Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

VOTER GUIDE | O.C. COUNTY ELECTIONS

Same Foes in Supervisorial Race, but Less Heat This Time Around

The hot race for a seat on the board has cooled. Measures address a transportation tax, eminent domain, term limits and slow growth.

October 15, 2006|Christian Berthelsen | Times Staff Writer

With election day just weeks away, one of the highest-profile races in Orange County this fall -- the rematch between Patricia Bates and Cathryn DeYoung for the county's 5th supervisorial district -- is generating little of the rancor that characterized it in the first round this year.

Voters may recall the acrimonious spring campaign, in which the two sides combined spent more than $3 million in hopes of winning the board seat -- setting a county record and possibly a national one -- only to wind up in a fall runoff. Bates, a former assemblywoman, garnered 44.3% of the vote. DeYoung, a former Laguna Niguel mayor, received 37.6%.

This time, neither side is spending at such a furious clip and fewer fliers have been landing in voter mailboxes.

There is less emphasis on hot-button issues, such as illegal immigration, which dominated the first round.

At the end of September, DeYoung's campaign had less than $40,000 in cash on hand, even after she lent $315,000 of her own money to the fund.

Bates, by contrast, had nearly $250,000 in cash, including a $100,000 personal loan. The biggest revelation so far has been DeYoung's release of a voicemail message from Supervisor-elect John Moorlach threatening to endorse Bates if DeYoung campaigned against a ballot measure to extend supervisorial term limits (the measure was withdrawn; Moorlach endorsed Bates anyway).

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday October 19, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 4 inches; 163 words Type of Material: Correction
Voter Guide: An article in some editions of Sunday's Voter Guide, about Orange County's 5th Supervisorial District race, reported that Orange County candidate Patricia Bates' campaign had said that her opponent, Laguna Niguel Mayor Cathryn DeYoung, accepted campaign contributions from the county firefighter and deputy sheriff unions. DeYoung has not. Another article in some editions, about the Ventura County race for 4th District supervisor, said candidate Peter Foy entered it at the urging of Sheriff Bob Brooks. According to Brooks, he did not ask Foy to run but instead endorsed his campaign after the incumbent, Judy Mikels, was defeated in June. An article in the guide about the race for secretary of state said Debra Bowen was the only woman on the statewide ballot. She is the only woman from the two major parties running for a statewide constitutional office. Also, the guide's main story said Bowen's opponent, Bruce McPherson, was seeking reelection. He came to office through appointment by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday October 22, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 4 inches; 165 words Type of Material: Correction
Voter Guide: An article Oct. 15 in some editions of the Voter Guide, about Orange County's 5th Supervisorial District race, reported that Orange County candidate Patricia Bates' campaign had said that her opponent, Laguna Niguel Mayor Cathryn DeYoung, accepted campaign contributions from the county firefighter and deputy sheriff unions. DeYoung has not. Another article in some editions, about the Ventura County race for 4th District supervisor, said candidate Peter Foy entered it at the urging of Sheriff Bob Brooks. According to Brooks, he did not ask Foy to run but instead endorsed his campaign after the incumbent, Judy Mikels, was defeated in June. An article in the guide about the race for secretary of state said Debra Bowen was the only woman on the statewide ballot. She is the only woman from the two major parties running for a statewide constitutional office. Also, the guide's main story said Bowen's opponent, Bruce McPherson, was seeking reelection. He came to office through appointment by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The real action in Orange County may well be the ballot measures. Voters are being asked to re-approve the half-cent-on-the-dollar sales tax that pays for transportation projects and road improvements, a proposal that faces an uphill battle in notoriously anti-tax Orange County.

Meanwhile, Anaheim, Dana Point and Newport Beach will consider limiting the use of eminent domain, and Santa Ana and Villa Park will consider altering term limit restrictions for city council members.

Also in Newport Beach, voters will decide on possibly the most controversial of the fall initiatives, a slow-growth measure that would strictly curtail development in the city.

The outcome of the south Orange County supervisor's race, both hopefuls being Republican, will not change the political makeup of the board.

The winner will replace Tom Wilson, a mild-mannered Republican who is leaving because of term limits, maintaining the board's 4-1 GOP advantage. But it could change the tenor of board meetings, where board rebels have rarely been able to gather enough votes to challenge the status quo.

Bates has cast herself as the experienced front-runner, a stateswoman with the knowledge and instincts that make her the better choice for the board that manages the county's business. She has the endorsement of virtually the entire Republican establishment.

DeYoung has been the fiery challenger, confronting Bates on virtually every issue, and has poured millions of her own money into a largely self-funded campaign.

Since illegal immigration policy was a national attention-getter earlier this year, it also came to dominate the spring supervisor's race, though local officials have little say in enforcement. Now, with that on the back burner, the issues in the runoff are more closely tied to the district itself -- mostly white, affluent coastal turf stretching from Newport Beach to the San Diego County border.

DeYoung has been focusing on environmental protection, particularly water quality in the district, and highlighting endorsements from the Sierra Club and local environmentalists such as heiress Joan Irvine Smith.

While Bates' supporters accuse DeYoung of desperately tacking left to pick up Democratic votes, her campaign manager, Stuart Mollrich, rejected the notion that campaigning on the environment was a move to the left.

DeYoung has also voiced vehement opposition to a proposed 12-mile tunnel through the Santa Ana Mountains to help inland residents commute more easily to job-rich Orange County. Bates, by contrast, has lent initial support to the concept, saying it should be studied further.

The biggest front that has emerged in DeYoung's attack has been Bates' acceptance of campaign money from tobacco and oil interests while in Sacramento, which she has imported to her campaign here, and her support from vested county interests such as the union representing sheriff's deputies, which have sent out campaign mail on her behalf.

On that point, Bates' campaign points out that DeYoung has accepted donations from the county's firefighter and deputy unions. For her own part, Bates is staking out the fiscal prudence turf, saying she wants to focus on repairing the county's troubled finances in its pension and retiree medical plans.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|