Letter: Good Question

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Here is the company Village Laguna keeps: The Laguna Greenbelt, the Bluebelt Coalition, CANDO, South Laguna Civic Association, Laguna Canyon Conservancy, Laguna Canyon Foundation, South Laguna Garden Park, Temple Hills Community Assoc. and others. Village Laguna, as a nonprofit, mutual benefit corporation under 527 organization, shares its designation with such organizations as both the Republican and Democratic Governors’ Associations, Emily’s List, NEA, League of Conservation Voters, and the Sierra Club. What company does Liberate Laguna keep?

Village Laguna raises most of its money through the Charm House Tour and individual dues. Our dues are $40 for one person. CHT earnings vary from year to year, but at $50/ticket and having to cover hefty costs like hiring tour buses and paying insurance, etc., you figure out how much this could possibly be. Is this even close to the over $150,000 in one year by Liberate Laguna?

Most of Village Laguna’s money comes from Laguna Beach residents in amounts of less than $100 (maybe this what Liberate Laguna is calling our “dark money?”), unlike the large donations to Liberate Laguna. (Cindy Shopoff, Shopoff Reality/Enterprises, $68,500; Michael and Leslie Ray, Sanderson J. Ray Development, $27,000; Mohammad Honarkar, 4G Wireless, $20,000; Samuel Goldstein, Radford Ventures, $20,000; Chris Dornin, Dornin Investment Group, $10,000, etc.) Which donations say “community support?”

Board Members of Village Laguna get no recompense or any other advantage from being on the front lines, except the satisfaction of promoting good causes in Laguna Beach. What do the big developers and other contributors to Liberate Laguna expect to get from their affiliation?

Members of Village Laguna, many of whom are also members of the organizations mentioned above, join in order to help promote their group’s long-term efforts: establishing the building height limit, protecting and restoring historic properties and the ocean and coastal habitats, contributing financially and participating in other community organizations, and fostering a responsible cultural and social environment—including holding the Charm House Tour for 47 years. What has Liberate Laguna done for you—ever?

Rosemary Boyd, Laguna Beach


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  1. Where’s the transparency? You have lots $ figures for Liberate Laguna, but the only $ figure disclosed for VL is the ticket cost. Why didn’t you share the amounts VL donated to the charities? Let me guess it was insignificant and just a token amount compared to the much larger political contributions.

    PS The Village Laguna took no stand on the Police Chiefs decision why? Its members didn’t align with the majority of residents and would have reduced ticket sales/fundraising.

  2. Great letter Ms. Boyd! All the hysteria over Village Laguna “dark money” would be laughable if it weren’t so likely to destroy what organizations like Village Laguna and the others you name in the article have worked so hard to create.

  3. It is a worthy cause to try to preserve the “Laguna-ness” of Laguna Beach. That is most certainly not a partisan issue. And it is for that reason that I am often discouraged when talking with some of my friends on the Left that their imagined enemy of such a worthy cause is “The Republicans”.

    No, the enemy is certain factions of Big Business and certainly big government. And they would love nothing more than to see us turn on each other along party lines, while they ram their agenda through.

    Please remember that we Conservatives want to conserve things too. It’s kind of in the name “Conservative”.


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