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Moulton Patterson Upset at Prop. 187 Mailer


HUNTINGTON BEACH — The hard-fought race for a seat on the County Board of Supervisors turned even more contentious Wednesday when candidate Linda Moulton Patterson accused opponent Jim Silva of falsely claiming in a campaign mailer that she opposes Proposition 187, the immigration initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot.

"It's a big lie," said Moulton Patterson, who has stated at several public forums over the past 10 days that she will vote for Proposition 187, even though she holds misgivings about some of its elements.

The mailer, sent to voters last weekend in the 2nd Supervisorial District, contends that Silva is "the only candidate for county supervisor" who supports the proposition, which seeks to deny public school education and social services to illegal immigrants. The advertisement also states that Moulton Patterson "opposes Prop. 187."

Silva acknowledged Wednesday that Moulton Patterson backs the measure. But he defended the mailer, saying it was printed before she made her support public.

He also criticized Moulton Patterson for "flip-flopping" on the issue by backing Proposition 187 now after telling the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in April that illegal immigrants should receive free public education.

"She changed her mind. . . . We can't know what she's feeling from one day to the next," Silva said.

Silva said he became aware of Moulton Patterson's position Sept. 28 at a debate in Irvine. By then, the mailers were printed, he said.

Moulton Patterson, however, said she announced her support for Proposition 187 during a cable television appearance on Sept. 25--a week before the mailers were received by residents.

She denied ever opposing the ballot measure. Rather, she said, her position has "evolved" over the months as she studied the issue.

"I don't see this as a flip-flop at all," Moulton Patterson said. "I've said I'm concerned about certain parts of it. . . . I don't like to see children suffer."

Nonetheless, she said she will vote for the measure because "the federal government has to know how much Southern California is suffering" because of illegal immigration. "It will give the government a wake-up call."

The heated tone of the campaign was evident at the KOCE-TV forum taped Wednesday.

Silva, a Huntington Beach councilman, and Moulton Patterson, Huntington Beach's mayor, clashed on several issues, including taxes, jail construction and their records on the City Council.

Campaign finance statements filed Wednesday indicate that Silva has raised more money than Moulton Patterson during the past three months.

Silva reported contributions totaling $81,142.77 between July 1 and Sept. 30, compared to $59,614.52 for Moulton Patterson. For the entire campaign, Silva has collected $194,677.64 to Moulton Patterson's $174,641.52.

The candidates are vying for the 2nd District seat held by Supervisor Harriett M. Wieder, who is retiring. The district covers northwest county cities, including Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Costa Mesa and Cypress.

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