Pro-Fong PAC promoting his Democratic rival

Central Valley Values PAC, a Political Action Committee to elect Vince Fong, is mailing out what appears to be flyers against Fong’s Democratic challenger Marisa Wood – but they’re sending those mailers to a demographic that might see the flyers’ claims that she’s a “threat to Republicans in Congress” as a positive trait.

Wood is the leading Democratic candidate challenging Fong and Republican Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux for the Congressional District 20 seat – so to make sure everyone got the message that “Republicans can’t afford Marisa Wood in Congress,” the PAC sent a string of six or seven mailers to voters in CD20 attacking Wood.

But an investigation by the Valley Voice found that Central Valley Values is, at least in large part, sending the flyers to Democrat and No Party Preference households – not Republican ones.

The website Open Secrets reports that Central Valley Values disclosed to the Federal Election Commission that the PAC has spent $307,697 for Fong, $144,553 against Boudreaux, and $99,900 against Wood.

But on further inspection, the flyers that are supposedly against Wood contain language that, when targeted to Democrats and some No Party Preference voters, would likely encourage them to vote for her. The mailers exclaim that Wood is “100% anti-Trump,” is a climate activist, and wants to forgive student debt.

The Voice spoke to several registered Democratic voters in the district who received the mailers. They said they would be more inclined to vote for Wood after reading it.

On Wood’s Facebook page, she thanked the PAC for its support.

“Grateful for the support from Kevin McCarthy in ensuring my victory by sending all these flyers to Democrats in the district,” the post reads.

McCarthy resigned from his Congressional District 20 seat in 2023 and is a major donor to Central Valley Values PAC.

Ryan Gardiner, Fong’s campaign spokesperson, reiterated that Central Valley Values is an independent Political Action Committee that runs fundraisers and campaigns independent from Fong.

“It would be against federal regulations for Fong to collaborate with Central Valley Values,” Gardiner said.

He said that he wished media sources would be more diligent about making the distinction between Central Valley Values and the Fong campaign.

When asked if the Fong campaign would intervene if Central Valley Values pursued an anti-Trump agenda, Gardiner said, “Of course not, we cannot coordinate with the PAC.”

“But that is a hypothetical that is not going to happen,” Gardiner said.


Why would a PAC supporting Fong want you to vote for Wood?

A CD20 poll conducted by California Politics/Emerson College Polling on January 30 said that 27% of the voters supported Fong with Boudreaux and Wood tied at 11%.

If Wood could increase that percentage, Fong would be facing her in the General Election – not fellow Republican Boudreaux – on November 5.

According to the California Secretary of State website CD20 is 29% Democrats and 47% Republicans. If Wood came in second in Tuesday’s Primary, Fong would almost certainly be guaranteed a victory in his congressional race.

Longtime Kern County Republican Party leader Cathy Abernathy said that in 2022 the state commission on redistricting created a seat that is “so top heavy Republican” that a Democrat doesn’t have a chance.

Because Wood statistically has no chance on winning the CD20 seat, Central Valley Values knows that a vote for Wood in the primary is equivalent to a vote for Fong in the General Election.

Abernathy said that the PAC’s mailer is perfectly legitimate.

“The tactic is not new and is common in huge races,” Abernathy said.

Abernathy brought up the California senate race where Congress member Adam Schiff is filling the airwaves with ads declaring that Republican senate candidate Steve Garvey is “too conservative” for California.

If Garvey garners the Republican vote and comes in second in the Primary, then Schiff will be running against a Republican instead of the much harder to beat Democrat Congress member Katie Porter.

Abernathy also disagreed that Fong was trying to raise Wood’s profile.

“She has run many times against Kevin McCarthy and has an established base in the district,” said Abernathy. “

Abernathy added that Democrats are more conservative in Kern County and the mailer might convince them to vote for Fong because Wood is too liberal.

Gardiner reiterated that his staff has zero contact with the PAC but agrees with its mission.

“We are focused on reaching voters across the Central Valley and presenting them with conservative solutions to the issues facing our region and nation. We are confident that when voters are given the choice between Assemblyman Fong and any other candidate in this field, the Central Valley will choose Assemblyman Fong as their next Congressman,” he said.


Reaction to Mailer

A Democrat in Kings County who received the many mailers was not pleased with the deception. He wasn’t aware of the Central Valley Values PAC’s connection with Fong and initially believed the mailer’s intent was to be negative.

“There are no ethics. It’s just destroy your opponent in any means necessary. If you want to be an ethical candidate, fine, but you need a plan to deal with your unethical opponent,” they said.

The Wood mailer comes on the heels of Central Valley Values’ negative mailers claiming Boudreaux is a liberal who is soft on the border and supports amnesty along with President Biden and Nancy Pelosi.

Darlene Mata, who received a series of the anti Boudreaux mailers, said she felt lied to about Boudreaux and left an angry message on Fong’s campaign Facebook.

“I was upset at the false information the PAC was sending out, but I later saw that my and about 7 other angry posts were deleted,” she said.

Boudreaux rebuffed the mailers.

“The Washington insiders are lying to you in hopes to gain your vote. They are misleading and deceptive in their mailers. If he lies to you now he will lie to you if he is elected,” Boudreaux said at a February 24 fundraiser.

“I’m not politics as usual. Let’s change the Washington machine and get back to serving the people.”

6 thoughts on “Pro-Fong PAC promoting his Democratic rival

(Commenter ID is a unique per-article, per-person commenter identifier. If multiple names have the same Commenter ID, it is likely they are the same person. For more information, click here.)

  1. To be fair, there are pictures floating around of Boudreaux, in uniform, shaking hands with a national neo Nazi leader he invited and welcomed to Tulare County.

    Valley Voice should be all over the Boudreaux campaign and at TCSO about this.

      • Adam Schiff helped Steve Garvey knowing that would help him win the general election because democrats outnumber republicans in California. This isn’t news! Politics isn’t beanbag. Republicans play in democrat primaries and democrats in republican primaries. as a democrat I crossed over in 2000 and voted for John McCain because I thought he was a hero and the best not Bush Jr. Because Al Gore had no serious challenger.

  2. No proof needed! It’s politics, “rofl) I could point out Democrats lying on their tv adds, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

    • Republicans lie in there tv adds too. They were for tougher border security until they were against it because their leaderTrump told them it would help Biden win.

Use your voice

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *