They say that personalities win in today’s political environment and if that is true then Todd Spitzer probably has a leg up on the competition, in his race for Orange County’s 3rd Supervisorial District, which is currently represented by squishy Bill Campbell. But I hope that the voters will take the time to really look at what the candidates stand for. In the case of Spitzer, the news is not good for those of us who value freedom and fiscal conservatism.
Cal WatchDog Columnist Steven Greenhut nailed Spitzer, when Chuck DeVore suddenly announced he was dropping out of the race for the 3rd District, to move to Texas. Here are a few choice excerpts from Greenhut’s post:
Spitzer has a “strong record” in creating the fiscal mess now faced in Orange County and the state. He led the charge to retroactively increase pensions for his union allies in OC and Spitzer was something of a demagogue in the Assembly. He knew no shame when it came to promote anti-civil-libertarian police-state policies advocated by the law enforcement unions that funded his campaigns. If you disagreed with him, he would say you were a friend of criminals and an enemy of police officers.
Spitzer, who was fired as a prosecutor with the OC DA’s office, epitomizes the worst of California politics. He is totally self-absorbed. His outrage over issues centers mainly on what it means to his career personally. He is a wholly owned subsidiary of a government interest group. He is a consistent advocate for bigger, costlier government. He is a shameless press hound. The funniest memories of him I have were during OC wildfires. He was an Assembly member but dressed in yellow boots and vest to give the impression that he is a first responder.
Most significant, though, are the costly fiscal policies he imposed on the county. The unions are thrilled that they will probably have him on the board again, although thanks to Spitzer and others like him, there’s not much money left to squander on the things they want. Spitzer claims to be in favor of pension reform now, but just wait until the pendulum swings back the other way.
That’s right – Spitzer, back when he was originally on the Board of Supervisors, voted for the dreadful pension spike that has cost our County so dearly. Greenhut let him have it back then to. Here are a few excerpts from an Greenhut article published by the O.C. Register back in 2007:
I talked to Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, yesterday about his 2001 vote as a supervisor to give law enforcement not only a 50-percent spike in pensions, but to do so retroactively. He still zealously defends it, even the retroactive portion.
An example of what the vote meant: a union member who had worked his entire career under the old formula and was about to retire with 60 percent of his final year’s pay (a pretty good deal, by the way), was instantly given an extra 50 percent so that he would retire with 90 percent of his pay (after 30 years, available at age 50). Spitzer and other supporters pushed the enhancement as a way to improve recruiting, but retroactivity only benefits current workers. It doesn’t help lure new ones.
That vote was not only an assault on taxpayers that has expanded unfunded liabilities (taxpayer debt to pay for these pension promises), but something quite unfair, when one considers the retirement packages of the poor sops who have to make good on the promises by free-spending legislators such as Spitzer. It is that retroactive portion of the deal that the current board is challenging as an unconstitutional gift of funds, an unconstitutional payment for past services and an unconstitutional expansion of public debt without a vote of the people.
Spitzer wants the retroactive benefit portion enforced, even though he admits that he doesn’t have a problem with people looking to see if something is legal or not. How generous of him!
And Spitzer also abstained back in 2000, when the O.C. Board of Supervisors passed a union-only Project Labor Agreement that actually banned non-union contractors from public works projects. That PLA was a disaster, driving costs up, delaying construction and proving to be the end of Supervisor Cynthia Coad’s political career, when Chris Norby used the fact that she voted for the PLA to beat her.
According to the L.A. Times, Spitzer said he “had too little time to evaluate whether it was the best deal for taxpayers.” That is bull! He was given plenty of information about the PLA – reams of it – showing how PLAs do nothing for the taxpayers. They only benefit unions and back in 2000 less than 20% of Orange County’s workers belonged to unions. Spitzer’s abstention was a gross act of negligence that cost our County dearly.
Even Democrat John Hanna once admitted to me that when he voted for the Rancho Santiago Community College District PLA, he came to regret it.
But wait – there’s more. According to the FFFF blog, “At the behest of Carona, on December 15, 1998 the OC Board of Supervisors removed the professional requirements for the job of Assistant Sheriff so that he could appoint two of his closest cronies and bag men, Don Haidl and George Jaramillo.” And guess what? Yes, Spitzer supported that too!
For awhile it looked like Mark Bucher might challenge Spitzer, but he hasn’t pulled campaign papers. That leaves one opponent, Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly, who has a record of making anti-Muslim comments. As onerous as that is, she is also known for standing up to organized labor, which I can appreciate.
The third district currently includes Anaheim Hills, Brea, Cowan Heights, El Modena, Irvine, Lemon Heights, Olinda, Olive, Orange Hills, Orange Park Acres, Tustin, North Tustin, Villa Park, and Yorba Linda. Not many Democrats to be found in those cities – except for Irvine which has a Democrat-dominated City Council. That too shall pass when the Great Park’s bills come due.
There is no doubt in my mind that Spitzer is a terrible choice for the 3rd District.