Chris Nguyen’s account of last night OC GOP Endorsement Committee meeting makes it sound like it would have been a fun one to watch, especially the chutzpah of some of those doing to talking.
Here’s an example from Chris’s blogging about the Endorsement Committee’s consideration of Anaheim council candidates Brian Chuchua and Steve Chavez Lodge:
“Tim Whitacre says, “On behalf of Mayor Tom Tait, who previously endorsed Mr. Lodge, has unendorsed Mr. Lodge.” He asks if Lodge has sought union support in violation of the non-union pledge in the OCGOP questionnaire.”
Whitacre’s concern is ironic considering this spring and summer, he worked for a public employee union PAC. He ran the Take Back Anaheim Initiative, which, according to its campaign filing, is “sponsored by the Orange County Employees Association.”
“Take Back Anaheim” was a ballot-box budgeting initiative under which the City Council would cede to the voters its authority to make a very specific spending decision regarding hotel bed tax money. So very conservative.
It was funded by $66,000 from the OCEA, and led by left-wing Anaheim Councilwoman Lorri Galloway (who last month was trying to ban circus animals from Anaheim).
More accurately, according to left-wing blogger Vern Nelson, Take Back Anaheim was “spearheaded by progressive Democrat Galloway and Tea-Party Republican Tim Whitacre…”
Almost all of the OCEA’s $66,000 went to Whitacre, as you can see on Page 3 of Take Back Anaheim’s mid-year campaign report: note the $61,000 payment for petition circulating, which is Whitacre’s business.
Here’s Mr. Whitacre quoted in the OC Register in May as spokesman for the Galloway/OCEA initiative:
“We were under such a tight timeline that I felt I had to suspend the effort to continue collecting signatures until we could figure out whether it was worth moving forward,” Tim Whitacre, the campaign’s coordinator, said Friday. “Otherwise, it would be just throwing good money after bad.”
Nice that Whitacre’s so concerned about spending the OCEA’s money well.
So until a few weeks ago, Tim Whitacre is working for a left-wing Democratic politician’s initiative and being paid by the county’s biggest public employee union.
And he’s questioning Lodge has an inappropriate relationship with unions?
Here’s another one from Chris’s post:
“Lucille Kring, who has already been endorsed by the Central Committee in early endorsements, speaks for Chuchua and against Steve Chavez Lodge for the latter’s contributions to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and the allegations that Lodge committed police brutality.”
Kring cites Lodge’s contribution to a Democrat as a reason for opposing him, but supports Brian Chuchua, who donated in 2010 to John Santoianni, a liberal Democrat running for Anaheim City Council (because he was “curious” about Santoianni). That must be an OK reason to give to a Democrat.
Speaking of Brian Chuchua, here he is claiming Lodge is tied to Jordan Brandman, a Democratic candidate for Anaheim City Council:
“Chuchua interjects that there’s pictures of Brandman and Lodge at events together.”
Here’s a recent picture of Brian Chuchua together at an event with fellow Anaheim council candidate John Leos (on the left):
Leos is the union’s anointed candidate. The OCEA spent more than $200,000 for Leos’ 2010 council run, spent almost $100,000 in 2011 on mailers promoting Leos, and will surely pull out the stops for him this year.
According to Chuchua’s reasoning, this picture ties Chuchua to Leos and his union backers, so Chuchua needs to inform OC GOP Central Committee members about his suspect ties to unions at the next meeting.
UPDATE: Here’s an image from the Secretary of State’s campaign finance disclosure website (search “Orange County Employees Association Issues Committee”), showing a direct payment from OCEA to Tim Whitacre:
It looks like OCEA directly hired Whitacre to set up the Take Back Anaheim campaign operation, and Whitacre was subsequently paid through the Take Back Anaheim committee.