Leave it to the political clown that is John Cox, laughed out of Illinois, and now debasing Rancho Santa Fe with his circus of stupidity as he pretends to run for governor — again — and definitively loses, again.
Cox’s latest brush with political stupidity of the Bozo type apparently ran afoul of the authorities, the animal control authorities, that is to say. His bizarre use of Tag, the 1,000-pound Kodiak bear, in a recent political ad that he paid for since who else would give this fool any money, brought down the wrath of the The San Diego Humane Society’s law enforcement division upon his pointy little head on Wednesday.
That’s when San Diego Humane Society confirmed it was investigating the use of Tag, the bear, during California gubernatorial “candidate” Cox’s San Diego campaign appearance.
The Rancho Santa Fe businessman brought Tag out and about for political circus time on Tuesday for a campaign stop at Shelter Island. Always finding new, somewhat inventive, ways to climb out of his political clown car of a campaign, the inveterately insipid Cox actually was employing Tag, the bear, for a reprise of an earlier performance.
Cox, who is running to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election later this year, used the animal to illustrate his campaign theme of “Beauty and the Beast.” Newsom, who Cox presents as an elitist out of touch with the needs of Californians, is the “beauty” in that equation.
Meanwhile, Cox, who moved to Rancho Santa Fe after being laughed out of Illinois after badly, embarrassing himself in several losing campaigns, reported an income of $1.86 million in 2017, according to a partial 2017 tax return shared by his campaign with The Sacramento Bee.
Cox also put $5.6 million of his own money into his 2018 run for governor early that year, more than half of the $10.7 million in contributions that his campaign has reported this election cycle.
In a statement, the San Diego Humane Society said its law enforcement arm was investigating whether Cox’s campaign violated San Diego municipal code 44.03.05 prohibiting the use of wildlife for such purposes.
The code makes it illegal for anyone to bring wild animals like lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, wolves and more into the city. A violation could result in a misdemeanor charge.
The group says the municipal code “strictly prohibits this type of event. Humane officers will submit their findings to the San Diego city attorney for prosecutorial review. A violation of this municipal code is a misdemeanor.”
Cox’s campaign issued a statement in response to the concerns of animal rights groups, saying “Every care was taken to ensure Tag’s comfort and safety with the approval of several government agencies. California needs beastly change and that may ruffle some feathers of left wing activists.”
The campaign continued Wednesday with a stop in Palm Desert, but this time Tag couldn’t bare to attend.
The self-financed Cox is one of several Republicans seeking to unseat Newsom, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former reality TV star and Olympic decathlete Caitlyn Jenner and former Rep. Doug Ose.
Newsom and Cox ran against each other once before, in 2018, and Newsom beat out Cox by nearly 3 million votes. Newsom has criticized the need for a special recall election, which Cox helped finance, calling it a “waste of time” and money because the 2022 gubernatorial primary will be a few months later.
A clowns-eyed view of John Cox, losing politician
Cox public record and penchant for wildly funny, and not in the good way, political campaign jokes goes back through a long and unwinding road. He actually ran for president in 2008. Of course, you remember that epic run.
After graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1976 with degrees in political science and accounting, Cox began his career at the public accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand. At night, he attended law school at Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Upon getting his law degree in 1980, Cox briefly joined a small firm in Chicago. But he branched out on his own within months, establishing a law and accounting office that he continues to own.
Cox was laughed out of Illinois with a massive fail of a campaign in the 2003 U.S. Senate race there.
Connected through a crony, Cox helped the Japp family sell the company to food and beverage manufacturer Borden in 1986. Then eight years later, he put together a deal to buy it back.
“Under Borden’s bureaucracy, it lost $17 million the year before we bought it back. I assembled the team to plan and execute a turnaround plan and the company was profitable the first year,” Cox wrote in Politic$, Inc.
That relationship with the Japp family eventually soured, however; they sued him in 1997 for alleged financial misconduct. Cox settled in 1999 for $1.7 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.
During this time, Cox substantially expanded his business empire, investing in real estate and opening an investment advisory firm and a real estate management company.
In 1996, Cox formed Equity Property Management to oversee six apartment complexes in which he had invested. He remains the president and sole shareholder of the company, which now manages nearly two dozens properties in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky.
Cox, who moved to Rancho Santa Fe in 2011, is also invested in a dozen limited partnerships that own at least 15 apartment complexes in the Midwest, according to a statement of economic interest filed with the state in March. The most recent assessment records for those properties, available through the LexisNexis database, put their combined market value at around $79 million.
Cox received more than $1.5 million from rental real estate and other business partnerships in 2017, and another $243,000 from interest on his real estate limited partnerships.
But the picture was far worse in 2016, when he reported a $106,000 loss from rental real estate and business partnerships on his tax return, as well as $378,000 in interest.
The Sacramento Bee was only allowed to review Cox’s tax returns for the past two years, excluding the Schedule E form with detailed information on his earnings from rental real estate and business partnerships.
In both years, Cox also reported a $50,000 salary, which his campaign said was from his continued involvement in his law firm. Its largest clients are primarily limited partnerships Cox is invested in, according to his statement of economic interest.
He earned an average of about $119,000 in dividends across the two years. The state financial disclosure form lists stock and bond holdings worth between $9.3 million and $93.5 million. They encompass more than 90 investments in major brands such as Apple, Bank of America, McDonald’s, Nike and Shell.
And Cox, presents himself as “The Beauty” who fights for the “working man” while Newsom is “The Beast” elitist out of touch with the needs of Californians. So much for Cox, the ultimate punchline of that campaign joke.
The new UC Berkeley/Los Angeles Times poll released Tuesday showed Cox sharing the podium with former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer at 22% each while Newsom had a 52% favorability rating.