Who is Carl DeMaio Working For?
As the airwaves heat up with expensive TV ads, there's been renewed attention on how Carl DeMaio initially made the fortune that's allowed him to pour half a million dollars of his own cash into his campaign.
The Union-Tribune painted a good picture of the set up that DeMaio had going as well. DeMaio was making money by training the government to outsource, and making more money by training contractors to get those outsourcing deals. Which raises the fundamental concern that persists today: Who is Carl DeMaio really working for?
Unlike most advocacy groups, DeMaio's was for-profit. So his personal success didn't hinge on giving the advice and training that would be best for taxpayers, it hinged on advocating a specific position that would get him more contracts. Maybe the two pieces overlapped sometimes, but what about when they didn't? While playing both sides against the middle, who was he looking out for? From the UT:
Clare Crawford, executive director for the Center on Policy Initiatives, a nonprofit that advocates for workers, said DeMaio’s whole career is defined by the privatization agenda espoused by far-right politicians.“He’s nothing but a snake-oil salesman who is all about taking taxpayer dollars and turning them over to private industry,” she said.
This dichotomy cuts to the core of how DeMaio operates. It's never been clear, either in Washington or San Diego, if DeMaio is working on behalf of himself or the ideas he's promoting. He has crossed the boundaries between partisan and nonpartisan, business and politics, and innovator and imitator so often that it's difficult to understand what's motivating him on any issue.