A changing of the guard.

monkees_2No one I talk with about Brea politics has a clue what will happen Tuesday night. The speculation leads to numerous scenarios, all of them influenced, to a large extent, by the demise of the old O’Donnell guided voting block and the unknown quantity of Christine Marick. Most folks agree that there is likely heavy lobbying going on. Brown Act restrictions would keep these back room negotiations underground, and no one is foolish enough to think it isn’t happening.

Politics vs. Precedents

king_don_150Last year the voting block blindsided Council by turning their backs on decades of precedent and awarding Don Schweitzer the gift of reigning as Mayor in his final year.

They added insult to injury by inserting Brett Murdock into the line to the throne as Mayor Pro Tem.

While a large number voters were shocked and dismayed, few took the time to speak out about it. Now, with the hoped for shift in the balance of power, maybe the situation will get the scrutiny it deserves and order will be restored.

Murdock for Mayor?

Murdock MPTNo way. He wasn’t ready to be a council member when he was elected and his performance since being elected underscores his continued failure to learn the job. He spends more time glad-handing than getting things done. What are his credits?

  • Asked Council to further limit the public’s ability to speak at meetings.
  • Lobbied to spend money the city doesn’t have to move a county library that is fine where it is to a building the city doesn’t own.
  • Failed to make good on his campaign promise to get the parking ordinance ticketing residents on street sweeping days rescinded.
  • Was the last to return the windfall flex benefit raise and is apparently still making payments to return it in full.
  • Selected to voice the city’s objections on Measures T and U during the debate, instead he spent his time bragging about what a marvelous job the overpaid City Manager did.
  • Spent taxpayer dollars, lots of them, to go on an inappropriate junket to South Korea and Japan with Schweitzer and O’Donnell.

According to his new Facebook page, Murdock’s favorite quote is, “Politics separate the men from the boys (and women from the girls). Boys get into politics to be someone. Men get into politics to do something.” A little odd coming from the pool boy that has done nothing.

Murdock MPT 2The site also suggests his aspirations center around a career in politics. He claims to be a moderate with no party affiliation (another “decline to state”). Good luck with that.

We’ve just endured a year under the mayorship of one prima donna, will Council be so short sighted as to make the same mistake twice?

If history is any indication, there’s a good possibility that we’re in for another year of political double-speak, closed door sessions and continued managerial dysfunction. Like surviving a double dip recession isn’t enough…

Tune in to public access Channel 3 at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday (12/18) to watch your Council hard at work.

[OMG, did that really just happen? Not what you expected, huh Christine.]

The Audience Matters, Too.

In a last ditched attempt to convince Brea voters that Measures T and U are unnecessary, now that their campaign of character assassination blew up squarely in their collective faces (thank you Brett Murdock, only your BFF Don thought you did fine), the Old Guard rallied the troops for a final showdown at the less-than-ok-corral.

Keith Fullington and a young man who never gave his name, a friend of Glenn Vodhanel for over ten years (and who asked for anonymity due to concerns of retribution against his family), both took shots at those Old Guard members present regarding the blatant untruths spread about Glenn and, I hope, finally put to rest this unfortunate stink in this campaign season.

The real entertainment came from the almost comedic and to be expected performances by the Old Guard’s damage control team.

If It Walks Like A Duck.

Shifting to a far more pandering style of advocacy, you’d think the city manager was up for another raise, one after another stepped up to the podium and chanted their version of the corporate mantra… Brea is great… Tim is great… Ooohhmmmm.

Quack quack quack.

Karalee Watson, a recent hire by the Brea Chamber to oversee workforce development and legislative advocacy, went on a rant covering for her boss, Sharon Wagoner who put the Chamber’s foot in it’s mouth last week with her unfortunate communication against the initiatives.

I said it before, I’ll say it again, there is no nexus between Measures T and U and issues relating to the business community. None. Period.

I called and spoke with several Chairmen Emeritus of the Chamber today. They unanimously agreed that the Chamber grossly overstepped their bounds and that such behavior would not have occurred on their watch.

Karalee bragged that she had the authority and experience to make such claims, being a Political Science professor.

Fact check. Karalee was employed, for less than a year each and not likely on a full time basis, by the California Association of Cities and Congressman Gary Miller while earning her BA and MA in Political Science from CSUF. Currently a Planning Commissioner in Yorba Linda (term ends in 2015) Karalee teaches a class in political science at a local junior college.

Not exactly what I think of when I think of a college or university professor… but I guess if you’ve got the business card, you’ve got bragging rights.

Greg Reimer (local civil engineer that shares office space with long time friend… Don Schweitzer) took issue with “that twit” Fullington before he did his version of the corporate mantra. According to Greg, I guess the best way to figure out how great a city is, is to drive around and count pot holes. Good streets equal good government.

Then it was time for the Pastor Rader Show.

Bragging about the pastors who signed the Declaration of Independence and were instrumental in creating the foundation of our democratic republic, Pastor Rader invoked the spirit of Benjamin Franklin to set the tone for his sermon.

Hate to break it to you Pastor, but the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence, and a founding father of our country, was John Witherspoon – a Presbyterian clergyman and delegate from New Jersey. So much for your grasp of history.

Then Pastor Rader, that guy from that church in the middle of Birch Street, rattled off a litany of his presidencies (Chamber, Kiwanis, Rotary, Boys & Girls Club, Ministerial Association, Cultural Arts Commission, Senior advisory something-or-other that hasn’t met in years and Habitat for Humanity). Really?

Somebody help me. Name one other Brea pastor that has the time and/or ego required to spread himself around like that. We have some truly remarkable, dedicated, impassioned pastors here in Brea. Not one has blurred the lines between church and state like Dave Rader. What’s next? A run for City Council?

Enter the perpetual politician Bev Perry.

So proud to be a member of the Old Guard, for interjecting herself into one issue after another year after year (remember the fire service public discussion?) Bev kept asking, “What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?”

Uh… how about putting a lid on you, and that little clique of folks like you, who arrogantly seem to think they know better than the other 39,975 people who live here.

You named them:, Lynn Daucher, Glenn Parker, John Beauman, Bill Lentini, Wayne Wedin, Rex Gaede, Kevin Hobby, Bill Hall, Pat Fox, Bill McMillan, Kevin Bush, Bill Higgins and John Koos. Oh yeah,  we can’t forget those you “didn’t ask” but who were quick to pull out their checkbooks, Gil Realon ($100), George Ullrich ($100), Najwa Nadhir ($250), Ron Garcia ($500), Donald Daucher ($1,000) and Marty Simonoff ($1,500).

Here’s another wager for you. Want to bet that we’ll see more names, like Schweitzer and Murdock on the 460 to be filed in January? It’s an old tactic, drop your check in at the very last minute.

How’s that for deception Mr. Markman? It’s perfectly okay to bend the rules when it’s your team grabbing face masks and putting bounties on the best opposing players.

Batting clean-up, the epitome of rough and tumble dirty campaign tactics, that guy whose ethics were called into question when nominated for another term as Planning Commissioner (and passed thanks to that ever-present block of three votes who browbeat their peers into submission) John Koos.

The king of dancing on the edge of propriety did his obligatory soliloquy, all about what a remarkable guy Tim O’Donnell is, what marvelous folks he’s hired to do his bidding, what pillars of society our elected and appointed officials are (and have been for decades) and what a little slice of heaven Brea has become thanks to their dedication and hard work.

Such sweet words, huh Mr. Schweitzer.

Don’t be fooled by those who are too invested in Brea’s status quo to give up their power and authority to you. Get the open and accountable government you deserve…

Vote yes on Measures T and U.


A Disturbance In The Farce.

While discussing the current state of affairs in Brea’s 2012 election this morning with several senior members of the community, the subject of council member Garcia’s seemingly AWOL status came up.

From his excessively vocal and barely understandable persona when first taking office, Mr. Garcia’s current style of remaining mute while playing Angry Birds on his iPad has been like a breath of fresh air.

Consensus this morning, however, was that in order to shore up the weakened voting block (Schweitzer, Garcia and Murdock), Mr. Garcia is likely quite active behind the scenes.

Tacked onto the Chamber’s Candidate’s Forum, will be a debate between MPT Murdock and Glenn Vodhanel on the two ballot measures, The Brea Accountability Act (T) and The Open Governance Act (U). Since Mr. Murdock first tossed out the challenge to Mr. Vodhanel well over a year ago to debate “anything at any time” the MPT has used every trick in the book to avoid fulfilling his challenge.

Well Mr. Murdock, you can run but you cannot hide. Your day of reckoning is at hand.

Back to the AWOL Mr. Garcia… is it possible that he’s taken the padewan pool boy under his withered wings, instructing him in the ways of the force?

Will we see a Jedi performance out of Mr. Murdock during the debate?

I doubt it, and the smart money will be on Mr. Vodhanel. The passing of Measures T and U is long overdue. All one has to do is observe the old guard at work to know that it’s time to reboot city government.

Don’t be fooled by the Old Guard again.

Two years ago the Old Guard targeted a character assassination plot against Ric Clough which disturbed the force in Brea enough to let the pool boy slip in the back door. Don’t let it happen again.

When the inevitable “hit pieces” show up in your mailbox or email, whether it’s an Old Guard attack against a reputable candidate or their attempt to cloud the credibility of Measures T and U with unfounded, unsupportable claims, do the smart thing.

Toss them in the trash or click the delete button.