Two GOP Assembly-Members.
One faked a resume and went from baking cookies to the State Assembly based on a last name that used to poll well.
The other built a business he actually owned, ran for community college board and then parlayed years of goodwill that was earned through good business and governance in to an assembly seat.
Don Wagner did not know Congressman John Campbell would retire while still young triggering a series of events that would open up a State Senate Seat when he first ran for Assembly.
Beth Gaines has been planning her next run ever since narrowly defeating her opponent in a special election in 2011. I recently updated her office shopping exploits.
There is a concept in politics that the facts don’t matter to a partisan elected, the only thing that does it what affects them and their next campaign. As an activist, I have lived with a generation of term-limit babies that do nothing at all to represent their constituents, but collect their paychecks and plan their next run.
State Senator Jim Nielsen has somewhat broken that mold and I am hopeful that he can help the PCTPA get some funding for the badly-needed transportation projects in Placer County. Ted Gaines and Beth Gaines could not be bothered.
When I write that Beth Gaines is incompetent, I have ample evidence to prove it – including her getting embarrassed on the floor of the assembly.
It is well-known in “the building” that Gaines could not debate on the floor of the assembly as she was incapable of thinking on her feet. It took several years of training for her to be able to do interviews and to be able to speak in public. The bottom line is that she was unqualified to serve when she first ran and we got to suffer being represented by someone who was incompetent and was learning on the job.
Gaines got challenged in 2012. She had no money in the bank and the establishment castigated those that supported her challenger pouring $1,000,000 plus in to Beth Gaines while the GOP lost so many seats they ended up in Super-Minority status in the state legislature. I can not tell you how many people have regretted not helping to get rid of Beth Gaines in 2012 when they had a chance to.
You could say that Gaines incompetence and lack of preparation helped cause the GOP to go in to super-minority status. The GOP leadership who were fearful that a successful challenge to a colleague may threaten their own seats had to cover for Beth Gaines in order to save themselves. There are consequences for faking a resume and getting unsuspecting voters to elect you based on a lie. The State of California suffered for it.
In the meantime – Don Wagner was elected to the Assembly. Unlike Gaines, Wagner did not have to learn his talking points. He did not need training to be able to do an interview. Wagner did not need to be told to work his district – he understood this from his real experience in life and office.
Beth Gaines parlayed the challenge of 2012 to get sympathy donations in 2014 that she is certainly using to seed her account for her next run in 2016… During that same time, Don Wagner was raising money to help other Republicans get elected.
How much did Wagner give away? Nearly $300,000 – some $148k of the money was donated even after Don Wagner knew he would be running for State Senate in 2015 to replace Mimi Walters (who succeeded in the primary to replace John Campbell). This money was donated, never to be seen again by Don Wagner, helping the Republican team to his own personal political peril.
What did Gaines do to “help” the Republican Team? Token amounts to local cent coms (usually event tickets and nothing more) and 5 LOANS to other Republican Candidates. Yes – she expects to get repaid that money this year. You only do this if you know you will be needing that money to run again for another office very soon and that you are either too lazy to raise the money back or you lack confidence that you can raise the money back.
None of the above reflect well on Beth Gaines.
She LENT Rob McCoy $4100, Tom Lackey $4100, Young Kim $4100, David Hadley $4100, and Marc Steinorth $4100. It is kind of like she didn’t really mean to help any of them.
Gaines is sitting on $205,000 to shop for another office with + the anticipated repayment of those loans. There is one other thing that is not clear – Beth Gaines’ top advisors have told people at various times that the Gaines are still in campaign debt, which is not reflected on their reports. If true, this is a violation of the law (good luck finding or proving it), but also indicates that she may not have real access to the entire $200k+.
Even half of that $200k+ would make Beth Gaines a formidable candidate for a local office of some sort, or that money would be a strong start for a BOE campaign.
Now, contrast this to Don Wagner who basically slit his own throat politically to help others without thinking about his next run.
I can’t believe that I even have to write this blog.