Like it or not, campaigns and election outcomes largely depend on money. Yard signs, commercials, banners, mailers, and other forms of getting the word out require cash. Lots of cash. We know this, and--grudgingly or not--accept it as the way business is done.
What some of us are not so ready to accept is bad business, deceptive business: candidates who misrepresent themselves and their supporters, figuring that no one will notice, and if they do, oh well, the lie got out there anyway.
We've already addressed Yolanda Salcido's I'm-an-honorable-judge early Halloween costume. Now, a recent article in the Southwestern Sun [link updated Oct. 20] reveals that Salcido used Associated Student Organization (ASO) officer photos and a fake quote in her publicity materials.
According to The Sun, ASO President Manuel Lopez and Vice President of Public Relations Nick Serrano both "feverently denied supporting Salcido and demanded that she remove their photos and false endorsements from her campaign website and all printed campaign materials."
As they say in TV-land, though, that's not all! What many voters don't realize is that space on a lot of slate mailers is bought: despite the appearance of organization endorsement, all that's being endorsed is a fat check.
According to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Campaign Finance Disclosure Public Site, both Yolanda Salcido and Terri Valladolid have so far spent $15,311 each to appear on these mailers:
California Democratic Voter Guide: $4,500
California Latino Voter Guide: $3,811
California Voter Guide: $7,000
Total: $15,311 X 2 = $30,622 to buy two candidates the appearance of widespread support.
And where did all this money come from? Construction interests, of course!
Check it out for yourself by looking at their 460 Recipient Committee Campaign Statements:
Salcido's 460 Jan to June 2010 (shows early donations)
Salcido's 460 July to Sept 2010 (shows additional donations and expenditures)
Valladolid's 460 Jan to June (shows early donations)
Valladolid's 460 July to Sept (shows additional donations and expenditures)
(The third incumbent running for election, Jorge Dominguez, has raised and spent very little money, so we're not covering him here.)
For a comparison, look at Norma L. Hernandez's latest 460. In contrast to Salcido's and Valladolid's big bucks construction money, Hernandez's donations are almost all from individuals and in the amount of $100-$200.
To be fair, Hernandez's campaign has also invested in some slate mailers, but on a much smaller scale, spending less than a third ($4889) what Salcido and Valladolid each have thrown around.
So how do you get a fair election when big money perpetuates itself by supporting candidates that will later reward it with contracts? You fight the incumbent political machine any way you can: by donating, by volunteering, by painting your car window, by doing anything and everything you can to tell the truth.
- Jesseca Saenz-Gonzalez – www.jesseca4swc.com
- Norma Hernandez – www.hernandez4swc.com
- Tim Nader – timnader.com
- Campus outreach: Patti Flores-Charter firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone banking: Veronica Burton email@example.com
- Precinct walking: Diane Gustafon firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: Here are a couple more articles from The Sun that you shouldn't miss: