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Archive for the ‘Orange County’ Category

Shawn Nelson Launches Bid for Superior Court Judge

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 9, 2016

Shawn NelsonYesterday, Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton) filed the initial candidacy papers and paid the filing fee to run for Superior Court Judge Office Number 40, held by the retiring Steve Perk (R-Rancho Santa Margarita). Orange County attorneys’ union head Larry Yellin (D-Mission Viejo) had filed the initial candidacy papers and paid the filing fee for the same seat last week.  Litigation Attorney Fred Fascenelli (R-Villa Park) has also pulled papers for both this judicial seat and Superior Court Judge Office Number 3.

For years, Nelson had been rumored to be interested in a judgeship.  In May 2015, he confirmed his intent to seek a judgeship in an interview with the Voice of OC.

The mystery had been when Nelson would run, with speculation running the gamut, including a 2018 bid for judge, an appointment by the Governor, or being one of the replacement candidates if the recall effort against Judge M. Marc Kelly had qualified.

Nelson has $162,832 remaining in his Supervisorial account, all of which could be transferred into an account for judge.  A Senior Deputy District Attorney, Yellin just opened his account for judge last month. However, the union he heads, the Orange County Attorneys Association, has $262,132 in its campaign accounts, though certainly, OCAA is not going to spend the majority of its treasury on a single judicial race when it’s top priority in spending will be County races.

Besides OCAA, Yellin is also endorsed by the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA), which is the County’s largest union, and the Association of Orange County Deputy District Attorneys (AOCDDA), which is the County prosecutors’ union. AOCDDA has a modest $20,843 in its coffers.  OCEA has $312,372, but certainly has other priorities, particularly since Yellin is not a member of OCEA.  It’s entirely possible the unions largely stay out of the race under the argument that they’d rather have Nelson off the Board of Supervisors.

If Fascenelli decides to file in for judicial Office Number 3 instead of judicial Office Number 40, his opponents in that seat would be prosecutors Megan Wagner (R-Irvine) and Scott Zidbeck (R-Laguna Niguel).  Fascenelli is married to Villa Park Councilwoman Diana Fascenelli while Wagner is married to Assemblyman Don Wagner.

Fred Fascenelli came in fourth in a bid for judge in 2014, winning 6.1% of the vote, coming in behind Assistant District Attorney Kevin Haskins (49.1%), Deputy Attorney General KC Jones (33.4%), and Attorney Thomas E. Martin (11.4%).  Haskins (R-Laguna Niguel) and Jones (D-Orange) advanced to a November run-off, which Haskins won with 57.9% of the vote.   This year, Martin (R-Rancho Santa Margarita) has pulled papers for judicial Office Number 49 to run against Senior Deputy District Attorney Mike Murray (R-Tustin) for the seat being held by Elaine Streger (R-Mission Viejo).

If Nelson were to defeat Yellin (and assuming Fascenelli or another third candidate doesn’t cause a run-off), the special election to fill the remaining two years of Nelson’s term representing the Fourth Supervisorial District could be either consolidated with the November 2016 general election or be a standalone special election in late February 2017 or early March 2017, depending on the timing of Nelson’s exit from the Board.

There are no campaign contribution limits for judge.

Posted in 4th Supervisorial District, Orange County | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Recall Effort Against Judge M. Marc Kelly Fails to Qualify for Ballot

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 31, 2015

Superior Court Judge M. Marc KelleyWith a legal deadline of 5:00 PM tonight to submit 90,829 signatures for the recall of Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly, recall proponents were unable to gather enough signatures and did not submit their petitions to the Registrar of Voters by the deadline less than an hour ago.

The recall effort was launched against Kelly in reaction to his April ruling in the Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto case, in which Rojano-Nieto was convicted of sexual assault of a 3-year-old relative.  Despite state law imposing a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years, Kelly slashed the sentence down by 60% to 10 years.

In his ruling, Kelly stated:

…in looking at the facts of Mr. Rojano’s case, the manner in which this offense was committed is not typical of a predatory, violent brutal sodomy of a child case:  Mr. Rojano did not seek out or stalk [the victim]. He was playing video games and she wandered into the garage. He inexplicably became sexually aroused but did not appear to consciously intend to harm [the victim] when he sexually assaulted her…There was no violence or callous disregard for [the victim’s] well-being…”

Appointed by Governor Gray Davis in 2000, Kelly was unopposed for re-election in 2006 and 2012, so he did not appear on the ballot.  He is widely expected to face a challenge for his next re-election in 2018.

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

OCYR ‘Politically Correct’ Holiday Party Tonight

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on December 14, 2015

This came over the wire from the Orange County Young Republicans…

 

Vague seasonal salutations, person/non-person:

Need a safe-space to tide you over through this terrifyingly offensive holiday month? The Orange County Young Republicans have just the place for you!

Join us TONIGHT at JT Schmid’s for a politically correct holiday party, where the only discrimination you’ll be subjected to is whether you’re a member or not.Admission is FREE for current members, $10 at the door for non-members and guests. An unwrapped toy donation benefiting Toys-for-Tots will also be accepted in lieu of the guest admission fee.
Don’t want to be discriminated on that basis? You’re in luck! We’re offering discounted 2016 memberships at the event for only $50 (talk about preferential treatment).

There’s going to be culturally-diverse bar food, gender-neutral festivities, and religiously-ambiguous event announcements! We’ll also be conducing elections for 2016 board positions. I know you’re saying to yourself, ‘Self, that sounds like a situation where there are distinct winners and losers!”. It’s nothing to be afraid of though; there are really no winners in cases like these, so it’s totally tolerable.

Confused by this entire event? Don’t worry, it’s perfectly ok. This is our final meeting of the year, and we’re shutting down 2015 the way 2015 deserves –
LIKE EVERY OTHER YEAR #equality.

Festive Chaunakwanzistivus4thofJuly to all, and we hope to experience you tonight!

What: OCYR Politically Correct December Party
When: TONIGHT, December 14th 6:30PM
Where: JT Schmidt’s, 2415 Park Avenue
Tustin, CA 92782
Why: Stop asking insensitive questions

(This is a photo of a gift. There is not a

particular holiday at all implied by this photo.)

Posted in Orange County | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Lake Forest Councilman Dwight Robinson Elected To The South Coast Air Quality Management District Position, Ousting Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido

Posted by Greg Woodard on November 6, 2015

In a coup for conservatives, the Republican party, and businesses throughout much of Southern California, Dwight Robinson defeated Miguel Pulido for the Orange County cities’ representative on the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Board.  As reported by OCPolitical’s own Chris Nguyen earlier, having to win the majority vote of all Orange County mayors, both in the number of cities, and overall county population, Robinson garnered 21 cities and 54% of the County’s population, to Pulido’s 12 cities and 45% of the population.  Pulido was Orange County’s representative on the AQMD for over a decade.

Robinson’s victory is significant as it flips the AQMD Board from 7-6 Democrat to 7-6 Republican, which will have considerable impact for many Southern California businesses.

Of his victory, Robinson said, “I am very proud of the broad based support I had across the spectrum that helped secured the votes I needed.  I deeply care about air quality and the environment.  I drive an electric car.  I put solar panels on my house earlier this year.  Equally important to me are jobs and the regional economy.  Many of the things AQMD has been doing over the last decade have driven companies, jobs, and the middle class out of Southern California.  I am dedicated to making sure that AQMD balances sensible environmental stewardship with middle class job retention.”

The race was marred by infighting from Republicans and rumors of Pulido offering support to mayors and their cities in exchange for their votes.  The most curious (and in my opinion, disappointing) aspect was the battle that erupted between Irvine Councilman Jeff Lalloway and Mayor Steven Choi.  As reported here, Choi was unavailable for the vote so he originally designated Lalloway as his voting representative.  However, it was reported that Lalloway was planning on voting for Pulido, and Choi removed Lalloway and appointed Christina Shea to vote instead.  Shea voted for Robinson, giving a size able chunk of population to Robinson.  While Lalloway denied that he had made up his mind on who to vote for, his claim that the Orange County Republican party’s support for Robinson was a push by California Republican Party Jim Brulte to strong-arm local Republicans to vote lock-step with the party is curious given that the race pitted Robinson, a strong Republican conservative and pro-business candidate, against Pulido, an avowed liberal Democrat who recently admitted to six violations of the Political Reform Act.  Pulido also previously appointed his brother as a part-time consultant to the AQMD, a position that paid more than $35,000 per year.

Posted in Orange County | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

OCYR ATF Day Tomorrow

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 25, 2015

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

OCYR ATF Day on Saturday, September 26

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 11, 2015

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

Los Angeles Could Use a COIN Ordinance – But That Will Only Come When Its Voters Demand It

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on September 2, 2015

We in Orange County have seen several versions of the COIN Ordinance (Community Openness In Negotiations). COIN ordinances provide for more and earlier disclosure to the taxpayers during and in the run up to the final approval of a contract between the public entity employer and a government employee union. This allows the citizens to know and understand the costs of the “deal” they will have to pay for.  It also gives them time to give their opinions to their own elected officials about the deal the officials negotiated on the voters behalf.

The City of Costa Mesa was the first to put a COIN ordinance in place.  The County of Orange also put one in place only to have the employee’s union challenge it before a Labor Commissioner who ruled against the ordinance – that is currently on appeal by the County.

It was with some surprise that I saw that the Los Angele Times (no fan of conservative ideals and principles) called for the implementation of a COIN ordinance in the City of Los Angeles.  Here is a link to the editorial: Los Angeles Could Use More COIN.  As the LA Times editorial points out, the back room deal of 2007 was a financial disaster for the City and its taxpayers.  It looks like a similar secret negotiation then quick City Council approval process is going on again.  A COIN ordinance would likely allow for the taxpayers who are going to foot the bill for this deal to know what they are being obligated to pay for before their elected officials vote for the labor contract.  In other words, so the voters and taxpayers of the City of Los Angeles could have time to communicate to their elected representatives what they think of the deal.

Lets put some numbers to all of this:  According to www.TransparentCalifornia.com the 2013 median income of Los Angeles residents was $38,939.00.  The average salary for City employees in 2013 (there were 35,919 full time and 46, 918 total employees in 2013) was $90,167 and when benefits (pension and health care costs) are added that rises to $101,675.00 not including future payments for retiree pensions and retiree health care costs.  Los Angeles total employee compensation for 2013 was $3,866,476,670.00.  Thats right: almost 4 billion dollars (and down from almost 5 billion dollars for 2011 and 2012).  With 3,827,261 residents in the City of Los Angeles, that means the total employee compensation cost per resident is $1,010.00.  Here is the link for the summary page for 2013 from Transparent California.  By comparison the 2013 cost per resident in Orange County was $577.00.  Orange County summary. The City of Orange: $597.00.  City of Orange summary.  And perhaps no surprise: Los Angeles County for 2013: $933.00.  Los Angeles County summary.

So it would appear that in the City of Los Angeles city employees are paid more than twice the median salary of taxpayers of that city.  Plus the public employees also receive all of the city paid health care and pension benefits now and in the future.

When will the citizens of Los Angeles get a COIN ordinance – likely never unless the voters of Los Angeles demand it by making big changes in their City Council and the Mayor’s office.  This would mean that the generally left leaning voters of LA would need to ignore the labor union financed campaign ads for City Council and Mayor candidates.  They would need to stop those nice labor union bosses with their labor friendly politicians cutting these deals behind closed doors.  How?  By electing City Council members and a Mayor who are not beholden to the unions for their political fortunes and futures.

Voters of the City (and County) of Los Angeles – the decision is in your hands.

Posted in Costa Mesa, Orange, Orange County | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Education Revolution in Orange County: Part I of III

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 23, 2015

An education revolution has been brewing in Orange County.  We’re seeing massive change in Orange County thanks to charter schools, the Parent Trigger Law, and litigation against compulsory union dues by the California Teachers Association.  I’m going to do a three-part series on this.

Charter schools are a recognition that one-size-fits-all does not work for all students.  There needs to be competition because some students need a different kind of school, just like there are many different types of colleges and universities.

Despite Orange County’s conservatism, the education community has long known Orange County as an anti-charter school county.  It’s not the voters who were anti-charter school.  It was the school board members.

The 2007-2008 Grand Jury even issued a report where they recommended, “The chartering authorities should follow the intent of the legislature by encouraging the establishment of charter schools by granting more charter school petitions provided they meet the State requirements.”

At the time of the Grand Jury report, there were 11 charter schools in Orange County.  Over the next six years, just three new charters were approved.  Keep in mind there are 29 chartering authorities in Orange County: the Orange County Board of Education and the 28 local school districts.

Here’s what the state of charter schools looked like in May 2014.  This shows Orange County’s four neighboring counties, plus tiny Humboldt County.

County Number of Charter
Schools in 2014
Population
Orange 14 3,010,232
Humboldt 15 134,623
Riverside 26 2,189,641
San Bernardino 37 2,035,210
San Diego 120 3,095,313
Los Angeles 341 9,818,605

Then in June 2014, with assistance from the California Charter Schools Association, South County voters tossed the County Board of Education’s most virulent anti-charter school member, 32-year incumbent Liz Parker, who to the surprise of many, was a registered Republican.  By a 57%-43% margin, the voters sent in Linda Lindholm to replace Parker.

Things have changed significantly for charter schools in Orange County since Lindholm replaced Parker.  We have overtaken Humboldt County.  Local school districts got the message and approved two more charter schools in the latter half of 2014.  In the first half of 2015, the Orange County Board of Education approved another two charter schools.  Orange County has grown its charter schools to 19, still a bit behind Riverside and far behind San Bernardino, and way, way behind San Diego and Los Angeles Counties (even when adjusting for population).

 

As I noted in a post a month ago:

Trustee Ken Williams, elected in 1996, has a voting record generally supportive of charter schools.  Trustee Robert Hammond, elected in 2012, has a voting record consistently supportive of charter schools.  Between 2012-2014, Williams and Hammond often found themselves on the losing ends of 3-2 votes on charter school applications.  Lindholm’s victory in unseating Liz Parker shifted the Board to a pro-charter school majority.  To their credits, Trustees Jack Bedell and David Boyd, along with the Orange County Department of Education staff, recognized the sea change delivered by the voters.  Staff reports for both Vista Heritage and CCPA have recommended approval of the charter schools.  Bedell and Boyd joined a unanimous vote in favor of Vista Heritage’s application and are expected to join a unanimous vote for CCPA.

The Orange Unified School District provisionally approved a charter school in May by a 5-2 vote.  Unfortunately, due to absences, the OUSD Board’s vote on final approval was 3-2, one vote short of the necessary four votes.  That charter school, Unity Middle College High School, has appealed to the County Board of Education with a vote expected in August.  Considering OUSD’s rejection wasn’t a real rejection, and was more of a fluke, we should expect Orange County’s 20th charter school before the close of summer.

Next in the series: the Parent Trigger Law and Orange County’s 21st charter school…

Posted in Anaheim City School District, California, National, Orange County, Orange County Board of Education, Orange Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Moorlach Enters SD-37 Race Against Wagner

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on November 30, 2014

Supervisor John Moorlach made a brief bid for Governor in February 2013 and dropping out four months later (Jerry Brown was re-elected to that seat), announcing a bid for the 45th Congressional District in December 2013 and dropping out three months later (Mimi Walters won that seat), and then flirted with bids for the 74th Assembly District (Matt Harper won that seat) and Auditor-Controller (Eric Woolery won that seat).

Today, Jon Fleischman at FlashReport reported on Supervisor John Moorlach’s entry into the 37th Senate District race against Assemblyman Don Wagner to replace Mimi Walters, who will vacate the seat to head to Congress.  Here’s an excerpt of Fleischman’s report

Both Moorlach and Wagner are conservatives, the former being a bit more iconic because of his prediction of the County of Orange’s bankruptcy back in the 90′s.

Neither Moorlach nor Wagner are known as being prolific fundraisers — though Wagner has had his eye in this seat for some time and starts with a head start.

One big question is whether the presence of two conservative foreshadows a more moderate entry into the race.

If Moorlach can raise (or self fund) 200k or more he would be very formidable for anyone, including Wagner, to beat. But that’s a big if. Moorlach floated a bid for Congress last year and dropped it largely as a function of fundraising challenges. Although he was trying to run against the aggressive Mimi Walters, who is a strong fundraiser.

Here’s an excerpt of Moorlach’s announcement…

In the last week I have been making calls when possible, as there were OCTA and Board of Supervisors meetings and the Thanksgiving holidays.  These calls have been extremely positive and I’m putting a campaign team together for the sprint that is called a special election.

Before I officially announce, I wanted you to know first.  There is only one other announced candidate at this time.  In fact, we did lunch a month ago and he is aware that I’ve been mulling this decision over.  I still need to connect with him to let him know that I am even more strongly leaning in running for this seat.

If you’re happy to endorse or support me, that would be great news.  With your permission, I may even include your name in my official announcement, which I hope to release sometime this week.

Thank you for allowing my wife and I to serve you as a County Treasurer-Tax Collector for nearly twelve years.  Thank you for allowing us to serve in the position of a County Supervisor for eight years; where I had a ball achieving numerous significant accomplishments.  Thank you for being a friend and for being on my e-mail tree.

After I make a formal announcement, I hope to engage you in some form or fashion in achieving a successful result next spring.  Together, let’s shake it up, again.

 

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 37th Senate District, 45th Congressional District, 74th Assembly District, California, Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

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 | 5 Comments »

 
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