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The Democratic nominee
for California's 67th Assembly District
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Bill Orton takes daughter Lilac into the Pacific for the first time. (1995) Orton's push to clean the coastline follows a recent trip into the water at Seal Beach, where his daughter contracted what Orton believes was a bacterial infection due to contaminated ocean water.
April 5, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Bill Orton at
Orton blasts opponent for failing grade on environmental issues      (ORANGE COUNTY) -- As state lawmakers ready legislation that benefits the region's largest sewage district, local Assembly candidate William R. "Bill" Orton (D-Seal Beach) is blasting his Republican opponent for "going soft on the environment."
Citing a report card showing how lawmakers voted on critical environmental bills in 2001, Orton charged that Assemblyman Tom Harman (D-Huntington Beach) is "100% talk and 33% action."
"The League of Conservation Voters ranked our Assemblyman as having one of the worst voting records on environmental issues during his first year in the Assembly," said Orton. "Considering everything he says about the environment, you'd think he'd show more backbone."
The CLCV has ranked lawmakers votes for each of the past 28 years.
Harman, elected in 2000, cast votes that the League called "anti environment," on bills that would strengthen coastal protection, expand wildlife habitat and limit sprawling development.
Overall, the League gave Harman a 33% record, a performance that pales when contrasted with Senator Bruce MacPherson (R-Santa Cruz), who scored a 97 on the report card.
"The environment is front and center in the minds of voters, but my opponent is all talk and one-third action," said Orton.
Orton is the sole California politican backing a proposed initiative on Old Growth Forests being circulated by the Sierra Club. Orton has also called for a $100 million state matching fund to pay for upgrades, repairs and expansion of the region's sewers, storm drains and wastewater treatment plants.
Orton slammed his opponent for ducking the sewage question, offering one of Harman's own messages to a Huntington Beach constituent who wrote to ask for the Assemblyman's involvement in stopping the federal waiver granted to the Orange County Sanitation District.
The waiver "is a federal issue and one out of my jurisdiction," said Harman, in an email message send to HB resident Rob Nelson. The message, dated April 1, was came from Harman's official state Assembly email account and was signed "Tom."
"A state lawmaker can weigh in on federal issues," said Orton, who recently finished 3-1/2 years service as an aide to Assemblywoman Sally M. Havice (D-Cerritos).
Havice achieved local fame by fighting the federal government's imposition of a despised "flood tax," whereby residents were required to carry expensive flood insurance for almost a decade. Havice's actions included carrying state legislation, which became an epic battle with Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica). Havice also paid out of her pocket to fly to Washington. She cooperated closely with federal and county officials to end the despised FEMA mandate.
"My old boss shows that a state lawmaker can have an impact on a federal issue," said Orton. "But then Sally Havice has a backbone. I'm not sure what kind of jello Tom Harman is made of."
Harman is now carrying legislation for the OCSD that Orton claims will make it easier for the sewage district to avoid full treatment of the millions of gallons of sewage that is pumped each day into the ocean.
"AB 1892 will simple give the OCSD a reason to say that they cannot end the waiver," said Orton.
Orton has been endorsed by local environmentalists, including SB Councilman Paul Yost, FoLAR board Member Joan Greenwood and Rossmoor Sanitation District member Jack Rosenthal. He also is supported by the AFL-CIO and the California Abortion Rights Action League. FIND BELOW THE TEXT OF HARMAN'S "NOT MY ISSUE" EMAIL:
Original Message ----- From: Assemblymember Harman
> >Constituent Mailbox To: 'oink99' Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 2:21 PM
> >Subject: RE: Scott Baugh
> > Dear Mr. Nelson, It is a federal issue and one out of my
> >jurisdiction. Tom -----Original Message-----
> >From: oink99 [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> >Sent: Sunday, March 31, 2002 8:22 PM
> >To: Assemblymember Harman Constituent Mailbox
> >Subject: Scott Baugh
> > If you don't think I have the power to do so, think
> > It is bad for the environment and the beach and the economy.
> >Rob Nelson
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