I recently visited the Craig Hunter for Sheriff website and found this picture.
Yeah, a picture of Hunter with Il Duce himself. The guy who became an American hero and terrorism expert by accomplishing – absolutely nothing. That’s right kids. Apparently this noble nation is so starved for real heroes that you can become one by being a mayor in a town where terrorists fly airplanes into your biggest buildings.
But this post isn’t about Rudy Giuliani – not directly, anyway. It’s about authoritarianism masked as conservatism; about using the police power of the government to keep us safe from – ourselves. And that’s the vibe I’ve gotten from this Hunter guy, from his statements about marijuana and the hapless “drug war” and about the rights “that have been given to us” – presumably he believes by the government. It doesn’t help that most of his pictures seem to reveal a guy with a really bad case of constipation.
I really can’t wait for the day that wannabe politicians quit sharing their photos ops with Bush-era police staters.
When this campaign started I really was planning on just boycotting the whole thing. But the more I see of Hunter the less I like him.
Craig Hunter is trying to pass himself off as a 2nd Amendment warrior, claiming to support gun-rights legislation to open up concealed weapons permits (CCW’s) to all citizens.
But the 2nd amendment hasn’t always been that simple for Hunter. A year and half ago, he approached the Board of Supervisors and expressed “comfort” with the current system that allows the Sheriff to arbitrarily restrict permits (and thus the Constitutional right to bear arms) to any law-abiding citizen.
So what changed Hunter’s position on constitutional gun rights?
The reality is that Hunter probably doesn’t really give a rat’s about anybody’s right to bear arms. Rather, his new fondness for the 2nd amendment was born at the behest of his political puppeteer Michael Schroeder and the Carona beneficiary Greg Block when they decided to run Hunter for sheriff late last year.
Passionate gun-rights supporters, while a minority, are high-value political target. They have money, grassroots energy and they’ve been kicked around by Sandra Hutchens so badly that they suffer from “Anybody But Hutchens Syndrome”. While that sounds nice on a bumper sticker, the danger of an “anybody but…” mindset is that we could end up with… well… anybody. Including another Mike Carona.
Last week Sheriff candidate Craig Hunter pointed to our Bill Hunt interview on Facebook, ridiculing his opponent’s assertion that a Sheriff does not have to bend to the will of the DEA when it violates states’ rights.
Hunter asks “What kind of leader would put his deputies at odds with the DEA over a poorly written law?”
The answer, of course, is a leader who respects the Constitution and values the rights of his constituents over the intrusive tendencies of an overreaching federal bureaucracy.
So now we know that Craig Hunter does not respect the will of California voters, who have overwhelmingly asserted that medicinal marijuana should be available to patients. Instead, he defers to the federal government, which has blown at least $2.5 trillion dollars over four decades of the “War on Drugs” with almost nothing to show for it. Illegal drugs are now cheaper, stronger and easier to obtain than any other time in American history.
If this is the kind of “leadership” that we can expect from Hunter? An automatic deference to any other agency claiming to hold authority, no matter how detrimental it might be to the citizens who he is sworn to protect?
There is, however, one satisfying statement made in Hunter’s Facebook — he says that all voters should read our blog. Thanks for your support, Craig!
Last week we were alerted to a mysterious new blog called “Who is Craig Hunter,” which claims to reveal the true power structure behind the candidacy of the Anaheim Deputy Chief for County Sheriff.
The blog seems focused the connections between political heavyweight Mike Schroeder and Hunter, who is called Schroeder’s protegé. Hunter was hand picked to fill in the void left by ex-sheriff Mike Carona’s felony conviction, alleges the author who goes by the pseudonym “V”.
A few ancillary players are introduced into the picture on a page called The Players, including Jack Anderson (Carona’s own pick for successor), Carona apologist and OCCCWS member Greg Block (that name sounds familiar), DA spokesperson Susan Kang Schroeder and GOP Chairman/lobbyist Scott Baugh.
Motives are questioned, empires are sketched out and historic similarities are drawn. What emerges? A sketch of a picture that isn’t very pretty.
I’ve also heard rumors that the site was created by Friends for Fullerton’s Future, citing a humorous yet biting style that is similar to many of our own posts.For what it’s worth, nobody here knows where this blog came from or where it’s going.
Earlier FFFF noted the story of an Anaheim activist who says he was wrongfully arrested after speaking out against OC Sheriff candidate Craig Hunter at Anaheim city council meetings. James Robert Reade claims that several officers questioned him about his anti-Craig Hunter speeches shortly before arresting him on false premise that he was under the influence of narcotics.
Yesterday Reade took his accusations a step further and filed an $85,000 claim against the city of Anaheim, saying he was “attacked and brutalized by two Anaheim officers under color of authority.”
In the claim Reade presents drug tests from both the OC Crime Lab and St. Jude hospital that show there weren’t any narcotics in his system on the day of his arrest. Reade further asserts that he has never used drugs in his life and should never have been detained.
The city dropped all charges against Reade after determining that the officers made a misdiagnosis of Reade’s behavior. Officers were disciplined and sent to additional training for mishandling the incident.
At best, we could consider this another example of the culture of abuse coddled by decades of poor leadership at Anaheim PD under the control of Craig Hunter. That certainly lines up with what courts and civil rights activists have said over the years.
On the other hand, the officers’ prior references to Reade’s political activities suggest something far more malicious may have happened. If the department intended to silence an outspoken activist as Hunter was about to begin his campaign for Sheriff, that would be an inexcusable abuse of authority.
Obviously Mr. Reade is very serious about pursuing this case against the department. We’ll see what happens.
A recent internal investigation at Anaheim PD concludes that several officers wrongfully arrested an activist who frequently speaks out against OC Sheriff candidate Craig Hunter.
James Robert Reade is a civil rights activist from Anaheim with a long history of publicly speaking out against abusive Anaheim police officers. For years, Reade has been making accusations specifically against Deputy Chief Craig Hunter, who is now a candidate for OC Sheriff.
Back in October, weeks before Craig Hunter was to announce his candidacy, James Robert Reade claims that he was assaulted by Anaheim PD and arrested on based on false accusations of drug use. Before the arrest, Reade says that the officers specifically brought up Craig Hunter and asked if Reade was going to be speaking out at any more city council meetings.
The letter above shows that an internal investigation determined the drug accusations to be completely false and that the offending officers would be disciplined and re-trained after being “discourteous” to the victim.
James Robert Reade has relentlessly documented the entire saga on his website at whiteroseanaheim.com
After the results of this investigation, it’s difficult to believe that the arrest of an innocent activist was just a coincidence. Why would these officers unlawfully harass and detain the most vocal anti-Hunter civil rights activist only weeks before Craig Hunter would announce his candidacy?
The actions of the Anaheim PD reek of political intimidation under the authority law enforcement. Did Hunter himself order the officers to harass Reade? Or were the officers merely acting out a culture of cronyism that has infected other police agencies in Orange County?
We may never know the truth, although Mr. Reade’s website is threatening a federal lawsuit against the department. If he follows through, perhaps some light will be shed on the disturbing activity inside the Anaheim police department.
Should Orange County replace Mike Carona with another cop tainted by the stench of abuse and cover up?
Let’s take a look at the career history of Anaheim Deputy Chief Craig Hunter. Back in his day as the head of the gang unit, Craig earned himself the nickname “Head Hunter”, and it wasn’t for respecting the rights of those he served.
Court testimony indicates that Craig Hunter was involved in several senseless beatings of handcuffed teenage suspects after they were safely in police custody. There were two incidents involving Hunter on court record from the 90’s:
The first beating was 16-year-old robbery suspect named Jorge Alvarado. After arrest, the kid was turned over to two of Craig Hunters’ gang unit officers John Kelley and Mike Bustamante for a ride to the station. By the time they arrived at the station, the suspect had been severely beaten. When the witnessing officer complained to the unit commander, Craig Hunter, he was told to shut up.
Another beating happened a few months later after a teenage suspect named Jerry Sanchez was captured on the roof of an apartment by officers Craig Hunter and John Kelley. In testimony that we just received, officer Steve Nolan claims that “Craig Hunter actually cracked Jerry over the head with his flashlight while Kelly kicked him as he lied on the ground”. Later, while the suspect was bleeding severely from the head, Hunter and his partner allegedly taunted Sanchez in a stereotyped Latino accent.
In a later interview, the youth said “I was handcuffed, then hit in the head with a metal flashlight and kicked. I was bleeding all over and felt dizzy and dazed. My whole shirt was bloody.” The suspect’s account of the beating matched officer Nolan’s claims.
Officer Steve Nolan claimed to witness both beatings. He was so appalled at Craig Hunter’s behavior that he finally reported both incidents to a superior.
In response, Hunter launched an all-out assault to discredit Steve Nolan. False accusations were made against him, which were later rejected by an arbiter and then a jury. Nolan eventually won a $340,000 lawsuit against Hunter and the department for wrongful termination.
During the arbitration, the whistleblower received anonymous death threats from what he believed to be his former coworkers at the Anaheim Police Department. Shortly after he filed the lawsuit, someone shot at his wife while she was driving down the freeway near Anaheim.
Were Craig Hunter and his officers retaliating against the whistleblower for breaking the infamous code of silence? The jury said “yes”.
After the allegations of police abuse surfaced, the department was forced to launch an internal investigation. As expected, the department soon announced that all officers involved were innocent.
So why did the young suspects so frequently arrive at the station bloodied and bruised?
The internal investigators were never able to solve that mystery. In the age before in-car cameras and personal recording devices, officer oversight in the Anaheim PD was lax. Allegations of suspect abuse were frequently shoved under the rug, according to a local civil rights group called United Neighbors, an activist group that formed in response to the allegations of police brutality.
In the wake of the scandal, Hunter’s department was subjected to investigations by both the US. Commission on Civil Rights and the US Department of Justice. With the feds breathing down his neck, Craig Hunter orchestrated “the biggest cover-up I’ve seen in my life”, according to officer Nolan. The feds were never able to gather enough evidence to file charges against Hunter, although California Supreme Court Justices eventually acknowledged that Nolan had brought to light a legitimate problem within the Anaheim PD.
In the end, the whistleblower was threatened, intimidated and pushed out of the department, eventually moving on to become the Mayor of Corona. Meanwhile, the accused officers were promoted up the chain of command at the Anaheim Police Department. One of those officers was Deputy Chief Craig Hunter, and now he wants to be the elected Sheriff of Orange County.
OCCCWS just issued an “Action Alert” asking its members to pester OC Supervisors Chris Norby, Patricia Bates and Bill Campbell to endorse their candidate for OC Sheriff, Craig Hunter. Standard PAC activity, for sure. But this is no ordinary PAC.
If you remember a few posts back, we talked about how OCCCWS is lead by a group of gun guys who wrote letters in support of Mike Carona after he was convicted on felonious corruption charges. Additionally, OCCCWS leader Greg Block was granted special access inside Carona’s department, which Block used to enrich his firearms training company and torment weapons permit applicants.
So will the Supes lend an ear to these masters of Caronyism? Or will they be careful to distance themselves from the empire of corruption that left a still-lingering stanky stench on the OCSD and the rest of Orange County government?
And what about the guy who is actually running, Anaheim cop Craig Hunter? Is he worthy of endorsement or will investigations into a dark past expose a potential Carona 2.0? Stick around, this isn’t over yet.
Perhaps the felonious Mike Carona promised them that these letters would not be released to the public. Or maybe Greg Block and Bill Prentice owed Carona a huge favor. Whatever the reason, these two leaders of the OCCCWS PAC wrote fluffy letters in support of disgraced ex-sheriff Mike Carona when he was about to be sentenced for his crime earlier this year.
Already mentioned was the fact that these two are backing Anaheim cop Craig Hunter for OC Sheriff. We even supposed that they were instrumental in getting the candidate to run, given that they threw out rumors of his candidacy and announced his run before even Craig Hunter himself could put the word out.
The Capistrano Dispatch published a long list of letters sent to the court in support of Carona before his sentencing. In Greg Block’s letter to Judge Guilford (Exhibit 11), he wrote gems like “Mike Corona (sp) is a good man with a big heart” and “Mike gave his time and heart to the County of Orange making it a better place”.
Sure he did. And then he earned himself 66 months in federal prison.
The founder of OCCCWS, Bill Prentice, also wrote his own sappy letter (Exhibit 46). It was slightly less embarrassing, but went down the same slimy path of asking Judge Guilford to let Carona off the hook.
So why did Block write this shameful letter? If you remember our last post on this subject, you know that Carona allowed Greg Block to have special access inside the OCSD and Greg used that access to promote his firearms training business and taunt CCW applicants. Block’s access to the department has been hindered since Carona’s departure, and he looks to be attempting to restore his insider access to the department through candidate Craig Hunter.
Bottom line: There is no question that Craig Hunter is backed by Carona insiders and apologists.
Shortly after Anaheim cop Craig Hunter announced his candidacy for OC Sheriff, a PAC called OCCCWS jumped to endorse him. Of course we found that interesting, since “Ordinary California Citizens Concerned With Safety” is primarily focused on issuance of concealed weapons permits to civilians, an issue on which candidate Bill Hunt has taken the most pro-2nd amendment stance possible.
So why wouldn’t this gun PAC get behind Bill Hunt instead of launching their own candidate?
According to our sources, OCCCWS is a front for a company called “Greg Block Firearms Training” in Huntington Beach. Those who have been following the improvements to the concealed weapons permit (CCW) process over the years know that Greg Block was a civilian who Mike Carona allowed to hold unusual influence within the OC Sheriff’s department.
Back in Carona’s corrupt heyday, most Orange County CCW applicants gathered on an internet forum called californiaccw.org to seek advice on applying for a permit. Greg Block ran the forum, offering advice to gun permit applicants, selling his training classes and sharing details on Sheriff’s department internals with curious gun nuts.
It wasn’t long before the power of Block’s OCSD connections went to his head. Archived forum posts from the now-defunct website show that Greg Block held his insider influence in a threatening manner over the heads of potential gun permit applicants, going as far as reaching inside the department to sabotage the application of an individual who dared to question interim Sheriff Jack Anderson’s policy. Evidence of this appalling abuse will be revealed soon enough.
So back to Craig Hunter’s run for OC Sheriff: Is Greg Block seeking to restore his influence on the department via OCCCWS? A firearms instructor who used insider connections to shove applicants through Carona’s department procedures sure would have a strong interest in putting a friend back in office.
And why the animosity towards Bill Hunt, who ran against Carona and accused him of running an incompetent department? Are Block and OCCCWS harboring a grudge against the man who spoke out against his Caronian meal ticket?