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To see and be seen with a winner

The Political Landscape

June 08, 2006|By Alicia Robinson

Former Newport Beach Rep. Chris Cox and staff spent about $76,000 on 68 trips over the five and a half years studied. The California delegation's 66 members and employees took a combined 2,372 trips that cost about $5.3 million.

Rohrabacher said Wednesday that privately sponsored travel saves taxpayers money, and most members of congress he knows consider such trips as work trips rather than pleasure outings.

"I live in an area that people come to vacation in. I don't have to go to Albania or Russia or to Ukraine or Taipei in order to have a wonderful time," Rohrabacher said. "I have a better time going home."


It's important for legislators to see things first-hand, and sometimes a privately sponsored trip allows them to see beyond the "establishment point of view," he said. Rohrabacher has traveled extensively as a senior member of the House foreign relations committee.

Rohrabacher said he would support beefing up the House ethics committee staff to handle approval of trips before they're taken, but he doesn't believe the privilege of privately funded trips has been abused.


Costa Mesa City Council members on Tuesday urged the public to attend a July 12 hearing by the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission, which will discuss annexation requests from Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

After several years of haggling with Costa Mesa over several unincorporated areas, Newport Beach's City Council voted in February to request annexation of East Santa Ana Heights. Costa Mesa's council countered by filing a request to add much of the largely undeveloped Banning Ranch to the city's sphere of influence, which means Costa Mesa would be in charge of planning for the area's future and could possibly annex it later.

Costa Mesa City Manager Allan Roeder said information will be posted on the city's website, and officials will welcome support from residents at the hearing.

The hearing is scheduled at 9 a.m. July 12 at 10 Civic Center Plaza in Santa Ana.


In one of the many down-ticket races Tuesday, Newport Beach City Councilman Dick Nichols narrowly won a seat on the Orange County GOP Central Committee, but city activist and former council candidate Dolores Otting did not.

Nichols and Otting were among 12 candidates for six spots on the committee, which sets party policy, encourages people to vote and endorses candidates. Nichols came in sixth, and Otting's vote count put her in eighth place ? not enough to take a seat.dpt.08-pollandscape-kt-CPhotoInfo8H1ROJLP20060608j0ijpgncKENT TREPTOW / DAILY PILOT(LA)Newly elected Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, right, enjoys a Snapple while chatting with former Costa Mesa Mayor and Daily Pilot columnist Peter Buffa.

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