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Big Check Mike Carroll’s Dishonest Approach to 2020

Appointed Irvine Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Carroll has used social media to warn against “partisan-based gamesmanship.”  And initially, I had hope for him as he registered as NPP from being a hardcore Republican and used this to gain a vote from Council member Farrah Khan for an appointment to the city council.  It looked like he’s play the role of a swing vote between the two Republicans and the two Democrats on the city council.

But nope.

Carroll switched his party affiliation six months after his appointment and is using his appointment and every opportunity to self-promote himself  as he fights off an effort to have him recalled from his position.  Carroll does a masterful job of promoting himself using BIG CHECKS to Irvine charities (based on a $10K/per budget allotment each council member gets to help fund pet projects).  What makes Carroll a hypocrite here is that he called out Council member Melissa Fox for self-promotion as she campaigns for State Assembly (the Pride Flag proposal is a good example).  Fox does seek to add agenda items that allow grandstanding but Carroll is actually worse.

Back to the BIG CHECKS….Council members would sometimes write a big check or one or two charities.  Money that really makes a difference.  Carroll is writing small amounts on BIG CHECKS with an emphasis on promoting himself not so much the charity.  For example, Human Options, which does extraordinary work as a battered women’s/family shelter, got $250.  My old cub scouts troop gave more years ago.

Carroll’s been using his unelected seat to campaign while “serving” the city of Irvine. I can’t recall a councilmember ever having checks cut for charities using their own names on giant checks; this is taxpayer money, not Carroll’s. And lately, Carroll has taken a page from First district supervisor Andrew Do and is promoting town halls mailing letters to residents and have signs promoting Town Halls.

If the recall bid is successful, Carroll (and Shea) need to go.

Oh, and on the Human Trafficking Task Force dog-and-pony show attended by several electeds in the city and county government, there was only a handful of people in the audience.  It was a manufactured media event for an election year designed to promote Carroll, Shea and Don Wagner.

And speaking of Shea, her op-ed column in the Washington Post earlier this month, which attacked former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as being not ready for the Oval Office, has generated more than 2,500 comments.  Many of the comments negative towards Shea.

Here’s a sample:

All mayors are not created equal
Christina Shea’s Feb. 2 Outlook essay, “I’m the mayor of a large college town. I’m not ready to be president,” required closer examination. Shea highlighted her own lack of qualifications for “sitting behind the Resolute Desk” and thus attempted to minimize former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg’s qualifications as a candidate in the Democratic primary.

Shea overlooked that Buttigieg is not only a graduate of Harvard College and Oxford University, the latter of which he attended on a Rhodes Scholarship, but he also served the nation in the U.S. Navy Reserve and was deployed to Afghanistan as a Navy intelligence officer. He attained the rank of lieutenant and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal.

By comparison and contrast, Shea, a career real estate agent, faces a recall petition for stalling the progression of a veterans’ cemetery because of her connections with a real estate developer — once again an example of a politician putting personal interest over the needs of constituents.

She was correct in that she lacks the qualifications to “sit behind the Resolute Desk,” but she failed in her effort to disqualify Buttigieg, a candidate who has the experience, intelligence and integrity to be president.

Bonnie T. Henn, Woodbridge




  1. Julie Tapp Julie Tapp February 20, 2020

    Thanks for this reporting, It made my day. to know this. Carroll’s behavior with big checks in small amounts of TAXPAYER MONEY is despicable. SHAME ON YOU MIKE CARROLL.

  2. Wily Michael Carroll Wily Michael Carroll February 21, 2020

    Michael Carroll was never elected. Now he’s using his platform for photo-ops?
    Never has this been done before by any former council member? Lawn signs for a town hall with his name in huge font paid for by tax dollars? Cutting big checks like it’s the Publisher’s Clearing House but for small amounts paid for by “The City of Irvine” aka taxpayer dollars? Shameless self-promotion on the backs of the taxpayers.

    Wily Michael Carroll, you are not deserving of Irvine’s trust and your self-promotion is clearly in line with your running mate Christina Shea whose dishonorable wapo article was nothing but a “look at me” piece. Both, shameless.

    Irvine, wise up and vote these two out in November.

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