Why This Blog?

The aim of this blog is to fit into the blogosphere like the bracingly tart taste of yogurt fits between the boringly bland and the unspeakably vile.

All comments will be answered if their author provides contact info.


I have no sponsoring group(s) or agencies, and I owe no allegiance to any candidate or group.

(C) Copyright 2012 DenRita Enterprises

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Candidates’ Info Update 

I've attended a couple of Candidates’ Forums now, and some neighborhood meetings, and I’ve tried to communicate with each candidate personally and by email. I've had multiple contacts with two of “the M’s” and one of the CM4RG candidates...

Sandra Genis

I've spoken briefly with Sandra Genis, who is pleasant and cheerful, but has turned and walked away when I asked substantive questions. Perhaps she doesn’t like individual debate or maybe I just affect her adversely. In any case, she’s never answered an email either, to answer a question or to just acknowledge my thanking her for her presentations at each forum. However, I’m listed on her site as a supporter, and have a password to join the “members only” presentations and discussions that may occur.

John Stephens

John Stephens replied to my questions about how the Charter would affect the conduct of City Business by reiterating the abstract dangers he says are posed by what is missing from the Charter. He then handed me an envelope saying that he has to raise money to campaign because he wasn’t funded by “outside interests” and turned to talk to someone else before I could ask (tried at two events) who these interests might be. He also hasn’t answered any of my emails, either, so I don’t know where to go to hear either him or Sandy espouse their views except for the scheduled forums.

Gary Monahan

Gary Monahan has spoken persuasively to me at the forums about the Charter and his votes, although he attended only one of the local “get acquainted” meetings that I did. His email replies are erratic but courteous.

Colin and Steve

Colin McCarthy and Steve Mensinger have been happy to explain, discuss, or debate every issue I’ve raised, and have replied courteously and in depth to my emails. They repeatedly urge me to “just read it, read what the Charter says.” Since I’ve read through the verbiage fully seven times so far, I’m beginning to recognize even section numbers; but even with a copy in hand I’ve been unable to find fault with their explanations and arguments.


On the other hand, Steve is unwilling to back off of his assault on the unions, and seems unable to see errors (at least in procedure) his Council has made. Colin pulls his family and commitment into many seemingly unrelated discussions, and Steve is happy to zip the discussion off to Estancia football and the needs of both youth and taxpayers in Costa Mesa at the end of any discussion.

If you bring them a problem . . .

I've noticed that Steve, Gary and another Council Member, Jim Righeimer, vigorously address problems brought to the Council’s attention. For example, a report of gang activity spurred Mensinger to take personal time to go observe the area, then discuss his observations with the police department. And, complaints about a cracked sidewalk led to instructions to the city staff to “fix it” and a follow up at the next meeting to determine progress. And, the complaints about crime in the Lyons Park area have led to Council member visits, and to city lighting, code compliance, Homeless Task Force, and police attention to the area. So, they certainly seemed responsive in the few City Council meetings I’ve attended.

Repeats same old story

Harold Weitzberg has answered my emails courteously. Unfortunately, he answers my questions with either accusative diatribe or the (canned) view seen on CM4RG’s website. (See blogs dated 8/27 and 8/31.) He gets quite emotional about some issues, but doesn’t debate facts or opinions. Instead, he just repeats the “party line” or calls opponents names (that he cannot demonstrate are based on anything beyond his opinion) such as “You are a pandering lobbyist trying to insinuate yourself into our Costa Mesa government. . .” (Daily Pilot 6 Sep 12).

On the issue of Medical Marijuana his passionate view is that the city should have stopped the proliferation of dispensaries when their number was about 80 – which included his wife’s shop. He is unconcerned that regulating marijuana sales is illegal under federal law, and won’t address the issue of how to regulate dispensaries that proliferate without reference to zoning, business license or even storefront – in the past some of the dispensaries were working from the back of a panel truck.

Put 'em into groups

So, the active campaigners, from my perspective, can be divided up at least three ways. First, there’s those who reply (Mensinger, Weitzberg, McCarthy, Monahan--eventually), versus those who don’t. Then there’s those who debate the issues with facts (McCarthy, Mensinger, Monahan), those who argue with forceful but largely-unsupported opinions or labels (Weitzberg, Stephens), and those who present and debate on stage but are largely unavailable (to me) the rest of the time (Genis, Monahan somewhat). 

Or, the candidates could be divided into those who think I have the intelligence and maturity to argue issues with facts (and want me to read the Charter – again), such as Menninger, McCarthy, and Monahan, and those who either ignore me or else tell me what the Charter really means. One of these touts himself as an expert – I’m a lawyer—instead of explaining why current city procedures will become ineffective under the charter.

Judge by their supporters? How gauche!

How about dividing the candidates by their supporters? Well, the “3M” supporters speak courteously at Council meetings, and listen attentively – sometimes offering thoughtful questions -- at forums. The supporters for Genis, Weitzberg, and Stephens take up Council meeting time with their protest songs and their railing against most everything. They demonstrate their (lack of) respect with screams, applause and catcalls during formal meetings, and by flashing their hand-printed signs and obscene gestures toward the dais during forums and Council meetings.

I’m going to continue to try to hear what Genis and Stephens have to say.

The candidates and issues are polarizing into two camps. I’m starting to think that will make my decisions easier in November. 


  1. I like most of what you wrote. Curious however I don't know who you are. Are you staying anonymous?

  2. Not particularly, but just learning how to block spam and the other ills.