Erin Carlstrom, a new city councilperson in Santa Rosa, spent a couple of months trying to figure out how she could move up in politics--she toyed with the idea of State Senate, then County Supervisor, and then settled on State Assembly. She's working with her husband, Nick Caston, (see posts about Accountable Development Coalition and Michael Allen, his cohort, for info on him) to position herself to slurp from the crony trough. Caston is a new boy on the block, a political consultant who cut his fangs on a few projects (Keep Napa Napa) and showed that he could draw blood.
Now Caston and Carlstrom have cooked up a project to enrich themselves by stylin' as 'protectors of the coast' and putting out a political mailer 'Vote The Coast'. Caston solicits political candidates to pay him to put them on the mailer. Carlstrom is on the mailer, of course, and paid her husband to be on it. So did Gary Wysocky---another wannabe crony.
Here's what the Marin Independent Journal's Dick Spotswood had to say about this yesterday:
Marin IJ: EXCERPT
Spotswood: County campaigns obscure candidates' plans
By Dick Spotswood
Posted: 05/31/2014 07:39:24 PM
Erin Carlstrom, the Santa Rosa councilwoman running as a Democrat in the Marin-Southern Sonoma 10th Assembly District, was just "endorsed" by "Vote the Coast."
In a widely-distributed ad, "Vote The Coast" appears as a warm and fuzzy sounding environmental organization. That could be a big deal in the green-friendly 10th District.
In reality, the original Vote the Coast organization is long defunct. Carlstrom, acting as the attorney, formed a new corporation called Tidal Voice Inc. It then trademarked the abandoned "Vote the Coast" name. In short, Carlstrom endorsed herself.
The stunt didn't impress Rep. Jared Huffman, a long-time environmentalist and supporter of Assemblyman Marc Levine. The San Rafael Democrat described Carlstrom's "Vote the Coast" advertising as "one of the most cynical, self-serving and shallow attempts to mislead voters that I've ever seen."
This may be one “endorsement” that backfires on the recipient.
ENDORSEMENT: MARC LEVINE