Abel Maldonado and Lois Capps

Paul Wellman

Abel Maldonado and Lois Capps

Maldonado Leads in New Poll

Challenger to Rep. Lois Capps’s Congressional Seat Gains Support as Vote Gets Close

Monday, October 8, 2012
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Former lieutenant governor Abel Maldonado’s campaign released a polling memo this morning that showed its candidate in a lead over incumbent Representative Lois Capps, the first time that’s happened this election season. According to the poll — which was of 400 likely voters and conducted by Public Opinion Strategies — Maldonado leads Capps 45 to 44, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

The survey shows the race is a dead heat in Santa Barbara County, while Maldonado has a slight edge in San Luis Obispo County. It also shows that 92 percent of likely voters have heard of both candidates, with Maldonado holding a 40 percent positive image and 37 percent negative image, and Capps showing a 44 percent positive but 40 percent negative image.

A survey done by the same group in August showed Maldonado trailing by 5 percent, 49 to 44.

Abel Maldonado
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Paul Wellman (file)

Abel Maldonado

Most voters, according to the report, have tired of the tax issues of both candidates, with the survey showing only 27 percent of likely voters think the issue is important, while 68 percent think it is a distraction. Though the Capps campaign hasn’t publicly released any polling data, it’s likely that their survey show that her campaign’s focus on Maldonado’s IRS issues is effective. While she ran ads during the Olympics about standing up for women’s rights and middle-class families and against corporations, Capps’s advertising campaign since then has exclusively focused on Maldonado’s tax record.

It’s clear that Central Coast voters have a strong distaste for Mr. Maldonado’s many tax troubles,” said Capps spokesperson Jeff Millman. “And now we’ve learned about Mr. Maldonado’s worst tax abuse yet, when he claimed a tax deduction for the cost of hosting a political fundraiser where he raised $35,000 for his State Senate campaign. By asking the taxpayers to subsidize his political fundraiser, he’s violating both the tax code and campaign finance laws.”

Click to enlarge photo

“With less than a month to go, people throughout the Central Coast are responding to Abel Maldonado’s message of creating jobs, ending bailouts, and leveling the playing field with China,” said Maldonado spokesperson Kurt Bardella. “You have to tell people what you’re for, and it’s perplexing that to this day, the sitting congresswoman of 14 years has yet to define what she is for and what she will do to address the number one issue people here care about: creating jobs. Spending 100 percent of your time attacking your opponent may work in Washington, but it won’t work here.”

Much of the negative campaign tone hasn’t come from the actual campaigns of the candidates themselves but from outside groups. Indeed, advertising continues to run nearly nonstop during commercial breaks. As of Sunday evening, outside groups have spent $954,712 on the race, a number that has really picked up this past week, with Democratic political action committees (PACs) jumping into the fray.

House Majority PAC, a Democratic PAC, announced earlier this week it is running an ad attacking Maldonado for what it calls his “anti-women” record. “Women — and men — on California’s Central Coast have no friend in Abel Maldonado,” said Alixandria Lapp, executive director of House Majority PAC. “After all, Maldonado wants to put the insurance industry ahead of women in California and across the country by letting insurance companies discriminate and deny access to birth control and mammograms.” The advertisement was to run for a week. In filings earlier this week, the PAC reported spending $87,997.

That ad buy joins one made by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week, though it isn’t clear how big the ad buy was. The American Hospital Association PAC also reported spending $200,315 in support of Capps. That PAC’s website says it exists to promote the improvement of the healthcare system in the U.S. and gives to candidates in both parties, but it has given more to Democrats than Republicans.

Lois Capps
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman (file)

Lois Capps

The Democratic purchases in the district — the first by Dem PACs this fall — show the left is just as interested in holding onto this seat as the Republicans are in taking it away. The Congressional Leadership Fund and U.S. Chamber of Commerce have already spent cash to run ads here this fall, as the airwaves are beginning to be inundated with Capps and Maldonado’s mugs. “We were getting buried by Mr. Maldonado and his right-wing allies’ negative and misleading attacks,” Millman said, “and we’re still getting outspent by a wide margin on television.”

Just on Saturday, in fact, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) reported spending another $134,898.

Said Bardella, “I guess we know the answer to the question of what voting with Nancy Pelosi 97 percent of the time gets you: resources for more negative attacks when you’re behind in the polls. At the end of the day, there is a very clear contrast in message that both candidates are communicating. Lois Capps wants to spend her time avoiding her record and attacking Abel Maldonado’s family and business, while Abel talks about creating jobs, protecting Medicare, and leveling the playing field with China.”

Maldonado, who recently received the endorsement of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, introduced an ad this week in which he says Washington needs to “end the bailouts, stop the waste, and keep more jobs here at home.”

The NRCC also came out with a new ad this week, attacking Capps’s support of the bank bailout. “Lois Capps voted to bail out Wall Street and allow executives to take huge bonuses,” said NRCC spokesperson Daniel Scarpinato. “Capps’s priorities are not Californians’ priorities.”

Both Maldonado and Capps — who was named a “Champion of Children” for the third year in a row by the First Focus Campaign for Children — will be releasing their fundraising statements in the next few weeks. Vote-by-mail ballots go out Tuesday.

The race between Capps and Maldonado was ranked this week as the 52nd most competitive race in the country and sixth-most in the state by the National Journal.

The Independent, along with the Carsey-Wolf Center at UCSB, is hosting a live debate at the Pollock Theater Tuesday at 7 p.m. Tickets are sold out, but the debate will be streamed live on, broadcast live on KCSB, and replays will be shown on TVSB Channel 19. Those without tickets can also go to an overflow room at 1920 Buchanan Hall.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Getting rid of Lois Capps and defeat of Prop. 30 will make this election a success in my book.

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 8:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Go to the link and note that even the SF Chronicle begrudgingly admits that these funds do not necessarily go directly to the classroom. Either the Dems are not telling the truth or they are too stupid to write a proposition that goes directly to the schools. Take your pick as to the motivation and then vote no.

Prop. 30 ads confusing - SFGate
4 days ago – 30 funds would be available for a wide range of purposes ... Democrat, appears in one of the ads saying, "Money must go to the classroom and can't ... none of the education money would offset general fund spending as Prop.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 8:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Obama / Maldonado / Jackson...that's my ticket!!!!

sbdem805 (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 9:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

People must've forgotten that Abel is a prevaricating slimeball who will say or do anything to get elected. He can pretend that he is a moderate, but he only has been when it benefitted him personally. Remember this from the fight to get him appointed to Lt. Gov:

His voting record is terrible.

greensoftshell (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 9:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Believe me greensoftshell, I think Abel is as worthless as Lois and I am not sure I can vote for either of them...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 11:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree with greensoftshell, he is the worst alternative. It'd be better to have nobody than Maldonado.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 12:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I could make two arguments if I was attempting to convince myself to support either of these worthless candidates:
At least Lois is blindingly loyal to Pelosi and Company;
At least Abel does not always blindly follow his bosses.

Unfortunately, in both cases these two have taken their path to insure their own longevity and not for the good of their constituents.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 12:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, and Capps made Maldonado the fodder of her campaign commercials because of it. The irony is that Capps certainly would have supported the same tax increase that Maldonado voted for.

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 12:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@IT, that link is the opinion of an individual who works at the Chronicle, not that of the paper itself.

The SF Chronicle (i.e. their editorial board) actually endorses Proposition 30:

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 12:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Use your vote to send a message, as well as elect a candidate. The message is the Democrat status quo is not working and we need new faces with new voting patterns to do new things.

Maldonado is as good as the opposition gets this time around and if you don't like him, throw him out in two years.

But we cannot afford another minute of the Lois Capps/Pelosi/unions mismanagement our country and our national debt.

Lois sold us out to the Chinese. You need to ask why. She is considered a joke among her colleagues and her debate performance tells you why. We deserve better.

Young, Latino and conservative sounds good to me. Maldonado, yes.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 12:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We can't afford two years of Maldonado. And Capps most certainly isn't Pelosi's water carrier because she didn't (to my knowledge) support Pelosi's protest about the harassment of medical marijuana patients. Maldonado will be worse on every subject: civil rights, economics, "war on terror", "war on drugs", he cannot admit when he is wrong (Exhibit A: his taxes); and he frankly sees himself as some sort of aristocracy.
I'll be sticking with Capps and hope for a primary challenger next time. We can't afford even two weeks of Maldonado much less two years.
And I love how the right-wing suddenly loves Latinos when they want their vote. Talk about racism!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 1:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What are you people talking about? You say Maldonado is worthless...that's crazy talk. I grew up in a democratic household and consider myself to hold mostly democratic values. HOWEVER, I won't stand for a candidate that does whatever they are told. We're in this mess in Washington because we don't have any independent thinkers. Maldonado is directly responsible for two voter approved changes to our state constitution. THAT IS HUGE, HE WAS ABLE TO DO SOMETHING. Capps has been in congress for EVER and done nothing of substance. Maldonado reaches across party lines to get work done!!!!!!!

sbdem805 (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 1:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I continue to be astonished as to how or why ANYONE of color (and Latino descent), and/or female of ANY race can willfully choose being a Republican. The cognitive dissonance and disconnect for such a thing is literally mind-numbing.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 2:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 2:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maldonado supporters (sbdem805, etc.)

What are Maldonado's positions on these topics?

- Abortion
- Afghanistan
- Education
- Environment

The four one-sentence questions are here:

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 2:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The good news about Capps is we could save some money by allowing Pelosi to vote for her. Lois could sit home and not spend money on travel to Washington.

Seriously, I certainly endorse liberal social programs but at the same time I am a fiscal conservative and I am voting for Maldonado. Less of 2 evils.

loneranger (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 2:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks EB. I stand clarified although I did not claim that the Chronicle did not endorse prop 30, just that in a news article they begrudgingly admitted that the transparency people are stating is written into the proposition does not exist. The article by a staff writer of the Chronicle was in the NEWS SECTION and was reported as such as opposed to the OPINION by the Chronicle as to whether or not someone should support prop 30.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 7:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Time for a Latino to represent a largely Latino area, really tired of all the Yankee Carpetbaggers, cannot be any worse than it is now.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 8:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Skin color/ethnicity/gender/religion are completely the wrong reasons to vote for anybody. And with Maldonado it would get worse.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 8:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Forget Republican or Democrat. Vote for the person who promotes the issues you agree with - not necessarily ALL the issues, just most of them.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 9:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Agree howgreenwasmyvalley; we should only vote for Chumash citizens since the Latino's are carpetbaggers as well.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 10:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@IT, now I stand corrected, your link was definitely a news item, not an opinion.

Here's my rough take on Propositions 30 & 38. I don't think it's as complicated as people make it out to be.

Taxes raised by Prop 30 & 38 are all subject to the Prop 98 funding mandate put in place by CA voters years ago. That means ~40% of those temporary tax revenues are allocated to education while the remaining ~60% goes into the general revenue kitty.

That 60% is at the heart of the SF Chronicle news article.

Prop 30 uses the existing Prop 98 mechanism for directing money to education (the 40%). There is nothing deceiving or underhanded about that. That has been the dominant funding mechanism for K-12 schools in CA since 1988.

Prop 38 is also subject to the Prop 98 mandate. But on top of that, Prop 38 overlays a second mandate on top of the Prop 98 mandate! That second mandate says 60% to 85% (varies over time) of the additional temporary taxes raised must be spent on education. The rest goes to things like paying down education debt (school bonds).

In effect, the mandate within Prop 38 neutralizes allocation of its additional tax revenues to the general revenue kitty mandated by Prop 98. So a larger percentage of Prop 38 revenues go towards education than Prop 30. From an absolute dollars viewpoint, I don't know which one raises more.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 12:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Some math should illustrate the point.

Let's say CA raises $100 in general tax revenue without Props 30 & 38.

Without Props 30 or 38, Prop 98 says the $100 in taxes must be split approximately 60/40 (depending on state of the economy):

general revenue kitty = $60
education = $40
total = $100

Now let's assume Props 30 and 38 raise exactly the same amount of additional tax revenue (this isn't true, but will simplify the example). Let's call it $10 to make the math easy.
If Prop 30 passes, the $10 of additional taxes is also split 60/40. So the tally for Prop 30 is:

general revenue kitty = $60+$6=$66
education = $40+$4=$44.
total = $110

The Prop 30 math is pretty easy.

But Prop 38 is a little more complicated. Prop 38 is also subject to Prop 98 so the previous math still holds true. But Prop 98 has an *additional* mandate that says 60% to 85% of the temporary taxes must go to K-12 with the rest going to other education expenses like bond payments and early childhood education. If you agree those are all "education" expenses, then 100% is mandated to education!

But where does that 100% ($10) come from? I think it has to come out of the general revenue kitty. So the final tally for Prop 98 is therefore:

general revenue kitty = $66 - $10 = $56
education = $44 + $10 = $54
total = $110

My conclusion is ... while both Props 30 & 38 get additional temporary monies to education, Prop 38 gets more to education but at the expense of the general revenue kitty (notice the general revenue kitty gets less with Prop 38 than without). If you were a legislator that had to worry about funding both education and other things, that might be a tricky act to balance. Prop 30, while it doesn't generate quite as much for education, would give a legislator breathing room on both sides.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 12:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"So the final tally for Prop 98 is therefore:"

should say:

"So the final tally for Prop 38 is therefore:"

Any other corrections are welcomed.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 12:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Skin color/ethnicity/gender/religion are completely the wrong reasons to vote for anybody. And with Maldonado it would get worse."

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 8:54 a.m.

My feelings exactly.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 2:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)


"I continue to be astonished as to how or why ANYONE of color (and Latino descent), and/or female of ANY race can willfully choose being a Republican. The cognitive dissonance and disconnect for such a thing is literally mind-numbing."

Gee does that include the LGBT Community also, I guess the Log Cabin Republicans did not get the message.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2012 at 4:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ugh. Have fun voting.

banjo (anonymous profile)
October 10, 2012 at 8:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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