The Lowdown on MARK W. BUCHER, 3rd Supe candidate.




Riggy & Mensy, Costa Mesa's anti-labor crusaders with troubled financial histories.

First, let me broach five topics that Mark W. Bucher will sue me for even mentioning:

  1. Anti-labor Costa Mesa Councilman Jim “Riggy” Righeimer’s bankruptcy.
  2. His “mortgage default.”
  3. His 1994 arrest for being drunk in public.
  4. The bankruptcy of the division of  Sun-Cal run by Riggy’s right-hand man Steve Mensinger.
  5. The bankruptcy of the division of Bethany Group also run by Mensinger.

These seem, or seemed, like good and relevant things to know about, regarding two aspiring politicians whose entire platform was built on the idea of “running a City [Costa Mesa] like a business,” wouldn’t you say?  And they’re at least mostly true, as we’ll examine briefly.

Mark W. Bucher, ineffectual "pit bull"

Yet the OC GOP’s “pit bull lawyer” and current Supervisorial candidate Mark W. Bucher threatened our favorite Costa Mesa blogger, Geoff “the Pot Stirrer” West, under pain of lawsuit, to never mention any of those five topics on his Bubbling Cauldron blog, during the last election down there.

And funny thing was, Geoff HADN’T mentioned any of those things, and wasn’t necessarily planning to.  But Bucher’s two threatening letters managed to make an issue of those topics, and soon the entire local press was buzzing with the details of Riggy’s troubled financial and legal past:  the many times he’d been sued for breach of contract and failure to pay his bills, and the 21 liens on his property.  (For the record, Riggy did manage to avoid filing for bankruptcy, and eventually paid off all his bills.)

When Geoff received the second threatening letter from Bucher – the one about the Mensinger-related bankruptcies – he fired off a terse letter of his own, vowing to treat any further such correspondence as harassment and telling Bucher to cease and desist;  and he has never heard back from him.  That’s the way to stand up to a bully.

Well, at least we know that Mark W. Bucher is extremely concerned about irresponsible and damaging statements being made about public figures, right?

Well, actually … no.  Funny story there:

Bucher’s comically inept defense of the Red-baiting slander
of Kim-Oanh Nguyen-Lam

You may remember about six or seven years ago when the Westminster School District had become the laughingstock of the nation, coming very close to being taken over by the state for putting the Board majority’s anti-gay “religious” beliefs over state-mandated anti-discrimination language.   (This was the majority, including notorious unhinged immigrant basher Judy Ahrens, that was put into place by Mark Bucher’s Education Alliance… but that’s a story for later if we have time.)

Well, to many in that troubled time, it seemed as though a page was turned in 2006 with the hiring of distinguished superintendent Dr. KimOanh Nguyen-Lam, the first Vietnamese-American superintendent of an American school district.  Kim-Oanh, who had arrived in the US in 1975 speaking no English, was by now fluent in five languages, had a Doctorate in Education, and was a great source of pride and celebration to the community.

That’s until Little Saigon’s rightwing old guard discovered that KimOanh was a Democrat.  Well – that won’t do, but it’s not a good enough excuse to get rid of such a popular and accomplished figure.  So a nutjob named Sinh Cuong Cao took to the local airwaves, and to the School Board itself, testifying that KimOanh, who had fled Communist Vietnam in 1975, was herself a Communist!

This gave the wingnut-dominated Board a good enough excuse to fire Dr. Nguyen-Lam, which they did, and KimOanh very properly undertook to sue the irresponsible Mr. Cao for slander.  KimOanh was represented by Juice friend  Katrina Foley and Donna Bader, while Cao was represented by Bucher and some other loser.

And what was Mr. Cao’s defense, the defense of Bucher’s client, as to why his Commie-baiting of Dr. Nguyen-Lam should not be considered malicious?  His defense was that he didn’t know her personally, was unaware of her politics, and only knew about her from news articles (NONE of which even slightly suggested her to be anything like a Communist.)  The judge laughed this argument out of court, characterizing Cao’s canards as “a product of his imagination,” and certainly false and malicious.

Sadly, this slander case was thrown out of court later purely on technical grounds, but Katrina has kicked Bucher’s ass on other occasions, Dr. Nguyen-Lam has gone on to a stellar career in the US Department of Education, and rightwing Viets continue to slander their Little Saigon neighbors and rivals as Communists with impunity.

But what have we learned here about Mark W. Bucher, candidate for Third Supervisorial District?  We’ve learned that, in his book, it’s okay to cause a Democratic official to lose her job by falsely labeling her a “Communist” based on nothing but your own fevered imagination, but that it’s VERBOTEN to even discuss the documented, troubled financial histories of political candidates if they are Republicans.

Yeah, yeah, I know – Mark W. Bucher is JUST A LAWYER, and a partisan warrior who will say anything to help the OC GOP and its candidates, truth or consistency be damned.  But this does lead to the first of my questions:

Do we really want an unprincipled lawyer and partisan warrior on the Orange County Board of Supervisors?

Comedy Break:  the Costa Mesa Stink-Eye

The lengths to which Mark W. Bucher will go to “help” his Party and its candidates can be very silly, as witness, if you all remember, Stink-Eye-Gate, down in Costa Mesa last year.    Watch Mr. Bucher in action, in this video, trying to convince the assembled press that passing cops routinely snapping a photo of two men up on a hill, on private property, hanging campaign signs on a fence, constitutes “voter intimidation.”  Good times…

To be continued:

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.