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SC Council Candidates Square off in Debates

Four of the 6 San Clemente City Council candidates squared off at a forum Thursday night.

Four of the six candidates for two San Clemente City Council seats squared off Thursday evening.

Incumbent Bob Baker (listed as "Robert 'Bob' Baker 1" on the ballot to differentiate him from the other Bob Baker running) and Chris Hamm marketed themselves as independent voices, claiming other candidates were beholden to developers.

Incumbent Jim Dahl and Mike Mortenson asserted they had the support of a broad base of San Clemente residents, and kept open minds about what was right for the city and all of its residents.

Read the Orange County Register's report on the debate here.

The Shorecliffs Terrace community is the organization which held the perennial San Clemente City Council debate.

Another event put on by the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce will happen at St. Andrews by the Sea at 6 p.m. Sept. 27.

Another forum will be hosted by the San Clemente Historical Society at 3 p.m. Oct. 7 at the San Clemente Community Center.

we the people October 16, 2012 at 06:36 AM
Jim speaking of being honest and recognizing that you are the mayor. How about explaining why the chamber of commerce which is city funded is allowed to endorse candidates which is both unethical and a clear conflict of interest?
Jim Evert October 16, 2012 at 08:13 AM
"We the People" - Sounds like your mind is already made up, but I'll give you the benefit of maybe being one of the few people on this blog, who actually wants objective and honest dialog. The chamber has fund raisers like the fiesta and the taste of SC plus dues that members pay. This is the chambers source of operating funds. Each year the city working with the chamber - pays the chamber for specific projects (representing only a small part of their annual funds) that the chamber can do cheaper and utilizing their volunteers. In the past that has included events supporting the Marines (with many chamber volunteers); the banners (currently recognizing surfers) along El Camino Real; and the visitors guide given out throughout the city, pier and airports. I have supported each of these individual projects because I believe they benefit our city. This was supported by 4- 1 - With Tim Brown, Lori, Jim Dahl and myself supporting. Now of the second point - the Chamber PAC is independently funded by members and is separate and distinct from the operating budget. That is why I consider the item that Mann put in his Dahl hit piece was an outright lie. It's a new low for SC in nasty and divisive politicking. It's a shame that that we can't concentrate on positives and stick to real issues.
Larry Corwin October 16, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Mr. Mayor, If the Chamber of Commerce had the sole focus to advocate San Clemente business, they would be more successful in assisting the businesses to whom they were engaged to represent. When they lose this focus and become a PAC and advocate for particular candidates, they have lost that focus. Many people in town including many members of the Chamber are tired of their representatives drawing political fire to their organization. It's simply not good for business and it draws focus away from their actual responsibility. The same is true with City Councilmen acting as advocates for issues or candidates. You have stated your witnessing of "a new low for SC in nasty and divisive politicking", yet you sit front and center and scratch your head? You are a big part of this divide and if you understood your job better, you might have a chance of actually doing your job better. Get yourself out of the gutter of nasty politicking and watch how much better your own concentration on real issues become.
Larry Corwin October 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I'm going to tap out on this one as all points seem to have been made. In departing I would like to thank all of the Patch bloggers who have engaged the debate and I hope to get the opportunity to meet you all in the future. In parting, I would like to extend a shout out to the wives, girlfriend and family of all the candidates and thank them for accepting our free speech and for supporting our democratic process. I hope we all remember you guys are off limits and we appreciate your support of your "significant others" who seek to serve our city. Pam Baker is a loyal and dedicated partner of Bob Baker and works as hard as anyone I have met. Chris Hamm's girlfriend Danielle is charming and delightful and we look forward to watching their relationship develop. I have not met Mrs. Mortenson but from the pictures I have seen, they have a most beautiful family and I wish them all the best in their San Clemente futures. I have never met Mrs. Dahl and despite our political differences, I have heard only great things about her and their family. We might have two incumbents reclaim their seats. We may have two new council members or any combination in between. Regardless of the election outcome, it has been a pleasure to have gotten to know more of you and I am proud of my neighbors and our town.
Moonshine October 16, 2012 at 08:42 PM
We the People: Do you guys know you're lying, and not care, or you don't know you're lying? Setting aside the fact that Mike's wife isn't running, and bringing the candidate's families into the debate is a new low, even for bottom feeders like Eggleston and Mann, she is not a democrat. Even if she were, what would it matter? Does it matter that Baker supported Obama last election? Or that Hamm is endorsed by a union? Not to me. Does it matter that Mortenson is the ONLY candidate ENDORSED BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, you bet it does!! And it matters to THOUSANDS of other people in this town. Don't forget, we're 51% Republican. Why didn't Hamm or Baker get endorsed by the OC GOP, or the Lincoln Club, or the California Republican Assembly, or by the OC Register, or the Chamber of Commerce? Are all these organizations involved in the big conspiracy to bring in jumbo tron signs and rubber stamp all development? Nope, they didn't get endorsed because they HAVE NO IDEAS for strengthening SC and Baker has a HORRENDOUS record as a councilman (which is why only 1 councilmember supports him -- the same one he helped get elected). If you disagree -- feel free to tell us their ideas -- because they sure failed to do so despite multiple opportunities. You guys need to seriously grow up, start thinking for yourselves and stop being spoon-fed the divisive kool-aid that Eggy and his rich developer buddy Charlie Man are serving up.

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