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Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements Round 1

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 18, 2014

We’re live from OC GOP Central Committee for the first round of endorsements for the November General Election.

As is normal for an endorsements meeting, a slew of new alternates are being sworn in (though several represent new ex officio members as this is the first meeting since the Secretary of State certified nominees for the November election).

There are so many elected officials and candidates present that I will not even attempt to list them all.

Pete Peterson, the Republican nominee for Secretary of State, addresses the Central Committee.

Ron Nehring, the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, addresses the Central Committee.

The endorsements agenda consists of:
1. Jim Righeimer – Costa Mesa
2. Lee Ramos – Costa Mesa
3. Yes on Charter – Costa Mesa (Measure O)
4. Peggy Huang – Yorba Linda (November Election)
5. Mark McCurdy – Fountain Valley
6. Tyler Diep – Westminster
7. Jeff Lalloway – Irvine
8. Steven Choi – Irvine Mayor
9. Lynn Schott – Irvine
10. Tom Lindsey – Yorba Linda
11. Tom Tait – Anaheim Mayor
12. Dave Harrington – Aliso Viejo
13. Derek Reeve – San Juan Capistrano
14. Pam Patterson – San Juan Capistrano
15. Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita
16. Robert Ming – Orange County Supervisor, 5th District
17. Craig Alexander – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4
18. Fred Whitaker – Orange
19. Ray Grangoff – Orange
20. Steve Sheldon – Orange County Water District, Division 5
21. Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
22. Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
23. David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
24. William Hinz – Lowell Joint School District
25. John Novak – Savanna School District
26. Phil Yarbrough – Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 6
27. Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
28. Measure E – County Contracting with FPPC (Yes)
29. Measure G – Supervisorial Vacancy (Yes)
30. Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond (No)
31. Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond (No)
32. Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond (No)
33. Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond (No)
34. Measure AA – Santa Ana Utility Tax (No)
35. Measure JJ – Yorba Linda Pension & Healthcare Elimination (Yes)
36. Measure W – Irvine Great Park Transparency (Yes)
37. Measure V – Irvine Term Limits (Yes)
38. Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax (No)
39. Julie Collier – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
40. Ellen Addonizio – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 6
41. Brett Barbre – Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
42. Diane Dixon – Newport Beach
43. Yorba Linda Recall (No)
44. Measure Y – Newport Beach General Plan Update (Yes)
45. Dave Ellis – Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 5
46. Scott Voigts – Lake Forest
47. Erik Peterson – Huntington Beach
48. Lynn Semeta – Huntington Beach
49. Mike Posey – Huntington Beach

26 of the 49 items were passed as a consent calendar, except the following 23 people/measures who were pulled for discussion or for referral to the Endorsements Committee:
2. Lee Ramos – Costa Mesa
4. Peggy Huang – Yorba Linda
10. Tom Lindsey – Yorba Linda
11. Tom Tait – Anaheim Mayor
15. Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita
16. Robert Ming – Orange County Supervisor, 5th District
18. Fred Whitaker – Orange
19. Ray Grangoff – Orange
21. Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
22. Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
23. David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
24. William Hinz – Lowell Joint School District
25. John Novak – Savanna School District
27. Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
30. Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond (No)
31. Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond (No)
32. Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond (No)
33. Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond (No)
38. Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax (No)
43. Yorba Linda Recall (No)
47. Erik Peterson – Huntington Beach
48. Lyn Semeta – Huntington Beach
49. Mike Posey – Huntington Beach

8:02 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh reveals more than $10,000 in union contributions for Lucille Kring despite her signing the nonunion pledge. He makes a scathing speech blasting Kring for breaking her word. If she disagrees with the pledge, she shouldn’t have signed it, Baugh says. Kring attempts to protest, but cannot speak as a nonmember of the Central Committee. Baugh entertains a motion from Tim Whitacre to endorse Tom Tait for Mayor of Anaheim.

TJ Fuentes speaks in favor of Tait. He speaks of Tait’s servant leadership, Tait’s grassroots activism and efforts to support the Republican Party. Fuentes speaks of Tait standing by his principles of lower taxes, limited government, kindness, and transparency. Fuentes notes Tait is the OCGOP’s 2013 Local Elected Official of the Year.

Alexandria Coronado says the Tait of the past is not the Tait of today. She says he’s given money to Jordan Brandman and Jose F. Moreno. She says Tait is working with unions and was a speaker at a Democratic Party-sponsored event.

By a voice vote:

TAIT ENDORSED.

Fred Whitaker moves the endorsement of Lee Ramos for Costa Mesa City Council. He says Ramos will help unify the city. He says Ramos is the leading conservative candidate for the open seat.

Baugh asks how much Ramos has raised, how much his opponents have raised, and if he has endorsements from Righeimer, Mensinger, and Monahan.

Ramos says he’s raised about $40,000 while the nearest opponent had $9,100. Ramos does have the endorsements.

Desare Ferraro urges delaying this to allow Tony Capitelli to be considered for endorsement.

By voice vote:

RAMOS ENDORSED

One person pulled the endorsements in Huntington Beach, but there is little debate on the Huntington Beach candidates.

PETERSON ENDORSED

SEMETA ENDORSED

POSEY ENDORSED

There is no debate on Peggy Huang for Yorba Linda City Council.

HUANG ENDORSED

Desare Ferraro objects to the endorsement of Tom Lindsey for the November General Election. She says it would be divisive with the recall going on.

Brenda McCune notes she ran against Tom Lindsey in 2010, but she supports his endorsement now. She calls the recall a power grab. She calls Lindsey an independent mind and listener. She calls him a good Republican and family man.

Baron Night proposes a substitute motion to go to Endorsements Committee. He cites the recall.

Brett Barbre notes the recall is October 7 and general election is November 4. He notes the recall costs $300,000. He says Lindsey is a good Republican.

Night’s substitute motion gets 17 votes. There are far more votes against Night’s substitute motion.

A debate of parliamentary procedure ensues.

By a standing vote, there are 39 votes to endorse Lindsey. 37 were needed.

LINDSEY ENDORSED.

Brett Barbre of Yorba Linda moves to endorse against the recall. Scott Peotter of Newport Beach seconds.

Baron Night of Buena Park offers a substitute motion to send it to Endorsements Committee. Tim Whitacre of Santa Ana seconds.

Night argues the recall is a local issue.

Brenda McCune of Yorba Linda says the people of Yorba Linda want to hear from the party because these issues have gone on for quite some time in Yorba Linda.

Scott Baugh speaks of becoming an Assemblyman in the Doris Allen recall. He warns of recalls against Jeff Lalloway, Jim Righeimer, and Deborah Pauly. He warns against recalls for anything other than malfeasance or betrayal of Republican principles.

Night withdraws his substitute motion.

Peotter notes that Young and Lindsey are following the law and the will of the people. He blasts NIMBYs for launching the recall and says that removing Young and Lindsey should be in a general election, not a recall.

Whitacre of Santa Ana helped collect recall signatures in Yorba Linda. He claims that Young and Lindsey received PAC contributions. He claims Mark Schwing and Nancy Rikel are conservatives.

Barbre of Yorba Linda says it seems the longer you live in Yorba Linda the more credibility you have. He says he’s lived there for 45 years. He says the recall is the biggest waste of money he’s ever seen. He notes the recall supporters were the same people who opposed making Imperial Highway a city road. He notes there is ballot box zoning in Yorba Linda. He notes that Young and Lindsey voted for densities 35% below the cap imposed by voters.

Nancy Rikel attacks Young, Lindsey, and Hernandez. She criticizes the Central Committee for endorsing Lindsey. She blasts Young and Lindsey for supporting the Brea Police contract with Yorba Linda. Disruptive audience members who appear to have been brought by Rikel are cheering for Rikel. Rikel complains that the recall cost more because opponents tried to stand at supermarkets to oppose the recall.

Baugh asks Rikel if she’s actually arguing that the taxpayer cost of the recall went up because people opposed the recall. She admits she meant her side’s campaign contribution dollars.

Peggy Huang notes that unions spent $80,000 in the 2012 Yorba Linda election. She notes Rikel lost in 2012 and is running in the recall.

Dennis White recaps the Brea Police Department versus Orange County Sheriff’s Department contract debate in Yorba Linda. Rikel’s disruptive audience members applaud again.

By a voice vote:
ENDORSEMENT FOR “NO” ON THE YORBA LINDA RECALL

By motion of Tony Beall and seconded by Jennifer Beall, the Central Committee votes to send:
JESSE PETRILLA TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

Bill Dunlap speaks about Robert Ming being a public servant who is a state leader.

Bill Christiansen speaks on behalf of Darrell Issa that there are two good Republicans running for Fifth District Supervisor.

Baron Night says Lisa Bartlett failed to ask for the endorsement in the general though she did ask for the endorsement in the primary. He calls Ming an active supporter of other Republicans, a conservative, and a successful Councilman.

Steve Nagel speaks on behalf of Lisa Bartlett. He has served with her on various regional committees. He says she is a hard worker and has been a strong Republican in Dana Point and statewide. He says both Ming and Bartlett are good Republicans. He says both applied for the endorsement in the primary and that should stand.

By a voice vote:
MING ENDORSED

Fred Whitaker notes his long term service to the party. He states he is willing to compare his conservative record against anyone else’s. He notes he led the successful effort to eliminate Council compensation. He notes that Orange unions are paying their employee contributions without raises, the only city in the County with this accomplishment.

Deborah Pauly points to Whitaker’s $1,000 campaign contribuition to Democrat Tita Smith for Mayor of Orange. She points to Whitaker’s front yard included a sign in support of Smith.

By a voice vote:
WHITAKER ENDORSED

With no debate:
GRANGOFF ENDORSED

A whole lot of people move to send:
SURRIDGE TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE
LEDESMA TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

Alexandria Coronado moves to send:
YANG TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

With little debate since he’s unopposed on the ballot:
HINZ ENDORSED

No one makes a motion on Novak.

Mark Bucher moves to oppose Measures H, I, J, and K, with a second by Deborah Pauly.

Fred Whitaker makes a substitute motion to send all of them to Endorsements Committee, with a second by Baron Night.

Whitaker says four conservative school board members voted for Measure K. He says he doesn’t know anything about the other three measures. He wants the Endorsements Committee to vet them.

Bucher says it’s a simple question of whether the Republican Party stands for or against higher taxes.

There are 24 votes to send the four measures to Endorsements Committee. There are 22 votes against sending the four measures to Endorsements Committee.

MEASURES H, I, J, AND K TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

David Shawver speaks in favor of Measure GG. He says the City of Stanton cut $9 million, have 26 employees left, cut spending on public safety. He says the Register said that Stanton has done a good job. Shawver says only three people have opposed this and they’re not Stanton residents.

Mark Bucher says Measure GG is a sales tax for public employees. He says that there are alternatives to higher taxes. If the Republican Party does not oppose higher taxes, the party should fold its tent and go home. Bucher says that sending this to Endorsements Committee will simply result in this coming back to Central Committee.

Shawver attacks Wayne Lindholm. Shawver says the City has cut 6 out of 20 officers. He says they’ve cut everything they can. He encourages people to look at his books. He claims only outsiders oppose this tax and that Stanton voters should decide.

Jon Fleischman notes Diane Harkey opposes this tax. Fleischman agrees with Bucher that approving this tax hike in Stanton will set a precedent where other cities will turn to higher taxes rather than reducing public employee salaries.

By a voice vote:
ENDORSEMENT FOR “NO” ON MEASURE GG

Round 1 of endorsements are complete. Round 2 will be considered in September.

Mary Young thanks everyone who volunteered for the Party at the OC Fair. There’s also a presentation for the Volunteer of the Month.

Mark Bucher says the bills are all paid. Baugh jokingly disputes that.

TJ Fuentes welcomes the new ex officio members and reminds them to pay their $25 dues.

Captain Emily Sanford, USN (Ret.) thanks the Party members for donations of goods to the troops. She encourages more donations, particularly those of the dental variety.

CENTRAL COMMITTEE ADJOURNS AT 9:23 PM.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

Savanna School District: Where Elections Go to Die

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 7, 2014

Savanna School District Board Members Linda Weinstock, Carol Sundman, Chris Brown, John Shook, and Ed Erdtsieck

Savanna School District Board Members Linda Weinstock (R), Carol Sundman (R), Chris Brown (D), John Shook (D), and Edward Erdtsieck (NPP)

I was checking on candidate filing and saw that in the Savanna School District, only the three incumbents: Edward Erdtsieck (NPP), Linda Weinstock (R), and John Shook (D) have pulled (and filed) papers for the ballot.  No challengers have pulled papers.  Ordinarily, this is no big deal, as periodically, school districts and special districts will have unopposed incumbents.  Typically in cases of unopposed incumbents (or unopposed candidates), school district and special districts will cancel the election and declare the unopposed people elected.  However, I wondered how long it had been since the last election in the Savanna School District.

There has not been an election for school board members in the Savanna School District in 20 years!  Yes, that’s right: the last election for school board members in the Savanna School District was in 1994.  The median tenure for board member is currently 24 years:

  • Edward Erdtsieck (NPP), 78, of Buena Park: Board Member since 1986
  • Chris Brown (D), 65, of Buena Park: Board Member since 1988
  • Linda Weinstock (R), 57, of Buena Park: Board Member since 1990
  • Carol Sundman (R), 81, of Anaheim: Board Member since 1999
  • John Shook (D), 52, of Anaheim: Board Member since 2011, but his late predecessor, Patrick Ochoa, was on the Savanna Board for 43 years from 1968 until his death in 2011

I’m not one of the people who believes every incumbent must be opposed every election, but really, 20 years without an election?

Challengers have until 5 PM on Friday to file at the Registrar of Voters office at 1300 S. Grand Ave., Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92705. There are no nomination signatures required.  There is no filing fee to appear on the ballot, and it only costs $605 to for a candidate’s statement in the sample ballot sent to all active registered voters.

In 1994, Dana Adams unsuccessfully challenged Erdtsieck, Weinstock, and Ochoa.  There was no election in 1992.  You have to go back to 1990 to find the last time an incumbent lost a re-election bid in Savanna: Erdtsieck and Ochoa were re-elected while Weinstock defeated incumbent Linda McGoldrick.

The last election with more than one challenger was in 1988: Chris Brown and Gary Roger Fite defeated Gary Krieger.  A fourth candidate, Frances Ruble, was unsuccessful in her bid for the Board.  Incumbent Art Brown (D) retired (though he would return to politics in 1990 for the first of his six terms on the Buena Park City Council), and Chris Brown is Art Brown’s wife.

The Savanna School District consists of four elementary schools: Cerritos, Hansen, Holder, and Reid.  All of the district’s students go on to Anaheim Union High School District schools for junior high school and high school.  Most go on to Orangeview Jr. High and Western High, with a handful going on to Lexington Jr. High and Cypress High or Dale Jr. High and Magnolia High.  Ironically, the attendance area for AUHSD’s Savanna High School does not include any portion of the Savanna School District.

There are approximately 10,300 registered voters in the Savanna School District, with 4,500 in Anaheim, 3,500 in Stanton, 1,300 in Cypress, and 1,000 in Buena Park.

Surely there is someone among those 10,300 voters who is willing to challenge the entrenched incumbents.  With such a tiny district, a grassroots campaign could be successfully waged in this small place.  Voter turnout in November will be approximately 4,400 voters in 3,100 homes in 16 precincts.  A candidate could reach all of these voters by hitting just 36 homes per day if they start on Saturday.  Or walking one precinct per day, a candidate could cover the entire district in just over 2 weeks or 8 weekends (there’s 10 weekends left before the first absentee ballots arrive).  Even at half a precinct per day, a candidate could cover the entire district in just over a month.  Chances are that a challenger wouldn’t even have to cover the entire district to garner enough votes to win.  The incumbents have virtually no name ID since they a) are incumbents in an incredibly low-profile school district and b) haven’t been on the ballot (Shook) or haven’t been on the ballot in at least 24 years (Weinstock and Erdtsieck).

The Savanna School District was featured in the Grand Jury report, “School Bonds – The Untold Story of Assessed Values” issued in June.  The Grand Jury called for Savanna’s consolidation into another school district in “Orange County School Districts: Dire Financial Futures” also issued in June.  It passed two bonds: Measure N in November 2008 and Measure G in June 2012.  They are at 182% of the bonded indebtedness limit.  While four other school districts exceed 50% of their bonded indebtedness limits (Anaheim City, Cypress, Westminster, and Santa Ana Unified), Savanna is the only one in excess of 100%.  Savanna had to obtain a special waiver from the State Board of Education to exceed the bonded indebtedness limit.

The Savanna School District is roughly between Beach Blvd. and Holder St. and between Orange Ave. and Katella Ave., plus a small portion of the City of Stanton between Court Ave. and Beach Blvd. and between Pacific St. and Katella Ave.  Here’s the exact map from the Savanna School District:

Savanna School District Map

Savanna School District Map

 

Posted in Savanna School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Termed Out City Councilmembers Eyeing School and Water Boards

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 30, 2014

In the era of term limits, many City Councilmembers run for higher office while others seek to extend their political lives by running for lower office.  As we peer into candidate filing, there are at least three City Councilmembers are exercising the option to do the latter.

La Palma City Councilman Henry Charoen, Garden Grove City Councilwoman Dina Nguyen, and Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle

La Palma City Councilman Henry Charoen, Garden Grove City Councilwoman Dina Nguyen, and Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle

  • La Palma City Councilman Henry Charoen has pulled (and filed) papers for the Centralia School District
  • Garden Grove City Councilwoman Dina Nguyen has pulled papers for Orange County Water District, Division 1
  • Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle has pulled papers for Orange County Water District, Division 5

Charoen and the Centralia School District

Charoen (R) is prepared for this campaign for Centralia School District, transferring nearly $30,000 into his school board account from his Assembly account after he opted not to seek the AD-65 seat.  $30,000 pays for a lot of voter contact in a district as tiny as Centralia, plus he has significant name ID in the La Palma portion of Centralia.  He also teaches at UCI.  At this point, Charoen is the only one who has actually filed.

Incumbent Lisa Jordan (R) has pulled papers, as has appointed incumbent Kevin Sequeira (R).  73-year-old incumbent Irv Trinkle (R) has not pulled papers, and I’ve heard conflicting rumors about him, with some saying he’s retiring and others saying he’s running for re-election (Trinkle’s campaign web site was last updated in the spring).

Former Centralia Board Member Art Montez (D) pulled papers for both Centralia and the Buena Park Library District.  Jordan beat Montez by 64 votes in 2010 when Montez was an incumbent.  Montez lost by 5% in 2012 in an unsuccessful bid to return to the Board.  If Montez files and loses for a third consecutive time, he risks going from former Board member to perennial Board candidate.  He has to either sit this one out or win his old seat back in order to avoid that fate.  He probably shouldn’t file for both the Centralia School District and the Buena Park Library District, lest he suffer the fate of former Water Board Director Douglas Chapman, who lost both races when he ran for two seats in 2012.

Though an experienced field of elected officials have pulled papers in Centralia, the first person who pulled papers was 20-year-old Chapman University student Connor Traut (D) who moved to Anaheim a few months ago from Ladera Ranch, where he was a member of the Ladera Ranch Civic Council.  Traut is an acolyte of Anaheim Councilman Jordan Brandman (D).  (Brandman allies seem to be popping up in different Anaheim school board seats, as D.R. Heywood (D) has pulled papers in the Anaheim City School District.)

Nguyen and Orange County Water District Division 1

Nguyen (R) appears to be unopposed for the Division 1 seat in the Orange County Water District.

In total, the OCWD Board has ten members: seven directly-elected and three appointed by City Councils (Anaheim, Fullerton, and Santa Ana). Incumbent Kay Barr is the only directly-elected Democrat on the OCWD Board.  The other six directly-elected members are Republicans.  Of the three appointed positions, Anaheim appointed Harry Sidhu (R), Fullerton appointed Jan Flory (D), and Santa Ana appointed Vincent Sarmiento (D).

Barr is retiring, and Nguyen is the only candidate who has pulled papers.  Dina Nguyen made an ill-fated bid for Orange County Supervisor against Janet Nguyen (R) in 2008.  Barr and both Nguyens served on the Garden Grove City Council: Barr from 1962-1970 and 1974-1978, Janet Nguyen from 2004-2007, and Dina Nguyen from 2006-present.  Barr has been an OCWD Board Member since 1979.  At 35 years, Barr’s exit ends the longest tenure by a single person in the 81-year history of OCWD.

(For the record, I am not related to either Dina Nguyen or Janet Nguyen.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Daigle and Orange County Water District Division 5

Daigle (R) is challenging incumbent Orange County Water Board Member Steve Sheldon (R).  Sheldon was appointed to the OCWD Board in 2005 and won 71% of the vote in his 2006 bid for a full term against termed out Newport Beach City Councilman Tod Ridgeway (R).  Presumably, Daigle does not plan to suffer the same fate as Ridgeway.  She does have significantly higher name ID than Ridgeway did thanks in part to her ill-fated run for AD-74 when she challenged Allan Mansoor in 2012.  She fared slightly better in OCWD Division 5 than in the rest of the district, winning 25.3% of the vote (as opposed to her districtwide total of 23.8%).

Posted in Centralia School District, Garden Grove, La Palma, Newport Beach, Orange County Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why We’ve Been So Quiet Lately at OC Political…

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 30, 2014

So, I’ve had lots of people ask me why OC Political has been so quiet since the primary.  Questions have run the gamut. “Is there just nothing going on?”  “Is candidate filing just boring this year?”  “Have you been sued?”  “Did you all quit simultaneously?”  “Did you unionize and declare a writer’s strike?”  “Are you on summer vacation?”  “Did everyone lose their passwords?”

It’s none of those things, and I think this screenshot from the “Recent Documents” menu of Microsoft Word on my computer will explain why we’ve been so quiet:

Ballot Statements Galore

Every one of those files is in a separate folder for a different candidate or ballot measure.  There’s others beyond those on that list, but there’s a limit to how many recent documents that Microsoft Word will display.

If we were objective journalists, we’d be covering all the news in filing and not involved in any of it.  However, we’re not objective journalists. It’s well-known that every blogger on OC Political is an activist, consultant, vendor, staffer, and/or elected official.  Not only are we trying to get people elected, but we have multiple bloggers considering (or already launching) their own bids for office on the November ballot.  Over the past 2.5 years this blog has been around, our bloggers have been told from time to time to “put up or shut up.”  Well, we put up.

Candidate filing opened just over two weeks ago and closes a week from Friday (extended filing closes two weeks from today), plus campaign finance reports from the end of the primary are due tomorrow.  We’ve got a lot of documents with legal deadlines right now.

I’m not complaining, just explaining, and I certainly welcome the business.  In the June 2014 primary, the voters were very good to Custom Campaigns (the firm that owns this blog) and to the activists who blog on OC Political.  That success translates to a very busy general election.  However, it also means the blog has been neglected.  We’re figuring out how to rebalance things, and soon, blogging should return to normal levels.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

OC’s Top 10 Primary Election Stories

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 4, 2014

Eric Woolery, Robert Hammond, Linda Lindholm, and Ken Williams

OC Board of Education Group Photo at the Custom Campaigns June 3 Election Night Party at BJ’s in Irvine:
Auditor-Controller-Elect/Orange City Treasurer/Former OCBE Trustee Eric Woolery, OCBE Trustee Robert Hammond, Laguna Niguel Mayor/OCBE Trustee-Elect Linda Lindholm, and OCBE Trustee Ken Williams.

Woolery achieved a historic margin of victory in his race for Auditor-Controller (story #6) while Lindholm knocked off Orange County’s longest-serving-in-a-single-office incumbent (story #5). 

As expected, it was a busy night in yesterday’s primary election.  Here’s a rundown of the top 10 stories:

  1. AD-74: Keith Curry and Matt Harper Advance, Emanuel Patrascu LastEmami called it, mostly.  Thanks to Karina Onofre spoiling the Democratic vote for Anila Ali, we have an all-Republican battle for AD-74 to replace Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.  Shockingly, Emanuel Patrascu who had the second most money in AD-74 came in fifth while Harper who spent next to nothing (and what he did spend focused on slate mailers) came in a comfortable second.  This comes down to a Newport vs. Huntington battle in the November runoff, as Newport Beach Councilman Curry fights it out with Huntington Beach Mayor Harper for the Assembly seat.  How much in Republican resources will be drained by the AD-74 race in November, as Republicans seek to capture SD-34 and AD-65 from the Democrats?
    .
  2. AD-73: Bill Brough Wins GOP Nomination, Anna Bryson Last – In this safe Republican seat, Bill Brough’s low-budget operation demonstrated that precinct walking does work for winning open seats.  With Democrat Wendy Gabriella advancing to the runoff with Brough, he is the prohibitive favorite to be the next Assemblymember from the 73rd District and the district’s first Assemblyman in 16 years after Assemblywomen Patricia Bates, Mimi Walters, and Diane Harkey.  Depending on completion of vote counts for absentees and provisionals, Anna Bryson’s IE-laden campaign may have cost well over $100 per vote.  (To put the massive IE spending for Bryson in perspective, here’s how much spending would have been needed for several other candidates in other races to match that rate: Michelle Steel would have needed $2.4 million, Linda Lindholm $3.1 million, and Eric Woolery $11.0 million.)  This race clearly demonstrated: money can’t buy everything.
    .
  3. AD-55: Ling-Ling Chang Captures Top Spot – In a brutal slugfest between Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang and Walnut Valley Unified School District Trustee Phillip Chen with Diamond Bar Councilman Steve Tye threatening to play spoiler, well-funded Chang managed to overcome very-well-funded Chen’s financial advantage to capture the top spot with 28% of the vote, pushing Chen into third place with 23% of the vote and Tye with 22% of the vote.  Democrat Gregg Fritchle came in second with 28% of the vote.  In this safe Republican district, Chang is the prohibitive favorite to be the next Assemblymember from the 55th District, replacing Curt Hagman.
    .
  4. SD-34: Janet Nguyen Captures Majority of Votes Cast; Republicans Take Almost 2/3 of Votes Cast – It was a foregone conclusion that Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen would be the Republican nominee against the Democrats’ nominee, former Assemblyman Jose Solorio, in the hotly-contested SD-34.  What is shocking is that despite the presence of Republican former Orange County Board of Education Trustee Long Pham on the ballot, Nguyen still managed to capture 52% of the vote to Solorio’s 34% in the two-county SD-34 race.  Pham captured 14%.  With Republicans capturing nearly 2/3 of the vote, and Nguyen herself capturing 52%, this builds significant momentum for Nguyen heading into the November race, with Republicans turning to Nguyen to break the Democrats’ supermajority in the State Senate and Democrats turning to Solorio to preserve the Democrats’ Senate supermajority.  (For the record, I am not related to Janet Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)
    .
  5. Orange County Board of Education: Linda Lindholm Unseats 32-Year Incumbent Giant Slayer Liz Parker – For the last few years, there was a joke in education circles that the way to win an Assembly seat was to lose an Orange County Board of Education race to Liz Parker.  Chuck DeVore lost to Parker in 1990 and won an Assembly seat in 2004. Don Wagner lost to Parker in 1998 and won an Assembly seat in 2010.  However, Parker is done.  After nearly a 1/3 of a century in office, Liz Parker has been unseated by Laguna Niguel Mayor Linda Lindholm.  No elected official in Orange County has held the same office longer than Liz Parker.  (Indeed, Parker graduated from college the same month she was elected to the Orange County Board of Education.)
    .
  6. Auditor-Controller: Eric Woolery’s Unprecedented Majority – In a five-way race with no incumbent for Auditor-Controller, Orange City Treasurer Eric Woolery won nearly 57% of the vote, nearly 40% better than the second-place candidate, Deputy Auditor-Controller Frank Davies, who won 17% of the vote.  In a race with three or more candidates with no incumbent, there has not been a candidate who has won by such a large margin in at least 30 years and, quite possibly, ever.  Indeed, there was only one candidate in those incumbent-free, 3+ candidate races who even averted a runoff: David Sundstrom, who received 50.3% of the vote for Auditor-Controller in 1998. (Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly won 41% of the vote in a five-way race for Clerk-Recorder in 2002 before winning the runoff.  Assistant Public Administrator Vicki Landrus won 41% of the vote and College Trustee John Williams won 36% of the vote in a four-way race for Public Administrator in 2002; Williams won the runoff.  OC Internal Auditor David Sundstrom won 50.3% of the vote in a three-way race for Auditor-Controller in 1998.  OC Assistant Assessor Webster Guillory won 26% of the vote in a seven-way race for Assessor in 1998 before winning the runoff.)
    .
  7. Irvine Unified School District: Ira Glasky Renders Special Election Moot, Beats Agran-Backed Candidate – After IUSD Trustee Gavin Huntley-Fenner resigned due to business and family obligations, the IUSD Board appointed Ira Glasky to fill the seat in November 2013.  Utilizing an obscure section of the Education Code, a petition drive gathered the necessary 1,643 signatures (1.5% of registered voters at the 2012 school board election) to invalidate Glasky’s appointment and force a special election.  The special election cost IUSD schools hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.  Three candidates filed to run: Glasky, Larry Agran-backed Carolyn Inmon, and Bob Vu.  Glasky won 42% of the vote to Inmon’s 37% and Vu’s 22%.  IUSD was forced to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a special election that had the same end result as if the special election had never happened.
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  8. Assessor: Webster Guillory vs. Claude Parrish Runoff – In 2010, Webster Guillory won 53% of the vote to Claude Parrish’s 47%, but Parrish ran as “Businessman/Tax Consultant” in 2010.  Parrish is “Taxpayer Advocate/Businessman” this year.  Last night, Guillory won 47% to Parrish’s 43%, with Jorge Lopez getting 10%.  Parrish’s stronger ballot designation narrowed the margin between Guillory and Parrish.  In Guillory’s favor is the fact that November voters are more favorable to incumbents than June voters.  In Parrish’s favor is the fact that he has a stronger ballot designation in 2014 than he did in 2010.  Also in Parrish’s favor is the investigation around whether or not Guillory’s nomination papers were signed by his subordinates at the office on County time; if this garners more publicity it helps Parrish; if it fizzles, it’s moot.
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  9. Supe-5: Robert Ming vs. Lisa Bartlett RunoffThe narrative in this race always had business interests spending on IEs for Mission Viejo Councilman Frank Ury to put him into the runoff for the Fifth District Supervisor’s race.  The conventional wisdom was wrong, as Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming and Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett each achieved 29% of the vote (Ming ahead of Bartlett by 0.4%), with Ury in third at 24% and Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams last at 18%.
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  10. Supe-2: Steel Beats Mansoor 2-1 as Both Make Runoff – Conventional wisdom held that the Second District Supervisor’s race would result in a runoff between Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel and Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.  What wasn’t expected was just how close to 50% Steel would get or how large her margin over Mansoor would be.  Surpassing most expectations, Steel pulled off 47% of the vote to Mansoor’s 24%, with Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno at 22% and Huntington Beach Councilman Joe Carchio at 8%.

These honorable mentions were things that happened as expected but may have interesting footnotes:

Honorable Mention #1 – CD-45: Raths Falls Short, Jockeying Begins for SD-37 and Even AD-68 – Republican Retired Marine Colonel Greg Raths fell 4% short of overtaking Democrat Educator/Businessman Drew Leavens to advance to the general election with Republican Senator Mimi Walters.  Did Walters’s hit piece (calling Raths a “Bill Clinton Republican” for his assignment to the Clinton White House while serving in the Marine Corps) move the needle 4%?  Jockeying for the special election for Walters’s SD-37 seat and even Assemblyman Don Wagner’s AD-68 seat has already begun since Walters is expected to crush Leavens in CD-45 in November.

Honorable Mention #2 – Shawn Nelson: OC’s Biggest Supervisorial Landslide Ever? With 84% of the vote, Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s reelection bid may well be the most lopsided victory ever achieved by an Orange County supervisor (excluding races where a Supervisor was unopposed or a Supervisor’s only opponent was a write-in candidate).

Honorable Mention #3 – Measure A: OC’s Biggest Landslide Ever? – With 88% of voters in casting ballots in favor of Measure A, the measure may well have achieved the highest percentage ever for a ballot measure in Orange County.

In the interest of full disclosure, clients of Custom Campaigns (the consulting firm that owns OC Political) include four IUSD Trustees (story #7: Ira Glasky, Paul Bokota, Lauren Brooks, and Michael Parham), three OCBE Trustees (story #5: Linda Lindholm, Robert Hammond, and Ken Williams), Eric Woolery (story #6), and Robert Ming (story #9).  Separate and apart from the consulting firm that owns OC Political, this blogger also did the staff work for Measure A (honorable mention #3).

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 34th Senate District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Giant Grid of Endorsements for the June 3 Primary Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 30, 2014

One of our most popular posts from the November 2012 General Election was “Humongous Grid of Endorsements,” so we’re back this election with the Giant Grid of Endorsements for the June 2014 Primary Election.

I did abbreviate for some groups, so OC GOP = Republican Party of Orange County, DPOC = Democratic Party of Orange County, CRA = California Republican Assembly, HJTA = Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, CWLA = California Women’s Leadership Association, OC Tax = Orange County Taxpayers Association, OCBC = Orange County Business Council, and CTA = California Teachers Association.

If you’re particularly interested in a group, click their name to view their endorsements on their web site.  You can learn more about the group there, such as HJTA being the state’s leading taxpayer advocate group or Women in Leadership being a single-issue group with the sole goal of electing “pro-choice women candidates to local, regional and state-wide office who support keeping abortion legal.” (In light of their mission, does anyone else find it odd that Women in Leadership’s two endorsements on this grid are both for school board?)

Candidates in each race are listed in alphabetical order by last name, except incumbents got listed first in their respective races.  Party affiliations are listed except for judicial candidates Thomas Martin and Wayne Philips, as I could not tell their affiliation from the voter database (common names combined with obscure judicial races make figuring out their affiliations challenging).

Whether you love a group and want to vote with their endorsements or hate a group and want to vote against their endorsements, here are the endorsements for county offices and school board, along with local ballot measures:

OC GOP DPOC OC Register Lincoln Club Atlas PAC CRA Family Action PAC HJTA CWLA OC Tax OCBC CTA OC Labor Federation Evolve Women in Leadership Planned Parenthood
Supervisor, 2nd District
Joe Carchio (R)
Allan Mansoor (R) X
Jim Moreno (D) X X X X
Michelle Steel (R) X X X X X X
Supervisor, 4th District
Shawn Nelson (R – incumbent) X X X X X
Rudy Gaona (D) X X
Supervisor, 5th District
Lisa Bartlett (R)
Robert Ming (R) X X X X X X
Frank Ury (R) X X X
Joe Williams (NPP)
Assessor
Webster Guillory (NPP – incumbent) X
Jorge Lopez (D) X X
Claude Parrish (R) X X X X X
Auditor-Controller
James Benuzzi (D)
Mike Dalati (D) X
Frank Davies (R)
John Willard (NPP) X
Eric Woolery (R) X X X X
Clerk-Recorder
Hugh Nguyen (R – incumbent) X X X X X X
Monica Maddox (R)
Gary Pritchard (D) X X
Steve Rocco (NPP)
District Attorney-Public Administrator
Tony Rackauckas (R – incumbent) X X X X X
Greg Diamond (D) X
Sheriff-Coroner
Sandra Hutchens (R – incumbent) X X X X
Superintendent of Schools
Al Mijares (R – incumbent) X X
Treasurer-Tax Collector
Shari Freidenrich (R – incumbent) X X X X X X X
Judge, Office #14
Fred Fascenelli (R)
Kevin Haskins (R) X X X X X
KC Jones (R) X
Thomas Martin
Judge, Office #20
Derek Johnson (D – incumbent)
Helen Hayden (R) X X X X
Judge, Office #27
Joanne Motoike (D – incumbent) X X X
Wayne Philips
Judge, Office #35
Jeff Ferguson (R) X X X
Carmen Luege (R) X X
County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2
David Boyd (R – incumbent) * X X X
Tom Pollitt (R) X X X X X X
County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5
Elizabeth Parker (R – incumbent) * X X X X
Linda Lindholm (R) X X X X X X X
Irvine Unified School District (Special Election for Six-Month Term)
Ira Glasky (R – incumbent) X X  X
Carolyn Inmon (D) X X
Bob Vu (R)
Measure A (Orange County)
Yes X X X X
No
Measure B (Buena Park School District)
Yes
No X
Measure C (Anaheim)
Yes X X
No
Measure D (Anaheim)
Yes
No X
Measure E (Anaheim)
Yes X X
No

*The Democratic Party of Orange County did not endorse David Boyd or Elizabeth Parker, instead the DPOC issued anti-endorsements against Tom Pollitt and Linda Lindholm.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Anaheim, Buena Park School District, Democrat Central Committee, Irvine Unified School District, Orange County, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County Public Administrator, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Central Committee Update: Lots of Neutrality on Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 19, 2014

Your intrepid blogger was delayed to Central Committee since sometimes one’s main source of income is more important than the blog. :)

Thanks to fellow OC Political bloggers Thomas Gordon and Craig Alexander for filling me in on some items.

In the Fifth District Supervisor’s race, the Endorsements Committee had recommended Robert Ming for endorsement on a 4-1 vote. Tonight, Ming asked the Central Committee to stay neutral in this race, and the Central Committee agreed unanimously.

In the judicial race between Superior Court Commissioner Carmen Luege and Deputy District Attorney Jeff Ferguson, the Central Committee upheld the Endorsements Committee recommendation of neutrality.

(8:02 PM): On motion of Deborah Pauly, the Central Committee unanimously voted to stay neutral in the Attorney General’s race.

(8:11 PM): On motion of Deborah Pauly, the Central Committee unanimously endorses Pete Peterson for Secretary of State.

46TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

(8:12 PM): Candidate John Cullum questions the integrity of the process because he thought the party had decided to stay neutral last month (Editor’s Note: the Central Committee delayed the endorsement vote to tonight). He notes he is endorsed by the American Independent Party. He claims to have name ID (he lost the 2012 primary). He attacks Carlos Vasquez for being a former member of the American Independent Party.

(8:15 PM): Baron Night says Vasquez is tending to his ill son tonight. He says Vasquez is pro-life and opposes gay marriage. He wants education with stronger job skill training. Vasquez wants more local control for schools, lower taxes, including 100% deductibility for health insurance premiums. Night notes Vasquez is the only one to fill out an application for endorsement. Night then ends with a limerick.

There is some uproar about whether Republican Candidate Adam Nick was invited. Mark Bucher confirms he was.

David Shawver asks why Cullum refused to fill out an application.

Cullum says the party should stay out when there’s multiple good Republicans in the race.

A Central Committee member asks Cullum if he applied for the American Independent Party endorsement.

Cullum says he did.

The Central Committee follows up asking if Cullum values the American Independent Party endorsement more than the Republican Party endorsement.

Cullum cites the party endorsements in the sample ballot.

A lengthy debate on parliamentary procedure ensues.

(8:27 PM): Brenda McCune expresses her concern that the party is threatening to do nothing in Loretta Sanchez’s seat. She expresses alarm at Cullum, a candidate endorsed by another political party, urging the Republican Party to not endorse.

(8:28 PM): Deborah Pauly echoes McCune’s comments.

(8:29 PM): David Shawver notes the CRA listened to both Cullum and Vasquez and decided to endorse Vasquez.

(8:30 PM): The party by a nearly unanimous vote to endorse Vasquez.

VASQUEZ ENDORSED.

MEASURE A

(8:31 PM): Todd Spitzer speaks about Measure A, which requires elected officials to pay for their own pensions.

On motion of Baron Night, Measure A is endorsed unanimously.

MEASURE A ENDORSED.

Endorsements are complete.

The Orange County Young Republican Association speaks about several upcoming events and asks for donations.

The Volunteer of the Month is being awarded to the 30 youth under the mentorship of Maribel Marroquin who have been volunteering in the OCGOP’s Hispanic Engagement efforts in Central Orange County.

(8:55 PM): Deborah Pauly and Thomas Gordon ask for an emergency resolution supporting Proposition 13 and opposing the split roll. The resolution was drafted by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

A lengthy discussion on parliamentary procedure ensues.

On motion of Baron Night and second by Todd Spitzer, the rules are suspended to allow consideration of the resolution brought by Deborah Pauly and Thomas Gordon at the behest of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

On motion of Baron Night and seconded by numerous people, the resolution is adopted unanimously.

Posted in 46th Congressional District, 5th Supervisorial District, Republican Central Committee, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Live from OCGOP Endorsements Committee: Round Three

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 5, 2014

We’re live from the Republican Party of Orange County’s third and final Endorsements Committee meeting for the June 2014 Primary.

The Endorsements Committee will make recommendations to the full Central Committee, who will vote on May 19 on the actual endorsements.

On the docket are Fifth District Supervisor and Superior Court Judge Office Number 35.

Mayor/Businesswoman Lisa Bartlett, Orange County Businessman/Councilmember Robert Ming, and Councilmember/Businessman Engineer Frank Ury are seeking the endorsement recommendation for Fifth District Supervisor.

Deputy District Attorney Jeff Ferguson and Superior Court Commissioner Carmen Luege are seeking the endorsement recommendation for Superior Court Judge Office Number 35.

 

FIFTH SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT

(6:15 PM): Endorsements Committee Chairman Mark Bucher invites the three candidates to come to the seats in front of the committee table.

(6:17 PM): Frank Ury says all three candidates are good Republicans. He says Mission Viejo is well-run. He says his body of work speaks for itself. He urges for brevity and election impact that the party stay neutral in this race.

(6:19 PM): Robert Ming says the May 19 endorsement is so late in the primary that it’s not unreasonable for the party to stay neutral. He does however say it is important for the party to endorse because it’s discouraging for candidates and volunteers if tireless volunteers aren’t endorsed.

(6:21 PM): Lisa Bartlett says it would hurt the party to endorse at this point. She says Dana Point has paid off its pension liability and has no debt. She urges neutrality.

(6:22 PM): Bucher asks if the three would withdraw their endorsement requests.

(6:22 PM): Ury and Bartlett agree to do so if all three withdrew concurrently. Ming declines to withdraw, reiterating the reasons from his opening remarks. All three stay in.

(6:23 PM): Mark McCurdy asks about sustainable development.

(6:23 PM): Ury says it needs to be done locally not by state bureaucrats.

(6:24 PM): Ming opposes a force from above mandating this on the local community’s residents.

(6:25 PM): Bartlett argues sustainability needs to be a local decision not a state one.

(6:26 PM): Peggy Huang asks about Ury endorsing Democrats.

(6:26 PM): Ury endorsed an apolitical Democrat who was running against a Republican who would soon be recalled. In the recall, he endorsed a Democrat against a tax – dodging incumbent Republican. That latter Democrat is now a Republican.

(6:28 PM): Jeff Matthews asks why endorse at all.

(6:28 PM): Ury says the second Democrat’s opponent was someone who would have been destructive to Mission Viejo. He said in both cases he picked the lesser of two evils.

(6:30 PM): McCurdy asks if any of them would back bringing back Redevelopment Agencies. All three say they would not.

(6:31 PM): Thomas Gordon asks why Ury didn’t stay neutral in the endorsement.

Ury says the Democrat-turned-Republican has proven to be a solid conservative.

(6:32 PM): Bucher asks what are the three most significant Republican endorsements for each candidate.

Ury says he is endorsed by Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, and Congressman Gary Miller.

Ming says he is endorsed by Supervisor Shawn Nelson, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and the California Republican Assembly.

Bartlett says she is endorsed by Congressman Darrell Issa, Chief Paul Walters, and unspecified South County elected officials.

Craig Alexander is a Dana Point resident, a former Bartlett supporter for council who opposes Bartlett for Supervisor, and who is also supporting Robert Ming for Supervisor, because she voted to raise hotel taxes and to ban plastic bags in Dana Point after he implored her not to.  He turned to her and looked at her and said she had taken his liberty away, his responsibility away, and every other Dana Point residents’ liberty and responsibility away.

Larry Gilbert says Ury pushed to remove provisions of a city manager’s contract related to termination the day before the recall election.

Bartlett says the TBID (Tourism Business Improvement District) is not a tax. She says the Supreme Court ruled the TBID is not a tax. She says Dana Point’s 10% TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) is the lowest TOT of the County’s coastal cities.

She says plastic bag bans work in her city because it is a tourist destination and coastal city. She says each city should decide for itself. She says her city lost conventions because they couldn’t mark the ecofriendly box before the plastic bag ban.

Ury says dismissing without cause requires a six month severance. The only change to the contract was that when the city cuts the contract for cause without severance, then the city has a right to go to a judge for a ruling.

Gordon rhetorically asks Bartlett to explain what TOT stands for and whether she believes a fee is not a tax.

Bartlett says the Transient Occupancy Tax is a fee and not a tax. She says many cities set up TBIDs which allow hotels to determine how to spend collected TBID funds in their area. She says only four hotels are in Dana Point’s TBID. She says the four hotels determine how to spend the TBID funds.

Jeff Matthews and Mark Bucher ask lots of questions asking for clarification on how the TBID works.

Bartlett says the four hotels could not establish an additional fee unless the city granted a TBID because that would be colluding in violation of antitrust laws.  She says the TBID money collected is tax-free and is used specifically to market the City of Dana Point as an international tourist destination.

64% of Dana Point’s revenue comes from TOT. That’s $15 million.

Gordon asks why is a $3 TBID imposed when Dana Point gets so much TOT revenue.

Ury and Ming say they do not have TBIDs in their cities and have 8% TOTs.

Peggy Huang asks Bartlett about her argument that the courts ruled that TBID is a fee not a tax as a reason to impose it.

Bartlett says that’s not why. She says it’s because the money helps develop economic and tourism growth. She says it works for Dana Point but wouldn’t necessarily work in other cities.

Huang asks if this is a form of corporate welfare. She says it sounds like it’s a way for hotels to skirt the IRS with city sanction.

Huang asks Ury about lifetime health benefits for Councilmembers.

Ury says a prior Council gave staff and Council lifetime health benefits. Ury made sure all employees hired after 2007 would not get this. Ury signed an affidavit forsaking his lifetime health benefits. He says he’s the one who found the problem. He only voted against an item of this sort because it was posturing and was completely redundant with an item he’d already done.

McCurdy asks about civil liberties, pointing to the example of scanning all license plates as Fountain Valley is doing.

Ming says he opposes license plate readers and supported banning red-light cameras in Laguna Niguel.

Ury says he opposes license plate readers. He points to his immigrant family who fled from Communist Hungary.

Bartlett opposed red-light cameras in Dana Point but believes each city should decide for itself.

Gordon asks if a fee is a tax personally and about whether Supervisors should have pensions.

Bartlett says a fee is not a tax. She says individuals should pay for their own pensions.

Ury says a fee is a tax. He opposes both. He agrees that individuals should pay for their own pensions.

Ming opposes fees and taxes. He says he would decline a pension and that elected officials should not take pensions.

Bucher asks a followup on plastic bags. Do cities have to ban plastic bags to be deemed ecofriendly?

Bartlett says hotels kept coming to the city saying they lost business from not getting conferences due to not being ecofriendly. She says that plastic bag bans were the least onerous way to become ecofriendly.

Gordon asks why couldn’t the free market just get rid of plastic bags instead of having a government mandate. He asks why couldn’t the TBID money be used for reusable bags?

Bartlett said residents, merchants, environmental groups, and hoteliers called for the plastic bag ban.

Craig Alexander interjects that the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce opposed the plastic bag ban.

Questions are complete. The candidates step back, and the committee begins deliberations.

 

Huang moves to endorse Ming. Matthews seconds for discussion.

Huang is troubled by Bartlett’s stance on taxes and fees and by Ury endorsing Democrats.

Matthews says when multiple good Republicans are running, many in the party say it’s best not to endorse. He says the party needs to figure out a way to determine who’s in good standing. He wonders if the party needs to adopt a formal policy.

He is very troubled by Bartlett’s plastic bag ban. He is somewhat troubled by Ury endorsing Democrats.

Gordon is very troubled by Bartlett’s stance on fees and taxes.

Bucher is very troubled by Bartlett’s plastic bag ban. He recalls when plastic bags were good because they saved trees. Bucher notes that Ming has a very clean record considering no one has attacked Ming’s record. (Editor’s Note: Ury and Bartlett did note earlier that they did not bring any speakers in support or opposition because they supported the committee staying neutral.)

Ming is recommended for endorsement by a 4-1 vote.

MING RECOMMENDED.

 

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE NUMBER 35

(7:11 PM): Jeff Ferguson speaks about his record of handling thousands of cases. He speaks of being involved in a massive task force involving several federal and local agencies that resulted in 128 indictments. He speaks of being involved in forfeiture cases. He speaks of having broad legal knowledge.

(7:14 PM): Carmen Luege speaks about that it is good for the Republican Party to endorse her because she has 30 years of legal experience after graduating from UCLA. She spent 7 years as a civil attorney and 17 years as a federal prosecutor. She has spent 6 years as a Superior Court Commissioner. She speaks of valuing freedom after experiencing the oppression of communism. She says she is endorsed by the Lincoln Club, Grow Elect, and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff. She says it is good for the Republican Party to endorse a female Hispanic for judge.

(7:18 PM): Scott Voigts says Jeff Ferguson has been in the trenches walking precincts and paying for Flag Day tables. He was a prosecutor of the year.

(7:19 PM): District Attorney Tony Rackauckas speaks about Ferguson’s good judgement. He saw Ferguson’s good judgement when they were both prosecutors. When Rackauckas was a judge, he saw Ferguson’s good judgement in the courtroom.

(7:21 PM): Adam Probolsky says Luege couldn’t be involved in the party because being a federal prosecutor and court commissioner prevented her from being involved. He notes they could have brought Governor George Deukmejian or a former member of Congress to speak for her. He says perhaps it’s best for the Party to stay out.

(7:23 PM): Mathews asks why Luege cited judicial canons of ethics in not answering the questionnaire.

(7:24 PM): Luege explains that she is already a judicial officer as a Court Commissioner while Ferguson is not currently a judicial officer.

(7:25 PM): Ferguson says he was subject to the canons when he entered the race.

(7:26 PM): Luege says that only applies if he is elected.

(7:27 PM): The deliberations begin. Matthews admits his previous statements on Supervisor were a diatribe. He isn’t sure how they can pick between the two.

(7:28 PM): McCurdy says Ferguson’s involvement and answering the questionnaire are advantageous. He realizes circumstances may have hindered Luege’s involvement, but circumstances in life are not always fair.

(7:30 PM): Huang says she has practiced both civil and criminal law and appreciates seeing well-rounded candidates. Huang says Luege has done both civil and criminal cases. Huang believes it’s important for judges to have backgrounds in both.

(7:32 PM): Gordon says he has seen Luege at Republican events, so she is involved too. He leans toward keeping the party out of this race.

(7:33 PM): Bucher says he’s inclined toward neutrality as well.

(7:34 PM): Gordon moves and Huang seconds neutrality.

Gordon says the candidates should appeal to the voters.

The vote is 5-0 for a recommendation of neutrality.

NO ENDORSEMENT FOR SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE NUMBER 35.

 

(7:36 PM): Meeting adjourns.

(After the meeting, the Bartlett campaign requested that this blog disclose that Peggy Huang’s husband, Dr. James Huang, serves on the endorsements committee of the Lincoln Club, which has already endorsed Ming.)

(Also, in the interest of full disclosure, Custom Campaigns, the firm that owns this blog, has received compensation from the Ming campaign.  For those of you reading the blog on a desktop computer, that should be evident from the ad on the left side of the screen [ads are not visible if you're reading this on a smartphone].  However, compensation has not affected the live blogs, which have repeatedly been cited for their accuracy by various opposing sides and people present in the room, whether it’s the live blogs of OCGOP proceedings, CRA proceedings, candidate forum, etc.  Indeed, supporters of different candidates have frequently shared the live blogs on social media, citing their accuracy.)

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

Live from the 2nd Supervisorial District Feet to the Fire Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 28, 2014

We’re live from the Feet to the Fire Forum for the Second Supervisorial District. Yours truly got promoted to the media table.

The candidates are seated in this order from left to right: Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel, Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno, Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, and Huntington Beach Councilman Joe Carchio. Moreno is a Democrat while the rest are Republicans.

The media panelists are Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC, Alicia Lopez of the Daily Pilot, Jack Wu of the OC Register, John Canalis of the Daily Pilot, and Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot/OC Register.

(7:02 PM): Canalis asks if the candidates would forego a Supervisorial pension.

Steel would forego the pension.

Moreno would donate the pension to an account to fund nonprofit organizations. He would do the same with his commission stipends.

Mansoor says he would take the pension because he is not independently wealthy and does not have a home in Rancho Palos Verdes (referencing Steel). He says he would take the lower of two pension formulas offered at the County (Editor’s Note: the voters approved a June 2012 ballot measure mandating Supervisors pick the lower pension formula.)

Carchio says he did not accept a pension in Huntington Beach and would not accept one at the County.

Canalis asks if the candidates would vote to outright ban Supervisorial pensions.

Moreno says he would not.

Wu asks Moreno about pension reform.

Moreno says pension management would need to be examined.

Venezia says all the candidates’ Web sites abstractly speak of pension reform without details.

Mansoor says he would lead by example.

Steel says unfunded liabilities are a problem and notes the County was 100% funded in 2000. She says economic growth and demographic shifts combined with rates of return must be accounted for. She speaks about the recent amortization changes at OCERS.

Mansoor says he left the Sheriff’s Department to go to the Assembly where he has no pension.

Carchio speaks of the need for employees to pay for their entire employee pension contribution.

Lopez asks Steel about her endorsement from Sheriff Hutchens. She asks about offering a raise to deputies in exchange for them paying their entire employee contribution.

Steel points to the example of OCEA. She says she wants to look at the numbers to be sure of what solution she would pursue.

Mansoor opposes the pay raise because it would increase the pension obligation.

Santana asks Mansoor about the risk of deputies being poached by neighboring agencies.

Mansoor says these are difficult times and difficult decisions need to be made to make the County solvent.

Wu asks Mansoor about leading by example by refusing the pension.

Mansoor says it would be irresponsible to ask employees to entirely give up their pensions.

Santana asks how would spending more to pay down the pension liability affect spending on other County programs and services.

Steel points to waste, fraud, and abuse. She gives an example of verifying welfare eligibility, modeling after a San Diego County program that saved $500,000. Steel says the OCERS investment returns should improve to reduce unfunded pension liability.

(Santana interjects several times demanding specifics.)

Moreno speaks about asking college employees to tell his college board about waste, and they found $10 million in waste.

Lopez asks Steel about how to fix CalOptima.

Steel says there needs to be more transparency and points to the appointment of two Supervisors at CalOptima.

Moreno says experts need to be brought in to fix the problems. He says the Board must have experts managing CalOptima.

Carchio says in Huntington Beach that they got employees to retire early, implement a 4/10 schedule, and other creativd ideas related to balance the budget after the loss of Redevelopment Agencies. (Editor’s Note: What does this have to do with CalOptima?) He says that all we heard about was RDA abuses, but RDAs did good things. He says creativity with RDAs shows how to solve these problems.

Venezia speaks about the 2012 election for Assembly. She asks about the criticism that Mansoor is leaving his Assembly seat early since he’s not termed out.

Mansoor said he supported Don Hansen and jumped in when Hansen dropped out. He criticizes Steel for moving to Orange County to run for Supervisor as a platform to run for Congress.

Venezia asks him to answer the original question.

Mansoor again points to Hansen dropping out.

Venezia and Wu ask if he will jump ship if elected Supervisor.

Mansoor starts to say that he wants a resident of Orange County to be Supervisor.

Wu interrupts to ask how long does someone need to be an Orange County resident. He points to Mansoor’s endorsement of Jim Righeimer for Costa Mesa City Council after Righeimer moved from Fountain Valley.

There’s crosstalk between Mansoor and Wu.

Steel jumps in to point out she’s lived in Orange County since 2011. She speaks about immigrating from Korea. She asks if she needs to be born here.

Carchio speaks about living in OC for 35 years and serving on numerous OC boards.

Steel asks if it’s so important to have a long-term Mansoor why he doesn’t support Carchio who’s lived in OC for decades.

Mansoor says he supported Hansen.

Lopez asks Mansoor what legislation he’s passed in Sacramento.

He points to various pending pieces of legislation.

Lopez asks if he’s accomplished something as a legislator.

Mansoor points to the challenges of being in the minority when there’s a supermajority.

Wu asks Steel about her accomplishments as a member of the Board of Equalization minority party.

Steel points to several items, including: *returning 1/2 of $267,000,000 to taxpayers
*switching late payment interest from monthly rates to daily rates, so taxpayers who are one day late only pay a day’s interest rather than a month’s interest

Steel lists several other items that this blogger can’t keep up with. She says she is a consensus builder who can get things done.

Moreno interjects that he has worked in the private sector, worked for an LA County Supervisor, served on the College Board, and been a father.

Venezia asks about Diane Harkey’s husband’s investment litigation since Steel has endorsed Harkey for Steel’s own Board of Equalization seat.

Steel says the courts already ruled that Diane Harkey was not part of this issue. She points to Harkey’s accomplishments in the Assembly.

Mansoor points to his track record in the Assembly. He says he was willing to stand up to the Mike Carona machine.

Santana asks who is part of the Carona machine now since Carona is in prison.

Mansoor says Steel is backed by a lot of people who backed Carona.

Santana repeatedly asks Mansoor to name names while Mansoor declines to do so each time.

Santana then asks what each candidate views is the role of a County Supervisor.

Moreno says the County is an arm of the state. He says the County takes care of social welfare, public health, and public safety issues. He says experts need to be running the agencies.

Santana asks for specifics.

Moreno speaks about solving constituent problems (i.e. casework).

Mansoor points to OCTA and the 405 toll lanes.

Wu and Santana ask Mansoor about other agencies.

Mansoor says they need to let him finish his answer. He speaks about public pressure forcing OCTA’s hand on the 405.

Santana asks about OCFA.

Mansoor says he would have a hands on approach.

Santana asks what that means.

Mansoor says he would audit the OCFA and points to his service on the Assembly Audit Committee.

Carchio says the OCFA board is too large and needs to be reduced in size from 25, pointing to his experience on the 35-member Vector Control Board.

Santana asks what size the OCFA Board should be.

Carchio says he doesn’t have enough information to determine an exact number.

Carchio argues he sits on more boards than Supervisors or Assembly members do.

Venezia asks how much each candidate has raised for their campaign to get their message out.

Wu says the candidates should exclude loans from their numbers.

Carchio says $75,000.

Mansoor says $100,000.

Moreno says $40,000.

Steel says $550,000.

Steel says raising money is hard work.

Mansoor speaks about issues mattering more and says he has a history of beating better funded candidates. He points to his endorsements from outgoing Supervisor John Moorlach and several district mayors.

Lopez asks Mansoor about his reputation on immigration and the Latino vote.

Mansoor says he is not anti-immigrant. He says he supports legal immigration and is the son of two immigrants. He says his actions in Costa Mesa only related to illegal immigrants who committed other crimes. He says Steel has said different things to different people, telling some that she opposes the Lincoln Club plan and telling others that she supports aspects of it. He says he supports eVerify, but Steel opposes it.

Steel says she is an immigrant. She supports a guest worker program. She supports the Lincoln Club plan. She opposes eVerify.

Wu asks Mansoor about the legislative letter he signed that got sent to members of Congress.

Mansoor says the published portion was out of context from the letter he signed.

Moreno speaks about the DREAM Act. He says these students are indistinguishable from kids born in the United States. He calls for prevailing wage in any guest worker program. He says LAX is where illegal immigrants come from. He points to the deportation of Australians.

Carchio says he went to a Sacramento press conference with Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez and his bill on human trafficking. Carchio speaks about high levels of human trafficking from China and Vietnam. He wants an equitable settlement where everyone is treated like a human being.

Venezia asks why she should vote for each of the candidates.

Steel speaks of her BOE track record and her efforts on behalf of taxpayers.

Moreno points to his experience working for an LA County Supervisor and his service on the Coast Community College Board.

Mansoor says he will stand up to special interests and political machines. He says he has an open door policy and will always listen to constituents.

Carchio points to his lengthy time as an OC resident. He speaks about his business owner experience, his experience on the City Council, and his experience on regional and state boards.

Despite starting slightly late, the forum ends right on time at 8 PM.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Live from OCGOP Central Committee: Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 21, 2014

We’re live from the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee meeting, where a slew of endorsements are up tonight.

These endorsements are being sent straight to the whole Central Committee for consideration without going to the Endorsements Committee:
AD-69: Cecilia Iglesias
SD-34: Janet Nguyen
CD-39: Ed Royce
CD-46: Carlos Vasquez
CD-48: Dana Rohrabacher
CD-49: Darrell Issa
Supe 4: Shawn Nelson
Judge: Helen Hayden
Governor: Tim Donnelly
Lt. Gov.: Ron Nehring

These recommendations are being made by the Endorsements Committee for consideration of the whole Central Committee:
OC Auditor-Controller: Eric Woolery
Judge: Kevin Haskins
Judge: Delay until May 5 (Jeff Ferguson/Carmen Luege race)
Supe 5: Delay until May 5

There is zero chance that there won’t be some debate, so we’ll be here blogging it.

7:15 PM: Jennifer Beall and John Brantuk appointed to two Central Committee vacancies in AD-73.

7:20 PM: The committee hears a presentation from Democracy.com.

7:25 PM: The Young Republican Association (a partnership of high school and college-age Republicans) gives a presentation.

7:29 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh speaks about Flag Day.

7:30 PM: Chairman Baugh asks the elected officials and candidates to introduce themselves. This takes quite some time due to the sheer number of people.

7:37 PM: Endorsements Committee Chairman Mark Bucher gives the committee’s report, which proposes endorsements for Eric Woolery for Orange County Auditor-Controller and Kevin Haskins for Superior Court Judge Office Number 14. The Endorsements Committee delayed consideration until May for Superior Court Judge Office Number 35 and Fifth Supervisorial District.

7:42 PM: Woolery and Haskins endorsed unanimously.

7:43 PM: Janet Nguyen, Cecilia Iglesias, Ed Royce, Dana Rohrabacher, Darrell Issa, Shawn Nelson, Claude Parrish, and Helen Hayden endorsed unanimously.

7:44 PM: Scott Voights moves and Steve Sardis seconds endorsing Ron Nehring for Lieutenant Governor.

7:45 PM: Voigts speaks about Nehring’s efforts to grow the grassroots as state party chairman and notes victories like San Diego Mayor were due in part due to his efforts.

7:46 PM: Allan Bartlett objects to Nehring’s record as state party chair when the party made no statewide advances while Republicans nationally made gains. He also objects to Nehring making marijuana a campaign issue when there are numerous other more important issues.

7:47 PM: Nehring talks about eliminating party debt as both state party chair and San Diego County party chair. Nehring criticizes Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. He speaks about needing to improve the business climate.

7:50 PM: Bartlett asks Nehring to answer the question.

7:51 PM: Nehring says the party chair wield little ability to affect races; candidates are the key. He also points to changing demographics.

7:52 PM: Mike Munzing asks if any other Republicans are running.

Someone shouts the answer: there are two other Republicans but neither has a ballot statement (Nehring has a ballot statement).

7:53 PM: Nehring is endorsed by a 2/3 vote.

7:54 PM: Jon Fleischman asks why there is an endorsement proposed for Carlos Vasquez for CD-46, as there are two other Republicans running.

7:56 PM: Candidate Carlos Vasquez says he’s running not for fame or power but to leave the country a free place for his children.

7:57 PM: Candidate John Cullum is running to make a difference and work together across the aisle to end partisan bickering. He says he wants to work for the American people, not special interests.

7:59 PM: Vasquez says the party should get involved because CD-46 is a political donut hole represented by Democrat Loretta Sanchez, surrounded by districts represented by Republicans.

8:00 PM: Cullum says the voters should decide, not the Central Committee. He urges neutrality.

8:01 PM: Kermit Marsh asks about viability, including endorsements and funds on hand.

Vasquez has $8,000 while Cullum has $7,000. Vasquez is endorsed by the Family Action PAC and CRA. Cullum is endorsed by U.S. Senator John Thune and the American Independent Party.

8:03 PM: Baron Night asks about grassroots efforts.

Vasquez points to an Institute he helped start while Cullum points to the Internet.

8:05 PM: Voigts asks if either candidate speaks Spanish.

Vasquez says, “Si” while Cullum says, “Poquito.”

Chairman Baugh admonishes Voigts in Spanish when Voigts asks for the answer to be repeated.

8:06 PM: Cullum is asked if he sought the American Independent Party endorsement.

He did seek it; it was not unsolicited.

8:07 PM: Voigts asks if the candidates believe life begins at conception.

Both are pro-life.

8:09 PM: Fleischman urges the party’s neutrality.

8:10 PM: Thomas Gordon moves and Brenda McCune seconds to table this endorsement until the May Central Committee meeting.

8:11 PM: Brett Franklin supports the motion because he feels the candidates should be vetted. Voigts urges endorsing Vasquez as part of the party’s Latino engagement efforts.

By a vote of 31-20, the party sends this to the May Central Committee meeting.

8:15 PM: In the Governor’s race, Fred Whitaker moves for no endorsement with a second from Jeff Lalloway.

8:16 PM: Kermit Marsh asks the gubernatorial candidates about Jerry Brown’s $20 million. He asks about viability: how much does each candidate have cash on hand and their top endorsements.

Tim Donnelly has $11,000 cash on hand with $148,000 in debt. His endorsements are actor Rob Schneider, Brad Dacus, CRA, and several county central committees. Andrew Blount has self-funded $7,000 and has sought neither donations nor endorsements.

8:21 PM: Dennis White asks what distinguishes each candidate from the other Republicans.

Donnelly says he is leading his Republican opponents 9:1 among all voters and 10:1 among Republicans. He says he will capitalize upon Common Core, AB 1266, and SCA 5.

Blount says he is Mayor of Laguna Hills and had bladder surgery this morning. He says he is part of Orange County. He didn’t seek the Orange County party endorsement because he believes the party should be neutral in a contested partisan primary. He criticizes Donnelly for bringing outsiders to hold signs (who then boo him) and for being o probation.

8:25 PM: Baron Night asks what they’ve done to get their message out.

Donnelly says he’s met 55,000 people and raised $700,000 without a professional fundraiser. He speaks of growing the party and points to the crowd in the room. He says he has fought the Dream Act. He says he’s sponsored AB 351 to require that people accused of terrorism get their day in court in a speedy fashion rather than being held indefinitely. He says he already has 17% support without spending any money on advertising.

Blount says he has not taken any money to pay for traveling up and down the state or going to the state party convetnion. He notes he’s ahead of Neel Kashkari. He says his app, Skidoo, will allow him to reach voters without spending large sums of money.

Both Donnelly and Blount say that MEG Whitman’s campaign demonstrated $178 million could still lose an election.

8:30 PM: Candidate questions end and the motion is debated.

Fred Whitaker says the party needs to unite behind a nominee after June. He says none of the candidates have demonstrated viability yet. He wishes to avoid a divisive endorsement because he wants everyone to come together after the voters decide in June.

Dennis White says the country is in crisis, and California leads the way in being in crisis. He says there are major differences between Donnelly and Kashkari. He says Donnelly wants an endorsement while Blount does not; he suggests complying with both requests.

8:38 PM: By a razor-thin 27-26 margin, the motion for no endorsement appears to have prevailed.

8:39 PM: Deborah Pauly calls for a roll call vote with support from Kermit Marsh.

8:45 PM: By a vote of 30-25-1, the motion for no endorsement is defeated.

8:48 PM: John Draper points to the endorsement of Diane Harkey over Mark Wyland as precedent. He dismisses Blount and points to Donnelly’s conservative record and blasts Kashkari for TARP and for supporting Obama. He points to Donnelly’s endorsements from seven other Central Committees.

8:51 PM: Mary Young says it’s a big mistake for the party to endorse, noting the party needlessly made an enemy of conservative Senator Mark Wyland.

8:52 PM: Dennis White speaks of a controversial candidate named Ronald Reagan and his “A Time to Choose” speech. He speaks of protecting individual liberty against totalitarianism. He says there is not a contested election when it comes to morality. He blasts AB 1266, noting Latinos oppose the bill. He says the party is “at war” with the Democrats.

8:58 PM: It requires a 2/3 vote to endorse. With 30 votes for Donnelly, 21 against Donnelly, and 1 abstention, the vote falls far short of the 2/3 needed to endorse. There is no endorsement for Governor.

9:00 PM: With endorsements completed, the room starts to clear out.

9:02 PM: Steve Baric is named Volunteer of the Month for his pro bono legal work defending the party in recent months when someone sued the party and threatened the safety of party volunteers and leaders.

9:07 PM: Various club reports are given.

9:09 PM: The Central Committee adjourns.

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments »

 
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