OC Political

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Archive for the ‘Mission Viejo’ Category

Let’s Set the Record Straight …

Posted by Greg Woodard on March 26, 2018

Walter Myers recently posted a story on this site titled “Personal Thoughts on Scott Baugh’s Run for the 48th Congressional District.” In the article, Myers makes many inaccurate statements, and in my opinion, inaccurate comments or implications about myself and Scott Baugh. I am the person appointed to the 71st Assembly District Central Committee in 2011 who Myers said “had not been involved in or served in the party in the slightest.” To set the record straight, he are the actual facts:

  1. I was appointed in January 2011 to replace Jack Anderson, not John Williams as Myers states. John Williams was not on the Central Committee in 2011 as he had finished 10th in the 2010 June election. That means that Myers could not have been Williams’ alternate in 2011 since he was not on the Committee. Jack Anderson was from Mission Viejo and he moved out of California following his June 2010 Central Committee election, opening a spot of the Committee. Scott Voigts, a friend and fellow conservative, approached me and asked me if I was interested in seeking appointment in Anderson’s place. Voigts knew of my conservative roots, and I was from Mission Viejo (as Anderson was). Voigts believed Mission Viejo needed representation on the Central Committee because of the size of the city in the district. With Voigts’ help, I launched a mini-campaign where I went to the sitting Committee members and made my pitch for why I should be appointed (the sitting members were to vote to appoint Anderson’s replacement). Apparently, I made a better argument as I won on a close vote over Myers. I also ran for election in 2012 and won a seat to remain on the Central Committee, finishing 6th out of 22 candidates (Myers finished 17th out of 18 candidates in his race that year).
  2. I was involved a bit more in the party than Myers states. At the time of my appointment, I was involved in the Republican party on several fronts. I was active in the CRA. I helped defeat a ballot-box initiative in Mission Viejo that would have severely restricted landowners’ ability to develop their land. I attended several fundraisers for local and state candidates. I was active in local influential political groups like Family Action PAC and Atlas PAC. I was also involved in the campaign for a Mission Viejo City Council candidate. While I do not care how Myers styles my political experience, I think most would agree that this qualifies as more than not being involved “in the party in the slightest.”
  3. Contrary to Myers’ implication, Scott Baugh had nothing to do with my appointment. I did not even meet Baugh until after I was appointed. As I said, I took the time and effort to explain to the sitting Committee members why I felt like I should earn their vote. I did enough to warrant the appointment over Myers.

Those are the facts, that cannot be changed or modified, no matter how hard Myers tries. These are my opinions on the rest of Myers’ post:

  1. Myers’ intimation that Baugh is racist is sad and unsupported, based on my experience. I was on the Committee when the Lincoln Club and OCGOP teamed up for an outreach to registered Democrat Latinos in Santa Ana. Baugh consistently lauded the program and made sure to recognize all of us who walked precincts at the Committee meetings. Over the years, I came to know Baugh better. He consistently offered me support and advice, and without his leadership, the party would never be in the place it is now. His fundraising and support for true conservative candidates cannot be challenged. I am glad that the party continues under the excellent leadership of Fred Whitaker, and I hope that outreach to all voters, regardless of color, gender, etc. will continue to be one of the party’s primary efforts going forward.
  2. Myers’ ad hominem attacks on Jon Fleischman and Marcia Gilchrist are irrelevant and odd. Fleischman has been one of the most staunch conservatives we have in the party and Gilchrist was always pleasant during the time I served with her on the Committee. Myers’ singling out of these two smacks of pettiness and has no place in his post, or anywhere else for that matter.
  3. Myers is better than his race-baiting post. Following my appointment, I met Myers a few times at Family Action PAC meetings, and other meetings. I found him to be a pleasure to talk to, and dedicated to bringing more minorities into the conservative fold. That makes his remarks on race all the more disappointing. According to Myers, he should have garnered the Committee appointment over me simply because he is black and I am white, not based on our conservative credentials. This is not a conservative view as we believe people should be judged based on their merits, not the color of their skin. His passive-aggressive attack on Baugh is equally troubling. Myers takes pains to state he is not branding Baugh a racist, but the implication in his post is clear. Again, that is not the way conservatives should act. True conservatives care about smaller government, lower taxes, national defense, the rights of unborn babies, etc. Race is not an issue because true conservatives are color-blind. I have seen nothing from Baugh to indicate that he is anything but a true conservative.

I did not win re-election to the Committee in 2016 and I am grateful for my 6 years’ served where I had the opportunity to help the party and make a lot of great friends along the way (many of the same singled out by Myers and I agree, they are outstanding people). It is sad that Myers has apparently been nursing these wounds so many years later. I just wish he had chosen to address them with Baugh personally, rather than use his bully-pulpit on here to make unfounded, and false accusations.

I have done considerable research to make sure my facts are accurate. However, I am far from infallible, so if I have made any mistakes, I welcome the opportunity to address them.

Posted in 73rd Assembly District, Mission Viejo, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

BOE: Mission Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths Enters the Race

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 7, 2018

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths
(R-Mission Viejo)

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo) has entered the race for the State Board of Equalization seat being vacated by BOE Chairwoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point), who is not seeking re-election in order to run for the 49th Congressional District seat of retiring Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista).  The massive BOE seat includes all of Imperial, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties, with small slivers of San Bernardino County.

Raths join a race that already includes State Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine), former Assemblyman Ken Lopez-Maddox (D-Dana Point), former Councilman John F. Kelley (R-Tustin), and Board of Equalization employee David Dodson (D-Dana Point).  Orange County Water District Director and former City Councilman Denis Bilodeau (R-Orange) is exploring his candidacy for the seat.  Orange County Taxpayers Association President and CEO Carolyn Cavecche (R-Orange) ruled out running shortly before Senator Anderson entered the race.  (Here’s OC Political’s coverage of Anderson and Lopez-Maddox entering the BOE race, along with Lopez-Maddox’s unexpected party switch.  Here’s OC Political’s coverage of Bilodeau and Cavecche’s explorations of the BOE race that also discusses Kelley.)

Raths first ran for elected office in 2014 when he ran for the 45th Congressional District after Congressman John Campbell (R-Irvine) announced his retirement.  State Senator Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) won 45% of the vote in the top-two primary, with Drew Leavens (D-Poway) winning 28%, Raths 24%, and Al Salehi (NPP-Buena Park) 3%.  Since he did not make it to the general election for the Congressional seat, Raths was able to run for Mission Viejo City Council, in which the retired Marine Colonel was the top vote-getter in a race that saw two incumbent Councilmembers defeated.

In 2016, first-term Councilman Raths challenged first-term Congresswoman Walters’s re-election bid.  Walters won 41% of the vote in the top-two primary, with Ron Varasteh (D-Irvine) winning 28%, Raths 19%, and Max Gouron (D-Tustin) 12%.

Posted in Board of Equalization, Mission Viejo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Free Voter Guides Available at Robynnordell.com

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 21, 2016

Are you looking for voter recommendations from people that do not get paid from politics (i.e. consultants and slate cards)?

Are you looking for voter recommendations from people that do not accept money to give a proposition, a ballot measure or a candidate the thumbs up (or down)?

Are you looking for advice on national, state wide and local races that include all of the state wide and local ballot propositions / measures?

Then you should go over to Robyn Nordell’s web site for Voter Recommendations from Robyn and some of her friends like myself.

Her general web site is: Robyn Nordell.

Her Orange County page is: Robyn Nordell Orange County.

Finally my favorite page at her site is Craig’s Pics my voter recommendations which Robyn kindly allows to be published there.

She also has information on some other counties in California.

Who is Robyn Nordell?  She is an Orange County homeschool mother and advocate, a pastor’s wife, a tireless advocate for open and transparent government, a social and fiscal conservative and one of the most talented, honest, brightest and kind persons I know.  Robyn does not get paid one penny for her work in researching candidates and ballot propositions / measures, putting together her voter recommendations and publishing them on her web site.  Plus she is gracious to publish others voter recommendation lists (like my own) even when we make recommendations different from her own. She is a Patriot!

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CD-45: Walters vs. Raths – The Rematch

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 6, 2016

Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

2016 seems to be shaping up to be the year of the rematch.  Yesterday, I wrote about Assemblyman Don Wagner challenging Senator John Moorlach in the 2016 Primary Election for the 37th State Senate District after Moorlach prevailed over Wagner in the 2015 Special Election for that same seat.

On the same day that Wagner submitted his application for an OC GOP endorsement for the 37th Senate District (nearly a month after Moorlach submitted his application), Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo) pulled papers to challenge Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) in the 2016 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District after Walters prevailed over Raths in the 2014 Primary Election for that same seat.

(Ironically, it was the election of Walters to the 45th Congressional District that caused the 2015 Special Election for the 37th Senate District that sent Moorlach to the Senate.)

In the 2014 election, the four candidates were California State Senator Mimi Walters (R), Educator/Businessman Drew E. Leavens (D), Retired Marine Colonel Greg Raths (R), and Buena Park Library District Trustee Al Salehi (NPP).

(Why Salehi ran for Congress in a district that does not include his city of residence of Buena Park, I’ll never understand.  I wrote extensively on Salehi’s perennial bid for offices in my post on his latest bid for office in the February 9 Special Election for North Orange County Community College District.)

Walters easily defeated Leavens, Raths, and Salehi:

Vote Count Percentage
MIMI WALTERS (R) 39,631 45.1%
DREW E. LEAVENS (D) 24,721 28.1%
GREG RATHS (R) 21,284 24.2%
AL SALEHI (NPP) 2,317 2.6%

In the 2014 election, Walters spent nearly $1,200,000 while Raths spent $267,000.  Leavens spent $2,150, yet Salehi didn’t even open a committee.

As of September 30, Walters had more than $616,000 cash-on-hand in her Congressional campaign account.  Raths has no cash on hand, as he had terminated his Congressional committee in May and has not started a new one.

After losing the 2014 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District, Raths successfully won a seat on the Mission Viejo City Council in the 2014 General Election.

Consequently, while the 2014 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District featured State Senator Walters vs. Retired Colonel Raths, the 2016 Primary Election has Congresswoman Walters vs. Councilman Raths.

In the 2012 Primary, then-Congressman John Campbell (R) still captured 51% of the vote against Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang (D), who got 33%, and Small Business Owner John Webb (R), who got 16%. Campbell opted not to seek re-election in 2014, thereby creating the opening for Walters to run.  Kang termed out as Mayor of Irvine in 2012 and is now running against Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) for the 29th Senate District, which does not include any portion of the City of Irvine.

Posted in 45th Congressional District, Mission Viejo | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Robert Ming for 5th District Supervisor!

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 21, 2014

There are a lot of reasons I have been supporting Robert Ming to be our next Supervisor from the 5th District of Orange County. Robert is a true leader that has proven himself in both the private sector and the public sector (as an eight year member of Laguna Niguel’s City Council – being its Mayor twice).

The Flashreport has just published an article by Robert about the new statewide plastic bag ban.  I will not re-print the entire article here, just the first paragraph with a link so the reader can go over to the Flashreport and review the entire article.

“Governor Brown just made single-use plastic grocery bags a thing of the past in California, maybe. Opponents of the ban have already started collecting signatures for a referendum to overturn it. While several people close to me, my wife included, would love to give you an earful about paper vs. plastic, the law is troubling for a bigger reason. It illustrates one of California’s biggest problems: government regulates too much.” – See more at: Not Just A Plastic Bag Ban

In addition, Robert has taken the no union pledge meaning he will not seek endorsements or campaign contributions from public employee unions.  Robert’s opponent is being carried by government employee unions as noted by my friend Greg Woodard in his recent post Union Money Invades Mission Viejo. Robert will not be beholden to any public employee union for his election to the Board of Supervisors when he sits across the table with them for contract negotiations.

For more about Robert and his campaign go to www.robertming.com

Disclosure: I am a long supporter of Robert Ming and his campaign for County Supervisor, 5th District.  I am also a candidate for Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4 (Craig for CUSD).  In addition, I am not a political consultant or on any candidate’s payroll.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Capistrano Unified School District, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Union Money Invades Mission Viejo Council And Fifth District Supervisor Races

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 17, 2014

On Wednesday, I received a mailer from Citizens to Protect Mission Viejo.  On the front, calling itself the “Mission Viejo Taxpayers’ Voting Guide,” it asked for support for current council members Dave Leckness and Rhonda Reardon, and council candidate Wendy Bucknum.  On the back, it contrasts Board of Supervisor candidates Robert Ming and Lisa Bartlett, offering false facts (more about that later) about Ming, while recommending Bartlett.  (As I have consistently stated, I am supporting Ming in November)

The mailer was large, in full color, and on good paper stock, so I wondered how Citizens was paying for this apparently city-wide mailer.  My search at the Secretary of State and County websites came up empty, but I hit pay dirt at the City of Mission Viejo’s website (some are questioning whether Citizens was required to file with the County given that they are supporting a county-wide candidate).  On September 30, 2014, Citizens received a $5,000 donation from the Orange County Employees Association, and on October 10, 2014, it received a $13,000 donation from the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, both public employee unions.

When I see public employee unions getting involved with Republican candidates, I get curious as to how the candidates feel about union money being spent on their behalf, particularly such a large donation from two well-known public employee unions.  Union money contributed directly to Republican candidates is a red flag for most conservatives (and would violate the candidate’s GOP pledge to not take union money if they signed it), so unions backing a Republican typically will make a contribution to a PAC that will then send a mail piece out as an independent expenditure.  Often candidates claim they have no control of independent expenditures so they can disclaim any responsibility yet still reap the benefits of the mailer.  So, I reached out to Leckness, Reardon, Bucknum, and Bartlett for comment.

To their credit, I received responses from Reardon (who signed the pledge) and Bucknum, both of whom stated that they did not know about the mailer until they received it on Wednesday, and both also stated that they have not been offered or taken any union money.  After giving the candidates 24 hours to respond, I have not heard back from Leckness or Bartlett.

While I recognize that all candidates and their supporters embellish their mailers, outright lies should not be tolerated.  Curiously, the PAC’s mailer repeats the same lie that Bartlett previously made against Ming falsely stating that Ming approved a loan to the City Manager at below market rates, when in fact Ming only voted for the loan on the condition that it be at prevailing market rates. (here)  Unfortunately, I did not hear back from Bartlett to address whether her campaign provided any information, including the false interest rate, to the PAC for the mailer.

The PAC mailer also suffers from a lie by omission.  While touting Bartlett as a fiscal conservative by noting her efforts to balance the budget and reduce pensions, the mailer conveniently ignores the fact that Ming, too, helped balance Laguna Niguel’s budget ever year that he has been on the Council.

Union money has become all to prevalent in national, state, and local politics.  The unions extort dues from their members and use that never-ending supply to support candidates who they believe will further their cause.  I know Reardon and Bucknum personally, and I take them at their word that they did not know anything about the union-backed mailer supporting them.  I also know that Bartlett has been willing to use false facts in an effort to smear Ming, and has not retracted any of those false press releases, even when faced with undeniable evidence of the false facts.  Bartlett also failed to respond to my questions about the PAC mailer that uses the same false information she previously used.  I leave it to the voters to decide who to trust in November.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Mission Viejo, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Why I Am Supporting Robert Ming for Supervisor

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 28, 2014


One of the important races on the June 3rd ballot is for the Orange County Supervisor, 5th District which is basically south Orange County.  Of the candidates in that race, I am supporting Laguna Niguel City Councilman Robert Ming (Robert Ming).  In the decade plus that I have known Robert, he has been a consistent movement conservative who judges decisions he makes on the City Council through the prism of questions such as 1. Is this something the Government should even be doing in the first place (instead of private enterprise), 2. is it Constitutional? and 3. is it the best deal for the taxpayers?  Whenever possible and legal Robert Ming (who is an attorney by profession) seeks to have government outsource functions to private contractors rather than have in-house employees hired with the attendant salaries, retirement benefits and retiree health care costs burdening the taxpayers.  He is also not in favor of government choosing winners and losers at the taxpayers’ expense (also known as “crony capitalism” which favors the politician’s friends and supporters).  Robert believes that when the government does business with private enterprise, all parties should play by the same rules and the government should remain neutral with the taxpayers getting the maximum benefit from open and fair competition.

While on the City Council Robert’s city built Laguna Niguel’s City Hall on time, under budget and for cash (no debt, bonds or loans of any kind).  When he was on the Board of the Orange County Vector Control agency, he insisted on transparency by the senior management that revealed wasteful spending by the Agency and the resignation of the former Executive Director.  Robert Ming was one of the main leaders in forming the Association of California Cities Orange County to counter the big government left leaning League of Cities.  He currently is the chairman of the ACCOC’s committee on pension reform.

Several years ago, Robert and I co-founded a public policy ministry at our church to help parishioners understand matters of public policy that are facing them in votes they are being asked to cast at elections.

In all of the decisions and situations (personal and as an elected leader) I have seen Robert in, he has always been consistent and honorable in his decision-making.  He will make an excellent choice to replace Pat Bates (who is termed out) which is why current Supervisors John Moorlach and Board Chairman Shawn Nelson have endorsed Robert Ming.  Robert has also been endorsed by the California Republican Assembly, the Lincoln Club of Orange County, the Family Action PAC and Atlas PAC and many, many local elected officials and South County citizens.  Of all of the South Orange County activists who research candidates and make voter recommendations, all of them recommend Robert Ming to be our next representative on the Board of Supervisors.  My friend Robyn Nordell, who hosts her own voter recommendation web site (www.robynnordell.com) and puts up the lists of most of the other activist lists’, also recommends Robert for this position (see the Orange County section of Robyn’s site).

Running against Robert for this seat are three other candidates.  One is the current Mayor of my town Dana Point.  Lisa Bartlett’s votes and actions on the City of Dana Point City Council and on the Transportation Corridor Agencies have proven that she is not a true conservative or qualified for this position.  While on the City Council she voted to raise taxes on guests at certain Dana Point hotels, ban plastic shopping bags and increase the size of the Dana Point city government (more employees and eliminating most outsourcing to independent contractors).

In addition, recently Ms. Bartlett was stripped of her authority as Chairman of the Transportation Corridor’s Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (Lisa Bartlett Stripped of Authority to Approve Contracts at TCA) largely due to her approving very questionable contracts without notice to her fellow board members.  Part of her duties were to approve or disapprove of certain types of contracts and contract extensions presented to her by the Executive Director of the TCA.  During the March 18, 2014 Dana Point City Council meeting I asked her which of the contracts the Executive Director of the TCA presented did she disapprove.  She responded that she did not disapprove of any of the contracts presented to her.  Further that the total amount involved was only $200,000.00 (Dana Point City Council: Scrutinizing TCA).

Her answers reveal two important shortcomings: First she considers $200,000 to not be an important amount of money – I find this attitude regarding ratepayer / taxpayer funds to be irresponsible.  It also appears she simply rubber stamped what the executive staff placed in front of her which tells me she does not ask the proper or “hard” questions of the staff that report to her as an elected official.  Given that the County’s total budget is several billions of taxpayer dollars – Ms. Bartlett’s votes and actions do not give me confidence she will be a good steward of our county taxpayer funds.

Another candidate for the 5th District Supervisor position is Mission Viejo city councilman Frank Ury.  Some of Mr. Ury’s votes on his city council cause me to have concerns about his motivations and how he would handle responsibility at the county level.  For example in 2008 or 2009 at the start of the Great Recession when Mission Viejo (and other Orange County) families were facing layoffs and cut backs, Frank Ury voted to approve the city spending approximately $350,000 in Mission Viejo taxpayer funds to buy a parade float in the Rose Bowl Parade.  There are many cities and other public entities that have Rose Bowl floats but they are normally financed by private donations not taxpayer dollars.  Some like to defend this vote by claiming there were hundreds or thousands of volunteers who came out to work on the float.  Even if that is a true statement (which is questionable), then the City Council could have asked each of these “thousands” of excited and motivated volunteers to help finance this project with $25 and $100 contributions (which could be set up to be tax-deductible) and pay for the float with volunteer funds with the City simply being a conduit for that civic effort.  Instead Mr. Ury voted to use taxpayer dollars to fund this unnecessary expenditure while the economy was shrinking rapidly.

Another of his questionable votes was for life time health care benefits for city council members who serve three terms on the council.  This would be a significant cost to Mission Viejo taxpayers for the health care of prior city council persons long, long after they have left office.  For a politician who claims to be a fiscal conservative to cast such a self-serving vote strongly suggests he was placing his own interests above those of the citizens he was elected to represent.

I am aware that in the distant past Mr. Ury worked on several projects such as proposition 226 to curb unions taking funds for political purposes.  However, while I applaud Mr. Ury’s good work of about fifteen years ago, it is his recent votes that are troubling and do not show good leadership or stewardship for our County.

Neither Mr. Ury nor Ms. Bartlett came to the CRA’s endorsing convention to ask for the endorsement or explain their current and past voting records.  Robert Ming was endorsed unanimously by the CRA (CRA Wrap Up).

The final candidate for this position is a Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams (he is registered No Party Preference).  Mr. Williams is a complete unknown in that he has never held public office so there is no voting track record to give an indication of how he might vote on the dais of the Board of Supervisors.  He is not running any type of campaign to communicate to voters like myself what he stands for and his priorities if he were to be elected.   The only thing I have seen of his campaign are a few yard signs sitting on the side of busy roadways.  The Board of Supervisors, with its very large budget, its budget shortfalls, thousands of employees, with serious problems such as unfunded employee pensions and retiree health care costs, is no place for someone wanting to do “on the job training.”

For these and many more reasons (but keeping in mind this blog post is already very long) I support and hope you will also support Robert Ming for the Orange County Board of Supervisors, 5th District.

In the interest of full disclosure I am the majority shareholder of a private company known as IC Media, Inc. and Robert is a minority shareholder in the company.  Also, I am a practicing  attorney, a former elected member of the OC Republican Central Committee, a former officer with the California Republican Assembly and a volunteer activist.  I am not on the payroll of any candidate or campaign and I do not act as a paid consultant to any political campaigns.

 

 

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Mission Viejo’s Public Records Retention Policy, Or Lack Thereof, Needs Review

Posted by Greg Woodard on December 17, 2013

The Public Records Act, along with the Brown Act, are the two most important state statutes that are supposed to provide open and transparent government from local city councils, boards, and other agencies.  Mission Viejo needs to review its document retention policy to determine whether it is being as transparent as possible.

On October 24, 2013, Mission Viejo resident Larry Gilbert made a simple Public Records Act request for all communications between Dennis Wilberg, the Mission Viejo City Manager, and the city managers of Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente regarding Gilbert and the Community Common Sense newspaper from August 1, 2013 to the date of the request.  Gilbert knew Wilberg had sent an email on September 12, 2013 to the San Juan Capistrano City Manager referencing Gilbert and Common Sense because he had received a copy of it from a friend.  However, even though Gilbert made the request just over 40 days after Wilberg sent the email, the City responded that it had no documents responsive to Gilbert’s request.  At the December 2, 2013 City Council meeting, when pressed by Gilbert about his request, Wilberg stated that he had deleted the email so it was no longer available for production.

Given the proliferation of email accounts among local elected officials and staff, the issue of email retention has become increasingly important.  In late 2011/early 2012, an Anaheim Planning Director told staff, under the threat of disciplinary action, to delete old documents and electronic files.  Earlier this year, a Modesto attorney sued to stop the city from automatically deleting emails that were more than 30 days old.  Open-government advocates are alarmed at the short duration that some local agencies keep emails before purging them.

As these and other cases demonstrate, cities and other local agencies struggle to balance the need for public transparency with the need to maintain their records in an efficient manner.  While state law does not state how long emails should be retained, it does require many records be maintained for two years.  Moreover, many open-government advocates assert that purging after 30 days is neither required by law, nor in the spirit of guaranteeing the most open and transparent government possible.

I asked all five Mission Viejo council members to provide me with the city’s document retention policy, as well as whether the city had done any analysis of the cost of keeping emails longer than 30 days.  I only received a response from two council members.  Rhonda Reardon stated, “we need to take a good hard look at our email retention policy.  The questions you raised are good questions and will be the basis for our discussion on our communication retention policy in 2014.”  Cathy Schlicht stated that she not aware of any city-wide purge system in place for emails, and that when she was assigned her email account she was told never to delete emails.  Schlicht said that she only deletes the non-city addressed emails from various organizations and some staff emails on items such personal holiday greetings, out of office responses, as well as the City’s newsletters.  Schlicht keeps all official communications between herself and staff, as well as email exchanges between council members and the public, and between council members themselves.  Schlicht maintains that she has her emails back to 2008 when she was elected to the City Council.

It appears that there is a disconnect between what Schlicht was told (never to delete emails) and what Wilberg did (delete an email within 40 days of receiving it).  It is this type of disconnect that raises the real possibility that important (or incriminating) documents are being deleted, and that is why Mission Viejo, as well as all other Orange County cities, needs to review its public document retention policies and ensure that its efforts err on the side of the public and open government.

Posted in Mission Viejo, Orange County | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Republican, Democrat, Independent??? The Partisan Affiliations of Everyone Holding Office In Orange County

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on March 22, 2013

I was working on a database of the part affiliation of all Orange County local elected officials. Finally, I have completed the project with all of the special districts and county seats being added. I also fixed some errors in the previous versions (here, here, and here) and have combined the database into one post.

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We have added a button on the menu bar for our readers to always be able to access this database and use it for whatever research/political needs that they may have. Due to the length of th epost you are going to have to click the below link to read the rest of the post.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 2nd Supervisorial District, 3rd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Brea, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park, Buena Park Library District, Buena Park School District, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Coast Community College District, Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Cypress, Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, El Toro Water District, Emerald Bay Service District, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Fullerton School District, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Irvine, Irvine Ranch Water District, Irvine Unified School District, La Habra, La Habra City School District, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Lowell Joint School District, Magnolia School District, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Midway City Sanitary District, Mission Viejo, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia, Placentia Library District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Margarita Water District, Savanna School District, Seal Beach, Serrano Water District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Stanton, Sunset Beach Sanitary District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Trabuco Canyon Water District, Tustin, Tustin Unified School District, Villa Park, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

OC’s Closest Races: Still Too Close to Call

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 15, 2012

There are seven races in Orange County where less than 0.5% separates two candidates for the last spot in office. Countywide, there are 73,719 ballots remaining to be counted (9,371 absentee ballots, 64,217 provisional ballots, and 131 Election Day paper ballots).  In all seven of these races, fewer than 500 votes separate the last winner and the first runner-up.  These range from the 442-vote margin for the Santa Ana Unified School Board to the 4-vote margin (yes, just four votes) for Fullerton City Council.

In the Santa Ana Unified School Board race, incumbent Jose Alfredo Hernandez (D) is hanging on to a 442-vote (0.5%) lead over challenger Valerie Amezcua (D).  In an unusual situation for Santa Ana, two Democrats are fighting for the third place spot and the board’s last seat while Republicans occupy the top two slots, with challenger Ceci Iglesias ahead of incumbent Rob Richardson.

SANTA ANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 89 of 89
Vote Count Percentage
CECILIA “CECI” IGLESIAS 17,814 21.6%
ROB RICHARDSON 17,465 21.2%
JOSE ALFREDO HERNANDEZ 14,640 17.8%
VALERIE AMEZCUA 14,198 17.3%
MYRIAM TINAJERO 12,836 15.6%
ROBERT ALLEN 5,330 6.5%

 

In the Mission Viejo City Council race, Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht (R) is clinging on to a 270-vote (0.4%) lead over challenger Wendy Bucknum (R).  Bucknum ran on a slate with Councilman Frank Ury (R) while Schlict ran on a slate with Ed Sachs (R).  If Schlicht hangs on, the voters will have split the baby by picking the incumbent from each slate leaving the status quo in place with a Council majority of Trish Kelley (R), Dave Leckness (R), and Ury versus a Council minority of Rhonda Reardon (R) and Schlicht.  If Bucknum overtakes Schlicht, then the Council majority will grow to 4 members.

CITY OF MISSION VIEJO Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 71 of 71
Vote Count Percentage
FRANK URY 18,051 27.4%
CATHY SCHLICHT 15,247 23.1%
WENDY BUCKNUM 14,977 22.7%
ED SACHS 9,642 14.6%
RICHARD W. COLEMAN 4,521 6.9%
DESI J. KISS 3,532 5.4%

 

In the Westminster City Council race, challenger Diana Carey (D) has seen her lead over incumbent Councilman Tyler Diep (R) dwindle to 200 votes (0.4%).  In 2008, Diep was behind Penny Loomer (D) by 1,500 votes on Election Night and ended up winning the election by edging out Loomer by 49 votes.  On Election Night 2012, Diep was behind Carey by 709 votes.  Can Diep pull off the late surge again?

CITY OF WESTMINSTER Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 57 of 57
Vote Count Percentage
SERGIO CONTRERAS 11,039 25.9%
DIANA CAREY 8,471 19.8%
TYLER DIEP 8,271 19.4%
CHARLIE NGUYEN MANH CHI 7,254 17.0%
HELENA RUTKOWSKI 2,792 6.5%
KHAI DAO 2,477 5.8%
AL P. KRIPPNER 2,372 5.6%

 

In the Huntington Beach City Council race, former Councilman Dave Sullivan (R) wields a 264-vote (0.1%) lead over Barbara Delgleize (R).  Regardless of whether Sullivan or Delgleize wins, the conservative majority has already been reduced to a minority with the election of Jill Hardy (D) and Jim Katapodis (R).

CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 158 of 158
Vote Count Percentage
JILL HARDY 26,161 14.1%
JIM KATAPODIS 23,875 12.9%
DAVE SULLIVAN 23,470 12.6%
BARBARA DELGLEIZE 23,206 12.5%
DEVIN DWYER 18,609 10.0%
ERIK PETERSON 17,203 9.3%
WILLIAM BILLY O’CONNELL 16,405 8.8%
TIM RYAN 13,616 7.3%
ALEXANDER S. POLSKY 7,603 4.1%
BRUCE J. BRANDT 6,600 3.6%
TONY JAMES CARTER 5,407 2.9%
BOB WENTZEL 3,456 1.9%

 

In the Costa Mesa City Council race, Councilman Gary Monahan (R) has a 131-vote (0.1%) lead over challenger John Stephens (D).  At stake is the conservative Council majority, with Jim Righeimer (R), Steve Mensinger (R), and Monahan.  If Monahan holds on, the 4-1 Council majority will shrink to 3-2, as former Councilwoman Sandy Genis (R) captured the seat of termed-out conservative Councilman Eric Bever (R).  If Stephens overtakes Monahan, the conservative Council majority will become the minority.

CITY OF COSTA MESA Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 71 of 71
Vote Count Percentage
SANDRA L. “SANDY” GENIS 15,732 17.9%
STEVE MENSINGER 13,998 15.9%
GARY MONAHAN 13,743 15.6%
JOHN STEPHENS 13,612 15.5%
COLIN MCCARTHY 13,254 15.1%
HAROLD WEITZBERG 11,561 13.2%
AL MELONE 3,591 4.1%
JAMES RADER 2,411 2.7%

 

In the Yorba Linda City Council race, challenger Gene Hernandez (R) has a 114-vote (0.1%) lead over incumbent Councilwoman Nancy Rikel (R).  At stake is the Council majority.  If Rikel can overtake Hernandez, the YLRRR majority of Mark Schwing (R), John Anderson (R), and Rikel will maintain control of the Council.  If Hernandez hangs on, the majority of Tom Lindsey (R), Craig Young (R), and Hernandez would push YLRRR into the minority, with Schwing and Anderson.

CITY OF YORBA LINDA Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 47 of 47
Vote Count Percentage
MARK SCHWING 14,709 18.8%
CRAIG YOUNG 14,156 18.1%
EUGENE J. “GENE” HERNANDEZ 13,246 16.9%
NANCY RIKEL 13,132 16.8%
KENNITH L. PETERSON 9,400 12.0%
TODD P. COOPER 7,211 9.2%
LOUIS LEE KNAPPENBERGER JR. 6,440 8.2%

 

In the Fullerton City Council race, former Councilwoman Jan Flory (D) has a 4-vote lead over incumbent Councilman Travis Kiger (R). If Flory wins, the Fullerton City Council will have two liberal Democrats (Doug Chaffee and Flory), two libertarian-leaning conservative Republicans (Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn), and one more traditional conservative Republican (Jennifer Fitzgerald).  If Kiger can overtake Flory’s 4-vote lead, he would cement the results of the June recall and maintain Orange County’s most libertarian council.

CITY OF FULLERTON Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 88 of 88
Vote Count Percentage
BRUCE WHITAKER 15,269 13.9%
JENNIFER FITZGERALD 14,957 13.6%
JAN M. FLORY 12,670 11.6%
TRAVIS KIGER 12,666 11.6%
RICK ALVAREZ 11,200 10.2%
JANE RANDS 8,769 8.0%
KITTY JARAMILLO 7,457 6.8%
BARRY LEVINSON 7,274 6.6%
DON BANKHEAD 7,229 6.6%
BRIAN BARTHOLOMEW 6,218 5.7%
MATTHEW HAKIM 4,149 3.8%
ROBERTA REID 1,778 1.6%

 

Posted in Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Santa Ana Unified School District, Westminster, Yorba Linda | 1 Comment »