by Todd Beeton, Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:48:23 AM EDT
Gil Cedillo is in free fall. After starting out his campaign to replace Hilda Solis in the House as a co-frontrunner, he has been out-raised, out-endorsed and out-maneuvered by Judy Chu and now he's getting desperate.
Cedillo's latest desperate tactic: his campaign sent out a mailer to voters last week that attempts to smear Chu by claiming a link between her position on the Board of Equalization and the financial crisis.
Below the bolded words "Ever wonder how we got into this mess?" is a picture of Judy surrounded by what look like newspaper quotes and headlines including: "This is an outrage,""Ex-Bear Stearns banker pleads guilty in fraud case," and "Political Malfeasance and the Financial Meltdown." The implication is clear.
The LA Times takes it down:
The language used as headlines on the Cedillo mailers, however, came from articles having nothing to do with Chu. One, "This Is an Outrage!" appeared as a quote in a March 16 Los Angeles Times article about anger over bonuses given to executives of AIG, one of the struggling corporations given federal financial aid. Another, "Political Malfeasance and the Financial Meltdown," ran above a syndicated George Will column March 25 in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
That last one is particularly gauling considering Cedillo here is referencing an oped in which conservative commentator Will attacks 1. the Employee Free Choice Act, falsely claiming it "abolishes" the right to a secret ballot, and 2. the Obama administration for, as he puts it, trying "to stabilize the economy by vastly enlarging government's role in it."
Is this how a real Democrat acts, using a George Will rightwing hit piece to attack a fellow Democrat? Hardly.
Not content to merely mislead and to use a rightwing shill to attack his opponent, Cedillo goes even further in the mailer, attacking Chu for her role as Vice Chair of the Board of Equalization. To hear Cedillo tell it, Chu has given millions in tax breaks to her contributors, but The LA Times provides much needed reality check here as well:
The "tax breaks" cited in Cedillo's mailings are actually refunds of tax overpayments by corporations, according to Board of Equalization records and documentation the Cedillo campaign provided to The Times.
Most, if not all, were routine, noncontroversial matters approved by unanimous vote upon recommendation of the agency's staff, according to Anita Gore, a spokeswoman for the Board of Equalization.
Nice try, Gil.
But that's not the worst part. Look at the mailer closely and you see a repeated phrase used to describe Judy Chu: "tax collector." The Board of Equalization is the state's tax collecting body whose mission is to "serve the public through fair, effective, and efficient tax administration," yet Gil Cedillo hopes to use it as an albatross around Judy's neck, appealing to and reinforcing rightwing frames about taxes and the evil tax collector.
Again, this is not how a real Democrat acts.
There's only one real Democrat in this race, one who will proudly join the progressive caucus in Congress, one who will vote to enact real progressive change in Washington and one who will be a reliable partner with our president in the House against the forces of caution and corporate interests. That Democrat is Judy Chu.