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.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Elephants On Parade In My Mailbox & Post Office Box Facades
Another day, another mailbox stuffed with campaign flyers. If I could figure a way to gather all this stuff up, I bet I could make a mountain of money on November 8th selling it as compost.

Today it was elephants on parade. For the second time, flyers for Wendy Leece and her benefactor, Allan Mansoor, appeared together at my home. This time, though, each had the big, round logo of the Republican Party of Orange County, including the red, white and blue image of the elephant, stating they were "Officially Endorsed". Big whoop!

As I looked at the vacuous campaign statements - none with specifics, just glowing "Mom and Apple Pie" kind of stuff used only to attract a voter who won't ask many questions - I had to chuckle. Every single candidate who spoke at the first candidate forum I attended said the same thing - who wouldn't?

I scanned down the lists of endorsers on these two flyers and found only a very few who could actually vote in Costa Mesa. The rest were Republican Party officials, intent on bolstering their "immigration poster boy" - probably for higher office in four years, once he's managed to totally destroy Costa Mesa. As a Republican in Orange County, I have to say that these guys sure don't represent my views in this election.

Of course, smiling out from each was Dana Rohrabacher, surfer dude, father of triplets and occasional Congressman. His biography tells us he served as Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. I'll bet old Ronnie is spinning in his grave at the thought of Rohrabacher supporting Mansoor - a man whose "strong suite" over the past four years has been his demonstrated ability to divide this city. And, naturally, Rohrabacher has to support Leece, too, since she's virtually become part of Mansoor's anatomy for the duration of the campaign.

Contrast those flyers with another I received today for candidate Bruce Garlich, which included twenty items on a partial list of his service to this community over the past 35 years. Add to that his list of endorsers on the back of the flyer that is like reading a Who's Who of current and former Newport-Mesa officials, including council members, mayors, school board trustees, etc. There is also a long list of residents and business owners who live and/or work in Costa Mesa.

Of course, included on his list of endorsers are the two public safety organizations in Costa Mesa - the people who really understand what it's like to be on the front lines to protect our lives. Those brave men and women have chosen to support Garlich and Mike Scheafer because they feel those two candidates understand what public safety means and needs in Costa Mesa.

When you compare the three flyers, it's easy to see who really represents all the people of this city.

***

As an aside, has anyone else noticed that, of all the six candidates running for City Council in Costa Mesa this year, only Mike Scheafer and Bruce Garlich provide their home addresses? The remaining four list only post office boxes somewhere in the city. I guess we can assume they either live in those little spaces or are using them as a facade for some reason. Curious, wouldn't you say?

11:58 pm pdt

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The DP 103 - Heavyweights, Bracketed By A Foul Ball and A Dead Fowl
I'm sure our young jailer/mayor and his merry band of minions were all a'flutter today after the Daily Pilot released their most recent edition of the DP 103 - a compilation of movers and shakers in the Newport-Mesa area who met their standard as being "influential" in our community.

Numero Uno, and cover boy for the supplement distributed with the Pilot today, was the one, the only, Mayor Allan Mansoor! I must admit that no one has been more "influential" in our community this year than our misguided young jailer/mayor. In my conversations with associates today, not a single one was surprised by Mansoor's nomination as the Big Kahuna this year. Most of us, however, would have preferred this particular edition to have been published on November 8th.

Mansoor certainly deserves to be recognized as an "influential" person this time around. His penchant for making boneheaded moves and dividing this city certainly meets that definition. He certainly has influenced our city by ignoring residents and other council members. Through his influence he has made our city known world-wide as a bastion of intolerance. However, being named the most influential person in our area doesn't necessarily mean he should be considered the most admired - unless you're one of his angry acolytes or out-of-town supporters. For example, old Jim Gilchrist - father of the Minuteman Project - is probably giggling tonight.

At the other end of the spectrum, at number 103, is Rupert, the black swan that was recently mowed down by a Harbor Patrol boat rushing to investigate reports of a corpse in Newport Harbor. Amazingly, this isn't our former feathered friend's only visit to the 103, but will likely be his last, unless some of those folks who gave him a burial at sea a couple weeks ago decide to do a seance next year and conjure up his ghost.

In between the mayor and the dead fowl were several dozen people who actually deserved the recognition for their contributions to our little slice of heaven. I'll give you the link for the DP103 here, http://dailypilot.p2ionline.com/SpecialSection/ss/index.aspx?view=pv&type=page, and you can scroll through the list at your leisure. You'll have to copy and paste it into your browser's address line.

Of course, the editors of the Daily Pilot always like to have fun with this little project, so this year they've recognized a building - the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall (12); a school bond - Measure F (37); some beach cottages - Crystal Cove Cottages (46); some Osprey chicks (62) and a couple miles of main thoroughfare - The Harbor Boulevard of Cars (69).

The remainder of the list is made up of real, honest-to-goodness, hard-working, dedicated members of the community without whom our two cities would be much less appealing. You'll recognize those folks as you scroll through the list and read the notes about them.

However, for every rule there are exceptions. You will find one of those about mid-way through the list, at #53. When I nominated this person - who very much resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor - to the editors this summer I did so in all seriousness, although I didn't think they would actually choose him. Most of the other nominees were selected for their positive, important contributions to the community. This guy, while certainly meeting the definition of "influential", is far from a positive influence in this city. Through his racist essays and his clever manipulation of gullible, frightened residents like our young jailer/mayor, he has succeeded in aiming this city down a dark road. I'm glad to see the editors of the Daily Pilot are willing to acknowledge "influence", regardless the form it takes. I hope this particular guy, who is so very obviously not happy living in Costa Mesa, finds a place that meets his demographic requirements - maybe someplace in Utah or Idaho. I certainly hope we don't see his name on the list again next year.

So, thanks to the editors of the Daily Pilot for, once again, giving us an opportunity to appreciate those around us who make living in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach such a rich experience. And to each of the recipients of this honor (except our misguided mayor and his mentor, #53), I appreciate your efforts. Congratulations and keep up the good work.
10:12 pm pdt

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hypocrite Blowing Smoke & Another Law Enforcement Endorsement
Over at the CM Press - hypocrite central - the author (who resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor), continues his inaccurate, incendiary rants about what a terrible city Costa Mesa has become. He continues to fabricate issues that don't exist in order to fool the voters of this city into believing his chosen candidate, Allan Mansoor, and his running mate, Wendy Leece, are the best choices for the future of this city.

In a recent posting he uses a terrific graphic of the Titanic sinking to depict the hopeless situation he perceives for Costa Mesa. Well, I think his graphic is right on the money. With Allan Mansoor and his majority at the helm this city has, indeed, taken a severe nosedive - particularly in the public safety area. This is quite ironic, since four years ago Mansoor campaigned on a platform of making our city nicer, cleaner and safer. Also ironic, considering his 13 years as a law enforcement officer, is how little our mayor seems to understand actual police work. Perhaps his time in the jail has clouded his view of the work done by officers out in the real world. It's only one of many examples of just how out of touch our young jailer/mayor is on most issues.

Mansoor's ham-handed handling of his immigration screening proposal - which almost certainly has died a painful death now that Sheriff Carona's proposal has been slashed by ICE - has divided this city and made it much more difficult for the Costa Mesa Police Department to do its job. His approach has cast a pall of fear over much of this city and dried up sources of information that previously permitted our officers to head-off problems before they exploded into violence. The decline of public safety in this city falls squarely on Mansoor's shoulders.

Mansoor and his majority have disenfranchised the two other members of the council and have used fear as their primary tool of governance. This city cannot stand another two years of this kind of administration. With a majority of Mansoor, Eric Bever and Mansoor's hand-picked Yes-woman, Wendy Leece, there is no doubt in my mind that they will continue to run roughshod over the rights of Costa Mesa residents, ignoring their comments as well as the guidance of their senior staff, to solidify their dictatorship.

Of course, Your Neighbor will continue to try to blow smokescreens across the playing field to confuse the voters. Lies and fabrications are his only tools in this contest - the truth is with the opponents of his agenda.

Four weeks from today the voters in this city will make choices in the voting booth that will be critical to the future of this city. The editors of the Daily Pilot, in their excellent summary of the candidates last weekend, said the following about Mayor Allan Mansoor when they announced their decision to endorse Bruce Garlich and Mike Scheafer for the two open seats on the City Council:

"While he has served admirably, although contentiously, we disagree with too much of his philosophy and the divisive results we believe his tenure has caused. We do not doubt that Mansoor believes he is doing the best for the city. We simply and honestly and respectfully disagree. We deeply believe Garlich and Scheafer are the right choices at this crucial time."

Let's hope the voters of this city understand and agree. In a month we'll know.

***

Over on his Itchingpost.com blog (a link for which is on my Useful Links page), Byron de Arakal reports that the Orange County Coalition of Police and Sheriffs is ready to announce its endorsement of Bruce Garlich and Mike Scheafer for Costa Mesa City Council.

According to de Arakal, this organization represents more than 2,500 deputy sheriffs and police officers throughout Orange County.

This completes a trifecta of public safety organizations that have endorsed Garlich and Scheafer instead of Mansoor and Leece and is yet another blow to the candidacy of our young jailer/mayor and his hand-picked running mate.
4:49 pm pdt

Monday, October 9, 2006

Wendy's Web Site (Such As It Is) Reappears
Well, I'm thrilled to pieces to report that Wendy Leece has finally gotten her web site up and operating again, more or less. I've kept the link to her blank page bookmarked, just in case, and tonight I found something there.

I was surprised when "treated" to an audio fanfare when the page appeared. The fanfare, which sounds each time you change to another page, gets really old, really quick.

Anyhow, the Home page greets you with the fanfare and the smiling faces of Leece and her benefactor (and contributor of $5,000 to her campaign) Allan Mansoor. The centerpiece of the Home page is Mansoor's endorsement of Leece. Funny, I kind of expected some kind of a statement of her views, not his. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he's doing all the talking on her web page, though, since she just stuck herself to his campaign like a barnacle and is letting him call the shots.

So, in search of her views I clicked on the link marked "Issues", which materialized accompanied by that obnoxious fanfare again, only to find that no "Issues" are available at this time. Hmmm. That's funny. I thought for sure that she had some issues to talk about. No, wait - those were the mayor's issues I remember - she just sits there and nods her head as he presents them.

So, back I go to the Home page - and that darned fanfare again - and looked for other pearls to share. Nothing under "Endorsements". Nothing under "Latest News". Heck, even her "Contribute to the Campaign" link is still a work in progress! But, then, since the mayor seems to be underwriting her campaign, maybe she doesn't need much in the way of contributions.

On that subject, today I made my way over to City Hall today and snagged the campaign financial disclosure (Form 460) information for all the candidates and political action committees involved this time around. A quick scan of Wendy's form reveals that 55% of her contributors do not have a Costa Mesa address. So, like her benefactor, she's depending on individuals and organizations from outside our city to fund her campaign.

I guess there's really no rush for her to get her web site up and running again. After all, as the counter at the top of her Home page tells us, there are 28 days remaining to the election. She really didn't have to bother with this one, since she's a feature on the mayor's web site.

The next four weeks are really going to be interesting. Between now and the end of the month there will be three more candidate forums, at which each of the six candidates will have a chance to either impress you or stumble for all to see. The first of these will be Wednesday, October 18th, at the City Hall council chambers and, I've been led to believe, will be televised live on Costa Mesa TV - Channel 24. That one should be worth the price of admission.
11:00 pm pdt

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Copyright, 2006 - Geoff West