A Bubbling Cauldron
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Welcome to A Bubbling Cauldron, a blog dedicated to the observations and opinions of this writer. Most of the time the subject will be local politics and politicians - those issues and/or people affecting the lives of those of us in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Occasionally, I might write about something obscure that interests me. Or, I may just launch off into some philosophical rant if the urge moves me. I might even include comments by others from time to time.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Disappearing Sites, More Bogus Voters & Contemplating Wendy
You know, there's an interesting phenomenon that occurs here in Costa Mesa. That phenomenon is the mystery of the disappearing web sites.

Several years ago there was a site called Concerned Costa Mesa Citizens (CCMC), hosted on Yahoo! by what appeared to be a group of Westside residents as a forum for them to chatter among themselves and vent their collective spleens on issues that bugged them. Many familiar names were frequent participants on that site, including our young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor and one particularly prolific activist who resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor.

This particular site became controversial when Mansoor posted an anti-homosexual entry by Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family fame. At that time Mansoor was a member of the Costa Mesa Human Relations Committee (which he and his majority on the council recently disbanded). Shortly thereafter the Daily Pilot published a three-part series on the site, the Orange County Human Relations Commission got wind of it, signed on and began nosing around.

All that notoriety apparently became too much for the owners of the site, because they quickly folded up their tent, stopped archiving postings and slid back into the shadows.

Then, earlier this year, one of their stalwarts created his own web log and began posting his "words of wisdom". I heard about it, visited it a couple times and commented on it here. Then, very shortly after he launched it, the site was gone - poof!

More recently, Wendy Leece launched her campaign web site. I saw it, commented on it and - poof - it was gone, leaving only a blank page. At the same time her personal web site became a study in suspended animation, with no action on it for more than two weeks and counting. However, Leece's message has popped up on the campaign site of her benefactor, our young jailer/mayor.

It's very strange, don't you think, that these folks just don't seem to be able to stand the light of day? Once you shine a little illumination on their sites they just disappear like a bunch of cockroaches scurrying behind the kitchen cabinets when you flip the light on.

However, there is an exception. That would be our prolific old buddy, Your Neighbor. This guy has more words running out of his head than mucous out of the nose of a two-year-old with a cold. He publishes his racist rants on many internet sites on an almost weekly basis, publishes his "little newsletter", which has morphed into a blog and a friend recently directed me to yet another blog that has his paw prints all over it. I guess that explains the occasional lapses on his other site recently. It might also explain the low profile he's been keeping at public forums of late. Of course, I think that's just an election strategy, since he's become such a lightning rod for controversy. With his re-election on the line, our young jailer/mayor needs this guy hanging around right now about as much as he needs a rattlesnake in his shorts.

The web sites of the mayor's posse kind of reminds me of that children's game where you try to guess which hole the critter will pop up from, then bop it. Well, I'm not in the bopping business, but I'll continue to observe and comment whenever they pop up.

***

In my last posting on Wednesday I commented on a concern I had about the apparent ease with which persons might fraudulently register to vote. This concern came from comments by the Orange County Registrar of Voters as he spoke before the City Council last Tuesday.

An interested reader subsequently wrote to me and accused me of falsely portraying the facts of this situation. I encouraged him to view the streaming video of the event and make his own decision. He apparently did that, and also spoke personally to Mr. Kelly, the Registrar, and is now satisfied with my explanation of the situation. As it stands, based on my understanding, a person can fraudulently sign the affidavit when he registers to vote and there is no cross-check to catch the lie. There is a bill pending before Congress that would require positive identification at the time a voter registers, but there is no timetable for it's consideration and/or passage.

I'm sure this information will give you comfort as you consider the election in November.

***

As fate would have it, my wife and I were joined for breakfast recently by an acquaintance and his wife. This man is well known in these parts and is a repository of much knowledge of this area. Eventually, our conversation found it's way to a discussion of local politics, including the circumstances of the elections in both Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. He's read many of the things I've written in the local newspapers and I've read his contributions, too.

This fellow - a man I hold in high esteem - apparently is a friend of Wendy Leece, so you can only imagine how our conversation went. He explained to me that he thought she was treated badly while on the school board. I explained to him that I thought she didn't have what it takes to be an effective council member, and why. I think we both understood each other's viewpoint by the time we cordially parted on the street, heading to our respective cars. As we parted he turned and shouted across the street, "I don't think Wendy knows what she's getting into!" I replied, "I'm sure she doesn't." He responded, "I think she's being taken advantage of." I replied, "I'm sure she is." We both continued on our way, contemplating that exchange.
10:38 pm pdt

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Public Safety Endorsements & Bogus Voters
The Daily Pilot reports this morning that candidates Bruce Garlich and Mike Scheafer have received the much coveted endorsement of the Costa Mesa Police Association. This endorsement, coupled with the endorsement of the firefighters, means that both public safety organizations have put their considerable influence behind the election of opponents of the present ruling troika in Costa Mesa. This is good news for all residents of this city.

This is a very interesting turn of events. I won't attempt to put words in the mouths of those brave public safety representatives who are prepared to risk their lives on behalf of Costa Mesa residents, but I can tell you what these endorsements mean to me.

The endorsement of Bruce Garlich and Mike Scheafer by these groups means to me that they recognize that Garlich and Scheafer hold views about public safety that are more in tune with those men and women who are on the front lines. It tells me that they recognize that these two candidates, pillars of the community, are the best choice for the voters in Costa Mesa on November 7th.

You will not be surprised to learn that a man who very much resembles my theoretical character Your Neighbor, on his web log this morning, pooh-pooh'd the CMPA's choices, and equated them with those dreaded out of town industrialists that he rants about frequently. He implied that this endorsement isn't worth much because many of the CMPA members live out of town. What a crock! This endorsement and that of the firefighters means a whole lot more than those of the Minutemen and their camp followers, who have no stake in our city yet actively support our young jailer/mayor.

Of interest, too, was the quote from Mayor Mansoor regarding the endorsement, wherein he implied that this is payback for his position on Proposition 75 a couple years ago. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

The men and women who work in law enforcement in this city are not dummies. They certainly recognize that the mayor, despite being a sworn officer of the law, is completely out of touch when it comes to enforcing the law in this city. As mentioned on this blog before, he has consistently disregarded the opinions of two active police chiefs - John Hensley and Steven Staveley - in this year alone. Make that three, if you count the opinion of Dave Snowden, who served this city as police chief for seventeen years. By ignoring these highly respected law enforcement leaders on extremely important issues Mayor Mansoor has demonstrated to them, and to the rest of the residents of this city, that his own personal agenda and political future is more important to him than the safety of the residents of this city. The rank and file in public safety in this city obviously recognized this attitude and feel a change is necessary.

***

An interesting sidebar occurred at the City Council meeting last night. At the end of the presentation by the Registrar of Voters with which he hoped to recruit poll workers for the upcoming election, a question was asked of him by a man who identified himself as a teacher regarding voter eligibility. It seems some of his students were confused about just who was eligible to vote. The response surprised me. Mr. Kelly, the Registrar, told us that we work on the honor system - that if a person registers to vote and falsely signs the affidavit affirming his or her eligibility, including citizenship, there is no mechanism to catch it.

I mention this because I understand there is a big voter registration drive going on in the Latino community on the Westside. I find myself wondering about those voters now - and not without some apprehension about their impact on the upcoming election.
12:27 pm pdt

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Swatting Flies & Parasitic Partners
Once again I'm disappointed. I thought our old buddy, Your Neighbor, was in pre-hibernation mode, but he's back at his hypocritical best.

In his two most recent blog postings he rants and raves (normal for him) about the influence of outsiders - out of town industrialists, etc. - on Costa Mesa politics. He's saying nothing new for him - one suspects he might finally be running out of words - but has just turned up the volume.

Then, upon checking the campaign web site for our young jailer/mayor, I note an announcement for a fundraiser for him on October 1st at, of all places, Nellie Gail Ranch in South County. As I look down the list of the hosts of this event - a $50.00 per head afternoon of schmoozing with our mayor and his pals - I find a few familiar names, none of whom are Costa Mesa residents. Might some of these be a few of those "outsiders" Your Neighbor warns us about? I suspect so. I did notice that Orange County Young Republicans get a 50% discount.

This is a very disturbing pattern for our young jailer/mayor. The bulk of his support clearly comes from people and groups outside this city. He's wrapped in the embrace of Jim Gilchrist and his Minuteman buddies and most of the letters of support praising him come with addresses outside this city. I'll be very surprised if many of those folk's names don't show up in the mayor's campaign contribution lists. We'll find out soon enough.

In the past few days a local newspaper also reported that former Ambassador to Spain, George Argyros, is throwing a fundraiser for the mayor soon. The theme of that commentary was "the battle of titans", with the Segerstrom interests supporting Mansoor's opponents and the other Costa Mesa Big Dog, the ambassador, supporting Mansoor. The commentator went so far as to speculate about why the ambassador would support the mayor when the mayor's position on some issues clearly appears to be at odds with the ambassador's business interests. That's a really good question. Somebody ought to ask him.

So, for those of you willing to fork over fifty bucks to watch our mayor smile and glad-hand with the South County anti-airport crowd, please give me a report. I won't be there. The announcement didn't say if it was a BYOS (Bring Your Own Shovel) event, but if you do go, watch where you step - Nellie Gail Ranch is horse country, after all. Come to think of it, maybe that's why the event is being held down there. Maybe the organizers think people won't notice all that manure the mayor will be spreading around because of the ambient fragrance. I guess we'll be able to tell the mayor's supporters by the flies hovering around.

***

Before we close this edition, another short note about the invisible Wendy Leece. If you go to our young jailer/mayor's web site you will find not one, but two, links to Leeces PDF campaign brochure. The original one, mentioned before, appears on the right side under "Latest News". The second is a link entitled "About Wendy Leece", and is included under the "About Allan" section. As expected, Wendy Leech, er, Leece, has attached herself firmly to Mansoor and will hang on until November 7th. Somebody better have some salt or a hose handy that night to separate them.
9:48 pm pdt

Swatting Flies & Parasitic Partners
Once again I'm disappointed. I thought our old buddy, Your Neighbor, was in pre-hibernation mode, but he's back at his hypocritical best.

In his two most recent blog postings he rants and raves (normal for him) about the influence of outsiders - out of town industrialists, etc. - on Costa Mesa politics. He's saying nothing new for him - one suspects he might finally be running out of words - but has just turned up the volume.

Then, upon checking the campaign web site for our young jailer/mayor, I note an announcement for a fundraiser for him on October 1st at, of all places, Nellie Gail Ranch in South County. As I look down the list of the hosts of this event - a $50.00 per head afternoon of schmoozing with our mayor and his pals - I find a few familiar names, none of which are Costa Mesa residents. Might some of these be a few of those "outsiders" Your Neighbor warns us about? I suspect so. I did notice that Orange County Young Republicans get a 50% discount.

This is a very disturbing pattern for our young jailer/mayor. The bulk of his support clearly comes from people and groups outside this city. He's wrapped in the embrace of Jim Gilchrist and his Minuteman buddies and most of the letters of support praising him come with addresses outside this city. I'll be very surprised if many of those folk's names don't show up in the mayor's campaign contribution lists. We'll find out soon enough.

In the past few days a local newspaper also reported that former Ambassador to Spain, George Argyros, is throwing a fundraiser for the mayor soon. The theme of that commentary was "the battle of titans", with the Segerstrom interests supporting Mansoor's opponents and the other Costa Mesa Big Dog, the ambassador, supporting Mansoor. The commentator went so far as to speculate about why the ambassador would support the mayor when the mayor's position on some issues clearly appears to be at odds with the ambassador's business interests. That's a really good question. Somebody ought to ask him.

So, for those of you willing to fork over fifty bucks to watch our mayor smile and glad-hand with the South County anti-airport crowd, please give me a report. I won't be there. The announcement didn't say if it was a BYOS (Bring Your Own Shovel) event, but if you do go, watch where you step - Nellie Gail Ranch is horse country, after all. Come to think of it, maybe that's why the event is being held down there. Maybe the organizers think people won't notice all that manure the mayor will be spreading around because of the ambient fragrance. I guess we'll be able to tell the mayor's supporters by the flies hovering around.

***

Before we close this edition, another short note about the invisible Wendy Leece. If you go to our young jailer/mayor's web site you will find not one, but two, links to Leeces PDF campaign brochure. The original one, mentioned before, appears on the right side under "Latest News". The second is a link entitled "About Wendy Leece", and is included under the "About Allan" section. As expected, Wendy Leech, er, Leece, has attached herself firmly to Mansoor and will hang on until November 7th. Somebody better have some salt or a hose handy that night to separate them.
9:40 pm pdt

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Copyright, 2006 - Geoff West