Great Park Public Relations Consultants Get 5 P.M. Deadline to End Odd Contract Secrecy

OC Weekly photo
Councilman for life, Larry Agran: Irvine's most secretive, professional politician since the 1970s
The auditor working to uncover explanations for wild, dubious spending of Orange County Great Park funds by a prior Irvine City Council majority of Larry Agran, Beth Krom and Sukhee Kang has given that trio's favored political consultants a 5 p.m. deadline to disclose key expense records.

In an Aug. 15 letter to lawyers representing Forde & Mollrich of Newport Beach, Anthony R. Taylor--Irvine's independent audit counsel--outlined repeated, unsuccessful demands that the firm surrender documents supporting the more than $7.23 million Agran, Krom and Kang diverted from public park construction funds from July 2005 to January 2013.

Though Taylor reminded Stu Mollrich during a July deposition that Forde & Mollrich's no-bid, no-benchmark contract required the firm to cooperate with all audits of how government funds were spent in a sweetheart, Agran-inspired, $100,000-plus-per-month deal, the consultant's lawyer--David Elson of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips--interrupted related questions 22 times in moves designed to stonewall public knowledge.

More »

Bao Nguyen: I'm Running To Be Garden Grove's Mayor

Bao Q. Nguyen: Lets make Garden Grove better for residents
Bao Nguyen--one of Orange County's rising, young political stars--announced today that he is running for mayor of Garden Grove, his hometown city.

The intellectually-weighty, calm but irrepressible son of Vietnam War refugees, Nguyen--currently a trustee of the Garden Grove Unified School District's Board of Education--says he can help make serious improvements in city affairs for residents.

"I want to return focus back to our neighborhoods and businesses," the UC Irvine graduate said in a statement. "Our neighborhoods need attention as much as our tourism industry. We should be a city where our children will choose to stay, raise families and grow businesses."

On the school board, Nguyen's achievements have included improving learning standards for students in language skills as well as fighting homophobic plots to ban gay and lesbian Vietnamese American citizens from participating in the annual Tet parade in Little Saigon.

More »

Great Park Insider: Larry Agran's Corruption, Incompetence Worse Than Previously Known

Meranda Carter/OC Weekly
In January 2008, Larry Agran--the leader of a three-council-member, Democratic alliance that then controlled the city of Irvine for more than half a decade--desperately needed to enlist outside professional help to manage what had spiraled out of control: plans to build the Orange County Great Park, then one of California's largest public-works projects.

But there was a problem.

Agran, a career politician who had no clue how to build a massive public park despite his promises otherwise, didn't just crave a competent CEO for the $1.6 billion project. The county's living liberal icon with frightening Nixonian tendencies hoped the park would be an unbreakable monument to his legacy, so he needed someone who would obey his wishes, no matter how ridiculous or shady.

Excluding the four other elected representatives on the council, as well as the other eight members of the Great Park's Board of Directors, Agran--a losing Democratic Party presidential-primary candidate in 1992--met Mike Ellzey at an Irvine Denny's off I-5 on Sand Canyon Avenue.

Ellzey's background with private corporations, at a university and as CEO of the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority made him a suitable candidate for the Great Park job. Demonstrating his dictatorial sensibilities that allowed him to dismiss notions of government transparency and the participation of his colleagues, Agran unilaterally offered Ellzey a taxpayer-funded job worth more than $175,000 annually.

Of course, there was a catch.

More »

Shawn Steel Thinks Tribal Politics Will Solve California Republican Party Woes

A Steel
Not just a few Republicans dismissively view the sight of Democrats' enthusiastic celebration of their party's internal groups: women, Hispanic, African-American, gay and lesbian, union members, seniors, Americans with disabilities, native Americans, Jews and Asians.

Identity politics just hasn't been popular with Republicans, whose national conventions earned the reputation for being a gathering of crotchety, old white people anxious to return to the country club or golf course.

But upbeat, old white dude Shawn Steel, an Orange County member of the Republican National Committee, argued in a Washington Times article this week that the GOP faces a dire choice given demographic shifts underscoring the rise of minority voting power: "adapt or die."

More »

Freddie Goes to Hollywood: Film on Fred Karger's Openly Gay GOP Presidential Bid Nears
"He is the gay bogeyman of the GOP presidential race," one pundit says of Fred Karger in the flick.

A documentary about a Laguna Beach man's historic campaign as the first openly gay candidate to ever run for president from either major political party gets its Hollywood closeup soon.

More »

Dana Rohrabacher Does His Jenny Craig On Twitter?

Rohrabacher: I consider the limes in my cocktails as daily fruit intake
On Twitter yesterday, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher announced he'd gone on a much-needed "amazing fruit" diet and lost seven pounds for summer beach excursions where he carries a boogie-board up to the shoreline and searches for never-arriving courage to tackle half-a-foot waves.

Daily dining off of campaign contributions from corporate fat cats can be hazardous to one's waistline, don't you know?

A few years back, beer chugger/bandana donning Rhonda Rohrabacher, who on paper is a congressional spouse, skipped the dieting routine and went straight for the operating table to shed her excess weight.

More »

Blue Over Red Behind the Orange Curtain: Top CA Dems Brown, Newsom, Harris Win County
From left:,,
Top vote-getters in OC: incumbent Democrats Kamala Harris, Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom.

This certainly isn't going to dispel the recently floated notion that always red Orange County is on its way to turning blue: California's top three Democrats (and incumbents)--Governor Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Kamala Harris--all got more votes behind the Orange Curtain than the top GOP vote-getters in their primary races.

More »

Neel Kashkari Keeps (Tim Donnelly) Fear Alive!
Guess who's coming to raw-vegan dinner?

If you discounted the tea baggy Commie-terrorist fear mongering of Tim Donnelly against his dead-heat challenger for the Republican nomination for governor, check out the Orange County locale where Neel Kashkari is dropping off his mail-in ballot this morning ...

More »

Judge Derek Johnson of Bass Ackward Rape Comments Gets Serious Election Challenge

Categories: Court, Elections
Judge Derek G. Johnson is facing his first reelection challenge since his disgusting rape comments.
2008: A Moxley Confidential column reports on Orange County Superior Court Judge Derek G. Johnson opining that if a victim's vagina hadn't been "shredded" during a sexual assault then the woman gave at least partial consent to her attacker.

2012: R. Scott Moxley's scoop results in the California Commission on Judicial Ethics publicly admonishing the judge, who ever since has been relegated to mostly minor cases.

2014: Johnson's self inflicted mouth rape brings a serious challenge to his seat on the bench.


More »

Dana Rohrabacher Proves Again His Consistency Is Inconsistency

Rohrabacher: All aboard!
With Dana Rohrabacher's margarita-fueled Kookville Express making numerous, pre-election train stops, it's time to update the latest news for Orange County's senior, career politician who is seeking his 27th and 28th years in Congress after originally running in 1988 on a term limits pledge of serving no more than six years.

On Twitter, Rohrabacher has been lecturing critics for labeling him a nut and fruitcake by advising them of his imaginary, above-the-fray policy: "Attack policies, not people."

The Costa Mesa Republican--who skipped all military service during the Vietnam War era but became a chickhawk in his post-draft years--then went on to make the following comments to people on social media: "It certainly didn't take any brains to say that;" "Who did you say elected you?;" "That's a stupid line of attack;" "You betray your fellow veterans by partisan BS;" and, my favorite, "Take note of this grotesque monster posing as a human being residing among us."

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault