Will GOP Voters Be Deceived in Senate District 7 Special Election?

Judy Lloyd
President of Altamont Strategies

Most of the time, Independent Expenditure Committees back individuals who they believe will support their various cause – whether it is pro-business or pro-union.

Hertle-flier1 (AASB)Yesterday, an independent expenditure group, the Asian American Small Business PAC, filed an IE on behalf of Republican Michaela Hertle.

Hertle is the Republican who dropped out of the race earlier this month. She has been quite clear of her intentions.

Hertle-flier2 (AASB)So, why would a small business group that has worked to elect Asians to office decide to back Hertle, a woman who is not Asian who doesn’t want the job?

A brief glance at my Twitter feed gave me a little bit more information:

Glazer Lloyd TweetThe group’s efforts are designed to suppress the Republican, pro-business vote for Glazer and confuse voters.

“They’re just front people for the unions, said Glazer. “This has nothing to do with helping the Republican. You don’t do this unless you’re feeling the heat.”

This article by Josh Richman in the Contra Costa Times reveals that some of the major funders of the group include big business as well as large unions.

“Despite the PAC’s name, it gets most of its money from big companies and unions. Its biggest contributors in 2013-14 were Comcast Corp. ($46,800); International Union of Operating Engineers, Stationary Engineers Local 39 ($40,000); California State Council of Service Employees ($30,000); AT&T ($27,286); Professional Engineers in California Government ($20,000); Eli Lilly & Co. ($15,000); and the State Building and Construction Trades Council ($15,000).”

This You Tube Video produced by the group lends insight into other candidates they have backed. All are Asian candidates and many, like Fiona Ma and Betty Yee, have been on the ballot in Contra Costa and Alameda County, where Senate District 7 is located.

Yesterday, another group, the Silicon Valley Chinese Association endorsed Glazer. They are a group of business owners who believe in Glazer’s fiscal responsibility. They were also among those leading the fight against SCA-5. I met some of their members in Dublin during the battle for Assembly District 16 last cycle. They are active and motivated.

All of Assembly District 16 is encompassed in Senate District 7. These voters are among a highly educated and very savvy voting population, which includes a large community of Asian / Indian voters, especially in the new areas of Danville and San Ramon.

Because of the demographics, it’s unlikely that this particular mail campaign will have its desired effect of suppressing the Glazer vote in those areas where Senate District 7 and Assembly District 16 coincide. But you never know. This is the population that term-limited Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, who is also running for senate, represented up until 2014, when Catharine Baker was elected to fill her seat. Who knows – maybe both will make top two on March 17th.

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