Misfit Politics blogger, J. McCann, interviews Deborah Pauly, candidate for the Orange County Board of Supervisors in the 3rd District. Check their website out, young conservatives and quirky but kinda cool graphics, too!
How many people really know what the Tea Party movement is? How many ‘conservatives’ have even been to a Tea Party event?
Motivated by my own ignorance of the movement, and by recent articles claiming that the Tea Party was dead or dying, I decided to find a local politician who was a Tea Party member, and get myself educated. I didn’t have to look far; I quickly made the acquaintance of Villa Park Councilwoman and Tea Party Speaker Deborah Pauly of Orange County, California. Pauly is running for the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ 3rd District seat. As we chatted over iced coffee, (it was a hot day in So-Cal) I was able to get a real sense of who Deborah Pauly is and what she believes in.
J: You have been described as ‘fiery’ – is that accurate?
DP: Ya, I’ll own that. I am very passionate about my country and it comes through in what I say and do. See, I was raised to believe that we should be leaving the world a better place for the next generation. Right now we aren’t doing that, we are passing on debt, less freedom, and less opportunity to future generations. I am digging in my heels to do whatever I can to reverse that trend.
J: Why are you running for the Supervisor seat?
DP: Well, I just got re-elected to my City Council seat, and my original plan was to stay the full term. I was going to fully support Chuck DeVore in his run for the 3rd District seat. Chuck is a solid conservative and someone I like a lot. But, Chuck moved his family to Texas and this left Todd Spitzer as the only candidate, and this guy is not right for the job. Spitzer is a RINO and supported several costly pension deals when he was on the Board of Supervisors previously. The unfunded pension liabilities the County is facing are massive… in the neighborhood of three billion dollars. Spitzer is one of the guys who helped it get to that size, so he’s definitely not going to be someone to reform pensions, or cut the size of local government.
J: Speaking of big dollar amounts, Spitzer has over a million dollars in his campaign fund, and you have only raised a few thousand. How is this affecting your campaign?
DP: Well, you are right- Spitzer is a slick, polished, career politician. He’s very connected and has had no problem raising money for his campaign. I’m still optimistic though- I have been putting what money I have received to good use. Also, I’m practicing what I preach in terms of fiscal responsibility. I am not going to put my family in debt to try and keep up with some dollar amount my opponent has raised.
J: How will you compete then?
DP: The election is in June, whoever gets 50 percent of the vote plus 1 is gonna be the winner; we have a lot of work to do. My hope is that I will get most of the votes from the DTS voters – decline to state voters. There are a lot of people in Orange County who are really fed up with their party and so vote DTS now. Also, I am getting amazing support and key endorsements from the Tea Party; I think this will play a crucial role in the election and in getting my message out. They are helping by doing simple but effective things like mailers, email blasts, and providing social media support.
J: If you do get elected, what are some of the issues you hope to make a personal impact on?
DP: There is a lot of waste to combat. Did you know that the OCTA (Orange County Transit Authority) has set aside $81 million dollars for a high-speed-rail train station for a train that doesn’t exist?! I lobbied against high speed rail back in 2008 because it made no financial sense. Finally, people are getting it this year that there are not going to be any ‘private-public’ partnerships to build this thing because it will never be profitable. But please understand, conservatives don’t want to do away with public transportation. Local government should absolutely provide these services; we just don’t want to burden the taxpayer more than is necessary.
J: You recently had a debate against your opponent: how did you do?
DP: (Laughs) I was absolutely horrible, I was horrible . . . the worst. I am not the career politician Spitzer is. My hope is that people see me for who I am, and for what I stand for.
J: Todd Spitzer has admitted that he wants to be Orange County DA at some point; do you have any higher political office in mind yourself?
DP: (Laughs again) A year ago I didn’t even picture myself running for Supervisor. I don’t know what the future has in store for me. I started down this road being an active member of my PTA when my kids were younger. I saw some of the ridiculous hoops the school had to jump through just to get simple maintenance done because the laws on the books were really outdated. I thought I could help make it better, so that’s what I set out to do.
One of the things I took away from our chat was that it was clear that Tea Party members in Orange County were backing Pauly because of her beliefs and her record as Councilwoman, not because of her political or social network. Can this Tea Party underdog beat a well-funded, well-established Republican contender? Sounds like I will be doing a follow up article in June.
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(Editor’s note: This post is in no way an endorsement for Pauly or her opponent. It is one contributor’s quest to satisfy his curiosity about the media narrative of a “dying” TEA Party.)