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Typo causes headache for assembly seat campaign

April 7, 2010 | 12:47 pm

In this era of term limits, it can be tough for average citizens to keep track of their legislative representatives. And from time to time, even political consultants get their candidates mixed up.

Voters from Glendale to Silver Lake received a mailer slamming Glendale school board member Nayiri Nahabedian, a leading candidate in Tuesday's special election for the vacant 43rd Assembly District seat. The mailer itself was not unusual. What was odd about the piece was that the sender was a candidate running for Assembly in the South Bay.

The mailer indicated it was paid for by "Friends of Betsy Butler for Assembly 2010." As one of eight people running for the Democratic nomination for a South Bay-area Assembly District seat, Butler has her work cut out for her. So what was she doing wading into a hotly contested Glendale-area Assembly race?

Turns out to be a case of mistaken identity of sorts -- Typo-Gate, if you will. Butler, the chief fundraiser for the Consumer Attorneys of California, who is running in the June 8 primary in the  53rd Assembly District, is using the Democratic consulting firm SG&A Campaigns. That's the same firm employed by attorney Mike Gatto, widely viewed as Nahabedian's main competition in the special election in the 43rd District.

The mailer should have identified the Gatto campaign as the sender, said his consultant, Mike Shimpock.

"This stuff happens," said Shimpock, explaining that the firm's graphic designer accidentally put the Butler disclaimer on the Gatto mailer. Shimpock said he is sending a letter to the Fair Political Practices Commission, the state's campaigns watchdog, notifying it of the error.

"It should be obvious" it's from the Gatto campaign because his name appears elsewhere in the mailer, Shimpock said. 

-- Jean Merl