Beek, who authored the original Greenlight initiative and who, like
Nichols, ran on a Greenlight ticket in the last City Council
election. "I've had two meetings with him to tell him to choose his
words more carefully. I had urged Greenlight not to seek Dick
Nichols' candidacy. They didn't listen."
Beek added that opponents of the Greenlight principles of limiting
growth and traffic might use the Nichols' incident to their
Former Mayor Evelyn Hart, also one of the original Greenlight
proponents, said that Nichols' comment does not and should not
reflect on Greenlight's core issues.
"I have no idea where he's coming from with these comments," Hart
said. "Dick Nichols does not represent Greenlight when he's talking,
and this is certainly not a Greenlight issue. ... Greenlight is about
traffic and making sure that our street system works. Any council
member that has supported that philosophy, we have supported, and I
would hope that we continue to."
Former Mayor Jean Watt declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Tom Fuentes, the leader of the Orange County Republican
Party, has joined the list of local political leaders denouncing
Nichols' comments about Mexicans and calling for action.
"This is a tragic and appalling circumstance," said Fuentes,
chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County. "I believe that an
apology is in order and that if a suitable apology is not immediately
rendered, I suspect that the direction of the gentleman's colleagues
will move forward among the people of Newport Beach."
Some of Nichols' colleagues have called for him to resign his
council position as a result of the comment.
The party branch is not in the position to strip Nichols of any
privileges because, though Nichols has a long history of activism
within the Republican Party, the party does not endorse candidates or
office holders in nonpartisan elections, Fuentes said.
Fuentes added that Nichols' comment does not reflect the position
of the party.
"There is nothing that is partisan about this kind of
controversy," Fuentes said, adding that he had three Mexican