Who Is Diane Harkey Really Serving?

Diane HarkeyLast weekend, Diane Harkey found herself in a little bit of trouble. The Dana Point Mayor is now facing a grassroots campaign to recall her out of office. And if this recall effort were to succeed, how would she keep raising money and raising her profile to hop on over to Sacramento?

But wait, what’s wrong with this picture? Is it these people in Dana Point going after Diane Harkey? Or is it Diane Harkey’s activities? And who is the Dana Point Mayor really serving? Is it the people of Dana Point, or is it something else? Maybe her campaign finance report can help us figure out the real answer here.

Follow me after the flip for more…

So who is Diane Harkey really serving? Well, maybe this can help us find the answer. Already as I’ve been looking through this report, I immediately began spotting clues:

William Brough gave Harkey $250. He’s the husband of Michelle Brough, a recent resident and renter (not a property owner) in Dana Point, who replaced long standing Planning Commissioner April O’Connor. She’s a protege of Assemblywoman Mimi Walters, and she was part of a “purge” engineered by Harkey to replace old-timers in city government with Harkey loyalists. The contribution was made within a few weeks of Michelle’s appointment.

CR and R gave Harkey $2,500. They’re the waste hauling company that has an exclusive contract with the City of Dana Point as a result of Harkey’s opposition to a competitive bid contract.

Lisa Bartlett gave the maximum $3,600. She’s a recently elected member of the Dana Point City Council who was elected with Harkey’s support. I bet she’s quite grateful for Harkey’s help in getting elected to city council… And receiving Harkey’s blessing to be the next mayor once Harkey is sent packing to Sacramento.

Joel Bishop gave the minimum reportable contribution of $100 through his company. He’s a recently elected member of the Dana Point City Council who was also elected with Harkey’s support.

Liz Fitzgerald gave the minimum reportable contribution of $100. a Dana Point Planning Commission who kept her job after April O’Connor was purged. The contribution was made within a few weeks of the purge of April O’Connor.

Robert Theel gave Harkey $1,000. He’s a developer with frequent business before the Dana Point City Council in Town Center. I guess this is “pay back” for all the hard work Harkey has done for him on the council.

Barratt American Inc. gave the maximum $3,600. They’re a foreign-owned real estate development company that has expressed interest to the city staff in developing the current open space parkland owned by the City of Dana Point on Via Canon.

Inland Group and Pacer Group both gave $2,500 each. They’re real estate developers.

Employees of “Point Center Financial” gave several hundred dollars. This company is a secondary market mortgage lending company that’s owned by the Harkey family.

Now isn’t this all precious? All of these lovely folks are giving to Diane Harkey’s Assembly Campaign? Hmmm… I wonder what they’re receiving in return.

Let’s see. C R and R got the no-bid contract. Lisa Bartlett and Joel Bishop got their city council seats. William Brough got his wife on the planning commission. Robert Theel is getting in on the Town Center development. You know what this all sounds like to me? This sounds like Diane Harkey is enagaging in a serious game of “Pay to Play“.

So wait, what’s wrong with this? This means that Diane Harkey is selling her services to the highest bidder, and this means that she will forsake the best interest of Dana Point residents if that conflicts with what her special interests desire. And you know what? This isn’t what the Mayor of Dana Point should be doing. Diane Harkey should be serving the people of Dana Point, NOT outside special interests seeking to “buy politicians” to do their bidding.

Maybe this is why a group of Dana Point residents committed to doing what’s best for their community has begun this effort to recall Diane Harkey as Dana Point Mayor. Thanks to the Mayor’s corrupt practices, residents don’t know if they can trust the city to do what’s best for them. All they see is money going into the hands of greedy politicians, and favors coming out of the government run by these greedy politicians. This isn’t the way politics should work.

This isn’t what the residents of lovely Dana Point deserve.

  10 comments for “Who Is Diane Harkey Really Serving?

  1. antony cooke
    August 6, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Yes Andrew, this speaks volumes; it gets to the heart of the matter. Something common to everyone living in any community is the hope that our representatives will take the city’s interests to heart, and run because they are motivated to give something back – all the things they campaign on. We always want to believe this is in their hearts. However, it is always a great disillusionment when any of our elected officials cynically use us, the people of their community, for their own self-serving ambition.

    I voted for Diane Harkey for the Council when she ran in 2004, because she seemed like a breath of fresh air. She appeared to be the perfect grass roots figure, the anti-big developer candidate. But things were not to be, and I regret having been so easily led ‘up the garden path’ by this shallow opportunist. This was my mistake, and it was a big one; our city has been her personal launch pad ever since, for whatever she sees fit. I guess we can be forgiven for wanting to believe in someone who seemed to stand for us. However, our trust is not something any would-be politician should ever take advantage of; its a precious commodity which we guard jealously.

    Thus having become disenchanted at an early date, I became increasingly interested in the concept of recall as much as a year ago, over numerous issues relating to Mayor Harkey’s ethics. So many things have transpired, and continue to, that I feel I was taken for a chump – a fatal mistake for anyone to make in my book. Harkey kept on business as usual, including enacting her master plan for complete take over of the city. She forgot that the chickens eventually come home to roost, and their weight will take her down.

  2. Andrew Davey
    August 6, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that, Tony. Well, you weren’t the only one duped. I bet A LOT OF OTHER Dana Point voters feel the same way you do.

    Hmmm, and that makes me wonder. If Harkey were to run for reelection to the DP council TODAY, would she win? I bet NOT. DP has seen her crazy antics and her lack of ethics. I bet they’d send her packing.

    Maybe that’s one reason why she wants to go to Sacramento. Since she’s done all she could in Dana Point, she needs to find a new place where she can do her “Pay to Play” game. I bet there are A LOT of folks who’d like that, as they don’t mind paying crooked politicians like her to play games with the business of the people of California to game the system for their benefit. Sad, but true.

    Still, there’s hope. I’m hoping that more folks like you in Dana Point take action. This move to recall her is really giving me hope. Maybe we can start cleaning house… In the state house AND in city hall! 🙂

  3. antony cooke
    August 6, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Actually Andrew, I don’t believe she’d have a prayer of being elected dog catcher in Dana Point today. Regardless of the recalI, I don’t think she could win again here. By the time the votes were counted in her ridiculous run for the State Senate, as a neophyte with only months of Dana Point Council experience, she carried the city with just over 200 votes – a far cry from her showing in the earlier city council election. It would be less impressive today, even than this.

    Today, I think Harkey’s image in the city is tarnished beyond repair. I just hope that Orange County voters will look to her miserable performance in this, her home town, before they pull the Harkey lever in the Assembly race.

  4. Andrew Davey
    August 6, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Oh my! She only carried HER HOMETOWN by 200 votes?! That’s pathetic!

    I guess if she was already losing steam then, she might soon be out of a job! And if that happens, she may gave to kiss her dream of going to Sacramento goodbye. I guess the rest of South County first needs to see the REAL Diane Harkey that the City of Dana Point has unfortunately been exposed to.

  5. antony cooke
    August 7, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Too bad no readers seem to care about unethical politicians. I’m surprised to find this, of all things, on this web site. It would seem to me that one who flaunts so obviously her comfort level with buying a career in Sacramento would have provoked the ire of many readers of this blog. Does no-one else reading this, other than Andrew and me, care about our system of government being perverted on a daily basis in the City of Dana Point?

    Let us hear from you!

  6. August 8, 2007 at 8:42 am


    It may well be that there are readers like me, who are not in Dana Point and therefore can’t vote her out. So, we can sympathize, but there’s not much more that we can do.
    I would like to see this blogsite continue to cover the story, though.

  7. antony cooke
    August 8, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Thank you all! Your interest and support is greatly appreciated.

    Antony Cooke

  8. Andrew Davey
    August 9, 2007 at 8:15 am

    No problem, Antony! And thanks for coming here to The Liberal OC to offer us some more local insight into the strange, strange world of Diane Harkey and her minions. I think we’ll need more of that from you and our other fantastic Dana Point readers as these Harkey scandals continue to surface. 😉

  9. antony cooke
    August 9, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Well, now we have it. The Republican blog, OCBlog.net has just acted precisely as Diane Harkey would have wished. It deleted all 20 comments on the latest story about her highness, leaving only the original biased opinion piece written by the site’s operator. It has also terminated all comments to that story. The criticisms which this piece spawned were extremely factual and to the point, and I guess too much heat for the forces that be. It is interesting to note that Harkey’s own Assembly promotion spot on the site is also gone; maybe removing all the blog entries on the last topic are the price for her return?

    All in all, not a very good reflection on any of these people and the political system which seems to control all the “little people” it rules, by default of their ignorance! Hopefully all readers of this blog see right through this; the Liberal OC seems to operate to a different standard, and for that we are grateful.

  10. Andrew Davey
    August 9, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Oh, really? Figures. Diane Harkey and her minions would have their compadres at OC Blog doing something like that. Now they couldn’t allow such bad news on Harkey stay on the site, now could they? Too bad no one trusts them any more, as we can all see through this gimmick.

    Too bad that the folks at OC Blog care more about returning favors to “favored clients” than actually reporting on what’s REALLY happening in Dana Point.

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