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View Full Version : O.C. sheriff lays groundwork for her first campaign


lioneaglegriffin
05-25-2009, 5:21 PM
i doubt she's going to win with all the gunnies she pissed off, she seems to be marginalizing them as if they were just a bunch of angry Carona cronies.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-hutchens25-2009may25,0,4787589.story

From the Los Angeles Times
O.C. sheriff lays groundwork for her first campaign
Sandra Hutchens is steadily selling herself to voters, aware that she's angered some by reversing her predecessor's policies on concealed weapons permits and on issuing guns and badges.
By Dana Parsons

May 25, 2009

Sandra Hutchens knows there are wolves at the door, hungry and clawing to get at her.

But if the thought bothers Orange County's rookie sheriff, she keeps it well hidden. Appointed last June to fill out the term of Michael S. Carona, who had stepped down months earlier after being indicted on federal corruption charges, Hutchens is more convinced than the day she took the job that she's the right person for it, and is primed, at 54, to make her first run for elective office next year when she goes after a full four-year term.

Last month, Carona was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison for witness tampering. If only symbolically, the sentence would seem to close once and for all the most notorious chapter in Orange County law enforcement history and let Hutchens, free of distractions, put her stamp on a job that long has favored incumbents. Her two elected predecessors -- Carona and Brad Gates -- held the job for a combined 33 years. Gates succeeded a sheriff who had the job for 28 years.

Ah, but those wolves.

Asked to quantify the size of her political opposition, Hutchens replies, "Internally or externally?"

The response sounds more ominous than she means it, because she doesn't think there's a vast conspiracy afoot. "I think it's a pretty small group," she said, generally lumping them into camps of people upset with her reversal of Carona's more liberal position on giving out concealed weapons permits and issuing guns and badges to professional volunteers who lent services to the department. That Carona gave some to friends and others in exchange for political favors formed part of the criminal allegations against him.

What connects the camps, Hutchens said, is an unhappiness with their decreased access to the sheriff's office.

Trying to assess someone's election chances a year before the primary is akin to tracking the movement of a ship on the horizon. Hutchens' campaign consultant, Dave Gilliard, said he's not convinced she'll even be opposed in 2010.

Hutchens chuckled at the mention of it. "I don't want to assume I won't," she said. "I want to be prepared for the fact that I will."

Hutchens, the county's first female sheriff, appeared affable and relaxed, even when asked if she would name names of her detractors -- a question many politicians would sidestep. She quickly tossed out a couple, including former Carona advisor and onetime state GOP party Chairman Michael Schroeder. She didn't name the Board of Supervisors, but she could have -- some have joined in the critique of aspects of her first year.

Hutchens spent her career in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, rising through the ranks from patrol officer to a division chief in Lee Baca's administration. Moving through a bureaucracy requires some political savvy, but Hutchens says running for office is a different animal.

"I was appointed by three people," she said, referring to the Board of Supervisors majority that gave her the job in 2008. "That's much different than being elected by voters. So, I don't have a clear electoral mandate in that sense."

Aided by the power of incumbency, she's speaking several times a week to community groups. It's an edge that no potential opponent can match at the moment, and it gives Hutchens practice at something she hasn't had to do before: sell herself.

She knows she'll benefit from being the candidate who succeeded an indicted sheriff.

"Once a new sheriff came in -- it didn't have to be me -- it signified that 'OK, we're moving on,' assuming that person would be making changes," she said.

Hutchens committed early on to seeking election in 2010 because she thought a lame-duck sheriff would have a harder time effecting change. But because the job is coveted, the race could get rough.

Hutchens, a registered Republican, said she may not know until she's in the middle of it whether she's cut out for bare-knuckle campaigning.

County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh isn't singing her praises, but neither is he marshaling forces against her or actively searching for another candidate.

Nor is it a given that the party would endorse anyone in 2010, Baugh said.

Party leaders were unhappy both with her policy on concealed weapons permits and with what they saw as a heavy-handed management style in carrying it out.

At the party's last central committee meeting, Baugh helped persuade the group not to issue a vote of no-confidence in Hutchens over the weapons issue.

The committee settled for a resolution expressing its disagreement with her.

Gilliard, her consultant, whose firm has represented a slew of Republican candidates, was the chief strategist for one of the groups behind the recall of California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.

She will sell herself as a cop and a "compellingly genuine human being who does not have the political DNA that many Orange County office-seekers are born with," Gilliard said. "I've run campaigns for over 20 years and actually never seen a candidate like her."

That's a good tack if it sells. "I think naturally she's going to be the anti-Carona candidate," Gilliard said. "That's not something I have to craft for her. She comes by it naturally."

And her vulnerabilities? "She doesn't have the network that many people have when they run for county office," he said. That relates to fundraising and political alliances, but Gilliard thinks Hutchens can overcome that.

"This is a nonpartisan office, and we have to refocus on that in the county," Hutchens said, a seemingly oblique nod to the perception that the county GOP hierarchy and its foot soldiers are kingmakers.

"If someone does a real political assessment of their chances," Gilliard said, "I think they're going to see it's going to be very difficult to defeat her. She's starting with a lot of advantages. Incumbency is important, and she's not the last guy [Carona], and that's a big advantage right there."

But at least one GOP insider would beg to differ.

Adam Probolsky is an Orange County pollster with connections to the county Republican Party and GOP insiders.

He blogged recently on a conservative Orange County website that Hutchens "lacks the ability to make a lasting impression with people, she is not terribly interesting or unique."

Probolsky, one of those who lost his concealed weapons permit after Hutchens took over, wrote that Hutchens has "a certain coldness" and other personality shortcomings that will prevent her from raising money.

He also surmised that "the pro-gun groups in Orange County want nothing to do with Hutchens.

"She is hostile to them." The issue isn't enough to motivate the broader voting population, Probolsky wrote, but "is a huge driving force for political donors who oppose the appointed sheriff."

Time will tell.

Hutchens worked under two administrations in Los Angeles County. She saw how politics got played. She has already felt the heat for her weapons permit position.

But the 2010 primary is still more than a year away and, for the moment, Hutchens just doesn't seem all that worried.

Or maybe she believes what her campaign consultant is saying. "There's a lot of huffing and puffing right now," Gilliard said. "People who long for the old days, and it's going to take a while to get over it, but they're going to have to get over it."



dana.parsons@latimes.com

wilit
05-25-2009, 5:25 PM
Too bad I'm not a resident of OC, otherwise I'd certainly vote against her. Whose running against her? I can at least pad their election coffer.

Mike Dicta
05-25-2009, 5:25 PM
She is scared. Confident politicians welcome challengers. They do not predict a ballot devoid of other names.

Plus, there is so much dirt on her yet to be released that the next year will be enjoyed by many as she stumbles.

glockwise2000
05-25-2009, 5:46 PM
She better not win. Calling all OC CCW holder. Go out and vote (of course, against her)

RomanDad
05-25-2009, 8:16 PM
Too bad I'm not a resident of OC, otherwise I'd certainly vote against her. Whose running against her? I can at least pad their election coffer.
Stay Tuned

bwiese
05-25-2009, 8:38 PM
Maybe we need to put some fire under the feet of "Republican" leader Scott Baugh and get a no-confidence vote.

Gunnies should be tired of the way they get treated by CA Repubs as "assumed automatic support". And some of 'em get real skittish when asked to carry a pro-gun bill.

To show us some love, the SoCal Repub leadship has to let Hutchins twist in the wind. We are/will be doing well enough in the courts - plus the current and ongoing budget situation - that CA Republican legislative efforts will have to be 'over and above' to get us hot & bothered.

lioneaglegriffin
05-25-2009, 9:07 PM
Maybe we need to put some fire under the feet of "Republican" leader Scott Baugh and get a no-confidence vote.

Gunnies should be tired of the way they get treated by CA Repubs as "assumed automatic support". And some of 'em get real skittish when asked to carry a pro-gun bill.

To show us some love, the SoCal Repub leadship has to let Hutchins twist in the wind. We are/will be doing well enough in the courts - plus the current and ongoing budget situation - that CA Republican legislative efforts will have to be 'over and above' to get us hot & bothered.

so who's going to get the kindling wood?

Riodog
05-25-2009, 9:13 PM
I'd be tempted to buy another rental and declare it my residence just to vote against her. "F" her any all the other no-loads in L.A.
Rio

mike_schwartz@mail.com
05-25-2009, 9:24 PM
I am totally with bwiese. What's with all the RINO's in CA? If you are not pro-gun, you are not a Republican. I mean plain and simple. I just do not see any way around it, yet time and again, election after election, some Republican gets elected who doesn't know one end of a gun from the other. Or worse, they know how to shoot, but cannot understand what the word "infringed" means.

eflatminor
05-25-2009, 9:54 PM
I'm thinking the best thing to do right now would be to write to County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh, not so much to pressure him for a vote of no confidence (already missed that boat) but to urge him to actively seek out an alternative candidate to run against this spying, intrusive gun grabber.

bwiese
05-25-2009, 11:24 PM
I am totally with bwiese. What's with all the RINO's in CA? If you are not pro-gun, you are not a Republican. I mean plain and simple. I just do not see any way around it, yet time and again, election after election, some Republican gets elected who doesn't know one end of a gun from the other. Or worse, they know how to shoot, but cannot understand what the word "infringed" means.

Yep. That's why the state R's have self-destructed in CA - regardless of the fortunes of the national party.

The CA Republican primary ended up specifically designed to elect Dems in the general election: they're willing to trade gunrights for religious "culture"-based issues.

S. Todd
05-26-2009, 10:52 AM
Guys - please don't form opinions based on notoriously fact-free media articles.:eek: I was at the GOP meeting where the no confidence vote was taken. The vast majority of GOP members were vehemently opposed to the Sheriffs CCW policy. The resolution they passed was specifically targeted at her policy, and not at her personally, because they were concerned a (as yet unknown) candidate would twist a more personal attack against the GOP in the future. The media spin is that the resolution got watered down (not true) because of lack of support for 2A issues (definitely not true).

That said, by all means feel free to nudge the OC GOP to find and support a pro-2A Sheriff, and then please show your financial and other support when the time comes.:)

PatriotnMore
05-26-2009, 11:06 AM
What we need is a organized, and effective internet web site campaign NOW, with web site facts, and an information page to direct readers to, so they can make an informed decision.

The internet is a powerful tool, and should be used to place the candidate we want, as much as, to remove this one. The community should be actively seeking the candidate who will truly uphold and support the constitution as intended, are we doing this?

If not, I think we have the assets here, which will volunteer to use their knowledge and talents, to get this started.

Perhaps a thread to ask for volunteers to help, and to list which way they can support.

Such as, IT, web design, writing, hosting, printing, bumper stickers, door to door handout service, ect...

1BigPea
05-26-2009, 11:06 AM
Or maybe she believes what her campaign consultant is saying. "There's a lot of huffing and puffing right now," Gilliard said. "People who long for the old days, and it's going to take a while to get over it, but they're going to have to get over it."

Ha! Yeah right.

I'm looking forward to all of the dirt that will be coming out on here and her ways. I'll definitely be donating to a challenger that supports RKBA.

tango-52
05-26-2009, 11:17 AM
What we need is a organized, and effective internet web site campaign NOW, with web site facts, and an information page to direct readers to, so they can make an informed decision.

The internet is a powerful tool, and should be used to place the candidate we want, as much as, to remove this one. The community should be actively seeking the candidate who will truly uphold and support the constitution as intended, are we doing this?

If not, I think we have the assets here, which will volunteer to use their knowledge and talents, to get this started.

Perhaps a thread to ask for volunteers to help, and to list which way they can support.

Such as, IT, web design, writing, hosting, printing, bumper stickers, door to door handout service, ect...

OCCCWS is already working on this, and has been for at least the last six months.

PatriotnMore
05-26-2009, 11:27 AM
OCCCWS is already working on this, and has been for at least the last six months.

Looking at the site, although informative, it is not the kind of page I would want for this. You get lost in all the other information being presented.

I would want a dedicated site solely to promote a candidate, and to present facts of why the current Sheriff should be replaced.

tango-52
05-26-2009, 11:58 AM
Looking at the site, although informative, it is not the kind of page I would want for this. You get lost in all the other information being presented.

I would want a dedicated site solely to promote a candidate, and to present facts of why the current Sheriff should be replaced.

I think that would be up to the candidate themselves for self-promotion. Otherwise you can run into issues regarding Election Commission rules on campaign donations, etc. If the focus is on the issues (CCW and public safety) you avoid those problems. Also, we are still a year out from the primary. OCCCWS apparently has lots of ammunition regarding Sheriff Hutchens' failings. It would be premature to put it all out there now. It would give time for the issues to be smoothed over. Besides, it seems like once a week that she is screwing something else up. LOL

OCCCWS
05-26-2009, 12:21 PM
We have much information to be released at the time and place of our choosing.

lioneaglegriffin
05-26-2009, 7:20 PM
We have much information to be released at the time and place of our choosing.

yay happy hunting.