POLITICAL WRANGLING : A ROUNDUP OF THE LATEST POLITICAL HAPPENINGS
"I call Joel [Anderson] `Maytag' because of his money-laundering skills." - La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, who announced his endorsement of Anderson's opponent, Jeff Stone, for State Senate
By Buck Shott
April 16, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Candidates for the 36th State Senate race are off and running—airing some dirty laundry as well as poiltical "spin."
Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) has picked up endorsements from Congressman Duncan Hunter, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and the California Republican Assembly. His primary opponent, Jeff Stone or Riverside, snagged the endorsement of Poway Mayor Don Higginson and La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid. “I call Joel `Maytag’ because of his money laundering skills,” Madrid quipped, referencing $20,000 in fines levied against Anderson by the FPPC for receiving hefty donations funnelled illegally through GOP Central Committees.
But Hunter praised Anderson as a “great conservative leader” to replace Dennis Hollingsworth, who is leaving office due to term limits.
Identity crisis? In the 53rd Congressional District , GOP candidates continue to trade barbs. First, Mason Weaver reportedly claimed his opponent, fellow Republican Michael Crimmins, was a “spear chucker.” Now Crimmins reveals that Weaver is running under a false name. He is registered to vote as C. Mason Weaver, but signed his candidate statement of qualification as “Clarence Mason.” That’s right, different first AND last names. Conspiracy theorists have offered wild speculation for the reasons. Hiding some skeleton in the closet? Opting for a more enticing moniker?
On his website, however, Weaver offers a more benign explanation: “I changed my name from Clarence Mason for the same reason Allen Konigsberg became Woody Allen and Marion Morrison became John Wayne. I hosted a radio program in the early 1990s… people where calling my home and harassing my wife while I was at the studio…I decided to change my “on-air” name and took my stepfather’s last name of Weaver to protect my family. Back in 1993 I did not think I would ever run for office and I continued to use the name for public appearances.”
Busby Torpedoes Bilbray’s Boat: “Paying taxes is never fun. But it’s even worse to know that while we’re paying, Brian Bilbray is playing,” an e-mail from Democratic candidate Francine Busby to voters in the 50th Congressional district began. Titled “Bilbray on his Boat—Leaves District Afloat,” the email claims Congressman Bilbray (R-San Diego) spent his Congressional recess in Panama aboard his boat instead of in his district—and urges voters to give their “no show” Congressman a permanent vacation.
Emblem keeps on truckin’: Busby picked up the local Democratic Party’s endorsement. But her primary opponent, consumer attorney Tracy Emblem, is undaunted. Emblem has amassed substantial financial and boots-on-the-ground from labor unions, including a recent endorsement from the Teamsters. 10-4; but will we see a convoy on election day?
More woes for Fiorina: The federal government has joined two other nations (Germany and Russia) launching investigations into alleged bribes under Hewlitt Packard when U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina headed up the company. Fiorinia claims no knowledge of the deals. But Fiorina's Republican primary opponent Chuck DeVore snipes, "It's the one thing we have yet to see when she addresses her rocky and increasingly questionable corporate past: honesty." Ouch. That could be a problem if she wins her primary and squares off against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, who chairs (you guessed it) the Senate Commitee on Ethics.
Wising up Washington: Dr. Emma Turner, president of the La Mesa Spring Valley School District—and GOP candidate for the 78th Assembly district—went to Washington D.C. last week. Turner and other members of the Federal Issues Council, on behalf of the California School Boards Association, discussed education concerns with Congressional representatives and staffers regarding President Obama’s blueprint for reauthorization of the Elemntary and Secondary Education Act (a.k.a. No Child Left Behind). “I can’t emphasis enough how critical it is to invest in our children’s education in order to ensure long-term economic productivity,” Turner said.
Block to block tax cheats: A bill by Assemblyman Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove) to close a loophole used by corporations that offshore assets to avoid taxes has passed the Assembly. Money recouped in the state’s coffers would be used to fund textbooks for college students. While corporate backers cry foul, students no doubt give this plan a passing grade.