Home Featured BUYING AN ELECTION: Will Freshman Rep. Gil Cisneros Write His Campaign Another $9M Check?

BUYING AN ELECTION: Will Freshman Rep. Gil Cisneros Write His Campaign Another $9M Check?

BUYING AN ELECTION: Will Freshman Rep. Gil Cisneros Write His Campaign Another $9M Check?

With the primary elections behind us and the reopening of Orange County underway, candidates are building campaign war chests ahead the general election this fall.  In Orange County’s swing 39th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Gil Cisneros appears to be in trouble.  After coming behind his Republican opponent Young Kim in the Primary, Federal Election Commission financial reports reveal Rep. Cisneros CA-39 is also losing his fundraising advantage with Cisneros reporting $1.1million cash on hand compared to $970,420 for Young Kim.

The question on everyone’s minds now is, will history repeat itself?

This rematch between Rep. Gil Cisneros and former state lawmaker, Young Kim is shaping out similar to 2018, with both candidates raising the same amount of funds and with Kim leading in the polls.  The question is, will Cisneros repeat his 2018 strategy of donating $9 million to his campaign in the final month to buy the district?

The topic of money in this race has long been an issue, not just because Cisneros is a California lottery winner ($260+ million), but because Cisneros has repeatedly violated the campaign ethics he ran on in 2018.

In early 2018 Cisneros condemned the practice of accepting corporate Political Action Committee (PAC) money for his campaign declaring it “corrosive to our democracy.”

Yet a few months after his congressional term began, Cisneros broke his pledge by taking money and gifts directly from corporation’s lobbyist.  So while technically Cisneros was not accepting money from the corporation’s PAC, he instead just asked the corporation’s well-connected lobbyists to host lavish fundraisers on his behalf, “cozying up to corporate lobbyists despite [his] purity pledge”.

Still the lust for campaign cash continued but this time in the form of Cisneros’ coming out in support of taxpayer-funded congressional campaigns, and even voted to kill a republican budget amendment that sought to keep citizens’ tax dollars out of the hands of political campaigns. This decision came with heavy criticism that from pro-democracy groups that by allowing members of Congress to match funds from the taxpayer’s treasury that it would give sitting members of Congress an unfair advantage to protect their current seats.

Cisneros seems to remain philosophically consistent in his principle: for me and not for thee. During the campaign in 2018 against Young Kim, Cisneros aggressively attacked his Republican opponent for not joining his pledge to refuse corporate PAC money; an easy pledge to make when one is sitting on $266million dollars of lotto winnings.

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