Orange County is home to a growing brigade of progressive Democrat activists who are increasingly bold in proclaiming their left-wing leanings. While their brand of progressive politics has been the norm in Los Angeles for years, they’ve been shy about revealing it in more conservative Orange County until the Blue Wave washed OC last year.
Nowadays, local progressives are unapologetic about their calls for massive government intervention in society and the economy. OC’s new Democratic members of Congress, for example, are signing up for the Green New Deal and HR 1, the “For the People” campaign “reform” bill that would introduce public funding of campaigns at the federal level to make politics more “democratic.”
If LA Councilmember Nury Martinez’;s behavior is any guide, public funding is a recipe for abuse and corruption.
For the last few years, Martinez has been under investigation by both federal and county prosecutors for using fake small-dollar contributions and leveraging them into matching public funds. Investigations revealed at least a couple dozen instances in which voters in her district were listed on campaign reports as donating $5 or $10 to her 2015 re-election campaign, in fact never gave her a dime.
Los Angeles’ public campaign funding law is intended to level the playing field for grass-roots candidates. If a candidate reports at least 200 voters giving a minimum of $5 each, their campaign qualifies for matching funds at a 2-1 ration.
Martinez leveraged this provision to obtain $65,360 in matching funds from LA taxpayers, amounting to one-fight of her total campaign warchest.
Donors, as well as current and former Martinez staffers, have been summoned before the grand jury. A spokesperson for the LA County District Attorney confirms that office is investigating complaints against Councilwoman Martinez, a progressive Democrat from the San Fernando Valley.
In 2014, Martinez threw a house party in her council office that got out of hand and set off the smoke alarms in City Hall, triggering an evacuation.
Martinez’s foibles and messy exploitation of progressive “reforms” like public financing of campaigns has generated a political backlash in the form of a digital media campaign running online:
Progressives mean well, but their policies make government bigger and bigger, and more pervasive and controlling of your lives and liberty. It is born of good intentions but breeds corruption. As Martinez’ abuse of LA’s taxpayer-financed public campaign spending law demonstrates, progressive reforms can’t repeal human nature.
But this is exactly what these radical progressive Democrats will bring to Orange County if given half a chance.