We received a Michelle Steel mailer at our home this week. Allow me to make an observation. To criticize a City Councilmember or Supervisor for raising fees is the biggest display of ignorance about these positions that one can make.
Let me give an example. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) runs the transit system in Orange County. State law dictates that the taxpayers of the County subsidize 80 percent of the costs of providing bus services, including the costs of purchasing the buses, fuel and maintenance, and the personnel costs required to drive them. The bus riders pay fares equal to 20 percent of the costs. The bus riders are getting a great deal.
If the costs of running the bus system rise, then the fares must also increase. Consequently, in order to meet the state requirements, the OCTA Board must vote for a fare increase.
This is just one example of many that I could provide. Government subsidizes many unique services. Many of them should be borne by the users, either partially or in total. Otherwise, we have an entitled citizenry and elected officials who do not know how to be fair to taxpayers. Consequently, when someone states that they have never voted for a fee increase they do not understand their job or the business math involved.
To not raise fees for specific and rarely used services is to put more of the subsidy on all of the taxpayers. This is not being taxpayer friendly. It is the opposite. To put it more succinctly, you can train a monkey to vote against fee increases. Leadership demands that elected officials do the homework and know when the fee increase is just and appropriate.
Going after someone for voting for fee increases, without the proper context, is about as juvenile as it can get in a campaign hit piece. It proves to me that Allan Mansoor’s opponent has no clue about the job she is running for and does not display that she has the skill sets and acumen to properly adjudicate the position. That is why I am comfortable in endorsing Allan Mansoor for my position. He has served as Mayor of a major city and gets what the job involves.
Here are my County-related recommendations (all of the top-two candidates are registered Republicans, except for Orange County Assessor Webster Guillory, who is Declined-to-State; those in Bold are my endorsements, those in Italics are a good second choice):
ORANGE COUNTY-WIDE ELECTEDS
|ORANGE COUNTY SUPERVISORS|
|Supervisor||2nd District||ALLAN R. MANSOOR||Rep|
|Supervisor||2nd District||MICHELLE STEEL||Rep|
|Supervisor||5th District||ROBERT MING||Rep|
|Supervisor||5th District||LISA BARTLETT||Rep|
|Superior Court Judge||Office No. 14||KENNETH C. "KC" JONES||Rep|
|Superior Court Judge||Office No. 14||KEVIN HASKINS||Rep|
Note: I have worked with Webster Guillory for the past nineteen-plus years and believe that the residents of Orange County would be much better served with this experienced leader in the critical position of Assessor.
MEASURE E – Authorize Ethics Commission to Enforce County Campaign Finance Rules
YES. I am not amused with the measure’s title. I see it as poor quality control by someone in the County, and it does not appear to be our County Counsel or Registrar of Voters (I’m still doing my personal investigation). However, I do believe that utilizing the Fair Political Practices Commission is a proper arrangement to pursue, as the alternatives have been a dismal disappointment . The County’s Grand Jury and/or District Attorney have been ineffective. And the Grand Jury’s recommendation for a $750,000 per year Ethics Commission is cost prohibitive and unrealistic.
MEASURE G – Prohibit Supervisor Election Loser from Taking Office as Supervisor
YES. This charter amendment corrects the original poorly written County Charter approved with Measure V (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Questioning Outsourcing — July 23, 2014 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Helping Homeless — February 21, 2012 – LOOK BACKS).
The Daily Pilot has an editorial submission by Allan Mansoor and it is provided below.
Commentary: We don’t need partisan rhetoric or people feigning dedication to O.C.
By Allan Mansoor
Former state Republican Party Chairman Shawn Steel, husband of supervisorial candidate Michelle Steel, recently wrote a commentary for the Orange County Register about the California Republican Party titled, "Not your granddaddy’s California GOP."
In it he decried that we have "watched our voter registration numbers dwindle with the state’s changing demographics." That may be part of the problem, but it is certainly not the majority of the problem. I hear from people of all backgrounds, and they want leadership based on the issues, not on race or how someone looks.
A major reason we are losing people is because of the poor words chosen by some in our party. Shawn Steel, for example, spoke at a recent tea party meeting in support of four Asian candidates, one of whom is running against Democratic Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana). When talking about Solorio, he criticized him for being a vegetarian.
This type of rhetoric does not encourage people to become Republicans. It is not because of how we look that people choose a different party. Those words have absolutely nothing to do with the issues we face in Orange County, or in our country, and we don’t need to be associated with that.
Including more people from a variety of backgrounds and heritage is certainly a good thing. Both of my parents immigrated to this country and my wife’s mother came here from Vietnam. But should we be supporting people just because of how they look, or should we look at their position on the issues?
People have asked me why I am running for Orange County supervisor. I tell them because we need someone who is from Orange County, knows Orange County, and will represent them on the issues that are important to them. It is well known in Republican circles that my opponent moved here from Los Angeles County to run for supervisor so she can springboard to a congressional seat with U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s backing when he steps down. In short, all the wrong reasons to run.
I have the endorsement of Republicans like Supervisor John Moorlach and Democrats like Westminster Councilwoman Diana Carey because I have stood strong with them on the toll lane issue, and I recently had a rehabilitation-home-reform bill pass with bipartisan support. I co-authored a bill with state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) to allow hemp production in California.
Michelle Steel has expressed token, passive opposition to the toll lanes proposed for the 405 for political cover. I have been outspoken in the effort to keep Orange County Transportation Authority board members from caving in to Caltrans’ desire to use our Measure M funds to put in toll lanes. This is an ongoing battle that we can win, but it requires taking a stand for accountability to the taxpayers.
If the highly charged partisan rhetoric coming from the Republican establishment replaces discussion of the issues, then Orange County will be headed in the wrong direction for the next eight years. We need results-based, not politically based, leadership.
Do we really want Shawn Steel running our county and wielding power from behind the curtain? The hard-working people of Orange County deserve better.
Assemblyman ALLAN MANSOOR represents Orange County’s 74th Assembly District and is a candidate for the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ District 2 seat, currently held by John Moorlach.
This e-mail was sent from my personal account.