Can YOU Help Me Solve This Dana Point Mystery?

I figured since today is Halloween, you’d be in for a scary story. Last week, a couple unsuspecting concerned citizens discovered this person removing Recall Diane Harkey signs off someone’s private yard. And when the concerned citizens confronted this person about removing the signs, he said he was just doing his part to “clean up the city”. Oh, so that includes removing political signs off private property?

All I know is that this person owns a foreign auto repair shop in Dana Point. I’ve also been told that this person is a big fan of Diane Harkey, and that he’s spoken in defense of her at past city council meetings. Now, I want to see if this is true. Can you help me identify the mysterious Dana Point Sign Snatcher?

Who is this guy? What was he doing removing these signs? And was he officially acting on behalf of Diane Harkey? As someone who’s supposed to set a good example as Mayor, I’d think Diane Harkey wouldn’t condone such naughty deeds. So did she know anything about this, or was this person acting on his own?

So if any of you has more information on the mysterious sign snatcher, his auto repair shop, and just how close he may actually be to Diane Harkey, please leave your tips here.

  34 comments for “Can YOU Help Me Solve This Dana Point Mystery?

  1. Anonymous
    October 31, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Forgive my ignorance;
    But cat this guy be arrested or something for removing political signs from private property?

  2. guido
    October 31, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    As a resident who helped others in their quest for political office, this person could have been arrested for taking the signs from private property as he was considered trespassing. If the mayor (her name is on the sign) who is being recalled had assigned this chore to this individual, they both would be candidates for trespassing and thievery. I propose that his foreign auto body shop located on Del Prado a block from Blue Lantern, next to the Dana Point hardware store would be undersuspicion for hiding any signs that were taken from the property. At least he could have said something else other than, “I am doing my part in cleaning up the city.”


  3. The Force for Truth in Dana Point
    October 31, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Seems to me that Harkey is so thin skinned that she cannot allow any signs of dissent to be seen in Dana Point. I bet the same people who freely take recall signs would never consider any pro-Harkey signs to be ‘littering’ the city. These signs also have mysteriously vanished from city property too. It was my understanding that the city and owners of vacant lots have a long tradition of tolerance for political campaign signs. But I guess Harkey doesn’t consider a legitimate recall to be a campaign. So what else is new in the city of Neverland?

  4. John JS
    November 1, 2007 at 7:05 am

    He works as a “Bag Man” for Dan J Harkey with Point Center Financial, Inc. and Rio Vista Land Co, LP so i figure Dan who is Diane’s Hubby had him remove the signs. He could be considered an intruder and dealt with the Police, Harkey’s I’m told are also a subject of Federal Fraud Probe so wait until the IRS and FBI complete their investigations remember their name came up on the Corona Indictment in the Grand Jury Hearings.

  5. Capo Caretaker
    November 1, 2007 at 7:34 am

    Recall signs have also been disappearing in Capo Beach on city property. A private citizen driving a white van has been spotted taking them. Can anyone identify who this individual might be?

  6. Peter Ripley
    November 1, 2007 at 7:45 am

    John JS mentions Sheriff Carona, who has been a prominent endorser of Harkey for the State Assembly. Now there’s an endorsement I bet she now wishes she didn’t have………..

  7. Andrew Davey
    November 1, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Guido & John-

    Thanks for the tips! OK, so this guy’s auto repair shop is on Del Prado & he’s involved with Dan Harkey’s shady dealings. Hmmm, so now we have to ask whether this guy was working on his own or whether he was asked by Dan and/or Diane Harkey to remove the signs. This really isn’t looking good for the politician who’s already in hot water for failing to live up to any type of moral standard.


    Ha! Still, I guess it takes a sleazy OC GOP Machine lackey to know one! Oh yes, and just where did Carona’s indictment mention the Harkeys? I want to know this.

  8. November 1, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve observed local campaigns for more years than I care to count.
    One truth I’ve discovered – Any campaign that spends a significant amount of time focusing on theft of lawn signs has no concise message for voters.
    The time and efforts spent investigating this pettiness can be better spent making a case against Harkey and gathering recall signatures.
    Find me an undecided voter who is swayed by these reports.

  9. Capo Caretaker
    November 1, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Publius – I’m amazed at the ‘one truth’ you’ve observed. But please name just one of the campaigns you mention which has spent a significant amount of time focusing on the theft of lawn signs. I always thought that there would be many truths to be discovered from campaigns, not just one – and that it’s this one is astounding!! What insight.

  10. November 2, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Cut the crap, Capo Caretaker. Unless you aren’t a native speaker of English you’d recognize that I meant “One truth [of many] I’ve discovered…” I didn’t say “THE one truth” – you did.
    Keep playing dumb – I sincerely hope it’s an act. You continue to misinterpret many of my comments on purpose in order to twist them to fit your own needs.
    Since you asked, here’s one example – Bob Dornan/Loretta Sanchez 1996 General where Loretta’s campaign got numerous phone calls daily complaining about stolen Dornan signs. Mr. Dornan tried to make these “thefts” a campaign issue. His son Mark went so far as to make a citizen’s arrest for lawn sign vandalism. In the end they LOST. And LOST to Loretta again in 1998. And Mark LOST his primary for congress a few years later. So the Dornan dynasty has yet to recover.
    I’d list dozens of campaigns where lawn sign obsession has proven to be a losing strategy, but you only asked for one. And frankly I think the other readers would be bored.

  11. Capo Caretaker
    November 2, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Good for you, Publius! You did indeed answer the challenge I made – and Kudos! This is good discussion. But I must confess that I set a little bait for you by parsing your words to demonstrate a point. So perhaps in the spirit that I am commending you here, perhaps you will finally concede the point which I was trying to make in the previous thread about recall proponents.

    And I do agree that the recall would be best served by pursuing signatures and issues above yard signs – but who knows, maybe the proponents are!

  12. Dan
    November 2, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    But it looks like someone forgot to ask the question of how these sign got on private property in the first place. It looks like Bag Man is doing his illegal thing on vacant commercial property. So did someone put it there in the middle of the night and he saw it in the morning and took them down? I wonder which of the two got property owners permission to either put up or take down? Depending on city ordinances, most cities do not allow them on city property, but only code enforcement can take them down. Does anyone have a picture of the signs being put up?

    And I think in Dana Point one Capo resident running for city council in the 90s against Ossenmacher did just that, take down signs on city property. The sherriff found them in his garage. He lost the election.

  13. Peter Ripley
    November 3, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Sorry Andrew, I have no idea where Carona’s indictment mentioned Harkey, but John JS appears to. You might check with him, or maybe John JS will weigh in. I’d love to know what occurred too! So please tell us more John JS!

  14. guido
    November 3, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Speaking of the white van belinging to that individual who was found taking the signs, it is the same white van that was driven by the person above, in the photo. Interestingly, it might be the same van that the FBI is looking for with regards to the fires. That was a Ford with a running board. Now if we tie the two together, we may have a REAL find.

    With regards to code enforcement in Dana Point, no officer has claimed to pick up any of the Harkey recall signs that were placed on that Monday, the same day the individual above was found taking the signs. If he is truly a protege of Dan Harkey, then we certainly have a questionable mayor who is seeking a seat in the assembly next year. She may be visiting Sheriff Corona in the pokey and asking him for some new rank and file supporters from inside the can.

  15. Capo Caretaker
    November 3, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Guido – the white Ford in question with the fires was a pickup truck – an F150 – not a van. And from what I had been told, the vehicle belonging to the person in the pictures was a darker SUV, not a van. Besides, the F150 was found and it had nothing to do with anyone in Dana Point. Still, you posed a fun hypothesis!

  16. ocwatcher
    November 4, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Hey Publius,

    As one who has seen a few campaigns in my day, the truth is the signs are important: Not to sway voters, you’re right, but to enlist more volunteers and pick up some donations along the way.

    Again, not to accuse you of being a hypocrite, but there was sure a lot of flak in Orange for a sign-stealing escapade there …

  17. Peter Ripley
    November 4, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    I did a little research, such as I am able. Apparently Point Center Financial is mentioned in Count #7 of the Carona indictment, but I know nothing of the circumstances. Perhaps someone in the legal field could look into this and let us know whatever any of this amounts to, if anything.

    Carona did endorse Harkey in June of this year for her Assembly run. I wonder if he was a contributor to her campaign, and how much money he gave. Again, what, if anything does this mean?

  18. Peter Ripley
    November 4, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    I have now seen the complete Carona indictment for myself, and can find no mention of the Harkeys, Point Center Financial or any other related reference, so it would appear John JS did not provide accurate information in his posting. I had seen such references elsewhere, too, so seeing the indicment itself was very interesting. Perhaps John JS was referring to earlier testimony and not the indictment itself, so if you know something we don’t, please let us know!

  19. Anonymous
    November 4, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    I have a weird question; if we know who this guy is, and we know where he works, why the heck hasnt someone called the Registrar or law enforcement to have this guy arrested? For christs sake we have pictures man! Call a friggin cop already!

    Damn Hippies!

  20. Capo Caretaker
    November 4, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Anonymous! I don’t think the police would likely be interested in doing anything after the fact. They would be more interested in catching him in the act, and citing him with a misdemeanor at the time. This is not the stuff of serious crime – more important is discovering what possible connections such people have to Harkey. I can’t imagine they are swiping signs to “clean up the city” out of their own initiative!!

  21. November 5, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    i must disagree with ocwatcher.
    signs are nearly useless. if anything they are a drain on a campaign in terms of resources – time, money, etc. they make supporters feel good and give people a way to feel they are part of a larger organization – identify with other neighbors who support the same candidate. but as far as motivating voters – useless.
    i’ll use your example of the sign-stealing flak in Orange. do you REALLY think that incident changed the minds of any voters? do you think it motivated a SINGLE voter to show up and cast a ballot? or dissuade anyone from participating?
    i have yet to meet a single volunteer or donor who shows up because they saw a lawn sign. and, yes i do make it a point to ask.
    candidates continue to buy, assemble, and distribute signs for two simple reasons – they make people (especially the candidate) feel good, and every other campaign has them. i have gotten angry reactions from people who are told we are not doing signs in the campaign.
    there is one exception to this – a super low turnout special election in which signs serve to remind folks that there is an election coming up.

  22. November 5, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I think signs do different things in different kinds of elections. In a presidential election they do nothing. No one ever decided how to vote in a presidential race based on signs. No one ever volunteered to help in a presidential race based on signs.

    In something like a city council race in a small city, though, signs do build name recognition. Some people will vote for a person just because they recognize their name. Others will NOT vote for a candidate if the candidate has no signs. A campaign without any signs lacks credibility in the minds of some voters.

    In general, given a choice between spending time and energy on signs versus something else I would nearly always spend the money elsewhere.

  23. Marty
    November 8, 2007 at 7:35 am

    FYI, Harkey’s name came up in verbal testimony only an ongoing Investigation is still on going thus it is NOT yet public more indictments will be coming. Point Center Financial has been a clearing house for Monies collected for none other than Diane Harkey and many of her associates including Corona, ” Duke” now in prison and many others. The Money is being followed and protected witnesses are helping if you know of more information on illegal money laundering, Tax fraud, Tax evasion, Loan Fraud and Point Center’s involvement with many of his builder clients who are subject of a probe let your local FBI & IRS/CID office know they will Protect you and your information, public corruption is one of the most dangerous public crimes that effect our Political Process. If you especially have information on Harkey’s both Dan & Diane in Atascadero Ventures, LLC or HFL Express, LLC or Rio Vista Land Co. publish it.

  24. Ken
    November 8, 2007 at 8:14 am

    JS Your information is correct, however it should be kept Secret now that you let the cat out, maybe more information will be brought to the DOJ. Here are some more players in Harkey and Point Center Financial involvement. Doy Henley Properties, Bridgecreek Development, RW Hertel & Sons, Inc. COOKHAM HOLDINGS, LLC Denbec Development and the big money movers with the CapitalWerks with James Radedev who are all the subject of Federal Probes and all connected with Harley and getting into Political Office both the Common Wealth and Lincoln Club of OC are part of the movement of Harkey monies via Point Center’s many Secret funding deals . I do hope now that you opened the flood gates some of you with insider info will step up, corruption must stop and stop now for us to have a decent process that the people can trust. The FBI does indeed have a very unique and excellent Public Corruption Unit working to this type of corruption so step up and help uncover it.

  25. Barry
    November 15, 2007 at 7:52 am

    Yes, from what I know their has been a nest egg of money laundering via the mutli level of bogus companies made up by The Harkey’s not so much for the GOP types but to conceal the vast phony investment scams they do and conceal the proceeds from the IRS and Board of Equalization as well. Money has been invested in phony notes with REIT’s and 1st TD’s with this company known as RW Hertel & Sons, Inc. which if you check with the State Contractors Board and there web site you will see it is a Very troubled company. Yet the owner Ron W. Hertel is a well known Gambler, Boozer, and Horse Owner and better as well, he has many Liens on his properties of which he does business with Point Center Financial and the Harkey clan part of the deal is if you borrow from Harkey’s you MUST donate part of the loan as a kick back to him for his wife’s Political war chest. Sometimes the Investigations take a long time so just be calm more Criminal Investigations are currently on going with all the players, Sheriff Corona as you know was very close to Diane Harkey.

  26. Guns and Rose
    November 16, 2007 at 9:13 am

    I am having trouble believing Marty, Ken, and Barry. I think they are the same person, especially since the style of all three comments include odd-ball capitalization. Wishful thinking is one thing, the truth another. If someone is aware of specifics of Harkey/Point Center Financial being brought up in testimony to the Carona grand jury(s), that would have occurred anytime in the last 2/3 years. Specific information helps, otherwise, this is not much help, and frankly is unfair to Harkey.

  27. Dan Morgan
    November 16, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    I have to agree with G&R this time. What is very unique about the three comments from Marty, Ken and Barry are the identical continued use of run-on sentences. This alone puts their credibility at issue, and therefore the purported “facts.”

  28. Jerry
    November 17, 2007 at 10:35 am

    The facts are all public Corona is a lying crook and his affilates Dan Harkey are still dishonest. RIO Las Vegas is the gambling place where they moved $$.

    Atascadero Ventures, LLC has millions if loan past due with Harkey and Hertel. Adam Daner uses his SS # 200-95-0249 to laundry the funds

  29. Dan Morgan
    November 17, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Well, I see where there is one pererson who likes to talk to himself. That is John JS, Marty, Ken and Barry on this blog and Marty, Marylynn and Larry B. at OC Blog. Also Adam Daner is a SoCal lawyer (Occidental College and UC San Diego) and the SSN provided is from Pennsylvania. Also the comments provided by this blogger doesn’t prove to be factual, i.e., Harkey in Corona’s indictment. This is interesting! Is this the Jerry that was branded the Village Idiot by the Register?

  30. guido
    November 17, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Quite a lot of innuendos and dirt that is flying around about Diane Harkey and her husband Dan. If anyone cares, he had purchased a plane costing millions thinking that his wife will be serving in the state assembly next year. Yet his attorney Jeffrey Bemice indicated to certain parties that the Harkeys are running out of money. He is the same attorney who represented Dan Harkey, twice, when he and Diane were going through a couple of divorces.

    Now that we know that the assets in Point Center Financial are frozen, they are still sending out a new prospectus for a minimum of $25,000 for property that is unnamed where the actual owners are hidden. That, dear friends, is considered laundering money as the investors, like in the past, will never receive any dividends on their investments. The same holds true when they sent money to Carona in exchange for favors. That is the reason why Dan Harkey and his company are now being rattled by the feds and the supreme court with enough law suits to choke a horse.

    As in the national primaries, sparks are starting to fly, sleaze is ongoing, and sooner or later, the details will be disclosed and people will fall like tons of bricks. And the destruction of a fast rising star of the Republican Party will soon hit the skids like mud after a heavy rainstorm.

    And this is only the beginning.

  31. Paul
    November 18, 2007 at 7:59 am

    Thanks for the information, Point Center Financial and dan J Harkey along with Diane have been Sued for Fraud, Breach of Contract etc.. in US District Federal Court in Utah Case # 2007-CV00892 by Pettro Properties and more suits are coming.

    The empire is coming to a halt and yes it is just the beginning. The feds are watching the evidence and filings in the Civil Cases in preparation of a possible RICO case against all of them.

  32. The Force for Truth in Dana Point
    November 18, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Dan Morgan – I looked back through the archives and saw that it was one Brooke Adams, not the Orange County Register who branded the person you mention “the Village Idiot” in a letter to the paper – a classic example of Harkey name-calling through a third party. (Adams is that living legend who managed to get an astounding 277 votes throughout all of Orange County in her embarrassing run for Governor in 2003.) Seems to me Adams should not be calling anyone an idiot.

  33. DP Resident
    November 18, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Would that be the same Brooke Adams whose mother held a fundraiser at her home for Harkey? I guess Judge John wasn’t home for that. Is this the same Brooke Adams the lives and works in DC? Maybe the mother and the daughter were just doing what the Judge could not do directly – support Harkey. The funny thing is when Harkey ran for the City Council ,the Judge was against her.

    At least you did not bring up the whiney “Leave my Mom alone” letter Harkey’s daughter wrote. What the hell is Diane going to do when she gets into REAL trouble in Sacramento……run crying to her daughter for help?

  34. Danaman
    November 18, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Harkey is in real trouble now! I’ve watched from afar all kinds of atrocities committed against locals via her personally honed attack machine, showing she has absolutely no aptitude or character whatsoever in defending her actions as a so-called public servant. Oh, but silly me; I forgot – Harkey is only there to serve herself, her own vane stupidity, delusions of grandeur, and all her opportunistic friends and followers – at least until she has exhausted their usefulness and spits them out like cherry pits. Everyone else has to be destroyed. She doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t treat people this way and think there are no consequences.

    As for her supposed great 30-year banking career, I find that as doubtful as anything altruistic in her character, considering her UCI bachelor’s degree was only completed in 1994. What bank would elevate a nobody to upper executive positions? No-one I know can find any evidence of Harkey ever having had such a career. Even Harkey hedges the specifics in carefully worded biographical notes that seem to imply things that apparently aren’t there. Regardless, Harkey is still a nobody, who thinks that she can buy and bully her way for whatever she wants. The truth is just beginning to emerge. The higher she climbs, the harder she will fall. She just can’t help herself from craving attention – the worst thing a person like this should do. I can’t wait to see the collapse – couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Forgive my cynical attitude, but it’s time public servants understood their oaths of office.

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