Dear Readers: Sarah Palin said this about Tea Obama’s handling of the Egyptian crisis:“Obama’s ‘3 a.m. Phone Call Went Right to the Answering Machine“. Like many others I found it amusing, but sadly true.
Speaking of 3 am in the morning, I think my Republican friends may want to know about another early morning event: The GOP Headquarters were moved under the cover of a dark December night. The details are in this San Diego City Beat article by John R. Lamb: Whine and chocolates –GOP headquarters abandoned, left in ‘mind-boggling’ disarray, landlord says.
The machinations between a party boss and a landlord may seem unimportant in the wake of Obamacare repeals and Middle East turmoil. However, given the fact that the BIG RED WAVE of NOVEMBER didn’t reach California, it does. California is under one party rule. This is not good for democracy or the long-term success of our state. This article, I think, points to issues of party organization and integrity that hinder the success of the second major party in our great state.
On the other hand, California citizens can’t blindly vote “GOP” and assume it is just anti-Democrat. And, in the wake of Tea Party activism, the GOP can’t just give lip service to the principles of financial responsibility, limited government, and Constitutional principles valued by citizen activists. They need to walk the walk, too. Sadly, “Whine and Chocolates” (combined with what I have seen and heard from fellow citizens) seems to show that Krvaric is from the Idi Amin School of Political Management:
WASTE: Perfectly good business equipment was thrown out, as Team Krvaric rapidly packed up to stealthily move to new GOP headquarters – at Krvaric’s business office.
FRAUD: The reason for the stealth seemed to be that the conditions of the lease – a citizen’s promise from the GOP for payment – would be violated.
ABUSE?: Sarah Bond (my Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition compatriot) confirmed the following: the address of the new GOP headquarters is in fact the exact same address Tony provided to me months ago as HIS private business address. A question that should be, and is being, asked by Republicans (such as my husband): is this new office, funded by donations by Republican-supporting citizens, paying the rent on Krrvaric’s non-party operations? (*See below, the BUT IT’S SAVING MONEY! for further details)
When I linked to the Lamb article in a previous post, Krvaric called Sarah to complain about the mention. Between his conversation with Sarah and an email exchange he had with me, Krvaric made the following claims:
SAFETY: The building was a mold-infested death trap, and he had to leave for the tender concern of his employees.
PRACTICALITY: There was no way Team Krvaric would have tossed away perfectly good office equipment. That would just be foolish!
LEFTIST MEDIA: The extreme leftist media has, once again, targeted a reasonable and responsible Republican leader. You cannot possibly believe anything you read in City Beat.
I wanted to note that in my email exchange, I made the case to Krvaric that he failed to appreciate that the donation money used to purchase campaign supplies represented the blood, sweat, and aspirations of Californians who want a successful Republican party to fight-back on Democrat union-inspired power grabs. If there was no room in the new place for these items they could have been donated to a charity or sold on Craigslist, enhancing the prestige and/or coffers of the state Republican Party. Minimally, current political leadership on both sides of the aisle need to appreciate that citizens expect pennies to be squeezed so hard that they cry. Upon reflection, I would also like to note that it looks like there will be a needless court-case, which could have been avoided by more up-front and cooperative interaction with the landlord. This legal development is going to take time, energy and resources away from the party that is tasked with mounting a response to the Obama administration’s government expansion in 2012. So, this situation has local, state, and national consequences.
However, I am a fair minded person. After reviewing Krvaric’s explanations and excuses I had to ask myself: Could I have read the story completely wrong? Could the San Diego CityBeat be a lying leftist rag targeting Team Krvaric unfairly? Granted, I am an independently-minded Democrat who doesn’t follow the minutia of GOP-internal politics, but I wanted more details. So, being the capitalist that I am, I followed the trail back to the business owner in this saga: Antoine Georges.
I talked to Georges, capitalist-to-capitalist…Tea Party style.
Georges is the proprietor of the Griswold Corporate Center, which had been the headquarters for the County GOP until December. It seems that after the November election, Krvaric laid of most of the staff and left six-months shy of completing a six-year lease. Georges kindly returned my call, and offered a different take than the one given by Krvaric on the matters that drew my Tea Party attention:
DONATIONS IN, GARBAGE OUT: “They absolutely threw out perfectly good, usable office equipment,” said Georges. “Unopened boxes of markers; unopened boxes of rubber bands; live plants. It was a complete waste. I took pictures, as I knew I had to monitor Tony.”
Given the amount of detail and recall, combined with the fact he took pictures, I am inclined to believe Georges. When I asked if these images would be available, Georges mentioned that my request would have to be reviewed by his lawyer, as he is taking the case to court. (UPDATE: Reporter John Lamb has shown me digital images confirming that good office equipment was left as debris).
I asked Georges to elaborate. It seems that Krvaric had been attempting to maneuver out of the lease for some time (which seems to be confirmed in the comments section of this article — Of Staplers And Leases And The San Diego County GOP). Georges mentioned that the GOP county chair tried to strong-arm him into donating the office space to the party. After the elections in November, Krvaric claimed someone donated money to remodel the offices. As an astute business owner, Georges suspected that there was another reason for the sudden packing and reorganizing: What financial planner would spend that kind of money for a place with only 6 months left on the lease?
TAJ MAHAL not ROACH MOTEL: As an environmental health and safety specialist, I have been involved in several mold remediation projects. I have also written papers on toxic mold and its impact on employees. So, I was concerned about Krvaric’s serious charge that the mold was so bad that he had to flee the site for health and safety reasons.
Normally, there is documentation and certified exchanges involving the landlord and tenant when there is a mold problem. After a tenant complains about mold, the landlord will hire a firm to take pictures, assess the extent of mold contamination, and develop and implement a remediation plan. All of this activity leaves a paper trail a mile long.
I asked Krvaric if any of this documentation were available and if I could review it, as an environmental health and safety professional. Just because you say there’s mold, doesn’t make it so – even if you are the GOP County Chair. There needs to be scientific data and professional evaluation.
Georges concurs, which is why he had an environmental specialist look at his office complex immediately after learning of Krvaric’s allegations. “Tony’s claims of mold are totally false. I had professionals come in the next day and review the place; it is totally clean. And, I have documentation.”
Georges says he is planning to sue Krvaric for defamation, based on these mold claims. “When you attack my business by making a false safety charge, you are attacking my professionalism. This has a potential to hurt my business in the long term, so I plan to bring this matter to court.”
A key perspective on the Griswold Business Complex, Georges’ office building comes from a Republican volunteer who was frequently at the site: “The bathrooms at that place are like the Taj Mahal.”
Except for the bathroom under GOP-control, which was at one time covered in Proposition 1A graffiti. Californians may want to note that some of this GOP-graffiti included Pro 1A statements – 1A being the 2009 ballot measure that would have extended the tax increases thrust on this state during the budget deal of 2008. Thanks to Tea Party efforts, it went down to defeat.
IN LIKE A LAMB: I must admit, I am not a regular reader of San Diego’s City Beat, which describes itself as an alternative newspaper. And while, as an “alternative newspaper”, the site is probably not the most receptive to conservative ideals, it seems John R. Lamb has a solid reputation as a reporter. This comes from the comments section from a Rostra piece: John Lamb is a long-time, legit professional reporter who worked for local mainstream newspapers in East County and downtown San Diego for many years. Lamb’s report is also consistent with what I have uncovered, and is professionally presented. I don’t think Lamb has done anything outside of the realm of classic and professional investigative reporting.
BUT IT’S SAVING MONEY! In a response to Lamb’s piece, Team Krvaric states “that the move results in a drastic reduction of our fixed costs by 41% for an annual savings of $164,000″. However, the set-up doesn’t seem quite kosher. For me, the questions that must be answered:
• What is the exact nature of the relationship of the new GOP Headquarters to the office place of Krvaric’s financial planning office (e.g., are they “roommates” in adjacent offices or is that headquarters physically out of Krvaric’s office?)
• How are office supplies and materials to be accounted and distributed?
• What is the rent to be paid by the County GOP and how is that rental account handled in relationship to the rent for Krvaric’s financial planning firm?
I am under the impression that there was no announcement or vote prior to this headquarters move. I suspect that many Republican Party participants would have liked to have chimed in with other cost-saving ideas, too. I hope they get this opportunity in the future.
DRAMA KING: One last note: In a follow-up piece, Krvaric makes the claim there was a break-in, Watergate-style, to his headquarters (another reason offered for the move). Georges said that one of his workers saw a GOP staffer break in because he forgot his keys inside. Once the broken door was noted by another GOP staffer the next day, Krvaric called the media BEFORE he called the police, claiming that the GOP lost some old laptops (good, new equipment was left untouched). Georges indicated that he took detectives aside and told them what his workers witnessed and the detectives agreed there was no burglary despite all the media attention.
FOLLOW-UP: I am now, formally, in touch with John Lamb as well as Antoine Georges. I will be keeping readers apprised of any updates, including those involving Georges legal actions. Stay tuned.
WHY THIS DEMOCRAT CARES: It isn’t just the local area that’s impacted, with its potentially significant mayoral race coming up. It is citizen interests in Sacramento that are also threatened. For example, because of lack of coherency in the state GOP, three Republicans are OK partnering with union elites: GOP Union Allies Humiliate Conway:
The three Assembly members who joined with Democrats at a union-sponsored rally to oppose government cuts to In-Home Supportive Services — Jim Silva of Huntington Beach, Brian Nestande of Palm Desert and Paul Cook of Yucca Valley — didn’t betray their conservative principles. ….If a top GOP leader is against cuts, then there’s not much left to do than to raise taxes. And how can Republicans now move forward with reforms to the waste-plagued, scandal-ridden and oftentimes abusive IHSS program if top Republicans oppose cuts to it at any cost?
Truly, it seems to be the dead-of-night for the state GOP. Unless there is a dawn of new leadership direction evident by 2012, I am of the opinion that Californian citizens will form a coalition of rebel Democrats, disgruntled Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, Constitutionalists, and other like-minded citizens who what responsible, unobtrusive political representation that truly serves its citizens.
This coalition will NOT be a third party: It will be the second party that we no longer have.