OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee, Round 1 for November 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 12, 2018

We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee for the first round of endorsements for the November 2018 general election. The Endorsements Committee will make recommendations tonight to be voted upon at the Central Committee’s July 30 meeting.

On tonight’s agenda are:

  • Garrett Dwyer for Aliso Viejo City Council
  • Patrick Harper for Fountain Valley City Council
  • Erik Peterson for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Mike Posey for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Elaine Gennawey for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Carlos Rodriguez for Yorba Linda City Council
  • Yes on Prop 6
  • Yes on the Newport Beach Debt Charter Amendment
  • No on the Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative

Present are Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang and Members Gene Hernandez, Leroy Mills, and Erik Weigand. Absent are Mark Bucher, Laura Davies, and Tyler Diep.

Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative

First up is the Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative.

Central Committee Chairman Fred Whitaker discusses the economics of minimum wage and Republican philosophy regarding minimum wage. He warns of the threat to jobs from a minimum wage hike to $18 per hour, as employers cut back jobs due to increased costs.

Whitaker says Democrats will use the measure to increase union turnout in the General Election. He notes Bernie Sanders came to Anaheim to campaign for the measure.

Whitaker warns of the effect of this measure on the 4th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District, and 34th Senate District. Democrats will use the measure to try to increase their turnout, but Republicans can use opposition to try to increase their turnout.

Whitaker warns that this measure goes far beyond just the divisive politics of Anaheim. The measure applies to small businesses in the Resort District that did not receive the tax breaks that some hotels did. He says could be a foothold for other minimum wage increase measures.

Todd Ament of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce states that unions started this measure after businesses refused to accept “card check” union organizing procedures (instead of allowing workers to vote by secret ballot on whether they would have a union). They collected 22,000 signatures in 22 days with the assistance of union households.

Ament highlights the text of the measure that applies the $18 minimum wage to small businesses, not just large hotels.

Ament says 3,000 construction jobs and 1,000 other full-time jobs would be lost if this measure passes.

Committee Chair Peggy Huang says this measure is a feel-good measure that has devastating effects interfering with free market economics.

Committee Member Erik Weigand asks if the measure only applies to the Resort District.

Ament says it does and notes the numerous restaurants and other small businesses in the district, pointing to small retail stores, pizzerias, etc. He notes it is the highest minimum wage ever to make a ballot in the United States.

Huang asks if the measure applies to businesses that are not receiving the subsidies.

Ament says the tax rebate applies to hotels that would otherwise have not been built, but the measure

Leroy Mills moves and Gene Hernandez seconds to recommend the Central Committee oppose the Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative.

The Endorsements Committee votes 3-0-1 (Weigand abstaining) to recommend the Central Committee oppose the Anaheim Minimum Wage Initiative.

Elaine Gennawey for Laguna Niguel City Council

Elaine Gennawey is a 3-decade resident of Laguna Niguel. Although they have a low pension liability, Gennawey states their City started a pension trust to reduce their pension liability. She speaks of City projects and transparency.

Hernandez asks Gennawey about her leaving blank the question on whether California should be a shall-issue state.

She says she supports shall-issue with stringent policies on who is eligible for it.

The Endorsements Committee votes 4-0 to recommend Gennawey be endorsed by the Central Committee.

Erik Peterson for Huntington Beach City Council

Erik Peterson says he and Mike Posey authored COIN in his city. He proposed greater oversight over City finances with outside people, not just City staff. He and Posey got the City to vote to sue that sanctuary state legislation violated charter city rules. Peterson says no pension-increasing salary increases have been passed in his time on the City Council.

Hernandez asks how many seats are up.

Peterson says there are four incumbents seeking re-election this year.

Weigand asks about the four incumbents and seeking endorsements.

Peterson calls Billy O’Connell a union advocate. He says Barbara Delgleize is good on pensions but wrong on environmental issues, abortion, and issues on “feelings.”

Huang asked about his prior endorsement for a Democrat.

Peterson endorsed a slate for Ocean View School Board in Huntington Beach that included John Briscoe and Gina Clayton-Tarvin. He did not check Clayton-Tarvin’s party affiliation and regrets that endorsement now.

Huang asks about what Peterson sees as challenges facing the City.

Peterson notes financial constraints because 76% of the budget goes to employees and the city charter requires 15% go to infrastructure. He says that maybe increasing the transient occupancy tax from 10% to 11% could generate revenue. He speaks of holding revenue-generating events. He describes various cuts that could be made to the city budget by using newer technology and outsourcing. He opposes a sales tax increase.

Hernandez asks about campaign fundraising.

Peterson has raised $40,000 (he spent $28,000 four years ago).

Mills asks about whether he has taken union money.

Peterson says he has not, and unions do not like him.

Mills asks about Prop 68.

Peterson said he voted No on 68.

Hernandez moves to recommend Peterson.

Huang asks about traffic in Huntington Beach.

Peterson gives a lengthy answer about SCAG problems and working to attract more businesses. He opposes the state’s affordable housing mandates because they are about greenhouse gas emissions rather than housing.

Hernandez asks about RHNA numbers in Huntington Beach.

Peterson says the RHNA number is around 400. He discusses how he supports charity, but government charity is theft from taxpayers. He wants development, but does not want to become Santa Monica.

Hernandez moves and Mills seconds recommending Peterson.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Peterson for endorsement by the Central Committee.

Carlos Rodriguez for Yorba Linda City Council

Carlos Rodriguez speaks of his family’s prosperity under Ronald Reagan, and his father losing his defense contractor job during Bill Clinton. He speaks of his Republican volunteerism and his career at the Building Industry Association. He opposes increasing fees, regulations, and taxes, and says that is what his job is.

Weigand moves and Mills seconds recommending Rodriguez.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Rodriguez for endorsement by the Central Committee.

Patrick Harper for Fountain Valley City Council

Patrick Harper is a Planning Commissioner. He speaks of his family and having to leave an all-star Little League game to make this meeting. There are three seats up with only one incumbent seeking re-election. He speaks of the City being conservative with both long term residents and Vietnamese immigrants. He is married to a Vietnamese-American. He wants to fight for conservative values.

Huang asks about party registration.

Harper is a lifelong Republican, and his city is still plurality Republican.

Mills asks about his bond votes, including specifically school bonds.

Harper opposes most bonds. He did vote for a school bond to rehabilitate building that were built decades ago.

Weigand asks about his prior candidacy for Council in 2014 and his current endorsements.

Harper got a late start the last time. He says the incumbents are holding off on endorsements until after filing closes.

Huang asks about the Measure HH sales tax increase.

Harper says it passed in 2016 and expires in 20 years. He says it should not be renewed, so the City needs to grow its revenue base.

Weigand asks if he supported HH.

Harper did not publicly support it, but he did vote for it. He felt it was a higher increase than he wanted, as he wanted a smaller increase but opposed having no increase.

Weigand asks if Harper would be willing to propose repealing HH if the City were flush with cash.

Harper said if after 10 years, the City was flush with cash, he would support repealing HH.

Huang asks about HH revenues and City finances.

Harper rattles off various figures about City finances and notes a structural deficit.

Huang asks about solutions for the structural deficit.

Harper supported rezoning an industrial area as mixed use to generate more property revenue. He notes many residents are on Proposition 13, and as they sell their homes, there would be more revenue. He proposes having greater efficiencies to reduce expenses in City government.

Weigand moves and Mills seconds to recommend Harper to the Central Committee.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Harper to the Central Committee.

Garrett Dwyer for Aliso Viejo City Council

Garrett Dwyer is a 15-year resident of Aliso Viejo. He speaks of his volunteerism in the community. He speaks of his 7-year-old daughter. Dwyer expressed some interest in running. Councilman Mike Munzing encouraged him to run after Jake Vollebregt was called up to active duty (and was unavailable to run) while a Lincoln Club member decided she did not want to run either. Munzing endorsed him, as did Mayor Dave Harrington and Councilman Bill Phillips. Councilman Phil Tsunoda is retiring. Dwyer says there is a Democrat running for the seat.

Munzing says Tsunoda and Ross Chun are the two Democrats on the Council, but hate each other. Tsunoda is more moderate while Chun is backing an “Elizabeth Warren-Resist type” backed by the Democratic Party for the City Council. Munzing says Dwyer has met with the City Manager and other leading City employees to get an in-depth analysis of items facing the City.

Weigand asks about his party registration.

Dwyer has been a lifelong Republican and moved to Orange County (and Aliso Viejo) in 2003.

Weigand asks what Harper will do to help the Republican Party in Aliso Viejo, which was Senator Pat Bates and Assemblyman Bill Brough’s weakest OC city, and it is in Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s swing district.

Dwyer says he would work with the entire ticket to ensure they all win.

Munzing says Aliso Viejo Republicans did little in the Primary but would have many volunteers walking in the General Election.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds Dwyer.

Huang asks about challenges facing Aliso Viejo.

Dwyer speaks of a ranch project and the development of the Town Center. He says the City must work with these entities to help bring revenue to the City. He wants to encourage work readiness program involvement, like Junior Achievement, from schools in Aliso Viejo.

Huang asks Dwyer about his philosophy of taxpayer subsidies for businesses.

Dwyer wants to incentivize businesses but not necessarily with taxpayers paying for it.

Hernandez asks about homelessness.

Dwyer says there is a small area that the homeless have gathered in Aliso Viejo. He gives a lengthy discussion about regional discussions on homelessness, referencing medical services, facilities, the current County lawsuit, etc. Dwyer says there are no easy answers to the problem.

Munzing says Aliso Viejo refuses to participate in Judge David Carter’s “overreach” in the homelessness lawsuit.

Mills asks about bonds, including school bonds.

Dwyer says he is not a fan of bonds.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Dwyer for endorsement by the Central Committee.

Mike Posey for Huntington Beach City Council

Mike Posey was late to this meeting because he was hosting a town hall on CalPERS environmental social governance with Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) and CalPERS executives. It is his third town hall this year about Sacramento’s impact on local control in Huntington Beach. The first was about housing mandates, and particularly about SB 35 by Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco), seizing control from local cities. Posey has an item to have The City Attorney explore ways around SB 35 and several other related pieces of legislation. The second town hall was about public safety, particularly AB 109, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57.

Hernandez moves to recommend endorsing

Weigand asks about the four endorsements the OC GOP could make in Huntington Beach.

Posey says he agrees with Erik Peterson 90% of the time. He says that 10% includes development. He says Peterson is an intractable opponent of development. Peterson attempted to overturn a development based on parking despite it meeting City parking requirements. He cannot recall a single vote by Peterson in favor of any development project.

Posey feels Billy O’Connell needs mentoring. O’Connell has recused himself on 50 votes, including 26 in one year, despite most of the votes not being conflicts of interest. For example, he even recused himself on a vote ending a business improvement district when the businesses asked for it, but then unrecused himself on the second reading. He recuses himself from all votes on downtown because he has a restaurant down there despite the restaurant being well outside a conflict distance.

Posey plans to endorse Barbara Delgleize. She is not a perfect vote but comes through on important votes. She was the only vote with him to oppose a Peterson-authored moratorium on development. He says she is an effective Councilmember. She is on OCTA. He has been upset with some of her votes, but supports her.

Weigand seconds Hernandez’s earlier motion to recommend supporting Posey.

Weigand asks generally about the field of candidates and wants Posey’s guidance. He expresses hope that Posey will run for higher office.

Posey says there are 12 challengers who can’t win in 2018 but could win in the future.

Posey likes CJ Ray, a 34-year-old attorney, who will probably be appointed to the Huntington Beach Personnel Commission. He thinks Ray has a bright future in 2020 or 2022.

Huang speaks generally about endorsements and Republican values.

Posey says Republicans are for private property rights and moderate development. He expresses his frustration with Sacramento. He says many of the anti-development approaches of his colleagues, like Peterson, could result in Sacramento intervention and greater loss of local control.

Central Committee Member Emily Sanford praises Posey’s record.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Posey for endorsement by the Central Committee.

Prop 6

Weigand moves and Mills seconds to recommend the Central Committee endorse Proposition 6 to repeal the gas tax.

This passes 4-0 without discussion.

Newport Beach Debt Charter Amendment

Councilman Scott Peotter describes the prior City Council’s funding scheme involvinglease revenues and certificates of participation with a financing authority to get around a vote of the people on borrowing over $120 million for the “Taj Mahal” City Hall. The charter amendment will require 55% voter approval for any debt incurred over $50 million for lease revenues and certificates of participation. He wanted the amount to be $10 million, but he supports the charter amendment. He says the measure is the first of its kind but based in an existing concept. He says the State Constitution requires votes of the people for most high-dollar local government debt but missed lease revenues and certificates of participation.

Hernandez calls the City Hall debt “unconscionable.”

Peotter lists a litany of irresponsible actions by the prior City Council and City staff on debt for the “Taj MaCity Hall.”

Huang asks if the measure has an inflation escalator.

Peotter says that the limit is per-project (not aggregate) and is indexed to the Consumer Price Index. He says it has an “Act of God” exemption for catastrophes that could strike the city with gubernatorial or presidential emergency declarations, like earthquakes or tsunamis.

Mills moves and Hernandez seconds recommending the ballot measure for endorsement by the Central Committee.

The vote is 4-0 to recommend Yes on the Newport Beach Debt Charter Amendment.

The committee adjourns at 7:51 PM.

Posted in Republican Central Committee, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Nifla v. Becerra, It’s not an abortion case

Posted by Brenda Higgins on July 9, 2018

The Reproductive FACT act was a boldly unconstitutional law that was signed by Governor Brown in October 2015. 

The Bill, AB 775 (Later codified as H&S 123470) was entitled the Reproductive FACT Act (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Accountability)  The bill provided that Pro-Life Pregnancy centers, who exist because of their objection to abortion, would be required to provide information about abortion to their clients, in their office, on their internal forms and in all advertising.  The onerous law also mandated exact language, required large font type and required in some counties that the notices would have to be provided in 13 languages.  

The case (NIFLA v. Becerra) decided by the Supreme Court was an appeal brought by NIFLA (National Institute for Life and Family Advocates) after the Ninth Circuit ruled the law to be constitutional and not in violation of the First Amendment.  There was another case brought in Riverside County Superior court, Sharpen v. Harris, challenging the constitutionality of the law.   Judge Gloria Trask  ruled in favor of the pregnancy center, finding that the FACT Act violated Article 1, section 2 of the California Constitution.
The  Riverside Superior court, relied upon U.S. Supreme Court precedent related to the U.S. constitution’s First Amendment. The court stated, “Compelled speech is that which forces a speaker to say that which he or she may or may not believe.  Compelled speech is undoubtedly necessary in many circumstances.  But compelled speech of a political or cultural nature, is not the tool of a free government.”  

The Riverside court applied Strict Scrutiny, the highest level of constitutional scrutiny, and said  that the political speech related to abortion, can not be neutral in nature.  The court found that the state of California failed to show any compelling state interest advanced by the regulation.

The FACT Act mandated two different notices.  One notice was for ‘licensed’ facilities, and another notice for ‘unlicensed’ facilities.  A ‘licensed’ facility was defined by the statute as a clinic whose ‘primary purpose is providing family planning or pregnancy related services’.  The ‘unlicensed’ facility was defined as one ‘whose primary purpose is pregnancy related services’ but who did not have a medical director on staff.

The Ninth Circuit, said that the pregnancy centers “were unable to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of their First Amendment claims.”  The Ninth Circuit court went on to state that  Strict Scrutiny was not warranted and that the “Act is a neutral law of general applicability, which survived rational basis (The lowest level of constitutional scrutiny) review.” As to the notice for licensed facilities, the Ninth Circuit found that it was entitled to only Intermediate scrutiny (Heightened, but not strict) and that the FACT Act survived Intermediate Scrutiny.  The Ninth Circuit  found that the unlicensed notice survived ANY level of scrutiny.  

The Ninth Circuit opinion spent much effort discussing “professional speech”.   One of the first things noted by The Supreme Court in its ruling overturning the Ninth Circuit, is that the Supreme Court has never recognized “professional speech” as a special category of speech giving it some lower “Intermediate” threshold of consideration.  Justice Thomas writing for the majority said, “This Court has been reluctant to mark off new categories of speech for diminished constitutional protection.”

Justice Thomas, also noted,  “The licensed notice at issue here is not an informed consent requirement or any other regulation of professional conduct. The notice does not facilitate informed consent to a medical procedure. In fact, it is not tied to a procedure at all. It applies to all interactions between a covered facility and its clients, regardless of whether a medical procedure is ever sought, offered, or performed.”  Justice Thomas pointed out the gaping exceptions in the FACT Act, exempting state and federal managed and funded providers.  This regulation, was targeted toward those clinics and resource centers that are largely non-profit, pro-life and Christian.

 

The Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit both called the FACT Act, “Content Based”.  Content based regulation generally triggers the high level strict scrutiny review for constitutionality.  The Ninth Circuit veered around this standard with its created category of “professional speech”  The Supreme Court rejected that effort to find justification for the FACT Act.

Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion was clear and direct. 

“The history of the Act’s passage and its underinclusive application suggest a real 

possibility that these individuals were targeted because of their beliefs. ……”

  “It is forward thinking to begin by reading the First Amendment as ratified in 1791; to understand the history of authoritarian government as the Founders then knew it; to confirm that history since then shows how relentless authoritarian regimes are in their attempts to stifle free speech; and to carry those lessons onward as we seek to preserve and teach the necessity of freedom of speech for the generations to come.”

“Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions. Freedom of speech secures freedom of thought and belief. This law imperils those liberties.”

Breyer’s dissent laments that the court should only look to the “reasonableness of the Legislature’s belief in the existence of evils and in the effectiveness of the remedy provided.” With one fell swoop, ignoring the whole body of First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion and dismissing the viewpoint encroachment of the state of California. 

No part of  Breyer’s dissent or the now discredited Ninth Circuit opinion, addressed the obvious and underlying philosophy of California that there is a ‘state interest’, in making sure women know about state funded abortion services. 

Breyer relies heavily upon Planned Parenthood v. Casey (Casey).  Interesting, in that the Ninth Circuit cites Casey as well, but in support of an opposite argument.   Breyer, criticizing Thomas and Kennedy’s majority opinion states, “one might take the majority’s decision to mean that speech about abortion is special”.  The Ninth Circuit, also relying on Casey, said that the high court had not announced a “rule regarding the level of scrutiny to apply in abortion-related disclosure cases”, implying throughout their ruling that abortion-related disclosure is in fact entitled to some yet undefined special scrutiny.  

The problem with the reliance upon Casey by both Breyer and the Ninth Circuit, is that Casey,  reaffirms Roe, which held that the Woman, not the state, has a right of Privacy and thus, a right to an abortion of an unviable fetus.  The state, as held in both of those seminal cases, has a interest in the life of the child, at the point of viability.  

The backwards application of Casey, by both the Ninth Circuit and Breyer, is not insignificant.  In the mental gymnastics they engage in to attempt to find support for this constitutionally offensive law, they attempt to create a new and unrecognized exception, and imagine a state interest in providing abortion.  

The majority and concurring opinions written by Thomas and Kennedy, do not even get to the lack of congruency in those positions of support for the law, because the FACT Act was so blatantly offensive to the First Amendment under proper scrutiny.  Judge Trask in Riverside similarly recognized the inherent flaw in the Act in that in infringed speech in a way it compelled clinics to “speak words with which it profoundly disagrees”.

The case should be an example, and a wake up call.  The fact that such a overtly biased and constitutionally offensive law made its way through the legislature and governors office, only to be defended by not one, but two Attorneys general, should tell us something about either the energy or the arrogance with which the left will go in the current environment, to silence those that it disagrees with.  

Justice Thomas put it like this:

Throughout history, governments have “manipulat[ed] the content of doctor-patient discourse” to increase state power and suppress minorities: 

“For example, during the Cultural Revolution, Chinese physicians were dispatched to the countryside to convince peasants to use contraception. In the 1930s, the Soviet government expedited completion of a construction project on the Siberian railroad by ordering doctors to both reject requests for medical leave from work and conceal this government order from their patients. In Nazi Germany, the Third Reich systematically violated the separation between state ideology and medical discourse. German physicians were taught that they owed a higher duty to the ‘health of the Volk’ than to the health of individual patients. Recently, Nicolae Ceausescu’s strategy to increase the Romanian birth rate included prohibitions against giving advice to patients about the use of birth control devices and disseminating information about the use of condoms as a means of preventing the transmission of AIDS.” Berg, Toward a First Amendment Theory of Doctor-Patient Discourse and the Right To Receive Unbiased Medical Advice, 74 B. U. L. Rev. 201, 201– 202 (1994) (footnotes omitted). 

Ultimately, the majority of the Supreme Court saw this power grab for the constitutional overreach that it was, and ruled accordingly.  

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

OC’s Top Ten 2018 Primary Election Stories

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 6, 2018

This is what $14 million of campaign spending looks like to average voters. My parents received nearly 100 pieces of mail from CD-39 candidates and IEs.

By contrast, here’s my paltry 6 pieces of mail from CD-45 laid out over the same section of my living room floor. I should note I did not include slates in either photo.

With 188,000 votes remaining to count in Orange County, here are the top ten OC Primary Election stories after the completion of the first night of results:

  1. DCCC Pulls It Off – Traditional Republican vs. Democrat General Elections Across the Board in Congress
    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), House Majority PAC, and their allies managed to get their first-time candidates to the top two against a Republican elected official in all three Congressional Districts where Republicans threatened to take both of the top two slots, which would have shut Democrats out of the general election.In the 39th Congressional District being vacated by the retiring Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), where $14 million was spent, former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) will face off against Lottery-Winning Philanthropist Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda).  The DCCC spent over $2 million hitting Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton) and former Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) while their allied House Majority PAC spent $300,000 hitting Huff and promoting businessman Phil Liberatore (R-La Habra).  It worked well, as Liberatore is in third place.

    In the 48th Congressional District where $9.6 million was spent, incumbent Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) will face off against a Democrat, either Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) or Hans Kierstad (D-Laguna Beach), who are separated by a mere 73 votes.  The DCCC spent nearly $1.7 million hitting Baugh and promoting businessman John Gabbard (R-Laguna Beach).  It worked well as Baugh is in fourth place, 1,146 votes behind Keirstad while Gabbard is the next highest Republican.

    In the 49th Congressional District being vacated by the retiring Darrell Issa (R-Vista) where $15.5 million was spent, Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) will face off against a Democrat, either Attorney Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano) or Qualcomm Heiress Sara Jacobs (D-Encinitas).  The DCCC spent almost $1.7 million hitting Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside) knocking him to sixth place behind Harkey, three Democrats, and San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar (R-Encinitas).  To add insult to injury, six Republicans split the vote to succeed Chavez in the 76th Assembly District, such that the top two candidates for the 76th District are Democrats in a seat that had only seen Republicans in the general election since it was drawn in the last redistricting.  To add further insult to injury, one of those Democrats is…Elizabeth Warren (D-Oceanside).

  2. Senator Ling-Ling Chang Elected After Senator Newman Becomes Second Democrat Recalled from the Legislature in California History
    Senator Josh Newman becomes only the fifth State Legislator recalled in California history and only the second Democrat after Senator Edwin Grant was recalled in 1914.  (An interesting aside: in all five successful legislative recalls, the replacement elected was a Republican.)  Anger over Newman’s gas tax vote helped propel Newman to this historic position.

    Former Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), who narrowly lost to Newman in 2016, now becomes Senator Ling-Ling Chang.

  3. Fourth Supervisorial District Way Too Close to Call
    Just 509 votes separate first place from third place in the Fourth Supervisorial District, where six candidates are vying to succeed the termed out Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton).

    Mayor Tim Shaw (R-La Habra) and Mayor Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton) are currently in the top two spots while Retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr (D-Placentia) is in the third spot.  Councilwoman Lucille Kring (R-Anaheim) is 1,364 votes behind Kerr.

  4. November Runoff, as District Attorney Tony Rackauckas Gets 39%, Supervisor Todd Spitzer 35%
    As expected, the four-way race for District Attorney sends incumbent Tony Rackauckas (R-San Clemente) into a runoff with Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R-Orange).

    Not as expected, Spitzer managed to drag Rackauckas down below 40%, which is by far, the lowest percentage won by any Countywide incumbent in decades (“Countywide” meaning elected officials voted on throughout the entire County; it excludes officials voted on in districts).

  5. Can Don Barnes Prevent a Runoff for Sheriff?
    Undersheriff Don Barnes sits atop 50.7% of the vote, far ahead of LA County Detective/Senior Investigator Duke Nguyen (D-Tustin) who has 30.0% and Retired Sergeant/Mayor Dave Harrington (R-Aliso Viejo) who has 19.3%.  Embarrassingly for Harrington, he even came in third place in Aliso Viejo, the city where is the Mayor.

    Barnes probably can hang on to his 50% to stop a runoff and become Sheriff-Elect, but if late absentees or provisionals break strongly enough against him, he could be forced into a runoff, but it is nearly impossible for someone who wins a nonpartisan primary by 20% to lose in the runoff, so the question is do we say “Sheriff-Elect Barnes” in June or in November.

  6. Diep Defeats Haskin in the 72nd Assembly District
    Councilman Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) defeated PepsiCo Government Relations Director Greg Haskin (R-Fountain Valley) in the 72nd District seat being vacated by Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who placed fourth in his race for Governor.  With Democrat Josh Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) getting 36.8% of the vote as the sole Democrat running, this seat will stay in Republican hands after Diep defeats Lowenthal in the runoff.

    The Democrats running against Assemblyman Steven Choi (R-Irvine), Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point), and even Senate Republican Leader Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) all achieved higher percentages than Lowenthal, and Choi, Brough, and Bates occupy some of the safest Republican seats in the Legislature.

  7. County Board of Education
    In the County Board of Education, conservatives and pro-charter groups easily retained the Trustee Area 5 seat being vacated by Linda Lindholm (R-Laguna Niguel), as Lisa Sparks (R-Newport Beach) won 56% in a five-way race beating the second place union-backed Democrat by 31%.

    There’s a nailbiter in Trustee Area 2 where pro-charter conservative Mari Barke (R-Los Alamitos) is ahead of incumbent David Boyd (D-Costa Mesa) by just 2,694 votes.

  8. The Four-Month Senator
    In an inexplicable act by the voters of the 32nd Senate District, the odds are high there will be a State Senator who serves from August 8-November 30 and a different Senator will take office in December.

    For the remaining four months of the seat vacated by disgraced Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), the candidates who made the top two are Rita Topalian (R) and Mayor Vanessa Delgado (D-Montebello); in third place is Mendoza (D-Artesia) himself followed by Councilman Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) in fourth.  For the regular four-year seat running from 2018-2022, the candidates who made the top two are Topalian (R) and Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera), with Delgado (D-Montebello) third and Mendoza (D-Artesia) fourth.  Archuleta is the prohibitive front-runner in this safe Democratic seat when voters cast their ballots in the November 2018 general election.  For the August 8-November 30 seat, Topalian and Delgado will face off in an August 7 special election.  Then on November 6, voters will elect their Senator for the 2018-2022 term, presumably Archuleta.

    Awkwardly, this August 8-November 30 Senator won’t be able to accomplish much because the legislative session ends on August 31.  This also means the 32nd Senate District will have three Senators in one year: Mendoza through February 22, Topalian or Delgado from August 8-November 30, and Archuleta in December.

  9. Irvine Measure B Fails
    Despite bipartisan backing from both the Republican Party of Orange County and the Democratic Party of Orange County along with the backing of virtually every elected official, Measure B fails in a landslide, with just 37% in favor.

    Now, $10 million has to be found to clean up an unsuitable site for a veterans cemetery or else no veterans cemetery will be built.  Had Measure B passed, the veterans cemetery could have begun at the suitable strawberry field site.

  10. Westminster Voters Give Mayor 4-Year Term
    Westminster voters decided to make their city the second in Orange County (after Anaheim) to have a 4-year mayoral term.

Posted in 29th Senate District, 32nd Senate District, 39th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, 72nd Assembly District, Irvine, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff, Westminster | 2 Comments »

OC’s Closest Races: CD-48, BOS-4, OCBE-2

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 5, 2018

OC’s closest race is the 4th Supervisorial District, where a mere 59 votes (0.2%) separate 1st from 3rd place and 540 votes (2.1%) separate 1st from 4th place.  This one will be a barn burner as the candidates battle to make the run-off to succeed termed-out Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton).

County Supervisor 4th District
Completed Precincts: 66 of 299
Vote Count Percentage
JOE KERR (DEM) 5,510 21.2%
TIM SHAW (REP) 5,468 21.0%
DOUG CHAFFEE (DEM) 5,451 21.0%
LUCILLE KRING (REP) 4,970 19.1%
ROSE ESPINOZA (DEM) 2,548 9.8%
CYNTHIA AGUIRRE (DEM) 2,034 7.8%

In the Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2, just 137 votes (0.4%) separate 1st from 2nd place.  This one does not have a run-off.  Whoever has the plurality in June will win this seat.

Member, County Board of Education Trustee Area 2
Completed Precincts: 42 of 340
Vote Count Percentage
* DAVID L. BOYD (DEM) 14,306 38.3%
MARI BARKE (REP) 14,169 37.9%
MATT NGUYEN (DEM) 8,876 23.8%

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate

In the 48th Congressional District, incumbent Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) is clearly in first place.  However, the race to make the top two in November against him is separated by just 387 votes (0.7%) between Hans Keirstead (D-Laguna Beach) and Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach).  The California Democratic Party had endorsed Keirstead, yet the (National) Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee backed Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach), who is currently running fourth.

UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE 48th District
Completed Precincts: 48 of 415
Vote Count Percentage
* DANA ROHRABACHER (REP) 16,755 29.7%
HANS KEIRSTEAD (DEM) 10,539 18.7%
SCOTT BAUGH (REP) 10,152 18.0%
HARLEY ROUDA (DEM) 8,149 14.5%
OMAR A. SIDDIQUI (DEM) 2,701 4.8%
RACHEL PAYNE (DEM) 1,414 2.5%
JOHN GABBARD (REP) 1,402 2.5%
PAUL MARTIN (REP) 938 1.7%
LAURA OATMAN (DEM) 881 1.6%
MICHAEL KOTICK (DEM) 868 1.5%
SHASTINA SANDMAN (REP) 858 1.5%
TONY ZARKADES (DEM) 470 0.8%
DEANIE SCHAARSMITH (DEM) 459 0.8%
BRANDON REISER (LIB) 303 0.5%
STELIAN ONUFREI (REP) 241 0.4%
KEVIN KENSINGER 206 0.4%

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate

Posted in 48th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, Orange County Board of Education | Leave a Comment »

CD-39: Kim and Cisneros Early Leaders, Liberatore Surprising 3rd

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 5, 2018

In early absentees in the race to succeed Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) in the 39th Congressional District, former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) is a strong first place while lottery-winning philanthropist Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda) has a small, but not insignificant, lead for second place.  Shockingly, the best hope of a Republican-on-Republican contest appears to be not former Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) nor Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton), but rather Businessman Phil Liberatore (R-La Habra).  It appears Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spending $2.1 million to help Cisneros and attack Huff and Nelson was effective with early absentee voters, as was $310,000 of (Democratic) House Majority PAC spending that attacked Huff and boosted Liberatore.

I’m not listing all 17 candidates, just the top 8:

Districtwide Orange San Bernardino Los Angeles
Young Kim (R) 9656 26% 7632 607 1417
Gil Cisneros (D) 6060 16% 4205 573 1282
Phil Liberatore (R) 4577 12% 3190 704 683
Andy Thorburn (D) 2936 8% 2009 338 589
Shawn Nelson (R) 2894 8% 2262 206 426
Bob Huff (R) 2464 7% 1227 390 847
Sam Jammal (D) 1872 5% 1470 138 264

Posted in 39th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CD-49: Harkey Strong 1st, Dead Heat Between Levin and Jacobs

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 5, 2018

I’m not listing all 16 candidates, but here are the top five in the 49th Congressional District in the race to succeed Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista).

Districtwide Orange San Diego
Diane Harkey (R) 16,471 24.5% 4,869 11,602
Mike Levin (D) 11,189 16.7% 2,933 8,256
Sara Jacobs (D) 10,288 15.3% 1,835 8,453
Doug Applegate (D) 8,956 13.3% 1,196 7,760
Kristin Gaspar (R) 6,311 9.4% 1,056 5,255

Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) is strong in the returns of the early absentees.  Attorney Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano) and Qualcomm Heiress Sara Jacobs (D-Encinitas) are each running second in their home county and third in the other county.  A Republican-on-Republican general election is unlikely barring a major seachange with poll voters, late absentees, and provisionals.

One item of concern for Republicans: 32,353 early absentee ballots were cast for Republican candidates while 31,705 early absentee ballots were cast for Democratic candidates.

Posted in 49th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OC’s Top 10 Races to Watch

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 5, 2018

Here are OC’s top 10 races to watch tonight when the polls close at 8:00 PM, and the Registrar of Voters begins reporting results at 8:05 PM, 9:30 PM, and then every half-hour after that until 1:00 AM.

The Big Three: Congress

  1. 39th Congressional District
    This could well be the most chaotic seat in the country.  There are 17 candidates running, and only two can advance to November to succeed retiring Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton).  A whopping $14 million has been spent in this primary, as this is one of the most competitive seats in the country, but it is entirely possible that two Republicans could make the top two, thereby turning a highly competitive seat into a guaranteed Republican win in November.  Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding first-time candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  The front-runners (in alphabetical order) are lottery-winning philanthropist Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda), former State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), former State Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton), Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton), and businessman Andy Thorburn (R-Villa Park).

    Of the $14 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent over $10.6 million while there has been nearly $3.4 million in Independent Expenditure (IE) spending from PACs and other outside groups. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) alone spent nearly $2.1 million, with more than $829,000 against Huff, nearly $679,000 against Nelson, and over $560,000 supporting Cisneros.

  2. 49th Congressional District
    The 49th District was the closest Congressional race in the country in 2016, when Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) won re-election over Retired Colonel Doug Applegate (D-Oceanside) by 0.5%.  A staggering $15.5 million has been spent in this seat.  While it is possible for two Republicans to make the top two, it is more likely that this one will be a traditional Republican vs. Democrat race in November.  As in the 39th, Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding never-before-elected candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  The front-runners (in alphabetical order) are 2016 Candidate Doug Applegate (D-Oceanside), Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside), Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point), Qualcomm Heiress Sara Jacobs (D-Encinitas), Real Estate Investor Paul Kerr (D-Rancho Santa Fe), and Attorney Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano).

    Of the $15.5 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent nearly $9.6 million while there has been over $5.9 million in IE spending from PACs and other outside groups.  Women Vote! has spent nearly $2.3 million alone to support Jacobs.  The DCCC spent nearly $1.7 million against Chavez.

  3. 48th Congressional District
    The 48th Congressional District race was upended when former Assembly Republican Leader and OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach) jumped in the race against Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach).  A relative piker compared to the 39th and 49th, “only” $9.6 million has been spent in this seat.  While it is possible for two Republicans to make the top two, it is more likely that this one will be a traditional Republican vs. Democrat race in November.  As in the 39th and 49th, Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding first-time candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) is widely expected to win the plurality of the vote.  The three candidates vying for the second slot (in alphabetical order) are Baugh (R-Huntington Beach), Scientist Hans Hans Keirstead (D-Laguna Beach), and Businessman Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach).

    Of the $9.6 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent nearly $5.3 million while there has been nearly $4.3 million in IE spending from PACs and other outside groups.  The DCCC alone spent over $1.8 million, with nearly $1.7 million against Baugh and $137,000 to promote Republican Businessman John Gabbard (R) in an attempt to siphon votes from Baugh.  Gabbard has condemned the DCCC’s spending.

Would-Normally-Be-The Big Three if Congress Hadn’t Descended Into Chaos

  1. 29th Senate District Recall
    Will Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) survive the recall?  What would ordinarily be one of the biggest races in the state has seen both pro-recall and anti-recall forces battling just to get voter attention, as the millions spent in SD-29 have been swamped by the mega-spending 39th Congressional District, with more than 2/3 of all SD-29 voters residing in CD-39.
  2. 72nd Assembly District
    As the sole Democrat in the race FreeConferenceCall.com President Josh Lowenthal (D-Huntington Beach) is expected to win the plurality in his race against 4 Republicans to replace Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) who is leaving this seat to run for Governor.  The two leading Republicans are Councilman Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) and former OC GOP Executive Director/current Pepsico Government Affairs Director Greg Haskin (R-Fountain Valley).  Diep and Haskin spent over $650,000 combined, a healthy sum for an Assembly race.  Unfortunately for them, they were swamped by the mega-spending 48th Congressional District, with more than 62% of all AD-72 voters residing in CD-48.
  3. 4th Supervisorial District
    In the race to succeed termed out Supervisor Shawn Nelson, the candidates in this race got drowned out by the 39th Congressional District and the 29th Senate District Recall Election.  Retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr (D-Placentia) and Mayor Tim Shaw (R-La Habra) are the endorsed candidates of their respective political parties.  However, Mayor Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton) and Councilwoman Lucille Kring (R-Anaheim) came roaring in after their parties endorsed with spending to match Kerr and Shaw and outsized name ID from years in elected office in the two largest cities in the district.  Unfortunately for them all, they were swamped by both the mega-spending 39th Congressional District and the high-spending 29th Senate District recall, with nearly 62% of all BOS-4 voters residing in CD-39 and almost 85% of BOS-4 voters residing in SD-29.

The Rest of the Top 10

  1. 32nd Senate District
    This is the race that OC forgot, as only Buena Park lies in the LA County-based 32nd Senate District.  This is the seat vacated by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) who resigned in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal.  Mendoza filed to run for his old seat in hopes voters will send him back to the Senate.  The anti-Mendoza vote among just Democrats is split between two Mayors, two City Councilmembers, a Community College Board Member, and a former Assemblyman.  There are exactly two Republicans running.  This chaos could well send Mendoza back into the top two – and possibly against a Republican.  It is unclear what would happen if the top two were Mendoza and a Republican in this strongly Democratic district.  Also, voters have to cast two votes for this seat: one for the special primary election today for the six months remaining on Mendoza’s term when he resigned and one for the regular primary election today for the four years of the 2018-2022 term on the seat.
  2. District Attorney
    When a County Supervisor with high Countywide name ID and a campaign warchest far exceeding $1 million decides to challenge the sitting District Attorney’s re-election bid, how could this not be a major race? Virtually everyone expects this to go to a run-off, including the candidates themselves judging by their campaign spending.   While Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) spend several hundred thousand dollars on mail and slates, he appears to be holding $900,000 back for a run-off.  District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (R-San Clemente) seemed to have only bought slates and digital advertising for the primary.
  3. Sheriff
    Undersheriff Don Barnes (R-Lake Forest) is the front-runner to succeed Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.  The question is whether Retired Sergeant/Mayor Dave Harrington (R-Aliso Viejo) and Detective/Senior Investigator Duke Nguyen (D-Tustin) can pull enough of the vote to prevent Barnes from getting to 50%.  Harrington has relied heavily on slates while Nguyen has done direct mail to Democrats.
  4. County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5
    For eight straight elections, the incumbent was elected time and time again, even defeating future Assemblymen Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) and Don Wagner (R-Irvine) for this seat.  Yet, now for the second election in a row, the voters will be electing a new trustee. In 2014, Linda Lindholm (R-Laguna Niguel) knocked off 32-year Incumbent Liz Parker (R-Costa Mesa), who was running for a ninth term.  Parker had been elected to the County Board of Education the same month she graduated from UCLA at the age of 22.  After a single 4-year term, Lindholm chose not to run for re-election.  Chapman University Dean Lisa Sparks (R-Newport Beach) is the front-runner to succeed Lindholm.

Snoozer in June, Battle in November

  • 45th Congressional District
    Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) is the sole Republican in the race.  The question is which Democrat will face off against Walters?  This is the safest of the four OC Congressional seats held by a Republican.
  • 34th Senate District
    Former Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park) is almost certainly the Democrats’ standard-bearer against Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).  Nguyen beat Umberg 11 years ago in the race for County Supervisor when front-running Umberg fell to third behind two candidates named Nguyen.  As a non-incumbent, Nguyen handily won the Senate seat in 2014 against former Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana), who was a stronger candidate than Umberg.
  • 65th Assembly District
    Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) and former County Board of Education Trustee Alexandria Coronado (R-Cypress) are the only candidates on the ballot in June, so they will both advance to November due to the Top Two rule for Legislative and Congressional races.

Near-Snoozers

  • 55th Assembly District
    This one should be a snoozer, but it gets awkward if a second Republican gets into the top two with Assemblyman Phillip Chen (R-Diamond Bar) since there’s two Democrats running who could split the vote, allowing a Republican to slip into second behind Chen.
  • 74th Assembly District
    This one should be a snoozer, but it gets awkward if “Republican” Katherine Daigle (R-Irvine) gets into the top two with Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) since there’s three Democrats running who could split the vote.
  • Assessor
    With two opponents, there’s a tiny chance Assessor Claude Parrish (R-Tustin) could be forced into a run-off, but it is more likely he breaks 60%.
  • County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2
    While there has been immense spending by charter schools for Mari Barke (R-Los Alamitos), there has also been immense spending by unions for David Boyd (D-Costa Mesa).  However, while this spending is immense in a school board race, it’s not much compared to the spending in a Congressional race or an Assembly race.  Most of this trustee area was drowned out by the 48th Congressional District and the 72nd Assembly District.  Additionally, there’s a third candidate, Matt Nguyen (D-Westminster), who will split the anti-incumbent vote, but unlike most other seats on the June ballot, there’s no run-off for County Board of Education.

Total Snoozer That Could Have Been Interesting

  • 73rd Assembly District
    For some reason, Mayor Ed Sachs (R-Mission Viejo) raised and spent literally nothing in his bid to unseat Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point).  Sachs’s campaign finance reports show he didn’t raise or spend a single dollar after paying to get on the ballot.  Had Sachs actually spent money, the 73rd could have been interesting.

Total Snoozers

  • Judge Ted Howard, Supervisor Michelle Steel (R-Sunset Beach), Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery (R-Orange), and Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen (R-Santa Ana) will cruise to victory in June, probably each with more than 70% of the vote. 38th District Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood), 46th District Congressman Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), 47th District Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), 36th District Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), and 68th District Assemblyman Steven Choi (R-Irvine) will cruise to victory in November; they can’t end their elections in June due to the Top Two rule for Legislative and Congressional races.

Virtually Unopposed

  • 69th District Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) has one opponent: Libertarian write-in candidate Autumn Browne (L-Santa Ana).  She will come in second and appear on the ballot in November.

Unopposed

  • Superintendent Al Mijares (R-Tustin), Supervisor Lisa Bartlett (R-Dana Point), and Treasurer Shari Freidenrich (R-Huntington Beach) are literally unopposed.  As long as at least one person in all of Orange County (or the 5th Supervisorial District) remembers to vote for each of them, they’ll all be re-elected.

(In the interest of full disclosure, Choi and Woolery are clients of Western American, the firm that owns this blog.  For his City Council campaign, Sachs retained Custom Campaigns, the defunct firm that previously owned this blog, as did Lindholm for her County Board of Education race.  The writer of this article is Spitzer’s alternate on the Republican Central Committee and is the Legislative Manager in Woolery’s office.  Finally, the writer of this article is [as far as he knows] not related to Janet Nguyen, Matt Nguyen, or Hugh Nguyen.  Nguyen is the most common Vietnamese last name, held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 29th Senate District, 2nd Supervisorial District, 32nd Senate District, 34th Senate District, 36th Senate District, 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Independent Expenditures, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector | Leave a Comment »

OC’s Best Ballot Designations, 2018 Primary Edition

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 2, 2018

Ballot designations are the only piece of information that appear directly on the ballot other than a candidate’s name (and sometimes, political party).

Yesterday was OC Political’s coverage about OC’s worst ballot designations.  Today, we’ll talk about OC’s best ballot designations.

As noted yesterday, “One of the most important things a candidate does in a California election may well be selecting a ballot designation. That short phrase below a candidate’s name is the very last piece of information that every voter sees before casting their ballots. Additionally in low-profile races, that short phrase could well be the only piece of information that voters see about a candidate before casting their ballots. California’s unique ballot designation system has even received coverage in the national press, such as this 2016 article in The Hill.”

Just a reminder, appearance on this list has nothing to do with whether the candidate is great or terrible, whether the campaign is well-run or poorly-run, whether the campaign is well-funded or underfunded, or whether I personally like the candidate or hate the candidate; it’s simply commentary on their ballot designation.

(Sadly, this post won’t be anywhere near as funny as yesterday’s post on OC’s worst ballot designations.)

Elected officials’ ballot designations are an inherent advantage, so this article excludes the designations of elected officials.  Even in the worst years of anti-incumbency, incumbency remains an inherent advantage.  Incumbents win 90% of the time typically, and even in anti-incumbent years, we still see 75% of incumbents re-elected.

Also as with the list of worst ballot designations, we will not be including statewide races, partly because Brenda Higgins and Craig Alexander have been beating the dead horse of the Governor’s race this morning on OC Political (and the past month) and partly because we didn’t include statewide races on the worst ballot designation list.  We are only covering County seats or State/Federal districts that include OC. Without further ado:

OC’s Ten Best Ballot Designations (for Non-Incumbents/Non-Elected Officials)

  1. Orange County Undersheriff (Don Barnes in the Sheriff’s race)
    It doesn’t get much better than this when you’re running for Sheriff.  This is as close to an incumbent ballot designation as it gets.
  2. Deputy Assessor (Richard B. Ramirez in the Assessor’s race)
    This is a great ballot designation when you’re running for Assessor.  Unfortunately, for Ramirez, there is someone with a much better ballot designation in the race: Orange County Assessor Claude Parrish.  (Parrish’s designation just wasn’t eligible for this list since we are excluding the designations of elected officials.)
  3. University Dean/Professor (Lisa Sparks in the County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5)
    Everyone running for school board wants an education-related ballot designation.  However, “University Dean” is one of the most impressive ones available, showing both teaching and leadership experience at the highest levels of education.  The only better ones I’ve ever seen are “University President” (David Boyd when he first ran for County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2 in 2010) and iterations of Superintendent.
  4. Retired Fire Captain (Joe Kerr in the 4th Supervisorial District)
    Voters respect firefighters.  Fire Captain shows leadership experience.  Kerr’s tough battle is two of his opponents are mayors and two are councilmembers; it’s just their designations weren’t eligible for this list since we are excluding the designations of elected officials.
  5. Victims’ Rights Attorney (Brett Murdock in the District Attorney’s race)
    Voters have great sympathy victims and great respect for victims’ rights, and few offices are better-equipped to help victims than the District Attorney.  Unfortunately for Murdock, two of his opponents have better ballot designations: Orange County District Attorney and Orange County Supervisor/Attorney.  (Their designations just weren’t eligible for this list since we are excluding the designations of elected officials.)
  6. FBI Advisor/Attorney (Omar Siddiqui in the 48th Congressional District)
    This one is intriguing.  In yesterday’s worst ballot designations, I wrote “Unless you’re running for Attorney General, Superior Court Judge, or District Attorney, there is no value in using attorney as your ballot designation: think about all the insulting things people say about attorneys. There are some modifiers that make great exceptions…” Well, FBI Advisor/Attorney is a great exception.  It makes Siddiqui look almost like a prosecutor, and voters love prosecutors.  (Though Siddiqui’s ballot designation is strong, his problem is how much better-funded his four opponents are, including the incumbent.)
  7. Fraud Investigator/Businessman (Russell Rene Lambert in the 46th Congressional District)
    This one is also intriguing.  A “Fraud Investigator” has a certain degree of expertise.  It lends itself well to a government reformer message.  Unfortunately, for Lambert, party registration is very slanted against him in his district for this partisan seat and the fact that there is someone with a much better ballot designation in the race: United States Congressmember Lou Correa.  (Correa’s designation just wasn’t eligible for this list since we are excluding the designations of elected officials.)
  8. Orange County Business Owner (Scott Baugh in the 48th Congressional District and Greg Haskin in the 72nd Assembly District)
    This is a different spin on the usually strong ballot designation of Small Business Owner.  Adding “Orange County” makes it clear the candidate’s business is in Orange County, so they’re employing people locally.  The challenge for Republicans Baugh and Haskin is each of them are facing off against a Republican elected official: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Councilman Tyler Diep; plus there are well-funded Democrats for both seats.  (Rohrabacher and Diep’s designations just weren’t eligible for this list since we are excluding the designations of elected officials.)
  9. Entrepreneur/Company President (Josh Lowenthal in the 72nd Assembly District)
    There’s some good advice going on in the 72nd Assembly District when two of the candidates make this list and a third was simply ineligible because we are excluding the designations of elected officials.  With Company President, FreeConferenceCall.com President Josh Lowenthal has conveyed to voters that he is not only a businessman but a rather successful one, and with the Entrepreneur portion, he’s showing he’s a self-made businessman.
  10. Technology CEO/Entrepreneur (Rachel Payne in the 48th Congressional District)
    See above.

Posted in 46th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

For Poll Voters There are still Voter Guides Available At Robyn Nordell’s Web Site and Another Response to Brenda Higgins

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on June 2, 2018

Its T-minus 4 days to Election Day June 5th! Starting June 6th we all get a short reprieve from endless TV political ads, Facebook arguments and mailers in our mail box from politicians and their friends and enemies over who we should vote for.

By now the vast majority of vote by mail voters have sent in their ballots.  Its now time for those who vote at their polling places to start reviewing their sample ballots.  If you need some well done recommendations by people like myself and Robyn Nordell (and Nancy Sandoval and Kathy Dittner) who do not receive any money for our recommendations for any candidate or proposition those are offered online (for free).

Here is a link to my recommendations: Craig’s Pics June 2018 – Final.

Here is a link to Robyn Nordell’s Orange County page on her web site: Robyn’s Orange County Page.  You can find a link to my recommendations along with Nancy Sandoval’s and Kathy Dittner’s at this page. Here is a link to her main web page: Robyn Nordell’s web page.

I have written about the Governor’s race on this blog before mostly about Travis Allen’s poor voting record on the life (abortion) issue: Travis Allen – Not So Pro-Life.  This was after my friend Gina Gleason researched and put together her memo on Mr. Allen’s many, many abstentions on bills and resolutions about the abortion issue.  Here is the memo if you wish to see it yourself (it is also in my voter recommendations): Travis Allen 2018.

I hope you find the voter recommendations helpful.

Brenda Higgins (who supports Travis Allen) has also commented twice now on this blog of her reasons for her support of Mr. Allen.  Once again I appreciate that Brenda is taking the high road and not attacking people like myself with personal character attacks. Brenda is a class act!  This is in contrast to some people on Facebook whose response to our concerns are “You are evil for saying these things!” Thank you Brenda!

However as I said in my original response on this blog to Brenda (Voter Recommendations Still Available…), Mr. Allen himself has been completely silent in explaining his abstentions to these bills and resolutions.  He knows of these concerns but he has said nothing.  Silence is still not golden Mr. Allen!

The fact remains that if Mr. Allen is such a fighter for the causes he believes in and he says he is pro-life, his abstentions are not evidence of a fighter for the pro-life cause but of someone running away from the issue.  An abstention is not a no vote.  It is saying “I choose to be neutral” and to do so consistently on this issue overall!  Folks World War II was not won by Switzerland who remained neutral.  It was won by Britain, France, the United States, Russia and other allies who put their treasure and lives on the line.  One abstention may be forgiven but a sting of them is a pattern and a conscious choice to duck the issue!

As I said in my prior post: “Finally one of the criticisms of John Cox has been that he voted for Gary Johnson for President in 2016.  A bad decision but Mr. Cox has publicly admitted this was a mistake.  The other argument against Mr. Cox is he has no voting record on the life issue.  True – but I do for Mr. Allen and it is not good.  So I am going to cast my vote for John Cox for the June 5th primary top two election.  But if Mr. Allen and not Mr. Cox advances to the top two I will support his candidacy in November.  Either Mr. Allen or Mr. Cox will be better than Gavin Newsom.”

I will add that I would like to see a Republican Governor’s race in the November run offMr. Cox is the best chance of that happening especially after his being endorsed by President Donald J. Trump.  Otherwise we split the vote and it will be Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa – two very leftist Democrats as our choices come November.

As an aside today I read that Arnold Schwarzenegger will not back either Mr. Cox or Mr. Allen (Schwarzenegger won’t vote for…).  Given that Arnold Schwarzenegger did terrible damage to the Republican brand in California and continues to support ultra liberal causes like fake news climate change (a.k.a. government take over) legislation – I consider this a back handed endorsement of both of them.

Craig Alexander is an attorney at law and a resident of South Orange County.  He practices law in the areas of the California Public Records Act, Office / Commercial Leasing, Insurance Law,  HOA law, Business Law and Litigation.  He can be reached at Craig@craigalexanderlaw.com

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

The perpetual race for second place

Posted by Brenda Higgins on June 2, 2018

Polls are not hard to understand.  The science of polling, even with the basic college level understanding of how the math behind it works, is also easily understood to be not just subjective, but fully within the manipulation of the pollster.

It doesn’t take a scientific poll to see and comprehend what has happened in elections in the U.S. and around the world in the past three U.S election cycles.  People with a real power to vote, have done so. And, they have done so in outright rebellion to those in power who have told them what to do and how to vote.  In spite of the effort of this ruling class of politicians and pollsters and pundits, people have rejected their group-think advisements to vote as they are being told to vote, and they are voting, with a level of enthusiasm and fervor, that we have not seen in our lifetime.

People have, in massive numbers, rejected what they have been told, and voted for candidates that experts said could not win.  My opinion is based upon my own very unscientific polling. I knocked on people’s doors and talked to them about things like health insurance and abortion. I called them on the phone and talked to them about Unions and school bonds.  I knocked on their doors to remind them to vote or show up to their caucus. I have done this many thousands of times in the past few election cycles.

They want to talk about things that aren’t in the polls.  In 2014 in Arkansas, people expressed angry reflexive passion to  vote for any candidate with a “R” by their name. In 2015 there was fury over more special elections and efforts to create more special taxes to fix things they thought were already paying taxes for.  In Nevada in 2016 they only wanted to talk about Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders and had no interest in hearing anything else.  In 2018, as I talk to people on phones and at their front door, about the down-ticket, they want to talk about Travis Allen.

The politicians and pollsters and pundits, have told people in the past three election cycles that whatever they are feeling or thinking as an individual, sitting in their living room in front of their TV or behind their computer screen, the way that they should think because a lot of people think that way, and this is who you should vote for because all the other people are going to vote that way.  The American public has rejected that instruction out of hand, and have become inherently distrustful of the media and of ‘establishment’ politicians.  Funny thing it, the media is now telling them that this has happened because of Donald Trump.  The media misses it again.  The rebellion is not ‘because’ of Donald Trump,  Donald Trump is because of the rebellion.

So it is in 2018, California.

Here’s a poll.  How many Democrat governors have we had in California since 1959?  That is more than a half century.  Think about that, because in the past three election cycles, Democrats, Republicans, pollsters and media pundits, continue to tell Californians that they can only have a Democrat governor.

In the past 59 years, we have had three Democrat Governors.  Brown, Brown, Davis, and Brown again.  Three. And one, Grey Davis, was kicked out of office by the rulers of California, the California people.  In the same time period, we have had four Republicans, Schwarzenegger, Wilson, Deukmejian, and Reagan.

Reagan’s two terms were after the two terms of Edmund G. Brown. and before two terms of his son, Jerry Brown.  Jerry Brown had ANOTHER two terms, after Schwartzenegger ousted Grey Davis. The last time we had a one term Governor was Culbert Olson in 1938. He was a Democrat. Before Culbert Olson, sequential Republicans held the office for nearly 50 years. You have to look back to 1894 to find another Democrat Governor.  My point is, there is not a long or strong history of support for Democrat Governors in this state, and in the last three election cycles, voters in every other state have rejected Democrat governors by wide margins.  Republicans are Governors in 33 states.  In 32 states, Republicans control BOTH houses of the legislature.  In 2010, Republicans controlled ONLY FOURTEEN STATES.  14, in 2010.

The tide has changed and California citizens are missing the benefit of conservative ideals.

In the past three election cycles, the pollsters and pundits and party leaders (in both parties actually)  are telling the voting public to sit down and be quiet, that there may never be a republican Governor in California again.  In keeping with their pearl clutching and hand wringing, over their polls, and research and infinite wisdom, they have given us, Meg Whitman and Neel Kashkari in the past two races for Governor.  There was a bizarre victory lap when Neal Kashkari lost by less than expected in 2014.  These two were barely Republicans, they were wealthy people who spent their own money and the party rejoiced in that.  Kashkari, who had never held public office and supported Obama in 2008,  was outspent by something like 10 to 1, so he got more votes per dollar than Meg Whitman.  The party leaders bizarrely counted in a victory and called on Tim Donnelly to step down because (by default)  Kashkari was the party ‘standard bearer’.

Now we have another non-Californian, rich guy, and they are asking the voters to do the same.  Take one for the team, vote this way because we are telling you that everyone else is going to vote this way, and we need to have a candidate at the “top of the ticket”.

Gone is any language about reclaiming the Governors mansion at any time in the future, the strategy is simply to get someone bland enough, lack luster enough in policies, and rich enough to pay for some TV commercials, but not to win.

There is no strategy to re-take the governors mansion or find and promote a conservative candidate for governor in California.

Donald Trump did not have a path to 270.  There is a scientific poll.  The historic fact however, is that he far exceeded that necessary 270.

In 59 years, a member of the Brown family has held the Governors office for 24 years, 6 terms.  There are no more members of the Brown dynasty, but the professionals are telling us that it is time for the Newsom/Pelosi dynasty to be coronated.  There is nothing you can do about it, we have given you this proper second place finisher, please just sit down and let us tell you how to vote.  Ruling, establishment, elitism, but in their tone deafness, they miss, that THIS is precisely what the rebellion has been aimed at.

Remember, this is what they told us about Hillary.  It was her turn.  She had the money, the experience, she was the most “qualified” and that Donald Trump was a joke. The coronation of the next ruling member of the Clinton dynasty had arrived.  Sit down Peasants.   The pollsters always leave out one thing.

The ruling class are not rulers, and the people are still in charge, and their not buying this.

Cox is a big government advocate still. No matter what he tries to do to distance himself from his own ideas. His only voting record, is his vote for Pro-Choice, Open Borders, Libertarian, Gary Johnson.  Cox has never won a race.  That makes him a perfect choice for the second place strategy.

Travis Allen has never lost a race, and was never expected to be in office.  The pollsters, pundits and ruling class have counted him out, and told him to sit down and wait his turn for the entirety of his political career.

Historically, it is time for the Governor’s Mansion to be turned back to the Republicans.  Someone needs to tell the leadership of the Republican party, they dont know it yet.   There is no justification for rolling over and paying dead with a second place candidate.   Californians, just like Americans across the country in the past three elections, have risen up to remind you, who is in charge, and they seem to be pretty tired of Second Place.

 

Posted in California, Campaign Finance | Tagged: | 2 Comments »