OC Political

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Posts Tagged ‘Raghu Mathur’

First In A Series Of Interviews With South County Candidates: Laguna Hills City Council Candidates Dr. Raghu Mathur, Bill Hunt, Andrew Blount, And Dore Gilbert, M.D.

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 11, 2012

I never like to let a chance to blog go to waste, particularly in an election year, so I thought I would focus my efforts on where I live – South County.  My goal is to interview candidates for most, or all, South County City Council races and post a blog about each interview.  Since I’m not crazy, and I have a day job, I will be asking each candidate the same few questions that I think will give the voters a quick look at the candidates and their qualifications.  Also, since I am on the Republican Central Committee, and there are far too many candidates for each position to interview all of them, I am limiting my interviews only to those who sought the endorsement of the OCGOP (whether or not they actually received the endorsement).  Without further ado, we start with a city that I have a hard time finding until I’m within the city limits, and even then, I’m not sure – Laguna Hills.  As OC Political noted earlier, the race for two open seats (very rare around here) is hot and heavy between four legitimate candidates: Dr. Raghu Mathur, Bill Hunt, Andrew Blount, and Dore Gilbert, M.D.

Dr. Raghu Mathur

Raghu is running for City Council to ensure fiscal responsibility, be a strong advocate for businesses, and bring transparency, accountability, and ethics to council decisions.

Raghu says that fiscal responsibility is essential in this economy, with a $16 trillion national debt and a broke California, that leaves only the local level.  He wants to prioritize all goals and expenditures and consider public sentiment and input in determining which projects are most important for residents.  He said the city needs to address compensation, particularly city management.  Raghu gave the example of the City Manager whose compensation is over $460,000 per year, including a car for personal and family use.  He wants to move the city to a 401k-style pension with the employees contributing their portion (the city currently contributes both its and the employees’ portion for retirement).  Raghu stressed his experience as President of Irvine Valley College where he says he turned a $500,000 deficit into a $500,000 surplus in one year, as well as his time as Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District where he managed a budget of approximately $500 million.  Raghu also said that he taught university courses in budget management.  Although he wants to address compensation issues, Raghu want to assure the employees that transparent negotiations are not meant to pressure or threaten them.  He wants the good work of management and staff to be recognized and rewarded.

Raghu also wants to be the strongest advocate for businesses.  He believes in the free enterprise system and would like to have a business-friendly council.  He strongly supports maximum freedom for businesses and minimal regulations.  Raghu wants to develop a business recruitment and economic development plan and create a business and economic development commission comprised of businesses, residents, and a local Chamber of Commerce (since Laguna Hills currently has no Chamber, he wants to create one).  Raghu also wants to hear from local businesses how the council can support them and bring additional businesses to the city.  He believes that successful businesses mean more taxes resulting in funding for necessary public services.  Raghu is opposed to any increase in taxes or fees.  He wants to create more local jobs and internships for local students.

Raghu wants to make the council transparent, accountable, and ethical.  He stated that there is a public employee union being formed in the city which means future contract negotiations.  He wants all negotiations regarding compensation to be conducted in an open setting, sunshined through the public agenda along with the fiscal implications of the proposal.  Raghu wants the same sunshine process for any counter-proposal from the union.  He would consider bringing in an outside negotiator or auditor so there is no potential conflict of interest with management.  Raghu believes the city must operate in an open fashion to earn the trust and respect of the residents.  On accountability, Raghu wants the city to disclose its goals for management and the council and provide progress reports and final reports on whether the goals were met.  On ethics, he said he will make all of his council decisions ethically, with no favoritism.

Raghu believes it is a tough line to walk between protecting the quality of life for existing residents and businesses, but acknowledging the need for additional development in the future.  He will focus on what the residents and existing businesses have to say.  Raghu uses his scientific background to collect data, ask probing questions, and he feels that he can find win-win solutions in that manner.

Raghu is endorsed by, among others, the Orange County Register, the California Republican Assembly, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckus, Tom Fuentes (before he recently passed),  and Laguna Hills council member Barbara Kogerman.

You can find out more about Raghu at http://www.mathurforlagunahills.com/.

Bill Hunt

Bill noted that, for the first time in the city’s history, there are two openings on the council, and he wants to use his two decades of experience with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to continue the conservative policies the City Council has put in place, and give back to Laguna Hills, where he raised his family and served for four years on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Bill stresses fiscal responsiblity and wants to spend the city’s tax dollars wisely.  He said the city has done a good job fiscally – the city is in the black, it supports businesses, and it has a 2% at 60 retirement formula for its employees.  Bill wants to continue that process.

Bill is pro business.  He wants the city to do everything it can to accommodate the business community.  He does not want to subsidize businesses, but support them to ensure more tax dollars for the community.

Bill’s 20+ years with the Sheriff’s Department has led him to the conclusion that public safety is vital to the city.  He believes that local government’s primary responsibilities are to provide safety and good infrastructure for its residents.  Bill said that the current council has done the basics well, and he wants to continue that process.

Bill believes that, overall, compensation for city staff is fair.  He said the proof is in the pudding – Laguna Hills is not facing the unfunded liabilities for employee benefits that other Orange County cities face.  He believes that the City Manager’s compensation is more of a political issue than a fiscal one.  Bill wants there to be an open discussion on the City Manager’s salary with input from the public.  He said that there is not a lot of staff or a large bureaucracy in the city and many staff members are doing multiple jobs.  He feels that the staff is doing a good job managing the city.  However, he said he will propose a 401k-style pension system for future city employees, which he believes will protect against future unfunded liabilities.

Bill said that Laguna Hills is fairly built out and there is not a lot of growth potential, so he would focus on maintaining the existing quality of life for the current residents.  He wants to work with businesses to create a profitable business environment to make Laguna Hills a place people want to come and shop.  He emphasized the importance of public safety on quality of life.

Bill is endorsed by, among others, Congressman John Campbell, Laguna Hills Mayor Melody Carruth, Laguna Hills council member Joel Lautenschleger, the California Republican Assembly, and State Senator Mimi Walters.

You can find out more about Bill at http://billhunt.org/.

Andrew Blount

Andrew believes we live in a country where everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and he is running for Laguna Hills City Council because he wants to help the people of the city achieve those rights on a local level; he’s met many of the city’s residents in his involvement in the community and he wants to represent them on the council.

Andrew believes that employee compensation is too high, and he will rectify it.  The top three management positions were paid more than $1 million combined last year.  He said that the City Manager made over $400,000 last year, including $30,000 toward his pension alone.  The city also paid $60,000 for a car for the City Manager that could be used for his personal and family use.  Andrew also said that the city pays for both the employer’s and employee’s share of retirement payments for all management staff.  He noted that the city’s annual budget is approximately $30 million per year, which equates to approximately $1,000 per resident and he does not believe that the residents are getting their bang for their buck.  He questioned why the city pays the City Manager $400,000 while it does not provide the basic services that surrounding cities do, and that the residents deserve.  Andrew wants to focus on after school programs, senior services, and emergency response services, not expensive compensation packages for management.

Andrew also believes the water rates the residents currently pay are too high.  He said that the tiered system currently in place is not working and is too costly, including 700% penalties for some residents.  He thinks that the city can control the water rates, with the consensus of the residents.  He will work with the residents to build that consensus, and then take the fight to the Water Board on their behalf.

Andrew also wants to create a better business environment within the city.  He noted that neighboring cities are actively recruiting businesses, and he does not want to lose existing businesses, or the chance to bring in new businesses.  Andrew said that businesses bring in sales and property tax revenues that are vital to providing necessary public services.  He believes that the current council thinks businesses should consider it a privilege to be in Laguna Hills, while Andrew believes it is a privilege to have the businesses as a part of the city.  Andrew sees the city’s revenues decreasing and he wants jobs to stay local.  He also thinks that businesses provide great places in the city for the residents to shop and eat.  Andrew believes the current council has too tight a regulatory burden on businesses.  Although the city does not have a business license fee, Andrew said it charges several other burdensome fees.  He also noted that there is no standard process available to prospective businesses that will give them an idea of the fees and costs they will incur before they start their project.  He gave the example of H2O Partners – a business that came to the council with an idea for a water park.  The council rejected their project.  Fortunately, as many good businesses do, they came back with a different project (trampoline entertainment center) that ultimately was approved.  However, Andrew does not believe the city should hope that rejected businesses come back, but that the city will welcome them with open arms in the first instance.  Andrew will standardize the permitting process so that businesses will know at the beginning of their project what fees and costs they will face.  Andrew wants businesses to succeed and he will work to provide a successful business environment if elected to the council.

Andrew noted that Laguna Hills is mostly built out.  He said there is a mixed-use project, Oakbrook Village, near the Laguna Hills mall, that he believes will bring younger, more upwardly mobile residents to a city that has shrunk in population over the past 10 years.  He wants to analyze projects on a project-by-project basis to determine if it will benefit the city and protect the existing residents.  He wants to ensure that the same high quality of life that Laguna Hills residents currently enjoy is enjoyed by the residents in the future as well.

Andrew is endorsed by, among others, the Orange County Register, Laguna Hills council member Barbara Kogerman, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckus, the Lincoln Club, and Laguna Hills Watch Dog – Jean Bland.

You can find out more about Andrew at http://www.blountforlagunahills.com/.

Dore Gilbert, M.D.

Dore is running for City Council because he thinks he can make a difference for the residents of Laguna Hills by restoring civility and intellectual discussion at City Council meetings.

Dore wants to maintain fiscal responsibility in the city.  He wants a strong reserve, employee compensation comparable to similar-sized Orange County cities, and a transparent council that allows the residents to have faith in the decision-making process.

Dore also stresses public safety.  He wants to continue to support the number of Sheriff’s deputies in the city that are necessary for the residents’ safety and to keep the crime rate low.  Dore’s interest in public safety extends to the national level as he enlisted in the Army Reserves at age 60 and his youngest son is a Corporal in the Marine Corps.

Dore believes the city needs to maintain a business-friendly environment that welcomes businesses which he says will produce jobs and revenue for the city.  He said he will continue to streamline the business permitting process and will not burden businesses with taxes and fees.  Dore is opposed to any new taxes or fees.

Dore stated that employee compensation is greater than the norm of similar-sized cities in Orange County.  He said that some compensation issues have been taken care of by the council (for example, the car allowance is gone), but he wants the council to take a look at compensation and, when it is not in conformity with other similar-sized cities, negotiate changes to conform with those compensation packages.

Dore said that Laguna Hills is nearly built out and there is not a lot of open land.  He noted the Oakbrook Village project near the Laguna Hills mall that is slated for re-development, but Dore wants to focus on how the council can maintain a beautiful city.  He wants to update traffic plans, maintain the parks for people of all ages, and properly maintain the streets.  Dore wants to maintain the quality of life that he and his family have enjoyed in their 31 years in Laguna Hills.  He and his wife of 36 years have raised 5 children in the city.  Dore served on the Saddleback Valley Unified School District board for 29 years.  He is very involved in his community – coaching football and baseball and serving on the Community Center Planning Commission.

Dore is endorsed by, among others, State Senator Mimi Walters, Orange County Supervisors Pat Bates and Janet Nguyen, State Assemblyman Don Wagner, and Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckus.

You can find out more about Dore at http://www.doregilbert2012.com/index.html.

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Quick Fact Check from Last Night’s Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 5, 2012

It’s only been 11 hours since last night’s OCGOP endorsements committee meeting ended, so we haven’t been able to investigate every claim, but here’s what we’ve dug up so far.

  • San Clemente Councilman Jim Dahl did endorse John Alpay for Capistrano Unified School District, as shown here for 2010 and here for 2012.
  • The San Clemente City Council increased water fees by 12.6% last year, according to the OC Register.
  • The SOCCCD Trustees voted 5-2 to remove Raghu Mathur as chancellor (not the 4-3 he implied last night), according to this OC Register article.  The article also indicated he received $262,000 in salary and attorney’s fees for his severance package even though he resigned.  Mathur is now running for Laguna Hills City Council.
  • SOCCCD Deans are appointed by the Board of Trustees, not the Chancellor, making Mathur’s claims that he was fired by SOCCCD for not appointing a certain dean specious (and I should again note he technically resigned).
  • The references to Irvine Council Candidate Lynn Schott’s Central Committee alternate, Patrick Rodgers, attacking Jim Righeimer are regarding the comments he left on The Liberal OC from two weeks ago, the comments he left on OC Weekly from two weeks ago, and the comments he left on Voice of OC the morning of the Endorsements Committee meeting.  (Ltpar is Lieutenant Patrick ARodgers.)
  • Irvine Council Candidate Evan Chemers is a registered Republican, according to voter databases available to OC Political.  Therefore, there are more Republicans running than slots available for Irvine City Council.

This is what we’ve found in the past 11 hours (although that 11 hours did include sleeping time, dinner, a meeting, etc.).  If there’s other fact check info that readers have, please comment below or contact us.


Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Irvine, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OCGOP Endorsements Committee Discusses Non-Consent Calendar Candidates

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 4, 2012

All Endorsements Committee recommendations must be ratified by the Central Committee.

Endorsement Committee Members Present:
Mark Bucher, Chair
Chandra Chell
Thomas Gordon
Ray Grangoff
Matt Harper
Mary Young

San Juan Capistrano City Council

6:10 PM – San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Sam Allevato touts the fiscal state of his city and his endorsements from various Republican elected officials. He praises the city’s public safety record. He speaks of his efforts to build nature trails, preserve open space, build toll roads, and support the relocation of several car dealerships to his city. He speaks of his strength on private property rights issues and belief in the free market.

His supporter is a resident of San Juan Capistrano and is difficult to hear. He elaborates on Allevato’s earlier points.

An opponent is a resident of San Juan Capistrano and is also difficult to hear. She attacks his environmental record and another issue that was difficult to hear. She questions his commitment to conservatism.

Another San Juan Capistrano resident praises Allevato’s record on infrastructure.

People need to project when speaking.

Clinton R. Worthington of San Juan Capistrano attacks Allevato for squandering a 50-year reserve for city hall construction. Worthington states there were more lawsuits in 8 years of Allevato than in the previous 42 years. He attacks Allevato approving a $300,000+ city manager contract. He also attacks Allevato for collecting fees/taxes for a bond that was never issued.

Ian Smith of San Juan Capistrano elaborates on Allevato’s water tax and bond issues.

6:21 PM – San Juan Capistrano Council Candidate Virginia “Ginny” Kerr touts her community involvement, her support of planned development, and her support of more open equestrian space. She urges the committee to endorse both her and Allevato.

The first speaker against Allevato is also the first speaker against Kerr. She argues Kerr voted to impose taxes on a private religious school while a Planning Commissioner.

Robert Williams is San Juan Capistrano’s Planning Commission Chair and praises Kerr’s “well-prepared” status. Williams presents minutes that show Kerr recused herself on the private religious school vote mentioned by the previous speaker.

A San Juan Capistrano resident blasts the open space that Kerr pointed to because it is outside the boundaries of the city.

Dave Adams is a former San Juan Capistrano City Manager and praises Allevato and Kerr for making San Juan Capistrano what it is today.

A speaker complains that while on the Planning Commission, Kerr voted to send a “poor” plan to the City Council instead of rejecting the plan.

6:28 PM – Committee Member Matt Harper notes that Mimi Walters and Diane Harkey have endorsed Allevato and asks if they’ve endorsed Kerr. Kerr says they have.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asked why Allevato supported taxing a private religious school. Allevato pointed to the large growth in retail space and student enrollment that would impact the community.

Allevato refutes the argument about the land being purchased outside the city. He says it is inside the city and his hand was forced by a city ballot measure.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon asks how Allevato could vote to raise water fees when he signed the “no new taxes or fees” pledge. Allevato states these fees were necessary to build new water infrastructure in San Clemente.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher asks about the argument that Allevato had pushed for the removal of religious references from city council invocations. Allevato states his City Attorney said federal law does not allow use of specific religious references (e.g. Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed) but can reference God. He says he also doesn’t want to offend people.

6:37 PM – Bucher asks Kerr about her vote on a tax she supported. She explains its usage for open space, parks, and traffic mitigation, among other things.

One of the speakers in opposition to Kerr blasts the deal struck “behind closed doors” that did not actually create new open space.

One of the speakers in opposition to Allevato notes San Juan Capistrano is paying twice the water rate it should be if they had purchased the cheapest water instead of a groundwater recovery plant.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff asks about the private religious school’s consent to being taxed. The speaker in opposition to Kerr says the school was forced to consent to the tax in order to get their construction plan approved.

6:44 PM – Committee Member Matt Harper asks if the vote can be delayed until other candidates can weigh in. He states Allevato and Kerr made good presentations, and as a councilman, he understands the difficult decisions they have to make, but serious concerns have been raised. He wants to hear from other candidates and moves to delay the endorsement vote for San Juan Capistrano Council to October.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon expresses his concern that Allevato put the bond on the ballot in violation of the no new taxes pledge that Allevato signed.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher expresses concern about the per-student tax imposed on the families that attend the private religious school.

The committee votes 4-1 (Gordon dissenting) to delay the vote to October.

Laguna Hills City Council

6:50 PM – Laguna Hills City Council Candidate Bill Hunt touts his law enforcement background at OCSD and community involvement. He notes his endorsements from a slew of Republican electeds, including “5 of the 7 City Council Members Laguna Hills has ever had.”

Laguna Hills Mayor Melody Carruth speaks of her previous endorsement by the OCGOP and praises Hunt’s conservative values and communitywide respect. She praises his US Army service, his time as a Parks & Recreation Commissioner, and his decision to keep his children in public school.

OC Political blogger Craig Alexander is supporting Hunt’s record as a reformer, his conservatism, and his goal of cutting salaries.

6:55 PM – Laguna Hills Council Candidate Dore Gilbert speaks of his military service, his fiscal conservatism, his support of parks, his support of transparency, his belief government salaries should be kept to comparable levels with other cities, and his belief that the city council should be run like a corporation. He notes that he was 60 when he joined the military and outpaced younger soldiers as leading by example.

Laguna Hills Mayor Pro Tem Joel Lautenschleger praises the fiscal conservatism of Laguna Hills and speaks to Gilbert’s record as a school board member of fiscally conservative and very successful schools.

7:00 PM – Laguna Hills Council Candidate Raghu Mathur supports strong public safety and fiscal conservatism. He touts his record as a tough negotiator who kept SOCCCD fiscally solvent while constructing buildings without bonds. He touts his endorsement by the late OCGOP Chairman Tom Fuentes.

TJ Fuentes praises Mathur’s fiscal conservatism at SOCCCD, his founding of the Republican Indo-American group, and his general Republican activism. Fuentes says that had his father lived, he would have been here to support Mathur.

Mayor Pro Tem Lautenschleger talks about Mathur’s divisiveness, Mathur’s golden parachute from SOCCCD, Mathur’s hit piece against Councilman Allan Songstad.

Committee Member Mary Young bangs on the window asking someone to unlock the door so she can get inside the meeting.

Councilwoman Barbara Kogerman blasts the “old guard Council Members” for opposing modest pension reform. She blasts Hunt and Gilbert as “old guard” candidates.

Mayor Carruth points out her city’s pension is 2% at 60, the lowest in the county. She blasts Mathur’s divisiveness.

7:10 PM – Laguna Hills Council Candidate Andrew Blount shouts about his support of Mitt Romney, Elizabeth Emken, and Prop 32. He supports local control and touts his support from various Republican elected officials.

Mike Munzing praises Blount as the only person louder than him and touts Blount’s business record and his citizen-politician status. He praises Blount’s knowledge of local issues and his conservatism.

7:11 PM – Hunt says being endorsed by most of the City Councilmembers does not make him a non-conservative. They support his independence and commitment to principle.

Gilbert speaks of his dedication to public service in education, the military, and the community. He praises the whole pool of candidates.

Mathur speaks of his leadership and communication skills, his fiscal conservatism, and his battles with the unions. His “divisiveness” is a result of union complaints about his battles with them.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks Mathur about his time at SOCCCD when he was at odds with now-Assemblyman Don Wagner. Mathur says there were 4 conservatives and 3 liberals on the SOCCCD board. Mathur accused Wagner of attempting to get then-Chancellor Mathur to appoint a “female friend” of Wagner’s as a dean.

(7:43 PM – Emami says the accusation against Don Wagner is impossible, pointing out chancellors cannot appoint deans and disputes the accusation.)

Committee Member Matt Harper asks if any Democrats are running. There are only Republicans running for Laguna Hills City Council.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff motions for neutrality because they’re all great candidates.

Committee Member Matt Harper says he wishes the Laguna Hills candidates were running for Huntington Beach City Council. He praises all the candidates.

The neutrality vote passes 4-1-1 (Chell dissenting and Young abstaining).

(Meeting in recess)

Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 3

7:29 PM – Incumbent Alexia Deligianni notes that during her tenure, they’ve cut spending and never raised taxes. API scores are up and four schools became California Distinguished Schools. She touted her CRA record and her various Republican endorsements.

Committee Members quickly and unanimously support recommending an endorsement for Deligianni.

Irvine Unified School District

7:31 PM – Michelle Ollada Alipio speaks of her endorsements, including from Committee Members Matt Harper and Ray Grangoff. She speaks of fiscal and academic accountability, protecting, and school choice.

Yvette Ollada from Congressman Rohrabacher’s campaign praises her sister and was the one who encouraged her to run.

Committee Member Mary Young urges Rivera to teach her sister about safe drilling.

The members vote quickly and unanimously to recommend endorsing her.

East Orange County Water District

7:35 PM – Former Tustin Mayor Doug Davert speaks of his conservative record and his backing from various Republican elected officials. He spoke of the incumbents’ retroactive pension increase.

Jon Dumitru supports Davert by revealing how the incumbents granted retroactive pension increases and included themselves on it. He speaks of how one of the incumbents is running for two water boards at once in order to double dip on his pension.

After being threatened by Commitee Member Matt Harper, Denis Bilodeau simply says, “He’s a Republican in good standing, and I support him.”

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends endorsement for Davert.

Dana Point City Council

7:38 PM – Carlos Olvera touts his military service and conservatism. He speaks of his Republican endorsements and community service.

Councilman Bill Brough says he needs Olvera on the Council because it takes two Councilmembers to get anything on the agenda.

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends an endorsement for Olvera.

Santa Ana Mayor

George Collins speaks of the opportunity Republicans in Santa Ana have.

Collins’s wife speaks in support.

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends an endorsement for Collins.

The committee is now running 15 minutes early and recesses.

Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3

7:54 PM – The meeting resumes 6 minutes early.

Charles Hart speaks of his efforts for the past several years to advance the Republican Party in Santa Ana. He speaks of his 9 years of private sector experience and 9 years of public sector experience. He urges using defined contribution 401(k)-style retirement instead of defined benefit pensions.

Brett Franklin speaks about his birth in Santa Ana and his marriage to a Costa Rican. He speaks Spanish and has children with dual citizenship. He speaks of his previous election to the City Council. He speaks of his efforts to advance the Republican Party in Santa Ana in the 1980s and 1990s. He says he is precinct walking and fundraising.

Denis Bilodeau speaks of Franklin’s Republican activism all over Orange County. He speaks of Franklin’s warchest without fundraising. He speaks of Franklin’s previous elections to the same seat.

Robert Hammond speaks of Franklin’s missing 50% of Central Committee meetings. He spoke of Franklin’s unwillingness to support Hammond’s candidacy against Jose Solorio because Franklin said Franklin was friends with Solorio.

Jon Dumitru speaks of Franklin’s track record and their personal relationship.

Franklin acknowledges Hammond’s statements about Franklin’s absenteeism and states it was because of his son’s basketball league. Franklin says he simply didn’t know Hammond and didn’t know if he was a liberal.

Gwen Dyrud speaks of Franklin’s Central Committee absenteeism and his lack of an alternate. She speaks of Hart’s diligence as a Central Committee member.

Hammond speaks of Hart’s participation and attendance at many Republican events. He speaks of Hart’s activism, his precinct walking, and his efforts to register new Republicans.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks how long Franklin has been on the Central Committee. He has been on the Central Committee since 2004.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff suggests neutrality on the same basis as Laguna Hills and asks the candidates why there’s a need to endorse one or the other.

Franklin speaks of Democrat Eric Alderete who is backed by Democratic legislators, most Santa Ana City Councilmembers, and labor unions. He says Alderete has only lived in Santa Ana for two years after shopping for a seat and has close ties to Democrats on the LA City Council. He says Alderete wants to run for higher office including the Legislature and Congress.

Committee Member Mary Young asks if Franklin has fought rent control. Franklin says he has received an award for fighting rent control.

Committee Member Matt Harper speaks of his longtime work with both Hart and Franklin. He is concerned about Alderete.

Committee Member Mary Young speaks of Franklin’s record on the Council and of both men’s Republican activism.

Committee Member Chandra Chell expresses her concerns about Franklin’s absenteeism over many years.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff expresses that both candidates are excellent and wants to know about viability.

Franklin says he’s raised $25,000 since July 26 without holding a fundraising; he claims pledges of another $20,000. He says he raised $66,000 in his first council run, $87,000 in his council re-election, and $250,000 in his failed supervisorial bid.

Hart says he has grassroots support, with over 200 volunteers and in-kind contributions. These supporters are scattered throughout the city (although they must live in one ward, but the entire city votes).

Committee Member Thomas Gordon says Franklin was a good Councilmember but has been AWOL as of late. He says Hart helped restart Santa Ana CRA and Santa Ana RWF. He says Hart has built Republican grassroots.

Committee Member Matt Harper says they must decide the endorsement recommendation not on the best Central Committee Member but the best City Council candidate.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff moves to recommend endorsement of Franklin, with Young and Harper seconding.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff speaks of Franklin’s electoral record versus Hart’s.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon speaks of its “slap in the face” to Hart, who is working hard for the Republican Party in Santa Ana.

Committee Member Matt Harper argues a non-endorsement by the Republican Party in Santa Ana might not be a bad thing due to the Democratic tilt of the city. He thinks Franklin is the stronger candidate.

Committee Member Mary Young echoes Harper’s sentiments.

Committee Member Chandra Chell believes the party should back people active in the community and the Republican Party.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon sees that Franklin’s brochure speaks of preventing Santa Ana from going bankrupt. He asks Franklin if he voted 3% at 50. Franklin speaks of his “holding the line” in closed session but does not directly answer Gordon’s question.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher checks the rules and found that there is nothing prohibiting the party from endorsing two candidates for one seat.

Franklin says he would support a dual endorsement.

Hart says Franklin told him the Republican endorsement didn’t matter much in Santa Ana, and that’s why Hart decided to go for a single endorsement.

Franklin says he’s won the seat twice and was being gracious in wanting to avert a “food fight” at Central Committee.

Committee Member Matt Harper says he’s inclined to recommend a dual endorsement or a “neither” endorsement.

The vote recommending Franklin is split 3-3 (Grangoff, Harper, and Young in favor with Bucher, Chell, and Gordon opposed).

Committee Chair Mark Bucher moves to recommend a dual endorsement.

The committee votes 4-2 to recommend dual endorsement (Chell and Gordon dissenting).

Irvine City Council
8:34 PM – Lynn Schott argues her best contribution to the Republican Party is giving birth to three Republicans. She speaks of her involvement in the Tustin Area RWF. She is a Community Services Commissioner in Irvine. She speaks of the importance of fighting Agran, the ACLU, and Occupy Orange County. She notes she is the final lynchpin for the Irvine Republican slate (Steven Choi has already been endorsed for Mayor while Christina Shea has already been endorsed for one of the two Council seats).

Committee Member Ray Grangoff asks if three Republicans are running for two seats. Much discussion ensues about whether Evan Chemers is a Republican.

Committee Member Matt Harper asks about Schott’s Central Committee Alternate, Patrick Rodgers. Rodgers has spoken out against Jim Righeimer and the Costa Mesa Council calling them the “Four Stooges.”

Schott states she is unfamiliar with what is happening in Costa Mesa. She states she supports a two-tier pension plan and a defined contribution plan. She says she wants to pay police and fire as much as possible without bankrupting the city.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher expresses his grave concern about Rodgers attacking Righeimer, who Bucher calls a hero. Bucher asks if Schott would consider removing Rodgers as his alternate.

Schott says she got Rodgers to agree to back off on his criticisms of Righeimer. She says she disagrees with Rodgers’s position on this. She says the attempted framing of Righeimer is a deplorable attempt to intimidate City Council Members.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher expresses his grave concern about her unwillingness to remove Rodgers.

Committee Member Matt Harper urges Schott to forgive what happened in 2010 and mend fences with other Republicans.

The committee votes 5-1 to recommend to Central Committee Schott’s endorsement (Bucher dissenting).

Cypress School District

8:56 PM – Alexandria Coronado describes her electoral history in two sentences.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend Coronado’s endorsement.

San Clemente City Council

8:56 PM – Michael Mortenson speaks of his record as a Republican activist since childhood.

Norm Dickinson stands in for Councilman Jim Dahl who is at a Council meeting. Dickinson speaks of the fiscally conservative finances of San Clemente and Dahl’s conservative record and promises.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks if Dahl has ever endorsed John Alpay. Dickinson doesn’t know.

Committee Member Matt Harper asks if Mortenson has ever endorsed Alpay. Mortenson says he has not.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff moves to recommend endorsement of both.

Committee Member Matt Harper moves to divide the motion.

The committee quickly and unanimously votes to recommend endorsement of Mortenson.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff states that Dahl has a record of activism backed by Dickinson.

Committee Members Thomas Gordon and Mary Young express concern about Dahl’s stance on off-shore drilling.

After Dickinson reaches Dahl by phone, Dahl says he did not endorse Alpay.

The committee decides quickly and unanimously votes to delay Dahl to the October meeting.

The committee adjourns at a shockingly early 9:03 PM.

Posted in Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, Irvine, Irvine Unified School District, Laguna Hills, Orange Unified School District, Republican Central Committee, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

OCGOP Endorsements Being Considered Tonight

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 4, 2012

Tonight is the first of two nights that the endorsements committee of the OCGOP will be meeting. These are the endorsements that are up for consideration tonight (some of these people will be turned down since there are more applicants than endorsements available). 3 people (the candidate and two supporters) may speak in favor of an endorsement and 3 people may speak against. The candidate will be permitted to rebut the arguments made against their endorsement.

More endorsements will be considered tomorrow night.

Also, all Endorsements Committee recommendations must be ratified by the Central Committee.

Greg Ficke for Aliso Viejo City Council
Jeanne Galindo for Fountain Valley School District Board
Steven Dicterow for Laguna Beach City Council
Dean Grose for Los Alamitos City Council
Larry R. Crandall for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 3
Debbie Cotton for Ocean View School District Board
Karina Onofre for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 5
Chuck Puckett for Tustin City Council
John Nielsen for Tustin City Council
Allan Bernstein for Tustin City Council
Bill Perkins for Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
Sam Allevato for San Juan Capistrano City Council
Virginia “Ginny” Kerr for San Juan Capistrano City Council
Bill Hunt for Laguna Hills City Council
Dore J. Gilbert for Laguna Hills City Council
Dr. Raghu Mathur for Laguna Hills City Council
Andrew Blount for Laguna Hills City Council
Steve Nagel for Fountain Valley City Council
Alexia Deligianni for Orange Unified School District Board, Trustee Area 3
Michelle Ollada Alipio for Irvine Unified School District Board
Doug Davert for East Orange County Water District
Carlos Olvera for Dana Point City Council
George Collins for Mayor of Santa Ana
Charles Hart for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3
Brett Franklin for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3
Lynn Schott for Irvine City Council
Alexandria Coronado for Cypress School Board
Jim Dahl for San Clemente City Council
Michael Mortenson for San Clemente City Council

Posted in Aliso Viejo, Capistrano Unified School District, Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Irvine, Irvine Unified School District, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Los Alamitos, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Ocean View School District, Orange Unified School District, Republican Central Committee, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Tustin | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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