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Breaking reports are that a political earthquake centered in the Anaheim area will be sending a tsunami of printed paper flyers, electronic ads, and other flotsam directly at the heads of voters in the 69th Assembly District! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
Here’s the report from CalAccess (the Secretary of State’s database) on late (aka “sneaky”) independent expenditures on behalf of the Daly campaign. It looks like this wave from traditional Republican sources is going to be huge! That’s $148,000 from the Real Estate lobby (all for TV ads and consulting) and about $199,500 from “JobsPac — a bi-partisan coalition of California employers” (which in OC means that it includes Republicans and DINOs — not really what you expect to find among the voters of AD-69, the most Latino Assembly district in the state.)
Highlights of the Business interests interest: $78,000 for canvassing (that’s a lot!) with a $2683 walk piece (sort of chintzy, actually); $43,007 for a mailer (or, my guess is, more than one); $34,000 for polling; $35,000 for “consulting”; and about $8750 for research.
By the way, does anyone know how quickly you’re supposed to report IEs? (I don’t; I have nothing to do with them.) If it’s as soon as you make the expense, then this onslaught of spending reported just under 30 days before the election seems … odd. Well, actually more like unbelievable.
Who’s giving to JOBSPAC? Click on the numbers on the SOS’s page! You’ll see a bunch of donations from PERSONAL INSURANCE FEDERATION OF CA AGENTS & EMPLOYEES PAC in SACRAMENTO, CA 95814 (also known as “PIF”). Question to anyone who can answer: why is PIF so hot to see Daly in office?
Only $40,000 of the $80,623 for canvassing and a walk piece is reported on the contributions — which makes sense if the balance came in contributions of under $100, but I somehow doubt that. As for the other almost $120,000? Only one contribution from PIF for $10,000. Folks, hire some clerical help! You’re supposed to fill out the freaking form!!!
When you click through for the Real Estate group, you find something cute: the form on which donations of over $100 lists three such donations making up the $148,000:
5/7/2012 Coldwell Banker Pioneer, Moreno Valley, CA 92553 $148.00
5/7/2012 RE/MAX Tehachapi, Tehachapi, CA 93561 $11.00
5/7/2012 RE/MAX Tehachapi, Tehachapi, CA 93561 $104.00
Yeah, I don’t think so! Go and redo the form and add the appropriate number of “0”s, folks — and explain how this adds up to $148,000.
The scandal here, of course, is not shoddy reporting — although that is a nice twist. It’s that the most Latino seat in the California State Assembly is apparently in the process of being purchased on behalf of the man that some wag recently described as “the whitest person in Orange County” by an organized band of Real Estate and Insurance Agents from outside of the district — who are going to want something in return for that money.
Now there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that. Maybe Daly would give them what they wanted anyway. Julio Perez is receiving IE’s from the Orange County Labor Federation (for which he worked as political director), after all; but they know him and they know that he seens his role in the legislature as fighting against corruption and for workers and the middle class, which in these unbalanced days largely means standing with unions against the sorts of interests that can generate a cash tsunami.
Here’s the difference: Julio Perez says up front that he’s going to work to advance workers’ interests and he says why. Have you heard Tom Daly say how important he thinks it is to push the interests of Real Estate and Insurance Agents? Is he campaigning on that theme and I just missed it? Why do they think that they’ll be getting something from Daly, who styles himself as a moderate Democrat when not jiggling the handle to get the campaign contributions to come out of the Republican machine? What his story about how this money is not going to influence him? Or is it not going to influence him because it already has?
Daly and his campaign can’t coordinate his independent expenditures — and let’s give him the benefit of any doubt and presume that they haven’t. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have to answer for them, though! Is it an anti-Perez vote? Why — are the real estate and insurance industries hotbeds of union organizing activity? (The question is rhetorical: of course not. The problem for them is that Julio Perez has also been a strong and consistent consumer advocate on issues like foreclosures and insurance reforms.)
There is a possible simpler and broader explanation explanation, though: do they perceive that Daly is simply the de facto Republican candidate in the race — and that too many of the most powerful Democrats in Orange County, while decent enough people personally, are more comfortable with big business interests than they are with powerful advocacy of the interests of the 99%?
It should be noted that as of today, neither of the other three candidates in the race, Republican Joe Moreno, Democratic Auditor/Accountant/OJ Blogger Paco Barragan, and Santa Ana City Councilwoman Michele Martinez — who had once been overheard boasting of the IEs that would be coming her way from the Pala tribe — have been recipients of any recorded IEs to date.
Orange Juice Blog will, to understate things, be continuing to cover this developing story.
[Disclaimers: I’ve endorsed Julio Perez in this race and am also endorsed by the OC Labor Federation. I’m a candidate for State Senate, and to my knowledge am not receiving donations or IEs from the groups that have donated to Daly, nor have I hinted at wanting them. I’m also on the Executive Board of the Democratic Party of Orange County, for which I in no way speak.]