“Unexpected” would be an understatement to describe the OC Register editorial board’s decision to endorse government union activist John Leos for the Anaheim City Council. The endorsement editorial admits as much when it acknowledges Leos’ “affiliations with Orange County Employees Association and Orange County Labor Federation. That’s one way to soft soap his deep commitment to government unionism, which the OC Register editorial board generally holds responsible for the dire condition of state and local government in California.

I have great respect for the Register’s editorial writers, and their council candidate endorsements thus far have been almost entirely sensible. However, the OCR’s reasons for endorsing the anointed candidate of the government unions bears some examination.

Let’s start with this one:

“Another reason these two candidates [John Leos and Lucille Kring] should get the utmost consideration from voters is that they were not endorsed by the police or fire unions in this contest; two of their opponents were. This matters perceptually because, at a time when many city residents are questioning recent police activity, it is probably unwise to elect council members who are backed by their unions.”

If police union support is such a powerful disqualifier, perhaps the editorial board was unaware that just a couple of months ago, John Leos (and Lucille Kring) worked actively to secure the endorsement of the Anaheim police union PAC — completing the questionnaire and interviewing for the endorsement — but lost out in PAC voting to Jordan Brandman and Steve Lodge (I’m told that Kring only narrowly missed edging out Lodge). Are we to conclude that only trying and succeeding in getting police union support is a disqualifier, but trying and failing to get the union nod is A-OK?

Also, is a formal endorsement the only measure of police union support? During the same approximate time frame as Leos was interviewing with the OC Register editorial board, he was accepting a $1,000 contribution to his campaign from the Anaheim union PAC (on September 18, less than a month ago). That looks like police union support to me. [In fact, 66% of Leos’ campaign funds are from unions, mostly the government variety — more information of which the OC Register editorial board may be unware.]

The Anaheim police union PAC also gave $500 to Lucille Kring. Are supportive words disqualifiers, but not supportive dollars?

But again, perhaps the OC Register editorial board was unaware of the police union’s financial support for Leos’ campaign – otherwise he would have been disqualified from a Register endorsement under the criteria enunciated by the Register in the editorial itself.

To be continued…