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We Are Back!!! Cash For Votes in LA

Posted by Chris Emami on August 25, 2014

It is with much appreciation that I announce to our readers that we are officially back from our candidate filing period hiatus. Due to some of our new partnerships that we have made a lot of candidates are now working with us for this November election especially after the success we had in June with Linda Lindholm, Eric Woolery, Tony Rackauckas, Ira Glasky, Robert Ming, etc… Now that candidate filing has closed we will have the time to start updating the blog more frequently.

voted

One item that I just noticed while catching up on news was the story of the city Ethics Commission in Los Angeles recommending a lottery in which $1,000 cash prizes will be offered to people as an incentive for voting. This comes as a result of extremely low voter turnout in the last city council election. I find this to be an absolutely horrendous idea with a number of potential negative results. The biggest problem with this is the potential for more uninformed voters turning out simply to earn a shot at $1,000 without researching the candidates.

If LA really wants to increase voter turnout they can do so with a couple of simple fixes:

1) Update who is on the active voter rolls. Orange County had their voter roll shrink by 17% this last year during a large-scale update. By shrinking the active voter rolls it will give a more accurate picture of voter turnout.

2) Consolidate the election with the Gubernatorial and Presidential elections. By having an election in an odd year fewer people will be motivated to turn out thus driving down voter turnout. If the elections are consolidated with the June Primary and November General Election in even years, turnout will see an increase.

I find voting to be a civic duty and am appalled by the idea of offering cash prizes to get people out to vote. One final gripe I have is about why the LA Ethics Commission has anything to say about this. What does voter turnout have to do with ethics?

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

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements Round 1

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 18, 2014

We’re live from OC GOP Central Committee for the first round of endorsements for the November General Election.

As is normal for an endorsements meeting, a slew of new alternates are being sworn in (though several represent new ex officio members as this is the first meeting since the Secretary of State certified nominees for the November election).

There are so many elected officials and candidates present that I will not even attempt to list them all.

Pete Peterson, the Republican nominee for Secretary of State, addresses the Central Committee.

Ron Nehring, the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, addresses the Central Committee.

The endorsements agenda consists of:
1. Jim Righeimer – Costa Mesa
2. Lee Ramos – Costa Mesa
3. Yes on Charter – Costa Mesa (Measure O)
4. Peggy Huang – Yorba Linda (November Election)
5. Mark McCurdy – Fountain Valley
6. Tyler Diep – Westminster
7. Jeff Lalloway – Irvine
8. Steven Choi – Irvine Mayor
9. Lynn Schott – Irvine
10. Tom Lindsey – Yorba Linda
11. Tom Tait – Anaheim Mayor
12. Dave Harrington – Aliso Viejo
13. Derek Reeve – San Juan Capistrano
14. Pam Patterson – San Juan Capistrano
15. Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita
16. Robert Ming – Orange County Supervisor, 5th District
17. Craig Alexander – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4
18. Fred Whitaker – Orange
19. Ray Grangoff – Orange
20. Steve Sheldon – Orange County Water District, Division 5
21. Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
22. Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
23. David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
24. William Hinz – Lowell Joint School District
25. John Novak – Savanna School District
26. Phil Yarbrough – Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 6
27. Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
28. Measure E – County Contracting with FPPC (Yes)
29. Measure G – Supervisorial Vacancy (Yes)
30. Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond (No)
31. Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond (No)
32. Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond (No)
33. Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond (No)
34. Measure AA – Santa Ana Utility Tax (No)
35. Measure JJ – Yorba Linda Pension & Healthcare Elimination (Yes)
36. Measure W – Irvine Great Park Transparency (Yes)
37. Measure V – Irvine Term Limits (Yes)
38. Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax (No)
39. Julie Collier – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
40. Ellen Addonizio – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 6
41. Brett Barbre – Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
42. Diane Dixon – Newport Beach
43. Yorba Linda Recall (No)
44. Measure Y – Newport Beach General Plan Update (Yes)
45. Dave Ellis – Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 5
46. Scott Voigts – Lake Forest
47. Erik Peterson – Huntington Beach
48. Lynn Semeta – Huntington Beach
49. Mike Posey – Huntington Beach

26 of the 49 items were passed as a consent calendar, except the following 23 people/measures who were pulled for discussion or for referral to the Endorsements Committee:
2. Lee Ramos – Costa Mesa
4. Peggy Huang – Yorba Linda
10. Tom Lindsey – Yorba Linda
11. Tom Tait – Anaheim Mayor
15. Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita
16. Robert Ming – Orange County Supervisor, 5th District
18. Fred Whitaker – Orange
19. Ray Grangoff – Orange
21. Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
22. Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
23. David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
24. William Hinz – Lowell Joint School District
25. John Novak – Savanna School District
27. Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
30. Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond (No)
31. Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond (No)
32. Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond (No)
33. Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond (No)
38. Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax (No)
43. Yorba Linda Recall (No)
47. Erik Peterson – Huntington Beach
48. Lyn Semeta – Huntington Beach
49. Mike Posey – Huntington Beach

8:02 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh reveals more than $10,000 in union contributions for Lucille Kring despite her signing the nonunion pledge. He makes a scathing speech blasting Kring for breaking her word. If she disagrees with the pledge, she shouldn’t have signed it, Baugh says. Kring attempts to protest, but cannot speak as a nonmember of the Central Committee. Baugh entertains a motion from Tim Whitacre to endorse Tom Tait for Mayor of Anaheim.

TJ Fuentes speaks in favor of Tait. He speaks of Tait’s servant leadership, Tait’s grassroots activism and efforts to support the Republican Party. Fuentes speaks of Tait standing by his principles of lower taxes, limited government, kindness, and transparency. Fuentes notes Tait is the OCGOP’s 2013 Local Elected Official of the Year.

Alexandria Coronado says the Tait of the past is not the Tait of today. She says he’s given money to Jordan Brandman and Jose F. Moreno. She says Tait is working with unions and was a speaker at a Democratic Party-sponsored event.

By a voice vote:

TAIT ENDORSED.

Fred Whitaker moves the endorsement of Lee Ramos for Costa Mesa City Council. He says Ramos will help unify the city. He says Ramos is the leading conservative candidate for the open seat.

Baugh asks how much Ramos has raised, how much his opponents have raised, and if he has endorsements from Righeimer, Mensinger, and Monahan.

Ramos says he’s raised about $40,000 while the nearest opponent had $9,100. Ramos does have the endorsements.

Desare Ferraro urges delaying this to allow Tony Capitelli to be considered for endorsement.

By voice vote:

RAMOS ENDORSED

One person pulled the endorsements in Huntington Beach, but there is little debate on the Huntington Beach candidates.

PETERSON ENDORSED

SEMETA ENDORSED

POSEY ENDORSED

There is no debate on Peggy Huang for Yorba Linda City Council.

HUANG ENDORSED

Desare Ferraro objects to the endorsement of Tom Lindsey for the November General Election. She says it would be divisive with the recall going on.

Brenda McCune notes she ran against Tom Lindsey in 2010, but she supports his endorsement now. She calls the recall a power grab. She calls Lindsey an independent mind and listener. She calls him a good Republican and family man.

Baron Night proposes a substitute motion to go to Endorsements Committee. He cites the recall.

Brett Barbre notes the recall is October 7 and general election is November 4. He notes the recall costs $300,000. He says Lindsey is a good Republican.

Night’s substitute motion gets 17 votes. There are far more votes against Night’s substitute motion.

A debate of parliamentary procedure ensues.

By a standing vote, there are 39 votes to endorse Lindsey. 37 were needed.

LINDSEY ENDORSED.

Brett Barbre of Yorba Linda moves to endorse against the recall. Scott Peotter of Newport Beach seconds.

Baron Night of Buena Park offers a substitute motion to send it to Endorsements Committee. Tim Whitacre of Santa Ana seconds.

Night argues the recall is a local issue.

Brenda McCune of Yorba Linda says the people of Yorba Linda want to hear from the party because these issues have gone on for quite some time in Yorba Linda.

Scott Baugh speaks of becoming an Assemblyman in the Doris Allen recall. He warns of recalls against Jeff Lalloway, Jim Righeimer, and Deborah Pauly. He warns against recalls for anything other than malfeasance or betrayal of Republican principles.

Night withdraws his substitute motion.

Peotter notes that Young and Lindsey are following the law and the will of the people. He blasts NIMBYs for launching the recall and says that removing Young and Lindsey should be in a general election, not a recall.

Whitacre of Santa Ana helped collect recall signatures in Yorba Linda. He claims that Young and Lindsey received PAC contributions. He claims Mark Schwing and Nancy Rikel are conservatives.

Barbre of Yorba Linda says it seems the longer you live in Yorba Linda the more credibility you have. He says he’s lived there for 45 years. He says the recall is the biggest waste of money he’s ever seen. He notes the recall supporters were the same people who opposed making Imperial Highway a city road. He notes there is ballot box zoning in Yorba Linda. He notes that Young and Lindsey voted for densities 35% below the cap imposed by voters.

Nancy Rikel attacks Young, Lindsey, and Hernandez. She criticizes the Central Committee for endorsing Lindsey. She blasts Young and Lindsey for supporting the Brea Police contract with Yorba Linda. Disruptive audience members who appear to have been brought by Rikel are cheering for Rikel. Rikel complains that the recall cost more because opponents tried to stand at supermarkets to oppose the recall.

Baugh asks Rikel if she’s actually arguing that the taxpayer cost of the recall went up because people opposed the recall. She admits she meant her side’s campaign contribution dollars.

Peggy Huang notes that unions spent $80,000 in the 2012 Yorba Linda election. She notes Rikel lost in 2012 and is running in the recall.

Dennis White recaps the Brea Police Department versus Orange County Sheriff’s Department contract debate in Yorba Linda. Rikel’s disruptive audience members applaud again.

By a voice vote:
ENDORSEMENT FOR “NO” ON THE YORBA LINDA RECALL

By motion of Tony Beall and seconded by Jennifer Beall, the Central Committee votes to send:
JESSE PETRILLA TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

Bill Dunlap speaks about Robert Ming being a public servant who is a state leader.

Bill Christiansen speaks on behalf of Darrell Issa that there are two good Republicans running for Fifth District Supervisor.

Baron Night says Lisa Bartlett failed to ask for the endorsement in the general though she did ask for the endorsement in the primary. He calls Ming an active supporter of other Republicans, a conservative, and a successful Councilman.

Steve Nagel speaks on behalf of Lisa Bartlett. He has served with her on various regional committees. He says she is a hard worker and has been a strong Republican in Dana Point and statewide. He says both Ming and Bartlett are good Republicans. He says both applied for the endorsement in the primary and that should stand.

By a voice vote:
MING ENDORSED

Fred Whitaker notes his long term service to the party. He states he is willing to compare his conservative record against anyone else’s. He notes he led the successful effort to eliminate Council compensation. He notes that Orange unions are paying their employee contributions without raises, the only city in the County with this accomplishment.

Deborah Pauly points to Whitaker’s $1,000 campaign contribuition to Democrat Tita Smith for Mayor of Orange. She points to Whitaker’s front yard included a sign in support of Smith.

By a voice vote:
WHITAKER ENDORSED

With no debate:
GRANGOFF ENDORSED

A whole lot of people move to send:
SURRIDGE TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE
LEDESMA TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

Alexandria Coronado moves to send:
YANG TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

With little debate since he’s unopposed on the ballot:
HINZ ENDORSED

No one makes a motion on Novak.

Mark Bucher moves to oppose Measures H, I, J, and K, with a second by Deborah Pauly.

Fred Whitaker makes a substitute motion to send all of them to Endorsements Committee, with a second by Baron Night.

Whitaker says four conservative school board members voted for Measure K. He says he doesn’t know anything about the other three measures. He wants the Endorsements Committee to vet them.

Bucher says it’s a simple question of whether the Republican Party stands for or against higher taxes.

There are 24 votes to send the four measures to Endorsements Committee. There are 22 votes against sending the four measures to Endorsements Committee.

MEASURES H, I, J, AND K TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

David Shawver speaks in favor of Measure GG. He says the City of Stanton cut $9 million, have 26 employees left, cut spending on public safety. He says the Register said that Stanton has done a good job. Shawver says only three people have opposed this and they’re not Stanton residents.

Mark Bucher says Measure GG is a sales tax for public employees. He says that there are alternatives to higher taxes. If the Republican Party does not oppose higher taxes, the party should fold its tent and go home. Bucher says that sending this to Endorsements Committee will simply result in this coming back to Central Committee.

Shawver attacks Wayne Lindholm. Shawver says the City has cut 6 out of 20 officers. He says they’ve cut everything they can. He encourages people to look at his books. He claims only outsiders oppose this tax and that Stanton voters should decide.

Jon Fleischman notes Diane Harkey opposes this tax. Fleischman agrees with Bucher that approving this tax hike in Stanton will set a precedent where other cities will turn to higher taxes rather than reducing public employee salaries.

By a voice vote:
ENDORSEMENT FOR “NO” ON MEASURE GG

Round 1 of endorsements are complete. Round 2 will be considered in September.

Mary Young thanks everyone who volunteered for the Party at the OC Fair. There’s also a presentation for the Volunteer of the Month.

Mark Bucher says the bills are all paid. Baugh jokingly disputes that.

TJ Fuentes welcomes the new ex officio members and reminds them to pay their $25 dues.

Captain Emily Sanford, USN (Ret.) thanks the Party members for donations of goods to the troops. She encourages more donations, particularly those of the dental variety.

CENTRAL COMMITTEE ADJOURNS AT 9:23 PM.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim Union High School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, Lowell Joint School District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, North Orange County Community College District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Republican Central Committee, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin Unified School District, Westminster, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

O.C. Senate Candidate Jose Solorio Voted Illegally To Give Construction Contract To His Political Donors

Posted by Dave Everett on August 18, 2014

Jose Solorio Plans On Giving Away $29 Million Dollars of Santa Ana College Funds To Special Interests This Monday (3/24/2014)! This money should go to new buildings and improving conditions for our students, not to pay off Jose Solorio’s political donors. Worse yet, this special interest deal discriminates against over 80% of local construction workers in favor of Big Labor bosses and union companies from Los Angeles.

Jose Solorio Voted To Give Away $29 Million Dollars of Santa Ana College Funds To Special Interests! This money should have gone to new buildings and improving conditions for our students, not to pay off Jose Solorio’s political donors. Worse yet, this special interest deal discriminates against over 80% of local construction workers in favor of Big Labor bosses and union companies from Los Angeles.

…In the recent vote to limit the construction at Santa Ana College with one of these forced union agreements, Orange County State Senate candidate Jose Solorio voted illegally to give construction contract to his political donors.

Because of the two illegal votes that began and finalized this forced union agreement (or Project Labor Agreement; PLA) have now come to light, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southern California will be submitting a letter to the Rancho Santiago Community College Board of Trustees today (August 18, 2014) asking them to invalidate the forced union agreement on the nearly $200 million dollar Measure Q bond passed by voters in November 2012. ABC So-Cal will request that the RSCCD Trustees open the bidding up to everyone in the free market, including the 84% of California construction workers who choose not to be in a union. This will ensure that the bidding is legal, first of all, but also will allow more local Santa Ana residents to work on the project.

As you may know, political contributions are exempt from the 1974 Political Reform Act, but gifts are not. If there was a gift of $250.00 or more in the last 12 months that was reported, usually on form 700, then that would exempt Jose Solorio from voting on the PLA due to a conflict of interest.

Solorio not only took a gift over the legal limit within 12 month prior to voting to begin the PLA negotiations, he took another gift over the legal limit just two months after the final PLA vote. Both entities that he took gifts from were Big Labor unions that would directly benefit from the PLA. If you have any doubt about their direct benefit, just scroll to the last page and look at the list of union bosses that are to sign the forced union agreement…

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

Posted in 34th Senate District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Costa Mesa: Lee Ramos Raises More Than All Non-Incumbent Candidates Combined

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 18, 2014

This just came across the wire from Lee Ramos for Costa Mesa City Council 2014:

Lee Ramos Raises More Than All Non-Incumbent Candidates Combined

Has More than Double Cash on Hand of Non-Incumbent Candidates Combined

(Costa Mesa, CA) – Campaign finance reports show Lee Ramos far outpacing all other non-incumbents combined in the race to replace termed-out Costa Mesa City Council Member Wendy Leece.  Ramos raised more than all non-incumbent candidates combined.  The majority of money Ramos raised for his campaign has come from Costa Mesa donors.

Having already walked to 75% of the homes in Costa Mesa, the Ramos campaign juggernaut is firmly ahead of all other non-incumbents with both more dollars raised and more homes walked.

“I am honored by the outpouring of support from throughout Costa Mesa, as I’ve met thousands of residents personally walking to their homes,” Ramos said. “I am humbled that so many Costa Mesa donors have contributed to my effort to make our hometown an even better place to live.”

Subtracting out loans, Ramos has double the cash on hand of all other non-incumbent candidates combined.  With loans included, Ramos has triple the cash on hand of all other non-incumbents combined.

Of all Costa Mesa candidates in the November elections, only incumbent Mayor Jim Righeimer has outraised Ramos.  Subtracting out loans, however, shows Ramos has more cash on hand than even Mayor Righeimer.  Mayor Righeimer is running for re-election while Ramos is seeking the seat held by termed-out Council Member Wendy Leece.

The clear front-runner for Leece’s seat, Ramos is endorsed by:

  • U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
  • California Board of Equalization Vice Chair Michelle Steel
  • Ambassador George Argyros (Ret.)
  • Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer
  • Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger
  • Costa Mesa Council Member and former Mayor Gary Monahan
  • Former Costa Mesa Mayor Jack Hammett
  • Mesa Water District President James Fisler
  • Mesa Water District Vice President Shawn Dewane
  • Mesa Water District Director Ethan Temianka
  • Entire Costa Mesa Planning Commission
  • Majority of Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission

(partial list)

A resident of Costa Mesa since the age of four, Lee Ramos serves on two Costa Mesa City committees.  Ramos and his wife raised their family in Costa Mesa, where he grew businesses, managed companies, and served as an educator.  Ramos is a well-respected community leader, having volunteered not only on city committees, but also for the Self-Help Interfaith Program, for the First United Methodist Church, and for the Estancia High School football team.

###

Paid for by Lee Ramos for City Council 2014, ID# 1361842.

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Celebrities, Veterans and suicide

Posted by Thomas Gordon on August 13, 2014

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TV, radio and water cooler chatter is non stop talk about the suicide of Robin Williams.

Anytime someone takes their own life, heartbroken onlookers often ask a simple question.

Why?

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States accounting for roughly 40,000 lives lost every year.

But while we all take to Facebook and Twitter to remember Robin Williams, we should never forget our Veterans.

Roughly 22 Veterans take their own lives every day. Studies show that of those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly half know someone who has attempted suicide.

If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, the National Suicide Prevention number is 1-800-273-8255.

Posted in California, National | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

AB2393 going to raise taxes/fees thanks to OC Elected’s

Posted by Thomas Gordon on August 12, 2014

In what can only be described as yet another ruthless tax grab by money hungry politicians, get ready to hand over more cash next time you register your automobile.

Local Elected’s who voted to further pick your pocket include Assembly member Sharon Quirk Silva and Senator Lou Correa.

It appears the “enhanced funding” will allegedly be used for fingerprint identification.

Read more HERE

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

One Race May Determine Whether Taxes Go Up By Billions In The U.S.’s Largest Economy

Posted by Thomas Gordon on August 8, 2014

Received via email:

The top prizes up for grabs in the 2014 mid-term elections are control of the U.S. Senate and 30 of the nation’s governorships, but of more immediate consequence to taxpayers in the most populous state in the union – California – is one single state legislative race that is likely to determine whether or not taxes will rise by billions in the world’s eighth largest economy.
A two-thirds vote is required to raise taxes and fees in California; meaning that if Republicans cannot win over a third of the seats in the Assembly and Senate this fall, they will have no ability to stop Democratic proposals to raise taxes. The only reason that California Democrats are temporarily without a supermajority in both chambers right now is due to the indictment of three Democratic state senators this year. Many of the Golden State’s top political and electoral experts say Democrats’ unchecked ability to raise taxes in 2015 and 2016 depends on one state legislative race in Orange County: California’s 34th state senate district.

“Even with California’s already inhospitable tax climate, the public employee unions desperately need higher taxes to keep their unsustainable pensions and bloated salaries afloat, and they can be expected to pump millions into this one state senate race to ensure that they can continue to advance their agenda at the expense of California taxpayers,” said Jon Fleischman, publisher of California’s Flash Report.

Fortunately for California Republicans, they have a strong candidate in Janet Nguyen, a current Orange County Supervisor, to go up against former Democratic Assemblyman Jose Solorio in this crucial race. Nguyen, who emigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam at age 5, describes herself as “a believer in limited government,” and says that if elected, she would spend taxpayer dollars the way she spends her own. That would certainly represent a stark contrast between both the status quo in Sacramento and her opponent’s legislative record.

During his time in the state Assembly, Solorio was a champion of higher taxes and the state’s high-speed rail project, which is shaping up to be a boondoggle of historic proportions. Solorio, like most California Democrats, also appears to be a candidate safely in the back pocket of the state teachers union. As the Orange County Register recently noted, “he disagrees with the recent landmark Vergara ruling that struck down California’s two-year tenure and seniority (“last-in-first-out”) rules for teachers, saying he would not change those rules.”

“Janet Nguyen’s candidacy for state senate is the most important political fight in 2014 for Californians,” said Brian Calle, Opinion Editor for the OC Register and Editor-in-Chief of CalWatchdog.com. “And if Nguyen is victorious,” added Calle, “Democrats would not have the necessary two-thirds majority in the Legislature to unilaterally raise taxes in the Golden State”

California Democrats have made no secret of their desire to further raise taxes. Many of their proposals have already been filed as legislation. Proposals have been put forth in the past two years that would impose statewide tax increases on soda, energy production, the profits of companies whose executive salaries exceed some arbitrary threshold set by Sacramento bureaucrats, and business property taxes, just to name a few. In fact, California lawmakers are using this time before their September recess to push a plastic bag ban and ten cent tax on paper shopping bags. This bill, which Solorio voted for while in the Assembly, would then take this tax on every paper bag, which will disproportionately harm lower income households, and then turn and give it to the likes of Safeway SWY +0.47%, Ralph’s, and other large corporations.

Republican ability to stop the tax increases is even more important given that the Golden State is already one of the most heavily-taxed jurisdictions in the U.S., and the world for that matter. According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, California has the fourth highest state and local tax burden in the nation, consuming 11.35 percent of the average California taxpayer’s income. Following passage of the personal and corporate income tax increases championed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012, California is now home to the nation’s highest top marginal income tax rate (13.3 percent) on California workers and small businesses. Extending those “temporary” personal and corporate taxes is something California Democrats could do all by themselves if they return to Sacramento in 2015 with a supermajority.

“We have three Democratic state senators that were either convicted or indicted this year alone. Some would say that such corruption is a symptom of the one-party rule that has existed in Sacramento for years,” said Fleischman. “This race,” said the OC Register’s Calle, “will decide whether there is balance of ideas in state government or one-party rule.”

Like George Wallace standing in front of the schoolhouse doors telling Yankees to butt out, many California politicians are fond of telling folks from around the country to mind their own business while the state runs off the rails. However, California’s economy is simply too large and too important to the nation’s economic health for the rest of the country not to be concerned. Keep an eye on California’s 34th state senate district this November. Depending on the outcome, it could cost taxpayers billions.

Read Patrick Gleason’s original story at Forbes HERE

Posted in 34th Senate District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Savanna School District: Where Elections Go to Die

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 7, 2014

Savanna School District Board Members Linda Weinstock, Carol Sundman, Chris Brown, John Shook, and Ed Erdtsieck

Savanna School District Board Members Linda Weinstock (R), Carol Sundman (R), Chris Brown (D), John Shook (D), and Edward Erdtsieck (NPP)

I was checking on candidate filing and saw that in the Savanna School District, only the three incumbents: Edward Erdtsieck (NPP), Linda Weinstock (R), and John Shook (D) have pulled (and filed) papers for the ballot.  No challengers have pulled papers.  Ordinarily, this is no big deal, as periodically, school districts and special districts will have unopposed incumbents.  Typically in cases of unopposed incumbents (or unopposed candidates), school district and special districts will cancel the election and declare the unopposed people elected.  However, I wondered how long it had been since the last election in the Savanna School District.

There has not been an election for school board members in the Savanna School District in 20 years!  Yes, that’s right: the last election for school board members in the Savanna School District was in 1994.  The median tenure for board member is currently 24 years:

  • Edward Erdtsieck (NPP), 78, of Buena Park: Board Member since 1986
  • Chris Brown (D), 65, of Buena Park: Board Member since 1988
  • Linda Weinstock (R), 57, of Buena Park: Board Member since 1990
  • Carol Sundman (R), 81, of Anaheim: Board Member since 1999
  • John Shook (D), 52, of Anaheim: Board Member since 2011, but his late predecessor, Patrick Ochoa, was on the Savanna Board for 43 years from 1968 until his death in 2011

I’m not one of the people who believes every incumbent must be opposed every election, but really, 20 years without an election?

Challengers have until 5 PM on Friday to file at the Registrar of Voters office at 1300 S. Grand Ave., Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92705. There are no nomination signatures required.  There is no filing fee to appear on the ballot, and it only costs $605 to for a candidate’s statement in the sample ballot sent to all active registered voters.

In 1994, Dana Adams unsuccessfully challenged Erdtsieck, Weinstock, and Ochoa.  There was no election in 1992.  You have to go back to 1990 to find the last time an incumbent lost a re-election bid in Savanna: Erdtsieck and Ochoa were re-elected while Weinstock defeated incumbent Linda McGoldrick.

The last election with more than one challenger was in 1988: Chris Brown and Gary Roger Fite defeated Gary Krieger.  A fourth candidate, Frances Ruble, was unsuccessful in her bid for the Board.  Incumbent Art Brown (D) retired (though he would return to politics in 1990 for the first of his six terms on the Buena Park City Council), and Chris Brown is Art Brown’s wife.

The Savanna School District consists of four elementary schools: Cerritos, Hansen, Holder, and Reid.  All of the district’s students go on to Anaheim Union High School District schools for junior high school and high school.  Most go on to Orangeview Jr. High and Western High, with a handful going on to Lexington Jr. High and Cypress High or Dale Jr. High and Magnolia High.  Ironically, the attendance area for AUHSD’s Savanna High School does not include any portion of the Savanna School District.

There are approximately 10,300 registered voters in the Savanna School District, with 4,500 in Anaheim, 3,500 in Stanton, 1,300 in Cypress, and 1,000 in Buena Park.

Surely there is someone among those 10,300 voters who is willing to challenge the entrenched incumbents.  With such a tiny district, a grassroots campaign could be successfully waged in this small place.  Voter turnout in November will be approximately 4,400 voters in 3,100 homes in 16 precincts.  A candidate could reach all of these voters by hitting just 36 homes per day if they start on Saturday.  Or walking one precinct per day, a candidate could cover the entire district in just over 2 weeks or 8 weekends (there’s 10 weekends left before the first absentee ballots arrive).  Even at half a precinct per day, a candidate could cover the entire district in just over a month.  Chances are that a challenger wouldn’t even have to cover the entire district to garner enough votes to win.  The incumbents have virtually no name ID since they a) are incumbents in an incredibly low-profile school district and b) haven’t been on the ballot (Shook) or haven’t been on the ballot in at least 24 years (Weinstock and Erdtsieck).

The Savanna School District was featured in the Grand Jury report, “School Bonds – The Untold Story of Assessed Values” issued in June.  The Grand Jury called for Savanna’s consolidation into another school district in “Orange County School Districts: Dire Financial Futures” also issued in June.  It passed two bonds: Measure N in November 2008 and Measure G in June 2012.  They are at 182% of the bonded indebtedness limit.  While four other school districts exceed 50% of their bonded indebtedness limits (Anaheim City, Cypress, Westminster, and Santa Ana Unified), Savanna is the only one in excess of 100%.  Savanna had to obtain a special waiver from the State Board of Education to exceed the bonded indebtedness limit.

The Savanna School District is roughly between Beach Blvd. and Holder St. and between Orange Ave. and Katella Ave., plus a small portion of the City of Stanton between Court Ave. and Beach Blvd. and between Pacific St. and Katella Ave.  Here’s the exact map from the Savanna School District:

Savanna School District Map

Savanna School District Map

 

Posted in Savanna School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Abortion: Yeah, Let’s go there.

Posted by Brenda McCune on August 1, 2014

No one wants to talk about it.  No one.  Well maybe a few people.

The people that are often considered the fringe.  Those who are willing to stand on the street corners or outside Planned Parenthood clinics with posters depicting bloody aborted fetuses.  The ones who believe that since deadly force can be a response to deadly force that it’s okay to bomb abortion clinics or kill doctors who perform them because in God’s eyes, abortion is murder.  These people believe they are licensed, usually through their relationship with Jesus Christ and knowledge of the holy scriptures, empowered to deliver this judgment and condemnation to those participating in the murder of unborn fetuses.  

Of course there’s another side.

There are the ones who wear tampons as earrings, proclaim their God given right to have an employer or educational institution pay for their birth control.  These are the same people who want to rant and rail against the “establishment” that is holding women back.  They opine that a woman’s body is her own and by all means, she should have “Access” (and by access they usually mean, without paying for) an abortion under any circumstances at anytime.  After all, it is “her” body and the fetus is merely a parasitic organism that can not exist without it’s host.  

Most human beings do not identify with either of these perspectives, yet these are the two schools of thought that dominate the debate.  Unless and until the reasonable humans in the midst of these competing ideals, start thinking and speaking, and voting, we will continue to have these viceral and pointless oppositions dominating our political landscape and we, yes all of us are the problem, WE will continue to experience recurring, abhorrent events and places like the Kermit Gosnell house of abortion horrors.  There is no one that thinks that was a good place or process for women or children and BOTH SIDES blame the other side for creating an environment surrounding abortion that such a place evolved into existence.  They are right, BOTH side are to blame for the development of such a place that atrocities could occur, but they miss the real point,  You and I, those of us in the middle, we are ALSO to blame. Our inaction, our silence, our failure to speak our mind, to donate to charitable organizations who help women with unplanned pregnancies and for voting without being informed.  

The business of abortion, contrary to what you might believe, is not just the business of performing abortions.  The big money is in the debate.  Most of the money, and there is a lot of it, raised by the “Pro-Life” movement, goes into political campaigns.  Not to unwed mothers, not to homeless or poor women or children, not to orphanages or adoption agencies, but to politicians.  There are watch groups who track the voting of politicians once they are elected with their Pro-Life platform and Pro-Life Money, to make sure they are holding the line on Pro-Life Issues.  Not to diminish the importance of knowing what politicians are doing after they are elected, and knowing their views before they are elected, but the magnitude of the money invested in this process has become largely disproportional to the actual effect.

It is utterly ineffective and I can assure you, that politicians, the funds and the litmus test have saved exactly zero babies.  The same could be said of the bloody poster boards.

Let’s refresh our memories.  Jesus said of the commandments, the “greatest of these is love” and that they will “know us by our love”.

While we on the right, rant and rave about smaller government and protect our rights to own guns and worship and travel and vote, we jump up and down and ask the government, manipulate and control and attempt to influence the government, to tell women what they can or can’t do with their bodies.  While at the same time we ignore the obvious answer.  If it really is our mandate from God, why are we not going to God with this?  Why do we continue to seek and pursue with great vim and vigor a legislative solution to an issue of morality?  Who is it that has lost it’s moral compass in this debate?  I beg for you to consider that we all have. 

As we strive, from whatever side you find yourself on, passionate that women much be protected and advocated for, or that the immorality of abortion must be stopped, it is essentially a value based judgment, and a value based decision when an individual is faced with it.

Outlawing abortion is not the answer.  Nor will it EVER, yes I said, EVER occur in this country.  Please feel free to learn something about Supreme Court Jurisprudence and let’s start fighting a good fight.

What if we start respecting the law as it exists.  What if we started (both sides) respecting the views of the other, and PRAYING for them, that they would know God’s love, have the respect that we have for Human life, and personal bodily integrity (WHATever side you find yourself on).

The answer, as we keep saying with health care and immigration and so many other issues these days, is NEVER MORE GOVERNMENT.  Yet we take this issue and do an about face and cry out for MORE government intervention, regulation and restriction.

Let go and let God.  What if we tried that.  What if we took seriously the Great Commission and carried the message of God’s Love instead of being messengers of condemnation, because I’ve never found “carry forth my condemnation” spoken by Jesus or any of his Apostles, and in case you haven’t noticed, the Pro-Life movement has not made much headway in “outlawing” abortion.

Children and their mothers need the love and support that the religious right purports to stand on.  There is a better way to deliver and convey that than what we have been doing.  We need to seek and find that better way.  

Or we could debate and fight about it for another few years, while more babies die and more women are traumatized and another Kermit Gosnell rises up.  The time has come to re-think everything.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Termed Out City Councilmembers Eyeing School and Water Boards

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 30, 2014

In the era of term limits, many City Councilmembers run for higher office while others seek to extend their political lives by running for lower office.  As we peer into candidate filing, there are at least three City Councilmembers are exercising the option to do the latter.

La Palma City Councilman Henry Charoen, Garden Grove City Councilwoman Dina Nguyen, and Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle

La Palma City Councilman Henry Charoen, Garden Grove City Councilwoman Dina Nguyen, and Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle

  • La Palma City Councilman Henry Charoen has pulled (and filed) papers for the Centralia School District
  • Garden Grove City Councilwoman Dina Nguyen has pulled papers for Orange County Water District, Division 1
  • Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle has pulled papers for Orange County Water District, Division 5

Charoen and the Centralia School District

Charoen (R) is prepared for this campaign for Centralia School District, transferring nearly $30,000 into his school board account from his Assembly account after he opted not to seek the AD-65 seat.  $30,000 pays for a lot of voter contact in a district as tiny as Centralia, plus he has significant name ID in the La Palma portion of Centralia.  He also teaches at UCI.  At this point, Charoen is the only one who has actually filed.

Incumbent Lisa Jordan (R) has pulled papers, as has appointed incumbent Kevin Sequeira (R).  73-year-old incumbent Irv Trinkle (R) has not pulled papers, and I’ve heard conflicting rumors about him, with some saying he’s retiring and others saying he’s running for re-election (Trinkle’s campaign web site was last updated in the spring).

Former Centralia Board Member Art Montez (D) pulled papers for both Centralia and the Buena Park Library District.  Jordan beat Montez by 64 votes in 2010 when Montez was an incumbent.  Montez lost by 5% in 2012 in an unsuccessful bid to return to the Board.  If Montez files and loses for a third consecutive time, he risks going from former Board member to perennial Board candidate.  He has to either sit this one out or win his old seat back in order to avoid that fate.  He probably shouldn’t file for both the Centralia School District and the Buena Park Library District, lest he suffer the fate of former Water Board Director Douglas Chapman, who lost both races when he ran for two seats in 2012.

Though an experienced field of elected officials have pulled papers in Centralia, the first person who pulled papers was 20-year-old Chapman University student Connor Traut (D) who moved to Anaheim a few months ago from Ladera Ranch, where he was a member of the Ladera Ranch Civic Council.  Traut is an acolyte of Anaheim Councilman Jordan Brandman (D).  (Brandman allies seem to be popping up in different Anaheim school board seats, as D.R. Heywood (D) has pulled papers in the Anaheim City School District.)

Nguyen and Orange County Water District Division 1

Nguyen (R) appears to be unopposed for the Division 1 seat in the Orange County Water District.

In total, the OCWD Board has ten members: seven directly-elected and three appointed by City Councils (Anaheim, Fullerton, and Santa Ana). Incumbent Kay Barr is the only directly-elected Democrat on the OCWD Board.  The other six directly-elected members are Republicans.  Of the three appointed positions, Anaheim appointed Harry Sidhu (R), Fullerton appointed Jan Flory (D), and Santa Ana appointed Vincent Sarmiento (D).

Barr is retiring, and Nguyen is the only candidate who has pulled papers.  Dina Nguyen made an ill-fated bid for Orange County Supervisor against Janet Nguyen (R) in 2008.  Barr and both Nguyens served on the Garden Grove City Council: Barr from 1962-1970 and 1974-1978, Janet Nguyen from 2004-2007, and Dina Nguyen from 2006-present.  Barr has been an OCWD Board Member since 1979.  At 35 years, Barr’s exit ends the longest tenure by a single person in the 81-year history of OCWD.

(For the record, I am not related to either Dina Nguyen or Janet Nguyen.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Daigle and Orange County Water District Division 5

Daigle (R) is challenging incumbent Orange County Water Board Member Steve Sheldon (R).  Sheldon was appointed to the OCWD Board in 2005 and won 71% of the vote in his 2006 bid for a full term against termed out Newport Beach City Councilman Tod Ridgeway (R).  Presumably, Daigle does not plan to suffer the same fate as Ridgeway.  She does have significantly higher name ID than Ridgeway did thanks in part to her ill-fated run for AD-74 when she challenged Allan Mansoor in 2012.  She fared slightly better in OCWD Division 5 than in the rest of the district, winning 25.3% of the vote (as opposed to her districtwide total of 23.8%).

Posted in Centralia School District, Garden Grove, La Palma, Newport Beach, Orange County Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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