Monday, April 01, 2013

Swaim and Greenhut and Righeimer, Too

OK, this is NOT an April Fool's Day entry, although some might think so when they finish reading it.  I've already had my fun for the day and was happy to give some of you a chuckle.

Today Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer - who has never met a microphone he doesn't love - was interviewed by stand-in shills, Will Swaim and Steven Greenhut, on the John and Ken Show on KFI640AM.

Swaim - founding publisher of the OC Weekly - and Greenhut - former columnist for the Orange County Register - were standing in for acerbic hosts, John and Ken.  They both are associated with a "news organization" out of Sacramento - CalWatchdog, HERE - and provide their followers with a decidedly right-leaning view of issues.  It's ironic, since Swaim self-identified as "The Orange County Socialist" on the show today.  Some will recall that Swaim published a feeble blog - The Republic of Costa Mesa - which aimed directly at things I wrote about Costa Mesa.  I was always curious why he authored that thing, since he doesn't live in Costa Mesa and had no skin in the game.  One might speculate that he was being compensated for it, but I don't know that as a fact.  I admit that I don't much care for him.

So, back to the issue.  Today Swaim and Greenhut began their first hour with a rant about the decision by a Sacramento judge to permit the City of Stockton to go forward with their bankruptcy plan.  Bond holders have opposed that plan because they likely will suffer greatly as the bankruptcy moves forward.  There are many articles throughout the internet now about this decision available for your reading pleasure.  You can read one from the Sacramento Bee HERE

In an attempt to demonstrate just how egregious this decision is to local communities, Swaim and Greenhut interviewed Righeimer for about 20 minutes, trying to get him to tell the audience just how adversely this decision would affect Costa Mesa - and he didn't, much to their chagrin.  Righeimer acknowledged that it might be a problem for some cities, but Costa Mesa is in pretty good shape financially, so it doesn't really apply to our city.  I had to smile, since Swaim apparently thought he had a slam-dunk with that line of questioning.  He apparently is pretty close to Righeimer, referring to him as "buddy" at least once during their time on the air.

Swaim and Greenhut used the cornerstone of their argument the influence by public employee unions in Stockton and elsewhere so, following a commercial break and using the term "police thuggery",  attempted to rope Righeimer into that rant by encouraging him to recount the events last year when a private investigator - Chris Lanzillo - followed him home and reported him as a potential drunk driver.  Righeimer gave his account of the event in a very straightforward manner and not critical of the Costa Mesa Police Department nor the officer who asked him to step outside for a little field sobriety test - which Righeimer passed.

Swaim and Greenhut persisted, trying to get Righeimer to jump into the discussion, but it didn't work.  He did regurgitate his mantra that our pensions are unsustainable and did talk about a "police lieutenant - a great guy - who retired recently with a $164,000 annual pension that will be $197,000 in five years."

It's going to be very interesting to watch how this plays out now.  Righeimer acknowledged that Costa Mesa is not in bad shape financially and has openly expressed his opinion that The City should NOT do anything to pay CalPERS more toward the unfunded liability than is required - citing his view that it is doomed and that we shouldn't be throwing more money on its funeral pire.

We'll know soon enough how things are going to shake out as the contract negotiations between The City and the members of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association (CMCEA) move forward.  Their existing contract expired yesterday and the negotiations are the first such exercise being controlled by Steve Mensinger's COIN ordinance.  We'll see if that process facilitates negotiations or acts as an anchor, slowing it down.

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Anonymous Central Valley Farm Animals said...

Unknown to many, Stevie actually started COIN when he lived up here in Stockton. But in those days it stood for "Cows On Intravenous Nutrients."
Come back Stevie, we need you here in the fields! You can plow and throw around the football!

4/01/2013 06:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Swaim Song said...

We don't like Swaim. Any relevance he may have had to progressive issues was forfeited when he developed that attack blog "Republic of Costa Mesa." The first clue was when classless Bever touted it at council meetings. Then it and Swaim proceeded to suck up to Riggy, Mensy, and their OCGOP bosses.

Swaim's writing style isn't nearly as clever or radiant as he clearly thinks it is either. At least fellow shill Lobdell is good at communicating. We didn't listen to today's show, but if Swaim talked like he has in the past on cable TV, then it's time for the guy to go do something else.

Maybe he can lick one of Riggy's boots while Fitzy does the other one.

4/01/2013 06:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

I guess it is telling that KFI chooses loser journalists to fill in for John and Ken. The jealousy and hate permeating from yesterday's show was very telling. I rarely listen to KFI other than Bill Handel unless I am channel surfing for traffic reports. When I heard them mention Costa Mesa, I had to tune in. That is wasted time, I won't get back.

4/02/2013 07:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Mesa Mustang said...

Numbers are numbers. Sooner or later the poop will hit the fan and everyone (including the few haters who post under fake names here) will be asking how we got here and all of a sudden guys like Righeimer start to make a whole lot of sense. Continue living in denial until that happens. Costa Mesa's pension obligations are only getting worse.

4/02/2013 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Dan Chmielewski said...

How many former employees of the faled Long Beach Weekly "The District" are still owed money? That was Swaim's baby and he's no liberal, he's not a progressive.

4/02/2013 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Don't know, Dan. There are several references available online... Google "Will Swaim+The District" and you'll find helpful information.

4/02/2013 09:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Ron Khoury said...

mesa mustang aka "MM":
"..the few haters who post here.."

You tell 'em Horsemeat.
You don't "hate" racial mixing, do you?

4/02/2013 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Shaw said...

i don't know if he was added as a guest after the fact, but Bill Lobdell chimend in too on issues concerning the Catholic church.

4/02/2013 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Birds of a Feather said...

Terry Shaw said...
"I don't know if he was added as a guest after the fact, but Bill Lobdell chimed in too on issues concerning the Catholic church."

Lobdell and Swaim have been friends for a long time. It's interesting that Lobdell got his big pay city hall gig around the same time Swaim started his attack blog.

4/02/2013 02:31:00 PM  
Anonymous level2 troll said...

Swaim's blog was hilarious. he ripped geoff a few new ones with humor and fact.geoff loves to dish it out to his fellow republicans but can't take it when he is the target. I miss Swaim's blog.. a voice of truth rather than an opinion piece.

4/02/2013 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

We can speculate all day about why Swaim abandoned his attack blog. Maybe he just got tired of writing about a game in which he had no skin. Maybe it wasn't financially viable. We may never know, but I lost not a second of sleep when he was writing it...

4/02/2013 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

By the way, Lobdell WAS NOT on KFI yesterday... bad info, Terry. Maybe you're giving us a tardy April Fool's Day comment?

4/02/2013 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

Love when a tool like Mustang rips anonymous commenters... while commenting anonymously. Stay classy!

4/02/2013 08:45:00 PM  

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