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Jon Fleischman

Mail Piece Hits Congressional Candidate Ted Lieu For Silence On Wright Explusion

There are 39 members of the California State Senate who are not convicted felons.  Only one — Senator Rod Wright (D-Inglewood?) was convicted over a week ago by a jury of his peers in Los Angeles Superior Court.  He was found guilty of 8 felonies and awaits sentencing in March for his crimes.  He faces a maximum penalty of eight years in prison (or where ever you actually end up spending your time under this new “realignment” scheme).  Senate President Darrell Steinberg has imperiously announced that he has no intention of forcing Wright out the door until at least his mid-March sentencing, and who knows what happens if Wright appeals and is told that this sentencing will be delayed pending it’s outcome?

In America we have an important legal standard, “Innocent until proven guilty.” — It was totally appropriate for Wright to serve in office during his trial because he had not been found guilty by a jury.  Now that he has been found guilty, he is — presumed guilty.  Does that mean that he cannot appeal the decision?  Of course not.  But in our system one does not get to postpone their guilt during appeal.  Unless, apparently, you are a member of the California State Senate — where the laws that apply to the rest of us do not apply to the politicians.

Yesterday three State Senators were the first to publicly challenge Senate President Steinberg’s “sanctuary edict” for Wright, demanding a vote.   Since the letter was signed by three Republican legislators, it appears to have been dismissed by Steinberg.  I guess Republicans in the super-minority are used to this.  That said, hopefully we will see more Senators showing some courage, and standing up for the Rule of Law, and against this kind of bizarre effort to shield Senator Wright from all of the consequences of his actions, which should include not only losing the right to vote at home, but he should not be a voting member of the Senate either.

It seems to me that there are a lot of Senators who should be anxious to cast a vote to expel Wright from office — if for no other reason that they are heading into tough elections this year — an awkward time to be caught trying to defend the indefensible.   If they think that simply doing nothing when the right thing is to do something will somehow spare them from being exposed to the voters, they have another thing coming.  This issue can and will be used against those harboring Wright the Capitol.

I took the liberty, with the assistant of my friend (and political mail design pro) Jim Bieber to work on a hypothetical mail piece, that would in theory be an independent expenditure campaign against a silent Senator.  In this particular instance, we plugged Senator Ted Lieu into the piece — Lieu has just announced his candidacy for the open U.S. House seat currently occupied by the retiring Henry Waxman.  Lieu will face a tough Democratic field in June, and if he should prevail there, a tough slog against a wealthy independent businessman in November.  Let me be clear that this a purely hypothetical mailer and could just as easy feature as its target any of the “silent Senators” — Alex Pedilla or Leland Yee who are running for Secretary of State.  Or Ted Gaines who is running for State Insurance Commissioner.  Or Perhaps Senator Mark Wyland, who is in a tough, contested primary for the Board of Equalization?  Of course there are several Senators besides Lieu who are running for Congress:  Mark DeSaulnier, Ellen Corbett, and Mimi Walters.  And of course Senator Cannella faces re-election this year in a tough district.

Hopefully they can all imagine being featured in a mailer that looks…. like this…  And don’t think that like actual consultants couldn’t get more creative than this.