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Clerk-Recorder Bios, Statistics, and Occupations Oh My!

Posted by Chris Emami on March 18, 2013

Thanks to Orange Juice blogger Vern Nelson for the idea of grouping the finalists by number of nominees.

Five nominations:
Hieu Nguyen, Santa Ana Republican, 45 years old
Bruce Peotter, Irvine Republican, 54 years old
Renee Ramirez, Orange Republican, 40 years old

Four nominations:
Dick Ackerman (Moorlach, Spitzer, Nelson, Bates), Irvine Republican, 70 years old
Chris Norby (Nguyen, Spitzer, Nelson, Bates), Fullerton Republican, 63 years old

Three nominations:
Larry Bales (Spitzer, Nelson, Bates), Tustin Republican, 70 years old
Steve Rosansky (Moorlach, Spitzer, Bates), Newport Beach Republican, 53 years old

Two nominations:
Michael J. Fox (Nguyen, Spitzer), Lake Forest Democrat, 60 years old
Steven Madoff (Moorlach, Bates), Huntington Beach Democrat, 60 years old
Roy Reynolds (Nguyen, Spitzer), Fountain Valley Republican, 65 years old
Harry Sidhu (Nguyen, Bates), Anaheim Republican, 55 years old

How successful Supervisors’ finalist nominations were:
Nelson: 6 of 6 (100%)
Spitzer: 9 of 10 (90%)
Bates: 9 of 10 (90%)
Nguyen: 7 of 8 (87.5%)
Moorlach: 6 of 10 (60%)

Here they are listed with their occupations:

Dick Ackerman (attorney, former state senator and assemblyman)

Larry Bales (FDIC settlement agent)

Michael J. Fox (attorney)

Steve Madoff (consultant, former executive vice president of Paramount Pictures)

Hieu Nguyen (assistant clerk of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, former OC chief deputy recorder)

Chris Norby (retired teacher, former state assemblyman and county supervisor)

Bruce Peotter (attorney, former assistant public administrator/public guardian)

Renee Ramirez (assistant clerk-recorder)

Roy Reynolds (personal rapid transit consultant)

Steve Rosansky (real estate company president, former Newport Beach councilman and mayor)

Harry Sidhu (business owner, former Anaheim councilman)

Credit goes to the newsletter of Supervisor Todd Spitzer for providing the occupations of all the applicants.

I have finally taken the time to do a bit of research on each of the remaining applicants and am going to provide those bios for our readers:

Hieu Nguyen- Hieu Nguyen along with Bruce Peotter is one of my personal 330px-Seal_of_Orange_County,_California_svgtwo favorites for this appointment. The great thing about Hieu is that he has experience working in the OC Clerk-Recorders office (before Daly) and knows the way things operate from the inside. Nguyen ran for the seat in 2010 (I voted for him) and lost in a landslide the size of which I have not seen very often. He must have gotten some bad campaign advice because that was ugly. He currently works for the County and would be an excellent choice for the position.

Bruce Peotter- I like Bruce a lot and think that he would be an excellent 330px-Seal_of_Orange_County,_California_svgchoice for this position. He has experience working in County Government and was the best chance Republicans have ever had to beat Tom Daly. He is currently an attorney and you can click the link if you want to read more info about his law firm.

He first ran for office in 1998 when he ran for the open Orange County Assessor seat where he ended up coming I fourth place. He ran for office again in 2002 against Tom Daly for the vacant Orange County Clerk-Recorder seat where he finished in the top two thus advancing to the run-off against then Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly. In the run-off he came up a bit short losing the seat to the Democrat Daly who held it for ten years.

Larry Bales- I don’t know much about Larry Bales but must admit that I am SHARP_ELSIMATE_EL-W221surprised to see that he applied for this position. My thought was that he would try to wait out Webster Guillory for Assessor. I say this because he has run for Assessor three times. In 1998 when he first ran for the seat it was an open seat, Webster Guillory won for the first time and Larry Bales came in fifth place. In 2002 he tried for a second time and lost again. This time he came in second place, but only two candidates were on the ballot. He ran a third time in 2006 for what I think might have been just to do it out of spite (maybe?) and the result was no different, unless you consider that he did worse and came in third place.

Renee Ramirez- She is the acting Orange County Clerk-Recorder and has the advantage over all other applicants because if she gets chosen she holds the 330px-Seal_of_Orange_County,_California_svgposition and if nobody can get to three votes she is the de facto incumbent. She has gotten a lot of negative press lately from our friends over at the “Voice of OC” who are looking into a contract that previous OC Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly gave to Current Anaheim Councilmember Jordan Brandman (he was not a Councilmember at the time of the contract).

Ramirez was not involved in the handling of any contracts handed out to Brandman, however, according to the articles I read she apparently claims to have cleared all of the data that was attached to Brandman including hard drive, e-mails, etc… I do find it a bit ironic that the current keeper of County records destroyed County records. This could very well cost her the appointment in my opinion.

You can read the two voice of OC articles by clicking here for the first one or here for the second one.

If destroying any data or records is standard policy for this department the OC Board of Supervisors should take a long look at revising this flawed policy.

Michael J. Fox- I was extremely sad when I learned that this was not the 300px-CourtGavelMichael J. Fox that could take me “Back to the Future” with him. He is an attorney based in Irvine that appears to specialize in business and real estate matters. Here is some biographical information from his law firm website:

Michael J. Fox has a diverse background in addition to private practice. Mr. Fox previously served as in-house counsel to H.K. Realty, J.K Properties and their subsidiaries, entities that owned and managed over 16,000 apartment units in the greater Los Angeles area. Mr. Fox later served as Vice President and Associate Counsel for Fidelity National Title and as an Associate for the firm of Pite Duncan, LLP.

Mr. Fox has hands on real estate and business transactional experience with the negotiation and preparation of real estate purchase and sale agreements, formation and maintenance of corporations, limited liability companies, joint ventures and partnerships. He is proficient in all aspects of real estate transactions and knows how to avoid the pitfalls that can arise during the various phases of a transaction including the due diligence period, analysis, negotiations and preparation of contracts, financing, zoning, permits, title matters and escrow issues. Having litigated numerous cases that evolved from transactional errors, Mr. Fox has assisted clients avoid potential pitfalls and successfully complete both residential and commercial purchase, sale and section 1031 real estate transactions.

Feel free to browse his website if you want to see more.

Roy Reynolds- I met Roy at. California Republican Assembly endorsing kpk7l6-podslargeconvention last year and believe he is a member of the Fountain Valley Republican Assembly. The business card he gave me was for a polling company that he owns and through some research I found out at he is also an advocate for a personal rapid transit system which I understand very little about. If you want to learn more about PRST feel free to do so by clicking here.

Roy also wrote an article on another Orange County blog advocating for the outsourcing of the OC Clerk-Recorder position and he pushed for the Supes to strongly consider going that direction. I like the thought he had from the cost saving perspective but think that he is way off. When voters were presented the opportunity to make the OC Public Administrator an appointed position through Measure A in June 2012 it was rejected by the voters with over 60% of the opposition.

I support saving money, but something can be said for the will of the electorate on any issue.

Steven Madoff- This guy totally got screwed by Bernie Madoff who tarnished300px-CourtGavel the last name of all people named Madoff. All joking aside he is quite qualified for this position with a lot of business experience. His background with Paramount Pictures actually intrigues me and I would rank him as the applicant I would most want to have lunch with. I found an article about him on Billboard that gave a lot more information about specifics on his occupation.

Steve Rosansky- He was a member of the Newport Beach City Council up 100px-NB_SEALuntil this last election where he did not run. In a slight amount of irony he was appointed to the Newport Beach City Council in 2003. He ran for re-election in 2004 and 2008 winning both times. Again, I do find it Interesting that he was appointed to the City Council and now seeks the appointment to Clerk-Recorder.

I found a copy of his original Newport application on a website called Free Newport

Harry Sidhu- former Anaheim Councilman who first tried running in 2002 City_of_Anaheim_Seal_svgbut fell a bit short coming in fourth place (top two win) he ran again in 2004 and was successful in winning one of the two available slots along with Lori Galloway who also won. They were both re-elected in 2008 to their respective seats on the City Council.

Sidhu has tried to get to higher office in the past and has not had the best of luck. In 2008 he took on State Assemblywoman Mimi Walters in what turned into an extremely nasty race (I remember getting the mailers). Walter ended up defeating Sidhu by a wide margin of 74% to 26%. He tried again in 2010 to move on to higher office by making a run at the 4th Supervisorial District which was vacated by Chris Norby. He and Shawn Nelson bloodied each other during this crowded campaign and Nelson ended up winning both in the special primary and the special run-off. The run-off results were not very close, primarily because Nelson was able to run as the incumbent in the run-off, Nelson won 63% to 37%. His history with Shawn Nelson will make for an interesting interview.

Chris Norby- Norby has had a rough year after losing the 65th Assembly seat 170px-CaliforniaAssemblySealto Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva. I will start from the beginning of his career. He was Elected to the Fullerton City Council in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000 and served as Mayor in 1991, 1996, 1997.

He ran for the 72nd Assembly District in the 1995 special election but ended up coming in second place to rival Dick Ackerman. If you want to know more about this race take a look at the next bio (Dick Ackerman). Since Ackerman won I wanted to post the election links under his bio.

Norby was not done though as he won a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors (4th District) in 2002 and won re-election in 2006. The 2002 election was particularly interesting because Norby upset sitting Supervisor Cynthia Coad. I found an article about the upset that had an ironic quote from Supervisor Todd Spitzer who at the time was about to leave the Board of Supervisors.

The Norby career continued when he won a special election to the 72nd Assembly District in 2009 after a scandal drove the incumbent Assemblyman to resign (Hey Mike Duvall, how are you doing!). He easily won re-election in 2010. After the redistricting for the 2010 Census took place Norby was hit by a perfect storm that drove him out of office and Democrats into a 2/3 majority in the Assembly.

Dick Ackerman- His political career first began when he ran for and won a 170px-Seal_of_The_Senate_Of_The_State_Of_Californiaseat on the Fullerton City Council in 1980. He was re-elected to the Fullerton Council in 1984 and 1988. Twice during his tenure he served as Mayor of Fullerton (1982, 1986).

Ackerman then ran for the State Assembly in the 1995 special election against three opponents including bitter rival Chris Norby who is also applying for the OC Clerk-Recorder position. Ironically when running for the position he was the California Teachers Association endorsed candidate which I found odd. Ackerman finished in first place, Norby in second, Democrat Shirley Hafner came in third, and Republican Yorba Linda Mayor Barbara Kiley came in last place. Due to nobody garnering 50% of the vote, the top Republican and top Democrat advanced to a run-off election. Ackerman easily won in the run-off election and actually gave the Republicans a majority in the Assembly. He won re-election to the 72nd Assembly District in 1996 and 1998.

After his Assembly tenure came to an end he jumped into the State Senate by winning an election for the 33rd Senate District seat (previously held by John Lewis) in 2000 and won re-election in 2004. If I recall correctly he was the Senate Republican Leader in 2004 and held it to almost the end of his second term.

In 2002 he did lose an election for California State Attorney General where he lost to incumbent Attorney General Bill Lockyer.

13 Responses to “Clerk-Recorder Bios, Statistics, and Occupations Oh My!”

  1. vernnelson said

    You write that “Bruce Peotter… was the best chance Republicans have ever had to beat Tom Daly”

    Do we have to think about Clerk-Recorder as a partisan post? A lot of us Democrats would rather see an honest competent Republican doing that job than a wasteful crony-capitalist Dem like Daly … as long as it’s not just seen as a stepping stone to some higher office.

    That’s why I’m supporting Hieu, I’m pretty sure he ONLY wants to do a great job as our Clerk-Recorder.

  2. Good summary. Thanks for the effort to inform us. Let the winnowing continue.

  3. joe said

    Wait, Wait , wait … Isn’t the attorney Dick Ackerman connected with a law firm making money off the High Speed Rail union cash infusion.

    Isn’t he closely aligned with consultant John Lewis who while in a member of a partisan party that believes in smaller government make a healthy living in programs and projects and expand government.

    Let’s stop supporting hypocrites!

  4. [...] of Supervisors website. We now have access to resumes and schedules for the interview process. I initially posted a list of OC Clerk-Recorder candidate bios along with statistics and occupations. Yesterday it appears staff at the County decided to take it a step further by posting each [...]

  5. [...] http://ocpolitical.com/2013/03/18/clerk-recorder-bios-statistics-and-occupations-oh-my/ [...]

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