OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘John Wayne Willard’

Lincoln Club Endorses Eric Woolery for Orange County Auditor-Controller

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on May 20, 2014

This just came across the wire from the Eric Woolery for Auditor-Controller campaign:

LINCOLN CLUB ENDORSES ERIC WOOLERY FOR ORANGE COUNTY AUDITOR-CONTROLLER

NEWPORT BEACH — The Lincoln Club of Orange County, one of the state’s most respected conservative leadership organizations has endorsed Eric Woolery for Orange County Auditor-Controller. According to Lincoln Club President Wayne Lindholm:

“Eric is the consummate professional — a CPA with a long track record of professional and personal success as a financial manager and advisor. Beyond his significant accomplishments as an Auditor and Controller, he has successfully navigated his 700-employee department through the recent financial crisis while maintaining service levels without tax increases. This kind of skill demonstrates that he is exactly the right person to keep watch over Orange County’s finances on behalf of the taxpayer.”

The Lincoln Club endorsement is one of the most sought-after in the county. The club selected Woolery from a field of five candidates vying for the position. The Auditor- Controller’s office is currently managed by an appointee of the County Board of Supervisors but has not had an elected Auditor-Controller for more than two years since David Sundstrom resigned.

Eric Woolery is a CPA and successful owner/manager of a large accounting firm and currently the top administrative and financial head of a large public agency overseeing more than 700 employees and a department budget of $108 million.

He is the only candidate for Auditor-Controller with direct experience in both the private and public sector.  He is committed to providing Orange County taxpayers with the independent oversight required to make government open and accountable to the people.

His campaign website is http://www.ericwoolery.com/ ; on Facebook at Eric Woolery for OC Auditor-Controller or follow him on Twitter @WooleryOC. He has lived in Orange County most of his life and attended Lutheran High School of Orange County and Cal State Fullerton.  He and his wife Lisa have two children and reside in Orange.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Orange County Needs a Watchdog as Auditor-Controller

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on April 23, 2014

This just came across the wire:

ORANGE COUNTY NEEDS A WATCHDOG AS AUDITOR-CONTROLLER

Why the Orange County Taxpayers Association Endorses Eric Woolery

By Carolyn Cavecche, CEO and President, Orange County Taxpayers Association

Election after election, “wanna-be” politicians have targeted specific elected offices at the County of Orange as their opportunity for an entrance into political life. Although these offices seem to be low profile and of little importance to many voters, they are actually positions of great importance with significant responsibilities. Sometimes, the unqualified manage to get elected, sometimes resulting in bad governance. Remember the county’s bankruptcy? Recently, the OC Board of Supervisors took the unusual step of consolidating one of these offices, the County Public Administrator, with the District Attorney’s office. This measure was taken to recover the high level of integrity such an important position should preserve, which was ignored by an unqualified elected official. The elected position of Orange County Auditor-Controller is one of those offices of great importance to the taxpayers, as it oversees all of our taxpayer monies at the County of Orange.

The Orange County Taxpayers Association has endorsed Eric Woolery in the Orange County Auditor-Controller’s race because he has the right set of skills and expertise to best serve as the watchdog over Orange County’s taxpayer funds. He is a CPA, a former small business owner, a former county school board member, and currently serves as Orange Treasurer. He understands the importance of vigilance and has a track record that demonstrates that he knows how to monitor how the county spends precious taxpayer resources in order to find and fight fraud and waste. He is a professional who is actually qualified for the position of Auditor-Controller.

As a taxpayer watchdog, Woolery will prepare both elected decision makers and the public to make the policy decisions that will protect Orange County taxpayers. Eric Woolery has created priorities based on his knowledge, and his proactive budgeting approach will not only get Orange County through these next few years, but will also protect us for years to come. His priorities include:

  • Exposing and fighting Sacramento’s raids on our local coffers. This year, he reclaimed $18 million for his county department.
  • Enhancing county productivity and performance through new processes and accountabilities. Through the recession, he cut costs in his agency by 25% while maintaining operational effectiveness.
  • Helping solve the current pension crisis while implementing safeguards to guarantee future sustainability.

Every year, the Auditor-Controller’s office issues the “OC Citizens Report.” Eric Woolery’s version of this report will include an analysis of the fiscal strengths and challenges for the county and its $5.4 billion budget. On day one, he plans to dig into fiscal matters and immediately start answering the following questions and finding solutions to them; if elected, next year’s report will include solutions to the biggest issues facing Orange County:

  • What is our pension liability? How does Orange County’s liability compare to other counties?
  • What policies has the Auditor-Controller offered to the Board of Supervisors as solutions?
  • How stable are the county’s revenue sources?
  • Is the state planning to raid our coffers again, and if so, what will the impact be? Can we prepare?
  • Are there plans afoot to find new sources of revenue without raising taxes?
  • Does the Auditor-Controller have plans to streamline, consolidate, or cut costs to improve efficiencies?

Please join the Orange County Taxpayers Association in voting for Eric Woolery and his proactive leadership to improve our quality of life and keep Orange County one of the most sought after regions to live.

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Posted in Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Auditor-Controller Race: Frank Davies Loses “Deputy Auditor-Controller” Ballot Designation, Will Use “Property Tax Director” Instead

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 31, 2014

There have been five lawsuits related to the June Primary election ballot for Orange County. The meat of this article is after the bullet list. The bullet list just recaps the prior cases.

  • In the Second Supervisorial District, Allan Mansoor successfully sued the Registrar of Voters to change Michelle Steel‘s ballot designation of “Taxpayer Advocate/Businesswoman” and she is now required to use “Board of Equalization Member” instead. This case was covered here on OC Political, in an article in the OC Register, and in an article in the Daily Pilot.
  • In the Clerk-Recorder’s race, Troy Edgar‘s lawsuit against the Registrar of Voters to get on the ballot was rejected by the Orange County Superior Court. Edgar’s lawsuit against the Registrar of Voters also sought to toss Assessor Webster Guillory and Superintendent of Schools Al Mijares from the ballot, and this effort was also rejected by the Superior Court. Consequently, Edgar fails to make the ballot while Guillory and Mijares stay on the ballot. Here’s OC Political’s coverage, including the only online copy of the full text of the judge’s ruling. The judge’s sweeping ruling used “failed” or “fails” six times in reference to Edgar and even uses “without merit” in reference to one of Edgar’s arguments.
  • In the 73rd Assembly District, Mission Viejo resident Dale Tyler sued the Secretary of State to challenge a sentence in AD-73 Candidate Anna Bryson‘s ballot statement, “On the school board, I returned $59 million to taxpayers.” Tyler sought to have the sentence struck entirely, but the Sacramento County Superior Court judge issued a compromise, so it now reads, “On the school board, I voted to save taxpayers approximately $59 million.” Here’s OC Political’s coverage, and here’s the text of the judge’s ruling.
  • In the Auditor-Controller’s race, candidate John Wayne Willard sued the Registrar of Voters in an unsuccessful effort to challenge Eric Woolery‘s “Orange Treasurer/CPA” ballot designation. Consequently, Woolery remains “Orange Treasurer/CPA” on the ballot. Here’s OC Political’s coverage, including the only online copy of the full text of the judge’s ruling. When the judge includes strong language along the lines of “The evidence is undisputed that Woolery was appointed to the position of Treasurer…” you know it’s a sweeping ruling.
  • Oddly, the fifth lawsuit has yet to have any coverage anywhere despite being the first case to be completed, having been resolved way back on Tuesday, and it’s also likely the most significant case in terms of impact on a race. That case will be the focus of this article.
Auditor-Controller Candidates Eric Woolery, John Wayne Willard, Frank Davies, and Mike "Mike" Dalati.  OC Political was unable to find a photo of James T. Benuzzi.

Auditor-Controller Candidates Eric Woolery, John Wayne Willard, Frank Davies, and Mike “Mike” Dalati.
OC Political was unable to find a photo of James T. Benuzzi.

Laguna Niguel resident Todd Nugent challenged the ballot designation of Auditor-Controller candidate Frank Davies. Davies requested the ballot designation of “Deputy Auditor-Controller” for his bid for Auditor-Controller.

Nugent challenged it on the grounds that this was an effort by Davies to game the system by playing working title musical chairs, as he was not the Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller. Denise Steckler held both the job classification and working title of “Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller” before the candidate filing period. Frank Davies held the job classification of “Administrative Manager III” and the working title of “Director, Property Tax” during that time. Then in the middle of candidate filing, after Davies had pulled papers for Auditor-Controller and shortly before he filed them, all four Directors at the Administrative Manager III level in the Auditor-Controller’s office had their working titles switched from “Director” to “Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller” instead (while still remaining in the job classification of “Administrative Manager III”). Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller Denise Steckler then switched to the working title of “Chief of Staff” (while still remaining in the job classification of “Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller”).

Nugent filed suit in Superior Court and succeeded in having “Deputy Auditor-Controller” dumped as Davies’s ballot designation. Consequently, Davies is now “Property Tax Director” on the ballot.

In an obscure down-ticket race like Auditor-Controller, having a ballot designation of “Deputy Auditor-Controller” would have made Davies the frontrunner. Nugent’s challenge was critical in putting Orange Treasurer/CPA Eric Woolery back in the driver’s seat for the Auditor-Controller’s seat. Defeating Willard’s challenge was also critical for Woolery’s frontrunner position.

Here’s how the candidates will appear on the ballot:

(No, that’s not a mistake. Mike “Mike” Dalati is how he requested to be on the ballot. His fiancée, Karina “Karina” Onofre, is a Democratic candidate for AD-74. I have no idea why this couple decided to double-state their first names on the ballot.)

The three strongest ballot designations belong to Woolery, Benuzzi, and Dalati while the two weakest ballot designations belong to Willard and Davies. However, Benuzzi and Dalati failed to obtain ballot statements. Woolery is the only one of the five to wield both a ballot statement and a good ballot designation.

Woolery also bought up most of the slate mailers and wields the most aggressive online presence. He also has the highest name ID having been a former member of the Orange County Board of Education and the current Orange Treasurer. Additionally, he has residual name ID from his wife, Lisa Woolery, a former member of the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board. Eric Woolery also dominates the endorsement arena, wielding the endorsements of the Orange County Taxpayers Association, the California Republican Assembly, and numerous elected officials.

With tens of thousands of dollars, Woolery also has a larger warchest than all of his opponents combined with $50,200. He spent $38,701, on a combination of the ballot statement, candidate filing fee, slate mailers, campaign literature, and consulting fees.

Davies spent his entire $16,476 on the ballot statement and candidate filing fee.

Willard has $16,438, which was presumably spent on the ballot statement and candidate filing fee (he filed a Form 497, but not a Form 460); presumably the other $38 was wiped out by signatures-in-lieu.

Benuzzi raised $2,400 from Anthony Benuzzi and Ronald Benuzzi but had to refund $200 to Anthony Benuzzi when they discovered they had exceeded the campaign contribution limit; with his remaining $2,200, he paid the candidate filing fee and $280 of campaign literature.

Dalati did not file a campaign finance report for the January 1-March 17 reporting period.

In the interest of full disclosure, Woolery is a client of Custom Campaigns, the consulting firm that owns this blog.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 73rd Assembly District, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Clerk-Recorder | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »