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San Juan Politics Invade RSM City Council Meeting

Local Kim McCarthy calls out attorney and RSM Councilman Steve Baric, who represents the group behind recent political mailers.

A recent mailer sent to residents in San Juan Capistrano. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo
A recent mailer sent to residents in San Juan Capistrano. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo

San Juan Capistrano politics spilled over into Rancho Santa Margarita Wednesday, as former SJC council candidate Kim McCarthy showed up at a meeting  to address RSM Councilman Steve Baric, attorney for the group behind recent political mailers distributed in San Juan.

Things got a little testy, shall we say.

Baric is the attorney for San Juan Cares, which has so far produced two slick mailers: one, featuring a wheel of fortune of sue-happy residents and another featuring many of the same people as circus caricatures.

The mailers have popped up in the middle of an attempt to recall San Juan Capistrano Mayor Sam Allevato.

McCarthy, who supports the recall, said she attended the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council meeting Wednesday to make sure the constituents knew who was representing them.

Below is a transcript of what transpired during the open comments session of the RSM City Council agenda:

McCarthy : I came here specifically tonight to visit Councilman Baric in his own backyard.  He represents the group responsible for the political attack mailer that I just distributed to the audience tonight. I think after viewing this mailer you will agree that this is disgusting and is beneath an elected official. It maligns private citizens in my town of San Juan whose only sin is to disagree with a certain council member in the city I live in. The mailer is filled with lies, half-truths and distortions and makes fun of the disabled, the elderly and women.

To make matters worse, councilman Baric, this mailer came from a group listed at your business address and for whom you serve as attorney and agent for service of process.

When a parent objected to San Juan Cares posting their minor child’s information on their website, apparently in an effort to attack the parent, you sent a letter Mr. Baric to the parent in defense of San Juan Care’s First Amendment right.  You didn’t stop there, though. You threatened the parent and anyone associated with him with them with “the strongest legal response if they demanded that San Juan Cares removes info about their child.”

Assuming you are a parent, have you ever stopped to think that this group’s website is hurting innocent children with lies? How would you feel if your child’s personal information was posted on a website and your child saw you depicted this way on a mailer that came to their home in their own mailbox?

Now the founder of this disgusting hate group is responding to heat in the community in San Juan by saying that he is backing away from the group and is referring questions to you, Councilman Baric. It appears that you share in the responsibility of this garbage and I want the residents of this town to know who’s representing them.

I’ll give you the remainder of my time to respond.

Baric: You want my response? I am this group’s lawyer. You misquoted me. I said they have a First Amendment right, which I stand by. I didn’t say they had a First Amendment right to abuse kids. I have kids of my own. And quite frankly, Ms. McCarthy, you’ve been more than accommodating with attaching other people in your own community. I am not involved in the creation of this activity, I’m merely their lawyer. If you want to talk to me, you know where to find me. I’m happy to discuss this with you at any time.

McCarthy:  Well, Mr. Baric, I don’t’ really think it’s care you can do this type of thing in my neighborhood and hide in this neighborhood. So I don’t really have any interest in talking to you.

Baric: I want to make it abundantly clear …

McCarthy:  I’m not done. I just want the people here to know who you are.  

Jonathan Volzke January 24, 2014 at 07:22 PM
I'm not sure Sunshine. You can read the emails yourself, they're out there. But that would break your habit of making up your mind before knowing the facts.
Sunshine January 25, 2014 at 03:19 AM
Jonathan Vodka, as a paid lobbyist, you obviously make up your mind depending on whose paying you that day. And don't play dumb, your name was still copied on the emails. Dave Ellis wanted you to be in the know.
Alberto Barrera January 25, 2014 at 07:47 PM
Come on now sunshine, don't act like you wouldn't say things for money. Don't shoot the messenger as they say.
Donna Fleming January 25, 2014 at 08:42 PM
Alberto....It might surprise you to know some people will not "say things for money". And, there is a difference between a lobbyist and a messenger. One delivers a message and one rewrites the message before delivering it. Your wife said it's time for dinner John. As opposed to, your wife said it's dinner time if you can pick up the chicken at Pollo Loco John. Other wise, we can go out again tonight. John's wife does not feel like cooking so she modifies the dinner is ready message. John'w wife is lobbying for dinner out.
Sunshine January 25, 2014 at 08:53 PM
No, Albert, I'm not a lobbyist like Jonathan Vodka. I say things because of my convictions. It's too bad some people can be bought for money from developers.

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