There is often a price to making a knee-jerk decision for political expediency. That knee hits you in the chin. William “Bill” Brough and Bryan Maryott have no one the thank but themselves for their stupidity in joining this effort against the toll roads, not because of the issue itself (which he is dead wrong on), but because of the tactics being employed.
Harvey Englander has a lot of explaining to do for the tactics being employed. Again, his contract his linked here for reference.
“A significant investment in research is needed to make sure that the communications and outreach strategy is well-founded, and metrics driven . . . It would be futile to propose specific strategies before this comprehensive research is completed.” (Page 5)
“Probolsky Research* Minimum $29,700 Maxium 39,650Where’s the poll???
Research Option: Minimum: Up to 25 Questions, 400 Respondents . . . +/-5% Maximum: Up to 35 Questions, 400 Respondents . . . +/-5%”
In the $97,000 paid to Harvey Englander was an allotment for a “Poll”. See the above excerpt. There has never been a poll published?
However, an anonymous Facebook Page seems to have had an advance copy of the poll. How is that possible Harvey?
Why did this anonymous Facebook Page have an internal copy of a polling instrument? Did Bryan Maryott leak it? Did Bill Brough leak it? Is this facebook page being run in violation of Campaign Finance Law by the City of San Clemente? Or, is it part of Harvey’s “Racket”? Or, how about all four?
Click here to see the 6th Draft of the poll. This is what was linked to this facebook page. The results have never been published, yet the taxpayers funded this.
Now we have a connection between Harvey, San Clemente and the electioneering that has been going on.
This is very likely an FPPC violation for not disclosing who paid for the political campaign elements and even more so for the City of San Clemente for engaging in a political effort without filing the appropriate paperwork. If not a political campaign, then surely the gifting of $30-40,000 in survey work to a private citizen group is not legal. Lastly, if the City and its consultants are responsible for this page and its content it is illegal to do so anonymously using public funds for their work.
Now we get to the meat of the issue: This facebook page is full of love for the OCTA. (the Orange County Transportation Authority) In the poll obtained by your intrepid blogger they (Harvey / San Clemente) asks repeated, one-sided questions to promote the concept of the OCTA taking over the TCA. (the TCA is the separate entity running the toll road effort) The OCTA has been openly and aggressively hostile to the TCA and to anyone that does not agree with San Clemente and the OCTA.
It sounds like there is a turf war. No wonder why this whole drill by Harvey Englander looks like Racketeering. He lost the initial contract with the TCA and is now in bed with the City of San Clemente and the OCTA? Were it not for Bryan Maryott being a short-sighted knucklehead and William “Bill” Brough’s ragers in Sacramento and his incomplete passes, I’d have never stumbled upon this. What did Bryan Maryott and Bill Brough get? What did Harvey Englander Promise them? Are Bryan Maryott and Bill Brough complicit in this entire insane drill being financed by San Clemente?
Does anyone think that someone with the pedigree of Harvey Englander would run this kind of sustained attack for 2 years for just $97,000? Who else has paid Harvey Englander? Again, what else have Bryan Maryott and Bill Brough received that we don’t know about?
Did Harvey Englander get Barbara Ward to attack the finances of the TCA? Were Ward, Englander and San Clemente aware that attacking an entity you are on the board of while said entity is considering a public bond offering is a potential felony under securities laws? (insider trading and tampering?)
Former San Clemente Mayor Kathy Ward (current San Clemente council member) was a Board Member of the TCA during this episode and was one of the approving votes for Englander’s obstruction plan funded by her city. As a fiduciary of the agency she knew full-well that the TCA’s investor ratings had been upgraded by Fitch’s and Moody’s, however the poll she approved makes the statement that the TCAs finances are suspect, and that TCA could be insolvent. She doubles down on what she knows is false information (all of it message tested in the city’s poll) in the following op-ed: https://www.ocregister.com/2017/08/06/distrust-of-the-tcas-process/
All breaches of fiduciary duty aside, isn’t it illegal to openly lie and spread misinformation to the public about publicly traded bonds of a company or organization you sit on the board of (in this case, the TCA) in an effort to reduce the investor worthiness of those bonds? (Even if she was not on the board, this behavior, if proven, is still a felony) The SEC has increased their finance purview over municipal bonds in recent years and government fiduciaries in control positions cannot openly lie to the public about a publicly traded bond for their own personal benefit.
Attacking the Bonding ability of the TCA was a specific line item in Harvey Englander’s Contract with the City of San Clemente. If Ward did this at the direction of the City of San Clemente and Harvey Englander, they could all have legal trouble. I think I should start submitting public records requests – that is if the City of San Clemente haven’t gotten a case of bleachbit…
It is clear that Ward participated in an effort to destroy the finances of the TCA (while on its’ board mind you) in order to cause it to be taken over by the OCTA. You can draw no other conclusion when looking at the known evidence. You can also draw a conclusion based on Harvey “Sun Tzu” Englander’s contract that this sort of action is well within the paradigm of that deal.
Now, William “Bill” Brough attempted to carry a bill in Sacramento that would effectively disband the TCA. By hook or by crook, I suppose. Your intrepid blogger wants to know if William “Bill” Brough got some campaign cash to subsidize his lifestyle as part of this deal? Using legislation is also another line item in Harvey Englander’s contract with the City of San Clemente.
I think someone should sue Harvey Englander, William “Bill” Brough, Councilman Maryott, the City of San Clemente and Kathy Ward for what they have done. The discovery would be devastating. Ahem, Bill and Michelle – here is a lawsuit we can believe in.
It is also highly coercive for Harvey Englander to apply for a public contract, be turned down by the TCA, then immediately go to another public entity San Clemente and spearhead an obstruction campaign. The TCA is left with two options in the face of such coercion, double down on their PR budget to defend the agency; or offer some compensation to the consultant as a ransom payment to keep them from attacking the agency and obstructing the traffic relief project. It appears that the TCA did attempt to hire Harvey for another project, I am still attempting to confirm that.
As a matter of policy, government agencies being forced to make ransom payments from the public treasury to keep PR consultants from obstructing the functions of government and quality of life of local residents is a type of public corruption straight out of Chicago or Russia and must not be tolerated. To apply for a public contract with the silent threat of retaliation if not awarded said contract is textbook racketeering. Harvey’s fellow ANTIFA leftists would be proud of his work.
The City of San Clemente and its consultants are free to engage in PR all they want, and if they choose to do so unethically then that is their prerogative, however there are laws that govern public entities from engaging in this very sort of behavior. The taxpayers deserve to be protected from this sort of waste, graft and misinformation. The use of San Clemente taxpayer dollars to produce a poll, make it public on a Facebook page, then remove it from the source and keep it confidential at the city and not turn it over during a PRA request, is a violation of laws and regulations on its face.
The Irony is that Harvey and crew appear to have engineered over 250 Public Records Act requests in their harassment of the TCA. (Guess you missed that detail, Huh LA Times?)
This deserves a grand jury, FEC, district attorney, and California State Attorney General investigation.
I’ll bet Sun Tzu did not have this sort of stuff in his book, did he?
Bryan Maryott and Bill Brough should hang their heads in shame for their part in enabling this. Better Yet, OC DA Todd Spitzer should open up a can on all of these people.
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