Posted by Scott Carpenter on January 31, 2014
Posted by Scott Carpenter on December 30, 2013
In the midst of the last minute “beat the clock” emails from various elected officials and candidates appealing for donations before tomorrow’s deadline, Congressional Candidate Pat Marciariello just sent out an announcement that he was withdrawing from the race. I had heard some rumors that this was a possibility, but I must say I did not realize how soon it could actually happen. This now leaves Supervisor John Moorlach, Senator Mimi Walters and Greg Raths as the remaining contenders in the GOP field.
His statement is below:
After significant reflection with my family over the Christmas season we have decided that we will no longer continue in our candidacy for congress. I want to thank all of those who have supported us over the past four months, your kindness will not be forgotten. Monetary contributions made to my campaign will be refunded in the coming weeks.
Regards and God Bless.
Posted by Scott Carpenter on August 20, 2013
With Costa Mesa Councilwoman Wendy Leece’s term on the city council expiring due to term limits and Mayor Jim Righeimer up for re-election next year may be interesting for the Costa Mesa City Council election. Today Tony Capitelli, a staffer for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, officially announced his intention to run for Costa Mesa City Council.
(Full Disclosure: Tony and I went to Concordia University together and have been friends since.)
Having known Tony since college I was excited when he called me a few weeks ago to inform me of his intentions to run. He has always been an admirable person, he holds deep conservative values and truly understands public service. Costa Mesa of course remains the center of a lot of political turmoil with the ongoing labor negotiations, however I think Tony is taking a wise approach of asking for civility while city leaders must take steps to put Costa Mesa on a course of fiscal sanity based in reality. Below is his official announcement:
Why I’m Running for Costa Mesa City Council
After careful prayer and consideration, I have decided to run for a seat on the Costa Mesa City Council. God has put each of us on a unique path, and in my life that path continues to be one of public service. Costa Mesa is a diverse city facing intricate challenges, and we need new leadership to carry us forward.
Costa Mesa is in many ways a microcosm of our nation. Civic Leaders of the past have lead us down the path of fiscal irresponsibility to the extent that this city could not even perform one of its most essential and basic functions, maintenance of its roads and streets. Although I may not always agree with their approach or on some of the details, the current council majority has been willing to address this issue, and thanks to them, our city is moving slowly toward fiscal sanity. While progress has been made, it will be up to the next council to continue this battle and push the message of responsible government. Costa Mesa is a wonderful family-friendly community that is home to world class arts, shopping and entertainment, but if our infrastructure is not properly maintained and improved, then we fail to meet our potential. Projects such as the revitalization of downtown, and improving the safety of our streets while making them both pedestrian and bike friendly will strengthen our communities. This path has not and will not come without sacrifice, but it is vital to Costa Mesa’s future.
This city also has the opportunity to demonstrate enhanced ways of serving the least fortunate in our community, those experiencing homelessness or those at-risk. Government is not the only answer to this problem, but we need a council that is supportive. Our faith based communities have shown that community development, along with charitable giving and private organization, can create opportunity for all Costa Mesa residents to succeed. Unfortunately, our current transitional housing facilities have created an environment that has become more of a burden, and we should work toward more innovative and productive solutions. City government, community organizations, and the Police Department, working collaboratively, can ensure that we achieve these goals while keeping our families safe.
The unique makeup of Costa Mesa, the recent influx of young families, and the residents who’ve called this city home for decades are all looking for new leadership. I seek the opportunity to accommodate that request with the utmost humility, and in doing so, I ask for your help. Whether it is through monetary donation, walking precincts, or most importantly, prayer, your support is vital to our success and is much appreciated. If you would like to help, please click the link below.
Thank you, and God Bless!
Posted by Scott Carpenter on November 14, 2012
With the OC Registrar of Voters releasing the latest election results today Assemblyman Chris Norby again lost ground and now trails challenger Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva by about 3,000 votes. Upon news breaking Assemblyman Norby conceded the race in a statement to the Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Report.
This news is sad for me personally as I have several friends on Assemblyman Norby’s staff, including OC Political editor Chris Nguyen. I also think it is a loss for North Orange County and California as a whole because Assemblyman Norby served both well in the Legislature. Assemblyman Norby and his staff were always attentive to district needs and focused on real solutions for California. However, redistricting and a popular Mayor in the district created the perfect storm for Democrats to score an upset and seize control of the vital 2/3rds majority.
Though they won 2/3rds, they won’t be able to govern with that majority quite yet as John Hrabe details in the FlashReport, two Democratic legislators won congressional seats causing them to vacate their current seats. Of course it is very likely that those two newly vacant seats will be filled by Democrats upon a special election.
What is bizarre however is that the California legislature routinely receives extremely low approval ratings and cannot figure out a way to balance the state budget responsibly, yet the electorate refuses to change course of who they send to Sacramento. Now that the Democrats have the power to completely set the agenda and tax levels for California they have no one to blame but themselves for the state’s continued mismanagement. There is a saying in politics, and life in general at times, that things must get worse before it gets better. We may be facing that scenario with the Republican Party and governance in California after the results of last Tuesday.
Posted by Scott Carpenter on September 21, 2012
Pundits routinely write off California as a helplessly blue state, but the fact remains that there are still many vitally important races in the state. The decennial redistricting that took place last year created several new and very competitive districts throughout the state, and the GOP has a great shot at picking up new legislative seats that were previously gerrymandered exclusively to Democrats, and of course the Mayor’s race in San Diego remains a focus of many throughout the state. The need to rebuild an ailing party in California starts with one thing: Money.
Democrats have had an advantage in California for decades due to the massive amounts of money that government unions can extract from employee paychecks and is later funneled into their operation. The California Republican Party is now poised ready to go back on offense and reclaim some of the newly drawn legislative districts. To get these operations going CRP Vice Chairman Steve Baric recruited America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani to come raise funds for the party operation. Professional fundraiser Jenniffer Rodriguez and Baric put together an exciting event at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach last night that brought in over $100,000 for party operations. The event showed that donors and party faithful are serious and ready to turn the state back around one step at a time. Rudy brought that spark to life with him comments.
Giuliani of course ran for President in 2008 and declined to do so this cycle. He spoke highly of Governor Romney and of course of his disappointment in President Obama. In his blunt yet engaging New York style Rudy put Obama’s failures in plain terms, and highlighted the administration’s poor response to the recent terrorist attacks aimed at Americans in the Middle East. When asked about Governor Romney, Rudy’s advice was short and sweet: “Be yourself.”
With about a month and a half left to Election Day there is much work to be done by candidates, campaign staffers and volunteers. California Republicans remain focused on the priorities of bringing the party back on offense, and Rudy Giuliani’s encouragement flamed that spark a bit last night.
Posted by Scott Carpenter on July 13, 2012
The Orange County Young Republicans are ramping up their operations for this coming November’s election. To keep members active and recruit new member’s they’ve teamed with the Newport Harbor Republican Women and the Hispanic 100 to host a summer party for only 10 dollars. As an OCYR board member I’m excited for this fun event, check it out at http://www.ocyr.org/ocyr_summer_party
Posted by Scott Carpenter on May 19, 2012
Much has been written, and assumingly will be written, about Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Emeritus Tom Fuentes, who just passed away after a long bout with cancer. After multiple bouts with cancer and fighting it valiantly, The Lord called Tom home late last night.
Winston Churchill was often called “The Last Lion,” and Ted Kennedy was often called “The Lion of the Senate,” it could said that Tom Fuentes was the “Lion of Orange County.” Few, if any, have ever been more influential in Orange County politics than Tom, his impact on Republican politics is literally immeasurable. He was truly a statesman and principled to his core. Tom defeated political foes who had conspired to replace him as OC GOP chairman, and stood tall on his principles in those battles. Though Chairman Fuentes never sought the limelight or public office beyond Community College District Trustee he became a standard bearer for conservative principles. Through his life of activism and leadership surely Tom was given opportunities to sell his beliefs down the river for personal gain, he never waivered.
In the world of politics where self-interest is rampant, loyalty is fleeting, true friendship is all too rare and principles are routinely abandoned, Tom Fuentes was an oak. Everything he did in politics had one sole purpose: “the cause.” The conservative cause, as Tom described it at the 2011 OC GOP Flag Day Salute, dedicated to “people and noble ideas.” Tom properly personified those noble ideas dedicated to people rather than money or power. He was not involved in politics for any reason other than he believed in conservative principles, he believed they served people well, he believed they served our country well, and his actions were driven by advancing those principles. Not only was he a great mentor and teacher, he was a shining example. Tom was the real deal because he actually cared about principles over politics…he was a statesman.
Tom was an incredible political leader, but more importantly he was amazing human being. His enormous generosity, zest for life and genuine kindness and care for others are lessons I will remember for the rest of my life. Like so many others I was fortunate to come to know Tom as a friend and a mentor. He was always unbelievably selfless with his time, knowledge and advice on nearly any issue whether it was political or personal. No matter who you were if you wanted to meet with Tom he would find the time and offer any advice he could give.
Despite all the attention and friendships Tom gained through politics it was his service to others that really defined him. He was the founding chairman of the Orange County Food Bank and active in many other charities. He spoke glowingly of the accomplishments of his children Michelle, TJ and Joey; and his wife Jolene was the joy of his life. Tom was active in the Catholic Church and had an unshakable faith in God. In fact when I learned of Tom’s cancer returning I asked him if there was anything I could do for him, all he asked for were my prayers. I would often joke with Tom that I could only offer protestant prayers, to which he replied he appreciated both the prayers and the humor.
And that’s who Tom Fuentes was. He was a sincere and joyful man. Even in the face of terminal cancer he shared stories and jokes when I visited him at his bedside. Several times in his last few months he would tell me he was going to switch political parties because it would be better for the Democrats to lose one than for us to lose one. Despite all the odds Tom beat cancer once and far outlived every doctor’s predictions when it returned. Through all the pain and treatment he always stood strong with grace, serving as an example yet again.
Reflecting on his passing I’m reminded of the words of late North Carolina State coach Jimmy Valvano’s words when he was faced with cancer: “Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.” The Chairman Emeritus exemplified those sentiments in his own battle and will live on because of it also.
Goodbye Tom, The Lord has called you home after a job most well done, and now all we can do is humbly say “Thank you.”
Posted by Scott Carpenter on March 15, 2012
In a decision that can only be described as absurd, the Newport Beach City Council has unanimously decided to remove decades old fire pits from the beach. Citing complaints from residents, environmental hazards and health risks a collection of Nanny State Republicans have decided to ruin a unique recreational area of the beach.
For those readers unfamiliar with the Newport fire pits, they are located in a remote southern section away from the larger more populated main beach area. No reasonable argument can really be made for this decision other than pure government control on a local level. The fact that residents “complained” about the fire pits is even more absurd of an excuse being cited. The resident complaint excuse is not even worthy of being described by the term NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) at least traditional NIMBYs are complaining about something that will be built, not something that was constructed decades ago.
Though this decision is outrageous and I could rant for pages about reasons these fire pits should remain, there is a silver lining. As I previously mentioned, the vote was of this ban was unanimous. That means that Councilwoman Leslie Daigle gave Assemblyman Allen Mansoor further evidence why she is unfit to carry the GOP banner in the State Assembly. Daigle has earned a reputation of a big government RINO and an opportunist during her stint as an elected official, and over the course of the last few months her actions have proven that. This most recent decision is typical of the Nanny State attitudes Daigle has favored though. This leaves me grateful that Assemblyman Mansoor remains the OC GOP’s choice to represent AD 74.
Final note on this topic: While attending Concordia University in Irvine the Newport Fire Pits were a regular destination for myself and fellow Concordia (and UCI) students. While in college my LA County based friends from High School and I had an ongoing debate over what was a “cooler place” for a beach bonfire: Huntington Beach or Newport Beach. I always advocated for Newport Beach. But thanks to this recent decision I have to finally concede that Huntington is now the “cooler place”
H/T to Jack Wu for background on this piece.
Posted by Scott Carpenter on February 9, 2012
As a policy advisor for an Orange County Supervisor I’m always interested in seeing what other counties are doing to deal with issues they face. However, a recent policy that was agreed upon fell below the radar until it was too late. While listening to KFI after leaving work yesterday I heard a headline informing listeners that the county had approved restrictions on throwing footballs or frisbees on county beaches. Thinking it may be a knee-jerk soundbite with no detail I mostly ignored the story. However, when I got home I saw a headline on the Drudge Report about the ordinance and linked details to the Local CBS News station confirming the KFI headline. Having grown up in LA County and played football and frisbee on LA County beaches countless times, I was outraged.
As I often do, I looked to Supervisor Michael Antonovich for perspective of what happens in LA County. (As reference to background, I have admired Supervisor Antonovich for many years. He has been a friend to my family for decades, my grandfather who was a newspaper editor was an early supporter of his early in his political career and the Supervisor remains personal friends with my parents.) So today I read the press release his office issued in response to the ordinance. I did not know how Antonovich voted on the issue because LA County hasn’t released the minutes of the meeting yet. However, Antonovich’s press release indicates that the county simply “updated” an existing ordinance, and actually “eased” regulations, actually allowing for ways to play with a frisbee or football on the beach. Upon further investigation, this technically appears to be true.
But this doesn’t measure up, if the ordinance is 42 years old it clearly wasn’t enforced, because it’s of course antiquated and ridiculous. But now the new “updated” ordinance provides enforcement officials guidelines to execute the regulations with specific fine amounts listed. Effectively these new “lighter” regulations impose much harsher draconian rules for beach activity. So now when you accidentally overthrow a receiver in a friendly game of football on the beach when your ball rolls next to the Lifeguard station instead of getting the ball tossed back to you, you may be paying a fine instead.
I’m reminded of a book I read in fourth grade called “Stupid Laws,” which documented senseless laws that have somehow remained on the books instead of being repealed. These laws would include such examples of a prohibition on women wearing pants in the city of Tuscon, AZ. They are senseless and should have been repealed long ago. Yet the LA County Board of Supervisors came across one of these laws and instead of repealing it, they decided to find a way to enforce it under the guise of “easing it.”
This recent ordinance “update” is a clear illustration of Ronald Reagan’s observation of government’s philosophy that says: “If it moves tax it, if it keeps moving regulate it, if it stops moving, regulate it.” The Board of Supervisor’s attempt to depict this ordinance as an “update” is an insult to their constituent’s intelligence.
I posted the CBS story on my facebook page earlier today expressing my outrage, soon I noticed more than 20 of my friends had done the same. CBS probably got a fair amount of feedback, and they took it upon themselves to completely rewrite the story, and now portray the board’s action as an “update” instead of what it really is, a enhanced way to enforce this insanity.
So remember, if you go to an LA County beach this summer, don’t bring a football or frisbee…unless you have you checkbook handy. Welcome to the Nanny State.