Taxpayers for Experienced leadership For SA, a committee Supporting Miguel Pulido For Mayor 2012 has dropped another piece of mail today in support of their favored candidate. That, in and of itself, isn’t news. What is news is the content of the mailer. The mailer looks to the casual reader as though it’s from the Democratic Foundation of Orange County. It has the organization’s logo and pictures of Mayor Miguel Pulido with Former President Bill Clinton, and Assemblyman Jose Solorio. It lists Orange County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbaro as an endorser of Mayor Pulido.
That claim left Pulido’s main opponent, Councilman David Benavides, perplexed. “Miguel Pulido and his supporters continue to claim a false endorsement of the Democratic Party Chair,” Benavides told me. “I am proud to be the official Democratic Party endorsed candidate for Santa Ana Mayor. I hope that Chairman Frank Barbaro and the Party will take steps to clear up the misinformation being distributed.”
In August, the Democratic Party of Orange County endorsed David Benavides for Santa Ana Mayor. Almost a month later Pulido announced his endorsements, listing Democratic Party of Orange County Chair Frank Barbaro as an endorser. That announcement caused a stir within the ranks of the Party causing Barbaro to apparently announce at a subsequent party meeting that he had withdrawn his endorsement and requested that Pulido cease using his name and party position in his campaign materials and on his website.
It is probably unlikely that Benavides will get the statement he hopes for from Barbaro or the Party. Pulido’s campaign website still touts Barbaro’s endorsement which includes his title. In addition, campaign reports indicate that Barbaro gave a $500 contribution to Mayor Pulido’s campaign on October 18, well after he had allegedly withdrawn his endorsement and almost two months after the Party endorsement decisions were made.
But regardless of Barbaro’s actions, the fact that this committee funded by three donors, Susan Samueli at $25,000 and $5,000 each from Donnie Crevier and a McDonald’s franchisee, is misleading voters into thinking Miguel Pulido is supported by the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County, and by reasonable extension the Party. The committee operators know that their claim is false but they don’t appear to care. The consultant running the committee is a long-time Democratic political insider and it’s unlikely the consultant is unaware that Barbaro’s endorsement was pulled due to the Party endorsement of Benavides.
What this mail piece demonstrates is that you can’t always trust the accuracy of the mail you get during election season. Groups that send out such false information make it difficult for the public to find the truth.