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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Righeimer’

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 »

Costa Mesa Council Candidates Steve Mensinger, Gary Monahan, and Colin McCarthy Make Their Case At Local Fundraiser

Posted by Greg Woodard on September 28, 2012

Last night, the “3Ms” as they’re called, current council members Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan, and council candidate Colin McCarthy, made their pitch for the upcoming November Costa Mesa City Council election at a fundraiser put on by Jeff Mathews (candidate for Costa Mesa Sanitary District) at Eurocar, a high-end car dealership in Costa Mesa.  All three candidates made the argument that the city is at a crossroads regarding unsustainable city spending, and they pledged to make sure that city services and funds will exist not only for current residents, but for their children, as well.

The City of Costa Mesa was described as the “Wisconsin of the West” and OCGOP Chair, Scott Baugh, praised the work that Mensinger, Monahan, and council member Jim Righeimer had done in representing the residents of Costa Mesa, and stressed the need to continue to elect conservative candidates like the 3Ms to keep the progress moving forward.

Jim Righeimer emphasized the need to pass Measure V which would make Costa Mesa a charter city, and give it more flexibility in negotiating with city workers and allow it to outsource some city services, resulting in significant savings to the city and the residents.

The event rasied thousands of dollars for the candidates and Measure V, and was well-attended.  Those in attendance included California Assembly members Tim Donnelly, Diane Harkey, Allan Mansoor, and Don Wagner.  Local candidates Jim Fisler (Mesa Water District incumbent running for re-election) and Don Harper (running for Costa Mesa Sanitary District) also were in attendance.  In addition, Irvine council member Jeff Lalloway, long-time party supporters Buck Johns and Judy Ware, as well as several party supporters attended.

Two other local candidates, Eric Bever (Costa Mesa Mayor running for Mesa Water District) and Ethan Temianka (Costa Mesa Parks & Rec. Commissioner running for  Mesa Water District), were scheduled to attend but were unable to make it.

Council candidates Steve Mensinger, Gary Monahan, and Colin McCarthy with Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer and OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh

Posted in Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Mesa Consolidated Water District | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 17, 2012

Okay, lots of procedural things out of the way…

7:20 PM: Oath administered.  I’m officially an alternate.

7:21 PM: Officeholders and candidates in the room introducing themselves: Baron Night, Dean Grose, Jose Moreno, Brett Franklin, Charles Hart, Dwight Robinson, Tony Beall, Mike Munzing, Kim McCarthy, Mike Mortenson, Debbie Cotton, Elizabeth Emken, Jim Dahl, Karina Onofre, Ellen Adonizzio, Jim Reardon, Carlos Olvera, Brian Chuchua, Roy Byrnes, Steven Vargas, Diane Harkey, Lucille Kring, Brett Barbre, Denis Bilodeau, Jon Dumitru, Deborah Pauly, Alexia Deligianni, Cathy Schlict, Mark McCurdy, Jeff Mathews, Lynn Schott, Bruce Whitaker, Wendy Bucknum, Ceci Iglesias, Barry Levinson, Susan Hinman, Sam Allevato, Erik Peterson, Robert Hammond, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Brad McGirr, Christina Shea, Don Wagner, Alexandria Coronado, Chuck Puckett, John Nielsen, Doug Davert, George Collins, Adam Nick, Steve Nagel, Michelle Ollada Alipio, Bill Brough, Lupe Moreno, and Chris Norby.

7:27 PM: Minutes approved.

7:28 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh discusses the importance of candidates stepping up at all times not just around the candidates’ own elections.

7:29 PM: At the request of Chairman Scott Baugh, Orange County Board of Education Trustee Robert Hammond discussed being at the County School Boards Association meeting where the attendees complained low voter turnout will allow “the Republicans from Orange County to defeat Prop 30 and Prop 38.”

7:30 PM: Baugh describes the 13 open OC GOP GOTV HQs and mentions 3 more are on the way.

7:31 PM: Baugh speaks of the Costa Mesa Charter Amendment being a priority of the Republican Party.

7:33 PM: Committee Alternate Bill Dunlap speaks of the importance of getting out the vote.  Only 26% of OC voters cast their ballots in June.  He describes a number of party-sponsored get-out-the-vote efforts.

7:36 PM: Baugh delivers the 1st Vice Chair’s report on behalf of John Warner: the report included information about the next countywide precinct walk as well as information about Congressman John Campbell agreeing to fund a GOTV headquarters in the City of Orange.

7:38 PM: Fullerton RWF President Beverly Gunter speaks of RWF’s efforts to fundraise, phone bank, and precinct walk for candidates.  She presents a $900 check from RWF to subsidize

7:39 PM: My boss from my day job, Chris Norby, speaks of his race for re-election.

Endorsements Committee Report

7:41 PM: Endorsements Committee Chair Mark Bucher begins his long-awaited report.  He speaks of Prop 32′s 55%-37% lead despite “Yes on Prop 32″ not starting any advertising until today while “No on Prop 32″ had been pounding away for a month.  He also speaks of the finances of the Prop 32 battle.

7:43 PM: Now he actually begins his long-awaited report on endorsements…

7:44 PM: Bucher thanks fellow Endorsements Committee Members Chandra Chell, Thomas Gordon, Ray Grangoff, Matt Harper, and Mary Young.  He describes the endorsement procedures and goes over the list.  (Here’s the list again.  Here and here are the live blogs of those meetings.)

7:48 PM: Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh says the Endorsements Committee may not recommend a dual endorsement while the Central Committee can make a dual endorsement (in reference to the contest between Brett Franklin and Charles Hart for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3).

7:50 PM: Bucher continues his report briefly summarizing the more controversial contests.

7:52 PM: The list is moved with the following pulled from the list:

  • Sam Allevato for San Juan Capistrano City Council (original recommendation was postpone to October) pulled by Diane Harkey
  • Lynn Schott for Irvine City Council (original recommendation was for endorsement) pulled by Scott Baugh
  • Measure FF (original recommendation was for endorsement of Yes on FF) pulled by Deborah Pauly
  • Jennifer Fitzgerald for Fullerton City Council (original recommendation was for endorsement) pulled by Tim Whitacre
  • Brian Neil Chuchua for Anaheim City Council (original recommendation was no endorsement) pulled by Tim Whitacre
  • All Mission Viejo candidates (original recommendation was for endorsement of Frank Ury and Wendy Bucknum, but not Cathy Schlict nor Ed Saches) pulled by Scott Peotter

San Juan Capistrano City Council – Sam Allevato

8:02 PM: Debate begins.  State Assemblywoman Diane Harkey moves and Lucille Kring seconds to endorse Sam Allevato for San Juan Capistrano City Council.  Allan Bartlett and Deborah Pauly will speak against.

8:04 PM: Harkey speaks of being dragged through the mud in politics.  She states many lies have been spread about Allevato.  She says there are five high schools in San Juan Capistrano: one public and four private.  She speaks of heavy congestion from the proximity of the schools.  She gets booed when she attempts to speak over time.

8:07 PM: Baugh reiterates the time limits.

8:08 PM: Pauly speaks of the controversy about the tax on religious schools and the property tax increases.  She speaks of the importance of following the process in which the endorsements committee recommended delaying consideration of San Juan Capistrano City Council until October.

8:10 PM: In an unusual action, Harkey speaks again in favor of Allevato since no one else is planning to speak in support of him.  She speaks of the debt and septic issues in the City of San Juan Capistrano.

8:13 PM: Slight delay as speakers exchange places.

8:14 PM: Bartlett praises Harkey.  He speaks against Allevato due to Allevato sending a 2010 mailer supporting Larry Agran and opposing Jeff Lalloway.

8:16 PM: Jon Fleischman asks for the Endorsements Committee’s rationale behind recommending a delay until October.

8:16 PM: Bucher explains several candidates applied late and that many people had concerns about the candidates.

8:17 PM: Don Wagner asks about the Allevato Irvine mailer that was pro-Agran and anti-Lalloway.

8:17 PM: Allevato says he works for Forde & Mollrich but not on the campaign side.  A quote was included from him as a retired IPD Lieutenant supporting Larry Agran.

8:18 PM: Bartlett says, “For the record, Jeff Lalloway opposes the endorsement of Allevato.”  Harkey says, “For the record, Jeff’s my alternate!”  Baugh rules both out of order.

8:19 PM: In response to a question, Allevato defends the tax on the religious school as a student impact fee that the school agreed to pay.  He goes on to explain the intricacies of student impact fees in San Juan Capistrano.

8:23 PM: Harkey asks Allevato to explain various land use decisions.

8:24 PM: Allevato speaks of various issues related to sewage costs from a plant in San Juan Capistrano.

8:26 PM: Baugh states it looks like the committee is not supportive of the motion to endorse Allevato.

8:26 PM: Harkey says he wants to go for it, and his wishes should be respected.

8:27 PM: Allevato says he (and Ginny Kerr) answered his questionnaire on time and got his signatures.   Allevato says the other candidates failed to do so.

8:27 PM: Bartlett moves and John Draper seconds a substitute motion to delay to October (restoring the Endorsement Committee’s original recommendation).

8:28 PM: By voice vote, the committee refers the Allevato endorsement back to the Endorsements Committee.

Elizabeth Emken Speaks

8:29 PM: Bucher asks Baugh to let Elizabeth Emken speak, and Baugh agrees.

8:30 PM: Former CRP Chair Ron Nehring praises the OC GOP.  He praises the efforts of the OC GOP on behalf of Assemblyman Allan Mansoor and Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer.  He speaks of watching the DNC.  He praises Mitt Romney and blasts Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  He begins to introduce Elizabeth Emken by speaking of the importance of fighting for every seat from Mosquito Abatement District to U.S. Senate.

8:33 PM: Emken demands that Feinstein discuss her record.  Emken speaks of her own education and financial background.  She speaks of her efforts on behalf of her autistic son and other autistic children.  She speaks of her efforts to lobby Congress.  She says, “Obamacare is bad for everyone.”  She challenged Feinstein to debate and notes even the LA Times says Emken deserves the right to debate Feinstein.  She says the LA Daily News and the OC Register agree.  She says 123,000 people have seen the footage from ABC 7 in Los Angeles of Feinstein refusing to agree to debate.  Emken asks for money and plugs her web site.

Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3 – Brett Franklin and Charles Hart

8:41 PM: There was a quick discussion that although the Endorsements Committee did not have the power to recommend a dual endorsement in Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3, that the Central Committee does have that power and so both Brett Franklin and Charles Hart are endorsed.

8:42 PM: Baugh asks for a vote again just to make sure.  The Central Committee votes unanimously to endorse both Franklin and Hart.

Irvine City Council – Lynn Schott

8:43 PM: Baugh speaks of the 25-year inability of the Republican Party to remove Larry Agran from the Irvine City Council.  He speaks of the OC GOP prioritizing Costa Mesa this year.  Baugh asks Lynn Schott about her former alternate Patrick Rodgers who attacked the Costa Mesa Council majority and the Costa Mesa Charter.

8:46 PM: Schott says Rodgers was a strong supporter in 2010.  She says she was completely unaware of Rodgers’s statements until the Endorsements Committee meeting.  She says she tries to not read blogs.  She condemns Rodgers’s statements and “repudiates” the attempt to frame Righeimer for DUI.  Rodgers admitted to her that he had gone too far.  She obtained his resignation on September 7 (the same week that she learned of his statements).  She says she fully supports Prop 32 and opposes the unions’ efforts to “consolidate their power over choosing City Councilmembers” and other governmental bodies.  She says she is against defined benefit retirement programs and favors defined contribution retirement programs.

8:51 PM: Schott is endorsed by a unanimous voice vote.

Orange City Measure FF

8:51 PM: Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly speaks of being contacted by numerous Republicans expressing their concerns about Measure FF.  Pauly says the “No on FF” side did not get a chance to speak to the Endorsements Committee.  She says thousands of  Republicans, independents, and Democrats signed a petition to get a referendum to force FF on to the ballot.  She says this is an issue that is divisive to Republicans, and she moves that the Republican Party take no stance on Measure FF.

8:54 PM: Orange Mayor Pro Tem Denis Bilodeau speaks of the landowner wishing to build 36 homes on 50 acres of land on a 4-1 vote, who he notes the 1 is a Democrat who is receiving bundled campaign contributions from “No on FF.”  Bilodeau says it is a property rights issue and makes a substitute motion to endorse Measure FF (reverting to the original recommendation from the Endorsements Committee).

8:57 PM: Marcia Gilchrist speaks in favor of Bilodeau’s substitute motion.  She says the people objecting to the construction of the homes are trying to impeded a property owner from doing what they want with their own land.

8:58 PM: By voice vote, the OC GOP endorses “Yes on Measure FF.”

Fullerton City Council – Jennifer Fitzgerald

9:00 PM: Tim Whitacre moves to not endorse Jennifer Fitzgerald for Fullerton City Council, with Allan Bartlett seconding.  He speaks of Barry Levinson’s efforts on behalf of Fullerton.  He says Levinson is no longer seeking the party endorsement to prevent divisiveness in the OC GOP.  Whitacre provides an email showing Fitzgerald asking Tony Bedolla on behalf of her client (Troy Edgar) to bundle $99 contributions from union members.

9:03 PM: County Supervisor Shawn Nelson speaks of being the only person in the room to face $1.2 million in hostile union IEs.  He speaks of the 2002 successful effort to drive Democrat Jan Flory off the Fullerton City Council, but Flory is running again.  Nelson speaks of her history working for Republicans.  Nelson says he previously supported Levinson, but Levinson has made two unsuccessful bids for Fullerton Council.  He notes a conservative woman has not been elected to the Fullerton City Council since 1986.

9:06 PM: Baugh notes that in the OC GOP union-free pledge, the party welcomes contributions of individual union members but not of the union itself.

9:07 PM: Fullerton Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker notes that his city has had two recalls in two decades.  He says there is an opportunity for Fullerton right now.  He says he has a bias in favor of activism.  He says Republicans should have bold colors not pale pastels.  Whitaker expresses his concern about her relative lack of public statements on issues other than outsourcing the Fullerton Police Department to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  Whitaker urges OC GOP neutrality between Fitzgerald and Levinson.

9:09 PM: My Central Committee member arrives, so my alternate voting power is gone.  I now only wear one hat as your intrepid blogger.

9:10 PM: Mary Young speaks of knowing Fitzgerald for 19 years.  She says if someone is an activist for 17 years but is gone for 2 years, that 2 years of inactivity does not outweigh the 17 years of activism.

9:11 PM: By voice vote, the committee did something.  No one is sure what happened.

9:12 PM: There is now a standing vote.

9:15 PM: The count is 31 people voting in favor of the party being neutral between Fitzgerald and Levinson, and 23 people voting in favor of endorsing Fitzgerald.

There is no endorsement for Fullerton City Council, other than incumbents Bruce Whitaker and Travis Kiger, who were endorsed in August.

Anaheim City Council – Brian Neil Chuchua

9:16 PM: Tim Whitacre moves to endorse Brian Chuchua, with Baron Night seconding.  Whitacre notes Lodge opted to withdraw his own endorsement request.  Whitacre warns of the union’s big push in Anaheim.  He says that Mayor Tom Tait needs all the help he can get.  He says Tait lobbied the party to not endorse Lodge.  Whitacre praises Chuchua as a good conservative who can help Mayor Tait.

9:18 PM: Baugh asks Whitacre if Tait has endorsed Chuchua.

9:18 PM: Whitacre says, “Tait has not yet endorsed Mr. Chuchua at this time.”

9:18 PM: Jon Fleischman says he is uncomfortable voting to endorse Chuchua if Mayor Tait has not endorsed him.  He wants to hear from Mayor Tait.

9:19 PM: Pauly asks for the Endorsements Committee to clarify its rationale against Chuchua.

9:20 PM: Mary Young notes that Chuchua gave money to a Democrat.

9:20 PM: Ray Grangoff express his concern about the lack of the endorsement from Tait.

9:20 PM: Supervisor Shawn Nelson asks who the Democrat was.

9:21 PM: Chuchua says the Democrat was Anaheim City School District Candidate John Santoianni, “a personal friend.”

9:21 PM: Lucille Kring notes that Mayor Tait has only endorsed John Leos so far.  She notes Tait has not endorsed a second candidate.

9:22 PM: Thomas Gordon notes Kring told she’d prefer Chuchua as her Council colleague.

9:22 PM: Tim Whitacre says he has been reimbursed by Chuchua for various expenses related to Chuchua’s campaign.

9:23 PM: There is a standing vote.  There are 29 votes in favor of endorsing Chuchua, and there are 11 votes against endorsing Chuchua.  Chuchua joins Lucille Kring as the OCGOP-endorsed candidates for Anaheim City Council.

Jesse Petrilla Returns

9:26 PM: Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Jesse Petrilla is given a standing ovation after returning within the last week from his service with the Army National Guard in Afghanistan.

Mission Viejo City Council

9:28 PM: Baugh reads the minutes from the Endorsements Committee, though several Central Committee members ask me if Baugh is reading this post since the minutes sounds a lot like OC Political.

9:31 PM: Ray Grangoff speaks of Bucknum’s strong conservative record and property rights record.

9:33 PM: Larry Gilbert brings up various documents and exhibits showing Frank Ury backing Democrat Dave Leckness and Wendy Bucknum with a union-paid sign in her yard, with her support for Leckness and Trish Kelley, neither of whom were endorsed by the OC GOP.  (Scott Voigts says, “Wow” throughout Gilbert’s remarks.)  Gilbert shows a campaign finance report showing Ury linked to Democrats.

9:36 PM: Baugh has to ask Gilbert to leave the stage after Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh repeatedly stated that Gilbert’s time was up.

9:37 PM: Young argues Leckness has a conservative voting record and that activist Shirley Morgan had tried repeatedly to make Leckness re-register as a Republican.  Young asks what in Leckness’s voting record is not conservative.

9:38 PM: Bill Dunlap says the party should not pick between winners and losers because there are two spots and four Republicans seeking the seat.

9:39 PM: In response to an audience question, Baugh notes there are four Republicans among the six candidates.

9:39 PM: Peotter moves for no endorsement in Mission Viejo, and there is a near-unanimous voice vote for the OC GOP to be neutral in Mission Viejo.

Fountain Valley City Council – Steve Nagel

9:40 PM: Nagel endorsed with all but one vote.

Garden Grove City Council – Steve Jones

9:40 PM: Steve Sarkis moves and Denis Bilodeau seconds to endorse Steve Jones for re-election to Garden Grove City Council.

9:41 PM: Tim Whitacre moves to not endorse Jones because Jones has endorsed Democrat Tom Daly for State Assembly.

9:41 PM: Jones denies endorsing Daly.

9:42 PM: Baugh asks if he’s endorsed Republican Assembly Candidate Jose Moreno.

9:42 PM: Jones endorses Moreno on the spot.

9:42 PM: By voice vote, Jones is endorsed unanimously.

Newport Beach City Measure EE

9:44 PM: A representative speaks of a charter commission that amended various charter provisions seeking to update 58 year old language, streamline government, and reduce costs by eliminating class-action lawsuits.

9:47 PM: Scott Peotter blasts the measure’s compensation provisions that legalizes generous salaries and benefits for Councilmembers. He notes the Register opposes EE.

9:49 PM: Miraculously, Deborah Pauly and Jon Flesichman unite to make and second a motion to send Measure EE to the Endorsements Committee in October. The Central Committee applauses stunned that Pauly and Flesichman are united. They vote unanimously to support the Pauly-Fleischman motion.

Tustin City Measure HH

9:50 PM: Doug Davert says Measure HH eliminates Tustin City Council compensation.

9:50 PM: The vote to endorse Measure HH passes unanimously.

Central Committee Business

9:51 PM: Mary Young updates efforts on voter registration, including from Assemblywoman Diane Harkey.

9:53 PM: Norm Dickinson speaks of various bylaw cleanup amendments including conforming ex officio membership requirements to Prop 14.

9:56 PM: The bylaw amendments pass unanimously by voice vote.

9:57 PM: Zonya Townsend presents the Volunteer of the Month Award to Shalon Norman. Various other people make presentations to Norman.

10:03 PM: Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh is pleased to report there have been no ethics complaints so far in 2012. Marsh disputes the election polls, and notes the 21-14 football victory of #21 Stanford over #2 USC.

10:05 PM: There’s a report from Diane Glinchey regarding the Romney campaign efforts in OC and in several swing states.

10:07 PM: Ronea Hart speaks of the Team Santa Ana precinct walk at the Santa Ana GOP GOTV HQ and the Santa Ana TEA Party meeting.

10:08 PM: One speaker notes today is the 225th anniversary of the Constitution.

10:09 PM: Steve Sarkis reports on his discoveries of enormous signs for “No on 32″ being delivered to a union hall.

10:09 PM: Mike Munzing plugs his fundraiser for Aliso Viejo Council.

10:10 PM: Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Tony Beall spoke of the GOTV HQ in his area.

10:11 PM: Kermit Marsh wins the raffle after pulling out a huge wad of tickets. He says the key to winning is buying the most tickets. Marsh’s victory is verified, and the meeting adjourns.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments »

OCGOP Endorsements Committee Discusses Non-Consent Calendar Candidates

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 4, 2012

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

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

San Juan Capistrano City Council

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

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

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

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

People need to project when speaking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laguna Hills City Council

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Meeting in recess)

Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 3

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

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

Irvine Unified School District

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

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

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

The members vote quickly and unanimously to recommend endorsing her.

East Orange County Water District

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

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

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

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends endorsement for Davert.

Dana Point City Council

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

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

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends an endorsement for Olvera.

Santa Ana Mayor

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

Collins’s wife speaks in support.

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends an endorsement for Collins.

The committee is now running 15 minutes early and recesses.

Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Committee Member Mary Young echoes Harper’s sentiments.

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

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

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

Franklin says he would support a dual endorsement.

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

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

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

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

Committee Chair Mark Bucher moves to recommend a dual endorsement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cypress School District

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

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

San Clemente City Council

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

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

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

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

Committee Member Ray Grangoff moves to recommend endorsement of both.

Committee Member Matt Harper moves to divide the motion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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