Fourth District Supervisor candidate Harry Sidhu. (Photo credit: Harry Sidhu's campaign website)

Orange County’s public employee unions spent more than $1.2 million on the races for Orange County sheriff and north Orange County supervisor between Jan. 1 and May 22, according to records filed with the County Registrar of Voters.

Anaheim City Councilman and Orange County Board of Supervisors candidate Harry Sidhu was the largest beneficiary of union cash during that period. The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs spent more than $595,000 for television ads, radio spots and mailers to voters on Sidhu’s behalf.

Meanwhile, the Orange County Employees Association reported spending more than $285,000 to oppose Fullerton City Councilman Shawn Nelson, who is running against Sidhu for the Fourth District supervisor seat.

The next largest beneficiary was sheriff candidate Bill Hunt. The deputies union spent $410,000 on ads, mailers and email campaign literature supporting Hunt.

Such independent expenditures by unions and other groups must be publicly reported. They are made without the involvement of the candidates they benefit.

In recent weeks Hunt has had a rough time with police unions. He lost the endorsement of the Santa Ana and La Habra police officers unions because, as a private investigator, he worked to aid a gang member. AOCDS has been silent on this issue.

I will be heading to the Registrar of Voters office today to tally up more of these reports and see who has given, and what, since May 22.


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