Betsy Butler isn’t a trial lawyer. She isn’t even a lawyer.
But apparently the Assembly candidate’s past work as a fundraiser for the Consumer Attorneys of California carries enough of a taint to make her the target of a pro-MICRA group.
Californians Allied for Patient Protection is running TV ads against Butler, a Democratic candidate in the Los Angeles-area 53rd Assembly District. The spots -- watch a poor quality Quicktime version here -- call Butler a lobbyist’s “best friend” and sneer at her campaign contributions from “wealthy trial lawyers.” What’s worse, Butler is a “Sacramento hypocrite,” a hidden voice charges.
Why the hate? Butler’s work for the CAOC “is very key to what her philosophy is going to be if she’s elected to the state Legislature,” said CAPP executive director Lisa Maas. CAPP spent more than $108,000 on the ad’s production and air time.
Butler campaign consultant Parke Skelton said in a prepared statement that “corporate interests” are picking on the candidate because of her support for environmental and consumer protections.
CAPP reports five-figure contributions in March from the Cooperative of American Physicians and the California Medical Association, two groups eager to see California’s cap on medical malpractice awards stay put.
Butler took in plenty of money from the plaintiff bar -- her list of donors read like a Who’s Who of CAOC leaders -– but her filings also show donations from labor groups, incumbent Democrats and corporations like Boeing, Hewlett-Packard and Norcal Waste Systems.
Ironically, this left-leaning Assembly District has a slew of Democratic candidates running against Butler – including four lawyers -- most of whom would probably support the CAOC’s political agenda. CAPP hasn’t targeted any of them, yet.
As viewers are warned at the end of the Butler ad, “Stay tuned for more.”