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Posts Tagged ‘Jose Solorio’

Jose Solorio is the Most Corrupt Politician in Orange County

Posted by OC Insider on October 13, 2014

The name calling from Jose Solorio in this election is just LAUGHABLE. Jose and his Sacramento cronies are the most corrupt bunch of politicians in the State!

While he was voting to increase our taxes 80 times, Fat Cat Jose was lining his pockets with boat loads of special interest money to the point that the FPPC stepped in and found he accepted illegal gifts from the MOST CORRUPT LOBBYIST IN SACRAMENTO HISTORY!

Jose’s top paid advisor, Ken Nguyen, was fined $700,000 for piracy by the federal court!!

And why isn’t anyone talking about his 4 Senate cronies that are facing criminal charges of bribery, corruption, voter fraud and putting lives at risk with reckless drinking and driving??? Maybe Jose’s paid for blogs could write about that!! Guess not.

I love it when political mail sources its claims from a BLOG! Nice try Jose.

Oh ya, and the blog source they are using, is not only funded by special interests, but chief blogger in charge himself, Art Pedroza, the source for Jose’s claims was sued and lost for linking people’s personal URL’s to pornographic websites including NAMBLA!

Maybe Jose should choose his friends more carefully… or who he decides to pay on his campaign. A quick browse through Jose’s financial disclosures show payments to Art Pedroza. I hope Jose’s donors know that.

Jose is the most corrupt politician in Orange County.

Posted in 34th Senate District, 69th Assembly District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Santa Ana | Tagged: | 12 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 »

Did Long Pham Lie To Me At The 2014 CRA Endorsement Convention?

Posted by Chris Emami on May 20, 2014

As many of our readers may know I am a partner in the political consulting firm Custom Campaigns, which owns OC Political. We have been fortunate to have a great deal of success electing candidates in Orange County over the past few years. One of our success stories was electing Robert Hammond to the Orange County Board of Education in Trustee Area 1 replacing sitting board member Long Pham who decided to run for the 72nd Assembly District.

LongPham

Long Pham is currently running for the 34th Senate District in a race against sitting OC Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio. The top two candidates will advance to the November election under the new Prop 14 rules. I want to preface that I have no problem with Long Pham running for the seat (although I would call his chances of advancing to November virtually impossible). However, Long Pham unsuccessfully tried to paint himself as the conservative candidate by vying for the endorsement of the California Republican Assembly (the CRA endorsed Janet Nguyen).

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a Republican when vying for the endorsement of the CRA is either endorsing on giving money to a non-Republican (especially when a CRA-endorsed candidate is running for the same seat). I have issues with Long Pham applying for the CRA endorsement because he refused to endorse Robert Hammond at the CRA endorsing convention in 2012, and I wanted to know why he refused to endorse the only Republican running for the seat (who went on to win the seat despite not having Pham’s support).

At the CRA endorsing convention that took place on March 22, 2014, I asked Mr. Pham why he refused to endorse Robert Hammond, the successful CRA-endorsed candidate for Trustee Area 1 on the Orange County Board of Education in 2012. Pham responded that because he did not know who was running at that point and felt that it would be improper to endorse before he knew who all was running. I was a direct witness to Robert Hammond asking Mr. Pham for his endorsement at the CRA meeting.

For the sake of our readers, I will note the timeline of June filing and the CRA endorsing convention back in 2012:

Filing for County Board of Education closed on March 14, 2012
CRA Endorsement Took Place on March 24, 2012

Based on this timeline, the field was set before the endorsement meeting took place. Here is a look at the candidates that were running for the seat:

Robert Hammond – Republican
Ken Nguyen – No Party Preference
Art Pedroza – Libertarian
Eleazar Elizondo – Democrat

Clearly, only one Republican was running, and he was the CRA-endorsed candidate. If Long Pham had some kind of issue with Robert Hammond, he should simply say so instead of trying to claim that he did not know who was running for the seat.

I am not the only one that has faced the issue of Pham’s odd recollections. A month ago, Martin Wisckol wrote an article for the OC Register where Mr. Pham appeared to contradict himself about his education. We will see what happens on June 3rd in this race.

Posted in 34th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jose Solorio Plans On Giving Away $29 Million Dollars of Santa Ana College Funds To Special Interests This Monday (3/24/2014)!

Posted by Dave Everett on March 21, 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 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.

On Monday, March 21, 2014 at 4pm in Santa Ana, RSCCD Trustee Jose Solorio wants to give away $29 million dollars of Santa Ana College construction funds to special interests! The PLA is Item 4.2 on the RSCCD agenda and this is the final vote to approve this wasteful and discriminatory deal.

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.

Unfortunately, we see this all too often when a politician wants to run for higher political office. The unspoken agreement is that Jose Solorio will vote to limit construction on the $198 million dollar Measure Q Bond passed in 2012 and in return Big Labor unions will shower his campaign for the 34th Senate District with political donations.

The loser in this wink-and-nod arrangement, are our Santa Ana students. According to http://www.BuildMoreSchools.com, a USC/National University study shows that these special interest deals, known as Project Labor Agreements or PLAs, increase the cost of school construction by 15%. That waste totals over $29 million dollars for Jose Solorio’s PLA on Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College.

Concerned students, teachers and taxpayers can do the following:
Attend the meeting Monday, March 21, 2014 at 4:00pm at the RSCCD District Offices located at 2323 North Broadway, Board Room #107 Santa Ana, CA 92706. We need you to tell the RSCCD Trustees to vote “No” on this PLA special interest deal.

Join us Monday, when we demand an end to this waste and discrimination! If you are able to attend or have any questions, please contact deverett@abcsocal.net.

[Dave Everett is the Government Affairs Director for the Associated Builders and Contractors in Southern California. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association with 70 chapters representing more than 22,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms with nearly two million employees. For more information, visit http://www.abcsocal.org.

Posted in 34th Senate District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Santa Ana | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

OCTA Board Members Discuss State Lobbyist Contract

Posted by OC Insider on March 4, 2014

Yesterday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Executive Committee discussed the state lobbying contract that the agency has with Sloat, Higgins Jensen and Associates (SHJA) because of recent FPPC violations by the firm.

If you are unfamiliar with the FPPC violations against Kevin Sloat, who is the principal at SHJA, this article will help fill you in. Sloat was fined a record $133,500 by the FPPC for hosting numerous political fundraisers that counted as “prohibited campaign contributions, and arranging and giving gifts to California lawmakers.” Some of the lawmakers warned by the FPPC for holding events at Sloat’s house include Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Lou Correa (SD-34), Senator Bob Huff (SD-29), and former Assemblyman and current SD-34 candidate Jose Solorio.

OCTA has contracted with SHJA since 2002 for state lobbying and consulting services. Unlike the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ lobbying contracts, this particular contract was approved by the full OCTA board and extended on multiple occasions by the full Board. According to the staff report, SHJA’s services to OCTA include “representation with the Legislature, Governor’s Office, various state departments, agencies, boards, committees, commissions, and staff; advising on state legislation, proposed regulations, and state budget proposals which could have an impact on OCTA; assisting with the preparation of and advocating for OCTA’s legislative program; reporting on state transportation and related developments of importance to OCTA; and updating the Board as specified. SHJA also provides a monthly verbal update on its Sacramento advocacy to the Legislative and Communications Committee.” OCTA’s contract with SHJA lists Kevin Sloat as the contract manager, with several lobbyists that work for SHJA as the legislative advocates.

During their presentation, OCTA staff made it clear that there were many initiatives OCTA was trying to accomplish, and that an interruption in service, i.e. a new lobbyist, may disrupt those initiatives. The staff recommendation was to issue an RFP for the state lobbying services, with a new condition that any FPPC issues be disclosed in the proposals.

Supervisor Todd Spitzer, referencing his time in the state legislature, stated that Sloat is well-respected in the capitol but that this was not a one-time violation.  Spitzer noted that it was likely that SHJA would lose credibility as a result of this finding, and that it could have a negative impact on OCTA.

Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Lalloway, who is also the OCTA Vice-Chairman, noted that the situation is similar to the recent one involving Matt Cunningham. Cunningham held two contracts with OCTA, which were suspended after some poorly thought out photos of a teddy bear were published on the Anaheim Blog page that received national coverage. Lalloway attempted to connect the Sloat and Cunningham incident, and thought if one deserved to be suspended (Cunningham), that the other (Sloat) should be suspended as well to preserve the integrity of the agency.

Michael Hennessey, who serves as a public member on the Board, stated that the comparing the Cunningham and Sloat situations was “weighing morality against need.” He stated that “if Cunningham is bigoted toward Latinos, he’s the strangest bigot I’ve met since he is married to a Latina, his children are half Latina, and if you go to a Christmas party at his house, it is largely Latinos.” He went on to note that if Cunningham’s services were absolutely critical (like OCTA staff was attempting to convey with Sloat), his contracts would have not have been suspended as quickly, and the matter would have been brought to the Board, similar to the current situation with Sloat.

After some other comments by the committee members, Supervisor Spitzer motioned to remove Kevin Sloat’s name from the contract entirely, and replace it with OCTA’s primary legislative advocate Moira Topp as the contract manager. Topp is still an employee of SHJA, but the committee felt that the perception of corruption lays with Sloat as opposed to the rest of the firm. Additionally, the motion included a provision that Sloat could not do any kind of advocacy on behalf of OCTA at any level. Finally, the motion called for an expedited RFP for the lobbying services, to be brought to the Board in April. The motion eventually passed with Lalloway voting no. The full OCTA Board will vote on this issue next Monday, March 10th.

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

Live from RSCCD on PLA Discussion Procedure in Relation to the Brown Act; RSCCD Board Officer Selection

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 12, 2013

RSCCDI’m live at the RSCCD Board meeting to cover Item 6.6 on their agenda. For background on this item, see my post earlier tonight on this. Basically, the RSCCD Board was discussing in closed session efforts to impose a PLA on all work done from Measure Q, the $198,000,000 bond passed in 2012 in the western half of the district (Santa Ana and very small portions of Garden Grove and Anaheim). Item 6.6 forces the PLA to be discussed in open session.

(5:42 PM): Trustee Claudia Alvarez says RSCCD wants to follow the law. She says many districts negotiate PLAs in closed session. She says the reason to negotiate a PLA in closed session is for the district’s strategic advantage. She says there is no cover-up effort because they’ve brought Item 6.6 in open session.

(5:43 PM): Trustee John Hanna says these PLA negotiations should no longer be discussed substantively in closed session. Hanna says he agrees with Alvarez. He says the Chancellor should negotiate privately, so the RSCCD Board can examine the negotiation product in open session.

(5:46 PM): Trustee Larry Labrado wants the Board Executive Committee (not just the Board President) to be able to privately confer with the Chancellor on the PLA. The Executive Committee consists of 3 of the 7 trustees: the President, Vice President, and Secretary.

(5:47 PM): Alvarez says there’s nothing wrong with each trustee being updated by the Chancellor on the PLA negotiations.

(5:48 PM): Hanna wants Item 6.6 to be amended to have Board to “continue its practice of refraining” from discussing the PLA negotiations.

(5:49 PM): Trustee Phil Yarbrough disputes that this is RSCCD’s practice, hence the need for Item 6.6.

(5:50 PM): Hanna says it is the practice. He hopes to get an Attorney General opinion that they can negotiate PLAs in closed session.

(5:52 PM): Yarbrough says amending the practice going forth like Item 6.6 is good because PLAs should be discussed in open session like the Brown Act requires.

(5:53 PM): Chancellor Raul Rodriguez warns that the Alvarez proposal could violate the Brown Act’s serial meeting rules.

(5:54 PM): Board President Arianna Barrios says there are four conflicting opinions, including the Chancellor’s and Craig Alexander’s. She is concerned that RSCCD would lose in an Attorney General’s opinion, so that’s one of the reasons she agendized Item 6.6.

(5:56 PM): The Hanna Amendment is passed unanimously.

(5:57 PM): I note that neither Trustee Jose Solorio nor Nelida Yanez has uttered a word in the debate.

(5:58 PM): Item 6.6 is approved unanimously.

(5:59 PM): Hanna says he will nominate Alvarez for Clerk. Yarbrough seconds.

Solorio says he would like to be President. (I would note this would enable him to be RSCCD President during his candidacy for the hotly contested 34th Senate District race in 2014 against Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen.)

Labrado says he would like to be Vice President.

(6:05 PM): Ironically, RSCCD staff are now doing a presentation on projects that were funded by Measure E, which was the $337,000,000 bond passed in 2002 in all of RSCCD (Santa Ana, Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim Hills, and small portions of Garden Grove). The presentation noted numerous projects that were over budget and behind schedule. Measure E projects are already subject to a PLA. (The PLA discussion related to Item 6.6 from tonight’s meeting were involving Measure Q, the 2012 bond for $198,000,000 in western RSCCD: Santa Ana and small portions of Garden Grove and Anaheim.)

(6:15 PM): I’m done with this live blog. It’ll be interesting going forward in future meetings, with their pledge to not discuss PLA negotiations in private. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the developments with the PLA, which will mandate only unionized labor working on Measure Q projects. The other union demands will also be included in the PLA, but obviously those are still being negotiated; OC Political will reveal those as soon as we know what they are. RSCCD President-designate Solorio will likely have his hands full when the PLA terms go public.

Posted in Rancho Santiago Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rancho Santiago Community College District Board Accused of Violating Brown Act in Negotiating PLAs; Jose Solorio Accused of Leading Violation Effort

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 12, 2013

RSCCDThe Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Board of Trustees has been accused of violating the Brown Act by negotiating PLA terms in closed session. (For those unfamiliar, PLAs are Project Labor Agreements, which basically require union labor terms on the projects in question, including requiring unionized labor to be employed by private contractors who are hired to work on the project.)

Conservative Trustee Phil Yarbrough has accused the liberal-dominated RSCCD Board of violating the Brown Act by negoiating PLAs in closed session. Yarbrough has retained attorney Craig Alexander (an affiliate attorney of the Pacific Justice Institute and an OC Political blogger), who sent this seven-page letter admonishing the district and demanding it comply with the Brown Act, the state’s government transparency law, by discussing the PLA in open session in front of the public.

In an apparent reaction to the letter, the RSCCD agenda for tonight’s meeting includes Item 6.6, which is entitled, “Discussion of Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement Negotiations with Los Angeles-Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council/Craft Unions/Carpenters Union” on the agenda. (“Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement Negotiations” is the RSCCD euphemism for “PLA negotiations”). The staff recommendation is: “It is recommended that the board formally agree to refrain from any discussion of negotiations on the Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement in closed session unless or until more conclusive information is provided to clarify the legality of such discussions in closed session per the Brown Act.” In other words, the RSCCD is no longer certain that its previous actions in discussing the PLA negotiations were legal.

Kevin Dayton has dissected the RSCCD PLA issue at the Flash Report.

OC Political has received emails from various groups on this issue pointing to Jose Solorio as the leader of this closed session PLA effort. The Associated Builders and Contractors had the most concise email on this issue, which was sent over yesterday:

Help Stop Jose Solorio From Illegally Hiding His $29 Million Taxpayer Give-Away To Special Interests

Help stop RSCCD Trustee Jose Solorio from illegally hiding his $29 million taxpayer give-away to special interests!  It is being voted on TOMORROW, TUESDAY 11/12/2013 at 4pm.

It seems the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Board of Trustees has been violating California’s open meeting laws (also known as “The Brown Act”) by negotiating a discriminatory union agreement on their nearly $200 million dollar Measure Q bond passed by voters in November 2012. No mention of this wasteful special interest deal was of course ever made when selling this to the citizens – and now the public is being purposefully kept out of the debate.
Help Stop Jose Solorio From Illegally Hiding His $29 Million Taxpayer Give-Away To Special Interests
If that isn’t bad enough, they might vote tomorrow night to CONTINUE ILLEGALLY HIDING THIS FROM THE PUBLIC!

The PLA is Item 6.6 on the agenda and the last two pages of the document include an error-riddled memo from the Chancellor trying to pretend that “It is a common practice for…public agencies to discuss PLA negotiations in closed session.”

We need you to do the following:
Attend the meeting tomorrow. TUESDAY November 12th at 4:00pm at the RSCCD District Offices located at 2323 North Broadway, Board Room #107 Santa Ana, CA 92706. We need you to bring management, workers, and apprentices and tell the RSCCD Trustees to bring this deal out into the light of day!

These discriminatory union deals are traditionally called Project Labor Agreements or PLA’s, but in another effort to disguise this waste from the public, RSCCD went so far as to call the agreement a “Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement.”  Join us tomorrow night and help stop this ongoing deception!

If it is such a good idea to waste $29 million dollars of our teachers and students education dollars just to over-pay for construction, then why is Jose Solorio trying to cover this deal up?

Posted in Rancho Santiago Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Solorio labeled Prop. 13 “Unfair” – Endorsed Split Roll Tax on Business

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 26, 2013

This just came across the wire from the campaign office of Janet Nguyen:

Solorio labeled Prop. 13 “Unfair” – Endorsed Split Roll Tax on Business
 
California businesses should hang onto their pocketbooks if Solorio ever holds legislative office again.
 
Already known as one of the biggest job-killers in the Assembly (As previously profiled by the Solorio Scoop), businesses shouldn’t be all too surprised that Solorio wants them to finance California’s spending problems. As an Assemblyman, Solorio voted to blamed Prop 13 for California’s budget problems.
 
 Solorio cast a vote to support ACR 54 that specifically stated;
 
“WHEREAS, Proposition 13, which unfairly restricts corporate property tax increases, has limited the ability to raise the additional revenues necessary…”
 
Struggling California businesses can be certain that a big spender like Jose Solorio wants them to finance his spending problems.

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Posted in 34th Senate District | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

SD-34: Nguyen Outraises Solorio in 2013, Solorio Dependent on Old Sacramento Money

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 15, 2013

SD-34 Candidates: Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and former Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana)

SD-34 Candidates:
Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and former State Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana)

SD-34 is one of the more complex races to calculate campaign finances for, due to the fact that Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and former Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) wield massive warchests, scattered across multiple campaign accounts.  Furthermore, independent expenditures will likely dominate the final weeks of the general election.

Nguyen wields campaign accounts for both Senate and Supervisor while Solorio has Senate, College Board, and ballot measure accounts.  Nguyen just opened her Senate account during this reporting period but already managed to obtain $105,750 for her Senate account.  She also raised $65,345 into her Supervisorial account during 2013.  Solorio raised $64,420 into his Senate account in 2013, $3,200 into his College Board account, and $2,500 into his ballot measure account.

It’s clear Solorio is depending on money from his Sacramento days, as he simply didn’t raise as much as Nguyen did during this reporting period – the first reporting period in which Solorio was no longer an Assemblyman.

The campaign contribution limit for Supervisor is $1,900 per election while the contribution limit for Senate is $4,100.  Consequently, it is quite likely that the vast majority of Nguyen’s supervisorial account ($331,704) can be transferred to her Senate account ($102,965).

Solorio has $104,339 in his ballot measure committee, which has no contribution limits, but that means he can only transfer $4,100 per donor per election into his Senate account; a chunk of that is not transferable since he has donors who gave $10,000 to the ballot measure committee, and a total transfer would violate Senate contribution limits.  Since there’s only $292 in Solorio’s College Board account, he’ll have no problem transferring all of it, but then again, it’s only $292 (I’ll note College Board has no contribution limits, though).

Refreshingly, neither candidate in SD-34 had any loans to their campaigns.

For visual learners:

Candidate 12/31/12
Cash Balance
Contributions Unpaid
Bills
Expenditures Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
Nguyen for Senate $0 $105,750 $1,278 $6,507 $104,243 $102,965
Nguyen for Supervisor $408,496 $65,345 $15,220 $126,966 $346,924 $331,704
Solorio for Senate $304,802 $64,420 $1,810 $16,185 $353,042 $351,232
Solorio for College Board $10,068 $3,200 $0 $13,969 $292 $292
Solorio Ballot Measure $105,636 $2,500 $229 $3,507 $104,628 $104,339
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

SD-34 is 38.4% Democrats, 35.8% Republicans, 21.0% No Party Preference voters, and 4.8% third party voters.  87.8% of SD-34 voters are from Orange County while 12.2% are from Los Angeles County.  With lower voter turnout in November 2014 due to a lack of the presidential race, this should favor the Republican (Nguyen) against the Democrat (Solorio), as Republicans tend to have higher voter turnout than Democrats do.

It appears Nguyen and Solorio sit in relatively even positions with over $400,000 cash-on-hand each, but fundraising momentum rests with Nguyen.  Furthermore, her office as a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors is a better perch from which to raise money than Solorio’s perch on the Rancho Santiago Community College Board.

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

Posted in 34th Senate District | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

Big Labor’s Power Grab In Orange County Does Not Equal Worker Protection

Posted by Dave Everett on May 25, 2013

Big Labor’s power grab in California is more aggressive than ever. It is even creeping into Orange County. In just the past year, we have seen unions try and pass several discriminatory Project Labor Agreements (or PLAs) that virtually guarantee that all of the work will be limited to the 16% of the California construction market that is union. This week, the Coast Community College District rejected a PLA, but the unfair special interest deals are still pending at Rancho Santiago Community College (thanks to Jose Solorio) and at the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach (thanks to Obama.) We even saw unions fighting against local control in Newport Beach and the Orange County Fairgrounds (Thanks Jerry Brown for appointing union boss Nick Berardino. The Fair policy now even discriminates against non-union veterans certified in the military.) And of course unions dumped nearly a half million dollars of their special interest money from out of town to defeat the Costa Mesa 2012 City Charter.

In every public comment debate on these Orange County issues, the unions always claim that they are pushing for their virtual monopoly on the work so that they can protect workers and make sure they are not exploited by evil capitalists trying to skirt labor laws. But as you can see from the number of violations that were discovered and reported to LAUSD’s labor compliance program and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, union work does not equal regulatory compliance. In fact, after months of inactivity by both entities, CCCG took dramatic action and requested revocation of LAUSD’s labor compliance program since they would not do anything about the 70 cheated construction workers owed over $91,000 in back wages.

It seems the unions don’t monitor their union “brothers” too well. Shocking, I know. Maybe more shocking is that unions are now pushing a bill in the State Senate to allow ONLY UNION PROGRAMS TO MONITOR LABOR LAWS! Earlier this month, on May 9, 2013, SB 776 passed 24-10 off Senate Floor with bipartisan opposition – including OC Democrat State Senator Lou Correa who voted against it. Hopefully more moderate Democrats will realize that letting the fox guard the henhouse isn’t good for quality building or for worker protection. Here is the full press release on the violations:

cccg

70 Cheated Construction Workers Win Over $91,000 in Back Wages, CA Senate Still Votes to End Program

Sacramento – On May 9, 2013, SB 776 passed 24-10 off Senate Floor with bipartisan opposition. It now moves to the California State Assembly. SB 776 would change the current law, so that only union-controlled worker protection programs exist – eliminating the California Construction Compliance Group (CCCG.)

Ironically, as a result of an CCCG labor compliance audit, the Los Angeles Unified School District recently collected over $91,000 in unpaid wages owed to The Masonry Group California, Inc. employee’s who perform work on the Valley Region High School Number 5 project. The beneficiaries of the settlement include over 70 workers of the now defunct The Masonry Group, a company that is currently in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

In 2010, ABC-CCC dba CCCG performed an audit of construction contractor compliance the LAUSD’s Valley Region High School Number 5 project. A number of violations were discovered and reported to LAUSD’s labor compliance program and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. After months of inactivity by both entities, CCCG took dramatic action and requested revocation of LAUSD’s labor compliance program. The revocation request got LAUSD’s labor compliance program moving and CCCG’s complaints and audits were properly investigated. After investigation of The Masonry Group’s practices and years of litigation, LAUSD was able to recover $91,688.98 in back wages, $2,181.27 in training fees and $28,950.00 in penalties. Because The Masonry Group seemingly disappeared, Turner Construction, the general on the project, was the party that ultimately made things right for the underpaid employees.

As acknowledged in the June 27, 2011, Request for Approval of Forfeiture & Penalties from LAUSD Labor Compliance Officer Nancy Morada to the Susan Nakagama of the DLSE Bureau of Field Enforcement, it was CCCG’s complaint that prompted the investigation of The Masonry Group:

cccg2

In the words of John Loudon, Executive Director of the California Construction Compliance Group, “Without our efforts, these gross underpayments would have been undetected. This is a great day for these workers who did the work and were severely underpaid in violation of the law. We appreciate that LAUSD and Turner Construction were able to work out a reasonable settlement. Sadly, Turner is stuck holding the bag for the misdeeds of The Masonry Group. I hope that Turner is ultimately able to get justice through the system and make the guilty party pay”.

“In a strange irony, we received word of this victory the same day Senator Ellen Corbett, at the bidding of organized labor unions, passed SB 776 out of the California Senate. This bill is designed to bar us from monitoring and enforcing prevailing wage laws. I wonder whether these workers support the move the union bosses are pushing,” said Loudon.

For Immediate Release
Contact: John Loudon 619-575-2225

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Posted in 34th Senate District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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