Monday, April 12, 2010

Righeimer Must Go!

Editor-in-Chief of the Voice of OC, Norberto Santana, Jr., just reported an errant voice mail message left by Costa Mesa Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer on Santana's machine that may put the final nail in Riggy's political coffin.

Riggy, Dana Rohrabacher's campaign manager, Costa Mesa Planning Commission Chairman and City Councilman wannabe, called Santana thinking he was calling one of his cronies about an issue involving the Fairgrounds Sale. In that voice mail message he refers specifically to what is almost certainly a Brown Act violation. You can read Santana's complete article HERE, which includes an audio clip of the voice mail.

After listening to that tape it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that something illegal is afoot here. Having had several telephone conversations with Righeimer in the past, the clip certainly sounds like him. If this message is valid it should be referred to the Orange County District Attorney for investigation and Righeimer should immediately be expelled from his position on the Planning Commission.

Although we don't know just who Righeimer thought he was talking to on that voice mail clip, clearly it's someone well-connected in city business - someone who likely is also either aware of, or is personally involved in, a Brown Act violation.

In the past Righeimer and some of his pals have had a very cavalier attitude about the "rules of the game". In his role on the Planning Commission, both as a commissioner and now as Chairman, he's played fast and loose with proper procedure, violated proper decorum, engaged in mistreatment of speakers before the commission and waltzed with Brown Act violations in the past.

I've said from the very beginning, when Righeimer was chosen for the Planning Commission after living in Costa Mesa for only a few months, that he was a well-connected political opportunist - a carpetbagger in the purest sense of the word - and that he shouldn't be trusted. This is just the most recent example of his behavior. Righeimer must go!

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Blogger Gericault said...

Well Geoff, you have definitely uncrossed your fingers waiting to see if Riggy's republican style of politics will infiltrate our local city government.

Today those fingers are balled into a fist.

4/12/2010 09:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Eastsider said...

Ah, it took about 10 days to see the true colors of the Voice of OC--the OC labor union's lap-dog to take-out local officials that they're fearful of. Case in point- Righeimer. Am I surprised to see this attack on him, no. Am I surprised the Cauldron is on-board-kind of. What's illegal here? Riggy was not in closed session. He could not have divulged any information from it. Again, Cauldron, what is the crime? Santanna's job is to take down anyone is not union friendly. He's using the Voice blog to accomplish that. Anyone Santanna dislikes, I'll vote for!!

4/12/2010 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Eastsider, did you listen to the audio clip? If so you should know what's illegal here - the fact that he obviously had knowledge of closed-session proceedings. How did he get that info? Who is his conduit?

4/12/2010 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Eastsider said...

Cauldron, the fact that Righeimer may or may not have information from a closed session is not a crime. If your pal Foley calls me and tells me about something that was discussed in closed session, I have not committed a crime. Learn your facts before you make such serious allegations. Again, I challenge you to find a crime or ethical violation here! The real crime is Santanna's agenda for the labor unions.

4/12/2010 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Eastsider, see my subsequent post. However, if Riggy knowingly was a party to acting on information he KNEW came from a closed session, he does have culpability, just as the person who gave it to him does. You're letting your anti-Voice of OC bias get in your way on this one.

Their subsequent "explanation" only further muddies the water...

4/12/2010 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geoff, Geoff, Geoff.

Research the Pentagon Papers vs. New York Times. Historical Supreme Court precedent on this question and the court ruled in favor of Daniel Ellsberg and by default, Jim Righeimer.

As a former daily journalist, I was often the recipient of closed session proceedings. Sometimes it was off the record, sometimes not. Either way, I knew what I was doing was protecting the public trust. The real crime is not that Jim divulged what he heard, but that there are so many meetings that the public and press are barred from attending in the first place. Jim did you all a favor. He reported, inadvertently i admit, the council's actions.

4/12/2010 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Anonymous, I'm making you an exception to my "no anonymous posts" rule. Normally I expect folks to read it, pick a name and submit with a pen name... I guess former daily journalists can write, but not read, huh?

You, my friend, are precisely why the Brown Act was passed! Perhaps in your day the rules were either non-existent or vague, which caused a lot of backroom deals and politically advantageous leaks. The public is nor served well by either.

In the hours since posting both my entries on this issue I've had two conversations with Riggy, neither of which would he permit to be "on the record". So, despite knowing information that some would consider relevant to this issue, I'm blocked by my assurance to him of confidentiality from writing about our conversations, except to comment that they existed.

For my part, I think this whole thing is one big muddle, where the haste to cobble together an offer for the state by next Monday is hampering good governance. I may be beginning to understand Mayor Mansoor's comment about losing confidence in the process.

4/12/2010 03:56:00 PM  

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