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Osborn Supporters Accuse Butler of Hypocrisy

They say state Assembly candidate Betsy Butler's campaign did what she criticized Torie Osbon's campaign for doing to obtain the Malibu Democratic Club's endorsement. Butler says the two situations are different.

State Assembly candidate Betsy Butler and her supporters criticized Torie Osborn's campaign for recruiting people to join the Malibu Democratic Club so they could vote for her in Sunday's endorsement election. Osborn supporters say they are hypocrites because Butler's campaign has encouraged people to "join as many of the Dem clubs as possible" through a mass email.

Butler told Patch that the two situations are different, because nobody has offered to pay for her supporters to join the organizations. One person submitted a $1,000 check last month to the Malibu club to cover the expenses of about 40 Osborn supporters' memberships, club President Jean Goodman told Patch.

Osborn  on Sunday after receiving 41 votes following a forum featuring the three Democratic candidates. Five people chose Butler, none picked Richard Bloom and 13 club members wanted there to be no endorsement. 

"The thing that's most concerning here is that one person wrote a check for 42 members," Butler told Patch on Monday. "How hard is it to join a club if somebody's writing the check for you?"

Goodman has declined to name the person who submitted the check. She said the name would be revealed when the club files its next financial report with the California Secretary of State's Office.

When asked by Patch about this issue on Sunday, Osborn said her campaign "organized some people to either re-up [their memberships] or join," but said she personally had nothing to do with it.

Several Osborn supporters forwarded the email from Butler's campaign to Patch. 

The email states, "Join as many of the Dem clubs as possible (for most of the clubs, the only requirement to join is that you be a registered Democrat. For instance, you do not necessarily need to live in the Pacific Palisades to join the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club) ... Ask as many friends as you can to also join and attend as many Dem clubs as possible."

Osborn supporter Dante Atkins, who is a vice chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, wrote to Patch, "The complaints from Betsy Butler's surrogates about the Malibu Democratic Club endorsement process are the height of hypocrisy."

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Debra Evans January 10, 2012 at 07:38 PM
This reminds me of last year when our Insurance Commissioner did the same thing - and he won. - Those of us who supported someone else were as upset as Betsy is. But in the big picture, it is the way politics work... I can't fingure out why suddenly this is a surprise. Betsy lost Malibu in her opening statement. She thought she was speaking to the City Council when she said there needs to be more development. She tried to clean it up, but it was too late. The damage was done.

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