Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) told a conservative group Monday that he believes his Republican opponent in the June 5 primary will bow down to unions and special-interest groups in Sacramento.
During a Surf City Tea-sponsored forum in the Huntington Beach Central Library, Mansoor said Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, who is running against him in the 74th Assembly District race, supports unions and raising taxes.
"That's a clear difference between me and my opponent, who calls herself Republican," he said.
Daigle said Tuesday that there is no basis to Mansoor's claims.
"There's nothing in my record of public service that suggests I'm a tax-raiser," she said. "I would say that together with my colleagues, we've gotten more pension reform [in Newport Beach] than Allan [did when he was on the Costa Mesa council].
"Several of the employee groups are now paying their full share of their employee pension, and we're in the process of working with police and fire, and we anticipate reaching an agreement by the end of the month."
Daigle, who is considered a moderate Republican, said nothing in Mansoor's public service record shows that he's been able to match her in pension reform.
"Reform begins at home," she said. "Allan stands to collect, in a couple years, at the age of 50, a pension for life from working as a jail guard."
Mansoor is a former deputy sheriff.
During the tea party-inspired forum, Mansoor didn't mention his Democratic opponent, Newport Beach activist Bob Rush, except to say that he'd rather face him in November in the heavily Republican district that spans Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Irvine.
Daigle is rallying in the fundraising arena.
Northern California Republican activist Charles Munger Jr., the son of billionaire Charles Munger, a business partner of Warren Buffett, contributed $360,000 toward the expenditure group Spirit of Democracy California.
The California Dental Assn. Independent Expenditure's political action committee contributed $150,000 to the group.
So far, Spirit of Democracy has paid about $236,000 to Daigle's campaign for consultants, literature, mailings and television ads, according to state filings.
Asked of her relationship with Munger and Spirit of Democracy, Daigle said there's none.
"They've acted without my knowledge, my understanding or consultation," she said.
Daigle would not reveal when she became aware of the contributions.
A call to Spirit of Democracy was not returned.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's wife and campaign manager, Rhonda Rohrabacher, attended the forum and told attendees that Mansoor is "in the race of his life right now" after Daigle received the uptick in contributions.
Mansoor is facing new constituents as a result of statewide redistricting. He previously served as mayor of Costa Mesa, where he took a hard line on illegal immigration.
Daigle said Mansoor left Costa Mesa in a financial mess and has been ineffective in Sacramento.