Different election, different position. In 2008 Santa Ana Police Officers strongly opposed Michele Martinez in the contest for Santa Ana Mayor, when she challenged Mayor Miguel Pulido—calling her a “self-admitted former drug dealer.”
For this year’s race for 69th Assembly, the cops are singing a different song, endorsing Martinez.
“Michele Martinez had dedicated her time on the Santa Ana City Council to keeping our kids and neighborhoods safe,” said SAPOA President John Franks. “She has been a partner with local law enforcement and her colleagues on the City Council in dramatically reducing crime in our city and we are proud to endorse her campaign for State Assembly.”
So what changed? Michele Martinez is still the former gang member and self-admitted former drug dealer she was in 2008. She voted against contracts raising police salaries back in 2010.
What is different is that Michele is “now” a strong supporter of Chief/Interim City Manager Paul Walters and voted for the recent contract with the police that had them paying a little more towards their pensions and deferring some pay till next year in order to meet an immediate shortfall in city funds. In the agreement, while every other bargaining unit had to give back pay, the cops only had theirs deferred, essentially kicking the can down the road. From Voice of OC:
“But much of the givebacks from police are in the form of deferred expenditures, city officials said, making the potential concessions part of only a temporary fix to a massive, built-in budget deficit that won’t be closed until permanent changes are made to city operations.”
At the time Martinez supported the current contract, she was launching her State Assembly campaign. This appears to be another example of Martinez playing a pay-to-play game using her votes to garner future support.
This week Martinez postponed her proposal to role back city restrictions on campaign contributions over $250 for three months following council member votes. Martinez seems to have a habit of changing her positions depending on the flow of money and support. Following her unsuccessful campaign for Mayor in 2008, Martinez suddenly dropped her “reform” agenda, and backed Mayor Pulido on almost anything he wanted to do. At that same time, she was appointed to the Southern California Association of Government’s which provided her with needed additional compensation to support her lifestyle.
I think the Santa Ana Police Officers Association had it right in their 2008 mailer.