Mark Zanides, Dana Point

Over the past few days, I received what is becoming standard fare in Dana Point elections—sleazy hit pieces financed by out-of-town real estate development interests. One such piece attacks Gary Newkirk for his alleged “recklessness,” claiming he “sent” a Dana Point senior citizen to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot. It depicts a senior citizen in the hospital with an oxygen mask. Of course, the piece is false and misleading: Gary never “sent” anyone, but rather folks volunteered to help him; no one became ill during the process, as masking and social distancing were observed during the process. The photo of the ill person does not depict anyone associated with the campaign.

The second hit piece is worse: it falsely accuses Gary Newkirk of leaving the Planning Commission “under a cloud” because he “supported so much large-scale development in the Lantern District and throughout the whole City.” In fact, while on the Planning Commission, Gary opposed the Majestic Project originally submitted, because it included an extra floor, elevator towers and roof decks, and reduced parking, all of which were not consistent with the existing Town Center Plan. In fact, in August 2014, speaking before the Planning Commission, it was Mike Frost who supported the Majestic Project. In May 2015, he again spoke in favor of the reduced parking plan. His current claim that he wanted to “clean up the variances,” implying he did not support the enormous developer variances, is belied by the fact that he gave money to support a PAC which supported Measure I. Measure I would have approved the extra floor, elevator towers and reduced parking. You won’t see that on Frost’s campaign literature.

These sleazy pro-Frost ads are from the California Homeowners Association, with “major funding” from a Kieu Hoang. Hoang is reportedly a billionaire winery owner. He is not a resident of Dana Point.

Why would out-of-town real estate interests so viciously support Mike Frost?  Well, let’s see. Out-of-town billionaires and real estate PACs don’t spend their money foolishly, and they’ve spent almost $20,000 (so far) trying to buy Frost’s seat. They know what they are buying in Mike Frost, because Frost has a track record of supporting out-of-town real estate developers.

If you want to reward dishonest ads from out-of-town real estate interests, as well as more big box, unfettered development in Dana Point, Mike Frost is your man. If you prefer sensible, responsible development, vote Gary Newkirk for City Council in District 4.

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