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Our Political Picks

OK, it’s almost June 5th and you still have not sat down with your spouse or significant other, sample ballot in hand, and made your decision on who to vote for. Or, maybe you are just one of those folks that closes your eyes in the voting booth and hopes for the best (how could you do any worse?). If you have not sent your vote-by-mail ballot in or, like me, you prefer to exercise your right at the local polling place, here is our take on the locals you will be voting for. This is only for the races that really count and not for anything that brings in the “top two” votes. We may cover those when it matters, in November.

Gary Johnson – President of the United States

Courtesy of Christian Science Monitor

Hey, I am a Libertarian after all. Johnson is the best candidate for President the Libertarian Party has ever produced. He is articulate and clear on Libertarian values and has the respect of the entire party. But, it is his running mate that I like even better. Homegrown, OC boy, Jim Gray is a former Superior Court Judge who makes no secret of his belief that America has lost the war on drugs. He thinks money spent combating drugs on the street would be better spent elsewhere… or not spent at all.

Gail Lightfoot – United States Senator

The field is thick with candidates for Senator. At last count there were 14 Republicans and 6 Democrats vying for the seat. Lightfoot has the best name recognition of all of them, save for Orly Taitz, another crackpot conservative. She also has demonstrated “fiscal responsibility and social tolerance”. And, you wonder why we like Libertarians.

Todd Spitzer – District 3 County Board of Supervisors

Todd Spitzer

Todd Spitzer and Deborah Pauly have put on a pretty good show for us, centered mainly on Twitter and Facebook. Pauly, who banned me from her Twitter feed (I guess she didn’t know I could just pull it up anytime, even if I can’t follow her), has tried her best to come up with some worthy zingers against Todd. But, in the end, she just doesn’t have what it takes. It must be that inner angry religious and racial bigot peeking out.

Todd, on the other hand, has made the most of the opportunities Pauly has presented him. He has deftly wielded the DUI issue without making too big a deal about it. I haven’t followed the past few days since a Pauly supporter, Bob Walters, sent a support letter out with a photo of Alabama Governor George Wallace standing in front of the University of Alabama, refusing entry to black students. Walters, who claims he was Wallace’s campaign manager for a failed presidential run, was obviously equating Pauly’s firm conservative views to Wallace, right? Funny, she did not disavow herself from Walters or the letter.

Deborah Pauly

Todd is actually running for Orange County District Attorney. That position just isn’t open yet, and he needs to keep busy in the meantime. So, for now, he is running for County Board of Supervisors. He is the only candidate with both local experience as a former county supervisor, and statewide experience as a legislator. He has major endorsements from around the state and the county. In fact, all of Pauly’s colleagues on the Villa Park City Council have endorsed her opponent. He has also managed to outraise Pauly in campaign funds. So much so, that he was able to run an effective campaign on the raised funds without touching a dime in his warchest (he is saving that for the OCDA race).

Todd often manages to put his foot in his mouth but he is actually interested in making the county a better place. And just as quickly as his foot goes in, it comes back out again as he can usually turn most criticism away.

Bob Hammond – Orange County Board of Education Area 1 Trustee

Yes, we’ve broken away from the Libertarian slate on this one, for good reason. For whatever reason, they have chosen to endorse someone we just cannot stomach. We warned you of this in an earlier

Robert Hammond

post and stand by our post. Pedroza is absolutely the worst person for this position for all the reasons we wrote about here.

Bob Hammondis a former United States Marine and teacher. He has the endorsement of the (shudder) Republican Party as well as former Tustin Councilmember, Jim Palmer. In the grand scheme of things, I think an accountant would be better than a teacher in this position only because of the fiscal management responsibilities of the board. But, for  that very reason, you definitely don’t want Pedroza watching the purse strings.

Yes on Measure A Office of Public Adminstrator

It is time to rein in the number of elected offices in the County. Public Administrator is a job most people did not even know about until last year when Public Administrator/Public Guardian John Williams got into hot water over a number of issues, including helping to railroad Todd Spitzer when he was fired from his job in the District Attorney’s office. It is pretty evident that the DA’s right hand girl, Susan Kang Schroeder, colluded with Williams on this one.

More importantly, the job does not pay that much and it is, at best, a part-time job that should be relegated to a Mangager III rather than an elected official who can’t figure out how to keep them from locking him out of his office.

No on Measure B, Mandatory Minimum Pension Selection

A big no on this one. Everyone thinks this is a great idea. That is what the Board of Supervisors wants you to think. However, as it stands now, Supervisors may take the regular, non-public safety pension or they can opt to take no pension at all. With this change, we are giving them a gift. With all these so-called conservative Republicans around, would it surprise you to know that only Bates and Nelson refuse their pensions? Your other three conservatives, including the career politician and employee who will reap a windfall pension when he retires, John Moorlach, gladly take their pensions, car allowances and Optional Personal Benefits Accounts to the tune of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Send this one back to the drawing board with a no vote and demand your Supervisors take NO pension.

Yes on Prop. 28, Term Limits

I’ll tell you right now, we are not fans of term limits at the state level. While we gladly voted for them in the old days, it has become apparent that term limits, in their current form, are useless and have done more harm than good. The immediate result of term limits in California was to put every legislator and statewide elected official into permanent fundraising mode for the next election cycle. In fact, legislators spend more time working on keeping their jobs than actually doing their jobs. Oh, you can blame the evil unions if you like but Republicans all get their money from the various chambers of commerce, business coalitions and, so-called, tax reform organizations. Let’s not forget AT&T drops millions into candidate accounts and has full-time lobbyists for their business. It’s just good… business, after all.

Prop. 28 is a long way from what I would like to see: elimination of term limits. But, it does help in that legislators will be able to remain in one house, hopefully gaining experience and wisdom along the way. At least, that is the idea behind this current change.

Term limits at the local level? Absolutely! Local politics is not the place for professional politicians. Recently, John Moorlach attempted to garner interest in changing term limits for the Board of Supervisors. That’s probably because the Republican Party has shown little interest in sending him to Sacramento. And, he will be out of a job soon enough. He is not alone. Santa Ana City Councilmember, Claudia Alvarez recently sought an opinion on their term limits measure to see if she could run for three more terms. And, can anyone, even his so-called friends, imagine 4 more years of Boss Tweed Amante and his fiscal responsiblitity? Where’s my iPad?

No on Prop. 29, Tobacco Tax

I know, I know. I should stop smoking those darned cigars. But, this really isn’t about that. The tax on non-cigarette products is rather minimal and I have voted for these taxes in the past. However, this one was so poorly written, it almost begs the government to set up another useless, money-stealing bureaucracy to mis-manage tax money and send it out of state. There is almost no oversight and, most importantly, no requirement for the money to be spent on research withing the state of California, where we have premiere cancer research laboratories. Just say No and send this one back to the drawing board. Then come down to the Chili Cookoff. I’ll be the one in the panama, smoking a pre-embargo cigar (I might even have Amber the Wonder Dog with me).

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.

It Just Gets Better

You know, I am not quite sure why Todd Spitzer is even bothering to campaign against his opponent Deborah Pauly. He could save himself a ton of money for his future District Attorney race if he would just step aside and let Pauly’s supporters do his campaigning for him. If you follow Todd on Twitter, then you already know what I am about to post. If not, you are in for a real treat.

Posted on the Tuesday morning L.A. Now blog of the LA Times website, was an article titled, “O.C. supervisor hopeful gets support … on George Wallace letterhead”.  Right below that was the infamous 1963 picture of Alabama Governor, George Wallace standing, defiantly, at the door of the University of Alabama, challenging the Feds to allow African Americans to enter the building to register for classes. It was iconic at the time, somewhat shameful in present day context. But, it was a part of history. And, for some reason, one of Deborah Pauly’s supporters, Bob Walters, latched on to it and decided to send out an independent mailer on Deborah’s behalf.

From the LAT blog:

The political mailer that recently arrived in Orange County mailboxes seemed from a different era, embossed with a tiny portrait of former Alabama Gov. George Wallace and the campaign slogan: “Wallace for President, Stand up for America.”

But the letter contained no direct mention of the fiery Southern politician, who gained a national  reputation as a segregationist during the civil rights era and died in 1998 after four failed presidential campaigns.

Instead, it was a plea to American Independent Party members to elect Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly to a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

The letter was written by Bob Walters, a businessman from Orange who identified himself as the chairman of Wallace’s bid for president in 1967.

Now it’s the subject of a complaint filed by Orange County political watchdog Shirley Grindle, who said the campaign piece violates state law because it doesn’t mention who paid for it. Further, Grindle says in her May 13 complaint to the Fair Political Practices Commission, Walters failed to file as a committee with the secretary of state’s office.

In the letter, Walters refers to an incident last year when Pauly came under fire for comments she made outside an Islamic charity event in Yorba Linda.

Outside the event, protesters carried American flags as they booed and chanted at families entering the center to “Go back home.”

“I know quite a few Marines who will be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise,” she said at the time.

Walters commended Pauly for the protest and said the Villa Park councilwoman “recently led a demonstration against two radical Muslims speaking up in Yorba Linda.”

He said one of the Muslims was “trying to recruit homegrown terrorists right here in our backyard!”

“We need Deborah Pauly and her brand of hard core limited government, fiscally-conservative positions on the County Board of Supervisors,” he wrote.

Walters did not respond to requests for comment.

Pauly also drew ire last year when she wrote on her Facebook page that applauding President Obama’s healthcare bill was “like applauding a mugging or a rape. Do you feel sodomized?”

Pauly said she has not seen the mailer and doesn’t know much about Wallace.

She blamed opponent Todd Spitzer’s campaign, which she said is “working hard to dig up all kinds of noise” leading up to the June 5 ballot.

Spitzer is a former state assemblyman and Orange County supervisor.

Pauly said she can’t do background checks on all potential allies.

“I have a lot of supporters who come out to help me in a variety of ways,” she said.

— Nicole Santa Cruz

OC’s own political watchdog, Shirley Grindle, blasted Pauly, filing a complaint with the FPPC against Walters for not filing as a “committee” and for sending out the mailer without saying who it came from – but not a word from anyone about the racial connotations. Huh. Well, after all, this is Orange County.

OK, so I agree that Pauly may not have had anything to do with the mailing. Yet, she feels that she has to blame Spitzer’s black ops guys on working hard to dig up all kinds of noise against her. The truth is, she should be hunting down Bob Walters who purportedly sent this on her behalf. Perhaps Bob knows Deborah Pauly as well as we all do – a racist bigot who would fit right in with the old George Wallace.

Now, in George’s defense, I lived in Alabama about the time he decided to run for Governor after being shot and paralyzed. He won the vote by a huge margin because he didn’t just see the light about racism, he actually made the most sincere apology I have ever heard from any politician, ever. He threw himself down before the community and garnered a huge vote from both the Blacks and Whites of Alabama. He lived the rest of his life making amends for his transgressions. Perhaps there is a paranormal lesson from George in the afterlife to Deborah after all. It isn’t too late, Deborah.

Just the same,  don’t expect to be elected like George was.

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.