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GOP Takes Aim at 2 of Its Own in Lake Forest Race

Orange County's Republican Party spends thousands to influence the City Council vote.

It's Republican vs. Republican in traditionally conservative Lake Forest this election season, and the attacks have one candidate considering renouncing his membership.

So far, the Republican Party of Orange County has shelled out roughly $22,000 in the City Council race: $9,247 to defeat two of its own members, and nearly $13,000 to support two others, Adam Nick and Dwight Robinson.

According to documents filed with the Secretary of State, the OC GOP reported Oct. 17 expenditures of $6,472 each for Nick and Robinson.

One week later, the OC GOP reported spending $8,107 against incumbent Marcia Rudolph and $1,140 against candidate Terry Anderson:

All four candidates—the pair the GOP supports and the two it is spending money to defeat—identify as Republicans.

Anderson called the effort to oppose two Republicans "disappointing, twisted and insulting."

"It's disheartening enough that I'm strongly considering relinquishing my Republican party affiliation," he said.

He said no one from the party contacted him about his policies: "I'm really curious: Where did they get all this information about me?" 

A mailer authored by the GOP calls Anderson "too liberal" and a "City Hall insider."

Another GOP mailer slammed Rudolph, who has a congenital vision problem that prevents her from driving, for her quarterly travel expenses. She takes taxis to events, such as council meetings.

Rudolph said the opposition, even by her own party, did not phase her.

"They spelled my name right," Rudolph said. But she added: "They need to do a better job of vetting the people they support."

The OC GOP began endorsing local candidates fairly recently, Rudolph said: "I guess their processes are still a little ragged."

Nick Wilson November 03, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Thanks to the reform efforts of the Tea Party, simply "identifying as a Republican" does not cut it. We are cleaning out those who have squandered their positions of influence and power, and are replacing them with conservatives. The Lake Forest Class of '91 is finished.
Norm Scott November 03, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Who is "we"? Those who "identify" as Republicans are real Americans with values the vast majority identify with. Those you apparently support I seriously question. Party politics has no place in city government.
Informed Citizen November 03, 2012 at 02:45 AM
I agree with Norm, what is the Republican Party doing spending that kind of money in a City Council election? What did Robinson and Nick promise them? I'm a registered Republican and I think that the partisan politics of Washington and Sacramento is the LAST thing we need here. Good for Anderson for putting his values and beliefs above party interests and bullying (I mean really, who goes after an old blind lady?).
Debbie Kayoda November 03, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Agree with Norm as well - very concerned about bringing that type of politics into the City of LF. Already some candidates have shown lack of regard for the community by posting signs all over the city in complete disregard for the sign ordinance of the city. That ordinance keeps our city classy looking and enhances the appeal of our city.
Jim Gardner November 03, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Hi Debbie, I tried in the past to get candidates to voluntarily agree not to use signs, but was never able to succeed. Signs are not only unattractive to look at, it costs the city a lot of money to send out crews to pick them up and dispose of them. Plus, signs tell us nothing about the person. Plus, at the end of the day, it just fuels a political system that is already too concerned with big spending. And finally, they end up in land fills. I'm against excess government regulations so I'm not advocating a city ordinance forbidding signs, but I hope in future campaigns the city will initiate a voluntary request to candidates asking them to forego the use of signs. The City already has a voluntary "ethics" code which it asks candidates to sign, and this could be added to it. Of course it only works if everyone agrees, but it would be informative to find out who agreed and who did not.
Debbie Kayoda November 03, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Unless things have changed in the past few years, the city does have an ordinance stating you can't have signs on public property - front yards are ok. At least they do for Realtors - can't imagine it would be different for others. Even if you assume association property is 'private' property, posting on those street corners defeats the spirit or intent of the ordinance.
Andromeda November 03, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I don't think you could get 100% compliance with such an honor system on a campaign sign moratorium. One or two candidates would inevitably break rank forcing the others to join in. And I too do not want more laws. About the only thing they don't control today are our bowel movements - and I shouldn't even mention that and give them ideas. I think a better idea is to educate the electorate and encourage them not to vote for candidates who excessively litter our cities with their signs. That's what I do. If I notice candidates putting too many signs along the roadways I automatically strike them from my potential list of acceptable candidates.
Debbie Kayoda November 03, 2012 at 03:09 PM
While I'm opinining, I can't believe the OC GOP is bringing up Marcia Rudolph's travel expenses. The bulk of the expense was for a trip to Sacramento representing us. I've never traveled for business on my own nickel. The taxis to council meetings was a whopping $100 out of the entire City budget - really! In addition, someone approved this budgeted item and someone signed off on it. Using these tactics to smear a candidate, especially from the same party, is disgraceful. We are quibbling about $100 and some candidates are talking about 'giving' city contract business to Lake Forest busineses - they should compete like any other business - decisions should be made based on quality and cost, not residency. Local businesses should be able to compete and where all is equal, given a priority, but not gifted business from the City administration. I'm republican and am currently happy I've never donated at the county level.
Andromeda November 03, 2012 at 03:25 PM
With regard to the GOP - you know they're in trouble when they start eating their own. I read a recent article that said Republicans only make up 30% of registered voters in Orange County today. They lost me in 2009 when 6 of them in Sacramento stabbed their constituents in the back by voting for higher taxes. Some even broke their written pledge not to raise taxes. And some of those were rewarded after the fact with republican endorsed appointments to high paying commission jobs and even to the Lt. Governor's seat. Until the Republicans start policing their own and demanding their officials to comply with traditional republican values the GOP will continue to perish. It's not all about demographics. It's about losing loyal members by compromising values. Look at Lake Forest. The Council refused to even consider implementing E-Verify on contracted businesses to ensure that illegals weren't stealing jobs from unemployed citizens. And now they are even giving serious consideration to bringing a gambling establishment to town. Are those Republican values? Of course not. The GOP is it's own worst enemy. Sorry. That's the truth. Sooner or later the democrats will completely destroy the State with their fiscal irresponsibility. The best thing that Republicans could do is be patient, stick to their values and wait for that to happen. It's not as far off as you think.
Jim Gardner November 03, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Hi Debbie, I have been the strongest advocate of spending our $35,000,000 city budget in the city to people and businesses who are here, but always on the condition that we get equivalent quality, price, and service. I do this with my own spending, and I do this with the spending at the HOA where I am on the Board. At our HOA we spend 30+% in Lake Forest and the rest outside because we can't find an equivalent service or product in the City. No one wants the City to spend more than we have to or get less than we need to, but I believe some effort should be made to use our own. It may take a little more effort on City staff's part, but I believe the overall benefit to the community is worth it. If you read my series "Put Lake Forest First" you'll find examples where equivalent services were available in the City but they were purchased outside the City. If you read my latest "Campaign 2012" blogs you'll see that candidates for city council were able to mount their campaigns and some spent more than 50% of their budget in the city while some spent less than 3%. I think it takes a sensitivity and a dedication to spend the money on our people and businesses, but I think it's the right thing to do, especially in these troubled economic times.
Jim Gardner November 03, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Yes Debbie the City does have that ordinance. It's covered in Sec 9.164.090. It restricts the size to no more than 10 square feet, requires them to be removed 5 days after the election, and prohibits them from "publics right of way or on city property" The City does a reasonably good job removing them but people do an even better job putting them back up again. The big spending candidates can spend more than $10,000 on a sign campaign to keep the streets filled with their signs. It's not always easy to know what is or isn't city property, so this year our conscientious City Clerk sent out a map to all the candidates showing where city property is.
Bernie Esposito November 03, 2012 at 06:03 PM
The Republican party is supporting Robinson who openly suggested providing neighbors of El Toro HS motel room for the nights when events are scheduled for the stadium??? Who does he think will pay for that? And then to top things off Robinson suggests that we build a Sheriffs sub-station next to pot dispensaries. Wow, what a grteat job of vetting by the Republican Party!
Omolu November 03, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Action by the OCRP is an embarassment. Not only do they try to eat their own, the 2 candidates they support are people we should least likely support. Nick is busy suing the City, wasting tax dollars, and totally obsessed. Robinson was just sued by the US Govt for lying about the weight of his shipments from his LA business, and he was forced to pay $38,000 penalty. What kind of candidates are these? Jim Gardner, also a Republican, just reported on The Patch that Nick and Robinson together spent more than $80,000 on thee election and less than $2000 of that was spent in our City. What kind of candidates are these? Signs from Nick (especially) and Robinson are all over the place, littering our city. They place them in public places, against the law. What kind of candidates are these? The RPOC should be ashamed of themselves.
Norm Scott November 03, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Bernie, I was at the Lake Forest Forum where Robinson made those statements..... could not believe such absurd comments by him. He is also apparently not clear about the jurisdiction of city government and a school district. Among things, Robinson seems to think the city council can influence class size. I could not agree more....great job of vetting. Makes one wonder what the OCRP is really trying to do.
Myna B November 04, 2012 at 12:38 AM
I, too, am sick of these eyesore signs. The crews remove them, only to have new ones pop back up. Someone planted a Nick sign on my private property without permission. Now someone has stapled Anderson signs to two power poles, about 15 feet up in an effort to prevent removal, so that I cannot even enjoy the sunset view from my patio without having to endure this visual litter. They can be sure that they are not getting my vote, or the other four votes from my family members, because of this.
Lionel M. November 04, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Marcia Rudolph may call herself a Republican but it looks like she bought herself a spot on the "Democratic Voter Guide" where it says to "Vote Our Democratic Team" and then lists Marcia Rudolph. People may not know it but most of the "recommendations" and "endorsements" that appear in our mailboxes are paid for by the candidates. These are not independent endorsements by impartial organizations. These are paid ads. Even the Republican Party endorsement is not impartial. The endorsements are given to the big party supporters who gave the party money or services. Councilman Herzog endorses Anderson and Zechmeister because he can control them and use their votes to have the majorioty on the Council. Voigts is doing the same thing with Robinson and Nick. He needs their support to be in control. Neither Herzog nor Voigts is looking at anything else but who can they use to help themselves. In all the talk about endorsements, the only really independent endorsement was the one that came from the Orange County Register. Nobody paid them or bribed them or helped them. They took a long look at each of the candidates and made a decision. For what it's worth, they endorsed Gardner and Robinson. For what it's worth, I am voting for Gardner!
Dennis Fletcher November 04, 2012 at 04:00 AM
The recommendations by Jim Gardner are laudatory and would go far to providing a more responsive city government for its residents. I find his thinking much more in line with the average resident's needs here in Lake Forest and hope he will be able to press for their implementation if and when he joins our City Council. I will be voting for him. Dennis Fletcher Islamare Lane
Andromeda November 04, 2012 at 05:26 AM
But we have to give credit where credit it due. I see that the Lake Forest Council passed a tougher ordinance on graffiti taggers. Now in certain cases the City is holding parents of egregious taggers financially responsible for the the graffiti vandalism that defaces private and public properties. It's about time. Thank you, Lake Forest City Council. I commend you for this. "LAKE FOREST – The parent of a teen caught tagging at least 23 sites in the city with gang-related graffiti is on the hook for $15,000" http://www.ocregister.com/news/city-376654-graffiti-gang.html
Omolu November 04, 2012 at 05:12 PM
I had something more to add. While I think the attack on Rudolph was in poor taste, and I don't like the people they endorse, I agree 100% with the sentiment - Rudolph should retire. I saw her at the Forum. She could not hear the questions and she could not read them when they were given to her. She had trouble walking. Her health is obvious poor. She does not seem fit for the work of a Council. Rudolph hasn't had a new idea in the past 10 years. That's not unusual in this Council. I lived in other cities where the Council members were more intelligent and dynamic. This city seems to be led by the staff, not the Council. Rudolph's retirement will not leave a hole in the Council. Finally, Rudolph is taking money from people and then voting to give them favors and contracts. This is unacceptable to me, even if it isn't illegal.

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