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Sunday, Dec 4, 2022
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McKernan Go-To Guy on Driving, OCPAC, Prop 11

After several failed attempts to enact redistricting reform, Proposition 11 is maintaining a narrow edge in the vote count. If the lead holds, chalk one up for busy Tom McKernan. He heads two groups that provided $2.5 million for the measure,the OC-based Republican PAC New Majority, which he chairs, and California Forward, a bipartisan government-reform group that he co-chairs with Democrat Leon Panetta. Prop. 11 puts a citizens commission instead of lawmakers in charge of drawing state legislative boundaries; Gov. Schwarzenegger and other advocates say it will encourage competitive races and centrist politicians. McKernan says his groups’ next priorities could include government spending caps and open primaries: “We need people that can work together and compromise.” McKernan is also a go-to guy on business issues. He’s a board member and past chair of the California Chamber of Commerce and California Business Roundtable. And he’s new chairman of the OC Performing Arts Center, inheriting a slow-moving capital campaign and $52 million in concert hall construction debt. His day job: CEO of Automobile Club of Southern California, the nation’s biggest AAA affiliate and OC’s third-largest private company; two of every three OC motorists are customers …

William Lyon’s family said the legendary homebuilder is back home recuperating from an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) that caused him to collapse while speaking at an Orangewood Children’s Foundation luncheon. Lyon, 85, was said to be alert and expecting a full recovery. The Insider happily accepts a rain check on a tour of The General’s labor of love, an air museum under construction at John Wayne Airport. Lyon flew combat missions during the Korean War (and piloted a B-17 from JWA to Washington, D.C., last April) …

Local businesspeople may be worried about the economy, but they haven’t gone into hiding. UCI Merage School’s 2008 Real Estate Gala drew 600-plus at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. The Anaheim Chamber’s Business Awards Luncheon brought out 470 to the Disneyland Hotel, both records …

Irvine-based Freedom Communications, holding company of the OC Register, is talking with senior creditors after drawing down its credit line and disclosing that some of its financial ratios may not be meeting loan covenants. The company’s suburban Phoenix daily, the East Valley Tribune, is downsizing to a four-times-a-week freebie. Freedom CEO Scott Flanders says the Reg is not considering a reduction in print days …

You need 21 merit badges for Eagle Scout. Nathaniel McNutt of Santa Ana Troop 265 has 108. The 17-year-old McNutt, draped in his long sash of badges, was a color guard at the Boy Scouts tribute to Harriett Wieder. The event raised $50,000 for Scouting …

Time to unload: “Commie Girl” Rebecca Schoenkopf lasted two days as Will Swaim’s editor at LA CityBeat. She joins Roy Rivenburg, founder of newspaper spoof site Not The Los Angeles Times, for “a humorous look at the changing face of the media” Wednesday at Peppino’s in Irvine. Call (562) 983-8139.

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