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Breaking News: Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage Throughout U.S.

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 26, 2015

In a 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a sweeping Supreme Court opinion legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States. He was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

Justice Kennedy wrote, “…the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry…No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in this case demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justice Scalia also wrote a separate concurring opinion, which Justice Thomas joined. Justice Thomas also wrote a separate concurring opinion, which Justice Scalia joined. Finally, Justice Samuel Alito wrote a fourth dissenting opinion, which Justices Scalia and Thomas joined.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “…the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage. Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens – through the democratic process – to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.”

The full text of the decision and the four dissents are available here.

Posted in National | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Rohrabacher Accuses Wu of Embezzling $173,500

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 25, 2015

In one of the most stunning allegations of the 2010s in Orange County politics, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) filed criminal complaints with the District Attorney and the State Department of Justice accusing his campaign treasurer Jack Wu of embezzling at least $173,500.

Rohrabacher fired Wu as his volunteer treasurer in May after it was discovered that Rohrabacher’s campaign account only had $187 when it was supposed to have approximately $185,000 or nearly 1,000 times that amount.

Rohrabacher sought full restitution, which Wu promised but has not provided.

According to the LA Times, Wu filed for personal bankruptcy in 1996.

He ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Irvine in 1998 as a Democrat and for Newport Beach City Council in 2006 as a Republican.

The web site for WuBell Services, the tax preparation and accounting firm Wu owns, appeared to be down this morning.

Wu does not appear to have a CPA license and serves on the Newport Beach City Finance Committee but had no direct access to city funds.

Wu served as interim CFO/Controller for Vista Paint in Fullerton from 2008-2013, Controller of Concept Studio in Costa Mesa from 2004-2007, Controller of Tait & Associates in Santa Ana from 2003-2004, a partner in CPA firm Channels, Graham & Roth in Costa Mesa from 2002-2003, and Vice President of Finance for Big Grub Entertainment in Irvine from 1995-1997.  Tait & Associates is the firm owned by the Tait family and led by Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait.

Wu graduated from UCI with a Bachelor’s degree in social ecology, with an emphasis in (ironically): criminology, law, and society.

Posted in 48th Congressional District | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Could Governor Brown Veto SB 277 Due to Missing Religious Exemption?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 18, 2015

So my post on Tuesday about the OC GOP opposing SB 277 has already cracked the top 10 posts of all time on OC Political, and it appears to be on pace to overtake #9 sometime this morning.  (For those of you wondering, #9 is Live from OCGOP Central Committee: Efforts to Remove Deborah Pauly as 1st Vice Chair from June 18, 2012. Note to self: June Central Committee meetings equal high readership.)

In light of this readership spike, I decided to do some more reading on SB 277, the bill by Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) to require vaccination of schoolchildren who do not have a medical exemption.  Existing law permits exemptions for medical reasons or personal belief.  In a nutshell, SB 277 would eliminate the personal belief exemption.

One of the most interesting items was AB 2109 of 2012 by then-Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento).  AB 2109 required a health care practitioner to sign an attestation that they provided information regarding the benefits and risks of the immunization and the health risks of specified communicable diseases to a parent of the student in question.  AB 2109 also required a parent of the student to sign a statement that they received the information.

 

While Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2109 into law, he issued a signing message.  (Signing messages are an infrequent occurrence with just a handful of bills getting a signing message each year; the vast majority of bills are signed without such messages.)  The full text of the signing message follows:

This bill seeks to boost immunization rates for children in communities where vaccine rates are falling.

Current state law requires children to be vaccinated prior to enrollment in school or a child care facility, but allows a parent or guardian to opt out of this requirement based on a personal belief. This bill doesn’t change that.  Consistent with current law, AB 2109 allows parents with a personal belief to reject vaccination for their child.

This bill is about explaining the value of vaccinations – both the benefits and risks – for an individual child and the community. Whether these are simple “information exchanges” or more detailed discussions, they will be valuable even if a parent chooses not to vaccinate.

I am signing AB 2109 and am directing the Department of Public Health to oversee this policy so parents are not overly burdened by its implementation. Additionally, I will direct the department to allow for a separate religious exemption on the form. In this way, people whose religious beliefs preclude vaccinations will not be required to seek a health care practitioner’s signature.

In signing AB 2109, Brown spent half the second and fourth paragraphs discussing personal belief exemptions.  The fourth paragraph, the Governor, a former seminarian, issued his direction to the Department of Public Health to create a religious exemption on the form where they would not need to get a health care practitioner’s signature.  In other words, a religious exemption went around AB 2109.

This interesting post from a site called Science Blogs blasts Brown because they felt he “tried to water down the bill” and the he “blows it” for creating a religious exemption.

Putting aside the legality of the Governor’s direction to the Department of Public Health regarding AB 2109, this could be an opening for opponents of SB 277 to persuade Governor Brown to veto SB 277.

When SB 277 was introduced, Brown’s spokesman announced, “The governor believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and a major public health benefit and any bill that reaches his desk will be closely considered.”

Clearly, Brown wants to sign a bill that reduces exemptions, but it is entirely possible that he doesn’t want to eliminate the religious exemption.

According to this article and map by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 48 states allow religious exemptions (only Mississippi and West Virginia do not) but only 20 states allow philosophical exemptions (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin).

It could be that Governor Brown would want to eliminate the philosophical exemption but not the religious exemption.  The lack of a religious exemption could be the Achilles’ heel for SB 277 supporters and the silver bullet for SB 277 opponents.  Only time will tell.

The bill still needs a vote on the Assembly Floor and then another vote on the Senate Floor concurring to amendments made in the Assembly, but SB 277 is expected to survive both floor votes, at which point it will arrive on the Governor’s desk.

Posted in State Assembly, State Senate | Tagged: , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

OC Board of Education to Consider Charter School Application

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 17, 2015

OCBESealIn what should be a rather lengthy meeting, the Orange County Board of Education will be meeting today to consider a number of lengthy items.

First on their discussion calendar is Item J-1, which is the application of the College and Career Preparatory Academy (CCPA) for a charter school.  The staff report recommends approval of the charter school.  The CCPA charter school application is the second request and the first direct application to the Orange County Board of Education since the election of Trustee Linda Lindholm last year.  Four months ago, the Vista Heritage Charter Middle School won 5-0 approval from the Orange County Board of Education when it appealed a 4-1 denial by the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of education (Trustee Ceci Iglesias was the sole vote at SAUSD in favor of Vista Heritage).

Lindholm’s victory over eight-term incumbent Liz Parker marked a critical shift for the County Board of Education.  Parker who voted for charter school petitions once in a blue moon led a Board majority that rarely approved charter school petitions.  Orange County’s hostility to charter schools was bizarre considering our neighboring counties all had many times more charter schools (even when adjusting for population) and the pro-charter school stance of the majority of Orange County residents.

Trustee Ken Williams, elected in 1996, has a voting record generally supportive of charter schools.  Trustee Robert Hammond, elected in 2012, has a voting record consistently supportive of charter schools.  Between 2012-2014, Williams and Hammond often found themselves on the losing ends of 3-2 votes on charter school applications.  Lindholm’s victory in unseating Liz Parker shifted the Board to a pro-charter school majority.  To their credits, Trustees Jack Bedell and David Boyd, along with the Orange County Department of Education staff, recognized the sea change delivered by the voters.  Staff reports for both Vista Heritage and CCPA have recommended approval of the charter schools.  Bedell and Boyd joined a unanimous vote in favor of Vista Heritage’s application and are expected to join a unanimous vote for CCPA.

As the Orange County Register noted:

While California is a nationwide leader in both the number and growth of charter schools and students attending them, Orange County is lagging. The state, according to a recent National Alliance for Public Charter Schools study, welcomed in nearly 90 new charter schools this academic year, giving a total of 1,184 – an amount nearly double that of the next-closest state in line, Florida, home to only 653.

Statewide, the study puts estimated enrollment at almost 550,000 students.

Orange County has only 16 charters – two of them limited to what is called “nonclassroom based” study, where less than 80 percent of instruction is onsite. Los Angeles County, meanwhile, has 355 charter schools. The Inland Empire has 63.

We are, in other words, remarkably deficient in providing educational choice.

Item J-3 is a “Statement Regarding the Common Core Math Standards” drafted by Trustees Lindholm and Bedell.

At 12:30 PM, Item G-4 will be a public hearing regarding the Fiscal Year 2015-16 budget.  (Oddly, the actual text of the budget was not part of the agenda packet online.)

 

Posted in Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OC GOP Opposes SB 277 (Pan) – Schoolchildren Vaccination Bill

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 16, 2015

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgLast night, the Republican Party of Orange County voted to approve a resolution opposing SB 277, the bill by Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) on vaccination of schoolchildren.

Proposed by OC GOP Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Whitacre, the resolution passed after a short discussion with many SB 277 opponents in the audience.

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker opened the discussion on the resolution by speaking about individual liberty, the overreach of government, and how many Democrats were re-registering as Republicans in light of SB 277.

OC GOP Second Vice Chair Mary Young spoke against the resolution, speaking of her experience as a young woman personally witnessing the effects of polio, with people being disabled and people needing to use iron lungs to breath.  She expressed her fear about the return of polio.

OC GOP Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Whitacre, the resolution’s author, echoed Chairman Whitaker’s points about the overreach of government and how many Democrats were re-registering as Republicans in light of SB 277.  Whitacre also spoke of individual liberty and the rights of parents.

OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang was not present but instructed her alternate to vote against the resolution and to read a statement about the efficacy of vaccines and the declaration by Autism Speaks that vaccines are not linked to autism.  There were murmurs objecting to those statements from the SB 277 opponents who were in attendance at the meeting.

OC GOP Central Committee Member Robert Hammond spoke in favor of the resolution, noting his 14 years of experience as a public school teacher.  Neither he nor any of his colleagues had a single unvaccinated student in any of their classes.  He spoke of how he and other teachers would go into the community to encourage vaccinations and how every parent with an unvaccinated child in the community would choose to vaccinate their children when the teachers educated them on the issue.  Hammond explained that while he strongly supports vaccination, his opposition to SB 277 is on the basis that vaccination should be a personal responsibility, not coerced by the government.

The resolution passed by a voice vote.

Last week, the Assembly Health Committee approved SB 277 on a party-line vote of 12-6-1, with Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) not voting.

On May 14, the Senate passed SB 277 on a near-party-line vote of 25-11-3, with Republicans Anthony Cannella (D-Stanislaus County) and Jeff Stone (R-Riverside) in favor, Democrats Connie Levya (D-Chino) and Richard Roth (D-Riverside) against, and no votes recorded for Senators Tom Berryhill (R-Tuolumne County), Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), and Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).

On April 28, SB 277 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote of 5-1-1, with Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) not voting.

On April 22, the Senate Education Committee approved SB 277 on a 7-2 vote with Senator Andy Vidak (R-Kings County) joining six Democrats in favor of the bill while Senators Connie Leyva (D-Chino) and Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) were in opposition.

On April 8, SB 277 was approved by the Senate Health Committee on a 6-2-1 vote, with Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) joining five Democrats in favor, Senators Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama County) and Richard Roth (D-Riverside) in opposition, and no vote recorded for Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina).

The full text of the OC GOP resolution reads:

A RESOLUTION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF ORANGE COUNTY
AFFIRMING ITS SUPPORT OF PARENT/INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND URGING ALL MEMBERS
OF THE CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY TO OPPOSE SENATE BILL 277 (PAN)

Whereas, the Republican Party of Orange County affirms its strong support of the Republican Party Platform – that the rights of parents are sacrosanct with regard to their children and believes in restraining government that would encroach upon those rights;

Whereas, the Republican Party of Orange County understands the United States Constitution and the California Constitution were established to protect individual freedoms and the rights of the minority;

Whereas, it is embedded in both Constitutions that citizens have a right to practice their personal beliefs freely without discrimination from the state and be afforded due process;

Whereas, we uphold the rights of parents to be informed first, and then consent to medical treatment for their children free of coercion, manipulation or fear of governmental intrusion;

Whereas, the current voluntary vaccination program is already proven effective at protecting Californians against life threatening complications and death associated with vaccine preventable illnesses;

Whereas, there is no medically defined epidemic in or near California that warrants such legislation from the Democratic controlled California State Senate and State Assembly and Republicans do not believe in adding to laws and regulations when enforcement of current laws and regulations are sufficient;

Whereas, the language of SB 277 gives the government unlimited power to add vaccines to the currently mandated school entry immunization battery without hearing or oversight, and removes the right of parental objection based upon sincerely held religious beliefs, and personal beliefs; now,

Therefore, be it Resolved, that the Republican Party of Orange County:

opposes SB 277 in its entirety;

calls on all Members of the California Assembly – especially Republicans – to strongly oppose SB 277;

affirms its staunch support of California parental rights to make decisions as to what is best for their children – especially consent to medical treatment for those children, without fear of reprisal or backlash; and

invites disaffected registered California Democrats and their families to abandon the Party that has abandoned them and re-register as Republicans just as dozens did at the recent Democratic Party State Convention; since the Republican Party is traditionally and demonstrably committed to defending parental and individual rights.

Posted in Republican Central Committee, State Assembly, State Senate | Tagged: , , , , , , | 103 Comments »

Taxes Due Today, But California’s Tax Freedom Day Isn’t Until May 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 15, 2015

Tax Freedom Day in Each State – California is 47th Latest on May 3 (Graphic Courtesy of the Tax Foundation)

So if you’re like me, you’ll be finishing filing your income taxes sometime tonight.  I’m glad e-file has existed since I started filing income taxes.  It’d probably be a disaster driving to one of those postmarking-until-midnight Post Offices if I had to mail in my income taxes.

In fact, there’s only one Post Office in all of Orange County that will still be postmarking mail until midnight tonight: 3101 Sunflower Ave. in Santa Ana (the retail portion closes at 7:00 PM, but they’re still postmarking mail received by midnight). For those in northwestern Orange County, you can drive into LA County before 10:00 PM because the Post Office at 2300 Redondo Blvd. in Long Beach will be postmarking mail until then.

While today is the day we literally pay our income taxes, the figurative day in which we finish paying our taxes is still nine days away nationally and eighteen days away for California.

The Tax Foundation annually calculates Tax Freedom Day, which is the day in which people have earned enough money to pay all their taxes (income, payroll, sales, property, etc.) for the year, assuming no change in income level during the course of the year.  Any income earned after Tax Freedom Day will belong to the taxpayer (again assuming no change in income level during the course of the year).

National Tax Freedom Day for 2015 is April 24, though Tax Freedom Day varies by state.

The earliest Tax Freedom Day is in Louisiana on April 2, followed by Mississippi (April 4), South Dakota (April 8), and Tennessee and Alabama (both April 9).

The latest Tax Freedom Day is in Connecticut and New Jersey (both on May 13), New York (May 8), California (May 3), and Massachusetts (May 2).

That’s right: not only is California 47th in the nation, we’re also worse than Taxachusetts.

To look at this another way, the average Louisianan celebrates Tax Freedom Day on April 2, which is 92 days into the year, or 25.2% of the way into the year.  In other words, the average Louisianan pays 25.2% of their annual income in taxes.

The average Californian celebrates Tax Freedom Day on May 3, which is 123 days into the year, or 33.7% of the way into the year.  In other words, the average Californian pays 33.7% of their annual income in taxes, 8.5% more than the average Louisianan.

All of California’s neighbors celebrate Tax Freedom Day before California does: Arizona celebrates it today (17th in the country), Nevada on April 20 (26th in the country), and Oregon on April 22 (33rd in the country).

Posted in California, U.S. Politics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

SD-37 Shocker: Naz Namazi Won a Precinct

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 25, 2015

Naz Namazi Won a Precinct!While reviewing the 37th Senate District special election results for my post Monday breaking down who won which areas of SD-37, I was shocked to see that Naz Namazi won a precinct.

Special Election Precinct 71903, known as Precinct 71362 in regular elections, consists of 15 registered voters in 11 homes (actually, they’re in 10 homes, as the residents of one of the homes in the precinct are not registered to vote) on the 13000 and 13100 blocks of Marshall Lane in the City of Tustin.  There are 9 Republicans (60%), 3 NPPs (20%), 2 Democrats (13%), and 1 AIP (7%).

Of those 15 voters, 4 turned out to vote (27%), so Precinct 71903 had the 11th-highest voter turnout percentage of the 248 precincts in SD-37 for this special election.

Of the 4 voters, a stunning 2 voted for Naz Namazi, 1 voted for Don Wagner, and the fourth registered as an undervote.  Neither John Moorlach nor Louise Stewardson won any votes in this precinct.

Perhaps they found Namazi’s robocall to be persuasive.  As readers may recall from my earlier post on the robocall, the robocall said:

I’m Naz, N-A-Z, Naz, and I’m running against two men: a liar and a hypocrite.

I am a legal immigrant who’s lived in Orange County for 33 years and graduated from UC Irvine.

I’m Naz, and of course, I approved this message. VoteNaz.org. Vote honesty. Vote Naz.

They are one of only two precincts that overlap the City of Tustin and the Orange Unified School District.  What makes them different from that other Tustin-OUSD precinct is they are part of the East Orange County Water District; the other one is not.

In the 2012 presidential election, this precinct voted 6-3 for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.  They cast no votes for third party candidates.

In the 2014 elections, this precinct voted 9-1 for the Republican candidate for Governor, Secretary of State, State Controller, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, and the 45th Congressional District.

1 voter diverged, weakening the Republican vote down to 8-2 for the Republican for Lieutenant Governor and the 68th Assembly District.

5 voted for Kevin Haskins for Superior Court Judge while 2 voted for KC Jones.

5 voted for Tom Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Instruction while 3 voted for Marshall Tuck.

Posted in 37th Senate District | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

A Closer Look at SD-37: Newport-Mesa Delivered Nearly All of Moorlach’s Margin of Victory Over Wagner

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 23, 2015

The Registrar of Voters certified the 37th Senate District Special Election on Friday night, John Moorlach took the oath of office yesterday afternoon, and he will be on the Senate Floor at his desk for the first time at 2:00 PM today while Don Wagner will be back on the Assembly Floor at 12:00 PM today.

We’ve all seen the official results districtwide, with Moorlach avoiding a runoff by 199 votes:

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Completed Precincts: 248 of 248
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 38,125 50.3%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 33,411 44.0%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 2,621 3.5%
Louise Stewardson (W) 1,696 2.2%

 

Besides both being conservative Republican legislators from Orange County, there’s something else Moorlach and Wagner have in common: their most recent constituents like them.  In the 37th Senate District special election, Moorlach won the 2nd Supervisorial District while Wagner won the 68th Assembly District.  Turnout in the 2nd Supervisorial District was 16.8% while turnout in the 68th Assembly District was 15.0%.

Winner by City in the 37th Senate District Special Election

Winner by city or unincorporated area in the 37th Senate District Special Election.  (Note: the sizes of their heads have nothing to do with their vote margin in that community, it’s just the geographic size of the community that did it.  Laguna Woods and Laguna Beach are very oddly-shaped cities.)

The 68th, the 2nd, and Neutral Territory

In the 68th Assembly District (Anaheim Hills, Lake Forest, Orange, Tustin, Villa Park, and the northeastern 1/3 of Irvine), Wagner defeated Moorlach by almost the identical percentage (5.3%) that Moorlach beat Wagner overall in the 37th Senate District (6.3%).  (For those who care to an incredible level of detail, the charts are near the bottom of this post.)

In the 2nd Supervisorial District (Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach), Moorlach beat Wagner by a whopping 20.6%.

In the neutral territory outside the 68th and the 2nd (Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, and the southwestern 2/3 of Irvine), Wagner defeated Moorlach by a large 18.5% margin.  (To add insult to injury for Naz Namazi, write-in candidate Louise Stewardson beat her in these areas.)  In a testament to how fed up voters were with negative campaigning, it was in these areas where Stewardson and Namazi did the best, getting a combined 8.9% here as opposed to 5.4% in the 2nd and 4.5% in the 68th since there was no “favorite son” candidate in these areas.

Moorlach’s Newport Beach-Costa Mesa Landslide

Moorlach’s margin of victory in his hometown of Costa Mesa was a whopping 25.4% (1,712 votes) and in Newport Beach, it was an even larger 27.9% (2,996 votes).

Costa Mesa and Newport Beach combined to give Moorlach 4,708 more votes than Wagner.  Districtwide, Moorlach defeated Wagner by 4,714 votes.  In other words, without Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, Moorlach would have been ahead of Wagner by just 6 votes, and obviously, there would have been a run-off.

Moorlach also held on to the other 2nd District city, Huntington Beach, by a margin of 7.3% (599 votes).

Moorlach Won Portions of the 68th While Holding All of the 2nd

There were three critical areas where Moorlach broke into Wagner’s home turf: Anaheim Hills, Villa Park, and Silverado.  Had Wagner been able to stop the Moorlach incursion into those three areas of the 68th Assembly District, there would have been a run-off.

The Anaheim Hills votes are interesting in that Moorlach beat Wagner by 76 votes in Anaheim Hills overall, but Wagner beat Moorlach by 7 votes in the 39th Congressional District.  The only portions of the 39th Congressional District that overlap with SD-37 are in Anaheim Hills.  Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait endorsed Moorlach and did a robocall for him.  Congressman Ed Royce endorsed Wagner, did a robocall for him, and was listed on Wagner’s mail as an endorser.

It appears Tait managed to push Anaheim Hills out of the 68th District’s generally pro-Wagner voting pattern, but Royce was able to push his Congressional District back into Wagner’s column.  This war of endorsements from popular elected officials and of campaign mail probably explains why Anaheim Hills was the closest city in the entire district.  (We can rule out most precinct walking operations since the “Hills” name is very, very apt compared to the rest of the relatively flat SD-37.)

Moorlach was endorsed in Villa Park by Mayor Rick Barnett, Councilman Bill Nelson, Councilman Robert Collacott, and former Councilwoman Deborah Pauly.  Wagner was endorsed in Villa Park by Councilman Greg Mills and Councilwoman Diana Fascinelli.  Pauly ran Moorlach’s ground operations, which caused Villa Park to buck the trend of the 68th District backing Wagner.

I have no explanation for Silverado.

Moorlach Won the Liberal Pockets of SD-37

In spite of all the union independent expenditures against Moorlach and/or for Wagner, Moorlach actually won the liberal City of Laguna Beach and the flag-banning precincts of UC Irvine.

Tables Galore

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
68th Assembly District Precincts
Vote Count Percentage
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 17,213 50.4%
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 15,418 45.1%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 1,192 3.5%
Louise Stewardson (W) 360 1.0%

 

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
2nd Supervisorial District Precincts
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 15,633 57.6%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 10,030 37.0%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 815 3.0%
Louise Stewardson (W) 651 2.4%

 

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Excluding 68th Assembly District and 2nd Supervisorial District Precincts
Vote Count Percentage
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 7,963 54.8%
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 5,279 36.3%
Louise Stewardson (W) 685 4.7%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 614 4.2%

 

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Costa Mesa Precincts
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 3,979 59.1%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 2,267 33.7%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 254 3.8%
Louise Stewardson (W) 234 3.5%

 

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Newport Beach Precincts
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 6,651 61.9%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 3,655 34.0%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 263 2.4%
Louise Stewardson (W) 177 1.7%

 

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Excluding Costa Mesa and Newport Beach Precincts
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 27,495 47.1%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 27,489 47.1%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 2,104 3.6%
Louise Stewardson (W) 1,285 2.2%

 

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Huntington Beach Precincts
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 4,188 50.6%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 3,589 43.3%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 264 3.2%
Louise Stewardson (W) 240 2.9%

 

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Anaheim Hills Precincts
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 2,579 48.4%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 2,503 46.9%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 205 3.8%
Louise Stewardson (W) 46 0.9%

 

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Villa Park Precincts
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 651 60.8%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 396 37.0%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 23 2.2%
Louise Stewardson (W) 0 0.0%

 

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Silverado Precincts
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 35 58.3%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 21 35.0%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 3 5.0%
Louise Stewardson (W) 1 1.7%

 

Random Trivia Not Worth a Separate Post

For anybody wondering, Moorlach will be seated in the front row on the Senate Floor and will be seatmates with Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton).  Moorlach will be one of only two Republicans with a Democrat as a seatmate: the other bipartisan pair of seatmates are Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) and Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo).  Moorlach will be diagonally seated from his old colleague of eight years on the Board of Supervisors, Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), whose seatmate is their eight-year colleague on the Board of Supervisors, Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel).

Moorlach Seat in the Senate

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 37th Senate District, 68th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

No Run-Off, Swearing-In Scheduled: Senator-Elect Moorlach’s Lead Shrinks by Another 25 Votes, But Registrar Virtually Done Counting

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 20, 2015

California State Senator-Elect John M. W. Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa)

California State Senator-Elect
John M. W. Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa)

The sixth results (yesterday’s count) are in, and the Registrar of Voters actually finished counting all ballots in their possession.  The only remaining ballots are SB 29 ballots that will arrive in the mail today.

2,672 SB 29 ballots were counted, with 2,440 of those arriving on Wednesday and 232 arriving yesterday.  Only a tiny number of SB 29 ballots are expected to arrive today.

This sixth update has the penultimate results, as the seventh update tonight will be the final numbers from the Registrar of Voters:

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Completed Precincts: 248 of 248
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 38,111 50.3%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 33,403 44.1%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 2,619 3.5%
Louise Stewardson (W) 1,695 2.2%

 

Moorlach gained 1,718 votes, Wagner 1,533, Namazi 129, and Stewardson 106.  In other words, Moorlach gained 1,718 of the newly-counted votes (49.3%) while the rest of the field gained 1,768 of the newly-counted votes (50.7%).

Moorlach was ahead of 50% by 247 votes for the last Election Night count, which shrunk by 25 down to 222 votes after Wednesday’s count, and that lead shrunk by another 25 votes, still leaving Moorlach 197 votes above the 50% mark.  I project that the remaining SB 29 ballots left are far, far fewer than 197; I’ll go out on a limb and say there’s probably less than 10 of those ballots out there.

Based on the Election Night returns and trends, OC Political was the first place to call the election in print when we did so on Election Night at 10:31 PM, and we stood by the call even as a number of other places said late ballots would trend away from Moorlach.

Senator Sharon Runner was sworn in yesterday in the State Capitol after winning the SD-21 special election, which was held the same day as the SD-37 special election.  Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff had invited Senator-Elect John Moorlach to be sworn in on the same day, but Moorlach opted to wait and will also take the oath of office in the district.  He plans to be sworn in on Sunday at 4:00 PM in the Chapel at the Orange County Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope at 1 Hope Drive in Tustin.

Posted in 37th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Senator-Elect Moorlach’s Lead Shrinks by Insignificant 25 Votes – There Will Be No Run-Off

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 19, 2015

Senator-Elect John M. W. Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa)

Senator-Elect John M. W. Moorlach
(R-Costa Mesa)

The Registrar of Voters has counted nearly all non-SB 29 ballots.  450 absentee ballots that arrived in the mail on Election Day have been counted, leaving only 100 left.  3,860 absentee ballots dropped off at the polls have been counted, leaving only 96 left.  All 181 Election Day paper ballots cast at the polls have been counted.  The 788 provisional ballots are still out there, so 4,481 ballots were counted in the fifth set of results, and only 984 of the non-SB 29 ballots remain.  2,440 SB 29 ballots arrived yesterday, and while there are still some SB 29 ballots that will arrive today and tomorrow, those will be fewer in number than 2,440.

The fifth results (yesterday’s count) show:

STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term
Completed Precincts: 248 of 248
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP) 36,393 50.3%
DONALD P. WAGNER (REP) 31,870 44.1%
NAZ NAMAZI (REP) 2,490 3.4%
Louise Stewardson (W) 1,589 2.2%

 

In the fifth results, Moorlach gained 2,185 votes, Wagner 1,883, Namazi 131, and Stewardson 221.  Looked at another way, Moorlach gained 2,185 votes (49.4%) while the other three won 2,235 (50.6%).  (61 undervotes/overvotes were counted yesterday, but they don’t count toward the total since they didn’t cast a valid vote.)

In the fourth results (final Election Night count), Moorlach was averting a run-off by 247 votes.  In the fifth results (yesterday’s count), Moorlach is averting a run-off by 222 votes.

So after counting 4,481 ballots yesterday, with 3,424 left, plus the small number of SB 29 ballots that will arrive today and tomorrow, it would take an unusual reversal of fortune for Moorlach for a run-off to occur.  In every iteration of ballot counts, Moorlach has dropped no lower than 49%.  For a run-off to occur, he’d have to drop to 44% or less in the remaining ballots – that’s not going to happen.

OC Political stands by our Election Night projection that there will be no run-off and John Moorlach will succeed Mimi Walters as State Senator for the 37th District.

With Moorlach’s victory, it appears the road to the California State Senate from Orange County runs through the Hall of Administration.  When was the last time an Orange County Supervisor lost a bid for the California State Senate? The last four Supervisors to run for Senate have been successful: Lou Correa in 2006, Patricia Bates and Janet Nguyen in 2014, and John Moorlach in 2015.

Posted in 37th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

 
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