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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 »

Live from OCGOP Central Committee: Early Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 17, 2014

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

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

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

(7:26 PM): Minutes are approved.

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

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

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

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

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

Baugh gives speaks about Tait’s mayoralty.

Tait thanks the Central Committee for the award.

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

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

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

RACKAUCKAS ENDORSED

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

FREIDENRICH ENDORSED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baugh notes dual endorsing is unprecedented but possible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both admit taking union money for their legislative races.

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

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

Wyland says he has not done so.

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

Harkey says she didn’t vote for it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HARKEY ENDORSED

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

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 19, 2013

Councilman Larry Agran

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The entire IUSD petition web site states quite simply:

Irvine Unified School District
Petition for Special Election

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

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

Have petitions to be picked up?

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

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

Irvine Matters

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BREAKING NEWS: Keith Curry Jumps Into AD 74 Race

Posted by Chris Emami on December 4, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Chris Emami on November 27, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Chris Emami on November 21, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Park Vote Gets Delayed

Posted by Chris Emami on November 17, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steel Endorses Harkey as BOE Successor

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 6, 2013

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In Case You Missed It:

Harkey Gains Major Endorsement with Support of BOE Incumbent Michelle Steel

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

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

(Partial List)

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

Poll Results in CD 45: Spitzer Is The Frontrunner

Posted by Chris Emami on July 2, 2013

This morning Jon Fleischman posted the results of a poll conducted by Lewis Consulting Group, that showed the favorables/unfavorables of some potential candidates along with results of some hypothetical matches. The results were not what I expected to see, with what appears to be a wide open race amongst a few front-runners. I talked to John Lewis this morning after the poll was released and he had this to say, “The goal with this poll was to try and best replicate predicted 2014 turnout. This is clearly a wide open race and results will largely depend on who decides to run.”

200px-Spitzer_portrait_wiki
You can view the entire poll by clicking CD45-Crosstab-Tables-I.

Lets start by taking a look at the raw numbers for favorables vs unfavorables for each candidate in the running, in order to use a single number to represent favorability, I am taking the percentage that represents favorables and subtracting the percentage that represents unfavorables in order to create a net favorability ranking system. Here are the rankings based 0n this net favorability:

(R) Todd Spitzer +25% (OC Supervisor)
(R) Ed Royce +20% (Congressman)
(D) Sukhee Kang +13% (Former Irvine Mayor)
(R) Mimi Walter +13% (State Senator)
(D) Steve Young +12%  (Perennial Dem Candidate)
(R) Gary Miller +10% (Congressman)
(R) Don Wagner +10% (State Assemblyman)
(R) Scott Baugh +8% (Chairman of OCGOP)
(D) Beth Krom +4%
(D) Barack Obama -28% (This was simply his approval rating, I am fairly certain he has no intention of seeking this seat)

The fact that Todd Spitzer had the highest net favorability was not especially surprising to me because a lot of my non-political friends are aware of some of his public safety initiatives that he has worked on. I am most surprised by Steve Young having a 12% net favorability rating, although my instinct states that perhaps some football fans got confused on this one.

This data does not also take into account that some other potential candidates are looming out there, including but not limited to Steven Choi (Current Irvine Mayor), John Moorlach (OC Supervisor), and some of the wealthy private sector individuals that could self-fund a campaign. On the Dem side I hear rumblings of Irvine Councilmember Larry Agran jumping into this race and I would argue that he would be the Democrat most likely to advance to November.

My favorite part of the poll was the hypothetical match-ups that were polled including the following scenarios:

Mimi Walters vs. Gary Miller vs. Beth Krom

Walters 25.0%
Krom 21.3%
Miller 21.0%

This matchup is interesting because Walters is definitely in this race and I have heard from more than a couple of insiders that Gary Miller is strongly considering a move back to Orange County to run for this seat due to the fact that his current seat is one that could very easily go blue in 2016. A 4% gap is not very hard to overcome especially when you consider margin of error of any poll.

Mimi Walters vs. Ed Royce vs. Beth Krom

Royce 25.7%
Krom 22.3%
Walters 20.3%

I am not surprised that Royce is leading in this matchup due to the fact that he is a sitting Congressman who has higher name ID than Gary Miller in Orange County. The surprising part is that Walters is within striking distance of him and could beat him in a head-to-head matchup.

Mimi Walters vs. Todd Spitzer vs. Beth Krom

Spitzer 29.0%
Krom 22.0%
Walters 19.7%

Wow!!!!! This result on its own shows me that Todd Spitzer can have this seat if he wants it.

Mimi Walters vs. Ed Royce vs. Beth Krom

Walters 26.7%
Krom 23.0%
Wagner 15.7%

Don Wagner is my personal favorite of all the candidates considered in this poll but these numbers look to be a steep hill to climb in a hypothetical matchup that includes Walters.

Mimi Walters vs. Steve Young vs. Beth Krom vs. Sukhee Kang

Walters 41.0%
Krom 10.3%
Young 8.7%
Kang 7.3%

These numbers show that a Democrat winning this seat is highly unlikely. I believe that Larry Agran would be able to finish ahead of all of the rest of these folks in CD 45 on the Dem side.

Posted in 45th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Irvine – Ninth Year With Lowest Per Capita Violent Crime Rate

Posted by Chris Emami on June 3, 2013

I have a sneaking suspicion that some Democrats were secretly hoping for Irvine to become slightly less safe (on paper), more economically unstable, or have some other kind of issues in order to help put their side back in the majority this next election. Irvine is still extremely safe, which is good news for everyone!

The Irvine Police Department issued a press release that announced that they have for the 9th year in a row, had the lowest per capita violent crime rate. Here is the press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       PRESS RELEASE #6/03/2013
 
  
Subject : Irvine – Ninth Year With Lowest Per Capita Violent Crime Rate
 
 
IRVINE, CA (June 3, 2013): Today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation published its Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report for Part 1 crime reported January through December 2012.   Part 1 crimes include, murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, auto theft and arson.

For the ninth consecutive year, the City of Irvine has reported the lowest per capita violent crime rate (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) for cities of greater than 100,000 in population.  In addition to this National distinction, 2012 was also the City’s record low for the per capita violent crime rate.

“Public safety is the City’s most important strategic priority,” Mayor Steven S. Choi said. “So, each year, this very high mark is important to us. Because in the commitment of a City to its citizens, everything flows from public safety. I am proud of our Police Department, our other staff and a community that helps each other. I am very happy that 2012 marked the lowest per capita violent crime rate in Irvine’s history.”

 “I remain proud of the men and women of our Department”, Chief Maggard commented. “I am grateful for the efforts they make every day to keep our community safe.” 

To view the Uniform Crime Report:

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/preliminary-annual-uniform-crime-report-january-december-2012 

To view the FBI Press Release

http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-preliminary-annual-crime-statistics-for-2012

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IRVINE POLICE DEPARTMENT One Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606 (949) 724-7000  www.irvinepd.org “Working In Partnership with the Community”

INTEGRITY – QUALITY SERVICE – ACCOUNTABILITY – RESPECT

The City of Irvine has a population of more than 212,000, spans 65 square miles and is recognized as one of America’s safest and most successful master-planned urban communities. Top-rated educational institutions, an enterprising business atmosphere, sound environmental stewardship, and respect for diversity all contribute to Irvine’s enviable quality of life. This family-friendly city features more than 16,000 acres of parks, sports fields and dedicated open space and is the home of the Orange County Great Park – the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century.  For more information, please visit www.cityofirvine.org.

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