November 25, 2009
Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Don Kurth is a candidate running for the Republican Party nomination for the 63rd Assembly District. District incumbent Bill Emmerson is leaving due to term limits.
Kurth has spoken about his colorful past in overcoming an addiction to drugs and narcotics, as well as homelessness and a custodial jail sentence.
As he has moved on from his problems he encountered years ago, one incident stands out that the media may seek to address as the campaign moves forward.
Don Kurth, running as a “conservative Republican” refuses to deny a documented report accusing him of domestic violence against a romantic partner. The startling accusation was made in a sworn affidavit read to the Rancho Cucamonga City Council by the alleged victim’s 15-year-old daughter.
The girl presented her affidavit on September 15, 2004 in front of then-Councilman Kurth and his four colleagues. Kurth refused to deny the allegation, but did say he was “sorry” in response to the girl’s accusations.
According to the alleged victim’s daughter, the alleged domestic violence occurred in the early 1990s.
Don Kurth, often dismisses his prison time and narcotics habit as a product of his twenties.
The alleged abuse against a lover occurred when Kurth was in his late thirties and early forties.
However, unlike alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence is clearly not a victimless crime or personal health matter. There is real suffering and painful wounds, both visible and hidden, remain. Taxpayers spend millions on domestic violence shelters, not to mention the cost associated with the incarceration of those convicted of domestic violence, in instances when the victim has the courage to speak out.
In 2004, such a courageous victim’s loved one did speak out. She cautioned the public of possible disturbing behavior exhibited by Don Kurth well into his maturity and at a time when he began planning his foray into politics.
Don Kurth can continue his strategic political plan of presenting himself as a individual who turned his life around, while not specifically addressing the controversy itself. It’s a selfish plan that does little to ensure continued GOP representation in the 63rd.
Considering that Rancho Cucamonga City Council meetings are video recorded and archived by City Hall and the local cable television provider, this matter will not go away. With State Democrats looking at making a race for the seat, Republican voters should pause and consider whether a candidate with this amount of baggage is a suitable nominee. When there are so many viable candidates standing, a record of alleged domestic violence may not be palatable to GOP primary voters looking to keep the seat in Republican hands.
Domestic abuse is nothing to ignore, and unless Kurth publicly denies this girl’s version of events, there will be a very serious cloud hanging over his bid for State Assembly.