I’ve mentioned here a few times how much I hate non-party-sponsored “pay-for-play” slate mailers. There’s one (related) thing that I hate more than slate mailers, though — and it’s candidates who try to get elected by trying to bamboozle the public through the use of slate mailers.
If you’re an undecided voter who believes in honesty good government, read this before you vote in the 65th Assembly District. (Yes, the punch line will involve Chris Norby.)
As you can see, this mailer is strongly urging you to vote Democratic. Look, it’s got pictures of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John Kennedy on top. Overall, though, it’s a trick. It’s not from the State Party and on two of the most bitterly fought propositions — Prop 33 and 37 — its position is opposite the one that the California Democratic Party took at its State Convention.
Here you see this so-very-Democratic mailer supporting nothing but Democrats. You have pictures of Obama, Brown (who isn’t running), Feinstein, and Boxer (also not running.) Still, very Democratic looking. This mailer is intended for the use of Democratic voters in Brea, so let’s take a look at the Democrats. Jay Chen for Congress, me for State Senate, Gregg Fritchle for Assembly. Check, check, and check. It’s got quotes from all three of the very Democratic Democratic Presidents.
The only hint that it’s not totally on the level (outside of the disclaimer) is that on five of the propositions, highlighted in yellow, the position of the mailer is the opposite of the position taken by the party. For nine of the eleven propositions, but none of the candidates, you see an asterisk next to the name or number, meaning that that side paid for consideration on the ballot. In over half those cases, the side paying was the side that the party opposed.
So that’s sneaky and rotten and it’s one way that people get rich off of the ignorance of others and get propositions to turn out the wrong way. Still, I’ll bet that it doesn’t have your blood boiling. Wait just a minute for that.
Here’s the same mailer for Fullerton. The part with the propositions will be the same, so I won’t discuss that.
The propositions, in yellow, are the same. The Democratic candidates are, once again, Jay Chen, me, and … what’s this? CHRIS NORBY? But … but … he’s a Republican, isn’t he? Yes, he is. The Democrat is Sharon Quirk-Silva — who no doubt had first shot at being in this mailer and passed it up. Good for her. Well, good for her except that Norby is now able to take advantage of the ignorance of people who don’t know that he is deeply opposed to most of the principles of the Democratic Party, and is, in fact, not who Democrats are voting for.
Why did they choose to include Norby in the mailer? (Yes, it’s what you think it is.) Check the middle column. Where in Brea there were fine quotes from these great Democratic Presidents, in Fullerton there are two messages underneath the list of propositions. The bottom one is “Yes on W” — the “Chevron gets to build many homes in the West Coyote Hills” measure. The top one, with Norby’s name highlighted in red, has the asterisk next to it showing that this spot was purchased. Let’s enjoy it in larger type:
Chris Norby is a dedicated public servant who has shown the ability to work across the aisle and is supported by Democrats and Republicans alike.
Well ain’t that grand! No wonder he had to pay for it!
In looking at this, you’ll probably have one of two reactions to Norby’s bamboozling of voters. (Confusion doesn’t count — it passes.) One is a combination of anger and disgust. Our political leaders claim a mandate for their positions on the issues of the day — and that mandate is supposed to represent something other than “HA! I sure tricked the bastards!” If this is your outraged reaction, then in the Harry Potter universe the Sorting Hat would put you into Gryffindor House — home of the honest and gallant and brave.
The other reaction is a sour smile of contempt at what suckers people are. If voters don’t know enough to figure out that you’re lying, then to hell with them. They screwed up by trusting you — and they deserved to have their pockets picked. (You’ll probably govern by similar principles.) In the Harry Potter universe, the Sorting Hat puts you into Slytherin House — home of the conniving and cunning and amoral.
I didn’t pay for a slot on the mailer and they still put in my name — because I am, after all the Democrat. The same went for Jay Chen and Gregg Fritchle. Sharon Quirk-Silva didn’t pay for a spot either — but she was less fortunate, because she was up against a conniving and cunning bastard who didn’t mind cheating the public.
But who was it that paid the fee? Chris Norby or his patron Tony Bushala?
Luckily, one can examine all of the receipts of Democratic Voters Choice. Here’s what you find (you may have to magnify your screen):
Yep, Norby for Assembly paid for this placement — and back on August 7, too!
Hey, what about that Yes on W placement right underneath it?
Yeah, THAT ONE was Tony Bushala — back on September 18! — from the same Rancho Santa Margarita Treasurer’s address. The name of his group is listed as “Coalition for Natural Open Space.” (People doing computer searches should note that that’s different from what has been reported.)
So, to my friends Ryan and Vern: if there’s any doubt as to whether Tony Bushala was Yes on W — and has been for at least a month and a half — this should dispel it, despite his cute remark about how he had “signed the petition to put it on the ballot.” He’s been out to co-opt Democrats for quite a few weeks now — but his man Norby has been out to more or less defraud Democrats for six weeks longer than that.
(Correction: Ryan double-checked, and “the Coalition for Natural Open Space” is mostly funded by Chevron. So, despite that it and Norby share as Treasurer the office of Betty Presley & Associates of Rancho Santa Margarita, I can’t hang this one on Bushala (at least not yet! I can’t find his Committee records listed, actually.) The Cal-Access page of the Secretary of State’s office, which I’d need to be able to do further research, appears to be swamped and is not showing internal details of any records — at least on my computer.)
P.S. to Ryan: Norby received $3500 from Chevron Corp. in 2011 — and late contribution of $3900 from Chevron Corp. on August 21, 2012. That latter one covered the contribution to the Democratic Voters Choice slate mailer almost exactly, with $38 left over.
(Pretty cheap of Chevron to leave him only a 1% tip!)
So, going back to a prior discussion — if you say that Jan Flory received thirty pieces of silver by accepting a $500 contribution, what would you say that Chris Norby received? (You may use a calculator.)
Sharon Quirk-Silva will, I’m sure, appreciate your vote — or if you’ve voted, making sure someone else switches to supporting her. (Chevron! The bastards! Am I right?)