2022 Election

Regional: Dirty Political Tactics 2022

Doug Chaffee & Sunny Park OC Board of Supervisors 4th District

Both campaigns sent out several hit mailers on each other making various claims. Sunny Park started with a hit-piece showing Chaffee’s face superimposed on a pig and bringing up an issue involving Chaffee’s senior development. (Chaffee was not malicious or targeting seniors. It was a tax miscalculation that was quickly rectified.) Chaffee retaliated with a hit-piece on Park stating that she had been charged for stealing campaign signs in a previous election. According to the Observer article, “She said she was collecting the signs as evidence because they were illegal, pointing out accurately that they did not have the required (FPPC) indication of who paid for them.”  To see Observer article Click Here
See Doug Chaffee interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDy8EQ7Kvck

Congressional Leadership Fund False Attacks on Veteran Jay Chen

Attack mailers misinformed voters about 45th District Congressional candidate Jay Chen’s record and background. Apparently finding no actual misdeeds, the group chose to invent some.  Chen has kept his own campaign materials primarily positive but has put out mailers listing Steele’s voting background, which while truthful, do not show her in a good light.
Visit https://justfacts.votesmart.org where you can check voting records of any politician by plugging in their name.
See Jay Chen’s interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm0TK_jlgDs
On CNN tonight with Jake Tapper, Tapper blasted the National Republican Campaign Committee for disseminating “perhaps the most dishonest TV campaign ad we have ever seen” against Lieutenant Commander  Jay Chen.
The LA Times emphasizes in their endorsement that Jay Chen is “a longtime community leader” and is “thoughtful, collaborative and mission-driven.”
“Congressional Leadership Fund is a super PAC exclusively dedicated to winning a Republican majority in the House of Representatives,” as stated on its website.
Nothing wrong with that but when dirty political tactics are used it becomes a way to fool voters instead of informing them.
According to Federal Elections Commission filings from Jan 1 to Oct 31, 2022 – the Congressional Leadership Fund spent over $192.7 million on outside spending (which is not declared on a candidate’s required financial disclosures, but may be very helpful in winning). The vast majority of the money went to fund negative video ads and hit mailers to oppose democrats running for house seats, as evidenced on its website. (Senate Leadership Fund, another SuperPAC with a similar agenda for senate candidates, has spent $190.8 million on negative ads opposing democrats).

In Orange County, the Congressional Leadership Fund spent:

• $305,045 to support District 40 Young Kim
• $834,385 to oppose District 40 Asif Mahmood
• $6 million to oppose 45th District Congressional candidate Jay Chen
• $300,000 to support 45th District Congressional candidate Michelle Steel
• $13.7 million to oppose CA District 47 US Representative Katie Porter
• $50,000 to support CA District 47 US Representative candidate Scott Baugh
 Info is from Federal Elections Commission filings available at www.fec.gov
*Note: Democrats also have Super PACs and independent committees but have used money raised in support of their preferred candidates.

Slate Mailers Rarely What They Seem

Misleading mailers are not a new phenomena and have been increasing in frequency throughout Orange County in both school board races and municipal elections. Various candidate campaigns and PACs put out negative and deceptive mailers, signs, and digital ads each election year.  Unfortunately, claims made in political advertising do not have to be truthful and are instead protected as free speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution. A candidate’s only action against misleading and deceptive mailers is to sue in court  – often a lengthy, expensive process that rarely concludes before the election in question is over.
 Look for the disclaimer in fine print somewhere on the piece indicating that candidates or initiatives with stars next to their names paid to be on the mailer and that the piece is not the official recommended slate of any party even though the title of the mailer would lead voters to believe otherwise such as  Democratic Voters Choice, California Republican Voter Guide, Latino Family Voter Guide, Budget Watchdog, Election Digest, Senior Advocate, California Voter Guide, Cops Voter Guide, Election Digest, California Public Safety Voter Guide,  Save. Prop 13, Women’s Voice, Tax Fighters Newsletter, and many more. These types of mailings are designed to give the false impression that the other candidates, usually well-known, are aligned with the candidates or measures paying for a spot – even when they are not.
(Independent Expenditure groups opposing or supporting candidates are not listed as contributions on a candidate’s financial disclosure and candidates may not have approved or be aware of negative or positive messaging on those ads, mailers or signs.)
Voters can fact-check political claims or follow the money at websites- such as FactCheck.org ,  Snopes.com ,  Influencewatch.org ,  OpenSecrets.org , cal-access.sos.ca.govwww.fec.gov,  CalMatters.org
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