PE: ‘Stand With Obama’ signs weren’t from Ruiz

 

“Just one thing: The signs weren’t put up by Ruiz, his campaign or his supporters.

 

They were paid for by the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association Federal PAC. The association’s founder is Chris Mann, a Republican and former Westlake Village mayor who runs a public relations firm in Banning.

 

“We wanted, in a way that was creative and got people’s attention, to drive home the fact that Raul Ruiz votes party lines about 90 percent of the time,” Mann said Friday. “It worked, insomuch as it got people’s attention.”

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POLITICAL EMPIRE: ‘Stand With Obama’ signs weren’t from Ruiz

A conservative group paid for signs linking Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, to President Barack Obama.

A conservative group paid for signs linking Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, to President Barack Obama.

 

Driving around Riverside County before the election, you might have noticed campaign signs that read “Stand With Obama/Vote Dr. Raul Ruiz.”

With President Barack Obama’s popularity at record lows, it was a bold stance for Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, to take as he sought re-election in his Republican-friendly district.

Just one thing: The signs weren’t put up by Ruiz, his campaign or his supporters.

They were paid for by the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association Federal PAC. The association’s founder is Chris Mann, a Republican and former Westlake Village mayor who runs a public relations firm in Banning.

“We wanted, in a way that was creative and got people’s attention, to drive home the fact that Raul Ruiz votes party lines about 90 percent of the time,” Mann said Friday. “It worked, insomuch as it got people’s attention.”

But it didn’t lead to success at the polls.

Ruiz defeated Republican Assemblyman Brian Nestande in the race for a district that covers the Pass, Hemet and San Jacinto along with the Coachella Valley.

Asked how he’d respond to those who thought the signs were misleading, Mann said: “No matter what you do, you can’t make people happy.”

Mann’s firm had other connections with Nestande’s campaign.

Nestande’s campaign manager, Greg Wallis, worked for Mann’s PR firm before the election. Mann said Wallis left the firm to work for Nestande.

Full Article: https://www.pe.com/2014/11/09/political-empire-stand-with-obama-signs-werent-from-ruiz/