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Author: Franklin J. Lunding

Has the Mayor Become a Problem for Democrats?

Although City Council elections here in Irvine are nonpartisan by law, Mayor Farrah Khan runs her campaigns as a partisan Democrat.

However, it appears that Khan is facing increasing opposition from local Democrats. In fact, just last month the local Democratic club in Irvine overwhelmingly voted not to provide an early endorsement for her November Mayoral re-election campaign. (Khan received less than 25% support from Democratic club members in Irvine.)

Before the vote was taken, Irvine Democratic activists — who had campaigned, donated and voted for Khan in 2020 — rattled off a number of instances where the Mayor had defied the Democratic Party’s core values.

Khan also appointed a notorious Armenian Genocide denier to her Mayor’s Advisory Council. And, she was caught on video telling members of the Turkish community that she stood with them “no matter what,” and then went on to participate in a joke about making Armenians “disappear.”

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Is the Orange County Power Authority Imploding?

On April 1st, the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) debuted with much fanfare, initiating electricity service to business customers in Irvine and elsewhere.

As it launched, OCPA board chairman, Irvine Councilmember Mike Carroll, declared: “We’re right where we want to be!” But just two months later, by May 31st, it appears the OCPA has begun to implode.

Just days after Carroll’s declaration and the OCPA’s announcement that it had already procured enough energy for the summer and beyond, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) levied a nearly $2 million fine on OCPA for failing to purchase enough electricity to ensure that its customers are provided with uninterrupted service this summer.

According to sources at the PUC, the Power Authority is appealing the fine — saying the unusually large penalty would cause OCPA “financial difficulties.”

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Why Isn’t the City on the Residents’ Side in North Irvine?

For more than four years, the national non-profit Non-Toxic Neighborhoods (NTN) and an Irvine resident-led organization, Stop Toxic Air Pollutants (STAP), have been fighting for air safe to breathe for north Irvine residents from what the South Coast Air Quality District says is the largest polluter of carcinogens in Orange County — the All American Asphalt plant.

So, why is Irvine allowing a non-compliant polluter to continue to operate within Irvine’s city limits?

To discuss the matter, I sat down with Irvine City Councilmember Larry Agran.

Councilman Agran is a Harvard-educated public interest attorney who served as Chief Legal Counsel for the California State Senate Health Committee and later wrote a book, The Cancer Connection, which includes two chapters on a very similar situation where residents were exposed to industrial carcinogens.

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