Sunday, October 31, 2010

OC GOP Eats Their Own

Today in my mailbox, stuffed with campaign literature and bills I found an interesting piece specifically addressed to my wife and myself. We assume it came from a list of Republican voters, which we both are, and was directed to us to influence our positions on the election Tuesday.

This interesting piece was from the Republican Party of Orange County, and gave the address of the headquarters on Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana. It told us it was a "member communication". The front, which I did not copy for you, shows a fellow with his feet on the desk, hands folded behind his head and it has remarks criticizing Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece for her part in approving contact amendments to several employee bargaining units last Tuesday. Leece approved those items as an attempt to balance the municipal budget, and was joined in the vote by fellow Republican Gary Monahan and Democrat Katrina Foley. No mention of Monahan was made in this piece. Oh, no... he cast the same vote, but he did disobey the OC GOP!

The reverse side, which you see below, contains a message from Scott Baugh, Chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County. The message is clear, so I'll let you digest it yourself.

.In case the type is too small, Baugh gripes about rising pension costs and tells you that Wendy Leece promised weeks ago that she would no longer support these "unsustainable pensions.

He then tells me that she broke her promise when she voted last Tuesday to approve "lavish pensions". He states emphatically that "Wendy Leece is no friend of the taxpayer, and she does not keep her promises." He asks us to call Wendy to let her know how you feel about her promises and votes.

It's obvious from this communication and others I've seen generated by Baugh since the council vote Tuesday that Baugh and his minions are really ticked-off at Wendy Leece for "breaking her pledge" to the OC GOP.

Well, here's the deal, Mr. Baugh. Wendy Leece was elected four years ago - with your help, by the way - by the people of Costa Mesa to do the best job she could to help administer our city. When faced with the two bad choices - vote for the agreements to help balance the budgets (knowing she would face your wrath) or to vote against them and almost certainly guarantee a delay in addressing them until after the new city council was seated in January, which would cost the city at least $250,000 for each month of the delay. And, as we all know now, such a delay might actually cause our city to have to declare bankruptcy, which would toss out all the existing contracts, including the labor contracts.

It is very likely that this is the plan of the Republican Party of Orange County all along. After all, this is the mantra chanted by their hand-picked and placed candidate for City Council, Jim Righeimer. For months he has told public employee groups that he was going after their wage and benefit packages. The ONLY way to do that is through bankruptcy. It's clear that Baugh and his cohorts plan to use Costa Mesa as an experiment - as former Mayor Sandra Genis put it - a petri dish for state-wide pension reform, and that Righeimer wants to use our city as a stepping stone to higher office.

Following her vote last Tuesday Leece was summoned before the OC GOP Ethics Committee - an oxymoron if I ever read one - to answer for her transgression. You'd think Baugh and his minions thought they were Gods, commanding Leece to appear before them. That meeting never did happen because Leece, wisely, chose to consult the City Attorney and to take an attorney with her to the inquisition. According to a communication from Baugh, that encounter had to happen within 24 hours of the original complaint. I've read their bylaws. It's unclear what kind of authority they have to hand out ANY kind of punishment to Leece since she's not a member of the Central Committee.

It didn't take long to figure out what their punishment would be - they're going to pull out all the stops to keep her from being re-elected! Today's flier may be the first of more we'll see before Tuesday. Without giving her a reasonable opportunity to present her position they have chosen to attack her - to eat their own.

I thought I'd investigate just what kind of creatures actually do eat their own. I found an interesting article online written a few years ago in the New York Times entitled "They Eat Their Own; the Question is Why", which discusses that very thing. In it, while discussing what kind of societies and critters actually do eat their own, the author says "Chimps seem to do it as an act of revenge or in a burst of malice." Well, there you have it! Except for the spelling of one word, this seems to be exactly what has happened. The chumps of the OC GOP, in a burst of malice, have decided to devour Wendy Leece!

Today, in our society there is an organized movement to identify and prohibit bullying, primarily in school settings. So pervasive has this behavior become that entire programs in school curricula have been established to combat it. This situation between Leece and the OC GOP is a perfect example of bullying - a trait usually attributed to young folks

In my circle of friends, family and associates there are many Republicans and Democrats and many for whom I have no clue of their political persuasion. None of those I know to be Republicans could ever be described as a bully. Nope, they're just nice folks - like my wife and myself. However, a few of the folks presently active in Costa Mesa politics who are identified as Republicans seem to lean toward bullying as a management technique. A few, but not all.

Among those who I think demonstrate bullying behavior are current Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer - part of the inner circle of the Orange County Republican Party and practically a conjoined twin with Scott Baugh. Some of Righeimer's close associates also use bullying to get their way - they've been mentioned here before.

A perfect example of this behavior in this election cycle is the treatment of Chris McEvoy, a man I've described as Costa Mesa's Everyman. Because he presents an impediment to Righeimer being seated on the City Council, Righeimer's supporters have gone after him with a vengeance, spreading lies about his background and ignorantly fabricating issues where none exist. There is nothing the least bit subtle about their actions, either - just as there is nothing subtle about the rage that Scott Baugh and his fellows at the OC GOP obviously hold for Wendy Leece.

This behavior, in my opinion, is exactly the kind of behavior we can expect if Jim Righeimer is elected to the Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday. He's demonstrated that characteristic over and over again while on the Planning Commission and during this campaign. He's failed at being elected anywhere before with good reason - other electorates saw him for what he is - an arrogant member of the OC GOP inner circle intent of having his way with our city. As I've said before, Righeimer and the OC GOP are like a swarm of locusts. They will land in our city, devour everything good and green, then fly off to greener pastures leaving waste and destruction in their wake.

Scott Baugh and the OC GOP should be ashamed of themselves for their treatment of Wendy Leece, who only did what she was elected to do by the voters of Costa Mesa - protect and serve our city to the best of her ability. Scott Baugh and his pals at the Orange County Republican Party should keep their grubby paws off Costa Mesa and stay the heck out of our politics! We may not be as urbane and sophisticated as other communities in Orange County (which may be why you've picked us as a target), but we were doing just fine until you morons decided to insert yourselves into our lives and infested us with folks like Chris Steel, Allan Mansoor, Eric Bever, Jim Righeimer and others. Leave us alone so we can sort out our problems without our elected leaders looking to you to provide the playbook. Some of us over here in Costa Mesa are actually smart enough to do that, you know. Unlike your boy, our current mayor, some of us are actually capable of generating an original thought or two and can actually build consensus within the community to get things done without the stench of your interference lingering in the air like a ripe outhouse. Go away, and take your band of bullies and their threats with you.

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Anonymous flyonthewall said...

salary cuts were all we had left. refusing to make the cuts will lead to layoffs. employee association members with seniority will keep their jobs, newer members will lose theirs. sounds like the associations are also eating their own ! Also, OCGOP did not seek out any candidates to endorse, the candidates had to seek them out, which Wendy did. She begged them and lied to them and then tried to defame them in her coverup story to the press before the vote. they got leeced.

10/31/2010 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Lefty Lou said...

Perspective seems to be everything here.

I was shocked the day I learned that both Geoff West and Wendy Leece were Republicans. They have always appeared (to me) to be stauch Democrats. For that reason I expected Wendy to vote as she did, and for Geoff to continually bad mouth Riggie and the Republicans.

Question: If you two want to act like Democrats, why don't you register as Democrats? Otherwise people look upon you as wolves in sheep's clothing.

10/31/2010 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

flyonthewall, still too soon to say what will happen. The midyear budget review in January will provide us with an idea. We're still nearly $6 million short and it might get worse if the sales tax dollars are off. There's not enough cash left in the Fund Balance account that's available for use this time around. We'll see.

Lefty Lou, so I should beat up my friends, force the city into bankruptcy, mistreat applicants before me, mindlessly march over the cliff like a robotic lemming and the like to meet your standard of being a "Republican", huh? Uh, no thanks...

10/31/2010 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger PeterMeuter said...

No worries, it's over soon!
My opponent received an Endorsement from the
Republican party.
As stated on his mailer (full color - over sized 15 x 12)

I was invited to their last meeting at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Com. Ctr.
(20 people present) and found out the following:

current members 41 (forty one!)

No endorsement for my opponent for the Orange County Water District - conflict of interest? You be the judge.

Mrs. Zimmerman - they had to retract the endorsement from a prior meeting since she didn't get the 75% majority vote - only 8 yes and 4 no's

10/31/2010 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...


It is my intention to bring the Wendy Leece matter to the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice for indictment and prosecution under the Racketeer-Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. There is here, I think, ample evidence of a public official's (Wendy's) being bribed, or offered a bribe, to vote a certain way, contrary to the interests of her constituents, by an organization engaged in coercion, the undermining of legal authority, and probably other nefarious activities. Baugh is probably a ringleader. Perhaps Righeimer. Likely also some of the Costa Mesa city council.

May I have your permission to use, or reference, some of the material on your website, from Monday last until the present? This kind of dirty, dirty politics belongs in Chicago, perhaps in the Daley era, not in a city like Costa Mesa. The Chicago pols would likely have covered their butts a little better; because our locals did not, I think there is a case here. I am enraged by the blatant interference in the process of local government by a few who place themselves above the law.

As a (not quite yet) lifelong republican, I would quote Jacob (Ge 34:30): "You have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land..." to these people. Regardless of the outcome of the election this Tuesday, if I have anything to say about this matter, they will take a fall.

10/31/2010 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Diogenes, this blog is in the public domain, although it is protected by copyright. Please feel free to link away. Yours is an interesting idea...

10/31/2010 04:23:00 PM  
Anonymous MikeK said...

To: Republican Party of Orange County
Attn.: Scott Baugh, Chairman

Dear Mr. Baugh,

Bite Me.


10/31/2010 05:02:00 PM  
Anonymous flyonthewall said...

Diogenes has the right idea, just the wrong culprit! I doubt there was any bribe but the most $$$ came from the associations so look there first. ocgop bribe was an endorsement but it was leece who solicited it!!

10/31/2010 05:58:00 PM  
Anonymous folkinhippy said...

in the comments in the daily pilot eric beaver himself links to two register stories of the monies being spent in costa mesa to thwart riggy.

everyone needs to tell beaver that they appreciate his new found disdain for money flowing into the election from outside the city and look forward with bated breath to all of they money that got him, alan and wendy elected in the first place returning to the pockets from whence it came. furthermore, let him know that you appreciate him telling the likes of baugh, jim gilchrist, moorlach et al that their voices and influence are not welcome here.

his email is

10/31/2010 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Wendy made the right choice, it was a defining moment for her and it was inspiring to see her seize it. To by pass on the $250K now could only be explained by political motivation, not any civic or fiscal leadership for our city. It seems to be in fashion for the Republicans to attack the unions and the people in public safety. Why not throw them under the bus rather than examine other alternatives that might involve asking Corporations or developers to invest in the financial health of the city they operate in? It's disgraceful and these bullies are doing what bullies do...they're slinging more mud but today we know who has integrity and who is self serving. Of course Wendy sought the endorsement of her party, that shouldn't mean she signs up to be a tool. Agreeing to disagree is a virtue that this country was built on. I hope these bullies get trounced on election day.

10/31/2010 09:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Endorsements may be solicited from anyone at any time with no opprobrium attached to the solicitation. When the endorsing agency demands a payment for the endorsement that is (1) illegal, (2) against the best interest of the endorsed party, (3) coerced or pressured, and (4) of significant monetary value, like $250,000 per month, either the endorsement becomes a bribe, or the demand for payment becomes an extortion. Leece voted her conscience, and did it in the best interests of Costa Mesa. That she trod on the toes of the Costa Mesa version of Tammany Hall (Costa Nostra?) in the process is of little consequence. That they chose to try to coerce her is, on the contrary, of dire consequence.

10/31/2010 10:24:00 PM  

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