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
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.