OC Political

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

Posts Tagged ‘Wendy Bucknum’

Union Money Invades Mission Viejo Council And Fifth District Supervisor Races

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 17, 2014

On Wednesday, I received a mailer from Citizens to Protect Mission Viejo.  On the front, calling itself the “Mission Viejo Taxpayers’ Voting Guide,” it asked for support for current council members Dave Leckness and Rhonda Reardon, and council candidate Wendy Bucknum.  On the back, it contrasts Board of Supervisor candidates Robert Ming and Lisa Bartlett, offering false facts (more about that later) about Ming, while recommending Bartlett.  (As I have consistently stated, I am supporting Ming in November)

The mailer was large, in full color, and on good paper stock, so I wondered how Citizens was paying for this apparently city-wide mailer.  My search at the Secretary of State and County websites came up empty, but I hit pay dirt at the City of Mission Viejo’s website (some are questioning whether Citizens was required to file with the County given that they are supporting a county-wide candidate).  On September 30, 2014, Citizens received a $5,000 donation from the Orange County Employees Association, and on October 10, 2014, it received a $13,000 donation from the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, both public employee unions.

When I see public employee unions getting involved with Republican candidates, I get curious as to how the candidates feel about union money being spent on their behalf, particularly such a large donation from two well-known public employee unions.  Union money contributed directly to Republican candidates is a red flag for most conservatives (and would violate the candidate’s GOP pledge to not take union money if they signed it), so unions backing a Republican typically will make a contribution to a PAC that will then send a mail piece out as an independent expenditure.  Often candidates claim they have no control of independent expenditures so they can disclaim any responsibility yet still reap the benefits of the mailer.  So, I reached out to Leckness, Reardon, Bucknum, and Bartlett for comment.

To their credit, I received responses from Reardon (who signed the pledge) and Bucknum, both of whom stated that they did not know about the mailer until they received it on Wednesday, and both also stated that they have not been offered or taken any union money.  After giving the candidates 24 hours to respond, I have not heard back from Leckness or Bartlett.

While I recognize that all candidates and their supporters embellish their mailers, outright lies should not be tolerated.  Curiously, the PAC’s mailer repeats the same lie that Bartlett previously made against Ming falsely stating that Ming approved a loan to the City Manager at below market rates, when in fact Ming only voted for the loan on the condition that it be at prevailing market rates. (here)  Unfortunately, I did not hear back from Bartlett to address whether her campaign provided any information, including the false interest rate, to the PAC for the mailer.

The PAC mailer also suffers from a lie by omission.  While touting Bartlett as a fiscal conservative by noting her efforts to balance the budget and reduce pensions, the mailer conveniently ignores the fact that Ming, too, helped balance Laguna Niguel’s budget ever year that he has been on the Council.

Union money has become all to prevalent in national, state, and local politics.  The unions extort dues from their members and use that never-ending supply to support candidates who they believe will further their cause.  I know Reardon and Bucknum personally, and I take them at their word that they did not know anything about the union-backed mailer supporting them.  I also know that Bartlett has been willing to use false facts in an effort to smear Ming, and has not retracted any of those false press releases, even when faced with undeniable evidence of the false facts.  Bartlett also failed to respond to my questions about the PAC mailer that uses the same false information she previously used.  I leave it to the voters to decide who to trust in November.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Mission Viejo, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Introducing Mission Viejo City Council Candidates Frank Ury, Ed Sachs, Cathy Schlicht, And Wendy Bucknum

Posted by Greg Woodard on November 2, 2012

We now move up to my home town of Mission Viejo, home to a lake with great fishing, and consistently one of the safest cities in America.  Mission Viejo has two seats available and I now introduce you to four candidates: Frank Ury, Ed Sachs, Cathy Schlicht, and Wendy Bucknum.

Frank Ury

Frank is running for re-election to continue leading Mission Viejo in the right direction.  Frank says that the city (1) has a world-class quality of life and one of the safest cities in California; (2) is unrivaled with its parks, recreation opportunities, youth sports, and arts facilities, and (3) has a strong business climate.  Frank hopes to continue leading the city to an even brighter future for the residents’ children.

Frank said that there are those in the city who would like to cut back programs such as school resource officers, the Kids factory program, etc.  Frank stated he will continue to advocate for these programs, especially since in the past two years the city has put $2.8 million of its savings into reserves.  He believes the city can maintain its current programs.  Frank noted that, while many California cities are slashing budgets and filing for bankruptcy, Mission Viejo maintains a AAA bond rating and over 50 percent of its budget is safely in reserves.  In order to build a strong business climate in the city, Frank believes that the council should do everything it can to enable business; for example, listen to businesses to see what their needs are for traffic mitigation, signs, promotions, etc.

Frank also said that protecting the city’s standard of living and strong financial footing requires smart, fiscally sound decision-making at all levels of city government.  He believes that this includes fully reforming the pension system so the city’s liability is one of the lowest in California, which Frank said the council has done while he has served on it.  Frank stated that a prior council spiked the city’s pensions to the highest in Orange County for non-public safety employees, but two years ago the council reversed that and reduced the pension program from 2.7% to 2% at 60 for new employees (retirees will now get 2% of their salary for each year of service if they retire at age 60, as opposed to 2.7% under the previous council’s plan.)  Frank said that the council changed the pension plan well before it became a talking point.

Frank is proud of what city staff and a majority of the city’s council has accomplished to this point.  He believes that, after years of salary freezes, staff compensation is quite market acceptable.

Frank said that the city is almost fully built out.  He believes the council needs to conform to state laws, but aside from that, there are not many locations for additional growth.

Frank is endorsed by, among others, the Orange County Register,the Orange County Taxpayers Association, the California Women’s Leadership Association, and Congressmen Ed Royce and John Campbell

You can find out more about Frank at http://www.frank4mv.com/.

Ed Sachs

Ed is running for City Council to return fiscal responsibility, adequate reserves, and transparency back to the City Council on behalf of the residents of Mission Viejo.

Ed stated that Mission Viejo’s reserves are 52% today, but they were 75% a few years ago.  Ed wants to budget reserves funding within the budget by including it as a line item in the budget.

Ed also wants to address the recent Orange County Grand Jury report that gave Mission Viejo a “D” for transparency regarding salaries and benefits for city staff and a “D” for transparency on executive compensation for content and clarity.  Ed said that Mission Viejo was one of only 6 of the 34 cities in Orange County with poor grades.  Ed wants to make it easy (1 or 2 mouse clicks) for residents to use the city’s website to access compensation and benefits information.

Ed also wants to end the cost overruns for city capital improvement projects.  Ed said that city projects consistently have run over budget.  For example, the Marguerite Tennis Center’s initial budget was under $2 million, but Ed said it increased to $2.6 million with the addition of the clubhouse, and today is over $5.2 million.  Ed stated that the city has historically run projects in phases and with multiple change orders.  Ed wants to use his 30+ years of business experience to limit costs beyond what were originally agreed to.

Ed currently has no position on employee compensation because, as he said, it is difficult for a resident to understand compensation and benefits due to the city’s lack of transparency on this issue.  Ed stated that there currently are 134 city staff members and, if elected, he will evaluate compensation and benefits for all.  If he feels they are too high, he will try to reduce them, and he will consider laying off staff if necessary.

Ed believes that the city can attain a balance between the existing residents and future development.  He noted that Mission Viejo is fairly built out (as one of the first master planned communities in Orange County), but there are areas where additional housing could be built.  Ed said he will look at each project on its own merits and evaluate it based on its impacts on traffic, schools, and any other negative impacts to the residents.  Ed said he leans toward lower density and smaller high density projects as best fitting with Mission Viejo’s character and quality of life.

Ed is endorsed by, among others, California Congressman Darrell Issa, the California Republican Assembly, Atlas PAC, the Family Action PAC, and Mrs. Sachs.

You can find out more about Ed at http://edsachsformvcitycouncil2012.webs.com/.

Cathy Schlicht

Cathy Schlicht is running for re-election because she feels there is still a lot to be done.  Cathy thinks she is a voice of reason on the council and she does not like the direction the city is going and she wants to let the citizens know that, as she does on the council today.

Cathy wants to address the issue of electronic billboards in the city.  She said that developers are running a campaign to promote electronic billboards, and she believes they are trying to influence the council to vote for electronic billboards.  Cathy supports the current ordinances on signage and she opposes the proposal for off-site signage which would advertise national brands.

Cathy believes there is too much unfocused spending in the city.  She wants the city to take a look at the budget again and said the council is deciding spending from the dais, rather than in cooperation with the residents.  She wants to figure out the needs of the city and opposes spending the city’s money for political gain.

Cathy wants to continue promoting public safety that has led to Mission Viejo consistently being one of the safest cities in America.  She wants to ensure that the city has enough officers and attention to public safety.  She also wants better safety for the Youth Athletic Fields (“YAF”) park.  She does not want the current situation of parents running across the busy street at Olympiad continuing, and she wants to explore the possibility of a pedestrian cross-walk to increase safety.

Cathy feels that the city’s management-level staff compensation and benefits are too high and too disproportionate with staff compensation and benefits.

Cathy said that the city is virtually built out.  To protect the quality of life of existing residents, she opposes high density housing.  Cathy said that the city’s Master Plan was designed for a certain number of residents and that the city needs to improve its infrastructure first before expanding on the Master Plan’s vision.

Cathy is endorsed by, among others, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, California Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, California Assemblyman Christ Norby, the California Republican Assembly, and the Family Action PAC.

You can find out more about Cathy at http://www.cathy4council.com/.

Wendy Bucknum

Wendy is running for City Council to make Mission Viejo a better place to do business and protect the unique character that makes the city great.

Wendy said she will work to eliminate unnecessary red tape and fees that only serve as hurdles to business expansion and curtail private property rights.  Wendy believes that the council must also hold the line on wasteful spending in order to maintain the city’s 50% budget surplus and AAA bond rating.

Wendy also said that budget discipline will allow the city to continue making wise investment choices that support economic growth and quality of life.  This includes existing road and traffic improvements, expansion of the successful fee-based educational programs such as Kids Factory, and continued support for the city’s award-winning arts and sports programs.

Wendy believes another major issue for the city is the preservation of Mission Viejo’s business community and spurring economic development.  For Wendy, this includes supporting the completion of the 241 Toll Road and supporting infrastructure and workforce housing to increase jobs.  Wendy said that her plans are in line with the advocacy work she has been doing for the past two years as Governmental Affairs Committee Chair of the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Wendy also noted her service as: a Mission Viejo City Commissioner (2011-present); Vice-Chair & Chair of the Community Services Commission.  In addition, she said she serves on the Board of the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce (member since 2000) and chairs the Legislative Action Committee.  Wendy received the Advocate of the Year Award presented at the 2011 SOCO Awards at the Regional Cities Ball due in large part to efforts in regional issues, specifically defeating Measure D in Mission Viejo.  She also serves on Orange County Board of Supervisor member Patricia Bates’ Annual Senior Summit Planning Committee (since 2007).

You can find out more about Wendy at http://wendybucknum.com/.

Posted in Mission Viejo | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 17, 2012

Okay, lots of procedural things out of the way…

7:20 PM: Oath administered.  I’m officially an alternate.

7:21 PM: Officeholders and candidates in the room introducing themselves: Baron Night, Dean Grose, Jose Moreno, Brett Franklin, Charles Hart, Dwight Robinson, Tony Beall, Mike Munzing, Kim McCarthy, Mike Mortenson, Debbie Cotton, Elizabeth Emken, Jim Dahl, Karina Onofre, Ellen Adonizzio, Jim Reardon, Carlos Olvera, Brian Chuchua, Roy Byrnes, Steven Vargas, Diane Harkey, Lucille Kring, Brett Barbre, Denis Bilodeau, Jon Dumitru, Deborah Pauly, Alexia Deligianni, Cathy Schlict, Mark McCurdy, Jeff Mathews, Lynn Schott, Bruce Whitaker, Wendy Bucknum, Ceci Iglesias, Barry Levinson, Susan Hinman, Sam Allevato, Erik Peterson, Robert Hammond, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Brad McGirr, Christina Shea, Don Wagner, Alexandria Coronado, Chuck Puckett, John Nielsen, Doug Davert, George Collins, Adam Nick, Steve Nagel, Michelle Ollada Alipio, Bill Brough, Lupe Moreno, and Chris Norby.

7:27 PM: Minutes approved.

7:28 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh discusses the importance of candidates stepping up at all times not just around the candidates’ own elections.

7:29 PM: At the request of Chairman Scott Baugh, Orange County Board of Education Trustee Robert Hammond discussed being at the County School Boards Association meeting where the attendees complained low voter turnout will allow “the Republicans from Orange County to defeat Prop 30 and Prop 38.”

7:30 PM: Baugh describes the 13 open OC GOP GOTV HQs and mentions 3 more are on the way.

7:31 PM: Baugh speaks of the Costa Mesa Charter Amendment being a priority of the Republican Party.

7:33 PM: Committee Alternate Bill Dunlap speaks of the importance of getting out the vote.  Only 26% of OC voters cast their ballots in June.  He describes a number of party-sponsored get-out-the-vote efforts.

7:36 PM: Baugh delivers the 1st Vice Chair’s report on behalf of John Warner: the report included information about the next countywide precinct walk as well as information about Congressman John Campbell agreeing to fund a GOTV headquarters in the City of Orange.

7:38 PM: Fullerton RWF President Beverly Gunter speaks of RWF’s efforts to fundraise, phone bank, and precinct walk for candidates.  She presents a $900 check from RWF to subsidize

7:39 PM: My boss from my day job, Chris Norby, speaks of his race for re-election.

Endorsements Committee Report

7:41 PM: Endorsements Committee Chair Mark Bucher begins his long-awaited report.  He speaks of Prop 32’s 55%-37% lead despite “Yes on Prop 32” not starting any advertising until today while “No on Prop 32” had been pounding away for a month.  He also speaks of the finances of the Prop 32 battle.

7:43 PM: Now he actually begins his long-awaited report on endorsements…

7:44 PM: Bucher thanks fellow Endorsements Committee Members Chandra Chell, Thomas Gordon, Ray Grangoff, Matt Harper, and Mary Young.  He describes the endorsement procedures and goes over the list.  (Here’s the list again.  Here and here are the live blogs of those meetings.)

7:48 PM: Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh says the Endorsements Committee may not recommend a dual endorsement while the Central Committee can make a dual endorsement (in reference to the contest between Brett Franklin and Charles Hart for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3).

7:50 PM: Bucher continues his report briefly summarizing the more controversial contests.

7:52 PM: The list is moved with the following pulled from the list:

  • Sam Allevato for San Juan Capistrano City Council (original recommendation was postpone to October) pulled by Diane Harkey
  • Lynn Schott for Irvine City Council (original recommendation was for endorsement) pulled by Scott Baugh
  • Measure FF (original recommendation was for endorsement of Yes on FF) pulled by Deborah Pauly
  • Jennifer Fitzgerald for Fullerton City Council (original recommendation was for endorsement) pulled by Tim Whitacre
  • Brian Neil Chuchua for Anaheim City Council (original recommendation was no endorsement) pulled by Tim Whitacre
  • All Mission Viejo candidates (original recommendation was for endorsement of Frank Ury and Wendy Bucknum, but not Cathy Schlict nor Ed Saches) pulled by Scott Peotter

San Juan Capistrano City Council – Sam Allevato

8:02 PM: Debate begins.  State Assemblywoman Diane Harkey moves and Lucille Kring seconds to endorse Sam Allevato for San Juan Capistrano City Council.  Allan Bartlett and Deborah Pauly will speak against.

8:04 PM: Harkey speaks of being dragged through the mud in politics.  She states many lies have been spread about Allevato.  She says there are five high schools in San Juan Capistrano: one public and four private.  She speaks of heavy congestion from the proximity of the schools.  She gets booed when she attempts to speak over time.

8:07 PM: Baugh reiterates the time limits.

8:08 PM: Pauly speaks of the controversy about the tax on religious schools and the property tax increases.  She speaks of the importance of following the process in which the endorsements committee recommended delaying consideration of San Juan Capistrano City Council until October.

8:10 PM: In an unusual action, Harkey speaks again in favor of Allevato since no one else is planning to speak in support of him.  She speaks of the debt and septic issues in the City of San Juan Capistrano.

8:13 PM: Slight delay as speakers exchange places.

8:14 PM: Bartlett praises Harkey.  He speaks against Allevato due to Allevato sending a 2010 mailer supporting Larry Agran and opposing Jeff Lalloway.

8:16 PM: Jon Fleischman asks for the Endorsements Committee’s rationale behind recommending a delay until October.

8:16 PM: Bucher explains several candidates applied late and that many people had concerns about the candidates.

8:17 PM: Don Wagner asks about the Allevato Irvine mailer that was pro-Agran and anti-Lalloway.

8:17 PM: Allevato says he works for Forde & Mollrich but not on the campaign side.  A quote was included from him as a retired IPD Lieutenant supporting Larry Agran.

8:18 PM: Bartlett says, “For the record, Jeff Lalloway opposes the endorsement of Allevato.”  Harkey says, “For the record, Jeff’s my alternate!”  Baugh rules both out of order.

8:19 PM: In response to a question, Allevato defends the tax on the religious school as a student impact fee that the school agreed to pay.  He goes on to explain the intricacies of student impact fees in San Juan Capistrano.

8:23 PM: Harkey asks Allevato to explain various land use decisions.

8:24 PM: Allevato speaks of various issues related to sewage costs from a plant in San Juan Capistrano.

8:26 PM: Baugh states it looks like the committee is not supportive of the motion to endorse Allevato.

8:26 PM: Harkey says he wants to go for it, and his wishes should be respected.

8:27 PM: Allevato says he (and Ginny Kerr) answered his questionnaire on time and got his signatures.   Allevato says the other candidates failed to do so.

8:27 PM: Bartlett moves and John Draper seconds a substitute motion to delay to October (restoring the Endorsement Committee’s original recommendation).

8:28 PM: By voice vote, the committee refers the Allevato endorsement back to the Endorsements Committee.

Elizabeth Emken Speaks

8:29 PM: Bucher asks Baugh to let Elizabeth Emken speak, and Baugh agrees.

8:30 PM: Former CRP Chair Ron Nehring praises the OC GOP.  He praises the efforts of the OC GOP on behalf of Assemblyman Allan Mansoor and Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer.  He speaks of watching the DNC.  He praises Mitt Romney and blasts Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  He begins to introduce Elizabeth Emken by speaking of the importance of fighting for every seat from Mosquito Abatement District to U.S. Senate.

8:33 PM: Emken demands that Feinstein discuss her record.  Emken speaks of her own education and financial background.  She speaks of her efforts on behalf of her autistic son and other autistic children.  She speaks of her efforts to lobby Congress.  She says, “Obamacare is bad for everyone.”  She challenged Feinstein to debate and notes even the LA Times says Emken deserves the right to debate Feinstein.  She says the LA Daily News and the OC Register agree.  She says 123,000 people have seen the footage from ABC 7 in Los Angeles of Feinstein refusing to agree to debate.  Emken asks for money and plugs her web site.

Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3 – Brett Franklin and Charles Hart

8:41 PM: There was a quick discussion that although the Endorsements Committee did not have the power to recommend a dual endorsement in Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3, that the Central Committee does have that power and so both Brett Franklin and Charles Hart are endorsed.

8:42 PM: Baugh asks for a vote again just to make sure.  The Central Committee votes unanimously to endorse both Franklin and Hart.

Irvine City Council – Lynn Schott

8:43 PM: Baugh speaks of the 25-year inability of the Republican Party to remove Larry Agran from the Irvine City Council.  He speaks of the OC GOP prioritizing Costa Mesa this year.  Baugh asks Lynn Schott about her former alternate Patrick Rodgers who attacked the Costa Mesa Council majority and the Costa Mesa Charter.

8:46 PM: Schott says Rodgers was a strong supporter in 2010.  She says she was completely unaware of Rodgers’s statements until the Endorsements Committee meeting.  She says she tries to not read blogs.  She condemns Rodgers’s statements and “repudiates” the attempt to frame Righeimer for DUI.  Rodgers admitted to her that he had gone too far.  She obtained his resignation on September 7 (the same week that she learned of his statements).  She says she fully supports Prop 32 and opposes the unions’ efforts to “consolidate their power over choosing City Councilmembers” and other governmental bodies.  She says she is against defined benefit retirement programs and favors defined contribution retirement programs.

8:51 PM: Schott is endorsed by a unanimous voice vote.

Orange City Measure FF

8:51 PM: Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly speaks of being contacted by numerous Republicans expressing their concerns about Measure FF.  Pauly says the “No on FF” side did not get a chance to speak to the Endorsements Committee.  She says thousands of  Republicans, independents, and Democrats signed a petition to get a referendum to force FF on to the ballot.  She says this is an issue that is divisive to Republicans, and she moves that the Republican Party take no stance on Measure FF.

8:54 PM: Orange Mayor Pro Tem Denis Bilodeau speaks of the landowner wishing to build 36 homes on 50 acres of land on a 4-1 vote, who he notes the 1 is a Democrat who is receiving bundled campaign contributions from “No on FF.”  Bilodeau says it is a property rights issue and makes a substitute motion to endorse Measure FF (reverting to the original recommendation from the Endorsements Committee).

8:57 PM: Marcia Gilchrist speaks in favor of Bilodeau’s substitute motion.  She says the people objecting to the construction of the homes are trying to impeded a property owner from doing what they want with their own land.

8:58 PM: By voice vote, the OC GOP endorses “Yes on Measure FF.”

Fullerton City Council – Jennifer Fitzgerald

9:00 PM: Tim Whitacre moves to not endorse Jennifer Fitzgerald for Fullerton City Council, with Allan Bartlett seconding.  He speaks of Barry Levinson’s efforts on behalf of Fullerton.  He says Levinson is no longer seeking the party endorsement to prevent divisiveness in the OC GOP.  Whitacre provides an email showing Fitzgerald asking Tony Bedolla on behalf of her client (Troy Edgar) to bundle $99 contributions from union members.

9:03 PM: County Supervisor Shawn Nelson speaks of being the only person in the room to face $1.2 million in hostile union IEs.  He speaks of the 2002 successful effort to drive Democrat Jan Flory off the Fullerton City Council, but Flory is running again.  Nelson speaks of her history working for Republicans.  Nelson says he previously supported Levinson, but Levinson has made two unsuccessful bids for Fullerton Council.  He notes a conservative woman has not been elected to the Fullerton City Council since 1986.

9:06 PM: Baugh notes that in the OC GOP union-free pledge, the party welcomes contributions of individual union members but not of the union itself.

9:07 PM: Fullerton Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker notes that his city has had two recalls in two decades.  He says there is an opportunity for Fullerton right now.  He says he has a bias in favor of activism.  He says Republicans should have bold colors not pale pastels.  Whitaker expresses his concern about her relative lack of public statements on issues other than outsourcing the Fullerton Police Department to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  Whitaker urges OC GOP neutrality between Fitzgerald and Levinson.

9:09 PM: My Central Committee member arrives, so my alternate voting power is gone.  I now only wear one hat as your intrepid blogger.

9:10 PM: Mary Young speaks of knowing Fitzgerald for 19 years.  She says if someone is an activist for 17 years but is gone for 2 years, that 2 years of inactivity does not outweigh the 17 years of activism.

9:11 PM: By voice vote, the committee did something.  No one is sure what happened.

9:12 PM: There is now a standing vote.

9:15 PM: The count is 31 people voting in favor of the party being neutral between Fitzgerald and Levinson, and 23 people voting in favor of endorsing Fitzgerald.

There is no endorsement for Fullerton City Council, other than incumbents Bruce Whitaker and Travis Kiger, who were endorsed in August.

Anaheim City Council – Brian Neil Chuchua

9:16 PM: Tim Whitacre moves to endorse Brian Chuchua, with Baron Night seconding.  Whitacre notes Lodge opted to withdraw his own endorsement request.  Whitacre warns of the union’s big push in Anaheim.  He says that Mayor Tom Tait needs all the help he can get.  He says Tait lobbied the party to not endorse Lodge.  Whitacre praises Chuchua as a good conservative who can help Mayor Tait.

9:18 PM: Baugh asks Whitacre if Tait has endorsed Chuchua.

9:18 PM: Whitacre says, “Tait has not yet endorsed Mr. Chuchua at this time.”

9:18 PM: Jon Fleischman says he is uncomfortable voting to endorse Chuchua if Mayor Tait has not endorsed him.  He wants to hear from Mayor Tait.

9:19 PM: Pauly asks for the Endorsements Committee to clarify its rationale against Chuchua.

9:20 PM: Mary Young notes that Chuchua gave money to a Democrat.

9:20 PM: Ray Grangoff express his concern about the lack of the endorsement from Tait.

9:20 PM: Supervisor Shawn Nelson asks who the Democrat was.

9:21 PM: Chuchua says the Democrat was Anaheim City School District Candidate John Santoianni, “a personal friend.”

9:21 PM: Lucille Kring notes that Mayor Tait has only endorsed John Leos so far.  She notes Tait has not endorsed a second candidate.

9:22 PM: Thomas Gordon notes Kring told she’d prefer Chuchua as her Council colleague.

9:22 PM: Tim Whitacre says he has been reimbursed by Chuchua for various expenses related to Chuchua’s campaign.

9:23 PM: There is a standing vote.  There are 29 votes in favor of endorsing Chuchua, and there are 11 votes against endorsing Chuchua.  Chuchua joins Lucille Kring as the OCGOP-endorsed candidates for Anaheim City Council.

Jesse Petrilla Returns

9:26 PM: Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Jesse Petrilla is given a standing ovation after returning within the last week from his service with the Army National Guard in Afghanistan.

Mission Viejo City Council

9:28 PM: Baugh reads the minutes from the Endorsements Committee, though several Central Committee members ask me if Baugh is reading this post since the minutes sounds a lot like OC Political.

9:31 PM: Ray Grangoff speaks of Bucknum’s strong conservative record and property rights record.

9:33 PM: Larry Gilbert brings up various documents and exhibits showing Frank Ury backing Democrat Dave Leckness and Wendy Bucknum with a union-paid sign in her yard, with her support for Leckness and Trish Kelley, neither of whom were endorsed by the OC GOP.  (Scott Voigts says, “Wow” throughout Gilbert’s remarks.)  Gilbert shows a campaign finance report showing Ury linked to Democrats.

9:36 PM: Baugh has to ask Gilbert to leave the stage after Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh repeatedly stated that Gilbert’s time was up.

9:37 PM: Young argues Leckness has a conservative voting record and that activist Shirley Morgan had tried repeatedly to make Leckness re-register as a Republican.  Young asks what in Leckness’s voting record is not conservative.

9:38 PM: Bill Dunlap says the party should not pick between winners and losers because there are two spots and four Republicans seeking the seat.

9:39 PM: In response to an audience question, Baugh notes there are four Republicans among the six candidates.

9:39 PM: Peotter moves for no endorsement in Mission Viejo, and there is a near-unanimous voice vote for the OC GOP to be neutral in Mission Viejo.

Fountain Valley City Council – Steve Nagel

9:40 PM: Nagel endorsed with all but one vote.

Garden Grove City Council – Steve Jones

9:40 PM: Steve Sarkis moves and Denis Bilodeau seconds to endorse Steve Jones for re-election to Garden Grove City Council.

9:41 PM: Tim Whitacre moves to not endorse Jones because Jones has endorsed Democrat Tom Daly for State Assembly.

9:41 PM: Jones denies endorsing Daly.

9:42 PM: Baugh asks if he’s endorsed Republican Assembly Candidate Jose Moreno.

9:42 PM: Jones endorses Moreno on the spot.

9:42 PM: By voice vote, Jones is endorsed unanimously.

Newport Beach City Measure EE

9:44 PM: A representative speaks of a charter commission that amended various charter provisions seeking to update 58 year old language, streamline government, and reduce costs by eliminating class-action lawsuits.

9:47 PM: Scott Peotter blasts the measure’s compensation provisions that legalizes generous salaries and benefits for Councilmembers. He notes the Register opposes EE.

9:49 PM: Miraculously, Deborah Pauly and Jon Flesichman unite to make and second a motion to send Measure EE to the Endorsements Committee in October. The Central Committee applauses stunned that Pauly and Flesichman are united. They vote unanimously to support the Pauly-Fleischman motion.

Tustin City Measure HH

9:50 PM: Doug Davert says Measure HH eliminates Tustin City Council compensation.

9:50 PM: The vote to endorse Measure HH passes unanimously.

Central Committee Business

9:51 PM: Mary Young updates efforts on voter registration, including from Assemblywoman Diane Harkey.

9:53 PM: Norm Dickinson speaks of various bylaw cleanup amendments including conforming ex officio membership requirements to Prop 14.

9:56 PM: The bylaw amendments pass unanimously by voice vote.

9:57 PM: Zonya Townsend presents the Volunteer of the Month Award to Shalon Norman. Various other people make presentations to Norman.

10:03 PM: Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh is pleased to report there have been no ethics complaints so far in 2012. Marsh disputes the election polls, and notes the 21-14 football victory of #21 Stanford over #2 USC.

10:05 PM: There’s a report from Diane Glinchey regarding the Romney campaign efforts in OC and in several swing states.

10:07 PM: Ronea Hart speaks of the Team Santa Ana precinct walk at the Santa Ana GOP GOTV HQ and the Santa Ana TEA Party meeting.

10:08 PM: One speaker notes today is the 225th anniversary of the Constitution.

10:09 PM: Steve Sarkis reports on his discoveries of enormous signs for “No on 32” being delivered to a union hall.

10:09 PM: Mike Munzing plugs his fundraiser for Aliso Viejo Council.

10:10 PM: Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Tony Beall spoke of the GOTV HQ in his area.

10:11 PM: Kermit Marsh wins the raffle after pulling out a huge wad of tickets. He says the key to winning is buying the most tickets. Marsh’s victory is verified, and the meeting adjourns.

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Frank Ury Omitted Several Of His Past Council Votes To Maintain Lifetime Medical Benefits For Council Members When He Appeared Before The Republican Party Endorsement Committee

Posted by Greg Woodard on September 16, 2012

I currently am the only member on the Central Committee from Mission Viejo.  We have four conservatives running for two spots.  Consequently, I’m recommending we vote no endorsement for any candidate, and let the Mission Viejo voters decide in November.

On September 5, 2012, incumbent Frank Ury, and three other conservative candidates for Mission Viejo City Council, went before the GOP Endorsement Committee.  When Ury spoke, he touted his conservative principles and his list of endorsements (see Chris Nguyen’s extensive coverage here: https://ocpolitical.com/2012/09/05/ocgop-endorsements-committee-meets/).  Endorsement Committee member Thomas Gordon asked Ury whether he had voted to bestow lifetime medical benefits on part-time council members.  To his credit, Ury was prepared for the question.  Ury stated that he had voted to rescind lifetime benefits for council members and he produced an affidavit he presented at the July 6, 2010 Council meeting that purported to irrevocably release any lifetime medical benefits he may be entitled to.

After hearing the candidates and their supporters and detractors, the Endorsement Committee voted 4-2 to recommend Ury for endorsement by the full Central Committee.  The Endorsement Committee also voted 4-2 to recommend endorsement for challenger Wendy Bucknum.  Having made two recommendations, the Committee effectively voted against endorsing the other conservative incumbent, Cathy Schlicht.

Ury’s response to Gordon was incomplete.  Ury gave the impression that he never had voted for lifetime medical benefits for part-time council members.  In doing so, Ury left out several key votes he made that allowed such benefits.  Here is a brief rundown of those votes:

In 2000, a prior City Council voted to provide lifetime medical benefits for city employees and their spouses who had 12 years of continuous service with the city (we can debate the wisdom of that boondoggle at a different time).  Subsequently, the issue was raised as to whether or not this policy would apply to council members.  On May 19, 2008, six months before he was up for re-election to the Council, Ury proposed a resolution to eliminate lifetime medical benefits for council members.  The measure passed 5-0.

On November 17, 2008, the first Council meeting after Ury was re-elected to a second 4 year term, Ury made a motion to adopt a resolution that would re-instate lifetime medical benefits for council members and give them the option of declining the benefits.  The measure passed 3-1 with Ury voting to re-instate lifetime medical benefits.

On June 21, 2010, Councilmember Cathy Schlicht proposed eliminating lifetime medical benefits for current and future council members.  The proposal failed 2-3 with Ury voting against it, keeping lifetime medical benefits in place.

On July 6, 2010, Schlicht again proposed eliminating lifetime medical benefits.  This time, the measure passed 4-1, with only Ury voting against.  Ury had earlier attempted to get a vote to lay the item on the table (for those parliamentary procedure fans like Kermit Marsh, that means Ury tried to avoid voting on Schlicht’s motion), but it failed.

It was at that same July 6, 2010 meeting that Ury presented his affidavit, including a memo that stated, “When I first brought this up over two years ago, and even as recently as a few months ago, the Council taking action to revoke this benefit was criticized under the argument that the Council could change its action in the future.  Therefore, executing this irrevocable release is the best and proper way to ensure that any claims to this benefit are severed. I have executed the documents and have therefore revoked this benefit. This has been delivered to the City Attorney and is on file with the City.”

I would note that Councilmember Trish Kelley also submitted an affidavit purporting to irrevocably release any lifetime medical benefits she may be entitled to at the July 6, 2010 Council meeting.  However, she also voted in favor of Schlicht’s motion to eliminate lifetime medical benefits, while Ury opposed it.

The Endorsement Committee’s recommendations for Ury and Bucknum should be heard by the full Central Committee at its meeting tomorrow night.  No candidate, however conservative, is perfect, and while Republicans often agree on a majority of issues, there will always be disagreement between us.  I have supported Ury’s positions on several occasions (particularly in opposing the anti-property rights Measure D that was defeated in 2010.)  However, for me personally, public pension and benefits are out of control, and I cannot agree with any vote to give lifetime benefits for part-time council members, regardless of the reason.  Ury voted to re-instate lifetime benefits for council members, and twice voted against removing those benefits.  Accordingly, I urge the full Central Committee to take a neutral stance at tomorrow night’s meeting and not endorse any candidate for Mission Viejo City Council.

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