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Posts Tagged ‘Mimi Walters’

Three-Candidate All-GOP Race in SD-37 as Filing Closes: Wagner, Moorlach, and Namazi

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 26, 2015

Wagner, Moorlach, and Namazi

The three candidates in the SD-37 special election (all are Republicans): Business Owner/Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner, former Orange County Supervisor John M. W. Moorlach, and Naz Namazi

Filing has closed for the March 17 special election to fill the vacancy in the 37th Senate District left when Mimi Walters was elected to Congress.  As expected, Assemblyman Don Wagner and former Supervisor/former Treasurer-Tax Collector John Moorlach filed for the seat. Unexpectedly, Naz Namazi pulled papers on the final day of filing and then filed for the seat as well.

A head-to-head Wagner vs. Moorlach race would have ended this election on St. Patrick’s Day.  If Namazi pulls enough votes to prevent either candidate from breaking 50%, that would force a Wagner-Moorlach run-off on May 19.

Ballot Designations

Wagner is using “Business Owner/Assemblyman” as his ballot designation.  Moorlach unsuccessfully sought “County Supervisor/Businessman” as his ballot designation, receiving “Orange County Supervisor” instead.  Oddly, Namazi does not have a ballot designation.  Ballot designations can be challenged in court through Monday, February 2 (a week from today).

I’ve never understood why a candidate would refuse to have a ballot designation.  It costs nothing and is the one thing every voter sees because it’s right under the candidate’s name under the ballot.  It’s literally the last thing a candidate gets to say to every voter (and for a scary number of voters, it’s also the first thing).

Ballot Statements (or Lack Thereof)

Wagner and Moorlach both got statements for the sample ballot while Namazi did not.

There are only two scenarios why a candidate wouldn’t have a ballot statement for the State Legislature: 1) the candidate can’t afford it or 2) the candidate plans to spend more than the voluntary expenditure limit.  (For example, in November 2014, Young Kim, Sharon Quirk-Silva, Janet Nguyen, and Jose Solorio did not get statements because they all planned to spend more than the voluntary expenditure limit.)

The voluntary expenditure limit for this election is $846,000, and I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that Namazi isn’t going to spend more than $846,000.  That leaves only the logical conclusion that Namazi couldn’t plunk down the $5,376 for a ballot statement.

If a candidate can’t afford to even get the ballot statement, how is the candidate supposed to get their message out? The ballot statement is the opportunity for every candidate to get a 1/4 page message mailed out to every registered voter in the district, as it is included in the sample ballot.  Any mailer districtwide would cost more than the ballot statement.  Even the costs of ink and paper from printing literature on a home computer to hand deliver to every voter in the district would cost more than a ballot statement.

In a general election, it’s possible to win an obscure down-ticket race without a ballot statement because voters are exhausted from reading many seats’ ballot statements or voters aren’t paying attention to the down-ticket races. However, this is the only thing on the ballot; there is no down-ticket.  Anyone turning out for this election is turning out solely for the Senate race.  Plus, it’s a special election, and special election voters are far more likely to read the sample ballot than general election voters.

Who is Namazi?

Namazi was a paid staffer on Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s re-election campaigns in 2012 and 2014.  She also purportedly joined Rohrabacher’s Congressional staff earlier this month.  She has been a licensed real estate salesperson for 1 year, 8 months (since May 2013).

As I live blogged two years ago at the January 2013 OCGOP Central Committee meeting, Namazi received the Anna Woods Memorial HQ Volunteer of the Year Award for her efforts in the 2012 election at the OCGOP headquarters in Tustin and the OCGOP office in Huntington Beach.  (Ironically, as the highest-ranking elected official present at that meeting, Wagner helped present all of the volunteer awards, including the one to Namazi.)

Born in Pakistan, the 47-year-old Namazi had been registered to vote at her Laguna Niguel residence for 20 years but recently reregistered to vote in Irvine in the two-bedroom residence of 64-year-old Julie Tanha.  Property records do not show that Namazi has given up her residence in Laguna Niguel nor acquired Tanha’s residence in Irvine. Laguna Niguel is in the 36th Senate District while Irvine is in the 37th.

Born in Pennsylvania, the 54-year-old Wagner has been registered to vote at his Irvine residence for 23 years. Wagner has been a licensed attorney since 1987, an Assemblyman since 2010, and was a community college district trustee from 1998-2010.

Born in the Netherlands, the 59-year-old Moorlach has been registered to vote at his Costa Mesa residence for 12 years. Moorlach’s CPA license was issued in 1980 but is currently inactive; he was a County Supervisor from 2007-2015 and the County Treasurer-Tax Collector from 1995-2007.

Decoy Candidate?

Ordinarily, a candidate who pulls papers on the last day of filing, recently reregistered from a longtime out-of-district residence to an in-district residence, has no ballot designation, and has no ballot statement would have all the red flags of being a decoy candidate.

However, there is one big gaping hole in the decoy theory: who actually benefits from Namazi’s candidacy?  Unless she starts hitting either Wagner or Moorlach, there is no obvious beneficiary of her candidacy.  There is no reason to see how she would draw from more from one candidate or the other: her name isn’t similar to either Wagner or Moorlach, she doesn’t have a similar ballot designation to either Wagner or Moorlach, she’s a woman while the other two are men (indeed, her name doesn’t even make her gender obvious), she has an Iranian name while Wagner and Moorlach have European names, etc.  Now, if Namazi starts campaigning heavily against one of the two major candidates, then the decoy theory is worth another look.

Who Will Campaign to Democrats?

It had long been thought that Wagner and Moorlach would try to outflank each other on the right to win the safely Republican SD-37, but with the Democrats failing to field a candidate (and indeed, no non-Republican candidate filing at all), which one will attempt to win over Democrats?  Or will both attempt it?  It will be a delicate balancing act trying to hang on to Republicans and grabbing Democrats.  28.6% of SD-37 voters are Democrats.  It’s a huge voting bloc.  If one candidate goes for the Democrats but the other does not, the Democrats could well determine the result of the election.  (Leslie Daigle missed her chance; this race was tailor-made for her!)  However, it’s still a staunchly Republican district; tilting too far left could cost too many votes on the right.

The riskiest strategy would be sending a hit piece to Democrats accusing the opponent of being too conservative, as the target of that hit piece would presumably quickly send a piece to Republicans: “Look!  My opponent says I’m more conservative than he is!”

Of course, there is the ever safe strategy of non-substantive messaging, along the lines of “Democrats Trust John Moorlach” or “Democrats Support Don Wagner” without any political stances included whatsoever.

Full Text of Ballot Statements

Wagner’s ballot statement is below:

As an Assemblyman since 2010, I’ve been a proven, principled conservative voice in Sacramento. That’s why I’m endorsed for State Senate by our conservative Congressman Ed Royce and Congresswoman Mimi Walters.

As Senator, I’ll strongly support a balanced budget, with no new taxes. I’ve fought to eliminate the $500 billion “wall of debt” that liberal politicians have created and plan to leave to our children. I signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” to never vote to raise your taxes and am endorsed by the OCTaxpayers Association.

My fiscal credentials aren’t just talk. I have real experience balancing government budgets – as President of a local Community College District I balanced every budget and paid off all debts, without raising taxes. It can be done.

I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. I’ve been a leader in demanding that Washington secure our border and compensate California taxpayers for the enormous costs of illegal immigration. I’m on record strongly opposing President Obama’s actions to grant amnesty.

As a small business owner myself, I experienced how overregulation and over-taxation stifle business success and economic growth. That’s why I’ve worked to get government off the backs of business owners. And that’s why I’ve been endorsed by the California Small Business Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

I’ve been leading the fight for conservative values in Sacramento, not just talking about them from afar. I pledge to use my experience and proven conservative record to keep up that fight for responsive, responsible, limited government.

Moorlach’s ballot statement is below:

I will fight to end unnecessary government spending and reduce debts. I oppose raising tax rates and I believe government must be lean, efficient, and live within its means.

I began my career as a CPA and Certified Financial Planner. I believe government spending requires sound planning and must stand firm against pressures from special interests.

California has an unrestricted net deficit of $124 billion and is 46th out of 50 states in financial status! Billions in underfunded public employee pensions is one of our biggest threats. As a County Supervisor, I passed a ballot measure requiring voter approval on any new public employee pension enhancement.

We also renegotiated the county employee retiree medical plan, reducing the unfunded liability by 71% and saving Orange County taxpayers nearly $100 million a year.

In 1994, I was a partner in a local accounting firm. When Orange County declared bankruptcy that December, I was brought in to help clean up the mess. We immediately cut costs, eliminated risky investments, and put the County back on a fiscally conservative path.

In 2006, I was elected to serve as County Supervisor, where I helped to prudently guide spending through the Great Recession, thus improving the business climate. During my tenure, the County’s unrestricted net assets grew from a deficit to in excess of $300 million. Today Orange County is fiscally sound, and our economy is strong.

California needs a fiscally conservative accountant in Sacramento. I would be honored to continue serving you. http://www.MoorlachforSenate.com

As mentioned earlier, Namazi did not get a ballot statement.

Posted in 37th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 14, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

The two announced candidates are both Republicans:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

Assembly Member Wagner Announces Early Endorsements for State Senate Bid

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on December 9, 2014

This came over the wire from the Don Wagner for Senate campaign yesterday…

ASSEMBLY MEMBER WAGNER ANNOUNCES EARLY ENDORSEMENTS FOR STATE SENATE BID

Irvine – Assembly Member Donald P. Wagner announced an initial round of endorsements in his State Senate bid from many local and state leaders who have worked with him and with his opponent over the years.

Former Supervisors Pat Bates and Janet Nguyen, his new colleagues in the state legislature, have endorsed Assemblyman Wagner, as has Senate leader Bob Huff and the senator Wagner seeks to replace, Congresswoman-Elect Mimi Walters. Joining them in endorsing Wagner are Senator Joel Anderson from San Diego, Senator Mike Morrell from the Inland Empire, and Senator Jean Fuller from Bakersfield.

Local leaders have also enthusiastically endorsed Assemblyman Wagner’s run for State Senate, including Supervisor-elect Michelle Steel, OC Fire Authority Chairman and Tustin Mayor Al Murray, Orange County Transportation Authority incoming Board Chairman and Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Lalloway, and Board of Equalization Member-elect and former Orange County Assemblywoman Diane Harkey.

In the Assembly, Wagner has the overwhelming support of his colleagues, including Republican Leader Kristin Olsen and former Republican leaders Martin Garrick and Connie Conway. Finally, he is also endorsed by, among others, Assembly Members Brian Jones, Shannon Grove, Beth Gaines, Frank Bigelow, Jim Patterson, and Brian Dahle.

More state and local endorsements will be announced shortly.

If you would like to join the Wagner for Senate campaign or receive regular progress updates, please visit the website at wagner4senate.com or contact the Wagner for Senate campaign office at 714.514.1888.

# # #

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

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 »

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 »

Community Leaders Endorse Ceci Iglesias for 69th Assembly District

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on May 25, 2014

This came over the wire from the Ceci Iglesias for Assembly campaign…

Ceci Iglesias for Assembly

Community Leaders Endorse Ceci Iglesias for 69th Assembly District

ORANGE COUNTY, CA – Campaigning for the 69th Assembly District on the theme of “Put Community First,” Santa Ana Unified School District Board Member Ceci Iglesias today announced the endorsements of two respected community leaders, Reuben Martinez and Frank Garcia.

Martinez and Garcia join a long list of organizations and leaders endorsing Iglesias for Assembly, including the Lincoln Club of Orange County, the Hispanic 100, Los 32 por Mexico, the California Women’s Leadership Association, Atlas PAC, Assemblymen Travis Allen and Don Wagner, Senators Bob Huff and Mimi Walters, Orange County Supervisors Janet Nguyen and Todd Spitzer, Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen, and Orange County Board of Education Trustee Robert Hammond.

“I am honored to be endorsed by two such respected community leaders like Reuben Martinez and Frank Garcia,” Iglesias said. “My campaign for the Assembly is about putting community first, and I am grateful for such strong community support.”

Reuben Martinez founded the iconic Librería Martinez bookstore in Santa Ana nearly 20 years ago. A delegate to several Democratic National Conventions and a 2004 winner of the MacArthur Fellowship, Martinez serves as a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, promoting literacy and education.

Frank Garcia founded La Casa Garcia restaurant in Anaheim more than 40 years ago.  Nearly 30 years ago, Garcia founded We Give Thanks, which has provided over 200,000 free Thanksgiving dinners to Orange County families in need and has award scholarships to local students for 15 years.

Iglesias was the top vote-getter in the 2012 Santa Ana Unified School Board election.  Born in El Salvador, Iglesias immigrated with her family to the United States and to Central Orange County 35 years ago.  A graduate of Santa Ana Unified, she earned degrees from Santa Ana College and Cal State Fullerton. Iglesias resides in Santa Ana with her son, who attends local public schools.

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Paid for by Iglesias for Assembly 2014. ID# 1364420.

Posted in 69th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Could Hit Piece Backfire on Walters Campaign?

Posted by Chris Emami on May 20, 2014

This hit piece was sent to CD 45 voters from the Mimi Walters this month:Raths_Hit_FrontRaths_Hit_Back

At first, I thought that this was a well-done hit piece that attacks Raths for serving in the Clinton Administration, but then I recalled reading Raths’ biography, which mentioned what he was doing for the White House. At the time, he served in the position of Assistant Chief of Staff of the White House Military Office. Generally, it is not a good idea for candidates to try and attack their opponent’s military service.

If Raths brings this to the attention of the OC Register to get some mainstream media coverage or sends out a mailer touting what has transpired, the CD-45 race could get very interesting.

Posted in 45th Congressional District | Tagged: , | 11 Comments »

Moorlach Drops Out of CD-45 Race

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on March 10, 2014

John M.W. MoorlachSupervisor John Moorlach announced tonight that he is dropping out of the race for the 45th Congressional District.  Candidates in the 74th Assembly District are banking on the sentence, “I will enjoy my final year as Supervisor and then return to the private sector…” Here’s his announcement…

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — It’s About Time — March 10, 2014

At the February 25th Board of Supervisors meeting, one of my colleagues, when considering the opportunity to serve on one more Board, explained how busy he already was. He cited the number of major issues being addressed on the numerous boards he sat on. He wondered aloud where in the day he could eke out the time required to participate on an additional board. He lamented that his plate was incredibly full and how stretched each Supervisor must be right now.

I do not believe he was complaining. He was just explaining that a County Supervisor’s days are completely full and that adding another commitment is not an easy thing to do. It’s about having the necessary time to be effective. After all, even the best delegator has to know when to say “no.”

I have run for elected office nine times. Running for Congress will be my tenth. I know how to campaign and what is involved. I consider myself an excellent time manager. But, I too am maxed out with the many components of this job of Supervisor.

Fortunately, I have been able to drop my involvement in two Commission Chair assignments (two involvements that I really enjoyed). But, my loyalty to the responsibility of my current job has made allocating major chunks of time to the campaign very difficult. I have made a fraction of the calls that I have wanted to, whether for asking for funds or for endorsements. If I called you, consider yourself fortunate. If I have not, rest in the knowledge that you are on the list.

The filing period closes on Wednesday and I find myself with two choices. The first is to file and continue to eke out time to campaign, including raising money, and hope that those efforts are successful. The second is to fold up the tent and drop out of the race.

I believe I am the best candidate for the 45th Congressional District. The polling shows that I’m in the lead. This is my race to lose. But, without satisfactory resources in the bank, I will find myself being hammered by negative mail on a weekly basis by one of the other candidates in the race. As she doesn’t have much of a record to boast upon, then going negative will have to be the only strategy left. And she hasn’t given any reason to think otherwise by the barbs that have been thrown my way to date.

I’m not afraid of negative mail. I endured plenty of it in my first run for County Supervisor from the independent expenditures made by local public employee unions and their brethren up and down the state. It’s not fun. But, you need to respond, as claims made by this one candidate in one recent e-mail were false and should deserve a response.

I’m also not a quitter. But, my family and I have given the County twenty years of our lives. The sacrifices made have been more than enough. Working long days every day of the week do have a way of wearing you down. I love the work and I love problem solving. I’ve had a ball as your County Treasurer and your Second District Supervisor. There have been plenty of problems to solve. The list of accomplishments I’ve been able to compile gives me great personal satisfaction of a job well done. It’s been about fiscal issues, and I’ve addressed most of them, some before they became ubiquitous.

We both know that our nation is headed in the wrong direction. The inability to balance annual budgets, the assumption that the federal government can run health care, the ever growing national debt, and municipalities choking to death on their pension commitments without leadership from Washington, D.C. are heartrending.

We are admonished by the Apostle Paul to run the race in order to win. Although I am spending numerous hours every day on the campaign, I am not allocating the amount of time needed to be a successful candidate. The job of a County Supervisor is just that time consuming. And my DNA will not allow me to neglect the responsibilities that I was elected to perform.

These past few months have been exhilarating. When someone says, “I wish there were more elected officials like you” or “you’ve got my vote,” it is most gratifying. One of the highest compliments I’ve received is that I’m well liked because I don’t “impose” on anyone. I have not imposed on you and others, and the campaign’s cash balance indicates it. Below is an article on the campaign from Womens ENews, showing the December 31st report totals.

Therefore, I’m letting the dream of serving in the United States Congress go. I will enjoy my final year as Supervisor and then return to the private sector; grateful for the opportunity to have served this wonderful County and its three million residents. I’ve been blessed. It’s about time I finish my tour of duty in public life. It’s about time I stop making my amazing wife endure countless hours of waiting for me to come home from the job. It’s about time I give myself some time.

Thank you for making the experiences over the past two decades so worthwhile and fulfilling. I deeply appreciate your support and encouragement! Thank you and God Bless you!

Womens eNews

GOP Female Duo Faces California’s ‘Jungle System’

By Sharon Johnson

WeNews senior correspondent

Monday, March 10, 2014

If they win in a state where campaign costs and competition are both high, Elizabeth Emken and Mimi Walters will crack open the GOP’s all-male caucus in California. The second in a series on women tapped by the GOP’s Project GROW.

(WOMENSENEWS)–Two Californian congressional candidates are carrying some of the GOP’s hope for improving its female ranks by the end of the year.

Both Elizabeth Emken and Mimi Walters have been tapped to receive special training and support through the GOP’s Project GROW (Growing Opportunities for Women).

Electing these women is key to Republican hopes of widening a 17-seat majority in the House of Representatives. The party is eager for Emken to take back the seat of Ami Bera, one of four seats it lost to the Democrats in 2012, and also for Walters to retain the seat of John Campbell, who is retiring after serving for 14 years.

The 53-member California delegation–the largest in the House–wields considerable power. Nancy Pelosi is the minority leader and Kevin McCarthy is the Republican whip.

The Democratic caucus, which has become more diverse since the 1990s, now includes 18 women and 20 men. The Republican caucus has remained a male bastion: all 19 members are men.

California is one of the most difficult states for House candidates because it has a “jungle” primary system. The top two vote getters in the primary compete in the general election regardless of political affiliation. This system poses ideological as well as fundraising barriers for GOP women, who tend to be more moderate and have fewer financial resources than do their male opponents.

“Female candidates across the country generally have a more difficult time raising funds than do male candidates because they don’t have the sources that men do, although this is starting to change as women move up in their fields,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

Only 27 percent of the 113 GOP female candidates for the House won their primaries in the 2010 midterm election, and 31 percent of 86 GOP female candidates in the 2012 general election, found the center, which conducts research and outreach on women’s under-representation in politics and government.

“Facing multiple challengers in a primary can quickly drain a female candidate’s finances,” said Walsh in a phone interview. “Running in a district where the cost of media is high can be prohibitively expensive for women.”

7th Congressional District

Elizabeth Emken is looking for her first victory in the race against Rep. Bera, a freshman Democrat who beat a longtime Republican incumbent in 2012.

Democrats have a 2 percentage point advantage in voter registration in the district, which includes the suburbs of Sacramento, the state capitol.

Fundraising may plague Emken. In addition to Bera, who raised $3,632,282 in 2012, Emken faces two Republican challengers in the primary on June 3: Doug Ose, a former congressman, and Igor Birman, chief of staff of Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif. Ose represented a large portion of the redrawn district from 1999 to 2005.

As of Dec. 31, Bera had raised $1,373,106; Emken, $450,999; Ose $378,452; and Birman $247,573, noted the Center for Responsive Politics. Bera, the only Indian American in the House, was recently named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline Program, which provides financial support to vulnerable Democrats.

Emken has denounced Bera as an “Obama foot soldier.” Unlike Bera, a physician who supports the Affordable Care Act, Emken has backed repeal because she says health care inequities can be better addressed through tax reforms. As a lobbyist for autism research, Emken backed provisions of the Affordable Care Act that would benefit the two million Americans who have the condition.

She also believes that the disabled and seniors have a right to opt out of Medicaid and Medicare.

Emken opposes same-sex marriage, which resumed in the state after a 2008 state ban was overturned by the Supreme Court in June 2013.

The mother of a son with autism, Emken lobbied the U.S. Congress for 14 years before she made her first foray into politics in 2010. In 1996, she and a group of parents of children with autism met with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to stress the need for more research funds for the condition, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says affects 1-in-88 children in the country.

As a legislative consultant and board member of Cure Autism Now, a Los Angeles research advocacy group, she helped pass the Advances for Pediatric Autism Research Act, which became part of the Children’s Health Act of 2000. In 2006, Emken also led a campaign by 19 autism organizations to pass the Combating Autism Act, which authorized $1 billion a year, beginning in 2007, for five years for research, screening and treatment.

In 2010, Emken came in last of four Republicans competing for the 9th District seat of Rep. Jerry McNerney, founder of a company that manufacturers wind turbines. In 2012, she made a bid for the U.S. Senate by challenging Democrat Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior senator, and won only 37 percent of the vote.

Fundraising was a major hurdle because the party provided little support. Unlike Feinstein, who had $865,541 in cash on hand, Emken started from scratch, raising a total of $914,350, reports the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign financing.

Emken’s largest contribution totaled $10,000. Only 1 percent of contributions came from political action committees, compared to 23 percent for Feinstein, who had served on key committees, such as Appropriations, Intelligence and Judiciary.

Feinstein, who had been in the Senate since 1992, spent $12,152,230. Her top contributors were PG & E Corp., a natural gas and electric utility for Northern and Central California ($120,700), and J Street PAC, a nonprofit group that wants to promote leadership to end the Israel/Arab conflict ($82,171).

45th Congressional District

A California state legislator, Mimi Walters, will face two GOP challengers in the June 3 primary for the seat of Campbell, who emphasized decreasing earmarks and reducing government spending.

All three are fiscal conservatives. John Moorlach, an Orange County supervisor, sounded the alarm before Orange County went bankrupt in 1994. A retired marine colonel, Greg Raths’ website says he would be “open to curbing expensive weapons systems, like the F-35 fighter jet, a $137 million plane which is not performing.”

The district includes Irvine, Mission Viejo and parts of Anaheim and Orange. Republicans have a 15-percentage-point advantage in voter registration. So far, no Democrat has filed to run.

Walters ran for state treasurer in 2010 and gained name recognition. She also has the endorsements of two influential California Republicans–Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Ed Royce, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

A former stock broker, Walters founded the California Women’s Leadership Association, a statewide organization of influential women who support free market principles. She supports lower taxes and less intrusive government, but has not addressed women’s economic issues, such as equal pay.

So far, Walters has the edge in fundraising. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that by the end of 2013, she had raised $623,760, Raths $132,729 and Moorlach $46,316.

In February, Walters was endorsed by the New Majority California PAC, the largest GOP PAC in the state. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the PAC contributed $1,107,798 to candidates from 2006 to 2012.

Sharon Johnson is a New York-based freelance writer.

PAID FOR BY THE MOORLACH FOR CONGRESS CAMPAIGN

Posted in 45th Congressional District, 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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