Boycott Of Venezuelan Actress Supporter Brings Publicity To Donnelly Campaign

(January 21)  Tim Donnelly’s Quixotic effort to capture the Republican nomination for California governor achieved an unexpected and equally unorthodox boost when one of his celebrity endorsers came under such heavy protest for her support of Donnelly that she was obliged to resign as the member of the cast of a popular play production.
There was resultant news coverage and widespread publicity for Donnelly’s campaign up and down the Golden State.
Maria Conchita Alonso, a top model turned recording star from Venezuela who transitioned into starring roles in movies such as “The Running Man, “Moscow on the Hudson,” and “Predator 2” had been cast in a leading role in the Spanish-language production of the Vagina Monologues, which was to begin its run in San Francisco next month.
Last week marked the debut of one of a series of online videos intended to promote Donnelly’s gubernatorial campaign. The tongue-in-cheek video spot featured the Cuban-born Alonso, who was Miss Teenager of the World in 1971 and the representative of Venezuela in 1975 Miss World Pageant at which she was sixth runner-up, appearing with her pet Chihuahua and standing next to cowboy hat-wearing Donnelly, translating Donnelly’s remarks with regard to politics into Spanish, sometimes accurately, sometimes by means of humorous paraphrase.
Throughout most of the three minute and 13 second-long video, Alonzo registers approval of Donnelly’s message, although at one point in the presentation she begs to differ with him. When Donnelly expresses the view that the state’s ban on lead ammunition is a “cowardly” ploy to outlaw hunting, Alonzo asserts that she disagrees with Donnelly on that point.”No, I do not like hunting,” she says in Spanish. “I hate that animals suffer. I am their voice. I love them. I protect them. I would give my life for them. No. Uh-Uh. We have to talk afterword about this.”
For the most part Alonzo reinforces Donnelly’s assertions with body language and approving facial expressions and nods, or puts a comic emphasis on his presentation, as when he intones “Politicians and big government are killing our prosperity. They’re driving business out of our state, pushing welfare costs through the roof and driving our schools into the ground.”
Alonso, solemnly translates these remarks by saying in Spanish “We’re screwed.”
The video draws to a close with Alonzo accurately interpreting Donnelly’s exclamation that “We live in the greatest state in the union and we the people will never be divided. If you honor me with your support, I will lead California back to prosperity, so help me God.”
Alonzo’s support of Donnelly, who touts himself as a conservative Republican as well as Tea Party member and anti-illegal immigration activist who is the chairman of a chapter of the so-called Minuteman border-patrol movement, in short order triggered a round of protest from a number of groups, resulted in a backlash aimed at her. Some vocal opponents of Donnelly, the Tea Party and the Minutemen threatened to both boycott and protest the play when it opens next month.
Alonso is now a naturalized American citizen and has made a series of public statements condemning what she derides as a left-leaning trend in American politics. She is an outspoken critic of Fidel Castro and the government in Cuba and was equally deprecating of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
In 2008,  she endorsed the presidential campaign of John McCain, She suggested Barack Obama is a “socialist” who is engaged in “spread the wealth economic policies.”
During the 2012 presidential campaign season, Alonso reiterated her opposition to Obama, suggesting he was ushering the United States onto a track emulating Venezuela under the Chávez regime.
“I don’t want the government to be involved in my life,” she said, sounding much of the same libertarian theme that Donnelly has embraced.
Donnelly, who has unabashedly espoused right wing causes, has developed a reputation as an extremist in some political and social circles. He cemented this reputation with his outspokenness with regard to Second Amendment issues and then lived into the persona he had constructed for himself by being arrested  on  January 4, 2012, for attempting to carry a loaded Colt handgun while boarding  an airplane. Transportation Safety Agency security screeners discovered the gun in his carry-on luggage.
Though Donnelly agreed to a plea bargain in which he accepted conviction on a single count of carrying a loaded firearm into a city without a concealed weapons permit and another count of possessing a prohibited item in a sterile area, both misdemeanors, he was not forced to leave the Assembly and he remained unapologetic, continuing to bring a concealed weapon into the Capitol and onto the Assembly Floor, action which even some of his political associates and supporters found alarming.
Last year he surprised many when he gave indication that he would not seek reelection to the Assembly in 2014 and would instead seek the Republican nomination to challenge Governor Jerry Brown.  Even the prospect of achieving the GOP nomination appeared to be questionable, as Abel Maldonado, the state’s former lieutenant governor, described as a political moderate, was also vying for the nomination. Maldonado withdrew last week, but Neel Kashkari, a Goldman Sachs executive who as the former deputy U.S. Treasurer overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program during the final year of George Bush’s presidency in 2008 and 2009, has now declared his candidacy for governor. As the architect of the nation’s bank bailout during the most critical phase of the recession that began in 2007, Kashkari believes he can weather charges that he headed a program that bailed out the wealthy at the expense of taxpayers and focus attention on his fiscal management talent, which he said gives him a leg up on Brown when it comes to rejuvenating California’s sluggish economy. Brown, a Democrat, enjoys a tremendous political advantage over Republicans, as nearly half of the state’s voters are registered Democrats and only 31 percent align themselves with the GOP. That advantage is reflected in the state legislature, where the number of Democrats in both the Assembly and State Senate have rendered Republican parliamentarily irrelevant.
Donnelly is not only the longest of longshots with regard to ousting Brown from the Governor’s Mansion, he faces an uphill battle in getting past Kashkari, who, though he has never held elective office, will be able to call upon Republican donors from around the country and tap into the generosity of major players in the banking industry whom he assisted when hew as assistant deputy U.S. Treasurer.
Nevertheless, with the flap over Alonzo’s endorsement coinciding with Kashkari’s announcement, Donnelly appears to have serendipitously tapped into publicity that will promote his candidacy with the most conservative element of the Republican Party at a crucial juncture.
Alonzo, who is a veteran guest star on many television shows including Chicago Hope, the Nanny, Fantasy Island, Knight Rider, CSI Miami, Desperate Housewives and had a major part in the television remake of High Noon, was philosophical about having to back out of the role in the Vagina Monologues. The loss of the role does not leave her without work as she is currently engaged in shooting on a yet untitled project by director/producer Matt Riddlehoover.
Incidental to her threatened-boycott-induced withdrawal is the attention being brought to Donnelly and his campaign. While he is a moderately well recognized figure in San Bernardino County, Donnelly’s has a relatively low profile for a politician with gubernatorial ambitions, his only claim to notoriety stemming from his firearm arrest.

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