Old foes renew political fight online

May 7th, 2013 | by Erica Felci | Comments

One of Desert Hot Springs’ many political spats has migrated from the council chambers to the Internet.

It started earlier this year when an anonymous group calling themselves “Friends of DHS” launched a website.

The site promises to start “reclaiming the keys to city hall” by celebrating success stories. But it quickly became a spot for bashing Councilman Russell Betts.

When the group finally named some of its contributors last week, we couldn’t help but notice that former councilman Karl Baker was on the list.

Baker told The Desert Sun that he’s been gathering information on Betts for some time. And he said that he blames Betts for the 2011 election results, when then challenger Adam Sanchez ousted Baker from council.

Sanchez – who has become Betts’ political ally on dais – had 1,403 votes to Baker’s 537 votes. Betts was re-elected with 1,557 votes that year.

“I think politics in Desert Hot Springs has gone from bad to worse,” Baker said about the website.

“I figured it was time to try and rally some people together to see what we could do to bring honesty to what is going on.”

We won’t spend this blog fact checking every story that’s on the new website.

But we did ask Betts about it, and he said he offered to meet with “anybody who wants to ask me any question about anything I’ve done in my life.”

“I don’t know what his motivations are,” Betts said. “I didn’t need to do anything (during the 2011 election). Karl buried himself.

“There’s a small town rumor mill. It’s been going on for years. This is just an incarnation of that rumor mill.”

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