Daily Kos - MikeYoung
California Assemblymember David Hadley says voters are stupid. Can you believe he said that? It’s in the news. Look it up!
This is how a cynical campaign trick works:
- Make a bald face claim that will grab a reader’s attention like “Assemblymember David Hadley says voters are stupid”
- Provide zero actual proof that the claim is true, but emphatically make it sound like it could be true. “Can you believe he said that?”
- Pretend to have proof by asking the readers to do some research that you know doesn’t really exist, but you’re betting that the readers won’t actually bother to do the research to figure it out: “It’s in the news. Look it up!”
Now, to be clear: Hadley’s never actually said this about voters (at least not that we know of). The claim is false, but left unchecked it’s effective because it feeds off voter cynicism about politics.
But Donald Trump is notorious for this tactic (c’mon, he’s got the best tactics), and it’s exactly what Hadley’s campaign is employing with his latest mailer about Former Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi. Voters in the 66th Assembly District covering Torrance, Hermosa Beach, and other areas in the South Bay of Los Angeles County have been receiving Hadley’s shameless mailer accusing Muratsuchi of becoming Big Oil’s candidate and collecting their money while pretending to be running as a candidate opposed to them — Nothing could be further from the truth.
Let’s break this mailer down:
- The first thing readers see is in big bold yellow “Liar Al Muratsuchi Takes Big Oil Money.” It’s a perfect attention grabbing headline.
- Next is all the subtext but no credible citation “He takes special interest money from big oil companies that’s cleverly funneled to him.” Wow, that definitely sounds bad, and it sounds like something special interests would do, right?
- And then the kicker. “It’s right there in black and white in the official financial records of the California Secretary of State’s website.” Oh crazy! We can look this up and verify it. Wait a second, how can you verify this with the Secretary of State? Who’s this “special interest group” funneling money to him? We have no idea, and Hadley purposefully wants you to use your own imagination because that’s all he’s got.
Here’s the truth: the Hadley mailer is a cynical attack on a public servant with a proven and unquestioned track record of protecting the environment. When Al Muratsuchi was in the Assembly, he earned a 96% California League of Conservation Voters lifetime score for his strong environmental commitment. This included his leadership on authoring a bill to stop oil drilling in Hermosa Beach and a bill that made it easier for residents to install solar panels in their homes that created clean energy jobs for the district.
Muratsuchi doesn’t take oil money. His campaign is funded by special interests like teachers, nurses, fire fighters, and the residents of the 66th Assembly District. In fact, in the ultimate pot calling the kettle black, Hadley’s the one who has actually been the big benefactor of oil money. This includes Hadley accepting tens of thousands of dollars from oil companies like BP, Chevron, Valero, even money from the Koch Brothers! And you don’t need to do simply “do the research.” It’s right here on the Secretary of State’s website. But his Big Oil support doesn’t stop there. In 2014, the so-called “Spirit of Democracy” PAC (with $150,000 in direct funding from the California Independent Petroleum Association) spent $1.2 million supporting Hadley. This year, Spirit of Democracy has already received $100,000 from oil companies, and the general election is just getting started. That doesn’t even include how oil companies money through other political action committees like JobsPAC.
The worst part? Hadley has delivered for oil in a big way, earning a meager 45% lifetime score on CLCV’s Environmental Scorecard. Last year, Hadley worked to remove a critical provision of a clean energy bill that would have reduced California’s petroleum consumption by 50%. This year, Hadley actively opposed renewing California’s landmark climate and clean energy law that has even been the model for the United Nations’ work in combating climate change. From failing to vote for bills that would protect groundwater aquifers from oil drilling contamination to opposing bills that would give disadvantaged communities heavily impacted pollution the resources they need to clean up pollution in their neighborhoods, Hadley has been one of Big Oil’s greatest allies in the legislature.
The more people catch on to the truth, the more people will know that there’s really only one good choice in November: Al Muratsuchi (www.alforassembly.com). Maybe that’s why Hadley’s running a campaign full of lies.