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The Butler Smear Campaign 2.0

The reason behind the negative campaign.

The California General election is just seven days away, which means you are receiving tons of campaign mailers. And maybe you have noticed the negative attack campaign mailers from Richard Bloom against Assemblywoman Betsy Butler's legislative record. In 2010, Betsy successfully ran for the State Assembly but she didn't have an easy primary. Actually, this election is DeJavu for me because just like in her first race - she is being smeared AGAIN by Richard Bloom and by Republican Special Interests. Let me explain the title "The Butler Smear Campaign 2.0".

In her first race, Betsy was being smeared by big oil, drug and insurance groups and Robert Elisberg wrote all about it in the Huffington Post. This year, Richard Bloom and the Western Growers Association PAC have teamed up to literally destroy our amazing liberal legislator. The Western Growers is very Anti-Latino and Anti-Labor agribusiness special interest who are very upset at Betsy Butler. Why? WGA is a special interest group that represents farmers in California. They are attacking Betsy for sponsoring a bill that would have provided shade and water for California's farm workers. Although Governor Brown vetoed this bill ensuring farm workers are given shade and water (its too much to ask, right?), the Western Growers Association has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on mailers in the 50th Assembly District in retaliation against Betsy for advocating for our farm workers. However, it gets worst! This is not just a local beef, Tom Nassif, President and CEO of the Western Growers Association, is one of six national chairs for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Farmers and Ranchers for Romney coalition.

So far the Western Growers Association has spent $247,972.57 in Independent Expenditures (ie. Super PAC money) to attack Betsy Butler from Malibu to West Hollywood. And you may ask, "What does Richard Bloom have to do with all of this?". While campaign supporters are not legally able to coordinate with the campaigns they support - the timing could not be more perfect. On October 23, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom received $3,900 from the Western Growers Association - do you see the connection now? I hope so. Now together, they are attacking Betsy Butler on a bill that she abstained from voting - SB1530. And by now, you may have seen something in your mailbox and wondered why Betsy would supposedly support protecting teachers that abuse their students? Of course, Betsy does not want dangerous teachers in our classrooms and puts the safety and well being of our students before all else in California's schools to promote a safe and healthy learning environment for our students. Please take a minute to read the REAL FACTS about SB 1530.

Richard Bloom has the wrong priorities of the 50th Assembly District. In these recent weeks, Mr. Bloom has come under fire for his bad policies over the years during his tenure in the Santa Monica City Council. In endorsing Betsy Butler for Assembly, the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City said that "in the last 12 years since Richard Bloom has been on our City Council, Richard has voted for EVERY commercial development that’s come before the council and has been rewarded by sizable developer contributions over the years." In addittion, Mayor Bloom was also blasted by AIDS Walk Los Angeles founder Craig Miller for the Mayor's explanation that the ads were banned because of the possibility of the bus ads becoming a forum for “counter-productive speech.” AIDS Walk LA Founder Craig Miller added, “I was aware that we had an AIDS epidemic in Santa Monica … but I did not know that we were suffering from an epidemic of counter-productive speech. Nor was I aware that we needed the government’s protection from it".

The Western Growers Association has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars producing inaccurate negative mail pieces against Betsy focusing on SB1530 in retaliation for her support of farm workers rights. I hope you're able to stand with Betsy, a true progressive who has fought for every community in the 50th Assembly District. Betsy's record is amazing, in her first year, she authored, and got her bill signed into law by Governor Brown, AB 1319 – The Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act -- which will prohibit the manufacture, sale or distribution of baby bottles and sippy cups that contain the harmful chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA). She introduced AB 972 to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracking, the dangerous and harmful process to extract oil from bedrock deep underground. Fracking poses a contamination threat to our drinking water.

Do you see the difference? Please join Stonewall Young Democrats, CA League of Conservation Voters, CA Democratic Party and Attorney General Kamala Harris in supporting Betsy Butler's re-election campaign.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jeff B. October 31, 2012 at 12:39 AM
There is a special irony when members of Butler's campaign complain about the "special interests" when her campaign is 90% funded from those very same "special interests". Don't take my word for it: http://maplight.org/california/legislator/1380-betsy-butler When a legislator cannot defend a vote they typically throw stones at their opponent and that is exactly what is happening here. Fortunately, no one is fooled by this misdirection. Parent of children in schools know that SB 1530 provided a valuable process to protect children and should have been passed. Every day that goes by that fact becomes clearer and no amount of smearing Bloom will overcome it. There is a reason Ari is writing on blogs, tweeting and promoting websites with dubious claims. He knows that the people of the District are not with him on this important issue. He knows.
Ari Ruiz October 31, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Oh Jeff B, not the same special interests - not even close! Betsy is being fund by the following "special interests": CA Nurses Association (former Osborn endorser), CA Democratic Party, CA League of Conservation Voters and Equality CA Richard Bloom's campaign is being boosted by the following special interests: Western Growers Association & Mitt Romney's campaign co-chair. See the difference? I'll take the CA League of Conservation's money over Mitt Romey's co-chair, ANYTIME!
Alan W Silberberg October 31, 2012 at 07:06 PM
The negative attacks against Assembly Member Butler are simply beyond the pale and stretch truth to something else indeed. Mayor Bloom should be ashamed of his attacks and those of his *independent expenditure* buddies. This blog article on a local news site; seems to be well researched, well documented and the citizens of the district deserve to see the truth, not one manufactured by outside interest groups like the Western Growers or Family Farmers and co-engineered by the Bloom campaign.
Ed Buck November 01, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Richard Bloom is masquerading as a moderate. (hey it is Halloween) There is a reason that Bobby Shriver, who serves on the Santa Monica City Council and was mayor of Santa Monica has endorsed Betsy Butler, as has Bobby's wife Malissa Feruzze Shriver. Now you have to have a very good reason to endorse the mayor's opponent when you are a council member. He knows just how bad Bloom will be.
Ted J November 05, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Butler is in the pockets of the unions period!!!!!
Stephanie November 06, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Here is the link to the Courage Campaign's Progressive Guide to the Propositions: http://courage.3cdn.net/61fe2b1f07358f45a8_nxm6bhfgq.pdf
J Edward Tipre November 07, 2012 at 06:55 AM
Personal reaction to the stunning hit piece on Betsy Butler done on CNN: "Sex-Pervert bill is one, crude way of putting it; another would be: Imperfect Legislation that would further harm class room instructor job security. Teachers require ombudsmen as well as the kids they instruct. Such sloppy journalism resulting in an unfair hatchet job of a decent, child-loving legislator--Betsy Butler. Who is, What is the money behind this story? Who talked to what editor to get this on CNN. There's the story."
Ted J November 07, 2012 at 06:58 AM
So now you are going to blame the messenger????? Where was the lie in the piece??? She chose not to vote!!!
J Edward Tipre November 07, 2012 at 06:59 AM
Agree and am shocked by the fact that one member of the same political party is willing to devour another who has 50 members of the Assembly endorsing her. The phrase raw ambition comes to mind, a tired story and always shameful.
Ted J November 07, 2012 at 07:00 AM
The money behind the story was the money she has accepted from the teachers union!!!!
J Edward Tipre November 07, 2012 at 07:04 AM
Thanks. Makes Shriver more estimable for me; makes Kevin McKeown an even stronger figure in the local political landscape. Great disappointment in Richard Bloom.
J Edward Tipre November 07, 2012 at 07:08 AM
Instead of "in the pockets of..." Say that Butler supports union values; say that Bloom supports growers' & developers' values. Let us make choices based upon these concepts.

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