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Politics and Policing in Yorba Linda; Election 2012

Posted by Brenda McCune on October 19, 2012

I saved the seven pieces of mail I have received so far related to the Yorba Linda City Council race. Here are the two that I found most disturbing.

These pieces are sent by the “Association of Orange County Sheriff’s Independent Expenditure”.

These pieces make the same claim that the contract with OC Sheriff will save the city $10 million dollars. This is over the course of the five year contracted term and based upon the proposal which was approved several months ago. The claims go on to state that the new contract, at the lower rate will give Yorba Linda a “full service police station” for the first time, give Yorba Linda a Chief of Police, provide greater protection and hire displaced Brea Police officers. The veracity of all of these claims have been widely debated in my earlier blogs here and in several other (mostly sponsored) forums. The soundness of the bid, the assertions of nearly magical outcomes and historic savings are not the issue in this election.

Citizens of Yorba Linda, if you were not certain before, now that you have received your ballots and sample ballots, this issue is not, has not, will not, be put to you the voters for a vote. Your council, Schwing, Rikel and Anderson, voting en masse as they do (Your other two representatives are also not part of this discussion as they are irrelevant) have already decided this issue for you, and the train has left the station. The transition is set to occur by May 2013.

As this situation developed and unfolded, in the Spring of 2012, it was covered on a regular basis, here on OC Political.

With that resounding victory behind them, our council could turn their attention to more pressing matters, their re-election.

You may recall, that in 2010, a MEASURE Y appeared on your ballot. It involved ethics of City officials and essentially prohibited any candidate from accepting any donation from ANY contractor with the city. This was targeted at that time at specific organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, that had in the past, ventured so far as to endorse business friendly candidates. It was a witch hunt environment that surrounded the 2010 City Council election and the Measure (which was identical to a City Ordinance that had already passed and been made law) and certainly chilled the free speech of many in our city and discouraged involvement in the process.

The supporters, again Schwing, Rikel, Anderson, of Measure Y, promoted it as a measure that was consistent with the overall approach of the Republican party, locally and statewide to reel in candidates whose campaigns may be funded by Government Employee Unions.

Of the Majority Three, only Anderson was up for re-election in 2010.

In 2012, both Schwing and Rikel are facing re-election.

Following their granting of the $10 million dollar policing contract to the Orange County Sheriff Department, it was nice of the Union to repay them with the two very large (8×10 glossy, 2 sided) mail pieces that went to voters in Yorba Linda.

“The fiscal conservative team we can trust”…..Yep. So long as your definition of ‘fiscal conservative’ means union hack. “Leaving no stone unturned to root out government waste”, when you define government waste as 40 years of institutional knowledge. Well they’ve certainly rooted out something, and I can only wonder if and when Yorba Linda voters are going to stand up to the charade.

These incumbents, in their other mailers, boast prolifically about their “endorsements”. I can not speak to the process by with Assemblyman Hagman and Congressman Royce made their decision to endorse these incumbents, but I was present for the Orange County Republican Party Endorsement approval.

On such races, there is no discussion in and among the Central Committee of the Orange County Republican Party. These candidates were the only ones who turned in their requests for endorsements on time, and this is not unusual in small city races. Inexperienced candidates, often with no political professionals to advise them, do not realize the early filing date, and the rapid fire manner in which the endorsements are granted. There were only the two applications for this race. They are Republican. They are incumbents. There was not discussion, no vetting.

However, because the Orange County Republican party is very concerned about fiscal issues, making sure we help true fiscal conservatives to get elected, and not usher in more special interest lackeys, there is an application. Four pages of fairly extensive, Republican ideal quizzing. On Page One, the applying candidate must sign the following “Union-Free” pledge:

“I WILL NOT ACCEPT CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM GOVERNMENT UNIONS”

I’m not sure how Mr. Schwing and Ms. Rikel want to explain this, because their application would not have ben processed by the Central Committee without it all complete. Perhaps they will say the mailers were a “spontaneous protest” and not a “pre-planned strategic strike”. Are the pledge and the policies to mean anything? Not to mention the outright violation of their own law. I fully anticipate their argument about semantics will be that these mailers were not ‘contributions’ processed by their campaigns. We will soon know what the voters have to say about it all.

21 Responses to “Politics and Policing in Yorba Linda; Election 2012”

  1. Erik Brown said

    Yikes

    Thanks

    Erik

    DMI Direct Washington DC | California

    Office: 888.357.9182 Mobile: 714.272.8636

    http://www.dmidirect.com

  2. Ed Rakochy said

    As usual Brenda, your blog is full of half-truths. Neither Rikel or Schwing sought or accepted the endorsement of the Sheriff”s union, nor have they accepted ANY contributions from the union. In addition, both Schwing & Rikel did not accept the endorsement or any money from the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association.

    You’re a pretty smart person and you and I both know the Sheriff’s union mailers are what’s called an Independent Expenditure. That’s when a group, committee or an individual pays for political advertising without the consent or knowledge of the candidate they are promoting. You make your Sheriff’s mailers discovery sound like you stumbled on the 18-minute gap in Nixon’s White House tapes. So, please save the grandstanding for when you come up with some real evidence of ethics violations.

    By the way did you forget to mention:

    1. Council candidate Gene Hernandez received two Independent Expenditure mailers from both the Orange County Jobs Coalition (OCJC) and the Orange County Taxpayers Association (OCTA). Both are political action committees and both are connected to the development and real estate industries. In fact, OCJC’s latest financial statement reveals that the Building Industry Association of Southern California contributed $15,000, while the OC Taxpayers Association contributed $10,000 and the Lincoln Club of Orange County another $10,000. At least the Sheriff’s union isn’t hiding behind some bogus title that sounds like it’s in the best interests of taxpayers and jobs. Give me a break.

    2. Both Gene Hernandez and Craig Young accepted the endorsement of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, the union that represents firefighters employed by the Orange County Fire Authority. Hmmm. So much for adhering to that OCGOP pledge, cuz after all, endorsements are like money in the bank.

    3. You neglected to disclose in your post that you have endorsed Hernandez and Young and in fact were on the Host Committee for their fundraiser hosted by your good friend Councilman Jim Winder at Black Gold Golf Club. I trust they’ll be reporting your blogging as a non-monetary contribution to their campaigns.

    4. You received the endorsement of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association (union) in your failed 2010 election bid. So, we’ve got the pot calling the kettle black. But, what’s worse is the kettle didn’t accept ANY union endorsements. The pot did. C’mon Brenda. You can find a better soap box than the one you’re standing on.

    In conclusion, implying a Measure Y violation by Rikel or Schwing is totally disingenuous, particularly  since you failed to mention your support of two other candidates and tell the whole story about Independent Expenditures and the real union endorsements. You must be happy you don’t have to subscribe to any journalism ethics code at OC Political.

    • Ed, Why do you think that anyone is interested in your ramblings?

      • Ed Rakochy said

        That’s the best you can do Brenda? I expected an intelligent response and got a childish one instead. Such class from a Central Committee member.

        • Manic and off your meds much, Ed? People like you are precisely the reason that due process has become meaningless in our great city. Your prolific presence on every online political discussion and everytime the council chambers doors are open, chills free speech and quashes any hope of an open exchange of ideas. Here, as in each and every discussion you engage in, you are excessively and unecessariy abrasive, distort and misrepresent the facts, and are so immensely disrespectful that it is not worth discussing with you.

          For the many years you have been incolved in Yorba Linda politics, you have not gained this insight yet, so I am certain that this feeback as well, falls on pathologically deaf ears. For my readers, I respond, so that they know, I am all to well acquainted with your attack dog tactics, and I’m not playing.

          Your pals obtained the party endorsement surreptitiously. You can call that whatever you want.

          I have always wondered why people who obtain victory by cheating, still count it as a victory. It is a matter of character. That of yours and your cohorts has always been clear to me, but you may, once again succeed in fooling the voters of Yorba Linda.

          Kudos to all of you.

          • Ed Rakochy said

            You crack me up Brenda. You speak of due process, yet you provide readers with your one-sided view and then castigate those who oppose you or offer a different point of view. That is the furthest thing from due process. You have sentenced Rikel & Schwing without due process. I provided hard evidence to support my claims. You answer with specious statements and character assassination because you can’t support your claims.

  3. Ed, why bother following my blog? I am one of the few voices who you and your friends do not own. You guys come out swinging every election, like your losing. (Well I guess you are the only one YLRRR candidate who did, so sorry) Due process? This blog is not a government forum. Due process belongs at the podium in the council chmabers. Where, for the past six years, it has not existed.

    That podium has not provided adequate hearing to anyone except you and your friends. What then is it that you are so angry about? You and your buddies own every issue in Yorba Linda. I will keep speaking that truth. If you find my truth unpleasant, start your own blog and quit trolling mine.

    That your opinion and allignment will be with your friends on each and every issue is no surprise, no revelation and has no connection or correlation to Due Process, unless and only if you are pointing out the nonexistence of it in Yorba Linda.

    Keep attacking me personally, but the uncomfortable point of this post is the misrepresetation your friends made to the local Repulican Party, in order to mislead the voters at large in Yorba Linda.

    Business as usual.

    • edrakochy said

      Dearest Brenda, I was waiting for you to bring up my loss in November ’08. Oh, the humanity. Oh, the damage to my ego. Oh, the pain and suffering. I’m soo deeply hurt by your comments, I may have jump off the jungle gym at Hurless Barton Park.

      Whoop dee doo. I have to be honest. I’m much happier not having to sit up on the dais and have to play the middle-ground every first and third Tuesday of the month. I’m much happier being able to express my opinion freely, especially when it comes to dealing with your nonsense.

    • edrakochy said

      Brenda, I take it that you’re supporting Knappenberger, Hernandez and Young, based on your bashing of the other candidates?

  4. grant b said

    Ed Racochy is the bigges blowhard in Yorba Linda. I have never seen a guy more full of himself other than John Anderson. These two are made for each other.

  5. Jan said

    Brenda, thank you for exposing this portion of the Rikel and Schwing deceptive tactics. They lied during the campaign forums and were caught. They lied on their GOP application and now hope it is too late in the electoral process to make any difference. They lied about added fees and charges inthe police contract and that will eat up the “savings” we were supposed to enjoy.
    I am hopeful your assessment and the subsequent attacks by rackochy will convince any undecided voters in Yorba Linda that any YLRRR candidate endorsed by any of the majority council members should be disregarded.

    Ed, the difference between Hernandez receiving PAC money and these guys….. The OC Sheriff is a city contractor. You are splitting hairs by saying it was an independent expenditure. It is still a benefit enjoyed by the council members who sold them the city for 62 thousand dollars. Nice perk. Just a thought. If this was so unexpected, why haven’t Rikel and Schwing sent out the multitude of flyers attmrpting to convince voters how wonderful they are? They certainly would have if the sheriff had not done this for them. Not so transparent and very unethical.

    • edrakochy said

      Jan, The only lie here is the one being perpetrated by you. And, since you have a reputation for lying about things, like the Sheriff building a jail in Yorba Linda, I doubt if people will hear your cries about a wolf.

      Rikel and Schwing did not lie. They did not accept a contribution or endorsement from the Sheriff’s union. If you have hard evidence that they did or there was a quid pro quo for for the Sheriff’s contract, than bring it forth for the public to review and make their own decision.

      Regarding your other specious accusations of ethics, Section 54963 of the Brown Act provides that a person may not disclose confidential information that has been acquired by attending a proper closed session to a person not entitled to receive it, unless the disclosure is authorized by the legislative body.

      During Councilman Winder’s electioneering stunt at the June 23 Council meeting, he read passages from an e-mail from former City Manager Dave Adams that quoted a letter that Mr. Adams had read before the Council at the closed session meeting of June 30, 2010 when Mr. Adams resigned. That resignation letter is NOT a matter of public record. It’s a closed session record and its contents were disclosed publicly by Mr. Winder. He even read direct quotes from that letter.

      In order for Mr. Adams to release the contents of that letter or to summarize the meeting and the letter to the public and for Mr. Winder to do the same, both Mr. Adams and Mr. Winder needed to obtain the permission of the legislative body, which happens to be the City Council. They did not. It was not enough for Mr. Adams to state in his e-mail that he granted Jim Winder his permission to disclose the contents of the closed session letter.

      Winder’s stunt and your participation in it most certainly speak to his level of ethics, integrity and credibility and to yours as well. It’s ironic that in your quests to challenge the ethics of City Council candidates you both revealed your lack of ethics and also broke the law. Thanks for providing evidence on your web sites and Facebook pages for the authorities to review.

      • Jan said

        Again, you are attacking the messenger rather than dealingbwithbthe fact that your candidates lied and got caught. They are participating in an unethical election and knowingly are misleading the public. And the fact the sheriff has a signed contract with the city they are engaging in a violation of the city ethics code. The sheriffs unions gift of $62k and climbing to help them in their election is sad but not surprising coming from them.

        • Ed Rakochy said

          There was no violation of the City’s Ethics Code, because the Sheriff’s union mailers were not a gift or contribution. They are an Independent Expenditure and under the law and IE is NOT a contribution or a gift. It is an expenditure by a committee that does NOT involve the candidates’ collaboration or knowledge. As I said earlier, if you have hard evidence of ANY collaborations, then bring it forward. Otherwise, this is just another one of your political stunts. You will lie, lie, lie and lie and hope one of them sticks. Your techniques are precisely the same as another Chicago native such as yourself, the radical Saul Alinsky. Your actions are right out of his “Rules for Radicals.” Alinsky gave license to the phrase, “The end justifies the mean.” Your actions and words are proof you subscribe to that mantra.

          • Jan said

            Ed, you need to look in the mirror and see that you have a log in your eye! I do not care if you call it an independent expenditure. Isn’t that what you fought back in the day of developers assisting candidates? But now that your candidates are on the receiving end of it….it is ok?
            Any contractor for the city should adhere to the ethics ordinance. Our council members should adhere to the ethics ordinance. They have not done so and it is clear now that we can see the sheriff union 460’s. $62,000 is a lot of help and that does not include all of the help they gave anderson during the recall, the robo calls, flyers, signs, etc….. In addition to the sheriffs children being asked to stand in front of markets for the recall. then the Council lied about that too even tho i personally saw them together. they lied about the termination of our city managers. what else?
            Rikel schwing and anderson have misused city funds, pitted neighbors against each other, made unrealistic promises and exposed our city to significant lawsuits. They have pandered to you and ylrrr along with others in the community. they have made veiled threats during the recall process and are desperate to retain control…this is not the type of community representative the community wants to serve them.
            Get a grip Ed and move on.

            • Ed Rakochy said

              Jan, There you go again making things up and are acting as your own judge, jury and executioner. I’ve pasted the section of the ethics ordinance below that deals with City contractors. Unless you can provide proof that Councilmembers solicited the Independent Expenditures, your full of your usual baloney. There are no ethics violations. Just like you have the right to endlessly spew your lies and half truths on this and other blogs. The Sheriff’s union has the right to purchase a mailer without a candidate’s consent or solicitation. It’s called FREE SPEECH.

              2.44.010 – No solicitation of campaign contributions from city contractors.

              It is unlawful for any City Official to use his or her position or prospective position, or the power or authority of his or her office or position, in any manner intended to induce or coerce any person, firm, entity or any labor association affiliated with any of the foregoing, that is under current contract to do business with the city or desires to contract to do business with the city, to make a campaign contribution to an individual, political action committee or association of citizens in connection with promoting or opposing any candidate for city council or any municipal initiative or referendum on the ballot for a City election, or to accept a campaign contribution from an existing city contractor or labor association of a city contractor. For purposes of this section, City Official shall mean a Council Member, a Commissioner or any other person required by the City’s Conflict of Interest Code to file a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest. Furthermore, this section shall not prohibit a City Official from seeking a campaign contribution from an employee of a city contractor in the case where the employee resides within the City.

          • Jan said

            Splitting hairs again. This council knew exactly what would happen if they brought the union into town. So…
            Heard you are circulating another flyer discrediting Hernandez, young and Knappenberger with half truths and scare tactics. True rackochy style and YLRRR tactics. Hopefully the community will see through all your smoke and mirrors Ed. You are the biggest blow hard in Yorba linda. And you don’t even live here full time. Occasional stay in an illegal garage apartment does not give you much credibility. But it certainly scored you a seat on a city commission thanks to your YLRRR council majority. Peterson got one too….. Just saying, this majority council is corrupt to the bone.

            • Ed Rakochy said

              Since you’re the only Councilperson who officially broke the law and were fined $3000 for doing so, I’d say you don’t have a lot of room to rag on Councilmembers about ethics and corruption.

              • Jan said

                Once again Ed. That was nothing more than a simple mistake that you, Rikel and anderson capitalized on. Fine was paid and this conversation is about the unethical behavior of the sitting majority council and the sheriff union. Deflection is a tactic you are using to take tha attention away from those who deserve the scrutiny.

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