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Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements Round 1

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 18, 2014

We’re live from OC GOP Central Committee for the first round of endorsements for the November General Election.

As is normal for an endorsements meeting, a slew of new alternates are being sworn in (though several represent new ex officio members as this is the first meeting since the Secretary of State certified nominees for the November election).

There are so many elected officials and candidates present that I will not even attempt to list them all.

Pete Peterson, the Republican nominee for Secretary of State, addresses the Central Committee.

Ron Nehring, the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, addresses the Central Committee.

The endorsements agenda consists of:
1. Jim Righeimer – Costa Mesa
2. Lee Ramos – Costa Mesa
3. Yes on Charter – Costa Mesa (Measure O)
4. Peggy Huang – Yorba Linda (November Election)
5. Mark McCurdy – Fountain Valley
6. Tyler Diep – Westminster
7. Jeff Lalloway – Irvine
8. Steven Choi – Irvine Mayor
9. Lynn Schott – Irvine
10. Tom Lindsey – Yorba Linda
11. Tom Tait – Anaheim Mayor
12. Dave Harrington – Aliso Viejo
13. Derek Reeve – San Juan Capistrano
14. Pam Patterson – San Juan Capistrano
15. Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita
16. Robert Ming – Orange County Supervisor, 5th District
17. Craig Alexander – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4
18. Fred Whitaker – Orange
19. Ray Grangoff – Orange
20. Steve Sheldon – Orange County Water District, Division 5
21. Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
22. Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
23. David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
24. William Hinz – Lowell Joint School District
25. John Novak – Savanna School District
26. Phil Yarbrough – Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 6
27. Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
28. Measure E – County Contracting with FPPC (Yes)
29. Measure G – Supervisorial Vacancy (Yes)
30. Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond (No)
31. Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond (No)
32. Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond (No)
33. Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond (No)
34. Measure AA – Santa Ana Utility Tax (No)
35. Measure JJ – Yorba Linda Pension & Healthcare Elimination (Yes)
36. Measure W – Irvine Great Park Transparency (Yes)
37. Measure V – Irvine Term Limits (Yes)
38. Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax (No)
39. Julie Collier – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
40. Ellen Addonizio – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 6
41. Brett Barbre – Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
42. Diane Dixon – Newport Beach
43. Yorba Linda Recall (No)
44. Measure Y – Newport Beach General Plan Update (Yes)
45. Dave Ellis – Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 5
46. Scott Voigts – Lake Forest
47. Erik Peterson – Huntington Beach
48. Lynn Semeta – Huntington Beach
49. Mike Posey – Huntington Beach

26 of the 49 items were passed as a consent calendar, except the following 23 people/measures who were pulled for discussion or for referral to the Endorsements Committee:
2. Lee Ramos – Costa Mesa
4. Peggy Huang – Yorba Linda
10. Tom Lindsey – Yorba Linda
11. Tom Tait – Anaheim Mayor
15. Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita
16. Robert Ming – Orange County Supervisor, 5th District
18. Fred Whitaker – Orange
19. Ray Grangoff – Orange
21. Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
22. Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
23. David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
24. William Hinz – Lowell Joint School District
25. John Novak – Savanna School District
27. Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
30. Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond (No)
31. Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond (No)
32. Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond (No)
33. Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond (No)
38. Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax (No)
43. Yorba Linda Recall (No)
47. Erik Peterson – Huntington Beach
48. Lyn Semeta – Huntington Beach
49. Mike Posey – Huntington Beach

8:02 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh reveals more than $10,000 in union contributions for Lucille Kring despite her signing the nonunion pledge. He makes a scathing speech blasting Kring for breaking her word. If she disagrees with the pledge, she shouldn’t have signed it, Baugh says. Kring attempts to protest, but cannot speak as a nonmember of the Central Committee. Baugh entertains a motion from Tim Whitacre to endorse Tom Tait for Mayor of Anaheim.

TJ Fuentes speaks in favor of Tait. He speaks of Tait’s servant leadership, Tait’s grassroots activism and efforts to support the Republican Party. Fuentes speaks of Tait standing by his principles of lower taxes, limited government, kindness, and transparency. Fuentes notes Tait is the OCGOP’s 2013 Local Elected Official of the Year.

Alexandria Coronado says the Tait of the past is not the Tait of today. She says he’s given money to Jordan Brandman and Jose F. Moreno. She says Tait is working with unions and was a speaker at a Democratic Party-sponsored event.

By a voice vote:

TAIT ENDORSED.

Fred Whitaker moves the endorsement of Lee Ramos for Costa Mesa City Council. He says Ramos will help unify the city. He says Ramos is the leading conservative candidate for the open seat.

Baugh asks how much Ramos has raised, how much his opponents have raised, and if he has endorsements from Righeimer, Mensinger, and Monahan.

Ramos says he’s raised about $40,000 while the nearest opponent had $9,100. Ramos does have the endorsements.

Desare Ferraro urges delaying this to allow Tony Capitelli to be considered for endorsement.

By voice vote:

RAMOS ENDORSED

One person pulled the endorsements in Huntington Beach, but there is little debate on the Huntington Beach candidates.

PETERSON ENDORSED

SEMETA ENDORSED

POSEY ENDORSED

There is no debate on Peggy Huang for Yorba Linda City Council.

HUANG ENDORSED

Desare Ferraro objects to the endorsement of Tom Lindsey for the November General Election. She says it would be divisive with the recall going on.

Brenda McCune notes she ran against Tom Lindsey in 2010, but she supports his endorsement now. She calls the recall a power grab. She calls Lindsey an independent mind and listener. She calls him a good Republican and family man.

Baron Night proposes a substitute motion to go to Endorsements Committee. He cites the recall.

Brett Barbre notes the recall is October 7 and general election is November 4. He notes the recall costs $300,000. He says Lindsey is a good Republican.

Night’s substitute motion gets 17 votes. There are far more votes against Night’s substitute motion.

A debate of parliamentary procedure ensues.

By a standing vote, there are 39 votes to endorse Lindsey. 37 were needed.

LINDSEY ENDORSED.

Brett Barbre of Yorba Linda moves to endorse against the recall. Scott Peotter of Newport Beach seconds.

Baron Night of Buena Park offers a substitute motion to send it to Endorsements Committee. Tim Whitacre of Santa Ana seconds.

Night argues the recall is a local issue.

Brenda McCune of Yorba Linda says the people of Yorba Linda want to hear from the party because these issues have gone on for quite some time in Yorba Linda.

Scott Baugh speaks of becoming an Assemblyman in the Doris Allen recall. He warns of recalls against Jeff Lalloway, Jim Righeimer, and Deborah Pauly. He warns against recalls for anything other than malfeasance or betrayal of Republican principles.

Night withdraws his substitute motion.

Peotter notes that Young and Lindsey are following the law and the will of the people. He blasts NIMBYs for launching the recall and says that removing Young and Lindsey should be in a general election, not a recall.

Whitacre of Santa Ana helped collect recall signatures in Yorba Linda. He claims that Young and Lindsey received PAC contributions. He claims Mark Schwing and Nancy Rikel are conservatives.

Barbre of Yorba Linda says it seems the longer you live in Yorba Linda the more credibility you have. He says he’s lived there for 45 years. He says the recall is the biggest waste of money he’s ever seen. He notes the recall supporters were the same people who opposed making Imperial Highway a city road. He notes there is ballot box zoning in Yorba Linda. He notes that Young and Lindsey voted for densities 35% below the cap imposed by voters.

Nancy Rikel attacks Young, Lindsey, and Hernandez. She criticizes the Central Committee for endorsing Lindsey. She blasts Young and Lindsey for supporting the Brea Police contract with Yorba Linda. Disruptive audience members who appear to have been brought by Rikel are cheering for Rikel. Rikel complains that the recall cost more because opponents tried to stand at supermarkets to oppose the recall.

Baugh asks Rikel if she’s actually arguing that the taxpayer cost of the recall went up because people opposed the recall. She admits she meant her side’s campaign contribution dollars.

Peggy Huang notes that unions spent $80,000 in the 2012 Yorba Linda election. She notes Rikel lost in 2012 and is running in the recall.

Dennis White recaps the Brea Police Department versus Orange County Sheriff’s Department contract debate in Yorba Linda. Rikel’s disruptive audience members applaud again.

By a voice vote:
ENDORSEMENT FOR “NO” ON THE YORBA LINDA RECALL

By motion of Tony Beall and seconded by Jennifer Beall, the Central Committee votes to send:
JESSE PETRILLA TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

Bill Dunlap speaks about Robert Ming being a public servant who is a state leader.

Bill Christiansen speaks on behalf of Darrell Issa that there are two good Republicans running for Fifth District Supervisor.

Baron Night says Lisa Bartlett failed to ask for the endorsement in the general though she did ask for the endorsement in the primary. He calls Ming an active supporter of other Republicans, a conservative, and a successful Councilman.

Steve Nagel speaks on behalf of Lisa Bartlett. He has served with her on various regional committees. He says she is a hard worker and has been a strong Republican in Dana Point and statewide. He says both Ming and Bartlett are good Republicans. He says both applied for the endorsement in the primary and that should stand.

By a voice vote:
MING ENDORSED

Fred Whitaker notes his long term service to the party. He states he is willing to compare his conservative record against anyone else’s. He notes he led the successful effort to eliminate Council compensation. He notes that Orange unions are paying their employee contributions without raises, the only city in the County with this accomplishment.

Deborah Pauly points to Whitaker’s $1,000 campaign contribuition to Democrat Tita Smith for Mayor of Orange. She points to Whitaker’s front yard included a sign in support of Smith.

By a voice vote:
WHITAKER ENDORSED

With no debate:
GRANGOFF ENDORSED

A whole lot of people move to send:
SURRIDGE TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE
LEDESMA TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

Alexandria Coronado moves to send:
YANG TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

With little debate since he’s unopposed on the ballot:
HINZ ENDORSED

No one makes a motion on Novak.

Mark Bucher moves to oppose Measures H, I, J, and K, with a second by Deborah Pauly.

Fred Whitaker makes a substitute motion to send all of them to Endorsements Committee, with a second by Baron Night.

Whitaker says four conservative school board members voted for Measure K. He says he doesn’t know anything about the other three measures. He wants the Endorsements Committee to vet them.

Bucher says it’s a simple question of whether the Republican Party stands for or against higher taxes.

There are 24 votes to send the four measures to Endorsements Committee. There are 22 votes against sending the four measures to Endorsements Committee.

MEASURES H, I, J, AND K TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

David Shawver speaks in favor of Measure GG. He says the City of Stanton cut $9 million, have 26 employees left, cut spending on public safety. He says the Register said that Stanton has done a good job. Shawver says only three people have opposed this and they’re not Stanton residents.

Mark Bucher says Measure GG is a sales tax for public employees. He says that there are alternatives to higher taxes. If the Republican Party does not oppose higher taxes, the party should fold its tent and go home. Bucher says that sending this to Endorsements Committee will simply result in this coming back to Central Committee.

Shawver attacks Wayne Lindholm. Shawver says the City has cut 6 out of 20 officers. He says they’ve cut everything they can. He encourages people to look at his books. He claims only outsiders oppose this tax and that Stanton voters should decide.

Jon Fleischman notes Diane Harkey opposes this tax. Fleischman agrees with Bucher that approving this tax hike in Stanton will set a precedent where other cities will turn to higher taxes rather than reducing public employee salaries.

By a voice vote:
ENDORSEMENT FOR “NO” ON MEASURE GG

Round 1 of endorsements are complete. Round 2 will be considered in September.

Mary Young thanks everyone who volunteered for the Party at the OC Fair. There’s also a presentation for the Volunteer of the Month.

Mark Bucher says the bills are all paid. Baugh jokingly disputes that.

TJ Fuentes welcomes the new ex officio members and reminds them to pay their $25 dues.

Captain Emily Sanford, USN (Ret.) thanks the Party members for donations of goods to the troops. She encourages more donations, particularly those of the dental variety.

CENTRAL COMMITTEE ADJOURNS AT 9:23 PM.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim Union High School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, Lowell Joint School District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, North Orange County Community College District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Republican Central Committee, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin Unified School District, Westminster, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Anaheim Court Case Aftermath

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on September 5, 2012

OC Insider beat me to the punch but I wanted to follow-up a bit on the Anaheim court case and the aftermath from the judge’s ruling. The case itself had 2 major points that were being argued:

1) Steve Chavez Lodge was using the name Chavez to simply try to increase votes he would receive from the latino community. This part of the lawsuit would force him to change his name on the ballot to Steve Lodge.  (12:37 AM Nguyen correction: the legal point being argued is whether or not Lodge is entitled to his birth name of Chavez, based on whether or not he is known by that name.)

2) Steve Chavez Lodge cannot used the designation of retired policeman because he is currently employed as a businessman/consultant.

Chris Nguyen and I had discussed the case and we actually predicted the outcome being what it was. Lode was allowed to keep the name Chavez. However, he also was forced to change his designation to businessman because in order to be retired under election law you must be at least 55 years old.  (12:37 AM Nguyen correction: Lodge was actually forced to change it to businessman because he had “another more recent, intervening principal profession, vocation or occupation” as he currently works at Hill International as Director of Public Affairs.)

With all of the anger and negative press with the police my thought is that Chavez-Lodge might have actually benefitted from being placed on the ballot as a businessman instead.

I sent over 3 questions over to Cynthia Ward after the final decision in order to get her take on what could be considered a substantial victory for Chavez-Lodge:

1) You won the challenge of his designation, however, do you think it benefits him to run as businessman and not policeman considering all the tension with police in Anaheim?

I do not think it is the tension of being associated with Police work in general that would be a negative for Lodge, at least not associated with APD. After all, he did nail the public safety union endorsements, both Fire and Police, and they are likely to do plenty of mail reminding voters of his ex-cop background even if the ballot does not allow for the wording.

I think the law enforcement image Lodge needs to live down at this point is his own record as a Santa Ana cop. Plenty of blogs scooped me while I was embargoed, and have revealed public records showing Lodge involved in court cases not as an expert witness, but as a defendant, including an excessive force case in which the victim was awarded half a million dollars in punitive damages for injuries suffered while apparently being arrested for the heinous crime of jaywalking. That is going to be harder to live down than an association with cops in general.

I think a lot of Anaheim voters understand that while there are bad apples in every batch, in large part the APD is staffed with professional, decent people, trying hard to protect and serve, under a Chief that is greatly respected throughout the city. It may shock you to know that Chief John Welter is greatly respected in the neighborhoods like Ponderosa, where unrest has been kept to a minimum because the residents trust Welter, and when trouble broke with a Police shooting of a gang member, the residents fell back on that trust rather than follow the trouble-making team of Joanne Sosa and Lorri Galloway, who together with Yesenia Rojas appear to be largely responsible for riling up the Anna Drive residents and creating much of the unrest.

That is a long way of saying that I do not think Anaheim voters have a problem with APD or Police in general, but they are very suspect of anyone tagged with a “bad cop” label, and Lodge is going to have to live down the recent allegations on the blogs, which are certain to hit the papers, especially with the media attention he seems to have ginned up.

2) What is your take on the judge’s ruling to allow him to keep the name Chavez and adding the name Albert?

I have nothing but respect for Judge Charles Margines, I did some research on his work as soon as I knew we drew his courtroom, and he seems not only fair, but incredibly intelligent, and quite a bit witty. He not only refused to allow the last minute “evidence” that Lodge’s lawyer tried to present, he seemed to almost mock Baric for trying. Margines pointed out the absurdity of the argument that they “just received” these documents, asking why Mr. Lodge did not have his own personal papers ready prior to court. It was a really informative session to watch, I would actually go back to his courtroom just to watch him work, he takes no bull from either side.

The ruling ultimately came down to a recollection from the Judge’s own memory banks, which none of us could have foreseen. Lodge’s case had bounced from “it is the name on my birth certificate” to “I never legally changed my name to Lodge” (an oddity since he presumably has a Social Security number, Driver’s License, etc. in that name, but I digress) and finally landed on “I have testified in court as Steven Albert Chavez Lodge.”  Baric even argued that Lodge had testified before Judge Margines himself, although I did not see evidence that he provided a case number or transcript to verify that. But that last argument seemed to strike a chord.  It was Judge Margines himself that recalled Lodge testifying in his own courtroom years ago, and he believed it was as Chavez-Lodge.

Now, to be fair, recalling that a Police officer used a name once years ago while testifying in a Santa Ana courtroom as a Santa Ana cop may not establish that he is widely known by that name in the community in which he is now running for office. And again, Lodge and his lawyer did not produce the evidence of that, beyond a verbal statement. But the lightbulb went off over the head of a Judge I greatly admire, and I can respect that decision without argument.

On the way home my husband and I were discussing the potential repercussions radiating outward beyond the campaign, had the Judge decided against Lodge. If Lodge had testified in court against a criminal, even once, as Chavez-Lodge, and had an officer of the court then ruled that it did not appear to be his legal name, the ramifications for opening case loads on technicalities may have been more than any of us bargained for. Given a choice between letting Lodge use the name he has requested, or potentially opening a Pandora’s Box of legal challenges in criminal court, he can have the name. Gladly.

It appears the “Albert” was added because the question of what Lodge calls himself was so completely up in the air, and the Judge may have wanted to cover all his bases. When asked what his client’s legal name was, attorney Steve Baric insisted it was Steven Albert Chavez, (no Lodge.) That got the Judge’s attention. Since so many options were presented about what Lodge calls himself depending on day and conditions, I think the judge threw it all onto the ballot just to be sure we got it all. Kind of like throwing pasta at the wall.

3) Will you still attempt to get Lodge to pay your attorney’s fees?

My attorney had included that in the original Petition as an option, should we prevail, and I have not discussed it with him yet. But unless I am mistaken, I think we split the decision equally. I certainly have no interest in being punitive, no matter what Lodge has said about me.

Honestly, I just want the nastiness to stop. This was never meant to be personal, I think people get very emotional when they hear the word “lawsuit” they think damages and awards of vast sums of money, and that is not what this was. The suit is the only mechanism for stopping the process of the City Clerk and Registrar of Voters from moving forward with the wording they are given by the candidates. As you know, once the filing period is closed even the candidates themselves cannot change the wording they have submitted, so a Petition to the Registrar and Clerk is the only way to challenge the system. These challenges are common; they happen all over the country in every election cycle, and they are usually handled without the toxic sludge that has been polluting the internet since this hit.

In fact, the case just ahead of ours was yet another Petition, in which a candidate in RSM was being challenged with the claim that they had used their ballot statement to disparage other candidates. If ever a case could become negative it would be that one, but it did not get the national attention we got because the candidate did not escalate the arguments into the public eye like Lodge seems to have done. I honestly wondered where the negativity came from, and then noticed that Lodge was accompanied to court by Dave Ellis. It explained a lot. So while I think we both came out equally, I suspect this is far from over, no matter where the attorney’s fees end up.

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