San Juan Capistrano’s Derek Reeve and Steve Oedekerk investigated by FPPC.


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Ed. note (Vern) – I’ll be damned – Steve Oedekerk, my old school friend?  (St Bonaventure Catholic School, Mater Dei High School class of ’78.)  We even worked together briefly in the 90’s when I did music for a couple of his TV shows – work I really miss.  He was the craziest standup comic I ever saw.  I don’t know HOW many movies he’s made by now, but my favorites were “Nothing to Lose” with Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence (in which he has a great dancing cameo – see below), and “Ace Ventura” with Jim Carrey.  Who knew, he’d become a mover, shaker, and developer in his adopted town of San Juan Capistrano?

Needless to say, Steve is welcome to post any kind of rebuttal here – that’s what we do at this “political mosh pit!”  Meanwhile, as they say down there, The Swallows are back:

San Juan Capistrano Councilman Derek Reeve just can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble.

The self-styled “Constitutional Lawyer” doesn’t seem understand the laws he’s sworn to uphold. The latest is a complaint filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) against Reeve and would-be hotel developer and San Juan resident Steve Oedekerk, alleging that they cooked up a phony tabloid to influence the outcome of the 2018 election.  After reviewing the volumes of evidence provided, the FPPC has opened up a formal investigation into the claims.  [All the documents you could want are linked to at the end of the story.]

The allegation is that Derek Reeve, Steve Oedekerk and “The San Juan Scoop” operated as an unregistered Political Action Committee (PAC) which expressly advocated for Reeve and running mates Troy Bourne and John Taylor, while actively advocating against opposing candidates.  The complaint suggests this was done in order to get various development projects approved, including a hotel that Oedekerk wants to build.

Typical front page of The Scoop – click for larger image.

What sets this apart from other run-of-the-mill FPPC complaints is the blatant nature of the use of “The Scoop” – a tabloid distributed city-wide. “The Scoop” has no listed editor, no publisher and is owned by an anonymous LLC in Nevada whose registered agent lists an address in the country of Panama.

The complaint alleges that while the ownership of “The Scoop” may be shrouded in secrecy, its purpose is not. In fact, the only thing transparent about the tabloid seems to be how openly it slammed the opponents of Reeve and his running mates in the 2018 city council election. Two “Special Election Editions” distributed within 60 days of the election were entirely devoted to advocating for Reeve, developer Troy Bourne and former San Juan Councilmember John Taylor (2012 – 2016), while attacking their opponents, incumbent Councilmembers Pam Patterson and Kerry Ferguson, Kim McCarthy, and former Councilmember Jeff Vasquez (who last served from 1990 – 1994).

The complaint was filed by SJC resident Mark Speros who is currently a city Planning Commissioner but who filed it as a private citizen. After he was targeted (and quickly cleared) by a Fair Political Practice Commission inquiry shortly after his initial appointment to the Planning Commission, he felt the same standards should apply to all elected officials, especially as egregious as these appeared to be. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as Speros is set to be interviewed by those very City Council Members as a candidate for re-appointment to the Planning Commission on this coming Monday, March 11th, for a third term.

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