Greenlight, Beek said this week.
"The night before the election, I had people calling me saying,
'Did you hear this?'" Beek recalled.
The message, she said, claimed to be from a man named Barry Stone,
who urged voters to support "the real Greenlight candidate, Robert
Schoonmaker." But Beek was the Greenlight candidate in that district.
Residents Barbara Yeager and Maryanne Towersey received the
message and told Beek about it, both confirmed on Tuesday.
Further, Beek added, the message said: "Don't vote for Pat Beek.
She is having secret meetings with the Irvine Co." -- an allegation
Beek said is and was "absolutely untrue."
"That's particularly bad because people hear something like that
and don't know whether it's true," said Beek, who serves on the
city's Arts Commission.
Councilman Steve Bromberg, who was just named Newport Beach mayor
at Tuesday's council meeting, said on Tuesday that he had not known
about the message and had nothing to do with it.
Unlike the message that was used in the race between Rick Taylor
and incumbent Gary Adams, final numbers suggest that the Schoonmaker
message may have had an effect on the outcome of that council race.
In that election, Bromberg earned 44.4% of the vote; Beek earned
41.8%. Schoonmaker won 13.4%, enough to have possibly tipped the
scales of the election.
Those involved in the election generally agree that the
Taylor-Adams race was not as close, and therefore a deceptive message
used in that campaign likely did not affect the final outcome.
In that race, a phone message told voters that Ron Winship was the
Greenlight candidate, when Taylor was.
Campaign consultant Dave Ellis, who worked on Adams' campaign,
later admitted to creating the message, but said he never authorized
using it. He said it must have been an accident of the voicemail
service provider that caused the message to go out to some voters.
Ellis also did some work on Bromberg's campaign in 2000.
Ellis is out of the country this week and could not be reached for
comment, according to his office.
Greenlight spokesman Phil Arst said the messages are an outrage
and that they create an uneven playing field for Greenlight that
undermines fair representation of the voters.
"This further proof of campaign deception raises the concern that
the majority of the City Council used Mr. Ellis as their political
spin doctor in order to overcome Greenlight candidates representing
the residents," Arst said.
"One must question the legitimacy of the City Council to represent
the people. One must be concerned about their level of integrity in
managing the city," he said. "Some drastic changes are needed."
* JUNE CASAGRANDE covers Newport Beach and John Wayne Airport.
She may be reached at (949) 574-4232 or by e-mail at