OC Political

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

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.

11 Responses to “Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 3 for November 2018”

  1. Steve C said

    Why is Konstantinos Roditis even sending his alternate to opine on local OC races? Didn’t read anything on any other statewide candidate sending an alternate to do the same. Or did I miss that? Does the state controllers office have so much interest in who gets elected to local city council races in OC? Or does Konstantinos even know that his alternate went on his behalf to share her feelings?

    • Actually it’s pretty straightforward: Roditis is the only statewide candidate with a seat on the Orange County Central Committee. Under California Elections Code, statewide candidates only have Central Committee seats in their home county. Roditis lives in Anaheim and has run for City Council in the past. He personally attended the July 30 Central Committee meeting where local endorsements were the only thing on the agenda.

      • SteveC said

        Thanks for sharing the California Election Code blurb even though no one questioned his legal right to attend (or in this case his alternate). That answer was provided by you alone for your own benefit.

        Also, he (or his rep) never said he knows any of these candidates personally. Think it’s “pretty straightforward” to assume that when someone knows something about someone and would send their representative that they’d research who and what they are talking about rather than basing it on hearsay of someone being nice or a big meanie. Or is it that this guy just allows his rep to say what she wants without even vetting it?

        And just in case you overlooked this part: Or did he even know his alternate went on his behalf? Not that you’d know but if you run into maybe you can ask him and report back? Just a thought.

  2. […] UPDATE (10:00 p.m. on August 6): The OC GOP Endorsement Committee recommended endorsing Vanderbilt for re-election. Chris Nguyen live-blogged it on OCPolitical.com: […]

  3. Thanks for covering the upcoming race in Lake Forest. Our city is in a very bad place right now due to the actions of disgraced former councilman Adam Nick and his surrogate Jim Gardner. The OCGOP’a endorsement will go a long way towards taking our city back from these questionable folks.

  4. John Chen said

    So basically in response to questions about current Irvine issues, O’Malley has to fall back on ‘I have no idea but I’m a policy expert so I’ll look at it later’?

    I realize the party needs to back 3 candidates to fill the slate, but is this really the best they could find?

    • Bill Chen said

      Thanks for the valuable insight John Chen. I’m sure the wannabe controllers alternate that had a temper tantrum reminiscent of a big overgrown baby last night would’ve welcomed your well thought-out input (and probably would’ve rewarded you with a big ol’ hug too). Hahah. Here’s a thought, maybe you should run for elected office since you seem to imply you have all the answers to all the pressing issues facing Irvine or OC.

  5. […] who is actively seeking the OC GOP endorsement as reported by our friends at ocpolitical (https://ocpolitical.com/2018/08/06/live-from-oc-gop-endorsements-committee-round-3-for-november-2018…) to be some sort of progressive Democrat.  District 2 voter registration rolls show Republicans […]

  6. […] from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 3 for November 2018 ocpolitical.com/2018/08/06/liv… […]

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