Friday, August 22, 2014

Candidates pay to reach all voters with statements

All but two of the 12 candidates seeking to represent Yorba Linda as City Council members, school trustees and regional water board director in the upcoming Nov. 4 election wisely chose to use an inexpensive and effective campaign tool to reach every registered voter.

The 10 contenders, along with four seeking to replace two council members in an Oct. 7 recall election, will have 200-word “statements of qualifications” included with sample ballot mailings.

The recall candidates and six seeking two seats in the regular council election each paid $886 for statements to be mailed to 40,871 registered city voters. Mailings begin Aug. 28 for the recall ballot and Sept. 25 for the general election.

The fee – about 2.2 cents per voter – is cheap compared to the $3,000 to $5,000 cost to design, print and mail the colorful placards favored by well-heeled candidates and support groups.

Fees vary by the size of the electorate for each district and recoup what the county pays for printing and fulfilling a federal regulation that statements be translated into Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese for voters requesting materials in those languages.

Two of the four candidates for two trustee slots in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District paid $1,311 for statements to reach 83,916 voters (about 1.6 cents each), and the two candidates for a county Municipal Water District board seat paid $2,016 to reach 154,093 vot-ers (about 1.3 cents each).

Candidates can't disparage opponents in the statements, which are subject to review and challenges by the public, with changes required if objections are upheld.

Running for two council seats Nov. 4 are Canyon Inn owner Paul Ambrus, Whittier College professor Jeff Decker, state deputy attorney general Peggy Huang, incumbent Tom Lindsey, homeowner association leader Judy Murray and food industry executive Matt Palmer.

Oct. 7 recall candidates are Decker and Palmer to replace Lindsey and bio-technologist J. Minton Brown Jr. and former council member Nancy Rikel to oust Craig Young, although Palmer and Brown oppose the recall.

Seeking the two Placentia-Yorba Linda school trustee positions are incumbents Carrie Buck and Karin Freeman, and challengers Jim Brunette, a software consultant, and Brenda McC-une, a children's advocate. Only Buck and Freeman paid for statements.

Candidates for the county Municipal Water District board slot representing Yorba Linda and five other cities are incumbent Brett Barbre from Yorba Linda and Greg Diamond from Brea. The district handles imported water for 28 agencies, including the Yorba Linda Water District.

Nobody filed to run against Yorba Linda Water District board incumbents Phil Hawkins, Bob Kiley and Gary Melton or Jeff Brown, a Yorba Lindan whose North Orange County Community College District trustee area includes a tiny slice on the city's westside, so they'll be appointed to new four-year terms.