OC Political

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

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 2B

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 3, 2014

We’re live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee for the second night of recommendations to be made to the Central Committee for its September meeting.  (Late endorsements will be considered at the October Central Committee meeting.)

On tonight’s docket are:
Tracy Pellman – Ocean View School District
Rhonda Reardon – Mission Viejo City Council
Ed Sachs – Mission Viejo City Council
Wendy Bucknum – Mission Viejo City Council
Kerry Ferguson – San Juan Capistrano City Council
Sean Paden – Fullerton City Council
Greg Sebourn – Fullerton City Council
Larry Bennett – Fullerton City Council
Steve Vargas – Brea City Council
Cecilia Hupp- Brea City Council
John Tomlinson – Dana Point City Council
Tim Brown – San Clemente City Council
Michael Vo – Fountain Valley City Council
David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
Baron Night – Buena Park City Council
Barbara Delgleize – Huntington Beach City Council
Leslie Daigle – Orange County Water District Div 5

6:10 PM: OVSD Trustee Tracy Pellman notes OVSD is Republican-controlled and that the union is trying to take over the Board. She says she has a broad base of support.

OVSD Trustee Debbie Cotton speaks in support of Pellman. She says there’s a 2-2-1 Board. She says Pellman and Cotton are conservatives. She says OVSD Trustee John Briscoe is locked in with the union (last night, Briscoe accused Pellman of being union backed).

Mark McCurdy expresses the crowd’s confusion about who is actually the union candidate. He cites an email from Briscoe that the campaign finance reports show Ocean View Teachers Association paid for Pellman’s 2010 campaign and that they’re just not supporting her in 2014.

Pellman says she never asked for union support.

Cotton says the union doesn’t interview candidates. She says they’ve endorsed two other candidates publicly. She says the teachers union has had its teachers distribute flyers supporting Briscoe.

Jeff Matthews asks a follow up question.

Pellman answers that she has not sought union suport. She says the voting records prove Briscoe is with the union.

Bucher moves to recommend Pellman for endorsement (for discussion purposes). Peggy Huang seconds.

Bucher urges people to come out with evidence of the Briscoe and Pellman allegations, respectively, before the Central Committee meeting.

Thomas Gordon says he’s seen Briscoe at numerous events.

Pellman responds that she has walked precincts for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and for Huntington Beach City Attorney candidate (and Central Committee Member) Michael Gates.

Cotton says that while Briscoe may give good conservative rhetoric and show up at Republican events, he does not vote like a Republican.

Peggy Huang says there’s a lot of mudslinging, but there are two endorsements available, so both Briscoe and Pellman should be recommended to Central Committee,  who can then sort out any evidence received by the next Central Committee meeting.

Gordon asks if Pellman supported Ocean View’s bond.

Pellman says she did. She says she also supported a ballot measure to bring Wal-Mart to generate revenue.

Jerry Jackson asks her position on Common Core.

Pellman says she has serious concerns about Common Core.

PELLMAN RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-1 (GORDON DISSENTING). (Note: Briscoe was recommended last night.)

6:29 PM: Mission Viejo City Council Candidate Ed Sachs speaks about his business career, his volunteerism for Republican candidates, and his service on a City Commission. He speaks about about pension liabilities, size of government, city manager compensation, transparency, COIN, and public notice of items being voted upon.

Mission Viejo incumbent Rhonda Reardon speaks of working together. She says she follows Reagan’s adage of being conservative in principle and moderate in style. She says they’ve implemented pension reform, enhanced public safety, and improved roads. She meets with all constituents who ask and attends numerous community events.

Mission Viejo candidate Wendy Bucknum speaks of her longtime community involvement. She speaks of helping get people elected. She volunteered for Jack Kemp for Congress as a New York child. She moved to California as a young adult. She cites helping Mimi Walters, Pat Bates, and other Republican candidates.  She believes in faith based initiatives.  She has served on a city commission.  She has no aspirations for higher office. She says she is a fiscal conservative who will work collaboratively. She wants to run a positive campaign.

Robert Ming speaks in support of Ed Sachs.

Mission Viejo Community Service Commissioner Steve Madgziak speaks against Wendy Bucknum for voting on that commission for high spending, regulating families, cell phones for the homeless, and abortion.

Larry Gilbert expresses concern that Reardon showed up with code enforcement at an e-cigarette vendor. He says Reardon has supported increased spending.

Some person who speaks too fast to be easily understood speaks about his involvement in aviation and public safety. He says Reardon properly voted for street lights for public safety. He says there is a balanced budget.

Another person who mumbled his name said Wendy Bucknum supported then-Democrat Dave Leckness. He says she had union signs in her yard. He says she turned a blind eye to a sexual abuse scandal in a swim team she was involved in.

Mission Viejo Councilwoman Cathy Schlict accuses Reardon of fiscally irresponsible spending, funding abortion, and fighting against anti-toll lane resolutions.

Bucknum says Mimi Walters, Pat Bates, and Mike Munzing are supporting her. She says Schlict previously ran against her. She says she is opposed to this mudslinging. She points to Republican awards she has received. She says she has worked with Mary Young.

Reardon says the e-cigarette vendor demonstrated in a subsequent meeting that they exceeded legal standards, so she supported them. She said she voted for increased spending at a park that had not been renovated in quite some time.

Sachs speaks about his longtime business experience, experience that is lacking on the Council. He doesn’t want to focus on want-to-have things instead of need-to-have things.

McCurdy asks why Sachs didn’t sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Sachs signs McCurdy’s copy.  It is discovered that different committee members have different copies for some reason. Huang and Gordon have signed copies yet Bucher and McCurdy do not.

McCurdy asks about Bucknum campaigning for a Democrat and union sign. Bucknum says he was a pro-business Democrat who is now a Republican. She says the union sign was an anti-recall sign for a recall held just a few months before the general election.

Gordon moves and McCurdy seconds recommending Sachs.


Bucher questions whether there are half-truths and spin in the newspaper handed out by Larry Gilbert.

Bucher moves and Matthews seconds to recommend endorsement for Reardon and Bucknum.

Matthews doesn’t want policy issues brought up. He then inconsistently states he just wants to know if people are good conservatives.

Gordon asks about cell phones for the homeless.

Reardon says she gave Community Development Block Grants to a charity that provided limited-minute cell phones to allow people seeking jobs to list the phone number on their resumes.

Gordon asks about taxpayer funding for abortions.

Reardon says she never supported such a thing and is pro-life.


6:58 PM: San Juan Capistrano City Council candidate Kerry Ferguson speaks about rising water rates in her city. She wants to lower water rates by finding cheaper sources of water. She expresses her desire to improve roads and traffic.

Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Jim Reardon speaks about Ferguson’s conservative activism in San Juan Capistrano.

Connie Lee of the RWF says Ferguson leads her group smoothly despite lots of feisty members.

Bucher asks her about redevelopment.

She says she opposes eminent domain. She supports private redevelopment, not redevelopment agencies.


7:05 PM: Three Fullerton candidates for two seats.

Fullerton candidate Sean Paden says the General Fund needs to be treated as taxpayer money, not City money. He is an attorney and supports an adversarial but not hostile relationship with labor unions. He opposes a $140 million Fullerton trolley that the Council passed 3-1. He supports pension reform via 401(k) plans. He says changing pension formulas is rearranging deck chairs.

Fullerton Mayor Pro Tem Greg Sebourn says he has consistently voted against pay hikes and rate hikes. He voted to refund money to taxpayers but that vote amount was reduced when Democrat Jan Flory defeated Republican Travis Kiger in the 2012 election by a tiny number of votes. Sebourn supports pension reform.

Larry Bennett speaks of his business experience, his Chamber of Commerce experience, his Rotary experience, and his leadership in the Boy Scouts. He speaks of conservative principles. He is endorsed by Congressman Ed Royce, Senator Bob Huff, Senator Dick Ackerman, Councilwoman Jennifer Fitzgerald, and numerous former Fullerton mayors. He supports pension reform, public safety, and economies of scale by working with other agencies.

Councilwoman Jennifer Fitzgerald speaks in favor of Larry Bennett having worked with him in church and city commissions. She says he will work on pension reform and often better understands pensions than some former Councils.

Councilman Bruce Whitaker says there has usually been a Republican controlled Fullerton Council, except for the last two years. He notes that there has been a 3-2 split with one Republican voting with Democrats Jan Flory and Doug Chaffee. He says he met with Bennett for 4.5 hours to discuss issues and believes Bennett would vote with Flory and Chaffee

Huang asks Sebourn about a 1% PERS rebate.

Sebourn says the rebate is an employee pay rebate. He says it was 3-2, and he was part of the two who opposed the rebate.

Matthews wishes they could endorse all three but only two seats are on the ballot. He moves to go neutral.

Bucher says he agrees but offers a substitute motion because Sebourn is an incumbent who by all accounts is doing a good job. He suggests endorsing Sebourn only.

Matthews withdraws his motion.

Bucher moves and Huang seconds to recommend endorsing Sebourn.


McCurdy moves to endorse Paden. Gordon seconds.

McCurdy says Paden’s resume and endorsements are strong.

Gordon asks Sebourn who he endorsed.

Sebourn has endorsed Paden.

Gordon says there’s a race in AD-65, so there needs to be a Republican team in Fullerton.

Matthews opposes the motion because Bennett and Paden are both Republicans in good standing.

Bucher agrees with Matthews on this race and opposes the motion.

Motion to endorse Paden fails 3-3 (Jackson, McCurdy, and Gordon in favor with Bucher, Matthews, and Huang against).

7:27 PM: Brett Barbre says Brea Council Candidate Steve Vargas is out of the country to fulfill a promised vacation for his wife who has supported Vargas in his military deployments, including a recent 15-month one.

Brea Council Candidate Cecilia Hupp speaks of her community involvement and business experience. She calls for a less hostile atmosphere on the Council.

Bucher notes there are three seats on the ballot while only Vargas and Hupp are seeking the OC GOP endorsement.


7:30 PM: Dana Point Council Candidate John Tomlinson speaks of his community and church involvement. He speaks of his skills helping the city.

Bill Brough speaks in favor of Tomlinson. He speaks of Tomlinson’s longtime residence in Dana Point and his volunteerism.

McCurdy asks Tomlinson about Dana Point revitalization.

Tomlinson says he supports approving the city pieces for this County agency.

Gordon moves and McCurdy seconds.


7:33 PM: This blogger took a restroom break. Sorry.

7:37 PM: McCurdy (both a committee member and a Fountain Valley Councilman) asks his Council colleague Michael Vo about his votes on redevelopment.

Vo says McCurdy voted for benefits for himself while Vo opposed it.

McCurdy says Vo has supported redevelopment.

Vo says he would not bring it back.

McCurdy says he must have changed his mind.

McCurdy says Vo had voted for evergreen contracts and garbage rate increases.

Vo says he has voted in the best interests of the City.

McCurdy asks about his opinion on red light cameras.

Vo says there is a misconception that license plates are used for tracking citizens.

McCurdy expresses concern that the information is stored by a private company.

Huang expresses concern about Vo voting for an evergreen contract for Rainbow Disposal three years ago.

Vo says he would not vote for it again. He says at the time it was necessary to secure low interest rates.

McCurdy says Vo voted for it again just a few months ago.

McCurdy moves for neutrality with Matthews seconding.

Resident David Pruyne says Vo is a nice man but has voted for higher water rates and regulation. He says Vo supported increased home cottage food regulations in Fountain Valley when the State was decreasing these regulations.

Gordon says Vo is okay but not enough to get recommended for endorsement. He expresses concern about the evergreen contract.

Bucher expresses concern that Vo’s voting record does not match his rhetoric.


7:48 PM: Tustin Unified School District candidate David Yang speaks about his extensive experience in education. He speaks about his volunteerism for Republican candidates. He speaks about his endorsements from Ken Williams, Robert Hammond, Linda Lindholm, and Jim Palmer.


Longtime Central Committee Member Baron Night says he’s running for Buena Park City Council.

The committee interrupts him to make a motion:

7:51 PM: Huntington Beach Candidate Barbara Delgleize speaks about being a consensus builder. She speaks of her service on city commissions and her business experience. She opposes plastic bag bans and rent control. She is endorsed by Travis Allen and Matt Harper.

Matthews asks Delgleize about her pro-choice position and her support of taxpayer-funded abortions.

She says abortions will not come up on the City Council.

McCurdy asks what if Planned Parenthood wants to set up a location in Huntington Beach.

She states that Planned Parenthood is already in Orange County.

Bucher asks about her support for taxpayer-funded abortions.

She says she wants women to have access to abortion, but she doesn’t want tax dollars spent on abortions. It appears she meant an individual taxpayer could fund it, not taxpayers collectively.

Huang moves and Matthews seconds recommending her endorsement.

Gordon asks about safe and sane fireworks and beach fire rings.

Delgleize supports both.

Huang is concerned about Huntington Beach’s rent control and plastic bag ban. That is why she is moving the recommendation for the endorsement.

McCurdy is concerned about her pro-choice stance.

Gordon says he is generally libertarian but is pro-life. He expresses concern about Planned Parenthood getting involved in local races. He asks if she is an active advocate for abortions or if she is simply pro-choice.

Delgleize is not an active advocate but is unwilling to ban abortions. She says she made an active decision to be a single mother.

Huang says there are many Republican women who are pro-choice. Huang says she is pro-life and talked numerous teenagers out of abortions with her work on foster care, but many Republican women are pro-choice like Delgleize.

Gordon says abortion is a woman’s decision imposing on the life of the baby. He says drugs, fiscal, etc. are personal decisions.

MOTION FAILS 3-3 (Huang, Matthews, and Gordon in favor. Bucher, Jackson, and McCurdy against.)

8:09 PM: Orange County Water District Division 5 challenger Leslie Daigle speaks about her outsourcing efforts on the Newport Beach City Council. She says outsourcing is the truest pension reform. She got employees to contribute more to their pensions by hiring an outside negotiator, Richard Kreisler, who Costa Mesa would later higher. She has helped move the city from single-year salary pension calculations to three-year calculations to reduce pension spiking.

Matthews says OCWD incumbent Steve Sheldon was already endorsed by Central Committee. Matthews says he used Sheldon’s company for his own campaign in the past, in the interest of full disclosure.

McCurdy starts to question Daigle’s non-answers on the questionnaire but then realizes his copy is just hard to read.

Bucher is informed by OC GOP staff that there is only one seat, and Sheldon is already endorsed for this seat. The endorsement was done at the full Central Committee in August, and the Endorsements Committee is unable to act, as Sheldon’s endorsement bypassed the Endorsements Committee when it went up in August. He suggests Daigle find a Central Committee member to move to dual endorse in OCWD 5 or to unendorse Sheldon if she wishes to pursue it.

8:18 PM: Committee adjourns.

7 Responses to “Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 2B”

  1. Chris. I continue to be amazed at how quickly you capture all the speaker comments. With respect to Mission Viejo council member Rhonda Reardon. The Pavion Park playground renovation was originally approved by a prior city council for $150,000. They later expanded it to include “special needs” equipment which increased the cost to $650,000. Since Rhonda joined the council in 2010 she voted to approve a jump to $1.4 million nearly 10 x the original council budget. Exactly one year ago Max Berg park in San Clemente added “special needs” playground equipment at a total cost of $150,000. That was covered in the OC Register last year. The playground area at Max Berg is roughly 40% the size of Pavion Park. Rhonda Reardon is not a fiscal conservative. I’ll respond to the other refuted issues later.

  2. […] Chris Nguyen burning up the lines with news of the OC Republican Party’s tentative endorsements, I just thought that this […]

  3. Thanks.

  4. […] Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 2B […]

  5. In the Sept 3rd Round 2 B endorsing committee meeting one applicant was told that if they lied others were encouraged to bring specific allegations with proof to the full central committee meeting, As statements from both Rhonda Reardon and Wendy Buchnum (of Mission Viejo) were challenged I am told that one or more MV residents sent evidence to Chairman Mark Bucher and other members of the nominating committee this weekend. Unfortunately the only individuals who can address the full committee on Monday are delegates or alternates when the delegate is not present. None of those MV residents who submitted proof of their allegations would typically be invited to address the full committee. it is a huge task for committee members to vett candidates from our 34 cities as well as county, statewide, congressional and judicial races as well as multiple Ballot Measures. For that reason I would hope that Chairman Baugh would invite the applicants to refute the charges from those who live in the city and provided the evidence of misstatements of fact to the committee prior to any final endorsements.

  6. […] to decide on the recommendations of the Endorsements Committee, which we covered here and here. Please recall that the OC GOP Central Committee already made official early endorsements in […]

  7. […] September 3, 2014: Ed Sachs and Wendy Bucknum recommended for Mission Viejo City Council as two of seven Republicans running for three seats (an incumbent is also recommended) […]

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