View Full Version : OC Register: Hunt wants to be O.C.'s Joe Arpaio

10-02-2009, 9:24 AM
Frank Mickadeit
The Orange County Register
fmickadeit@ocregister.com Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sheriff candidate Bill Hunt is having a fundraiser tonight, and what is significant about it is where it is being held:

On Target Indoor Shooting Range in Laguna Niguel.

"Come on out and compete against Bill in both timed and accuracy events," the invitation reads. "If you would prefer not to shoot in the event, then feel free to come and watch."

These two sentences capture a reality about Hunt's campaign to unseat Sheriff Sandra Hutchens in next year's election. The Second Amendment is going to play a significant role. Not the only role, but a significant one. You don't want to talk gun issues, we've got other issues, the Hunt message seems to be. Feel free to come and watch. But gun issues are going to be a part of the mix.

This is so, obviously, because of Hutchens' handling of concealed-weapons, or CCW, permits both as a policy matter (making them harder to get) and in the ham-handed way her senior staff behaved during a Board of Supervisors meeting on the issue. It's been her only major misstep since she was appointed 16 months ago.

But it has galvanized support for an alternative. One of the 30 people who showed up at a $99-a-head fundraiser Hunt held at Lucille's in Lake Forest a couple of weeks ago was R.J. Morris, who says he was the "crazy guy" in the audience a Hutchens staffer referred to disparagingly at the supervisors meeting. There were members of the N.R.A. at the fundraiser as well, handing out fliers in opposition to proposed state legislation (AB 962) that would restrict the transfer of handgun ammo between people.

Hunt, a former Sheriff's lieutenant forced out by Mike Carona after he ran against him and lost, can say with authenticity that he's not a mere opportunist. He was on the other side of the CCW issue long before anyone had ever heard of Sandra Hutchens. I can remember him telling me in an interview in 2005 that he thought Carona was too restrictive with CCWs.

Hunt is clear that with him as sheriff O.C. would be a "shall-issue" county that is, basically any law-abiding citizen who wants a CCW permit will get one. How would he interpret the state's undefined "good cause" standard by which sheriffs can issue CCWs? "For me," he says, "the 'good cause' requirement would be satisfied if they want to use it for self-protection." He also promises to become a leader in a campaign to make California a "shall-issue" state.

The CCW issue doesn't just serve him on its face, it serves him because he can use it to contend that Hutchens is a creature of anti-gun L.A.

"We have an appointed sheriff who came down here with Los Angeles values," he told the gathering of about 30 supporters at Lucille's. "Is the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department the model we want (for) our Sheriff's Department?"

Hunt, like every challenger, wants to be defined by more than just the fact that he isn't the current officeholder. He has ideas of his own beyond CCWs. Most significant seems to be his passion for reforming the much-criticized jail system Hutchens inherited from Carona. Hunt counts his experience working the jails as among the most formative of his career. Hutchens is not creative enough, he contends, and he offers specifics.

He would restrict movement among inmates (the primary method by which contraband gets inside) by getting rid of the huge chow halls and turning them into overflow housing. Inmates can eat in their cells. Require deputies in the jails to be proactive routinely shaking down cells and enforcing rules both large and small.

In this vein, Hunt is an unabashed fan of Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "America's Toughest Sheriff," whose prisoners wear pink underwear, live in tents when jail cells overflow, can volunteer for chain gangs, and are treated to classical and patriotic music (and Sinatra!) on "KJOE," an in-house radio station. Arpaio is coming to O.C. on Nov. 5 to do a fundraiser for Hunt.

"I think Joe is great," Hunt told his Lake Forest audience. "I look forward to being mentored by him when I get into office."

Paging Dean Chemerinsky.

Mickadeit writes Mon.-Fri. Contact him at 714-796-4994 or fmickadeit@ocregister.com

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mutheta wrote:
Hunt should have gotten the job just like John Moorlach did when he was the second vote getter after Citron was forced out. Of course, Moorloach's ego now has grown so big, it has pushed on his brain and he forgot the same circumstances that brought him into office. If Hunt can win and somehow the citizens of OC can rid itself of the ego maniac Moorlach it will be a happy day.
10/2/2009 8:29:20 AM
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windfall wrote:
A County Sheriff who enthusiastically supports the rights of citizens? Now there is something you don't see everyday. I am changing my plans right now. I will attend his fundraiser tonight and I will bring my S&W 9mm and my checkbook.
10/2/2009 8:02:09 AM
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freedomfighter97 wrote:
Hunt has my support he has worked from the bottom to the top of the department and understands how to save tax payers major money. Why did the deputy Sheriff from LA Hutchens even get appointed, Hunt had the 2nd most votes after Carona was forced out? Hunt has the vision that is needed to reform the OCSD and bring back integrity and leadership. Hunt stood up to the Carona admin and sacrificed his career.


10/2/2009 7:47:01 AM
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rogervzv wrote:
Leftists are incrementally attacking the Second Amendment. We need people in office, like Mr. Hunt, who will defend the Constitution against Leftist Statist encroachment. This can be done. This must be done.

By the way, Frank, I studied Constitutional Law under Dean Chemerinsky at USC Law, and there is no better professor or finer man. But he is an unabashed partisan Democrat. The Democrats have taken the lead in pushing a Statist agenda as anyone who follows current events can see.

I think that the idea of prisoners being housed in tents is a fine one. Everyone thought that living in tents was good enough for us soldiers when I was in the Army. And that was in Central Germany where the weather is a lot harsher than California. We do not need to be spending vast sums of taxpayer dollars for the comfort of convicted felons while they do their time. Prison is not supposed to be comfortable.
10/2/2009 7:24:41 AM
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culichi1967 wrote:
I am in full support of Mr. Hunt. As long as we have a commie president who was not even born here, then we must all fear for our guns. Let's take justice into are own hands just like Glen Beck say. Wake up, Orange County!
10/1/2009 11:45:23 PM

10-02-2009, 9:39 AM
I'll be there!

10-02-2009, 10:00 AM
I am in full support of Mr. Hunt. As long as we have a commie president who was not even born here, then we must all fear for our guns. Let's take justice into are own hands just like Glen Beck say. Wake up, Orange County!
10/1/2009 1123 PM

Comments like this one just serves to reinforce the public's general view that gun owners are right-wing whack jobs.

10-02-2009, 1:56 PM
I'll be there!

Hell YEA!! This place is going to be packed it should be fun.

10-02-2009, 4:07 PM
"America's Toughest Sheriff" sounds like he has an ego to match "America's sheriff." Arpaio is a thug with a badge.


While I support some of Arpaio's tough measure, these days Arpaio is just a caricature of his own creation. If I want entertainment I'll just turn on the TV. With stories of armed homeowners being victims of overzealous LEOs I don't think people like Arpaio, who doesn't like his authority challenged regardless of if he is right or wrong, is necessarily the best candidate for armed homeowners,

10-02-2009, 10:26 PM
That was a good time at On Target.

Bill Hunt is definitely a 2nd Amendment supporter.

The Director
10-03-2009, 7:44 AM
Hunt rules, plain and simple.

10-03-2009, 7:47 AM
Wow, I hope he runs for Governor or Senator some day.

10-03-2009, 8:38 AM
Wow, I hope he runs for Governor or Senator some day.

Well, first he needs to win sheriff race...... Have you donated? I don't live in OC and still donated twice.....