Wu: Democracy, not the GOP, controls Costa Mesa

Thomas Jefferson supposedly said, "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%."

I am writing this to remind all the people in Costa Mesa, from all of the comments I see posted on the Daily Pilot website, that they live in a democracy and that the Republican Party of Orange County plays no direct part in governing the city.

I am tired of seeing people blame all the ills of Costa Mesa on the OCGOP and the City Council majority.

While Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer has been involved for many years, he is not a puppet for OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh, nor does Baugh control Councilmen Steve Mensinger, Gary Monahan or Planning Commission Chairman Colin McCarthy, who all plan to run as a slate for the council in November.

How do I know?

I was Tom Fuentes' alternate member on the OCGOP Central Committee from 2002 until 2008, when I was appointed as a full voting member until 2010.

During those eight years, I attended almost every Central Committee meeting and was part of most of the subcommittees, and I had never met Mensinger, Monahan or McCarthy until very recently, nor did I hear Baugh, or Fuentes before him, ever tell the Central Committee that they were going to control Costa Mesa politics.

I spoke with two Central Committee members, one of whom represents Costa Mesa.

Fountain Valley Mayor Pro Tem Mark McCurdy, who represents the 68th Assembly District for the Central Committee, had only met Mensinger once, has eaten at Monahan's bar and restaurant, Skosh Monahan's, a few times, and had no idea who McCarthy was.

The other — Allan Bartlett, the committee's 70th Assembly District representative — had only met Mensinger for the first time in April. He also eats at Skosh Monahan's and had just recently started seeing McCarthy at OCGOP events.

If a candidate receives an OCGOP endorsement, does that mean the party controls that person? Does it mean anything at all?

Let's look at the historical record.

In the last two Newport Beach City Council elections, both OCGOP-endorsed candidates — me in 2006 and Ed Reno in 2010 — lost.

For the last decade in Irvine, being the OCGOP-endorsed candidate for mayor has meant absolutely nothing as the candidates supported by Councilman Larry Agran, a Democrat, win over and over.

Both cities have overwhelming Republican registered voter advantages.

So what about Costa Mesa?

After all, the OCGOP endorsed Councilwoman Wendy Leece in 2006 and backed her until the leadership found her positions on public employee compensation out of sync with the party's.

When Righeimer ran in 2008 for the first time, the OCGOP endorsed him, but he lost.

Additionally, he had been battling the unions and pension issue for decades before getting on the council, before the "Baugh Manifesto," and even before Baugh became chairman.

So for you angry Costa Mesa commenters who keep complaining about Righeimer and his council colleagues, and blaming the OCGOP and Baugh for running Costa Mesa into the ground, I have an idea.

You can get your slate of three candidates together, raise money, work a grass-roots campaign and do something about it, or you keep complaining through your keyboards in the darkness of your living rooms.

It's your choice.

So what if Righeimer isn't on the ballot? Look to Fullerton and Yorba Linda. Those residents are putting money where their mouths are and are implementing recalls.

It's time to put up or shut up. If you want to blame someone, blame your neighbors, your friends and Costa Mesa for voting the "wrong" way.

That's democracy.

JACK WU is an accountant who lives in Newport Beach and practices in Costa Mesa. He is a longtime Republican Party loyalist and a volunteer campaign treasurer for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa). His column runs Sundays on the Daily Pilot Forum page. He can be reached at jack@wubell.com.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World