Silly season ends tomorrow evening. As this is probably my last CAMPAIGN UPDATE before tomorrow’s election, allow me to share a few thoughts.
Many years ago a public employee union leader shared with me the philosophy of making political contributions to Supervisorial candidates. "They become bobble heads. We go in and tell them what we want, and they nod their heads in agreement, just like a bobble head doll." Such is the power and control of public employee unions from their campaign contributions and independent expenditures. Consequently, a smart vote is to vote for the Supervisorial candidate who is not backed by the unions, like Robert Ming and Allan Mansoor.
So why is the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) coming into the fray so late in the game? After all, they fully funded my opponent in 2006 during the entire campaign season.
Well, one could speculate that the polling shows that the Second District Supervisorial race is closer than expected. If the investment of $100,000 allows Michelle Steel to prevail over Allan Mansoor, then she will be indebted to AOCDS. She may become a potential bobble head.
Michelle Steel retains the same political consultant as the three Supervisors that voted for the recent AOCDS contract (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Laws, Contracts and Costs — July 17, 2014). Two are in contested races. Therefore, one could speculate that this is a form of payback or show of gratitude for the divided vote (I’m still very uncomfortable with the retiree medical component of the contract, among other concerns) for another client.
I’m sure I could go on. But, the temptation to accept public employee union funding is too great for those who are more concerned about their own political agendas. For the candidates, it’s about getting elected.
With most things in life, for the public employee unions, it’s about control. If Michelle Steel should win in tomorrow’s election, let’s hope she doesn’t set the County further back financially with future AOCDS contracts. The era of having bobble heads back at the bargaining table would be a tragedy.
It’s not hard to become discouraged. Projections show that tomorrow’s turn out will be the lowest in recent history. For some reason, I don’t blame those who are staying home. For those of you who are voting tomorrow, here are a few recommendation links for you to consider for your ballot:
I tried my best to prepare a full Excel spreadsheet of all thirty-four city council races and those of water, school and special districts. I was hoping to give an all inclusive voter’s guide. But, time just ran out. Therefore, if you’re doing last minute research, I would also recommend Robyn Nordell’s website, the Orange County Lincoln Club’s website, and the OC Register’s website when making candidate and ballot measure selections. There is no unanimous agreement on many of the measures and candidates, but at least you have some resources from which to make your hiring choices.
Union funds late ad blitz
Michelle Steel’s bid for county supervisor gets $100,000 boost from deputy sheriffs.
BY NICOLE SHINE
A public safety union’s political committee spent $100,000 last month to back Michelle Steel’s run against Allan Mansoor for the District 2 supervisorial seat.
Attack-mailers landed in district mailboxes last week, paid for by a political committee of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs. The mailers describe Mansoor, a state Assemblyman in the 74th District, as “bad for us all.”
The two Republicans are vying to replace John Moorlach, who is termed out of his seat on the county Board of Supervisors. The district stretches from Newport Beach to Buena Park.
The union’s committee spent another $100,000 to support Steel’s candidacy before the June primary, state expenditure reports show. Steel pulled in 47.7 percent of votes cast in that race compared to Mansoor’s 22.9 percent.
Steel, 59, who is termed-out of her seat on the state Board of Equalization, has out-fundraised Mansoor, 50. Steel has raised $381,025 this year, according to campaign reports through September. She has lent her campaign $175,000 since 2012. Mansoor has raised $117,579 this year.
The last-minute blitz being waged on Steel’s behalf doesn’t make the impact in a race that it used to, according to Mark Petracca, associate dean of the UCI School of Social Sciences.
A decade ago, about 33 percent of voters statewide cast absentee ballots in a general election, according to the California Secretary of State. In the last general election, in 2012, that number climbed to 51 percent.
Petracca said late blitzes were more effective in an era when candidates couldn’t respond instantly to attacks through social media and the like. Plus, voters may have reached an over-saturation point this late in the race, he explained.
“Locally, people are exhausted by the amount of mail they receive,” Petracca said. “$100,000 buys you a mailing, but doesn’t buy you anyone looking at it.”
This UPDATE was sent from my personal e-mail account.
Contact the writer: nshine or Twitter:@nicolekshin