Skip to comments.CA-SEN: Fiorina and the GOP Launch Last-Minute Back-Door Attack on Chuck DeVore
Posted on 05/09/2010 8:59:35 PM PDT by Syncro
Posted on 09 May 2010 by admin
California Senate Race 2010: Carly Fiorina and the GOP Launch Last-Minute Back-door Attack on Chuck DeVore
By Jane Jamison, Copyright 2010, UNCOVERAGE.net
Apparently, the Republican party establishment in California has forgotten about Ronald Reagans 11th commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican. It was postulated by Reagan after he was viciously attacked in the primary for the California governors race in the 1960s. (Read his whole speech about it here.)
What is happening right now in the California Senate race is something that voters in the Golden State need to know. It is beyond speaking ill of another Republican. Carly Fiorina and certain factions of the GOP establishment nationally and in California are using their money and connections to smear conservative Republican candidate Chuck DeVore just before absentee ballots go out. It wont matter later if Chucks name is cleared later. The damage will be done. This kind of tactic should offend most voters if they know about it.
Here is what is happening:
In the past few weeks, internet bloggers have begun posting stories that California GOP Senate candidate Chuck DeVore is under investigation by the Federal Election commission for allegedly misusing public funds by having two of his Senate campaign staff on his California state assemblyman state payroll.
An investigation by UNCOVERAGE.net this weekend shows that in the waning weeks before the June 8 primary race for California Senate, the big-money Carly Fiorina campaign and its operatives are trying to knock out her grassroots Tea Party competitor in the race, Chuck DeVore, with allegations that appear to be coming from an independent citizens group. Theres also a barrage of supportive blogging for Fiorina to advance the story, which is doubtfully independent in nature.
The most recent blog rumor, this one at Redcounty.com, offered no links to any documents. It was given a prominent position on the website, titled with a fore-boding Sounds Like A Possible FEC Investigation Into DeVore. The basis for the rumor is what purports to be an insider memo from the Fiorina campaigns Martin Wilson dated April 22, 2010:
An independent group, California Citizens for Ethics in Government, has called on the California Attorney General and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to investigate whether Chuck is using public dollars to subsidize his campaign. Well let the guardians of the public fisc do their job and not speculate about where this may lead. (original underlining)
Another website which appears to be a dentists blog with Carly Fiorina advertising around the edge, picked up the story with this title:
CA-Sen: Chuck DeVore Misused Public Funds? The answer may be yes if the facts in the below embedded complaint are indeed true.
The blog then supposedly linked to what it called CA Attorney General Complaint Against Chuck Devore.
Click on that link and what is found are two letters, one to California attorney general Jerry Brown (who is a Democrat running for governor) and another to the Federal Election Commission. The letters request that an investigation be started into Chuck DeVores purported misuse of government funds by having his volunteer campaign staff on the payroll of his state assemblymans office.
But this is where the independent citizens group story unravels:
First of all, these letters are REQUESTS that DeVore be investigated. There is nothing anywhere that confirms an investigation by the state attorney general or by the Federal Elections Commission is underway. The blog headlines which imply FEC or attorney generals investigations are ongoing are false. They are proliferating anyway.
The RedCounty.com blog, (which has been linked or posted on various other websites as a reference piece, has been disseminated widely in the past 24 hours) purports that the complaints against Chuck DeVore are from an independent agency. That is simply not true.
The citizens group which sent the letters demanding Republican candidate for Senate Chuck DeVore be investigated for a possible crime has ties to the Carly Fiorina Republican Senate campaign, and to the California Republican Party. It could be that this interconnection of the three may itself be improper or illegal under election laws. At the very least, this is a bullying tactic that California voters deserve to know about before they vote in this primary.
A simple Google search shows California Citizens for Ethics in Government, which wrote the letters, has no website. The letters demanding investigations are dated April 6, signed by Bob Davis, the president of the organization with an address listed in El Dorado Hills, California, a suburb of Sacramento.
A listing at Campaignmoney.com shows California Citizens for Ethics in Government is a 527 political organization set up in 2008 by Charles H. Bell, Jr. who gives an address of 455 Capitol Mall, Suite 801, Sacramento.
See California Citizens for Ethical Government at campaign money.com
Opensecrets.org defines 527 political committees:
527 committees are tax-exempt groups established to raise unlimited money for general political activities, such as voter mobilization efforts. They are prohibited from directly supporting or opposing a specific candidate. Heres what the most active 527 groups have brought in and spent this cycle.
Prohibited from supporting or opposing a specific candidate?
The office address at 455 Capitol Mall, Suite 801 is actually for the law firm of Bell, McAndrews and Hiltachk, LLP, where Charles H. Bell, Jr., is senior partner. Again, Mr. Bell is listed as the contact for California Citizens for Ethics in Government. Who is Charles Bell?
Charles Bells bio at Republican National Lawyers Association says:
Mr. Bell is the General Counsel to the California Republican Party, and has served in that role for 23 of the past 29 years. He has counseled many California candidates and officeholders, including current Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian, Attorney General Dan Lungren, and many of the State Assembly and Senate Republican Leaders since 1980. Mr. Bell also has represented the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee on California matters, as well as a number of federal candidates and officeholders. Mr. Bell has served as counsel to numerous political action committees, lobbyists and lobbying firms, corporations and trade associations.
Opensecrets.orgs records show Carly for Californias 527 committee is the 7th largest in the country right now, with $3.5 million dollars in donations and $830,000 in expenditures.
Only 527s such as the Obama-loving SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and the pro-abortion Emilys List have more money than Carlys group.
A check of Carly for Californias FEC filing shows it uses the same address as the California Citizens for Ethics in Government: 455 Capitol Mall, Suite 801, Sacramento.
When contacted by Saturday by telephone, Mr. Bell confirmed his law firm represents the California Republican Party, Carly Fiorinas Senate campaign, the Meg Whitman for California governor campaign, and many others. He said he is only the treasurer of the California Citizens for Ethics in Government and that the groups president, Mr. Davis would have to discuss the accusatory letters about Chuck DeVore written by the group to the state attorney general and FEC.
When asked if he thought it might be a conflict of interest for him or his law firm to be representing Carly Fiorina for Senate and the California Republican party, and to be listed as the contact for a citizens 527 group which was trying to initiate a criminal investigation against Carlys opponent in the Senate race, Mr. Bell said he did not appreciate being cross-examined.
I probably also mentioned something about the ethics and advisability of the California Republican party eating its own before Mr. Bell hung up on me.
I have not spoken with President Bob Davis of the supposedly independent citizens committee which is attacking DeVore. I think we know what we need to know. The law firm which represents the well-oiled Carly Fiorina campaign, and the state Republican party, has also created this thinly-veiled citizens committee which is viciously attacking the other Republican candidate in the California Senate race, Chuck DeVore, one month before the primary. Lovely.
This is astro-turf against grassroots in California Republican politics. The establishment good ol boys have decided that Carly Fiorina should win this race and they are now pulling out all stops to see that it happens.
Heres some of the background that California voters need to know:
The procession of endorsements from out of state carpet-baggers to campaign for Carly Fiorina is a RINO rhumba dance: John McCain (for whom Carly worked in 2008), Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, you get the picture.
This week, Sarah Palin burned her Tea Party bridges around the country by going full-in for Carly. Since Sarah feels she must be loyal to John McCain for pulling her out of Alaska and into the national klieg-lights, she apparently feels she must also support McCains aide, Carly. This seems odd since Carly dissed Sarah for not being qualified to run a big company during the presidential race. Fiorina was back-benched by McCain after the flub, and dubbed Joe Biden-like for her public speaking gaffes.
(Knowing that about Carly, the idea of the brain-foofing Fiorina debating the hormone-raging Dont Call Me Maam Barbara Boxer for the U.S. Senate race in California is a really bad visual. Talk about lose-lose scenario for California.)
Very important background to know:
The good old boys at the National Republican Senatorial Committee believe they know best for every state in the country. After brilliantly driving the John McCain presidential run/walk off the cliff in 2008, they pushed Charlie Crist in the Senate race in Florida. A young new conservative, Marco Rubio, was already in and raising money, but suddenly, Rubio was going to have spend a lot more money. Rubio has, and he went from nowhere to 30 points ahead of Crist last month. Way to call it (again) John and Rob!
Crist, as the anointed one, pocketed loads of NRSC cash, but just switched parties to an independent/traitor after Rubio cleaned his clock in the polls. Now NRSC chairman, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, is whining they should get their money back. Duh.
The NRSC also began manipulating of the California Senate race to beat incumbent Barbara Boxer began last year. Chuck DeVore was running for the Senate all by himself, a Ronald Reagan conservative. Hes a state assemblyman, not a millionaire.
The geniuses at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, are Sen. Cornyn and his disastrous former Texas staffer, Rob Jesmer, who was peter-principled up to the NRSC when Cornyn eked into the chairmanship. (more on Rob Jesmer.)
After messing with the Florida Senate race, Jesmer and Cornyn got it into their well-coiffed heads that there needs to be a moderate vagina GOP candidate to run against Boxer in California. DeVore was the out man from that point on and the race became much more expensive for him.
Eventually getting the coronation from the NRSC was Hewlett Packards fired CEO, Carly Fiorina. She has a $21 million dollar parachute from HP burning a hole in her Prada ® bag, apparently. From a Cornyn/Jesmer perspective, its always better to have a candidate who will self-fund with her own millions so the national committee doesnt have to, right? Invoking Joe Biden again, Fiorina gave them all a headache by holding back her own cash for awhile. She did eventually pony up.
In the meantime, Chuck DeVore scrounged $1.8 million the hard way. Thats more than has been raised by the supposed front-runner Republican, Tom Campbell.
See latest campaign reports here.
The NRSCs guidelines are such that it is not supposed to play favorites in contested races. So it was a little embarrassing that Carly Fiorina (uh oh, Joe Biden again) bragged publicly last October that she was recruited by the NRSC to run for Boxers seat. DeVore had a big I told you so. The NRSC even had to help out a hopeless candidate in the CA-SEN race after Fiorinas gaffe by offering an embarassing fig leaf to the whats-his-name by letting him use a Sacramento office for a news conference .to show how objective and nice they are. Chuck has understandably declined to meet with NRSC. He probably feels they will just run back to Carly with the oppo and rightly so.
The OC Register blogs WatchDog discussed the allegations of misuse of government funds with the DeVore campaign last month when the citizens group letter first came out. The allegations stem from two employees of the DeVore campaign who are volunteering their time on the campaign, yet are paid staff in his state assemblymans office. You can read the whole discussion here from OC Watchdog April 15, 2010 and here.
For the record, Fiorinas people told the OC Watchdog its just a coincidence that the citizens group shares an address with Carlys campaign attorney. (crickets chirping.)
Im no attorney or investigator, so I make no legal conclusions about whether there is anything improper about DeVores handling of his staff salaries. The explanations given to the OC Watchdog seem very thorough and clearly the campaign is aware of the laws and feels it has followed them. It is also not unusual for state employees to work on the campaigns of their employers. If the boss gets elected to the next best job, the loyalists move up and along for the ride to the big show. DeVores staffers say they work for little pay because they believe in him.
Chuck DeVore, by any definition, is running a grassrootscampaign. His most recent campaign records show he earned about $96,000 last year.
Carly made $2.7 million in 2008, according to records she recently produced in the campaign. She did not reveal her 2009 income. Fiorina received a $21 million golden parachute from being fired from Hewlett Packard.
From what they told the OC Watchdog, Fiorinas people want you to think that a candidate is not credible unless he has mega-bucks to buy high-paid consultants, pollsters and office space like Carly does.
Did we forget about Scott Brown, who campaigned for Senate in Massachusetts out of a pickup truck and won?
Opensecrets.org records show Carly Fiorina Enterprises is the largest individual donor in the country to her own 527 committee. Of the $3.5 million donated to Carly for California 527, $2.5 million is hers.
Her top donors, according to records produced by April 19, 2010. The little people?
|1||Carly Fiorina Enterprises||$2,511,580|
|8||Wilson, Sonsini et al||$12,000|
|15||CJ Segerstrom and Sons||$7,200|
|15||Capital Group Companies||$7,200|
The questions raised by all this:
Is there a legal conflict or violation of law in having a law firm which represents Carly for California, and the California GOP also representing a 527 citizens group which is accusing Carlys opponent of criminal wrongdoing?
Why is the GOP establishment ignoring Carly Fiorinas troubling baggage in this race which makes her so hopeless as a candidate? Specifically, HPs sale of printers to Iran despite an embargo, and a new criminal/civil investigation into HPs bribery of Russian officials during Carlys tenure at HP? Do they not understand that the Obama administration, which is conducting the probes, will no doubt use the investigation to doom Fiorina if she is the nominee? With Fiorinas pro-Islam, anti-Israel positions, why is she considered viable?
Even if there is no wrong-doing with all this GOP muddling in California, are California Republicans, conservatives and independents not offended by the this thugga type of campaign?
California, do you want to have your GOP U.S. Senate candidate chosen by the GOP establishment which has a proven dismal record of putting money on the wrong dog in the race all over this country?
(Note from the writer: I am not a paid operative by any campaign or any individual, unlike many of the bloggers who are posting hits on Chuck DeVore in behalf of Palin and Fiorina. Im a conservative blogger who is truly offended by this type of campaigning. The people behind these smarmy tactics in California are why the GOP lost so much in 2008. Can we please learn from history? Let California elect a true conservative like Chuck DeVore if the voters choose him. Let him run without fear of being back-stabbed by his own party. A good example to this country is the election of Chris Christie in New Jersey. He is a conservative in a blue state and he is making a huge difference just a few months into his term.)
Remember Scott Brown and his pickup truck.
Remember Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
Remember Ronald Reagans 11th commandment.
Carly Fiorinas champagne campaign tactics should not succeed.
Palin’s endorsement might be enough to put her and Johnny Mac over the top.
BTW, Carly looks like a Butch.
Trust me, a bunch of the Sybil Palin stooges here are on a coordinted mission to paint DeVore as some kind of worthless nut. All to mkae Sybil look good for endorsing Gnarly.
She's a cancer survivor.
>Remember Ronald Reagans 11th commandment.>
Except for the Palin haters on FR who bash, lie, smear day after day, week after week
It’s the Sybilistas that are the problem.
Another one who doesn’t know anything about Carly especially that Chemo for Cancer (she beat)makes your hair fall out
“BTW, Carly looks like a Butch.”
Carly had breast cancer, she lost her hair because of chemo.
Your support for anything these days puts a black mark on whatever it is.
Don't try to help DeVore please
There is also a pack of astro-turfy Sarah Palin PAC bloggers blog-flogging DeVore over the past 48 hours. ........
In general I agree with this synopsis of the situation.
Don’t get angry or hate anyone including Sarah Palin for endorsing Carly Fiorina.
But on the merits, Fiorina is the insider, RNC, NRSC etc. pick for this seat.
The endorsements from National Right To Life, its California affiliate, the Susan B. Anthony List and the National Rifle Association all confirm this.
The money that pours into politics has also poured into the Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment groups to buy their support for “electable” candidates.
In her book “Going Rogue,” Sarah Palin said this on pages 2 and 3:
“A staunch advocate of every child’s right to be born, I was pro-life enough for the grassroots RTL folks to adopt Piper as their poster child, but I wasn’t politically connected enough for the state GOP machine to allow the organization to endorse me in early campaigns.”
Sarah should remember these words of hers because when she got started she was a Chuck DeVore who was pro-life, but couldn’t be endorsed by the political insiders that ran the pro-life organization because she wasn’t considered political enough.
Now Sarah has gone with the “GOP machine” in endorsing Fiorina.
I’m REALLY, REALLY starting to HATE the freeking GOP.
The REAL irony is that the opening of the post criticizes Pubs for attacking each other...invoking RR’s 11th commandment...then, of course, attacks others...
It would be funny if it weren’t so GD sick.
BTW, Carly looks like a Butch.Yeah, fighting cancer will do that.
Thanks for keeping it classy.
Bump for a later read, thanks.
Going nasty on people isn’t going to help the cause of Chuck DeVore, but there’s an awful lot of trolling this weekend from the GOP establishment.
As I said before, on the merits, Fiorina is the insider candidate and DeVore the outsider. Sarah Palin got started in politics from the outside fighting the Fiorina types in the persons of Frank and Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.
Its sad to see her go over to ‘the machine’ but I’m not here to trash Sarah or Carly. I just want to point out the truth here.
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