And the question does arise, what do you get with your $73,600 campaign for a City Council gig? Illuminated lawn signs? Day laborer door hanger delivery squads? Twenty some odd postcard mailings? I mean, what can you possibly buy for all that money without people getting sick of having to see it?
Of course, and as anyone who has ever run for office can tell you, it doesn't take long for your address to hit all the relevant data banks. Which opens up a floodgate of colorful junk mail from helpful "political campaign professionals" who promise they will get you elected, and all it will take is all the campaign cash you managed to collect. And you know they'd find a way to spend $73,600 in a heartbeat. Other peoples money is never hard to spend, particularly when the person who has it did so very little to get it.
Probably the most laughable example of what "skilled campaign professionals" will do to glom up contributor cash was with the "No on V" effort. When Schubert Flint Public Affairs, the ad agency hired to manage the Measure V opposition campaign, got wind of just how much cash these guys were raising, you can bet they went to work to make sure they got as much of it as possible. And how did they accomplish that one? They sold the big domes in the "No on V" crowd the equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Remember back in 2007 when you were receiving their mail on a daily basis? The endless slick postcards, flyers, and assorted other wacky stuff? That is what a lot of that money got spent on. Each one of those mailings was part of the overall spend. Frank Schubert somehow convinced the "No on V" brain trust that more mail would mean more votes, and billed accordingly. And judging by the sheer hideous volume of this stuff, plus the expensive quality of the materials it was printed on, I doubt there was a dime left once it all ground to a halt. And while I'm sure they regretted this loss at the polls (it was only the third Schubert Flint had ever suffered), they still got to keep all that dough.
As an aside, did you know that Schubert Flint is the same political advertising agency that successfully led the campaigns against gay marriage both here in California (Prop 8) and in Maine? Why would the "No on V" people have gotten on board with a company that supports so divisive an agenda?
But I digress.
The Walnut City Councilmember that received $73,600 from some of her excited supporters is named Mary Su. And why would people be giving Mary so much money? The theory is it just might have something to do with Ed Roski's $800 million dollar NFL football stadium, currently being readied for construction in City Of Industry. Here is how the SGVTribune breaks it down:
Walnut councilwoman raises over $73,600 for council run - Facing challenges from two NFL stadium opponents, incumbent Councilwoman Mary Su has raised over $73,600 for her City Council bid in April, according to campaign records filed Monday ... The prospect of Ed Roski Jr.'s 75,000 seat NFL stadium in neighboring Industry has caused turmoil in Walnut, and Su and Councilman Tom King are fighting to keep their seats against anti-stadium activists Howard Wang and Brigid Bjerke.
Well there you go. That is the one thing about the big development crowd, they do like to spend money on politicians who support the things that are near and dear to their hearts. And there is a little bit more to the story. This from an SGV Tribune article dated 07/16/09:
Walnut recall effort against Su, Tragarz fails - Organizers of an effort to recall two Walnut council members failed to collect the needed signatures, ending one of two citizen campaigns to unseat politicians over the proposed National Football League in neighboring industry ... The signatures were due today but the group spearheading the signature collection announced Thursday it didn't have enough signatures to trigger a recall election against Nancy Tragarz and Mary Su ... Members of the Walnut Citizens Recall Committee said they collected about 2,000 signatures, far fewer than the needed 3,357 signatures needed (to) take the recall to the voters.
As I am sure you recall from our previous articles on Walnut's struggle with Ed Roski and his combined stadium and shopping mall in City of Industry, the fight to stop the project came to an end when both the California State Legislature and Arnold Schwarzenegger yanked any continuing CEQA reviews of the project from legal consideration. Which kind of adds to the impression that when it comes to green concerns, the folding variety always seems to take real precedence in Sacramento.