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Archive for August, 2018

Live from the Anaheim Republican Assembly Candidate Forum for Anaheim City Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 22, 2018

We are live from the Anaheim Phoenix Club for the City Council Candidate Forum sponsored by the Anaheim Republican Assembly (the Anaheim unit of the California Republican Assembly).

We were here for the last edition of this forum in the 2016 elections, and based on the volume of feedback this blogger received in 2016, we are back to live blog it in 2018.

As noted in 2016: “Uniquely for a CRA forum, non-Republican candidates are participating.” Even two years later, I’m not aware of any other unit of the CRA that has non-Republican candidates participating in their forum since the CRA seeks to promote Republican candidates.

In 2016, this blogger wrote that the “alternating question format is one of the worst formats I’ve ever seen. It is difficult to follow for the audience and the candidates.” OC Political has been told the format has been changed based on feedback received, and this blogger looks forward to seeing how the new format holds up.

Mayor of Anaheim

Of the eight candidates for Mayor, five are present.

Lorri Galloway delivers her opening statement. She says she has experience as a two term Councilwoman and was Mayor Pro Tem. She was a nonprofit director and nexcerpts fromotes that and her Council campaigns give her high name ID. She wants to make decisions so that “all rise.” She says she understands the heartache of impoverished families. She calls herself “freedom friendly” while supporting a living wage. She says she is not beholden to any political party or special interest group. She wants to connect law enforcement to the communities that need them. She says that while she lives in Anaheim Hills, she does her work in West and Central Anaheim. She speaks of her parents’ struggles in the Salinas Valley and her values. She says those with money, wealth, and power should enrich and empower others.

An audience member asks the source of her campaign funds.

Galloway says they come from campaign donors and personal loans.

An audience member asks about Measure L.

Galloway says she supports a living wage, but prefers solutions that businesses come up with themselves, pointing to Disney’s recent actions. She says she supports Measure L.

An audience member asks about the needle exchange program.

Galloway states there are holes in the needle exchange program. She says it was intended to fight AIDS and Hepatitis, but instead is negatively impacting communities.

Tony Martin opens with a joke about Republicans not hearing the words “affordable” and “free” much. He is a father of two and an Army veteran. He is certified state firefighter and a Cal State Fullerton student. He calls for nonpartisanship. He blasts the removal of homeless “to appease tourists.” He wants everyone to own a home. He says 1/3 of homeless are veterans, and that disgusts him. He wants to improve school curricula and pay teachers more. He calls for more art and effective field trips. He wants to shift spending from prisons to schools. He wants to open community centers for after school programs.

An audience member says he came to Anaheim for affordable housing, but his children sought affordable housing in Texas. The audience member feels people should seek affordable housing and not get it from government.

Martin says he is saddened the audience member’s “heart was not softened” by his children moving to Texas. He wants to work with the real estate industry to lower the costs of land. He says this would reduce homelessness.

Some sort of incomprehensible exchange about business proximity to homes between gadfly Bryan Kaye and Martin occurs.

An audience member asks about constructing an Orange County Veterans Cemetery in Anaheim.

All the mayoral candidates raise their hands in support.

Fuji Shioura says his first name stands for family, unity, Jesus, and integrity. He is a computer coder. He praises Anaheim and wants to diversify the economy. He wants to pass a right to work city measure because he feels unions are too powerful. He expresses his pro-life views. He reiterates that he is a Christian. He says he is self-funded. He says artificial intelligence will displace many jobs. He wants to consolidate school districts and increase charter schools.

An audience member asks the TOT in Anaheim.

Shioura says he believes there is a time and place for TOT incentives, but he says the economy must diversify away from tourism. He says public safety is necessary for Anaheim’s tourism economy.

An audience member asks about privatizing police and fire.

Shioura opposes privatizing police. He wants to hire more police officers to protect public safety. He praises APD’s performance.

Martin blasts APD performance, pointing to allegations of brutality.

Shioura says APD is not racist. He worked in inner city schools, and APD is not racist.

Martin says he didn’t say APD was racist but had major performance issues.

Cynthia Ward opens by saying she is speechless. She notes that Anaheim is her home and where she married her husband and raised her children. She wants a safe community to retire in. She says Anaheim owns a convention center and two sports facilities but have not drawn the benefit from it. She calls for “a leader with a spine to take it back” in reference to herself. She says she has stood “shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Tait.” She says she has been fighting for Anaheim residents for years. She says she has identified tens of millions of dollars in the City budget that could be redirected to police and fire. She says Anaheim has not had a strategic plan in her adult life. She says a strategic plan will tone down the bickering and weaken the lobbyists. She celebrates Disney’s decision this week to not build a hotel.

An audience member asks how Ward can get all this done since Anaheim is not a Strong Mayor government.

Ward notes the City Manager is the strongest figure in City government. She says she has no unfunded pension liability at the Orange County Cemetery District. She stated she negotiated with SEIU for full pension reform.

Shioura asks Ward if she would have the City become a direct authorizer of charter schools.

Ward says that is the purview of school districts, not the City.

An audience member asks about affordable housing.

Ward says she is saddened that families are leaving due to affordability issues but government should not intervene. She calls for helping those who cannot help themselves. She calls for innovative sanitation system solutions.

An audience member asks about budgeting to train new police.

Ward says she would do so.

Robert Williams says “pro-business = jobs = life.” He decries “Disney bashing” pointing to “Berkeley bashing North Face,” which then left for San Leandro. He calls for new blood and new ideas but wants to use the experience of former officeholders. He urges people to work together and be willing to hear each other out. He promises to serve only one term. He calls for getting jobs for the homeless by imposing a jobs requirement with RFPs for City contracts. He wants private vendors to pay for two miles of street repair every time they dig up part of a road. He says it should be “the price of doing business in Anaheim.” He wants Anaheim to be “the small city we are” where people know each other.

Former Senator John Lewis of Orange asks if Williams feels Disney exerts too much influence in the City with “millions of dollars” in campaign spending.

Williams says Disney does not exert too much influence. He says Disney is not the source of all of Anaheim’s problems. He says “Disney is not the big bad wolf. We created the big bad wolf.”

An audience member asks if Disney had donated to Williams.

Williams says he has no campaign contributions and is self-funded.

Next up is City Council.

Anaheim City Council, District 2

Of the five candidates for District 2, three are present.

Donald Bruhns has called Anaheim home for 22 years but his parents grew up here and his grandfather was a City employee. He has volunteered for Anaheim YMCA. He wants “viable after-school” options for youth. He is on the CalOptima Provider Advisory Committee among other health-related government bodies. He opposes partisan politics at City Hall. He says he would do right by his neighbors and family.

Shioura asks about the after school options.

Bruhns speaks of sports programs and the Anaheim Achieves program.

An audience member asks what are the top two priorities of West Anaheim.

Bruhns says West Anaheim is neglected compared to Anaheim Hills and the Colony. He says both his priorities are more funding for District 2.

Duane Roberts is a 50-year resident. He teaches at a local English school. He is an activist on “affordable housing, police misconduct,” and holding “public officials accountable.” He wants to fix parks and roads. He wants to “fight corporate welfare” and blasts the TOT program in Anaheim. He says hotel construction is a scheme to attract pharmaceutical companies to the convention center. He wants to reduce homelessness via a countywide strategy to get them into homes. He supports rent control. He wants to “keep law enforcement responsible…with a strong police review board.” He says he serves the residents, not corporate interests and his campaign contributions reflect that.

An audience member asks about his vision for rent control.

Roberts says rent control should control property owner profits but not eliminate them.

An audience member asks what is the proper profit and proper rent.

Roberts says a separate board would be set up with economic studies on rent while examining the finances of property owners.

An audience member asks about low-income housing having 3-4 years of waitlists.

Roberts supports affordable housing for both low and middle income. He supports the Anaheim Housing Authority issuing bonds, buying land, and developing housing. The tenants would pay off the bonds.

Councilman James Vanderbilt thanks the attendees and laments low voter turnout in Anaheim. He thanks the forum organizers. He thanks the other candidates for running. He reads from his 2014 ballot statement. He states he has asked lots of questions and challenged “giveaways.” He says he is self-funded. He has turned down salaries, benefits, and the parking space from the City Council. He donates his travel reimbursement to charity. He speaks of answering constituent casework issues. He says districts allow a more specific focus by Councilmembers while the Mayor can have a broader focus for the whole city.

Lorri Galloway asks Vanderbilt about Disney deciding not to open its hotel.

Vanderbilt says he would support broader subsidies that were open to more entities. He refers to subsidies for restaurants or even supermarkets.

An audience member asks about voter approval of lease-revenue bonds.

Vanderbilt says it depends on what the bond is for, giving the example of supporting school bonds because they are “for the children.”

Anaheim City Council, District 3

All three candidates for District 3 are present.

Mitch Caldwell introduces his family. He moved into District 3 in 1983. He spoke of high crime during that time. He blasts the redevelopment agency tearing up the city in the 1980s. He organized a group that threatened to sue the City and preserve the neighborhood. He says this allowed young families to move into the community. He supported the TOT program for the O’Connell hotel in 2009/2010 because it was the only way to make it financially viable. He says there are five areas in the City are not as safe as they should be: they are not Anaheim Hills. He says whether you like the Anaheim Resort or not, it generates $160 million annually fleecing people from other parts of the country while sparing Anaheim from sales tax increases that are occurring in many OC cities. He wants to improve neighborhoods to get young families back to Anaheim.

Former Senator John Lewis of Orange asks if Caldwell is accepting contributions from hoteliers and has a fundraiser at a lobbyist’s house. He says no one owns him and that he accepts many contributions. He notes neither Disney nor SOAR have given him any money.

An audience member asks him about immigrant family street vendors, as he is pictured on his web site.

Caldwell will treat all people equally and enforce the law fairly. He says equal treatment applies regardless of their origin.

An audience member asks Caldwell why he is running for Council if he opposed district elections.

Caldwell praises district elections are cheaper and easier to campaign in. Conversely, he expresses his frustration that he only gets to vote for 2 of the 7 Council members (Mayor and District) instead of voting for the entire Council.

Jose Moreno thanks the organizers, attendees, and candidates. He notes he is a Democrat. He wants to better understand the “human condition.” He says the City had to be sued to get district elections. He blasts “big money interests” and praises the voters for passing district elections. He says the westside did not have a Council representative for 20 years. He says anger and public comment are a sign that people feel they can better hold people accountable. He calls for “not big government, not small government, but relevant government.” He created a lobbyist registry. He added a project notification system. He has created task forces to work on homelessness. He says it is untrue that he does not collaborate or work with others, pointing to his task forces. He says he is “pushing for the people’s voice at City Hall.”

An audience member asks about the lobbyist registry.

Moreno says it applies to contract lobbyists, not direct employees of entities like Disney.

An audience member asks about how to help homeless people who do not want help.

Moreno says it is difficult to reconcile small government with using governmental power against the homeless. He says it takes 7-9 attempts to actually get the homeless to accept services. He says there must be shelter space in order to enforce anti-camping ordinances. He notes he is endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait.

Robert Nelson says he is the Mayor’s appointee to the Public Utilities Board. He joined a Blue Ribbon school district committee because better schools are critical to the community. He speaks of his wife and children. He says he is a retired businessman. He says he wants to serve Anaheim. He grew up in a “bad neighborhood” in the San Gabriel Valley with car thieves, drug dealers, and gangs. His father refused to leave the neighborhood and fought back. Once, when his father was not at home, his mother and he had to fight an attempted break-in. He does not want this to happen to Anaheim. He says his slogan is “Neighborhoods, Not Giveaways.” He wants to build revenue, improve neighborhoods, and diversify the economy. He wants to partner with Cal State Fullerton and Chapman University to bring in high-quality jobs. He wants to enforce the existing laws that are being violated by the homeless.

Shioura asks about having a City right-to-work ordinance, which would help attract technology companies.

Nelson opposes the right-to-work ordinance but supports technology companies.

Jose Moreno asks Nelson about his work on the police review board.

Nelson says it was an informative experience. He says he supports police but supports accountability. He made the motion to investigate the former Anaheim Police Chief for timecard fraud.

Anaheim City Council, District 6

Of the three candidates for District 6, one candidate is present and a second candidate has sent a representative.

Moderator Bob Walters notes that Patty Gaby is an active member of the Anaheim Republican Assembly, the group that organized this forum.

Patty Gaby speaks of years of residency in Anaheim Hills and her family. She speaks of being active in her children’s schools and the San Antonio Catholic Church. She is on the Parks Commission and was on the Golf Commission. She is a retired teacher. She says public safety is her top priority. She said, “Today is a great day!” in response to Disney “waving the white flag” and not building the hotel; she says that the City now has $267 million more in its coffers as a result. She says people need to work together to solve homelessnes. She wants to know what the City Manager and Police Chief suggest in homelessness. She says Anaheim pensions are unsustainable.

An audience member asks Gaby thoughts on the City’s role in homeless policy.

Gaby says more shelters need to be built and funded from City taxpayer dollars, such as from the $267 million saved today.

An audience member asks about the TOT and if Gaby knows where the $267 million comes from.

Gaby says there is no subsidy so the $267 million can be used.

The exasperated audience member explains the money does not exist yet because the $267 million is a rebate from revenues; those revenues do not exist until collected from hotel guests.

Bob Walters notes the wheelchair of the representative from Trevor O’Neil. O’Neil had a pre-existing scheduling obligation. O’Neil is a conservative who has lived in Anaheim Hills for 23 years. His children went to Canyon High School. He owns a business that employs 75 people. O’Neil is endorsed by Mimi Walters, Steven Choi, Young Kim, Philip Chen, Matthew Harper, Ling-Ling Chang, Don Wagner, Allan Mansoor, the Orange County Taxpayers Association, and the California Women’s Leadership Association.

(Editor’s Note: While improved from 2016, the format was still rough for voters. Each candidate gave an opening statement then got all their questions and answers, then it moved to the next candidate. It also meant most candidates got different questions. This made it quite difficult for audience members to compare candidate responses.)

Posted in Anaheim | Leave a Comment »

Live from Part of OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 4 for November 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 22, 2018

We are live from the first part of OC GOP Endorsements Committee’s fourth meeting for the November 2018 General Election. The committee’s recommendations will be considered by the full Central Committee at its August 30 meeting. Prior endorsements by the full Central Committee were completed as recently as their August 20 meeting.

Regrettably, your blogger has a scheduling conflict and will need to depart early. However, the fireworks in this meeting are expected to be in San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3, which is at the top of the agenda, where three Republican incumbents are running for the same seat as San Juan Capistrano moves to district elections for Council for the first time; two of those incumbents are seeking the OC GOP endorsement.

Tonight’s agenda consists of:

  • Hon. Kerry Ferguson for San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Derek Reeve for San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3
  • Chris Thompson for Fullerton Joint Union High School District Trustee, District 4
  • Jamey Federico for Dana Point City Council, District 3
  • Marice DePasquale for Mesa Water District Director, Division 3
  • Hon. Fred Minagar for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Hon. Don Wagner for Mayor of Irvine
  • Dan Bane for San Clemente City Council
  • Laura Ferguson for San Clemente City Council
  • Hon. Richard Viczorek for Mayor of Dana Point
  • Erica Pezold for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Hon. Brett Barbre for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
  • City of Santa Ana Measure X (Against)
  • Santa Ana Unified School District Measure I (Against)
  • California Proposition 5 (Support)
  • California Proposition 10 (Oppose)

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

San Juan Capistrano City Council District 3

Laurie Davies seeks clarification on how many candidates, incumbents, and seats there are. There are 4-5 Republicans, of whom 3 Republicans are incumbents, of whom 2 are seeking the endorsement, and 1 seat available.

Councilman Derek Reeve was endorsed by the OC GOP in 2010 and 2014. He states he is a limited government, constitutional conservative. He has fought tax increases and fees.

There are significant difficulties with Davies being on the phone that delays the meeting.

Reeve resumes. He is an advocate of the Second Amendment.

Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson says she is a loyal Republican. She volunteered for US Senator Gordon Smith. She was President of her RWF group. She has organized schools teaching about the constitution. She says she has “resisted oversized developments” on the Council and has worked to be a uniter. She brought $7 million in street repairs. She has worked on the water system, street lights, and a skate park.

A public commenter named Paul Jekinson who is a CFO speaks in support of Ferguson. He speaks of her attention to detail, her willingness to listen, and her engagement with citizens as a Councilwoman.

Erik Weigand calls this a very challenging seat and urges neutrality, considering all three Republican incumbents seeking this single seat were previously endorsed by the OC GOP, and both Reeve and Ferguson have been solid Republicans.

Gene Hernandez expresses frustration with districts. He asks Ferguson to respond to an allegation that she endorsed a Democrat over a Republican.

Ferguson says she has only endorsed a Democrat running against another Democrat.

Hernandez agrees with Weigand’s call for neutrality.

Laurie Davies says she has worked with Ferguson on regional issues at ACC-OC and has been a strong vote for local control and conservative causes.

Leroy Mills asks if Ferguson has ever been a keynote speaker at a Sergio Ferias fundraiser.

Ferguson says she has not.

Mills also wishes to stay neutral.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds for neutrality.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang expresses her support for the neutrality motion and thanks both Councilmembers for attending.

Hernandez calls Ferguson a hardworking conservative and knows her through their work at OCFA, but he doesn’t know Reeve.

The vote for neutrality in San Juan Capistrano City Council District 3 is 5-0.

Jamey Federico for Dana Point City Council, District 3

Jamey Federico is a retired USMC Lieutenant Colonel who flew 1000 flights. He speaks of his long military career. He speaks of his leadership in Dana Point. He expresses his concern about obstructionist NIMBYs in Dana Point.

Jennifer Beall speaks in support of Federico. She warns of the liberalism of Mayor Deborah Lewis who has endorsed Charles Payne (Federico’s opponent). She blasts Lewis’s stances on property rights. She notes Lewis was livid when Dana Point Councilmembers wrote a letter opposing the sanctuary state bill. Diane Harkey and Joe Muller endorse Federico.

Hernandez expresses support for Federico.

Mills asks about Federico’s stance on the pro-life plank being in the California Republican Party platform, as Federico wrote on the form that it is turning off some voters from the party.

Federico notes that Chief Justice John Roberts and Judge Brett Kavanaugh have called Roe v. Wade settled law. He says he has spoken to many voters for whom this has been the sole issue preventing them from voting Republican.

Davies expresses her support for Federico because liberals are gaining ground on seats in coastal areas.

Weigand says it speaks highly of Federico for being honest about his position in front of the OC GOP.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds to recommend Federico. The committee votes 5-0 for the motion.

And with that, your blogger must regrettably depart. OC Political will get the rest of the results and report later.

What happened after your blogger’s departure:

  • Chris Thompson recommended 5-0 for Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Trustee Area 4
  • Marice DePasquale recommended 5-0 for Mesa Water District, Division 3
  • Fred Minagar recommended 5-0 for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Don Wagner recommended 5-0 for Mayor of Irvine
  • San Clemente City Council
    • Dan Bane recommended 5-0
    • Laura Ferguson recommended 4-1 (Leroy Mills dissenting because Ferguson is pro-choice)
  • Richard Viczorek recommended 5-0 for Mayor of Dana Point
  • Erica Pezold recommended 5-0 for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Brett Barbre recommended 5-0 for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
  • Opposition recommended 4-0 on Measure X in Santa Ana (Leroy Mills abstaining)
  • Opposition recommended 5-0 on Measure I in the Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Support recommended 5-0 on Proposition 5
  • Opposition recommended 5-0 on Proposition 10

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 2 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee, Round 2 for November 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 20, 2018

We are live from the OC GOP Central Committee’s second round of endorsements. The first round of endorsements were made on July 30; the only candidates who have been officially endorsed before tonight were endorsed at that July 30 meeting, at the June 18 meeting (Newport Beach City Council: Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, Jr. – District 3, Kevin Muldoon – District 4, Scott Peotter – District 6), or the April 16 meeting (Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates).

At tonight’s meeting, the Central Committee will deliberate the recommendations from the Endorsements Committee’s August 6 meeting, one candidate who asked to be delayed from the Endorsement Committee’s July 19 meeting, and a handful of candidates who collected enough signatures from Central Committee members to bypass the Endorsements Committee and go straight to the full Central Committee.

Here are the candidates on tonight’s docket:
Candidates with an affirmative recommendation from the Endorsements Committee:

  • Hon. James Vanderbilt for Anaheim City Council, District 2
  • Hon. Cecilia Hupp for Brea City Council
  • Brett Eckles for Costa Mesa City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Allan Mansoor for Costa Mesa City Council, District 5
  • Hon. Greg Sebourn for Fullerton City Council, District 3
  • Anthony Kuo for Irvine City Council
  • Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council
  • Neeki Moatazedi for Lake Forest City Council, District 2
  • Hon. Scott Voigts for Lake Forest City Council, District 3
  • Chip Monaco for Orange City Council
  • Austin Lumbard for Tustin City Council
  • Chi Charlie Nguyen for Westminster City Council
  • Hon. Steve Sheldon for Orange County Water District, Division 5
  • Hon. Shawn Dewane for Orange County Water District, Division 7
  • Hon. Shawn Dewane for Mesa Water District, Division 5
  • Hon. Bill Green for South Coast Water District

Candidates who did not receive the recommendation of the Endorsements Committee:

  • Michelle Barto for Newport Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 5

Candidates who obtained the required signatures to bypass the Endorsements Committee and come directly before the Central Committee:

  • Hon. Dave Harrington for Aliso Viejo City Council
  • Hon. Barbara Delgleize for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Ron Sterud for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Dean Grose for Los Alamitos City Council
  • Hon. Ed Sachs for Mission Viejo City Council

California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte gives opening remarks on the party’s goals for the rest of 2018, as well as the party’s accomplishments earlier in 2018, such as the recall of Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton). He speaks of party infrastructure, phone banking, precinct walking, and other less visible party work. He notes the massive number of California’s Congressional districts: California more Republican Members of Congress than most states have Congressional seats. He speaks about the gas tax. He also speaks about high-speed rail. He speaks about California’s rising crime rate compared to the falling crime rates in the rest of the nation.

Cynthia Thacker speaks briefly to announce a Mark Meuser for Secretary of State biking event on Thursday from Anaheim to Huntington Beach.

Ryan Downing, the Republican nominee against Linda Sanchez in the 38th Congressional District, which is mostly in Los Angeles County but does include the Orange County city of La Palma, makes a request for donations.

The Volunteer of the Month is Sharon Underwood, an active member of the Pat Nixon Republican Women Federated, who has volunteered for Republican candidates and voter registration drives. In addition to recognition from the OC GOP and OCFRW, she receives recognition from Supervisor Todd Spitzer himself and the offices of Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey, Assemblyman Phillip Chen, and Assessor Claude Parrish.

At 7:50 PM, Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang delivers her committee’s report.

First Consent Calendar

The list of “Candidates with an affirmative recommendation from the Endorsements Committee” is presented as a consent calendar. Munzing moves and Peotter seconds the list.

Baron Night pulls James Vanderbilt (Anaheim City Council, District 2) and Chip Monaco (Orange City Council) from the consent calendar.

The alternate for Konstantinos Roditis pulls Carrie O’Malley (Irvine City Council) from the consent calendar.

James Vanderbilt for Anaheim City Council, District 2

Night argues that Vanderbilt voted for capital appreciation bonds on the school board and that he abstained on the city council on a vote regarding a resolution in support of Proposition 13.

Whitacre moves and Barbre seconds to endorse Vanderbilt.

There is no debate, and the endorsement vote passes by a voice vote.

Chip Monaco for Orange City Council

Night argues that Monaco should bedelayed until Jon Dumitru has had a chance to go through the endorsements process.

Night argues all viable Republican candidates should be heard. He says Dumitru has previously served on the City Council and has not had the chance to be vetted by the Endorsements Committee.

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker notes this is his seat that he is terming out of in Orange. He warns that there are viable Democrats running and specifically names Beatriz Valencia as a strongly viable liberal candidate. She has the second largest campaign warchest in Orange, behind only Monaco. He notes she is already walking precincts. Whitaker notes Dumitru has lost the last three elections he has run in in the City of Orange.

Night’s motion is rejected by a voice vote.

The endorsement for Chip Monaco passes by a voice vote.

Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council

Bianka Asik, alternate for Konstantinos Roditis, reads a statement from Roditis expressing his opposition to O’Malley, including a statement that Roditis had emailed Whitaker to say he was instructing Asik to pull and vote against O’Malley.

Whitaker notes that the Democrats are divided into two slates, one backed by Larry Agran and one opposed by Agran. He speaks of Mayor Don Wagner endorsing Anthony Kuo and Carrie O’Malley. He speaks of O’Malley’s tenure in Assemblyman Steven Choi’s office and the homeowners association.

Donovan Higbee moves and Denis Bilodeau seconds endorsing O’Malley.

The endorsement for Carrie O’Malley passes by a voice vote.

Michelle Barto for Newport Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 5

Barto is the only candidate on the “Candidates who did not receive the recommendation of the Endorsements Committee” list.

Huang explains that most conservatives are endorsing the NPP candidate in this seat. She says despite being the sole Republican in the race now, Barto was objectionable due to her active involvement as the Assistant Treasurer in a Democrat’s school board campaign two years ago.

Todd Spitzer asked if there was any other objection from the Endorsements Committee.

Huang notes that Mark Bucher expressed concern about Barto’s weakness on charter schools. Erik Weigand noted that on a question regarding political role models, Barto picked two Democrats.

Barto is allowed to speak. Barto says she supports charter schools and feels community support is important for them. She notes her sister went to the Orange County School of the Arts. Barto says she admired Abigail Adams in a 3 minute video and only had a quick aside in support of Maria Shriver’s work on the Special Olympica and Jackie Kennedy’s fashion style. She argues the Democrat she opposed was not running against a Republican.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher speaks of Barto being one of his strong supporters for years. He notes she supports charter schools and parental choice. He argues she is the only Republican running. He says that most people are not as partisan on races like school board. He calls it a no-brainer.

Rohrabacher moves and Scott Peotter seconds to endorse Barto.

Tim Whitacre asks Barto is she will ever support a Democratic again.

Barto promises not to.

Whitacre asks if she will pledge to work for Republican candidates the same way she has for Rohrabacher.

Barto pledged to do so.

The endorsement of Michelle Barto passes by a voice vote.

Second Consent Calendar

Mike Munzing moves and Steve Sarkis seconds the “Candidates who obtained the required signatures to bypass the Endorsements Committee and come directly before the Central Committee” list.

The list passes unanimously without debate.

Resolution

The committee unanimously approved a resolution to stand behind local school boards choosing to opt out of portions of state-mandated curricula.

Reports

Various reports are delivered.

Flyer Objection

Assemblyman Steven Choi’s alternate, Esther Koh, expressed objection to a flyer at Central Committee that stated it was from Choi’s campaign attacking Harry Sidhu. She stated the flyer was distributed without Choi’s authorization.

Adjournment

The Central Committee adjourns at 8:36 PM.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 3 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 3 for November 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 6, 2018

Your intrepid blogger was delayed by traffic, so there was no time to load the meeting agenda into the live blog.

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

The recommendations from this meeting will be voted upon at the full Central Committee meeting on August 20.

Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council

Your blogger walked in during the first candidate on the agenda: Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council.

O’Malley delivered her opening statement before your blogger’s arrival.

Assemblyman Steven Choi spoke on the phone before your blogger’s arrival.  (Editor’s Note: Others in attendance at the meeting stated that Choi spoke of O’Malley’s policy background and experience, and Choi was endorsing O’Malley.)

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker is on the phone speaking about the partisan divide in Irvine. He states that Mayor Don Wagner has asked for the OC GOP to support O’Malley. He says that the Democrats are currently divided and this is a chance to speak. (Editor’s Note: Your blogger walked in mid-way through the call. O’Malley texted to say “Fred also spoke at length re my policy background and 20 year Irvine community background and the meshing of the two. That was his main point.”)

Central Committee Member Jon Fleischman speaks briefly by phone in support of O’Malley.

Alternate Bianka Asik delivers a message from Central Committee Member Konstantinos Roditis speaking in opposition, expressing that O’Malley does not conduct herself professionally and creates a toxic environment in the workplace. The message states that she is not a team player with other Republicans.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks a technical question that is quickly resolved.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep asks how much she has raised.

O’Malley says she has raised $32,000 and has a fundraiser scheduled for September 6.

Diep asks if other Republicans are running besides herself and Anthony Kuo.

O’Malley says she is the only Republican woman who has pulled and that a number of Republican men have pulled but not filed, other than Kuo.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks who has endorsed her, such as her former boss, Supervisor Todd Spitzer.

O’Malley says Spitzer is not endorsing any candidates.

Weigand asks if Assemblyman Matthew Harper has endorsed.

O’Malley says he is waiting for the close of filing.

Weigand asks if Senator John Moorlach has endorsed.

O’Malley says he signed the OC GOP paperwork but has not confirmed an official endorsement.

Weigand asks O’Malley and Asik if Asik worked with O’Malley in Choi’s office.

O’Malley takes the question and says that Asik left the office of her own accord.

Weigand asks O’Malley about the social host ordinance.

O’Malley says she worked on it for Spitzer but would not push for it as an Irvine Councilmember.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about whether O’Malley has sat down with stakeholders on homelessness.

O’Malley says she would listen to the dialogue and that location is key. She feels the County and cities need to work together. She says Irvine residents are very concerned about the earlier proposed location within their city.

Huang asks what her proposal would be.

O’Malley says her proposal would be to not be next to the Great Park where families are.

Huang asks her about her proposal.

O’Malley would support the status quo of meeting with mayors, the County, and the judge to find a location without parks, libraries, or schools nearby.

Huang asks her if she has met with non-government officials on homelessness.

O’Malley says she has spoken to individuals informally but has not spoken to any organized group.

Huang asks O’Malley about her position on Measure B

O’Malley says she did not take a public position on Measure B but voted for it.

Huang asks about the unfunded liability in Irvine.

O’Malley does not know the number.

Huang asks how she plans to expand the public safety budget without exacerbating the pension liability.

O’Malley talks about the OCFA snowball strategy.

Huang asks her to refocus on the Irvine Police Department.

O’Malley says the Council should vet the books. She says she is a policy person.

Huang asks for specifics.

O’Malley reiterates that she is a policy person and says she will analyze the issue.

Huang asks about her title at the Assembly.

O’Malley says her official title is District Director but also has a working title off Senior Policy Advisor. O’Malley says she flies up every other month or so to work on legislation for a day.

Huang asks if any of the money she has raised has come from unions.

O’Malley says she has raised money from individuals.

Diep moves to recommend O’Malley.

Huang says Irvine Councilman Jeff Lalloway has indicated he is considering running for re-election.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher says he is close to Lalloway and doesn’t understand what he is waiting for since filing closes Friday. He also notes that filing would close before the next Central Committee meeting.

Bucher seconds Diep’s motion.

O’Malley is recommended unanimously.

Brett Eckles for Costa Mesa City Council, District 3

Brett Eckles is a father of four. He has served on two city committees. He has coached AYSO soccer. He speaks about district elections and the increase in the size of the council. He speaks about the problems of homelessness, fiscal sustainability, and sober living homes. He is a small business owner in the construction industry and is president of his state trade association.

Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor praises Eckles’s background of city service and community service. He says Eckles’s sole opponent is a Democrat.

Water Board Member Shawn Dewane praises Eckles as the best candidate in the seat.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep asks him about how he intends to win with a $20,000 budget.

Eckles plans to raise more but notes districts have significantly reduced the dollars needed for a council seat.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks about the district boundaries.

Eckles describes the boundaries including naming the streets. He notes there are 7,000 voters.

Weigand texted a friend in Costa Mesa who responded with praise for Eckles.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks what is the unfunded liability in Costa Mesa.

Eckles says it is $255 million.

Huang asks how he will increase officers without increasing liability.

Eckles proposes equipping safety personnel and ensuring salaries are competitive but not the highest in the region.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about the at-large to district transition.

Eckles explains three districts are up in 2018 and another three will be up in 2020. He also notes there will be a 2-year directly-elected Mayor.

Mark Bucher moves and Erik Weigand seconds to recommend Eckles. The vote is unanimous.

Bill Green for South Coast Water District

Incumbent Bill Green was endorsed four years ago. He has been married for 46 years. He is a Catholic. He was an avocado farmer and an engineering consultant. He was also State President of his trade association. He was an alternate on the Riverside GOP Central Committee. He was raised in Anaheim but spent most of his life in Riverside County. Governor Schwarzenegger appointed him to the regional water control board.

Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Brett Barbre speaks briefly in support of Green when the committee urges brevity.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks about the PC-15 controversy.

Green says a negotiator is working it out. They are trying to resolve the conflict between the SOCWA members.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about water capture and storage.

Green says they have worked with other districts on a water storage project in San Juan Creek to store about 700 acre feet of water.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about whether he would support bonds.

Green says they are over-leveraged and he does not wish to support any more bonds. He says he supported Prop 1, but it has not panned out the way he expected.

Huang asks about the California Fix plan and any potential bonds.

Green expresses his support for it. He says he would be open to bonds for it.

Tyler Diep moves and Mark Bucher seconds to recommend Green. The vote is unanimous.

Jon Peat for Cypress City Council

Incumbent Jon Peat was endorsed four years ago. He is very soft-spoken and difficult to hear.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills comments on the pledge to not accept union money and to oppose increases on taxes and fees. Mills is disturbed by Peat’s vote to grant a large fee increase to a waste hauler above the amount recommended by the City’s outside consultant.

Peat argued that their small waste hauler was more than $1 million in the red and was at risk of insolvency. He argued their rates were better than those of neighboring cities. He says they followed the Prop 218 fee increase process. He says their rate was $14 while neighboring cities were at $19. He says even after the increase, they are the 6th lowest price in the County.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep asks if Mills has accepted union money.

Mills says Peat accepted police union money in 2014.

Peat is surprised by the donation.

Mills expresses concerns about the waste hauler. He expresses concern about people who have been convicted being on the payroll of a City vendor. He says the waste hauler low bid the contract to land the contract.

Peat argues that raising the rate was still lower than switching to a more expensive vendor.

Peat asks to table, so he can look up the donation.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher says he is more troubled by the $1500 donation from the union.

Diep says the concern from Mills is not the donation itself but the breaking of the pledge.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand ponders if he has given $1500 to the party.

Mills questions what would be gained by tabling.

Peat would like the opportunity to look.

Peat is tabled.

Derek Reeve for San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3

Councilman Derek Reeve is seeking a third term. He says he is a constitutional conservative who is simply trying to fill potholes in his city. He says he even opposed a one cent annual fee increase. He says he is an outspoken opponent of Agenda 21 and does not believe in climate change.

Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Jim Reardon expresses concern that there are three incumbents running in the District 3 seat due to Council districts being drawn for the first time.

Bianka Asik speaks on behalf of Konstantinos Roditis. Roditis was a student of Reeve when he was a teacher. Roditis supports Reeve.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks how many Republicans have pulled or filed.

Reeves says six Republicans have pulled but only he and Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson have filed in this seat.

Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson notes that she was endorsed previously and has her application for endorsement with her.  She urges neutrality due to two incumbents being drawn into the same district, and a third has moved into the district.

Mills moves for neutrality.

Reeve says he would normally agree with Reardon but argues neither Ferguson or Councilwoman Pam Patterson would be endorsed by the party. He says Ferguson has voted to increase taxes and endorsed Democrats. He says Patterson has been backed by liberal groups and Democratic mayors.

Ferguson disputes Reeve’s claims.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand notes that Patterson went to the White House regarding sanctuary state and isn’t here to defend herself. He says Ferguson has not had the chance to be vetted by the committee.

Leroy Mills moves and Mark Bucher seconds to table until all the incumbents can be vetted together. The committee agrees unanimously.

Greg Sebourn for Fullerton City Council, District 3

Greg Sebourn is Chairman of the Sanitation District, where they have paid off the pension liability. He notes his opponent in this race is Sharon Quirk-Silva’s husband. Sebourn has many volunteers and estimates he can spend $35,000 to $40,000 to win.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks how it works to run for a district seat mid-term while holding an at-large seat.

Sebourn explains that if Silva wins, the at-large seat is vacated and an appointment made to fill the seat.

Mills asks why was Sebourn a Democrat.

Sebourn explains that as a young 18-year-old, he registered as a Democrat, but in 2001, he changed his registration when he bought a condo. He later volunteered for various Republican elected officials and became a Republican.

Tyler Diep moves and Mark Bucher seconds to recommend endorsing Sebourn. The vote is unanimous.

Shawn Dewane for Mesa Water District and Orange County Water District

Shawn Dewane is seeking re-election to both his water board seats. He speaks about the importance of financial solvency and water sustainability. He notes Mesa Water District has no pension liability while Orange County Water District does not even have defined benefit pensions.

Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Brett Barbre speaks of Dewane being a solid conservative in water districts.

Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor praises Dewane’s conservative values as well.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks about his consultant being Democrat George Urch.

Dewane argues it is useful to have information from the Democratic side of the aisle.

Weigand asks about the water infrastructure in the districts.

Dewane describes various water infrastructure projects and funding models in various districts.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about gubernatorial mandates on 55 gallon water limits.

Dewane comments about using Prop 218 to block the limits.

Huang asks about bonds and water storage.

Dewane only supports bonds in the case of those where it is built into the rate. He supports desalination. He would only build into the actual cost of water.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about bonds being double the face value.

Dewane says due to OCWD having such a strong financial condition and high credit rating, they rarely need to use bonds.

Weigand moves and Mills seconds to recommend Dewane. The vote to recommend is unanimous.

Cecilia Hupp for Brea City Council

Cecilia Hupp is running for re-election.

The committee interrupts her to make the motion to recommend her endorsement.

Endorsements Committee Member Chair Peggy Huang asks about the pension liability in Brea.

Hupp answers the question though this blogger has trouble hearing the number due to an unrelated interruption in the audience near him.

Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Brett Barbre and Bianka Asik speak in support.

The vote by the Endorsements Committee is unanimous to recommend Hupp.

Steve Sheldon for Orange County Water District

Incumbent Steve Sheldon was Chairman of Youth for Dornan. He has brought conservative policies to the Orange County Water District, as Dewane has. He successfully blocked the implementation of a defined benefit pension plan by a single vote.

Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Brett Barbre calls Sheldon a Reagan conservative.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about fundraising.

Sheldon says he can self-fund whatever he does not raise.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about bonds.

Sheldon says OCWD does not use bonds.

The vote to recommend Sheldon is unanimous.

Neeki Moatazedi and Scott Voigts for Lake Forest City Council

Neeki Moatazedi and Scott Voigts are running in adjoining districts for Lake Forest City Council.

Voigts speaks about his long record of conservative activism.

Moatazedi speaks about how she arrived at conservatism. During the Great Recession, her parents’ business was taxed into bankruptcy. She grew up in Coto de Caza. She said she purchased her condo in Lake Forest three years ago.

Bianka Asik speaks on behalf of Central Committee Member Konstantinos Roditis praising the conservative values and intellect of the candidates.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep asks Moatazedi if other Republicans are running in her district.

Moatazedi says there are.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand says he was contacted about another candidate against Moatazedi.

Voigts says that other candidate is running on a personal vendetta and is friends with Councilman Jim Gardner.

Debate ensues as to whether the other candidate will be considered.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks Moatazedi about her questionnaire comment on fighting corruption.

Moatazedi specifies there is a pending DA investigation.

Voigts says there are also 17 FPPC allegations being investigated.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about new taxes and fees.

Moatazedi says she opposes them.

Huang asks about the unfunded liability.

Moatazedi says the conservative leadership of Voigts and Dwight Robinson have paid down the liability.

The motion is to recommend Voigts and Moatazedi, with caveat that if Moatazedi’s opponent applies, he will be heard. The vote is unanimous.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 5

Due to a discussion with another candidate asking for changes on their section of this live-blog, this blogger did not catch the opening statements of Michelle Barto and Kate Malouf.

Orange County Board of Education Trustee Mari Barke speaks of Kate Malouf’s conservative values and conservative endorsements.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher on the phone says Michelle Barto has been active in helping Republicans.

Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor speaks of Kate Malouf being highly recommended by my Republicans, and he has endorsed her.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher asks about Barto serving as Assistant Treasurer for a Democrat and praising Michelle Obama and Maria Shriver.

Barto says it was a nonpartisan race for Newport-Mesa and that the incumbent needed to be defeated. She says the life stories of Shriver and Obama were inspiring.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills expressed concern that she has pulled papers but not yet filed.

Barto explains she is completing filing.

Mills asks about her blank answer on a questionnaire.

She confirms she supports making California a shall-issue state.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand regrets that they both have to run against each other, as he thinks both are good Republicans and would be good trustees. He urges neutrality.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about school construction bonds.

Barto opposes new taxes and bonds. She speaks of support for updating buildings but not with a tax increase.

Malouf says she also opposes new bonds because NMUSD has significant bond debt.

Bucher asks about charter schools.

Barto expresses support for home schooling and charter schools where there is community involvement.

Malouf expresses support for charter schools because many people, particularly on the Westside of Costa Mesa, are sending their children to private schools or to Huntington Beach schools.

Tyler Diep moves and Erik Weigand seconds neutrality. Diep calls Barto and Malouf both good Republicans who would make good trustees.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang is troubled by Barto’s involvement in helping a Democrat for school board.

Barto states she declined withdrew from the endorsement process of the teacher’s union.

Huang asks about her PTA service.

She is PTA President at her school.

Bucher expresses concern that charter school opponents question the level of community involvement of the charter school.

Mills says Barto’s involvement in a Democratic campaign is enough to not support her.

In a substitute motion, Mills moves and Bucher seconds to recommend Malouf. The motion passes 3-2 (Bucher, Huang, and Mills in favor while Diep and Weigand oppose).

Austin Lumbard for Tustin City Council

Austin Lumbard lost the 2016 election but was endorsed by the party. The city council has 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats on it as a result. He is the father of four. He is a limited government conservative and independent thinker.

The committee vote is unanimous to recommend Lumbard with no questions or debate.

Chi Charlie Nguyen for Westminster City Council

Chi Charlie Nguyen is a Catholic. He serves on the Midway City Sanitary District. He cites the endorsements of numerous Republicans, including the Mayor and the 3 Republican Westminster Councilmembers.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher asks if other Republicans are running.

Nguyen says some have pulled papers.

Endorsements Committee Member Tyler Diep says Nguyen is one of the two viable Republicans who have not taken union money. There are two open seats because Councilwoman Margie Rice is retiring and Diep is running for Assembly.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks if Nguyen would support a sales tax increase.

Nguyen says he would not because they just passed one in Westminster.

Huang clarifies she was asking about raising the threshold to 2/3 to put one on the ballot.

Nguyen supports that.

Tyler Diep moves and Leroy Mills seconds recommending Nguyen. The vote is unanimous.

(Editor’s Note: Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to Chi Charlie Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Councilman James Vanderbilt is the incumbent. He was a Central Committee member but had to leave when he joined the Army reserve preventing him from participating in partisan politics. He is the only Republican running.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand expresses support.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher asks about Obamacare repeal.

Vanderbilt says insurance costs would soar if it were repealed.

Bucher asks about insurance pools and health savings accounts.

Vanderbilt says he is not familiar enough with the implications to support them.

Bucher asks about shall-issue status for California.

Vanderbilt praises the Orange County Sheriff’s CCW policy. He says he would support people being able to get guns to protect themselves.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills is concerned that Vanderbilt is violating basic party tenets.

Vanderbilt speaks of being in favor of limited government and fiscal responsibility. He says the issues Mills raised are not City issues.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks a follow up about Obamacare in the context of cities and ambulances.

Vanderbilt expresses concern about ambulance costs and the uninsured.

Huang asks about hotel subsidies and gate tax exemptions.

Vanderbilt opposed both.

Erik Weigand moves and Tyler Diep seconds recommending Vanderbilt. The vote is unanimous.

Chip Monaco for Orange City Council

Chip Monaco is endorsed by Fred Whitaker for the seat Whitaker is vacating due to term limits. He has raised more money than his opponents.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher moves to recommend Monaco.  The vote is unanimous.

Allan Mansoor for Costa Mesa City Council, District 5

Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor speaks of his record in Costa Mesa and the State Assembly. He speaks of his record on pension reform and Prop 75. He speaks of declaring a Rule of Law city.  He speaks of his record on public safety and fiscal responsibility.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about districts.

Mansoor explains the district he resides in is up this year. He speaks of needing to defeat the Democrat in District 5.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand expresses various concerns about having two Republican candidates.

Mansoor explains that the Democrats have a unified slate and Republicans must defeat them.

Mark Bucher moves and Tyler Diep seconds to recommend Mansoor.

Diep discusses the dynamics of the race.

Huang expresses her concern about having two Republican candidates.

Bucher says there is no question that Mansoor is an incumbent in good standing.

The vote is 3-0-2 (Mills and Weigand abstaining).

The committee adjourns at 9:16 PM.

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