Jan. 22--Candidate for governor Tim Donnelly raised eyebrows last week with a new campaign video alongside actress and singer Maria Conchita Alonso.
In his three-minute "The People United" video, the Hesperia Republican and Alonso discuss his desire to cut regulation, reinvigorate the state's film industry and his opposition to the state's ban on lead ammunition, with Alonso sometimes translating, and at other times just paraphrasing, his views into Spanish.
The ad is tongue-in-cheek, with Donnelly proclaiming his wife is the sexiest woman in California and Alonso assuming that he means her.
"I've been endorsed by (actor) Rob Schneider and had him at one of my campaign events, and I've made a lot of in-roads into Hollywood," Donnelly said Tuesday. "I became aware of Maria and we were looking to do an ad that would be different, something that would have some humor, maybe even start some healing. ... But most of all, we wanted something that would cut through the noise."
Donnelly, who's represented the High Desert in the Assembly since 2010, is also the founder of a chapter of the Minuteman Project and a vocal opponent of illegal immigration.
Alonso, who was born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela, has long been an outspoken conservative as well, engaging in a public feud with actor Sean Penn over his support for Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
"She's fiercely anti-Communist," Donnelly said. "We've all seen what the Communists have done to Cuba, we've all seen what they've done in Venezuela. And now she says, they're here in America."
But her appearance in a campaign video for Donnelly has already cost her a job: Last Friday, she bowed out of her starring role in a Spanish-language version of the Vagina Monologues next month, after the play was threatened with threats of boycotts and protests.
"So, basically, she's going to be blacklisted, just because she supports someone whose political viewpoint is different than some of the people she works with," Donnelly said.
The pair don't actually see eye-to-eye on illegal immigration, he said. They also initially disagreed about hunting and animal cruelty, although he said, they've both worked to educate the other on those issues.
"When people get together, and have differing viewpoints, they can also inform each other," Donnelly said. "And you can come out a better person for it."
The video wasn't Alonso's first co-starring role with a would-be future governor of California: She may be best known to English-speaking audiences for co-starring with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 film "The Running Man." (Think "The Hunger Games" with Spandex and big hair.)
Although the video has succeeded in the campaign's goal of getting attention, with coverage from the national media, including Fox News and Salon, Donnelly has no illusions that his campaign against probable incumbent candidate Gov. Jerry Brown is going to be any easier as a result.
"I'm in an uphill battle, I know what race I'm in, I'm not naive," he said. But "in San Francisco, and all over the state, you have liberals standing up and saying 'she has the right to say what she believes' and I think that's a good thing. ... We're going to unite them on the basis of American principles and American values."
(c)2014 the San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, Calif.)
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Distributed by MCT Information Services
Original headline: Actress Maria Conchita Alonso in Tim Donnelly campaign ad
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