Posted by Craig P. Alexander on April 12, 2015
In California State Court trial judges must stand for election every six years. Whenever judges appear on the ballot I have a vast number of friends ask me which judges to vote for and which judges to vote against. Even lawyers like myself don’t always know a judge’s record on the trial court bench since their decisions are not often printed in the newspaper or on legal search engines like Lexus or West Law. Thus it makes it hard to evaluate if the judge’s record is good or not.
I am much more likely to give a judge my vote on re-election even if I don’t agree with all of their decisions. Being a judge is not an easy task and they work very hard to be fair to all sides in the cases before them. They also have to handle far more cases than each of them should have too due to severe budget constraints imposed by Sacramento and limits on the number of judicial appointments which often lag far, far behind the actual need. Plus keep in mind that the reason a case is in front of the judge in the first place is at least two parties are in disagreement and the judge (and often a jury) is called upon to decide between them. That often means someone is a winner and the other party is the loser. This is the judge’s job: to preside over a conflicted situation that he or she did not create. But it is their job to make the tough decisions each day. For these reasons I admire judges for the often difficult work they do.
However there are exceptions to this general rule and the recent sentencing of a confessed child rapist by Judge M. Marc Kelly is one of those examples. I do not know if Judge Kelly found the rapist guilty of his crime, if a jury did that or if the rapist confessed and plead guilty, but it is the judge who decides the sentence for the convicted criminal to serve. It is the sentence, handed down by Judge Kelly, of this rapist of a three year old to only 10 years in prison rather than 25 years to life that shocks people in our community (and apparently the nation).
The Orange County Register has been following this situation and has published its own editorial calling for Judge Kelly to resign or be recalled. Here is the link to that editorial: Time to Leave the Bench. This follows Supervisors Todd Spitzer, Lisa Bartlett and Shawn Nelson calling on the judge to resign or be recalled.
I think the Supervisors are right to call for a recall for this simple reason: Rather than wait until Judge Kelly would normally stand for re-election, let him now, while the issue is very much before the people via the news media, explain to the voters who are tasked with electing or re-electing him, why this sentence was legal and proper. Then let the voters render their verdict!
Posted in Orange County Board of Supervisors, Uncategorized | Tagged: Judge M. Marc Kelly, Orange County Superior Court, Recall election, Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Supervisor Todd Spitzer | 8 Comments »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 15, 2015
This question is asked (and often answered in the negative) a lot on social media when people are either trying to judge the President’s actions and decisions or sometimes when they are expressing their frustration with him. My normal response to this type of question is I don’t know because I am not the judge of President Obama’s heart – that is God’s job not mine.
David French has written an insightful article about this subject in the National Review entitled (the title is a link to the article) “Is Obama Really A Christian?” I found his article well thought out, respectful and helpful in understanding this President’s decision making. Is Mr. French correct – well only God knows! I commend the article to you.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: David French, National Review, President Obama | 2 Comments »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 11, 2015
People who know me know I am a BIG fan of Governor Scott Walker. I had the honor of meeting Gov. Walker last Monday night (3/9/15).
For so many reasons I admire him and hope he is our next President of the United States. The biggest reason I like him is he and his fellow Republicans in Wisconsin actually won the Governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative bodies then actually did what they campaigned on instead of “playing it safe.” In my opinion the reforms they passed have made Wisconsin a much better place to live, work and start a business. Plus this Governor has taken on the special interests in his state (mostly the labor unions) three times and best them three times so he has proven he is up for a fight politically.
Jon Fleischman of the Flashreport.org did an excellent interview with which is at Breitbart California Interview: Governor Scott Walker. In this interview Gov. Walker, in a few words, lays out why he and his fellow Republicans did what they did in Wisconsin right after they were elected rather than kicking the can down the road. He did what I had hoped President George W. Bush would have done when he was elected with Republican majorities in the House and Senate.
While I know Washington, D.C. is not Wisconsin, I believe Gov. Walker, if he becomes President Walker, and has Republican majorities in Congress will demand and lead for change in the federal government towards limited government, more power to the states (and the people) and away from Washington and strengthen our position in the world. In brief, it is obvious to me Gov. Walker believes in American Exceptionalism.
Kudos to Jon Fleischman for this interview and I highly commend it to you.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: FlashReport, Gov. Scott Walker, Jon Fleischman | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 10, 2015
Chris Nguyen reported a few days ago that San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Sam Allevato announced his resignation from the City Council [San Juan Capistrano: Where…]. Apparently Councilman Allevato is having second thoughts about pulling that trigger according to the OC Register [San Juan Capistrano councilman reconsiders resignation].
Although Mr. Allevato lost very badly in the last election (all of his supporters on the council were voted “off the island” so to speak) and he now finds himself at the minority end of some 4 to 1 votes, I can understand having won several elections not wanting to just throw in the towel and walk away.
I would recommend to Mr. Allevato that if he decides to stay on the City Council, he consider that after being in the majority for so long, the voters of his town decided to make some changes – they want the city to go in a different direction than when his group was in the majority. He should consider that the concerns of the citizens of the City of San Juan Capistrano have expressed via the last election are something he should give some legitimacy too. I am not saying Mr. Allevato (or anyone else) should throw away his convictions or that he should pander for votes / support on issues he does not believe in.
But as the saying goes “elections have consequences” and being in the minority is not as fun as being in the majority. However it is the current reality of his council and he should at the very least consider extending the olive branch to his fellow city council members – and they should do the same.
Posted in San Juan Capistrano, Uncategorized | Tagged: Sam Allevato | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 10, 2015
As follow up to my last post on Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’ attempt to hinder the audit of the Great Park finances [To San Diego Legislators], the OC Register has a follow up article that implicates Gafcon, Inc. in a potential conflict of interest situation.
Apparently, per the new article, during the deposition of former Irvine Mayor Sukee Kang he disclaimed any knowledge that during the planning of the Great Park, “…Stu Mollrich, a partner in public relations firm Forde & Mollrich, a Great Park subcontractor that answered to the Great Park Design Studio, a collaboration between Gafcon and landscape architect Ken Smith….”, that Mollrich had hired Gafcon to oversee the remodeling of Mollrich’s Laguna Beach home. Mr. Kang expressed surprise at this information as did City Manager Sean Joyce who noted that Great Park Design Studio was supposed to oversee the work of Forde & Mollrich on the Great Park project.
It would appear that Gafcon, Inc. and Forde & Mollrich both neglected to inform the City of Irvine of this arrangement during the time they were working on the Great Park project. Was this a reportable conflict of interest that the City should have been informed of? I do not know but this certainly does not pass the smell test of arms length transactions for the benefit of Orange County and Irvine taxpayers on the Great Park project.
If you wish to read the latest article go to Great Park contractors….
The more layers of this onion get pealed back, the more it smells of cronyism and a massive waste of taxpayer funds. Yet more evidence that Assemblywoman Gonzalez and the other San Diego legislators should simply BUTT OUT of this very needed audit.
Kudos to the City of Irvine council majority Mayor Steven Choi and council members Jeffery Lalloway, Christina Shea and Lynn Schott for continuing with the audit. The people of Orange County and Irvine deserve answers regarding the Great Park finances.
Posted in Irvine, Uncategorized | Tagged: Christina Shea, Forde & Mollrich, Gafcon, Great Park Design Studio, Jeffery Lalloway, Lynn Schott, Mayor Steven Choi, OC Register, San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Sean Joyce, Stu Mollrich, Sukee Kang | 1 Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 5, 2015
A massive capitulation by the Republican leadership in the House and Senate! Of course I am referring passage of the “clean” bill to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security through September. Keep in mind the defunding of the unconstitutional executive orders on immigration of just the Department of Homeland Security was the Republican leadership’s idea in the first place!
Now the Republican leadership is blaming conservative members of their own party for “threatening” to defund DHS.
1. Why bother to take a stand if you will abandon that stand when the going gets tough?
2. Why should the conservative members of the House and Senate believe their “leadership” if they cave in and pull the rug out from under them even on the leadership’s own plans to confront a President who believes the Constitution is not binding on him.
3. Why should those same House and Senate members believe these “leaders” when they not only abandon their own plans but try to pin the “blame” on the conservatives for standing up for the Constitution?
4. Why should we rank and file Republicans believe the leadership when they tell us anything?
Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation has an article on this issue that is well stated and I commend it to you [Daily Signal].
Posted in 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, Republican Central Committee, Uncategorized | Tagged: Congress, GOP, GOP Leadership, Heritage Foundation, Senator Jim DeMint, Senator Mitch McConnell, Speaker John Boehner, U.S. Senate | 1 Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 4, 2015
The OC Register has published an article noting that San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has asked the California State Auditor’s Office to investigate the investigative audit the City of Irvine is conducting on the Great Park fiasco. According to the article the Assemblywoman wants this “audit of the audit” done very quickly. [San Diego Legislators]
Why is Assemblywoman Gonzalez so intent on stopping or delaying or discrediting this audit? Some simple facts to consider:
1. One of the main vendors of services on the Great Park that may be implicated in the looming scandal is Gafcon, Inc. of San Diego.
2. Prior to being elected to the Assembly she worked for Gafcon, Inc.
3. Gafcon, Inc. contributed to Assemblywoman Gonzalez’ campaign.
Hum…you decide if there is another motive here of protecting home tuff or maybe more. Maybe a lot more!
I would respond to Assemblywoman Gonzalez (and the other San Diego legislators who also signed onto this):
Where were you when the prior City of Irvine majority was spending over $200 million in the people’s money only to get a large orange ballon and almost nothing more for their money?
Where were you when the Great Park Committee was wasting this money in secret and on no bid contracts while citizens of Irvine and Orange County were asking questions and raising concerns over the cost of the project with so little results?
Where were you when it became apparent that vast sums of money were wasted, unaccounted for, spent on questionable expenditures some of which appear to be politically orientated to keep the Agran machine in power?
Where were you when key witnesses refused to give information / testimony to the auditors and the City’s retained attorneys investigating this boondoggle (with its chief witness Larry Agran recently refusing to obey a lawfully issued subpoena)?
Orange County Assemblyman Don Wagner (who represents part of Irvine as part of the 68th Assembly District) has wisely issued his own letter to Assemblywoman Gonzalez asking her to wait until the Irvine auditors have completed their work before having the SAO’s office review their audit.
I have a little more blunt message for Assemblywoman Gonzalez – BUTT OUT!
Disclaimer: I am supporting Assemblyman Don Wagner in his current race for State Senate in the special election of March 17th. [Wagner for Senate]
Posted in 37th Senate District, 68th Assembly District, Irvine, Uncategorized | Tagged: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Gafcon Inc., Irvine Great Park, Larry Agran, Rep. Brian Maienschein, State Auditor's Office, State Sen. Ben Hueso, State Sen. Joel Anderson, State Sen. Marty Block | 3 Comments »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on February 11, 2015
And now a break from Chris’ excellent coverage of the 1st District Supervisor race that appears to be going on and on and on.
As I have noted previously, my friend Katy Grimes over at the Flashreport has been publishing some important articles on the growing regulatory impact of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). An impact that is having everyday negative affects on our state’s economy and is another nail in the coffin for anyone wishing to start a business in this state. CARB’s Mary Nichols Is No ‘Rock Star’
Katy has a new post on this over at the Flashreport reporting that (no surprise to me) Senate Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon is introducing a new package of bills to further increase the regulatory burden on Californians even though the air in our state is cleaner now than since the 1970s. If you are at all concerned about the over regulation by CARB now, wait until Sen. de Leon and Gov. Brown’s latest folly is signed into law. CARB is already out of control and these new bills would only further the power of this unaccountable government entity’s control of our lives.
I got a real world example of this yesterday when I put gas in my car – the price of gas jumped in a few days about twenty cents ($.20) per gallon. Coincidence or CARB’s newest gas taxes going into affect? I think I know which one it is.
To see Katy’s excellent most recent article on this go to this link: The Climate According to CA Sen. Kevin de Leon.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: California Air Resources Board, CARB, climate change, FlashReport, Gov. Jerry Brown, greenhouse gases, Katy Grimes, Mary Nichols, Regulations, Senate Pro Tempore, Senator Kevin de Leon | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 28, 2015
Class size has been a hot topic at Capistrano Unified School District for many years now. The issue was recently in the news regarding CUSD’s having too many children in classrooms: Channel 4 News.
Dawn Urbanek has posted an excellent article at the San Juan Capistrano Patch about a vote tonight (1-28-15) by the Board of Trustees at CUSD to allow the District and Unions to make class size decisions rather than the Board. Here is the link to Dawn’s article: Class Size.
I predict the Board will vote in favor of this partly because the teacher’s union wants it (and the union got elected all but one of the seven Trustees) and so the Board can duck responsibility for the decisions being made. I highly recommend this article to your attention.
Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: Board of Trustees, Class Size, CUSD, Dawn Urbanek | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 18, 2015
Last fall when I ran for CUSD’s Board of Trustees, my friend Julie Collier also ran for the Board (in another Trustee area). In getting to know Julie more I discovered a wonderful fellow citizen who is a true champion of education for children and their parents.
The OC Register has published an insightful column by Julie about school choice – how parents can and should be able to help their child leave behind a failing school – failing to give a child the excellent education he / she deserves. I highly recommend Julie’s excellent column to you. It is not behind the Register’s pay wall.
Here is the link: Parents Need More School Choice
Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: Charter Schools, Education, Julie Collier, Parent Trigger Law, Teacher Union | Leave a Comment »