If Paulette Marshall Chaffee receives the most votes in the District 5 Election on 06 November – will she resign the office or allow herself to be sworn in?
It’s not a tough question but Mrs. Chaffee has refused to talk to anybody or answer any questions. I emailed both campaigns asking for comment before posting the original sign theft post. No comments or responses came. Likewise Voice of OC, KTLA, Fox11 and the OCRegister have all tried to get various answers from her to no avail. She has ignored them all. She has also, by way of her silence, manipulated the voters in District 5 by sending mixed signals.
With her signs still hanging all over the district, her mail still hitting voter mailboxes and her husband’s campaign overlapping her own race (which throws a few percentage points at her by sheer name association) she is, by all visible metrics, still running despite her Facebook and website deactivations.
With consideration of how power signs can be in an election, which I know from personal experience, I opted to do some research.
I started by looking at her 460 disclosure forms and found that she used Cogs South and Impact Signs to print and place her campaign signs. The signs cost her $470.oo to place ($3/sign plus distance charge).
Cogs South are the local go-to for signs and are great people to work with so I also took the liberty of giving them a call. When I asked if a candidate could pay Impact Signs to remove signs I was assured the answer was yes with the only qualifier of it maybe taking a few days. When I asked how much it would cost to have the signs removed, being that that $3/sign cost included post-election takedowns, I was told no more than that cost again. Most likely less.
Even if we assume the same cost per sign again, it would cost Paulette Marshall Chaffee one phone call and $470.00 to have her signs removed from around District 5.
That’s what Chaffee is unwilling to spend to show that she really is suspending her campaign.
She could have called off her post-“suspension” mail piece. She chose not to do that.
She could pay less than $500 to have her signs removed. She chooses not to do that.
This from the candidate who bought a condo valued at 4x the median household income of Fullerton, over $250,000, to represent the poorest district.
This from the candidate who has loaned herself $30,000 to run for council while her husband has loaned himself $500,000 to run for Supervisor.
This from the candidate who paid canvassers $400.00/week to walk District 5 to get her name out.
The integrity of votes of District 5 residents aren’t worth that paltry sum.
Chaffee is so committed to silence that the OC Register article states the following:
Kaufman Legal Group, which is handling Marshall-Chaffee’s electoral matters, said it is not authorized to comment.
While it is true that according to the Fullerton Observer Paulette Marshall Chaffee has claimed that she has suspended her campaign, that has no legal relevancy and as a lawyer, and wife of our current Mayor, I expect her to know this much.
Her “suspension” comes with no paperwork or legal duties and is simply empty rhetoric masquerading as a campaign action. The way the laws on the books are written she could die and still win the election per the CA Elections Code:
California Code, Elections Code – ELEC § 8803
(b) No vacancy on the ballot for a voter-nominated office at a general election shall be filled. If a candidate who is entitled to appear on the general election ballot dies, the name of that candidate shall appear on the general election ballot and any votes cast for that candidate shall be counted in determining the results of the election for that office. If the deceased candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for the office, he or she shall be considered elected to that office and the office shall be considered vacant at the beginning of the term for which the candidate was elected. The vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as if the candidate had died after taking office for that term.
Thus saying “I’m suspending my campaign” doesn’t mean anything from a legal or practical standpoint.
The voters have a right to know what she plans to do if they manage to check her name more than the opposition considering she refuses to pay the equivalent of one paid canvasser for one week to have her signs removed.
We also need to know from a city financial standpoint.
While the OCRegister claims that “[i]t’s uncertain what will happen if she wins the election” that is simply not true. One of two things would have to happen legally:
- She wins and claims the will of the voters needs to be preserved and allows herself to be seated on council.
- She stays true to her suspension and resigns her position immediately upon certification and/or swearing in thereby forcing a special election upon the District per our municipal code.
That special election could cost the city $50,000+. Actual cost estimates are unknown currently and are being investigated at my request by the Fullerton City Clerk’s office and OC Registrar of Voters.
Mayor Doug Chaffee said the following at the last Fullerton city council meeting:
“As to my wife, I am putting my husband hat on, she has learned the hard lesson of what’s it like to run for office and she need some care and comfort and as her husband I’m going to give her as much of that as she needs.”
So Paulette Marshall Chaffee won’t comment. Mayor Chaffee won’t comment in his official capacity. Their legal teams aren’t allowed to comment. They also won’t remove her “suspended” campaign from public view.
Why is honesty so difficult for our elected and wannabe elected officials?