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Did Shea Call Advertisers to Irvine Community News & Views?

Christina Shea

Earlier this week, we were forwarded an MP4 filed named Anonymous Voicemail(1) left for an advertiser in the Irvine Community News & Views to educate the advertiser about the perceived nature of the publication (it starts with a low volume and then gets louder, so stay with it).


The voice message lectures that the publication they are advertising in is “a slate mailer that publishes political hit pieces.” The Irvine Community News & Views did start as a slate mailer; it no longer is one and in America, anyone with a printing press and newsprint can publish a newspaper. The Irvine Community News & Views accepts advertising, has a fantastically helpful calendar of events section, and local sports stories which makes it look exactly like every newspaper I have ever seen. It does publish articles critical of the Republican Irvine City Council majority.

The caller is believed to be Irvine City Council member Christina Shea. Here’s the file and we invite you to listen for yourself. Compare that file and patterns of speech with these YouTube videos of her on the dais on the Irvine City Council: and here at the 6:36 mark: It sure sounds like her to me.

We contacted Shea this afternoon, first to confirm that she has indeed filed to run for re-election to the city council. She confirmed she’s completed form 510 that’s a formality for another run for office. Then we put the call on speaker and played the audio file from our computer for Shea, who could hear just fine a second earlier, and asked her to confirm if the voice was hers.

“I can’t really hear it very well because I am at the gym,” she said neither confirming nor denying that the audio file was her. So we asked if she called any of the Irvine Community News & Views advertisers about the publication.”

“I did call one of them a few months ago to tell them they were advertising in a publication that is registered as a slate mailer with the state of California,” Shea said.

We informed her that the Irvine Community News & Views is no longer a slate mailer and then we asked her why this publication is not allowed to be distributed at Irvine City Hall where the city’s free speech ordinance passed in the 1990s allows publications like OC Weekly to be made available. City Manager Sean Joyce has written Frank Lunding, the publisher and editor of the Irvine Community News & Views that due to the political nature of the publication, it won’t be allowed in the lobby at City Hall. If that’s the case, why is OC Weekly allowed? There’s significant political coverage in that publication. The difference of course is the target of the political criticism.

So it appears the Republican Council majority likes to talk a good game about freedom (First Amendment anyone), except when it comes to criticism of their actions and the direction they are taking the city. OC Weekly’s hit pieces on Larry Agran and Beth Krom are openly shared by Shea, Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway and Mayor Steven Choi in addition to a number of right wing city commissioners as gospel, but a publication that offers a couple articles critical of the City Council majority isn’t allowed? Either allow the Irvine Community News & Views in city hall or take everything out.

But to take the extra effort to make phone calls to advertisers, Shea may be crossing a different line from unethical to civil liability. Shea may be guilty of tortious interference with contracts. From Cornell University Law, this description: At common law, a defendant is liable to pay damages in tort for actions intended to interfere with the plaintiff’s contractual relations with a third party.

In an intentional interference claim, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove the elements of the claim rather than on the defendant to prove that its acts were justified. To prevail on the claim, plaintiff must prove four elements: (1) that a valid contract existed, (2) that defendant had knowledge of the contract, (3) that defendant acted intentionally and improperly,  and (4) that plaintiff was injured by the defendant’s actions.

Shea admitted to us she called an advertiser, but she was squishy about the MP4 file being her voice. I’m pretty certain that under deposition, Shea would have to plead the Fifth Amendment (her constitutional right against self-incrimination) about whether or not the voice on the answering machine is hers.

Now she’s certain the Irvine Community News & Views isn’t a real newspaper, but she has no problem having Anthony Taylor, her hand-picked lawyer, regurgitate “poll results” from an overtly political poll by Dick Ackerman’s “Irvine Cares” site as the truth.

The bigger issue is the further erosion of the City of Irvine’s leadership when it comes to civil liberties by denying the Irvine Community News & Views its rightful place in city hall. Not everyone in Irvine is delighted with the direction the city is headed. It’s too bad our Republican council members are so sensitive to criticism.


  1. Violet Violet September 30, 2015

    Wow! Sure sounds like Shea to me! It sounds like she’s becoming completely unhinged. That newspaper must really be hitting a nerve!

  2. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | September 30, 2015

    We have documented how she’s reacted to seeing the paper in shops and offices.

    • Ltpar Ltpar October 1, 2015

      Dan, Viola, the only people coming unhinged in Irvine are the out of power Agranistas, like yourselves who are grasping at straws. Your feeble attempt to dig up garbage on conservatives may work with the Agranista crowd, but not anyone else. So what, if Christina Shea or any other concerned Irvine citizen called advertisers in your propaganda puff piece to advise they were contributing to a biased political commentary mailer? There are still a few uninformed people out there who are fooled into believing the Community News is a legitimate newspaper. I would also suggest to you that informing the public of an unscrupulous media resource would not come close to falling under your “interference of contract” fantasy.

      While not being a lawyer Dan, I do have some experience in covertly recording telephone calls from my past life as a narcotics investigator. Last time I looked at the Penal Code statutes, it was against the law to record a telephone conversation unless both parties were made aware of it or it was part of a criminal investigation. I also seem to recall it is also against the law for anyone to play such an illegally recorded message, as you have done on this web site in an attempt to slander and demean Christina Shea. If I were her, I might think about having my attorney look into a civil action against you or the person who recorded her call and even refer it to the District Attorney.

      Dan, you really need to find some better topics to write about. Maybe you should give Scott Moxley a call and he could give you a few leads. I understand he may be coming out with a new Irvine story today.

      • Justin Case Justin Case October 1, 2015

        What part of the fact that this is a voicemail message that Ms. Shea apparently left on an advertisers line don’t you understand Pat? No one secretly recorded a conversation. Once she left the message, she had no expectation of privacy if the owner of the voicemail chooses to release it. Which is what appears to be the case in this instance.

        • FTP FTP October 4, 2015

          And this guy was a cop? He had no clue what the law entails? Scary how many people’s rights he violated.

      • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 1, 2015

        Pat — the voice on the message is clearly Shea’s. By leaving a voice mail, she gave consent to being recorded; by setting up a voice mail box, the recipient gave consent to record. I’m lawyered up and ready to go. The fact is the newspaper hasn’t been a slate mailer for months….even of she says it is. This is America Pat. Anyone with access to a printing press can publish a newspaper. Go ahead and sue me. I’ll sue back.

        • Ltpar Ltpar October 1, 2015

          If she left a recorded message, you are correct, no violation. If the person answered the phone and recorded all or part of the conversation, there was a violation. I have no idea why Christina Shea called that specific vendor, but it is her job to protect citizens and businesses from unscrupulous advertisers and without a doubt, that is what the Community News and Views is. Once warned, the vendor is free to spend their advertising money anyplace they choose. You see what Shea did as a bad thing and others see it as part of her responsibility as an elected representative of the citizens. On this, we will just have to agree to disagree. I stand by my suggestion to find some better trash to write about.

          • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 2, 2015

            “…but it is her job to protect citizens and businesses from unscrupulous advertisers and without a doubt, that is what the Community News and Views is.”

            Is Christina calling the escort services, strip clubs and medical marijuana dispenseries who advertise in OC Weekly Pat?

  3. Irvine Voter Irvine Voter October 1, 2015

    Definitely sounds like Shea. Hard to argue on her part because she clearly is not acting like an elected official should. I hope more people find out about this, I see Irvine Community News & Views has an article about censorship and her voicemail too.

    • Ltpar Ltpar October 1, 2015

      Question for you. Do you ever see articles in that propaganda rag criticizing Larry Agran and his gang for over ten years of mismanagement, corruption and wasting over 200 million dollars of taxpayers money at the Great Park? The answer is “No.” You do not even see Letters to the Editor critical of the Agranistas. What you do get is a one sided liberal biased view rationalizing what voters rejected in the last two elections. To counter your statement, an elected official is responsible for getting the truth out there to citizens both conservative and liberal. What you do with that information is your business. If you choose to ignore the truth, so be it.

      • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 1, 2015

        Pat, given that the city’s investigation (don’t call it an audit cause it wasn’t) only targeted three vendors that accounted for 15% of that $200 million, does that mean the other 85% that paid for the CEO’s salaries, staff salaries, testing of the soil, Palm Court, soccer fields, the Farmers Market, a million pounds of food for OC food banks…was that wasted? Ask Emile Haddad how much he delayed things with constant demands. So how much was wasted in your view Pat?

  4. Katherine Daigle Katherine Daigle October 2, 2015

    a first amendment – freedom of speech issue – plain and simple.

    Ms. Shea:

    “Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without it being extolled, but some peoples idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage”. Winston Churchill

    Our Constitution is an important read, the Fist Amendment protects Americans right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression and that consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly. The Supreme Court (SCOTUS ) interprets these rights.

    Pick up a copy at City Hall, it’s a wonderful thing.

    Americans, leave free speech to

    • Ltpar Ltpar October 2, 2015

      Katherine, more of your rambling dialogue. While I don’t speak fro Christina Shea, I suggest she has forgotten more about the Constitution and First Amendment than you will ever know. She represents the citizens of Irvine well and attests to why she is on the City Council and you are not. Give it a rest and save your B/S until the 2016 election where maybe you can once again run as a Larry Agran stealth candidate.

      • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 2, 2015

        Shea was once Daigle’s campaign manager and I have a copy of the cancelled check to prove it; but I agree with you Pat, Shea has forgotten more about the First Amendment and the Constitution than any elected official should forget

      • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski October 3, 2015

        Pat — this tidbit on Ms. Shea’s habit of leaving voicemails and getting caught:

        Please square for me her justification paying her daughter $15.97 an hour in 1999 — for part-time work — with her leading the effort against Irvine’s Living Wage ordinance?

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