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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Righeimer’

Live from the Costa Mesa City Council Feet to the Fire Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 18, 2014

We’re live from the Costa Mesa City Council candidate forum sponsored by the Feet to the Fire Forum, a lively debate sponsored by the Daily Pilot and Voice of OC.

Your intrepid blogger walked in late due to having never been on the Orange Coast College campus before, and having to search for the right building.

All the candidates are present except for Katrina Foley.

Daily Pilot Editor John Canalis asks about density. Two loud women scream from the audience.

Jim Righeimer says no changes have been made to any zoning. No variance has allowed people to place more units than permitted under zoning. The two loud women object again when Righeimer points out Foley voted for variances that allow more units than zoning allowed for certain areas.

Jay Humphrey complains about density in an unincorporated area that Costa Mesa is about to annex (Colleen island).

Rita Simpson says each project needs to be mitigated but she supports the annexation of the expensive apartments in the Colleen island.

Alicia Perez of the Daily Pilot asks about lot sizes. Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about LAFCO processes and maintaining prior zoning like in Santa Ana Heights.

Tony Capitelli suggests adding bike loans and public transportation.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC asks Righeimer about the Costa Mesa City birthday party and a legal settlement involving Dan Joyce, who oversaw the party.

Jim Righeimer says he is not allowed to answer personnel issues, but he does note that some people involved violated city procurement policies.

Jay Humphrey called it a mismanagement of the process.

An obnoxious group of about 20 people out of an audience of 100 keep cheering for every word that Humphrey says and booing everything Righeimer says, sometimes before he even finish his sentence.

Al Melone expresses concern about debating a personnel issue in public.

Lee Ramos says this is beating a dead horse. He says the party was done irresponsibly, but the Council by a 5-0 vote has resolved the issue.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about a sports park at Fairview Park.

Lee Ramos says he reveres Fairview Park the way it is. He calls for a study. He has spoken with Parks Commissioners and the school district. He speaks about asking community members and stakeholders for their perspectives.

Alicia Lopez of the Daily Pilot asks about community input.

Jim Righeimer says listening is not trying to be all things to all people and doing what each public commenter says.

Tony Capitelli says perception is reality in politics. He says Righeimer is unable to build consensus on important issues like homelessness. He wishes to revert to the old public comment policy. He says the Council has executive, legislative, and judicial functions.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about the old public comment system where all public commenters spoke at the beginning of Council meetings while the new policy has part of public comment at the beginning of the meeting and the remainder at the end.

Chris Bunyan blasts the new policy stating that Righeimer implemented it because he didn’t like being criticized.

Jay Humphrey says they didn’t have this problem in the past.

Chris Bunyan interjects that Righeimer caused public uproar about the Council.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about why Costa Mesa didn’t join Newport Beach on group homes.

Jim Righeimer points out that a judge ruled against Newport Beach. He states it is important to follow state and federal law.

Chris Bunyan criticizes the structure of a task force on rehabilitation homes. He says no data is being collected. He points to an ordinance in the City of Orange that limits distances between rehabilitation homes. Bunyan blames the rehabilitation homes and the bed count for increasing crime on the east side.

Al Melone says the city is on the right track. He says the City cannot endure multimillion lawsuits for violating state law.

Rits Simpson expresses her agreement with Melone.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about campaign contributions from rehabilitation homes.

Jim Righeimer says he returned the sole contribution he received from rehabilitation homes while the other candidates indicated that they did not receive any.

Jay Humphrey says Wendy Leece introduced the city’s rehabilitation home ordinance.

Lee Ramos expresses concern about the city’s political fracturing. He says Costa Mesa has to work together. He points to a local community group who is working on the rehabilitation home issue. He says it doesn’t matter who gets credit as long as the right thing is done (pointing to Humphrey crediting Leece on an ordinance).

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about the Costa Mesa Police Department’s staffing levels.

Jim Righeimer notes crime rates dropped in 2013. (I’ve never heard audience members boo dropping crime rates until I came to this candidate forum.) He says all cities cut police during the 2008-09 financial crisis, which he notes was a decision the Costa Mesa Council made before Righeimer was elected. He notes changes to city HR policies to more efficiently hire additional personnel to restore former police staffing levels.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC questions if Righeimer is consistent with his prior statements about changing policing methods.

Jim Righeimer says it makes sense to utilize police helicopters in partnership with neighboring cities rather than having one helicopter for a single city.

Jay Humphrey expresses concern about having new police officers instead of lateral transfers. He says Costa Mesa is not getting the top quality people applying for police jobs, just the bottom people.

Chris Bunyan says code enforcement is part of public safety, not just police and fire. He again refers to group homes. He says police have no reason to come to Righeimer’s city.

Tony Capitelli speaks about good friends who left the Costa Mesa Police Department for other cities. He says the City needs to come together.

Lee Ramos says he met with the City Manager. He says the new police chief came in and had a decrease in staffing levels. Ramos would like to increase police staffing levels over 18 months.

Al Melone wants to recruit police officers from cold states using the weather to attract top quality experienced police officers rather than local rookies.

Chris Bunyan points to vice squads and K9 units needing experienced police.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about Righeimer dropping his lawsuit against the police union.

Jim Righeimer says he would be willing to drop the suit if the union, its law firm, and its private investigator would come clean. He expresses concern about the law firm extorting city councils on behalf of police unions.

Jay Humphrey says the suit needs to be dropped to bring calm to the city, which would attract lateral transfers to the police department.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC asks Righeimer if he’s really going after the police system.

Jim Righeimer says the police union and the police department are separate entities. He says there are a lot of police officers who didn’t like what the police union did. He says unions have done this in other cities.

Alicia Perez of the Daily Pilot suggests that Righeimer’s attitude has been anti-union and that’s a non-local issue that gives the perception of not caring about the city. She asks if he’s interested in higher office.

Jim Righeimer says he has young children and doesn’t want to go to Sacramento. Righeimer says there is a massive pension liability.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OV asks if 65% of Costa Mesa’s budget is the appropriate amount to spend on police and fire. He asks if it’s sustainable.

Jay Humphrey says the level is correct and has been the level for years. He calls public safety the app

Tony Capitelli says 65% is sustainable but not with 19% for pensions.

Lee Ramos says 80% is more appropriate for sustainability.

Al Melone is fine with 65%-80% but calls for increasing the retirement age for pensions.

Rita Simpson says CalPERS is demanding greater payments for unsustainable pensions.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks Bunyan about how he would deal with unfunded pension liabilities.

Chris Bunyan says CalPERS hasn’t followed all of Jerry Brown’s recommendations for pension reform. He says fat pensions are gone. He says Costa Mesa needs to tighten its belts.

Jim Righeimer says there is no silver bullet. He says cities will go bankrupt which will force change. He criticizes the structure of the CalPERS board. He says Costa Mesa will be fine because they monitor their budget but other cities will go bankrupt.

Jay Humphrey says the City pension committee has called for increased contributions from both employer and employees to deal with the pension liability. Humphrey cites a single year’s returns as proof that investments are reducing the pension liability.

Tony Capitelli says employees need to pay the entire employee pension contribution and should replicate the federal pension plan. He expresses concern that new employees and his generation are forced to pay for the largesse of older generations.

Jim Righeimer says the State prevents cities and employees from contributing more to the pension. He wants to establish a balance where police are not paying 25% of their salaries to pensions.

Lee Ramos is concerned that the only ways to fix the liability problem is via sales tax, Sacramento changes, bonds, or property taxes.

Al Melone calls for placing money in the bank from higher contributions as insurance against future liabilities rather than paying CalPERS more.

Alicia Perez of the Daily Pilot asks about building supportive housing.

Tony Capitelli says Civic Center Park was thr wrong location, and that Mercy House had applied for a number of other locations, some of which are in industrial/commercial areas rather than residential areas.

Jay Humphrey says Costa Mesa should provide housing for the homeless. He wants to convert motels into SROs. He says the City did this in the 1990s and was a model for the County.

Lee Ramos questions where these places were.

Jay Humphrey gives locations.

Several people shout that these are affordable homes for seniors not the homeless.

Tony Capitelli says there needs to be more collaboration with the community.

Chris Bunyan says hotels should start to take on more homeless as the hotels age. He calls Righeimer anti-hotel.

Al Melone asks where will the funding for all of this come from. He says Santa Monica and LA have much worse homeless problems.

Jim Righeimer says Costa Mesa has attracted homeless by providing numerous services. He says all cities need to provide these services so every city has its fair share. He says some hotel slumlords are overcharging the homeless for tiny spaces, like five people on 180 square feet.

Tony Capitelli says nonprofits, state, and federal funding pays for these. He says they should encourage community development rather than shelters.

Lee Ramos asks where the money is that Capitelli is referring to.

Tony Capitelli points to one grant the City Council voted against.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks yes or no on medical marijuana:
Jay Humphrey says Yes.
Tony Capitelli says Yes.
Lee Ramos says Yes.
Al Melone says No.
Rita Simpson says No.
Jim Righeimer says No if not medical.
Chris Bunyan says Yes.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks Yes or No on messages on toilet seats:
Jay Humphrey says Yes.
Tony Capitelli says Yes.
Lee Ramos says No.
Al Melone says No.
Rita Simpson says No.
Jim Righeimer says No.
Chris Bunyan says Yes.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC asks about taking four years with all of Righeimer’s promises and only outsourcing trash.

Jim Righeimer says they can’t outsource the city. He says general employee average total compensation is $105,000. He says the City worked with city employees to cap cash outs of employee vacation pay when they separate from employment.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about Banning Ranch.

Chris Bunyan says he has fought developing Banning Ranch. He criticizes Righeimer.

Jim Righeimer says it’s Newport Beach’s decision.

Rita Simpson says it’s the Coastal Commission’s decision.

Lee Ramos says there needs to be tighter control of the project.

Tony Capitelli calls for mitigation.

Jay Humphrey opposes the project.

Your blogger missed the final Yes or No question, but here are the answers (if someone recalls the answer please comment below or click on contact us above):
Jay Humphrey says No.
Tony Capitelli says says Yes.
Lee Ramos says Yes.
Al Melone says Yes.
Rita Simpson says Yes.
Jim Righeimer says Yes.
Chris Bunyan says No.

This blogger apologizes for any errors and omissions. Feet to the Fire debates are always the most difficult events to live blog due to their quick and lively pace.  Additionally, tonight’s extremely disruptive audience made it difficult to hear the candidates and panelists at times.

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Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements Round 1

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 18, 2014

We’re live from OC GOP Central Committee for the first round of endorsements for the November General Election.

As is normal for an endorsements meeting, a slew of new alternates are being sworn in (though several represent new ex officio members as this is the first meeting since the Secretary of State certified nominees for the November election).

There are so many elected officials and candidates present that I will not even attempt to list them all.

Pete Peterson, the Republican nominee for Secretary of State, addresses the Central Committee.

Ron Nehring, the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, addresses the Central Committee.

The endorsements agenda consists of:
1. Jim Righeimer – Costa Mesa
2. Lee Ramos – Costa Mesa
3. Yes on Charter – Costa Mesa (Measure O)
4. Peggy Huang – Yorba Linda (November Election)
5. Mark McCurdy – Fountain Valley
6. Tyler Diep – Westminster
7. Jeff Lalloway – Irvine
8. Steven Choi – Irvine Mayor
9. Lynn Schott – Irvine
10. Tom Lindsey – Yorba Linda
11. Tom Tait – Anaheim Mayor
12. Dave Harrington – Aliso Viejo
13. Derek Reeve – San Juan Capistrano
14. Pam Patterson – San Juan Capistrano
15. Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita
16. Robert Ming – Orange County Supervisor, 5th District
17. Craig Alexander – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4
18. Fred Whitaker – Orange
19. Ray Grangoff – Orange
20. Steve Sheldon – Orange County Water District, Division 5
21. Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
22. Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
23. David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
24. William Hinz – Lowell Joint School District
25. John Novak – Savanna School District
26. Phil Yarbrough – Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 6
27. Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
28. Measure E – County Contracting with FPPC (Yes)
29. Measure G – Supervisorial Vacancy (Yes)
30. Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond (No)
31. Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond (No)
32. Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond (No)
33. Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond (No)
34. Measure AA – Santa Ana Utility Tax (No)
35. Measure JJ – Yorba Linda Pension & Healthcare Elimination (Yes)
36. Measure W – Irvine Great Park Transparency (Yes)
37. Measure V – Irvine Term Limits (Yes)
38. Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax (No)
39. Julie Collier – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
40. Ellen Addonizio – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 6
41. Brett Barbre – Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
42. Diane Dixon – Newport Beach
43. Yorba Linda Recall (No)
44. Measure Y – Newport Beach General Plan Update (Yes)
45. Dave Ellis – Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 5
46. Scott Voigts – Lake Forest
47. Erik Peterson – Huntington Beach
48. Lynn Semeta – Huntington Beach
49. Mike Posey – Huntington Beach

26 of the 49 items were passed as a consent calendar, except the following 23 people/measures who were pulled for discussion or for referral to the Endorsements Committee:
2. Lee Ramos – Costa Mesa
4. Peggy Huang – Yorba Linda
10. Tom Lindsey – Yorba Linda
11. Tom Tait – Anaheim Mayor
15. Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita
16. Robert Ming – Orange County Supervisor, 5th District
18. Fred Whitaker – Orange
19. Ray Grangoff – Orange
21. Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
22. Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
23. David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
24. William Hinz – Lowell Joint School District
25. John Novak – Savanna School District
27. Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
30. Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond (No)
31. Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond (No)
32. Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond (No)
33. Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond (No)
38. Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax (No)
43. Yorba Linda Recall (No)
47. Erik Peterson – Huntington Beach
48. Lyn Semeta – Huntington Beach
49. Mike Posey – Huntington Beach

8:02 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh reveals more than $10,000 in union contributions for Lucille Kring despite her signing the nonunion pledge. He makes a scathing speech blasting Kring for breaking her word. If she disagrees with the pledge, she shouldn’t have signed it, Baugh says. Kring attempts to protest, but cannot speak as a nonmember of the Central Committee. Baugh entertains a motion from Tim Whitacre to endorse Tom Tait for Mayor of Anaheim.

TJ Fuentes speaks in favor of Tait. He speaks of Tait’s servant leadership, Tait’s grassroots activism and efforts to support the Republican Party. Fuentes speaks of Tait standing by his principles of lower taxes, limited government, kindness, and transparency. Fuentes notes Tait is the OCGOP’s 2013 Local Elected Official of the Year.

Alexandria Coronado says the Tait of the past is not the Tait of today. She says he’s given money to Jordan Brandman and Jose F. Moreno. She says Tait is working with unions and was a speaker at a Democratic Party-sponsored event.

By a voice vote:

TAIT ENDORSED.

Fred Whitaker moves the endorsement of Lee Ramos for Costa Mesa City Council. He says Ramos will help unify the city. He says Ramos is the leading conservative candidate for the open seat.

Baugh asks how much Ramos has raised, how much his opponents have raised, and if he has endorsements from Righeimer, Mensinger, and Monahan.

Ramos says he’s raised about $40,000 while the nearest opponent had $9,100. Ramos does have the endorsements.

Desare Ferraro urges delaying this to allow Tony Capitelli to be considered for endorsement.

By voice vote:

RAMOS ENDORSED

One person pulled the endorsements in Huntington Beach, but there is little debate on the Huntington Beach candidates.

PETERSON ENDORSED

SEMETA ENDORSED

POSEY ENDORSED

There is no debate on Peggy Huang for Yorba Linda City Council.

HUANG ENDORSED

Desare Ferraro objects to the endorsement of Tom Lindsey for the November General Election. She says it would be divisive with the recall going on.

Brenda McCune notes she ran against Tom Lindsey in 2010, but she supports his endorsement now. She calls the recall a power grab. She calls Lindsey an independent mind and listener. She calls him a good Republican and family man.

Baron Night proposes a substitute motion to go to Endorsements Committee. He cites the recall.

Brett Barbre notes the recall is October 7 and general election is November 4. He notes the recall costs $300,000. He says Lindsey is a good Republican.

Night’s substitute motion gets 17 votes. There are far more votes against Night’s substitute motion.

A debate of parliamentary procedure ensues.

By a standing vote, there are 39 votes to endorse Lindsey. 37 were needed.

LINDSEY ENDORSED.

Brett Barbre of Yorba Linda moves to endorse against the recall. Scott Peotter of Newport Beach seconds.

Baron Night of Buena Park offers a substitute motion to send it to Endorsements Committee. Tim Whitacre of Santa Ana seconds.

Night argues the recall is a local issue.

Brenda McCune of Yorba Linda says the people of Yorba Linda want to hear from the party because these issues have gone on for quite some time in Yorba Linda.

Scott Baugh speaks of becoming an Assemblyman in the Doris Allen recall. He warns of recalls against Jeff Lalloway, Jim Righeimer, and Deborah Pauly. He warns against recalls for anything other than malfeasance or betrayal of Republican principles.

Night withdraws his substitute motion.

Peotter notes that Young and Lindsey are following the law and the will of the people. He blasts NIMBYs for launching the recall and says that removing Young and Lindsey should be in a general election, not a recall.

Whitacre of Santa Ana helped collect recall signatures in Yorba Linda. He claims that Young and Lindsey received PAC contributions. He claims Mark Schwing and Nancy Rikel are conservatives.

Barbre of Yorba Linda says it seems the longer you live in Yorba Linda the more credibility you have. He says he’s lived there for 45 years. He says the recall is the biggest waste of money he’s ever seen. He notes the recall supporters were the same people who opposed making Imperial Highway a city road. He notes there is ballot box zoning in Yorba Linda. He notes that Young and Lindsey voted for densities 35% below the cap imposed by voters.

Nancy Rikel attacks Young, Lindsey, and Hernandez. She criticizes the Central Committee for endorsing Lindsey. She blasts Young and Lindsey for supporting the Brea Police contract with Yorba Linda. Disruptive audience members who appear to have been brought by Rikel are cheering for Rikel. Rikel complains that the recall cost more because opponents tried to stand at supermarkets to oppose the recall.

Baugh asks Rikel if she’s actually arguing that the taxpayer cost of the recall went up because people opposed the recall. She admits she meant her side’s campaign contribution dollars.

Peggy Huang notes that unions spent $80,000 in the 2012 Yorba Linda election. She notes Rikel lost in 2012 and is running in the recall.

Dennis White recaps the Brea Police Department versus Orange County Sheriff’s Department contract debate in Yorba Linda. Rikel’s disruptive audience members applaud again.

By a voice vote:
ENDORSEMENT FOR “NO” ON THE YORBA LINDA RECALL

By motion of Tony Beall and seconded by Jennifer Beall, the Central Committee votes to send:
JESSE PETRILLA TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

Bill Dunlap speaks about Robert Ming being a public servant who is a state leader.

Bill Christiansen speaks on behalf of Darrell Issa that there are two good Republicans running for Fifth District Supervisor.

Baron Night says Lisa Bartlett failed to ask for the endorsement in the general though she did ask for the endorsement in the primary. He calls Ming an active supporter of other Republicans, a conservative, and a successful Councilman.

Steve Nagel speaks on behalf of Lisa Bartlett. He has served with her on various regional committees. He says she is a hard worker and has been a strong Republican in Dana Point and statewide. He says both Ming and Bartlett are good Republicans. He says both applied for the endorsement in the primary and that should stand.

By a voice vote:
MING ENDORSED

Fred Whitaker notes his long term service to the party. He states he is willing to compare his conservative record against anyone else’s. He notes he led the successful effort to eliminate Council compensation. He notes that Orange unions are paying their employee contributions without raises, the only city in the County with this accomplishment.

Deborah Pauly points to Whitaker’s $1,000 campaign contribuition to Democrat Tita Smith for Mayor of Orange. She points to Whitaker’s front yard included a sign in support of Smith.

By a voice vote:
WHITAKER ENDORSED

With no debate:
GRANGOFF ENDORSED

A whole lot of people move to send:
SURRIDGE TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE
LEDESMA TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

Alexandria Coronado moves to send:
YANG TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

With little debate since he’s unopposed on the ballot:
HINZ ENDORSED

No one makes a motion on Novak.

Mark Bucher moves to oppose Measures H, I, J, and K, with a second by Deborah Pauly.

Fred Whitaker makes a substitute motion to send all of them to Endorsements Committee, with a second by Baron Night.

Whitaker says four conservative school board members voted for Measure K. He says he doesn’t know anything about the other three measures. He wants the Endorsements Committee to vet them.

Bucher says it’s a simple question of whether the Republican Party stands for or against higher taxes.

There are 24 votes to send the four measures to Endorsements Committee. There are 22 votes against sending the four measures to Endorsements Committee.

MEASURES H, I, J, AND K TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

David Shawver speaks in favor of Measure GG. He says the City of Stanton cut $9 million, have 26 employees left, cut spending on public safety. He says the Register said that Stanton has done a good job. Shawver says only three people have opposed this and they’re not Stanton residents.

Mark Bucher says Measure GG is a sales tax for public employees. He says that there are alternatives to higher taxes. If the Republican Party does not oppose higher taxes, the party should fold its tent and go home. Bucher says that sending this to Endorsements Committee will simply result in this coming back to Central Committee.

Shawver attacks Wayne Lindholm. Shawver says the City has cut 6 out of 20 officers. He says they’ve cut everything they can. He encourages people to look at his books. He claims only outsiders oppose this tax and that Stanton voters should decide.

Jon Fleischman notes Diane Harkey opposes this tax. Fleischman agrees with Bucher that approving this tax hike in Stanton will set a precedent where other cities will turn to higher taxes rather than reducing public employee salaries.

By a voice vote:
ENDORSEMENT FOR “NO” ON MEASURE GG

Round 1 of endorsements are complete. Round 2 will be considered in September.

Mary Young thanks everyone who volunteered for the Party at the OC Fair. There’s also a presentation for the Volunteer of the Month.

Mark Bucher says the bills are all paid. Baugh jokingly disputes that.

TJ Fuentes welcomes the new ex officio members and reminds them to pay their $25 dues.

Captain Emily Sanford, USN (Ret.) thanks the Party members for donations of goods to the troops. She encourages more donations, particularly those of the dental variety.

CENTRAL COMMITTEE ADJOURNS AT 9:23 PM.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim Union High School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, Lowell Joint School District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, North Orange County Community College District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Republican Central Committee, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin Unified School District, Westminster, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Costa Mesa: Lee Ramos Raises More Than All Non-Incumbent Candidates Combined

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 18, 2014

This just came across the wire from Lee Ramos for Costa Mesa City Council 2014:

Lee Ramos Raises More Than All Non-Incumbent Candidates Combined

Has More than Double Cash on Hand of Non-Incumbent Candidates Combined

(Costa Mesa, CA) – Campaign finance reports show Lee Ramos far outpacing all other non-incumbents combined in the race to replace termed-out Costa Mesa City Council Member Wendy Leece.  Ramos raised more than all non-incumbent candidates combined.  The majority of money Ramos raised for his campaign has come from Costa Mesa donors.

Having already walked to 75% of the homes in Costa Mesa, the Ramos campaign juggernaut is firmly ahead of all other non-incumbents with both more dollars raised and more homes walked.

“I am honored by the outpouring of support from throughout Costa Mesa, as I’ve met thousands of residents personally walking to their homes,” Ramos said. “I am humbled that so many Costa Mesa donors have contributed to my effort to make our hometown an even better place to live.”

Subtracting out loans, Ramos has double the cash on hand of all other non-incumbent candidates combined.  With loans included, Ramos has triple the cash on hand of all other non-incumbents combined.

Of all Costa Mesa candidates in the November elections, only incumbent Mayor Jim Righeimer has outraised Ramos.  Subtracting out loans, however, shows Ramos has more cash on hand than even Mayor Righeimer.  Mayor Righeimer is running for re-election while Ramos is seeking the seat held by termed-out Council Member Wendy Leece.

The clear front-runner for Leece’s seat, Ramos is endorsed by:

  • U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
  • California Board of Equalization Vice Chair Michelle Steel
  • Ambassador George Argyros (Ret.)
  • Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer
  • Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger
  • Costa Mesa Council Member and former Mayor Gary Monahan
  • Former Costa Mesa Mayor Jack Hammett
  • Mesa Water District President James Fisler
  • Mesa Water District Vice President Shawn Dewane
  • Mesa Water District Director Ethan Temianka
  • Entire Costa Mesa Planning Commission
  • Majority of Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission

(partial list)

A resident of Costa Mesa since the age of four, Lee Ramos serves on two Costa Mesa City committees.  Ramos and his wife raised their family in Costa Mesa, where he grew businesses, managed companies, and served as an educator.  Ramos is a well-respected community leader, having volunteered not only on city committees, but also for the Self-Help Interfaith Program, for the First United Methodist Church, and for the Estancia High School football team.

###

Paid for by Lee Ramos for City Council 2014, ID# 1361842.

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Good Guys Win One In Court – Righeimer And Mensinger Defeat Union’s Bogus Legal Ploy

Posted by Greg Woodard on April 14, 2014

[Warning, boring legal stuff ahead, but it is important].  Many OC Political readers are familiar with the plight of Costa Mesa Councilmembers Jim Righeimer and Steve Mensinger as they have failed to back down to aggressive (and allegedly dirty) union tactics.  For those of you unfamiliar, Righeimer and Mensinger have filed a lawsuit against the police union, the union’s former law firm, and an investigator previously used by the law firm, alleging, among other things, that the defendants have engaged in spying, threats, intimidation, assault, and false reports of criminal activity.  Recently, they have alleged that the defendants illegally placed a GPS tracker on Mensinger’s car during the last election.

Apparently, the defendants have been stonewalling Righeimer and Mensinger, including the investigator repeatedly asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during his recent deposition as Righeimer and Mensinger are trying to get to the bottom of who is responsible for the tracking, and other purported illegal activities.

Enter the defendants’ lawyers for another round of delay.  They recently filed what is called an “anti-SLAPP” motion.  In a nutshell, an anti-SLAPP motion alleges that Righeimer and Mensinger have violated the defendants’ right of petition or free speech.  While enacted for good reasons, sadly many lawyers abuse the process because filing an anti-SLAPP motion automatically stays all discovery, preventing Righeimer and Mensinger from getting important facts and documents.  In addition, filing an anti-SLAPP motion early in the case forces the plaintiffs to factually defend their claims, even if the defendants are in possession of the facts and documents needed to proved the case, or risk having the lawsuit dismissed.

The defendants’ motion claimed that the principal thrust of the lawsuit is the 911 call that the investigator made against Righeimer, falsely accusing Righeimer of driving drunk.  The Court rejected that claim, denied the motion, and held that the main thrust of the action is the false and malicious reports of criminal activity by the investigator as an agent for the other defendants.

So what does this mean?  It means that for now, Righeimer and Mensinger can continue with their discovery and hopefully find out whether the law firm, the union, or both, were behind these dirty tactics.  It also means that the Court did not buy the defendants’ bogus claim that their alleged illegal activities are protected.  It also means that Righeimer and Mensinger are as committed as ever to exposing the union and its efforts to shut down any attempts to rein in its power.

Righeimer and Mensinger have had their personal lives put under a magnifying glass because of their efforts against unions.  They have been followed, falsely accused, illegally tracked, and had their families dragged into the fray.  Yet they refuse to be scared or threatened into giving up.  We should applaud these men and their families, support them, and look for other leaders like them in our communities to support and get elected to local, state, and federal positions.  Only then can we begin to make inroads into the unions’ enormous power over California.

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

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 »

Tony Capitelli is in for Costa Mesa City Council

Posted by Scott Carpenter on August 20, 2013

With Costa Mesa Councilwoman Wendy Leece’s term on the city council expiring due to term limits and Mayor Jim Righeimer up for re-election next year may be interesting for the Costa Mesa City Council election.  Today Tony Capitelli, a staffer for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, officially announced his intention to run for Costa Mesa City Council.

(Full Disclosure: Tony and I went to Concordia University together and have been friends since.)

Having known Tony since college I was excited when he called me a few weeks ago to inform me of his intentions to run.  He has always been an admirable person, he holds deep conservative values and truly understands public service. Costa Mesa of course remains the center of a lot of political turmoil with the ongoing labor negotiations, however I think Tony is taking a wise approach of asking for civility while city leaders must take steps to put Costa Mesa on a course of fiscal sanity based in reality.  Below is his official announcement:

Why I’m Running for Costa Mesa City Council

After careful prayer and consideration, I have decided to run for a seat on the Costa Mesa City Council. God has put each of us on a unique path, and in my life that path continues to be one of public service. Costa Mesa is a diverse city facing intricate challenges, and we need new leadership to carry us forward.

Costa Mesa is in many ways a microcosm of our nation. Civic Leaders of the past have lead us down the path of fiscal irresponsibility to the extent that this city could not even perform one of its most essential and basic functions, maintenance of its roads and streets. Although I may not always agree with their approach or on some of the details, the current council majority has been willing to address this issue, and thanks to them, our city is moving slowly toward fiscal sanity. While progress has been made, it will be up to the next council to continue this battle and push the message of responsible government. Costa Mesa is a wonderful family-friendly community that is home to world class arts, shopping and entertainment, but if our infrastructure is not properly maintained and improved, then we fail to meet our potential. Projects such as the revitalization of downtown, and improving the safety of our streets while making them both pedestrian and bike friendly will strengthen our communities. This path has not and will not come without sacrifice, but it is vital to Costa Mesa’s future.

This city also has the opportunity to demonstrate enhanced ways of serving the least fortunate in our community, those experiencing homelessness or those at-risk. Government is not the only answer to this problem, but we need a council that is supportive. Our faith based communities have shown that community development, along with charitable giving and private organization, can create opportunity for all Costa Mesa residents to succeed. Unfortunately, our current transitional housing facilities have created an environment that has become more of a burden, and we should work toward more innovative and productive solutions. City government, community organizations, and the Police Department, working collaboratively, can ensure that we achieve these goals while keeping our families safe.

The unique makeup of Costa Mesa, the recent influx of young families, and the residents who’ve called this city home for decades are all looking for new leadership. I seek the opportunity to accommodate that request with the utmost humility, and in doing so, I ask for your help. Whether it is through monetary donation, walking precincts, or most importantly, prayer, your support is vital to our success and is much appreciated. If you would like to help, please click the link below.

Thank you, and God Bless!

Tony Capitelli

Support Our Campaign!

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a 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 »

Investigator Tied To Union Law Firm Admits To Trying To Set Up Costa Mesa Council Member Gary Monahan In Sexual Sting (Updated)

Posted by Greg Woodard on November 13, 2012

While many of us conservatives are still licking our wounds from Tuesday, we get more information about the vile attacks those on the left will resort to in an effort to further tighten their grip on our wallets, our government, and our future.  Case in point – Frank Mickadeit reported last week in the Orange County Register about the thuggish tactics that the opposition in Costa Mesa to the City Council majority (now consisting of Jim Righeimer, Gary Monahan, and Steve Mensinger) will use.  Many of you will remember the harrowing story a couple of months ago where Righeimer was tailed home from Skosh Monahan’s by Chris Lanzillo, an investigator who worked for a law firm that represented the Costa Mesa police union, as well as many other public employee unions in the state.  Lanzillo appears to have made a false police report claiming that Righeimer stumbled out of Skosh Monahan’s and was driving erratically on his way home.  The police took the unprecedented step of going to Righeimer’s home and conducting a sobriety test.  Righeimer passed with flying colors, since all he had at Skosh’s was a diet coke (he had the receipt to prove it).  However, the damage was done as Righeimer’s young daughters had to watch in horror, wondering if their dad was going to be arrested.

As if that were not bad enough, Righeimer was not even the investigator’s target.  As Mickadeit reports, Lanzillo was hired by someone (he wouldn’t say who) to try to catch Gary Monahan, Skosh’s owner, in a compromising position with a woman who had been sent to entrap Monahan, who is married.  The woman appeared to be in her 30s, she wore a low-cut top, and she was flirting with Monahan.  Nothing came of the event, but Lanzillo got his “bonus” when Righeimer showed up.

Lanzillo also admitted that he was hired to dig up dirt on Mensinger and Colin McCarthy, who ran with Mensinger and Monahan but fell short of his City Council bid.  McCarthy responded to the article, saying “that these kind of dirty tricks keep good citizens from running from local office.  It definitely  has a chilling effect on our democratic process.  I hope the DA prosecutes this guy.”

The District Attorney is investigating the event, and hopefully the shameless thugs who did this will be revealed and prosecuted.  While Lanzillo will not admit who hired him, anyone who does not think it will tie in somehow with the unions, well I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would love to sell you.

UPDATE

The plot thickens.  To answer Dan Chmielewski, a crime may have been committed by Lanzillo and others.  Tony Saavedra reported in the Orange County Register today that county prosecutors are investigating Lanzillo on a “conspiracy to file a false police report” with the possibility of more serious charges to come.  The investigation has expanded to include another private investigator who works for Lanzillo.  Both men had their houses searched and cell phones, computers, and other electronics were taken for analysis.  In addition, prosecutors have a search warrant for the cell phone records of police union lawyer Dieter Dammeier, who has employed both investigators in the past.

Saavedra also noted that there is a separate investigation in El Monte, where the former city manager filed a police report last year that said he was followed for days by a car similar to the one Lanzillo owns.  Lanzillo would not confirm or deny that he is the one who followed the city manager.

Stay tuned as this story does not seem to be going away any time soon.

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Union Member Videoed Stealing Campaign Signs Supporting “3M” Candidates In Costa Mesa

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 31, 2012

Anyone who has been involved in local politics even for the briefest of time knows that campaign sign stealing is typical fare for a city council election.  However, the practice recently has been raised to an art form in Costa Mesa, with candidates on both sides (the “3Ms” – Steve Mensinger, Gary Monahan, and Colin McCarthy vs. John Stephens, Harold Weitzberg, and Sandy Genis) claiming to be victims.  This year, the thieves have gotten out-of-hand.  While both sides have reported theft of signs from residential yards and commercial buildings, Mensinger and Monahan have pointed to the theft and destruction of large and expensive banners.  In at least one instance, someone scaled a private residence fence and slashed a banner that was placed up between two large poles.  Other 3M banners and signs have been cut and defaced with paint.  The thefts have become so prevalent that Mensinger and Monahan have put up $500 each for any information leading to the arrest of someone stealing banners (an anonymous donor put up another $100 bringing the total to $1,100.)

At least one vandal has been caught red-handed.  A video, taken by a Mensinger supporter, shows a bearded man pulling up signs for the 3Ms and supporting the proposed city charter, tearing them apart, and tossing them in the bushes.  At a candidates’ forum for Atlas PAC last week, McCarthy identified the man as Steve White, a Costa Mesa city employee and member of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association, the union that has sued Costa Mesa over its attempt to outsource union jobs to private companies to save the city money and reduce the city’s unfunded liability for skyrocketing employee compensation and benefits.  As the OC Register reported, White has been placed on paid administrative leave and is under investigation, though the city did not say the reason for the investigation.  White, classified as a Senior Maintenance Worker, earns approximately $86,000 per year in compensation and benefits (see #382 in the link).  Interestingly, though White has a prominent beard in the video, the Register reported that White’s Facebook page showed a recently shaven profile picture.

The union has deflected comment about White’s purported actions, stating “Sign damaging is something that has happened in every election,” said Orange County Employee Association spokeswoman Jennifer Muir, who added all sides’ signs have been defaced. “It’s not a good thing. It’s silly. It should stop.”  Muir would not comment about White specifically because city administrators have not officially linked him to the signs (don’t hold your breath for any comment after they do link him).  However, she did not waste a chance to again attack Mensinger and the council majority, stating “Now they can’t stand the scrutiny to their plan,” she said, “so they’re trying to drum up a political diversion.”  Muir apparently was not asked how a union member, making nearly $90,000 a year from the city, destroying the property of the 3Ms – something which the union-supported candidates have also complained about – is a “political diversion” rather than simply a petty act of vandalism.  It begs the question of how the union would have responded if one of the 3M’s supporters had been filmed destroying Stephens’, Weitzberg’s, and Genis’ signs.  Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

Just a couple of the signs on private property supporting the 3Ms and Measure V that were defaced

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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