Mission Viejo

                         Know Who You’re Voting For
                                                                    
                                                              By Joe Holtzman

Two Mission Viejo City Council candidates came under scrutiny on September 3. How did they respond? They misrepresented their records, ideology and votes, defying facts on video and audiotape.                        

The occasion was the county’s GOP endorsement committee meeting. Councilwoman Rhonda Reardon and challenger Wendy Bucknum took adjacent seats facing six members of the Orange County Republican Central Committee.

Audience members were allowed to speak in opposition to the candidates. Four Mission Viejo residents informed the committee that Bucknum is a paid lobbyist whose campaign is financed with special-interest money. They exposed Reardon’s false claim she lowered the city’s pension debt and cut wasteful spending.

When Bucknum stated she didn’t know why anyone would say she’s a lobbyist, a Mission Viejo resident handed the committee a document. It was an article written by Bucknum for her housing industry, “How to lobby your legislator.” Other documents touted Bucknum’s prowess as a paid lobbyist. In fact, Bucknum was recently appointed to the Building Industry Association of Orange County’s Board of Directors, and was recently promoted to vice president within the property management firm of PCM, where “one of Bucknum’s key roles will be leveraging her strong business relationships to expand PCM’s roster of homebuilding and development clients.”

 Another complaint against both Bucknum and Reardon was their approval of taxpayer dollars funding an organization that counsels pregnant teens on the option of abortion. They also funded a group giving cell phones to the homeless. Bucknum voted for both as a city commissioner, and Reardon voted for both as a council member.

Some people are pro-life, and others are pro-choice, but arguably few are pro-liar. Both Bucknum and Reardon denied what they had done, but here’s proof of what they voted for:

The audiotape of the Sept. 17 Community Services Commission (on which Bucknum serves and can be heard speaking) can be found at: http://missionviejo.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=12&clip_id=1050.

 The interview of the teen pregnancy group, OC Child Abuse Prevention Center, begins at 2:34 on the tape. By 2:39 on the tape, it is clear they’re talking about abortion as an “option.”

The interview of the group providing cell phones, Stand Up for Kids, begins at 3:25 in the tape. Their spokesperson describes calls and texting between homeless kids and Stand Up for Kids. Nothing is said during the entire segment about Reardon's Sept. 3 claim to the nominating committee that the cell phones' primary purpose is for homeless people to talk with prospective employers.

 Incredibly, the endorsement committee voted 4-2 to recommend endorsing Bucknum and Reardon. To have four people showing no interest in fact-finding says everything about how endorsements are pre-arranged by the county organization.

To recap my previous articles in the CCS; Bucknum lobbies elected officials for Professional Community Management (PCM), a huge company that manages Homeowners Associations (HOAs). Bucknum’s campaign finance reports (Form 460s) show donations from housing development associates and real estate consortiums who appear to be trying to buy a Mission Viejo council seat. 

I voted for Reardon when she ran in 2010 as a conservative opposing the council majority. Two weeks ago, Bucknum announced during a forum at Casta del Sol that she, Reardon and Leckness are running together as a team.

Joe Holtzman, an Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing/Distribution Executive with McDonnell Douglas and Ford Motor Company, is a 32-year resident of Mission Viejo.
 

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