I reported last week that, according to an OC GOP insider, it was none other than Scott Baugh, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County, who, along with Supervisor Janet Nguyen, may have engineered Robert Hammond’s last minute exit from the 69th Assembly District primary – perhaps to help Democratic candidate Tom Daly, who is running against three Latino Democrats. Now an insider from the Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) has told me that his party chairman, Frank Barbaro, may have cut a deal with Baugh, to essentially trade Assembly Districts.
However, as Hammond was pulling out of the 69th, a last-minute Democratic challenger named Robert “Bob” Rush was filing to run in the 74th Assembly District. And get this, Rush was a Decline to State voter from at least 2002, through this year, according to the O.C. Registrar of Voters, before he suddenly became a Democrat this year. Something stinks.
My friend in the DPOC said that it was his understanding that Baugh, who is a lobbyist, cut a deal with Barbaro – that they essentially decided to trade legislative districts, by having Hammond leave the 69th A.D. primary, and by keeping any Democrats from filing for the 74th.
But wait a minute, how does Rush fit into that equation? Admittedly, he can’t win. He is nothing more than a Newport Beach City Council gadfly. Try searching for his name on Google. All you will find is newspaper articles covering his many angry screeds. The man has no website and does not appear to be affiliated with any community organizations. But now he is suddenly a Democrat, and his presence on the ballot appears to be designed to undermine the campaign of Newport Beach Council Member Leslie Daigle, who he has been attacking in the press. Rush looks like he got into the race to help Daigle’s knuckle-dragging Mexican-bashing opponent, Allan Mansoor.
Did Baugh, who is an ardent supporter of Mansoor, play Barbaro, by recruiting Rush into the 74th A..D. primary? If so, I am amazed. Has Baugh forgotten his 1996 indictment? In case you don’t remember that incident, here are a few excerpts from the L.A. Times, to freshen your recollection:
Baugh, of Huntington Beach, was charged with four felonies, including falsifying campaign reports and persuading another person to commit perjury. He also was charged with 18 misdemeanors for allegedly concealing the source of campaign money.
Three GOP operatives, including a former Pringle aide, pleaded guilty this month in connection with the plan to draft Democrat Laurie Campbell into the race to draw votes away from Baugh’s main Democratic opponent.
Hmmm…so Baugh got busted for recruiting a fake Democrat to run in an Assembly race? Interesting. Can lightning strike twice? We’ll see.
In the end, Baugh’s alleged maneuvers may be for naught. A Republican named Jose Moreno ended up filing to run in the 69th A.D., as we reported last week. His presence on the ballot may well push Daly out of the “top two” in this year’s open primary, as voters may think that Moreno is the popular Anaheim School Board member, and liberal, Dr. Jose F. Moreno. And this guy Rush looks like a complete joke. I pity the Democratic voter who gets fooled into voting for him, thereby aiding and abetting the awful Mansoor. Hopefully Republican voters in the 74th A.D. will take umbrage at these backroom deals and vote for Daigle, denying the under-educated former prison guard Mansoor the victory.