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Mayor Ackerman in Irvine?

We got a tip Wednesday morning and a second tip Wednesday afternoon alerting us that State Senator Dick Ackerman had decided to run for Mayor in Irvine once his term in the State Senate is complete. 

I called the Senator’s Tustin office Thursday morning, and the person answering the phone said, “It’s the first I’ve heard of this.”  I was referred to the press office and Ackerman spokesman Tom Collins.  I left a message with my cell; no return call.  I called back late in the afternoon and reached a staffer who gave me the same answer; “It’s the first I’ve heard of this.”  She said Senator Ackerman was on the phone but he’d call me back.  I didn’t get a return call. 

I called again late Friday afternoon and finally did reach Tom Collins who could neither confirm nor deny the tip.  “I haven’t spoken with the Senator about this,” he said. 

Since Senator Ackerman’s office has had about two full business days to respond to any of my calls, and I don’t have a denial, could this be true.  And the tip said not only is the Senator running for Mayor, but that his wife would throw her hat in the ring and run for city council.

According to my tipsters, Senator Ackerman may nudge aside a bid for Mayor by City Councilor Christina Shea, who is already damaged by flip flops on the City’s Ethics Ordinance.  Two years ago, Shea and Council member Steven Choi voted against the city’s ethics ordinance twice and later offer an alternative plan that excluded a provision barring lobbyists from holding city office.  Now, the pair are running TV spots — paid for by developers — encouraging residents to vote yes on Measure H and calling it “a good start.”  Shea and Choi want the entire ethics ordinance on the ballot.

As a parent of two kids in the Irvine Unified School District, I can say Senator Ackerman is no help to us when it comes to appeals from PTAs to help Irvine increase its already low per-pupil funding.  The message from the Legislative Action committees is that Ackerman will tow the party line first.  Anything that increases taxes is a no vote; even his defense of the sloophole tax on luxury yachts.  I hope Senator Ackerman does run so the many bi-partisan parents of IUSD children who support education can tell him at the ballot box how much we appreciate his support of our kids.


  1. Jubal Jubal May 31, 2008

    Dan, that is about the craziest rumor I have heard in a long time.

  2. d'Anconia d'Anconia May 31, 2008





    oh dan you crack me up

  3. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski May 31, 2008

    Matt —
    I made four phone calls to the office over Thursday morning to late Friday afternoon; I didn’t get a denial. It would take two minutes for Ackerman’s staff to shoot this one down, but over two days, I got a “I haven’t spoken with the Senator about this.” I would think the Senator would be targetinga BoS seat instead or, preferrably, retirement. But my sources are solid and his office didn’t deny. Have a great day.

  4. Jubal Jubal May 31, 2008

    Dan, no denial thus far is a far cry from confirmation. I still say this is a crazy rumor.

  5. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski May 31, 2008

    I’m reporting it as a tip and reporting there is no firm word from his office; but now that this is posted, I’m sure we’ll hear one way or the other if this is true or not. If I got a firm denial right away, I don’t think I’d run it, but no answer after two days? Let’s see what happens.

  6. Jubal Jubal May 31, 2008

    Dan, you can post what you want. I’m not saying you can’t. I’m only giving my opinion about the tip.

    As for the Ackerman staff, they’re likely doing their job, which is not issuing a categorical denial until checking with their boss.

    There’s plenty of talk about Dick running for Supe, but I haven”t heard an iota an Irvine mayoral run.

  7. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | May 31, 2008

    Fair enough Matt. But you can’t say I didn’t check in with the source on this one.

  8. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | May 31, 2008

    BTW: If I let two days elapse before I got back to a writer about a news story, I’d have clients fire me. If I had an account rep wait two days to return a call, I’d fire them. So I think I can speak with some measure of expertise, not having an answer after two days of calls is NOT doling their jobs; unless there’s a difference between public sector PR and private sector PR I am not aware of.

  9. Jubal Jubal May 31, 2008

    Seriously, I salute your diligence on trying to check it out, Dan,.

  10. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | May 31, 2008

    Don’t patronize me. 😉

  11. d'Anconia d'Anconia May 31, 2008

    Dan, I promise I’m not trying to sound like a smart ass here, but I just wanted to make one comment and ask a question.

    You point to more than a two day elapse before getting back to a writer about a news story as evidence of staff not doing their jobs.

    You do realize this is a blog right? And you do realize this is a Democratic blog nonetheless right?

    Can you imagine how much time Van Tran’s office would have to spend shooting down rumors perpetrated by Art Pedroza at the OJ? The residents of the 68th would be ill served by an Assembly staff that wouldn’t get any work done.

    I am by no means comparing you two by the way. You, at least, took the time to do your due diligence and put in a call to the Senator’s office. Art would have never done that in a million years.

  12. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski May 31, 2008

    D’acon — Thanks for the note. I didn’t say they weren’t doing their jobs, only that, if they worked for me and it took two days to respond to a media inquiry, they would have some explaining to do. If a reporter ever called me about a client and I didn’t get back to them in two days, and my client found out. Trouble. It should make no difference whether we’re a lefty blog or a rightly blog. Senator Ackerman has no trouble getting the word out to Red County in a timely manner.

  13. Part Duex Part Duex June 1, 2008

    Just to add to the rumor mill, I heard on Thursday that Mrs. Ackerman will be running for Irvine City Council, but that Mr. Ackerman will be the next RPOC Chair, taking over for Scott Baugh.

    Matt, chill out. These are just rumors and they aren’t even salacious or mean-spirited.

  14. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | June 1, 2008

    The Linda Ackerman for city council was also part of the tip.

  15. Jubal Jubal June 1, 2008

    Matt, chill out.

    Chill out? I’d re-direct that advice to you. I made a simple comment about how I viewed that rumor. What, in your view, would been an acceptable comment for me to make?

    These are just rumors and they aren’t even salacious or mean-spirited.

    Did I say they were?

  16. Bolsavik Bolsavik June 1, 2008

    If Moon Beam Brown can run for Oakland mayor, anything is possible.

Comments are closed.