Atlas PAC Endorsed Candidates Make Their Final Push
Posted by Greg Woodard on October 30, 2012
The Atlas PAC, a conservative group that believes in the ideals of limited government, free market enterprise, low taxation, and individual liberty, held a forum on October 24 for its endorsed candidates. A veritable who’s who of Orange County state legislators arrived, with 5 current or prospective members of the Assembly and State Senator Mimi Walters making a brief appearance. Director Ben Pugh hosted the event, and he urged those in attendance to support the endorsed candidates, both financially and by walking or otherwise getting involved. Each candidate was given a chance to speak and, with less than two weeks before the election, the following made their pitch:
- Allan Mansoor – Allan said that the June primary was tough and that because of the support of Atlas PAC and others, he is likely to win in November. He highlighted the need to fight for pension reform, particularly with the passage of Proposition 32, the fight for the 3Ms in Costa Mesa (Steve Mensinger, Gary Monahan, and Colin McCarthy), the need to pass the charter in Costa Mesa (Yes on V), the pension fight in Huntington Beach, and the need for conservatives to take control of the City Council in Irvine.
- Chris Norby – Chris said that there was one seat in Orange County that could flip from Republican to Democrat – his. He noted that Republicans only hold a 1% registered voter edge in his district, and that he has been outspent 3-1 in the last few weeks, with most of the money for his challenger coming from unions. He said there were 5,000 bills proposed in the last legislative session, and 1,000 of those became laws, which he believes is far too many. He wants at least 1,000 bad laws to be repealed and he promised to fight for common sense and personal responsibility if re-elected.
- Eric Linder – Eric is running in the Inland Empire, but has many long-lasting relationships in Orange County and he said he would not be in position to win his seat if not for Atlas PAC. Eric thanked many in the room for supporting him in the tough June primary. Eric touted his experience as a business owner and said he hopes to serve with those elected officials who were present that night.
- Don Wagner – Don noted that Republicans currently have only a one seat cushion in the Assembly that is preventing the Democrats from imposing unlimited taxes on California residents. Also, one Republican member recently recanted her no taxes pledge. Despite this, he said it will get better – he expects the party to take back one seat recently lost, and that Eric Linder needs to take Jeff Miller’s old seat. He also said that there are 3-4 real possible pickups in the Assembly and that conservatives need to focus their time and resources on these seats in the next couple of weeks.
- Travis Allen- Travis is running in the 72nd District against another Republican, Troy Edgar (this is as a result of Prop. 14, passed in 2010). Travis said that he is a life-long Republican who has been an investment advisor for 16 years. He believes that his race is about no new taxes – and he signed the no new taxes pledge, but his opponent has not. He said that Edgar has raised taxes as a City Council member 12 times and he was a registered Democrat until 2006. Travis thinks we have too many bench warmers in the Sacramento with no core principles who do nothing. He believes he has the ability, desire, and educational background to make a difference. He will not raise taxes and he will make the voters proud.
Irvine City Council
- Steven Choi – Steven said this is the year that Democrat Larry Agran is going to be beat, and the Republicans will win 3 seats between his race, and the two other Republican council candidates – Christina Shea and Lynn Schott. Steven said the Atlas PAC endorsement helps him a lot, and that the voters he is meeting say that they have or will vote for him.
- Lynn Schott – Lynn previously ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2010 and she has spent the last two years building up name recognition in the city. She emphasized kitchen table issues for the city – Irvine was ground-zero for the subprime collapse and many residents lost their jobs and homes (she noted that there are 100 homeless students in the city). She said the current council majority is tone-deaf to the residents’ struggle to pay for gas, school supplies, and groceries. She gave the example of the majority giving an across-the-board 6% raise to city employees, at a cost of $2.5 million. She is a 27-year resident of the city and Larry Agran has been in power during that entire time. Lynn wants to give Agran a retirement party on November 6.
Aliso Viejo City Council
- Mike Munzing – Mike said running has been an educational experience. His city is 7.5 square miles and he said that no one has run and won against the original council members, but he plans on being the first. Mike said he is loud, visible, and everywhere (those of us who know Mike will attest to that). Mike said he has hit the city once, but he wants to hit it again. So, on the Saturday before the election, Mike is trying to get 30 volunteers to walk every district. He also has 44,000 mail pieces going out to the residents.
Anaheim City Council
- Brian Chuchua – Brian said the city’s educational system needs help. He believes that Curt Pringle runs the city with two other council members (who he called the “Giveaway 3”). He noted that the council gave away $158 million in bed taxes, which he said is 43% of the General Fund. He also said that the city recently approved a $368 million streetcar system for 10 streetcars when buses would have cost only $58 million. He believes the system is for Disney employees. He also mentioned a $170 million train station that is to be built that is not adequate for high-speed rail (it will cost another $120 million for that). He is running because he sees what is wrong with the city and he wants to correct it. He said that he is self-funded and he needs help.
Costa Mesa City Council
- Colin McCarthy – Colin painted a picture of the rancorous campaign, and expressed outrage over the tactics of his opponents’ supporters. He described a recent video that was taken of a man picking up campaign signs supporting him, Steve Mensinger, Gary Monahan, and Measure V (charter) and ripping them up. Colin identified the man as a highly paid city employee (nearly $87,000 in annual compensation and benefits). He said he recently attended a public forum where he was booed and hissed by members of the public. A member of the Planning Commission, Colin said he sees how the “sausage is made” and how dysfunctional government is. Colin has kids and he is interested in making the city a better place for them.
Costa Mesa Sanitation District
- Jeff Mathews – Jeff believes Republicans will have big wins this year. He wants to see the power of the unions cut. He has looked at where the problems in his city are, and he found them in small districts like the sanitation district. He wants to get real changes made. Jeff mentioned that his opponents have served on the district for over 20 years, they are complacent, and he does not believe that politicians should use the same position in government as a career choice. He said the district has a $5 million surplus, due in part to higher rates, and he wants to look into all of the small-scale issues that, cumulatively, have a large impact on the city’s residents.
- Don Harper – Don said he was inspired by the 3Ms in Costa Mesa and their efforts to change the current environment. He is a businessman who founded a very successful business and he thinks he can use that experience to help change the government from the bottom up.
Lake Forest City Council
- Dwight Robinson – Dwight said the Orange County Register (which has endorsed him), published a quote from him – “If you can find it in the phone book, government shouldn’t do it.” He believes the private sector can do things much better than government can. Dwight noted that the current council members do not work in business, but he does. He runs several private businesses, his largest being an agricultural commodities exporting business, and he employs over 100 people. Dwight said that government does not create jobs, the private sector does. He noted his endorsement by the Orange County Republican Party and said that he wants to be the business owner on the City Council.
- Adam Nick – Adam said he has been an accountant and auditor for over 20 years. He owns a successful Lake Forest business and he has lived in the city for 30+ years. Adam believes his time and experience qualifies him for council service. Adam believes in small government, less regulation, and lower taxes. He said the United States Constitution sets America apart from the rest of the world in that it states that the government derives its power from the people, not the other way around; the government works for us. Adam believes he can make a difference and do good things for the city.
Mission Viejo City Council
- Ed Sachs – Ed said that he has been in business since he was 8 years old, concluding his career with 30-plus years at Pioneer Electronics where he was President of the United States Mobile Electronics division for 5 years. During his time at Pioneer, he presided over a division with a $500 million budget with $20+ million in profits. Ed said he recently challenged the city’s mayor over the city’s reserves (which have been reduced significantly over the past 5+ years) and did not receive a good answer in return. Ed also mentioned that the council has debating a dog park for the past 10 years and he wants to get in and make the tough decisions without arguing for over a decade.
- Cathy Schlicht – Larry Gilbert spoke on behalf of Cathy. He said that Cathy has opposed the city’s plans for a dog park because the first phase alone is estimated to cost $850,000. He also mentioned that Cathy opposes the Kaleidoscope property owner’s plan to put up large electronic billboards to advertise out-of-town businesses. Larry said if Ed and Cathy are not elected. the billboards will be approved.
Orange City Council
- Jon Dumitru – Jon said his race is unique because he is running against a nice person, but she is a liberal Democrat. He said that the union has spent $40,000 against him and the police union has spent $67,000. Jon helped end firefighter overtime issues that cost the city over $2 million last year. He also noted that the city just implemented a huge pension roll back, and he led the effort to eliminate compensation for City Council members. Jon also said that, even though the city recently had a $23 million deficit that it had to close with reserves, his opponent wanted to give $1 million from the city’s catastrophic reserves to give city employees a bonus to deal with a city employee’s death – in Costa Mesa.
Santa Ana City Council
- George Collins – George is running for Mayor of Santa Ana. He said that the City Manager, who also serves as the Chief of Police, makes $330,000 per year. He said that the city has no parks. George got into politics because of city corruption. He believes that the city defers things too often, which leads to debt. He also thinks that the council is a conduit for liberals to move on to higher positions like the Board of Supervisors and state Assembly. George wants to change the culture and make a difference. George said he needs feet to walk and help him get elected.
Santa Ana Unified School District
- Cecilia Iglesias – Cecilia said that 70% of Santa Ana are Latinos, and most of them have conservative values. She urged Latinos to vote their values and to contribute to society. Cecilia wants to make changes by starting locally and moving to the state and national level. She ran against Loretta Sanchez two years ago as an independent and now wants to make a difference through her conservative values. Cecilia is the founder of a non-profit for deaf kids and she wants educational opportunities for all.