Monday, January 15, 2007

"Riggy" Looking For A "Giggy"? Political Patronage, Costa Mesa Style

As I scanned down the names of the candidates for appointment to the Planning and Parks and Recreation commissions tonight I found a few I didn't recognize. So, as a guy with way too much time on his hands, I did some Googling and found some interesting entries on one of those unfamiliar names - James Righeimer.

It seems that Mr. Righeimer is a very well connected political activist who has been floating around Orange County for a few years. Sources tell me he's been a campaign manager for Congressman Dana Rohrabacker recently.

One particularly interesting entry from the internet is an entry dated 1/6/06 on the FLASHREPORT authored by Jon Fleischman, Executive Director of the California Republican Party from 1999 to 2001. In his post, Fleischman touts Righeimer as a the next Republican candidate for the 68th Assembly District, replacing Van Tran, who was slotted to make a run for the 34th District Senate seat. Fleischman goes on and on in his posting about what a good soldier "Riggy" is, providing a history of his loyal activism to the Orange County Republican Party. The political gods conspired against those moves, so Righeimer was left without a seat when the music stopped.

I'll be watching tonight's City Council meeting with great interest. The agenda item regarding the appointments comes very, very late in the meeting, at a time almost guaranteeing sparse attendance by residents and minimal viewers on Costa Mesa TV. The placement of this item way down at the end will certainly reduce the chance of any questions about potential appointees and their qualifications.

I expect the New Majority to stack the deck with their cronies on both commissions. However, if they place Righeimer on the Planning Commission it will be the most flagrant example of political patronage I can recall in Costa Mesa. Here's a guy who, until recently, resided in Fountain Valley, then moves to Costa Mesa after his pal, Rohrabacker, helps our young jailer/mayor get re-elected. From what I read in many pieces on the internet, it sure looks to me like "Riggy", as Fleischman calls him, is just another political opportunist looking for a nest. How else do we explain a guy who, a year ago, was being touted as the next Assemblyman for the 68th District showing up in Costa Mesa as a probable appointee to the relatively lowly Planning Commission? Don't be surprised to see him appointed to the Planning Commission this year, then mount a well-financed campaign for Katrina Foley's seat on the City Council in 2008.

I sure hope someone takes down that sign that says "Carpetbaggers Welcome" at the entrance to Costa Mesa soon! I'm really getting tired of outsiders like Jim Gilchrist and his Minuteman Mob, Rohrabacker and now Righeimer stomping into our city to take it over.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bubbling Cauldron and the CM Press might actually be on the same page on this one. It turns out that the esteemed (or was that just steamed) editor of CM Press complained about candidates that turned their applications in late. This guy is one of them!

1/16/2007 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having just watched the city council meeting, I am disgusted with the Mayor’s action regarding the student government program. What is his problem? No one really knows, other than it is a program championed by Councilmember Foley. I can’t tell you how demoralizing this is. What a putz!

1/17/2007 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Well, as anticipated, "Riggy" was appointed to a seat on the Costa Mesa Planning Commission at the City Council meeting Tuesday night.

As expected, the slate supported by the New Majority won seats on the Planning Commission. Besides James Righeimer, Jim (I'm a realtor here in town) Fisler was returned to the dais and improver activist Sam Clark was given the final seat. Also as expected, none of the candidates nominated by Katrina Foley and Linda Dixon were supported.

However, candidates they nominated for the Parks and Recreation Commission were appointed. Foley nominated Kurt Galitski, who was appointed on a 3-2 vote and Linda Dixon nominated Mike Brumbaugh, who was affirmed by a 4-1 vote. The remaining appointee was activist Terry Shaw, nominated by Eric Bever and affirmed by a 3-2 vote.

The meeting ended on a very rancorous note, with our young jailer/mayor showing just how petulant he can be by refusing to consider the final item on the agenda, the implementation of the Youth in Government program. To those of us watching it was very clear that the mayor was simply not going to consider this program because it was the brainchild of Katrina Foley. As one writer to this blog said in a comment immediately after the meeting - "What a putz!" I couldn't agree more!

1/17/2007 01:01:00 AM  

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