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Guards Union Enters O.C. Fray

Prison guards give $25,000 to fight measure to divert some tax revenue to firefighters.

October 28, 2005|Jean O. Pasco | Times Staff Writer

The union representing the state's prison guards has given $25,000 to defeat a measure on Orange County's Nov. 8 ballot that would carve off a slice of public-safety tax money for fire protection that now goes to the Sheriff's Department and the district attorney.

The donations from the California Correctional Peace Officers Assn. were reported Thursday to the secretary of state in Sacramento.

The largest money boost came from the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, which gave $40,000 to the committee to defeat Measure D.

If passed, the measure would require the Board of Supervisors to give half of the annual growth in state sales taxes now earmarked for law enforcement to the Orange County Fire Authority. That amount could grow until it reached 10% of the total tax proceeds.

Other contributions to a committee called OC COPS included $15,000 from the Santa Ana Police Officers Assn. and smaller amounts from police associations in Anaheim and Irvine.

The Orange County unions representing deputy sheriffs and firefighters each pledged to raise and spend $750,000 in the fight over Measure D.

The deputies' biggest political support came from the Board of Supervisors, which voted to put three other measures on the ballot to divvy up the sales tax money -- one to maintain the current split of 80% to the Sheriff's Department and 20% to the district attorney; another that would give $10 million a year in tax funds to homeland security needs; and a third setting aside 5% of tax funds for the Probation Department.

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