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Posts Tagged ‘OCGOP’

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 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 former 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Why I Am Supporting Robert Ming for Supervisor

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 28, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Meet me in the Middle

Posted by Brenda McCune on April 22, 2014

This is a quote from one of my favorite politicians, Bill Clinton.  Not because I stand with him ideologically, but because he was effective in creating consensus and getting things done.  Bill Clinton’s biggest fan is Bill Clinton, and he certainly would never let any ideology stand in his way of making a deal.  Not saying we should adopt that approach, but certainly something we could learn from.

The OCGOP held its monthly meeting last night, and the agenda included a variety of important endorsements for state and local offices.  Clearly the big events of the evening were consideration of the application from Tim Donnelly to obtain the county party endorsement in his race for California Governor, and Carlos Vasquez, seeking an endorsement from the party in his effort to unseat Loretta Sanchez.

Neither candidate was successful.

Mr. Vasquez is sorely underfunded for a race against a behemoth of a politician like Loretta Sanchez.  While everyone appreciated his sincerity and courage, he seemed unprepared to deal with this crowd.  Both Mr. Vasquez and his opponent who was in attendance were give an opportunity to respond to questions. (Jim Collum is a candidate endorsed by the American Independent party and did not seek the endorsement of the OCGOP, he complained that some glitch in getting his paperwork in on time prevented him from seeking this endorsement)  When asked why we should give them our endorsement, the candidates both dodged the question and gave their stump speech about why they are running.  Two more committee members asked similar questions, and it was only after Chairman Baugh pointed out their non-responsiveness, and Kermit Marsh asked them directly about endorsements and funds, did they finally get to the point of how viable they are that they should have the important endorsement of this particular body.  It was practically comical at times, with the lack of direct and concise responses and the effort to sidestep and obfuscate the issues that were clearly important to this body.  Can you really take this on?  Are you a serious candidate or is this just a haphazard game?

Loretta Sanchez is a serious contender.  Agreeably, a serious problem that the GOP would love to eliminate.  Are you the guy to get this job done?  That was the topic of discussion. Did they really think we were interested in their high gloss, soft shoe, sales pitch?

Andrew Blount is the mayor of Laguna Hills.  He is a nice man, with seemingly good intentions.  He has even less money than Tim Donnelly and does not have the cheerleading section, the “boots on the ground” that Donnelly has.  I am not sure why he is running.  He has $7,000.00 in his campaign that he has self funded.   He is a nice man and should save himself the grief of this race and just stay home.

Tim Donnelly came flanked by what appeared to be about 50 enthusiastic supporters.  The same rhetorical question should be posed to those people.  Did you really think, the elected OCGOP Central Committee members in this room were interested in your signs, or T-shirts, or your Whooping and hollering?  Next time the Tea Party desires to bring a candidate for the support of this group, please feel free to exercise some, or any, restraint and someone please take a lesson on decorum.  This is a room of politicos of varying experience, but certainly all committed to pursuing what is best for the party, our county and the state and federal governments overall.  The cheering and the interruptions were not only not persuasive, they were uncalled for and lended strength to the arguments against their candidate, in that this may not be the right time or the right candidate.

One thing that would have made Donnelly’s presentation more effective, is for all of those supporters present, to make some immediate financial contributions. They could have gotten on phones earlier in the day and worked on raising him some immediate money, rather than spending all the time they must have spent coordinating their T-shirts and signs.  Donnelly would have been more persuasive if he had come by himself, professional and dignified, just like every one of the many candidates we did endorse that evening.  With nearly 50 people there,  it is impossible not to wonder why or if, they have done or given anything at all to give this campaign some financial credibility, and prepare or strategize for this meeting, rather than just have an obvious plan to be disruptive.  Donnelly told us he had $11,000.00 in the bank.  If every enthusiastic supporter there put in $50.00 RIGHT THEN, he could certainly have boasted that he raised $2,500.00 THIS EVENING. That would have been impressive and might have helped to convert some believers to their arguments about all the faith they have in their grassroots and ground swell.

I get it,  Meg Whitman, blah, blah, blah, money doesn’t win races, blah, blah.

A campaign is not a religious exercise requiring a vow of poverty either.  Money is necessary.  Money is required.  Donnelly also acknowledged that more than $100k is still needed.  I do not recall if that is debt from past expenditures or is needed for future printing projects, but clearly the campaign is not even realizing it’s own goals.  If there were more effort in this energetic group, put behind fund raising, coupled with their enthusiasm, certainly committee members like me, who came with a truly open mind, could be persuaded to get on the band wagon.  There is an enormous problem with credibility when there is such a disparity between reality and necessity.

Chairman Baugh confirmed that Jerry Brown has a war chest of $20million.  Twenty-million dollars.

The probation thing also doesn’t help, and Donnelly never even mentioned it.  It is out there, it will have to be addressed.  Ignoring the elephant in the room will not make it go away.

Although Mr. Donnelly, was polished and articulate, he was condescending and played to his crowd.  He was there to seek the endorsement of the committee, and frankly, it appeared he planned on not getting it.  Donnelly and his followers left the room as soon as the votes pertaining to him were complete. They were indignant and noisy, and continued to make  noise and commotion as they exited a meeting that was still in progress. The meeting was in progress in fact, to honor the hard work of our great volunteers.  Well played Donnelly camp.  Disrespect is not usually the way to win anyone’s support.  Volunteers are the heart of what we do, and in general the volunteers who are honored at this meeting are not people who just discovered the conservative movement last week, but generally have long histories of service.  Shame on you for such glaring disrespect of these people and the process.

The chronic defensiveness of the Tea Party continues to hurt their message.  Their premise is that they are right about all of their platforms and disenfranchised from the “establishment” without any access or appreciation for their enormous “grassroots” efforts. They came to the “establishment” and acted like jerks.  That is not inviting or attractive in anyway. Rodney Dangerfield got no respect because he went around saying it all the time.  You get what you give usually.

I WANT to support Tim Donnelly.  I WANT to believe that there is a tremendous ground swell effort in play, that grassroots are taking hold, that voters are fed up and they want change, BUT, if the captains of the grassroots ship, keep coming to the party with a chip on their shoulder about how disenfranchised they are, this movement will sink itself AND the party.  I hope that doesn’t happen, but based upon the display last night, I can’t help but feel we are all doomed, to eventually live in a completely and hopelessly blue state, in a completely and hopelessly blue nation.  We all remember where that one party experiment was last tried and failed.

Meet me in the middle, was about compromise, it was about reaching out, and if Bill Clinton was anything, it was persuasive.  We need people from the base and the Tea Party to develop attitudes of meeting in the middle. The ideaologues and dogma are a problem, the obvious one, but what was evidenced last night is both greater and easier to fix.  It was about respect.  Donnelly fans showed up, moderately hostile, anticipating to be disrespected and not to gain the endorsement they alleged to seek.  They left, fulfilling their negative self prophecy, not more enlightened in how their own behavior contributed to this.  I came with an open mind. I want to believe that there is a David who can kill Jerry Brown’s Goliath.  In the course of the meeting, though, they lost me.  Misguided efforts and the prevailing attitude were too prevalent to overlook.

Republican party voter registration is now down to 28%.  The increase in No Party Preference voters continues, with no end in sight.  We are almost tied, the GOP and NPP for voter registration.  Sad.  Our platform is that limited government would provide increased economic freedom to all, and as such, increased liberty to all.  Is that really so hard? Is there any concept or ideal that is more important than that?  That is our middle.  It is our foundation.  It is right. It works. If we can not figure out how to meet THERE, we continue to jeopardize our future.  I sincerely hope that both Tim Donnelly and Carlos Vasquez continue to work hard, step up and clean up their game, so that we see viable candidates to carry our message in November after the June primary.

If the Donnelly supporters are serious about truly helping him get this endorsement prior to November, it would behoove them to put a proverbial shoulder to the plow in good faith. There are always openings for Volunteers in the GOTV efforts at OCGOP.  Join us.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Vote for me, because I am one of you

Posted by Brenda McCune on February 18, 2014

Last night the OCGOP Central Committee held it’s monthly meeting and on the agenda were some requests for early endorsements in upcoming partisan races.  There has been some confusion over recent changes in the bylaws and how the timing, request and filing requirements of endorsements will be affected, but that is not the topic here.  (Frankly, I’m a pretty smart person, and I am still struggling to understand the amendments and why we made them)  Here, I want to discuss the future future of the party in California in a post Prop 14 world.

The only endorsement that garnered any discussion is the one sought by Diane Harkey for the California State Board of Equalization.  There were unanimous endorsements for Shari Freidenrich and Tony Rackaukas.  I don’t believe that Shari is challenged and given the circumstances surrounding prior challenges, it’s not likely that TRack will see any challengers until he is blind and walking with a cane and willing to step down, none of which seem to be in his future.

Diane Harkey has announced her candidacy for the State Board of Equalization. In that race also, are Republicans Van Tran and Mark Wyland.  As a matter of procedure (which was not at any time clear what exactly the procedure should have been) the candidates were allowed to speak.  It was fairly impromptu, and did become something of a debate, although the Chairman continued to remind us that this was not a debate.  The end of the story is that the Committee voted by a narrow, (3 votes) to endorse Diane Harkey at this early stage, per her request.  She was immensely grateful, and indicated it was going to make it so much easier for her to raise money and obtain support.

Although I am not well acquainted with any of these candidates,  I did receive a phone call quite some time ago from Diane requesting my support.  I have also had contact from her campaign requesting the same, so kudos to her for hitting the ground running.  I have seen her at every Central Committee meeting in recent months, pressing the flesh, making her presence and ambitions known. She certainly has gotten out early and often, doing the work.  However, I am not certain that an “A” for effort necessarily entitles a candidate to essentially eviscerate opportunities for the other Republicans before the campaign has even started.

To clarify, since Prop 14 we have ‘open’ primaries in California.  Any number of candidates from any party may enter a race.  In this race, we will have at least 3 Republicans and 1 Democrat in what has been described to as a ‘safe’ Republican seat.  In the last election we saw the first glimpse of what is to come of this in the form of Republican on Republican fundraising and rhetorical violence.  How we will deal with it continues to be of concern and debate amongst our ranks.

The best idea of the evening was in the form of a motion made by Deborah Pauly to “table” this discussion until the filing had closed for this office, i.e. postpone this discussion and endorsement until after the ‘official’ filing deadline with the Registrar of Voters has passed, because in theory, someone could walk in there today and decide to be a candidate for this office.  In the morass of procedural clarifications throughout the meeting, that motion somehow got lost, which was disappointing.  The vote on the endorsement and the debate from the members proceeded nevertheless, the endorsement was granted, without any significant consideration of the implications and seriousness of the problems this new post Prop 14 lay of the land provides for the party.

The lack of strategy and agenda for addressing this problem having been noted, here is what has and is developing from this new early endorsement approach.  A veritable game of “gotcha” seems to be arising, in that if a candidate gets there early, and another worthy candidate is in the wings, unaware of the procedure for an endorsement, if and when the political insider, the one who knows the ropes, the one who has been in an office and aware of these procedures, gets there first, he or she will be the one who will get the endorsement.  Will this stop the blood bath of Republican on Republican campaigning in the early races?  That remains to be seen, but it seems it could really exacerbate it.

Now with the OC giving the nod to Harkey, it is likely that San Diego will give the nod to it’s hometown hero, Wyland.  A comment was made last night that VanTran has “no chance” and should bow out now, which of all the incredible and offensive things I heard last night, that was certainly one of them.  It was only a few years ago that Van Tran was the great party hope to unseat Loretta Sanchez. Now he is disregarded like road kill, ‘nothing to see here folks, move along’.  Wow.

The veritable stepping over Van Tran, is magnified though when viewed in light of the discussion that occurred.  Strangely, in the lengthy questioning of the candidates, not only were there no questions related to the actual duties of the position, there was no discussion of the agenda that either candidate would bring to the office.  What there was, were a number of questions that could be easily rephrased as “How Republican are you?”  We heard quite a lot from Harkey about how involved she has been in the party, how she is highly rated in her State Assembly performance by conservative groups, and all the conservative principles she has fought for in the State Assembly.  Nothing other than she really wants “this” (new) job, to explain to us what exactly she will do at the Board of Equalization.

It should be noted that Wyland, even though he was invited to engage in the discussion, did NOT seek the party endorsement.

In addition to being light on substance related to the actual office, (again, these candidates were not noticed that they would be speaking) Harkey was over all, shrill in her presentation. She was a tad histrionic, condescending and rude at times.  I did not care for the eye rolling at some of the comments from Wyland, and her body language, including but not limited to the manner in which she snatched the microphone from Mr. Wyland.

I have said before, this is a tough room.  Politicos of every ilk, well versed in the issues and public figures who in their own varied roles, must verbally address the public on a regular basis.  If you are coming here, you should be prepared to bring your A-game.  Ms. Harkey, as she pointed out, has a long career of public service and has run many a successful campaign. She as much as anyone, should not take any of this for granted.  The impression she gave last night is that she does.  She was indignant that Wyland was there, or in the race or really toward almost anything he had to say. He is also an elected official, coincidentally, higher ranking than Ms. Harkey. Regardless, her disrespect was uncalled for.  Her anticipation of the automatic nature of the endorsement of this important body, also uncalled for.  I would have been far more impressed had she been dignified, respectful and acquiescing to the right of her opponent to be heard.

I am disappointed that the Committee took this action when there were other options, to simply not endorse, or table it for a short, or even indefinite time.  I am disappointed at the narrow margin by which this important endorsement was gained.  I would have voted for the motion to table this to the next meeting or anytime AFTER the filing deadline had passed so that we could be certain exactly WHO will be in this race, but that’s not the way it went.  I fear now, that this will be a fundraising and propaganda blood bath, in what could have and should have been a quiet race for a “safe” seat.  Ms. Harkey indicated that this early endorsement will avoid exactly that which I and others fear, in that SHE will have an easier time raising money and obtaining important support.  I’m not the campaigning pro that she is, and I seriously hope she is right, it just doesn’t make any logical sense to me.

A letter I received from Mark Wyland dated February 13, 2014, stated, “My view has always been that the best role for the party is to stay out of Republican on Republican races, and to help unify everyone after the June vote.  ……With that in mind, I would ask the Orange County Republican Party not pick favorites between three Republicans.  Speaking for myself, I can’t think of anything I have done over the years to deserve having my party endorse against me.  …. I do not request my party’s endorsement and would deeply appreciate it if my party would not endorse against me.”

In this post Prop 14 world, I keep having this recurring thought, it is a good thing we Republicans are so pro-gun because we need to keep re-loading to shoot ourselves repeatedly in the foot.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Anaheim Council Members Make (Or attempt to) Their Case to the Central Committee

Posted by Brenda McCune on January 21, 2014

The OCGOP held it’s monthly meeting last night at the (newly renamed) Hotel Irvine (Fka the Irvine Hyatt). The speakers for the evening were Lucille Kring and Kris Murray. These council members have been under attack for their vote on permitting hotel developers to have a rebate on the Transient Occupancy Tax, (TOT) once and if the hotels are built by the developers. This issue came before the council in 2012 and the council was split 2-3. More important is the May 2013 vote, when the issue was again considered and the vote was 4-1, Mayor Tom Tait being the only vote against the rebate.

The other hot topic of discussion was the ongoing negotiations with the Angels to extend their contract with Anaheim.

We heard over and over again from Kring and Murray that these were “complicated” issues. It seemed to me they had forgotten that their audience for the evening were 1) Grown-up people whom have all presumably stayed at a Hotel at some point in their lives, 2) Live in Orange County and know a few things about the Angels and Arte Moreno and 3) Are all politicians of one ilk or another.

It’s not complicated. It is not new math. It is not brain surgery or rocket science, but here’s the message they delivered.

Kris Murray beat the drum of unity of the City Council, indicating they were all in agreement on this and that and a whole bunch of other things. It is noteworthy, that the Central Committee meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend, and in general, whomever is speaking is also not a secret. It would seem to behoove good local Republican politicians to know what the goings on are in their county’s Central Committee, particularly when a monthly meeting might be featuring one of their cohorts on their own council. Mayor Tom Tait was a guest speaking at the meeting just a few months ago. He delivered a very different message. His message was that he stood alone fighting the battle of fiscal conservativism on the Anaheim City Council. The 4-1 vote in favor of extending tax rebates (TOT’s) to hotel developers (Tait was the only dissenter) seems to bolster this claim by Mayor Tait.

Ms. Murray went on to discuss the “complicated” issues arising in the negotiations with the Angels over extending their contract with Anaheim. She emphasized the long history of the partnership of the city and the team, (no mention of the protracted litigation over the name just a few years ago) and the huge risk to the city should the Angels decide to up and move to a nearby city that will build them a new stadium, such as happened in Atlanta. She prepared a Power Point but time constraints did not permit her to go through it. She was kind enough to email it to the Central Committee members today for our review. It was interesting in that the Power Point contained one map of the United States that showed the teams that are receiving substantial subsidies from their city. These included four teams, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals, and Tampa Bay Rays. Each are purported to be receiving in excess of $300 million dollars in facilities funding. She emphasized that the city “makes” money on the Angels franchise in that it brings people to the area who support local retail and hotels. There are 30 MLB teams, there was no information or statistics on the averages, or any other variations, only the four teams getting subsidy’s of $300 million or more.

Tom Tait, when he recently appeared before the Committee, had argued that the city was not making money on the current deal with the Angels, and that the Angels were in essence being provided “free rent”. The Orange County register in September reported that over the past 16years that the current agreement has been in place, the city made money in nine of those years, and lost money in the past seven, for a net loss of $52,000.00. A sports/business expert interviewed by the Register called it an “irrelevant” loss. Tom Tait’s demeanor on that evening, was emotional, self serving, and desperate to convey to us that he was fighting the good fight and holding the line as a fiscal conservative. From that initial perspective to the message of last night, it is clear to see the emotionality in this divided Council. If Council Members Kring and Murray accomplished anything last night, it was to explain the emotionality and bolster the credibility of Mayor Tom Tait.

Lucille Kring discussed the TOT. This has been widely debated and criticized as the “$158 million dollar give away”.  She went on into a lengthy discussion and explanation of the TOT, of the fact that in the ‘90’s some hotels chose to build in Garden Grove instead of Anaheim, because of such tax advantages, and that Garden Grove at that time gave away free land. She failed to note that those Garden Grove hotels have undergone several ownership changes since they were built.  No discussion of whether the lack of success of those hotels has to do with the lack of proximity to Disneyland. She also noted that travelers frequently choose to stay in “four star” hotels in beach cities.  There was no discussion of what these proposed hotels getting the TOT rebates would be, but one report was that the plan was for a three story structure.  If that is what is proposed, that’s not a luxury hotel. She was terribly condescending in her repeated statements that the “city is not writing a check”. Well, maybe not now, but if this is indeed a “rebate”, that is exactly what the city will do. Again, she seemed to forget her audience, and stayed firm on her position that it was just too much for us to understand, and that if only we understood we would see what a great idea it was. She further, had great difficulty in admitting that she campaigned on representations that she would not support such tax breaks fro developers. Only after several questions from the typically forceful Debra Pauley, and then after the same question was restated by Chairman Baugh did Ms. Kring ultimately, finally admit that she “only discussed that with a few people, yes.”. She continued to assert that it was never stated in her “campaign materials”.

As public servants, both of these women serve our community at a substantial sacrifice to themselves, and nowhere could this be more appreciated than by this audience of public servants. However, in taking up the cloak of leadership, credibility, responsibility and message are relevant. Local politics is a blood sport and it appears they have engaged in this battle essentially unarmed. Overall, both Council Members were unconvincing in their message that everything is coming up roses in Anaheim and there is peace and harmony and that campaign promises are alive and well all around the Council Chambers in Anaheim. When Ms. Kring made the statement regarding her “campaign materials”, she turned away from the audience to face Chairman Baugh and spoke very softly. Nevertheless, it garnered an audible sigh from the audience.

There are a number of business people in Anaheim who support the Hotel deal, even though the most vociferous discussion on this TOT vote has been negative. Maybe there is a really good economic policy behind this and maybe it will ultimately be a wonderful outcome and bring business and revenue to the city, but we did not hear anything that sounded like that. There was a recurring excuse from both the speakers that these actions are similar to actions that have been taken before. That “well they did it back then” attitude and theme was as unpersuasive as every other part of the presentation.

Neither one of them appeared to believe in what they were selling. They were well prepared, rehearsed, polished and articulate and said what they came to say, but it was weak and unconvincing to say the least. If they believed in what they were doing, had absolute confidence in the positions they have taken on these issues, then there should have been no reason to sidestep actions contrary to campaign promises or to deny the obvious and well documented division among the council. This is certainly the wrong room to come to and be timid, apologetic,defensive, or untruthful.

In litigation we have a saying for silly or non-meritorious arguments, “That dog don’t hunt”. In the public forum as well as the political gathering last night, not only do these positions and policies “not hunt”, these politicians now and in their re-election bids will continue to be the hunted if they persist on a platform of excuses and half truths.

Posted in Anaheim, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

OCYR Summer Party

Posted by Scott Carpenter on July 13, 2012

The Orange County Young Republicans are ramping up their operations for this coming November’s election.  To keep members active and recruit new member’s they’ve teamed with the Newport Harbor Republican Women and the Hispanic 100 to host a summer party for only 10 dollars.  As an OCYR board member I’m excited for this fun event, check it out at http://www.ocyr.org/ocyr_summer_party

Flyer below:

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Why I Did Not Vote to Endorse John Campbell for Re-Election

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 14, 2012

In February of this year the Orange County Republican Party (“OCGOP”) voted to endorse several incumbent Congressmen for re-election. One of the incumbents seeking that endorsement was Congressman John Campbell. As an elected member of the OCGOP I was entitled to a vote and to voice my opinion on the subject. I spoke out against that endorsement and voted No.

This was the first time the OCGOP was doing endorsements for partisan offices since the passage of the terrible “Top Two Primary” of Proposition 14. Prior to passage of Prop. 14, the official party did not endorse in partisan races such as Congress. But Prop. 14 has forced the Republican Party to do so and the OCGOP is the official arm of the Party in Orange County.

The tipping point for me regarding Congressman Campbell was the December 2010 lame duck Congress’ vote to repeal the military’s policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (“DADT”) regarding active homosexuals serving in the military. Prior to this vote I was becoming troubled with Congressman Campbell’s vote in favor of TARP and Cash for Clunkers and his abstaining on the vote to bailout the auto industry. When Congressman Campbell 1st ran for Congress in a special election, I was one of those who supported him by helping him obtain the endorsement of the California Republican Assembly and walking precincts for him. Until the most recent re-districting, I lived inside Mr. Campbell’s congressional district. Seeing him vote with the lame duck Democrats for the repeal of DADT was a shock and disappointment.

As a former U.S. Marine (1975 – 1978), I understand something about serving in the military including what I consider very severe challenges to service members’ 1st amendment rights of freedom of religion and free speech due to this change in policy. Almost immediately I wrote a letter to Congressman Campbell advising him that I did not agree with his vote, that as a former member of the military I felt I had some legitimate concerns over the implications of the repeal of DADT for those serving our country in the armed forces and I asked to meet with him to discuss this.

For over one year Congressman Campbell knew of my request (according to his District Director) but never would meet with me. At the OCGOP meeting in February I asked him to explain his vote to repeal DADT and why he would not meet with me, one of his supporters and constituents. Congressman Campbell stated to the members and guests of the OCGOP that he felt his vote was right partially due to information he, as a Congressman, had that we constituents did not have (can we spell arrogance!). He then went on to state several other things he has done as a Congressman that he was proud of – without once explaining why he would not meet with me (in his oral response to my questions he did not even acknowledge me or my letter to him on the DADT subject).

Almost immediately following this, Bill Dunlap (an OCGOP alternate) rose and asked Congressman Campbell why he is never in the District to meet with constituents or hold town hall meetings (bravo Bill!). The Congressman’s only response was that he feels his mass e-mails to his e-mail list is sufficient. I guess that means to the Congressman that face-to-face contact with voters in his District is not only not important but also not needed.

I am not important in this matter. What is important is a person who is supposed to be a representative in Congress who refuses to meet with a constituent on an important public policy issue. In my opinion that is not a proper attitude for a Congressman. Congressman Campbell did not lose my vote for endorsement – he did not earn it.  Congressman Campbell fell short of the two thirds votes necessary for him to receive the OCGOP endorsement (He was later able to obtain the endorsement of the CRP when the executive board met privately).

For those who live in the new 45th Congressional District, as you consider who to vote for in the June 5, 2012 election, I offer you this information for your consideration. If I lived in the 45th District I would cast my vote for Republican John Webb.

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

 
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