Mike Hedges had three days to prepare for the question he knew was coming at Monday night’s Long Beach Press Club debate between the candidates for the city council’s 5th District seat. But when reporter Darcy Richardson of the Grunion Gazette asked Hedges about discrepancies in his campaign financing that have attracted the attention of the City Clerk and City Attorney, the 40-year-old businessman failed to supply anything approaching a comprehensive—or even comprehensible—answer.

During a rambling and fractured monologue, Hedges first contended that Long Beach’s $350 limit on single-source campaign contributions did not apply because the contribution came to his campaign from his own company and then because the contribution was not monetary. Both are not true. Hedges summarized that “everything is in compliance”—apparently based on what he gleaned from two meetings with the City Attorney on Monday—despite a Press-Telegram report that the City Clerk has not received all the information.

Hedges’ unfamiliarity with the details of this most-personal issue—revealed in the first question of the evening—turned out to be typical of his grasp of almost all the subjects addressed during his 90-minute debate with 5th District incumbent Gerrie Schipske.

When asked for his position on the parking of RV’s on city streets—a lightning rod in the suburban neighborhoods that dominate the district—Hedges spieled about people’s right to drive Ford F-250 pickup trucks.

When making a point about the inefficiency of city services, Hedges complained that Vector Control sprays gutters one day and street sweepers nullify that work by coming past the next day. Schipske had to inform him that Vector Control is a service provided by Los Angeles County.

Hedges ought to be an expert on sidewalk maintenance—he owns a paving company that contracts with the city—but charged that the city’s style of sidewalk repair is faulty because it doesn’t consult with an “arbortist.” Schipske informed him that, indeed, the city does use arborists.

Hedges criticized Schipske for accepting a position as executive director of the Orange County Democratic Party—asserting that city councilmembers ought to be non-partisan—and then had to acknowledge he sought endorsements at a Republican Party event in Long Beach last week.

It went on and on, through discussions of the proposed 2nd+pch development, the stalled swap of city property for Los Cerritos Wetlands and the city’s new medical marijuana ordinance.

Who won? Well, uhhh, let’s just say that of the 17 candidates for six offices that have debated in the Press Club’s Debate At Da’ Beach series, Hedges shapes up as the only one who is completely unqualified for elected office. That’s a victory of sorts, isn’t it?

  1. March 30, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I thought Vector Control was a column by Steve Lowery?!

    • Howardx
      March 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm

      check it


      “A vector is any animal or insect that is capable of transmitting disease or is a public health nuisance.”

      • March 31, 2010 at 5:33 pm

        haha..removing pests..Vector Control.

  2. wrongbeachjohn
    March 31, 2010 at 11:18 am

    blob did a poor job with this shill.

    • Howardx
      March 31, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      i wondered if maybe he was a plant for foster, that would explain his reticence nicely.

  3. Mark in the 5th
    April 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I was just googleing Hedges when I came across this piece and let’s just say I know why Dave Wielenga is out of a job!
    I was one of the few that was not planted by Shipske and I have to disagree with your review.
    Maybe you were spending more time trying to figure out who was a man or women in the crowd of freaks…

    • wrongbeachjohn
      April 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm

      Hey Mark did you think that Darcy Richardson’s piece in the grunion was a good review of the debate? Maybe she is very nice, but her lack of ability makes her unqualified to be published anywhere. Astonishingly low quality even for that cageliner(although not uncommon with many of their other articles/opinions); not even junior high school level. And your pathetic statements prove you as an unqualified gutter-like narrowest of minded slimebag.

      Dave Wielkenga wrote:
      “Who won? Well, uhhh, let’s just say that of the 17 candidates for six offices that have debated in the Press Club’s Debate At Da’ Beach series, Hedges shapes up as the only one who is completely unqualified for elected office. That’s a victory of sorts, isn’t it?”

  4. April 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Mark,
    It’s easy to say you disagree, but I’d sure like to know what I reported incorrectly. I will say that I spoke with someone connected with the Hedges campaign after the debate and nothing was said about the accuracy of what I reported—only that Mr. Hedges probably isn’t the worst candidate. What is it you like about Mr. Hedges as a candidate?

  5. wrongbeachjohn
    April 15, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I knew the question would stump him.

    “Hi Mark,
    ………what is it you like about Mr. Hedges as a candidate?”

    Did you read what the telerag editorial wrote about hedges; I believe on election day? After they said absolutely nothing about his qualifications (taking over dada’s business?)OR anything he has done for the community (nothing?), the morons said he might be a good choice for the council seat next time. Wonder what gives them reason to vomit that stupid statement out?

    gg cageliner and lb telerag…dumb and dumber…perfect for wrong beach!

  6. Joe Mack
    June 11, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Unless Mr. Hedges is a fanatical public safety candidate, I appreciate that he has
    no qualifications.

    And, if he takes a hands-off approach to the district all the better.

    Do the (I just want to be left alone) residents appreciate Democratic-activist busy-body, Shipske?


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