Baric Gets An Earful: SJC Politics Invade RSM Council Meeting

Rancho Santa Margarita councilman Steve Baric is criticized for his role in San Juan Capistrano politics. He bites back.

A recent mailer sent to residents in San Juan Capistrano.
A recent mailer sent to residents in San Juan Capistrano.

By Penny Arévalo

Things got a bit testy during the public comments portion of the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council meeting on Wednesday. 

That's when San Juan Capistrano politics spilled over into council chambers as former SJC council candidate Kim McCarthy took the podium and addressed RSM Councilman Steve Baric on his home turf.

Baric is an attorney for San Juan Cares, the group behind recent political mailers distributed in that city. San Juan Cares 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 latter was distributed to the RSM audience Wednesday.

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 Baric's constituents knew who was representing them. 

She had three minutes to make her case. Below is a transcript of what transpired during the public 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 reviewing 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 Cares' First Amendment right. You didn’t stop there, though. You threatened the parent and anyone associated with them with “the strongest legal response if they demanded that San Juan Cares remove 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 from 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 is 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 that 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 attacking 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 just don’t really think it’s right that 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. This says it all.

Baric: I want to make it abundantly clear …

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

R. Freedman January 24, 2014 at 04:00 PM
Wow! Attacking kids. Baric = JERK https://soundcloud.com/psychicforradio/kim-mccarthy-speaking-against
Penny Arévalo (Editor) January 24, 2014 at 04:24 PM
Thanks, smga3000. I was going to do that, but I was in a classroom with future journalists! I
Annie G. January 24, 2014 at 04:36 PM
Mrs McCarthy---you rock!!!!1st amendment rights allow posting kids info on website and all? lawyer school teaches that??
Deborah Pauly January 24, 2014 at 07:50 PM
I am so glad others are picking up on this, Andrew. A few weeks ago, when I saw that Steve Baric was the attorney for this misnamed hate group, "San Juan Cares," I can't even tell you how disappointed I was in him. I've known Steve for several years and, although he is a longtime establishment Republican (immediate past 1st vice chairman of the California Republican Party and pro bono attorney for the Orange County Republican Party), I've always considered him to be a decent and honorable man who knew the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, truth and lies. No matter how desperate he was for clients or to make money, I didn't think he'd over stoop so low as to associate with people such as these. You are known by the company you keep, Mr. Baric.
Donna Fleming January 25, 2014 at 05:50 AM
Bravo Kim McCarthy for standing up and calling on Mr. Baric to be accountable for his part in the glossy flyer produced by his organization San Juan Cares. An organization dedicated to keeping Sam Allevato in office and fighting the recall with dirty politics. As a practicing attorney of the OC Bar Association Mr. Baric took the oath, as follows; "I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and of this state; that I will honestly demean myself in the practice of the law, and I will discharge my duties to my clients to the best of my ability. So help me God." Lawyers are held to a high standard of ethical behavior. I think Mr. Baric has forgotten what he learned in law school. His comment. "I am merely their lawyer."
Janet Blake January 25, 2014 at 01:25 PM
Shame on Mr. Baric! This is dirty politics at its worst.
Sunshine January 28, 2014 at 01:15 PM
More on SJC's Councilmen Allevato, Kramer, and Taylor that RSM's Councilman Baric supports with rude, glossy flyers: "Allevato, Kramer, and Taylor STILL will not accept responsibility for violating the Right to Free Speech when they were the three who went behind closed doors and banned local newspapers. Last Tuesday, January 21, they filed an "anti-SLAAP motion to strike" against the Community Common Sense at taxpayer expense. The CCS says that, "Councilmen Sam Allevato, Larry Kramer, John Taylor and City Attorney Hans Van Ligten want to remove themselves from our lawsuit on the grounds that, by our having filed a lawsuit to uphold our First Amendment right to disseminate our paper on public property as other papers had done for many years, we violated their First Amendment right to ban us (yes, you read that correctly)." UNBELIEVABLE attorney logic, manipulation, and desperation! Did these three ban the newspapers or did they not?! They did. If they had initially backed off and apologized for violating the First Amendment this would not be an issue. We would not be flushing thousands and thousands and thousands of tax payer dollars down the toilet to cover their derrières. But their combination of arrogance and fear of a watchdog newspaper has now put this community in the position where their attorney fees will cost San Juan Capistrano tax payers much more than a Recall and where we have a power hungry council majority who believe they have the "executive pen" to violate the First Amendment. No matter what you think of Councilmen Sam Allevato, Larry Kramer, and John Taylor personally, their leadership borders on imperialism. Please sign the Recall Sam Allevato petitions (usually available during the day at Vons) and don't vote for Kramer and Taylor in November. www.RecallSam.com "
Annie G. January 28, 2014 at 01:18 PM
i think the flyer says it all- a real creep thinks stuff like that up and thinks its funny, got news for people thinking their smart with cartoons and things like this---called to much time on your hands thats all, grow up
Dove Canyon Oldtimer January 29, 2014 at 08:38 PM
Steve Baric is a low life slimeball political lawyer that makes his living off of sleazy stuff like this. He is a disgrace to our city of RSM and he needs to get tossed from office.
Rsm Truth January 29, 2014 at 10:59 PM
Dove Canyon Oldtimer (jennifer Beall) Nice language from a woman! Baric and McGirr are the two most dignified people on the council! Sorry, your husband and Gamble don't cut it!
Gus Gunderson January 29, 2014 at 11:20 PM
Ram Truth, if Baric is so dignified, the why has he listed the Committee That Cares as a non profit. Election a laws and the FPPC do not allow non profits to be used for political purposes. A low life sleazy lawyer fits him perfectly. I would not be surprised if there was a complaint filed with the California State Bar against him.
Donna Fleming January 29, 2014 at 11:50 PM
OMG....San Juan Cares is listed as a non profit? And, Baric is their lawyer? Dignified certainly does not fit the description of the mailers that Baric approved. That is unlawful. Baric is giving legal advice to San Juan Cares who support Allevato and his gang. One more stone uncovered. Thanks Gus.
Sunshine January 30, 2014 at 01:13 AM
Allevato, Kramer, and Taylor and their slick, rich buddies make up the rules as they go.
Rsm Truth January 30, 2014 at 03:28 PM
Gus, Donna & Sunshine- Attornies are hired to represent people and corporations. This is how they earn their living. Do work without compensation? Too bad that you do not understand this!
Rsm Truth January 30, 2014 at 03:31 PM
SMGA- Apparently you will be running for RSM City Council. You have a tremendous amount to learn before you are worthy for this job. Even Members of your LDS Church question your worthiness!
Poot Smelly January 30, 2014 at 04:48 PM
Yes, my neighbor has a lot of learning to do and also needs to control his temper!
Donna Fleming January 30, 2014 at 05:46 PM
RSM Truth....spoken like an attorney. Yes, we know attorneys do not work for free. And, if their clients have broken the law, it is their job to defend them. But, Mr. Baric as their atty should have advised his clients of the possible legal back lash that this flyer would incur. And, Mr. Baric allowed San Juan Cares to use his address for the Non Profit organization which is a front for political activists. So his statement, "I am just their attorney.". is conflict of interest.
Rsm Truth January 30, 2014 at 06:59 PM
smgh3000- it might possible that you are half right? But, I assure you that I am not Kenny!
Rsm Truth January 30, 2014 at 07:08 PM
Andrew P-If Beall knew what a CLOWN he looks like on the musical stages and heard the groins from the audience, he would give it up! Nothing but Political Showmanship from a man who is a big negative impact on RSM!
Rsm Truth January 30, 2014 at 07:34 PM
smga3000- I am not obsessed with you being LDS and I am also not Kenny. Best you keep guessing!
Rsm Truth January 30, 2014 at 08:22 PM
Shawn Gordon or smga3000 or what ever you want to be called? A lot of your neighbors, who are not LDS, know that you are LDS of sorts. Chuckle, I assure you that I am not Kenny! Your responses show that you are not a stable secure person! Just what we need in RSM to join Beall & Company!
Rsm Truth January 31, 2014 at 12:23 PM
smga3000- Did you enjoy the SAMLARC Candidates Night? What impression of the candidates did you come away with?
Donna Fleming January 31, 2014 at 12:56 PM
All... Freedom of Religion. America. Hello. Instead of attacking each other on subjest of "faith", can we focus on Mr. Baric or McCarthy, the subject that went away?
Poot Smelly January 31, 2014 at 03:16 PM
Yes, Shaun Gordon/smga3000: You have such strong opinions on RSM issues. SAMLARC is the single most important issue facing the voters in RSM. What do you think of the candidates? Or are you suddenly indecisive?
Something Special Cateirng Inc. January 31, 2014 at 06:02 PM
smga3000 all you have to do is google you silly, it's right there on you facebook page
Poot Smelly January 31, 2014 at 06:22 PM
Yes Shaun Gordon.smga3000 That is where I saw you were LDS! On Facebook. You are a really paranoid man lashing at at innocent people! Surely hope Kenny and other members of the Ward don't see your attacks! I know a few Mormons and they are good conservative people. They will be scratching their heads!
Shawn Gordon January 31, 2014 at 07:33 PM
"LDS of sorts"? I wonder what that means. I'd be glad to share my story on a new blog post, I gave it at a talk at church last year. I hardly lash out Sindy, I'm barely even following these comment threads or responding. Kenny isn't in my Ward by the way. If you'd like to join me at my Ward this Sunday, we meet from 9 to noon right at Las Flores and Santa Margarita Parkway.
Rsm Truth January 31, 2014 at 08:21 PM
smga3000- Mr. Gordon. You have a lot of political opinions. I am also interested in your take on the SAMLARC Candidates last night? People are judged in this town by whom they support. You have publicly expressed interest in running for RSM City Council. We want to know who you support?
Rsm Truth February 01, 2014 at 11:45 PM
SMGA3000-SHAWN GORDON...You keep deleting my thoughts about the SAMLARC Candidates. Who in the heck do you think that you are? The KGB? Do you think that you are THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY on RSM? How many City Council Meetings have you attended in the last 5 years 10 years? Gary Thompson has been bad for RSM and he would be bad on The SAMLARC Board. Sally Leonard, as Thompson, will only bring Tony Bealls dictates! Wake up RSM!
Shawn Gordon February 02, 2014 at 01:00 PM
The KGB was a spy agency. I think the analogy you are looking for is Dr. Goebbels. However, all of that is demonstrably hyperbolic as you are obviously saying whatever you want. On my thread, you didn't follow the guidelines I clearly posted. You got close, but couldn't quite control your temper.


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