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Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee on Stopping the Gas Tax

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 28, 2017

We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee where they are considering a recommendation of the gas tax repeal measure proposed by Assemblyman Travis Allen.

Endorsements Committee Members present are Chair Peggy Huang and Members Gene Hernandez, Leroy Mills, and Erik Weigand are present. Members on the phone are Laurie Davies and Tyler Diep. 

Your blogger missed the opening statement due to traffic.

Central Committee Member Tim Whitacre speaks in support of Assemblyman Travis Allen’s effort to repeal the gas tax since the GOP should support tax repeals and Allen is a member of the Orange County delegation.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about the possibility of endorsing multiple tax repeal measures.

Emmanuel Patrascu on behalf of the tax repeal ballot measure argues that there is nothing wrong with endorsing all gas tax repeal measures.

Endorsements Committee Member Gene Hernandez argues this is the only repeal measure that exists.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang notes that they are not precluded from doing so, but they have not done so historically in candidate races.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks about the ballot measure’s fundraising plan.

Mike Johnson on behalf of the gas tax repeal ballot measure says the campaign plans to raise $1,000,000 to qualify the measure.

Weigand asks what signature gathering firm will be hired for the ballot measure.

Johnson names various well known signature gathering firms.

The committee asks about the language of the measure.

Patrascu goes into a lengthy explanation about the various sections added and repealed.

Yours truly wearing his Central Committee hat jumps in and explains that SB 1 (the gas tax) adds various sections and repeals various sections, and that the tax repeal measure simply reverses SB 1.

Weigand asks if the ballot measure committee money can be transferred to Allen’s gubernatorial campaign money.

Patrascu and Johnson state many such transfer would be illegal. They also note that the ballot measure committee is named according to state law.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds to recommend endorsing the gas tax repeal measure.

Central Committee Member Thomas Gordon speaks in favor of the motion noting the gas tax repeal is a “no-brainer” because it goes to core Republican principles.

The committee approves 6-0 to recommend the full Central Committee endorse the gas tax repeal measure at its July 10 meeting.

ENDORSEMENT OF GAS TAX REPEAL BALLOT MEASURE RECOMMENDED UNANIMOUSLY TO FULL CENTRAL COMMITTEE.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens to retire at end of current term

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 27, 2017

This came over the wire this afternoon from Sheriff Sandra Hutchens’s now-former re-election campaign

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens to retire at end of current term

Endorses Undersheriff Don Barnes as her successor

Santa Ana, CA – – Sandra Hutchens, Sheriff-Coroner of Orange County, announced today that she will not seek reelection in 2018 and is endorsing Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes.

“At the end of my current term, I will have spent almost 40 years in law enforcement and over 10 years as Sheriff of Orange County,” said Hutchens. “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as Sheriff and I would not even consider retiring if there was not a highly qualified and electable candidate ready to serve.

“I am proud to endorse Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes for the position of Sheriff-Coroner of Orange County,” said Hutchens. “Don has worked for our Department for 29 years and has excelled at every position and assignment. He possesses the experience and qualities needed to lead an agency with 3,800 sworn and professional staff members and over 800 reserve personnel. I am confident that Don Barnes will work tirelessly and effectively to keep the citizens of Orange County safe in their homes, neighborhoods, schools and places of business.”

Sandra Hutchens was elected as the 12th Sheriff-Coroner for Orange County in June of 2010, after having been appointed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to serve out the remaining two year term of Sheriff Mike Carona, who had resigned. Hutchens began her law enforcement career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1976 where she worked her way through the ranks of deputy, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, commander and as Division Chief for the Office of Homeland Security.

“Sheriff Hutchens has served Orange County with distinction and thanks to her leadership the Sheriff’s Department is recognized as one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the country,” said Senate Republican Leader Pat Bates. “I am confident that Undersheriff Don Barnes will continue that level of service and professionalism and am happy to endorse him for Sheriff.”

As Orange County Undersheriff, Don Barnes oversees the daily operations of the department’s 24 Divisions and the 16 police service contracts.  He is responsible for strategic development of programs to improve public safety services to the residents of Orange County. Barnes began his career with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in 1989 and has served in numerous leadership roles inside the department. Please visit BarnesforSheriff.com for more information.

Paid for by Friends of Sheriff Hutchens 2018

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

Republican OC Assemblyman Travis Allen Enters Race for Governor

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 22, 2017

This video came over the wire this morning from Travis Allen for Governor

Posted in California | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee on Efforts to Stop the Car Tax

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 19, 2017

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgWe are live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where the committee is considering a resolution of support for Assemblyman Travis Allen’s effort to repeal the gas tax via his plan to qualify a statewide ballot measure to repeal SB 1 in the next statewide general election (in November 2018). After the Attorney General issues the title and summary of the proposed measure, Allen will need the signatures of 365,880 California voters to put the measure on the ballot. Upon reaching the ballot, the measure needs a simple majority of voters to pass.

Tonight, however, to get the resolution of support for the proposed ballot measure, Allen needs 2/3 of the Central Committee members to vote in favor of the resolution.

Before that, general Central Committee business must be completed.

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker gives opening remarks.

RNC Western Regional Political Director Alexis Valdez-Darnell explains her role, the RNC’s efforts in Orange County, and what they can do to help the OC GOP.

Chairman Whitaker recognizes each of the local elected officials present.

OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang recognized the OC GOP Volunteer of the Month for April: longtime activist Joyce Van Schaack, who also received certificates from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the office of Assemblyman Bill Brough, the office of Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates, the office of Board of Equalization Chair Diane Harkey, the office of Assessor Claude Parrish, the Laguna Niguel Republican Women Federated, the Orange County Federation of Republican Women, and OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker, joined by his father, former LA GOP 41st Assembly District Chairman Fred Whitaker, Sr.

OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang recognized the OC GOP Volunteer of the Month for May: college student Thea Dunlevie, who also received certificates from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the office of Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates, the office of Assemblyman Bill Brough, the office of Congressman Darrell Issa, the office of Board of Equalization Chair Diane Harkey, the NextGen Republicans, and OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker.

Chairman Whitaker discusses the work of First Vice Chairman John Warner for Saturday’s Flag Day dinner, as Warner is out ill.

Second Vice Chairman TJ Fuentes, Treasurer Erik Weigand, and Assistant Treasurer Laurie Davies 

Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Whitacre and Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh had no report.

Assemblyman Allen speaks in favor of the urgency. He describes the measure’s provisions repealing the gas tax and car tax.

Chairman Whitaker speaks against the urgency. He states that Carl DeMaio, who is leading the recall effort against Senator Josh Newman, is not yet on board with this measure because DeMaio may be drafting another one.

Committee Member Mike Munzing asks if it is possible to endorse Allen’s now and then endorse the other if it materializes.

Chairman Whitaker states it is possible but not advisable.

Committee Treasurer Erik Weigand asks if a special meeting is possible.

Parliamentarian Marsh express concern about the ability to get quorum.

Committee Member Taylor Strand asks if a special meeting would be timely to meet Assemblyman Allen’s measure deadlines.

Parliamentarian Marsh states it is possible to call an electronic meeting.

Chairman Whitaker suggests July 10 or July 12 for a special meeting.

Committee Member Baron Night asks about the timeline for the measure.

Allen explains that title and summary will be released in early July and signatures due in early December.

Allen states the special meeting would be fine for endorsement but he requests the resolution of support tonight.

Because Whitaker is the only speaker in opposition to declaring an urgency regarding the repeal of the gas tax and car tax, Allen is the only speaker in favor allowed to speak despite others wanting to speak in favor.

Committee Member Deborah Pauly asks about getting quorum at a special meeting.

Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh notes that quorum is easy to attain because Central Committee members can appoint and remove alternates at will.

Committee Member Anthony Kuo asks if the Central Committee action will affect signature gathering.

Allen explains that the endorsement would be helpful in getting donations and volunteers for the ballot measure signature gathering effort.

Committee Member Jennifer Beall asks if any other measure has actually been filed. She notes Allen is a member of the OC legislative delegation and therefore, a member of the Central Committee.

Chairman Whitaker is unsure.

Allen says no other proposed measure has been filed.

Committee Member John W. Briscoe asks if it would be possible to pass the resolution now and the endorsement in July.

Chairman Whitaker says it would be possible.

Committee Member Jennifer Beall asks about resolutions of support and opposition in the past two months on various recalls.

Chairman Whitaker states they were general resolutions of support, not endorsements.

The vote is 31 in favor of declaring an urgency and 19 against declaring an urgency. The urgency fails to achieve 2/3. With 50 people voting, 34 votes in favor were needed to declare an urgency. Consequently, the resolution will not be considered tonight.

The committee goes to club reports.

The committee adjourns at 8:48 PM.

Posted in 72nd Assembly District, California, Orange County, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Unions Only Care About Privacy When It Benefits Them

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 7, 2017

This came over the wire from the Freedom Foundation…

“As always, the left’s outrage is selective and its principles a moving target. When it suits them to stand for privacy rights, no one can muster more righteous indignation. When it doesn’t, the silence is deafening.”
– Sam Han, California Director of the Freedom Foundation

OLYMPIA – This weekend, the Freedom Foundation’s California director Sam Han penned an op-ed for The Orange County Register detailing the hypocrisy of labor unions on the issue of privacy and the efforts by the Freedom Foundation in Washington, Oregon, and California to inform workers of their rights.

Check out excerpts from the piece below or read the whole thing here.

OC Register: Unions Only Care About Privacy When It Benefits Them
by Sam Han
June 4, 2017

It turns out the much-heralded commitment of the political left and its allies in organized labor to the ideal of privacy rights has its limits.

And that limit once again manages to expire just short of themselves.

For example, they’re all for protecting the identities of taxpayer-subsidized home health care providers already represented by the same public-sector unions that fund liberal candidates and causes.

Meanwhile, under a bill currently working its way through the state Legislature, the names and contact information for tens of thousands of private-sector workers would be divulged for no other reason than exposing them to union organizers.

Naturally, this information would be handed only to the union, but not to anyone who might have a conflicting message to share.

The hypocrisy is stupefying.

As always, the left’s outrage is selective and its principles a moving target.

When it suits them to stand for privacy rights, no one can muster more righteous indignation. When it doesn’t, the silence is deafening.

Continue reading here.

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

SB1 and a Ruse for a Recall

Posted by Brenda McCune on May 9, 2017

In April the California legislature passed, and the Governor signed a new gas tax that adds 12 cents per gallon to gas purchased in California. This legislation passed the state Senate with 27 votes. This was the minimum number of votes needed to pass a new tax. Senators voted along party lines, except for Republican Senator Anthony Canella.

A recall effort is now underway, to recall a Senator who voted for the tax, but it is not the one Republican Senator. The recall effort targets freshman Senator Josh Newman. Last fall, Josh was only a second time candidate but a first time elected. The initiators of the recall have indicated that they targeted Senator Newman merely because he was vulnerable. His election went into eleventh hour counting and was what they have termed a “slim margin”.

Without getting to the substance or merit of the tax, there is no ethical or behavioral allegations that Senator Newman has acted unbecoming his office or outside the scope of his authority, the only issue appears to be, that he seems “vulnerable.”

Once again, the recall procedure is being abused to effect political gamesmanship at the expense of the citizens of California. If only conservatives could focus on fiscal responsibility that they claim to espouse.
There is no indication of whom they intend to replace Senator Newman in the event that the recall gets off the ground. Their short memories and lack of insight have lead to this place. Much like Hillary Clinton and her tone deaf blame game without any personal responsibility, the conservatives in California fail to acknowledge that the Republicans-in-Name-Only, and demographic gamesmanship, caused voters to substantively seek out, anyone else.
Yet at least one of those failed candidates from 2016 is already being rebooted for a Supervisor race.

If conservatives are to ever have a voice in California again, they need a Monday morning quarterback meeting, at a minimum. The OCGOP Chairman laughing off Democrat promises to bring all their forces to bear on the congressional races is also an ominous sign. The coming election cycle never goes well for a losing party who fails to learn any lessons.
The thing that is clear is that none of this recall effort has anything to do with Senator Josh Newman. He is a convenient scapegoat. The scapegoat for a GOP that is disconnected and avoiding doing the real work, whose bench is a mile wide and an inch deep. The time would be far better spent taking seriously the challenges to our congressional seats.

Instead we get, gamesmanship, at the expense of the voter. As long as conservatives continue to behave as though the voters are stupid, they will continue to be subject to a supermajority in Sacramento and will be the cause of a shift in the balance of power in DC.

Recalls are expensive and an extraordinary measure to be used in extreme circumstances of wrongdoing.  The public will not be fooled by this, but the ‘brand’ that the county central committee has lamented about preserving, will certainly be damaged, yet again.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

March 2, 2017 – A Very Important Day for Californians

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 18, 2017

While not getting front page news status – on March 2, 2017 two very important decisions were handed down by the Courts affecting Californian’s right to obtain documents from their government.

Two California courts on a single day broadened the public’s access to government documents via a California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) request.

In one case (City of San Jose v. Superior Court (Smith)), the California Supreme Court unanimously declared on March 2 that public officials’ e-mails and texts are in fact public documents, even when they are sent over personal devices.

In a related case on that same day, a state appeals court in Los Angeles declared that the public is allowed to seek “discovery” in lawsuits filed by requestors of public documents to enforce their rights in Court under the CPRA statute.

Both cases are widely seen as a victory for transparency, and a reaffirmation of the state’s Watergate-era California Public Records Act.

To read the rest of my post on this go to this link: One One Day in Two Decisions…

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

Patricia Bates Becomes 1st CA Senate Republican Leader from South OC

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 15, 2017

Yesterday afternoon, State Senate Republicans in Sacramento unanimously elected Senator Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) as the new Senate Republican Leader, effective April 12.  Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) is stepping down as leader since she will term out of the Senate in 2018.

In the caucus statement announcing her election, Bates said, “It is no secret that Republicans face a challenging political environment in California. But Republicans embrace taxpayers who want a more efficient government, parents who want better schools and safer streets, and citizens who want their constitutional freedoms protected. That is a Republican Party that can attract broad support in California, and I will do everything I can as the next leader to spread that message in every part of the state.”

Prior to her election to the Senate in 2014, Bates was an Orange County Supervisor from 2007-2014 (serving as Chair in 2009 and Vice Chair in 2008 and 2013-2014), a State Assemblywoman from 1996-2004, and on the Laguna Niguel City Council from 1989-1998, including serving as the City’s first mayor after leading the city’s incorporation efforts (she would serve four terms as mayor).  A South Orange County resident for 40 years, she worked as a social worker in Los Angeles County before embarking on a political career.  During her tenure in the Legislature, she has served as Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee in both houses.  She has also been Vice Chair of the Assembly Health Committee and the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee.

Bates is the first South Orange County resident to lead a party caucus in the State Legislature.  She is also the first former Orange County Supervisor to serve as a legislative party caucus leader (Bill Campbell was Assembly Republican Leader before he became an Orange County Supervisor.

Serving as the Republican Leader’s chief of staff is not an unfamiliar position for Kevin Bassett, Bates’s chief of staff.  Bassett had been selected for the role in 2010 by new Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton and continued in that position when Bob Huff became Leader in 2012, departing in December 2014 when he became Bates’s chief of staff.  Bassett had been on the late Senator Dave Cox’s staff for Cox’s entire political career in the Senate, the Assembly, and the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.  He was Cox’s chief of staff during his entire tenure in the Legislature, including when Cox served as Assembly Republican Leader (2001-2004), and the latter part of his time on the Board of Supervisors.

Fuller is the first woman to head a Senate party caucus while Bates will be the second.  No woman has yet led the Senate Democratic Caucus.  (While Gloria Romero and Ellen Corbett have served as State Senate Majority Leader, from 2005-2008 and 2010-2014, respectively, that position is the second-ranking position in the Democratic Caucus behind the Senate President Pro Tem, who has always been a man.)  Three women have served as Speaker of the State Assembly (Republican-Elected-Speaker-by-Democrats-Until-She-Was-Recalled-by-Orange-County-Voters Doris Allen in 1995, followed by Democrat Karen Bass from 2008-2010 and Democrat Toni Atkins from 2014-2016) and three have served as Assembly Republican Leader (Carol Hallett from 1979-1981, Connie Conway from 2010-2014, and Kristen Olsen from 2014-2016).

Bates is the first Orange County legislator since Senator Bob Huff (Fuller’s predecessor from 2012-2015) to serve as the head of a party caucus in either house of the Legislature and the first Orange County resident to do so since Dick Ackerman was Senate Republican Leader from 2004-2008 (while Huff’s district included Orange County, he is a resident of Los Angeles County).  An Orange County legislator has not served as Assembly Republican Leader since Bill Campbell in 2000-2001 or Speaker of the Assembly since Curt Pringle in 1996.

While multiple Orange County residents have served as Senate Republican Leader, Assembly Republican Leader, and Speaker of the State Assembly in recent times, none has ever served as President Pro Tem of the State Senate.  However, Republican R. B. Carpenter of Los Angeles County represented both LA and Orange Counties when he served as Senate President Pro Tem from 1892-1893.  For Bates to become Senate President Pro Tem, she would need to grow her caucus by 61% or somehow get 30% of the Democratic Caucus to vote for her.

Posted in 36th Senate District, California, State Senate | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Speaking Truth To Power – Teacher Union Power

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 12, 2017

In Sunday’s OC Register  (Unions to Blame) is a powerful opinion piece by Cecilia Iglesias, one of the five Trustees for the Santa Ana Unified School District.  Recently the Board of Trustees voted 4 to 1 (with Trustee Iglesias as the sole dissenting vote) to send layoff notices to 287 teachers.  Why?  As Trustee Iglesias points out, the District has had declining enrollment since 2002 and is continued to have this for years to come.  What did the teachers’ union and their paid for board majority do in response to this situation: raise teacher pay and ignore basic mathematics.  Over the last four years teacher pay in SAUSD has risen over 16% while the projected enrollment figures continued to slide.

Remember – schools receive their money from the state (and the federal) government based on enrollment.  So even using Common Core math could not save the teachers’ union and their paid for Trustees from fiscal reality – they don’t have enough money to pay all of their teachers (and other staff too) at the current levels.  So they voted to lay off 287 teachers (the actual figure may be less come this fall – but still a significant number).  What will happen from this lay off?

First there will be fewer teachers to staff the classrooms.  Result: pack the children into more crowded classrooms putting more pressure and responsibility on those teachers that remain.  So for example a class with 25 students will grow in size to 30 or 35 students with one teacher.  And which teachers will be laid off?  The union contract with the school has a “last in, first out” clause – meaning the younger teachers will lose their jobs while older ones keep theirs.  And there is absolutely no ability for the District, under this contract, to take into account a teacher’s performance (or lack thereof) in choosing which teachers to lay off.

So who wins in this situation?  Obviously union bosses who keep their positions. Older teachers who may be great teachers but there is still no way to judge if all of them are the best performers or not.  The four union elected (paid for) Trustees who owe their seats to unions who underwrote their election efforts.

Do parents and students win – Not by any reasonable measure.  In fact it can be correctly argued that the District and the union are balancing the books on the backs of the children.  The teachers who are laid off?  The only way they “win” in this situation is if they find a job in another District that has Trustees that look out after students and parents more than teacher union bosses.  Only if that District cares more about teacher performance than seniority.  I wish all those teachers who are laid off well and that they find better replacement employment quickly.

How will the parents win in this situation?  Very simple – put better Trustees on the board to join Ms. Iglesias to form a pro-student, parent and teacher majority that returns the focus of the District to the best education possible rather than catering to the desires of union bosses.

Posted in Santa Ana Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Freedom Foundation Hires Sam Han as California Director

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on January 27, 2017

As initially reported by our media partner OC Daily, the press release below came over the wire earlier this week from the Freedom Foundation announcing their hiring of Sam Han, who recently finished a term on the Fullerton Planning Commission and who was also formerly District Director to Assemblyman Don Wagner (until Wagner termed out of the Legislature and became Mayor of Irvine)…

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. – The Freedom Foundation announced today that Sam Han has joined its leadership team to guide the organization’s latest expansion to California.

Han will serve as California director, ensuring local and state governments are accountable to the voters rather than public-sector unions. Specifically, he will work to free government employees from union tyranny and provide guidance to legislators and citizens on ways to combat union influence.

“We’re pleased that Sam decided to join our team. He has the skills necessary to quickly advance our mission in California,” said Tom McCabe, Freedom Foundation CEO.

As a California native, Han has been involved in local, state and federal races and previously worked for the California State Legislature as a district director.

He is a graduate of UC San Diego and holds a business certificate from the Harvard Business School.

The Freedom Foundation is a 501c(3) nonprofit think and action tank with offices in Washington, Oregon and California.

Founded in 1991 by Bob Williams and Lynn Harsh as the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, the Oregon today is a national leader in winning the fight for freedom at the state and local level.
The Freedom Foundation is working to reverse the stranglehold public-sector unions have on government. There is no path to expanded freedom, opportunity or prosperity until collective bargaining is transparent, government employees have a choice to join an employee’s union or not, and taxpayer’s money is prohibited from being unwillingly used to influence the political system. The Freedom Foundation has the will and skill to take on those who attack freedom.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »