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Archive for the ‘Irvine’ Category

Less than 0.5%: OC’s Seven Closest Races

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 7, 2014

While most candidates have figured out whether they’ve won or lost, there’s a handful who are still waiting for provisionals and late absentees to see whether they’ve won or lost.

Orange County’s three biggest City Council races are all ending in nailbiters.

In Anaheim, School Board Member James D. Vanderbilt leads incumbent Gail Eastman by 705 votes (0.5%).  Vanderbilt was backed by Mayor Tom Tait while Eastman was part of the anti-Tait majority.  Should Vanderbilt hang on to his lead, the Council 4-1 supermajority will shrink to a 3-2 majority.

CITY OF ANAHEIM Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 147 of 147
Vote Count Percentage
* KRIS MURRAY 13,231 21.2%
JAMES D. VANDERBILT 12,591 20.2%
* GAIL EASTMAN 12,286 19.7%
JOSE F. MORENO (1) 8,460 13.6%
DOUG PETTIBONE 5,971 9.6%
JERRY O’KEEFE 5,160 8.3%
DONNA MICHELLE ACEVEDO 2,445 3.9%
JOSE MORENO (2) 2,131 3.4%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In Costa Mesa, incumbent Jim Righeimer is clinging to a 112-vote lead (0.4%) over Jay Humphrey.  Righeimer is the leader of the 3-2 conservative majority.  Democrat Katrina Foley replaces termed out Councilwoman Wendy Leece as a member of the Council minority with Councilwoman Sandy Genis.  If Humphrey overtakes Righeimer, the Council majority will switch from the conservatives to the liberals.

CITY OF COSTA MESA Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 70 of 70
Vote Count Percentage
KATRINA FOLEY 7,154 26.3%
* JIM RIGHEIMER 5,851 21.5%
JAY HUMPHREY 5,739 21.1%
LEE RAMOS 4,042 14.9%
TONY CAPITELLI 1,454 5.4%
AL MELONE 1,156 4.3%
RITA LOUISE SIMPSON 940 3.5%
CHRISTOPHER SCOTT BUNYAN 826 3.0%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In Irvine, what is clear is that the Republicans have maintained their majority, the Council’s longtime Democrat power-broker Larry Agran is gone, and women comprise the majority of the Irvine City Council (Republican Christina Shea, Republican Lynn Schott, and Democrat Beth Krom).  The question now is whether there will be a 3-2 Republican majority or 4-1 Republican supermajority.  This all hinges on whether Republican Councilman Jeff Lalloway can hang on to his 256-vote (0.4%) lead over Democrat Melissa Fox (even Lynn Schott only has a 309-vote lead of 0.5% over Fox).

CITY OF IRVINE Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 109 of 109
Vote Count Percentage
LYNN SCHOTT 12,964 23.0%
* JEFFREY LALLOWAY 12,911 22.9%
MELISSA FOX 12,655 22.5%
* LARRY AGRAN 11,022 19.6%
EVAN CHEMERS 6,792 12.1%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In Dana Point, Joe Muller leads Jody Payne by just 39 votes (0.2%).  There are no incumbents because Councilman Bill Brough was elected to the Assembly, Councilwoman Lisa Bartlett was elected to the Board of Supervisors, and Councilman Steve Weinberg retired due to term limits.

CITY OF DANA POINT Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 30 of 30
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN TOMLINSON 2,747 13.4%
RICHARD A. VICZOREK 2,656 13.0%
JOE MULLER 2,570 12.6%
JODY PAYNE 2,531 12.4%
ALAN WICKSTROM 2,524 12.3%
NANCY JENKINS 2,315 11.3%
HAROLD R. KAUFMAN 2,056 10.1%
ROY “RYAN” DIVEL IV 1,649 8.1%
CHUCK RATHBONE 1,397 6.8%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In Laguna Woods, Rae C. Tso wields a narrow 23-vote (0.2%) lead over Carol A. Moore.

CITY OF LAGUNA WOODS Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 16 of 16
Vote Count Percentage
* BERT HACK 3,197 25.4%
RAE C. TSO 2,770 22.0%
CAROL A. MOORE 2,747 21.8%
AL RODDAN 1,361 10.8%
MARK L. MONIN 1,284 10.2%
DAVID RUSSELL OHRN 1,236 9.8%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In the Santa Ana Unified School District, poor Valerie Amezcua is in another nailbiter.  She was just 536 votes (0.7%) short of winning a seat in 2012.  In 2014, Amezcua is clinging to a 141-vote (0.5%) lead.  I’m sure she prefers the 2014 result over the 2012 result, but clearly, the week after the election is becoming an extra stressful family tradition in the Amezcua household.  (On a sidenote, MIke Dalati, who came in fourth for Auditor-Controller in June, came in 8th out of 8 in his race for Santa Ana Unified School District.  His fiancee is Karina Onofre, the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat who lost a Santa Ana City Council race as a Republican and the 74th Assembly District, switching parties after she had taken out papers to run for the Assembly as a Republican but filing the Assembly candidacy paperwork as a Democrat.)

SANTA ANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 92 of 92
Vote Count Percentage
* JOHN PALACIO 7,193 25.5%
VALERIE AMEZCUA 3,953 14.0%
SHUNTELE ANDREWS 3,812 13.5%
RIGO RODRIGUEZ 3,470 12.3%
ANGIE ROSARIO CANO 3,027 10.7%
CECILIA AGUINAGA 2,444 8.7%
EVERLENA OLIVER 2,189 7.8%
MIKE DALATI 2,121 7.5%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In the Fountain Valley School District, Jim Cunneen leads Gary Stine by 107 votes (0.4%).  Assuming his lead holds, Cunneen seems to be a consistent third-place finisher in FVSD, having come in third in 2012, but unfortunately for him, only two seats were up then.  He is breathing a sigh of relief that there are three seats up this time.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 31 of 31
Vote Count Percentage
* SANDRA CRANDALL 7,801 31.4%
LISA SCHULTZ 6,478 26.1%
JIM CUNNEEN 5,340 21.5%
GARY STINE 5,233 21.1%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

Sidenotes (Five races with small, but not quite as close, leads)

In close, but probably done, are races where the lead is more than 0.5% but does not exceed 1.0%.

In Lake Forest, it’s clear that incumbents David Bass and Kathryn McCullough have been defeated.  Drew Hamilton leads Thomas Cagley by 303 votes (0.9%).  Hamilton had been Councilman Dwight Robinson’s first choice to fill the vacancy left by Councilman Peter Herzog’s resignation.  Bass had been Voigts’s first choice.  Jim Gardner who is second place and has won a seat on the Council was Councilman Adam Nick’s first choice.  On Tuesday, Nick was defeated in his legal carpetbagging bid for the 46th Congressional District, a place that does not include Lake Forest.

CITY OF LAKE FOREST Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 54 of 54

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

Vote Count Percentage
* SCOTT VOIGTS 5,397 16.0%
JIM GARDNER 5,023 14.9%
ANDREW “DREW” HAMILTON 4,837 14.4%
THOMAS CAGLEY 4,534 13.5%
* DAVID A. BASS 4,320 12.8%
LIZ MILLER 3,913 11.6%
* KATHRYN (KATHY) MCCULLOUGH 3,563 10.6%
MIKE HEALEY 2,063 6.1%

 

In a battle of two former Centralia Board Members trying to get back on the Board, Art Montez leads Kevin Sequeira by 98 votes (0.7%).  Shockingly, sitting incumbent Irv Trinkle came in dead last.

Connor Traut, the second coming of Jordan Brandman in every way, came in first.  La Palma Councilman Henry Charoen, who bowed out of the 65th Assembly District race for Young Kim, came in second.

CENTRALIA SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 36 of 36
Vote Count Percentage
CONNOR TRAUT 4,065 25.4%
HENRY CHAROEN 3,335 20.8%
ART MONTEZ 3,129 19.6%
KEVIN SEQUEIRA 3,031 18.9%
* IRV TRINKLE 2,440 15.3%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In the La Habra City School District, Cynthia Aguirre leads Kevin M. Jacobson by 122 votes (1.0%) in a race where voters had to replace 3 sitting incumbents when no incumbent sought re-election.

LA HABRA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 31 of 31
Vote Count Percentage
IDA MACMURRAY 2,817 22.1%
OFELIA CORONA HANSON 2,774 21.8%
CYNTHIA AGUIRRE 2,673 21.0%
KEVIN M. JACOBSON 2,551 20.0%
SUZETTE ORNELAS-MEDINA 1,913 15.0%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

In the Ocean View School District, Joseph A. Gaglione leads incumbent Tracy Pellman by 261 votes (0.6%).  In OVSD, the teacher’s union openly backed Gaglione and Jack C. Souders.  Incumbent Republicans Pellman and John Briscoe accused each other of being the union’s secret third candidate.

OCEAN VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 53 of 53
Vote Count Percentage
JACK C. SOUDERS 8,867 22.2%
* JOHN BRISCOE 7,528 18.8%
JOSEPH A. GAGLIONE 6,926 17.3%
* TRACY PELLMAN 6,665 16.7%
NORM WESTWELL 5,482 13.7%
* JOHN R. ORTIZ 4,495 11.2%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

Finally in the East Orange County Water District, incumbent Director Sy Everett has a 190-vote (0.8%) lead over former Director Douglas M. Chapman in the latter’s comeback bid.  OC Political readers may remember Chapman for his effort to run for two offices simultaneously, by seeking re-election to the East Orange County Water District while also challenging incumbent Denis Bilodeau for the Orange County Water District, which left him with neither office when his dual office-seeking drew former Tustin Mayor Doug Davert into the East Orange County Water District race.  Bilodeau won re-election and Davert unseated Chapman.

EAST ORANGE COUNTY WATER DISTRICT Director
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 56 of 56
Vote Count Percentage
* RICHARD B. BELL 6,518 28.0%
* JOHN T. DULEBOHN 5,718 24.6%
* SEYMOUR “SY” EVERETT 5,610 24.1%
DOUGLAS M. CHAPMAN 5,420 23.3%
* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

 

Posted in Anaheim, Centralia School District, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, Fountain Valley School District, Irvine, La Habra City School District, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Ocean View School District, Santa Ana Unified School District | 1 Comment »

OC’s Top 10 Election Stories

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 5, 2014

Last night was definitely a big night in OC politics.  Here are the top 10 stories:

#1. “Year of the Asian Woman” for OC Republicans – Republican Asian women dominated the electoral landscape last night.  I can demonstrate that with one simple photostrip of winners:

Year of the Asian Woman - 2014

The women in that photostrip are:

  • State Senator-Elect Janet Nguyen
  • State Assemblywoman-Elect Young Kim
  • State Assemblywoman-Elect Ling-Ling Chang
  • OC Supervisor-Elect Michelle Steel
  • OC Supervisor-Elect Lisa Bartlett
  • Yorba Linda Councilwoman-Elect Peggy Huang
  • Cypress School Board Member-Elect Sandra Lee
  • OC Water District Director-Elect Dina Nguyen

These candidates not only won their elections, but seven of the eight won in commanding fashion:

  • Janet Nguyen won 60% of the vote against former Assemblyman Jose Solorio in the most competitive Senate seat in the state.
  • Young Kim defeated incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva 56%-44% in one of the most competitive Assembly seats in the state.
  • Ling-Ling Chang won 64% of the vote after coming through a grueling primary.
  • Michelle Steel won 62% of the vote in a Supervisorial runoff against Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.
  • Lisa Bartlett won 55% of the vote in a Supervisorial runoff against Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming.
  • Peggy Huang came in first in a six-person field, even coming in ahead of her re-elected incumbent running mate, Tom Lindsey.
  • Sandra Lee came in first in a four-person field, far outpacing three other candidates, who consisted of two incumbents and a former Mayor.
  • Dina Nguyen was the only one with a close race, winning by 45.8%-42.1% in a three-way race for Orange County Water District.

The only Republican Asian woman who lost in Orange County last night was Westminster School Board candidate Bao Anh “Samantha” Nguyen.  (Garden Grove City Council candidate Ruhina Khan is a Democrat.  Laguna Woods City Council candidate Rae Tso and Fullerton Joint Union High School Board candidate Ho Jeong Lim are both NPP.  Republican Cypress School Board Member-Elect Lydia Sondhi is not Asian; Sondhi is her married name.)

#1A. Janet Nguyen and Young Kim Capture OC Swing Seats to Break Democratic Supermajorities – Of the Republican Asian women who won last night, clearly Janet Nguyen and Young Kim’s victories were the biggest stories, as they each struck a blow to the supermajorities held by Democrats in the Senate and in the Assembly.

Janet Nguyen’s 60%-40% victory was so sweeping that she won 8 of the 10 cities in SD-34, losing only Anaheim and Santa Ana (she even won Long Beach).

Young Kim’s 56%-44% victory was so sweeping that she won 5 of the 6 cities in AD-65, losing only Stanton.  Kim is the first Republican challenger to unseat an incumbent Democrat in a legislative race in 20 years.

#1B. Michelle Steel and Lisa Bartlett to Join Board of Supervisors – Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel was widely expected to win the 2nd District Supervisor’s race after crushing Assemblyman Allan Mansoor by 25% in June and almost avoiding a run-off.  She ended up beating Mansoor by 24% in the November run-off yesterday.  Steel’s landslide victory was so strong that she carried every city in the district, including Costa Mesa, where Mansoor had served on City Council and as Mayor; she also won Mansoor’s 74th Assembly District.

Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett was in the toss-up in the 5th District Supervisor’s race after coming in just 2% behind Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming in June.  She ended up beating Ming by 10% in the November run-off yesterday.  Bartlett’s victory was so sweeping that she won every city in the district, except Lyndon Johnson Laguna Niguel (I have no idea why I typed Lyndon Johnson; it was clearly a long election night).

This marks the second time two women will be serving on the Board of Supervisors concurrently (the first time is actually the present day wherein Supervisors Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates are serving concurrently).  This is the first time two Asian Americans will serve concurrently on the Board of Supervisors.

#2 AD-74: Matt Harper Defeats Keith Curry, Even Winning Newport Beach – With independent expenditures helping Huntington Beach Mayor Matt Harper overcome Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry’s massive fundraising advantage, Harper won by 18% yesterday after coming in 3% behind Curry in June.  Harper’s victory was so sweeping that he won 5 of the 6 cities in AD-74, losing only Laguna Woods. To add insult to injury for Curry, Harper even won 55% of the vote in Newport Beach.

#3 Major Changes in Anaheim – Voters in the County’s biggest city cast their ballots on a number of meaty issues.  First, 68% of Anaheim voters approved switching from the current at-large Council election system to a vote-by-district system.  53% of Anaheim voters approved increasing the size of the Council from 5 to 7 (Mayor and 6 Council members).

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait was easily re-elected, with 54.1% of the vote in a four-way race, outpacing the nearest candidate. Tait ally James Vanderbilt appears to have defeated Anaheim Councilwoman Gail Eastman, thereby shrinking the 4-1 majority against Tait to a 3-2 majority instead.

#4 Irvine Forms Republican Supermajority, Ousting Larry Agran – In a sweeping victory, Republicans won every seat on yesterday’s ballot for Irvine City Council.  Mayor Steven Choi was re-elected.  Council candidate Lynn Schott came in first, and Councilman Jeff Lalloway came in second place to win re-election.  Democrat Larry Agran, who lost control of the Council majority in 2012, found himself in fourth place, falling behind even his own ally Melissa Fox, who fell 0.4% short of winning a Council seat.  Republicans now wield a 4-1 supermajority in Irvine.

#5 Republicans Take Huntington Beach – In another sweeping victory, Republicans swept all four seats available on the Huntington Beach City Council, unseating incumbent Democrats Joe Shaw and Connie Boardman.  (The other two seats are held by termed-out Republican Joe Carchio and Assemblyman-Elect Matt Harper.)  This sweep replaces the liberal majority with a conservative majority on the Huntington Beach City Council.

In the Huntington Beach City Attorney’s race, conservative Republican Michael Gates unseated Republican incumbent Jennifer McGrath.

#6 Yorba Linda Supermajority Against YLRRR – In yet another sweeping victory, the slate of Peggy Huang and Tom Lindsey won both seats on the ballot in Yorba Linda.  For the first time since it began fielding candidates in 2006, Yorba Linda Residents for Responsible Representation failed to win any Council seats in an election.  YLRRR held a Council majority from 2008-2012 and even held a supermajority from 2010-2012.  YLRRR has a pesky habit of turning on the people they formerly supported (no fewer than three Councilmembers backed by YLRRR over the past eight years found themselves targeted for defeat by YLRRR).

With YLRRR-backed Councilmen Mark Schwing and John Anderson, YLRRR found themselves one seat short of a majority this year.  They launched an ambitious recall bid to try to gain a Council supermajority.  With the October recall defeated by the voters, the November re-election of Tom Lindsey, and the November election of Peggy Huang (see story 1 above) to replace the retiring John Anderson, YLRRR’s ambitious bid for a 4-1 supermajority in 2014 has ended with them on the losing end of a 4-1 supermajority, with only Schwing in office.  This could well spell the beginning of the end for YLRRR.

#7 Newport Beach Clean Sweep – In one more sweeping victory (anyone notice a recurring theme in these stories?), the slate of Duffy Duffield (of Duffy Boat fame), Kevin Muldoon, and Scott Peotter captured the three contested Newport Beach City Council seats (Diane Dixon won the uncontested District 1 seat).  In the District 3 seat, Duffield even managed to unseat Mayor Rush Hill by a stunning 2-1 margin.  Duffield, Muldoon, and Peotter pledged to bring fiscal responsibility to Newport Beach City government, opposing the dock tax and expensive new City Hall.

#8 Rancho Santa Margarita Eliminates Council Minority – In possibly the County’s most sweeping victory, the two-man Rancho Santa Margarita Council minority has been eliminated.  Majority Councilmembers Tony Beall and Carol Gamble were not on the ballot this year.  Three seats were on the ballot this year.  Majority Councilmember Brad McGirr was re-elected.  Candidates Jerry Holloway (himself a former Councilmember) and Mike Vaughn were elected to replace minority Councilmembers Steve Baric and Jesse Petrilla.  Baric was simply retiring and was not seeking a second term.  Petrilla (who had run unsuccessfully for the Assembly in June, coming in second among Republicans to Beall-backed Bill Brough) was running for re-election but ended up 3.7% behind third-place Vaughn who captured the last Council seat.  Additionally, voters rejected Measure Z, an initiative to change the zoning classification of Rancho Santa Margarita’s former Nissan site, by a margin of 54%-46%.  The Council minority had supported Measure Z while the Council majority opposed it.  The newly elected candidates both opposed Measure Z.  As with Anaheim, Newport Beach, and Yorba Linda, the majority and minority members on this year’s ballot are all Republicans.

#9 Unions Strengthen Grip on Capistrano Unified School District and Ocean View School District – In a rare liberal sweeping victory in Orange County, the teachers’ union won all three seats on the ballot in the Capistrano Unified School District, growing their 5-2 supermajority into a 6-1 supermajority, leaving Jim Reardon as the sole trustee to oppose the teachers’ union.  Union-backed Martha McNicholas defeated OC Political blogger Craig Alexander for the Trustee Area 4 seat being vacated by the retiring Anna Bryson.  Union-backed incumbent Lynn Hatton beat back a challenge by Julie Collier in Trustee Area 7.  Most surprisingly, in Trustee Area 6, union-backed Gila Jones unseated incumbent Ellen Addonizio, and Jones won by a larger margin than McNicholas or Hatton did.  (Jones was the Democrat who ran against Republican State Senator Mark Wyland in 2010.)

In the Ocean View School District, union-backed Jack Souders and Joseph Gaglione won two of the three seats up for election this year, unseating incumbents Tracy Pellman and John Ortiz.  While Souders and Gaglione were openly backed by the union, Pellman and incumbent John Briscoe (who won the other seat up for election) each accused the other of being secretly backed by the union.

#10 Claude Parrish Unseats Assessor Webster Guillory – In only the second time in the last half-century, a sitting Countywide elected official has been defeated for re-election.  With controversies over his nomination signature collection and three felony charges from the District Attorney related to the nomination signature collection, incumbent Webster Guillory was unable to survive a challenge from former Board of Equalization Member Claude Parrish.  Guillory had defeated Parrish 53%-47% in 2010.  In this 2014 rematch, Parrish defeated Guillory by the same 53%-47% margin.  (The last time a Countywide elected official lost a re-election bid was when John Dean unseated six-term incumbent County Superintendent of Schools Robert Peterson in 1990.  No one else has lost since at least the mid-1960s.)  With Republican Parrish replacing NPP Guillory as Assessor and Republican Eric Woolery replacing Democrat Jan Grimes as Auditor-Controller, Republicans will hold every Countywide office for the first time in recent memory.

Honorable Mention: Special Elections on the Way – With the elections of Supervisor Janet Nguyen to the State Senate and State Senator Mimi Walters to Congress, there will now be a flurry of special elections.  Early in 2015, special elections will need to be held to fill the remaining two years on Nguyen’s Supervisorial term and Walters’s Senate term.  In the likely event that an Assemblymember wins the race to replace Walters, another special election will be triggered in mid-2015 to fill the Assembly seat.

Honorable Mention: City Treasurers and Board of Equalization – Two Secret Paths to Power – It’s quite interesting what useful platforms City Treasurer’s seats and Board of Equalization seats can be for gaining other elected offices:

  • November 2010: Huntington Beach City Treasurer Shari Freidenrich elected Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, defeating Deputy Treasurer
  • June 2014: Orange City Treasurer Eric Woolery elected Orange County Auditor-Controller, defeating Deputy Auditor-Controller
  • November 2014
    • Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel elected an Orange County Supervisor, defeating Assemblyman
    • Former Board of Equalization Member Claude Parrish elected Orange County Assessor, defeating incumbent
    • Brea City Treasurer Glenn Parker elected a Brea City Councilman, defeating incumbent
    • Placentia City Treasurer Craig Green elected a Placentia City Councilman, defeating incumbent

On a related note, State Controller-Elect Betty Yee is the second consecutive Board of Equalization Member to be elected State Controller. Eight years ago, Board of Equalization Member John Chiang was elected State Controller, and last night, he has been elected State Treasurer.

Honorable Mention: Mimi Walters Elected to Congress – This doesn’t merit reaching the top 10 because it was a foregone conclusion that Senator Mimi Walters would crush Democrat Drew Leavens in the 45th Congressional District.  The real contest was in June when Walters managed to be the top Republican vote-getter and ensured a Democrat made the top two.  The only reason this gets an honorable mention is because of how rare it is to have a new Member of Congress.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 34th Senate District, 45th Congressional District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Board of Equalization, Capistrano Unified School District, Cypress School District, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Newport Beach, Ocean View School District, Orange County, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Water District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Yorba Linda | 4 Comments »

OC GOP Sends Out Mailer Condemning Katherine Daigle for Use of Party Logo

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 30, 2014

For years, candidates who did not have the Republican Party endorsement have used creative ways of implying that they’re endorsed by the party, sometimes through creative wording, other times with creative logos.

This year, the Republican Party of Orange County has been more aggressive in trying to curb these inaccurate implied endorsements and has been sending cease-and-desist letters to various candidates who have attempted to imply endorsements from the Republican Party despite not actually being endorsed.

It seems Irvine Mayoral Candidate Katherine Daigle went too far this time.  She has been using the official Republican Party logo for her campaign.  She too received a cease-and-desist letter.

Among the items mentioned in the cease-and-desist letter sent to several candidates is a threat that the party will “communicate this information to the citizens” of the area where the candidate is running.

The warning to Daigle reads in full: “Any further unauthorized use of our logo, including any further use of the mailers or signs in question, or any other attempt to falsely imply that you have been endorsed by the Republican Party will cause us to seek legal remedies and communicate this information to the citizens of Irvine to expose this deception.”

Apparently, Daigle didn’t heed the warning, and so today, a mailer landed in the mailboxes of Irvine Republicans blasting Daigle for “attempting to fool Republican voters” and blasting her using terms like “deceit,” “dishonest,” “trademark infringement,” “unethical,” and “illegal.”

The mailer even noted, “In Irvine’s last city election, Daigle tried to play the role of spoiler to get Larry Agran elected.  She was exposed as a plant candidate and both she and her friend Agran were thoroughly rejected at the polls.”

The OC GOP showed the threat has bite, and by making an example out of Katherine Daigle, other OC candidates may think twice before attempting to falsely imply a Republican Party endorsement in the future.  (Granted Irvine is a high priority for the OC GOP, so Daigle was a more tempting-than-average target, but what future candidate wants to gamble that they won’t get hit?)

Here’s the mailer for those interested in seeing it in its full glory, including a copy of the cease-and-desist letter from OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh:

OCGOP Mailer Re Daigle Logo (Front)

OCGOP Mailer Re Daigle Letter (Back)

 

Posted in Irvine, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

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 5th Supervisorial District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim Union High School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, Lowell Joint School District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, North Orange County Community College District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Republican Central Committee, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin Unified School District, Westminster, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Larry Agran Apparently Attempting to Gain Control of Irvine School Board Again – This Time Via Special Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 19, 2013

Councilman Larry Agran

Larry Agran: Doing for Irvine Schools What He Did for the Great Park

(Update: 12/20 6:55 PM: I now have multiple conflicting stories as to whether Agran is behind this or if he is simply a supporter of the effort. A few OC Political sources closer to the Agran camp state he denies being behind this effort and argue that when Agran has been behind petition drives, ballot measures, etc., he’s been very public about it.  At this point, it does remain unclear as to who is indeed the person or people behind the effort to force this special election.  However, it does appear that Agran is supportive of this effort even if he is not necessarily the organizer of the effort.)

It appears Irvine Councilman Larry Agran is attempting to force a special election to oust an Irvine School Board member from office and potentially get one of his own allies elected because the school board failed to obey Agran’s will in the Great Park battle.

During the 2012 elections for the Irvine Unified School District, Larry Agran attempted to get his own slate of candidates elected to the Irvine School Board.  The slate of Michael Parham, Lauren Brooks, and Paul Bokota swept the top three positions to block Agran’s slate of Carolyn Inmon, Cyril Yu, and Omar Ezzeldine, who came in fourth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.  (Nine candidates ran.)  Bokota narrowly defeated Inmon by 706 votes. Incumbents Carolyn McInerney and Sue Kuwabara had opted not to seek re-election, thereby setting up the hotly contested slates.  Parham was the sole incumbent to seek re-election.  (In the interest of full disclosure, Custom Campaigns, which owns OC Political, ran the campaigns of Parham, Brooks, and Bokota in 2012.)

Not only did Agran fail to get his slate elected to school board, but also, as is well-known to most of our readers, he lost his own race for Mayor against Steven Choi and lost control of the Council when Christina Shea was elected over his ally, P.K. Wong, thereby setting up the Republican majority of Steven Choi, Jeff Lalloway, and Christina Shea.  Considering the domination at the presidential and state level by Democrats in 2012, Larry Agran may well have been the saddest Democrat in California on election night 2012.

Last month, Gavin Huntley-Fenner vacated his seat on the Irvine School Board.  On a 3-1 vote, the school board appointed Republican Ira Glasky to the board.  (Parham voted to replace Huntley-Fenner with Hugh Hewitt.)  A mysterious group has launched a petition drive to void Glasky’s appointment and force a special election.  The web site does not disclose who is behind the drive, other than in the PDF of the petition, which is required in the mandatory disclosure required in state law, which names only Stephen Buxbaum and Patricia Schneider-Zioga.  Schneider-Zioga is a linguistics professor at Cal State Fullerton.

In the Irvine Matters newsletter published by Agran and Councilwoman Beth Krom, they write in support of the petition drive and blast the school board for not opposing the site of the new high school at the Great Park (scroll to the bottom of this post to see the Irvine Matters email).  The school site issue has been the bogeyman created by Agran to attack the plan by FivePoint Communities to develop the Great Park.  The Council majority of Choi, Lalloway, and Shea voted in favor of the plan, doing in one year what Agran and his allies could not do in a decade in power – actually build the Great Park.

Additionally, multiple sources in Irvine have told OC Political that Agran supporters have stated he is behind the petition drive.

Agran is trying to turn the school board and the school site into a political football in his battle to stop the construction the Great Park; this special election is Agran’s attempt to bully the school board into backing his position on the school site at the Great Park.

The text of the petition itself notes, “The cost for conducting the election called for in this petition is estimated by the Orange County Registrar of Voters to be $392,779-$443,329 if the election is a stand-alone election.”  Glasky is forced to run for re-election in November; this special election would be held just a few months before Glasky is due to run.  There are many times when forcing a special election in lieu of appointment would be appropriate, but it simply is not the case here.  Agran’s agenda is not an adequate reason to force a special election.

Pursuant to Education Code Section 5091(c), petition proponents must gather signatures from registered voters within the Irvine Unified School District equivalent to 1.5% of the number of registered voters at the last election for school board. There were 109,490.  In other words, they must submit 1,643 valid signatures of registered voters by tomorrow’s legal deadline to the OC Superintendent of Schools at the OC Department of Education.  (Our information indicates the proponents have been gathering signatures for about two weeks now.)

People who have signed the petition but now wish to withdraw their signature should contact the OC Department of Education at 714-966-4000 or the OC Registrar of Voters at 714-567-7600, as those two agencies are responsible for the administration of the election and the ministerial acts involving the petition, including the verification of petition signatures.

Dan Chmielewski at The Liberal OC and we here at OC Political don’t agree on much, but we agree with Chmielewski on this issue, as he has written in opposition to the petition drive: 

IUSD has progressives, moderates and conservatives on the Board; they work well together with a minimum of politics to advance education in Irvine so that the teachers, administrators, students and parents have the education possible considering the low state funding we get regularly.

So whoever is behind this petition drive really isn’t pro-education in Irvine; a special election six months in advance of a regular election is a waste of money. At least have the backbone to stand up and identify yourselves as being behind the effort. This is a shame to Glasky. His family donates countless hours to the schools and the community so he clearly understands the issues our district faces and his legal background is an asset to the district.

Simply put; if you’re in Irvine and you’re pro-education, don’t sign the petition.

The entire IUSD petition web site states quite simply:

Irvine Unified School District
Petition for Special Election

The Voters, Not the Politicians, Should Decide who Represents the Students and Taxpayers.

INSTRUCTIONS: Please click on the button to download the petition. You can collect up to six signatures on each petition, but be sure that just one person collects the signatures on any given sheet and fully completes the bottom portion. Signers and collectors both need to be registered voters. Signers need to be voters in the Irvine Unified School District (collectors can be registered anywhere in CA).

Have petitions to be picked up?

Call or text us at (949) 214-4250 or email us info@iusdpetition.com and we will have a volunteer get them from you.

Irvine Matters, the Agran-Krom newsletter, sent this message out to their email list:

Irvine Matters

Dear Friends,

We’re writing to you because of your opposition to Site A for Irvine’s next High School — Site A is adjacent to a toxic landfill and 1,000 yards from the rapidly growing Musick Jail.

Given the role the Irvine Unified School District Board will play in determining the future High School site, we wanted to make you aware that a petition drive is currently underway to require a special election to fill the Irvine School Board seat previously held by Gavin Huntley-Fenner.

Disregarding the democratic process, the School Board quickly appointed someone to fill the seat in an attempt to foreclose any opportunity for Irvine voters to have a say in who represents them on the Irvine Unified School Board. Incredibly, the man they appointed has already gone on record in support of Site A! In fact, he’s been quoted as saying, “Nothing I have seen so far, has led me to believe that Site A is not a qualified, acceptable, preferable site.”

To download petitions, go to: www.iusdpetition.com.

Those who sign must be registered voters and live within the Irvine Unified School District boundaries. As circulator of the petition, you must fill in the information at the bottom of the petition, including your own signature.

To ensure that signature gathering procedures are followed,
please read the instructions on the petition carefully, and be sure the completed petition is turned in BY DECEMBER 20th the “old fashioned way” — either picked-up from you by an authorized person in the petition drive or mailed (snail mail!) to the petition proponent: Stephen Buxbaum, 4666 Sierra Tree Lane, Irvine, CA 92612.

Petition drive organizers will collect your completed petitions if you e-mail them at info@iusdpetition.com or text to 949-214-4250.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Petitions cannot be scanned, copied or sent electronically to be considered valid.

If you believe your views on where to site Irvine’s next High School are not being effectively represented by the School Board, we encourage you to sign and circulate the petition.

Valid signatures must be gathered and turned in by December 20th to ensure that deadlines are met for submitting signatures to the Orange County Superintendent of Schools.

Time is short. If you think the School Board seat should be filled by special election, please get your family members, friends and neighbors to sign this petition over the next week.

Like you, we have been frustrated by the seeming lack of concern the Irvine Unified School District Board has demonstrated with respect to the serious health and safety issues associated with their proposed Site A for Irvine’s next High School. At a time when issues of elevated levels of toxins at Malibu High School are a major news story here in Southern California, (LINK: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news%2Flocal%2Flos_angeles&id=9335630), officials for the Irvine Unified School District seem determined to build on a site adjacent to a capped toxic landfill and just 1,000 yards from the rapidly expanding Musick Jail site.

Only with a special election will voters have a choice in who represents them. Remember, time is short. If you want your interests represented, help gather the signatures needed by December 20th.

If you have questions about the petition drive, you can e-mail the organizers at info@iusdpetition.com.

Posted in Irvine, Irvine Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

BREAKING NEWS: Keith Curry Jumps Into AD 74 Race

Posted by Chris Emami on December 4, 2013

Keith_Curry_Newport_Beach_CouncilmanNewport Beach Mayor Keith Curry has declared his candidacy for the open 74th Assembly District seat.

Curry was first appointed to the Newport Beach City Council in 2006 and has run three elections, including two with well-funded opposition, winning both by 10 points (He was unopposed in 2012).

For over 20 years, Curry was a partner/owner of the nation’s largest public finance consulting organization, Public Financial Management where he advised states, cities and local agencies throughout the nation.  The firm was sold to a private equity group in 2009 and Curry retired in 2011 to form the Center for Public Policy at Concordia University.  He put together a board of bi-partisan heavyweights and has hosted several events in the past two years.

Curry also teaches public policy and government leadership courses in Concordia’s graduate business school.

Curry has a long Republican history, serving for five years in the Ronald Reagan administration as the Special Assistant to the Federal Transit Administrator, and prior to that as a Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Pete Schabarum. In 2011, he led efforts to create a Ronald Reagan Centennial Memorial in Newport Beach.

In 1978-79, Curry worked with Paul Gann and managed the qualification effort of Gann’s “Spirit of 13 Initiative” that limited the growth of government spending.  Proposition 4 as it was known actually resulted in state tax rebates under Governor Deukmejian, but was later modified to limit its effectiveness.

A 20 year member of the Lincoln Club, Curry demonstrated strong fundraising capability in his city council races.  As the only candidate with the personal financial resources to self-fund his campaign, Curry appears to be in a very strong position out of the gate.

He was selected by his fellow elected officials to be the President of the Association of California Cities Orange County, President of the Orange County Division of the League of Cities, and President of the Orange County Parks Commission.

One of the biggest advantages that Curry has is his name identification in AD-74 both as a Newport Beach Councilmember and his teaching at Concordia in Irvine. His candidacy will likely end any speculation of Leslie Daigle jumping into the AD-74 fray.

Based on the current field, Curry will likely be fighting it out with Huntington Beach Mayor Matt Harper to win this seat. Other candidates that have declared their intention to run for this seat include AD-72 staffer Emanuel Patrascu and former Santa Ana City Council candidate Karina Onofre. In my initial posts profiling AD-74 I had mentioned former CRP Treasurer Keith Carlson as a potential candidate for the seat. Everybody I have been talking with has stated that they doubt that Carlson will run for the seat and as of today he has not opened a campaign committee. Unless I hear otherwise I will exclude Carlson from future posts on the topic of AD-74.

Harper and Curry are Councilmembers in two of the larger cities in AD-74. Newport Beach has approximately 50,000 registered voters and Huntington Beach has approximately 53,000 voters. Irvine is the largest city in AD-74 with it being home to approximately 62,000 voters but none of the three Irvine Council Republicans Steven Choi, Jeff Lalloway, or Christina Shea expected to announce their candidacy for this seat, especially since Choi and Lalloway live in AD-68.

This race is going to be extremely interesting and we here at OC Political will keep you posted on new developments as they happen in AD-74.

Posted in 74th Assembly District, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Newport Beach | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Irvine Great Park Vote A Success! All 3 Irvine Republicans Unite To Move Forward

Posted by Chris Emami on November 27, 2013

UPDATE 8:01 PM- It was just brought to my attention that the decision to have the City of Irvine control the park is not quite as I portrayed it in the article. Jeff Lalloway was concerned (based on the arguments he made at the meeting) with having a lack of control over park hours and other important decisions that relate to operations. According to the recent knowledge I gained, it is still possible to have the park contracts put out to bid and this would still give the city a great opportunity to save some money.

I can never sleep after losing a basketball game. Tonight (technically this morning), it worked out for the best as I find myself able to write a brief recap of what happened last night/this morning at the Irvine City Council meeting. The end result was a huge win for Irvine residents with the Irvine Republicans fulfilling their promise to build “The Great Park.”Great Park Balloon

We shall start with a recap of the three key items that were on the agenda for this meeting.

The first Great Park item up on the agenda was Item 2.1 titled, “HERITAGE FIELDS PROJECT 2012 SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONE CHANGE IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51.” The EIR reads in the Irvine City Council agenda as follows:

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF IRVINE CERTIFYING THE SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (SCH NO. 2022101020, 00538162-PCLE) AND MITIGATION MONITORING AND REPORTING PROGRAM FOR THE HERITAGE FIELDS PROJECT 2012 GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONE CHANGE, FILED BY FIVE POINT COMMUNITIES ON BEHALF OF HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC; LOCATED IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51

For those of our readers that are not as familiar with the intricacies of “The Great Park” they can read the staff report on this item by clicking on the following link EIR_Staff_Report. This item passed on a 3-2 party line vote with Mayor Choi, Councilmember Lalloway, and Councilmember Shea voting to approve the item and Councilmember Krom and Councilmember Agran voting in opposition to the item.

The second Great Park item up on the agenda was item 3.1 titled, “SECOND ADJACENT LANDOWNER AGREEMENT BETWEEN CITY OF IRVINE AND HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC.” This adjacent landowner agreement outlined the following actions as part of the vote in the agenda:

1) It is recommended that the City Council consider the details of the proposal before it and determine whether the City will enter into the Second Agreement with City of Irvine as Adjacent Landowner (ALA II) proposed by Five Point Communities, together with the associated Ground Leases and Maintenance Agreements.

2) If the City Council elects to enter into the ALA II, Ground Leases, and Maintenance Agreements, it is recommended that the City Council withdraw its prior approval of the Western Sector Phase II Capital Improvement Program (CIP #371404) and re-allocate funds to one or more Capital Improvement Programs designed to improve the Western Sector of the Orange County Great Park and fund capital projects associated with expedited development of the Orange County Great Park under the ALA II.

3) If the City Council elects to enter into the ALA II, Ground Leases, and Maintenance Agreements, it is recommended that the City determine whether the “Design Package” proposed by Heritage Fields is substantially in conformance with the Orange County Great Park Master Plan.

4) If the City Council finds that the Design Package is substantially in conformance with the Orange County Great Park Master Plan, then it is recommended that the City Council approve the Design Package as a “Park Design” in accordance with Irvine Zoning Code Section 2-22-5.

5) If the City Council finds that the Design Package is not substantially in conformance with the Orange County Great Park Master Plan, then it is recommended that the City Council direct staff to commence processing of an amendment to the Great Park Master Plan, so that such amendment will be completed in accordance with City procedures and the requirements of the ALA II.

For those of you playing along at home that want more of a background click on the following link for the staff report on this item ALA_Staff_Report. This item was slightly changed during the meeting by Councilman Jeff Lalloway in that he proposed that the city run the park after it is built, get an extra $10,000,000 from the developer over 5-years, and improvements to Marine Way a street located within the development. It was clear that Shea and Choi were not completely on board with these amendments but went along with them as a compromise to get the deal done. This item was also passed on a 3-2 vote with Mayor Choi, Councilmember Lalloway, and Councilmember Shea voting to approve the item and Councilmember Krom and Councilmember Agran voting in opposition to the item.

I have no problem with Jeff Lalloway trying to get some extra money for the City of Irvine, but I disagree with him on the City of Irvine managing the park after it is built. Having a private sector company run the park seems like a great idea due to the cost savings that would benefit the city.

The third and final Great Park item up on the agenda was item 4.1 titled, “GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONE CHANGE IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51 (GREAT PARK NEIGHBORHOODS).” This general plan amendment outlined the following actions as part of the vote in the agenda:

A) Adopt – A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF IRVINE APPROVING GENERAL
PLAN AMENDMENT (00537028-PGA) TO COMBINE PLANNING AREA 30 AND AN 11–ACRE PARCEL
LOCATED IN PLANNING AREA 9 INTO PLANNING AREA 51; DELETE REFERENCES TO PLANNING
AREA 30 THROUGHOUT THE GENERAL PLAN; AMEND THE LAND USE DESIGNATION FOR THE
11-ACRE PARCEL TO BE ORANGE COUNTY GREAT PARK; AMEND GENERAL PLAN TABLES A-1 AND
A-2 TO REFLECT SHIFTS OF INTENSITY BETWEEN RESIDENTIAL AND NON-RESIDENTIAL
CATEGORIES AND ADD THE 11-ACRE PARCEL IN TABLE A-2; AMEND THE APPROPRIATE
GENERAL PLAN FIGURES TO ELIMINATE ROCKFIELD BOULEVARD FROM THE EASTERN PROJECT
BOUNDARY TO MARINE WAY CONTINGENT UPON APPROVAL BY THE ORANGE COUNTY
TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (OCTA); MODIFY GENERAL PLAN OBJECTIVE B-1, TO IDENTIFY
WHERE LEVEL OF SERVICE “E” IS CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE; AMEND GENERAL PLAN FIGURE
G-1 TO DEPICT THE LOCATION OF A FUTURE HIGH SCHOOL; AND REVISE GENERAL PLAN
FIGURE L-2 TO DEPICT THE RELOCATED WILDLIFE CORRIDOR FEATURE; FILED BY FIVE
POINT COMMUNITIES, ON BEHALF OF HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC FOR THE GREAT PARK
NEIGHBORHOODS DEVELOPMENT; LOCATED IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51

B) Adopt – A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF IRVINE APPROVING THE
SECOND AMENDMENT TO DENSITY BONUS AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN THE CITY OF IRVINE, A
CALIFORNIA MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, AND HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC, A DELAWARE
LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

C) Introduce for first reading and by title only – AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL
OF THE CITY OF IRVINE APPROVING ZONE CHANGE (00537029-PZC) TO REZONE AN 11-ACRE
PARCEL AND THE ENTIRE PLANNING AREA 30 TO 8.1/8.1B TRAILS AND TRANSIT ORIENTED
DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT AND COMBINE THESE PROPERTIES INTO PLANNING AREA 51; REZONE
PROPERTY TO 1.4 PRESERVATION TO ACCOMMODATE THE RELOCATED WILDLIFE CORRIDOR
FEATURE FOR SEGMENTS 2 AND 3, AND REZONE THE FORMER LOCATION OF THE WILDLIFE
CORRIDOR FEATURE TO 8.1 TRAILS AND TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT; MODIFY
THE RESIDENTIAL AND NON-RESIDENTIAL INTENSITY FOR A MAXIMUM 9,500 RESIDENTIAL
UNITS AND 6,135,200 SQUARE FEET OF NON-RESIDENTIAL INTENSITY IN PLANNING AREA
51; AND OTHER MINOR AMENDMENTS TO THE ZONING ORDINANCE TO IMPLEMENT THE PROJECT;
FILED BY FIVE POINT COMMUNITIES ON BEHALF OF HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC FOR
THE GREAT PARK NEIGHBORHOODS DEVELOPMENT; LOCATED IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51

As I have done with the previous two items, for those of you interested in reading the staff report for this item click on the following link Zoning_Staff_Report. As with the previous two items, this item was also passed on a 3-2 vote with Mayor Choi, Councilmember Lalloway, and Councilmember Shea voting to approve the item and Councilmember Krom and Councilmember Agran voting in opposition to the item.

I have to give some serious kudos to Jeff Lalloway who made an extremely classy gesture towards the end of this meeting in commending Christina Shea for being the driving force behind the agreement. In the past we have seen some minor tension between the two Councilmembers over a vote Christina Shea made on funding the Barclay Theatre and the vote that Jeff Lalloway made to delay “The Great Park” items for two weeks. This is a great chance for Mayor Choi, Councilmember Shea, and Councilmember Lalloway to rejoice in a great accomplishment that they achieved on behalf of the citizens of Irvine and to work together on future public policy items.

Posted in Irvine | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Final Thoughts Before the Irvine Council Vote on Great Park Proposal as Lalloway Speaks Out

Posted by Chris Emami on November 24, 2013

Jeff LallowayThis is the third time I’ve written about the Irvine Council vote on the FivePoint proposal to develop the Great Park.  The Great Park is a major issue for this Orange County, considering its pivotal role in putting an end to the battle over the El Toro Airport that tour the County apart in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Additionally, after the gains Republicans had after the 2012 election, I feel this is still a critically important issue, which is why I’ve written three times on it before Tuesday’s meeting.  Until the 2012 election, Republicans had not had a majority on the Irvine City Council since 2000.  The reason Republicans won is Republicans ran promising to develop the Great Park.

Let me also address another issue.  I’ve heard a lot of rumors about me and Jeff Lalloway.  I will be crystal clear: Jeff has been a complete gentleman to me on this issue.  Our conversations on this topic have been absolutely cordial.  Any rumors that I have been threatened or intimidated by Jeff or anyone on this topic are patently false.  No one has been anything but professional to me on this topic.

One of the most impressive things about this proposal is that FivePoint is willing to give up 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space to build additional 4,600 homes.  Reducing the commercial space ensures that there is no increase in traffic from the additional homes.  Additionally, FivePoint proposes to develop most of the Great Park.  This proposal is an incredible deal for Irvine, and really a great deal for Orange County as a whole.  We will finally have the Great Park that the voters expected when Orange County residents voted to end the El Toro Airport in 2002.

I reached out to Jeff with a few questions but did not get a response by the time this article went up.  I did want to hear directly from him about his thoughts and concerns on the FivePoint proposal for the Great Park.  However, he published an excellent op-ed in the Register (it’s outside the paywall!) that outlined his thoughts on this deal.  Here are key excerpts:

I am excited to be able to vote in favor of this project. I look forward to casting that vote.

However, at the time that this complex proposal was brought before the council, it was clear from both the city staffs report and their presentations that they had time to conduct only a partial analysis of the impacts of this offer. In short, more work was required. In fact, the staff report highlights several areas that require “further discussion” and that their review is still a “work in progress.”

Areas requiring more analysis include such critical components as the design features, construction progress, and potential city liabilities. Separately, there are significant policy issues concerning public access to the park, as well as operating and maintaining the park amenities.

I don’t agree with Jeff renegotiating terms with FivePoint from the dais because the city staff had not had adequate time to vet the issues; he should have just let staff get their questions answered instead.  However, it’s clear from this op-ed that Jeff made the motion to delay two weeks, so that vote would allow staff to finish the last 10% of the agreement.  I think this amount of time should have been enough time to allow staff a chance to iron out the final 10%, and Jeff’s op-ed makes it clear he made the motion to allow them to do so.

Along with many other people in Orange County, I am looking forward to this issue being resolved promptly, and I hope that I will get the chance to write an article Tuesday evening that details the final result.

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A Quarter Billion Dollars and a Decade Later: Where’s the Park?

Posted by Chris Emami on November 21, 2013

Great Park BalloonAs I said in my last post on the topic, I was surprised by the 3-2 vote by the Irvine City Council on November 12 to delay consideration of the Great Park construction plan. Conservative Republican Jeff Lalloway unexpectedly joined liberal Democrats Larry Agran and Beth Krom in voting to delay for two weeks over the dissenting votes of Steven Choi and Christina Shea.

I like Lalloway, and Lalloway is a good conservative. Let me be unequivocally clear: I support Jeff Lalloway’s re-election to the Irvine City Council next year, just as I support Steven Choi’s re-election as Mayor in that same election, and I plan to support Christina Shea’s re-election to the Council in 2016. I just disagree with Lalloway on this one vote. Those who would attack Lalloway need to remember this: he only voted on a two-week delay to have more time to review this plan. I am confident that when he has fully examined the plan, he will be supportive of this effort to build the Great Park.

Lalloway made the motion to delay the item solely to have two more weeks to iron out the plan details. Choi and Shea voted against his motion to move the plan forward. Agran and Krom voted to delay in an attempt to kill this plan.

Irvine has already spent a quarter of a billion dollars and a decade since Measure W stopped the El Toro Airport in favor of the Great Park. What do they have to show for it? A giant orange balloon, a merry-go-round, a farm, an art display, and some soccer fields, ponds, and lawns.

The proposal by developer FivePoint Communities to build the Great Park would be a giant step forward. FivePoint Communities proposes to build 65% of the Great Park with a huge sports park, an 18-hole golf course, an agricultural site, and a woodland “Bosque” area.

What does FivePoint Communities want in exchange for these gifts to the City of Irvine? The right to build more homes on its own land. FivePoint Communities would only build homes on land that FivePoint already owns. This is a property rights issue. Protecting private property rights are a core principle of conservatism. FivePoint should have the right to build on its own land. It wishes to build an additional 4,600 homes on its own land and will construct a substantial proportion of the Great Park for the City of Irvine.

This seems like a very reasonable trade: FivePoint can build more homes on its own land and will build nearly 2/3 of the Great Park for the City of Irvine.

What’s often forgotten in the history of this land is that Lennar bought nearly the entirety of the old El Toro base from the Navy for $649.5 million. Then, Lennar gave 1,347 acres to the City of Irvine for the Great Park. (FivePoint Communities is a spin-off of Lennar.) Many of the significant steps forward that have occurred in the last decade in relation to the Great Park have been driven by the private sector.

My fellow OC Political co-founder, Chris Nguyen, often says, “The public sector exists only to do that which the private sector cannot do.” I believe that’s a core principle of limited government. If the Irvine City Council votes against the FivePoint Communities plan, then they will turn this on its head. That would mean the City of Irvine would try to build the park itself and reject an attempt by the private sector FivePoint Communities to do it.

The private sector generally does things more efficiently than the public sector. FivePoint Communities will not spend a quarter million dollars and a decade like the Agran majority did. Let FivePoint help build the Great Park.

Let’s not forget that the criticisms of the FivePoint plan in both the staff report and from the Council dais are being leveled by the people who spent a quarter billion dollars over a decade to build a balloon, a merry-go-round, a farm, an art display, and some soccer fields, ponds, and lawns. Agran and Krom’s nitpicking perfectionism is reminiscent of the busybody neighbor who calls the homeowners association when someone paints their house eggshell white instead of pearl white.

Agran and Krom are your classic big government liberals who believe in governmental centralized planning of all aspects of our lives. Just listen to Krom’s quote from the November 12 meeting in this Voice of OC video. It’s just frightening what she says about the FivePoint plan’s differences from the original master plan: “If you take the master plan and you blow it up, then the money we invested in the planning, you’re going to tell me we won’t even have a plan. So why would I support you destroying my plan, and then telling me ‘you wasted money on the plan?'”

It was Jeff Lalloway who put it best back in October, when the Orange County Register quoted him saying, “No master plan is sacred.”

Posted in Irvine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Great Park Vote Gets Delayed

Posted by Chris Emami on November 17, 2013

This last week the vote to push forward on the Great Park was set to take place. I was not initially planning to cover it, but a large number of readers have asked me to weigh in on what took place and to give a brief analysis.

To give a bit of background on the situation, Councilmember Jeff Lalloway voted with Larry Agran and Beth Krom to delay the vote on the Great Park which came as quite a surprise to me and based on the e-mails that I received a large number of readers.

Here is my overall analysis on what this means and what hopefully will happen.

In a year of historic GOP losses, 2012 had a glimmer of hope when Republicans regained majority control of the Irvine City Council. Wresting control from Larry Agran’s majority was the first step in getting the Orange County Great Park on the right track.

After months of negotiation with a development partner, the Irvine City Council had the opportunity last Tuesday to move the Park forward. But, to 688 acres of sports facilities, gardens and wildlife corridor, Republican Councilmember Jeff Lalloway and Democrats Beth Krom and Larry Agran said, “no, not just yet.”

In addition to getting the Orange County Great Park built, the development partner announced that Broadcom was in discussions to move their corporate headquarters to the Great Park, instead of a speculated move to the District in the City of Tustin.

Getting infrastructure at the Great Park, keeping thousands of high-paying, high-tech jobs in Irvine, fulfilling promises to build a world-class destination for Orange County’s enjoyment. Why is Jeff Lalloway stalling? The development deal will expire at the November 26th City Council meeting. With virtually no development fees left to build the Park, this is the last, best and only hope to fulfill the promise of the Orange County Great Park.

Councilmember Lalloway needs to help protect the Republican majority of the Irvine City Council by doing what’s right and advancing development proposals at the Great Park. If he truly wants to protect Irvine’s interests, he will support Mayor Steven Choi and Councilmember Christina Shea in finally moving the Park forward.

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

 
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