Volunteers threatened in the Mission Viejo Recall of mayor pro tem Lance MacLean

I just received the following “press release” which relates to the current efforts to recall Mission Viejo mayor pro tem Lance MacLean

“Press Release

MacLean’s Supporters Threaten Volunteers

Mission Viejo, CA  April 30, 2009 – On April 28, volunteer workers in the effort to recall Councilman Lance MacLean were threatened in two separate incidents. Both occurred at storefronts where workers were getting signatures to qualify the recall for the ballot.

With recall activity gaining momentum, some MacLean supporters are resorting to threats of violence against those gathering signatures. At 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, a man described as 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds approached the petitioners’ table and threatened to injure the volunteers. Workers quoted him as stating he would physically attack them and then throw them and their table from the storefront. A volunteer said, “Because of his behavior, we believed it was a serious threat, and we reported him to the police. When he left the parking lot, we got the license plate number on his tan-colored SUV.”

On the same afternoon at another storefront, a second man made threats against a lone petitioner who was getting signatures at a table. The volunteer said a man walked up to the table muttering obscenities and saying he would beat up the volunteer for working in the recall. After making specific threats to inflict injury, the MacLean supporter added, “I should call Lance’s boys to come over here and kick your ass.”

The volunteer later asked, “Was he saying that Lance has a group of bullies who will beat people up? Who are Lance’s boys?”

The threats were reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. An OCSD officer interviewed one of the witnesses and filed the report as a terrorist threat. The witness stated that those working at the tables were worried about their safety, adding that the threats came from two men who appeared capable of carrying out an attack. Volunteers had not spoken to either of the men or asked them to sign the petition.

The worker who was interviewed said, “The Sheriff’s Dept. told us to dial 911 if another person threatens us. With two threats in one day, we’re all carrying phones and cameras. By getting the license plate number on one of the vehicles, we can at least stop further threats from the same person.”

When MacLean was charged with assault and battery in Irvine, his victim was in a public place with policemen nearby. The police report states that MacLean grabbed a co-worker by the throat, pinned him against a wall and was lifting him off the ground by his neck as the victim yelled, “Assault!” It took four policemen to pull MacLean off the victim and handcuff him. MacLean later told police the co-worker hadn’t immediately unlocked a bathroom door at his command.

Dale Tyler, a Mission Viejo resident who is spokesman for the recall, said, “The irony is having a bully on the council touting Mission Viejo as a safe city. According to police records, MacLean made Irvine less safe when he attacked a co-worker. Now, his supporters are threatening those they disagree with. Mission Viejo has an elected official who is a role model for bullies, and his supporters have the same problem he has.”

Tyler said the recall group will proceed with getting a restraining order against the person who made threats at 1:15 p.m. on April 28. The person making threats at another storefront got away without being identified.

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For information, call Dale Tyler, spokesman for the Lance MacLean Recall, (949) 360-1717.”


Gilbert comment: Noon update from a Recall committee member. The volunteers have collected over 4,500 of the 9,300 valid signatures required to qualify the recall for a future election.  I was told that “we are targeting at least 12,000 signatures”  to cover any duplications or invalid signatures.

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