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March 5, 2002
TODAY IS CALIFORNA'S PRIMARY ELECTION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bill Orton at (562) 598-9630 or Mark Pulido at (562) 712-2093
Orton congratulates opponent on life of ease, as money pours in to rival from liquor, cigarette and gambling interests      (ORANGE COUNTY) -- As voters awaken to another election day, state Assembly candidate William R. "Bill" Orton (D-Seal Beach) is congratulating his opponent for getting away with accepting nearly $50,000 in contributions from tobacco, liquor, insurance and oil companies while maintaining a squeaky-clean profile.
"What a blessed existence my opponent enjoys," said Orton, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary. In November, Orton faces first term incumbent Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), who is also unopposed today.
"I'm running against a man who takes money from Arthur Anderson, Philip Morris and the horseracing and casino folks and still pretends to be Mr. Clean," said Orton.
According to contribution reports filed with the Secretary of State, over the past year, Harman has raised over one-third of his campaign cash from companies that include cigarette makers Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds. Orton singled out objectionable contributions totaling more than $45,000, or over a third of Harman's $140,000 campaign warchest.
Harman accepted roughly $5,000 from the big tobacco companies, and added another $5,250 from liquor manufacturers and distributors as well as $14,250 from gambling interests.
Harman pulled in a $750 gift from controversial accounting firm Arthur Anderson, a company that has been faulted with helping dupe investors into believing that Enron was a solid investment.
"You'd think that a man who presents himself as squeaky clean might not have taken money from Enron's lapdog, but he also took $15,000 from insurance companies while he sits on the committee overseeing that industry," said Orton.
Contributions that Harman has received in the past fourteen months include:
TOBACCO: Orton's take: "With my mom suffering from emphysema, I can't take that money, so he cleans up there." TOM'S TAKE: $4,750 from cigarette giants Philip Morris ($3,000) and R.J. Reynolds ($1,000 and $750).
GAMBLING: $14,250 from horse racing and casino gambling interests. Orton's take: "My opponent appears to be using his training as an attorney to pit the horse racing folks against the Native Americans, so he can take it from both sides." TOM'S TAKE: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club ($375), Thoroughbred Owners of California ($500), Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing ($1,000 and $750), Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians ($750 and $1,000), Oak Tree Racing Association ($375), Los Alamitos Race Track ($1,000 and $2,500), Barona Band of Mission Indians ($3,000), Los Angeles Turf Club ($1,000), Oak Tree Racing Association ($500), Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing ($750), and the California Commerce Club ($750).
LIQUOR: Orton's take: "My opponent's charmed life in politics is to be able to act like a puritan and take money like a bootlegger," said Orton. TOM'S TAKE: $5,250 from Anheuser-Busch ($1,000 twice), California Beer & Beverage Distributors ($750), Wine Institute ($750), Distilled Spirits Council ($750), and the Southern Wine and Spirits ($1,000).
INSURANCE: Orton's take: "I wondered what Tom Harman was doing on the Insurance Committee, other than voting against the Calderon workers compensation bill. Fifteen grand from the industry answers that question." TOM'S TAKE: $15,250 from Nationwide Insurance ($1,000), 21st Century Insurance ($750 and $1,500), Farmers Group ($750 and $1,500), California Association of Professional Liability Insurers ($750), Norcal Mutual Insurance Company ($2,000), Farmers Employees & Agents ($1,000), Blue Cross of California ($1,000), Pacific Life Insurance ($1,000 twice), Mercury General Corporation ($1,000 and $750), Allstate Insurance ($500), and the Personal Insurance Federation of California ($750).
OIL: Orton's take: "Since my opponent's voting record on envronmental bills was only 33%, it doesn't surprise me that his bank account is so slick with oil money." TOM'S TAKE: $5,540 from AES ($750, which was returned), BP Amoco ($750 twice), Chevron ($250 and $750), BP Corporation ($1,000), Sempra Energy ($165), California Independent Oil Marketers ($375), and the California Independent Petroleum PAC ($750).
"Considering how often my opponent sticks his hand out," said Orton, "he may want to buy some gloves."
Anyone wishing for more information may write to Bill Orton, at either
BILL ORTON is the Democratic candidate for State Assembly in the 67th District, which covers Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, and portions of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Stanton and Westminster.
FPPC ID# 1240194