Jeff Smith 3:30 p.m., June 28
Has the Lincoln Club Lost Sway in the South Bay?
Though the San Diego County Registrar of Voters has until July 3 to certify election results, the votes are counted and some results merit more analysis. Why did the campaign efforts of the influential, pro-business Lincoln Club fare so poorly in the South Bay?
The Lincoln Club supported incumbent Chula Vista council member Pamela Bensoussan, who also enjoyed Democratic Party support. However, she garnered only 34.11 % of the vote. As a result, in November Bensoussan will face Republican Larry Breitfelder, who received 37.11 %.
The Club also supported Jerry Rindone, a South County incumbent for the County Board of Education. However, Lyn Neylon defeated Rindone.
Also the Lincoln Club urged a "no" vote on Chula Vista's Proposition C. The proposition called for term limits for Chula Vista's city attorney and authorized the city council to hire an outside counsel when the city attorney has a conflict of interest. The proposition passed with 53.44 % voting "yes."
David Malcolm co-chairs the Lincoln Club Political Action Committee. Malcolm no longer resides in Chula Vista but is rooted in the city through his personal and political history and because of his long-standing friendship with Mayor Cheryl Cox.
A recent U-T article credits Malcolm and his company, Suncoast Financial Mortgage Corporation, with donating $62,508 to the Lincoln Club. The article states that Democratic political consultant Chris Crotty "called the Lincoln Club 'the No. 1 influencer' in San Diego politics right now."
On June 25 Malcolm responded to the question: What happened to Lincoln Club influence in the South County?
Malcolm's view of the scenario was framed by optimism.
For starters, he pointed out that the election results for the Lincoln Club in the whole county represented an 89% success rate.
Malcolm attributed council member Bensoussan's lack of success to low voter turnout in the primary which he said is traditionally dominated by Republicans. Bensoussan is a Democrat.
According to Malcolm, "Breitfelder's only chance of winning was in the primary." (Breitfelder was the only Republican challenger.)
It appears the Lincoln Club is ready to throw money against Bensoussan's opponent as Malcolm said, "In November you can be assured Mr. Breitfelder's background at the water board will be brought forward." (Curiously, the Lincoln Club supported Breitfelder in his 2010 bid for a council seat. Breitfelder served on the Otay Water Board from 2002-2010.)
Breitfelder, in a subsequent interview said, "I feel honored to come out in first place when there was an incumbent [Bensoussan] in the race. If an incumbent only gets 1/3 of the vote, there is obviously real voter dissatisfaction."
As for Jerry Rindone and the County Board of Education seat, Malcolm believes Rindone was simply outspent by Lyn Neylon.
Proposition C was another story. Malcolm lamented "People still believe strongly in term limits and that is why the proposition passed. But what happens to institutional memory?"
If there was an error in Lincoln Club strategy, Malcolm said it was to link the two candidates, Bensoussan and Rindone, with Proposition C in the campaign literature.
More like this:
- Out with the old... — Dec. 6, 2012
- Winners, losers and post-election reflection — Nov. 11, 2012
- Chula Vista chamber of commerce PAC gets money from supervisor Cox — Oct. 31, 2012
- Lincoln Club Wades into Chula Vista City Council Fray — March 29, 2012
- An Inspection of Lincoln Club Endorsements for Chula Vista City Council — March 11, 2012