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Government and the Biggest Failures in Life

Posted by Walter Myers III on January 21, 2015

Occupy HomelessWhen I was a kid, I had an aunt who used to admonish me when I spoke without thinking that it is better to be quiet and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. It took me a while to take that to heart, so hopefully these days I have learned the truth of that long ago childhood teaching lesson. A few weeks ago one of my liberal Facebook “friends” posted a graphic created by the Occupy Wall Street movement criticizing the federal government for “millionaire representatives” cutting food stamps while homeless people froze to death on the streets of Washington, D.C. I don’t see the relationship between food stamps and dying on the street homeless, but then again my expectations of the cogency of Occupy movement communications are very low. Nonetheless, I want to address this charge because it is instructive to understand how liberal progressives think and to marvel that a group of people who are so devoid of responsibility have no problem criticizing others for what is their own responsibility.

Last I checked, Washington D.C. had shelters (church-sponsored or otherwise), private charities, a City Council, and of course members of the Occupy movement. But in the graphic, they didn’t call on any of these parties to do anything about helping the homeless in their own community. Obviously, the local community would have been the first line of support to provide shelter and food to the homeless, or at least could have contributed to shelters and private charities that provide these services. Where were these people? Next, the Washington D.C. City Council, which is made up of Democrats who supposedly care the most about “the little guy” could themselves have sponsored shelters for the homeless. It doesn’t appear they cared either that people were dying in the streets. And then we have the Occupy members. What were they doing in Washington, D.C. to help the homeless and the hungry? Well, I think we know what they were doing. Sitting in comfy pajamas in their parents’ basements mining liberal blogs for the latest “outrage” committed by Republicans in the U.S. Congress, instead of expending their energies in actually making a difference.

And this is where I come to the title of this blog about the biggest failures in life. The biggest failures in life (at least in my view) are those who feel they are taking the moral high ground by criticizing others for first, what is their own responsibility that they won’t accept, and second, what is not the responsibility of the party they’re criticizing in the first place. In this case, Occupy does not understand that charity is not the function of the federal government to begin with, yet it has for decades taken money away from the states that could be distributed far more effectively and efficiently at the local level. This practice is rife with bureaucracy and waste, and even worse, when they dole money back out to the states they shouldn’t have taken to begin with, they often use the threat of cutting off federal funds to coerce states into doing their bidding on some political matter. Despite that, if people are dying on the streets in Washington, D.C., it is still the local community and government officials that have utterly failed their own people since it is they who have full visibility into the point of need, unlike a far flung federal government. And that community includes the Occupy members who, instead of looking to themselves along with their community and local government, attempt to pass the blame off on a federal government that has no idea who is homeless or where they are on the streets of D.C.

To speak of this more generally, the responsibility to feed the hungry and provide shelter to the homeless is first the family, then the church or private charities, then local/county government. The state level would be the natural next level, but it is my belief that if charity has to bubble up to the state level, then the local community has failed at the most basic level of society. This view is based on the Catholic principle of subsidiarity that holds nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization that can be done just as well by a smaller and simple organization. So even though I’m particularly critical of the Occupy movement in this post, it also sheds the light on the rest of us who have failed if we expect anyone other than ourselves in the local community to meet the needs of those truly in need. Personally, a good percentage of my charitable contributions go to the Orange County Rescue Mission, which among other free health services provides transitional housing and job training to the homeless, helping them to get back on their feet and become productive, self-sufficient citizens without government welfare programs. So I ask the Occupy movement to stop complaining about what politicians are doing and act at the local level wherever they may live, and get all of their other progressive liberal friends who complain about “income inequality” to accept responsibility and follow suit. As for those of us of a conservative bent, we know better and have no excuse for not volunteering or supporting churches and charities in our own communities monetarily.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

Julie Collier: Parents need more school choice

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 18, 2015

Last fall when I ran for CUSD’s Board of Trustees, my friend Julie Collier also ran for the Board (in another Trustee area). In getting to know Julie more I discovered a wonderful fellow citizen who is a true champion of education for children and their parents.

The OC Register has published an insightful column by Julie about school choice – how parents can and should be able to help their child leave behind a failing school – failing to give a child the excellent education he / she deserves. I highly recommend Julie’s excellent column to you. It is not behind the Register’s pay wall.

Here is the link: Parents Need More School Choice

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 14, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

The two announced candidates are both Republicans:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 7, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live from the 1st Supervisorial District Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 6, 2015

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

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

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

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

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It’s standing room only tonight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Do is not present.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FORUM ENDS.

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

CARB’s Mary Nichols Is No ‘Rock Star’ Among CA Bureaucrats – Part ll by Flashreport’s Katy Grimes

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 2, 2015

Katy Grimes is one of my favorite bloggers / correspondent.  Partly because Katy pursues an important article with passion and doggedly searches out facts.  She follows the facts to wherever they lead and is not afraid to ask those under her microscope tough questions.  Most of the time she writes about government officials or programs that waste our tax dollars or abuse their power.  In California, Katy has a truly target rich environment!

One of the most powerful bureaucrats in California today is Mary Nichols, California’s Air Resources Board Chairwoman.  The CARB is charged with the implementation of California’s Cap and Trade (also known as Cap and Tax) program to allegedly reduce green house gas emissions under AB32.  As Katy lays out in great detail, Ms. Nichols, a lifelong career bureaucrat, has embraced this role with gusto and we, the citizens of California, are and will be paying the price for that gusto in the years to come.

Did you notice that gas prices just jumped .10 to .20 per gallon in the last few days?  Maybe not because gas prices have been dropping like a rock lately.  But the drop is due to market forces like Saudi Arabia keeping oil production high.  That can change at any moment.  But what was the latest jump in California – a new Cap and Trade tax on gasoline ordered by CARB.  And this is only the beginning.

Therefore it is vital that Californians know and understand the bureaucrats who run programs like this one and I highly recommend you spend a few minutes and read Katy Grimes’ articles (the link is to Part II just published Jan. 2nd – there is a link to Part I there). The link to Katy’s article is CARB’s Mary Nichols. 

I also highly recommend you get a free subscription to Jon Fleischman’s Flashreport at http://www.flashreport.org/.

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Eric Woolery to Be Sworn in as OC Auditor-Controller January 5 in Orange Circle

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on December 31, 2014

This came over the wire from Auditor-Controller-Elect Eric Woolery’s shop earlier this month…


ERIC WOOLERY BECOMES ELECTED COUNTY AUDITOR-CONTROLLER JANUARY 5
Public Invited to Morning Event at the Fountain in the Orange Circle

Orange County Auditor-Controller-elect Eric Woolery will take the oath of office at 8:30 a.m. on Monday January 5, 2015 in the Orange Circle. Woolery is Orange County’s first elected Auditor-Controller since David Sundstrom resigned more than two years ago and the county’s fourth elected Auditor-Controller since the office was established in 1959. He is only the second CSUF graduate to hold countywide elected office in Orange County.

The public may attend the ceremony officiated by Orange City Council Mayor Pro Tem Fred Whitaker. There will be a short reception at Watson’s Drug Store located just a few steps away at 116 E. Chapman Avenue.

County officials are typically sworn in at ceremonies in Santa Ana, but in a nod to his hometown Woolery chose the historic circle in Orange Town Center. “The circle is a special place for me and my family,” said Woolery, who was Orange Treasurer until he recently resigned to take his new position. “I proposed to my wife there, I’ve lived in Orange for 30 years and am raising my family in Orange so I want to begin my tenure as Auditor-Controller in this place that represents both my roots and my aspirations.

Woolery earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Cal State University Fullerton with an emphasis in accounting. After graduation, he worked at Ernst & Young, one of the country’s top “Big 4” accounting firms, until earning his California Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in 1992.

For ten years, he owned a CPA firm with two locations specializing in entrepreneurs. He has always had a strong interest in public policy and has held elected office before. From 1996 to 2000, he served as Fourth District Representative to the Orange County Board of Education. More recently, he was the treasurer of the City of Orange. In the seven years prior to his election, Eric was the Deputy Director of Administration for the Riverside County District Attorney’s office. His duties included overseeing a staff of nearly 750 and managing the department’s $100 million budget.

As the County’s Auditor-Controller, Eric will be the county’s chief accounting officer working on behalf of the taxpayers to oversee how each county department receives and spends tax dollars. Since he is an independently elected official, he reports only to the taxpayers. However, his office provides a critical role in county governance by providing both the County Supervisors and citizens with independent financial analysis in order to support sound policy decisions.

A long time Orange County resident, Eric graduated from Orange Lutheran High School. He resides in Orange with his wife Lisa and two young children.

# # #

Posted in Orange, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 29, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1st District Special Election: Do Wins Ballot Order Lottery, Candidate Statements, & Who is Chuyen Van Nguyen?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 18, 2014

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

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

The Secretary of State conducted the ballot order lottery on Tuesday and transmitted the results to the Registrar of Voters, and Andrew Do was the big winner, so here’s how each candidate will appear on the January 27, 2015, ballot (assuming their designations aren’t challenged in court by December 26):

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

Most OC Political readers are familiar with Do, Correa, Phan, and even Morfin-Moreno, but most have expressed little knowledge of Nguyen.  To fill everyone in, let’s take a closer look at each candidate:

  • Andrew Do (R-Westminster), 51 years old

    Do is a partner in a law firm who was a deputy district attorney for eight years and who served as Chief of Staff to former Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who vacated this Supervisor’s seat to become a California State Senator. As an attorney, he has served as President of the Asian Bar Association of California and the Vietnamese-American Bar Association of Southern California.  He is a former adjunct professor at Cal State Fullerton and judge pro tem in the old Orange County Municipal Court.  Fleeing Vietnam as a child, Do grew up in the First Supervisorial District, attending Junior High and High School in Garden Grove.  He is a graduate of Santa Ana College, UC Davis, and UC Hastings.

    Do was elected to the Garden Grove City Council in 2008 and served for three years. (He now lives in Westminster.)

    Do’s candidacy for Supervisor is endorsed by the Republican Party of Orange County, former Supervisors/current Senators Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates, Supervisor-Elect Michelle Steel, Congressmen Ed Royce and Dana Rohrabacher, Congresswoman-Elect Mimi Walters, and Assembly Members Young Kim, Travis Allen, Matt Harper, and Don Wagner.

  • Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), 56 years old (though he will turn 57 on January 24)

    Spending the majority of his career in elective office, Correa was an investment banker and real estate broker before entering the State Assembly.  He is a licensed attorney, though opted to go the banking and real estate route before entering politics.  A native Californian, Correa grew up in the Fourth Supervisorial District, attending K-12 in Anaheim.  He is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton and UCLA.

    After narrowly losing a 1996 Assembly bid by 93 votes, Correa became a State Assemblyman in 1998, termed out in 2004, and then held this same Supervisor’s seat from 2005-2006.  He resigned from the Board of Supervisors in 2006 to enter the State Senate, where he stayed until terming out last month.  His resignation from the Board caused a February 2007 special election, only the second special election for Supervisor in Orange County history.  Janet Nguyen won that special election to fill his old Supervisorial seat and now holds his old Senate seat.

    Correa’s candidacy for Supervisor is endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County, Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens, District Attorney-Public Administrator Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County Labor Federation (i.e. association of unions), the Orange County Employees Association (i.e. general public employee union), the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association (i.e. the fire union), and the Orange County Business Council.

  • Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), 40 years old (though he will turn 41 on January 14)

    Phan has been a deputy district attorney for two years.  He served on active duty in the United States Navy as a Judge Advocate General (anyone remember the TV show JAG?) from 2001-2008.  He was a JAG defense attorney from 2001-2003, JAG prosecutor from 2003-2005, and served generally as a JAG attorney from 2005-2008.  He is currently a lieutenant commander in the Navy reserve.  Fleeing Vietnam as a child, Phan grew up in Indiana and has lived in Orange County for six years.  He is a graduate of Indiana University and Southern Illinois University.

    Phan was elected to the Garden Grove City Council two years ago.  Ironically, Phan holds the exact same seat that Do held for three years.

  • Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), 65 years old

    Nguyen is currently an anchor on VNA-TV (Vietnam America Television), Channel 57.3.  He has previously been an aircraft parts manufacturing supervisor, marketing consultant, newspaper publisher (Tieng-Chuong), and staffer for former State Senator Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana).  He was a pilot in the South Vietnamese Air Force from 1970-1975 and was a Lieutenant when Saigon fell.  Politically, he was active in various Vietnamese organizations in the early 1990s.  After fleeing Vietnam, Nguyen settled in Texas before eventually moving to Westminster.

    In 1998, Nguyen ran for Mayor of Westminster and came in fourth out of five candidates (Tony Lam won his third election to the City Council in that same election); Mayor Frank Fry was re-elected, beating Mayor Pro Tem Joy Neugebauer by 3.5%.  (He now lives in Garden Grove.)  Considering his poor finish in 1998 when he held greater name ID than he does now and considering he didn’t even have the $2500 to get a ballot statement, he is expected to only play spoiler in this election by splitting the Vietnamese vote.

  • Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana), 57 years old

    Morfin-Moreno is currently an office specialist with the Orange County Health Care Agency.  Politically, she is best known as an anti-illegal immigration activist and Minuteman.  A former Central Committee member, she lost her Central Committee bids in both 2010 and 2012 (Central Committee members who were elected in 2012 now serve four-year terms, rather than two-year terms due to change in the California Elections Code, so the next Central Committee election is in 2016).  A native Californian, Morfin-Moreno grew up in the First Supervisorial District, attending elementary, junior high, and high school in Santa Ana.

    Morfin-Moreno previously ran for Mayor of Santa Ana in 2012 (coming in fourth out of six candidates), this same Supervisor’s seat in the 2007 special election (coming in ninth out of ten candidates after dropping out of the race), the State Senate in 2006 (losing the primary to Lynn Daucher, who then loss the general election to Correa), the Santa Ana Unified School District in 2002 (missing a seat by 486 votes) and in 2000 (coming in seventh of nine candidates).

Do, Correa, and Phan got ballot statements while Nguyen and Morfin-Moreno did not.

Here’s Do’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

At the urging of many Orange County leaders, I decided to run for County Supervisor. My experience includes:

Orange County Judge Pro Tem; Deputy District Attorney; City Councilman; Small Business Owner; Orange County Supervisor’s Chief of Staff.

As a Deputy District Attorney, I spent eight years fighting to make our community safe, prosecuting violent criminals and sex offenders.

As your Supervisor, I will fight hard for:

Local businesses and job creation, higher educational standards, health care programs, less waste in government, strong public safety, and anti-gang programs. I oppose tax increases.

Serving as Chief of Staff to California State Senator and Supervisor Janet Nguyen gives me valuable experience and an in-depth understanding of issues facing our area. Senator Nguyen urged
me to run for Supervisor.

I have deep family roots in central Orange County, having attended Jordan Jr. High, Bolsa Grande High School and Santa Ana College. I’m a graduate of the University of California, Hastings School of Law.

U.S Representatives Ed Royce and Mimi Walters, Senators Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates, Assembly members Young Kim and Matt Harper and Supervisor Michelle Steel have all endorsed me and I would be honored to receive your vote. Please visit www.AndrewDo2015.com. Thank you.

Here’s Correa’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

It’s been an honor to work for you as your State Senator. Now, I respectfully ask for your support as your County Supervisor.

In the Legislature, my priorities have been jobs, public safety and public education. My work has earned me endorsements from respected leaders and organizations, including:

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
Orange County Professional Firefighters Association
Orange County Business Council

I helped cut taxes on small businesses and stopped unnecessary regulations. As a result of my work, I’ve been honored by the Orange County Taxpayers Association and named the California Small Business Association’s “Legislator of the Year.”

I’ve made our schools better and safer. I brought more education money and local control back to Orange County. I also co-wrote the new law to protect our children from heinous crimes. That’s why the California School Boards Association made me their “Legislator of the Year”.

It’s been an honor to represent you during these difficult economic times. Now, I’d like to bring my understanding of our communities to work for you as County Supervisor.

No one will work harder. I respectfully ask for your vote.

For more information please visit: www.loucorrea.com

Here’s Phan’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

Embracing our diversity. Uniting our community. Serving our people!

As a former refugee, I am blessed to live the American Dream! I have served our country with honor and pride as a Navy officer for over 14 years. I am currently serving our community as an Orange County Deputy District Attorney and a Garden Grove City Councilmember. I humbly ask for your support to become your 1st
District Orange County Supervisor.

Military experience and public service taught me that our strength lies in our diversity. Orange County is truly a melting pot of culture, background, and ethnicity. As Supervisor, I will work hard to attract businesses to our District, increase employment, provide greater safety for our community, and protect our resources.

Over many months, I have walked and met many of our District’s residents. I have listened, learned, and shared many ideas with our residents so that I will be well-equipped and prepared to serve our County to the best of my ability.

Please learn about my candidacy at www.votechrisphan.com. I would be honored to have your vote and support. Together, we will ensure a brighter future for our County and forge a better tomorrow for our families. Thank you!

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: Senator Janet Nguyen and candidate Chuyen Van Nguyen are not related to each other, and neither of them are related to me.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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