I will let you form your own opinions:
Posted by Lassie on January 14, 2014
Posted by Lassie on May 6, 2013
I rarely blog here, but I decided to unveil a post that I have been sitting on about the funding of Voice of OC. The Voice of OC has been jokingly referred to as the Voice of OCEA and the Voice of OCEA and Brothers by many insiders around Orange County, due to funding coming from the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA). It’s commonly known around the county that the unions fund the Voice of OC but no one that I’ve talked to know how much.
I decided to try to put the pieces of the puzzle together and determine where the Voice of OC receives their funding and what motives they might have. My presentation to you will be simply presenting facts and allowing you to come up with your own conclusion.
In order to start my investigation, I went to one of the best sources of information on non-profit organizations: www.guidestar.org. The information that was retrieved from this website was rather fascinating.
Here is a copy of the form 990.
1) According to the “People” tab on the www.guidestar.org website, the current board of directors is a well-known group. Here is the most recent Board of Directors list; Joe Dunn, Erwin Chemerinsky, Henry Weinstein, Daniel Weintraub, John Cruz, Mario Rodriguez, Robert Magnuson, Stanley Tkaczyk, Loren Blackwood, Wylie Aitken (Chairman), and Norberto Santana (Editor-In-Chief, who also received over $100,000 in 2010).
Joe Dunn – former State Senator who represented the 34th Senate District (currently held by Senator Lou Correa). He unseated former Senator Rob Hurtt and caused the Republicans to lose its first State Senate seat in Orange County. Republicans have not being able to take back this Senate seat since. After he was termed out of office, Dunn was appointed as the CEO of the California Medical Association in 2006, and he is the current Executive Director of the State Bar of California and is a founding partner of The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP.
Wylie Aitken– A lawyer, but better known in the Orange County political arena as the Chairman and Founder of the Democratic Party Foundation in Orange County. He is famously known for providing political strategy and as a major donor to Democrats nationally and especially in Orange County.
Erwin Chemerinsky – The founding dean of University of California, Irvine School of Law. He is the author of a few different books including most recently two books titled; The Conservative Assault on the Constitution and Enhancing Government. It is my understanding that Chemerinsky also teaches political science classes.
Henry Weinstein– He is a founding member of the faculty at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. He like Robert Magnuson (his profile is listed below) also held a position at the Los Angeles Times in the past.
Daniel Weintraub – He has been a public affairs columnist for the Sacramento Bee editorial pages since 2000. Before working up in Sacramento, he worked at the Los Angeles Times for 8 years and Orange County Register for 6 years.
Robert Magnuson – He is the owner of Magnuson and Company, a strategic communications and management consulting firm based in Laguna Beach. His background includes over 20 years of working at the Los Angeles Times, where he was Senior Vice President in the organization.
Stan Tkaczyk – He is the current President of Rainbow Disposal Company and is the husband to Orange County Register Columnist Barbara Venezia. He was recently appointed to serve on the OC Fair Board by Governor Brown in 2012, where he serves with OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino on the Orange County Fair board. Both were appointed by Governor Jerry Brown.
Loren Blackwood – I could not find much information about her other than discovering that she co-founded the Newport Beach Winery with her boyfriend Richard Moriarty, who is the heir to the Segerstrom fortune. According to the article, she handles the marketing for Newport Beach Winery.
Mario Rodriguez – He is the chairman of the Hispanic 100 and former Chairman of the Latino Coalition.
John Cruz – He is also on the board of the Hispanic 100. He was appointed as the Appointments Secretary for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Cruz is also an attorney.
2) In 2010, the Voice of OC took in $450,707 in total revenue. According to www.guidestar.org on the 2010 form 990 that was provided by the non-profit organization, here is the breakdown of where the cash is coming from. I’m only able to provide the 2010 contributors because that was the last time they made it available for the public to view.
Orange County Employees Association: $269,500
California Endowment: $82,008
United Food & Commercial Workers: $25,000
Wylie Aitken: $25,000
Joe Dunn: $14,635
Stephen Garcia: $10,000
Jeff Teller: $5,000
Anne Andrews: $5,000
Other Contributions (under $5,000): $14,564
You can expect to see this donor list in all of my future posts on this topic to serve as a reminder of where Voice of OC is receiving their funding and what their interest could be.
3) In order to provide a broader picture of the organization, I will also present that in 2010, the Voice of OC had $381,520 in total expenses. After searching through the 2010 Form 990, I could not find an itemized list of specifically what they purchased with the money they spent.
However, the only major expense they spent was for the editor-in-chief, Norberto Santana. His salary in 2010’s report was listed as $120,000 and $16,900 in other compensation.
As stated at the beginning of this post, I will not make any conclusions in this post, but simply leave you with this question:
Can a news agency/blog that appears to receive over 75% of their funding from public employee unions and high-ranking Orange County Democrats, write news stories that are objective in Orange County especially on high-ranking conservative Republicans? Was there ever an article written that didn’t lean to the left? More posts to come.
Here is a response to this article from Jennifer Muir of OCEA:
It’s no secret that OCEA provided seed funding for Voice of OC, and that since then, a number of other organizations and individuals have seen the impact of Voice’s investigative reporting and chosen to become contributors, as well. OCEA will continue to contribute for the following reasons: Voice of OC’s nearly 100,000 visitors per month, its string of investigative reporting awards from the OC Press Club, its recognition from the USC Annenberg School for Journalism, its inclusion on the Associated Press wires, its partnership with PBS, and its bipartisan Community Editorial Board. Journalists across the Country recognize the high quality and impact of Voice’s reporting, and Orange County is better for it.
Posted in Orange County | Tagged: Daniel Weintraub, Erwin Chemerinsky, Henry Weinstein, Joe Dunn, John Cruz, Loren Blackwood, Mario Rodriguez, Norberto Santana, OCEA, Robert Magnuson, Stanley Tkaczyk, Voice of OC, Wylie Aitken | 15 Comments »
Posted by Lassie on November 6, 2012
In case you missed it, the Orange County Register endorsed Lucille Kring and John Leos for Anaheim City Council. The full editorial is at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/city-374061-council-county.html but here’s some key excerpts:
Editorial: Time for Anaheim residents to get stronger voices…Two seats are up for election this year and Anaheim voters have a slew of candidates to choose from. We believe it is critically important that voters in the city elect former Councilwoman Lucille Kring and John Leos.Ms. Kring stands out among the crowd of nine candidates. Having served on the city council previously, she acutely understands the issues facing Anaheim and has a much-needed independent streak on a council in which, we believe, former Mayor Curt Pringle, and other special interests, have far too much influence.
Ms. Kring has a firm grasp on the budgetary challenges of the city and has the right ideas as to how to fix them, including serious pension reform. She also has in-depth knowledge of public safety, and she opposes crony capitalism, sweetheart deals handed out to those with political connections or representation. Our second pick, John Leos, is not necessarily a natural fit for the Register’s Editorial Board because of his affiliations with Orange County Employees Association and Orange County Labor Federation.
But given recent crony capitalism in the city – namely the hotel subsidy – the council needs a stronger voice for the average city resident.
Mr. Leos impressed us in his candidate interview where he was brimming with ideas on gang violence, pension reform, education and bolstering the local economy. He also noted that the city’s former mayor, still has “too much control in the city” leaving the current elected mayor, Tom Tait, “without a gavel.”
For these reasons, we respectfully urge Anaheim voters to elect Lucille Kring and John Leos to lead such an important city.
Posted by Lassie on November 5, 2012
In his July, August, September campaign finance report, Democrat Senate candidate Greg Diamond raised $2,560 for the period, and he paid $500 to a fundraising consultant. Why would anyone pay a 20% fundraising commission when the normal commission is 10%-15%?
Maybe it’s because he’s paying it to a person who lives in his house.
That’s right, Greg Diamond campaign donors, you’re contributing to a campaign who’s sending money straight into the candidate’s household’s pockets.
Although since his donors are largely from outside the district, I guess they wouldn’t really notice. Of his $1640 itemized contributions, there is exactly one from the 29th Senate District: $100 contribution from former Assembly Democrat Sacrificial Lamb John MacMurray. Even widening the net to all of California south of San Francisco, there’s only two more: a $50 contribution from Garden Grove and a $25 contribution from Glendale. All of California only adds one more $250 contribution from El Cerrito (north of Berkeley) from the CEO of Fly by Night Karma Repair. Yes, he’s reporting $250 from the CEO of something called “Fly by Night Karma Repair.”
His contributions are from so far out of the district that he even got $500 from a foreign country. Weirdly, that’s the same amount he paid to the fundraising consultant living in his house.
Diamond opposes Proposition 35, which according to its official summary on the ballot, “Increases prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions. Requires convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders. Requires registered sex offenders to disclose Internet activities and identities.”
Of course, I should note that it could be that the donors didn’t know what office Diamond was running for. I’m not sure he does either. Check out his web site’s “About Why I’m Running” page at http://www.gregdiamond2012.com/aboutwhyirun, where Diamond says, “I decided to run for Congress because, among the people in the Occupy movement here, I’m among those who could most easily be considered a credible potential candidate.” There is so much silliness in that one sentence.
I wonder how Ed Royce and Jay Chen feel about Diamond’s Congressional campaign.
Posted by Lassie on November 5, 2012
I wrote a few weeks ago about Raghu Mathur’s history of wasting taxpayer dollars (http://ocpolitical.com/2012/10/16/raghu-mathur-a-history-of-wasting-taxpayer-dollars/) Mathur wants to lead Laguna Hills as a city councilmember, but Laguna Hills can’t afford him. Today, I’ll show you why Mathur’s record as Irvine Valley College President and as South Orange County Community College District Chancellor just demonstrates that he can’t be trusted as a leader in Laguna Hills or anywhere else.
On his campaign web site (http://www.mathurforlagunahills.com/philosophy.html), Mathur promises, “I believe in solving problems while respectfully listening to and working with everyone…I will restore civility, trust and openness to Laguna Hills City Council governance.” His record shows respect, working with everyone, civility, trust, and openness are the furthest things from his record.
In 1999, the LA Times reported that the community college accreditation agency strongly rebuked the leadership, stating “Irvine Valley College and its district . . . are organizations in crisis–primarily a governance crisis. . . . A multiplicity of deep and bitter divisions characterize virtually all entities and relationships. . . . The district had become wracked by malfunction and misfortune.”
Five years prior, in 1994, Mathur became the only person ever to have been censured for lying in the history of Irvine Valley College, according to the OC Weekly.
In 2002, free speech restriction policies were implemented after Mathur was appointed Irvine Valley College President amid protests from students and faculty and continued after he was appointed Chancellor of South Orange County Community College District. Courts ruled the policies were unconstitutional because the district was muzzling free speech: http://articles.latimes.com/2002/mar/19/local/me-speech19
In 2004, Mathur was given a vote of “no-confidence” by the faculty for a third time, described as a “vindictive and dictatorial bully, intolerant of criticism” who “in pursuit of personal power, he has sold out his former colleagues” at SOCCCD: http://articles.latimes.com/2004/may/17/local/me-mathur17
In 2010, when Mathur was voted out by the SOCCCD Board of Trustees 5-2 and he was given a golden handshake of over $250,000, the settlement imposed a gag order forbidding discussion of the separation agreement. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/mathur-231052-college-valley.html
Mathur opposed the incorporation of Laguna Hills. Why does he now want to lead something that he doesn’t believe should exist? Is he planning to drive the city off the cliff? Will he try to get Laguna Hills dissolved?
Laguna Hills can’t afford Raghu Mathur, and Raghu Mathur can’t be trusted to lead Laguna Hills.
Posted by Lassie on November 2, 2012
A Republican friend in Anaheim and a Democrat friend in Anaheim gave me the mailers they received backing Jordan Brandman for Anaheim City Council.
One says, “Republicans Endorse Anaheim Union High School District Trustee Jordan Brandman for Anaheim City Council” on it. The other says, “The Only Democrat Endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County” on it.
The Democrat mailer brags about endorsements from the Democratic Party of Orange County, the Anaheim Firefighters Association, the Democratic Foundation of Orange County, the Orange County Labor Federation and the Anaheim Police Officers Association.
The Republican mailer brags about endorsements from the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce PAC, Anaheim Neighborhood Association, the Orange County Business Council, the Orange County Taxpayers Association PAC and Support Our Anaheim Resort PAC.
The Republican mailer has a big quote from Brandman saying, “I am a fiscal conservative who has fought for the taxpayers and job creation.” The Democrat mailer calls Brandman, “The Choice of Democrats and Labor…” Yet the Orange County Employees Association and the Republican Party of Orange County have both funded hit pieces attacking Brandman.
Jordan Brandman tries to be all things too all people, but there’s one thing we know for sure: he supports the $158,000,000 giveaway of taxpayer dollars to a big corporation, something that both labor unions and Republicans oppose.
Here’s a video of Brandman giving effusive praise to the $158,000,000 GardenWalk scheme at an Anaheim City Council meeting (video courtesy of the Save Anaheim blog):
Both friends said they received their mailers on Monday, October 22. I should visit my Anaheim friends more often to get their mail in a more timely fashion.
Posted in Anaheim | Tagged: Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Anaheim Firefighters Association, Anaheim Neighborhood Association, Anaheim Police Officers Association, Democratic Foundation of Orange County, Democratic Party of Orange County, GardenWalk Hotel, Jordan Brandman, Orange County Business Council, Orange County Employees Association, Orange County Labor Federation, Orange County Taxpayers Association, republican party of orange county, Support Our Anaheim Resort | 4 Comments »
Posted by Lassie on October 26, 2012
I’d like to say, WTF to my fellow OC Political blogger, OC Insider. This post is ridiculous: http://ocpolitical.com/2012/10/23/is-lucille-kring-in-it-to-win-it/
OC Political readers have already seen a couple of Anaheim council candidate Lucille Kring’s mailers, which make it clear she considers Democrat Jordan Brandman her biggest competition. She’s hitting him for being a Democrat and taking union money, both of which are true.
It is a little much for Kring to blast Brandman for being “funded by the unions” when she was very happy to take the money of the Anaheim police officers union…
First off, OC Insider seems to be having literacy issues, as it isn’t the Kring campaign that’s sending those mailers, it’s the Republican Party of Orange County. Kring is one of the Republican Party’s officially-endorsed candidates, and Brandman is officially endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County. It’s the Republican Party’s job to elect Republicans and defeat Democrats, just like it’s the Democratic Party’s job to elect Democrats and defeat Republicans: it’s that simple!
OC Insider complains that it’s “a little much for Kring to blast Brandman for being ‘funded by the union’” (I’d note it’s the OC GOP blasting Brandman, not Kring blasting Brandman, but that’s beside the point). I ran the analysis of the money: http://ocpolitical.com/2012/10/11/unions-give-money-to-all-major-anaheim-city-council-candidates-kring-got-least/
Kring got $500, Brandman got $20,700. Brandman got more than 41 times the union money that Kring did. Who on earth could be bought with $500? But $20,700 is a nice chunk of change. And who knows how much more Brandman is getting in union IEs.
Kring is officially endorsed by the Republican Party of Orange County, the Orange County Register, and Mayor Tom Tait. Brandman is officially endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County, numerous labor unions, and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. It’s that simple.
Posted by Lassie on October 16, 2012
Much has been written about the Laguna Hills City Council race, but voters should beware of the absolute waste of taxpayer dollars by Raghu P. Mathur.
On his campaign web site, Mathur says, “Our City needs to provide better oversight over all income and expenditures. As your Council Member and with your input, I will seek prioritization of our taxpayer resources based on assessment of the services our citizens need. I will make these issues my top priorities.”
Here’s some excerpts from an interview Mathur did with OC Political (http://ocpolitical.com/2012/10/11/first-in-a-series-of-interviews-with-south-county-candidates-laguna-hills-city-council-candidates-dr-raghu-mathur-bill-hunt-andrew-blount-and-dore-gilbert/):
“Raghu says that fiscal responsibility is essential in this economy, with a $16 trillion national debt and a broke California, that leaves only the local level. He wants to prioritize all goals and expenditures and consider public sentiment and input in determining which projects are most important for residents. He said the city needs to address compensation, particularly city management. Raghu gave the example of the City Manager whose compensation is over $460,000 per year, including a car for personal and family use…He wants all negotiations regarding compensation to be conducted in an open setting, sunshined through the public agenda along with the fiscal implications of the proposal. Raghu wants the same sunshine process for any counter-proposal from the union. He would consider bringing in an outside negotiator or auditor so there is no potential conflict of interest with management.”
Where was this concern for fiscal responsibility and taxpayer dollars when Raghu Mathur took a $700 monthly car allowance, a free computer, free Internet access, and a free cell phone, among other perks while serving as Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District?
Where was this concern for fiscal responsibility and taxpayer dollars when Raghu Mathur got more than a quarter of amillion dollars in a golden handshake to leave the Chancellor’s post, as reported by the Orange County Register: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/mathur-231052-college-valley.html? Part of that settlement imposed a gag order forbidding discussion of the separation agreement. Is that what an open setting with sunshine looks like to Mathur?
Where was this concern for fiscal responsibility and taxpayer dollars when Raghu Mathur sued the South Orange County Community College District during his time as President of Irvine Valley College? Mathur’s lawsuit against the district was filed six months after he so badly lost a lawsuit against a professor and against a college administrator that the judge ordered Mathur to pay $34,000 in attorney’s fees to the professor and the administrator, as reported by the Los Angeles Times: http://articles.latimes.com/2000/sep/13/local/me-20300. How much money did SOCCCD spend on attorneys to defend themselves against Mathur’s suit?
Laguna Hills just can’t afford Raghu Mathur.
Posted by Lassie on October 11, 2012
My blog colleague, OC Insider, wrote this series of posts about Lucille Kring”s $500 contribution from the Anaheim police union (http://ocpolitical.com/2012/10/05/lucille-kring-violated-baugh-manifesto/, http://ocpolitical.com/2012/10/07/oc-gop-should-rescind-kring-endorsement/, and http://ocpolitical.com/2012/10/07/did-kring-fool-the-police-union-too/). It’s an interesting coincidence that the last two posts were written after the Orange County Register endorsed Kring for Anaheim City Council:
Ms. Kring stands out among the crowd of nine candidates. Having served on the city council previously, she acutely understands the issues facing Anaheim and has a much-needed independent streak on a council in which, we believe, former Mayor Curt Pringle, and other special interests, have far too much influence.
Ms. Kring has a firm grasp on the budgetary challenges of the city and has the right ideas as to how to fix them, including serious pension reform. She also has in-depth knowledge of public safety, and she opposes crony capitalism, sweetheart deals handed out to those with political connections or representation.
OC Insider blasted Kring for inaccurately signing this pledge in the OC GOP questionnaire:
“I WILL NOT ACCEPT CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM GOVERNMENT UNIONS.”
Lodge inaccurately signed the same pledge! Unlike Kring, Lodge inaccurately told the OC GOP Endorsements Committee that he had not taken any union money:
Lodge says he is endorsed by the Anaheim Police and Fire unions and the Santa Ana Police union but has not taken any money from them.
He took $1000 from the Anaheim Police union on 12/28/2011 – almost six months before Kring took $500.
OC Insider neglected to note that every other major candidate for Anaheim City Council took more police union money than Kring did. The Anaheim police union gave $1800 to Jordan Brandman, $1000 to Steven Albert Chavez Lodge, $1000 to John Leos, and a paltry $500 to Lucille Kring.
Actually, every other major candidate for Anaheim City Council took more union money than Kring did:
$500 on 6/20/2012 from the Anaheim Police union
Steven Albert Chavez Lodge
$1000 on 12/28/2011 from the Anaheim Police union
$1800 on 2/21/2012 from the Orange County Employees Association (maxed out)
$1800 on 4/6/2012 from the Anaheim Municipal Employees Association (maxed out)
$1800 on 9/30/2012 from the Orange County Labor Federation (maxed out)
$1000 on 9/18/2012 from the Anaheim Police union
(I should note OCEA dumped $50,000 into a pro-Leos IE PAC.)
$1800 on 8/30/2012 from the Anaheim Firefighters union (maxed out)
$1800 on 9/14/2012 from OC COPS (maxed out)
$1800 on 8/30/2012 from PORAC (maxed out)
$1300 on 6/8/2012 from the International Union of Operating Engineers (maxed out to $1800)
$1050 on 9/12/7/2012 from Local Union 105 (maxed out to $1800)
$1000 on 11/4/2011 from the UA Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 582 (maxed out to $1800)
$1000 on 11/18/2011 from the Southern California Pipe Trades District Council (maxed out to $1800)
$1000 on 12/7/2011 from the Anaheim Police union (maxed out to $1800)
$1000 on 12/31/2011 from the Laborers International Union of North America (maxed out to $1800)
$1000 on 3/8/2012 from the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
$1000 on 5/29/2012 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (grand total: $1500)
$800 on 4/30/2012 from the UA Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 582 (maxed out to $1800)
$800 on 5/7/2012 from the Southern California Pipe Trades District Council (maxed out to $1800)
$800 on 9/14/2012 from the Anaheim Police union (maxed out to $1800)
$800 on 9/30/2012 from the Laborers International Union of North America (maxed out to $1800)
$500 on 12/31/2011 from the District Council of Iron Workers
$500 on 12/31/2011 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (grand total: $1500)
$500 on 4/16/2012 from the International Union of Operating Engineers (maxed out to $1800)
$500 on 5/7/2012 from Local Union 105 (maxed out to $1800)
$500 on 6/24/2012 from OPCNIA Plasters Local Union 200
$500 on 6/30/2012 from the Sprinkler Fitters Local 109
$250 on 11/4/2011 from the LA/OC Building & Construction Trades Council
$250 on 11/4/2011 from the Sprinkler Fitters Local Number 709
$250 on 12/7/2011 from Local Union 105 (maxed out to $1800)
(You can find all campaign finance filings in Anaheim at http://nf4.netfile.com/pub2/Default.aspx?aid=ANA)
Lucille Kring is still the most independent voice for Anaheim City Council, and that’s why the Orange County Register endorsed her.
Posted in Anaheim, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: John Leos, Jordan Brandman, Lucille Kring, OC Register, Orange County Register, Steve Chavez Lodge, Steve Lodge, Steven Albert Chavez Lodge | 2 Comments »
Posted by Lassie on September 18, 2012
Reading Chris Nguyen’s article about last night’s Central Committee (http://ocpolitical.com/2012/09/17/live-from-oc-gop-central-committee/), I was both pleased and amazed at the deference being given to the Honorable Tom Tait, Mayor of Anaheim.
The mere suggestion that Brian Chuchua might one day get endorsed by Tait was enough to get the Central Committee to vote to endorse Chuchua with an amazing 72.5% of the vote.
Reading about the discussion on the Anaheim endorsement, it was clear that Mayor Tait’s endorsement was the single most important item of discussion in Chuchua’s endorsement request.
What’s also amazing is that Tait has received little blowback from the anti-union Republican Party for endorsing the union-backed John Leos for Anaheim City Council. This is a sign of the great esteem in which Tait is held that Republicans are largely refusing to criticize Tait for doing what many other Republicans have been hanged, drawn and quartered for.
Why is Tait held in such high regard?
It is because, more than any other person, Tom Tait is the conscience of Orange County Republicans.
When the controversial TOT scheme was proposed, Harry Sidhu, Gail Eastman, and Kris Murray fell to big business pressure and Lorri Galloway fell to union pressure. While Galloway voted with him, Tait was the sole councilmember to truly stick to his principles. Tait is a true blue, limited government conservative.
Tom Tait had originally endorsed Steve Lodge, but when he saw Lodge was more of the same big business, TOT supporter type, Tait pulled his endorsement. When Lodge got raked over the coals by the Endorsements Committee, he realized Tait’s principles are the Republican Party’s principles, so Lodge withdrew his request for an endorsement.
That is the power of Tom Tait’s quiet conservative principles.
Anaheimers chose well when they elected Tom Tait as Mayor in 2010, and they did a service for all of Orange County when they elected this noble public servant.