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Friday, March 24, 2006

CA-50: GOPer Sends Out Possibly Illegal Mailer (& More!)

Posted by DavidNYC

Fun stuff. Until recently, the CA-50 special election had been a surprisingly low-key affair. However, with the election now less than three weeks away, the Republicans are - unsurprisingly - resorting to dirty tricks. When it comes to sending out campaign communications, there's a little thing called "the law," and one GOPer candidate (Eric Roach) looks to have broken it. Check out 2 USC § 441d:

Whenever a political committee makes a disbursement for the purpose of financing any communication through any... mailing... such communication... if paid for and authorized by a candidate... shall clearly state that the communication has been paid for by such authorized political committee....

In other words, if you send out a mailer, you've got to put one of those little disclaimers on it, saying who authorized and paid for the mailer. The Roach campaign sent out a two-page letter - purporting to be from his wife, Meg - but didn't include any disclaimers at all. Not on page one, not on page two, not on the front of the envelope, not on the back of the envelope.

What's even more pathetic is the visual presentation of the letter itself. It's a lame-ass attempt to make the letter look like a true "personal note" from Meg Roach. Check out how cheeseball it looks, from (as the SD Dem Party put it) the "folksy letterhead to the faux-handwritten printing":

Between the typeface (I think they used the font "Teenage Girl 12 point") and the absence of any campaign indicia, this letter is seriously misleading - and, as far as I can tell, illegal. Fortunately, the aforementioned San Diego County Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the FEC. Given how glacially the FEC moves, I'm sure nothing official will come of it until long after the election is over. But this is a big black eye for Roach (who was the second-place GOPer in the most recent known poll).

In other CA-50 news, a major conservative group called the California Republican Assembly has launched a website attacking... a fellow Republican, front-runner Brian Bilbray. It's pretty hilarious - the site tries to make the claim that Bilbray is both a "liberal" and in bed with Jack Abramoff. I'm more than willing to buy the latter argument, but as to the former... well, if the Republicans want to savage one of their own with ridiculous claims, who am I to argue? (The CRA has apparently endorsed Bill Morrow, one of the straggler candidates.)

Lastly, Francine Busby has released a new ad. You can check it out here.

(Hat tips to McJoan, Juls, and the SD County Dems.)

Posted at 07:01 PM in 2006 Elections - House, California | Technorati

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I have a question? Do you guys think Westly and Angelides should make a campaign issue out of this expensive and frankly pointless Special Election. If someone gets over 50% they will be in Congress for less than 7 months until they face re-election and if it goes to runoff it'll be only 6 months. Corzine isn't doing this for Menendez's seat because he knows its pointless and a waste of money.

Posted by: safi [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 24, 2006 11:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Arnold didn't have a choice. CA law required a special election. (I explained the state of the law here.) So if anyone wants to make hay about it, they'd only be railing against the California Code - not exactly a sexy target. And Arnold actually took the less-expensive route - he could have schedule the special much earlier (by law), but the law also permitted him to consolidate the run-off with the statewide primary on the 6th.

Personally, I think what Corzine is doing in NJ is more than a bit unfair. The people of NJ-13 will be without representation in Congress for an entire year. If we take seriously the idea of small-r republican government, then it's a travesty for people to go without representation needlessly.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 24, 2006 11:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well thanks for filling me in on CA law part. As far as what Corzine did, most people seem to agree that he made the right move. With the exception of the immigration bill, Congress isn't going to do anything for the rest of this cycle so I don't see how them not having represtnation for a year is that big of a deal. They would've had an expensive special election, then six months later had to do it all over again.

Posted by: safi [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2006 11:43 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

At what length of time does not having representation become not okay? Surely two years would be unacceptable. So why isn't one year unacceptable? I don't know how you draw the line here.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2006 01:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Right now, I don't think there's a problem with not having any representation because nothing is being done. All of the important bills get passed in the first year of the cycle, so right now there's no problem. With the NJ situation its pointless because the guy would get sworn in, and then immediately have to worry about his re-election, with really no in-between time.

Posted by: safi [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2006 04:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment