OC Political

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

Thugs and Public Servants: What’s the score now that the campaigning is done?

Posted by Brenda Higgins on November 5, 2012

While I am thoroughly appalled at the more than $60,000.00 that the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriff’s (AOCDS) spent in support of incumbent council members in Yorba Linda, it is one of those important distinctions between their message set forth on behalf of the ‘members’ they purport to represent and the members themselves.

In April, A five year, $9 million per year contract was awarded to the Orange County Sheriff. The vote, which took place at 3 am, was literally determined by Nancy Rikel, Mark Schwing, and John Anderson. Even though we have FIVE council members, the other two (Who voted to keep the 40 year contract with Brea Police) don’t matter. The Majority 3 vote together on very issue, every time. They decided this issue, they approved this contract. Little to no public input was elicited or allowed.

These alleged fiscal conservatives, Rikel and Schwing are up for re-election, and have garnered the coveted endorsements of the local GOP and the higher up state and federal representatives.

Regardless of party philosophies and the surreptitious manner in which these endorsements were obtained, the timing of these events should raise more than red flags.

This is also well beyond whether you think the Sheriff will be better that Brea PD or Brea PD will be better that the Sheriff. Seven months later. More than $60k in support, from the Union that benefitted, to the politicians who fully controlled and ultimately decided their contract.

Did I mention there is an Ethics Ordinance in Yorba Linda that prohibits any council member from accepting contributions in excess of $250 from any person or entity that may contract with the city? These mailers were sent directly from the address of, and paid for by the Union. These politicians will stand behind their “My campaign did not pay for that”. Later we will have a debate about what “sex with that woman” means also. Sometimes things are exactly what they seem to be. Do we really need that “blue dress”of physical evidence to show us what this relationship is about?

I work with Sheriff deputies every day. I thank God each day that they are there at the courthouse, keeping me and my clients safe, and maintaining order in a tense and sometimes chaotic environment. These fine men and women serve and carry guns and badges on a daily basis to protect their community, and not necessarily because they desire to be the deciding factors in the election process.

In 2009, shortly after the Triangle Complex Fire, I had the privilege of attending the Annual Chamber of Commerce Police and Fire breakfast. I sat with 9 officers, all who for various reasons were being honored for their extraordinary service. I heard of incredible acts of courage and sacrifice during the extraordinary day that over 100 homes in Yorba Linda burned to the ground. The effective work and brave actions of the police an fire crews that protected Yorba Linda on that day were clearly responsible for the fact that there was no loss of life.

These public servants face incredible danger so that we don’t have to. They are also citizens, are entitled to associate, to vote, to form opinions and voice them. However, the magnitude of this Sheriff contract, the sweeping change of terminating a 42 year relationship with Brea PD in a 3 am vote, coupled with unprecedented dollars in campaign support, only seven months later, is all something that goes well beyond entitlement of the union to participation in the election process. If this is not pay to play, I can not imagine what is.

20 Responses to “Thugs and Public Servants: What’s the score now that the campaigning is done?”

  1. Ed Rakochy said

    Brenda, Once again you skew the facts to favor your chosen candidates Hernandez, Knappenberger and Young.

    1. The $60K you speak of gets split three way between three candidates. So, Scwhing, Rikel and Peterson received Independent Expenditures of $20K each. Let’s compare that to your buddy Gene Hernandez who received a total of over $20K in Independent Expenditures from the the Orange County Jobs Coalition and the Orange County Taxpayers Association. These PACs are unrelated to their names and are supported by more PACs like the Building Industry Association of Southern California, the CA Real Estate PAC and Disney to name a few. Just what Yorba Linda needs, more development.

    Let’s look at contributions. Gene Hernandez has received $34,000 in monetary contributions to his campaign, with 75% of those contributions coming from out-of-town. That $34K exceeds the contributions of Schwing, Rikel and Peterson combined. Quite frankly Brenda, you’ve got a lot of gall questioning the integrity of Rikel and Schwing when your buddy Geno is bought and paid for by developers, real estate PACs and out-of-town interests to the tune of over $25,000. Rikel, Schwing and Peterson have essentially been financing their own campaigns. And when you look at the IE’s for each candidate, they cancel each other out. So, the real Mr. Moneybags here is Gene Hernanadez. Thing is, it’s all out-of-town/special interest money.

    2. Independent Expenditures are not campaign contributions. They are free speech and candidates cannot control them, just like I can’t control the nonsense you spew on your blog. So, if the Sheriff’s union wants to purchase mailers for a candidate without that candidate’s consent, they can’t be stopped. Your attempt at a nexus between the Sheriff’s union IE’s and an ethics violation is a joke and a total setup. Section 2.44.010 of the Yorba Linda Ethics Ordinance prohibits Councilmmembers from soliciting campaign contributions from City contractors. The Independent Expenditures were NOT solicited. They can’t be by their definition under State law. That’s why they’re Independent Expenditures. They are not contributions. You can’t return an IE. Truth is Brenda, you’re not ignorant of the law. You know the answer. You’re just twisting it to demonize Schwing and Rikel and support your candidates.

    3. Speaking of ethics, I understand it is a violation of the Orange County Republican Party Central Committee Ethics code for a member to support someone from an opposing party. You are supporting Hernandez, Knappenberger and Young for Yorba Linda City Council. Louis Knappenberger is a registered Democrat and you are a Central Committee member-elect. Your partner in crime Peggy Huang on this blog and also a Central Committee member-elect and a member of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, has publicly supported Louis Knappenberger. I’d say we’ve got a problem in River City and it doesn’t rhyme with pool. But, it sure reeks of a double standards.

    • Free Speech Ed? Really? Rikel and Schwing, along with you and your other buddies who run the city, drafted, supported, promoted and passed an ETHICS ordinacne, allegedly prohibitng these very kinds of conflicts of interest. Seriously Ed, you are your cohorts can continue to hide behind semantics, but Shwing and Rikel handed these guys a $45 million dollar job and then turned their heads while the Union virtually funded their re-election campaign. That’s just the conflict of interest and violation of the SPIRIT of the Ethics ordinance, don’t even get me started on the literal affirmative misrepresentations to the Orange County GOP in order to secure an endoresement, which they are now utilizing to misled voters in the city. But for their semantical manevering and accepting this “generosity” of the union, they would NOT be endorsed by the Republican party or any significant Republican electeds for that matter.

      Why do you keep crying about this like you are losing? With any luck you and your buddies will succeed again in misleading the voters in our city and will maintain control of everything. Why are you upset about that?

      With any luck you guys will end up with four seats, which will be narcissistic abusive heaven for John Anderson. He can oust and punish anyone who strays outside, and just think of how much punishment he will exact against poor Tom Lindsey. I suppose poor Tom is now realizing what Karma is and is a little bit sorry he “laid down with dogs”.

      Ed, you should really try to get a hobby or something. These elections have really become not even contests to you people. What will you do when there is no one willing to run against your candidates because of the lack of ethics in the process and the outright abuse that is waiting for them on the council.

      • M. Bell said

        Well stated, Brenda. I have to laugh at Rakochy’s comment about Knappenberger being a Democrat. Ed is a complete RINO. The sore loser only re-registered from being a Democrat to a Republican in 2008 hoping that would get him elected. ALL of his YLRRR election stunts come right out of the liberal handbook.

        • edrakochy said

          Hate to disappoint you Minky, but I’m not a sore loser. I think Schwing, Rikel and I ran a great campaign in 2008 nearly sweeping the race by 1 vote. That’s a major accomplishment. Mr. Winder was the incumbent Mayor and he almost placed fourth. By the way, I think you can do better than calling someone a liberal when you don’t have the criteria to back it up.

    • Peggy Huang said

      Ed, thank you for alerting me to the conspiracy. Last time I check, a co-conspirator has to know he or she is involved in a crime. Before you throw out my name or anyone else’s name, get your facts straight. City council races are not partisan races. Plus, I have not taken an oath of office yet, so I am not yet a member of the central committee and still a private citizen. Slandering a private citizen is a dangerous affair and unwise decision on your part.

      Character attacks against me will not win votes for your candidates. Stick to the relevant issues in this election.

      • Ed Rakochy said

        I’d be glad to let you know about your crime Peggy. This e-mail may look familiar:


        From: YLGL Society 

        Date: October 21, 2012, 10:10:51 PM PDT

        Subject: [BULK] Candidate Forum Replayed


        if you missed the October 11 candidate forum, you can watch it on Channel 3 on October 24 and 31 at 6:30 p.m.

        At the city council meeting on October 16, Councilmember Winder specifically pointed out that Rikel and Schwing lied during the candidates forum that former city manager retired when in fact the city manager resigned out of frustration in working with City Council, which included Rikel and Schwing. Neither Rikel and Schwing wanted the public to see the tape of the city manager’s reading his resignation letter and they don’t want you to hear why he quit. Here is the YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlttzEmkH-4&feature=youtu.be

        Disclosure: I am a supporter of Young, Hernandez, and Knappenberger for City Council. After two years of being involved in civic affairs and seeing the lack of civility during council meetings, our city needs independent residents to run this City, not special interest group funded & supported candidates. I’m sure all of you have received negative ads from YLRRR and the Sheriff’s Union against Young, Hernandez, and Knappenberger. Young, Hernandez, and Knappenberger are not supported by unions or special interest groups. I hope you will join me in supporting Young, Hernandez, and Knappenberger.


        Peggy Huang


        I’ll take what you said above as a public endorsement of Louis Knappenberger. Non-partisan race or not, the OCGOP takes their endorsements seriously, because they endorse candidates in non-partisan races. I don’t think Louis Knappenberger would get the OCGOP endorsement. Do you? By the way, being a candidate and a candidate-elect classifies a person as a public citizen. I’m challenging your integrity as a public official, not as a private citizen. But, you already know that. As for not being a sworn member of the Central Committee, I’m sure the Central Committee Ethics Committee will look in to the matter. And speaking of character attacks, you might want to tell Brenda to stop calling people thugs and stick to the facts.

        • Peggy Huang said

          Ed, you missed the point. It is a huge leap for you to make that Ms. McCune and I share the same view based only on one common thread: support of the same candidates. By the way, it is clear my statements are my own as an individual which was the purpose of the disclosure to let people know that no other groups are involved. If I were secretive as you seem to imply, it would be unnecessary to make a disclosure.

          If you want to discuss the issues with me, then direct it at me and stick to relevant issues. You do need to use personal attacks to get my attention. Doubtful that an endorsement in a non-partisan race would led to an ethics violation. If the political world functions as you present it, then should there be an ethics investigation into the actions of the three incumbents who publicly said they were not influenced by the sheriff’s union when they cast their votes for the sheriff. Yet, the Sherriffs assisted to their reelection campaign. Yorba Linda citizens question their integrity in this matter because it appears shady and lacked transparency. Questioning who I endorse is hardly earth shattering especially when it is A PUBLIC Fact to warrant an investigation!

          • Ed Rakochy said

            No huge leap Peggy since you and Brenda are supporting the same candidates and are saying the same things. How’s the Kool-Aid? I’m not implying that you’re secretive. I’m implying that you endorsed a Democrat and the Republican Central Committee frowns on its members supporting opposing parties. You can try to dance around it all you want. Fact is, you did it.

            I know you would like to see an investigation in to the Sheriff’s union independent expenditures. That’s not going to happen because there’s no violation, as no Council member solicited the Sheriff’s union contributions and independent expenditures by their very definition are not controlled by a candidate or candidates. So, the conspiracy you seek is not down aisle 15. Check aisle 5 next to Councilman Winder. He’s worked up a Brown Act violation with his electioneering stunt on October 16 and he’s looking at two potential Ethics violations with his HKY for City Council Committee. This is far from over, just like the election.

            • Peggy Huang said

              Ed, don’t twist words. I did not say anything about investigation into Sheriff’s Union expenditure.

              Before you throw out the word “ethic,” better to be sure you know what you are talking about. You don’t need to imply anything. I’m not shying or dancing around about my endorsement. My endorsement stands. Endorsing a Dem in a non-partisan race is not an earth shattering event as much as you wish.

              • edrakochy said

                Peggy, These are your exact words in the above post.

                “then should there be an ethics investigation into the actions of the three incumbents who publicly said they were not influenced by the sheriff’s union when they cast their votes for the sheriff.”

                I didn’t twist words. You asked for an investigation and the actions you are accusing the Council involve the Sheriff’s union Independent Expenditures. I’m dead on. If you feel there has been an Ethics violation, then you can file a complaint with the City Attorney. I understand one has been filed on Jim Winder for his electioneering stunt on October 16.

                If you have hard evidence, than present it. Otherwise, your specious accusations are just more of the political rhetoric you’ve been tossing out here and on your Yorba Linda Gracious Living Society e-mails and Facebook page.

  2. Jan said

    Oh My Lord Ed. Give it REST!!! You are tiresome at best! Your conversations are circuitous and obtuse. What you actually get out of these discourses is beyond me. Your candidates are unethical and have violated the very ethics ordinance you and YLRRR supported. If this was any other candidate accepting 62K dollars from a city contractor, you would be filing charges with the DA on them too. BTW Looks like the Council majority was overturned! Thank our lucky stars. Hopefully the provisional votes will continue to widen the gap between new Council members and Rikel!

    • Ed Rakochy said

      What precisely is the violation Jan? What section of the ordinance did they violate and what criteria establish its violation. If you believe there’s been a true violation of the Ethics Ordinance, then file it with the City Attorney or the DA. Otherwise, put your political rhetoric back in Chicago with the rest of your Saul Alinsky tactics. Speaking of the DA, you might want to have a follow up conversation with Councilman Winder about October 16. To be continued………..

  3. Jan said

    Ed, you are tiresome. I know this is not the last we will see of you. You live for the controversy. Sad. The ethics issue has been discussed and i have
    nothing more to add. I am smiling today because it appears our city has elected two new council members overturning the YLRRR Anderson council majority.

    • edrakochy said

      And it won’t be the last we see or hear from you Jan. You’ve got more web sites and blogs on Yorba Linda politics than Doans has pills.

      This election is far from over and won’t be determined until all the absentees and provisionals are counted. Having been in a close race myself with Mr. Winder, I can say that the absentees and provisionals generally favor the incumbents. We shall see. No matter. Congratulations are in order for Mr. Young who would appear to have a comfortable lead in second place. With over a half a million absentee and provisionals left to count in the County, we won’t have solid results until around Thanksgiving.

      I know humble is not part of your DNA, so you might want to back off on your victory rhetoric until the lady who is struggling with obesity sings. The vote counts do not speak to a solid victory for any side’s agenda or platform.

  4. Brenda McCune said

    Dear Peggy Huang,

    I am very sorry that I did not catch these disparaging comments by Mr. Rakochy earlier. He really raves on and on in such a verbose and inarticulate manner that I find it challenging to read and comprehend what his point is.

    However, had I known we were co-conspirators, I certainly would have called you more often and invited you to lunch or coffee, or something. Hey, I think the Nordstrom sale is still on, we should go. We could conspire some good deals on some Tahari or Lafayette suits!

    Nevertheless, no one is immune from this vitriole, and as the results continue to come in, unfavorable to YLRRR candidates, it is only likely to increase. Is it wrong to take pleasure in the histrionic emotional unraveling of bullies llike Mr. Rakochy and his friends?

    And as to Mr. Rakochy’s comment that something was wrong with my, or your, personal views on Hernandez and Young, It begs the question as to what to do with Candidates who obtain the party endorsement dishonestly. If and when we know of these discrepancies, I would assume, that for the integrity of the party and the endorsement process that these things be brought to the attention of the chair or other authorities? I attempted to do just that. I will wait and wonder if there are any ramifications.

    Like you, I have not taken my oath yet, but if expresing personal support of truly conservative candidates when we learn that the endorsees have acted dishonestly and are not worthy of the endorsement, is disapproved of by the committee, then I will take my hits, thank you.

    I also think it interesting that Mr. Rakochy seeks to explain to us the loophole that was apparently specifically anticipated and drafted into Measure Y to enable exactly the unethical conduct we saw in this election. The black letter of the law, as we know, may keep them out of specific ramifications, but the black parts of their dishonest soul will remain with them.

    I will continue to look forward to serving our district with you, Ms. Huang, and look forward to becoming better acquainted with you, particularly if we are to be coined co-conspirators in the future.

    Brenda McCune

    • edrakochy said

      Dearest Brenda,

      If you want to call free speech a loophole, then I guess pigs can fly. You can’t stop Independent Expenditures with an ethics ordinance. An elected official or anyone for that matter can’t stop an individual or group from expressing their free speech through a campaign mailer. I stated this several times. If you have evidence of an actual vioaltion, then bring it forward to the City Attorney.

      Speaking of violations of the Ethics Ordinance, it would appear Mr. Winder may have violated it with his political action committee HKY for City Council 2012. The Ehtics Ordinance prohibits Council members from participating in a decision where the Councilmember received $250 or more to their campaign or a committee run by the Councilmember. Councilman Winder received $4800 in contributions for his PAC and he participated in his own decision to release closed session audio tapes that were a clear benefit to his campaign committee and the campaigns it supported. He also used that information from that meeting in a campaign mailer he sent to Eastlake Village residents. Hmmm. Sure looks like Mr. Winder is in a heap of trouble. When you find a real violation of the Ethics Ordinance, let me know.

      • Brenda McCune said

        In 2010, I fought for real free speech by opposing Measure Y. The behavior and tactics of your buddies were readily transparent to me, albeit not to the idealistic voters who beleived that “ethics” actually meant “ethics”. Not that it will matter much in the coming days and term as it seems if the counting trend continues, that your band of thugs has finally been dethroned.

        Keep changing the subject and arguing about semantics Ed, it seems the people have finally figured you out.

        Thanks as always for following the blog.

      • Brenda McCune said

        Hmmm. “You can’t stop indenpendent expenditures with an ETHICS ordinance” Sounds like a good blog idea…wait, maybe I already wrote that one…..

        • Ed Rakochy said

          Brenda, If you look closely at the Ethics Ordinance, it actually puts incumbents at a fundraising disadvantage because they cannot solicit or accept contributions from City contractors. There is no prohibition on contributions of those seeking office who are not an elected official. You and I both know that a candidate(s) cannot control Independent Expenditures and no voter measure or legislation is going to prevent that because it’s unconstitutional. That’s not the fault of those that proposed Measure Y or some sort of weird conspiracy. That’s a constitutional reality that always existed. So, to demonize those who made the effort to prevent abuses by elected officials in Yorba Linda over something that can’t be legislated is just pure election rhetoric.

    • Peggy Huang said

      Dear Ms. McCune,

      Thank you for the invitation to go shopping. A lawyer could never have too many Tahari suits in her closet.

      As for my personal support for Yorba Linda candidates, it is what it is. It is a waste of energy to try to make it into something it isn’t just to fill the computer screen with meaningless words.

      Peggy Huang

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