Schroeder: Lobbyist Registration for Newport Beach is a Smoke Screen

Print More

Losing has been hard on Keith Curry. He lost his Assembly race by 20%, including Newport by 10%, even his own neighborhood voted against him.

The voters rejected Curry. He wanted to eliminate the fire rings at the beach because the attracted people who had “zip code envy” and the wrong kind of people. He also tried to double the dock tax. Newport Beach’s voters rightly saw him for what he was and his political career is over, as it should be.

His recent manifesto of “political reforms” for the city accuses fellow councilmembers of corruption and undue influence from lobbyists.

Really?

Councilman Keith Curry is throwing stones from a glass house. Curry has run for office three times, twice for Newport Beach council and of course his 2014 Assembly campaign. He’s raised large sums from lobbyists during his 10 year political career.

A glance at Curry’s Assembly donations reads like a Who’s Who of Newport Beach developers and companies seeking City contracts, including vendors of the $142 million dollar Civic Center – the same project he recently voted against auditing. (You can read his campaign report here).

In his professional career at PFM, Keith Curry was a lobbyist. He lobbied local government to issue debt. That was his job. Even his former company, PFM, has contracted with the City of Newport Beach during his tenure.

Curry wants you to believe that lobbyists just like him are ruining our City, and calls for them to register. The irony is that Councilman Curry recently lobbied the city staff to approve a homeowner debt scheme for Newport Beach residents. Would Curry have to register under his plan?

Lobbyist registration is a solution looking for a problem. If the mayor is so inclined she could appoint a Blue Ribbon panel to explore the idea of lobbyist registration. The committee’s first job will be to define a lobbyist; does the chamber president who lobbies the city for private gain qualify? Would former mayor and senior citizen advocate Evelyn Hart qualify? Would slow growth icon Jean Watt have to register? How about clean water advocate Nancy Skinner? Would former mayor and city council fundraiser Dennis O’Neill qualify?

Curry is in the twilight of his of his career. His “reforms” are the reflection of liberal politician with ideas voters have rejected.

Curry doesn’t want anyone who opposes his political agenda on council to raise the money he raised. Others must do what he says, but not what he does. Even more patronizing, Curry acts as if only he and his defeated pals from the Old Guard care about the City.

Curry doesn’t understand that the community exercised its First Amendment right to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars for change at city hall. They donated because politicians like him violated our trust. Big government politicians like Curry think regulation is always the solution – I think throwing folks like him out of office is a better solution.

Curry wants you to believe that the new “Team” are the bad people and accuses them of doing exactly what he did for a living and while in office. His proposed reforms were really just veiled mudslinging at people he views as his political opponents.

Michael Schroeder is an attorney and Orange County businessman.  He is Former Chairman, California Republican Party, Co-chair of the California for Ted Cruz campaign, and advisor to numerous politicians.

To read Councilman Keith Curry’s Op-ed on this issue, click here.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue please contact Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr. at nsantana@voiceofoc.org

  • OCservant_Leader

    Talk about calling the kettle black. He is pointing out (choke) corruption?

    This guy needs to shut it and sit down.

  • Debby Bodkin

    Schroeder is probably misdirecting his anger toward anyone nowadays considering his precious GOP may soon be led by Donald Trump, who no one controls. Schroeder’s bud Whitman’s latest Christie rants sound just like Schroeder’s rants and most likely Mitt Romney’s tantrum, aka speech tomorrow morning.

  • Diego Vega

    Michael Schroeder never met a lobbyist he didn’t like. Of course he’s opposed to registering lobbyists and shedding daylight on their activities.

  • David Zenger

    Jeez, did that guy run over your dog, or something?