Talking to Chuck DeVore and Todd Spitzer, two men who were once pals, you get the sense that these two Republican candidates seeking the same office, the county's 3rd District supervisor's seat, don't like each other.
DeVore recently produced a bombshell 30-second campaign commercial that accuses Spitzer of hiding excessive public employee union campaign contributions as well as using those funds to buys himself dinners, a satellite radio subscription, gas and trips to the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas.
DeVore's point? That Spitzer is "Big Labor's favorite Republican."
Spitzer is not amused, telling me that, "Chuck needs to learn how to read campaign finance reports." He said that he has not hidden any money and has used his two currently active political accounts, one for the supervisor's race and another for his campaigns for the local Republican Central Committee, for "completely permissible uses."
For example, DeVore slams Spitzer for spending campaign money in Las Vegas, but Spitzer--a former high ranking prosecutor until he was fired last year--says, "I wasn't on any junket, like Chuck is saying. That money went to support the District Attorney's team in the annual Baker to Vegas [law enforcement] run. It was for the DA's troops. I sponsored them. That's a completely legitimate use."
What about the dinners, gas, credit card bills and satellite radio subscription? "All legitimate uses," Spitzer said. "I travel to meetings and events and like to keep informed about current events."
As for serving the interests of public employee unions that despise DeVore, Spitzer said, "I'm adhering to [Orange County Republican Party boss] Scott Baugh's manifesto and will not take any union contributions for my supervisor's campaign. What Chuck is saying is frivolous. All of my money is traceable."
But DeVore insists that all contributions of more than $100 must be itemized and Spitzer hasn't itemized about $54,000 in union funds in either of his two active accounts.
"There's dozens of Teamsters and AFL-CIO-type contributions that haven't been itemized in these accounts," said DeVore.
Said Spitzer, "I don't have to itemize them because they've already been itemized when I first accepted the contributions in the past as far back as 1996. Everything is documented."
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Spitzer fired a shot of his own: He says that DeVore has been erroneous claiming that he raised more money during the first six months of this year.
"I raised about $100,000," he said. "Chuck raised around $70,000. He wasn't able to raise money like he said he would. The bottom line is that when he had a chance to prove he's a viable candidate, he couldn't do it."
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly