Choi Chickens Out of Irvine Mayoral Debate; Fears a Republican Moderator Won’t Be Fair


Note those classy folding chairs through the vertical blinds

We got an indication that Republican Mayoral candidate Steven Choi would not be attending tonight’s Mayor debate at City Hall in a comment on this blog, but citing Republican pollster Adam Probolsky’s “ability to be an impartial moderator” Choi has said “no” to tonight’s debate.

This strikes me as among the more absurd things Dr. No has ever done.  No one would ever accuse Mr. Probolsky of being anything but a partisan conservative and, at one time, was a city commissioner for Choi.  The Choi campaign issued this news release, but not to us.  Probolsky tweets: “Here is the Steven Choi press release–he didn’t have a problem with me when I dropped off the checks for his campaign.”

Perhaps Dr. Choi would be more comfortable if Scott Baugh was the moderator.  Or Frank Mickadeit.  Or Chuck DeVore.  But this is yet another example of the onion-think skin Dr. Choi has for being a candidate for mayor.  One wonders how brittle and bitter he’d bet at actual criticism of his policies.  Dr. Choi has added a “fact check” link on his campaign website in which he criticizes his opponent, Larry Agran, writing, “One must question Larry Agran’s integrity when he deliberately lies to promote his own campaign.”  “Larry Agran’s true motivation was to create a political fundraising vehicle, which is exactly what he is doing with the “Irvine Voter Guide LLC”. Take a look at it: in four pages, there is just one line to support our schools. This is morally wrong.”

Allow me to question Choi’s integrity for registering his family of four to a one bedroom condo in Woodbridge will state of the art metal folding chairs as furniture in order to run for state assembly in 2010 while never leaving his posh Woodbury home.  Allow me to point out Dr. Choi smiled and posed with people who placed a Photoshopped image of Speaker Pelosi as Stalin and a Nazi SS officer as “morally wrong.”

Dr. No is the last person in Irvine to chide anyone for integrity or morals.  Perhaps the Irvine Chick-Fil-A’s have a Choi special.  It’s a chicken wing and horse’s ass special.


  13 comments for “Choi Chickens Out of Irvine Mayoral Debate; Fears a Republican Moderator Won’t Be Fair

  1. Ltpar
    October 11, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Just when I thought I had seen everything, the Morals Police have come to Irvine and Chief Dan Chmielewski is working overtime in pursuit of justice? Outsiders will find this commentary difficult to understand, but people who have lived in Irvine for more than a month, will fully grasp the concept?

    Chief Dan, your comments are the top of the mark when it comes to hypocracy and the pot calling the kettle black. While revisiting the past and pointing out alleged Choi violations, you ignore the King of the violators, your buddy Larry Agran. No one expects the mouthpiece of the Agranista Political Machine to report anything objectively, but sometimes Dan you do go to far. Steven Choi doesn’t need defending but since you brought the Moral Police to town, let me focus on just a few of Larry Agran’s many moral faults.

    * Agran in tonights forum directly lied to the public about the Measure BB justification. Trying to rationalize the past Parcel Tax rejections by voters as the reason for the Initiative, Lary fails to point out that the City has already been funding the Schools for many years to the tune of over a million dollars. The new money comes from the City General Fund, is not an additional tax on the citizens and as such merely adds to what the City already gives the schools. As was pointed out by Steven Choi, increasing the funding requires no Initiative and could have been accomplished by a simple Council vote. Larry hopes the public will be ignorant enough believe his lies and not understand the real reason for Measure BB is to provide a place to launder all those unlimited campaign contributions from the “No Bid” Great Park contract holders, contributions from the Teacher and Public Employee Unions and the “Pay to Play” people who do business with the City. If anyone doubts this, they need to look no further than the flood of glossy brochures hitting our mail boxes every day. Those are not cheap to send and guess who is paying for them. No not the candidates, it is the Support Measure BB Initiative Group, headed by Chairman Larry Agran. For those in the know, it is no surprise and Larry Agran does the same thing every election cycle. Is there a moral issue here Dan?

    * More lies from tonights Forum from the mouth of Larry Agran. With a handful of Irvine Police Oficers sitting in the audience, Larry Agran looks these guys in the eye and talks about how they gave up their Merit Pay for four years, to help with the financial problems. What Agran failed to say was that the Police Officers refused to go along his proposal to give up their contractual pay raises. As a result, Agran, Krom and Kang voted to impose the four year contract on the Police over their objection. The two Council Members voting aganst the imposition of the contract were Steven Choi and Christina Shea. This is how Larry Agran rewarded Irvine’s finest for their work (Not His) in making Irvine America’s Safest City. Anyone in their right mind has to question after this insult to the Cops by Agran and Krom, why would the Police Union endorse them over other Candidates who supported them. The answer is simple, a small group within the Police Union is in bed with the Agranistas and believe that if they back them in the election, they will enhance their personal careers in the Police Department. Bottom line is the Union Leaders sold out their members for thirty pieces of silver. One day when the majority of Cops fully understand what their Union leaders have done to them, heads will roll. Personally, I find the Agranista actions toward the Police and the lies they now tell about it to be morally rehensible.

    * A question was asked from the audience tonight about a rumored stealth relationship between Larry Agran and Kathrine Daigle and his soliticing her to run to draw votes away from Steven Choi. Both Daigle and Agran sat there with straight faces, looking the audience in the eye and denied any such realtionship existed. Consider Daigle’s withdrawal from the Council race, a last minute entry as a Mayoral candidate and the lack of effort put into the race including not asking for the Republican Party endorsement and one does not have to be a rocket scientist to read between the lines. This is further compounded due to Agran having encouraged stealth candidates to run agianst his foes in the past? Not only is such an attempt to subvert the election process a moral issue, it may also be a criminal issue as well. I hope someone is taking a hard look to see if this collusion between Agran and Daigle is rumor or fact. My gut feeling tells me that it is fact and both Agran and Daigle are lying about it.

    Dan, I could go on and on writing volumes about other Agran abuses, like using his position to torpedo a criminal case against a former housekeeper, or the destroying of the seventeen year Irvine Sister City Program, but I think you get the message. While you want to accuse Steven Choi of being morally deficient, they say people who live in glass houses should never throw rocks. Your house is looking pretty glassy to me and who knows when someone may start throwing rocks back at you. That’s my two cents worth for now.

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    October 11, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Pat — Why isn’t Choi’s signature on any of the petitions for Measure BB? Is Shea’s. Is Schott’s. Is your signature there Pat?

    Daigle said herself last night there is NO collusion. Why is it when Republicans are confronted with a fact they don’t like, they continue to question it? But at least Ms. Daigle can communicate in clear sentences and coherent thoughts. Your party should have backed her instead of Choi.

    Throw your rocks Pat. Your team is pretty good at lying about their record. Problem is the lies are documented. What lies will you make up about me?

    • Dan Chmielewski
      October 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Oh and Pat, I was the one who asked Daigle the question about being a stealth candidate … sorry I missed you

    • Ltpar
      October 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Dan, let me make my position clear and I only speak for myself.

      Regardless of what the Agranistas say, they are running a deficit budget every year. They balance their wasteful spending by tapping the Reserve for Economic Uncertainty. Bottom line is that when you are spending more than is coming in in revenue, that is deficit spending.

      I have always supported the partnership we have with the School District on a number of fronts including Public Safety. We provide a million dollars of in-kind services to the District including DARE and the School Resource Officer Programs. I concur that those are dollars well spent. I have never supported the gift of money from the City General Fund to the School Foundation, because the schools have their own funding apparatus. There is also a lot of waste which the schools should clean up before coming to the City with their tin cup. I do not support Measure BB and since I am not running for anything I can say that. While not speaking for Steven Choi, I know his heart is with the schools and the kids. I remind you that he was working for education in Irvine long before Larry Agran and Beth Krom discovered they could jump on the buy the parents bandwagon. Measur BB commits the City to provide an additional 3 million dollars a year to the schools, regardless of whether the City has the money or not. If the economy goes down again, schools get their General Fund money and other Programs get cut. My personal preference for additional money for the schools, if they could detail why it is needed and how it would be spent, would be the parcel tax. For the quality of schools in Irvine, I am willing to pay higher taxes, but under the way it is supposed to be done. As far as signing the petition, “No” I did not do it. Hope I have clarified this issue. As far as throwing rocks, seems like your side is the one doing all the negative campaigning, not ours… least yet. One can only turn the other cheek so many times before striking back.

  3. Ltpar
    October 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Oops Dan, the cat is out of the bag and the OC Weekly scooped you on the “Stealth Candidate” story. Humm, this almost seems like a criminal violation of tampering with an election. Wonder how Daigle and Strader might fair in an interrogations with the FBI or District Attorney’s Office. Even our infamous District Attorney can only look the other way so many times on Larry Agran without having to take action?

    • Dan Chmielewski
      October 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Interesting story, but not a shred of evidence that suggests she isn’t sincere about running for Mayor. Are you suggesting Strader isn’t a good Republican? And who are you to decide this Pat? I asked Daigle directly is she was a stealth candidate and she said no. That’s good enough for me.

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    October 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Fascinating commentary from Facebook:

    Patrick Strader — Allan, nice try by the Irvine Republicans to obfuscate, but not quite. The entirety of this article is that I spoke with and emailed a candidate for Irvine office. I spoke with almost all of the candidates running in Irvine.

    Allan Bartlett — You know by helping this unknown woman that it would hurt Steven’s chances against Larry. You’re a smart guy. You know, you can still be a Republican in Irvine with business interests and not have to secretly help Larry. You gave her an idea that she could be competitive when we both know that the only reason for her to be in this race is to siphon Republican votes from Steven. Just wow.

    Patrick Strader — Allan, are you of all people telling me that no one except officially-designated, PARTY-controlled candidates are allowed to run for office? That doesn’t seem like what you usually say. That logic means that everything you do for Ron Paul is to help Obama? Also, is it your position that Irvine should never have new candidates run for office? Moxely makes quite a few logical jumps that are illogical at best.

    Allan Bartlett — It’s one thing if she did this all on her own, but you helped and encouraged her Patrick. You know someone like this has no chance and would only hurt Steven and help Larry. I’m not Steven’s biggest supporter, but at least he is a way better option than Larry.

    Patrick Strader — Allan, truly inspiring words. Let’s all spend our time voting for those candidates who are not as bad as the worst candidates. Maybe our Country’s motto should have been, “USA, not as bad as England!”

    Allan Bartlett — So Daigle had that winning campaign look to it? What a joke.

    Chris Moore — They had a debate hosted by Adam Probolsky?? what a joke!

    Chris Moore — so this guy basically sets up her campaign, then turns around and donates 1500 to Larry Agran? what a bunch of baloney.

  5. Dan Chmielewski
    October 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Orange County Register – Katherine’s Letter to the Editor.

    Orange County Register – Katherine’s Letter to the Editor.

    IRVINE, Katherine Daigle, candidate for mayor of Irvine: Regarding the letter “Decoy strategy in Irvine” [Aug. 18]: First of all, Larry Agran and I have never met, and he does not have any association with my campaign for mayor of Irvine. My decision to run was inspired by people of our community who think it is time for fresh leadership. While Irvine is currently safe, sound and strong, its employee pension obligations are about to fracture, likely compromising our financial strength. As I am a strong supporter of the Great Park, Mr. Agran and Steven Choi have promised and continually delayed the completion of the Great Park. While nothing of real consequence has happened, causing millions in cost overruns.

    In their decades of council incumbency, it’s fair to recognize that our politicians have become comfortable with business-as-usual politics. Reforming Irvine’s term-limits law will provide a strong dedicated council with fresh vision and insight. That is my commitment to Irvine residents


    • Ltpar
      October 12, 2012 at 9:35 am

      Dan, spin the information any way you want, but it still comes out the same. The woman originally withdrew from the Council race, was then hustled to run for Mayor by a known Larry Agran shill(Pat Strader), she was plugged into a Washington D.C. political consultant also used by Agran, Krom & Wong and then given some funds for her campaign. Daigle claims to be a Republican, but never sought endorsement from the Republican Party. She has done minimal campaign effort in support of her goal to become Mayor. She knows full well that she hasn’t a snowballs chance in Hell of getting elected, but then that was never the intent anyway? By being a woman candidate and living in Woodbridge Daigle might syphon off enough conservative votes from Steven Choi to give Agran the election?

      Just supposing now, a miracle occurred and someone finally looked into the possibility of political corruption in Irvine. How long do you think Daigle or even Strader would hold up under interrogation by the FBI after being told, lying to a Federal Agent is a jail offense? Would either go to jail to cover for Larry? Not on your life they wouldn’t. Considering the past history of both the District Attorney and U.S. Attorney, it would appear that Larry, the “teflon man,” will skate on this one too. However, the voters might now think twice about voting for Daigle.

      • poorpat
        October 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm

        how do you think Choi would hold up to interrogation on voter fraud? Isnt that a felony? moxley botched this one.

  6. Mike Chen
    November 7, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Wow, can’t believe Choi beat Agran! Shocker. Agran must’ve created lots of enemies throughout the years in city politics. What percentage of the votes do you think were anti-Agran as opposed to pro-Choi? Interestingly, the anti-Agran backlash didn’t effect Krom. One thing’s for sure, city council’s going to have a new feel with 4 out of 5 republican leaning members. What do you think will be at the top of their agenda next year? Will talks of turning the Great Park into an airport resurrect from the dead? Like to hear your thoughts.

    • November 7, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Mike, Agran is still on the council. It’s a 3-2 majority. Airport is dead. At the top of the GOP’s agenda, turning Irvine into Costa Mesa with a fake pension crisis.

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