By Royal Calkins
After months of covering the foibles of Carmel City Attorney Glen Mozingo, the nice folks here at this Voices outpost had hoped to move on to something else by now. The local political races in Monterey, Seaside, Marina, etc., are unusually dramatic at the moment and cry out for additional attention.
But then a friend passed on an article from The Washington Post, dated way back in 2003. Old as it is, it sheds considerable light on some of the honors that Mozingo touted in the inflated resumé that landed him the lucrative position with lovely Carmel. The Post piece told the world about how a couple of his awards are reflections of political contributions rather than actual accomplishments.
A bit of background is required to catch you up. I’ll be brief.
Voices reported over those months about how Mozingo’s resumé claimed work that he apparently had never performed, most of it involving the practice of municipal law, which is what the Carmel City Council insisted was a key qualification. We also reported more than once about his claim of having received a coveted Congressional Gold Medal and how he tried to distract attention from that exaggeration by repeatedly pointing to other lesser honors he had received from a committee of Congressional Republicans. It turns out that comparing a GOP Congressional Committee award to an actual Congressional Gold Medal is like comparing a Good Conduct Medal to a Congressional Medal of Honor.
Now you are caught up.
So along comes this illuminating 2003 article by Post reporter Jonathan Weisman headlined “House GOP Fundraisers Put a Price on Honors.”
It begins: “The call starts with flattery: You have been named businessman of the year, or physician of the year, or state chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Business Advisory Council.
“Then comes the fundraising hook: a request for as much as $500 to help pay for a full-page Wall Street Journal advertisement, then a request for $5,000 to reserve a seat at a banquet thrown in your honor. Can’t handle that? How about $1,250 for the no-frills package?”
According to Weisman’s article, the GOP committee handed out more than 1,900 Businessmen of the Year awards in 2003, including 59 from Virginia alone. Mozingo’s Businessman of the Year award was one of the 1,900.
Two years earlier he had received a California Businessman of the Year award from the same GOP fundraising enterprise. According to federal campaign contribution records, Mozingo contributed the $1,250 fee to the National Republican Congressional Committee on June 26, 2001. It was the only federal contribution he made in that decade.
“This whole thing is not right,” Bob Flesch, one of the committee’s “New Jersey businessmen of the year” told the Post all those years ago. “They’re trying to extort money.”
Michael Broida, an accountant who said he is politically “a little left of Jesse Jackson,” called it “character assassination” to have his name appear on a GOP fax as someone who “will work closely with the Republican leadership in restoring American prosperity.”
On his resumé, Mozingo wrote that he had received the GOP awards for assisting in the passage of significant federal legislation providing additional funding for highway improvement. The 2003 award he received says he was “particularly instrumental in helping Republicans pass the first across-the-board tax cut in a generation as well as an economic stimulus package in October.” Apparently the other 1,900-plus recipients that year were particularly instrumental as well.
The Post piece provides significantly more detail. You might want to check it out.
Following the court-ordered release of additional materials from Mozingo, Carmel Council members Carolyn Hardy and Carrie Theis said in interviews that they were not concerned with the errors and omissions on his resumé because he has proved himself to be an excellent city attorney and has in his first year saved the city significant amounts of money. Not so incidentally, Hardy and Theis are up for re-election next month along with Mayor Steve Dallas, who also seems to think that a resumé is just a piece of paper.
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