Did Beth Krom try to buy votes with free dinners paid for by Irvine taxpayers?

Irvine Councilwoman Beth Krom, who is running a lame campaign for Congress against John Campbell, got caught this week with her hand in the taxpayers’ cookie jar.  Krom tried to arrange for an appreciation dinner for the residents living near the Jeffrey Road grading project, at taxpayer expense, despite Irvine’s fiscal problems.

Irvine Councilwoman Christina Shea would have none of that.  Shea asked City Manager Sean Joyce whether taxpayers should pay for such a dinner given the city’s budget woes. She then asked for the dinner party to be placed on the next City Council meeting agenda, according to the Voice of OC.

Krom had a royal cow when she found out about this.  Here is the nastygram she sent to Joyce:

Do not put this on any agenda. Seriously — if you give her a platform to turn this into an issue (something that would NEVER have happened had this been handled internally without bringing the Council into it), then you will bear the responsibility.

Here’s a thought…how about the contractors underwriting the event? Aren’t they the cause of the delay? Wouldn’t that be a nice way for them to express THEIR appreciation?

So many times over the past several years, issues have been created because no one bothers to calculate the way in which these moments get exploited politically. That’s a failure of leadership. Christina knows you will never stand up to her, so she plays you time and again.

I’m very disappointed. If something like this gets executed so poorly, is it any wonder that a major project like the over crossing has as many snags and screw-ups as we’ve experienced? I hope in your quiet moments you own responsibility for things like these. You can delegate authority, but the buck stops at your feet, Sean.

Enough said.


Shea told the Voice of OC that she is suspicious that the city is bowing to the council majority to increase voter turnout in the neighborhood, which she suspects to be full of longtime Agran supporters.

The dinner has since been postponed indefinitely, according to another article by the Voice of OC.

Krom isn’t the first Democrat to try to buy votes with free dinners.

The Democratic Party gave vouchers for chicken and potato salad dinners to voters who proved they voted in the Groundhog Day special election for the Assembly seat vacated by Don Perata (now a state senator). That helped former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris win the primary, back in 1999.

But  Harris lost in the runoff election to the underdog Green Party candidate Audie Bock.  The chicken vouchers irritated lots of locals. Some called it racist since the Democratic Party — which shouldn’t have taken sides in the primary — sent the vouchers to voters in mostly black neighborhoods, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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