Irvine Wants Your Views on Campaign Ethics

Christine Shea is trying organize a Larry Agran gripefest at the next city council meeting. Both sides should show up.

Christina Shea has added an odd item to this Tuesday’s city council meeting:


This is not a call for high-minded discussion. As Christina make clear in her request letter, she’s hoping people will complain about the Pro-Argan slate mailer Irvine Community News and Views that claims to be a community newspaper.

I doubt she’ll be disappointed, as multiple speakers made exactly that complaint at the last city council meeting.  The slate mailer is trying to deceive, but that hardly qualifies as interesting during campaign season.  The discussion needs to go beyond this, because this particular slate mailer is hardly the only oddity resulting from Irvine’s seemingly draconian campaign finance rules.

Taxpayers for Ethical Government, the group that sent out the mailer attacking Larry Agran and the Irvine Community News and Views, has not been forthcoming about their funding sources, either.

The Campaign finance rules allow old campaign committees to live on as zombies, giving incumbents an additional advantage over newcomers.

And then there are the “marketing” mailers from major developers such as Heritage Fields and Great Park Neighborhoods. When Larry controlled the majority, these glossy, chipper newsletters often featured the smiling faces of Larry, Beth Krom,  and Sukhee Kang. However, the four page glossy Fresh Air that appeared in my mailbox last Friday featured  pictures Stephen Choi, Christina Shea,  and Jeff Lalloway smiling amidst happy citizens. Should these count as campaign mailers?

So hopefully more than just the usual Larry -bashers (your humble blogger included) will speak.  We need a useful exchange of views to improve our current broken campaign finance system.

The public comments will begin about 6:30 pm Tuesday at  1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA.  The agenda look light this week, so the meeting shouldn’t run long.

About Tyler in Irvine

Twenty Year Irvine Resident. Native Texan and proud Longhorn. Pro-Choice Ron Paul supporter. "Do I contradict myself? ... then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman