for an upcoming court challenge of Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.
OCCCCW, a Costa Mesa-based political action committee (PAC) that aims to expand the distribution of concealed weapons permits, has posted on its website a message that begins, "Soon OCCCWS will be going to court to fight just one example of the Sheriff's egregious behavior."
"Our attorney is operating on a contingency basis, but OCCCWS needs to cover fees and other expenses," the message continues. "So donations to OCCCWS, which has been the lead organization highlighting Sheriff Hutchens' regrettable actions, would appreciate donations to help offset these expenditures."
The PAC's problems with Hutchens' concealed weapons permits poicy are shared by the Orange County Republican Party, whose central committee voted in April to oppose the sheriff's stance.
The OCCCWS website explains the PAC was formed as a result of Hutchens' policy.
"After decades of political favoritism, the Orange County Sheriff's Department began issuing to ordinary law-abiding citizens in 1998, giving residents a reasonable chance of obtaining a CCW license," informs one page. "Recently, with the appointment of a new Sheriff, this trend is likely to be reversed. It appears that our new Sheriff will be willing to grant CCW licenses to judges, prosecutors, and other 'special classes', but that ordinary law abiding residents of Orange County will again be left unable to defend themselves adequately once they leave their homes."
The post about the pending legal action against Hutchens reveals that the PAC "anticipates increased expenditures soon, as the number of candidates running against the Sheriff increases."
That could be a reference to candidates like Bill Hunt, the former Orange County sheriff's lieutenant who just held a showy dinner banquet that featured announced appearances by Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Graham County, Arizona, Sheriff Richard Mack, who successfully prevented the Clinton White House from implementing parts of the James Brady gun control bill.
Many who showed up at the fund-raiser--which boosted Hunt's campaign by an estimated $40,000--were staunchly pro-gun. By not being directed by the candidate or part of an official campaign to elect, a PAC like the OCCCWS can direct untold amounts of money to mailers that prop up the candidate or trash his/her opponent, without the candidate who benefits from the funds having to report is as part of his campaign disclosures. (See "every election run by a Larry Agran slate.")
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So, while the message informs funds are being raised for a legal challenge against Hutchens, the fine print reveals some of those funds may also be directed to campaigns against her. Pleads the OCCCWS, "Anything you give will help our efforts to send Sheriff Hutchens into her second retirement before she can secure a pension from the Citizens of Orange County in addition to the one she already has from LA County".
Another page informs potential donors how to contribute, advises contributions are limited to $1,600 per person per calendar year and warns that anyone who gives $100 or more must provide the California Fair Political Practices Commission their name, address, occupation, and employer (or business address if self-employed).
"Contributions may be used for any legal purpose to further our cause, including, but not limited to, education and outreach, candidate support, advertising, legal fees, and limited overhead," says the OCCCWS. "We strive to put every dollar to good use in this cause."
Hutchens may have problems with that last line.