Much of the campaign money raised by Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates and challenger Linda Lea Calligan has been spent on legal fees in a bitter court battle between the two candidates, according to reports filed Thursday.
In the dispute, Calligan has sought unsuccessfully to have controversial allegations about Gates printed on the sample ballot that is mailed to all registered voters.
Gates, who is seeking a fourth four-year term, reported spending $177,079 since Jan. 1, more than $41,500 of it on legal fees.
Calligan, a Sheriff's Department sergeant running against her boss, has spent $39,252 during the same period, approximately $30,000 of it on legal services, her campaign finance report shows.
Disparities in Available Cash
With less than two weeks before the June 3 primary election, Gates showed $54,796 in cash on hand, but Calligan reported having only $925, and she also showed outstanding debts of $30,408.
Calligan could not be reached for comment. But Gates said he disliked having to "ask all my supporters for additional support--for money to make sure the truth can come out."
The Gates campaign mailed letters in April to about 150 of his "closest friends," asking for $1,000 contributions in an effort to raise $50,000 he said was needed to avert the cancellation of planned campaign mailings and newspaper and radio ads.
The letter said "a huge chunk" of Gates' campaign funds had gone for legal fees involving the court proceedings.
Gates succeeded in having Calligan's allegations stricken from sample ballot pamphlets mailed to voters, including the charge that he covered up a drunk-driving incident involving two sheriff's deputies. A Superior Court judge ruled the allegations were "false and misleading."
"It hasn't hampered me at all," Gates said Thursday of the added expense of attorney fees. "The call . . . for additional funds was responded to. . . .
"We are in a position now to finish the campaign in any fashion I feel is necessary to make sure the public sees the truth."
A third candidate in the sheriff's race, Municipal Judge Bobby D. Youngblood, had not filed a campaign statement by the close of the county registrar of voters' office on Thursday. Youngblood's prior campaign statement showed a $7,999 surplus.
Campaign reports for the two-month period ending May 17 were due on Thursday but may be accepted without penalty if they are postmarked before midnight.
In other Orange County campaigns, former congressman Jerry M. Patterson spent $157,436 and Orange Mayor James H. Beam spent $150,538 in their campaigns for the 4th Supervisorial District seat which will become vacantwith the retirement of Ralph B. Clark.
But Patterson showed only $5,639 in cash on hand and outstanding debts of $83,646 compared to $78,385 in cash on hand for Beam, who showed $72,500 in outstanding debts.
The two other candidates in that race, architect Manuel Mendez and Anaheim Mayor Donald R. Roth, had not filed their reports.
Incumbents Outspend Opponents
In the county's other two races for seats on the Board of Supervisors, incumbents have spent far more than their challengers.
Supervisor Thomas F. Riley spent $126,128 but still has $130,128 in cash on hand. His challenger, former Laguna Beach Mayor Jon Brand has spent $16,433 and has $17,320 on hand. A third candidate, Kenneth Palmer Pratt, who identifies himself as an "entrepreneur," had not filed.
Meanwhile, Supervisor Harriett Wieder has spent $442,192 and still has $176,758 cash on hand. Her opponent, David Meslovich, a medical operations supervisor, spent $710 and has $266 left.
Dist. Atty. Cecil Hicks showed expenditures of $49,810 and $19,923 in cash on hand. His opponent, Alphonsus C. Novick, a former deputy district attorney, spent $2,873 and has $226 in cash on hand.
Foes of Measure Fail to Fail
In Santa Ana, supporters of Ballot Measure C--which calls for ward elections and a popularly elected mayor--failed to submit expense reports by the 5 p.m. deadline.
Spokesman Jim Lowman said he thought the deadline was today and would attempt to file this afternoon. Lowman said the group raised about $5,000 by May 18 and spent about $4,500.
Opponents to Measure C, such as the Santa Ana Good Government Committee, a group of local businessmen and residents, spent $22,043, most of it going to Englander Communications of Newport Beach for a voter survey and consulting services.
Another opponent of the ballot measure, a committee formed by the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, reported $3,100 in expenses and $14,125 in contributions. The contributions included $2,500 each from C. J. Segerstrom & Sons, Metro Associates and First American Title Insurance.
In a contested race for Superior Court Judge office 15, Municipal Judge David H. Brickner spent $25,036 and had $4,932 in cash on hand. But he also reports outstanding debts of $5,500. Brickner's opponent, Deputy Dist. Atty. Anthony J. Rackauckas, has spent $15,508 and has a surplus of $9,560.
Times staff writers Lanie Jones and Andy Rose contributed to this story.