Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego councilman who is one of the leading gas tax repeal activists, denounced Allen for the ad spending, calling him a “fraud” and a “snake oil salesman.”
“While we’re struggling to get our last signatures and could use that money, he takes $300,000 and blows it on his own self-promotion,” DeMaio said in an interview Monday. “I’ve got retired grandmothers who’ve done a hell of a lot more on this than Travis Allen.”
This is how an article that hit statewide media started. Travis Allen conned a major donor in to giving his committee $300K instead of to the main effort that is actually paying people to gather signatures.
“Not one penny of it went to collect signatures,” said Cox consultant Wayne Johnson. “The only beneficiary of the $300,000 ad spend is going to be his gubernatorial campaign.”
Good government advocates have argued for years that some ballot measure committees are used as slush funds for candidates to get around finance laws and boost their own campaigns. Kathay Feng, the executive director of California Common Cause, said Allen’s ad “appears to be an attempt to circumvent California’s campaign finance limits.”
“Usually candidates are much more subtle than this,” she added.
Carl DiMaio who is leading the actual effort that could qualify despite Travis Allen diverting $300K away from it finished off with this priceless quote:
But DeMaio — who has endorsed Cox for governor — said that wasn’t true and that Allen caused widespread confusion among voters with his repeal campaign. “What he has done on the gas tax is undermining our efforts,” he said. “This guy is just a piece of work.”
I never gave Travis Allen serious consideration because I have known him to be a fraud. This stunt with diverting a $300K donation to benefit himself is the latest in a long string of actions many of us on the political inside are familiar with.