Gil Cisneros is now 3,000+ votes ahead of Young Kim in CA-39. With CA-45, CA-48, and CA-49 called, it's starting to look like a clean sweep. The image above showing BEFORE and AFTER for Orange County is dramatic (thanks, Reddit, for the graphic).
Quick update for those who contributed to our California 2020 PAC.
Of the five races where we bet big (spend in the five figures), three have been called for Dems and votes are still being counted in the remaining two.
The races that have been called: Mike Levin won in CA49, Harley Rouda won in CA48, and Jacky Rosen won in the Nevada Senate race.
Votes are still being counted in CA45 (where Katie Porter has pulled into a 3,700+ vote lead over Mimi Walters in the last couple of days) and in CA39 (where Gil Cisneros is now within 122 votes of Young Kim based on the 11/14 OC and San Bernadino ROV updates). LA County is due to report CA39 results Friday and has been heavily favoring Cisneros. Both of these races are looking good for the Dems.
Our PAC was never going to win an election outright, only influence a few thousand votes in a few key races. As I said in an email to two major donors, we were a strand in a tapestry of efforts to flip these districts. No individual thread in the fabric is more important than any other. However, in a close race, ALL the efforts are needed.
If you gave to the PAC, I think you can feel like you made a real difference given how close some of these races ended up being in the end.
I'll update again when the last two districts are called.
Thank you again to everyone that donated. Paula and I are profoundly grateful.
-Michael and Paula Verdu, California 2020
A quote from the article:
"Harkey’s fundraising has fallen far behind Levin’s. Plus the National Republican Congressional Committee has withheld funding from Harkey’s campaign, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has poured money into supporting Levin, including ads that attack Harkey.
"Harkey’s husband has been convicted of elder abuse in connection with his investment company, Point Center Investments, a company that courts have ruled deprived many seniors of their life savings."
The fact that the NRCC has abandoned Harkey is encouraging. There are other reasons to be cautiously optimistic as well, including recent polling. However, as Mike Levin said in a post in one of the Indivisible forums on Facebook, "let's run like we're 10 points behind!". No complacency!
Key HOUSE RACES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: NEW POLL IS ENCOURAGING BUT THESE RACES ARE ON A KNIFE's EDGE! PLEASE VOTE!
According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times (dated October 4), "Republicans are at risk of a wipeout in California’s six most hotly contested congressional races, a new poll shows — a result that could radically reshape the state’s political map, with major consequences nationally."
However, all of these races are on a knife's edge and could go either way. Even the 49th, which is starting to look encouraging for Team Blue.
Check out how close all these races actually are:
48th District: Harley Rouda vs. Dana Rohrabacher
45th District: Katie Porter vs. Mimi Walters
39th District: Gil Cisneros vs. Young Kim
25th District: Katie Hill vs. Steve Knight
49th District: Mike Levin vs. Diane Harkey
50th District: Ammar Campa-Najjar vs. Duncan Hunter
Click through to the Los Angeles Times article:
A quick trip down memory lane (the more things change, the more things stay the same):
Check out how Republican candidate Kristin Gaspar felt about Diane Harkey back in June during the primary election campaign. The Republicans made an excellent case against their current standar bearer in the 49th district!
On September 29, the Times of San Diego reminded us that Diane Harkey "directly received money for her political campaigns from the funds taken out of [her husband's ponzi scheme] business."
Yes, she has been funding her political career with money from a ponzi scheme that wiped out the savings of elderly investors. The sheer audacity of this is astounding.
More from the Times:
[The] record shows that an Orange County jury, trial court, and appellate court all concluded that Mr. Harkey ran a Ponzi scheme that defrauded elderly and other investors from 2000 to 2008, holding him personally liable for repaying more than $10 million in damages — plus another $1 million in punitive damages for willfully and intentionally causing great harm. In 2013, an Orange County jury found that he breached his fiduciary duties to his investors and committed financial elder abuse. Three months ago, this judgment was affirmed by the California Court of Appeal.
The appellate court specifically held that Mr. Harkey had operated “a Ponzi scheme bilking his investors.” A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves paying purported (but actually fake) profits to existing investors from fresh funds contributed by new investors who are enticed by the prospect of the high returns being received by the early investors. When the spigot of new money dries up, later investors are left holding the bag and usually recover only pennies on their dollars.
As the court explained, “The mere existence of a Ponzi scheme is sufficient to establish actual intent to defraud.” So, yes, “Ponzi scheme” and “fraud” are exactly the right words to describe Mr. Harkey’s conduct.
The jury also found that Mr. Harkey improperly took money out of the business in the form of high fees, even though he had promised investors that he would not do so. And Mr. Harkey used company assets to pay many personal expenses. Ms. Harkey herself directly received money for her political campaigns from the funds taken out of the business. In short, even though she was not held liable for the fraud (about that, she is telling the truth), she benefited from it.
As her publicly filed campaign finance reports show, in 2006 she contributed about $900,000 to her failed bid for the state Senate. She contributed about $200,000 to her successful state Assembly race in 2008. Although she claims those funds came from her own income, she testified in the lawsuit that, when she needed to pay campaign bills in 2006, she simply asked the chief financial officer of her former husband’s business for money — and got it.
Diane Harkey is no friend of the environment. She is consistently against laws and polices that promote conservation, reduce pollution, and protect the environment.
Based on her track record, Harkey will not fight to stop climate change, and will ignore the crisis or even work against laws and policies to mitigate the most critical environmental issue in modern history.
We need a Representative in Congress that understands the stakes and will work to protect future generations.
Mike Levin is passionate about preserving the environment and stopping Climate change by transitioning the U.S. to an affordable, sustainable, clean energy future (which will also position us as the world leader in clean energy technology and job creation).
When it comes to the environment and fighting climate change, the contrast between Mike Levin and Diane Harkey couldn't be more stark.
President Obama endorsed Mike Levin for the 49th Congressional District.
From the Times of San Diego:
“I’m proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates — leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent,” said Obama. “I’m confident that, together, they’ll strengthen this country we love by restoring opportunity that’s broadly shared, repairing our alliances and standing in the world, and upholding our fundamental commitment to justice, fairness, responsibility and the rule of law.
“But first, they need our votes,” he said, “and I’m eager to make the case for why Democratic candidates deserve our votes this fall.”
Point Center Financial Ponzi Scheme
Harkey held a senior position and was invested in her family’s company, Point Center Financial, which was sued by its investors – including retirees – for operating “a classic Ponzi scheme.” The company was found liable for $10 million in damages, and then found guilty of 11 charges of elder abuse. What’s more, Harkey used the profits from the company to fund her own political campaigns. She was even sued by people who were ripped off by this shady company to recoup their losses that she allegedly spent on her own political ambitions.
As the fraudulent company was under investigation by the SEC, and while Harkey was in the California State Assembly, she accepted $16,600 from firms borrowing millions from the fraudulent company. She even doubled down, saying it was “totally proper.”
The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed the multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme judgment against Harkey's husband. Dan Harkey had urged the appellate panel to overturn the original jury findings that he breached his fiduciary duties, committed financial elder abuse and flagrantly violated agreements with numerous investors who’d believed his fraudulent claims.
In a July 30 ruling, the court rejected Harkey’s appeal, declaring that “substantial evidence supports the jury’s and the trial court’s conclusions that he repeatedly made 'illusory' statements to pitched investors... Harkey looted the plaintiffs’ investment funds by running a Ponzi scheme to amass fees in their own interest on loans with only a pretense of underwriting and sham rollover loans violating operating agreements."
Despite trying to distance herself from the fraudulent company, Harkey’s connections are obvious. Besides using the profits to fund her political campaigns and being named in lawsuits related to the company, Harkey was: Invested in the company, listed as the company’s secretary in official filings, and reporting this company as her employer in campaign finance documents. And when pressed about the source of her massive political spending, Harkey admitted that it possibly came from the company’s fraudulent profits.
Board of Equalization Mismanagement
As head of the state Board of Equalization (BOE), Harkey’s mismanagement of the body was so catastrophic that Governor Brown was forced to interfere and strip it of most of its decision making powers and reduce its staff by 90%. A state audit found that the organization had misallocated tens of millions of dollars and that Harkey had violated state rules and regulations by using public employees and resources to advance her own political career. Specifically, a state audit found that Harkey misused 113 taxpayer-funded employees in an event that “appear[ed] self-promoting”, and that the BOE had tripled its spending on “education and outreach events” to nearly $3 million.
Fighting to re-take Congress so that we can have health care for all, a shift to clean energy to stop climate change, strong women's rights, immigration reform with respect for immigrants, tolerance, respect for the rule of law, and good government