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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Lalloway’

OCTA Board Members Discuss State Lobbyist Contract

Posted by OC Insider on March 4, 2014

Yesterday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Executive Committee discussed the state lobbying contract that the agency has with Sloat, Higgins Jensen and Associates (SHJA) because of recent FPPC violations by the firm.

If you are unfamiliar with the FPPC violations against Kevin Sloat, who is the principal at SHJA, this article will help fill you in. Sloat was fined a record $133,500 by the FPPC for hosting numerous political fundraisers that counted as “prohibited campaign contributions, and arranging and giving gifts to California lawmakers.” Some of the lawmakers warned by the FPPC for holding events at Sloat’s house include Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Lou Correa (SD-34), Senator Bob Huff (SD-29), and former Assemblyman and current SD-34 candidate Jose Solorio.

OCTA has contracted with SHJA since 2002 for state lobbying and consulting services. Unlike the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ lobbying contracts, this particular contract was approved by the full OCTA board and extended on multiple occasions by the full Board. According to the staff report, SHJA’s services to OCTA include “representation with the Legislature, Governor’s Office, various state departments, agencies, boards, committees, commissions, and staff; advising on state legislation, proposed regulations, and state budget proposals which could have an impact on OCTA; assisting with the preparation of and advocating for OCTA’s legislative program; reporting on state transportation and related developments of importance to OCTA; and updating the Board as specified. SHJA also provides a monthly verbal update on its Sacramento advocacy to the Legislative and Communications Committee.” OCTA’s contract with SHJA lists Kevin Sloat as the contract manager, with several lobbyists that work for SHJA as the legislative advocates.

During their presentation, OCTA staff made it clear that there were many initiatives OCTA was trying to accomplish, and that an interruption in service, i.e. a new lobbyist, may disrupt those initiatives. The staff recommendation was to issue an RFP for the state lobbying services, with a new condition that any FPPC issues be disclosed in the proposals.

Supervisor Todd Spitzer, referencing his time in the state legislature, stated that Sloat is well-respected in the capitol but that this was not a one-time violation.  Spitzer noted that it was likely that SHJA would lose credibility as a result of this finding, and that it could have a negative impact on OCTA.

Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Lalloway, who is also the OCTA Vice-Chairman, noted that the situation is similar to the recent one involving Matt Cunningham. Cunningham held two contracts with OCTA, which were suspended after some poorly thought out photos of a teddy bear were published on the Anaheim Blog page that received national coverage. Lalloway attempted to connect the Sloat and Cunningham incident, and thought if one deserved to be suspended (Cunningham), that the other (Sloat) should be suspended as well to preserve the integrity of the agency.

Michael Hennessey, who serves as a public member on the Board, stated that the comparing the Cunningham and Sloat situations was “weighing morality against need.” He stated that “if Cunningham is bigoted toward Latinos, he’s the strangest bigot I’ve met since he is married to a Latina, his children are half Latina, and if you go to a Christmas party at his house, it is largely Latinos.” He went on to note that if Cunningham’s services were absolutely critical (like OCTA staff was attempting to convey with Sloat), his contracts would have not have been suspended as quickly, and the matter would have been brought to the Board, similar to the current situation with Sloat.

After some other comments by the committee members, Supervisor Spitzer motioned to remove Kevin Sloat’s name from the contract entirely, and replace it with OCTA’s primary legislative advocate Moira Topp as the contract manager. Topp is still an employee of SHJA, but the committee felt that the perception of corruption lays with Sloat as opposed to the rest of the firm. Additionally, the motion included a provision that Sloat could not do any kind of advocacy on behalf of OCTA at any level. Finally, the motion called for an expedited RFP for the lobbying services, to be brought to the Board in April. The motion eventually passed with Lalloway voting no. The full OCTA Board will vote on this issue next Monday, March 10th.

Posted in Orange County Transportation Authority | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Live from OCGOP Central Committee: Early Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 17, 2014

We’re here live at OCGOP Central Committee for Early Endorsements for the Primary Election.

(7:13 PM): A slew of Youth Associates have been sworn in.

(7:18 PM): Sergio Picchio, former Field Representative to Assemblyman Don Wagner, is receiving the Donald Award for Legislative Staffer of the Year on the occasion of his retirement.

(7:26 PM): Minutes are approved.

(7:27 PM): Announcement of the passing of Jack Christiana.

(7:29 PM): The candidates and elected officials present are introducing themselves: Lucille Kring, Ceci Iglesias, Michelle Steel, Diane Harkey, Baron Night, David Shawver, Robert Hammond, Scott Voigts, Tony Beall, Mike Munzing, Robert Ming, Jim Righeimer, Steven Choi, Phillip Chen, Helen Hayden, Paul Glaab, Tom Tait, Julia Ross, Michael Glen, Tim Shaw, Brett Barbre, Travis Allen, Deborah Pauly, Mark Wyland, Jeff Lalloway, Fred Whitaker, Michael Gates, Steve Nagel, Mark McCurdy, Janet Nguyen, Matt Harper, Lee Ramos, Hugh Nguyen, Dean Grose, Lynn Schott, Jeff Ferguson, Allan Mansoor, Kevin Haskin, Shari Freidenrich, Keith Curry, Ray Grangoff, Eric Woolery, Carlos Vazquez, Claude Parrish, Anna Bryson, Tony Rackauckas, Long Pham, Emanuel Patrascu, Don Wagner, and Young Kim.

(7:36 PM): OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh speaks about the successful Republican effort in the San Diego Mayor’s race.

He also speaks about Republican efforts to replace Irvine Councilman Larry Agran with Lynn Schott.

(7:39 PM): Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway announces that Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait has been named one of the two 2013 OCGOP Local Elected Official of the Year (alongside Supervisor Janet Nguyen who was also announced as the other winner of the award previously).

Baugh gives speaks about Tait’s mayoralty.

Tait thanks the Central Committee for the award.

(7:41 PM): Chairman Scott Baugh brings up early endorsement consideration for District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

Alexandria Coronado asks a procedural question, to which Baugh responds.

(7:42 PM): TJ Fuentes moves and Mark Bucher seconds the Rackauckas endorsement. He is endorsed unanimously.

RACKAUCKAS ENDORSED

(7:43 PM): Robert Hammond moves and Charlotte Christiana seconds the endorsement of Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich. She is endorsed unanimously.

FREIDENRICH ENDORSED

(7:45 PM): Michelle Steel moves and Tim Whitacre seconds the endorsement of Diane Harkey for Board of Equalization.

Deborah Pauly offers a substitute motion, and Allan Mansoor seconds, to table until the close of filing since there is no incumbent, and more Republicans might jump in.

(7:47 PM): Baugh rules both motions out of order after determining that candidates need to speak before either motion can be made.

(7:49 PM): Baugh says three BOE candidates were notified: Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, Senator Mark Wyland, and former Assemblyman Van Tran. Harkey and Wyland are here, but Tran is not.

(7:50 PM): Harkey opens by describing the BOE’s function. She speaks about her private sector career dealing with corporations and taxation. She speaks about the importance of limiting the field, so that campaign funds can be focused instead of divided. Harkey says it’s critical to get the third vote on actions on the BOE. She speaks about her successful efforts to gain Democrats’ votes to kill legislation. She speaks about how the Legislative Analyst’s Office credited Harkey with getting more oversight against cap and trade. Harkey says she could have walked into Supervisor or Senate, but BOE is the job she wants. She says both she and Wyland are also asking for San Diego GOP Central Committee’s endorsement.

(7:53 PM): Wyland thanks the Central Committee for its work. He talks about how he owned his own 100-200 employee business and how he had to deal with the BOE dozens of times as a business owner. He says he knows how to reform the BOE. He says there were three efforts to unionize his employees, but he defeated those three efforts, so he knows how to fight unions. He notes his electoral background and how he’s given over $1,000,000 to help conservative campaigns. He speaks about how he gave $100,000 to Tony Strickland’s 2008 Senate race when Strickland defeated Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson by less than one vote per precinct. Wyland urges the Central Committee to delay an endorsement vote until after filing closes.

(7:56 PM): Pat Shuff asks the two candidates what was their CRA score. Harkey says 100%. Wyland is unsure what his CRA score was, but got 100% from both Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and California Taxpayers Association.

(7:59 PM): Mr. White asks why Wyland doesn’t want an endorsement made tonight.

Baugh notes dual endorsing is unprecedented but possible.

Wyland says he’s fine with a dual endorsement. He says he’s only requesting the San Diego GOP Central Committee endorsement purely as a defensive major since Harkey’s asked for the Central Committee endorsement. He says he wishes Central Committees would avoid pre-primary endorsements when there’s multiple Republicans.

Harkey says Central Committees should endorse and frequently do. She says Prop 14 has made this more important. She says AD-65 and SD-34 need money, so endorsements can help stop the spillage of money in intraparty primary matters.

(8:03 PM): Desare’ Ferraro asks if a Democrat has filed for BOE and if the seat is in danger.

Harkey says one Democrat has filed, but it’s a Republican seat, though she notes Democrats are gaining.

(8:04 PM): Jeff Matthews asks the two candidates if they’re Republicans in good standing.

Harkey says she’s highly rated by a slew of conservative organizations and the importance of helping candidates both with manpower and money.

Wyland says their vote records are probably quite similar. He again urges Central Committee neutrality and letting the electorate decide. He again notes he’s given financial support to candidates. He speaks of party unity.

(8:06 PM): Steve Nagel asks if either has taken union money.

Both admit taking union money for their legislative races.

(8:07 PM): Kermit Marsh asks what other counties the two have requested.

Harkey says she has requested them in every county in the BOE 4th District.

Wyland says he has not done so.

(8:08 PM): Robert Hammond asks how each voted on an Assembly bill funding Common Core.

Harkey says she didn’t vote for it.

Wyland notes he served on his school board and is proposing legislation to restrict state funding of Common Core. He says he didn’t vote for the bill that Hammond is asking about.

(8:10 PM): Mike Munzing talks about his own efforts to fight AB 32 and SB 375 at SCAG and on the City Council. He asks Wyland about his $1500 contribution to Al Gore in the 1980s.

Wyland admits he once was a Democrat but became a Republican long ago. He again notes his $1,000,000 for Republicans. He speaks about his votes against AB 32 and “all” other regulatory bills. Wyland notes Gore was more conservative in 1988 and bragging about being a tobacco farmer.

(8:13 PM): Mark Bucher asks if Diane Harkey’s exception for public safety unions on her no-union pledge (required on the Central Committee endorsement form) applies to the past or prospectively.

Harkey says she’s still taking public safety union money. She says public safety is 80% Republican. She says Republicans need to reach out to them. She says public safety is important to Republicans. She says she agrees with the no-union pledge for local office but opposes it for state office.

(8:17 PM): Tim Whitacre asks if Wyland voted to increase property taxes in 2012 and if he walked out on certain bills, like naming a ship after Harvey Milk and illegal immigration restrictions, to avoid voting for them.

Wyland notes they vote on 2,000-3,000 bills. He doesn’t remember them all, but doubts he voted for that one in 2012. Wyland says he abhors naming a ship after Harvey Milk but it’s possible he may have missed the vote. Wyland says the Assembly allows its members to add their votes after missing them, but the Senate does not allow such a thing. Wyland says he has introduced more legislation on illegal immigration than any other legislator, including requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote and redirecting DREAM Act funding to veterans.

(8:21 PM): Baugh states that no further questions can be asked directly of the candidates due to the Central Committee’s time limit rules.

(8:22 PM): Tim Whitacre moves and Mary Young seconds the endorsement of Diane Harkey.

(8:23 PM): David Shawver says candidates should have formed committees months ago.

(8:24 PM): Assemblyman Allan Mansoor urges no early endorsement because a lot of questions still need to be responded to. He notes he’s worked with both Harkey and Wyland in the Legislature. He says he’s endorsed Harkey. Mansoor says there are multiple Republicans in good standing running for a Republican seat. He says endorsements should only be made if a RINO is running or if there’s risk of a Democrat winning.

(8:25 PM): Tim Whitacre says the Central Committee usually endorses when he wants neutrality. He says he is not being paid by anyone for BOE. He says Harkey is more conservative than Wyland. Whitacre says Harkey’s an OC resident, unlike Wyland. Whitacre notes Harkey is a lifelong Republican. Whitacre believes San Diego GOP Central Committee will probably endorse Wyland. Whitacre says Harkey’s the best qualified.

(8:28 PM): Mark Bucher says neither should be endorsed. He is very concerned that both have taken union money. Bucher says money is taken from members coercively and spent against their beliefs. Bucher says union money is corrupting. Bucher points to what public safety unions have tried to do to Jim Righeimer in Costa Mesa. Bucher says the OCGOP should not abandon the no-union pledge by endorsing one of them.

(8:30 PM): Tony Beall urges the Central Committee to take a leadership role to influence the electorate. Beall says he’s been Mayor of Rancho Santa Margarita, which is represented by both Harkey and Wyland. He says Harkey is regularly in his city, and he’s never met Wyland. Beall acknowledges that Wyland has assisted California campaigns but not OC campaigns. He says Harkey has helped OC campaigns.

(8:33 PM): Deborah Pauly says this is not about Harkey or Wyland: it’s about process. (She does note Wyland has spent 20 years dealing with the BOE as a businessman.) Pauly says the grassroots is sick of the party jamming decisions down the voters’ throats. Pauly points out that this is a five-county race; if different counties endorse differently, it could be used by the Democrats against whichever Republican advances to November. She says she originally supported waiting until after filing closes, but after listening to the debate, she thinks the Central Committee should wait until the voters have decided in the Primary Election.

(8:37 PM): Robert Hammond asks if the Central Committee is allowed to endorse candidates who violated the no-union pledge.

Baugh says it would violate a 2010 resolution but not the bylaws.

(8:39 PM): The voice vote is unclear. Baugh calls for a standing vote. It requires 2/3 of those present and voting to endorse (i.e. abstentions simply lower the vote threshold required to endorse).

(8:41 PM): The vote count is underway.

(8:42 PM): The vote is 35 for Harkey (32 were need to endorse).

HARKEY ENDORSED

Posted in Anaheim, Board of Equalization, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Larry Agran Apparently Attempting to Gain Control of Irvine School Board Again – This Time Via Special Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 19, 2013

Councilman Larry Agran

Larry Agran: Doing for Irvine Schools What He Did for the Great Park

(Update: 12/20 6:55 PM: I now have multiple conflicting stories as to whether Agran is behind this or if he is simply a supporter of the effort. A few OC Political sources closer to the Agran camp state he denies being behind this effort and argue that when Agran has been behind petition drives, ballot measures, etc., he’s been very public about it.  At this point, it does remain unclear as to who is indeed the person or people behind the effort to force this special election.  However, it does appear that Agran is supportive of this effort even if he is not necessarily the organizer of the effort.)

It appears Irvine Councilman Larry Agran is attempting to force a special election to oust an Irvine School Board member from office and potentially get one of his own allies elected because the school board failed to obey Agran’s will in the Great Park battle.

During the 2012 elections for the Irvine Unified School District, Larry Agran attempted to get his own slate of candidates elected to the Irvine School Board.  The slate of Michael Parham, Lauren Brooks, and Paul Bokota swept the top three positions to block Agran’s slate of Carolyn Inmon, Cyril Yu, and Omar Ezzeldine, who came in fourth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.  (Nine candidates ran.)  Bokota narrowly defeated Inmon by 706 votes. Incumbents Carolyn McInerney and Sue Kuwabara had opted not to seek re-election, thereby setting up the hotly contested slates.  Parham was the sole incumbent to seek re-election.  (In the interest of full disclosure, Custom Campaigns, which owns OC Political, ran the campaigns of Parham, Brooks, and Bokota in 2012.)

Not only did Agran fail to get his slate elected to school board, but also, as is well-known to most of our readers, he lost his own race for Mayor against Steven Choi and lost control of the Council when Christina Shea was elected over his ally, P.K. Wong, thereby setting up the Republican majority of Steven Choi, Jeff Lalloway, and Christina Shea.  Considering the domination at the presidential and state level by Democrats in 2012, Larry Agran may well have been the saddest Democrat in California on election night 2012.

Last month, Gavin Huntley-Fenner vacated his seat on the Irvine School Board.  On a 3-1 vote, the school board appointed Republican Ira Glasky to the board.  (Parham voted to replace Huntley-Fenner with Hugh Hewitt.)  A mysterious group has launched a petition drive to void Glasky’s appointment and force a special election.  The web site does not disclose who is behind the drive, other than in the PDF of the petition, which is required in the mandatory disclosure required in state law, which names only Stephen Buxbaum and Patricia Schneider-Zioga.  Schneider-Zioga is a linguistics professor at Cal State Fullerton.

In the Irvine Matters newsletter published by Agran and Councilwoman Beth Krom, they write in support of the petition drive and blast the school board for not opposing the site of the new high school at the Great Park (scroll to the bottom of this post to see the Irvine Matters email).  The school site issue has been the bogeyman created by Agran to attack the plan by FivePoint Communities to develop the Great Park.  The Council majority of Choi, Lalloway, and Shea voted in favor of the plan, doing in one year what Agran and his allies could not do in a decade in power – actually build the Great Park.

Additionally, multiple sources in Irvine have told OC Political that Agran supporters have stated he is behind the petition drive.

Agran is trying to turn the school board and the school site into a political football in his battle to stop the construction the Great Park; this special election is Agran’s attempt to bully the school board into backing his position on the school site at the Great Park.

The text of the petition itself notes, “The cost for conducting the election called for in this petition is estimated by the Orange County Registrar of Voters to be $392,779-$443,329 if the election is a stand-alone election.”  Glasky is forced to run for re-election in November; this special election would be held just a few months before Glasky is due to run.  There are many times when forcing a special election in lieu of appointment would be appropriate, but it simply is not the case here.  Agran’s agenda is not an adequate reason to force a special election.

Pursuant to Education Code Section 5091(c), petition proponents must gather signatures from registered voters within the Irvine Unified School District equivalent to 1.5% of the number of registered voters at the last election for school board. There were 109,490.  In other words, they must submit 1,643 valid signatures of registered voters by tomorrow’s legal deadline to the OC Superintendent of Schools at the OC Department of Education.  (Our information indicates the proponents have been gathering signatures for about two weeks now.)

People who have signed the petition but now wish to withdraw their signature should contact the OC Department of Education at 714-966-4000 or the OC Registrar of Voters at 714-567-7600, as those two agencies are responsible for the administration of the election and the ministerial acts involving the petition, including the verification of petition signatures.

Dan Chmielewski at The Liberal OC and we here at OC Political don’t agree on much, but we agree with Chmielewski on this issue, as he has written in opposition to the petition drive: 

IUSD has progressives, moderates and conservatives on the Board; they work well together with a minimum of politics to advance education in Irvine so that the teachers, administrators, students and parents have the education possible considering the low state funding we get regularly.

So whoever is behind this petition drive really isn’t pro-education in Irvine; a special election six months in advance of a regular election is a waste of money. At least have the backbone to stand up and identify yourselves as being behind the effort. This is a shame to Glasky. His family donates countless hours to the schools and the community so he clearly understands the issues our district faces and his legal background is an asset to the district.

Simply put; if you’re in Irvine and you’re pro-education, don’t sign the petition.

The entire IUSD petition web site states quite simply:

Irvine Unified School District
Petition for Special Election

The Voters, Not the Politicians, Should Decide who Represents the Students and Taxpayers.

INSTRUCTIONS: Please click on the button to download the petition. You can collect up to six signatures on each petition, but be sure that just one person collects the signatures on any given sheet and fully completes the bottom portion. Signers and collectors both need to be registered voters. Signers need to be voters in the Irvine Unified School District (collectors can be registered anywhere in CA).

Have petitions to be picked up?

Call or text us at (949) 214-4250 or email us info@iusdpetition.com and we will have a volunteer get them from you.

Irvine Matters, the Agran-Krom newsletter, sent this message out to their email list:

Irvine Matters

Dear Friends,

We’re writing to you because of your opposition to Site A for Irvine’s next High School — Site A is adjacent to a toxic landfill and 1,000 yards from the rapidly growing Musick Jail.

Given the role the Irvine Unified School District Board will play in determining the future High School site, we wanted to make you aware that a petition drive is currently underway to require a special election to fill the Irvine School Board seat previously held by Gavin Huntley-Fenner.

Disregarding the democratic process, the School Board quickly appointed someone to fill the seat in an attempt to foreclose any opportunity for Irvine voters to have a say in who represents them on the Irvine Unified School Board. Incredibly, the man they appointed has already gone on record in support of Site A! In fact, he’s been quoted as saying, “Nothing I have seen so far, has led me to believe that Site A is not a qualified, acceptable, preferable site.”

To download petitions, go to: www.iusdpetition.com.

Those who sign must be registered voters and live within the Irvine Unified School District boundaries. As circulator of the petition, you must fill in the information at the bottom of the petition, including your own signature.

To ensure that signature gathering procedures are followed,
please read the instructions on the petition carefully, and be sure the completed petition is turned in BY DECEMBER 20th the “old fashioned way” — either picked-up from you by an authorized person in the petition drive or mailed (snail mail!) to the petition proponent: Stephen Buxbaum, 4666 Sierra Tree Lane, Irvine, CA 92612.

Petition drive organizers will collect your completed petitions if you e-mail them at info@iusdpetition.com or text to 949-214-4250.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Petitions cannot be scanned, copied or sent electronically to be considered valid.

If you believe your views on where to site Irvine’s next High School are not being effectively represented by the School Board, we encourage you to sign and circulate the petition.

Valid signatures must be gathered and turned in by December 20th to ensure that deadlines are met for submitting signatures to the Orange County Superintendent of Schools.

Time is short. If you think the School Board seat should be filled by special election, please get your family members, friends and neighbors to sign this petition over the next week.

Like you, we have been frustrated by the seeming lack of concern the Irvine Unified School District Board has demonstrated with respect to the serious health and safety issues associated with their proposed Site A for Irvine’s next High School. At a time when issues of elevated levels of toxins at Malibu High School are a major news story here in Southern California, (LINK: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news%2Flocal%2Flos_angeles&id=9335630), officials for the Irvine Unified School District seem determined to build on a site adjacent to a capped toxic landfill and just 1,000 yards from the rapidly expanding Musick Jail site.

Only with a special election will voters have a choice in who represents them. Remember, time is short. If you want your interests represented, help gather the signatures needed by December 20th.

If you have questions about the petition drive, you can e-mail the organizers at info@iusdpetition.com.

Posted in Irvine, Irvine Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

BREAKING NEWS: Keith Curry Jumps Into AD 74 Race

Posted by Chris Emami on December 4, 2013

Keith_Curry_Newport_Beach_CouncilmanNewport Beach Mayor Keith Curry has declared his candidacy for the open 74th Assembly District seat.

Curry was first appointed to the Newport Beach City Council in 2006 and has run three elections, including two with well-funded opposition, winning both by 10 points (He was unopposed in 2012).

For over 20 years, Curry was a partner/owner of the nation’s largest public finance consulting organization, Public Financial Management where he advised states, cities and local agencies throughout the nation.  The firm was sold to a private equity group in 2009 and Curry retired in 2011 to form the Center for Public Policy at Concordia University.  He put together a board of bi-partisan heavyweights and has hosted several events in the past two years.

Curry also teaches public policy and government leadership courses in Concordia’s graduate business school.

Curry has a long Republican history, serving for five years in the Ronald Reagan administration as the Special Assistant to the Federal Transit Administrator, and prior to that as a Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Pete Schabarum. In 2011, he led efforts to create a Ronald Reagan Centennial Memorial in Newport Beach.

In 1978-79, Curry worked with Paul Gann and managed the qualification effort of Gann’s “Spirit of 13 Initiative” that limited the growth of government spending.  Proposition 4 as it was known actually resulted in state tax rebates under Governor Deukmejian, but was later modified to limit its effectiveness.

A 20 year member of the Lincoln Club, Curry demonstrated strong fundraising capability in his city council races.  As the only candidate with the personal financial resources to self-fund his campaign, Curry appears to be in a very strong position out of the gate.

He was selected by his fellow elected officials to be the President of the Association of California Cities Orange County, President of the Orange County Division of the League of Cities, and President of the Orange County Parks Commission.

One of the biggest advantages that Curry has is his name identification in AD-74 both as a Newport Beach Councilmember and his teaching at Concordia in Irvine. His candidacy will likely end any speculation of Leslie Daigle jumping into the AD-74 fray.

Based on the current field, Curry will likely be fighting it out with Huntington Beach Mayor Matt Harper to win this seat. Other candidates that have declared their intention to run for this seat include AD-72 staffer Emanuel Patrascu and former Santa Ana City Council candidate Karina Onofre. In my initial posts profiling AD-74 I had mentioned former CRP Treasurer Keith Carlson as a potential candidate for the seat. Everybody I have been talking with has stated that they doubt that Carlson will run for the seat and as of today he has not opened a campaign committee. Unless I hear otherwise I will exclude Carlson from future posts on the topic of AD-74.

Harper and Curry are Councilmembers in two of the larger cities in AD-74. Newport Beach has approximately 50,000 registered voters and Huntington Beach has approximately 53,000 voters. Irvine is the largest city in AD-74 with it being home to approximately 62,000 voters but none of the three Irvine Council Republicans Steven Choi, Jeff Lalloway, or Christina Shea expected to announce their candidacy for this seat, especially since Choi and Lalloway live in AD-68.

This race is going to be extremely interesting and we here at OC Political will keep you posted on new developments as they happen in AD-74.

Posted in 74th Assembly District, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Newport Beach | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Irvine Great Park Vote A Success! All 3 Irvine Republicans Unite To Move Forward

Posted by Chris Emami on November 27, 2013

UPDATE 8:01 PM- It was just brought to my attention that the decision to have the City of Irvine control the park is not quite as I portrayed it in the article. Jeff Lalloway was concerned (based on the arguments he made at the meeting) with having a lack of control over park hours and other important decisions that relate to operations. According to the recent knowledge I gained, it is still possible to have the park contracts put out to bid and this would still give the city a great opportunity to save some money.

I can never sleep after losing a basketball game. Tonight (technically this morning), it worked out for the best as I find myself able to write a brief recap of what happened last night/this morning at the Irvine City Council meeting. The end result was a huge win for Irvine residents with the Irvine Republicans fulfilling their promise to build “The Great Park.”Great Park Balloon

We shall start with a recap of the three key items that were on the agenda for this meeting.

The first Great Park item up on the agenda was Item 2.1 titled, “HERITAGE FIELDS PROJECT 2012 SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONE CHANGE IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51.” The EIR reads in the Irvine City Council agenda as follows:

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF IRVINE CERTIFYING THE SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (SCH NO. 2022101020, 00538162-PCLE) AND MITIGATION MONITORING AND REPORTING PROGRAM FOR THE HERITAGE FIELDS PROJECT 2012 GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONE CHANGE, FILED BY FIVE POINT COMMUNITIES ON BEHALF OF HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC; LOCATED IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51

For those of our readers that are not as familiar with the intricacies of “The Great Park” they can read the staff report on this item by clicking on the following link EIR_Staff_Report. This item passed on a 3-2 party line vote with Mayor Choi, Councilmember Lalloway, and Councilmember Shea voting to approve the item and Councilmember Krom and Councilmember Agran voting in opposition to the item.

The second Great Park item up on the agenda was item 3.1 titled, “SECOND ADJACENT LANDOWNER AGREEMENT BETWEEN CITY OF IRVINE AND HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC.” This adjacent landowner agreement outlined the following actions as part of the vote in the agenda:

1) It is recommended that the City Council consider the details of the proposal before it and determine whether the City will enter into the Second Agreement with City of Irvine as Adjacent Landowner (ALA II) proposed by Five Point Communities, together with the associated Ground Leases and Maintenance Agreements.

2) If the City Council elects to enter into the ALA II, Ground Leases, and Maintenance Agreements, it is recommended that the City Council withdraw its prior approval of the Western Sector Phase II Capital Improvement Program (CIP #371404) and re-allocate funds to one or more Capital Improvement Programs designed to improve the Western Sector of the Orange County Great Park and fund capital projects associated with expedited development of the Orange County Great Park under the ALA II.

3) If the City Council elects to enter into the ALA II, Ground Leases, and Maintenance Agreements, it is recommended that the City determine whether the “Design Package” proposed by Heritage Fields is substantially in conformance with the Orange County Great Park Master Plan.

4) If the City Council finds that the Design Package is substantially in conformance with the Orange County Great Park Master Plan, then it is recommended that the City Council approve the Design Package as a “Park Design” in accordance with Irvine Zoning Code Section 2-22-5.

5) If the City Council finds that the Design Package is not substantially in conformance with the Orange County Great Park Master Plan, then it is recommended that the City Council direct staff to commence processing of an amendment to the Great Park Master Plan, so that such amendment will be completed in accordance with City procedures and the requirements of the ALA II.

For those of you playing along at home that want more of a background click on the following link for the staff report on this item ALA_Staff_Report. This item was slightly changed during the meeting by Councilman Jeff Lalloway in that he proposed that the city run the park after it is built, get an extra $10,000,000 from the developer over 5-years, and improvements to Marine Way a street located within the development. It was clear that Shea and Choi were not completely on board with these amendments but went along with them as a compromise to get the deal done. This item was also passed on a 3-2 vote with Mayor Choi, Councilmember Lalloway, and Councilmember Shea voting to approve the item and Councilmember Krom and Councilmember Agran voting in opposition to the item.

I have no problem with Jeff Lalloway trying to get some extra money for the City of Irvine, but I disagree with him on the City of Irvine managing the park after it is built. Having a private sector company run the park seems like a great idea due to the cost savings that would benefit the city.

The third and final Great Park item up on the agenda was item 4.1 titled, “GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONE CHANGE IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51 (GREAT PARK NEIGHBORHOODS).” This general plan amendment outlined the following actions as part of the vote in the agenda:

A) Adopt – A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF IRVINE APPROVING GENERAL
PLAN AMENDMENT (00537028-PGA) TO COMBINE PLANNING AREA 30 AND AN 11–ACRE PARCEL
LOCATED IN PLANNING AREA 9 INTO PLANNING AREA 51; DELETE REFERENCES TO PLANNING
AREA 30 THROUGHOUT THE GENERAL PLAN; AMEND THE LAND USE DESIGNATION FOR THE
11-ACRE PARCEL TO BE ORANGE COUNTY GREAT PARK; AMEND GENERAL PLAN TABLES A-1 AND
A-2 TO REFLECT SHIFTS OF INTENSITY BETWEEN RESIDENTIAL AND NON-RESIDENTIAL
CATEGORIES AND ADD THE 11-ACRE PARCEL IN TABLE A-2; AMEND THE APPROPRIATE
GENERAL PLAN FIGURES TO ELIMINATE ROCKFIELD BOULEVARD FROM THE EASTERN PROJECT
BOUNDARY TO MARINE WAY CONTINGENT UPON APPROVAL BY THE ORANGE COUNTY
TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (OCTA); MODIFY GENERAL PLAN OBJECTIVE B-1, TO IDENTIFY
WHERE LEVEL OF SERVICE “E” IS CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE; AMEND GENERAL PLAN FIGURE
G-1 TO DEPICT THE LOCATION OF A FUTURE HIGH SCHOOL; AND REVISE GENERAL PLAN
FIGURE L-2 TO DEPICT THE RELOCATED WILDLIFE CORRIDOR FEATURE; FILED BY FIVE
POINT COMMUNITIES, ON BEHALF OF HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC FOR THE GREAT PARK
NEIGHBORHOODS DEVELOPMENT; LOCATED IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51

B) Adopt – A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF IRVINE APPROVING THE
SECOND AMENDMENT TO DENSITY BONUS AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN THE CITY OF IRVINE, A
CALIFORNIA MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, AND HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC, A DELAWARE
LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

C) Introduce for first reading and by title only – AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL
OF THE CITY OF IRVINE APPROVING ZONE CHANGE (00537029-PZC) TO REZONE AN 11-ACRE
PARCEL AND THE ENTIRE PLANNING AREA 30 TO 8.1/8.1B TRAILS AND TRANSIT ORIENTED
DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT AND COMBINE THESE PROPERTIES INTO PLANNING AREA 51; REZONE
PROPERTY TO 1.4 PRESERVATION TO ACCOMMODATE THE RELOCATED WILDLIFE CORRIDOR
FEATURE FOR SEGMENTS 2 AND 3, AND REZONE THE FORMER LOCATION OF THE WILDLIFE
CORRIDOR FEATURE TO 8.1 TRAILS AND TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT; MODIFY
THE RESIDENTIAL AND NON-RESIDENTIAL INTENSITY FOR A MAXIMUM 9,500 RESIDENTIAL
UNITS AND 6,135,200 SQUARE FEET OF NON-RESIDENTIAL INTENSITY IN PLANNING AREA
51; AND OTHER MINOR AMENDMENTS TO THE ZONING ORDINANCE TO IMPLEMENT THE PROJECT;
FILED BY FIVE POINT COMMUNITIES ON BEHALF OF HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC FOR
THE GREAT PARK NEIGHBORHOODS DEVELOPMENT; LOCATED IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51

As I have done with the previous two items, for those of you interested in reading the staff report for this item click on the following link Zoning_Staff_Report. As with the previous two items, this item was also passed on a 3-2 vote with Mayor Choi, Councilmember Lalloway, and Councilmember Shea voting to approve the item and Councilmember Krom and Councilmember Agran voting in opposition to the item.

I have to give some serious kudos to Jeff Lalloway who made an extremely classy gesture towards the end of this meeting in commending Christina Shea for being the driving force behind the agreement. In the past we have seen some minor tension between the two Councilmembers over a vote Christina Shea made on funding the Barclay Theatre and the vote that Jeff Lalloway made to delay “The Great Park” items for two weeks. This is a great chance for Mayor Choi, Councilmember Shea, and Councilmember Lalloway to rejoice in a great accomplishment that they achieved on behalf of the citizens of Irvine and to work together on future public policy items.

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Final Thoughts Before the Irvine Council Vote on Great Park Proposal as Lalloway Speaks Out

Posted by Chris Emami on November 24, 2013

Jeff LallowayThis is the third time I’ve written about the Irvine Council vote on the FivePoint proposal to develop the Great Park.  The Great Park is a major issue for this Orange County, considering its pivotal role in putting an end to the battle over the El Toro Airport that tour the County apart in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Additionally, after the gains Republicans had after the 2012 election, I feel this is still a critically important issue, which is why I’ve written three times on it before Tuesday’s meeting.  Until the 2012 election, Republicans had not had a majority on the Irvine City Council since 2000.  The reason Republicans won is Republicans ran promising to develop the Great Park.

Let me also address another issue.  I’ve heard a lot of rumors about me and Jeff Lalloway.  I will be crystal clear: Jeff has been a complete gentleman to me on this issue.  Our conversations on this topic have been absolutely cordial.  Any rumors that I have been threatened or intimidated by Jeff or anyone on this topic are patently false.  No one has been anything but professional to me on this topic.

One of the most impressive things about this proposal is that FivePoint is willing to give up 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space to build additional 4,600 homes.  Reducing the commercial space ensures that there is no increase in traffic from the additional homes.  Additionally, FivePoint proposes to develop most of the Great Park.  This proposal is an incredible deal for Irvine, and really a great deal for Orange County as a whole.  We will finally have the Great Park that the voters expected when Orange County residents voted to end the El Toro Airport in 2002.

I reached out to Jeff with a few questions but did not get a response by the time this article went up.  I did want to hear directly from him about his thoughts and concerns on the FivePoint proposal for the Great Park.  However, he published an excellent op-ed in the Register (it’s outside the paywall!) that outlined his thoughts on this deal.  Here are key excerpts:

I am excited to be able to vote in favor of this project. I look forward to casting that vote.

However, at the time that this complex proposal was brought before the council, it was clear from both the city staffs report and their presentations that they had time to conduct only a partial analysis of the impacts of this offer. In short, more work was required. In fact, the staff report highlights several areas that require “further discussion” and that their review is still a “work in progress.”

Areas requiring more analysis include such critical components as the design features, construction progress, and potential city liabilities. Separately, there are significant policy issues concerning public access to the park, as well as operating and maintaining the park amenities.

I don’t agree with Jeff renegotiating terms with FivePoint from the dais because the city staff had not had adequate time to vet the issues; he should have just let staff get their questions answered instead.  However, it’s clear from this op-ed that Jeff made the motion to delay two weeks, so that vote would allow staff to finish the last 10% of the agreement.  I think this amount of time should have been enough time to allow staff a chance to iron out the final 10%, and Jeff’s op-ed makes it clear he made the motion to allow them to do so.

Along with many other people in Orange County, I am looking forward to this issue being resolved promptly, and I hope that I will get the chance to write an article Tuesday evening that details the final result.

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A Quarter Billion Dollars and a Decade Later: Where’s the Park?

Posted by Chris Emami on November 21, 2013

Great Park BalloonAs I said in my last post on the topic, I was surprised by the 3-2 vote by the Irvine City Council on November 12 to delay consideration of the Great Park construction plan. Conservative Republican Jeff Lalloway unexpectedly joined liberal Democrats Larry Agran and Beth Krom in voting to delay for two weeks over the dissenting votes of Steven Choi and Christina Shea.

I like Lalloway, and Lalloway is a good conservative. Let me be unequivocally clear: I support Jeff Lalloway’s re-election to the Irvine City Council next year, just as I support Steven Choi’s re-election as Mayor in that same election, and I plan to support Christina Shea’s re-election to the Council in 2016. I just disagree with Lalloway on this one vote. Those who would attack Lalloway need to remember this: he only voted on a two-week delay to have more time to review this plan. I am confident that when he has fully examined the plan, he will be supportive of this effort to build the Great Park.

Lalloway made the motion to delay the item solely to have two more weeks to iron out the plan details. Choi and Shea voted against his motion to move the plan forward. Agran and Krom voted to delay in an attempt to kill this plan.

Irvine has already spent a quarter of a billion dollars and a decade since Measure W stopped the El Toro Airport in favor of the Great Park. What do they have to show for it? A giant orange balloon, a merry-go-round, a farm, an art display, and some soccer fields, ponds, and lawns.

The proposal by developer FivePoint Communities to build the Great Park would be a giant step forward. FivePoint Communities proposes to build 65% of the Great Park with a huge sports park, an 18-hole golf course, an agricultural site, and a woodland “Bosque” area.

What does FivePoint Communities want in exchange for these gifts to the City of Irvine? The right to build more homes on its own land. FivePoint Communities would only build homes on land that FivePoint already owns. This is a property rights issue. Protecting private property rights are a core principle of conservatism. FivePoint should have the right to build on its own land. It wishes to build an additional 4,600 homes on its own land and will construct a substantial proportion of the Great Park for the City of Irvine.

This seems like a very reasonable trade: FivePoint can build more homes on its own land and will build nearly 2/3 of the Great Park for the City of Irvine.

What’s often forgotten in the history of this land is that Lennar bought nearly the entirety of the old El Toro base from the Navy for $649.5 million. Then, Lennar gave 1,347 acres to the City of Irvine for the Great Park. (FivePoint Communities is a spin-off of Lennar.) Many of the significant steps forward that have occurred in the last decade in relation to the Great Park have been driven by the private sector.

My fellow OC Political co-founder, Chris Nguyen, often says, “The public sector exists only to do that which the private sector cannot do.” I believe that’s a core principle of limited government. If the Irvine City Council votes against the FivePoint Communities plan, then they will turn this on its head. That would mean the City of Irvine would try to build the park itself and reject an attempt by the private sector FivePoint Communities to do it.

The private sector generally does things more efficiently than the public sector. FivePoint Communities will not spend a quarter million dollars and a decade like the Agran majority did. Let FivePoint help build the Great Park.

Let’s not forget that the criticisms of the FivePoint plan in both the staff report and from the Council dais are being leveled by the people who spent a quarter billion dollars over a decade to build a balloon, a merry-go-round, a farm, an art display, and some soccer fields, ponds, and lawns. Agran and Krom’s nitpicking perfectionism is reminiscent of the busybody neighbor who calls the homeowners association when someone paints their house eggshell white instead of pearl white.

Agran and Krom are your classic big government liberals who believe in governmental centralized planning of all aspects of our lives. Just listen to Krom’s quote from the November 12 meeting in this Voice of OC video. It’s just frightening what she says about the FivePoint plan’s differences from the original master plan: “If you take the master plan and you blow it up, then the money we invested in the planning, you’re going to tell me we won’t even have a plan. So why would I support you destroying my plan, and then telling me ‘you wasted money on the plan?’”

It was Jeff Lalloway who put it best back in October, when the Orange County Register quoted him saying, “No master plan is sacred.”

Posted in Irvine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Great Park Vote Gets Delayed

Posted by Chris Emami on November 17, 2013

This last week the vote to push forward on the Great Park was set to take place. I was not initially planning to cover it, but a large number of readers have asked me to weigh in on what took place and to give a brief analysis.

To give a bit of background on the situation, Councilmember Jeff Lalloway voted with Larry Agran and Beth Krom to delay the vote on the Great Park which came as quite a surprise to me and based on the e-mails that I received a large number of readers.

Here is my overall analysis on what this means and what hopefully will happen.

In a year of historic GOP losses, 2012 had a glimmer of hope when Republicans regained majority control of the Irvine City Council. Wresting control from Larry Agran’s majority was the first step in getting the Orange County Great Park on the right track.

After months of negotiation with a development partner, the Irvine City Council had the opportunity last Tuesday to move the Park forward. But, to 688 acres of sports facilities, gardens and wildlife corridor, Republican Councilmember Jeff Lalloway and Democrats Beth Krom and Larry Agran said, “no, not just yet.”

In addition to getting the Orange County Great Park built, the development partner announced that Broadcom was in discussions to move their corporate headquarters to the Great Park, instead of a speculated move to the District in the City of Tustin.

Getting infrastructure at the Great Park, keeping thousands of high-paying, high-tech jobs in Irvine, fulfilling promises to build a world-class destination for Orange County’s enjoyment. Why is Jeff Lalloway stalling? The development deal will expire at the November 26th City Council meeting. With virtually no development fees left to build the Park, this is the last, best and only hope to fulfill the promise of the Orange County Great Park.

Councilmember Lalloway needs to help protect the Republican majority of the Irvine City Council by doing what’s right and advancing development proposals at the Great Park. If he truly wants to protect Irvine’s interests, he will support Mayor Steven Choi and Councilmember Christina Shea in finally moving the Park forward.

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

OC Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen Fundraiser, Thursday, October 3

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 24, 2013

This came over the wire from the Hugh Nguyen for Clerk-Recorder 2014 campaign…

Hugh Nguyen

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

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 »

 
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