Moxley Confidential: Irvine's Beth Krom Shows Why She's Not Cromulent

Luke McGarry

After the crushing defeat of three of her allies in last November's Irvine elections, it's understandable that Beth Krom would take the holidays to "rest, restore and re-focus," as she declared to her Democratic Party supporters in a Jan. 3 email. For a dozen years, Krom served as the angry, robotic gunner in Larry Agran's political machine that controlled the city, operated with Nixonian secrecy, ran fake Republican candidates to maintain power and stalled Orange County Great Park construction by funneling chunks of the project's kitty to political operatives in no-bid contracts.

At least for now, the fun is over for Agran, who--though possessing the greatest name recognition as Irvine's political godfather and running for U.S. president in 1992--has finished dead-last among serious candidates in the past two city elections. The situation leaves Krom without her commander on the dais, the lone Democrat on a supermajority Republican council and a fourth-rate ordinance maker searching for answers as she flies solo: Why did residents reject her alliance, and how can she make herself relevant until the 2016 elections?

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Ex-Orange County Republican Won't Leave Texas For Run At Barbara Boxer's Senate Seat

Photo courtesy
DeVore: Texas, not California, gets public policy right
Former Orange County Republican politician Chuck DeVore--who mounted an energetic if unsuccessful, 2010 bid to topple U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer in California--said today from his out-of-state home that he will not return and run for her seat following the Democrat's recent decision not to seek re-election in 2016.

"I'm a Texan now," DeVore, 52, told OC Weekly.

An accomplished conservative known for ideological consistency, intellectual depth and notable speaking skills even among political foes, the former Irvine resident moved to the Austin area--Dripping Springs, to be exact--in 2011.

After raising nearly $3 million but finishing third in a GOP primary field of five against Boxer, DeVore joined the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a private think tank that touts "liberty, personal responsibility and free enterprise," originally as a visiting scholar and within about a year became vice president of the organization.

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Federal Judge Rejects Anaheim's Claim That Fired City Attorney's Lawsuit Is Frivolous

Despite repeated efforts to derail an anti-Latina discrimination lawsuit filed by fired City Attorney Cristina Talley, lawyers for the Anaheim City Council must continue to prepare for an April 12, 2016, jury trial inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

This week, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter did agree with city lawyers' contentions that several prongs of Talley's lawsuit should be dismissed without prejudice for being vague, but he refused to dismiss the entire action, firmly rejecting Anaheim's assertion that the case is "frivolous."

Pending a late January debate over whether the dispute should be sent back to state court, Carter is letting the heart of the case proceed: Certain elected officials discriminated against Talley, created a hostile work environment before firing her and then hired a much younger, less experienced white male lawyer with a starting salary higher than the one she earned after a 16-year career in Anaheim.

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Corporate Attorney Wants To Become Next Party Chairman For Orange County Republicans

Party boss?
Fred Whitaker--a longtime political activist, community volunteer, city councilman and corporate lawyer--announced today that he will campaign to replace Scott Baugh as chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County, arguably the most important local GOP committee in California.

Baugh--also a corporate lawyer, government lobbyist and former state assemblyman--announced an intention to step down last year after directing the OCGOP for 11 years.

Whitaker says that Baugh, who replaced longtime, legendary chairman Tom Fuentes, asked him to run for the post last year and he has already reached out to numerous activists for ideas to strength the local GOP that has been criticized for poor minority outreach.

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Boobs Were Used to Get Dirt on Costa Mesa City Councilman: Case Against Cop Union's P.I.s

Photo by Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
Jim Righeimer at a Costa Mesa City Council meeting years ago. He's one of the victims of union private investigators, the DA says.
UPDATE, DEC. 16, 9:31 A.M.: Costa Mesa's CEO and acting police chief issued a joint statement reacting to the Orange County District Attorney's case against two private investigators--who worked for a law firm retained by the city's cop union in the weeks before the November 2012 election--accused of illegally spying on two City Council members.

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Will Carly Fiorina Sheepishly Demonize GOP Opponents on the Road to the White House?

Carly for California
Who was running that campaign? Pink Floyd?
Remember the heady days leading up to the 2010 GOP primary for U.S. senator in California? Let's go back to former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina's campaign running an online "demon sheep" ad against moderate candidate Tom Campbell. The perceived front-runner at that time, Campbell was called out for sheepishly supporting the tax hikes of then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, while Fiorina had signed a pledge against such increases. Arch-conservative candidate for senator Chuck DeVore of Irvine then set up a website to at first chastise the Carly for California campaign's use of demon sheep in the race--before Chuckie adopted demon sheep as his own.

Good times, good times.

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New, Refreshing Day In Garden Grove: Bao Nguyen Captures Mayor's Office

Nguyen: Honest concern for residents outranked opponent's "communist" name game
A refreshing, new era in Garden Grove unofficially began tonight when the Orange County Registrar of Voters ended its Nov. 2014 vote counting and left young, upstart Bao Nguyen the victor over crusty, entrenched politician Bruce Broadwater in the race for mayor.

The result should mean Garden Grove--a city festering too often in grotesque backdoor dealings, questionable policy making, anti-immigrant sentiment and blatant nepotism thanks to Broadwater--is poised to enter an uplifting phase where residents don't take a back seat to national corporate interests luxuriously feeding financially off of nearby Disneyland.

While Broadwater seemingly couldn't resist any lunch or dinner with a wealthy developer or political hack, the Buddhist Nguyen--a UC Irvine graduate and son of parents who fled communist Vietnam and landed in Orange County's Little Saigon--has been known for years in Southern California's progressive communities for his mellow personality that defies an absolutely stern commitment to minorities, workers and everyday residents.

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Mike Murray, Prominent Homicide Prosecutor, To Run For Orange County Judge Post In 2016

Michael F. Murray, one of Orange County's most accomplished homicide prosecutors, is running to win a superior court judge post in the 2016 election.

Long feared by criminal suspects for his intense, relentless pursuit to solve major crimes, Murray's prospective departure from prosecution duties should bring a collective sigh of relief from future Southern California hoodlums.

I've witnessed psychopathic killers cringe when the no-nonsense, West Point graduate--a U.S. Army captain during the first Persian Gulf War--entered the courtroom.

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the righteousness of Murray's homicide conviction in People vs. Marvin Smith after bickering lower courts nitpicked about imaginary violations of Smith's constitutional rights.

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Stalking the Polls and Partying with Orange County's Finest Obama-Haters

OC Weekly
Congrats, you also won a chihuahua!

5:20 a.m.: OC Tea Party activist gloats that White House fears a "shit storm" is approaching. (R. Scott Moxley)

6:58 a.m. Last glance at a 4-inch stack of hostile campaign mail between Janet Nguyen and Jose Solorio. Guess what? Both say the other is a scumbag. (RSM)

7:45 a.m. Bored, Little Saigon poll worker-elation becomes palpable when first three voters finally arrive. (RSM)

8:23 a.m.: The Measure K proponents are out in force in Orange this morning, leafletting every school in the Orange Unified School District and causing the usual morning drop-off scrum to become a tangled knot of unmoving vehicles. As I wait for traffic to clear around California Elementary School, one of the volunteers says, "You ever feel like maybe we're preaching to the choir here?"

I suggest that they might do better handing out flyers at the senior center and trying to influence those who don't have children in school.

"Are you kidding? Those people voted at 7:01 this morning. That battle is lost." (Dave Lieberman)

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Irvine Political Boss Larry Agran Gets Crushed At Polls and Rev. Lou Sheldon's Spawn Is Angry

In Larry Agran's case, it wasn't a bucket full of water but rather disinfecting sunshine that caused a meltdown
A weighty omen of Larry Agran's long overdue demise occurred 72 hours before the Nov. 4 Irvine city council election when the dictatorial boss of a political machine once considered invincible was spotted frantically running out of his house carrying boxes stuffed with campaign fliers.

Having launched his career as a lifelong politician in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter still had two years left in his administration and a movie ticket cost $2, Agran theoretically shouldn't have been in a panic.

After all, the 69-year-old Harvard Law School graduate spent a quarter of a century on the city council (including multiple stints as mayor) and has dropped millions and millions and millions of dollars in self-serving, hagiographic campaign literature on local residents.

But all the desperate, last-minute campaigning to win another re-election and take back control of Irvine and the Great Park from his critics couldn't save Agran from his well-earned fate.

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