Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to publish this tight and bright post from Eugene Fields on his investigation into the new Facebook group “OC Moms 4 Truth.”
Research into a newly created Facebook page attacking Irvine City Council member Farrah Khan showed the person promoting ads was Irvine resident and school board candidate Mark Newgent.
The Facebook group, called “OC Moms 4 Truth,” was created on June 25 and features several videos criticized Khan for voting to appoint Mike Carroll to fill the vacant city council seat in 2019. Since the page’s creation, at least four paid ads were promoted on Facebook.
Research into the ads showed a Google number associated with the ads. Calls to the number to inquire about the ownership of the site went to a voicemail associated with a Hawaii-based phone number belonging to Newgent.
Subsequent calls to the phone number were routed to a generic voicemail.
Mark Newgent is a twice-failed candidate for office in Irvine. He ran for IUSD in 2016 on a platform that called for kids to have bullet-proof backpacks and armed guards to prevent school shootings, making these buildings prisons and not schools. His OC GOP endorsement was rescinded due to offensive social media videos.
Newgent ran for City Council in 2018 as a Republican and lost. He launched a campaign for the special election for County Supervisor in 2019 but withdrew to clear the Republican field for Irvine Mayor Don Wagner (who still had other Republican challengers) and was rewarded for his loyalty with a county commissioner position by Wagner in — what some believe is appropriate — waste management.
Newgent has an open campaign committee to challenge popular school board member Paul Bokota in district 5’s IUSD election this fall.
He is also the person who recorded Irvine Mayor Christina Shea’s insensitive video response to UCI students seeking rent relief/lease renegotiations due to COVID19. Newgent was videotaping the BLM protests at Irvine City Hall claiming protesters were “paid agitators” without a shread of proof.
OC Moms 4 Truth has already purchased several advertisements to promote the site on Facebook so there’s the question — did Newgent buy them or did someone else pay for it? Newgent had a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in 2008.
So the videos produced for the site use a computerized male voice to narrate videos via an app called TextMe: http://w06ddoz.xtme.us/ See it before it comes down. There is a factual error in the video (Lauren Johnson-Norris was not endorsed by the Democratic Party for the vacancy on the city council) but there are images of money changing hands suggesting Mike Carroll and Five Point executives and lobbyists paid off Khan for her vote. This is libelous. Khan is a public official so the standard for libel is high, but the charge is she was paid for her vote is knowingly false with intent to harm her reputation.
With Newgent being outed as the person behind the site, he had better lawyer up (and note to Mark, the videos and screen grabs have all been saved, so delete away).
What’s clear: OC Moms 4 Truth (the website and the Facebook group) isn’t run by OC Moms and isn’t the Truth. It’s a site designed for one thing and one thing only — to defame Irvine Democratic mayoral candidate Farrah Khan to benefit Newgent’s best political pal Christina Shea (the lone “no” vote to fly the Pride flag in Irvine). County supervisor Wagner’s judgment is in question in naming Newgent a county commissioner. If neither of them speak out about Newgent’s behavior here, then both endorse it.