Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Update: So now that the Benavides cartel is running the Santa Ana City Council, are they really going to be all about change?  If so when are they dumping Dan Griset from the Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors?  Don’t hold your breath – they already cut a deal with him.  Here is what we had to say on the subject back on Sep. 21, of this year:

Do you remember Dan Griset?  His father Lorin was the Mayor of Santa Ana from 1969 – 1973.  Dan followed suit, serving on the Santa Ana City Council from 1979-1992.  He was our Mayor for a time too.

Why am I bringing him up?  Well he can’t get elected to anything in Santa Ana anymore, but for many years he has been our city’s appointed representative to the Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors. Griset was appointed years ago by Mayor Miguel Pulido back in February of 2005, and even though some of our current Council Members have groused about it, he has stayed put for some time.

Griset recently saw the writing on the wall, and he panicked.  On August 9 of this year he signed on to the ballot argument in favor of the fraudulent Measure GG – the lastest flawed term limit measure to be put forth by our City Council.  This Council extended their term limits last time around, with Measure D, to 12 years.  This time they are trying to limit the Mayor’s term limits to 8 years while keeping their own 12 year terms.  And Griset signed on to that.

That was of course a slap to Pulido by Griset.  But the implications are broader than that.  If Pulido’s Council challenger, David Benavides, somehow prevails, Griset has put himself in a position to stay on the MWD Board – and apparently Benavides and his colleagues – Council Members Michele Martinez, Vince Sarmiento and Sal Tinajero, are OK with that.

They are OK with Griset even though the state Fair Political Practices Commission fined him $10,000, the maximum possible penalty, for five improper campaign mailings sent during his 1988 bid for reelection, according to the L.A. Times.

According to the FPPC, Griset’s campaign committees sent out four mailings that were identified as coming from the “Santa Ana Progress Committee.” Each mass mailing reached about 29,000 people and contained such titles as “Meet the Real Rick Norton,” “Beware of Tricksters” and “7 Lies.”

A fifth mailer, sent to 300 people, was on the letterhead of the Washington Square Neighborhood Assn. Griset lives in Washington Square.

None of the five mailings identified Griset or his campaign committees as the sender.

This was of course supposed to be a “Santa Ana Spring” but instead it is more like business as usual as crusty corrupt politician Griset will survive and continue to serve on the MWD Board – unless of course Pulido wins, in which case Griset’s days will be numbered.  Pulido will eventually get his four votes, even if he has to wait two years to take out Benavides and Martinez.

When you look at the Benavides cabal it is full of old dogs like Griset, including Alfredo Amezcua, who used to be Pulido’s hatchet man; John Palacio, who was fired from Santa Ana’s city administration (and ironically held that against Griset!); John Acosta, who left the City Council in disgrace; and Art Lomeli, the wealthy dentist who lives in Orange Park Acres and like Acosta belongs to the Republican Party.  This is no revolution of the young – it is a bunch of Mexpendables!

If you are expecting change from Benavides and company, guess again…

And don’t feel too bad for Griset.  He also served as Director of Orange County Sanitation Districts, Chair and Commissioner of the Orange County Transportation Commission, Director of the Orange County Transit District, Director and Advisor of the National League of Cities.  That’s a lot of pensions!

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

52 thoughts on “Update: When will the Benavides Council dump Griset from the MWD Board?”
  1. How are The Santa Ana Springsters courting The Inc.ers and Art Lomeli at the same time?
    That is just WEIRD!
    That would be like me dating you and your wife at the same time. kind of creepy.

  2. You mentioned Lomeli.
    He Hates the Inc.ers
    But Everybody knows how much the Springsters love the Inc.ers
    It is like they have this strange Stockholm syndrome thing going on.

  3. mateo,

    The majority council is:

    -David Benavides
    -Michele Martinez
    -Sal Tinajero
    -Vince Sarmiento

    Sarmiento and Martinez can’t vote on the PBID/ DTI issues due to conflict of interest.

    At the last council meeting dealing with the PBID Benavides,Bustamante,Tinajero and Alvarez voted 4-0 to direct the city attorney set up a town hall meeting with objective to see if a compromise agreement can be hashed out by the two groups.

    Also , the city attorney was directed to form a ordinance to abolish the PBID.

    The un-Democratic, un-constitutional PBID/DTI was formed ,orchestrated and implemented by mayor Pulido, David Ream,Joe Fletcher and Cindy Nelson.

    The majority council has negotiated out of Santa Ana city government Ream, Fletcher and Nelson.

    Editor lists a number of negatives attributed to Griset. GRISET WAS APPOINTED BY PULIDO for the sake of argument Griset with these fault was appointed by Pulido regardless OF KNOWING THESE NEGATIVES ALLEDGED BY EDITOR.

    Griset supports measure GG so now Griset’s baggage is on Benavides and the majority council.


    1. Pulido has never voted for the PBID and your pals most certainly did cut a deal with Griset. His signature on the Measure GG ballot argument is proof of that. So it looks like you’re the one slinging propaganda.

  4. Pedroza,

    Pulido formed the undemocratic unconstitutional PBID. HELLO!!!!!

    Editor wrote:

    “your pals most certainly did cut a deal with Griset. His signature on the Measure GG ballot argument is proof of that. So it looks like you’re the one slinging propaganda.”

    So, all those signing the GG ballot have a deal??????

    You signed AND ARE part author of opposition to measure GG…..WHAT DEAL DID YOU SIGN???????

    1. I serve on no commissions. I serve the people of Santa Ana.

      Measure GG is a such a mess as Measure D was. Your boy Benavides used D to give himself 12 years on the Council. Now he wants to limit the Mayor to 8 years. Why the inequity?

      By the way, I also was the only way who convinced the OC Register to oppose Measure GG.

  5. Art, have you noticed that the defenders of this “new majority” like to blame a guy with one vote on the council (pulido) for a list of things they could have changed (had they really wanted to) with their 4 votes? Is it a lack of testicular fortitude or just a good old fashioned political power grab? I think the voters of Santa Ana are too smart and will see that they(David and company) are far worse than Pulido in terms of selfish politics without any of the upside that came with Pulidos ability to bring new invetment and good projects to the city.

  6. I did not say you are on any commission……not necessary to sign on a deal. WHAT DEAL DID YOU SIGN????

    Your boy Pulido orchestrated and negotiated with council to give himself no term limits and them 12 years. Why the inequity here??

    You were only the front guy with the Register …..maybe, probably had no influence at all that came from past Pulido supporters that thought Pulido still had council power.

    1. I wrote that ballot argument because I am opposed to Measure GG. Ask Rob Cook how it went down. He signed it too. Are you going to impugn h as well?
      I have no idea what you’re trying to say in your last paragraph. The Register editorial writer who investigated GG is a friend of mine. He is a fellow libertarian.

  7. You are the one incriminating people by signing a ballot.

    You then are incriminating yourself and Cook not I. I say the opposite…… association in signing a ballot and a attached deal.

    Your incriminating argument is straight across the board…..all sides are guilty.

    1. Beware those who deal in absolutes.

      Cook and I had no ulterior motives. Griset’s entire political life has been an ulterior motive. It is not serendipity that he signed the pro GG ballot statement. That was by design.

      You can screech all you want but once again the Benavides cabal has been exposed for what it is. That they would willingly crawl in bed with Griset is disgusting. But not unexpected.

  8. So your boy Pulido appointed Griset who you claim:

    ” Griset’s entire political life has been an ulterior motive. It is not serendipity that he signed the pro GG ballot statement. That was by design.”

    So what deal did Pulido sign with Griset in order to appoint him to the water board??????


    1. Sigh. You know damn well Griset needed four votes to get appointed.

      Tell you what. The Benavides cabal can prove there is no deal with Griset by dumping him off the MWD Board before the November election. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen!

  9. In 1986 the city council put G, H, J, K, L on the Nov. ballot for the voters to decide.

    Also in June the city council put C on the ballot.

    C, G, & H dealt with the office of the mayor, with G winning in Nov. and is currently the 2 year terms without limits.

    Griset, was on the city council and was Mayor at the time these measures were put to the voters.

    It would nice to hear why he now thinks he was totally wrong back in 1986 when he was pushing for those changes to the city’s charter when he was mayor.

  10. Pedroza,

    Tell you what have Pulido make a motion to remove Griset because he and his majority council under his control at the time appointed a scumb bag, as you call him, just now realized it because Pedroza esposed it and made the suggestion to do this.

    The for votes then where controlled by Pulido……you know this Pedroza.

    So what deal did Pulido sign with Griset in order to appoint him to the water board??????

  11. Cook,

    “Griset, was on the city council and was Mayor at the time these measures were put to the voters.

    It would nice to hear why he now thinks he was totally wrong back in 1986 when he was pushing for those changes to the city’s charter when he was mayor.”

    Maybe this is the deal made with Pulido and his controlled majority council at the time.


    Editor says:

    September 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    LOL! Nice catch Cook! You caught the scumbag red handed!


    1. I hope you’re a better dentist than you are a debater. The irony has once again escaped you. Griset may have once handed the Baton to Pulido but he is now handing it to Benavides, and you’re okay with that. Que triste.

    2. Doc Art,

      Pulido was a freshman councilmember elected in Nov 1986. So he would have had no input in messure “G”.

      In the next election Young was the first elected mayor for 3 two year terms and then Pulido in 1994.

      Each member of the council / mayor was elected by the voters, and this November the voters will deside again who will be elected.

  12. So according to you Pulido made a deal with Griset, now you claim Griset made a deal with Benavides…….so what is your point then both are candidates for the same office.

    You are consistent with all your arguments…….they all suck.


    1. You think these people leave tracks? This isn’t the first time I’ve cracked the code. The feeble minded accept things at face value. I never do.

  13. Someone please explain this “New Majority” thing to me.

    last time I checked each councilmember and the mayor are independently elected. Elected to represent a specific ward.

    But the implication from Benavides supporter(s), Namely Art Lomeli, he’s the only one I remember reading here, is that three seperate individuals will form a union to stand behind ANY CAUSE out there.

    We know Benavides supports disgraced council member Bustamonte in his Felony sex abuse trial, does that mean the others will fall in lockstep?

    This is perhaps a glaring sign of what’s to come, I guess with the NEW MAJORITY we can bring back the SAFD, save the SAPD and run the city into the ground.

    I for one would like to see some individualism, some free thinking council members who debate and disagree and come to an agreement. Not because the OCEA has offered one of them reelection funds that they will readily share.

    This is a HUGE error on the part of the Springsters.

  14. There can never be a majority because they are all self serving, upward mobile politicans who will do anything to advance.

    Does anyone really believe David Benavide’s cares a lick about Santa Ana? He talks about his familiy dog as if he had a family.

    David F85ked his secratary, lied to his wife, and you want us to think he’ll be honest with us?

    Martinez has proved her worth, stick with something, girl. Talk about a Matt Linert, great in college but a bust in the NFL, oh wait she never bothered with that college thing.

    As for the other three, one is facing felony SEX ABUSE CHARGES, the other two would jump in the monkey cage naked if they thought it would get them further.

    MAJORITY? Of who, Millionare Orange Dentists, developers, Christain Churches that rival Al Queda in thier philosophies? F- the majority……elect leaders.

    It would be great if we elected leaders supported locally too!

  15. ROPE-A-DOPE,

    Ask Pedroza to explain the council majority to you. His candidate Pulido had it for 18 years lost it recently and wants it back.

    Pedroza has posted many times that Pulido will get elected then orchestrate again his control of the council majority.

    Below is Pedroza’s comment on the separation of 4 council members from Pulido’s control.

    Editor says:

    September 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    They are greedy pirates and nothing more. And like pirates they are already at each other’s throats.

    Benavides will lose big in November. This mutiny will be scuttled and then the time will come for a reckoning.

    By the way the two council members that still support Pulido are Bustammante and Alvarez.

    The springsters have not calculated wrong ……they simply are seperating from a one man control.


    1. Thanks for clarifying that the Benavides faction is currently the council majority. What that means is that they can dump Griset now. So if they don’t, and they won’t, it will be affirm that I am correct. The Benavides majority has cut a deal with Griset in return for his support for Measure GG. Shame on them!

  16. Pedroza,

    Just your opinion. There are different ones to yours. Not doing what you want can simply be that your opinion is wrong.

  17. carpetbagger says:

    September 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    There can never be a majority because they are all self serving, upward mobile politicans who will do anything to advance.

    If true , Pulido’s strategy is to get elected and orchestrate a council majority made of these members you loath, what does this say about his honesty and intellect.

    What does this say about you by selecting him as your leader……..correction does not say anything as you do not live in Santa Ana.You simply are a hired attact dog for the Pulido campaign.

  18. So, I decided to take the bait from Dr. Lomeli and visit David Benivides Mayoral FACEBOOK page (what is this guy in high school?)

    First let me comment on this Gem, posted at 7:25 this morning:

    Benavides for Santa Ana Mayor 2012

    14 hours ago via mobile.

    Start of a new week…off to drop off the kids at school

    So, I need to ask, if false, why hasn’t Benavides addressed the rampant rumours about his seperation/divorce? OR is he planning to pretend otherwise with crafty posts like this and talk about the family dog?

    What is the deal, I’ll request his spokesperson Dr. Art Lomeli, to answer the question:

    Second, there is this Gem, which reminds me of the disgraced County Sheriff, Mike Corona: His reltionship with people like: Luis Mier (OC BAIL BONDS, SIGNATURE BAILBONDS), isn’t this a flash back to the corruption that we fought against in the late 1990’s the Bail Bond guys??? Just ask Brett Franklin.

    So look closely at those associated with the canidate, Art Lomeli looks like Jesus, compared to these folks.

    Are these the people upon whose backs the “SANTA ANA SPRING” is built. Scary stuff.

    I expect an answer from Lomeli, who appears to be the only one speaking out on behalf of the canidate.

    Come on Doc, where does Momma live…say it, it will set you FREE!


  19. Dan is no dummy. He’s been sending checks to the various Councilmembers and candidates to make sure he remains on the very powerful MWD Board. So nice to know that a 1970’s-80’s Re-tred is deciding our water rates and getting paid to travel around the world while he does it! Why not allow someone with a water background do the job and not an ex-politico/failed insurance salesman? Still waiting to see those big changes. Maybe when Roman stops crying (nice emotion on election night R.R.) he’ll speak up on the subject…no wait..he got a check too!

    1. These Council ding dongs are so easy to control. The Santa Ana Police Officers Association has them eating out of their hands too. Bunch of lemmings.

  20. Sean Mill and his mom used to hate Griset when he was on the Council but now that D.G. is part of the greater Benavides New Spring team I guess Sean can’t speak out for fear of losing his Planning seat. Too bad. Sean used to be good for some nice comments regarding Dan and knows a lot about him.

    1. Sean is no fan of Griset, trust me on that. I know he will be watching the Benavides faction to see if they have the guts to actually stand for something. I am betting they won’t.

  21. Glad to hear Sean has not been drinking the Kool Aid and still remembers how Griset and his family pooped on the people of Santa Ana for years as they filled their bank accounts with money they made with the Councilman/Mayor title.

  22. Thank you for shining a light on this Art. I think it shows you that the OLD Santa Ana political machine STILL has its influence on the current City Council. The Current Benavides/Sarmiento led majority talk a good game about change and open government but when you scratch beneath the surface you find guys like Dan Griset lurking. He is the poster child for all that was wrong with the Santa Ana politcal systom for many, many years. How about Jill Arthur? She still working for the Council? I thought she was top of their list for changes? Until you remove the people who get their back scratched by old guard leaders like Griset, nothing will change at city hall. Talk is cheap.

    1. Don’t forget that the city has brought back Robyn Uptegraff as well. She is another throwback to the Griset and Young days and is a Ream crony.

      The good ol’ boys still have their hooks in city hall. Benavides and company don’t know their history and are too stupid to know it.

  23. “Benavides and company don’t know their history and are too stupid to know it.”

    You may be right, but I think more likely is that they DO know thier history and know where to go for a quick payday. The old corrupt O.G.P.’s (Old Political Gangsters) find the young Latino politicians only too eager to do the Pay to Play game just like generations of Gringo politicians before them.

    1. The gringos were smart enough to stay out of jail and off the radar of law enforcement officials. Benavides and company aren’t that clever. He, Reyna and Martinez will be on that radar quickly, if they aren’t already. One of them will leave city hall with silver bracelets on in the coming years.

  24. I hope my pal Benavides doesn’t figure out that I would be happy to take “gifts” as a Planning Commissioner…

  25. You keep calling this the “Benavides Council”, yet you have claimed that Benavides is over, finished, kaput.

    Which is it? For someone so “over,” he sure seems to be mighty influential. You can’t have it both ways.

    If Tinajero is Mayor Pro Tem, wouldn’t it be more apt to call this the “Tinajero Council”?

    Yeah, that makes more sense.

  26. Sal is a teachable member of the “Majority” whereas the others are corrupt and lost to their own selfishness.

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