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Results from City Selection Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 10, 2016

The City Selection Committee met tonight. Yes, they are having one just two days after the elections, but waiting much longer would collide with the holiday season.

Thanks to Placentia Councilman Chad Wanke and the staff at the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors for filling in OC Political on the results.

California Identification Remote Access Network Board

This seat remains vacant.

City Engineers Flood Control Advisory Committee 1st District

Marwan Yourself of Westminster reappointed by acclamation.

City Engineers Flood Control Advisory Committee 3rd District

Doug Stack of Tustin appointed by acclamation, succeeding Mark Carroll of Irvine.

City Engineers Flood Control Advisory Committee 4th District

Luis Estevez of Placentia appointed by acclamation, succeeding James Bier of Buena Park.

Commission to End Homelessness

Tita Smith of Orange reappointed by acclamation.

OCTA 1st District Population Weighted Seat

Miguel Pulido reappointed by acclamation. After all, Pulido single-handedly holds the majority of the votes for this seat.

OCTA 2nd District One City One Vote

Gary Miller of Seal Beach is termed out from his City Council seat.

Mike Varipapa of Seal Beach gets 2 votes, which are from Newport Beach and Seal Beach.

Richard Murphy of Los Alamitos wins with 7 votes, which came from Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, and Stanton.

OCTA 2nd District Population Weighted

Jim Katapodis of Huntington Beach did not seek reappointment.
Barbara Delgleize of Huntington Beach is appointed by acclamation.

OCTA 3rd District Population Weighted

Jeff Lalloway of Irvine opted not to seek reappointment.

Craig Young of Yorba Linda gets the votes of 12.17% of the population, which came from Yorba Linda.

Mark Murphy of Orange wins the seat, with the votes of 87.83% of the population, which came from Irvine, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park.

OCTA 4th District

Tim Shaw of La Habra reappointed by acclamation.

OCTA 5th District One City One Vote

Lori Donchak of San Clemente reappointed by acclamation.

OCTA 5th District Population Weighted

Frank Ury of Mission Viejo is termed out from his City Council seat.

Laurie Davies of Laguna Niguel appointed by acclamation.

Senior Citizens Advisory Committee

Both 1st District seats and both 4th District seats remain vacant due to lack of applicants. No 3rd District seats are up.

In the 2nd District, only one seat is up, and Don Gray of Huntington Beach is appointed by acclamation.

In the 5th District, only one seat is up, and incumbent Shari Horne of Laguna Woods is reappointed by acclamation.

Waste Management Commission 1st District

There are no nominations made for this seat, currently held by Michele Martinez of Santa Ana.

Waste Management Commission City Manager Representative

Bret Plumlee of Los Alamitos is appointed by acclamation to succeed Doug Chotkevys of Dana Point.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

OUSD School Bond Measure S Supporters Pulling Down Signs & Spending Taxpayer Dollars

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 3, 2016

Cross-posted to OC Daily.

After three failed attempts to pass a school bond in the last 13 years, supporters of a school bond in the Orange Unified School District have taken some rather creative steps to try to pass Measure S, a property tax increase $288,000,000 bond for four schools.

In their campaign to raise property taxes, Yes on S supporters apparently have no problem abusing tax dollars, disregarding private property rights, and disrespecting the First Amendment right to free speech of the opponents.

As Matt Cunningham reported yesterday on OC Daily, the Anaheim Union High School District appears to have used public resources for political activity, namely the campaign of Jose Moreno for Anaheim City Council.  The Orange Unified School District has more aggressively used public resources to promote Measure S.

Taxpayer-Funded Measure S Mailer

Spending $22,949.45 of taxpayer money under the guise of an informational flyer, OUSD mailed 77,000 copies of a mailer entitled, “Measure S Would Provide The Funding Needed To Repair & Upgrade Our Classrooms” that featured photos of smiling teenagers.  A true informational flyer would simply have been a plain text, black and white sheet of paper, not a colorful mailer reminiscent of campaign mailers.  Here is the mailer:

OUSD Measure S Mailer, September 10 OUSD Measure S Mailer, September 10
Click on the images above for the PDF of the mailer.

Under the “Important Information About Measure S” heading, OUSD notes that Measure S is a $288,000 bond (rather than the actual amount of $288,000,000).  When asked whether this was an attempt to mislead the voters or just incompetence while spending taxpayer dollars, the district went with the latter.

Click here to view the $22,949.45 OUSD purchase order and the invoice from Marketink in Los Angeles County.  Ironically, OUSD couldn’t find a printer in Orange County despite the Measure S campaign touting that the funds would remain local.  The invoice also shows the district paid 9% sales tax.  Had they used an Orange County printer, sales tax would have only been 8%, with 0.5% of the 8% going to Orange County’s Measure M2 transportation projects.

OC Daily’s Matt Cunningham previously reported about this mailer here

Yes on Measure S Display at Nohl Canyon Elementary School

Yes on Measure S Display at Nohl Canyon Elementary School

Yes on Measure S Tables on School Campuses

In a further use of public resources, pro-Measure S tables have been erected on school campuses.

The photo at right was taken in the Learning Center at Nohl Canyon Elementary School in Anaheim Hills during the school’s book fair.

A similar table was reportedly at Villa Park High School during Back-to-School Night, where people were jumping around in “Yes on S” T-Shirts and handing out stickers, signs, and other collateral.  They were also trying to coerce parents to “sign up” for the “Yes on S” campaign.

Apparently, the Measure S proponents are unfamiliar with the separation of taxpayer resources and political campaigns.

Sign Theft & Banner Destruction

If the use of taxpayer resources was not enough, the Yes on S side is disregarding property rights and actively censoring the No on S side.  Apparently, the Yes on S side didn’t pay attention to their American Government classes during the discussion on the First and Fifth Amendments.

Here’s a video of a “No on S” sign being pulled out of a front yard on East Cumberland Road in Orange. The video was taken from the surveillance camera of the homeowner whose sign was taken.  The individual taking the sign appears to be a government employee though the video is too far away to determine which jurisdiction the sign-taker works for.

Here are some photos of someone else stealing “No on S” signs from a business in Orange on Chapman Avenue.  Click on any of the thumbnails for a larger version of the photo.

Here’s a photo of a “No on S” banner that got slashed.  Apparently, civility is no longer taught in schools.  Click on the photo below to see a larger version of it.No on Measure S Banner Slashed

Polling Data Used for Bond Measure Placement

ONN Founders Jim Bearns and Joe MelloThe Greater Orange News Service reported that the OUSD Board used polling data to have one bond taxing the whole district for four schools rather than two bonds, each taxing half the district for two schools.

As an aside: the pro-union, often-innuendo-laden Greater Orange News Service is an anonymous blog covering OUSD that was founded by Yorba Academy of the Arts Middle School Teacher Joe Mello (who sits on the board of the Orange Unified Education Association, the OUSD teacher’s union) and Los Alamitos Unified School District Teacher Jim Bearns.  Mello and Bearns are pro-bond, but as residents of Long Beach, they won’t have to pay for the property tax increase imposed by Measure S.

Pay to Play In School Bond Measures in the OC

For those of you who missed Craig Alexander’s post on OC Political yesterday, Craig reported about a California Policy Center study that found:

  • Law firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo donated $12,000 to Yes on Measure S (the law firm’s web site highlights legal services regarding school facilities construction)
  • Architecture firm LPA donated $10,000 to Yes on Measure S

As of the September 29 campaign finance report, the Yes on S campaign had raised $151,525, with 90% coming from its 15 largest donors, led by:

  • Orange Unified Education Association (Union) $25,885
  • HED (Architects) $20,000
  • Balfour Beatty Construction $20,000
  • Ameresco (Solar Energy) $15,000
  • Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (Attorneys) $12,000
  • LPA (Architects) $10,000
  • Parker & Covert (Attorneys) $10,000

The remaining 10% included no fewer than 45 employees of the school district.

They’ve raised thousands of dollars since that campaign finance report, but OC Political/OC Daily has not yet examined their October campaign finance reports.

A decidedly grassroots effort, the No on S side raised a tiny fraction of that.  However, the grassroots defeated three well-funded bond measure efforts in the last 13 years.

Posted in Orange Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Shady, Deceptive Business Practices Dog Senate Candidate Josh Newman

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 1, 2016

Josh Newman

Senate Candidate Josh Newman

Cross-Posted to OC Daily

To hear 29th State Senate District Candidate Josh Newman tell it, he’s the most misunderstood guy in the world.

A female apparel executive he hounded for dates while working in the San Francisco Mayor’s office apparently misunderstood him.

Tens of thousands of unwilling customers improperly charged on their phone bills with unwanted services by SendMe Inc., his high-tech cellphone ring-tone venture, apparently all misunderstood him.

He says more customers who found their privacy invaded during his tenure as an executive at RealNetworks also apparently misunderstood him.

And San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan must have misunderstood him when he accused Newman of misappropriating confidential police files and using them in a smear campaign against Jordan.

Is Josh Newman simply misunderstood?

  • A female San Francisco intimate apparel executive didn’t think so, after Newman openly admitted that he forged Mayor Jordan’s signature on the Mayor’s stationery in order to get a date with her while working for Jordan. An associate of the executive circulated the letter without her approval.
     
  • San Francisco Supervisor (and future Senator) Carole Migden didn’t think so, saying “Josh Newman has left a trail of bloodletting. The phones ring off the hook from allegations from him.”
     
  • The courts don’t think so. SendMe, Inc. was the defendant in one county-level and six federal lawsuits filed between 2008 and 2014 for so-called “cramming,” a deceptive billing practice of adding charges to customer’s phone bills without their authorization or knowledge. A $63-million settlement resulted. Newman was Senior Vice President of Business Development.
     
    RealNetworks was the subject of 15 county-level and over 55 federal lawsuits over copyright infringement and interference in customer licensing relationships over DVD movies and songs between 1999 and 2005, resulting in a $20-million settlement. Eventually RealNetworks was forced into involuntary bankruptcy proceedings. Newman was Director of Marketing.
     
  • Former San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan didn’t think so, accusing Newman of unethical behavior and possible theft after his resignation.  Jordan referred the matter to the San Francisco District Attorney for further investigation.

The public record suggests that Newman may not be misunderstood at all. Rather, he may have a self-destructive personality that makes him particularly unsuited to hold public office, especially in the California State Senate.

Posted in 29th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 4

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 12, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgWe are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee, who will make recommendations to the full Central Committee for endorsements on October 17.  Endorsements Committee Members present are:

  • Chair TJ Fuentes
  • Peggy Huang
  • Baron Night
  • Mary Young
  • Jeff Matthews (delayed in traffic)

Endorsements Committee Members Thomas Gordon and Jeff Lalloway are not present.

On tonight’s docket are:

  • Brea City Council
    • Marty Simonoff (incumbent)
  • Fountain Valley City Council
    • Patrick Tucker
  • Garden Grove City Council, District 5
    • Stephanie Klopfenstein
  • Brea City Treasurer
    • Richard Rios
  • Ocean View School District
    • Patricia Singer
  • Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
    • Eric Padget
  • Santa Margarita Water District
    • Charles Gibson (incumbent)
  • Costa Mesa Sanitary District
    • Gary Monahan
    • Jim Fitzpatrick

First up is Brea City Council.

Marty Simonoff has been on the Council for 20 years, having been first elected in 1996 after moving to the city in 1981.  He says Brea was one of the first to require employees to pay into their pensions and that Brea has kept pay down. Simonoff attacks the former city manager’s use of community facility districts (Mello-Roos) as an end-run around Prop 13. Simonoff is a retired police captain and says that informs his perspective in remembering that his actions have significant impacts on the lives of others.

Baron Night asks about his involvement in the Brea downtown.

Simonoff says that was all done (including redevelopment and eminent domain) by the time he was elected.

Night asks how he would have voted had he been on the Council at the time.

Simonoff points to having only voted for eminent domain for a water tower where the owner cooperated.

Matthews arrives.

Peggy Huang asks about Brea’s pension liability.

Simonoff says it is $81 million. He speaks of $6 million being set aside for this. He is looking to put other funds in upcoming budgets.

Mary Young moves and Night seconds to recommend Simonoff for endorsement.

SIMONOFF RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-0-2 FOR BREA CITY COUNCIL (Gordon and Lalloway absent).

Next up is Fountain Valley City Council.

Patrick Tucker says he is a conservative who opposes tax increases and supports property rights, but he then speaks of his opposition to electronic billboards. He believes in the sanctity of life. He has run for city council before when he was endorsed by the Orange County Register. He is endorsed by the Lincoln Club, Fountain Valley Councilman Mark McCurdy, and Huntington Beach Councilman Erik Peterson.

Night asks Tucker about wanting to increase city hall hours and how he will pay for it.

Tucker suggests changing the city to 10/80 instead of 9/80 should have minimal cost changes.

Night asks about the sales tax increase.

Tucker is opposed to the sales tax increase.

Huang asks about whether Tucker would consider changing fire providers.

Tucker gives a lengthy answer describing the importance of keeping costs under control. He speaks of doing a study to determine if it makes sense to retain FVFD, switch to OCFA, or switch to HBFD. He lists various items that would need to be in the study.

Fuentes ask Tucker why he should be endorsed over the incumbent Republicans.

Tucker blasts the incumbents for putting the sales tax increase on the ballot. He is concerned about pension liability increases. He rattles off lots of numbers about Fountain Valley’s budget.

A lengthy discussion ensues about the 5 Republican incumbents voting 4-1 to put the sales tax increase on the ballot.

Night moves and Young seconds recommending Tucker for endorsement.

Matthews asks if the fact that Republican incumbent Cheryl Brothers supports the tax increase and did not apply for the endorsement as enough grounds to recommend endorsing her opponent.

Night and Young do feel that is sufficient. Night points out that there is a strong likelihood that Brothers has a flawed record, considering she didn’t seek the endorsement.

The committee is displeased that it appears endorsed incumbent Steve Nagel is campaigning for the sales tax increase instead of his actual answer to the Endorsements Committee of supporting it going on the ballot but not personally supporting it.

The motion to recommend Tucker fails on a 2-3-2 vote (Night and Young for the motion, Gordon and Lalloway absent).

Fuentes moves and Huang seconds recommending neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR TUCKER 5-0-2 (Gordon and Lalloway absent).

Stephanie Klopfenstein is a city commissioner, neighborhood association board member, and downtown business association board member. She is a volunteer at CHOC. Her family has lived in Garden Grove since the 1800s. She is concerned about public safety, homelessness, the budget deficit, and economic development.

Klopfenstein is the only Republican running for District 5.

Night asks Klopfenstein why she wrote that she is somewhat undecided on pension reform in the OC GOP questionnaire.

Klopfenstein says she opposes eliminating existing pensions because employees should have retirement plans. She says she is generally unfamiliar with public pensions.

Night advises her to study more about pensions.

Night asks about her stance on marijuana.

Klopfenstein opposes marijuana legalization and argues Mayor Bao Nguyen is just supporting it to further his own political career.

Huang asks about how she plans to fund public safety in light of the $4 million budget deficit.

Klopfenstein wants to attract more business and tourism to increase revenues. She points to the Harbor corridor in Garden Grove near Disneyland. She speaks of two specific projects that would generate enough revenue to not only wipe out the deficit but also grow revenue to hire more police.

Huang advises that she should study more about pensions.

Matthews moves and Fuentes seconds to recommend Klopfenstein for endorsement.

Night asks about her endorsement by the Garden Grove fire union.

Klopfenstein speaks of being close to Scott Weimar of the fire union. She says Janet Nguyen, who endorsed her, was also endorsed by the fire union. She states she has accepted campaign contributions from the fire union.

Night moves to recommend neutrality. He expresses concern that she is new to politics and unfamiliar with pensions, considering the role of the fire union in pensions.

Matthews is concerned that she signed the no-union-money pledge.

Huang is concerned an endorsement recommendation would be inconsistent with Central Committee directives.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR GARDEN GROVE CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 5 BY A 5-0-2 VOTE (Gordon and Lalloway absent).

Night departs.

Next up is Brea City Treasurer.

Richard Rios is the incumbent. He speaks of his long record of conservative activism. He speaks of his record on city finances. He speaks of his career. He is worried about the explosion of government spending.

Huang asks about the Placentia embezzlement issue and what reforms he has pursued.

Rios says the Brea City Charter limits the Treasurer’s powers. He can only recommend investment changes to the City Council. He does oversee investments to ensure the safety of the city’s investment pool. He is advocating that the Treasurer’s office be involved in the budget process because it would create a better plan for investing for the long term if he is involved in the budget planning. He notes his opponent also supports that. He says his opponent is experienced primarily in Real Estate Investment Trusts, which are not suitable for city investments while his own experience is more pertinent, being in stocks and bonds.

Matthews moves and Young seconds recommending Rios for endorsement for re-election.

RIOS RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR RE-ELECTION 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway, and Night absent).

Next up is Ocean View School District.

Patricia Singer speaks of her conservative family. She is a wife, mother, and real estate agent who is active in the PTO. She says schools improve property values. She supports smaller class sizes. She supports the school bond. She says OVSD has never passed a bond before.

Young asks about the bond.

Singer argues that one bond is acceptable, not three or four like neighboring districts.

Matthews asks about alternatives to bonds.

Singer argued the asbestos issues ducked up all the facilities money that the bond would replace.

Matthews suggests getting a bank loan instead of a bond.

Singer says that was already done for one school, but it is not an option for the other 12 schools.

Huang asks Singer about the four unions endorsing her.

Singer confirms she is endorsed by the OC Labor Federation and other unions. She says she has not take union money.

Huang asks what solutions Singer would have if the bond fails like in 2012.

Singer says she would pursue greater cuts.

Huang asks why isn’t that the solution first.

Singer argues it is a last resort option because the district is in a dire position.

Fuentes asks about the endorsement by Democrat Gina Clayton-Tarvin.

Singer argues Clayton-Tarvin is a conservative Democrat (Editor’s Note: I’ve never heard anyone call Clayton-Tarvin a conservative before). She argues the two Republicans endorsed already are a liberal and someone who came out of nowhere.

Fuentes moves and Huang seconds to recommend neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR SINGER 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway, and Night absent).

Next up is Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.

There are no applicants since Padget withdrew his application (three other Republicans withdrew their applications several weeks ago).

Next up is Santa Margarita Water District.

Incumbent Chuck Gibson speaks about his long record of Republican service, going back to his work for Republican LA City Councilmembers and Congressman Dan Lungren. Gibson got the water district to develop its first CAFR and hire its first CFO. He speaks of installing solar panels to save $500,000 per year for the water district.

Matthews moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Gibson for endorsement.

GIBSON RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR RE-ELECTION 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway, and Night absent).

Last up is Costa Mesa Sanitary District.

Jim Fitzpatrick is running with Gary Monahan (who is absent because he is working at Skosh Monahan’s) and supports consolidating Costa Mesa Sanitary District with the Mesa Water District, having pushed for it since 2011. He has been the Chairman of Costa Mesa Planning Commission. He says the 28-year incumbents are backed by big labor and support the team of candidates for Council that is running against the OC GOP-endorsed Council team.

Matthews moves and Young seconds recommending Monahan and Fitzpatrick for endorsement.

MONAHAN AND FITZPATRICK RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway, and Night absent).

Meeting adjourned.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements Round 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 19, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgWe’re live from OC GOP Central Committee where the third round of endorsements are being considered.  The endorsements from the first two rounds are listed here.

In this third round, the contests were considered at the Endorsements Committee on Friday. They are listed below (those recommended by the Endorsements Committee are marked with an asterisk) and will be considered by the full Central Committee tonight:

City Council

Aliso Viejo (3 seats)

  • Bill Phillips*

Cypress (2 seats)

  • Rob Johnson*

Garden Grove, District 3

  • Clay Bock*

Huntington Beach (3 seats)

  • Edward Pinchiff*

Los Alamitos (2 seats)

  • Josh Wilson

Newport Beach City Council, District 2

  • Brad Avery

San Clemente (2 seats)

  • Steven Swartz*

San Juan Capistrano, District 5

  • Brian Maryott
  • Ronda Mottl

Santa Ana, Ward 3

  • Josh Mauras*

Villa Park (2 seats)

  • Vincent Rossini*

Mayor

Westminster

  • Tri Ta*

Treasurer

Brea

  • George Ullrich*

Placentia

  • Kevin Larson
  • Scott Nelson

School Districts

Irvine Unified School District (3 seats)

  • Mark Newgent*

Ocean View School District (2 seats)

  • Kathryn Gonzalez*
  • Norm Westwell*

Placentia-­Yorba Linda Unified School District (3 seats)

  • Susi Khan
  • Helen Kingsbury
  • Irene Yezbak

Water Districts

Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 7

  • Evan Chaffee*

Orange County Water District, Division 3

  • Roger Yoh

Yorba Linda Water District, Recall Replacement Candidates (2 seats)

  • Eileen Barme*
  • Robert Wren*

Community College Districts

Coast Community College District, Trustee Area 2

  • Vong Nguyen

Meeting

Guest speakers tonight are Assemblymen Matt Harper and Bill Brough, followed by Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley.

Harper and Brough spoke of conservative victories in the liberal-dominated Legislature. They also spoke of the importance of winning swing seats, local races, and ballot measures.

Kelley speaks of the conflicts between the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns. He shows a trailer of a documentary about his office that will air on PBS Independent Lens. He discusses voter turnout by party in the primary. He discusses the growth of Vote-by-Mail ballots and the size of this year’s ballot. He notes same-day registration will be in place by the 2018 primary though late registrants must appear at the Registrar’s office. He describes the Vote Center model proposed by SB 450, which is sitting on the Governor’s desk. He notes AB 1461, which makes motor voter an opt-out system rather than opt-in. He notes Orange County has more voters than 18 states, including Iowa and New Hampshire. In Orange County, women turn out more than men. Anaheim, Irvine, and Huntington Beach have the most registered voters. Villa Park and Laguna Woods have the highest voter turnout while Santa Ana and Stanton are the lowest. Ballots are required to be translated into eight languages other than English, four by federal law and four more by state law. He speaks of online voter registration. 70% of new registrations are online. Serial numbers and barcodes prevent duplicate vote-by-mail ballots from being counted.

In response to a question from Gene Hernandez, Kelley explains the federal threshold to require additional language ballots is 10,000 registrants.

In response to a question from Baron Night, Kelley explains electronic rolls at vote centers will replace paper rolls at polling places to prevent duplicate voting.

In response to a question from Tim Whitacre, Kelley explains Lou Correa’s bill allowing stray marks, drawings, etc. to be counted. He also explains ballot challenges.

The Volunteer of the Month is former Orange Coast College student and new Cal State Fullerton student Chris Boyle. Presenting certificates are Assemblyman Matt Harper, Rhonda Rohrabacher on behalf of her husband, and Tim Whitacre on behalf of Supervisors Michelle Steel and Andrew Do. Josh Recalde presented an Officer of the Year Award to Boyle on behalf of the Orange Coast College Republicans.

We’ve now reached endorsements at 8:12 PM.

Fuentes delivered the report of the Endorsements Committee.

The entire list is a consent calendar. The following people pulled for separate discussion:

Based on heavy discussion by Central Committee members, Chairman Fred Whitaker pulls:

  • Huntington Beach City Council
  • San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 5
  • Brea City Treasurer
  • Placentia – Yorba Linda Unified School District

Dennis White pulls

  • Yorba Linda Water District

Brett Barbre pulls

  • Orange County Water District, Division 3

The consent calendar passes unanimously with Kermit Marsh choosing to recuse himself on Ocean View School District candidate Norm Westwell, as Westwell is a client of Marsh’s law firm.

Due to a technical glitch, Huntington Beach will be added later to the liveblog. However, the vote was 11 to endorse Pinchiff, 25 opposed.

Tim Whitacre moves and Deborah Pauly seconds to remain neutral on San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 5. The motion passes unanimously.

Brea City Treasurer is continued to the next meeting. Incumbent Rick Rios had made a timely request for an endorsement but was missed due to an OC GOP email glitch.

Irene Yezbak speaks of her roots in the Yorba Linda community and her leadership of Faithful Christian Servants. She raises various education items she oposses: permission slips to say the Pledge of Allegiance, students dissecting aborted fetus brains, students at camp sleeping in the same bunk beds with transgendered students, and the invasion of privacy from the California Healthy Kids Survey.

Susi Khan speaks of her father’s service in World War II. She speaks of her lifelong Republican volunteerism. She speaks of her leadership of Faithful Christian Servants. She gives various examples of inappropriate questions on the California Healthy Kids Survey. She blasts unfunded mandates, which is causing “bond-a-palooza” in Orange County. She wants teachers to teach, not just follow scripts.

Helen Kingsbury speaks of being a lifelong Republican. She speaks of Common Core in her son’s homework. She asked questions and got no answers from her principal or the school district. She argues for local control and opposes federal control of education. She wants parental voices to be heard in the school district.

Peggy Huang asks the candidates about the 2014 city council recall and the 2016 water board recall. She notes all the recall targets are Republicans.

Yezbak says the water board recall is about higher rates. She says she did not sign the city council recall petition.

Khan says she did not remember if she signed the city council recall petition. She says the voters should decide. She attacks about increase water rates, but she did say she previously vote for a special water assessment on herself.

Kingsbury says she signed both petitions. She says she wants to bridge the gap between voices of the party. She says everyone can come together on education.

Jennifer Beall asks what percentage of the PYLUSD budget is salaries and benefits.

Yezbak does not specify a specific percentage but says much of the money goes to that. When pressed by Beall, Yezbak does not know.

Khan does not know either.

Deborah Pauly asks about the school bond in PYLUSD.

Yezbak says the incumbents used taxpayer dollars to determine messaging for the bond, referencing the Orange County Register expose on the bond. She notes PYLUSD has some of the highest bond debt in California.

Khan notes the $22 million bond will cost $281 million with interest.

Rhonda Rohrabacher expresses shock about the incumbents supporting the bonds.

Alexandria Coronado asks the candidates if they signed the recall against the city council in 2014.

Khan says she does not remember.

Yezbak says she is not sure.

Kingsbury says she probably did but is unsure.

Tony Beall asks a follow up to clarify whether the candidates’ answers tonight are consistent with the answers at Endorsements Committee.

Fuentes says they said they signed and gave reasons why they did.

Huang says she specifically asked that and Yezbak signed it because she opposed 12 developments in Yorba Linda, but Huang had to correct it to 2, no 12. Huang says Khan says she signed it but did not recall her vote. Huang says Kingsbury was unsure.

Mark McCurdy moves and Zonya Townsend seconds to endorse all three.

Dennis White says Ken Williams has endorsed the three candidates. He says this is a school issue. He did not oppose the party endorsing the water board candidates.

Huang says they have tried to recall Republican incumbents in good standing. She notes they tried to recall Republicans who had a deep respect for private property rights.

Whitaker announces that incumbent Eric Padget has applied for the endorsement.

Jennifer Beall moves and Alexandria Coronado seconds to continue the item to October.

Beall argues that this should be continued. She points to the example of Brea City Treasurer earlier tonight. She speaks of the candidates needing to do more research.

Gordon argues about fiscal issues. He argues against water rate increases. He says the focus should be on the school board.

21 are in favor of continuing while 16 oppose continuing PYLUSD to October. PYLUSD is continued to October.

Roger Yoh speaks of his service on the Orange County Water District. He clarifies that he does not oppose desalination; he simply opposed the term sheet that was unfavorable. He mentions that Ling-Ling Chang is a longtime friend and speaks of partnering with her on state legislation. He says he is not a Yorba Linda resident, but he encouraged his colleagues to file an amicus brief on behalf of the YLWD in referendum litigation.

Whitaker notes La Palma Councilman Peter Kim filed an endorsement request for the same seat.

Fuentes asks Yoh about flipping his party registration from Republican to independent while considering a job at Caltrans in 2015.

Yoh states he was considering applying for Caltrans Deputy Director of External Affairs for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

Dennis White asks if water rate increases are regressive and if costs should be cut first.

Yoh says OCWD is the wholesaler, and that OCWD groundwater is magnitudes cheaper than imported water or desalination.

Brett Barbre moves and Scott Peotter seconds to endorse.

Huang moves and Gordon seconds to continue to October for consistency in light of Kim’s application.

Huang argues for consistency to consider both candidates’ applications.

Peotter argues that October 17 is almost irrelevant for the election. He says there should be a deadline. He says stragglers should not control the timeline.

Gordon argues for consistency.

Barbre argues that this is different because there is an incumbent in good standing. He concurs with Peotter on October 17 being too late considering absentee ballots go out October 10.

18 vote in favor of continuing while 18 vote against continuing. The continuance fails.

Thomas Gordon moves and Tony Beall seconds for neutrality in Orange County Water District, Division 3.

A lengthy parliamentary discussion ensues.

In response to an inquiry from Erik Weigand, Fuentes explains the Endorsement Committee recommendation was because of Kim’s application, Yoh’s answers on desalination, and Yoh’s party switches.

Gordon argues for neutrality on the basis of Yoh’s registration, arguing that bosses don’t normally ask for registration changes, and on the basis on Kim’s application.

Barbre argues that Yoh is an incumbent in good standing with excellent technical and engineering skills. He argues water is a highly complex area.

Huang argues Yoh was not a Republican a year ago. She says protecting the brand is important. She argues she is a registered Republican working for the State Department of Justice. She expresses her concern that Yoh voted with the Democrats on desalination.

Peotter argues that Republican incumbents in good standing should be endorsed. He argues Yoh’s “brainfart” of becoming an independent should not be an impediment since Yoh was elected as a Republican and is currently a Republican. Yoh explains he has been a Republican since 1994 except for a several month stint from late 2015 to early 2016.

Fuentes asks if Yoh would have stayed independent if he got the job.

Yoh says he would have switched back to Republican.

17 vote for neutrality while 18 vote against neutrality.

The vote on an endorsement for Yoh fails, with 20 in favor and 17 against. The Yoh endorsement fails.

Brett Barbre moves and Thomas Gordon seconds to endorse Eileen Barme and Bob Wren for Yorba Linda Water District recall replacement.

Dennis White moves and Steve Sarkis seconds for neutrality.

White argues he did not oppose the committee endorsing the incumbents last month. He argues that the party endorsed Measure QQ to repeal the Stanton sales tax. He argues the water rate increase is regressive.

Barbre argues the party already took a unanimous vote against the recall. He argues Barme and Wren are the backup candidates for “No on the Recall.” He says recalls should be for malfeasance.

5 vote for neutrality while 26 vote against neutrality.

33 vote to endorse Barme and Wren while 3 vote against. Barme and Wren are endorsed.

9:48 PM: Endorsements Round 3 are complete. Round 4 will be taken up in a subsequent meeting.

9:53 PM: Meeting adjourned.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 16, 2016

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

Endorsements Committee Members present are:

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

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

First up is Aliso Viejo.

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

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

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

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

Night asks Phillips about his revenue increase plan.

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

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

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

Fuentes asks about the Capistrano Unified bond.

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

Fuentes moves and Night seconds recommending Phillips.

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

Next up is Cypress City Council.

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

Gordon arrives.

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

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

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

Matthews asks how many Republicans are running.

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

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

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

Night moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Johnson for endorsement.

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

Next up is Garden Grove City Council, District 3.

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

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

Bock signs it in front of the committee.

Night asks about Bock supporting completing the incomplete Galleria project.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next up is Huntington Beach City Council.

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

Night asks about the Poseidon desalination plant.

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

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

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

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

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

Huang asks about new and recent development in Huntington Beach.

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

Matthews asks about the General Plan and community involvement.

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

Fuentes asks Pinchiff why he didn’t apply earlier.

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

Night asks how many Republicans there are running.

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

Matthews moves and Night seconds recommending Pinchiff.

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

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

Next up is Los Alamitos.

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

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

Night asks about his involvement in Republican politics.

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

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

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

Night asks if Wilson has been endorsed by Spitzer.

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

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

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

Fuentes asks if the incumbents have done something terrible.

Wilson declines to speak negatively of his opponents.

Fuentes asks why he would challenge incumbents.

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

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

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

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

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

Gordon argues Murphy has not sought an endorsement.

Gordon moves and Night seconds to recommend Wilson for endorsement.

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

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

Night calls for new blood.

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

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

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

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

Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huang asks if Avery would support the city providing clinics.

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

Huang asks about Newport Beach’s debt.

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

Matthews asks who the other candidates are.

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

Gordon asks about his stance on abortion.

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

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

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

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

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

Night moves and Gordon seconds an unfavorable recommendation on Avery.

Fuentes moves and Gordon also seconds for neutrality.

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

Next up is San Juan Capistrano, District 5.

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

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

Night asks about Mottl’s father.

Mottl says her father was a conservative Democrat.

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

Mottl argues Obama had more DC experience than Palin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maryott opposes a local marijuana tax.

Night moves and Gordon seconds for neutrality.

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

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

Intermission

Next up is Santa Ana, Ward 3.

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

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

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

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

Gordon moves and Night seconds to recommend Mauras.

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

Next up is Villa Park City Council.

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

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

Gordon moves and Matthews seconds recommending Rossini.

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

Next up is Mayor of Westminster.

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

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

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

Night asks about marijuana dispensaries and taxing marijuana.

Ta says he is neutral on taxing marijuana.

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

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

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

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

Fuentes moves and Matthews seconds recommending an endorsement of Ta.

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

Next up is Brea City Treasurer.

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

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

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

Night asks about dealing with pension liability of the City.

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

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

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

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

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

Matthews asks how many candidates there are.

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

Fuentes asks what is wrong with the incumbent.

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

Matthews moves and Gordon seconds recommending Ullrich for endorsement.

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

Next up is Placentia City Treasurer.

Scott Nelson was heard at a prior meeting.

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

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

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

Night asks about Larson’s efforts during the embezzlement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Larson says Nelson opposed it twice.

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

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

Matthews departs.

Next up is Irvine Unified School District.

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

Night asks if he is the only Republican.

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

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

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

Night asks about special needs children, particularly autistic children.

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

Night asks about spending and bonds.

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

Huang asks how many bonds there are.

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

Huang asks about his safety plan in 30 seconds.

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

Night moves and Gordon seconds recommending Newgent for endorsement.

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

Next up is Ocean View School District.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Westwell argues the state underfunds schools.

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

Fuentes asks about the candidates.

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

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

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

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

Intermission.

Next up is Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.

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

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

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

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

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

Night asks for more discussion of Common Core.

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

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

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

Night asks about LGBT education at younger ages.

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

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

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

Huang asked about bonds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barbre says it was YLRRR and morphed into YLTA.

All three say they were not involved.

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

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

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

Gordon asks why did each sign the petition.

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

Huang says there were only 2 projects on 12 properties.

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

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

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

Night amends his motion and Huang seconds for neutrality.

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

Intermission.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huang asks about water usage.

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

Night asks about the candidates.

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

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

Chaffee explains he would look at a wide geographic region.

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

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

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

Next up is Orange County Water District, Division 3.

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

Fuentes asks about the candidates.

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

Night asks why Yoh left the Republican Party.

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

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

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

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

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

Huang asks about desalination.

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

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

Yoh isn’t sure the affiliation if his colleagues.

Huang asks if he voted with Jan Flory.

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

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

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

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

Fuentes wants to hear from Peter Kim.

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

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

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

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

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

Night asks about their water experience.

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

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

Night moves for neutrality because the party opposes the recall.

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

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

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

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

Night asks about speakers on college campuses.

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

Night asks why Nguyen wants to be a trustee.

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

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

Nguyen says since he was 18.

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

Nguyen says he will not take that seat.

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

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

Huang asks about bonds.

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

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

Nguyen says only if the district enters a deficit.

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

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

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

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

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

Nguyen says he prefers Correa over Bao Nguyen.

Gordon expresses numerous concerns about Nguyen.

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

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

Last up is San Clemente.

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

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

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

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

Meeting adjourn 1 hour, 20 minutes late.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

OC GOP Endorsements So Far

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 1, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgThe Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee met on August 15 and August 31 to consider endorsements for local offices and ballot measures. Further endorsements will take place on September 19 (and possibly more after that).

OC Political live-blogged the August 15 meeting and the August 31 meeting, but by popular demand here is the list of endorsements so far:

  • City Councils and Mayors
    • Aliso Viejo City Council: Mike Munzing
    • Anaheim City Council, District 4: Lucille Kring
    • Anaheim City Council, District 5: Mark Lopez
    • Costa Mesa City Council: Allan Mansoor, Steve Mensinger, Lee Ramos
    • Dana Point City Council: Michelle Brough
    • Fountain Valley City Council: Steve Nagel
    • Fullerton City Council: Larry Bennett, Bruce Whitaker
    • Garden Grove Mayor: Steve Jones
    • Huntington Beach City Council: Patrick Brenden, Joe Carchio, Lyn Semeta
    • Irvine Mayor: Don Wagner
    • Irvine City Council: Anthony Kuo, Christina Shea
    • La Habra City Council: Tom Beamish, Dawn Holthouser, Tim Shaw
    • Laguna Hills City Council: Janine Heft
    • Laguna Niguel City Council: Laurie Davies, John Mark Jennings, Jerry Slusiewicz
    • Lake Forest City Council: Francisco Barajas, Dwight Robinson
    • Los Alamitos City Council: Dean Grose
    • Newport Beach City Council, District 5: Lee Lowrey
    • Newport Beach City Council, District 7: Will O’Neill
    • Orange City Council: Mark Murphy
    • Rancho Santa Margarita City Council: Tony Beall, Carol Gamble
    • San Clemente City Council: Dan Bane
    • Tustin City Council: Allan Bernstein, Austin Lumbard, Charles Puckett
    • Westminster City Council: Kimberly Ho
    • Yorba Linda City Council: Tara Campbell, Gene Hernandez, Craig Young
  • College Districts
    • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7: Ryan Bent
    • Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 5: Steven Nguyen
  • School Districts
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 1: Wendy Shrove
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 2: Jim Reardon
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3: Laura Ferguson
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 5: Jake Vollebregt
    • Santa Ana Unified School District: Angie Cano
  • Water Districts
    • Orange County Water District, Division 6: Cathy Green
    • Mesa Water District, Division 2: James R. Fisler
    • Moulton Niguel Water District, Division 6: Duane Cave
    • Yorba Linda Water District: Ric Collett, Andy Hall
    • No on the Yorba Linda Water District Recall of Directors Bob Kiley and Gary Melton
  • Ballot Measures
    • No on Measure J – Anaheim Elementary School District $318 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure K – Brea-Olinda Unified School District $148 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure M – Capistrano Unified School District $889 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure N – Centralia Elementary School District $49 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure O – Fountain Valley School District $63 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure P – Garden Grove Unified School District $311 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure Q – Huntington Beach City School District $159.85 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure R – Ocean View School District $169 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure S – Orange Unified School District $288 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure T – Westminster School District $76 Million Facilities Bond
    • Yes on Measure U – Anaheim 2/3 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
    • No on Measure Y ­ Costa Mesa initiative to amend Municipal Code to require voter approval of certain changes in land use, retroactive to July 17, 2015
    • No on Measure HH – Fountain Valley 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)
    • No on Measure JJ – La Palma 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)
    • No on Measure LL – Laguna Beach 2% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 12%)
    • Yes on Measure MM – Newport Beach 5/7 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
    • No on Measure OO – San Clemente 3% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 13%)
    • No on Measure PP – Santa Ana 700% Pay Raise for City Council (from $125/mtg to $1000/mo for Council and $200/mtg to $1000/mo for Mayor)
    • Yes on Measure QQ – Stanton 1% Sales Tax Repeal (from 9% to 8%)
    • No on Measure SS – Westminster 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)

Posted in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Newport Beach, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Stanton, Tustin, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements Round 2

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 31, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgWe’re live from OC GOP Central Committee where the second round of endorsements are being considered.  The first round of endorsements is listed here.

In this second round, the contests were considered at two Endorsements Committee meetings, one on August 24 and one yesterday. They are listed below (those recommended by the Endorsements Committee are marked with an asterisk; ballot measures bypassed the Endorsements Committee, so they went straight to the full Central Committee) and will be considered by the full Central Committee tonight:

City Council

Anaheim, District 1

  • Denise Barnes
  • Steven Chavez Lodge
  • Orlando Perez

Anaheim, District 4

  • Hon. Lucille Kring

Anaheim, District 5

  • Stephen Faessel
  • Mark Lopez

Dana Point

  • Michelle Brough*

Fountain Valley

  • Hon. Steve Nagel*

Fullerton

  • Larry Bennett*

Garden Grove Mayor

  • Hon. Steve Jones*

Huntington Beach

  • Patrick Brenden*
  • Joe Carchio*
  • Mark Rolfes*
  • Lyn Semeta*

Irvine Mayor

  • Hon. Don Wagner*

La Habra

  • Tom Beamish*
  • Dawn Holthouser*
  • Tim Shaw*

Laguna Hills

  • Janine Heft*

Lake Forest

  • Francisco Barajas*

Los Alamitos

  • Hon. Dean Grose*

Mission Viejo

  • Brian Goodell
  • Trish Kelley
  • Alex Naghibi
  • Hon. Cathy Schlicht*

Newport Beach, District 5

  • Mike Glenn
  • Lee Lowrey

Newport Beach, District 7

  • Fred Ameri*
  • Phil Greer
  • Will O’Neill

Placentia

  • Chris Bunker
  • Rhonda Shader
  • Ward Smith
  • Tom Solomonson

Placentia Treasurer

  • Hon. Scott Nelson

San Clemente

  • Hon. Bob Baker
  • Dan Bane*

Yorba Linda

  • Hon. Craig Young*

School Districts

Capistrano Unified School District, Area 5

  • Jake Vollebregt*

Santa Ana Unified School District

  • Angie Cano*

Water Districts

Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 6

  • Hon. Jeff Thomas
  • Hon. Frank Ury

Orange County Water District, Division 6

  • Hon. Cathy Green*

Yorba Linda Water District

  • Andrew Hall*
  • Hon. Richard Collett*

Community College Districts

North Orange County Community College, Area 7

  • Ryan Bent*

Rancho Santiago Community College, Area 5

  • Steven Nguyen*

South Orange County Community College, Area 3

  • Kimberly Clark (postponed)

Ballot Measures

No on Bond Measures

  • No on Measure J – Anaheim Elementary School District $318 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure P – Garden Grove Unified School District $311 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure Q – Huntington Beach City School District $159.85 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure R – Ocean View School District $169 Million Facilities Bond

Yes on Increasing Tax Thresholds

  • Yes on Measure U – Anaheim 2/3 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
  • Yes on Measure MM – Newport Beach 5/7 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)

No on Tax Increases

  • No on Measure LL – Laguna Beach 2% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 12%)
  • No on Measure OO – San Clemente 3% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 13%)

No on Giant Politician Pay Raises

  • No on Measure PP – Santa Ana 700% Pay Raise for City Council (from $125/mtg to $1000/mo for Council and $200/mtg to $1000/mo for Mayor)

Yes on Tax Repeal

  • Yes on Measure QQ – Stanton 1% Sales Tax Repeal (from 9% to 8%)

Yes on Term Limits

  • Yes on Measure RR – Stanton 2­-term Lifetime Limit on City Council (No Current Limit)

No on Voter Approval on Development Projects

  • No on Measure Y ­ Costa Mesa initiative to amend Municipal Code to require voter approval of certain changes in land use, retroactive to July 17, 2015.

No on the Yorba Linda Water District Recall of Directors Bob Kiley and Gary Melton

Live Coverage

The meeting is now underway.

Roll call establishes 51 of 60 members (or their alternates) are present.

5 new alternates are sworn in.

The endless candidate and officeholder introductions have begun.

Chairman Fred Whitaker notes that the endorsements process began in 2004. He urges caution in endorsing.

Endorsements Committee Chair TJ Fuentes delivered the committee report, listing the candidates above.

Whitaker pulled the following due to the vast number of emails and phone calls:

  • Newport Beach District 5
  • Newport Beach District 7
  • Anaheim District 5
  • Huntington Beach -Rolfes
  • Placentia Treasurer
  • Mission Viejo

Baron Night pulls Fountain Valley.

Thomas Gordon pulls Anaheim District 1 and Anaheim District 5.

Jenny Ahn pulls Irvine Mayor.

Scott Voigt moves and Jennifer Beall seconds endorsing the rest of the candidate endorsements.

Brett Barbre attempts to ask for a detailed reading of the Endorsements Report.

Whitaker notes written copies are available instead.

First up is Anaheim District 1.

The Endorsements Committee voted 5-0 for neutrality.

Denise Barnes says she is excited about districts. She wants to make people’s voices heard. She has walked precincts for the past 1.5 months. She has watched 3 years of City Council fighting. She says West Anaheim is a beautiful part of the city. She complains about taxpayer giveaways hurting West Anaheim. She attacks hotel developers and big business. She speaks of the blood, sweat, and tears of being a first-time candidate. She speaks of her family and neighbors believing in her. She believes she can get the job done. She speaks of following Ronald Reagan’s frugality.

Steve Chavez Lodge is a military veteran and 28-year Santa Ana police officer. He is now in the private sector. He is not a fan of districts, arguing districts are to strengthen Democratic control of city councils. He says many elected officials and Anaheim leaders have endorsed him. He argues a police association is not a union. He tried to get Republican candidates endorsed by the police association, but liberals promised generous benefits to the association. He says he is the strongest candidate and wants to keep Anaheim Republican. He warns Anaheim could be the first domino in Orange County if Democrsts take the city.

Orlando Perez says he has been an Anaheim resident for 30 years. He says he listens to city residents. He supports the neutral recommendation. (His remarks were very brief.)

Fuentes notes the Endorsements Committee was concerned that Chavez Lodge was on the police union PAC board and donated to Democrats both through the PAC and personally.

Chavez Lodge states he was kept off the PAC board for years because he is so conservative.

Steve Sarkis asks about the party and racial statistics of District 5.

It is plurality Democratic and Latino.

Kathy Tavoularis argues a police association is a union.

Chavez Lodge says police associations cannot strike.

Cynthia Ward accuses Chavez Lodge of carpetbagging from Murietta and being a lobbyist who profited from Anaheim transportation projects.

Chavez Lodge says he is not a lobbyist, as he is in public affairs. He says he has been in Anaheim for the last 12 years and the Murrietta house (a rental property) is for sale.

Deborah Pauly asks who has endorsed each candidate.

Barnes is endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait, Councilman James Vanderbilt, Senator John Lewis, Fullerton Councilman Bruce Whitaker, and the CRA.

Perez is endorsed by Grow Elect.

Chavez Lodge is endorsed by Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Senator Janet Nguyen, Assemblyman Don Wagner, Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Councilwomen Lucille Kring and Kris Murray, former Councilwoman Gail Eastman, and numerous Councilmembers who serve on OCTA.

Kermit Marsh asks how much each candidate has raised.

Barnes says $10,000.

Perez says $692.

Chavez Lodge says $45,000 now but expects to hit $80,000.

Whitaker moves and Barbre seconds to follow the Endorsements Committee recommendation to remain neutral.

Whitaker speaks in favor of his neutrality motion. He says $2 million of Republican-oriented money is going to be spent in Anaheim. He doesn’t want to be forced to spend party money in the race to attack other Republicans.

Cynthia Ward says Barnes and Perez are good Republicans who have lived in Anaheim for years while Chavez Lodge is new to Anaheim. She says Barnes is a solid conservative with years of community volunteerism and numerous grassroots volunteers who can overpower special interests. Ward says paid walkers are walking for Chavez Lodge, Lucille Kring, and Steve Faessel.

The committee voice vote sounds unanimous for neutrality.

OC GOP GOES NEUTRAL IN ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1.

On to Anaheim District 4.

Lucille Kring says she spent 16 years on Central Committee (as an alternate member, elected member, and ex officio member) and over two decades in Anaheim. She lists numerous community groups she is involved in. She is endorsed by Tony Rackauckas, Todd Spitzer, and Christina Shea. She says precinct walking is her exercise program. This is the first time she has ever run for re-election because she has served non-consecutive terms. She is concerned districts will lead to Chicago-style politics. She notes only Ward 6 in Anaheim Hills has a Republican majority. She warns her opponent is a liberal Democrat who is supported by various unions and the Mayor of Anaheim.

Ward asks Kring if she has recieved union money.

Kring says private sector, police, and fire unions are supporting her.

Deborah Pauly asks Kring why she voted for a resolution in favor of Measure S, the Orange Unified School District bond.

Kring says she voted for it as a courtesy because schools are crumbling. She says there are ten bonds on her property tax bill. She says she opposes the bond in the Anaheim Elementary School District.

Karla Downing asks why the Endorsements Committee recommended neutrality on a Republican incumbent who is the sole Republican running.

Fuentes points to her votes on TOT hotel subsidies and ARTIC. He says she lied in 2012 telling the Central Committee she would not support TOT hotel subsidies. He says she accepted $10,000 in union money when challenging the re-election of the sitting Republican mayor. He says she did not fill out her 2016 endorsement questionnaire, as her consultant filled it out.

Kring says in 2012 she opposed the size of the TOT hotel subsidy and got it reduced. She points out Tom Tait voted for TOT hotel subsidies during his tenure as a Councilman when she was a Councilwoman (before he was Mayor). She said Tait’s former supporters asked her to run. She notes Tait endorsed Democrat Richard Chavez over Kring for Mayor in 2006.

Scott Voigts asks about Kring’s stances on abortion, same-sex marriage, and taxes.

Kring says she is pro-life, anti-gay marriage, and anti-tax.

A Central Committee member asks if she has pursued the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Kring says they endorsed her for Senate, and they do not endorse for City Council races.

Voigts moves and Sarkis seconds to endorse Kring.

Ward says Kring is not in good standing as a Republican. She says Republicans are leaving the party in Anaheim because of stances that Kring has taken. She warns of the party endorsing bad candidates.

Night says on a scale of 1-100, Kring deserves a 60, but her opponent is a -100. Night says he does not want to empower a liberal Democrat Councilmember over Kring for the next four years in the seat.

Fuentes expresses his concern that if the party helps a candidate, the candidate should help the party’s ideas in return.

Marsh says the race is one Republican versus one Democrat. He says he doesn’t care about the Tom Tait faction vs. The Curt Pringle faction. He says he does not care who is aligned with Disney and who is aligned with other groups. He says all Anaheim candidates in both parties have failed to be completely honest. He wants to elect Republicans.

There is a voice vote of 2/3 for Kring to be endorsed.

KRING ENDORSED FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 4.

Up next is Anaheim District 5.

Mark Lopez says he wants to speak about issues. He holds up an anonymous mailer and says he has never been a Democrat or donated to a Democrat. He says he has been both DTS and Republican, but always conservative. He speaks of helping Shawn Nelson. He is endorsed by CRA, OCYR, Shawn Nelson, Denis Bilodeau, and Brett Franklin. He provides a copy of his 2012 donation to Ron Paul to refute the claim that he supported Barack Obama. He speaks of volunteering at the OC Fair to register Republicans. He notes the district is 45% Latino and 45% Democratic.

Faessel is not present, and he has no representative present.

Alexandria Coronado asks Lopez about a photo of Lopez surrounded by Democrats on the anonymous mailer.

Lopez says he is seeking Democratic votes but not endorsements or money. He says he was trying to prevent Democrats from running. He says one Democrat is running and has been endorsed by the DPOC.

Sarkis asks how much money Lopez has raised.

Lopez says $24,000-$25,000.

Whitaker moves and Barbre seconds to uphold the Endorsements Committee recommendation based on the same reasoning as in District 1.

Ray Grangoff moves and Deboah Pauly seconds to endorse Lopez.

Supervisor Shawn Nelson says Faessel came to the Endorsements Committee solely to block Lopez and take a cheap shot at Lopez. Nelson refutes Whitaker. He says Lopez worked for Ed Royce, Chris Norby, and Nelson himself. Nelson says Lopez’s sole sin was being more libertarian than the party.  Nelson calls for endorsing young Latino professionals like Lopez. He blasts Faessel for endorsing Connor Traut and Jordan Brandman for Congress.

Whitaker again argues for neutrality, not wanting the party to get involved in Anaheim’s two Republican factions.

By a voice vote, Lopez gets 2/3.

LOPEZ ENDORSED FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 5.

Next up is Fountain Valley City Council.

Steve Nagel defends his vote to put a sales tax measure on the ballot. He says his city has its back against the wall because the state took local money. He says the city reserve will be depleted in three years. He says it is cheaper to maintain FVFD and FVPD rather than outsourcing to OCFA and Sheriff. He says there is a three-tiered pension for FVPD and two tiers for everyone else. He says Westminster has its back against the wall as well. He says the Council is nonpartisan, so he cannot always vote the party line.

Mike Munzing asks who is running.

Nagel says there are five candidates running for two seats.

OC GOP Executive Director Julian Babbitt says every candidate is a Republican.

Whitaker moves and someone seconds to endorse Nagel.

Night argues that Nagel has violated the No New Taxes pledge. He blasts the 50-year, no-bid contract for trash, with automatic increases. Night says Nagel opposed contract transparency and Form 700s online. He says most of his information is from Mark McCurdy.

Nagel says McCurdy is usually wrong. He denies raising trash rates.

Gene Hernandez served on the Sanitation District with Nagel. He says Nagel is an honorable man and good conservative.

Thomas Gordon asks if Nagel voted to put a sales tax on the ballot.

Nagel says yes.

By a voice vote, Nagel is endorsed by 2/3.

NAGEL ENDORSED FOR FOUNTAIN VALLEY CITY COUNCIL.

Next up is Mark Rofles for Huntington Beach City Council.

(Three others were endorsed for three seats earlier this evening.)

Mark Rofles says the incumbent is a Democrat. He notes the Endorsements Committee recommended him. He says he is a fresh face, plans to win, and is honest. He is endorsed by a Medal of Honor winner, a Navy Seal, and Chris Cox of the NRA. He says the party should endorse all four Republicans for the three seats.

Anthony Kuo asks if the party has ever endorsed more candidates than seats.

Whitaker says it has never happened before, but it is not prohibited.

Pauly asks Rolfes why the other three candidates were able to make both the RWF event and the OC GOP Endorsements Committee while Rolfes only went to RWF.

Rolfes says he didn’t want to break the commitment and was uncertain about the length of time of the meeting.

Pauly asks when Rolfes reregistered from Democrat to Republican and why.

Rolfes says Maryland is a traditionally Democratic state. He says he recently became passionate about politics and is very pro-Second Amendment. He became a Republican a couple years ago. He attacks Hillary Clinton.

Diane McGlinchey asks Rolfes is he ever held Democratic office or supported Democrats in Maryland.

Rolfes says he voted for Baltimore Mayor William Schaefer, but that is all.

Scott Potter moves and Anthony Kuo seconds to not endorse Rolfes.

Scott Baugh moves and Scott Voigts seconds to simply be neutral.

The motion passes by unanimous voice vote.

NEUTRALITY ON ROFLES FOR HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL.

Next up is Mayor of Irvine.

Scott Voigts notes that Don Wagner is on the Assembly Floor for end of session. He speaks of Wagner’s conservative values and efforts to elect Republicans dating back to before he served on the college board.

Jenny Ahn says she is Steven Choi’s alternate.

Scott Voigts moves and Anthony Kuo seconds endorsing Don Wagner for Mayor of Irvine.

The voice vote is unanimous.

WAGNER ENDORSED FOR MAYOR OF IRVINE.

Next up is Placentia City Treasurer.

Whitaker states there is an application pending from

Marsh moves and Night seconds to continue the race to the next meeting.

POSTPONEMENT ON PLACENTIA CITY TREASURER.

Next up is Mission Viejo City Council.

Cathy Schlicht says no one was endorsed for her city council in 2012. She says she has supported GOP-endorsed candidates for Mission Viejo City Council. She says she did not vote against the conditional use permit for SDG&E. She says the PUC is also against the permit. She says she is pro-business and attacks Trish Kelley’s stance on e-cigarettes. Schlicht attacks Wendy Bucknum. She says she has a First Amendment right to help candidates. (She runs out of time.)

Pauly asks Schlicht to continue her comments.

Schlicht says she wants to outsource IT.

Mary Young says Schlicht does not support GOP candidates. She says Schlicht attacks the OC GOP.

Schlicht said she has phone banked and stuffed envelopes for the past 25 years. She says she volunteered at the Laguna Niguel GOP headquarters. She says her OC GOP attack was actually quoting an OC Register article and arguing how she could help the party if elected to Central Committee.

Whitaker asks if Schlicht supported the ballot box zoning measure, Measure D in 2010.

Schlicht argues Rhonda Reardon supported Measure D and was endorsed by the OC GOP in 2010. She argues the whole Council voted for a moratorium on zoning changes.

Jennifer Beall asks Schlicht why she refused to support conservative Mike Munzing.

Beall moves and Young seconds for neutrality.

Beall states Schlicht has a position on property rights is completely wrong. She blasts Schlicht on weakening decorum at the City Council. Beall wants neutrality with four Republicans running.

Thomas Gordon argues for endorsing incumbents. He is unhappy with her property rights stance.

Mike Munzing says Schlicht opposed endorsing him at the Saddleback Republican Assembly solely because Munzing would not repudiate his endorsement from Republican Frank Ury.

Scott Voigts says Schlicht has walked precincts since the early 1990s for school board candidates and two of his own City Council races.

By a voice vote, neutrality prevails.

NEUTRALITY FOR MISSION VIEJO CITY COUNCIL.

Intermission.

On to Newport Beach District 5.

Mike Glenn is a former OC GOP Alternate. He is founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus locally. He volunteered at the OC Fair to register Republicans. He notes there are three Republicans running for one seat. He urges neutrality.

Lee Lowrey has been a Republican since he was 18. He is a movement conservative. He calls the GOP home. He speaks of being an alternate for Dana Rohrabacher currently and for the late Tom Fuentes previously. He speaks of purchasing Flag Day tables. He was the OC GOP Volunteer of the Year in 2002. He was OCYR President from 2002 to 2005, growing the membership from 75 dues-paying members to 300. He helped found Atlas PAC, which has raised $1.3 million. He is endorsed by Rohrabacher, Steel, Harper, Bates, Brough, Choi, Mensinger, Muldoon, Peotter, Duffield, and numerous others.

Baugh asks when Glenn was an alternate on the Central Committee.

Glenn says 2015 and 2016.

Marsh asks how much each candidate has raised.

Lowrey has raised $28,000. He has a large fundraiser next week where commitments have reached $31,000.

Glenn has raised $24,000.

Peotter asked Glenn how long he has been a Republican.

Glenn says since 2012 when he switched from Libertarian.

Baugh moves and Young seconds to endorse Lowrey.

Baugh says Lowrey “has been in the trenches forever.” He speaks of always being able to rely on Lowrey during his 11 years as OC GOP Chairman.

Gordon says both candidates would be outstanding. He points to Whitaker’s argument in Anaheim of not tearing the party apart, though Whitaker notes his argument did not prevail.

Kevin Muldoon speaks of a close 3-3 council with 1 swing vote and argues they need Lowrey to help build a conservative majority.

Pauly speaks of being a big tent party and bringing libertarians over. She notes Glenn sat behind her at Central Committee. She wants neutrality to be welcoming.

By a voice vote, Lowrey is endorsed overwhelmingly.

LOWREY ENDORSED FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5.

Next up is Newport Beach District 7.

Fred Ameri speaks of working his way through college. He grew his company. His business partner and political mentor was the late Tom Fuentes. He says he donated thousands of dollars to the GOP. He helped register 5,000 Republicans through the Iranian American Republican Council that he founded. He speaks of raising money for Young Kim, Ling-Ling Chang, Bob Huff, and Janet Nguyen. He held 13 fundraisers at his house last year. He says he helped build Coto de Caza, Newport Coast Drive, and other Orange County locations.

Phil Greer is not present and lacks a representative.

Will O’Neill praises Amer for being a good and decent man. He says he was a Stanford College Republican (Go Cardinal!) and was a Republican in San Francisco when he was a student at UC Hastings. He worked for Supreme Court   Justice Marvin Baxter. He speaks of never donating to Democrats. He speaks of his work on the Newport Beach Finance Committee. He lists numerous endorsements by Republican elected officials. He has raised $65,000.

Muldoon asked how Ameri can work with Team Newport when Ameri has criticized them repeatedly for disappointing him. He argues he donated money to Scott Peotter and held a fundraiser for Diane Dixon. He supported them but is disappointed by them.

Barbre asks Ameri if he donated to Peotter before or after the election.

Ameri says he donated to Republicans who would do a good job, like Planning Commission colleagues. He does not recall if he donated to Peotter before or after.

Baugh notes the party spent a lot of money for Team Newport. He is trying to figure out why Ameri wants opposition to the conservative governance of Team Newport. He asks Ameri how he differs from them on policy.

Ameri says he is his own man. He says he follows procedure. He doesn’t want to bring opposition but an addition.

Baugh asks again what policy differences Ameri has with Team Newport.

Ameri says they haven’t gone far enough on pension reform. He again says he wants to be his own man without any group controlling him.

Gordon states that Ameri should be endorsed for the criteria that Lowrey was endorsed for.

Peotter says Ameri has given money to Democrats. He acknowledges one Democrat was a relative, but his company’s PAC donated to numerous Democrats in partisan office.

Ameri says the company had 1200 employees. Seven people owned ninety percent of the company. Two of the seven were hard core Democrats. He says many of the contributions were done while Tom Fuentes was an owner of the company.

Peotter asks Ameri why he says he supports property rights but opposes Banning Ranch.

Ameri asks O’Neill what Ameri said. O’Neill says Ameri supports Banning Ranch.

Whitaker moves and Fuentes seconds for neutrality, praising all three candidates and repeating his faction argument again.

Peotter moves and Muldoon seconds for endorsing O’Neill.

Kathy Tavoularis warns Peotter not to insult Tom Fuentes’s company.

Peotter says the donations from the company came after 2002.

Muldoon asks, “With friends like Fred Ameri, who needs enemies?” He says they are fighting liberals. He calls Ameri a turncoat.

Gordon reiterates the Lowrey argument for Ameri. He asks how much each has raised.

Ameri says he has over $200,000 and wants $350,000. O’Neill says he has $65,000 and only needs $150,000, which is more than enough.

Peotter clarifies the donations were after 2002, after Fuentes had left the company. Peotter says he received the contribution from Ameri after the election. Peotter speaks of fighting for conservative causes.

Whitaker reiterates his arguments on neutrality that he has used in Anaheim and numerous other cities.

John Warner says he has worked with O’Neill on the Newport Beach Finance Committee. He says O’Neill is smart and does his homework.

Fuentes says there are two good candidates. He does not want the party to pick between two good Republicans.

Someone called for a roll-call vote.

Peotter withdraws his motion.

The Whitaker motion for neutrality remains.

Baugh calls for the question and Marsh seconds. The vote is unanimous to call the question.

By a voice vote, neutrality passes overwhelmingly.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 7.

Ameri screams an obscenity and says he is gone, walking out of the room.

Supervisor Shawn Nelson moves and Scott Baugh seconds for reconsideration after a suggestion by Scott Voigts.

The voice vote is close.

Voigts calls for a standing vote.

Baugh calls for debate on the reconsideration motion as a point of order.

Motion-maker Nelson concedes the floor to Baugh.

Baugh says Nelson said it best that Ameri is talking himself out of it. Baugh had lunch with Ameri, who said that TJ Fuentes should endorse him because of Ameri’s relationship with his father. Baugh says TJ has been consistent on his pushes for neutrality. Baugh says Ameri threatened to leave the party if he was not endorsed, and it appears he has.

Marsh argues the reconsideration is unfair to Phil Greer, who is not present and thought the Endorsements Committee recommendation would stand. Marsh agrees that Ameri was in poor taste, but argues the reconsideration is unfair to Greer. He notes all the candidates are Republicans.

Peotter withdrew his motion because he wanted to extend an olive branch to Ameri. With Ameri storming out of the room and Greer not present with serious questions about his stances, Peotter argues O’Neill should be endorsed.

Gordon blasts a racist email about Ameri. He calls for neutrality.

Erik Weigand raises a point of order requiring conflicts of interest be revealed.

Anthony Kuo says he is on a payroll of a campaign but did not vote.

Baugh objects that the bylaws require this be disclosed at the beginning.

Alexandria Coronado moves and Dennis White seconds to continue this to the next meeting.

Peotter says he supports a continuance.

Nelson says he speculates that Greer was of the understanding the Endorsements Committee recommendation was for Ameri, not neutrality, so a continuance does not make sense.

White says he supports continuing because he doesn’t know enough about O’Neill or Greer to vote for O’Neill against Greer.

Marsh warns continuing stretches out the poisonous atmosphere of endorsements. He urges a final decision, whatever it is, tonight.

Someone asked if Greer signed the No New Taxes Pledge or the Union Free Pledge.

The Endorsements Committee says Greer did not.

By a voice vote, only Coronado supports the continuance. All others oppose.

On the reconsideration vote regarding neutrality, the reconsideration prevails by voice.

Coronado calls for a standing vote.

There are 17 votes to maintain neutrality with 29 opposed.

On the motion to endorse O’Neill, the voice vote prevails by 2/3.

O’NEILL ENDORSED FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 7.

On to ballot measures.

Whitaker pulls QQ for separate debate.

David Shawver pulls RR for separate debate.

All other measure positions remain on consent.

CONSENT CALENDAR ON BALLOT MEASURES APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.

Next up is Measure QQ.

Bucher moves and Warner seconds to endorse Measure QQ.

Shawver moves and Night seconds for neutrality on Measure QQ.

Shawver says Measure QQ is not a tax measure. He says it is an action against Stanton voters who approved funding for public safety. He argues its proponents couldn’t find Stanton on GPS. He argues no residents donated money for qualifying QQ. He says QQ’s passage will leave Stanton without law enforcement or firefighters. He says the OC GOP should not dictate to local voters. He says the state took their money but can’t take QQ. He urges neutrality.

Pauly argues the Republican Party has never been neutral on tax increases. She says would years ago, city leaders misled the voters instead of digging down into their finances.  She says the effort is led by a Stanton businessman whose business was there before Stanton existed. She said Stanton’s measure encouraged other cities to pursue tax increases.

On the neutrality vote, the voice vote is close.

Whitaker orders a standing vote.

Neutrality fails.

Bucher moves and Warner seconds to support QQ.

Bucher says if the party doesn’t oppose tax increases on the poor, it should disband. Bucher says Stanton has not cut to the bone and has lots of waste. He says Stanton abused redevelopment.

Shawver argues the city has cut everything down with little money. He argues there will be no police or fire. He claims 158 new businesses have opened in Stanton. He argues 100% of the money has gone to public safety and economic development.

Pauly argues the only way to repeal a tax passed by the people is to allow the people to vote again. She says the people should have the opportunity to repeal the tax.  If they think the Council is doing a “ducky job” with city spending, they will defeat QQ, but if they don’t like how the Council is spending, they will pass QQ.

Nagel says this is a tough situation for four cities. He says Stanton and Fountain Valley have cut to the bone. Nagel says everyone in Fountain Valley supports a sales tax increase. He says public safety is important.

Baugh says the proceeds of the sales tax increase are not locked into public safety in the text of the measure and can be used for other purposes.

Andy Whallon says the party has not told Stanton how to cut its spending.

Mike Johnson discloses that he is a consultant for the Lincoln Club, which is the major funder of the measure.

By a voice vote, Yes on QQ appears to have failed.

There are multiple calls for a standing vote.

36 support Yes on QQ. 7 oppose Yes on QQ

YES ON MEASURE QQ ENDORSED.

Lastly, there is Measure RR.

Shawver moves and Kuo seconds for No on RR.

Bucher moves and Pauly seconds for Yes on RR.

Tony Beall moves and Shawn Nelson seconds for neutrality on RR.

Shawver argues RR is against electing more Republicans. He says it will get rid of Republicans on the City Council in the Democrat majority City of Stanton. He says no one runs for Council, so who will run the city? He argues it will affect Young Kim and Ling-Ling Chang.

Bucher says the RR proponents are also the QQ proponents. He notes no one even bothers running because it’s too hard to knock off an incumbent.

By a voice vote, neutrality on RR prevails.

NEUTRALITY ON MEASURE RR.

The committee adjourns at 10:33 PM.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 4 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 2

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 30, 2016

We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee, who will make recommendations to the full Central Committee for endorsements on August 31 (i.e. tomorrow). The Endorsements Committee also met last week to make recommendation for August 31.

Endorsements Committee Members present are:

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

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

First up is Dana Point City Council.

Michelle Brough was born and raised in Orange County. She worked in Washington, DC for the US Senate Banking Committee and then the US Department of the Treasury. She came back to OC with her husband, Bill, settling in Dana Point. She was a Dana Point Planning Commissioner and member of the state Board of Accountancy. She was a Saddleback Foundation Board member. She is involved in other nonprofits. She is an investment advisory attorney. She wants to make Dana Point a desirable place to attract her children back after they graduate from college. She objects to the Dana Point Council candidates’ anger calling for more government, pointing to the recent ballot measures in the city.

Night asks how many other candidates there are.

Fuentes says there are two Republicans, two Democrats, and an NPP.

Mike Johnson disrupts the meeting when he accidentally plays a CNN video and is briefly unable to stop it.

Night asks about the candidate anger Brough referenced in regard to the measures.

Brough further elaborates on the ballot measures.

Huang asks Brough for more details about the land use issues in Dana Point.

Brough gives an example of one-way streets in the Dana Point Town Center and efforts to increase pedestrians rather than drivers. Brough argues they failed to develop a parking management plan. She notes the Coastal Commission demanded such a plan. Brough says she is a 100% property rights person. She prefers to follow the zoning code rather than grant variances. She says it is better to change the zoning code for everyone rather than granting individual variances.

Huang asks about pass-through taxes in Dana Point.

Brought wants private people to get together to solve problems without government intervention. She cites the example of a Virginia city that did this.

Matthews asks about plastic bag bans.

Brought says plastic bag bans are a stupid idea.

Night moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Brough.

BROUGH RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 4-0-3 FOR DANA POINT CITY COUNCIL (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)

Next up is Fountain Valley City Council.

Steve Nagel was elected to the council in 2008 and top vote getter in 2012. He was a Fountain Valley firefighter from 1977-2005. He speaks of various service clubs he is involved in, like the Rotary and Boys and Girls Club. He was elected to the Central Committee in 2010 and is leaving in 2016 due to time obligations with SCAG, OC Sanitation District, and League of Cities.

Night asks why Nagel signed the No New Taxes pledge after voting to put a sales tax increase on the ballot a month before.

Nagel says he is opposed to tax increases and has voted to cut city expenses while also opposing Council stipend increases, but losing on a 2-3 vote. He says 27 employees have been cut from Fountain Valley. He says he has cut medical. He says there are three tiers of pensions for Fountain Valley firefighters. He refinanced city pension obligations to save several million dollars. Nagel says the reserves may be gone by 2021. He says the ballot measure is up to the voters. He says he does not wish to cut public safety.

Night questions why Nagel signed the No New Taxes pledge.

Nagel argues he hasn’t voted on the measure yet.

Huang asks if there is a sunset in the sales tax increase measure.

Nagel says it sunsets in 20 years.

Huang asks about the increased medical calls.

Nagel says there are three units in the FVFD, with one paramedic unit. He explains that cutting a paramedic unit would cause mutual aid to refuse since FVFD could not reciprocate. He says mutual aid is like-for-like equipment. He says OCFA would cost more than keeping FVFD.

Matthews asks how many seats are up and the affiliations of the candidates.

Nagel says there are two seats up, and he believes at least three Republicans.

Matthews says there is no perfect Republican. He says Nagel is a good conservative and councilman.

Matthews moves and Huang seconds to recommend Nagel for endorsement.

Night argues voting to put the sales tax measure on the ballot violates the No New Taxes pledge. He offers a substitute motion for neutrality.

Fuentes says he has a difficult time voting against someone who the electorate put on the Central Committee.

Huang argues that the sunset provision is key for her on the sales tax measure. She also notes the broad cuts made by Nagel.

NAGEL RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-1-3  FOR FOUNTAIN VALLEY CITY COUNCIL (Night dissenting, with Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)

Next up is Mayor of Garden Grove.

Steve Jones was elected to the city council in 2008 and 2012 after being appointed in 2007 to Janet Nguyen’s vacancy. He was Chairman of the Planning Commission when appointed. Garden Grove is his hometown, and he views this as community service. He is unopposed for mayor. He wants to focus during the election on city transition and bringing people together. He notes this year, Garden Grove is expanding its City Council from 5 to 7 and having districts, so there will be many new faces.

Night asks about Jones donating to Democrat Bruce Broadwater.

Jones says he cannot recall and Broadwater was key to Jones being appointed to the City Council.

Huang asks about the Garden Grove city deficit.

Jones says there is a $4 million structural deficit after the abolition of redevelopment, which started as a $6 million deficit which they have chipped away. He is working on new development to bring in new revenue. He persuaded the unions to be patient while the city improves its finances.

Night asks about Bao Nguyen’s involvement with marijuana shops.

Jones supports being passive until the state ballot measure on marijuana is dealt with but notes the city already has a ban.

Matthews asks Jones to clarify him being unopposed.

Jones states he is the only person on the ballot.

Fuentes moves and and Matthews seconds recommending Jones for Mayor of Garden Grove.

JONES RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT (4-0-3) FOR MAYOR OF GARDEN GROVE (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)

Next up is Huntington Beach City Council.

Fuentes notes three other candidates were recommended for endorsement last week.

Mark Rolfes is a 19-year resident of Huntington Beach who grew up in East Baltimore, Maryland. He has been married for 22 years with two children. He has worked for the same company in sales for 19 years. He says dysfunction and lack of communication by the Council is harming the city. He states he has met with the police chief, neighborhood assocation, fire union, realtors, and Poseidon to learn about the issues in the city. He is endorsed by a Navy Seal and the NRA. He has a CCW. He calls for honesty, ethics, and visibility from Councilmembers.

Night asks Rolfes why he is opposed to the Poseidon project.

Rolfes objects to the contract lasting 50 years and is concerned it will raise water rates. He calls for more water conservation. He says he is not necessarily opposed to desalination. He wants more research done.

Night asks about him switching from Democratic to Republican in 2014.

Rolfes says Maryland is a Democratic state, and Republican primaries didn’t matter. He says he is more philosophically aligned with Republicans.

Night asks about pensions for public safety.

Rolfes does not want Councilmembers making deals in closed session and then attacking public safety in public. He is unhappy that firefighter salaries are public.

Huang asks for examples of three philosophical changes Rolfes had in his part switch.

Rolfes points to his views on the Second Amendment. He asks for more time to answer the question later.

Huang asks about development in Huntington Beach.

Rolfes says high-density development works in San Francisco but doesn’t work in Huntington Beach. He calls for better planning and solving the housing shortage but objects to the Council’s current approach.

Fuentes asks about his lack of involvement in the party or in campaigns.

Rolfes says he has delivered signs for candidates before. He says he has been very busy at work, but work is slowing down, and he is considering retiring. He says he has helped Erik Peterson.

Matthews agrees with Rolfes on Poseidon’s contract length. Matthews suggests looking at homelessness. Matthews praises the party switch but asks for responses to Huang’s question. Matthews urges Rolfes to volunteer for the party or campaigns regardless of the result of the endorsement or the election.

Rolfes calls for a stronger military with better supplies and equipment, along with more attention to military casualties. He says he supports legal immigration but calls for reform on illegal immigration.

Fuentes feels no endorsement should be recommended due to four Republicans running for three seats. He feels better about Rolfes’s stance on Poseidon. Fuentes moves for neutrality for all three seats.

Huang says Rolfes is new to the process and wants to explain it. She says the full Central Committee still has to act regardless of what the Endorsements Committee does.

Night is unhappy with the Poseidon stance but good with everything else. He moves to recommend Rolfes along with the prior three. Huang seconds.

ROLFES RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-1-3 FOR HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL (Fuentes dissenting with Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)

Next up is La Habra City Council.

Fuentes notes there are three Republicans and three Democrats running for three seats.

Tim Shaw is a husband and father. He has been on the Central Committee since 2012. He has been on the City Council since 2008. He has been a Republican since the age of 18. He points to numerous Republican elected officials he has worked for. He even worked directly for the Republican Party. He has a master’s degree and teaches political science at Rio Hondo College. Ed Royce, Bob Huff, Ling-Ling Chang, and Shawn Nelson have endorsed the whole slate.

Dawn Holthouser is active in the community and the RWF. She is a La Habra Planning Commissioner.

Tom Beamish was appointed to the Community Services Commission in 1997. Then, he became a Planning Commissioner in 2000. He was elected to the City Council in 2004, re-elected in 2008, and unopposed in 2012. He is a small business owner. He is in a rock-and-roll band. He golfs.

Night asks about Beamish accepting police union money for his campaign.

Beamish says he is honest and fair with the police union, but his main reason is he implemented pension reform via meet-and-confer with the police union.

Night questions why Beamish signed the union-free pledge but notes Beamish was forthcoming about the donation on his questionnaire.

Fuentes encourages Beamish to get more involved with the party by getting help from Shaw.

BEAMISH, HOLTHOUSER, AND SHAW RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 4-0-3 FOR LA HABRA CITY COUNCIL (Gordon, Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Lake Forest City Council.

Francisco Barajas became a Republican after watching his parents struggling their way into the middle class against government regulations. He interned for Supervisor John Moorlach and ACC-OC. He works for Communication LAB, where he assists the Orange County Taxpayers Association.

Fuentes notes Barajas is trying to unseat Republican incumbent Adam Nick, who has attempted to recall Republican councilmembers, including the OC GOP’s Local Elected Official of the Year.

Fuentes moves and Matthews seconds to recommend Barajas for endorsement.

BARAJAS RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR LAKE FOREST CITY COUNCIL 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway and Young absent).

Fuentes moves and Night seconds to recommend Don Wagner for Mayor of Irvine. He is in Sacramento for the end of the legislative session.

WAGNER RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR MAYOR OF IRVINE 4-0-3  (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent).

Intermission.

Next up is Placentia City Council.

Rhonda Shader is running for one of two open seats. Many community leaders encouraged her to serve. She has a passion for Placentia. She is active in the RWF at the local and state levels. She phone banked for many Republicans from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Young Kim. She is in a business PAC and steered money to Republican candidates.

Ward Smith is a native Placentian who graduated from Placentia schools and went to local community colleges. He spent 34.5 years working for the Placentia Police Department from police officer up to Police Chief. He speaks of law enforcement and the importance of public safety. He is active in his church and in a nonprofit for the developmentally disabled. He says he is concerned about the direction of the Council majority, including Mayor Jeremy Yamaguchi.

Chris Bunker and his wife bought a home in Placentia with only $500 left after closing escrow. He works in accounting and is a CPA. Bunker attacks the Council majority for allowing marijuana dispensaries after the embezzlement problem. He speaks of organizing to oppose the marijuana dispensary ordinance. He calls the Council majority leaderless and incompetent. He wants to run for fiscal integrity and economic development.

Tom Solomonson is a businessman and Placentia Planning Commissioner. His wife is a teacher. Their children went to Placentia schools. He was in sales until he bought a Placentia business in 2007. He attacks the Council majority for its sales tax actions and marijuana dispensary actions. He wants to “return Placentia to greatness.”

Night asks about sales tax increases.

All four say they oppose a sales tax increase.

Night asks Shader about being endorsed by Jennifer Fitzgerald. Night accuses Fitzgerald of voting for Democrats.

Shader says Fitzgerald and she know each other from the Fullerton Economic Development Commission.

Huang notes the lack of minutes online in Placentia. She asks Solomonson about how he voted in the marijuana issue on the Planning Commission.

Solomonson is uncertain but believes he voted no.

Huang asks Bunker about transparency.

Bunker states the city council acted on marijuana dispensaries under the guise of closed session anticipated litigation. He also wants a stronger public safety perspective.

Huang asks about Smith’s law enforcement background in the context of the budget.

Smith argues that much of the budget goes to other services. He states Placentia has a three-tiered system for police pensions. He spoke of public safety, public works, and community services as the three legs of the budget stool. He wants greater involvement from the school district and nonprofits. He objects to elected officials being at the labor negotiating table.

Huang asks about Shader’s involvement in Placentia.

Shader speaks of being a team mom for her son’s baseball team and being involved in her daughter’s schooling. She speaks of being involved in Placentia non-profits.

Matthews asks about how many Republicans are running for how many seats.

OC GOP Executive Director Julian Babbitt says seven Republicans (including incumbent Jeremy Yamaguchi) are running for three seats.

Fuentes asks Smith about the labor negotiation process.

Smith says City Councilmembers have been appearing at labor negotiations when he feels only the official negotiators should be present.

Night asks Smith about the marijuana dispensaries.

Smith says he opposes them strongly.

Huang moves and Matthews seconds for neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR PLACENTIA CITY COUNCIL 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent).

Next up is Placentia City Treasurer.

Fuentes argues for delaying consideration because the Republican incumbent is going to apply.

Huang and Night call for hearing the endorsement tonight since the next Central Committee is tomorrow.

Matthews wishes to delay, as the next Central Committee after tomorrow is September 19.

Fuentes moves and Matthews seconds to delay the vote.

Gordon arrives. Fuentes recaps for Gordon.

Night moves and Huang seconds to hear the candidate. The motion passes 3-2 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting).

Placentia City Treasurer Candidate Scott Nelson has served on City Council since 2007. He is an insurance broker. He turned a multimillion-dollar budget deficit into a positive fund balance. Nelson opposes expanding the powers of the City Treasurer and attacks the Council majority. Nelson blames the Treasurer for not catching the embezzlement.

Gordon asks about Nelson signing the No New Taxes pledge after voting for a sales tax increase in 2014.

Nelson argues that it is incorrect.

Night asks why Nelson didn’t see the embezzlement.

Nelson argues he wants to reform the Treasurer process to better catch that.

Night asks if Nelson would support making the Treasurer appointed.

Nelson says it is part of his platform.

Fuentes asks Nelson about campaign budget and endorsements.

Nelson says he will raise $10,000.

Night asks how many people are running.

The Committee says there are two Republicans running for the seat and no one of any other party.

Night moves and Gordon seconds for neutrality.

Gordon says the Council minutes show that Nelson voted for the sales tax increase.

Huang blasts the Placentia City Clerk for the lack of minutes from 2016.

Matthews says he supports the motion for now but wants to hear from the incumbent at the next meeting.

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

Next up is Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 5.

Jake Vollebregt is the Deputy City Attorney for Aliso Viejo and works at Best Best and Krieger. His daughter is starting kindergarten in Capistrano Unified School District. He graduated from San Clemente High School in 2001. He says the $889 million school bond is not the answer. He attacks the incumbent for being closely aligned with the unions, who got a 4% pay raise and bonus. He notes the incumbent is a liberal Democrat who ran for Clerk Recorder and Senator.

Gordon marvels at Vollebregt’s age and accomplishments, calling him an “overachiever” admiringly.

Night suggests investigating if the Capistrano Unified bond is a capital appreciation bond. He notes that because money is fungible, having a bond frees up the general fund for benefit increases and administrative overhead.

Huang moves and Gordon seconds recommending Vollebregt.

VOLLEBREGT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-0-2 FOR CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEE AREA 5 (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Mission Viejo City Council.

Brian Goodell has been in the city for 45 years. He’s a Community Services Commissioner and businessman. He is married with three children who all graduated from Mission Viejo High School and from college. He was Mission Viejo’s first Olympian, winning two gold medals in swimming. He supports property rights and small business.

Trish Kelley previously served on the City Council. She reduced the pension formula, cut staff, and helped end a Mello-Roos tax. She helped lead the city to be one of the few with a AAA credit rating and as the safest city in America of its size. She improved community facilities. She is endorsed by a litany of Republican elected officials (nearly every official who represents Mission Viejo).

Alex Naghibi speaks of having a Ph.D. and an LL.M. He works in finance, has been a realtor, and has been a law school graduate. He says he is in favor of business and opposes taxes. He wants good judges on the bench. He says he is pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment. He says he is a Republican and will always be a Republican.

Cathy Schlicht said Brian Goodell has a PAC that has taken significant union money that attacked Schlicht. She accuses Frank Ury, Wendy Bucknum, Trish Kelley, and Brian Goodell are in league with the unions to stop her. She says she is the only incumbent in good standing. She says she was a community watchdog and is still that. She speaks of volunteering for the Republican Party. She attacks getting grant money for city programs. She attacks Trish Kelley.

Gordon asks how many seats are available.

Babbitt says there are two.

Gordon asks Naghibi about a fundraiser he held with Panahi. Naghibi states he simply appeared at the restaurant to speak to the manager. He says he does not support him.

Night asks Naghibi why he says he has been registered since 2000 but the Registrar record shows 2012.

Naghibi says he mailed his voter registration in as a Republican during law school in 2000.

Night asks about Naghibi being a lawyer.

Naghibi clarifies he works in a law firm, has a JD, and has an LLM, but he failed the California state bar.

Huang asks about Measure D in 2010 on housing density.

Schlicht says private citizens created Measure D. She supported it because homeowners around the golf course objected to a development. She wants to keep Mission Viejo low density. She says the city meets its state requirement for high density.

Naghibi supported Measure D.

Kelley worked to defeat Measure D and attacks it as ballot box zoning. She says the area is still a golf course, as the developer left due to public outcry.

Goodell opposed Measure D. His background is in real estate, and he opposes ballot box zoning.

Schlicht interrupts that Mission Viejo is built out.

Fuentes moves and Gordon seconds to recommend Schlict.

Night says he has received both good and bad emails about all four candidates. He speaks of opposing ballot box zoning. He leans toward neutrality.

Huang is also concerned about ballot box zoning, citing Yorba Linda’s Measure B. She warns how difficult it is. She says Yorba Linda is 95% built out.

Schlicht attempts to interrupt Huang but is quickly ruled out of order by Fuentes.

Huang notes many Central Committee members oppose ballot box zoning. She speaks of the Yorba Linda recall attempt over density votes.

Matthews is opposed to ballot box zoning. He is leaning toward neutrality.

Fuentes says in all likelihood, the whole committee opposes ballot box zoning, but this does not outweigh her body of work.

Night flips toward Schlict, as he is persuaded by Fuentes’ arguments.

SCHLICHT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-0-2 FOR MISSION VIEJO CITY COUNCIL (Lalloway and Young absent)

Night moves and Matthews seconds for neutrality on the non-incumbents.

NEUTRALITY ON NON-INCUMBENTS RECOMMENDED FOR MISSION VIEJO CITY COUNCIL 5-0-2  (Lalloway and Young absent)

Intermission

Next up is Yorba Linda Water District.

Richard Collett is difficult to hear. He is a long-time resident of Yorba Linda. He is an incumbent water board member. He speaks about some technical water things that this blogger didn’t catch. He speaks about the Yorba Linda Water District recall being launched by the people who launched the failed Yorba Linda City Council recall.

Andy Hall is a husband and father of three. He is a professional civil engineer and has done extensive work with water supplies. He is familiar with regulations from Sacramento and regional agencies. He speaks about Yorba Linda’s water supply.

Night asks about how many Republicans are running.

Babbitt clarifies that there are three Republicans and one Democrat running for two seats.

Gordon asks about the water rate increase in Yorba Linda.

Hall says he supports it.

Collett says he voted for it. He explains that the state forced them to reduce their water sales to ratepayers by 36%, so the rate increases are necessary.

Gordon asks about YLWD reserves.

Collett says the Grand Jury actually blasted YLWD for not having enough reserves at $5 million.

Night asks about bonds at YLWD.

Collett says there were two capital improvement bonds totaling $39 million.

Night asks about Collett’s salary.

Collett says he collects $150 per meeting and averages seven meetings per month.

Night asks about the salary of the YLWD General Manager.

Collett says it is $186,000, which has not been raised since 2003.

Night asks about the size of the budget.

Collett says it is $60 millon.

Night argues that executive salaries are too high and that board stipends should be lowered.

Collett says YLWD has the lowest 10% in water district compensation.

Fuentes asks about endorsements.

Collett says he is endorsed by Gene Hernandez.

Hall says he entered the race fairly recently.

Collett notes the third Republican has only been a Republican for about 18 months.

Matthews asks how many YLWD employees there are.

Collett says there are 83 employees.

Huang praises the job Collett has done with the 36% reduction.

Huang moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Collett for endorsement.

COLLETT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR YORBA LINDA WATER DISTRICT 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent)

Huang moves and Matthews seconds recommending Hall for endorsement.

HALL RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR YORBA LINDA WATER DISTRICT 3-2-2 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, with Lalloway and Young absent)

Next up is North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7.

Ryan Bent speaks of his wife and children. He is on his city’s Library Board. He lists various community involvements. He entered the race when he found out the incumbent wasn’t filing. He is passionate about education and is a graduate of Fullerton College, which is part of the district.

Fuentes clarifies that Bent is the only Republican running against a Democrat.

Gordon asks if Bent is a ram.

Bent confirms he went to Colorado State.

Gordon moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Bent for endorsement.

BENT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-0-2 FOR NORTH ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT TRUSTEE AREA 7 (Lalloway and Young absent)

Next up is San Clemente City Council.

The committee notes there are four Republicans (including two incumbents, Bob Baker and Chris Hamm) and one Democrat for two seats.

The committee defers since they are running early, and Councilman Baker was told he could call in at 10 PM.

Next up is South Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 3.

Since Kimberly Clark is not present, the committee defers to the next meeting.

The committee is out of candidates, so they return to San Clemente. They reach Mayor Baker at 9:45, as he is at a city council meeting. The city is discussing Council districts, but they are on a short break, so Mayor Baker can call the Endorsements Committee.

Dan Bane is a native Texan who grew up in Missouri and has been a Republican since birth. He played baseball at Missouri and went to Pepperdine Law School. He is 35 and a new partner with Sheppard Mullin. He has been on the City general plan advisory committee and was on the OCTA advisory committee. He is concerned about the soaring price of litigation in the city. He wants to increase business friendliness. He says there is a $5,000 fee for businesses to apply to put plants in front of their window. He blasts the San Clemente sign ordinance for burdening business.

Bob Baker has been on the Council for eight years. He speaks of the city’s high quality of life. He says districting would be damaging to the city, even calling it “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.” He opposes sober living homes. He opposes short-term rentals. He is concerned about marijuana legalization. He is concerned about Prop 56 liberalizing criminal laws. He speaks of supporting Bill Brough, Pat Bates, Diane Harkey, and Darrell Issa. Baker served in the U.S. Navy.

Gordon asks Baker about his opposition to vacation rentals in residential zones. Gordon considers it a property right issue for the owner.

Baker argues that it violates the property rights of the neighbors.

Gordon asks wouldn’t it be better to just ticket people for specific violations.

Baker agrees with Gordon’s comment.

Night asks about sober living home.

Baker says he is trying to limit them.

Night asks about marijuana legalization.

Baker says he is very opposed to marijuana legalization and will do everything he can to make it difficult for marijuana in San Clemente. He then leave to return to the Council meeting.

Bane says he opposes sober living homes, which needs changes in law. He opposes banning short-term rentals. He also wants to use conditional use permits to stop marijuana in San Clemente.

Huang asks about the comment that Baker made about pushing for legisatin to have a public hospital.

Bane opposes it as spot zoning. He says the city rezoned as both a hospital and an emergency room, which led to the closure of Saddleback Memorial Care this year, which led to a $43 million lawsuit. Bane wants to fix this issue since his professional background is in land use law. Bane notes he forgot to mention earlier that he is endorsed by the

Matthews wanted to know Baker’s stance on TOT.

Matthews asks Bane a techical question about sober living homes.

Bane explains that having more than six people in a sober living home must be in a commercial zone. He wishes the city had adopted an ordinance that had withstood the test of courts rather than inventing a new ordinance.

Fuentes asks about the measure to increase the San Clemente TOT. He wanted to ask Baker about it.

Bane says he opposes the measure.

Fuentes says Baker is in a disadvantaged position because he had to hang up the phone.

Fuentes wishes to stay neutral because the committee didn’t get to ask a number of questions to Baker.

Night asks Bane about signs in San Clemente.

Bane describes all sort of types of signs that are unobtrusive and would have been better than banning signs.

Night moves and Fuentes seconds neutrality.

Gordon says Bane is spot on regarding freedom and liberty. He points to private property rights. He is baffled about neutrality when only two people are seeking endorsements for two seats when Bane hits holes-in-on and hits it out of the park. Gordon says Bane is batting .500 while Baker is on injured reserve. (Gordon is pulling out a lot of sports analogies.)

Huang asks why the committee couldn’t just take no position on Baker and recommend endorsing Bane since that would still be an available endorsement.

Night amends his motion based on Huang’s arguments. Night moves and Gordon seconds to recommend Bane for endorsement and to be neutral on Baker.

Matthews asks whethe the other two Republicans have sought endorsements.

San Clemente resident Jim Bieber calls Chris Hamm the “Bernie Sanders of San Clemente.” He says Hamm refused to fill out the questionnaire of the Chamber of Commerce, replying that he didn’t care about their endorsement.

BANE RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-2-2 FOR SAN CLEMENTE CITY COUNCIL (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting with Lalloway and Young absent).

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR BAKER 5-0-2 FOR SAN CLEMENTE CITY COUNCIL (Lalloway and Young absent).

The committee adjourns only seven minutes behind schedule.

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Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 1

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 24, 2016

We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee, who will make recommendations to the full Central Committee for endorsements on August 31.

Endorsements Committee Members present are:

  • Chair TJ Fuentes
  • Thomas Gordon
  • Peggy Huang
  • Jeff Matthews
  • Baron Night
  • Mary Young

Endorsements Committee Member Jeff Lalloway is not present.

First up is Huntington Beach City Council.

Lyn Semeta grew up as the daughter of an Air Force Serviceman. She is a member of the RWF who graduated from UCLA and USD Law School. She worked with school districts without litigation to help her autistic daughter. She is Vice Chair of the Planning Commission. She wishes to advance conservative ideals. She wants to attract private sector jobs. She wants to outsource more. She notes she narrowly missed a seat in 2014, when she was endorsed by both OC GOP and CRA.

Joe Carchio speaks of his service on the City Council, Vector Control, and LAFCO. He wishes to streamline government and keep taxes low or eliminate them. He wants common sense Republican leadership to help the conservative Council majority.

Patrick Brenden became a Republican under Ronald Reagan. He states unbeknownst to him his registration was changed to DTS and when he learned of this, he changed it back to Republican. He lists numerous endorsements from Republican elected officials. He walked precincts for John Moorlach and Matthew Harper. He held fundraisers for Michelle Steel and Michael Gates. He helped the new Council majority get elected. He speaks of his family. He is involved in the Boy Scouts, Kiwanis Club, and various other service groups that he listed faster than I could type.

Endorsements Committee Member Baron Night asks Carchio why he filled out that he wanted to remove the pro-life plank of the Republican platform. Carchio says he accidentally marked the wrong box and is pro-life.

Endorsements Committee Chairman TJ Fuentes states a fourth candidate submitted their application yesterday afternoon.

All three candidates present says the fourth candidate is new and threw his hat in the ring at the last minute.

Endorsements Committee Member Jeff Matthews moves to continue this to the August 30th meeting when the fourth candidate is scheduled to appear.

The fourth candidate had asked for August 30th rather than August 24th because he had a Huntington Beach RWF meeting to speak at and also preferred to be interviewed separately from the other candidates. Semeta, Carchio, and Brenden all indicate they are going to the RWF meeting after this.

Endorsements Committee Members Mary Young and Thomas Gordon object to Mathews’s motion.

Gordon moves and Young second to recommend endorsements for Semeta, Carchio, and Brenden.

Fuentes expresses concern about not hearing from everyone.

Night states this fourth candidate doesn’t seem interested in the endorsement.

Huang is very concerned that the fourth candidate didn’t want to be interviewed with the other candidates.

The Gordon motion passes 4-2-1 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, Lalloway absent).

BRENDEN, CARCHIO, AND SEMETA RECOMMENDED for HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL

Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 5

Mike Glenn was recently removed as an alternate for Central Committee after getting in a disagreement with another Republican. He is involved in the Republican Liberty Caucus, the RWF, and the CRA. He wants to bring change, or at least bring attention to key issues. He accuses Lowrey of spreading falsehoods about Glenn.

Lee Lowrey has been a Republican since he was 18 years old. He considers himself a movement conservative. He walked precincts for Chris Cox and Dana Rohrabacher in 1988. He speaks of his long service to the GOP. He is Rohrabacher’s alternate on Central Committee and was an alternate to the late Chairman Emeritus Tom Fuentes. He speaks of his work founding Atlas PAC. He was OC GOP Volunteer of the Year in 2002. He grew OCYR membership from 75 to 300 when he was President from 2002 to 2005. He speaks of raising money and precinct walking.

Night asks Glenn what falsehoods he was referring to. Glenn says a push poll falsely argued Glenn wants to defund the military. Glenn says Lowrey’s campaign manager accused Glenn of being involved in a criminal enterprise for using the same software as that enterprise.

Lowrey says he has proof at home from 2014 that Glenn opposes a standing military. Lowrey asks what is false about the email.

Glenn argues that the email speaks of Glenn’s use of bitcoin and about how bitcoin is used by criminals.

Night says the email seems to be he-said, he-said, and it is simply part of politics. Night says Glenn needs a tougher skin.

Matthews says the voters should decide who is correct in the he-said, he-said issue.

Gordon expresses concern about the Newport Beach Councilmembers (Duffy Duffield, Kevin Muldoon, and Scott Peotter) who have endorsed Lowrey since the city has tilted leftward despite having seven Republicans.

Fuentes notes that the three endorsing Lowrey are the three more conservative members and have pulled the Council to the right.

Gordon says there has only been a small correction and that the city needs to move further right.

Matthews moves for neutrality, with seconds from both Fuentes and Huang.

Young objects, pointing to Lowrey’s long history of volunteerism for the party for a quarter-century, listing a number of times where she’s called on Lowrey to help the OC GOP, and he has stepped up.

Young moves to recommend Lowrey but gets no second.

Fuentes says both are good conservatives.

Huang says both have had lengthy histories of GOP activism, Glenn in Newport Beach and Lowrey countywide.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 5-1-1 FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 5 (Young dissenting, Lalloway absent)

Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 7.

Will O’Neill speaks of his family’s long Republicanism. He speaks of his grandmother refusing to use Roosevelt dimes. O’Neill’s father was appointed to the bench by Governor Deukmejian and as a federal judge by President Reagan. O’Neill was a Stanford College Republican (Go Cardinal!). He wants to battle Newport Beach’s pension liability, for as a young man, his generation will be saddled with the debt.

Fred Ameri lived in Berkeley and found it full of Communists before moving to Orange County. He speaks of growing his business. He speaks of being business partners with the late OC GOP Chairman Tom Fuentes. He speaks of 35 years of contributions to Republican candidates, including 13 fundraisers in 2014 for Michelle Steel, Young Kim, Steven Choi, Diane Dixon, and others. He claims O’Neill’s campaign manager (Dave Ellis) is suing claiming that Ameri is using a false name.

Phil Greer speaks of working on George Deukmejian’s campaign and working for the California Senate Republican caucus. He says his first political lawsuit was defending Ed Royce against OC Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbaro. As an attorney, he has defended, among others: Janet Nguyen, Patricia Bates, Ken Calvert, and the Capistrano Unified School District conservative majority.

Young asks who sued Ameri. Greer denies it, as does O’Neill.

Night asks why Greer did not sign the no-new-taxes pledge or the union-free pledge.

Greer notes that if marijuana is legalized, he would like to tax it. He says talking to unions is important to get things done in government. He says he is not a union stooge. Greer speaks of compromise in Sacramento in the 1980s because of having relationships without compromising principles, and he points to the examples of Ed Royce and John Lewis. He says he doesn’t have Ameri’s money or O’Neill’s campaign staff. He points to the Jesse Unruh adage that people should be able to take money from people and vote against them to be in politics.

Fuentes asks the other two candidates to respond to Greer’s comments.

O’Neill says he has a fine relationship of communication with union leaders without taking union money.

Ameri speaks of being a Lincoln Club member and pushing the union-free pledge.

Young complains about people not doing anything for the OC GOP and wanting its endorsement.

All three say they have done much for the party and will continue to do so even if they don’t get the endorsement.

Night asks a follow-up about volunteering for the party beyond being paid for it.

Greer says some of his legal work was paid, some discounted, and some free.

Huang asks about Team Newport and what circumstances they would walk away from the team.

O’Neill states most votes have been 7-0 while split votes among Team Newport are common. He notes he is the only candidate who has served on city committees, pointing to Duffield appointing him to the Finance Committee with unanimous consent by the Council.

Ameri says the Central Committee endorsed Team Newport in 2014 because the team “played games.” Ameri attacks Dave Ellis.

Greer says he would not join any organization that would have him as a member, other than the Republican Party.

Gordon says he received an email attacking one of the candidates. Matthews received it, but none of the other members of the Endorsements Committee received it. He says an OCGOP-endorsed Councilman sent an email that “smacked of racism” against one of the candidates that Gordon said conjured up images of the Twin Towers.

Ameri asks O’Neill what if his name is Will or William and if he is a puppet of Ellis.

The committee quickly rules Ameri out of order.

Gordon blasts the email for its content.

O’Neill asks why Gordon is looking at him.

Gordon says Scott Peotter sent the email and signed O’Neill’s endorsement paperwork.

O’Neill condemns racist emails.

Fuentes says both O’Neill and Ameri are good men but he doesn’t know Greer well.

Gordon moves and Young seconds recommending an endorsement for Ameri.

Matthews urges neutrality because all three would make great Councilmen.

Night expresses concern about Greer’s union stance and O’Neill’s inexperience with the OC GOP. He says he is looking for the best Republican Party representative.

Matthews moves and Fuentes second for neutrality.

Gordon says he would have supported neutrality if it weren’t for Peotter’s email. Gordon says he is disgusted by the email.

Huang says she did not see the email. She says it is better addressed by Central Committee Chairman Fred Whitaker rather than at Endorsements Committee. Huang says she herself signs everyone’s paperwork for endorsement. She says she personally supports Ameri but is voting for neutrality because they’re all good Republicans. She says Ameri has done much work for the OC GOP but says Greer has done much work for the CA GOP while O’Neill is a young candidate who is trying to get his foot in the door.

Young says she feels bad for O’Neill because she doesn’t think he is at fault for the email. She is voting for Ameri due to his long record though.

NEUTRALITY FAILS 3-3-1 (Gordon, Night, and Young against; Lalloway absent)

AMERI RECOMMENDED 4-2-1 FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 7 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, Lalloway absent)

After an intermission, next up is Anaheim City Council, District 1.

Denise Barnes speaks of being a lifelong Anaheim resident with experience volunteering for community groups and nonprofits. She speaks of various West Anaheim community events she has helped in. She is a small business owner with an accounting background. She says she will advocate for sound fiscal policy to help residents not special interests. She wants to tackle Anaheim’s pension liability. She wants to improve streets and parks while increasing community policing. She is endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait and Councilman James Vanderbilt. She speaks of benefitting from Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics.

Orlando Perez says he is the son of Cuban immigrants. His grandfather was a Cuban mayor. He was born and raised in Bell and moved to Anaheim at the age of 21, living in Anaheim for the last 30 years. He says he is a realtor who has been a Republican since the age of 18. He says he is endorsed by Grow Elect. He says he has a notary license and an accounting background. His top priority is public safety. He wants to keep the Angels in Anaheim and wants to attract an NFL or NBA team.

Steve Chavez Lodge warns that Anaheim is in dangerous times. He warns that people just deciding to run now are not who should be on the Council. He says it should be experienced people, pointing to his service on the Anaheim Budget Commission. He warns of the chance of a liberal Democrat capturing the seat. He is endorsed by Councilwomen Kris Murray and Lucille King and former Councilmembers Gail Eastman and Harry Sidhu. He calls for logic and pragmatism by the Endorsements Committee.

Night asks Perez about his not answering a question on the questionnaire.

Neither Night or Perez is audible.

Gordon asks about their precinct walking efforts and hearing from the community.

Barnes says she wants to be the voice of her neighbors. She says as a property manager, she sees first-hand the squalor of West Anaheim.

Perez says he works in real estate and is recognizable and walks door to door.

Chavez Lodge says he has 15 precinct walkers who are experienced organizers. He speaks of his policy background helping with the homeless and with infrastructure.

Gordon asks about the Transient Occupancy Tax.

Chavez Lodge says he differs with Tom Tait, as he doesn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. He notes Tait spoke at his campaign kick-off in 2012. Chavez Lodge would like to compromise on incentives, which he feels are necessary.

Perez says he spoke with Tait and wants to compromise.

Barnes questions when using TOT for corporations would help the people.

Young asks about homelessness in Anaheim parks and having more parks.

Barnes says Anaheim is financially sound. She says West Anaheim has 52,000 people with just 5 parks due to the density of apartments and motels.

Mary Young says she never sees children in the 22 parks in her own city. She asks Barnes if parks are a waste.

Barnes defends parks and says community parks will bring children and after-school programs.

Huang asks Chavez Lodge about his law enforcement background and being a leader of the police union.

Chavez Lodge says he was on the Board of Directors and the Political Action Committee of his police union. He says he wasn’t let on to the PAC for years because the union thought he was too conservative. He said he was the conservative voice urging the police union to reflect the 90% of police who are Republicans. He says liberals have adopted dangerous policies like AB 109.

Huang asks if Chavez Lodge was ever on the negotiating team.

Chavez Lodge said he was not.

Huang asks all three candidates about Anaheim’s debt and specifically about ARTIC.

Perez gives a long rambling answer about needing productivity and people’s use of ARTIC. He says if it is ineffective, something different should be built.

Barnes says a lot of people are disappointed with ARTIC. She says it is a piece of art that won’t be truly used until at least 2029. She says the Council has rammed things down people’s throats without having a voice of the people.

Chavez Lodge notes this is a moot issue because ARTIC is already built and will last 100 years, during which time density will soar. He says the schedule is not customer-friendly. He says there needs to be better coordination with Metrolink. He says Metrolink was a mess until Shawn Nelson started improving it.

Huang asks about the bond for ARTIC.

Barnes says the city has given away too much money.

Fuentes asks the three candidates about whether they would have voted with the Council on TOT.

Barnes and Perez say no while Chavez Lodge says yes.

Fuentes asks about the Angel Stadium parking lease.

Barnes attacks Arte Moreno for renaming the Angels. She says the parking agreement was done out of panic.

Perez says there needs to be a future use and plan examined.

Chavez Lodge says the negotiations are ongoing. He notes $75-$100 million in renovation costs for Angel Stadium. He says the City cannot pay for the repairs, so it may be time to get the city out of the stadium business.

Fuentes asks all three candidates if they would have voted to support ARTIC.

Barnes and Perez say no while Chavez Lodge says yes because mass transportation, density, and technology are the future.

Fuentes asks about Chavez Lodge being on the union board.

Chavez Lodge says he pushed the board rightward and urged support of conservative candidates.

Fuentes asks Chavez Lodge if he supported Jordan Brandman or any Democrats.

Chavez Lodge says he gave Loretta Sanchez money 10 years ago as a personal friend.

Matthews moves and Night seconds for neutrality.

Night says they are all good Republicans. He says TOT and ARTIC are issues that should be decided by Anaheim voters.

Fuentes says these issues are important. He notes Tom Tait was the OC GOP Local Elected Official of the Year and points to ARTIC, hotel subsidies, and Angel Stadium.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 5-0-1-1 FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 1 (Gordon abstaing, Lalloway absent)

Next up is Anaheim City Council, District 4.

Lucille Kring speaks of her long Republican activism. She speaks of walking precincts for school vouchers. She warns of the Anaheim Council falling into Democratic hands. She says voters overwhelmingly voted for district elections with $50,000 of the $900,000+ for districts coming from Tom Tait. She says district elections create Chicago – style elections. She expresses concern about Councilmembers wanting district offices. She used to walk the whole city, including the Hills, but now only has to walk 1/6 of the city. She says the majority of short-term rentals are in her district. She says she respects property rights. She speaks of the Palm Lane Elementary issue. She speaks of having ten bonds on her property tax bill and not wanting another one.

Gordon asks about ARTIC.

Kring says much of ARTIC happened before she joined the Council, but she did vote for ARTIC, as did Tom Tait at first. She thought it should be more like a Japanese train station. She argues additional signage would help alleviate some of the problems. She says increased residential and mix-used will bring more traffic to ARTIC. She opposes high-speed rail. She notes that if it’s going to be built, she joins with Lucy Dunn in trying to get the rail to reach Anaheim.

Gordon asks about the stadium parking lease.

Kring says it was simply a starting point proposed by the former city manager. She says Tustin is off the table, and the city is negotiating with the Angels. She says there will be entertainment, restaurants, and bars, like L.A. Live.

Gordon asks Kring if she filled it out or if her consultant did.

Kring says she told her consultant her principles, so he filled it out reflecting her beliefs.

Gordon says Chavez Lodge had the same exact answer on one of the questions.

Kring says her seat is at risk of being captured by Democrats. She rails against the other candidates and points to Tom Tait supporting Jose Moreno and other Democrats.

Gordon questions Kring, asking her to express her own response. He is concerned about giveaways.

Kring says the city manager who made the deal before she was on the Council paid too much for the ARTIC land. She notes she is a lifelong Republican, was the Republican nominee for State Senate against Lou Correa, and has repeatedly been elected to Central Committee. She rails against Tom Tait, stating he has endorsed and donated money to Democrats. She says the Council supported a 50% TOT rebate to hotels in the 1990s by 5-0 votes, including Tom Tait. She said in the 1990s, hotels were being built in Garden Grove due to land giveaways and TOT rebates while Anaheim got no hotels until they voted for TOT rebates. She says Tait says he regrets the vote. She says the Register called for a blanket TOT rebate. Kring says 70% goes to the hotel, the city gets 10%, and bonds get 20%. She says the increased number of hotel stays increases revenue anyway, plus it goes to 100% in the future.

Young asks Kring why she left the Central Committee.

Kring says she was busy opening her new small business when she left.

Fuentes recommends endorsing for or against since she is an incumbent, rather than being neutral. He expresses concern about her challenging a sitting Republican mayor, her consultant filling out her questionnaire, and about her positions differing from what she promised the committee four years ago.

Night says these issues should be sorted out by Anaheim voters, not the Endorsements Committee. He says she has not violated any Republican platform planks. He expresses concern about a Democrat taking the seat.

Gordon argues the TOT and the quarter-billion bond violates the platform, and Young eggs him on.

Huang says she will abstain. She has problems with ARTIC and TOT. She does not like Kring’s position on the gate tax. However, she deeply respects Kring’s work for children, pointing specifically to Palm Lane Elementary.

Night moves for referring it to the Central Committee with no Endorsements Committee position.

The committee has spent nearly 45 minutes on this seat despite the schedule only giving it 10 minutes.

NO POSITION 6-0-1 FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4 (Lalloway absent)

Next up is Anaheim City Council District 5.

Mark Lopez notes he filled out his application himself. He has lived in Anaheim half his life. He spoke of working on campaigns for Ed Royce, Chris Norby, and Shawn Nelson. He says he is an alternate on the Central Committee and a member of the OCYR. He notes his volunteering to register Republicans at the OC Fair. He says he opposed the TOT because of the principles of limited government and free markets.

Steve Faessel says he has been a lifelong Republican and 48-year Anaheim resident. He was Chairman of the Anaheim Public Utilities Board during the energy crisis. He was on the Planning Commission during the financial crisis. He is currently Chairman of the Anaheim Budget Commission.

Night says he spoke to Lopez a year ago at the Rotary when Lopez spoke about bike paths and the Fourth District on behalf of Supervisor Shawn Nelson. Night says Lopez said he supported Obama. Lopez says that is incorrect. Night asks if he supported Sharon Quirk-Silva; Lopez shoots back that he worked for Chris Norby and worked with Young Kim in Ed Royce’s office. Night reads off a litany of liberal positions that he said Lopez supported, but Lopez disputes all of those. Night asks Lopez if he ever voted for Obama or Clinton. Lopez says no. Night asks if he voted for Obama or Clinton when he pulled the Democratic ballot in the presidential primary in 2008 or 2012. Lopez does not recall who he voted for, but it was not Obama or Clinton.

Night asks Lopez about his appearance at Democratic candidates’ events.

Lopez states that the seat is plurality Democratic, and he needs support from both parties to win, as he is running for Anaheim City Council, not Republican City Council.

Huang asks why Lopez was decline to state.

Lopez says he registered Republican, but objected to the Iraq War and supported Ron Paul. He switched to decline to state but worked for Republicans Ed Royce, Chris Norby, and Shawn Nelson.

Huang asks Faessel about ARTIC and bonds.

Faessel says the city must build for the future. He says ARTIC was mostly funded by transportation funds and very little Anaheim funds.

Gordon asks where transportation funds come from.

Faessel says from taxpayers.

Fuentes asks Faessel about hotel subsidies.

Faessel says he would have voted for them.

Fuentes asks Faessel about ARTIC.
Faessel says he would have voted for it.
Fuentes asks Faessel about the Angel Stadium parking lease.

Faessel says he would have voted for it.
Young moves and Matthews seconds for letting Central Committee decide.

NO POSITION RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).

Now on to Yorba Linda City Council.

Craig Young sits down.

Before Craig Young speaks, Huang moves and Mary Young seconds to recommend endorsement of Craig Young.

CRAIG YOUNG RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Laguna Hills City Council.

Janine Heft met her husband at a state Republican convention in 1998. She speaks of her lengthy record with RWF and CRA. She speaks of her service on the OCTA Citizens Advisory Committee and the County Assessment Appeals Board. She is a Christian and a mother. She speaks of bringing more business and improved public safety. She speaks of her numerous endorsements from Republican elected officials.

Mary Young asks if anyone in the world who is more conservative than Heft.

Heft suggests the NRA president.

Gordon asks about a city funding project.

Heft explains it.

Young moves and Matthews seconds recommending Janine Heft for endorsement.

HEFT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Santa Ana Unified School District.

Angie Cano expresses her thanks for the endorsement two years ago. She expresses support for stronger education options, like charter schools. She notes there are two open seats of retiring incumbents and she is running on a slate with the third incumbent, Republican Ceci Iglesias.

Night asks about her opinion on bonds.

Cano says there are too many bonds.

Fuentes says Cano is part of the effort to get good Republicans elected in Santa Ana.

Fuentes moves and Gordon seconds recommending Cano.

CANO RECOMMENDED 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent).

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

Frank Ury opens with a joke about his initials. He speaks of being a member of the county and state central committees. As a school board member, he won the OC GOP’s first-ever Local Elected Official of the Year Award. He speaks of his work with Mark Bucher and Jim Righeimer on paycheck protection. He speaks of his pension reforms as a Councilman before PEPRA. He speaks of his health benefits reforms as a Councilman.

Jeff Thomas was a Tustin Councilman. He helped Tom Fuentes work on John Moorlach’s first run for Treasurer. He got Tustin’s money out of the County treasury before the bankruptcy. Supervisor Marian Bergeson convinced him to be a founding member of the County Treasury Oversight Committee, where he was Chairman for seven years. He was the OC GOP Local Elected Official of the Year the year after Ury was. He notes his water district does not have lavish pensions.

Matthews asks Ury what he would do differently from incumbent Thomas.

Ury says there are water rate improvements that could be accomplished. He wishes to place meetings online for transparency. He wants to start setting examples, like how he walked away from $200,000 of lifetime medical benefits.

Gordon asks about the $43,331 in compensation that Thomas received.

Thomas says it’s a double edged sword. Meetings are $256 each, per state code. He says skipping meetings would be not doing the job. He says he worked with Brett Barbre to make the agency more conservative. He notes they paid off MWDOC’s pension liability. He went on John and Ken to stop a Metropolitan Water District of Southern California pension hike. He says he spends three times as much time on MWDOC as on City Council.

Citing his technology background, Ury urges using techology to conserve water like in Mission Viejo, where they have used special technology to only water plants on demand when the plants themselves are dry.

Thomas argues that the technology described doesn’t work for potable water.

Night asks about MWDOC pay. Night says he donates his own foundation meeting stipends to nonprofits.

Thomas says the stipend offsets his lost salary from his day job. His take-home pay is $600 per month. He says the amount of pay is set by the state. He says there are meetings at 8:30 AM which is problematic for people with day jobs; he was unsuccessful in getting the meetings moved or consolidated.

Thomas says Ury still gets lifetime medical benefits.

Huang asks about $15,000 being paid to his pension under protest, as noted in his questionnaire.

Thomas says water boards are forced to take it, and they are working with Senator John Moorlach on this issue.

Ury says it never should have been in place in the first place. He produces a document with his irrevocable decision to opt out of lifetime medical benefits.

Thomas says the document is unenforceable and that Ury voted for the benefits before he voted against them.

Gordon blasts Thomas for getting $256 for a 39-minute meeting. He asks Thomas why he accepts this.

Thomas says he got on the Board to prevent a split in agencies that would cost over $2 million. He says he cut $600,000 from the budget. He says he cut director pay. He says he cut water rates by 3.8% in 2016.

Gordon rails about executive employee compensation.

Night moved and Huang seconds for neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent)

Next up is Orange County Water District, Division 6.

Cathy Green notes there are no pensions on her water district. She is a former city councilmember and Central Committee member. She left Central Committee to take care of her dying father. She is a long-time member of the RWF and just arrived from their event (as you may recall, the Huntington Beach City Council candidates headed there). She is endorsed by a litany of Republican elected officials.

Fuentes asks if she has ever been endorsed by the party.

Green was endorsed for City Council. When she ran for OCWD, both candidates were Republicans and agreed to not seek the endorsement. For her first re-election, the election was cancelled since she was unopposed.

GREEN RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 FOR REELECTION (Lalloway absent)

Next up is Los Alamitos City Council.

Dean Grose speaks of his multiple terms on the City Council and Central Committee. He says there are three candidates (all Republicans) for two seats. He tried to help register voters at the OC Fair, but gave up his shift to a married couple that wanted to work the booth.

Gordon asks about the questionnaire answer that Grose provided about seeking alternative revenue sources.

Grose speaks of selling City property. He also wants to sell City Hall. He wants to encourage more private businesses.

Night asks about the Los Alamitos Race Track.

Grose explains the race track is actually in Cypress despite being named for Los Alamitos. He speaks of working with the military at Joint Base Los Alamitos.

Matthews moves and Night seconds recommending Grose for endorsement.

GROSE RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 5.

Steven Nguyen is helping restart the Orange County Republican Liberty Caucus. He speaks of volunteering for various Republican campaigns. He is the sole Republican running for this seat, where there are two Democrats, one a Republican. He is endorsed by Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Supervisor Andrew Do, and various local elected officials. He hopes a split in the Latina Democrat vote will allow him to win, considering the large Asian population.

Night asks about his education.

Nguyen says he is a third-year college student. (Editor’s Note: Nguyen later contacted OC Political to say he meant second-year.)

NGUYEN RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 FOR ENDORSEMENT (Lalloway absent)

Last up is Fullerton City Council.

Larry Bennett speaks of his community experience and his litany of endorsements from Republican elected officials. He speaks of the Democrats running for City Council, including Sharon Quirk-Silva’s husband. He says there are four Republicans running for three seats: incumbents Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald, himself, and Suze Lupinski, who Mary Young noted is Pat Shuff’s daughter.

Huang asks how Bennett would have voted on marijuana dispensaries.

Bennett says he would have opposed agendazing the issue.

Huang asks which Councilmember he would be most aligned with.

Bennett says he would be like Greg Sebourn, who is a swing vote between Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald though he does say Sebourn has not endorsed him. He would like to bridge the two factions.

Huang asks about police-community relations and the recent police labor deal.

Bennett says he is a strong proponent of pension reform but has not studied the details of the recent labor deal with police. He says the city benefits from keeping officers employed beyond age 50 and both the city and officers benefit from a sustainable pension plan. He says outsourcing to the Sheriff’s Department did not make sense because Fullerton police officers are paid less than Orange County Sheriff’s deputies. He says the Fullerton Police Department was the first with body cameras.

Huang asks if Bennett has taken any union contributions.

Bennett says he has not taken any union contributions. He also has been a volunteer treasurer for various Republican campaigns.

Night asks Bennett which of the three Fullerton Rotary Clubs is a member of.

He started in Fullerton Sunrise, and then switched to Fullerton.

Matthews moves to recommend Bennett for endorsement.

BENNETT RECOMMENDED 4-2-1 FOR ENDORSEMENT (Fuentes and Huang dissenting, Lalloway absent).

The committee adjourn at 10:09, only 19 minutes behind schedule.

Posted in Anaheim, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills, Los Alamitos, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, Orange County Water District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Republican Central Committee, Santa Ana Unified School District, Yorba Linda | 7 Comments »