Dirty Tricks in AD-21

Oct 22, 2014

A Democratic activist has charged that Republicans have illegally funneled money to Assembly AD-21 candidate Jack Mobley in a bid to unseat Adam Gray.  In a complaint to the California FPPC, Ceres School Board Member Faye Lane accuses the state GOP of laundering nearly $500K in an effort to skirt campaign contribution limits.  From Garth Stapley in the Fresno Bee:


“Republicans had channeled $325,000 this month to help Mobley by the time Lane filed the complaint, dated Thursday; by Monday, the amount had grown to $497,000, according to disclosures on the California Secretary of State’s website.


“That far exceeds limits on direct contributions under campaign law. Republicans got around it by using what are known as independent expenditures, which aren’t supposed to be coordinated between candidates and their parties, the complaint says.”


GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari has launched his second TV ad of the campaign, another attack on Jerry Brown’s response to the Vergara teacher-tenure decision. No drowning kids this time, but Kashkari isn’t pulling his punches.  Carla Marinucci has the story at SFGate.


“Kashkari's new spot is no-frills and, unlike the drowning-child ad, doesn't include any content that might go viral. It simply stars the candidate, making his case against Brown.


“’Jerry Brown had a choice: He could either stand up and fight for those kids, or he could fight for the unions that funded his political career,’ Kashkari says in the spot. ‘Shockingly, Jerry Brown turned his back on, and betrayed, the neediest kids in California. ... (He’s) fighting those kids in court today, fighting to deprive them of a chance at a good education.’”


Consumer advocate and perennial presidential candidate Ralph Nader appealed to Jerry Brown to endorse Proposition 46, reminding the governor of past statements expressing regrets over his signature on the 1975 MICRA cap.  Christopher Cadelago follows the story in the Sacramento Bee.


“In a letter to the governor, Nader said he has no doubts Brown is familiar with the effect of the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages for victims of medical malpractice. Nader, a consumer attorney, said the law “arbitrarily” approved by lawmakers and signed by Brown in 1975, ties the hands of judges and juries, the only ones who are in a position to evaluate the evidence of malpractice cases in courts.


“Brown’s signature on the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), over which he has expressed some regret, has had a profound effect on other states. As Nader put, ‘The public argument by the commercial lobbies in those states was: “Well, if Jerry Brown and liberal California did it, how can we not follow?”’”


The race for State Controller, relatively sleepy since Assembly Speaker John Perez conceded the primary, is seeing some late-breaking activity.  In a sign that the race may be tightening, labor has begun putting IE money against GOP candidate Ashley Swearingen. From Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee:


“A labor-backed independent expenditure committee has started sending out mailers criticizing Ashley Swearengin, the Republican candidate for California controller in a sign that the contest has tightened leading up to the Nov. 4 election.


“Million More Voters, sponsored by the California Labor Federation, reported Monday spending $271,000 against Swearengin, the Fresno mayor running against Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, a Democrat.”


ActBlue, a Massachusetts-based Democratic fundraising organization is having a significant impact on online fundraising for California congressional candidates. Michael Doyle looks at the numbers in the Fresno Bee.


“ActBlue has processed donations for 85 California House candidates, in both general and primary elections. Sometimes, the online tools that reach beyond the borders of a single congressional district may be most helpful to a challenger still trying to establish his or her own local fundraising network. The remotely piloted money helps fuel a campaign, but it can also open a candidate to criticism.


“More than half of all itemized contributions raised by [Democrat Amanda] Renteria this election cycle, for instance, come from outside California, records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show. [GOP incumbent David] Valadao has relied on out-of-state individual contributors for only 8% of his total, a contrast he implicitly underscores when he goes on the offensive.”


And in the gross-out column, Sophie Wilkinson over at Vice looks at a disturbing/fascinating new trend in viral video: pimple popping.  Millions upon millions of viewers are watching uploaded home videos of extractions – the more pus, ingrown hairs and blotchy red skin, the better.


“We all do it. Whether it's a swift squeeze of the blackheads on the side of your nose, a wiry hair that's managed to loop back into itself in your bikini line, or a ready-to-burst whitehead, our bodies are endlessly purge-able. Now, though, such self-maintenance doesn't just happen in the comfort of our own bathroom mirrors. Instead, there are millions of us uploading these moments to YouTube for curious viewers to watch. One video, titled ‘Best Pimple Pop Ever,’ has more than 22 million views. That's a lot of pus junkies.”