Carpetbagging Fullerton Map

“To be, or not to be…actually living where you claim to be?”

Matthew Leslie

O.C. Supervisor Todd Spitzer, candidate for O.C. District Attorney, is promising to do something incumbent D.A. Tony Ruckaukas has failed to for years–investigate whether or not candidates are falsely claiming to live somewhere in order to qualify to run for office. Opportunistic politicians file to run for city councils and state legislative offices representing municipalities where they have not previously resided with depressing regularity. Sometimes they actually move into a new domicile in time to legally claim residence there, but often their new addresses are just fronts, pretexts for claiming to live in a new city or Assembly or Senate district when they are really still rooted in their old home outside of the new district or city’s boundaries.

Remember Linda Ackerman claiming to live in the granny flat of a prominent supporter while trying to carpetbag into Fullerton to run for State Assembly back in 2009? Former Irvine Mayor Suh Kee Kang migrating north to Fullerton to run for State Senate in 2016? Or Joe Kerr hauling himself up from Coto de Caza this year to run for 4th District O.C. Supervisor? How do we know that Paulette Marshall Chaffee is really living in her new condo in Fullerton’s 5th District instead of her longtime family home in the hills of Fullerton’s 2nd District? One thing we’ve always been able to count on is D.A. Tony Ruckaukus doing next to nothing about any of it. His challenger in November, Todd Spitzer, seems to have noticed, and is promising to take the issue seriously if he is elected to replace the complacent or complicit Ruckaukus.

This week Spitzer’s campaign sent out the following press release:

With So Many Cities Heading Toward District Driven Elections, Spitzer Vows To Protect Integrity Of Elections

Orange County August 15 –Today, Orange County District Attorney candidate Todd Spitzer announced an additional policy priority to crack down on politicians who abuse the district voting laws by creating phony addresses in order to run for office.

Supervisor Spitzer stated, “Our elections must be protected. As so many cities in Orange County begin having district based voting it is critical that their candidates and representatives are in fact from the district.”

Spitzer continued, “We have seen up and down the state far too many abuses of local elected officials faking their residency in order to run for office. This is wrong and will end on my watch as DA.”

“The point of district based representation is to ensure every community is represented, equally. We must protect that system to ensure the diversity of our elected representation is protected and honors the will of the people,” said Spitzer.

“For far too long Tony Rackauckas has turned a blind eye to this growing abuse,” continued Spitzer. “With the advent of new municipal voting districts in many cities, this problem is only going to get worse, if not dealt with,” Spitzer added.”‘

Should we take him at his word? Does he have any incentive to actually do anything about candidates falsely claiming to live somewhere they don’t to get elected to office? Where’s the harm in believing him, or anyone else, at this point? Just acknowledging the problem is a solid leap over the low bar Tony Ruckaukus has set for so many years.