Who is Mike Metzler?

Welcome to the third edition of our “Who is?” series. Previous columns focused on Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Al Amezcua and Santa Ana Artist Village creator Don Cribb. In this edition we will take a look at Mike Metzler, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce.

Metzler has been running the Chamber since January, 1983, according to an online biography he posted on zoominfo.com. He has been at this longer than Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, who has been on the Santa Ana Council for 21 years. What did we do to deserve TWO lifelong dictators?

He admits in that self-penned biography that he “directs all activities of the Chamber, including its political action committee and charitable foundation subsidiaries.”

Then Metzler takes credit for leading Chamber efforts to “elect the Mayor and all six current members of the City Council.” I don’t know about that. He opposed Councilman Sal Tinajero and Councilwoman Michele Martinez. Two of the candidates Metzler supported last year, Jennifer Villasenor and Tino Rivera, both lost. Maybe he needs to update his bio?

Also, Metzler had NOTHING to do with the appointment of Councilman Vince Sarmiento, to the council seat vacated by Jose Solorio. So why is he taking credit for that too? Simply ridiculous.

Ironically, one of the candidates Metzler ignored last year, Evangeline Gawronski, is now featured in a full page article in his CityLine newspaper. I guess he is hoping to run her against Michele Martinez in four years.

But that’s not all. Get a load of these additional statements made by Metzler in his online biography:

  • He’s led many successful pro-business battles in the city, and most recently co-chaired a winning local initiative that will bring millions of dollars in new investments to the community.
  • Mr. Metzler founded the Chamber’s nationally-recognized newspaper, CityLine. He sits on many local, regional, state, and national boards and committees.
  • He graduated from California State University, Fullerton and attended Loyola University School of Law and the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont University.

“Pro-business battles?” Who is Metzler kidding? He has NEVER met a new tax he didn’t love. I relished helping to defeat the Ream Assessment a few years ago that Metzler went hog wild for. How are MORE taxes ever pro-business?

“Attended Loyola School of Law and the Drucker School of Management?” Did he not finish? It sounds like all he has is a bachelor’s degree from CSUF. Even I have a higher education than CEO Metzler appears to.

By the way, Metzler posted the same inaccurate biography on his Chamber website.

As for the CityLine, the truth is that it would not exist without massive subsidies from the City of Santa Ana. In fact, my co-blogger Sean Mill thinks that Metzler is breaking the law by using taxpayer money to pimp for his council candidates of choice, via the CityLine. Mill also went to great lengths to explain the extent of the corruption emanating out of the Chamber of Commerce in a previous Orange Juice post.

Mill also disclosed that the Chamber used to be self supporting before Metzler came to town. But now Metzler keeps busy by shaking down every level of government for ill-gotten income. More often than not, the Chamber exists to fleece Santa Ana taxpayers. In fact, Mill also wrote in another story about Metzler’s latest scheme to rip us off to the tune of another $82K.

Mill also took Metzler to the woodshed in a post about a sanctimonious article Metzler penned for his CityLine newspaper. Metzler cried about the lack of national leadership in this country, in that column, and he slammed politicians “for doing nothing or doing the wrong thing.” Sounds like Metzler’s buddies on the Santa Ana City Council!

My co-blogger Thomas Gordon took Metzler to task regarding the Chamber’s High School Inc. project in this post. Gordon found out that the Chamber reported $35K in income from the High School Inc. project, but only $233 in expenditures. Where did the rest go?

Gordon also revealed that the Chamber’s heavily marketed “English Works” program apparently does not work, as they reported $100K in income versus only $30K in expenses. Where did the other $70K go?

I could not find any other information about Metzler, but I know that he lost when he ran for the 69th Assembly District against Republican Jim Morrissey, a retired businessman who was recruited by Curt Pringle. Morrissey had absolutely no clue and it is pretty funny that he beat the pompous Metzler!

I have no idea where Metzler grew up, or if he ever earned an honest living in his life. Or why he decided to set up his lair in Santa Ana. Readers? Any more clues as to “Who is Mike Metzler?”

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.