When I heard that appointed Costa Mesa City Councilman Stephen Mensinger (a well known school yard bully) had claimed on Facebook that his vehicle had been vandalized I asked myself; “Haven’t we been down this road already?” Just as with the apparent vandalism of Leprechaun Mayor Gary Monahan‘s bar (still waiting for the release of the so called “threatening note” that was tied to the brick that smashed through the window, or the elusive security video), we have another claim that one of the four boys from the Costa Mesa City Council has been attacked “because of their valiant efforts to save Costa Mesa.” Sarcasm intended!
Here’s what OC Register Columnist Barbara Venezia had to say about the affair on Monday:
Some days I feel like Costa Mesa’s ground zero for crazy.
As I opened Facebook Monday morning, I saw this posting from Costa Mesa City Councilman Steve Mensinger dated June 12 9:26 p.m.:
“Repair Costa Mesa visited my home last night. … Our family was visited by a group of union supporters sometime last night. After they put a “Cancel the layoff ” sign in my yard they applied paint to my car and proceeded over to the Pop Warner… bins where the scribbled the words ” KKK” along with an assortment of other painted designs. Clearly Greg, Nick and Joel and their Union friends have found their stride. Today more than ever I understand why change is needed.”
Mensinger wrote me an email Monday afternoon explaining his feelings about the vandalism.
“The events were a pathetic attempt to intimidate someone, yet I do not think the actions represent the wishes of most on the other side of the argument,’’ he said. “Many members of these groups privately called me to apologize. I do not want to make this bigger than it is, because it takes away from the issue of balancing the budget in real terms.’’
The Orange County Employees Association took great exception to Mensinger’s accusation against their Genreal Manager Nick Berardino telling him in a letter from OCEA General Counsel Don Drozd:
“Mr. Berardino vehemently denies any such allegation and further considers such an allegation to be a legally indefensible act on your part. We have and never will condone such actions By this letter we hereby demand that you cease and desist making any such allegations and that you immediately remove the offending posting from the Facebook account.’’
Councilman Jim Righeimer told Venezia; “We saw it was the same color paint as was on Steve’s car, and we put the two incidents together.” Venezia asked Righeimer why no police reports had been filed before the paint on Mensingers Car and at the Pop Warner trailer had been cleaned up, Righiemer told her that he believed the parents might report it later on Monday.
Wow! Righeimer and Mensinger really are Frick and Frack, just like Steve Lopez said in his Sunday column here.
Venezia was a bit miffed by the answer commenting; “Really? After they cleaned up the evidence of the incident? This whole incident is troubling on many levels. The damage and violation of personal and school property is disturbing, but what’s also unsettling is why a city official chose to post the issue on Facebook rather than calling the authorities.”
You really do need to read her column (here) from beginning to end, it’s pretty good.
I found it interesting that this time, even though there was no police report for him to read, the $3,000 a week consultant Costa Mesa Interim Communications Director Bill Lobdell had a great deal of information available to tell the Daily Pilot.
“He is saddened someone would try to use this as intimidation,” said Lobdell, noting that the councilman will not file a police report.
Mensinger could not be reached for comment.
The sign belonged to Repair Costa Mesa, a group seeking to block city layoffs for which Mensinger voted, but backers of that campaign denied any responsibility for what happened at the councilman’s home. They believe the sign was taken by someone else and placed in Mensinger’s Mesa Verde-area yard.
The acrylic paint used at the school and on Mensinger’s truck were similar, Lobdell said.
Damages to the truck were not noted in value, and Mensinger can probably remove the paint himself, Lobdell said.
It’s almost as if Lobdell was waiting to help the reporter write this story up as part of some planned communication strategy. Since it was an incident that had no official involvement from the police or other city agency, I cannot for the life of me figure out why Lobdell would be the one to speak to the press about it on Mensinger’s behalf. Here’s the link to the entire Daily Pilot story, see for yourself if this whole thing seems a bit contrived.
Maybe it’s just me, but I have to wonder if Mensinger is likely the victim of an attack from some Angry Birds. That would of course make the “paint” bird droppings, probably from the red one pictured above.
But if some idiots did vandalize Mensinger’s property and that of Pop Warner, they are jerks and their actions are inexcusable no matter how much this bully has done to vandalize the lives of the workers affected by his rash and misguided actions. I hope they get caught. OCEA is offering a $2,500 reward if information leading to the capture and conviction of the vandals, if they exist.
I’m certain that neither OCEA or Repair Costa Mesa had anything to do with this incident. When the truth is on your side, you don’t need to vandalize to make your point.
I’m also confident that this bully will still stick by his “I’m a victim” story, as bullies always do.