Election 2012: Discontent among local Dems

Meanwhile, two neighborhood associations grill candidates at the last forum of the race.

October 25, 2012|By Barbara Diamond

The Laguna Beach City Council election is nonpartisan race, but you would never know it based on some of the campaign literature and rhetoric.

Steven Dicterow, who has identified himself as the only Republican candidate, is endorsed by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and supported by Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa).

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Orange County denied Mayor Jane Egly its endorsement because she has accepted donations from Republicans as well as Democrats, according to Audrey Prosser.


"Follow the money and you know what the candidate stands for," said Prosser, a former president of the Laguna Beach Democratic Club.

A club membership meeting, at which endorsements were to be voted on, was canceled and the board of directors announced its endorsement of Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger.

Prosser, who spoke against Egly at a meeting of the county Democrats, said the club cannot endorse a candidate who has not been endorsed by the county party.

She also posited that Egly did not deserve party support because she does not consistently vote the party line, despite Egly's endorsement by the Elections Committee County of Orange PAC, which supports gay and lesbian issues favored by Prosser.

"The City Council may be nonpartisan, but the Democratic Club isn't," Prosser said. "That's the crux of it."

The club's position has created a schism.

"I did not renew my membership when I got wind that the club was not supporting all three Democratic candidates for the council," said Peggy Wolff, who hosted an Obama fundraiser in September, independently of the club.

Voters could have been told to pick any two. All three are well-qualified, Wolff said.

"I am 48, and I was one of the younger members of the club," she said. "It is not attracting younger members, I think, because it has become super affiliated with Village Laguna."

"Our downtown is beautiful because of them, but every tree doesn't have to be saved, and every shack is not historic," she added.

Sue Kempf, who also hosted the Obama fundraiser, said she is interested in forming a new Democratic club in Laguna Beach.


Final candidates forum

Top of the World and Temple Hills residents questioned the five City Council candidates on issues mostly related to the neighborhoods Tuesday night.

The forum was sponsored by Top of the World Neighborhood and Temple Hills Community associations, held in the City Council Chamber and attended by about 40 people. David Raber moderated.

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