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Archive for the ‘Orange County’ Category

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 »

AD-55 Watch: Hugh Nguyen endorses Phillip Chen

Posted by Allen Wilson on April 10, 2014

We just received this press release from Phillip Chen for Assembly Campaign that popular Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen endorses Chen for Assembly:

Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen Endorses Chen for Assembly

ORANGE COUNTY, CA – Today Phillip Chen announced the endorsement of another high ranking Orange County Republican elected official. Phillip announced Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen’s support in his campaign for State Assembly. Phillip continues to build on his momentum in the campaign for the 55th Assembly District.

Hugh Nguyen cited Chen’s commitment to reforming state tax and business policies as reason for support. “In the Assembly Phillip Chen will protect taxpayers, reform government, and work to cut through the red tape that holds back small businesses in our area. That’s why I’m supporting him.”

Nguyen joins a list of Orange County local leaders and elected officials that already includes Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Supervisor Shawn Nelson and Assemblymembers Diane Harkey and Travis Allen.

Phillip Chen is a Republican, small business owner, educator and reserve deputy sheriff. The 55th Assembly District is split between Orange, San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties.

Posted in 55th Assembly District, Orange County, State Assembly | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

AD-55 Watch: Biographies Scrutinized

Posted by Allen Wilson on March 28, 2014

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The Orange County Register published an article scrutinizing the Assembly candidates biographies, but candidate Ling-Ling Chang education claims gets top grilling.

The view of the article is behind a firewall, which requires payment to have reading privileges.

It has been reported in previous campaign materials, publications and city of Diamond Bar website that Chang earned a degree in Biology from UC, Riverside and attending Harvard.

However, the article explains on the contrary that Chang has no degree in biology, which means she dropped out of UC Riverside and Chang explained that she is doing her studies “online” for a degree from Harvard.

Sadly, Chang offers no apologies for attending Harvard, but she should be reminded that attending an Ivy League university physically on campus is totally different than one taking courses behind a keyboard.

Unfortunately, Chang faults the inaccuracies to the City of Diamond Bar Public Information Officer, which is an insult to the professionalism of a municipal employee that is of high regard in and out of Diamond Bar City Hall.

If an Assembly candidate spends all of the time going to meetings as a councilmember on the taxpayers dime should have gone to night school and gotten a degree instead of polishing a political résumé for far too long.

It is ironic that an Assembly candidate is using SCA 5 on a campaign platform who only holds a high school diploma.

We are in a midst of a campaign season and candidates should be grilled until Election Day.

As for one candidate to embellish education claims brings bad taste who is being endorsed by high profile Republican elected officials such as Rep. Ed Royce and Senate Minority Leader Senator Bob Huff.

The voters in the 55th Assembly District deserves the truth as to who will be their next Assemblymember.

It is good to know now than with regrets for the constituents who could be stuck with a legislator for the next 2 or 12 years.

Posted in 55th Assembly District, Brea, California, La Habra, Orange County, Placentia, State Assembly, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Repost: OC Political March Madness Pool 2014

Posted by Chris Emami on March 19, 2014

UPDATE 3-19-2014: Tournament starts tomorrow. Get your brackets in today.

It is that time of year again. Much Madness is upon us and OC Political is offering a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card to the winner of our free pool. All we ask is that people use their real names in order to make it easier for us to reward the winner with the prize.

Congrats go out to last years winner Connor Duckworth. Can he pull a repeat again this year or will the champion be someone different.

Here are the instructions to enter the pool which we have set up through Yahoo!

Go to http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/t1/register/joingroup
Our Group ID # is 157582
Our Password is reagan

Let me know if you have any issues. We are looking forward to another fun-filled contest.

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

Live from OC GOP: Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 17, 2014

7:59 PM: After an hour of speeches, the first endorsement motion is made, as Robert Hammond moves to endorse Hugh Nguyen for Clerk-Recorder.

8:00 PM: Tim Whitacre speaks about Nguyen’s strong record, Republican endorsements, and the County audits that have found Nguyen has fixed much of Tom Daly’s mess.

8:01 PM: Scott Peotter says it’s optional to perform marriages. Peotter says the Clerk-Recorder can either perform all marriages (both same-sex and opposite-sex) or perform no marriages. Peotter asks if no

8:03 PM: Todd Spitzer talked about the importance of the Clerk-Recorder having their documents in order since the post files important documents and how important it is to have candidates for Clerk-Recorder who know how to file nomination papers in a timely fashion. He speaks of Nguyen’s experience, he speaks of Nguyen’s success in cleaning up Daly’s mess.

8:05 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh gives an unofficial award for best line to Todd Spitzer due to his comments about the Clerk-Recorder’s job filing important documents and one candidate’s failure to properly file candidate documents.

8:06 PM: Nguyen is endorsed by a nearly unanimous vote, with only Peotter opposing.

NGUYEN ENDORSED

8:08 PM: Bill Dunlap speaks in favor of Michael Gates for Huntington Beach City Attorney.

8:09 PM: Baron Night asks to delay the Gates endorsement until August since the race will not be on the ballot until November.

8:10 PM: Michael Gates states he is up against an entrenched incumbent. He has raised $120,000. He says he is a true conservative who believes in limited government unlike the incumbent whose brand of Republicanism he opposes. He speaks about his experience at the US Department of Justice, as a law clerk at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in private practice.

8:14 PM: Zonya Townsend asks about his representation of the Roman Catholic diocese of Orange and whether he’s represented them on sexual abuse cases.

8:14 PM: Gates says he and his firm have refused to represent the Diocese on the sexual abuse cases. They’ve only represented the Diocese on slip-and-fall and other liability cases that did not involve sexual abuse.

Gates is endorsed nearly unanimously, with only Baron Night opposing.

GATES ENDORSED

8:17 PM: Alexandria Coronado moves and Scott Peotter seconds the endorsement of Tom Pollitt for Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2.

Incumbent David Boyd attempts to speak against the motion but is ruled out of order since he’s not a Central Committee member.

No one rises to speak against Pollitt; he is endorsed unanimously.

POLLITT ENDORSED

8:18 PM: Brett Barbre moves and Teresa Hernandez seconds the endorsement of Linda Lindholm for Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5.

No one rises to speak against Lindholm; she is endorsed unanimously.

LINDHOLM ENDORSED.

That’s a wrap on endorsements. More endorsements to come at the April Central Committee meeting.

Posted in Huntington Beach, Orange County, Orange County Board of Education, Republican Central Committee | Leave a Comment »

OC Political March Madness Pool 2014

Posted by Chris Emami on March 17, 2014

It is that time of year again. Much Madness is upon us and OC Political is offering a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card to the winner of our free pool. All we ask is that people use their real names in order to make it easier for us to reward the winner with the prize.

Congrats go out to last years winner Connor Duckworth. Can he pull a repeat again this year or will the champion be someone different.

Here are the instructions to enter the pool which we have set up through Yahoo!

Go to http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/t1/register/joingroup
Our Group ID # is 157582
Our Password is reagan

Let me know if you have any issues. We are looking forward to another fun filled contest.

20130318-141716.jpg

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

State, County, Schools: Who’s on the Ballot

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 8, 2014

Here’s the comprehensive run-down on all non-federal and non-judicial races on Orange County’s ballots for the 2014 primary election.  With regard to State races, I’m only posting Board of Equalization and legislative because statewide races require that I check 58 Registrars, which is a task too onerous for this blogger; going through five Registrars for BOE was annoying enough.

Extensions

Three races have had their filing deadline extended to Wednesday, as an eligible incumbent did not run for re-election:

  • 45th Congressional District (Incumbent John Campbell decided not to run for re-election)
  • 74th Assembly District (Incumbent Allan Mansoor filed for Supervisor)
  • Auditor-Controller (Appointed Incumbent Jan Grimes decided not to run for an elected term)

Unopposed

36th Senate District: Supervisor Pat Bates (R) is unopposed.  Ken Lopez Maddox (R) pulled signatures-in-lieu but did not file those papers nor pull any others.  No one pulled papers, let alone filed papers, in San Diego County.

Sheriff-Coroner: Sandra Hutchens (R) is unopposed for re-election.

Superintendent of Schools: Appointed Incumbent Al Mijares (R) is unopposed in his bid for his first elected term.

Treasurer-Tax Collector: Shari Friedenrich (R) is unopposed for re-election.

Complicated

Board of Equalization: Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R), former Assemblyman Van Tran (R), Accountant/Realtor Lewis Da Silva (R), Store Owner/Businessman John F. Kelley (R), and Government Auditor Nader Shahatitt (D) are all running.

Assessor: Incumbent Webster Guillory (NPP) pulled papers and filed them on the last day.  His opponents are Consultant/Appraiser/Businessman Jorge O. Lopez (D) and former Board of Equalization Member Claude Parrish (R).

Clerk-Recorder: Incumbent Hugh Nguyen (R) faces a trio of opponents: former Orange Unified School District Trustee Steve Rocco (NPP), Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Gary Pritchard (D), and Businesswoman Monica Maddox (R), who is married to former Assemblyman/former Capistrano Unified School District Trustee/former Garden Grove Councilman Ken Maddox (R).  See this post from OC Political on the bizarre story of Los Alamitos Councilman Troy Edgar’s (R) failure to qualify that required the Registrar of Voters to examine surveillance camera footage.

Minor developments

69th Assembly District: As expected, Assemblyman Tom Daly (D) is being challenged by Santa Ana Unified School District Trustee Cecilia “Ceci” Iglesias (R).  Inexplicably, Sherry Walker (R) who only registered to vote in AD-69 recently, filed to run.

5th Supervisorial District: As expected, Orange County Businessman/Councilmember Robert Ming (R), Councilmember/Businessman/Engineer Frank Ury (R), and Mayor/Businesswoman Lisa Bartlett all filed.  Unexpectedly, Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams (R) filed.

As expected

34th Senate District: Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R), RSCCD Trustee Jose Solorio (D), and former OCBE Trustee Long Pham (R) are running.

55th Assembly District: Councilwoman/Educator/Executive Ling-Ling Chang (R), Small Business Onwer Phillip Chen (R), Councilmember Steve Tye (R), and Social Worker Gregg D. Fritchle (D) filed.

65th Assembly District: Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) and Small Businesswoman Young Kim (R) are the sole candidates.

68th Assembly District: Assemblyman Don Wagner (R)is being challenged by Psycotherapist Anne Cameron (D).

72nd Assembly District: Assemblyman Travis Allen (R) is being challenged by Retired Police Commander Albert Ayala (D) and Joel Block (D).

73rd Assembly District: The five expected candidates all qualified.  Here’s a list of them with their party affiliation and ballot designation:

  • Bill Brough (R), Businessman/Dana Point Councilman
  • Anna Bryson (R), Capistrano Unified School District Trustee
  • Jesse Petrilla (R), Councilman/Military Officer
  • Paul Glaab (R), Small Business Owner
  • Wendy Gabriella (D), Teacher/Constitutional Attorney

2nd Supervisorial District: The four expected candidates filed.  Here’s a list of them with their party affiliation and ballot designation:

  • Michelle Steel (R), Taxpayer Advocate/Businesswoman
  • Allan Mansoor (R), California Assemblyman
  • Joe Carchio (R), Councilman/Retired Businessowner (this ballot designation won’t last long, as you cannot legally have both a retired occupation and a current occupation in a race)
  • Jim Moreno (D), Governing Board Member, Coast Community College District

4th Supervisorial District: Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R) is being challenged by Small Business Owner Rudy Gaona (D).  Gaona has made two unsuccessful bids for Anaheim City Council, and in both instances came in close to finishing last.

District Attorney-Public Administrator: DA Tony Rackauckas (R) is being challenged by Attorney Greg Diamond (D).

County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2: Incumbent David Boyd (NPP) is being challenged by Orange County Small Businessman Tom Pollitt (R).

County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5: Incumbent Elizabeth Parker (R) is being challenged by Orange County Businesswoman/Mayor Linda Lindholm (R).

Irvine Unified School District Special Election: Ira Glasky (R) seeks a return to his former seat on the Irvine School Board.  He is being challenged by Bob Vu (R) and Carolyn Inmon (D).

Congress

I will be back to update the Congressional races.  There’s something screwy in the log from one of the other counties on one of the multi-county Congressional races that include parts of Orange County; I’d like to confirm if it’s a clerical error, I’m misreading something, or it’s something more serious.  I will post later on the Congressional races.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 34th Senate District, 36th Senate District, 4th Supervisorial District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Board of Equalization, Irvine Unified School District, Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Public Administrator, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector | 1 Comment »

Tales From the ROV: Webster Guillory Files For Assessor

Posted by Chris Emami on March 7, 2014

My vacation from blogging is apparently over. I am currently locked inside the Orange County Registrar of Voters and have some stories to share with our readers.

Webster Guillory, the incumbent Orange County Assessor was thought to be retiring from his position after he did not pull papers to run for office yesterday. He shocked a lot of people today when he pulled papers at 1:00 today and gathered the necessary signatures to come back at 4:30 and file his papers to run for re-election.

I have heard of candidates filing at the last minute but generally incumbents do not pull this stunt. This has to be saddening news for Claude Parrish who was probably the front runner if Guillory did not run.

As of the writing of this article, Guillory has not qualified for the ballot, but they will likely determine if he qualifies later this evening when his nomination signatures are verified.

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Posted in Orange County | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

SD-34 Watch: Orange County Democrats Runs Away from Obamacare but Politicizes CalOptima

Posted by Allen Wilson on February 25, 2014

DPOC

Today, Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen releases statement in response to the Democratic Party of Orange County Chairman Henry Vadermeir for politicizing an important issue:

“It is sad that the Democratic Party would attempt to politicize an issue that is so important to so many local people in need of quality health care.

It’s curious that their alleged interest in the program appears in the middle of a political campaign and clearly shows they don’t understand the issues important to the 34th Senate District.

What’s worse is that the local Democratic operatives who issued this release are either ignorant of the facts or purposefully distorted the facts surrounding CalOptima.

They falsely stated that Supervisor Nguyen is the Chair of CalOptima, got the number of CalOptima patients wrong, inaccurately stated that the audit will take years to complete, and conveniently left out the fact that the audit was a routine, standard audit not caused by any one person’s actions.

Supervisor Nguyen stands by her actions to reform CalOptima because they were necessary to ensure transparency, accountability and quality services for the county’s most vulnerable population”

Orange County Democrats are conveniently running away from Obamacare and will do anything to politicize an issue such as CalOptima.

Orange County Democratic Party Chairman should be ashamed of himself!

Posted in 34th Senate District, Democrat Central Committee, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Orange County, Santa Ana, State Senate | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

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 »

 
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