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PAC Opposes Dahl, Mortenson for Council

According to the latest campaign finance filings in the San Clemente City Council race, a local activist has started a political action committee over the last month to oppose two business-endorsed candidates.

According to the latest campaign finance filings, a local activist has started the "Watchdog for San Clemente Responsible Government" political action committee to oppose incumbent Councilman Jim Dahl and candidate Mike Mortenson.

The man behind the PAC, which had nearly $10,000 in its coffers as of Oct. 20, is Charles Mann, who is a member of the city's General Plan Advisory Committee and a local political activist who says he champions open space and historical preservation.

"My goal is to be a source for the voters to get info on the candidates," Mann said Friday.

He criticized the San Clemente City Council's practice of hiring the the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce to print city materials and conduct promotional events when the Chamber endorses candidates for council and has an affiliated political action group that donates to campaigns.

He also criticized the thousands of dollars in stipend money Dahl has received from being San Clemente's representative on the Transportation Corridor Authority boards involved in overseeing construction of the 241 extension. Dahl was in favor of the extension, deeply unpopular among certain factions in town.

Every representative to the TCA from agencies around the county receives the same stipend in return for attending meetings.

Mortenson said he was disgusted by the Watchdog PAC's efforts and accused them of spreading lies about him and Dahl.

"It says on [opposing incumbent candidate] Bob Baker's website 'special interests and PACs will try to buy this election,'" Mortenson said. "I think that's true, but it's ironic that this PAC is trying to buy the election in favor of Charles Mann's special interest, whatever that is."

Mortenson pointed to mailers he said were sent out by the Watchdog PAC accusing him and Dahl of supporting digital billboards along the I-5 through town and wanting to turn San Clemente into Huntington Beach, both claims which Mortenson says are false.

"What I think is extremely interesting is that they can't put forth their own ideas for the future of San Clemente," Mortenson said. "It's petty, and it's silly."

Mann was a vocal critic of the Playa del Norte retail-restaurant project  that was scrapped with the failure of Measure A in 2011. He also helped finance the "No on A" campaign to fight the North Beach redevelopment, as well as other redevelopment projects in San Clemente and around Orange County.

The Playa del Norte project was favored by Dahl. Currently, both Dahl and Mortenson are the favored candidates by business groups in town. The San Clemente Chamber of Commerce officially endorsed the two, instead of incumbent Bob Baker, Chris Hamm and David Clegg, the other candidates running. (challenger Bob Baker, who will have a 0 next to his name on the ballot to distinguish himself from the incumbent with the same name, will still appear on the ballot, but he has dropped out of the race.)

Michael Kaupp, head of the Downtown Business Association, donated $400 to Dahl in October, and the chamber-affiliated PAC Business for a Better San Clemente gave him $7,000. The California Real Estate Political Action Committee has also donated heavily to Dahl and Mortenson―Dahl received $2,000 this month and $2,000 in the previous period.

It is unclear until Monday how much money Mortenson spent and received this period (Oct. 1 through Oct. 20) because his filing isn't turned in yet. City Clerk Joanne Baade expects the filing to be waiting in the mail Monday. Candidates are allowed to send in forms using certified mail and still meet the deadline, she said.

Bob Baker 1, according to the filings, loaned himself another $8,000 in October in addition to the more than $30,000 he had loaned his campaign through Sept. 30, making his bid for office almost entirely self-financed for this go-round.

Chris Hamm ramped up his fundraising efforts, collecting almost $11,000 in cash and in-kind donations in October, about twice the amount he collected through Sept. 30.

A firefighter himself, Hamm notably collected $1,500 from the OC Professional Firefighters Political Action Committee.

Pacific Corporate Consultants, Inc. of San Juan Capistrano donated Hamm $4,762 in signs and mailers, while former San Clemente Councilman and local politico Wayne Eggleston paid for $903 in print ads in October, brining Eggleston’s year-to-date Hamm donations to $1,291.

Clegg signed a form early in the campaign saying he was planning on spending less than $1,000, and, therefore, didn't have to report individual contributions bel

Read details of the candidates' previous batch of filings here.

Moonshine October 26, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Petty and silly-- Mortenson chose the perfect words to describe Charles Mann, his PAC, and the campaigns that Baker and Hamm are running. From Baker's website: "Special interests and PACS will try to influence this election by throwing money at candidates." Bob Baker See what 1Bob Baker is doing? Warning residents not to be influenced by PAC's, yet he is backed by a PAC spending BY FAR the most in this election. Come on Bob, if you are going to not listen to your own advice, at least get the PAC to mail something positive in your behalf, the negative attack ads are just cheesy and tacky. I guess when reading Mr. Baker's message on his own website, we the residents are just supposed to do as he says, not as he does...
Moonshine October 26, 2012 at 11:31 PM
It's also quite silly Charles Mann and Wayne Eggleston have teamed up to be the master puppeteers of Baker and Hamm, so silly because they had such different points of view on the LAB at Northbeach. Eggleston voted in favor of the LAB. While Mann was furiously spending tens of thousands to stop it. Oh well, looks like they are best buddies now, perhaps Mann added Eggleston to his payroll to get him on his side this time. Mann's payroll seems to be growing by the second these days... By the way- Hamm gets a "C" for effort in trying to hide his $4762.00 donation from Mann under "Pacific Corporate Consultants Inc" nice try, but that's just a different checkbook in Charles Mann's oversized wallet. I hope the residents of San Clemente ask themselves WHY? Why is Charles Mann spending SO much money on Baker and Hamm?? WHY has he created a PAC against Dahl and Mortenson, WHY is he paying for Hamm's yard signs, WHY the TENS OF THOUSANDS to support Baker and Hamm, all from a developer/businessman in San Juan Capistrano??? These two candidates will surely be indebted to Mr. Mann if they happen to get elected, but WHY? At the cost of what to us residents?? What will Baker and Hamm owe Mr. Mann?? I am hoping NEVER to find out, I am voting for Mortenson and Dahl.
Bill S October 27, 2012 at 03:33 AM
if you know Charles and you have taken the time to speak to him in the last 6+ years you will know that he is a very kind and caring man. 6+ years of caring is a lot better than Mortenson 2.5 years of living here and all of a sudden being backed by Marblehead and supporting the Lab and the Sahheghi's. Let me restate that, Mortenson has been here 2.5 years if that. Mann has been here 30+ and donated many $$ towards saving San Clemente for future generations. That is my opinion and I am a parent of multiple children.
Bill S October 27, 2012 at 03:44 AM
6+ years is stated because that is my personal experience. I am sure he has been a caring man and successfull business man for many many more years than that. You don't end up as successful as he has for not caring about your family, customers and fellow residents. Trust me, it will be worth your time to take the time to get to know him and see really why he cares. Thank you Charles and family for all you have given San Clemente!
Moonshine October 27, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Jonni- Welcome back!!! I was SO worried Baker and Mann cut you from their payroll, glad to see you are still around! Especially with that extra 8K BB1 loaned himself, he's at about 40K in "personal" donations right?! Yikes. BB must be getting worried huh?? Worried people have seen his voting record, that's for sure, I would be too if I were him! Good thing his buddy Charles Mann has deeeeeeep pockets. Money can buy ALOT of yard signs and attack ads, and mailers, but it sure can't buy the truth! And every single day more and more residents are becoming aware of the truth, and that is priceless! I'm a parent too, nice to see we have something in common, well- if what you say is true Jonni... If it is, I'm sure you are just as appalled as me that Baker voted no to ban smoking in our public parks?! Something so easy to police, just like we are not allowed to drink alcohol in our public parks or bring guns to our public parks, to add no smoking is a total no brainer. Well- I guess Baker got the NO part, just didn't use his brain... As disappointed as I am that Baker voted NO to that, I'm just glad he was outvoted second hand smoke is deadly. Hey-did your kids have fun at the Carnival?? Mine had a BLAST! Already asking when it is coming back, such a great family event! A shame Baker voted NO to the Carnival as well, again, glad he was outvoted! Would love to sit on the computer all Friday night and chat, but I have plans this evening. Have a great weekend Jonni!
Moonshine October 27, 2012 at 04:21 AM
P.S.- Don't keep pushing the fact that Mortenson liked the LAB as a "negative" point, in posts regarding Baker and Hamm. It just sounds so silly since Mann's right hand man, Wayne Eggleston (u know the guy paying for Hamm's ads and computer services, former and much disliked, council member) voted in favor of The LAB. That's right, there are two master puppeteers holding the strings for Hamm and Baker, Eggleston and Mann are quite the duo... Strange that Charles was spending tens of thousands against the LAB, yet Eggleston was sitting on council voting YES for the LAB. Maybe just leave those comments out to not make the amateur, wanna-be kingmaker's appear weak and inconsistent. I wouldn't want Charles and Wayne to get into a little spat just because of your posts about the LAB. Although, I bet that could be easily settled between those two $$$...
george gregory October 27, 2012 at 04:41 PM
There is no moonshine registered to vote Moonshine you must be lost and drunk again I see your hatred for honest citizens that don’t buy you booze You may wish to be at the alcoholic drink contest that the camber puts on yearly resulting in the peppering of alcohol and drug rehab housing in our neighborhoods
David Weber October 27, 2012 at 05:07 PM
George, judging by your grammar and spelling, it's quite obvious that you're the only drunk on here...I have no idea who Moonshine is, but everything he/she said about Mann, Baker, and Hamm is spot on.
Moonshine October 27, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Hey George- Why don't you ask a few Q's before you judge me. I know checking facts is too time consuming and hard for the Baker/Hamm crew, but I'm sure you have a few extra minutes in your day to so so? All my statements above are facts. All your statements above are just ridiculous. Of course there is no "moonshine" registered to vote George. Did you really need to waste your time typing that statement out? The scariest part is that I think you may have really taken time to check into that... Moonshine is a name that I made up, after seeing all the ridiculous lies Linds- er "Sunshine" was posting on these blogs. It's actually quite clever and comical, but totally lost on individuals like you that can't take off your blinders and do a tiny bit of thinking for yourselves... Sorry you missed the joke George! P.S. I do not drink. Iced Tea is my beverage of choice, sometimes I mix it with lemonade. So sorry to crush your dreams of me being a drunk, I'm just witty with a good sense of humor, sorry to let you down!
Bill Hart October 27, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Adam, thank you for shining a light on this deceptive tactic. Baker "loans" himself large amounts of money. A San Juan Capistrano PAC sends out multiple hate mailers at $8-10K a pop. Plus the $21K spent on an LA political consultant. Delayed reporting of where the money is coming from or going toward. What a shell game. The amount spent on behalf of Baker and Hamm is absolutely staggering - $50-60,000 by my estimate.
Patricia Gatacre October 27, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Silly and petty could easily describe the Presidential campaign...but let's not go there! I don't know Charles Mann but if he were running for Councilman I'd vote for him...instead my vote will unreservedly go to the "original" Bob Baker and Chris Hamm. We've had YEARS of Jim Dahl (and his cronies and pro-developer posturings) and we want our city back...a lauded event not possible with Dahl, Mortenson and, of course, "Lori" (what a sweet name for such a....well we won't go THERE either...must keep the conversation civil, but then again, Why?)
Sandy Ob October 27, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Patricia, Mr. Mann ran for City Council in 2008 and was defeated. He ran a nasty campaign and was rewarded appropriately for it. Mr. Mann has spent of $300,000 since Measure C. And that's only in San Clemente. You have to ask your self why a San Juan Developer who lives in San Clemente has spent so much of his personal funds to influence SC politics. Why can't he take that kind of money and donate it to a great cause like Courtney's SandCastle. I have NEVER heard that he has donated to any of our causes in San Clemente. Challenge to Mr. Mann, how about you match your political spending with a donation of $300,000 to a scholarship fund for San Clemente High School or some other great cause.
Patricia Gatacre October 27, 2012 at 11:45 PM
First of all, politicians are basically liars and freaks...once you concede to that premise and agree to keep matters superficial you feel less cynical that your vote counts for nothing....anywhere. Yes, I'm cynical...I've lived in S.C. for 38 years and watched the faces on the City Council change from era to era and marvel that the political/business bias remains the same. When I watch all the things I've cared about in S.C. gradually come crashing down in favor of new-to-towners and pro-development concerns at the expense of preserving the character and history of S.C.'s identity, it doth maketh me cranky. Take a walk in Plaza Park some afternoon and notice how the expenditure of a million bucks of city and state monies haven't made the park any cleaner or any quieter. Kid-trash (candy wrappers, snack bags, ice cream sticks) and adult-trash (fast-food wrappers, beer can components -- smashed cans, pop tops, beer caps, cigarette butts en masse, etc.) decorate our park. Was it worth a million dollars to put in a sidewalk and some ugly street lamps (in addition to the forest of ugly street lamps installed years ago)? What has transpired about the deplorable concept of "canyonization" in the retail stretch of Del Mar? When our city officials go quiet on you, watch out for some shady schemes up someone's sleeve. As the saying goes, "Follow the money". Hopefully, Mr. Mann will see the benefit of funding causes like Courtney's SandCastle...the PR alone is worth it.
BeReasonable October 28, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Jonni, If Mann has lived here 30+ years, why does he have Nevada plates on his car?
Jim Evert October 29, 2012 at 12:28 AM
interesting letter in the sun post. - they usally don't beet the Patch. http://letters.ocregister.com/2012/10/26/bob-baker-0-sets-his-record-straight/#more-70047
Kathleen Ward October 29, 2012 at 12:51 AM
I thought you had nothing to do with getting this guy to run. This was a bad idea, Mayor.
Moonshine October 29, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Kathleen- What is your comment implying? Just because someone posts a link to an article related to the city council election (worth a read by the way regarding Baker0) now that person had to do with Baker0 in the race? Geez... I was going to post the link to Baker1's website where he warns of PAC's trying to influence the election and voters, you know- on his website where he basically warns us about people like Charles Mann, yet he himself turns a blind eye when the PAC and $$$$$ is in support of him... Anyway- sure glad I didn't post that link, according to the logic of your comment regarding Mr. Evert's post- I sure wouldn't want anyone to think I had a big part in Baker's webdesign, PAC, or his sneaky "only under $99" donations, all just for posting an informative link...
Bill Hart October 29, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Kathleen, I'm not sure how you jumped to the conclusion that our mayor had anything to do with 47-year resident Bob Baker running for City Council. It must be pure speculation because nothing in his letter mentions the mayor, and rightfully so because the mayor had nothing to do with it. Here's a hint. If you read the letter very carefully you will find out why Bob actually ran. But you have to read very carefully. (!)
Kathleen Ward October 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Bill, I read very carefully. I happen to know that our mayor knew about this guy being put up as a candidate beforehand. But I've been with him when he told someone he didn't know about it. But here he is the first one to give us the link to this letter. So that is what I'm speaking to him about. This late-date explanation is too little too late. We all know what really occurred. So you can keep your feigned innocence. You insult all of our intelligence, really.
Jim Evert October 29, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Kathleen - That's an outright lie. I was very surprised when I saw his name on the list outside our Clerks office. Thought you were different from some of those Baker/Mann people who make it a habit of fabricating. I'm really surprised at you. And pray tell how did you know I supposedly knew if I didn't? Speak of insulting intelligence.
Bill Hart October 30, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Kathleen, if you had a story to tell you would have told it. Instead all I see is speculation and innuendo. Where are your facts or supporting evidence? The answer is it does not exist. You are an intelligent woman. Please stop this. It's painful to watch.
Allison Winters October 30, 2012 at 02:05 PM
George, I agree with David, For you, there are two rules, No drunk dialing and no drunk posting:)
Kathleen Ward October 30, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I am referring to a direct conversation Jim Evert had with someone. I did let it go, figuring he thought the better of talking about it and he didn't sign the papers. Jim, how about saying you didn't know instead of "that's a lie"? The better point, that I was making, was why is Jim Evert the one directing us to a link about the fake candidate? If you are not involved, leave it up to the people that did sign for this monkey business to cover their tracks. That's the point I was making.
PK October 30, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Dahl and Mortenson are more than likely in favor of still backing the Toll road when they regroup and refinance their development campaign. What these people must understand is that the only people in town who want this sort of development here are the "business owners". The majority of the REAL residents of San Clemente want open space, quality of life, and LESS development of our already crowded city, county, and state!
Bill Hart October 30, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Kathleen, thank you for taking a less accusatory tone. Jim is on vacation and I'm not sure about his Internet access. However I speak for quite a number of us who are shocked and disappointed by the way Bob Baker has been treated. My wife and I are long time friends of Bob's wife Barbara. She has been involved in many positive community activities over the years including Stephanie Dorey's campaign, Friends of Beaches, Parks and Recreation and the Watershed Task Force. It has taken its toll. So when Bob Baker finally responded (and only received a fraction of the press the other Bob Baker got) some of us have decided to jump in. Sadly the press has only reported one side of this issue even though they all got that letter from Bob. So yeah, some of us are helping the poor guy get the word out. Check our Facebook pages - it's the best we can do short of buying a newspaper.
Jim Evert October 31, 2012 at 07:00 AM
Ok Just to be clear - Kathleen someone is feeding you misinformation. The first I new Baker was running was when I saw his name on the list at city hall that he had pulled papers.
Adam Townsend October 31, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Thanks for the link, Jim. Bob Baker 0 has consistently decided not to talk to me for some reason. I'll link out to one of their posts so Patch readers can see it.
Billy Budd November 03, 2012 at 02:42 PM
How is it that Dahl can take money from the toll road and still not have a severe conflict on the council? Seems like Urban Sprawl Dahl and Mortensen want to pave EVERYthing!
Billy Budd November 03, 2012 at 02:43 PM
NO on Dahl and Mortensen--- I am tired of poor development choices for this town!

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