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Lake Forest Councilman Dwight Robinson Elected To The South Coast Air Quality Management District Position, Ousting Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido

Posted by Greg Woodard on November 6, 2015

In a coup for conservatives, the Republican party, and businesses throughout much of Southern California, Dwight Robinson defeated Miguel Pulido for the Orange County cities’ representative on the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Board.  As reported by OCPolitical’s own Chris Nguyen earlier, having to win the majority vote of all Orange County mayors, both in the number of cities, and overall county population, Robinson garnered 21 cities and 54% of the County’s population, to Pulido’s 12 cities and 45% of the population.  Pulido was Orange County’s representative on the AQMD for over a decade.

Robinson’s victory is significant as it flips the AQMD Board from 7-6 Democrat to 7-6 Republican, which will have considerable impact for many Southern California businesses.

Of his victory, Robinson said, “I am very proud of the broad based support I had across the spectrum that helped secured the votes I needed.  I deeply care about air quality and the environment.  I drive an electric car.  I put solar panels on my house earlier this year.  Equally important to me are jobs and the regional economy.  Many of the things AQMD has been doing over the last decade have driven companies, jobs, and the middle class out of Southern California.  I am dedicated to making sure that AQMD balances sensible environmental stewardship with middle class job retention.”

The race was marred by infighting from Republicans and rumors of Pulido offering support to mayors and their cities in exchange for their votes.  The most curious (and in my opinion, disappointing) aspect was the battle that erupted between Irvine Councilman Jeff Lalloway and Mayor Steven Choi.  As reported here, Choi was unavailable for the vote so he originally designated Lalloway as his voting representative.  However, it was reported that Lalloway was planning on voting for Pulido, and Choi removed Lalloway and appointed Christina Shea to vote instead.  Shea voted for Robinson, giving a size able chunk of population to Robinson.  While Lalloway denied that he had made up his mind on who to vote for, his claim that the Orange County Republican party’s support for Robinson was a push by California Republican Party Jim Brulte to strong-arm local Republicans to vote lock-step with the party is curious given that the race pitted Robinson, a strong Republican conservative and pro-business candidate, against Pulido, an avowed liberal Democrat who recently admitted to six violations of the Political Reform Act.  Pulido also previously appointed his brother as a part-time consultant to the AQMD, a position that paid more than $35,000 per year.

Posted in Orange County | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Did the Court of Appeal Put A Crimp In Governor Brown’s Drought Plans?

Posted by Greg Woodard on April 22, 2015

Everyone knows California is in a long-term drought.  And most of you on here know that Governor Brown recently issued an executive order requiring Californians to reduce their water use, and water agencies are tackling the task of making that happen.

Many water suppliers either currently have, or are planning on implementing, tiered rates to deal with the water usage cuts.  However, the Court of Appeal out of Santa Ana just issued a decision that could complicate matters, and may have far-reaching implications on any future use of tiered water rates.

In 2011, the city of San Juan Capistrano adopted a new water rate structure that created four tiered water rates, with substantially higher rates as the water use increases.  The Capistrano Taxpayers Association (CTA) filed a lawsuit challenging the tiered rates as violating Proposition 218’s limit on fees that a government agency can charge for services.

The trial court agreed with the CTA and held that the rates were not compliant with Proposition 218.

The Court of Appeal agreed and upheld the trial court’s ruling.  The Court of Appeal held that Proposition 218 requires water agencies to justify their tiered rates based on the costs of service for those tiers.  Agencies cannot use legislative, discretionary power to attribute percentages of total costs to the various tiers.  In addition, the agencies must have evidence to back up their claims that the rates are tied to the costs of service.

So what does that mean for the future of tiered rates?  The Court of Appeal specifically stated that tiered rates are not prohibited by Proposition 218. However, if agencies choose to institute tiered rates, they have to do so based on the actual costs of service for those tiers.  That means that agencies cannot implement tiered rates as a penalty.



Posted in San Juan Capistrano | Leave a Comment »

Andrew Do Announces His Candidacy For Soon-To-Be-Vacated Orange County Supervisor Seat

Posted by Greg Woodard on November 20, 2014

Andrew Do, former Chief of Staff for current Supervisor and newly-elected State Senator Janet Nguyen, has announced his candidacy for the special election for the First District Supervisor seat that will occur in early 2015.  Do is expected to face Democrat and perennial candidate Lou Correa (who is termed out of the 34th District State Senate seat that Nguyen is taking over).  Another potential candidate is Chris Phan, a Republican councilman from Garden Grove, who has already announced his intentions to run for the supervisor seat.

For Immediate Release

November 20, 2014

Contact: Dave Gilliard

Phone: 916-626-6804

Andrew Do to Run for Supervisor in First District Special Election

Nguyen, Bates,Walters and Royce to serve as Campaign Co-Chairs

Westminster, CA – – Today, Andrew Do announced his candidacy for Orange County Supervisor in the First District, where a special election will be called soon to replace Senator-elect Janet Nguyen.

Supervisor Nguyen, along with Supervisor Pat Bates, Senator and Congresswoman-Elect Mimi Walters and Congressman Ed Royce will serve as honorary co-chairs of Do’s campaign.

“I am honored that so many community leaders have encouraged me to run for Supervisor to follow in the footsteps of Janet Nguyen, who has done such a tremendous job for our communities,” said Do.

“The First District is the diverse and dynamic heart of Orange County, with many needs that are different from other parts of our county,” said Do. “I believe government can help meet those needs and can do so in a fiscally conservative and responsible manner that protects taxpayers.”

Do said his priorities will be to help create jobs, assist small business, rebuild the local economy, and improve roads, parks and other infrastructure. As a former Deputy District Attorney and in light of State prisoner early releases, Do will make public safety one of his top priorities. Do opposes tax increases and strongly supports Proposition 13.

“Too many of our neighborhoods and communities in central Orange County were neglected for far too long. We have made tremendous progress in correcting things over the last seven years and Andrew is committed to continuing and expanding on the work we have done,” said Supervisor and Senator-Elect Janet Nguyen.

Andrew Do is a prominent central county businessman, attorney and Republican who currently serves as Supervisor Nguyen’s Chief of Staff. Previously, he has been an Orange County Deputy District Attorney and Garden Grove City Councilmember. Do has been elected to serve as President of the Asian Bar of California and as President of the Vietnamese-American Bar Association of Southern California. He was selected by the U.S. Department of Justice to represent Orange County at the National District Attorney Association Advocacy College at the University of South Carolina. Do received his J.D. Degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He taught for three years as an Adjunct Professor at Cal State University, Fullerton and previously served as a Judge Pro Tem at Orange County West Municipal Court.


Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

The Union In CUSD Repeats Lie About Candidate Craig Alexander In A Shameful Attempt To Smear Him As The Election Nears

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 31, 2014

I previously wrote about the Capistrano Unified Education Association’s (CUEA) lies about Craig Alexander and Julie Collier, but this is beyond the pale.  After the union falsely claimed that Alexander previously sued the school district, Alexander sent Sally White, CUEA President, a letter informing her that he had never sued the school district.  Sadly, the union does not care about the truth, as evidenced by a recent call sheet from the CUEA that again lies and says that Alexander represented Ellen Addonizio and Sue Palazzo in a lawsuit against the district.

Alexander was too nice in his attempt to reason with White, but her willingness to perpetuate lies for the sake of keeping power tells me that she deserves no respect.  No one should tolerate these shameful acts by the union, and I would encourage everyone in the Capistrano Valley Unified School District to vote for Alexander (Area 4), Addonizio (Area 6) and Collier (Area 7) and tell the unions that you are not putting up with their lies anymore.  And to the union members, I would ask you to do the honorable thing and contact the CUEA and tell them to stop lying and start addressing the only important thing – the education of the students in the district.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

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: , , , , , , | 39 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: , , , , , , | 13 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: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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 »


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