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I am not a fan of Republican political consultant Dave Gilliard. Not one bit.
Gilliard is good at winning campaigns when his candidate has great odds. He is not known for winning with underdog candidates.
He often designs mailers that cannot be called anything but racist. He has done this for a lot of Orange County Republicans, including Supervisor Janet Nguyen and State Senator Mimi Walters, who is now running for California Treasurer.
This week it all caught up wth him as Gilliard’s Northern California office was raided by a bunch of Riverside County investigators, at the behest of Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
In November, Pacheco’s office announced a 155-count indictment alleging that nine people, including four of the five San Jacinto City Council members, conspired to skirt campaign contribution limits and funnel money into the 2006 Assembly candidacy of San Jacinto Councilman Jim Ayres.
Gilliard has immense pull in Sacramento. If he doesn’t like you he can singlehandedly shut off your funding. He has done this over the years to great effect.
The obvious question however is whether Pacheco really has a case, or is he playing politics?
The Press-Enterprise notes that the case at the heart of the investigation involves political attacks in 2008, on Russ Bogh, who lost to Gilliard’s client, John Benoit, who is now a candidate for the State Senate. Bogh is a close friend of Pacheco.
In spring 2008, Stephen R. Holgate, an Inland developer and former CHP officer, largely bankrolled a pro-Benoit campaign committee called Conservative Leaders of America, giving it $100,000.
Almost all of the advertising money went through Gilliard Blanning. The KAL Group, the committee’s treasurer, was paid about $2,000.
Fair enough. Pacheco might just be looking to get revenge for Bogh. But what if the case is legit?
Gilliard is currently the campaign consultant for Tustin Councilman Jerry Amante, who is running for the 70th Assembly District, and Fullerton Councilman Shawn Nelson, who is running for the 4th Supervisorial District.
I was most upset when Nelson hired Gilliard and can only hope that he will dump him now that he has a decent excuse to do so.
By the way, I had to laugh when I saw that Gilliard describes himself as a “Republican-Libertarian” on his Facebook page. You have to check out his “Facebook Friends.” They include: Adam Probolsky; Bert Ashland (an O.C. lobbyist who was appointed to a County Commission by Supervisor Janet Nguyen); Brandon Powers (who allegedly gave the infamous Duvall sex comment audio tape to Jon Fleischman); Curt Pringle; Dana Rohrabacher; Diane Harkey; Prop. 8 instigator Jeff Flint; Jeff Miller (who used to employ Brandon Powers – and who was the guy Duvall was talking to about sex with lobbyists); Jon Dumitru (aka the Turtle Eater); Jon Fleischman; Ken Lopez Maddox; Laura “Mrs. Jerbal” Cunningham; Mark Denny; Martin Wisckol, who pimps for Red County and the Libera OC over at the O.C. Register; Michelle Steel; Mimi Walters; Phil Paule; Rhonda Rohrabacher, who was once busted for political dirty tricks as well; appointed O.C. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens; Shawn Fago; Tim Shaw (who used to work for Supervisor Janet Nguyen and now works for State Senator Bob Huff); and Tony Strickland. The only one missing was Jerbal himself!
I surely hope Gilliard goes down in this investigation…
UPDATE: The Total Buzz blog finally got around to writing about the raid on Gilliard’s office today, a day after our post. Of course they failed to mention that we beat them to it. And of course they put a pro-Gilliard spin on their story. Some things never change…