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Live from the 5th Supervisorial District Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 9, 2014

We’re live from the 5th Supervisorial District Candidate Forum, sponsored by CWLA, the Laguna Woods Village Satellite Republican Group, and the South Orange County PAC.

The three major candidates are here: Mayor/Businesswoman Lisa Bartlett (R), Orange County Businessman/Councilmember Robert Ming (R), and Councilmember/Businessman/Engineer Frank Ury (R). The minor candidate, Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams (NPP) is not here.

We await the start of the forum.

6:48 PM: Bartlett gives her opening statement. She was born in Culver City and came to OC at age three. She goes over her electoral history. She says Dana Point had no unfunded pension liability and no debt. She says the County has a $9 billion budget and 18,000 employees. (Editor’s Note: she uses this $9 billion figure three times, but the County budget is $5 billion. Also, there are 17,000 County employees.) She speaks about her education. She is an executive at her business. She says she serves on regional boards in leadership roles.

6:50 PM: Ming gives his opening statement. He speaks about his work as counsel at an investment banking firm. He speaks about his wife and four children. He speaks about his fiscal responsibility and protecting public safety, roads, and parks while improving how all of those services and social services are delivered. He speaks about his leadership helping form ACC-OC and leading the Military Support group.

6:52 PM: Ury gives his opening statement. He praises Pat Bates’s service. He speaks of serving in elected office for a decade. He gets the first laugh line of the night joking about being an engineer in politics. He speaks about his family. He speaks about economic development and job creation. He says Mission Viejo has a AAA bond rating. He says Mission Viejo is the second-least expensive CA city to do business and is the safest city. He notes that he serves on OCTA.

6:54 PM: First question is about the $150 million VLF money owed by the County to the State.

6:55 PM: Bartlett proposes centralizing IT at the County. She suggests looking at shared services for public safety and social services. She describes AB 109 prison realignment. She speaks about how public safety is the top priority of government.

6:57 PM: Ming says OC needs to fight for a fair share of taxpayer dollars from Sacramento. He speaks about property tax, triple flip, and ERAF shifts. He says he would fight for local government to determine property tax allocation. He proposes asking County employees to write down when they wonder “why do we do this this way?”

6:59 PM: Ury says the County needs to send people up to Sacramento and DC that they want to see up there, not people who have an acrimonious relationship. He speaks of shared services between agencies. He’d like to have a “Buy OC” program to provide services from OC vendors.

7:00 PM: Question on pension reform. County has already implemented 1.62% at 65 and requiring employees to pay their entire employee share.

7:01 PM: Ming proposes allowing employees to select from more investment options for retirement plans. He says working for efficiencies would ensure the number of members of the pension plan would be efficient. He speaks about leading ACC-OC’s pension reform plan.

7:02 PM: Ury says he implemented pension reform in Mission Viejo and at OCTA. He speaks about Mission Viejo’s Rose Award from OCTax. He speaks about the importance of viability of plans. He proposes leasing out County facilities for cell towers.

7:04 PM: Bartlett speaks about the Vallejo bankruptcy. She says Dana Point has made advance payments to eliminate their pension liability. She proposes balancing costs to employees and paying off the pension costs by controlling the employee pension contribution.

7:06 PM: Question on Caltrans, OCTA, 3+ HOV lanes, and toll lanes (e.g. the 405).

7:07 PM: Ury says South County is fine. He doesn’t want Caltrans to impose another toll lane. He believes the current number of toll lanes is fine. He says adding two free lanes to the 405 would have come at the expense of the El Toro Y.

7:08 PM: Bartlett speaks about developments like Rancho Mission Viejo. She speaks about the Tesoro extension on the 5. She says gridlock can be addressed locally or in Sacramento. She calls for open-mindedness, though she prefers not having 3+ HOV lanes.

7:09 PM: Ming says voters passed Measure M, and OCTA should give the voters what they voted for. He is a TCA board member and says people should get what they voted for.

7:11 PM: Question about the 241 toll road extension and widening the 5 via the Tesoro extension.

7:12 PM: Bartlett wants to complete the Tesoro extension and the 241 toll road extension. She says that people need alternative exit routes in case of evacuation.

7:13 PM: Ming supports the Tesoro extension. He says he supports the 241 toll road extension but with a different route and approach. He’d like a compromise for all stakeholders.

7:14 PM: Ury supports both extensions as well. Ury says it is a conflict of cutting down carbon emissions versus reducing congestion. He proposes locking everyone in a room. He says the air quality people are also the anti-extension people, and he says those are positions in conflict.

7:16 PM: Question asks what’s the difference between the candidates.

7:17 PM: Ming speaks about having spent his career bringing together conflicting parties to reach a compromise. He says he is a consensus builder. He mentions his ability to work with existing Supervisors and notes his endorsement by Supervisors’ Chairman Shawn Nelson. He says standing on principle helps people better understand where a Supervisor stands on issues.

7:18 PM: Ury says he is an engineer, which brings a different skillset. He says he is a problem solver. He speaks of leading a division of Intel. Ury says he is the only one who works with a $1 billion+ budget via OCTA.

7:19 PM: Bartlett says she is a woman. She speaks of her experience of efficiency, balance budgets, and leading staff. She says she brought her private sector experience to Dana Point and wishes to take that to Orange County.

7:20 PM: Question on affordable housing.

7:20 PM: Ury says the state needs to understand what it is imposing on local communities, particularly unfunded mandates. He says there needs to be jobs and homes for 20-33 year olds, who are leaving OC because it’s too expensive.

7:22 PM: Bartlett suggests public-private partnerships. She says more jobs allows more people to afford homes. She wants to put in developments with multiple price points.

7:24 PM: Ming says housing developments take a lot of time, effort, and work from the private sector. He says home builders need incentives like property rights protections in order to actually build homes. He says government doesn’t build homes.

7:26 PM: Questions about homelessness and a homeless shelter.

7:26 PM: Bartlett says homelessness is in every city. She speaks of government working with nonprofits to prevent homelessness. She says a bed, food, and shelter is not necessarily the answer. She says providing hospitalization and similar facilities is needed. She says the cities should address homelessness first before the County does.

7:28 PM: Ming says government does some things well and some things poorly. He says the same is true of the private sector. He says the private sector does an excellent job with homelessness, pointing to the OC Rescue Mission. Ming says government should facilitate nonprofits solving homelessness. He wants government to partner with nonprofits to teach people to fish rather than giving them fish.

7:30 PM: Ury speaks about his daughter’s work with disadvantaged teenage girls. He says there needs to be more dialogue with faith-based organizations. He says his church has a food kitchen and shopping carts. He believes faith-based groups have been left out of this for too long.

7:31 PM: Question about restoring confidence in government.

7:31 PM: Ming wants to expand accountability measures. He says government needs to spend money logically, and he says the County should better communicate what the County does and what it’s spending it on. He calls for strong leadership and accountability.

7:33 PM: Ury says put transparency in the light of God, pointing to the Latin root of confidence. He speaks about televising Mission Viejo’s Council meetings. He calls for better ways for people to search for documents. He wants to bring more public comment to meetings.

7:34 PM: Bartlett says better communication is needed. She says CalOptima and IT centralization are good things that need to be communicated to the public. She wants to tell people what County services are available to them. She says she wants to educate the public.

There are murmurs of opposition in the crowd.

7:37 PM: Question about Dana Point Harbor revitalization project funding.

7:37 PM: Ury says the project has $40 million of the $120 million needed. He says there needs to be a charge to fund the harbor in perpetuity.

7:38 PM: Bartlett notes she’s lived in Dana Point for 25 years. She says her first four years got downtown and harbor plans approved. She says this plan will revitalize Dana Point Harbor and make it the jewel of South County. She says she has experience working with the Coastal Commission. She suggests using a combination of General Fund, grants, private funds, and government bonds to raise the funds needed.

7:40 PM: Ming says the project’s first phase is fully funded. He says phase one should be completed before moving on to funding other phases. He says the results of the first phase need to be seen, so the private sector can see if it wants to help fund the later phases.

7:42 PM: Question about personal values, strengths, and weaknesses.

7:43 PM: Bartlett says her strength is building consensus and leading regional agencies. She says she has an open-door policy. She says people seek her advice. She says her weakness is that she’s a night owl.

7:43 PM: Ming says his faith, family, and freedom are his three top values. He lives his personal life by the moral standards of his faith. He is in government to help make the world a better place for his four children. He wants to protect people’s freedoms because that is what the U.S. is about. He says his strength is listening to people and discussing things with them. He says his weakness is doing too much.

7:45 PM: Ury speaks of being born in Long Beach and growing up in the Midwest. He speaks of his Calvinist minister grandfather and his Hungarian Revolution-fighter father. He says his strength is his financial background at both the school board and the city council. He says his weakness is doing too much.

7:47 PM: Question on what they admire about their opponents.

7:47 PM: Ming praises Ury and Bartlett’s work at ACC-OC, where all three have served in leadership. He says he considers them both friends and hopes the friendships last beyond the campaign.

7:48 PM: Ury notes that Ming was ACC-OC’s first president, Bartlett was the second, and Ury is the fourth. He says Ming is a hard-worker and does his due diligence. He says Bartlett is passionate about issues. He says the challenge is all three run well-governed cities, unlike Los Angeles.

7:49 PM: Bartlett says all three are dedicated public servants who have reached out beyond their city boundaries to serve on regional boards and commissions. She says all three work well with others.

7:50 PM: Ury gives his closing statement. He praises Pat Bates and says he hopes she sticks around. He speaks of priorities of job growth, economic development, and infrastructure. He says Laguna Woods’s senior mobility program had a funding problem that Ury helped solve at OCTA for the next five years before it even became an issue. He speaks of his endorsements from Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Congressman Gary Miller, OCTax, and OCBC.

7:53 PM: Bartlett says she gives 110%. She says Dana Point is on solid footing. She says she is on regional boards and commissions, including as Chair of F/ETCA and on SCAG’s Executive Board. She says she has endorsements from elected officials in the 5th District and outside the district, though she does not name them. She speaks of working on contracts with other agencies. She speaks of senior services being well-rated in Dana Point. She speaks of being able to work with people of all levels, from secretaries to executives. She says Supervisors must work with state legislators and members of Congress.

7:56 PM: The moderator has to cut off Bartlett for going over time.

7:56 PM: Ming urges people to look at voting records, and he is proud of every vote he’s cast. He says job growth requires government getting out of the way. He says overregulation must stop. He says Laguna Niguel does not have a AAA debt rating because it has no debt. He speaks of the Laguna Niguel City Hall being paid for in cash, not debt. He notes his endorsements by Supervisors’ Chairman Shawn Nelson, Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Associaton, and the Lincoln Club of Orange County. He says he is a bridge-builder who is a consensus-maker. He says he listens to his constituents.

7:58 PM: The moderator acknowledges the presence of outgoing Supervisor Pat Bates, and the forum ends two minutes early.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 31, 2014

We’re live from the Republican Party of Orange County Endorsements Committee meeting. Four candidates are on the docket tonight: Eric Woolery for Auditor-Controller, Robert Ming for 5th Supervisorial District, Kevin Haskins for Superior Court Judge Office Number 14, and Jeff Ferguson for Superior Court Judge Office Number 35.

All recommendations of the Endorsements Committee must be approved by a 2/3 vote at the April 21 Central Committee meeting before becoming official endorsements.

The Endorsements Committee consists of Chairman Mark Bucher and members Thomas Gordon, Jeff Thomas, Peggy Huang, Mark McCurdy, and Mary Young. A seventh unidentified member is absent.

(6:15 PM): Chairman Bucher calls the meeting to order and explains the procedure.

He also explains his philosophy of not endorsing one good Republican over another one. He says he may even oppose the party endorsing someone that he personally supports.

(6:19 PM): Chairman Bucher calls an intermission to confer with OC GOP Executive Director Scott Loenhorst.

AUDITOR-CONTROLLER

(6:20 PM): Orange Treasurer Eric Woolery talks about voting for Ronald Reagan the year he turned 18. He served as Second Vice Chair of the OCGOP under Tom Fuentes. Woolery speaks about owning his own business, being a CPA, and managing the Riverside District Attorney’s budget. He says he has a balance of public and private sector experience.

(6:22 PM): Orange Mayor Pro Tem Fred Whitaker says Democrat Jan Grimes has mismanaged the Auditor-Controller’s office and that she could not explain her department’s deficit.

(6:23 PM): Chairman Bucher asks if any of Woolery’s opponents are present. (None of them are here.)

(6:23 PM): Mary Young moves and Mark McCurdy seconds his endorsement.

(6:24 PM): Thomas Gordon notes that Mike Dalati is Karina Onofre’s fiancee, to the laughter of the entire room.

(6:25 PM): Woolery wins the unanimous recommendation of the Endorsement Committee.

WOOLERY RECOMMENDED UNANIMOUSLY.

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #14

(6:26 PM): Assistant District Attorney Kevin Haskins speaks about his family and living in Orange County for 40 years. He resides in Laguna Niguel. He first joined the DA’s office in 1986, was in private practice, and returned to the DA’s office. He says he’s practiced on both sides of the Counsel table. Haskins says he believes in treating all people in court with respect and dignity while holding people accountable for their actions. He says he will follow the law not make law. He says it is important for the party to weigh in with an endorsement, especially in obscure races.

(6:29 PM): Orange Mayor Pro Tem Fred Whitaker speaks of the legal community’s respect for Haskins. He notes that Haskins has been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney. He says Republicans believe in law and order and believe in liberty.

(6:31 PM): Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway says Haskins is someone we need on the bench. He acknowledges this blogger, and then he notes Haskins will be a good judge who will fairly apply the law. He notes that Haskins has the balance of the public and private sector.

(6:33 PM): Jeff Mathews asks if any of Haskins’s opponents have requested the endorsement. (None have.)

(6:34 PM): Peggy Huang asks how Haskins will handle the various arenas of law since judges do not necessarily get to choose their assignments.

(6:35 PM): Haskins responds about his time in private practice and his experience teaching law.

(6:35 PM): Huang asks about his LLM (Master of Laws) degree.

(6:35 PM): Haskins speaks about the breadth of academic legal experience he has.

(6:36 PM): Mark McCurdy asks about Haskins’s period of time as a decline-to-state.

(6:36 PM): Haskins says he was a decline-to-state because he started prosecuting high-profile sex crimes. He says during this time, he wanted to maintain neutrality and avert giving the defense any ammunition, so he registered decline-to-state. Haskins says as a candidate for judge that it is important that voters know he holds Republican viewpoints.

(6:39 PM): McCurdy asks about Haskins declining to answer most of the questions on the OCGOP questionnaire.

(6:40 PM): Haskins gives a lengthy discussion about judicial ethics preventing him from answering the questionnaire.

(6:41 PM): Thomas Gordon asks about Haskins’s perspective on the Second Amendment.

(6:42 PM): Haskins says judges are obligated to uphold the Constitution and laws. He says this includes the Second Amendment. He says he will obey U.S. Supreme Court rulings like Heller.

(6:43 PM): McCurdy asks about AB 109 prison realignment.

(6:44 PM): Haskins speaks about the detrimental effects of AB 109.

(6:45 PM): Huang moves and Young seconds a motion to recommend Haskins. The vote is unanimous to recommend the endorsement of Haskins to the Central Committee.

HASKINS RECOMMENDED UNANIMOUSLY.

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #35

(6:45 PM): Chairman Bucher suggests that in the future, a separate judicial questionnaire be developed without the political questions that most candidates have to answer.

(6:46 PM): Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Ferguson speaks about his experience in the DA’s office, including clearing heavy felony backlogs with DNA collection and preparing the policies for AB 109 implementation. He speaks about his family. He’s lived in Orange County for 52 years. He went to UCI and was an assistant editor for the old OCGOP magazine. He worked on George Murphy and Ronald Reagan’s campaigns. Judge Jim Rogan encouraged Ferguson to run for judge.

(6:49 PM): Craig Alexander speaks about Ferguson’s experience and his CRA endorsement. He says Ferguson and Haskins will follow the law and not make law.

(6:50 PM): Adam Probolsky speaks in favor of neutrality because both candidates for the seat are good Republicans. He speaks about Carmen Luege’s experience and urges the committee stay neutral.

(6:51 PM): Carmen Luege speaks about fleeing Communist Cuba as a teenager. She learned English and about the Constitution in high school. She speaks about wanting to become a lawyer because of her awe of the American judicial system. She speaks about having been a federal prosecutor and now a Superior Court Commissioner.

(6:53 PM): Ferguson says he is endorsed by Congressman Ed Royce, the CRA, and several Assemblymembers. He speaks about having the respect of judges and attorneys, along with his background as a Republican volunteer.

(6:54 PM): Jeff Mathews asks if Luege is seeking the OCGOP endorsement.

(6:55 PM): Luege says she has missed the deadline, so she will not apply. She notes that she is endorsed by Senator Bob Huff and Mayor Steven Choi.

(6:56 PM): A procedural discussion breaks out.

(6:57 PM): Huang asks Ferguson the question she asked Haskins about various legal fields and judges’ assignments.

(6:58 PM): Ferguson speaks about his experience with various arenas of criminal law, including forfeitures. He says he worked in graphic design and journalism before becoming a lawyer, so he has had some experience dealing with non-criminal law.

(7:00 PM): Huang asks if Ferguson has any civil experience.

(7:00 PM): He compares forfeitures to civil cases.

(7:01 PM): Huang asks if he’s endorsed by any judges.

(7:01 PM): He lists nine judges by name and notes that he’s endorsed by various other judges.

(7:02 PM): Gordon asks if Luege will seek the endorsement.

(7:02 PM): She says she would apply for a late endorsement.

(7:04 PM): Gordon says he is inclined not to endorse anyone since the two Republicans are the only candidates in the race and that Luege will apply.

(7:05 PM): Huang agrees with Gordon and supports delaying until Luege’s application is in.

(7:05 PM): Bucher describes this as a likely case of two good Republicans running against each other, though he’d like to see Luege’s questionnaire to be sure. He predicts the committee will table and probably will stay neutral. He suggests the two candidates mutually agree to withdraw from the endorsement process.

(7:07 PM): Gordon moves and Huang seconds tabling until next month. The vote to table is unanimous.

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #35 TABLED UNANIMOUSLY.

5TH SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT

(7:08 PM): Robert Ming speaks about being Mayor and Councilmember in Laguna Niguel. Ming says it is important for the party to endorse in this race. He says it’s important for parties to stand for something to prevent registration erosion. He speaks about scoring 100% on the Liberty First scorecard while his two opponents scored in the 60s. He speaks of his efforts walking precincts and doing youth outreach.

(7:11 PM): Robert Hammond speaks about Ming’s efforts to help expose unfunded mandates at the OC Board of Education. He speaks of Ming’s efforts to help a citizen obtain field space with 24 hours after being contacted.

(7:12 PM): Lisa Bartlett notes she is running against Ming. She says she opposes the endorsement because there are three good Republicans who are fiscally conservative, believe in local control, and hold ACC-OC leadership positions. She urges neutrality.

(7:14 PM): Maribel Marroquin speaks about Robert Ming being the first elected official to speak to her youth outreach group and getting young people to become Republicans. She says young people view him as a mentor.

(7:15 PM): Frank Ury notes that he is running against Ming. He urges neutrality because there are three good Republicans. Ury speaks about having been OCGOP Local Elected Official of the Year and a Central Committee member. Ury speaks about his effort over the last 20 years on behalf of Republican causes and having had his blood drawn (figuratively) for conservative causes.

(7:17 PM): Ming says the three have distinct voting records. He says he is in the trenches and helping move the party forward. He says people in the trenches should be endorsed.

(7:18 PM): Mary Young says there is nothing she dislikes about Ming. She notes there are three good Republicans. She says Ury was very involved in the party in the past.

(7:19 PM): Peggy Huang asks Chris Emami about Liberty First.

(7:19 PM): Emami explains how it scored City Councilmembers on personal freedoms, property rights, and fiscal responsibility.

(7:20 PM): Huang asks Ming about why he formed ACC-OC.

(7:20 PM): Ming says they wanted to make good public policy that did not necessarily agree with policies advanced by the League of Cities.

(7:21 PM): Thomas Gordon thanks Ming for his efforts with Marroquin’s youth outreach group in Santa Ana because these efforts have forced Democrats to spend time trying to hold registration in Santa Ana.

(7:22 PM): Marroquin notes Ming is one of only three elected officials to actively help the youth outreach group.

(7:23 PM): Gordon asks about eminent domain.

(7:23 PM): Ming opposes it except for truly public purposes.

(7:24 PM): Mark McCurdy asks about redevelopment.

(7:24 PM): Ming says they do not have it in Laguna Niguel, and he generally opposes it. He would only support it in very limited circumstances with far greater oversight.

(7:25 PM): Gordon supports tabling the endorsement until next month to hear from all three candidates.

(7:26 PM): Huang agrees with Gordon.

(7:27 PM): Mathews agrees with Huang and Gordon.

(7:27 PM): Gordon moves and Young seconds tabling the endorsement. The tabling motion passes unanimously.

5TH SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT TABLED UNANIMOUSLY.

(7:28 PM): Committee adjourns.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Auditor-Controller Race: Frank Davies Loses “Deputy Auditor-Controller” Ballot Designation, Will Use “Property Tax Director” Instead

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 31, 2014

There have been five lawsuits related to the June Primary election ballot for Orange County. The meat of this article is after the bullet list. The bullet list just recaps the prior cases.

  • In the Second Supervisorial District, Allan Mansoor successfully sued the Registrar of Voters to change Michelle Steel‘s ballot designation of “Taxpayer Advocate/Businesswoman” and she is now required to use “Board of Equalization Member” instead. This case was covered here on OC Political, in an article in the OC Register, and in an article in the Daily Pilot.
  • In the Clerk-Recorder’s race, Troy Edgar‘s lawsuit against the Registrar of Voters to get on the ballot was rejected by the Orange County Superior Court. Edgar’s lawsuit against the Registrar of Voters also sought to toss Assessor Webster Guillory and Superintendent of Schools Al Mijares from the ballot, and this effort was also rejected by the Superior Court. Consequently, Edgar fails to make the ballot while Guillory and Mijares stay on the ballot. Here’s OC Political’s coverage, including the only online copy of the full text of the judge’s ruling. The judge’s sweeping ruling used “failed” or “fails” six times in reference to Edgar and even uses “without merit” in reference to one of Edgar’s arguments.
  • In the 73rd Assembly District, Mission Viejo resident Dale Tyler sued the Secretary of State to challenge a sentence in AD-73 Candidate Anna Bryson‘s ballot statement, “On the school board, I returned $59 million to taxpayers.” Tyler sought to have the sentence struck entirely, but the Sacramento County Superior Court judge issued a compromise, so it now reads, “On the school board, I voted to save taxpayers approximately $59 million.” Here’s OC Political’s coverage, and here’s the text of the judge’s ruling.
  • In the Auditor-Controller’s race, candidate John Wayne Willard sued the Registrar of Voters in an unsuccessful effort to challenge Eric Woolery‘s “Orange Treasurer/CPA” ballot designation. Consequently, Woolery remains “Orange Treasurer/CPA” on the ballot. Here’s OC Political’s coverage, including the only online copy of the full text of the judge’s ruling. When the judge includes strong language along the lines of “The evidence is undisputed that Woolery was appointed to the position of Treasurer…” you know it’s a sweeping ruling.
  • Oddly, the fifth lawsuit has yet to have any coverage anywhere despite being the first case to be completed, having been resolved way back on Tuesday, and it’s also likely the most significant case in terms of impact on a race. That case will be the focus of this article.
Auditor-Controller Candidates Eric Woolery, John Wayne Willard, Frank Davies, and Mike "Mike" Dalati.  OC Political was unable to find a photo of James T. Benuzzi.

Auditor-Controller Candidates Eric Woolery, John Wayne Willard, Frank Davies, and Mike “Mike” Dalati.
OC Political was unable to find a photo of James T. Benuzzi.

Laguna Niguel resident Todd Nugent challenged the ballot designation of Auditor-Controller candidate Frank Davies. Davies requested the ballot designation of “Deputy Auditor-Controller” for his bid for Auditor-Controller.

Nugent challenged it on the grounds that this was an effort by Davies to game the system by playing working title musical chairs, as he was not the Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller. Denise Steckler held both the job classification and working title of “Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller” before the candidate filing period. Frank Davies held the job classification of “Administrative Manager III” and the working title of “Director, Property Tax” during that time. Then in the middle of candidate filing, after Davies had pulled papers for Auditor-Controller and shortly before he filed them, all four Directors at the Administrative Manager III level in the Auditor-Controller’s office had their working titles switched from “Director” to “Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller” instead (while still remaining in the job classification of “Administrative Manager III”). Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller Denise Steckler then switched to the working title of “Chief of Staff” (while still remaining in the job classification of “Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller”).

Nugent filed suit in Superior Court and succeeded in having “Deputy Auditor-Controller” dumped as Davies’s ballot designation. Consequently, Davies is now “Property Tax Director” on the ballot.

In an obscure down-ticket race like Auditor-Controller, having a ballot designation of “Deputy Auditor-Controller” would have made Davies the frontrunner. Nugent’s challenge was critical in putting Orange Treasurer/CPA Eric Woolery back in the driver’s seat for the Auditor-Controller’s seat. Defeating Willard’s challenge was also critical for Woolery’s frontrunner position.

Here’s how the candidates will appear on the ballot:

(No, that’s not a mistake. Mike “Mike” Dalati is how he requested to be on the ballot. His fiancée, Karina “Karina” Onofre, is a Democratic candidate for AD-74. I have no idea why this couple decided to double-state their first names on the ballot.)

The three strongest ballot designations belong to Woolery, Benuzzi, and Dalati while the two weakest ballot designations belong to Willard and Davies. However, Benuzzi and Dalati failed to obtain ballot statements. Woolery is the only one of the five to wield both a ballot statement and a good ballot designation.

Woolery also bought up most of the slate mailers and wields the most aggressive online presence. He also has the highest name ID having been a former member of the Orange County Board of Education and the current Orange Treasurer. Additionally, he has residual name ID from his wife, Lisa Woolery, a former member of the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board. Eric Woolery also dominates the endorsement arena, wielding the endorsements of the Orange County Taxpayers Association, the California Republican Assembly, and numerous elected officials.

With tens of thousands of dollars, Woolery also has a larger warchest than all of his opponents combined with $50,200. He spent $38,701, on a combination of the ballot statement, candidate filing fee, slate mailers, campaign literature, and consulting fees.

Davies spent his entire $16,476 on the ballot statement and candidate filing fee.

Willard has $16,438, which was presumably spent on the ballot statement and candidate filing fee (he filed a Form 497, but not a Form 460); presumably the other $38 was wiped out by signatures-in-lieu.

Benuzzi raised $2,400 from Anthony Benuzzi and Ronald Benuzzi but had to refund $200 to Anthony Benuzzi when they discovered they had exceeded the campaign contribution limit; with his remaining $2,200, he paid the candidate filing fee and $280 of campaign literature.

Dalati did not file a campaign finance report for the January 1-March 17 reporting period.

In the interest of full disclosure, Woolery is a client of Custom Campaigns, the consulting firm that owns this blog.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 73rd Assembly District, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Clerk-Recorder | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

AD-73: Petrilla Has Double Cash-on-Hand of All Opponents Combined, Bryson & Brough Nearly Tied, Glaab Deep in Debt

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 27, 2014

I’m pretty much going to quote my opening paragraph from my January post on the AD-73 race because it serves to remind us of this chaotic year:

Next up in OC Political’s ongoing in-depth analysis of campaign finance figures is the race for the 73rd Assembly District seat being vacated by the termed out Diane Harkey, who is running for the Board of Equalization seat being vacated by the termed out Michelle Steel, who is running for the Second District Supervisor’s seat being vacated by the termed out John Moorlach, who is running for the 45th Congressional District seat being vacated by John Campbell, who voluntarily retired.  (That incredibly long sentence demonstrates a recurring theme in 2014…)

Republican AD-73 Candidates: Jesse Petrilla, Anna Bryson, Bill Brough, Paul Glaab

The four Republican AD-73 Candidates: Jesse Petrilla, Anna Bryson, Bill Brough, Paul Glaab

I’ll also quote the second paragraph from my January post:

There are four announced Republican candidates in AD-73: Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Jesse Petrilla, Dana Point Councilman Bill Brough, Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Anna Bryson, and former Laguna Niguel Councilman Paul Glaab.  One Democrat, Attorney and Irvine Valley College Professor Wendy Gabriella, has announced for the race.  Gabriella’s entry in the race virtually guarantees a Republican vs. Democrat general election, with the Republican winning handily and spareing South County Republicans an AD-73 general election intraparty bloodbath.

What can I say?  Conditions in AD-73 have been fairly stable.  The announced candidates are exactly the same candidates who qualified for the ballot.  Now on to the latest numbers, which really haven’t moved all that much…

Petrilla’s fundraising slowed in this reporting period ($15,824, second behind Bryson), but his dominant lead ($104,839) from 2013 maintained his position as the AD-73 candidate with the most money raised, with $120,663.  He was the only candidate who raised more than he spent in this reporting period with his $15,228 in expenditures. This brings his total overall spending to just $23,410, and his tight-fisted spending has him actually fourth in expenditures.  Consequently, he has nearly $100,000 cash-on-hand, once loans and unpaid bills are accounted for, with $97,577, to be exact.  Republican Bryson, Republican Brough, and Democrat Gabriella have a combined $49,561 in that category (about half Petrilla’s figure), though adding the deeply-in-debt Republican Glaab leaves Petrilla’s opponents at a combined $14,550, which would mean Republican Petrilla has almost seven times the combined cash-on-hand of his opponents.  It’s not unreasonable to leave Glaab out and note that Petrilla has twice the combined cash-on-hand of his non-indebted opponents.  The biggest question is: why is Petrilla hoarding his money?  I think the most logical conclusion is that Petrilla plans to dominate the AD-73 direct mail.

Bryson raised more than her opponents this reporting period with $29,822, but she spent more than she took in, spending $32,514.  She also has $14,279 in unpaid bills.  Plus, she still lags behind Petrilla in overall funds raised.  She spent half her money on her consultants.  It’s not that her consultants are charging exorbitant rates – it’s simply that she has numerous consultants.  She’s raised $114,965 overall but already spent $75,224; after accounting for that $14,279 in unpaid bills, Bryson is left with just $25,463 cash on hand, assuming she has no plans to spend her $69,600 loan.  Her consulting fees are quickly eating up her once-sizeable warchest.

Bob Dole with AD-73 Candidate Bill Brough

Bob Dole with AD-73 Candidate Bill Brough earlier this month

Brough raised $10,297 this reporting period, bringing his total funds raised to $61,240.  He spent $18,084 this reporting period, bringing his total spending to $39,744.  He has a healthy mix of spending, with no one area jumping out to dominate his spending. He remains the candidate with the smallest loans, by far, at just $100.  He, Petrilla, and Gabriella have no unpaid bills.  Among AD-73 candidates, Brough definitely has the most interesting campaign contributor, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who was the Republican nominee for President in 1996.  The Brough campaign had announced the Dole endorsement two weeks ago, and Dole gave Brough’s campaign $500.

Glaab raised $8,899 this reporting period, bringing his total funds raised from other people to $36,985.  However, he also donated $22,000 to his campaign in 2013 (not loaned, but truly donated), bringing his total funds raised up to $58,985.  He spent $40,053 this reporting period, bringing his total expenditures to $90,072, the highest level of expenditures of any candidate in AD-73.  While Glaab has a mix of spending, he has spent a fortune on slate mailers.  With the least raised and most spent among the Republican candidates (even after accounting for his self-contribution of $22,000), Glaab is deeply in debt, to the tune of $35,011.  He’s clearly banking on the slate mailer strategy for this race, but he didn’t secure all the slates.

On slates, in my January post, I said, “Glaab secured the vast majority of slate mailers.  There are five major slate vendors, with Glaab grabbing three of them, including the two vendors who produce the most slate mailers.  Bryson grabbed one vendor.  It appears the fifth vendor is up for grabs still.”  Well, Brough has since nabbed the fifth vendor.  Slate mailers are now divided in this race, with three candidates nabbing the major slates, though Glaab has the lion’s share.

Nothing new regarding loans or candidate self-funding, so here’s the paragraph from my January post on that:

Here at OC Political, we’ve railed repeatedly against the $100,000 paper tiger loans.  (These loans of $100,000 or less are frequently used by candidates to artificially inflate their warchest numbers.  While OC Political has many posts about those, this one is probably the seminal post on the issue.)  I will give Paul Glaab credit for actually spending his own money. Glaab put his money where his mouth is, and donated $22,000 to his own campaign beyond the $100,000 loan he made to his campaign.  State campaign finance regulations put that $22,000 forever out of Glaab’s reach; it is nonrefundable, and he must spend it on the campaign.  Glaab was well aware of this regulation and properly reported the $22,000 as a contribution, not a loan.

Democrat Wendy Gabriella raised $4,592 this reporting period, bringing her total funds raised to $16,703.  She spent $9,507 this reporting period, bringing her total expenditures to $14,089.  (Interestingly, top fundraiser Petrilla’s spending is so low that his expenditure levels are closer to dead-last fundraiser Gabriella’s than to any of his Republican opponents.)  With no unpaid bills and a candidate loan of $1,196, Gabriella’s cash-on-hand is $2,614.

Here’s the chart:

Candidate 2013
Contrib.
1/1/14-
3/17/14
Contrib.
Candidate
Contrib.
Total
Contrib.
Candidate
Loans
Unpaid
Bills
2013
Expend.
1/1/14-
3/17/14
Expend.
Total
Expend.
Cash-
on-Hand
(COH)
COH
Minus
Unpaid
Bills
COH
Minus
Unpaid
Bills &
Loans
Petrilla $104,839 $15,824 $0 $120,663 $3,500 $0 $8,182 $15,228 $23,410 $101,077 $101,077 $97,577
Bryson $85,143 $29,822 $0 $114,965 $69,600 $14,279 $42,710 $32,514 $75,224 $109,342 $95,063 $25,463
Brough $50,943 $10,297 $0 $61,240 $100 $0 $21,660 $18,084 $39,744 $21,584 $21,584 $21,484
Glaab $28,086 $8,899 $22,000 $58,985 $100,000 $3,925 $50,019 $40,053 $90,072 $68,914 $64,989 -($35,011)
Gabriella $12,111 $4,592 $0 $16,703 $1,196 $0 $4,582 $9,507 $14,089 $5,693 $5,693 $2,614
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Campaign finance reports for January 1-March 17, 2014 were due Monday.

Posted in 73rd Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

AD-74: Curry Dominates Fundraising, Patrascu Distant Second, Harper Spends All on Slates

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 26, 2014

Well, it’s that time of the election cycle again: campaign finance reports are out. OC Political will be doing our in-depth analysis to help you get past the campaigns’ spin on the numbers.  First on the docket is the race for AD-74 to replace Allan Mansoor, who is leaving the Assembly to run for the 2nd District Supervisor’s seat, being vacated by the termed out John Moorlach.  AD-74 consists of Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, the southern half of Huntington Beach, and portions of Irvine.

Harper, Curry, Patrascu

The three Republican candidates in AD-74: Matthew Harper, Keith D. Curry, and Emanuel Patrascu.

There are three declared Republican candidates in AD-74: Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper, Businessman/Newport Beach Councilman Keith D. Curry, and Assemblyman Travis Allen’s District Director Emanuel Patrascu, an Orange County business owner.  H&R Block Franchise Associate Karina Onofre pulled papers as a Republican but filed them as a Democrat, so she’s on the ballot as a Democrat. Middle School Teacher Anila Ali, who has been a Democrat since she became a U.S. citizen in 2008, will also be on the ballot.  (For those wondering, Onofre was a Republican for 20 months, from July 2012-March 2014.  She has been a Democrat for years, other than during those 20 months.)

When OC Political analyzed the numbers for the end of the 2013 reporting, AD-74 was called the “Land of Small Warchests” in the post. Since then, Curry put his foot on the gas, and Patrascu stepped it up a bit, so those two are posting much stronger numbers (though still far behind races in other Assembly districts, but at the end of the day, to win this race, AD-74 only needs to worry about AD-74).  The other three candidates’ warchests remain rather small, however.

Before I start in on the numbers, it’s time to attack the $100,000 paper tiger loans.  We’ve been attacking the fiction of the $100,000 loans for months on OC Political.  (This July post is probably the seminal post on the issue, though it wasn’t until this August post that the paper tiger name was attached.)  In essence, these $100,000 paper tiger loans are loans candidates make to artificially inflate their campaign finance numbers to impress donors and scare opponents.  The reason $100,000 is the figure used is that’s the most a candidate can loan their own campaign and still get the money back.  Any amount the candidate gives above $100,000 is forever donated to the campaign under state law.  In AD-74, Republican Curry and Democrat Onofre gave their own campaigns $100,000 paper tiger loans.  It also appears Republican Patrascu gave his campaign a smaller paper tiger loan of $29,700.  Republican Harper has actually spent his negligible $4,100 loan.

Curry had a slow start to 2013, but of course he declared his entry in the race just three weeks before Christmas.  In the prior post on AD-74 warchests, I asked, ” If Curry can continue his pace of $21,200 per month, he will quickly amass the largest warchest in AD-74.  However, many candidates find their fundraising slows down after an initial burst after their campaigns launch when they pick up their low-hanging fruit donors; can Curry defy the odds?”  The answer is yes, he defied the odds.  In this latest reporting period, Curry raised $32,871 per month.

Curry added $83,768 this reporting period to his $21,200 from 2013, making him the first AD-74 candidate to break the $100,000 barrier in funds raised, with $104,968 in the course of his campaign.  Curry transferred a negligible $6,490 from his city council campaign account in 2013, but transferred nothing this reporting period.  He also gave himself one of those $100,000 paper tiger loans that we expect he won’t spend.  Curry spent $32,271 on a healthy mix of items, including campaign literature, slate mailers, fundraising, ballot filing fees, and consultant fees.  He has no unpaid bills.  Even after subtracting out his loans, Curry still has $78,506 cash-on-hand.

Patrascu added $25,679 in this reporting period to his $35,395 haul from 2013, bringing his total contributions to $60,974.  He made no transfers.  He has $29,700 in loans.  He was incredibly tight-fisted with his expenditures, spending only $5,098, all of went to fundraising expenses, campaign treasurer expenses, and ballot filing fees.  He has no unpaid bills.  After subtracting out his loans, Patrascu still has $54,021 cash-on-hand.

Harper only raised $2,150 in this reporting period ($1,900 from Rainbow Disposal and $250 from attorney Dave Bartels), adding to the $4,100 he raised in 2013 from Karen Harper last year, leaving Harper with $6,250 raised.  He transferred in $11,150 from his City Council account into his Assembly account, all during this reporting period.  He loaned himself $4,100.  He spent $15,674, with $13,700 going to Jim Lacy’s Landslide Communications slates, $1,906 going to his treasurer Dave Bauer for either campaign literature or treasurer fees, and $68 in small unitemized expenditures.  He has $17,763 in unpaid bills, with $13,700 on his credit card to pay for Lacy’s Landslide slates, $4,028 on his credit card to pay ballot filing fees, another $1,927 in small unitemized unpaid bills, and $35 on his credit card to pay for small office expenses.  After subtracting out the loans and accounting for his unpaid bills, Harper is $19,940 in debt.

The Democrats are easy to summarize.  Ali has not yet hit the $25,000 mark to require online campaign finance filing.  Onofre gave herself a $100,000 paper tiger loan.  She spent nothing and transferred nothing.  She has a single $100 contribution from Republican CD-45 candidate Greg Raths; from the date of the contribution, Onofre was still a Republican at the time.  I imagine Raths will be asking for his $100 back since Onofre has become a Democrat.

For visual learners:

Candidate 2013
Contributions
1/1/14-3/17/14
Contributions
Total
Contributions
Transfers Candidate
Loans
Unpaid
Bills
Expenditures Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
& Loans
Harper $4,100 $2,150 $6,250 $11,150 $4,100 $17,763 $15,674 $1,923 -($15,840) -($19,940)
Curry $21,200 $83,768 $104,968 $6,490 $100,000 $0 $32,271 $178,506 $178,506 $78,506
Patrascu $35,295 $25,679 $60,974 $0 $29,700 $0 $5,098 $83,721 $83,721 $54,021
Onofre $100 N/A $100 $0 $100,000 $0 $0 $100,100 $100,100 $100
Ali N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Campaign finance reports for January 1-March 17, 2014 were due Monday.

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Live from CRA: Endorsements Part II

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 22, 2014

We’re live from the CRA endorsing convention, part 2. The first part was on March 1. Click here for the results from March 1, when endorsements in SD-36, AD-73, AD-74, Supe-2, and Supe-5 were made (CD-45 was deadlocked between Mimi Walters and John Moorlach). This March 22 meeting is to consider races not considered on March 1.

45TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

9:24 AM: In light of John Moorlach dropping out, the delegates voted to suspend the rules to reconsider CD-45.

9:25 AM: Greg Raths speaks about his military service and his family. He speaks about the national debt. He speaks about Mimi Walters’s endorsements and says he has 63 volunteers walking precincts.

9:28 AM: Benita Gagne asks if Raths would vote to impeach Obama.

9:29 AM: Raths says jobs, the economy, education, and repealing Obamacare are more important.

9:31 AM: Tom Pollitt asked Raths about debates in CD-45 and the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

9:32 AM: Raths says Walters has declined to debate, and he says she voted for a $2.3 billion tax increase.

9:48 AM: After the first round, the vote is Mimi Walters 11, Greg Raths 8, and no endorsement 2. This goes to a second round of voting.

9:55 AM: The second round vote total was not announced, but no one got 2/3 to get an endorsed.

9:56 AM: Raths notes that he is the only candidate who was able to sign his own nomination papers because he actually lives in the district. He says he wants to represent his friends, family, and neighbors. He calls Walters a career politician. He speaks about his military career and his family. He says he is 110% pro-life. He says Walters broke her pledge to not raise taxes. He says CRA should break from the New Majority crowd to endorse him, not Walters.

10:14 AM: There is no endorsement with 10 for Walters, 8 for Raths, and 1 for no endorsement.

NO CD-45 ENDORSEMENT

39TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

9:38 AM: Congressman Ed Royce was endorsed unanimously for re-election in CD-39.

ROYCE ENDORSED

46TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

9:39 AM: Carlos Vazquez speaks about his family fleeing from Cuba. He speaks about reducing regulations, cutting taxes, improving education, supporting charter schools, and repealing Obamacare.

9:43 AM: John Cullum speaks about increasing local control and not being in awe of elected officials. He says he spoke with Loretta Sanchez and told her that she has been in office too long, and she was shocked that he said that in her office, which he calls “the people’s office.” He says he supports jobs, solving healthcare, and improving the economy. He says he will work across party lines.

9:46 AM: Benita Gagne asks about why he supports the removal of the pro-life plank of the Republican Party platform.

9:47 AM: Cullum says he is pro-life, but that he wants to stop alienating people from the Republican Party.

VAZQUEZ ENDORSED

34TH SENATE DISTRICT

10:00 AM: Janet Nguyen thanks CRA members for their help electing Andy Vidak and Kevin Faulconer. She says CRA will help win SD-34 to break the Democratic supermajority. She speaks out against SCA 5, a Democratic proposal to partially overturn Prop 209. She speaks of her family’s immigration to the U.S. She speaks about non-discrimination and the importance of treating people of all races equally. She says Cuong Cao, Westminster CRA President, told her he would oppose her in every election because she is married to a non-Vietnamese person (Tom Bonikowski). Nguyen calls for non-discrimination and party unity.

10:04 AM: A delegate asks if she believes life begins at conception.

10:05 AM: Nguyen says she is pro-life. Rape and incest are her only exceptions.

10:06 AM: Cao says Nguyen should not show up in the Vietnamese community with her non-Vietnamese husband.

10:07 AM: Nguyen reiterates her prior comments on race.

10:07 AM: Joy Neugebauer asks about Prop 13.

10:08 AM: Nguyen says she opposes the split roll. She says she supports Prop 13. She says she opposes eminent domain and supports property rights.

10:09 AM: Jim Cunneen asks how she will bring manufacturing business to SD-34.

10:09 AM: Nguyen says she would support cutting burdensome job-killing regulations and incentivize job creation.

10:10 AM: Pham speaks about immigrating to the U.S. He says he is a problem solver. He says NASA turned to Long Pham. He says Pete Wilson turned to Long Pham. He says when they need nuclear clean-up, they turned to Long Pham. He says he was elected to the Orange County Board of Education. He says his American Dream was shattered by the grand jury report on CalOptima. He was critical of her press conference with Ed Royce where he was not allowed to campaign (the press conference was about a piece of Royce legislation that was suggested by Nguyen).

10:14 AM: A delegate asks about Prop 13.

10:14 AM: He says he supports Prop 13.

10:15 AM: Chris Emami asks why Pham did not endorse CRA-endorsed candidate Robert Hammond for his old seat.

10:15 AM: Pham claims he did not endorse because he didn’t know who was running. (Editor’s Note: Filing closed just five days after Hammond entered the race.)

10:16 AM: A delegate asks Pham why he opposed Prop 32 at the CRA convention two years ago.

10:16 AM: Pham mumbled that he supported Prop 32. (Editor’s Note: That’s not true. I was at the CRA convention two years ago.)

10:16 AM: Nat Serslev asks if Pham attempted to misdirect Congressman Ed Royce about the exact location of the building when Royce arrived in the parking lot for the press conference.

10:16 AM: Pham denies it and accuses Royce and Nguyen of spreading lies.

10:29 AM: Janet Nguyen got 24 votes while Long Pham got 6 votes.

NGUYEN ENDORSED

48TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

10:19 AM: Dana Rohrabacher is endorsed by unanimous consent.

ROHRABACHER ENDORSED

47TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

10:22 AM: Voting begins on whether or not to endorse Andrew Whallon against Alan Lowenthal. Whallon is not present.

10:29 AM: Whallon got 15 votes while no endorsement got 5 votes.

WHALLON ENDORSED

49TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

10:23 AM: Darrell Issa is endorsed by unanimous consent.

ISSA ENDORSED

COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, AREA 5

10:31 AM: Craig Alexander speaks about Liz Parker being a RINO who has voted against 4 of the last 5 charter schools. Alexander speaks about Lindholm’s conservative record on the Laguna Niguel Council. He speaks of her endorsement by Robert Ming, the CRA-endorsed candidate for Supervisor. Alexander speaks of Parker’s liberalism. Alexander notes that Lindholm is endorsed by the two conservatives Orange County Board of Education Members, Robert Hammond and Ken Williams. Alexander hopes that both Linda Lindholm and Tom Pollitt will be elected to change the conservative minority into a conservative supermajority.

10:42 AM: Lindholm got 13 votes while no endorsement got 1 vote.

LINDHOLM ENDORSED

65TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

10:36 AM: David Shawver speaks of Young Kim’s conservatism. Shawver speaks about Kim’s election being critical to breaking the Democratic supermajority.

10:45 AM: Young Kim was endorsed with 27 votes. It was unanimous.

KIM ENDORSED

68TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

10:41 AM: Don Wagner is endorsed for re-election by unanimous consent.

WAGNER ENDORSED

69TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

10:48 AM: Cecilia Iglesias receives 7 votes while no endorsement got 1 vote.

IGLESIAS ENDORSED

72ND ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

10:58 AM: Travis Allen receives 21 votes while no endorsement got 4 votes.

ALLEN ENDORSED

COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, AREA 2

10:50 AM: Tom Pollitt speaks about the importance of improving children’s education. Pollitt speaks about the literally hundreds of charter schools in Los Angeles County and San Diego County. Pollitt notes his opponent voted for 1 of the last five charter schools. Pollitt wants to support charter schools that help children’s education. Pollitt says he opposes Common Core and supports local control. Pollitt says he supports limited government, personal responsibility, and family values. He notes his endorsements by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Supervisor John Moorlach, Mayor Jim Righeimer, Councilman Robert Ming, and Orange County Board of Education Members Robert Hammond and Ken Williams.

10:53 AM: Phil Morello asks about Pollitt’s experience and whether his election matters.

10:54 AM: Pollitt speaks of being chairman of his school board and serving on another school’s board of directors. He says currently there is a 3-2 majority, so his election and Linda Lindholm’s election will flip it to a 4-1 majority the other way.

11:08 AM: Pollitt received 31 votes while David Boyd received 3 votes.

POLLITT ENDORSED

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #35

10:59 AM: Jeff Ferguson speaks about being a senior deputy district attorney. He says he is a constitutionalist. He says he believes in the 2nd Amendment, and he is pro-property rights. He says he opposes including foreign law in California courts.

11:01 AM: Craig Alexander notes that judicial candidates cannot speak about specific rulings, but they can answer questions about their political beliefs.

11:03 AM: A delegate asks about the philosophy of holding constitutional officers should be held to their oaths of office.

11:04 AM: He says, of course. He says he has upheld up his oath as a Senior Deputy District Attorney.

11:05 AM: A delegate asks about his beliefs on abortion.

11:05 AM: Ferguson says he believes life begins at conception.

11:06 AM: He says he’s served three decades as a prosecutor and did 80 trials in his first three years. He says his opponent has 17 years as a federal prosecutor before becoming a Superior Court Commissioner and only did 15 trials.

11:07 AM: Ferguson endorsed by standing vote with only 1 in opposition.

FERGUSON ENDORSED

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #14

11:10 AM: Fred Fascenelli went to Villa Park High School, Chapman College, and Western State Law School. He holds a patent. He launched a small business after law school. He speaks of the wide variety of fields of law he’s practiced in. He served as a mediator for the Better Business Bureau for five years.

11:12 AM: Craig Alexander asks about his belief about the Constitution being a living document or being based on original intent.

11:13 AM: Fascenelli says the Constitution should be considered a living, breathing document. He says we need to look at core values and intended purpose of the Constitution.

11:14 AM: Alexander says Fascenelli claimed it was inappropriate to answer the question of when life begins.

11:15 AM: Fascenelli says life begins at the molecular level.

11:15 AM: Tom Pollitt asks about standing on the principles of the constitution.

11:16 AM: Fascenelli says the Commerce Clause has been perverted.

11:35 AM: Fred Fascenelli got 12 votes, Kevin Haskins got 21 (despite not being present), and no endorsement got 22 votes.

11:48 AM: Fascenelli asks if anyone has any questions but is ruled out of order. Fascenelli then says he’s been a businessman who understands what small businesses face from the law.

12:08 PM: Fascenelli receives 15 votes, Haskins received 23 votes, while no endorsement received 15 votes.

12:12 PM: He speaks of his family, including his wife who is on the Villa Park City Council. He speaks of being a lifelong Republican. He has visited a number of foreign courts and believes the U.S. has the best legal system in the world.

12:22 PM: Fascenelli gets 13 votes, Haskins gets 28 votes, and no endorsement gets 11 votes.

NO JUDGE #14 ENDORSEMENT

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #20

11:24 AM: Helen Hayden speaks about her knowledge of not just courtrooms, but contracts too. She speaks of her experience with various corportate and contract law areas. She says she is running against Judge Derek Johnson, who was appointed by Gray Davis, because Johnson was admonished by a judicial panel for arguing that a woman’s body shuts down during a rape and that the victim didn’t fight back.

11:27 AM: Steve Sarkis asks if there was any judicial investigation.

11:27 AM: Hayden says the Commission on Judicial Performance admonished Johnson. Johnson told the commission that his own remarks were the prosecutor’s fault because Johnson was frustrated with the prosecutor.

11:28 AM: Baron Night asks about her thoughts on original intent versus living document for the Constitution.

11:28 AM: Hayden says she will rule based on the four corners of the Constitution.

11:50 AM: Hayden receives 54 votes while no endorsement got 4 votes.

HAYDEN ENDORSED

ASSESSOR

11:41 AM: Claude Parrish speaks about the Assessor’s duties. He speaks about how OC property tax appeals have increased from 8,000 to 25,080 under the incumbent. Parrish speaks about his experience at the Board of Equalization.

11:43 AM: Craig Alexander abstains because he is on the Assessment Appeals Board, but Pam Alexander asks about Prop 8 (the tax one, not the same-sex marriage one) and Prop 13.

11:44 AM: Parrish speaks about Prop 8 property tax assessed value reductions, assessment appeals, and his endorsement by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

11:47 AM: Parrish endorsed unanimously, except for Craig Alexander’s abstention.

PARRISH ENDORSED

AUDITOR-CONTROLLER

11:53 AM: Eric Woolery speaks about what the Auditor-Controller does. He thanks the CRA for its endorsement in his previous successful race for OC Board of Education. He speaks of casting his first vote for Ronald Reagan in 1984. He speaks of his background as a private sector CPA, a County department budget administrator, and Orange Treasurer.

11:54 AM: Steve Sarkis asks about liberal groups attacking Woolery like they have in the past.

11:54 AM: Woolery assumes so but has heard nothing. He notes his other opponents are County bureaucrats.

11:55 AM: A delegate asks if this is an open seat.

11:55 AM: Woolery confirms that it is.

11:56 AM: A delegate asks a question on unfunded pension liability.

11:56 AM: Woolery talks about his experience and his calculations of unfunded liability as Orange Treasurer.

11:57 AM: Don Gilchrist notes he trusted Woolery to do the Gilchrist family’s taxes.

11:58 AM: Woolery endorsed by unanimous standing vote.

WOOLERY ENDORSED

CLERK-RECORDER

11:59 AM: Hugh Nguyen is the son of an American soldier and a Vietnamese woman. He is married to his high school sweetheart, a Latina. He speaks about his 14 years of experience in the Clerk-Recorder’s office. He speaks of his numerous fiscal reforms since becoming Clerk-Recorder.

12:02 PM: Steve Sarkis speaks about Nguyen’s vast improvements since taking over the Clerk-Recorder.

12:03 PM: Nguyen speaks about his Saturday openings, online appointments for marriages and passports, extended hours on Wednesday.

12:04 PM: Craig Alexander asks if Gary Pritchard (one of Nguyen’s opponents) is a liberal Democrat, who opposed both Prop 8 and Mimi Walters and is part of the liberal Capo Unified majority.

12:04 PM: Nguyen says he doesn’t know much about Pritchard. Nguyen speaks about more of his reforms in the Clerk-Recorder’s office to combat real estate fraud.

12:07 PM: Hugh Nguyen is endorsed unanimously.

NGUYEN ENDORSED

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

12:09 PM: All but 3 vote to endorse Tony Rackauckas.

RACKAUCKAS ENDORSED

SHERIFF-CORONER

12:10 PM: All but 12 vote to endorse Sandra Hutchens.

HUTCHENS ENDORSED

TREASURER-TAX COLLECTOR

12:11 PM: All but 5 vote to endorse Shari Friedenrich.

FRIEDENRICH ENDORSED

12:24 PM: CRA June endorsements are completed.

Posted in 34th Senate District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, Orange County Board of Education | 1 Comment »

Secretary of State Determines Primary Election Alphabet

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 19, 2014

Photo Courtesy of OC Political Friend Alex Vassar, Publisher of JoinCalifornia.com and OneVoter.org, who attended the Secretary of State’s lottery in person.

I’ve had several people ask me what the candidate order for the June ballot will be.

California law requires a lottery to determine the order of candidates on the ballot.  Why does this law exist?  Studies of the primacy effect showed the candidate at the top of the ballot gains as much as a 5% increase in votes.  Consequently, in 1975, California legislators adopted a law mandating an end to the alphabetical listing of candidates (likely to the chagrin of Sam Aanestad and Dick Ackerman but the joy of Mary Young and Ed Zschau) and requiring a lottery before each election.

The Secretary of State’s candidate order lottery has determined the alphabet for the June primary to be ROYWBMCKVTFUQPIHDAJNEXGSZL.

Nowhere was the result more dramatic than the 48th Congressional District. In all of Orange County, the candidate who came in absolutely last was Wendy Brooks Leece (R), who is challenging Dana Rohrabacher‘s (R) bid for re-election. Coincidentally, the candidate who came in first among all Orange County candidates was none other than Rohrabacher.

For multicounty Congressional seats, statewide seats, and Board of Equalization, they will rotate in each Assembly District.

Ed Royce (R) would have come in ahead of Rohrabacher if it weren’t for the fact that Royce’s multi-county district doesn’t get to use the Secretary of State’s drawing, instead using the Assembly District rotation.  Since Royce has only one opponent, Peter O. Anderson (D), the two of them will flip-flop throughout the Assembly Districts of the 39th Congressional District.

For multicounty state legislative seats, the Registrar of Voters in each County does another lottery. The candidate order lottery for the Orange County portions has determined the alphabet to be FQMTPUSZJRIBOVCAEKNYWXHLDG.

In the 55th Assembly District, Gregg Fritchle (D) is first (with F being the first overall letter), followed by Steve Tye (R), Ling-Ling Chang (R), and Phillip Chen (R).  No alphabet sequence was closer than Chang and Chen.  Where C and H drew was irrelevant for Chang and Chen; it was where A and E finished that matters.  This was a photo finish: A was the 16th letter drawn while E was the 17th letter.  Chang and Chen also possess the two largest warchests of anyone running for the Assembly in Orange County (incumbents included).  AD-55 has all the makings of a highly competitive race, and it’s almost like the candidate order lottery reflects that (though obviously the candidate order lottery’s results are just a coincidence).

On a side note, you would think that with electronic voting now, the names could be randomized for every poll voter (obviously, we’d still need the lottery for absentee voters).

Posted in 48th Congressional District, 55th Assembly District, California | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Live from Dana Point City Council: Scrutinizing TCA

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 18, 2014

At last month’s Dana Point City Council meeting, Councilman Bill Brough agendized a review of TCA in light of the very public controversies swirling around the TCA (Transportation Corridor Agencies), particularly the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency, which is chaired by Dana Point’s representative, Lisa Bartlett.

9:13 PM: Item begins. Interim TCA CEO Mike Kraman gives a backgrounder on TCA, including listing the list of toll roads under its jurisdiction.

Kraman says Board actions approved 174 items, totaling $74 million, or 97% of its contracts.

At TCA, CEO authority for contracts is between $10,000-$25,000 and delegated for contracts under $10,000, totaling $1 million, or 1.5% of contracts.

That power is $35,000 for Dana Point’s City Manager.

It is $50,000 at OCTA, RCTC, and SANBAG.

TCA Chair and CEO concurrent authority was granted by a resolution buried in the budget for contracts. This authority was rescinded last month.

Five consulting contracts were approved since 2013.

9:24 PM: Councilman Bill Brough asks why Bartlett brought Kraman to give the update instead of doing it herself. He asks why OCFA Chair Weinberg (also a Dana Point Councilmember) brought the Chief for updates. He believes Councilmembers should be able to give updates themselves.

Brough expresses concern when a member of his Council is stripped of her authority on a regional board by the newspaper.

9:25 PM: Bartlett blames the election season.

9:25 PM: Brough asks if Bartlett can name any accomplishments from her tenure as F/ETCA Chair.

9:25 PM: Bartlett lists various projects in progress.

9:26 PM: Councilmen Brough and Carlos Olvera express concern about the TCA bonds refinancing extending the period of time to pay off the debt, with Brough noting the agency was trying to stave off bankruptcy. Olvera asks about the refinancing stretching out the length of time it would take to pay off the debt and actually increasing the amount of debt that the agency incurred, resulting in toll payers needing to pay more over a longer period of time to pay off the debt.

9:28 PM: Bartlett compares it to a home mortgage refinancing. Kraman objects to Brough’s characterization.

9:29 PM: Craig Alexander speaks in public comment, noting that he’s a Dana Point resident, TCA toll road user, and Robert Ming supporter. Alexander expresses his concern about Bartlett representing their city on F/TCA and discusses the vast number of contract extensions Bartlett and the CEO approved without the knowledge of the Board or the public, a power that was rescinded last month. He urges that she be replaced. He says it is accountability of taxpayer dollars not election year politics driving this.

9:32 PM: Bartlett argues $200,000 is not a vast number of contracts. She says she cannot recall any contract that she did not approve.

9:33 PM: Weinberg argues the press is being sensationalistic simply to sell newspapers. He argues it was Bartlett’s leadership that led to rescinding of the contract power.

9:34 PM: The item concludes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Live from OC GOP: Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 17, 2014

7:59 PM: After an hour of speeches, the first endorsement motion is made, as Robert Hammond moves to endorse Hugh Nguyen for Clerk-Recorder.

8:00 PM: Tim Whitacre speaks about Nguyen’s strong record, Republican endorsements, and the County audits that have found Nguyen has fixed much of Tom Daly’s mess.

8:01 PM: Scott Peotter says it’s optional to perform marriages. Peotter says the Clerk-Recorder can either perform all marriages (both same-sex and opposite-sex) or perform no marriages. Peotter asks if no

8:03 PM: Todd Spitzer talked about the importance of the Clerk-Recorder having their documents in order since the post files important documents and how important it is to have candidates for Clerk-Recorder who know how to file nomination papers in a timely fashion. He speaks of Nguyen’s experience, he speaks of Nguyen’s success in cleaning up Daly’s mess.

8:05 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh gives an unofficial award for best line to Todd Spitzer due to his comments about the Clerk-Recorder’s job filing important documents and one candidate’s failure to properly file candidate documents.

8:06 PM: Nguyen is endorsed by a nearly unanimous vote, with only Peotter opposing.

NGUYEN ENDORSED

8:08 PM: Bill Dunlap speaks in favor of Michael Gates for Huntington Beach City Attorney.

8:09 PM: Baron Night asks to delay the Gates endorsement until August since the race will not be on the ballot until November.

8:10 PM: Michael Gates states he is up against an entrenched incumbent. He has raised $120,000. He says he is a true conservative who believes in limited government unlike the incumbent whose brand of Republicanism he opposes. He speaks about his experience at the US Department of Justice, as a law clerk at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in private practice.

8:14 PM: Zonya Townsend asks about his representation of the Roman Catholic diocese of Orange and whether he’s represented them on sexual abuse cases.

8:14 PM: Gates says he and his firm have refused to represent the Diocese on the sexual abuse cases. They’ve only represented the Diocese on slip-and-fall and other liability cases that did not involve sexual abuse.

Gates is endorsed nearly unanimously, with only Baron Night opposing.

GATES ENDORSED

8:17 PM: Alexandria Coronado moves and Scott Peotter seconds the endorsement of Tom Pollitt for Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2.

Incumbent David Boyd attempts to speak against the motion but is ruled out of order since he’s not a Central Committee member.

No one rises to speak against Pollitt; he is endorsed unanimously.

POLLITT ENDORSED

8:18 PM: Brett Barbre moves and Teresa Hernandez seconds the endorsement of Linda Lindholm for Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5.

No one rises to speak against Lindholm; she is endorsed unanimously.

LINDHOLM ENDORSED.

That’s a wrap on endorsements. More endorsements to come at the April Central Committee meeting.

Posted in Huntington Beach, Orange County, Orange County Board of Education, Republican Central Committee | Leave a Comment »

State, County, Schools: Who’s on the Ballot

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 8, 2014

Here’s the comprehensive run-down on all non-federal and non-judicial races on Orange County’s ballots for the 2014 primary election.  With regard to State races, I’m only posting Board of Equalization and legislative because statewide races require that I check 58 Registrars, which is a task too onerous for this blogger; going through five Registrars for BOE was annoying enough.

Extensions

Three races have had their filing deadline extended to Wednesday, as an eligible incumbent did not run for re-election:

  • 45th Congressional District (Incumbent John Campbell decided not to run for re-election)
  • 74th Assembly District (Incumbent Allan Mansoor filed for Supervisor)
  • Auditor-Controller (Appointed Incumbent Jan Grimes decided not to run for an elected term)

Unopposed

36th Senate District: Supervisor Pat Bates (R) is unopposed.  Ken Lopez Maddox (R) pulled signatures-in-lieu but did not file those papers nor pull any others.  No one pulled papers, let alone filed papers, in San Diego County.

Sheriff-Coroner: Sandra Hutchens (R) is unopposed for re-election.

Superintendent of Schools: Appointed Incumbent Al Mijares (R) is unopposed in his bid for his first elected term.

Treasurer-Tax Collector: Shari Friedenrich (R) is unopposed for re-election.

Complicated

Board of Equalization: Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R), former Assemblyman Van Tran (R), Accountant/Realtor Lewis Da Silva (R), Store Owner/Businessman John F. Kelley (R), and Government Auditor Nader Shahatitt (D) are all running.

Assessor: Incumbent Webster Guillory (NPP) pulled papers and filed them on the last day.  His opponents are Consultant/Appraiser/Businessman Jorge O. Lopez (D) and former Board of Equalization Member Claude Parrish (R).

Clerk-Recorder: Incumbent Hugh Nguyen (R) faces a trio of opponents: former Orange Unified School District Trustee Steve Rocco (NPP), Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Gary Pritchard (D), and Businesswoman Monica Maddox (R), who is married to former Assemblyman/former Capistrano Unified School District Trustee/former Garden Grove Councilman Ken Maddox (R).  See this post from OC Political on the bizarre story of Los Alamitos Councilman Troy Edgar’s (R) failure to qualify that required the Registrar of Voters to examine surveillance camera footage.

Minor developments

69th Assembly District: As expected, Assemblyman Tom Daly (D) is being challenged by Santa Ana Unified School District Trustee Cecilia “Ceci” Iglesias (R).  Inexplicably, Sherry Walker (R) who only registered to vote in AD-69 recently, filed to run.

5th Supervisorial District: As expected, Orange County Businessman/Councilmember Robert Ming (R), Councilmember/Businessman/Engineer Frank Ury (R), and Mayor/Businesswoman Lisa Bartlett all filed.  Unexpectedly, Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams (R) filed.

As expected

34th Senate District: Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R), RSCCD Trustee Jose Solorio (D), and former OCBE Trustee Long Pham (R) are running.

55th Assembly District: Councilwoman/Educator/Executive Ling-Ling Chang (R), Small Business Onwer Phillip Chen (R), Councilmember Steve Tye (R), and Social Worker Gregg D. Fritchle (D) filed.

65th Assembly District: Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) and Small Businesswoman Young Kim (R) are the sole candidates.

68th Assembly District: Assemblyman Don Wagner (R)is being challenged by Psycotherapist Anne Cameron (D).

72nd Assembly District: Assemblyman Travis Allen (R) is being challenged by Retired Police Commander Albert Ayala (D) and Joel Block (D).

73rd Assembly District: The five expected candidates all qualified.  Here’s a list of them with their party affiliation and ballot designation:

  • Bill Brough (R), Businessman/Dana Point Councilman
  • Anna Bryson (R), Capistrano Unified School District Trustee
  • Jesse Petrilla (R), Councilman/Military Officer
  • Paul Glaab (R), Small Business Owner
  • Wendy Gabriella (D), Teacher/Constitutional Attorney

2nd Supervisorial District: The four expected candidates filed.  Here’s a list of them with their party affiliation and ballot designation:

  • Michelle Steel (R), Taxpayer Advocate/Businesswoman
  • Allan Mansoor (R), California Assemblyman
  • Joe Carchio (R), Councilman/Retired Businessowner (this ballot designation won’t last long, as you cannot legally have both a retired occupation and a current occupation in a race)
  • Jim Moreno (D), Governing Board Member, Coast Community College District

4th Supervisorial District: Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R) is being challenged by Small Business Owner Rudy Gaona (D).  Gaona has made two unsuccessful bids for Anaheim City Council, and in both instances came in close to finishing last.

District Attorney-Public Administrator: DA Tony Rackauckas (R) is being challenged by Attorney Greg Diamond (D).

County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2: Incumbent David Boyd (NPP) is being challenged by Orange County Small Businessman Tom Pollitt (R).

County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5: Incumbent Elizabeth Parker (R) is being challenged by Orange County Businesswoman/Mayor Linda Lindholm (R).

Irvine Unified School District Special Election: Ira Glasky (R) seeks a return to his former seat on the Irvine School Board.  He is being challenged by Bob Vu (R) and Carolyn Inmon (D).

Congress

I will be back to update the Congressional races.  There’s something screwy in the log from one of the other counties on one of the multi-county Congressional races that include parts of Orange County; I’d like to confirm if it’s a clerical error, I’m misreading something, or it’s something more serious.  I will post later on the Congressional races.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 34th Senate District, 36th Senate District, 4th Supervisorial District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Board of Equalization, Irvine Unified School District, Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Public Administrator, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector | 1 Comment »

 
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