Who is Down on Measure R (and How Much Are They Down For)?

Shea and Choi: big anti-R funders

Measure R on the Irvine ballot asks residents to approve what a great job the Irvine City Council is doing on planning the Great Park on the old El Toro Marine Corps base (or if the measure loses, one supposes, what a piss-poor job they are doing). The conflict-of-interest-laden gusher of money flowing into the campaign for the measure has been examined here and here and to a much more comprehensive extent here and for the must-read historical perspective, right'chere. As of last week, the R forces had raised a couple hundred grand and spent around $130,000.

But what about the no on R campaign? Campaign-finance documents filed with the Irvine City Clerk show that more than half of the $83,000 and change raised by Irvine Citizens for Ethics in Government has come from contributions and loans from the various campaigns of and independent committees linked to mayoral candidate Christina Shea and Councilman Steven Choi. The council campaign for their Team Irvine slate buddy, Patrick Rodgers, kicked in another $4,000.

Frequent funder Motorsports Industries had given $9,000 total at last report. Former Irvine city councilman and school board member Greg Smith owns the Orange-based auto parts distributor. Smith may want to ask for an audit: Irvine Citizens for Ethics in Government has spent about $15,000 more than it has raised, according to the latest filings.


The taxpayer funded election for the jerk-off ballot measure is (thankfully) confined to the area within Irvine City Limits, but Irvine Citizens for Ethics in Government is based in Rancho Santa Margarita. That's where professional Republican treasurer Betty Presley's business, Betty Preseley N Associates, is based. She's been the campaign treasurer for several Republican candidates and conservative causes, including a statewide voter initiative in favor of school vouchers. Orange County Republican hack Adam Probolsky called her his treasurer of choice in a post on the Orange County Republican hack blog FlashReport titled, “Betty Presley's Got Your Back.” Nominal amounts from the Irvine Citizens for Ethics in Government warchest have paid for the services of Betty Presley N Associates.

Agran's slate has historically enjoyed campaign cash flowing to and from state voter initiatives and this year is no different with the pro-R campaign's coziness with Prop. 10, the “clean emissions standard” measure opposed by the Sierra Club, California League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists among many, many others. A similar relationship exists on a much smaller scale between Irvine Citizens for Ethics in Government and Prop. 10 on Tuesday's ballot. [CORRECTED FROM PREVIOUS VERSION THAT MISTAKENLY REPORTED: THE INITIATIVE AS PROP. 7, THE “CLEAN ENERGY” MEASURE, AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON AND NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL AS OPPONENTS.]

Most funds have been spent for signs, postage, printing, voter data, automated calls, media production and media buys for ads against R and/or for Prop. 10. In-town funders for those items include motor-home lot Traveland USA ($1,500), outgoing state Senate GOP leader Dick Ackerman ($1,000), and Brian H. Kraft, partner in the GOP public affairs and fundraising company Coplen N Kraft ($500). Out-of-towners include Jason B. Walker Inc. of Newport Beach ($1,000), Facility Builders N Erectors of Anaheim ($4,000), scrap yard owner Aaron Siroonian of Santa Fe Springs ($1,500) and recycling equipment maker Enterprise Co. of Santa Ana ($4,000). Look for an interesting Navel Gazing post on that last one coming up.

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