A daunting task of gathering 12,000 signatures is tough but it appears the efforts of pro-FivePoint “volunteers” blocking efforts appears was for unsuccesful. Veteran Ed Pope’s referendum on letting Irvine voters decide on where the Veteran’s Cemetery goes has delivered more than 19,000 signatures to Irvine City Hall today.
Typically, a chunk of these are tossed for not being Irvine voters. A FivePoint paid-for non-profit worked hard to gather recision signatures, but when you only have to get 12,000 valid signatures, the it 19,000+ “John Hancocks” that the Pope referendum turned in is headed to the ballot for November 2018.
Five Point and its PACs will likely spend millions to defeat this referendum which, if approved, will be placed on the ballot in 2018. And for every million bucks they spend, FivePoint will validate that the referendum is about their profits over the Veterans.
During my time at one of the tables last Saturday, these are the lies I heard:
- The Irvine Company was funding the petition drive. Nope.
- The Irvine Taxp[ayers were funding the drive due to a settlement the city paid the Irvine Community News & Views. Nope.
- If the referendum goes through, the cemetery will never happen. Nope; same legislative tactics to enable the landswap can switch it back.
- Only paid petitioner gathers — getting from $3 to $25 a signature — are gathering signatures. Nope. I got some myself for free.
- Petition gatherers were violent and used bad language. Bad language was used by both sides. Bill Cook stalked Harvey Liss and bragged on social media about chasing “whores” away and ripped literature out of the hands of volunteers who were not paid signature gatherers. Harvey Liss and I filed a formal complaint against Mr. Cook for violating Irvine’s Free Speech ordinance on Tuesday night. Irvine PD is investigating, but Cook’s social media posts are pretty much a signed confession. I’ll be surprised if he is not cited and if he’s not, then the ordinance has no teeth.
- Pointing out that Chinese immigrants who bought expensive homes near the ARDA site was racist; but posting photos of black and brown people from Oakland and San Bernadino and calling them violent wasn’t fear-mongering racist? Sure it was.
So the signatures have to be verified but there are 7,000 signatures that have to be tossed to deny the will of Irvine voters. Irvine taxpayers should decide where the cemetery goes. Get ready for a nasty, ugly campaign over a Veteran’s cemetery everyone wants but can’t agree on location.