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Category: Publisher’s Perspective

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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Khan and Kuo Team-Up for the 2022 City Council Election

Last December, Mayor Farrah Khan appointed Anthony Kuo to be her Vice Mayor. That appointment signaled the beginning of the 2022 City election campaign — with Khan and Kuo now running together for re-election to the Irvine City Council.

Since Kuo’s appointment as Vice Mayor, he and Khan have begun hosting joint meetings, posting selfies on social media together, and making sure that Irvine voters see them as a “team.”

Khan orchestrated the same political maneuver back in 2020 when she voted to appoint Mike Carroll as Vice Mayor. In the run-up to that election, Khan and Carroll appeared at numerous events together and were sold as a team to voters in campaign TV ads and mailings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Khan’s new political partnership with Kuo may look good on social media but it can’t mask the fact that they stand together — against the people — on a number of key issues of concern to Irvine voters.

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Turmoil Engulfs Embattled Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan

As publisher of Irvine Community News & Views, from time to time I feel the need to weigh-in personally on important community matters.

Recently, the Voice of OC and Irvine Watchdog have reported on a disturbing 2020 video that has surfaced showing Mayor Farrah Khan attending an event with members of the Turkish community.

In the video, Mayor Khan is seen joking with Ergun Kirlikovali — a notorious Armenian Genocide denier — about making Armenians “disappear.”

Not only did Khan joke with Kirlikovali about making Armenians disappear, the video shows her telling the group that she stands with the Turkish community “no matter what.”

Khan then appointed Kirlikovali to her newly-formed Mayor’s Advisory Council and has been seen at a number of events with Kirlikovali by her side.

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Five-Part Series: Irvine Through the Decades — The Beginning of Our Planned Community in the 1970s

On December 28th, Irvine will commemorate its 50th anniversary! To mark the occasion, I sat down with two of our City’s longtime leaders — Mary Ann Gaido, former Councilmember and current Planning Commissioner and Larry Agran, former Mayor and current Councilmember to discuss highlights from the past five decades.

Both Gaido and Agran were integral in crafting and implementing policies that have made Irvine one of the greenest cities in the nation.

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Disrespecting Voters. Disrespecting Democracy.

Later this year, Irvine will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Historically, voters and City leaders in Irvine have shared a mutual respect for one another. Voters have trusted that the people they send to City Hall to represent them will do just that … represent the will of the people. And, previous City leaders have respected the voters enough to implement the will of the people.

However, respect for voters and respect for our local democracy seems to be disappearing in Irvine. For example, the Mayor’s undemocratic “Rule of Two” — requiring two Councilmembers to put matters on the Council agenda — has resulted in the Council refusing to even talk to the voters about critical issues that directly impact thousands of Irvine residents.

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Mayor Khan and Councilmembers Kim, Kuo & Carroll Want the Veterans Cemetery Relocated to a Site Alongside the 91 Freeway

Three months ago, at the March 23rd Council meeting, Mayor Khan said that honoring veterans with a Veterans Cemetery was a “top priority” for the Council, stating: “We are in a unique position as a City to actually get this done. I see it happening in May or June….We are all committed to making this happen!”

Khan, Kim, Kuo and Carroll have now unilaterally decided — contrary to the expressed will of the people — that Irvine no longer wants a Veterans Memorial Park. (Councilmembers Kim and Carroll even attended a July 1st press conference in support of the newly proposed “Gypsum Canyon” site which is located just past the 241 toll road and the 91 freeway connector.) This latest freeway site is 23 miles from Irvine, just 5 miles from Riverside County.

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Apparently, Telling Lies is the New Normal at Irvine City Hall

Through my decades of work as an attorney specializing in election law, I have unfortunately witnessed a few politicians who will say one thing to voters during a campaign and then do another thing once they are in office.

But, I have to admit I’ve been shocked to see how Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan and Councilmembers Tammy Kim, Anthony Kuo, and Mike Carroll have taken lying to a whole new level.

Call me old-fashioned, but I expect elected officials to follow-through on promises they make.

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Irvine’s Mayor and Council Majority Disregard Governmental Ethics & Campaign Promises, Triggering Angry Protests

Last year, in the midst of his City Council election campaign, Councilman Mike Carroll violated Irvine City policy when he transferred tens of thousands of dollars — originally allocated for his Council staff — to instead cover the cost of promotional mailers he sent to Irvine residents.

This year, Mayor Farrah Khan — with the help of Councilmembers Anthony Kuo and Tammy Kim — made Carroll’s violation “go away” by changing the City policy Carroll had violated. Now, Khan, Kim and Carroll have doubled the office budget of each individual Councilmember while removing key restrictions and oversight on how they spend that money.

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The Mayor’s Broken Promises

Last year, Farrah Khan campaigned for Mayor of Irvine, promising to bring transparency, ethics, and democratic values to City Hall.  In just the first few months in office, she’s broken those promises.

Upon taking office, Khan implemented an anti-democratic rule to restrict members of the Council from adding any item to the agenda without first obtaining a second Councilmember’s signature.  (The rule does not apply to Khan, as Mayor.)

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