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A Slugfest at 72nd Assembly Debate

Businessman Travis Allen calls Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar "a criminal." Edgar labels his fellow Republican a political novice. Edgar dodges a question about campaign funding allegations.

If nothing else, Thursday night’s 72nd Assembly District debate reminded the audience of one thing: Politics can be brutal.

The candidates, Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar and Huntington Beach business owner Travis Allen, came out swinging over political experience, taxes, criminal accusations and more at the Fountain Valley City Hall forum, which was sponsored by the 405/605 Tea Party Patriots.

The two Republicans are battling to represent the new 72nd Assembly District, which includes Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Westminster, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Rossmoor and Midway City.

Both had a lot in common, which is no surprise. The state’s new open primary system pits the two top vote-getters against each other in November, which in this case means two Republicans.

Edgar and Allen both said they oppose higher taxes, want to encourage business growth, support public-employee pension reform, and oppose Props. 30 and 38.

The Slugfest Begins

The fireworks came over their differences.

Throughout the debate, Allen went on the offensive, criticizing Edgar’s alleged mishandling of the Los Alamitos' controversial trash contract, his support of city ballot Measure DD -- which Allen called a tax on cell phone users – and his description of constituents as “the common people.”

“I don’t think you want to be addressed as ‘the common people’ for the next 12 years by another arrogant politician,” Allen told the crowd.

Edgar was more than ready to fire back, saying his campaign had received multiple endorsements – including all the mayors in the 72nd District, and the Democratic mayor of Santa Ana – and that Allen was lashing out to hide his relative lack of endorsements and experience.

“Who up here is the experienced person?” Edgar said. “We have no idea what this man will do when he gets up to Sacramento.”

Edgar criticized Allen for giving $2,000 to a Democrat. But Allen noted that Edgar was a Democrat until 2006, when he switched parties.

Allen also said Edgar wouldn’t sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to not raise taxes. Edgar replied that he’d signed a separate pledge to his district.

'Edgar is a Criminal'

The tensest moment of the night came when Allen mentioned an OC Weekly article accusing Edgar of alleged funding misconduct.

“I think Troy Edgar is a criminal,” Allen said.

Allen then asked Edgar to respond to accusations he illegally paid for mailers and campaign materials for his aborted congressional campaign.

The moderator asked Edgar if he wanted to give an answer.

“It doesn't really deserve one,” Edgar replied.

Throughout the debate, Edgar highlighted his experience as a Navy submariner, businessman, father and mayor of a city with a high budget reserve.

Allen described himself as non-politician with a successful business and strong understanding of finance.

Moderator Deborah Pauly, a Villa Park City Councilwoman, kept a tight rein on the candidates and the audience – at one point interrupting Edgar’s speech to tell an attendee he couldn’t record the proceedings.

“No cameras,” Pauly said.  

The person turned out to be a member of the press, and Pauly relented.

Audience Reaction

After the debate, Patch interviewed four people -- two said they thought Edgar won, two called Allen the victor.

Fountain Valley resident Jim Orr said he attended planning to support Edgar but “got switched” to Allen: “He won me over. I think Travis is the real Republican and conservative."

In contrast, Seal Beach resident Judy Duvall said she thought Edgar won and criticized Allen for calling his opponent “a criminal.”

“I was shocked at Travis Allen, and not in a good way,” Duvall said. “I think he got down and dirty and low by making the statement.”

Bill Culper October 05, 2012 at 03:22 PM
My wife and I attended the debate last night and Travis Allen clearly won this debate. Saying different would be saying Obama won the debate against Romney. Troy kept his head mostly down and never really looked at Travis directly, especially when throwing insults; he looked like a coward. Troy also didn't answer charges of campaign funding fraud; when asked directly! He just sat in his chair looking like he was about to cry. Everytime Troy attempted to get aggressive, he just came off as arrogant and obnoxious. State assemblymen are supposed to be local residents who represent their district in Sacramento, not career politicians. Teachers, business owners or engineers make the best representatives; they speak for us because they are us. Troy Edgar only wants to represent himself and his agenda!
Joker Joe October 05, 2012 at 04:14 PM
I never saw an article in Patch about a debate? What happened?
Joker Joe October 05, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Measure DD is a no for me. If Edgar wants it he is out as far as I am concerned. The attack on Allen regarding what would he would do in Sacramento because of inexperience is laughable. Look at Sacramento now and the congressman are laughable. State near bankruptcy. About 5 cities in bankruptcy. State debt that is insurmountable. Building a train to no where. Illegals welcomed into the sanctuary state. State tax increase on the ballot. We need INEXPERIENCE in Sacramento.... It just can't hurt anymore.
Roy Reynolds October 05, 2012 at 04:56 PM
First, good for the city in providing this venue for the Tea Party Patriots -- Huntington Beach won't rent their facilities to the citizens who've paid to build them. The Public Cable Television Authority was asked to televise this event, but they declined. The room was packed with curious voters who needed to understand these candidates. Travis Allen overwhelmed his competition with the simple, well publicized revelations that he's increased taxes and fess (there's no difference -- Edgar promised to explain that there was, but did not) in Los Alamitos over a dozen times, and most recently by trying to tax cell phones, the Internet and possibly cable and satellite TV in Los Alamitos (see the link above to the OC Register editorial, or http://tinyurl.com/9lgc74x. For the Assembly race, Edgar's claimed he won't raise taxes, but he refuses to sign the Gold Standard ATR Tax Pledge. Who knows what kind of sellout he could become in Sacramento when, as this rookie, inexperienced pol is confronted by the Democrat (which he once was) power elite like John Perez. Just prior to the event, the Allen Campaign announced the endorsements of Los Alamitos Council Members Mejia and Kusumoto -- that's important as 40% of Mayor Edgar's City Council now opposes his ambitions, even tho his absence from their dais would likely be welcome.
Roy Reynolds October 05, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Continuing... The night's drama was as Crandall described -- Allen confronted Edgar with R. Scott Moxley's OC Weekly revelation that Edgar has FEDERAL campaign disclosure anomalies in that he's ILLEGALLY reported certain expenditures. Allen did label him a 'criminal' and the purple-faced Edgar wouldn't respond (perhaps he will if a formal complaint is made). Moxley has the proof, so Edgar's only truthful response should be that he broke the rules and he'll just go back to the private sector and dig his ditches. Troy Edgar repeatedly touted his experience as on his tiny City's Council and his OC Sanitation Commission membership -- pretty thin for someone with his ambitions, but more than enough for his ego. As a OC GOP insider, he locked up endorsements early from the Party regulars. But as more is revealed about his questionable tactics in running this AD race, how along will he keep them?
warren at 562-799-7098 October 05, 2012 at 05:25 PM
It was an interesting debate, but there was one topic that Troy Edgar did not address because it "doesn't deserve a response" concerning the OC Weekly article by R.Scott Moxley on Edgar's congressional campaign's 8-page brochure that was published and circulated in January 2012. There were a couple of conflicting stories in the media concerning the glossy, 8-page brochure: OC Weekly reported that Edgar stated that it was printed at [Edgar's] home; Los Alamitos Patch reported that the invoices from Sparta Graphics were inadvertantly directed to Edgar's company [Global Conductor] and paid by the company.
warren at 562-799-7098 October 05, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Part 3: In contrast to evading this issue, Edgar explained his conversion from being a registered Democrat prior to 2006. But he dismissed this accusation as being not worthy of comment and chose not to defend himself. To quote the article by R.Scott Moxley in OC Weekly: "Troy wanted to mislead the public about his spending because he didn't want anyone to know he's a self-funder who has a hard time raising money," said Powers. "Paying campaign expenses off the books hid the fact that his only real donor was himself. HE STRUGGLES WITH THE TRUTH." This is one of many reasons why I'm endorsing Travis Allen. You may call me anytime at 562-799-7098 to talk about the candidates.
warren at 562-799-7098 October 05, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Part duece Now, onto the 2nd explanation: The campaign committee 'Troy Edgar for Congress' had (and might still have) an address at 110 Pine Ave #1010, Long Beach CA 90802. This address was established before October 2011 when the Campaign Committee paid Powers Communications,Inc. $1,000 (10/20/2011 to be precise). It must have been a monumental (quantum?, galactic?) mistake, or a significant lapse of memory for Edgar's campaign staff (perhaps Brandon Powers?) to misdirect an invoice in January 2012 to Global Conductor instead of the 'Troy Edgar for Congress' address in Long Beach which was established BEFORE October 2011. Hmm, this seems less plausible than the 1st explanation.
warren at 562-799-7098 October 05, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Part uno: Let's examine the 1st explanation: Printing 3,000 copies of a glossy 8-page brochure at home is a significant effort requiring a large work area, expensive printing equipment (laser printers would not work), and a workforce to collate and organize the final product. Hmm, doesn't seem plausible.
Mike Cambridge October 05, 2012 at 07:07 PM
It's simple, Troy Edgar broke the law by paying for mailers using his corporate funds, then taking a business tax deduction. Warren is right, Troy Edgar is self funding beacuse he is self serving. Hey, if Troy Edgar looks like a weasel, talks like a weasel and acts like a weasel; Troy Edgar is a WEASEL!
Mark Yates October 05, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Travis looked very confident last night. I thought he did a great job hammering Troy Edgar on the issues, answering questions directly and staying aggressive. Having lived in Huntington Beach, I have had the pleasure of knowing Travis for almost 10 years. What you saw last night is the real Travis Allen; calm, confident, unrelenting and above all honest. I can personally attest that Travis earnestly believes in conservative values and is in this race because he wants to help California, not himself. Travis has the courage to stand up for what he believes in and won’t back down from anyone, let alone the corrupt “Status Quo” politicians in Sacramento. Our state is in a real crisis and sending another “Experienced” “Status Quo” career politician like Troy Edgar to Sacramento won’t solve anything.
Christina Young October 06, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Troy Edgar, I hope your reading this because you have some serious questions to answer that you completely failed to on Thursday night. Guess what Troy, you still have time to wright the ship! It's simple actually, make a public statement answering the following questions: 1. Why don't you sign the ATR Pledge? This is a no-brainier. Instead of calling your opponent inexperienced, please provide an intelligent response so the "common people" can understand. 2. How can you claim to be a small government, anti tax, tea party member when you have a very well documented history of raising taxes? Your currently supporting a tax, oh sorry a "fee", on cell phone and Internet usage in Los Al; please make a coherent response to this because the one you gave on Thursday was just silly. 3. (the most important) explain yourself regarding the usage of corporate funds for campaign material in your failed attempt to run for US congress. Your arrogance is transparent, it's obvious your not being truthful. Do everyone in the district a favor by saving us time and money (including yourself, since your self funding your campaign) and be honest with us. Like you said, you love your mom, so regardless of criminal charges or your impending defeat, at least you'll have her to go home to cry to. We all know she'll be there for you like she was on Thursday night because she was the only one in audience clapping for you.
Art DeBolt October 06, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Troy Edgar lies about taking OC Firefighter money and gets an endorsement. Edgar brags about an endorsement from Jim Silva who gave $3900 to Edgars campaign. Jim Silva has recently taken $2000 from the same union and has or will get an endorsement from the OC GOP. Was the $2k really for Edgar and laundered through Silva’s account? Dean Grose running for city council in Los Alamitos. Has and is taking money from the Firefighter union, brings national shame to Los Alamitos and the OC GOP for sending a racist email to a black businesswoman and gets rewarded???? WTH is going on?
Edward October 06, 2012 at 11:03 PM
It's great to see voters in the 72nd are seeing Edgar the way we have been seeing him in Los Alamitos for these last two terms. I have not read one positive statement about him, which speaks volumes. We have had to watch him closely and call him out on many items where he has voted against the will of our citizens and put political paybacks over serving the people. He is the epitome of "professional politicians" who has used our town as his personal stepping stone. These are the types that we are trying to rid ourselves of so that we can repair America and get back on the right track. I applaud everyone for seeing right through him. I am beginning to see hope in the American Voter again. The only drawback for Los Alamitos, if he loses, is that he will continue to serve on our council for 2 more years!
met00 October 09, 2012 at 06:12 AM
Part I. “Who up here is the experienced person?” Edgar said. “We have no idea what this man will do when he gets up to Sacramento.” Let's discuss that. We know that Troy Edgar started his career in politics six years ago. His first campaign set records for spending for a City Council seat, and was funded by concerns involved with solid waste. Consider that the City Council is made up with five people, with 3 running and 2 running in even years. In order to ensure a vote for a trash contract four years out the people interested in doing so would have to have at least three people willing to vote to give them the contract. In order to do that in Los Alamitos they would need to run candidates in two elections, the one four years out and the one two years out. Mr. Edgar's initial campaign, funded by solid waste interests, was the campaign they funded four years out to get the third vote that they would require four years later to ensure they got the contract. Amazingly enough Mr. Edgar was a champion for the interests that funded his campaign three years earlier to get the solid waste franchise agreement. Even though it was $6,000,000 more than the lowest responsible bidder. Even if doing so required that Mr. Edgar violate the City Municipal Code to award the contract.
met00 October 09, 2012 at 06:26 AM
Part II But the letter of the law says that after one year, if you vote for what you were paid to vote for, well then it isn't the blatant sale of your vote. So, even though it was necessary to buy off a candidate at least two elections before the contract became due, the letter of the law seems to say that it's okay. Or at least that was Mr. Edgar's arguement as to why his actions weren't corrupt. This is the same Mr. Edgar who when he was first elected to City Council stated that process was not followed, so he didn't approve the purchase of police vehicles. Okay, then he should also NOT also be the same Mr. Edgar who didn't follow process when he went after another City Councilman's landlord on a planning commission appeal that did not follow process, but it is that same Mr. Edgar. So we have a Mr. Edgar who believes that process must be followed unless not following process benefits Mr. Edgar politically. This is the same Mr. Edgar who voted for Brown Act violations to be enforced on one council member with whom he disagrees, but who has personally violated the Brown Act without any consequence.
met00 October 09, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Part III So, we have a clear and concise knowledge of what we get with Mr. Edagr. We get someone who believes that he can use the rules to his advantage even when it is clear that doing so violates the spirit of the law. We get a Mr. Edgar who believes that the rules are for other people, not himself. We get a Mr. Edgar who believes that he is above the law that he wants everyone else to adhere to. “Who up here is the experienced person?” Edgar said. “We have no idea what this man will do when he gets up to Sacramento.” Yes, we have seen the "experience" that Mr. Edgar brings to the position. One that says that measure DD must contain a 1% decrease in the tax rate so he can "sell" it to the people. One who thinks that stealing the fourth corner of Katella and Los Alamitos Blvd from Rossmoor is a good thing. One who believe he is above the law. One who thinks that he has a different set of rules. I fail to see how all that great experience is something that would benefit the citizens he is supposed to represent. I also fail to see how a total unknown would be able to sink that low, or lower. Sometimes the unknown is a great deal better than the devil you know. As a Democrat I don't have a horse in this race. But I do know Mr. Edgar and I have experienced his experience. Going with Allen and the unknown is a better bet than going with that known quantity. And that is the best argument he has to vote for him.
met00 October 09, 2012 at 06:34 AM
"Everytime Troy attempted to get aggressive, he just came off as arrogant and obnoxious. " As a resident that he has personally insulted from the dais, may I say that you hit the nail directly on the head.
met00 October 09, 2012 at 06:39 AM
Roy, I would personally love to see him off m y city council dais. But rewarding him for his criminal past activities sends the wrong message. Edgar has violated the Brown Act at least six times. He just doesn't care about following the law. And don't get me started about his falsifying City Council meeting minutes (which I have proof that he has done, but the DA refused to even look at since he has endorsed Mr. Edgar's campaign). So, while I want Edgar off my dais, I would prefer it was so he could wear on orange jumpsuit, not a different pin stripped suit.
met00 October 09, 2012 at 06:42 AM
As I have said elsewhere... watch Michelle Steel. His probable violation of Prop 218 is now up at the AG's office being looked into. My guess is that the next county supervisor will not want to be tarred and feathered with the Edgar brush.
met00 October 09, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Here is what I thought was impressive. I'm a Dem and supported Joe in the Primary. What I am looking for is someone who works across divides to seek solutions. Travis has done that, and Joe's endorsement shows that. Edgar can't do it, and Mejia and Kusumoto's endorsements of Allen show that he is unable to work towards consensus with those on the other side of an issue. Experience? Yes. Edgar's experience is one of working solely to the benefit of Mr. Edgar (and those that fund his campaigns). Not to the citizens. That's the kind of experience we don't need in higher public office (or even in a small towns city council). Consider this. Mr. Edgar gave tenant healthcare a specific plan that benefits them and not the community after many community voices spoke out against it. Now, go look at the payoff he got in political campaign contributions from tenant healthcare for selling out the residents. Experience like this we do not need.

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