Big Time Democrat Special Interests Mount Stealth Campaign Against Whitman

February 16, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - - Alarmed at California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's omnipresence in the state's media markets, a bevy of Democrat heavy hitting insiders is mounting a significant pushback.

Three groups comprise the effort, the Democratic Governors Association [DGA] , Level the Playing Field 2010 and California Working Families 2010. The first advertising blitz should hit the airwaves shortly.

DGA is based in Washington, DC which might in some circles raise the specter of "outside" interests meddling in CA politics.

As Capitol Weekly notes about the developing campaign, "A new independent expenditure committee backed by labor groups and other major donors is coming together to boost Jerry Brown and other Democratic candidates across the state... The Working Families coalition is expected to include labor unions including the California Conference of Carpenters.. It will be run by several political operatives with close ties to the Obama administration. Among them, Larry Grisolano, a partner in the Chicago-based political firm AKPD, where Obama political guru David Axelrod is a partner..." [source,]

Ron Burkle, the multi-billionaire who runs the politically linked in Yucaipa Company figures to be a funder also, "...Others involved in the group include Frank Quintero, who works for Burkle's Yucaipa Company...". [source, ibid]

The Capitol Weekly piece also mentions that Axelrod's former partner Grisolano is tied into the SEIU, meaning that the embattled CA labor union might figure prominently in the anti-GOP advertising gambit.

The Los Angeles Times has done yeoman's work uncovering the activities on the SEIU, noting many improprieties, "A spending scandal at California's largest union local spread to a second state Monday as the head of a sister labor group in Michigan stepped aside because of a widening financial inquiry. The Service Employees International Union said that Rickman Jackson, who formerly served as chief of staff at the California organization, has taken a leave of absence from its biggest Michigan local less than a week after the president of the Los Angeles chapter relinquished his post." [source, Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2008, SEIU finance inquiry spreads,

The controversial SEIU is headed by the equally controversial Andrew Stern about whom Discover the Networks notes darkly, "Stern was trained in the tactics of radical activism at the Midwest Academy, which was formed by former Students for a Democratic Society members Paul and Heather Booth. This Academy was created to teach leftist community organizers how to promote social change and infiltrate the labor movement." [source,]

Regardless of how one might view the effort by these groups to influence the upcoming gubernatorial race, their claim of merely providing balance against a wealthy candidate ring particularly untrue given the far greater resources these players bring to bear.

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