Swaim and Greenhut and Righeimer, Too
OK, this is NOT an April Fool's Day entry, although some might think so when they finish reading it. I've already had my fun for the day and was happy to give some of you a chuckle.
RIGHEIMER WITH SHILLS ON KFI
Today Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer - who has never met a microphone he doesn't love - was interviewed by stand-in shills, Will Swaim and Steven Greenhut, on the John and Ken Show on KFI640AM.
Swaim - founding publisher of the OC Weekly - and Greenhut - former columnist for the Orange County Register - were standing in for acerbic hosts, John and Ken. They both are associated with a "news organization" out of Sacramento - CalWatchdog, HERE - and provide their followers with a decidedly right-leaning view of issues. It's ironic, since Swaim self-identified as "The Orange County Socialist" on the show today. Some will recall that Swaim published a feeble blog - The Republic of Costa Mesa - which aimed directly at things I wrote about Costa Mesa. I was always curious why he authored that thing, since he doesn't live in Costa Mesa and had no skin in the game. One might speculate that he was being compensated for it, but I don't know that as a fact. I admit that I don't much care for him.
So, back to the issue. Today Swaim and Greenhut began their first hour with a rant about the decision by a Sacramento judge to permit the City of Stockton to go forward with their bankruptcy plan. Bond holders have opposed that plan because they likely will suffer greatly as the bankruptcy moves forward. There are many articles throughout the internet now about this decision available for your reading pleasure. You can read one from the Sacramento Bee HERE.
In an attempt to demonstrate just how egregious this decision is to local communities, Swaim and Greenhut interviewed Righeimer for about 20 minutes, trying to get him to tell the audience just how adversely this decision would affect Costa Mesa - and he didn't, much to their chagrin. Righeimer acknowledged that it might be a problem for some cities, but Costa Mesa is in pretty good shape financially, so it doesn't really apply to our city. I had to smile, since Swaim apparently thought he had a slam-dunk with that line of questioning. He apparently is pretty close to Righeimer, referring to him as "buddy" at least once during their time on the air.
THE "LANZILLO" AFFAIR
Swaim and Greenhut used the cornerstone of their argument the influence by public employee unions in Stockton and elsewhere so, following a commercial break and using the term "police thuggery", attempted to rope Righeimer into that rant by encouraging him to recount the events last year when a private investigator - Chris Lanzillo - followed him home and reported him as a potential drunk driver. Righeimer gave his account of the event in a very straightforward manner and not critical of the Costa Mesa Police Department nor the officer who asked him to step outside for a little field sobriety test - which Righeimer passed.
RIGHEIMER WOULDN'T TAKE THE BAIT
Swaim and Greenhut persisted, trying to get Righeimer to jump into the discussion, but it didn't work. He did regurgitate his mantra that our pensions are unsustainable and did talk about a "police lieutenant - a great guy - who retired recently with a $164,000 annual pension that will be $197,000 in five years."
WHAT NEXT, JIM?
It's going to be very interesting to watch how this plays out now. Righeimer acknowledged that Costa Mesa is not in bad shape financially and has openly expressed his opinion that The City should NOT do anything to pay CalPERS more toward the unfunded liability than is required - citing his view that it is doomed and that we shouldn't be throwing more money on its funeral pire.
"COIN" IMPACT WILL SOON BE KNOWN