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Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 16, 2016

​​We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee, who will make recommendations to the full Central Committee for endorsements on September 19. This is a Friday night meeting with the Endorsements Committee, OC GOP staff, various candidates, and yours truly.

Endorsements Committee Members present are:

  • Chair TJ Fuentes
  • Peggy Huang
  • Jeff Matthews
  • Baron Night
  • Thomas Gordon (delayed in traffic)

Endorsements Committee Members Jeff Lalloway and Mary Young are not present.

First up is Aliso Viejo.

Bill Phillips is an original member of the Aliso Viejo City Council and three-time mayor. His professional career involves master planned communities. He says he has a deep respect for property rights. He is running for re-election because the city is at a turning point with the town center.

Fuentes notes there are two Republicans and two Democrats running for three seats. Mike Munzing has already been endorsed for one of the three seats.

Night asks Phillips how he wants to finance the revitalization of the town center.

Phillips would like to upzone to be more permissive while also being fair and equitable to all.

Night asks Phillips about his revenue increase plan.

Phillips states the Sheriff’s contract is increasing in costs faster than city revenue is increasing. He wants to look at restructuring the Sheriff’s contract. He wants to see other development to bring in more taxpayers rather than raising taxes.

Huang asks about the plan on the restructure of the Sheriff’s contract.

Phillips suggests studying consolidating Sheriff’s positions across multiple cities.

Fuentes asks about the Capistrano Unified bond.

Phillips explains that he opposes it. He does not support a 30-year tax increase. He notes the lack of specificity from the school district. He argues the massive size of the bond would allow building numerous schools.

Fuentes moves and Night seconds recommending Phillips.

PHILLIPS RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT IN ALISO VIEJO 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent).

Next up is Cypress City Council.

Rob Johnson is a first term Councilman. He was the only person endorsed by the OC GOP four years ago. He speaks of the city’s  $40 million balanced budget.

Gordon arrives.

Night jokes about the incorporation of the City of Cypress stopping Buena Park from reaching the ocean.

Huang asks how Cypress has managed to balance its budget without new taxes while its neighbors are proposing tax increases.

Johnson states Cypress keeps its budget balanced, funds core services, scrutinized salaries, and requires more pension payments from employees in labor negotiations.

Matthews asks how many Republicans are running.

Johnson says he is a Republican, the other incumbent seeking re-election is an independent, and the two challengers are Republicans who failed to get ballot statements.

Gordon asks why Johnson did not support shall-issue status for California.

Johnson explains he marked the wrong box. He says he is a gun owner and retired police officer.

Night moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Johnson for endorsement.

JOHNSON RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR CYPRESS 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Garden Grove City Council, District 3.

Clay Bock says he is running because Mayor Bao Nguyen has attempted to legalize marijuana dispensaries in the city. He speaks of organizing the grassroots to get a 3-2 vote from the City Council against an effort to put such a measure on the ballot. He is a former Garden Grove CRA Unit President. He says his district is 54% Asian, and his opponent is a Vietnamese Democrat.

Night asks why Bock did not sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Bock signs it in front of the committee.

Night asks about Bock supporting completing the incomplete Galleria project.

Bock explains it is now moot because it was purchased by a developer after he submitted his questionnaire. The developer is going to build a senior center. He supports the project provided no city funds are used for it.

Night asks about the homeless in Garden Grove and specifically an encampment.

Bock explains Garden Grove Police offer services, but many refuse. Bock notes the encampment is on private property behind an abandoned supermarket. He would support fencing it off though. He speaks of a jobs program that a Republican mayor in New Mexio implemented for the homeless.

Huang asks about Bock’s questionnaire mentioning a $3 million deficit.

Bock says that has increased to $4 million since he submitted his questionnaire. He notes the Great Wolf Lodge now brings in millions of dollars in revenue. He notes other resorts. He is not opposed to using Transient Occupancy Tax because it is better that something be built to bring in revenue than nothing be built with no new revenue. Bock adds on that he wants to drive out the 20ish marijuana dispensaries in the city because they bring violence, like armed robberies.

Night asks why there is a city deficit when there is a 17% TOT with many 4-star and 5-star hotels.

Bock says city staff told him 75% of the city budget goes to police and fire.

Night notes the hotels are generally full and charge high prices thanks to their proximity to Disneyland.

Gordon moves and Matthews seconds recommending Bock for endorsement since he is one Republican running against one Democrat.

BOCK RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR GARDEN GROVE, DISTRICT 3 BY A 5-0-2 VOTE (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Huntington Beach City Council.

Edward Pinchiff is the Chairman of the Planning Commission. He previously ran for school board. He notes the Central Committee endorsed three Republicans for three seats and declined to endorse a fourth despite the Endorsements Committee recommending one. He notes he is the fifth Republican and would support neutrality or dual endorsing.

Night asks about the Poseidon desalination plant.

Pinchiff says he supports the contract if amended to increase the risk for Poseidon and decrease the risk to the ratepayers.

Night asks about why Pinchiff listed updating the General Plan as one of his priorities.

Pinchiff says the public should be more involved in the process by making it easier with packaging to better involve the public.

Huang asks about reducing business regulations, as noted in his questionnaire.

Pinchiff says the new Council majority has been moving in that direction. He wants to bring in business and development to increase city revenue without raising taxes. He says the regulatory framework should include the ability for applicants to get help when they hit a roadblock.

Huang asks about new and recent development in Huntington Beach.

Pinchiff says he supports bringing in new development. He says the city needs growth and development. He says the majority of the city opposes high-density but points out high-density means different things to different people and jokes high-density is any project someone opposes. He wants to bring in development and prevent no-growth initiatives.

Matthews asks about the General Plan and community involvement.

Pinchiff expresses concerns about the city council sometimes looking like they were going through the motions at public hearings on the General Plan.

Fuentes asks Pinchiff why he didn’t apply earlier.

Pinchiff says he got misdirection from elected officials and Central Committee members.

Night asks how many Republicans there are running.

OC GOP Executive Director Julian Babbitt states there are six Republicans for three seats. Three have been endorsed by the Central Committee, a fourth who was recommended by the Endorsements Committee but rejected by the Central Committee, and Pinchiff is the fifth.

Matthews moves and Night seconds recommending Pinchiff.

Fuentes says he opposes endorsing more candidates than seats. He wishes no one had been endorsed in Huntington Beach because there are so many good Republicans.

PINCHIFF RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL 3-2-2 (Fuentes and Huang dissenting, Lalloway and Young absent)

Next up is Los Alamitos.

Josh Wilson is 30 years old. He worked for Assemblyman Todd Spitzer and now works in the financial services country. He now works at the largest credit union in Los Alamitos. He and his wife recently bought a business in Los Alamitos. He is on the board of a nonprofit. He is Chair of a city commission. He is a former Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce President. He and his wife have a 2-year-old son, and his wife is pregnant. He wants to bring the perspective of young families. His priorities are public safety, traffic, and the Joint Forces Training Base.

Fuentes notes three Republicans are running for two seats. Incumbent Dean Grose has been endorsed. Incumbent Richard Murphy appears to not be seeing the endorsement.

Night asks about his involvement in Republican politics.

Wilson has attended meetings for the Log Cabin Republicans and the Orange County Young Republicans.

Night asks what significant issues are going on in Los Alamitos.

Wilson expresses concern about the effort to move City Hall to the Joint Forces Base. He argues it would cost $9 million, which would wipe out the reserve of the city.

Night asks if Wilson has been endorsed by Spitzer.

Wilson explains he has not sought many elected official endorsements because he is challenging two incumbents.

Huang asks about how he would raise revenue for Los Alamitos.

Wilson suggests commercial development and rezoning the industrial sector with commercial overlay.

Fuentes asks if the incumbents have done something terrible.

Wilson declines to speak negatively of his opponents.

Fuentes asks why he would challenge incumbents.

Wilson points out there was no election in 2014 because no challengers ran. He argues running helps keep incumbents accountable and encourages interaction with the community. He dislikes kingmakers saying when it is someone’s term.

Matthews supports term limits. He also supports challenging incumbents when there are no term limits. He doesn’t like having 4-term, 5-term incumbents.

Huang asks for an example of an issue where he is unhappy with the direction of the city council.

Wilson argues the Council lacks strong vision. He points to them hiring consultant after consultant without reaching a decision.

Fuentes moves for neutrality since the incumbents are not doing anything bad. Huang seconds.

Gordon argues Murphy has not sought an endorsement.

Gordon moves and Night seconds to recommend Wilson for endorsement.

Night argues the committee endorsement provides insight that the committee has vetted the candidates.

Gordon says it does not make sense to protect an incumbent who has opted not to apply for the endorsement. Gordon expresses concern about stagnation from Councilmembers who serve for decades.

Night calls for new blood.

Matthews notes this is an interesting discussion because it is unclear what to do when there is no application from an incumbent who appears to be in good standing.

Fuentes argues the OC GOP is supposed to register voters and turn out the vote.

The motion to recommend Wilson fails 2-3-2 (Gordon and Night in favor).

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR THE SECOND SEAT IN LOS ALAMITOS (4-1-2).

Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 2.

Brad Avery was a Democrat until becoming an independent last year and a Republican this year. He says he was always conservative. He speaks of not being a fan of unions after working for a school district as an administrator in the financial side. He says he helped get a candidate elected against a union-backed candidate for school board.

Night asks Avery about his answer on his position on Obamacare on the questionnaire.

Avery says he does not support repealing Obamacare. He says it is flawed but should be reformed, not repealed. He argues he wants to support as many people as possible with health insurance. He calls it a moral issue.

Night asks about Avery’s involvement in coastal groups and his opinion of the Coastal Commission.

Avery says the Coastal Commission is now difficult to follow. He argues about how hard it was just to build public school buildings in the Coastal Commission for his school district.

Huang asks about whether Avery wants universal health access or single-player insurnace.

Avery says he supports access due to cost and lack of providers. He calls it a moral imperative and that Obamacare is the lesser of two evils.

Huang asks if Avery would support the city providing clinics.

Avery would support it as a private-public partnership. He would want direct services but doesn’t want the city to pay for it. He suggests tax breaks or providing free/nominal cost space for the clinic. He points to the example of a school facility leased from the County for $1 per year.

Huang asks about Newport Beach’s debt.

Avery says he would cut spending. He supports the current council’s efforts. He points to outsourcing of trash services being completed successfully in Newport Beach.

Matthews asks who the other candidates are.

Avery says Shelley Henderson is a Republican but appears to be a phantom candidate. She has not shown up to candidate forums nor submitted a ballot statement.

Gordon asks about his stance on abortion.

Avery argues it is not relevant to a nonpartisan city council race. He says he is not in favor of abortion but wants it removed from the California Republican Party platform.

Gordon expresses concern that Avery recently became a Republican, supports Obamacare, and supports removing the pro-life plank from the California Republican Party platform.

Fuentes asks about Avery switching from Democrat to independent to Republican. 

Avery says the Democratic Party left him, pointing to fiscal policy and immigration. He says he switched from independent to Republican because it was not an illogical leap before running for council.

Night argues there are Republican alternative plans to Obamacare. He is unhappy with Avery’s position.

Night moves and Gordon seconds an unfavorable recommendation on Avery.

Fuentes moves and Gordon also seconds for neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 2 BY A 5-0-2 VOTE (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is San Juan Capistrano, District 5.

Brian Maryott has three children and plans to live the rest of his life in San Juan Capistrano. He says there is a poisonous atmosphere on the council. He argues the city is attempting to run a water company with inadequate scale. He is worried about the impending city deficit. He is concerned about sober living homes. He expresses concern about traffic and mobility due to poor decisions by the Council. He says he is self-funding and spending a significant sum. He has 25 years of business experience. He worked in the Massachusetts State House for a legislator who chaired Ways and Means until moving to California 22 years ago.

Ronda Mottl graduated from Indiana University and interned for Dan Quayle. Her father was a Congressman. She interned for the RNC. She was Membership Chair of the OCYR. She worked for coupons.com. She noticed how her water bill is double the price it is in Newport Beach. She agrees that the Council atmosphere is like the Hatfields and McCoys. She has business experience. She opposes continued city operation of water. She opposes widening Ortega Highway.

Night asks about Mottl’s father.

Mottl says her father was a conservative Democrat.

Night asks her about switching from Republican to Democrat in 2008 because of the Great Recession and Sarah Palin’s inexperience. Night points to Palin having more experience than Obama.

Mottl argues Obama had more DC experience than Palin.

Night asks how each candidate could get to three votes in light of the divisive council.

Mottl argues that the Council needs to listen to both sides and make a judgement call, not just automatically vote with one faction on the Council. She expresses concern about city litigation.

Maryott points to his experience in the State House in building bridges between elected officials. He notes there are more than two factions on the Council. He thinks it was a bad decision to go to districts with little pushback. He thinks Councilmembers should listen, learn, and collaborate. He says Commissions are inadequately leveraged.

Huang asks Mottl what her solution to traffic is if she will not expand Ortega Highway.

Mottl wants an east-west arterial highway similar to Antonio in Ladera Ranch.

Maryott argues people need to be able to get to their destinations. He supports stretching the 241 to Cow Camp Rd. He argues only 0.8 miles of Ortega Highway needs to be expanded to match the other ends of that stretch of the highway.

Huang asks if the candidates would tax marijuana locally if Prop 64 passes.

Mottl opposes smoking marijuana in public. She opposes marijuana use in general. She supports a local marijuana tax.

Maryott opposes a local marijuana tax.

Night moves and Gordon seconds for neutrality.

Huang called this the most interesting set of applications with party switches. She is concerned that neither has been particularly involved with the party in the last decade.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, DISTRICT 5 BY A 5-0-2 VOTE (Lalloway and Young absent).

Intermission

Next up is Santa Ana, Ward 3.

Josh Mauras is 32 years old with two small children. He is the sole Republican against six Democrats. He was Vice President of the California Republican Lawyers Association. He worked on the McCain campaign driving in the motorcade and on the campaign plane. He notes the frontrunner is former Assemblyman Jose Solorio. He says Solorio is doing it to help union contracts. He fears if the unions control the council, there are pro-union people on both sides of the table.

Night asks how Mauras would get three other votes as the sole Republican.

Mauras said he would look at each issue to cobble together.

There is discussion about whether Juve Dan Pinedo is a Republican.

Gordon moves and Night seconds to recommend Mauras.

MAURAS RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-0-2-2 (Fuentes and Huang abstaining pending Pinedo, Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Villa Park City Council.

Vince Rossini is one of three candidates for Villa Park:two Republicans and one Democrat. Rossini worked on Republica. campaigns from Richard Riordan to Deborah Pauly. He is active in the law enforcement advisory committee in Villa Park. He says the city council has no clude on law enforcement in light of Prop 47 and AB 109.

Night notes that Deborah Pauly and Kermit Marsh’s signatures are on the same page.

Gordon moves and Matthews seconds recommending Rossini.

ROSSINI RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR VILLA PARK CITY COUNCIL 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Mayor of Westminster.

Tri Ta says he is pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. He is business friendly, proposing a business license holiday. He has been in Westminster CRA for a decade. He has supported Van Tran and other Republican politicians.

Night asks about Ta wanting to increase revenues and have more police.

Ta wants to streamline the business process and gives various examples.

Night asks about marijuana dispensaries and taxing marijuana.

Ta says he is neutral on taxing marijuana.

Gordon asks about him signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge after voting to put a sales tax increase on the ballot.

Ta says many people came to the city council meeting to demand a tax measure be put on the ballot. He says he personally opposes the tax increase but had to listen to the people’s right to vote. He says he did get a six year sunset into the measure.

Night is troubled by the sales tax increase vote but is glad he got a sunset.

Fuentes says they all agree that they oppose tax increases. He says they have endorsed people who did vote for tax increases (a reference to Fountain Valley Councilman Steve Nagel).

Fuentes moves and Matthews seconds recommending an endorsement of Ta.

TA RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR MAYOR OF WESTMINSTER 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Brea City Treasurer.

George Ullrich is a planning commissioner who got involved in the city after the Freeway Complex Fire. He has helped candidates like Ron Garcia and Ling-Ling Chang. He is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-free market. He is running for treasurer because he believes his experience can help prevent a Placentia-style embezzlement. He wants to restore the Treasurer’s powers that were curbed over the past 15 years.

Night asks Ullrich how he will work with the City Council.

Ullrich says he has existing relationships with City Councilmembers through their campaigns. He says self-funding protects his independence.

Night asks about dealing with pension liability of the City.

Ullrich says the Treasurer is responsible for improving returns on the City investment portfolio.

Huang asks how the City Treasurer is related to school bond issuance since he listed it as one of his priorities in his questionnaire.

Ullrich says he would simply use his position to voice his opinion on school bonds.

Huang asks about his goal of seeking more authority for the City Treasurer.

Ullrich is endorsed by the two prior Treasurers. He wants to audit the processes used by the Treasurer.

Matthews asks how many candidates there are.

Ullrich says there are two: him and the newly-appointed incumbent Republican.

Fuentes asks what is wrong with the incumbent.

Ullrich says the City staff can’t reach the Treasurer and isn’t running much of a campaign.

Matthews moves and Gordon seconds recommending Ullrich for endorsement.

ULLRICH RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR BREA CITY TREASURER 4-1-2 (Fuentes dissenting, Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Placentia City Treasurer.

Scott Nelson was heard at a prior meeting.

Kevin Larson is the appointed incumbent. He is a 51-year resident of Placentia. He grew up there, went to school there, and his children go to school there. He has a master of finance. He is director of administrative services for the Diocese of Orange and was previously its controller. He has worked for the diocese for 15 years. He is a lifelong Republican who cast his first vote for Ronald Reagan. He says government is a necessary evil that should be kept to its bare necessities. He says the City Manager has relegated the City Treasurer to a figurehead position that gets a 7-page financial statement. He redid the City investment policy and improved the investment pool yield.

Night asks about safeguards to put in place to prevent the embezzlement from happening again.

Larson already got one new reform: he now has independent access to the accounts. It took multiple attempts to get that passed, but it was passed too late to catch the embezzlement.

Night asks about Larson’s efforts during the embezzlement.

Larson says he asked for independent access to the general ledger. By the time he got that access, it was March, and the embezzlement was discovered at the beginning of April.

Huang asks when he was appointed Treasurer. She also asks about his attempts for independent access he made.

Larson says he was appointed in December 2014. He started pushing for it in the second half of 2015.

Huang asks how he was not able to catch the embezzlement even without bank account access.

Larson says the Treasurer has traditionally only controlled the investment pool without involvement in the operational budget. He gained the reform to access the bank account. He says the bank reconciliations must be done.

Huang asks for examples of additional safeguards that he has added.

Larson gained adoption of digital tokens and an additional layer of approval for wire transfers.

Matthews asks about how the role of the City Treasurer is well defined.

Larson says it is actually vaguely defined with a single sentence in the charter that says the Treasurer is the custodian of all public funds.

Gordon asks if Larson had any direct oversight over the embezzling employee, Michael Nguyen (no relation to this blogger).

Larson says he did not. He says the City Manager prevented the Treasurer from having direct oversight.

Night asks how Scott Nelson voted on giving the Treasurer signature authority and access to the account.

Larson says Nelson opposed it twice.

Night moves and Huang seconds for neutrality because the voters need to sort out whether the Council or the Treasurer should be held accountable for the embezzlement.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR PLACENTIA CITY TREASURER 5-0-2  (Lalloway and Young absent).

Matthews departs.

Next up is Irvine Unified School District.

Mark Newgent served in the Army for 20 years. He is a father of children in IUSD schools. He is very concerned about the inadequacy of safety plans in IUSD schools.

Night asks if he is the only Republican.

Babbitt says there are three seats. The candidates are two Republicans, three Democrats, and one independent.

Night asks about Newgent’s approach for getting Asian votes in Irvine. 

Newgent notes his wife is Asian and legally immigrated from the Philippines at the age of 25.

Night asks about special needs children, particularly autistic children.

Newgent gives the example of a special needs child whose mother he is working with who runs into the street, and he is pushing for hedges to prevent the child from running.

Night asks about spending and bonds.

Newgent is outraged by the school board saying they lack money and needed a bond, yet they approved $150,000 for high school student parties.

Huang asks how many bonds there are.

Newgent says there is only the measure that passed in June.

Huang asks about his safety plan in 30 seconds.

Newgent expresses concerns about visitor sign-in, lack of car bomb plans, lack of drop-off and pick-up plans, and runs out of time.

Night moves and Gordon seconds recommending Newgent for endorsement.

NEWGENT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR IRVINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 4-0-3 (Lalloway, Matthews, and Young absent).

Next up is Ocean View School District.

Kathryn Gonzalez is a lifelong Republican. She works professionally in finance. She warns the teachers union controls the board. She opposes Measure R, the district bond. She wants the district it live within its means.

Norm Westwell is a former two-time Board member. He was President of the Board in 2010. He was on the Huntington Beach City Services Commission. He was a lifelong Libertarian until Donald Trump brought him into the Republican Party in 2015. He ran unsuccessfully for city council six times. This is his fourth school board race. He ran against Tom Harman for Assembly. He says he is fiscally responsible and opposes the district’s reckless deficit spending.

Night asks what they will do to ensure responsible spending if the bond passes.

Westwell says the bonds are for facilities. He fears that with the fungibility of money that salary and benefits spending from the general fund will be increased and backfilled. He will fight that.

Gonzalez will take misspending to the public if she cannot stop the misspending.

Night asks how they will work with the three incumbents who are not up for election.

Westwell says they can flip the Board members because they are rather wishy washy followers of the President who is up for election this year.

Gonzalez points to the book, Getting to Yes. She wants to persuade them by making them think they’ve won something.

Huang asks about whether they would use marijuana tax money to pay down bonds and for school construction like in Colorado.

Gonzalez wants to research the issue but wants to minimize impacts on taxpayers.

Westwell argues the state underfunds schools.

Gordon says Colorado just uses the marijuana tax money to backfill like the California did with the lottery.

Fuentes asks about the candidates.

Gonzalez says the incumbent is the sole Democrat and is in a slate with another Republican.

However, Babbitt says actually there are three Democrats and two Republicans for two seats, with the two Republicans being Gonzalez and Westwell.

Gordon moves and Night seconds recommending Gonzalez and Westwell for endorsement.

GONZALEZ AND WESTWELL RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR OCEAN VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT 4-0-3 (Lalloway, Matthews, and Young absent).

Intermission.

Next up is Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.

Babbitt says there are five Republicans running and one independent. There are three incumbents and three challengers. The three challengers are seeking the endorsement.

Susi Khan speaks of the three challengers being active in schools and all three have spoken against Common Core at both the school board and the Orange County Board of Education. She has three children.

Helen Kingsbury’s son attended public school when it switched to Common Core. She says the district staff failed to realize Common Core was being implemented when she asked about it.
Irene Yezback is an alternate on Central Committee to Karla Downing. She is a 24-year resident of Yorba Linda. She is a business owner and parent. The three of them decided to run because no one else stepped up to challenge the incumbents.

Robert Hammond and Deborah Pauly decide that Hammond will speak for the candidates. Hammond says all three, especially Khan, were key to helping him fight Common Core on the County Board of Education. He says they uncovered Superintendent Al Mijares’s financial incentives to support Common Core.

Brett Barbre opposes them, noting the three have been active in divisive organizations that have battled for recalls of City Councilmembers and Water Board Members.

Night asks for more discussion of Common Core.

Yezback notes declining scores from Common Core. She says prior curriculum authors have refused to sign off on Common Core.

Khan expresses concern about Islam being taught. She says publishers have investors who are pushing Islam to be in a positive light. She says that compromises national security.

Kingsbury says 40% of Common Core is social-emotional learning and 60% academics. She wants to support teachers as content experts instead of being confined to Common Core. She says Planned Parenthood is behind Common Core’s new sexual education standards.

Night asks about LGBT education at younger ages.

Yezbak says schools should teach academics and parents should teach social-emotional.

Kingsbury says LGBT issues should be discussed at home, not school. She wants permission slips so parents are aware of what issues are at school.

Khan is a nurse and says children are too young to learn about these issues because they are not developmentally ready. She says the opt-out option for parents on the California Healthy Kids Survey is buried in documents, so parents don’t know to opt-out.

Huang asked about bonds.

Yezbak points to a $22 million bond in 2008. She says no payment is due until 2028, with massive interest.

Huang asks about the PYLUSD bond that was featured in the Orange County Register that would reach $1 billion with interest.

Kingsbury opposes the go-along, go-along attitude of the Board.

Huang asks about other revenue sources to pay off the bond.

Khan says schools waste enormous sums of money. She wants to use existing funds and cut elsewhere. She opposes any new taxes.

Huang asks if each signed the Yorba Linda City Council recall petition and the Yorba Linda Water District recall petition.

All three think they did sign the city council recall petition but are uncertain. All three also signed the water board recall petition.

Gordon says he has watched them in action at the County Board of Education and admires their work.

Khan says she is not a member of any recall group but did sign the petition.

Fuentes asks what organization backs the recall and if they were involved.

Barbre says it was YLRRR and morphed into YLTA.

All three say they were not involved.

Night asks if they will agree to reduce the salary of the next superintendent.

Night moves and Gordon seconds to recommend all three, with Night noting the incumbents have a terrible record on fiscal issues and Common Core.

Huang is concerned they have no plan to replace Common Core, and she is concerned they have sought to recall endorsed Republican incumbents in good standing in Yorba Linda.

Gordon asks why did each sign the petition.

Yezbak argues there is too much growth in the city; she calls it irresponsible. She claims 12 projects were going on at once.

Huang says there were only 2 projects on 12 properties.

Khan says the water rates were “exuberant” and that there was irresponsible spending.

Kingsbury says Republican bickering allows Democrats to win. She says she invited Gene Hernandez and Craig Young to speak with them about Common Core, and the conversation went well.

Fuentes feels conflicted because the three are excellent in education issues, but they have taken dicey positions on City Council and Water Board.

Night amends his motion and Huang seconds for neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR PLACENTIA-YORBA LINDA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 3-1-3 (Gordon dissenting, Lalloway and Young absent).

Intermission.

Next up is Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 6.

Evan Chaffee is a lifelong Orange County resident. He was precinct director for the OC GOP. He was once Mike Munzing’s alternate on Central Committee. He was national youth president for the Boy Scouts of America (blogger paraphrase; I didn’t catch the whole title). He was a San Juan Capistrano Planning Commissioner. He speaks of being approached to run because of his consensus builder approach on the Planning Commission. He calls on more water storage and conservation technology.

Night says he is uncomfortable with consultants serving in elected office. He wonders about working with his clients in elected office or opponents in elected office.

Chaffee says it is important to understand different perspectives. He says most of his business is outside politics now. He argues he has strong relationships.

Night says there is not enough of an effort to influence water distribution. He asks what Chaffee would do to help pursue legislative changes and other ways to resolve this.

Chaffee calls for utilizing new technologies to enhance the water supply. He says it is important to take federal action; he worked in DC on Capitol Hill for one year.

Night asks about Chaffee’s philosophy of pay at the Water District for himself and administrators.

Chaffee says MWDOC members are more than adequately paid. He wants to sit down with staff to figure out how to reconfigure meeting pay. He wants to do a market rate analysis to set staff pay to retain good staff but not be exhorbitant.

Huang asks about water usage.

Chaffee notes Orange County has exceeded the Governor’s goals for water conservation. He speaks of maintaining multiple sources of water and investing in multiple options.

Night asks about the candidates.

Babbitt says there are two Republicans, one Democrat, and one independent, with no incumbent.

Night questions doing a comparison of salaries with other government agencies as circular logic.

Chaffee explains he would look at a wide geographic region.

Night is troubled by looking at other government agencies, but Night moves and Huang seconds to recommend endorsing Chaffee.

Fuentes is unconcerned about the consultant issue since Chaffee is honest. However, he does not want to endorse when there are multiple Republicans.

CHAFFEE RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR MWDOC DIVISION 6 BY A VOTE OF 3-1-3 (Fuentes dissenting, Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Orange County Water District, Division 3.

Roger Yoh has been the incumbent since 2004. He is a licensed professional engineer. He says he is a fiscal conservative and that his district is one of just two that is defined contribution (401(k)-style plans) rather than defined benefit (pensions). He talks about the safety of the water supply and efforts to clean up plumes in Fullerton.

Fuentes asks about the candidates.

There are two Republicans running: incumbent Roger Yoh and La Palma Councilman Peter Kim. Kim has applied for an October endorsement.

Night asks why Yoh left the Republican Party.

Yoh says he thought about applying for a Director of External Affairs position for LA and Ventura Counties for Caltrans. He switched to independent to improve his application chances. He decided not to apply. He switched back to Republican for the primary.

Huang asks how Yoh can get the money for the clean-up since there was already a settlement.

Yoh goes through a lengthy explanation of a complex legal-engineering issue.

Huang asks why it took so long for OCWD to seek EPA help.

Yoh says a powerful organization is involved. He says there is a path going forward at the table with the largest responsible party, OCWD, DTSC, and EPA.

Huang asks about desalination.

Yoh says we’re not there yet. He wants to further develop the Groundwater Replenishment System. He wants to use other efforts to get more groundwater. He feels OCWD should not get into desalination because it is really more the jurisdiction of MWDOC and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Yoh notes Orange County needs to import far less water than San Diego County. He says it doesn’t make sense to use OCWD resources to put potable water into desalination.

Huang asks if Yoh voted with Republicans or Democrats on the term sheet with Poseidon.

Yoh isn’t sure the affiliation if his colleagues.

Huang asks if he voted with Jan Flory.

Yoh says he did because the numbers did not work for OCWD.

Huang argues he was the sole Republican to vote with the Democrats in May 2015 on the term sheet with Poseidon.

Fuentes is concerned he became an independent because his boss told him to and then switched back to Republican before seeking the endorsement.

Huang moves for neutrality, citing the desalination issue and votes. She doesn’t think desalination should be the sole solution but should be a solution.

Fuentes wants to hear from Peter Kim.

As an aside, Night notes Kim should be well aware of the endorsement process.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR OCWD DIVISION 3 BY A 4-0-3 VOTE (Lalloway, Matthews, Young absent).

Next up are the Yorba Linda Water District recall replacement candidates.

Bob Wren has lived in Yorba Linda since 1975 and bought a home there in 1995. He was an Orange County Sheriff’s Lieutenant who was Chief of Police Services for Yorba Linda. He opposes the Yorba Linda Water District recall. He argues the water board had to act because of the drought.

Eileen Barme has lived in Yorba Linda for 14 years. She agrees with Wren. She tires of the millions of dollars spent on unsuccessful recalls in Yorba Linda. She opposes the recall and hopes she is not elected in this race. She has decades of business experience.

Night asks about their water experience.

Barme was appointed to two terms by the City Council on the Landscape Maintenance Assessment District.

Wren has experience with government agencies and crises with his career in the Sheriff’s Department.

Night moves for neutrality because the party opposes the recall.

Huang moves and Gordon seconds recommending Wren and Barme because they are backed by the recall opponents.

BARME AND WREN RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR THE YLWD REPLACEMENT CANDIDATES 3-1-3 (Fuentes dissenting, Lalloway, Matthews, and Young absent).

Next up is Coast Community College District, Trustee Area 2.

Vong Xavier Nguyen (definitely no relation to this blogger) says he has lived in Orange County since he was 3 years old. He went to Coastline Community College and USC. He wants more diversity on the Board. He notes Area 2 is Asian majority. He worked with the trustees as a student.

Night asks about speakers on college campuses.

Nguyen believes speakers should not speak on political issues on campus. He wants permits for speakers for free speech spaces. He wants students to get approval for speakers from campus advisors and administrators.

Night asks why Nguyen wants to be a trustee.

Nguyen says he has been an advocate for public schools. He wants to represent his area and wants to run for diversity. He supports districting to allow more minorities to be elected. He attacks incumbent Jerry Patterson for voting to withdraw US troops from Vietnam while in Congress.

Huang asks how long Nguyen was a Democrat since he became a Republican this month.

Nguyen says since he was 18.

Huang asks if he was elected to the Democratic Central Committee in June.

Nguyen says he will not take that seat.

Huang asks when he joined the various Republican organizations on his application.

Nguyen says he joined the USC College Republicans in 2012 and the other organizations in 2016.

Huang asks about bonds.

Nguyen says there was one bond, Measure M, which he opposed.

Huang asks if he would take marijuana tax money if Prop 64 passes.

Nguyen says only if the district enters a deficit.

Gordon is troubled by the party switches and the endorsements from Elizabeth Parker and David Boyd.

Nguyen says Parker has provided moral support while Boyd helped provide legal support in the past.

Fuentes asks why he ran for the Democratic Central Committee and how he was a registered Democrats in the USC College Republicans.

Nguyen says he ran because his friends said it was an open seat. He said he failed to reregister.

Gordon is concerned about numerous Democrats that Nguyen seems to support on Facebook.

Nguyen says he prefers Correa over Bao Nguyen.

Gordon expresses numerous concerns about Nguyen.

Fuentes moves and Gordon seconds for neutrality, citing how foolish it would be for the OC GOP to endorse someone who was just elected to the Democratic Central Committee.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT, TRUSTEE AREA 2 BY A VOTE OF 4-0-3 (Lalloway, Matthews, and Young absent).

Last up is San Clemente.

Dan Bane has already been endorsed while Bob Baker was not.

Steven Swartz is not present but apparently waited over an hour for a phone call.

Babbitt suggests the committee do a phone call with Swartz before Central Committee at 6:30 PM.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR SWARTZ UNLESS HE IS REACHED BY PHONE BY ENDORSEMENT.

Meeting adjourn 1 hour, 20 minutes late.

One Response to “Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 3”

  1. […] this third round, the contests were considered at the Endorsements Committee on Friday. They are listed below (those recommended by the Endorsements Committee are marked with an […]

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