OC Political

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

Posts Tagged ‘Mario Rodriguez’

Voice of OCVoice of OCEA & Brothers!

Posted by Lassie on May 6, 2013

I rarely blog here, but I decided to unveil a post that I have been sitting on about the funding of Voice of OC. The Voice of OC has been jokingly referred to as the Voice of OCEA and the Voice of OCEA and Brothers by many insiders around Orange County, due to funding coming from the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA). It’s commonly known around the county that the unions fund the Voice of OC but no one that I’ve talked to know how much.

I decided to try to put the pieces of the puzzle together and determine where the Voice of OC receives their funding and what motives they might have. My presentation to you will be simply presenting facts and allowing you to come up with your own conclusion.

In order to start my investigation, I went to one of the best sources of information on non-profit organizations: www.guidestar.org. The information that was retrieved from this website was rather fascinating.

Here is a copy of the form 990.

1) According to the “People” tab on the www.guidestar.org website, the current board of directors is a well-known group. Here is the most recent Board of Directors list; Joe Dunn, Erwin Chemerinsky, Henry Weinstein, Daniel Weintraub, John Cruz, Mario Rodriguez, Robert Magnuson, Stanley Tkaczyk, Loren Blackwood, Wylie Aitken (Chairman), and Norberto Santana (Editor-In-Chief, who also received over $100,000 in 2010).

Joe Dunn – former State Senator who represented the 34th Senate District (currently held by Senator Lou Correa).  He unseated former Senator Rob Hurtt and caused the Republicans to lose its first State Senate seat in Orange County.  Republicans have not being able to take back this Senate seat since.  After he was termed out of office, Dunn was appointed as the CEO of the California Medical Association in 2006, and he is the current Executive Director of the State Bar of California and is a founding partner of The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP.

Wylie Aitken– A lawyer, but better known in the Orange County political arena as the Chairman and Founder of the Democratic Party Foundation in Orange County.  He is famously known for providing political strategy and as a major donor to Democrats nationally and especially in Orange County.

Erwin Chemerinsky – The founding dean of University of California, Irvine School of Law. He is the author of a few different books including most recently two books titled; The Conservative Assault on the Constitution and Enhancing Government. It is my understanding that Chemerinsky also teaches political science classes.

Henry Weinstein– He is a founding member of the faculty at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. He like Robert Magnuson (his profile is listed below) also held a position at the Los Angeles Times in the past.

Daniel Weintraub – He has been a public affairs columnist for the Sacramento Bee editorial pages since 2000. Before working up in Sacramento, he worked at the Los Angeles Times for 8 years and Orange County Register for 6 years.

Robert Magnuson – He is the owner of Magnuson and Company, a strategic communications and management consulting firm based in Laguna Beach. His background includes over 20 years of working at the Los Angeles Times, where he was Senior Vice President in the organization.

Stan Tkaczyk – He is the current President of Rainbow Disposal Company and is the husband to Orange County Register Columnist Barbara Venezia. He was recently appointed to serve on the OC Fair Board by Governor Brown in 2012, where he serves with OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino on the Orange County Fair board.  Both were appointed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Loren Blackwood – I could not find much information about her other than discovering that she co-founded the Newport Beach Winery with her boyfriend Richard Moriarty, who is the heir to the Segerstrom fortune. According to the article, she handles the marketing for Newport Beach Winery.

Mario Rodriguez – He is the chairman of the Hispanic 100 and former Chairman of the Latino Coalition.

John Cruz – He is also on the board of the Hispanic 100.  He was appointed as the Appointments Secretary for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Cruz is also an attorney.

2) In 2010, the Voice of OC took in $450,707 in total revenue. According to www.guidestar.org on the 2010 form 990 that was provided by the non-profit organization, here is the breakdown of where the cash is coming from.   I’m only able to provide the 2010 contributors because that was the last time they made it available for the public to view.

Orange County Employees Association:    $269,500
California Endowment:    $82,008
United Food & Commercial Workers:   $25,000
Wylie Aitken:   $25,000
Joe Dunn:   $14,635
Stephen Garcia: $10,000
Jeff Teller: $5,000
Anne Andrews: $5,000
Other Contributions (under $5,000): $14,564

You can expect to see this donor list in all of my future posts on this topic to serve as a reminder of where Voice of OC is receiving their funding and what their interest could be.

3) In order to provide a broader picture of the organization, I will also present that in 2010, the Voice of OC had $381,520 in total expenses. After searching through the 2010 Form 990, I could not find an itemized list of specifically what they purchased with the money they spent.

However, the only major expense they spent was for the editor-in-chief, Norberto Santana.  His salary in 2010’s report was listed as $120,000 and $16,900 in other compensation.

As stated at the beginning of this post, I will not make any conclusions in this post, but simply leave you with this question:

Can a news agency/blog that appears to receive over 75% of their funding from public employee unions and high-ranking Orange County Democrats, write news stories that are objective in Orange County especially on high-ranking conservative Republicans? Was there ever an article written that didn’t lean to the left? More posts to come.

Here is a response to this article from Jennifer Muir of OCEA:

It’s no secret that OCEA provided seed funding for Voice of OC, and that since then, a number of other organizations and individuals have seen the impact of Voice’s investigative reporting and chosen to become contributors, as well. OCEA will continue to contribute for the following reasons: Voice of OC’s nearly 100,000 visitors per month, its string of investigative reporting awards from the OC Press Club, its recognition from the USC Annenberg School for Journalism, its inclusion on the Associated Press wires, its partnership with PBS, and its bipartisan Community Editorial Board. Journalists across the Country recognize the high quality and impact of Voice’s reporting, and Orange County is better for it.

Posted in Orange County | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Press Release: O.C. NAACP and Hispanic 100 to Speak Against Racist Political Messages

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on May 22, 2012

This came over the wire from the NAACP earlier today…

O.C. NAACP and Hispanic 100 to Speak Against Racist Political Messages

VILLA PARK—Orange County NAACP Branch President Donald Craig will speak tonight at the Villa Park City Council against “hate” politics being practiced by Villa Park City Councilwoman Deborah Pauly. Craig will be joined by Mario Rodriguez of the Hispanic 100. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Villa Park | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mexican Presidential Candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota Visits the OC

Posted by Walter Myers III on March 11, 2012

Mexico Presidential 2012 Candidate  Josefina-Vazquez-MotaIt was a real honor to attend a reception in Santa Ana on Saturday night for Mexican presidential candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota hosted by the Hispanic 100, which is led by local businessman and political strategist Mario Rodriguez. A number of local dignitaries and Hispanic leaders were in attendance, all looking to get a glimpse of this bold,beautiful, and accomplished lady and to hear her speak about the hopes and dreams of the Mexican people. When Josefina spoke, you could hear and feel her passion and love for Mexico. She spoke glowingly of her admiration for and special friendship with Rosario Marin, who is a member of the Hispanic 100 and also former Treasurer of the United States under President George Bush from August 2001 to June 2003. For those who don’t know Josefina, she is a Mexican economist, businesswoman, and politician who has served in the National Action Party (PAN). She has served in various capacities under the current President Felipe Calderon, including Secretary of Education. In September of 2011, Josefina left her position as Coordinator of the Parliamentary Group to pursue the Presidency of Mexico in 2012.

We have our own election for President this year, which will hopefully retire Barack Obama and usher in a new Republican president who will restore our republic to fiscal sanity, create pro-business policies, get our energy economy growing again, and end the racial divisiveness that is the hallmark of the Obama presidency. Yet the upcoming election in Mexico is also of utmost importance to Americans in terms of building a stronger, more productive relationship between the United States and Mexico. My hope is that if Josefina wins, we will work more closely as countries to combat the drug cartels, boost the Mexican economy, and work towards policies that finally solve the illegal immigration problem, such as the immigration policy proposal advanced by the Lincoln Club of Orange County. As a member of both the Hispanic 100 and Lincoln Club, having worked on the policy with committee chairwoman Teresa Hernandez and other members committed to pursuing a real solution, I believe we have begun a new conversation on the illegal immigration problem that does not include citizenship for illegal immigrants.

As a matter of history, I lived in Mexico for a couple of years back in the early 1990s before moving to the OC, and I have a deep love for the Mexican people. That is why it tears my heart out that some Americans have such animus towards those who come here only to make a better life for themselves and their families. We had a wonderfully functioning guest worker program (The Bracero Program) from 1942 to 1964 that gave skilled field workers the opportunity to work in America. We did not have a serious illegal immigration problem until the program was killed because big agribusiness wanted illegal workers and convinced the federal government to look the other way while they exploited illegal labor from Mexico and other countries south of our border. This is a huge injustice, and I will not rest until illegal immigrants are no longer living in the shadows of America, exploited for their labor. This is the humanitarian issue of our generation. Yet you have spineless politicians that provide public benefits to illegal immigrants in the hopes they will eventually get citizenship and vote for them, not caring that as long as these people continue to live in the shadows, they are vulnerable to crime and exploitation. Additionally, they work for wages  that native-born Americans cannot compete with. It is a racket that has been going on for 48 years where everyone loses except for pandering politicians and exploitative business owners. It is time for this to come to an end, and I invite all conservatives to join us in bringing this about.

Posted in 47th Congressional District, 69th Assembly District, Santa Ana | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »