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This post originally appeared in the March 7 Politics Report. Get the Politics Report delivered to your inbox.
California’s political watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission, is looking for leads after someone produced anti-Cori Schumacher ads in Carlsbad but didn’t disclose who paid for them, as required by state law.
So here you go, state political watchdog:
A week before the election, Lorrie Metzler filed a permit application with Carlsbad on behalf of Protect Our Beloved Carlsbad and Concerned Citizens of Carlsbad to distribute signs for the March 3 election. Those signs encouraged residents to “Stop Cori Now!”
A flier warned that Schumacher’s Sacramento platform, although she’s a member of the local City Council, attracts crime, reduces property values and takes away local control. It also notes that she’s married to a woman and does not oppose abortion.
“It’s apparent there’s a really far-right element in our city that is incredibly afraid of the change they think I represent,” Schumacher said. “Which is true. I represent change, transparency, integrity, the whole thing.”
Metzler didn’t return a request for comment.
Schumacher was running in a special election and won by about 600 votes, a margin of about 8 percent. She had been serving as an at-large member of the City Council. Her victory Tuesday moves her over to District 1.
“It’s par for the course for a city that’s changing,” she said of the attack ads. “But the people have spoken.”
The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission was tipped off to the signs and the fliers through its AdWATCH program, where people can file sworn and non-sworn complaints or anonymously pass along information that might be useful to investigators.
Metzler’s connection to either Protect Our Beloved Carlsbad or Concerned Citizens of Carlsbad is not entirely clear. Nor is it clear whether the Concerned Citizens of Carlsbad campaigning in the last election is the same Concerned Citizens of Carlsbad accused of election violations in the past.