by Jay Humphrey
During this election in Costa Mesa, one of the most visible items to be voted up or down on Nov. 6is the proposed charter, Measure V. We are told daily about the union thugs and funding against this measure and are also told that outside money is driving the No on V message.
What the other side is very quiet about is who is funding their side. You have to ask yourselves why?
We are conveniently not told that the Citizens for Costa Mesa City Charter (the only registered PAC for the charter) is funded almost entirely by real estate industry sources. Only three contributors(less than 10% of the total) come from Costa Mesa and the largest of the Costa Mesa contributors is actually the registered agent for Newport Real Estate Services.
What do you think a well financed, out of Costa Mesa Real Estate group would have to gain if the charter which allows for no bid contracts were to pass? Or even worse, what do these real estate developers have to gain on the passage of a charter that allows a vote of three council members to rezone property to higher and denser usage? Ask yourselves if there is any financial incentive associated with those changes for the real estate development industry. Maybe that is why the Associated Builders and Contractors Assn. (also from outside Costa Mesa) has thrown money into this fight in favor of the charter.
We also are conveniently not told that the other primary supporter of the charter is the Orange County Republican Party, which has not filed a Supplementary Independent Expenditure report with the Costa Mesa City Clerk as is the requirements of the Fair Political Practices Act. That means that the public of Costa Mesa cannot easily see what they have spent supporting Measure V, a measure that only affects Costa Mesa and does not affect Orange County. You have to ask yourselves, what would the Republican Party of Orange County have to gain if Measure V were to pass? Could this be tagged to some national agenda that has nothing to do with Costa Mesa?
Ask yourselves, is all the rhetoric against the associations, just a smoke screen to sneak in a little section that allows real estate developers to make sweet heart deals and the residents to suffer?
I for one find the answers to those questions disturbing and until I see a charter that has clear protections against abuses of power like no bid contracts, or easily changed land use requirements, I will be voting no on the charter.
JAY HUMPHREY lives in Costa Mesa. This commentary appeared in the online version of the Daily Pilot on Saturday, November 3.