Donnelly aide works with unions vs. GOP candidates

Donnelly aide works with unions vs. GOP candidates

Donnelly RedevelopmentA top aide to a Republican candidate for governor is working with public employee unions to defeat Republican candidates in local elections.

Asher Burke, who assists Assemblyman Tim Donnelly’s gubernatorial campaign with “social media and online creative,” is also a principal officer of Public Safety Advocates, a political campaign committee working to defeat Republican-endorsed candidates in San Diego County.

According to campaign reports filed with the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters, the campaign committee has accepted tens of thousands of dollars from public employee unions, including the Deputy Sheriffs Association of San Diego County, the San Diego Police Officers Association and the Peace Officers Research Association of California.

Those funds are going to support Bob Brewer, who is running for San Diego County District Attorney. The Republican Party of San Diego County has endorsed Bonnie Dumanis, the incumbent, who has been outspent by Brewer.

“County records show Brewer also outraised Dumanis in the first six months of this year, bringing in more than $281,000,” the Voice of San Diego reported on the competitive race. “Dumanis received about $213,300 during the same period.”

Brewer, a first-time candidate, has received support from “11 police unions – including, most recently, the statewide California Coalition of Law Enforcement Associations,” according to the Voice of San Diego.

Union-funded Public Safety Advocates attack GOP candidates

Burke said the campaign committee welcomes the support of police and fire unions.

“Public Safety Advocates is a political expenditure committee for public safety organizations to support candidates they have determined will keep our local communities safer,” Burke told CalWatchdog.com. “Almost every campaign, probably including Assemblyman Donnelly’s, would welcome the support of police and fire. If you were a candidate, wouldn’t you?”

He added, “As Jerry Brown continues to dump dangerous criminals on our streets, due to his early release boondoggle, I find my work with local groups like police and fire to be extremely important to maintaining the type of city and state I want to live in.”

In addition to backing the union candidate for district attorney, the campaign committee has spent money to attack John McCann, a candidate for Chula Vista City Council who has also been endorsed by the Republican Party of San Diego County.

A recent mailer distributed by the Public Safety Advocates campaign committee attacks John McCann as “the man who CAN’T.”

“John McCann is bad news for Chula Vista,” the mailer warns. “Tell McCann you CAN’T support his failed management and incompetence.” (A copy of the flyer is shown at the end of this article.)

Donnelly’s anti-union rhetoric

Burke’s work with public employee unions coincides with his work for Donnelly’s campaign for governor, which has repeatedly attacked the unions for excessive salaries and benefits. Writing in an open letter to Brown in 2011, Donnelly accused the governor of submitting new contract agreements that “protect the well-paid public employee unions, even at the cost of students, public safety, and jobs.”

According to state campaign finance records, Burke and his businesses, Burke Communications, Inc. and Campaign Services Group, Inc., have received $69,194 in payments from Donnelly’s gubernatorial campaign committee, of which $38,500 was for campaign consulting. It easily makes Burke one of the highest-paid employees of Donnelly’s low-budget campaign.

Donnelly’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. However, in the past, the GOP candidate has boasted that hard-core liberals also work on his campaign.

“I have hard-core liberal Democrats working on my campaign as well as libertarians,” Donnelly told the Redding Tea Party in September 2013.

Payments to Asher Burke

Date Payee Category Amount
1/4/1900 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. CAMPAIGN CONSULTANTS $5,000.00
3/5/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. CAMPAIGN CONSULTANTS $3,500.00
10/11/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. CAMPAIGN CONSULTANTS $3,000.00
4/30/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. CAMPAIGN CONSULTANTS $2,500.00
8/21/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. CAMPAIGN CONSULTANTS $2,500.00
12/31/2013 BURKE COMMUNICATIONS, INC. CAMPAIGN CONSULTANTS $17,500.00
10/30/2013 BURKE COMMUNICATIONS, INC. CAMPAIGN CONSULTANTS $4,500.00
10/3/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. CAMPAIGN LITERATURE AND MAILINGS $2,878.20
5/15/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. CAMPAIGN LITERATURE AND MAILINGS $1,695.72
9/25/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. CAMPAIGN LITERATURE AND MAILINGS $1,274.40
4/1/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COSTS (INTERNET, E-MAIL) $5,000.00
7/19/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COSTS (INTERNET, E-MAIL) $4,000.00
9/26/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COSTS (INTERNET, E-MAIL) $3,000.00
12/31/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COSTS (INTERNET, E-MAIL) $3,000.00
12/31/2013 CAMPAIGN SERVICES GROUP INC. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COSTS (INTERNET, E-MAIL) $3,000.00
8/27/2013 BURKE, ASHER OFFICE EXPENSES $4,757.84
4/1/2013 BURKE, ASHER OFFICE EXPENSES $2,088.24
Total $69,194.40

19 comments

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  1. Doug Porter
    Doug Porter 9 May, 2014, 14:44

    It’s Bob Brewer, not Rob.

    Brewer is no lefty, trust me. (I am!) But there are plenty of people from across the political spectrum who will vote for him as a means of voting against Bonnie Dumanis.
    Rank and file cops don’t like her because she refuses cases (about 1 in 4) for political reasons. Nobody likes to have their work dissed, regardless of whether their in a union or not.
    Medical MJ patients don’t like her because she persecuted them while claiming she was busting dealers who targeted military families.
    And I could go on and on…

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler 9 May, 2014, 16:00

      We made the correction to “Bob” in the text. Than you for helping us.

      Reply this comment
    • Craig Kleffman
      Craig Kleffman 11 May, 2014, 13:57

      Dumanis is a wreck.

      She has so many scandals, one needs a database to track them.

      First, there’s #financeGate, the $200,000 illegal campaign contributions given to her failed Mayor campaign in 2012 (two people indicted so far).

      Second, there’s #ChulaVistaGate. In #ChulaVistaGate Dumanis asked Castaneda, a Chula Vista City Council Person to endorse/support/install her candidate of choice onto the City Council’s City Council. Castenada refused — but, it cost him. She started an investigation, charged him with some trumped up charges. He beat the charges (a few resolved as a hung jury — but, the DA’s office didn’t proceed. Dumanis hid the phone call from her prosecuting DDA until it came up — finally — in this campaign. And now, Dumanis refuses to deny the phone call — because she knows it is such a conflict of interest, it’s simply embarassing.

      Third, she prosecuted several criminal cases based upon the failure of elected officials to report free meals; and, lo and behold, she did the the same thing (e.g, #mealGate).

      I’m telling you, the list goes on and on. If you want the whole list, go to my blog that collects the scandals — http://istandwithbobbrewer.blogspot.com/.

      I strongly believe the voters are going to show her the door — after all, enough is enough.

      Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 9 May, 2014, 14:49

    Donnelly is an even bigger Chump than Kash-n-Karry

    Reply this comment
  3. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 9 May, 2014, 17:10

    He added, “As Jerry Brown continues to dump dangerous criminals on our streets, due to his early release boondoggle, I find my work with local groups like police and fire to be extremely important to maintaining the type of city and state I want to live in.”
    That is all you need to know to know this is the wrong person.

    Reply this comment
  4. BHliberty
    BHliberty 10 May, 2014, 13:00

    Haha rex ……Kash-n-karry! Not liking any of the candidates. Maybe I will just write someone I as a joke just like the state!

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, Manager
    Ted Steele, Manager 12 May, 2014, 10:03

    Republicans continue to eat their young– film at 11.

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 12 May, 2014, 20:13

      Yes, Clown is doing soooo much better…..$750 …cough…billion dollar cough….unfunded liability…cough cough!

      Teddy you butt sniffing partisan!

      Reply this comment
  6. Ted O'Steele, CEO
    Ted O'Steele, CEO 12 May, 2014, 21:35

    Poodle– relax little buddy—–you’ll keep your pension promises, I have faith in you girl!

    Reply this comment
  7. Queeg
    Queeg 13 May, 2014, 07:27

    This is a nonevent article….move on.

    The election is over!

    Republicans can even win a dog catcher job!

    Oops! Sorry Poodle girl….

    Reply this comment
  8. lauren
    lauren 13 May, 2014, 17:39

    lol another hit piece on donnelly. gotta love it. any chance we can ever see some REAL news out of hrabe for once? thanks.

    Reply this comment
  9. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 14 May, 2014, 12:03

    “Donnelly is an even bigger Chump than Kash-n-Karry”

    OMG! I agree with Rexie on something! Perhaps the heavy snow in San Diego will help put out the brush fires there.

    Reply this comment
  10. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 14 May, 2014, 12:03

    “Donnelly is an even bigger Chump than Kash-n-Karry”

    OMG! I agree with Rexie on something! Perhaps the heavy snow in San Diego will help put out the brush fires there.

    Reply this comment
  11. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 14 May, 2014, 12:04

    It felt so nice, I said it twice 🙂

    Reply this comment
  12. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 15 May, 2014, 11:00

    What if JB gets 51% of the vote on June 3? Would we be spared an absolutely useless general election in November, or would we still have to watch the dog and pony show for five more months?

    Reply this comment

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