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Live from Feet to the Fire: Costa Mesa Mayor 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 17, 2018

We are live from the second candidate forum tonight at Feet to the Fire: Mayor of Costa Mesa.

The Council Feet to the Fire was earlier tonight, which OC Political live blogged.

Both candidates are here tonight: Mayor Sandy Genis (R) and Councilwoman Katrina Foley (D).

Moderator Barbara Venezia introduces both candidates. She asks each candidate who they are supporting for Council.

Foley supports Andrea Marr, Manuel Chavez, and Arlis Reynolds.

Genis says she does not believe in machine politics and is not supporting any candidate because her Council district seat is not up for election.

Venezia asks about visions for the City.

Genis describes the small lot ordinance.

Foley wants a safer city and asks who is more effective. She says the moratorium on small lot ordinance was not possible because it needed a 4/5 vote. She blasts Genis for not supporting a motion to repeal it.

Genis says the motion simply repealed it and brought it back in January. She notes what was instead adopted had more open space and better parking, further noting that if Foley found it unacceptable, then why would she vote for it?

Foley says there are no differences in their voting records, with the exception of the Plant Project, which Foley called inspiring.

Genis noted the 2-acre Plant Project had 50 units on 1 acre, which was not sustainable, giving specific details about the units. The other acre was commercial. She said it was high-density that did not match the neighborhood.

Venezia asks about how to grow housing with limited land while dealing with high-density.

Foley says the City has been overdeveloped the last five years. She says projects have been placed in the wrong locations. She blasted building up to the sidewalk.

Genis says the definition of high-density matters. She says 12-20 units per acre is the definition in the General Plan. She blasts a 50-unit per acre project that Foley voted for.

Foley interrupted to say the project got rid of a slum motel.

Genis resumes noting the importance of transitions in development. She calls for walkability and bikability. She wants to break up blocks on the Westside to improve walkability.

Moderator John Canalis asks how they went from being allies in 2016 to opponents in 2018.

Foley speaks of all her campaign efforts, in both time and money, in 2016 on behalf of Genis because of their shared values. Foley says she has not changed and follows her principles. She says Genis has changed. She notes Genis nominated Foley as Mayor but despite her “Herculean efforts,” it was never enough for Genis. She says Genis then teamed up with Jim Righeimer and Allan Mansoor to oust Foley as Mayor.

Venezia attempts to interject.

Foley says she knows she has done nothing wrong.

Venezia asks why Foley still doesn’t know what happened.

Foley says there is no investigation into any wrongdoing against her. She says the meeting where she was ousted was the only time she has ever shouted at City Hall.

Venezia asks Genis for her perspective on the mayoral change.

Genis says it was the right thing for the City even though it was politically costly for herself. She believes in adhering to policy and precedent because they provide checks and balances. She found Foley would unilaterally change direction after there was a consensus. Genis expressed her concern that Foley did not respond well to dissent. Genis said the Mayor is not the boss of the city nor should she order around department heads because it is a council-manager form of government. She noted that she had the votes to be Mayor but decided to support Foley because Foley was the senior Councilmember who had not yet been Mayor. Genis expressed concern about Foley not following Brown Act comment limits. Genis expressed concern about Foley not following the sign ordinance Foley herself had voted for.

Moderator Norberto Santana asks for something that makes better headlines.

Genis speaks of the importance of respect, policy, and precedent. She says they are vital checks and balances. She says it is not okay to be a “benign despot.”

Santana asks Foley about muscling around City staff and bullying City staff.

Shouting ensues on stage between both candidates and multiple moderators.

Genis says she had heard that Foley had physically grabbed a City employee.

Foley argues these are not clear examples.

Venezia notes Genis says Foley doesn’t follow policy.

Santana asks if Foley bullies staff.

Foley notes she is endorsed by the Costa Mesa Employees Association. She says she has positive relationships with staff. She says she has high expectations for staff. She responds to nearly all emails and needs City staff to provide information for these.

Canalis asked Genis how she decided to vote to oust Foley.

Genis regretted by early Spring her vote for Foley for Mayor. She noted she campaigned for Foley in 2014. Genis says she told Foley repeatedly that she was exceeding her authority as Mayor.

Foley claims Genis never did this.

Genis says she repeatedly did so.

Audience shouting ensues.

Foley claims this was partisanship and that she has reached across the aisle. She speaks of a bipartisan coalition on sober living.

Canalis says it is still unclear.

Genis says she repeatedly spoke to Foley on the phone about her exceeding her authority as Mayor.

Foley says Genis mostly talked about her dogs.

Audience and candidate shouting ensues.

Foley says she changed the Mayor’s office into a Council office to be a collective office. She attacks Allan Mansoor, Jim Righeimer, and Steve Mensinger.

Venezia says it is clear there is a chasm between Foley and Genis.

Santana reflects on 2012 and asks what has changed on unfunded liabilities since then.

Foley says employees are paying more into City pensions than in any other City in California. She says the same is true of Costa Mesa firefighters. She has worked to increase non-PERSable benefits to prevent exacerbating the liability.

Santana asks how this will alleviate the liability from retirees.

Foley says it needs to be fixed for new employees, but for retirees it must be fixed at the State level.

Genis has pushed for a 115 Trust, which puts extra money away for pensions and other post-employment benefits. She says the trust can be added to in good economic times and drawn from in bad economic times. She warns that employee agreements must address the Obamacare tax that is coming in the next several years.

Venezia asks about finding new revenue.

Foley says she is always looking for new revenue without tax increases. She points to the Measure X marijuana revenue, including permit fees and sales taxes. She refers to the transport model for ambulance services as additional revenue. She wants to increase tourism, citing South Coast Plaza, the Performing Arts Center, Fairview Park, the Back Bay, and Disneyland. She wants to build another hotel in Costa Mesa.

Genis cites the marijuana revenue from research and development and manufacturing, but not retail via dispensaries. She says OC Fairgrounds revenue is up yet sales tax revenue from there is stagnant. She bought earrings at the OC Fairgrounds but the credit card charge went to Long Beach and is concerned the sales tax went there. She wants to use TOT revenue to fund security for tourists to ensure they feel safe, noting that San Francisco conventions are being cancelled due to tourists feeling unsafe.

Canalis asks for solutions to bathrooms, the homeless, and shelter beds.

Foley says the two of then voted the same yet it is somehow her issue. She says homelessness is the most important issue for the upcoming year. She says it is a multifaceted problem. One of the sources of homeless are “greedy sober living homes” that bring people in from out of state but then kick them out. She wants sober living homes to be declared businesses, so they can’t be in residential neighborhoods. She says a medical detox center has been built across the street from her. She wants 50 shelter beds in a series of facilities, like a women and children shelter and a co-ed shelter. This will allow enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance. She does not want Costa Mesa to become the Santa Ana Civic Center, which she walked through heading to court. She wants supportive housing and motel conversion.

Santana asks about permanent supportive housing at Fairview.

Foley says the State is not allowing that.

Genis notes permanent supportive housing is already at Fairview. She speaks of homeless people needing different levels of service ranging from those who simply need counseling to those who need permanent help to those who won’t accept services. She doesn’t like the emergency bed approach because it is unstable. She prefers transitional housing and permanent supportive housing because these transform their lives. She was concerned when she learned that Huntington Beach’s proposal for shelter beds was actually in another community. She notes the opioid crisis and soft on crime laws have made the problem worse, citing Prop 47 as an example.

Venezia asks what is something unique about each personality.

Genis can work with diverse people. Her college roommate joked they could never have parties because Genis’s friends included both peace activists and ROTC members. She has an ability to reach out to people and listen to people. She enjoys people. She appreciates the forms of government. She appreciates the Founding Fathers and that sometimes government is slow but that protects against rash decisions.

Foley says she is a “connector who gets things done.” She says she loves connecting people with those who can solve their problems. She says she is a loyal person who values loyalty. She says she reaches out when something is wrong. She notes some people are too far gone.

Santana praises civic engagement in Costa Mesa.

The moderators bring the forum to a close.

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

Live from Feet to the Fire: Costa Mesa City Council Candidate Forum 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 17, 2018

Feet to the Fire

We are live from Feet to the Fire’s Costa Mesa City Council Candidate Forum. Immediately after this will be Feet to the Fire’s Costa Mesa Mayoral Candidate Forum.

Feet to the Fire is the liveliest candidate forum format this blogger has ever seen and may well be one of the best formats in the country. Apologies in advance for any omissions from the live blog; Feet to the Fire moves at such a quick pace that it is very difficult to get everything into the live blog.

Additionally, since Feet to the Fire is sponsored by the Daily Pilot and the Voice of OC, it is one of the few local candidate forums guaranteed to have media coverage.

We’ve live blogged from Feet to the Fire before in 2014 with the 74th Assembly District primary race, the 2nd Supervisorial District primary race, and the Costa Mesa Council race. Regrettably, scheduling conflicts prevented this blogger’s attendance at the 2016 Feet to the Fire Council forums.

Tonight’s moderators are Daily Pilot Columnist Barbara Venezia, Los Angeles Times Community News Executive Editor John Canalis, and Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana. Venezia and Canalis are the co-creators of Feet to the Fire while Santana has been a panelist since Feet to the Fire’s inception in 2010.

Every Council candidate is here tonight:

District 3

  • Brett Eckles (R)
  • Andrea Marr (D)

District 4

  • Manuel Chavez (D)
  • Michelle Figueredo-Wilson (R)
  • Steve Chan (NPP)

District 5

  • Rebecca Trahan (R)
  • Arlis Reynolds (D)
  • Allan Mansoor (R)

The District 3 candidates seem to be the friendliest set of opponents, chatting and laughing while waiting for the forum to start.

The forum begins with one of the Costa Mesa Police Department’s chaplains speaking in memory of Oscar Reyes, a Costa Mesa Police Officer who passed away of a heart attack on Thursday, followed by a moment of silence.

The Pledge of Allegiance is led by former Orange County Board of Education Trustee Elizabeth Parker.

Venezia gives an introduction of each candidate. She seems to have lost part of her paperwork for District 4, so Chavez, Figueredo-Wilson, and Chan give remarks about themselves in addition to Venezia’s comments about them.

Canalis opens asking if the Fairview Developmental Center is an appropriate location for the homeless.

Eckles urges using public-private partnerships. He points to the Network for Homeless Solutions program the City has. He wants to enforce the City’s existing ordinances, but there must be support services in the City available for the homeless, including permanent supportive housing. He opposes Fairview as a location for a shelter. He calls for permanent supportive housing instead.

Marr argues that anti-camping ordinances cannot be enforced until there are shelter beds. She says this situation is in flux and no one has a silver bullet.

Canalis asks Marr again about Fairview.

Marr says it is irrelevant because it looks unlikely.

Eckles says there must be 62 shelter beds in order to enforce the ordinances.

Chavez calls for enforcing the City’s ordinances but finding a place to build a shelter that has the least effect on the City.

Venezia asks Figueredo-Wilson for a solution to homelessness, noting the City’s active engagement on the issue.

Figueredo-Wilson notes the City has a plan that will soon be presented to federal Judge Carter to allow the City to enforce its ordinances. She says the City must engage with stakeholders. She warns of the sober living home-style situation sprouting up with the homeless.

Chan says America is a “Great Society” that “will solve” homelessness. He notes Costa Mesa was one of the five cities Judge Carter determined was actually carrying its weight on homelessness. He calls for all the cities in OC and with many across the country to pull their own weight on homelessness.

Santana asks Chan about Fairview.

Chan opposes using Fairview as a homeless shelter.

Trahan opposes using Fairview as a homeless shelter because it will add to the problem. She wants more public-private partnerships.

Reynolds says 50 additional shelter beds are needed in order to enforce the anti-camping ordinance. She opposes closing public restrooms. She wants to create a livelier community. She wants more park activities. She wants to pressure other cities on homelessness.

Venezia asks what the Council has done.

Mansoor says Fairview is certainly not a non-issue. He is concerned that Fairview could become the County’s solution to everything. He notes Costa Mesa has 12 shelter beds and needs 50 more. He notes the Network for Homeless Solutions. He challenges a mayoral candidate supporting portable toilets. He opposes the needle exchange program.

Reynolds says stakeholders need to be spoken to, and that she opposes Fairview as a homeless shelter.

Santana asks what should be done with Fairview if not a shelter.

Eckles opposes a homeless shelter there but is open to permanent supportive housing there since it is already zoned for it, if the City gains ownership of Fairview.

Chan cites the new Orange County Housing Trust as a solution for Fairview and the homeless.

Reynolds supports permanent supportive housing at Fairview. She wants to demand other cities meet their commitments on homelessness.

Marr cites Reynolds’s stakeholder approach, opposing fear mongering.

Mansoor says it is not fear mongering to demand other cities do their fair share. He supports permanent supportive housing if the City gains ownership of Fairview with strict sobriety rules.

Trahan is only open to it if residents are. She is concerned about the location and instead suggests tearing down drug hotels to build permanent supportive housing.

Reynolds attacks Mansoor for challenging the needle exchange and the portable toilets. She says the candidates are united in opposition to the needle exchange.

Chavez urges improving the homeless situation and supports permanent supportive housing.

Canalis asks about portable toilets.

Eckles opposed it, publishing an op-ed, noting it was poorly planned and were in flawed locations.

Santana asks what is the solution to public defecation and urination.

Eckles says getting them into permanent supportive housing. He notes there are restrooms in the parks.

Venezia asks about the City locking park restrooms.

Mansoor speaks about putting the safety of children first.

There is a lot of shouting from the audience when Santana interjects.

Mansoor opposes portable toilets and calls it a “mistake for our city.”

Santana interjects.

Mansoor calls for more supportive housing. He opposes needle exchange.

Santana, Mansoor, and the audience start shouting, and nothing is comprehensible.

Mansoor says the people supporting the portable toilets also support the needle exchange.

More audience shouting ensues as Santana interjects.

Venezia asks for a solution to needle waste. Santana asks Trahan to answer the bathroom question.

Figueredo-Wilson notes that once there is supportive housing and shelter beds, it is possible to enforce anti-camping ordinances. She says enforcing those ordinances will mitigate the toilet problem.

Santana interjects as the audience shouts.

Santana asks what is the solution for the homeless during the period the anti-camping ordinances cannot be enforced.

Figueredo-Wilson urges the City to reach out to the Sanitary District to help pick up needles.

Trahan calls for respect and decency for all, including “transients.” She blasts Katrina Foley for the portable toilets and points to how it made the problem worse in San Diego.

Santana interjects, asking about the toilets. The audience shouts at him again.

Trahan calls for enforcing ordinances.

Santana interjects, and more shouting ensues.

Chan says businesses want an attendant in public parks, so those restrooms could be opened.

Venezia changes topics to high-density development. She says housing and growth are needed but land is limited.

Chavez supports new housing but calls for mitigating impacts of new housing, specifically having sufficient parking.

Marr opposes more density in her district but says it would make sense to have high-density housing north of the 405. She opposes “spot zoning” and “developer giveaways.”

Venezia asks about spot zoning.

Eckles says higher-density housing needs to be put in places that make sense, working with expert land planners to ensure it reflects the character of the neighborhood.

Reynolds says the City Council needs to be more engaged with residents.

Venezia asks Mansoor why this seems to be a perennial problem no matter who is on the Council.

Mansoor says he has an open door policy. He returns phone calls and emails. He spoke against the first high-density development in Costa Mesa. He says overlays were not intended to be citywide. He says some overlays have gone too far.

Reynolds questions Mansoor for supporting Banning Ranch in Newport Beach.

Mansoor says he would call for traffic litigation and notes that Banning Ranch had significant open space.

Audience shouting ensues.

Reynolds says that Banning Ranch was blocked by the Coastal Commission.

Audience shouting ensues.

Mansoor challenges needle exchange supporters walking precincts for other candidates.

Audience shouting ensues.

Venezia asks who each candidate is supporting for Mayor.

Eckles, Figueredo-Wilson, Chan, Trahan, and Mansoor support Sandy Genis.

Marr, Chavez, and Reynolds support Katrina Foley.

Reynolds likes Foley’s approach to Banning Ranch.

Mansoor is concerned about Foley’s screaming at City staff while noting Genis’s professionalism.

More audience shouting ensues.

Venezia asks each candidate for one thing they like and one they want to fix in Costa Mesa.

Eckles says Costa Mesa residents are the best part of the city. He cites the city’s small businesses. He says he has a proven track record working with Councilmembers. He would fix working together for the common good.

Marr says Costa Mesa is a place where people live their dreams and open small businesses. She wants to fix sober living homes.

Chavez loves the sense of community, noting his principals and teachers still work here. He wants to fix infrastructure, like safer streets.

Figueredo-Wilson loves families and people. She is concerned about unfunded liabilities and calls for better economic growth and opportunities for working people and small businesses.

He loves Costa Mesa’s lifestyle. He wants to abolish the directly-elected mayor to ensure each district has one vote.

Trahan wants ethics and civility on the Council.

Reynolds loves the sense of community where everyone seems to know each other. She wants to fix homelessness.

Mansoor wants to fix homelessness and sober living homes. He loves thel families and kids of Costa Mesa.

And with that, the City Council candidate forum concludes.

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee Round 5

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 5, 2018

We are live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee. The recommendations from tonight’s meeting will be considered on September 17 by the full Central Committee.

On tonight’s agenda are:

  • Anne Figueroa for Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
  • Hon. Wendy Bucknum for Mission Viejo City Council
  • Dom Pham for Coast Community College District, Area 1
  • Robert Nelson for Anaheim City Council, District 3
  • Angie Cano for Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Hon. Don Sedgwick for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Tam (Nick) Lecong for Fountain Valley City Council
  • Steve Shatynski Brea City Council
  • Amy West for Westminster City Council
  • Hon. Cecilia Iglesias for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 6
  • Mark Tettemer for Lake Forest City Council, District 4

Present are Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang and Members Leroy Mills and Erik Weigand. Member Laurie Davies is on the phone. Member Gene Hernandez is en route to the meeting. Member Tyler Diep is absent.

Wendy Bucknum for Mission Viejo City Council

Councilwoman Wendy Bucknum notes there are three Republican incumbents and two challengers, one who is endorsed by the Democratic Party and the other also a Democrat. She speaks to Mission Viejo High School’s civics class every year on behalf of Republicans. She speaks of her family.

Councilman Ed Sachs speaks of working with Bucknum for the past four years and praises her understanding of the demands of the office and her energy in engaging on the issues and with the community. He praises her Republican governing philosophy.

Laurie Davies speaks of Bucknum’s involvement on legislation, highlighting AB 448, the Housing Trust.

Erik Weigand calls this a no-brainer and speaks of her Republican volunteerism.

Peggy Huang asks about the City’s legislative public safety efforts, referencing Bucknum’s efforts.

Bucknum and her colleagues have ensured the City’s advocates are heard in Sacramento, and if necessary having Councilmembers testifying. She keeps residents informed and participates in town halls.

Huang moves and Weigand seconds to recommend Bucknum. The motion passes unanimously.

Anne Figueroa for Rancho Santa Margarita City Council

Councilman Tony Beall speaks on her behalf as she is in Europe celebrating her anniversary. Beall says Anne Figueroa is a Republican activist and entered the race when Councilman Mike Vaughn decided to not seek reelection 10 days before filing closed and asked her to run. She is endorsed by the entire City Council, Congresswoman Mimi Walters, Senator Pat Bates, and Assemblyman Bill Brough, among others. He warns that a Bernie Sanders activist is her top rival among the 7 candidates running for 3 seats.

Erik Weigand calls this an important seat. He notes her volunteerism.

Laurie Davies moves and Erik Weigand seconds to recommend Anne Figueroa.

Peggy Huang asks about the City’s finances.

Beall speaks of the City’s surpluses and fully-funded reserves. He does warn that the increasing costs of the Sheriff’s contract is a long-term spending item on the horizon.

The motion passed unanimously.

Dom Pham for Coast Community College District, Trustee Area 1

Dom Pham is on the phone and hard to hear. He speaks of his current education and his work in compliance for gun stores. His current job is in Congressman Ed Royce’s office. He says he realizes he is a longshot, but wants to ensure Republicans have a choice in this seat.

Leroy Mills expresses concern about the $1,200 raised by Pham.

Pham says he hopes to raise more money. He is still in school.

Laurie Davies expresses concern about his time constraints with both campaigning and managing both his work and school schedules. She urges him to get friend and family to help him precinct walk because it can help overcome funding issues.

Peggy Huang asks if he is involved with the College Republicans.

Pham is not but has tried reaching out to some.

Huang suggests he reach out to Paula Prizio to get assistance.

Erik Weigand applauds Pham for entering the race. He notes John Lewis is Pham’s consultant and Shawn Steel is supporting.

Weigand moves and Mills seconds for Pham. The motion passed unanimously.

Steve Shatynski for Brea City Council

Steve Shatynski is on the phone from the East Coast, specifically at the US Naval Academy because he works on USNA admissions covering North Orange County. He notes there are two incumbent Republicans and an incumbent Democrat in the race for three seats, as well as Republican Bill Hall. He says he is getting campaign help from Young Kim, Councilwoman Cecilia Hupp, and Brea RWF. He has been awarded the Department of the Navy Meritorious Service Award for his work on USNA admissions.

Erik Weigand asks if Hall was a proponent of the failed school bond.

Huang confirms he was. She also confirms Hall has not sought the endorsement.

She asks about Brea’s unfunded liability.

Shatynski believes it is approximately $45 million but does not recall the exact number. He calls it “a huge problem” and notes that John Moorlach called it the second largest per capita of any OC city.

Weigand moves and Davies seconds to recommend Shatynski.

Huang asks about “dynamic and prudent growth” that Shatynski wrote in his questionnaire.

Shatynski praises the construction of the Brea Mall. He speaks of the importance of his children being able to afford to live in the City. He speaks of the need to balance traffic concerns.

The motion passes unanimously.

Robert Nelson for Anaheim City Council, District 3

Robert Nelson told OC GOP staff that he would call in, but he has not done so.

Cynthia Ward says Nelson is trustworthy. She says he is Tom Tait’s appointee to the Public Utilities Board. She says he is involved in the community. She says he ran in 2010 and 2016. She says the other two candidates are Councilman Jose Moreno and Mitch Caldwell, who are both Democrats. She says an outside interest is interested in spending for Nelson.

Huang asks what would be different considering Nelson is running against the same opponent in Moreno and if Tait has endorsed.

Ward says Tait has not endorsed Nelson. She says she hopes he can slip up the middle as the two Democrats fight it out.

Huang asks about the voter registration.

Ward doesn’t remember the number but it is predominately Democrat.

Huang asks if he has any endorsements.

Ward says the California Impact Republicans have endorsed him. She expects the Anaheim Republican Assembly to endorse him soon, as it did in 2016.

Leroy Mills asks why Nelson hasn’t signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Ward says the City needs to allow bonds to go before voters. She argues the Taxpayer Protection Pledge prevents the placement of bonds on the ballot.

Mills clarifies the pledge is about taxes and fees.

Mills also asks why Nelson did not sign the union-free pledge.

Ward does not know.

Weigand moves to recommend Nelson, with the caveat that he sign the pledges by September 10, before it goes before Central Committee.

Ward argues Nelson being in the race forces Democrats to spend in District 3.

Huang notes the two Democrats would spend against each other in District 3. She also argues the Democrats have historically ignored Nelson in his prior races.

Weigand urges getting stronger candidates for seats like this.

Ward agrees that candidate recruitment needs to be improved.

Huang urges mentoring and recruiting qualified candidates even if it means sitting out a cycle to prevent a candidate going too early and gaining the reputation of being unelectable. Huang is concerned Nelson appears to be unready.

Ward says outside money may be spent for Nelson and that he may spend more personal money than he has in the past.

Mills seconds Weigand’s motion.

Davies does echo Huang’s comment that endorsing unready candidates may not be wise.

The motion passed unanimously.

Mark Tettemer for Lake Forest City Council

Committee Member Gene Hernandez arrives.

Mark Tettemer is on the phone. He says there is one seat and his sole opponent is Mayor Jim Gardner. He is a former two-term Councilman. He was on the OCFA Board and served as Chair. He speaks of his community volunteerism. He stepped away from politics to earn his MPA and is now returning.

Mayor Jim Gardner is Deborah Pauly’s alternate on the Central Committee. Gardner speaks in opposition because the OC GOP should not endorse against incumbent Republicans.

Huang asks if Gardner was endorsed by the OC GOP in 2014.

Gardner did not seek it.

Weigand asks if Gardner is seeking the endorsement.

Gardner is not seeking it because there are two Republicans but he would if the Central Committee is considering an endorsement.

Gardner says Lake Forest is debt free and has historically low crime. He says there is online participation in Lake Forest’s Council meetings. He says he holds town hall meeting. He says he attends more events than the rest of the Council combined.

Hernandez asks if this is an application.

Huang says it is not. Weigand notes his question may have caused Gardner’s discussion.

Councilman Scott Voigts speaks on behalf of former Mayor Mark Tettemer. He speaks of Tettemer’s record. He says Gardner violates property rights and has with Adam Nick twice supported the recalls of Andrew Hamilton, Scott Voigts, and Dwight Robinson. Voigts noted CPA Andrew Hamilton got the City to pay down its debt to be debt-free. He urges the committee to recommend Tettemer. He says Gardner attacks Councilmembers publicly and online. He speaks of Tettemer’s involvement in Relay for Life, 2008 endorsement by the OC GOP, and his family’s roots in the community.

Huang asks who else has endorsed Tettemer.

Tettemer lists the founding Mayor and other Councilmembers who have endorsed him.

Mills asks about his lack of fundraising.

Tettemer plans to self-fund as he has in the past but will also fundraise.

Mills moves for neutrality. There is no second.

Gene Hernandez asks Tettemer what he can do to clean up the dysfunctional 3-2 Council.

Tettemer says he has always had good working relationships and a sense of decorum. People reached out to him to run to stop the caustic atmosphere and lack of civility on the Council. He wants to work on good policy to move Lake Forest forward.

Gardner keeps attempting to interject, but Huang says this is the committee’s time for questions.

Weigand expresses concern about Gardner repeatedly supporting recalls that the party has opposed. He suggests allowing Tettemer, Gardner, and Voigts to speak more.

Hernandez expresses agreement with Weigand.

Davies also objects to Republicans recalling Republicans.

Reflecting on the parallels between Yorba Linda and Lake Forest, Huang discusses the resources expended to defend the Republicans against the recall backed by Gardner. She expresses concern that Gardner backed a primary challenger to Congresswoman Mimi Walters, tying up resources that could have gone to other Republicans.

Gardner makes “no apologies for being passionate and fighting for what I believe in.” He says he had no involvement in the second recall. He says their recall was based on a dangerous road being ignored.

Weigand asked if he supported the recall.

Gardner says he supported the recall. He says Hamilton belittled citizens and ended meetings.

Hernandez asked about the philosophy of recall usage. He says it is over illegal, immoral, or unethical conduct.

Gardner argues Hamilton badgered residents in a disgraceful fashion and held timeouts.

Hernandez asks if Gardner would recall President Trump.

Gardner says Trump has accomplished much.

Weigand asks how many recalls there have been in Lake Forest.

Gardner says there were two but only the second succeeded.

Huang asks Gardner if he gathered signatures for either recall or donated money.

Gardner donated money to the second recall but did not collect signatures for it. He did not donate to the first recall but cannot remember if he collected signatures for it. He claims Voigts has made 15 lies from the dais.

Hernandez urges that disagreements should be discussed and are healthy. He opposes attacking at the level of helping recall efforts.

Gardner writes articles on the Lake Forest Patch daily.

Hernandez asks if attacking Councilmembers on the Patch is productive.

Gardner argues Tettemer was a distant second in the recall replacement election.

Gardner accuses Voigts of lying about wearing a wire.

Weigand asks about the effort to elect Dwight Robinson to AQMD.

Voigts says it was at the same time as the recall signature gathering.

Voigts notes Gardner was the largest donor to the first recall. Voigts notes Gardner’s team launched a recall to urge closing a road down before construction was even completed. Voigts notes Gardner was even a signature counter on the recall. Voigts was requested to wear a wire by request of the District Attorney’s office and could not disclose it during an active investigation. He explained the timeout Hamilton called was after warning the disruptive audience three times to stop interrupting the Council meeting.

Davies calls the question and moves to recommend Tettemer. Hernandez seconds.

Weigand asks if there is a way to recommend a debate at the full Central Committee while still recommending Tettemer for endorsement.

Hernandez says there would likely be a debate at the Central Committee anyway given that Gardner is an alternate.

Huang says she could pull the name for discussion at the Central Committee.

The motion to recommend Tettemer passes with a unanimous 5-0 vote.

Weigand notes there is a mountain of evidence that Gardner has worked against the OC GOP. He notes Gardner is only able to speak at the Central Committee of Deborah Pauly steps out of the room during that meeting.

Amy West for Westminster City Council

Amy West is an American who was a Vietnamese refugee. She speaks about the principles of American democracy and the importance of local government. There are 13 candidates for 2 open seats (incumbents are both leaving).

Mills asks West about her lack of funding at just $2000.

West speaks of precinct walking gaining votes for her.

Weigand asks if she is a Central Committee alternate.

West is the alternate of Supervisor Andrew Do.

Jeremy West, her husband, gives his speech to OCDE Trustee Mari Barke. Barke does not use it but says West is an amazing woman who she wanted to recruit for school board but the school board seat is not available until 2020.

Amy West reads a supportive text from Supervisor Andrew Do.

Hernandez asks if she has been endorsed by Tyler Diep or Tri Ta.

West says both have been supportive but neither have formally endorsed.

Weigand asks if Senator Janet Nguyen has endorsed.

West says Nguyen has endorsed another candidate.

Weigand notes the Westminster City Council meeting is in progress, so that is why Tyler Diep is not present. He is concerned about endorsing prematurely in Westminster.

Hernandez argues candidates need to show initiative in getting applications in.

Mills is concerned that endorsing eliminates the opportunity to endorse others.

Davies echoes Hernandez’s comments.

Huang notes the 2016 Huntington Beach debacle in which more Republicans sought an OC GOP endorsement after there were none left.

Huang references West’s questionnaire answer of intending to reign in expenditures while also expanding services.

West says “safety is key” and says streets and parks don’t matter if there isn’t safety. She says Andrew Do runs Orange County and she has spoken to them about battling homelessness. She has spoken to the Police Chief about how to help. She describes pushing for Neighborhood Watch. She says there is much waste including beautifying the Westminster Police Headquarters.

Hernandez asks if West would entertain dissolving the Westminster Police Department and contracting with OC Sheriff instead for cost savings. He notes Yorba Linda saves $2 million.

West is surprised by the suggestion but says she is open to it.

Hernandez notes that her goals are expensive and that she will need to prioritize because there is only so much money.

Hernandez moves and Davies seconds to recommend West. The motion passes unanimously.

Don Sedgwick for Laguna Hills City Council

Don Sedgwick was endorsed by the OC GOP for school board. He speaks of volunteering for various candidates and raising money for them. He is endorsed by all the other candidates and all the incumbents. There are three seats on the ballot. He speaks of his conservative views.

Hernandez works with Sedgwick on the OCFA Board. Hernandez praises his work ethic,diligence, and intelligence on the Board.

Davies echoes Hernandez’s comments. She also notes Sedgwick’s work on strong cross border relations since they are neighboring cities.

Weigand praises Sedgwick’s leadership.

Mills asks about Sedgwick endorsing Ginny Aitken for school board.

Sedgwick says Aitken was more conservative than other Republicans running. She was pro-life and fought the unions. He calls her a Democrat in Name Only. He couldn’t get her to reregister.

Huang asks why so many Republicans seem to be voting for Democrats.

Sedgwick notes that is not happening in Laguna Hills where no Democrat holds elected office. He speculates Republicans are losing young voters. He notes Laguna Hills is an aging community with a rising median age.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds recommending Sedgwick. The motion passed 4-0-1 with Mills abstaining due to being bothered by the Ginny Aitken endorsement.

Angie Cano for Santa Ana Unified School District

Angie Cano was 39 votes from being elected in the last election and only 400 votes short in the prior election. She wasn’t going to run this time but decided to do so when union activists from outside Santa Ana convinced the school board to put a bond on the ballot.

Mills asks Cano about shall issue status for California.

Cano would be supportive.

Mills asks if Cano is pro-life.

Cano is pro-life.

Mills asks about a constitutional amendment prohibiting the State government from taking local money.

Cano would support such an amendment.

Hernandez moves and Weigand seconds to recommend Cano. The motion passed unanimously.

Gracey Van Der Mark for Ocean View School District

Gracey Van Der Mark and her husband own a small business and have 7 children; 6 attended OVSD schools. She is running after seeing a lack of transparency when she got on the OVSD bond oversight committee.

Former OVSD Trustee Debbie Cotton speaks in favor of Van Der Mark, praising her work on the bond oversight committee. She speaks of Van Der Mark’s conservative views. She speaks of the attacks Van Der Mark has suffered.

Hernandez asks how much she has raised and if other Republicans are running.

Van Der Mark has raised $3400. She says there are three Republican incumbents.

Cotton notes the incumbents are union backed and that one reregistered today as a Democrat.

Mills asks about sex education being forced on school districts by the State Department of Education.

Van Der Mark agrees with Mills that she would fight these efforts.

Huang asks about how she switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Van Der Mark grew up in Los Angeles and was the daughter of Democrats. She opened her own business and became a Republican.

Mills blasts Democrats bullying Republicans. He blasts the movie about the moon landing that leaves out the planting of the US flag on the moon

Mills moves and Davies seconds recommending Van Der Mark. The motion passes unanimously.

The committee adjourns at 8:54 PM.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 22, 2018

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

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

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

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

Mayor of Anaheim

Of the eight candidates for Mayor, five are present.

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

An audience member asks the source of her campaign funds.

Galloway says they come from campaign donors and personal loans.

An audience member asks about Measure L.

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

An audience member asks about the needle exchange program.

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

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

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

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

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

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

All the mayoral candidates raise their hands in support.

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

An audience member asks the TOT in Anaheim.

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

An audience member asks about privatizing police and fire.

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

Martin blasts APD performance, pointing to allegations of brutality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An audience member asks about affordable housing.

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

An audience member asks about budgeting to train new police.

Ward says she would do so.

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

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

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

An audience member asks if Disney had donated to Williams.

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

Next up is City Council.

Anaheim City Council, District 2

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

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

Shioura asks about the after school options.

Bruhns speaks of sports programs and the Anaheim Achieves program.

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

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

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

An audience member asks about his vision for rent control.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anaheim City Council, District 3

All three candidates for District 3 are present.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An audience member asks about the lobbyist registry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anaheim City Council, District 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Anaheim | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 22, 2018

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

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

Tonight’s agenda consists of:

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

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

San Juan Capistrano City Council District 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hernandez agrees with Weigand’s call for neutrality.

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

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

Ferguson says she has not.

Mills also wishes to stay neutral.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds for neutrality.

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

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

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

Jamey Federico for Dana Point City Council, District 3

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

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

Hernandez expresses support for Federico.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What happened after your blogger’s departure:

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

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 2 Comments »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 20, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Consent Calendar

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

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

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

James Vanderbilt for Anaheim City Council, District 2

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

Whitacre moves and Barbre seconds to endorse Vanderbilt.

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

Chip Monaco for Orange City Council

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

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

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

Night’s motion is rejected by a voice vote.

The endorsement for Chip Monaco passes by a voice vote.

Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rohrabacher moves and Scott Peotter seconds to endorse Barto.

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

Barto promises not to.

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

Barto pledged to do so.

The endorsement of Michelle Barto passes by a voice vote.

Second Consent Calendar

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

The list passes unanimously without debate.

Resolution

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

Reports

Various reports are delivered.

Flyer Objection

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

Adjournment

The Central Committee adjourns at 8:36 PM.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 3 Comments »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 6, 2018

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

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

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

Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

O’Malley says Spitzer is not endorsing any candidates.

Weigand asks if Assemblyman Matthew Harper has endorsed.

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

Weigand asks if Senator John Moorlach has endorsed.

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

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

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

Weigand asks O’Malley about the social host ordinance.

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

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

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

Huang asks what her proposal would be.

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

Huang asks her about her proposal.

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

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

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

Huang asks O’Malley about her position on Measure B

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

Huang asks about the unfunded liability in Irvine.

O’Malley does not know the number.

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

O’Malley talks about the OCFA snowball strategy.

Huang asks her to refocus on the Irvine Police Department.

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

Huang asks for specifics.

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

Huang asks about her title at the Assembly.

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

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

O’Malley says she has raised money from individuals.

Diep moves to recommend O’Malley.

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

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

Bucher seconds Diep’s motion.

O’Malley is recommended unanimously.

Brett Eckles for Costa Mesa City Council, District 3

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

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

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

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

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

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks about the district boundaries.

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

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

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

Eckles says it is $255 million.

Huang asks how he will increase officers without increasing liability.

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

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

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

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

Bill Green for South Coast Water District

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jon Peat for Cypress City Council

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

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

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

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

Mills says Peat accepted police union money in 2014.

Peat is surprised by the donation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mills questions what would be gained by tabling.

Peat would like the opportunity to look.

Peat is tabled.

Derek Reeve for San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mills moves for neutrality.

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

Ferguson disputes Reeve’s claims.

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

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

Greg Sebourn for Fullerton City Council, District 3

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

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

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

Mills asks why was Sebourn a Democrat.

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

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

Shawn Dewane for Mesa Water District and Orange County Water District

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

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

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

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

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

Weigand asks about the water infrastructure in the districts.

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

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

Dewane comments about using Prop 218 to block the limits.

Huang asks about bonds and water storage.

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

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

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

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

Cecilia Hupp for Brea City Council

Cecilia Hupp is running for re-election.

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

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

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

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

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

Steve Sheldon for Orange County Water District

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

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

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about fundraising.

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

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about bonds.

Sheldon says OCWD does not use bonds.

The vote to recommend Sheldon is unanimous.

Neeki Moatazedi and Scott Voigts for Lake Forest City Council

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

Voigts speaks about his long record of conservative activism.

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

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

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

Moatazedi says there are.

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

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

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

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

Moatazedi specifies there is a pending DA investigation.

Voigts says there are also 17 FPPC allegations being investigated.

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

Moatazedi says she opposes them.

Huang asks about the unfunded liability.

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

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

Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barto explains she is completing filing.

Mills asks about her blank answer on a questionnaire.

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

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

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about school construction bonds.

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

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

Bucher asks about charter schools.

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

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

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

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

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

Huang asks about her PTA service.

She is PTA President at her school.

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

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

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

Austin Lumbard for Tustin City Council

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

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

Chi Charlie Nguyen for Westminster City Council

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

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

Nguyen says some have pulled papers.

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

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

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

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

Nguyen supports that.

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

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

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

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand expresses support.

Endorsements Committee Member Mark Bucher asks about Obamacare repeal.

Vanderbilt says insurance costs would soar if it were repealed.

Bucher asks about insurance pools and health savings accounts.

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

Bucher asks about shall-issue status for California.

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

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

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

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

Vanderbilt expresses concern about ambulance costs and the uninsured.

Huang asks about hotel subsidies and gate tax exemptions.

Vanderbilt opposed both.

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

Chip Monaco for Orange City Council

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

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

Allan Mansoor for Costa Mesa City Council, District 5

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

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang asks about districts.

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

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

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

Mark Bucher moves and Tyler Diep seconds to recommend Mansoor.

Diep discusses the dynamics of the race.

Huang expresses her concern about having two Republican candidates.

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

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

The committee adjourns at 9:16 PM.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 11 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee, Round 1

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 30, 2018

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

On tonight’s docket are:

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

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

  • Hon. Erik Peterson for Huntington Beach City Council

  • Hon. Mike Posey for Huntington Beach City Council

  • Hon. Elaine Gennawey for Laguna Niguel City Council

  • Sandy Rains for Laguna Niguel City Council

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

  • Hon. Tri Ta for Mayor of Westminster

  • Hon. Peggy Huang for Yorba Linda City Council

  • Carlos Rodriguez for Yorba Linda City Council

  • Hon. Jim Cunneen for Fountain Valley School Board

  • Yes on Proposition 6

  • Yes on Newport Beach Debt Charter Amendment

  • No on Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative

Konstantinos Roditis delivers the invocation.

An OC GOP intern leads the Pledge of Allegiance.

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

A whole slew of elected officials and candidates are introduced.

The minutes are approved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The list passes unanimously.

Next up is discussion of Don Barnes.

Hammond wants to ask Barnes about arming teachers.

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

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

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

Whitaker permits Barnes to respond to Hammond’s inquiry.

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

The vote is unanimous to endorse Barnes.

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

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

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

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

The Committee adjourns at 7:42 PM.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

Anthony Kuo for Irvine City Council

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

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

ANTHONY KUO FOR IRVINE CITY COUNCIL RECOMMENDED 6-0 TO THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Trevor O’Neil for Anaheim City Council, District 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

O’Neil says he has accepted money from them.

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

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

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

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

Davies wants to leave this race open.

Weigand agrees with Davies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE COMMITTEE VOTES 6-0 FOR NO RECOMMENDATION IN ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 6.

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

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

Diane Dixon for Newport Beach City Council, District 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dixon says she voted against it.

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

Dixon explains they have process differences and not policy differences.

Davies moves and Weigand seconds recommending Dixon.

DIXON RECOMMENDED 6-0 FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL

Jim Cunneen for Fountain Valley School District

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

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

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

Cunneen says he is.

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

Bucher asks about his vote on the bond.

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

Bucher says, “That was a fail.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cunneen says it was a building modernization bond.

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

Cunneen says it likely could have been.

Huang asks about the funds being generated from the surplus.

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

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

THE VOTE IS 6-0 TO RECOMMEND CUNNEEN FOR FOUNTAIN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT.

Joe Muller for Dana Point City Council

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

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

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

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

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

Muller says he opposes taxpayer funding of abortions.

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

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

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

THE COMMITTEE VOTES 6-0 TO RECOMMEND MULLER FOR DANA POINT CITY COUNCIL.

General Comment

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

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

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 2 Comments »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 12, 2018

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

On tonight’s agenda are:

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

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

Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative

First up is the Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elaine Gennawey for Laguna Niguel City Council

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

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

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

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

Erik Peterson for Huntington Beach City Council

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

Hernandez asks how many seats are up.

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

Weigand asks about the four incumbents and seeking endorsements.

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

Huang asked about his prior endorsement for a Democrat.

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

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

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

Hernandez asks about campaign fundraising.

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

Mills asks about whether he has taken union money.

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

Mills asks about Prop 68.

Peterson said he voted No on 68.

Hernandez moves to recommend Peterson.

Huang asks about traffic in Huntington Beach.

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

Hernandez asks about RHNA numbers in Huntington Beach.

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

Hernandez moves and Mills seconds recommending Peterson.

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

Carlos Rodriguez for Yorba Linda City Council

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

Weigand moves and Mills seconds recommending Rodriguez.

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

Patrick Harper for Fountain Valley City Council

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

Huang asks about party registration.

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

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

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

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

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

Huang asks about the Measure HH sales tax increase.

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

Weigand asks if he supported HH.

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

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

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

Huang asks about HH revenues and City finances.

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

Huang asks about solutions for the structural deficit.

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

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

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

Garrett Dwyer for Aliso Viejo City Council

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

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

Weigand asks about his party registration.

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

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

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

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

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds Dwyer.

Huang asks about challenges facing Aliso Viejo.

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

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

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

Hernandez asks about homelessness.

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

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

Mills asks about bonds, including school bonds.

Dwyer says he is not a fan of bonds.

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

Mike Posey for Huntington Beach City Council

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

Hernandez moves to recommend endorsing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huang speaks generally about endorsements and Republican values.

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

Central Committee Member Emily Sanford praises Posey’s record.

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

Prop 6

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

This passes 4-0 without discussion.

Newport Beach Debt Charter Amendment

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

Hernandez calls the City Hall debt “unconscionable.”

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

Huang asks if the measure has an inflation escalator.

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

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

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

The committee adjourns at 7:51 PM.

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