OC Political

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

  • Custom Campaigns

    Custom Campaigns
  • DMI

  • Lindholm for County Board of Education

  • Glasky for IUSD

  • Woolery for Auditor-Controller

  • Ming for Supervisor

  • Rackauckas for District Attorney

  • Contact Us to Purchase an Ad

  • Lincoln Club of Orange County

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

U.S. Congressional Candidate Mia Love Visits the Lincoln Club in Orange County

Posted by Walter Myers III on July 19, 2014

MiaLove_16-240x300It was truly a privilege, inspirational, and wholly refreshing experience to meet U.S. Congress hopeful Ludmya Bourdeau “Mia” Love this week when she visited the Lincoln Club in Orange County. As you may recall, Mia was a relative unknown who lost to Democrat Jim Matheson in Utah’s 4th congressional district in 2012 by just 768 votes. Mia is back again in 2014, and I couldn’t be more pleased as it is people such as Mia that give me hope for the Republican Party and even more, hope for our country that if we put the right leaders in place we can change government for the better. Mia is the child of Haitian immigrants who came legally to the United States with virtually nothing, but took full advantage of the American dream. Their attitude was not to come looking to the government for anything, but simply looking to prosper and give back to a country that provided them with the opportunities they were denied in their own home country. Mia’s parents instilled in her an attitude of hard work, personal responsibility, and love of country, which she has demonstrated in her own career, in her time as City Council member and Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, and has passed on to her own children.

Mia has an impressive record of achievement as a council member and Mayor, known for cutting taxes, expenses, and putting her city on a sound financial footing while serving as Mayor. Mia told a compelling story of the building of a library that highlights her refreshing view on how government is supposed to work. Some residents of Saratoga Springs wanted a library with the usual story about how great it would be and how many people it would serve. Before committing any public funds, however, Mia asked the library supporters to demonstrate just how much the community wanted a new library. The community came together, putting on bake sales and various kinds of rallies, raising all of the money needed to build the library with no public funds. You see this rarely, as most politicians (including some Republicans here in Orange County) seize on every opportunity to use public funds to “do something for the people” instead of being prudent with taxpayer money and challenging all efforts to take hard earned money out of people’s pockets. Granted, Saratoga Springs had only a population of 21,000 as of 2012, but the principles of fiscal constraint and limited government stand no matter what the population. If a politician doesn’t believe in limited government at the City Council level, they certainly won’t believe in it as they move to the state and federal levels where there is even greater impetus to spend other people’s money. This quality is imperative and Mia certainly possesses it.

Mia is a black woman who fully embraces and values what she is, but she will not allow others to place her in any predefined categories about what a black woman should be or do. Mia forcefully argued how the “hope and change” that Barack Obama promised was nothing more than a false campaign promise. While Obama believes that more and bigger government can make people’s lives better, Mia argues that the best government is the most local government. First, the federal government has limits as imposed by the Constitution, yet involves itself in things it was not designed to do and simply cannot do effectively. That’s why we have so much debt that we are passing on to the next generation. Second, when government does things for people that they can and should do for themselves, people lose the incentive to make their own lives better through self-reliance and thus become more dependent on government. Third, when you look at situations where people’s lives are actually made better, you see this at the local level where people are using their own resources and meeting each other at the point of need. To the degree that government is limited, those resources can stay local and be used locally to make people’s lives better, instead of being funneled up to a fat, bloated bureaucracy that cares little about how people’s hard earned money is spent since they are so far away from everyday problems.

So Mia gets it right, while Obama gets it totally wrong. But it’s not just Obama. It’s the other socialist/Marxist Democrats and unfortunately, many establishment Republicans. That’s why we desperately need a new generation of leadership that respects the Constitution and truly believes in limited federal government (i.e., giving the power the federal government has already unconstitutionally amassed back to the people). Mia would have a few like-minded colleagues in Congress such as Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, but what I think is unique about her is her method of communication. Mia recognizes, as I have been arguing for some time, that the biggest problem with Republican politicians is communication. Regretfully, most Republicans today in Washington, D.C. can’t communicate well enough to defend almost any policy position. What we hear are lots of numbers and statistics about debt and deficits, but most American people can’t translate that into something that is meaningful to their lives. That’s why Democrats have effectively brought the “War on Women” back this campaign cycle and Republicans have no idea how to respond. What Mia brings is a personal touch to her communication looking to speak to people’s hearts, and she only then goes after the mind once she has their attention to explain why a particular conservative policy will make their lives better. In so doing, that policy will not be what the government can do for a given person, but how the government can facilitate them doing for themselves at the most local level. Though Mia didn’t mention the term, it’s the powerful Catholic principle of subsidiarity. This principle holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization. It particularly applies to government as a bulwark against centralized bureaucracy and tyranny.

I am supporting Mia and I hope you will take a look at her candidacy and support her as well. The incumbent Jim Matheson is not running again so she is the favorite to win. Nonetheless, while her fundraising has been outstanding, she needs much more support to ensure victory in November. Aside from the fact that she would be the first black Republican woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress, which is historical, what should get you really excited are her conservative principles, her energy, and her excellent ability to communicate which will be critical to growing the reach of the Republican Party. Mia breaks all of the stereotypes, and my hope is that she will break the mold of what the Republican Party looks like when she steps into Congress in January 2015 representing Utah’s 4th Congressional District. But not only is she representing Utah, she’s also representing the hopes and dreams of all of the grassroots conservatives who are clamoring for change in Washington. Ludmya Bourdeau “Mia” Love, I believe, will do just that and pave the way for a new, revitalized, Republican Party. Godspeed to you Mia!

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

Unaccompanied Children: Why are they here?

Posted by Brenda McCune on July 18, 2014

“The breakdown of social structures and services accompaying a major crises means that communities and states themselves may not be in a position to provide the necessary protection and care for children without families. it is therefore imperative that humanitarian organizations ensure that the most vulnerable children are protected.”  

(Interagency Guiding Principles on Unaccompanied Children, 2004 report of Displaced Children.

 

So.  How are we doing with that?

 

In 1993 the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption was concluded.  It was ratified by Guatemala in 2002.   Countries whom are signatories to this convention were required to have a dedicated government agency to handle all international adoptions.  One of the principles underlying this Hague Convention was the theory that it is in the best interests of children to be raised within the culture of their birth.  the problem arises in the blind manner in which that goal is pursued.  UNICEF has been actively involved in and monitoring the progress and implementation of this Hague Convention in countries like Guatemala.

 

In 2007, after pressure from UNICEF, the Guatemalan National Adoptions Board (CNA is the abbreviation of the spanish title)stopped all international adoptions in order to cease the outflow of Guatemalan children to the U.S..  Private adoptions were outlawed, and a moratorium was imposed on international adoptions that remains to this date.  The private intermediaries, lawyers, who arranged and negotiated private international adoptions, were characterized as a large part of the “problem” and were prevented from doing any further adoptions.  All adoptions had to be approved and handled through the governmental agency.  

 

As of an April 2013 report, there are at least 5,800 Guatemalan children whom have been abandoned by their parents and left in institutions, orphanages.  Because of the moratorium, that is where they stay, indefinitely.

 

In Guatemala, re-unificaiton is compulsory.  That means, they search for and find the mother, force her to submit to DNA testing to prove maternity, and compel her to take the child back.  The wishes, or the financial means, of the mother are largely disregarded.  The mothers in the program report being coerced and threatened to take their unwanted children.  The government agency continues the illogical process of compulsory reunification because it crunches their adoption numbers down to satisfy the constant UNICEF monitoring.  The goal of UNICEF is the preserve the children in their home country and culture.   It seem little thought is given the whether that is a culture of abject poverty, starvation, disease, violence and in general marginallization of the health and safety of the children. 

 

Up to the imposition of the  moratorium on international adoptions, it is estimated that 5,000 Guatemalan children were adopted outside the country each year.  With that estimate, and several years now since the imposition of the moratorium, it is hard to believe that the estimate of 5,800 in orphanages now. Still a staggering and heart breaking number. 

 

To serve a goal of cultural preservation, children are being permanently institutionalized, or replaced with parents who did not want them.  Although another stated goal was to eliminate the possibility of sex and slave trade and other abuse of internationally adopted children, it hardly seems this wholesale warehousing of them is the most efficient means to have accomplished the childrens best interests.

 

All of this illuminates the current circumstance and plight of the thousands of unaccompanied children whom have recently flooded across the gossamer southern border of the U.S..

Children who were not available to be adopted by loving families in the U.S., were either warehoused in Central America or returned to parents who did not want or could not care for them, and are now being warehoused here.  Arguably in nicer warehouses, but still herded like cattle, having faced a long uncertain and treacherous journey, all because they or their parents heard and beleived something about a “Dream Act” or a better life north of the border, and because UNICEF and the Hague didn’t want them to miss out on their own culture.

 

The moratorium on International Adoptions has to be stopped.  It is another twist of the chicken or the egg debate, the “secure the border first” or start with “immigration reform”.  The flood will likely continue or surge again.  Why, in the face of the utter failure of the cultural maintenance policy, can UNICEF and the governments not see the obvious answer.  Do something at the source. Lift the moratorium is such a simple and immediate remedy.   Still we must address the situation we are sitting on north of our border now, but we can no longer allow the overwhelming presence of these unaccomplained children to cloud the significant policy flaw, and adopton moratorium that has contributed significantly to the problem.  

Posted in Uncategorized | 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: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Thad Cochran, the GOP Establishment, and Racial Politics

Posted by Walter Myers III on June 29, 2014

CochranIf you weren’t sure who the “establishment” was in the GOP, then if you were following the US Senate primary run-off in Mississippi between incumbent Thad Cochran and Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel, you found out to stunning effect. Sensing his political future was in serious trouble, Cochran, who was supported by the likes of Arizona Senator John McCain, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, waged a campaign that stooped to the lowest level of tactics rivaling those of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Cochran, who has been in Washington, D.C. since 1978 (that’s 36 years), did not run as a conservative, but as a big government, pork-barrel senator who brought home the bacon for Mississippi. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part was that he reached out to Democrats, particularly liberal black Democrats, because without them he would have most likely lost. His message was that if the Tea Party candidate won, blacks would lose their welfare benefits and the Tea Party would continue their “disrespectful treatment of the first African-American president.” With friends like Cochran in the GOP, who needs enemies in the Democratic Party?

Ostensibly, the establishment backers felt Cochran had a better chance against the Democrat in November, but was it worth it to violate core principles of conservatism and to even further falsely sully the reputation of the Tea Party caucus, who they might have forgotten are Republicans too? The charges of racism are going to stick to the larger party as well, so Cochran may have done himself a favor but he has done no favors for the party. Perhaps some will view his “outreach” to blacks as a good thing for the GOP, but this wasn’t outreach. It was a bribe. In effect, Cochran told black people that he was going to keep bringing big government benefits to them in Mississippi. He owes them now and they will be looking to cash in. So there are no pretenses now that the supposedly Republican senator will fight for smaller government, against Obama’s socialist agenda, and greater opportunity for blacks. His job is to “bring home the bacon” and support Obama from the attacks of racist Tea Party conservatives. Who would have ever expected the Republican Party would devolve to such a shameful state. But then again, this is politics and politics is all too often about personal survival at the expense of the country and our Constitution. And even more tragic is to see blacks across this country place so much faith in government only to be used as a voting block and forgotten when no longer needed (who are notably much worse off under Obama than Bush). The much needed economic opportunity and chance for upward mobility never seem to arrive, and it will be status quo with Republican Cochran.

Thad Cochran and his ilk, in my view, are fundamentally no different from Democrats. This is precisely why the Tea Party came about, which was to revitalize a once-proud grassroots party that has sadly lost its way. The milquetoast, go along to get along politicians such as Cochran simply don’t share the same core values as the conservative base of the Republican Party. To use blacks in such a manner that he has previously paid no attention to in order to keep what he arguably believes is “his” seat, and to spread falsehoods about his opponent as well as the Tea Party sets a new low for Republican politics. And we didn’t hear any protest from McCain, McConnell, Barbour, or political pundit Karl Rove when this man used racial politics as a tool to win. So you know where their loyalties are in what they obviously see as nothing more than a game of hustle. This just shows you where the party is going and what its leadership is truly like. The Republican leadership doesn’t want to turn this country around from its headlong run into a socialist welfare state. They just want to convince us that they will run the socialist welfare state better than Democrats. So much for bold colors or a vision of a city on the hill. This is the wrong prescription for America, and it is why the Tea Party cannot give up but must continue to fight. What I do hope the Tea Party learns from this is that it needs to actively reach out to minority communities with a message of hope, optimism, and economic opportunity. Minority communities cannot be ignored any longer, and what we have learned from this race is that establishment Republicans will pander to minority communities when it serves their purposes. The Tea Party should be on notice.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Brown v Board of Education Shamefully Revisited in California

Posted by Walter Myers III on June 15, 2014

Julia MaciasA beautiful thing happened this past week. It was not Barack Obama’s visit to Laguna Beach where, as usual, he was whisked into a private gated community at taxpayer expense where the public had no access to him, where he held a $32,000 a plate fundraiser that only the super-rich could attend. These happen to be the same super-rich that he calls “fat cats” for not paying their “fair share” of taxes while telling the rest of us who have no access to him that he is fighting against them for us. Sure thing, Mr. President. We’re just that gullible and stupid to believe people like you who say one thing and do another while you enrich yourself and those who have sold their souls to jump into bed with big government. I believe it is called crony capitalism. Anyway, this article is not about the injustices of the lawless Obama administration foisted on an American populous that should have known better than to have voted him into office the first time, let alone a second. It is about the astounding legal victory handed to California students and parents, striking down the state tenure and seniority system as unconstitutional that has consigned poor and minority students to less than a quality education.

Those children of California who have been least able to defend themselves due to circumstance of birth have, in effect, been subjected to racist policies driven by the stunning hutzpah, avarice, and greed displayed by the California teachers unions, all the while supported by Democrats in the state legislature who were more than happy to take union campaign contributions and look the other way while California’s children were failing to be educated. The teachers unions continue to defend bad laws and are promising to appeal the ruling handed down by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu, who judged that five statutes of the California Education Code are unconstitutional since they violate the fundamental right of all students to receive a quality education. Notably, and truthfully, Judge Treu compared the Vergara v California case to the landmark Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court case that ordered desegregation 60 years ago in 1954, which ended “separate but equal” educational facilities that everyone knew to be inherently unequal. The Vergara case is based on nine public school students’ claims (the plaintiffs) that “grossly ineffective teachers obtaining and retaining permanent employment… are disproportionately situated in schools serving predominantly low-income and minority students.” The case they made couldn’t be more clear, as the judge noted.

While my view is that the state laws did not have the original intent to be racist, that was their effect. And that has been their effect for a very long time with the full knowledge of both the teachers unions and the Democrat-controlled legislature in Sacramento that is beholden to the California Teachers Association $300 million war chest. Just as Barack Obama has an insatiable desire for the $32,000 a plate breakfast fundraisers populated by coastal gentry liberals and billionaire tech oligarchs, the Democrat Party of California has an insatiable desire for teachers union money since it is easy and plentiful. If a poor education for children other than their own is the consequence, then that’s a small price to pay to stay in office. When these children reach adulthood and enter the workforce unequipped, then they will become easy pickings for government handouts, and thus lifelong Democrat voters to keep the Democrat majority in power. And you know who is going to be asked to foot the bill. It’s just too easy when you don’t care that lives are destroyed in the process when they have barely just begun. The good news is that the parents and their brave nine children who took action over this grave injustice have emerged victorious as have all other parents and their children in California, at least for now. Let’s only hope that governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris will come to their senses and cease upholding what are clearly bad laws. Let’s end this injustice now with no more appeals.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Breaking News: Teacher Tenure Ruled Unconstitutional

Posted by Chris Emami on June 10, 2014

A Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge ruled earlier today that teacher tenure is unconstitutional. We will have a deeper analysis of this ruling later today. H/T to the Sacramento Bee for posting this story.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

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 »

Guest Editorial From LJSD Board Member Bill Hinz: Helen Hayden for Orange County Superior Court Judge.

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 2, 2014

This is a guest editorial from Lowell Joint School District Trustee BillHinz on one of the judicial races. Mr.Hinz earned a Juris Doctorate from Western State University and is the owner of a private law firm in Brea.

bill

Helen Hayden for Orange County Superior Court Judge

Helen Hayden is running for Judge.  Ms. Hayden was born in Philly and raised in South Jersey.  She graduated from Boston College and later attended Suffolk University Law School.  While in law school Ms. Hayden worked in a local district attorney’s office and subsequently graduated from law school with honors.  In 1989 she moved to California dealing primarily with civil litigation.

Ms. Hayden is trying to unseat Judge Derek Johnson (a Gray Davis appointee).  Although Judge Johnson has been endorsed by a long list of other judges and lawyers (customary for a sitting judge) it should be noted that Judge Johnson was publicly admonished by the State Of California Commission On Judicial Performance relative to comments that he made on the record about a rape victim, opining his view that  “I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something: If someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse the body shuts down.  The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted and we heard nothing about that in this case.  That tells me that the victim in this case although she wasn’t necessarily willing, she didn’t put up a fight…I found this whole case to be a technical case.  The rape is technical.  The forced oral copulation is technical.  It’s more of a crime law test than a real live criminal case.”

I met both Helen Hayden and Judge Johnson at a recent meeting of the North Orange County Bar Association.  I was impressed by the demeanor of Helen Hayden.  Judge Johnson, not so much, he refused to shake hands with his opponent.  Helen Hayden has been endorsed by the Orange County Register and deserves  your support as well.

 

Posted in 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 »

IE #3 for Michelle Steel

Posted by Marion Morrison on May 28, 2014

The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs are back in the mail with yet another Independent Expenditure mailing for Michelle Steel.

Steel IE 2 of 2 Steel IE 1 of 2

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, Mail, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 946 other followers