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Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Call for Brough to Retire

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 16, 2019

We’re live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where tonight’s agenda includes endorsements of Shawn Steel for re-election as RNC Committeeman, Harmeet Dhillon for re-election as RNC Committeewoman, Ken Williams for re-election to the County Board of Education, Gale Oliver for the Santa Ana Council Ward 4 special election, Gene James for the San Clemente City Council special election, and Gisela Contreras for the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education special election. (Christina Selter for the San Clemente City Council special election is also eligible to be considered, but the Endorsements Committee recommendation is for James. Selter did not receive the recommendation of the Endorsements Committee.) Finally, there is a closed Executive Session on a resolution regarding Assemblyman Bill Brough.

Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Kuo delivers the invocation. OC GOP intern Joe Gonzalez leads the Pledge of Allegiance.

Two new alternate members are sworn in.

Chairman Fred Whitaker gives updates on the 39th, 45th, and 48th Congressional District races. Publicly released polling shows Supervisor Michelle Steel in a tie with 48th District Congressman Harley Rouda and shows former Assemblywoman Young Kim slightly ahead of 39th District Congressman Gil Cisneros. The field has narrowed in the 45th Disrict, with Deputy District Attorney Ray Gennawey dropping out.

Whitaker wins unanimous votes from the Cebtral Committee to appoint the Resolutions and Financial Review Committees.

Steel and Dhillon are endorsed for re-election unanimously after a motion to suspend the rules to allow their endorsement resolution to be considered passed nearly unanimously, with Deborah Pauly opposing the suspension.

The featured speaker is Crime Survivors Founder and CEO Patricia Wenskunas. She speaks about crime victims and the crime victims’ movement. She ends her remarks urging the passage of the resolution calling for Brough to not seek re-election and directly addresses Brough urging him to resign.

Ken Williams is endorsed for re-election unanimously to the Orange County Board of Education. Gale Oliver is endorsed unanimously for the Santa Ana Council Ward 4 special election, as is Gisela Contreras for the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education special election.

Committee Member Diane Harkey moves to endorse Gene James. Committee Member Jennifer Beall offers a substitute motion for no endorsement since there are two Republican candidates.

Beall urges a respectful process, expressing concern about the contentiousness. She had urged the Endorsements Committee to wait until after filing closed. She notes both Republicans have good ballot designations. Selter is the only woman running. Both have good ballot positions. The 19-year-old Democrat who won 7% in the last election is not a real threat.

Committee Member Jon Fleischman warns that the number of Republican elected officials is declining each election cycle. He says James is the candidate who can win the seat for Republicans. He argues the Democrat has received funding and support from unions and other Democratic leaders. Fleischman argues the Beall motion is unnecessary because it takes 2/3 to endorse a candidate, and it is entirely possible no one gets to 2/3, which would have the same end result as the Beall motion.

The parliamentarian notes the Beall motion needs a majority of those present and voting.

14 vote in favor of the Beall motion while 27 vote against.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang delivered the report of the committee. The other members are Mark Bucher, Laurie Davies, Tyler Diep, Gene Hernandez, Leroy Mills, and Erik Weigand. The committee met with James and recommended his endorsement 4-2. Later, when it met with Selter, the vote was 5-0 for neutrality and 4-1 to recommend Selter be able to speak to the Central Committee.

James notes he was endorsed last year. He says he came within 0.4% of winning in 2018 despite only living in San Clemente for two years. He blasts the “20-year-old socialist” who received $5,000 from the firefighters union and the endorsement of four former Mayors. James is an Army veteran who served at Checkpoint Charlie. He is a pro-life, limited government conservative. He has taught homeland security and criminal justice. He serves on the national USO board.

Selter was born and raised in OC and has lived for 10 years in San Clemente. She sits on two County board representing San Clemente. She works to help provide services to senior citizens. She volunteers with her church. She opposes the toll road extension into San Clemente.

Deborah Pauly asks how long each has been a Republican. Both have been lifelong Republicans.

Kermit Marsh asks how much each candidate has raised and how much cash is on hand.

James says he has raised $20,000 and has $10,000 cash-on-hand.

Selter says she has several thousand and is willing to self-fund.

The motion on James has 26 votes in favor and 13 against. That is exactly 2/3. James is endorsed.

July Volunteer of the Month Abigail Scott is recognized by Chairman Fred Whitaker, 1st Vice Chair Peggy Huang, Senator John Moorlach, and Assemblyman Steven Choi.

August Volunteer of the Month Amy Freeman is recognized by Chairman Fred Whitaker, 1st Vice Chair Peggy Huang, and the office of Senator Ling Ling Chang.

Officer reports are delivered.

Two alternates are sworn in before Executive Session.

The Central Committee enters Executive Session at 8:22 PM.

The Central Committee returned from Executive Session at 8:50 PM and announced the following resolution passed:

Resolution on Assemblyman Bill Brough

BE IT RESOLVED that based on the totality of the circumstances and controversies surrounding the Assemblyman, the Republican Party of Orange County calls on Bill Brough to not file for re-election to the State Assembly, and retire at the end of his current term.

Posted in 73rd Assembly District, Orange County Board of Education, Republican Central Committee, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Live from the CD-45 Candidate Forum at OC GOP Central Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 19, 2019

We are live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where tonight’s agenda includes the CD-45 Republican candidate forum and a pair of resolutions opposing recall efforts in Santa Ana and Westminster. The meeting began shortly after 7:00 PM.

Kathy Tavoularis delivers an invocation in memory of the late Orange County Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery, who had served on the Central Committee in the 1990s as Ethics Committee Chairman, Treasurer, and Second Vice Chairman. A number of people holding “Gene James for San Clemente City Council” signs continue talking during the invocation.

Orange County Treasurer Shari Freidenrich speaks in memory of Eric Woolery, while a smaller number of Gene James sign holders continue talking. Freidenrich then leads the Pledge of Allegiance.

Steve Sarkis and Cynthia Thacker are nominated by the 65th District caucus to replace Chris Norby and Jack Bedell. Jeff Barke is nominated by the 72nd District caucus to replace Jim Cunneen. All three nominations are approved unanimously by the full Central Committee.

The roll is taken, and elected officials are introduced.

Central Committee Chairman Fred Whitaker speaks in memory of Eric Woolery.

Whitaker speaks about the Democrats taking the lead in voter registration in Orange County, noting Republicans took the lead back after Democrats gained the lead in the aftermath of Watergate. He also notes Republicans still hold 2/3 of all elected offices in Orange County. He speaks about the importance of conducting voter registration. He speaks of the importance of winning Congressional and legislative seats.

Whitaker introduces the 45th Congressional District candidate forum for the Republicans seeking to unseat Congresswoman Katie Porter (D). He explains each candidate will get the same questions and will not be allowed to attack other Republican candidates.

He notes Democrats do not allow non-members to attend Central Committee while Republicans allow the public to attend, even pointing out a Democrat in attendance.

He requests that audience members be respectful and not yell or shout.

Whitaker introduces the candidates, who get three minutes to deliver opening statements.

Deputy District Attorney Ray Gennawey speaks about his deep roots in the district. He speaks about his work as a prosecutor. He talks about California’s rising crime and rising cost of living. He wants to end sanctuary for violent criminals. He wants to help the 7,000 homeless people in Orange County. He speaks of a human trafficking victim he worked with as a prosecutor and the value of her life.

Yorba Linda Councilwoman Peggy Huang legally immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 7. When she became a citizen, she registered as a Republican and became active in Republican causes. She expresses her support for Donald Trump and says her daughter is the youngest Trump volunteer. She speaks of her work as a Deputy Attorney General. She says she is running for Congress because of immigration, health care, and student loans. She wants to help the next generation with student loans.

Mission Viejo Mayor Greg Raths speaks of marrying his wife in the district, and raising his children and grandchildren in the district. He speaks of his career in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was an Eagle Scout like Gennawey. He discusses 30 years of USMC missions, joining during the Vietnam War. He speaks of his graduate education. He speaks of being assigned to the White House Military Office. He speaks of his election and re-election to the Mission Viejo City Council. He speaks of immigration, the military, personal freedoms, and the Constitution. He filed suit against the State of California over its exclusion of candidates from the presidential ballot.

Laguna Hills Mayor Don Sedgwick notes he is the only candidate who has signed both the front and back of the check. He speaks of curbing regulations that harm business. He speaks of illegal immigration and the rule of law. He notes that Congresswoman Katie Porter is a protege of Senator Elizabeth Warren and one of only two candidates to already be endorsed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He speaks about rising crime.

Orange County Board of Education Trustee Lisa Sparks grew up in a small Midwestern town. There she learned the principles of fiscal responsibility. She is a wife, mother, and the founding dean of the School of Communications at Chapman University. She is an international expert ranked in the top 10 of health care communicators. She speaks of her conservative record on the Orange County Board of Education. She argues Congresswoman Katie Porter is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation due to her liberal record. Sparks currently represents more constituents in the 45th Congressional District than any other candidate. She knows how to communicate to students, and notes UCI precincts went 91% for Porter over Walters.

Whitaker announces a lightning round asking each candidate how they will win the district.

Huang says she has an aggressive plan to walk all district precincts 3 times before the election.

Raths plans to reach out to veterans and win over their votes. His wife taught at UCI, and his children teach in Irvine.

Sedgwick notes his 23 years of experience in elected office in the 45th District surpasses all the other Republicans and Porter combined. He notes he has raised 2/3 of a million dollars already. He will use the money to get his message out to the voters, noting Porter raised $1 million, more than any other Congressional freshman.

Sparks speaks of her family’s roots in the district. She speaks of already representing 35% of the district. She has hired several members from Mimi Walters’s team.

Gennawey will go to places where candidates have not sought voters before. He points to the first-time volunteers in the room who are volunteering for him.

Whitaker asks the candidates what is the top issue in the district.

Raths states veterans are the top issue. He speaks of veteran mental health and suicide. He has spent $700,000 in the past raising his name ID in the district.

Sedgwick states immigration is important but highlights the opioid epidemic’s effect on homelessness.

Sparks notes her husband is an immigrant. She speaks about free market choices for health insurance, allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines. She speaks of her mother’s high cost for life insurance.

Huang speaks of the high cost of health care. She is a cancer survivor. She wants to expand Health Savings Accounts and make them more flexible. She wants free market options to allow people to buy health insurance across state lines. She wants small business owners, like her husband, to be able to get a tax deduction for health insurance.

Gennawey speaks the drug crisis and how it contributes to homelessness.

Whitaker asks how the candidates will deal with the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction limitation in the 2017 tax reform.

Sedgwick calls for lifting the SALT limit because it harms California families. He praises various administration accomplishments but blasts SALT as a detriment.

Sparks says she will fight to lower taxes for Californians. She says the recent tax reforms had 80% of people paying less and 5% of people paying more. She says it has largely helped American taxpayers but the SALT limitation and mortgage limitation must be repealed because it hurts Californians.

Gennawey says he will fight to repeal the SALT limitation but points out it is only a problem because California has high state taxes.

Huang blasts the SALT limitation but praises the economic opportunity zones in the tax reform.

Raths similarly opposes the SALT limitation but praises the rest of the tax reform bill.

Whitaker asks about health care reform.

Sparks speaks about the impact of health care costs upon seniors and families. She calls for an informed scientific approach to alleviate the costs.

Gennawey worked in the House of Representatives when the Affordable Care Act was passed. He says it has been anything but affordable. He calls for lowering prescription costs.

Huang calls for the expansion of Health Savings Accounts and the ability to buy health insurance in the free market across state lines. She speaks of her challenges battling cancer at age 44.

Raths jokes that his Marine recruiter lied to him about getting free health care for life through the VA. He speaks of market approaches on health insurance.

Sedgwick says government cannot afford to provide all things. He calls for a private sector approach, increasing competition in health insurance, including purchases across state lines. He calls for reducing regulations that keep prescription costs artificially high.

Whitaker announces an ultra lightning round. He asks for ways to control spending.

Huang cites various pork barrel projects that should be cut.

Raths has run a balanced budget at the City. He understands the Pentagon budget. He gives the example of a particular type of aircraft that is three times the cost of other military aircraft.

Sedgwick speaks of his budget in Laguna Hills. He calls for examining the proper role of government.

Sparks speaks of balancing the budget as a dean. She warns government cannot tax and spend its way to prosperity.

Gennawey blasts $22 trillion in debt. He says his generation is saddled by the spending of prior generations.

Whitaker asks if the candidates will support the Republican nominee if it is one of the other candidates.

All say yes.

Whitaker asks what endorsement each candidate is proudest of.

Sedgwick cites the endorsement of his entire City Council because they know he is someone who they can work with. He cites his conservative approaches when he was with the California School Board Association.

Sparks lists numerous elected officials and businesspeople but does not specify which one she is proudest of.

Gennawey says former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher gave him a surfboard and his endorsement. He also notes the Deputy District Attorneys have endorsed him.

Huang lists various elected officials but does not specify which one she is proudest of.

Raths lists various elected officials and cites Orange County Assessor Claude Parrish as the one he is most proud of.

Whitaker asks how much each candidate raised in the prior quarter and how much they plan to raise in this quarter.

Sparks raised $151,000. She plans to raise $300,000 more.

Gennawey raised $73,000 and plans to raise as much as he can.

Huang raised $264,000 and is aiming for $300,000.

Raths raised $212,000 and plans to raise $600,000.

Sedgwick raised $625,000 last quarter. He is aiming for nearly $1,000,000. He wants $1,500,000 by the general election.

Whitaker asks who the campaign consultants are.

Gennawey has hired Chip Englander and Michael Antonoupoulos.

Huang has hired Chris Emami, Erik Brown, and Lou Penrose.

Raths has a pro bono campaign consultant, Paul Jensen.

Sedgwick has hired John Thomas.

Sparks has hired seven members of Mimi Walters’s team, including Sam Oh, who is now with a 150-person consulting firm.

Whitaker ask what committee each candidate would want to serve on.

Huang cites Transportation, noting how much in taxes flow from Orange County and how little flows back in transportation dollars.

Raths cites Armed Services, Budget, and Ways & Means.

Sedgwick cites Judiciary, Budget, and Ways & Means. He notes the nation’s judges have a long, profound effect on the country.

Sparks cites Health Care, Education, Budget, and Ways & Means. She states she would like to help recruit more Republican women to run for Congress.

Gennawey cites Judiciary and Armed Services. He wants to help obtain federal funding for an Orange County veterans’ cemetery.

Whitaker asks about student loans and college affordability.

Gennawey notes he and his wife are still paying their student loans. He blasts high loan interest rates and opposes free college.

Huang is still paying her student loans. She calls for a tax deduction for employees who receive employer loan assistance.

Raths calls for more community college attendance, citing his daughters’ experiences. He also calls for limits on student loan interest rates.

Sedgwick opposes free college and questions whether people who already graduated should get refunds.

Sparks is a college dean. She calls for greater financial literacy education in K-12 schools and opposes free college as too expensive.

Sedgwick previously served two terms on Central Committee. He has walked precincts and phone banked for candidates.

Sparks was recruited to run for the Orange County Board of Education. She recalled her father’s values when deciding to run for Congress.

Gennawey speaks of various campaigns he volunteered on, he was College Republicans President, and he encouraged his mother to run for City Council while he was studying for the State Bar Exam. He notes, “She won, and I passed!”

Huang has volunteered for 30 years. She serves on Central Committee as Vice Chair and is a member of the Lincoln Club.

Raths has volunteered for numerous candidates and run in his own election.

After over an hour, the forum is complete.

Whitaker recognizes the RWF. He then recognizes the Volunteer of the Month, Cynthia Thacker.

Whitaker brings up resolutions opposing the recall efforts in Westminster and Santa Ana.

The Central Committee votes unanimously to suspend the rules to consider the resolutions.

The Central Committee then votes unanimously for the resolution to oppose the recall of Westminster Mayor Tri Ta and Councilmembers Kimberly Ho and Chi Charlie Nguyen.

The Central Committee then votes unanimously for the resolution to oppose the recall of Santa Ana Councilwoman Ceci Iglesias, though Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer recuses himself due to a complaint received by his office regarding this recall.

Various officer and club reports are delivered.

Whitaker thanks all the volunteers who helped register voters at the Republican Party booth at the OC Fair. He announces various upcoming opportunities to register voters.

The Central Committee adjourns at 8:58 PM in memory of Eric Woolery.

Posted in 45th Congressional District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 21, 2019

We are live from OC GOP Central Committee, where the agenda includes the election of officers for 2019-2020, speeches from candidates for California Republican Party Chairman, and the endorsement request submitted by Don Wagner for the special election for the Third District vacancy on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. It is standing room only in a rather large room.

The Central Committee voted to fill a pair of vacancies on the Central Committee with Hon. Alberta Christy (69th District, succeeding Hon. Brett Franklin) and Hon. Jim Cuneen (72nd District, succeeding Hon. Tyler Diep, who had to give up his directly-elected Central Committee seat, as the Republican nominee for the 72nd Assembly District has an ex officio Central Committee seat, and he cannot hold two Central Committee seats). They are sworn in, as are several new alternate members.

The roll is called, and the elected officials present are introduced.

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker gives opening remarks reflecting upon the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Whitaker discusses the 2018 election, noting that more Republicans turned out to vote than Democrats did, in excess of registration margins. He notes polling indicates more Republicans voted for Democrats than vice-versa in 2018. He urges consolidating early behind candidates to deal with this, noting the Democrats have cleared the Third District Supervisor’s race for Loretta Sanchez and argues that the same should be done by Republicans for Don Wagner. He urges focusing on local issues, de-nationalizing the election, making sure OC volunteers focus on OC rather than calling into other states. He notes Democrats spent $60 million on OC Congressional races while Republicans spent $16 million. He notes $44 million was donated by OC Republicans and only $4 million came back to OC. He discusses how the Republican ballot harvesting pilot program was unsuccessful because Republicans simply do not hand over their ballots the way Democrats and No Party Preference voters do. He notes the Central Committee will vote on a political plan in closed session at the end of the meeting. He notes everyone on the Central Committee is a volunteer. He notes many people are here, yet only few signed up on the volunteer sheets at the entrance.

Central Committee Member Dean Grose calls on the entire Executive Committee to resign (despite the terms expiring today). He urges the elections be delayed to February and voted on one by one. (No one addresses Grose’s controversial past though most are aware.)

Whitaker notes elections for officers have been held every two years in January. He notes the terms expire today.

Former OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh speaks about 27 Republican Governors, 64 legislative chambers, and other Republican successes. He notes the party controlling the White House typically loses seats in midterm elections, noting 39 Congressional seats lost is typical and that the GOP lost 40 in 2018. He also notes Democrats lost more state legislative seats in 2010 under President Barack Obama than Republicans did in 2018. He expresses concern about local Republicans voting for Democrats. He warns of the threat of Democrats gaining a second seat on the Board of Supervisors. He urges fighting back.

Baugh then makes a motion to nominate candidates for OC GOP Candidates for 2019-2020, seconded by Hon. John Moorlach and Hon. Gene Hernandez:

  • Hon. Fred Whitaker for Chairman
  • Hon. Peggy Huang for 1st Vice Chair
  • TJ Fuentes for 2nd Vice Chair
  • Erik Weigand for Treasurer
  • Steven Nguyen for Secretary
  • Hon. Laurie Davies for Assistant Treasurer
  • Tim Whitacre for Sergeant-at-Arms

Baron Night moves and Hon. Dean Grose seconds for remarks from each of the candidates.

Hon. Anthony Kuo moves and Hon. Brett Barbre seconds to table the motion. The tabling passes easily by voice vote.

The officer nominees are re-elected by voice vote.

Whitaker proposes Hon. Kermit Marsh to the appointed position of Parliamentarian, with at-large Executive Committee appointments going to Jon Fleischman, Mike McClellan, and Hon. Mike Munzing. The committee confirms the appointments by acclamation.

Hon. Mari Barke gives brief remarks on behalf of the California Policy Center.

Whitaker notes the presence of various candidates for Californa Republican Party (CRP) positions by name.

Whitaker then introduces the candidates for CRP Chair.

Steve Frank says he wants to revive the CRP. He says it is a great day in America with Trump as President and 660 days to get him re-elected. He notes 1.7 million Republicans have switched to Decline to State. He says the CRP has not spent a dime on voter registration. He says he does more radio shows in a week than entire CRP Board. He expresses outrage about legislative seats that did not have Republican candidates because of Prop 14. He accuses Travis Allen of supporting Prop 14 and accuses Jessica Patterson of getting 400 proxies to kill Frank’s symbolic resolution opposing Prop 14. He wants to use churches to harvest ballots. He blasts vote fraud. He says over a million people were fraudulently registered to vote in LA County. He says Democrats blocked the seating of a Republican Congressional candidate from North Carolina due to Republican ballot harvesting. He says Republicans should have sought the same with the seven California Democrats who won swing seats. He then gives out his phone number.

Whitaker notes that there is no endorsement vote tonight, but candidates for CRP Chair can go through the endorsement application process.

Jessica Patterson started volunteering for the Republican Party at a local headquarters in Hacienda Heights. She interned for Assemblyman Bob Pacheco and the CRP during the 2003 gubernatorial recall election. She notes most counties do not have County Executive Directors and infrastructure the way Orange County does. She notes her work with the CRP’s program for expanding County Executive Directors. She oversaw the Central Valley for CRP during the Schwarzenegger campaign. She is endorsed by 14 of 20 Republican Assemblymembers, 7 of 10 Republican State Senators, and 6 of 7 California Republican Members of Congress. She says she will not speak ill of other Republicans because she says the real enemies are the Democrats. She notes the endorsements of Darrell Issa, Ed Royce, Mimi Walters, Pat Bates, Ling Ling Chang, Phil Chen, and Don Barnes.

Hon. Travis Allen shouts into the crowd and receives supportive shouts in return. He blasts the Republican establishment for its failures of the past 20 years. He asks the crowd if they want to be light versions of Democrats, to which the crowd shouts against. He notes the conservative leadership that once ran California. He wants to grow the CRP with 100,000 small donors in addition to major donors and pay for voter registration. He wants grassroots street captains and precinct captains to lead Republican voter registration efforts on their streets and precincts. He notes those captains will also serve as a ballot harvesting army during the campaign. He calls Frank a great conservative but questions his plan to create internal committees. He calls Patterson a great Republican and blasts her being paid by Charles Munger and Kevin McCarthy and that she ran the ineffective Trailblazers program. He says she ran proxy drills to control the results of CRP convention votes. He wants to end proxy voting at CRP conventions. Allen has 13 County Party Chairs endorsing him and numerous delegates. He notes he has 500,000 Facebook followers, more than any Californa Republican. He speaks of bringing donors and grassroots together.

Baron Night asks Patterson for specific plans, arguing she is much vaguer than Frank and Allen.

Patterson wants to work on messaging and wants to empower the grassroots. She says she has the support of the donor community who will help fund these activities.

John W. Briscoe asks about whether Patterson will change the proxy rules.

Patterson says each proxy is an active Republican who has given money or time to help Republican groups and candidates. She notes the story of a deployed soldier who successfully got his vote counted because of proxy voting.

Frank supports Allen’s proposal to get rid of proxies but argues Allen missed the deadline to change the bylaws. Frank says he understands the process.

Allen says Munger and McCarthy have gamed the proxy system. He says Patterson was their point person on proxy harvesting.

Hon. John Moorlach asks about Frank’s experience.

Frank chaired Youth for Nixon. He speaks of helping candidates for Congress, State, County, City, and other local offices.

A red-haired woman asks who is going to combat Democrat ballot harvesting and their access to DMV data.

Allen warns of consultants’ political plans that enrich themselves. He calls for grassroots efforts, pointing to his street and precinct captains. He wants to litigate ballot harvesting.

Frank calls for church ballot harvesting. He describes his 15-page plan for the CRP.

Patterson wants to empower County parties and retool messaging. She says growing the party requires year-round outreach to people who are not normally engaged with the party. She blasts grassroots precinct efforts being replaced by paid precinct efforts.

Whitaker thanks the candidates.

Eva, the November Volunteer of the Month, is recognized for her efforts in the 65th Assembly District during the 2018 election. Alexandria Coronado speaks of Eva immigrating legally from a Communist nation. Coronado lists numerous things Eva tirelessly did. Eva gives remarks of thanks, speaks about her immigration, and explains her belief in Republican ideals driving why she worked so hard as an election volunteer. Eva receives certificates from the offices of various elected officials.

Kristin, the December Volunteer of the Month, is recognized for her efforts volunteering on campaigns and at the Registrar of Voters after the election. She gives her remarks of thanks and receives certificates from the offices of various elected officials.

Katie Pringle is nominated and elected as the County Party’s delegate for the vacant 69th Assembly District at the CRP.

Whitaker brings the endorsement for Third District Supervisor.

Hon. Gene Hernandez moves and Mary Young seconds endorsing Don Wagner for Third District Supervisor.

Hon. Deborah Pauly objects.

Hernandez speaks of Wagner’s conservative leadership on union issues, education, and fiscal issues. He speaks of Wagner’s conservative record on the College Board, in the State Assembly, and as Mayor.

Pauly argues that Republicans voted for Democrats for reasons of honor and integrity. She argues Whitaker has a narrow definition of stakeholders. She says endorsing her opponent is a mistake. She claims he is bought and paid for by developers. She says filing has not closed yet, and no one has qualified for the race. She expresses concern about the potential Irvine mayoral vacancy.

By a voice vote, Wagner is endorsed in a landslide.

After his endorsement, Wagner speaks of his 14% victory for Mayor. Wagner shows a posting from Loretta Sanchez. He warns that this election is the first campaign of November 2020. He notes the Mayors of every city in the district are endorsing him, except for Irvine (because he is the Mayor of Irvine) and Anaheim (where Kris Murray is from), but notes he does have the endorsement of the Mayor Pro Tem of Irvine and that Anaheim is only 11% of the Third District.

Various club announcements are made.

The committee adjourns to closed session at approximately 8:50 PM.

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Republican Central Committee | 3 Comments »

Ballot Harvesting

Posted by Brenda Higgins on December 3, 2018

Since the blue wave that swept Orange County in November 2018, there has been much discussion and outrage at the multiple victories of the Democrats.  I have looked in vain for a thoughtful analysis of the relatively new law known as “Ballot Harvesting”.  The reactions of conservatives and Republicans to the election results have been shock and outrage.   Those sentiments are fueled by party leadership’s failure to provide meaningful explanation of the law, and the lack of party strategy in addressing it during the 2018 cycle.  A productive discussion is needed, with truth about what the statute says and doesn’t say, and what party leadership did and did not do.  There may very well have been fraudulent activity, but it is impossible to discern that, unless and until we appreciate what was permissible under the law, and the utter lack of response to the possibilities.

In September 2016, Governor Brown signed AB-1921 , it was codified as Elections Code Section 3017.  In past elections, (i.e. prior to 2016) a “Vote by mail” voter, which most Republicans are, could mail their ballot, drop it off at the polling place, or have a relative or member of their household drop it off at the polling place.  It had to be received at the polling place before the polls closed, or received by the Registrar of Voters (if by mail) prior to the closing of the polls on election day.

It is easy to see that even with the Vote by Mail ballots, there are impediments for some people.  If you live alone, if you have no relatives, if you are unable to get to the polling place and can’t or just forgot to mail it on time, maybe you don’t have the $1.00 in postage (It does require two stamps that are $.050 now), or you can’t get to the post office to get stamps.  For elderly or disabled persons in particular, it is easy to see how these things could prevent a person from exercising their constitutional right to vote.

The new law provides that you can turn your ballot over to anyone you want to, and have them drop it off at the polling place.  The law provides that the person transporting the ballot can not be paid for doing so, not by a campaign or party or political action committee.  The Ballot “Harvester”, if you will, just has to be a well intentioned person who wants to help a voter out.  On its face, seems like a great idea, ask your neighbor or the nice lady you know from church to take your ballot to the polls for you.  The opportunity arises though, for a grassroots army, of well organized volunteers, who could be working the Get Out the Vote process in a way that visits voters at their home to make sure they get registered, offer some helpful advice and information on what the issues are and about the candidates, offer to pick up the ballot on election day and take it to the polls for you.  It all sounds like a wonderful program, a win-win situation.

There is a window of opportunity created by this new law.  The law itself is impartial, and not a terrible idea in that it increases the ability and likelihood that someone can exercise their constitutional right to vote.  The problem with any window of opportunity, is that if you don’t move to make it work for you, it becomes a liability.  That seems to be what happened to Orange County Republicans in the 2018 election.

Before the primary in June, the California Republican Party engaged in a pilot program to call on consistent Republican voters and volunteers would offer to pick up their ballot and take it to the polling place.  The problem was, many Republican voters who were contacted refused.   This is the same thing we have seen in recent past elections with polling.  The polls have tended to favor Democrats, never forget the “sure thing” of a Hillary presidency, because Republican voters are disinclined to share their opinions or information with strangers.  They were similarly disinclined to turn over their ballots.  The OCGOP therefore abandoned any effort to organize and/or leverage the new law in their favor in the November election. They stuck to the old tried and true phone banking and canvassing calling on the RWF to round up the woman power to Get Out The Vote.

Democrats maximized their leverage of the new law  by registering new Democrat voters, getting out the vote from low propensity voters (who haven’t often voted), increasing the voter contact and then, ‘harvesting’, offering for volunteers to pick up and deliver voters ballots to the polls.

The Registrar in Orange County has been quoted as saying that the numbers of ballots dropped off on election day in the November 2018 election was unprecedented.

On November 19, at the OCGOP monthly meeting, a very contrite Chairman Fred Whitaker, discussed Ballot Harvesting and indicated that he had significantly underestimated the impact it would have in the 2018 races.  By that date, it had become clear that the county had lost every congressional seat, as well as State Assembly and State Senate seats.   On election night, the early returns had Republicans in slim leads in the congressional and state legislature seats.  As the hundreds of thousands of “Harvested” ballots were tallied, those leads disappeared.  On that evening of November 19, it was clear that no congressional seats were saved and the words of Chairman Whitaker dismissing Democrat challengers earlier in the year “Let them die on the hill in Orange County”, had come back to haunt him in the worst way.  Similarly, Mimi Walters, when asked in March if she had any concerns about being re-elected, she exerted a confident “No”.   This arrogance did not serve the party well, and translated to losses even for those who took the threat of harvested ballots seriously.

Young Kim was talking about harvested ballots. Travis Allen was talking about the threat of harvested ballots.  It is of little benefit for single candidates to recognize an existential threat to their candidacy when the party has affirmatively decided to ignore it.

The ballots turned in through the harvesting of volunteers, are not per se, ‘fraudulent’ votes.  That is the distinction that so many who are outraged over this result are missing. The elucidation of the new law herein, is not to say there was no election fraud, but to point out, it is a different issue.  In the November 19 meeting, Chairman Whitaker and others told stories of many long hours spent at the County office of the Registrar, observing the ballots being counted to look for any anomalies.  Mark Meuser and others did the same in many other counties.  Fraud may very well have been at work in this election and affected the result.  Deborah Pauly, OCGOP Central Committee representative noted that this new procedure  “May further have denigrated election integrity”, as there have been myriad other concerns  raised about election integrity in this election where not just Ballot Harvesting, but Motor Voter law, and an incompetent and recalcitrant DMV, have created a brave new world of election fraud possibilities.

The new law permitting Ballot Harvesting in California, should also not be confused with the ban on such harvesting in Arizona.  The Arizona law prohibiting ballot harvesting was challenged in the 9th Circuit.  On an emergency basis, in a remarkably brief, two line ruling,  the court refused to stay the Arizona law.  So, as of the 2018 election, ballot harvesting was banned, by law in Arizona.  That legal matter is still pending with the 9th Circuit and scheduled for a full  hearing  in January.  That case may shed some light on the California law, but it is important to know that the law is opposite in the two states.

Many factors likely contributed to the blue sweep of this famously red county.   It is disappointing and the sheer magnitude of the defeat is breathtaking.  The party has emphasized this ballot harvesting as being the problem.  It is onerous sounding, “Ballot Harvesting” without an understanding of the law.  This fueling of outrage though, does work in keeping constituents upset, and in their outrage, they fail to analyze and appreciate all of the other malfeasance by party leadership.  Given the classic behavior of liberals and conservatives, everyone should have known that the harvesting would dramatically favor democrats.  Given the make up and rhetoric surrounding the House of Representatives on a national level, they knew the efforts of the Democratic National Convention would be focused, aggressively  here.  In the constant refrain of polling and strategy, party leaders knew that demographics were changing and the market share of the Grand Old Party was shrinking in this region.

What the party missed was a set of cohesive messaging and ideas, conservative philosophy, simply communicated to voters.  Conservative ideals, of smaller government and greater civil liberties, law and order and government that stays out of your way…this is the ideal that sells that has always been the heart of the Republican party.  But, in their effort to distance themselves from Trump, because a pollster told them to, they forget what they were about.   The party, again in this election, let the liberals set the tone and the agenda and stuck to statistical models and polls, instead of revisiting our foundation, of greater freedom through smaller government.

In the current environment, if a candidate can not make the case for conservatism, then that candidate is finished. That is the battle field.  It will no longer work to just make voting easier and pander to a demographic, with slick mailers and repetitive phone calls. Voters are more sophisticated than that and they want to have a sense of the party’s core beliefs and the candidate’s willingness to adhere to that.  The party also put up “recognizable” names, without any appreciation for the baggage and displeasure that may be associated with the names.  Polls can’t tell you that.  Only involvement with the non-political constituents can give a reading on that.

Ranting about fraud or ballot harvesting, and encouraging others to rant about it,  is just a failure to accept full responsibility for an abject failure to see and plan for what was to come.  There is so much more the party needs to be doing to come into being a force to be reckoned with in the new political environment.  One thing is for sure, what we have always done, and ignoring and discounting what has occurred nationally, is not the right plan forward.  Other than attempting to gloss over the massacre of 2018, by congratulating the local officials who were endorsed and won races, the party has not communicated what the plan forward is.  There’s been no indication of leadership change, little acknowledgment of fault or malfeasance, no indication of what if anything will be done to address real irregularities that came up and were reported during the election season.  It will behoove and be incumbent upon leadership to forge and communicate a new path forward, and it would seem to be prudent to do that sooner rather than later.

There is an election in 23 months. Orange County, has no Republican incumbents in Congress.  Rebuilding, if it is going to be attempted, needs to be happening now.

 

Posted in 34th Senate District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, 74th Assembly District, California, Orange County, Republican Central Committee, U.S. Politics | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Final Round of Endorsements for 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 1, 2018

We are live from the OC GOP Central Committee for their final round of endorsements for the 2018 general election.

Tonight, the Central Committee will consider the recommendations of the Endorsements Committee from their September 19 meeting.

Recommended by the Endorsements Committee

  • Dave Wheeler for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Richard Nichols for Placentia City Council
  • Gene James for San Clemente City Council
  • Miguel Gonzalez for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 2
  • Hon. Cecilia Iglesias for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 6
  • Kelly Jennings for Moulton Niguel Water District

Not Considered by the Endorsements Committee But Eligible to Be Considered by the Central Committee

  • Hon. Steve Vargas for Brea City Council

Endorsement Request Withdrawn

  • Dr. Gina Nick for Newport Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 4

Candidates and ballot measures who were already endorsed by the Central Committee on April 16, June 18, July 30, August 20, August 30, and September 17 (or by the voters on June 8):

Federal

  • Ryan Downing – Congressional District 38
  • Hon. Young Kim – Congressional District 39
  • Congresswoman Mimi Walters – Congressional District 45
  • Russell Lambert – Congressional District 46
  • Hon. John Briscoe – Congressional District 47
  • Congressman Dana Rohrabacher – Congressional District 48
  • Hon. Diane Harkey – Congressional District 49

State

  • John Cox – Governor of California
  • Mark Meuser – Secretary of State
  • Konstantinos Roditis – Controller
  • Greg Conlon – Treasurer
  • Judge Steven Bailey – Attorney General
  • Joel Anderson – Board of Equalization, District 4
  • Rita Topalian – Senate District 32
  • State Senator Janet Nguyen – Senate District 34
  • State Senator Patricia Bates – Senate District 36
  • Assembly Member Phillip Chen – Assembly District 55
  • Hon. Alexandria Coronado – Assembly District 65
  • Assembly Member Steven Choi – Assembly District 68
  • Hon. Tyer Diep – Assembly District 72
  • Assembly Member Bill Brough – Assembly District 73
  • Assembly Member Matthew Harper – Assembly District 74
  • Yes on Proposition 5
  • Yes on Proposition 6
  • No on Proposition 10

County

  • Hon. Tim Shaw for Orange County Supervisor, 4th District
  • Don Barnes for Orange County Sheriff

City

  • Garrett Dwyer for Aliso Viejo City Council
  • Hon. Dave Harrington for Aliso Viejo City Council
  • Hon. James Vanderbilt for Anaheim City Council, District 2
  • Robert Nelson for Anaheim City Council, District 3
  • No on Measure L – City of Anaheim
  • Cecilia Hupp for Brea City Council
  • Steve Shatynski for Brea City Council
  • Brett Eckles for Costa Mesa City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Allan Mansoor for Costa Mesa City Council, District 5
  • Hon. Joe Muller for Dana Point City Council, District 1
  • Hon. Richard Viczorek for Dana Point City Council, District 2
  • Jamey Federico for Dana Point City Council, District 3
  • Patrick Harper for Fountain Valley City Council
  • Hon. Greg Sebourn for Fullerton City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Barbara Delgleize for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Hon. Erik Peterson for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Hon. Mike Posey for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Ron Sterud for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Hon. Michael Gates for Huntington Beach City Attorney
  • Hon. Don Wagner for Mayor of Irvine
  • Anthony Kuo for Irvine City Council
  • Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council
  • Erica Pezold for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Hon. Don Sedgwick for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Hon. Elaine Gennawey for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Hon. Fred Minagar for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Sandy Rains for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Neeki Moatazedi for Lake Forest City Council, District 2
  • Hon. Scott Voigts for Lake Forest City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Mark Tettemer for Lake Forest City Council, District 4
  • Hon. Dean Grose for Los Alamitos City Council
  • Hon. Wendy Bucknum for Mission Viejo City Council
  • Hon. Ed Sachs for Mission Viejo City Council
  • Hon. Diane Dixon for Newport Beach City Council, District 1
  • Hon. Duffy Duffield for Newport Beach City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Kevin Muldoon for Newport Beach City Council, District 4
  • Hon. Scott Peotter for Newport Beach City Council, District 6
  • Yes on Measure T – City of Newport Beach
  • Hon. Mark Murphy for Mayor of Orange
  • Chip Monaco for Orange City Council
  • Hon. Kimberlee Nichols for Orange City Council
  • Anne Figueroa for Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
  • Dan Bane for San Clemente City Council
  • Laura Ferguson for San Clemente City Council
  • No on Measure X – City of Santa Ana
  • Austin Lumbard for Tustin City Council
  • Hon. Tri Ta for Mayor of Westminster
  • Chi Charlie Nguyen for Westminster City Council
  • Hon. Peggy Huang for Yorba Linda City Council
  • Carlos Rodriguez for Yorba Linda City Council

School District

  • Dom Pham for Coast Community College District Area 1
  • Hon. Jim Cunneen for Fountain Valley School Board
  • Hon. Chris Thompson for Fullerton Joint Union High School District Trustee, District 4
  • Hon. Jeffrey Barke for Los Alamitos Unified School Board
  • Michelle Barto for Newport Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
  • Gracey Van Der Mark for Ocean View School District
  • Angie Cano for Santa Ana Unified School District
  • No on Measure I – Santa Ana Unified School District

Water District

  • Hon. Shawn Dewane for Mesa Water District, Division 5
  • Hon. Brett Barbre for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
  • Hon. Steve Sheldon for Orange County Water District, Division 5
  • Hon. Shawn Dewane for Orange County Water District, Division 7
  • Hon. Bill Green for South Coast Water District

Hon. Brett Barbre administers the oath of office to four newly-appointed alternates:

  • Hon. Cecilia Hupp for Hon. Peggy Huang
  • Kate Malouf for Erik Weigand
  • Alberta Christy for Hon. Robert Hammond
  • Hon. Al Murray for Hon. Jeff Lalloway

The minutes are approved unanimously.

Chairman Fred Whitaker notes there are 36 days until the election. He urges volunteerism and briefly discusses GOP efforts for the election.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills delivers the committee’s report in the absence of Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang.

Brett Barbre moves and Mike Munzing seconds the consent calendar.

Shawn Nelson pulls Richard Nichols off the consent calendar.

Barbre says Nichols’s opponent has received money from public employee unions and voted to raise the sales tax. He says Nichols should be endorsed because he went through the endorsement process.

Nelson says Chad Wanke is a family man and good Republican. He notes there are many other issues going on in Placentia. He opposes the sales tax measure but says that he agrees with Wanke on many other issues. He notes Tim Shaw did the same thing in La Habra. He does not want to pick every backyard fight and does not believe the Central Committee does either. Nelson said he has never met Nichols before Nichols filed for office. He notes Nichols didn’t even bother to submit a ballot argument against the sales tax measure.

John W. Briscoe asks how Endorsements Committee voted.

Your truly questions Nichols’s voter registration.

TJ Fuentes offers a substitute motion for neutrality.

Fuentes says there are two good Republicans, and the party should stay out.

Barbre says the Party should endorse over a bad Republican and notes five Republicans backed Bob Citron and voted for 3% at 50. He questions the Placentia embezzlement.

Steven Nguyen asks Nichols why he didn’t catch his voter registration in the 2016 presidential primary.

Nichols says his ballot was still Republican.

The motion for neutrality has 26 votes in favor with 9 against.

The party is neutral for Placentia City Council.

Next up is the only non-consent calendar candidate: Hon. Steve Vargas for Brea City Council.

Mills explains there was no recommendation because Vargas did not show up to Endorsements Committee.

Emily Sanford moves and Jon Fleischman seconds to endorse Vargas for re-election.

Fleischman says Vargas is a proven Republican voice for conservative principles. He says other Republican Brea Councilmembers grow government while Vargas opposes them.

Councilwoman Cecilia Hupp says she has been frustrated on the Council but must represent the entire community. She says on development fees, Vargas kept stating his agreement with increases and then voted against st the last minute. She says he voted for the first reading of a water fee increase and then against the second reading.

John W. Briscoe asks why Vargas did not go to Endorsements Committee.

Vargas describes a work emergency that kept him away.

Hupp argues he showed up at a candidate forum that night.

By voice vote, the committee votes against the motion for endorsement.

The committee adjourns at a shockingly fast 40 minutes.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 1 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 »

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 »