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Political Landscape: Newport police group’s City Council endorsements draw criticism from other candidates

Political Landscape: Newport police group’s City Council endorsements draw criticism from other candidates
Newport Beach City Council candidates Tim Stoaks and Joy Brenner believe they weren't considered before the city's police union issued endorsements for their opponents. (File Photos)

The Newport Beach police union has endorsed the four incumbents in this year’s City Council election, leaving some of the challengers nonplussed and taking to social media to claim they weren’t considered.

“As with previous elections, our political action committee (PAC) has taken the time to interview candidates who were willing to sit down with us,” the Newport Beach Police Assn. said in a letter Saturday announcing it was backing Diane Dixon, Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, Kevin Muldoon and Scott Peotter.

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“We believe these candidates will work, both individually and as a team, to serve the city of Newport Beach in the best way possible and to protect the public’s safety,” the letter stated. “There is no doubt all the candidates we spoke with are passionate about our community, and that is a sentiment we echo as we serve this beautiful city every day.”

Tim Stoaks, who is running against Duffield in council District 3, wrote on Facebook after the endorsements that he was not interviewed by the police group.

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“I was never given this opportunity, nor were Joy Brenner, Roy Englebrecht or Mike Glenn,” Stoaks said. “Why do you think the NBPA PAC did this? Something does not smell right here!”

Brenner, who is running against Peotter in District 6, wrote on the Newport Heights/Cliffhaven Community Forum page that she met with members of the association but did not consider the get-together an interview.

“I had coffee with three representatives of the police union. I would not call it an interview,” she wrote. “We talked about families, and I may have asked them more questions than they did of me.

“I greatly respect our Newport Police Department, and hope this is fake news or a mistake.”

The association did not respond to requests for comment, and emails to Peter Mitchell, a consultant named in the endorsement letter, were returned as undeliverable.

The association also endorsed Don Barnes for Orange County sheriff-coroner.

DA candidates to speak Wednesday in Newport

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, left, and election challenger Todd Spitzer, an Orange County supervisor, will speak at a forum Wednesday evening in Newport Beach.
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, left, and election challenger Todd Spitzer, an Orange County supervisor, will speak at a forum Wednesday evening in Newport Beach. (Courtesy photos)

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and November election challenger and current Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer will present their platforms at the monthly Speak Up Newport forum Wednesday.

Rackauckas is running for his sixth term as district attorney. He has held the position since 1998.

Spitzer, whose District 3 includes the Orange and Yorba Linda area, also has served as an Orange County prosecutor and a state assemblyman.

The presentations will run from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Community Room at Newport Beach City Hall, 100 Civic Center Drive. A reception with appetizers will kick off the event at 5:15 p.m. Admission is free.

Billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer to present town hall in Costa Mesa

California hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer, one of the nation’s largest individual Democratic campaign donors, will be in Costa Mesa on Wednesday night to present a town hall meeting about national political issues.

Four Orange County congressional districts represented by Republicans are seen as battlegrounds in the November election as Democrats try to gain control of the House of Representatives.

Those races have drawn millions of dollars in spending by special-interest groups, including from Steyer’s political action committees.

His town hall will begin at 6:15 p.m. at Fete the Venue, 3101 Red Hill Ave.

Assemblyman Harper to appear at Laguna GOP meeting

Assemblyman Matthew Harper, who is up for reelection this year, will be the special guest at the Oct. 18 Laguna Beach Republicans meeting.

Harper (R-Huntington Beach) will speak about the past legislative session and other issues, including Proposition 6, a ballot measure aimed at repealing the state gas tax increase.

The meeting will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Mozambique restaurant, 1740 S. Coast Hwy.

To RSVP, email highspeed8@aol.com.

10:20 a.m.: This article was updated with the item about Tom Steyer’s town hall.

This article was originally published at 4:20 p.m. Oct. 9.

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