By definition, endorsements reflect WHO supports a candidate. They do not reflect WHY that support is given.
So I was concerned that praise for the police endorsement for Lauren Kleiman was misleading. Who gave the endorsement? It is the Newport Beach Police Association PAC—the political action committee of the police bargaining unit, the union. Not the Newport Beach Police, per se.
While the police PAC appears on the website of the Newport Beach Police Association at the top where it says PAC, it maintains that it is “an independent expenditure committee that strives to ensure public safety remains a top priority in Newport Beach.”
In other words, the PAC spends money to lobby for wages and benefits for the 163 sworn and civilian members of the association, although only 68 officers contribute money to the PAC, according to the Form 460 posted on the City website.
The average voter might assume that they polled those 68 police officers or that they polled all the officers on the NBPD regarding candidate endorsements. It is the PAC’s Board of eight people who decided who got their endorsement.
At the National Night Out my husband and I asked many of the officers who the police endorsed for City Council and no one knew!
On the website, the PAC says that they “endorse candidates who believe in public safety and want to continue to see Newport Beach as a destination city and an amazing place to raise our families.”
I am sure that is me, and probably you, and most certainly Joy Brenner, the sitting Councilmember, so I looked at each of those three criteria.
Joy Brenner believes in public safety. In fact, like me, she is deeply concerned that the majority of NBPD do not live (or VOTE) in this city.
Joy has been a consistent voice for providing affordable housing opportunities for police, fire, and city workers so they can live here. My husband attended the police academy, and both of us attended CERT training. We were shocked and dismayed to learn that since very few of the police and fire live in the city, we will be on our own in a major disaster. There will be limited police and fire to keep us safe and help us. That is a public safety issue that really concerns me and concerns Joy Brenner.
She wants to continue to see Newport Beach as a destination city. She works with the Visitors Bureau to keep our city safe, clean, and beautiful for us residents and the thousands of tourists who come to see our city and spend countless dollars that add revenue to the City.
She sees Newport Beach as an amazing place to raise our families. In fact, Joy has been a resident for 60 years! Both her daughters and their families live in Newport Beach, and her five grandchildren attended Newport-Mesa schools as did their parents.
Joy Brenner is well qualified for that endorsement, so there is apparently a fourth criteria. The WHY? of the endorsement. Were promises made to the union to get that endorsement?
These questions must be asked of the candidate, but as we have seen in a recent forum, however, Lauren hesitates to answer questions, so getting a reply will be a challenge.
Kathy Frazer / Newport Beach
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