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Final Day of Counting: Math Says Do Defeats Correa in Every Likely Scenario

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 30, 2015

Supervisor's Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

As the final day of counting in the First Supervisorial District Special Election commences, Lou Correa is simply running out of ballots to overtake Andrew Do’s lead.  While provisional ballots helped Correa narrow his deficit from 239 to 85 yesterday, that 154-vote swing is not enough for Correa to defeat Do.

765 ballots remain.  Of those, 294 are provisionals, 396 are SB 29 ballots, 70 are traditional late absentees, and 5 are paper ballot votes cast at the polls.  To make things worse for Correa, multiple observers who were at the Registrar of Voters yesterday reported that the SB 29 ballots appeared to be 2/3 to 4/5 Vietnamese language ballots.  (I imagine Correa regrets authoring SB 29.)

Late absentees were trending at a 5% lead for Do.  The 70 traditional late absentees would then give Do an increased lead of 3-4 votes.  Let’s say the five remaining paper ballots split evenly between Correa and Do, with one going to Phan.  That leaves the 294 provisionals and the 396 SB 29 ballots.

Correa gained 622 votes in yesterday’s count, Do gained 468, Chris Phan 193, Chuyen Van Nguyen 44, and Lupe Morfin-Moreno 18.  Correa gained 46.25% of the 1345 ballots counted yesterday while Do gained 34.80%. However, of that amount there were 970 provisionals and 375 absentees.  In other words, 72% of yesterday’s count came from provisionals while only 38% of today’s count will come from provisionals.  If yesterday’s trend were to continue today (which is not possible due to the much lower proportion of provisionals, but let’s give Correa the benefit of the doubt), Correa would gain 319 votes from the remaining provisional and SB 29 ballots while Do would gain 240 votes.  That would net Correa an additional 79 votes.  Add in the 70 traditional late absentees and Correa’s net gain is 75-76, which is still 9-10 votes short of overtaking Do.  Correa still loses in his best case scenario.

A more likely scenario comes from applying yesterday’s trend to provisionals and prior days’ trends to SB 29 ballots.  Correa gains 135 provisionals and 143 SB 29 ballots.  Do gains 102 provisionals and 162 SB 29 ballots.  That’s a Correa gain of 278 and a Do gain of 264, or Correa shrinking Do’s lead by another 14 votes.  Throwing in the traditional absentees reduces it to a lead reduction of 10-11 for Do, which would still have Do winning by 74-75 votes.

However, with the reports of the SB 29 ballots being overwhelmingly Vietnamese language ballots and the fact that more SB 29 ballots can still come in today, Do likely wins this election by well over 100 votes.  That’s not a landslide, but it’s certainly well beyond the margin for a recount in this low-turnout election, where less than 49,000 ballots were cast.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

To Win 1st District, Correa Needs to Beat Do by 22% in Provisionals – If All Provisionals Are Valid

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 29, 2015

In the First Supervisorial District Special Election, Lou Correa won early absentee voters, but Andrew Do won late absentee voters and poll voters.  Correa won 13,629 early absentee votes while Do won 13,480, a difference of 149 votes.  The infamous habit of Vietnamese voters casting ballots late reared its head again, as Do won 2,069 late absentee ballots to Correa’s 1,821, a difference of 248 votes.  Do won at the polls too, with 2,681 votes to Correa’s 2,541, a difference of 140 votes.

Judging by these trends, the earlier election date assisted Correa while a later election date would have assisted Do. The earlier date favored Correa because it took more time for Do’s campaign to build up his name ID and persuade voters to vote for him while Correa simply had to remind the earlier voters of their many years of voting for him.  A later date would have helped Do by giving his campaign more time to build his name ID and persuade voters.

There are 637 outstanding absentee ballots and 1264 outstanding provisional ballots.  If the remaining absentee ballots come in at the same rate as the other late absentee ballots, Do will have 18,491 votes while Correa will have 18,220, a lead for Do of 271 votes.

If through some miracle 100% of the provisional ballots are valid, Correa would need to beat Do by 22% in the provisionals (technically, 21.518%).  However, if 88% of the provisional ballots are valid, Correa would need to beat Do by 24.37% in provisional balloting.

The mysterious factor are the SB 29 ballots.  No one knows how many of these are still out there, as there are two more days of mail where these ballots can come in.  Obviously, if they trend similarly to late absentees, then Do’s lead widens and Correa needs even more of the provisional ballots.  Obviously, if they trend closer to early absentees, then Do’s lead narrows and Correa needs fewer of the provisional ballots.  We’ll find out by Friday how the SB 29 ballots went and if Correa was a genius for writing SB 29 or if Correa wrote a bill that helped lead to his own demise.

1stSupeEarlyVBM 1stSupeLateVBM 1stSupePoll

In a city-by-city breakdown, there were no surprises for the two front-runners, with Correa dominating Santa Ana (54%) and Do winning the rest of the First Supervisorial District.  Do was strongest in his current home of Westminster (49%) while his former home of Garden Grove was his weakest lead (41%) though that’s likely the spoiler effect of Garden Grove Councilman Chris Phan.  Oddly, Garden Grove was not Chris Phan’s best community; he won 20% of the vote there, but he won 21% in the unincorporated community of Midway City.

Phan and Do won a combined 61% of the vote in Garden Grove, 65% in Fountain Valley, 66% in Westminster, 68% in Midway City, and 40% in Santa Ana.  Adding Nguyen in increases that to 66% in Garden Grove, 68% in Fountain Valley, 70% in Westminster, 72% in Midway City, and 43% in Santa Ana.

1stSupeBarGraph

 

1stSupeGG

1stSupeFV 1stSupeWM1stSupeMidway 1stSupeSA

Lost in most discussions is the Lupe Moreno factor.  She does not have 100% name ID, and she didn’t really campaign in this election.  She was also the only woman in the race.  If even 30% of the votes cast for her were cast by Latino and Latina voters who would have otherwise voted for Correa, she may well have played a critical spoiler role to stop Correa and allow Do to win.

 

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

SB 29 (Correa) Likely to Determine Fate of 1st District Special Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 27, 2015

In September 2014, Governor Brown signed into law SB 29 (Correa), which took effect on January 1, 2015.  It said:

…any vote by mail ballot cast under this division shall be timely cast if it is received by the voter’s elections official via the United States Postal Service or a bona fide private mail delivery company no later than three days after election day and either of the following is satisfied:
(1) The ballot is postmarked on or before election day or is time stamped or date stamped by a bona fide private mail delivery company on or before election day.
(2) If the ballot has no postmark, a postmark with no date, or an illegible postmark, the vote by mail ballot identification envelope is date stamped by the elections official upon receipt of the vote by mail ballot from the United States Postal Service or a bona fide private mail delivery company, and is signed and dated pursuant to Section 3011 on or before election day.

In other words, Lou Correa got legislation signed into law that absentee ballots that arrive by mail by Friday at 8:00 PM after the election must still be counted even if they are not postmarked.  This is the first election that is affected by this law.

It is not known how many of these ballots are out there, but if an unpostmarked absentee ballot arrives by Friday, January 30, at 8:00 PM, the Registrar of Voters is legally obligated to count it.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

2 Votes

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 27, 2015

They like their elections close in the 1st District.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Three-Candidate All-GOP Race in SD-37 as Filing Closes: Wagner, Moorlach, and Namazi

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 26, 2015

Wagner, Moorlach, and Namazi

The three candidates in the SD-37 special election (all are Republicans): Business Owner/Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner, former Orange County Supervisor John M. W. Moorlach, and Naz Namazi

Filing has closed for the March 17 special election to fill the vacancy in the 37th Senate District left when Mimi Walters was elected to Congress.  As expected, Assemblyman Don Wagner and former Supervisor/former Treasurer-Tax Collector John Moorlach filed for the seat. Unexpectedly, Naz Namazi pulled papers on the final day of filing and then filed for the seat as well.

A head-to-head Wagner vs. Moorlach race would have ended this election on St. Patrick’s Day.  If Namazi pulls enough votes to prevent either candidate from breaking 50%, that would force a Wagner-Moorlach run-off on May 19.

Ballot Designations

Wagner is using “Business Owner/Assemblyman” as his ballot designation.  Moorlach unsuccessfully sought “County Supervisor/Businessman” as his ballot designation, receiving “Orange County Supervisor” instead.  Oddly, Namazi does not have a ballot designation.  Ballot designations can be challenged in court through Monday, February 2 (a week from today).

I’ve never understood why a candidate would refuse to have a ballot designation.  It costs nothing and is the one thing every voter sees because it’s right under the candidate’s name under the ballot.  It’s literally the last thing a candidate gets to say to every voter (and for a scary number of voters, it’s also the first thing).

Ballot Statements (or Lack Thereof)

Wagner and Moorlach both got statements for the sample ballot while Namazi did not.

There are only two scenarios why a candidate wouldn’t have a ballot statement for the State Legislature: 1) the candidate can’t afford it or 2) the candidate plans to spend more than the voluntary expenditure limit.  (For example, in November 2014, Young Kim, Sharon Quirk-Silva, Janet Nguyen, and Jose Solorio did not get statements because they all planned to spend more than the voluntary expenditure limit.)

The voluntary expenditure limit for this election is $846,000, and I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that Namazi isn’t going to spend more than $846,000.  That leaves only the logical conclusion that Namazi couldn’t plunk down the $5,376 for a ballot statement.

If a candidate can’t afford to even get the ballot statement, how is the candidate supposed to get their message out? The ballot statement is the opportunity for every candidate to get a 1/4 page message mailed out to every registered voter in the district, as it is included in the sample ballot.  Any mailer districtwide would cost more than the ballot statement.  Even the costs of ink and paper from printing literature on a home computer to hand deliver to every voter in the district would cost more than a ballot statement.

In a general election, it’s possible to win an obscure down-ticket race without a ballot statement because voters are exhausted from reading many seats’ ballot statements or voters aren’t paying attention to the down-ticket races. However, this is the only thing on the ballot; there is no down-ticket.  Anyone turning out for this election is turning out solely for the Senate race.  Plus, it’s a special election, and special election voters are far more likely to read the sample ballot than general election voters.

Who is Namazi?

Namazi was a paid staffer on Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s re-election campaigns in 2012 and 2014.  She also purportedly joined Rohrabacher’s Congressional staff earlier this month.  She has been a licensed real estate salesperson for 1 year, 8 months (since May 2013).

As I live blogged two years ago at the January 2013 OCGOP Central Committee meeting, Namazi received the Anna Woods Memorial HQ Volunteer of the Year Award for her efforts in the 2012 election at the OCGOP headquarters in Tustin and the OCGOP office in Huntington Beach.  (Ironically, as the highest-ranking elected official present at that meeting, Wagner helped present all of the volunteer awards, including the one to Namazi.)

Born in Pakistan, the 47-year-old Namazi had been registered to vote at her Laguna Niguel residence for 20 years but recently reregistered to vote in Irvine in the two-bedroom residence of 64-year-old Julie Tanha.  Property records do not show that Namazi has given up her residence in Laguna Niguel nor acquired Tanha’s residence in Irvine. Laguna Niguel is in the 36th Senate District while Irvine is in the 37th.

Born in Pennsylvania, the 54-year-old Wagner has been registered to vote at his Irvine residence for 23 years. Wagner has been a licensed attorney since 1987, an Assemblyman since 2010, and was a community college district trustee from 1998-2010.

Born in the Netherlands, the 59-year-old Moorlach has been registered to vote at his Costa Mesa residence for 12 years. Moorlach’s CPA license was issued in 1980 but is currently inactive; he was a County Supervisor from 2007-2015 and the County Treasurer-Tax Collector from 1995-2007.

Decoy Candidate?

Ordinarily, a candidate who pulls papers on the last day of filing, recently reregistered from a longtime out-of-district residence to an in-district residence, has no ballot designation, and has no ballot statement would have all the red flags of being a decoy candidate.

However, there is one big gaping hole in the decoy theory: who actually benefits from Namazi’s candidacy?  Unless she starts hitting either Wagner or Moorlach, there is no obvious beneficiary of her candidacy.  There is no reason to see how she would draw from more from one candidate or the other: her name isn’t similar to either Wagner or Moorlach, she doesn’t have a similar ballot designation to either Wagner or Moorlach, she’s a woman while the other two are men (indeed, her name doesn’t even make her gender obvious), she has an Iranian name while Wagner and Moorlach have European names, etc.  Now, if Namazi starts campaigning heavily against one of the two major candidates, then the decoy theory is worth another look.

Who Will Campaign to Democrats?

It had long been thought that Wagner and Moorlach would try to outflank each other on the right to win the safely Republican SD-37, but with the Democrats failing to field a candidate (and indeed, no non-Republican candidate filing at all), which one will attempt to win over Democrats?  Or will both attempt it?  It will be a delicate balancing act trying to hang on to Republicans and grabbing Democrats.  28.6% of SD-37 voters are Democrats.  It’s a huge voting bloc.  If one candidate goes for the Democrats but the other does not, the Democrats could well determine the result of the election.  (Leslie Daigle missed her chance; this race was tailor-made for her!)  However, it’s still a staunchly Republican district; tilting too far left could cost too many votes on the right.

The riskiest strategy would be sending a hit piece to Democrats accusing the opponent of being too conservative, as the target of that hit piece would presumably quickly send a piece to Republicans: “Look!  My opponent says I’m more conservative than he is!”

Of course, there is the ever safe strategy of non-substantive messaging, along the lines of “Democrats Trust John Moorlach” or “Democrats Support Don Wagner” without any political stances included whatsoever.

Full Text of Ballot Statements

Wagner’s ballot statement is below:

As an Assemblyman since 2010, I’ve been a proven, principled conservative voice in Sacramento. That’s why I’m endorsed for State Senate by our conservative Congressman Ed Royce and Congresswoman Mimi Walters.

As Senator, I’ll strongly support a balanced budget, with no new taxes. I’ve fought to eliminate the $500 billion “wall of debt” that liberal politicians have created and plan to leave to our children. I signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” to never vote to raise your taxes and am endorsed by the OCTaxpayers Association.

My fiscal credentials aren’t just talk. I have real experience balancing government budgets – as President of a local Community College District I balanced every budget and paid off all debts, without raising taxes. It can be done.

I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. I’ve been a leader in demanding that Washington secure our border and compensate California taxpayers for the enormous costs of illegal immigration. I’m on record strongly opposing President Obama’s actions to grant amnesty.

As a small business owner myself, I experienced how overregulation and over-taxation stifle business success and economic growth. That’s why I’ve worked to get government off the backs of business owners. And that’s why I’ve been endorsed by the California Small Business Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

I’ve been leading the fight for conservative values in Sacramento, not just talking about them from afar. I pledge to use my experience and proven conservative record to keep up that fight for responsive, responsible, limited government.

Moorlach’s ballot statement is below:

I will fight to end unnecessary government spending and reduce debts. I oppose raising tax rates and I believe government must be lean, efficient, and live within its means.

I began my career as a CPA and Certified Financial Planner. I believe government spending requires sound planning and must stand firm against pressures from special interests.

California has an unrestricted net deficit of $124 billion and is 46th out of 50 states in financial status! Billions in underfunded public employee pensions is one of our biggest threats. As a County Supervisor, I passed a ballot measure requiring voter approval on any new public employee pension enhancement.

We also renegotiated the county employee retiree medical plan, reducing the unfunded liability by 71% and saving Orange County taxpayers nearly $100 million a year.

In 1994, I was a partner in a local accounting firm. When Orange County declared bankruptcy that December, I was brought in to help clean up the mess. We immediately cut costs, eliminated risky investments, and put the County back on a fiscally conservative path.

In 2006, I was elected to serve as County Supervisor, where I helped to prudently guide spending through the Great Recession, thus improving the business climate. During my tenure, the County’s unrestricted net assets grew from a deficit to in excess of $300 million. Today Orange County is fiscally sound, and our economy is strong.

California needs a fiscally conservative accountant in Sacramento. I would be honored to continue serving you. http://www.MoorlachforSenate.com

As mentioned earlier, Namazi did not get a ballot statement.

Posted in 37th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

OCGOP Elects Whitaker Chairman, Lalloway Treasurer, Whitacre Sergeant-at-Arms

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 19, 2015

image

In its biennial organizational meeting, the Republican Party of Orange County unanimously elected its slate of 2015-16 officers.

Most notable was the election of Orange Mayor Pro Tem Fred Whitaker as Chairman, succeeding Scott Baugh, who retired after 11 years at the helm. Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway was elected Treasurer succeeding Mark Bucher, who retired after approximately 11 years in that post. Tim Whitacre was elected Sergeant-at-Arms succeeding Retired Navy Captain Emily Sanford, who retired from that post.  All other officers were re-elected.  The officers are:
Chairman Fred Whitaker
1st Vice Chairman John Warner
2nd Vice Chairwoman Mary Young
Secretary Peggy Huang
Treasurer Jeff Lalloway
Assistant Treasurer TJ Fuentes
Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Whitacre
Parliamentarian (Appointed Position) Kermit Marsh

Also, the OCGOP unanimously endorsed Jim Brulte for reelection as Chairman of the California Republican Party, and Assemblyman Travis Allen was named OCGOP Legislator of the Year.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

SD-37 Special Election Set for March 17, Run-Off for May 19

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 14, 2015

Map of the 37th Senate DistrictGovernor Jerry Brown has finally called the special election for the 37th Senate District to complete the term of now-Congresswoman Mimi Walters (and the 7th and 21st Senate Districts to complete the terms of now-Congressmen Mark DeSaulnier of the Bay Area and Steve Knight of the Antelope Valley).

The primary will be on Tuesday, March 17.  Sadly for those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, California Elections Code Section 12288 prohibits bars and pubs from hosting polling places and also prohibits polling places from having any alcohol “sold or dispensed while the polls are open.”

(However, I imagine few would be surprised if the respective campaigns’ Election Night parties had St. Patrick’s Day themes.)

If a candidate wins a majority of the votes, that person will take office after the primary.  If no candidate wins a majority of the votes on March 17, then a run-off election will be held Tuesday, May 19. Absentee ballots for the primary will start arriving in voters’ homes in just over a month from now.

Candidate filing is now open and will close on Friday, January 23.

The two announced candidates are both Republicans:

  • Assemblyman Don Wagner, who currently represents the six of the eleven SD-37 cities since AD-68 comprises the eastern half of SD-37 (Anaheim Hills, Orange, Villa Park, Tustin, Irvine, and Lake Forest)
  • Former Supervisor John Moorlach, who previously represented three of the eleven SD-37 cities in his Supervisorial district (southern Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, and Newport Beach)

Before the 2012 redistricting shifted his Assembly district inland, Wagner represented three other cities now in SD-37: Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, and Newport Beach (in addition to Tustin, Irvine, and Lake Forest).  Before his 2006 bid for Supervisor, Moorlach held Countywide office as Treasurer-Tax Collector.

No Democrat has announced, though it is widely expected a Democrat will run.

If any state political party wants to have its endorsement listed in the sample ballot, the deadline for the state parties to submit their endorsement to the County Registrar is January 23 – the same day candidate filing closes.

The first campaign finance numbers will come out the first week of February.  Neither Wagner nor Moorlach had any substantive amount of money in their Senate warchests when the last campaign finance numbers came out in October.

However, Wagner has nearly a quarter-million dollars in his Assembly account, of which at least 97% is transferable to his Senate account.  Moorlach has closed his Congressional account in December, transferring the remaining $8,618 to his Supervisorial account, which he closed weeks later, transferring the remaining $5,300 to his Senate account.

State legislative contribution limits increased from $4,100 to $4,200 on January 1.

To qualify for the ballot, a candidate must submit 40 valid signatures from registered voters in SD-37 along with a filing fee of $971.97 by Friday, January 23, though a candidate who submits 161 signatures by Friday, January 16, can wipe out the filing fee.  The candidate statement costs a whopping $5,376 though.

(For those of you wondering, while Prop 14 does force November run-offs in regular elections even if a candidate breaks 50% in the June primary, Prop 14 does not require run-offs in special elections if a candidate breaks 50%.)

Posted in 37th Senate District, 68th Assembly District | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Preliminary Hearing Today for Ex-Assessor Webster Guillory’s Felony Case

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 7, 2015

guilloryOrange County Assessor Webster Guillory left office on Monday when Claude Parrish was sworn in to replace him after Parrish defeated Guillory 53%-47% in the November elections.  Today, the preliminary hearing in Guillory’s felony case will begin. with Judge Elizabeth Macias determining if there is probable cause that Guillory committed the offenses he is charged with in order to decide whether or not the case will be allowed to proceed to trial.

In September, the District Attorney charged then-Assessor Guillory with three felony counts of filing false nomination papers when he filed for re-election as Assessor on March 7.  Specifically, the DA’s office stated:

Knowing that he had not personally collected the signatures or witnessed them being written, Guillory is accused of signing his name on two of the 10-signature petitions collected by his associate under the affidavit that reads, “I circulated the petition and witnessed the signatures on this section of the nomination paper being written.” He is accused of requesting another colleague to falsely sign the third petition.

He is charged with three counts of violating Elections Code Section 18203, which makes it crime for “Any person who files or submits for filing a nomination paper or declaration of candidacy knowing that it or any part of it has been made falsely…”  The DA notes that if Guillory is convicted, the sentence can range from probation to up to four years and four months in jail.

Guillory was originally arraigned on September 12 and plead not guilty on September 22.  He then lost his bid for re-election on November 4.  A pre-trial hearing was held on November 24, and of course, today is the preliminary hearing.

Judge Macias was appointed to the Superior Court in 2012 by Governor Jerry Brown.  Prior to her appointment to the bench, she was a Deputy Federal Public Defender for 13 years.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon.  Zimmon’s previous high-profile prosecutions include the computer-hacking tutor at Corona Del Mar High School, the drug charges against the rescued hiker in Trabuco Canyon, an illegal bail bonds solicitation case, the man who got his personal fluids into a co-worker’s water bottle, the Sheriff’s deputy who was drunk in court while on trial for injuring a 78-year-old woman while driving under the influence of prescription drugs, the Seal Beach jail employee who accepted bribes from inmates, and the Fullerton Police Officer who destroyed an audio recorder that had taped his interactions with a drunk-driving suspect who committed suicide.

Guillory’s defense attorney is John Barnett.  Barnett’s previous high-profile cases include Officer Manuel Ramos acquitted in the Kelly Thomas case, Officer Ted Briseno acquitted in the Rodney King case, Kyle Nachreiner (a Gregory Haidl co-defendant) convicted of sexual assault , Officer Jeremy Morse acquitted in Inglewood, Lisa Peng who plead guilty to manslaughter after two hung juries and a tossed conviction when she was charged with killing her husband’s mistress and the mistress’s infant son, a Marine Corporal acquitted after three trials for double murder at a coin shop, and a Newport Beach teacher acquitted of charges of molesting four students.

Posted in Orange County Assessor | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Live from the 1st Supervisorial District Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 6, 2015

Supervisor's Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

We are live from the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board Room for the First Supervisorial District Candidate Forum, organized by the Santa Ana-based Connect-to-Council and sponsored by the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce, and Westminster Chamber of Commerce.

Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana) have been invited to participate in this first candidate forum.  (Mini-biographies of each candidate can be found in this prior OC Political post.)

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It’s standing room only tonight.

7:05 PM: Connect 2 Council Chair Connie Hamilton intros the forum.

7:07 PM: Hamilton says the candidates are not allowed to use cell phones. There will be 4 questions from the panel before audience questions are asked. There will be no rebuttals, no booing, and no clapping. Campaign signs and literature are forbidden.

7:09 PM: Lou Correa thanks the voters for his Senate election. He thanks veterans for serving. He speaks of growing up in Orange County during the Apollo project and the race to the moon. He speaks of his mother working cleaning hotel rooms. He says while things change, many things stay the same. He speaks of many parents today working multiple jobs to make ends meet. He says the County’s top job is public safety; his wife was attacked by an assailant two years ago but she managed to escape after being beaten.

7:12 PM: Lupe Morfin-Moreno notes she grew up in the same era as Correa. She says she worked in the fields as a child. She finished school and has worked for the County for 32 years. She says she knows her community’s needs and public safety. She expresses concern about the safety of the Civic Center with its homeless population. She has volunteered on many committees, including currently on the Friends of the Santa Ana Library. She helped create Santa Ana’s 4th of July celebration. She calls herself a servant of God and the community.

7:16 PM: Chuyen Van Nguyen speaks of growing up in a Vietnamese village and serving in the South Vietnamese military. He moved from Texas to Westminster in 1978. He has owned homes and businesses in OC. His children went to public school. His son and daughter in law are deputy attorneys general and another daughter in law is a Garden Grove Unified School District teacher. He speaks of serving as a Senior Assistant to State Senator Joe Dunn. He says he wants to give back to the community that has given him and his family so much. He wants to improve learning opportunities, fiscal responsibility, and public safety. He hopes County politics is safer than anti-aircraft missiles.

7:19 PM: Chris Phan speaks of growing up in Vietnam and then Indiana. He joined the United States Navy after graduating from law school. His first job as a Navy JAG was across the river from the World Trade Center on September 11. He witnessed the terrorist attack in person and helped the relief effort. He was eventually assigned as Counsel to Navy SEALs. He speaks of walking the entire City of Garden Grove when he was elected to the City Council. He speaks of wanting to expand opportunity and improve public safety.

7:22 PM: Write-in candidate Mark Lopez speaks about the American Dream being the American Responsibility. He says he served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He says the community is too segregated by race and that all are Americans. He expresses concern that few people know what a County Supervisor is. He speaks of people’s cynicism about politics.

Andrew Do is not present.

7:25 PM: The first question goes to Chris Phan: The County has not been successful in addressing its ten year homelessness plan after Fullerton and Santa Ana sites for shelters were rejected by local communities.

7:26 PM: Phan suggests working together with community stakeholders to work on this in smaller chunks. He says there need to be more efforts to address the root of homelessness. He says homelessness is widespread and is not just a First District problem.

7:28 PM: Morfin-Moreno says she volunteers at the library in the middle of the Civic Center. She says the problem is growing. She blames the growth of government, pointing to $60 million in federal funding hinged on OC’s local homeless count. She wants to help connect the homeless with eligible programs: homeless veterans with veteran programs, mentally ill homeless with mental health programs, tackling homeless drug users with anti-drug programs.

7:31 PM: Nguyen says homelessness is a national problem. He says the County cannot solve it alone. He calls on city, county, and state governments to work together to solve the problem.

7:32 PM: Lopez says he will donate half his Supervisorial salary to the homeless. He says “tough love” is the answer. He does not explain what he means.

7:34 PM: Correa celebrated his 50th birthday by taking his children to feed the homeless to remind his family of how blessed they are. He supports a homeless shelter provided that the local community supports the location. He points to the Illumination Foundation’s recently-opened homeless shelter near the Civic Center. He says the neighbors can’t even tell the shelter is there.

7:36 PM: The second question goes to Correa. The question asks about a strategy to encourage business growth in Orange County using local preference programs.

7:37 PM: Correa supports local preference programs in County contracting, like the State and federal governments have. He points to IT contracts going to out of County companies. He supports holding more workshops for OC businesses to explain and encourage their bids on County contracts.

7:39 PM: Morfin-Moreno says the way to help business is to cut regulations and taxes. She wants the community businesses to not be reliant on government. She believes the Supervisors must have a reason for “not having special favors” with local preferences.

7:40 PM: Nguyen calls for collaboration between government and local chambers of commerce to help find solutions for local business.

7:41 PM: Phan notes OC’s climate encourages business but California’s regulatory and taxation burdens discourage business. He suggests incentives, tax credits, and loans for businesses wanting to stay in Orange County or coming into Orange County. He points to the “Buy in Garden Grove” program in his City. He says bringing in large national companies locally brings local jobs.

7:43 PM: Lopez speaks about the City of Santa Ana stopping his effort to open a hot dog stand. He says corporations and unions should not be allowed to endorse in Supervisors’ races (apparently, Lopez has never heard of the First Amendment).

7:46 PM: The third question goes to Morfin-Moreno. Orange County is a donor County with low funding from the State. How would she fix the property tax equity problem for Orange County? Would they work with the state to fix the funding allocation problem?

7:47 PM: Morfin-Moreno says she would oppose any tax increases.

7:48 PM: Lopez says he would oppose tax increases and says people pay too much.

(Neither Morfin-Moreno nor Lopez understand the question.)

7:49 PM: Correa properly says the question is not about raising taxes but about allocation of existing property taxes. He says the allocation formula is stuck in 1978 when OC was rich and young. He says OC gets 11 cents per dollar whole San Francisco gets 60 cents per dollar. He says he has fought this in Sacramento. He says OC needs to get up to the average. He notes in 2009 he secured $50 million in additional allocation for OC on an ongoing basis but says there needs to be a greater allocation to reach equity.

7:52 PM: Nguyen says OC should get its fair share of tax dollars from Sacramento. He says he will surround himself with experts both paid and unpaid to study the issue and fight in Sacramento.

7:53 PM: Phan calls for a comprehensive study of the funding equity issue to arm OC’s legislative delegation with proof that OC should have a greater allocation to achieve funding equity.

7:54 PM: The fourth question goes to Nguyen and is about providing better service with CalOptima and Obamacare.

7:55 PM: Nguyen says there needs to be checks and balances with additional appointees to ensure all aspects of CalOptima are examined. He says quality of care must be balanced with fiscal responsibility.

7:57 PM: Phan says the appointment of a second Supervisor to CalOptima is a good first step. He does not want to create more bureaucracy and wants a comprehensive study on how to improve CalOptima. He wants to encourage more preventative care. He calls for more oversight, eliminating duplicate services, and preventative care.

7:58 PM: Lopez says he falls under VA. He proposes opening a County hospital or two instead of CalOptima. He says he will donate one year’s salary to build a County hospital.

8:00 PM: Correa says he worked closely with CalOptima as a State Senator to help fix the problems at CalOptima. He acknowledges Supervisor Todd Spitzer in the audience for his work fixing CalOptima. Correa calls for greater access to health care. He wants to grow and strengthen CalOptima with vigilance and oversight. He wants the best, cost-effective, and timely services through CalOptima.

8:03 PM: Morfin-Moreno says CalOptima started as an experiment and it has not been replicated anywhere else in the state. She describes her work on CalOptima, children’s services, and MediCal, along with the bureaucratic burdens with these programs. She wants to study other counties to determine the best model.

8:05 PM: The first audience question asks how the First District Supervisor can help combat the climate of California being unfriendly to business.

8:06 PM: Morfin-Moreno blasts the influence of unions and corporations on career politicians. She wants to lower taxes and fight federal unfunded mandates. She says citizens are shortchanged. She says career politicians are not helping the people.

8:08 PM: Nguyen says California’s economy is doing well. He calls for county income tax incentives. He wants to encourage large corporations to come to Orange County and stay in Orange County.

8:09 PM: Phan calls for reducing bureaucracy. He wants to lead by example. He wants to make it easier for businesses to start and grow by reducing burdens upon local business.

8:11 PM: Lopez laments the lack of manufacturing in the United States. He wants to reject outside businesses in favor of local businesses in Orange County.

8:13 PM: Correa says he likes to listen. He walked for three years to learn from people before being elected. He wants to listen to local businesses, business groups,and taxpayer groups. He speaks of when he was locked out of his office by the Senate leadershop for not being liberal. He speaks of biotechnology and venture capital in California. He wants to turn to the strengths of California not its weaknesses. He speaks of voting for tax incentives to keep the B3 bomber in California.

8:16 PM: The second audience question asks each candidate’s top three priorities.

8:16 PM: Lopez says his top priorities are education, transportation, and housing. He calls for better bus routes and more affordable housing for all. He says tough decisions need to be made. He supports more straight talk from elected officials like the way George Wallace talked. (! He really said that!)

8:18 PM: Correa says public safety is the top priority. He wants cost effective monitoring of criminals after realignment and Prop 47. He want to hire more probation officers. He wants to increase crime prevention programs. He says growing the economy is his second priority and education is third.

8:20 PM: Morfin-Moreno says public safety is her top priority. She was beaten five years ago in Santa Ana. She worries about her family’s safety. She worries about the community’s safety. Her second priority is fighting eminent domain. Her third priority is encouraging businesses in the Civic Center and wants other Supervisors to take the First District more seriously.

8:22 PM: Nguyen says public safety is his top priority. He wants more funding for juvenile justice programs. He wants to “beef up the Probation Department” to “keep a tighter lid” on crime due to AB 109 realignment. His second priority is education and wants to expand preschool. His third priority is transportation, as he wants to create circular bus routes rather than north-south routes.

8:24 PM: Phan says public safety, the economy, and fiscal responsibility are his top priorities. He wants to ensure the Sheriff’s Department is well equipped and wants to work on more crime prevention programs for youth. He notes his experience as a prosecutor. He wants to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses to encourage economic growth. He wants to streamline government to ensure fiscally responsible spending.

8:27 PM: Lopez gives a completely incoherent closing statement.

8:28 PM: Phan thanks the forum sponsors and attendees. He speaks of his core values from the Navy of honor, courage, and commitment.

8:29 PM: Nguyen thanks the forum sponsors and attendees. He says he will listen to all organizations and churches to improve education and safety.

8:30 PM: Morfin-Moreno calls for openness. If elected, she will reach out to the community. She says she is frugal and opposes tax increases. She wants to serve the community.

8:31 PM: Correa thanks his opponents and supports a marketplace of ideas and encourages everyone to vote. He speaks of growing up in OC and wanting to continue in public service.

FORUM ENDS.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

No Ballot Lawsuits Filed in First District Supervisor’s Special Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 29, 2014

Supervisor's Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

The First Supervisorial District special election continues down its road of positiveness.  My parents have expressed surprise that they have not seen any negative ads while watching local Vietnamese-language television, with only positive ads coming from the campaigns for Andrew Do, Lou Correa, and Chris Phan.  They’ve not seen any ads for Chuyen Van Nguyen or Lupe Morfin-Moreno.  (I suspect the campaigns have been just trying to get past Christmas. I would not be surprised to see negative ads this week or over the weekend.)

In a similarly positive vein, no litigation was filed in the First Supervisorial District Special Election by close of business Friday, which was the deadline for any court challenges to ballot designations and ballot statements.

The candidates will appear exactly as follows (and in the following order):

  • Andrew Do, Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner
  • Lou Correa, California State Senator
  • Chris Phan, Councilmember/Deputy DA
  • Chuyen Van Nguyen, Television News Anchor
  • Lupe Morfin-Moreno, Office Specialist

Do, Correa, and Phan got ballot statements (copies of those are available at the bottom of the post linked here).  Nguyen and Morfin-Moreno did not get ballot statements.

(Time once again for my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to Chuyen Van Nguyen.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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