Citizens Journal has a “Coming of Age” party


Feature by George Miller

Wine Trail, distinguished speakers, guests, food, prizes, at the lovely Eden Gardens


Citizens Journal Ventura County (AKA and CJ) held its first-ever fundraiser/wine tasting: “Citizens Journal Comes of Age,” Fine fruit of the vine and ideas flowed from the “Wine Trail” and speakers Pastor/Thousand Oaks Mayor Pro-Tem Rob McCoy, nationally noted comedian Evan Sayet and actress/writer/talk show host Sam Sorbo. Dr. Scott O’Neal came all the way from Washington State to bless the group with his music.

Longtime wine expert and restaurateur Angelo Giambrone helps out Tom Adams at Citizens Journal Wine Trail, Sunday, March 18, 2018, at Eden Gardens in Moorpark. Photo: Marc Langsam

Albrecht tasting station. Photo: Marc Langsam

Online news and commentary publication CJ will soon celebrate its fifth year in business, with well over 18,000 articles and 6000 events published, to reach thousands of readers each week on the web, Facebook, email and Twitter. It has come a long way since its humble beginnings on 6-21-13, when we published our first issue, printed in an Orange County basement by volunteers and formally rolled out the website. Our Facebook page followed almost immediately. We have added sections and distribution channels since.

The purpose of this function was to commemorate CJ’s significant progress, to facilitate networking with allies and of course, raise money. CJ operates mainly on donations and some ads.  The event was sponsored by POV, a civic engagement group.

130 people attended the Sunday, March 18, 2018 event at the stunningly beautiful  Eden Gardens in Moorpark – VideoTour.  Upon checking in, each guest was issued a commemorative wine glass and was directed down lushly landscaped paths, lined with rare birds in cages. Then guests made a left turn onto Certified Sommelier Tom Adams’ “Wine Trail,” which arced around a picturesque lake, filled with lily pads and spouting fountains. Six wine-tasting stations offered 30 different wines from 8-9 domestic and foreign wineries. This attendee was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of selections.. He found himself at the Oxnard Whole Foods this week buying some bottles of his favorite tastings. Whole Foods made a donation which covered choices of some of their excellent cheeses. Meanwhile, Vicki Adams of Please Your Palate Catering-[email protected] provided tasty foods which sustained us throughout the event.

Wine Trail labels, via Certified Sommelier Tom Adams, Epic Wine & Spirits:

Great variety of wines at Citizens Journal Comes of age wine tasting event 3-18-18 included Lincourt, Astrolabe, Lucien Albrecht, Broadside, Cannonball, Chalk Hill, Roth Estate, Angels & Cowboys, Portlandia.


L-R: POV Organizers Mandy Jacob & Amy Chen; Certified Sommelier Thomas Adams. Photos: Marc Langsam

Welcome | Mandy Jacob, POV East | CCC

Invocation | Pastor Rob McCoy

Pledge of Allegiance | Major Jeffrey Burum, USAF, Retired

Saluting Our Veterans | Mandy Jacob, POV East | CCC

Recognition | Mandy Jacob, POV East | CCC

Wine Tasting Notes | Thomas Adams, Certified Sommelier

POV 2018 Initiatives | Deborah Baber Savalla, POV West

Several powerful speakers alternately informed and entertained the crowd assembled ….

Pastor and T.O. Mayor Pro-Tem Rob McCoy. Photo: Marc Langsam


Rob McCoy | Pastor, and Thousand Oaks Mayor Pro-Tem

The First Amendment and the Role and Responsibility of a Free Press, Its Current State and Moral Responsibilities Today, and Citizen Engagement

Born in Coronado California to a conservative Naval officer-father and activist Republican-mother, Rob grew up in a politically-charged family working at the grassroots level. He walked precincts and learned first-hand what is meant by “all politics are local”.  A favorite and thrilling childhood memory is his meeting with then-Governor Ronald Reagan.

An All-American water polo player and a national finalist in swimming, Rob majored in history at Fresno State University after which he went into sales and management.

For years Pastor Rob, as he’s affectionately known today, found his calling only after he connected the dots to the source of the values and principles his family lived by, Christianity. He attended the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno and was ordained at Calvary Chapel in 1995. He has been senior pastor at Godspeak Calvary Chapel since April 2001. In 2014, Rob McCoy won a vacant seat on the Thousand Oaks City Council, where is currently Mayor Pro-Tem. 

McCoy noted the strength of our constitutional form of government, founding documents and the strong religious influence underlying them. He went all the way back to the Geneva Bible in citing principles of self-government brought out in commentary therein. Freedom of the press was embedded in  there, too.

McCoy discussed the First Amendment, role and responsibility of a free press, its current state and moral responsibilities. He wasn’t shy about blasting clergy for not being forceful about congregants’ and clergy’s duty to be involved in government and civic affairs and to exert moral influence on the process. Without it, he insisted, we can maintain neither a free press nor a constitutional republic. He said that otherwise, “the press is bought and the pulpit silent.” McCoy is not happy about the current state of the press/media. But, he felt strongly enough about Citizens Journal’s value to come and speak at this event.


Comedian Evan Sayet. Photo: Marc Langsam

Evan Sayet | Conservative, Political Comedian

Author of the Best-Selling Book: The KinderGarden of Eden, How The Modern Liberal Thinks

Born in New York City, Evan Sayet moved to Hollywood as a young man in search of fame as a stand-up comic. He also became a television writer and eventually a video producer. Evan Sayet took his liberal politics for granted but, when 9/11 happened, he began a journey which has led him to become one of the nation’s top conservative political comics and a prolific writer.

Mr. Sayet is the author of The KinderGarden of Eden: How The Modern Liberal Thinks.  His Heritage Foundation lecture on the topic remains, years later by far the single most viewed lecture in the Foundation’s history.

Sayet”s talk here was right up that alley. His brand of comedy is political, lampooning totalitarian and socialist ways, while simultaneously teaching us about them and their contrast with a constitutional republic. He was often hilarious, with weaponized satire, sarcasm, hyperbole and irony. Sayet sometimes got caustic, but nowhere near as much as in Donald Trump’s famous 2016 Al Smith speech, which took political “roasts” to  a new level. Sayet played a major role in writing it- view it yourself on

He emphasized that the USA is indeed an exceptional nation, in contrast with anti-constitutional naysayers, and attributes much of that to our founding documents. He pointed out that the most powerful nation in history has abused its power less than any great power ever. He contrasted the USA quite favorably with Rome, France and Germany at their zeniths of power. He said not only did we not take over the world, but we didn’t even try to take over Canada and didn’t try to take over Mexico, which would be very easy because there’s no one left there (ya had to be there to really appreciate his delivery).

He went on a humorous tirade, deconstructing “Liberals” and “Liberal Logic.” He attacked them, for example,  for being in professions that don’t actually produce anything. He mentioned academia, then included his own entertainment profession (being careful to carve out an exemption for political comics) and even added journalism, to everyone’s mirth. Then he noted that stuntmen, who he insisted are almost invariably Conservative, actually DO something which (Liberal) actors only pretend to,

Sayet went on to attack rich leftists for buying oceanfront houses in Malibu, if they really believed that Global Warming would raise the sea and flood them out. He said that even if it was actually true that the sea would rise six  inches or even two feet in a century, that the solution was just to pull the beach towels up a little farther from the water.

He praised Al Gore for inventing the internet and some inconvenient truths. He praised Liberals for inventing Global War. He wondered how supporting the Constitution/Bill of Rights had ever become partisan.


Sam Sorbo | Radio Host, Actress, Author, Model

Sam Sorbo. Photo: Marc Langsam

An Upcoming Supreme Court Conversation about the First Amendment

Sam Sorbo is known for her quick wit, fun personality, voracious work ethic, and strong commitment to principle. She holds many titles including activist, author, wife, mother, and home schooling advocate. Her book They’re YOUR Kids: An inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate, released to rave reviews. Actress/Writer Sam and husband Kevin Sorbo have two boys, Braeden and Shane. All four family members star in the recent film Let There Be Light released in December 2017. The Executive Producer of the film, Sean Hannity, also appears and, like the Sorbo family, plays himself.

L-R: Sam Sorbo & Evan Sayet. Photo: Marc Langsam

Sam is widely-traveled and speaks five languages fluently.

Ms. Sorbo’ speech focused on a basket of First Amendment issues, with emphasis on the  media. She pointed out that today the truth is under attack and is being hidden by silence and political correctness. She quipped that “we even have an Oscar-winning film called ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ which was also, unsurprisingly, a lie.” She pointed out the movement to put pornography in front of children in schools, in the guise of “literature.”

She mentioned the Masterpiece Cake First Amendment Supreme Court case where Mike Philips defended his right to not provide products that support something he opposed, namely baking a cake for a gay wedding. A worse situation was to be addressed by the high court this week. National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra (CA Atty-General) will help determine whether it is constitutional for CA, via the so-called “FACT Act,” to compel speech, to force pro-life pregnancy crisis centers to provide clients with information on getting abortions, which they are adamantly opposed to on faith grounds.

Ms. Sorbo kept repeating the refrain “BAKE THAT CAKE” to metaphorically emphasize injustices being perpetrated, then wrapped up her powerful speech with that line, delivered emphatically and angrily. 

Ms. Sorbo sees the need for news media to fairly and accurately inform the public on what is going on and feels that Citizens Journal is one of the few publications that do so (just reporting what she said here, folks :-)).

Gloria Massey Chinea | Founding Member of POV

POV and EIP-CA VC head Gloria Massey-Chinea. Photo: Marc Langsam

Election Integrity Project, California – EIPCa

Ventura County Coordinator and Assistant Director of Populations At-Risk

Born in Puerto Rico, Gloria and her husband Rolando are long-time residents of Oxnard. They have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren. For years Gloria worked in senior management roles at St. John’s University where she created a county-wide neo-natal community outreach program.

Gloria is passionate about “keeping our Republic” through fair and honest elections. Before joining EIPCa in 2017, Gloria and her husband worked nearly every possible job a person can do as a poll worker in Ventura County. She was here to solicit volunteers and support for the efforts to improve election integrity- call: 805-236-6626. She also solicits help with civic engagement group POV: [email protected]






Citizens Journal Team:

Co- Founders: Publisher George Miller, Editor Emeritus Michael Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief Debra Tash

CFO Noel Young

Associate Editor, Deborah Baber-Savalla










Retired Founder/original CJ Webmaster/Tech Director David Stewart (L) talks with Publisher George Miller. Photo: Marc Langsam


Citizens Journal came to be because our team and supporters saw that regional journalism was lacking objectivity and alternative viewpoints. CJ now wants to move to the next level. We want to improve content and expand circulation to get the message out to more people. But to grow, it means raising more money and attracting more talent for various tasks, including writing, circulation, operations and web/technical. It also means supporters sharing articles, comments and urging people to sign up free and donate


About 130 people gathered for the CitzensJournal Comes of Age event on Sunday, March 18, 2018. Photo: Alex Burum.

Among those attending were Simi Valley Councilman Mike Judge; of course T.O. Mayor ProTem Rob McCoy (our keynoter); Conejo Valley Unified School Board Members Mike Dunn, Sandee Everett and John Andersen. Candidates present: CD43 primary candidate Candace Camper (running against Maxine Waters); CD26 primary candidate Jeff Burum; AD44 primary candidate Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy; also ballot-contested VC Sheriff candidate Bruce Boyer.

L-R: Candace Camper, Jeff Burum, Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy. Photos: Marc Langsam

Also present were American Freedom Alliance President Karen Siegemund, AFA VP and writer Michael Greer (watch this); former CRA head and Trump delegate Celeste Grieg; Cal State Long Beach Young Republicans Chair Mark Rifk. Oxnard Councilman and Bernie Sanders delegate Bert Perello had to cancel at the last minute due to an emergency.

Eden Gardens Moorpark, Photo Credit Lucas Rossi Photography


George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.

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Hope the donations keep you going for a long time to come.