Petrilla and Bartlett Mailers Stir Controversy
Posted by Greg Woodard on May 16, 2014
Allan Bartlett over at Powder Blue posted two mailers he recently got a hold of (see below), one from Jesse Petrilla running for the 73rd Assembly District, and one from Lisa Bartlett running for OC Supervisor in the 5th District. Bartlett maintains that the Petrilla mailer is deceptive because it contains a quote from OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh and the OC GOP logo, implying that the party has endorsed Petrilla, which it has not. The quote, which addresses the influence of public employee unions, is prominently displayed at the top of the mailer in which Petrilla purports to advocate for reforming government pensions. In a comment on the Powder Blue posting, Mission Viejo activist Larry Gilbert, a Petrilla supporter, disagrees and states that the quote simply connects Chairman Baugh to the OC GOP. The OC GOP only allows endorsed candidates to use the party’s logo. Petrilla is not endorsed by the OC GOP, and he did not ask for permission to use the party logo.
Also interesting is that Petrilla’s mailer includes a comparison between Petrilla and two other candidates, Anna Bryson and Paul Glaab. Petrilla attacks Bryson and Glaab as beholden to the unions. However, Petrilla omits a third major candidate, Bill Brough, from the mailer (for full disclosure, I am supporting Brough in the 73rd). That raises the question of why Brough was omitted. Is it because Petrilla cannot attack Brough on union issues, is it because Petrilla sees Brough as his biggest threat and he does not want to give Brough any extra publicity, or is it for another reason? Inquiring minds want to know.
Over in the race for OC Supervisor, 5th District, Lisa Bartlett has put out a mailer stating that she is the “The Endorsed Conservative Republican” with a letter from Congressman Darrell Issa prominently displayed on the front (more disclosure, I am supporting Robert Ming in this race, though I have little experience or knowledge of Bartlett). The letter from Issa states that he is endorsing Bartlett’s campaign. Allan Bartlett contends that the mailer is deceptive because it implies that Bartlett is endorsed by the OC GOP, which she is not. I have to agree that this mailer is more deceptive than Petrilla’s in that it could lead some to believe that Bartlett is endorsed by the OC GOP simply by its vague wording. (I will note that the other Republican candidates for the 5th District are also endorsed by many, meaning that they are also “endorsed conservative” Republicans, making her statement false on its face. She should have put “An Endorsed Conservative Republican” or “The Issa Endorsed Conservative Republican” to be accurate. I know I am splitting hairs here, and we are talking about mailers which often like to be vague and deceptive for effect, but it still fun to do.)
Both the 73rd AD and 5th District Supervisor races appear to be close. It remains to be seen whether these mailers and their statements will have any negative impact on either Petrilla or Bartlett, or they are relegated to inside baseball status like so many other of these issues. We are less than three weeks from the June 3 direct primary election, and it seems that the candidates are ramping up their mail and their message. It should be a fun election season!