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Politicians Have a Lot to Answer for

April 21, 1996

In light of the various roles played by Dist. Atty. Michael R. Capizzi and his staff prior to, during and since the Orange County bankruptcy, isn't it perversely incomprehensible that his office is now prosecuting misdemeanors and minor felonies with a vengeance? Because Capizzi and his staff are to be the "advocate" of the voters, there are some real serious questions that are screaming out to be answered.

Capizzi's office was represented at all of the meetings held involving the issuance of the bonds. Therefore, how can Capizzi, his staff or any other legal representative of the people not be held responsible for not stopping illegal acts before they occur? Furthermore, wasn't Capizzi one of the three members of the operating committee set up to oversee county operations immediately after the bankruptcy? Didn't Capizzi also lobby the supervisors for more operating funds before filing charges against Supervisors Roger R. Stanton and William G. Steiner?

Why are Capizzi and his staff now prosecuting these supervisors and other officials on misdemeanor and minor felony charges (many of which do not apply in the private sector)? What is the real (underlying) reason for going after Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach) and a few others for minor legal infractions with such a vengeance?

Why are millions of dollars of taxpayers' money being spent on legal fees to defend the county officials after Capizzi sat on his hands and did nothing while billions of taxpayer dollars were wasted? Isn't it time for the overburdened, faithful taxpayers to get a little consideration? After all, they are the ones paying the tab for all of this incompetent leadership.

Is anybody listening? Does anybody understand? If anybody with the power or ability to resolve these matters understands, why haven't they done something? Do they really care? As the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it."

BILL MORRELLI

Anaheim

* Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) has indicated that Capizzi should not have filed charges for violating election laws because Capizzi allegedly committed a similar act himself in 1972.

As a good citizen, I want to be sure that I understand the impact of this interpretation of the law. Evidently, I should not have to obey any law that has been previously broken by selected public officials.

I would appreciate it if Rohrabacher would supply a list of all officials who can provide an exemption from the law by their example, and a list of all infractions they have committed since 1972. The list should be comprehensive, from felony election violations down to traffic infractions. I can't wait to find out what my new speed limit is.

MARK S. SHELDON

Huntington Beach

* One wonders when Orange County Republican voters are going to wake up and discover that Howard Ahmanson and company, a.k.a. California Independent Business Political Action Committee, a.k.a. the religious right, have a death grip on the Republican Party in our county. Do most Republican voters really want prayer in our schools? Do they want creationism taught in our schools? Do taxpayers want to fund religious instruction for faiths other than their own? And lastly, do Republicans really want abortion outlawed?

Ironic that the Republican chant for years has been "Get government off our backs," when, if Ahmanson and company have their way, the government will be forcing women to have children they don't want. Unwanted and unloved children that our society doesn't want either.

Dana Rohrabacher backs Scott Baugh, a Liberty College graduate (founded by evangelist Jerry Falwell), despite it appearing that Baugh ditched all his ethics classes while in college. With his background, Baugh is obviously the darling of the religious right. Hopefully, the voters will get the idea of what a moral hypocrite Baugh is, and what he truly represents, and they will vote him out. And while they're at it, let's hope they do the same to Rohrabacher, who is a national embarrassment to our community, and send him out to "hang 10" full time.

JAMES R. GALLAGHER

Huntington Beach

* I found the recent stories about the Orange County Democratic Party chairman, Jim Toledano, quite interesting as a counterpoint to the recent disclosures about Scott Baugh's election law violations.

I believe the lack of ethical behavior runs deeper in the Republican Party than in the Democratic Party. That said, when a $10,000 contribution was offered to Toledano, I would think he might want to know a little about where it was coming from. But, no, it was simply viewed as "manna from heaven." He says he didn't know that the contributor was the sister of candidate Jim Prince, although he used the money in Prince's behalf without consulting his board and without, he says, being aware that it exceeded campaign contribution limits. He calls the incident a tempest in a teapot.

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