Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Riggy And Bunyan Make It Nine!

In this
wonderful game of musical chairs we play every two years, Planning Commissioner Jim Righeimer and businessman Chris Bunyan today tossed their hats into the Costa Mesa City Council race this fall, to make it a nice, uneven 9 candidates for the three seats available. This might change if some folks who pulled papers earlier fail to return them by Friday. And, of course, there's still time for more candidates to surface. Until then, we now have three times the number of fannies than seats available.

The way it stands right now, incumbent council members Katrina Foley, Linda Dixon and Eric Bever have pulled papers, along with former three-term council member Gary Monahan, who will look like an incumbent to many voters because of his previous long, long, long tenure on the council. That gives us three current or former mayors in the mix.


Additionally, newcomers Lisa Reedy, William Sneen and Nicholas Moss will be joined by 2006 also-ran Chris Bunyan and Righeimer (if you can actually count him as a "newcomer" with a straight face) in the race for a seat at the big table in November.


It's assumed that the new candidates understood that Foley, Dixon, Bever and Monahan were running, but I find myself wondering if Righeimer's presence will cause any of the newcomers to reconsider their candidacy. His high-level connections in the Orange County GOP will certainly make him anything but a run-of-the-mill newcomer. He's a seasoned politician, has access to lots of potential big donors and is a pretty smart guy. I suspect there's no chance of him entering the race unless he seriously thinks he can win one of the seats available. A loss in this race might make his viability for future higher office suspect.

With Riggy in the mix now, along with Foley, Dixon, Bever and Monahan, it seems to me that there simply are not going to be many votes left for the new folks. All of these experienced campaigners have solid name recognition, a record of accomplishment (whether you agree with it or not) have access to big campaign bucks and know how to run a campaign. Of these five, Bever is probably the least proficient campaigner... After spending around $50,000, he edged out Bruce Garlich by a mere 44 votes when they ran in 2004.

In fact, this may be another of those campaigns where the incumbent mayor gets knocked off - just as Allan Mansoor did to Linda Dixon not too long ago. So formidable is this field that it's entirely possible that Bever could be left without a place to sit when the music stops in November.

So, friends, Friday we will know if all these fine folks will actually stay in the race. If any of the incumbents fail to return their papers by that date the filing period extends into next week for any non-incumbent candidates to make their decisions. Then the door slams shut and the games begin.


The first candidate forum will occur around the 20th of August. I've heard conflicting dates, so I'll get back to you on the actual time and date - which is when all the fun begins.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris Bunyan can't be scared off. Linda Dixon is wasting her time now. It looks like Katrina and Lisa for the Democrats and Bever and Rig for the Republicans with Chris Bunyan as the swing vote. The rest might as well rip up their papers.

8/06/2008 07:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is great to hear Riggy is in the running for council. I will miss him on the planning commission though (should he win). For Bunyan's sake, I hope he has at least 20K, and hopefully twice that, or his effort will be futile. The council race winners are determined by who gets the most mailers out, not the most eloquent speaker at the debates. The well connected are the winners, sometimes not necessarily the best persons for the job. Being a community activist and joining five or six committees that just meet maybe four times a year is not going to get it done. Even being more involved, such as being a parks or planning commissioner is not going to help win you a seat anymore. The council is now a farm team for the major parties to groom candidates for higher office and they throw way too much money and organizing efforts into the race for someone who is not well connected or willing to tow the party line to get elected. Lobbyists are even present to help win elections now. But, that said, with Riggy, who indeed is the most well connected of all, we have a candidate who would be an outstanding council member,mend fences, and bring a vision to the council. Good luck Riggy.

8/06/2008 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Kent, don't discount the presence of Monahan...

8/06/2008 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Commissioner Jim, thanks for your input. I assume from your comment that you've decided to sit this one out. Considering the players this time around, that's probably a good idea. As always, I appreciate your views here. Thanks.

8/06/2008 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hold on everyone! According to CM Press, you don't need partisan backing, just the endorsement of the yet-to-be-identified "Improvers." I'm an improver, but I have yet to receive any "official Improver" mailings or communication...

Would "hard headed, pushy people" who ignore and disdain the 40% of Costa Mesans represented by the minority bloc be the best candidates for the Council? Maybe. Maybe not. "[H]ard headed, pushy people" are the same types who would see eminent domain as a good option for Westside redevelopment. "[H]ard headed, pushy people" seldom deal with the annoyances of public comment and opinion, as these "hard headed, pushy people" don't think that the opinions of other citizens are valid or worthy of consideration.

Anyone who seriously believes that the Westside property owners' rights should be sacrificed to the whim of a 10% majority of transient City Council members has no business being elected.

That said, the public gets what the public asks for. Voter apathy = marginal candidates. More power to those who know how to work the system - they have virtually no opposition. That is our fault, not theirs.

8/07/2008 12:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geoff -like you, i've heard conflicting dates but i now have it from a pretty authortative source that the first debate is on thursday 8/21.
as far as the number running, they have a 33.33% chance right now if all file. that's better odds than when i ran four years ago, 25%.
of course both you and Jim make good cases for how the votes might be weighed. why, i'm sure there are some people who don't even know Gary ever left the council! anyway, it's definitely not small town politics any more.
and Jim, if i didn't know better, i'd think you ARE trying to scare Chris off!

8/07/2008 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Terry,
I am definitely not trying to scare Mr. Bunyan off. I hope he runs. Last election he was a good speaker but really did not seem to have any issues that I can remember except a city wide wi-fi and those have been pretty much disastrous where they have been tried. And he did a ride along with the PD. I do not remember much else besides some book cover where he is crucified with a needle in his arm. I am hoping to see him run and see his issues. I am anticipating banning ranch. I am not anticipating a bridge on 19th street which would improve the whole westside commercial.

8/07/2008 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Commissioner Jim, I guess I'm disappointed that you chose to bring up Bunyan's youthful indiscretion. I suppose that, once a person presents himself for public office, his whole life is subject to scrutiny. I'm sure that "rule" applies to appointed officials, too.

8/07/2008 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Fisler,

As a supporter of Bunyan I can tell you that he fought for many issues the last election. Since he was not a front runner than they didn't get much spin. It is quite obvious that you don't like Chris, jealous I pressume. But he did offer to give up his salary, if elected, and donate it to the library. He offered many solutions to gangs and illegal immigration. Bunyan said at the first debate that you should go after landlord and employers who knowingly house or hire illegals. He said the CMPD needed to attack gangs in a more aggressive manner. So you left of a lot of things. And I was at all the debates and I didn't see you there. Care to explain? Bunyan is one smart, young man. Very intellectual. He even lectured at Harvard in 2006. Have you ever lectured at Harvard? No. Fisler you sound like you are angry that Bunyan has burst on the scene and that everyone likes the guy. Your jealousy is shining through. BTW, have you ever even talked to Chris Bunyan? I know that Chris has won many speech and debate contests so maybe you will want to debate him. Bunyan has the most tenacity CM has ever seen. Not to mention the ladies sure like him. Girls were all around him at the debates. Doubt that would happen to you.

8/07/2008 09:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To "voting for bunyan": yes, I was at the debates, not my fault you did not see me. I have been to them for the past 14 years. As to being "jealous" of Mr. Bunyan,eh, no, not my style. I also don't go for "girls" at my age, I like ladies. You cannot "donate" to the library something you gave up can you? You would have to take it and then donate it. If you did donate, why make a spectacle of it. I donate everywhere, quietly. You claim that it is obvious I don't like Bunyan is baseless. e where did you get that? I have never met him. As for him winning debates, I don't doubt it. He is eloquent, and I said as much. Yes, I have lectured at Harvard. (to my softball team at Harvard field in Irvine) While you are wrong that everyone likes him, I think it is great he has "burst on the scene"and I look forward to watching his progress. I, too, burst on the scene, in 1996. As for you, grow up and stop hating.

8/08/2008 12:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Fisler,

Do you know the term projection? You should look it up. The only hater here is you. As for your unbecoming and unprofessional behavior that is another entire story. It is a shame that you being an appointed official of Costa Mesa take the time to bad mouth others. I did some research today and heard you did the same with Torrelli Real Estate? I plan to write a complaint letter to the City Manager's office telling him that it is sad that a local official is so obsessed with someone half his age (Bunyan) and that you fail to represent Costa Mesa in a favorable light. I am also researching the Business and Professions Code for real estate agents and will verify if your conduct is within the DRE's guidelines. As for your statement of telling me to grow up that sir is like the pot calling the kettle black. I am not the one going out of his way to bad mouth someone. You need help. Bunyan is a great guy. Too bad the same can't be said about you.

8/08/2008 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

OK, kids, if you can't play nice you're going to have to take it outside!

No more threats.... I'm in charge here and I just won't publish any more of that stuff....

Stay with your differences, make your points. If you two want to duke it out, take it to Fisler's email...

8/08/2008 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never have said a negative word about Bunyan. Give me a quote where I did or shut up. You are obsessed and need help.

8/09/2008 07:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

voting for bunyan,

You ARE NOT HELPING Chris Bunyan with your ridiculous posts. In fact, you seem like an anti-Bunyan plant. What's the deal?

8/13/2008 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow such immature attacks. This forum is a great vehicle to have serious discussions about the current issues.

8/19/2008 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...


Politics and passion create some interesting discussions, as you well know from the recent debate in your city on the rehab home issue. I'm always happy to have comments posted here that are relevant to the point at hand, regardless whether the person commenting agrees with my view or not. I'm glad you're reading and happy to have you here.

8/19/2008 08:08:00 PM  

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