County Auditor Controller Jan Grimes is withholding payment to a campaign consultant with close ties to County Supervisor Todd Spitzer – hired under questionable circumstances earlier this year to spearhead a $25,000 public relations blitz in April for the unveiling of a Victims Memorial, according to the Voice of OC.
Apparently the Supervisors have been doing this for some time – hiring consultants or using County staff without approval from the Board of Supervisors. The Voice of OC cited examples involving Spitzer, Pat Bates and Janet Nguyen.
Kudos to Grimes for stopping Spitzer’s shenanigan. Unfortunately she is going to be replaced next year by OC GOP hack Eric Woolery. You can bet he will do what the Supervisors tell him to! Most of them endorsed him in this year’s June Primary Election.
This particular brouhaha involved Spitzer’s victims memorial monument, at Mason Regional Park. Spitzer said that it would be completely supported by private fundraising. But then he hired his own campaign consultant, Arianna Barrios, who heads up Spitzer’s social media efforts and who runs a PR business called the Communication Lab. She “worked with Spitzer on talking points for his speech, sent out thank you cards, and coordinated with his staff on video editing for the event.” For that she got $25K? Wow.
Couldn’t the film students at Chapman have handled the video editing, as interns? Chapman is even in Spitzer’s district!
Spitzer also noted that Barrios “has public relations contracts at two agencies he sits on the board of, including the Orange County Fire Authority and the Toll Roads Agency.”
Barrios is of course an affiliate of the Curt Pringle cabal. She is a Senior Policy Aide for Pringle hack Kris Murray in Anaheim, and she endorsed another Pringle hack, Jordan Brandman, in his 2012 Anaheim City Council race. Her client list includes the usual suspects in Anaheim’s resort district.
She also took “on the majority of clients represented by Faubel Public Affairs, a Lake Forest-based company started in 1997 by Roger Faubel,” according to the OC Register. Faubel now focuses on Government Affairs.
In 2012, the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave the firm a potentially multimillion-dollar clean water education contract, even though county staff last fall ranked the firm second among qualified bidders, according to the Voice of OC. And Faubel’s firm received similar special treatment when the contract was bid in 2002.
In 2012, the Orange County Transportation Authority, whose board includes all five county supervisors, also awarded Faubel’s firm a three-year, $725,000 contract after it initially was dropped from the list of preferred bidders because its rates were too high.
Faubel is a former member of the Santa Margarita Water District Board of Directors and he also previously served on the Mission Viejo City Council.
Barrios is also an elected member of the Rancho Santiago Community College District’s Board of Education.