GOP Summons Leece For "Ethics" Probe
Well, it sure didn't take long to find out what the Orange County Republican Party hierarchy thought about Wendy Leece's votes last night. I'm sure she knew that her decision to support the bargaining unit contracts would get her some flack, but today she found out what the first burst of flack will be.
ETHICS PROBE TOMORROW (OUCH!)
Leece has been summoned before the Ethics Committee at Republican Party Headquarters tomorrow, Thursday, at 3:00 p.m. to "discuss your vote last night and the promise you made to the Central Committee members at the September 20th meeting."
CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION IN QUESTION
According to correspondence provided to me, she will consult with Costa Mesa City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow before attending the meeting to determine just how much of her decision-making process she can discuss with the Ethics Committee without violating confidentiality rules. Apparently, some of what was discussed in that abrupt closed session meeting last night came into play as she deliberated about her position. And, she will take an attorney with her to the meeting.
GOP HEAVY HAND
Once again the heavy hand of the Orange County GOP shows itself. Obviously, their attempts to intimidate her via emails and voice mails over the weekend and by having GOP operative Jon Fleishman perch right in front of her last night to give her the old "stink eye" didn't have the anticipated outcome. Nope, Wendy did what she felt what was best for the city and voted, along with Katrina Foley and Gary Monahan, to approve the agreements and the resolution for the executive staff.
BEVER AND MANSOOR - ZOMBIES
The vote was not easy for any of them - except for Eric Bever and Allan Mansoor, who are not burdened with the need to actually consider issues because their party tells them what to think and what to do. They could just do their zombie routine and vote the party line, and not consider the damage it will do to the city. How very nice for them.
A LOT ON THE LINE
For Leece, Foley and Monahan, though, the decisions they made last night were gut-wrenching. Each of them, but Leece and Monahan in particular, laid a lot on the line when they cast their votes. It was clear to any observer in the audience last night that they each agonized with the decision and weighed it carefully before pushing that button on the dais.
Wendy Leece has much to lose. It appears that she will certainly lose any support for her re-election run for the next week. Whether the OC GOP decides to do more than simply not support her is unclear. It is quite possible, considering their tactics in this election so far, that they might take an active anti-Leece role in the remaining days before the election on Tuesday. I wouldn't be surprised.
MONAHAN DESERVES KUDOS - AND BUSINESS
Monahan also has a lot on the line. He's not as tight with the GOP bosses, but he does have a struggling restaurant to operate. We'll see how many customers actually understand that what he did with his votes last night was best for the city right now. I hope they will reward his courage by increasing their patronage of his gin mill - he deserves it.
So, now we wait for the decision of the Orange County Republican Party Ethics Committee. Will they scold Wendy, censure her or attempt to toss her out of the party? What other punishment might they dish out to her for not following the party line - which could have led to the bankruptcy of our city, by the way. We'll see...
Come to think about it, that "Ethics Committee" has probably been pretty darn busy lately if the shenanigans of certain members of the GOP in Costa Mesa are any indication. Intimidation via threatening letters, abuse of power at the DUI checkpoint, frivolous claims of police misconduct, etc. In fact, the very phrase "GOP Ethics Committee" seems kind of oxymoronic.
SHE EARNED MY VOTE
I do know one thing, though. Over the past year Wendy Leece has shown much more gumption than I expected. She's been more conciliatory and seemed to try to work more on actual resolution of issues and not get stuck in the quicksand of party dogma. All of this has been good for the city. A year ago I probably would have told you I wouldn't vote to retain her on the council. Not so today. This afternoon, when my absentee ballot went in the mail, it carried my vote for Wendy Leece for City Council.