OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Beth Gaines’

Former Cypress Councilwoman’s Husband Files for Council Seat

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 23, 2012

Lydia Sondhi

Former Cypress City Councilwoman Lydia Sondhi

Cypress City Council Candidate Jay Sondhi

Lydia Sondhi (R-Cypress) served on her City Council from 1998 until terming out in 2006.  Councilmen Phil Luebben and Todd Seymore are termed out this year, creating the first open seats on the Cypress Council since Sondhi, Frank McCoy, and Mike McGill all termed out in 2006.

Sondhi’s husband, Jay Sondhi, pulled papers for Council on the first day papers could be pulled, Monday, July 16, and then filed them on Friday, July 20.

The Law Offices of Jay Sondhi are located in Cypress. Sondhi graduated from the University of Missouri Law School and was admitted to the California Bar in 1986.  He was a corporate attorney who spent two decades in insurance.  He’s now a legal consultant for insurance companies.  Sondhi is a Cypress Chamber Board Member, the Treasurer of the Cypress Police Foundation, the President-Elect of the Cypress Kiwanis, and a former President of the Cypress Boys & Girls Club.

Lydia Sondhi was Mayor Pro Tem of Cypress in 2001 and Mayor in both 2002 and 2006.  (She was on the Cypress Council during the City’s effort to seize land owned by Cottonwood Church to give to Costco, but she did not vote on the issue due to a conflict of interest from her home’s proximity to the land in question.)  She came in third out of ten candidates for three council seats when Frank McCoy, Mike McGill, and she all won their first council terms in 1998 (future Councilman Todd Seymore came in ninth out of ten).  She came in third out of eight candidates for three council seats when McGill, McCoy, and she were all re-elected in 2002.  She has been a Professor of Consumer Affairs at California State University Long Beach since 1986 and previously served on the executive board of the California Faculty Association, the CSU professors’ union.

It looks like Sondhi will be downplaying his wife’s prior council tenure during the campaign, as the press release announcing his candidacy only made this brief half-sentence mention of his wife: “Jay Sondhi is married to Lydia Sondhi and has lived in Cypress for 26 years.”

Sondhi likely realizes Orange Countians aren’t exactly keen about electing spouses of living elected officials:

  • In 2010, Sandra Crandall didn’t even mention her husband’s name in her campaign biography in her successful bid for the Fountain Valley School Board.  Her husband, Larry, has been on the Fountain Valley City Council since 1998 and was on the school board from 1990-1998.
  • In 2009, Linda Ackerman made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly.  The press coverage of that race repeatedly mentioned her husband, former Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman.
  • In 2006, Dianne Harman made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly.  The press coverage of that race repeatedly mentioned that the incumbent, Tom Harman, was her husband.
  • In 2004, Gayle Pacheco made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly.  Bob Huff came in first in all three counties but Pacheco came in third in Orange County while coming in second in both Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties.  (Villa Park Councilman Bill MacAloney came in second in Orange County and third in the other two.)  Her campaign’s press releases repeatedly mentioned that the incumbent, Bob Pacheco, was her husband.
  • In 1980, Beverly Nestande made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly seat vacated by her husband, Bruce, when he won a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

(Widows and widowers are rarely tested, as relatively few Orange County officials have died in office in seats where special elections were held to fill the vacancies; OC’s dead elected officials have generally held offices where vacancies are filled by appointment.)

While a number of political spouses have been successful in California politics (George and Sharon Runner, Tony and Audra Strickland, Judy Chu and Mike Eng, and Ted and Beth Gaines), few have been successful in Orange County.

Posted in Cypress | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bay Area’s Munger Spending on Behalf of Daigle in OC’s AD-74 Rises to Over $470,000

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 23, 2012

Leslie Daigle, Charles Munger, Beth Gaines

Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, Santa Clara County Republican Party Chairman Charles Munger, Jr., and Assemblywoman Beth Gaines

We reported previously here and here about the vast sums of money that Santa Clara County Republican Party Chairman Charles Munger, Jr.’s Spirit of Democracy California PAC has spent on behalf of Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, who is running against Assemblyman Allan Mansoor and businessman Bob Rush for the 74th Assembly District.  (Daigle and Mansoor are both registered Republicans, though it is widely known that Mansoor is the candidate of the conservatives, libertarians, Tea Party, etc. while Daigle is the candidate of the moderate and liberal-leaning factions.  Rush became a registered Democrat in February.)

The Spirit of Democracy California PAC formed by Munger, the son and namesake of Warren Buffett’s business partner, has now spent nearly half a million dollars on Daigle’s behalf in the last two weeks.  Specifically, it’s $470,671, which is broken down this way:

  • May 21: $145,000 for TV Commercials
  • May 21: $21,306 for Mailers
  • May 21: $20,190 for Mailers
  • May 21: $15,619 for Slate Mailers
  • May 15: $20,973 for Mailers
  • May 14: $180,000 for TV Commercials
  • May 14: $20,973 for Mailers
  • May 14: $7,500 for Consulting
  • May 14: $7,500 for Consulting
  • May 14: $25,111 for Mailers
  • May 14: $6,499 for Mailers

(Note that the $150,000 previously reported by Munger’s PAC was amended to $180,000 in a subsequent campaign finance report.)

This totals:

  • $325,000 for TV Commericals
  • $115,052 for Mailers
  • $15,619 for Slate Mailers
  • $15,000 for Consulting

The only other beneficiary of the largesse of the Spirit of Democracy California PAC is Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (R-Roseville), who has received $175,334 in independent expenditures from the PAC.

Munger has contributed $726,826 to the PAC.  Besides Munger, the only other contributor to the PAC is the California Dental Association, which has dropped $150,000.  That’s a total of $876,826 in the PAC.  They’ve spent a combined $646,005 for Daigle and Gaines, leaving $230,821 available for future spending.  Of course, Munger also has the deep pockets to drop far more into the PAC at a day’s notice.  After all, he and his sister, Molly Munger, have spent millions of dollars on California ballot measures.

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Munger Drops Another $366,604 into Pro-Daigle PAC Bringing Total Contributions to $876,826

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 18, 2012

Two days ago, I wrote about the $360,222 that Santa Clara County Republican Party Chairman Charles Munger, Jr. dumped into the Spirit of Democracy California, a committee that spent $217,583 on behalf of Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle and $83,171 on behalf of Assemblywoman Beth Gaines.  Daigle is challenging Assemblyman Allan Mansoor while Gaines is being challenged by attorney Andy Pugno.  (Daigle, Gaines, Mansoor, and Pugno are all registered Republicans.)

The California Dental Association had also dropped $150,000 into the committee.  The committee has now received $876,826 from Munger’s two contributions and the Dental Association’s single contribution.

The PAC has since spent $20,973 for a pro-Daigle mailer, on top of the $217,583 it previously spent for her, bringing its total pro-Daigle spending to $238,556.

The PAC has since spent $17,992 for a pro-Gaines mailer and $15,000 for pro-Gaines TV ads, on top of the $83,171 it previously spent for her, bringing its total pro-Gaines spending to $116,163.

The Spirit of Democracy California PAC still has more than half a million dollars cash on hand ($522,107, to be exact).  Munger has also demonstrated he can still dump in hundreds of thousands of dollars at a moment’s notice.

Posted in 74th Assembly District, Independent Expenditures | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Dentists & Bay Area’s Munger Spend $218,000 in 4 Days to Support Leslie Daigle

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 16, 2012

Leslie Daigle, Charles Munger, Beth Gaines

Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, Santa Clara County Republican Party Chairman Charles Munger, Jr., and Assemblywoman Beth Gaines

Santa Clara County Republican Party Chairman Charles Munger, Jr., who funded Proposition 11 of 2008 and Proposition 20 of 2010 (Prop 11 formed the redistricting commission while Prop 20 extended the commission’s jurisdiction to Congressional districts), and the California Dental Association together spent $218,000 between May 10-14 to support Republican Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle in her bid to unseat incumbent Republican Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.

  • On April 13, Munger dropped $360,222 into the “Spirit of Democracy California” PAC.
  • On Thursday (May 10), the California Dental Association IE PAC dropped another $150,000 into the PAC.  That same day, the SDC spent $39,110 in for Daigle.
  • On Monday (May 14), SDC spent $83,171 to support Sacramento-area incumbent Republican Assemblywoman Beth Gaines in her bid to defend her seat against Republican Attorney Andy Pugno.  That same day, SDC also spent $178,473 to support Daigle.

That leaves $209,469 left in the SDC PAC.

For visual learners:

Munger
Contributions
Dental
Contributions
Pro-Gaines
Expenditures
Pro-Daigle
Expenditures
Cash on
Hand
Spirit of Democracy
California
 $360,222 $150,000 $83,171 $217,583 $209,469

Here’s a breakdown of the Spirit of Democracy California IEs for Daigle thus far: one $150,000 payment for TV ads, three mailer payments totaling $52,583, and two consultant payments, each $7,500.  For Gaines, there’s one $54,000 payment for radio ads, one $14,171 payment for a mailer, and two consultant payments each $7,500.

For visual learners:

TV Ads Radio Ads Mailers Consultants Total
Pro-Daigle IEs  $150,000 $0 $52,583 $15,000 $217,583
Pro-Gaines IEs  $0 $54,000 $14,171 $15,000 $83,171

For those of you reading carefully, you may have noticed the $150,000 figure for TV ads for Daigle is exactly the dollar amount that the California Dental Association dropped into the Spirit of Democracy California.

Munger’s spending a lot of money this month.  Just last week, he spent $750,000 to fund the California Reform Institute, run by Senator Sam Blakeslee.

With $209,469 left in the Spirit of Democracy California PAC (and Munger’s very deep pockets), this could be a long three weeks for Mansoor and Pugno.

Posted in 74th Assembly District, Independent Expenditures | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »