Phu slams Mansoor for rejecting a $633,000 savings for Costa Mesa for purely political reasons.

This new press release from 68th Assembly district candidate Phu Nguyen is pretty brilliant and hard-hitting, but I think I should give the whole story more context…  I think I’ll do that AFTER the press release, to explain a little more thoroughly what went on in Costa Mesa last night.

“Well … I have concerns…”

Nguyen Blasts Opponent For Failing to Correct Costa Mesa Budget;
Calls Vote on Firefighter Concessions Reckless.

Westminster, CA – Sixty-Eighth State Assembly District candidate Phu Nguyen today responded to the Costa Mesa City Council’s decision on Tuesday night to renegotiate its current contract with city firefighters, calling the agreement a “smart compromise saving a deficit-plagued city budget over $50,000 a month.”  However, he lashed out at his opponent, Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor, for opposing the bi-partisan, consensus agreement.

(The grownup in the race.)

“Allan Mansoor voted against saving Costa Mesa over $630,000 when it has nothing but red ink as far as the eye can see,” Nguyen said.  “Again and again, he’ll tell you he’s for fiscal responsibility, but his record is nothing but bad budgets, raised taxes, and perks for himself.

“This vote was about people working together.  I guess it didn’t fit his extreme, narrow ideology, and that’s sad for the taxpayers of Costa Mesa,” Nguyen continued.

The agreement requires firefighters to contribute an additional 5% of their paycheck toward paying for their retirement benefits and cancels a scheduled salary increase. The agreement passed on a 3-2 vote.

“It’s disappointing my opponent would rather play games for partisan advantage than solve a budget deficit that is chopping away at services like after-school and youth sports programs for the community,” Nguyen ended.

Costa Mesa faces a current year budget deficit of $16 million.

1888-8-VOTE-PHU * *


Vern again.  This stuff is convoluted, and nobody’s been better covering the crazy goings-on in Costa Mesa than our friend The Pot Stirrer at “A Bubbling Cauldron.”  Here’s his report of last night’s meeting, entitled “Meeting Beyond Belief.”

The firefighters’ voluntary offer, described briefly above and in greater detail at the Bubbling Cauldron link, will indeed save the desperately broke city of Costa Mesa over $50 grand a month.  This deal was worked out in weeks of negotiations, solely because – despite rightwing caricatures of greedy grasping public employees – the firefighters of Costa Mesa are good patriotic citizens who want the city to thrive.  It was incredible that two of the five Council members attempted to reject this gift, but I’ll get around to explaining why Mansoor and Bever voted against it.

As was mentioned, the agreement thankfully passed, thanks to Councilmembers Monahan and Leece siding with sanity over GOP discipline, and joining Democrat Foley in accepting the firefighters’ offer.  What caused Bever and Mansoor to vote no?  As the Pot Stirrer details, Bever – who had pointedly boycotted all the negotiations to begin with – babbled nonsensically about lots of reasons that don’t hold up.   Conversely Allan, as he usually seems to do, offered NO reason for his vote (although I’d be surprised if he didn’t say “I have concerns.”  If he didn’t it’s because we’ve been making fun of him for that so much.) No, the thankfully-losing Bever-Mansoor NO vote was all about this guy:

James “Riggy” Righeimer.

If Planning Commissioner James “Riggy” Righeimer manages to get onto the City Council Nov. 2, Costa Mesa will be in for as much of a nightmarish Riggy Decade as the nightmarish Mansoor Decade they are just escaping.  A limitlessly egotistical and manipulative bully, serial carpetbagger, and unfortunately now the GOP insiders’ choice for Costa Mesa Golden Boy, he slipped into his appointed position by being Dana Rohrabacher’s campaign manager and has stacked his commission with loyal and ruthless allies whom he’ll be well-placed to drag along with him onto the Council.  Of late he has functioned as a de-facto campaign manager to Mansoor, although he’s now starting with good reason to worry more about his own Council campaign.  But I digress.  Look for my articles soon:  “Meet Costa Mesa’s Boss Hogg: James Righeimer,”  AND “Meet the Anti-Riggy:  Chris McEvoy”  And if you Costa Mesans HAVE to vote before those articles come out, make it for Wendy Leece and Chris McEvoy! Okay…

Anyway, the way Mansoor treats immigrants is the way Riggy treats public employee unions – with supreme disrespect, blaming all problems on them, and hoping to score political points that way.  Riggy is known to oppose accepting any deals like this one from the firefighters, because he feels that it deprives him of an issue to run on.  HE wanted to be the one to cut the police and firefighters off at the knees when he gets in next month.  So he – and the GOP machine that backs him – ordered their obedient puppets on the Council – Bever and Mansoor – to stop the deal.  Big KUDOS to Republicans Monahan and Leece for putting the financial health of their city over this partisan gamesmanship.

And this illustrates what the nice old Republican ladies were telling me a couple weeks ago at the coffee they put together for Phu:  Allan is “not smart enough for the job, and he’ll just do anything the Central Committee tells him to do.” We can’t be sending this cat to Sacramento, and Costa Mesans must be smart enough to reject Riggy as well, as so many other towns have.

Goldwater girl Corrine Stover with Phu, at her coffee.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.