Sheriff Lee Baca has always been a little strange, but he's 71 now, and his eccentricities are becoming more pronounced with age. Among his more out-there ideas is his fixation on living to be 100 years old.
How's he going to do that? So glad you asked! With YOR Health nutritional shakes!
As ABC7 reported on Monday, Baca has been doing promotional videos for YOR Health — a multi-level marketing company which, depending on whom you ask, may or may not be a pyramid scheme. Baca seems to believe that the company's products will allow him to cheat death for decades to come.
“Hi, I'm Lee Baca and I'm the Sheriff of Los Angeles County and I'm going to live to be 100 years old and beyond,” he says in one promotional video.
Well, if ex-mayor Antonio Villaraigosa can promote a multi-level marketing company, then why not the sheriff? Well, there is the small fact that Baca is still in office. Generally, you're supposed to cash in on your government service only after you quit.
But Baca's spokesman, Steve Whitmore, says that Baca is not getting paid for these endorsements.
“Not a dime, nothing. They don't pay him for anything,” Whitmore told ABC7.
Well, unless you count the $527 in travel expenses that YOR Health paid to get Baca to speak at one of their conferences, or the $1,000 contribution from YOR Health to Baca's campaign.
Whitmore told the Weekly that Baca does not even receive free YOR Health products for his trouble.
“He tells me, and I've asked him several times, that he pays for the product,” Whitmore said.
Dennis Wong, YOR Health's co-founder, has a bit of a checkered history with the federal government, having paid a $400,000 settlement over an earlier company that was found to be an illegal marketing scheme.
After ABC7 and CBS2 started asking questions about this, Baca decided to cut ties with the company. The promotional videos have been removed from the Internet.
“He may have been a little overly enthusiastic about this,” Whitmore said.
But Whitmore adds that won't stop him from drinking the shakes: “He still very much loves this product.”
Asked if Baca plans to be sheriff until he's 100, Whitmore said, “We'll see.”
Notably, one of Baca's favorite books happens to be Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death. Make of that what you will.