Thursday, November 06, 2014

Post-election Musings

I'm getting bored waiting for the next slice of election results some 16 hours from now, so I thought I'd just barf out some things, in no particular order, that have been rattling around in my skull for the past several days.

I thought it was curious that candidate Lee Ramos shifted his signage late in the campaign to little oval images saying "Lee" to his current ones that identified him as "Lee Ramos" and proclaimed as his apparent motto, "Safety and Civility".  Some wondered if that first sign was an indication of ethnic confusion - that he was attempting to attract our "large" Asian population.  Guess he decided later that his Latino heritage needed to be proclaimed, which he did - in Spanish - on signs posted around the Westside of town.  Hmmm, that didn't seem to work out too well for him.  And, I was kind of curious how he was going to deal with those "Safety" and Civility" issues - he never told us because he only attended one candidate forum, and did poorly at that one.  Was he going to hire more cops?  Was he going to scold uncivil folks and make them stand in the corner?  What was his plan?

And, since he and Jim Righeimer were theoretically a team, I always thought it a bit odd that there was NEVER a Righeimer sign in Ramos' yard.  There were some on other lawns in his neighborhood - he lives a block or so from me - but not his yard.  Curious, no?  I mean, he had a "Perry" sign, for goodness sake!

And, I wonder what has happened to his sidekick and campaign guy, Dennis Popp?  Old Dennis - I can call him that because we're the same age - became virtually invisible in the campaign late in the game.  Then, again, so did Lee.  But, Popp's almost incomprehensible blog has not had an entry for three weeks!  Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining, just observing.  Most folks I know that have visited the site and tried to understand his writing simply gave up.

And then there's the case of "Perry" - the candidate with no first name.  You saw his (or her) signs around town, right?  A cynic might think that Chuck Perry, candidate for a seat on the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Board, was attempting to bamboozle the voters into thinking they were actually casting a vote for his brother, Art, who is already on the board.  Chuck finished last - way, back - in that race - even behind the "rocket scientist" who told us he was campaigning to get himself fired.  When last seen, Chuck was reportedly apparently replacing a mangled opposition sign near Ralph's on 17th Street on Monday.

Over on Facebook the Riganista cheerleaders/attack dogs who were hooting and hollering for weeks before the election all seem to have been dumbstruck simultaneously.  Yeah, you can make what you want of that word... have at it.  My friend, Bruce Krochman, who developed a bad case of disagreewithanythinggeoffsaysitis over the past couple months, has swept all the pre-election vitriolic posts on his Costa Mesa Public Square site.  You remember that one, right?  It was the one he promised would be managed with a very tight rein, to keep folks from being too nasty.  Well, that didn't last too long.  And, an amusing factoid is that Cindy Black created an opposing Facebook site - Costa Mesa Sandbox - which she said would be a no-holds-barred site where you could say whatever you wanted.  The funny part is that the more civilized discussions occurred on her site, not Bruce's.  Now Bruce tells us he's starting anew.  We'll see.  Much depends on how the election goes.

And, then there's the camera-shy person who calls herself Julie Mecurio, the self-professed neophyte and wide-eyed, eager-to-learn novice in the Costa Mesa political realm.  She surfaced on Nextdoor and on Krochman's site all "golly gee, look at me - I don't know nothin'  - please help me to learn".  It didn't take long for folks to realize she was a fabrication - a shill being used to gin up controversy and tilt the race toward the Riganista positions.  Since the election she, too, seems to have developed lockjaw or something.

And, of course, there's my neighbor, Andrew Smith.  Andy came to prominence as a member of the Charter Committee and was an articulate participant - one who was able to guide the discussion and craft arguments better than most on the committee.  It was Andy who, at the very last minute, maneuvered the committee to delete the "council member compensation" section from their document - a section that had been hammered out over several meetings with much discussion and consideration.  It took him only a couple minutes to get them to delete it - perhaps feeling that it might be a stake in the heart of the document.  I don't know.  In fact, it might have been, but there were other issues that caused it to fail so miserably.  That's all moot now.  However, Andy was a major player in Ramos' campaign and, we're told, the main man behind the Measure "O" campaign, including signage.  That was traced by others directly back to Dave Ellis - political kingmaker who managed to get his entire slate elected in Newport Beach but failed to get himself elected to the office he sought.  I smiled.  Yep, Andy was one of those stealth insiders who pretended he wasn't.

And then there's Harold Weitzberg... I like Harold - a lot.  I admire his intelligence and oratorical skills and his passion for issues.  I watched him on the Charter Committee and when he spoke to the council over many, many months.  He's one persuasive guy.  I don't like his Medical Marijuana stance, but understand it.  I have a very difficult time understanding his position following the decision by his group, Costa Mesans For Responsible Government (CM4RG), to endorse Katrina Foley and Jay Humphrey.  Yes, he had every right to be disappointed and, maybe, angry.  However, in my opinion, he let that emotion cloud his judgment and it hampered the Foley/Humphrey campaign.  Instead, he apparently chose to advise Chris Bunyan - the here again, gone again, here again current (for now) and former resident and former candidate on HIS campaign.  As it turned out, it appears Bunyan will finish dead last, behind even the nice, but clueless, Rita Louise Simpson.  I kept asking myself, "What is Harold thinking?" during the last month or so of the campaign.

And then there's Tony Capitelli, a very likable young man with great potential who carried into the council race what more than a few folks in town consider a burden - he works for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.  Plus, the Riganista mob was trying to get him out of the race because, apparently, they feared he would suck votes from Righeimer and Ramos.  And, while everyone I spoke with liked him - a lot - and admired his dedication to solving the homelessness problem in our city, when he told us all that he was supporting the Charter he might as well have said he liked Ebola.

Accountant Al Melone ran again and again sucked up valuable votes.  He's still a one-trick pony - the dog park is his baby - but he spread his wings and took on other issues, which probably did him in.  Since the last election he's been an occasional speaker at meetings and had become impatient to the point of anger because he couldn't get folks to agree with him - at least, not quickly enough.  He was not a persuasive speaker.

None of us know how this race will end up.  It's the closest one in my memory, which includes Bruce Garlich's 44 vote loss a few years ago and, last time, when John Stephens lost by 155 votes to Gary Monahan.  Today Righeimer holds a razor-thin 18 vote margin over Humphrey and it's trending toward Humphrey.  Only the passage of time and counting of votes the remainder of the week and maybe into next week will tell.  There are still over 135,000 ballots remaining to be counted by the Registrar of Voters office.  But, once again, the tightness of this race only demonstrates the folly of so many candidates in the race.  Yes, it's their right to run.  Last time somebody named James Rader got his name on the ballot, changed his mind the next day and didn't campaign a lick and still got more than 2,000 votes.  This is serious business...

That's all for this one.  In sixteen hours we'll get another update and I'll report that one to you, too.  Please cross fingers, toes and anything else you think can be crossed with the hope that Jay Humphrey can prevail over Jim Righeimer.

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Anonymous breaking bad said...

Geoff, THANK YOU!!! Thank you for all you do and have done. The time, the heart and the effort you put in is amazing. You are a huge reason why the flawed charter was trounced in defeat again and a huge reason the race is so close. You, the candidates, the volunteers and CMFRG have created maybe one of the largest blocks of informed and educated voters in the county. I believe if you compare what happened in Costa Mesa to the rest of the county it's obvious party line wasn't followed but informed voters and educated votes were cast. Not all or a maybe not even a majority but you and the other folks reached enough to make a big change.

Thank you to all those hard workers and their efforts to try and take back this wonderful city from whatever it is you want to call it that has taken it over.


11/06/2014 04:56:00 AM  
Anonymous breaking bad said...

You know it's really sad. Righeimer and Mensinger scream about the opposing play book. It's a cover for their own play book. Hopefully their play book as disgusting as the Lackey Daimler one was also goes down in flames.

11/06/2014 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...


Excellent observations. I heard that some dual-language Hispanics visited by Ramos weren't impressed or taken in by his "I'm just like you" rap. They saw him as a pawn for rich opportunists. BTW, who gets all the leftover campaign money Ramos took in?

It was all fun and games for Amburgey when he'd sit at Panera and repeat his master Riggy's mantras. And Perry must feel bad about all the time he wasted bootlicking people like Stevie, just to have voters tell him no thank you, we know the difference between the intelligent and the dunce brother.

Popp was on top of the world attacking you and the other people who won't march with the dictator. He even learned to spell "Haters."

Smith is a special kind of shill, posing as a nice, concerned citizen, when he's really just another second-rate propagandist.

These people just won't accept that all their worship, sublimating, bootlicking, and butt-kissing only gets them minimal rewards from the bigwigs. They are disposable cogs in the wheel of a machine hellbent on sucking the life out of Costa Mesa for the profit of a few. The real money and the real power doesn't go to them. They get a pat on the head and get to play in the yard for a couple of hours while the bosses laugh and look at the next town on the map.

11/06/2014 06:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

This is the turning point. The reign of the carpetbagger is over. The next task will be to remove his sycophants from important committees and places they can do damage. I will always remember those who sold out this city. While we well understand politics, we will never accept how this gang put everyone at risk by their attacks on public safety.

11/06/2014 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger zennymoon said...

Geoff, the above entry sounds like an outline for a book or movie, but no one would believe it is the truth. Costa Mesa the little engine that could! Thank you Geoff for all your input and clarification, a voice of reason, which surely guided people to open their eyes and see the script for themselves, up close and personal. Public safety was truly ignored and allowed to decline to a dangerous level, for our officers and residents. Total the votes, Riggy, is really NOT the candidate embraced by the city, add all votes for the other candidates, that will show you his lack of support by the majority. However this turns out (I have my fingers crossed, too) our city is better informed and it rallied many groups to unite for a better Costa Mesa.

11/06/2014 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Honeyman said...

Per usual, I agree with everything you say, Geoff.

I think the bad guys are silent because they are expecting things to go Jay's way. Not only has Popp disappeared, but where is everybody on the dark side? The last post from Fatz-Patrick on his joke CMTAX site was a John & Ken interview with Mansoor. Riggy's last missive on his facebook page talks about the polls closing in 10 hours. Then again, his last tweet was from June 2010 (I don't think he has really grasped this whole social media thing among MANY others). At least the reliable city Nazi is still posting, but even he sounds a pessimistic. His comment today reads, "We still think Righeimer will come out on top and that we'll start seeing a few votes going his way today. But if he doesn't end up on top, he'll have no one to blame but himself."

I'm optimistic by nature, and know of at least 10 people who turned in their vote-by-mail ballots at the polls with Jay votes. Then again, I try not to associate with anyone who would vote for the disgrace of a mayor. But somehow....someway...I feel truth and honesty will prevail

11/06/2014 07:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Good summary, Geoff. I agree with most of it. Good assessment of the other candidates also.

Too bad Lisa Manfredi didn't make it on. She would have been a real asset. She's a smart gal.

Good assessment of the candidates. In walking I met a Mexican family, and during the conversation we told them not to be fooled by Ramos. The gentleman said, "Oh no, I won't vote for him. He comes around and says he is my friend, acts like he knows me. He don't know me. I won't vote for that guy". So...the hispanic vote they were looking for is a little more difficult than they thought.

What happened to Bruce? He used to be a real nice guy, could have a conversation with him, and actually respected some of his views. Not now. He has become an absolute weirdo. I saw the change over the months, and wondered what is wrong with him. Something isn't right there. Same with Andy. He was a nice, respectful person in the beginning. Now he is just an attack dog, and says nothing really, just moronic sentences, much like Fisler. Can guess where that came from.

So now we just wait and see what tomorrow brings, or even the next week.

11/06/2014 07:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

However, only 29% turnout. Shame on the city for not voting. Saddened at the lack of interest in voting that comes at such a high cost.

11/06/2014 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Jay hasn't won yet,....but I believe in my heart that he will. On election eve this Democrat was celebrating with my neighborly Costa Mesan Republicans. It was commented how much Righiemer has torn the city apart and divided us. I replied " I think it's brought us all closer together". Almost everyone I know, has put partisan national politics aside and come together arm in arm to help defeat the biggest threat to our city, Righiemer and Co. They all know I'm a Democrat , active with the party and the local club. On local issues they respect me and my views. I respect theirs . I mentioned that if the only thing that the Democratic club did was make them start electing better republicans than that would be a good start. We all agree. I've haven't felt this way about Costa Mesa for a long time, but I think we might have a brighter future ahead of us.

11/06/2014 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Breaking Bad, I don't know who you are, but you have paid me one of the biggest compliments I have ever received. Thank you, and you're welcome!

Remember when Brad Zint called Dennis's blog kinder and gentler? Those were the "on top of the world" days.

Lest we forget that Jay won by 130+ votes in 1990. Karen Robinson also won by less than 100 in 1998.

11/06/2014 07:50:00 AM  
Anonymous It has to be said...

The "Lee" signs were created by Popp's cattish advice. They were cleaned up; then they POPPed back up again.

Much like a hairball.

11/06/2014 08:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

What are the guys on the dark side doing?

One can only hope they are assembling their resumes!

11/06/2014 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

Karen voted at the precinct where I worked. We had a good chat! Awesome lady!

11/06/2014 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Honeyman said...

Registrar hopes to certify Costa Mesa election by Nov. 14,0,7995370.story?track=rss

11/06/2014 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous CM Resident said...

Geoff, you and your better half MET Julie and spoke with her in person. Why in the world would you make up the nonsense you wrote in this post?

11/06/2014 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Yes, indeed, we did meet her at the First Friday Car Show. Yes, she was, and apparently still is, camera shy. Meeting her and chatting with her didn't change my opinion of her then and now. Thanks for asking.

11/06/2014 04:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Atkinson said...

Geoff, thanks for all your great comments and insights. I particularly liked your reviews of the other candidates and their campaigns.
Keep up the great work and I agree with Ms Reedy, you should be a Citizen of the year for all your efforts and great reports.

11/06/2014 06:02:00 PM  

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