An out-of-state political group appears to have violated election laws when it funneled $200,000 in anonymous campaign donations to a conservative Orange County committee, which spent the money in a successful bid to shift the longstanding balance of power on the Irvine City Council, documents and interviews show, according to the O.C. Register.
A total of $186,000 was poured into the Irvine mayoral and City Council races by California Term Limits PAC, which was formed three months before the election by Irvine resident and Republican consultant Jon Fleischman.
Don’t get me wrong – I am glad that Irvine Mayor Steven Choi and the other Republicans on the Irvine City Council benefited from this largesse. However I am not surprised to see Fleischman’s name come up. He has been skating on thin ice since he used to be disgraced OC Sheriff Mike Carona’s spokeshole.
Of course whatever may have happened in this case pales in comparison to the longtime shenanigans of Irvine Councilman Larry Agran. Here is just a taste of his corruption:
- Consultants and developers with business in the city of Irvine have channeled nearly $700,000 to mailers touting Councilman Larry Agran and his council allies. Among them: 14 companies with contracts to work on the Great Park, 36 attorneys and consultants associated with a housing development near the park and 10 developers linked to the Irvine Business Complex. (OC Register)
- It is surprising, however, that many of Agran’s usual liberal political allies, including fellow council member Chris Mears, UCI professor Mark Petracca and community activist Mitch Goldstone, have abandoned him, publicly accusing Agran of unethical behavior. (Irvine Voters)
- Larry Agran’s Sabotage Squad – [Moxley Confidential] The sneaky campaign to save Democrats’ control of the Great Park failed but kept Beth Krom on the Irvine City Council (OC Weekly)
- Pro-Park Mailer Got $90,000 From Builders With Irvine Ties. That was more than half of what was spent on the brochure in its last two weeks. It also backed Agran and two allies. (L.A. Times)
- Public-employee unions, a real estate developer and a San Diego consulting firm are among the financial backers of the Irvine education spending measure directed by perennial councilman Larry Agran, who is running for mayor.Initiatives are not bound by Irvine’s $440 campaign-contribution limit, allowing Agran to raise and spend cash in promoting not just a popular measure but his political allies and himself. He’s used the tactic in several election cycles. (OC Register)
- Larry Agran, a home-grown politician credited for promoting Irvine’s image as a prototype suburban Orange County city, is under fire for allegedly trying to use his mayoral post to enrich friends and political cohorts. (L.A. Times)
- Irvine Councilman Chris Mears said he had warned Agran and campaign consultant Ed Dornan earlier this year that he would oppose a contract with an Anaheim company that has offered to run a city-owned electric utility for Irvine. Mears said Dornan boasted to him and Agran that he stood to earn as much as $1 million if the deal were signed. (L.A. Times)