Anaheim Insider here.

KABC-AM conservative talk radio show host John Phillips blasted the Voice of OC this morning for its role in the smear campaign against Carl Demaio, the libertarian gay Republican running for Congress in San Diego.

Phillips was spurred by this post on the FlashReport for Republican activist and consultant Charles Moran, who also asked the question of why KOCE, the Southern California PBS affiliate, has allowed its news coverage to be co-opted by the Voice, which is dependent on the Orange County Employees Association funding for its existence:

To those of us active in Republican politics, we have seen many attacks, some even as hateful as these. But what was really surprising about this smear campaign was the fact that is was strangely connected to PBS. Yes, you read correctly – the same folks that bring us Sesame Street. According to a PBS affiliate’s website in Orange County (PBS SoCal), PBS entered into a “partnership” with the Voice of OC whereby PBS would receive its “investigative news” from the Voice of OC.

At this point, it is important to note that the Voice of OC is not a newspaper nor is it a magazine. The fact is that that the Voice of OC is merely website whereby they describe themselves as a “Non-Profit Investigative News Agency.”

So just who is this so-called investigative news agency that was PBS partners with for their news coverage, and more importantly who funds them? Well to find the answer, one only needs to review their federal tax returns – and so I did.

According to IRS documents filed just last year, the Voice of OC is a non-profit organization that is supported by five donors. And low and behold, their major donor is the Orange County Employee Association, a public employee union based in Santa Ana. They donated $230,000 to the PBS news partner. The second largest donation, in the amount of $60,000, was made by a law firm founded by the former Chairman of the Democrat Foundation of Orange County, trail attorney Wylie Aitken. Three other smaller contributions were noted.

It seems odd that PBS would allow its newsroom to be co-opted by the big public employee unions. But to my surprise, on the PBS SoCal website they proclaim and acknowledge their “investigative news partnership” with the Voice of OC. I find this partnership very troubling for PBS. I might be able to understand PBS allowing the Democrats and public employee union’s airtime to provide commentary, but only if they provided the same opportunity to Republicans, but to use them and label their information as “investigative news” is wrong.

Moran’s entire post, which is worth reading in full, can be found here.

Voice of OC gets nearly all its funding from OCEA and other Democratic interest groups They want to stop DeMaio from taking out a vulnerable freshman Democrat congressman. A grotesque smear appears in a news blog that doesn’t cover San Diego, but depends on union and Democratic funding.

The Voice had a field day raking the OC Register over the coals about its parent company’s ARTIC naming deal with Anaheim. The OC Register should return the favor.