A labor-backed committee showered 4th Assembly District voters with mail pieces slamming GOP candidate Beth Gaines' stance on the budget over the weekend.
Opportunity PAC reported spending more than $38,000 on a last minute mail blitz ahead of tomorrow's runoff election between Gaines and Democrat Dennis Campanale. The two are vying to fill the seat vacated by Gaines' husband Ted Gaines, who was elected to the state Senate in January.
At least two pieces sent to district voters target the Roseville Republican for opposing a budget solution that includes taxes or an election on taxes, with one casting the no-tax pledge she has signed as a vow "to obstruct responsible bipartisan efforts."
Another piece lays out steep cuts to schools and public safety that could result from an all-cuts budget, quoting local educators on the possible impact of funding reductions.
"If Ted and Beth Gaines won't listen to educators in their districts, perhaps they will listen to parents," one mailer says. "The people of Roseville, Rocklin, Loomis, Folsom, Placerville and El Dorado Hills need to pound on the doors of their candidates and legislators to get the budget resolved. Now."
Gaines supports a cuts-based approach to solving the state's projected $15.4 billion budget deficit, though she says she believes those savings can be achieved without hurting the most needy. Her own mail pieces have highlighted her "pro taxpayer" and "tough on government spending" positions, telling voters in the conservative district that she is "right on the issues. One of us."
Gaines consultant Dave Gilliard called the attack pieces a "waste of money."
"I think they're pretty much off message for this district," he said of the conservative electorate for the Sacramento-area seat.
The mail blitz, which included a third piece highlighting the combined salary the Gaineses would take home as legislators, marked the first major spending against Gaines since she emerged as a top vote-getter in the eight-way primary. While it's unclear how much the mail campaign will impact the election in the conservative district, where Gaines is expected to win handily, the pieces could represent an early test of attacks against GOP legislators who oppose Brown's budget plan.
See PDFs of the budget-related mail pieces after the jump.