Over $33,000 raised to fight PLAs at Irvine fundraiser

I have never seen OC Supervisor Chris Norby as animated as he was at last night’s fundraiser at the offices of Hensel Phelps Construction, in Irvine. Norby explained how his father owned a small construction firm during Norby’s youth, and that he would not have been allowed to bid on a school project had a project labor agreement (PLA) been in place. Norby then introduced OC Treasurer John Moorlach and he urged everyone present to do everything in their power to support Moorlach’s bid for the OC Board of Supervisors.

Both Norby and Moorlach were enthusiastically received by the contractors, candidates and elected officials who raised over $33,000 at the fundraising event, for the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction (CFEC).

Eric Christen and Steve Friar, the co-directors of the CFEC, and Wayne Lindholm, a Vice President at Hensel Phelps, hosted the event and joined everyone in retiring the OC PLA.

Those in attendance included Mike McGill, the conservative candidate for the 67th Assembly District McGill brought with him several copies of a newsletter-style campaign piece that features articles about the OC PLA and about one of the backers of that ill-fated measure, OC Supervisor Jim Silva. Also attending were Rosie Avila, the Santa Ana School Board Member who is running for the 47th Congressional District. Avila explained how she fought the Santa Ana School District PLA, and she got a big laugh when she told attendees that the backer of that PLA, Nativo Lopez, was recalled after he compelled the board to pass the PLA.

Other elected officials that were present included Frank Ury, the Mission Viejo Mayor Pro Tem; his fellow council member John Paul Ledesma; and Matthew Harper, a Huntington Beach School Board Member. They joined Avila and Moorlach in backing a pledge against union-only PLAs.

Candidates who were in attendance included Ryan Gene Williams, who is running for the 69th Assembly District; Justin McCusker, who is running for the Mission Viejo City Council; Mike Lebeau, a conservative Republican candidate for OC Assessor; and Long Pham, a Republican candidate for the 68th Assembly District.

The contractors that supported the event included Hensel Phelps Construction, A.J. Kirkwood & Associates, Helix Electric, Bergelectric, Mel Smith Electric, and Sunwest Electric. GOP activist Mark Bucher and the Law Offices of Crawford and Bangs also were hosts of the event.

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