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Carol Platt Liebau

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John Campbell

John Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th District in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State legislature and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly website and through the website for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]

The Secretary of State
[John Campbell] 10/11/04

When I mention the Secretary of State, most people immediately think of the person in the President's cabinet who is in charge of foreign policy. But, California also has a Secretary of State and that person's role has nothing to do with foreign anything. The California Secretary of State is a statewide elected constitutional officer who is charged with the role of overseeing voting and elections in this state.

The current Secretary of State is Kevin Shelley, a Democrat and former Assemblyman from San Francisco. He was elected to the position in 2002. He is now in some very hot water. If you live in Southern California, you may not be aware of the multiple scandals surrounding Shelley because Southland newspapers have almost ignored the story. The Northern California newspapers, however, have been filled weekly with new revelations about the alleged misdeeds in and around our Secretary of State. In short, the published reports to date indicate at least 3 broad areas of misbehavior:

1. As an Assemblyman, Shelley acquired a $500,000 grant for a nonprofit organization in San Francisco to build a community center. It turns out that the community center was never built. Instead, much of the money was paid as consulting fees to Shelley's campaign supporters and then those supporters made campaign contributions to Shelley in nearly identical amounts. There were even cases of huge campaign contributions ($50,000) to Shelley that were made in lieu of downpayments on real estate transactions from people who did not even know who he was. There are criminal investigations ongoing for this behavior, including an FBI probe.

2. Shelley's office used federal funds to pay Democratic campaign operatives to register Democrats to vote in competitive legislative races, locate potential Democratic party donors and perform other clearly partisan activities. These federal funds (from the Help America Vote Act) arose from the 2000 Florida debacle and were supposed to be used mainly for new voting machines and systems.

3. Shelley, who publicly decried all kinds of harassment in the workplace and discrimination, privately has been abusive, according to reports from former employees. While publicly supporting all kinds of anti-gay bashing legislation, he 'continually made gay jokes' and suggested to two male staffers that they should 'wear chaps' and ride in the gay pride parade. While publicly critical about the way many companies treat their employees, he has had numerous complaints filed against him alleging abusive rages of his temper.

Two newspaper editorial boards, The Sacramento Bee and the Orange County Register have called for his resignation. Others, have called for him to publicly respond to the charges. If he were to leave office for any reason before his term expires in 2006, the Governor would appoint a replacement subject to confirmation by the state senate. But this is all about more than Kevin Shelley:

  • When allegations surfaced a few years ago relative to Republican Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush, there were immediate investigative hearings held by the Democrat controlled legislature and some of the most vocal critics of his behavior were Quackenbush's fellow Republicans. To date, there has not been a single hearing called on the Shelley matter by our Democrat controlled legislature.
  • If this $500,000 taxpayer grant was so egregiously misspent, do you doubt that there are other similar stories we just haven't found yet?
  • If so many Democratic operatives used taxpayer money to fund their campaign activities, do you think that this is the one and only time any of them have done so? If they would do this sort of thing, do you doubt that they would have people vote who are not registered to vote in order to steal elections?
  • Do you wonder how many others say one thing in public but act totally differently in private? And if they do that, why should you trust anything they say publicly?

As a final thought, consider that in Shelley's Inaugural address when he was sworn in as Secretary of State, January 6, 2003, he said that he was committed to "a few simple and sacred principles". He went on to describe them as "First.....restoring full faith in our electoral process. Next.......restore confidence in our economic system -confidence that has been shaken by corporate accounting tricks and outright fraud and abuse. Finally......we need to change the way California votes"

Well, he is apparently an expert in fraud and abuse. And, it seems he tried to change the way Californians vote, to an illegal one. As far as restoring faith, maybe he needs faith to restore him. CRO



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