An unidentified group is operating a phone bank and fraudulently calling itself "Save Our Parks," according to Debbie Cook, spokeswoman for the actual Save Our Parks citizens' organization.
The real Save Our Parks was formed last year and led the effort to place an initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot. This initiative, called Measure C, would prohibit the city from selling or leasing park or beach land without a citywide vote.
The City Council majority placed an alternative on the ballot, Measure D, which would also prohibit sale of park and beach land but would still allow lease of those lands.
Cook said the phone bank operation in Huntington Beach has been telling residents that Save Our Parks favors Measure D, which the group opposes.
"The people who are using this phone bank are trying to use our good name to confuse the voters," Cook said.
Tom Duchene, spokesman for the Huntington Beach Committee for Parks and Youth Sports/Yes on D, said Sunday that he knows nothing about the phone bank calls.
"The only calls we're making are to people as a follow-up to our efforts to distribute absentee ballots," Duchene said. "I don't know what the origin of these other calls are, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was someone from Save Our Parks just trying to make an issue."
Councilwoman Grace Winchell, who is seeking reelection Nov. 6 and who is a supporter of Save Our Parks and Measure C, said she had received one of the phone bank calls. Winchell said the message said those interested in saving the parks should vote for council candidates Earle Robitaille, Jack Kelly and Ed Mountford.
Winchell noted that the real Save Our Parks actually has endorsed her and council candidates Linda Moulton-Patterson and Mark Porter.