Money, And Lots Of It...
Within the past few days the Daily Pilot has provided us with some very interesting issues to consider as we head for the home stretch in this years municipal elections.
THE TROIKA DOMINATES FUND RAISING
HERE, they provided us with the most recent campaign contribution information on the Costa Mesa candidates. The "CM Press Troika" - Jim Righeimer, Gary Monahan and Eric Bever - have collected more than $140,000 between them - more than $100,000 greater than the next candidate, Katrina Foley, who has raised just over $30,000. Riggy is the BIG DOG on this list, with just under $60,000 raised so far.
DOLLARS VISIBLE ALL OVER TOWN
I'm not surprised at these numbers. Bever spent $50,000 in his campaign four years ago. Campaign signs, many of which violate our municipal ordinances on the placement of such signs and their size, for the "Troika", are plastered all over town and our mailboxes are filled with slate mailers for those three.
Even more interesting is the article, HERE, that presents an interesting dilemma for Gary Monahan. This one tells us that local businessman, Surat Singh, has provided a $7,000 contribution to Monahan's campaign according to sworn statements on Monahan's Form 460 - the campaign finance disclosure forms. Opponent Bill Sneen thought that contribution was curious - it was apparently from an entity identified as the Chino Hills Country Club, which showed a Newport Blvd. address. So, he nosed around a little and spoke with Singh, who told him that he had paid Monahan $7,000 for consulting that he and fellow-former mayor Peter Buffa did to help him acquire land in Chino Hills where he plans to build a country club. He told Sneen the money was not a campaign contribution because he couldn't deduct it as a business expense as such.
DAILY PILOT CONFIRMS STORY
The Daily Pilot got wind of this issue and reporter Alan Blank interviewed Singh, who confirmed the facts as presented above. However, Monahan says that money was, indeed, a campaign contribution on which he is not obligated to pay income tax.
Somebody's not telling the truth here. I cannot think of a single reason Surat Singh would lie about this issue. He is a highly respected member of the Costa Mesa business community who Monahan recognized with the "Mayor's Award" in 2004 for his philanthropy. That leaves Monahan, who has filled out these forms many, many times over his previous 12 year tenure on the City Council. It's unlikely that the inclusion on the Form 460 was a simple mistake - which Monahan is not claiming, by the way.
TRUST IS IMPORTANT
I mention this because trust is very important when considering the votes you will make on November 4th. I've already said I'm not voting for Monahan, and listed the many reasons for that decision. This new information only affirms my decision... trust is important.
FINAL FORUM ON TUESDAY
A reminder, Tuesday, October 28th, is the date of the final Costa Mesa City Council Candidate Forum. This event will be held at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 2850 Fairview. It begins promptly at 6:30 pm and is scheduled to conclude at 8:00 pm. The candidates have been provided the questions in advance, so one can hope for a polished performance by each of them.
WHO WILL SHOW UP?
I find myself wondering if they all will show up. Eric Bever, for example, stiffed the good folks at Halecrest and Mesa Del Mar last week when he failed to show up for their forum. I wonder if he will take a pass on this one, too. I also wonder if Monahan will duck this event to avoid questions on his financial situation?
See you there...