Monday, November 1, 2010

Hinde Raises Money, Questions about Connections

Chiropractor Aaron Hinde (in Area 1) and  “businesswoman and community volunteer” Gina Locatelli (in Area 7) have each raised over $12,000 in their bids for seats on the non-partisan, County Board of Education.  More than double what their opponents have raised.  Both are backed by the Senior Coalition, a conservative Political Action Committee based in Aptos which has become increasingly active supporting candidates in non-partisan races from the Board of Supervisors to local water and fire districts as well as opposing school bond measures and other tax initiatives.   Current County Board of Education member Vic Marani is also associated with the group.  

Both Hinde and Locatelli, have retained Terra Eclipse, a consulting firm that promotes it’s connections to Freedom Works, Rand Paul, and other national conservative movements as well as providing web services for the Senior Coaltion.  

Hinde has received $4,500 from a Political Action Committe calling itself Victory 2012, which contributed a similiar amount to Santa Cruz City Council candidate Kevin Moon (also a Terra Eclipse client).  Martin Avila, himself a candidate for the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees is the founder of Terra Eclipse.   Derrick Seaver, who serves as Moon’s campaign manager is the “political director” for Terra Eclipse as well as the an officer of the Victory 2012 PAC, along with Avila’s wife, Jessica.

Hinde, was first elected to the County Board in 2008.  The Mid County Post reported at the time that Hinde’s name appeared on a mailer sent to registered Democrats even though he is a Republican and the local Democrats had endorsed Brian Sanford. Hinde denied playing any role in the mailer.  The Post later learned that the mailing had been funded by the Senior Coalition.  Hinde won the election with 54% of the vote.

Why would a PAC, calling itself Victory 2012, be spending $4,500 to elect Hinde, who says he will only serve one more term? And why would Hinde and Locatelli be spending so much money to get elected to the County Board of Education?

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