There’s no doubt that Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’s campaign is picking up steam; last Spring, Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a handful of Orange County endorsements for Senate. Word today from the Sanchez campaign that a number of those endorsements have flipped to Sanchez.
Here’s the press release:
Local Orange County Leaders Switch Endorsements From Kamala Harris to Loretta Sanchez For U.S. Senate; Local Orange County Leaders Unite Behind Loretta Sanchez
December 10, 2015 – Several Orange County elected officials, who previously endorsed Kamala Harris, are now endorsing Loretta Sanchez’s candidacy to replace Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate.
The Orange County elected officials include Huntington Beach Council Member Jill Hardy, Fullerton Council Member Jan Flory, La Palma Council Member Steve Shanahan, and Coast Community College District Board President Lorraine Prinsky.
Laguna Beach City Council Member Toni Iseman and Stanton City Council Member Carol Warren, who previously only endorsed Harris, are now also backing Sanchez with dual endorsements.
“For 19 years, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has been a leading voice for Orange County issues in Washington D.C. She has the experience and the leadership skills necessary to represent California in the Senate,” said Council Member Jill Hardy. “For this reason, I have decided to provide my full endorsement to Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senate.”
“Loretta has been there for us, and now Orange County will be there for her,” said Fullerton Council Member Jan Flory. “Loretta has brought millions of dollars to the City of Fullerton for the grade separation at State College. In addition, she was responsible for providing Fullerton police officers with body armor through a federal grant. Loretta is not only a personal friend of mine, but she has been a great friend and supporter to our city.”
“Loretta Sanchez is the most qualified and experienced candidate for Senate–no learning curve is needed for Loretta,” said Board President Lorraine Prinksy. “No other candidate for Senate can match the depth of Loretta’s experience on the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees. Once she entered the race, there was no question of whom I would support.”
“I am humbled by the show of support these Orange County leaders have in my candidacy,” said Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. “I have known and worked with each of them on various issues and concerns important to our constituents, they know they have a partner in Congress and will have a partner in the Senate who understands Southern California issues.”
Additional Orange County Endorsements for Sanchez include:
Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido
Costa Mesa City Council Member Katrina Foley
Santa Ana City Council Member Roman Reyna
Westminster City Council Member Diana Carey
Former State Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva
Anaheim City Council Member Jordan Brandman
Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen
Former State Senator Lou Correa
Recent endorsements from leaders in Silicon Valley to Imperial County underscores that Representative Sanchez’s support for the U.S. Senate is growing.
There’s also evidence that the Harris campaign is bleeding cash as her lead shrinks. The Hill reports that Harris campaign spending is out of control. From the story:
California’s top Senate candidate Kamala Harris has been using her campaign account to fund stays in upscale hotels and first-class airfares during her nearly five-year tenure as state attorney general.
A review by The Hill of California campaign finance records reveals that Harris’s expenditures follow a pattern: The Democratic candidate regularly charges thousands of dollars in luxury travel and hotels to her campaign.
A number of former Harris aides say that for them the most discomfiting aspect of her use of campaign funds was the backdrop of austerity in California’s government.
When Gov. Jerry Brown (D) took office in 2011 he introduced a culture of frugality for himself, his staff and the government workers he now oversaw, sources say.
When Harris was sworn in, California’s budget was in turmoil and departments, including her own Department of Justice, were ordered to find savings that included staff cuts.
While the Harris campaign’s spending has come under scrutiny this election cycle — most recently in a National Journal report on luxury travel — The Hill’s investigation reveals that these expenditure patterns are consistent from January 2011 through the present.
In a standard trip, for example, Harris billed her campaign $2,482.70 in January 2013 for Delta Airlines “airfare for candidate from Washington D.C./campaign events/Presidential Inauguration,” according to state records.
On that same trip Harris stayed in D.C.’s upscale St. Regis hotel, billing her campaign $3,434.74 for a four-night stay, a nightly rate of $858.69.
The next month, Harris charged $2,381.70 for “airfare for candidate to New Orleans/campaign event, issues.” Later, she stayed in the St. Regis in D.C. ($823.67), The Beverly Hilton ($1,722.59) and The London NYC hotel ($1,093.20).
Another representative trip was taken on April 7, 2014. Harris used her campaign account a stay at the St. Regis for one night at a cost to her campaign of $699.24. During that same trip Harris charged $2,093 for “airfare for candidate to Washington D.C. and Seattle.”
The comments from former staffers in the story are awesome to read; here’s a sampling:
Interviews with sources close to Harris’s campaign and former aides both inside her political operation and state office suggest that staffers have been uncomfortable with the spending.
“Staff has always worried about Kamala’s spending, but she is adamant about using campaign money as she wants,” said a former aide, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“She treats the campaign like a personal checking account to fund a lifestyle she aspires to,” the former aide added.
Another ex-aide said that “Kamala demands a life of luxury.”
“I kind of walked into the system … and within a few weeks a lot of things made me feel uncomfortable.”
While Harris is still expected to win the Senate race, a Democratic strategist familiar with the campaign predicted her high spending is “going to backfire terribly with donors.”
“Donors hate this shit when they’re going around making representations that she’s in a competitive race, and she’s spending that way to support her diva lifestyle,” the strategist said.
“It was hers for the taking as long as she ran a typical, strong race. … But she’s run a rather weak race. She’s raised money, yes, but not as much as she should have. She’s spending an ungodly amount.
“She wants to live the life of someone in the White House,” the strategist continued, “and she hasn’t even won the Senate yet. Her hanging around the president and first lady … it’s gotten her hooked. She thinks it’s her birthright and it’s not.”