We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee, who will make recommendations to the full Central Committee for endorsements on August 31.
Endorsements Committee Members present are:
- Chair TJ Fuentes
- Thomas Gordon
- Peggy Huang
- Jeff Matthews
- Baron Night
- Mary Young
Endorsements Committee Member Jeff Lalloway is not present.
First up is Huntington Beach City Council.
Lyn Semeta grew up as the daughter of an Air Force Serviceman. She is a member of the RWF who graduated from UCLA and USD Law School. She worked with school districts without litigation to help her autistic daughter. She is Vice Chair of the Planning Commission. She wishes to advance conservative ideals. She wants to attract private sector jobs. She wants to outsource more. She notes she narrowly missed a seat in 2014, when she was endorsed by both OC GOP and CRA.
Joe Carchio speaks of his service on the City Council, Vector Control, and LAFCO. He wishes to streamline government and keep taxes low or eliminate them. He wants common sense Republican leadership to help the conservative Council majority.
Patrick Brenden became a Republican under Ronald Reagan. He states unbeknownst to him his registration was changed to DTS and when he learned of this, he changed it back to Republican. He lists numerous endorsements from Republican elected officials. He walked precincts for John Moorlach and Matthew Harper. He held fundraisers for Michelle Steel and Michael Gates. He helped the new Council majority get elected. He speaks of his family. He is involved in the Boy Scouts, Kiwanis Club, and various other service groups that he listed faster than I could type.
Endorsements Committee Member Baron Night asks Carchio why he filled out that he wanted to remove the pro-life plank of the Republican platform. Carchio says he accidentally marked the wrong box and is pro-life.
Endorsements Committee Chairman TJ Fuentes states a fourth candidate submitted their application yesterday afternoon.
All three candidates present says the fourth candidate is new and threw his hat in the ring at the last minute.
Endorsements Committee Member Jeff Matthews moves to continue this to the August 30th meeting when the fourth candidate is scheduled to appear.
The fourth candidate had asked for August 30th rather than August 24th because he had a Huntington Beach RWF meeting to speak at and also preferred to be interviewed separately from the other candidates. Semeta, Carchio, and Brenden all indicate they are going to the RWF meeting after this.
Endorsements Committee Members Mary Young and Thomas Gordon object to Mathews’s motion.
Gordon moves and Young second to recommend endorsements for Semeta, Carchio, and Brenden.
Fuentes expresses concern about not hearing from everyone.
Night states this fourth candidate doesn’t seem interested in the endorsement.
Huang is very concerned that the fourth candidate didn’t want to be interviewed with the other candidates.
The Gordon motion passes 4-2-1 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, Lalloway absent).
BRENDEN, CARCHIO, AND SEMETA RECOMMENDED for HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL
Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 5
Mike Glenn was recently removed as an alternate for Central Committee after getting in a disagreement with another Republican. He is involved in the Republican Liberty Caucus, the RWF, and the CRA. He wants to bring change, or at least bring attention to key issues. He accuses Lowrey of spreading falsehoods about Glenn.
Lee Lowrey has been a Republican since he was 18 years old. He considers himself a movement conservative. He walked precincts for Chris Cox and Dana Rohrabacher in 1988. He speaks of his long service to the GOP. He is Rohrabacher’s alternate on Central Committee and was an alternate to the late Chairman Emeritus Tom Fuentes. He speaks of his work founding Atlas PAC. He was OC GOP Volunteer of the Year in 2002. He grew OCYR membership from 75 to 300 when he was President from 2002 to 2005. He speaks of raising money and precinct walking.
Night asks Glenn what falsehoods he was referring to. Glenn says a push poll falsely argued Glenn wants to defund the military. Glenn says Lowrey’s campaign manager accused Glenn of being involved in a criminal enterprise for using the same software as that enterprise.
Lowrey says he has proof at home from 2014 that Glenn opposes a standing military. Lowrey asks what is false about the email.
Glenn argues that the email speaks of Glenn’s use of bitcoin and about how bitcoin is used by criminals.
Night says the email seems to be he-said, he-said, and it is simply part of politics. Night says Glenn needs a tougher skin.
Matthews says the voters should decide who is correct in the he-said, he-said issue.
Gordon expresses concern about the Newport Beach Councilmembers (Duffy Duffield, Kevin Muldoon, and Scott Peotter) who have endorsed Lowrey since the city has tilted leftward despite having seven Republicans.
Fuentes notes that the three endorsing Lowrey are the three more conservative members and have pulled the Council to the right.
Gordon says there has only been a small correction and that the city needs to move further right.
Matthews moves for neutrality, with seconds from both Fuentes and Huang.
Young objects, pointing to Lowrey’s long history of volunteerism for the party for a quarter-century, listing a number of times where she’s called on Lowrey to help the OC GOP, and he has stepped up.
Young moves to recommend Lowrey but gets no second.
Fuentes says both are good conservatives.
Huang says both have had lengthy histories of GOP activism, Glenn in Newport Beach and Lowrey countywide.
NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 5-1-1 FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 5 (Young dissenting, Lalloway absent)
Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 7.
Will O’Neill speaks of his family’s long Republicanism. He speaks of his grandmother refusing to use Roosevelt dimes. O’Neill’s father was appointed to the bench by Governor Deukmejian and as a federal judge by President Reagan. O’Neill was a Stanford College Republican (Go Cardinal!). He wants to battle Newport Beach’s pension liability, for as a young man, his generation will be saddled with the debt.
Fred Ameri lived in Berkeley and found it full of Communists before moving to Orange County. He speaks of growing his business. He speaks of being business partners with the late OC GOP Chairman Tom Fuentes. He speaks of 35 years of contributions to Republican candidates, including 13 fundraisers in 2014 for Michelle Steel, Young Kim, Steven Choi, Diane Dixon, and others. He claims O’Neill’s campaign manager (Dave Ellis) is suing claiming that Ameri is using a false name.
Phil Greer speaks of working on George Deukmejian’s campaign and working for the California Senate Republican caucus. He says his first political lawsuit was defending Ed Royce against OC Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbaro. As an attorney, he has defended, among others: Janet Nguyen, Patricia Bates, Ken Calvert, and the Capistrano Unified School District conservative majority.
Young asks who sued Ameri. Greer denies it, as does O’Neill.
Night asks why Greer did not sign the no-new-taxes pledge or the union-free pledge.
Greer notes that if marijuana is legalized, he would like to tax it. He says talking to unions is important to get things done in government. He says he is not a union stooge. Greer speaks of compromise in Sacramento in the 1980s because of having relationships without compromising principles, and he points to the examples of Ed Royce and John Lewis. He says he doesn’t have Ameri’s money or O’Neill’s campaign staff. He points to the Jesse Unruh adage that people should be able to take money from people and vote against them to be in politics.
Fuentes asks the other two candidates to respond to Greer’s comments.
O’Neill says he has a fine relationship of communication with union leaders without taking union money.
Ameri speaks of being a Lincoln Club member and pushing the union-free pledge.
Young complains about people not doing anything for the OC GOP and wanting its endorsement.
All three say they have done much for the party and will continue to do so even if they don’t get the endorsement.
Night asks a follow-up about volunteering for the party beyond being paid for it.
Greer says some of his legal work was paid, some discounted, and some free.
Huang asks about Team Newport and what circumstances they would walk away from the team.
O’Neill states most votes have been 7-0 while split votes among Team Newport are common. He notes he is the only candidate who has served on city committees, pointing to Duffield appointing him to the Finance Committee with unanimous consent by the Council.
Ameri says the Central Committee endorsed Team Newport in 2014 because the team “played games.” Ameri attacks Dave Ellis.
Greer says he would not join any organization that would have him as a member, other than the Republican Party.
Gordon says he received an email attacking one of the candidates. Matthews received it, but none of the other members of the Endorsements Committee received it. He says an OCGOP-endorsed Councilman sent an email that “smacked of racism” against one of the candidates that Gordon said conjured up images of the Twin Towers.
Ameri asks O’Neill what if his name is Will or William and if he is a puppet of Ellis.
The committee quickly rules Ameri out of order.
Gordon blasts the email for its content.
O’Neill asks why Gordon is looking at him.
Gordon says Scott Peotter sent the email and signed O’Neill’s endorsement paperwork.
O’Neill condemns racist emails.
Fuentes says both O’Neill and Ameri are good men but he doesn’t know Greer well.
Gordon moves and Young seconds recommending an endorsement for Ameri.
Matthews urges neutrality because all three would make great Councilmen.
Night expresses concern about Greer’s union stance and O’Neill’s inexperience with the OC GOP. He says he is looking for the best Republican Party representative.
Matthews moves and Fuentes second for neutrality.
Gordon says he would have supported neutrality if it weren’t for Peotter’s email. Gordon says he is disgusted by the email.
Huang says she did not see the email. She says it is better addressed by Central Committee Chairman Fred Whitaker rather than at Endorsements Committee. Huang says she herself signs everyone’s paperwork for endorsement. She says she personally supports Ameri but is voting for neutrality because they’re all good Republicans. She says Ameri has done much work for the OC GOP but says Greer has done much work for the CA GOP while O’Neill is a young candidate who is trying to get his foot in the door.
Young says she feels bad for O’Neill because she doesn’t think he is at fault for the email. She is voting for Ameri due to his long record though.
NEUTRALITY FAILS 3-3-1 (Gordon, Night, and Young against; Lalloway absent)
AMERI RECOMMENDED 4-2-1 FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 7 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, Lalloway absent)
After an intermission, next up is Anaheim City Council, District 1.
Denise Barnes speaks of being a lifelong Anaheim resident with experience volunteering for community groups and nonprofits. She speaks of various West Anaheim community events she has helped in. She is a small business owner with an accounting background. She says she will advocate for sound fiscal policy to help residents not special interests. She wants to tackle Anaheim’s pension liability. She wants to improve streets and parks while increasing community policing. She is endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait and Councilman James Vanderbilt. She speaks of benefitting from Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics.
Orlando Perez says he is the son of Cuban immigrants. His grandfather was a Cuban mayor. He was born and raised in Bell and moved to Anaheim at the age of 21, living in Anaheim for the last 30 years. He says he is a realtor who has been a Republican since the age of 18. He says he is endorsed by Grow Elect. He says he has a notary license and an accounting background. His top priority is public safety. He wants to keep the Angels in Anaheim and wants to attract an NFL or NBA team.
Steve Chavez Lodge warns that Anaheim is in dangerous times. He warns that people just deciding to run now are not who should be on the Council. He says it should be experienced people, pointing to his service on the Anaheim Budget Commission. He warns of the chance of a liberal Democrat capturing the seat. He is endorsed by Councilwomen Kris Murray and Lucille King and former Councilmembers Gail Eastman and Harry Sidhu. He calls for logic and pragmatism by the Endorsements Committee.
Night asks Perez about his not answering a question on the questionnaire.
Neither Night or Perez is audible.
Gordon asks about their precinct walking efforts and hearing from the community.
Barnes says she wants to be the voice of her neighbors. She says as a property manager, she sees first-hand the squalor of West Anaheim.
Perez says he works in real estate and is recognizable and walks door to door.
Chavez Lodge says he has 15 precinct walkers who are experienced organizers. He speaks of his policy background helping with the homeless and with infrastructure.
Gordon asks about the Transient Occupancy Tax.
Chavez Lodge says he differs with Tom Tait, as he doesn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. He notes Tait spoke at his campaign kick-off in 2012. Chavez Lodge would like to compromise on incentives, which he feels are necessary.
Perez says he spoke with Tait and wants to compromise.
Barnes questions when using TOT for corporations would help the people.
Young asks about homelessness in Anaheim parks and having more parks.
Barnes says Anaheim is financially sound. She says West Anaheim has 52,000 people with just 5 parks due to the density of apartments and motels.
Mary Young says she never sees children in the 22 parks in her own city. She asks Barnes if parks are a waste.
Barnes defends parks and says community parks will bring children and after-school programs.
Huang asks Chavez Lodge about his law enforcement background and being a leader of the police union.
Chavez Lodge says he was on the Board of Directors and the Political Action Committee of his police union. He says he wasn’t let on to the PAC for years because the union thought he was too conservative. He said he was the conservative voice urging the police union to reflect the 90% of police who are Republicans. He says liberals have adopted dangerous policies like AB 109.
Huang asks if Chavez Lodge was ever on the negotiating team.
Chavez Lodge said he was not.
Huang asks all three candidates about Anaheim’s debt and specifically about ARTIC.
Perez gives a long rambling answer about needing productivity and people’s use of ARTIC. He says if it is ineffective, something different should be built.
Barnes says a lot of people are disappointed with ARTIC. She says it is a piece of art that won’t be truly used until at least 2029. She says the Council has rammed things down people’s throats without having a voice of the people.
Chavez Lodge notes this is a moot issue because ARTIC is already built and will last 100 years, during which time density will soar. He says the schedule is not customer-friendly. He says there needs to be better coordination with Metrolink. He says Metrolink was a mess until Shawn Nelson started improving it.
Huang asks about the bond for ARTIC.
Barnes says the city has given away too much money.
Fuentes asks the three candidates about whether they would have voted with the Council on TOT.
Barnes and Perez say no while Chavez Lodge says yes.
Fuentes asks about the Angel Stadium parking lease.
Barnes attacks Arte Moreno for renaming the Angels. She says the parking agreement was done out of panic.
Perez says there needs to be a future use and plan examined.
Chavez Lodge says the negotiations are ongoing. He notes $75-$100 million in renovation costs for Angel Stadium. He says the City cannot pay for the repairs, so it may be time to get the city out of the stadium business.
Fuentes asks all three candidates if they would have voted to support ARTIC.
Barnes and Perez say no while Chavez Lodge says yes because mass transportation, density, and technology are the future.
Fuentes asks about Chavez Lodge being on the union board.
Chavez Lodge says he pushed the board rightward and urged support of conservative candidates.
Fuentes asks Chavez Lodge if he supported Jordan Brandman or any Democrats.
Chavez Lodge says he gave Loretta Sanchez money 10 years ago as a personal friend.
Matthews moves and Night seconds for neutrality.
Night says they are all good Republicans. He says TOT and ARTIC are issues that should be decided by Anaheim voters.
Fuentes says these issues are important. He notes Tom Tait was the OC GOP Local Elected Official of the Year and points to ARTIC, hotel subsidies, and Angel Stadium.
NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 5-0-1-1 FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 1 (Gordon abstaing, Lalloway absent)
Next up is Anaheim City Council, District 4.
Lucille Kring speaks of her long Republican activism. She speaks of walking precincts for school vouchers. She warns of the Anaheim Council falling into Democratic hands. She says voters overwhelmingly voted for district elections with $50,000 of the $900,000+ for districts coming from Tom Tait. She says district elections create Chicago – style elections. She expresses concern about Councilmembers wanting district offices. She used to walk the whole city, including the Hills, but now only has to walk 1/6 of the city. She says the majority of short-term rentals are in her district. She says she respects property rights. She speaks of the Palm Lane Elementary issue. She speaks of having ten bonds on her property tax bill and not wanting another one.
Gordon asks about ARTIC.
Kring says much of ARTIC happened before she joined the Council, but she did vote for ARTIC, as did Tom Tait at first. She thought it should be more like a Japanese train station. She argues additional signage would help alleviate some of the problems. She says increased residential and mix-used will bring more traffic to ARTIC. She opposes high-speed rail. She notes that if it’s going to be built, she joins with Lucy Dunn in trying to get the rail to reach Anaheim.
Gordon asks about the stadium parking lease.
Kring says it was simply a starting point proposed by the former city manager. She says Tustin is off the table, and the city is negotiating with the Angels. She says there will be entertainment, restaurants, and bars, like L.A. Live.
Gordon asks Kring if she filled it out or if her consultant did.
Kring says she told her consultant her principles, so he filled it out reflecting her beliefs.
Gordon says Chavez Lodge had the same exact answer on one of the questions.
Kring says her seat is at risk of being captured by Democrats. She rails against the other candidates and points to Tom Tait supporting Jose Moreno and other Democrats.
Gordon questions Kring, asking her to express her own response. He is concerned about giveaways.
Kring says the city manager who made the deal before she was on the Council paid too much for the ARTIC land. She notes she is a lifelong Republican, was the Republican nominee for State Senate against Lou Correa, and has repeatedly been elected to Central Committee. She rails against Tom Tait, stating he has endorsed and donated money to Democrats. She says the Council supported a 50% TOT rebate to hotels in the 1990s by 5-0 votes, including Tom Tait. She said in the 1990s, hotels were being built in Garden Grove due to land giveaways and TOT rebates while Anaheim got no hotels until they voted for TOT rebates. She says Tait says he regrets the vote. She says the Register called for a blanket TOT rebate. Kring says 70% goes to the hotel, the city gets 10%, and bonds get 20%. She says the increased number of hotel stays increases revenue anyway, plus it goes to 100% in the future.
Young asks Kring why she left the Central Committee.
Kring says she was busy opening her new small business when she left.
Fuentes recommends endorsing for or against since she is an incumbent, rather than being neutral. He expresses concern about her challenging a sitting Republican mayor, her consultant filling out her questionnaire, and about her positions differing from what she promised the committee four years ago.
Night says these issues should be sorted out by Anaheim voters, not the Endorsements Committee. He says she has not violated any Republican platform planks. He expresses concern about a Democrat taking the seat.
Gordon argues the TOT and the quarter-billion bond violates the platform, and Young eggs him on.
Huang says she will abstain. She has problems with ARTIC and TOT. She does not like Kring’s position on the gate tax. However, she deeply respects Kring’s work for children, pointing specifically to Palm Lane Elementary.
Night moves for referring it to the Central Committee with no Endorsements Committee position.
The committee has spent nearly 45 minutes on this seat despite the schedule only giving it 10 minutes.
NO POSITION 6-0-1 FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4 (Lalloway absent)
Next up is Anaheim City Council District 5.
Mark Lopez notes he filled out his application himself. He has lived in Anaheim half his life. He spoke of working on campaigns for Ed Royce, Chris Norby, and Shawn Nelson. He says he is an alternate on the Central Committee and a member of the OCYR. He notes his volunteering to register Republicans at the OC Fair. He says he opposed the TOT because of the principles of limited government and free markets.
Steve Faessel says he has been a lifelong Republican and 48-year Anaheim resident. He was Chairman of the Anaheim Public Utilities Board during the energy crisis. He was on the Planning Commission during the financial crisis. He is currently Chairman of the Anaheim Budget Commission.
Night says he spoke to Lopez a year ago at the Rotary when Lopez spoke about bike paths and the Fourth District on behalf of Supervisor Shawn Nelson. Night says Lopez said he supported Obama. Lopez says that is incorrect. Night asks if he supported Sharon Quirk-Silva; Lopez shoots back that he worked for Chris Norby and worked with Young Kim in Ed Royce’s office. Night reads off a litany of liberal positions that he said Lopez supported, but Lopez disputes all of those. Night asks Lopez if he ever voted for Obama or Clinton. Lopez says no. Night asks if he voted for Obama or Clinton when he pulled the Democratic ballot in the presidential primary in 2008 or 2012. Lopez does not recall who he voted for, but it was not Obama or Clinton.
Night asks Lopez about his appearance at Democratic candidates’ events.
Lopez states that the seat is plurality Democratic, and he needs support from both parties to win, as he is running for Anaheim City Council, not Republican City Council.
Huang asks why Lopez was decline to state.
Lopez says he registered Republican, but objected to the Iraq War and supported Ron Paul. He switched to decline to state but worked for Republicans Ed Royce, Chris Norby, and Shawn Nelson.
Huang asks Faessel about ARTIC and bonds.
Faessel says the city must build for the future. He says ARTIC was mostly funded by transportation funds and very little Anaheim funds.
Gordon asks where transportation funds come from.
Faessel says from taxpayers.
Fuentes asks Faessel about hotel subsidies.
Faessel says he would have voted for them.
Fuentes asks Faessel about ARTIC.
Faessel says he would have voted for it.
Fuentes asks Faessel about the Angel Stadium parking lease.
Faessel says he would have voted for it.
Young moves and Matthews seconds for letting Central Committee decide.
NO POSITION RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).
Now on to Yorba Linda City Council.
Craig Young sits down.
Before Craig Young speaks, Huang moves and Mary Young seconds to recommend endorsement of Craig Young.
CRAIG YOUNG RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).
Next up is Laguna Hills City Council.
Janine Heft met her husband at a state Republican convention in 1998. She speaks of her lengthy record with RWF and CRA. She speaks of her service on the OCTA Citizens Advisory Committee and the County Assessment Appeals Board. She is a Christian and a mother. She speaks of bringing more business and improved public safety. She speaks of her numerous endorsements from Republican elected officials.
Mary Young asks if anyone in the world who is more conservative than Heft.
Heft suggests the NRA president.
Gordon asks about a city funding project.
Heft explains it.
Young moves and Matthews seconds recommending Janine Heft for endorsement.
HEFT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).
Next up is Santa Ana Unified School District.
Angie Cano expresses her thanks for the endorsement two years ago. She expresses support for stronger education options, like charter schools. She notes there are two open seats of retiring incumbents and she is running on a slate with the third incumbent, Republican Ceci Iglesias.
Night asks about her opinion on bonds.
Cano says there are too many bonds.
Fuentes says Cano is part of the effort to get good Republicans elected in Santa Ana.
Fuentes moves and Gordon seconds recommending Cano.
CANO RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).
Next up is Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 6.
Frank Ury opens with a joke about his initials. He speaks of being a member of the county and state central committees. As a school board member, he won the OC GOP’s first-ever Local Elected Official of the Year Award. He speaks of his work with Mark Bucher and Jim Righeimer on paycheck protection. He speaks of his pension reforms as a Councilman before PEPRA. He speaks of his health benefits reforms as a Councilman.
Jeff Thomas was a Tustin Councilman. He helped Tom Fuentes work on John Moorlach’s first run for Treasurer. He got Tustin’s money out of the County treasury before the bankruptcy. Supervisor Marian Bergeson convinced him to be a founding member of the County Treasury Oversight Committee, where he was Chairman for seven years. He was the OC GOP Local Elected Official of the Year the year after Ury was. He notes his water district does not have lavish pensions.
Matthews asks Ury what he would do differently from incumbent Thomas.
Ury says there are water rate improvements that could be accomplished. He wishes to place meetings online for transparency. He wants to start setting examples, like how he walked away from $200,000 of lifetime medical benefits.
Gordon asks about the $43,331 in compensation that Thomas received.
Thomas says it’s a double edged sword. Meetings are $256 each, per state code. He says skipping meetings would be not doing the job. He says he worked with Brett Barbre to make the agency more conservative. He notes they paid off MWDOC’s pension liability. He went on John and Ken to stop a Metropolitan Water District of Southern California pension hike. He says he spends three times as much time on MWDOC as on City Council.
Citing his technology background, Ury urges using techology to conserve water like in Mission Viejo, where they have used special technology to only water plants on demand when the plants themselves are dry.
Thomas argues that the technology described doesn’t work for potable water.
Night asks about MWDOC pay. Night says he donates his own foundation meeting stipends to nonprofits.
Thomas says the stipend offsets his lost salary from his day job. His take-home pay is $600 per month. He says the amount of pay is set by the state. He says there are meetings at 8:30 AM which is problematic for people with day jobs; he was unsuccessful in getting the meetings moved or consolidated.
Thomas says Ury still gets lifetime medical benefits.
Huang asks about $15,000 being paid to his pension under protest, as noted in his questionnaire.
Thomas says water boards are forced to take it, and they are working with Senator John Moorlach on this issue.
Ury says it never should have been in place in the first place. He produces a document with his irrevocable decision to opt out of lifetime medical benefits.
Thomas says the document is unenforceable and that Ury voted for the benefits before he voted against them.
Gordon blasts Thomas for getting $256 for a 39-minute meeting. He asks Thomas why he accepts this.
Thomas says he got on the Board to prevent a split in agencies that would cost over $2 million. He says he cut $600,000 from the budget. He says he cut director pay. He says he cut water rates by 3.8% in 2016.
Gordon rails about executive employee compensation.
Night moved and Huang seconds for neutrality.
NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent)
Next up is Orange County Water District, Division 6.
Cathy Green notes there are no pensions on her water district. She is a former city councilmember and Central Committee member. She left Central Committee to take care of her dying father. She is a long-time member of the RWF and just arrived from their event (as you may recall, the Huntington Beach City Council candidates headed there). She is endorsed by a litany of Republican elected officials.
Fuentes asks if she has ever been endorsed by the party.
Green was endorsed for City Council. When she ran for OCWD, both candidates were Republicans and agreed to not seek the endorsement. For her first re-election, the election was cancelled since she was unopposed.
GREEN RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 FOR REELECTION (Lalloway absent)
Next up is Los Alamitos City Council.
Dean Grose speaks of his multiple terms on the City Council and Central Committee. He says there are three candidates (all Republicans) for two seats. He tried to help register voters at the OC Fair, but gave up his shift to a married couple that wanted to work the booth.
Gordon asks about the questionnaire answer that Grose provided about seeking alternative revenue sources.
Grose speaks of selling City property. He also wants to sell City Hall. He wants to encourage more private businesses.
Night asks about the Los Alamitos Race Track.
Grose explains the race track is actually in Cypress despite being named for Los Alamitos. He speaks of working with the military at Joint Base Los Alamitos.
Matthews moves and Night seconds recommending Grose for endorsement.
GROSE RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).
Next up is Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 5.
Steven Nguyen is helping restart the Orange County Republican Liberty Caucus. He speaks of volunteering for various Republican campaigns. He is the sole Republican running for this seat, where there are two Democrats, one a Republican. He is endorsed by Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Supervisor Andrew Do, and various local elected officials. He hopes a split in the Latina Democrat vote will allow him to win, considering the large Asian population.
Night asks about his education.
Nguyen says he is a third-year college student. (Editor’s Note: Nguyen later contacted OC Political to say he meant second-year.)
NGUYEN RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 FOR ENDORSEMENT (Lalloway absent)
Last up is Fullerton City Council.
Larry Bennett speaks of his community experience and his litany of endorsements from Republican elected officials. He speaks of the Democrats running for City Council, including Sharon Quirk-Silva’s husband. He says there are four Republicans running for three seats: incumbents Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald, himself, and Suze Lupinski, who Mary Young noted is Pat Shuff’s daughter.
Huang asks how Bennett would have voted on marijuana dispensaries.
Bennett says he would have opposed agendazing the issue.
Huang asks which Councilmember he would be most aligned with.
Bennett says he would be like Greg Sebourn, who is a swing vote between Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald though he does say Sebourn has not endorsed him. He would like to bridge the two factions.
Huang asks about police-community relations and the recent police labor deal.
Bennett says he is a strong proponent of pension reform but has not studied the details of the recent labor deal with police. He says the city benefits from keeping officers employed beyond age 50 and both the city and officers benefit from a sustainable pension plan. He says outsourcing to the Sheriff’s Department did not make sense because Fullerton police officers are paid less than Orange County Sheriff’s deputies. He says the Fullerton Police Department was the first with body cameras.
Huang asks if Bennett has taken any union contributions.
Bennett says he has not taken any union contributions. He also has been a volunteer treasurer for various Republican campaigns.
Night asks Bennett which of the three Fullerton Rotary Clubs is a member of.
He started in Fullerton Sunrise, and then switched to Fullerton.
Matthews moves to recommend Bennett for endorsement.
BENNETT RECOMMENDED 4-2-1 FOR ENDORSEMENT (Fuentes and Huang dissenting, Lalloway absent).
The committee adjourn at 10:09, only 19 minutes behind schedule.