OC Political

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Archive for July, 2018

Live from OC GOP Central Committee, Round 1

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 30, 2018

We are live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where the first round of endorsements for the November 2018 General Election is being considered for City Council and School Board (plus Sheriff). Congressional and Legislative (plus 4th District Supervisor) were previously endorsed.

On tonight’s docket are:

  • Don Barnes for Orange County Sheriff
  • Garrett Dwyer for Aliso Viejo City Council

    • Hon. Joe Muller for Dana Point City Council
  • Hon. Joe Muller for Dana Point City Council
  • Patrick Harper for Fountain Valley City Council

  • Hon. Erik Peterson for Huntington Beach City Council

  • Hon. Mike Posey for Huntington Beach City Council

  • Hon. Elaine Gennawey for Laguna Niguel City Council

  • Sandy Rains for Laguna Niguel City Council

  • Hon. Diane Dixon for Newport Beach City Council, District 1

  • Hon. Tri Ta for Mayor of Westminster

  • Hon. Peggy Huang for Yorba Linda City Council

  • Carlos Rodriguez for Yorba Linda City Council

  • Hon. Jim Cunneen for Fountain Valley School Board

  • Yes on Proposition 6

  • Yes on Newport Beach Debt Charter Amendment

  • No on Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative

Konstantinos Roditis delivers the invocation.

An OC GOP intern leads the Pledge of Allegiance.

Committee Member David Shawver delivers the oath of office to the new alternate members.

A whole slew of elected officials and candidates are introduced.

The minutes are approved.

Chairman Fred Whitaker provides remarks on voter registration. He also speaks about the Congressional seats and the NRCC office in Irvine, where this meeting is being held.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang delivers the report of the Endorsements Committee.

Committee Member John W. Briscoe moves and David Shawver seconds the entire list.

Committee Member Chris Norby pulls the Anaheim Minimum Wage measure from the list.

Committee Member Robert Hammond pulls Don Barnes for Sheriff from the list.

Committee Member Deborah Pauly seeks to add Ron Sterud for Huntington Beach City Council to the list. He submitted signatures July 20 and is scheduled to be out of town on August 20.

Whitaker states that the bylaws require seven days’ notice in order to be considered.

The list passes unanimously.

Next up is discussion of Don Barnes.

Hammond wants to ask Barnes about arming teachers.

Committee Alternate Anthony Kuo moves and David Shawver seconds endorsing Barnes.

Hammond asks the question, expressing concern that Barnes had previously expressed that it would be difficult to distinguish between armed teachers and the shooter in an active shooter situation.

Shawver says there were two great Republicans running for Sheriff in the primary, and Barnes is the sole Republican to make the runoff. He also says it is up to the school boards to decide if they want armed teachers.

Whitaker permits Barnes to respond to Hammond’s inquiry.

Barnes says OC has 15,000 CCWs, the most in the State. He notes he designed the CCW policy in OC. He is the only candidate in the state to get an A+ from the CRPA. Barnes clarifies he is not opposed to arming teachers, but wants the national best practices model in cooperation with the local school board. Law enforcement needs to be able to distinguish between armed teachers and active shooters.

The vote is unanimous to endorse Barnes.

Chris Norby opposes the OC GOP taking a position against the Anaheim Minimum Wage measure. He blasts the transient occupancy tax subsidy for hotels in Anaheim. He blasts Disney for its revenue on City-owned Anaheim parking. He blasts taxpayer expenses paying high salaries at Disney, like CEO Bob Iger. He says “public subsidies” should be shared with workers.

Peggy Huang speaks in favor of OC GOP opposing the Anaheim Minimum Wage measure. She speaks in favor of the economy and the free market. She warns of the harm to businesses from minimum wage increases. Huang notes Disney already has struck a deal with labor on wages. She speaks of national efforts to impose higher minimum wage and universal basic income. She notes this was thoroughly vetted by the Endorsements Committee.

Whitaker moves and Baron Night seconds to oppose the Anaheim Minimum Wage initiative.

By a voice vote, the motion to oppose the Anaheim Minimum Wage initiative passes well over the required 2/3 supermajority. Indeed, there were only three votes against the motion.

The Committee adjourns at 7:42 PM.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Mansoor Enters Race for Costa Mesa City Council District 5

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on July 28, 2018

Allan Mansoor

This came over the wire from the Allan Mansoor for Costa Mesa City Council campaign on Tuesday…

Mansoor Enters Race for Costa Mesa City Council District 5
Will Not Run for Mayor of Costa Mesa

COSTA MESA, CA (July 24, 2018) – Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor announced his entry today into the race for the District 5 seat on the City Council. With his long-standing record of service to the residents of Costa Mesa, Mansoor becomes the immediate front-runner in Council District 5.

“I’m running for Council District 5 because I want to make sure Janniffer and I can raise our three children, Avalon Jane, Joshua Dayton, and August Alexander, in a neighborhood where they are safe, and can play in the parks of our city, just like I did growing up,” Mansoor said. “It is critical that we have experienced individuals on the City Council. It became increasingly clear to me that none of the other candidates in District 5 have the experience necessary to ensure we preserve Costa Mesa’s way of life.”

In choosing to run for Council District 5, Mansoor will not be running for Mayor in 2018.

“My children have not yet reached school-age, and I want to cherish this time I have with them. My three children are simply too young for me to run for Mayor in 2018,” said Mansoor. “I know the obligations and responsibilities of the Mayor’s seat well, having served in that office when I was a single man. Continuing on the City Council allows me to continue in public service while balancing the needs of my wife and our three young children.”

Allan Mansoor has served on the Costa Mesa City Council since 2016 after previously serving from 2002 to 2010, including three times as Mayor. A retired Orange County Deputy Sheriff and former State Assemblyman, he has dedicated his career to public service. Mansoor first moved to Costa Mesa at the age of 12 when his family came to the city. Mansoor and his wife, Janniffer, are raising their three young children in Costa Mesa, where the family attends church and are involved in the many community service programs available to Costa Mesa residents.


Paid for by Mansoor for City Council 2018

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Almost Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee, Round 2 for November 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 19, 2018

So your intrepid blogger’s phone battery was running low making live blogging impossible; however, I did have have my laptop, so consider this the live-blog equivalent of a tape-delayed broadcast.

Endorsements Committee members in person are Chair Peggy Huang and Members Mark Bucher, Tyler Diep, and Leroy Mills. Endorsements Committee members on the phone are Laurie Davies and Erik Weigand. Endorsements Committee Member Gene Hernandez is absent.

The Endorsements Committee’s recommendations tonight, like those of the July 12 meeting, will be considered by the full Central Committee on July 30.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang calls the meeting to order at 5:30 PM.

Anthony Kuo for Irvine City Council

Anthony Kuo started his activism in 1999, writing an article in the high school paper opposing a proposal by Larry Agran, and Agran threatened to sue. He’s a long-time volunteer for the party. He was worked in public policy. He was the top runner-up in the 2016 Council race. Irvine is his hometown.

Tyler Diep moves and Mark Bucher seconds recommending Anthony Kuo for Irvine City Council to the Central Committee.


Trevor O’Neil for Anaheim City Council, District 6

Trevor O’Neil has lived in Anaheim Hills for 23 years with his wife and children. He is a small business owner who fought regulatory and legislative efforts against his industry, homecare service providers. He is endorsed by Anaheim Hills’s representatives, Mimi Walters and Steven Choi. He’s endorsed by Fred Whitaker. He’s been a Republican since he was 18. He’s been an active volunteer for Republican voter registration efforts, and he’s phone banked and precinct walked for Andrew Do, Janet Nguyen, Young Kim, Ling-Ling Chang, Ed Royce, and Mimi Walters.

Another Republican candidate for the seat, Patty Gaby, has not submitted an application but is present.

Central Committee Member TJ Fuentes urges neutrality. He says O’Neil is a nice guy, a likable guy, who has helped the Republican Party. Fuentes argues that O’Neil disagrees with the party on hotel subsidies because that allows government to pick winners and losers. Fuentes says a bigger problem is that there are two Republican candidates in an open seat. Fuentes says Patty Gaby is a lifelong Republican and is endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait. Fuentes argues that candidate fundraising is irrelevant because millions of dollars have been spent in the City of Anaheim in independent expenditures.

O’Neil says government should not pick winners and losers. He says the TOT rebate was open to all comers. He says it is analogous to the sales tax rebate for car dealerships in Orange. He says if there is a net positive impact on the City budget, that’s more money that can be spent on police, fire, parks, and other City services. He says he does not belong to either faction and entered the race on his own with no one recruiting him. O’Neil says Kris Murray endorsed another candidate who has since dropped out. He wants to get past the personal politics of Anaheim. His fundraising doesn’t come from the Anaheim factions; it comes heavily from friends and businesspeople in the homecare industry.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks if Kris Murray has endorsed him.

O’Neil says she has not endorsed anyone since her candidate dropped out.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills comments on the Anaheim Stadium $1 parking lease and the Disney tax exemption. He then asks about “hard right social views” in Central Committee.

O’Neil wants government to focus on infrastructure, the economy, and jobs, which affect day-to-day lives rather than social issues. He supports public-private partnerships. He feels items like the TOT incentive are only necessary in poor economic times and not necessary in good economic times.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep asks if O’Neil has raised any of his $85,000 in campaign funds from loans.

O’Neil says he has raised $25,000 in personal loans. He has accepted no money from unions. Unions caused him to get involved in the political arena because of what they’ve done to his industry.

Diep asks if O’Neil has raised any money from Disney and its allies.

O’Neil says he has accepted money from them.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher asks if there’s any reason why the party should endorse O’Neil over Gaby.

O’Neil raises Gaby’s union activities. He says he has battled unions, owns his own small business, and is not beholden to unions.

Endorsements Committee Member Laurie Davies asked if O’Neil has received any money from lobbyists.

O’Neil says he received contributions from a lobbying firm who advocates for the homecare industry in Sacramento and which does not lobby in Anaheim.

Davies wants to leave this race open.

Weigand agrees with Davies.

Huang says she was aware of the candidate endorsed by Kris Murray but not the candidate endorsed by Tom Tait. She urges neutrality. She does not want to be involved in the divisive politics of Anaheim.

Huang moves and Mills seconds to recommend “no endorsement” in Anaheim City Council, District 6.

Weigand urges that the neutrality recommendation not slight O’Neil.

O’Neil states he has gone through the process, and other candidates in other seats have been recommended for endorsements while it is still currently possible for other Republicans to pull papers.

Huang stresses that it is an open seat. She says it is divisive to pick one over another. She says it has been the Endorsements Committee’s policy for years to not endorse one Republican over another in an open seat with no incumbent.

Diep suggests the committee should not have recommended Anthony Kuo in Irvine under the standard being applied to O’Neil in Anaheim because Kuo is also running for an open seat, and other Republicans may pull papers. Diep notes the recommendation was based on Kuo’s activism and history with the OC GOP. He asks whether O’Neil’s opponent can even get to the 21 signatures necessary to be considered for an endorsement. He suggests tabling O’Neil to another Endorsements Committee meeting to study the two candidates side-by-side if Gaby makes the 21 signatures.

Huang argues Gaby is present while none of Kuo’s opponents are present. She notes that Kuo was also endorsed by the Central Committee two years ago.


(Editor’s Note: Since OC Political live blogs most of these meetings, we can look back at the times the Endorsements Committee recommended one Republican over another in open seats with no incumbents:

  • September 16, 2016: Evan Chaffee recommended for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 6 as one of two Republicans running for one seat
  • August 30, 2016: Andy Hall recommended for Yorba Linda Water District as one of four Republicans running for two seats (an incumbent is also recommended)
  • Weirdly, the Endorsements Committee voted to recommend all five Republicans running for three seats on the Huntington Beach City Council in 2016 over the course of three meetings:
    • September 16, 2016: Edward Pincheff recommended for Huntington Beach City Council as one of five Republicans running for three seats
    • August 30, 2016: Mark Rolfes recommended for Huntington Beach City Council as one of five Republicans running for three seats
    • August 24, 2016: Patrick Brenden, Joe Carchio, and Lyn Semeta recommended for Huntington Beach City Council as three of five Republicans running for three seats
  • August 24, 2016: Fred Ameri recommended for Newport Beach City Council, District 7 as one of three Republicans running for one seat
  • August 24, 2016: Janine Heft recommended for Laguna Hills City Council as one of three Republicans running for two seats
  • August 24, 2016: Larry Bennett recommended for Fullerton City Council as one of four Republicans running for three seats
  • October 7, 2014: Bill Green recommended for South Coast Water District as one of four Republicans running for two seats
  • October 7, 2014: Jon Peat recommended for Cypress City Council as one of five Republicans running for three seats
  • 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)
  • September 3, 2014: Kerry Ferguson recommended for San Juan Capistrano City Council as one of five Republicans running for three seats
  • September 3, 2014: John Tomlinson recommended for Dana Point City Council as one of seven Republicans running for three seats
  • September 3, 2014: Baron Night recommended for Buena Park City Council as one of five Republicans running for three seats
  • September 2, 2014: Andrew Hamilton recommended for Lake Forest City Council as one of six Republicans running for three seats
  • September 2, 2014: Elaine Gennawey and John Jennings recommended for Laguna Niguel City Council as two of three Republicans running for two seats
  • September 2, 2014: Kevin Muldoon recommended for Newport Beach City Council, District 4 as one of three Republicans running for one seat
  • September 2, 2014: Scott Peotter recommended for Newport Beach City Council, District 6 as one of two Republicans running for one seat
  • May 5, 2014: Robert Ming recommended for Orange County Supervisor, District 5 as one of four Republicans running for one seat
  • March 31, 2014: Eric Woolery recommended for Orange County Auditor-Controller as one of three Republicans running for one seat
  • March 31, 2014: Kevin Haskins recommended for Superior Court Judge, Office 14 as one of three Republicans running for one seat
  • There are also a number from 2012, but clearly the point has been made looking at just 2014 and 2016)

Diane Dixon for Newport Beach City Council, District 1

Diane Dixon is running for re-election and does not have any known opponents (she was unopposed in 2014). She wants to bring economic revitalization to the city. Her city is holding spending flat and is using its surpluses to pay down pension obligations to CalPERS. She serves on ACC-OC’s executive committee where they are working on pension reform efforts, including working with Senator John Moorlach.

Endorsements Committee Member Laurie Davies says she has worked with Dixon on ACC-OC’s pension reform committee and is strong on legislative issues.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand says he is Dixon’s appointee to the Newport Beach Planning Commission. He says she is active in the community and works hard on pension reform efforts, where Newport Beach is at the forefront.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher says a constituent asked whether Dixon was supporting Duffy Duffield, Scott Peotter, and Kevin Muldoon, who are endorsed by the OC GOP for other seats.

Dixon says she has donated money to Muldoon and is willing to endorse any of them if asked. She says she supports all the Republicans running for Newport Beach City Council.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asked Dixon how she voted on Prop 68.

Dixon says she voted against it.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about the dynamics of the Newport Beach City Council.

Dixon explains they have process differences and not policy differences.

Davies moves and Weigand seconds recommending Dixon.


Jim Cunneen for Fountain Valley School District

Jim Cunneen is President of the Fountain Valley School District Board of Education. He is a Central Committee alternate and on the Board of the California Impact Republicans. On a $63 billion bond, Measure O, he says, “I caved” on letting it on to the ballot. He says he “scored low” on that. He voted against Measure O on the ballot. He vocally opposed the Measure HH sales tax. He pushed back on unions. He opposed all pay increases in excess of 3%, noting some districts went to 9%.

John W. Briscoe says he is not running for Congress (clarifying he is not John F. Briscoe since both John Briscoes are on the Central Committee now). He met Cunneen in the Fountain Valley CRA. At one point, there were no conservatives on the FVSD Board, but Cunneen is part of a conservative majority.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep asks whether Cunneen is open to charter schools.

Cunneen says he is.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher says Cunneen is an advocate of charter schools.

Bucher asks about his vote on the bond.

Cunneen reiterates that he voted to put it on the ballot.

Bucher says, “That was a fail.”

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks if it is a forgivable fail.

Bucher says it is forgivable since Cunneen admitted regret and pledges not to do it again.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about the philosophy of the break between salaries and facilities.

Cunneen considers them separate expenditures. He prefers students, not adults, get school money. He notes his district is the only one in OC with surplus property revenue (special fund 40).

Mills clarifies how the budget is divided between salaries and facilities.

Cunneen says it’s a 90%/10% split in FVSD. Cunneen says keeping raises low is important, pointing to a 1% increase in the last raise.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks what kind of bond Measure O was.

Cunneen says it was a building modernization bond.

Huang asks if the surplus had been applied, could the bond have been avoided?

Cunneen says it likely could have been.

Huang asks about the funds being generated from the surplus.

Cunneen says special fund 40 is invested in the County investment pool.

Mills moves and Bucher seconds to recommend Cunneen for Fountain Valley School District.


Joe Muller for Dana Point City Council

Joe Muller is Mayor Pro Tem of Dana Point and is serving his first term on the City Council. He says Dana Point relies on hotels and tourism. He is pleased to have developed the Dana Point Town Center. The Harbor revitalization project has been approved. The Doheny Beach project is next up. He is Vice Chair of the OCFA Board. They have balanced budgets and generated surpluses each year he has been there. Last year’s $35 million budget had a $7 million surplus. They are working on developing a pension trust to pay the city’s pension liability. He says OCFA has a pension pay-down plan. He says Dana Point has merit pools instead of automatic pay increases.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand says Muller is a leader in South County who has worked well with Senator Pat Bates and Assemblyman Bill Brough. Endorsements Committee Member Laurie Davies concurs.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher asks about removing the pro-life plank from the California Republican Party platform.

Muller is pro-life but feels the issue takes away the focus from core fiscal issues and is turning off Millennial voters who care about other issues. He thinks abortion should not be a focus.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about taxpayer funding of abortions.

Muller says he opposes taxpayer funding of abortions.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about homelessness and Dana Point’s efforts.

Muller says they have worked with Mercy House to identify the homeless and connect them with services. He says the City changed its ordinances to allow the City to prosecute City ordinances (rather than rely on the District Attorney) as a way to protect residents from panhandling, camping, etc. if homeless individuals refuse services.

Weigand moves and Davies seconds recommending Muller for Dana Point City Council.


General Comment

Cynthia Ward is Tim Whitacre’s alternate on the Central Committee. She says she is running for Mayor of Anaheim. She says she is collecting signatures solely to block any of her opponents. She says four Republicans are running already. She argues that it is destructive to the Republican Party to pick sides in the Mayoral race. She says she has been fighting for conservative values in Anaheim and urges neutrality in open seats.

Bucher moves and Diep seconds to adjourn the Endorsements Committee at 6:36 PM.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 2 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee, Round 1 for November 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 12, 2018

We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee for the first round of endorsements for the November 2018 general election. The Endorsements Committee will make recommendations tonight to be voted upon at the Central Committee’s July 30 meeting.

On tonight’s agenda are:

  • Garrett Dwyer for Aliso Viejo City Council
  • Patrick Harper for Fountain Valley City Council
  • Erik Peterson for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Mike Posey for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Elaine Gennawey for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Carlos Rodriguez for Yorba Linda City Council
  • Yes on Prop 6
  • Yes on the Newport Beach Debt Charter Amendment
  • No on the Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative

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

Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative

First up is the Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative.

Central Committee Chairman Fred Whitaker discusses the economics of minimum wage and Republican philosophy regarding minimum wage. He warns of the threat to jobs from a minimum wage hike to $18 per hour, as employers cut back jobs due to increased costs.

Whitaker says Democrats will use the measure to increase union turnout in the General Election. He notes Bernie Sanders came to Anaheim to campaign for the measure.

Whitaker warns of the effect of this measure on the 4th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District, and 34th Senate District. Democrats will use the measure to try to increase their turnout, but Republicans can use opposition to try to increase their turnout.

Whitaker warns that this measure goes far beyond just the divisive politics of Anaheim. The measure applies to small businesses in the Resort District that did not receive the tax breaks that some hotels did. He says could be a foothold for other minimum wage increase measures.

Todd Ament of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce states that unions started this measure after businesses refused to accept “card check” union organizing procedures (instead of allowing workers to vote by secret ballot on whether they would have a union). They collected 22,000 signatures in 22 days with the assistance of union households.

Ament highlights the text of the measure that applies the $18 minimum wage to small businesses, not just large hotels.

Ament says 3,000 construction jobs and 1,000 other full-time jobs would be lost if this measure passes.

Committee Chair Peggy Huang says this measure is a feel-good measure that has devastating effects interfering with free market economics.

Committee Member Erik Weigand asks if the measure only applies to the Resort District.

Ament says it does and notes the numerous restaurants and other small businesses in the district, pointing to small retail stores, pizzerias, etc. He notes it is the highest minimum wage ever to make a ballot in the United States.

Huang asks if the measure applies to businesses that are not receiving the subsidies.

Ament says the tax rebate applies to hotels that would otherwise have not been built, but the measure

Leroy Mills moves and Gene Hernandez seconds to recommend the Central Committee oppose the Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative.

The Endorsements Committee votes 3-0-1 (Weigand abstaining) to recommend the Central Committee oppose the Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative.

Elaine Gennawey for Laguna Niguel City Council

Elaine Gennawey is a 3-decade resident of Laguna Niguel. Although they have a low pension liability, Gennawey states their City started a pension trust to reduce their pension liability. She speaks of City projects and transparency.

Hernandez asks Gennawey about her leaving blank the question on whether California should be a shall-issue state.

She says she supports shall-issue with stringent policies on who is eligible for it.

The Endorsements Committee votes 4-0 to recommend Gennawey be endorsed by the Central Committee.

Erik Peterson for Huntington Beach City Council

Erik Peterson says he and Mike Posey authored COIN in his city. He proposed greater oversight over City finances with outside people, not just City staff. He and Posey got the City to vote to sue that sanctuary state legislation violated charter city rules. Peterson says no pension-increasing salary increases have been passed in his time on the City Council.

Hernandez asks how many seats are up.

Peterson says there are four incumbents seeking re-election this year.

Weigand asks about the four incumbents and seeking endorsements.

Peterson calls Billy O’Connell a union advocate. He says Barbara Delgleize is good on pensions but wrong on environmental issues, abortion, and issues on “feelings.”

Huang asked about his prior endorsement for a Democrat.

Peterson endorsed a slate for Ocean View School Board in Huntington Beach that included John Briscoe and Gina Clayton-Tarvin. He did not check Clayton-Tarvin’s party affiliation and regrets that endorsement now.

Huang asks about what Peterson sees as challenges facing the City.

Peterson notes financial constraints because 76% of the budget goes to employees and the city charter requires 15% go to infrastructure. He says that maybe increasing the transient occupancy tax from 10% to 11% could generate revenue. He speaks of holding revenue-generating events. He describes various cuts that could be made to the city budget by using newer technology and outsourcing. He opposes a sales tax increase.

Hernandez asks about campaign fundraising.

Peterson has raised $40,000 (he spent $28,000 four years ago).

Mills asks about whether he has taken union money.

Peterson says he has not, and unions do not like him.

Mills asks about Prop 68.

Peterson said he voted No on 68.

Hernandez moves to recommend Peterson.

Huang asks about traffic in Huntington Beach.

Peterson gives a lengthy answer about SCAG problems and working to attract more businesses. He opposes the state’s affordable housing mandates because they are about greenhouse gas emissions rather than housing.

Hernandez asks about RHNA numbers in Huntington Beach.

Peterson says the RHNA number is around 400. He discusses how he supports charity, but government charity is theft from taxpayers. He wants development, but does not want to become Santa Monica.

Hernandez moves and Mills seconds recommending Peterson.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Peterson for endorsement by the Central Committee.

Carlos Rodriguez for Yorba Linda City Council

Carlos Rodriguez speaks of his family’s prosperity under Ronald Reagan, and his father losing his defense contractor job during Bill Clinton. He speaks of his Republican volunteerism and his career at the Building Industry Association. He opposes increasing fees, regulations, and taxes, and says that is what his job is.

Weigand moves and Mills seconds recommending Rodriguez.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Rodriguez for endorsement by the Central Committee.

Patrick Harper for Fountain Valley City Council

Patrick Harper is a Planning Commissioner. He speaks of his family and having to leave an all-star Little League game to make this meeting. There are three seats up with only one incumbent seeking re-election. He speaks of the City being conservative with both long term residents and Vietnamese immigrants. He is married to a Vietnamese-American. He wants to fight for conservative values.

Huang asks about party registration.

Harper is a lifelong Republican, and his city is still plurality Republican.

Mills asks about his bond votes, including specifically school bonds.

Harper opposes most bonds. He did vote for a school bond to rehabilitate buildings that were built decades ago.

Weigand asks about his prior candidacy for Council in 2014 and his current endorsements.

Harper got a late start the last time. He says the incumbents are holding off on endorsements until after filing closes.

Huang asks about the Measure HH sales tax increase.

Harper says it passed in 2016 and expires in 20 years. He says it should not be renewed, so the City needs to grow its revenue base.

Weigand asks if he supported HH.

Harper did not publicly support it, but he did vote for it. He felt it was a higher increase than he wanted, as he wanted a smaller increase but opposed having no increase.

Weigand asks if Harper would be willing to propose repealing HH if the City were flush with cash.

Harper said if after 10 years, the City was flush with cash, he would support repealing HH.

Huang asks about HH revenues and City finances.

Harper rattles off various figures about City finances and notes a structural deficit.

Huang asks about solutions for the structural deficit.

Harper supported rezoning an industrial area as mixed use to generate more property revenue. He notes many residents are on Proposition 13, and as they sell their homes, there would be more revenue. He proposes having greater efficiencies to reduce expenses in City government.

Weigand moves and Mills seconds to recommend Harper to the Central Committee.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Harper to the Central Committee.

Garrett Dwyer for Aliso Viejo City Council

Garrett Dwyer is a 15-year resident of Aliso Viejo. He speaks of his volunteerism in the community. He speaks of his 7-year-old daughter. Dwyer expressed some interest in running. Councilman Mike Munzing encouraged him to run after Jake Vollebregt was called up to active duty (and was unavailable to run) while a Lincoln Club member decided she did not want to run either. Munzing endorsed him, as did Mayor Dave Harrington and Councilman Bill Phillips. Councilman Phil Tsunoda is retiring. Dwyer says there is a Democrat running for the seat.

Munzing says Tsunoda and Ross Chun are the two Democrats on the Council, but hate each other. Tsunoda is more moderate while Chun is backing an “Elizabeth Warren-Resist type” backed by the Democratic Party for the City Council. Munzing says Dwyer has met with the City Manager and other leading City employees to get an in-depth analysis of items facing the City.

Weigand asks about his party registration.

Dwyer has been a lifelong Republican and moved to Orange County (and Aliso Viejo) in 2003.

Weigand asks what Harper will do to help the Republican Party in Aliso Viejo, which was Senator Pat Bates and Assemblyman Bill Brough’s weakest OC city, and it is in Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s swing district.

Dwyer says he would work with the entire ticket to ensure they all win.

Munzing says Aliso Viejo Republicans did little in the Primary but would have many volunteers walking in the General Election.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds Dwyer.

Huang asks about challenges facing Aliso Viejo.

Dwyer speaks of a ranch project and the development of the Town Center. He says the City must work with these entities to help bring revenue to the City. He wants to encourage work readiness program involvement, like Junior Achievement, from schools in Aliso Viejo.

Huang asks Dwyer about his philosophy of taxpayer subsidies for businesses.

Dwyer wants to incentivize businesses but not necessarily with taxpayers paying for it.

Hernandez asks about homelessness.

Dwyer says there is a small area that the homeless have gathered in Aliso Viejo. He gives a lengthy discussion about regional discussions on homelessness, referencing medical services, facilities, the current County lawsuit, etc. Dwyer says there are no easy answers to the problem.

Munzing says Aliso Viejo refuses to participate in Judge David Carter’s “overreach” in the homelessness lawsuit.

Mills asks about bonds, including school bonds.

Dwyer says he is not a fan of bonds.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Dwyer for endorsement by the Central Committee.

Mike Posey for Huntington Beach City Council

Mike Posey was late to this meeting because he was hosting a town hall on CalPERS environmental social governance with Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) and CalPERS executives. It is his third town hall this year about Sacramento’s impact on local control in Huntington Beach. The first was about housing mandates, and particularly about SB 35 by Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco), seizing control from local cities. Posey has an item to have The City Attorney explore ways around SB 35 and several other related pieces of legislation. The second town hall was about public safety, particularly AB 109, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57.

Hernandez moves to recommend endorsing

Weigand asks about the four endorsements the OC GOP could make in Huntington Beach.

Posey says he agrees with Erik Peterson 90% of the time. He says that 10% includes development. He says Peterson is an intractable opponent of development. Peterson attempted to overturn a development based on parking despite it meeting City parking requirements. He cannot recall a single vote by Peterson in favor of any development project.

Posey feels Billy O’Connell needs mentoring. O’Connell has recused himself on 50 votes, including 26 in one year, despite most of the votes not being conflicts of interest. For example, he even recused himself on a vote ending a business improvement district when the businesses asked for it, but then unrecused himself on the second reading. He recuses himself from all votes on downtown because he has a restaurant down there despite the restaurant being well outside a conflict distance.

Posey plans to endorse Barbara Delgleize. She is not a perfect vote but comes through on important votes. She was the only vote with him to oppose a Peterson-authored moratorium on development. He says she is an effective Councilmember. She is on OCTA. He has been upset with some of her votes, but supports her.

Weigand seconds Hernandez’s earlier motion to recommend supporting Posey.

Weigand asks generally about the field of candidates and wants Posey’s guidance. He expresses hope that Posey will run for higher office.

Posey says there are 12 challengers who can’t win in 2018 but could win in the future.

Posey likes CJ Ray, a 34-year-old attorney, who will probably be appointed to the Huntington Beach Personnel Commission. He thinks Ray has a bright future in 2020 or 2022.

Huang speaks generally about endorsements and Republican values.

Posey says Republicans are for private property rights and moderate development. He expresses his frustration with Sacramento. He says many of the anti-development approaches of his colleagues, like Peterson, could result in Sacramento intervention and greater loss of local control.

Central Committee Member Emily Sanford praises Posey’s record.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Posey for endorsement by the Central Committee.

Prop 6

Weigand moves and Mills seconds to recommend the Central Committee endorse Proposition 6 to repeal the gas tax.

This passes 4-0 without discussion.

Newport Beach Debt Charter Amendment

Councilman Scott Peotter describes the prior City Council’s funding scheme involvinglease revenues and certificates of participation with a financing authority to get around a vote of the people on borrowing over $120 million for the “Taj Mahal” City Hall. The charter amendment will require 55% voter approval for any debt incurred over $50 million for lease revenues and certificates of participation. He wanted the amount to be $10 million, but he supports the charter amendment. He says the measure is the first of its kind but based in an existing concept. He says the State Constitution requires votes of the people for most high-dollar local government debt but missed lease revenues and certificates of participation.

Hernandez calls the City Hall debt “unconscionable.”

Peotter lists a litany of irresponsible actions by the prior City Council and City staff on debt for the “Taj MaCity Hall.”

Huang asks if the measure has an inflation escalator.

Peotter says that the limit is per-project (not aggregate) and is indexed to the Consumer Price Index. He says it has an “Act of God” exemption for catastrophes that could strike the city with gubernatorial or presidential emergency declarations, like earthquakes or tsunamis.

Mills moves and Hernandez seconds recommending the ballot measure for endorsement by the Central Committee.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Yes on the Newport Beach Debt Charter Amendment.

The committee adjourns at 7:51 PM.

Posted in Aliso Viejo, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach, Republican Central Committee, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Nifla v. Becerra, It’s not an abortion case

Posted by Brenda Higgins on July 9, 2018

The Reproductive FACT act was a boldly unconstitutional law that was signed by Governor Brown in October 2015. 

The Bill, AB 775 (Later codified as H&S 123470) was entitled the Reproductive FACT Act (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Accountability)  The bill provided that Pro-Life Pregnancy centers, who exist because of their objection to abortion, would be required to provide information about abortion to their clients, in their office, on their internal forms and in all advertising.  The onerous law also mandated exact language, required large font type and required in some counties that the notices would have to be provided in 13 languages.  

The case (NIFLA v. Becerra) decided by the Supreme Court was an appeal brought by NIFLA (National Institute for Life and Family Advocates) after the Ninth Circuit ruled the law to be constitutional and not in violation of the First Amendment.  There was another case brought in Riverside County Superior court, Sharpen v. Harris, challenging the constitutionality of the law.   Judge Gloria Trask  ruled in favor of the pregnancy center, finding that the FACT Act violated Article 1, section 2 of the California Constitution.
The  Riverside Superior court, relied upon U.S. Supreme Court precedent related to the U.S. constitution’s First Amendment. The court stated, “Compelled speech is that which forces a speaker to say that which he or she may or may not believe.  Compelled speech is undoubtedly necessary in many circumstances.  But compelled speech of a political or cultural nature, is not the tool of a free government.”  

The Riverside court applied Strict Scrutiny, the highest level of constitutional scrutiny, and said  that the political speech related to abortion, can not be neutral in nature.  The court found that the state of California failed to show any compelling state interest advanced by the regulation.

The FACT Act mandated two different notices.  One notice was for ‘licensed’ facilities, and another notice for ‘unlicensed’ facilities.  A ‘licensed’ facility was defined by the statute as a clinic whose ‘primary purpose is providing family planning or pregnancy related services’.  The ‘unlicensed’ facility was defined as one ‘whose primary purpose is pregnancy related services’ but who did not have a medical director on staff.

The Ninth Circuit, said that the pregnancy centers “were unable to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of their First Amendment claims.”  The Ninth Circuit court went on to state that  Strict Scrutiny was not warranted and that the “Act is a neutral law of general applicability, which survived rational basis (The lowest level of constitutional scrutiny) review.” As to the notice for licensed facilities, the Ninth Circuit found that it was entitled to only Intermediate scrutiny (Heightened, but not strict) and that the FACT Act survived Intermediate Scrutiny.  The Ninth Circuit  found that the unlicensed notice survived ANY level of scrutiny.  

The Ninth Circuit opinion spent much effort discussing “professional speech”.   One of the first things noted by The Supreme Court in its ruling overturning the Ninth Circuit, is that the Supreme Court has never recognized “professional speech” as a special category of speech giving it some lower “Intermediate” threshold of consideration.  Justice Thomas writing for the majority said, “This Court has been reluctant to mark off new categories of speech for diminished constitutional protection.”

Justice Thomas, also noted,  “The licensed notice at issue here is not an informed consent requirement or any other regulation of professional conduct. The notice does not facilitate informed consent to a medical procedure. In fact, it is not tied to a procedure at all. It applies to all interactions between a covered facility and its clients, regardless of whether a medical procedure is ever sought, offered, or performed.”  Justice Thomas pointed out the gaping exceptions in the FACT Act, exempting state and federal managed and funded providers.  This regulation, was targeted toward those clinics and resource centers that are largely non-profit, pro-life and Christian.


The Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit both called the FACT Act, “Content Based”.  Content based regulation generally triggers the high level strict scrutiny review for constitutionality.  The Ninth Circuit veered around this standard with its created category of “professional speech”  The Supreme Court rejected that effort to find justification for the FACT Act.

Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion was clear and direct. 

“The history of the Act’s passage and its underinclusive application suggest a real 

possibility that these individuals were targeted because of their beliefs. ……”

  “It is forward thinking to begin by reading the First Amendment as ratified in 1791; to understand the history of authoritarian government as the Founders then knew it; to confirm that history since then shows how relentless authoritarian regimes are in their attempts to stifle free speech; and to carry those lessons onward as we seek to preserve and teach the necessity of freedom of speech for the generations to come.”

“Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions. Freedom of speech secures freedom of thought and belief. This law imperils those liberties.”

Breyer’s dissent laments that the court should only look to the “reasonableness of the Legislature’s belief in the existence of evils and in the effectiveness of the remedy provided.” With one fell swoop, ignoring the whole body of First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion and dismissing the viewpoint encroachment of the state of California. 

No part of  Breyer’s dissent or the now discredited Ninth Circuit opinion, addressed the obvious and underlying philosophy of California that there is a ‘state interest’, in making sure women know about state funded abortion services. 

Breyer relies heavily upon Planned Parenthood v. Casey (Casey).  Interesting, in that the Ninth Circuit cites Casey as well, but in support of an opposite argument.   Breyer, criticizing Thomas and Kennedy’s majority opinion states, “one might take the majority’s decision to mean that speech about abortion is special”.  The Ninth Circuit, also relying on Casey, said that the high court had not announced a “rule regarding the level of scrutiny to apply in abortion-related disclosure cases”, implying throughout their ruling that abortion-related disclosure is in fact entitled to some yet undefined special scrutiny.  

The problem with the reliance upon Casey by both Breyer and the Ninth Circuit, is that Casey,  reaffirms Roe, which held that the Woman, not the state, has a right of Privacy and thus, a right to an abortion of an unviable fetus.  The state, as held in both of those seminal cases, has a interest in the life of the child, at the point of viability.  

The backwards application of Casey, by both the Ninth Circuit and Breyer, is not insignificant.  In the mental gymnastics they engage in to attempt to find support for this constitutionally offensive law, they attempt to create a new and unrecognized exception, and imagine a state interest in providing abortion.  

The majority and concurring opinions written by Thomas and Kennedy, do not even get to the lack of congruency in those positions of support for the law, because the FACT Act was so blatantly offensive to the First Amendment under proper scrutiny.  Judge Trask in Riverside similarly recognized the inherent flaw in the Act in that in infringed speech in a way it compelled clinics to “speak words with which it profoundly disagrees”.

The case should be an example, and a wake up call.  The fact that such a overtly biased and constitutionally offensive law made its way through the legislature and governors office, only to be defended by not one, but two Attorneys general, should tell us something about either the energy or the arrogance with which the left will go in the current environment, to silence those that it disagrees with.  

Justice Thomas put it like this:

Throughout history, governments have “manipulat[ed] the content of doctor-patient discourse” to increase state power and suppress minorities: 

“For example, during the Cultural Revolution, Chinese physicians were dispatched to the countryside to convince peasants to use contraception. In the 1930s, the Soviet government expedited completion of a construction project on the Siberian railroad by ordering doctors to both reject requests for medical leave from work and conceal this government order from their patients. In Nazi Germany, the Third Reich systematically violated the separation between state ideology and medical discourse. German physicians were taught that they owed a higher duty to the ‘health of the Volk’ than to the health of individual patients. Recently, Nicolae Ceausescu’s strategy to increase the Romanian birth rate included prohibitions against giving advice to patients about the use of birth control devices and disseminating information about the use of condoms as a means of preventing the transmission of AIDS.” Berg, Toward a First Amendment Theory of Doctor-Patient Discourse and the Right To Receive Unbiased Medical Advice, 74 B. U. L. Rev. 201, 201– 202 (1994) (footnotes omitted). 

Ultimately, the majority of the Supreme Court saw this power grab for the constitutional overreach that it was, and ruled accordingly.  

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

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