Friday, September 23, 2016

Candidates for City Council, water director, school trustee contend for Yorba Linda votes on Nov. 8

Yorba Lindans can expect a heavier-than-usual onslaught of mailers, automated telephone calls and roadway signs for this election season, based on a field of 25 candidates seeking local City Council, school trustee and water director positions on the Nov. 8 ballot.

For the first time in two decades, all of the expiring positions scheduled for the election are contested, and many of the candidates and supportive political action committees are flush with campaign cash.

Add in a couple dozen of the phony “voter guides” that sell endorsements to the candidates so the office-seekers can associate their names with upbeat, positive-sounding committees and causes, and the city's green recyclable trash containers soon will be brimming.

The guides are called “slate mailers” by professionals who convince candidates the paid-for endorsements are useful to win support from low-information voters. Costs can range from $200 for the Family, Faith and Freedom Association to $1,560 for the Women's Voter Guide.

But the guides can eat up a lot of money without results. In a 2010 school trustee race, one candidate spent $13,162 for endorsements on 19 guides but ended as an also-ran.

Available for purchase from the county's Registrar of Voters are several helpful campaign aids, including lists of registered voters in cities and school and water districts with each registrant's voting history and lists of mail-in voters that can be updated as ballots are returned.

Other election-related items:

--One of the busiest political consultants this year is Lysa Ray, who runs a Santa Ana-based campaign services firm. She's an adviser and campaign treasurer for Craig Young and Tara Campbell in the council race and fills the same role for Councilwoman Peggy Huang.

Ray also is treasurer for two political action committees involved in council and water district contests: Residents for a Better Yorba Linda and Citizens to Protect Our Water, which at last report raised $16,149 to oppose the recall of water directors Robert Kiley and Gary Melton.

--The first husband and wife to compete in the same election cycle is Cristy Parker, candidate for one of three council positions, and Benjamin Parker, candidate for one of two water district seats. Each is endorsed by the Yorba Linda Taxpayers Association.

Previously, Barbara Kiley served two terms on the council and Robert Kiley was elected to the water board, but they didn't appear on the same ballot. Barbara Kiley's wins were in 1992 and 1996, while Robert Kiley's first election was in 2010.

--The county's official Republican Party organization, whose 42 elected members include councilmembers Gene Hernandez and Peggy Huang, endorsed Hernandez, Craig Young and Tara Campbell in the council race.

The GOP group also endorsed Ric Collett and Andrew Hall in the water district contest and is supporting a “no” vote on the recall of directors Robert Kiley and Gary Melton.