Moorlach To Give Righeimer A Boost?
The Daily Pilot reports, HERE, that Supervisor John Moorlach - arguably the most respected active Republican politician in Costa Mesa - and council candidate Jim Righeimer will "stage a press conference" on Saturday (tomorrow) at the southwest corner of 17th Street and Superior Avenue at which they will apparently claim "potential voter intimidation violations by the Costa Mesa Police Department".
SITTING ON MOOLACH'S SHOULDERS
John Moorlach is one big dude, both in physical height and political stature. Righeimer is the second Costa Mesa politician to stand on Moorlach's shoulders in the past several days. Municipal court jester Eric Bever jointly authored a commentary in the Daily Pilot addressing the current contract negotiations a few days ago. I guess they need a boost to seem credible. Note to them both - it ain't working! Note to Righeimer's campaign manager: Bring a step ladder.
THE IGNITION POINT
If you've been paying any attention at all over the past couple months you know that there is much friction between Righeimer and the Costa Mesa Police Association - the bargaining unit for the police officers. It began at the very first candidate forum last August - the one hosted by our friends of Mesa Verde Community, Inc. - at which Righeimer looked directly at the public safety folks in attendance and told the audience that he was going to go after the employee salaries and benefits because they are the cause of the city's financial difficulties. Things have gone straight downhill since then.
WHO IS BEHIND THE PLAN?
At each successive candidate forum that animosity was apparent, including the one held Thursday night - the final one. It's become very clear to me that, just as Allan Mansoor used the specter of marauding illegal aliens to win his council seat twice, Righeimer is going to use the public employees of this city - and the police officers in particular - as his "illegal aliens". It's obvious to even the most casual observer that the OC GOP bosses have helped concoct a scheme to drag out the negotiations with the employee bargaining units so Righeimer - if he wins - can come riding in like some kind of a White Knight to save the city from those "horrid, greedy employees". Bever, with his refusal to attend negotiation sessions, has been a willing pawn in this little drama. Did you know he didn't attend the last closed session again last Tuesday? Yep, after making more of an ass of himself than normal during the discussions of the firefighter's generous proposal and having to be scolded from residents and fellow council members alike, he simply bugged out when they all adjourned to the closed session.
A CONVENIENT POLITICAL TARGET
In a tactical maneuver that is almost beyond comprehension, Righeimer has attempted to turn the dedicated men and women of the Costa Mesa Police Department into some kind of out-of-control outlaws, robbing the taxpayers of their hard-earned dollars by negotiating contracts with several iterations of city councils that Righeimer now doesn't like. He always fails to mention the fact that Mansoor, during his eight years on the council, has presided over many of those negotiations. If there is "blame" to be placed the finger should be appropriately pointed in his direction, not the rank and file of the CMPD.
ATTACKING MCEVOY IN DESPERATION
Righeimer actually has no other planks in his campaign platform and, since the members of the police association have decided to fight back, he's getting desperate. Obviously, he's seen polling numbers that imply that young Chris McEvoy is closing in on him fast. There's no reason for his mob to be attacking McEvoy and threatening demonstrations against him otherwise. McEvoy has never spoken against Righeimer, except to disagree with his positions on issues.
EVEN HIS WIFE IS INVOLVED NOW
This campaign has gotten so nasty that Righeimer's beautiful, and obviously very patient, wife was seen at the past two candidate forums in heated conversations with the president of the police association, Allen Rieckhof. Actually, "conversation" is misleading because she was on the sending end and Rieckhof was trying to avoid any contact with her at all.
WHY THIS VENUE?
I find it extremely curious that Righeimer would "stage" - great word - a press conference at one of the most complicated and congested intersections in the city. It seems to me that it could have been held on the steps of City Hall much more safely. Then I thought a little more about it and I realized that this is very likely an attempt to provoke yet another confrontation between himself and the CMPD. That thought made me step back a little and wonder to myself whether his confrontation with the police at the DUI checkpoint was an accident or a planned "staged" event. After all, most of us who are engaged in city activities receive the email notices of such checkpoints and, if we plan to be out and about near them, we plan a route to avoid it.
ANGLING FOR A POLICE CONFRONTATION AGAIN?
Righeimer is a seasoned politician - although a loser in every race he's run - but a skilled political tactician, nonetheless. With a little distance from the DUI checkpoint and all the intervening turmoil, and now this "press conference" - at a venue almost guaranteed to cause confusion at one of our busiest intersections - that will likely attract a police presence, it makes one just the teeniest bit suspicious about what the motives actually are for tomorrow. Is Righeimer actually angling again for a confrontation with members of the CMPD? Is that too wild a shot? Maybe...
YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN ON THIS ONE
Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend this circus, so you and I will have to rely on the excellent reporting skills of the members of the media who actually received a copy of the press release for the details and results.
CHIEF SNOWDEN SPEAKS OUT
It is a great irony that the morning of this contrived event a Letter to the Editor by former Costa Mesa Police Chief Dave Snowden will appear in print on the pages of the Daily Pilot. (Snowden attended the final candidate forum last Thursday) It is available for viewing online HERE. Snowden, a man who headed the department for nearly two decades and, along with the many council members he mentions in his letter, was part of the senior management team that guided this city through it's greatest period of growth. He hired and trained many of the current senior members of the Costa Mesa Police Department and created and implemented many of the excellent policing policies in effect in our city now. In his letter he bemoans the decline of our city.. I join him in that angst.
MCEVOY SIGNS ON, TOO
On that same page you will also find a short note from Chris McEvoy regarding the campaign.
Have I mentioned lately how distasteful I find politics? At a time when we need statesmen, we are left to deal with politicians...
CHILLIN' FOR A FEW DAYS
I'm turning the old Cauldron down to simmer while my sweet wife and I take a few days off. I'll be checking in from time to time, but comments submitted will be posted with some significant delay. Thanks for your patience.