Baker 0: I Was Never a Decoy Candidate

The San Clemente City Council challenger with the same name as his incumbent rival says he was running against his opponent's voting record. He has since dropped out, but his name remains on the ballot.

Bob Baker, the challenger to an incumbent with the same name in next week's San Clemente City Council election, says he wants to set the record straight on his now-defunct candidacy.

(Baker's name will still appear on the ballot because he dropped out after it was too late to remove his name.)

Incumbent City Councilman Bob Baker (designated on the ballot as Robert "Bob" Baker 1) has hurled accusations that challenger Bob Baker (still on the ballot as Robert "Bob" Baker 0) was running a decoy candidacy to split the incumbent's votes.

Baker 0 denies being a plant. "I filed to run for San Clemente City Council, because I was against the other Bob Baker’s voting record," he said in a letter to the editor to the Orange County Register. "The other Bob Baker refused to support handicapped restrooms at Courtney’s Sandcastle, he voted against the Farmer’s Market, and he voted against the Sports Wall of Fame at the Vista Hermosa sports park."

Baker 0 went on to say he decided to stop campaigning because of harsh political attacks, finances and the realization he didn't have the "political muscle" in town to win.

"As I explored the financial and time commitment of the campaign, I began to have second thoughts," Baker 0 writes in his letter. "In addition, the other Bob Baker’s attacks continued to increase. In the end it became clear I did not have the needed political muscle and experience to win, and I was unwilling to have my family endure the other Bob Baker’s heartless insults."

Baker 1's opponents have said they were unaware of Baker 0's decision to run when he first started collecting signatures.

Read the rest of the OC Register letter here.

Tom Barnes October 31, 2012 at 07:39 PM
4 Pinocchio's to Bob Baker 0. He really expects the citizens of San Clemente to believe him. He never intended to run as a legitimate candidate and his ploy is working perfectly as he is still be on the ballot although he is not running. This kind of shameful "dirty tricks" politics has no place in San Clemente elections. For clean, above board government vote for 1 Bob Baker and Chris Hamm for City Council.
David Weber October 31, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Really Tom? Clean? Bob Baker 1 has run the dirtiest campaign in the history of San Clemente. He and his developer buddy Charles Mann continually spew vicious lies...For a fresh, common sense perspective that San Clemente desperately needs, vote Mortenson for city council.
Tom Barnes November 01, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Mr. Weber, name the lies. As a historian I deal in facts not innuendo. Your comments deserve 3 Pinnocchio's saying "vicious lies" without naming them. If you cannot name them then you cannot say what you did. By the way, where do you stand on the Bob Baker 0 scheme? Do you support it?
Kathleen Ward November 01, 2012 at 01:13 AM
What was dirty about Bob Baker's campaign? The fact that he called out that the campaigns for Mortenson and Dahl put up a fake candidate to confuse the voters? How dare you, Bob Baker, say the obvious! You were supposed to just let them get away with it.
James Schumaker November 01, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Whether or not Baker 0 was a decoy candidate, the net result for the publiic has been a wave of sympathy for the incumbent City Council member, Bob Baker 1. It looks particularly bad that one of Baker 1's opponents on the City Council signed Baker 0's nomination papers, an action that does not square with Baker 0's contention that he was running on his own hook, and not as a decoy. In any case, San Clemente has a clear choice for once. If you favor more development, then you should vote for Jim Dahl and Michael Mortenson. If you are less enthusiastic about development, then Bob Baker 1 and Chris Hamm should get your vote.


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