Salas to slam Vargas’ big corporate backers tomorrow
UPDATED: Salas’ campaign is now accusing a Vargas campaign worker of assault at the press conference. Their tally of independent expenditures by CJAC is about $700,000. Click here for the press release.
Assemblymember Mary Salas’ campaign for state Senate just shot reporters an e-mail about a press conference tomorrow morning with Congressman Bob Filner:
CONGRESSMAN BOB FILNER AND ASSEMBLYMEMBER MARY SALAS TO UNVEIL NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN 40th STATE SENATE CAMPAIGN
WHAT: Congressman Bob Filner and Assemblymember Mary Salas will unveil important new developments in the 40th Senate District campaign related to the funding of an independent expenditure campaign supporting Juan Vargas.
Visuals will be displayed
WHERE: Hall of Justice, 330 West Broadway
WHEN: Friday, April 30, 2010, 9:15am
That sounded familiar, so I took a look at some of my notes… yup, I did notice something odd in the Form 465s on file at the San Diego County Registrar’s Office. The form denotes independent expenditures.
I’m going to go ahead and spoil the surprise. As of March 17:
A group called “Californians for Balance and Fairness in the Civil Justice System” has spent $191,000 to support Vargas.
A group called “Put California Back to Work,” has spent $187,000 to support Vargas. The group also spent a little more than $3,700 to attack Salas.
A group called “Californians for Civil Justice Reform PAC” has spent $31,000 to support Vargas.
Who are these groups? Well, based on how they’re spending and transferring the money and the fact they share the same address, they’re subsidiaries of the Civil Justice Association of California, whose members are mostly Big Insurance, Big Pharmaceutical, Big Energy and Big Tech corporations:
Altria Corporate Services, Inc.
American Insurance Association
American International Group, Inc.
Anthem Blue Cross of California
Apple Computer, Inc.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
CNA Insurance Companies
Farmers Insurance Group
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company
Ford Motor Company
General Electric Company
Johnson & Johnson
Liberty Mutual Insurance Group
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America
Shell Oil Company
Southern California Edison
State Farm Insurance Companies
The Dow Chemical Company
and so forth…
During the same period of time, Vargas spent only $65,000 on his own campaign. So, in a monetary sense, corporate America is working a lot harder to get Vargas elected than Vargas is himself. Perhaps as much as six times harder. The groups are sharing money with the California Building Industry Association, which serves developers.
A spokesman for Salas says the campaign will have it all laid out in their charts tomorrow, perhaps with numbers a lot larger than we were prepared to report here.
UPDATE: I understand many of you are cynical about corporate contributions, so I’d like to add this: I went through a lot of campaign finance reports at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters and, at least at this stage in the game, Vargas’ was certainly unique. These were pretty much the *ONLY* Form 465s on file.
UPDATE TWO: Salas’ campaign is now accusing a Vargas campaign worker of assault. Their tally of independent expenditures by CJAC is about $700,000. Press release follows.
MARY SALAS FOR STATE SENATE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SALAS STAFFER ASSAULTED BY VARGAS CAMPAIGN WORKER
Desperate Vargas Campaign Attacks Again
Chula Vista, CA, April 30, 2010 – A campaign staffer for Assemblymember Mary Salas’ campaign for State Senate was assaulted this morning by a Vargas campaign worker paid for with insurance contributions, and sent to the hospital. The attack occurred in the midst of a press conference being held by Assemblymember Salas and Congressman Bob Filner to discuss the nearly $700,000 being spent by the Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) and the insurance companies they represent on the campaign of Juan Vargas. This is not the first time Vargas thugs have attacked workers or volunteers of opposing campaigns. In 2006, a Vargas associate went so far as to vandalize the car of a Filner volunteer in Imperial Valley.
“These despicable acts cannot be tolerated, and I call on Juan to renounce these acts and to immediately fire everyone associated with the assault this morning,” said Assemblymember Mary Salas. “It’s clear that Vargas’ goons and his supporters at CJAC don’t feel like they’ve done enough by putting the squeeze on California families, now they want to do it to my staff. This is politics of the worst sort. Juan Vargas is in the pocket of the insurance industry and they’ll do whatever it takes to get him elected, even if it means sending my staff to the hospital. We have to send these insurance industry thugs a message, we won’t let them play dirty politics and bring the nastiness in Sacramento to the 40th district.”
Mary Salas has been the Assemblymember for the 79th District since 2006, representing parts of San Diego and Chula Vista, National City, and Imperial Beach. She is the Chair of the Ethics Committee and the Select Committee on Insurance Accountability, as well as, Vice-Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee. She was the first Latina elected to the Chula Vista City Council, and served as the Director of the South Bay Irrigation District becoming a leading advocate for a reliable source of water for the Southern California region. Mary is a proven leader in economic development having served as Vice President of the South County Economic Development Council, Chairwoman of the Trans-border Business Development Committee, and an Economic Development Specialist.