OC Register covers massive union funds in MV Recall

The following story regarding the Feb 2nd recall election in Mission Viejo was just published by the OC Register.
The full story link follows below:

Deputies spend $105,000 in recall election


“MISSION VIEJO The special election to recall Mayor Lance MacLean has drawn one of the largest independent expenditures in a Mission Viejo city election – more than $105,000 from the sheriff’s deputies union.

On the most recent campaign finance disclosure forms, which were filed in Mission Viejo last week, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs Independent Expenditure Committee reported spending a combined $105,502 to oppose the recall effort.

Independent expenditures are different from campaign contributions. Independent expenditures fund communications such as mailings or advertisement, and there is no communication between the expenditure committee and a candidate. The sheriff’s deputies committee used the funds to create and air a television spot, print and send mailers, and for e-mail blasts. The spot ran on cable stations such as AMC, CNN, Discovery, MSNBC, Lifetime, TBS, TNT and USA.

Wayne Quint, president of the union, said the funds were not in support of MacLean, but in opposition to the recall.

“It’s not about Lance MacLean,” he said. “In any of our cable ads, our e-mail blasts, you will not see one mention of Lance MacLean in them. We are opposed to the recall. We see this as an abuse of the electoral system and that is why we’re opposed to this.”

“More importantly,” Quint added, “I think it’s a waste of $270,000 on a, quote, special election, when nine months from now it could be justified if MacLean stays or goes.”

“The recall process is enshrined in the California Constitution as the right of the people to remove officers that they deem unfit for any reason,” Tyler said in response to Quint and the deputy sheriffs union expenditures. “We feel we have valid reasons, and we put them in our ballot argument.”

MacLean said his last contact with Quint came at a fundraiser in October where he asked for a donation. There, Quint said he delivered a check from the Orange County Coalition of Police & Sheriffs in the amount of $1,500.

City Manager Dennis Wilberg said recall proponents have been vocal about the city forming its own police department, and that “what people are intimating is that the (deputy) sheriffs are into it because they’re going to get something out of it. No.”

Wilberg said the city expects to continue contracting with the Sheriff’s Department for police services regardless of who is on the council. He said the council is expected to vote this summer on the city’s $15 million contract with the Sheriff’s Department, but that the council votes only on whether or not to keep contracting with the department, not on the amount individual employees are paid.

MacLean’s largest contributions came from the Apartment aange County and two local waste haulers. Tyler’s campaign is largely self-funded, with a few donations made by recall proponents. Leckness, who raised the least, was boosted by a contribution from the firefighters union.

MacLean has come under fire from recall proponents for taking a $4,000 Apartment Association of Orange County contribution and $1,500 each from Waste Management and CR&R – two waste haulers that will bid on the city’s trash contracts in the coming months.


 Gilbert comment. While one resident (who is not the candidate) may have expressed a desire to create our own police department , that person surely does not reflect the opinion of our 100,000 residents.

I have personally expressed my support of the OCSD and recognize that regardless of cost, when all support operations are taken into account we do get more “bang for the buck” than having our own police department. Large cities such as Anaheim and  Santa Ana or Beach cities such as Laguna Beach and Newport Beach have different needs than our bedroom community.

About Larry Gilbert