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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Candidate and Independent Expenditure Ads: Same But Different

At all levels of governing, rules governing campaign finance and advertising are full of loopholes.

Here is a Web ad by Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel:

Here is an ad by an "independent expenditure" group named Working Californians to Elect Wendy Greuel Mayor, which draws most of its money from public-employee unions.


At The Los Angeles Daily News, Dakota Smith reports:

The advertisement features President Bill Clinton praising Greuel and was shot at an event last month at Langer’s Deli in Westlake.
The TV spot will air for the next week, said Working Californians' top strategist, Sean Clegg. The spot costs about $500,000 for the week, according to a source familiar with advertising buys.
The Clinton event was billed as a closed-door event and and reporters were told to RSVP and arrive early for Secret Service sweeps. But in reality, security wasn’t particularly strict, and the Working Californians-hired camera crew managed to get into the event unnoticed, Clegg said.
Independent expenditures are barred from coordinating with campaigns.
Clegg said Working Californians learned about the location from tweets sent out by local reporters. The camera crew simply walked in, telling people that they were from San Francisco to film the event, Clegg said.
In a statement, Greuel spokesman Dave Jacobson said the Greuel campaign “couldn’t police which cameras ended up getting into the event” after news about it leaked.
“The fact of the matter is that we didn’t know of any independent campaign present at the event and furthermore we don’t comment on what independent campaigns do or say,” Jacobson.