Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - According to OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh, the Baugh Initiative is meant to galvanize political discourse by having candidates take a stand: choose the union, or choose the party. This in an effort to weed out potential candidates who advocate reform, from those who simply want to negotiate the status quo, as is the case with Harry Sidhu. Fullerton Councilman Shawn Nelson, on the other hand is apparently committed to reform and consequently won the OCGOP’s endorsement for Orange County Supervisor 4th District.
OC Sheriff candidate Craig Hunter agreed with the Baugh Initiative – the Kiss of Death. We caught up with Chairman Baugh to get his reaction on our prediction for the OC Sheriff’s race. Although Craig Hunter pledged to abide by the Baugh Initiative, his (Hunters’) reasoning according to Baugh is not consistent with the initiative. Rather than resulting in reform, Hunter took the pledge because he thinks that taking money from the people you work with is tantamount to conflict of interest. Further, Mr. Baugh questions Mr. Hunters’ commitment to the Baugh Initiative. . Moreover, even if fully committed, Mr. Hunter lacks the experience running for elected office, as is the case with the OC Sheriff 2010 race.
Although we agree that the Baugh Initiative is not necessarily the Kiss of Death for Mr. Hunter, it is certainly the last straw.
With this backdrop, and unless something dramatic happens, we are ready to predict that Sheriff Hutchens will win the race outright, or on run-off for a number of reasons, some are listed below, others we will keep to ourselves.
1. While the Sheriff’s union brass is actively promoting its man, rank & file will not necessarily follow – too much baggage there: The good news is that Lt. Hunt has a record with the OSCD. The bad news is that Lt. Hunt has a record with the OCSD.
2. The race pits Mr, Hunt and Mr. Hunter against the Real Machine – now, the Real Machine is the same behind the scenes machine, largely responsible for Sheriff Hutchens’ appointment, in the first place, and not the OCGOP. We have long argued that Orange County Board of Supervisors failed to seize a one-in-a-generation opportunity for real transformation, and instead succumbed to the Real Machine and appointed Sheriff Hutchens.
3. The Tea Parties are a non-factor in this election: While the OCSD is in desperate need of an extreme culture makeover- what the Real Machine wanted in the first place, the best the Tea Parties can hope for is evolution, not revolution.
Now, we also asked Chairman Baugh his view on what we call California’s Triple Threat: 1) Unions, 2) Parasitic Bureaucracies and 3) Lobbyist. While he sees obstacles, particularly having been a lobbyist himself, he was not as willing to discuss the Triple Threat in as much detail as Hunter’s Kiss of Death and the OC Supervisor’s race.
We have contacted all three candidates to share with each one our predictions for this race and asked them to comment. So far, no comment.
Now for our next trick, a prediction on the cup of tea Madame Boxer will be drinking later this year. Flavored or Plain? DeMint or Palin?
NOTE: According to Chairman Baugh, Mr Hunter did not receive the endorsement from the OCGOP because there were too many votes previously committed to Hutchens and Hunt on the body.
Incumbents in local elections enjoy a virtually insurmountable advantage. Brad Gates was appointed sheriff and never lost an election. While political dynamics have evolved, odds lie with incumbency. Hunt does enjoy plurality of AOCDS support; it will likely equate to more squandered money. The sheriff, conversely, enjoys the advantage of ingratiating herself to OC power brokers. And the power brokers, favoring lower taxes, generally ally themselves with politicians who protect their wealth. I see nothing wrong with citing and releasing misdemeanants and pursuing creative alternatives resulting in reduced costs without compromising safety. Pension reform is fiscal necessity and staffing reforms practical. Why incur costs of sworn deputies when non-sword can perform many of the same functions? If private companies can operate prisons, why does Hunt insist that only sworn deputies perform custody functions? Hutchens does seem to be fiscally astute.
I honestly do not believe her CCW policy will have impact because by Hunt's admission the previous sheriff was easily bought. CCW permits should be granted based upon objective criteria and not doled. So I support her for revoking permits granted quid-pro-quo. All OC citizens should have an equal opportunity of CCW. Selling them is repulsive. Hutchens does not seem to be aggressively campaigning. Assuming she knows what she's doing, probably has been counseled that she'll prevail. I do not see a runoff.
Submitted by Code Zulu on Sun, 05/23/10 - 03:29 PM
Yes and No
Agreed on the CCW issue
On the otehr hand, all politics are local
Incumbency will play a major role in the type of Tea Madame Boxer may be drinking this fall.
Incumbency will also play a role in the governor’s race.
Submitted by cotobuzz on Sun, 05/23/10 - 06:10 PM
I agree with your prediction although I lean more towards a runoff rather than a June 8th win. At that point the "machine" will come out swinging for Hutchens out of fear that a rogue like Bill Hunt becoming our next Sheriff. I'm sure the Hunt people think a runoff will create momentum. I tend to think it will cause an avalanche of negative press for him unlike anything he's seen in the past. I'm curious about a couple of things, first, who is the "we" that you refer to in your analysis and secondly, did you do any scientific polling or look at any particular data. From what I can tell your rationale seems mostly anecdotal.
Submitted by DeFogger on Sun, 05/23/10 - 03:49 PM
Reloaded and Ready
The Real Machine is loaded and ready, just in case it is needed in a potential run-off.
Submitted by cotobuzz on Sun, 05/23/10 - 06:12 PM
Who Is The "Real Machine"
Buzz, I pretty much agree with your analysis of the Sheriff's race. Perhaps, I have been missing something, but who are the people you refer to as the Real Machine? Since you also conclude that the "Real Machine" influences decisions of the Board of Supervisors, it makes those of us who are outside the inner political circles, wonder who the real players are. If you would be so kind as to enlighten me on this political element, I would appreciate it.
Submitted by Ltpar on Sun, 05/23/10 - 04:01 PM
Clearly our analysis is a mixture of science and heuristics. Revealing names reveals the method to our madness.
Submitted by cotobuzz on Sun, 05/23/10 - 06:14 PM
I thought I read in the
I thought I read in the Register tht Hunter was the only candidate who was willing to tackle the unions unfunded pension issue and work towards a 401k plan...isn't that what Baugh was working towards?
Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 05/23/10 - 06:32 PM
The Office of Sheriff
The Office of Sheriff does not negotiate directly with the Unions on pay and benefits. The County CEO's Human Resources Office is the negotiator and reports directly to the Board of Supervisors who ultimately must vote for the contract. The Sheriff can be a cheerleader in the process but any assertion by Hunter or the Register that he can tackle the pension issue is false.
Submitted by DeFogger on Sun, 05/23/10 - 08:38 PM
As the intro alluded, incumbents in local elections have advantage. In our cyber world, I am not so sure Tip's admonition is applicable.
Submitted by Code Zulu on Sun, 05/23/10 - 09:03 PM
Since you asked..
Since you asked, it can be argued that Chuck DeVore is quasi-Incumbent. The good news is that he has a record. The bad news is that he has a record.
Something similar can be argued about Campbell, for instance.
Submitted by cotobuzz on Mon, 05/24/10 - 01:26 AM
People who say the Sheriff
People who say the Sheriff has no influence in salary and benefits or cannot influence negotiations are just nieve.... I seemd to remember Sheriff Gates working on prop 172 and it cost him his job.... he was run out by the people who gave us Mike Carona.
WHen you have a candidate who is willing to openly address the pension issue and give the BOS cover, you should listen and take advatage. Baugh should listen too.
Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 05/24/10 - 11:29 AM