Robert Ming and Lisa Bartlett, both Republicans, emerged from the June open primary as the top-two vote getters for the Orange County Board of Supervisors race in the Fifth District. Ming (who I am supporting) and Bartlett will face off on November 4 for the privilege of representing most of south Orange County on the Board. I have known Ming for several years, and I can attest to his conservative credentials, and his character as a man. I do not know Bartlett, so I can only form an opinion based on her actions on the campaign trail, and, in my opinion, they do not reflect well on her.
In June, Bartlett issued a press release called “Ming’s Dings” that was an attack on Ming and his supposed policies “dinging the taxpayer.” However, as I previously reported, the release was riddled with false facts and errors. Despite being called out on those false assertions, I have not seen any retraction from Bartlett. In addition, while that first installment of “Ming’s Dings” promised subsequent regular reports of how Ming was supposedly dinging the taxpayer, I have not seen another installment. Apparently, Bartlett could only muster that one attack on Ming’s policies, and even that attack contained false facts.
On September 2, Bartlett issued a press release, again using false facts to erroneously claim that she was fundraising at a 2-1 clip against Ming. In fact, the true fundraising numbers showed a small difference between the two.
I know that candidates often embellish their mailers and take liberties with the way they portray their opponents. But what should not be tolerated is outright lies, and Bartlett has twice shown that she apparently cares more about smearing Ming than getting the facts right.
Equally troubling is that the public employee unions seem to be spending a lot of time and effort on Bartlett. I recently received a mailer from a local PAC in support of Bartlett that smeared Ming with the same false facts that Bartlett used in her “Ming’s Dings” hit piece. The PAC has received $18,000 from the Orange County Employees Association and the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, both public employee unions. I reached out to Bartlett’s campaign for comment on whether her campaign had coordinated with the PAC on the mailer, or provided the PAC with the erroneous information, but she did not respond.
I recently learned that another public employee union, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has endorsed Bartlett.
As a conservative, all the union money and the endorsement thrown at Bartlett concern me. Public employee salaries and benefits are a huge County expenditure, and the unfunded pension liability threatens not only the current financial stability of Orange County, but also the future for my kids. Ming has a plan to reduce the unfunded liability by benchmarking public employee salaries to those earned in the private sector. Ming also is an advocate of transparency in the labor negotiation process. Ming also wants to solicit private-sector bids for services that are not core government functions.
Bartlett claims to be concerned with government spending, but her campaign website is short on any specifics about crushing salary and pension debt. Maybe that is why the Orange County Register recently endorsed Ming over Bartlett, stating “we found many of [Bartlett's] responses to our questions more vague.”
The Register feels that Ming’s knowledge of fiscal management makes him the best-suited to the Board, and I would encourage the readers to vote for Ming in November.