Matt Cunningham throws GOP Nominating Committee under a bus defending Trish Kelley

I need to thank the person who spotted a post by Matt Cunningham that appeared on the Red County blog yesterday.

In his post, entitled “Mission Viejo An Example of OCGOP Endorsement Process Gone Awry,” Matt attacks the Nominating Committee for rejecting the endorsement application of Trish Kelley and proceeds to besmirch myself. Check it out. He mentions Larry Gilbert in 14 of 21 short paragraphs.

This is about Trish Kelley’s record and the Central Committee review. It’s not about me. I am not a candidate nor a member of the committee. As such I will not take the bait and engage in a point by point response to refute those comments about me. Matt. You must stay on topic, in this case GOP endorsements.

Matt was not in the GOP HQ on August 31st when the six GOP Committee members took testimony from Trish and heard from three current/former presidents, including myself, representing the Saddleback Republican Assembly. Nor did he hear Jack Anderson apologize to the committee for signing Trish’s application for consideration before discovering her endorsement of Democratic candidate Dave Leckness.

He did not hear the Q&A from the members which preceded their unanimous rejection yet he really doesn’t care.

While I normally refrain from sending our readers to that blog you might gain some insight into Matt that Art has been preaching about for the past few years.

For some reason Matt has either forgotten or never heard the expression “Trust But Verify.” Trish (or his close friend) Frank Ury feed him a line of BS and he prints it. This is a good illustration of his lack of journalistic skills or ethics.

When asked by a member to explain her vote changing the city manager’s contract the night before the Lance MacLean recall election, she failed to point out what was changed. Her response was that our city manager is not in the upper end of the county in his salary yet he did not get an increase. Trish. Then what changed?

Trish, Frank and Lance voted to remove potential causes of action that would result in the need to pay the city manager nine months of severance if he was found to have engaged in any “dishonesty, fraud, self dealing or willful misconduct” to now limit the clause to “misappropriations of funds or conviction of a felony (involving “moral turpitude.”)
His contract was changed at his request to remove those causes of dismissal.  Mr. Wilberg is entitled to 9 months of severance pay if released for reasons other than misconduct. For some reason she must have forgotten that minor revision in the contract which is normally amended in the summer when this contract change occurred on Feb 1, 2010.

In his post Matt says “she voted to end lifetime medical benefits for new city employees.” Wrong. She fought to protect Frank, Lance and her own access to lifetime health care.

It was only after Cathy Schlicht and JP Ledesma were supported by Dave Leckness, who changed his prior vote on this issue, that Trish, since Cathy had the three votes needed for passage, reluctantly voted to remove that perk. Beyond trying to block this agenda item she is on the record saying that she is voting yes because opposing removal of this perk, that could cost the taxpayers approximately $257,000 for each of them, would be used against her in the Nov election. On that point she was right.

There is not need for me to reissue my post detailing exactly what was said by all parties at the August 31st meeting.

Suffice to say that based on his friendship with one or two Mission Viejo council members, Matt trashes the fine work of the GOP Central Committee members who did not rubber stamp every incumbent applicant as I reported previously. He supports Trish Kelley’s endorsement of Democrat Dave Leckness and thinks that act warrants a Republican party endorsement?

And should the GOP create a walk piece slate listing statewide and locally endorsed candidates, does he truly believe that the Mission Viejo “grass roots” will walk precincts with a flyer that includes Trish Kelley while she is supporting Democrat Dave Leckness?

I hope Matt shows up on Monday to support Trish Kelley and repeats this same line of garbage so that I can hear the response from those members who were there.

About Larry Gilbert