SANTA ANA â€” My phone rang several times over the weekend when residents of Santa Ana called to report that fire trucks were driving around the city with signs promoting the campaigns of Mayor Miguel Pulido, Councilman Sal Tinajero, and Assemblyman Jose Solorio. The callers were upset thatÂ while the fire truck has no decals to identify the fire agency and appears to beÂ decommissioned and no longer in service; the intent is clear to those neighbors just getting a quick look that on duty Santa Ana firefighters and a working fire unit is driving their neighborhoods in support of threeÂ local candidates for public office. One person wrote in an email to me:
Who is paying for the driver and the diesel fuel?Â The taxpayer? Santa Ana Firefighters through their union dues?Â Campaign contributions made to the identified candidates?
Mayor Pulido makes every effort to talk about the benefits of being “green”, even driving an electric car provided by the AQMD (he was one of several involved in a car wreck on Sunday), yet the old fire truck drives through our neighborhoods emitting foul smelling fumes from it’s diesel engine.
From what I can tell, this is a decommissioned prop fire truck that gets hired out by local fire fighter unions to promote their endorsed candidates around election time. No taxpayer funds are used to support this campaign advertising effort. But from the looks of it, I can see how some people might get the wrong idea.