Tis the season for misleading and attack political advertising. I’ll be doing an irregular showcase featuring the campaigns and “Independent” committees willing to sling mud, spin tall tales, make unkeepable promises, or engage in fear-mongering.
Today we’ll start with ads from the Working Families Council in support of Lori Saldaña for supervisor, simply because those were the first to land in my mailbox. Feel free to send me ads you think are hinky via the email address at the bottom of the page.
This will be a non-partisan endeavor, mostly because I can’t stand being talked down to, regardless of political party. “They all do it” is a tired excuse from people who fundamentally don’t believe in Democracy but are not honest enough to say so.
The single best way I know of to cure the ails of our political system is for everybody to vote in every election. I am of the opinion that, regardless of the outcome, people would be much more inclined to accept the results.
Those who profit from the status quo (and it’s not always money) have a vested interest in discouraging democratic participation. That’s the real motive behind attack advertising; nobody is going to switch allegiances because of a mailer, they just get less interested.
First up, the National Rifle Association boogie man comes to town.
My take is this sort of advertising debases the efforts of mass shooting survivors to end the NRA’s outsized influence in domestic politics by invoking it for political benefit in a setting completely outside the arenas where this battle needs to be fought.
Emma Gonzalez and other Parkland survivors aren’t out there to enable supporters of a progressive candidate to exploit their cause in a local campaign far away from the arenas where this battle needs to be fought. Fight NRA? Hell, yes. But let’s get real.
The National Rifle Association isn’t likely to have a position on anything considered by the County Board of Supervisors. Maybe Saldaña’s supporters foresee a time when the NRA will call for arming the local homeless population. I’d love to hear their scenario.
The attack on Fletcher’s stance 8 years ago is spurious because he’s openly discussed his political transformation from Republican to Democrat and changed his views accordingly. This is reminiscent of the claims made against Hillary Clinton because she volunteers for Republican Barry Goldwater in her youth.
How do I know Fletcher has changed? For the same reason Lori Saldaña does; his involvement in progressive activist events over the past couple of years, including one in Hillcrest at the Unitarian Church against Trumpcare, where both of these then-undeclared candidates spoke.
Next up, we have the Working Families Council tree-hugger edition in support of Saldaña.
Except the Sierra Club has endorsed Nathan Fletcher. So has the League of Conservation Voters. Ooops.
The “Elect Lori Saldana for Supervisor 2018, Sponsored by San Diego Working Families Council” is an Independent Expenditure Committee, theoretically not authorized or controlled by a candidate.
Of course, the candidate in question had a grand total of $725.88 left to spend at the time of the most recent disclosures and placed next to last in donations with a total of $31,577. At this point in the game, outside of an attack squad scouring social media looking to shame the unfaithful, she essentially doesn’t have a campaign.
For a supposedly independent committee, this ad certainly looks like materials the candidate’s campaign placed on social media over past several months.
The premise of this advertising stems from polling done by the very Republican-leaning Lincoln Club shown to Saldaña in early 2017.
Why, you might ask, were the people who led the fight against increasing the minimum wage sharing polling with a supposedly progressive Democratic candidate?
Could it be because they’re still angry about their Young Man with a Future leaving the party? Or could it be because the only path to victory in the District 4 Supervisors’ race for the right depends on the mutually assured destruction of Democratic party candidates?
I think it’s both.
The entity paying for mailers is controlled by Mickey Kasparian, a rogue union leader whose visions of progressive grandeur were cut short by a series of lawsuits (now settled and sealed) from women who accused him of distinctly not liberal conduct. Revenge is the name of his game, even as his motley crew of supporters abandons him.
The Working Families Council (WFC) is a group spun off from the San Diego and Imperial Counties Central Labor Council by UFCW President Kasparian as he realized an investigation by the national AFL-CIO into his personal and professional conduct wasn’t going to end well for him.
The original paperwork (Form 410) filed for the Independent Expenditure Committee listed Mickey Kasparian as principal officer and his political advisor Dale Kelly Bankhead as Treasurer. Kasparian’s name is now gone in the latest amended filing, and Bankhead is listed as the principal officer.
Not long ago, the Service Employees International Union Local 221, which represents county employees, left the WFC after realizing its leadership had no intention of supporting the Supervisor candidate (Nathan Fletcher) the SEIU thought would be most beneficial for their members.
Supporters of Nathan Fletcher have raised $70,000 for an Independent Expenditure committee to push back against an expected wave of misleading ads. Should they produce content of a questionable nature, I’ll also be covering that material.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait for Fletcher’s supporters club. His campaign already has a qualifying ad. This one is just a promise the candidate can’t possibly keep in the sense there’s not much the Board of Supervisors can actually do to “Defend immigrants from Trump…”
The San Diego Free Press has endorsed Omar Passons in the 2018 contest for District 4 Supervisor.
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