DPOC: Republican Lawsuit is “Brazen Hypocrisy”

DPOC Calls GOP Leadership Hypocritical for Filing Lawsuit Challenging Huntington Beach Mayor’s Ballot Designation as “Mayor” While Ignoring Similar Ballot Designations for GOP Candidates

SANTA ANA, California, March 19, 2008 – The Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) today charged the leadership of the Republican Party with hypocrisy for a legal challenge to Huntington Beach Mayor and Congressional candidate Debbie Cook’s ballot designation for the June primary. On March 17, former California Republican Party Chairman Mike Schroeder and Steve Baric, President of the California Republican Lawyers’ Association filed suit in Orange County Superior Court, claiming Cook can’t use the term “Mayor” because she wasn’t directly elected mayor by the voters. Three Republican assembly candidates who were also elected by their peers are using “Mayor” in their candidate descriptions.

“This is partisan GOP hypocrisy of the highest order, relying on courts instead of voters to install their candidates in office,” said Melahat Rafiei, Executive Director of the DPOC. “Republicans love to complain about so-called ‘judicial activism,’ but here’s a case where they find it acceptable because they can use it to their advantage.”

Rafiei continued, “This is yet another example of how partisan activists in the Republican Party feel they are above the law. Rather than allowing the voters to make their own choices based on candidate qualifications, the GOP files frivolous lawsuits to drain the campaign treasuries of their opponents. These are the same tactics Mike Schroeder has used against a member of his own party, Janet Nguyen, in the First District County Supervisor’s race.”

A trial date is expected to be assigned Thursday, March 20.

According to Rafiei, Republican candidates for State Assembly Curt Hagman, Jeff Miller and Neil Blais all indicated “Mayor” in their individual ballot designations, even though they achieved the office of Mayor in the same manner as Debbie Cook. No GOP official has brought objection to this use of the term “Mayor” in GOP ballot designations, demonstrating a belief in two standards: one for Republicans and one for everyone else.

“Republicans constantly decry judicial intervention, or what they term ‘judicial activism,’ when the courts rule against them. But they don’t hesitate to bring the courts into play whenever it suits their purposes. The title of ‘Mayor’ has been used by candidates in hundreds, perhaps thousands of races in California in the last century. Ballot designations proposed by candidates for every office in California are reviewed by the office of the Secretary of State prior to being printed on the ballots used by the voters. If the Republican Party were behaving in an ethical manner, they would wait for the normal regulatory process to be completed instead of rushing into court.”

“Cook’s name recognition and performance as Mayor are receiving a favorable response from voters in what should be a safe Republican Congressional seat. But Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s support for disgraced and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his stated wish that anti-war activists’ families be the next victims of terrorist attacks, and his claim that dinosaur flatulence is a cause of global warming are an embarrassment to the people of his district and the people of Orange County. The OC GOP clearly sees Cook as a threat.”

Cook is running for Congress in the 46th district currently occupied by incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and will face Daniel Kalmick, also of Huntington Beach, in the June 3, 2008 primary.

  6 comments for “DPOC: Republican Lawsuit is “Brazen Hypocrisy”

  1. Dan Chmielewski
    March 20, 2008 at 8:56 am

    And over on the Flash Report today, Jon Flieschman is railing against a trial lawyers group. The standard is, one set of rules for Republicans and another for everyone else.

  2. Anyone?!
    March 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Well, hopefully one of the many, many Democratic Trial Lawyers in Orange County will step up and represent Debbie Cook pro-bono… Any volunteers?

  3. RHackett
    March 21, 2008 at 6:05 am

    I think the lawsuit is outstanding!!!

    It gives Debbie instant credibility.

    She should be sending Schroeder a thank you note.

  4. RHackett
    March 24, 2008 at 4:37 am

    Schroeder has every intention of asking questions under oath that will be used against Debbie in campaign material.

    Dana is scared. Gotta love it.

  5. Dan Chmielewski
    March 24, 2008 at 7:56 am

    You have to wonder what sort of questions he will ask Debbie that have no relation to the suit at hand.

  6. RHackett
    March 24, 2008 at 8:26 am

    He can ask anything. Remember Ken Starr and Bill Clinton. The premise was
    about Whitewater, but Starr started asking questions about Clinton’s personal life. Cook can expect the same treatment.

    Meanwhile, Rohrabacher enjoys Congressional immunity.

    If I were Cook, I would start off answering with the 5th Ammendment and answer every question in that manner.

    I’m sure Cook’s attorney has a better strategy than mine since I’m not an attorney.

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