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Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 16, 2016

​​We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee, who will make recommendations to the full Central Committee for endorsements on September 19. This is a Friday night meeting with the Endorsements Committee, OC GOP staff, various candidates, and yours truly.

Endorsements Committee Members present are:

  • Chair TJ Fuentes
  • Peggy Huang
  • Jeff Matthews
  • Baron Night
  • Thomas Gordon (delayed in traffic)

Endorsements Committee Members Jeff Lalloway and Mary Young are not present.

First up is Aliso Viejo.

Bill Phillips is an original member of the Aliso Viejo City Council and three-time mayor. His professional career involves master planned communities. He says he has a deep respect for property rights. He is running for re-election because the city is at a turning point with the town center.

Fuentes notes there are two Republicans and two Democrats running for three seats. Mike Munzing has already been endorsed for one of the three seats.

Night asks Phillips how he wants to finance the revitalization of the town center.

Phillips would like to upzone to be more permissive while also being fair and equitable to all.

Night asks Phillips about his revenue increase plan.

Phillips states the Sheriff’s contract is increasing in costs faster than city revenue is increasing. He wants to look at restructuring the Sheriff’s contract. He wants to see other development to bring in more taxpayers rather than raising taxes.

Huang asks about the plan on the restructure of the Sheriff’s contract.

Phillips suggests studying consolidating Sheriff’s positions across multiple cities.

Fuentes asks about the Capistrano Unified bond.

Phillips explains that he opposes it. He does not support a 30-year tax increase. He notes the lack of specificity from the school district. He argues the massive size of the bond would allow building numerous schools.

Fuentes moves and Night seconds recommending Phillips.

PHILLIPS RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT IN ALISO VIEJO 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent).

Next up is Cypress City Council.

Rob Johnson is a first term Councilman. He was the only person endorsed by the OC GOP four years ago. He speaks of the city’s  $40 million balanced budget.

Gordon arrives.

Night jokes about the incorporation of the City of Cypress stopping Buena Park from reaching the ocean.

Huang asks how Cypress has managed to balance its budget without new taxes while its neighbors are proposing tax increases.

Johnson states Cypress keeps its budget balanced, funds core services, scrutinized salaries, and requires more pension payments from employees in labor negotiations.

Matthews asks how many Republicans are running.

Johnson says he is a Republican, the other incumbent seeking re-election is an independent, and the two challengers are Republicans who failed to get ballot statements.

Gordon asks why Johnson did not support shall-issue status for California.

Johnson explains he marked the wrong box. He says he is a gun owner and retired police officer.

Night moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Johnson for endorsement.

JOHNSON RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR CYPRESS 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Garden Grove City Council, District 3.

Clay Bock says he is running because Mayor Bao Nguyen has attempted to legalize marijuana dispensaries in the city. He speaks of organizing the grassroots to get a 3-2 vote from the City Council against an effort to put such a measure on the ballot. He is a former Garden Grove CRA Unit President. He says his district is 54% Asian, and his opponent is a Vietnamese Democrat.

Night asks why Bock did not sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Bock signs it in front of the committee.

Night asks about Bock supporting completing the incomplete Galleria project.

Bock explains it is now moot because it was purchased by a developer after he submitted his questionnaire. The developer is going to build a senior center. He supports the project provided no city funds are used for it.

Night asks about the homeless in Garden Grove and specifically an encampment.

Bock explains Garden Grove Police offer services, but many refuse. Bock notes the encampment is on private property behind an abandoned supermarket. He would support fencing it off though. He speaks of a jobs program that a Republican mayor in New Mexio implemented for the homeless.

Huang asks about Bock’s questionnaire mentioning a $3 million deficit.

Bock says that has increased to $4 million since he submitted his questionnaire. He notes the Great Wolf Lodge now brings in millions of dollars in revenue. He notes other resorts. He is not opposed to using Transient Occupancy Tax because it is better that something be built to bring in revenue than nothing be built with no new revenue. Bock adds on that he wants to drive out the 20ish marijuana dispensaries in the city because they bring violence, like armed robberies.

Night asks why there is a city deficit when there is a 17% TOT with many 4-star and 5-star hotels.

Bock says city staff told him 75% of the city budget goes to police and fire.

Night notes the hotels are generally full and charge high prices thanks to their proximity to Disneyland.

Gordon moves and Matthews seconds recommending Bock for endorsement since he is one Republican running against one Democrat.

BOCK RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR GARDEN GROVE, DISTRICT 3 BY A 5-0-2 VOTE (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Huntington Beach City Council.

Edward Pinchiff is the Chairman of the Planning Commission. He previously ran for school board. He notes the Central Committee endorsed three Republicans for three seats and declined to endorse a fourth despite the Endorsements Committee recommending one. He notes he is the fifth Republican and would support neutrality or dual endorsing.

Night asks about the Poseidon desalination plant.

Pinchiff says he supports the contract if amended to increase the risk for Poseidon and decrease the risk to the ratepayers.

Night asks about why Pinchiff listed updating the General Plan as one of his priorities.

Pinchiff says the public should be more involved in the process by making it easier with packaging to better involve the public.

Huang asks about reducing business regulations, as noted in his questionnaire.

Pinchiff says the new Council majority has been moving in that direction. He wants to bring in business and development to increase city revenue without raising taxes. He says the regulatory framework should include the ability for applicants to get help when they hit a roadblock.

Huang asks about new and recent development in Huntington Beach.

Pinchiff says he supports bringing in new development. He says the city needs growth and development. He says the majority of the city opposes high-density but points out high-density means different things to different people and jokes high-density is any project someone opposes. He wants to bring in development and prevent no-growth initiatives.

Matthews asks about the General Plan and community involvement.

Pinchiff expresses concerns about the city council sometimes looking like they were going through the motions at public hearings on the General Plan.

Fuentes asks Pinchiff why he didn’t apply earlier.

Pinchiff says he got misdirection from elected officials and Central Committee members.

Night asks how many Republicans there are running.

OC GOP Executive Director Julian Babbitt states there are six Republicans for three seats. Three have been endorsed by the Central Committee, a fourth who was recommended by the Endorsements Committee but rejected by the Central Committee, and Pinchiff is the fifth.

Matthews moves and Night seconds recommending Pinchiff.

Fuentes says he opposes endorsing more candidates than seats. He wishes no one had been endorsed in Huntington Beach because there are so many good Republicans.

PINCHIFF RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL 3-2-2 (Fuentes and Huang dissenting, Lalloway and Young absent)

Next up is Los Alamitos.

Josh Wilson is 30 years old. He worked for Assemblyman Todd Spitzer and now works in the financial services country. He now works at the largest credit union in Los Alamitos. He and his wife recently bought a business in Los Alamitos. He is on the board of a nonprofit. He is Chair of a city commission. He is a former Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce President. He and his wife have a 2-year-old son, and his wife is pregnant. He wants to bring the perspective of young families. His priorities are public safety, traffic, and the Joint Forces Training Base.

Fuentes notes three Republicans are running for two seats. Incumbent Dean Grose has been endorsed. Incumbent Richard Murphy appears to not be seeing the endorsement.

Night asks about his involvement in Republican politics.

Wilson has attended meetings for the Log Cabin Republicans and the Orange County Young Republicans.

Night asks what significant issues are going on in Los Alamitos.

Wilson expresses concern about the effort to move City Hall to the Joint Forces Base. He argues it would cost $9 million, which would wipe out the reserve of the city.

Night asks if Wilson has been endorsed by Spitzer.

Wilson explains he has not sought many elected official endorsements because he is challenging two incumbents.

Huang asks about how he would raise revenue for Los Alamitos.

Wilson suggests commercial development and rezoning the industrial sector with commercial overlay.

Fuentes asks if the incumbents have done something terrible.

Wilson declines to speak negatively of his opponents.

Fuentes asks why he would challenge incumbents.

Wilson points out there was no election in 2014 because no challengers ran. He argues running helps keep incumbents accountable and encourages interaction with the community. He dislikes kingmakers saying when it is someone’s term.

Matthews supports term limits. He also supports challenging incumbents when there are no term limits. He doesn’t like having 4-term, 5-term incumbents.

Huang asks for an example of an issue where he is unhappy with the direction of the city council.

Wilson argues the Council lacks strong vision. He points to them hiring consultant after consultant without reaching a decision.

Fuentes moves for neutrality since the incumbents are not doing anything bad. Huang seconds.

Gordon argues Murphy has not sought an endorsement.

Gordon moves and Night seconds to recommend Wilson for endorsement.

Night argues the committee endorsement provides insight that the committee has vetted the candidates.

Gordon says it does not make sense to protect an incumbent who has opted not to apply for the endorsement. Gordon expresses concern about stagnation from Councilmembers who serve for decades.

Night calls for new blood.

Matthews notes this is an interesting discussion because it is unclear what to do when there is no application from an incumbent who appears to be in good standing.

Fuentes argues the OC GOP is supposed to register voters and turn out the vote.

The motion to recommend Wilson fails 2-3-2 (Gordon and Night in favor).

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR THE SECOND SEAT IN LOS ALAMITOS (4-1-2).

Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 2.

Brad Avery was a Democrat until becoming an independent last year and a Republican this year. He says he was always conservative. He speaks of not being a fan of unions after working for a school district as an administrator in the financial side. He says he helped get a candidate elected against a union-backed candidate for school board.

Night asks Avery about his answer on his position on Obamacare on the questionnaire.

Avery says he does not support repealing Obamacare. He says it is flawed but should be reformed, not repealed. He argues he wants to support as many people as possible with health insurance. He calls it a moral issue.

Night asks about Avery’s involvement in coastal groups and his opinion of the Coastal Commission.

Avery says the Coastal Commission is now difficult to follow. He argues about how hard it was just to build public school buildings in the Coastal Commission for his school district.

Huang asks about whether Avery wants universal health access or single-player insurnace.

Avery says he supports access due to cost and lack of providers. He calls it a moral imperative and that Obamacare is the lesser of two evils.

Huang asks if Avery would support the city providing clinics.

Avery would support it as a private-public partnership. He would want direct services but doesn’t want the city to pay for it. He suggests tax breaks or providing free/nominal cost space for the clinic. He points to the example of a school facility leased from the County for $1 per year.

Huang asks about Newport Beach’s debt.

Avery says he would cut spending. He supports the current council’s efforts. He points to outsourcing of trash services being completed successfully in Newport Beach.

Matthews asks who the other candidates are.

Avery says Shelley Henderson is a Republican but appears to be a phantom candidate. She has not shown up to candidate forums nor submitted a ballot statement.

Gordon asks about his stance on abortion.

Avery argues it is not relevant to a nonpartisan city council race. He says he is not in favor of abortion but wants it removed from the California Republican Party platform.

Gordon expresses concern that Avery recently became a Republican, supports Obamacare, and supports removing the pro-life plank from the California Republican Party platform.

Fuentes asks about Avery switching from Democrat to independent to Republican. 

Avery says the Democratic Party left him, pointing to fiscal policy and immigration. He says he switched from independent to Republican because it was not an illogical leap before running for council.

Night argues there are Republican alternative plans to Obamacare. He is unhappy with Avery’s position.

Night moves and Gordon seconds an unfavorable recommendation on Avery.

Fuentes moves and Gordon also seconds for neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 2 BY A 5-0-2 VOTE (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is San Juan Capistrano, District 5.

Brian Maryott has three children and plans to live the rest of his life in San Juan Capistrano. He says there is a poisonous atmosphere on the council. He argues the city is attempting to run a water company with inadequate scale. He is worried about the impending city deficit. He is concerned about sober living homes. He expresses concern about traffic and mobility due to poor decisions by the Council. He says he is self-funding and spending a significant sum. He has 25 years of business experience. He worked in the Massachusetts State House for a legislator who chaired Ways and Means until moving to California 22 years ago.

Ronda Mottl graduated from Indiana University and interned for Dan Quayle. Her father was a Congressman. She interned for the RNC. She was Membership Chair of the OCYR. She worked for coupons.com. She noticed how her water bill is double the price it is in Newport Beach. She agrees that the Council atmosphere is like the Hatfields and McCoys. She has business experience. She opposes continued city operation of water. She opposes widening Ortega Highway.

Night asks about Mottl’s father.

Mottl says her father was a conservative Democrat.

Night asks her about switching from Republican to Democrat in 2008 because of the Great Recession and Sarah Palin’s inexperience. Night points to Palin having more experience than Obama.

Mottl argues Obama had more DC experience than Palin.

Night asks how each candidate could get to three votes in light of the divisive council.

Mottl argues that the Council needs to listen to both sides and make a judgement call, not just automatically vote with one faction on the Council. She expresses concern about city litigation.

Maryott points to his experience in the State House in building bridges between elected officials. He notes there are more than two factions on the Council. He thinks it was a bad decision to go to districts with little pushback. He thinks Councilmembers should listen, learn, and collaborate. He says Commissions are inadequately leveraged.

Huang asks Mottl what her solution to traffic is if she will not expand Ortega Highway.

Mottl wants an east-west arterial highway similar to Antonio in Ladera Ranch.

Maryott argues people need to be able to get to their destinations. He supports stretching the 241 to Cow Camp Rd. He argues only 0.8 miles of Ortega Highway needs to be expanded to match the other ends of that stretch of the highway.

Huang asks if the candidates would tax marijuana locally if Prop 64 passes.

Mottl opposes smoking marijuana in public. She opposes marijuana use in general. She supports a local marijuana tax.

Maryott opposes a local marijuana tax.

Night moves and Gordon seconds for neutrality.

Huang called this the most interesting set of applications with party switches. She is concerned that neither has been particularly involved with the party in the last decade.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, DISTRICT 5 BY A 5-0-2 VOTE (Lalloway and Young absent).

Intermission

Next up is Santa Ana, Ward 3.

Josh Mauras is 32 years old with two small children. He is the sole Republican against six Democrats. He was Vice President of the California Republican Lawyers Association. He worked on the McCain campaign driving in the motorcade and on the campaign plane. He notes the frontrunner is former Assemblyman Jose Solorio. He says Solorio is doing it to help union contracts. He fears if the unions control the council, there are pro-union people on both sides of the table.

Night asks how Mauras would get three other votes as the sole Republican.

Mauras said he would look at each issue to cobble together.

There is discussion about whether Juve Dan Pinedo is a Republican.

Gordon moves and Night seconds to recommend Mauras.

MAURAS RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-0-2-2 (Fuentes and Huang abstaining pending Pinedo, Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Villa Park City Council.

Vince Rossini is one of three candidates for Villa Park:two Republicans and one Democrat. Rossini worked on Republica. campaigns from Richard Riordan to Deborah Pauly. He is active in the law enforcement advisory committee in Villa Park. He says the city council has no clude on law enforcement in light of Prop 47 and AB 109.

Night notes that Deborah Pauly and Kermit Marsh’s signatures are on the same page.

Gordon moves and Matthews seconds recommending Rossini.

ROSSINI RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR VILLA PARK CITY COUNCIL 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Mayor of Westminster.

Tri Ta says he is pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. He is business friendly, proposing a business license holiday. He has been in Westminster CRA for a decade. He has supported Van Tran and other Republican politicians.

Night asks about Ta wanting to increase revenues and have more police.

Ta wants to streamline the business process and gives various examples.

Night asks about marijuana dispensaries and taxing marijuana.

Ta says he is neutral on taxing marijuana.

Gordon asks about him signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge after voting to put a sales tax increase on the ballot.

Ta says many people came to the city council meeting to demand a tax measure be put on the ballot. He says he personally opposes the tax increase but had to listen to the people’s right to vote. He says he did get a six year sunset into the measure.

Night is troubled by the sales tax increase vote but is glad he got a sunset.

Fuentes says they all agree that they oppose tax increases. He says they have endorsed people who did vote for tax increases (a reference to Fountain Valley Councilman Steve Nagel).

Fuentes moves and Matthews seconds recommending an endorsement of Ta.

TA RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR MAYOR OF WESTMINSTER 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Brea City Treasurer.

George Ullrich is a planning commissioner who got involved in the city after the Freeway Complex Fire. He has helped candidates like Ron Garcia and Ling-Ling Chang. He is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-free market. He is running for treasurer because he believes his experience can help prevent a Placentia-style embezzlement. He wants to restore the Treasurer’s powers that were curbed over the past 15 years.

Night asks Ullrich how he will work with the City Council.

Ullrich says he has existing relationships with City Councilmembers through their campaigns. He says self-funding protects his independence.

Night asks about dealing with pension liability of the City.

Ullrich says the Treasurer is responsible for improving returns on the City investment portfolio.

Huang asks how the City Treasurer is related to school bond issuance since he listed it as one of his priorities in his questionnaire.

Ullrich says he would simply use his position to voice his opinion on school bonds.

Huang asks about his goal of seeking more authority for the City Treasurer.

Ullrich is endorsed by the two prior Treasurers. He wants to audit the processes used by the Treasurer.

Matthews asks how many candidates there are.

Ullrich says there are two: him and the newly-appointed incumbent Republican.

Fuentes asks what is wrong with the incumbent.

Ullrich says the City staff can’t reach the Treasurer and isn’t running much of a campaign.

Matthews moves and Gordon seconds recommending Ullrich for endorsement.

ULLRICH RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR BREA CITY TREASURER 4-1-2 (Fuentes dissenting, Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Placentia City Treasurer.

Scott Nelson was heard at a prior meeting.

Kevin Larson is the appointed incumbent. He is a 51-year resident of Placentia. He grew up there, went to school there, and his children go to school there. He has a master of finance. He is director of administrative services for the Diocese of Orange and was previously its controller. He has worked for the diocese for 15 years. He is a lifelong Republican who cast his first vote for Ronald Reagan. He says government is a necessary evil that should be kept to its bare necessities. He says the City Manager has relegated the City Treasurer to a figurehead position that gets a 7-page financial statement. He redid the City investment policy and improved the investment pool yield.

Night asks about safeguards to put in place to prevent the embezzlement from happening again.

Larson already got one new reform: he now has independent access to the accounts. It took multiple attempts to get that passed, but it was passed too late to catch the embezzlement.

Night asks about Larson’s efforts during the embezzlement.

Larson says he asked for independent access to the general ledger. By the time he got that access, it was March, and the embezzlement was discovered at the beginning of April.

Huang asks when he was appointed Treasurer. She also asks about his attempts for independent access he made.

Larson says he was appointed in December 2014. He started pushing for it in the second half of 2015.

Huang asks how he was not able to catch the embezzlement even without bank account access.

Larson says the Treasurer has traditionally only controlled the investment pool without involvement in the operational budget. He gained the reform to access the bank account. He says the bank reconciliations must be done.

Huang asks for examples of additional safeguards that he has added.

Larson gained adoption of digital tokens and an additional layer of approval for wire transfers.

Matthews asks about how the role of the City Treasurer is well defined.

Larson says it is actually vaguely defined with a single sentence in the charter that says the Treasurer is the custodian of all public funds.

Gordon asks if Larson had any direct oversight over the embezzling employee, Michael Nguyen (no relation to this blogger).

Larson says he did not. He says the City Manager prevented the Treasurer from having direct oversight.

Night asks how Scott Nelson voted on giving the Treasurer signature authority and access to the account.

Larson says Nelson opposed it twice.

Night moves and Huang seconds for neutrality because the voters need to sort out whether the Council or the Treasurer should be held accountable for the embezzlement.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR PLACENTIA CITY TREASURER 5-0-2  (Lalloway and Young absent).

Matthews departs.

Next up is Irvine Unified School District.

Mark Newgent served in the Army for 20 years. He is a father of children in IUSD schools. He is very concerned about the inadequacy of safety plans in IUSD schools.

Night asks if he is the only Republican.

Babbitt says there are three seats. The candidates are two Republicans, three Democrats, and one independent.

Night asks about Newgent’s approach for getting Asian votes in Irvine. 

Newgent notes his wife is Asian and legally immigrated from the Philippines at the age of 25.

Night asks about special needs children, particularly autistic children.

Newgent gives the example of a special needs child whose mother he is working with who runs into the street, and he is pushing for hedges to prevent the child from running.

Night asks about spending and bonds.

Newgent is outraged by the school board saying they lack money and needed a bond, yet they approved $150,000 for high school student parties.

Huang asks how many bonds there are.

Newgent says there is only the measure that passed in June.

Huang asks about his safety plan in 30 seconds.

Newgent expresses concerns about visitor sign-in, lack of car bomb plans, lack of drop-off and pick-up plans, and runs out of time.

Night moves and Gordon seconds recommending Newgent for endorsement.

NEWGENT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR IRVINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 4-0-3 (Lalloway, Matthews, and Young absent).

Next up is Ocean View School District.

Kathryn Gonzalez is a lifelong Republican. She works professionally in finance. She warns the teachers union controls the board. She opposes Measure R, the district bond. She wants the district it live within its means.

Norm Westwell is a former two-time Board member. He was President of the Board in 2010. He was on the Huntington Beach City Services Commission. He was a lifelong Libertarian until Donald Trump brought him into the Republican Party in 2015. He ran unsuccessfully for city council six times. This is his fourth school board race. He ran against Tom Harman for Assembly. He says he is fiscally responsible and opposes the district’s reckless deficit spending.

Night asks what they will do to ensure responsible spending if the bond passes.

Westwell says the bonds are for facilities. He fears that with the fungibility of money that salary and benefits spending from the general fund will be increased and backfilled. He will fight that.

Gonzalez will take misspending to the public if she cannot stop the misspending.

Night asks how they will work with the three incumbents who are not up for election.

Westwell says they can flip the Board members because they are rather wishy washy followers of the President who is up for election this year.

Gonzalez points to the book, Getting to Yes. She wants to persuade them by making them think they’ve won something.

Huang asks about whether they would use marijuana tax money to pay down bonds and for school construction like in Colorado.

Gonzalez wants to research the issue but wants to minimize impacts on taxpayers.

Westwell argues the state underfunds schools.

Gordon says Colorado just uses the marijuana tax money to backfill like the California did with the lottery.

Fuentes asks about the candidates.

Gonzalez says the incumbent is the sole Democrat and is in a slate with another Republican.

However, Babbitt says actually there are three Democrats and two Republicans for two seats, with the two Republicans being Gonzalez and Westwell.

Gordon moves and Night seconds recommending Gonzalez and Westwell for endorsement.

GONZALEZ AND WESTWELL RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR OCEAN VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT 4-0-3 (Lalloway, Matthews, and Young absent).

Intermission.

Next up is Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.

Babbitt says there are five Republicans running and one independent. There are three incumbents and three challengers. The three challengers are seeking the endorsement.

Susi Khan speaks of the three challengers being active in schools and all three have spoken against Common Core at both the school board and the Orange County Board of Education. She has three children.

Helen Kingsbury’s son attended public school when it switched to Common Core. She says the district staff failed to realize Common Core was being implemented when she asked about it.
Irene Yezback is an alternate on Central Committee to Karla Downing. She is a 24-year resident of Yorba Linda. She is a business owner and parent. The three of them decided to run because no one else stepped up to challenge the incumbents.

Robert Hammond and Deborah Pauly decide that Hammond will speak for the candidates. Hammond says all three, especially Khan, were key to helping him fight Common Core on the County Board of Education. He says they uncovered Superintendent Al Mijares’s financial incentives to support Common Core.

Brett Barbre opposes them, noting the three have been active in divisive organizations that have battled for recalls of City Councilmembers and Water Board Members.

Night asks for more discussion of Common Core.

Yezback notes declining scores from Common Core. She says prior curriculum authors have refused to sign off on Common Core.

Khan expresses concern about Islam being taught. She says publishers have investors who are pushing Islam to be in a positive light. She says that compromises national security.

Kingsbury says 40% of Common Core is social-emotional learning and 60% academics. She wants to support teachers as content experts instead of being confined to Common Core. She says Planned Parenthood is behind Common Core’s new sexual education standards.

Night asks about LGBT education at younger ages.

Yezbak says schools should teach academics and parents should teach social-emotional.

Kingsbury says LGBT issues should be discussed at home, not school. She wants permission slips so parents are aware of what issues are at school.

Khan is a nurse and says children are too young to learn about these issues because they are not developmentally ready. She says the opt-out option for parents on the California Healthy Kids Survey is buried in documents, so parents don’t know to opt-out.

Huang asked about bonds.

Yezbak points to a $22 million bond in 2008. She says no payment is due until 2028, with massive interest.

Huang asks about the PYLUSD bond that was featured in the Orange County Register that would reach $1 billion with interest.

Kingsbury opposes the go-along, go-along attitude of the Board.

Huang asks about other revenue sources to pay off the bond.

Khan says schools waste enormous sums of money. She wants to use existing funds and cut elsewhere. She opposes any new taxes.

Huang asks if each signed the Yorba Linda City Council recall petition and the Yorba Linda Water District recall petition.

All three think they did sign the city council recall petition but are uncertain. All three also signed the water board recall petition.

Gordon says he has watched them in action at the County Board of Education and admires their work.

Khan says she is not a member of any recall group but did sign the petition.

Fuentes asks what organization backs the recall and if they were involved.

Barbre says it was YLRRR and morphed into YLTA.

All three say they were not involved.

Night asks if they will agree to reduce the salary of the next superintendent.

Night moves and Gordon seconds to recommend all three, with Night noting the incumbents have a terrible record on fiscal issues and Common Core.

Huang is concerned they have no plan to replace Common Core, and she is concerned they have sought to recall endorsed Republican incumbents in good standing in Yorba Linda.

Gordon asks why did each sign the petition.

Yezbak argues there is too much growth in the city; she calls it irresponsible. She claims 12 projects were going on at once.

Huang says there were only 2 projects on 12 properties.

Khan says the water rates were “exuberant” and that there was irresponsible spending.

Kingsbury says Republican bickering allows Democrats to win. She says she invited Gene Hernandez and Craig Young to speak with them about Common Core, and the conversation went well.

Fuentes feels conflicted because the three are excellent in education issues, but they have taken dicey positions on City Council and Water Board.

Night amends his motion and Huang seconds for neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR PLACENTIA-YORBA LINDA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 3-1-3 (Gordon dissenting, Lalloway and Young absent).

Intermission.

Next up is Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 6.

Evan Chaffee is a lifelong Orange County resident. He was precinct director for the OC GOP. He was once Mike Munzing’s alternate on Central Committee. He was national youth president for the Boy Scouts of America (blogger paraphrase; I didn’t catch the whole title). He was a San Juan Capistrano Planning Commissioner. He speaks of being approached to run because of his consensus builder approach on the Planning Commission. He calls on more water storage and conservation technology.

Night says he is uncomfortable with consultants serving in elected office. He wonders about working with his clients in elected office or opponents in elected office.

Chaffee says it is important to understand different perspectives. He says most of his business is outside politics now. He argues he has strong relationships.

Night says there is not enough of an effort to influence water distribution. He asks what Chaffee would do to help pursue legislative changes and other ways to resolve this.

Chaffee calls for utilizing new technologies to enhance the water supply. He says it is important to take federal action; he worked in DC on Capitol Hill for one year.

Night asks about Chaffee’s philosophy of pay at the Water District for himself and administrators.

Chaffee says MWDOC members are more than adequately paid. He wants to sit down with staff to figure out how to reconfigure meeting pay. He wants to do a market rate analysis to set staff pay to retain good staff but not be exhorbitant.

Huang asks about water usage.

Chaffee notes Orange County has exceeded the Governor’s goals for water conservation. He speaks of maintaining multiple sources of water and investing in multiple options.

Night asks about the candidates.

Babbitt says there are two Republicans, one Democrat, and one independent, with no incumbent.

Night questions doing a comparison of salaries with other government agencies as circular logic.

Chaffee explains he would look at a wide geographic region.

Night is troubled by looking at other government agencies, but Night moves and Huang seconds to recommend endorsing Chaffee.

Fuentes is unconcerned about the consultant issue since Chaffee is honest. However, he does not want to endorse when there are multiple Republicans.

CHAFFEE RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR MWDOC DIVISION 6 BY A VOTE OF 3-1-3 (Fuentes dissenting, Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Orange County Water District, Division 3.

Roger Yoh has been the incumbent since 2004. He is a licensed professional engineer. He says he is a fiscal conservative and that his district is one of just two that is defined contribution (401(k)-style plans) rather than defined benefit (pensions). He talks about the safety of the water supply and efforts to clean up plumes in Fullerton.

Fuentes asks about the candidates.

There are two Republicans running: incumbent Roger Yoh and La Palma Councilman Peter Kim. Kim has applied for an October endorsement.

Night asks why Yoh left the Republican Party.

Yoh says he thought about applying for a Director of External Affairs position for LA and Ventura Counties for Caltrans. He switched to independent to improve his application chances. He decided not to apply. He switched back to Republican for the primary.

Huang asks how Yoh can get the money for the clean-up since there was already a settlement.

Yoh goes through a lengthy explanation of a complex legal-engineering issue.

Huang asks why it took so long for OCWD to seek EPA help.

Yoh says a powerful organization is involved. He says there is a path going forward at the table with the largest responsible party, OCWD, DTSC, and EPA.

Huang asks about desalination.

Yoh says we’re not there yet. He wants to further develop the Groundwater Replenishment System. He wants to use other efforts to get more groundwater. He feels OCWD should not get into desalination because it is really more the jurisdiction of MWDOC and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Yoh notes Orange County needs to import far less water than San Diego County. He says it doesn’t make sense to use OCWD resources to put potable water into desalination.

Huang asks if Yoh voted with Republicans or Democrats on the term sheet with Poseidon.

Yoh isn’t sure the affiliation if his colleagues.

Huang asks if he voted with Jan Flory.

Yoh says he did because the numbers did not work for OCWD.

Huang argues he was the sole Republican to vote with the Democrats in May 2015 on the term sheet with Poseidon.

Fuentes is concerned he became an independent because his boss told him to and then switched back to Republican before seeking the endorsement.

Huang moves for neutrality, citing the desalination issue and votes. She doesn’t think desalination should be the sole solution but should be a solution.

Fuentes wants to hear from Peter Kim.

As an aside, Night notes Kim should be well aware of the endorsement process.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR OCWD DIVISION 3 BY A 4-0-3 VOTE (Lalloway, Matthews, Young absent).

Next up are the Yorba Linda Water District recall replacement candidates.

Bob Wren has lived in Yorba Linda since 1975 and bought a home there in 1995. He was an Orange County Sheriff’s Lieutenant who was Chief of Police Services for Yorba Linda. He opposes the Yorba Linda Water District recall. He argues the water board had to act because of the drought.

Eileen Barme has lived in Yorba Linda for 14 years. She agrees with Wren. She tires of the millions of dollars spent on unsuccessful recalls in Yorba Linda. She opposes the recall and hopes she is not elected in this race. She has decades of business experience.

Night asks about their water experience.

Barme was appointed to two terms by the City Council on the Landscape Maintenance Assessment District.

Wren has experience with government agencies and crises with his career in the Sheriff’s Department.

Night moves for neutrality because the party opposes the recall.

Huang moves and Gordon seconds recommending Wren and Barme because they are backed by the recall opponents.

BARME AND WREN RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR THE YLWD REPLACEMENT CANDIDATES 3-1-3 (Fuentes dissenting, Lalloway, Matthews, and Young absent).

Next up is Coast Community College District, Trustee Area 2.

Vong Xavier Nguyen (definitely no relation to this blogger) says he has lived in Orange County since he was 3 years old. He went to Coastline Community College and USC. He wants more diversity on the Board. He notes Area 2 is Asian majority. He worked with the trustees as a student.

Night asks about speakers on college campuses.

Nguyen believes speakers should not speak on political issues on campus. He wants permits for speakers for free speech spaces. He wants students to get approval for speakers from campus advisors and administrators.

Night asks why Nguyen wants to be a trustee.

Nguyen says he has been an advocate for public schools. He wants to represent his area and wants to run for diversity. He supports districting to allow more minorities to be elected. He attacks incumbent Jerry Patterson for voting to withdraw US troops from Vietnam while in Congress.

Huang asks how long Nguyen was a Democrat since he became a Republican this month.

Nguyen says since he was 18.

Huang asks if he was elected to the Democratic Central Committee in June.

Nguyen says he will not take that seat.

Huang asks when he joined the various Republican organizations on his application.

Nguyen says he joined the USC College Republicans in 2012 and the other organizations in 2016.

Huang asks about bonds.

Nguyen says there was one bond, Measure M, which he opposed.

Huang asks if he would take marijuana tax money if Prop 64 passes.

Nguyen says only if the district enters a deficit.

Gordon is troubled by the party switches and the endorsements from Elizabeth Parker and David Boyd.

Nguyen says Parker has provided moral support while Boyd helped provide legal support in the past.

Fuentes asks why he ran for the Democratic Central Committee and how he was a registered Democrats in the USC College Republicans.

Nguyen says he ran because his friends said it was an open seat. He said he failed to reregister.

Gordon is concerned about numerous Democrats that Nguyen seems to support on Facebook.

Nguyen says he prefers Correa over Bao Nguyen.

Gordon expresses numerous concerns about Nguyen.

Fuentes moves and Gordon seconds for neutrality, citing how foolish it would be for the OC GOP to endorse someone who was just elected to the Democratic Central Committee.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT, TRUSTEE AREA 2 BY A VOTE OF 4-0-3 (Lalloway, Matthews, and Young absent).

Last up is San Clemente.

Dan Bane has already been endorsed while Bob Baker was not.

Steven Swartz is not present but apparently waited over an hour for a phone call.

Babbitt suggests the committee do a phone call with Swartz before Central Committee at 6:30 PM.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR SWARTZ UNLESS HE IS REACHED BY PHONE BY ENDORSEMENT.

Meeting adjourn 1 hour, 20 minutes late.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 2

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 30, 2016

We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee, who will make recommendations to the full Central Committee for endorsements on August 31 (i.e. tomorrow). The Endorsements Committee also met last week to make recommendation for August 31.

Endorsements Committee Members present are:

  • Chair TJ Fuentes
  • Peggy Huang
  • Jeff Matthews
  • Baron Night
  • Thomas Gordon (delayed in traffic)

Endorsements Committee Members Jeff Lalloway and Mary Young are not present.

First up is Dana Point City Council.

Michelle Brough was born and raised in Orange County. She worked in Washington, DC for the US Senate Banking Committee and then the US Department of the Treasury. She came back to OC with her husband, Bill, settling in Dana Point. She was a Dana Point Planning Commissioner and member of the state Board of Accountancy. She was a Saddleback Foundation Board member. She is involved in other nonprofits. She is an investment advisory attorney. She wants to make Dana Point a desirable place to attract her children back after they graduate from college. She objects to the Dana Point Council candidates’ anger calling for more government, pointing to the recent ballot measures in the city.

Night asks how many other candidates there are.

Fuentes says there are two Republicans, two Democrats, and an NPP.

Mike Johnson disrupts the meeting when he accidentally plays a CNN video and is briefly unable to stop it.

Night asks about the candidate anger Brough referenced in regard to the measures.

Brough further elaborates on the ballot measures.

Huang asks Brough for more details about the land use issues in Dana Point.

Brough gives an example of one-way streets in the Dana Point Town Center and efforts to increase pedestrians rather than drivers. Brough argues they failed to develop a parking management plan. She notes the Coastal Commission demanded such a plan. Brough says she is a 100% property rights person. She prefers to follow the zoning code rather than grant variances. She says it is better to change the zoning code for everyone rather than granting individual variances.

Huang asks about pass-through taxes in Dana Point.

Brought wants private people to get together to solve problems without government intervention. She cites the example of a Virginia city that did this.

Matthews asks about plastic bag bans.

Brought says plastic bag bans are a stupid idea.

Night moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Brough.

BROUGH RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 4-0-3 FOR DANA POINT CITY COUNCIL (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)

Next up is Fountain Valley City Council.

Steve Nagel was elected to the council in 2008 and top vote getter in 2012. He was a Fountain Valley firefighter from 1977-2005. He speaks of various service clubs he is involved in, like the Rotary and Boys and Girls Club. He was elected to the Central Committee in 2010 and is leaving in 2016 due to time obligations with SCAG, OC Sanitation District, and League of Cities.

Night asks why Nagel signed the No New Taxes pledge after voting to put a sales tax increase on the ballot a month before.

Nagel says he is opposed to tax increases and has voted to cut city expenses while also opposing Council stipend increases, but losing on a 2-3 vote. He says 27 employees have been cut from Fountain Valley. He says he has cut medical. He says there are three tiers of pensions for Fountain Valley firefighters. He refinanced city pension obligations to save several million dollars. Nagel says the reserves may be gone by 2021. He says the ballot measure is up to the voters. He says he does not wish to cut public safety.

Night questions why Nagel signed the No New Taxes pledge.

Nagel argues he hasn’t voted on the measure yet.

Huang asks if there is a sunset in the sales tax increase measure.

Nagel says it sunsets in 20 years.

Huang asks about the increased medical calls.

Nagel says there are three units in the FVFD, with one paramedic unit. He explains that cutting a paramedic unit would cause mutual aid to refuse since FVFD could not reciprocate. He says mutual aid is like-for-like equipment. He says OCFA would cost more than keeping FVFD.

Matthews asks how many seats are up and the affiliations of the candidates.

Nagel says there are two seats up, and he believes at least three Republicans.

Matthews says there is no perfect Republican. He says Nagel is a good conservative and councilman.

Matthews moves and Huang seconds to recommend Nagel for endorsement.

Night argues voting to put the sales tax measure on the ballot violates the No New Taxes pledge. He offers a substitute motion for neutrality.

Fuentes says he has a difficult time voting against someone who the electorate put on the Central Committee.

Huang argues that the sunset provision is key for her on the sales tax measure. She also notes the broad cuts made by Nagel.

NAGEL RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-1-3  FOR FOUNTAIN VALLEY CITY COUNCIL (Night dissenting, with Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)

Next up is Mayor of Garden Grove.

Steve Jones was elected to the city council in 2008 and 2012 after being appointed in 2007 to Janet Nguyen’s vacancy. He was Chairman of the Planning Commission when appointed. Garden Grove is his hometown, and he views this as community service. He is unopposed for mayor. He wants to focus during the election on city transition and bringing people together. He notes this year, Garden Grove is expanding its City Council from 5 to 7 and having districts, so there will be many new faces.

Night asks about Jones donating to Democrat Bruce Broadwater.

Jones says he cannot recall and Broadwater was key to Jones being appointed to the City Council.

Huang asks about the Garden Grove city deficit.

Jones says there is a $4 million structural deficit after the abolition of redevelopment, which started as a $6 million deficit which they have chipped away. He is working on new development to bring in new revenue. He persuaded the unions to be patient while the city improves its finances.

Night asks about Bao Nguyen’s involvement with marijuana shops.

Jones supports being passive until the state ballot measure on marijuana is dealt with but notes the city already has a ban.

Matthews asks Jones to clarify him being unopposed.

Jones states he is the only person on the ballot.

Fuentes moves and and Matthews seconds recommending Jones for Mayor of Garden Grove.

JONES RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT (4-0-3) FOR MAYOR OF GARDEN GROVE (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)

Next up is Huntington Beach City Council.

Fuentes notes three other candidates were recommended for endorsement last week.

Mark Rolfes is a 19-year resident of Huntington Beach who grew up in East Baltimore, Maryland. He has been married for 22 years with two children. He has worked for the same company in sales for 19 years. He says dysfunction and lack of communication by the Council is harming the city. He states he has met with the police chief, neighborhood assocation, fire union, realtors, and Poseidon to learn about the issues in the city. He is endorsed by a Navy Seal and the NRA. He has a CCW. He calls for honesty, ethics, and visibility from Councilmembers.

Night asks Rolfes why he is opposed to the Poseidon project.

Rolfes objects to the contract lasting 50 years and is concerned it will raise water rates. He calls for more water conservation. He says he is not necessarily opposed to desalination. He wants more research done.

Night asks about him switching from Democratic to Republican in 2014.

Rolfes says Maryland is a Democratic state, and Republican primaries didn’t matter. He says he is more philosophically aligned with Republicans.

Night asks about pensions for public safety.

Rolfes does not want Councilmembers making deals in closed session and then attacking public safety in public. He is unhappy that firefighter salaries are public.

Huang asks for examples of three philosophical changes Rolfes had in his part switch.

Rolfes points to his views on the Second Amendment. He asks for more time to answer the question later.

Huang asks about development in Huntington Beach.

Rolfes says high-density development works in San Francisco but doesn’t work in Huntington Beach. He calls for better planning and solving the housing shortage but objects to the Council’s current approach.

Fuentes asks about his lack of involvement in the party or in campaigns.

Rolfes says he has delivered signs for candidates before. He says he has been very busy at work, but work is slowing down, and he is considering retiring. He says he has helped Erik Peterson.

Matthews agrees with Rolfes on Poseidon’s contract length. Matthews suggests looking at homelessness. Matthews praises the party switch but asks for responses to Huang’s question. Matthews urges Rolfes to volunteer for the party or campaigns regardless of the result of the endorsement or the election.

Rolfes calls for a stronger military with better supplies and equipment, along with more attention to military casualties. He says he supports legal immigration but calls for reform on illegal immigration.

Fuentes feels no endorsement should be recommended due to four Republicans running for three seats. He feels better about Rolfes’s stance on Poseidon. Fuentes moves for neutrality for all three seats.

Huang says Rolfes is new to the process and wants to explain it. She says the full Central Committee still has to act regardless of what the Endorsements Committee does.

Night is unhappy with the Poseidon stance but good with everything else. He moves to recommend Rolfes along with the prior three. Huang seconds.

ROLFES RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-1-3 FOR HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL (Fuentes dissenting with Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)

Next up is La Habra City Council.

Fuentes notes there are three Republicans and three Democrats running for three seats.

Tim Shaw is a husband and father. He has been on the Central Committee since 2012. He has been on the City Council since 2008. He has been a Republican since the age of 18. He points to numerous Republican elected officials he has worked for. He even worked directly for the Republican Party. He has a master’s degree and teaches political science at Rio Hondo College. Ed Royce, Bob Huff, Ling-Ling Chang, and Shawn Nelson have endorsed the whole slate.

Dawn Holthouser is active in the community and the RWF. She is a La Habra Planning Commissioner.

Tom Beamish was appointed to the Community Services Commission in 1997. Then, he became a Planning Commissioner in 2000. He was elected to the City Council in 2004, re-elected in 2008, and unopposed in 2012. He is a small business owner. He is in a rock-and-roll band. He golfs.

Night asks about Beamish accepting police union money for his campaign.

Beamish says he is honest and fair with the police union, but his main reason is he implemented pension reform via meet-and-confer with the police union.

Night questions why Beamish signed the union-free pledge but notes Beamish was forthcoming about the donation on his questionnaire.

Fuentes encourages Beamish to get more involved with the party by getting help from Shaw.

BEAMISH, HOLTHOUSER, AND SHAW RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 4-0-3 FOR LA HABRA CITY COUNCIL (Gordon, Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Lake Forest City Council.

Francisco Barajas became a Republican after watching his parents struggling their way into the middle class against government regulations. He interned for Supervisor John Moorlach and ACC-OC. He works for Communication LAB, where he assists the Orange County Taxpayers Association.

Fuentes notes Barajas is trying to unseat Republican incumbent Adam Nick, who has attempted to recall Republican councilmembers, including the OC GOP’s Local Elected Official of the Year.

Fuentes moves and Matthews seconds to recommend Barajas for endorsement.

BARAJAS RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR LAKE FOREST CITY COUNCIL 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway and Young absent).

Fuentes moves and Night seconds to recommend Don Wagner for Mayor of Irvine. He is in Sacramento for the end of the legislative session.

WAGNER RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR MAYOR OF IRVINE 4-0-3  (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent).

Intermission.

Next up is Placentia City Council.

Rhonda Shader is running for one of two open seats. Many community leaders encouraged her to serve. She has a passion for Placentia. She is active in the RWF at the local and state levels. She phone banked for many Republicans from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Young Kim. She is in a business PAC and steered money to Republican candidates.

Ward Smith is a native Placentian who graduated from Placentia schools and went to local community colleges. He spent 34.5 years working for the Placentia Police Department from police officer up to Police Chief. He speaks of law enforcement and the importance of public safety. He is active in his church and in a nonprofit for the developmentally disabled. He says he is concerned about the direction of the Council majority, including Mayor Jeremy Yamaguchi.

Chris Bunker and his wife bought a home in Placentia with only $500 left after closing escrow. He works in accounting and is a CPA. Bunker attacks the Council majority for allowing marijuana dispensaries after the embezzlement problem. He speaks of organizing to oppose the marijuana dispensary ordinance. He calls the Council majority leaderless and incompetent. He wants to run for fiscal integrity and economic development.

Tom Solomonson is a businessman and Placentia Planning Commissioner. His wife is a teacher. Their children went to Placentia schools. He was in sales until he bought a Placentia business in 2007. He attacks the Council majority for its sales tax actions and marijuana dispensary actions. He wants to “return Placentia to greatness.”

Night asks about sales tax increases.

All four say they oppose a sales tax increase.

Night asks Shader about being endorsed by Jennifer Fitzgerald. Night accuses Fitzgerald of voting for Democrats.

Shader says Fitzgerald and she know each other from the Fullerton Economic Development Commission.

Huang notes the lack of minutes online in Placentia. She asks Solomonson about how he voted in the marijuana issue on the Planning Commission.

Solomonson is uncertain but believes he voted no.

Huang asks Bunker about transparency.

Bunker states the city council acted on marijuana dispensaries under the guise of closed session anticipated litigation. He also wants a stronger public safety perspective.

Huang asks about Smith’s law enforcement background in the context of the budget.

Smith argues that much of the budget goes to other services. He states Placentia has a three-tiered system for police pensions. He spoke of public safety, public works, and community services as the three legs of the budget stool. He wants greater involvement from the school district and nonprofits. He objects to elected officials being at the labor negotiating table.

Huang asks about Shader’s involvement in Placentia.

Shader speaks of being a team mom for her son’s baseball team and being involved in her daughter’s schooling. She speaks of being involved in Placentia non-profits.

Matthews asks about how many Republicans are running for how many seats.

OC GOP Executive Director Julian Babbitt says seven Republicans (including incumbent Jeremy Yamaguchi) are running for three seats.

Fuentes asks Smith about the labor negotiation process.

Smith says City Councilmembers have been appearing at labor negotiations when he feels only the official negotiators should be present.

Night asks Smith about the marijuana dispensaries.

Smith says he opposes them strongly.

Huang moves and Matthews seconds for neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR PLACENTIA CITY COUNCIL 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent).

Next up is Placentia City Treasurer.

Fuentes argues for delaying consideration because the Republican incumbent is going to apply.

Huang and Night call for hearing the endorsement tonight since the next Central Committee is tomorrow.

Matthews wishes to delay, as the next Central Committee after tomorrow is September 19.

Fuentes moves and Matthews seconds to delay the vote.

Gordon arrives. Fuentes recaps for Gordon.

Night moves and Huang seconds to hear the candidate. The motion passes 3-2 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting).

Placentia City Treasurer Candidate Scott Nelson has served on City Council since 2007. He is an insurance broker. He turned a multimillion-dollar budget deficit into a positive fund balance. Nelson opposes expanding the powers of the City Treasurer and attacks the Council majority. Nelson blames the Treasurer for not catching the embezzlement.

Gordon asks about Nelson signing the No New Taxes pledge after voting for a sales tax increase in 2014.

Nelson argues that it is incorrect.

Night asks why Nelson didn’t see the embezzlement.

Nelson argues he wants to reform the Treasurer process to better catch that.

Night asks if Nelson would support making the Treasurer appointed.

Nelson says it is part of his platform.

Fuentes asks Nelson about campaign budget and endorsements.

Nelson says he will raise $10,000.

Night asks how many people are running.

The Committee says there are two Republicans running for the seat and no one of any other party.

Night moves and Gordon seconds for neutrality.

Gordon says the Council minutes show that Nelson voted for the sales tax increase.

Huang blasts the Placentia City Clerk for the lack of minutes from 2016.

Matthews says he supports the motion for now but wants to hear from the incumbent at the next meeting.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR PLACENTIA CITY TREASURER 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 5.

Jake Vollebregt is the Deputy City Attorney for Aliso Viejo and works at Best Best and Krieger. His daughter is starting kindergarten in Capistrano Unified School District. He graduated from San Clemente High School in 2001. He says the $889 million school bond is not the answer. He attacks the incumbent for being closely aligned with the unions, who got a 4% pay raise and bonus. He notes the incumbent is a liberal Democrat who ran for Clerk Recorder and Senator.

Gordon marvels at Vollebregt’s age and accomplishments, calling him an “overachiever” admiringly.

Night suggests investigating if the Capistrano Unified bond is a capital appreciation bond. He notes that because money is fungible, having a bond frees up the general fund for benefit increases and administrative overhead.

Huang moves and Gordon seconds recommending Vollebregt.

VOLLEBREGT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-0-2 FOR CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEE AREA 5 (Lalloway and Young absent).

Next up is Mission Viejo City Council.

Brian Goodell has been in the city for 45 years. He’s a Community Services Commissioner and businessman. He is married with three children who all graduated from Mission Viejo High School and from college. He was Mission Viejo’s first Olympian, winning two gold medals in swimming. He supports property rights and small business.

Trish Kelley previously served on the City Council. She reduced the pension formula, cut staff, and helped end a Mello-Roos tax. She helped lead the city to be one of the few with a AAA credit rating and as the safest city in America of its size. She improved community facilities. She is endorsed by a litany of Republican elected officials (nearly every official who represents Mission Viejo).

Alex Naghibi speaks of having a Ph.D. and an LL.M. He works in finance, has been a realtor, and has been a law school graduate. He says he is in favor of business and opposes taxes. He wants good judges on the bench. He says he is pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment. He says he is a Republican and will always be a Republican.

Cathy Schlicht said Brian Goodell has a PAC that has taken significant union money that attacked Schlicht. She accuses Frank Ury, Wendy Bucknum, Trish Kelley, and Brian Goodell are in league with the unions to stop her. She says she is the only incumbent in good standing. She says she was a community watchdog and is still that. She speaks of volunteering for the Republican Party. She attacks getting grant money for city programs. She attacks Trish Kelley.

Gordon asks how many seats are available.

Babbitt says there are two.

Gordon asks Naghibi about a fundraiser he held with Panahi. Naghibi states he simply appeared at the restaurant to speak to the manager. He says he does not support him.

Night asks Naghibi why he says he has been registered since 2000 but the Registrar record shows 2012.

Naghibi says he mailed his voter registration in as a Republican during law school in 2000.

Night asks about Naghibi being a lawyer.

Naghibi clarifies he works in a law firm, has a JD, and has an LLM, but he failed the California state bar.

Huang asks about Measure D in 2010 on housing density.

Schlicht says private citizens created Measure D. She supported it because homeowners around the golf course objected to a development. She wants to keep Mission Viejo low density. She says the city meets its state requirement for high density.

Naghibi supported Measure D.

Kelley worked to defeat Measure D and attacks it as ballot box zoning. She says the area is still a golf course, as the developer left due to public outcry.

Goodell opposed Measure D. His background is in real estate, and he opposes ballot box zoning.

Schlicht interrupts that Mission Viejo is built out.

Fuentes moves and Gordon seconds to recommend Schlict.

Night says he has received both good and bad emails about all four candidates. He speaks of opposing ballot box zoning. He leans toward neutrality.

Huang is also concerned about ballot box zoning, citing Yorba Linda’s Measure B. She warns how difficult it is. She says Yorba Linda is 95% built out.

Schlicht attempts to interrupt Huang but is quickly ruled out of order by Fuentes.

Huang notes many Central Committee members oppose ballot box zoning. She speaks of the Yorba Linda recall attempt over density votes.

Matthews is opposed to ballot box zoning. He is leaning toward neutrality.

Fuentes says in all likelihood, the whole committee opposes ballot box zoning, but this does not outweigh her body of work.

Night flips toward Schlict, as he is persuaded by Fuentes’ arguments.

SCHLICHT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-0-2 FOR MISSION VIEJO CITY COUNCIL (Lalloway and Young absent)

Night moves and Matthews seconds for neutrality on the non-incumbents.

NEUTRALITY ON NON-INCUMBENTS RECOMMENDED FOR MISSION VIEJO CITY COUNCIL 5-0-2  (Lalloway and Young absent)

Intermission

Next up is Yorba Linda Water District.

Richard Collett is difficult to hear. He is a long-time resident of Yorba Linda. He is an incumbent water board member. He speaks about some technical water things that this blogger didn’t catch. He speaks about the Yorba Linda Water District recall being launched by the people who launched the failed Yorba Linda City Council recall.

Andy Hall is a husband and father of three. He is a professional civil engineer and has done extensive work with water supplies. He is familiar with regulations from Sacramento and regional agencies. He speaks about Yorba Linda’s water supply.

Night asks about how many Republicans are running.

Babbitt clarifies that there are three Republicans and one Democrat running for two seats.

Gordon asks about the water rate increase in Yorba Linda.

Hall says he supports it.

Collett says he voted for it. He explains that the state forced them to reduce their water sales to ratepayers by 36%, so the rate increases are necessary.

Gordon asks about YLWD reserves.

Collett says the Grand Jury actually blasted YLWD for not having enough reserves at $5 million.

Night asks about bonds at YLWD.

Collett says there were two capital improvement bonds totaling $39 million.

Night asks about Collett’s salary.

Collett says he collects $150 per meeting and averages seven meetings per month.

Night asks about the salary of the YLWD General Manager.

Collett says it is $186,000, which has not been raised since 2003.

Night asks about the size of the budget.

Collett says it is $60 millon.

Night argues that executive salaries are too high and that board stipends should be lowered.

Collett says YLWD has the lowest 10% in water district compensation.

Fuentes asks about endorsements.

Collett says he is endorsed by Gene Hernandez.

Hall says he entered the race fairly recently.

Collett notes the third Republican has only been a Republican for about 18 months.

Matthews asks how many YLWD employees there are.

Collett says there are 83 employees.

Huang praises the job Collett has done with the 36% reduction.

Huang moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Collett for endorsement.

COLLETT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR YORBA LINDA WATER DISTRICT 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent)

Huang moves and Matthews seconds recommending Hall for endorsement.

HALL RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR YORBA LINDA WATER DISTRICT 3-2-2 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, with Lalloway and Young absent)

Next up is North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7.

Ryan Bent speaks of his wife and children. He is on his city’s Library Board. He lists various community involvements. He entered the race when he found out the incumbent wasn’t filing. He is passionate about education and is a graduate of Fullerton College, which is part of the district.

Fuentes clarifies that Bent is the only Republican running against a Democrat.

Gordon asks if Bent is a ram.

Bent confirms he went to Colorado State.

Gordon moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Bent for endorsement.

BENT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-0-2 FOR NORTH ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT TRUSTEE AREA 7 (Lalloway and Young absent)

Next up is San Clemente City Council.

The committee notes there are four Republicans (including two incumbents, Bob Baker and Chris Hamm) and one Democrat for two seats.

The committee defers since they are running early, and Councilman Baker was told he could call in at 10 PM.

Next up is South Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 3.

Since Kimberly Clark is not present, the committee defers to the next meeting.

The committee is out of candidates, so they return to San Clemente. They reach Mayor Baker at 9:45, as he is at a city council meeting. The city is discussing Council districts, but they are on a short break, so Mayor Baker can call the Endorsements Committee.

Dan Bane is a native Texan who grew up in Missouri and has been a Republican since birth. He played baseball at Missouri and went to Pepperdine Law School. He is 35 and a new partner with Sheppard Mullin. He has been on the City general plan advisory committee and was on the OCTA advisory committee. He is concerned about the soaring price of litigation in the city. He wants to increase business friendliness. He says there is a $5,000 fee for businesses to apply to put plants in front of their window. He blasts the San Clemente sign ordinance for burdening business.

Bob Baker has been on the Council for eight years. He speaks of the city’s high quality of life. He says districting would be damaging to the city, even calling it “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.” He opposes sober living homes. He opposes short-term rentals. He is concerned about marijuana legalization. He is concerned about Prop 56 liberalizing criminal laws. He speaks of supporting Bill Brough, Pat Bates, Diane Harkey, and Darrell Issa. Baker served in the U.S. Navy.

Gordon asks Baker about his opposition to vacation rentals in residential zones. Gordon considers it a property right issue for the owner.

Baker argues that it violates the property rights of the neighbors.

Gordon asks wouldn’t it be better to just ticket people for specific violations.

Baker agrees with Gordon’s comment.

Night asks about sober living home.

Baker says he is trying to limit them.

Night asks about marijuana legalization.

Baker says he is very opposed to marijuana legalization and will do everything he can to make it difficult for marijuana in San Clemente. He then leave to return to the Council meeting.

Bane says he opposes sober living homes, which needs changes in law. He opposes banning short-term rentals. He also wants to use conditional use permits to stop marijuana in San Clemente.

Huang asks about the comment that Baker made about pushing for legisatin to have a public hospital.

Bane opposes it as spot zoning. He says the city rezoned as both a hospital and an emergency room, which led to the closure of Saddleback Memorial Care this year, which led to a $43 million lawsuit. Bane wants to fix this issue since his professional background is in land use law. Bane notes he forgot to mention earlier that he is endorsed by the

Matthews wanted to know Baker’s stance on TOT.

Matthews asks Bane a techical question about sober living homes.

Bane explains that having more than six people in a sober living home must be in a commercial zone. He wishes the city had adopted an ordinance that had withstood the test of courts rather than inventing a new ordinance.

Fuentes asks about the measure to increase the San Clemente TOT. He wanted to ask Baker about it.

Bane says he opposes the measure.

Fuentes says Baker is in a disadvantaged position because he had to hang up the phone.

Fuentes wishes to stay neutral because the committee didn’t get to ask a number of questions to Baker.

Night asks Bane about signs in San Clemente.

Bane describes all sort of types of signs that are unobtrusive and would have been better than banning signs.

Night moves and Fuentes seconds neutrality.

Gordon says Bane is spot on regarding freedom and liberty. He points to private property rights. He is baffled about neutrality when only two people are seeking endorsements for two seats when Bane hits holes-in-on and hits it out of the park. Gordon says Bane is batting .500 while Baker is on injured reserve. (Gordon is pulling out a lot of sports analogies.)

Huang asks why the committee couldn’t just take no position on Baker and recommend endorsing Bane since that would still be an available endorsement.

Night amends his motion based on Huang’s arguments. Night moves and Gordon seconds to recommend Bane for endorsement and to be neutral on Baker.

Matthews asks whethe the other two Republicans have sought endorsements.

San Clemente resident Jim Bieber calls Chris Hamm the “Bernie Sanders of San Clemente.” He says Hamm refused to fill out the questionnaire of the Chamber of Commerce, replying that he didn’t care about their endorsement.

BANE RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-2-2 FOR SAN CLEMENTE CITY COUNCIL (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting with Lalloway and Young absent).

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR BAKER 5-0-2 FOR SAN CLEMENTE CITY COUNCIL (Lalloway and Young absent).

The committee adjourns only seven minutes behind schedule.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Former Assemblyman Allan Mansoor Announces Run For Costa Mesa City Council

Posted by David Mansdoerfer on July 6, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 2.14.33 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 6, 2016

Contact:  David Mansdoerfer

Email: david@clarkstrategygroup.com

FORMER ASSEMBLYMAN AND COSTA MESA MAYOR ALLAN MANSOOR ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN FOR COSTA MESA CITY COUNCIL

Costa Mesa, CA – Today, former State Assemblyman Allan Mansoor announced his candidacy for Costa Mesa City Council. Mansoor will by vying for one of three available seats on the Costa Mesa Council with Mayor Steve Mensinger and Councilwoman Sandy Genis up for reelection, and Councilman Gary Monahan termed out.

“Having lived here most of my life, I appreciate all of the different residential and business communities and the people who live and work here,” Mansoor stated.  “As a husband and a father, I will fight not only for the current residents, but for future generations to be able to live, work, and play in Costa Mesa.”

“As a former Mayor of Costa Mesa, Allan has the experience and understanding to tackle some of the biggest issues facing Costa Mesa including; crime, homelessness and economic development,” stated Mayor Mensinger.

“I’m proud to have the support of Mayor Mensinger in this endeavor,” stated Mansoor, “He has volunteered so much of his time for youth sports and the kids in our community, that says a lot about him.”

In the upcoming days, the campaign will release a comprehensive list of endorsements and announce a formal kick-off event.

Mansoor has hired Clark Strategy Group Consultant David Mansdoerfer to lead his effort. Mansdoerfer has a successful track record in Orange County including helping Senator John Moorlach win the 2015 special election for Senate District 37.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The Sacramento Leftist Elite’s Culture War Against All Dissent Continues – SB 1146

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on June 25, 2016

Meanwhile off the Presidential campaign trail, the California legislature continues to prove it is controlled by people who will not stand for any dissenting opinions even from religious colleges.  Recently the State Senate passed SB 1146 (Lara – D) the so called Equity in Higher Education Act (at the time of this post, SB 1146 is pending in the Assembly).  This bill vastly trims down exemptions from anti-discrimination laws for private religious colleges from, among other things, the LGBT agenda.  In other words, a religious college cannot require students and employees to adhere to a code of conduct that is in conformity with its faith based belief system unless that school is only a seminary preparing students to be ministers.  While this law is currently tied to Cal. Grant funds, the real issue is the heavy hand of government attempting to stamp out any dissenting opinions or beliefs.  Constitutional protections like Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Assembly, etc.?  Nope those are all subservient to the demands of liberal elite’s to agree with their viewpoints – which in this instance is the LGBT agenda and practices.

Andrew T. Walker of the National Review has an excellent article on this: California’s Culture War against Religious Liberty

Here is an excerpt:

“Tacked onto existing law, the proposed amendment to the state’s Equity in Higher Education Act attempts to stigmatize and coercively punish any religious belief system that might dare to offer a difference of opinion about sexuality and gender. The bill strong-arms religious schools into an untenable position: Either compromise their religious identity or risk losing access to grants and government-backed financial assistance like Cal Grants. How so? According to the legislation, any religious school that made admission decisions or laid out student-conduct expectations based on religious criteria that were at odds with the bill’s protected classes would risk losing access to state funds unless they affirmed the highly contestable categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” – categories at odds with views about marriage and sexuality in many religious traditions.”

I commend the rest of Mr. Walker’s article to your reading.  Another very good and short read on the implications of SB 1146 is by John Gerardi of California Family Council (See Update).

There is an argument that Christian schools should not take Cal. Grants and other government monies.  There are two problems with this argument. First if our tax dollars can go to schools that the government says it approves of its message but not those that do not, that is viewpoint discrimination by a government entity.  Plus that is forced public funding of one viewpoint over another.  Another problem with this argument is it is a ruse.  Today it is the application of this law to schools that accept Cal. Grant and similar college funding programs.  Tomorrow it will be to remove their tax exempt status for not conforming to the demanded viewpoint of the legislative majority (in other words the right to exist as a religious institution). And that logic can be applied without pause to churches. No room for dissent allowed and the U.S. and California Constitutional protections for Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association will be rendered historical footnotes.

Of course, the legislature also goes out of its way to state that the bill does not seek to impair any student’s right to file a lawsuit against the college for discrimination.

Will these Christian colleges and the churches whose pulpits they fill engage the culture and stand against this publically?  The colleges are expressing their opposition to the legislature now with the help of organizations like the California Family Council and Pacific Justice Institute.  But if Senator Lara (the bill’s author) and his fellow travelers in Sacramento pass SB 1146 and the Governor signs it, will they file lawsuits and organize a referendum campaign to stop it?  Will they engage the voters in a healthy debate over the role of religious belief and practice in public life, in education and the proper limits under the U.S. and California Constitutions on a government that tries to dictate belief systems?  Or will they just engage real estate agents in Texas to find new locations for their campuses?

I pray it is the former and not a retreat to Texas.

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Orange County Register Shamelessly Becomes PC Word Police with Hammond

Posted by Walter Myers III on May 29, 2016

hammondA few weeks ago when Brian Calle informed readers of the direction of the Orange County Register editorial board, it concerned me that while they would continue to be fiscally conservative, they would take more progressively liberal positions on social issues. Still, I thought their historically libertarian views would be the more powerful driver, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I was wrong. The heading in the Sunday, May 29, Opinion section proved this to me with a shocking editorial titled “Gomez for county Board of Education.” Brian Calle and his cohorts turned their backs on OC Board of Education Area 1 incumbent Robert Hammond, endorsing Rebecca “Beckie” Gomez based on Hammond’s use of the word “sodomite” well over two years ago, without any understanding (or caring) of the context in which it was used.

The meaning of the word sodomite is simple. It is a word that refers to someone who engages in sodomy, which is defined by Dictionary.com as 1. “anal or oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex, or 2. “copulation with a member of the same sex.” I spoke with Hammond about his use of the word sodomite, which was in the context of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage as a fundamental constitutional right. Hammond sent out an email to his colleagues, whose subject was not even about sodomy, matter of factly noting that sodomites could now marry in response to the decision. It is the word that he was taught to use in his childhood as a politer alternative to the word gay or queer, which is an accurate description of those who participate in same-sex intercourse, and hardly “inflammatory” as grossly charged by the Register editorial. But the Register editorial board’s stated rationale is that times have changed and Hammond should have known better. I can’t think of a more arbitrary and baseless assertion.

The Register editorial board has now fallen into the liberal progressive trap that people (specifically they and no one else) can simply redefine language as they wish, and what once was a word that carried no derogatory meaning can now simply be declared as such on a whim. Bigots are now being created overnight with breathtaking speed, and the Register has become a willing participant in this madness. So Hammond has now used a word that has been recently determined to denigrate others, and even though the board agrees with him on most issues, and is highly skeptical of Gomez herself, they endorse her out of “hope” instead of solid reason due to the perceived meaning of a single word. For the use of but one word, the editorial board would put our children at risk by endorsing someone they have little reason to trust (particularly regarding charter schools) over someone who has proven himself over and over to be a responsible guardian over the wellbeing of all Orange County students. And that’s not to mention the broader, chilling effect on free speech and freedom of conscience that will flow from this action by the Register editorial board.

My first action after breakfast on Tuesday morning will be to cancel my subscription to the Orange County Register. Good riddance.

Posted in Orange County Board of Education, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

OC GOP Endorses Schatzle Over Judge Steiner

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 16, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgYour intrepid blogger did not make it out to Central Committee tonight, but multiple people present are reporting that Deputy District Attorney Karen Lee Schatzle has won the Republican Party of Orange County’s endorsement in her bid to unseat Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner.

The vote was 24-7 to endorse Schatzle after the Endorsements Committee had recommended no endorsement.

With absentee ballots already out, Schatzle will need to move quickly if she is going to make voters aware of this endorsement.

Also endorsed were Representative Ed Royce for the 39th Congressional District and Ofelia Velarde-Garcia for 69th Assembly District.

Our prior coverage of OC GOP endorsements is available here and here.

Posted in 39th Congressional District, 69th Assembly District, Republican Central Committee, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Why I am still voting for Ted Cruz for President of the United States

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 9, 2016

2016-05-08 18.50.45

Today (Monday, May 9, 2016) vote by mail ballots will be sent to voters in California. I will be voting for Senator Ted Cruz for President of the United States for the Republican primary of June 7th. I am also encouraging other Republicans to do the same. Why am I doing this when Sen. Cruz suspended his campaign? The reasons are several fold:

Senator Cruz (who will be listed first on our ballots) is still in my opinion the best candidate for President of the United States due to his long history of fighting for the U.S. Constitution and his willingness to take on the Washington, D.C. establishment on both sides of the isle. Ted Cruz is a proven and tested Constitutional leader. I recommend you go to: Senator Cruz’ web site to find out more.

In addition, Donald Trump has not earned my vote or support. His positions on issues (as much as can be understood of any position he may take) such as supporting transgender bathrooms and locker rooms, eminent domain abuse by having government take other people’s property then selling it to developers for them to build private property projects for their own profit and many other causes over the years are on the opposite side of what I believe in. Another example is he still loves Planned Parenthood. In addition, his tactics during the campaign including, but not limited to, going after people’s wives and children, alleging Ted Cruz’ father was in league with Lee Harvey Oswald in the assignation of JFK and other similar personal attacks have not convinced me The Donald has the temperament to be President. It is Mr. Trump’s job to sell me on supporting him and he has not do so.

Some have said a vote for anyone but Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton. I disagree. June 7th is a closed Republican Primary not the general election. No matter who any Republicans vote for in the primary that will have zero effect upon the Democrats nominating Hillary Clinton or any other person as their candidate for President. Also, in the general election in California we Republicans will be outnumbered by Democrats and others who will vote for the Democratic nominee so our votes for anyone in the general election will likely not matter in liberal California (and there is no way I will vote for the Democratic nominee).

Some might argue that if enough people vote in the primary for Ted Cruz rather than Donald Trump, Mr. Trump might not get the necessary 1237 delegates to achieve the Republican nomination on the first ballot resulting in a contested convention. Then someone like Ted Cruz could still obtain the nomination on the second, third or a later ballot. If this were to occur and Ted Cruz became the nominee my response would be that old Christian hymn / doxology:

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen!

That would be a result I would be very happy with. Now if Mr. Trump does obtain the 1237 delegates to lock up the nomination, then he should be the nominee even if I do not like the result. That does not mean I will vote for or support him in the general election for all of the reasons above. But he will have won the nomination by doing obtaining 1237 delegates and maybe he can convince me he is a better candidate than I have seen to date before the November 8th election.

If you wish to see my “Craig’s Pics” voter recommendations go to: Craig’s Pics. I also recommend going to Robyn Nordell’s site and review Robyn and other conservatives’ excellent voter guides.

The sign in my front yard for Ted Cruz in the picture above I just put up last night (Sunday, May 8, 2016).

For those that may disagree with my recommendation I ask one thing: Please state facts for your arguments, not emotion, guilt or insults.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Letter: Vote No on Dana Point Measure H, the Empty Lots Initiative

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 9, 2016

Recently the Dana Point Times published my Letter to the Editor.  In it I stated my opposition to Measure H which I call the Empty Lots Initiative.

Below is a part of that Letter:

By Craig Alexander, Dana Point

I have lived in Dana Point since 1999. One of the first things I realized is property development is a hot button issue. Another thing I noted in 1999, which continues to today, are the numerous empty lots and sometimes rundown buildings in downtown Dana Point. Over the years, there have been several studies and many public meetings about how to create a better downtown Dana Point to attract visitors and make it a nice place for residents to enjoy a wonderful shopping and dining experience.

A few years ago, a prior city council led by now Assemblyman Bill Brough, spearheaded the city finalizing what is now called the Lantern District plans after dozens of public hearings at which all citizens of Dana Point were allowed to participate. The plan passed via city council votes, and the city has already spent over $18 million, plus millions of ratepayer dollars from the South Coast Water District, to implement the Lantern District improvements. Part of the Lantern District plan is to recoup part of those funds via development fees and increased property taxes.

Now, unhappy with a few development decisions by the City Council, some members of our community want to implement a ballot box zoning law called Measure H that would have the effect of halting development in the Lantern District. I call this the “Empty Lots Initiative,” because it would make development there so restrictive that no project could financially work, thus the empty lots would stay empty. An obvious result would be the city not receiving back many of the millions of dollars it spent under the Lantern District Plan from development fees and increased property tax revenue. This ballot box zoning measure is like taking a sledge hammer to a problem that needle nose pliers can fix. You might get the result you want but you will also destroy the object you are trying to fix.

If you do not like the City Council and their property development decisions, change the City Council. That is why we have elections every two years in November and term limits as well.

At the very least, before making such a drastic decision, I encourage my fellow Dana Point residents to go to the city’s website (http://www.danapoint.org/) and click on the link to the Town Center Initiative Impact Report. You will find valuable information in that report, which I recommend you seriously consider prior to casting your vote for or against Measure H.

Here is the link to the full Letter to the Editor (Vote No On H, the Empty Lots Initiative)

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Freedom and Liberty = Public Charter Schools

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 3, 2016

As a follow up to my post of last week (Anti-Choice Teachers Unions Want to Take Control of O.C. Board of Education), former State Senator Gloria Romero has penned another excellent op-ed piece in the O.C. Register.  In Celebrating National Charter Schools Week Senator Romero not only noted that this week is a time to celebrate the tremendous success of public charter schools but the continued voracious opposition to public charter schools by unions and the local Boards of Trustees the unions pay to elect.  

Here is part of her op-ed piece:

“Increasingly, parents understand that charter schools were precisely given the flexibility to be independent of the many constraints under California’s Education codes, allowing them to be more innovative while simultaneously being held accountable for improved student achievement. Several studies confirm that charter school students do better than their traditional school peers. Stanford’s Center for Research on Educational Outcomes found that charter schools do a better job teaching low-income students, minority students and English language learners than traditional schools. The Center for Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school and go to college.”

Yet despite public charter school successes unions and school boards fight parent’s desire to start and continue great public charter schools.  No example of this is the fight by the parents of children at Palm Lane Elementary School, a currently traditional public school that has been failing for over a decade.  The District’s response when the parents attempted to use the Parent Trigger law to convert the school to a public charter school? Sue them in court and spend an estimated million taxpayer dollars to stop the parents’ efforts.  In effect spend over a million in taxpayer dollars to keep children in a failing school.  Who are these deniers of parents’ rights to a quality education for their children?  Trustees Jeff Cole, Ryan A. Ruelas, Bob Gardner, David Robert H.R. Heywood and Jackie Filbeck. (Board of Trustees) And lets not forget their enforcer Superintendent Dr. Linda Wagner. (Superintendent) If liberty, freedom, parents’ rights and quality education (not to mention fiscal responsibility) were grades these trustees and the superintendent needed to earn: they would receive an F grade.

And the ongoing battle of the parents of Palm Lane students: the Superior Court judge ruled against the District and in favor of the parents. See Parents and Children Win The Right to State a Public Charter School. District responded with an appeal that is still pending.  Who is among those filing legal briefs in support of the school district to deny parental choice and a quality education for their children?  You guessed it, the California Teachers Association.

I commend Senator Romero’s op-ed to your reading.

Posted in Anaheim City School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Anti-Choice Teachers Unions Want to Take Control of the OC Board of Education

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on April 27, 2016

Everyone agrees that education for our children is a critical pathway for those children to grow into adults who are ready to earn a living and become responsible members of our society. Unfortunately labor unions including teachers unions have a different focus – to benefit their union bank accounts with your tax dollars more than the quality and success of students in those schools.  Often to balance a school district’s books the union elected Board of Trustees will give raises to District employees and increase class sizes (with layoffs of younger teachers with less seniority).  How does this help children in these schools?  Not at all.  In fact classroom overcrowding and teachers kept due to seniority instead of quality and student progress is detrimental to their education.

Let me pause and say there are many great teachers in the public school system.  It is not their actions that are the problem.  It is their unions who want to hold onto power who are the problem.

Many parents choose to send their children to private schools or choose to homeschool their children to assure that they are doing everything they can to provide a quality education for their child. But there is another route parents can take: public charter schools.  The success of public charter schools is beyond refutation. The fact is that public charter schools, with the freedom to not unionize their staffs and focus on children’s academic progress rather than just seniority in teacher evaluations, have resulted in long waiting lists for children to gain entrance into good public charter schools.  What is the response to this by government employee unions?  To block public charter school applications at every turn.  First via the Board of Trustees at the local level.  Then with a rubber stamp Orange County Board of Education that denied charter school application appeals routinely. That changed two years ago when Linda Lindholm joined Trustees Robert Hammond and Ken Williams to form a pro public charter school majority.  Since then charter schools that formerly were routinely denied appeals have had their appeals granted and more charter schools opened to the benefit of children, parents, teachers who work there and ultimately all of us as these children graduate with a quality education.

This June 7th voters in Orange County will have an opportunity to re-elect Trustees Hammond and Williams to keep that pro-charter school majority in place.  The teacher unions are running Tustin Councilmember Rebecca Gomez and Irvine School Board member Michael Parham against Hammond and Williams to replace the current majority with a board majority that will bring the OC Board back to the days when charter school application appeals are routinely denied no matter the quality and demand by parents for a viable alternative to sometimes failing public schools their children are enrolled in.

Former State Senator Gloria Romero has an excellent opinion article in the Orange County Register (Teachers unions trying to take back O.C. board). Follow the link to her article where she has set forth how this is a deceptive campaign by the unions to smear Trustee Hammond and Williams to place their handpicked Trustees on the board.

Here is a part of her article:

“The name “Teachers for Local Control” undoubtedly was poll tested and determined to be a resonant mantra with Orange County voters.     What backers probably won’t reveal is that Teachers for Local Control is a chameleon group for the Santa Ana Educators Association, a local affiliate of the powerful Sacramento-based California Teachers Association, which has fought virtually every public education reform and law granting parental school choice in California.

In fact, the legal phone number for Teachers for Local Control provided to the California Secretary of State’s Office is the same number as for the Santa Ana teachers union office.

Whoops.”

Teacher unions what to give parents less choice in the education of their children by opposing public charter schools. Trustees Hammond and Williams want to preserve choice and excellence in education.   Voters will have an important choice regarding education in Orange County on June 7th.

Re-elect Robert Hammond and Dr. Ken Williams to the Orange County Board of Education.

For more about former Marine Robert Hammond go to: http://www.robertforocbe.com/

For more about Dr. Ken Williams go to: http://www.williamsforocbe.com/

For more about public charter schools in general go to: http://www.ccsaadvocates.org/ and Parents Advocate League.

 

 

Posted in Orange County Board of Education, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »