Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bob Dunning: PAC may turn campaign into Opportunity Lost


From page A2 | May 16, 2014 |

THE MAILMAN COMETH … I closed yesterday’s discussion of the ugly turn the 4th District Assembly race has taken by saying “I can’t wait to see what the morrow, not to mention the mailman, brings to my doorstep.” … well, the mailman did not disappoint …

The third anti-Dodd mailer from the Pasadena-based “Opportunity PAC” repeated the same stale charges of the first two, namely that Dodd increased his salary as a Napa County supervisor by a whopping $83 a month while voting to raise taxes … turns out he also has decent health care and pension plans, the bum …

This repeated beating of the same broken drum by the Opportunity PAC shows a disappointing lack of creativity … even more interesting is the fact that stuck in my mailbox right next to the anti-Dodd piece was a bright and attractive mailer pushing the candidacy of “Dan Wolk for Assembly.” … and who paid for this mailer? … if you guessed the Opportunity PAC, move to the head of the class …

Now, the Opportunity PAC claims to be “a coalition of teachers, health care givers, faculty members, school employees and public and private employee associations,” but sending an anti-Dodd mailer and a pro-Wolk mailer to the same house on the same day shows a lack of both smarts and sophistication …

TIME FOR A BOLD MOVE … I also noted yesterday if I were one of the two Democrats in the race not named “Bill Dodd” that “I’d be hopping the first bus for Southern California to tell those Opportunity PAC folks to knock it off before Dodd wins this thing in a walk” …

This led one misinformed soul to write a letter to the editor claiming that “Doing so would be an illegal violation of campaign law,” apparently as distinguished from a “legal” violation of campaign law … the writer goes on to say “Candidates and their campaigns are prohibited by law from coordinating with the PACs once they are engaged in an independent expenditure. That includes telling them to ‘knock it off.’ ” … indeed, the writer is falling for that see-no-evil disclaimer accompanying the anti-Dodd pieces that states “Not authorized by a candidate or committee controlled by a candidate.” …

Still, there is nothing in California election law that suspends the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its guarantee of freedom of speech … nothing prevents Dan Wolk from standing on the steps of the Pasadena City Hall — or better yet, the Davis City Hall — and stating definitively that he “disavows and repudiates the negative mailers being sent out by the Opportunity PAC” and hopes that they will immediately cease and desist …

Dan might not be able to “control” the Opportunity PAC, but he can certainly give them a piece of his mind … sure, he can throw his hands in the air and say “I had nothing to do with this,” but the backlash from the character assassination of Bill Dodd — no matter the source — is not to be underestimated … put simply, it is driving a knife into the heart of Dan Wolk’s otherwise stellar Assembly campaign …

LEGITIMATE CRITICISM … it’s odd that the Pasadena Posse would waste so many thousands of dollars picking on Bill Dodd’s minuscule salary increase when there’s a completely legitimate issue about Dodd’s candidacy that’s worthy of discussion … that, of course, would be his recent transformation from a Republican to a Democrat, which appears to be a bit opportunistic given that he’s now running for the state Assembly in a decidedly Democratic district … changing one’s stripes after years in office is always a legitimate topic, certainly far more relevant than the below-the-belt charges that have been littering our mailboxes for the last week or so …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net





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