OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

  • Custom Campaigns

    Custom Campaigns
  • DMI

  • Allen for Assembly

  • Ramos for Costa Mesa

  • Bennett for Fullerton

  • Lalloway for Irvine

  • Sachs for Mission Viejo

  • Grangoff for Orange

  • Alexander for CUSD

  • Glasky for IUSD

  • Contact Us to Purchase an Ad

  • Lincoln Club of Orange County

Author Archive

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Final Round of Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 20, 2014

We’re live from OC GOP Central Committee for the final round of endorsements to decide on the recommendations of the Endorsements Committee, which we covered here. Please recall that the OC GOP Central Committee already made official early endorsements in August and regular endorsements in September. Tonight are late endorsements.

With the Legislature out of session, several legislators are present, including Diane Harkey and Don Wagner. Despite this, it’s a thin crowd tonight with few controversial items and campaigns underway.

In addition to Harkey and Wagner, other elected officials present are Gene Hernandez, Craig Young, Diane Harkey, Don Wagner, Fred Whitaker, Jeff Lalloway, Mark McCurdy, Sandra Crandall, David Bass, Robert Ming, Mike Munzing, Tony Beall, Todd Spitzer, Greg Sebourn, and Scott Voigts.

The Central Committee hears from Youth Associates Mason Sayer and Laura Hall about the children’s book they helped put together, Sophie Votes Republican.

Chairman Scott Baugh speaks about the US House of Representatives, including key seats in California. He also speaks about the US Senate.

Baugh speaks about Janet Nguyen’s Senate race and Young Kim’s Assembly race. He briefly mentions local races and there is guffawing when Baugh speaks about David Shawver being “a bad boy” in Stanton.

Assemblywoman Diane Harkey expresses her confidence in Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s victory in her Senate race and makes a plea to defend Senator Andy Vidak’s seat. Assemblyman Don Wagner speaks about Mayor Mario Guerra’s bid to defeat former Assemblyman Tony Mendoza in Ron Calderon’s Senate seat.

Rebecca Friedrichs, lead plaintiff in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA), speaks to the Central Committee. She discusses union warchests and how they’re acquired by payroll deduction of forced dues.

Friedrichs discusses her experience as a teacher in a unionized school. She spoke of incompetent teachers who had tenure and union backing. She speaks of being forced to be in a union that uses her dues to fight for political causes she opposes.

Friedrichs states union claims of being allowed to opt out of the union are only a 35% rebate of overtly campaign spending but is still forced as an agency fee payer to pay for politically oriented conferences, collective bargaining, etc. She notes that teachers who opt out are harassed, lose liability insurance, and can’t vote on contracts. Friedrichs says the opt out has to be filed every year under union rules.

Friedrichs rejoined the CTA at one point and became a local CTA representative in an effort to change CTA from the inside. She speaks of CTA leaders forcing all local representatives to tow the line.

Friedrichs speaks about the 10 plaintiffs, including herself, who filed a federal lawsuit against the CTA. She says they want to allow individual employees to opt out of their union and end forced dues. The case is now pending before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Friedrichs and her fellow plaintiffs intend to lose at the Ninth Circuit in order to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. She urges people to visit cir-usa.org to learn about the case and donate to defray the legal expenses.

Central Commitee Chairman Baugh passes the floor to Endorsements Committee Chairman Mark Bucher.

On tonight’s docket are:
*David Bass – Lake Forest City Council
*William L. (Bill) Green – South Coast Water District
*Miguel A. Gonzalez – Santa Ana City Council, Ward 6
*Rene Gomez – Santa Ana City Council, Ward 2
*Bryan Palomares – Stanton City Council
*Annette Gibson – Laguna Beach Unified School District
*Jon Peat – Cypress City Council

Bucher notes Palomares’s efforts to fight the Measure GG sales tax increase in Stanton.

Jennifer Beall pulls Palomares from the endorsement list because she would like him to respond to a few questions.


Scott Peotter moves and Mary Young seconds an endorsement for Bryan Palomares for Stanton City Council.

Beall asks if Palomares is running with a Democrat named Keith Carr.

Bucher says the Endorsements Committee vetted this. He said Democrat Carr also opposes Measure GG but Palomares is not running with him. Bucher says pro-GG Republicans are spreading mistruths about Palomares.

Beall appreciates the response and supports the endorsement.


State Treasurer Candidate Greg Conlon speaks to the Central Committee. He speaks about California’s credit rating. He speaks about jobs. He wants to lower corporate taxes. He says he won his debate against John Chiang. He says Chiang opposes term limits and wants to undo Prop 13. Conlon says he needs 4.5 million votes to win in 2014. He notes 4 million Republicans voted in 2012.

Second Vice Chair Mary Young uses her report to thank every volunteer.

Treasurer Mark Bucher says the bills are paid.

Assistant Treasurer TJ Fuentes says all dues are paid, except for some of the ex officio members (ex officio members are members of Congress, Board of Equalization members, state legislators, and Republican nominees for those offices).

Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh notes the Ethics Committee has not yet needed to meet because no one has filed an ethics complaint.

Meeting adjourns at 8:18 PM.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | Leave a Comment »

Yorba Linda Recall Recap: 17% Margin Against Recall, Rikel Loses Replacement Race, Palmer Shows Weakness for November

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 8, 2014

With all precincts reporting and 11,374 ballots counted of the estimated 12,500 ballots cast, the Yorba Linda recall of October 7, 2014, is clearly over – ironically on the 11th anniversary of the day that Governor Gray Davis was recalled on October 7, 2003.  Republican Yorba Linda Councilmen Craig Young and Tom Lindsey have handily defeated their recalls 59%-41%, becoming the first Orange County officeholders to defeat a recall at the ballot box since Mission Viejo Councilman Robert Curtis beat back a recall on February 27, 1990 (and Mission Viejo was incorporated in 1988).  Even if all ~1,100 outstanding ballots were cast in favor of the recall (which is impossible), Young and Lindsey are already beating their recalls by 2,000 ballots as it is.  It was a resounding victory against the first recall election in Yorba Linda’s 47-year history.

Recall proponents in the group Yorba Linda Residents for Responsible Representation (YLRRR) under the efforts of recall candidate Nancy Rikel submitted 9,000 signatures to qualify the recall, but could barely get half that number of people to vote in favor of the recall.

As the numbers were counted through the course of the night, the numbers continued to grow stronger against the recall and against both YLRRR-backed candidates, showing poll voters even more strongly against the recall and the YLRRR-backed candidates than early absentee voters.  As the campaigns for and against the recall wore on, the more the voters turned against the recall and its supporters.

Shall Thomas H. Lindsey be recalled (removed) from the office of City Council Member?
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Yes 4,684 41.3%
No 6,648 58.7%
Shall Craig Young be recalled (removed) from the office of City Council Member?
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Yes 4,691 41.5%
No 6,601 58.5%

To add insult to injury for Rikel, early absentee voters had her leading in the race to replace Young 53%-47%.  When all poll voters were accounted for, she was losing to anti-recall candidate J. Minton Brown, Jr., a complete political unknown until this recall election.  As the campaign wore on, more and more Yorba Linda voters turned on Rikel.

Candidates to succeed Craig Young if he is recalled.
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
J. MINTON BROWN JR. 4,412 50.1%
NANCY RIKEL 4,400 49.9%

The one bright spot for YLRRR and the only minor dark cloud for anti-recall forces was in the election for the replacement candidate if Lindsey were recalled.  YLRRR-backed Jeff Decker handily beat anti-recall Matt Palmer.  While neither Brown nor Rikel is on the November ballot, both Decker and Palmer are running for Council seats in November.  Lindsey is also running for re-election in November; if the recall had succeeded, Lindsey would have only missed out on the final weeks of his current term, which expires in November.

With Palmer unable to capitalize on the anti-recall wave in October against Decker, this does not bode well for him in November when he won’t even have the coattails against the recall available to him.  YLRRR will likely continue to support Decker, but those who are anti-YLRRR will have to unite behind a different candidate with a better chance of beating Decker.

Candidates to succeed Thomas H. Lindsey if he is recalled.
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
JEFFREY N. DECKER 4,574 52.3%
MATT PALMER 4,167 47.7%

While the percentages seem to show Rikel and Decker outperforming the recall, that’s not true when you look at the actual votes cast.  More people voted for either recall than voted for Rikel or Decker.  The numbers bare out one clear conclusion when looking at the anti-recall votes, a significant number of Yorba Lindans voted “No” on the Recall and refused to vote for any of the replacement candidates.  Clearly, voters heeded the “No on the Recall” campaign’s clear message (avoiding the infamous and schizophrenic message of “No on the Recall, Yes on Bustamante” that confused anti-recall Democrats 11 years ago).

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

BREAKING NEWS: Yorba Linda Recall Going Down in Flames

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 7, 2014

For the first time in nearly a quarter-century, a recall in Orange County has been defeated at the ballot box.

In early returns, Yorba Linda voters have overwhelmingly defeated the recall attempts against Mayor Craig Young and Councilman Tom Lindsey by a 58%-42% margin.

In the now-moot replacement candidate race, pro-recall candidates Nancy Rikel and Jeff Decker led anti-recall candidates J. Minton Brown and Matt Palmer by 53%-47% margins.  However, Rikel and Decker got fewer votes than Yes on the Recall did, so it’s quite likely a significant number of voters who opposed the recall refused to vote for replacement candidates.

Young will be able to serve out his term until it expires in 2016. Lindsey will be able to serve out his term until it expires in November. Lindsey is seeking reelection on the November ballot.

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 3 of 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 7, 2014

We’re here for the third and final meeting of the OC GOP Endorsements Committee who will make recommendations to the OC GOP Central Committee.

The Endorsements Committee is chaired by Mark Bucher. Members include Jerry Jackson, Jeff Matthews, Peggy Huang, Mary Young, and Thomas Gordon. Gordon arrives after the second candidate, Bill Green.

On tonight’s docket are:

  • David Bass – Lake Forest City Council
  • William L. (Bill) Green – South Coast Water District
  • Miguel A. Gonzalez – Santa Ana City Council, Ward 6
  • Rene Gomez – Santa Ana City Council, Ward 2
  • Bryan Palomares – Stanton City Council
  • Annette Gibson – Laguna Beach Unified School District
  • Jon Peat – Cypress City Council

Dave Bass was appointed to the Lake Forest City Council in 2013 to replace Peter Herzog. He speaks about his extensive background in municipal government finance. He was brought in to help Bell recover money from its indicted City Council, City Manager, and Assistant City Manager.

Scott Voigts speaks on behalf of Bass. He speaks about his conservative credentials and council qualifications.

Jeff Matthews asks if there are still enough spots for endorsement available.

Mark Bucher confirms there are.

Peggy Huang asks about eminent domain.

Bass says he would support eminent domain for public purposes such as a park.

Mary Young asks if he’d support eminent domain for a park if several homes were seized.

Bass says he would not.


Bill Green is permitted to conference call in from Hawaii. He served in the military, and in his first election, he volunteered for Richard Nixon. He worked in private industry for 35 years. He speaks about his son who worked for Darrell Issa. He speaks about his campaign team. He was Dennis Hollingsworth’s alternate on the Riverside County Central Committee and headed the Riverside County Lincoln Club.

Peggy Huang asks about Green’s position on Proposition 1, the state water bond.

He states he is generally opposed to bonds but supports the water bond especially with the current drought.

Huang asks him about his statements on his questionnaire about fiscal health of the district.

He speaks about increasing efficiency, recycled water, and various other water policy issues.

Huang asks about the Bay Delta peripheral canal or the Governor’s tunnel.

Green would be open to either one. His goal is ensuring water flow. He will be on a Metropolitan Water District inspection tour later in October.

Mark Bucher expresses his awe at Huang’s water knowledge.

Huang explains her experience working on state water legislation.

Green’s phone disconnects.


Mike Gonzalez speaks about being a businessman in Santa Ana. He speaks about his community volunteerism.

Maribel Marroquin speaks about Gonzalez’s contributions of time, money, and food to her Maribel’s volunteers.

Clare Venegas of the Lincoln Club speaks about Gonzalez being endorsed by the Lincoln Club. She speaks about the help he has provided to Latino outreach efforts for Republicans.

Candidate Rene Gomez speaks about immigrating to the United States at age 14. He went to Santa Ana High School. He joined the army during the Persian Gulf War though he was deployed to Germany. He served in the National Guard afterward for six years. He earned his degree and entered business. He speaks of burdensome government regulations and taxation.

Jerry Jackson asks Gonzalez and Gomez about why they support Obamacare. The committee clarifies the question says they support the repeal of Obamacare. Jackson misread the question.

Young moves and Gordon seconds as Robert Hammond jokingly heckles in support.


Bryan Palomares is a 10-year Stanton homeowner and son of a single mother. He speaks about his wife and children. He went back to school in his late 20s and earned his MBA in his 30s.

Clare Venegas of the Lincoln Club speaks citing the club’s opposition to Measure GG, the sales tax increase in Stanton. She met Palomares who told her of his life story, his community efforts, and his opposition to sales tax increases while there have been significant pay raises for City employees.

Alexandria Coronado speaks against Palomares. She cites his protests in front of the Stanton Republican Headquarters.

Bucher and Venegas state they were both at the protest which opposed Measure GG – the same position the party has taken. However, Bucher notes David Shawver is in charge of the Stanton Headquarters. Shawver strongly supports Measure GG.

Coronado says Shawver’s wife and another woman are the ones running it day to day even though Shawver’s name is on the lease.

Young expresses outrage that Yes on GG walks are being run out of the Stanton Republican headquarters when the party endorsed No on GG.

Venegas the passes out photos of the Yes on GG walk at the Stanton Republican headquarters despite the OC GOP endorsing No on GG.

Venegas posted No on GG signs on the headquarters which were removed within an hour.

Huang asks Palomares about his answer on the city’s fiscal health on the questionnaire.

Palomares says he would pay employees commensurate with the market and education levels. He notes salary.com shows salaries of $35K-$40K on average for secretaries versus Stanton secretaries making nearly double. He cites various pieces of land purchased needlessly by Stanton and the city’s unwillingness to sell them.

Gordon asks about Kevin Carr adding Palomares on his flyers.

Palomares says he did not authorize that. He states that Carr has been a thorn in Shawver’s side. Palomares and Carr do agree in their opposition to both Measure GG and Shawver.

The Endorsements Committee criticizes Shawver as they have documents showing Shawver criticizing Palomares.

Palomares disputes Shawver’s claims of cronyism by pointing out that of the five incumbent Stanton City Council members, they live in two neighborhoods.

Bucher reminds the committee that Shawver ran with extensive union backing against John Moorlach for Supervisor. He warns that Shawver will likely launch a behind the scenes campaign to derail the endorsement of Palomares.


Annette Gibson rattles off a lot of information about the Laguna Beach Unified School District. She criticizes the district’s consultant contracts. She calls for greater fiscal accountability in the district. She speaks against Common Core.

Robert Hammond supports her under questioning from Mark Bucher.

Clare Venegas of the Lincoln Club says the club has endorsed Gibson.

Bucher asks Gibson about charter schools.

Gibson says she supports charter schools and the free market.

Peggy Huang asks about the consultants.

Gibson rattles off a number of high-dollar value consulting contracts from the district.

Thomas Gordon asks about the field of candidates.

Gibson says there are four candidates running for three seats. There are only two incumbents running.


Alexandria Coronado says Jon Peat is absent due to needing to stay late on a work project at Raytheon. She says he is a great conservative and is the best candidate for Cypress City Council and is endorsed by the 2010 Republican-endorsed Councilman Rob Johnson.

The Endorsements Committee makes more jokes about David Shawver during their discussion of Peat’s endorsement request.


Endorsements Committee adjourns at 6:55 PM. The Central Committee will vote on the recommendation on October 20.

Posted in Cypress, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Lake Forest, Republican Central Committee, Santa Ana, South Coast Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Protest Underway at Stanton GOP HQ Over Measure GG Sales Tax Increase

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 20, 2014

A small protest is underway at the OC GOP Headquarters in Stanton against the Measure GG Sales Tax Increase on the November ballot.  While the OC GOP has officially endorsed against Measure GG, the headquarters is being run by Stanton Councilman David Shawver, who has vocally advocated the Measure GG Sales Tax Increase.

Shawver is hosting a meeting for some delegates of the California Republican Party, as the state party convention is underway this weekend.

The protesters are objecting to an atmosphere of tax-and-spend by Republicans, led by Shawver.  The protesters are also objecting to Measure GG’s sales tax increase that is 12.5% higher than the existing sales tax.

Additionally, the protesters have raised concerns that City resources are being used to promote the ballot measure, as can be seen on this page on the City of Stanton web site (in case the page gets taken down, OC Political has taken the liberty of archiving the page here) or this City press release.

The City of Stanton has argued that it has been cutting its budget to the bone since 2011, cutting $9 million from its general fund since then.  The protesters have raised concerns about the adequacy of these cuts, citing the levels of salaries of City employees and citing pay raises granted during since 2011, when the City is asking the voters to increase the sales tax:

  • $162,504: City Manager (15% pay raise in 2012)
  • $141,312: Community Development Director (5% pay raises in 2011 and 2012)
  • $134,580: Public Works Director/City Engineer
  • $128,172: Administrative Services Director
  • $122,076: Community Services Director (5% pay raise on August 12, 2014, just six months after becoming Community Services Director)
  • $97,572: Accounting Manager
  • $78,132: Code Enforcement/Parking Control Supervisor
  • $78,132: Facilities Maintenance Supervisor (5% pay raise on April 22, 2014)
  • $78,132: Associate Planner (5% pay raises in 2011, 2012, and 2013)

The full text of Measure GG is available from the Registrar of Voters (it’s the first 3.5 pages of the PDF).  The City Attorney’s impartial analysis is on page 4.  While the proponents of the Measure GG sales tax increase have dubbed it the “9-1-1/Public Safety and Essential City Services Protection Measure,” the impartial analysis notes, “The City would not be required to use the revenues raised by Measure GG for any special purpose or for any particular program or service.”

Pages 5-6 of the PDF from the Registrar has the argument in favor of GG, argument against GG, and the rebuttals to those two arguments.

Posted in Stanton | Tagged: , | 11 Comments »

Live from the Costa Mesa City Council Feet to the Fire Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 18, 2014

We’re live from the Costa Mesa City Council candidate forum sponsored by the Feet to the Fire Forum, a lively debate sponsored by the Daily Pilot and Voice of OC.

Your intrepid blogger walked in late due to having never been on the Orange Coast College campus before, and having to search for the right building.

All the candidates are present except for Katrina Foley.

Daily Pilot Editor John Canalis asks about density. Two loud women scream from the audience.

Jim Righeimer says no changes have been made to any zoning. No variance has allowed people to place more units than permitted under zoning. The two loud women object again when Righeimer points out Foley voted for variances that allow more units than zoning allowed for certain areas.

Jay Humphrey complains about density in an unincorporated area that Costa Mesa is about to annex (Colleen island).

Rita Simpson says each project needs to be mitigated but she supports the annexation of the expensive apartments in the Colleen island.

Alicia Perez of the Daily Pilot asks about lot sizes. Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about LAFCO processes and maintaining prior zoning like in Santa Ana Heights.

Tony Capitelli suggests adding bike loans and public transportation.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC asks Righeimer about the Costa Mesa City birthday party and a legal settlement involving Dan Joyce, who oversaw the party.

Jim Righeimer says he is not allowed to answer personnel issues, but he does note that some people involved violated city procurement policies.

Jay Humphrey called it a mismanagement of the process.

An obnoxious group of about 20 people out of an audience of 100 keep cheering for every word that Humphrey says and booing everything Righeimer says, sometimes before he even finish his sentence.

Al Melone expresses concern about debating a personnel issue in public.

Lee Ramos says this is beating a dead horse. He says the party was done irresponsibly, but the Council by a 5-0 vote has resolved the issue.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about a sports park at Fairview Park.

Lee Ramos says he reveres Fairview Park the way it is. He calls for a study. He has spoken with Parks Commissioners and the school district. He speaks about asking community members and stakeholders for their perspectives.

Alicia Lopez of the Daily Pilot asks about community input.

Jim Righeimer says listening is not trying to be all things to all people and doing what each public commenter says.

Tony Capitelli says perception is reality in politics. He says Righeimer is unable to build consensus on important issues like homelessness. He wishes to revert to the old public comment policy. He says the Council has executive, legislative, and judicial functions.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about the old public comment system where all public commenters spoke at the beginning of Council meetings while the new policy has part of public comment at the beginning of the meeting and the remainder at the end.

Chris Bunyan blasts the new policy stating that Righeimer implemented it because he didn’t like being criticized.

Jay Humphrey says they didn’t have this problem in the past.

Chris Bunyan interjects that Righeimer caused public uproar about the Council.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about why Costa Mesa didn’t join Newport Beach on group homes.

Jim Righeimer points out that a judge ruled against Newport Beach. He states it is important to follow state and federal law.

Chris Bunyan criticizes the structure of a task force on rehabilitation homes. He says no data is being collected. He points to an ordinance in the City of Orange that limits distances between rehabilitation homes. Bunyan blames the rehabilitation homes and the bed count for increasing crime on the east side.

Al Melone says the city is on the right track. He says the City cannot endure multimillion lawsuits for violating state law.

Rits Simpson expresses her agreement with Melone.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about campaign contributions from rehabilitation homes.

Jim Righeimer says he returned the sole contribution he received from rehabilitation homes while the other candidates indicated that they did not receive any.

Jay Humphrey says Wendy Leece introduced the city’s rehabilitation home ordinance.

Lee Ramos expresses concern about the city’s political fracturing. He says Costa Mesa has to work together. He points to a local community group who is working on the rehabilitation home issue. He says it doesn’t matter who gets credit as long as the right thing is done (pointing to Humphrey crediting Leece on an ordinance).

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about the Costa Mesa Police Department’s staffing levels.

Jim Righeimer notes crime rates dropped in 2013. (I’ve never heard audience members boo dropping crime rates until I came to this candidate forum.) He says all cities cut police during the 2008-09 financial crisis, which he notes was a decision the Costa Mesa Council made before Righeimer was elected. He notes changes to city HR policies to more efficiently hire additional personnel to restore former police staffing levels.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC questions if Righeimer is consistent with his prior statements about changing policing methods.

Jim Righeimer says it makes sense to utilize police helicopters in partnership with neighboring cities rather than having one helicopter for a single city.

Jay Humphrey expresses concern about having new police officers instead of lateral transfers. He says Costa Mesa is not getting the top quality people applying for police jobs, just the bottom people.

Chris Bunyan says code enforcement is part of public safety, not just police and fire. He again refers to group homes. He says police have no reason to come to Righeimer’s city.

Tony Capitelli speaks about good friends who left the Costa Mesa Police Department for other cities. He says the City needs to come together.

Lee Ramos says he met with the City Manager. He says the new police chief came in and had a decrease in staffing levels. Ramos would like to increase police staffing levels over 18 months.

Al Melone wants to recruit police officers from cold states using the weather to attract top quality experienced police officers rather than local rookies.

Chris Bunyan points to vice squads and K9 units needing experienced police.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about Righeimer dropping his lawsuit against the police union.

Jim Righeimer says he would be willing to drop the suit if the union, its law firm, and its private investigator would come clean. He expresses concern about the law firm extorting city councils on behalf of police unions.

Jay Humphrey says the suit needs to be dropped to bring calm to the city, which would attract lateral transfers to the police department.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC asks Righeimer if he’s really going after the police system.

Jim Righeimer says the police union and the police department are separate entities. He says there are a lot of police officers who didn’t like what the police union did. He says unions have done this in other cities.

Alicia Perez of the Daily Pilot suggests that Righeimer’s attitude has been anti-union and that’s a non-local issue that gives the perception of not caring about the city. She asks if he’s interested in higher office.

Jim Righeimer says he has young children and doesn’t want to go to Sacramento. Righeimer says there is a massive pension liability.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OV asks if 65% of Costa Mesa’s budget is the appropriate amount to spend on police and fire. He asks if it’s sustainable.

Jay Humphrey says the level is correct and has been the level for years. He calls public safety the app

Tony Capitelli says 65% is sustainable but not with 19% for pensions.

Lee Ramos says 80% is more appropriate for sustainability.

Al Melone is fine with 65%-80% but calls for increasing the retirement age for pensions.

Rita Simpson says CalPERS is demanding greater payments for unsustainable pensions.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks Bunyan about how he would deal with unfunded pension liabilities.

Chris Bunyan says CalPERS hasn’t followed all of Jerry Brown’s recommendations for pension reform. He says fat pensions are gone. He says Costa Mesa needs to tighten its belts.

Jim Righeimer says there is no silver bullet. He says cities will go bankrupt which will force change. He criticizes the structure of the CalPERS board. He says Costa Mesa will be fine because they monitor their budget but other cities will go bankrupt.

Jay Humphrey says the City pension committee has called for increased contributions from both employer and employees to deal with the pension liability. Humphrey cites a single year’s returns as proof that investments are reducing the pension liability.

Tony Capitelli says employees need to pay the entire employee pension contribution and should replicate the federal pension plan. He expresses concern that new employees and his generation are forced to pay for the largesse of older generations.

Jim Righeimer says the State prevents cities and employees from contributing more to the pension. He wants to establish a balance where police are not paying 25% of their salaries to pensions.

Lee Ramos is concerned that the only ways to fix the liability problem is via sales tax, Sacramento changes, bonds, or property taxes.

Al Melone calls for placing money in the bank from higher contributions as insurance against future liabilities rather than paying CalPERS more.

Alicia Perez of the Daily Pilot asks about building supportive housing.

Tony Capitelli says Civic Center Park was thr wrong location, and that Mercy House had applied for a number of other locations, some of which are in industrial/commercial areas rather than residential areas.

Jay Humphrey says Costa Mesa should provide housing for the homeless. He wants to convert motels into SROs. He says the City did this in the 1990s and was a model for the County.

Lee Ramos questions where these places were.

Jay Humphrey gives locations.

Several people shout that these are affordable homes for seniors not the homeless.

Tony Capitelli says there needs to be more collaboration with the community.

Chris Bunyan says hotels should start to take on more homeless as the hotels age. He calls Righeimer anti-hotel.

Al Melone asks where will the funding for all of this come from. He says Santa Monica and LA have much worse homeless problems.

Jim Righeimer says Costa Mesa has attracted homeless by providing numerous services. He says all cities need to provide these services so every city has its fair share. He says some hotel slumlords are overcharging the homeless for tiny spaces, like five people on 180 square feet.

Tony Capitelli says nonprofits, state, and federal funding pays for these. He says they should encourage community development rather than shelters.

Lee Ramos asks where the money is that Capitelli is referring to.

Tony Capitelli points to one grant the City Council voted against.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks yes or no on medical marijuana:
Jay Humphrey says Yes.
Tony Capitelli says Yes.
Lee Ramos says Yes.
Al Melone says No.
Rita Simpson says No.
Jim Righeimer says No if not medical.
Chris Bunyan says Yes.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks Yes or No on messages on toilet seats:
Jay Humphrey says Yes.
Tony Capitelli says Yes.
Lee Ramos says No.
Al Melone says No.
Rita Simpson says No.
Jim Righeimer says No.
Chris Bunyan says Yes.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC asks about taking four years with all of Righeimer’s promises and only outsourcing trash.

Jim Righeimer says they can’t outsource the city. He says general employee average total compensation is $105,000. He says the City worked with city employees to cap cash outs of employee vacation pay when they separate from employment.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about Banning Ranch.

Chris Bunyan says he has fought developing Banning Ranch. He criticizes Righeimer.

Jim Righeimer says it’s Newport Beach’s decision.

Rita Simpson says it’s the Coastal Commission’s decision.

Lee Ramos says there needs to be tighter control of the project.

Tony Capitelli calls for mitigation.

Jay Humphrey opposes the project.

Your blogger missed the final Yes or No question, but here are the answers (if someone recalls the answer please comment below or click on contact us above):
Jay Humphrey says No.
Tony Capitelli says says Yes.
Lee Ramos says Yes.
Al Melone says Yes.
Rita Simpson says Yes.
Jim Righeimer says Yes.
Chris Bunyan says No.

This blogger apologizes for any errors and omissions. Feet to the Fire debates are always the most difficult events to live blog due to their quick and lively pace.  Additionally, tonight’s extremely disruptive audience made it difficult to hear the candidates and panelists at times.

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements Round 2

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 15, 2014

We’re live from OC GOP Central Committee for the second round of endorsements to decide on the recommendations of the Endorsements Committee, which we covered here and here. Please recall that the OC GOP Central Committee already made official early endorsements in August.

As is usual for an endorsements meeting, several new alternates are sworn in.

There are too many candidates and elected officials here to list them all.

The party is honoring Scott Loenhorst, who flew down from Silicon Valley tonight for the Central Committee meeting. Loenhorst left his position as OC GOP Executive Director three weeks ago to join Google.

On the docket tonight are:

Recommended for Endorsement
Angie Cano – Santa Ana Unified School District
Tim Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
Jim Cunneen – Fountain Valley School District
Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7   
John Briscoe – Ocean View School District
Andrew Hamilton – Lake Forest City Council
Elaine Gennawey – Laguna Niguel City Council
John Jennings – Laguna Niguel City Council
Shawn Dewane – Orange County Water District, Division 7
Chuck Perry – Costa Mesa Sanitary District
Ron Amburgey – Mesa Water District, Division 4
Duffy Duffield – Newport Beach City Council, District 3
Scott Peotter – Newport Beach City Council, District 6
Kevin Muldoon – Newport Beach City Council, District 4
MJ Noor – Fullerton Joint Union High School District
Tracy Pellman – Ocean View School District
Ed Sachs – Mission Viejo City Council
Rhonda Reardon – Mission Viejo City Council
Wendy Bucknum – Mission Viejo City Council
Kerry Ferguson – San Juan Capistrano City Council
Greg Sebourn – Fullerton City Council
Steve Vargas – Brea City Council
Cecilia Hupp – Brea City Council
John Tomlinson – Dana Point City Council
David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
Baron Night – Buena Park City Council

Recommended Endorsement Against
Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond
Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond
Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond
Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond

Recommended Neutral/Not Endorsed
Measure Z – Rancho Santa Margarita
Brad McGirr – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Michael Vaughn – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Laurie Biehl – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Don Chadd – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Jerry Holloway – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Sean Paden – Fullerton City Council
Larry Bennett – Fullerton City Council
Michael Vo – Fountain Valley City Council
Barbara Delgleize – Huntington Beach City Council

No Vote
Tony Capitelli – Costa Mesa City Council
Leslie Daigle – Orange County Water District, Division 5

Tim Brown – San Clemente City Council

No Longer Being Considered
Doug Pettibone – Anaheim City Council
James Vanderbilt – Anaheim City Council
Kris Murray – Anaheim City Council
Gail Eastman – Anaheim City Council

Fred Whitaker moves and Brett Barbre seconds the above list in their entirety.

Newport Beach City Council is pulled for further discussion.

Tim Brown will be considered for San Clemente City Council on the floor of Central Committee.

Tracy Pellman and John Briscoe in Ocean View School District are pulled for discussion.

Tim Surridge and Rick Ledesma in Orange Unified School District are pulled for discussion.

Sean Paden running for Fullerton City Council is pulled for discussion.

Michael Vo running for Fountain Valley City Council is pulled for discussion.

Fred Whitaker moves and Denis Bilodeau seconds to endorse Tim Surridge and Rick Ledesma for Orange Unified School District.

Whitaker says that Surridge and Ledesma are both good Republicans. He speaks about their conservative voting records. Whitaker warns that Surridge’s opponent is Florice Hoffman, a liberal union lawyer who ran against Ed Royce. Ledesma’s opponent is also a liberal Democrat, Tim Perez.

Deborah Pauly speaks about Surridge and Ledesma voting for the bond. She said they both promised her they would not vote for a bond.

The vote sounds like 50/50, thereby falling short of the 2/3 vote needed.


Kermit Marsh moves to endorse both Tracy Pellman and John Briscoe for Ocean View School District. Scott Voigts seconds.

Marsh states that the two have slung mud at each other, and he is moving them together to force them to be considered together. Marsh lives in the district and his children attend Ocean View schools. He says the teachers union supported Pellman and opposed Briscoe in 2010. He says the teachers unions now oppose Pellman and quietly support Briscoe in 2014; he has had five teachers confirm this.


Steve Baric moves and Brett Barbre seconds the endorsement of Duffy Duffield.

Baric says these three candidates took the time to apply. He calls them reformers who oppose the dock tax. He says their principles are consistent with Republican Party principles.

Mary Young wants all candidates considered, including Duffield’s opponent, Rush Hill.


Brett Barbre moves and John Warner seconds the endorsement of Scott Peotter.


Lee Lowery moves and Zonya Townsend seconds the endorsement of Kevin Muldoon.


Brett Barbre moves and Mary Young seconds the endorsement of Wendy Bucknum.

Barbre speaks of Bucknum’s volunteerism on behalf of Republicans and her conservative principles.

Steve Sarkis asks about the he-said-she-said emails in Mission Viejo. Sarkis asks Bucher if the Endorsements Committee reviewed the issues raised. Bucher confirms they did.


Mary Young moves and Steve Nagel seconds the endorsement of Rhonda Reardon.


Mark McCurdy speaks about Sean Paden’s city service and conservative principles.

Fred Whitaker states that the Endorsements Committee made a decision to not recommend Sean Paden or Larry Bennett since there are more Republicans than seats.

Thomas Gordon says the Republican team of Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn have endorsed Sean Paden and that the Republican Party needs to send Whitaker and Sebourn a teammate in Paden.

Shawn Nelson says he agrees with Fred Whitaker. He says he has not endorsed either candidate. He says neither have been in the trenches.

TJ Fuentes moves and John W. Briscoe seconds to endorse no one (other than Greg Sebourn who was endorsed on the consent calendar).


Steve Nagel moves and Peggy Huang seconds the endorsement of Michael Vo for Fountain Valley City Council. He notes that the OC GOP endorsed McCurdy, Vo, and John Collins four years ago.

Scott Peotter notes that Vo supported evergreen contracts and likes various Democrats on his Facebook page.


Amazingly, endorsements completed less than one hour after it began.

Scott Baugh speaks about the various Republican headquarters.

Meeting Adjourned.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 6 Comments »

OC GOP Endorsements: Who Has Them? Who Doesn’t?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 8, 2014

Republican Party of Orange CountyThere’s been some confusion as to what OC GOP has and has not endorsed so far.  For an OC GOP endorsement to be official, it must be approved by the Central Committee.

A number of early endorsements were approved by the Central Committee on August 18 (which I dubbed Round 1 in my live blog.) I should note there were also two endorsements made during the primary that carried over to the general election (Claude Parrish for Orange County Assessor and Kevin Haskins for Superior Court Judge) and one really early endorsement made during the primary for the general election (Michael Gates for Huntington Beach City Attorney).

The Endorsements Committee met on September 2 and September 3 (which I dubbed Round 2A and Round 2B respectively in my live blogs).  The Endorsements Committee votes are only recommendations for the Central Committee to consider at its meeting next week on September 15.  The Central Committee must ratify the recommendations of the Endorsements Committee before any endorsement can be official.

For our readers’ edification, I’m going to consolidate the lists of endorsements and recommendations here, so people don’t need to scroll through each live blog to figure out what the status is for each endorsement or proposed endorsement.

All of these have been approved by Central Committee, so these (so far) are the official endorsements of the Republican Party of Orange County:

  • Orange County Supervisor, 5th District: Robert Ming
  • Orange County Assessor: Claude Parrish
  • Superior Court Judge, Office No. 14: Kevin Haskins
  • Aliso Viejo City Council: Dave Harrington
  • Anaheim Mayor: Tom Tait
  • Costa Mesa City Council: Jim Righeimer, Lee Ramos
  • Fountain Valley City Council: Mark McCurdy
  • Huntington Beach City Council: Erik Peterson, Mike Posey, Lynn Semeta
  • Huntington Beach City Attorney: Michael Gates
  • Irvine Mayor: Steven Choi
  • Irvine City Council: Jeff Lalloway, Lynn Schott
  • Lake Forest City Council: Scott Voigts
  • Newport Beach City Council, District 1: Diane Dixon
  • Orange City Council: Ray Grangoff, Fred Whitaker
  • San Juan Capistrano City Council: Pam Patterson, Derek Reeve
  • Westminster City Council: Tyler Diep
  • Yorba Linda City Council (November): Peggy Huang, Tom Lindsey
  • No on the Yorba Linda Recall (October)
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 6: Phil Yarbrough
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4: Craig Alexander
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 6: Ellen Addonizio
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 7: Julie Collier
  • Lowell Joint School District: William Hinz
  • Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1: Brett Barbre
  • Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 5: Dave Ellis
  • Orange County Water District, Division 5: Steve Sheldon
  • Yes on Measure E – County Contracting with FPPC
  • Yes on Measure G – County Supervisorial Vacancy
  • Yes on Measure O – Costa Mesa Charter
  • Yes on Measure W – Irvine Great Park Transparency
  • Yes on Measure V – Irvine Term Limits
  • Yes on Measure Y – Newport Beach General Plan Update
  • No on Measure AA – Santa Ana Utility Tax
  • No on Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax Increase
  • Yes on Measure JJ – Yorba Linda City Council Pension & Healthcare Elimination

The following have been recommended by the Endorsements Committee, but all of the recommendations of the Endorsements Committee below must be ratified by the Central Committee on September 15 (the Central Committee can and does overturn recommendations from the Endorsements Committee):

  • Brea City Council: Steve Vargas, Cecilia Hupp
  • Buena Park City Council: Baron Night
  • Dana Point City Council: John Tomlinson
  • Fullerton City Council: Greg Sebourn
  • Lake Forest City Council: Andrew Hamilton
  • Laguna Niguel City Council: Elaine Gennawey, John Jennings
  • Mission Viejo City Council: Wendy Bucknum, Rhonda Reardon, Ed Sachs
  • Newport Beach City Council, District 3: Duffy Duffield
  • Newport Beach City Council, District 4: Kevin Muldoon
  • Newport Beach City Council, District 6: Scott Peotter
  • San Juan Capistrano City Council: Kerry Ferguson
  • Fountain Valley School District: Jim Cunneen, Sandra Crandall
  • Fullerton Joint Union High School District: M.J. Noor
  • Ocean View School District: John Briscoe, Tracy Pellman
  • Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5: Timothy Surridge
  • Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7: Rick Ledesma
  • Santa Ana Unified School District: Angie Cano
  • Tustin Unified School District: David Yang
  • Orange County Water District, Division 7: Shawn Dewane
  • Mesa Water District, Division 4: Ron Amburgey
  • Costa Mesa Sanitary District: Chuck Perry
  • No on Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond
  • No on Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond
  • No on Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond
  • No on Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond

The Endorsements Committee recommended neutrality on the following (however, the Central Committee could overturn the Endorsements Committee and vote to endorse any of them):

  • Anaheim City Council: Gail Eastman, Kris Murray, Douglas Pettibone, James Vanderbilt
  • Fountain Valley City Council: Michael Vo
  • Fullerton City Council: Sean Paden (Endorsement Motion for Paden Failed 3-3), Larry Bennett
  • Huntington Beach City Council: Barbara Delgleize (Endorsement Motion for Delgleize Failed 3-3)
  • Rancho Santa Margarita City Council: Laurie Biehl, Don Chadd, Jerry Holloway, Brad McGirr, Jesse Petrilla, Michael Vaughn
  • Measure Z – Rancho Santa Margarita Zoning

The Endorsements Committee was prohibited from considering the following applicants because the Central Committee had already endorsed the number of seats available (however, these candidates can appeal to the full Central Committee, who can choose to dual-endorse by adding these candidates to the existing endorsements or they can undo a prior endorsement in favor of one of these candidates):

  • Costa Mesa City Council: Tony Capitelli (Jim Righeimer and Lee Ramos already endorsed for the two seats)
  • Orange County Water District, Division 5: Leslie Daigle (Steve Sheldon already endorsed for the seat)

The Endorsements Committee did not consider the application of one candidate, who somehow missed the Endorsements Committee meeting:

  • San Clemente City Council: Tim Brown

There are a handful of late endorsement applications that are still floating out there, having missed the August deadline to submit an application, so these will be considered in Round 3, with Central Committee voting on October 20, just 15 days before the election.  These would most definitely be considered late endorsements.  Because it’s endorsements, there’s one more caveat: a late applicant could appeal to the full Central Committee at its September 15 meeting to try to get a September endorsement, but that’d be tough to pull off.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 2B

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 3, 2014

We’re live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee for the second night of recommendations to be made to the Central Committee for its September meeting.  (Late endorsements will be considered at the October Central Committee meeting.)

On tonight’s docket are:
Tracy Pellman – Ocean View School District
Rhonda Reardon – Mission Viejo City Council
Ed Sachs – Mission Viejo City Council
Wendy Bucknum – Mission Viejo City Council
Kerry Ferguson – San Juan Capistrano City Council
Sean Paden – Fullerton City Council
Greg Sebourn – Fullerton City Council
Larry Bennett – Fullerton City Council
Steve Vargas – Brea City Council
Cecilia Hupp- Brea City Council
John Tomlinson – Dana Point City Council
Tim Brown – San Clemente City Council
Michael Vo – Fountain Valley City Council
David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
Baron Night – Buena Park City Council
Barbara Delgleize – Huntington Beach City Council
Leslie Daigle – Orange County Water District Div 5

6:10 PM: OVSD Trustee Tracy Pellman notes OVSD is Republican-controlled and that the union is trying to take over the Board. She says she has a broad base of support.

OVSD Trustee Debbie Cotton speaks in support of Pellman. She says there’s a 2-2-1 Board. She says Pellman and Cotton are conservatives. She says OVSD Trustee John Briscoe is locked in with the union (last night, Briscoe accused Pellman of being union backed).

Mark McCurdy expresses the crowd’s confusion about who is actually the union candidate. He cites an email from Briscoe that the campaign finance reports show Ocean View Teachers Association paid for Pellman’s 2010 campaign and that they’re just not supporting her in 2014.

Pellman says she never asked for union support.

Cotton says the union doesn’t interview candidates. She says they’ve endorsed two other candidates publicly. She says the teachers union has had its teachers distribute flyers supporting Briscoe.

Jeff Matthews asks a follow up question.

Pellman answers that she has not sought union suport. She says the voting records prove Briscoe is with the union.

Bucher moves to recommend Pellman for endorsement (for discussion purposes). Peggy Huang seconds.

Bucher urges people to come out with evidence of the Briscoe and Pellman allegations, respectively, before the Central Committee meeting.

Thomas Gordon says he’s seen Briscoe at numerous events.

Pellman responds that she has walked precincts for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and for Huntington Beach City Attorney candidate (and Central Committee Member) Michael Gates.

Cotton says that while Briscoe may give good conservative rhetoric and show up at Republican events, he does not vote like a Republican.

Peggy Huang says there’s a lot of mudslinging, but there are two endorsements available, so both Briscoe and Pellman should be recommended to Central Committee,  who can then sort out any evidence received by the next Central Committee meeting.

Gordon asks if Pellman supported Ocean View’s bond.

Pellman says she did. She says she also supported a ballot measure to bring Wal-Mart to generate revenue.

Jerry Jackson asks her position on Common Core.

Pellman says she has serious concerns about Common Core.

PELLMAN RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-1 (GORDON DISSENTING). (Note: Briscoe was recommended last night.)

6:29 PM: Mission Viejo City Council Candidate Ed Sachs speaks about his business career, his volunteerism for Republican candidates, and his service on a City Commission. He speaks about about pension liabilities, size of government, city manager compensation, transparency, COIN, and public notice of items being voted upon.

Mission Viejo incumbent Rhonda Reardon speaks of working together. She says she follows Reagan’s adage of being conservative in principle and moderate in style. She says they’ve implemented pension reform, enhanced public safety, and improved roads. She meets with all constituents who ask and attends numerous community events.

Mission Viejo candidate Wendy Bucknum speaks of her longtime community involvement. She speaks of helping get people elected. She volunteered for Jack Kemp for Congress as a New York child. She moved to California as a young adult. She cites helping Mimi Walters, Pat Bates, and other Republican candidates.  She believes in faith based initiatives.  She has served on a city commission.  She has no aspirations for higher office. She says she is a fiscal conservative who will work collaboratively. She wants to run a positive campaign.

Robert Ming speaks in support of Ed Sachs.

Mission Viejo Community Service Commissioner Steve Madgziak speaks against Wendy Bucknum for voting on that commission for high spending, regulating families, cell phones for the homeless, and abortion.

Larry Gilbert expresses concern that Reardon showed up with code enforcement at an e-cigarette vendor. He says Reardon has supported increased spending.

Some person who speaks too fast to be easily understood speaks about his involvement in aviation and public safety. He says Reardon properly voted for street lights for public safety. He says there is a balanced budget.

Another person who mumbled his name said Wendy Bucknum supported then-Democrat Dave Leckness. He says she had union signs in her yard. He says she turned a blind eye to a sexual abuse scandal in a swim team she was involved in.

Mission Viejo Councilwoman Cathy Schlict accuses Reardon of fiscally irresponsible spending, funding abortion, and fighting against anti-toll lane resolutions.

Bucknum says Mimi Walters, Pat Bates, and Mike Munzing are supporting her. She says Schlict previously ran against her. She says she is opposed to this mudslinging. She points to Republican awards she has received. She says she has worked with Mary Young.

Reardon says the e-cigarette vendor demonstrated in a subsequent meeting that they exceeded legal standards, so she supported them. She said she voted for increased spending at a park that had not been renovated in quite some time.

Sachs speaks about his longtime business experience, experience that is lacking on the Council. He doesn’t want to focus on want-to-have things instead of need-to-have things.

McCurdy asks why Sachs didn’t sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Sachs signs McCurdy’s copy.  It is discovered that different committee members have different copies for some reason. Huang and Gordon have signed copies yet Bucher and McCurdy do not.

McCurdy asks about Bucknum campaigning for a Democrat and union sign. Bucknum says he was a pro-business Democrat who is now a Republican. She says the union sign was an anti-recall sign for a recall held just a few months before the general election.

Gordon moves and McCurdy seconds recommending Sachs.


Bucher questions whether there are half-truths and spin in the newspaper handed out by Larry Gilbert.

Bucher moves and Matthews seconds to recommend endorsement for Reardon and Bucknum.

Matthews doesn’t want policy issues brought up. He then inconsistently states he just wants to know if people are good conservatives.

Gordon asks about cell phones for the homeless.

Reardon says she gave Community Development Block Grants to a charity that provided limited-minute cell phones to allow people seeking jobs to list the phone number on their resumes.

Gordon asks about taxpayer funding for abortions.

Reardon says she never supported such a thing and is pro-life.


6:58 PM: San Juan Capistrano City Council candidate Kerry Ferguson speaks about rising water rates in her city. She wants to lower water rates by finding cheaper sources of water. She expresses her desire to improve roads and traffic.

Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Jim Reardon speaks about Ferguson’s conservative activism in San Juan Capistrano.

Connie Lee of the RWF says Ferguson leads her group smoothly despite lots of feisty members.

Bucher asks her about redevelopment.

She says she opposes eminent domain. She supports private redevelopment, not redevelopment agencies.


7:05 PM: Three Fullerton candidates for two seats.

Fullerton candidate Sean Paden says the General Fund needs to be treated as taxpayer money, not City money. He is an attorney and supports an adversarial but not hostile relationship with labor unions. He opposes a $140 million Fullerton trolley that the Council passed 3-1. He supports pension reform via 401(k) plans. He says changing pension formulas is rearranging deck chairs.

Fullerton Mayor Pro Tem Greg Sebourn says he has consistently voted against pay hikes and rate hikes. He voted to refund money to taxpayers but that vote amount was reduced when Democrat Jan Flory defeated Republican Travis Kiger in the 2012 election by a tiny number of votes. Sebourn supports pension reform.

Larry Bennett speaks of his business experience, his Chamber of Commerce experience, his Rotary experience, and his leadership in the Boy Scouts. He speaks of conservative principles. He is endorsed by Congressman Ed Royce, Senator Bob Huff, Senator Dick Ackerman, Councilwoman Jennifer Fitzgerald, and numerous former Fullerton mayors. He supports pension reform, public safety, and economies of scale by working with other agencies.

Councilwoman Jennifer Fitzgerald speaks in favor of Larry Bennett having worked with him in church and city commissions. She says he will work on pension reform and often better understands pensions than some former Councils.

Councilman Bruce Whitaker says there has usually been a Republican controlled Fullerton Council, except for the last two years. He notes that there has been a 3-2 split with one Republican voting with Democrats Jan Flory and Doug Chaffee. He says he met with Bennett for 4.5 hours to discuss issues and believes Bennett would vote with Flory and Chaffee

Huang asks Sebourn about a 1% PERS rebate.

Sebourn says the rebate is an employee pay rebate. He says it was 3-2, and he was part of the two who opposed the rebate.

Matthews wishes they could endorse all three but only two seats are on the ballot. He moves to go neutral.

Bucher says he agrees but offers a substitute motion because Sebourn is an incumbent who by all accounts is doing a good job. He suggests endorsing Sebourn only.

Matthews withdraws his motion.

Bucher moves and Huang seconds to recommend endorsing Sebourn.


McCurdy moves to endorse Paden. Gordon seconds.

McCurdy says Paden’s resume and endorsements are strong.

Gordon asks Sebourn who he endorsed.

Sebourn has endorsed Paden.

Gordon says there’s a race in AD-65, so there needs to be a Republican team in Fullerton.

Matthews opposes the motion because Bennett and Paden are both Republicans in good standing.

Bucher agrees with Matthews on this race and opposes the motion.

Motion to endorse Paden fails 3-3 (Jackson, McCurdy, and Gordon in favor with Bucher, Matthews, and Huang against).

7:27 PM: Brett Barbre says Brea Council Candidate Steve Vargas is out of the country to fulfill a promised vacation for his wife who has supported Vargas in his military deployments, including a recent 15-month one.

Brea Council Candidate Cecilia Hupp speaks of her community involvement and business experience. She calls for a less hostile atmosphere on the Council.

Bucher notes there are three seats on the ballot while only Vargas and Hupp are seeking the OC GOP endorsement.


7:30 PM: Dana Point Council Candidate John Tomlinson speaks of his community and church involvement. He speaks of his skills helping the city.

Bill Brough speaks in favor of Tomlinson. He speaks of Tomlinson’s longtime residence in Dana Point and his volunteerism.

McCurdy asks Tomlinson about Dana Point revitalization.

Tomlinson says he supports approving the city pieces for this County agency.

Gordon moves and McCurdy seconds.


7:33 PM: This blogger took a restroom break. Sorry.

7:37 PM: McCurdy (both a committee member and a Fountain Valley Councilman) asks his Council colleague Michael Vo about his votes on redevelopment.

Vo says McCurdy voted for benefits for himself while Vo opposed it.

McCurdy says Vo has supported redevelopment.

Vo says he would not bring it back.

McCurdy says he must have changed his mind.

McCurdy says Vo had voted for evergreen contracts and garbage rate increases.

Vo says he has voted in the best interests of the City.

McCurdy asks about his opinion on red light cameras.

Vo says there is a misconception that license plates are used for tracking citizens.

McCurdy expresses concern that the information is stored by a private company.

Huang expresses concern about Vo voting for an evergreen contract for Rainbow Disposal three years ago.

Vo says he would not vote for it again. He says at the time it was necessary to secure low interest rates.

McCurdy says Vo voted for it again just a few months ago.

McCurdy moves for neutrality with Matthews seconding.

Resident David Pruyne says Vo is a nice man but has voted for higher water rates and regulation. He says Vo supported increased home cottage food regulations in Fountain Valley when the State was decreasing these regulations.

Gordon says Vo is okay but not enough to get recommended for endorsement. He expresses concern about the evergreen contract.

Bucher expresses concern that Vo’s voting record does not match his rhetoric.


7:48 PM: Tustin Unified School District candidate David Yang speaks about his extensive experience in education. He speaks about his volunteerism for Republican candidates. He speaks about his endorsements from Ken Williams, Robert Hammond, Linda Lindholm, and Jim Palmer.


Longtime Central Committee Member Baron Night says he’s running for Buena Park City Council.

The committee interrupts him to make a motion:

7:51 PM: Huntington Beach Candidate Barbara Delgleize speaks about being a consensus builder. She speaks of her service on city commissions and her business experience. She opposes plastic bag bans and rent control. She is endorsed by Travis Allen and Matt Harper.

Matthews asks Delgleize about her pro-choice position and her support of taxpayer-funded abortions.

She says abortions will not come up on the City Council.

McCurdy asks what if Planned Parenthood wants to set up a location in Huntington Beach.

She states that Planned Parenthood is already in Orange County.

Bucher asks about her support for taxpayer-funded abortions.

She says she wants women to have access to abortion, but she doesn’t want tax dollars spent on abortions. It appears she meant an individual taxpayer could fund it, not taxpayers collectively.

Huang moves and Matthews seconds recommending her endorsement.

Gordon asks about safe and sane fireworks and beach fire rings.

Delgleize supports both.

Huang is concerned about Huntington Beach’s rent control and plastic bag ban. That is why she is moving the recommendation for the endorsement.

McCurdy is concerned about her pro-choice stance.

Gordon says he is generally libertarian but is pro-life. He expresses concern about Planned Parenthood getting involved in local races. He asks if she is an active advocate for abortions or if she is simply pro-choice.

Delgleize is not an active advocate but is unwilling to ban abortions. She says she made an active decision to be a single mother.

Huang says there are many Republican women who are pro-choice. Huang says she is pro-life and talked numerous teenagers out of abortions with her work on foster care, but many Republican women are pro-choice like Delgleize.

Gordon says abortion is a woman’s decision imposing on the life of the baby. He says drugs, fiscal, etc. are personal decisions.

MOTION FAILS 3-3 (Huang, Matthews, and Gordon in favor. Bucher, Jackson, and McCurdy against.)

8:09 PM: Orange County Water District Division 5 challenger Leslie Daigle speaks about her outsourcing efforts on the Newport Beach City Council. She says outsourcing is the truest pension reform. She got employees to contribute more to their pensions by hiring an outside negotiator, Richard Kreisler, who Costa Mesa would later higher. She has helped move the city from single-year salary pension calculations to three-year calculations to reduce pension spiking.

Matthews says OCWD incumbent Steve Sheldon was already endorsed by Central Committee. Matthews says he used Sheldon’s company for his own campaign in the past, in the interest of full disclosure.

McCurdy starts to question Daigle’s non-answers on the questionnaire but then realizes his copy is just hard to read.

Bucher is informed by OC GOP staff that there is only one seat, and Sheldon is already endorsed for this seat. The endorsement was done at the full Central Committee in August, and the Endorsements Committee is unable to act, as Sheldon’s endorsement bypassed the Endorsements Committee when it went up in August. He suggests Daigle find a Central Committee member to move to dual endorse in OCWD 5 or to unendorse Sheldon if she wishes to pursue it.

8:18 PM: Committee adjourns.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 6 Comments »

Live from OCGOP Endorsements Committee: Round 2A

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 2, 2014

We’re live from OCGOP Endorsements Committee tonight as they hold the first of two meetings to make recommendations for the September Central Committee meeting’s endorsements.

On tonight’s docket are:
Angie Cano – Santa Ana School District
Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
Jim Cunneen – Fountain Valley School District
Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
Tracy Pellman – Ocean View School District
Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
John Briscoe – Ocean View School District
Measure H – AUHSD Bond (No)
Measure I – FJUHSD Bond (No)
Measure J – NOCCCD Bond (No)
Measure K – OUSD Bond (No)
Measure Z – RSM Zoning (Yes)
Andrew Hamilton – Lake Forest City Council
Elaine Gennawey – Laguna Niguel City Council
John Jennings – Laguna Niguel City Council
Shawn Dewane – Orange County Water District Division 7
Ron Amburgey – Mesa Water District Division 4
Chuck Perry – Director Costa Mesa Sanitary
Brad McGirr – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Michael Vaughn – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Laurie Biehl – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Don Chadd – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Jerry Holloway – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
Kris Murray – Anaheim City Council
Gail Eastman – Anaheim City Council
Douglas Pettibone – Anaheim City Council
James Vanderbilt – Anaheim City Council
Tony Capitelli – Costa Mesa Council
Kevin Muldoon – Newport Beach City Council
Scott Peotter – Newport Beach City Council
Duffy Duffield – Newport Beach City Council
M.J. Noor – Fullerton Joint Union High School District

6:11 PM: SAUSD Candidate Angie Cano is a UCI student who graduated from SAUSD and was an English Language Learner. She opposes Common Core. She notes SAUSD has three Democrats and two Republicans. A Democrat is retiring.

6:14 PM: OUSD Trustee Timothy Surridge speaks about his background in education as a teacher. He speaks about being a conservative. OUSD is one of the most fiscally sound districts in OC. He has fought for music education. His opponent is a liberal union lawyer.

6:16 PM: FVSD Candidate Jim Cunneen is concerned about district spending. He has five children in public schools. He’s attended every school board meeting over the last two years. He serves on a city commission. He notes he is one of only two Republicans in the race.

6:17 PM: FVSD Trustee Sandra Crandall speaks of the challenges of finding a new fiscally conservative superintendent, local control agebcy funding, and various other conservative stances.

6:19 PM: OVSD Trustee Tracy Pellman is absent due to a medical emergency with her husband.

OVSD Trustee John Briscoe notes that Pellman has received significant union IEs.

6:20 PM: OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma speaks about his budgetary experience, increasing OUSD test scores, and the Republican majority on the OUSD Board, including his efforts to help elect more conservatives to the Board.

6:21 PM: OVSD Trustee John Briscoe says he’s the only independent voice on his Board. He was first elected in 2006, but two unions united to try to oust him from office in 2010. He speaks about the lay of the land of the candidates for OVSD, including likely significant union spending. He apologizes for an error on his questionnaire.

6:25 PM: The committee has pulled everyone except Briscoe for discussion.


6:26 PM: Committee Member Mark McCurdy asks Cano about her non-support of a constitutional amendment to protect local government from losing money to the state. Cano says she made a mistake on the form.

McCurdy asks about her non-support of shall-issue gun permits. Cano says she misunderstood the question.


6:27 PM: Jeff Matthews asks Crandall and Cunneen why they marked both yes and no on supporting Common Core. Crandall says they both support strong academic standards and are concerned about implementation. Cunneen speaks about supporting local control but is open to the Common Core standards.


6:32 PM: Thomas Gordon asks Surridge and Ledesma about voting to put a bond on the ballot.

Mark Bucher suggests waiting to discuss the bonds before discussing Surridge and Ledesma.

6:34 PM: Jeff Matthews asks for a neutral recommendation on all the bonds. He says the committee needs to understand the details of each measure and the arguments of both sides before voting on a ballot measure.

6:35 PM: Thomas Gordon questions how the party can have a taxpayer protection pledge and not take a stand on the bonds.

6:36 PM: Peggy Huang expresses concern about districts adding more debt and the lack of State matching funds. She says there needs to be a strong justification for a bond. She asks to stay neutral on Measure Z, the Rancho Santa Margarita zoning measure.

6:37 PM: McCurdy supports Huang’s position.

6:38 PM: There are no speakers for or against Measure H, the Anaheim Union High School District bond.

6:39 PM: Superintendent George Giokaris speaks in favor of Measure I, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond. He speaks of meeting the OCTax criteria. He says it’s a brick and mortar bond. He says their schools are excellent. He speaks of the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce endorsement. He urges support or neutrality.

6:41 PM: Councilman Bruce Whitaker speaks against Measure I as a tax increase that provides no specifics. He notes there was a bond in 2002. He praises the schools with the existing funds. He says this is an effort to finance run of the mill expenses in order to free up funds for pension liabilities. He says he appreciates the FJUHSD but limiting government is the right ideology. He says many of the official proponents are Democrats.

6:44 PM: Huang asks about various taxpayer protection language provisions.

6:45 PM: Giokaris says they will have a taxpayer oversight committee as required by Prop 39.

6:45 PM: Gordon asks about OCTax and PLA.

Giokaris says it meets the criteria of OCTax but that OCTax does not support bonds. He says there is no PLA because it is necessary to meet the OCTax criteria.

6:46 PM: Mark Bucher asks about whether it’s a tax increase.

Giokaris says it will be $19 per $100000.

6:47 PM: Gordon moves to recommend opposing Measure I, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District bond. McCurdy seconds.

Gordon questions about the failure of districts to set aside maintenance money.

Bucher cites Whitaker’s argument.

NO MEASURE I RECOMMENDED BY A 4-0-1 VOTE. (Mathews abstaining.)

6:49 PM: Bucher solicits and Gordon moves to oppose Measure H, the Anaheim Union High School District bond.

NO ON MEASURE H RECOMMENDED BY A 3-0-2 VOTE. (Matthews and Huang abstaining.)

6:50 PM: Councilman Bruce Whitaker speaks against the size of Measure J, the NOCCCD bond.

NO MEASURE J RECOMMENDED BY A 4-0-1 VOTE. (Mathews abstaining.)

6:52 PM: Todd Spitzer urges the committee to stay out of Orange Unified’s Measure K. He points to the poor state of El Modena and other schools. He points to conservatives like Fred Whitaker supporting the bond. He says he’d be happy to pay the bond.

6:53 PM: Tim Surridge speaks about the Napa earthquake. He speaks about student safety and outdated facilities.

6:54 PM: Deborah Pauly notes this is the largest bond ever proposed by a K-12 school district. She says the Taj Mahal plan would cost three times as much as the bond. She notes about the failure of the district to put enough money for maintenance.

6:55 PM: Robert Hammond speaks about finding better ways to fund repairs to the schools like his alma mater, Orange High School. He is concerned about the bond debt of a $296 million bond, which would be approximately $540 million to pay off.

6:57 PM: Thomas Gordon moves to recommend opposing Measure K, the Orange Unified School District bond. He speaks about fiscal mismanagement.

6:58 PM: Bucher speaks about fiscal mismanagement of school districts.

NO MEASURE K RECOMMENDED BY A 4-0-1 VOTE. (Mathews abstaining.)

7:00 PM: Joe Dychen speaks in favor of Measure Z in Rancho Santa Margarita. He says it is an issue of property rights. He says personality conflicts are the only reason they didn’t get the rezone.

Dick Ackerman speaks of the Council using confiscatory zoning.

Steve Baric expresses concern about Republican elected officials taking zoning awry.

7:02 PM: Carol Gamble speaks against Measure Z. She hands out a document showing car dealers do wish to locate I Rancho Santa Margarita.

Tony Beall points to a myriad of arguments by the proponents of Measure Z that were ruled false by a court. He speaks about the proponents failing to form an FPPC committee and disclosing their expenses.

7:04 PM: Gordon asks how this is not a property rights issue.

Beall states the zoning existed before the property owner bought it and that the property owner knew it going in.

7:05 PM: Bucher asks a question about the number of dealerships.

Beall describes the number.

Dychen describes the physical locations of the dealerships.

7:07 PM: Huang asks Dychen why did he buy it if he knew what it was zoned for.

Dychen says they had met with the City and expected to be rezoned like the neighboring parcels.

7:08 PM: Gordon asks if the opponents are fine with leaving the site as-is.

Beall says Toyota of Rancho Santa Margarita is willing to buy the land with the current zoning.

7:09 PM: Mathews moves for neutrality on Measure Z in Rancho Santa Margarita.

He says they should not be taking a position on something with strong arguments on both sides.

Peggy Huang says this should be a local control issue and that the residents should decide this for themselves without the party taking a position.

Gordon asks why Dychen hasn’t taken the Toyota deal.

Dychen says he didn’t receive the offer until this morning.

McCurdy wants to stay out.


7:12 PM: Rick Ledesma explains he has served on the Board for years and is a financial analyst. He opposed the bonds in 2004. He could not find a way to fund maintenance without the unions scooping out the money. He reminds the committee that he is the only Republican running in his Trustee Area and that Surridge is the only Republican running in his Trustee Area.

Huang asks about his efforts to cut spending.

Ledesma speaks about his efforts to sell off surplus properties. He speaks about the cities inhibiting the full surplus property value.

Gordon asks if Ledesma opposes PLAs.

Ledesma says yes.

7:17 PM: Gordon moves to endorse Ledesma and Surridge. He is concerned about their liberal opponents. He urges them to continue opposing PLAs and to oppose future bonds.

Huang supports the motion and urges Ledesma and Surridge to act prudently if the bond passes and creatively if it fails.

Bucher says this is a tough one. He fears the unions are trying to run schools into the ground and get conservatives to vote for higher taxes.


7:20 PM: Lake Forest Council candidate Andrew Hamilton is Chairman of the Planning Commission. He speaks about his fiscal conservatism and his endorsements from Senator Mimi Walters and Mayor Dwight Robinson.

Since no other candidate is seeking the endorsement:

7:23 PM: Laguna Niguel Council candidate Elaine Gennawey speaks of her service to the city, her efforts for cityhood, and her Citizen of the Year award. She speaks of her work for Republican candidates. She speaks of her fiscal conservatism. The crowd is impressed that she used exactly her alloted time.


7:25 PM: Laguna Niguel Council candidate John Jennings speaks of his service to the city. He speaks of his efforts to help Republican candidates. He speaks of his various Republican endorsements.


7:27 PM: OCWD Director Shawn Dewane speaks of his experience with water. He speaks of his conservative endorsements including Rohrabacher, Righeimer, and Mensinger. He draws positive laughter when he notes his opponent is Wendy Leece.


7:28 PM: Mesa Water District candidate Ron Amburgey speaks about his fiscal conservatism and notes the incumbent’s use of taxpayer funded limousines.


7:30 PM: CMSD incumbent Chuck Perry is difficult to hear. This blogger is able to hear that Perry is endorsed by Righeimer and Mensinger.


7:33 PM: The Rancho Santa Margarita onslaught begins.

Councilman Brad McGirr notes his previous endorsement by the OC GOP in 2010. He speaks of the City’s low crime and strong public safety. He speaks of the balanced budget and large reserve. He supports Prop 13 and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. He speaks of his work for numerous Republican candidates and his numerous Republican endorsements. He goes on a tangent on Measure Z having good conservatives on both sides.

Mike Vaughn speaks of his service to the city. He speaks of his service to the school district. He speaks to quietly to be heard well.

Joe Dychen speaks against them because of nanny state attitudes by these two candidates. He criticizes McGirr supporting a woman’s call for a police investigation of her child’s preschool. He accuses them of using liberal tactics against their opponents.

Carol Gamble speaks on behalf of McGirr’s knowledge and experience and Vaughn’s community volunteerism.

Mike Safranski speaks against McGirr, citing zoning and Measure Z. He also cites McGirr’s nanny state bullying ordinance.

Jennifer Beall says McGirr and Vaughn have built grassroots coalitions of volunteers helping to carry 50,000 pieces in support of Prop 32.

7:41 PM: Councilman Jesse Petrilla thanks the Party for endorsing him in 2010. He opposes tax increases. He speaks of the balanced budget and budget surplus. He speaks of his military service, his small business, and his new baby.

Laurie Biehl speaks of being a mother, businesswoman, and volunteer. She says she is the only woman applying for the endorsement in Rancho Santa Margarita and is the only one with no political experience. She speaks of her community volunteerism. She speaks about her business.

Don Chadd says he is a Reagan Republican. He helped in the cityhood movement. He says he is not an insider. He says he is concerned about property rights. He signed the ballot argument in favor of Measure Z. He is concerned about the current Council majority.

Councilman Steve Baric says Petrilla’s behavior as a 17 year old is irrelevant. He points to Petrilla’s conservative voting record on the Council and his service in the military.

A woman speaks in favor of Biehl and her numerous community activities.

Mike Safranski speaks of serving with Chadd on numerous Boards and being a consensus builder.

Tony Beall speaks against Petrilla due to his felony convictions. He says Petrilla lied about his convictions during his Assembly race. He notes six statements in the argument in favor of Measure Z had six statements struck by a court. He says Biehl is a court reporter working for Dychen’s lawyer’s firm, which she denies.

Carol Gamble says Petrilla rarely shows up at Council events. She says she’s never seen Biehl anywhere near city government.

Jennifer Beall says Chadd is a double dipper with two pensions.

7:51 PM: Jerry Holloway speaks of his city experience and his efforts on behalf of Republican candidates.

No one speaks in favor of or against Holloway.

7:53 PM: Gordon asks if Tony Beall refused to vote to cut Council compensation after Jennifer Beall passed out the document about Chadd’s pension. Beall doesn’t recall the vote. Baric argues Beall did vote against it. Debate ensues.

7:55 PM: Huang asks if anyone has received money from Dychen. Both McGirr and Petrilla have.

Lots of cross-talk ensues.

Petrilla, Chadd, and Biehl support Measure Z. McGirr, Vaughn, and Holloway oppose Measure Z.

Jennifer Beall says Petrilla’s Planning Commissioner dissented in a 4-1 vote on the underlying issue in Measure Z. She says Petrilla dissented in a 3-1-1 vote (Baric was absent).

McGirr says his antibullying ordinance was only conceptual for discussion after a girl committed suicide after cyber bullying.

Petrilla talks about a 3-2 vote on cutting Council defined contribution programs (Petrilla and Baric wanted to cut them). Beall says he has no Council defined benefit plan.

8:00 PM: Matthews motions for neutrality because there are six people applying for endorsements with only three seats on the ballot.

Huang seconds the motion. She says the residents of Rancho Santa Margarita need to determine whether to pass or defeat Measure Z. She says she wishes Petrilla was more forthright about his felony convictions but she cites her experience as a Deputy Attorney General in forgiving him and protecting the rights of juveniles.

Gordon agrees with Huang on the felony issue. He is disgusted that a crime committed as a juvenile keeps being brought up. He cites Petrilla’s exemplary adult life including his military service. He says Measure Z has clouded the city when they should be fighting for Republicans. He’s inclined to endorse Petrilla and Petrilla alone.

McCurdy says there’s plenty of documentation.

Bucher leans toward the Matthews-Huang position. He prefers neutrality. He has no problem with Petrilla’s behavior as an adult.


8:07 PM: Costa Mesa candidate Tony Capitelli speaks about working for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman Buck McKeon, and Supervisor Mike Antonovich. He speaks of needing to attract younger voters to the Republican Party. He warns that Costa Mesa is in danger of becoming a city with more Democrats than Republicans.

Matthews notes two candidates have already been endorsed by the party for Costa Mesa City Council (Jim Righeimer and Lee Ramos) with only two seats.

Capitelli doesn’t understand why the Central Committee overruled Desare’ Ferraro’s effort to delay the Ramos endorsement until Capitelli could be considered.

Bucher suspects the endorsement of Jim Righeimer carried the day for Lee Ramos.

Capitelli calls it cronyism and urges the committee to rescind its Ramos endorsement.

Bucher says the Endorsements Committee can’t do that, but the Central Committee can. Bucher says it would be an uphill battle though.

Capitelli doesn’t understand the difference between Rancho Santa Margarita and Costa Mesa on the endorsements.

Matthews suggests Capitelli apply for a city commission or committee.

8:14 PM: The Anaheim City Council chaos begins.

Doug Pettibone notes his longtime residence in Anaheim. He worked for the Orange County Register. He says it is tough for a first time candidate to get the endorsement. He notes Ronald Reagan was a first time candidate when elected Governor. Pettibone says he is endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait, who was endorsed by the OC GOP. He urges an endorsement for Tait, Pettibone, and Vanderbilt. He says endorsing Tait, Murray, and Eastman would send an inconsistent message.

James Vanderbilt speaks about his military service and his conservative record on the Anaheim City School District Board. He has fought against fee increases. He has refused taxpayer-financed benefits since his election to the school board in 2004.

Tom Tait speaks in favor of Pettibone and Vanderbilt. He says he disagrees with the other side’s fiscal policies, including tax giveaways and failure to support pension reform.

8:19 PM: Bucher notes that neither Councilwomen Kris Murray nor Gail Eastman have signed the union-free pledge. Bucher says they cannot be endorsed under the rules because of that.

Murray says they have passed pension reform, balanced the budget, and restored city services. She has led efforts to bring employers and the jobs they bring. She has cut the cost of doing business. She has worked on law enforcement issues to improve public safety, citing banning sex offenders from parks and fighting medical marijuana disoensaries. She says she worked for the Republican Party in Washington, DC. She notes various Republican elected official endorsements.

Eastman says she has already received union support. She says they have achieved as much pension reform as possible. She says she and Murray have been Republicans in good standing who have pushed conservative values for the past four years on the Council. She says she defends the free market. She says the split with Tait is overblown by the media.

8:25 PM: Alexandria Coronado says she opposed the Anaheim Union High School District Measure Z bond in 2002. She says Vanderbilt supported that bond and served on the oversight committee that lost a quarter-billion dollars. She says Vanderbilt also supported an Anaheim City School District bond.

Vanderbilt says he was put on the Anaheim Union High School District oversight committee after the Grand Jury report came out and that he has actually helped clean up the mess that Coronado described. He also says the Anaheim City School District bond has had no problems.

Jennifer Fitzgerald says the committee would be inconsistent for endorsing the incumbent Mayor but not the incumbent Councilmembers. She says they have implemented pension reform which she says is the point of the union-free pledge.

Sam Han representing Assemblyman Don Wagner asks for neutrality citing pension reform.

8:30 PM: Jeff Matthews questions what is a Republican in good standing. He urges neutrality when there are more Republicans in good standing than spots available. He wonders if Murray and Eastman are not Republicans in good standing due to their refusal to sign the union-free pledge.

Peggy Huang moves for neutrality. She credits Murray and Eastman for being honest enough to not sign the pledge as opposed to lying by signing the pledge and then breaking it. She praises Anaheim’s pension reform but urges taking more steps to protect taxpayers. She says all four are good candidates.

Gordon is concerned that people who have accepted union money are urging neutrality simply as a way to block people who abided by the union-free pledge.

Bucher asks if Murray signed the union-free pledge in 2010 when she was endorsed.

She says she did. She has since accepted union contributions.

Bucher asks Tait about the pension reform debate.

Tait says the State allowed a 60% pension for new public safety employees. He lost on a 4-1 vote where they instead backed an 82% pension.

Murray says Tait voted for 3% at 50 as a Councilman. Murrays says she voted to cut the 3% at 50 pension formula to 2.7% at 57 for public safety employees. She agrees with Huang that there needs to be more steps for pension reform.

Tait says the Council majority voted for the highest public safety pension formula permitted under PEPRA.

8:40 PM: Gordon asks if Vanderbilt endorsed Tom Daly for Assembly in 2012.

Vanderbilt says Daly was the business Democrat running in 2012 against union Democrats.

Gordon asks about Murray’s level of union support.

She says she is being attacked by unions across the County who are trying to impose districts in Anaheim.

Bucher asks a followup to Gordon’s question.

Murray says she received thousands of dollars in union support.


8:43 PM: The committee takes an intermission.

8:53 PM: The committee returns. There’s a discussion about Newport Beach City Council applications being submitted at different times and an impression that the party was going to be neutral.

Bucher suggests having OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh send all the Newport Beach City Council candidates for consideration at the full Central Committee instead.

8:57 PM: Newport Beach City Council candidate Duffy Duffield speaks about his father’s staunch anti unionism and conservatism. He speaks of now running his family business of Duffy boats.

His opponent, Councilman Rush Hill, has not submitted an application despite being endorsed four years ago.


Candidate Scott Peotter expresses frustration with the Bucher proposal because he and Kevin Muldoon submitted timely applications while Mike Toerge and Tim Brown submitted late applications. Peotter proposes getting a thumbs up from the Endorsements Committee for Peotter and Muldoon but allow Toerge and Brown to be considered at Central Committee.

Thomas Gordon asks Brown if he supported a dock fee.

Brown says he was not on the Council, but Gordon asks if he publicly supported it, which he did.

9:04 PM: Scott Peotter speaks about his help for numerous Republican candidates. He speaks about his business and his family. He opposes the dock tax. He opposes the “Taj MaCity Hall.”

Scott Hart notes that Peotter had only moved back to Newport Beach within the last year from Irvine. He says Toerge has lived in Newport Beach for 39 years and serves on a City commission.

Gordon asks to see Toerge and Brown’s applications.

Huang moves to recommend Peotter for endorsement. McCurdy seconds.

Matthews asks if Toerge and Brown had simply not submitted because they had thought there’d be no endorsement.

Gordon notes Muldoon and Peotter submitted their applications in June. Toerge and Brown submitted in August.

McCurdy warns that waiting for an October endorsement is not good for any of the candidates.

Gordon says Brown signed the anti-fee pledge yet supports the dock fee.

Matthews submits a substitute motion to hear all the candidates tomorrow. He withdraws the substitute motion because there has not been enough time to notice the candidate for the meeting.


Kevin Muldoon has been a Republican activist. He opposes fee and tax increases.

Huang moves to endorse Muldoon. Gordon seconds. Nearly everyone says ditto on their comments though Gordon again expresses concern about Brown’s position on the dock fee.


9:22 PM: Last candidate of the night.

Fullerton Joint Union High School District candidate MJ Noor grew up in Boston. She graduated from Harvard Law and worked for the United Nations. Her children graduated from public schools. She is running because she is concerned that there are three incumbents who have voted to put the Measure I bond on the ballot, that the three have served over 30 years each, that the three are implementing Common Core, and that Planned Parenthood is trying to get into Fullerton high schools.

Robert Hammond would like to have a conservative on the Fullerton Joint Union High School District Board. He notes the Orange County Board of Education voted 5-0 to examine Common Core.

Bucher interrupts to say even one election has consequences.

Hammond continues urging the committee to recommend Noor for endorsement.

Matthews asks if Noor opposes Measure I and if anyone else has applied for the endorsement.

She opposes Measure I and no one else has applied.


9:29 PM: Committee adjourns.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 5 Comments »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,006 other followers