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)

John Erskine, former Huntington Beach mayor, now a major figure within the Orange County chapter of the pro-airport Building Industry Association (BIA)

Norma Glover, pro-airport Newport Beach councilwoman

Scott Hart, Ellis' business partner, a former staffer in the Pete Wilson administration

Doy Henley, president of Aeromil Engineering, a pro-airport developer, and trustee at Chapman University

Christine Diemer Iger, chief lobbyist for the OC BIA chapter and member of the pro-airport El Toro Citizens Advisory Commission

Bruce Nestande, former 3rd District supervisor, now one of Argyros' functionaries at Arnel and ostensible head of CJ&E

Dennis O'Neil, pro-airport Newport Beach mayor

Lyle Overby, big-time OC lobbyist whose clients include the city of Newport Beach. Also a former consultant to pro-airport 2nd District Supervisor Jim Silva

Tod Ridgeway, pro-airport Newport Beach city councilman (that's right:Smith now has a quorum in a city that isn't even in his district)

Reed Royalty, president of the pro-airport Orange County Taxpayers Association, which backs just about every tax increase placed on county ballots

Randy Smith, corporate consultant and member of the developer-backed Lincoln Club, which supports an airport at El Toro

Clarence Turner, former Newport Beach mayor and one of that city's loudest pro-airport voices


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