Letter: Response to Michael Ray

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Michael Ray spends over 500 words in his column trying to convince us that Liberate Laguna isn’t what we think it is, a Political Action Committee created to get city councilmembers elected who will make big development easier by changing long established City standards.  

All you have to do is look at their financial disclosure statement and see the list of twelve 2018 contributors allowing Liberate Laguna to spend over $150,000 getting their candidates elected. 

The seven top contributors were: Cindy Shopoff, Shopoff Reality Enterprises ($68,000),  Michael and Leslie Ray, Sanderson/Ray Developers ($27,000), Mohammad Honarkar, 4GWireless ($20,000), Samuel Goldstein, Radford Ventures ($20,000), Chris Dornin, Dornin Investment ($10,000), Russ Fluter, Broker ($3,000), Doug Cortez, Hensley Energy ($1,000), and $3,002 came from others.

The grand total from 12 contributors come to $152,502.  Does this list really look like a group of citizens that are not interested in development? Well, that’s what Michael Ray wants you to believe, but we’re smarter than that. 

Michael also shamelessly pleads to “…please demonstrate a decorum now sadly lacking in Laguna politics” when it’s Liberate Laguna who has given us Peter Blake. Liberate Laguna greatly outspent other campaigns buying the election for Peter Blake. At a candidate’s forum, Peter Blake answered a question on how the candidate would restore civility. Peter Blake’s response was, “If you want civility, don’t elect me.” We have Liberate Laguna to thank for the incivility that we are currently experiencing from Peter Blake during Council Meeting, in emails, voicemails, and elsewhere.

Liberate Laguna is also supportive of the relaxed parking requirements for business expansion that eliminating many public parking spaces and are for raiding City discretionary funds to help pay for visitor parking in the new proposed multi-million dollar structure in the Village Entrance. Only a few years ago, this project was rejected thanks to LetLagunaVote. It is not to serve residents, and will never pay for itself while burdening residents with tens of millions of dollars of debt.

Michael Ray’s column is entitled “Facts Checking Claims Against Liberate Laguna”; he certainly missed many important facts.

Johanna Felder, Laguna Beach

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  1. I agree. Liberate Laguna PAC and the 2018 contributors you expose here that bought a CC seat and put an unqualified bully with no finance understanding /experience are responsible for where we are today. Rising debt and growing unresolved city problems. Shame on them. They sold out our beautiful coastal oasis for their own gains. And they are at it again. Hey BIG SPENDERS…how deep are you going to dig this election to get Bob Whalen re-elected and your next development puppet Larry Nokes elected? Be careful..,Mr. Nokes is much much smarter than poor Peter Blake. He might not be so easy to manipulate and rule.


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