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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Harper’

Zombies Are Real! Redevelopment Agencies 2.0 – A California Horror Movie Sequel

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 28, 2015

For some reasons beyond me, zombies are among popular cultural items in Hollywood.  But now there is evidence that zombies also exist in Sacramento, or at least under the capital dome.  What am I talking about?  These zombies are redevelopment agencies coming back to life after being put to death two years ago.  They are coming back under the guise of “Community Revitalization Investment Authorities” but they are nothing more than the same old private property confiscating redevelopment agencies we all thought were dead.  All brought to you (again) from our wonderful state legislature in Assembly Bill 2 (“AB2”).

Flashreport contributor Katy Grimes has penned an excellent post outlining this sorry tale of cronyism and private property rights violations coming back to make sure favored developers may once again have willing government officials use eminent domain to take your home, church, business, land, etc., etc., etc.  Then sell your property to them for fun and profit. Here is a link to her excellent article: Redevelopment Monster which I commend to you.  Remember – redevelopment agencies were normally not used to take land for a freeway, hospital or some other government usage like a military base.  A government agency does not need such an agency to accomplish a taking for true government usage.  The redevelopment agencies were used for property development – the vast majority of which was for private commercial development.  Government picking winners and losers.

This horror movie has passed the Assembly floor on May 11, 2015 by a vote of 63 yea, 13 no and 4 not voting.  It now moves to the State Senate. I urge you to contact your State Senator and urge him/her to vote No on AB2.

What is disappointing is that twelve (12) Republican Assemblypersons voted in favor of bringing back this very bad movie to our state. Katy listed them in her article but I believe it is worth repeating here:

“State Assembly Passes Measure With Republicans

In what appeared to be a carefully orchestrated maneuver, last week 12 Assembly Republicans voted in favor of Alejo’s AB 2. Many voters expressed grave disappointment; they expected they could, at the very least, count on Republicans to stand up for property rights.

The Assembly Republicans who voted to bring back redevelopment and violate private property rights are: Katcho Achadjian, Catherine Baker, Ling Ling Chang, Matt Hadley, Young Kim, David Lackey, Brian Maienschien, Devon Mathis, Chad Mayes, Marc Steinorth, Marie Waldron, and no doubt orchestrated by Assembly Minority Leader Kristen Olsen.”

If one of the above is your Assemblyperson or you helped one or more of them get elected, I urge you to contact them and let them know how disappointed you are in their vote against private property rights.  I am glad my Assembly member Bill Brough did NOT vote for this monstrosity. Matt Harper, Don Wagner or Travis Allen also voted No on AB2.  Kudos to Bill Brough, Matt Harper, Don Wagner and Travis Allen for voting for their constituents rights rather than for crony capitalism / special interests.

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As your Supervisor, I will fight hard for:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information please visit: www.loucorrea.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

New State Legislators Sworn in Today

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 1, 2014

California State CapitolIt’s the first Monday in December of an even year, so California’s new and re-elected state legislators will be sworn in today at 12:00 PM.  27 of 80 Assembly Members (33.75%) and 10 of 40 Senators (25%) will be freshmen.

Republicans picked up enough seats to break the Democratic supermajorities in both houses.

Orange County’s delegation will have proportionally even more freshmen, with 4 out of 7 Assembly Members (57.14%) and 3 of 5 Senators (60%) holding their first terms in their respective houses.

While the new Senators already have their official web sites up, the new Assembly Members do not, presumably waiting for the swearing-in at 12:00 PM.

As of 12:00 PM, Orange County’s Assembly delegation will consist of:

  • Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), 55th District (far northern Orange County, southeastern LA County, and Chino Hills) – First Term
  • Young Kim (R-Fullerton), 65th District (northwestern Orange County) – First Term
  • Don Wagner (R-Irvine), 68th District (eastern Orange County) – Third Term
  • Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), 69th District (central Orange County) – Second Term
  • Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), 72nd District (Orange County’s northern coast and Little Saigon) – Second Term
  • Bill Brough (R-Dana Point), 73rd District (southern Orange County) – First Term
  • Matt Harper (R-Huntington Beach), 74th District (Orange County’s central coast) – First Term

As of 12:00 PM, Orange County’s Senate delegation will consist of:

  • Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), 29th District (northern Orange County, southeastern LA County, and Chino Hills) – Midway Through Second Term
  • Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), 30th District (Buena Park and portions of LA County)
  • Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), 34th District (central Orange County and portions of Long Beach) – First Term
  • Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), 36th District (southern Orange County and northern San Diego County) – First Term
  • Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), 37th District (eastern Orange County) – Midway Through Second Term

Walters is still a State Senator, as she will not be sworn into the United States Congress until January.

Posted in 29th Senate District, 30th Senate District, 34th Senate District, 36th Senate District, 37th Senate District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, State Assembly, State Senate | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Moorlach Enters SD-37 Race Against Wagner

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on November 30, 2014

Supervisor John Moorlach made a brief bid for Governor in February 2013 and dropping out four months later (Jerry Brown was re-elected to that seat), announcing a bid for the 45th Congressional District in December 2013 and dropping out three months later (Mimi Walters won that seat), and then flirted with bids for the 74th Assembly District (Matt Harper won that seat) and Auditor-Controller (Eric Woolery won that seat).

Today, Jon Fleischman at FlashReport reported on Supervisor John Moorlach’s entry into the 37th Senate District race against Assemblyman Don Wagner to replace Mimi Walters, who will vacate the seat to head to Congress.  Here’s an excerpt of Fleischman’s report

Both Moorlach and Wagner are conservatives, the former being a bit more iconic because of his prediction of the County of Orange’s bankruptcy back in the 90′s.

Neither Moorlach nor Wagner are known as being prolific fundraisers — though Wagner has had his eye in this seat for some time and starts with a head start.

One big question is whether the presence of two conservative foreshadows a more moderate entry into the race.

If Moorlach can raise (or self fund) 200k or more he would be very formidable for anyone, including Wagner, to beat. But that’s a big if. Moorlach floated a bid for Congress last year and dropped it largely as a function of fundraising challenges. Although he was trying to run against the aggressive Mimi Walters, who is a strong fundraiser.

Here’s an excerpt of Moorlach’s announcement…

In the last week I have been making calls when possible, as there were OCTA and Board of Supervisors meetings and the Thanksgiving holidays.  These calls have been extremely positive and I’m putting a campaign team together for the sprint that is called a special election.

Before I officially announce, I wanted you to know first.  There is only one other announced candidate at this time.  In fact, we did lunch a month ago and he is aware that I’ve been mulling this decision over.  I still need to connect with him to let him know that I am even more strongly leaning in running for this seat.

If you’re happy to endorse or support me, that would be great news.  With your permission, I may even include your name in my official announcement, which I hope to release sometime this week.

Thank you for allowing my wife and I to serve you as a County Treasurer-Tax Collector for nearly twelve years.  Thank you for allowing us to serve in the position of a County Supervisor for eight years; where I had a ball achieving numerous significant accomplishments.  Thank you for being a friend and for being on my e-mail tree.

After I make a formal announcement, I hope to engage you in some form or fashion in achieving a successful result next spring.  Together, let’s shake it up, again.


Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 37th Senate District, 45th Congressional District, 74th Assembly District, California, Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Wagner Announces State Senate Bid

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on November 24, 2014

In an announcement that surprises no one, Assemblyman Don Wagner has announced his bid for the State Senate seat being vacated by Senator Mimi Walters, who has been elected to Congress.  Walters and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff have endorsed Wagner for Walters’s old seat.

The Assemblymember from the other half of SD-37 is unlikely to run, as it is Allan Mansoor, who is too badly damaged from his landslide defeat of 62.3%-37.7% for Supervisor at the hands of Michelle Steel.  Mansoor will be a former Assemblyman by the time the Senate election rolls around early next year, at which point Matt Harper will have replaced Mansoor, but Harper is definitely not running for Senate.

Wagner is such a prohibitive favorite that multiple candidates for Wagner’s seat have already been collecting support to succeed Wagner after his presumptive election to the Senate.  Here is the announcement he sent out yesterday…


IRVINE – Assembly Member Donald Wagner (R-68) announced his run for the open 37th State Senate District. Senator Mimi Walters’ election to Congress will leave a vacancy, which will be filled shortly by a special election called by Governor Brown.

“Congratulations to Sen. Mimi Walters on her election to Congress. She has been a fierce advocate for pension reform and a strong ally to small businesses. Her experience and insight in Washington will benefit Orange County, and the entire country,” Wagner said.

“With the support of my family, friends, and numerous community leaders, I am excited to announce my candidacy for that 37th State Senate District seat here in the heart of Orange County,” Wagner said.

Assemblyman Wagner received the endorsement of Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, Congresswoman-Elect Mimi Walters and many more local elected leaders in the district.

“I am pleased to endorse Don for the 37th Senate district,” said Senator Huff. “Don has been a solid conservative voice during his time in the Assembly. He understands the serious issues we face in the State of California and will provide thoughtful solutions to move us forward.”

“I am sincerely grateful to the voters who have sent me to Sacramento for three consecutive terms in the legislature,” said Wagner. “I turn to them again for their support to continue delivering the conservative, pro-business, limited government message I have championed during my time in State government. I would be honored to continue that work in the California State Senate.”

For more information about his campaign or to receive regular updates, please visit www.wagner4senate.com or contact the campaign at (714) 514-1888.

Posted in 37th Senate District, 68th Assembly District, 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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?
  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.
  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.
  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.)
  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.)
  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.)
  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.
  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.
  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%.
  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 »

Handicapping The Races: 74th Assembly District (June 2014)

Posted by Chris Emami on May 27, 2014

It is getting worse, Chris Nguyen is likely going to come after me with the butcher knife from the Emanuel Patrascu mailer. Here is my take on the 74th Assembly District race which is open due to Assemblyman Allan Mansoor making an ill-advised run for the 2nd Supervisorial District against Michelle Steel.

Here are the candidates running for AD 74:

  • Karina “Karina” Onofre (D) – Small Business Owner
  • Keith D. Curry (R) – Businessman/City Councilmember
  • Emanuel Patrascu (R) – Orange County Business Owner
  • Matthew Harper (R) – Huntington Beach Mayor
  • Anila Ali (D) – Middle School Teacher

Voter registration heavily favors Republicans, with Republicans having 43% of registered voters in the 74th Assembly District compared to Democrats who hold just 29% of voter registration which is extremely close to the number of No Party Preference voters who hold 23% of the vote. This is an open primary that falls under the rules of Proposition 14, so regardless of percentages, the two candidates with the most votes will advance to the November election. The 74th Assembly District currently has the following cities within its boundaries:

  • Costa Mesa
  • Laguna Beach
  • Laguna Woods
  • Newport Beach
  • Huntington Beach (Portion)
  • Irvine (Portion)

Karina “Karina” Onofre

I have had numerous Democrats call me accusing Republicans of planting Karina Onofre in this race as a Democrat to try and embarrass the Democratic Party. Onofre is a former candidate for Santa Ana City Council. Let’s take a look at her electoral history.

Results from November 2012 (General Election):

CITY OF SANTA ANA Member, City Council, Ward 5
Completed Precincts: 108 of 108
Vote Count Percentage
ROMAN A. REYNA 32,419 61.8%
KARINA ONOFRE 20,065 38.2%

Onofre has major issues with turning her campaign finance reports in on time and has very little money raised ($5,000 raised as of the last report) and I am not considering her $100,000 loan a factor unless she actually starts to spend it. Normally I would say that the Democrat usually would have an excellent shot of advancing to November but Onofre will be splitting votes with fellow Democrat Anila Ali. This leads me to believe that due to Democratic registration being low that with a vote split Onofre and Ali will finish in the last place slots this June.

Nevertheless, Onofre has made this election a lot of fun. Check out these posts from Scott Carpenter; Prepare to be Entertained: The AD 74 “Feet to the Fire” Candidate Forum and AD74 Watch: Karina Onofre Channels Napoleon Dynamite.

Keith D. Curry

Keith Curry is considered the front-runner by most prognosticators at this point. He has the most money and has name ID in one of the largest cities in the district (Newport Beach)

Curry has been on the ballot multiple times in Newport Beach with a very successful track record in getting elected. Let’s take a brief look at his electoral history.

Results from November 2012 (General Election):

CITY OF NEWPORT BEACH Member, City Council, District 7
Completed Precincts: 89 of 89
Vote Count Percentage
KEITH D. CURRY 30,255 100.0%

Results from November 2008 (General Election):

CITY OF NEWPORT BEACH Member, City Council, District 7
Completed Precincts: 92 of 92
Vote Count Percentage
KEITH D. CURRY 21,259 55.0%
DOLORES OTTING 17,376 45.0%

Curry is in complete control when it comes to campaign fundraising with over $171,000 raised and he has also spent his $100,000 loan in addition to the money he has raised. He has purchased multiple slate mailers, signs, and is currently in the lead on mail. Here are some of the mailers that our blogger Marion Morrison has posted:

AD 74 – Curry and Patrascu Both Positive
AD 74 – More Positive From Keith Curry
AD 74 Mail – Curry Postive and Patrascu Negative

With the amount of money that he has spent on voter contact it is a safe bet that Curry will be advancing to November.

Emanuel Patrascu

I will give Emanuel Patrascu credit because he has run an excellent campaign so far. He picked an excellent ballot designation and he has spent his money wisely on direct mail.

Patrascu has run for office before in Laguna Beach. Let’s take a brief look at her electoral history.

Results from November 2010 (General Election):

CITY OF LAGUNA BEACH Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 26 of 26
Vote Count Percentage
* KELLY H. BOYD 7,190 30.3%
* TONI ISEMAN 6,023 25.4%

Patrascu could be classified as the candidate that has gotten the most out of the money that he has. His campaign fundraising numbers include $60,000 raised and $33,000 raised (I am including the loan because he has spent the money). His mail has been directly attacking Curry which is one of the main reasons that I think Curry is considered the front-runner by all candidates. Her is a look at some of the mail sent out by the Patrascu campaign courtesy of our blogger Marion Morrison:

AD 74 – Emanuel Patrascu Attacks Keith Curry on High Speed Rail
AD 74 – Curry and Patrascu Both Positive
AD 74 Mail – Curry Postive and Patrascu Negative

Patrascu is in a dead heat with Matt Harper for the second place slot and I will give my reasoning for this later in this post.

Matthew Harper

Matthew Harper is considered the conservative darling in this race by many due to his years of activism in the Republican Party of Orange County. It appears that both Keith Curry and Emanuel Patrascu are ignoring him with most of their negative mail being focused on each other.

Harper has hold office for a number of years and has had a lot of success on the ballot. Let’s take a look at his electoral history:

Results from November 2012 (General Election):

Number To Vote For: 4
Completed Precincts: 152 of 152
Vote Count Percentage
* JOE CARCHIO 18,523 8.7%
MATTHEW HARPER 15,886 7.5%
JOE SHAW 14,585 6.9%
BLAIR FARLEY 13,932 6.5%
BILLY O’CONNELL 13,175 6.2%
JIM KATAPODIS 13,100 6.2%
FRED J. SPEAKER 11,183 5.3%
DAN KALMICK 10,775 5.1%
NORM WESTWELL 10,187 4.8%
BILL RORICK 9,835 4.6%
HEATHER GROW 9,624 4.5%
ERIK PETERSON 7,137 3.4%
BRUCE J. BRANDT 7,125 3.3%
JOHN VON HOLLE 3,209 1.5%
BLAKE ROSE (W) 50 0.0%

Results from November 2002 (General Election):

Huntington Beach Union High Sch Dist
Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 238 of 238
Vote Count Percentage
Matthew Harper 29,220 17.5%
Bonnie Castrey 27,605 16.5%
Brian Garland 26,242 15.7%
Rosemary Saylor 24,516 14.7%
Sylvia Garrett 17,739 10.6%
Jim Peters 12,052 7.2%
Sallie E. Dashiell 12,050 7.2%
Ted K. Tadayon 9,303 5.6%
Andrew Scott Patterson 8,495 5.1%

Harper has more name ID than both Curry and Patrascu but his fundraising numbers have been anemic at best. He has raised just $22,000 and again I am including his personal loan because he has spent it. This is a pretty large fundraising gap between himself and Patrascu.

With this fundraising gap in place it is a safe bet that Harper will likely not appear on any direct mail although he is on a decent amount of slate mailers including the always popular and effective Landslide Communications slate mailers. The biggest concern I have is that the Curry campaign has not hit him yet and this is a bad sign considering Curry has paid for polling data in this race.

In spite of my concerns I still consider Harper to be in a dead heat with Patrascu and I will explain why at the end of this post.

Anila Ali

In any normal election I would predict the Democrat to consolidate enough support to advance to November but Ali is likely going to lose because Karina Onofre is also running as a Democrat. Ali has never run for office before and has no name ID in this district. She has raised $39,000 which is more than both Onofre and Harper but I just don’t think it is enough to overcome both Onofre and the Democratic registration disadvantage.

Prediction Time

Before I make my prediction I want to point out where the ballots that have been returned are coming from:

14,961 ballots have been returned so far in AD 74
3,500 ballots from Newport beach (approximately)
3,000 ballots from Huntington Beach (approximately)
2,000 ballots from Laguna Woods (approximately)
2,000 ballots from Costa Mesa (approximately)
1,000 ballots from Laguna Beach (approximately)

Based on the high turnout from Huntington Beach I am giving Harper a fighting chance to advance to November although I am still leaning towards Patrascu.

Based on all of the above factors and analysis, I predict that the candidates who advance to November will be a repeat of AD 72, an All-Republican run-off:

Keith Curry (R) in 1st and Toss-Up Between Emanuel Patrascu and Matthew Harper (R) for 2nd

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

AD 74 – Emanuel Patrascu Attacks Keith Curry on High Speed Rail

Posted by Marion Morrison on May 11, 2014

After numerous introductory/positive pieces of mail to voters of the 74th Assembly District, Emanuel Patrascu is the first out of the gate to go on the offensive.  Patrascu’s main opponent, Keith Curry, is attacked on an AP quote made in his capacity as an employee of “Public Financial Management,” a company Curry was employed with for 23 years.  High Speed Rail has been a popular target for Republican candidates this election cycle and Patrascu attempts to paint Curry as a supporter of the project.

Patrascu has been very good at delivering timely mail pieces during the immediate days following Absentee Ballots being delivered.  In the past three days, this household has received three pieces of mail from him.  Curry hit the mailbox strong just prior, but has been quiet this past week.  Surely we haven’t seen the end of it, and time will only tell if the race’s other Republican candidate, Matt Harper, makes an entrance. Stay tuned…


Emanuel Hit 1 of 2Emanuel Hit 2 of 2


Posted in 74th Assembly District, Mail | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

AD-74: Curry Dominates Fundraising, Patrascu Distant Second, Harper Spends All on Slates

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 26, 2014

Well, it’s that time of the election cycle again: campaign finance reports are out. OC Political will be doing our in-depth analysis to help you get past the campaigns’ spin on the numbers.  First on the docket is the race for AD-74 to replace Allan Mansoor, who is leaving the Assembly to run for the 2nd District Supervisor’s seat, being vacated by the termed out John Moorlach.  AD-74 consists of Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, the southern half of Huntington Beach, and portions of Irvine.

Harper, Curry, Patrascu

The three Republican candidates in AD-74: Matthew Harper, Keith D. Curry, and Emanuel Patrascu.

There are three declared Republican candidates in AD-74: Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper, Businessman/Newport Beach Councilman Keith D. Curry, and Assemblyman Travis Allen’s District Director Emanuel Patrascu, an Orange County business owner.  H&R Block Franchise Associate Karina Onofre pulled papers as a Republican but filed them as a Democrat, so she’s on the ballot as a Democrat. Middle School Teacher Anila Ali, who has been a Democrat since she became a U.S. citizen in 2008, will also be on the ballot.  (For those wondering, Onofre was a Republican for 20 months, from July 2012-March 2014.  She has been a Democrat for years, other than during those 20 months.)

When OC Political analyzed the numbers for the end of the 2013 reporting, AD-74 was called the “Land of Small Warchests” in the post. Since then, Curry put his foot on the gas, and Patrascu stepped it up a bit, so those two are posting much stronger numbers (though still far behind races in other Assembly districts, but at the end of the day, to win this race, AD-74 only needs to worry about AD-74).  The other three candidates’ warchests remain rather small, however.

Before I start in on the numbers, it’s time to attack the $100,000 paper tiger loans.  We’ve been attacking the fiction of the $100,000 loans for months on OC Political.  (This July post is probably the seminal post on the issue, though it wasn’t until this August post that the paper tiger name was attached.)  In essence, these $100,000 paper tiger loans are loans candidates make to artificially inflate their campaign finance numbers to impress donors and scare opponents.  The reason $100,000 is the figure used is that’s the most a candidate can loan their own campaign and still get the money back.  Any amount the candidate gives above $100,000 is forever donated to the campaign under state law.  In AD-74, Republican Curry and Democrat Onofre gave their own campaigns $100,000 paper tiger loans.  It also appears Republican Patrascu gave his campaign a smaller paper tiger loan of $29,700.  Republican Harper has actually spent his negligible $4,100 loan.

Curry had a slow start to 2013, but of course he declared his entry in the race just three weeks before Christmas.  In the prior post on AD-74 warchests, I asked, ” If Curry can continue his pace of $21,200 per month, he will quickly amass the largest warchest in AD-74.  However, many candidates find their fundraising slows down after an initial burst after their campaigns launch when they pick up their low-hanging fruit donors; can Curry defy the odds?”  The answer is yes, he defied the odds.  In this latest reporting period, Curry raised $32,871 per month.

Curry added $83,768 this reporting period to his $21,200 from 2013, making him the first AD-74 candidate to break the $100,000 barrier in funds raised, with $104,968 in the course of his campaign.  Curry transferred a negligible $6,490 from his city council campaign account in 2013, but transferred nothing this reporting period.  He also gave himself one of those $100,000 paper tiger loans that we expect he won’t spend.  Curry spent $32,271 on a healthy mix of items, including campaign literature, slate mailers, fundraising, ballot filing fees, and consultant fees.  He has no unpaid bills.  Even after subtracting out his loans, Curry still has $78,506 cash-on-hand.

Patrascu added $25,679 in this reporting period to his $35,395 haul from 2013, bringing his total contributions to $60,974.  He made no transfers.  He has $29,700 in loans.  He was incredibly tight-fisted with his expenditures, spending only $5,098, all of went to fundraising expenses, campaign treasurer expenses, and ballot filing fees.  He has no unpaid bills.  After subtracting out his loans, Patrascu still has $54,021 cash-on-hand.

Harper only raised $2,150 in this reporting period ($1,900 from Rainbow Disposal and $250 from attorney Dave Bartels), adding to the $4,100 he raised in 2013 from Karen Harper last year, leaving Harper with $6,250 raised.  He transferred in $11,150 from his City Council account into his Assembly account, all during this reporting period.  He loaned himself $4,100.  He spent $15,674, with $13,700 going to Jim Lacy’s Landslide Communications slates, $1,906 going to his treasurer Dave Bauer for either campaign literature or treasurer fees, and $68 in small unitemized expenditures.  He has $17,763 in unpaid bills, with $13,700 on his credit card to pay for Lacy’s Landslide slates, $4,028 on his credit card to pay ballot filing fees, another $1,927 in small unitemized unpaid bills, and $35 on his credit card to pay for small office expenses.  After subtracting out the loans and accounting for his unpaid bills, Harper is $19,940 in debt.

The Democrats are easy to summarize.  Ali has not yet hit the $25,000 mark to require online campaign finance filing.  Onofre gave herself a $100,000 paper tiger loan.  She spent nothing and transferred nothing.  She has a single $100 contribution from Republican CD-45 candidate Greg Raths; from the date of the contribution, Onofre was still a Republican at the time.  I imagine Raths will be asking for his $100 back since Onofre has become a Democrat.

For visual learners:

Candidate 2013
Transfers Candidate
Expenditures Cash on Hand
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
& Loans
Harper $4,100 $2,150 $6,250 $11,150 $4,100 $17,763 $15,674 $1,923 -($15,840) -($19,940)
Curry $21,200 $83,768 $104,968 $6,490 $100,000 $0 $32,271 $178,506 $178,506 $78,506
Patrascu $35,295 $25,679 $60,974 $0 $29,700 $0 $5,098 $83,721 $83,721 $54,021
Onofre $100 N/A $100 $0 $100,000 $0 $0 $100,100 $100,100 $100
Ali N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Campaign finance reports for January 1-March 17, 2014 were due Monday.

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

CRA Recap: Bates, Ming Unanimously Endorsed; Steel, Brough, Harper Endorsed; CD-45 Deadlock

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 1, 2014

CRA Logo

OC Political live-blogged the Orange County CRA endorsements this morning.  Here’s the quicky recap for those of you who just want the results:

CRA Endorsements

  • Supervisor Patricia Bates was endorsed by unanimous consent for the 36th Senate District.
  • Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming was endorsed by unanimous consent for the 5th Supervisorial District.
  • Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel was endorsed for the 2nd Supervisorial District, defeating Assemblyman Allan Mansoor 28-9.
  • Dana Point Councilman Bill Brough was endorsed for the 73rd Assembly District, defeating Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Jesse Petrilla 12-3, with former Laguna Niguel Councilman Paul Glaab receiving no votes.
  • Huntington Beach Mayor Matt Harper was endorsed for the 74th Assembly District, defeating Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry 14-3.
  • In the 45th Congressional District, Supervisor John Moorlach and Senator Mimi Walters fought through three rounds, but the convention deadlocked, so no endorsement was made in this race.  In the first round, Walters got 13 votes while Moorlach got 12, and retired United States Marine Corps Colonel Greg Raths received no votes.  Walters and Moorlach advance to a second-round run-off, in which they tied with 12 votes each.  In the third and final round, Walters got 14 votes while Moorlach got 9 votes.  It required a 2/3 vote to endorse, so CD-45 failed to produce an endorsement.

All other races on the June ballot will be considered in three weeks on Saturday, March 22.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 36th Senate District, 45th Congressional District, 5th Supervisorial District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »


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