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Newport Beach

Letters to the Editor

Weigand and Crane are the choices we need

As the national election continues to steal the show, local residents of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa are faced with two very important races in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Longtime incumbent Trustees Martha Fluor and Dana Black are not seeking re-election.

With the amount of experience these departing Trustees leave behind, it is important we elect two new board members who can hit the ground running. Carol Crane in District 3 and Krista Weigand in District 6 both fit this bill and would serve our Newport-Mesa communities well. I personally know them both and am confident they are well qualified.

Krista has an MBA, knows finances, budgets and balance sheets. She has children at our local elementary schools and has been at the forefront of mental health issues. Krista is “hands on” and is clearly the fresh vote for our future.

Carol’s commitment to student advocacy, community engagement and fiscal responsibility are a few of the many reasons why she is the trusted choice in District 3.

They are both strong leaders and parents who we can rely on and have lived in our community for many years. 

Our district needs communicators. Ones who are willing to put differences aside and work for the common good of our community, while bridging the gap between parents, teachers and the administrators – all to the benefit of our students.

Krista Weigand and Carol Crane deserve your vote this election. Please join me in supporting them.

Kate Malouf, Newport Harbor High School Parent

Newport Beach

The tiger is out in Newport Heights

Brad Avery is anything but a leader and responsible advocate for Newport Heights. He has failed to align his allegiance for any efforts protecting his District 2. 

He has failed to assert his Council influence to support his constituents. Rather, he rolls over and remains silent, ineffectual, and docile when it comes to standing up for his District. 

What we need is solid representation, a person who not only cares, but who also acts to protect Newport Heights. We don’t need a lamb on Council, we need a tiger! We don’t need a crony, but rather a bold leader. 

As a resident of Newport Heights for over 55 years, I have seen many strong leaders in the Heights, ones that speak out, rally, go door-to-door with the issues. Brad is the last on that list.

The biggest challenge is protecting Mariners Mile, absolutely hands down the most single impact, second only to the Airport.

Where does Brad sit on the issue of Newport Village? Who knows, but rest assured, he would never speak up or defend his neighborhood.

Nancy Scarbrough will.

So before you vote, pause and ask if Brad has done anything to deserve another term. Has he ever been to your door to talk to you, has he ever stood tall at Council protecting our neighborhood?

Brad obviously thinks that he has this election in the bag, as he has no campaign signs and he has made no effort to reach out.

Think long and hard before voting for Avery. 

We need a tiger. And now is the time as we will be facing massive challenges to protect Mariners Mile and many other issues coming up in our community of Newport Heights and West Newport.

Dan Boyd

Newport Heights

Beware “Cops Voter Guide” is crooked

Recently, a mailer went out to all of the residents in the City of Newport Beach that looked very official and was titled “Cops Voter Guide.” In addition to looking certified, the mailer showed that the Cops Voter Guide endorsed Newport Beach Councilman Jeff Herdman. This was very odd given that the City of Newport Beach Police Association had already endorsed Noah Blom for District 5 councilman. 

Like many residents in Newport Beach, I was confused by this mailer. After researching this so called Cops Voter Guide, which is intended to look like it represents law enforcement, it turns out this is a fraudulent political slate mailer in which candidates can pay up to $2,500 to get their name listed on the mailer in an attempt to cause pro-police voters to cast ballots contrary to the true stance of public safety professionals.

In fact, law enforcement organizations have been fighting this fraudulent crime for some time and those who continue to pay this organization, and with a little due diligence it’s hard to conclude is fraudulent, only exacerbates the crime. To quote the Sergeant of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, “to see someone print endorsements that are completely contradictory to what the profession believes is a slap in the face. This erroneous information has been sent to millions for profit and gives law enforcement a very bad name.” 

This mailer is an anti-police position, says Lolita Harper, a former detective, and promotes propositions that are actually anti-law enforcement. 

The “Cops Voters Guide” is printed by a campaign consultant who does not represent a single law enforcement agency or association.

Kelley Moran, whose name appears as the owner of Cops Voter Guide Inc., does not currently work for law enforcement, nor has he ever served in a sworn law enforcement capacity in his career.   

It is concerning that one of our own elected officials would [possibly] pay for such an endorsement and give Newport Beach a bad name by undermining the safety and the integrity of our first responders. If voters want to know the political views of their local law enforcement, look for the actual endorsements of the Newport Beach Police Association. Don’t fall prey to this crooked scheme.

Kevin Clark

Newport Beach     

Independent voices are what Newport Beach needs

I enjoyed Tom Johnson’s Fair Game column on Friday and as usual it offered food for thought. Our local elections are indeed getting dirtier every cycle. Many smart, good people I know would make fantastic council members, but they don’t dare run. It’s partly because of the mud that gets slung against candidates, and partly because of the outside money that pours in to support the “Team Newport” lineup – this year, Will O’Neill, Brad Avery and Noah Blom. 

Newport residents have received hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of mailers already: one from a Long Beach-based political action committee opposing Jeff Herdman (i.e. supporting Noah Blom); several from the police and fire unions supporting O’Neill, Avery and Blom; and one supporting that same trio from a statewide political action committee with major funding (meaning at least $50,000) from a Los Angeles billionaire. 

How on earth can we expect regular citizens seeking simply to give back to the community to go up against that kind of money and influence? As Tom notes, the pool of volunteers is very likely to keep shrinking. I have no doubt that is precisely the goal. 

Outside money and special interests can prop up candidates who don’t have the right skills for the job or who have legal issues which, if not glossed over, would cause voters to reject them. Those same forces can boost the reelection bids of candidates who aren’t effective councilmembers or don’t run serious campaigns since they can rely on others to make them look good. 

When special interests succeed in getting people elected who haven’t worked hard on their campaigns or won’t be fully committed to the council, our whole community loses. 

This year I am voting for Jeff Herdman and Nancy Scarbrough. Both are working overtime to get their message out to voters without the help of glossy mailers from outside groups. Herdman has a track record of listening to residents, working for the good of the city seven days a week, and getting things done. 

With Joy Brenner, she has been an independent voice on the council, and we need more of that, which is why I’m also supporting Scarbrough. She knows how the city works, what’s going well and what needs fixing. She’ll be ready to hit the ground running and I know she’ll work to represent Newport residents – not outside interests or any political team. 

Hopefully our city can have a discussion in the near future about ways to get some of this big money and outside influence out of our local politics. It’s hard enough to run for public office. I applaud those who have the courage to go up against a political machine and look forward to supporting more independent candidates in future elections. 

Jennifer McDonald

Newport Beach


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