore his old uniform and carried a Captain America shield, giving the Congresswoman the kind of “street cred” with veterans and the Hispanic community she needed in her closest election ever. Her son-in-law, Bill Burton was a former aide in the Obama White House and the co-founder of a Super Pac from which he and his partner (or their related companies) received some $625,000, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

A CITY UNDER THE INFLUENCE
I’m now at work on a book in which I’ll be investigating why the FBI and Justice Department terminated an investigation into my findings. While Mrs. Capps may have escaped civil liability, there are multiple possible criminal charges for VA fraud and obstruction of justice in the attempt by officials in her office to get Mr. Morua out of jail and into a VA treatment facility in the days immediately following his hit-and-run DUI crash which left Mallory Dies clinging to life on Anacapa Street just after midnight on December 6th, 2013.

 

2 Responses to She who forgets history is destined to relive it: the media campaign to whitewash the image of outgoing Congresswoman Lois Capps

  1. Greg Dies Reply

    October 17, 2015 at 6:41 am

    With over a thousand of her constituents wanting answers after signing a petition she holds steadfast by saying nothing, a politition that won’t speak? Ha! Has the FBI dropped their investigation? Has Molly Culver had to answer for her ‘alleged’. crimes? Too many questions and too little answers, politics at its best !

  2. Elizabeth Starbuck Reply

    October 17, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Dear Greg,

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. This is another form of violence. Institutions and politicians hope that the people they have harmed will eventually go away. Because they have the endless resources and support they can stonewall you like this. Where is the remorse, tears, and shared humanity here? Lois Capps is denying the truth that she too is bound by the tragic death of your daughter, Mallory. Mrs. Capps is obligated to make amends and participate in your grief. It is incumbent upon her to stand with you and keep Mallory’s memory alive.

    Prayerfully yours,
    The Reverend Elizabeth Starbuck

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