The Contra Costa Times has revealed that CA 10 Candidates John Garamendi, Mark DeSaulnier and Joan Buchanan have raised and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars campaigning for state office while at the same time running in the upcoming 10th District Special Election to replace former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher.
“Campaigning for state office while running for Congress violates the spirit of federal election law,” said CA 10 Candidate Anthony Woods. “It also reminds us that if Sacramento politicians would spend as much energy doing their current job as they do campaigning for their next job, maybe California would not be on the brink of bankruptcy.”
Unlike federal campaigns, state candidates are able to accept money from corporations and the contribution limits are substantially higher. Federal law bans using money raised for state campaigns on federal races. However, some candidates are able to skirt the law by using state campaign account funds on mailers and other activities that boost their name ID while avoiding any mention of their candidacy for federal office.
Including their active campaigns for Congress, Garamendi, DeSaulnier and Buchanan are currently running for a combined total of seven offices.
Reports show that Garamendi, who can’t even vote for himself in the upcoming Special Election because he lives in the 3rd Congressional District, continues to raise and spend money for his bid for California governor and re-election as California lieutenant governor.
State Sen. Desaulnier and Assemblywoman Buchanan – both of whom were elected to first terms in their respective bodies in the California Legislature last November – are maintaining active 2010 re-election campaigns for California State Senate and State Assembly, respectively.
According to the Contra Costa Times, all three Sacramento politicians campaigning in CA 10 have raised and spent state campaign funds while running for Congress. Mark DeSaulnier’s recent use of his State Senate re-election fund to send out mailers to District 10 voters has drawn the sharpest rebuke – leading one local resident to file a formal complaint with the Federal Elections Commission.
“Frankly, I think campaign finance laws in this area should be stricter, but leaders should be accountable to the letter and spirit of the law,” said Woods, a decorated Iraq War veteran and a West Point and Harvard trained economic policy specialist. “If these three Sacramento politicians won’t hold themselves accountable to a higher standard, how can we expect them to hold the line against big banks, government contractors and insurance companies?”
Anthony Woods is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a veteran of two combat tours in Iraq and was awarded both the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal for his service. Woods is a native of Fairfield and is campaigning for the Special Election to replace former Representative Ellen Tauscher in California’s 10th District.