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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Blount’

Meet me in the Middle

Posted by Brenda McCune on April 22, 2014

This is a quote from one of my favorite politicians, Bill Clinton.  Not because I stand with him ideologically, but because he was effective in creating consensus and getting things done.  Bill Clinton’s biggest fan is Bill Clinton, and he certainly would never let any ideology stand in his way of making a deal.  Not saying we should adopt that approach, but certainly something we could learn from.

The OCGOP held its monthly meeting last night, and the agenda included a variety of important endorsements for state and local offices.  Clearly the big events of the evening were consideration of the application from Tim Donnelly to obtain the county party endorsement in his race for California Governor, and Carlos Vasquez, seeking an endorsement from the party in his effort to unseat Loretta Sanchez.

Neither candidate was successful.

Mr. Vasquez is sorely underfunded for a race against a behemoth of a politician like Loretta Sanchez.  While everyone appreciated his sincerity and courage, he seemed unprepared to deal with this crowd.  Both Mr. Vasquez and his opponent who was in attendance were give an opportunity to respond to questions. (Jim Collum is a candidate endorsed by the American Independent party and did not seek the endorsement of the OCGOP, he complained that some glitch in getting his paperwork in on time prevented him from seeking this endorsement)  When asked why we should give them our endorsement, the candidates both dodged the question and gave their stump speech about why they are running.  Two more committee members asked similar questions, and it was only after Chairman Baugh pointed out their non-responsiveness, and Kermit Marsh asked them directly about endorsements and funds, did they finally get to the point of how viable they are that they should have the important endorsement of this particular body.  It was practically comical at times, with the lack of direct and concise responses and the effort to sidestep and obfuscate the issues that were clearly important to this body.  Can you really take this on?  Are you a serious candidate or is this just a haphazard game?

Loretta Sanchez is a serious contender.  Agreeably, a serious problem that the GOP would love to eliminate.  Are you the guy to get this job done?  That was the topic of discussion. Did they really think we were interested in their high gloss, soft shoe, sales pitch?

Andrew Blount is the mayor of Laguna Hills.  He is a nice man, with seemingly good intentions.  He has even less money than Tim Donnelly and does not have the cheerleading section, the “boots on the ground” that Donnelly has.  I am not sure why he is running.  He has $7,000.00 in his campaign that he has self funded.   He is a nice man and should save himself the grief of this race and just stay home.

Tim Donnelly came flanked by what appeared to be about 50 enthusiastic supporters.  The same rhetorical question should be posed to those people.  Did you really think, the elected OCGOP Central Committee members in this room were interested in your signs, or T-shirts, or your Whooping and hollering?  Next time the Tea Party desires to bring a candidate for the support of this group, please feel free to exercise some, or any, restraint and someone please take a lesson on decorum.  This is a room of politicos of varying experience, but certainly all committed to pursuing what is best for the party, our county and the state and federal governments overall.  The cheering and the interruptions were not only not persuasive, they were uncalled for and lended strength to the arguments against their candidate, in that this may not be the right time or the right candidate.

One thing that would have made Donnelly’s presentation more effective, is for all of those supporters present, to make some immediate financial contributions. They could have gotten on phones earlier in the day and worked on raising him some immediate money, rather than spending all the time they must have spent coordinating their T-shirts and signs.  Donnelly would have been more persuasive if he had come by himself, professional and dignified, just like every one of the many candidates we did endorse that evening.  With nearly 50 people there,  it is impossible not to wonder why or if, they have done or given anything at all to give this campaign some financial credibility, and prepare or strategize for this meeting, rather than just have an obvious plan to be disruptive.  Donnelly told us he had $11,000.00 in the bank.  If every enthusiastic supporter there put in $50.00 RIGHT THEN, he could certainly have boasted that he raised $2,500.00 THIS EVENING. That would have been impressive and might have helped to convert some believers to their arguments about all the faith they have in their grassroots and ground swell.

I get it,  Meg Whitman, blah, blah, blah, money doesn’t win races, blah, blah.

A campaign is not a religious exercise requiring a vow of poverty either.  Money is necessary.  Money is required.  Donnelly also acknowledged that more than $100k is still needed.  I do not recall if that is debt from past expenditures or is needed for future printing projects, but clearly the campaign is not even realizing it’s own goals.  If there were more effort in this energetic group, put behind fund raising, coupled with their enthusiasm, certainly committee members like me, who came with a truly open mind, could be persuaded to get on the band wagon.  There is an enormous problem with credibility when there is such a disparity between reality and necessity.

Chairman Baugh confirmed that Jerry Brown has a war chest of $20million.  Twenty-million dollars.

The probation thing also doesn’t help, and Donnelly never even mentioned it.  It is out there, it will have to be addressed.  Ignoring the elephant in the room will not make it go away.

Although Mr. Donnelly, was polished and articulate, he was condescending and played to his crowd.  He was there to seek the endorsement of the committee, and frankly, it appeared he planned on not getting it.  Donnelly and his followers left the room as soon as the votes pertaining to him were complete. They were indignant and noisy, and continued to make  noise and commotion as they exited a meeting that was still in progress. The meeting was in progress in fact, to honor the hard work of our great volunteers.  Well played Donnelly camp.  Disrespect is not usually the way to win anyone’s support.  Volunteers are the heart of what we do, and in general the volunteers who are honored at this meeting are not people who just discovered the conservative movement last week, but generally have long histories of service.  Shame on you for such glaring disrespect of these people and the process.

The chronic defensiveness of the Tea Party continues to hurt their message.  Their premise is that they are right about all of their platforms and disenfranchised from the “establishment” without any access or appreciation for their enormous “grassroots” efforts. They came to the “establishment” and acted like jerks.  That is not inviting or attractive in anyway. Rodney Dangerfield got no respect because he went around saying it all the time.  You get what you give usually.

I WANT to support Tim Donnelly.  I WANT to believe that there is a tremendous ground swell effort in play, that grassroots are taking hold, that voters are fed up and they want change, BUT, if the captains of the grassroots ship, keep coming to the party with a chip on their shoulder about how disenfranchised they are, this movement will sink itself AND the party.  I hope that doesn’t happen, but based upon the display last night, I can’t help but feel we are all doomed, to eventually live in a completely and hopelessly blue state, in a completely and hopelessly blue nation.  We all remember where that one party experiment was last tried and failed.

Meet me in the middle, was about compromise, it was about reaching out, and if Bill Clinton was anything, it was persuasive.  We need people from the base and the Tea Party to develop attitudes of meeting in the middle. The ideaologues and dogma are a problem, the obvious one, but what was evidenced last night is both greater and easier to fix.  It was about respect.  Donnelly fans showed up, moderately hostile, anticipating to be disrespected and not to gain the endorsement they alleged to seek.  They left, fulfilling their negative self prophecy, not more enlightened in how their own behavior contributed to this.  I came with an open mind. I want to believe that there is a David who can kill Jerry Brown’s Goliath.  In the course of the meeting, though, they lost me.  Misguided efforts and the prevailing attitude were too prevalent to overlook.

Republican party voter registration is now down to 28%.  The increase in No Party Preference voters continues, with no end in sight.  We are almost tied, the GOP and NPP for voter registration.  Sad.  Our platform is that limited government would provide increased economic freedom to all, and as such, increased liberty to all.  Is that really so hard? Is there any concept or ideal that is more important than that?  That is our middle.  It is our foundation.  It is right. It works. If we can not figure out how to meet THERE, we continue to jeopardize our future.  I sincerely hope that both Tim Donnelly and Carlos Vasquez continue to work hard, step up and clean up their game, so that we see viable candidates to carry our message in November after the June primary.

If the Donnelly supporters are serious about truly helping him get this endorsement prior to November, it would behoove them to put a proverbial shoulder to the plow in good faith. There are always openings for Volunteers in the GOTV efforts at OCGOP.  Join us.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Why Neel Kashkari is a Non-Starter for this Fiscal and Social Conservative

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on February 10, 2014

Another entrant into the California Governor’s race, Neel Kashkari, is right out of the play book of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Meg Whitman – a rich businessman who has never held elective office and is socially liberal but claims to be a fiscal conservative. Mr. Kashkari, while likely a very nice gentleman and a great private industry success story, is not a candidate this fiscal and social conservative can support.

When the former Bush administration official entered the California Governor’s race he proclaimed that his emphasis for the Governor’s race is the high poverty rate in California and improving education. The successful Republican businessman has taken a position in favor of abortion and homosexual marriage. One of the chief creators and implementers of the Bush Administration’s Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP), he defends that program because he claims the government was repaid all of the loaned funds plus interest. In my opinion, on TARP, Mr. Kashkari seriously misses the point of fiscal conservatives’ objections to that program, some of which I will cover below.

Undoubtedly other voices in the Republican Party will soon be lecturing conservatives like myself that social issues are losers for Republicans in California and we need a successful businessperson who is “socially liberal” to lead California and the CRP out of its woes.  With all due respect we have heard this tune before and it has only been a disaster for California and the Republican Party.  This same tune was played to us in 2003 for the recall of Gov. Gray Davis.  We were told Tom McClintock could not win the Governorship so we all must get behind successful showman Arnold Schwarzenegger.  While Arnold’s early years showed promise (repealing the car tax which he later raised again), right after he was re-elected in 2006 he took a hard turn to the left and gave us things like the carbon cap and trade laws that are crippling business in California.

He also joined then Attorney General Jerry Brown by refusing to defend Proposition 8, which resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow homosexual marriage in California not because the people voted for it, or due to the courts actually finding it was proper on the merits, but solely due to the Governor’s (and Attorney General’s) refusal to do their job and defend the law.  This has severely weakened the initiative system in California as it allows the Governor and Attorney General to veto the people’s voice by simply refusing to defend a federal constitutional challenge to an initiative that the people voted yes on.  I lay this partially at Mr. Schwarzenegger’s feet.

The next time we heard this piped piper tune of “we need to run a rich social liberal Republican” was Meg Whitman’s run for Governor against Jerry Brown four years ago. Although Ms. Whitman is a very nice person (I met her a couple of times) and she is a rich and successful Republican, she had never held elective office and she is pro-abortion.  Her views on homosexual marriage seem to be both yes and no.  It is my understanding that she also supported TARP.  Ms. Whitman was rejected by voters who were tired of years of pseudo Republican Arnold as Governor in favor of re-tread Jerry “Governor Moon Beam” Brown.

And here we are again with another candidate right out of the Arnold / Meg mold.  We are being told take our sincerely held beliefs on social issues (and even fiscal issues); ignore them and recent history to support and vote for Mr. Kashkari.

For this conservative activist my answer is No Thank You.  Obviously as you have gathered Mr. Kashkari and I differ on abortion and homosexual marriage.  And while I realize the Courts have instituted homosexual marriage in California by judicial fiat and abortion is regularly made more and more legal and taxpayer supported by the Democratic legislature (and current Governor) that does not equate to any obligation for me to support a candidate that also believes in these policies.  There is no reasonable expectation that a Governor Kashkari would act any differently than the Arnold or Moon Beam.

However Mr. Kashkari’s actions as a Bush Administration Treasury official and his defense of his role in the TARP program, in my opinion, place him in at least a very questionable category on fiscal issues.  The TARP program should be called the Bail Out Wall Street Big Bankers program.  It put the federal government in the corporate boardrooms as an owner – a place it should never be in in a free enterprise economic system.

In addition, the companies the TARP program bailed out were, for the most part, companies that made very bad business decisions and should have been allowed to fail.  Even with TARP bailouts, many, many employees of these companies (who did not make the bad decisions for their employers) lost their jobs anyway.  Finally these big banks now have cash in their coffers but they are generally not lending to small businesses who find capital still very difficult to come by almost six years after the 2008 crisis.  Regular consumers also are still having a harder time obtaining loans, etc.  In short TARP was great for Wall Street but not for Main Street where the rest of us live.  Many on the left also opposed TARP which could hurt Mr. Kashkari’s prospects with voters in June.

This is the bailout program Mr. Kashkari is so proud of and is his only governmental claim to fame.  To me this does not make him qualified for the Governor’s office.

In the June “top two” primary election, we will most likely be given the choice of Governor Jerry Brown, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, Neel Kashkari and now Mayor Andrew Blount of Laguna Hills plus two or three more minor candidates.  Of course a late entry by another more established Republican candidate like Congressman Darrell Issa would up end the race – he has money, a very good track record, good name ID, etc.  But so far neither Mr. Issa nor any other well-known Republican has said they are even interested in entering the race.

Can Mr. Kashkari best Mr. Donnelly and now Andrew Blount in June to be one of the “top two” for the run off in November?  Yes he may do so.  But it is not “inevitable.”  First – voters in the “top two” primary vote for one of all the candidates – not for which Republican or Democrat they like.  Voters who like Jerry Brown over Tim Donnelly are going to vote for Jerry Brown not Mr. Kashkari.  That leaves voters who do not like Mr. Brown which will include most Republicans and many decline to state voters.  I will not predict how all Republicans will vote.  But I will predict that many fiscal and social conservative Republicans like me will choose Mr. Donnelly as more in line with their beliefs on public policy than Mr. Kashkari plus Mr. Donnelly’s experience at holding elected office.  I do not yet know enough about Mr. Blount (who describes himself as a Libertarian) to give any opinions about what voters will be attracted to him.  A lot will depend on how Mr. Donnelly, Mr. Kashkari and Mr. Blount conduct themselves on the campaign trial.

As for Decline to State voters – many are former Republicans who left the party for one reason or another.  For those who felt the party was too conservative – Mr. Kashkari might be their cup of tea.  But for those who felt the CRP was not consistent in presenting candidates and elected officials whose positions and decisions adhere to the Party’s own platform – it is illogical to think they would vote for Mr. Kashkari.   Some will vote for Tim Donnelly, some may vote for Andrew Blount and some may just skip that part of the ballot.

So I would say it is a toss up as to whether or not Mr. Kashkari will face Governor Brown in November.   But my vote in June will not be for Mr. Kashkari – that tune I have heard before and is not a dance I chose to join in.

Am I supporting Assemblyman Donnelly?  I have not given him any money or endorsed him  (or any other candidate at this point).  That may change, as we get closer to June.  Also, I am a practicing attorney and a Republican activist for limited and constitutional government.  I am not on any candidates’ payroll and I do not earn a living as a political consultant.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Steel Endorses Harkey as BOE Successor

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 6, 2013

This came over the wire yesterday from the Diane Harkey for Board of Equalization campaign…

For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In Case You Missed It:

Harkey Gains Major Endorsement with Support of BOE Incumbent Michelle Steel

(Sacramento, CA) – Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel announced Monday her support for Diane Harkey to replace her on the Board.  Steel is retiring due to term limits and is running for Orange County Supervisor.  Michelle Steel joins a long list of Harkey supporters, including:

  • Congressman John Campbell
  • State Senator Mimi Walters
  • Former Senator Marian Bergeson
  • Assembly Member Curt Hagman
  • Assembly Member Alan Mansoor
  • Assembly Member Don Wagner
  • Orange Co. District Attorney Tony Rackaukus
  • Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
  • Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen
  • Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen
  • Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer
  • Orange County Supervisor Pat Bates
  • Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson
  • Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell (ret)
  • Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait
  • Anaheim City Councilwoman Lucille Kring
  • Anaheim City Councilwoman Kris Murray
  • Irvine Mayor Steven Choi
  • Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway
  • Irvine City Councilwoman Christina Shea
  • Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Matt Harper
  • Huntington Beach City Councilman Joe Carchio
  • Mission Viejo Mayor Rhonda Reardon
  • Mission Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Kelley
  • Mission Viejo City Councilman Dave Leckness
  • Mission Viejo City Councilman Frank Ury
  • Laguna Niguel Mayor Robert Ming
  • Laguna Niguel Mayor Pro Tem Linda Lindholm
  • Laguna Niguel City Councilwoman Laurie Davies
  • Former Laguna Niguel Mayor Gary Capata
  • Aliso Viejo Mayor Carmen Cave
  • Aliso Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Phil Tsunoda
  • Aliso Viejo City Council Mike Munzing
  • San Juan Capistrano Mayor John Taylor
  • San Juan Cap. Mayor Pro Tem Sam Allevato
  • San Juan Capistrano Councilman Larry Kramer
  • Dana Point City Councilman Bill Brough
  • Dana Point City Councilman Carlos Olvera
  • Stanton Mayor David Shawver
  • Tustin Mayor Al Murray
  • Tustin City Councilman John Nielsen
  • Tustin City Councilman Allan Bernstein
  • Rancho Santa Margarita Mayor Anthony Beall
  • Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Steve Baric
  • Fountain Valley Mayor Mark McCurdy
  • Laguna Hills Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Blount
  • Laguna Hills City Councilman Randall Bressette
  • Laguna Hills City Councilwoman Melody Carruth
  • Laguna Hills City Councilman Dore Gilbert
  • San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Tim Brown
  • San Clemente City Councilwoman Lori Donchak
  • San Clemente City Councilman Jim Evert
  • Orange City Councilman Fred Whitaker

(Partial List)

Posted in Board of Equalization | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Republican, Democrat, Independent??? The Partisan Affiliations of Everyone Holding Office In Orange County

Posted by Chris Emami on March 22, 2013

I was working on a database of the part affiliation of all Orange County local elected officials. Finally, I have completed the project with all of the special districts and county seats being added. I also fixed some errors in the previous versions (here, here, and here) and have combined the database into one post.

duck-elephant-donkey-logos

We have added a button on the menu bar for our readers to always be able to access this database and use it for whatever research/political needs that they may have. Due to the length of th epost you are going to have to click the below link to read the rest of the post.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 2nd Supervisorial District, 3rd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Brea, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park, Buena Park Library District, Buena Park School District, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Coast Community College District, Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Cypress, Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, El Toro Water District, Emerald Bay Service District, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Fullerton School District, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Irvine, Irvine Ranch Water District, Irvine Unified School District, La Habra, La Habra City School District, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Lowell Joint School District, Magnolia School District, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Midway City Sanitary District, Mission Viejo, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia, Placentia Library District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Margarita Water District, Savanna School District, Seal Beach, Serrano Water District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Stanton, Sunset Beach Sanitary District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Trabuco Canyon Water District, Tustin, Tustin Unified School District, Villa Park, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

2012 City Council Party Affiliation Post

Posted by Chris Emami on November 14, 2012

Chris Nguyen did a great job putting together a local database of all party affiliations for candidates running for local office. I thought that I would take the time to expand on his post and show a database of all Orange County Councilmembers (Also OC Board of Supervisors) that will be serving on City Councils starting next month and what party they are affiliated with.

Please note that a couple of races could potentially change based on a close finish and not all votes being counted. This post will be added to our website in a permanent tab that we will be creating at the top of the site.

Here is the database: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 2nd Supervisorial District, 3rd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

First In A Series Of Interviews With South County Candidates: Laguna Hills City Council Candidates Dr. Raghu Mathur, Bill Hunt, Andrew Blount, And Dore Gilbert, M.D.

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 11, 2012

I never like to let a chance to blog go to waste, particularly in an election year, so I thought I would focus my efforts on where I live – South County.  My goal is to interview candidates for most, or all, South County City Council races and post a blog about each interview.  Since I’m not crazy, and I have a day job, I will be asking each candidate the same few questions that I think will give the voters a quick look at the candidates and their qualifications.  Also, since I am on the Republican Central Committee, and there are far too many candidates for each position to interview all of them, I am limiting my interviews only to those who sought the endorsement of the OCGOP (whether or not they actually received the endorsement).  Without further ado, we start with a city that I have a hard time finding until I’m within the city limits, and even then, I’m not sure – Laguna Hills.  As OC Political noted earlier, the race for two open seats (very rare around here) is hot and heavy between four legitimate candidates: Dr. Raghu Mathur, Bill Hunt, Andrew Blount, and Dore Gilbert, M.D.

Dr. Raghu Mathur

Raghu is running for City Council to ensure fiscal responsibility, be a strong advocate for businesses, and bring transparency, accountability, and ethics to council decisions.

Raghu says that fiscal responsibility is essential in this economy, with a $16 trillion national debt and a broke California, that leaves only the local level.  He wants to prioritize all goals and expenditures and consider public sentiment and input in determining which projects are most important for residents.  He said the city needs to address compensation, particularly city management.  Raghu gave the example of the City Manager whose compensation is over $460,000 per year, including a car for personal and family use.  He wants to move the city to a 401k-style pension with the employees contributing their portion (the city currently contributes both its and the employees’ portion for retirement).  Raghu stressed his experience as President of Irvine Valley College where he says he turned a $500,000 deficit into a $500,000 surplus in one year, as well as his time as Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District where he managed a budget of approximately $500 million.  Raghu also said that he taught university courses in budget management.  Although he wants to address compensation issues, Raghu want to assure the employees that transparent negotiations are not meant to pressure or threaten them.  He wants the good work of management and staff to be recognized and rewarded.

Raghu also wants to be the strongest advocate for businesses.  He believes in the free enterprise system and would like to have a business-friendly council.  He strongly supports maximum freedom for businesses and minimal regulations.  Raghu wants to develop a business recruitment and economic development plan and create a business and economic development commission comprised of businesses, residents, and a local Chamber of Commerce (since Laguna Hills currently has no Chamber, he wants to create one).  Raghu also wants to hear from local businesses how the council can support them and bring additional businesses to the city.  He believes that successful businesses mean more taxes resulting in funding for necessary public services.  Raghu is opposed to any increase in taxes or fees.  He wants to create more local jobs and internships for local students.

Raghu wants to make the council transparent, accountable, and ethical.  He stated that there is a public employee union being formed in the city which means future contract negotiations.  He wants all negotiations regarding compensation to be conducted in an open setting, sunshined through the public agenda along with the fiscal implications of the proposal.  Raghu wants the same sunshine process for any counter-proposal from the union.  He would consider bringing in an outside negotiator or auditor so there is no potential conflict of interest with management.  Raghu believes the city must operate in an open fashion to earn the trust and respect of the residents.  On accountability, Raghu wants the city to disclose its goals for management and the council and provide progress reports and final reports on whether the goals were met.  On ethics, he said he will make all of his council decisions ethically, with no favoritism.

Raghu believes it is a tough line to walk between protecting the quality of life for existing residents and businesses, but acknowledging the need for additional development in the future.  He will focus on what the residents and existing businesses have to say.  Raghu uses his scientific background to collect data, ask probing questions, and he feels that he can find win-win solutions in that manner.

Raghu is endorsed by, among others, the Orange County Register, the California Republican Assembly, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckus, Tom Fuentes (before he recently passed),  and Laguna Hills council member Barbara Kogerman.

You can find out more about Raghu at http://www.mathurforlagunahills.com/.

Bill Hunt

Bill noted that, for the first time in the city’s history, there are two openings on the council, and he wants to use his two decades of experience with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to continue the conservative policies the City Council has put in place, and give back to Laguna Hills, where he raised his family and served for four years on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Bill stresses fiscal responsiblity and wants to spend the city’s tax dollars wisely.  He said the city has done a good job fiscally – the city is in the black, it supports businesses, and it has a 2% at 60 retirement formula for its employees.  Bill wants to continue that process.

Bill is pro business.  He wants the city to do everything it can to accommodate the business community.  He does not want to subsidize businesses, but support them to ensure more tax dollars for the community.

Bill’s 20+ years with the Sheriff’s Department has led him to the conclusion that public safety is vital to the city.  He believes that local government’s primary responsibilities are to provide safety and good infrastructure for its residents.  Bill said that the current council has done the basics well, and he wants to continue that process.

Bill believes that, overall, compensation for city staff is fair.  He said the proof is in the pudding – Laguna Hills is not facing the unfunded liabilities for employee benefits that other Orange County cities face.  He believes that the City Manager’s compensation is more of a political issue than a fiscal one.  Bill wants there to be an open discussion on the City Manager’s salary with input from the public.  He said that there is not a lot of staff or a large bureaucracy in the city and many staff members are doing multiple jobs.  He feels that the staff is doing a good job managing the city.  However, he said he will propose a 401k-style pension system for future city employees, which he believes will protect against future unfunded liabilities.

Bill said that Laguna Hills is fairly built out and there is not a lot of growth potential, so he would focus on maintaining the existing quality of life for the current residents.  He wants to work with businesses to create a profitable business environment to make Laguna Hills a place people want to come and shop.  He emphasized the importance of public safety on quality of life.

Bill is endorsed by, among others, Congressman John Campbell, Laguna Hills Mayor Melody Carruth, Laguna Hills council member Joel Lautenschleger, the California Republican Assembly, and State Senator Mimi Walters.

You can find out more about Bill at http://billhunt.org/.

Andrew Blount

Andrew believes we live in a country where everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and he is running for Laguna Hills City Council because he wants to help the people of the city achieve those rights on a local level; he’s met many of the city’s residents in his involvement in the community and he wants to represent them on the council.

Andrew believes that employee compensation is too high, and he will rectify it.  The top three management positions were paid more than $1 million combined last year.  He said that the City Manager made over $400,000 last year, including $30,000 toward his pension alone.  The city also paid $60,000 for a car for the City Manager that could be used for his personal and family use.  Andrew also said that the city pays for both the employer’s and employee’s share of retirement payments for all management staff.  He noted that the city’s annual budget is approximately $30 million per year, which equates to approximately $1,000 per resident and he does not believe that the residents are getting their bang for their buck.  He questioned why the city pays the City Manager $400,000 while it does not provide the basic services that surrounding cities do, and that the residents deserve.  Andrew wants to focus on after school programs, senior services, and emergency response services, not expensive compensation packages for management.

Andrew also believes the water rates the residents currently pay are too high.  He said that the tiered system currently in place is not working and is too costly, including 700% penalties for some residents.  He thinks that the city can control the water rates, with the consensus of the residents.  He will work with the residents to build that consensus, and then take the fight to the Water Board on their behalf.

Andrew also wants to create a better business environment within the city.  He noted that neighboring cities are actively recruiting businesses, and he does not want to lose existing businesses, or the chance to bring in new businesses.  Andrew said that businesses bring in sales and property tax revenues that are vital to providing necessary public services.  He believes that the current council thinks businesses should consider it a privilege to be in Laguna Hills, while Andrew believes it is a privilege to have the businesses as a part of the city.  Andrew sees the city’s revenues decreasing and he wants jobs to stay local.  He also thinks that businesses provide great places in the city for the residents to shop and eat.  Andrew believes the current council has too tight a regulatory burden on businesses.  Although the city does not have a business license fee, Andrew said it charges several other burdensome fees.  He also noted that there is no standard process available to prospective businesses that will give them an idea of the fees and costs they will incur before they start their project.  He gave the example of H2O Partners – a business that came to the council with an idea for a water park.  The council rejected their project.  Fortunately, as many good businesses do, they came back with a different project (trampoline entertainment center) that ultimately was approved.  However, Andrew does not believe the city should hope that rejected businesses come back, but that the city will welcome them with open arms in the first instance.  Andrew will standardize the permitting process so that businesses will know at the beginning of their project what fees and costs they will face.  Andrew wants businesses to succeed and he will work to provide a successful business environment if elected to the council.

Andrew noted that Laguna Hills is mostly built out.  He said there is a mixed-use project, Oakbrook Village, near the Laguna Hills mall, that he believes will bring younger, more upwardly mobile residents to a city that has shrunk in population over the past 10 years.  He wants to analyze projects on a project-by-project basis to determine if it will benefit the city and protect the existing residents.  He wants to ensure that the same high quality of life that Laguna Hills residents currently enjoy is enjoyed by the residents in the future as well.

Andrew is endorsed by, among others, the Orange County Register, Laguna Hills council member Barbara Kogerman, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckus, the Lincoln Club, and Laguna Hills Watch Dog – Jean Bland.

You can find out more about Andrew at http://www.blountforlagunahills.com/.

Dore Gilbert, M.D.

Dore is running for City Council because he thinks he can make a difference for the residents of Laguna Hills by restoring civility and intellectual discussion at City Council meetings.

Dore wants to maintain fiscal responsibility in the city.  He wants a strong reserve, employee compensation comparable to similar-sized Orange County cities, and a transparent council that allows the residents to have faith in the decision-making process.

Dore also stresses public safety.  He wants to continue to support the number of Sheriff’s deputies in the city that are necessary for the residents’ safety and to keep the crime rate low.  Dore’s interest in public safety extends to the national level as he enlisted in the Army Reserves at age 60 and his youngest son is a Corporal in the Marine Corps.

Dore believes the city needs to maintain a business-friendly environment that welcomes businesses which he says will produce jobs and revenue for the city.  He said he will continue to streamline the business permitting process and will not burden businesses with taxes and fees.  Dore is opposed to any new taxes or fees.

Dore stated that employee compensation is greater than the norm of similar-sized cities in Orange County.  He said that some compensation issues have been taken care of by the council (for example, the car allowance is gone), but he wants the council to take a look at compensation and, when it is not in conformity with other similar-sized cities, negotiate changes to conform with those compensation packages.

Dore said that Laguna Hills is nearly built out and there is not a lot of open land.  He noted the Oakbrook Village project near the Laguna Hills mall that is slated for re-development, but Dore wants to focus on how the council can maintain a beautiful city.  He wants to update traffic plans, maintain the parks for people of all ages, and properly maintain the streets.  Dore wants to maintain the quality of life that he and his family have enjoyed in their 31 years in Laguna Hills.  He and his wife of 36 years have raised 5 children in the city.  Dore served on the Saddleback Valley Unified School District board for 29 years.  He is very involved in his community – coaching football and baseball and serving on the Community Center Planning Commission.

Dore is endorsed by, among others, State Senator Mimi Walters, Orange County Supervisors Pat Bates and Janet Nguyen, State Assemblyman Don Wagner, and Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckus.

You can find out more about Dore at http://www.doregilbert2012.com/index.html.

Posted in Laguna Hills | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lincoln Club Makes Endorsements

Posted by Chris Emami on September 14, 2012

This came across the wire from the Lincoln Club of Orange County:

Local Elections / Endorsements Ad Hoc Committee’s

SUMMARY OF CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS for Nov. 2012

Read the rest of this entry »

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

OCGOP Endorsements Committee Discusses Non-Consent Calendar Candidates

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 4, 2012

All Endorsements Committee recommendations must be ratified by the Central Committee.

Endorsement Committee Members Present:
Mark Bucher, Chair
Chandra Chell
Thomas Gordon
Ray Grangoff
Matt Harper
Mary Young

San Juan Capistrano City Council

6:10 PM – San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Sam Allevato touts the fiscal state of his city and his endorsements from various Republican elected officials. He praises the city’s public safety record. He speaks of his efforts to build nature trails, preserve open space, build toll roads, and support the relocation of several car dealerships to his city. He speaks of his strength on private property rights issues and belief in the free market.

His supporter is a resident of San Juan Capistrano and is difficult to hear. He elaborates on Allevato’s earlier points.

An opponent is a resident of San Juan Capistrano and is also difficult to hear. She attacks his environmental record and another issue that was difficult to hear. She questions his commitment to conservatism.

Another San Juan Capistrano resident praises Allevato’s record on infrastructure.

People need to project when speaking.

Clinton R. Worthington of San Juan Capistrano attacks Allevato for squandering a 50-year reserve for city hall construction. Worthington states there were more lawsuits in 8 years of Allevato than in the previous 42 years. He attacks Allevato approving a $300,000+ city manager contract. He also attacks Allevato for collecting fees/taxes for a bond that was never issued.

Ian Smith of San Juan Capistrano elaborates on Allevato’s water tax and bond issues.

6:21 PM – San Juan Capistrano Council Candidate Virginia “Ginny” Kerr touts her community involvement, her support of planned development, and her support of more open equestrian space. She urges the committee to endorse both her and Allevato.

The first speaker against Allevato is also the first speaker against Kerr. She argues Kerr voted to impose taxes on a private religious school while a Planning Commissioner.

Robert Williams is San Juan Capistrano’s Planning Commission Chair and praises Kerr’s “well-prepared” status. Williams presents minutes that show Kerr recused herself on the private religious school vote mentioned by the previous speaker.

A San Juan Capistrano resident blasts the open space that Kerr pointed to because it is outside the boundaries of the city.

Dave Adams is a former San Juan Capistrano City Manager and praises Allevato and Kerr for making San Juan Capistrano what it is today.

A speaker complains that while on the Planning Commission, Kerr voted to send a “poor” plan to the City Council instead of rejecting the plan.

6:28 PM – Committee Member Matt Harper notes that Mimi Walters and Diane Harkey have endorsed Allevato and asks if they’ve endorsed Kerr. Kerr says they have.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asked why Allevato supported taxing a private religious school. Allevato pointed to the large growth in retail space and student enrollment that would impact the community.

Allevato refutes the argument about the land being purchased outside the city. He says it is inside the city and his hand was forced by a city ballot measure.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon asks how Allevato could vote to raise water fees when he signed the “no new taxes or fees” pledge. Allevato states these fees were necessary to build new water infrastructure in San Clemente.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher asks about the argument that Allevato had pushed for the removal of religious references from city council invocations. Allevato states his City Attorney said federal law does not allow use of specific religious references (e.g. Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed) but can reference God. He says he also doesn’t want to offend people.

6:37 PM – Bucher asks Kerr about her vote on a tax she supported. She explains its usage for open space, parks, and traffic mitigation, among other things.

One of the speakers in opposition to Kerr blasts the deal struck “behind closed doors” that did not actually create new open space.

One of the speakers in opposition to Allevato notes San Juan Capistrano is paying twice the water rate it should be if they had purchased the cheapest water instead of a groundwater recovery plant.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff asks about the private religious school’s consent to being taxed. The speaker in opposition to Kerr says the school was forced to consent to the tax in order to get their construction plan approved.

6:44 PM – Committee Member Matt Harper asks if the vote can be delayed until other candidates can weigh in. He states Allevato and Kerr made good presentations, and as a councilman, he understands the difficult decisions they have to make, but serious concerns have been raised. He wants to hear from other candidates and moves to delay the endorsement vote for San Juan Capistrano Council to October.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon expresses his concern that Allevato put the bond on the ballot in violation of the no new taxes pledge that Allevato signed.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher expresses concern about the per-student tax imposed on the families that attend the private religious school.

The committee votes 4-1 (Gordon dissenting) to delay the vote to October.

Laguna Hills City Council

6:50 PM – Laguna Hills City Council Candidate Bill Hunt touts his law enforcement background at OCSD and community involvement. He notes his endorsements from a slew of Republican electeds, including “5 of the 7 City Council Members Laguna Hills has ever had.”

Laguna Hills Mayor Melody Carruth speaks of her previous endorsement by the OCGOP and praises Hunt’s conservative values and communitywide respect. She praises his US Army service, his time as a Parks & Recreation Commissioner, and his decision to keep his children in public school.

OC Political blogger Craig Alexander is supporting Hunt’s record as a reformer, his conservatism, and his goal of cutting salaries.

6:55 PM – Laguna Hills Council Candidate Dore Gilbert speaks of his military service, his fiscal conservatism, his support of parks, his support of transparency, his belief government salaries should be kept to comparable levels with other cities, and his belief that the city council should be run like a corporation. He notes that he was 60 when he joined the military and outpaced younger soldiers as leading by example.

Laguna Hills Mayor Pro Tem Joel Lautenschleger praises the fiscal conservatism of Laguna Hills and speaks to Gilbert’s record as a school board member of fiscally conservative and very successful schools.

7:00 PM – Laguna Hills Council Candidate Raghu Mathur supports strong public safety and fiscal conservatism. He touts his record as a tough negotiator who kept SOCCCD fiscally solvent while constructing buildings without bonds. He touts his endorsement by the late OCGOP Chairman Tom Fuentes.

TJ Fuentes praises Mathur’s fiscal conservatism at SOCCCD, his founding of the Republican Indo-American group, and his general Republican activism. Fuentes says that had his father lived, he would have been here to support Mathur.

Mayor Pro Tem Lautenschleger talks about Mathur’s divisiveness, Mathur’s golden parachute from SOCCCD, Mathur’s hit piece against Councilman Allan Songstad.

Committee Member Mary Young bangs on the window asking someone to unlock the door so she can get inside the meeting.

Councilwoman Barbara Kogerman blasts the “old guard Council Members” for opposing modest pension reform. She blasts Hunt and Gilbert as “old guard” candidates.

Mayor Carruth points out her city’s pension is 2% at 60, the lowest in the county. She blasts Mathur’s divisiveness.

7:10 PM – Laguna Hills Council Candidate Andrew Blount shouts about his support of Mitt Romney, Elizabeth Emken, and Prop 32. He supports local control and touts his support from various Republican elected officials.

Mike Munzing praises Blount as the only person louder than him and touts Blount’s business record and his citizen-politician status. He praises Blount’s knowledge of local issues and his conservatism.

7:11 PM – Hunt says being endorsed by most of the City Councilmembers does not make him a non-conservative. They support his independence and commitment to principle.

Gilbert speaks of his dedication to public service in education, the military, and the community. He praises the whole pool of candidates.

Mathur speaks of his leadership and communication skills, his fiscal conservatism, and his battles with the unions. His “divisiveness” is a result of union complaints about his battles with them.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks Mathur about his time at SOCCCD when he was at odds with now-Assemblyman Don Wagner. Mathur says there were 4 conservatives and 3 liberals on the SOCCCD board. Mathur accused Wagner of attempting to get then-Chancellor Mathur to appoint a “female friend” of Wagner’s as a dean.

(7:43 PM – Emami says the accusation against Don Wagner is impossible, pointing out chancellors cannot appoint deans and disputes the accusation.)

Committee Member Matt Harper asks if any Democrats are running. There are only Republicans running for Laguna Hills City Council.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff motions for neutrality because they’re all great candidates.

Committee Member Matt Harper says he wishes the Laguna Hills candidates were running for Huntington Beach City Council. He praises all the candidates.

The neutrality vote passes 4-1-1 (Chell dissenting and Young abstaining).

(Meeting in recess)

Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 3

7:29 PM – Incumbent Alexia Deligianni notes that during her tenure, they’ve cut spending and never raised taxes. API scores are up and four schools became California Distinguished Schools. She touted her CRA record and her various Republican endorsements.

Committee Members quickly and unanimously support recommending an endorsement for Deligianni.

Irvine Unified School District

7:31 PM – Michelle Ollada Alipio speaks of her endorsements, including from Committee Members Matt Harper and Ray Grangoff. She speaks of fiscal and academic accountability, protecting, and school choice.

Yvette Ollada from Congressman Rohrabacher’s campaign praises her sister and was the one who encouraged her to run.

Committee Member Mary Young urges Rivera to teach her sister about safe drilling.

The members vote quickly and unanimously to recommend endorsing her.

East Orange County Water District

7:35 PM – Former Tustin Mayor Doug Davert speaks of his conservative record and his backing from various Republican elected officials. He spoke of the incumbents’ retroactive pension increase.

Jon Dumitru supports Davert by revealing how the incumbents granted retroactive pension increases and included themselves on it. He speaks of how one of the incumbents is running for two water boards at once in order to double dip on his pension.

After being threatened by Commitee Member Matt Harper, Denis Bilodeau simply says, “He’s a Republican in good standing, and I support him.”

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends endorsement for Davert.

Dana Point City Council

7:38 PM – Carlos Olvera touts his military service and conservatism. He speaks of his Republican endorsements and community service.

Councilman Bill Brough says he needs Olvera on the Council because it takes two Councilmembers to get anything on the agenda.

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends an endorsement for Olvera.

Santa Ana Mayor

George Collins speaks of the opportunity Republicans in Santa Ana have.

Collins’s wife speaks in support.

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends an endorsement for Collins.

The committee is now running 15 minutes early and recesses.

Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3

7:54 PM – The meeting resumes 6 minutes early.

Charles Hart speaks of his efforts for the past several years to advance the Republican Party in Santa Ana. He speaks of his 9 years of private sector experience and 9 years of public sector experience. He urges using defined contribution 401(k)-style retirement instead of defined benefit pensions.

Brett Franklin speaks about his birth in Santa Ana and his marriage to a Costa Rican. He speaks Spanish and has children with dual citizenship. He speaks of his previous election to the City Council. He speaks of his efforts to advance the Republican Party in Santa Ana in the 1980s and 1990s. He says he is precinct walking and fundraising.

Denis Bilodeau speaks of Franklin’s Republican activism all over Orange County. He speaks of Franklin’s warchest without fundraising. He speaks of Franklin’s previous elections to the same seat.

Robert Hammond speaks of Franklin’s missing 50% of Central Committee meetings. He spoke of Franklin’s unwillingness to support Hammond’s candidacy against Jose Solorio because Franklin said Franklin was friends with Solorio.

Jon Dumitru speaks of Franklin’s track record and their personal relationship.

Franklin acknowledges Hammond’s statements about Franklin’s absenteeism and states it was because of his son’s basketball league. Franklin says he simply didn’t know Hammond and didn’t know if he was a liberal.

Gwen Dyrud speaks of Franklin’s Central Committee absenteeism and his lack of an alternate. She speaks of Hart’s diligence as a Central Committee member.

Hammond speaks of Hart’s participation and attendance at many Republican events. He speaks of Hart’s activism, his precinct walking, and his efforts to register new Republicans.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks how long Franklin has been on the Central Committee. He has been on the Central Committee since 2004.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff suggests neutrality on the same basis as Laguna Hills and asks the candidates why there’s a need to endorse one or the other.

Franklin speaks of Democrat Eric Alderete who is backed by Democratic legislators, most Santa Ana City Councilmembers, and labor unions. He says Alderete has only lived in Santa Ana for two years after shopping for a seat and has close ties to Democrats on the LA City Council. He says Alderete wants to run for higher office including the Legislature and Congress.

Committee Member Mary Young asks if Franklin has fought rent control. Franklin says he has received an award for fighting rent control.

Committee Member Matt Harper speaks of his longtime work with both Hart and Franklin. He is concerned about Alderete.

Committee Member Mary Young speaks of Franklin’s record on the Council and of both men’s Republican activism.

Committee Member Chandra Chell expresses her concerns about Franklin’s absenteeism over many years.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff expresses that both candidates are excellent and wants to know about viability.

Franklin says he’s raised $25,000 since July 26 without holding a fundraising; he claims pledges of another $20,000. He says he raised $66,000 in his first council run, $87,000 in his council re-election, and $250,000 in his failed supervisorial bid.

Hart says he has grassroots support, with over 200 volunteers and in-kind contributions. These supporters are scattered throughout the city (although they must live in one ward, but the entire city votes).

Committee Member Thomas Gordon says Franklin was a good Councilmember but has been AWOL as of late. He says Hart helped restart Santa Ana CRA and Santa Ana RWF. He says Hart has built Republican grassroots.

Committee Member Matt Harper says they must decide the endorsement recommendation not on the best Central Committee Member but the best City Council candidate.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff moves to recommend endorsement of Franklin, with Young and Harper seconding.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff speaks of Franklin’s electoral record versus Hart’s.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon speaks of its “slap in the face” to Hart, who is working hard for the Republican Party in Santa Ana.

Committee Member Matt Harper argues a non-endorsement by the Republican Party in Santa Ana might not be a bad thing due to the Democratic tilt of the city. He thinks Franklin is the stronger candidate.

Committee Member Mary Young echoes Harper’s sentiments.

Committee Member Chandra Chell believes the party should back people active in the community and the Republican Party.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon sees that Franklin’s brochure speaks of preventing Santa Ana from going bankrupt. He asks Franklin if he voted 3% at 50. Franklin speaks of his “holding the line” in closed session but does not directly answer Gordon’s question.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher checks the rules and found that there is nothing prohibiting the party from endorsing two candidates for one seat.

Franklin says he would support a dual endorsement.

Hart says Franklin told him the Republican endorsement didn’t matter much in Santa Ana, and that’s why Hart decided to go for a single endorsement.

Franklin says he’s won the seat twice and was being gracious in wanting to avert a “food fight” at Central Committee.

Committee Member Matt Harper says he’s inclined to recommend a dual endorsement or a “neither” endorsement.

The vote recommending Franklin is split 3-3 (Grangoff, Harper, and Young in favor with Bucher, Chell, and Gordon opposed).

Committee Chair Mark Bucher moves to recommend a dual endorsement.

The committee votes 4-2 to recommend dual endorsement (Chell and Gordon dissenting).

Irvine City Council
8:34 PM – Lynn Schott argues her best contribution to the Republican Party is giving birth to three Republicans. She speaks of her involvement in the Tustin Area RWF. She is a Community Services Commissioner in Irvine. She speaks of the importance of fighting Agran, the ACLU, and Occupy Orange County. She notes she is the final lynchpin for the Irvine Republican slate (Steven Choi has already been endorsed for Mayor while Christina Shea has already been endorsed for one of the two Council seats).

Committee Member Ray Grangoff asks if three Republicans are running for two seats. Much discussion ensues about whether Evan Chemers is a Republican.

Committee Member Matt Harper asks about Schott’s Central Committee Alternate, Patrick Rodgers. Rodgers has spoken out against Jim Righeimer and the Costa Mesa Council calling them the “Four Stooges.”

Schott states she is unfamiliar with what is happening in Costa Mesa. She states she supports a two-tier pension plan and a defined contribution plan. She says she wants to pay police and fire as much as possible without bankrupting the city.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher expresses his grave concern about Rodgers attacking Righeimer, who Bucher calls a hero. Bucher asks if Schott would consider removing Rodgers as his alternate.

Schott says she got Rodgers to agree to back off on his criticisms of Righeimer. She says she disagrees with Rodgers’s position on this. She says the attempted framing of Righeimer is a deplorable attempt to intimidate City Council Members.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher expresses his grave concern about her unwillingness to remove Rodgers.

Committee Member Matt Harper urges Schott to forgive what happened in 2010 and mend fences with other Republicans.

The committee votes 5-1 to recommend to Central Committee Schott’s endorsement (Bucher dissenting).

Cypress School District

8:56 PM – Alexandria Coronado describes her electoral history in two sentences.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend Coronado’s endorsement.

San Clemente City Council

8:56 PM – Michael Mortenson speaks of his record as a Republican activist since childhood.

Norm Dickinson stands in for Councilman Jim Dahl who is at a Council meeting. Dickinson speaks of the fiscally conservative finances of San Clemente and Dahl’s conservative record and promises.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks if Dahl has ever endorsed John Alpay. Dickinson doesn’t know.

Committee Member Matt Harper asks if Mortenson has ever endorsed Alpay. Mortenson says he has not.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff moves to recommend endorsement of both.

Committee Member Matt Harper moves to divide the motion.

The committee quickly and unanimously votes to recommend endorsement of Mortenson.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff states that Dahl has a record of activism backed by Dickinson.

Committee Members Thomas Gordon and Mary Young express concern about Dahl’s stance on off-shore drilling.

After Dickinson reaches Dahl by phone, Dahl says he did not endorse Alpay.

The committee decides quickly and unanimously votes to delay Dahl to the October meeting.

The committee adjourns at a shockingly early 9:03 PM.

Posted in Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, Irvine, Irvine Unified School District, Laguna Hills, Orange Unified School District, Republican Central Committee, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

OCGOP Endorsements Being Considered Tonight

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 4, 2012

Tonight is the first of two nights that the endorsements committee of the OCGOP will be meeting. These are the endorsements that are up for consideration tonight (some of these people will be turned down since there are more applicants than endorsements available). 3 people (the candidate and two supporters) may speak in favor of an endorsement and 3 people may speak against. The candidate will be permitted to rebut the arguments made against their endorsement.

More endorsements will be considered tomorrow night.

Also, all Endorsements Committee recommendations must be ratified by the Central Committee.

Greg Ficke for Aliso Viejo City Council
Jeanne Galindo for Fountain Valley School District Board
Steven Dicterow for Laguna Beach City Council
Dean Grose for Los Alamitos City Council
Larry R. Crandall for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 3
Debbie Cotton for Ocean View School District Board
Karina Onofre for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 5
Chuck Puckett for Tustin City Council
John Nielsen for Tustin City Council
Allan Bernstein for Tustin City Council
Bill Perkins for Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
Sam Allevato for San Juan Capistrano City Council
Virginia “Ginny” Kerr for San Juan Capistrano City Council
Bill Hunt for Laguna Hills City Council
Dore J. Gilbert for Laguna Hills City Council
Dr. Raghu Mathur for Laguna Hills City Council
Andrew Blount for Laguna Hills City Council
Steve Nagel for Fountain Valley City Council
Alexia Deligianni for Orange Unified School District Board, Trustee Area 3
Michelle Ollada Alipio for Irvine Unified School District Board
Doug Davert for East Orange County Water District
Carlos Olvera for Dana Point City Council
George Collins for Mayor of Santa Ana
Charles Hart for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3
Brett Franklin for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3
Lynn Schott for Irvine City Council
Alexandria Coronado for Cypress School Board
Jim Dahl for San Clemente City Council
Michael Mortenson for San Clemente City Council

Posted in Aliso Viejo, Capistrano Unified School District, Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Irvine, Irvine Unified School District, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Los Alamitos, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Ocean View School District, Orange Unified School District, Republican Central Committee, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Tustin | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Five File for Laguna Hills City Council: Wild Race Set with Blount, Gilbert, Hunt, and Mathur

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 16, 2012

Andrew Blount

Andrew Blount

Bill Hunt

Bill Hunt

Dore Gilbert

Dore Gilbert

Raghu P. Mathur

Raghu P. Mathur

With the retirements of Councilmen Joel Lautenschleger and Allan Songstad, for the first time in the history of Laguna Hills, the majority of the City Council will not be members of the inaugural City Council that took office in 1991.  Five candidates have filed to replace Lautenschleger and Songstad, and all but one is a major contender.

In alphabetical order by last name (with their ballot designations), the candidates are:

  • Andrew Blount (R) – Small Business Owner
  • AJ Djowharzadeh (R) – Small Business Owner
  • Dore Gilbert (R) – Physician/Army Reservist
  • Bill Hunt (R) – Small Business Owner
  • Raghu P. Mathur (R) – University Administrator/Educator

We can quickly rule out AJ Djowharzadeh (R), who won 6% of the vote in his 2010 bid for Laguna Hills City Council.

The major contenders are:

  • Blount is a businessman who’s launched real estate, financial analysis, and software companies.  Blount’s gathered the endorsements of various elected officials, including District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Assemblyman Jim Silva, and various City Councilmembers from across Orange County.
  • Gilbert is a former Trustee on the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, serving from 1981-2010.  He is a doctor who joined the Army at the age of 60 and is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve.
  • Hunt is the former Orange County Sheriff’s Lieutenant who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Sheriff Mike Carona in the 2006 election.  As an OCSD Lieutenant, he served as the de facto Chief of Police for San Clemente.  Carona demoted him after the election, and Hunt elected to leave the department instead.  After Carona resigned in 2008 in the face of a 66-count federal corruption indictment, Hunt sought the appointment to be Orange County Sheriff, but the Board of Supervisors appointed Sandra Hutchens instead.  Hunt unsuccessfully challenged Hutchens in the 2010 election.  He now owns a private investigation business in Laguna Hills.  Hunt’s gathered the endorsements of various elected officials, including Senator Mimi Walters, Assemblyman Don Wagner, the majority of the Laguna Hills City Council, and various City Councilmembers from South Orange County.
  • Mathur is the former Chancellor of the South Orange County Community District, the former President of Irvine Valley College, and a former Trustee on the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, serving from 1983-1992.  Mathur has gathered the endorsements of various elected officials, including District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Orange County Board of Education President Dr. Ken Williams, and several City Councilmembers from across Orange County.

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