Community Members in Aliso Viejo put on their own Candidates Forum on Thursday night. Almost 100 voters showed up to learn more about the ballot measures and about the candidates. For some reason, campaign buddies Bill Phillips and Clown Mayor Mike Munzing showed up an hour late, while Incumbent Ross Chun and Challenger Mary Rios arrived at the start. There was no debate and no tough questions at the vanilla event, but one interesting thing did occur while once again, Phillips put in a plug to get people to call him “The Elder Statesman.” That’s right, once again Phillips referenced the nick-name that he has tried to adopt for the past 8 years. Over and over again, Bill Phillips tells the public that he is embarrassed that his colleagues and the voters refer to him this way, but in truth, Phillips seems to be the only one who calls him that. But that wasn’t the most amazing part of the forum.
During the candidate introductions, Phillips pointed out that he is “self-funding” his campaign so he is not beholden to anyone and can do “anything he wants.” This was an obvious reference to the Clown Mayor’s well-publicized conflict of interest, and the public’s revelation that Munzing has repeatedly voted for vendors and contractors and then received large campaign contributions. Most recently, an Orange County Register article revealed that Munzing received a HUGE contribution from CT Realty. This after repeatedly voting to approve various permits and designs for the developer. Oops!
And challenger Mary Rios piled on by pointing out that she has “no one in her pocket” except maybe the Firefighters, as they were her largest campaign contributors.
Bill, we’ll call the “The Elder Statesman” if you want, but it will take a lot more than this to call you ethical. Keep trying!