Who is Pulling Steven Choi’s Puppet Strings?

Republican Mayoral candidate Steven Choi’s onion-thin skin has been pierced again by effective mailers that spell out his record — that Choi voted against Irvine City Budgets in 2009 and 2010 and in doing so voted against public safety, city funding for public schools, parks & recreation issues and other infrastructure improvements simply because Choi, like most Republicans, votes “No” on most everything.  Our sources tell us Choi has taken to whining to Southern California’s Korean-American media, angry over a letter sent by current Mayor Sukhee Kang that encourages Irvine residents to back Larry Agran for Mayor.

Kang’s reputation for ethics and honesty is undisputed.  Even the conservative Irvine Chamber of Commerce named him “business leader of the year” in 2010 and he’s a political rock star in South Korea.  Kang is challenging John Campbell for a seat in Congress this fall, but from the whine heard from the Choi camp, you’d think Choi was running against Kang for Mayor.  Kang’s letter has significant meaning especially to Irvine’s Korean-American community.  In going to the Korean media to accuse Kang of lying about his record, Choi showed how thin his skin is.  Kang’s reputation is one of honesty.  And in making the accusation about Kang, Choi showed he’s asking the media to buy the notion Kang lied.  Choi wants the press to ignore how he voted and, and instead, to focus on what Choi says rather than what’s he’s done.  Choi needs to be held accountable for his statements about Kang.  I’d call him a liar. And simply put, Choi did vote against the budgets which is what Kang wrote about in his letetr of support.  What would you call it?

That’s about to change.  Kang has considerable more respect in the Korean American community than Choi does which is probably why Choi is so upset about the letter and the mailers.  But Choi has to run on his record and his record isn’t that great.  And Irvine is thriving despite Choi’s “no” votes, despite Christina Shea’s “no” votes and despite Jeff Lalloway’s “no” votes. Choi has to run on a record that says the last 12 years haven’t been positive for Irvine when all the evidence is to the contrary.

Choi might be the candidate for Mayor, but is council member Jeff Lalloway really pulling Choi’s puppet strings?  Here are Choi Memos that suggest Choi isn’t calling the shots.  The first one, with the initials “SC” isn’t Choi.  The second, has Choi’s real handwriting.  The signer of the first memo? Councilman Jeff Lalloway.  Why is Lalloway signing a document for Choi?  Can’t Choi be counted on to do the job of a council member or does he rely on Lalloway to tell him what to do?  And should Choi somehow get elected despite voting no on things that make Irvine a great city, is Lalloway going to tell him when to bang the gavel?

Even worse, Lalloway’s politics place him in the same camp with Costa Mesa’s Jim Righeimer.  Will a Republican majority suddenly declare Irvine in a state of a fiscal crisis that requires outsourcing of our terrific city staff, replacement of our police force with a county resource, or worse?

During the past 12 years, Irvine has grown dramatically and thrived.  Our city’s coffers and reserves took a hit during the financial crisis but we weathered the storm without cuts to programs, services, or forwarding-thinking programs in transportation, healthcare and education investment.  Our reserves are back at full strength and tax revenues are up while keeping taxes in line.

In many ways, the city council elections are much like the race for president and congress — do we move the city forward or do we move backwards?



  4 comments for “Who is Pulling Steven Choi’s Puppet Strings?

  1. Ltpar
    October 4, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Well, this is like the pot calling the kettle black, you accusing Steven Choi of being manipulated by Jeff Lalloway. After years of Puppetmaster, Larry Agran pulling the strings of Beth Krom, Sukhee Kang and a host of other Agranista Council Members, now you want to point the finger at Choi. Guess the results of some of the opinion polls must be getting back to you guys. I believe they are showing that Agran is carrying a lot of negative baggage and is not well liked by many voters. On the other hand, Steven Choi, Christina Shea and Lynn Schott are polling very well.

    Let’s face it Dan, despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars pumped into the Agranista Slate Campaign by your Measure BB money laundering scheme, chances are increasing each day that you will loose control of the City Council. Despite the multiple (six at the present count) glossy propaganda sheets filling our mailboxes, telling lies about Steven Choi, voters are not buying it. In my mind the only question is how will the new Council majority stack up? Will it be a 3-2 or a 4-1. Could well be the latter. Please Keep slinging mud at Steven, Christina and Lynn because none of it is sticking and in retrospect you are turning off voters with the negative campaigning. With five weeks left before the election, who knows what evil lurks out there, that could open a can of worms on Larry and the Gang. One can always hope can’t they?

  2. October 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Pat — I attended the candidate’s forum this morning. In his closing arguments, Choi clutched a handful of the mailers and called them lies. But they weren’t; he voted no on two city budgets and all that go with it.

    Afterwards, he came up to Councilman Lalloway like a puppy seeking approval for peeing outside. Lalloway assured Choi he did fine, but sitting in the back of the room, and trying to grasp points Choi tried to make was like herding cats. He was all over the map. But the good news is every Irvine public employee union doesn’t have to worry about a dual endorsement because Choi has found his strong anti-union position. But the guy is so brittle. He clearly has no tolerance for any sort of criticism and cannot think on his feet. Weak sauce.

    I’m still waiting for all the Lincoln Club money laundering scheme to kick in on behalf our your slate Pat. But it’s pretty clear, the Irvine First ticket is third rate at best. I haven’t seen a single poll Pat.

    As far as how the council stacks up: Agran as Mayor, Krom, P.K. Wong and Gavin Huntley-Fenner join a lonely Jeff Lalloway on the dias.

    • Ltpar
      October 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      Dan, I bet you picked the Angels to win the World Series this year, didn’t you? My recommendation is to keep you money in your pocket and do not bet on the Agranistas this time around. I tried to tell the fools at the Irvine Police Union the same thing, but of course they are smarter than me. I knew the Angels would choke because of their inconsistent pitching and my prediction in the Council race is; Larry will find himself on the short end of either a 4-1 minority or at best a 3-2 minority. As someone once said, Paybacks are a bitch.”

      • October 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm

        I’ve been hearing this from you for years Pat.

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