End Huntington Beach’s comic political theater by voting ‘No’ on all three charter amendments – Orange County Register

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Since winning a majority in 2022, Huntington Beach’s conservative council members – Tony Strickland, Pat Burns, Casey McKeon and Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark – have pursued an attention-grabbing “anti-wokeness” agenda that’s divided a city that was once known for its chill surfer vibes.

Allied with elected City Attorney Michael Gates, they have downplayed the usual work of local government: infrastructure, budgets and public services. Instead, they’ve sued the state over laws that allow more housing construction, removed hate-crime references from a human-dignity statement, opposed mask and vaccine mandates, and censored library books.

City Council is “standing up” for common sense, a combative Van Der Mark told us. Aside from amassing legal expenses in quixotic fights and getting praised in The Epoch Times, it’s unclear what exactly the majority is standing up for. On March 5, voters will consider three charter amendments that represent the next stage in the majority’s political plans.

Measure A centers on this provision: “The city may verify the eligibility of electors by voter identification.” This demand for voter ID conforms to the demands of Trump-supporting voters who still claim – despite all evidence to the contrary – that U.S. elections are swamped with fraud. Van Der Mark told our editorial board that while there was no evidence of election fraud in Huntington Beach, the measure was justified because it would boost public confidence in local elections.

But the measure is in obvious conflict with state and federal election laws – something Van Der Mark wouldn’t address during our interview. California’s attorney general and secretary of state already put the city on notice that they “stand ready to take appropriate action to ensure that voters’ rights are protected.” It’s another rookie error that will lead to court rebuke.



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