Tulare County sheriff candidate accuses rival of breaking the law while campaigning

The Tulare County race for sheriff is heating up, and now one candidate is accusing the other of breaking the law while campaigning.
February 21, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A South Valley race for sheriff is heating up, and now one candidate is accusing the other of breaking the law while campaigning.

Tulare County Sheriff candidate Dave Whaley came out with accusations blazing over a gun raffle fundraiser being held by his opponent -- Acting Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.

For months, Whaley says Boudreaux has been passing out and posting fliers asking people to buy a $20 ticket for a raffle for a gun. The problem is, holding a raffle in the state of California is considered the same as a lottery and is illegal for political campaigns.

"This is a misdemeanor and it rises to some people say perhaps the level of a felony if numerous people conspired to commit a misdemeanor then it can be a felony under the conspiracy statute," said Whaley.

Whaley says the issue has nothing to do with guns. He's a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. Now, Whaley says Boudreaux's campaign has altered their original raffle posters, saying he's been following the law all along.

"First and foremost my concern is for the citizens of Tulare County," said Boudreaux. "We have a lot bigger things to be focusing on than an issue such as this. We have gang issues; we have ag crimes."

Whaley's campaign says the difference is in the before and after gun raffle posters. The after posters have fine print added to them. The fine print says that no one has to actually pay for a ticket and free ones are available.

"There have always been complimentary tickets available. We want to make sure we're always operating above board. We took that extra step to make sure the flier has that disclaimer in there so you know that there's no purchase necessary," said Boudreaux.

But Whaley says when he talked to store owners who were selling the raffle tickets, he got no such impression.

"I said, 'You were selling them, right?' Yes, personally he was selling them," said Whaley. "I said, 'Were you instructed to give anyone a free ticket? Absolutely not -- we were selling those tickets."

Whaley's campaign sent a letter to the district attorney and attorney general's offices about the raffle and is hoping Boudreaux is held accountable.

Boudreaux insists they never did anything wrong and have been following the law diligently.


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