Every election cycle, we hear the refrain of “this is the most important election of our lifetime.” For residents of Huntington Beach, November’s City Council election is truly the case.
Surf City, USA is at a crossroads. The town, which values it beachy feel and surf culture, has been captured by a vocal minority of progressives that are quickly transforming the city into an Orange County version of Santa Monica.
Since first being election as City Attorney, Michael Gates has aggressively protected the city’s ability to govern itself. When Gavin Newsom shut down its beaches during the Covid panic of 2020, Gates was quickly before a judge filing suit. When Sacramento pushes mandate to construct giant apartments and developments, Gates vigorously defended the city’s right to govern itself. When liberal attorney whose cottage industry is to sue cities seeking settlements for bogus lawsuits, Gates demanded a day in court saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
But after conservatives divided the vote amongst themselves in 2020, a progressive majority on the city council clipped Gate’s wings. They refused to authorize lawsuits to protect Surf City’s autonomy. They forced residents into a green energy scheme which will cost taxpayers millions and is currently under investigation by a grand jury. And now they are pushing a plan to deny citizens the right to elect their own City Attorney.
For the first time in memory, the opposition to this progressive agenda has come together. Save Surf City, an organization that attempted a recall of these of the most liberal council members earlier this year have endorsed a slate of candidates – Casey McKeon, Gracey Van Der Mark, Pat Burns and Tony Strickland, as well as Michael Gates, of course, for re-election. But to save the city and its beachy feel, they will have to defeat one Gina Clayton Tarvin and her cohort Oscar Rodriguez.
Tarvin is a progressive’s dream and a taxpayer’s nightmare. From denying that Critical Race Theory exists to speaking at Black Lives Matter rallies during the height of the riots in 2020, Tarvin from her perch on the Ocean View School District School Board, she has built a small but vocal following of progressive sycophants. They praise her every move and worship her every word, even when the words are complete fabrications of the truth.
Five days after the horrific shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida, Tarvin made the outrageous claim that she protected 35 students while working at a school in the ABC Unifed School District from a rampaging school shooter. The only problem is there was no threat, there was no rampage, and there was no shooter. She made up the claim and even repeated it in an interview with ABC-News.
“I’ve huddled on the ground holding my breath in silence, lights out, with my heart pounding with 35 scared kids because there’s a gunman on campus,” she told a small gathering. When interviewed by a reporter she said “As a teacher in a public school, that have had to drop on the ground with my heart pounding with 30 children in fear and terror because there’s a gunman on campus.” If that wasn’t enough, Tarvin went on Facebook to retell the fictional account.
But it never happened.
She made it up.
All of it.
Tarvin has also claimed that she has been the subject of death threats and bomb threats for her work pushing a woke progressive agenda on the city’s school children. There is no evidence any of those things happened either.
Despite these disqualifying events, Tarvin is collecting tens of thousands of dollars from the labor unions she promotes. Historically, local unions, whose pay is determined by the council, flood the city with fancy flyers and promotional materials supporting candidates like Tarvin who will return the favor with pay hikes and benefit increases. Without the union largess, Tarvin wouldn’t have much of a chance.
The good news is the citizens concerned about the future of Huntington Beach are organized like never before. The problem is that without a sweep of all four seats, there will remain a progressive majority that will continue to bend at the knee to Sacramento. There is little doubt that another two years of a city council green lighting high rise construction, will transform it forever.
Will voters allow Tarvin and company to change the city they love or will they stand up to the progressive exaggerator and her union allies. Will they allow the government unions to influence policy? Will they accept the election of a woman who is willing to invent stories about children and school shooters?
We will soon know the answer.
Denise Kavanaugh is a longtime Huntington Beach resident.