A man pretending to work for KVEC 920 AM has called two political candidates in an apparent attempt to make the candidates show up late for live on-air interviews.
Dave Congalton, the host of the stationâ€™s Dave Congalton Show, said state senate candidate Peg Pinard was slated to appear on his show a little after 5 p.m. on Oct. 4. But about 20 minutes beforehand, a man pretending to be the showâ€™s producer called Pinardâ€™s office and asked her not to show up until 5:30.
Pinard was listening to the show at 5 p.m. and was shocked to hear Congalton wondering on air where she was.
Pinardâ€™s office was unwilling to talk about the details surrounding the situation and would only say that they did not condone the devious behavior.
Pinard is running against Abel Maldonado and when Maldonadoâ€™s campaign manager, Tom Kise, heard about what was happening on Mondayâ€™s radio show, he called the station to let its listeners know that his candidate had no role in the situation.
â€œIt has no place in politics, in this campaign or in any campaign.â€? Kise said a day later. â€œIf people think that theyâ€™re doing this on Abelâ€™s behalf, weâ€™re disappointed because we donâ€™t want it.â€?
Mondayâ€™s incident would be strange enough, but it appears that it happened to San Luis Obispo County third district supervisor candidate Patty Andreen last week as well.
Andreen said she was booked to appear on Congaltonâ€™s show at 5 p.m. on Oct. 6, but that at some point an unknown individual called her office and changed the time to 5:30. When Andreen confirmed the time change with the showâ€™s producers, they simply assumed a mistake had been made.
â€œI forgot about it until I heard what happened to Peg Pinard,â€? she said.
Andreen said doesnâ€™t know where the message came from and was not willing to guess who was behind it. She said she just feels lucky that the embarrassing situation was averted.
The day after the Pinard incident, Congalton was also unwilling to surmise who was behind the calls. He did say that that his station has taken several steps to ensure that it never happens again.
â€œBe on your guard,â€? he wrote in an e-mail to New Times. â€œPolitical dirty tricks are alive and well on the Central Coast.â€?