Friday, August 08, 2008

Dixon Bails - Eight Ready to Rumble

LONG DISTANCE SURPRISE!
From afar I contacted the Costa Mesa City Clerk's office shortly after the witching hour of 5:00 p.m. today - the time when all potential candidates were required to submit their nomination papers. As of that time, eight of the nine people who had pulled their papers earlier had returned them. Only Councilwoman (and former mayor) Linda Dixon failed to meet the deadline.

DIXON FORCES EXTENSION OF FILING DATE
Because Dixon is an incumbent, her decision to not seek re-election this time around means that the filing date is extended until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 13. She is not eligible for the extension. That means that there is still time for someone to pull papers, get the petition signatures required and return them by Wednesday. Considering the number of candidates currently on the ballot, I don't really expect to see any added starters this year, but you never know.

EIGHT - JUST LIKE A PACKAGE OF HOT DOGS
So, unless something is amiss with their papers, the candidates from which Costa Mesa voters will select three council members in November are, in no particular order, Katrina Foley, Eric Bever, Gary Monahan, Nicholas Moss, William Sneen, Lisa Reedy, Christopher Bunyan and Jim Righeimer.


HEAVY HITTERS IN THE STARTING BLOCKS
This campaign season will probably be the most interesting in more than a decade, made particularly so because of the experience available for the voters to assess. Bever and Monahan have been mayors of the city, with Monahan serving 12 years on the council and the only council member in the city's history who is eligible for a pension. Foley has served with distinction for nearly four years after a stellar tour on the Planning Commission. Moss, Sneen and Reedy are newcomers and Righeimer is a seasoned politician and an integral part of the Orange County GOP hierarchy. Yes, this is going to be fun.

MORE TO COME...
This will give you something to chew on over the weekend. More next week.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Mouth Fights Back - Kinda

CRUISIN' THE BLOGS
This morning, as is my practice, I scanned the various blogs, trying to see what pearls of wisdom they might be casting before us swine. Seldom am I disappointed, because at least a couple of them have timely, topical issues for us to consider.

THE MOUTH SPEWS
As I clicked on the CM Press, the blog authored by a person referred to here variously as "Your Nei
ghbor", "Mr. U. Know-Who" (His name for himself) and, yesterday, "The Mesa North Mouth", I noted that his entry, #448, published at 9:00 this morning is a long one. Since he's such a superior writer, I settled in to see how much goo he managed to squeeze out of his Mensa-mind for us this morning. I've linked it HERE so you can do the same.

DR. F
REUD CALLING...
As I read through his piece I found myself continually thinking how fascinating it was that he provided us with an amazingly candid bit of self-analysis. I mean, the kind of self-assessment he was laying on us usually comes from years of therapy, for goodness sake. Only as we near the end of his piece, which described him to a "T", are we told that he thought he was describing someone else! Me, maybe? Excuse me while I
continue chuckling...

I WAS RIGHT - AGAIN

You will recall in my previous entry that I commented that this guy goes on full attack when folks t
ake umbrage with his views. Well, it took less than 12 hours for that little bit of prediction to come true. Thanks to The Mouth for proving me right once again. He's so darn predictable...

JIMMY OLSON,
CUB REPORTER?
Oh, yes, I find myself wondering why this guy - who portrays himself as some kind of a crusading reporter, out to fight crime in our city - has failed to mention the big sweep that snatched up WHITE biker gang members in Costa Mesa yesterday. Maybe it's the same reason he failed to mention the county-wide sweep of White Supremacists that snatched up 20 miscreants in Costa Mesa alone a couple years ago. I think he needs to crawl back into his cave, re-tune his police scanner and adjust his rabbit ear antenna so it picks up something other than purported Latino crimes in our city. What a hypocrite!

AWAITING
HIS RETORT - AGAIN
Uh-oh, do you think he'll be unhappy with this entry? How long will it take him to strike back? I'm betting he just tacks another comment on his current entry instead of generating a whole, new numbered post... let's see...

***
NEWS F
LASH!
As of noon on Thursday only one candidate, Bill Sneen, has returned his nomination papers to the City Clerk. There are still 8 potential candidates out there with those
petitions and papers clutched in their little hands, waiting to return them. The deadline is close of business Friday - tomorrow - unless one of the incumbents decides not to run after all, then it's extended five days. The clock is ticking!


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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"The Mouth" Chimes In On Riggy

THAT DIDN'T TAKE LONG!
Well, it didn't take long for Your Neighbor, The Mesa North Mouth, to sign in on the fact that old Riggy - carpetbagging Planning Commissioner, Jim Righeimer - has pulled papers to run for Costa Mesa City Council. Nope, that yapping hyena jumped right in with a posting on his blog outlining just how effective his "improvers" have been in getting marginally qualified candidates elected to the council over the past decade.

THIS IS
"ACCOMPLISHMENT"?
Yes, he tells us that Chris Steel - arguably the least competent elected official in Costa Mesa history - was their first "accomplishment". To me, that's a lot like taking credit for the plague. What he neglects to mention is that, once Steel realized that he was being manipulated by him, he turned his back on The Mouth. To Steel's credit, his greatest accomplishment while in office may have been rejecting the influence of The Mouth. It cost him re-election (if we're to believe previous gloats by The Mouth) and may have, in fact, put his personal well-being in jeopardy if you believe the rumors floating around.

WHAT A LEGACY!
The Mouth continues to take credit for Mansoor (twice), Bever and Leece. Now, there's a proud legacy if I ever saw one! In Mansoor you have a career babysitter/jailer who can't cut it as a real cop and who became a pawn of the radical right and a tool of the OC GOP. With Bever you have a guy who never met a Brown Act violation he couldn't make and obviously still aspires to a career as a stand-up comedian when his illustrious career in politics comes to an end - hopefully in November. And then there's Wendy Leece, who rode Mansoor's coattails to victory two years ago and, apparently unable to find worthwhile work to do, made it her goal to persecute the seniors in our city. What a team!

THE MOUTH LOSING CONTROL
It looks to me as though The Mouth is not all that happy about Riggy deciding to take the plunge this time around. Obviously, Riggy has a different set of masters in the form of the OC GOP hierarchy, including his buddy Dana Rohrabacher (for whom he acts as campaign manager), and Scott Baugh - the current kingmaker in the OC GOP. No, The Mouth certainly will not be able to call the shots as far as Riggy is concerned.

RIGGY - MAN OF ACTION (LOOK OUT!)
Old Riggy is a "get-it-done" kind of guy - long on action, short on patience. In that regard, he's similar to The Mouth. I get the feeling that, if Riggy's elected, you'd better not blink or "things" will happen - things you may not wish to have happening. One thing is certain, he's got more brain power, business acumen and real political moxey than those other three combined.

THE MOUTH CONTINUES TO FROTH
It's very amusing that The Mouth sees a threat to his influence on the council in the presence of Jim Righeimer. As those of know who have been, and continue to be, the subject of his wrath, he's not a guy who takes rejection easily. Those who read his blog regularly know that recently he's been frustrated by his inability to identify the author of the CM Truth blog. He continues to try to flush him out, I assume to be able to attack him directly as he does with me several times each week. Expect to see him go on the attack if he perceives a threat to his plans. In the meantime, I'll just keep chuckling at his frustrated, feeble attempts to chide and belittle those of us who disagree with him.

***

LOBDELL'S OC
In an earlier post I mentioned former Los Angeles Times and Daily Pilot staffer Bill Lobdell's new blog, postulating that it will be interesting to watch. Well, boy, was I right! Slide over to the link on the right and click on it. It's been up for less than a week and it's smokin'!

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Riggy And Bunyan Make It Nine!

NINE FANNIES FOR THREE SEATS
In this
wonderful game of musical chairs we play every two years, Planning Commissioner Jim Righeimer and businessman Chris Bunyan today tossed their hats into the Costa Mesa City Council race this fall, to make it a nice, uneven 9 candidates for the three seats available. This might change if some folks who pulled papers earlier fail to return them by Friday. And, of course, there's still time for more candidates to surface. Until then, we now have three times the number of fannies than seats available.

FOUR V
ETERANS ( INCLUDING THREE MAYORS)
The way it stands right now, incumbent council members Katrina Foley, Linda Dixon and Eric Bever have pulled papers, along with former three-term council member Gary Monahan, who will look like an incumbent to many voters because of his previous long, long, long tenure on the council. That gives us three current or former mayors in the mix.

FOUR NEWBIES PLUS BUNYAN AND RIGGY

Additionally, newcomers Lisa Reedy, William Sneen and Nicholas Moss will be joined by 2006 also-ran Chris Bunyan and Righeimer (if you can actually count him as a "newcomer" with a straight face) in the race for a seat at the big table in November.

WILL RIGGY SPOOK THE NEWBIES?

It's assumed that the new candidates understood that Foley, Dixon, Bever and Monahan were running, but I find myself wondering if Righeimer's presence will cause any of the newcomers to reconsider their candidacy. His high-level connections in the Orange County GOP will certainly make him anything but a run-of-the-mill newcomer. He's a seasoned politician, has access to lots of potential big donors and is a pretty smart guy. I suspect there's no chance of him entering the race unless he seriously thinks he can win one of the seats available. A loss in this race might make his viability for future higher office suspect.

ANY VOTES LEFT?
With Riggy in the mix now, along with Foley, Dixon, Bever and Monahan, it seems to me that there simply are not going to be many votes left for the new folks. All of these experienced campaigners have solid name recognition, a record of accomplishment (whether you agree with it or not) have access to big campaign bucks and know how to run a campaign. Of these five, Bever is probably the least proficient campaigner... After spending around $50,000, he edged out Bruce Garlich by a mere 44 votes when they ran in 2004.

INCUMBENT MAYOR OUT - AGAIN?
In fact, this may be another of those campaigns where the incumbent mayor gets knocked off - just as Allan Mansoor did to Linda Dixon not too long ago. So formidable is this field that it's entirely possible that Bever could be left without a place to sit when the music stops in November.

FRIDAY'S THE DAY - OR NOT
So, friends, Friday we will know if all these fine folks will actually stay in the race. If any of the incumbents fail to return their papers by that date the filing period extends into next week for any non-incumbent candidates to make their decisions. Then the door slams shut and the games begin.

FIRST FORUM IN TWO WEEKS

The first candidate forum will occur around the 20th of August. I've heard conflicting dates, so I'll get back to you on the actual time and date - which is when all the fun begins.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Demise of Print Journalism


DISINTEGRATION OF PRINT MEDIA
Those of us living here in sunny, shaky Southern California have been living with a fairly new phenomena - watching the print media around which many of our lives revolve disintegrate before our very eyes.

ELECTRONIC IS THE CHOICE OF YOUTH
The entire industry is undergoing a cataclysmic shift, and not for the better. Electronic media, including blogs, have replaced the inky print media as the choice of many - especially younger - readers when they are actually looking for real news.

REGISTER SHRINKING
Here in Orange County we find the Orange County Register undergoing significant cutbacks as that fine, old newspaper struggles like most others to make a profit these days. It's a serious issue.

ZELL DESTROYING TRIBUNE COMPANIES
Of even greater concern to me is what's happening to the Los Angeles Times and it's subsidiary local newspapers in the Times Community Newspapers group, including our very own Daily Pilot. The Times is part of the Tribune Companies, which was purchased by Sam Zell last year. True to form, Zell and his minions are systematically going about some cosmetic trimming of the component assets before trying to unload the pieces for more than the sum of the total. It's a business model that has worked elsewhere in the past, but it's going to fail this time around.

ZELL - RHYMES WITH...
Zell, whose name rhymes with a place he's very likely to end up if you believe current and former Times staffers, tried to sweet-talk staff members in the early stages of his purge. It didn't take long, however, for his ham-handed cutting to take off. The Times newsroom - editors and reporters - is attempting to operate with half the staff it had a year ago!

JOHNSON GONE
I wrote in a recent entry about the departure last week of Daily Pilot publisher and General Manager, Tom Johnson. He walked away from a job he'd held for 15 years, 17 if you count a couple years as Associate Publisher. He was the heart and soul of the Daily Pilot and the six other newspapers he managed. His absence has left the remaining staff reeling.

LOBDELL'S VIEW
I was recently directed to a brand new blog by former Los Angeles Times newsman Bill Lobdell, who also was the editor of the Daily Pilot for many years. In his initial entry on the blog - "Lobdell's OC", HERE, he provides insight into the Los Angeles Times situation with the perspective only an insider can bring. I've also linked to Lobdell's blog over on the right side of this page, because I suspect his body of work is going to be "interesting", to say the least.

I FEEL THEIR PAIN
I agonize for my friends at the Daily Pilot and hope the slashing of staff will stop soon. Through all the turmoil that has been swirling around for many months they have continued to soldier on, trying to provide the best news coverage possible. In most cases, they have succeeded.

VIBRANT PRINT MEDIA ESSENTIAL

In my opinion, we need a strong, vibrant print news media, supplemented by innovative electronic siblings. If the print media just fades away we will be left with blogs like this as your source of news - a truly bad idea! Let's hope someone reads Lobdell's blog and decides that his ideas have merit - and moves forward to salvage what's left of the Times and others before they are gone for good.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Jeff Overley on Banning Ranch in OC Register


OVERLEY ON BANNING RANCH
Jeff Overley, an
Orange County Register beat reporter for the Newport-Mesa, had a good article on Banning Ranch in that newspaper today. You can read it HERE. He did a good job of covering the positions of the opposing sides regarding the use of that 412 acre oil field and open space.
DROPPED THE BALL
Overley, usually a thorough and accurate reporter, did drop the ball on this one, though. Except for a solitary mention of the location of the meeting hosted by activists who oppose development of Banning Ranch, no other mention was made of Costa Mesa or it's stake in this issue.
MOST OFFICIALS AWOL
No mention was made of the fact that half the residents at this "Costa Mesa" kick-off were from Newport Beach. No mention was made of the fact that, with the exception of Newport Beach City Councilman Keith Curry (who's running for re-election this year), no other city official or staffer from either Costa Mesa or Newport Beach was present at the meeting.

OPPONENTS DEFINED

Yes, the fight for the future of Banning Ranch is being waged by environmentalists who want to preserve it and the developers who want to put 1375 homes and retail operations on the site. However, the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa are also adversaries on this issue.

NEWPORT BENEFITS, COSTA MESA PAYS THE BILL

Presently, the Banning Ranch is an unincorporated part of Orange County. But, the city of Newport Beach has tossed a one-foot wide noose around the land, which makes it all fall under it's sphere of influence. Costa Mesa, on the other hand, would certainly be the recipient of many of the negative elements of development - specifically, traffic on 19th Street, 17th Street and, possibly, 16th Street. Overley made no mention of this point in his article, which really does a disservice to the residents of Costa Mesa. He did mention an additional 14,000 daily auto trips that would be generated by the development, but doesn't mention that Costa Mesa would be expected to carry the bulk of that burden.

CANDIDATE POSITIONS ON BANNING RANCH?
It's clear that the fall elections in both Costa Mesa and Newport Beach will include the future of Banning Ranch as a campaign issue. Residents of both cities would do well to measure the views of candidates in their cities on this issue as the season moves on toward November.

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