Monday, February 01, 2010

Baughing to The King & the 2010 OC SHeriffs Race

Baughing to the King & the 2010 OCSD Race

Posted By CotoBlogzz 01-29-2010 5:00 PM
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - The President of the United States caused quite a controversy when he bowed to kings and foreign dignitaries to the point that the White House spokesperson had to refer to the old Clintonian, “it depends on what is, is” to explain that while the president was bowing, he really was not bowing.
The Baugh Initiative as we call it, recently advanced by Scott Baugh Chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County, is forcing candidates for public office to respond to the question, who are your going to bow to:  The party or the union?
The Orange County Board of Supervisors (OCBOS),  the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA), the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs and most political pundits agree that a major corporate culture makeover was required in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) . Most have also stated that the required culture change “starts at the top”. A major reason why Sheriff Sandra Hutchens was selected by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to replace disgraced Sheriff Mike Carona.
Scott R. Baugh
Chairman - Republican Party of Orange County

  Shortly before delivering her 120-Day Plan status report, Sheriff Hutchens naively and prematurely declared victory anent culture change, arguing that a change in the department’s command structure would directly result in a different corporate culture, not considering that organized labor IS the culture. 
We asked the president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs several times via email, to tell us why the association has to date, not taken a more forceful position on the subject: If the association is not part of the solution, it must then be part of the problem. So far, no response.  QED. To perhaps shed some light into who the 2010 OCSD candidates may bow 
We have identified at least four different models to deal with public sector organized labor. Each has its merits and each requires a certain type of leadership:

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
1. The Chief Bratton Model: Go to bat for everything the union bosses want, then leave when the money dries up. Most effective when the leader has a PR machine that can rival his or her bosses. This model was extremely successful in NYC and Los Angeles all due to Chief Bratton. We previously suggested Chief Bratton left a bankrupt Los Angeles, certain skeletons would show up. Indeed, the ink was not dried in Chief Bratton’s exit documents when an audit revealed that the LAPD Botched Millions in Purchases.
2. Then there is what we call the Obamelette Omelette Progressive Model. In this case, the public sector’s organized labor is THE agenda enforced via Andy Stern’s motto of “power of persuasion or persuasion of power”
3. The more fiscal conservative mode is the The Ronald Reagan Model – Shape up or ship out: “…we cannot compare labor-management relations in the private sector with government” in other words, organized labor in the public sector should be obsolete in the 21st century.
4. And recently we saw a unique working relationship between Scott Brown, an elected official and organized labor, where rank and file is more in line with the elected official than the union bosses: The Brown Model: A hybrid where the union bosses are taken out of the picture and instead deal directly with rank and file to take care of he taxpayers agenda.
Now, consider  the Baugh Initiative - the initiative in essence asks candidates to make a choice as to who the candidates  are going to bow: The party agenda or the union’s.  If the party, the candidates may very well be endorsed by the party 
As of this writing we do not know how the Baugh Initiative relates to the other models:  perhaps a hybrid?
 We also do not know if the Baugh initiative is intended to do more than just make sure the party is endorsing candidates with similar priorities. We have asked Scott a number of questions to help us see the light, but we have not heard from him.
Make no mistake about it. While Orange County cannot support any of the models described above, for obvious reasons, the Baugh Initiative is a game changer, particularly in the 2010 Orange County Sheriff’s race.
 The initiative has already created controversy with Poldex© front runner Lt. Hunt charging that the Orange County Register misrepresented his stance  and that he does not plan to abide by the Baugh initiative “The position taken by Mr. Baugh would appear to chill the First Amendment rights of the candidates and the individual members of unions and associations. Particularly in view of the recent United States Supreme Court decision, (McCain-Feingold)”, writes Lt. Hunt in his Facebook page. 
Lt. Hunt leads the OCSD race in the Poldex with 100%
The Cotobuzz Journals’ Poldex is non-partisan, heuristics-based  indicator associated with relative name-recognition.    Over the years it has proven to be very reliable with few surprises, with the possible exception of the 2010 OC Sheriff Department campaign:  Poldex©  Index scores Sheriff Hutchens as 3% with a rapidly ascending Chief Hunter at 40% and Lt. Hunt at 100%

We understand that Poldex© runner up, Chief Craig Hunter has signed on to the Baugh initiative, while scoring last place, incumbent Sheriff Hutchens does not like it. All this signals that taxpayers will have a choice as to whether they think the party’s or the union’s agenda is more closely lined up with their own interest. 
 Take for instance what happened when Acting Sheriff Jack Anderson announced his plan to study the replacement of a number of expensive deputy sheriffs working in jails with correctional officers potentially saving the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars annually.  According to Sheriff Anderson, “the deputies' union president began an assault on me …when I announced my plan”

Chief Hunter scored a surprising 40% on the Poldex
"These would be tangible hard dollar savings that could be better used to enhance the quality of life in our communities without jeopardizing public safety. Because Mrs. Hutchens only limitedly followed up on my correctional officer plan, 
I addressed the BOS this past October urging them to form an independent commission to consider having the county jails placed under a separate county agency  to maximize the savings. I have yet to read of any follow-up from the BOS. There seems to be a lack of political will to go up against the deputies’ union." Sheriff Anderson adds. Perhaps an unintended consequence is that the union at last may stand up and take responsibility for the OCSD’s culture
Sheriff Jack Anderson

– after all, the union bosses have and will continue to have, regardless of who the new Sheriff is, supermajority on this most important subject.
For the moment, the question remains:  Who will the OC Sheriff candidates bow to?  The party?  The Union?  What about the taxpayers - after all, is this not what the Tea Bag Party Movement is all about?


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Buzz up!vote now

While the words may sound tough, it smells more like grandstanding than actual campaign reform.  Missing of course are contributions from non-Public Unions and PAC Groups, wealthy Special Interest Individuals/groups and Independent Committees, both Public and Private.  
Many cities have campaign contribution limits already in place, which restrict how much a candidate can accept from an individual or group.  These limits are easily circumvented by candidates who use supposedly Independent Committes, over which they have no control.  Larry Agran of Irvine is a master at this, first using Hometown Voters Guide, run by a long time friend and former Council Member and  later by Planning 2020, run by a long time friend and ally.  Planning 2020, was the backer of the "Irvine Community News" propaganda sheet used in the 2008 election.  It is estimated that close to a million dollars went into that race by the Independent Committee supporting the Agran Slate.  Legal yes.  Ethical, by those championing honest government and campaign reform, not on your life.  It becomes even more obnoxious when many contributors to Planning 2020, are individuals and groups doing business with the City of irvine and the Great Park.
By the way Scott........... are you or your sidekick Adam, doing any consulting work these days for the Great Park or any of it's no bid contract holders?
True campaign reform is long overdue, and should cover all the loopholes that influence money slips through.  It should be also be meaningful enough to reduce the cost of a campaign to where a mere mortal can afford to run.    Anybody working on that idea?  Didn't think so. 

On the other hand, the Baugh Initiative will for sure  galvanize the electorate as noted above: What is more important?  The party's agenda or the union's?  I posit that there is at least a third choice:  3) the taxpayers agenda. After all the latter is what the Tea Bag Party Movement is all about!
The old adage that you cannot serve two masters rings true.  However, what about three or four masters?  Say the union bosses, the taxpayers, the managers and or the elected officials. 
A practical example:  City council members sign a "contract"  with the OCBOS for OCSD services, usually in the millions of dollars/year. The state is supposed to conduct audits to make sure the cities are getting what the taxpayers are paying for.  Guess how many audits the state has conducted?
Further, there is absolutely no way the city managers can tell whether the services they are buying are actually being delivered.  That is, agents can show up to work or not, and only their direct supervisors will know - maybe.  Since the OCSD does not keep these and other records (per PRA requests)  for accountability purposes and the cities are not demanding them, trusting the state will do its job,  no one really knows whether the taxpayer money is being spent on the right issues. Heck, the OCSD does not even know how many cases it sends to the OCDA's office nor how many cases the OCSDA rejects - BTW, 30% for OCSD forensics and 20% for OCSD - the highest of 100 LE agencies submitting cases to the OCDA!  In contrast, ask the SAPD the same question and it  will not only tell you, but  it has one of the lowest reject rates!  More troubling however is that the OCSD OIR cannot define accountability and it has not associated metrics.
Do you suppose labor bosses would ever agree to setting up metrics  so they can be held accountable? A more likely response is what Sheriff  Anderson got when he proposed his plan for jail management, for instance.
It is not about reform as much as it is competent civil servants and for the union bosses to accept responsibility for  the culture of the department. - Buzz
Deputies Union President Thug or Not, You Decide
The Orange County deputies’ union membership perform an honorable service in our community but so do our school teachers and postal workers. It’s not the line staff members of the public unions that are our society’s problem but their leadership. For example, the Orange County deputies’ union president Wayne Quint has repeatedly practiced bully politics when he fears his dues paying membership numbers could be at risk. Make no mistake about it, the elected union president is out to get his members more pay or retain what they have amassed at the taxpayers’ expense. 
More blatant  examples of the deputies’ union president’s bully politicking include threatening to get involved in the City of Newport Beach politics if they support taking over the Sheriff’s Department’s responsibility for patrolling Newport Beach harbor.  A 2007 OCR article titled. “Newport bay patrol spurs tough talk”; “Steve Rosansky (Newport Beach Mayor) says Quint asked him to disavow interest in the harbor patrol or the [Deputies’] association would get involved in city elections. "I believe they were there to kind of threaten and intimidate me" and the City Council, Rosansky said. Quint doesn't dispute the substance of the conversation but denies bullying the mayor. "Educating the public is not a threat," Quint said.”
There was the deputies’ union bosses’ not so veiled threat to conduct a vote of no confidence on then Acting Sheriff Jack Anderson when he announced a plan to replace deputy sheriffs in the jails with correctional officers at about half the cost. See the OCR’s Total Buzz 2008 titled Union to block Anderson’s jail staffing plan.  Anderson continued to move the plan forward until a new sheriff was selected.  Under pressure to save money, appointed Sheriff Sandra Hutchens partially implemented Anderson’s plan by limitedly negotiating with the deputies’ union to only install 35 percent correctional officers in the county jails.
This month, the OCR reveals in an article titled, “Deputies spend $105,000 in recall election,” in the City of Mission Viejo. Over 9,300 city residents registered to vote signed a petition to put the question of recalling a councilman on the February 2nd ballot. Now the deputies’ union president Wayne Quint is quoted saying, “We see this as an abuse of the electoral system and that is why we're opposed to this." Quint has spent twice as much union dollars to oppose the recall then the three involved candidates combined expenditures. It is still unclear what Quint hopes to buy with his member’s dues but we can all be assured Quint has some plan for it will be paid for with taxpayer dollars.
This year’s Sheriff’s race should prove to be exciting, with candidates Private Investigator Bill Hunt and appointed Sheriff Sandra Hutchens willingness to accept public employee union money and a single candidate, Deputy Chief Craig Hunter, standing on a principled governance platform. I believe we can expect the electorate to respond similarly to Massachusetts’ voters. OC COMMON SENSE
Candidate Obama loved to say that Words Must Mean Something.  Now President Obama says that Words Don't Mean Jack.

Accountability seems to be one of those words that change meaning, particularly when ti comes to the OC elected officials.
The OCSD OIR review will tell you that "accountability means different things to different people" in the deparment.  Furhter, he lacks metrics to determine whether the departement is doing an effective job or not. The point is candidates love the word "accountability" yet offer nothing in terms of yardstick to measured them against with corresponding consequences.  Again, just look at the Congress and the US administration.  By listening to the SOUA, you would say that the president has kept al his campaign promises, and where he is lacking, simply place  blame on someone else.  This has to stop - this is what the Tea Bag Party Movement is trying to do.  Hold officials accountable.
To be clear, public servants do indeed perform  an honorable and required job - The union bosses work against the taxpayer with few exceptions.  However, I am with President Ronald Reagan in this one.  Organized labor in the public sector should be outlawed in the 21st century:  Look at the national Jobs market.  The government is the largest employer in the nation.  The government's payroll has had the largest pay increase.  How many jobs has the government created?  It depends on whether you use  you use VP Biden's "funny math" - what we call the Imaginary J-Numbers.
We do agree that the Baugh Initiative has galvanized the campaign - and of this reason alone, it will be a game changer - Buzz
Good article Coto!
Really interesting read. I commend your sleuthing and tenacity. You're doing what the other papers SHOULD be doing.  Did you ever think that the unions might be part of the problem(s)?
I take issue with the Baugh initiative because it is basically meaningless, ie, it really doesn't matter what these candidates state up front anymore, as we learned with Barack Hussein Obama II's campaign: he signaled right and turned left, off a cliff.  Furthermore, the candidates in general will say anything and then when they are in office do something else.  HOW do we know who's telling the truth anymore? HOW do we, the public know who we can and cannot trust anymore.
Just like you state regarding the audits. To me that is scandalous! Those audits should be published in the local newspapers. Someone should propose that as a law.
Someone needs to investigate RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT. Sherman Tank
Never Underestimate Corruption
What we "expect" and what "happens" are two entirely different things.  eg, people "expected" Obama would be a decent, fair, lawabiding president, what "happened" is now history.  There are more members than there are "Union" bosses.  No different than the homeowner association types of environments that Mr. Cotobuzz discusses in his many writings, so too, the same equation exists here:  REBEL.  Again, there are more members than Union bosses.  If you expect the "same" thing that happened in Mass. to happen here, you/they must be better organized and rabid.  Sheriff Sandra Hutchens IMHO cannot be trusted and I've not decided yet on the veracity of Bill Hunt -- I am not alone.
I do not trust the Unions in California, they are corrupt, corruptible, corrupted.
For HUNTER to win, he must do MORE and MORE OF IT -- sort of like what Brown did in Mass. but in L.A. he must at minimum quadruple those efforts or he will be undermined.  It is no longer enough to be a "good guy."- SHERMAN TANK

In covering Lt. Hunt, I agree that he is a viable candidate.  He is not only articulate, but seems to know in great detail what it takes to hold people accountable - and he does know where the skeletons' are buried.
You are right however - the question is whether he can forge a working relationship with the union bosses which will  allow him to change the culture.  After all, as noted before, the Union Is the Culture AND provide the taxpayer an acceptable return on his "public safety" dollar.
We have tried to do a follow up interview with him to see if he can shed some light on the subject.

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