CD48 Watch: The Great Park is Beth Krom’s ATM

Krom and Pulido. Role models for bipartisanship.

Beth Krom, a role model for bipartisanship.

We all know that Irvine City Councilwoman Beth Krom is attempting to make the jump to Congress.  What you don’t know is that her campaign is raking in thousands of dollars from persons with business in front of the Great Park Board.  Krom’s campaign is not unique however.  According to a recent Register article, Larry Agran’s maze of slate mailer organizations and shell committees have raked in “tens of thousands of dollars worth of contributions from consultants with ties to the Great Park”.  Make your own judgement, but here is a smattering of the back-room power relationships for your consideration.

James “Walkie” Ray

Krom and Ray both serve on the Discovery Science Center Board of Directors and the Great Park Board, so I was not suprised to hear the Discovery Science Center is currently trying to expand into the Great Park.  Ray and his wife are both generous donors and active fundraisers for Krom’s campaign.

Yehudi Gaffen

Yehudi Gaffen is the CEO of Gafcon, Inc., the most recent recipient of a line of no-bid contracts from the Great Park.  So far they have received 3.5 million of the 10.5 million alotted for the park’s design work .  Maybe if Gafcon, Inc. had stellar performance, they might have earned their second no-bid contract, but an external audit conducted Diehl, Evans, and Company begs to differ.  The audit characterizes the fiscal oversight as  “not as tight as one would expect”.  Fellow boardmember and sworn Krom hater Christina Shea puts it more bluntly, “They completely failed in their responsibilities. The firm of Gafcon has proven over and over to me that they are just inept,”.  Nevertheless, the fact that Gafcon is being rewarded for not addressing audit recommendations is uncomforting.

It gets steamier when you take into account the fact that Gaffen and his wife are major donors and fundraisers for Beth Krom’s political campaign.

Do we really want our representatives in the pockets of special interests?

Disclaimer: the author is an independent candidate for Irvine City Council.

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