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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, Laura 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 building 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 Republican Central Committee, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Live from the CD-39 Forum at OC GOP Central Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 21, 2018

We are live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where the top four Republican candidates for the 39th Congressional District are here:

The alphabet is favorable to former Senator Bob Huff. Huff notes the large 17-candidate field and Democrats’ efforts to take the seat. He speaks of his service in the legislature and local government: he notes his 9 years in nonpartisan office and 12 years in partisan office. He notes his leadership positions. He notes he represented 82% of CD-39 in the State Senate. He carried legislation allowing carpool lanes to no longer have double yellow lines. He speaks of carrying legislation to help public safety projects locally. He states he has a track record of getting things done. He notes his former staffers who are holding office: Santa Ana Unified School District Trustee Cecilia Iglesias and La Habra Mayor Tim Shaw running for Supervisor.

Former Assemblywoman Young Kim thanks the audience. She speaks of being an immigrant who came to the United States with her parents. She was born after the Korean War in South Korea and speaks of the hard work and determination instilled in her by her parents. She speaks of her husband and four grown children. She says she has achieved the American Dream. She collected cans and bottles in Guam, went to high school in Hawaii, and graduated from college in California. She worked in the private sector as a controller and then went to work for State Senator Ed Royce. She continued to work with him when he was elected to Congress. She states she got to work on foreign policy with him as an interlocutor on the Interparliamentary Group, including in the Six-Party Talks. She was elected to the State Assembly, breaking the 2/3 supermajority held by Democrats. She speaks of her record in the Assembly, including never voting for a tax increase. She says every indication shows she is in the lead for the 39th Congressional District.

Supervisor Shawn Nelson recounts how he was the first guy in Orange County to raise the alarm about pensions. He says the carpetbombing between Nelson and Huff looks like the one from his Supervisorial race. He notes Orange County has the lowest pension formula in the State. He speaks of reforms at OCTA and Metrolink. He says no one has the right to coronate the next Member of Congress: the seat belongs to the voters. He says he has lived in the 39th Congressional District his entire life. As Supervisor, he pushed for Orange County to join the lawsuit against the Sanctuary State law, the first county to do so. He speaks of Orange County doing more for homelessness in the past several years than any other county. He speaks of infrastructure projects, including the 405 Freeway expansion. He notes the Democrats are panicking right now, and that there can be two Republicans in the top two if the votes are not overly split.

Councilman Steve Vargas thanks his wife. He worked for Chevron. He is originally from New York City, which was attacked on September 11. He is a Navy Reservist. He says he has fought for conservatism in North County. He thanks the Yorba Linda Council for their efforts with the North County GOP office in Yorba Linda. He says the other Republicans were running for other offices while he has done his time. He says six multimillionaire Democrats are attacking each other, doing Republicans’ job for them.

Kermit Marsh asks each candidate if they would endorse the Republican nominee if there is only one Republican in the general election.

Huff, Kim, Nelson, and Vargas all agree to do so.

Andy Whallon asks how each candidate would have voted on the federal budget, like Royce did.

Kim said she would need to look at the budget bill. She would have wanted more middle class tax cuts and protected the SALT deduction. She would vote for the bill only if it helped her district.

Nelson would have voted for it. He would have wanted the property tax deduction to be indexed to inflation. He says most of the problems for California in the tax bill California did to itself.

Vargas says the budget bill was a Continuing Resolution. He says the $700 billion for the military was critical.

Huff would have tried to bring the California delegation together to try to protect the SALT deduction. However, he would have voted for the tax bill.

Kathy Tavoularis asks the candidates what policy areas they wish to specialize in, what committees they want, and how they will help other candidates for office.

Nelson says Judiciary and Transportation are the two committees that best match his skillset. He walked precincts from the age of 18. Nelson donated to the party regularly before being Supervisor.

Vargas is interested in Foreign Affairs and Veterans Affairs, citing his military service in Germany, Iraq, and South Korea. He spoke of his experience with VA treatment.

Huff is interested in Foreign Affairs and Transportation, which he worked on in the Legislature. He cites the three transcontinental rail lines and freeways in the district. He notes the district is very diverse, with 55 languages spoken. His wife is an immigrant from Asia. He speaks of his work electing others, including Ling-Ling Chang and Young Kim.

Kim speaks of Foreign Affairs and Transportation, which she served on in the Assembly. She cites the freeways in the district. She notes her work with Royce on Foreign Affairs issues. She cites the diversity of the district. She would mentor staff.

Sara Catalan asks about the diversity of the district and how to reach out to communities.

Vargas notes the district is 32% Asian and 34% Hispanic. He notes the even split of political parties in the district. He says good staff are key.

Huff hired good staff in the district. He attends community events in various ethnic communities and learned to sing in their languages. He says he would go to the communities not expect them to go to him. He listed various staff of different ethnicities he hired.

Kim says she represents the district, which has never had an Asian Member of Congress. She formed the Asian Pacific Advisory Council when Royce was elected. She says this helps on Foreign Affairs, including legislation on Vietnam and North Korea.

Nelson brings up Jay Kim, the indicted Congressman from Diamond Bar. He says there is no majority in the district. He says you have to bring people together. He coached his son’s basketball team, on which his son was the sole white team member. He says they must go to the communities and just listen to their concerns.

8:06 PM: The forum is completed.

The Central Committee honors Diane McGlinchey as the OC GOP Volunteer of the Month. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher calls in from Washington, DC to congratulate her and express his appreciation for her 30 years of service. She receives certificates from the offices of Senator John Moorlach, Assemblyman Matthew Harper, Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey, and Supervisor Michelle Steel. She also receives a certificate from the Orange County Federation of Republican Women and the Huntington Harbor Republican Women Federated.

Posted in 39th Congressional District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Let’s Set the Record Straight …

Posted by Greg Woodard on March 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Open Letter to Walter Myers on Scott Baugh’s Run for the 48th Congressional District

Posted by Mark Bucher on March 23, 2018

Walter,

I read your post about feeling slighted by Scott Baugh as Chairman of the Orange County Republican Central Committee when you were not chosen as the replacement for Jack Anderson (not John Williams), who resigned from the Committee because he was moving. You and I recall these events very differently. I remember well that you were upset, but Chairman Baugh had little involvement in that event. And it was not, as you claim, driven by race, racial insensitivity, or anything else about you personally.

When a Central Committee member resigns, the by-laws of the Central Committee require the remaining five members of that district (in this case, Jon Fleischman, Marcia Gilchrist, Tony Beall, Todd Spitzer and me) to select and recommend a replacement. After Mr. Anderson notified us that he was resigning, a fellow Central Committee member recruited Greg Woodard to replace Mr. Anderson and lobbied for him to be appointed.

The decision regarding whom to recommend was‬ not made in a vacuum – these were tumultuous times‬ on the Central Committee. As treasurer, I had been falsely accused of committing financial crimes involving the Party’s books by Francis Akhavi and others who were supported by her. (We now know why she was convinced I was cooking the books – Akhavi recently went to prison for stealing and keeping separate books. That irony is rich.) At the time, Jon Fleischman and I, and others in our assembly district caucus, wanted to make sure the replacement was somebody we knew and was not part of Akhavi’s scheme. We knew Mr. Woodard well, and simply did not know for sure where you stood. It is as simple as that. I do not recall then Chairman Baugh playing any substantial part in the decision. In fact, Mr. Woodard will confirm for you that he never even met Chairman Baugh until after he was sworn in as a new member. Nonetheless, Chairman Baugh followed the by-laws and put our recommendation to a vote of the entire Central Committee for approval.

Walter, if there is anyone you should be upset about for not being appointed to the Central Committee, it is Jon Fleishman and me, or even the entire Central Committee who voted for Mr. Woodard instead of you. But it is simply wrong for you to claim these circumstances constitute ethnic insensitively by Chairman Baugh.

With respect to your other claims that Chairman Baugh had no interest in minority outreach or is ethnically insensitive, nothing could be further from the truth. On many occasions Chairman Baugh championed ethnic outreach, including recruitment of candidates reflecting the great ethnic diversity of Orange County. He has been a fierce supporter of then Supervisor and now Senator Janet Nguyen, and stood up to powerful elements within the party to do so. He recruited and was an early supporter of Assemblywoman Young Kim, helped elect Michelle Steel and held her first fundraiser at his home when she was running for Supervisor, and led the Central Committee to an early endorsement of Andrew Do that helped lead to his election. In Santa Ana, Chairman Baugh was a leading advocate for Cecilia Iglesias for the School Board and he personally recruited Maribel Marroquin for the Central Committee in 69th Assembly District. He was also a leading proponent with the Lincoln Club for outreach to Santa Ana with Teresa Hernandez by walking precincts in an off election year to hear the concerns of the residents of Santa Ana, and even led the charge to have two Central Committee members removed who circulated racist materials.

I could go on and on recounting other efforts undertaken by Chairman Baugh, but I think the point is clear – Chairman Baugh was not responsible for you not being on the Central Committee, and has been a champion to be praised and emulated with respect to outreach to minority and ethnic communities.

Walter, you and I are friends, and I sincerely hope you are not offended by what I am saying. I just know for certain that the claims you are making against Scott Baugh are not true, and I felt it is important to set the record straight.

Mark Bucher

Elected Orange County Republican Central Committee Member
Former Treasurer, Orange County Republican Central Committee

Posted in 48th Congressional District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements for CD-49, SD-29, and AD-65

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 26, 2018

We’re live from the OC GOP Central Committee meeting, where three endorsements are being considered:

The Coronado endorsement for the 65th Assembly District is expected to be fairly quick since Coronado is the sole Republican challenging incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton).

Harkey’s endorsement request for CD-49 and Chang’s endorsement request for SD-29 will be hotly contested, as Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside) and Supervisor Kristin Gaspar (R-Encinitas) are both running for CD-49 while Councilman Bruce Whitaker (R-Fullerton) is also running for SD-29. Harkey and Chang are on the agenda because a majority of the members of Central Committee signed their petitions to have their endorsement requests heard. In order to actually be endorsed requires a 2/3 vote of the Central Committee.

Gaspar had emailed Central Committee members asking to meet with them individually earlier this month. Michael Schwartz, a San Diego County Second Amendment advocate, had distributed flyers at last week’s Central Committee meeting assailing Gaspar’s record on guns and her campaign contributions. Gaspar responded today with an email arguing the OC GOP should not endorse one Republican over another, noting her success in unseating a sitting Democrat from the Board of Supervisors in a district Hillary Clinton won by 20%, and stating that she is “pro Second Amendment, pro life and as a lifelong Republican I do not contribute to Democrat candidates” along with a link to the opensecrets.org entry for donations by Gaspar, which shows numerous donations to the Republican Party of San Diego County and one each to Congresswoman Mimi Walters and State Senator Bill Morrow. Schwartz responded to Gaspar’s email with an email arguing that the Supervisor Gaspar defeated “had looming employee, sexual harassment, and campaign finance issues” and was easily beatable, that she voted to support a gun ban while she was on the City Council, and listed one contribution to Pedro Nava, six contributions from her company to Democrats at the State and local levels, and her husband’s numerous contributions.

(For those of you subscribed to our posts via email, please visit our web site and hit refresh on this post for updates throughout the meeting. Our software only sends emails for the initial posting.)

7:00 PM: Chairman Fred Whitaker calls the meeting to order and gives the invocation.

7:01 PM: Colin Edwards leads the Pledge of Allegiance.

7:02 PM: Roll call is taken, with 50 people present, far beyond quorum requirements.

7:07 PM: Yorba Linda Mayor Gene Hernandez swears in three new alternates as well as Newport Beach Councilman Will O’Neill, who was appointed to the Central Committee last meeting to fill a vacancy.

65TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

7:09 PM: Baron Night moves and Municipal Water District of Orange County Board Member Brett Barbre seconds endorsing Alexandria Coronado.

7:10 PM: There is no debate, and ALEXANDRIA CORONADO IS ENDORSED UNANIMOUSLY FOR THE 65TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT.

49TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

7:11 PM: Next up is the endorsement request of Diane Harkey for the 49th Congressional District.

7:12 PM: Each CD-49 candidate is given 3 minutes to speak. Gaspar is not present because she is preparing for her State of the County address tomorrow, according to her campaign manager, Bill Christiansen. Chavez did not send a representative.

Board of Equalization Chairwoman Diane Harkey speaks first, thanks to the alphabet (and the absence of Chavez and Gaspar). Harkey notes how well the Central Committee knows her. She states she is the only candidate who represents all of CD-49, as she is their Board of Equalization member. She notes she is the first Republican Board of Equalization Chair in 15 years. She speaks of regulatory reform and legislative changes she pursued from the Board of Equalization. She speaks of her electoral history with Dana Point City Council, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization. She says Congressman Darrell Issa called her and asked her to run before he announced his plans to retire. She initially told him she did not want to run. However, after further consideration, she felt the seat was too important to not seek it. She spoke of her efforts to help other Republican candidates.

San Juan Capistrano Mayor Pro Tem Brian Maryott says he will seek the endorsement if the endorsement is still available after tonight. He notes that he recently retired from the financial services industry. He states he took a day to decide to run for Congress after Issa announced his retirement. He wants to make the biggest impact possible in public service. He wants his three children (14, 10, and 3 years old) to live in a free country with the ability to succeed and prosper. He was also a legislative staffer for three years.

Mike Schmitt is a doctor. He says he is “a statesman, not a politician.” He says he is the only candidate who has worked directly with Congress. He speaks of funding three trips to Iraq while ISIS reigned there. He says he is a patron of conservative groups that lobby Congress. He says he is the only candidate with full-time work in health care and says he is the most educated person in the race. He says health care and national security are the key themes of his campaign. He says he is the best candidate of either party. He says the voters should choose who is the candidate. He says he is “a streetfighter.”

Joshua Schoonover is a patent attorney from Carlsbad. He says he believes the other candidates are unable to earn the Republican vote. He says he is “young, new, and different.” He says “the same old, same old” is too much of a risk. He wants to debate the other candidates. He wants an informed decision. He says the OC GOP should have a candidate forum/debate jointly with the San Diego County GOP.

7:25 PM: Former Assemblyman Chris Norby asks if the candidates will “respect state’s rights” on marijuana.

Harkey says, “the train has left the station” on marijuana legalization. She says she has experience with marijuana regulations from the Board of Equalization. She wants to ensure law enforcement has adequate resources.

Schoonover says he wants marijuana removed from DEA enforcement and handed to ATF regulation instead. He believes in individual freedom.

Maryott opposes marijuana legalization. He does support allowing medical labs to extract the medicinal elements of marijuana.

Schmitt opposes marijuana legalization.

7:29 PM: Kermit Marsh asks the candidates about funds raised excluding loans, campaign manager names, and five most significant endorsements.

Schmitt says he has not raised much but will raise $400,000-$600,000. He says his campaign advisor is Larry Gilbert but is looking for a full-time manager. He has no endorsements. (February 27 Editor’s Note: Gilbert contacted OC Political to state: “Michael Schmitt, one of the candidates running for the 49th CD, misspoke…” Gilbert stated he is not participating in the Schmitt campaign or any other campaign. He stated he met with Schmitt in a fashion similar to how he has met with various candidates over the years to learn more about them and their campaigns.)

Maryott has Rick Frank running his race. He has just begun fundraising. He says endorsements will not win the race.

Schoonover has raised $250,000. His campaign manager is Fred Zestak, who has no campaign experience. He names five businesspeople as his top endorsers.

Harkey has raised $125,000, has another $100,000 coming, and expects to hit $500,000. She also has $100,000 in her BOE account. Her leading endorsers are Congressman Darrell Issa, Congresswoman Mimi Walters, Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Supervisor Michelle Steel, Supervisor Andrew Do, numerous city councilmembers, and the California Association of Taxpayer Advocates. Bryan Shroyer is her campaign manager, and Dave Gilliard is her consultant.

7:34 PM: Anthony Kuo asks how each has helped improve Republican voter registration.

Harkey speaks of a litany of registration efforts she has engaged in that she said faster than this blogger could type.

Schoonover points to his 500 signatures-in-lieu of filing fee. He calls for social centrism.

Maryott says he has championed conservative causes as a councilman. He doesn’t want the party to move toward youth and minorities. He wants them to move toward the party.

Schmitt says he has rabid grassroots people. He says he sponsored a booth in Dana Point. He is planning church registration drives. He says he is “the faith candidate.”

7:38 PM: Yours truly asks the candidates if they live in the 49th Congressional District.

Harkey, Maryott, and Schmitt do. Schoonover does not.

7:39 PM: Former Orange County Board of Education President Robert Hammond asks if the candidates have supported the OC GOP’s Flag Day fundraiser.

Harkey says she has provided financial support to Flag Day in OC and to Lincoln-Reagan Day events in other counties.

The other three have not done so. Schmitt points to his spending in Iraq.

7:40 PM: Nick Wilson asks if the candidates other than Harkey submitted endorsement requests.

Schoonover got 17 signatures, falling short of 21 needed to go to the endorsements committee.

Maryott and Schmitt are seeking signatures.

7:41 PM: Baron Night moves and Dean Grose seconds endorsing Harkey.

7:42 PM: Nick Wilson speaks against endorsing. He notes Issa was already endorsed and “abandoned us.” He wants to leave the field open and likes the idea of organizing a candidate forum.

7:43 PM: Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Tony Beall says this is an important seat nationally and that Harkey has the experience to win campaigns, having been elected to City Council, the State Assembly, and the Board of Equalization, where she is California’s highest-ranking Republican.

7:44 PM: The voice vote is nearly unanimous to ENDORSE DIANE HARKEY FOR THE 49TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.

Harkey jumps up and down and expresses her thanks to the committee.

29TH SENATE DISTRICT

7:47 PM: Former Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang speaks of running for SD-29 two years ago and giving up her safe Assembly seat to do so. She precinct walked in the rain and spent $100,000 out of pocket. She noted 80% voter turnout was incredible. She said John & Ken said on the air that she should run. She says people called her with polling data saying she would win. Since 2005, she had never lost a race until 2016. She says she is already endorsed by the LA County GOP, San Bernardino County GOP, the Lincoln Club, and various elected officials. She spoke of fighting tax increases in the Assembly.

7:50 PM: Fullerton Councilman Bruce Whitaker notes 8 terms on the Central Committee, including being on the Executive Committee. He notes the majority of the district is in Orange County. He speaks of knowing the territory well after having worked at the Board of Supervisors and as a district director in the Assembly. He notes Chang lost her own city of Diamond Bar against novice Josh Newman. Whitaker says he will be a champion of low taxes, limited government, and freedom. He says new immigrants will be drawn to that message. He notes surveys show 58% of Californians oppose the gas tax increase. He notes OCBC commended Newman for voting for the tax. He says Newman cost the district more in taxes than he brought back in spending on local projects.

7:54 PM: Dean Grose asks if the candidates supported Trump.

Chang says she was critical of Trump but hated Clinton more. She says Newman sent deceptive ads calling her a Clinton supporter to Republicans and a leader in Trump’s party to Democrats. She did not vote for Trump.

Whitaker called it a “no-brainer” and “proudly voted” for Trump.

7:56 PM: Kermit Marsh asks how much each candidate has raised excluding loans, who is their campaign manager, and who their top endorsements are.

Chang raised millions in 2016 but has $200,000 for this race and will raise more. Jim Nygren is her consultant. Her top endorsements are the LA County GOP, the San Bernardino County GOP, the Lincoln Club, Congressman Ed Royce, and Board of Equalization Chairwoman Diane Harkey.

Whitaker says the CRP already preferred Chang at the outset. He says Jim Friedman is aiding his campaign. He notes endorsements from the North Orange County Conservative Coalition, Placentia Councilman Craig Green, and Pastor Jim Domen.

7:59 PM: Newport Beach Councilman Scott Peotter asks about their stance on gun control in light of the mass shooting in Florida.

Whitaker opposes further gun control and blasts the media for blaming inanimate objects. He calls for dealing with mental illness and not letting the mentally ill get guns.

Chang is an NRA member who regularly goes shooting. She says the California Democratic Party attacked her as a “tool of the NRA.”

8:00 PM: Former Assemblyman Chris Norby asks about the candidates’ positions on asset seizure.

Whitaker opposes taking property without due process and opposes asset seizure.

Chang worked with Howard Ahmanson on legislation. She opposes asset seizure in general.

8:01 PM: Sara Catalan asks of ballot integrity and recount efforts in 2016 along with efforts to help pass the recall.

Chang says she donated money and sent people to deal with provisional ballots. She has built coalitions to support the recall. She has brought volunteers from four ethnic groups together. She speaks of recruiting volunteers.

Whitaker praises Carl DeMaio and John & Ken. He circulated petitions for the recall and announced his candidacy first. He notes he has time constraints as a sitting Councilman.

8:04 PM: Lee Lowery asks the candidates about abortion.

Whitaker says, “It’s a child, not a choice.” He supports the “rights of the unborn.” He supports the approach of discussing calmly rather than yelling.

Chang says she is pro-life. She suggests using 4-D technology to show people unborn children.

8:06 PM: Scott Carpenter asks if they would vote for resolutions supporting Roe v. Wade or Planned Parenthood.

Chang says she has.

Whitaker expresses concern about the high moral ground and “situational ethics.” He says he would oppose such a resolution.

8:08 PM: Newport Beach Councilman Scott Peotter moves and Dean Grose seconds for no endorsement.

8:09 PM: Former Assemblyman Chris Norby says it should not be “Hello, Newman!” but “Goodbye, Newman!” He says either candidate would beat Newman. He says the district is 72% in Orange County. He speaks of Whitaker having been Mayor of Fullerton, the largest city in the district. He says Whitaker worked for him at the County and the State. He says it doesn’t matter which candidate wins since the recall question needs to pass.

8:11 PM: Anthony Kuo is sworn in as Erik Weigand’s alternate.

8:12 PM: Sara Catalan speaks of working for Congressman Ed Royce and then-Senator Jim Brulte. She says there is near-complete overlap between CD-39 and SD-29. She says Royce strongly supports Chang. She says they don’t want to leave the door open for a Democrat to win. She says many people were helping at the Registrar but says she didn’t see Whitaker there (without saying his name).

8:14 PM: Newport Beach Councilman Scott Peotter says he is familiar with recalls, eliciting laughter from Central Committee members who remember that Peotter recently beat back a recall effort against him. He says every candidate will bring supporters who will vote for the recall. He says endorsing would discourage other candidates’ supporters. He notes the Andrew Hamilton recall in Lake Forest passed because so many replacement candidates brought out supporters who voted for the recall.

8:16 PM: Supervisor Andrew Do says Chang has consistently supported the party and gave up her safe Assembly seat to run for Senate. Do met her Chief of Staff at the Registrar when she sent him to the 2016 ballot counting, and Do has since hired that Chief of Staff. Do speaks of having the resources to win a swing seat.

8:18 PM: Paula Prizio is pro-life but not a one-issue candidate. She is Mark Bucher’s alternate and Bucher opposes Chang, citing her voting for a resolution praising Planned Parenthood.

8:19 PM: Chairman Fred Whitaker says he agrees on the issues 100% with Bruce Whitaker. He says an 80% friend is not a 20% enemy. He wants to support the conservative who can best win. He says there must be a unified effort. He says the California Republican Party resources to support the recall need a unified front with Chang. He says Bruce Whitaker cannot be the CRP-endorsed candidate since two other counties have already endorsed Chang.

8:22 PM: Anthony Kuo attempts a substitute motion, but Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh says it is too late.

8:23 PM: The voice vote is unclear, so there is a standing vote.

The vote is 14 for the motion for no endorsement and 36 against.

8:25 PM: Municipal Water District of Orange County Board Member Brett Barbre moves and Jennifer Beall seconds to endorse Chang.

The motion passes by voice vote to ENDORSE LING-LING CHANG FOR THE 29TH SENATE DISTRICT.

8:26 PM: Meeting adjourned.

Posted in 29th Senate District, 49th Congressional District, 65th Assembly District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Resolution Against Chad Mayes

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 21, 2017

We are live from the Orange County Republican Party Central Committee’s August meeting, where the committee is widely expected to pass a resolution calling on Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) to resign.

Mayes survived an ouster effort by three votes earlier this evening and will face another leadership vote on Tuesday, August 29.  He has been under fire from Republicans across the state for his role in supporting the controversial cap-and-trade bill.

The Lincoln Club of Orange County and OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker have already called for Mayes to step down.  Tonight’s resolution will put the OC GOP Central Committee on record in calling for Mayes to resign.

Here is the full text of the proposed resolution (the fast-moving pace of Central Committee votes has increased the number of County Party Chairmen and Central Committees in favor of Mayes’s ouster since the resolution was drafted):

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF ASSEMBLY REPUBLICAN LEADER CHAD MAYES RESIGNING HIS LEADERSHIP POSITION

August 21, 2017

WHEREAS, the Democrat controlled California Legislature rammed through a ten-year extension of Democrat Governor Jerry Brown’s disastrous Cap and Trade program, perpetuating needless economic devastation and imposing an enormous financial burden on the poor and middle class taxpayers of California;

WHEREAS, the Democrat led Cap and Trade extension will continue the exodus of small business from our state at a greater speed and in larger numbers while artificially increasing the costs of electrical generation and products that are made using fuel or electricity;

WHEREAS, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association projects that the Cap and Trade extension will increase fuel prices by 21 cents per gallon come 2022 and by 71 cents per gallon come 2030, in addition to the 19 cents per gallon hike passed by the Democrats last April;

WHEREAS, Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes turned his back on the Republican Party platform by proudly and publicly supporting the worst of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown’s far-left legislative agenda, and persuaded six of his fellow Assembly Republicans to join with him;

WHEREAS, Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes abandoned his mandate to elect more Assembly Republicans throughout the State of California by giving Democrats like Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva a free pass to vote against Cap and Trade and act more Republican than our leadership;

WHEREAS, Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes continues to be defiant, despite calls for his resignation from RNC National Committeeman Shawn Steel, RNC National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon, the Lincoln Club of Orange County, several other donor and volunteer groups, seventeen Republican Party County Chairmen and/or Central Committees throughout California, and the vote of the California Republican Party Board of Directors;

WHEREAS, Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes has irreparably harmed his ability to effectively fundraise on behalf of his Republican colleagues, elect Republicans in targeted districts throughout the state, and help lead the repeal of the recent Democrat led gas tax increase;

WHEREAS, Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes has inexcusably penalized Republican Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez for standing on sound Republican principle in opposition to this economically debilitating legislation that will direct billions of tax dollars to the high-speed rail boondoggle overwhelmingly opposed by Californians;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:
The Republican Central Committee of Orange County respectfully requests Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes resign his leadership position immediately and allow another Republican to lead who will present a clear alternative to the Democrats’ crushing tax hikes and burdensome regulatory regime.

After the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance, RNC Committeeman Shawn Steel opens by stating there is a cancer growing in the Assembly.  He blasts Chad Mayes for going against his caucus, losing his right to be leader, noting that 17 of 25 members voted against Mayes’s position on cap-and-trade and that Mayes lost three Republican Assembly seats in 2016. He notes that Mayes was proud of his photo with Governor Jerry Brown, Assembly Speaker Chad Mayes, and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon celebrating the passage of the cap-and-trade bill.

Steel notes Mayes’s survival of tonight’s vote in Sacramento and that a new vote will take place next week. Steel notes Orange County has 5 Republican Assemblymembers, which goes a long way toward the 13.  Assemblymen Travis Allen, Matthew Harper, and Steven Choi have been calling for Mayes’s ouster since the cap-and-trade vote. He states Assemblyman Bill Brough also supports electing a new leader, but has not yet picked which leader. Steel says Assemblyman Phillip Chen wants a smooth transition and wants to avoid a bloodbath. Steel calls on committee members who live in the 55th Assembly District to call Chen to pressure him.

Steel notes that Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez and Assemblyman Jay Obernolte are in the race. He says he spoke to Assemblyman Vince Fong, who decided today that he will run for Assembly Republican Leader.

Steel says he does not want to squander time fighting Republican leaders, as he would rather focus on fighting for other things, pointing to the example of his efforts for free speech on college campuses.

Steel thanks Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker for helping with ensuring enough police to protect event goers at the upcoming Milo Yiannopolous speech at Cal State Fullerton on October 31.

Steel thanks Steven Choi for his help in ensuring enough police to protect event goers at the Milo Yiannopolous speech at UC Irvine last year.

Steel thanks Fred Whitaker for being the first County Party Chairman to call for Mayes to resign.

Steel inadvertently curses while blasting Nazis and white supremacists at Charlottesville. He says Trump stumbled and should have simply said, “I hate Nazis!”

Steel blasts white suprenacy as a disease as disgusting as anti-Semitism and speaks of William F. Buckley’s efforts to run the anti-Semites out of the conservative movement.

Steel calls white supremacists and Nazis “our endemic, enduring enemy.” He blasts the Ku Klux Klan. Steel speaks of Abraham Lincoln and the Radical Republicans who fought to end slavery.

Steel calls for the exposure and expulsion of white supremacists, just like Buckley exposed and expelled anti-Semites.

In Q&A, Mike Withrow asks Steel for his assessment of the Virginia Governor’s race.

Steel says the race is dead even despite Virginia’s shift toward Democrats in other ways. He says the New Jersey gubernatorial race is lost.

An audience member asks Steel about the alt-right.

Steel says he had never heard of the alt-right until Hillary Clinton blasted them last year. He blasts them for being totalitarians and white supremacists. He says true Republicans believe in limited government, not authoritarianism.

An audience member asks Steel about efforts to protect Congressman Dana Rohrabacher against six Democrat opponents.

Steel describes Rohrabacher’s campaign and how it is being taken as the most serious election of Rohrabacher’s career. Steel notes his wife is unopposed in her re-election as Supervisor but will still wage a campaign to help Rohrabacher.

Steel speaks of Congressman Ed Royce’s opponents, including the one who dumped in $2 million into the race and the one who won a $266 million lottery jackpot.

Steel notes that Orange County saved Congressman Darrell Issa’s seat in 2016, as Issa lost in San Diego County.

Robert Petrosyan asks Steel about Mayes’s re-election. Specifically, he asks Steel if the California Republican Party will support a primary opponent against Mayes.

Steel states that Gary Jeandron, who lost the primary to Mayes by 100 votes, is taking a hard look at running again. Steel says that Mayes justified socialism in small bites while speaking to the San Bernardino County Central Committee. He speaks of Mayes debating Melendez at the Riverside County Central Committee. Steel says Mayes is “insane.”

Chairman Fred Whitaker calls the roll to establish quorum and determine the number of members present in order to vote on the resolution.

The minutes from the July special meeting are approved.

Whitaker speaks of the various party regional headquarters being set up across Orange County. He says the SD-29 recall will take place in November. Whitaker notes all the Democrats’ efforts to change recall rules are because Democrats know they stepped over the line. Whitaker says this why it is critical to have good leadership in Sacramento. He blasts Mayes for “political malpractice” in giving Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva a “free pass” on cap-and-trade. Whitaker notes Quirk-Silva issued a press release attacking cap-and-trade and looked more conservative than Mayes.

Whitaker says that next week, there are four candidates for Assembly Republican Leader: Obernolte, Melendez, Fong, and Mayes. He calls on Mayes to drop out.

Todd Spitzer moves and John Briscoe seconds to suspend the rules to allow the consideration of the resolution on an urgency basis.

The suspension of the rules passes unanimously.

Whitaker reads the full text of the resolution calling for Mayes to resign.

Andy Whallon moves and Todd Spitzer seconds the resolution for discussion.

Spitzer moves and Mike Munzing seconds for an amendment to add “and demanding the Republican Caucus vacate his seat” in the title and change “respectfully requests” to “demands” in the final paragraph while also adding a demand that the Assembly Republican Caucus oust Mayes as Republican Leader.

The committee votes unanimously and without debate to adopt the resolution with the amendments.

AMENDED RESOLUTION PASSES UNANIMOUSLY.

Deborah Pauly asks Chairman Whitaker to distribute the resolution to all the Central Committee members to pass on to other Republicans and organizations. Whitaker enthusiastically supports Pauly’s suggestion.

OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang announces the June Volunteer of the Month, summer intern Nicholas Kumamoto from Irvine, an undergraduate at Amherst College. Kumamoto thanks the OC GOP for the opportunity to volunteer. Whitaker, Huang, and Spitzer present certificates to Kumamoto.

Huang announces the July Volunteer of the Month, OCC College Republican Noah Ritter.  Ritter thanks various College Republicans by name and thanks Orange County Republicans collectively.  Whitaker, Huang, and the office of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher present certificates to Ritter.

OC GOP Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh admonishes Republicans who are running against each other to not commit ethics violations. He provides a shorthand of the rules: don’t lie about yourself, don’t lie about your opponent, and don’t use the Republican Party symbols without permission.

Various club announcements are made by audience members.

Whitaker notes the OC GOP headquarters volunteers will be on Fox News tomorrow.

Whitaker reads a resolution in memory of Ross Johnson, former FPPC Chair, former Senate Republican Leader, and former Assembly Republican Leader. The Johnson family asked for donations to Women’s Empowerment or the ASPCA.

The committee adjourns in memory of Ross Johnson at 8:18 PM.

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

Live from OC GOP Central Committee on Efforts to Stop the Car Tax

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 19, 2017

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgWe are live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where the committee is considering a resolution of support for Assemblyman Travis Allen’s effort to repeal the gas tax via his plan to qualify a statewide ballot measure to repeal SB 1 in the next statewide general election (in November 2018). After the Attorney General issues the title and summary of the proposed measure, Allen will need the signatures of 365,880 California voters to put the measure on the ballot. Upon reaching the ballot, the measure needs a simple majority of voters to pass.

Tonight, however, to get the resolution of support for the proposed ballot measure, Allen needs 2/3 of the Central Committee members to vote in favor of the resolution.

Before that, general Central Committee business must be completed.

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker gives opening remarks.

RNC Western Regional Political Director Alexis Valdez-Darnell explains her role, the RNC’s efforts in Orange County, and what they can do to help the OC GOP.

Chairman Whitaker recognizes each of the local elected officials present.

OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang recognized the OC GOP Volunteer of the Month for April: longtime activist Joyce Van Schaack, who also received certificates from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the office of Assemblyman Bill Brough, the office of Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates, the office of Board of Equalization Chair Diane Harkey, the office of Assessor Claude Parrish, the Laguna Niguel Republican Women Federated, the Orange County Federation of Republican Women, and OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker, joined by his father, former LA GOP 41st Assembly District Chairman Fred Whitaker, Sr.

OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang recognized the OC GOP Volunteer of the Month for May: college student Thea Dunlevie, who also received certificates from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the office of Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates, the office of Assemblyman Bill Brough, the office of Congressman Darrell Issa, the office of Board of Equalization Chair Diane Harkey, the NextGen Republicans, and OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker.

Chairman Whitaker discusses the work of First Vice Chairman John Warner for Saturday’s Flag Day dinner, as Warner is out ill.

Second Vice Chairman TJ Fuentes, Treasurer Erik Weigand, and Assistant Treasurer Laurie Davies 

Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Whitacre and Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh had no report.

Assemblyman Allen speaks in favor of the urgency. He describes the measure’s provisions repealing the gas tax and car tax.

Chairman Whitaker speaks against the urgency. He states that Carl DeMaio, who is leading the recall effort against Senator Josh Newman, is not yet on board with this measure because DeMaio may be drafting another one.

Committee Member Mike Munzing asks if it is possible to endorse Allen’s now and then endorse the other if it materializes.

Chairman Whitaker states it is possible but not advisable.

Committee Treasurer Erik Weigand asks if a special meeting is possible.

Parliamentarian Marsh express concern about the ability to get quorum.

Committee Member Taylor Strand asks if a special meeting would be timely to meet Assemblyman Allen’s measure deadlines.

Parliamentarian Marsh states it is possible to call an electronic meeting.

Chairman Whitaker suggests July 10 or July 12 for a special meeting.

Committee Member Baron Night asks about the timeline for the measure.

Allen explains that title and summary will be released in early July and signatures due in early December.

Allen states the special meeting would be fine for endorsement but he requests the resolution of support tonight.

Because Whitaker is the only speaker in opposition to declaring an urgency regarding the repeal of the gas tax and car tax, Allen is the only speaker in favor allowed to speak despite others wanting to speak in favor.

Committee Member Deborah Pauly asks about getting quorum at a special meeting.

Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh notes that quorum is easy to attain because Central Committee members can appoint and remove alternates at will.

Committee Member Anthony Kuo asks if the Central Committee action will affect signature gathering.

Allen explains that the endorsement would be helpful in getting donations and volunteers for the ballot measure signature gathering effort.

Committee Member Jennifer Beall asks if any other measure has actually been filed. She notes Allen is a member of the OC legislative delegation and therefore, a member of the Central Committee.

Chairman Whitaker is unsure.

Allen says no other proposed measure has been filed.

Committee Member John W. Briscoe asks if it would be possible to pass the resolution now and the endorsement in July.

Chairman Whitaker says it would be possible.

Committee Member Jennifer Beall asks about resolutions of support and opposition in the past two months on various recalls.

Chairman Whitaker states they were general resolutions of support, not endorsements.

The vote is 31 in favor of declaring an urgency and 19 against declaring an urgency. The urgency fails to achieve 2/3. With 50 people voting, 34 votes in favor were needed to declare an urgency. Consequently, the resolution will not be considered tonight.

The committee goes to club reports.

The committee adjourns at 8:48 PM.

Posted in 72nd Assembly District, California, Orange County, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 4

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 12, 2016

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

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

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

On tonight’s docket are:

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

First up is Brea City Council.

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

Baron Night asks about his involvement in the Brea downtown.

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

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

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

Matthews arrives.

Peggy Huang asks about Brea’s pension liability.

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

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

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

Next up is Fountain Valley City Council.

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

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

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

Night asks about the sales tax increase.

Tucker is opposed to the sales tax increase.

Huang asks about whether Tucker would consider changing fire providers.

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

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

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

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

Night moves and Young seconds recommending Tucker for endorsement.

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

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

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

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

Fuentes moves and Huang seconds recommending neutrality.

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

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

Klopfenstein is the only Republican running for District 5.

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

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

Night advises her to study more about pensions.

Night asks about her stance on marijuana.

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

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

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

Huang advises that she should study more about pensions.

Matthews moves and Fuentes seconds to recommend Klopfenstein for endorsement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Night departs.

Next up is Brea City Treasurer.

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

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

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

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

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

Next up is Ocean View School District.

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

Young asks about the bond.

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

Matthews asks about alternatives to bonds.

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

Matthews suggests getting a bank loan instead of a bond.

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

Huang asks Singer about the four unions endorsing her.

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

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

Singer says she would pursue greater cuts.

Huang asks why isn’t that the solution first.

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

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

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

Fuentes moves and Huang seconds to recommend neutrality.

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

Next up is Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.

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

Next up is Santa Margarita Water District.

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

Matthews moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Gibson for endorsement.

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

Last up is Costa Mesa Sanitary District.

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

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

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

Meeting adjourned.

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Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements Round 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 19, 2016

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

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

City Council

Aliso Viejo (3 seats)

  • Bill Phillips*

Cypress (2 seats)

  • Rob Johnson*

Garden Grove, District 3

  • Clay Bock*

Huntington Beach (3 seats)

  • Edward Pinchiff*

Los Alamitos (2 seats)

  • Josh Wilson

Newport Beach City Council, District 2

  • Brad Avery

San Clemente (2 seats)

  • Steven Swartz*

San Juan Capistrano, District 5

  • Brian Maryott
  • Ronda Mottl

Santa Ana, Ward 3

  • Josh Mauras*

Villa Park (2 seats)

  • Vincent Rossini*

Mayor

Westminster

  • Tri Ta*

Treasurer

Brea

  • George Ullrich*

Placentia

  • Kevin Larson
  • Scott Nelson

School Districts

Irvine Unified School District (3 seats)

  • Mark Newgent*

Ocean View School District (2 seats)

  • Kathryn Gonzalez*
  • Norm Westwell*

Placentia-­Yorba Linda Unified School District (3 seats)

  • Susi Khan
  • Helen Kingsbury
  • Irene Yezbak

Water Districts

Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 7

  • Evan Chaffee*

Orange County Water District, Division 3

  • Roger Yoh

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

  • Eileen Barme*
  • Robert Wren*

Community College Districts

Coast Community College District, Trustee Area 2

  • Vong Nguyen

Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fuentes delivered the report of the Endorsements Committee.

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

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

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

Dennis White pulls

  • Yorba Linda Water District

Brett Barbre pulls

  • Orange County Water District, Division 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Khan does not know either.

Deborah Pauly asks about the school bond in PYLUSD.

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

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

Rhonda Rohrabacher expresses shock about the incumbents supporting the bonds.

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

Khan says she does not remember.

Yezbak says she is not sure.

Kingsbury says she probably did but is unsure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brett Barbre moves and Scott Peotter seconds to endorse.

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

Huang argues for consistency to consider both candidates’ applications.

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

Gordon argues for consistency.

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

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

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

A lengthy parliamentary discussion ensues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yoh says he would have switched back to Republican.

17 vote for neutrality while 18 vote against neutrality.

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

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

Dennis White moves and Steve Sarkis seconds for neutrality.

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

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

5 vote for neutrality while 26 vote against neutrality.

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

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

9:53 PM: Meeting adjourned.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements Round 2

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 31, 2016

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

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

City Council

Anaheim, District 1

  • Denise Barnes
  • Steven Chavez Lodge
  • Orlando Perez

Anaheim, District 4

  • Hon. Lucille Kring

Anaheim, District 5

  • Stephen Faessel
  • Mark Lopez

Dana Point

  • Michelle Brough*

Fountain Valley

  • Hon. Steve Nagel*

Fullerton

  • Larry Bennett*

Garden Grove Mayor

  • Hon. Steve Jones*

Huntington Beach

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

Irvine Mayor

  • Hon. Don Wagner*

La Habra

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

Laguna Hills

  • Janine Heft*

Lake Forest

  • Francisco Barajas*

Los Alamitos

  • Hon. Dean Grose*

Mission Viejo

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

Newport Beach, District 5

  • Mike Glenn
  • Lee Lowrey

Newport Beach, District 7

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

Placentia

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

Placentia Treasurer

  • Hon. Scott Nelson

San Clemente

  • Hon. Bob Baker
  • Dan Bane*

Yorba Linda

  • Hon. Craig Young*

School Districts

Capistrano Unified School District, Area 5

  • Jake Vollebregt*

Santa Ana Unified School District

  • Angie Cano*

Water Districts

Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 6

  • Hon. Jeff Thomas
  • Hon. Frank Ury

Orange County Water District, Division 6

  • Hon. Cathy Green*

Yorba Linda Water District

  • Andrew Hall*
  • Hon. Richard Collett*

Community College Districts

North Orange County Community College, Area 7

  • Ryan Bent*

Rancho Santiago Community College, Area 5

  • Steven Nguyen*

South Orange County Community College, Area 3

  • Kimberly Clark (postponed)

Ballot Measures

No on Bond Measures

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

Yes on Increasing Tax Thresholds

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

No on Tax Increases

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

No on Giant Politician Pay Raises

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

Yes on Tax Repeal

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

Yes on Term Limits

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

No on Voter Approval on Development Projects

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

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

Live Coverage

The meeting is now underway.

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

5 new alternates are sworn in.

The endless candidate and officeholder introductions have begun.

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

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

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

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

Baron Night pulls Fountain Valley.

Thomas Gordon pulls Anaheim District 1 and Anaheim District 5.

Jenny Ahn pulls Irvine Mayor.

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

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

Whitaker notes written copies are available instead.

First up is Anaheim District 1.

The Endorsements Committee voted 5-0 for neutrality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is plurality Democratic and Latino.

Kathy Tavoularis argues a police association is a union.

Chavez Lodge says police associations cannot strike.

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

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

Deborah Pauly asks who has endorsed each candidate.

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

Perez is endorsed by Grow Elect.

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

Kermit Marsh asks how much each candidate has raised.

Barnes says $10,000.

Perez says $692.

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

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

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

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

The committee voice vote sounds unanimous for neutrality.

OC GOP GOES NEUTRAL IN ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1.

On to Anaheim District 4.

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

Ward asks Kring if she has recieved union money.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Voigts moves and Sarkis seconds to endorse Kring.

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

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

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

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

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

KRING ENDORSED FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 4.

Up next is Anaheim District 5.

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

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

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

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

Sarkis asks how much money Lopez has raised.

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

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

Ray Grangoff moves and Deboah Pauly seconds to endorse Lopez.

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

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

By a voice vote, Lopez gets 2/3.

LOPEZ ENDORSED FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 5.

Next up is Fountain Valley City Council.

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

Mike Munzing asks who is running.

Nagel says there are five candidates running for two seats.

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

Whitaker moves and someone seconds to endorse Nagel.

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

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

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

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

Nagel says yes.

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

NAGEL ENDORSED FOR FOUNTAIN VALLEY CITY COUNCIL.

Next up is Mark Rofles for Huntington Beach City Council.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The motion passes by unanimous voice vote.

NEUTRALITY ON ROFLES FOR HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL.

Next up is Mayor of Irvine.

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

Jenny Ahn says she is Steven Choi’s alternate.

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

The voice vote is unanimous.

WAGNER ENDORSED FOR MAYOR OF IRVINE.

Next up is Placentia City Treasurer.

Whitaker states there is an application pending from

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

POSTPONEMENT ON PLACENTIA CITY TREASURER.

Next up is Mission Viejo City Council.

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

Pauly asks Schlicht to continue her comments.

Schlicht says she wants to outsource IT.

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

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

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

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

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

Beall moves and Young seconds for neutrality.

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

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

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

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

By a voice vote, neutrality prevails.

NEUTRALITY FOR MISSION VIEJO CITY COUNCIL.

Intermission.

On to Newport Beach District 5.

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

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

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

Glenn says 2015 and 2016.

Marsh asks how much each candidate has raised.

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

Glenn has raised $24,000.

Peotter asked Glenn how long he has been a Republican.

Glenn says since 2012 when he switched from Libertarian.

Baugh moves and Young seconds to endorse Lowrey.

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

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

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

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

By a voice vote, Lowrey is endorsed overwhelmingly.

LOWREY ENDORSED FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5.

Next up is Newport Beach District 7.

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

Phil Greer is not present and lacks a representative.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peotter moves and Muldoon seconds for endorsing O’Neill.

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

Peotter says the donations from the company came after 2002.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Someone called for a roll-call vote.

Peotter withdraws his motion.

The Whitaker motion for neutrality remains.

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

By a voice vote, neutrality passes overwhelmingly.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 7.

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

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

The voice vote is close.

Voigts calls for a standing vote.

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

Motion-maker Nelson concedes the floor to Baugh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peotter says he supports a continuance.

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

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

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

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

The Endorsements Committee says Greer did not.

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

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

Coronado calls for a standing vote.

There are 17 votes to maintain neutrality with 29 opposed.

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

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

On to ballot measures.

Whitaker pulls QQ for separate debate.

David Shawver pulls RR for separate debate.

All other measure positions remain on consent.

CONSENT CALENDAR ON BALLOT MEASURES APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.

Next up is Measure QQ.

Bucher moves and Warner seconds to endorse Measure QQ.

Shawver moves and Night seconds for neutrality on Measure QQ.

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

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

On the neutrality vote, the voice vote is close.

Whitaker orders a standing vote.

Neutrality fails.

Bucher moves and Warner seconds to support QQ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are multiple calls for a standing vote.

36 support Yes on QQ. 7 oppose Yes on QQ

YES ON MEASURE QQ ENDORSED.

Lastly, there is Measure RR.

Shawver moves and Kuo seconds for No on RR.

Bucher moves and Pauly seconds for Yes on RR.

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

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

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

By a voice vote, neutrality on RR prevails.

NEUTRALITY ON MEASURE RR.

The committee adjourns at 10:33 PM.

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