O.C. candidate removed from local GOP after George Wallace mailer
Deborah Pauly, the outspoken Villa Park councilwoman who drew community ire when she protested outside an Islamic charity event, was removed this week from a leadership position with the Orange County Republican Party's central committee.
Party officials said Pauly, who is running for county supervisor, has been a divisive figure.
Her removal comes days after Orange businessman Bob Walters mailed letters on Pauly's behalf to voters on "George Wallace for President" letterhead. The stationery appears to have been left over from Walters' stint as chairman of Wallace's failed campaign for president in 1967.
The mailer urged citizens to vote for Pauly, who is in a heated race for a supervisor’s seat, and was the subject of a complaint to the state's Fair Political Practices Commission.
Pauly previously told the L.A. Times that she did not know of Walters’ ties to the former governor, who was associated with segregation during his years in power.
The Villa Park councilwoman sparked outrage last year when she appeared outside a charity function. "I know quite a few Marines who will be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise," Pauly said at the time.
In 2010, Pauly was taken to task after writing on her Facebook page that applauding President Obama’s healthcare bill was “like applauding a mugging or a rape.”
On Monday, Pauly was removed as first vice chair of the county's Republican Party on a motion by Scott Baugh, the chairman of the GOP.
Baugh said that Pauly is a divisive force in the party at a time when unity is needed. “These are not just my opinions, they’ve been brought to me by dozens and dozens of people who share my concerns,” he said at the meeting.
“She makes statements out there that I’m constantly having to defend,” he said.
At the meeting, which was videotaped, Pauly said that she is being criticized because she is not an “establishment status-quo Republican.”
She blamed Baugh for attempting to taint her supervisorial campaign against Todd Spitzer, a former state assemblyman and supervisor. “You are being used as political pawns in a game,” she told committee members.
Emily Sanford, a longtime member of the party, said in a letter to the committee that over the years she has seen many officers come and go, but Pauly’s behavior stands out.
Pauly, Sanford wrote, seems to “enjoy being unnecessarily provocative."
She said that Pauly's statements only make the Republican Party appear "insensitive."
A small group of protesters, including Donald Craig, the president of the Orange County chapter of the NAACP, spoke about the Wallace letterhead mailer at a Villa Park council meeting Tuesday night before being cut off by the city attorney.
Craig said Wednesday that Pauly has not done anything to separate herself from the Wallace flier.
“It hit a nerve with us,” he said. “You can’t be in the middle with something like this.”
-- Nicole Santa Cruz
Photo: Deborah Pauly. Credit: City of Villa Park