By Buck Shott
June 7, 2010 – With Election Day tomorrow, last-minute endorsements and attacks are rolling out. Here’s a wrap-up on the latest political wrangling on the campaign trail:
IT’S A SHOE-IN: Immigrant rights supporters delivered piles of shoes during a rally outside Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray’s office on June 3rd to protest his remarks in a TV interview, at which he claimed illegal immigrants could be identified based on the clothes and shoes that they wear: http://www.10news.com/news/23800159/detail.html
THROWING STONES: It’s said that those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Jeff Stone, Republican candidate for the 36th State Senate, has been critical of opponent Joel Anderson for taking contributions over the legal limit (for which the FPPC fined Anderson fined $20,000.) But now TaxpayersAdvocate.org, which endorsed Anderson, says it will file a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission accusing Stone of failing to report donations over $1,000 within required time limits. According to the Riverside Press Enterprise (http://www.pe.com/politics/miller/stories/PE_News_Local_D_senate02.24f95... ), which endorsed Stone, his latest campaign-finance report shows that he received nearly $153,000 in donations of $1,000 or more from March 10-May 22. None had been reported within 24 hours. The same article suggests that two independent expenditure campaigns opposing Anderson may have violated reporting requirements. The newspaper quotes Stone as stating that he believes his campaign followed the rules.
FIRED UP: Firefighters with Cal-Fire have parted with the California Professional Firefighters Association (CPF) and endorsed Stone for State Senate. “We have decided to support Jeff Stone because he is honest and has integrity,” stated Darren Hoopengardner, a Cal-Fire local firefighters representative who says Anderson was untruthful with CPF about his support for paycheck protection in order to win the group’s endorsement. Stone also supports paycheck protection but was up front about his position, the Cal-Fire representative noted. Anderson, meanwhile, picked up the endorsement of local Republican Assembly member Martin Garrick, who praised Anderson's conservative values.
LAST “MINUTE” ENDORSEMENT: San Diego Minutemen have announced their support of Bill Wells, Republican candidate in the 77th Assembly race. "Bill Wells is the only candidate in the 77th Assembly race who will protect our border, fight illegal immigration, and defend the Constitution," Said Jeff Schwilk, Founder of the San Diego Minutemen. The group is listed as a "nativist extremist group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization which monitors hate groups and related organizations nationwide. Assembly Republican Caucus Chair, Connie Conway, meanwhile, has endorsed Wells’ primary opponent, Christine Rubin.
SPILL, BABY, SPILL: As oil pours into the Gulf of Mexico in the worst spill in U.S. history, Tracy Emblem, Democratic candidate in the 50th Congressional district, led a rally in North County against coastal oil drilling. “In 2006, Brian Bilbray voted for the Deep Oceans Energy Act, which if passed would have allowed oil drilling off California. Our coastline needs to be protected,” she said. “The off-shore drilling is motivated because Congress relaxed the federal royalty payments. We must eliminate incentives to increase profits at the expense of taxpayers in our district and nationwide.”
LABOR OF LOVE: Emblem also raked in five more labor endorsements in the final week of the campaign, for a total of over two dozen endorsements from unions: California Conference of Machinists (aerospace workers), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 465, Operating Engineers San Diego Local 12, Laborers Local 89, and Utility Workers Union of America. Don’t look for Emblem inside Election Central at Golden Hall tomorrow night, though. “I’ll be outside with labor. They’re picketing,” she told ECM.
MILKING THE VOTES: Francine Busby, Emblem's primary opponent, is also campaigning hard for what national observers believe is one of the key House races to watch this fall. One of her latest campaign stops including a celebration commemorating the birthday of slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk.
JOBS, BABY, JOBS: Mark Hanson, Democratic candidate for the 77th Assembly district, landed a contract through his consulting business at Leadership Management International to provide Haz-Mat training for local workers bound for the Gulf to help clean up the spill. While many candidates give lip service to the need to create jobs, Hanson’s efforts are expected to create hundreds of jobs for San Diego County residents.