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Pauly Swings and Misses, Spitzer Feints

Todd Spitzer

The race for Orange County Third District Board of Supervisors is heating up. But, one really has to wonder why.

I see that Deborah Pauly has spent most of her campaign funds on shiny new yard signs that she has posted in strategic areas around Tustin. I even saw one in her home town of Villa Park today. It was pretty prominent and the only one in the area. I figure it must be her house or a relative who couldn’t get out of displaying it. Coincidentally, the yard sign for Todd Spitzer I had posted in my yard, mysteriously disappeared. Well, maybe that nice campaign girl will call and offer to replace it.

Pauly must have used the rest of her meager funds to mail out a slick campaign piece. I got mine in the mail last week.  She had no new message to deliver so she relied on the tainted letter from the Orange County  District Attorney’s Office. You now, the one Susan Kang Schroeder, chief mouthpiece for T-Rack, lamented that Spitzer erred in calling himself a Deputy District Attorney after he had been fired? It seems that Susan, wife of Repubican Party kingpin, Mike Schroeder, decided to blast Spitzer for a minor error that had already been corrected, in a letter to him. Only problem was, the letter was given to Deborah Pauly before it was even mailed out. No one wondered how that happened as the legendary hatred Schroeder and Rackauckus have for Spitzer is only shadowed by Pauly’s inane attempt to use this ruse to gain voter confidence.

Apparently, either her endorsers have dismissed Pauly’s racist attitude toward Muslims and have embraced her “world christian view”, or they have dismissed it altogether and hope it won’t come back to haunt them. I favor the second over the first. I will say that Pauly’s endorsement by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is a big one. But, the only other noteworthy endorsement is Chuck Devore. Devore, if you will remember, entered the race swinging. Then suddenly, he decided to forego his bid for Supervisor and head to Texas where he has been bashing California ever since. C’mon, Chuck, we know you want to come back.

Devore actually had the best chance of beating Spitzer. But, he was aware of Spitzer’s huge warchest (we’ll get to that in a minute) and probably felt he would not be able to compete. I guess he didn’t stop to think that Spitzer, who can raise money at the drop of a fake letter, would save that cash for his dream job of Orange County District Attorney (it’s OK, Todd. Just do a good job as Supervisor for the next four years). In any case, Devore, a wannabe career politician, took off for higher ground. Oh yeah, if you haven’t kept track, Spitzer started the race with $1.1 million dollars in the bank, plus assorted other accounts. Since then, he has raised a boatload of money because, while Deborah is out cashing in PET bottles for their redemption value, Spitzer just has to mention he is holding a fundraiser and the ATM starts ringing.

Spitzer also sent out a campaign mailer this week. This was a slick two sided piece with a photo of Todd with Repubican Party Chair, Scott Baugh (apparently, not everyone in the Central Committee hates Todd). The other side has the usual blather about being a tax fighter and his record as a legislator. Oh, but what is this? On the back side is a nice little side note that says, “A Rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association”. So, while the Jarivs folks may not have endorsed him, they certainly think a lot of him. Take that, Deborah. One thing that is definitely missing is any word, good or bad, about Pauly. In fact, Todd would not even mention her by name for the first 4 months or so of his campaign. And, in every debate, he sent Pauly walking. In fact, we heard she actually walked out on the last one.

The most often heard complaint about Spitzer from Pauly is that he voted for the enhanced pensions that have now been “proven” to be bad mojo. Never mind the mystical accounting scenarios the federal government requires that puts any pension that relies on investments for funding at a disadvantage (most do), Todd has stated emphatically that, had he to do it over again, he would not have voted for the enhanced pensions for county employees. How many times does he have to say he is sorry?

It is interesting that a lot of political blogs keep bringing up Deborah Pauly’s run-in with the police over a DUI incident last year. We aren’t saying that she used her vast powers as a Villa Park Councilwoman to sway the police. But, she certainly used poor judgment in the situation. Had she even thought of the consequences of her actions in regard to a political career?

Now, I only bring this up because a recent blog post elsewhere attempted to equate Spitzer’s hiring of a Democrat political pundit who has a felony DUI record a few years ago for a Christmas party, with Pauly’s poor judgement. I hardly see the similarity as the guy, Vern Nelson, was simply paid by Spitzer to play the piano. The blogger asks, “Where was Todd’s concern for public safety?” So, hiring an ex-felon piano player is equal to using poor judgment, being drunk in public with your drunk spouse at the wheel of a vehicle trying to outrun a DUI checkpooint? Nice try. I should tell you the blogger in question has a personal hatred for both Vern and Todd and thinks a racist like Pauly is the better candidate. He is also running for the OC Board of Education. You might want to consider that when you vote in June.

June 5th is coming up quickly and will be here before you know it. Absentee ballots, which account for the majority of votes in this county, have been sent by the Registrar and received by most households. For those of you who are teetering on the edge, we have a few recommendations. First, and foremost, is Todd Spitzer for 3rd District Supervisor. I know Todd personally. He is an opportunist, to say the least. Don’t expect him to sit down and talk to you about issues unless you have a checkbook in your hand. But he is honest about it. And, he has a proven track record. Forget the legislature, where he was relegated to the doghouse. Forget his recent failed bid for OCDA (but not his track record as a prosecutor). Remember the fact that he has an excellent record as a former member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. He is endorsed by every notable Republican in Orange County and even Democrats like his boyish good looks. He is the only logical choice against an opponent who is a proven racist and whose only political experience is that of Villa Park Councilman, of whom even her own colleagues refuse to endorse her. They have, by the way, all endorsed Todd.

Spitzer as a Syrian…or is that Good Samaritan?

Todd Spitzer

Todd Spitzer

Steve Greenhut, of Cal Watchdog, is the writer I love to hate. I do have a lot of respect for him as he knows his way around the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. If he has one shortcoming in my book, it is his zealous condemnation of unions. Like John Moorlach, he considers union bosses to be thugs and unions to wield massive amounts of power in Sacramento and beyond. And, it doesn’t matter that business has their own version of super PACs and support their candidates and issues through the Chamber of Commerce or retail “associations”.  He views unions as takers and not protectors.

He also hates anyone who likes unions, even if they have changed their tune.

In a recent article on the Wathdog, Greenhut complained about Scott Baugh, the OC Republican Party Chairman, holding a fundraiser for Orange County Board of Supervisors Candidate, Todd Spitzer. Baugh had written a rebuttal to an editorial by Greenhut in the Register that likened Spitzer to the adulterous woman at the well whom Jesus forgave. He says that Baugh seems as loose with his endorsements as the woman was with her partners.

Steve goes on to say:

If we’re talking about a person’s heart, and a religious conversion, then I see what Baugh is talking about. When people change in those ways, I would never question it. That is, as the cliché goes, an issue between a man and his God. But my Register editorial pointed to Spitzer’s long-standing association with the public employee unions and the way that Spitzer led the charge for a 2001 retroactive pension increase that has put Orange County in a deep fiscal hole.

Apparently, Steve seems to believe that a Republican can change his religion but not his political tune. Spitzer has, time and again since beginning his run for Supervisor, stated that if he had to do it over again, he certainly would not have voted the way he did for pensions. In his rebuttal, Scott Baugh stated flatly, “Many elected Republicans privately objected to the policy; most accepted it, but very few publicly embraced it. Todd Spitzer stands out as one of the few elected Republicans who did. He has publicly acknowledged his vote was wrong, and he formally made the motion to adopt our new policy.

Further, as Todd points out, no one seemed to be complaining very loudly that the higher pensions were unsustainable (unless you believe Steve’s somewhat dubious cohort, Chriss Street). He does support public safety unions and enjoys indirect support from them as well. Face it, he is a law and order guy. If you are running on the basis of being a former ADA, a reserve police officer/sheriffs deputy (did you pass yet, Todd?) or some other law & order platform, then you are going to try and get the support of local law enforcement, regardless of your political bent. And, to my knowledge Spitzer has not taken a dime from unions, public safety or otherwise, since he started this campaign.

Yet, Greenhut also assails Spitzer for “conforming to the letter, but not the spirit” of Baugh’s mandate to not take union money.

As I wrote in the Register, “Mr. Baugh said that Mr. Spitzer has complied with the manifesto – i.e., he is not taking union money for this race. But Mr. Spitzer has received large amounts of union money over the years. And as his opponents note, he still operates an old political account holding money collected well before Mr. Baugh drew his line in the sand.

So, what was he supposed to do? Throw the money away? Give it to charity? Let’s see, even if he had done that, Todd raises political stake money easier than I raise weeds in my garden. A recent

Scott Baugh

Scott Baugh

fundraiser netted over $30,000 and not one dime was from a union. His current opponent cannot even raise $10,000 at a sitting. Well, I hear she did raise that much but it was from one or two folks who were probably just being nice. And, Chuck Devore, who Greenhut implies would still be in the race if it hadn’t been for that lucrative job offer in Texas, might have been able to raise a fair amount of cash but he would never have received the endorsements Spitzer has garnered. Despite Greenhut lavishing affectionate praise on him, Devore was a wannabe career politician and, it seems, an opportunist in his own right who has no apparent allegiance to California. He has neither the charisma nor savvy that Spitzer has and it is doubtful that he would have beaten Spitzer had he stayed in the race. Devore actually had the nerve to point out the OC Republican Party campaign account, that Spitzer maintains, as if he were the only one with an account like that.

Greenhut goes on to lament that Spitzer is an opportunist and will say whatever he needs to advance his political career. If that were the case, why isn’t Spitzer still spinning his zeal in Sacramento? I would surmise it to say that it is because Spitzer doesn’t always know when to shut up and sit down. If we have to count pros and cons, this is definitely the latter.

But, here is the real catch. Greenhut continues to batter Spoitzer as if there is a better candidate on the horizon. Well, I looked and the only one I have seen so far is the Racist Whack Job, Deborah Pauly. If that is the alternative, I suggest Greenhut get behind Spitzer full force, even if he considers it the lesser of two evils.

Todd Spitzer held a grand opening of his campaign office in Orange on April 17th. The headquarters is located at 940 W. Chapman Avenue Suite 203 in the city of Orange. Todd may have his shortcomings (which Greenhut and I are happy to point out), but he is the best qualified of the candidates and would be candidates for the job of County Supervisor. If you get a chance, stop by the campaign headquarters or go to one of his many opportunistic appearances throughout the county. Then judge for yourself if you want a law & order kind of guy who once made a mistake or a racist, muslim-hater representing you on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Todd Finally Chooses…Or Not

Todd Spitzer

If you have been following the race for Third District County Supervisor, you know that, so far, it has not been much of a race. In fact, for awhile, it seemed that Todd Spitzer, who entered the race early, had not even made up his mind whether he was running for Supervisor or for District Attorney, a position he has coveted since his days as a state assemblyman.

Early on in the race, Todd was pitted against another legislative alumni, Chuck Devore. Chuck, probably looking at Todd’s bank account and boyish good looks that could get him into  a democrat’s fundraiser, finally decided to take his own advice and head for Texas. We wished him well and wondered if any worthy candidates would surface to take on the Spitzer machine. After all, Todd has the ear of many prominent Republicans in the county and he had over a million dollars to bankroll his campaign with even before any fundraising occurred on his behalf.

Almost the same day that Devore said goodbye to California and the Supervisor’s race, local Republican activist Mark Bucher threw his hat into the ring. The OC Weekly tied Bucher to the infamous rookie councilman, Jim Righeimer, who they call “arguably the most hated man in California politics” from the union perspective. That suited Mark, who has authored numerous anti-public union “paycheck protection” initiatives that, coincidentally, all failed at the starting gate. He is the penultimate Tea Party candidate in a non-partisan race. He had garnered much media attention with his announcement. Some of it was good, some of it was very bad. We have even written about Mark ourselves (who hasn’t). But that seems to be what those hardcore conservatives like. Oh yeah, and he’s a lawyer, too. But, you probably guessed that already.

So what happened? After his initial announcement, we haven’t heard anything from Mark. There does not appear to be any “Mark Bucher for Supervisor” campaign websites and there has been nothing  written since the first of the year concerning his campaign. He has not filed papers with the Registrar of voters although he still has more than a month do so. Perhaps he is too busy trying to screw public employees with his initiative which, by the looks of things, has qualified for this year’s ballot.

Courtesy of OC Weely

Deborah Pauly

So, what’s a person to do? Enter Villa Park Councilmember, Deborah Pauly. Pauly is also no stranger to politics or the media. Unlike Bucher, however, she hasn’t made her mark criticizing public employee unions. Instead, she has made her mark espousing hatred for Muslims. All Muslims. She has no use for them in any way, shape or form, apparently. Her hatred of Muslims has enamored her to many of her Tea Party friends and garnered the censure of her fellow Villa Park Councilmembers who endorsed Todd for the Third District.

She also hasn’t been able to hold a candle to Spitzer’s fundraising. In fact, her meager attempts at fundraising have netted her a mere $2,180. And, forgetting for the moment the million plus he already had, Todd managed to raise $30,430 among his friends and contributors. That’s without any union help that we know of. His campaign consultant, Dave Gilliard was succinct:

With over 336,000 registered voters in the 3rd supervisorial district, running a campaign in this seat is a very expensive endeavor. Todd’s opponent currently has the resources to spend about 1/3 of a cent for every voter.

It does beg the question as to whether Pauly is serious about running for Supervisor. Rumor had it that she only jumped into the race because of her hatred for Mark Bucher. But, that’s only rumor. And, as far as I have seen, Spitzer only refers to her as, “my opponent”. I have yet to see him call her by name and I don’t blame him. Spitzer has made a career out of being the champion of the underdog, people like Pauly despises.

In fact, his initial press releases after he announced his candidacy almost continuously espoused his support of causes for his clients and the public at large. He has attacked efforts to eliminate the death penalty, spoken at the Irvine City Council in favor or their proposed underage drinking law and championed a law he authored, Megan’s Law. He was running so much press for victims advocacy, many were starting to wonder if he really was running for the Orange County District Attorney’s office. His opponent wondered the same thing at a couple of debates they held in Orange and Tustin. The delusional Pauly, who attacked Spitzer’s vote on pensions and his supposed support of unions,  thought she walked away with the debates while Spitzer walked away with a slew of endorsements including the (minus Pauly) Villa Park City Council who were quick to disavow any knowledge of Deborah and probably can’t wait for her term to end. Two more (long) years, boys.

But, others also apparently thought Spitzer was running for DA. When someone on Spitzer’s campaign sent out a press release that erroneously tagged Todd as a current Assistant District Attorney rather than a former one. It was corrected almost immediately and, sensing they would have an issue, he must have sent DA Tony Rackauckus’ spin doctor, Susan Kang Schroeder, a corrected release. Schroeder, who has been rumored to covet the DA position for herself when T-Rack disintegrates, shot off a letter to Todd upbraiding him for the faux pas. Funny thing was, Pauly got ahold of a copy of it a full day before it was postmarked and tried to use it against Todd. Todd cried foul, of course, claiming the DA was playing politics. Unfortunately, who is going to investigate the matter? Certainly not a DA who has been called by some the most corrupt DA in California for his non-investigations of his cronies and benefactors.

Susan Kang Schroeder

But, Schroeder, who happens to be the wife of GOP bigwig Mike Schroeder, says she is not conducting any political activity. She claims a complaint from a third-party (who could that be?) initiated the letter and that she disputed all of Spitzer’s allegations. “he’s mentally unstable and unfit to serve. … He’s got everything wrong factually. This is vintage Todd … ready, fire, aim.” That sounds like good old campaign mudslinging to me. And, if things work out as I suspect they will, Todd will, in effect, hold the purse strings of the DA’s office. If I were Susan, I would sit down, shut up and hope Todd was telling the truth when he recently reiterated that he would not seek the DA’s office if and when it were to become vacant. She should also hope that a truck hits Spitzer because that appears to be the only way he is not going to win the Supervisor’s race.

So, Todd Spitzer has made his choice. He publicly came out and said that he will not seek the office of Orange County District Attorney….yet. That is a good move on his part. For whatever reason, our current DA-come-used-car-salesman has no intention of leaving anytime soon and, if anyone honestly believed that he would ever support Todd (I didn’t) for the office, that notion has been clearly dispensed with. Spitzer has answered all the arguments against him made, chiefly, by Pauly and her friend, Schroeder.  He has admitted his mistake in voting for enhanced pension benefits but rightly says that he was not the only one to do so. And, given what he knows now, he would not do it again. He has also proven that he is an effective, if exuberant County Supervisor. His track record in local politics, unlike his tenure in the Assembly, is solid. So, unless that proverbial truck we talked about hits him or Pauly suddenly sees a huge infusion of money (how much did Mike Schroeder promise you?) and a resurgence of anti-muslim supporters, it is doubtful Spitzer will have to spend much more than the thirty thousand he raised last year. And, the only thing the public will have to suffer is Todd’s somewhat opportunistic grandstanding. I think we can live with that.

So, everything is great, except… Todd recently admitted to the OC Weekly that he has tried to contact T-rack and has even had coffee with Susan. He has weakly admitted that he would like his old job back. From the OC Weekly Story:

Spitzer—who is often passionate in his endeavors—admitted he left voice mail messages for the DA. He cautioned me to appreciate the circumstances at the time of the calls: He’d just celebrated his 50th birthday, was unemployed for the first time after losing his “dream job” as a prosecutor, and was worried about how he would financially provide for his family.

I again asked him if he’d asked for his job back. He paused before answering, “I might have. . . . Okay, I probably did, but it was more of a global thing with Tony—where can we go from here?”

There is no doubt that Todd is running for supervisor. The question is, if the DA’s office were to suddenly open up, would Todd jump ship like Lou Correa did  for the legislature and go for the job? My guess is a solid probably. After all, Todd still has a huge warchest that could easily accomplish running back to back campaigns. But, regardless of the OC Weekly story leaning that way, I have to believe as supervisor he would take great satisfaction in being Schroeder’s and even T-Rack’s boss. The real question is, after having coffee with Schroeder, has he made a promise to be a good boy?

One thing is for sure. Todd will pick and choose his opportunities. Susan, you might want to watch your back.

Twitter War Becomes a One Horse Race

Just when I was looking forward to a great war of words, Chuck Devore has announced he is pulling out of the race for Orange County Board of Supervisors and heading to Texas to accept a position with the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Citing family issues, Devore says on his website that his family must come first and that is what really drove the decision to move. Other things, like Texas’ low tax rate and a declining number of clients have helped him make the decision. For those who think he is absconding with their campaign donations, he says he will refund the surplus in his campaign account…eventually.

Chuck goes on in typical fashion dissing California, now that he is heading for greener pastures in Texas. He laments the poor business climate and the unmitigated budget issues. He states that almost 2 million people have moved out of the Golden State, many of them going to Texas, but says nothing of the huge rise in population due to three times that many coming into the state during the same ten year span. Oh yeah, and he is going to write a book. A big book about how superior Texas is to California. Good luck with that.

About the Board of Supervisors race? Of that, he says:

I am expecting that a successful business person, someone with a strong record of promoting fiscally responsible policies, will soon step forward to run for the important office of Orange County Supervisor. When that person emerges, I expect you’ll know who it is and that they have my full support.

Well, I guess that means he won’t be supporting the OC GOP favorite, Todd Spitzer. But maybe, just maybe, this is Jerry Amante’s big chance.

What do you say, Jerry? Are you up to the task? You live in the District (is your business in the District?). You  have plenty of money from your two recent and highly successful fundraisers. You even have experience running a failed political campaign into the ground. It should be easy for you  to learn the basics of Twitter and you already have a Facebook page (although you still haven’t accepted my friend request). Yes, this could be just the ticket for you. And, most importantly, you would surely get Chuck’s endorsement since you endorsed him, right? I’m sure he would overlook the squandering of taxpayer dollars on frivolous lawsuits and firing the new City Manager because he wanted to settle the lawsuit with TUSD. And, don’t forget, most Republicans like cronyism and you especially shine in that department. After all, you’ve managed to bring your shill city manager and the soon to be ex-assistant city manager back with hefty raises that were covered up in the usual Republican rhetoric. All we have to do is install Facebook and Twitter apps on your taxpayer paid iPad and you are good to go.

Well, Chuck, I was really looking forward to watching the Twitter wars between you and Spitzer. It will be difficult to find a candidate as articulate and politically knowledgeable as you. But, you will be successful wherever you go as you are an intelligent and well-spoken person. In other words, for a Republican, you’re a pretty good guy. Godspeed.