Hit pieces, paid for by hard-to-trace “dark money” Political Action Committees (PACs), have begun fouling Irvine voters’ mailboxes, taking aim at Councilmember Larry Agran. The mailers falsely claim Agran supported the establishment of the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA).
In fact, Agran has been a vocal critic of the OCPA, which was established with millions of dollars of Irvine taxpayer funding by Mayor Farrah Khan and Councilmember Anthony Kuo — months before Agran joined the City Council.
Soon after taking office, Agran was the sole vote against the City’s expenditure of $5 million to help OCPA secure a $35 million line of credit.
Since that vote, Agran requested no fewer than four times that the Council put on its agenda a hearing on OCPA finances and operations in which Councilmembers could question OCPA leadership directly. Time and again, Khan and Kuo refused Agran’s requests.
The attack mailers identify the sender as a PAC that was created just a week ago — named, ironically, Citizens for Ethical New Leadership Opposing Larry Agran for City Council 2022 — with major funding from the Working Families United PAC.
The return address on the attack mailers matches that of Crummitt & Associates, a firm that performs financial records and reporting functions for political campaigns. Its principal, Gary Crummitt, is listed as the treasurer of Working Families United PAC in a state Form 460 filing, and he is identified as treasurer of the just-created PAC attacking Agran.
Crummit was also the treasurer of Khan’s 2020 mayoral campaign and is handling her re-election campaign finances this year. Concurrent with the Agran hit pieces, the Working Families United PAC sent out a mailer hailing Khan and urging her re-election. All of these mailers appear to be tied directly to Mayor Khan’s campaign treasurer. The attack mailers are apparently intended to hurt Agran’s standing with Irvine voters while providing a boost to Khan’s appointed Vice Mayor and current running mate, Anthony Kuo.
In response to the attack mailers, Councilman Agran released a thoughtful, somewhat humorous video. (Click here to watch Agran’s video.)
As of press time, neither Crummitt nor Khan had responded to voicemails and emails seeking comment.
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