When you freqent the right wing blogs as much as I do, a persistent theme emerges on Independent Expenditure committees — or IEs — that they exist to provide a avenue for political free speech.Â Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle is a political beneficiary of an IE backed by Disney.Â State Rep. Chuck DeVore helps an IE dedicated to tearing down Barack Obama and the Democrats.Â No outrage from the Right about either of these.
These IEs barely register a peep in the press or on the blogsphere, unless there’s IEs that contribute to progressive candidates and causes in Irvine.Â The Register has a story about how many Great Park contractors have contributed to IEs for the Measure R camapign in Irvine.
More after the jump:
From the story:
The Yes on Measure R committee supports a city ballot initiative asking residents to back the current governance and direction of the Great Park. State records show the committee has raised just under $197,000 this year, with the vast majority of its expenditures going toward the Community News and Views slate mailer.
Slate mailer operations such as Community News and Views are unrestricted by the city law limiting campaign contributions. A slate mailer must include at least four candidates or ballot measures.
Reaction to the story in some more right wing blogs and websites call this “money laundering” or “bribes.”Â Pretty strong speech and also complete wrong.Â IEs are a perfectly legal and legitimate form of political free speech with contributions from people who have a vested interest in continuing their work with the Great Park.Â To elect the other ticket, who voted against many of these contractors, doesn’t take a genius to figure out which side your bread is buttered if you’re the one writing a check.
Besides, TeamIrvine candidates do get contributions from places like the Lincoln Club and Republican candidates in safe races who are loaded with cash.Â And we don’t call this money laundering or bribery.
There is nothing preventing TeamIrvine from benefiting from IEs themselves.Â They’ve just done a piss-poor job of fundraising.Â Their lastest TV ad is loaded with self-loathing and gripes about the other side’s fundraising activities.
Take away the IE money for a moment and look at the fundraising that comes in to the KeepIrvineGreat slate from Irvine homeowners.Â Contributors to the progressive slate of candidates far outstrips that of Team Irvine.Â And frankly, most voters in Irvine are well aware of the political records of the slate of candidates back by Sukhee Kang and the slate of candidates backed by Christina Shea.Â A slate mailer isn’t going to chnage anyone’s mind.
Here’s an excerpt from a story in today’s LA Times; the lack of outrage or charges of money laundering or bribery is largely absent.Â Why? Pringle is a Republican and IOKIYAR (It’s OK if you’re a Republican).
At the end of September, Disney donated $25,000 to Citizens for Anaheim’s Future, a new group that has gathered hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from developers, local businesses and others — including $25,000 from California real estate agents.
As someone who recently contributed to an IE for the first time myself, the question before me was pretty simple.Â What outcome do I want to see as a result of the election?Â And would I spend money to help that cause?Â The answer in both cases was not relevant to other people contributing to the IE and some of which I loathe.Â But its about the end result.Â And the end result for those developers who wrote checks for Measure R, it’s about wanting to continue their work with the same leadership team they’ve been working with.
It’s not illegal.Â It’s not immoral.Â It’s only an outrage to the slate of candidates the funds don’t benefit. It’s that simple.