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Lisa Bartlett, The Union-Backed Candidate In The Fifth District Supervisor Race

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 23, 2014

Robert Ming and Lisa Bartlett, both Republicans, emerged from the June open primary as the top-two vote getters for the Orange County Board of Supervisors race in the Fifth District.  Ming (who I am supporting) and Bartlett will face off on November 4 for the privilege of representing most of south Orange County on the Board.  I have known Ming for several years, and I can attest to his conservative credentials, and his character as a man.  I do not know Bartlett, so I can only form an opinion based on her actions on the campaign trail, and, in my opinion, they do not reflect well on her.

In June, Bartlett issued a press release called “Ming’s Dings” that was an attack on Ming and his supposed policies “dinging the taxpayer.”  However, as I previously reported, the release was riddled with false facts and errors.  Despite being called out on those false assertions, I have not seen any retraction from Bartlett.  In addition, while that first installment of “Ming’s Dings” promised subsequent regular reports of how Ming was supposedly dinging the taxpayer, I have not seen another installment.  Apparently, Bartlett could only muster that one attack on Ming’s policies, and even that attack contained false facts.

On September 2, Bartlett issued a press release, again using false facts to erroneously claim that she was fundraising at a 2-1 clip against Ming.  In fact, the true fundraising numbers showed a small difference between the two.

I know that candidates often embellish their mailers and take liberties with the way they portray their opponents.  But what should not be tolerated is outright lies, and Bartlett has twice shown that she apparently cares more about smearing Ming than getting the facts right.

Equally troubling is that the public employee unions seem to be spending a lot of time and effort on Bartlett.  I recently received a mailer from a local PAC in support of Bartlett that smeared Ming with the same false facts that Bartlett used in her “Ming’s Dings” hit piece.  The PAC has received $18,000 from the Orange County Employees Association and the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, both public employee unions.  I reached out to Bartlett’s campaign for comment on whether her campaign had coordinated with the PAC on the mailer, or provided the PAC with the erroneous information, but she did not respond.

I recently learned that another public employee union, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has endorsed Bartlett.

As a conservative, all the union money and the endorsement thrown at Bartlett concern me.  Public employee salaries and benefits are a huge County expenditure, and the unfunded pension liability threatens not only the current financial stability of Orange County, but also the future for my kids.  Ming has a plan to reduce the unfunded liability by benchmarking public employee salaries to those earned in the private sector.  Ming also is an advocate of transparency in the labor negotiation process.  Ming also wants to solicit private-sector bids for services that are not core government functions.

Bartlett claims to be concerned with government spending, but her campaign website is short on any specifics about crushing salary and pension debt.  Maybe that is why the Orange County Register recently endorsed Ming over Bartlett, stating “we found many of [Bartlett's] responses to our questions more vague.”

The Register feels that Ming’s knowledge of fiscal management makes him the best-suited to the Board, and I would encourage the readers to vote for Ming in November.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , , , , , | 34 Comments »

Union Money Invades Mission Viejo Council And Fifth District Supervisor Races

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 17, 2014

On Wednesday, I received a mailer from Citizens to Protect Mission Viejo.  On the front, calling itself the “Mission Viejo Taxpayers’ Voting Guide,” it asked for support for current council members Dave Leckness and Rhonda Reardon, and council candidate Wendy Bucknum.  On the back, it contrasts Board of Supervisor candidates Robert Ming and Lisa Bartlett, offering false facts (more about that later) about Ming, while recommending Bartlett.  (As I have consistently stated, I am supporting Ming in November)

The mailer was large, in full color, and on good paper stock, so I wondered how Citizens was paying for this apparently city-wide mailer.  My search at the Secretary of State and County websites came up empty, but I hit pay dirt at the City of Mission Viejo’s website (some are questioning whether Citizens was required to file with the County given that they are supporting a county-wide candidate).  On September 30, 2014, Citizens received a $5,000 donation from the Orange County Employees Association, and on October 10, 2014, it received a $13,000 donation from the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, both public employee unions.

When I see public employee unions getting involved with Republican candidates, I get curious as to how the candidates feel about union money being spent on their behalf, particularly such a large donation from two well-known public employee unions.  Union money contributed directly to Republican candidates is a red flag for most conservatives (and would violate the candidate’s GOP pledge to not take union money if they signed it), so unions backing a Republican typically will make a contribution to a PAC that will then send a mail piece out as an independent expenditure.  Often candidates claim they have no control of independent expenditures so they can disclaim any responsibility yet still reap the benefits of the mailer.  So, I reached out to Leckness, Reardon, Bucknum, and Bartlett for comment.

To their credit, I received responses from Reardon (who signed the pledge) and Bucknum, both of whom stated that they did not know about the mailer until they received it on Wednesday, and both also stated that they have not been offered or taken any union money.  After giving the candidates 24 hours to respond, I have not heard back from Leckness or Bartlett.

While I recognize that all candidates and their supporters embellish their mailers, outright lies should not be tolerated.  Curiously, the PAC’s mailer repeats the same lie that Bartlett previously made against Ming falsely stating that Ming approved a loan to the City Manager at below market rates, when in fact Ming only voted for the loan on the condition that it be at prevailing market rates. (here)  Unfortunately, I did not hear back from Bartlett to address whether her campaign provided any information, including the false interest rate, to the PAC for the mailer.

The PAC mailer also suffers from a lie by omission.  While touting Bartlett as a fiscal conservative by noting her efforts to balance the budget and reduce pensions, the mailer conveniently ignores the fact that Ming, too, helped balance Laguna Niguel’s budget ever year that he has been on the Council.

Union money has become all to prevalent in national, state, and local politics.  The unions extort dues from their members and use that never-ending supply to support candidates who they believe will further their cause.  I know Reardon and Bucknum personally, and I take them at their word that they did not know anything about the union-backed mailer supporting them.  I also know that Bartlett has been willing to use false facts in an effort to smear Ming, and has not retracted any of those false press releases, even when faced with undeniable evidence of the false facts.  Bartlett also failed to respond to my questions about the PAC mailer that uses the same false information she previously used.  I leave it to the voters to decide who to trust in November.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Mission Viejo, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Unions Care Nothing About Facts As They Desperately Attempt To Hold Power In CUSD

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 7, 2014

I am all for engaging in a healthy debate with liberals, particularly during election season.  And I am not such a Pollyanna that I do not recognize that candidates on both sides embellish their credentials and take liberties in their attacks on their opponents.  However, when unions make up “facts” simply to smear a good candidate who opposes their stranglehold on school board power, well I will not let that go unchallenged.

In the battle for control in the Capistrano Unified School District Board, the union has stooped to outright lies to its members in an effort to sway the vote.  Sally White, President of the Capistrano Unified Education Association (CUEA), recently sent an email to CUSD retirees.  In the email, she falsely states that Craig Alexander, a conservative candidate for Area 4, has “sued the district several times.”  I spoke with Craig (for full disclosure, I am supporting Craig in this election), and he assured me that he has never once sued the district, either as an attorney (his profession) or personally, let alone sued the district “several times.”  Craig sent Ms. White a letter nearly two weeks ago in an attempt to clear up the misconception that he had sued the district several times, but, not surprisingly, he has not heard back from her.  Of course, Ms. White has no support for her bald assertion, and I would challenge her to either produce some evidence that her claim is true, or issue a retraction and an apology to Craig (don’t worry, I won’t hold my breath).

In that same email, Ms. White endorses Lynn Hatton, career union candidate, in Area 7 against Julie Collier.  Ms. White predictably has nothing good to say about Ms. Collier, and the union makes no bones about how they feel about Julie, including entrapping her son into a false advertisement for the union against a charter school Julie supported.  The union also was silent as the charter school students had rocks thrown at them during school, likely by union supporters.

I have no respect for union hacks who use extorted dues to fuel their political ambitions.  But lying and using children to advocate their cause shows how truly classless these folks are.  If you live in the CUSD, you have a chance to send a message in November to the unions that their tactics and their bad policies will not be tolerated.  Craig Alexander, Julie Collier, and Ellen Addonizio (Area 6) are the parent-power advocates on the ballot next month, and I would encourage voters to support real change that will benefit the students, and not line the unions’ pockets (and reward bad behavior).

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Lisa Bartlett Continues Her Loose Use Of The “Facts” In Recent Press Release

Posted by Greg Woodard on September 3, 2014

Lisa Bartlett’s September 2, 2014 press release follows in the footsteps of her first edition of the so-called “Ming’s Dings,” and not in a good way (again, I am a supporter of Robert Ming).  As I wrote regarding the false facts in her “Mings Dings,” Bartlett erroneously stated the median home price in Laguna Niguel in an attempt to attack the city’s home loan to its City Manager, and also neglected to mention that her city’s (Dana Point) City Manager makes more in salary and benefits than Laguna Niguel’s City Manager.

Bartlett continues her assault on the facts by now claiming that her fundraising was at a 2-1 clip better than Ming from June 15th through August 29, 2014.  Again, Bartlett has to make up and manipulate the facts to get to this erroneous conclusion.  A review of Ming’s and Bartlett’s campaign disclosure forms for the period from June 15th through August 29, 2014 shows that Ming raised $28,325 during that time (Bartlett’s release shorted Ming $1,000 – yet another sloppy fact check failure), while Bartlett raised $37,304 (not including $400 in rainbow sandals her campaign received).  Even the mathematically challenged can tell that a difference of approximately $9,000 does not equal the 2-1 “advantage” that Bartlett claims in her release.  Moreover, if you add contributions that Bartlett received on September 1 and Ming received on September 2, the difference closes to only approximately $7,000.

How does she get to this mythical 2-1 number?  It may be by adding in a $17,000 loan that she made to herself during the reporting period.  I have not been active in politics as long as many readers on here have, but I think anyone would be hard-pressed to claim that a loan to yourself constitutes “fundraising.”  Sadly, it appears as though Bartlett did not learn from her earlier lies, and has once again stretched the truth for a sound bite, rather than acknowledge that both candidates were actively fundraising and relatively close in actual raising of funds during the period.

I had hoped after her first false release, Bartlett would be more careful in her fact-checking.  Unfortunately, it appears that Bartlett is so focused on smearing Ming, that she does not care about facts.  I leave it to the readers to determine what that says about her character and her qualifications to lead our county.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Lisa Bartlett Attacks Robert Ming With False “Facts”

Posted by Greg Woodard on June 30, 2014

Apparently concerned by Robert Ming’s first place finish in the primary for the Orange County Supervisor race in the Fifth District, Lisa Bartlett has started sending around something titled “Ming’s Dings.”  The first installment calls out Ming for his support last year of a city loan to the new City Manager for him to buy a house in the city.  Unfortunately, Bartlett appears more concerned about casting Ming in a negative light than she does about the actual facts surrounding the loan.  (For the record, I supported Ming in the primary.)

Bartlett falsely claims that the median home price in Laguna Niguel is $300,000 and contrasts that with the $925,000 loan that the City Manager was requesting.  In fact, the median home price in Laguna Niguel is actually much higher at anywhere from $650,000 to over $675,000.  Bartlett also falsely states that the loan was approved at a below-market interest rate, yet the story cited in Bartlett’s own hit piece states that the City Council (Ming included) voted to require that the interest on the loan be at market rate.  In addition, the City Manager’s loan payments are taken directly from his paycheck and if he ever leaves the city or is terminated, he must sell his house and pay off the loan.  Finally, the hit piece erroneously inflates the City Manager’s salary and benefits by over $215,000.  In fact, the City Manager’s salary and benefits are slightly lower than the average of Orange County city managers, and actually lower than the City Manager in Bartlett’s city, Dana Point (despite Laguna Niguel having almost 30,000 more residents).  It is ironic that Bartlett, a partner at a real estate and investment firm, would not know the median home price in Laguna Niguel.  Even more ironic is the fact that Bartlett would be calling out (falsely) the Laguna Niguel City Manager’s salary and benefits, when her own City Manager’s package is higher.

People can debate the wisdom of a city offering a loan to a City Manager (other cities offer a similar perk).  However, the debate should begin with the real facts, not those embellished by a political foe who is trying to make up ground in advance of the November election.  I trust Bartlett will be issuing a correction any time now.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Petrilla and Bartlett Mailers Stir Controversy

Posted by Greg Woodard on May 16, 2014

Allan Bartlett over at Powder Blue posted two mailers he recently got a hold of (see below), one from Jesse Petrilla running for the 73rd Assembly District, and one from Lisa Bartlett running for OC Supervisor in the 5th District.  Bartlett maintains that the Petrilla mailer is deceptive because it contains a quote from OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh and the OC GOP logo, implying that the party has endorsed Petrilla, which it has not.  The quote, which addresses the influence of public employee unions, is prominently displayed at the top of the mailer in which Petrilla purports to advocate for reforming government pensions.  In a comment on the Powder Blue posting, Mission Viejo activist Larry Gilbert, a Petrilla supporter, disagrees and states that the quote simply connects Chairman Baugh to the OC GOP. The OC GOP only allows endorsed candidates to use the party’s logo.  Petrilla is not endorsed by the OC GOP, and he did not ask for permission to use the party logo.

Also interesting is that Petrilla’s mailer includes a comparison between Petrilla and two other candidates, Anna Bryson and Paul Glaab.  Petrilla attacks Bryson and Glaab as beholden to the unions.  However, Petrilla omits a third major candidate, Bill Brough, from the mailer (for full disclosure, I am supporting Brough in the 73rd).  That raises the question of why Brough was omitted.  Is it because Petrilla cannot attack Brough on union issues, is it because Petrilla sees Brough as his biggest threat and he does not want to give Brough any extra publicity, or is it for another reason?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Over in the race for OC Supervisor, 5th District, Lisa Bartlett has put out a mailer stating that she is the “The Endorsed Conservative Republican” with a letter from Congressman Darrell Issa prominently displayed on the front (more disclosure, I am supporting Robert Ming in this race, though I have little experience or knowledge of Bartlett).  The letter from Issa states that he is endorsing Bartlett’s campaign.  Allan Bartlett contends that the mailer is deceptive because it implies that Bartlett is endorsed by the OC GOP, which she is not.  I have to agree that this mailer is more deceptive than Petrilla’s in that it could lead some to believe that Bartlett is endorsed by the OC GOP simply by its vague wording.  (I will note that the other Republican candidates for the 5th District are also endorsed by many, meaning that they are also “endorsed conservative” Republicans, making her statement false on its face.  She should have put “An Endorsed Conservative Republican” or “The Issa Endorsed Conservative Republican” to be accurate.  I know I am splitting hairs here, and we are talking about mailers which often like to be vague and deceptive for effect, but it still fun to do.)

Both the 73rd AD and 5th District Supervisor races appear to be close.  It remains to be seen whether these mailers and their statements will have any negative impact on either Petrilla or Bartlett, or they are relegated to inside baseball status like so many other of these issues.  We are less than three weeks from the June 3 direct primary election, and it seems that the candidates are ramping up their mail and their message.  It should be a fun election season!

jessepetrilla bartlett

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, 73rd Assembly District, Orange County Board of Supervisors, State Assembly | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Court Of Appeal Chooses Not To Keep Up With The Times In Refusing To Extend Public Records Act To Private Email And Text Accounts

Posted by Greg Woodard on April 24, 2014

The assault on the Public Records Act (“PRA”) has garnered a lot of attention recently.  Last year, the legislature attempted to make compliance with the PRA voluntary, rather than mandatory as it currently is.  The swift outcry led to a hasty, and wise, retreat and the bill died as it should have.  However, the Court of Appeal has again stepped in the PRA fray, and I believe it missed an opportunity to close a dangerous loophole created by technology outpacing the law.

In City of San Jose v. Superior Court, decided last month, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeal was faced with the question of whether emails and text messages sent to or from public officials’ and public employees’ private electronic devices, using their private accounts, were required to be disclosed pursuant to a proper PRA request.  The trial court had held that communications on private devices were “public records” under the PRA and were required to be produced.  Unfortunately, the Court of Appeal disagreed and reversed the trial court.

With the Court of Appeal now holding that communications using private devices are not subject to disclosure under the PRA, the potential for abuse is obvious.  In fact, the City of San Jose Court specifically stated “[t]hat city council members may conceal their communications on public issues by sending and receiving them on their private devices from private accounts is a serious concern. . .”  However, the Court left it to the legislature to deter such behavior with appropriate legislation.  I will note the irony given that the Democrats in the legislature recently wanted to gut the PRA by making it voluntary.

This trend towards making government less transparent is troubling. We already have seen that Obama’s EPA officials have used their private email accounts to aid environmentalists, with the head of the EPA creating fake email names to hide her actions.  It is likely that a large number of public officials and employees are using their private accounts for public business, whether it is to hide those communications from public view or not.

Given how slowly the state legislature reacts to decisions like these (and its own efforts to undermine the PRA), I believe that the best way to curb these abuses is for local cities, counties, and other agencies to implement their own policies prohibiting officials and employees from using their private devices or accounts to conduct public business.  These policies will only be effective if violations are dealt with severely.  This also could increase costs for local agencies should they choose to purchase electronic devices for each public official and employee, but the resulting transparency should be worth the cost.

Posted in California | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Good Guys Win One In Court – Righeimer And Mensinger Defeat Union’s Bogus Legal Ploy

Posted by Greg Woodard on April 14, 2014

[Warning, boring legal stuff ahead, but it is important].  Many OC Political readers are familiar with the plight of Costa Mesa Councilmembers Jim Righeimer and Steve Mensinger as they have failed to back down to aggressive (and allegedly dirty) union tactics.  For those of you unfamiliar, Righeimer and Mensinger have filed a lawsuit against the police union, the union’s former law firm, and an investigator previously used by the law firm, alleging, among other things, that the defendants have engaged in spying, threats, intimidation, assault, and false reports of criminal activity.  Recently, they have alleged that the defendants illegally placed a GPS tracker on Mensinger’s car during the last election.

Apparently, the defendants have been stonewalling Righeimer and Mensinger, including the investigator repeatedly asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during his recent deposition as Righeimer and Mensinger are trying to get to the bottom of who is responsible for the tracking, and other purported illegal activities.

Enter the defendants’ lawyers for another round of delay.  They recently filed what is called an “anti-SLAPP” motion.  In a nutshell, an anti-SLAPP motion alleges that Righeimer and Mensinger have violated the defendants’ right of petition or free speech.  While enacted for good reasons, sadly many lawyers abuse the process because filing an anti-SLAPP motion automatically stays all discovery, preventing Righeimer and Mensinger from getting important facts and documents.  In addition, filing an anti-SLAPP motion early in the case forces the plaintiffs to factually defend their claims, even if the defendants are in possession of the facts and documents needed to proved the case, or risk having the lawsuit dismissed.

The defendants’ motion claimed that the principal thrust of the lawsuit is the 911 call that the investigator made against Righeimer, falsely accusing Righeimer of driving drunk.  The Court rejected that claim, denied the motion, and held that the main thrust of the action is the false and malicious reports of criminal activity by the investigator as an agent for the other defendants.

So what does this mean?  It means that for now, Righeimer and Mensinger can continue with their discovery and hopefully find out whether the law firm, the union, or both, were behind these dirty tactics.  It also means that the Court did not buy the defendants’ bogus claim that their alleged illegal activities are protected.  It also means that Righeimer and Mensinger are as committed as ever to exposing the union and its efforts to shut down any attempts to rein in its power.

Righeimer and Mensinger have had their personal lives put under a magnifying glass because of their efforts against unions.  They have been followed, falsely accused, illegally tracked, and had their families dragged into the fray.  Yet they refuse to be scared or threatened into giving up.  We should applaud these men and their families, support them, and look for other leaders like them in our communities to support and get elected to local, state, and federal positions.  Only then can we begin to make inroads into the unions’ enormous power over California.

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

Mission Viejo’s Public Records Retention Policy, Or Lack Thereof, Needs Review

Posted by Greg Woodard on December 17, 2013

The Public Records Act, along with the Brown Act, are the two most important state statutes that are supposed to provide open and transparent government from local city councils, boards, and other agencies.  Mission Viejo needs to review its document retention policy to determine whether it is being as transparent as possible.

On October 24, 2013, Mission Viejo resident Larry Gilbert made a simple Public Records Act request for all communications between Dennis Wilberg, the Mission Viejo City Manager, and the city managers of Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente regarding Gilbert and the Community Common Sense newspaper from August 1, 2013 to the date of the request.  Gilbert knew Wilberg had sent an email on September 12, 2013 to the San Juan Capistrano City Manager referencing Gilbert and Common Sense because he had received a copy of it from a friend.  However, even though Gilbert made the request just over 40 days after Wilberg sent the email, the City responded that it had no documents responsive to Gilbert’s request.  At the December 2, 2013 City Council meeting, when pressed by Gilbert about his request, Wilberg stated that he had deleted the email so it was no longer available for production.

Given the proliferation of email accounts among local elected officials and staff, the issue of email retention has become increasingly important.  In late 2011/early 2012, an Anaheim Planning Director told staff, under the threat of disciplinary action, to delete old documents and electronic files.  Earlier this year, a Modesto attorney sued to stop the city from automatically deleting emails that were more than 30 days old.  Open-government advocates are alarmed at the short duration that some local agencies keep emails before purging them.

As these and other cases demonstrate, cities and other local agencies struggle to balance the need for public transparency with the need to maintain their records in an efficient manner.  While state law does not state how long emails should be retained, it does require many records be maintained for two years.  Moreover, many open-government advocates assert that purging after 30 days is neither required by law, nor in the spirit of guaranteeing the most open and transparent government possible.

I asked all five Mission Viejo council members to provide me with the city’s document retention policy, as well as whether the city had done any analysis of the cost of keeping emails longer than 30 days.  I only received a response from two council members.  Rhonda Reardon stated, “we need to take a good hard look at our email retention policy.  The questions you raised are good questions and will be the basis for our discussion on our communication retention policy in 2014.”  Cathy Schlicht stated that she not aware of any city-wide purge system in place for emails, and that when she was assigned her email account she was told never to delete emails.  Schlicht said that she only deletes the non-city addressed emails from various organizations and some staff emails on items such personal holiday greetings, out of office responses, as well as the City’s newsletters.  Schlicht keeps all official communications between herself and staff, as well as email exchanges between council members and the public, and between council members themselves.  Schlicht maintains that she has her emails back to 2008 when she was elected to the City Council.

It appears that there is a disconnect between what Schlicht was told (never to delete emails) and what Wilberg did (delete an email within 40 days of receiving it).  It is this type of disconnect that raises the real possibility that important (or incriminating) documents are being deleted, and that is why Mission Viejo, as well as all other Orange County cities, needs to review its public document retention policies and ensure that its efforts err on the side of the public and open government.

Posted in Mission Viejo, Orange County | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Family Action PAC Recognizes Steve Mensinger For His Public Service

Posted by Greg Woodard on December 10, 2013

The Family Action PAC held its annual Christmas Party on December 5, 2013.  Part of the festivities included presenting “Red Tie Awards” to individuals who have made an impact in their community.  This year, Costa Mesa City Councilman Steve Mensinger was awarded the “Excellence in Public Service” Red Tie.  Many know the trials Steve and fellow council member Jim Righeimer have endured at the hands of the unions during the years that they have been fighting for pension and other reforms in their city.

Steve and Jim have filed a lawsuit against the Costa Mesa Police Officer’s Association, the Association’s former law firm, and one of the firm’s investigators.  The lawsuit alleges a pattern of harassment by the defendants during the 2012 election campaign.  One of the allegations is that the defendants sent a woman into a local restaurant and bar where Steve and Jim had gone, in an attempt to get Steve in a compromising position, which they failed to do.  While at the restaurant, the defendant investigator then followed Jim home and called the police alleging that Jim was driving erratically.  The police came to Jim’s home late at night and administered a sobriety test in front of his wife and young daughters, which Jim easily passed considering the strongest thing he had to drink that night was a Diet Coke.

Recently, the Orange County D.A.’s office revealed that a GPS tracking device was placed on Steve’s car during the time he was campaigning for re-election in 2012.  Steve and Jim have added an allegation that the defendants are responsible for the GPS tracking device to their lawsuit.  Steve has likened the ordeal to a John Grisham novel, and the law firm representing Jim and Steve calls it a sophisticated conspiracy, “straight out of the Watergate diaries.”

Jim introduced Steve at the Family Action PAC luncheon, and at the end of his speech the emotion in the room was palpable.  Jim also put a very human face on the issue, pointing out the impact not only on themselves, but also on their wives who were in attendance.  Steve, ordinarily very vocal, was visibly affected by Jim’s words, and was only able to choke out a thank you to Jim and all of the attenders.

If proven, the illegal, immoral, and invasive actions of the unions and their cohorts should be severely punished, both in a court of law and in the court of public opinion.  If unions are resorting to these activities to protect their stranglehold on local city and county politics, they must be stopped.  We should all applaud individual like Jim and Steve who are not afraid to stand against the money and power of the unions as they seek to make their cities a better place for their residents.

Posted in Costa Mesa | 4 Comments »

 
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