Receiving Campaign Contributions from Tobacco Companies a Campaign Issue?

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoying a cigar. Since he can’t smoke cigars inside his office, Schwarzenegger erected the tent outside, decorated it in an African jungle theme, and used it frequently to entertain Democratic lawmakers.

Is receiving contributions from a Tobacco company a campaign issue? Well, the Ventura County Star political reporter and Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt and progressive left-wing VC Star blogger Brian Dennert seem to think so.

The nation’s largest tobacco company has donated $50,000 to the Ventura County Republican Central Committee as the local party gears up to help GOP candidate Tony Strickland in what is expected to be a multimillion-dollar campaign this fall in the 19th Senate District.

The donation was solicited by county Chairman Mike Osborn and committee member Dean Kunicki as part of an aggressive attempt to raise money for the coming campaign season, which will be highlighted by what has been targeted by both parties as the key legislative race in California.

The contribution accounts for 88 percent of the $56,800 the county party had raised this year through the most recent reporting period. Most of the rest, $6,000, came from the state Republican Party.

On May 19, two days after the reporting period closed, the county party received an additional $30,200 from Senate Republican leader Dave Cogdill.

“I’ve been knocking on lots of doors, looking for people who want to see us be successful,” Osborn said.

The $50,000 contribution came from the Altria Group, parent company of Philip Morris USA, which makes half the cigarettes sold in the United States. Osborn said he has no concerns about accepting such a large sum from the tobacco industry.

What is the Flap?

You would think from the Ventura County Star that the Ventura County Republican Party was accepting money from drug lords or crack dealers.

The last time Flap checked smoking was NOT illegal and the manufacture of cigars, cigarettes and other tobacco products was NOT illegal. Moreover, there are many Americans employed by the tobacco industry who pay their taxes, vote and enjoy their pursuit of happiness like everyone else.

Also, the state of California and the federal government gladly tax the purchase of these products.

What is REALLY the Flap?

The political agenda of the Ventura County Star, Timm Herdt and Brian Dennert is to paint Ventura County Republicans as immoral,unhealthy and irresponsible pols who take the money to the detriment of Ventura County citizens and voters. Flap invites the readers to look at Dennert’s and Herdt’s blogs and see if they can refute Flap’s opinion of their BIASED agenda.

Does Flap think smoking is unhealthy? You bet. But, I do not believe it is criminal to smoke in a responsible way and according to California law. Nor is it a campaign issue if members of the California legislature lawfully accept campaign money from companies that make tobacco products.

A question back to Timm Herdt: If Tony Strickland’s opponent Democrat Hanna-Beth Jackson accepts ANY campaign contributions from the Democrat Party, California State employee groups and/or Union PACS who have received money from the tobacco industry will she return the money?

Flap thinks it is doubtful because that “distasteful” tobacco cash is heavily laundered in Jackson’s campaign reports. Check them out here.

California Election 2008

Elton Gallegly Watch: Marta Who?

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Marta Jorgensen of Solvang, California who had withdrawn from her withdrawal in the Democrat primary race for California’s 24th Congressional District won the right to face off against 22 year incumbent Congressman Elton Gallegy last night.

Marta Jorgensen, reached by phone Tuesday evening and informed of the early returns, was incredulous. “You’re kidding! That’s a pretty amazing thing.”

For three weeks during the campaign, Jorgensen had suspended campaigning and announced she was supporting Jill Martinez, a developer of affordable housing and the Democratic nominee from two years ago.

But, saying she thought Martinez and Oak Park insurance agent Mary Pallant were not paying enough attention to Santa Barbara County voters, Jorgensen jumped back in.

“I was certain I had shot myself in the foot on that,” she said. “I thought maybe I’d get 8 or 10 percent.”

With 83 percent of the returns counted, Jorgensen was leading, with 47 percent of the vote, over Martinez, with 32 percent, and Pallant, with 21 percent.

The winner will face incumbent Rep. Elton Gallegly, who easily prevailed in the Republican primary over Westlake Village attorney Michael Tenenbaum. Gallegly led, 77 percent to 23 percent.

So, why did this unknown, underfunded and almost random person win the Democrat nomination. I mean are the Democrats that stupid and uninformed?

Timm Herdt at the VC Star says it was the ballot designations:

  • Marta Jorgensen – Educator
  • Jill Martizez – Businesswoman/Housing Developer (Martinez ran as a minister two years ago)
  • Mary Pallant – Insurance Agent

Some discussion over at Calitics, a Left-wing NUTROOTS site supports this thesis:

Nevertheless, let this be a lesson for many Democrats currently considering elected office: among the many other considerations in an election season, don’t overlook the power of a progressive-sounding ballot designation that shies away from anything having to do with business, housing development, insurance or the like. Democrats are fed up with anything related to Republican-sounding industries and are looking for a change–even if they do sometimes look for it in the most shallow ways.

And that, it must be admitted, is actually a good thing.

Thus, the Democrats are fickle and shallow?

Flap says RIGHT. After all, Marta Jorgensen just a few weeks ago begged off campaigning down south in Simi Valley because she could not afford the gas to get there.

By the way, Elton Gallegly now competing for his 12th term in Congress at the last reporting period boasted over $900,000 in his campaign coffers.

Marta Jorgensen in November will be another failed Democrat challenger to Congressman Elton Gallegly.

Rate the California 24th Congressional District as SAFE GOP.


Representative Elton Gallegly Breezes to Easy Victory in CA-24 GOP Primary Race

CA-24 Watch: A Democrat Candidate Returns

California Election 2008

Elton Gallegly Watch: The Post California GOP Primary Party

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Rep. Elton Gallegy, R- Simi Valley talking with Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten; also Ventura County GOP Chairman Mike Osborn talking with Ventura County Sheriff Bob Brooks

Representative Elton Gallegly won his race for the GOP nomination in CA-24 yesterday defeating challenger attorney Michael Tenenbaum by a 77% to 23% margin – a whopping 54 points. This was a wipeout against Tenenbaum who had also run two years previous.

And, Flap was invited to the post election party at The Vineyards in Simi Valley. Interestingly enough this was the same restaurant that Flap had celebrated Gallegly’s first GOP primary win 22 years ago.

On to the the photos:

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Rep. Gallegly and Ventura count Sheriff Bob Brooks

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Rep. Gallegly and wife Janice

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Rep. Gallegly, former California GOP Assemblyman and California State Senate GOP nominee Tony Strickland with wife California GOP Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, Judge-elect Jeff Bennett looks on

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Thousand Oaks Mayor Jacqui V. Irwin and Thousand Oaks Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Tom Glancy

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Simi Valley Councilman Glen Becerra

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Rep. Elton Gallegly looks at election returns with Darin Henry, Ventura County Republican Party, Area 2 member and Peggy Sadler, Area 4 member

The question of the night: Who of the above will run for the 24th Congressional District when Representative Elton Gallegly ever decides to retire?

Stay tuned…….


Representative Elton Gallegly Breezes to Easy Victory in CA-24 GOP Primary Race

California Election 2008

Tom McClintock Wins GOP Nomination for California Congress

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California State Senator Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks last night during election night victory

Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Bee

Congratulations to Flap’s California State Senator Tom McClintock in his election victory last night in the California Primary Election. Tom who was raised in Thousand Oaks and served many years as its representiative in the California Assembly and Senate ran and WON for the GOP nomination for a Northern California open Congressional seat (CA-4).

Tom McClintock, emerging victorious Tuesday from a bruising Republican primary, will face Democrat Charlie Brown in a November match-up to replace retiring Rep. John Doolittle in Congress.

With all precincts reporting, McClintock held a decisive lead over former Sacramento-area Rep. Doug Ose, 54 percent to 39 percent.

“It looks like we’re headed toward a monumental victory,” McClintock, a state senator representing a district 400 miles away, told cheering supporters in Placer County.

Flap remembers fondly the early years of the McClintock political career and walking precincts with Tom in Camarillo as he ran in his first contested GOP primary election for the California Assembly in 1982. Tom won the primary and went on to be the then youngest elected member of the California Legislature.

In 1983 (after having been sworn into office) Tom gave a tour of the California State Capitol during the California Republican Party organizational meeting which Flap and family attended. Here are the photos and note Flap’s long and brown colored hair:

Tom McClintock and Greg Cole 1

Tom McClintock and Flap at the rostrum of the California Assembly 1983

Tom McClintock and Greg Cole 2

Flap knows Tom will continue to be a strong conservative voice for California voters.

And, one thing is for sure: McClintock will be a “PAIN IN THE ASS” for Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

McClintock runs against the Democrat nominee, Charlie Brown in the November general election. He will be heavily favored in this very GOP gerrymandered Congressional District.