In doing research on Diane Harkey, one of the top things that came up was her run for congress and some serious bad blood with Darrell Issa.
I’ve had copies of a vicious letter she penned / signed attacking Darrell Issa when he ran for CA-50 in 2020. I did some work burying Carl DeMaio in that race on Issa’s behalf. I have a soft spot for Issa because without his millions Gray Davis would have never been recalled. I know Issa is a squish and has been a huge booster of the CAGOP establishment.
However, one of the reasons I will never run for office is that it has freed me to torch bad actors in politics. You can’t do both. This is why I found it rather odd that Harkey lambasted Issa, and did so on behalf of one of the most left-wing Republicans I have ever seen. Carl DeMaio used to be so far left that I believed he barely tolerates Conservative Christians because of our views on sexuality, marriage and life. (Read a ton of stuff about how far out Carl DeMaio is here)
Interesting political alliances considering that Harkey had Eric Trump campaign for her in 2018…
I found the following from the Nooner – the Nooner is written by a democrat operative named Scott Lay. The Nooner is surprisingly accurate and balanced considering the leanings of Mr. Lay. I added emphasis to the clip:
CA49 (S. Orange Cty/N.San Diego Cnty Coast): In the Union-Tribune, Michael Smolens looks at how the reliably Republican southern Orange County/northern San Diego county coastal district went from reliably Republican district to one considered very likely to flip to the Democrats in November. “Diane Harkey made a remarkable statement last week, just one month before Election Day. National Republican leaders, she said, are giving up on her.”
It is true that the national GOP money is not flowing in the same amounts to CA49, the Congressional Leadership Fund is on cable for Harkey. That said, Democrat Mike Levin has an overwhelming cash advantage, and likely an insurmountable lead in the polls.
Last month, the LAT/Berkeley IGS poll found:
- Diane Harkey (R): 41%
- Mike Levin (D): 55%
- Undecided: 4%
The NYT/Siena College poll had a smaller margin, but the two are within margin of error of each other.
- Diane Harkey (R): 41%
- Mike Levin (D): 51%
- Undecided: 8%
That’s by far the largest lead of the “flips” from Democrat to Republican that are on the radar of independent election-watchers.
On the surface, Harkey looked like a good candidate when Darrell Issa (R) read the writing on the wall and did not run for re-election, instead accepting an appointment from President Trump as director of the United States Trade and Development Agency. While Democrats didn’t know if Levin or Sara Jacobs would advance, the GOP knew that its best chance was with a female in a year that was shaping up with a significant double-x factor. Democrats actually feared Harkey’s competition Assemblymember Rocky Chávez and thus went negative on him in the primary.
It is clear that Diane Harkey felt abandoned and was upset over how her Congressional Campaign went. Was it Darrell Issa’s fault?
I do know that Issa was involved in recruiting Diane Harkey. I also know that Diane Harkey was viewed by a lot of scum-sucking consultants and operatives as a cash cow. In several future posts, we are going to break down her finances and financial maladies.
I looked at the Congressional Reports – Harkey only dropped in $103K of her own money, recovering $67,100 of it before finally closing out her campaign account. I will get in to more detail on this aspect as I break down the financial stuff… But $103K is a far cry from the Millions she used to self-fund her races with.
Levin has raised $4,914,241.11 this cycle to $1,317,602.15 by Harkey. Unlike his fellow Democratic challengers in CA39 and CA48, Levin hasn’t used any of his own money for the campaign. Harkey has lent her campaign $100,000. As reflected above, Levin began October with ten times the cash of Harkey.
How did this happen? Harkey had been in office from 2004-2018 at the time of that run for congress? You’d think she’d have a rolodex of donors. She also has a ton of friends in the OCGOP Establishment.
In Part two, we are going to lay out an amalgamation of several interviews of people on the ground in CA49 and insider info about what happened.
I leave you with this quote from Harkey’s base attack letter against Darrell Issa:
Early polling showed a generic Republican, especially female, would have an easier time winning the 49th District than the incumbent, Issa, who had ignored his district for years. He was encouraged to call me because I had a history of winning elections, was the highest ranking state Republican elected official, and could hit the ground running. Recall in the crowded top two primary I placed #1, winning 26% of the vote due to years of working for the District and Southern California.
While Issa publicly claimed to be helping me, behind-the-scenes with key donors and national groups he was stonewalling and hurting fundraising by telling all that the seat was not winnable. The $1.6 million we raised in a short 9 month period came almost entirely from local donors who truly worked to save the district.