Koch Brothers Get Involved in All-Democrat Race?

David Koch Mark LennihanAP
Mark Lennihan/AP

The hard leftists in the California Democratic party, panicked at the thought of labor-supporting Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, losing the race for the seat in the 7th State Senate District to Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer, have suggested that that a group supported by the establishment GOP Koch brothers has created an ad attacking Bonilla.

Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), a Washington, D.C.-based conservative nonprofit, has been funded by the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR). IWV says they have never received funding from the Koch brothers, though CPPR has shared staff with Kochs.

Steve Maviglio, who heads the labor-funded group Working Families Opposing Glazer, hissed, “So why are the Koch Brothers trying to come to Steve Glazer’s rescue? That’s a good question. Maybe Steve Glazer can answer it – or denounce the special interests that are working overtime to get him elected for airing it.” Maviglio’s group has joined the union-funded Putting the East Bay First group and the California Dental Association to raise over $3 million for Bonilla.

Glazer’s spokesman Jason Bezis responded that Glazer “dislikes the independent expenditure activity by all sides. He said at the recent League of Women Voters debate that voters should immediately throw away and recycle all of the flyers in the mail. Similarly, he feels that voters should ignore all of the misleading media advertising.” He added that Glazer would prefer that voters make their decisions based on “newspaper editorials and local leaders who have knowledge of these candidates.” Glazer has raised roughly $3.2 million, primarily from Bill Bloomfield, a former GOP member who is now an independent, and JobsPAC, which represents the California Chamber of Commerce.

Bonilla’s supporters have been worried about the GOP support for Glazer; on April 9, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorneys’ Association president Paul Graves sent a letter to Glazer’s campaign demanding that it stop using Republican logos and images in its campaign ads. Graves wrote, “For a liberal Democratic candidate like Mr. Glazer to deceive Republican voters by superimposing iconic Republican Party images … such as the GOP elephant on Mr. Glazer’s campaign material is a new low in dishonest political campaigning.” Graves defended his actions by claiming that the California GOP had a history of suing people using their images without permission.

On April 10, California GOP Vice Chairwoman Harmeet Dhillon fired back:

As you well know, you are not an authorized representative of the CRP, nor do you own any license, title or interest in or to any CRP trademarks. As such, you lack standing to speak on behalf of the CRP, file a lawsuit concerning Mr. Glazer’s alleged infringement of trademarks belonging to the CRP, seek injunctive relief or damages, or take any similar conduct on behalf of the CRP. In fact, the CRP became aware of Mr. Glazer’s campaign activities weeks ago, and resolved the matter… to the CRP’s satisfaction.

She added, “Your conduct in using your status as an attorney, which includes the publicly known fact that you are a prosecutor with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office, to gain leverage in this matter by masquerading as a person with standing to make threats, is an abuse of those positions and of ethical standards.”

This post has been updated.


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