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Author Archive

End Of Forced Unionization For Government Employees?

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on November 25, 2014

In today’s Orange County Register former State Senator Gloria Romero discusses a pending case where several public school teachers have sued the state and the California Teachers Association (CTA) challenging the Plaintiffs being forced to be in a public employee union in order to have their jobs as teachers.  The case (entitled Friedrichs, et al v. California Teachers Association, et al) was pending at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  However, the Court granted Plaintiff’s attorneys’ motion to affirm the trial court’s findings against the Plaintiffs without the need for an oral argument.  Part of the reasoning, according to Senator Romero’s op ed piece, is the 9th Circuit recognized that only the United States Supreme Court can overturn its own prior decision of Abood v. Detroit Bd. Of Ed. 431 U.S. 209 (1977).  This has significantly sped up the appeals process hopefully getting the case before the Supreme Court (and a decision from it) by over a year – as early as 2015 or 2016.

A few months ago the Supreme Court issued an important decision in Harris v. Quinn which I posted a blog about on July 1st (Harris v. Quinn, an Important Limitation on Forced Unionization). I noted that while the Harris case did not overturn the Abood case or declare that all government employee unionization is not lawful, the Harris court majority noted serious misgivings about the Abood cases’ underlying rational and the public policy of allowing government employee unions to require people to join them (and pay dues) against their will in order to keep their government jobs.  Senator Romero also noted this about the Harris case in her op ed piece.  Here is a link to her opinion piece (which is not behind the Register’s pay wall): Union-dues case moves closer to Supreme Court.  I highly recommend you read her article.

The Supreme Court is not required to take and hear Rebecca Friedrichs and her friends’ case.  But I certainly hope it does and I hope the Supreme Court overturns Abood allowing government employees to make a voluntary choice to join a government employee union or not as they desire.   I hope the Court recognizes that when someone is forced to join a union by operation of law and forced to give the union money to spend in ways that employee may not agree with, this is a violation of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.  Liberals always complain about wanting people to be able to make their own choices.  A decision by the Supreme Court to end forced unionization of government employees, would be a victory for individual liberty and freedom.

Finally, I have met Rebecca Friedrichs and her husband.  They are wonderful long serving teachers who love their profession.  If you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak on this subject, you will find a person of passion on this issue and a fighter who is not afraid to stand up to the unions and their bullying tactics.  I wish her, her co-plaintiff teacher friends and their legal team well.

 

Craig P. Alexander, Esq. is an attorney who practices law in the area of insurance coverage, construction defect, HOAs, business dispute and general civil litigation.  His office is in Dana Point, California. 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MY RECOMMENDATION FOR ASSEMBLY: MATTHEW HARPER by Kurt English

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on November 3, 2014

My friend Kurt English requested that I post his recommendation and reasons for those recommendations for the 74th Assembly District race between Newport Beach City Councilman Keith Curry and Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper. Kurt’s article is printed below:

I have researched the candidates and I recommend MATTHEW HARPER for California State Assembly.

I have known both Keith Curry and Matthew Harper for a number of years. But my recommendation is based on their track records and stands on issues, not on personalities.

UNION MONEY & KEEPING PROMISES

Keith Curry is a member and a board member of Lincoln Club, a Republican donor group. The Lincoln Club requires candidates to sign a pledge not to take money from unions prior to getting their endorsement. Curry signed that pledge. Before the June 2014 primary, the Lincoln Club endorsed Curry.

Later I was shocked to hear that the Lincoln Club rescinded Curry’s endorsement for violating his pledge not to take union money. As a board member, Curry knew the rules.

Curry’s willingness to sign a pledge to get an endorsement and then ignore his commitment reveals a troubling integrity issue. This is especially disappointing for someone who teaches at a Christian college.

Curry’s willingness to break his pledge is another worrisome indication that Curry would vote for big compensation and pensions for government workers. Under Curry’s watch as a council member, Newport Beach had two lifeguards making over $200,000 a year.

BIG SPENDING ON CITY COUNCIL

I have written extensively in the Newport Beach Independent about the gross overspending on the Newport Beach City Hall totaling $297 million of costs, including interest. Keith Curry voted for that spending binge.

405 TOLL ROADS

Curry supported converting lanes in the over-crowded 405 freeway into toll lanes, while Harper wants to keep all 405 lanes free.

BEACH FIRE RINGS

Fire rings have been part of Orange County’s beach life style for decades. Curry voted to restrict the use of Newport Beach’s iconic beach fire rings. Harper opposes any bans on beach fire rings.

TAX PER MILE DRIVEN

Keith Curry supported a tax on every mile we drive our cars. Harper opposes that tax.

DOCK TAX

Keith Curry voted for the infamous Newport Beach dock tax as a council member.

PRESERVING PROPOSITION 13

Newport’s dock tax violates Proposition 13’s limitation on property taxes. Curry’s support of the dock tax undermines his campaign promises to preserve Proposition 13. I believe Harper would be more reliable in defending Proposition 13.

SUMMARY

Keith Curry supports too many new taxes and has voted to spend irresponsibly on the council. Curry has been involved in too many mismanaged problems like the rescinded endorsement and the overpriced city hall,.

Matt Harper’s record shows more support for lower taxes, less government spending and regulation, and more personal freedom than does Keith Curry’s record. Matt Harper is the better choice for Assembly Election Day November 4, next Tuesday.

Links:

http://www.flashreport.org/blog/2014/05/13/ad74-watch-oc-lincoln-club-yanks-endorsement-of-keith-curry/

http://ocpolitical.com/2013/12/04/breaking-news-keith-curry-jumps-into-ad-74-race/

http://www.ocregister.com/orangepunch/lifeguards-490717-beach-newport.html

http://www.dailypilot.com/opinion/tn-dpt-me-0726-commentary-20140725,0,4482849.story http://www.ocregister.com/articles/curry-638840-beach-harper.html

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/curry-638840-beach-harper.html

http://savenewport.com/2014/09/19/prop13-violations/

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

MY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL by Kurt English

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on November 3, 2014

My good friend Kurt English asked me to publish his recommendations (and reasons for them) on the Newport Beach City Council race. Kurt’s article about this is printed below without any editing on my part. It is my hope that Newport Beach residents will find Kurt’s information helpful in making their voting determinations:

I have researched the candidates and here are my recommendations for Newport Beach City Council:

DISTRICT 1: DIANE DIXON
DISTRICT 3: MARSHALL “DUFFY” DUFFIELD
DISTRICT 4: KEVIN MULDOON
DISTRICT 6: SCOTT PEOTTER

DISTRICT 3 RECOMMENDATION: “DUFFY” DUFFIELD

http://www.duffyfornewport.com/issues

Mayor Rush Hill was one of the primary drivers of the overpriced city hall. This blunder cost Newport Beach taxpayers about $297 million. Those costs are over $3,000 per man, woman and child in Newport Beach.

At a recent Orange County Republican Party Central Committee meeting, Hill was practically begging the members for their endorsement claiming to be a strong (albeit big-spending) Republican. Hill’s opponent Duffy was endorsed overwhelmingly with the other reform candidates. At a recent candidate forum, Hill claimed to be “nonpartisan” while accusing the candidates that I and the Orange County Republican Party have endorsed of being partisan. That’s two-faced.

In December 2012, I attended the dock tax city council meeting. Many speakers criticized the excessive spending on the new city hall and the dock tax.

Apparently, Hill took it personally. He responded angrily by swearing at us, using the S***-word and insulted citizens who disagreed with him in immature, mindless and petty ways.

I was embarrassed for Hill that night. In my opinion, Hill is unfit for any leadership position.

Marshall “Duffy” Duffield is an American entrepreneur. He founded and grew Duffy Electric Boat Company, located in Newport Beach, based on his clever invention. Those of us who enjoy cruising Newport Harbor in Duffy boats appreciate and benefit from his life’s work.

Duffy would be a big civility upgrade over Mayor Rush Hill. Duffy wants to mitigate Rush Hill’s debt anchor, saying, “I don’t like excessive debt in my business or my city government.”

DISTRICT 4 RECOMMENDATION: KEVIN MULDOON

Kevin Muldoon is a lawyer and served as a prosecutor in the DA’s office. But Muldoon has moved into a business role.

Muldoon has been a Republican activist and would be influential as a council member to the benefit of Newport Beach with state legislators, county officials and business leaders.

In spite of using the title “Businessman” as part of his ballot designation, it appears Tim Brown’s primary income comes from being a junior college reading teacher in Riverside. I benefited greatly from taking junior college classes in 11th and 12th grade. It was a helpful transition on the way to college. Brown should embrace his long time profession.

I have found Brown to be temperamental. Brown could be another volatile Rush Hill. I’m also concerned that as a long time government employee Brown would continue the big spending past of Newport Beach, rather than launch its fiscally responsible future. Muldoon would be more diplomatic than Brown or Hill.

I predict Roy Englebrecht will finish last of the three candidates.

DISTRICT 6 RECOMMENDATION: SCOTT PEOTTER

http://www.peotter.com

Scott Peotter is one of the reform candidates and Mike Toerge is the status quo candidate in this race. Although both candidates have served on Newport Beach’s Planning Commission, only Scott Peotter aggressively supports property rights and fiscal responsibility.

Toerge has encouraged property owners appearing before him on the planning commission to make expensive and time consuming changes to their projects, and then voted against the projects after they made the changes he suggested. I have asked Toerge for information on various issues, but he’s hiding from me. Toerge’s unwillingness to be forthcoming before the election indicates he won’t be transparent if elected.

Peotter supports reducing city debt like Duffy and Muldoon. Potter wants to explore ways to reduce the city’s irresponsible debt, including selling the old city hall property, the new city hall’s bad art graveyard and bunny-henge.

DISTRICT 1 RECOMMENDATION: DIANE DIXON

Diane Dixon is running unopposed. Dixon has a long background in corporate public relations. She is the least likely candidate to unleash the S***-word at a city council meeting (unlike Mayor Rush Hill) and supports more responsible fiscal policies.

Posted in Newport Beach, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Robert Ming for 5th District Supervisor!

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 21, 2014

There are a lot of reasons I have been supporting Robert Ming to be our next Supervisor from the 5th District of Orange County. Robert is a true leader that has proven himself in both the private sector and the public sector (as an eight year member of Laguna Niguel’s City Council – being its Mayor twice).

The Flashreport has just published an article by Robert about the new statewide plastic bag ban.  I will not re-print the entire article here, just the first paragraph with a link so the reader can go over to the Flashreport and review the entire article.

“Governor Brown just made single-use plastic grocery bags a thing of the past in California, maybe. Opponents of the ban have already started collecting signatures for a referendum to overturn it. While several people close to me, my wife included, would love to give you an earful about paper vs. plastic, the law is troubling for a bigger reason. It illustrates one of California’s biggest problems: government regulates too much.” – See more at: Not Just A Plastic Bag Ban

In addition, Robert has taken the no union pledge meaning he will not seek endorsements or campaign contributions from public employee unions.  Robert’s opponent is being carried by government employee unions as noted by my friend Greg Woodard in his recent post Union Money Invades Mission Viejo. Robert will not be beholden to any public employee union for his election to the Board of Supervisors when he sits across the table with them for contract negotiations.

For more about Robert and his campaign go to www.robertming.com

Disclosure: I am a long supporter of Robert Ming and his campaign for County Supervisor, 5th District.  I am also a candidate for Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4 (Craig for CUSD).  In addition, I am not a political consultant or on any candidate’s payroll.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Capistrano Unified School District, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Robyn Nordell’s Web Site for Conservative Voters is Up for the 11/4/2014 Election

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 18, 2014

A long time ago friends of mine started asking me who to vote for on election day as they know I am involved in politics as an activist and I do research on candidates and causes. I began to prepare and send out by e-mail my voter recommendations which I call “Craig’s Pics.”

I also discovered that my friend Robyn Nordell was doing the same thing but she was several steps ahead of me by publishing her own web site called Robyn Nordell’s Conservative California Election Website. Robyn, a conservative Christian, does her own research which includes extensive interviews of candidates, other local elected officials who are her friends, other activists like myself and she attends every CRA endorsing convention even when she is not a delegate.  Robyn always takes extensive notes of what she observes and hears form candidates and others commenting on the choices before voters.  Several years ago Robyn offered to publish my Craig’s Pics on the Orange County portion of her web site along with other friends who also prepare their voter recommendations to distribute.  I consider it a privilege to have my Pics on her site and to call Robyn a trusted friend.

One of the things I like about Robyn is that she and I do not always agree on our recommendations and some of our friends do not always agree with Robyn’s recommendations.  Yet she publishes our Pics because Robyn is not looking for universal uniformity in our recommendations but for thoughtful conservatives giving their opinions and recommendations for voters.  Are you looking for some voter recommendations that are well thought out and researched?  Are you looking for a place to send friends who would like to receive recommendations for voters that are trustworthy?  Then you can recommend friends and family to Robyn’s web site with confidence that you and they will see none of that there.  She also has a link to Craig Huey’s excellent guide that has extensive grading and recommendations on Judicial Candidates. Here it is as well: Craig Huey’s Voter Guide.

Of course as I am honored that she allows my Craig’s Pics to be on her site, I would be honored if you would stop by my Craig’s Pics on her site as well.  Check out the our other friend’s recommendations on that page too.  You may not agree with all of my Pics or all of Robyn’s – but I don’t expect uniformity from everyone who visits the site or reads my Pics either.

Disclaimer – I am a candidate for the Governing Board of Trustees, Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4 and a supporter of Robert Ming for Supervisor and Bill Brough for 73rd Assembly District among others.

Posted in 73rd Assembly District, Capistrano Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Stakes are High At Capistrano Unified School District This Election

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 9, 2014

When I decided to become a Candidate for Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4, I knew I would want to let people who read OC Political know why I am running with a post to this blog.  However on Monday (10-6-14) Mr. Robert Loewen of the Lincoln Club of Orange County published in the Orange County Register an opinion piece that does an excellent job of summing up the reasons I am running and why my friends current CUSD Trustee Ellen Addonizio (running for re-election to Trustee Area 6) and Julie Collier (running for Trustee Area 7) are running and what is at stake in this race.  Mr. Loewen’s title for his opinion is Support Accountability at Capistrano Unified.

I will not re-print all of Mr. Loewen’s excellent article here but here is the beginning and a link to the article (it is not behind the Register’s pay wall) for those of you who would like to read the entire article.  You will find it quite eye opening:

“By ROBERT LOEWEN / Contributing Writer

Jack was confused. When his neighborhood carpool dropped him off at Barcelona Hills Elementary that spring day in 2011, it seemed like just another school day. It was not a big deal to the seasoned fifth-grader when he trudged from the busy carpool drop-off area and was herded with his classmates onto school property. He and other kids were handed signs bearing big red letters, “SOS,” the call sign at sea for disaster. Jack assumed the signs held by students were about Earth Day or “Saving Our Planet.” But when Jack took time to read one of the signs, he saw it was a slogan, “Save Our Schools.”

Suddenly, Jack was no longer confused. The signs were a mean-spirited rebuke to a project proposed by his mother, Julie Collier and some other parents, who wanted to see if they could use innovations allowed by state charter-school law to improve the learning environment for their own children.

So Jack found himself in the middle of a protest by someone who used kids to make their point. Jack threw his sign on the ground. Smiling, his teacher came over and handed it back to him. “Jack, could you hold up this sign again? I want to take your picture.” Click.

Jack’s mother, Julie Collier, is running for a seat as trustee on the Capistrano Unified School Board, Area 7. For Julie, it’s personal. She doesn’t mind discussing the issues of accountability and allocation of limited funding in education with anyone.

As a teacher herself, she can more than hold her own. But who gave public school teachers permission to turn her kids, or anyone’s kids, into political pawns?…….” Support Accountability at Capistrano Unified School District

- – – – – – – – -

Thank you Mr. Loewen for an excellent article.

Julie, Ellen and I have opponents who are all endorsed by the unions who are pouring tens of thousands of dollars into our opponents’ campaigns.  That is no surprise to us and neither are the tactics being employed by the unions one of which was discussed by my friend Greg Woodard in his piece on this blog: Unions Care Nothing About Facts and on my own campaign web site: LAWSUITS?”

For more information about my friend Julie Collier and her race go to Julie Collier for CUSD.  For Ellen Addonizio go to Re-Elect Ellen Addonizio.

For my campaign web site go to: Craig For CUSD or my Facebook page Craig Alexander for CUSD

Julie, Ellen and I respectfully ask each voter in Trustee Areas 4, 6 and 7 for their vote.  Thank you all for your support.

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Harris v. Quinn, an Important Limitation on Forced Unionization

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on July 1, 2014

On Monday, June 30, 2014 the United State Supreme Court issued its ruling in the important case of Harris v. Quinn. While the case is limited in its ruling and scope, it is a critical one where the Court boxed in the ever expansionist reach of government employee unions.

Background:

Mrs. Pamela Harris is the mother of a severely disabled adult son who needs constant care due to his disabilities.  A federal Medicaid program funds many state run programs that provides financial assistance by paying caregivers for these individuals who reside at home rather than in a more expensive nursing care facility.  Most often it is a family member who is providing this care and who is being paid to do so under this program.  The State of Illinois has such a program and by law declared these caregivers to be state employees but without any right to benefits, not subject to any control as to their time, place or methods of provision of care services (and provides that the caregiver is solely responsible to and is an at will employee of the customer (the disabled person)) and the State is immune from any liability to the disabled customer for any home caregivers negligence or intentional conduct.

In 2003, first by executive order then legislation, the caregivers were forced to join a union, the SEIU, and pay dues, which the State withheld from their Medicaid payments.  Mrs. Harris and others challenged this forced unionization via this case.  She lost at the federal trial court and intermediate appeals court levels with those courts relying on a past U.S.S.C. court case Abood v. Detroit Bd. Of Ed. 431 U.S. 209 (1977).  The Supreme Court, noting the importance of the factual situation described above, ruled in Mrs. Harris favor.

Limited Ruling:

The Court (Justice Alito) performed a detailed analysis of the reasoning behind the Abood case, which upheld the unionization of full time government employees (there teachers) who were directly the employees of the Board of Education.   Justice Alito and the rest of the majority found that full time direct state employees are vastly different factually to what I would call akin to in-home independent contractors and limited the extent of the Abood ruling to full time direct government employees.  Further to extend the finding in Abood upholding required union membership (or agency fee paying) to this situation was a reach to far.  The Court stated:

“If we allowed Abood to be extended to those who are not full-fledged public employees, it would be hard to see

just where to draw the line, and we therefore confine Abood’s reach to full-fledged state employees.”

Once the Court found the holding in Abood was not controlling in this situation, it then did an analysis of the facts of this situation under “generally applicable First Amendment standards.”  Relying on cases like Knox v. Service Employees 567 U.S. ___ , 132 S. Ct. 2277 (2012), the Court ruled that the justification of preventing “free riders” benefiting from union negotiations for its members applying to those not paying for union dues / expenses, did not apply in the context of the Harris facts (in-home workers as described above).

Once again, the Court noted several significant differences between the regular full time government employee and the in-home caregivers the Illinois statute attempted to force unionization upon.   For example, one justification cited by the unions is “labor peace” in not having conflicting unions vying for membership in the same union shop locations.  The Court noted that in-home caregivers are not in one place but always in the customers’ homes (which are often the caregivers homes’ as well).  Space does not permit me to go through all of the Court’s reasoning here.  The Court ordered that union dues and agency fees can no longer be withheld from a home caregivers’ Medicaid payments if they object.

Implications from this Ruling:

1. The Court effectively blocked forced government unionization of recipients of funds under government programs like Medicaid where the person receiving the payments is not a true “government” worker where the state agency controls the time, method and means of employment.   This is especially true where the legislature declares the “employee” is not entitled to any typical government employee benefits like pension rights.  The Court was very specific about the limited nature of the “employment” between the State of Illinois and the home caregiver.

2. The Harris decision is not banning forced union membership (or agency payments to a union by those who do not join the union) for traditional full time government workers such as public school teachers, CHP officers, firefighters, etc.   This is not a “right to work” decision for all government employees.

3. However, a close reading of the Harris majority’s analysis of the Abood decision notes the current majority’s concerns that the policy and practical implications of Abood’s approval of closed shop laws for government employees.  Thus the majority justices may be open to a challenge from a more traditional full time government employee.

4. Elections matter – the Harris decision and the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case (both critically important First Amendment cases decided on the same day) were five to four votes that included the swing vote of Justice Kennedy.  All of the four “liberal” justices voted in the dissent to uphold the forced unionization of the home caregivers in Harris (and to deny religious expression as argued in the Hobby Lobby case).  Thus the outcomes of the elections in the fall for control of the U.S. Senate and the White House in 2016 are critical as the make up of the Court could be the deciding factor on these important issues one way or another in the near future.

To read the Court’s opinion go to: (Harris v. Quinn).

*   *   *

 Craig P. Alexander, Esq. is an attorney at law who practices in the area of insurance coverage, construction defect, business dispute and general civil litigation.  His office is in Dana Point, California. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Post Script on the Election and the CRA Slate Mailer Newspaper

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on June 4, 2014

Chris Emami reported on the CRA Slate Mailer Newspaper a few days ago (CRA) which CRA Vice President Dale Tyler and I put together with some able help from former CRA Treasurer John Fugatt.  Obviously I believe it is the best of the slate mailers newspaper (it is open only to CRA endorsed candidates).

Assuming there are no upsets with the provisional ballot count, 100% of the candidates who placed articles / ads in the mailer either won their races or advanced to the run off in November.  Congratulations to Diane Harkery, Eric Woolery, Linda Lindholm, Robert Ming, Bill Brough, Jeff Ferguson and Tony Rackauckas for your win and thank you for believing in our mailer!

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, 73rd Assembly District, Board of Equalization, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why I Am Supporting Robert Ming for Supervisor

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 28, 2014


One of the important races on the June 3rd ballot is for the Orange County Supervisor, 5th District which is basically south Orange County.  Of the candidates in that race, I am supporting Laguna Niguel City Councilman Robert Ming (Robert Ming).  In the decade plus that I have known Robert, he has been a consistent movement conservative who judges decisions he makes on the City Council through the prism of questions such as 1. Is this something the Government should even be doing in the first place (instead of private enterprise), 2. is it Constitutional? and 3. is it the best deal for the taxpayers?  Whenever possible and legal Robert Ming (who is an attorney by profession) seeks to have government outsource functions to private contractors rather than have in-house employees hired with the attendant salaries, retirement benefits and retiree health care costs burdening the taxpayers.  He is also not in favor of government choosing winners and losers at the taxpayers’ expense (also known as “crony capitalism” which favors the politician’s friends and supporters).  Robert believes that when the government does business with private enterprise, all parties should play by the same rules and the government should remain neutral with the taxpayers getting the maximum benefit from open and fair competition.

While on the City Council Robert’s city built Laguna Niguel’s City Hall on time, under budget and for cash (no debt, bonds or loans of any kind).  When he was on the Board of the Orange County Vector Control agency, he insisted on transparency by the senior management that revealed wasteful spending by the Agency and the resignation of the former Executive Director.  Robert Ming was one of the main leaders in forming the Association of California Cities Orange County to counter the big government left leaning League of Cities.  He currently is the chairman of the ACCOC’s committee on pension reform.

Several years ago, Robert and I co-founded a public policy ministry at our church to help parishioners understand matters of public policy that are facing them in votes they are being asked to cast at elections.

In all of the decisions and situations (personal and as an elected leader) I have seen Robert in, he has always been consistent and honorable in his decision-making.  He will make an excellent choice to replace Pat Bates (who is termed out) which is why current Supervisors John Moorlach and Board Chairman Shawn Nelson have endorsed Robert Ming.  Robert has also been endorsed by the California Republican Assembly, the Lincoln Club of Orange County, the Family Action PAC and Atlas PAC and many, many local elected officials and South County citizens.  Of all of the South Orange County activists who research candidates and make voter recommendations, all of them recommend Robert Ming to be our next representative on the Board of Supervisors.  My friend Robyn Nordell, who hosts her own voter recommendation web site (www.robynnordell.com) and puts up the lists of most of the other activist lists’, also recommends Robert for this position (see the Orange County section of Robyn’s site).

Running against Robert for this seat are three other candidates.  One is the current Mayor of my town Dana Point.  Lisa Bartlett’s votes and actions on the City of Dana Point City Council and on the Transportation Corridor Agencies have proven that she is not a true conservative or qualified for this position.  While on the City Council she voted to raise taxes on guests at certain Dana Point hotels, ban plastic shopping bags and increase the size of the Dana Point city government (more employees and eliminating most outsourcing to independent contractors).

In addition, recently Ms. Bartlett was stripped of her authority as Chairman of the Transportation Corridor’s Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (Lisa Bartlett Stripped of Authority to Approve Contracts at TCA) largely due to her approving very questionable contracts without notice to her fellow board members.  Part of her duties were to approve or disapprove of certain types of contracts and contract extensions presented to her by the Executive Director of the TCA.  During the March 18, 2014 Dana Point City Council meeting I asked her which of the contracts the Executive Director of the TCA presented did she disapprove.  She responded that she did not disapprove of any of the contracts presented to her.  Further that the total amount involved was only $200,000.00 (Dana Point City Council: Scrutinizing TCA).

Her answers reveal two important shortcomings: First she considers $200,000 to not be an important amount of money – I find this attitude regarding ratepayer / taxpayer funds to be irresponsible.  It also appears she simply rubber stamped what the executive staff placed in front of her which tells me she does not ask the proper or “hard” questions of the staff that report to her as an elected official.  Given that the County’s total budget is several billions of taxpayer dollars – Ms. Bartlett’s votes and actions do not give me confidence she will be a good steward of our county taxpayer funds.

Another candidate for the 5th District Supervisor position is Mission Viejo city councilman Frank Ury.  Some of Mr. Ury’s votes on his city council cause me to have concerns about his motivations and how he would handle responsibility at the county level.  For example in 2008 or 2009 at the start of the Great Recession when Mission Viejo (and other Orange County) families were facing layoffs and cut backs, Frank Ury voted to approve the city spending approximately $350,000 in Mission Viejo taxpayer funds to buy a parade float in the Rose Bowl Parade.  There are many cities and other public entities that have Rose Bowl floats but they are normally financed by private donations not taxpayer dollars.  Some like to defend this vote by claiming there were hundreds or thousands of volunteers who came out to work on the float.  Even if that is a true statement (which is questionable), then the City Council could have asked each of these “thousands” of excited and motivated volunteers to help finance this project with $25 and $100 contributions (which could be set up to be tax-deductible) and pay for the float with volunteer funds with the City simply being a conduit for that civic effort.  Instead Mr. Ury voted to use taxpayer dollars to fund this unnecessary expenditure while the economy was shrinking rapidly.

Another of his questionable votes was for life time health care benefits for city council members who serve three terms on the council.  This would be a significant cost to Mission Viejo taxpayers for the health care of prior city council persons long, long after they have left office.  For a politician who claims to be a fiscal conservative to cast such a self-serving vote strongly suggests he was placing his own interests above those of the citizens he was elected to represent.

I am aware that in the distant past Mr. Ury worked on several projects such as proposition 226 to curb unions taking funds for political purposes.  However, while I applaud Mr. Ury’s good work of about fifteen years ago, it is his recent votes that are troubling and do not show good leadership or stewardship for our County.

Neither Mr. Ury nor Ms. Bartlett came to the CRA’s endorsing convention to ask for the endorsement or explain their current and past voting records.  Robert Ming was endorsed unanimously by the CRA (CRA Wrap Up).

The final candidate for this position is a Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams (he is registered No Party Preference).  Mr. Williams is a complete unknown in that he has never held public office so there is no voting track record to give an indication of how he might vote on the dais of the Board of Supervisors.  He is not running any type of campaign to communicate to voters like myself what he stands for and his priorities if he were to be elected.   The only thing I have seen of his campaign are a few yard signs sitting on the side of busy roadways.  The Board of Supervisors, with its very large budget, its budget shortfalls, thousands of employees, with serious problems such as unfunded employee pensions and retiree health care costs, is no place for someone wanting to do “on the job training.”

For these and many more reasons (but keeping in mind this blog post is already very long) I support and hope you will also support Robert Ming for the Orange County Board of Supervisors, 5th District.

In the interest of full disclosure I am the majority shareholder of a private company known as IC Media, Inc. and Robert is a minority shareholder in the company.  Also, I am a practicing  attorney, a former elected member of the OC Republican Central Committee, a former officer with the California Republican Assembly and a volunteer activist.  I am not on the payroll of any candidate or campaign and I do not act as a paid consultant to any political campaigns.

 

 

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Munger Games Blog is Spot On Again!

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 26, 2014

The folks over at The Munger Games blog are once again spot on about Charles Munger trying to purchase a seat in the Assembly for candidate Anna Bryson.

I reported a few days ago about about Mr. Munger’s big buy into Ms. Bryson’s campaign with his dropping over $250,000 into his Spirit of Democracy IE PAC in support of her campaign for the 73rd Assembly District (Charles Munger Dipping…) and my fellow blogger Allan Wilson reported about the same thing happening in the 55nd Assembly District (Charles Munger and California Dental IE PAC) with his Dental IE PAC.

Now the Munger Games folks have noted that Mr. Munger has put in another $71,000 for pro-Bryson mailers over the last few days (Munger Money-Mongering).  As a resident of the 73rd Assembly District I can attest that I have been receiving multiple pro Anna Bryson mailers over the last few days – in fact they appear to be using the same mailers over and over again.  Some of these mailers come directly from her campaign and some from the Spirit of Democracy PAC (i.e. from Charles Munger).  All of them tout her conservative credentials even though such a claim is, in my opinion, false (Why Does the Teachers Union Love Anna Bryson).   Friends also tell me they have seen Anna Bryson commercials while watching TV.  It is apparent that Charles Munger wishes to buy this seat for Anna Bryson.

With this  much money being spent for her, in my opinion there is a definite expectation that if she wins she will be beholden to do as Mr. Munger demands for things like appointments of delegates to the California Republican Party and votes in the legislature for left of center positions on social issues, etc.  From her votes on the school board since late 2010 I conclude that she has already proven Anna Bryson will switch sides if she perceives it to be to her benefit.

Of all of the local activists in Orange County who put out voter recommendation lists, none of them to my knowledge have recommended that you vote for Anna Bryson.  Almost all of them recommend voting for Bill Brough as the true conservative in this race (Why I Support Bill Brough).

My thanks to The Munger Games folks for helping us keep track of Mr. Munger’s meddling in our Assembly race in South OC.

Posted in 73rd Assembly District, Capistrano Unified School District, Dana Point, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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