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Steel Hires One of Top Election Law Attorneys In CA. Does It Matter?

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on March 25, 2014

Michelle Steel has hired Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP to defend her in a lawsuit by Assemblyman Allan Mansoor challenging her use of the ballot designation “Taxpayer Advocate.” This is extremely impressive considering Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP successfully represented George Runner when both Barbara Alby and Alan Nakanishi challenged “Taxpayer Advocate” in Runner’s “Taxpayer Advocate/Senator” designation. Runner went on to win this race and is currently a sitting member of the California State Board of Equalization. Here are the results, courtesy of http://www.smartvoter.org:

michellesteel

State Board of Equalization; District 2; Republican Party

  • George Runner, Republican ………. 228,758 votes 35.4%
  • Alan Nakanishi, Republican ………. 192,475 votes 29.8%
  • Barbara Alby, Republican ………. 164,527 votes 25.4%
  • Edward C. Streichman, Republican ………. 60,987 votes 9.4%

My reaction to hearing about the ballot designation challenge was, “Does it really matter?” Steel as of campaign finance reports released last night has an ending cash balance of over $500,000. Mansoor has an ending cash balance of just over $60,000. With that much cash on hand, Steel can run as Taxpayer Advocate, State Board of Equalization Member, or Evil Corporate Lawyer and likely still win (or at least finish in 1st place and advance to November).

I definitely understand why Mansoor is doing this because Taxpayer Advocate is a very good ballot designation. Unfortunately, Mansoor might have failed to realize that State Board of Equalization Member is also a very good ballot designation.

Steel currently has an active ground campaign, the most money raised, and the most local endorsements. Many people have told me, “Don’t count out Allan Mansoor, he beat Leslie Daigle when she had a lot more money.” I look at a number of differences in that race:

  • When Mansoor beat Daigle in 2012 he was a sitting incumbent.
  • Daigle did not have the local support that Mansoor had in 2012 (local endorsements were weighted heavily in Mansoor’s favor).
  • Contrary to popular belief Mansoor’s committee actually outspent Daigle’s committee. (IE’s are what tilted the cash battle in Daigle’s favor).
  • Mansoor had a far better precinct operation than Daigle in 2012.

I plan to provide a more thorough analysis on this race along with a number of others closer to election day.

One Response to “Steel Hires One of Top Election Law Attorneys In CA. Does It Matter?”

  1. […] and she is now required to use “Board of Equalization Member” instead. This case was covered here on OC Political, in an article in the OC Register, and in an article in the Daily […]

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