In 2012, we were criticized for going after AD-69 candidates Michele Martinez and Julio Perez for disclosing their then terrible personal financial failings that would cause voters to question whether they’d be a good steward of taxpayer dollars in Sacramento as a member of the state assembly. Both are Democrats. Primary voters decided “no” to both of them and elected Tom Daly. Its a different year and a different assembly district, but Republican Bill Brough is facing a personal financial crisis that appears to be worse than what Martinez or Perez came up against two years ago.
Unless corrective action was taken in the past few days, The LiberalOC has learned that Brough and his wife Michelle are tens of thousands of dollars behind on their mortgage payments on their home and are facing foreclosure of the property. You can read the entire document here. The official title of the document is a “Notice of Default and Election to Sell Under Deed of Trust.” The document says the Broughs are in arrears to the tune of $44,689.82 as of July 21 so add the payments for August and September to that total and the picture it paints is one of a candidate who cannot manage his own personal finances and is counting on an election victory to save his home. We’re told the earliest the Brough’s could be forced to leave their home is late November, so he’ll have a valid address to run on election day but Thanksgiving might be spent packing.
From the document: The default has been declared by the current beneficiary under that certain Deed and Trust dated as of March 13, 2008, executed by Michelle R. Brough and William P. Brough, wife and husband as trustor to secure obligations in favor of United States Senate Federal Credit Union as beneficiary recorded on March 14, 2008. A trip to Brough’s campaign website confirms his wife’s name as Michelle.
The Brough’s have been instructed to contact the United States Senate Federal Credit Union to find out how to make arrangements to pay what they owe to stop foreclosure. The heavy debt raises several questions. Mainly, if elected, is Brough’s vote for sale?
When I was reporting yesterday’s story about Brough’s possible role in the cancellation of a Wendy Gabriella fundraiser, I told two of Brough’s campaign team members I had the Notice of Default document and asked the question: “If Mr. Brough can’t manage his personal finances, how can voters expect him to be a good steward of Taxpayer dollars in Sacramento?” Both professed to have no knowledge of the document. I gave them the citation with the Orange County Clerk Recorder’s Office and encouraged them to look it up. I also asked them for a statement which I promised to run word-for-word and I gave them a noon deadline for September 16. Noon came and went. No statement in my email. No statement in my spam folder, No message on my business phone. No message on my cell phone. Squat. The Brough campaign has refused to comment, but what can they say really?
If Brough’s personal financial situation has changed since we spoke with the campaign yesterday, they haven’t shared it with us.
The CotoBuzz Blog speculates on Brough’s small business and employment background. You can read about that here.
Now what’s particularly embarrassing for Brough is that the Orange County Register has endorsed him over Gabriella for Assembly. The Register wrote:
“Both certainly have the voter’s best interests at heart, but Mr. Brough is the better match when it comes to being prepared to represent the interests of the district in Sacramento. Mr. Brough receives our endorsement for the state Assembly.
On top of serving on the Dana Point City Council, Mr. Brough also previously served as chief of staff for the outgoing Ms. Harkey. He certainly knows the district well and is ideologically more aligned with its voters.
During his time in office, Mr. Brough has remained a reliable defender of the taxpayer and advocate of limited government. He told us he supports diversifying water sources through desalination, thinks the state’s high-speed rail project is a “boondoggle” and would make the daunting task of improving the state’s business climate one of his key focuses in Sacramento. “Even in O.C., where unemployment is under 6 percent, you probably haven’t seen a raise in a few years,” Mr. Brough said. “We are stagnating.”
Yeah, and his bank hasn’t seen a mortgage payment in a few years either.
As much as the Register’s editorial pages hate to do this to any Republican candidate (they’ve endorsed one Democrat since 2012), the Register must rescind their endorsement of Brough based on his irresponsible personal financial mess. Voters need to know that if he can’t manage his own money, he cannot be trusted with theirs in Sacramento.
Wendy Gabriella is a fiscal conservative, Libertarian-leaning, a progressive, and a single mother. She’s never filed for bankruptcy. And we’re guessing her bank gets her mortgage payments on time.
Additionally, even if Brough and his wife lose their home, he is still an eligible candidate because his address at the time of his candidate’s filing was validated. If he has to find a new residence due to losing his home, his credit score isn’t going to be that solid and rents in his district are among the highest in Orange County.
Maybe he can get a loan from his old boss Diane Harkey?