"Riggy" Looking For A "Giggy"? Political Patronage, Costa Mesa Style
As I scanned down the names of the candidates for appointment to the Planning and Parks and Recreation commissions tonight I found a few I didn't recognize. So, as a guy with way too much time on his hands, I did some Googling and found some interesting entries on one of those unfamiliar names - James Righeimer.
It seems that Mr. Righeimer is a very well connected political activist who has been floating around Orange County for a few years. Sources tell me he's been a campaign manager for Congressman Dana Rohrabacker recently.
One particularly interesting entry from the internet is an entry dated 1/6/06 on the FLASHREPORT authored by Jon Fleischman, Executive Director of the California Republican Party from 1999 to 2001. In his post, Fleischman touts Righeimer as a the next Republican candidate for the 68th Assembly District, replacing Van Tran, who was slotted to make a run for the 34th District Senate seat. Fleischman goes on and on in his posting about what a good soldier "Riggy" is, providing a history of his loyal activism to the Orange County Republican Party. The political gods conspired against those moves, so Righeimer was left without a seat when the music stopped.
I'll be watching tonight's City Council meeting with great interest. The agenda item regarding the appointments comes very, very late in the meeting, at a time almost guaranteeing sparse attendance by residents and minimal viewers on Costa Mesa TV. The placement of this item way down at the end will certainly reduce the chance of any questions about potential appointees and their qualifications.
I expect the New Majority to stack the deck with their cronies on both commissions. However, if they place Righeimer on the Planning Commission it will be the most flagrant example of political patronage I can recall in Costa Mesa. Here's a guy who, until recently, resided in Fountain Valley, then moves to Costa Mesa after his pal, Rohrabacker, helps our young jailer/mayor get re-elected. From what I read in many pieces on the internet, it sure looks to me like "Riggy", as Fleischman calls him, is just another political opportunist looking for a nest. How else do we explain a guy who, a year ago, was being touted as the next Assemblyman for the 68th District showing up in Costa Mesa as a probable appointee to the relatively lowly Planning Commission? Don't be surprised to see him appointed to the Planning Commission this year, then mount a well-financed campaign for Katrina Foley's seat on the City Council in 2008.
I sure hope someone takes down that sign that says "Carpetbaggers Welcome" at the entrance to Costa Mesa soon! I'm really getting tired of outsiders like Jim Gilchrist and his Minuteman Mob, Rohrabacker and now Righeimer stomping into our city to take it over.