Scott Baugh’s Continuing Hypocrisy

May 21, 2012

By Steven Greenhut

If you wonder why the GOP is having such hard times, one need only look at the goings-on in Orange County, where Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh is pulling out all the stops to ensure the election to the board of supervisors of Todd Spitzer, the former Assemblyman who is a close union ally and someone who proudly increased pensions for his deputy sheriff union friends and then stood by that action right until he started getting political heat for doing so.

Baugh declared that no Republican who gets union support will get his or the party’s support, yet he is lending much support to Spitzer who continues to funnel past union money into his current election account. That technicality is enough for Baugh to turn a blind eye to a candidate who spent his career doing all the things that Baugh rails against. Baugh likes Spitzer and dislikes his board opponent, Deborah Pauly, so he is helping Spitzer.

But hypocrisy and lack of principle have a way of backfiring. Baugh recently sent out a letter to the GOP Central Committee making this case in another race:

“There has been significant activity in the 74th Assembly District where our endorsed incumbent Allan Mansoor is running for re-election.  … It seems that Allan’s opponent, Leslie Daigle, has not been honest with us or the voters.  Do you remember when she came to our party asking for an endorsement for her city council race in Newport Beach?  At the time, she represented that she did not vote for 3@50 in Newport Beach, and she said that she supported defined contribution plans – not defined benefit plans.  Interesting . . . we actually learned that she voted for retroactive 3@50 defined benefits plans for firemen!  That wasn’t enough for her.  She turned around and then gave the same retroactive 3@50 defined benefit for lifeguards.  That’s right – two different votes supporting 3@50.  …”

Certainly, I agree with Baugh that Daigle is a liberal, tax-hiking, pension-spiking candidate and Mansoor is a pretty solid guy. But how can Baugh be so angry at Daigle for doing something even less egregious than that done by his close ally, Todd Spitzer? After all, Daigle voted for non-retroactive pension increases and Spitzer led the charge for a county-wide retroactive pension spike. Spitzer, by the way, is atrocious on civil liberties issues, a law-and-order, big-government guy with at least as much baggage as Daigle, although they are nightmares in different ways.

The OC Register editorial board noticed this as well. (Although I write a column for the Register and have written occasional editorials, I did not have anything to do with this one.) Wrote the Register:

“It is reassuring, after so many years of sounding alarms about the looming carnage pensions can inflict on government budgets, that more people are holding elected officials accountable for misguided votes, but the criticism should be consistently applied.”

Actually, Baugh is not being unprincipled, he seems to be applying this basic principle: If he likes you or dislikes your opponent, he will forgive any past votes and even current indiscretions. If he dislikes you or likes your opponent, he will hold you to a very high standard.

Welcome to the modern OC GOP.

MAY 20, 2012



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