A California Republican Candidate Is So Desperate for Positive Press That She Quoted Herself in Her Latest Ad

Young Kim is running for a House seat in Southern California’s 39th District.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP Images

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California congressional candidate Young Kim is “addressing the homeless youth crisis,” according to an ad released by Kim’s campaign this month. In the ad, Kim, a Republican running for a House seat in Southern California’s 39th District, is shown working in her office and chatting with constituents while text overlays like “The OC Register—Young Kim: ‘Addressing the homeless youth crisis'” boast of praise from local media. 

Candidates often feature endorsements and positive news coverage in their campaigns. But what Kim’s ad doesn’t make clear is that the favorable quotes are from articles that Kim wrote herself. 

That line about homelessness? It’s from the headline of a July 2016 editorial Kim wrote for the Register about her efforts in the state Assembly to increase funding for homeless youth. Kim wrote:

There are crises in Orange County and across the state that are easy to identify: We can see the effects of drought, unemployment and crime rates. But there are also crises that are largely invisible, yet still drastically affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Californians. One such example is the tragically increasing occurrence of homeless youth.

Another overlay boasts the following quote, from the Orange County Breeze, a small online publication: “Young Kim wins bipartisan support for Orange County.” That statement is actually from the headline of a July 2016 press release from the former state assemblywoman’s office, which was then published verbatim in the Breeze. What’s more, the line quoted in Kim’s ad—”Young Kim wins bipartisan support for Orange County”—is misleading; the full headline reads, “Young Kim wins bipartisan support for Orange County Veterans Affairs Hospital.” 

Kim, who was a member of the state Assembly from 2014 to 2016, was born in South Korea and was a businesswoman before entering politics. Kim’s opponent in the Orange County race is Democratic political newcomer and philanthropist Gil Cisneros. Although Kim only bested Cisneros in the primary by 3 points (in California primaries, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election regardless of party) RealClearPolitics rates her as having a 10-point advantage over her competitor. Cisneros and Kim are looking to fill the seat vacated by Republican Ed Royce, who announced in January he would not be running for reelection. Kim’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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