Wendy Bucknum Campaign Update
Part 15, self-enrichment, self-service and the self-licking endorsers
Wendy Bucknum, a professional lobbyist in the housing industry, is running for a Mission Viejo council seat in November. Previous articles in this series document Bucknum’s lobbying activities, her special-interest financiers, how she gets endorsements from elected officials and the payoffs elected officials expect in return for supporting a lobbyist
In addition to campaigning for herself, Bucknum currently is campaigning for Frank Ury (for OC Board of Supervisors) and Mimi Walters (for 45th Congressional District). Bucknum IS their campaign in Mission Viejo. Ury and Walters are stuffing mailboxes with slick mailers, but they lack ground troops. Campaign signs for Ury and Walters are being planted (or strung from trees) by Bucknum. Ury signs are often placed directly in front of Ming’s signs – the type of poor sportsmanship people notice.
Bucknum’s connection to Walters is the typical relationship between a professional lobbyist and a career politician, but why is Bucknum campaigning for Ury?
Ury is running for a nonpartisan county office, and that contest could end on June 3 if any candidate gets 50 percent plus one vote. It’s unlikely Ury will get a majority on June 3, so the following scenario is also unlikely. Ury’s supposed ascent on June 3 would leave a vacancy on the MV City Council. The remaining four council members would choose an appointee to fill the vacant seat until the November city election. Bucknum is counting on three votes: Kelley, Leckness and Reardon. Ury would have no vote because he’d be off the council, and Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht’s vote wouldn’t matter with the other three votes lined up for Bucknum.
Unless BOS candidate Robert Ming gets a majority on June 3, the top two vote-getters in the 5th District (probably Ming and Ury) will face off in the November election.
Bucknum is also campaigning for Anna Bryson, a candidate for the 73rd Assembly District seat. Bryson as a Capo school district trustee is a reliable supporter of the teachers’ union. She’s unpopular with political groups, activists, volunteers, conservatives and CUSD parents. Bucknum isn’t as energized for Bryson, but she’s putting a few of her signs on street corners.
A Ury sign in a Mission Viejo yard identifies the address of an uninformed voter who has been approached by Bucknum. Rather than support for Ury, the sign placement is more a dress rehearsal for Bucknum, who will need the same yards for her own signs in November.