Butler, Salas facing off against big corporate bucks
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Well, it’s nice to see the LA Times picking up on the AD 53 Democratic primary race, the one in which corporate lobbying firms have now spent nearly half a million dollars against Betsy Butler, former fundraiser for the Consumer Attorneys of California (some of its members are on the board of the board of the Civil Justice Research and Education Project, which keeps this site afloat).
As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the intriguing part about all the money those groups are spending is that every dime is against a candidate, not for any of the other seven Democratic contenders for the nomination in the district covering Los Angeles’ South Bay region. That’s how you know there’s some serious fear, or payback, going on.
But it’s not the only race the big bucks groups are trying to affect. In the fight for the Democratic nomination in Senate District 40 in San Diego, some of the same groups — rounded up by the Civil Justice Association of California — have spent more than $1.2 million backing attorney and former Assembly member Juan C. Vargas over Assemblymember Mary Salas, who has been backed by about $320,000 in expenditures by groups that received money from the CAOC political action committee.
That race has become so acrimonious that a pushing match broke out when Vargas backers showed up at a media event Salas called last month to draw attention to the massive corporate spending behind the Vargas campaign.
Vargas, incidentally, makes a note on his campaign site that “it’s immoral for politicians to accept campaign donations from health insurance companies who raise rates by 40% and deny coverage to critically ill patients.”
So who are his donors? The Disability PAC sponsored by the Association of California Life and Health Insurance PAC, the California Insurance Wholesaler’s Association, the Doctors Company PAC, the Insurance Brokers and Agents Candidates PAC … well, you get the idea.