Who’s behind anti-Ozenick campaign mailers?

Group calls itself League of Placer County Taxpayers
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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The group calling itself the League of Placer County Taxpayers is on a mission to dissuade Roseville residents from voting for candidate Phil Ozenick for City Council in the Nov. 6 election.

That group has distributed at least two pieces of campaign literature to residents in the past month attacking Ozenick and one mailer endorsing incumbent Carol Garcia and Roseville Transportation Commissioner Bonnie Gore.

But the group’s activism leaves some angered and confused, namely Wally Reemelin — the man who cofounded the Auburn-based League of Placer County Taxpayers in 1972 and who, as president, initiated its dissolution in October 2011.

“Some apparently took that as an open invitation to hijack our name and reputation for their own political gain,” Reemelin said in a statement.

Reemelin said the current incarnation is being “dishonest” by taking advantage of the league’s name recognition. The group gained press through the years for its efforts to fight what it considered government overspending, cronyism and corruption.

The man leading the group’s current efforts — Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler — said he decided to revive the league when the former group called it quits.

“My hope is to reconstitute the organization and restore some of the original luster the organization had,” Uhler said.

In early October, the new league distributed a letter to residents of Sun City Roseville claiming to correct two claims Ozenick made. The letter is signed by Uhler, Roseville Vice Mayor Susan Rohan, Roseville Councilman John Allard, along with former mayors Gina Garbolino, Harry Crabb, Claudia Gamar-Heinlen and Jim Gray. Former city manager Al Johnson also signed the document.

Another mailer sent by the league describes its group as having “formed in 1972 to enforce integrity in government.” Reemelin said this statement misleads voters.

According to the Placer County Elections Office, the new group’s political action committee filed the appropriate form — the Statement of Organization — on Oct. 4, which is required under the Political Reform Act by any entity anticipating to receive contributions totaling $1,000 or more during a calendar year.

The new group’s principal officer is listed as Eric Sanchez of Granite Bay, who is a Uhler-appointed former member of the Granite Bay Municipal Advisory Committee.

“We had hundreds of dues-paying members,” Reemelin said. “It should be noted that when I last checked, neither Mr. Uhler nor Mr. Sanchez were among them.”

Uhler acknowledged that the new league has not held any membership meetings yet, but he hopes to eventually have between 300 and 500 members.