Doug LaMalfa caught paying for illegal website???

 Dave Gilliard, Doug LaMalfa, Mark Spannagel  Comments Off on Doug LaMalfa caught paying for illegal website???
May 302012
 

What did Dave Gilliard know and when did he know it?

The Redding Record-Searchlight just lit up Doug LaMalfa again. The same day as the illegal website attacking Sam Aanestad was registered – Mark Spannagel was paid $135 for “Media Related Services” the same day that he registered the illegal website.

Now we know why Doug LaMalfa has not terminated Mark Spannagel – it appears that Mark Spannagel was acting under orders from Dave Gilliard / Doug LaMalfa. This sort of sleaze is consistent for Dave Gilliard – as Gilliard’s grip on several races is loosening, he is getting progressively more desperate and hysterical in the attacks and tactics used.

Any political cub scout could have found this. Dave Gilliard is usually pretty adept at hiding thousands of dollars of expenses off of candidates political filings – but apparently, in their arrognace, Spannagel, LaMalfa and Gilliard thought they would not get caught.

Whoops.

LaMalfa’s committee paid Mark Spannagel $4,500 on April 17 and $135 on April 18 for “media related services.”

Now, Dave Gilliard is writing a limp-wristed, Mark Spannagel is not with the campaign anymore email.

Oh Gheez. But Spannagel still works for State Senator Doug LaMalfa.

The Record Searchlight requested the receipt from LaMalfa’s campaign, but its spokesman, Dave Gilliard, said he was on the road and was not involved with the finance reporting to the Federal Election Commission.

Come on, Gilliard.

Accountability has arrived for Doug LaMalfa, “He Ain’t one of us.”

The Redding Record-Searchlight article is linked here.


Mark Spannagel Continues to Bleed Doug LaMalfa’s Campaign

 CA-01 Race, Doug LaMalfa, Mark Spannagel, Sam Aanestad  Comments Off on Mark Spannagel Continues to Bleed Doug LaMalfa’s Campaign
May 242012
 

We take a break from our regularly scheduled beatings of Arnie Zeiderman and Jeff Seaton to post a press release from the Aanestad for Congress campaign. Please note that Sam Aanestad’s opponent (Doug LaMalfa) was a driving force behind Arnie Zeiderman’s election to California Republican Party Vice Chairman Northern Region.

Did He or Didn’t He?

Doug LaMalfa’s “Evolving” Position on Dirty Campaign Tactics

LaMalfa: “It’s completely independent…”

Matt Ray: “Independent as in Spannegal [LaMalfa Chief of Staff and paid campaign staffer] put it up…?” [KPAY-AM, 5/17/12]

Doug LaMalfa and the LaMalfa for Congress campaign have issued a number of false and contradictory statements about the illegal attack website,www.Sam4Congress.com, which has been traced back to LaMalfa Chief of Staff and paid campaign staffer Mark Spannegal.

What has Doug been saying? Well…let’s just say that his position has been “evolving.”

First he said, “It wasn’t me!”

“…it was not authorized by my campaign in any way, it was not condoned by my campaign…” [Burney Tea Party Candidates Forum, 5/15/2012]

“Neither Doug LaMalfa, nor the LaMalfa campaign, had any knowledge or involvement in the construction or posting of the website in question, which just came to our attention this morning.” [Sacramento Bee, 5/15/2012]

“…It certainly wasn’t productive or helpful to what I’m trying to do so I don’t condone it…”–[Burney Tea Party Candidates Forum, 5/15/2012]

“…hopefully that chapter’s behind…” [Burney Tea Party Candidates Forum, 5/15/2012]

Then his campaign tried to deflect the controversy by saying “The other side is just whining.”

“Political satire has a long history in American politics, something that thin-skinned candidates, or those trying to hide their record, sometimes have trouble fully appreciating.” [Sacramento Bee, 5/15/2012]

“(The complaint) has no merit and is nothing but a political ploy meant to divert the voter’s attention away from the real issue and his real record.” [Redding Record Searchlight, 5/16/17]

“The campaign did not solicit or in any way put up a website like that there.” [Interview with Matt Ray on KPAY radio, 5/17/2012]

“…I didn’t solicit it, I didn’t really want it to happen but there it is…” [Interview with Matt Ray on KPAY radio, 5/17/2012]

And now Doug is saying, “I took it down now…what’s the big deal?”

“…the steps have been taken, [to] make it go away.” [Interview with Matt Ray on KPAY radio, 5/17/2012]

“…it’s been handled…” [Interview with Matt Ray on KPAY radio, 5/17/2012]

“…Well, when you look at what would be in there, I mean, I haven’t spent a lot of time looking at that stuff, but basically it was kind of like poking a little bit of fun at things and all that…” [Interview with Matt Ray on KPAY radio, 5/17/2012]

“…there it is and so we’ve taken steps to make it go away…” [Interview with Matt Ray on KPAY radio, 5/17/2012]

LaMalfa: “It’s completely independent…”

Matt Ray: “Independent as in Spannegal [LaMalfa Chief of Staff and paid campaign staffer] put it up…?”

[KPAY-AM, 5/17/12]

As the FEC begins its investigation on the illegal website and details on the civil lawsuit against LaMalfa’s campaign and his chief of staff come to light, it will be interesting to see how Doug LaMalfa’s position on the truth continues to “evolve.”

Check out Video Clips from Sam Aanestad Press Conference Blasting LaMalfa

 CA-01 Race, Doug LaMalfa, Mark Spannagel, Sam Aanestad  Comments Off on Check out Video Clips from Sam Aanestad Press Conference Blasting LaMalfa
May 192012
 

This clip is Sam Aanestad himself going over the litany of dirty campaigning by Team LaMalfa. Doug LaMalfa is endorsed by Ted Gaines, Beth Gaines, the establishment and uses Dave Gilliard as a consultant.

The significance is that Sam Aanestad held his press conference in front of Doug LaMalfa’s district office and the office was reported to have been dark for at least two days this week.

Mark Spannagel, Doug LaMalfa’s chief of staff was implicated by subpoenaed records for creating an attack website against Sam Aanestad – fraudulently claiming it was done by Micheal Dacquisto, failing to report the independent expenditure and for possible violation of Federal Election coordination rules.

This clip is Aanestad attorney Barry Pruett discussing the legal details of the case. Pruett later filed legal action against Doug LaMalfa.

As of yet, there has been no disciplinary action against Mark Spannagel. Don’t expect any as it has been the pattern of team LaMalfa to engage in character assassination, manipulation of tea parties, creating fake groups to rig endorsements with, destroying campaign signs, creating fake newspapers to attack political opponent’s marriages, alleging FBI investigations of political opponents, tying opponents to Hugh Hefner… and now professionally created attack websites fraudulently pinned to political opponents.

But remember – $4.7million dollars later – “He’s one of us!”

Just wow.

May 172012
 

The Chico News and Review lit into Doug LaMalfa bad along with David Stafford Reade and Mark Spannagel. If anyone thinks that LaMalfa will do anything to Mark Spannagel over this – think again.

Congressional candidate Sam Aanestad has charged that the campaign of his opponent for the 1st District seat and fellow Republican, state Sen. Doug LaMalfa, has violated federal disclosure laws and maybe even committed libel.

Aanestad, an oral surgeon from Grass Valley, says a website posted about a month ago questioning his professional background fails to disclose who is behind it. In a press release Tuesday (May 15) Aanestad said the site, Sam4Congress.com, which heavily criticized his record as a state assemblyman and senator, was paid for by LaMalfa’s campaign without proper disclosure. (The site has been taken down in recent days.)

“In a clear violation of federal campaign finance disclosure laws, and verified yesterday by release of official Internet registry documents, Doug LaMalfa’s congressional campaign registered and built a negative website about Sam Aanestad, then posted the site on the Internet while disclaiming its contents to link with another candidate in the race, Republican Michael Dacquisto,” the release says. “The website, www.Sam4Congress.com, violates a number of campaign finance laws, including several illegal independent expenditures and conspiracy to improperly disclaim a federal campaign website.”

When first posted the site, which includes less-than-flattering photos of Aanestad, carried a disclaimer that said it was from a group called “Free Thinkers for D’Acquisto.”

Dacquisto, an attorney in Redding, is another Republican candidate in the eight-member race for retiring Rep. Wally Herger’s seat. He said he had nothing to do with the website.

“Yeah, Sam Aanestad called me several weeks ago and said somebody had a website up, and he basically said he was not happy,” Dacquisto said in a phone interview the day of the press release. “I told him I don’t do that, and he said, ‘I believe you.’ They didn’t even spell my name right.”

The Aanestad campaign filed a lawsuit to try to determine who was behind the site and subpoenaed records from its host, Wix.com. On Monday (May 14) the campaign released the records, which show the site was registered on April 18 by Mark Spannagel, LaMalfa’s chief of staff and campaign manager.

The next day LaMalfa consultant Dave Gilliard released this statement via email: “Neither Doug LaMalfa, nor the LaMalfa campaign, had any knowledge or involvement in the construction or posting of the website in question, which just came to our attention this morning.”

It also added this disclaimer about the role of humor in politics: “Political satire has a long history in American politics, something that thin-skinned candidates, or those trying to hide their record, sometimes have trouble fully appreciating.”

Gilliard did not return a call asking about Spannagel’s role in matter, but told The SacramentoBee that Spannagel is working for LaMalfa’s campaign “on a part-time basis.”

Dacquisto said Aanestad originally brought up the subject durng a candidates’ debate in Chester on May 4. At the time, he said, Aanestad asked about it and Dacquisto assured him he wasn’t behind it. LaMalfa’s only comment on the matter, Dacquisto said, was that he was not in favor of dirty politics.

“This means either he’s lying or he has no idea what his chief of staff is doing, and I don’t know which is worse,” Dacquisto said. “And who’s paying the chief of staff to do this? The taxpayers?”

At a press conference held outside of LaMalfa’s vacant Redding office, Aanestad pointed to the information his Grass Valley attorney, Barry Pruett, had received via the subpoena, according to a story in the Redding Record Searchlight.

“That shows a direct link to the LaMalfa campaign and the kind of deceitful, dishonest tactics they will go to win this election,” he said. “If they’re going to be deceitful and dishonest now, you wait until he’s entrenched as a congressman when no one can touch him.”

Dacquisto echoed those words.

“It is worse than disappointing,” he said. “It is despicable. I would never use someone’s name without their permission, and these kinds of hardball activities are an example of politics as usual, and it’s not what the voters want. Doug LaMalfa should fire anyone who was involved in this in any way, shape or form.”

He questioned LaMalfa’s claims of ignorance about the matter.

“If Doug LaMalfa didn’t say to his chief of staff, ‘Get Dacquisto’s name off of there,’ wouldn’t you think he would at least ask the guy, ‘What are they talking about? Why is this out there?’ And then the chief of staff would either say, ‘Oh it’s nothing,’ or he would tell him the truth.”

At some point the disclaimer on the website changed from “Free Thinkers for D’Acquisto” to “100% TRUE, 100% VERIFIABLE, 100 % POLITICAL SATIRE.”

An early posting questioned Aanestad’s professional background.

“FYI Sam Aanestad is not an ‘Oral Surgeon’ or ‘Doctor’ as he claims,” it says. “He is only licensed as a dentist, did not to go medical school and does not have an MD. How important is this? Not very except as evidence of a long and deliberate habit of misleading voters of the district.”

A later posting includes this message: “From opposing keeping hardened murders [sic] and gang members behind bar [sic] for life to granting taxpayer financed financial aid to illegal immigrants, Sam Aanestad isn’t the Principled Conservative he claims.”

Spannagel and David Reade, LaMalfa’s chief of staff when he was an assemblyman, have both run afoul of the California Republican Assembly for their campaign tactics.

Last July the CRA Board of Directors kicked Spannagel and Reade out of the conservative group after they were accused of manipulating the assembly to get its endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2008 presidential primary. Reade is currently Assemblyman Jim Nielsen’s chief of staff.

Reade was expelled from the CRA for 10 years and Spannagel for five.

Aanestad backer Jim Ledgerwood, a local long-time activist in the Republican Party, said he too was disappointed by the news.

“I’ve been around for a while, and I’ve never seen anything this dirty,” he said.