OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

  • Custom Campaigns

    Custom Campaigns
  • DMI

  • Lindholm for County Board of Education

  • Pollitt for County Board of Education

  • Glasky for IUSD

  • Rackauckas for District Attorney

  • Woolery for Auditor-Controller

  • Iglesias for 69th Assembly District

  • Ming for Supervisor

  • Contact Us to Purchase an Ad

  • Lincoln Club of Orange County

Archive for the ‘Republican Central Committee’ Category

Former Irvine School Board Member Ira Glasky Endorsed by Eight Current and Past Board Members

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on April 4, 2014

This came over the wire from the Ira Glasky for Irvine Unified School District campaign…

Glasky

Former Irvine School Board Member Ira Glasky Endorsed by Eight Current and Past Board Members

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2014
Contact: Chris Emami
chrisemami@custom-campaigns.com

IRVINE, CA – Former Irvine School Board Member Ira Glasky has kicked off his campaign to return to the Irvine Unified School Board. With endorsements from current and past board members, including the entire current board, Glasky enters the race as the frontrunner for the seat.

“I am running to rejoin the Board to help keep politics out of education,” Glasky said. “Our elected leaders should be focused on providing the best possible education for our children instead of wasting time and money playing political games.”

“With his background as a school board member, his involvement in our schools and community, and his dedication to his family, Ira Glasky brings a wealth of experience that we need back on the Irvine Unified School District Board,” said current Irvine Unified School Board Member Michael Parham. “The families of the Irvine Unified School District need Ira Glasky back as their representative, so I am proud to endorse Ira for this seat.”

Glasky’s lengthy list of endorsements is led by eight current and former Irvine Unified School Board members:

•Sharon Wallin, Board President, Irvine Unified School District
•Michael Parham, Board Member, Irvine Unified School District
•Lauren Brooks, Board Member, Irvine Unified School District
•Paul Bokota, Board Member, Irvine Unified School District
•Gavin Huntley-Fenner, Former Board Member, Irvine Unified School District
•Carolyn McInerney, Former Board Member, Irvine Unified School District
•Dr. Steven Choi, Mayor City of Irvine and Former Board Member, Irvine Unified School District
•Margie Wakeham, Former Board Member, Irvine Unified School District

In addition, Glasky has also been endorsed by City of Irvine Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Lalloway and Councilmember Christina Shea.

Glasky is a former Irvine Unified School Board Member and Finance Committee Member. He has served on PTA boards and School Site Councils for multiple IUSD schools. He has been President of the Irvine Swim League and a Director for the American Red Cross, Orange County Chapter. He and his wife, Michele, who is the current PTSA president of Northwood High School, have two children, who both currently attend an IUSD school.

###

Paid for by Glasky for Irvine School Board. FPPC ID# 1362498

Posted in Irvine Unified School District, Orange County Board of Education, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 31, 2014

We’re live from the Republican Party of Orange County Endorsements Committee meeting. Four candidates are on the docket tonight: Eric Woolery for Auditor-Controller, Robert Ming for 5th Supervisorial District, Kevin Haskins for Superior Court Judge Office Number 14, and Jeff Ferguson for Superior Court Judge Office Number 35.

All recommendations of the Endorsements Committee must be approved by a 2/3 vote at the April 21 Central Committee meeting before becoming official endorsements.

The Endorsements Committee consists of Chairman Mark Bucher and members Thomas Gordon, Jeff Thomas, Peggy Huang, Mark McCurdy, and Mary Young. A seventh unidentified member is absent.

(6:15 PM): Chairman Bucher calls the meeting to order and explains the procedure.

He also explains his philosophy of not endorsing one good Republican over another one. He says he may even oppose the party endorsing someone that he personally supports.

(6:19 PM): Chairman Bucher calls an intermission to confer with OC GOP Executive Director Scott Loenhorst.

AUDITOR-CONTROLLER

(6:20 PM): Orange Treasurer Eric Woolery talks about voting for Ronald Reagan the year he turned 18. He served as Second Vice Chair of the OCGOP under Tom Fuentes. Woolery speaks about owning his own business, being a CPA, and managing the Riverside District Attorney’s budget. He says he has a balance of public and private sector experience.

(6:22 PM): Orange Mayor Pro Tem Fred Whitaker says Democrat Jan Grimes has mismanaged the Auditor-Controller’s office and that she could not explain her department’s deficit.

(6:23 PM): Chairman Bucher asks if any of Woolery’s opponents are present. (None of them are here.)

(6:23 PM): Mary Young moves and Mark McCurdy seconds his endorsement.

(6:24 PM): Thomas Gordon notes that Mike Dalati is Karina Onofre’s fiancee, to the laughter of the entire room.

(6:25 PM): Woolery wins the unanimous recommendation of the Endorsement Committee.

WOOLERY RECOMMENDED UNANIMOUSLY.

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #14

(6:26 PM): Assistant District Attorney Kevin Haskins speaks about his family and living in Orange County for 40 years. He resides in Laguna Niguel. He first joined the DA’s office in 1986, was in private practice, and returned to the DA’s office. He says he’s practiced on both sides of the Counsel table. Haskins says he believes in treating all people in court with respect and dignity while holding people accountable for their actions. He says he will follow the law not make law. He says it is important for the party to weigh in with an endorsement, especially in obscure races.

(6:29 PM): Orange Mayor Pro Tem Fred Whitaker speaks of the legal community’s respect for Haskins. He notes that Haskins has been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney. He says Republicans believe in law and order and believe in liberty.

(6:31 PM): Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway says Haskins is someone we need on the bench. He acknowledges this blogger, and then he notes Haskins will be a good judge who will fairly apply the law. He notes that Haskins has the balance of the public and private sector.

(6:33 PM): Jeff Mathews asks if any of Haskins’s opponents have requested the endorsement. (None have.)

(6:34 PM): Peggy Huang asks how Haskins will handle the various arenas of law since judges do not necessarily get to choose their assignments.

(6:35 PM): Haskins responds about his time in private practice and his experience teaching law.

(6:35 PM): Huang asks about his LLM (Master of Laws) degree.

(6:35 PM): Haskins speaks about the breadth of academic legal experience he has.

(6:36 PM): Mark McCurdy asks about Haskins’s period of time as a decline-to-state.

(6:36 PM): Haskins says he was a decline-to-state because he started prosecuting high-profile sex crimes. He says during this time, he wanted to maintain neutrality and avert giving the defense any ammunition, so he registered decline-to-state. Haskins says as a candidate for judge that it is important that voters know he holds Republican viewpoints.

(6:39 PM): McCurdy asks about Haskins declining to answer most of the questions on the OCGOP questionnaire.

(6:40 PM): Haskins gives a lengthy discussion about judicial ethics preventing him from answering the questionnaire.

(6:41 PM): Thomas Gordon asks about Haskins’s perspective on the Second Amendment.

(6:42 PM): Haskins says judges are obligated to uphold the Constitution and laws. He says this includes the Second Amendment. He says he will obey U.S. Supreme Court rulings like Heller.

(6:43 PM): McCurdy asks about AB 109 prison realignment.

(6:44 PM): Haskins speaks about the detrimental effects of AB 109.

(6:45 PM): Huang moves and Young seconds a motion to recommend Haskins. The vote is unanimous to recommend the endorsement of Haskins to the Central Committee.

HASKINS RECOMMENDED UNANIMOUSLY.

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #35

(6:45 PM): Chairman Bucher suggests that in the future, a separate judicial questionnaire be developed without the political questions that most candidates have to answer.

(6:46 PM): Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Ferguson speaks about his experience in the DA’s office, including clearing heavy felony backlogs with DNA collection and preparing the policies for AB 109 implementation. He speaks about his family. He’s lived in Orange County for 52 years. He went to UCI and was an assistant editor for the old OCGOP magazine. He worked on George Murphy and Ronald Reagan’s campaigns. Judge Jim Rogan encouraged Ferguson to run for judge.

(6:49 PM): Craig Alexander speaks about Ferguson’s experience and his CRA endorsement. He says Ferguson and Haskins will follow the law and not make law.

(6:50 PM): Adam Probolsky speaks in favor of neutrality because both candidates for the seat are good Republicans. He speaks about Carmen Luege’s experience and urges the committee stay neutral.

(6:51 PM): Carmen Luege speaks about fleeing Communist Cuba as a teenager. She learned English and about the Constitution in high school. She speaks about wanting to become a lawyer because of her awe of the American judicial system. She speaks about having been a federal prosecutor and now a Superior Court Commissioner.

(6:53 PM): Ferguson says he is endorsed by Congressman Ed Royce, the CRA, and several Assemblymembers. He speaks about having the respect of judges and attorneys, along with his background as a Republican volunteer.

(6:54 PM): Jeff Mathews asks if Luege is seeking the OCGOP endorsement.

(6:55 PM): Luege says she has missed the deadline, so she will not apply. She notes that she is endorsed by Senator Bob Huff and Mayor Steven Choi.

(6:56 PM): A procedural discussion breaks out.

(6:57 PM): Huang asks Ferguson the question she asked Haskins about various legal fields and judges’ assignments.

(6:58 PM): Ferguson speaks about his experience with various arenas of criminal law, including forfeitures. He says he worked in graphic design and journalism before becoming a lawyer, so he has had some experience dealing with non-criminal law.

(7:00 PM): Huang asks if Ferguson has any civil experience.

(7:00 PM): He compares forfeitures to civil cases.

(7:01 PM): Huang asks if he’s endorsed by any judges.

(7:01 PM): He lists nine judges by name and notes that he’s endorsed by various other judges.

(7:02 PM): Gordon asks if Luege will seek the endorsement.

(7:02 PM): She says she would apply for a late endorsement.

(7:04 PM): Gordon says he is inclined not to endorse anyone since the two Republicans are the only candidates in the race and that Luege will apply.

(7:05 PM): Huang agrees with Gordon and supports delaying until Luege’s application is in.

(7:05 PM): Bucher describes this as a likely case of two good Republicans running against each other, though he’d like to see Luege’s questionnaire to be sure. He predicts the committee will table and probably will stay neutral. He suggests the two candidates mutually agree to withdraw from the endorsement process.

(7:07 PM): Gordon moves and Huang seconds tabling until next month. The vote to table is unanimous.

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #35 TABLED UNANIMOUSLY.

5TH SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT

(7:08 PM): Robert Ming speaks about being Mayor and Councilmember in Laguna Niguel. Ming says it is important for the party to endorse in this race. He says it’s important for parties to stand for something to prevent registration erosion. He speaks about scoring 100% on the Liberty First scorecard while his two opponents scored in the 60s. He speaks of his efforts walking precincts and doing youth outreach.

(7:11 PM): Robert Hammond speaks about Ming’s efforts to help expose unfunded mandates at the OC Board of Education. He speaks of Ming’s efforts to help a citizen obtain field space with 24 hours after being contacted.

(7:12 PM): Lisa Bartlett notes she is running against Ming. She says she opposes the endorsement because there are three good Republicans who are fiscally conservative, believe in local control, and hold ACC-OC leadership positions. She urges neutrality.

(7:14 PM): Maribel Marroquin speaks about Robert Ming being the first elected official to speak to her youth outreach group and getting young people to become Republicans. She says young people view him as a mentor.

(7:15 PM): Frank Ury notes that he is running against Ming. He urges neutrality because there are three good Republicans. Ury speaks about having been OCGOP Local Elected Official of the Year and a Central Committee member. Ury speaks about his effort over the last 20 years on behalf of Republican causes and having had his blood drawn (figuratively) for conservative causes.

(7:17 PM): Ming says the three have distinct voting records. He says he is in the trenches and helping move the party forward. He says people in the trenches should be endorsed.

(7:18 PM): Mary Young says there is nothing she dislikes about Ming. She notes there are three good Republicans. She says Ury was very involved in the party in the past.

(7:19 PM): Peggy Huang asks Chris Emami about Liberty First.

(7:19 PM): Emami explains how it scored City Councilmembers on personal freedoms, property rights, and fiscal responsibility.

(7:20 PM): Huang asks Ming about why he formed ACC-OC.

(7:20 PM): Ming says they wanted to make good public policy that did not necessarily agree with policies advanced by the League of Cities.

(7:21 PM): Thomas Gordon thanks Ming for his efforts with Marroquin’s youth outreach group in Santa Ana because these efforts have forced Democrats to spend time trying to hold registration in Santa Ana.

(7:22 PM): Marroquin notes Ming is one of only three elected officials to actively help the youth outreach group.

(7:23 PM): Gordon asks about eminent domain.

(7:23 PM): Ming opposes it except for truly public purposes.

(7:24 PM): Mark McCurdy asks about redevelopment.

(7:24 PM): Ming says they do not have it in Laguna Niguel, and he generally opposes it. He would only support it in very limited circumstances with far greater oversight.

(7:25 PM): Gordon supports tabling the endorsement until next month to hear from all three candidates.

(7:26 PM): Huang agrees with Gordon.

(7:27 PM): Mathews agrees with Huang and Gordon.

(7:27 PM): Gordon moves and Young seconds tabling the endorsement. The tabling motion passes unanimously.

5TH SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT TABLED UNANIMOUSLY.

(7:28 PM): Committee adjourns.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Republican Party of Orange County Endorses Mayor Linda Lindholm Over Incumbent Republican

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on March 28, 2014

This came over the wire from the Linda Lindholm for Orange County Board of Education campaign moments ago…

Linda Lindholm for OC Board of Ed

Republican Party of Orange County Endorses
Mayor Linda Lindholm Over Incumbent Republican

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2014
Contact: Chris Emami
chrisemami@custom-campaigns.com

ORANGE COUNTY, CA – The Republican Party of Orange County has endorsed Laguna Niguel Mayor Linda Lindholm for Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5.  The party’s Central Committee voted unanimously to endorse Lindholm over the objections of the 32-year incumbent, who is a Republican.  Mayor Lindholm, the leading candidate for the Orange County Board of Education’s Trustee Area 5 seat, is quickly setting herself apart as a consensus builder amongst education officials, organizations, taxpayers, parents, and teachers.

“The Republican Party of Orange County endorses Linda Lindholm as the best choice to represent taxpayers on the Board of Education,” said Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh. “Linda Lindholm has a proven record of advancing fiscal responsibility and personal freedoms by supporting low taxes, balanced budgets, battling overregulation, and preventing wasteful bureaucracy.”

“I am grateful that the Republican Party of Orange County has endorsed my campaign to help improve the education of our children,” Lindholm said. “My promise to promote transparency, fiscal accountability, and a better education for all students has been a message that has resonated with people from all ends of the political spectrum.”

A businesswoman, Mayor Lindholm has served as the President of the Saddleback College Foundation Board, as President of the Beta Foster Care Advisory Board, and as the City Liaison on the Laguna Niguel Youth Committee.  She has also served on the Capistrano Unified School District Instructional Materials Review Committee and the Prevent Child Abuse – Orange County Advisory Board.

Professionally, Lindholm has taught college students as a university instructor and worked with school districts on developing programs for teachers of children with physical and learning disabilities.  She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Colorado State University and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.   Lindholm and her husband, Wayne, have three children.

###

Paid for by Lindholm for Board of Education 2014.  ID# 1363994

Posted in Orange County Board of Education, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Live from OC GOP: Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 17, 2014

7:59 PM: After an hour of speeches, the first endorsement motion is made, as Robert Hammond moves to endorse Hugh Nguyen for Clerk-Recorder.

8:00 PM: Tim Whitacre speaks about Nguyen’s strong record, Republican endorsements, and the County audits that have found Nguyen has fixed much of Tom Daly’s mess.

8:01 PM: Scott Peotter says it’s optional to perform marriages. Peotter says the Clerk-Recorder can either perform all marriages (both same-sex and opposite-sex) or perform no marriages. Peotter asks if no

8:03 PM: Todd Spitzer talked about the importance of the Clerk-Recorder having their documents in order since the post files important documents and how important it is to have candidates for Clerk-Recorder who know how to file nomination papers in a timely fashion. He speaks of Nguyen’s experience, he speaks of Nguyen’s success in cleaning up Daly’s mess.

8:05 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh gives an unofficial award for best line to Todd Spitzer due to his comments about the Clerk-Recorder’s job filing important documents and one candidate’s failure to properly file candidate documents.

8:06 PM: Nguyen is endorsed by a nearly unanimous vote, with only Peotter opposing.

NGUYEN ENDORSED

8:08 PM: Bill Dunlap speaks in favor of Michael Gates for Huntington Beach City Attorney.

8:09 PM: Baron Night asks to delay the Gates endorsement until August since the race will not be on the ballot until November.

8:10 PM: Michael Gates states he is up against an entrenched incumbent. He has raised $120,000. He says he is a true conservative who believes in limited government unlike the incumbent whose brand of Republicanism he opposes. He speaks about his experience at the US Department of Justice, as a law clerk at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in private practice.

8:14 PM: Zonya Townsend asks about his representation of the Roman Catholic diocese of Orange and whether he’s represented them on sexual abuse cases.

8:14 PM: Gates says he and his firm have refused to represent the Diocese on the sexual abuse cases. They’ve only represented the Diocese on slip-and-fall and other liability cases that did not involve sexual abuse.

Gates is endorsed nearly unanimously, with only Baron Night opposing.

GATES ENDORSED

8:17 PM: Alexandria Coronado moves and Scott Peotter seconds the endorsement of Tom Pollitt for Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2.

Incumbent David Boyd attempts to speak against the motion but is ruled out of order since he’s not a Central Committee member.

No one rises to speak against Pollitt; he is endorsed unanimously.

POLLITT ENDORSED

8:18 PM: Brett Barbre moves and Teresa Hernandez seconds the endorsement of Linda Lindholm for Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5.

No one rises to speak against Lindholm; she is endorsed unanimously.

LINDHOLM ENDORSED.

That’s a wrap on endorsements. More endorsements to come at the April Central Committee meeting.

Posted in Huntington Beach, Orange County, Orange County Board of Education, Republican Central Committee | Leave a Comment »

Live from OCGOP Central Committee: Early Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 17, 2014

We’re here live at OCGOP Central Committee for Early Endorsements for the Primary Election.

(7:13 PM): A slew of Youth Associates have been sworn in.

(7:18 PM): Sergio Picchio, former Field Representative to Assemblyman Don Wagner, is receiving the Donald Award for Legislative Staffer of the Year on the occasion of his retirement.

(7:26 PM): Minutes are approved.

(7:27 PM): Announcement of the passing of Jack Christiana.

(7:29 PM): The candidates and elected officials present are introducing themselves: Lucille Kring, Ceci Iglesias, Michelle Steel, Diane Harkey, Baron Night, David Shawver, Robert Hammond, Scott Voigts, Tony Beall, Mike Munzing, Robert Ming, Jim Righeimer, Steven Choi, Phillip Chen, Helen Hayden, Paul Glaab, Tom Tait, Julia Ross, Michael Glen, Tim Shaw, Brett Barbre, Travis Allen, Deborah Pauly, Mark Wyland, Jeff Lalloway, Fred Whitaker, Michael Gates, Steve Nagel, Mark McCurdy, Janet Nguyen, Matt Harper, Lee Ramos, Hugh Nguyen, Dean Grose, Lynn Schott, Jeff Ferguson, Allan Mansoor, Kevin Haskin, Shari Freidenrich, Keith Curry, Ray Grangoff, Eric Woolery, Carlos Vazquez, Claude Parrish, Anna Bryson, Tony Rackauckas, Long Pham, Emanuel Patrascu, Don Wagner, and Young Kim.

(7:36 PM): OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh speaks about the successful Republican effort in the San Diego Mayor’s race.

He also speaks about Republican efforts to replace Irvine Councilman Larry Agran with Lynn Schott.

(7:39 PM): Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway announces that Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait has been named one of the two 2013 OCGOP Local Elected Official of the Year (alongside Supervisor Janet Nguyen who was also announced as the other winner of the award previously).

Baugh gives speaks about Tait’s mayoralty.

Tait thanks the Central Committee for the award.

(7:41 PM): Chairman Scott Baugh brings up early endorsement consideration for District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

Alexandria Coronado asks a procedural question, to which Baugh responds.

(7:42 PM): TJ Fuentes moves and Mark Bucher seconds the Rackauckas endorsement. He is endorsed unanimously.

RACKAUCKAS ENDORSED

(7:43 PM): Robert Hammond moves and Charlotte Christiana seconds the endorsement of Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich. She is endorsed unanimously.

FREIDENRICH ENDORSED

(7:45 PM): Michelle Steel moves and Tim Whitacre seconds the endorsement of Diane Harkey for Board of Equalization.

Deborah Pauly offers a substitute motion, and Allan Mansoor seconds, to table until the close of filing since there is no incumbent, and more Republicans might jump in.

(7:47 PM): Baugh rules both motions out of order after determining that candidates need to speak before either motion can be made.

(7:49 PM): Baugh says three BOE candidates were notified: Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, Senator Mark Wyland, and former Assemblyman Van Tran. Harkey and Wyland are here, but Tran is not.

(7:50 PM): Harkey opens by describing the BOE’s function. She speaks about her private sector career dealing with corporations and taxation. She speaks about the importance of limiting the field, so that campaign funds can be focused instead of divided. Harkey says it’s critical to get the third vote on actions on the BOE. She speaks about her successful efforts to gain Democrats’ votes to kill legislation. She speaks about how the Legislative Analyst’s Office credited Harkey with getting more oversight against cap and trade. Harkey says she could have walked into Supervisor or Senate, but BOE is the job she wants. She says both she and Wyland are also asking for San Diego GOP Central Committee’s endorsement.

(7:53 PM): Wyland thanks the Central Committee for its work. He talks about how he owned his own 100-200 employee business and how he had to deal with the BOE dozens of times as a business owner. He says he knows how to reform the BOE. He says there were three efforts to unionize his employees, but he defeated those three efforts, so he knows how to fight unions. He notes his electoral background and how he’s given over $1,000,000 to help conservative campaigns. He speaks about how he gave $100,000 to Tony Strickland’s 2008 Senate race when Strickland defeated Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson by less than one vote per precinct. Wyland urges the Central Committee to delay an endorsement vote until after filing closes.

(7:56 PM): Pat Shuff asks the two candidates what was their CRA score. Harkey says 100%. Wyland is unsure what his CRA score was, but got 100% from both Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and California Taxpayers Association.

(7:59 PM): Mr. White asks why Wyland doesn’t want an endorsement made tonight.

Baugh notes dual endorsing is unprecedented but possible.

Wyland says he’s fine with a dual endorsement. He says he’s only requesting the San Diego GOP Central Committee endorsement purely as a defensive major since Harkey’s asked for the Central Committee endorsement. He says he wishes Central Committees would avoid pre-primary endorsements when there’s multiple Republicans.

Harkey says Central Committees should endorse and frequently do. She says Prop 14 has made this more important. She says AD-65 and SD-34 need money, so endorsements can help stop the spillage of money in intraparty primary matters.

(8:03 PM): Desare’ Ferraro asks if a Democrat has filed for BOE and if the seat is in danger.

Harkey says one Democrat has filed, but it’s a Republican seat, though she notes Democrats are gaining.

(8:04 PM): Jeff Matthews asks the two candidates if they’re Republicans in good standing.

Harkey says she’s highly rated by a slew of conservative organizations and the importance of helping candidates both with manpower and money.

Wyland says their vote records are probably quite similar. He again urges Central Committee neutrality and letting the electorate decide. He again notes he’s given financial support to candidates. He speaks of party unity.

(8:06 PM): Steve Nagel asks if either has taken union money.

Both admit taking union money for their legislative races.

(8:07 PM): Kermit Marsh asks what other counties the two have requested.

Harkey says she has requested them in every county in the BOE 4th District.

Wyland says he has not done so.

(8:08 PM): Robert Hammond asks how each voted on an Assembly bill funding Common Core.

Harkey says she didn’t vote for it.

Wyland notes he served on his school board and is proposing legislation to restrict state funding of Common Core. He says he didn’t vote for the bill that Hammond is asking about.

(8:10 PM): Mike Munzing talks about his own efforts to fight AB 32 and SB 375 at SCAG and on the City Council. He asks Wyland about his $1500 contribution to Al Gore in the 1980s.

Wyland admits he once was a Democrat but became a Republican long ago. He again notes his $1,000,000 for Republicans. He speaks about his votes against AB 32 and “all” other regulatory bills. Wyland notes Gore was more conservative in 1988 and bragging about being a tobacco farmer.

(8:13 PM): Mark Bucher asks if Diane Harkey’s exception for public safety unions on her no-union pledge (required on the Central Committee endorsement form) applies to the past or prospectively.

Harkey says she’s still taking public safety union money. She says public safety is 80% Republican. She says Republicans need to reach out to them. She says public safety is important to Republicans. She says she agrees with the no-union pledge for local office but opposes it for state office.

(8:17 PM): Tim Whitacre asks if Wyland voted to increase property taxes in 2012 and if he walked out on certain bills, like naming a ship after Harvey Milk and illegal immigration restrictions, to avoid voting for them.

Wyland notes they vote on 2,000-3,000 bills. He doesn’t remember them all, but doubts he voted for that one in 2012. Wyland says he abhors naming a ship after Harvey Milk but it’s possible he may have missed the vote. Wyland says the Assembly allows its members to add their votes after missing them, but the Senate does not allow such a thing. Wyland says he has introduced more legislation on illegal immigration than any other legislator, including requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote and redirecting DREAM Act funding to veterans.

(8:21 PM): Baugh states that no further questions can be asked directly of the candidates due to the Central Committee’s time limit rules.

(8:22 PM): Tim Whitacre moves and Mary Young seconds the endorsement of Diane Harkey.

(8:23 PM): David Shawver says candidates should have formed committees months ago.

(8:24 PM): Assemblyman Allan Mansoor urges no early endorsement because a lot of questions still need to be responded to. He notes he’s worked with both Harkey and Wyland in the Legislature. He says he’s endorsed Harkey. Mansoor says there are multiple Republicans in good standing running for a Republican seat. He says endorsements should only be made if a RINO is running or if there’s risk of a Democrat winning.

(8:25 PM): Tim Whitacre says the Central Committee usually endorses when he wants neutrality. He says he is not being paid by anyone for BOE. He says Harkey is more conservative than Wyland. Whitacre says Harkey’s an OC resident, unlike Wyland. Whitacre notes Harkey is a lifelong Republican. Whitacre believes San Diego GOP Central Committee will probably endorse Wyland. Whitacre says Harkey’s the best qualified.

(8:28 PM): Mark Bucher says neither should be endorsed. He is very concerned that both have taken union money. Bucher says money is taken from members coercively and spent against their beliefs. Bucher says union money is corrupting. Bucher points to what public safety unions have tried to do to Jim Righeimer in Costa Mesa. Bucher says the OCGOP should not abandon the no-union pledge by endorsing one of them.

(8:30 PM): Tony Beall urges the Central Committee to take a leadership role to influence the electorate. Beall says he’s been Mayor of Rancho Santa Margarita, which is represented by both Harkey and Wyland. He says Harkey is regularly in his city, and he’s never met Wyland. Beall acknowledges that Wyland has assisted California campaigns but not OC campaigns. He says Harkey has helped OC campaigns.

(8:33 PM): Deborah Pauly says this is not about Harkey or Wyland: it’s about process. (She does note Wyland has spent 20 years dealing with the BOE as a businessman.) Pauly says the grassroots is sick of the party jamming decisions down the voters’ throats. Pauly points out that this is a five-county race; if different counties endorse differently, it could be used by the Democrats against whichever Republican advances to November. She says she originally supported waiting until after filing closes, but after listening to the debate, she thinks the Central Committee should wait until the voters have decided in the Primary Election.

(8:37 PM): Robert Hammond asks if the Central Committee is allowed to endorse candidates who violated the no-union pledge.

Baugh says it would violate a 2010 resolution but not the bylaws.

(8:39 PM): The voice vote is unclear. Baugh calls for a standing vote. It requires 2/3 of those present and voting to endorse (i.e. abstentions simply lower the vote threshold required to endorse).

(8:41 PM): The vote count is underway.

(8:42 PM): The vote is 35 for Harkey (32 were need to endorse).

HARKEY ENDORSED

Posted in Anaheim, Board of Equalization, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

RPLAC Censure Proposal on Thomas Hanson

Posted by Allen Wilson on September 15, 2013

Image

The Republican Party of Los Angeles County (RPLAC) is considering a motion to censure the one of it’s members, Thomas Hanson, at the regularly scheduled meeting on Saturday, September 21st, 2013.

Thomas Hanson is the Chairman of the 45th Assembly District Republican Central Committee (ADRCC).

On July 20th, 2013, RPLAC took up the endorsement for one of three Republican candidates running for the Special Election slated for September 17th, but none of the candidates failed to garner the necessary 2/3rds votes required for such endorsement.  The highest vote getter of the endorsement was Chris Kolski  who was shy of one vote.  The other candidates are Armineh Chelebian and Susan Shelley.

Then, July 24th, 2013, Mr. Hanson submitted a very misleading letter to Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters (ROV), Dean Logan, by using RPLAC logo with the following verbiage:

“This is to advise you and confirm a party endorsement of a Republican candidate for the special election to be held on September 17, 2013 to fill the current vacancy of the 45th Assembly District in the California Legislature”

Mr. Hanson efforts was an attempt to deceive the ROV by giving the implication that the endorsement was approved by RPLAC, which it was not the case.

The Los Angeles County ROV was prepared to submit sample ballots indicating that Chris Kolski has been endorsed by the Republican Party of Los Angeles County.

The RPLAC Chairman Mark Vafiades learned of this and immediately notified the ROV that Mr. Kolski has NOT been endorsed by RPLAC, which the sample ballots were immediately destroyed and re-printed at considerable amount of money at taxpayers expense.

The integrity of Mr. Hanson, the 45th ADRCC and Mr. Kolski hangs in the balance as they attempted to manipulate the elections through deception to the Republican voters in the 45th AD.

This is the third proposal to formally censure a central committee member in six years.

In 2007, Michael Jackson, the 2006 GOP Assembly Nominee in the 54th AD was formally censured for “disrupting RPLAC meetings”, which Mr. Jackson was a thorn to then-RPLAC Chairman Linda Boyd and the Executive Board.

In 2010, a motion to censure Robert Vaughn, the 2010 GOP Nominee for Congress in the 38th CD, failed to gain traction beyond the RPLAC’s Rules and By-Laws Committee.

Posted in 36th Senate District, Republican Central Committee, South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

RIP Jane Barnett Former RPLAC Chairman

Posted by Allen Wilson on August 8, 2013

OC Political received this sad message regarding the passing of Jane Barnett from RPLAC (Republican Party of Los Angeles County) Chairman Mark Vafiades:

image

It is with great sadness that we report that former Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, Jane Barnett, passed away this morning at approximately 8:00am

Jane Barnett had an extensive political career. She was, most recently, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County from 2009 – 2011.

Prior to that she was a candidate for the 43rd Assembly District in Los Angeles County and she was chair of the 43rd Assembly District Republican Central Committee.

She also served as the First Vice President of the Glendale-Burbank Republican Club and was a member of several Republican Women Federated clubs.

Jane was a lecturer/faculty member of the Leadership Institute in Washington, DC from 2001-2003, when she was living in Virginia. She was Director of Donor Affairs for Oliver North’s Freedom Alliance from 2003 -2006. She was Event Coordinator and Fundraiser for Ken Blackwell’s Center for New Black Leadership during 2003, and during that same year served as Director of Donor Relations for GOPAC.

Jane has worked for several elected officials, including California State Assemblyman James Rogan, for whom she served as Administrative Assistant, California State Assemblyman Pat Nolan and California State Senator Tim Leslie.

Jane is survived by her husband, Lou, and seven children.

Jane was a powerful presence in the Republican Party of Los Angeles County. We will miss her.

Posted in California, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

By the Numbers: Stats on the Partisan Affiliations of Local Elected Officials

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 28, 2013

In case you missed it, OC Political compiled this database of the partisan affiliations of every single local elected official in Orange County last week, updating our prior three databases herehere, and here, from October and November 2012.

Some readers had contacted us, expressing interest in us parsing this data on a more macro scale, so here we go.

The overwhelming majority of Orange County’s 509 local elected officials are Republicans, with 350 each, followed by 111 Democrats, 38 with no party preference, 3 from third parties, and 7 current vacancies (County Auditor-Controller, County Clerk-Recorder, County Public Administrator, three seats on the Capistrano Bay Community Services District, and one seat on the Surfside Colony Community Services District).  Republicans hold 69% of the seats while Democrats hold 22%.  (To move the needle up to 70% for Republicans or 23% for Democrats, the respective parties would need to gain 4 of the 7 vacancies.)

EverybodyChart

EverybodyPie

Looking at the County offices, it’s pretty one-sided.  In case you were wondering, the No Party Preference is County Assessor Webster Guillory.  Republicans hold all of the other non-vacant county posts, including all five seats on the County Board of Supervisors and all five seats on the County Board of Education:

CountyChart

CountyPie

Turning to the City Councils, there are 135 Republicans out of 176 City Council members, with 34 Democrats and 6 NPPs.  The Reform Party member is Gerri Graham-Mejia of Los Alamitos.  Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Santa Ana have seven-member councils while all other OC cities have five-member councils.

CouncilChart

CouncilPie

Inherently, all City Councils are multi-member entities, so let’s take a look at party majorities on the Councils.  Out of 34 City Councils:

  • 11 have only Republicans on them
  • 13 City Councils have Republican supermajorities (6 out of 7 for Newport Beach, and 4 out of 5 for the other 12)
  • 8 City Councils have a one-seat Republican majority (4 Republicans and 3 Democrats in Huntington Beach, with the other 7 being Councils with 3 out of 5 Republicans; it’s not all R/D, as Brea has 3 Republicans and 2 NPPs while La Habra has 3 Republicans, 1 Democrat, and 1 NPP); this includes the recently-recaptured Irvine City Council
  • Laguna Woods has three Democrats and two Republicans
  • Santa Ana has Orange County’s only City Council that is comprised entirely of Democrats

CouncilMajChart

CouncilMajPie

Five OC cities have elected city clerks (Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Orange, Placentia, and San Clemente).  Of these, Laguna Beach’s Lisette Chel-Walker and San Clemente’s Joanne Baade are the two Democrats while the other three (Huntington Beach’s Joan Flynn, Orange’s Mary Murphy, and Placentia’s Patrick Melia) are Republicans.

ClerkChart

ClerkPie

There are six elected City Treasurers, with 3 Republicans (Huntington Beach’s Alisa Cutchen, Orange’s Helen Walker, and Placentia’s Craig Green), 1 Democrat (Brea’s Glenn Parker), 1 NPP (Laguna Beach’s Laura Parisi), and 1 Libertarian (San Clemente’s Mark Taylor, OC’s only Libertarian elected official).

TreasurerChart TreasurerPie

I’m not creating a chart for Huntington Beach Republican Jennifer McGrath, Orange County’s only elected City Attorney.

Moving on to the Community College Districts, which clearly march to a different drum, they are the pride of the OC Democratic Party and the shame of the OC Republican Party.  Of the 26 community college board members, 15 are Democrats, 8 are Republicans, and 3 are NPPs.

CollegeBoardChart CollegeBoardPie

It’s much more stark when you look at party majorities:

  • South Orange County Community College District has five Republicans and two NPPs.
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District has five Democrats, one Republican, and one NPP.
  • North Orange County Community College District has six Democrats and one Republican.
  • Coast Community College District has the only five-member board, with four Democrats and one Republican.

CollegeMajChart CollegeMajPie

Moving on from the one type of office Democrats control (the community college boards), we head on to school boards. Out of 148 school board members, 92 are Republicans, with 40 Democrats, 15 NPPs, and 1 American Independent (John Ortiz from the Ocean View School District).

SchoolBoardChart SchoolBoardPie

By party majorities, the school boards are much more tenuous, as there are:

  • 3 unanimously Republican school boards (Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Fullerton [Elementary] School District, and Tustin Unified School District)
  • 7 Republican supermajorities (Newport-Mesa Unified has 6 Republicans on a 7-member board, Brea-Olinda Unified and Orange Unified each have 5 Republicans out of 7 school board members, while four other school districts have 4 Republicans out of 5 board members)
  • 10 boards wield a single-seat Republican majority (4 out of 7 in Capistrano Unified are registered Republicans [whether they vote like Republicans is a different story] while the other nine have 3 Republicans on 5-member boards; the minority are not always Democrats, they may be NPPs or AIP).
  • 6 boards wield an actual even split (each of these boards has exactly 2 Republicans, 2 Democrats, and 1 NPP)
  • 2 boards each have 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans (Cypress [Elementary] School District and Westminster [Elementary] School District)

SchoolMajChart SchoolMajPie

…and finally OC’s very special districts.  Of the 129 elected special district board members, 94 are Republicans, 19 are Democrats, 12 are NPPs, and 4 are actually vacancies.

SpecialDistChart SpecialDistPie

When you look at party control of the boards of each special district, the extent of Republican majorities is quite clear:

  • 7 special district boards have only Republican members
  • 6 special district boards have Republican supermajorities (6 out of 7 on the Orange County Water District and 4 out of 5 members on the other five boards)
  • 8 special district boards have one-seat Republican majorities (2 Republicans and 1 Democrat on the Surfside Colony Stormwater Protection District Board, 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats on the boards of the Rossmoor Community Services District and the El Toro Water District, 3 Republicans and 1 Democrat with 1 vacancy on the Surfside Colony Community Services District Board, and 4 other boards have 3 Republicans, 1 Democrat, and 1 NPP).
  • Democrats wield a one-seat majority on the Buena Park Library District Board, with 3 Democrats, 1 Republican, and 1 NPP
  • Under “other,” I’ve placed the Sunset Beach Sanitary District (2 Republicans, 2 NPPs, and 1 Democrat) and the Placentia Library District (2 Democrats, 2 NPPs, and 1 Republican)
  • Finally, there is the curious case of the Capistrano Bay Community Services District Board, which has 2 Republicans and 3 vacancies; does anyone know how these seats would be filled when the majority of the board seats are vacant?

SpecialMajChart SpecialMajPie

Posted in Democrat Central Committee, Orange County, Republican Central Committee | 3 Comments »

Live from OCGOP Central Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 21, 2013

The rest of the nation commemorated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day today, and Barack Obama was sworn in to a second term as the 44th President of the United States.

Here in Orange County, however, the Republican Central Committee is gathering to swear in its 2013-2014 membership, elect its 2013-2014 officers, and hear from Jim Brulte.

Captain Emily Sanford delivered the invocation and new Central Committee member Peggy Huang led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Central Committee Chairman Scott Baugh called the roll.

State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff swore in the Central Committee members. Huff joked that it was nice to be in a place where there’s actually multitudes of elected Republicans.

Lucille Kring, Henry Charoen, Robert Hammond, Tony Beall, Mike Munzing, Scott Voigts, Cecilia Iglesias, Anna Bryson, Tom Tait, Jesse Petrilla, Travis Allen, Don Wagner, Greg Sebourn, Bill Brough, Tim Shaw, Fred Whitaker, Todd Spitzer, Jeff Lalloway, Deborah Pauly, Steve Nagel, Mark McCurdy, Matt Harper, Steven Choi, Allan Mansoor, Dean Grose, Mark Schwing, and Craig Young were the elected officials introduced.

Long Pham announced he is running for the 34th Senate District in 2014. Anna Bryson confirmed she has filed paperwork to run for the 73rd Assembly District in 2014. Baron Night announced he was running for Buena Park City Council in 2014.

At 7:32 PM, John Warner nominated Scott Baugh for re-election as Chairman.

At 7:33 PM, Mary Young nominated and Tim Whitacre seconded John Warner for re-election as First Vice Chair.

At 7:34 PM, Bill Brough nominated Mary Young for re-election as Second Vice Chair.

At 7:35 PM, Mary Young nominated and John Warner seconded Peggy Huang for Secretary.

At 7:35 PM, Kermit Marsh nominated and Robert Hammond seconded Mark Bucher for re-election as Treasurer.

At 7:36 PM, Mike Munzing withdrew his candidacy for Assistant Treasurer and nominated TJ Fuentes, with a second from Jon Fleischman.

At 7:36 PM, Pat Shuff nominated and Lucille Kring seconded Norm Dickinson as Sergeant-at-Arms.

At 7:37 PM, the entire slate of executive committee officers was elected unanimously.

Chairman Scott Baugh reappointed Kermit Marsh as Parliamentarian.

At 7:38 PM, Orange County Central Committee Chairman Scott Baugh introduced former Senator Jim Brulte, who is running unopposed for California Republican Party Chairman.

Brulte said he was elected to the San Bernardino County Republican Central Committee at the age of 18. After working in DC, Brulte returned to San Bernardino County as Executive Director of the Central Committee. Brulte had painted the Republican Party headquarters in San Bernardino at the age of 10.

Brulte outlined his top priorities:
1. The CRP is hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. He wants to rebuild a statewide donor base of small donors, medium donors, and large donors. The CRP only has three employees currently.
2. The CRP must rebuild and expand the grassroots to protect David Valadao and Gary Miller; capture the seats formerly held by Brian Bilbray, Mary Bono Mack, and Dan Lungren; capture the seat held by Lou Correa; and protect the seats held by Eric Linder, Jeff Gorell, and Mike Morrell.

Deborah Pauly asked Brulte about the Tea Party. Brulte said anyone who supports Republican principles of limited government would be welcome and are the core of the grassroots.

Marcia Gilchrist asked about CRP headquarters. Brulte said the CRP headquarters are in a state of disrepair and need rehabilitation.

Teresa Hernandez asked about Hispanic and Latino outreach and about immigration policy. Brulte said the CRP must reach out to people of every community, Latinos, African-Americans, and every community out there. Brulte said it is not the CRP Chair’s job to pontificate on policy issues, it is the CRP Chair’s job to raise money. He said it is Congress’s responsibility to legislate on immigration. Brulte says he wants to focus on the nuts and bolts; he will be appearing on television, on radio, and in newspapers, far less often than previous CRP chairs, so he can focus on nuts and bolts.

Dean Grose asked about reinvigorating the CRP. Brulte said he gained seats during his tenures as Republican Leader in each house of the Legislature. He said the CRP is severely behind technologically.

Mike Withrow urged people to donate more money. Despite his blue collar profession, Withrow has been able to donate $1000 each year for years.

Outgoing CRP Vice Chair Steve Baric spoke of Brulte’s accomplishments in the Legislature and urged support for Brulte for CRP Chair.

At 7:57 PM, Jon Fleischman moved and Mary Young seconded for the OC GOP to endorse Jim Brulte for CRP Chair. The motion passed by acclimation.

Baugh then outlined the top lessons of 2012.
1. GOTV and grassroots matter. He cited numerous instances of close races and noted that a shift in just 500,000 votes in four states out of well over 100,000,000 votes in fifty states could have made Mitt Romney president.
2. Messengers matter. Baugh noted Orange County’s population is like few other metropolitan areas, with 34% Latino and 18.5% Asian. Republicans has lost 7% registration in the last decade, so Baugh says the GOP must work to fight this trend by better engaging Latinos and Asians.
3. Message and tone matter. Baugh said thoughts and ideas are more important than feelings, but properly framing thoughts and ideas are key. Baugh called the Republican Party the party of hope, opportunity, and prosperity for all. Baugh expressed disapproval of Romney’s 47% remark. Baugh pointed to Ted Cruz’s language of opportunity conservatism. He said the term of “limited government” is meaningless to the unemployed or the parents with children in poor schools but “removing barriers and regulations impeding job creation” and “giving parents choices” are the language of opportunity conservatism. He said conservative ideas must be described in how they can help advance opportunity. Baugh said immigration policies are out of date, unenforced, or unenforceable. He said there is a labor supply in Mexico and a labor demand in the US, and people in Mexico are seeking a better life. He said America allows people to seek a better life and asked “who among us” would not come to America from Mexico to seek a better life. Baugh said neither amnesty nor deportation is the answer; it lies somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, a solution that respects dignity and the human spirit. He said Republican policies must offer opportunity to all.

After a brief recess, the 65th District named Alexandria Coronado as its Executive Committee representative, and the 69th named Charles Hart as its Executive Committee representative.

For the Financial Review Committee, each district named the following members:
55th – Brenda McCune
65th – Baron Night
68th – Fred Whitaker
69th – Charles Hart
72nd – Steve Nagel
73rd – Greg Woodard
74th – John Draper
These seven people comprise the entire Financial Review Committee.

Chairman Scott Baugh presented the Local Elected Official of the Year Award to Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway for his successful efforts at building a team that toppled the Larry Agran machine in Irvine. Baugh spoke of sending the party’s financial and grassroots resources to Irvine.

Lalloway thanked Mayor Steven Choi, Councilwoman Christina Shea, and Council candidate Lynn Schott. Lalloway spoke of losses at the federal and state levels but the hope that Irvine Council provided, with the police union endorsing Agran’s entire slate and with $1,200,000 spent by Agran’s side including $300,000 spent by Agran personally.

Chairman Scott Baugh presented the Legislator of the Year Award to both Congressman John Campbell and Assemblyman Don Wagner for their efforts in bankrolling much of the OCGOP’s efforts in Irvine.

Wagner thanked Lalloway, Choi, Shea, Baugh, the Central Committee, and all the volunteers who helped in Irvine.

On Campbell’s behalf, Lou Penrose spoke of Campbell’s great delight at the Irvine results and the importance of team efforts. Noting his own Italian heritage, Penrose spoke of doing this as a family effort.

Chairman Scott Baugh announced that Assemblyman Don Wagner was renting a currently-vacant portion of the OC GOP Headquarters in Tustin for his campaign office.

Rhonda Rohrabacher and Assemblyman Don Wagner presented the Anna Woods Memorial HQ Volunteer of the Year Award to Naz Namazi for her efforts at the OCGOP HQ and in Huntington Beach. Namazi also received awards from the offices of Senator Mimi Walters and Supervisor Pat Bates.

Captain Emily Sanford, Zonya Townsend, and Assemblyman Don Wagner presented the Captain Emily F. Sanford, USN (Ret.) Volunteer of the Year Award to Chalone and Harold Warman of San Clemente. The Warmans called themselves “rare Republican teachers,” as Chalone Warman was a teacher at San Clemente High School and Harold Warman taught at San Diego State University.

Irvine Mayor Steven Choi spoke to the Central Committee. He quipped, “It took a village to elect a Republican Mayor of Irvine.” Choi thanked Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway, Irvine Councilwoman Christina Shea, Congressman John Campbell, Assemblyman Don Wagner, former Supervisor Bill Campbell, and the volunteers who made his victory possible. Choi also reported Republicans now have a registration advantage over Democrats among Orange County’s Korean-Americans.

At 9:08 PM, the Central Committee adjourned.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

John Hrabe: Quirk-Silva Received $292K in 18 Days via Democratic Central Committees from Blue Shield, Disney, AEG, Aecom, Tom Daly, CSEA, AFSCME Local 685, UDW, CAHP, CDF Firefighters, SW Regional Council of Carpenters, or How AD-65 Really Was Won

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on November 29, 2012

John Hrabe published this piece on his blog and republished it on the Flash Report.

Regardless of your opinion on the propriety of these donations, it’s clear Quirk-Silva’s monetary infusion led to her victory.  $292,000 via Democratic Central Committees overwhelmed $50,000 via Republican Central Committees.

(Note: This article may be republished, provided it is attributed to the author, John Hrabe, with a link to its original url.)

Democrat committees funneled special interest money to O.C. candidate

Special interest groups circumvented state campaign finance laws by using Democrat Party committees to funnel more than a quarter-million dollars to a crucial Orange County assembly candidate, an investigation has found.

In a span of 18 days, late in the campaign, six Democratic county central committees contributed $292,200 to the Assembly campaign of Sharon Quirk-Silva, who defeated Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton, by fewer than 5,400 votes. The hundreds of thousands of dollars in last-minute campaign funds secured Quirk-Silva’s election and helped Democrats gain their first super-majority in both houses of the state legislature since 1883.

Irony Alert: Quirk-Silva accused Norby of supporting special interests.

The county party committees made the contributions to Quirk-Silva’s campaign within days and, in some cases, within hours of accepting contributions from the state’s most powerful special interest groups, including labor unions, corporations and a Los Angeles development group.

The Quirk-Silva campaign denies any wrongdoing or coordination of campaign finances between special interest groups and county party committees.

“The Sharon Quirk-Silva for Assembly campaign never requested more than the legal limit from any donor,” said Jason Mills, Quirk-Silva’s campaign manager. “The campaign had no discussions with any of the outside groups listed seeking to arrange contributions larger than what is required under California state law.”

State Campaign Finance Law Allows Parties to Serve as Cash Conduits

Individuals and businesses are limited each election to a maximum contribution of $3,900 per candidate. However, political party committees can accept substantially more than state candidates — $32,500 per election. Political parties can also transfer unlimited funds to state candidates. This system of campaign finance regulations allows parties to function as the middleman for interest groups seeking to support state campaigns.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission, which is responsible for enforcing the California Political Reform Act, has described this strategy as “money laundering” in a similar case involving two Republican legislators. In October, the FPPC alleged that Tom and Bill Berryhill circumvented state campaign finance rules by transferring funds through two Republican central committees during the 2008 campaign.

An FPPC spokeswoman said that the agency “cannot comment on a specific situation,” but confirmed no complaints have been received in the Quirk-Silva case.

Quirk-Silva’s victory has been called the “key to achieving the coveted supermajority” for state Democrats. When asked by the Voice of OC about the significance of Quirk-Silva’s upset, Assembly Democratic spokesman Steven Maviglio said, “This was the prize that made it happen.”

Given the state’s strict campaign finance limits, how could Democrats funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to a candidate in the final weeks of the campaign?

Same-Day, Same-Dollar Contributions to Central Committees

Campaign finance records show a pattern of large campaign contributions from special interest groups to party committees that were quickly transferred to Quirk-Silva.

On November 2, healthcare giant Blue Shield of California sent $25,000 to the Del Norte County Democratic Central Committee. The very same day, the party transferred the same amount, $25,000, to Quirk-Silva’s campaign.

On October 17, the Del Norte committee also accepted a $25,000 check from PACE of CA School Employees Association, a labor union that represents 215,000 bus drivers, janitors and other school employees. On October 19, the Del Norte Democratic Party sent $10,000 to Quirk-Silva’s campaign.

Could there have been coordination between the school employees’ union and Blue Shield to send $50,000 to the same Democratic central committee?

Del Norte Contribution: Blue Shield, School Employees Shared Lobbyist

In September, the Los Angeles Times reported that both the school employees association and Blue Shield share the same influential Sacramento lobbyist, Dave Low. At the time, health advocates questioned whether Low’s dual role posed a conflict of interest.

“The question is, does Blue Shield have access to insider information through these unions?” Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research told the Times. “It doesn’t look right.”

According to state campaign finance records, the Del Norte County Democratic Central Committee had accepted $204,524 in campaign contributions from January 1 to October 20. Based on this figure, the combined Blue Shield and school employees’ contributions represented a quarter of the committee’s total annual receipts. Yet, 70 percent of the funds were immediately transferred to a candidate more than 750 miles away.

Neither Low nor the Del Norte County Democratic Central Committee responded to email requests for comment.

Same-Day, Same-Dollar Donation from Disney to Democrats

In addition to the Del Norte County Democratic Central Committee, another county party processed same-day, same-dollar contributions. On October 19, the same day that Del Norte Democrats sent funds to Quirk-Silva, Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. contributed $10,000 to the Democratic Party of Orange County. The very same day, the party contributed the exact same amount, $10,000, to Quirk Silva’s campaign. The state’s campaign finance laws would have precluded Disney from making a five-figure contribution directly to Quirk-Silva.

Representatives for Disney and the OC Democratic Party deny that there was any coordination of campaign contributions for Quirk-Silva’s benefit.

“There was in no way any coordination regarding this contribution and to my knowledge Disney did not support or endorse Sharon Quirk-Silva’s race for Assembly,” said Nick Anas, executive director of the Democratic Party of Orange County. “Disney Worldwide Services was a platinum sponsor for the 2012 Annual Truman Awards Dinner on Monday, September 17th, in which they agreed to a Platinum sponsorship of $10,000, which is detailed in our program book.”

A Disney spokeswoman corroborated the OC Democratic Party’s version of events— that the funds were for an event more than a month earlier. Anas added that the county party also contributed $10,000 on October 19 to the Yes on Measure BB campaign in Irvine, which passed and allowed city funds to go toward schools. And Anas said that on the same day the party also kicked in $10,000 to the campaign opposing Measure V in Costa Mesa. Measure V would have made the city a Charter City, allowing more leeway in limiting union power. Measure V lost. However, he confirmed, “No funds were earmarked.”

A.E.G. Had Financial Incentive to Defeat Libertarian Norby

More campaign finance irregularities can be found with a Los Angeles development group’s contributions to two Democrat central committees.

Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc., the Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment mogul that owns the Staples Center, contributed $25,000 to the Los Angeles County Democratic Party on October 18. Four days later, on October 22, the Los Angeles party sent a check for the same amount, $25,000, to Quirk-Silva’s campaign.

A.E.G. wasn’t limited to one county party committee contribution. On October 19, the day after it sent $25,000 to the L.A. County Democrat Party, the party sent the same amount, $25,000, to the Kern County Democratic Central Committee. On the same day, the Kern County party committee sent $15,000 to Quirk-Silva in Orange County.

“There was no coordination,” claimed Candi Easter, the chair of the Kern County Democratic Central Committee. “We did not even know of the AEG contribution until after we had approved the donation to the Quirk-Silva Committee.”

Why would a Los Angeles-based company contribute thousands of dollars to party committees in the Central Valley and Los Angeles, which would in turn benefit an Orange County candidate? The answer may be found with redevelopment reform.

Norby, Quirk-Silva’s libertarian-minded opponent, has been a vocal critic of redevelopment agencies, which commonly benefit wealthy development companies at the expense of taxpayers and small businesses. In 2011, Norby was one of only a handful of state legislators to oppose SB 292, which was hurried through in the final days of the legislative year. The legislation created a special process for reviewing environmental challenges to a privately financed Los Angeles stadium, a project that would financially benefit the Anschutz Entertainment Group.

Los Angeles County Democratic Party: A Reliable Campaign Conduit

The Los Angeles County Democrat Party proved to be a reliable conduit for special interest contributions. Within days of accepting $137,250 in campaign contributions from seven special interest groups, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party distributed $127,200, or 93 percent of these received contributions, to Quirk-Silva’s campaign.

On October 10, the L.A. County Probation Officers Union, AFSCME Local 685, contributed $10,000 to the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. One week later, the Los Angeles County central committee contributed $11,700 to Quirk-Silva’s campaign in Orange County.

On October 17, Aecom Technology Corporation, a Los Angeles-based technical support services firm that specializes in environmental services, contributed $10,000 to the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. The day prior, the party contributed the same amount, $10,000, to Quirk-Silva’s campaign.

On October 24, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen contributed $25,000 to the Los Angeles County Democrat Party. Five days later, on October 29, the party delivered $10,500 in campaign funds to Quirk-Silva.

On October 26, the CDF Firefighters, which represents the state’s 4,000 members of the state’s firefighter union, contributed $25,000 to the Los Angeles County Democrat Party. Three days later, on October 29, the party contributed $30,000 to Quirk-Silva’s campaign.

On October 31, the L.A. County Firefighters Local 1014 gave $25,000 to the LA County party, a contribution that was followed two days later by a $17,250 contribution from the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. On November 2, the Los Angeles Democratic Party sent a $40,000 check to Quirk-Silva’s campaign.

The incoming contribution from the carpenters’ union was filed on the same disclosure report as the outgoing funds to Quirk-Silva’s campaign. And 95 percent of the combined contributions from the firefighters and carpenters unions made their way to Quirk-Silva’s campaign via the Los Angeles Democratic Party committee.

State Candidates Funded Party Committees

In addition to financial transfers by special interest groups, state candidates provided cash infusions to both Quirk-Silva and Norby via party committees. In one instance, campaign funds were sent from one Orange County legislative candidate to Marin County and then back to a different Orange County candidate, all within seven days.

According to state campaign finance records, the Norby campaign accepted a $50,000 contribution from the California Republican Party on the same day that the party accepted a $50,000 contribution from state Senator Bill Emmerson’s campaign committee.

This mailer accused Norby of supporting big business.

That contribution mirrors a legislative transfer to the Quirk-Silva campaign.

On October 24, Orange County Assembly candidate Tom Daly contributed $32,500 to the Democratic Central Committee of Marin County. On October 26, the party funneled $15,000 back to Orange County for Quirk-Silva’s campaign.

The Quirk-Silva campaign believes that the transaction by the California Republican Party proves there were no financial irregularities in the race.

“It can’t be a ‘finance irregularity’ as you allege, if our opponent was receiving similar contributions,” Mills said.

Both the Daly and Emmerson contributions, unlike the other party central committee transfers, were not preceded by five-figure contributions from special interest groups. State law precludes legislative candidates from accepting such contributions.

However, another Marin County Democratic Party contribution raises questions.

The same day that O.C.’s Daly sent funds to Marin County Democrats, the United Domestic Workers of America, which is based more than 500 miles away in San Diego, sent a $25,000 contribution to the same committee. Once again, the Marin County party held the funds for less than a week before sending it back to Southern California. On October 31, the Marin County party sent $30,000 to Quirk-Silva.

Ironically, all of this special interest money helped fund negative attacks on Norby. The charge: Norby has “special interest donors.”

(Note: This article may be republished, provided it is attributed to the author, John Hrabe, with a link to its original url.)

Posted in 65th Assembly District, Democrat Central Committee, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 896 other followers