Beaten at State and Federal Elections, OC Republicans Rejoice in Irvine

As I snapped photos in the Lobby of Irvine City Hall tonight, someone who recognized me said to me, “Must be hard to be here tonight?” I answered, “Not really, because election day was pretty much a slam dunk for Democrats.”  But in Irvine, where Republicans are proclaiming tonight’s change of the guard from Democratic to Republican majority for the first time in 12 years a “historic” occasion, it just shows how forgetful these Elephants are; Irvine has had Republican majorities in the past, so there was nothing historic about the installation of Steven Choi as mayor at all.

What tonight’s event proved to be a lightning rod for OC’s Republican establishment.  Jeff Lalloway, not Steven Choi, was being feted as the guest of honor by GOP leaders form outside of Irvine.

Those who came to pay homage included Assemblyman Don Wagner, BofS-elect Todd Spitzer, most of the Tustin city council including new Mayor Al Murray, council members Allan Bernstein and John Nielsen, as well as past council members Doug Davert and Jerry Amante (two who actually sued Choi for voter registration fraud in 2010 during the assembly primary eventually won by Wagner).   Quick question — if Murray, Bernstein and Nielsen are all clustered together at a function like this, is it a Brown Act violation?  It was nice to meet them all.

Costa Mesa Jim Righiemer was there as was Santa Ana council candidate’s Shane Barrows and Karina Onofre.  Republican candidate Katherine Daigle also showed up, which had to make Council member Christina Shea a little disjointed.  Several Irvine school board members were there too including Gavin Huntley-Fenner, Sharon Wallin, Lauren Brooks, and Paul Bokota.  Allan Bartlett, a new finance commissioner, was smiling from ear to ear (can’t wait to peak at that From 700 Allan ;)).

R. Scott Moxley of OC Weekly and Frank Mickadeit of the Register, two journalists who carried water for the Republican ticket, were not there.  I looked for Moxley most of the hour and never saw him.

And so Irvine transitions for at least two years of Republican rule.  We anticipate a forensic audit of the Great Park to take place and turn up some expensive contracts that were voted on by a nine-member board under the direction of a CEO, but no illegalities.  We anticipate a Costa Mesa like attack on the city’s public employee unions and a trumped up pension crisis that isn’t.  We expect cuts to city services due to nickel and dime budget decisions.  We expect Lalloway to continue a political policy against child sexual predators in the parks–struck down as unconstitutional — simply because he believes he is the only elected official to be a parent all in an attempt to solve a problem that does not exist in this city.  And we can guarantee unintelligible ramblings from the mayor’s chair every meeting.

That all said, Irvine Democrats are already planning, organizing and making ready for 2014.  I look forward to it.

Enjoy the photos:

 

  9 comments for “Beaten at State and Federal Elections, OC Republicans Rejoice in Irvine

  1. Ltpar
    December 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Dan, not too bad an article for an Agranista mouthpiece. Will have to take exceptions to your crystal ball projections for the future however. I expect the Great Park forensic audit to reveal where that 200 million dollars in taxpayer money went and which of Larry Agran’s political cronies got those big checks. While you don’t believe it, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some illegal actions, which may or may not be acted on depending on the statue of limitations. Release of the audit and the massive mismanagement that occurred should pretty well finish off the political career of Larry Agran and possibly Beth Krom. Time will tell. While I expect to see Retirement Plan changes to deal with the City’s 91 million dollar unfunded liability, it will be nothing like Costa Mesa. Once the Irvine Police Association gets it’s house in order and the pro Agran people off the Board, I look for the fences to be mended rather quickly. I believe that the new Council majority, to their credit will seek a “win – win” path in dealing with the unions, both Police and General Employee. Our employees in Irvine do to good of a job to have the City turned into a war zone like Costa Mesa. Jeff Lalloway is much smarter than Jim Righiemer and understands how reform can be achieved without going to war. Christina Shea and Steven Choi will continue to support the “win – win” philosophy with employees, as they always have. On your slur about Steven Chois “unintelligible ramblings from the mayor’s chair every meeting,” I hope you were not referring to his Korean accent. At least with Steven and unlike Larry Agran, what comes out of Steven’s mouth originates from the heart. In my book that is equal to ten Larry Agran’s, but then I am like you and biased toward my friend. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet you last night but since I don’t know what you look like, we could have been standing next to each other and I wouldn’t have know it? Perhaps, next time. Nice photos by the way.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      December 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      My comment about Choi has NOTHING gto do with his accent and everything to do with his inability to put together a coherent thought.

      I didn’t see you either Pat; but every photo I’ve ever seen you’re playing dress up.

      • Ltpar
        December 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

        This year I was going to dress up as Santa Claus, but he beat me to the game, bringing us the City Council majority with a big red bow. Sorry, but even with all my talents, I can’t top that. Way to go Santa Claus, Ho, Ho, Ho. Merry Christmas to you too Dan.

  2. MikeM128
    December 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    That all said, Irvine Democrats are already planning, organizing and making ready for 2014. I look forward to it.

    Well, at least they can only dream of stealing, oh I mean spending all of our money for the next 2 years………….

  3. December 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Twelve years as the minority party is a long time in politics. For that reason you can’t fault Irvine Republican leadership for throwing a party. Considering how things have been trending for Republicans nationally and in California you can’t blame them for their excitement.

    That being said you have to wonder how Irvine Republicans are truly feeling deep down inside. Did the voters of Irvine head to the polls to vote in the Republicans or was it a vote against the Democrats or simply it was time to flip from an D to a R, same with the same talking points?

    You don’t always win elections because people think you’re the best candidate. It’s often the contrary—people win elections because they’re the lesser of two evils. In this case the Republicans can hardly trumpet their election as a validation of their politics. This election was more about Larry Agran and the Democrats and Republicans both mismanaging of the core issue such as The Great Park and the city budget, or was it really.

    You have to wonder if the Republican victory was a Pyrric victory? The latest campaign was incredibly negative and got downright ugly at times. As noted in this space on multiple occasions traditional negative campaigning turned into outright nasty personal attacks. The puppet master Mr. Lalloway (the real winner) and team will be under the microscope here to deliver an alternative to the politics as usual, with the same players. Unfortunately it’s pretty unlikely we’ll see much positive change from a group we know pretty well. Since the players haven’t changed, how can we expect the message and overall direction to change?

    Let them have their moment, they won. But let’s make it a moment. There are some big issues ahead and you have to wonder if there’s any real change in the making here or just a changing of the same guard with a different letter at the end of each of their names.

    The insular nature of Irvine politics makes real change extremely difficult. As I’ve noted before the faces in charge are very familiar.

    Dan Chmielewski has elaborated on many of these issues in the Liberal OC.

    And so Irvine transitions for at least two years of Republican rule. We anticipate a forensic audit of the Great Park to take place and turn up some expensive contracts that were voted on by a nine-member board under the same direction of a CEO and all of the same players both Republicans and Democrats , but no illegalities, because then, they all would be responsible. For the reason that as we all know they have had the same core political base in charge for more than 12 years and both side voted for the same indiscretions We anticipate a Costa Mesa like attack on the city’s public employee unions and a pension crisis that is a problem, but will it be dealt with, probably not. We expect cuts to city services due to nickel and dime budget decisions. We expect Mr. Lalloway to continue a political policy against child sexual predators in the parks–struck down as unconstitutional — simply because he believes he is the only elected official to be a parent all in an attempt to solve a problem that does not exist in this city. And we can guarantee unintelligible ramblings from the mayor’s chair every meeting.

    Not exactly a rosy picture of real change or momentum for the better. Of course Mr. Chmielewski’s writing is based on the history of Irvine politics his depiction of the course of the next couple of years is probably pretty accurate. The Democrats are already looking to 2014 and will make decisions based on the eventual re-consolidation of power. Two years from now we’ll hold another election with the chance to elect yet another lineup of the same familiar faces. One can only wish that lineup will include some new faces and fresh ideas and maybe just maybe looking out for you and not their political futures.

    Let’s continue to hold them accountable on both sides. Perhaps they’ll surprise us, or not.

    • Ltpar
      December 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      Lot of words Katherine and little substance. In case you had never noticed, any campaign involving Larry Agran is a bloody one, especially for his opponents. This is the first year opponents have fought back and Larry got a taste of his own medicine. Who knows, after the audit of the Great Park is done and made public, there might just be indictments as a result? Now, that would be a hoppy ending? One way or the other, the publicizing of the mismanagement, political cronyism and lack of leadership should just about finish off any hope of Larry Agran regaining power.

      How about in the next election, you come out of the closet and just run on the Agranista slate, instead of as a “stealth candidate.” You can even get Dan Chmielewski to write puff pieces about you as the newest Agranista. Of course keep in mind that you will be running against the guy you refer to as the “Puppetmaster,” and stand about as much of a chance of beating him, as I do getting an invitation to dinner at the White House. I will agree on one thing however, “the ball in the court of the conservatives for better or worse.” Knowing the new majority, I am confident that it will be for the better.

      • Dan Chmielewski
        December 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm

        That’s it Pat. You are officially stupid. I have documented evidence of communications between Shea and Daigle that prove Daigle wasn’t a stealth candidate. Shea won’t say anything because she knows I have it right. You are doubling down on stupid keep lying to the voters Pat. It’s what Republicans do best

  4. junior
    December 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    We can all rejoice in the Angels signing Josh Hamilton!

  5. December 13, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Although I am a staunch Republican, I have really enjoyed the Agran majority reign of error and their clown circus aka The Great Pork. They have burned through over $200 million and barely have any park acreage developed. This is pure comedy gold.

    An airport on the other hand would have created thousands of jobs. But that is just way too logical for the People’s Republic of Irvine. Will the Republican majority continue funding this bloated white elephant or will they suffocate the park with a pillow and finally put it out of its misery?

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