OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Live from Feet to the Fire: Costa Mesa Mayor 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 17, 2018

We are live from the second candidate forum tonight at Feet to the Fire: Mayor of Costa Mesa.

The Council Feet to the Fire was earlier tonight, which OC Political live blogged.

Both candidates are here tonight: Mayor Sandy Genis (R) and Councilwoman Katrina Foley (D).

Moderator Barbara Venezia introduces both candidates. She asks each candidate who they are supporting for Council.

Foley supports Andrea Marr, Manuel Chavez, and Arlis Reynolds.

Genis says she does not believe in machine politics and is not supporting any candidate because her Council district seat is not up for election.

Venezia asks about visions for the City.

Genis describes the small lot ordinance.

Foley wants a safer city and asks who is more effective. She says the moratorium on small lot ordinance was not possible because it needed a 4/5 vote. She blasts Genis for not supporting a motion to repeal it.

Genis says the motion simply repealed it and brought it back in January. She notes what was instead adopted had more open space and better parking, further noting that if Foley found it unacceptable, then why would she vote for it?

Foley says there are no differences in their voting records, with the exception of the Plant Project, which Foley called inspiring.

Genis noted the 2-acre Plant Project had 50 units on 1 acre, which was not sustainable, giving specific details about the units. The other acre was commercial. She said it was high-density that did not match the neighborhood.

Venezia asks about how to grow housing with limited land while dealing with high-density.

Foley says the City has been overdeveloped the last five years. She says projects have been placed in the wrong locations. She blasted building up to the sidewalk.

Genis says the definition of high-density matters. She says 12-20 units per acre is the definition in the General Plan. She blasts a 50-unit per acre project that Foley voted for.

Foley interrupted to say the project got rid of a slum motel.

Genis resumes noting the importance of transitions in development. She calls for walkability and bikability. She wants to break up blocks on the Westside to improve walkability.

Moderator John Canalis asks how they went from being allies in 2016 to opponents in 2018.

Foley speaks of all her campaign efforts, in both time and money, in 2016 on behalf of Genis because of their shared values. Foley says she has not changed and follows her principles. She says Genis has changed. She notes Genis nominated Foley as Mayor but despite her “Herculean efforts,” it was never enough for Genis. She says Genis then teamed up with Jim Righeimer and Allan Mansoor to oust Foley as Mayor.

Venezia attempts to interject.

Foley says she knows she has done nothing wrong.

Venezia asks why Foley still doesn’t know what happened.

Foley says there is no investigation into any wrongdoing against her. She says the meeting where she was ousted was the only time she has ever shouted at City Hall.

Venezia asks Genis for her perspective on the mayoral change.

Genis says it was the right thing for the City even though it was politically costly for herself. She believes in adhering to policy and precedent because they provide checks and balances. She found Foley would unilaterally change direction after there was a consensus. Genis expressed her concern that Foley did not respond well to dissent. Genis said the Mayor is not the boss of the city nor should she order around department heads because it is a council-manager form of government. She noted that she had the votes to be Mayor but decided to support Foley because Foley was the senior Councilmember who had not yet been Mayor. Genis expressed concern about Foley not following Brown Act comment limits. Genis expressed concern about Foley not following the sign ordinance Foley herself had voted for.

Moderator Norberto Santana asks for something that makes better headlines.

Genis speaks of the importance of respect, policy, and precedent. She says they are vital checks and balances. She says it is not okay to be a “benign despot.”

Santana asks Foley about muscling around City staff and bullying City staff.

Shouting ensues on stage between both candidates and multiple moderators.

Genis says she had heard that Foley had physically grabbed a City employee.

Foley argues these are not clear examples.

Venezia notes Genis says Foley doesn’t follow policy.

Santana asks if Foley bullies staff.

Foley notes she is endorsed by the Costa Mesa Employees Association. She says she has positive relationships with staff. She says she has high expectations for staff. She responds to nearly all emails and needs City staff to provide information for these.

Canalis asked Genis how she decided to vote to oust Foley.

Genis regretted by early Spring her vote for Foley for Mayor. She noted she campaigned for Foley in 2014. Genis says she told Foley repeatedly that she was exceeding her authority as Mayor.

Foley claims Genis never did this.

Genis says she repeatedly did so.

Audience shouting ensues.

Foley claims this was partisanship and that she has reached across the aisle. She speaks of a bipartisan coalition on sober living.

Canalis says it is still unclear.

Genis says she repeatedly spoke to Foley on the phone about her exceeding her authority as Mayor.

Foley says Genis mostly talked about her dogs.

Audience and candidate shouting ensues.

Foley says she changed the Mayor’s office into a Council office to be a collective office. She attacks Allan Mansoor, Jim Righeimer, and Steve Mensinger.

Venezia says it is clear there is a chasm between Foley and Genis.

Santana reflects on 2012 and asks what has changed on unfunded liabilities since then.

Foley says employees are paying more into City pensions than in any other City in California. She says the same is true of Costa Mesa firefighters. She has worked to increase non-PERSable benefits to prevent exacerbating the liability.

Santana asks how this will alleviate the liability from retirees.

Foley says it needs to be fixed for new employees, but for retirees it must be fixed at the State level.

Genis has pushed for a 115 Trust, which puts extra money away for pensions and other post-employment benefits. She says the trust can be added to in good economic times and drawn from in bad economic times. She warns that employee agreements must address the Obamacare tax that is coming in the next several years.

Venezia asks about finding new revenue.

Foley says she is always looking for new revenue without tax increases. She points to the Measure X marijuana revenue, including permit fees and sales taxes. She refers to the transport model for ambulance services as additional revenue. She wants to increase tourism, citing South Coast Plaza, the Performing Arts Center, Fairview Park, the Back Bay, and Disneyland. She wants to build another hotel in Costa Mesa.

Genis cites the marijuana revenue from research and development and manufacturing, but not retail via dispensaries. She says OC Fairgrounds revenue is up yet sales tax revenue from there is stagnant. She bought earrings at the OC Fairgrounds but the credit card charge went to Long Beach and is concerned the sales tax went there. She wants to use TOT revenue to fund security for tourists to ensure they feel safe, noting that San Francisco conventions are being cancelled due to tourists feeling unsafe.

Canalis asks for solutions to bathrooms, the homeless, and shelter beds.

Foley says the two of then voted the same yet it is somehow her issue. She says homelessness is the most important issue for the upcoming year. She says it is a multifaceted problem. One of the sources of homeless are “greedy sober living homes” that bring people in from out of state but then kick them out. She wants sober living homes to be declared businesses, so they can’t be in residential neighborhoods. She says a medical detox center has been built across the street from her. She wants 50 shelter beds in a series of facilities, like a women and children shelter and a co-ed shelter. This will allow enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance. She does not want Costa Mesa to become the Santa Ana Civic Center, which she walked through heading to court. She wants supportive housing and motel conversion.

Santana asks about permanent supportive housing at Fairview.

Foley says the State is not allowing that.

Genis notes permanent supportive housing is already at Fairview. She speaks of homeless people needing different levels of service ranging from those who simply need counseling to those who need permanent help to those who won’t accept services. She doesn’t like the emergency bed approach because it is unstable. She prefers transitional housing and permanent supportive housing because these transform their lives. She was concerned when she learned that Huntington Beach’s proposal for shelter beds was actually in another community. She notes the opioid crisis and soft on crime laws have made the problem worse, citing Prop 47 as an example.

Venezia asks what is something unique about each personality.

Genis can work with diverse people. Her college roommate joked they could never have parties because Genis’s friends included both peace activists and ROTC members. She has an ability to reach out to people and listen to people. She enjoys people. She appreciates the forms of government. She appreciates the Founding Fathers and that sometimes government is slow but that protects against rash decisions.

Foley says she is a “connector who gets things done.” She says she loves connecting people with those who can solve their problems. She says she is a loyal person who values loyalty. She says she reaches out when something is wrong. She notes some people are too far gone.

Santana praises civic engagement in Costa Mesa.

The moderators bring the forum to a close.

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Live from Feet to the Fire: Costa Mesa City Council Candidate Forum 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 17, 2018

Feet to the Fire

We are live from Feet to the Fire’s Costa Mesa City Council Candidate Forum. Immediately after this will be Feet to the Fire’s Costa Mesa Mayoral Candidate Forum.

Feet to the Fire is the liveliest candidate forum format this blogger has ever seen and may well be one of the best formats in the country. Apologies in advance for any omissions from the live blog; Feet to the Fire moves at such a quick pace that it is very difficult to get everything into the live blog.

Additionally, since Feet to the Fire is sponsored by the Daily Pilot and the Voice of OC, it is one of the few local candidate forums guaranteed to have media coverage.

We’ve live blogged from Feet to the Fire before in 2014 with the 74th Assembly District primary race, the 2nd Supervisorial District primary race, and the Costa Mesa Council race. Regrettably, scheduling conflicts prevented this blogger’s attendance at the 2016 Feet to the Fire Council forums.

Tonight’s moderators are Daily Pilot Columnist Barbara Venezia, Los Angeles Times Community News Executive Editor John Canalis, and Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana. Venezia and Canalis are the co-creators of Feet to the Fire while Santana has been a panelist since Feet to the Fire’s inception in 2010.

Every Council candidate is here tonight:

District 3

  • Brett Eckles (R)
  • Andrea Marr (D)

District 4

  • Manuel Chavez (D)
  • Michelle Figueredo-Wilson (R)
  • Steve Chan (NPP)

District 5

  • Rebecca Trahan (R)
  • Arlis Reynolds (D)
  • Allan Mansoor (R)

The District 3 candidates seem to be the friendliest set of opponents, chatting and laughing while waiting for the forum to start.

The forum begins with one of the Costa Mesa Police Department’s chaplains speaking in memory of Oscar Reyes, a Costa Mesa Police Officer who passed away of a heart attack on Thursday, followed by a moment of silence.

The Pledge of Allegiance is led by former Orange County Board of Education Trustee Elizabeth Parker.

Venezia gives an introduction of each candidate. She seems to have lost part of her paperwork for District 4, so Chavez, Figueredo-Wilson, and Chan give remarks about themselves in addition to Venezia’s comments about them.

Canalis opens asking if the Fairview Developmental Center is an appropriate location for the homeless.

Eckles urges using public-private partnerships. He points to the Network for Homeless Solutions program the City has. He wants to enforce the City’s existing ordinances, but there must be support services in the City available for the homeless, including permanent supportive housing. He opposes Fairview as a location for a shelter. He calls for permanent supportive housing instead.

Marr argues that anti-camping ordinances cannot be enforced until there are shelter beds. She says this situation is in flux and no one has a silver bullet.

Canalis asks Marr again about Fairview.

Marr says it is irrelevant because it looks unlikely.

Eckles says there must be 62 shelter beds in order to enforce the ordinances.

Chavez calls for enforcing the City’s ordinances but finding a place to build a shelter that has the least effect on the City.

Venezia asks Figueredo-Wilson for a solution to homelessness, noting the City’s active engagement on the issue.

Figueredo-Wilson notes the City has a plan that will soon be presented to federal Judge Carter to allow the City to enforce its ordinances. She says the City must engage with stakeholders. She warns of the sober living home-style situation sprouting up with the homeless.

Chan says America is a “Great Society” that “will solve” homelessness. He notes Costa Mesa was one of the five cities Judge Carter determined was actually carrying its weight on homelessness. He calls for all the cities in OC and with many across the country to pull their own weight on homelessness.

Santana asks Chan about Fairview.

Chan opposes using Fairview as a homeless shelter.

Trahan opposes using Fairview as a homeless shelter because it will add to the problem. She wants more public-private partnerships.

Reynolds says 50 additional shelter beds are needed in order to enforce the anti-camping ordinance. She opposes closing public restrooms. She wants to create a livelier community. She wants more park activities. She wants to pressure other cities on homelessness.

Venezia asks what the Council has done.

Mansoor says Fairview is certainly not a non-issue. He is concerned that Fairview could become the County’s solution to everything. He notes Costa Mesa has 12 shelter beds and needs 50 more. He notes the Network for Homeless Solutions. He challenges a mayoral candidate supporting portable toilets. He opposes the needle exchange program.

Reynolds says stakeholders need to be spoken to, and that she opposes Fairview as a homeless shelter.

Santana asks what should be done with Fairview if not a shelter.

Eckles opposes a homeless shelter there but is open to permanent supportive housing there since it is already zoned for it, if the City gains ownership of Fairview.

Chan cites the new Orange County Housing Trust as a solution for Fairview and the homeless.

Reynolds supports permanent supportive housing at Fairview. She wants to demand other cities meet their commitments on homelessness.

Marr cites Reynolds’s stakeholder approach, opposing fear mongering.

Mansoor says it is not fear mongering to demand other cities do their fair share. He supports permanent supportive housing if the City gains ownership of Fairview with strict sobriety rules.

Trahan is only open to it if residents are. She is concerned about the location and instead suggests tearing down drug hotels to build permanent supportive housing.

Reynolds attacks Mansoor for challenging the needle exchange and the portable toilets. She says the candidates are united in opposition to the needle exchange.

Chavez urges improving the homeless situation and supports permanent supportive housing.

Canalis asks about portable toilets.

Eckles opposed it, publishing an op-ed, noting it was poorly planned and were in flawed locations.

Santana asks what is the solution to public defecation and urination.

Eckles says getting them into permanent supportive housing. He notes there are restrooms in the parks.

Venezia asks about the City locking park restrooms.

Mansoor speaks about putting the safety of children first.

There is a lot of shouting from the audience when Santana interjects.

Mansoor opposes portable toilets and calls it a “mistake for our city.”

Santana interjects.

Mansoor calls for more supportive housing. He opposes needle exchange.

Santana, Mansoor, and the audience start shouting, and nothing is comprehensible.

Mansoor says the people supporting the portable toilets also support the needle exchange.

More audience shouting ensues as Santana interjects.

Venezia asks for a solution to needle waste. Santana asks Trahan to answer the bathroom question.

Figueredo-Wilson notes that once there is supportive housing and shelter beds, it is possible to enforce anti-camping ordinances. She says enforcing those ordinances will mitigate the toilet problem.

Santana interjects as the audience shouts.

Santana asks what is the solution for the homeless during the period the anti-camping ordinances cannot be enforced.

Figueredo-Wilson urges the City to reach out to the Sanitary District to help pick up needles.

Trahan calls for respect and decency for all, including “transients.” She blasts Katrina Foley for the portable toilets and points to how it made the problem worse in San Diego.

Santana interjects, asking about the toilets. The audience shouts at him again.

Trahan calls for enforcing ordinances.

Santana interjects, and more shouting ensues.

Chan says businesses want an attendant in public parks, so those restrooms could be opened.

Venezia changes topics to high-density development. She says housing and growth are needed but land is limited.

Chavez supports new housing but calls for mitigating impacts of new housing, specifically having sufficient parking.

Marr opposes more density in her district but says it would make sense to have high-density housing north of the 405. She opposes “spot zoning” and “developer giveaways.”

Venezia asks about spot zoning.

Eckles says higher-density housing needs to be put in places that make sense, working with expert land planners to ensure it reflects the character of the neighborhood.

Reynolds says the City Council needs to be more engaged with residents.

Venezia asks Mansoor why this seems to be a perennial problem no matter who is on the Council.

Mansoor says he has an open door policy. He returns phone calls and emails. He spoke against the first high-density development in Costa Mesa. He says overlays were not intended to be citywide. He says some overlays have gone too far.

Reynolds questions Mansoor for supporting Banning Ranch in Newport Beach.

Mansoor says he would call for traffic litigation and notes that Banning Ranch had significant open space.

Audience shouting ensues.

Reynolds says that Banning Ranch was blocked by the Coastal Commission.

Audience shouting ensues.

Mansoor challenges needle exchange supporters walking precincts for other candidates.

Audience shouting ensues.

Venezia asks who each candidate is supporting for Mayor.

Eckles, Figueredo-Wilson, Chan, Trahan, and Mansoor support Sandy Genis.

Marr, Chavez, and Reynolds support Katrina Foley.

Reynolds likes Foley’s approach to Banning Ranch.

Mansoor is concerned about Foley’s screaming at City staff while noting Genis’s professionalism.

More audience shouting ensues.

Venezia asks each candidate for one thing they like and one they want to fix in Costa Mesa.

Eckles says Costa Mesa residents are the best part of the city. He cites the city’s small businesses. He says he has a proven track record working with Councilmembers. He would fix working together for the common good.

Marr says Costa Mesa is a place where people live their dreams and open small businesses. She wants to fix sober living homes.

Chavez loves the sense of community, noting his principals and teachers still work here. He wants to fix infrastructure, like safer streets.

Figueredo-Wilson loves families and people. She is concerned about unfunded liabilities and calls for better economic growth and opportunities for working people and small businesses.

He loves Costa Mesa’s lifestyle. He wants to abolish the directly-elected mayor to ensure each district has one vote.

Trahan wants ethics and civility on the Council.

Reynolds loves the sense of community where everyone seems to know each other. She wants to fix homelessness.

Mansoor wants to fix homelessness and sober living homes. He loves thel families and kids of Costa Mesa.

And with that, the City Council candidate forum concludes.

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

New President Wen

Posted by Brenda Higgins on September 12, 2018

 

The hippocratic oath originally included a pledge not to administer any abortifacient treatments to pregnant women.  How times have changed.

Today, abortion giant Planned Parenthood named physician, Leana Wen to be their new leader.  Her initial statements following the announcement today, signal that the abortion provider intends to step up their rhetoric that they provide ‘health care’ for women.

Planned Parenthood provides over 300,000 abortions each year, making them the single largest abortion provider in the United States.  Also interesting in the initial statement by and about Dr. Wen, is the substantial deviation from their traditonal approach and messaging. 

Cecil Richards, the former president of Planned Parenthood was political royalty, the daughter of popular Texas Governor Ann Richards, and well connected to all the deep pockets and the most elite of Washington DC and elsewhere.  Cecile, in her role as the face of the Pro-Choice movement was on every Sunday morning or other political pundit show, and used her platform to laud the importance of a woman’s right to chose.  At this time however, the environment has changed and a more sophisticated electorate as well as more shrewd and aggressive Pro-Life organizations, is prompting Planned Parenthood to modify their approach.

They chose a minority woman to be their new face, who is also a medical doctor, which helps them bolster claims of being a “health care” provider.  It is not clear if they will begin by actually providing screening for breast cancer, if they will provide STI testing at free or no cost or if they will  provide free pregnancy tests, obstetric care,  or ultra sounds for pregnant women.  These services now are either not offered at Planned Parenthood, or they are conditioned upon contracting for an abortion, or are only available at a significant cost.  There are no mammograms happening at Planned Parenthood, that has been established. 

It wil be interesting to see if they are working to make good on their promise of “health care” for women, or if they will continue being primarily a for profit business whose business is abortion.

Dr. Wen will officially join Planned Parenthood in November.  Up until this hiring she has been the Health Direcor of the city of Baltimore.  During the time the Dr. Wen has headed the Baltimore Health Department, she presided over the “B’more for Healthy Babies”, a concerted effort by the Baltimore Department of Health to reduce drastically high statistics of Infant Mortality in the city. 

Dr. Wen was successful in Baltimore, by cutting the infant mortality rate by 38% over five years by using data to assess at the risk women in the city.

Sad and strange.

After years of working hard to save the lives of babies of at risk in minority and poor women, Dr. Wen will now be spearheading the organization that has targeted that at-risk and monority popultion, an organiztion whose founder (Margaret Sanger) embraced eugenics through abortion as a form of population control in minority communties.  

Similarly sad and strange, Dr. Wen, a chinese immigrant, was brought to the U.S. by her parents when she was 8 years old.  China’s forced abortion, one-child policy has resulted in the extermination of nearly a half million Chinese, most of them women.  Fortunately for Dr. Wen, in the U.S. she actually does have a choice, unlike Chinese women and their female babies.

Already, Dr Wen, has couched her view of the work of Planned Parenthood as one of compassion toward women.  Truly compassionate care toward women would address the needs of the whole woman, of her baby, of her ongoing health.  As they continue to distribute abortion pills without follow up or medical supervision, as they begin the process of distributing abortion pills on college campuses without doctors or medical follow up, it is disingenuous and illogical to portray the organization as being concerned about the well being of women.  

It is a new day, of amped up rhetoric and increased deception.  Planned Parenthood is an abortion business, it is not clear yet if the hiring of Dr. Wen is to increase the health care posturing, or if they really will begin offering services consistent with their claims.  There are many, and the numbers are growing every day,  women’s health care clinics that actually do provide health care for women. If Dr. Wen was concerned about women’s health, and serving minority and poor women who are at-risk, she would be partnering with those life affirming pregnancy medical centers.  The most at-risk and under-represented women in America, are the ones who are still residing in their mothers wombs. 

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

Athletes as “Heros?” Not to Me.

Posted by Craig P Alexander on September 8, 2018

I like some sports like baseball. However I have never been able to like or agree with the idea that sports athletes are “heros” – they are well paid and deserve their private sector salaries. However they do not fit the definition of hero. To me heros are members of the U.S. Military, police, fire fighters, etc. who put their lives on the line for us everyday.

So when I read about the Nike campaign using a washed up former football player with the statement: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just Do It!” I automatically think of people like the men who stormed Normandy Beach in France decades ago to free Europe from the Nazi grip and ultimately end WWII. Many of them are still there in cemeteries proving their commitment to freedom. Some came home injured and/or carried the horrible memories of death and destruction for the rest of their lives so we can live with liberty and freedom. Sports players just don’t even come close to their sacrifices. So I will respect an athletes’ accomplishments but I will never call them heros for playing their chosen sport.  

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, ocean, sky, outdoor and water

Craig P. Alexander is an attorney in Dana Point, California.  He practices law in the areas of the California Public Records Act, HOA law, Office and Commercial Leasing, Insurance Coverage and Business Contracts.

 

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

OCGOP endorses Pro Choice Candidates

Posted by Brenda Higgins on September 6, 2018

The Central Committee has endorsed three Pro-Choice Candidates for the November election.  

Laura Ferguson – City Council of San Clemente

Jaimey Federico – City Council of Dana Pointe

Barabara Delegleize – (Incumbent) City Council of Huntington Beach

When Laura Ferguson’s request for endorsement was before the endorsement committee, LeRoy Mills indicated that his conscience would not allow him to support her, given her Pro-Choice stance.  Her request for endorsement was sent to the full committee with the Endorsement Committee voting 4-1.  The full committee voted to endorse her.  Laura Ferguson responded to this bloggers request for confirmation, indicating that she was open and honest about her stance and noted that LeRoy Mills did in fact vote to endorse one candidate who was also Pro-Choice in spite of expressing concern about Ferguson. 

Jamey Federico is a retired Marine, Lieutenant Collonel. Jennifer Beal and Gene Hernandez expressed their support for Federico at the Endorsement Committee meeting. Linda Davies expressed concern that liberals were gaining ground in coastal areas.  Federico stated his belief that Cheif Justice Roberts and Judge Kavanagh have made statement indicating that Roe v. Wade is “settled law”.  No one questioned his articulation of the law or what he had atributed to the justices.  He also stated that he has spoken to voters who have not voted Republican because of this one issue.  LeRoy Mills questioned Federico on his Pro-Choice stance, but Federico was unanimously, 5-0, reccommended to be sent to the full committee for endorsement.   It is not clear what made the difference to LeRoy Mills between these two Pro-Choice candidates.  Federico was then later, endorsed by the full Central Committee. 

Barbara Delegleize was endorsed by the full Central Committee on August 20.  She received the requisite signatures to bypass the Endorsements Committee.  Delegleize is an incumbent, running her third race for Huntington Beach City council.  She did not reeive the OCGOP endorsement the first time she ran, she beleives that was because she was candidly Pro-Choice.  She indicates she has not changed that position.  She stated did not seek the endorsment of the OCGOP when she ran for the term she is currently serving, believing that her Pro-choice stance would again prevent her from obtaining the endorsement. However, now, with no indication of what has or might have chnged in the interim, other than her being a Republican incumbent, she received the endorsement with no significant resistance. She indicated she was not present at the meeting wherein she received the party approval.  This blogger inquired of Delegleize if she was aware of the terms of the party platform related to abortion.  Delegleize indicated there were many issues in which the party deviated from what it’s stated position is. 

As is shown from the reporting that appears throughout this blog, there was no lack of discussion in the endorsements process. Members of the Endorsement and Central Committee asked detail, relevant and pointed questions.  It is not clear why then, there was this aquiescnence to candidates who balatantly veered off the platform.  The party platform states:

THE RIGHT TO LIFE

The California Republican Party is the party that protects innocent life because we believe life begins at conception and ends at natural death.

We support laws that protect unborn children from partial birth, sex selection, and tax-payer funded abortions, and abortions performed as a form of birth control or on minor girls without their parents’ notification and consent.

We believe that the question of abortion is a matter that should be left to the people through their elected representatives, not usurped by the United States Supreme Court. Accordingly, we encourage the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision.

We support adoption as an alternative to abortion and call on lawmakers to reduce the bureaucratic burden placed on adoptive couples.

As a part of respecting the sanctity of life for disabled persons, we oppose efforts to legalize assisted suicide or euthanasia.

We support a comprehensive ban on all human cloning.

The California Republican Party supports ethical stem cell research that focuses on cures and does not destroy innocent human life. 

The platform is not only clear, it is fully contrary and incongruent with the opinion statement of Candidate Federico, and easily something that both Delegleize and Ferguson were aware of.  

Peggy Huang, Endorsement Committe Member and Central Committee officer,  reportedly commented, that in City Council elections, these issues rarely come up and are not particularly relevant. (She has not been reached to confirm)  Delegleize, in discussing it with this blogger, affirmed that as being her view as well, stating that aborition is an issue of federal law and national policy not likely to come before the city council.

This unfortunate and short sighted view, ignores the fact that higher offices are filled by candidates, who began their political career in lower offices. Former Chairman Baugh more than once reminded the Central Committee in endorsement meetings that Governor Jerry Brown was once a Community Collge Board member.  This “What difference does it make” attitude also ignores the fact the the issue of Life, is one that is personal, and local, and by defintion in the case law that defines it, the responsibilty of the state to set the law and policy. It is a state issue.  It is by definition in the consitution and subsequent case law, a state issue. To dismiss abortion as a non-issue at the ‘city council’ level displays an abject ignorance of the law, and in particular of the deceptive and guerrilla tactics of abortion giant, Planned Parenthood.  

The comment by Linda Davies, that liberals are gaining traction and territory in coastal cities, presumably meaning, Hunitngton Beach, San Clemente, and Dana Point, is telling.  It is consistent with the years long trend of the OCGOP to lament about losing ground, while at the same time declaring it is necessary to give up some more.  

Why is this the approach?  Why is the strategy to compromise and relinquish and negate what the party itself alleges to stand for?

At a time when the national Republican party is seeing unprecendented growth, in donations and membership, the once conservative leader, Orange County, survives by constant measured acquiescence.  There was some discussion in these meetings of mentoring new candidates, but the myopic attention to details of what pledge each candidate had signed and whom they may have supported in past elections, overcame any discussions of party ideals and foundational concepts.  The forest of minutea has overtaken the gloriousness of the trees which are, our core beleifs.  

Every time government grows, Liberty dies a little, and every “right” that has to be exercised at the expense of another, is not freedom, but oppression.  


This, is conservativism in a nutshell.

Conservativism, is in every way, a better idea than the constant outrage being peddled by the Left. It does not require killing to implement, but we have to understand and be capable of articulating it.  A gay hardresser from New York has managed to do it, to articulate conservative ideals in a way that is meanignful and attractive.  But, leaders in the OCGOP are working off an older and different script. One that assumes and starts from a place where our ideals are too lofty and we must torque it down, and whittle off some corners somewhere.   #WalkAway gets it, and they are growing the party by a movement that sees the benefits in the tenets of conservativism, and recognizes the illusive falsehood of freedom gained through the oppression of another class of people.  We have no need to apologize or compromise in order to deceive some people to come over to our side.  We have better ideas, and one of them, is Life. 

When it came to slaves, and women and civil rights, Republicans have managed to be on the right side of history, consistently standing for the oppressed.  Why would we seek to join the Left now and give up on our stated agenda to end the genocide of the unborn?

OCGOP has missed the  mark, and missed the movement.  These endorsements make it apparent that they either don’t believe in conservative ideals, or lack any understanding and ability to communicate them.  

These leaders are right about the fact that we are losing ground, but they miss the fact that we are losing ground, because they are giving it away.  

If candidates don’t adhere to the platform, then don’t endorse.  If that is problematic, then at least bring some integrity and truth into the process and declare that the platform is abandonned, and set parameters that are real.  Based upon this and prior election endorsements, perhaps the parameters should be…..we will endorse you as long as you did not cause any trouble for our friends; we will endose you as long as you have enough money in the bank; we will endorse you if you are a war hero; we will endorse you if you gave money to other people we like; we will endorse you if you belong to the right clubs, or if you have participated in winning elections; we might even endorse you if you fit a demographic.  

It sounds silly, but if you are watching this process over the past few election seasons,  there’s some scary truth right there.

We have better ideas.  We have a better platform.  The rest of the nation is catching this, why can’t OCGOP get it?  We don’t have to pander, and we should not.  We could sustain high standards and succeed.  Selling out our core values inherently weakens our message, in all races, and conspires in a fraud on the voter.  A voter sees the platform, sees the endorsement, and thinks they are the same. In these three instnaces, they are dramtically ideologically, different. 

We stand for something or we don’t.  At this point, with these endorsements, we stand, with the Democrats, on the graves of 60 million aborted Americans.  Is that where we want to be?

Posted in Dana Point, Huntington Beach, San Clemente | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee Round 5

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 5, 2018

We are live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee. The recommendations from tonight’s meeting will be considered on September 17 by the full Central Committee.

On tonight’s agenda are:

  • Anne Figueroa for Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
  • Hon. Wendy Bucknum for Mission Viejo City Council
  • Dom Pham for Coast Community College District, Area 1
  • Robert Nelson for Anaheim City Council, District 3
  • Angie Cano for Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Hon. Don Sedgwick for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Tam (Nick) Lecong for Fountain Valley City Council
  • Steve Shatynski Brea City Council
  • Amy West for Westminster City Council
  • Hon. Cecilia Iglesias for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 6
  • Mark Tettemer for Lake Forest City Council, District 4

Present are Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang and Members Leroy Mills and Erik Weigand. Member Laurie Davies is on the phone. Member Gene Hernandez is en route to the meeting. Member Tyler Diep is absent.

Wendy Bucknum for Mission Viejo City Council

Councilwoman Wendy Bucknum notes there are three Republican incumbents and two challengers, one who is endorsed by the Democratic Party and the other also a Democrat. She speaks to Mission Viejo High School’s civics class every year on behalf of Republicans. She speaks of her family.

Councilman Ed Sachs speaks of working with Bucknum for the past four years and praises her understanding of the demands of the office and her energy in engaging on the issues and with the community. He praises her Republican governing philosophy.

Laurie Davies speaks of Bucknum’s involvement on legislation, highlighting AB 448, the Housing Trust.

Erik Weigand calls this a no-brainer and speaks of her Republican volunteerism.

Peggy Huang asks about the City’s legislative public safety efforts, referencing Bucknum’s efforts.

Bucknum and her colleagues have ensured the City’s advocates are heard in Sacramento, and if necessary having Councilmembers testifying. She keeps residents informed and participates in town halls.

Huang moves and Weigand seconds to recommend Bucknum. The motion passes unanimously.

Anne Figueroa for Rancho Santa Margarita City Council

Councilman Tony Beall speaks on her behalf as she is in Europe celebrating her anniversary. Beall says Anne Figueroa is a Republican activist and entered the race when Councilman Mike Vaughn decided to not seek reelection 10 days before filing closed and asked her to run. She is endorsed by the entire City Council, Congresswoman Mimi Walters, Senator Pat Bates, and Assemblyman Bill Brough, among others. He warns that a Bernie Sanders activist is her top rival among the 7 candidates running for 3 seats.

Erik Weigand calls this an important seat. He notes her volunteerism.

Laurie Davies moves and Erik Weigand seconds to recommend Anne Figueroa.

Peggy Huang asks about the City’s finances.

Beall speaks of the City’s surpluses and fully-funded reserves. He does warn that the increasing costs of the Sheriff’s contract is a long-term spending item on the horizon.

The motion passed unanimously.

Dom Pham for Coast Community College District, Trustee Area 1

Dom Pham is on the phone and hard to hear. He speaks of his current education and his work in compliance for gun stores. His current job is in Congressman Ed Royce’s office. He says he realizes he is a longshot, but wants to ensure Republicans have a choice in this seat.

Leroy Mills expresses concern about the $1,200 raised by Pham.

Pham says he hopes to raise more money. He is still in school.

Laurie Davies expresses concern about his time constraints with both campaigning and managing both his work and school schedules. She urges him to get friend and family to help him precinct walk because it can help overcome funding issues.

Peggy Huang asks if he is involved with the College Republicans.

Pham is not but has tried reaching out to some.

Huang suggests he reach out to Paula Prizio to get assistance.

Erik Weigand applauds Pham for entering the race. He notes John Lewis is Pham’s consultant and Shawn Steel is supporting.

Weigand moves and Mills seconds for Pham. The motion passed unanimously.

Steve Shatynski for Brea City Council

Steve Shatynski is on the phone from the East Coast, specifically at the US Naval Academy because he works on USNA admissions covering North Orange County. He notes there are two incumbent Republicans and an incumbent Democrat in the race for three seats, as well as Republican Bill Hall. He says he is getting campaign help from Young Kim, Councilwoman Cecilia Hupp, and Brea RWF. He has been awarded the Department of the Navy Meritorious Service Award for his work on USNA admissions.

Erik Weigand asks if Hall was a proponent of the failed school bond.

Huang confirms he was. She also confirms Hall has not sought the endorsement.

She asks about Brea’s unfunded liability.

Shatynski believes it is approximately $45 million but does not recall the exact number. He calls it “a huge problem” and notes that John Moorlach called it the second largest per capita of any OC city.

Weigand moves and Davies seconds to recommend Shatynski.

Huang asks about “dynamic and prudent growth” that Shatynski wrote in his questionnaire.

Shatynski praises the construction of the Brea Mall. He speaks of the importance of his children being able to afford to live in the City. He speaks of the need to balance traffic concerns.

The motion passes unanimously.

Robert Nelson for Anaheim City Council, District 3

Robert Nelson told OC GOP staff that he would call in, but he has not done so.

Cynthia Ward says Nelson is trustworthy. She says he is Tom Tait’s appointee to the Public Utilities Board. She says he is involved in the community. She says he ran in 2010 and 2016. She says the other two candidates are Councilman Jose Moreno and Mitch Caldwell, who are both Democrats. She says an outside interest is interested in spending for Nelson.

Huang asks what would be different considering Nelson is running against the same opponent in Moreno and if Tait has endorsed.

Ward says Tait has not endorsed Nelson. She says she hopes he can slip up the middle as the two Democrats fight it out.

Huang asks about the voter registration.

Ward doesn’t remember the number but it is predominately Democrat.

Huang asks if he has any endorsements.

Ward says the California Impact Republicans have endorsed him. She expects the Anaheim Republican Assembly to endorse him soon, as it did in 2016.

Leroy Mills asks why Nelson hasn’t signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Ward says the City needs to allow bonds to go before voters. She argues the Taxpayer Protection Pledge prevents the placement of bonds on the ballot.

Mills clarifies the pledge is about taxes and fees.

Mills also asks why Nelson did not sign the union-free pledge.

Ward does not know.

Weigand moves to recommend Nelson, with the caveat that he sign the pledges by September 10, before it goes before Central Committee.

Ward argues Nelson being in the race forces Democrats to spend in District 3.

Huang notes the two Democrats would spend against each other in District 3. She also argues the Democrats have historically ignored Nelson in his prior races.

Weigand urges getting stronger candidates for seats like this.

Ward agrees that candidate recruitment needs to be improved.

Huang urges mentoring and recruiting qualified candidates even if it means sitting out a cycle to prevent a candidate going too early and gaining the reputation of being unelectable. Huang is concerned Nelson appears to be unready.

Ward says outside money may be spent for Nelson and that he may spend more personal money than he has in the past.

Mills seconds Weigand’s motion.

Davies does echo Huang’s comment that endorsing unready candidates may not be wise.

The motion passed unanimously.

Mark Tettemer for Lake Forest City Council

Committee Member Gene Hernandez arrives.

Mark Tettemer is on the phone. He says there is one seat and his sole opponent is Mayor Jim Gardner. He is a former two-term Councilman. He was on the OCFA Board and served as Chair. He speaks of his community volunteerism. He stepped away from politics to earn his MPA and is now returning.

Mayor Jim Gardner is Deborah Pauly’s alternate on the Central Committee. Gardner speaks in opposition because the OC GOP should not endorse against incumbent Republicans.

Huang asks if Gardner was endorsed by the OC GOP in 2014.

Gardner did not seek it.

Weigand asks if Gardner is seeking the endorsement.

Gardner is not seeking it because there are two Republicans but he would if the Central Committee is considering an endorsement.

Gardner says Lake Forest is debt free and has historically low crime. He says there is online participation in Lake Forest’s Council meetings. He says he holds town hall meeting. He says he attends more events than the rest of the Council combined.

Hernandez asks if this is an application.

Huang says it is not. Weigand notes his question may have caused Gardner’s discussion.

Councilman Scott Voigts speaks on behalf of former Mayor Mark Tettemer. He speaks of Tettemer’s record. He says Gardner violates property rights and has with Adam Nick twice supported the recalls of Andrew Hamilton, Scott Voigts, and Dwight Robinson. Voigts noted CPA Andrew Hamilton got the City to pay down its debt to be debt-free. He urges the committee to recommend Tettemer. He says Gardner attacks Councilmembers publicly and online. He speaks of Tettemer’s involvement in Relay for Life, 2008 endorsement by the OC GOP, and his family’s roots in the community.

Huang asks who else has endorsed Tettemer.

Tettemer lists the founding Mayor and other Councilmembers who have endorsed him.

Mills asks about his lack of fundraising.

Tettemer plans to self-fund as he has in the past but will also fundraise.

Mills moves for neutrality. There is no second.

Gene Hernandez asks Tettemer what he can do to clean up the dysfunctional 3-2 Council.

Tettemer says he has always had good working relationships and a sense of decorum. People reached out to him to run to stop the caustic atmosphere and lack of civility on the Council. He wants to work on good policy to move Lake Forest forward.

Gardner keeps attempting to interject, but Huang says this is the committee’s time for questions.

Weigand expresses concern about Gardner repeatedly supporting recalls that the party has opposed. He suggests allowing Tettemer, Gardner, and Voigts to speak more.

Hernandez expresses agreement with Weigand.

Davies also objects to Republicans recalling Republicans.

Reflecting on the parallels between Yorba Linda and Lake Forest, Huang discusses the resources expended to defend the Republicans against the recall backed by Gardner. She expresses concern that Gardner backed a primary challenger to Congresswoman Mimi Walters, tying up resources that could have gone to other Republicans.

Gardner makes “no apologies for being passionate and fighting for what I believe in.” He says he had no involvement in the second recall. He says their recall was based on a dangerous road being ignored.

Weigand asked if he supported the recall.

Gardner says he supported the recall. He says Hamilton belittled citizens and ended meetings.

Hernandez asked about the philosophy of recall usage. He says it is over illegal, immoral, or unethical conduct.

Gardner argues Hamilton badgered residents in a disgraceful fashion and held timeouts.

Hernandez asks if Gardner would recall President Trump.

Gardner says Trump has accomplished much.

Weigand asks how many recalls there have been in Lake Forest.

Gardner says there were two but only the second succeeded.

Huang asks Gardner if he gathered signatures for either recall or donated money.

Gardner donated money to the second recall but did not collect signatures for it. He did not donate to the first recall but cannot remember if he collected signatures for it. He claims Voigts has made 15 lies from the dais.

Hernandez urges that disagreements should be discussed and are healthy. He opposes attacking at the level of helping recall efforts.

Gardner writes articles on the Lake Forest Patch daily.

Hernandez asks if attacking Councilmembers on the Patch is productive.

Gardner argues Tettemer was a distant second in the recall replacement election.

Gardner accuses Voigts of lying about wearing a wire.

Weigand asks about the effort to elect Dwight Robinson to AQMD.

Voigts says it was at the same time as the recall signature gathering.

Voigts notes Gardner was the largest donor to the first recall. Voigts notes Gardner’s team launched a recall to urge closing a road down before construction was even completed. Voigts notes Gardner was even a signature counter on the recall. Voigts was requested to wear a wire by request of the District Attorney’s office and could not disclose it during an active investigation. He explained the timeout Hamilton called was after warning the disruptive audience three times to stop interrupting the Council meeting.

Davies calls the question and moves to recommend Tettemer. Hernandez seconds.

Weigand asks if there is a way to recommend a debate at the full Central Committee while still recommending Tettemer for endorsement.

Hernandez says there would likely be a debate at the Central Committee anyway given that Gardner is an alternate.

Huang says she could pull the name for discussion at the Central Committee.

The motion to recommend Tettemer passes with a unanimous 5-0 vote.

Weigand notes there is a mountain of evidence that Gardner has worked against the OC GOP. He notes Gardner is only able to speak at the Central Committee of Deborah Pauly steps out of the room during that meeting.

Amy West for Westminster City Council

Amy West is an American who was a Vietnamese refugee. She speaks about the principles of American democracy and the importance of local government. There are 13 candidates for 2 open seats (incumbents are both leaving).

Mills asks West about her lack of funding at just $2000.

West speaks of precinct walking gaining votes for her.

Weigand asks if she is a Central Committee alternate.

West is the alternate of Supervisor Andrew Do.

Jeremy West, her husband, gives his speech to OCDE Trustee Mari Barke. Barke does not use it but says West is an amazing woman who she wanted to recruit for school board but the school board seat is not available until 2020.

Amy West reads a supportive text from Supervisor Andrew Do.

Hernandez asks if she has been endorsed by Tyler Diep or Tri Ta.

West says both have been supportive but neither have formally endorsed.

Weigand asks if Senator Janet Nguyen has endorsed.

West says Nguyen has endorsed another candidate.

Weigand notes the Westminster City Council meeting is in progress, so that is why Tyler Diep is not present. He is concerned about endorsing prematurely in Westminster.

Hernandez argues candidates need to show initiative in getting applications in.

Mills is concerned that endorsing eliminates the opportunity to endorse others.

Davies echoes Hernandez’s comments.

Huang notes the 2016 Huntington Beach debacle in which more Republicans sought an OC GOP endorsement after there were none left.

Huang references West’s questionnaire answer of intending to reign in expenditures while also expanding services.

West says “safety is key” and says streets and parks don’t matter if there isn’t safety. She says Andrew Do runs Orange County and she has spoken to them about battling homelessness. She has spoken to the Police Chief about how to help. She describes pushing for Neighborhood Watch. She says there is much waste including beautifying the Westminster Police Headquarters.

Hernandez asks if West would entertain dissolving the Westminster Police Department and contracting with OC Sheriff instead for cost savings. He notes Yorba Linda saves $2 million.

West is surprised by the suggestion but says she is open to it.

Hernandez notes that her goals are expensive and that she will need to prioritize because there is only so much money.

Hernandez moves and Davies seconds to recommend West. The motion passes unanimously.

Don Sedgwick for Laguna Hills City Council

Don Sedgwick was endorsed by the OC GOP for school board. He speaks of volunteering for various candidates and raising money for them. He is endorsed by all the other candidates and all the incumbents. There are three seats on the ballot. He speaks of his conservative views.

Hernandez works with Sedgwick on the OCFA Board. Hernandez praises his work ethic,diligence, and intelligence on the Board.

Davies echoes Hernandez’s comments. She also notes Sedgwick’s work on strong cross border relations since they are neighboring cities.

Weigand praises Sedgwick’s leadership.

Mills asks about Sedgwick endorsing Ginny Aitken for school board.

Sedgwick says Aitken was more conservative than other Republicans running. She was pro-life and fought the unions. He calls her a Democrat in Name Only. He couldn’t get her to reregister.

Huang asks why so many Republicans seem to be voting for Democrats.

Sedgwick notes that is not happening in Laguna Hills where no Democrat holds elected office. He speculates Republicans are losing young voters. He notes Laguna Hills is an aging community with a rising median age.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds recommending Sedgwick. The motion passed 4-0-1 with Mills abstaining due to being bothered by the Ginny Aitken endorsement.

Angie Cano for Santa Ana Unified School District

Angie Cano was 39 votes from being elected in the last election and only 400 votes short in the prior election. She wasn’t going to run this time but decided to do so when union activists from outside Santa Ana convinced the school board to put a bond on the ballot.

Mills asks Cano about shall issue status for California.

Cano would be supportive.

Mills asks if Cano is pro-life.

Cano is pro-life.

Mills asks about a constitutional amendment prohibiting the State government from taking local money.

Cano would support such an amendment.

Hernandez moves and Weigand seconds to recommend Cano. The motion passed unanimously.

Gracey Van Der Mark for Ocean View School District

Gracey Van Der Mark and her husband own a small business and have 7 children; 6 attended OVSD schools. She is running after seeing a lack of transparency when she got on the OVSD bond oversight committee.

Former OVSD Trustee Debbie Cotton speaks in favor of Van Der Mark, praising her work on the bond oversight committee. She speaks of Van Der Mark’s conservative views. She speaks of the attacks Van Der Mark has suffered.

Hernandez asks how much she has raised and if other Republicans are running.

Van Der Mark has raised $3400. She says there are three Republican incumbents.

Cotton notes the incumbents are union backed and that one reregistered today as a Democrat.

Mills asks about sex education being forced on school districts by the State Department of Education.

Van Der Mark agrees with Mills that she would fight these efforts.

Huang asks about how she switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Van Der Mark grew up in Los Angeles and was the daughter of Democrats. She opened her own business and became a Republican.

Mills blasts Democrats bullying Republicans. He blasts the movie about the moon landing that leaves out the planting of the US flag on the moon

Mills moves and Davies seconds recommending Van Der Mark. The motion passes unanimously.

The committee adjourns at 8:54 PM.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Live from the Anaheim Republican Assembly Candidate Forum for Anaheim City Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 22, 2018

We are live from the Anaheim Phoenix Club for the City Council Candidate Forum sponsored by the Anaheim Republican Assembly (the Anaheim unit of the California Republican Assembly).

We were here for the last edition of this forum in the 2016 elections, and based on the volume of feedback this blogger received in 2016, we are back to live blog it in 2018.

As noted in 2016: “Uniquely for a CRA forum, non-Republican candidates are participating.” Even two years later, I’m not aware of any other unit of the CRA that has non-Republican candidates participating in their forum since the CRA seeks to promote Republican candidates.

In 2016, this blogger wrote that the “alternating question format is one of the worst formats I’ve ever seen. It is difficult to follow for the audience and the candidates.” OC Political has been told the format has been changed based on feedback received, and this blogger looks forward to seeing how the new format holds up.

Mayor of Anaheim

Of the eight candidates for Mayor, five are present.

Lorri Galloway delivers her opening statement. She says she has experience as a two term Councilwoman and was Mayor Pro Tem. She was a nonprofit director and nexcerpts fromotes that and her Council campaigns give her high name ID. She wants to make decisions so that “all rise.” She says she understands the heartache of impoverished families. She calls herself “freedom friendly” while supporting a living wage. She says she is not beholden to any political party or special interest group. She wants to connect law enforcement to the communities that need them. She says that while she lives in Anaheim Hills, she does her work in West and Central Anaheim. She speaks of her parents’ struggles in the Salinas Valley and her values. She says those with money, wealth, and power should enrich and empower others.

An audience member asks the source of her campaign funds.

Galloway says they come from campaign donors and personal loans.

An audience member asks about Measure L.

Galloway says she supports a living wage, but prefers solutions that businesses come up with themselves, pointing to Disney’s recent actions. She says she supports Measure L.

An audience member asks about the needle exchange program.

Galloway states there are holes in the needle exchange program. She says it was intended to fight AIDS and Hepatitis, but instead is negatively impacting communities.

Tony Martin opens with a joke about Republicans not hearing the words “affordable” and “free” much. He is a father of two and an Army veteran. He is certified state firefighter and a Cal State Fullerton student. He calls for nonpartisanship. He blasts the removal of homeless “to appease tourists.” He wants everyone to own a home. He says 1/3 of homeless are veterans, and that disgusts him. He wants to improve school curricula and pay teachers more. He calls for more art and effective field trips. He wants to shift spending from prisons to schools. He wants to open community centers for after school programs.

An audience member says he came to Anaheim for affordable housing, but his children sought affordable housing in Texas. The audience member feels people should seek affordable housing and not get it from government.

Martin says he is saddened the audience member’s “heart was not softened” by his children moving to Texas. He wants to work with the real estate industry to lower the costs of land. He says this would reduce homelessness.

Some sort of incomprehensible exchange about business proximity to homes between gadfly Bryan Kaye and Martin occurs.

An audience member asks about constructing an Orange County Veterans Cemetery in Anaheim.

All the mayoral candidates raise their hands in support.

Fuji Shioura says his first name stands for family, unity, Jesus, and integrity. He is a computer coder. He praises Anaheim and wants to diversify the economy. He wants to pass a right to work city measure because he feels unions are too powerful. He expresses his pro-life views. He reiterates that he is a Christian. He says he is self-funded. He says artificial intelligence will displace many jobs. He wants to consolidate school districts and increase charter schools.

An audience member asks the TOT in Anaheim.

Shioura says he believes there is a time and place for TOT incentives, but he says the economy must diversify away from tourism. He says public safety is necessary for Anaheim’s tourism economy.

An audience member asks about privatizing police and fire.

Shioura opposes privatizing police. He wants to hire more police officers to protect public safety. He praises APD’s performance.

Martin blasts APD performance, pointing to allegations of brutality.

Shioura says APD is not racist. He worked in inner city schools, and APD is not racist.

Martin says he didn’t say APD was racist but had major performance issues.

Cynthia Ward opens by saying she is speechless. She notes that Anaheim is her home and where she married her husband and raised her children. She wants a safe community to retire in. She says Anaheim owns a convention center and two sports facilities but have not drawn the benefit from it. She calls for “a leader with a spine to take it back” in reference to herself. She says she has stood “shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Tait.” She says she has been fighting for Anaheim residents for years. She says she has identified tens of millions of dollars in the City budget that could be redirected to police and fire. She says Anaheim has not had a strategic plan in her adult life. She says a strategic plan will tone down the bickering and weaken the lobbyists. She celebrates Disney’s decision this week to not build a hotel.

An audience member asks how Ward can get all this done since Anaheim is not a Strong Mayor government.

Ward notes the City Manager is the strongest figure in City government. She says she has no unfunded pension liability at the Orange County Cemetery District. She stated she negotiated with SEIU for full pension reform.

Shioura asks Ward if she would have the City become a direct authorizer of charter schools.

Ward says that is the purview of school districts, not the City.

An audience member asks about affordable housing.

Ward says she is saddened that families are leaving due to affordability issues but government should not intervene. She calls for helping those who cannot help themselves. She calls for innovative sanitation system solutions.

An audience member asks about budgeting to train new police.

Ward says she would do so.

Robert Williams says “pro-business = jobs = life.” He decries “Disney bashing” pointing to “Berkeley bashing North Face,” which then left for San Leandro. He calls for new blood and new ideas but wants to use the experience of former officeholders. He urges people to work together and be willing to hear each other out. He promises to serve only one term. He calls for getting jobs for the homeless by imposing a jobs requirement with RFPs for City contracts. He wants private vendors to pay for two miles of street repair every time they dig up part of a road. He says it should be “the price of doing business in Anaheim.” He wants Anaheim to be “the small city we are” where people know each other.

Former Senator John Lewis of Orange asks if Williams feels Disney exerts too much influence in the City with “millions of dollars” in campaign spending.

Williams says Disney does not exert too much influence. He says Disney is not the source of all of Anaheim’s problems. He says “Disney is not the big bad wolf. We created the big bad wolf.”

An audience member asks if Disney had donated to Williams.

Williams says he has no campaign contributions and is self-funded.

Next up is City Council.

Anaheim City Council, District 2

Of the five candidates for District 2, three are present.

Donald Bruhns has called Anaheim home for 22 years but his parents grew up here and his grandfather was a City employee. He has volunteered for Anaheim YMCA. He wants “viable after-school” options for youth. He is on the CalOptima Provider Advisory Committee among other health-related government bodies. He opposes partisan politics at City Hall. He says he would do right by his neighbors and family.

Shioura asks about the after school options.

Bruhns speaks of sports programs and the Anaheim Achieves program.

An audience member asks what are the top two priorities of West Anaheim.

Bruhns says West Anaheim is neglected compared to Anaheim Hills and the Colony. He says both his priorities are more funding for District 2.

Duane Roberts is a 50-year resident. He teaches at a local English school. He is an activist on “affordable housing, police misconduct,” and holding “public officials accountable.” He wants to fix parks and roads. He wants to “fight corporate welfare” and blasts the TOT program in Anaheim. He says hotel construction is a scheme to attract pharmaceutical companies to the convention center. He wants to reduce homelessness via a countywide strategy to get them into homes. He supports rent control. He wants to “keep law enforcement responsible…with a strong police review board.” He says he serves the residents, not corporate interests and his campaign contributions reflect that.

An audience member asks about his vision for rent control.

Roberts says rent control should control property owner profits but not eliminate them.

An audience member asks what is the proper profit and proper rent.

Roberts says a separate board would be set up with economic studies on rent while examining the finances of property owners.

An audience member asks about low-income housing having 3-4 years of waitlists.

Roberts supports affordable housing for both low and middle income. He supports the Anaheim Housing Authority issuing bonds, buying land, and developing housing. The tenants would pay off the bonds.

Councilman James Vanderbilt thanks the attendees and laments low voter turnout in Anaheim. He thanks the forum organizers. He thanks the other candidates for running. He reads from his 2014 ballot statement. He states he has asked lots of questions and challenged “giveaways.” He says he is self-funded. He has turned down salaries, benefits, and the parking space from the City Council. He donates his travel reimbursement to charity. He speaks of answering constituent casework issues. He says districts allow a more specific focus by Councilmembers while the Mayor can have a broader focus for the whole city.

Lorri Galloway asks Vanderbilt about Disney deciding not to open its hotel.

Vanderbilt says he would support broader subsidies that were open to more entities. He refers to subsidies for restaurants or even supermarkets.

An audience member asks about voter approval of lease-revenue bonds.

Vanderbilt says it depends on what the bond is for, giving the example of supporting school bonds because they are “for the children.”

Anaheim City Council, District 3

All three candidates for District 3 are present.

Mitch Caldwell introduces his family. He moved into District 3 in 1983. He spoke of high crime during that time. He blasts the redevelopment agency tearing up the city in the 1980s. He organized a group that threatened to sue the City and preserve the neighborhood. He says this allowed young families to move into the community. He supported the TOT program for the O’Connell hotel in 2009/2010 because it was the only way to make it financially viable. He says there are five areas in the City are not as safe as they should be: they are not Anaheim Hills. He says whether you like the Anaheim Resort or not, it generates $160 million annually fleecing people from other parts of the country while sparing Anaheim from sales tax increases that are occurring in many OC cities. He wants to improve neighborhoods to get young families back to Anaheim.

Former Senator John Lewis of Orange asks if Caldwell is accepting contributions from hoteliers and has a fundraiser at a lobbyist’s house. He says no one owns him and that he accepts many contributions. He notes neither Disney nor SOAR have given him any money.

An audience member asks him about immigrant family street vendors, as he is pictured on his web site.

Caldwell will treat all people equally and enforce the law fairly. He says equal treatment applies regardless of their origin.

An audience member asks Caldwell why he is running for Council if he opposed district elections.

Caldwell praises district elections are cheaper and easier to campaign in. Conversely, he expresses his frustration that he only gets to vote for 2 of the 7 Council members (Mayor and District) instead of voting for the entire Council.

Jose Moreno thanks the organizers, attendees, and candidates. He notes he is a Democrat. He wants to better understand the “human condition.” He says the City had to be sued to get district elections. He blasts “big money interests” and praises the voters for passing district elections. He says the westside did not have a Council representative for 20 years. He says anger and public comment are a sign that people feel they can better hold people accountable. He calls for “not big government, not small government, but relevant government.” He created a lobbyist registry. He added a project notification system. He has created task forces to work on homelessness. He says it is untrue that he does not collaborate or work with others, pointing to his task forces. He says he is “pushing for the people’s voice at City Hall.”

An audience member asks about the lobbyist registry.

Moreno says it applies to contract lobbyists, not direct employees of entities like Disney.

An audience member asks about how to help homeless people who do not want help.

Moreno says it is difficult to reconcile small government with using governmental power against the homeless. He says it takes 7-9 attempts to actually get the homeless to accept services. He says there must be shelter space in order to enforce anti-camping ordinances. He notes he is endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait.

Robert Nelson says he is the Mayor’s appointee to the Public Utilities Board. He joined a Blue Ribbon school district committee because better schools are critical to the community. He speaks of his wife and children. He says he is a retired businessman. He says he wants to serve Anaheim. He grew up in a “bad neighborhood” in the San Gabriel Valley with car thieves, drug dealers, and gangs. His father refused to leave the neighborhood and fought back. Once, when his father was not at home, his mother and he had to fight an attempted break-in. He does not want this to happen to Anaheim. He says his slogan is “Neighborhoods, Not Giveaways.” He wants to build revenue, improve neighborhoods, and diversify the economy. He wants to partner with Cal State Fullerton and Chapman University to bring in high-quality jobs. He wants to enforce the existing laws that are being violated by the homeless.

Shioura asks about having a City right-to-work ordinance, which would help attract technology companies.

Nelson opposes the right-to-work ordinance but supports technology companies.

Jose Moreno asks Nelson about his work on the police review board.

Nelson says it was an informative experience. He says he supports police but supports accountability. He made the motion to investigate the former Anaheim Police Chief for timecard fraud.

Anaheim City Council, District 6

Of the three candidates for District 6, one candidate is present and a second candidate has sent a representative.

Moderator Bob Walters notes that Patty Gaby is an active member of the Anaheim Republican Assembly, the group that organized this forum.

Patty Gaby speaks of years of residency in Anaheim Hills and her family. She speaks of being active in her children’s schools and the San Antonio Catholic Church. She is on the Parks Commission and was on the Golf Commission. She is a retired teacher. She says public safety is her top priority. She said, “Today is a great day!” in response to Disney “waving the white flag” and not building the hotel; she says that the City now has $267 million more in its coffers as a result. She says people need to work together to solve homelessnes. She wants to know what the City Manager and Police Chief suggest in homelessness. She says Anaheim pensions are unsustainable.

An audience member asks Gaby thoughts on the City’s role in homeless policy.

Gaby says more shelters need to be built and funded from City taxpayer dollars, such as from the $267 million saved today.

An audience member asks about the TOT and if Gaby knows where the $267 million comes from.

Gaby says there is no subsidy so the $267 million can be used.

The exasperated audience member explains the money does not exist yet because the $267 million is a rebate from revenues; those revenues do not exist until collected from hotel guests.

Bob Walters notes the wheelchair of the representative from Trevor O’Neil. O’Neil had a pre-existing scheduling obligation. O’Neil is a conservative who has lived in Anaheim Hills for 23 years. His children went to Canyon High School. He owns a business that employs 75 people. O’Neil is endorsed by Mimi Walters, Steven Choi, Young Kim, Philip Chen, Matthew Harper, Ling-Ling Chang, Don Wagner, Allan Mansoor, the Orange County Taxpayers Association, and the California Women’s Leadership Association.

(Editor’s Note: While improved from 2016, the format was still rough for voters. Each candidate gave an opening statement then got all their questions and answers, then it moved to the next candidate. It also meant most candidates got different questions. This made it quite difficult for audience members to compare candidate responses.)

Posted in Anaheim | Leave a Comment »

Live from Part of OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 4 for November 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 22, 2018

We are live from the first part of OC GOP Endorsements Committee’s fourth meeting for the November 2018 General Election. The committee’s recommendations will be considered by the full Central Committee at its August 30 meeting. Prior endorsements by the full Central Committee were completed as recently as their August 20 meeting.

Regrettably, your blogger has a scheduling conflict and will need to depart early. However, the fireworks in this meeting are expected to be in San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3, which is at the top of the agenda, where three Republican incumbents are running for the same seat as San Juan Capistrano moves to district elections for Council for the first time; two of those incumbents are seeking the OC GOP endorsement.

Tonight’s agenda consists of:

  • Hon. Kerry Ferguson for San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Derek Reeve for San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3
  • Chris Thompson for Fullerton Joint Union High School District Trustee, District 4
  • Jamey Federico for Dana Point City Council, District 3
  • Marice DePasquale for Mesa Water District Director, Division 3
  • Hon. Fred Minagar for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Hon. Don Wagner for Mayor of Irvine
  • Dan Bane for San Clemente City Council
  • Laura Ferguson for San Clemente City Council
  • Hon. Richard Viczorek for Mayor of Dana Point
  • Erica Pezold for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Hon. Brett Barbre for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
  • City of Santa Ana Measure X (Against)
  • Santa Ana Unified School District Measure I (Against)
  • California Proposition 5 (Support)
  • California Proposition 10 (Oppose)

Present are Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang and Members, Gene Hernandez, Leroy Mills, and Erik Weigand. Committee Members Laurie Davies is on the phone. Absent are Committee Members Mark Bucher and Tyler Diep.

San Juan Capistrano City Council District 3

Laurie Davies seeks clarification on how many candidates, incumbents, and seats there are. There are 4-5 Republicans, of whom 3 Republicans are incumbents, of whom 2 are seeking the endorsement, and 1 seat available.

Councilman Derek Reeve was endorsed by the OC GOP in 2010 and 2014. He states he is a limited government, constitutional conservative. He has fought tax increases and fees.

There are significant difficulties with Davies being on the phone that delays the meeting.

Reeve resumes. He is an advocate of the Second Amendment.

Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson says she is a loyal Republican. She volunteered for US Senator Gordon Smith. She was President of her RWF group. She has organized schools teaching about the constitution. She says she has “resisted oversized developments” on the Council and has worked to be a uniter. She brought $7 million in street repairs. She has worked on the water system, street lights, and a skate park.

A public commenter named Paul Jekinson who is a CFO speaks in support of Ferguson. He speaks of her attention to detail, her willingness to listen, and her engagement with citizens as a Councilwoman.

Erik Weigand calls this a very challenging seat and urges neutrality, considering all three Republican incumbents seeking this single seat were previously endorsed by the OC GOP, and both Reeve and Ferguson have been solid Republicans.

Gene Hernandez expresses frustration with districts. He asks Ferguson to respond to an allegation that she endorsed a Democrat over a Republican.

Ferguson says she has only endorsed a Democrat running against another Democrat.

Hernandez agrees with Weigand’s call for neutrality.

Laurie Davies says she has worked with Ferguson on regional issues at ACC-OC and has been a strong vote for local control and conservative causes.

Leroy Mills asks if Ferguson has ever been a keynote speaker at a Sergio Ferias fundraiser.

Ferguson says she has not.

Mills also wishes to stay neutral.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds for neutrality.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang expresses her support for the neutrality motion and thanks both Councilmembers for attending.

Hernandez calls Ferguson a hardworking conservative and knows her through their work at OCFA, but he doesn’t know Reeve.

The vote for neutrality in San Juan Capistrano City Council District 3 is 5-0.

Jamey Federico for Dana Point City Council, District 3

Jamey Federico is a retired USMC Lieutenant Colonel who flew 1000 flights. He speaks of his long military career. He speaks of his leadership in Dana Point. He expresses his concern about obstructionist NIMBYs in Dana Point.

Jennifer Beall speaks in support of Federico. She warns of the liberalism of Mayor Deborah Lewis who has endorsed Charles Payne (Federico’s opponent). She blasts Lewis’s stances on property rights. She notes Lewis was livid when Dana Point Councilmembers wrote a letter opposing the sanctuary state bill. Diane Harkey and Joe Muller endorse Federico.

Hernandez expresses support for Federico.

Mills asks about Federico’s stance on the pro-life plank being in the California Republican Party platform, as Federico wrote on the form that it is turning off some voters from the party.

Federico notes that Chief Justice John Roberts and Judge Brett Kavanaugh have called Roe v. Wade settled law. He says he has spoken to many voters for whom this has been the sole issue preventing them from voting Republican.

Davies expresses her support for Federico because liberals are gaining ground on seats in coastal areas.

Weigand says it speaks highly of Federico for being honest about his position in front of the OC GOP.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds to recommend Federico. The committee votes 5-0 for the motion.

And with that, your blogger must regrettably depart. OC Political will get the rest of the results and report later.

What happened after your blogger’s departure:

  • Chris Thompson recommended 5-0 for Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Trustee Area 4
  • Marice DePasquale recommended 5-0 for Mesa Water District, Division 3
  • Fred Minagar recommended 5-0 for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Don Wagner recommended 5-0 for Mayor of Irvine
  • San Clemente City Council
    • Dan Bane recommended 5-0
    • Laura Ferguson recommended 4-1 (Leroy Mills dissenting because Ferguson is pro-choice)
  • Richard Viczorek recommended 5-0 for Mayor of Dana Point
  • Erica Pezold recommended 5-0 for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Brett Barbre recommended 5-0 for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
  • Opposition recommended 4-0 on Measure X in Santa Ana (Leroy Mills abstaining)
  • Opposition recommended 5-0 on Measure I in the Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Support recommended 5-0 on Proposition 5
  • Opposition recommended 5-0 on Proposition 10

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 2 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee, Round 2 for November 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 20, 2018

We are live from the OC GOP Central Committee’s second round of endorsements. The first round of endorsements were made on July 30; the only candidates who have been officially endorsed before tonight were endorsed at that July 30 meeting, at the June 18 meeting (Newport Beach City Council: Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, Jr. – District 3, Kevin Muldoon – District 4, Scott Peotter – District 6), or the April 16 meeting (Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates).

At tonight’s meeting, the Central Committee will deliberate the recommendations from the Endorsements Committee’s August 6 meeting, one candidate who asked to be delayed from the Endorsement Committee’s July 19 meeting, and a handful of candidates who collected enough signatures from Central Committee members to bypass the Endorsements Committee and go straight to the full Central Committee.

Here are the candidates on tonight’s docket:
Candidates with an affirmative recommendation from the Endorsements Committee:

  • Hon. James Vanderbilt for Anaheim City Council, District 2
  • Hon. Cecilia Hupp for Brea City Council
  • Brett Eckles for Costa Mesa City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Allan Mansoor for Costa Mesa City Council, District 5
  • Hon. Greg Sebourn for Fullerton City Council, District 3
  • Anthony Kuo for Irvine City Council
  • Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council
  • Neeki Moatazedi for Lake Forest City Council, District 2
  • Hon. Scott Voigts for Lake Forest City Council, District 3
  • Chip Monaco for Orange City Council
  • Austin Lumbard for Tustin City Council
  • Chi Charlie Nguyen for Westminster City Council
  • Hon. Steve Sheldon for Orange County Water District, Division 5
  • Hon. Shawn Dewane for Orange County Water District, Division 7
  • Hon. Shawn Dewane for Mesa Water District, Division 5
  • Hon. Bill Green for South Coast Water District

Candidates who did not receive the recommendation of the Endorsements Committee:

  • Michelle Barto for Newport Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 5

Candidates who obtained the required signatures to bypass the Endorsements Committee and come directly before the Central Committee:

  • Hon. Dave Harrington for Aliso Viejo City Council
  • Hon. Barbara Delgleize for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Ron Sterud for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Dean Grose for Los Alamitos City Council
  • Hon. Ed Sachs for Mission Viejo City Council

California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte gives opening remarks on the party’s goals for the rest of 2018, as well as the party’s accomplishments earlier in 2018, such as the recall of Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton). He speaks of party infrastructure, phone banking, precinct walking, and other less visible party work. He notes the massive number of California’s Congressional districts: California more Republican Members of Congress than most states have Congressional seats. He speaks about the gas tax. He also speaks about high-speed rail. He speaks about California’s rising crime rate compared to the falling crime rates in the rest of the nation.

Cynthia Thacker speaks briefly to announce a Mark Meuser for Secretary of State biking event on Thursday from Anaheim to Huntington Beach.

Ryan Downing, the Republican nominee against Linda Sanchez in the 38th Congressional District, which is mostly in Los Angeles County but does include the Orange County city of La Palma, makes a request for donations.

The Volunteer of the Month is Sharon Underwood, an active member of the Pat Nixon Republican Women Federated, who has volunteered for Republican candidates and voter registration drives. In addition to recognition from the OC GOP and OCFRW, she receives recognition from Supervisor Todd Spitzer himself and the offices of Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey, Assemblyman Phillip Chen, and Assessor Claude Parrish.

At 7:50 PM, Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang delivers her committee’s report.

First Consent Calendar

The list of “Candidates with an affirmative recommendation from the Endorsements Committee” is presented as a consent calendar. Munzing moves and Peotter seconds the list.

Baron Night pulls James Vanderbilt (Anaheim City Council, District 2) and Chip Monaco (Orange City Council) from the consent calendar.

The alternate for Konstantinos Roditis pulls Carrie O’Malley (Irvine City Council) from the consent calendar.

James Vanderbilt for Anaheim City Council, District 2

Night argues that Vanderbilt voted for capital appreciation bonds on the school board and that he abstained on the city council on a vote regarding a resolution in support of Proposition 13.

Whitacre moves and Barbre seconds to endorse Vanderbilt.

There is no debate, and the endorsement vote passes by a voice vote.

Chip Monaco for Orange City Council

Night argues that Monaco should bedelayed until Jon Dumitru has had a chance to go through the endorsements process.

Night argues all viable Republican candidates should be heard. He says Dumitru has previously served on the City Council and has not had the chance to be vetted by the Endorsements Committee.

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker notes this is his seat that he is terming out of in Orange. He warns that there are viable Democrats running and specifically names Beatriz Valencia as a strongly viable liberal candidate. She has the second largest campaign warchest in Orange, behind only Monaco. He notes she is already walking precincts. Whitaker notes Dumitru has lost the last three elections he has run in in the City of Orange.

Night’s motion is rejected by a voice vote.

The endorsement for Chip Monaco passes by a voice vote.

Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council

Bianka Asik, alternate for Konstantinos Roditis, reads a statement from Roditis expressing his opposition to O’Malley, including a statement that Roditis had emailed Whitaker to say he was instructing Asik to pull and vote against O’Malley.

Whitaker notes that the Democrats are divided into two slates, one backed by Larry Agran and one opposed by Agran. He speaks of Mayor Don Wagner endorsing Anthony Kuo and Carrie O’Malley. He speaks of O’Malley’s tenure in Assemblyman Steven Choi’s office and the homeowners association.

Donovan Higbee moves and Denis Bilodeau seconds endorsing O’Malley.

The endorsement for Carrie O’Malley passes by a voice vote.

Michelle Barto for Newport Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 5

Barto is the only candidate on the “Candidates who did not receive the recommendation of the Endorsements Committee” list.

Huang explains that most conservatives are endorsing the NPP candidate in this seat. She says despite being the sole Republican in the race now, Barto was objectionable due to her active involvement as the Assistant Treasurer in a Democrat’s school board campaign two years ago.

Todd Spitzer asked if there was any other objection from the Endorsements Committee.

Huang notes that Mark Bucher expressed concern about Barto’s weakness on charter schools. Erik Weigand noted that on a question regarding political role models, Barto picked two Democrats.

Barto is allowed to speak. Barto says she supports charter schools and feels community support is important for them. She notes her sister went to the Orange County School of the Arts. Barto says she admired Abigail Adams in a 3 minute video and only had a quick aside in support of Maria Shriver’s work on the Special Olympica and Jackie Kennedy’s fashion style. She argues the Democrat she opposed was not running against a Republican.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher speaks of Barto being one of his strong supporters for years. He notes she supports charter schools and parental choice. He argues she is the only Republican running. He says that most people are not as partisan on races like school board. He calls it a no-brainer.

Rohrabacher moves and Scott Peotter seconds to endorse Barto.

Tim Whitacre asks Barto is she will ever support a Democratic again.

Barto promises not to.

Whitacre asks if she will pledge to work for Republican candidates the same way she has for Rohrabacher.

Barto pledged to do so.

The endorsement of Michelle Barto passes by a voice vote.

Second Consent Calendar

Mike Munzing moves and Steve Sarkis seconds the “Candidates who obtained the required signatures to bypass the Endorsements Committee and come directly before the Central Committee” list.

The list passes unanimously without debate.

Resolution

The committee unanimously approved a resolution to stand behind local school boards choosing to opt out of portions of state-mandated curricula.

Reports

Various reports are delivered.

Flyer Objection

Assemblyman Steven Choi’s alternate, Esther Koh, expressed objection to a flyer at Central Committee that stated it was from Choi’s campaign attacking Harry Sidhu. She stated the flyer was distributed without Choi’s authorization.

Adjournment

The Central Committee adjourns at 8:36 PM.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 3 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 3 for November 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 6, 2018

Your intrepid blogger was delayed by traffic, so there was no time to load the meeting agenda into the live blog.

Present are Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang and Members Mark Bucher, Tyler Diep, Leroy Mills, and Erik Weigand.  Absent are Laurie Davies and Gene Hernandez.

The recommendations from this meeting will be voted upon at the full Central Committee meeting on August 20.

Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council

Your blogger walked in during the first candidate on the agenda: Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council.

O’Malley delivered her opening statement before your blogger’s arrival.

Assemblyman Steven Choi spoke on the phone before your blogger’s arrival.  (Editor’s Note: Others in attendance at the meeting stated that Choi spoke of O’Malley’s policy background and experience, and Choi was endorsing O’Malley.)

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker is on the phone speaking about the partisan divide in Irvine. He states that Mayor Don Wagner has asked for the OC GOP to support O’Malley. He says that the Democrats are currently divided and this is a chance to speak. (Editor’s Note: Your blogger walked in mid-way through the call. O’Malley texted to say “Fred also spoke at length re my policy background and 20 year Irvine community background and the meshing of the two. That was his main point.”)

Central Committee Member Jon Fleischman speaks briefly by phone in support of O’Malley.

Alternate Bianka Asik delivers a message from Central Committee Member Konstantinos Roditis speaking in opposition, expressing that O’Malley does not conduct herself professionally and creates a toxic environment in the workplace. The message states that she is not a team player with other Republicans.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks a technical question that is quickly resolved.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep asks how much she has raised.

O’Malley says she has raised $32,000 and has a fundraiser scheduled for September 6.

Diep asks if other Republicans are running besides herself and Anthony Kuo.

O’Malley says she is the only Republican woman who has pulled and that a number of Republican men have pulled but not filed, other than Kuo.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks who has endorsed her, such as her former boss, Supervisor Todd Spitzer.

O’Malley says Spitzer is not endorsing any candidates.

Weigand asks if Assemblyman Matthew Harper has endorsed.

O’Malley says he is waiting for the close of filing.

Weigand asks if Senator John Moorlach has endorsed.

O’Malley says he signed the OC GOP paperwork but has not confirmed an official endorsement.

Weigand asks O’Malley and Asik if Asik worked with O’Malley in Choi’s office.

O’Malley takes the question and says that Asik left the office of her own accord.

Weigand asks O’Malley about the social host ordinance.

O’Malley says she worked on it for Spitzer but would not push for it as an Irvine Councilmember.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about whether O’Malley has sat down with stakeholders on homelessness.

O’Malley says she would listen to the dialogue and that location is key. She feels the County and cities need to work together. She says Irvine residents are very concerned about the earlier proposed location within their city.

Huang asks what her proposal would be.

O’Malley says her proposal would be to not be next to the Great Park where families are.

Huang asks her about her proposal.

O’Malley would support the status quo of meeting with mayors, the County, and the judge to find a location without parks, libraries, or schools nearby.

Huang asks her if she has met with non-government officials on homelessness.

O’Malley says she has spoken to individuals informally but has not spoken to any organized group.

Huang asks O’Malley about her position on Measure B

O’Malley says she did not take a public position on Measure B but voted for it.

Huang asks about the unfunded liability in Irvine.

O’Malley does not know the number.

Huang asks how she plans to expand the public safety budget without exacerbating the pension liability.

O’Malley talks about the OCFA snowball strategy.

Huang asks her to refocus on the Irvine Police Department.

O’Malley says the Council should vet the books. She says she is a policy person.

Huang asks for specifics.

O’Malley reiterates that she is a policy person and says she will analyze the issue.

Huang asks about her title at the Assembly.

O’Malley says her official title is District Director but also has a working title off Senior Policy Advisor. O’Malley says she flies up every other month or so to work on legislation for a day.

Huang asks if any of the money she has raised has come from unions.

O’Malley says she has raised money from individuals.

Diep moves to recommend O’Malley.

Huang says Irvine Councilman Jeff Lalloway has indicated he is considering running for re-election.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher says he is close to Lalloway and doesn’t understand what he is waiting for since filing closes Friday. He also notes that filing would close before the next Central Committee meeting.

Bucher seconds Diep’s motion.

O’Malley is recommended unanimously.

Brett Eckles for Costa Mesa City Council, District 3

Brett Eckles is a father of four. He has served on two city committees. He has coached AYSO soccer. He speaks about district elections and the increase in the size of the council. He speaks about the problems of homelessness, fiscal sustainability, and sober living homes. He is a small business owner in the construction industry and is president of his state trade association.

Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor praises Eckles’s background of city service and community service. He says Eckles’s sole opponent is a Democrat.

Water Board Member Shawn Dewane praises Eckles as the best candidate in the seat.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep asks him about how he intends to win with a $20,000 budget.

Eckles plans to raise more but notes districts have significantly reduced the dollars needed for a council seat.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks about the district boundaries.

Eckles describes the boundaries including naming the streets. He notes there are 7,000 voters.

Weigand texted a friend in Costa Mesa who responded with praise for Eckles.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks what is the unfunded liability in Costa Mesa.

Eckles says it is $255 million.

Huang asks how he will increase officers without increasing liability.

Eckles proposes equipping safety personnel and ensuring salaries are competitive but not the highest in the region.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about the at-large to district transition.

Eckles explains three districts are up in 2018 and another three will be up in 2020. He also notes there will be a 2-year directly-elected Mayor.

Mark Bucher moves and Erik Weigand seconds to recommend Eckles. The vote is unanimous.

Bill Green for South Coast Water District

Incumbent Bill Green was endorsed four years ago. He has been married for 46 years. He is a Catholic. He was an avocado farmer and an engineering consultant. He was also State President of his trade association. He was an alternate on the Riverside GOP Central Committee. He was raised in Anaheim but spent most of his life in Riverside County. Governor Schwarzenegger appointed him to the regional water control board.

Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Brett Barbre speaks briefly in support of Green when the committee urges brevity.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks about the PC-15 controversy.

Green says a negotiator is working it out. They are trying to resolve the conflict between the SOCWA members.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about water capture and storage.

Green says they have worked with other districts on a water storage project in San Juan Creek to store about 700 acre feet of water.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about whether he would support bonds.

Green says they are over-leveraged and he does not wish to support any more bonds. He says he supported Prop 1, but it has not panned out the way he expected.

Huang asks about the California Fix plan and any potential bonds.

Green expresses his support for it. He says he would be open to bonds for it.

Tyler Diep moves and Mark Bucher seconds to recommend Green. The vote is unanimous.

Jon Peat for Cypress City Council

Incumbent Jon Peat was endorsed four years ago. He is very soft-spoken and difficult to hear.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills comments on the pledge to not accept union money and to oppose increases on taxes and fees. Mills is disturbed by Peat’s vote to grant a large fee increase to a waste hauler above the amount recommended by the City’s outside consultant.

Peat argued that their small waste hauler was more than $1 million in the red and was at risk of insolvency. He argued their rates were better than those of neighboring cities. He says they followed the Prop 218 fee increase process. He says their rate was $14 while neighboring cities were at $19. He says even after the increase, they are the 6th lowest price in the County.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep asks if Mills has accepted union money.

Mills says Peat accepted police union money in 2014.

Peat is surprised by the donation.

Mills expresses concerns about the waste hauler. He expresses concern about people who have been convicted being on the payroll of a City vendor. He says the waste hauler low bid the contract to land the contract.

Peat argues that raising the rate was still lower than switching to a more expensive vendor.

Peat asks to table, so he can look up the donation.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher says he is more troubled by the $1500 donation from the union.

Diep says the concern from Mills is not the donation itself but the breaking of the pledge.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand ponders if he has given $1500 to the party.

Mills questions what would be gained by tabling.

Peat would like the opportunity to look.

Peat is tabled.

Derek Reeve for San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3

Councilman Derek Reeve is seeking a third term. He says he is a constitutional conservative who is simply trying to fill potholes in his city. He says he even opposed a one cent annual fee increase. He says he is an outspoken opponent of Agenda 21 and does not believe in climate change.

Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Jim Reardon expresses concern that there are three incumbents running in the District 3 seat due to Council districts being drawn for the first time.

Bianka Asik speaks on behalf of Konstantinos Roditis. Roditis was a student of Reeve when he was a teacher. Roditis supports Reeve.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks how many Republicans have pulled or filed.

Reeves says six Republicans have pulled but only he and Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson have filed in this seat.

Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson notes that she was endorsed previously and has her application for endorsement with her.  She urges neutrality due to two incumbents being drawn into the same district, and a third has moved into the district.

Mills moves for neutrality.

Reeve says he would normally agree with Reardon but argues neither Ferguson or Councilwoman Pam Patterson would be endorsed by the party. He says Ferguson has voted to increase taxes and endorsed Democrats. He says Patterson has been backed by liberal groups and Democratic mayors.

Ferguson disputes Reeve’s claims.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand notes that Patterson went to the White House regarding sanctuary state and isn’t here to defend herself. He says Ferguson has not had the chance to be vetted by the committee.

Leroy Mills moves and Mark Bucher seconds to table until all the incumbents can be vetted together. The committee agrees unanimously.

Greg Sebourn for Fullerton City Council, District 3

Greg Sebourn is Chairman of the Sanitation District, where they have paid off the pension liability. He notes his opponent in this race is Sharon Quirk-Silva’s husband. Sebourn has many volunteers and estimates he can spend $35,000 to $40,000 to win.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks how it works to run for a district seat mid-term while holding an at-large seat.

Sebourn explains that if Silva wins, the at-large seat is vacated and an appointment made to fill the seat.

Mills asks why was Sebourn a Democrat.

Sebourn explains that as a young 18-year-old, he registered as a Democrat, but in 2001, he changed his registration when he bought a condo. He later volunteered for various Republican elected officials and became a Republican.

Tyler Diep moves and Mark Bucher seconds to recommend endorsing Sebourn. The vote is unanimous.

Shawn Dewane for Mesa Water District and Orange County Water District

Shawn Dewane is seeking re-election to both his water board seats. He speaks about the importance of financial solvency and water sustainability. He notes Mesa Water District has no pension liability while Orange County Water District does not even have defined benefit pensions.

Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Brett Barbre speaks of Dewane being a solid conservative in water districts.

Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor praises Dewane’s conservative values as well.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks about his consultant being Democrat George Urch.

Dewane argues it is useful to have information from the Democratic side of the aisle.

Weigand asks about the water infrastructure in the districts.

Dewane describes various water infrastructure projects and funding models in various districts.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about gubernatorial mandates on 55 gallon water limits.

Dewane comments about using Prop 218 to block the limits.

Huang asks about bonds and water storage.

Dewane only supports bonds in the case of those where it is built into the rate. He supports desalination. He would only build into the actual cost of water.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about bonds being double the face value.

Dewane says due to OCWD having such a strong financial condition and high credit rating, they rarely need to use bonds.

Weigand moves and Mills seconds to recommend Dewane. The vote to recommend is unanimous.

Cecilia Hupp for Brea City Council

Cecilia Hupp is running for re-election.

The committee interrupts her to make the motion to recommend her endorsement.

Endorsements Committee Member Chair Peggy Huang asks about the pension liability in Brea.

Hupp answers the question though this blogger has trouble hearing the number due to an unrelated interruption in the audience near him.

Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Brett Barbre and Bianka Asik speak in support.

The vote by the Endorsements Committee is unanimous to recommend Hupp.

Steve Sheldon for Orange County Water District

Incumbent Steve Sheldon was Chairman of Youth for Dornan. He has brought conservative policies to the Orange County Water District, as Dewane has. He successfully blocked the implementation of a defined benefit pension plan by a single vote.

Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Brett Barbre calls Sheldon a Reagan conservative.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about fundraising.

Sheldon says he can self-fund whatever he does not raise.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about bonds.

Sheldon says OCWD does not use bonds.

The vote to recommend Sheldon is unanimous.

Neeki Moatazedi and Scott Voigts for Lake Forest City Council

Neeki Moatazedi and Scott Voigts are running in adjoining districts for Lake Forest City Council.

Voigts speaks about his long record of conservative activism.

Moatazedi speaks about how she arrived at conservatism. During the Great Recession, her parents’ business was taxed into bankruptcy. She grew up in Coto de Caza. She said she purchased her condo in Lake Forest three years ago.

Bianka Asik speaks on behalf of Central Committee Member Konstantinos Roditis praising the conservative values and intellect of the candidates.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep asks Moatazedi if other Republicans are running in her district.

Moatazedi says there are.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand says he was contacted about another candidate against Moatazedi.

Voigts says that other candidate is running on a personal vendetta and is friends with Councilman Jim Gardner.

Debate ensues as to whether the other candidate will be considered.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks Moatazedi about her questionnaire comment on fighting corruption.

Moatazedi specifies there is a pending DA investigation.

Voigts says there are also 17 FPPC allegations being investigated.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about new taxes and fees.

Moatazedi says she opposes them.

Huang asks about the unfunded liability.

Moatazedi says the conservative leadership of Voigts and Dwight Robinson have paid down the liability.

The motion is to recommend Voigts and Moatazedi, with caveat that if Moatazedi’s opponent applies, he will be heard. The vote is unanimous.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 5

Due to a discussion with another candidate asking for changes on their section of this live-blog, this blogger did not catch the opening statements of Michelle Barto and Kate Malouf.

Orange County Board of Education Trustee Mari Barke speaks of Kate Malouf’s conservative values and conservative endorsements.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher on the phone says Michelle Barto has been active in helping Republicans.

Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor speaks of Kate Malouf being highly recommended by my Republicans, and he has endorsed her.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher asks about Barto serving as Assistant Treasurer for a Democrat and praising Michelle Obama and Maria Shriver.

Barto says it was a nonpartisan race for Newport-Mesa and that the incumbent needed to be defeated. She says the life stories of Shriver and Obama were inspiring.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills expressed concern that she has pulled papers but not yet filed.

Barto explains she is completing filing.

Mills asks about her blank answer on a questionnaire.

She confirms she supports making California a shall-issue state.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand regrets that they both have to run against each other, as he thinks both are good Republicans and would be good trustees. He urges neutrality.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about school construction bonds.

Barto opposes new taxes and bonds. She speaks of support for updating buildings but not with a tax increase.

Malouf says she also opposes new bonds because NMUSD has significant bond debt.

Bucher asks about charter schools.

Barto expresses support for home schooling and charter schools where there is community involvement.

Malouf expresses support for charter schools because many people, particularly on the Westside of Costa Mesa, are sending their children to private schools or to Huntington Beach schools.

Tyler Diep moves and Erik Weigand seconds neutrality. Diep calls Barto and Malouf both good Republicans who would make good trustees.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang is troubled by Barto’s involvement in helping a Democrat for school board.

Barto states she declined withdrew from the endorsement process of the teacher’s union.

Huang asks about her PTA service.

She is PTA President at her school.

Bucher expresses concern that charter school opponents question the level of community involvement of the charter school.

Mills says Barto’s involvement in a Democratic campaign is enough to not support her.

In a substitute motion, Mills moves and Bucher seconds to recommend Malouf. The motion passes 3-2 (Bucher, Huang, and Mills in favor while Diep and Weigand oppose).

Austin Lumbard for Tustin City Council

Austin Lumbard lost the 2016 election but was endorsed by the party. The city council has 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats on it as a result. He is the father of four. He is a limited government conservative and independent thinker.

The committee vote is unanimous to recommend Lumbard with no questions or debate.

Chi Charlie Nguyen for Westminster City Council

Chi Charlie Nguyen is a Catholic. He serves on the Midway City Sanitary District. He cites the endorsements of numerous Republicans, including the Mayor and the 3 Republican Westminster Councilmembers.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher asks if other Republicans are running.

Nguyen says some have pulled papers.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep says Nguyen is one of the two viable Republicans who have not taken union money. There are two open seats because Councilwoman Margie Rice is retiring and Diep is running for Assembly.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks if Nguyen would support a sales tax increase.

Nguyen says he would not because they just passed one in Westminster.

Huang clarifies she was asking about raising the threshold to 2/3 to put one on the ballot.

Nguyen supports that.

Tyler Diep moves and Leroy Mills seconds recommending Nguyen. The vote is unanimous.

(Editor’s Note: Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to Chi Charlie Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Councilman James Vanderbilt is the incumbent. He was a Central Committee member but had to leave when he joined the Army reserve preventing him from participating in partisan politics. He is the only Republican running.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand expresses support.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher asks about Obamacare repeal.

Vanderbilt says insurance costs would soar if it were repealed.

Bucher asks about insurance pools and health savings accounts.

Vanderbilt says he is not familiar enough with the implications to support them.

Bucher asks about shall-issue status for California.

Vanderbilt praises the Orange County Sheriff’s CCW policy. He says he would support people being able to get guns to protect themselves.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills is concerned that Vanderbilt is violating basic party tenets.

Vanderbilt speaks of being in favor of limited government and fiscal responsibility. He says the issues Mills raised are not City issues.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks a follow up about Obamacare in the context of cities and ambulances.

Vanderbilt expresses concern about ambulance costs and the uninsured.

Huang asks about hotel subsidies and gate tax exemptions.

Vanderbilt opposed both.

Erik Weigand moves and Tyler Diep seconds recommending Vanderbilt. The vote is unanimous.

Chip Monaco for Orange City Council

Chip Monaco is endorsed by Fred Whitaker for the seat Whitaker is vacating due to term limits. He has raised more money than his opponents.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher moves to recommend Monaco.  The vote is unanimous.

Allan Mansoor for Costa Mesa City Council, District 5

Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor speaks of his record in Costa Mesa and the State Assembly. He speaks of his record on pension reform and Prop 75. He speaks of declaring a Rule of Law city.  He speaks of his record on public safety and fiscal responsibility.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about districts.

Mansoor explains the district he resides in is up this year. He speaks of needing to defeat the Democrat in District 5.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand expresses various concerns about having two Republican candidates.

Mansoor explains that the Democrats have a unified slate and Republicans must defeat them.

Mark Bucher moves and Tyler Diep seconds to recommend Mansoor.

Diep discusses the dynamics of the race.

Huang expresses her concern about having two Republican candidates.

Bucher says there is no question that Mansoor is an incumbent in good standing.

The vote is 3-0-2 (Mills and Weigand abstaining).

The committee adjourns at 9:16 PM.

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