San Diego County Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric spoke at the U.S. Grant Hotel in March. Photo by Chris Stone

The outgoing chairman of the San Diego County Republican Party has issued an appeal to Democrats to join the GOP in rejecting extremists this election year.

Tony Krvaric, the chair, on Friday also posted a video on social media making the same point.

“It’s natural that tensions run high in a presidential election year, but we should all be able to unite to reject extremists who try to gain attention for their sick ideas during this time as they have no place in a civilized society,” he said in his 150-word letter.

He said San Diego Democrats should reject “communists, Marxists, anarchists, Antifa, supremacists and racists who thrive on division to gain attention for their sick ideas and ideologies.”

He added: “United we can focus on debating actual policy ideas to move our country forward.”

Krvaric, whose 14-year tenure as county chair ends in January, didn’t immediately respond to queries on whether the letter was his idea.

But Will Rodriguez-Kennedy — his Democratic Party counterpart — told Times of San Diego: “We would be happy to discuss mutual condemnation once the San Diego Republicans condemn the white supremacist coddling, family separating, troop killing, Constitution shredding, sexual predator and wannabe dictator that currently inhabits the White House.”

Carl Luna of San Diego Mesa College is a political science professor active in efforts to lower partisan tensions via his Restoring Respect project, “a community initiative promoting greater civility in San Diego dialogue supported by a consortium of academic institutions and community groups.”

Asked for his take on the Krvaric letter, Luna kept an open mind.

“I’ll take the appeal at face value — a genuine urging for us all to calm down, quit demonizing each other, reject extremists and get about the really hard work of a democracy: working across a differences to reach compromise and the common good.”

Luna says he applauds any appeal by the parties against extremism.

“Even if that appeal comes with its own partisan shadings,” he said Friday via email. “Note that while Chairman Krvaric’s appeal identifies ‘supremacists,’ it didn’t include the usual adjective ‘white.’ FBI and other studies show that ‘supremacists’ groups overwhelmingly follow a ‘white-identity,’ ‘white-nationalism’ ideology (and membership.).”

Luna added: “While the appeal targets Marxists and anarchists, there is no mention of the other extreme of the ideological spectrum — fascists. And that’s what the white supremacists truly are — Neo-Nazi fascists. It would be nice if Chairman Krvaric acknowledged that.”

Krvaric’s call came the same day that KPBS reported on a 2 1/2-minute animated video from the 1990s that shows “Nazi salutes and symbols and a bobbing Hitler above the image of a young Tony Krvaric,” then living in Sweden.

“The … video features an image of Hitler — flexing his right arm brandished with a swastika band — floating up and down between photos of three young men. Among them is an image of a youthful Krvaric sporting dark shades,” KPBS reported.

KPBS said Krvaric refused numerous requests to comment on the video. But Friday evening, Krvaric reacted to the story, saying in a tweet: “KPBS ought to be ashamed” about smearing him by going back 30 years to “when I was a teenage computer nerd.”

Two days ago, political fact-checker and San Diego journalist Brooke Binkowski tweeted what she considers evidence of Krvaric’s sons being involved in white supremacist groups.

“One might think that the San Diego County GOP leader and his politically active kids might receive more scrutiny for their long record of blatantly white supremacist views,” she said.

Updated at 6:44 p.m. Aug. 21, 2020

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