An attack ad against the Costa Mesa City Council, paid for by the Orange County Employees Association, has attracted the attention of the national website Politico.

The highly produced television spot — a rarity in local politics — is running on cable television in Costa Mesa. It focuses on Costa Mesa Mayor Gary Monahan’s inaction following city employee Huy Pham’s suicide on March 17.

Monahan has been the subject of widespread criticism for staying at his Irish Pub, Skosh Monahans, in the wake of the suicide instead of being present with other members of City Council at City Hall.

The spot, which has all the dark overtones of a negative political attack ad, ends with a clip of the city’s press conference following the suicide during which a television reporter asks: “Is there no one who will speak to the people of Costa Mesa?”

Politico’s Ben Smith had this to say:

Another public sector union fight is brewing — and labor is already on the offensive in a small California city, where the municipal government is preparing to layoff swaths of the city’s workforce. The fight is part of a wave of local battles brewing, where a statewide Democratic takeover has, in a sense, devolved the public labor fights playing elsewhere to the local government level.

Indeed, here in Orange County the website Red County — focusing on all things Republican at the local level — has already taken aim at the OCEA for how it has gone after Monahan and Costa Mesa council members.

According to Red County, Orange County Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has already dubbed Monahan’s bar as “Freedom Central,” hinting at the level of political battle to come.

The official name of the group funding the ad is Repair Costa Mesa. In addition to OCEA, the group includes community activist Greg Ridge and former Costa Mesa Mayor Sandy Genis.

The television spot hints that more will come from Repair Costa Mesa, perhaps even a recall drive, by indicating that Monahan should resign.

Check back for more reactions and more information.


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