Friday, November 07, 2008

"The Mouth" Nails It! (And Probably Didn't Even Know It)


WHAT DID HE SAY?!
Over at Hypocrite Central - the CM Press - The Mouth From Mesa North inadvertently finally told the truth about Costa Mesa politics.

LINCOLN CLUB THREAT
In his morning screed today he rants about the recent report in the Daily Pilot that honchos in that most conservative of organizations, The Lincoln Club, said they will cut off funding of some Republican politicians unless the national leadership isn't changed immediately.

FOR ONCE, HE'S RIGHT!
The Mouth goes on to say, "We couldn't agree more. In fact, we've been saying that the GOP was a slow moving train wreck during the whole Bush administration. The GOP has been pushing incompetent politicians, failed policies and lies since Bush took over." (emphasis is mine)

ONE MORE TIME, PLEASE

OK, read that last sentence again. They may never be a more clearly stated description of precisely what has been going wrong in Costa Mesa politics since the first part of this decade!

"THE MOUTH" NAILS IT!
The Mouth - a Mensa member, don't you know - is a really smart fella. In this case, he's nailed it! Ever since the Orange County GOP has stuck it's nose into Costa Mesa politics and greased the process with tons of bucks to get the likes of Allan Mansoor, Wendy Leece, Eric Bever and Gary Monahan elected to the City Council, things have gone down hill politically.

OC GOP FACILITATES REGRESSION
By facilitating the placement of this group of ultra-conservative intellectual lightweights on the Costa Mesa City Council, the Orange County GOP has saddled our city with philosophies of governance unseen around these parts since the first days of our city's founding in the middle of the last century. This group, who receive their marching orders from The Mouth (see previous post), are trying to turn back the clock in this city instead of looking forward.

BUTT OUT OF COSTA MESA POLITICS

This is one of those rare times I agree with The Mouth From Mesa North. It's time for the Orange County GOP to butt the heck out of local politics here in Costa Mesa. It's time for them to find another incubator in which to salvage their premature political fetuses.

JUST WHO ARE WE?
It's time for the good people of Costa Mesa to stop being led around by the nose by the Orange County GOP and it's wads of cash. Barack Obama carried Costa Mesa, for goodness sake!

NOT AN OBAMA SUPPORTER

Don't get me wrong - I'm not an Obama supporter. I think he's a silver-tongued lightweight with no real leadership experience and I'm holding my breath that he doesn't turn this great country into a socialist disaster. I, too, blame weak national Republican leadership for this debacle. But that doesn't mean that Costa Mesa should be led by goosestepping, right-wing idealogues.

FINALLY... So, thanks to The Mouth for finally speaking the truth. It's about time...

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Marching Orders Delivered!


LISTEN UP!
Attention, you "improver" council members and members-elect! (You can listen, too, Katrina)

"THE MOUTH" SPEAKS!
The keeper of all knowledge, your guiding light of the so-c
alled "improver movement", The Mouth From Mesa North, has issued his marching orders for you in his blog entry over at the CM Press. Normally, I don't link to his drivel, but it's important for you to have a song book for your next term of office so you don't stray from the path he has laid out for you. Here's the link.

PAY ATTENTION!
Your leader, The Mouth, has presented his game plan - 15 items for you to follow, whether you like it or not. I recommend that you pay close attention because there will be consequences if you don't. More on that later...

AN ARCHITECT HE AIN'T
At #5 on the list is his architectural preference for new homes on the Westside Bluffs - something he calls "industrial modern" - and he provides a photograph just in case those of you that are just a little slow can have a nice picture to help you understand. I'm
sure he will provide a coloring book if you need it. Of course, his example is located out in the wilds somewhere, with the closest neighbor about a quarter mile away. I look at that piece of corrugated metal, slab-sided, tin roofed junk and try to figure out why anyone would even consider putting something like that on Costa Mesa's Westside. I guess architecture is just another of the many careers at which he didn't excel - like acting.

LATINO EX
PULSION BLUEPRINT
I find number's 3, 8 and12 to be interesting. These items - "Increase ICE in Costa Mesa and r
emove even more illegal alien criminals", "Thin out dense slum 'blocks' by removing individual slum buildings and replacing them with parking lots or pocket parks." and "Stop spending citizen money on programs that attract and maintain illegal aliens in Costa Mesa."- are clearly directed at the Latino population of our city. No surprise here - he's anti-anything but white, so this fits his ongoing program of expulsion of Latinos from our city.

NO AUTHORITY
Number 9 in a real hoot. He says he wants you to "Ensure that whateve
r happens on Banning Ranch doesn't harm Costa Mesa." Now, how - exactly - would he have you do that? The City of Costa Mesa has no authority over Banning Ranch, thanks to that wonderful one-foot lasso of land that Newport Beach threw around it decades ago. Banning Ranch is private property, presently located in the County of Orange and within the sphere of influence of the City of Newport Beach. We get no vote on what happens there, one way or the other. Of course, you could vote to build a wall on our contiguous property lines there, but that would fly in the face of yet another of his instructions - number 6.

GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!
Number 6 instructs you to "Increase cooperation with Newport Beach on as many fronts as possible." I guess Banning Ranch wouldn't be one of those fronts, just as
the annexation issues are not one of those fronts, either. And, history shows us that the new council isn't eager to achieve harmony with our neighbors. Quite the contrary, at least three of the members that will be on the dais following the election have demonstrated hostility toward our neighbors.

STAG
GERING AROUND TRIANGLE SQUARE
Number 13, "Work to make the downtown area around Triangle Square a pedestrian friendly destination." This just makes me just shake my head. H
ow about using whatever influence the council has to make Triangle Square the vibrant retail center once envisioned, for goodness sakes! Right now the only businesses that are holding on are gin mills. Maybe The Mouth has a vision of a place that's friendly for the drunks that stagger out of those places in the wee hours of the morning.

WHAT?

Number 14 is another curious one. He directs you to "Work more with individual neighborhoods on neighborhood specific programs to improve
those neighborhoods." What the heck does that mean? Does that mean we all get together for a group hug? Some might say that it means, for example, working with the folks in Mesa North to find a way to encourage a certain resident to move to Idaho - I'll buy the ticket.

REGRESSION LESSON
There are many more, but I'll leave you with his instruction Number 11, " Consider changing our city's motto back to "Hub of the Harbor". What a crock! This one is the perfect example of what this guy wants
for our community - to turn back the clock a half-century.

SHAPE UP! TOE THAT L
INE!
So, council members, you've got your instructions, so get with it. Yes sir, you'd better follow his "guidance" because you know what happens if you don't. I'll remind you with two words - Chris Steel.



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THE LATEST ELECTION NUMBERS
On a happier note, the following is the chart showing the most recent election numbers. Not much has changed except Katrina Foley widened her lead on Eric Bever. Every candidate picked up a few votes in the past 24 hours, but not enough to change their relative positions.


WHO WILL LEAD?
I guess now we just wait for the election to be certified - maybe as early as the meeting of December 2nd, and to watch to see who is elected Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. I'll go out on a limb here and bet that Katrina Foley will not be nominated for either position - what do you think?

BUBBLE, BUBBLE...

I'm turning the Cauldron down to simmer for the weekend, so comments might be slow to get posted. Be patient...

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

24 HOURS LATER...


UPDATED NUMBERS - NO POSITION CHANGES
The follo
wing chart shows the Costa Mesa City Council race numbers as of 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Although a few more votes had been tallied, nothing changed as far as the positions in which the nine candidates finished the race.

LOOKING FOR A SILVER LINING
Today, still sleep-deprived after staying up until 3 a.m. to post the previous entry, I'm trying to come to grips with what the result of this election means. I suppose there must be something positive in a previously termed-out, 12 year councilman returning again to the municipal trough. I guess there must be something positive about a first term councilman and current mayor being returned to the dais even though he demonstrated unwarranted arrogance during the campaign and became virtually invisible during the last month. I'm trying, but I'm having a hard time with those two "winners".

FOLEY
'S COMING BACK!
I'm very happy that Katrina Foley will be returning to the City Council. She's been the smartest, best-prepared member over the past four years and that won'
t change as a result of this election. Now we'll find out if she is the most patient person up there.

A BLEAK FUTURE FOR FOLEY ON THE DAIS
One thing is certain - if Foley thought she had a tough time the past four years, she ain't seen nothin' yet, as the saying goes. She will now be part of a city council that is comprised of four so-called "improvers" and herself. That means the "improvers" hold what is known as a "Super Majority" - four-fifths of the votes. With those votes there is virtually nothing they can't do if they want to...

SOME FINAL POSITIONS SURPRISED ME
I was surprised by several of the vote tallies. I expected Nick Moss - a really nice young guy - to finish last, and he did. I did not expect Bill Sneen and Chris Bunyan to finish 7th and 8th, though. Both ran what appeared to be strong campaigns, while Lisa Reedy and Chris McEvoy - who ran bare-bones campaigns - finished ahead of them at 5th and 6th. Politics! I'll never figure it out...


WHAT HAPPENED TO RIGGY?
For me, perhaps the biggest surprise was the weak showing made by Jim Righeimer, who finished a v
ery distant fourth in the voting behind Eric Bever despite, from all reports, raising and spending more money than any other candidate. In the last month of the race his smiling face spilled out of my mailbox at a rate that was probably double any other candidate - it seemed that every other piece of literature had his face on it.

"THE MOUTH" HAS ALL THE ANSWERS

That yapping hyena, The Mouth From Mesa North, has it all figured out, though. In his blog entry this morning - I'll paraphrase for brevity - he implies that Righeimer didn't win a seat for several reasons. He thinks the Obamanization of this election (my word, not his) helped Foley score
votes to Riggy's detriment. He said Riggy lacked "the common touch" - which sounded very much like saying he didn't spend enough time kissing "improver" butts.

TOO W
ILLING TO GET ALONG?
Astonishingly, he also feels Riggy didn't win because "he was too willing to get along with the other side and would compro
mise too easily on important improvement issues." That's right - he thinks Riggy lost because he seemed willing to work with a broad cross-section of residents instead of simply following the "improver" party line. That statement by The Mouth defines precisely what is wrong with a city council dominated by narrow-minded "improvers". It makes me want to puke!!

WRONG SEX?
And, finally, The Mouth thinks Riggy should have a sex change operation. Yep, he thinks Riggy would have done better if he'd been a woman. I guess we'll have to advise Riggy that, if he's not willing to go "all the way" with a sex change, maybe he could become a "transgender" person next time around to satisfy The Mouth.

"THE MOUTH" WRAPS IT UP
So, there you have it on the whole Riggy issue - The Mouth has defined it very nicely. (URP!)

MARKING TIME FOR MONAHAN'S NEXT MOVE

That's all for tonight. I'll write some more about other candidates at a later date. Right now I'm thinking about setting up a pool to guess how long it takes the top vote-getter, Gary Monahan, to dredge up the subject of a directly-elected mayor again. He's back at the trough again and will be looking for a lifetime appointment so he won't have to worry about how much suds he sloshes at Skosh's every night.

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Election Results - 100% of Precincts Reporting


WEE HOURS FINALE
At 2 a.m. Wednesday morning the Registrar of Voters provided the following numbers, which represent 100% of the precincts counted. With the exception of some straggling numbers, this is how these races will look when finally certified.

INCUMBENTS (SORT OF) PREVAIL IN COSTA MESA
With 74 of 74 precincts counted, it looks like former councilman and Mayor, Gary Monahan will return to the municipal trough and, undoubtedly, will begin lobbying again for a directly elected mayor. Katrina Foley finished a strong second in balloting, outpacing Eric Bever by almost 600 votes. Jim Righeimer, despite lots of GOP money (and my support, too) finished a distant 4th, losing ground throughout the count and finishing well behind Bever. Lisa Reedy and Chris McEvoy, despite running bare bones campaigns, finished unexpectedly high in the final results. Despite campaigning hard, Bill Sneen finished 7th. Chris Bunyan garnered more votes than in his previous run and didn't finish last this time... thank goodness for Nick Moss.


INCUMBENTS WIN IN NEWPORT BEACH, TOO
It looks like Jack Croul's money didn't help. Steve Rosansky and Keith Curry won their seats back by 10 point margins, defeating Gloria Alkire and Dolores Otting, respectively.


ROHRABACHER, AGAIN

Despite all the hoopla about Dana Rohrabacher having to really push himself this time around, Debbie Cook fell well short of her goal of knocking off the perpetual representative. The 10 point margin is what the Daily Pilot predicted. Maybe Righeimer should have devoted less time to this campaign and more to his own...


CAMPBELL REMAINS IN OFFICE
Democrat Steve Young failed miserably in his attempt to defeat Republican John Campbell.


HARMAN AN EASY VICTOR
Republican State Senator Tom Harman easily defeated Democrat Ginny Mayer by a whopping 17 points.


VAN TRAN NOSES OUT ARNOLD
Republican Van Tran nosed out Democrat Ken Arnold by 5 points to hold his Assembly seat.


DEVORE WHIPS GLOVER

Republican Chuck Devore handily dispatched challenger Democrat Micheal George Glover with a 15 point margin.

WOULDA, COULDA, SHOULDA
Now the second-guessing will begin. Every candidate that didn't make it will go through all kinds of self-assessment, trying to figure out just how they could have done better. Some will look for someone else to blame, or complain that they were just out-spent. After all is said and done, regardless whether they were victorious or not, every one of the candidates on these lists deserve our gratitude for being willing to spend their time and money in an attempt to represent us in their various elected jobs. Thanks to them all for their efforts.


NEWPORT-MESA STILL REPUBLICAN COUNTRY

Looking at the results above and many others on the Registrar of Voters web site, it's clear that, even in light of Barack Obama's overwhelming victory last night, Orange County - and our little slice of it here in the Newport-Mesa - is still very much Republican territory.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Costa Mesa Election Results - 11/4/08

OK, here we go!!!

As of 8:45 p.m. Tuesday none of the Costa Mesa ballots had yet left the precincts according to the Registrar of Voters web site. I'll keep checking on the site and upda
te this entry several times this evening as the results warrant. Check back every once in awhile if you're interested.

Tuesday Night, 11/4/08 - 8:30pm

****

9:30 Results - 7 of 74 precincts reporting:


***

10:30 results - 19 of 74 precincts reporting:



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11:00 results - 21 of 74 precincts reporting:

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11:30 results - 33 of 74 precincts reporting:


***

12:00 a.m. Wednesday results - 53 of 74 precincts reporting:

12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning results - 54 of 74 precincts reporting
I don't understand why only one more precinct was reported since the last update a half hour earlier, but that's the case. Checking the tracking web site I find that the ballots from all Costa Mesa precincts have been received by the Registrar of Voters. Here's the results as of 12:30 a.m.:













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My Favorite Four-Letter Word


Today's the day! You can't complain later if you don't exercise your right to vote today. Ignore those illegal Bever and Monahan banners all over town and vote, preferably for my choices:

Katrina Foley

Jim Righeimer

Bill Sneen

Regardless, don't forget to vote!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Home Stretch!

MY MAILBOX OVERFLOWS WITH CAMPAIGN EFFLUENT
With
the elections only a couple days away and the finish line in sight, not much that happens regarding the local campaigns surprises me. My mail box continues to overflow with the effluent of political campaigns, each one more blatant than the last, extolling the virtues of one or more candidates, trying to convince undecided voters that their guy (or gal) is the best, hands down.

I HATE POLITICS

I really do hate politics because of what it does to people during campaigns - which sometimes begin immediately after they are elected the first time. It makes som
e of them even more brazen than they've been in the past. Minor character flaws seem to get amplified, much like the old Steve McQueen horror movie, "The Blob". Their audacity just seems to grow and grow and grow until it threatens to envelope everyone and everything around it.

WHENCE THE "GOOD OLD DAYS"?
I don't much like what it does to me, either. Sometimes I long for the goo
d old days - those nearly three decades when we first lived in Costa Mesa and paid only peripheral attention to local politics. I just knew that we were in good hands - or so I assumed. Unless someone tried to take my home via eminent domain or the public safety folks failed to respond, I thought things were just dandy. I suspect I was not unlike most folks, even today.

I BEGAN
PAYING ATTENTION
However, at the beginning of this decade I began paying attention and, much to my chagrin, found many things that seemed curious - including some of the folks that were running for office. So, I began paying attention
more closely and began writing letters to the editor when I thought something was particularly strange. That's how this whole "blog" thing began - with letters to the editor.

MY VIEWS
PUBLISHED
Cut to this year. We have a very, very interesting race for the Costa Mesa City Council this time around. I've discussed this previously several times. I formed opinions about all the nine candidates and rece
ntly wrote a letter to the editor to the Daily Pilot providing my views and choices for this election - nearly 1500 words worth of opinion - and the editors published it last week. I'm always very grateful when the editors of the Daily Pilot deem anything I submit worthy of publication. Sometimes they will eviscerate my submissions - this time they published every word and made it better, to boot. That letter is HERE.

FULL "MAILBAG" TODAY

Sunday they published
eight letters in their Mailbag section, including a couple that addressed the local city council race, one of which was directed specifically at me. That entire section may be read HERE.

"IMPROVE
R" DUO PENS RETORT
The letter in question was penned by long-time residents and Westside "improvers", Kathleen and Christian Eric. Both are lovely people. Chris has lived in this city all his life. Both have been leaders in the
self-named "improvers" group that has taken over our city government this decade.

CITY TAKE-OVER BY SELF-NAMED "IMPROVERS"
They, the "improvers", have boasted about getting their candidates elected to the city council, including current members Allan Mansoor, Wendy Leece and the i
ncumbent mayor Eric Bever. They neglect to tell their readers about their first "victory" - the perpetually inept Chris Steel. Old Chris - I can call him that because he's my age - ran unsuccessfully for city council nine, count 'em, nine times before the angry knot of "improvers" snatched him up and made him their candidate. While no evidence exists to prove it, many suspect bullet voting achieved what the wisdom of nine previous electorates had fought off - Steel was elected.

STEEL'S
TERM A DISASTER - ALMOST
His term was a disaster. He demonstrated the wisdom of those previous electorates when he showed up at council meetings completely unprepared for the agenda items. Not only was he a clumsy politician, he was incompetent, too. However, he did do one thing right - he turned his back on one of his biggest supporters - the racist who authors the CM Press blog. That move got him "un-elected" the next time around - a fact that the aforementioned author gloats about frequently. More on him later...


$7,000 STILL UNRESOLVED - WHY?
In their letter the Erics take me to task for supporting Katrina Foley, Jim Righeimer and Bill Sneen for the
three open seats this year. The focus of their rant is to bolster support for Bever and twelve-term councilman Gary Monahan. I've explained at length here and in my Daily Pilot commentary just why I think neither of these men should be returned to the dais. In Monahan's case, that decision became even stronger recently when the story of his apparently mis-applied $7,000 consulting fee ended up as a line item on his Form 460, Campaign Contributions list. That story has still not been satisfactorily resolved.

MONAHAN IS IN IT FOR HIMSELF - PERIOD!

The Erics paint a word-picture of Bever and Monahan that would ha
ve the readers believe those men can actually walk on water. Nothing could be further from the truth. Monahan has evolved from an unskilled, politically inept neophyte when first elected 14 years ago into a cunning, conniving political operator who is in it for what he, personally, can get out of it. The $7,000 fiasco is a perfect example. When termed out of the city council two years ago he successfully ran for a seat on the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Board and immediately initiated a move to give that board a pay raise. A year ago, when it looked like he might be angling for a way to get back to the municipal trough again, he stood before the city council as a private citizen and lobbied long, loud and hard for the issue of a directly-elected mayor to be placed on this ballot we face in two days. Although that move was vigorously supported by then-mayor Allan Mansoor, the council chose not to present the issue to the voters. Monahan's plan would not have placed the directly-elected mayor under any kind of a term-limits rule - I assume he viewed himself as "mayor for life". Monahan has worn out his welcome and should not be considered again this time around. He's in it for himself, not for the city.

BUFFOON IN MAYOR'S CLOTHING
Bever has demonstr
ated time after time that he's a frustrated stand-up comedian. He has played fast and loose with the rules of conduct imposed by the Brown Act - passing notes around on the dais to influence votes, for example. He is arrogant almost beyond belief, as witnessed by his flagrant disregard of public opinion when he didn't show up for the Daily Pilot interviews of the candidates - the only one who didn't show up - and failed to make the final two candidate forums. He continues to feel he is above the law by displaying illegal campaign banners throughout the city, refusing to remove them when contacted by the city code enforcement officials. The rules apparently are for someone else.

SHOVING THE MINORITY ASIDE
The arro
gant Bever and his "improver cohorts", Mansoor and Leece, have overtly taken steps to marginalize the voices and opinions of both Katrina Foley and Linda Dixon - the two highest vote-getters four years ago. They not only consistently ignore them, they voted to physically shove them off to the side so they don't even have to look their way during debates of issues.

"LIVELY"? - PUH-LEEZE!
The Erics frame the resultant frequent rancorous discussions as "lively". Give me a break!

WHY DID
THEY IGNORE RIGHEIMER?
I found it very interesting the Erics failed to mention Jim Righeimer's name at all in their little rant. Righeimer, Bever and Monahan are running as a de facto slate this time around, with many, if not most, of the heavy hitter endorsers supporting all three of them. I wonder why that Kathleen and Chris ignored him?

MR. U. KNOW-WHO IS BACK

I also must mention that another letter among the eight in the Mailbag was apparently pen
ned by that self-same author of the CM Press - one M. H. Millard. Yes, old Mensa Marty once again appears on the pages of the Daily Pilot and, once again, rips his comments directly from the pages of his blog.

MENSA MARTY SAYS "ANYONE BUT FOLEY"

Old Marty makes no bones about his choices this year - he recently posted a blog entry that said, basically, "anyone but Foley", who he has ridiculed and denigrated non-stop since she was elected four years ago. Old Marty is an influential guy here in town. He was again named to the Daily Pilot's DP 103 - number 93 this time as he slides down the list and, hopefully, into oblivion next year. It's too bad the editors of the
Daily Pilot didn't include the caveat that nominees for it's list must be a "positive influence", instead of simply "influential". It's truly sad that so many of our local elected and appointed politicians take their marching orders from a nationally notorious White Supremacist - a man who uses the fact that the former head of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, considers him "one of the most brilliant writers and analysts in the European American civil rights movement" to market his pathetic books.

THE FEAR-MONGERER
Old Marty continues to try to scare the voters by using falsehoods, fabrications and flat-out lies in his publications and public pronouncements. Unfortunately, some folks will believe him - he's a persuasive guy - until you understand his underlying motivation, that is.

MY CHOICES - FOLEY, RIGHEIMER AND SNEEN

So, dear friends, I will tell you one more time. I voted for Katrina Foley, Jim Righeimer and Bill Sneen because, as I've said in the past, I think the combination of skills, experience, and leadership they individually and collectively bring to the dais may go a long way to moderate the divisiveness and rancor that has existed over the past few years. The challenges that face Costa Mesa in the near future will require a city council that can set aside individual bias and make decisions that serve all the stakeholders - residents, business owners and visitors, alike. I think Foley, Righeimer and Sneen can be the nucleus of that team.

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