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Just How 'Naive' Was Scott Baugh?

December 17, 1995

Re: "Baugh Gave Cash Back to Campbells," Dec. 7. [Former Assemblywoman Doris] Allen is out and [Assemblyman Scott] Baugh is in. Whew! What a relief to get her recalled and have her replaced with a fresh face, youth, unblemished record, party loyalist and most important of all, impeccable conservative credentials.

But wait a minute. As a lifelong conservative Republican, I cannot remember being taught that to be a conservative one should gloss over the facts, bend the rules, cover up and be forced to hire a lawyer to cover one's backside just to get through a campaign. Guess I missed something.

If the Republican Party of Orange County cannot do better than this, then perhaps it should forget future recalls and allow the people of each district to make their own selection in their own sweet time.

CLARENCE JUDSON TURNER

Newport Beach

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[Rep. Dana] Rohrabacher's latest defense of campaign corruption clearly reflects his warped sense of what's right and what's wrong (Letters, Dec. 10). His suggestion that The Times is trying to "criminalize mistakes" is as untrue as his next line of defense that they were made by "novices." Let's look at these novices.

Baugh's campaign treasurer is Rohrabacher's own campaign treasurer and he is an experienced professional. Baugh is an attorney who passed the California State Bar examination, while Assembly Republican leader Curt Pringle's own chief of staff headed the recall committee. Who are the novices in this cast?

The Times' coverage of Baugh during the campaign was not irrelevant and tilted. It is Rohrabacher and his ruthless "win at any price" mentality that has a distorted view of democracy, honesty and integrity. We expect kindergarten students to follow the rules and to tell the truth or suffer the consequences. Politicians should certainly be held to at least the same standards.

Isn't it ironic that Rohrabacher cries out to punish other illegal activities and criminalizes falsification of personal records, but overlooks blatant dishonesty and alleged illegal behavior in his own backyard?

The district attorney is proceeding with diligence and integrity as part of Orange County's progressive view of zero tolerance of political corruption. Campaign reporting violations must be investigated and the legislators prosecuted when appropriate. The voters deserve the truth!

SHIRLEY CAREY

Huntington Beach

(The writer was an unsuccessful Republican Assembly candidate in the Nov. 28 recall election.)

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I think that is a perfectly legitimate explanation that newly elected Assemblyman Baugh has for the $1,000 cash to his friend. How could he possibly know the sealed envelope contained cash instead of a check? A $1,000 bill probably weighs in at about a gram, just as a check for $1,000 would.

Excuse me! Thousand-dollar bills are not in regular circulation so he must have thought the envelope had 10 checks for $100 each.

MICHAEL DRAKE

Santa Ana

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