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Raymond Lutz (born August 23, 1957) is an electronics engineer, activist, anti-GMO researcher, and a failed Democratic candidate in 2010 for Congress in California's 52nd congressional district against Duncan D. Hunter (the son, who was later sentenced to 11 months in prison but who was pardoned by Trump). Lutz was also a candidate in the 2008 election for the 77th Assembly District in California, but was defeated by Republican candidate Joel Anderson. Lutz is primarily a software engineer and progressive activist.

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Ray Lutz for Congress 2010


Lutz was born in La Mesa, California to Harold G. and Mary A. Lutz. He was raised in El Cajon and attended Granite Hills High School. Lutz continued at Grossmont Community College, then transferred to San Diego State University to receive his bachelor's degree (to the amazement of many), followed by his Master's of Science in Electronics Engineering (supposedly). He married his wife Jill in 1987, and they have two sons, Austin and Garrett. They have lived in the El Cajon area throughout their marriage. In 1989, they opened "Chase Ranch Montessori School," and Raymond started Cognisys, Inc., which apparently really has never done anything, and remains simply an empty website.

Professional career[]

Lutz began his career at the Naval Ocean Systems Center in San Diego working in the field of defense communication technology, followed by work at a number of private firms. Work ranged from developing handheld devices under contract with the Pacific Bell Telephone Company for tracking vehicles and equipment to developing video games with innovator Rick Dyer,and he claims that he helped to create the Dragon's Lair video game and the follow-up game Thayer's Quest. Lutz later went on to work with the laser printer industry, including "multi-function products" (such as printer/scanner/copier combos) .

In 1989 Lutz started his own company, Cognisys, which now produces biofeedback products, and several iterations were sold to neurofeedback practicioners. In 1993, Lutz founded Multi-Function Products Association (MFPA), a trade association focused on the all-in-one market and which specialized in standards development. Lutz worked on national and international standards with the Telecommunication Industry Association and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an arm of the United Nations. Lutz also developed a product called "SlimSmart," a pager-like device that helps with weight loss by controlling the rate and volume of food eaten. The device was later licensed to a firm for worldwide distribution.

In 2003, Lutz designed and manufactured devices for the Neurofeedback market which allowed the practitioner to use conventional videos or video games as feedback. These were sold to the niche neurofeedback practitioners marketplace.

Public Service and Activism[]

Lutz's father, Harold Lutz, started the Grossmont Community Concert Association in 1947, being a musician, conductor, and composer. Raymond Lutz later on took over the presidency of the association, which provided concerts to the eastern portion of San Diego County. It was through this involvement that he became interested in becoming more active in politics.

In 2006, the East County Democratic Club, a club that Raymond's parents had belonged to years earlier, had the possibility of folding when the current president decided to make a run for Congress. Raymond was asked to take the helm, and he agreed, saving it from being absorbed into another organization. It has since thrived despite Lutz not being involved to a great degree. Shortly after joining the board of the East County Democratic Club, Lutz was looking for a way to promote the Club's meetings when he happened on the local Government-access television (GATV) channel on Public-access television cable TV. When Lutz looked over a list of their current programming, he noticed many religious and partisan programs being aired on the government channel. He sent a letter to the El Cajon City Manager about the disparity, the programs were pulled from the station that day. Lutz said that he was contacted by insiders at the city, and they said they appreciated his objection because they were against these videos for years, as they had played these every day for more than four years.

After the experience with the non-partisan programming of the government channel, Lutz started Citizens' Oversight Projects (COPs),[1] which acts as a governmental watchdog and helps empower local citizens to make changes in their communities.

Lutz was also a voice in opposing the proposed Sunrise Powerlink, a high-voltage transmission line by SDG&E that was approved despite the fact that the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) provided three alternatives, all which did not require building the line at all, and despite overwhelming opposition to the project in the communities it will run through. San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob has testified at the CPUC against the project, which would be in the midst of a fire-prone area of rural San Diego. Despite the name, the Sunrise Powerlink has nothing to do with solar energy, as they would not assure that even 5% of the energy would be from solar sources, and indeed, it was actually a connector from relatively dirty-burning gas in Mexico to energy markets in LA. Sadly, energy companies love to install infrastructure of this type because they make the most profit on these projects vs. other more important approaches.


The largest advocacy project that Lutz was partially responsible for was the protesting of an Template:Convert Blackwater training facility in the rural area of Potrero in San Diego county. Lutz established the website [] and was successful in assisting ending the proposed facility. Lutz partnered with Congressman Bob Filner (CA-51) on proposing legislation to outlaw private military company training on private property.[2]

Later, Lutz was notified by a whistle blower of a facility being developed by Blackwater in Otay Mesa, near the California-Mexico border, under pseudonyms such as "Raven Development" and "Southwest Law Enforcement." After this discovery, he notified the media and then the City of San Diego Development Services Department decided it was a significant enough project to be processed under "discretionary" rather than "ministerial" rules, thereby allowing public input and review, so they held the occupancy permit.

Blackwater filed suit in federal court to force the City of San Diego to issue their occupancy permit. Defended by outgoing City Attorney Micheal Aguirre, the city lost this case, and the appeal was dropped by Aguirre's successor.

Lutz also fought Blackwater at Southwestern Community College[3] in the agreement for Southwestern College to use the indoor shooting range in Otay Mesa in trade for, among other things, allowing Blackwater to use on-campus classrooms, without limitation. Lutz claimed that they were planning to use the conference rooms to recruit at the college.[4] The agreement was pulled in October after 10 months of steady pressure and total harrassment (one of the key tenets of the Lutz Method) by Lutz.

2010 Congressional Campaign[]

Lutz ran running against the incumbent, Duncan D. Hunter, for the Congressional seat in the 52nd district of California. Lutz's positions were to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, complete effective immigration reform, promote strong families by keeping the government from making decisions for one's family, job growth, and safe gun ownership. He lost the election miserably, receiving only a handful of votes.

On August 11, 2010 Lutz's campaign issued a press release announcing that the candidate would be going on a "hunger strike" until his opponent, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter would agree to debate him, which did eventually occur. This idea was provided to Lutz by former official Jim Bates to get attention in a deep red district.

Citizens Oversight[]

In January, 2011, Lutz formed Citizens Oversight, Inc, a 501(c)3 Delaware corporation for the purposes of training citizens to become more effective and to attend and participate in public meetings. This organization has moved more recently into mainly election integrity, with the product AuditEngine that conducts ballot image audits. See[]

In mid-2011, Lutz formed a streaming radio station, [1] which provides 7/24 news and talk programming including progressive shows and topics. This was a precursor to the installation of KNSJ at 89.1 FM, and Lutz setup and helped to install the transmitter at the top of Laguna Mountain. This station is still operating as of 2024.

Occupy San Diego[]

Lutz was an early participant in Occupy San Diego. On November 29, 2011, San Diego police arrested Lutz for setting up a voter registration table in the town square of San Diego, Civic Center Plaza. Lutz cited the Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins U.S. Supreme Court ruling which in part states that people are allowed to register voters, even on privately property, such as in a mall. He won this case, and was awarded more than $100K by the City of San Diego and the owners of the Civic Plaza builting. Lutz participated in the Occupy San Diego protests by publishing a email blast to coordinate activities.

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS)[]

Being an engineer with a masters degree, Lutz participated in the CPUC proceedings regarding the emergency shutdown of SONGS on January 31, 2012. He worked with local advocacy groups in the adjacent areas of San Clemente and Oceanside, including two public rallies near the plant. This resulted in Southern California Edison deciding not to attempt to restart the plant. Fortunately, the plant was shut down safely after the leak occurred in one of the brand new steam generators, that were fabricated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. This work culminated in a lawsuit against the CPUC and SCE, which resulted in a settlement and a rebalancing of the funds by the public by for the shutdown of about $768M.

Lutz and Citizens Oversight continued to play a part in the disposition of the waste at the site. Finally, he proposed the "Pendleton Option" as a reasonable step to move the waste off the coast and inland about 5 miles along a 10 mile route, to a position away from the shore (where it is currently positioned within 100 ft of the water) to a point at an elevation of 430 ft or so, and out of the way of any sea level rise. See for details.