The stakes are high and the race is heating up for the Riverside County Supervisor. Candidates, businessman Kevin Jeffries and incumbent Bob Buster, both veteran lawmakers, are accusing each other of misleading voters.
The candidates are familiar with political spin but the mudslinging, according to Jeffries, has gone too far and he is fighting back.
Last week, a flyer was sent out by Buster to voters outlining each candidates voting record on job creation.
Buster claims in the flyer that Jeffries voted for job killer bills. The flyer, according to Jeffries, is more than just a distortion of the truth and he is fighting back.
Over the weekend Jeffries’ Chief of Staff Jeff Greene said: “This is not a difference of spin or interpretation, but completely wrong. His researchers clearly missed where the bills were completely gutted and amended into different bills either before or after Kevin voted for them. A complete lack of understanding of how legislation is done in Sacramento.”
“We are in damage control and will be dedicating a page on my campaign site addressing the fairytale claims,” said Jeffries.
Jeffries sent out a press release titled, “Is Bob Buster Lying to Voters, or Simply Incompetent?” where he accused Buster of falsely accusing him of supporting 34 “job killer” bills in Sacramento and voted against foreclosure reform.
Jeffries said that in his six years as assemblyman he voted on 199 bills and only voted in favor of two job killer bills, AB 278 (Eng; D-Monterey Park)/SB 900 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Impedes Economic Recovery.
This bill protects homeowners from a dual process of going through a modification and foreclosure at the same time.
The second bill was AB 1208, legislation that provides trial courts more local autonomy.
The stakes are high in the race for County Supervisor. Jeffries with 29 years of public service has served as State Assemblymen for the 66th District since 2006 and termed out. Buster has been the incumbent since 1993 and is fighting for another term.
“This is the first time in 20 years (Buster) has had a real challenge for his seat and it shows desperation,” said Jeffries.
District one covers more than 400,000 residents including most of Riverside, Lake Elsinore, Lake Mathews, Wildomar, Canyon Lake and areas west of Temecula and Murrieta.
A debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Northwest Riverside County, Residents for Responsible Representation and the NAACP held recently saw accusations between both candidates on fact distortion.
Buster said during the most recent debate that bill AB 278 would not help the foreclosure crisis and the county took a proactive approach early on recognizing a problem and deployed code enforcement officers to prevent rundown foreclosures causing blight in neighborhoods.
Jeffries’ platform for supervisor is to champion for small businesses, bring a new vision and new energy to the 1st District. Buster is running on his record of job creation, diversifying the economy and enhancing public safety.
Buster’s re-election campaign boasts his accomplishments in office, like helping UC Riverside’s medical school, which has been said by county officials to bring in over 2000 jobs by 2021. Buster also highlights his work in overhauling the pension system where he supports employees paying into their pensions. This move is expected to save the state over $850 million in the next ten years.
Jeffries said that Buster’s 20 years in one office was enough and it is time for a change.
Jeffries said he will fight against new taxes in Sacramento, and pointed out his endorsement by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. As supervisor, Jeffries said he will work hard to make county government friendlier for small businesses.
Michelle Mears-Gerst is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.