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Email Exchange Between Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh with Major Recall Funder Karla Downing

From: Scott Baugh
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 3:17 PM
To: Karla Downing
Cc: Craig Young; Dennis White; Nadia White; Corinne Escobar; John Warner; Mark Bucher; Nancy Rikel
Subject: Re: Yorba Linda e-News, September 20, 2014, Lindsey and Young Caught Red-…
Karla,

Thank you for your note. Here is what I do not understand: Nancy voted “AYE” yet nobody on her side of this can simply say he voted “Aye.” Why is it so hard to admit this? There is no ambiguity here. The record is very clear that Nancy voted “AYE” on October 18, 2011. Nancy is effectively saying I voted “NO” and my “AYE” vote was ministerial (ex officio) so it doesn’t really matter. Her response sounds like the old politician who attended a very controversial event. When confronted by the press, the politician said, “I did not attend the event and I left early.” The second part of the statement internally reveals a lie about the first part of the statement. This is true of Nancy’s statement. The bottom line is that:

  1. Nancy is lying about her vote on October 18.
  2. Nancy is lying by claiming her vote was in her Ex Officio capacity.
  3. Nancy is lying by bearing false witness against her neighbors Young and Lindsey. She claims they are distorting her record, spreading false information and deliberate misinformation by pointing our her “Aye” vote on October 11, 2011.

I am very much aware of the two different sets of votes. Politicians often change their votes – sometimes for good reasons and sometimes for bad reasons. Nancy voted “NO” before she voted “AYE.” So what? She still voted “AYE.”

With respect the conversation between Jon Hanson and Jeff Decker. I do not know either one of them and I do not know what email/flyer you are talking about so I don’t know how to respond. However, the statement that “everybody lies when confronted with their lies” certainly seems to apply to Nancy’s lies.

I agree with your statement that “cities have the right and responsibility to deal with development in a way that works.” There are two very important things that I would like you to focus on. First, if you read through the entire Ordinance (2011-969) on which Nancy voted “AYE,” you will see that your city did precisely what they had the right to do. Your city engaged your residents in public workshops, public hearings, and multiple permutations to make sure the parcels slated for increased zoning were appropriate fits for your community. There was a tremendous amount of give and take. After this process was completed, Nancy and her fellow council members voted unanimously to validate that process, and so did the voters in June of 2012. This was, in fact, the city exercising their right and responsibility to deal with development as you claim is important to do.

The second point goes to my prior discussion about vested property rights, and actions that the owners of these properties have done to get the properties ready for development. You are seeking to change these property rights. In doing so, you will create liability for the city as you are engaged in a “taking” of their property by putting a moratorium on development. I, along with an overwhelming number of people on Central Committee, viewed this as power grab. It is a liberal power grab — because that is what liberals do.

Finally, allow me to address the involvement of the OCGOP. We have a very detailed endorsement process in our by-laws. I have sought to change this process before as I think the party should endorse in fewer races that it currently does. However, it takes a 2/3rds vote to change it and I did not have the votes to change it when I tried to change it. People generally do not like to give up their right to vote on these matters. Regardless, once an endorsement takes place, the OCGOP also has a mail program that is available for people to use for endorsed candidates and ballot measures. We do not use our general funds for this purpose so we are not taking money from other projects and using the money in Yorba Linda.

Regarding threats, if you are referring to my email where I said the OCGOP will expose her “AYE” vote, I want you to know that is what the review committee has determined is appropriate.

In closing, Karla, not a single person in Yorba Linda has explained to me or the committee why this is not a liberal power grab. I get answers like “I am not a liberal” or like you said, “it’s a complicated issue” or that Craig is corrupt and that he and Tom are masters of deception. These arguments have no facts connected to them. I am a reasonably intelligent person – try to explain the complication to me and I would be willing to listen and even change my view if you provided any facts to support your positions. The problem is that neither you or anybody else I have spoken to have submitted facts. Rather, you submit ad hominem attacks and conclusions. This style of argument is usually used by people who are emotionally invested in the outcome. I am fairly dispassionate about the issue as I don’t know the players very well. In contrast to your accusations, my emails are laced with facts, citations to ordinances, votes and fully cited false accusations (with proof of their falsity). I wish you would address facts to support your accusations.

Scott

From: Karla Downing
Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 11:46 AM
To: Scott Baugh
Cc: Craig Young; Dennis White; Nadia White; Corinne Escobar; John Warner; Mark Bucher

Subject: Re: FW: Yorba Linda e-News, September 20, 2014, Lindsey and Young Caught Red-…
Scott,

Now that I have had time to think I feel it would inappropriate for Nancy to respond to you when you have copied Craig and are completely involved in defeating Nancy and the Recall.

I also think it is inappropriate that the GOP is this involved. You have many causes and candidates to back financially that are far more important to the GOP. I don’t get why you have chosen to get this involved in this one that divides your Republican base. We talk to people and they are unhappy with the Party over this. It has been bad for the OC GOP’s reputation. I also don’t think it is appropriate for you as Party Chair to be so emotionally invested that you threaten to do anything necessary to defeat her.

I also think you realize that there are two dates of votes on Measure I and that you saw the video on her No Votes on Oct. 4th which explain her opposition to Measure I in addition to the Oct 18 consent calendar vote.

As for the argument that we are making a liberal power grab to take away property rights–it is a complicated issue, as you well know, and not that simple. Cities have the right and responsibility to deal with development in a way that works. We are not at the mercy of the developers as Craig and Tom want us to believe and in Yorba Linda, the people have the right to vote on zoning changes which Craig, Tom, and Gene refused to allow them to do.

Finally, Craig and Tom are masters at deception in this campaign. Jon Hanson who is a part of their campaign even admitted to Jeff Decker last week that “everyone lies” when confronted with their lies. Craig misrepresented his record on that email/flyer. Why doesn’t that bother you?

Sincerely,

Karla Downing


Email Exchange Between Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh with Major Recall Funder Karla Downing and Recall Candidate Nancy Rikel

From: Scott Baugh
Date: Monday, September 22, 2014 at 5:13 PM
To: Karla Downing
Cc: Craig Young, Dennis White, Nadia White, Corinne Escobar Griffiths, John Warner, Mark Bucher, Kermit Marsh, Nancy Rikel
Subject: FW: Yorba Linda e-News, September 20, 2014, Lindsey and Young Caught Red-Handed

Karla,

In response to your request that I let Nancy respond before I take action, it appears that Nancy has responded. She sent out another e-news letter today (link below) that contains the same untruthful statements about, “I did not vote to increase housing densities on any of the properties that became Measure I. On October 18, 2011, I voted NO.” We all know that Nancy voted “Aye” on the increase density zoning ordinance on October 18, 2011.

Instead of addressing her untruthful comments she now cites to a previous hearing where she voted no five times. I guess her answer to my email is to stomp her foot on the ground and say, “I voted no, I voted no, I voted no, I voted no, I voted no . . . Before I voted yes.”

I have heard this same refrain before from Republicans who vote for tax increases. They say that they voted no many times before they voted yes. You are still a tax increaser if you voted for a tax increase. Likewise, you are a density increaser if you voted for density increases. It doesn’t matter how many times she voted against them.

I repeat – proving that you at one point opposed high density prior to supporting high density does nothing to wipe away her “AYE” vote on the high density on October 18, 2011. Sadly, Nancy’s “AYE” vote on increased density is a very inconvenient truth for her. It is sad because instead of just owning up to what she did, she is calling Craig Young and Tom Lindsey liars for pointing out her “Aye” vote on October 18, 2011. Her responses are Clintonian – just viciously attack those who point out uncomfortable truths.

There are numerous “whereas” provisions contained in Nancy’s “AYE” vote on October 18, 2011, but I want to highlight one of them in particular so that you see precisely what Nancy voted on.

WHEREAS, Zone Change 2011-01B would amend the Zoning Map by changing the zoning designation for the following site to

Planned Development – Residential Multiple Family 30” (PD(R-M-30)) to allow a maximum residential density of thirty (30)

dwelling units per acre and a maximum building height of fifty (50) feet or four (4) stories, whichever is less;

“SWC Bastanchury & Lakeview (middle parcel)” – APN #323-111-2 (Site No. 4);

This same type of language was used for all 14 parcels that were identified in the Zoning Ordinance that Nancy voted “AYE” on October 18, 2011. Nancy’s fingerprints are all over these zoning increases and she is being disgraceful in lying about it – and equally disgraceful by calling others liars for pointing it out.

Scott

Ps. I find it interesting that I did not receiving this e-news letter directly. It was forwarded to me by somebody else. I just guessing here but somebody may have removed my email from the distribution list.

 

From: Scott Baugh
Date: Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM
To: Nancy Rikel
Cc: Craig Young, Karla Downing, Dennis White, Nadia White, Corinne Escobar Griffiths, John Warner, Mark Bucher, Kermit Marsh
Subject: FW: Yorba Linda e-News, September 20, 2014, Lindsey and Young Caught Red-Handed

Nancy,

You may have learned by now that I have had several email exchanges with people in Yorba Linda. I am cc’ing some of them on this email so that they can see how deceitful you are being with respect to your high density votes.

In your e-news letter that I received yesterday, you state, “I did not vote to increase housing densities on any of the properties that became Measure I. On October 18, 2011, I voted NO.” You are not being truthful with this statement. On October 18, 2011, you voted “AYE.” Below is a copy of the city clerk certification of your “AYE” vote on Ordinance No. 2011-969. This is the increased density zoning ordinance that was approved by your council while you were mayor.

For all the readers of this email, I have attached the entire staff report relevant to this matter. Please read the entire staff report for yourselves. The staff report providers an excellent history of the tremendous amount of work done on these projects ranging from public workshops to planning commission hearings to revisions and then to a final vote. You will see an exact copy of Ordinance 2011-969 on pages 19-24 of this report. Page 24 shows Rikel’s signature for the ordinance, and it also shows her “AYE” vote on the ordinance. A companion ordinance (2011-967) was also voted on that date as reflected on pages 10-17. Rikel’s signature and her “AYE” vote are contained on page 17.

Nancy, you go on to state in your e-news letter that, “As Mayor, I was required to act in an Ex Officio fashion and sign resolutions and ordinances whether I voted YES or NO.” This is deceitful double talk. Signing as the mayor attesting that a vote took place is not the same as voting “AYE” on the underlying vote. You could have voted “NO” and still signed the ordinance as mayor in your Ex Officio duties. You are trying to confuse the issues for your readers. The bottom line is that you voted “AYE” on these increased density zoning ordinances. Your “AYE” vote was not ministerial. Your “AYE” vote was an affirmative embrace of the increased density zoning ordinances that you voted in favor of. You also voted “AYE” to place these items on the ballot for the voters to approve. The public record does not lie, but you apparently do about these matters.

Not only have you been untruthful by claiming you voted “NO” on these ordinances, you have further deceived the readers of your e-news letter by citing to different “NO” votes on prior readings of these matters as some sort of proof that you did not vote “AYE” on October 18, 2011. Your “NO” votes on prior readings — prior to your “AYE” vote on the zoning ordinances — does not change the fact that you voted “AYE” on the zoning ordinances on October 18, 2011.

This is like saying you were against increased zoning densities before you were in favor of increased zoning densities. So what? The pathway you took to get to an “AYE” vote on these increased zoning densities ordinances may be interesting but it is not relevant to the fact that you voted “AYE” on October 18, 2011, and you are being untruthful by claiming you voted “NO.” You are further being untruthful by claiming that Mr. Young and Mr. Lindsey are lying about your “AYE” vote on October 18, 2011.

Your statements in your e-news letter reveal that you are clever in trying to deceive people who do not have the public staff report in front of them. You accuse Mr. Young and Mr. Lindsey of hoping the voters don’t know the law. I think it is you who is hoping that your supporters do not know the law and do not know how to look at the public record. Here’s an idea – why don’t you put out a link to the entire staff report and the entire increased density zoning ordinance in your news letter so your readers can see what you really did. Rest assured, the OCGOP will do so to stop your deceitful crusade.

Scott

Email Exchange Between Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh with Corinne Griffiths

From: Corinne Escobar Griffiths
Date: Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 8:38 PM
To: Scott Baugh
Subject: RE: How could you?

Thank  you for this long and detailed response to my objection.  It has brought up some good points.  I will address it with Rikel and a few others.  Not sure I am with you on every point, but you explained it well and I appreciate that.  I know some words are thrown into these political arguments that set people off and try to get them to change their minds, knowing their philosophies.  As a property owner (commercial AND residential) I do favor the right to develop my properties as I see fit and as approved by the voters in the communities where these properties lie.  However, the words Liberal Power Grab and Liberal driven still rub me the wrong way because the voters in Yorba Linda (majority of) are anything but liberal…but I see your point.  I also know some people will automatically jump to conclusions when they read those words and think a certain way, and I believe it is misleading.  Your point was well-taken, however, but I still don’t like the flier.

Again, thank you for the time it took to write such a detailed analysis of your argument.  Corinne

Corinne Escobar Griffiths

Scott

From: Scott Baugh
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 4:37 PM
To: Corinne Escobar Griffiths
Subject: Re: How could you?
Corinne,

As a follow up to my previous email, I wanted to give a complete and thorough response which is now detailed in this email.

Under the OCGOP by-laws the party has a procedure in place for the endorsement of candidates and ballot measures.  When the Yorba Linda Recall came before the Central Committee facts and arguments were presented on both sides of the issue.  Arguments were presented for and against from your central committee representatives who live in Yorba Linda.   When the final vote was tallied the vote exceeded the 2/3rds threshold for an endorsement against the measure.  When the party takes a position on ballot measure, the party also supports a mail program to support that position.  You have taken issue with two items in the mailer.  I will address each issue below.

Liberal Power Grab

Context is everything so I am going to provide the background context for the language in the mailers.  This entire episode started in October of 2011 when Yorba Linda was forced to bring the city into compliance with state mandates.  Under Mayor Rikel’s tenure and a year before Mr. Young was elected, the council approved increased zoning on 14 parcels in town.  My understanding is that this process was not quick and it went through several permeations to identify the “right” parcels that the 2011 Rikel council believed best fit the character of the surrounding communities.  Mayor Young was not on the council at this time.  Under the rules in Yorba Linda, the city council had to get voter approval for its decision on those 14 parcels.   At an expense of over $125,000 in taxpayer dollars led by Mayor Rikel, the 2011 council marketed the issue to obtain voter approval which was received in June 2012.  You may have voted for that or against that but the fact of the matter is that the voters approved it, and people moved forward with significant investments relying on those approvals to develop some or all of those 14 parcels.

Please put yourself in the shoes of those developers.  They didn’t set the rules – they followed the rules set by the council and the voters.  Is it fair, right or just to change those rules after they have spent millions advancing those projects in compliance with the rules approved by the voters?  We believe it is not fair, right or just.

Since the zoning ordinance led by Mayor Rikel was approved by the voters in June of 2012, only three of the 14 projects have come before the council.  The council that is targeted in the recall actually fought and approved a much lower density than was approved by Mayor Rikel and permitted in the June 2012 voter approved zoning.   In fact, the first project could have had 130 units and only 71 were approved.  The second project could have had 80 units and only 50 were approved.  The third project could have had 122 units and only 80 were approved.  Thus, out of 332 units that could have been approved, only 201 were actually approved – a 40% reduction on what these properties were zoned to allow.

Given these facts, I would respectfully ask the proponents of the recall just how many units they think should be approved?    If the answer is zero as is contemplated in the moratorium, then it would constitute a taking as the owners of the property would effectively be denied use of the property they own.  This would indeed be a power grab. Some residents want to grab the property rights out of the hands of other people .  They want to deny those property owners the right to develop their property in a manner that was previously approved by the voters.  Again, this is a power grab.  It would also be a liberal power grab because that is what liberalism is – liberalism seeks to expand or use government to control what others can do with their own property.  One of the core principles of the Republican Party as identified in its platform is the preservation of property rights.  The platform specifically states that “we reject condemnation or government restrictions on property without full compensation for such condemnations or restrictions.”

I actually do not know all the players involved in the recall.  Individually, I do not know whether the bulk of them are liberal or conservative in their personal philosophies.  However,  these 14 parcels are somebody’s property.  Somebody spent millions of dollars to buy these properties knowing how they were zoned or going to be zoned by the council and the voters.  Somebody spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in acquisition, design, engineering and architectural fees to build precisely what the residents of Yorba Linda said they could build in June of 2012.  In the view of the committee, it is manifestly unjust to have a group of people come in after the fact and take away property rights when those rights have already been agreed upon.  People relied to their detriment on rules put in place by the voters and now a different group of residents are upset and want to deny them the money and time they have spent following the rules.  How is this fair?  How is this not a taking of somebody’s money, time and property?  How is this not a liberal power grab?

When the government steps in and seeks to take your property or substantially diminishes your rights to develop that property based on something the voters previously approved, we see this as big government, it is a liberal power grab and it is wrong – even if done by conservatives.  Although I did not draft the mailers, the mailers try to make that point in a manner that communicates the gist of what we believe is going on under the natural limitations of  a mailer.

I understand and have seen the power of a special interest and people who get involved in stopping a development because they don’t want more people moving into a neighborhood.  These people individually can all be conservative.  However, just because they might be conservative in all other areas of life and philosophy does not mean they are not engaged in a liberal power grab.  One big example of this paradox is the police and fire unions.  Individually, the rank and file tend to be very conservative, yet their political activity is generally very liberal in seeking unsustainable higher pay and benefits at the expense of the taxpayers.  Should we refrain from saying the public safety employee unions are liberal or are engaged in a liberal power grab because their rank and file are conservative?  These folks have conclusively proven that it is quite possible to be conservative in all things and then deviate when it affects one personally.  That doesn’t make cops liberal.  It just makes their demands liberal power grabs.

The position of the committee is that when any special interest seeks to take away property rights from somebody else — that special interest can fairly be described as a liberal special interest.  Again, that is was liberalism is all about — liberalism seeks to use government to control what others can do with their own lives and property.

Thus, we respectfully disagree with your characterization that the mailer contains a lie as it relates to the liberal power grab that seeks to take property rights away from people who are following the rules set by the voters in Yorba Linda.

$300,000 Cost for the Election

I don’t gather that you are saying the $300,000 cost is untrue.  I think your point is that by signing the petition enough residents have said that it is ok to spend the $300,000.  Technically and legally your may be correct.  However, I would sincerely doubt that the vast majority of people (if any) who signed the petition knew of the $300,000 price tag.  I know how signature gathers work at grocery stores and street corners – especially paid signature gatherers who do not care about the issue as they are only seeking to get a signature so they can get paid.  Most people who sign the petitions don’t even read the language of the petition.  Thus, if your implication is that people knowingly approved the $300,000, I would respectfully disagree.

Moreover, if the folks who signed the petition were told that the $300,000 recall election was just a mere 28 days prior to the regular November election, and they could have just voted Tom Lindsay out of office during the regular election 28 days later, they may have not have thought it was a good idea.  We are simply pointing out to people that this effort to take away property rights of others is wrong and is costing an extra burden on the taxpayer.  Now, the question is begged: why the rush for a special election when the issue can be addressed in the normal election in November?

It is important to note that Mayor Young was not on the council when the density levels were approved by the Rikel council and approved by the voters in June of 2012.  Mayor Young, therefore, did not cause this challenge – he inherited it from the former council when he was sworn into office in January of 2013.  In other words, it was the law of the land when he got elected. So, why is Mayor Young targeted here and Nancy Rikel seeking to replace him?  Remember, Nancy Rikel lost to Craig Young in the November 2012 election.

Below are some addition facts and questions that shed light on that issue.

1.  The state downgraded the density requirements for Yorba Linda in February of 2012.  The downgrade occurred while Mayor Rikel was still leading the council.  Why didn’t Mayor Rikel initiate an effort to stop or modify the June 2012 election approving the higher density before the voters weighed in on it?   I’m told that it is because the state provided the reduced mandate on the condition that the electorate approved the June 2012 zoning change.  I am not an expert on zoning laws or how they interact with the state mandates, or even why the mandate goes up and down.  However, I do know that these issues were all understood by the Rikel council and that council did nothing to change what Rikel and others are now calling an outrage.

2.  Why did the ballot arguments approved by the Rikel council say that the vote was required because 24 others cities resisted and lost? Remember, this ballot language was written after the February 2012 downgrade.

3.  Even after the February 2012 mandate change and the June 2012 voter approval, why didn’t Mayor Rikel try to resubmit the issue to the voters in the November 2012 election if she had such heartburn with the density?  I don’t know the law here but either she could not do what the recall proponents want Mayor Young to do, she did not care, or she was so invested in the process that she did not want to change it.  I really don’t know but these facts raise some very obvious questions as to why Rikel is righteous and Young should be recalled.  Remember, Young did not get on the council until January of 2013– he did not cause the problem – he inherited the problem from former Mayor Rikel who apparently did nothing to address this issue in the prior year.  To the contrary, in the year prior she was seeking to establish these density levels.

4.  Why is it that former Mayor Rikel found religion on the density issue only after she lost her election in November of 2012?   She had every opportunity for nearly one year to address the issue while she was Mayor prior to the developers spending enormous sums of money to advance the very projects that she led the charge to approve.

The bottom line is that all of this looks very hypocritical to me.  A fair summary of her actions goes like this:  Mayor Rikel leads the charge to change zoning to comply with the density requirements, those requirements are changed before she submits the issue to the voters, the voters approve the new zoning, Mayor Rikel does nothing (that I know of) to give the voters another opportunity to revisit the issue, Mayor Rikel loses her 2012 election notwithstanding $78,000 in support from public employee unions, and then she seeks out an issue to reclaim her lost seat.  Whola – former Mayor Rikel marshals the energy of residents against the higher density she brought to the city and turns it to her advantage.

I am also very suspicious of the fact that Measure JJ is on the ballot in November, which will eliminate lifetime health care and pensions benefits for council members.  These health care benefits and pensions have been a great source of abuse by local elected officials.  This is a great measure and brought to Yorba Linda by the work of Mayor Young.  If measure JJ passes, Rikel will not get lifetime healthcare and pension benefits from the city — UNLESS she gets elected in the October recall just before the ban takes effect in November!  This will net Rikel a $250,000 winning lottery ticket.  Again, this is brilliant by her and should be offensive to conservatives.  It is taxpayer abuse and should be exposed.  Is there any other legitimate explanation as to why you would have an election inside of 30 days before a normally scheduled election when you can change the make up of the council simply by voting Tom Lindsay out of office in November?

Corinne, I hope the information in this email is helpful.  My goal here is to give you a very thorough description of why the OCGOP took the action that it did.  Remember, this action is predicated on an overwhelming vote that took place in August by elected representatives of the Central Committee, including members from Yorba Linda.

I would be happy to discuss this matter further if you would like to.

Scott

Paid for by Craig Young for Yorba Linda City Council 2014 | PO Box 494 | Yorba Linda, CA 92885 | FPPC #1350061