OC Political

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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Fuentes’

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 »

South Orange Community College District: Fuentes & Meldau Out, Wright Unopposed, Williams Unimpeded Return?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 11, 2012

James Wright

James Wright

John Williams

John Williams

In the South Orange County Community College District, the Trustee Area 6 race went from being one of Orange County’s most interesting to a single-candidate affair, as neither Jolene Fuentes nor Julie Davis filed, leaving appointed incumbent James Wright unopposed at the end of candidate filing. After Trustee Tom Fuentes, Chairman Emeritus of the Republican Party of Orange County, died in May, Wright was appointed to the seat in June (effective July 1) despite the efforts of Jolene Fuentes to gain the appointment to her husband’s seat.  Wright was the sole candidate to complete filing, and so, his race will not even appear on the ballot.

In Trustee Area 7, appointed incumbent Frank Meldau opted to call it quits after less than two years in office.  Meldau had been appointed to the seat in January 2011 after Trustee John Williams resigned in December 2010.  Williams was also the Orange County Public Administrator until his resignation/unresignation/reresignation in January 2012.  With Meldau opting not to file for re-election, the filing period is extended until 5 PM on Wednesday, August 15.  Williams filed to run for his old seat on Wednesday, August 8.  Tim Jemal pulled papers on Thursday, August 9 but has not yet filed them.  If Jemal or someone new doesn’t file, then Williams will walk back into his old seat, despite the chaos of his resignations from two elected offices in the past 20 months.

Dave Lang

Dave Lang

David L. Martin

David L. Martin

In Area 1, Trustee Dave Lang faces off against challenger David L. Martin, who works as an attorney in Newport Beach.  Most of Newport Beach is in the Coast Community College District.

Bill Jay

Bill Jay

In Area 3, Trustee Bill Jay faces off against two opponents: Graduate Student Researcher Jennifer J. Long and Businesswoman/Arts Commissioner Arlene Greer.   Jay defeated Greer 62.5%-37.5% in 2008.  Long and Greer will split the anti-incumbent vote and the gender vote.

Posted in South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SOCCCD Appoints Fuentes Successor Over Family’s Objections; Will Petition Drive Launch to Invalidate Appointment?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 26, 2012

Thomas A. Fuentes (1948-2012)

Thomas A. Fuentes
(1948-2012)

Many of you may have read Frank Mickadeit’s column about the insensitive manner in which the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees dealt with the vacancy in the Trustee Area 6 seat that resulted from the untimely passing of Tom Fuentes.  For those of you who haven’t read it, here are some excerpts:

Tom Fuentes had been dead just 72 hours before the long-fractured community college board on which he sat decided to appoint a replacement.

It seemed like a rather stunning affront to the Fuentes family…

Fuentes died very late on Friday, May 18. That Monday, the board majority decided over the objection of trustee David Lang to immediately solicit applicants for Fuentes’ seat, with the selection to be made at the June meeting.

Before the formal vote, Lang once more begged his colleagues to let voters decide the seat in November and called them out for making such a nakedly political decision. The seat will be on the ballot in November anyway, but by giving the seat to Wright now, he’ll have the power of incumbency. “A majority of the board is slanting the election in a trustee’s favor,” he said.

This allegation seemed to perturb board President Nancy Padberg, who tersely replied, “The board has decided and will move on.” When T. J. Fuentes told the board he was “very disturbed by the fact that the board had decided to appoint somebody before my father was even buried,” Padberg replied that, “it had to be processed timely.”

A number of people have expressed their consternation with the way the SOCCCD Trustees handled the entire process.  Many have expressed the wish that the trustees had simply allowed the voters to fill the seat in the November election rather than fill the seat via appointment for the incumbency advantages Lang outlined above.

Last night, the trustees voted 5-1 to appoint James Wright, an outgoing dean at Saddleback College.  I’m not aware of any objections to Wright himself, but the objections to the appointment have centered on two different rationales:

  1. As Mickadeit wrote, “the manner in which the board went about it, and the dismissive, disrespectful way it treated Jolene Fuentes and her and Tom’s oldest son, T.J., both of whom expressed their anguish to the board on Monday only to receive stone-cold silence or indifference from the majority.”
  2. Trustee Lang’s argument that since the seat was up for election in November anyway, why not just let the voters pick the new trustee in November?

As it turns out, Education Code Section 5091(c)(1) lays out a procedure to invalidate the appointment (I’ve bolded the key portions):

If a provisional appointment is made within the 60-day period, the registered voters of the district may, within 30 days from the date of the appointment, petition for the conduct of a special election to fill the vacancy. A petition shall be deemed to bear a sufficient number of signatures if signed by at least the number of registered voters of the district equal to 11/2 percent of the number of registered voters of the district at the time of the last regular election for governing board members, or 25 registered voters, whichever is greater. However, in districts with registered voters of less than 2,000 persons, a petition shall be deemed to bear a sufficient number of signatures if signed by at least 5 percent of the number of registered voters of the district at the time of the last regular election for governing board members.

The last regular election for governing board members in SOCCCD was on November 2, 2010.  According to the Statement of Vote for that election, there 549,192 registered voters in SOCCCD at that election. From that number, 1.5% is equal to 8,238 signatures.

If those signatures are collected, the appointment will be invalidated.  Now some of you may notice the petition would create a special election.  Indeed a special election would be an obscene waste of money since the seat expires in less than five months.  As it turns out, Education Code Section 5093(c) deals with that:

If a special election pursuant to Section 5091 could be consolidated with the next regular election for governing board members, and the vacant position is scheduled to be filled at such regular election, there shall be no special election.

In other words, if the seat is up in a few months in the regular election anyway, the special election would be cancelled, and the voters would simply fill the seat at the regular election.  So if a petition is launched immediately and gathers 8,238 valid signatures from registered voters within SOCCCD by July 25, the appointment would be invalidated, and the SOCCCD Trustee Area 6 seat would remain vacant until the voters filled it for the usual four-year term at the regular election in November – and no one would have the advantage of incumbency in that regular election in November.

With the Fuentes family’s deep political ties across Orange County, will someone step up in the next few days to launch a petition drive to invalidate the appointment to the SOCCCD Trustee Area 6 seat, allowing the voters to pick Fuentes’s successor in November?

Posted in South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Carol Rudat Sends Horrendously Disgusting Email Regarding the Death of Tom Fuentes

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 24, 2012

Ordinarily, for e-mail statements we receive and reprint, we’d post them under the “Newsletter Reprint” account.  However, this statement from Carol Rudat was so horrendously disgusting that it warranted separate commentary here.  We received copies of this e-mail from multiple readers who urged us to post this to show the world the kind of person Rudat is.  For readers unfamiliar with Rudat, she is the wife of former Orange City Manager Dave Rudat and infamously ran unsuccessfully for Orange City Council in 2006 while living in Newport Beach.

Immediately, I’d like to note that Tom Fuentes served as Vice Chair under Lois Lundberg.  Fuentes’s Vice Chair was Jo Ellen Allen and his Executive Director was Kathy Tavoularis.  Many other women also served in leadership roles during Fuentes’s Chairmanship, so the assertion that he tried to keep women out of leadership roles is utterly preposterous.

She also includes a rather non sequitur section that is basically a racist justification for a guest worker program.

Romeo, by the way, is her dog.  I really think Steve Sheldon and Denis Bilodeau have better things to do with their time and money than to arrange the kidnapping of a chihuahua.  I believe this is the likely culprit:

Coyote

Coyote

I could go on to rebut more, but Rudat’s e-mail is so ridiculous, everything in it should be assumed false, until proven otherwise.

This e-mail is filled with bile, factual errors, and grammatical errors:

From: Carol
Date: May 20, 2012 8:31:34 AM PDT
To: 
Cc: 
Subject: Fwd: Tom Fuentes died, Thank You GOD, one more bad guy gone.

The Woman Hater, Tom Fuentes of the OC Republican Party, and whom are current Chairman Scott Baugh could not cow tail too fast enough, has finally died and he is in God’s hands.  Thank “God” for Fuentes that he will be forgiven BUT God does not allow one to get away with the evil that a person does while on earth.

To the woman who have dealt with Tom Fuentes back lash, his tear down of women, keeping women off the OC Central Committee leadership positions and EVEN had the Audacity to ask elected women to step down for the MEN’S control, you have now been freed of one of the BAD REPUBLICANS who has been ruining our County, State and Country.

But, there is Scott Baugh who couldn’t bow fast or low enough to Fuentes and Scott is still sitting as Chairman of the OC Central Committee so the work of the honest Republicans, the REAL Republicans who are REAL Americans, is not done.

The NM Leaders need to take hold of Baugh and stop turning their heads, he’s unethical and I am one word away from what he really is besides unethical.  Put the picture together as to whom he does business with, shares offices with, and whomever speaks favorably of Scott in the NM then a word of heed is to ‘beware’.

The good leaders of the LC have been bedazzeled by the BAD, even if a Valedictorian does not mean a person has common sense or street smarts to see through those who have been corrupt and mis-leading the association.

I hope no one is going to forward this to Scott Baugh and the Lincoln Club because it will be very disappointing to hear who did and who cannot understand who the good and bad are.

If people in the USA continue to be complacent we are going to lose this country to the following ‘groups’ : Gangs (Mexican especially); Cartels (Mexican Cartels are in 300 Cities throughout the US already)  go to CNN in the past week and check out a brief story by Anderson Cooper ad find out how the Cartels are infiltrating and gaining control in the US by controlling the Illegal’s and gaining friendships with the corrupt cops, District Attorneys, et.al.; Russian Mafia (oh yes they are here and are hacking the computers to the banking, and all the other sites like Craigs List etc.; of course the long lived Italian Mafia and don’t forget the Unions who are nothing less than Cartels right under our feet.

The Hispanic Illegal Immigration problem started when the Guest Worker Program (aka The Vassero Program) came to a halt in the 1960’s under President Johnson.  Since the Hispanic people no longer to obtain ‘worker permit cards’ they had to sneak over the border.  This sneaking, thus being Illegal, has given the Gangs and Mexican Mafia/Cartels   control over these people.  These people fear the gangs and they know the gangs are holding hands with corrupt cops and other legal officials as this is no different than in Mexico.  The result?  The Hispanics will not call for help when there are crimes, they will not report known drug trafficking, they will not call to report a child kidnapped (these children are put into trafficking).  Thus, the Gangs and Mexican Mafia/Cartels gain more and more control and that means they are gaining control over you too!

Simply placing the Guest Worker Program back into existence will be the first step to take away the Gang, Mafia/Cartel controls within the USA.

Placing the Guest Worker Program into existence should begin to: eliminate the free health care as we will know who these people work for and we can make sure they have health insurance; provide correct wages for these persons so they can live openly in adequate housing and stop the hording of humans in housing as we will be able to know where they live; we can hold the companies and persons who hire these workers responsible and we will not be bearing these costs.

This is real, this is not a joke, and everyone needs to wake up and work together to stop the corruption or lose this Country.  If you do not believe me then start doing some research but for GODS SAKE pull your head out of the sand.  The Republican Women’s group is already a formation, pull together and start fighting for your Country.

It does not matter if you are Republican or Democrat, the good people need to get together and fight the crime in both parties as they have been infiltrated by corruption.  The bad in both parties and in all the Gangs hold hands.  They work together and that is how their strength grows.  This means the GOOD PEOPLE MUST HOLD HANDS and work together.

I have been threatened to my face by Steve Sheldon on behalf of Denis Bilodeau and the corrupt, to turn my head ‘or else’.  His departing statement, “remember, I offered you an olive branch.”  That message was a month before these guys hired a Hispanic Gang Member from El Modena (Orange) to climb my back fence and kidnapped Romeo.  Since, I have had THREE women deliver the exact same message, one to my face at a park inside Big Canyon.  The message, “you’re a marked woman”.  The woman in Big Canyon Gated Community stated she was a member of the Newport Beach Republican Women’s group and she claimed to be a resident in Big Canyon on the south side of the main entry in one of the townhomes.  The others were over the phone and yes, of course I have names and those names have been forward.  Yes, there is a police report filed about Steve Sheldon’s terrorist threat at Irvine Police Department (he’s an attorney and the California Bar Association has done nothing).

During the election Denis Bilodeau passed me on the sidewalk in front of the Senior Center and made this comment to me, “the more you walk the worse it’s going to get.”  I laughed then, what a wimp, and I am laughing more now because each day he is getting closer to prison bars as are his corrupt connections.  That include’s newspaper reporters who are part of the corruption, remember News of the World in London?

My mother, who was 90 years old at the time, received terrorist calls about Romeo.  How would anyone get her unlisted phone number?  Well elected officials and those well entrenched in corruption can gain private telephone numbers.

I have not stopped and I am not giving up.  Think about your grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  If you do not work together and take back this Country and stop the corruption then will we have freedom or will everyone live in fear of the Gangs, Mafias and Cartels (including the Unions who swung the pendulum far from doing what is good for workers).

You all know how to contact me.  You can all type and you can all make your comments on all the newspaper and blog sites throughout the US and the world.

Sent: Sat, May 19, 2012 9:36 pm
Subject: Tom Fuentes died
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/orange/la-me-thomas-fuentes-20120520,0,433525.story

I can understand why readers may have had difficulty understanding what she wrote, so here’s a version with the grammar and spelling corrected in red (I’ve not bothered correcting capitalization errors, as those are not impediments to understanding what was written):

From: Carol
Date: May 20, 2012 8:31:34 AM PDT
To: 
Cc: 
Subject: Fwd: Tom Fuentes died, Thank You GOD, one more bad guy gone.

The Woman Hater, Tom Fuentes of the OC Republican Party, [and] whom [our] current Chairman Scott Baugh could not [kowtow] [to] fast enough, has finally died[,] and he is in God’s hands.  Thank “God” for Fuentes that he will be forgiven BUT God does not allow one to get away with the evil that a person does while on earth.

To the [women] who have dealt with Tom [Fuentes’s] [backlash], his tear down of women, keeping women off the OC Central Committee leadership positions and EVEN [his] Audacity to ask elected women to step down for [the] MEN’S control, you have now been freed of one of the BAD REPUBLICANS who has been ruining our County, State[,] and Country.

But, there is Scott Baugh who couldn’t bow fast or low enough to Fuentes[,] and Scott is still sitting as Chairman of the OC Central Committee[,] so the work of the honest Republicans, the REAL Republicans who are REAL Americans, is not done.

The NM Leaders need to take hold of Baugh and stop turning their heads, [as] he’s unethical[,] and I am one word away from [describing] what he really is besides unethical.  Put the picture together[,] as to whom he does business with, shares offices with, and [whoever] speaks favorably of Scott in the NM then a word of heed is to ‘beware’.

The good leaders of the LC have been [bedazzled] by the BAD [I’m not even sure how to correct this one], even [if] a Valedictorian does not [mean a person] [necessarily have the] common sense or street smarts to see through those who have been corrupt and [misleading] the association.

I hope no one is going to forward this to Scott Baugh and the Lincoln Club because it will be very disappointing to hear who did and who cannot understand who the good and bad are.

If people in the USA continue to be complacent[,] we are going to lose this country to the following ‘groups’ : Gangs (Mexican especially); Cartels (Mexican Cartels are in 300 Cities throughout the US already)[.]  go to CNN [in the past week and] [to] check out a brief story [from the past week] by Anderson Cooper [to] find out how the Cartels are infiltrating and gaining control in the US by controlling the [illegals] and gaining friendships with [the] corrupt cops, District Attorneys, et[.] al.; Russian Mafia (oh yes[,] they are here and are hacking [the] computers [to the banking], [at banks] and all the [other] sites[,] like [Craigslist,] etc.; of course[,] the long[-]lived Italian Mafia and don’t forget the Unions who are nothing less than Cartels right under our feet [I’m not even sure how to correct this post-semicolon section].

The Hispanic Illegal Immigration problem started when the Guest Worker Program (aka The [Vassero] [Bracero] Program) came to a halt in the 1960’s under President Johnson.  Since the Hispanic people [could] no longer [to] obtain [][” guest]worker permit[s] [cards’][,”] they had to sneak over the border.  This [sneaking, thus being] Illegal [action][,] has given the Gangs and Mexican Mafia/Cartels   control over these people.  These people fear the gangs[,] and they know the gangs are holding hands with corrupt cops and other legal officials[,] as this is no different than in Mexico.  The result?  The Hispanics will not call for help when there are crimes, they will not report known drug trafficking, [and] they will not call to report a child [being] kidnapped (these children are put into trafficking).  Thus, the Gangs and Mexican Mafia/Cartels gain more and more control[,] and that means they are gaining control over you too!

Simply placing the Guest Worker Program back into existence will be the first step to take away the Gang, Mafia/Cartel controls within the USA.

Placing the Guest Worker Program into existence should begin to: eliminate [the] free health care[,] as we will know who these people work for [and] [, so] we can make sure they have health insurance; provide correct wages for these persons[,] so they can live openly in adequate housing and stop the [hoarding] of humans in housing[,] as we will [be able to] know where they live; we can hold the companies and persons who hire these workers responsible [and] [, so] we will not be bearing these costs.

This is real, this is not a joke, and everyone needs to wake up and work together to stop the corruption or lose this Country.  If you do not believe me[,] then start doing some research[,] but for [GOD’S] SAKE[,] pull your head out of the sand.  The Republican Women’s [Federated] group is already a formation [what?], pull together [and] [to] start fighting for your Country.

It does not matter if you are Republican or Democrat, the good people need to get together and fight [the] crime in both parties[,] as they have been infiltrated by corruption.  The bad [people] in both parties and in all the Gangs hold hands.  They work together[,] and that is how their strength grows.  This means the GOOD PEOPLE MUST HOLD HANDS [and] [to] work together.

I have been threatened to my face [too weird to fix] by Steve Sheldon on behalf of Denis Bilodeau and the corrupt, to turn my head ‘or else’ [this entire sentence is a lost cause].  His departing statement [was], “remember, I offered you an olive branch.”  That message was a month before these guys hired a Hispanic Gang Member from El Modena (Orange) to climb my back fence [and] [to] kidnapp[ed] Romeo.  Since [then], I have had THREE women deliver the exact same message, one to my face at a park inside Big Canyon [What is with her obsession with making grammatically-flawed uses of the phrase “to my face” in this e-mail?].  The message [was], “you’re a marked woman”.  The woman in Big Canyon Gated Community stated she was a member of the Newport Beach Republican Women’s [Federated] group[,] and she claimed to be a resident in Big Canyon on the south side of the main entry in one of the townhomes.  The others were over the phone[,] and yes, of course[,] I have names[,] and those names have been forward[ed].  Yes, there is a police report filed about Steve Sheldon’s terrorist threat [at] [with the] Irvine Police Department (he’s an attorney[,] [and] [but] the California [State] Bar [Association] has done nothing).

During the election[,] Denis Bilodeau passed me on the sidewalk in front of the Senior Center and made this comment to me, “the more you walk[,] the worse it’s going to get.”  I laughed then[,][:] what a wimp, and I am laughing more now because each day[,] he is getting closer to prison bars[,] as are his corrupt connections.  That [include’s] [includes] newspaper reporters who are part of the corruption[,][:] remember News of the World in London?

My mother, who was 90 years old at the time, received terrorist calls about Romeo.  How would anyone get her unlisted phone number?  Well[,] elected officials and those well[-]entrenched in corruption can gain private telephone numbers [via Google and numerous public records, as the idea of private telephone numbers in this day and age is completely laughable].

I have not stopped[,] and I am not giving up.  Think about your grandchildren, nieces[,] and nephews.  If you do not work together [and] [to] take back this Country  [and] [to] stop the corruption[,] then will we have freedom[,] or will everyone live in fear of the Gangs, Mafias and Cartels (including the Unions who swung the pendulum far from doing what is good for workers)[.] [?]

You all know how to contact me.  You can all type[,] and you can all make your comments on all the newspaper and blog sites throughout the US and the world. [Well, here you are on a blog.]

Sent: Sat, May 19, 2012 9:36 pm
Subject: Tom Fuentes died
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/orange/la-me-thomas-fuentes-20120520,0,433525.story

Posted in Newport Beach, Orange, Orange County, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Live from OCGOP Central Committee: Efforts to Remove Deborah Pauly as 1st Vice Chair

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 21, 2012

Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee Meeting, May 21, 2012, Irvine Hyatt

Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee Meeting, May 21, 2012, Irvine Hyatt

The Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee meeting started shortly after 7 PM. After the invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance, the swearing-in of several new alternates, a resolution was brought up at 7:30 PM in memory of OCGOP Chairman Emeritus Tom Fuentes, who passed away on Friday. The Fuentes memorial resolution was adopted unanimously.

Then, there were some brief remarks about the OCGOP Flag Day celebration and a description of the state of the 74th Assembly District race between Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) and Councilwoman Leslie Daigle (R-Newport Beach).

The Pauly Removal Motion

At 7:47 PM, OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh brought the motion to remove Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly from her post as First Vice Chair of the OCGOP.

He cited Youth Associates deciding to stop participating due to their discomfort with Pauly’s criticisms of the Party.

He cited Pauly’s allegations of corruption against Baugh. He said he should be removed if this is true.

He stated Pauly is divisive at a time when Republicans need to be united against Democrats.

He cited her use of the OCGOP First Vice Chair title as misrepresenting her as speaking for the OCGOP.

He cited her “Tweets of vulgarity” as unbecoming of the First Vice Chair of the OCGOP.

He cited a need for a smooth-running, unified party.

Baugh then recused himself from presiding as maker of the motion. Pauly was also recused as subject of the motion. Then, 2nd Vice Chair Mary Young became presiding officer.

Dean Grose was ruled out of order for attempting to refer the matter to Ethics Committee.

Orange City Councilman Fred Whitaker, Pauly’s predecessor as First Vice Chair, seconded the Baugh motion. Whitaker stated Vice Chairs should not distract from the Party and its campaigns. He always saw the First Vice Chair’s role as being a “supporting actor” in the Party.

Parliamentary Procedure

At 8 PM, Young asked Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh for clarification on the motion. Marsh stated it would require an absolute majority of all members; any absent members would have their votes sought by mail, with mail ballots returned within 10 days.

Marsh, who is also Ethics Committee Chair, noted he had not received an Ethics complaint against Pauly, and there was only the motion to remove at this point.

Marsh stated Robert’s Rules dictated that each side in favor and against of the motion should have alternating speakers and that Pauly should be allowed to speak in her own defense without being counted in the alternating speaker sequence.

At 8:07, Pauly opted to defer her remarks to the end, wanting to hear what others had to say first.

Speakers Debate the Motion

At 8:09, Lynn Schott was concerned that this was the first she heard of this motion so soon after the death of Tom Fuentes. She urged to delay until after the election to avoid interfering with the supervisorial election.

At 8:10, Fullerton Councilman Bruce Whitaker urged “victory through unity.” He noted the disruptions led by Gil Ferguson against Fuentes and argued Fuentes was able to deal with Ferguson and his allies without removing anyone. He urged the OCGOP to not take action that could interfere with the supervisorial election.

At 8:12, there was an arcane parliamentary procedure discussion that concluded Baugh and Fred Whitaker were the first two speakers in favor of the removal and Schott and Bruce Whitaker were the first two speakers against removal.

At 8:14, Huntington Beach Councilman Matt Harper spoke of his situation when he was YRFC Chair and had a Vice Chair from another faction, which distracted from the group’s efforts to grow the Republican Party and advance its candidates.

At 8:15, Dean Grose stated there were no complaints from Youth Associates. He questioned the timing, believing it could affect the supervisorial race. He complained of the circular firing squad and the need of Republicans to battle Democrats.

At 8:18, Fred Ameri spoke of being Tom Fuentes’s business partner for 17 years. He spoke of Fuentes being a man of action who sought to grow the party. He said there was too much time being spent on the distractions from Pauly. Ameri called on Pauly to resign to spare the time and controversy.

Pauly Speaks

At 8:22, Pauly declared this the funny season of politics. Citing Baugh’s allegations that she was misusing her title, she stated Baugh had actively campaigned and raised money for her supervisorial opponent (Todd Spitzer). She said it was his right, and there was no need to remove him (and implicitly no need to remove her). She spoke of her disgust that the Youth Associates were dragged into this, particularly since she knew of no complaints from them.

She spoke of having only missed one Central Committee meeting in 5.5 years. She spoke of her concern at the shrinking of the Republican Party, as Republicans registered No Party Preference. She spoke of her time volunteering to grow the party, including registering new voters on a near-daily basis.

She said it was her responsibility to represent not just the Central Committee to the public, but the public to the Central Committee. She stated Baugh was seeking to “do away with” her using the supervisorial race, as she stated he was already attempting to find a way to remove her.

Pauly stated on May 31 (the day the mail ballots for her removal were due), that Spitzer would send out a hit piece about her Republican peers removing her.

She questioned who would count the ballots on the vote to remove her.

She said she would never leave the Republican Party, as she is a true believer in the principles of the party.

She said she first ran for Central Committee to reform the corruption she saw in the party, specifically citing Mike Carona.

She cited Daigle and Spitzer’s 3%@50 votes.

She said Fuentes told her that the Chair and First Vice Chair should meet regularly. She said when she arranged her first meeting with Baugh, he berated her for everything she’d done wrong.

Pauly stated the effort to remove her was solely to provide Spitzer with a June 1 hit piece, just before the June 5 election for Supervisor.

She stated this effort to remove her should be properly noticed for the June Central Committee meeting.

Pauly stated there is right and wrong, and that this is wrong.

Baugh Speaks on the Motion

At 8:36, Baugh asked Spitzer if he would use this removal in a hit piece, and Spitzer pledged he would “not spend one red cent” on this.

Baugh then stated he had been urged to bring this motion thrice before.

He then stated that he would be out of the country in June, the Central Committee is dark in July, and August was election season again. He stated that’s why he brought the motion in May.

He made the distinction that Spitzer did not know about the true cost of 3%@50 when he voted and now apologizes for it while Daigle knew the true cost and continues to lie about her votes.

Baugh stated that there is nothing wrong with disagreement and competition, but that it is wrong to make provocative and incendiary statements that embarrass the party.

He said the motion is to prevent a house divided, not divided on ideas but divided on personality.

Parliamentary Questions

At 8:43, Matt Harper asked to extend the balloting period to June 6 to avoid interfering with the election. Marsh said the by-laws require exactly 10 days.

At 8:44, Fred Whitaker asked if the 10 day period applied to those present and voting. Marsh said it only applies to physically absent people whose alternates were not present.

Marsh stated Secretary Zonya Townsend and Sergeant at Arms Norm Dickinson would be responsible for counting the ballots.

At 8:46, a question was asked if minutes could be provided to absent voters. It was pointed out that minutes report actions not quotes.

At 8:47, Matt Harper asked if it was 10 calendar days or 10 business days. It was quickly ruled (while both sides shouted) that it was 10 calendar days.

At 8:48, Pauly asked to speak to rebut Baugh. Young refused.

Pauly then asked for a roll call vote.

Pauly then stated she could battle Democrats’ accusations of the GOP’s war on women.

She asked who would be next after her for removal.

She said she has not used her OCGOP title to run for Supervisor while Spitzer had used his former Assemblyman title.

Young and Pauly fought back and forth about whether Pauly was out of order, but was able to get the remarks above out.

A Central Committee member shouted out calling for a roll call vote. Young rejected the proposal because the motion was made with the expectation of written ballots.

Voting

At 8:53, voting began.

At 9:14, Young asked for the remaining two voters to cast their ballots: Westminster Councilman Tyler Diep and Deborah Pauly herself.

At 9:16, Young declared the balloting closed.

At 9:19, Rhonda Rohrabacher spoke about precinct walking opportunities to help Allan Mansoor and using smartphone apps for precinct walking.

At 9:20, US Senate candidate Greg Conlon spoke about how “vulnerable” Dianne Feinstein is and that Republicans will gain the Senate. He stated he believed that Feinstein would resign rather than be in a minority. He stated Jerry Brown would then appoint Gavin Newsom to the Senate. Conlon spoke of his previous candidacy as the Republican Nominee for State Treasurer in 2002. He stated he was sending 1,000,000 pieces of mail and has residual name ID from 2002.

At 9:24, Walter H. Myers III spoke of the American Dream Outreach Committee’s efforts to attract more voters to the Republican Party. Myers spoke of the committee’s presence at the Black April commemoration in Little Saigon. Myers spoke of the committee’s presence at the Taiwanese Heritage event. Myers spoke of the committee’s presence at the Israel Expo. He credited Mark Cohen and Deborah Pauly for organizing these. Chandra Chell, Dean Grose, Craig Alexander, Emily Sanford, Cuong Cao, and a couple names I didn’t catch (sorry, readers).

RESULTS

At 9:28, the votes were announced.

Out of 71 members, 66 votes were cast. 5 will need to be mailed.

47 votes to remove, 16 votes against removing, 1 abstention.

PAULY REMOVED.

At 9:29, Pauly said she had no report but was honored to have served as First Vice Chair.

At 9:30, Young reported 5,000 Republican voter registrations.

At 9:32, Townsend reported Dianna Gadberry was the OCGOP Volunteer of the Month.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 111 Comments »

In Memory of OCGOP Chairman Emeritus Tom Fuentes

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on May 20, 2012

Early yesterday morning/late Friday night, Scott Carpenter wrote this piece in tribute to Tom Fuentes.

This came over the wire from the Republican Party of Orange County yesterday evening…

Republican Party of Orange County
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In Memory of Tom Fuentes

OCGOP Chairman Emeritus
Patriot, Leader, Husband, Father & Mentor
1948 – 2012 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Orange County, Republican Central Committee, South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Saying Goodbye to Tom Fuentes

Posted by Scott Carpenter on May 19, 2012

Much has been written, and assumingly will be written, about Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Emeritus Tom Fuentes, who just passed away after a long bout with cancer.  After multiple bouts with cancer and fighting it valiantly, The Lord called Tom home late last night.

Winston Churchill was often called “The Last Lion,” and Ted Kennedy was often called “The Lion of the Senate,” it could said that Tom Fuentes was the “Lion of Orange County.”  Few, if any, have ever been more influential in Orange County politics than Tom, his impact on Republican politics is literally immeasurable.  He was truly a statesman and principled to his core.  Tom defeated political foes who had conspired to replace him as OC GOP chairman, and stood tall on his principles in those battles.  Though Chairman Fuentes never sought the limelight or public office beyond Community College District Trustee he became a standard bearer for conservative principles.  Through his life of activism and leadership surely Tom was given opportunities to sell his beliefs down the river for personal gain, he never waivered.

In the world of politics where self-interest is rampant, loyalty is fleeting, true friendship is all too rare and principles are routinely abandoned, Tom Fuentes was an oak. Everything he did in politics had one sole purpose: “the cause.”  The conservative cause, as Tom described it at the 2011 OC GOP Flag Day Salute, dedicated to “people and noble ideas.”  Tom properly personified those noble ideas dedicated to people rather than money or power.  He was not involved in politics for any reason other than he believed in conservative principles, he believed they served people well, he believed they served our country well, and his actions were driven by advancing those principles.  Not only was he a great mentor and teacher, he was a shining example.  Tom was the real deal because he actually cared about principles over politics…he was a statesman.

Tom was an incredible political leader, but more importantly he was amazing human being.  His enormous generosity, zest for life and genuine kindness and care for others are lessons I will remember for the rest of my life.  Like so many others I was fortunate to come to know Tom as a friend and a mentor.  He was always unbelievably selfless with his time, knowledge and advice on nearly any issue whether it was political or personal.  No matter who you were if you wanted to meet with Tom he would find the time and offer any advice he could give. 

Despite all the attention and friendships Tom gained through politics it was his service to others that really defined him.  He was the founding chairman of the Orange County Food Bank and active in many other charities.  He spoke glowingly of the accomplishments of his children Michelle, TJ and Joey; and his wife Jolene was the joy of his life.  Tom was active in the Catholic Church and had an unshakable faith in God.  In fact when I learned of Tom’s cancer returning I asked him if there was anything I could do for him, all he asked for were my prayers.  I would often joke with Tom that I could only offer protestant prayers, to which he replied he appreciated both the prayers and the humor.

And that’s who Tom Fuentes was.  He was a sincere and joyful man.  Even in the face of terminal cancer he shared stories and jokes when I visited him at his bedside.  Several times in his last few months he would tell me he was going to switch political parties because it would be better for the Democrats to lose one than for us to lose one.  Despite all the odds Tom beat cancer once and far outlived every doctor’s predictions when it returned.  Through all the pain and treatment he always stood strong with grace, serving as an example yet again.

Reflecting on his passing I’m reminded of the words of late North Carolina State coach Jimmy Valvano’s words when he was faced with cancer: “Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.”  The Chairman Emeritus exemplified those sentiments in his own battle and will live on because of it also.

Goodbye Tom, The Lord has called you home after a job most well done, and now all we can do is humbly say “Thank you.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 3 Comments »