John Chiang’s campaign for governor today released a new television ad — called “Truth” — where Chiang chides both Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa for their campaign tactics and special interest support, while also reaffirming his commitment to fight for California priorities and values.
“I call it like I see it. The race for governor turned into a scam,” says Chiang in the ad. “Gavin Newsom is trying to elect a Republican who was endorsed by Trump. And Villaraigosa is being bankrolled by a handful of billionaires. It’s everything that’s wrong with politics. And none of it is helping struggling families. Here’s my pledge to you: I’ll keep our budget balanced, invest in affordable housing, fight for universal health care, and stand up to Donald Trump. As governor, you can trust me to do what’s right, because I always have.”
“Truth” shines a spotlight on Gavin Newsom for trying to game the system and elevate a Republican for his own personal gain, as well as Antonio Villaraigosa for actively courting billionaires and special interests to prop up his flailing campaign. Over the last few weeks, Newsom has received a barrage of negative media coverage from multiple outlets — across the state and nation — for artificially propping up Republican John Cox’s campaign, in an effort to escape any general election competition, despite the dangers his tactics pose to the state and national Democratic parties. Newsom’s campaign openly admitted to “trying to keep [other Democratic candidates] pinned on the mat.” A story posted by ThinkProgress yesterday noted Newsom’s strategy could come at the expense of House Democrats and “[shut] down the party’s hopes of building a firewall against President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.” A Republican strategist here in California even criticized Newsom in yesterday’s LA Times for employing a tactic “so cynical, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin would be proud of it,” while also calling Newsom’s scheming, “everything you hate about politics.”
Not to be outdone, Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign and his billionaire supporters have been doing everything they can to not only downplay Villaraigosa’s Democratic label, but to also tie Republican Cox to the Democratic Party and bash national Democrats, like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Villaraigosa recently courted the endorsement of failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who spent nearly $180 million — $144 million of which came from her own pocket — on her failed run in 2010, and co-hosted a fundraiser for Villaraigosa in Silicon Valley last night. In addition, special interest billionaires have spent more than $17 million in support of Villaraigosa’s campaign — either positioning Villaraigosa as a moderate or labeling Cox as a “liberal.” Villaraigosa has also accepted over $158,000 in contributions from separate GOP and pro-Trump supporters, including pro-charter Republican Walmart heiress Carrie Penner and her husband Gregory Penner, Republican “power broker” Bert Boekmann, Republican oil investor Thomas Wachtell and his wife Esther Wachtell, and Republican CEO Bernard Klepach and his wife Juliette Klepach.
“Both Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa have made it clear they’ll sell out to Republicans and special interests in their grab for political power,” said Fabien Levy, Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director for John Chiang’s campaign. “Gavin has gamed the system and risked House Democrats’ chances of stopping President Trump, while Antonio has gone just as far by actively flirting with GOP megadonors and selling out for campaign cash. John Chiang is the only Democrat in the race who has remained true to progressive values and championed for California families. He’s the one that voters can trust to continue to stand up to the Trump Administration where it counts, and continue his fight for affordable housing, accessible health care, and working to end the epidemic of gun violence.”
“Truth” will air on broadcast and cable with buys across California media markets. The ad can be seen here.