Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) has endorsed Linda Ackerman to fill the vacancy left by ex-Assemblyman Mike Duvall, who resigned in disgrace quickly after the Weekly's R. Scott Moxley and KCAL/KCBS reporter Dave Lopez exposed the Yorba Linda Republican morality cop and married father of two bragging about banging female lobbyists.
Not only did at least one lobbyist have business before Duvall's panels, he sat on the Assembly ethics committee. Restoring ethics to his district is already the central theme of campaigns for Duvall's abandoned seat.
So, while the wife of former state Senate Minority Leader Dick Ackerman (R-Fullerton) likely appreciates having Harkey in her corner, the assemblyman's public support does come with this potential embarrassment: Harkey's own ethical challenges, which can now be conveniently transferred to Mrs. Ackerman. Indeed, this has already begun.
"Diane Harkey heartily endorses Linda Ackerman to fill the vacancy in the 72nd AD to be decided by the voters on November 17, 2009, and Ackerman proudly includes Harkey's endorsement on her campaign website! What does that tell us about Ackerman?" asks DianeHarkeyWatch.com, a website that has dogged Harkey with allegations of impropriety and threatened recalls since she served as Dana Point's mayor in 2007.
Among Harkey's slimy entanglements they point to:
*"Ethically challenged Assemblywoman Diane Harkey says she supports Proposition 13, but when it comes to paying even Prop. 13's low tax rates, she surely isn't a Prop. 13 fan! Point Center Financial, a secondary mortgage company that Harkey reports a financial interest in on her annual FPPC Form 700, is the second largest property tax scofflaw in Merced County, failing to pay $835,000 in property taxes on time this year. (Modesto Bee, Sept. 21, 2009)
*"The Harkey's company has been levied at least 14 times in Orange County alone for failure to pay property taxes, in amounts as much as $49,000!)
*"Diane is currently a defendant in a civil action in Orange County charging the defendants with fraud and operating Point Center Financial like a "ponzi-scheme." (Case No. 30-2008 00114401, Judge Daniel J. Didier, Dept. C20, Orange County Superior Court.)
*"The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a probe of Point Center Financial in a fraud case, subpoened documents, and, according to the law firm of Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro, the case is a serious one.
*"There are claims that Diane Harkey's political success is directly linked to tainted money from Point Center Financial: 'Assemblywoman Diane Harkey's blossoming political career appears to have been funded in part by earnings from her husband's embattled real estate lending business, which faces a fraud lawsuit and is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.' (Orange County Register, March 19, 2009)"
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The stink on Harkey has spurred DianeHarkeyWatchers to take a closer look at Ackerman who, they now claim, "has her own ethical issues." These include not living in the district she is running for a seat in and allegedly accepting political slush fund money.
"Her Harkey connection may say even more," claims the site. "In the wake of the Duvall scandal, is Linda Ackerman accepting of and comfortable with Diane Harkey's highly questionable ethics? If elected, what does that mean for her performance in Sacramento? Do birds of a feather flock together?"
If they do, they lean so far to the right they fly in circles!
Harkey's former City Council rival and arch conservative Jim Lacy has been behind much of the DianeHarkeyWatch shenanigans. His burning hatred for Harkey was famously captured in a March letter to the Dana Point Times titled, "Diane Harkey is a Political Liar."
Isn't there some famous vow, secret handshake or circle-jerk ritual whereby Republicans don't eat their own?