Letters to the Editor

Reader believes candidate endorsements by City Council are questionable

As a Newport Beach resident, I am puzzled that six out of seven City Councilmembers have publicly endorsed support for Congressional District 47 candidate Scott Baugh. The endorsement page banner on Baugh’s campaign website reads, “Mayors and City Council majorities in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach endorse Scott Baugh for Congress” – blending both NB and HB Councilmember names followed by supportive commentary.

As we know, our councilmembers are elected to represent Newport Beach residents and local interests. Endorsing their own political preferences or personal interests in Congressional races prompted an email from me to councilmembers and our City Attorney Aaron Harp.

Our City Attorney responded that “political endorsements are made in an individual’s personal capacity, which is the individual’s right under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

But does he know that “the Newport Beach City Councilmembers are very aware of the Council Policy and are careful to make endorsements that comply with the policy?”

Mayor Will O’Neill responded to me directly, “Clearly our individual City Councilmembers have every ability to endorse candidates as we see fit, which has happened in every election cycle.”

In fact, there is Council policy clearly stated in the NB Council manual – “Any City Councilmember who wishes to make a statement or opinion regarding a matter the City Council has not taken an official position on shall ensure that said statement or opinion cannot be construed by the public as being an official position or policy of the City of Newport Beach. The City Council finds this policy furthers an important public purpose by ensuring the public does not confuse personal opinions expressed by City Councilmembers with official expressions of City policy.”

Thank you Brad Avery for choosing not to endorse a candidate for the 47th District. In agreement with our City Attorney, I am a believer in free speech. But collective or individual endorsement of a Congressional candidate by NB Council should not be interpreted to represent the official position of the City of Newport Beach or its constituents. I am assuming that this was the original intent of the above stated Council member policy.

Kathe Morgan

Newport Beach

(Stu News believes that the policy of endorsement would only matter if in fact the “endorsed,” in this case Scott Baugh, had business before the City Council. Seeing none at this time, we don’t see an issue.)

No excuse to Dave Min’s driving under the influence

I lost my brother and sister-in-law to a drunk driver. David Min has the audacity to ask for forgiveness and wants us to vote for him. I say NO!

Know your facts before you vote!

Elaine Merz

Newport Beach

Disagreed with Min’s opportunity to share regret

I am a local Stu News reader. I think giving Dave Min a forum a few days before an election is out of bounds. It constitutes more than a full page of free political ad space. I am profoundly disappointed in your decision.

Louise Wade

Newport Beach

Dave Min has my vote

Dave Min has my vote. No other candidate, from either party, running for the 47th CD seat can match his mastery and handling of the key issues: Saving democracy, addressing climate change, preserving women’s reproductive rights and advocating for gun regulations. He has the character and guts to publicly own his mistake and move beyond it. I trust that.

Tom Osbourne

Love what Scott Brashier’s camera and eye bring to the pages of Stu News

I have subscribed to both Stu News Laguna and Newport.
Scott Brashier’s photos are wonderful! He’s so creative and
photographs amazing things because he has the gift to really SEE what’s in the world.

My thanks to Scott for so much pleasure.

Judy Walker

Newport Beach


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