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Posts Tagged ‘Frank Ury’

June 2014 Organizational Endorsements Scorecard

Posted by Chris Emami on June 5, 2014

Chris Nguyen posted a humongous grid of endorsements that broke down all the major organizations and what candidates they endorsed for non-partisan offices in Orange County. You can take a look at his humongous grid of endorsements here. As a follow-up I have done the math on how the endorsed candidates fared in the Tuesday election and have given credit to an organization for endorsing a candidate that either won outright or advanced to the November election.

report_card

Here is a guide to the abbreviations: OC GOP = Republican Party of Orange County, DPOC = Democratic Party of Orange County, CRA = California Republican Assembly, HJTA = Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, CWLA = California Women’s Leadership Association, OC Tax = Orange County Taxpayers Association, OCBC = Orange County Business Council, and CTA = California Teachers Association.

OC GOP DPOC OC Register Lincoln Club Atlas PAC CRA Family Action PAC HJTA CWLA OC Tax OCBC CTA OC Labor Federation Evolve Women in Leadership Planned Parenthood
%  83% 14% 76%  75% 80% 83% 83% 100% 100% 92% 50% 50% 43% 0%  50% 33%
# of Winners  10  1  13  9  8  10 5  5  7  11  2  1  3  0  1  1
# of Losers  2 6  4  3  2  2  1  0  0  1  2  1 4 2  1 2

 

Anybody that got 75% and higher can be considered an organization with a valuable endorsement but the big winners from this election cycle were the California Women’s Leadership Association (Orange County Chapter) and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association both of which managed to endorse no losers.

 

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Anaheim, Buena Park School District, Democrat Central Committee, Irvine Unified School District, Orange County, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County Public Administrator, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

OC’s Top 10 Primary Election Stories

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 4, 2014

Eric Woolery, Robert Hammond, Linda Lindholm, and Ken Williams

OC Board of Education Group Photo at the Custom Campaigns June 3 Election Night Party at BJ’s in Irvine:
Auditor-Controller-Elect/Orange City Treasurer/Former OCBE Trustee Eric Woolery, OCBE Trustee Robert Hammond, Laguna Niguel Mayor/OCBE Trustee-Elect Linda Lindholm, and OCBE Trustee Ken Williams.

Woolery achieved a historic margin of victory in his race for Auditor-Controller (story #6) while Lindholm knocked off Orange County’s longest-serving-in-a-single-office incumbent (story #5). 

As expected, it was a busy night in yesterday’s primary election.  Here’s a rundown of the top 10 stories:

  1. AD-74: Keith Curry and Matt Harper Advance, Emanuel Patrascu LastEmami called it, mostly.  Thanks to Karina Onofre spoiling the Democratic vote for Anila Ali, we have an all-Republican battle for AD-74 to replace Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.  Shockingly, Emanuel Patrascu who had the second most money in AD-74 came in fifth while Harper who spent next to nothing (and what he did spend focused on slate mailers) came in a comfortable second.  This comes down to a Newport vs. Huntington battle in the November runoff, as Newport Beach Councilman Curry fights it out with Huntington Beach Mayor Harper for the Assembly seat.  How much in Republican resources will be drained by the AD-74 race in November, as Republicans seek to capture SD-34 and AD-65 from the Democrats?
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  2. AD-73: Bill Brough Wins GOP Nomination, Anna Bryson Last – In this safe Republican seat, Bill Brough’s low-budget operation demonstrated that precinct walking does work for winning open seats.  With Democrat Wendy Gabriella advancing to the runoff with Brough, he is the prohibitive favorite to be the next Assemblymember from the 73rd District and the district’s first Assemblyman in 16 years after Assemblywomen Patricia Bates, Mimi Walters, and Diane Harkey.  Depending on completion of vote counts for absentees and provisionals, Anna Bryson’s IE-laden campaign may have cost well over $100 per vote.  (To put the massive IE spending for Bryson in perspective, here’s how much spending would have been needed for several other candidates in other races to match that rate: Michelle Steel would have needed $2.4 million, Linda Lindholm $3.1 million, and Eric Woolery $11.0 million.)  This race clearly demonstrated: money can’t buy everything.
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  3. AD-55: Ling-Ling Chang Captures Top Spot – In a brutal slugfest between Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang and Walnut Valley Unified School District Trustee Phillip Chen with Diamond Bar Councilman Steve Tye threatening to play spoiler, well-funded Chang managed to overcome very-well-funded Chen’s financial advantage to capture the top spot with 28% of the vote, pushing Chen into third place with 23% of the vote and Tye with 22% of the vote.  Democrat Gregg Fritchle came in second with 28% of the vote.  In this safe Republican district, Chang is the prohibitive favorite to be the next Assemblymember from the 55th District, replacing Curt Hagman.
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  4. SD-34: Janet Nguyen Captures Majority of Votes Cast; Republicans Take Almost 2/3 of Votes Cast – It was a foregone conclusion that Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen would be the Republican nominee against the Democrats’ nominee, former Assemblyman Jose Solorio, in the hotly-contested SD-34.  What is shocking is that despite the presence of Republican former Orange County Board of Education Trustee Long Pham on the ballot, Nguyen still managed to capture 52% of the vote to Solorio’s 34% in the two-county SD-34 race.  Pham captured 14%.  With Republicans capturing nearly 2/3 of the vote, and Nguyen herself capturing 52%, this builds significant momentum for Nguyen heading into the November race, with Republicans turning to Nguyen to break the Democrats’ supermajority in the State Senate and Democrats turning to Solorio to preserve the Democrats’ Senate supermajority.  (For the record, I am not related to Janet Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)
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  5. Orange County Board of Education: Linda Lindholm Unseats 32-Year Incumbent Giant Slayer Liz Parker – For the last few years, there was a joke in education circles that the way to win an Assembly seat was to lose an Orange County Board of Education race to Liz Parker.  Chuck DeVore lost to Parker in 1990 and won an Assembly seat in 2004. Don Wagner lost to Parker in 1998 and won an Assembly seat in 2010.  However, Parker is done.  After nearly a 1/3 of a century in office, Liz Parker has been unseated by Laguna Niguel Mayor Linda Lindholm.  No elected official in Orange County has held the same office longer than Liz Parker.  (Indeed, Parker graduated from college the same month she was elected to the Orange County Board of Education.)
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  6. Auditor-Controller: Eric Woolery’s Unprecedented Majority – In a five-way race with no incumbent for Auditor-Controller, Orange City Treasurer Eric Woolery won nearly 57% of the vote, nearly 40% better than the second-place candidate, Deputy Auditor-Controller Frank Davies, who won 17% of the vote.  In a race with three or more candidates with no incumbent, there has not been a candidate who has won by such a large margin in at least 30 years and, quite possibly, ever.  Indeed, there was only one candidate in those incumbent-free, 3+ candidate races who even averted a runoff: David Sundstrom, who received 50.3% of the vote for Auditor-Controller in 1998. (Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly won 41% of the vote in a five-way race for Clerk-Recorder in 2002 before winning the runoff.  Assistant Public Administrator Vicki Landrus won 41% of the vote and College Trustee John Williams won 36% of the vote in a four-way race for Public Administrator in 2002; Williams won the runoff.  OC Internal Auditor David Sundstrom won 50.3% of the vote in a three-way race for Auditor-Controller in 1998.  OC Assistant Assessor Webster Guillory won 26% of the vote in a seven-way race for Assessor in 1998 before winning the runoff.)
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  7. Irvine Unified School District: Ira Glasky Renders Special Election Moot, Beats Agran-Backed Candidate – After IUSD Trustee Gavin Huntley-Fenner resigned due to business and family obligations, the IUSD Board appointed Ira Glasky to fill the seat in November 2013.  Utilizing an obscure section of the Education Code, a petition drive gathered the necessary 1,643 signatures (1.5% of registered voters at the 2012 school board election) to invalidate Glasky’s appointment and force a special election.  The special election cost IUSD schools hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.  Three candidates filed to run: Glasky, Larry Agran-backed Carolyn Inmon, and Bob Vu.  Glasky won 42% of the vote to Inmon’s 37% and Vu’s 22%.  IUSD was forced to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a special election that had the same end result as if the special election had never happened.
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  8. Assessor: Webster Guillory vs. Claude Parrish Runoff – In 2010, Webster Guillory won 53% of the vote to Claude Parrish’s 47%, but Parrish ran as “Businessman/Tax Consultant” in 2010.  Parrish is “Taxpayer Advocate/Businessman” this year.  Last night, Guillory won 47% to Parrish’s 43%, with Jorge Lopez getting 10%.  Parrish’s stronger ballot designation narrowed the margin between Guillory and Parrish.  In Guillory’s favor is the fact that November voters are more favorable to incumbents than June voters.  In Parrish’s favor is the fact that he has a stronger ballot designation in 2014 than he did in 2010.  Also in Parrish’s favor is the investigation around whether or not Guillory’s nomination papers were signed by his subordinates at the office on County time; if this garners more publicity it helps Parrish; if it fizzles, it’s moot.
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  9. Supe-5: Robert Ming vs. Lisa Bartlett RunoffThe narrative in this race always had business interests spending on IEs for Mission Viejo Councilman Frank Ury to put him into the runoff for the Fifth District Supervisor’s race.  The conventional wisdom was wrong, as Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming and Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett each achieved 29% of the vote (Ming ahead of Bartlett by 0.4%), with Ury in third at 24% and Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams last at 18%.
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  10. Supe-2: Steel Beats Mansoor 2-1 as Both Make Runoff – Conventional wisdom held that the Second District Supervisor’s race would result in a runoff between Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel and Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.  What wasn’t expected was just how close to 50% Steel would get or how large her margin over Mansoor would be.  Surpassing most expectations, Steel pulled off 47% of the vote to Mansoor’s 24%, with Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno at 22% and Huntington Beach Councilman Joe Carchio at 8%.

These honorable mentions were things that happened as expected but may have interesting footnotes:

Honorable Mention #1 – CD-45: Raths Falls Short, Jockeying Begins for SD-37 and Even AD-68 – Republican Retired Marine Colonel Greg Raths fell 4% short of overtaking Democrat Educator/Businessman Drew Leavens to advance to the general election with Republican Senator Mimi Walters.  Did Walters’s hit piece (calling Raths a “Bill Clinton Republican” for his assignment to the Clinton White House while serving in the Marine Corps) move the needle 4%?  Jockeying for the special election for Walters’s SD-37 seat and even Assemblyman Don Wagner’s AD-68 seat has already begun since Walters is expected to crush Leavens in CD-45 in November.

Honorable Mention #2 – Shawn Nelson: OC’s Biggest Supervisorial Landslide Ever? With 84% of the vote, Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s reelection bid may well be the most lopsided victory ever achieved by an Orange County supervisor (excluding races where a Supervisor was unopposed or a Supervisor’s only opponent was a write-in candidate).

Honorable Mention #3 – Measure A: OC’s Biggest Landslide Ever? – With 88% of voters in casting ballots in favor of Measure A, the measure may well have achieved the highest percentage ever for a ballot measure in Orange County.

In the interest of full disclosure, clients of Custom Campaigns (the consulting firm that owns OC Political) include four IUSD Trustees (story #7: Ira Glasky, Paul Bokota, Lauren Brooks, and Michael Parham), three OCBE Trustees (story #5: Linda Lindholm, Robert Hammond, and Ken Williams), Eric Woolery (story #6), and Robert Ming (story #9).  Separate and apart from the consulting firm that owns OC Political, this blogger also did the staff work for Measure A (honorable mention #3).

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 34th Senate District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

And the Final Political Mailer Comes From…

Posted by Marion Morrison on June 2, 2014

The final mailer our household received this Primary came from the California Conservative PAC.  Unfortunately they duffed up the mailing list and sent us info on several candidate we can’t even vote for.  Whoops!  It’ll be interesting to see if anyone winds up in the mailbox tomorrow.

Wrong IE 1Wrong IE 2

Posted in Mail | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

OC Register Endorsements: Including Brand New Endorsement From Weekend

Posted by Chris Emami on June 2, 2014

The OC Register endorsed in a majority of races on the ballot including a new endorsement that was released this morning for Marshall Tuck a candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Here is a list of endorsed candidates:

State Superintendent of Public Instruction- Marshall Tuck
O.C. Supervisor, District 2- Michelle Steel
O.C. Supervisor, District 4- Shawn Nelson
O.C. Supervisor, District 5- Robert Ming & Frank Ury (You can only vote for 1)
O.C. Assessor- Claude Parrish
O.C. Clerk-Recorder- Hugh Nguyen
O.C. District Attorney- Tony Rackauckas
Superior Court Judge, Office 20- Helen Hayden
Superior Court Judge, Office 27- Joanne Motoike
Superior Court Judge, Office 35- Carmen Luege
O.C. Board of Education, Trustee Area 2- Tom Pollitt
O.C. Board of Education, Trustee Area 5- Linda Lindholm
Irvine Unified School District Board- Ira Glasky 
O.C. Measure A- Yes
Buena Park Measure B- No
Anaheim Measure C- Yes
Anaheim Measure D- No
Anaheim Measure E- Yes
Prop. 41- No
Prop. 42- Yes

To see more details about each of the endorsements click on this link to go to the OC Register website by clicking here. I agree with a majority of the endorsements that they made with a few small differences. It will be interesting to see how each of these candidates fares on Tuesday night.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Anaheim, Buena Park School District, California, Irvine Unified School District, Orange County, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Giant Grid of Endorsements for the June 3 Primary Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 30, 2014

One of our most popular posts from the November 2012 General Election was “Humongous Grid of Endorsements,” so we’re back this election with the Giant Grid of Endorsements for the June 2014 Primary Election.

I did abbreviate for some groups, so OC GOP = Republican Party of Orange County, DPOC = Democratic Party of Orange County, CRA = California Republican Assembly, HJTA = Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, CWLA = California Women’s Leadership Association, OC Tax = Orange County Taxpayers Association, OCBC = Orange County Business Council, and CTA = California Teachers Association.

If you’re particularly interested in a group, click their name to view their endorsements on their web site.  You can learn more about the group there, such as HJTA being the state’s leading taxpayer advocate group or Women in Leadership being a single-issue group with the sole goal of electing “pro-choice women candidates to local, regional and state-wide office who support keeping abortion legal.” (In light of their mission, does anyone else find it odd that Women in Leadership’s two endorsements on this grid are both for school board?)

Candidates in each race are listed in alphabetical order by last name, except incumbents got listed first in their respective races.  Party affiliations are listed except for judicial candidates Thomas Martin and Wayne Philips, as I could not tell their affiliation from the voter database (common names combined with obscure judicial races make figuring out their affiliations challenging).

Whether you love a group and want to vote with their endorsements or hate a group and want to vote against their endorsements, here are the endorsements for county offices and school board, along with local ballot measures:

OC GOP DPOC OC Register Lincoln Club Atlas PAC CRA Family Action PAC HJTA CWLA OC Tax OCBC CTA OC Labor Federation Evolve Women in Leadership Planned Parenthood
Supervisor, 2nd District
Joe Carchio (R)
Allan Mansoor (R) X
Jim Moreno (D) X X X X
Michelle Steel (R) X X X X X X
Supervisor, 4th District
Shawn Nelson (R – incumbent) X X X X X
Rudy Gaona (D) X X
Supervisor, 5th District
Lisa Bartlett (R)
Robert Ming (R) X X X X X X
Frank Ury (R) X X X
Joe Williams (NPP)
Assessor
Webster Guillory (NPP – incumbent) X
Jorge Lopez (D) X X
Claude Parrish (R) X X X X X
Auditor-Controller
James Benuzzi (D)
Mike Dalati (D) X
Frank Davies (R)
John Willard (NPP) X
Eric Woolery (R) X X X X
Clerk-Recorder
Hugh Nguyen (R – incumbent) X X X X X X
Monica Maddox (R)
Gary Pritchard (D) X X
Steve Rocco (NPP)
District Attorney-Public Administrator
Tony Rackauckas (R – incumbent) X X X X X
Greg Diamond (D) X
Sheriff-Coroner
Sandra Hutchens (R – incumbent) X X X X
Superintendent of Schools
Al Mijares (R – incumbent) X X
Treasurer-Tax Collector
Shari Freidenrich (R – incumbent) X X X X X X X
Judge, Office #14
Fred Fascenelli (R)
Kevin Haskins (R) X X X X X
KC Jones (R) X
Thomas Martin
Judge, Office #20
Derek Johnson (D – incumbent)
Helen Hayden (R) X X X X
Judge, Office #27
Joanne Motoike (D – incumbent) X X X
Wayne Philips
Judge, Office #35
Jeff Ferguson (R) X X X
Carmen Luege (R) X X
County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2
David Boyd (R – incumbent) * X X X
Tom Pollitt (R) X X X X X X
County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5
Elizabeth Parker (R – incumbent) * X X X X
Linda Lindholm (R) X X X X X X X
Irvine Unified School District (Special Election for Six-Month Term)
Ira Glasky (R – incumbent) X X  X
Carolyn Inmon (D) X X
Bob Vu (R)
Measure A (Orange County)
Yes X X X X
No
Measure B (Buena Park School District)
Yes
No X
Measure C (Anaheim)
Yes X X
No
Measure D (Anaheim)
Yes
No X
Measure E (Anaheim)
Yes X X
No

*The Democratic Party of Orange County did not endorse David Boyd or Elizabeth Parker, instead the DPOC issued anti-endorsements against Tom Pollitt and Linda Lindholm.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Anaheim, Buena Park School District, Democrat Central Committee, Irvine Unified School District, Orange County, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County Public Administrator, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Why I Am Supporting Robert Ming for Supervisor

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 28, 2014


One of the important races on the June 3rd ballot is for the Orange County Supervisor, 5th District which is basically south Orange County.  Of the candidates in that race, I am supporting Laguna Niguel City Councilman Robert Ming (Robert Ming).  In the decade plus that I have known Robert, he has been a consistent movement conservative who judges decisions he makes on the City Council through the prism of questions such as 1. Is this something the Government should even be doing in the first place (instead of private enterprise), 2. is it Constitutional? and 3. is it the best deal for the taxpayers?  Whenever possible and legal Robert Ming (who is an attorney by profession) seeks to have government outsource functions to private contractors rather than have in-house employees hired with the attendant salaries, retirement benefits and retiree health care costs burdening the taxpayers.  He is also not in favor of government choosing winners and losers at the taxpayers’ expense (also known as “crony capitalism” which favors the politician’s friends and supporters).  Robert believes that when the government does business with private enterprise, all parties should play by the same rules and the government should remain neutral with the taxpayers getting the maximum benefit from open and fair competition.

While on the City Council Robert’s city built Laguna Niguel’s City Hall on time, under budget and for cash (no debt, bonds or loans of any kind).  When he was on the Board of the Orange County Vector Control agency, he insisted on transparency by the senior management that revealed wasteful spending by the Agency and the resignation of the former Executive Director.  Robert Ming was one of the main leaders in forming the Association of California Cities Orange County to counter the big government left leaning League of Cities.  He currently is the chairman of the ACCOC’s committee on pension reform.

Several years ago, Robert and I co-founded a public policy ministry at our church to help parishioners understand matters of public policy that are facing them in votes they are being asked to cast at elections.

In all of the decisions and situations (personal and as an elected leader) I have seen Robert in, he has always been consistent and honorable in his decision-making.  He will make an excellent choice to replace Pat Bates (who is termed out) which is why current Supervisors John Moorlach and Board Chairman Shawn Nelson have endorsed Robert Ming.  Robert has also been endorsed by the California Republican Assembly, the Lincoln Club of Orange County, the Family Action PAC and Atlas PAC and many, many local elected officials and South County citizens.  Of all of the South Orange County activists who research candidates and make voter recommendations, all of them recommend Robert Ming to be our next representative on the Board of Supervisors.  My friend Robyn Nordell, who hosts her own voter recommendation web site (www.robynnordell.com) and puts up the lists of most of the other activist lists’, also recommends Robert for this position (see the Orange County section of Robyn’s site).

Running against Robert for this seat are three other candidates.  One is the current Mayor of my town Dana Point.  Lisa Bartlett’s votes and actions on the City of Dana Point City Council and on the Transportation Corridor Agencies have proven that she is not a true conservative or qualified for this position.  While on the City Council she voted to raise taxes on guests at certain Dana Point hotels, ban plastic shopping bags and increase the size of the Dana Point city government (more employees and eliminating most outsourcing to independent contractors).

In addition, recently Ms. Bartlett was stripped of her authority as Chairman of the Transportation Corridor’s Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (Lisa Bartlett Stripped of Authority to Approve Contracts at TCA) largely due to her approving very questionable contracts without notice to her fellow board members.  Part of her duties were to approve or disapprove of certain types of contracts and contract extensions presented to her by the Executive Director of the TCA.  During the March 18, 2014 Dana Point City Council meeting I asked her which of the contracts the Executive Director of the TCA presented did she disapprove.  She responded that she did not disapprove of any of the contracts presented to her.  Further that the total amount involved was only $200,000.00 (Dana Point City Council: Scrutinizing TCA).

Her answers reveal two important shortcomings: First she considers $200,000 to not be an important amount of money – I find this attitude regarding ratepayer / taxpayer funds to be irresponsible.  It also appears she simply rubber stamped what the executive staff placed in front of her which tells me she does not ask the proper or “hard” questions of the staff that report to her as an elected official.  Given that the County’s total budget is several billions of taxpayer dollars – Ms. Bartlett’s votes and actions do not give me confidence she will be a good steward of our county taxpayer funds.

Another candidate for the 5th District Supervisor position is Mission Viejo city councilman Frank Ury.  Some of Mr. Ury’s votes on his city council cause me to have concerns about his motivations and how he would handle responsibility at the county level.  For example in 2008 or 2009 at the start of the Great Recession when Mission Viejo (and other Orange County) families were facing layoffs and cut backs, Frank Ury voted to approve the city spending approximately $350,000 in Mission Viejo taxpayer funds to buy a parade float in the Rose Bowl Parade.  There are many cities and other public entities that have Rose Bowl floats but they are normally financed by private donations not taxpayer dollars.  Some like to defend this vote by claiming there were hundreds or thousands of volunteers who came out to work on the float.  Even if that is a true statement (which is questionable), then the City Council could have asked each of these “thousands” of excited and motivated volunteers to help finance this project with $25 and $100 contributions (which could be set up to be tax-deductible) and pay for the float with volunteer funds with the City simply being a conduit for that civic effort.  Instead Mr. Ury voted to use taxpayer dollars to fund this unnecessary expenditure while the economy was shrinking rapidly.

Another of his questionable votes was for life time health care benefits for city council members who serve three terms on the council.  This would be a significant cost to Mission Viejo taxpayers for the health care of prior city council persons long, long after they have left office.  For a politician who claims to be a fiscal conservative to cast such a self-serving vote strongly suggests he was placing his own interests above those of the citizens he was elected to represent.

I am aware that in the distant past Mr. Ury worked on several projects such as proposition 226 to curb unions taking funds for political purposes.  However, while I applaud Mr. Ury’s good work of about fifteen years ago, it is his recent votes that are troubling and do not show good leadership or stewardship for our County.

Neither Mr. Ury nor Ms. Bartlett came to the CRA’s endorsing convention to ask for the endorsement or explain their current and past voting records.  Robert Ming was endorsed unanimously by the CRA (CRA Wrap Up).

The final candidate for this position is a Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams (he is registered No Party Preference).  Mr. Williams is a complete unknown in that he has never held public office so there is no voting track record to give an indication of how he might vote on the dais of the Board of Supervisors.  He is not running any type of campaign to communicate to voters like myself what he stands for and his priorities if he were to be elected.   The only thing I have seen of his campaign are a few yard signs sitting on the side of busy roadways.  The Board of Supervisors, with its very large budget, its budget shortfalls, thousands of employees, with serious problems such as unfunded employee pensions and retiree health care costs, is no place for someone wanting to do “on the job training.”

For these and many more reasons (but keeping in mind this blog post is already very long) I support and hope you will also support Robert Ming for the Orange County Board of Supervisors, 5th District.

In the interest of full disclosure I am the majority shareholder of a private company known as IC Media, Inc. and Robert is a minority shareholder in the company.  Also, I am a practicing  attorney, a former elected member of the OC Republican Central Committee, a former officer with the California Republican Assembly and a volunteer activist.  I am not on the payroll of any candidate or campaign and I do not act as a paid consultant to any political campaigns.

 

 

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Live from OCGOP Endorsements Committee: Round Three

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 5, 2014

We’re live from the Republican Party of Orange County’s third and final Endorsements Committee meeting for the June 2014 Primary.

The Endorsements Committee will make recommendations to the full Central Committee, who will vote on May 19 on the actual endorsements.

On the docket are Fifth District Supervisor and Superior Court Judge Office Number 35.

Mayor/Businesswoman Lisa Bartlett, Orange County Businessman/Councilmember Robert Ming, and Councilmember/Businessman Engineer Frank Ury are seeking the endorsement recommendation for Fifth District Supervisor.

Deputy District Attorney Jeff Ferguson and Superior Court Commissioner Carmen Luege are seeking the endorsement recommendation for Superior Court Judge Office Number 35.

 

FIFTH SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT

(6:15 PM): Endorsements Committee Chairman Mark Bucher invites the three candidates to come to the seats in front of the committee table.

(6:17 PM): Frank Ury says all three candidates are good Republicans. He says Mission Viejo is well-run. He says his body of work speaks for itself. He urges for brevity and election impact that the party stay neutral in this race.

(6:19 PM): Robert Ming says the May 19 endorsement is so late in the primary that it’s not unreasonable for the party to stay neutral. He does however say it is important for the party to endorse because it’s discouraging for candidates and volunteers if tireless volunteers aren’t endorsed.

(6:21 PM): Lisa Bartlett says it would hurt the party to endorse at this point. She says Dana Point has paid off its pension liability and has no debt. She urges neutrality.

(6:22 PM): Bucher asks if the three would withdraw their endorsement requests.

(6:22 PM): Ury and Bartlett agree to do so if all three withdrew concurrently. Ming declines to withdraw, reiterating the reasons from his opening remarks. All three stay in.

(6:23 PM): Mark McCurdy asks about sustainable development.

(6:23 PM): Ury says it needs to be done locally not by state bureaucrats.

(6:24 PM): Ming opposes a force from above mandating this on the local community’s residents.

(6:25 PM): Bartlett argues sustainability needs to be a local decision not a state one.

(6:26 PM): Peggy Huang asks about Ury endorsing Democrats.

(6:26 PM): Ury endorsed an apolitical Democrat who was running against a Republican who would soon be recalled. In the recall, he endorsed a Democrat against a tax – dodging incumbent Republican. That latter Democrat is now a Republican.

(6:28 PM): Jeff Matthews asks why endorse at all.

(6:28 PM): Ury says the second Democrat’s opponent was someone who would have been destructive to Mission Viejo. He said in both cases he picked the lesser of two evils.

(6:30 PM): McCurdy asks if any of them would back bringing back Redevelopment Agencies. All three say they would not.

(6:31 PM): Thomas Gordon asks why Ury didn’t stay neutral in the endorsement.

Ury says the Democrat-turned-Republican has proven to be a solid conservative.

(6:32 PM): Bucher asks what are the three most significant Republican endorsements for each candidate.

Ury says he is endorsed by Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, and Congressman Gary Miller.

Ming says he is endorsed by Supervisor Shawn Nelson, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and the California Republican Assembly.

Bartlett says she is endorsed by Congressman Darrell Issa, Chief Paul Walters, and unspecified South County elected officials.

Craig Alexander is a Dana Point resident, a former Bartlett supporter for council who opposes Bartlett for Supervisor, and who is also supporting Robert Ming for Supervisor, because she voted to raise hotel taxes and to ban plastic bags in Dana Point after he implored her not to.  He turned to her and looked at her and said she had taken his liberty away, his responsibility away, and every other Dana Point residents’ liberty and responsibility away.

Larry Gilbert says Ury pushed to remove provisions of a city manager’s contract related to termination the day before the recall election.

Bartlett says the TBID (Tourism Business Improvement District) is not a tax. She says the Supreme Court ruled the TBID is not a tax. She says Dana Point’s 10% TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) is the lowest TOT of the County’s coastal cities.

She says plastic bag bans work in her city because it is a tourist destination and coastal city. She says each city should decide for itself. She says her city lost conventions because they couldn’t mark the ecofriendly box before the plastic bag ban.

Ury says dismissing without cause requires a six month severance. The only change to the contract was that when the city cuts the contract for cause without severance, then the city has a right to go to a judge for a ruling.

Gordon rhetorically asks Bartlett to explain what TOT stands for and whether she believes a fee is not a tax.

Bartlett says the Transient Occupancy Tax is a fee and not a tax. She says many cities set up TBIDs which allow hotels to determine how to spend collected TBID funds in their area. She says only four hotels are in Dana Point’s TBID. She says the four hotels determine how to spend the TBID funds.

Jeff Matthews and Mark Bucher ask lots of questions asking for clarification on how the TBID works.

Bartlett says the four hotels could not establish an additional fee unless the city granted a TBID because that would be colluding in violation of antitrust laws.  She says the TBID money collected is tax-free and is used specifically to market the City of Dana Point as an international tourist destination.

64% of Dana Point’s revenue comes from TOT. That’s $15 million.

Gordon asks why is a $3 TBID imposed when Dana Point gets so much TOT revenue.

Ury and Ming say they do not have TBIDs in their cities and have 8% TOTs.

Peggy Huang asks Bartlett about her argument that the courts ruled that TBID is a fee not a tax as a reason to impose it.

Bartlett says that’s not why. She says it’s because the money helps develop economic and tourism growth. She says it works for Dana Point but wouldn’t necessarily work in other cities.

Huang asks if this is a form of corporate welfare. She says it sounds like it’s a way for hotels to skirt the IRS with city sanction.

Huang asks Ury about lifetime health benefits for Councilmembers.

Ury says a prior Council gave staff and Council lifetime health benefits. Ury made sure all employees hired after 2007 would not get this. Ury signed an affidavit forsaking his lifetime health benefits. He says he’s the one who found the problem. He only voted against an item of this sort because it was posturing and was completely redundant with an item he’d already done.

McCurdy asks about civil liberties, pointing to the example of scanning all license plates as Fountain Valley is doing.

Ming says he opposes license plate readers and supported banning red-light cameras in Laguna Niguel.

Ury says he opposes license plate readers. He points to his immigrant family who fled from Communist Hungary.

Bartlett opposed red-light cameras in Dana Point but believes each city should decide for itself.

Gordon asks if a fee is a tax personally and about whether Supervisors should have pensions.

Bartlett says a fee is not a tax. She says individuals should pay for their own pensions.

Ury says a fee is a tax. He opposes both. He agrees that individuals should pay for their own pensions.

Ming opposes fees and taxes. He says he would decline a pension and that elected officials should not take pensions.

Bucher asks a followup on plastic bags. Do cities have to ban plastic bags to be deemed ecofriendly?

Bartlett says hotels kept coming to the city saying they lost business from not getting conferences due to not being ecofriendly. She says that plastic bag bans were the least onerous way to become ecofriendly.

Gordon asks why couldn’t the free market just get rid of plastic bags instead of having a government mandate. He asks why couldn’t the TBID money be used for reusable bags?

Bartlett said residents, merchants, environmental groups, and hoteliers called for the plastic bag ban.

Craig Alexander interjects that the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce opposed the plastic bag ban.

Questions are complete. The candidates step back, and the committee begins deliberations.

 

Huang moves to endorse Ming. Matthews seconds for discussion.

Huang is troubled by Bartlett’s stance on taxes and fees and by Ury endorsing Democrats.

Matthews says when multiple good Republicans are running, many in the party say it’s best not to endorse. He says the party needs to figure out a way to determine who’s in good standing. He wonders if the party needs to adopt a formal policy.

He is very troubled by Bartlett’s plastic bag ban. He is somewhat troubled by Ury endorsing Democrats.

Gordon is very troubled by Bartlett’s stance on fees and taxes.

Bucher is very troubled by Bartlett’s plastic bag ban. He recalls when plastic bags were good because they saved trees. Bucher notes that Ming has a very clean record considering no one has attacked Ming’s record. (Editor’s Note: Ury and Bartlett did note earlier that they did not bring any speakers in support or opposition because they supported the committee staying neutral.)

Ming is recommended for endorsement by a 4-1 vote.

MING RECOMMENDED.

 

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE NUMBER 35

(7:11 PM): Jeff Ferguson speaks about his record of handling thousands of cases. He speaks of being involved in a massive task force involving several federal and local agencies that resulted in 128 indictments. He speaks of being involved in forfeiture cases. He speaks of having broad legal knowledge.

(7:14 PM): Carmen Luege speaks about that it is good for the Republican Party to endorse her because she has 30 years of legal experience after graduating from UCLA. She spent 7 years as a civil attorney and 17 years as a federal prosecutor. She has spent 6 years as a Superior Court Commissioner. She speaks of valuing freedom after experiencing the oppression of communism. She says she is endorsed by the Lincoln Club, Grow Elect, and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff. She says it is good for the Republican Party to endorse a female Hispanic for judge.

(7:18 PM): Scott Voigts says Jeff Ferguson has been in the trenches walking precincts and paying for Flag Day tables. He was a prosecutor of the year.

(7:19 PM): District Attorney Tony Rackauckas speaks about Ferguson’s good judgement. He saw Ferguson’s good judgement when they were both prosecutors. When Rackauckas was a judge, he saw Ferguson’s good judgement in the courtroom.

(7:21 PM): Adam Probolsky says Luege couldn’t be involved in the party because being a federal prosecutor and court commissioner prevented her from being involved. He notes they could have brought Governor George Deukmejian or a former member of Congress to speak for her. He says perhaps it’s best for the Party to stay out.

(7:23 PM): Mathews asks why Luege cited judicial canons of ethics in not answering the questionnaire.

(7:24 PM): Luege explains that she is already a judicial officer as a Court Commissioner while Ferguson is not currently a judicial officer.

(7:25 PM): Ferguson says he was subject to the canons when he entered the race.

(7:26 PM): Luege says that only applies if he is elected.

(7:27 PM): The deliberations begin. Matthews admits his previous statements on Supervisor were a diatribe. He isn’t sure how they can pick between the two.

(7:28 PM): McCurdy says Ferguson’s involvement and answering the questionnaire are advantageous. He realizes circumstances may have hindered Luege’s involvement, but circumstances in life are not always fair.

(7:30 PM): Huang says she has practiced both civil and criminal law and appreciates seeing well-rounded candidates. Huang says Luege has done both civil and criminal cases. Huang believes it’s important for judges to have backgrounds in both.

(7:32 PM): Gordon says he has seen Luege at Republican events, so she is involved too. He leans toward keeping the party out of this race.

(7:33 PM): Bucher says he’s inclined toward neutrality as well.

(7:34 PM): Gordon moves and Huang seconds neutrality.

Gordon says the candidates should appeal to the voters.

The vote is 5-0 for a recommendation of neutrality.

NO ENDORSEMENT FOR SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE NUMBER 35.

 

(7:36 PM): Meeting adjourns.

(After the meeting, the Bartlett campaign requested that this blog disclose that Peggy Huang’s husband, Dr. James Huang, serves on the endorsements committee of the Lincoln Club, which has already endorsed Ming.)

(Also, in the interest of full disclosure, Custom Campaigns, the firm that owns this blog, has received compensation from the Ming campaign.  For those of you reading the blog on a desktop computer, that should be evident from the ad on the left side of the screen [ads are not visible if you’re reading this on a smartphone].  However, compensation has not affected the live blogs, which have repeatedly been cited for their accuracy by various opposing sides and people present in the room, whether it’s the live blogs of OCGOP proceedings, CRA proceedings, candidate forum, etc.  Indeed, supporters of different candidates have frequently shared the live blogs on social media, citing their accuracy.)

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Live from the 5th Supervisorial District Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 9, 2014

We’re live from the 5th Supervisorial District Candidate Forum, sponsored by CWLA, the Laguna Woods Village Satellite Republican Group, and the South Orange County PAC.

The three major candidates are here: Mayor/Businesswoman Lisa Bartlett (R), Orange County Businessman/Councilmember Robert Ming (R), and Councilmember/Businessman/Engineer Frank Ury (R). The minor candidate, Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams (NPP) is not here.

We await the start of the forum.

6:48 PM: Bartlett gives her opening statement. She was born in Culver City and came to OC at age three. She goes over her electoral history. She says Dana Point had no unfunded pension liability and no debt. She says the County has a $9 billion budget and 18,000 employees. (Editor’s Note: she uses this $9 billion figure three times, but the County budget is $5 billion. Also, there are 17,000 County employees.) She speaks about her education. She is an executive at her business. She says she serves on regional boards in leadership roles.

6:50 PM: Ming gives his opening statement. He speaks about his work as counsel at an investment banking firm. He speaks about his wife and four children. He speaks about his fiscal responsibility and protecting public safety, roads, and parks while improving how all of those services and social services are delivered. He speaks about his leadership helping form ACC-OC and leading the Military Support group.

6:52 PM: Ury gives his opening statement. He praises Pat Bates’s service. He speaks of serving in elected office for a decade. He gets the first laugh line of the night joking about being an engineer in politics. He speaks about his family. He speaks about economic development and job creation. He says Mission Viejo has a AAA bond rating. He says Mission Viejo is the second-least expensive CA city to do business and is the safest city. He notes that he serves on OCTA.

6:54 PM: First question is about the $150 million VLF money owed by the County to the State.

6:55 PM: Bartlett proposes centralizing IT at the County. She suggests looking at shared services for public safety and social services. She describes AB 109 prison realignment. She speaks about how public safety is the top priority of government.

6:57 PM: Ming says OC needs to fight for a fair share of taxpayer dollars from Sacramento. He speaks about property tax, triple flip, and ERAF shifts. He says he would fight for local government to determine property tax allocation. He proposes asking County employees to write down when they wonder “why do we do this this way?”

6:59 PM: Ury says the County needs to send people up to Sacramento and DC that they want to see up there, not people who have an acrimonious relationship. He speaks of shared services between agencies. He’d like to have a “Buy OC” program to provide services from OC vendors.

7:00 PM: Question on pension reform. County has already implemented 1.62% at 65 and requiring employees to pay their entire employee share.

7:01 PM: Ming proposes allowing employees to select from more investment options for retirement plans. He says working for efficiencies would ensure the number of members of the pension plan would be efficient. He speaks about leading ACC-OC’s pension reform plan.

7:02 PM: Ury says he implemented pension reform in Mission Viejo and at OCTA. He speaks about Mission Viejo’s Rose Award from OCTax. He speaks about the importance of viability of plans. He proposes leasing out County facilities for cell towers.

7:04 PM: Bartlett speaks about the Vallejo bankruptcy. She says Dana Point has made advance payments to eliminate their pension liability. She proposes balancing costs to employees and paying off the pension costs by controlling the employee pension contribution.

7:06 PM: Question on Caltrans, OCTA, 3+ HOV lanes, and toll lanes (e.g. the 405).

7:07 PM: Ury says South County is fine. He doesn’t want Caltrans to impose another toll lane. He believes the current number of toll lanes is fine. He says adding two free lanes to the 405 would have come at the expense of the El Toro Y.

7:08 PM: Bartlett speaks about developments like Rancho Mission Viejo. She speaks about the Tesoro extension on the 5. She says gridlock can be addressed locally or in Sacramento. She calls for open-mindedness, though she prefers not having 3+ HOV lanes.

7:09 PM: Ming says voters passed Measure M, and OCTA should give the voters what they voted for. He is a TCA board member and says people should get what they voted for.

7:11 PM: Question about the 241 toll road extension and widening the 5 via the Tesoro extension.

7:12 PM: Bartlett wants to complete the Tesoro extension and the 241 toll road extension. She says that people need alternative exit routes in case of evacuation.

7:13 PM: Ming supports the Tesoro extension. He says he supports the 241 toll road extension but with a different route and approach. He’d like a compromise for all stakeholders.

7:14 PM: Ury supports both extensions as well. Ury says it is a conflict of cutting down carbon emissions versus reducing congestion. He proposes locking everyone in a room. He says the air quality people are also the anti-extension people, and he says those are positions in conflict.

7:16 PM: Question asks what’s the difference between the candidates.

7:17 PM: Ming speaks about having spent his career bringing together conflicting parties to reach a compromise. He says he is a consensus builder. He mentions his ability to work with existing Supervisors and notes his endorsement by Supervisors’ Chairman Shawn Nelson. He says standing on principle helps people better understand where a Supervisor stands on issues.

7:18 PM: Ury says he is an engineer, which brings a different skillset. He says he is a problem solver. He speaks of leading a division of Intel. Ury says he is the only one who works with a $1 billion+ budget via OCTA.

7:19 PM: Bartlett says she is a woman. She speaks of her experience of efficiency, balance budgets, and leading staff. She says she brought her private sector experience to Dana Point and wishes to take that to Orange County.

7:20 PM: Question on affordable housing.

7:20 PM: Ury says the state needs to understand what it is imposing on local communities, particularly unfunded mandates. He says there needs to be jobs and homes for 20-33 year olds, who are leaving OC because it’s too expensive.

7:22 PM: Bartlett suggests public-private partnerships. She says more jobs allows more people to afford homes. She wants to put in developments with multiple price points.

7:24 PM: Ming says housing developments take a lot of time, effort, and work from the private sector. He says home builders need incentives like property rights protections in order to actually build homes. He says government doesn’t build homes.

7:26 PM: Questions about homelessness and a homeless shelter.

7:26 PM: Bartlett says homelessness is in every city. She speaks of government working with nonprofits to prevent homelessness. She says a bed, food, and shelter is not necessarily the answer. She says providing hospitalization and similar facilities is needed. She says the cities should address homelessness first before the County does.

7:28 PM: Ming says government does some things well and some things poorly. He says the same is true of the private sector. He says the private sector does an excellent job with homelessness, pointing to the OC Rescue Mission. Ming says government should facilitate nonprofits solving homelessness. He wants government to partner with nonprofits to teach people to fish rather than giving them fish.

7:30 PM: Ury speaks about his daughter’s work with disadvantaged teenage girls. He says there needs to be more dialogue with faith-based organizations. He says his church has a food kitchen and shopping carts. He believes faith-based groups have been left out of this for too long.

7:31 PM: Question about restoring confidence in government.

7:31 PM: Ming wants to expand accountability measures. He says government needs to spend money logically, and he says the County should better communicate what the County does and what it’s spending it on. He calls for strong leadership and accountability.

7:33 PM: Ury says put transparency in the light of God, pointing to the Latin root of confidence. He speaks about televising Mission Viejo’s Council meetings. He calls for better ways for people to search for documents. He wants to bring more public comment to meetings.

7:34 PM: Bartlett says better communication is needed. She says CalOptima and IT centralization are good things that need to be communicated to the public. She wants to tell people what County services are available to them. She says she wants to educate the public.

There are murmurs of opposition in the crowd.

7:37 PM: Question about Dana Point Harbor revitalization project funding.

7:37 PM: Ury says the project has $40 million of the $120 million needed. He says there needs to be a charge to fund the harbor in perpetuity.

7:38 PM: Bartlett notes she’s lived in Dana Point for 25 years. She says her first four years got downtown and harbor plans approved. She says this plan will revitalize Dana Point Harbor and make it the jewel of South County. She says she has experience working with the Coastal Commission. She suggests using a combination of General Fund, grants, private funds, and government bonds to raise the funds needed.

7:40 PM: Ming says the project’s first phase is fully funded. He says phase one should be completed before moving on to funding other phases. He says the results of the first phase need to be seen, so the private sector can see if it wants to help fund the later phases.

7:42 PM: Question about personal values, strengths, and weaknesses.

7:43 PM: Bartlett says her strength is building consensus and leading regional agencies. She says she has an open-door policy. She says people seek her advice. She says her weakness is that she’s a night owl.

7:43 PM: Ming says his faith, family, and freedom are his three top values. He lives his personal life by the moral standards of his faith. He is in government to help make the world a better place for his four children. He wants to protect people’s freedoms because that is what the U.S. is about. He says his strength is listening to people and discussing things with them. He says his weakness is doing too much.

7:45 PM: Ury speaks of being born in Long Beach and growing up in the Midwest. He speaks of his Calvinist minister grandfather and his Hungarian Revolution-fighter father. He says his strength is his financial background at both the school board and the city council. He says his weakness is doing too much.

7:47 PM: Question on what they admire about their opponents.

7:47 PM: Ming praises Ury and Bartlett’s work at ACC-OC, where all three have served in leadership. He says he considers them both friends and hopes the friendships last beyond the campaign.

7:48 PM: Ury notes that Ming was ACC-OC’s first president, Bartlett was the second, and Ury is the fourth. He says Ming is a hard-worker and does his due diligence. He says Bartlett is passionate about issues. He says the challenge is all three run well-governed cities, unlike Los Angeles.

7:49 PM: Bartlett says all three are dedicated public servants who have reached out beyond their city boundaries to serve on regional boards and commissions. She says all three work well with others.

7:50 PM: Ury gives his closing statement. He praises Pat Bates and says he hopes she sticks around. He speaks of priorities of job growth, economic development, and infrastructure. He says Laguna Woods’s senior mobility program had a funding problem that Ury helped solve at OCTA for the next five years before it even became an issue. He speaks of his endorsements from Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Congressman Gary Miller, OCTax, and OCBC.

7:53 PM: Bartlett says she gives 110%. She says Dana Point is on solid footing. She says she is on regional boards and commissions, including as Chair of F/ETCA and on SCAG’s Executive Board. She says she has endorsements from elected officials in the 5th District and outside the district, though she does not name them. She speaks of working on contracts with other agencies. She speaks of senior services being well-rated in Dana Point. She speaks of being able to work with people of all levels, from secretaries to executives. She says Supervisors must work with state legislators and members of Congress.

7:56 PM: The moderator has to cut off Bartlett for going over time.

7:56 PM: Ming urges people to look at voting records, and he is proud of every vote he’s cast. He says job growth requires government getting out of the way. He says overregulation must stop. He says Laguna Niguel does not have a AAA debt rating because it has no debt. He speaks of the Laguna Niguel City Hall being paid for in cash, not debt. He notes his endorsements by Supervisors’ Chairman Shawn Nelson, Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Associaton, and the Lincoln Club of Orange County. He says he is a bridge-builder who is a consensus-maker. He says he listens to his constituents.

7:58 PM: The moderator acknowledges the presence of outgoing Supervisor Pat Bates, and the forum ends two minutes early.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 31, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUDITOR-CONTROLLER

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

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

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

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

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

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

WOOLERY RECOMMENDED UNANIMOUSLY.

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HASKINS RECOMMENDED UNANIMOUSLY.

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #35

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE OFFICE #35 TABLED UNANIMOUSLY.

5TH SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5TH SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT TABLED UNANIMOUSLY.

(7:28 PM): Committee adjourns.

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

Eric Woolery to Dominate Mail in Auditor-Controller Election with 1.5 Million Pieces

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on March 5, 2014

This came over the wire this morning from Orange Treasurer Eric Woolery‘s campaign for Auditor-Controller.  Woolery managed to snag rare unity from Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray:

Eric Woolery for Orange County Auditor-Controller

Eric Woolery to Dominate Mail in Auditor-Controller Election
with 1.5 Million Pieces

Maintains Frontrunner Momentum with Additional Endorsements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2014
Contact: Chris Emami
chrisemami@custom-campaigns.com

ORANGE COUNTY, CA – Orange Treasurer Eric Woolery announced today that he has locked up the major county election mail slates in his campaign for Auditor-Controller, which will carry his message to voters on 1.5 million pieces of mail.  Based on prior election results for Auditor-Controller and current voter turnout models, nearly 350,000 voters are expected to cast their ballots in this election for Auditor-Controller.  Securing the slates will ensure that Woolery’s message will be heard by every high propensity voter several times before the June 3 election.

“Becoming Auditor-Controller is my goal, and I aim to win. I have been planning my campaign for many months when I strategically began securing slates and endorsements while implementing other key tactics,” Woolery said. “Using my technical skills honed over 20 years as a CPA in both the public and private sectors leaves me ready to competently lead our county. Currently, the Auditor-Controller’s office is missing opportunities to ensure proactive and efficient uses of taxpayer dollars.”

Several key endorsers have also jumped on board the campaign, giving him additional momentum as the filing deadline nears.  Over the past several days, five major Orange County leaders have endorsed Woolery for the Auditor-Controller position:

  • Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff
  • Assemblywoman Diane Harkey
  • Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait
  • Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray
  • La Habra Councilman Tim Shaw

These distinguished local officials join a lengthy bipartisan list of elected officials providing their full support to Woolery, as he continues to hone his strategic plan for victory in this countywide race:

  • Supervisor Patricia C. Bates, Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors
  • Supervisor William G. Steiner (Ret.)
  • Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner
  • Laguna Niguel Mayor Linda Lindholm
  • Tustin Mayor Al Murray
  • Tustin Mayor Jerry Amante (Ret.)
  • Orange Mayor Pro Tem Mark Murphy
  • Tustin Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Puckett
  • Aliso Viejo Councilman Mike Munzing
  • Fullerton Councilwoman Jennifer Fitzgerald
  • Lake Forest Councilman Scott Voigts
  • Mission Viejo Councilman Frank Ury
  • Orange Councilman Fred Whitaker
  • San Clemente City Councilwoman Lori Donchak
  • Tustin Councilman Allan Bernstein
  • Tustin Councilman John Nielsen
  • Orange County Board of Education Trustee Ken Williams
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Arianna Barrios
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee John Hanna
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Phil Yarbrough
  • Irvine Unified School District Trustee Paul Bokota
  • Irvine Unified School District Trustee Lauren Brooks
  • Orange Unified School District Vice President Alexia Deligianni
  • Orange Unified School District Trustee Tim Surridge
  • Orange Unified School District Trustee Mark Wayland
  • East Orange County Water District Director Doug Davert
  • Orange County Transportation Authority Director Michael Hennessey

###

Paid for by Woolery for Auditor-Controller 2014. ID# 1362822.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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