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 â€“ names, social security numbers, addresses â€“ with police, as part of the agencyâ€™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.
â€œAs you can see (the law) is tailored to avoid this kind of fishing expedition,â€ said Richard Marcantonio, head attorney for The Public Advocates, a San Francisco law firm that represents the poor.
Of course, theÂ Register is fine withÂ the shredding of Fourth AmendmentÂ Constitutional rights preventing unwarranted search and seizure provided the right to carry a gun is protected. They’re probably thinking; â€œIf youâ€™ve got nothing to hide, thereâ€™s nothing to be afraid of.â€
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.