Duvall nearly out of money


JUNE 4, 2010


Former Assemblyman Michael D. Duvall of Yorba Linda, who left office suddenly in September 2009 following revelations that he talked freely of alleged sexual conquests in a legislative hearing chamber, has given away just about all of his old campaign cash. According to a May 26, 2010 filing with the California Secretary of State’s office, between Jan. 1 and May 22 of this year the Farmers Insurance agent spent $64,928.16 of his $67,718.44, leaving just $7,179.49 left in his campaign account.

Duvall didn’t return a call for this story, but he told CalWatchdog back in early May (see “Duvall still giving out money”) that he was in the process of dispersing his funds. More than two-thirds of his recent expenditures were in the form of contributions to political candidates or various Republican party organizations. Recipients of Duvall’s money behaved in a variety of ways, ranging from spending the money with pride to donating it to charity to giving it back as soon as possible.

One of those who gladly accepted a check for $1,000 from Duvall on April 9 is Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine. “Is the money better in Duvall’s hands or ours?” Josh Trevino, a spokesman for DeVore’s campaign for U.S. Senate asked rhetorically. “One thousand dollars is not a lot of money in a campaign context. It’s doing good work in our [hands].”

Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, the assistant Republican leader in the Assembly, accepted $3,000 from Duvall, also on April 9. “It takes money to beat Democrats,” said Mike Spence, a spokesman for Hagman’s campaign. “Assemblyman Hagman is in a leadership position and has donated to Republican candidates. Plus he has his own race.”

But of those candidates contacted by CalWatchdog, DeVore and Hagman were in the minority. Most of the others elected to get rid of Duvall’s money.

Duvall’s report with the Secretary of State’s office indicates that Jerry Amante, a Tustin City Councilman running against Irvine Councilman Steven Choi in the 70th Assembly District race received $3,000 from Duvall on April 9, but gave the money back 10 days later.

“We never solicited the money,” Amante said. “We didn’t want the donation. So we refunded it immediately.” When asked why he didn’t want the money, Amante would only say, “I didn’t want support from Mr. Duvall.”

The California Republican Party also returned a $15,000 contribution to Duvall, which he gave on April 20. “We encouraged Duvall to give the money to local charities or non-profits,” said Mark Standriff, the party’s communications director.

Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Murrieta, accepted the $2,000 check Duvall gave him on April 9, but split it up into 10 $200 increments and donated each to a charity. Jeffries latest campaign filings show the civic donations, all given on May 5, to charities including the Community Food Pantry of Murrieta, the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center, Second Harvest Food Bank and Alternatives to Domestic Violence

“It came completely out of the blue,” Jeffries said. “When it came in, I said, ‘That’s going to be a hot potato so let’s put it to good use.’ Duvall has a heart of gold but the mouth of a trucker.”

Spokespeople for San Bernardino Republican Party, which took $2,500 from Duvall on March 25, Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo ($2,000) and Assemblyman Martin Garrick, R-Carlsbad ($2,000) did not return calls by press time.

Duvall’s campaign filing shows he also gave $21,600 to various charities and non-profit organizations. Duvall donated $7,000 to the YMCA of Orange County, $3,500 to the Gateway Lodge Brea Masonic Center, $3,600 to the Ahab/Patrick Smith Leukemia Fund, $1,000 each to the Claremont Institute, Calvary Church of Santa Ana and the Orange County Federation of Republican Women and $250 to the Orange County Boy Scouts.

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  1. John Seiler
    John Seiler 4 June, 2010, 13:10

    Just think. If he had another $197,043,520.42, he could have run for governor or U.S. senator.

    Reply this comment
  2. Tyler
    Tyler 8 June, 2010, 13:25

    HAHA I would love to see the smear campaign against him. Those would probably be the only campain commercials ever that result in FCC fines.

    Reply this comment

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