OC Weekly’s R. Scott Moxley has a hit piece on Irvine council member Beth Krom in this week’s edition. With the exception of regular attacks on do-nothing Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, one would almost think Moxley is writing for The Flash Report these days as his work does nothing but help OC’s Republicans with headlines used in political mailers come election season. OC Weekly’s own election night coverage referenced Republicans publicly thanking Moxley for his coverage that helped them win.
Just after the new year, Krom sent an email to those who have expressed interest to her after the last election in remaining engaged in city affairs. The email was somehow forwarded to Council member Christina Shea who then shared it with her Republican colleagues, one of whom sent it to Moxley.
Moxley, as a “public service,” read the email and cherry picked passages to belittle Krom’s note and efforts to lead Irvine’s left flank as we look forward to 2016. Moxley writes: “After the crushing defeat of three of her allies in last November’s Irvine elections, it’s understandable that Beth Krom would take the holidays to “rest, restore and re-focus,” as she declared to her Democratic Party supporters in a Jan. 3 email.”
“Crushing?” Democrats would have had a majority if Melissa Fox got 211 more votes, Add another 1,000, and Steven Choi, elected twice with less than 50% of the vote, would have been kicked to the curb. A loss is a loss, but there’s a significant difference in a game played where a team wins at the buzzer and say UCLA vs. Kentucky. The difference here is when Democrats win a close election, there’s an actual effort to reach across the aisle to govern in a fashion that considers those on the right. When conservatives win, it’s a mandate regardless of margin. Of course, Moxley didn’t mention the turnout in the last election was pretty awful as Democrats tend to sit out mid-terms.
Moxely cites the “fake newspaper” which is still publishing online as evidence of Democratic “lies” while ignoring IEs that suggested that Democrat Sukhee Kang backed Choi for Mayor, Sharon Wallin was part of a Republican education ticket, and Jeff Lalloway somehow had the support of Irvine’s Police force even though the Irvine Police Association refused to back him. Aren’t journalists supposed to offer some balance in their reporting? I write for a partisan blog. But I’d challenge you to produce a Moxley piece that reflects a progressive point of view in the last five years that doesn’t tear Rorhabacher a new one. Just read his recent love letter to Chuck DeVore as evidence.
Moxley still contends Larry Agran put out Republican Katherine Daigle to run as a “plant” in spite of almost no evidence to the contrary (his proof was that Daigle was added to a slate mailer somehow tied to Agran backers…we call it weak sauce). After the 2012 election, I offered Moxely a file of correspondence between Daigle and Shea that debunked his theory but I’d only surrender it if he took it from my hand. When I dropped by the Weekly’s office in Costa Mesa, an admin told me “he (Moxley) wasn’t available” and to give her the file, which I refused. Moxley repeated the canard during the 2014 election that Daigle was an Agran plant. Usually, when presented with additional evidence, a journalist would concede the story had changed. Not Moxley. Shortly after the election, Shea sent Daigle a cease and desist from sharing emails between the two women with the press which Daigle ignored.
Now that he doesn’t have Larry Agran to kick around anymore, Moxley has set his sights on Krom. And as a public service for Moxley’s readers, below I’m republishing Krom’s entire January 3 email…no cherry picking. And I will encourage Irvine’s Democrats to reach out to Krom for leadership and direction as we continue to prevent Irvine from becoming Haddadville, because the current council majority just delayed a vote to update the city’s master plan until FivePoint can weigh in with what they want to do. That’s what happens when you buy elections.
Krom’s email is exactly what a number of Irvine Democrats, myself included, have asked her to do. Lead and be our voice on the council. Tell us what’s going on so we can chart of course of action.
Here’s Krom’s email — in full:
Please do not share this. I am sending it to you specifically because you have indicated a desire/willingness to remain engaged. Thank you.
The holidays have provided an opportunity for me to rest, restore and re-focus. Along the way I got another year older and spent quality time with family. I hope you all had a good holiday and gave yourselves a chance to catch your breath as well.
Many of you have asked how you can be engaged, involved and helpful going forward. That’s why I’m writing.
We all wish the outcome of the recent election had been different. Another 1000 votes or so and I would be on a Council with Mayor Guido and Council member Fox. 1000 more than that and we would have the “super-majority” that the Mayor now commands (that may be a stretch as I do not think any of the four who I sit with on the Council actually like, respect or work well with each other). But for now, “it is what it is.”
Please read this whole e-mail. I know it’s long, but I don’t have time to engage everyone individually. If you want to cut to the chase, please e-mail me to confirm your interest in becoming better informed, better engaged, and a force for positive change in Irvine. Do read the whole thing if possible…and look to the last two paragraphs for a specific call to action.
I know the “better energy” is on our side. That will do a great deal to fortify my spirit as I complete the balance of my City Council term. I will not allow myself to be pulled into the vortex of negativity. I have always focused on “quality of life” issues and believe that the majority of Irvine residents share the vision of a well planned city with multi-modal transportation options, where thinking is creative, intelligence and open mindedness are respected, diversity is celebrated, our environment is protected and sustainable and public safety is defined by more than FBI statistics.
These are not partisan issues. Our past success was achieved through focusing on people and community priorities, not partisan politics. As the other side has used partisanship to drive their ambitions, we have tried to use the same leverage with “our people.” Unfortunately “our people” do not have the same inclination to vote locally based on partisan identification as “their people” do. That’s why we need to focus on people to people connections and elevating awareness about local issues. The low voter turnout reflected the distaste voters have for what they see as “negative vs. negative” campaigns and the politics of personal assaults.
Over the years the narrative has changed from a focus on community vision and a city of “innovation, education and civic participation” to one of power and control.
Those now in power are not appreciated for their intellect and public advocacy, but rather for their slavish loyalty to local developers, political operatives and profiteering business interests. They claim to support kids but endorse a High School site adjacent to a toxic dump and down the road from a jail that is rapidly expanding. They wave the flag, challenge the patriotism of others and claim to support veterans but are secretly working to stop the proposed Veterans Cemetery. They take credit for “finally building the Great Park” while presiding over the greatest give-away of control over public land (AND A PUBLIC VISION) with the 688 acre downsized, privatized and commercialized Great Park plan FivePoint communities now controls.
Unfortunately, people don’t know what’s happening. I tell people Orange County is the most ignorant, educated place in America. The Orange County Register just named Jeff Lalloway one of the “100 most important” in OC. They dutifully printed fallacious headlines and factually challenged stories as fodder for political mailers funded by developers they are very cozy with. This is what we are up against. It’s nothing new, but as the City grows and less people are civically engaged, the “good guys” will have a harder time getting elected.
Our only hope going forward is a massive, coordinated “activation” of Irvine voters around issues that matter to them. Single issue focus will not do. People need to see the bigger picture. They need to understand how the dots connect. The focus needs to be on a better vision for Irvine’s future. The planning issues at the center of the recent campaign are a big part of the equation, but as I point out, “buildings don’t make communities…people make communities.”
Some of you care more about the environment or gun control. Some want to see Irvine remain an open and inclusive community for faith and culture — where we celebrate diversity rather than use “differences” to polarize and divide people. Some are focused on the impacts of over-development on traffic or support for the arts. ALL these issues are important — but they will cease to be part of Irvine’s profile and priorities as long as developers and ideologues are setting the agenda at City Hall.
The first matter we must tackle is putting truth behind the fiction of the Great Park Audit. Nearly $1.5 MILLION devoted to an effort that has had NO STAFF OVERSIGHT, has been conducted by TWO COUNCIL MEMBERS (Shea and Lalloway) IN COMPLETE SECRECY, that has involved SOLE SOURCE CONTRACTS and expensive CONTRACT EXTENSIONS and which has yielded NOTHING to date but misinformation, innuendo and personal attacks.
Let’s face it, if there had been any “there” there we would have heard about it before the election. Now they’re trying to put lipstick on a pig. This could come up as early as the first meeting in January.
CALL TO ACTION: WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO READ A DEPOSITION OR IN OTHER WAYS PARTICIPATE IN BRINGING A LARGE, KNOWLEDGEABLE GROUP OF PEOPLE TO SPEAK AT CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS WHERE THE AUDIT WILL BE DISCUSSED? I WOULD LIKE AT LEAST 25 PEOPLE.
There are some 25 depositions that have been taken. None demonstrate any illegal activity. At best, there were power struggles and competing visions. Every contract let was approved at a public meeting. This is about damaging the credibility of those who supported a PUBLIC VISION for the Great Park. A smoke screen for the massive give-away of development rights and control over 688 acres of public land to developer FivePoint (who put hundreds of thousands of dollars into the recent smear campaign against Gaido, Agran and Fox).
E-mail ME IF YOU ARE ON BOARD. I’LL BE ORGANIZING A GET TOGETHER VERY SOON.
I KNOW THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. THERE WILL BE OTHER WAYS FOR THOSE NOT INTERESTED IN THIS EFFORT TO BE INVOLVED GOING FORWARD.
I am counting on the “Better Energy” to rise up and challenge the negative, self serving agenda of the Mayor and his majority. It’s time to take on the local media and their one-sided agenda as well. Most important, we can only benefit for building a better informed, better engaged community — and reminding people that the power rests with the voters when it comes to choosing candidates who articulate a vision that best serves our City, now and in the future.
Thanks. Let me know if you’d like to help “activate” Irvine…