DPOC Calls GOP Leadership Hypocritical for Filing Lawsuit Challenging Huntington Beach MayorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ballot Designation as Ã¢â‚¬Å“MayorÃ¢â‚¬Â While Ignoring Similar Ballot Designations for GOP Candidates
SANTA ANA, California, March 19, 2008 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 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 CookÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 LawyersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Association filed suit in Orange County Superior Court, claiming Cook canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t use the term Ã¢â‚¬Å“MayorÃ¢â‚¬Â because she wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t directly elected mayor by the voters. Three Republican assembly candidates who were also elected by their peers are using Ã¢â‚¬Å“MayorÃ¢â‚¬Â in their candidate descriptions.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is partisan GOP hypocrisy of the highest order, relying on courts instead of voters to install their candidates in office,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Melahat Rafiei, Executive Director of the DPOC. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Republicans love to complain about so-called Ã¢â‚¬Ëœjudicial activism,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ but hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a case where they find it acceptable because they can use it to their advantage.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Rafiei continued, Ã¢â‚¬Å“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 SupervisorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s race.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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 Ã¢â‚¬Å“MayorÃ¢â‚¬Â 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 Ã¢â‚¬Å“MayorÃ¢â‚¬Â in GOP ballot designations, demonstrating a belief in two standards: one for Republicans and one for everyone else.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Republicans constantly decry judicial intervention, or what they term Ã¢â‚¬Ëœjudicial activism,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ when the courts rule against them. But they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hesitate to bring the courts into play whenever it suits their purposes. The title of Ã¢â‚¬ËœMayorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 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.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“CookÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 RohrabacherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s support for disgraced and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his stated wish that anti-war activistsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 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.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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.