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The Democratic nominee
for California's 67th Assembly District
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August 10, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bill Orton at (562) 598-9630
Bolsa Chica protesters call on Harman to 'Play Ball' in budget talks      (HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA.) -- With a picket sign bearing the umpire's call to "play ball," state Assembly candidate Bill Orton (D-Seal Beach) led marchers outside the district office of Assemblyman Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), urging the lawmaker to vote for a stalled state budget that would bring a flood of state dollars to help save the Bolsa Chica wetlands.
"People here pay plenty of tax money every year and we deserve to see some of it come back home," said Orton, who was joined on the picket line by members of the local janitors union and environmental and Native American activists.
A handful of GOP counter-demonstrators faced off with Orton's crew, as lunchtime traffic sped past the two groups of marchers at Beach and Warner, one of the busiest intersections in Orange County.
Orton criticized Harman for talking to the press about budget feelers made by the Governor and then using press releases and interviews to slam the door on any offer to save the Bolsa Chica.
"It's amateur politics for a freshman member of the minority party to publicly bash the budget process, bash other lawmakers and bash the Governor," said Orton. "Using the press to shut the door on budget talks is no way to deliver for the district."
The backbone of Orton's picket-line crew were lunchtime volunteers from the Service Employees International Union Local 1877, which represents janitors in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
"Bill Orton has marched with us many times," said SEIU organizer Reina Schmitz. "We are proud to support him in this cause."
Once a janitor for the Los Alamitos school district in the early 1980s, Orton has marched over the last five years with the janitors union, hotel workers, county employees, UPS drivers and University of California employees.
Orton carries the California AFL-CIO's COPE endorsement and the support of the UAW Region 5, as well as the State Building & Construction Trades Council, H.E.R.E. Local 681 and United Association Local 250.
In the GOP's counter-demonstration, seven members of the Republican Women Federated of Orange County mingled in close quarters with Orton's crew.
At several points, Orton offered Danish pastry and bottles of water to the Republican women.
"I didn't want anyone out there to die of thirst or hunger," said Orton, who added that he cannot remember a Republican legislative candidate in his district "so shaken up" as to feel the need to dispatch a crew of sign carrying faithful.
"I guess the gentleman is feeling some heat," said Orton. "That's why we have elections."
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