Constitutional Conflicts: OC Register endorses Craig Hunter for OC Sheriff

Craig Hunter

When the Orange County Register announced that it was dropping its life-long policy of not endorsing individual candidates I suspected the the logic applied to their process might be a bit flawed. I did not expect them to throw common sense and intellectual honesty to the wind. And I would have expected tem to at least read their own publication.

In the Register endorsement the editors say:

Mr. Hunter has a long history in the county and is respected by the greater law enforcement community, demonstrated by endorsements from a number of retired police chiefs. He is even-tempered and measured in his leadership style and is the only candidate to abjure contributions from unions. On the issues, Mr. Hunter is a strong advocate for the Second Amendment and exhibits the desire to buck the status quo and advocate for sensible yet hard-to-achieve pension reform in the form of a 401(k)-like system for new deputies instead of current unsustainable, defined-benefit pension plans.

Their statement sounds consistent, except when you contrast it with what was printed in their own pages a little more than a year ago. In an investigative report,the Orange County Register’s Tony Saavedra wrote a story about the surveillance of the poor in Anaheim.

Anaheim police routinely scour city records of families receiving federal rental assistance to look for links to crime suspects, a practice that critics say amounts to placing the poor under illegal surveillance.

The Anaheim Housing Authority is the only rental assistance agency in Orange County that shares its files – names, social security numbers, addresses – with police, as part of the agency’s effort to enforce program rules. However, legal experts and community activists say such broad access to housing records violates federal law.

U.S. Code Section 1437z of Title 42 states that police can request data only on specific individuals who are fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody and confinement; are violating probation or parole; or have information necessary to law enforcement. Police must provide the housing authority with the name of the individual being sought.

“As you can see (the law) is tailored to avoid this kind of fishing expedition,” said Richard Marcantonio, head attorney for The Public Advocates, a San Francisco law firm that represents the poor.

Of course, the Register is fine with the shredding of Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights preventing unwarranted search and seizure provided the right to carry a gun is protected. They’re probably thinking; “If you’ve got nothing to hide, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

So there you have it, pension reform and the right to carry a concealed handgun trumps the Fourth Amendment. No wonder they endorse Craig Hunter, the #2 guy in the Anaheim Police Department who oversaw the illegal surveillance of the poor in Anaheim.

Well, at least we know what Hunter’s priorities are.

  7 comments for “Constitutional Conflicts: OC Register endorses Craig Hunter for OC Sheriff

  1. so what
    June 1, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    …and you are endorsing Lorri Galloway…who set public policy in Anaheim….your point is?

    If you read the rest of the article, yo will see the city was following what they thought were the federal guidleines when soemone is geeting aur tax dollars for free….. they made the simple fix in one day…find a new story…..

    • June 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm

      Actually, I haven’t endorsed anyone in the 4th District. Lorri is on the list of people who I believe should be considered for Supervisor, but that has nothing to do with the way the Deputy Chief profiles people as potential criminals in Anaheim based upon their economic status. That is not a policy decision made by the City Council. It is a law enforcement decision made administratively in the department.

      The decision points to the character and integrity of the person in the chain of command who authorized that decision. Because of his position in the department, Deputy Chief Hunter, either knew, or should have know, this practice was being engaged in. He should have prevented it from ever happening in the first place.

      From what we can tell the Orange County Register did not even raise the concern in their review of Sheriff candidates. Their narrow focus on pension and CCW permits makes their endorsement of Hunter, little more than political posturing.

      • So What
        June 2, 2010 at 12:02 am

        I think you have your facts wrong. Whenever we give away tax dollars, there is a need to do a background (housing, welfare etc all apply.) the only thing that happened in Anaheim was a new case decision came out that changed who had direct access to the data base, not if the background could be run….. are you really a reporter? Do you investigate….should we just give tax dollars away and put people on housing with criminal backgrounds and move them into an apt. next your yours…..I don’t think so….

  2. June 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    So which will happen first? Hell freezes over or the Register ever endorses a Democrat.

  3. Jorgan
    June 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Once a union stooge, always a union stooge.

    • June 1, 2010 at 7:04 pm


      What is your point and who is the union stooge?

  4. Phil
    June 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I wonder if Hutchens review of concealed weapons permits had anything to do with it. Just wondering.

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