Team Tustin Continues to Sling Mud

Team Tustin is at it again, slinging tons of mud at their percieved enemies while hoping some of it will stick. The name was adopted by Tustin City Candidates John Nielsen, Allan Bernstein and Chuck Puckett to show they are united in their campaign for the three Tustin City Council  seats up for grabs in November. The “Team” recently debuted new yard signs around town, showing the three in ballot format with check marks next to their names.

Last week, a mailer denigrating opposing candidates Tracy Worley-Hagen and David Waldram was mailed to Tustin Voters along with another mailer touting Team Tustin’s virtues. Both mailers came from a shadowy organization with the homey name of Tustin Residents United. We wrote about that piece here and showed the organization is merely a shill for the Orange County Business Council who, through OCBIZPAC, donated $10,000 dollars to TRU. They were the only donors to the organization, who shares an accounting address with Nielsen, Bernstein and Puckett. So, even though the mailer has the standard disclaimer about independent expenditures, it doesn’t take too much to connect the dots and see where this came from. If you need a pointer, however, just check Nielsen’s website which lists his many business endorsements and his fiancial forms which show large numbers of business donors.

The Team is apparently pretty worried about Worley-Hagen and Waldram, however. Two more hit pieces were sent to Tustin voters this week. The first one was a general mailer to all households, aimed at Tracy Worley-Hagen, and is full of the typical half-truths and outright lies one expects to find in a hit piece. In speaking with Worley-Hagen about the allegations, she says two of the allegations concerning dinners were cleared with the FPPC as an oversight in accounting. She corrected the paperwork and paid a small fine.  All councilmembers are given “police like” badges, so we don’t know where that came from. Perhaps Nielsen can explain it because he has probably been issued at least one as well. Oh, and did he return his councilman’s badge when he received his mayor’s badge? We’re betting not.

The other hit piece was apparently mailed only to Tustin Republicans and included the “Liberal Agenda” of the Worley-Waldram team. The piece likens them to the Obama administration and calls Waldram a public employee union member. Waldram is a union member and a public employee – with the Tustin Unified School District. His benefactor, as they call it in the mailer, is Tustin Unified School District Board Member, Lynn Davis. Davis is called out as being behind multi-million dollar lawsuits against the city. I suppose that is true, as he has probably voted in the lawsuits between the city and the school district over grading and the Heritage School property.

For their part, Tracy Worley-Hagen and David Waldram are running a clean campaign and have refused to engage “Team Tustin” in their mudslinging tactics. Both are running on a fiscally conservative platform and a promise to bring sanity and civility back to the city council dais. That is something we would like to see and something Nielsen, Bernstein and Puckett don’t seem to be interested in.

The good news is, you only have ten days before the elections and the end of the political scheming for another couple of years.

About Jeff Gallagher

I am a retired peace officer from the 2nd largest law enforcement agency in Orange County. I live in and love Tustin where my family and I have resided for the past 25 years. I am a highly moderate libertarian that despises hardcore Republicans, Democrats and anyone else who is not willing to compromise for the good of the people.

Posted on October 27, 2012, in doug davert, elections, In the News, Local Government, politics, Tustin City Council and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. It is a shame that Chuck Puckett has aligned himself with the other two. I always thought Chuck had more scruples than this. I am disappointed with him. As for the other two, they will do anything to get elected. Tracey and David are republicans and are conservatives. Yet they are honest, which is more than I can say about Team Tustin!

  2. As a 25 year resident of Tustin, I had really hoped that finally some civility would be restored to the city council and that this year’s election would be about the issues. While Worley and Waldram have kept their word and have run a clean campaign, Nielson, Puckett, and Bernstein decided to take the low road and smear their opponents. It’s demeaning to the office they seek and in my view makes them unworthy.

    • I agree… Please tell your neighbors and friends to vote for the Worley-Waldram only. If enough people block the third vote it will give Tracy & David the advantage of gaining more votes than the candidates slinging the mud and spreading the toxic deceit.

  3. Yes, PL, I too am particularly disappointed in Puckett.

  4. Of all three, Chuck should know better. He lived through this during his last campaign. Negative campaigning was not right then; it is not the right thing now and needs to stop in 2012. I hope everyone simply votes for the top two candidates that have taken the high road and ran a clean campaign.

  5. I spoke with Chuck a few days before the latest hit pieces came out. I mentioned my concerns and he was adamant that he knew nothing about the first hit piece even when I connected the dots for him. Of course, he and any candidate is welcome to come on here and explain how this info would be put out by upstanding candidates as Team Tustin.

    Don’t hold your breath that will happen.

  6. I’m suprised that one of the yard signs for the Nielsen, Puckett and Bernstein team say honest leadership. If Nielsen is so honest, why did he say the water rates wouldn’t be increased? They were increased. If he’s so honest, why are there rumors his marriage is in jeopardy? If he’s so honest why does one of his fundraisers have to lie about a conditional use permit?

  7. Jeff, are you are no longer officially endorsing Chuck Puckett, and are taking the official position to only vote for two candidates? (I noted in a previous post, before the mud started flying, that you did endorse him, but with some reservations.)

    At this point, with all three of them aligned and continuing to sling mud, despite their denials and “shock and outrage”, I find it disheartening that one of “Team Tustin” will be elected to the City Council, even if Worley and Waldram pull off a victory. Hopefully their hit pieces have truly backfired, even among voters who are not as politically aware as your readers.

  8. We need a regime change in Tustin badly. Team Tustin and their vicious supporters need to go. We have all had enough of them. Tustin residents should only vote for Worley and Waldram to ensure we change directions in this city.

    • Tustin doesn’t need a regime at all. What we need is councilmembers that will respect both residents and themselves and do what is right for our town. I agree with you that Worley-Hagen and Waldram are two candidates that will do that while bringing the experience necessary to run the city without wasting money suing the school district and our neighbors.

  9. This is from Bernstein’s website:

    “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

    I agree.

    The only way to finally stop this type of campaigning is to reject all three candidates.

  10. Two more hit piece mailers arrived today accusing Worley and Waldram of being corrupt and aligned with special interests. That makes a total of five very expensive mailers. VERY EXPENSIVE. Does anyone else find it curious that Worley and Waldram, or anyone supporting them have not sent out any hit piece mailers, yet some outside group with very deep pockets have spent many thousands of dollars to try and defeat Worley and Waldram by calling them corrupt and tools of special interests. It’s clear that the only group that is scared to death that they will lose their special access to our city council is the group supporting Nielson, Puckett and Bernstein. If anyone was looking for corruption, I’d start with those three. Somebody obviously is expecting a large return on their investment.

    • You must be reading my posts as I write them. The special interests are there. You only have to look at John Nielsen’s endorsements and campaign contributions to see the huge number of businesses that are supporting him for obvious reasons. It’s the same reason the Wilcox Manor trustees support him. I’ll give Lindburgh credit. At least he doesn’t dance around the fact that he expects a yes vote from John and his crew in exchange for the campaign contributions and “free” use of the property for fundraising.

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