OC Political

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

Puppets and Puppeteers in local politics

Posted by Brenda Higgins on September 19, 2014

Much has already been written about the Orange County Sheriff and the contract they won a short time ago to take over policing the city of Yorba Linda. While I opposed this effort, the world seems not to have ended. As a conservative, I believe that if things are not broken, you don’t fix them. Although there have been no serious issues with the department change and the transition, and the OCSD is really pleasant to deal with, there is no credible argument that citizens “saved” money. Accounting tricks are not savings, and all the new stuff that came with the sheriff moving into town, was paid for by someone, even if it did not get reflected in a line item in the contract.

The lingering question is though, was it really pay to play, and were the politicians acting on behalf of a Union who “scratched” their back?

The IE’s (Indepedent Expenditures) in the 2012 Yorba Linda City Council election, made it the most expensive in our city’s history. Our telephones and our mailboxes were bombarded with propaganda about what bad guys Gene Hernandez and Craig Young were.  In 2010, John Anderson’s words (Which I will never forget) related to the hit piece on Jan Horton, “I did not write that piece”, were just the beginning of a very ugly trend. Those hit pieces were paid for (and apparently authored by) the YLRRR. Of Course they were tremendously helpful to Tom Lindsey and John Anderson. Fast Forward to 2012, THEN we have the Police contract in play, the YLRRR hit pieces looked like child’s play compared to the big budget union coming into our town and our political process. In addition to the big budget slick mail campaign on behalf of their friends,  the union president and his wife, showed up to council meetings, repeatedly singing the praises of their favorite candidates, and never once disclosing their conflict of interest.

Those 2012 hit pieces, against newcomer Gene Hernandez, were for the specific purpose of returning to office the incumbents, Mark Schwing, and ….you guessed it, Nancy Rikel, Queen apparent of the current recall effort.

The issue of policing aside, is being in bed with the Union, something we should all be concerned about? Yeah, ya think?!? Additionally, I thought it interesting that Ms. Rikel did not seek the endorsement of the OCGOP in her current bid to return to office. The OCGOP, has been clear that candidates taking money from Unions will not receive an endorsement from the party. The additional problem that neither Ms. Rikel or Schwing have answered is the implication of their own legislative baby, Measure Y. The Yorba Linda ETHICS ordinance which PROHIBITS any candidate from taking any more that $250 from anY CONTRACTOR with the city. Hello? Anyone besides me bothered by this? The largest contract in the history of the city was awarded to the entity that employs the UNION who provided more financial support to the Schwing/Rikel campaign, as to make it the costliest election in the cities history.

“Well, what does that have to do with 2014?”, you say.

The Union President’s wife is a chiropractor. Yes, this is the same couple, with different last names, who appeared at the city council meetings related to the policing contract, and encouraged the council to approve the OCSD contract, signing the praises of John Anderson as “one of the good guys”. As it turns out, there has been a really nifty relationship with her and the union in her receipt of direct referrals of deputies injured on the job. You’ll be hearing about it soon enough and thankfully one of our supervisors are courageous enough to be undertaking an investigation. I am certain he will be issuing a press release sometime soon. It’s probably a safe bet, that it is not Sp. Spitzer. The point being, Yorba Lindans, wake up. Density is not, nor has it ever been the issue. The pandering and exchanging of favors in this organization seems to run far and wide.  Nancy Rikel and Mark Schwing  are eager to get their life time bene’s and keep making sure that contracts for things like policing the city and legal representation, get awarded to their buddies. You have fallen for the smoke screen. They knew you would. In the YL we so easily fall for their repeated carrot and the stick of the evil developers. Who really has their hand in your pockets, citizen? The time has come to wake up and look around.

15 Responses to “Puppets and Puppeteers in local politics”

  1. edrakochy said


    Your memory is pretty poor. Perhaps your blood sugar is low and we need to meet up again at Subway.

    For starters, the Sheriff’s union never did any hit pieces on Hernandez and Young in 2012. YLRRR was responsible for those. I know because I created them. They were the ones with the bobble heads of Hernandez and Young inside the developer Trojan Horse. Talk about art imitating life. FYI, there was never a quid pro quo deal with the Sheriff’s union and there is no evidence to suggest there ever was. The OCSD contract was approved in July of 2012 and the independent expenditures came in October 2012. However, developers and developer PACs are pouring money in to Yorba Linda before their projects have been approved. It’s quite obvious they want a favorable result to their contributions. Nice try attempting to divert attention away from developers who are bleeding money to keep Young and Lindsey in office.

    Then you forgot to tell everyone that you were a candidate for the 2010 City Council election and sought and received the endorsement of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, the UNION associated with OCFA. Oh wait. You didn’t forget. You selectively left it out of your rant.

    Oh the webs we weave when we want to be a big shot on the Central Committee. Your bed analogy fits. Talk about hopping from one to the other.

  2. Brenda. Placing a $250 contribution cap on special interest vendors is a good idea. During the June BOS Primary in Mission Viejo councilman Frank Ury took a few thousand dollars from Townsend Public Affairs, a county lobbyist firm whom he voted for to get our city lobbyist contract.

  3. Jan said

    Ed, once again you cannot leave the sarcastic attacks against those who speak out against the dirty YL secret, YLRRR and the sheriff union involvement in the 2012 election. This election period, you continue to use inaccurate numbers and allocations of funds raised by a PAC that does accept developer dollars. A very small amount was used in the anti recall campaign, a political game launched by none other but YLRRR, you and Rikel. What you fail to disclose is the $78,000 independent expenditure the sheriff union spent on behalf of Rikels campaign. The difference. Rikel was complicit in the development of the campaign materials used and very aware of the union intention to reward her for ushering in the Sheriff contract. In doing so, she violated the intent of the flawed ethics ordinance the Anderson majority, including Rikel, devised in 2010. She knew the loop hole and took advantage of the benefit. Lindsey and Young, who you continue to malign, had no idea the aforementioned PAC were sending out mailers on their behalf, much less assisting them in the process. So who is ethical? My bet is on Lindsey and Young.
    Ed, you have a long history in our community of playing political games to sully candidates character. You have the play book down pat. I am hopeful this time around, people are tired of you, YLRRR and your associates antics. Lies and deceit eventually catch up to you and I can only hope this is the year YL residents wake up.

    I have no doubt you will have a equally snarky response instead of being an adult, but we are all waiting to be amused or disgusted by your typical response.

    • Ed Rakochy said

      Jan, Please stop the nonsense rumors about YLRRR, the Sheriff’s union, the Kennedy Assassination and Blue Man Group coming to the Yorba Linda Public Library. It’s ridiculous. There’s no conspiracy. There’s no relationship and I’m sick and tired of the lies you keep telling the good citizens of Yorba Linda, like the Sheriff was going to build a jail in Yorba Linda. It’s very clear you don’t sleep at night.

      You say Lindsey and Young had no idea. That’s an outright lie. Tom Lindsey had a meeting with Jeff Decker in April and told Jeff that there were going to be actions that would put an end to the recall. Tom really stinks at keeping secrets and he’s just downright incompetent. Nice guy. Good man in his church, but he’s lazy and doesn’t do his City Council homework. Lindesy needs to go, along with the numero uno liar in Yorba Linda, Craig Young, who apparently created the Internet and saved Yorba Linda billions and billions of dollars, like Carl Sagan’s stars and galaxies. At least we all can believe Carl Sagan.

      So, less than two weeks after Tom’s meeting with Jeff Decker, the Residents for a Better Yorba Linda (RBYL) began their smear campaign against the recall with signs that said, “Decline to Sign. Say No to High-Density.” Then the mailers came. If you follow the money going to RBYL and the Southern California Coalition of Businesses and Taxpayers (SCCBT), another political action committee, it’s extremely clear that Lindsey and Young had full knowledge of the money and the mailers that were coming their way to stop the recall from developers and developer PACs. They even thanked developers at a City Council meeting for their support and those mailers. I’m also very well aware of Craig Young’s meetings with developers regarding the recall. Craig Young is a developer. He is a real estate attorney who brokers deals with developers.

      This isn’t about being snarky Jan. This is about the facts. Craig Young and Tom Lindsey are bought and paid for by developers, who are here to maximize their profits. You are here to continue to spread lies and half truths, because you’d sell your soul to defeat those who helped defeat you in November 2010. Take it from a two-time loser like me. There’s more to life than politics in Yorba Linda.

      • Jan said

        See, Ed, you just can’t help yourself… Few facts: of course Lindsey would say there would be an effort to stop this unfounded recall. It is another one of your political plays. Why wouldn’t he? There are two PACs that worked against the recall while signatures were gathered. The Citizen based group and the one mentioned above. Decline to sign was the citizen groups efforts to let people know they were signing the recall under false pretenses. Great sound bite you guys came up with but a lie. I personally heard Rikel and the paid signature gathered lie to community members and there have been many other such reports. And now you tout 20% of voters signed the petition! Many did not know what they were signing! Young and Lindsey were aware of the citizen group forming but were not involved or making any decisions regarding that campaign. Were they grateful? Yes. The other PAC came out of the blue. They were not aware until they themselves received the mailers at their homes. There is nothing wrong with being grateful and thanking someone. And it isn’t an indication of wrong doing. Now you can be the grand conspiracy fabricator and make this something that it isn’t, but it doesn’t change the truth.
        Back to Rikel and her assisting the sheriff with their $78,000 campaign donation. She knew and helped by supplying photographs. Fact. $78,000 is a heck of a lot more than the $250 allowed in the ethics ordinance. She made a mockery of the city’s ethics ordinance and I have doubt you were complicit in this also. But of course you and Rikel live by a different set of moral and ethical standards than most of the community. Win at any cost. Lie, cheat and deceive is both of your modus operandi. And now you figured out you can use our tax dollars to sully peoples names with frivolous ethics complaints costing us $92,000 last I heard, you are out of control!

        So please spare me your lovely metaphors. Stick with facts, not conjecture. Won’t ask you to play fair, because I really don’t think you know how. You love being the puppet master, talking people out of running, running the negative campaigns that personally attack people costing them dearly on many different levels.
        You have absolutely no shame.

        • edrakochy said

          Dear Jan,

          You want Yorba Linda residents to believe your nonsense? Good luck with that. You got caught lying about the Sheriff building a jail in Yorba Linda and you got fined $3000 by the Fair Political Practices Commission for a conflict of interest violation regarding your vote to reduce the density of a property adjacent to your backyard.


          In the Matter of Jan Horton, FPPC No. 09/671. Staff: Commission Counsel Bridgette Castillo and Special Investigator Annaraine Diaz. As a member of the Yorba Linda City Council, Respondent Jan Horton impermissibly made a governmental decision in which she had a material financial interest, by voting to send the 2008-2014 Draft Housing Element back to staff for refinement on the housing densities of specific parcels, including the reduction of the housing densities proposed at the Lakeview/Strawberry Field parcel and the Lakeview/Altrudy parcel, located within 500 feet of her real property, in violation of Government Code Section 87100 (1 count). Total Proposed Penalty: $3,000.

          Click to access 19HortonExhibit.pdf

          • Jan said

            True to form, Ed, if you can’t respond to a post with facts, you attack the messenger and try to muddy the waters. Interesting I didn’t receive a cease and desist letter from the sheriff union like the gentleman who posted earlier. So they do not deny their $78,000 assistance in her campaign. She has made a mockery of our flawed ethics ordinance that she endorsed so strongly.

            The fact still remains, Rikel has been caught in her current series of lies and deceptions. She says she voted no on high density created within measures h & I. All you need to do is look up Council mtg minutes dated October 18, 2011 to view her yes votes on the second reading of all the ordinances. And her misinformation has not stopped there. She and her supporters continue to pass out flyers with this lie along with a list of other statements intended to deceive the public.

            To read a list of SOME of her mis statements, check out : http://www.horton4yl.com/community-news/rikelisms-the-fact-behind-the-fiction/

            And for anyone interested: http://www.horton4yl.com/community-news/response-to-the-fppc-complaint-against-former-council-member-horton/

  4. Ed, Have you moved to Mars? Maybe you were just there for the 2012 election. Or maybe you are not registered to vote and the Sheriff didn’t have your address on their mail list. There are photos of some of the pieces and the door hangers on this blog.

    Larry, I understand, but the point is, the law, which was first passed by the Council in Yorba Linda, then SO as NEVER to miss an opportunity for shameless self promotion, the (then) majority of Anderson/Schwing and RIkel, placed it on the BALLOT for the voters to approve, which they did. They all then promptly ignored it with the justification that IE’s were not within the scope of the law.

    While I do agree with them that technically it is not within the scope of the law, and tried to make this argument and problem clear to people in 2012 when I OPPOSED Measure Y, the point is those Council Members who passed it at Council, then reiterated their support and endorsement of it on the ballot, deliberately mislead the voters to believe that it would rid the city of special interests.

    Much like their support of Measure B on zoning, even well before Measure Y, they mislead the voters. Voters are now being duped into thinking that the current council had something to do with zoning changes for multi family housing, when it was the VOTERS THEMSELVES who approved the zoning changes. The constant slight of hand, and lack of good information circulating to and among voters, makes this a perennial problem.

    Ed. other than the first line or so, I do not bother to read your posts, when you come out publicly like this with outright false statements, why would I? Even on the rare occasion that you are factually accurate, you are so stuck in the trees or your other minutia and misstatements, you have completely missed the forest.

    • edrakochy said

      Dearest Brenda,

      I know you’ll read this post. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. You have no business judging the character of others.

  5. Larry, also, my recollection, is that the OCSD Union spent about $60k, on behalf of Schwing and Rikel, to defeat Hernandez and Young in 2012. It was in no way a de minimus effort! Far out reaching what voters believed was an appropriate $250.00 cap!

  6. Opps. Here ya go, Ed. AOCDS – IE, means, wait ……what was YOUR mailer saying …liar, liar, pants on fire. I know you are always keeping it classy, your mailer actually had a picture of pants, that were on fire.


  7. Rod Collins said

    The AOCSD has spent 60K on hit pieces! That’s about 10% of what the union President has put in his pocket(OC taxpayer dollars) while his wife was treating Injured on Duty and Workers Compensation union members. Look up policy 1050 of the Sheriffs/Coroner manual. He should be in a cell with Mike Carona, or at least unemployed.

    • Rod Collins said

      I have to apologize for my last post. At least that’s what I gleened from the Cease and Desist letter that I received from the attorney for the AOCDS. I’m sorry if I may have hurt anyone’s feelings. I thought I was just using my 1st Amendment Right to free speech. Once again, I apologize.

      • Ed Rakochy said


        You don’t have to apologize for anything. The issue in Yorba Linda isn’t AOCDS or the Sheriff’s Department. The issue is high-density housing and Craig Young and Tom Lindsey’s refusal to do anything about it. Instead, they hide behind straw man arguments like City Council pension reform and the trilateral commission is coming to Yorba Linda. Oops. I’m sorry. I made that last one up, but you can see how easy it is to put lies on the web or print.

        AOCDS has not contributed a penny to the Recall effort, nor have there been any independent expenditures by AOCDS to support the recall or any of the replacement candidates. I encourage you to check everyone’s FPPC financial statements.

        When you do check EVERYONE’S statements, you’ll see Craig Young’s $3100 contribution to the Republican Party of Orange County on 9/9/14. The OCGOP has been flooding Yorba Linda mailboxes with anti-recall propaganda with Scott Baugh’s mug for weeks. I’d say it’s quite apparent anyone can buy the support of the OCGOP. All you have to do is right a big fat check, like the Lincoln Club, the BIA of So Cal and the OC Tax PAC (AKA OC Taxpayers Association, with support from the Irvine Company, CJ Segerstrom, the BIA of So Cal and many other real estate and development interests.) Boy, the BIA of So Cal keeps showing up all over the place.

        All this chit chat about AOCDS is just a distraction, but you certainly have the free speech right to say it.

  8. L Chow said

    Lets stop bickering here. I just want to know how Brenda looks sitting on a big D9 Cat dozer at one of the many Lindsey/Young builder backed development sites. Im thinking pretty darn attractive!

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