Saturday, March 24, 2012

McCarthy Attacks Employees

Colin McCarthy, president of the OC GOP shill organization, Costa Mesa Taxpayer's Association and current Planning Commission Chairman, has produced yet another anti-employee screed straight from the OC GOP song book as edited by Jim Righeimer, HERE.

Just as Righeimer did at the last city council meeting, in his latest attempt to ignite the ire of residents of our city against all public employees McCarthy paints Costa Mesa firefighters as a bunch of greedy laggards, intent on destroying the fiscal well-being of our city by earning outrageous salaries and benefits. He points out that two battalion chiefs earned what he described as, "a whopping $347,000 per year and $313,00 per year, respectively." and goes on to mention that one of them topped nearly $110,000 in overtime pay last year.

Well, what he doesn't tell you as he rants about overtime is that those men were forced to work those hours - in one case nearly 4,000 hours in a year - because THIS city council has refused to permit them to fill vacancies that would have eased the pressure for such overtime. Do you actually believe that ANY of our firefighters prefer to work what amounts to two jobs rather than be with their families? He also conveniently neglects to mention that EVERY expert in this field, including our current Interim Fire Chief, Tom Arnold, has acknowledged that the use of overtime in some cases is actually less-costly to the city than if we hired more firefighters to cover all the hours required.


McCarthy implies that the overtime adds to the pension burden of the city - it doesn't. Overtime pay is NOT included in the calculation of retirement benefits, but acknowledging that fact doesn't fit the agenda that he and others have in attempting to bust the employee associations.

Near the end of his piece McCarthy says, "In addition, we need to remove the politics from the discussion." Well, just who is he talking to when he says that? The only people who have injected politics into this discussion are McCarthy himself and his fellow-travelers on the far right wing of local politics, led by OC GOP President Scott Baugh. It was Baugh who declared Costa Mesa "Ground Zero" in the state-wide battle for pension reform.

The current council has rejected overtures by the firefighters to save the city money in recent months - $500,000 was rejected by the council at one point. In an attempt to help th
e city understand our fire and emergency medical response organization, the firefighters paid to have the Orange County Fire Authority assess the Costa Mesa fire operations and provide a bid to take it over. Three proposals were included in that bid, each of which would have saved millions of dollars and would have cost many individual firefighters pay and benefits, but the current city council stiff-armed that proposal and it sits molding on a shelf somewhere.


current city council and their shills like McCarthy are, at best, disingenuous as they attempt to mislead the residents of our city with incendiary rhetoric full of half-truths and fabrications. They have attempted to use the public employees of our city as scapegoats for their perceived fiscal crisis and yet we had a budget surplus last year. We would be even better off this year if they were not incurring legal fees at double the budgeted rate - an increase caused by their own misguided and malicious actions.

So, while Chief Arnold and Costa Mesa Firefighters Association President Tim Vasin are working hard to find solutions, McCarthy and Righeimer continue to dump gasoline on the fire THEY started with bogus claims and fabricated crises. It's no surprise to hear that our city is rapidly becoming a laughingstock among those who actually understand municipal government management. It seems that a week does not pass lately without this cabal making one more attempt to destroy our fine city.


It is widely assumed th
at McCarthy and his Vice President of the CM Taxpayers Association, Ethan Temianka, will run for higher office in November - McCarthy for city council and Temianka for a seat on the Mesa Consolidated Water District Board. There is a groundswell within our community of plain old regular folks who are tired of their shenanigans and will resist the takeover of our community by this band of political extremists. We will, indeed, remember in November.

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Anonymous New Reality said...

We think McCarthy and Temianka are our future leaders

Geoff, who do you want to lead? Old fuddy duddies? Cronies? Pensioneers?

Those days are over our angry gadfly.

West has promised a list of people he thinks will run for office this year. We think that is a challenging task. All potential candidates that are consistent with the philosophy of the lunatic fringe have fatal flaws of un electability.

I can't wait till November. There will be further recognition for the gadflys and lunatic fringe that they are in fact a part of an angry minority.

It is the FF MOU that contains minimum staffing levels that triggers the overtime.

The community will not support hiring until FF's pay the employee share of pension. And that all new hired enter in a 2nd tier pension. Period. With no others items offered in return.
FF can send all the young studs wherever they want to hand out flyers. Community is wise to their ways. And rightfully upset that pay and benefits are out of line with reality.

3/25/2012 07:19:00 AM  
Anonymous mulva said...

Beradino, talking to the unions he leads here, called CM ground zero first didn't he? Actually, it is happening all over the country so who knows where the real ground zero is. Now the public knows the costs due to transparancy and the non union public will vote for those willing to reign in costs. The unions will spend millions to keep their gravy train. These are the numbers and they are too high. In fact, they are absurd. Remember in November indeed.

3/25/2012 07:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Bell Equals Costa Mesa said...

What is going on with this City Council? How come I am reading they want to eliminate positions but want to hire Apple One Temporaries as permanent employees? What is the motivation at City Hall to everything unethical? Why are the citizens of Costa Mesa letting them being made a fool of? They are saying one thing in the newspapers
(Save money!;however, in reality they are paying out the button law firms with all this EXTRA money they could be using for intrastructure projects. The projects going on right now have only been available because government grant money not the Council. Wake up people the City Council (minus Leece) are taking you to the bank one step at a time! Bell = Costa Mesa

3/25/2012 07:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Other Mike said...

A little off topic on this particular blog item, but I found this article interesting.

This goes back 12 years. Tigers do not change their stripes. They simply find other similar looking tigers to hang out with. Isn't that what Jim has done here? He has added to the merry ban of Tigers with McCarthy, Temianka, Fitzpatrick , and of course long time pal Mensinger.

He finally found the foothold to put his vision to the test. He'll be damned to let the little people stop him. His arrogance knows no bounds. The sad thing is I would have liked to agree with much of what he wanted to do. He just doesn't get how to do it.

3/25/2012 08:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Council Stinks! said...

Uh oh, McCarthy and the boys must be scared again and realize the tide is turning because they need to smear anti employee rhetoric again.

This is the same song over and over again like a broken record. I actually forgot about McCarthy so it shows how much he is cared for.

I will say to McCarthy if he reads these blogs which he does along with the other council supporters. Come up with a new argument! The anti employee rants are getting old. We get it, they make millions of dollars and they all have beach houses in Newport Beach! blah blah blah.

I guess if you say a lie enough you start believing it!

3/25/2012 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Riddler said...

Whose boots will Colon lick after his master moves on to another town?

3/25/2012 08:58:00 AM  
Anonymous RobG said...

The firefighters he is talking about all worked 3800+ hours EACH last year because there are 9 vacancies (+ 4 more in admin) in the FD.
With no fire marshal, no training officer, no EMS coordinator and only 2 of 3 Battalion Chiefs.... Who do they think is going to do the administrative work? Those remaining have had to pick it up in order to maintain the level of service the citizens pay for and expect.
For more factual information, please visit

3/25/2012 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Barry said...

Since when does questioning these outrageous numbers mean you are an extremist or boot licker? This mess has got to be fixed and I'm glad people are asking about these absurd numbers. Kershaw makes more than the President of the US. Keep up the fight Collin

3/25/2012 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

New reality.... please enlighten us as tho what YOU believe to be SAFE minimum staffing levels. Personally I'd rather have too many firefighters show up at my emergency than not enough.

3/25/2012 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous almostdone said...

This kind of stuff is just political tactics. No matter how big a distortion, they know that a number of voters (or stupid non-voters who will get mad enough to go to the polls for the first time) will buy it and want to stick it to those "union thugs". It's their agenda and they are going to stick to it. Their success will be determined in november.
As far as this spin piece in the Pilot goes... maybe somebody should ask the question.... "Can this city afford $300k pencil pushers?" And then.... use the city manager and city attorney total comp packages (including pension, insurance, car, etc) to make it look like admistrative/clerical employees make that kind of money. Just say'n.
The point being.... A Chief being paid OT to cover what amounts to a 30% shortage in staffing at that position and then total comping him is not an example of what Costa Mesa "firefighters" take home to pay their bills.
Are there actually voters out there who are stupid enough to think it is? I guess we'll see.

3/25/2012 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Great Idea said...

Let's have all 911 calls in Costa Mesa routed to Colon for a day.

Then the puppet might understand.

3/25/2012 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous 3 ethans for a dollar said...


"We think McCarthy and Temianka are our future leaders."

Would this be for the MacDonald's on Harbor or the Del Taco on Baker?

3/25/2012 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Central Valley Farm Animals said...

If Righeimer were Osama, would Mensinger, McCarthy, and Temianka be his three wives?

3/25/2012 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous I like Jerry Springer said...

I love how all the Haters bring so much value to the discussion. Fear, doubt and mis information. With name calling along the way.

Great civil discourse the Pot Belly fosters here.

This is more therapy for the anger of the Haters. An outlet for anger. This is a necessary offering. Imagine if Haters did not have a release for anger?

If I were a no growth angry old Stinker, I would also be very nervous about youthful, high energy, articulate people heavily invested in making changes and improvements to the City. I might see that this group will have control and influence for the next decade. I can see how some are angry at this realization.

The Haters reaction to change is anger. That is what makes their show so entertaining.

3/25/2012 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Facts Don't Lie said...

Come on Geoff, this is from McCarthy. Can we expect anything less? The council majority had the opportunity to contract with OCFA and yet they sit on the proposal, allow Fire to remain understaffed and then complain about overtime. Charter city or not, the council must wait until the current contract with Fire expires before changes in minimal staffing, pension payments, and a 2nd tier pension formula can be implemented. The other option is to contract with OCFA. The Righeimer clones can whine all the want and make up all kinds of lies in their puff pieces to the Daily Pilot, but facts are facts. Too bad Righeimer and company such as New Reality can't accept that.

3/25/2012 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Chessman said...

@ Watching daytime Jerry Springer is better than going to school:

Who uses 'haters' as a proper noun?

I also, unfortunately, agree with you that this thread in particular is not very civil. Lets rev it back a little.

@ Barry if Kershaw makes more than the President of the United States (which, to be clear, is 400,000 a year + generous benefits), how do you feel about all the money being paid to the attorneys? At least fireman actually protect our city, the attorneys are just cleaning up the mistakes of the city council (ie: failing to get things on the ballot). Dollars well spent?

3/25/2012 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

The President of the United States makes $400,000 a year.

3/25/2012 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Ha! said...

ok...300k for a firefighter doing the job of a couple guys...

How about 150k+ for a mouthpiece to spin Riggy's rants? Steve's " my coat may have brushed him" chest bumping?

I would rather pay a firefighter any day.

Nice try colon! Mention the money wasted by Riggy and crew on lawsuits? Missed deadlines? Hahaha!!!

3/25/2012 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous OT always high said...


Please explain why FF OT was $3.2 million in 2008, with 9 more firefighters and long before Righeimer or Mensinger were on Council.

Did the firefighters who made, on average, $34,300/yr in OT, in 2008 like their families less back then?

Nobody has any issue with justified OT related directly to calls.

3/25/2012 01:27:00 PM  
Anonymous factcheck said...

Colin's numbers look correct if you go to the City's website.

3/25/2012 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous He's persistent said...

other Mike it goes back even further than that. As a side note the comment by Righeimer where they became painfully aware was made because it was Righemer who was defeated 2 times for the School Board.

There is so much more here so I posted the link. I also had to break this up into 2 posts because of limitations.


Mr. Chairman, Members of Congress, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for allowing me here to testify today.

My name is Jim Righeimer. I'm here representing the authors of the reform initiative. There are actually three authors, Mark Bucher Frank Ury and myself. On November 13th, less than a month ago, we turned in almost 800,000 signatures to place the California Campaign Reform Initiative on the June 1998 ballot.

This initiative has a very simple intent; it would require that employers and labor unions get written permission, before they can take money for political expenditures out of an employee or member's paycheck as defined by the California Political Reform Act. This permission is to be in writing and renewed every 12 months.

Let me first tell you what this initiative does not do.

This reform does not in any way dictate how unions spend money for political purposes. It does not in any way affect issues advocacy spending. It does not affect in any way unions' First Amendment rights for free speech.

Its only requirement is that the union employees get permission from each and every member before it takes the money for political expenditures or contributions.

The abuses that have taken place in recent years, where labor bosses extract money from their members' paychecks without their permission has become intolerable.

In years past, Congress gave special rights to labor organizations so that they had the ability to negotiate labor contracts for their membership. These rights included federal guidelines to protect labor organizations' abilities to organize members, and the right to collective bargaining. They also include the right to exact compulsory dues from the members to pay for operating the union.

Nowhere in those rights and benefits given by Congress was there the right to collect dues for the purpose of direct political expenditures, such as contributions to candidates and political causes. In California, the only way for a worker to stop having his earnings used for political purposes is to resign from the union and become an agency fee member. The process can be intimidating and very threatening to a member trying not to rock the boat with coworkers, superiors and union bosses.

Although many union members do not want their dues to go to political causes, they are not willing to risk their jobs or job advancement by disagreeing with a superior who is also a union leader. The process of quitting the union over political differences is not worth the risk an individual runs of being labeled by fellow workers as anti-union. Quitting the union is just short of being considered a scab. Union leadership knows of this subtle form of intimidation, and that is why they are about to spend tens of millions of dollars of their members' hard-earned money to stop this initiative from passing.

Union bosses know that given the choice, the vast majority of their membership would not give them their money.

3/25/2012 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous He's persistent said...

part 2

The Campaign Reform Initiative was written to stop the abuses of union bosses using compulsory union dues from their members for candidates and political purposes. Many of those members do not believe in those political causes or candidates.

We, the three authors, became painfully aware of the problem in 1994, when we started a group called the Education Alliance. The organization's sole purpose was to get local school board candidates elected who believed in local control and parental rights of school boards. The teachers union supported none of the candidates. The union had long ago taken control of all the school boards in Orange County.

Control by the unions was so strong that on some boards, all the trustees were either teachers, spouses of teachers or administrators in neighboring school districts. When a candidate whom the union opposed tried to get elected to the school board, not only was the money taken from the members' local dues, but also from the union's state organization.

3/25/2012 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Reasonable Person said...

Interesting exchange during that hearing.

Mr. Filner. Thank you, Ms. Sanchez.

Just quickly, Mr. Righeimer, you said in your testimony in California, the only way that a worker can stop having his earnings used for political purposes is to resign from the union. My understanding from today's testimony is that that's not true; that is, you can ask for your money back.

Mr. Righeimer. Well, actually, they are two different things. Some unions will have a separate check-off for additional dollars. What we're talking about is actual union dues that are used towards political purposes.

So someone will say "I don't want to give money." They'll say "There's a PAC we have. And I don't want to give money to that PAC." And they say "Fine. You don't have to give money to that PAC."

What most union members don't realize is that actually out, of their dues, money goes toward it.

Mr. Filner. But they have a legal right to ask for it back, right?

Mr. Righeimer. Right. But then --

Mr. Filner. So your statement is just false.

Mr. Righeimer. No. They would become an agency fee shop person. They no longer can vote for union issues.

Mr. Filner. Any reasonable person reading this would see that you're misstating the state law and giving an untrue rationalization for your initiative.

Commissioner Reneau gave a very eloquent statement that majority rights should not be adhered to; that the freedom to choose is paramount, no matter -- if I remember your statement -- no matter if it's a 51/49 percent majority, you have the right not to.

I was wondering if the three of you who seem to argue for that point think that if you don't agree with the way your taxes are used you have a right to get that percentage back?

We have in this country, obviously, both a respect for minority rights and a respect for majority rights. But you want to give all the majority rights away, it seems, in your statements. That is, the freedom to choose not to go along with the majority is more paramount than the rights of the majority.

And as long as we protect the rights of the minority, and I understood from the testimony that we have, why are you so un-American in these statements about not respecting the --

Ms. Reneau. First of all, I resent being referred to as un-American. Secondly, I'd like to say that --

Mr. Filner. It's a part of our country's heritage that the majority rules. And you said in your testimony -- and you can have it read back -- that it doesn't matter what the majority says; the right to chose is paramount.

Ms. Reneau. Mr. Filner, I think it's preposterous to equate a privately formed organization to that of the government.

Mr. Filner. All right. You want to separate the government. You know, I think the three of you -- anyway, you know how both political action committees work and issue advocacy soft money contributions work. Are you willing to apply the same principle to those who end up paying for that as you are to the unions?

Ms. Reneau. I would like for people who are forced to submit any portion of their hard-earned wages for purposes that they don't --

Mr. Filner. Does that apply to a shareholder? Not just wages?

Ms. Reneau. I'm not as familiar with those issues as you are. I'm from a very blue-collar background. I've never been a shareholder, so I couldn't speak to that.

Mr. Filner. How about somebody who is in management in G.E. or any other corporation that collects money for PACs; should they have the affirmative right to --

Ms. Reneau. It's not my understanding that people are forced to give to PACs.

Mr. Filner. But do they have a right to --

3/25/2012 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Sherlock Holmes said...

@ Chessman that is interesting. Who would do that? Well there are clues. Who also mentions Jerry Springer from the dais? It appears a certain councilmember might be posting on this blog. Of course it could also be one of the allies picking up the talking points.
My guess is it's Mensinger.

3/25/2012 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Forced to agree that the thread here is not very civil. But didn't the Righeimer Gang bring it upon themselves with the lying and obfuscation?

Not so long ago they would have been tarred, feathered, and run out of town.

I'm enjoying these transcripts. Thanks!

3/25/2012 03:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Costa Mesa is my home said...

@I like Jerry Springer:
You need to learn to distinguish righteous anger from hatred. Some of us see our beloved city being destroyed before our eyes, to serve one man's political agenda. It makes us angry. We see our money being spent on open-ended contracts with high-priced lawyers in useless litigation, and it makes us angry. We see experienced, highly competent employees fleeing the destruction and being replaced by top-dollar temps and cronies. It makes us angry. It's because we care about this city rather than having our eye on a seat in Congress. It's an outrage, and we have every right to be angry.

3/25/2012 04:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Art said...

Council Boys, keep up the anti employee rhetoric. Keep singing the same song that you have been. Keep distorting facts and publishing numbers supported by half truths. Trust me, people ar looking at it and taking notice.

They are taking notice of your disingenuous nature and pettiness. Those of us who ave followed along quietly and supported smaller government and fiscal responsibility thought you could be our guys. Then you showed your true nature. You are nothing you claim to be. You are not fiscally responsible, and you want to add a layer of government to further insulate you from the people under the guise of "local control".

So again, keep it up. We will in fact remember in November.

3/25/2012 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

To RobG:

I took your advice and surfed to to try to get answers to McCarthy’s assertions. I expected to find just what I needed after only a cursory scan of what I assumed would be a point-by-point refutation of all the incorrect and misleading negatives that the Righeimer-McCarthy axis has generated over the past year, followed by a refreshing reframing of all their dark stories into bright and positive ones.

Having read and studied propaganda through the years, I’ve developed sensitive antennae to it. As I’ve noted before, though, it doesn’t take much to detect propaganda once your nose begins to wrinkle after getting a whiff of it. I’m referring to the four pillars of propaganda:
• Your message needs to have at least a grain of truth to it;
• You must express it simply;
• You must express it with certainty (which, among other things, implies never admitting an error);
• You must repeat, repeat, and repeat the message.

Looking back over the past year, I see that the axis has learned the lessons well. They’ve even built on these principles and constructed a few complicated arguments that appear to be larger truths because they are built on several small grains of truth.

Bottom line: the axis has built up an encompassing story from easily digested paragraphs and chapters that is so familiar after a year that less skeptical people will accept it as truth because, well, there’s some truth to it, the stories are simple enough to remember and tell to their neighbors, the stories were told by confident people, and they’ve been hearing it over and over again, … so it must be true, right?

Back to the website. I found lots of raw material there, but no ready answers to the attacks from the R-McC axis. There were some almost-there arguments, but they didn’t meet the attacks head on. I had the feeling I was seeing a reincarnation of the weak response John Kerry mounted to the Swift Boating done to him in the 2004 presidential campaign. Because of his tardy and restrained response to the Swift Boat Veterans, they were able to devalue in the public mind his positives and make an overwhelming case of negatives against him.

I could probably digest what’s on the website and try to remember it if I wanted to spend the time and energy. And even if I could do that, I’d have to go back to the stuff McCarthy and Righeimer have put out and try to ferret out what was true and how important it was. And if I could do all that, I’d have to figure out how to simplify it down so I could easily explain it to a neighbor.

I shouldn’t have to do that work. It’s the job of the FF – the people being attacked – to defend their reputations and their positioning.

3/25/2012 06:10:00 PM  
Anonymous thatswhatshesaid said...

Mr. Eagan, isn't it just great that Geoff and CM4RG don't do the kind of thing McCarthy does? They don't need spin, just the facts without spin! Not just a grain of truth, but all truth, no partisanship at all. Awesome. I mean Geoff's commentary in the Pilot was spot on except for about four "facts" and implications concerning the Charter. Close enough for your crowd though. Thanks OCGOP for your upcoming efforts, great planning meetings Saturday and Sunday, all precincts have walkers already. When are you printing the fact sheets or can we just use the compensation page from city website?

3/26/2012 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

thatswhatshesaid said (aka McCarthy)...states Thanks OCGOP for your upcoming efforts, great planning meetings Saturday and Sunday, all precincts have walkers already.

According to CMTA website, "The Costa Mesa Taxpayers Association is a non-partisan Taxpayer advocacy group in the City of Costa Mesa.

Yea right! Real non-partisan group you got there Colon. More lies. Funny how you don't complain about all the new hires on the 5th floor. We all have seen the compensation report. The proposal from OCFA showed significant savings, yet your buddies sit on the proposal and do nothing. They also prevent Fire from hiring new personnel and then complain about overtime. Hatch even admitted that short staffing is causing the overtime. So is Hatch lying too even though he is one of Righeimer's lap dogs? Come on Colon, use your real name and answer some critical questions or are you to much of a coward.

3/26/2012 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous OT necessary? said...

Mr. Egan,

CM Fire is an outstanding department, filled with highly skilled professionals who excel at their jobs. The department is a tremendous asset to our City.

Their association is also skilled at crafting an MOU that has consistently maximized OT. In the past, no one has minded, and no one really drilled down on the implications of the minimum staffing provisions, but they have meant a windfall for most firefighters.

In 2008, long before Righeimer or Mensinger were on Council, OT was fully 41% ($3.2 million) of regular salaries ($7.9 million). Members of the CMFD took home, on average, $34,000 in OT that year. This year, due partly to about nine fewer firefighters, OT is much more.

What is the reason for this OT? A deluge of calls for service, or management and an MOU that provides a system for covering shifts that maximizes OT, and effectively raises the overall pay, at least in 2008, by a staggering 41%?

Why don't you ask the CMFA that question?

I don't think a single person residing in Costa Mesa, or any member of CM Taxpayers, or anybody serving on the City Council would have any problem at all with CMFD OT that was related to calls for service.

3/26/2012 11:25:00 AM  

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