Monday, May 9, 2011

With Only A Week To Go Before the CA-36 Special Election, It's Janice Hahn - 13, Trees - 0

The last week of a campaign, as our mailbox fills to overflowing with glossy brochures extolling the virtues of competing candidates, we often find ourselves donning black, rending our garments, and contemplating the death of a million innocent trees.

The campaign to replace Jane Harman in CA-36 is no different.

Spread out on my coffee table right now are a couple of mailers from Debra Bowen, one from Marcy Winograd that a volunteer stuffed under our welcome mat, one from Mike Gin, and even one from Tea Party candidate Craig Huey.  However, none of these candidates holds a candle to Janice Hahn and her supporters, who sent out a thirteenth full-color mailer today.

According to the FEC, Hahn leads all candidates but Craig Huey in cash-on-hand (money left in the bank after expenses), and that's enabled her to fund this juggernaut-in-wood-pulp with over $300,000 in donations and independent expenditures from business interests and lobbyists connected with LA City Hall, real estate developers, the nuclear industry, health insurance PACs, and even rent control opponents.

Combing though the latest FEC reports, I found a number of interesting nuggets, but one recent donation worth noting in particular was from Tim Larkin, CEO of Warren Resources. Why this donation? Because Warren Resources, a New York City-based oil company with considerable ties to the Wilmington and Harbor area oil fields, was a vocal critic of Measure O, the oil extraction tax Hahn opposed putting on the ballot after initially supporting it.  In the end, Hahn was the only LA City council member to vote against bringing the measure to voters, saying at the time, “I’ve reconsidered this and I have heard from various business groups who do feel like this might be the wrong climate to put this on the ballot."

In addition,  The Cooperative of American Physicians IE Committee, a PAC which represents medical malpractice insurers, has upped it's investment in Janice Hahn to over $75,000. A year ago, this same PAC  partnered with oil, tobacco and other special interests to go after 53D Assemblymember Betsy Butler in the June 2010 primary.   

Butler has endorsed Debra Bowen in this congressional race.

According to FEC reports, Janice Hahn is the only candidate so far to benefit from independent expenditures.

It's likely to get worse before it gets better. I've heard rumors CAPC is planning to send out a negative hit-piece against Bowen this week, just as they did Butler, and that Hahn will be taking a page out of the Meg Whitman campaign, sending out yet another 20-30 page full-color brochure to voters for the general election.

But hey, there's good news too. Turns out all those mailers are recyclable.

 I just got off the phone with a helpful person at my local chapter of the Sierra Club (you know they've endorsed Debra Bowen for congress, right?), who told me to stick the mailers in the mixed paper bin and I'd be good to go!

1 comment:

  1. This had me laughing up a storm! I wish we had DISCLOSE Act passed already ;-( We really do need to know who is funding these people in every ad they send out.