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By John Perry, San Juan Capistrano

It was really nice to see Jonathan’s photo on The Dispatch column. It kind of reminds me of the jolly small town editor writing his folksy local story. But wait a minute, that editor has left the building and has gone on to bigger and maybe not better things.

Jonathan went to work as a full-time lobbyist for Faubel Public Affairs firm. We all know what lobbyists do best. They get paid to get things in print that make their clients or future clients look good. Being a newspaper guy, Jonathan surely knows his way around the pressroom and has all kinds of news connections to keep his clients paying his salary.

Case in point, Jonathan says Community Common Sense is responsible for the water rate lawsuit. If he did some research, he would find that the Capistrano Taxpayers Association is a federally chartered 501 c.4 nonprofit public interest corporation. Some CTA members still have a casual relationship with CCS, but none of the CCS regulars participated financially in the lawsuit preparation and research. He might be surprised to know that more than 100 San Juan Capistrano residents joined the CTA as members and actively financed the lawsuit.

Lobbyists use misinformation to demonize their client’s enemies. Some lobbyists use planted stories that sound true but upon close examination shows half-truths and some outrageous falsehoods. Such is the life of a lobbyist. You have to say busy to keep your clients happy; it’s not an easy job.

I wonder sometimes when Jonathan looks in the mirror what does he see? Is it all about the money or does he really believe all of the stuff he writes about? It must be hard at the end of the day to feel some pride in what he is doing.

A public records request recently received from the city included an email that Jonathan wrote to the San Juan Capistrano City Council on Friday, January 31 at 9:04 a.m. from In this email, Jonathan suggests to the council that they might want to call Orange County Register Editor Michael Coronado to follow up on an article in the Capistrano Valley News on water issues. Jonathan suggests that Michael is a fair guy, so it might be worth a phone call or maybe a coffee meeting—in my opinion, to plant an article favorable to the city. Do you think Jonathan might know the editor, who might owe him a favor? You never know what might come from such a “suggestion.”

I find it hard to take anything Mr. Volzke says or writes seriously, knowing he gets paid by the word to influence public opinion. I kind of liked him better as a crusty small town newspaper editor fighting for the people.

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comments (4)

  • My heart sank too, Jonathan….knowing that Council Members Allevato, Kramer and Taylor refuse to respect the public’s right and desire to eliminate costly and ILLEGAL water rate billing practices they approved.

    The cost of the recall election is nothing compared to the cost of Sam’s consistent indifference to the public’s financial wellbeing.

    • Melissa,

      The earliest a recall election could happen is July. Why not just wait until November, when the majority of the City Council is up for re-election? If you’re right, all three seats will move to that side, and with Roy Brynes, you’d have four of the five. Why go through a recall battle?

  • Jonathan,

    Normally I would agree with the rational of waiting…but look at the huge dollars that were already spent in the same time frame so far this year? Not only have we be saddled with huge attorney fees from the lawsuit the City lost, but now they’re gearing up for an appeal?

    Meanwhile, I have a neighbor who may have to move after her water bill not routinely tops $200 per month and she’s on a fixed income living alone. We have many residents that don’t have the luxury of time or money, they need relief from this manufactured, self imposed craziness RIGHT NOW! Who is watching out for their needs?

    • Mark — my private email is Please ask your neighbor, a woman living alone, if I can visit her house. There is no way she should be spending 200 a month on water.

      I’m no expert, but I’d love to come over. There must be a problem.

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