Saturday, September 15, 2012

Response To Cancellation of Costa Mesa United Forum

This afternoon, following the announcement by Gordon Bowley, President of Costa Mesa United, of their board's decision to cancel the candidate forum scheduled for next Thursday, September 20th, I received communication from three of the four remaining candidates that Bowley and his team apparently would suffer a disadvantage at their forum because Steve Mensinger and Colin McCarthy would potentially have the inside track.

Candidate Harold Weitzberg's campaign issued a press release to announce that Weitzberg had emailed Bowley requesting that they reconsider the cancellation of the forum.  Here is part of his press release:

" I received a copy of the today's release from CMU about cancelling the event and I would like them to reconsider. As one of the candidates for this political office I feel it is extremely important for all of Costa Mesa citizens to see and hear from all of the candidates on all issues possible. The areas of interest covered under the auspices of CMU are important to all of us and I feel it is important for the citizens to hear from all of the candidates on these issues. "

Weitzberg goes on to say that, "I am not at all concerned about a perceived advantage for Steve and Colin. I also have absolutely no concern that the CMU board would act in any way except in the highest professional manner. The fact that the board feels Steve and Colin are more knowledgeable about this area and how its future should be conducted is exactly the reason this forum is important."

He concluded, " I am prepared to be there on Thursday and I ask that they reverse their decision and put the forum back on schedule."
His communication with Bowley said, in part:  

"As a candidate for City Council in Costa Mesa I feel it is very important for our citizens to participate in open and frank dialogue on all city issues and to have every opportunity to hear the candidates for this office. I feel that the planned CMU Forum would provide this opportunity for the areas of interest that come under your purview.

I do not feel that CMU would act in any way that would be an unfair influence to one candidate or another. I think it is more important that the residents of Costa Mesa get to hear and see the candidates running for office in a wide range of forums.

Please reinstate Thursday's event."

I subsequently had conversations with both Sandra Genis and John Stephens about the cancellation.  Both were very disappointed because they each felt their knowledge and experience in the areas that the folks at Costa Mesa United planned to cover - academics, athletics and activities - was strong enough to hold their own with Mensinger and McCarthy.

Genis, for example, felt that her accomplishments while previously a member of the city council, including a term as mayor, prepared her for the discussions that might be planned.  She cited the fact that she was instrumental in the Parks and Recreation Commission being established, the Farm Sports Complex being purchased and the creation of the original Joint Use Agreement with the Newport Mesa School District.
Stephens felt confident his more than two decades of involvement and leadership in youth sports activities had prepared him for the discussions.  He told me that, since he had cleared his calendar to participate, if the forum remains cancelled that he just might take a cooler of soft drinks down to the Neighborhood Community Center Thursday evening and be prepared to discuss his views on the issues with anyone who cares to show up.  Of course, I teased him about holding court among the homeless who inhabit the area.. we both chuckled..  We'll see how that works out.

So, the ball is back in the court of Costa Mesa United.  I admire their willingness to step away from what they apparently thought was not a level playing field, but the three candidates have taken them off the hook.  There is a body of thought that this forum was cancelled to protect Mensinger and McCarthy from further embarassment like that they experienced at the Feet To The Fire Forum.  We'll see how they respond to the request to reinstate the forum.
And, in case you're worried about it - NO, I did not contact Gary Monahan for his views on this issue.  I didn't want to bother him on a very busy work night.  We all know how testy when events interfere with the chance to make a buck.   Hot weather brings out a lot of folks seeking a cool beverage - or a dozen - for relief.  Besides, as poorly as he did at the recent Feet To The Fire Forum, I suspect he might have breathed a big sigh of relief when this one was cancelled.

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Anonymous Robin said...

CM4RG never thought Costa Mesa United would act unfairly. We have total faith in their integrity and ability to hold a unbiased and professional forum. The time to consider if there was a conflict, which would preclude that, was before CMU decided to hold a forum, not when it’s less than a week away.

Perhaps the mmm’s decided the crowd might not be as much on their side as they thought, and no longer want to air these issues in a fair public forum. Their blog commenters promised the CMU crowd would be favorable to them. Maybe an equal or greater number of Sandy, Harold and John supporters would show up. Or even more dangerous, curious and open-minded fans and members of CMU would come to decide for themselves which candidates to vote for, and other undecided members of the public would do likewise.

This is too bad, really. I hope that Costa Mesa United will reconsider and decide they got it right the first time. The biggest losers would be the voters of Costa Mesa who want to hear for themselves what all the candidates have to say, and use it to make an informed decision this election.

Robin Leffler

9/16/2012 12:25:00 AM  
Anonymous roboto said...

If you feel you are winning then why give your opponents a chance to debate you and score points? Incumbents have the advantage. There is no upside in debates. The 3m's or maybe just 2 of the m's are confident of a win, perhaps a landslide win. Why give your opponents more publicity?

9/16/2012 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Weitzberg, Genis and Stephens are a class act. My hat is off to them. It sure does look like they have the 3Ms on the run. I believe the 3Ms don't want to give the other candidates any more exposure. I think they realize they are in trouble. At any rate, I think it reflects very poorly of the 3M candidates to cancel this event at the last minute.

9/16/2012 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

roboto, if the 3Ms are deluded, they probably shouldn't run in the first place. Win? Doubtful! Landslide, never! If 3M is not afraid, why not give the opponents publicity?

You're laughable.

9/16/2012 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Moe, Larry, and Curly said...

Word is that Boss Hogg Riggy and the bosses over him put the kibosh on public debates/discussions after the two disasters where his underlings demonstrated their vast inferiority to Weitzberg, Genis, and Stephens. The exception will be the Charter debate which Foley will undoubtedly win.

It's never been about "the taxpayer," or "the citizen," just the ocgop takeover of Costa Mesa.

It, like the 3 stooges, is going down in flames.

Maybe Mathews can pony up another grand and turn things around. Or someone can give Fisler a listing and he'll dance at Adams and Harbor with a monkey and a street organ.

9/16/2012 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous AYSO 120 said...

Katrina Foley pushed to have the forum cancelled because her candidate, Stephens, sends his kids to Mater Dei and has no connection to the community. She was concerned Mensinger and McCarthy would cream him and the other CMFROG candidates. Just ask her. She voted to cancel it.

Monahan, Mensinger and McCarthy are supported by youth sports, parents and local business community. The CMFROGS are supported by out of town labor and a few old haters.

Choice is clear for us! We plan to campaign hard for these candidates.

9/16/2012 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Disgusted Republican said...

Robutto- that's exactly why this was cancelled - your candidates don't want to give the top 3 candidates any more positive publicity - while at the same time showing the citizens of CM what poor choices for city council your 3 malfeasant, malevolent, and malicious Losers are! (YOU will need to use the dictionary.)

9/16/2012 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous CM United said...

Robin, Katrina voted to cancel the forum. Get her to rescind her vote. What is she afraid of?

9/16/2012 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous roboto said...

Oh what foul mouths the opponents of the 3Ms have.They are now realizing the reality of going down in flames like Return to Reason. It all sounded great at first didn't it. I mean you found 35 other haters and figured you could somehow turn the other 40000 voters around. Anyone notice the landslide Mansoor just had in June? Same voters will vote 3Ms, think about it. Riggy vs. Foley? No contest, Riggy in another landslide as Foley gets all snippy, hurls insults, and does the liberal grin/laugh. facts can be great friends.

9/16/2012 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...


9/16/2012 06:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Puppet Culture said...

"Riggy in another landslide.."

"No, Mr. Hatch, the stage didn't collapse because of an earthquake or other geological phenomena- as the crowd booed Righeimer's lies during the debate, Mensinger rushed the stage and flashed a phony badge at Foley. He was followed by a gaggle of shills like Fitzpatrick and Kevin Dayton and the structure just caved in.."

9/16/2012 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

AYSO 120 –Hey, that’s my kids region, both my boys played AYSO and we all had a blast. My son John Leffler went to regional finals in Hawaii, now I have a soccer grandkid.

You assume a lot, and you are very wrong in all your assumptions. You have no idea what Katrina was thinking. She would put aside her personal thoughts and vote what she thought was the best for CMUnited. I would respectfully disagree with her on this one though; Stephens, Weitzberg and Genis were raring to go and prepared to thoroughly enjoy the event.

John Stephens has been an active volunteer in Costa Mesa activities for years: Senior Center, Youth sports, involved in his parish Board and fundraisers, etc. But that’s OK, keep underestimating him… Sandy lettered at Estancia, and was a driving force behind Costa Mesa acquiring and developing the farm sports fields...Harold began his career as an educator and He was a proud parent and supporter of his daughters’ sports and academic involvement. Daughter Julie was Captain of the Cheer team at Estancia and president of her senior class. Harold has common ground with all the parent-volunteers in our community. All have innovative and creative ideas how council members can support excellence in education.

And once again, CM4RG is not supported by out of town labor. That’s such a tired old lie. Our opponents have already imported out of town councilmembers, lobbyists, YR’s from inland Orange County to come read a script about issues they had no clue about. (Several left without speaking to the Council after talking with some of their fellow Republicans in CM4RG.) And our opponents will be well financed by out of town money beyond anything we could muster with out strictly grassroots organization. All our volunteers are from Costa Mesa; from all political parties and all walks of life. Our hundreds of members (well, it’s more than that now, but I don’t give out the numbers that are growing every week) range from a Costa Mesa pioneer 85 years young to local business owners to parents of growing families to soccer moms, dog lovers, etc, etc, to 18 yr old’s enjoying their first vote. Can’t find a hater among them because they are all lovers of Costa Mesa and want better leadership for the City we love.

9/17/2012 02:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Stop Lying said...

Another lie (by omission) is when they leave out that Mensinger, like Stephens, also sent his kids to parochial grammar school. And don't Righeimer's kids go to one also?

So if the clones are going to attack those who aren't "100% public school," they need to fully disclose.

But that's never been their game, has it?

9/17/2012 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Robin, they all voted to cancel the forum - it was unanimous. What are they all afraid of?

9/17/2012 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous bebe said...

wow, more legal bills, more pension bills....let's end this. outsource, share services like all good charter cities.

9/17/2012 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Save fairview park said...

Mensinger and Costa mesa united will push more sports fields. More out of towners playing on Costa Mesa grass.
Where they want the sports fields is fairview Park. Good bye open space.Good bye master plan. Hello traffic. Too bad for anyone that does not back the sports machine. You'll be chest bumped.
With no forum, less press on this position. Less people will be aware of their plan. It will wait till after the election and a back room deal struck.

9/17/2012 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Sad but True said...

I think Katrina wanted to save Sandy from getting blasted by the soccer parents because Sandy advocated against lights at Harper park.

That is a pitchfork issue and the parents are hopping mad.

Foley is realizing Stephens can't win and Foley wants someone to be on Council when she runs in 2014. That is why Sandy moving away from CM4RG and is trying to play the middle ground.

If I were the 3M's I would lock up the woman vote. Sandy will have no where to go.

When you to after Sandy, maybe you can also hit Foley.

The CM4RG knows the polling is not going well. You will see bottom feeders Weitzberg & Stephens start swinging for the fences to try and get recognized.

9/17/2012 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Sad, actually, the precinct walking is in our favor and its wonderful! We've met NO opposition to our candidates. Don't know where you are getting your information, but I think you are drunk on Kool-Aid.

9/17/2012 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

So why is someone trying to pin this on Katrina alone?
Is this a personal vendetta against her?

The CM4RG haters are out in full force here loaded with innuendos and lies.
Keep 'em coming.
When the undecideds see the vile, lie spewing crap coming from 3Ms and their crowd with little else to offer besides the current train wreck of a city government we have now, it works in our favor.

9/17/2012 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Consensus said...

Sad But:

"If I were the 3M's I would lock up the woman vote."

Just send Mensy down to the courthouse or the airport, I'm sure he'll pick up some strong support..

9/17/2012 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Food for Thought said...

Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps CMU would rather posture as being non-partisan? There have been numerous times I've wanted to call upon some of the folks mentioned in this thread to speak at a foundation function based on their fundraising knowledge and contacts. This notion has been turned down numerous time since the foundation does not want to appear involved in politics. C'est la vie.

9/17/2012 08:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

That's a good point, Cest La Vie... but they should just come out and give a straight answer for why they cancelled. Saying that one side might have an unfair advantage, when the other doesn't seem concerned, in't work.

9/18/2012 07:23:00 AM  

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