Campaign nerves fray in contested State Senate race along with spendthrift IEs

STATE SENATE | 7TH DISTRICT | Big Labor was angling to slap a campaign finance complaint this week against the conservative Independent Expenditure (IE) committee backed by the Koch Brothers for failing to report the amount of money it spent for a web commercial in opposition of Susan Bonilla in the tight State Senate special election in the Seventh District.

The executive director for the statewide Service Employees Union International filed a complaint Wednesday with the state Fair Political Practices Commission alleging the IE group Independent Women’s Voice failed to file campaign finance reports with the Secretary of State’s office within 24 hours of the expenditure.

Although it appears the group, which has supported ultra-conservative candidates and causes throughout the country, did not file required reports with the 24-hour period any sanctions against the group are unlikely since it posted reports on Thursday.

The IEs expenditure for the web-based campaign including a 30-second commercial and linked website, labeling Bonilla as “fiscally irresponsible,” cost $6,700, according to the filing.

Despite the IE narrowly averting criticism for the timeliness of its filing, it’s still another indication the tenor of opposition against moderate Democrat Steve Glazer’s campaign is intensifying as the race enter the final 10 days before May 19 special election.

Meanwhile, IEs, unrelated to Glazer’s campaign, but, who support his efforts have continued a onslaught of mailers in his favor, along with attack ads against Bonilla, also a Democrat. (Labor-backed IEs support Bonilla have also unleashed a similar, costly wave of mailers.)

Not only are nerves frayed between competing campaigns, but also among special interests.

The Sierra Club California on Wednesday lashed out against the Chamber of Commerce-backed JobsPAC independent expenditure group for the unauthorized use of its logo in a mailer supporting Glazer.

In a bluntly worded statement, the Sierra Club said it has not endorsed any candidate in the Seventh District race. “The irony is that one of the long-time barriers to environmental policy progress, the California Chamber of Commerce, has used the Club’s logo on its JobsPAC mailers to win votes for its favored candidate.”

The statement continues, “Is this the start of a trend? Has the Chamber decided environmental groups are correct after all? Can we now expect the California Chamber to actually support good environmental legislation?

“I doubt it. But hope springs eternal.”

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