Assembly candidate Dr. Jennifer Ong Nov. 3 in Union City. PHOTO/MATT SANTOS msantosphotographer.com
[UPDATED, 3:20 p.m.] Part of Dr. Jennifer Ong’s attempt last week to make her support of Proposition 30 clear to voters was a “whisper campaign” waged by her opponent, Bill Quirk, said Ong’s campaign manager.
Bob Twomey, Ong’s campaign manager, says Quirk is also telling supporters and political insiders Ong is in favor of Proposition 32, the initiative viewed by many Democrats as an attempt by business interests to limit union power.
“Bill is calling people to tell me she’s Yes on 32 just to plant the seed,” Twomey told The Citizen at an event last Saturday in Union City. In fact, Twomey says he has at least seven sources who say Quirk is passing around a falsehood about Ong’s positions on the propositions.
“She has never said that and he never asked her those things, but he was quoted through many people as saying that in a whisper campaign,” said Twomey. “That’s bush league. If you want to go to Sacramento, be fair, be professional and do the right thing.”
Quirk’s use of his opponent’s previously soft stance on Proposition 30, the potentially crucial sales tax initiative proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown to help education in the state, has become a standard point of attack for his campaign over the past month.
The issue of Prop. 32, however, has never really been broached during this campaign and because of its threat against labor unions, has rarely been touched by any Democratic Party candidate in the state. Quirk says Ong’s opposition to Prop. 32 was clear to him, but not her platform on Prop. 30.
“I have never said anything about Dr. Ong and Prop 32 other than when people asked me, I said she was opposed to 32,” Quirk said Monday. “She made her opposition to 32 quite clear in our forums. Given Ong’s statement on 30 to The Citizen and her hit on me for supporting 30, I believe I was justified In telling my supporters that she was opposed to 30. Unlike Dr. Ong, who criticized me for supporting a tax increase, I did not report her support or opposition in any campaign email or mail.”
NOTE: Additions to the article were made after its publication.