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 Riviera) the 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