If questionable finances are a disqualifier, then the LA Times should push for a recall.
One sure way to see where a news outlet is leaning is to see the variable coverage on an issue based on the party of the candidate. In California's runup to the recall election vote, the LA Times has been rather obvious in its preference to leave the incumbent Gavin Newsom in office and to leave him alone. About the most critical thing the paper has had to say is though some voters are “frustrated,” a replacement would be worse — even though no replacement has been chosen.
In the 2-step process, Californians first have to vote that they want Newsom recalled, then if passed, an election for his successor takes place. The paper either feels Gavin is in deep trouble, or it wants to blunt the attractiveness of a potential replacement, but either way, the Times has been rather antagonistic towards radio host Larry Elder. In the latest in a string of hits, the LA Times finds issues with a charity set up by Elder. (For disclosure, Elder is employed by RedState parent company Salem Media.)
You get the sense of where the paper is directing people with its headline: Larry Elder's private charity was a bust, and questions swirl over where the money went.
On the surface, this sounds venal and corrupt, but it takes the barest of analysis to see that this is more a case of a charity that never had traction, as opposed to a founder siphoning off funds for personal gain. The bigger question is one the paper has to fall back on deeper in the piece, as it comes to terms with a barely-there story; Why did the money fail to come in?
From 1998 through 2014, Larry Elder Charities Inc. raised about $20,000, according to public tax filings. It spent no money on any services, other than accounting, legal and filing fees to keep the organization in good standing. The organization has been suspended by the state since 2015 for failing to pay a filing fee, according to a spokesperson with the Franchise Tax Board.
This…is what the LA Times is leaning on for a “scandal”. The claim being made is, “Questions about Elder's aborted charity have emerged as he leads in fundraising and polls to succeed the Democrat Newsom if he is recalled,” while it is rather obvious they are the ones raising these questions. Who else but those at the paper is even aware of this charity, that has not been operational for six years and managed to draw barely a few thousand dollars?
What makes this all the more ridiculous is that in the case of Newsom, you have a far more questionable act that has delivered a far greater financial question. As our own Jennifer Van Laar has broken here, Newsom has some very curious dealings with the homes he sold, leading to millions in gains. After being given one residence by a family member's LLC, he refinanced the property for millions. He then failed to properly disclose this money as he was legally obligated.
In very stark contrast, Larry Elder's charity ran from 1998 through 2014, and in that entire time it took in only around $20,000. The Times states that the only expenditures the charity paid out were for accounting, legal, and filing fees. Over that 16-year time frame, this total averages out to barely $100 a month. This would not seem enough to cover even those service fees, but we are steered to thinking there is something untoward that transpired. Even the board members the paper tracked down could come up with little testimony that the charity ever was fully operational.
You see how strained the Times gets when the second half of the lengthy article is spent on balancing this never-really-operating organization against Elder's career of touting libertarian standards and emphasizing local charitable outfits over governmental support. In the absence of a scandal, they resort to using this as a character flaw.
Now, when you look and see the very unenthusiastic fashion the same paper has approached Newsom's millions, little else has to be explained about where the preferences rest for the unbiased and neutral press in Los Angeles.