Last year, our Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar exposed some legal, but ethically-challenged contributions to certain vulnerable Democrat Assemblymembers, after their “Yes” vote on AB5. The same ethically-challenged types of contributions appear to be passing between elected state Democrats and the California Democrat Party, on to Governor Hair Gel’s Stop the Republican Recall Committee.
According to my campaign-savvy friends, no candidate or elected official is required to contribute to his or her party. I am sure it’s nice when they do, but this amount of giving to the party outside of an active election cycle is highly unusual, and highly suspect.
Why these contributions at this particular time?
Between March 15 and April 15, the California Democrat Party poured over half a million dollars into Newsom’s committee.
Around the same time, between the end of March and early April, elected officials like State Controller Betty Yee, State Sen. Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-30), and Sen. Bill Dodd (D-3) dropped contributions to the California Democrat Party. These amounts ranged from $125.00 upwards to $40,500.
On top of that $40,500 from her State Senate campaign coffers, Sydney Kamlager-Dove made 8 contributions of $60.00, then a contribution of $1,320,000 from her 2020 Assembly account. That assembly bill (ACA 3) to keep convicted felons from involuntary servitude must require a bit of extra cheddar.
Orange County Sen. Tom Umberg (D-34) also gave the $40,500. In 2018, the former Assemblyman narrowly unseated Republican incumbent Janet Nguyen for the seat. When he first was elected to the assembly, Umberg’s infamous affair with another woman was exposed. As an Army reservist, Umberg used the excuse of being “deployed to Guantanamo Bay” when he couldn’t make campaign appearances. It was discovered that he was actually with his mistress for part of that time. He was elected to a Senate seat anyway despite this, proving that for Democrats, this stuff is a resume enhancer rather than a career killer.
But, Orange County went hard on the Recall, and gathered a record amount of signatures; so, I can imagine he is afraid of the blowback should Newsom be removed.
Sacramento Sen. Richard Pan (D-6), who is up for re-election in 2022, also gave that exact amount. District 6 is Newsom’s stomping grounds, where he and Jennifer Siebel Newsom have their mansions. However, Sacramento County also went hard on the Recall. So, like Orange County, if the Newsom distaste remains in their mouths, Pan could also be a casualty.
This $40,500 seems to be the required
preferred amount among the Democrat Senators, which include Ben Allen (D-26), John Laird (D-17), Maria Elena Durazo (D-24), Scott Wiener (D-11), Toni Atkins (D-39), Nancy Skinner (D-9), and Henry Stern (D-27).
Maybe it’s just party loyalty. I see it as insurance that if they have Newsom’s back, the party will have their back. We’ll see how well that works out.
However, if I was a Democrat or NPP and signed the Recall, I would think twice about giving any more money to these Senators, or to the party itself.
Next on tap, why is the California Real Estate Association interested in Gavin maintaining the Governor’s chair?