Costa Mesa’s voters gave Jim Righeimer a mandate in last week’s election

Jim Righeimer ran for the Costa Mesa City Council in 2008, the year President Obama got elected.  Righeimer lost by almost two thousand voted.  He came in fourth, just behind Eric Bever, who did win, according to Smart Voter.

Less than a year later, the Costa Mesa City Council majority, which included Democrat Katrina Foley and Republican Wendy Leece, voted for the disastrous 3% at 50 pension plan for their firemen.  They did this even as other cities were already going bankrupt trying to pay six figure pensions to retired employees in their fifties – bearing in mind the fact that these employees live to an average age of 82.

Foley won a seat on a school board last week and announced she would resign from the Costa Mesa City Council.  And now Righeimer, who got the most votes last Tuesday, is in a position to run that Council, in conjunction with a Republican majority, which means he will pick Foley’s replacement.

What a difference two years makes.  And it was the pension issue that vaulted Righeimer to the top.

Leece has attracted the support of many local Democrats, who appreciate her fight to save the O.C. Fairgrounds, but they have forgotten that she was once called the Rosie Avila of the Newport Mesa School Board.  And her endorsements this year included that of Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor, who is widely despised by liberals.

In fact, while she no longer talks about immigration (and neither did Righeimer this year), this is what she wrote about it in 2006:

I am concerned three illegal alien sex offenders were recently found in Costa Mesa and that not all illegal aliens are deported after serving their jail time. I support Mayor Mansoor’s proposal to deport major felons and am the only candidate endorsed by the Mayor.

As recently as May of this year, Gustavo Arellano caught Leece in a lie with regard to Costa Mesa’s brutal police program against immigrants.  Click here to read that post.

And yes, sure enough, Leece voted for Mansoor’s bogus “Rule of Law” ordinance, which was just more immigrant bashing, according to public radio news.

Bottom line – Leece is no liberal.  She is and always has been an immigrant basher.  Now she is also a union shill.

Republicans now loathe Leece for not only voting for 3% at 50, but also for voting for a new contract for Costa Mesa’s firemen, before the new Council Members could weigh in.  Even her staunchest supporter, Supervisor John Moorlach, has ripped her publicly and discussed recalling her.  Just like that, her political future is in doubt.

In the interim, Righeimer is now the alpha male on the Costa Mesa City Council.  Mansoor will term out of the State Assembly in six years.  State Senator Tom Harman terms out of his seat in two years.  Righeimer will advance.  He is smarter than Mansoor and has more support in his party than Harman.  Congressman Dana Rohrabacher will eventually retire.  Righeimer will be waiting for that opportunity.

And all of this because of the Council’s support for 3% at 50.  Righeimer should thank the Costa Mesa Council Members who voted for it.  However, now he has to deal with the structural budget deficit that they created.  In two years you can bet that he and his allies will be bidding Leece a not very fond adios from the Costa Mesa City Council.


About Art Pedroza