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E-232 - Wednesday, July 17, 2019
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Happy Humpday! I'm still getting through these FEC reports to find things worth an eyebrow raise.
"HEY, IT'S OMAR" -- "ALL IN THE GAME YO, ALL IN THE GAME." As you likely know, CA43 MAGA candidate Omar Navarro (R) is back for another challenge to Maxine Waters (D), who defeated him 77.7% to 23.3% last year. In 2016, Waters beat Navarro by 52.2 points.
Normally, I would spend zero time on such a lopsided race, but Omar just makes it fun.
In the second quarter, Navarro raised $162,452, of which $128,281 were unitemized donors who have given less than $200 in the calendar year. He has created a large direct mail operation and giving operation buoyed by appearances through the media.
The interesting thing to me is that I think it is the first time I've ever seen a quarterly congressional report in which not a single contribution is from the south Los Angeles district. I'm sure it's happened before but likely not to the magnitude of Navarro, who reported 159 individual contributions that totaled more than $200 for the period, had no itemized contributions from within CA43.
Navarro doesn't just have fundraising skills, but he's a pretty good spender for a candidate with no chance in CA43. In Q2, Navarro reported $180,566 in disbursements.
The report is, shall we say, interesting. There are 16 charges on different days to Uber for an even $95, which is odd. Apparently they were for Uber Cash, which is something I didn't know about. If you buy a prepaid virtual card for $100, you get 5% off. It also makes it a lot harder to scrutinize trips as the dates in the report is the date for the prepayment, not the trip.
Was that available when Duncan D. Hunter used Uber from his mistress' house early in the morning to his office Capitol Hill? I'm guessing the feds have ways to track down the pre-paid trip details if they need to, but it makes it difficult to determine actual expenditures and whether or not they were for a legitimate campaign or political purpose.
The ten trips via Lyft are broken out with the usual total with different dollars and cents. He spent $570 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC, May 13-14 for "lodging" that appears to be one night's stay and six meals/other expenditures. I'm still trying to figure how many meals he had, as there was also a charge to the Old Ebbitt Grill for $72.77 on May 13. On April 15, $304 was a night at the Palazzo on the Strip in Vegas.
As I've previously written, $2,500 was paid from the campaign committee as a "charitable donation" to the "United Latino Foundation," which aims to organize conservative Latinos. There is no public information of the foundation's expenditures, but Omar Navarro is the only name I can find of leaders of the organization. On the report is eight transactions totaling $390 for fuel at a service station in Torrance, where Navarro lives. There's $76 for four meals at Chipotle in Torrance, $132 at Curry House in Torrance, and another fuel expense total of $157 at the Chevron station there. On May 20, it was $776 for lodging at the Aria in Vegas.
As I said, interesting...but, all in the game, yo'.
To be fair, Rep. Maxine Waters's committee paid $35,000 during the quarter to her daughter Karen Waters for a "Slate Mailer Management Fee." That's for an off-year. Like Omar, Maxine appears to have no itemized donors from the district and uses direct mail and web advertising to pull in money nationally, particularly after high-profile media appearances.
POT DELIVERY: For the AP, Michael R. Blood reports on a new lawsuit filed by a Salinas cannabis dispensary against Santa Cruz County. The East of Eden Co. dispensary challenges the county's ordinance prohibiting delivery to unincorporated portions of Santa Cruz County by those licensed outside of the county. East of Eden argues that the county's ordinance does not comply with state law, which provides a statewide structure for legal deliveries. Local governments are currently suing the state over those statewide regulations, arguing that it usurps the local control that was a major selling point in Proposition 64, which legalized and regulated adult use cannabis.
These two legal fights over pot delivery--dispensary v. county and counties/cities v. state--will be very interesting to follow.
BAIL: The bail industry, which has already qualified a referendum to overturn last year's bail reform bill, yesterday filed a separate initiative to the provide a right to money bail in the state's constitution. To qualify for the November 2020 ballot, 997,139 qualified signatures will be needed.
By writing the right to money bail into the constitution, the initiative both overturns SB 10 and any future changes by the Legislature to limit money bail. Technically, they could ignore the referendum if they are certain they can win the constitutional amendment as the language would require the Legislature to provide some system of money bail, or leave it to locals. The industry's November 2020 position would be "NO" and "YES." Remember, on referenda, the repeal of a legislatively passed law is successful with a majority of "NO" votes. With a majority of voters casting "YES" votes, the legislative statute or ordinance is sustained.
Meanwhile reform supporters who will be in the fight from the other side, would be arguing "YES" and "NO"--against the overturn of SB 10 and against the consitutional amendment, if it qualifies.
I don't envy all of you who work with organizational boards on positions and have to explain that to board members.
2020, UPDATED CONGRESSIONAL $$$, and CAKEDAY after the jump...
GOLDEN STATE MONEY: For CALmatters, Ben Christopher looks at which presidential candidates are pulling in the most money from California donors and where, with cool charts.
2020 POLL POSITION: Quinnipiac University is out with a new poll of Californians. Among registered Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, the polls find:
All other candidates received <=1%.
[7/10-7/15/19; n=519 Dems or Leaning Dems; live call; MOE +/- 5.7%]
CONGRESSIONAL DOUGH: I put a wrap on yesterday's Nooner at 11:00am PDT before editing. Of course, the campaign finance report for embattled congressman Duncan D. Hunter was submitted at 11:09 PDT.
Hunter continues to haul in money by playing the witch hunt card and criticizing the liberal "squad" of non-white congresswoman seems to be working well. Most of that dough is coming from out of the district.
Hunter continued to spend lots of dough at the Capitol Hill Club, which is the private GOP club kitty-corner to the Cannon House Office Building. In the second quarter, the campaign committee paid $2,580 to the spot. He claimed $1,001 in mileage reimbursement in the second quarter, which is a total of 1,726 miles at the $0.58 federal rate.
Congressmen Doug LaMalfa (R-CA01), Jared Huffman (D-CA02), Paul Cook (R-CA08), who represent much larger districts, had zero mileage reimbursement for themselves. Okay, Huffman did have three bridge totals totaling $12.
In the SDUT, Charles T. Clark and Morgan Cook also look at Hunter's report. They write:
"Hunter’s big quarter comes as a shock to some political observers, given his legal woes and Republican leaders’ refusal to appoint him to committees.
“It is striking that anyone is giving money to Duncan Hunter at all,” said Jack Pitney, professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College. “Not only is he in deep legal trouble but because he is not on any committees, there is substantial limits on what he could do for anybody.
Pitney said that part of the reason Hunter’s fundraising may not have dried up is that ideologically many voters view their election day choice as binary — supporting a deeply flawed Republican would still be better than supporting a Democrat.
[Democratic challenger Ammar] Campa-Najjar said he was not surprised by Hunter’s large fundraising quarter given how much the congressman invested in mailers and fundraising and Hunter’s continued debt."
The Hunter and Campa-Najjar numbers are below.
CA04 (Foothills): Picking up where Jessica Morse left off in 2018, Rep. Tom McClintock (R) challenger Brynne Kennedy (D) reported raising $387,091 in contributions and ending the quarter with $321,755 on hand. McClintock reported $395,382 on hand.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Kevin Eckery, Lou Penrose, and Hector Rivera!