Op-Ed: Court Date to Displace Phony Ballot Arguments

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On Friday, August 17, the real opponents of the ballot measure being advanced by Team Newport will go to court to displace the phony arguments filed by Team Newport supporter Bob Rush.

This ballot measure demonstrates how Duffy Duffield and Scott Peotter are using an amendment to the City Charter to create a vehicle that will allow them to circumvent the campaign contribution limits in Newport Beach.

It’s exactly what they did in 2016. It’s a political dirty trick. If this passes, lengthy and expensive legal validation will be required to finance needed projects like sea walls.

The following is the ballot argument Team Newport is trying to keep residents of Newport Beach from reading:

Don’t be fooled, this measure may sound good, but consider that no other city in California has adopted this restriction. That should tell you that it is not a good idea.

Lease obligation debt by definition does not increase taxes. A special election could cost over $350,000, project costs will be increased as projects are delayed and politics, not fiscal analysis, will decide which projects are sent to the voters and which are funded with cash.

This measure will require projects be submitted to the voters without going through a competitive bidding process, alternatively, bids will be padded by as much as 30% due to election delay.

This law is so bad, the authors have tried to exempt all of the projects such as sea walls and disaster repairs that might actually fall under these provisions. Sea walls may still need a vote if they are not in imminent danger of failing. Do you really want to vote on a new police headquarters building or vehicle replacements? Do you want to have to raise campaign funds to get  a new park near your home?

City staff did not recommend this, our financial advisors did not recommend it, the City Finance Committee did not recommend it, and no “best practice” supports this. It’s just a cynical effort by some members of the city council to give them an issue to run on in the absence of any real accomplishments.

They will use the ballot measure campaign to raise funds in excess of the contribution limits to augment their personal campaigns. They do this without regard to the impact of the future ability of the city to maintain its essential public infrastructure. Don’t buy this con. Vote No on Measure T and restore good government to Newport Beach.


Mike Henn, Former Mayor

Rush Hill, Former Mayor

Keith Curry, Former Mayor

Jean Watt, Former Mayor Pro-Tem

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