Friday, October 10, 2014

Random Political Thoughts

Both video presentations from the recent Eastside Costa Mesa Neighbors Group candidate forum are on line and available for viewing.

You can watch the video produced for the ECMNG by Terry Wall on Vimeo, HERE.  I've not watched all of it - I was there - but the segments I've seen were just fine.  There's a little complication with the sound - you probably need to turn up your volume on your computer.  It's worth a couple hours of watching.

The second video available is produced by old Barry Friedland on his Costa Mesa Brief YouTube channel, HERE.  This is around 36 minutes of before-and-after interviews with candidates and interested observers.  I had to chuckle during the preamble when his interviewer, Sam Strodel, was talking about previous forums where "we were playing softball in the past", said, "tonight it's about to turn hard."  Sorry, but that just made me smile.

This half hour of gotcha television actually surprised me.  Her first interview was with Jay Humphrey and went fine.  Then came nice young man, Tony Capitelli, who addressed homelessness and his solutions.  Then she interviewed non-candidate Harold Weitzberg and began by asking him how he felt about not being endorsed by his "own organization", then asked about a comment attributed to Sandra Genis.  Predictably, and properly, he expressed disappointment.

Then Strodel interviewed Genis and began by asking, "And what did you really mean by saying "Weitzberg is not really a Costa Mesa name?" Genis brought her up short, denying that she said that, but Strodel persisted, but Genis set her straight.  Then came a question about Measure P, which Genis addressed, focusing on the confusing language.  She then interrogated her about fireworks and advisory measures.  Genis explains the context of the advisory measure on the fireworks issue from many years ago. She acknowledged a mistake voting to put an advisory measure on the ballot.

She interrogated Chris Bunyan on his views of unity within the community and his views on building trust.

She then presented Rita Simpson, which she described as the "new kid on the block".  I smiled.  Simpson says her issue, The Charter, needs to win.

Next up is Robin Leffler, whose name they misspelled on the screen.  She was interrogated about CM4RG and their endorsement process.  Strodel asked if anyone can join CM4RG, and was told that they must be in line with their goals and platform.  She was asked if Costa Mesa Brief could video a future meeting.

Then came Righeimer, interviewed after the event finished.  He griped about the question set-up.  He said the Eastside group doesn't represent the whole Eastside.  When asked about the claim that he doesn't listen to people he said, "You know what, it's amazing.  Sometimes people think because they come to you and they talk to you and you don't do what they want they think like a three-year-old child, they say you're not listening to me.  But the fact of the matter is that we're listening to them, but just because they say something that doesn't mean that's what we're going to do. So, it's not that we don't listen, I absolute listen, but I'm put in office by 100,000 people in the community who say 'Do what you think is best for the community and that's why we're putting you there."   Really? 100,000 people?  As a matter of fact, when he was elected he received exactly 12,997 votes - just over 1,500 votes more than Wendy Leece and around 2,100 more than Chris McEvoy.

When asked about any regrets, he said, "You know what, I don't know about regret.  I mean, clearly, hindsight is 20/20 and there are some things you might have done differently.  On the other hand, based on results where we're at, we did it exactly the perfect way it had to be done to get to where we are today and I'm fine with that." So, no regrets... Millions in unnecessary legal fees.  Huy Pham is dead.  The new Miscellaneous Employee contract puts them back to what they were earning a decade ago.  The 60th Anniversary scandal.  The stifling of free speech.  Selling out the city to developer-pals.  The gutting of the Police Department.  No regrets, indeed!

Al Melone was interviewed about coyotes.  He mentioned drones to track the critters to find out where they live and get control over their population.  In Costa Mesa they are protected - bureaucrats and politicians.  She asked why people should take him seriously when he talks about the dog park.  He said his number one issue is density.  He doesn't want to live in Santa Monica...

Next up was Wendy Leece, who was asked about her candidacy on the Orange County Water Board.  Strodel asked if she was just shopping around for a new job.  She asked Leece what sets her apart from Shawn Dewane.

Next was Katrina Foley, who was asked how she thought she did.  She thought the questions were thoughtful.  It was fair.

She was followed by a very distinguished older fella wearing a Reyn-Spooner shirt who looks very familiar to me.  I thought his views were right on the money. ;-)

Then came the lovely Ilene Righeimer.  Please pay close attention to the very first question, and her answer... I smiled.  Based on her comments, Righeimer apparently thinks this is his calling - what God has given him and he feels a moral obligation to respond to that.  OK... I'm thinkin' some of you out there need to get down on your knees and let God know that he's backing the wrong horse in this race.

Lots of interesting things happening around town with campaign signs this year again.  Lots of reported vandalism and stolen signs.  Some of that certainly is due to the fact that partisans on both sides are placing signs in areas forbidden by our regulations.

I find it interesting that Riganista and Steve Mensinger shadow, Chuck Perry, has signs all over town that just say "Perry", not his full name.  Understandably, because folks know his brother, Art, is already on the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Board, they're a little confused.

Over on Facebook Bruce Krochman has established a page called Costa Mesa Public Square, in theory to provide a place where important issues can be "discussed" by interested folks in a "civil setting".  So far there are 333 members - I was the first because Krochman placed me there as a placeholder.  Well "civil setting" apparently includes the moderation of comments like the Hand of God herself!  That heavy-handed editing, plus the fact that so many participants have blocked many others, makes for some very difficult-to-understand comment threads.  The theory is fine, but the result leaves much to be desired.  This is just a shiny object designed to distract the voters from what is really going on.  But, it's Bruce's page, to do with what he chooses, including bringing in ringers posing as newbies to the system, eager to learn.  Nice try, Bruce, but it ain't working...

To counter that effort, Cindy Black has created the Costa Mesa Sandbox Facebook page - another forum for discussion of important issues, but with the promise of NO EDITING or moderation of any kind.  As of press time there are about 1/5th the number of members as on Krochman's site - and I'm number 1 on that one, too.  Go figure.  It's going to be a very interesting campaign season...


I also find it interesting that Lee Ramos, who lives a couple blocks from me, in his front yard has one of his signs, one of Perry's signs but NONE for Jim Righeimer.  I'm not sure what to make of that.  And, we've heard some rumors of unrest within the Ramos campaign.  Nothing confirmed yet, but rumors are fun, nonetheless.


One of the more peculiar campaign stragegies I've seen this time around is that of Brian Peotter,  the self-professed "Rocket Scientist" running for a seat on the Costa Mesa Sanitary District.  He's making no secret of the fact that his goal, if elected, is to put the Sanitary District out of business!  He wants to "fire himself' and consolidate it with the Mesa Water District or the City of Costa Mesa.  Don't believe me?  Watch HERE.


Now begins the deluge of campaign mailers - glossy pieces with smiling candidate faces trying to convince you of their value as a candidate.  We're also seeing multiple pieces on the Charter generated by the City of Costa Mesa.  I just hope the voters will take the time to learn more about the issues and candidates before they begin mailing in their absentee ballots, which also began arriving in the mail this week.

In case you need some help...  Here's a little jump start for you...


DON'T VOTE ON MEASURE "P" - It has no weight of law and the ballot language renders the result inconclusive.



NO ON MEASURE "O" - We don't need no stinkin' Charter, and certainly not THAT Charter!

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Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Jim is such a good listener that his comment on Costa Mesa Brief indicates that he thought Sandy got Measure P and fireworks mixed up. NOT! He is such a good listener that he interrupts and ignores people. I'm sure he was a good listener when someone explained the city budget to him, but he still got it all mixed up. His campaign mailer is nonsense.

10/10/2014 07:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Let's not forget Rig listens so well, that he didn't know why Theresa Drain was up during her 3 minutes to comment, and even before she finished a sentence, he yelled, "What do you want? Why are WE here?" Didn't apparently even realize that she hadn't begun yet. What a dork. Get rid of his ass.

10/10/2014 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Riggy's here for himself, his buddies, and those who give him money. I regret that Huy Pham is dead because a self-serving punk triggered Pham's death with a vicious attack on our employees.

If Ramos is leaving or has left the fold, maybe it's because he, unlike Monahan, resists wearing the OCGOP dog collar and heeling when the bosses in Newport issue orders.

This St. Patrick's Day, which will be the 4th anniversary of Huy Pham's death, maybe Monahan and Fitzpatrick can tell us why their methods of surrender to outsiders are preferable to those their ancestors used when they resisted the British.

10/10/2014 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous David on Lorenzo said...

I know it's a bit premature, but I hope our newly-elected council majority will be drawing up a big pink slip for our incompetent CEO/City Manager as well as the other city employees/consultants/attorneys who have been in cahoots in this four-year political experiment/nightmare.

10/10/2014 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous lovemygarden said...

Mrs. Righeimer needs to look at the tape of her husband attacking Mrs. Drain at the last council meeting and then determine if her husband is hostile.

Mr. Righeimer apparently misspoke again, as he was not elected by 100,000 voters, but it may have been $100,000. With respect to his listening skills, the ones who rustle a few dollar bills before talking to him seem to get his attention.

10/10/2014 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Dear Barry,

You're never going to tape a CM4RG meeting if you can't spell Robin Leffler right.

10/10/2014 09:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Barry film a CM4RG meeting? What for? That guy must be nuts.

Good one, Mike. My laugh for the day.

10/11/2014 08:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

D o L:

A City Manager is one of the two employees a city council can hire. They also can fire if they don't like how the City Manager (or the City Attorney) is performing.

The saying goes that the first thing a City Manager needs to learn is how to count to three ... as in three votes from the council that might fire him/her. Same goes for the City Attorney.

10/11/2014 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

"Really? 100,000 people? As a matter of fact, when he was elected he received exactly 12,997 votes - just over 1,500 votes more than Wendy Leece and around 2,100 more than Chris McEvoy."

Our mayor does this with money, too. Have you noticed? He can't get figures straight whatsoever.

10/12/2014 08:02:00 AM  

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