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November 03, 2006



Excellent piece – must have been produced by the Orange County Register using patented adporting techniques!


RE: "OCR Media Comparison By OCR “reporters" or.....

Why it is wrong for Pat Bates to Accept Funding from the county's most powerful public employee union.

This past Memorial Day, the Orange County Register treated its readers with certain pearls of wisdom it inherited from its founder R.C. Hoiles in and an op-ed piece titled And now, a word from our founder, Freedom patriarch R.C. Hoiles explained his editorial policies

According to this op-ed piece, Hoiles includes the belief that “ No one can determine right from wrong, without some starting point to reason” , the then holds his columnists and reporters accountable: “Editors and reporters gain understanding by permitting their suggestions or ideas or statements to be questioned, and if they cannot defend them without contradicting themselves or facing a dilemma, they are evidently in error”

The Op-ed piece in the Friday, June 2, 2006 issue of the OC Register titled
Lies, damned lies and campaign mailers asks the question: “Is it just us, or has this election cycle produced some really outrageous campaign claims?” . The author then goes on to answer the question and to complain about the lies ……." because statistics can be twisted to make any particular case one wants to make, truthful or otherwise. In this heated election season, we'd like to complain about "lies, damn lies and campaign claims." It takes a trained eye to grasp the many ways that candidates will inflate their own record and distort the record of their opponent”

More recently, in the November 3, 2006 issue of the Orange County Register, titled Fact and fiction in the Fifth, OCR’s staff reporter Peggy Lowe compares and contrasts two mailers: One issued by the Pat Bates’ campaign and the other one from Kathryn “Cassie” DeYoung.

Addressing a “claim” from the DeYoung campaign, Lowe writes “ DeYoung says "much" of Bates' campaign is funded by more than $130,000 from "the county's most powerful public employee union.” and immediately proceeds to “report” the “facts”: “As of Tuesday, the union has spent $218,954 on independent expenditures” – the problem with Ms. Lowes reporting is that she does not provide a context to determine whether her reporting has merit or not, and instead proceeds to editorialize.

Taking a page of Mr. Hoiles’ book, we would like to suggest a starting point for Ms. Lowe:

During 1995 and 1996, Orange County borrowed $1,039,000,000 ($1,940,000,000 including interest) to resolve bankruptcy claims resulting from the collapse of the Orange County Investment pool in 1994.

In 1995 Orange County issued Refunding Recovery Bonds in the amount of $278,790,000. The county pledged Motor Vehicle License Fees (MVLF) to pay debt service on this issue. The debt service schedule postponed beginning principal payments until fiscal year 2000–2001.

Then, in 1996 Orange County issued Recovery Certificates of Participation (COPS) in the amount of $760,800,000. The county pledged sales taxes; MVLF and $38,000,000 DIVERTED from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to pay debt service.

The combined debt service schedule increased from $78,000,000 in 1995–96 to over $90,000,000 in the fiscal year 2000–2001.

A Grand Jury was convened and it was concerned that the financial impact of the bankruptcy had been postponed until 2000–2001.

In December 1998, the Orange County Board of Supervisors adopted a plan that would use $230,000,000 resulting from the settlement of various
lawsuits to defease and/or “pay off” the 1995 bond issue. It was purported that, that plan would reduce the annual debt service requirements to $62,500,000.

Then in 1998 the Board of Supervisors purportedly adopted a five-year strategic financial planning process.

One of the Superior Court recommendations after the Grand Jury hearings was that “Orange County prepare and publish each fiscal year a detailed analysis comparing original estimates with year-end actuals; explaining any variation consisting of plus or minus 10%.

To date, we have been unable to ascertain whether Orange County is indeed preparing and publishing the recommended “detailed analysis comparing original estimates with year-end actuals and explaining any variation consisting of plus or minus ten percent” .

With this starting point in mind, it is important to understand that Pat Bates support of the 3%@50 plan for civil servants will significantly stress the Orange County Finances at a time when the county does not have the financial wherewithal to deliver the quality of services it needs, especially in the public safety area.

Given that much of Pat Bates campaign’s funding comes from the county's most powerful public employee union and that as of as of Tuesday(October 30, 2006), the union has spent $218,954 on independent expenditures, Ms. Lowe erroneously asserts that this level of independent expenditures is not much and “ And while it certainly has clout, the union had a major defeat in the June primary when it backed Lt. Bill Hunt over Sheriff Mike Carona” – She missed the mark altogether. The point is that the union has followed the money, rather than the principle. Analogous to the Association of Police Chief’s endorsement of Jerry Moobeam Brown for Attorney General. The same one who has called the war on drugs a scam, opposed the execution of "freeway killer" William Bonin, described lethal injection as a "Nazi-style" form of sanitized execution and suggested that banning capital punishment would elevate society to a "higher state of consciousness”.

Seems like the Sheriff’s union has also reached a higher state of consciousness once the 3%-50 plan pushed by Bates took hold! – and now they also endorse Pate Bates!

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