On Oct. 19, county Board of Supervisors chairman Chuck Smith cast four deciding votes for his airport-loving cronies. One extended El Toro legal adviser Mark Mispagel's term through the end of the year, despite the lapse that allowed opposition attorneys to delay the county's getting legal jurisdiction over the base. Another extended El Toro real-estate manager Gary Simon's term through June 2000, despite delays in completing lease negotiations with the Navy Department. The third extended El Toro program manager Michael Lapin's contract through June 2000. And the last added $979,453 to LSA Associates' $3 million contract to write both the county's El Toro environmental-impact review and the Federal Aviation Administration's environmental-impact statement.
A week later, on Oct. 26, Smith attended a lavish $250-a-head fund-raiser for his 2000 re-election campaign hosted by El Toro godfather George Argyros at his Arnel Development offices in Costa Mesa (which isn't even in Smith's district). Considering the makeup of the host committee, which we've partially outlined below, it's hard not to describe the event as a pat on Smith's back for a job very well done.
AWG PAC, the political action committee for the Newport Beach-based Airport Working Group, one of the oldest groups calling for an airport at El Toro
Dave Ellis, public-relations consultant to Argyros' pro-airport group Citizens for Jobs and the Economy (CJ&E)