San Juan Capistrano

Letter to the Editor
                               "Pound the facts, not the table"

On April 16, I attended a forum which featured candidates who will be running this November for one seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The candidate panel included Laguna Niguel Council member Robert Ming, Mission Viejo Council member Frank Ury and Dana Point Council member Lisa Bartlett.

A question was posed to Frank Ury based on an article in the April issue of the Community Common Sense entitled, “Voting Records Speak Louder Than Words.“ The article cites a “scorecard” created by the Liberty First organization, which graded candidates’ council votes over a 3-year period (2009 -2011) relative to such issues as personal freedoms, property rights and fiscal responsibility.

The lowest score was Lisa Bartlett at 66%, Frank Ury’s score was the next lowest at 69%, and Robert Ming had a near-perfect score of 96%, meaning that he was the candidate whose votes were most supportive of fiscal responsibility, protection of personal freedoms and property rights.

Frank Ury was asked by a voter in attendance to explain his low score. In an effort to avoid answering the question he became agitated and called the Community Common Sense “rubbish.” That was essentially his response to the question.
His unreasonable response reminded me of the old saying, “When you have the facts, pound the facts; when you don’t have the facts, pound the table.” In my opinion, Ury was “pounding the table,” which is all too often the response we see from local elected officials when they can’t or won’t defend or explain their poor records.

Voting records are not “rubbish” and they do not lie. Without such information, how are we to know what a politician really represents as we are often confronted with candidates who refuse to seriously discuss or defend their records and yet expect us to vote for them.

Ury never claimed that his voting record as reported in the Community Common Sense was wrong. His only response to the question regarding his voting record was to get angry and criticize the messenger. This is never a good sign.

If it weren’t for publications like the Community Common Sense or voting scorecards compiled by groups like Liberty First, few people would know anything of substance about who they are voting for.

Maybe this is why our SJC council majority of Sam Allevato, Larry Kramer and John Taylor voted to ban the distribution of the Community Common Sense from public property. Accurate information about voting records can often hurt a politician.

As taxpaying citizens, we have a right to hold our elected officials and those seeking public office accountable. We should not be called names or face inappropriate public outbursts for asking reasonable questions at an event held specifically for asking such questions.

Considering Ury’s angry response regarding his poor voting record and Councilman Robert Ming’s strong voting record and debt free (yes, debt free) City of Laguna Niguel, the best candidate for OC Supervisor is becoming quite clear.

Linda Shown

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