TWW Sponsors ‘Flip the 50th CA’ Billboard Initiative
You may recall hearing about a US Congressman using campaign funds to pay for his pet rabbit’s air travel last year. That was US House of Representatives congressman Duncan D. Hunter from California’s 50th district in San Diego. He also spent campaign money on paying his wife $3k a month to be his “campaign manager,” nail salon visits (she shared his campaign credit card), video games, clothing, hotel stays in Arizona and Italy, his son’s school tuition, groceries and a slew of other inappropriate items -— totaling at least $60k.
Hunter has represented constituents in the San Diego area since 2009, and despite an ethics investigation by the Federal Elections Commission and a criminal investigation currently underway by the Department of Justice, he is still in office.
Hunter has spent the past year supporting and voting for wildly unpopular GOP legislation, such as the failed Obamacare repeal and Trump’s tax overhaul plan that disproportionately favors corporations and the uber-wealthy.
Understandably, many constituents in California’s 50th District are fed up.
This is where Flip the 50th CA stepped in.
Flip the 50th CA is a coalition of grassroots organization members in California’s 50th congressional district, started by a TWW member.
With Rep. Hunter up for re-election this year — on November 6, 2018 to be exact — the members of Flip the 50th CA wanted to raise funds for a billboard drawing attention to Hunter’s inexcusable behavior. So they started a Facebook group and invited discussion, polling members on messaging and design until the billboard was finalized. It was a true group effort.
The only complication was that the coalition didn’t have a financial vehicle for raising and spending funds — so they reached out to Together We Will National, who was able to extend a “fiscal sponsorship” to the group. This means that Flip the 50th CA could utilize TWW’s 501(c)(4) status and fundraising platforms, which they needed to get the flow of cash started.
189 donations ranging from $5 – $500 were gathered, and in just 10 days’ time the full cost of the billboard ($7,500) had been raised.
On January 11, the billboard went up alongside the I-15 freeway in Fallbrook just South of Mission Road, and is visible to motorists traveling south into San Diego from Riverside. It is expected to cast roughly 1.7M impressions during its one month run.
Congratulations, Flip the 50th CA!
If you would like to tackle a project like this with your own local TWW group, TWW National may be able to help with fundraising platforms and resources under its 501(c)(4) umbrella. For more information and to apply for assistance, go here.
Flip the 50th CA has also made their handy Billboard Guide available to all, so if you need a roadmap on how to get your own billboard started, go here.
Pamela B. Hothorn is a television & live events producer, photographer, and banjo enthusiast. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two rescue bunnies and a lovable 100 lb tortoise. She is also Events & Fundraising Chair for TWW Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter, Flickr and Instagram at @MsPamelaB.