OC Political

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

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Call for Brough to Retire

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 16, 2019

We’re live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where tonight’s closed session includes endorsements of Shawn Steel for re-election as RNC Committeeman, Harmeet Dhillon for re-election as RNC Committeewoman, Ken Williams for re-election to the County Board of Education, Gale Oliver for the Santa Ana Council Ward 4 special election, Gene James for the San Clemente City Council special election, and Gisela Contreras for the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education special election. (Christina Selter for the San Clemente City Council special election is also eligible to be considered, but the Endorsements Committee recommendation is for James. Selter did not receive the recommendation of the Endorsements Committee.) Finally, there is an Executive Session on a resolution regarding Assemblyman Bill Brough.

Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Kuo delivers the invocation. OC GOP intern Joe Gonzalez leads the Pledge of Allegiance.

Two new alternate members are sworn in.

Chairman Fred Whitaker gives updates on the 39th, 45th, and 48th Congressional District races. Publicly released polling shows Supervisor Michelle Steel in a tie with 48th District Congressman Harley Rouda and shows former Assemblywoman Young Kim slightly ahead of 39th District Congressman Gil Cisneros. The field has narrowed in the 45th Disrict, with Deputy District Attorney Ray Gennawey dropping out.

Whitaker wins unanimous votes from the Cebtral Committee to appoint the Resolutions and Financial Review Committees.

Steel and Dhillon are endorsed for re-election unanimously after a motion to suspend the rules to allow their endorsement resolution to be considered passed nearly unanimously, with Deborah Pauly opposing the suspension.

The featured speaker is Crime Survivors Founder and CEO Patricia Wenskunas. She speaks about crime victims and the crime victims’ movement. She ends her remarks urging the passage of the resolution calling for Brough to not seek re-election and directly addresses Brough urging him to resign.

Ken Williams is endorsed for re-election unanimously to the Orange County Board of Education. Gale Oliver is endorsed unanimously for the Santa Ana Council Ward 4 special election, as is Gisela Contreras for the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education special election.

Committee Member Diane Harkey moves to endorse Gene James. Committee Member Jennifer Beall offers a substitute motion for no endorsement since there are two Republican candidates.

Beall urges a respectful process, expressing concern about the contentiousness. She had urged the Endorsements Committee to wait until after filing closed. She notes both Republicans have good ballot designations. Selter is the only woman running. Both have good ballot positions. The 19-year-old Democrat who won 7% in the last election is not a real threat.

Committee Member Jon Fleischman warns that the number of Republican elected officials is declining each election cycle. He says James is the candidate who can win the seat for Republicans. He argues the Democrat has received funding and support from unions and other Democratic leaders. Fleischman argues the Beall motion is unnecessary because it takes 2/3 to endorse a candidate, and it is entirely possible no one gets to 2/3, which would have the same end result as the Beall motion.

The parliamentarian notes the Beall motion needs a majority of those present and voting.

14 vote in favor of the Beall motion while 27 vote against.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang delivered the report of the committee. The other members are Mark Bucher, Laurie Davies, Tyler Diep, Gene Hernandez, Leroy Mills, and Erik Weigand. The committee met with James and recommended his endorsement 4-2. Later, when it met with Selter, the vote was 5-0 for neutrality and 4-1 to recommend Selter be able to speak to the Central Committee.

James notes he was endorsed last year. He says he came within 0.4% of winning in 2018 despite only living in San Clemente for two years. He blasts the “20-year-old socialist” who received $5,000 from the firefighters union and the endorsement of four former Mayors. James is an Army veteran who served at Checkpoint Charlie. He is a pro-life, limited government conservative. He has taught homeland security and criminal justice. He serves on the national USO board.

Selter was born and raised in OC and has lived for 10 years in San Clemente. She sits on two County board representing San Clemente. She works to help provide services to senior citizens. She volunteers with her church. She opposes the toll road extension into San Clemente.

Deborah Pauly asks how long each has been a Republican. Both have been lifelong Republicans.

Kermit Marsh asks how much each candidate has raised and how much cash is on hand.

James says he has raised $20,000 and has $10,000 cash-on-hand.

Selter says she has several thousand and is willing to self-fund.

The motion on James has 26 votes in favor and 13 against. That is exactly 2/3. James is endorsed.

July Volunteer of the Month Abigail Scott is recognized by Chairman Fred Whitaker, 1st Vice Chair Peggy Huang, Senator John Moorlach, and Assemblyman Steven Choi.

August Volunteer of the Month Amy Freeman is recognized by Chairman Fred Whitaker, 1st Vice Chair Peggy Huang, and the office of Senator Ling Ling Chang.

Officer reports are delivered.

Two alternates are sworn in before Executive Session.

The Central Committee enters Executive Session at 8:22 PM.

The Central Committee returned from Executive Session at 8:50 PM and announced the following resolution passed:

Resolution on Assemblyman Bill Brough

BE IT RESOLVED that based on the totality of the circumstances and controversies surroundingbthe Assemblyman, the Republican Party of Orange County calls on Bill Brough to not file for re-election to the State Assembly, and retire at the end of his current term.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Live from the CD-45 Candidate Forum at OC GOP Central Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 19, 2019

We are live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where tonight’s agenda includes the CD-45 Republican candidate forum and a pair of resolutions opposing recall efforts in Santa Ana and Westminster. The meeting began shortly after 7:00 PM.

Kathy Tavoularis delivers an invocation in memory of the late Orange County Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery, who had served on the Central Committee in the 1990s as Ethics Committee Chairman, Treasurer, and Second Vice Chairman. A number of people holding “Gene James for San Clemente City Council” signs continue talking during the invocation.

Orange County Treasurer Shari Freidenrich speaks in memory of Eric Woolery, while a smaller number of Gene James sign holders continue talking. Freidenrich then leads the Pledge of Allegiance.

Steve Sarkis and Cynthia Thacker are nominated by the 65th District caucus to replace Chris Norby and Jack Bedell. Jeff Barke is nominated by the 72nd District caucus to replace Jim Cunneen. All three nominations are approved unanimously by the full Central Committee.

The roll is taken, and elected officials are introduced.

Central Committee Chairman Fred Whitaker speaks in memory of Eric Woolery.

Whitaker speaks about the Democrats taking the lead in voter registration in Orange County, noting Republicans took the lead back after Democrats gained the lead in the aftermath of Watergate. He also notes Republicans still hold 2/3 of all elected offices in Orange County. He speaks about the importance of conducting voter registration. He speaks of the importance of winning Congressional and legislative seats.

Whitaker introduces the 45th Congressional District candidate forum for the Republicans seeking to unseat Congresswoman Katie Porter (D). He explains each candidate will get the same questions and will not be allowed to attack other Republican candidates.

He notes Democrats do not allow non-members to attend Central Committee while Republicans allow the public to attend, even pointing out a Democrat in attendance.

He requests that audience members be respectful and not yell or shout.

Whitaker introduces the candidates, who get three minutes to deliver opening statements.

Deputy District Attorney Ray Gennawey speaks about his deep roots in the district. He speaks about his work as a prosecutor. He talks about California’s rising crime and rising cost of living. He wants to end sanctuary for violent criminals. He wants to help the 7,000 homeless people in Orange County. He speaks of a human trafficking victim he worked with as a prosecutor and the value of her life.

Yorba Linda Councilwoman Peggy Huang legally immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 7. When she became a citizen, she registered as a Republican and became active in Republican causes. She expresses her support for Donald Trump and says her daughter is the youngest Trump volunteer. She speaks of her work as a Deputy Attorney General. She says she is running for Congress because of immigration, health care, and student loans. She wants to help the next generation with student loans.

Mission Viejo Mayor Greg Raths speaks of marrying his wife in the district, and raising his children and grandchildren in the district. He speaks of his career in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was an Eagle Scout like Gennawey. He discusses 30 years of USMC missions, joining during the Vietnam War. He speaks of his graduate education. He speaks of being assigned to the White House Military Office. He speaks of his election and re-election to the Mission Viejo City Council. He speaks of immigration, the military, personal freedoms, and the Constitution. He filed suit against the State of California over its exclusion of candidates from the presidential ballot.

Laguna Hills Mayor Don Sedgwick notes he is the only candidate who has signed both the front and back of the check. He speaks of curbing regulations that harm business. He speaks of illegal immigration and the rule of law. He notes that Congresswoman Katie Porter is a protege of Senator Elizabeth Warren and one of only two candidates to already be endorsed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He speaks about rising crime.

Orange County Board of Education Trustee Lisa Sparks grew up in a small Midwestern town. There she learned the principles of fiscal responsibility. She is a wife, mother, and the founding dean of the School of Communications at Chapman University. She is an international expert ranked in the top 10 of health care communicators. She speaks of her conservative record on the Orange County Board of Education. She argues Congresswoman Katie Porter is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation due to her liberal record. Sparks currently represents more constituents in the 45th Congressional District than any other candidate. She knows how to communicate to students, and notes UCI precincts went 91% for Porter over Walters.

Whitaker announces a lightning round asking each candidate how they will win the district.

Huang says she has an aggressive plan to walk all district precincts 3 times before the election.

Raths plans to reach out to veterans and win over their votes. His wife taught at UCI, and his children teach in Irvine.

Sedgwick notes his 23 years of experience in elected office in the 45th District surpasses all the other Republicans and Porter combined. He notes he has raised 2/3 of a million dollars already. He will use the money to get his message out to the voters, noting Porter raised $1 million, more than any other Congressional freshman.

Sparks speaks of her family’s roots in the district. She speaks of already representing 35% of the district. She has hired several members from Mimi Walters’s team.

Gennawey will go to places where candidates have not sought voters before. He points to the first-time volunteers in the room who are volunteering for him.

Whitaker asks the candidates what is the top issue in the district.

Raths states veterans are the top issue. He speaks of veteran mental health and suicide. He has spent $700,000 in the past raising his name ID in the district.

Sedgwick states immigration is important but highlights the opioid epidemic’s effect on homelessness.

Sparks notes her husband is an immigrant. She speaks about free market choices for health insurance, allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines. She speaks of her mother’s high cost for life insurance.

Huang speaks of the high cost of health care. She is a cancer survivor. She wants to expand Health Savings Accounts and make them more flexible. She wants free market options to allow people to buy health insurance across state lines. She wants small business owners, like her husband, to be able to get a tax deduction for health insurance.

Gennawey speaks the drug crisis and how it contributes to homelessness.

Whitaker asks how the candidates will deal with the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction limitation in the 2017 tax reform.

Sedgwick calls for lifting the SALT limit because it harms California families. He praises various administration accomplishments but blasts SALT as a detriment.

Sparks says she will fight to lower taxes for Californians. She says the recent tax reforms had 80% of people paying less and 5% of people paying more. She says it has largely helped American taxpayers but the SALT limitation and mortgage limitation must be repealed because it hurts Californians.

Gennawey says he will fight to repeal the SALT limitation but points out it is only a problem because California has high state taxes.

Huang blasts the SALT limitation but praises the economic opportunity zones in the tax reform.

Raths similarly opposes the SALT limitation but praises the rest of the tax reform bill.

Whitaker asks about health care reform.

Sparks speaks about the impact of health care costs upon seniors and families. She calls for an informed scientific approach to alleviate the costs.

Gennawey worked in the House of Representatives when the Affordable Care Act was passed. He says it has been anything but affordable. He calls for lowering prescription costs.

Huang calls for the expansion of Health Savings Accounts and the ability to buy health insurance in the free market across state lines. She speaks of her challenges battling cancer at age 44.

Raths jokes that his Marine recruiter lied to him about getting free health care for life through the VA. He speaks of market approaches on health insurance.

Sedgwick says government cannot afford to provide all things. He calls for a private sector approach, increasing competition in health insurance, including purchases across state lines. He calls for reducing regulations that keep prescription costs artificially high.

Whitaker announces an ultra lightning round. He asks for ways to control spending.

Huang cites various pork barrel projects that should be cut.

Raths has run a balanced budget at the City. He understands the Pentagon budget. He gives the example of a particular type of aircraft that is three times the cost of other military aircraft.

Sedgwick speaks of his budget in Laguna Hills. He calls for examining the proper role of government.

Sparks speaks of balancing the budget as a dean. She warns government cannot tax and spend its way to prosperity.

Gennawey blasts $22 trillion in debt. He says his generation is saddled by the spending of prior generations.

Whitaker asks if the candidates will support the Republican nominee if it is one of the other candidates.

All say yes.

Whitaker asks what endorsement each candidate is proudest of.

Sedgwick cites the endorsement of his entire City Council because they know he is someone who they can work with. He cites his conservative approaches when he was with the California School Board Association.

Sparks lists numerous elected officials and businesspeople but does not specify which one she is proudest of.

Gennawey says former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher gave him a surfboard and his endorsement. He also notes the Deputy District Attorneys have endorsed him.

Huang lists various elected officials but does not specify which one she is proudest of.

Raths lists various elected officials and cites Orange County Assessor Claude Parrish as the one he is most proud of.

Whitaker asks how much each candidate raised in the prior quarter and how much they plan to raise in this quarter.

Sparks raised $151,000. She plans to raise $300,000 more.

Gennawey raised $73,000 and plans to raise as much as he can.

Huang raised $264,000 and is aiming for $300,000.

Raths raised $212,000 and plans to raise $600,000.

Sedgwick raised $625,000 last quarter. He is aiming for nearly $1,000,000. He wants $1,500,000 by the general election.

Whitaker asks who the campaign consultants are.

Gennawey has hired Chip Englander and Michael Antonoupoulos.

Huang has hired Chris Emami, Erik Brown, and Lou Penrose.

Raths has a pro bono campaign consultant, Paul Jensen.

Sedgwick has hired John Thomas.

Sparks has hired seven members of Mimi Walters’s team, including Sam Oh, who is now with a 150-person consulting firm.

Whitaker ask what committee each candidate would want to serve on.

Huang cites Transportation, noting how much in taxes flow from Orange County and how little flows back in transportation dollars.

Raths cites Armed Services, Budget, and Ways & Means.

Sedgwick cites Judiciary, Budget, and Ways & Means. He notes the nation’s judges have a long, profound effect on the country.

Sparks cites Health Care, Education, Budget, and Ways & Means. She states she would like to help recruit more Republican women to run for Congress.

Gennawey cites Judiciary and Armed Services. He wants to help obtain federal funding for an Orange County veterans’ cemetery.

Whitaker asks about student loans and college affordability.

Gennawey notes he and his wife are still paying their student loans. He blasts high loan interest rates and opposes free college.

Huang is still paying her student loans. She calls for a tax deduction for employees who receive employer loan assistance.

Raths calls for more community college attendance, citing his daughters’ experiences. He also calls for limits on student loan interest rates.

Sedgwick opposes free college and questions whether people who already graduated should get refunds.

Sparks is a college dean. She calls for greater financial literacy education in K-12 schools and opposes free college as too expensive.

Sedgwick previously served two terms on Central Committee. He has walked precincts and phone banked for candidates.

Sparks was recruited to run for the Orange County Board of Education. She recalled her father’s values when deciding to run for Congress.

Gennawey speaks of various campaigns he volunteered on, he was College Republicans President, and he encouraged his mother to run for City Council while he was studying for the State Bar Exam. He notes, “She won, and I passed!”

Huang has volunteered for 30 years. She serves on Central Committee as Vice Chair and is a member of the Lincoln Club.

Raths has volunteered for numerous candidates and run in his own election.

After over an hour, the forum is complete.

Whitaker recognizes the RWF. He then recognizes the Volunteer of the Month, Cynthia Thacker.

Whitaker brings up resolutions opposing the recall efforts in Westminster and Santa Ana.

The Central Committee votes unanimously to suspend the rules to consider the resolutions.

The Central Committee then votes unanimously for the resolution to oppose the recall of Westminster Mayor Tri Ta and Councilmembers Kimberly Ho and Chi Charlie Nguyen.

The Central Committee then votes unanimously for the resolution to oppose the recall of Santa Ana Councilwoman Ceci Iglesias, though Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer recuses himself due to a complaint received by his office regarding this recall.

Various officer and club reports are delivered.

Whitaker thanks all the volunteers who helped register voters at the Republican Party booth at the OC Fair. He announces various upcoming opportunities to register voters.

The Central Committee adjourns at 8:58 PM in memory of Eric Woolery.

Posted in 45th Congressional District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

RIP Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery (1966-2019)

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 8, 2019

The Honorable Eric H. Woolery, CPA was elected Auditor-Controller of Orange County in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.  He previously served as Orange City Treasurer from 2014-2015, a member of the Orange County Board of Education from 1996-2000, and on the Executive Board of the Central Committee of the Republican Party of Orange County in the 1990s.  He is survived by his wife, former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Lisa Woolery, and their two young children.

This terrible news was announced by the Orange County Auditor-Controller’s office this morning:

It is with tremendous regret that we share the unexpected passing of Orange County’s 10th Auditor-Controller, Eric H. Woolery. The community’s thoughts and prayers for Mr. Woolery’s family and our staff are appreciated. Business and financial operations for the County will continue uninterrupted under the direction of the Chief Deputy.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Democrats Overtake Republicans in OC Voter Registration for First Time Since Watergate’s Aftermath

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 6, 2019

August 6, 2019 marks a day that Democrats have been eagerly awaiting and Republicans have been dreading, for today marks the day that the Democrats have surpassed the Republicans to gain a plurality of voter registration in Orange County for the first time since Watergate. While each party still holds 34% of the electorate with No Party Preference Voters (independents) at 27% and third parties collectively holding 5%, there are now more registered Democrats than registered Republicans in Orange County for the first time in over 40 years.

14 of Orange County’s 34 cities hold Democratic pluralities: Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Santa Ana, Stanton, and Tustin.

Aliso Viejo is likely next to flip, with Republicans holding a razor-thin 0.5% voter registration advantage there.

In the three largest cities in the County:

  • Anaheim: Democrats: 41.5%, Republicans: 27.5%, NPP: 26.7%
  • Santa Ana: Democrats: 51.6%, NPP: 27.9%, Republicans: 16.8%
  • Irvine: Democrats: 36.0%, NPP: 34.9%, Republicans: 25.2%

Those 3 cities comprise 24% of Orange County voters. However, 30% of all Orange County Democrats are registered in those three cities compared to only 17% of all Orange County Republicans and 26% of all Orange County NPPs.

In the 1970s, two of three Congressmen, one of three State Senators, four of six Assemblymen, three of the five County Supervisors, the County Treasurer, and even the State Controller were Orange County Democrats. In contrast, today in Orange County, all seven members of Congress, two of five State Senators, three of seven Assemblymembers, and one of five County Supervisors, are Democrats. Comparing today versus the 1970s, Democrats have performed better for Congress while Republicans have performed better for the Assembly, the Board of Supervisors, and the executive Countywide offices. The State Senate is a wash.

However, in 1995-1996, Republicans had managed to shut out Democrats out of every Congressional, Senate, Assembly, and County office. In 1994, Republicans held an 18% registration advantage, including 52.6% of all registered voters in Orange County.

Democrats have held fairly steady for the last quarter-century at approximately one-third of the electorate. Republicans had about half the electorate. The Republican advantage was 17%-18%, but then eroded by 5% between 2006-2008. It slowed back down to a 1.7% decline over 2008-2012, but then picked up speed, falling by 3.1% over 2012-2014 (1.55% per year), 3.9% over 2014-2016 (1.95% per year), 2.9% over 2016-2018 (1.45% per year), and actually slowed to 0.9% this past year. However, this has not been a smooth decline. Republicans actually recovered in 2015 and early 2016 before a precipitous Republican drop and Democratic increase during most of 2016.

  • October 1996: 51.6%-32.7%, R+18.9%
  • October 2000: 49.9%-32.2%, R+17.7%
  • October 2002: 49.1%-32.0%, R+17.1%
  • October 2004: 48.4%-30.2%, R+18.2%
  • October 2006: 47.9%-30.1%, R+17.8%
  • October 2008: 44.4%-31.9%, R+12.5%
  • October 2010: 43.3%-32.2%, R+11.1%
  • October 2012: 42.2%-31.4%, R+10.8%
  • October 2014: 40.7%-32.0%, R+7.7%
  • February 2015: 40.6%-31.8%, R+8.9%
  • January 2016: 40.0%-31.2%, R+8.8%
  • April 2016: 40.5%-32.3%, R+8.2%
  • May 2016: 40.0%-33.5%, R+6.5%
  • July 2016: 39.5%-33.9%, R+5.6%
  • September 2016: 39.2%-34.1%: R+5.1%
  • October 2016: 37.8%-34.0%, R+3.8%
  • October 2018: 34.7%-33.6%, R+0.9%
  • August 2019: 34.0%-34.0%, Even

It is not simply a rise in Democratic voter registration among new voters, for even the raw number of Republican voters has fallen since February 2015:

  • February 2015: 575,329
  • January 2016: 573,646
  • April 2016: 538,550
  • May 2016: 557,789
  • July 2016: 562,016
  • September 2016: 561,252
  • October 2016: 580,398
  • February 2017: 580,251
  • January 2018: 563,992
  • April 2018: 537,728
  • May 2018: 541,278
  • September 2018: 534,134
  • October 2018: 541,665
  • February 2019: 541,711
  • August 2019: 547,394

Political watchers had been monitoring the registration numbers over the past several days, with the Republican advantage at 375 voters on Thursday, falling to roughly 175 on Friday, and dwindling to just 9 voters yesterday. Today, the Democrats have overtaken the Republicans.

Today, while Orange County’s Congressional seats are all held by Democrats, Republicans still hold registration advantages in the 45th (Katie Porter), 48th (Harley Rouda), as well as the Orange County portions of the 39th (Gil Cisneros) and 49th (Mike Levin).

With the exception of the 29th Senate District (held by Republican Ling-Ling Chang), each Senate district has a Senator whose party affiliation matches the district’s registration, with Republicans holding the 36th (Patricia Bates) and 37th (John Moorlach) and Democrats holding the 32nd (Bob Archuleta) and 34th (Tom Umberg).

With the exception of the 74th Assembly District (held by Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris), each Assembly district has an Assemblymember whose party affiliation matches the district’s registration, with Republicans holding the 55th (Phillip Chen), 68th (Steven Choi), 72nd (Tyler Diep), and 73rd (Bill Brough), and Democrats holding the 65th (Sharon Quirk-Silva) and 69th (Tom Daly). Even the 65th, which went Democrat in 2012, Republican in 2014, and back to Democrat in 2016, now has a 12% Democratic voter registration advantage.

With the exception of the 1st Supervisorial District (held by Republican Andrew Do), each Supervisorial district has a Supervisor whose party affiliation matches the district’s registration, with Republicans holding the 2nd (Michelle Steel), 3rd (Don Wagner), and 5th (Lisa Bartlett) while Democrats hold the 4th (Doug Chaffee). The 1st District has an 18% Democratic registration advantage.

Posted in Orange County | 9 Comments »

3 Weeks, 3 More Vacant Seats: Irvine, Santa Ana, and Stanton

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 14, 2019

In January, I wrote about OC’s Five Vacant Seats: OC Supervisor for the Third District, Fullerton City Council, Orange City Council, Seal Beach City Council District 1, and Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education.

Well, in the last three weeks, three more vacancies have developed in Orange County.

Irvine

The most well known vacancy is the one in Irvine that will result when Supervisor-Elect Don Wagner (R) vacates the Mayor’s seat.  However, there are numerous misconceptions about which vacancy in Irvine will result.

Some candidates claimed during the Supervisorial election that if Wagner won, there would be a special election for Mayor.  That is false.  Some press accounts claimed that the Council would appoint the new Mayor.  That is based on out-of-date information.

Under current Irvine ordinances as authorized by the Irvine City Charter, Mayor Pro Tem Christina Shea (R) will automatically succeed Wagner as Mayor once he vacates the Mayor’s seat.

The vacancy in Irvine is for Christina Shea’s Council seat.  Under the Irvine City Charter, the City Council has 60 days to appoint a new Councilmember after Shea vacates her Council seat (i.e. after she becomes Mayor after Wagner resigns).  If the Council fails to appoint a person to fill the vacancy, then there will be a special election.  Whether appointed or elected, Shea’s successor will serve through the November 2020 election.

Santa Ana Ward 4

The next most well known vacancy is in Santa Ana.  Ward 4 Councilman Roman Reyna (D), who was just elected in November, resigned effective March 1 as part of a settlement agreement in a lawsuit that challenged his eligibility to run for the Council seat in the first place.

Under the Santa Ana City Charter, the City Council has 30 days to appoint a new Councilmember to serve through the November 2022 election.  If the Council fails to appoint a person by March 31, then there will be a special election on November 5, which will be consolidated with the Santa Ana Unified School District special election.

Six people met Tuesday’s deadline for applications.  The Council is scheduled to interview the applicants next Tuesday, March 19.  The applicants are:

  • Phil Bacerra (D), a former Santa Ana Planning Commissioner who lost the Council election to Reyna and was the plaintiff in the lawsuit that led to Reyna’s resignation
  • Kenneth Khanh Nguyen (NPP), a Santa Ana Planning Commissioner
  • Jennifer Oliva (D), a Santa Ana Arts and Culture Commissioner
  • Gale Oliver, Jr. (NPP), a Baptist bishop
  • Phillip Ortiz, Jr. (NPP), an Internet installer
  • Maricela Vallejo (NPP), a Santa Ana Personnel Board Member

Stanton

The least publicized vacancy is the one in Stanton.  Mayor Pro Tem Al Ethans (R) resigned effective February 28 after more than 22 years on the Stanton City Council.

As Stanton is a general law city, the City Council has 60 days to appoint a new Councilmember to serve through the November 2020 election.  If the Council fails to appoint a person by April 29, then there will be a special election on November 5.

Applications for the seat are due at 5:00 PM today.  A City Council subcommittee is scheduled to meet with the applicants the last week of March, and the Council is slated to meet on April 23 to vote on a potential appointee.

Status of OC’s Eight Vacancies

Here’s a quick run-down on every vacancy in Orange County since the November 2018 general election.  There are 2 completed elections (Supervisor and Seal Beach), 1 appointment completed (Fullerton), 2 pending special elections (Orange and Santa Ana School Board), 2 pending appointments (Santa Ana and Stanton), and 1 pending vacancy (Irvine).  All of these seats are up for election again in 2020, except for Santa Ana and Seal Beach which will be up for election again in 2022:

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Irvine, Santa Ana, Stanton | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Election Day in BOS-3: $1.2 Million+ in Spending Ends Today

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 12, 2019

Moments ago, the polls opened in the Third Supervisorial District, as voters decide who will fill the seat vacated by now-District Attorney Todd Spitzer for the remaining 22 months of his unexpired term.  In 51 weeks (i.e. 1 week short of a year), voters in the Third District will return to the polls for the primary election for the same seat for the next four-year term.

Ballots Received

While the polls close at 8 PM tonight, it is widely expected that vote-by-mail (absentee) ballots will comprise the overwhelming supermajority of the votes.  As of yesterday, 46,632 ballots had been received by the Registrar of Voters.  Of those, 5,466 arrived yesterday, and party breakdown on those ballots is not yet available.  Of the other 41,166 ballots that had arrived by Friday, 44.7% were from Republicans, 32.6% were from Democrats, 20.1% were from No Party Preference (NPP) voters, and the remaining 2.6% were from third party voters.

The 46,632 ballots received are 19.8% of the 236,026 vote-by-mail ballots issued by the Registrar.  That number will of course climb as more ballots arrive in the mail today at the Registrar’s office, additional vote-by-mail ballots are delivered directly to polling places, and still other vote-by-mail ballots are mailed today to arrive at the Registrar’s office by Friday’s receipt deadline under state law.

There are 341,809 registered voters in the Third District.  Those 46,632 vote-by-mail ballots received are 13.6% of registered voters, but of course that turnout number does not include any of the poll voters (myself included) who only began casting ballots moments ago nor does it include the various vote-by-mail ballots not yet received that I described above.

Campaign Spending

Over $1.2 million was spent in this election between the candidates, political parties, and independent expenditures, with over $500,000 in support of Loretta Sanchez (D), over $400,000 in support of Don Wagner (R), and over $100,000 in support of Kris Murray (R).  Additionally, more than $63,000 was spent attacking Wagner by the Orange County Employees Association, the County’s largest labor union, and over $54,000 was spent attacking Murray by multimillionaire Howard F. Ahmanson and his Fieldstead & Company.

Deborah Pauly (R) spent just over $10,000, and the other three candidates (Republicans Larry Bales, Kim-Thy “Katie” Bayliss, and Katherine Daigle) spent nothing.  There were no independent expenditures for or against Pauly, Bales, Bayliss, or Daigle.  Bayliss and Daigle’s campaigns seem to only exist on the ballot and in cyberspace, as neither candidate has spent any money, appeared at any candidate forums, or submitted a candidate statement for the sample ballot.

The campaign finance reports for the IEs are largely complete, but those for the candidates are only complete through February 23.  After February 23, the only information we have from the candidates are regarding contributions received totaling $1,000 or more.

Here’s the campaign finance chart for the candidate’s campaigns:

Candidate Contributions
Through 2/23
Loans Unpaid
Bills
Expenditures Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH
Minus
Unpaid Bills
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
and Loans
Through 2/23
$1,000+
Contributions
After 2/23
Don Wagner (R) $187,760 $100,000 $120,366 $232,279 $184,747 $64,381 ($35,619) $54,000
Loretta Sanchez (D) $193,846 $100,000 $0 $138,321 $256,652 $256,652 $156,652 $25,900
Kris Murray (R) $50,512 $52,000 $1,150 $97,797 $49,974 $48,824 ($3,176) $18,000
Deborah Pauly (R) $6,275 $10,500 $0 $10,269 $6,506 $6,506 ($3,994) $0
Katie Bayliss (R) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Katherine Daigle (R) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Larry Bales (R) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Here’s the chart of the independent expenditures (excluding spending by the Democratic Party of Orange County and the Republican Party of Orange County):

Independent Expenditure Pro-Sanchez Pro-Wagner Anti-Wagner Pro-Murray Anti-Murray
Orange County Employees Association $243,770 $0 $63,418 $0 $0
Orange County Attorneys Association $99,605 $0 $0 $0 $0
Engage OC $0 $55,300 $0 $0 $0
Howard F. Ahmanson / Fieldstead & Company $0 $0 $0 $0 $54,497
California Women’s Leadership Association $0 $0 $0 $31,037 $0

My father received an IE mailer from the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, but I have been unable to find an IE report from the firefighters union on either the County Registrar of Voters’s web site or the Secretary of State’s web site.

Here are the member communications from the respective political parties:

  • Republican Party of Orange County: $133,317 (supporting Wagner and opposing Sanchez)
  • Democratic Party of Orange County: $45,122 (supporting Sanchez and opposing Wagner)

What That Spending Looked Like to Voters

Here’s a glimpse of what all that campaign activity looked like to two different houses in the Third District: my parents’ house and my house.

Phones

My parents received 6 phone calls from either Don Wagner’s campaign or the Republican Party of Orange County in support of Wagner.  My NPP father also received a robocall from Deborah Pauly that emphasized her support of Donald Trump.

Mail

My parents were kind enough to let me have all their mail from the special election, so the first picture is what it looked like when I spread all of their special election mail on my living room floor, and the second picture is all of my special election mail spread out on the same portion of my living room floor:

My Republican mother and NPP father received 32 pieces of mail for this special election from candidates and independent expenditures

I received 14 pieces of mail for this special election from candidates and independent expenditures

Comparing my mail as a Republican voter with the mail sent to my Republican mother (or to both my parents) finds fairly similar compositions.  The radical difference is the mail sent to my NPP father.  He received more pro-Sanchez mail than my mother or I received from all sides in this election.  While all pro-Sanchez forces pushed hard for my father’s vote, OCEA pushed the hardest, producing the majority of all the pro-Sanchez mail my father received.

None of the candidates’ campaigns directly attacked their opponents in the mail, with all the attacks either coordinated through the political parties or done separately by independent expenditures.

As an NPP voter, my father was rather annoyed at how the majority of the pieces addressed to him were overtly partisan.  Of the 28 pieces of mail addressed to either my father alone or to my father with my mother, a full 16 pieces praised the political party endorsements of the candidates: 9 pieces touting Sanchez’s Democratic Party endorsement and 7 pieces touting Wagner’s Republican Party endorsement.

For those of you who care about the details, here’s the breakdown of the mail in two Nguyen households…

The 14 pieces of mail I received at my home consisted of 5 pro-Wagner pieces, 2 more pieces supporting Wagner and opposing Sanchez, 1 pro-Sanchez piece, 3 pro-Murray pieces, and 3 anti-Murray pieces.  They were:

  • 3 pieces from Wagner’s campaign
  • 3 pieces from Murray’s campaign
  • 3 anti-Murray IEs from Howard F. Ahmanson/Fieldstead & Company
  • 4 member communications from the Republican Party of Orange County
    • 2 pro-Wagner
    • 2 pro-Wagner/anti-Sanchez
  • 1 pro-Sanchez IE from the Orange County Attorneys Association

Of the 32 pieces of mail my parents received at their house, 19 were addressed to my NPP father, 4 to my Republican mother, and 9 to both of them.

The 19 pieces of mail addressed solely to my NPP father consisted of 13 pro-Sanchez pieces, 2 pieces supporting Sanchez and attacking Wagner, 3 anti-Wagner pieces, and 1 anti-Murray piece.  They were:

  • 3 pieces from Sanchez’s campaign (2 in English, 1 in Vietnamese)
  • 11 IEs from the Orange County Employees Association
    • 6 pro-Sanchez
    • 3 anti-Wagner
    • 2 pro-Sanchez/anti-Wagner
  • 3 pro-Sanchez IEs from the Orange County Attorneys Association
  • 1 pro-Sanchez IE from the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association
  • 1 anti-Murray IE from Howard F. Ahmanson/Fieldstead & Company

The 9 pieces addressed to both my parents consisted of 5 pro-Wagner pieces, 2 pieces supporting Wagner and attacking Sanchez, and 2 pro-Sanchez pieces.  They were:

  • 3 pieces from Wagner’s campaign
  • 4 member communications from the Republican Party of Orange County
    • 2 pro-Wagner
    • 2 pro-Wagner/anti-Sanchez
  • 1 piece from Sanchez’s campaign
  • 1 pro-Sanchez IE from the Orange County Attorneys Association

The 4 pieces addressed to my Republican mother consisted of 3 pro-Murray pieces and 1 anti-Murray piece.  They were:

  • 1 piece from Murray’s campaign
  • 2 pro-Murray IEs from the California Women’s Leadership Association
  • 1 anti-Murray IE from Howard F. Ahmanson/Fieldstead & Company

Results

The polls close at 8:00 PM, and the first results will be released online at 8:05 PM by the Registrar of Voters.  Those 8:05 PM results will consist of the vote-by-mail ballots already received by the Registrar.

When the count is completed (which will likely be next week) and certified, whoever gets the plurality of the votes will be sworn in as Supervisor two weeks from today, on Tuesday, March 26.

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Really? Attacking a Candidate for the Passage of Things He Fought Against?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 1, 2019

As longtime readers know, as the publisher, I generally don’t write posts rebutting what other bloggers on OC Political write (and there’s no pre-approval process for our writers), as each writer’s opinion is their own, but last night’s blog post accusing Supervisorial Candidate Don Wagner of not being pro-life based on his record in the State Assembly is beyond the pale.

During his Assembly tenure, Wagner had a 100% on the legislative scorecards of both the California Pro-Life Council and the Life Priority Network, scoring identically to then-Assemblywoman/now-Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) and to the right of even then-Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), for example.

I’m going to quote last night’s blog post and then note the reality below it.

“AB777 [Actually, this was AB775] – Required Pro Life medical clinics and Pregnancy Resource centers to promote and provide referrals to Abortion providers.  (This legislation was so reprehensible that the Supreme Court struck it down last year, Nifla V. Becerra)”

Wagner so vigorously fought AB 775 (Chiu and Burke, 2015) that the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) of California took a clip of Wagner in committee and put it on YouTube under the title “Autumn Burke responds to anti-choice legislator at AB 775 hearing” and there was an article in the national liberal web site Jezebel that referred to him as “anti-abortion California Assembly member Donald P. Wagner” and quotes the video.

“AB154 – Nurse Practitioners, Midwives and Physicians Assistants can perform abortions. The purpose of this is obvious, to employ more professional who will perform abortions because less doctors are willing to participate in the procedure which make it difficult for the abortion cartel to expand their business.”

Wagner fought vigorously against AB 154 (Atkins, 2013) as well, such that NARAL California again took a clip of Wagner in committee and put it on YouTube, this time under the title “California Legislator Wants to Know Where the Underserved Women Are” and there was an article in MSNBC that attacked Wagner for his fight against this bill.

“AB980 – Cloaked as a building codes revision, this law makes it easier for buildings to be converted into surgical abortion facilities by reducing the standards for plumbing and patient treatment rooms.  Because abortion is a surgical procedure that produces medical waste (i.e. dead babies) and because it potentially involves a life threatening complications, there should be safety, health considerations and ability to transport a patient or for emergency personnel to obtain access to a patient.  These parameters however, can become expensive for a clinic to bring a facility up to those standards.  The way the California legislature responded the the Planned Parenthood sponsored bill, was the lower, rather than raise, those standards for abortion clinics.”

Wagner voted against AB 980 (Pan, 2013) FOUR times in the Assembly.

“SB128 [SB128 failed but was reintroduced as ABx2-15] Assisted Suicide – this appears to have survived it’s court battle.  It was passed in a “special session” in 2015 that was supposed to be dealing with budgetary issues only, this euthanasia law was pushed forward anyways. It passed, was signed by the governor, and faced legal challenges shortly after.  The law seems to have survived the court process, as of 2018.”

Wagner was the only opponent of ABx2-15 (Eggman, 2015) who was quoted by the article on the bill in the San Francisco Chronicle that was headlined “Assembly passes assisted-dying bill after emotional debate

On another note, last night’s blog post stated, “No one seems concerned or bothered by the fact that he vacates the seat he just ran for and will leave his city in a special election lurch, but yay for fiscal responsibility.”  Well, that’s not the case: Irvine City ordinances specifically say that the Mayor Pro Tem becomes Mayor if the latter seat is vacated (and then the City Council appoints a person to fill the subsequent vacancy on the Council).

Finally, the premise of last night’s blog post was that the writer received “a forwarded email yesterday from someone who called herself, Dr. Something-or-other, Ph.D.” who provided a “representation that [Wagner] is the only ‘Pro Life’ Third District candidate is not only untrue, because there are two other ‘Pro Life’ Republicans in the race…”  It is rather unseemly to launch an attack on a candidate based on receiving a forwarded email originally penned by some random emailer.  I’m a resident of the Third District, and I’ve not seen a single mailer, social media posting, article, or press release from Wagner (nor from any independent expenditure) claiming that Wagner is the only pro-life candidate.  Indeed, until last night’s blog post, I had not seen a single mention of abortion from any candidate literature or independent expenditure, nor was there any mention of abortion at the Third District candidate forum.

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Is Don Wagner the “Pro Life” candidate?

Posted by Brenda Higgins on February 28, 2019

I received a forwarded email yesterday from someone who called herself, Dr. Something-or-other, Ph.D.  I have known some people with Ph.D.’s and rarely do the credible ones have to mention it twice in their name, but I digress.  I don’t know the person who allegedly originated the email, but it urged a vote for Don Wagner for the vacant Third District Supervisorial seat in the upcoming special election.  It alleged that the reason for voting for Don Wagner, was because he is “Pro Life”.

Here is what the email doesn’t mention.

The entire Republican platform says that it is “Pro Life”.  In spite of this, the OCGOP endorsed THREE candidates for local office last election that were adamantly Pro Choice, NOT in any way Pro-Life.  I wrote about that here, and I spoke to two of the candidates.  Both of them nice women, who won those local elections, but decidedly contrary to anything the Republican party purports to stand for.  If this is your issue, at a minimum, the time has come to do a gut check level evaluation of what that really means, to you, to your party and to the candidates that we all vote in lock step with, because the party “endorsed” them, or because some Dr.-Ph.D. told us to.

And, while, we continue to stew in our outrage about the fact that 44 Democrats voted AGAINST Senator Ben Sase’s Bill to require medical aid be given to infants born alive after a botched abortion…..why don’t we ask our selves WHY it took until 2019, for such a bill to actually make it to the Senate floor.  Many botched abortions have occurred in the past 46 years, NOW we realize that?  Have we just learned this, or have the Republicans been asleep at the switch?  While Obama was president, several times the Republican controlled congress managed to get a bill to Defund Planned Parenthood to the President’s desk, only to have it vetoed.  The outrage was measured and predictable.  Doesn’t anyone find it odd that no such bill was forwarded to the desk of President Trump, who promised to sign it?

Don Wagner, is the GOP endorsed candidate for the Supervisorial seat vacated by Todd Spitzer.  Incumbent Irvine mayor, Don Wagner was just re-elected to that position on November 6, 2018.  He was easily endorsed by the OCGOP, at the February meeting of the GOP, even before he was qualified as a candidate for the Third District Supervisor seat.  No one seems concerned or bothered by the fact that he vacates the seat he just ran for, and will leave his city in a special election lurch,  a process that can cost a city hundreds of thousands of dollars, but yay for fiscal responsibility.

Prior to being elected Mayor, Don Wagner was in the State Assembly from 2010 to 2016.  While every Republican in Sacramento portends to be “Pro Life”, they have managed to return to their districts every year and with the same shrug of the shoulders, declare that it is really tough in Sacramento and they just can’t get anything done.  What we must ask ourselves then, is what good are they, and why do we even need them.  Taking up space and collecting salaries and benefits while they lament about their own ineffectiveness.

The actual votes of the Assemblymember, are irrelevant. Just as legislators do in Washington D.C., they can feign outrage and do nothing, as long as they are in the minority.   They pick their issues, and negotiate on them. They can choose which “hill they will die on”, so to speak.  The bottom line in Sacramento, is that all of the Republicans, (save one lone woman from middle of the state) are utterly unwilling to put their limited bargaining power on the line for the unborn.  If the unborn were constituents that Don Wagner and his colleagues had to face, it is easy to imagine they would make the curtailing of abortion in California a higher priority.  As it stands, it is a free for all for the abortion cartel in Sacramento, because there is no incentive for anyone to make a real stand for Life.

Here are some of the victories for the abortion cartel that occurred on Don Wagner’s watch while he was in Sacramento (2010 – 2016):

  • AB777 – Required Pro Life medical clinics and Pregnancy Resource centers to promote and provide referrals to Abortion providers.  (This legislation was so reprehensible that the Supreme Court struck it down last year, see the analysis of Nifla V. Becerra at Political Vanguard)
  • AB154 – Nurse Practitioners, Midwives and Physicians Assistants can perform abortions. The purpose of this is obvious, to employ more professionals who will perform abortions because, more and more doctors are unwilling to participate in the procedure.  This decline in the number of abortionists is making it difficult for the abortion cartel to expand their business, so they expand it in the way they always have, by endangering women and offering sub-par care.
  • AB980 – Cloaked as a building codes revision, this law makes it easier for buildings to be converted into surgical abortion facilities by reducing the standards for plumbing and patient treatment rooms.  Because abortion is a surgical procedure that produces medical waste (i.e. dead babies) and because it potentially involves a life threatening complications, there should be safety, health considerations and ability to transport a patient or for emergency personnel to obtain access to a patient.  These parameters however, can become expensive for a clinic to bring a facility up to those standards.  The way the California legislature responded the the Planned Parenthood sponsored bill, was the lower, rather than raise, those standards for abortion clinics.  Plumbing.  This bill was promoted and sponsored by Planned Parenthood as a plumbing standards legislation.  Ask yourself why they are concerned about plumbing.
  • SB128 Assisted Suicide – this appears to have survived it’s court battle.  It was passed in a “special session” in 2015 that was supposed to be dealing with budgetary issues only, this euthanasia law was pushed forward anyways. The stories that have come out about this, place the responsibility for pushing this at this inappropriate time,  upon Governor Brown.  It passed, was signed by the governor, and faced legal challenges shortly after.  The law designed to shorten the life of people with diagnosed illnesses, seems to have survived the court process, as of 2018.  Euthanasia.  California is working to become a leader in killing.

For Don Wagner or any Republican legislator to call themselves “Pro Life” while they served in a State Assembly that fast tracked abortion and other anti-Life legislation in California, is disingenuous at best.  The representation that he is the only “Pro Life” Third District candidate is not only untrue, because there are two other “Pro Life” Republicans in the race, but it is an unfair representation of his do nothing approach to life and abortion issues while he was in Sacramento.  Having had an opportunity to stand for Life, Don Wagner chose to have a seat and not make any difference at all.

Here is a list of Assemblyman Wagner’s accomplishments. The question that should be asked, is, what really, is the difference between Wagner and Loretta Sanchez?

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Anaheim, Irvine, Villa Park | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

Live from the 3rd Supervisorial District Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 15, 2019

Foothill Communities Association and League of Women Voters

We are live from Third Supervisorial District Special Election candidate forum, sponsored by the Foothill Communities Association, moderated by the League of Women Voters. Five of the seven candidates are present at this forum. (This is the second forum for front-runners Don Wagner, Loretta Sanchez, and Kris Murray who appeared at a January 31 forum sponsored by the Orange County Public Affairs Association.)

The candidates (and their ballot designations) present are:

Absent are:

Coincidentally, neither Daigle nor Bayliss submitted a candidate’s statement for the sample ballot mailed to all voters, though Bayliss did submit a candidate’s statement for the online sample ballot.

Although their partisan affiliations are not listed on the March 12 ballot since County Supervisor is a nonpartisan office, Sanchez is a Democrat and the other six candidates are all Republicans. Sanchez is endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County while Wagner is endorsed by the Republican Party of Orange County.

The candidates are seated in the following randomly selected order: Pauly, Sanchez, Wagner, Murray, and Bales.

After welcomes and introductions by the FCA and LWV, opening statements begin at 7:15 PM.

Deborah Pauly thanks attendees and organizers. She has been active in the community since moving to OC in July 1999. She served in the Air Force in public affairs. She has lived all over the US and around the world due to her service, which made her value the US more. She notes each part of the district has different needs. She says she is available, responsive, and action oriented. She served two terms on the City Council.

Loretta Sanchez thanks the organizers, attendees, and opponents. She attended public school and then Chapman University, received various scholarships, and joked that she is a public-private partnership. She served in Congress representing OC for 20 years. She notes her effectiveness in bringing transportation funding, water funding, and education funding back to OC. She notes she is the only one on stage who voted for the Affordable Care Act. She has raised funds for local nonprofits.

Don Wagner thanks the attendees and organizers. He notes he is the only one of the seven candidates who has represented the unincorporated North Tustin area (the area represented by the forum organizers). He notes that he carried legislation drawn from the district. He was the Republican who passed the most bills of any Republican in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

Kris Murray speaks of being a mother. She was on the City Council and Mayor Pro Tem. She points to various accomplishments, including on homelessness, Taxpayer Protection Act, and stopping mobile needle exchange. She is supported by two of the oldest neighborhood associations. because of her accessibility.

Larry Bales is the descendant of military veterans back to the Revolutionary War. He worked in the County. He claims credit for getting 45 political corruption convictions, including that of Congressman Andrew J. Hinshaw. He claims credit for empowering Howard Jarvis to pass Proposition 13. He claims credit for turning in Assessor Webster Guilliry for election crimes.

Moderator asks what are the most important issues in OC?

Sanchez speaks of fire suppression and helping evacuate her mother. She is endorsed by the fire union. She says mental health is another major issue. She points out that mental health emergencies are clogging emergency rooms for everyone else.

Wagner points to homelessness. He says many solutions are required, not one-size-fits-all. He says his city has reduced the homeless population, pointing to the point-in-time homeless count. He begins to address public safety but runs out of time.

Murray points to open space expressing opposition to development of unincorporated areas. She improved police response times in Anaheim and would like to do the same for County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Fire Authority. She points to her boots on the ground record reducing homelessness on the riverbed.

Bales wants to protect property values. He opposes special interests and dark money. He has few specifics and ends early.

Pauly cites undeveloped County-owned land. She suggests voters examine campaign finance reports. She says only she stands for the people first. Pauly opposes “the invasion of illegal immigrants.” She points to eradicated diseases coming back, due to illegal immigration.

Moderator asks about ensuring neighborhood preservation.

Wagner says as Mayor that he will seek community input to preserve community character. He points to his blocking a developer’s project in Irvine to preserve the specific plan. He notes homeowners should get what they bought in community character.

Murray says she will adhere and enforce specific plans. She points to successfully fighting slumlords in Anaheim. She notes the importance of property values and community safety.

Bales says avoid special interest money. He then speaks about the veterans cemetery.

Pauly blasts developers for “not having skin in the game.” She says they care only about making money. She will fight against high density and low-income housing.

Sanchez notes she grew up in OC and loves its nature. She says developer money is flowing to the two candidates to the right of her (Wagner and Murray).

Moderator asks about the California Disclose Act.

Murray says she led efforts for transparency in Anaheim, including lobbyist registration. She wants to help bring greater transparency to the County. She has hundreds of donations from individual people. She says she offers her cell phone number to be accessible.

Bales blasts Disney’s spending in Anaheim elections and the Disneyland parking structure. He blasts Irvine developer spending.

Pauly says she has a record of fighting for transparency. She would prefer to receive small donations, rather than large donations. She got Council meetings online when she was on the Council.

Sanchez tried to pass the federal version of the Disclose Act. She points to the example of the information box on credit card bills that she says is nicknamed the Sanchez Box. She says credit card companies spent $3 million against her.

Wagner noted Irvine just increased its Sunshine Ordinance. He notes Democrats in Sacramento have failed to pass the Disclose Act, so Sanchez should explain why they haven’t done so. He points to development projects he opposed, including those from Five Points and Irvine Company. He says he has approved no apartments, blasting an accusation that he approved 10,000 apartments.

Moderator asks about keeping the County budget balanced.

Bales speaks of pespecial interest spending in Washington.

Pauly wants to reduce spending and oppose special interest spending. She says she will rely on subject matter experts from outside government. She wants to reduce fees, fines, and licenses, but she does support cost-recovery. She will not spend more than the County takes in and says there is plenty of money in the County budget.

Sanchez says property money goes up to Sacramento and most counties get 17 percent back while Orange County gets 5 percent back. She says she will go to both Sacramento and Washington to get more money.

Wagner says it is ludicrous that changing the partisan composition of the Board will suddenly result in more money for Orange County. He note his fiscal management record at both South Orange County Community College District and Irvine. He supports Prop 13.

Murray wants zero-based budgeting. She wants to attract more employers to grow the economic pie. She notes Anaheim has 50% of its revenue from private investment. She says the Anaheim Ducks are now taking over ARTIC expenses in a deal she helped strike near the end of her Council term.

Moderator asks if the candidates represent the changing demographics of the district.

Pauly says she looks like the room. She says high taxes and fees are driving young people out due to the cost of living. She says seniors face the same challenges.

Sanchez has lived in OC for 55 years. She played in orange groves. She says the County is much more urban and diverse now. She says she knew what OC was and what it now is. She wants to be a bridge to new residents who have new needs on healthcare and education.

Wagner says OC is changing. He embraces it and notes Irvine is extraordinarily diverse. He says his City can boast of its safety and fiscal responsibility. 75+ languages are spoken in Irvine schools. Safe schools, safe neighborhoods, and good jobs are all things people seek, and there is strength in diversity.

Murray says OC is changing. She says diversity is a great strength. She loves OC’s history. She has no sidewalks and streetlights in her neighborhood and wants to protect communities and keep them intact. She speaks of Anaheim’s history as OC’s oldest city.

Bales has lived in OC for 40 years and hates the traffic. He wants to curtail new construction. He blasts the gas tax.

Moderator asks about each person’s biggest policy mistake.

Sanchez says, “Wow” and pauses for a time. Eventually she cites getting funding for high speed rail, which she notes didn’t get done.

Wagner says it’s a tough question but he regrets supporting people who weren’t up to policy challenges. He says some people have disappointed him either in their votes or their personal scandals.

Murray says she trusted staff too much and should have pushed back more when she started on the Council. She says she will stand up for residents for public safety, on the economy, and on homelessness. She regrets contracting out park maintenance, though she has since fixed that.

Bales talks about tech companies being special interests in Washington. (There is snickering in the audience as it repeatedly becomes clear that Bales doesn’t understand most of the questions.)

Pauly cites Murray and says Pauly should have trusted her gut and common sense against City staff. Pauly says Sanchez’s vote on ACA and Wagner’s votes on cemeteries are their failures. The moderator cuts Pauly off.

Moderator asks about the new joint powers authority (JPA) on homelessness.

Wagner warns of JPAs being subject to state pressure, pointing to Sanchez’s union allies. He speaks of various homeless solutions, including shelter beds and mental health programs.

Murray says the JPA was set up by cities to ensure there is funding for local communities for homelessness. She says this will come from local communities up to the JPA, not top down from the State or the JPA.

Bales says homeless shelters should be selectively placed. He wants basketball court-style sheltering.

Pauly opposed the JPA as expanding government. She says homelessness has been hardened. She blamed electeds officials for not taking care of homelessness sooner and now permanent homeless shelters are being imposed on communities. She calls for temporary shelters, like “tent cities.”

Sanchez says it is sad that a federal judge had to intervene. She blasts Anaheim for letting homelessness grow for 2 years. She blasts the proposal to place a homeless shelter at a school in the canyons. she speaks of the need for mental health programs and wraparound services.

Moderator asks about rising hate crimes.

Murray calls hate crimes a tragedy, pointing to faith, lifestyle, and culture. she says she is being attacked by Howard Ahmanson who she says funds hate groups. She says she stands with all diverse communities.

Bales speaks of opposing prejudice and being friends with people of all races.

Pauly speaks of the First Amendment, protecting free speech and freedom of religion. She says the Human Relations Commission is keeping itself busy. She says there are professional victims. She says certain groups are a threat, but scream hate to defend themselves.

Sanchez has been attacked for being a woman, poor, Latina, Christian, and even a Democrat. She says it is important to stand for all people. She calls for increased funding for the Human Relations Commission.

Wagner says the Human Relations Commission fights “yahoos” in the community. He speaks of helping to defend a vandalized synagogue by offering a reward for the “yahoo” who attacked it, and he worked with Christian and Muslim leaders on this.

Moderator asks about making toll roads more profitable.

Bales says developers want toll roads to access their land.

Pauly says transportation, and particularly roads, are a basic function of government. She says the toll roads are empty while freeways are jam packed. She says the toll roads are not profitable and should be free.

Sanchez notes the 73 is not profitable and the 241 barely breaks even. She points to the toll roads pouring on to high-traffic roads. She says there needs to be bigger picture planning.

Wagner cites Sanchez’s arguments and calls for comprehensive solutions for getting people across the county in both emergency and day-to-day situations.

Murray says the toll roads are critical redundancy and will be free once the bonds are paid off. She supports the 91/241 toll road connector which will help organically reduce traffic. She says that the 5 and 57 cannot be further widened.

Moderator asks for residency.

Pauly: Orange

Sanchez: Orange

Wagner: North Irvine

Murray: Anaheim Hills

Bales: Tustin

Moderator asks what drives choices of support, proposals, and votes.

Pauly says there are problems we may not anticipate. She reads all material. She asks staff questions. She does further research. She goes to her outside experts. She emails constituents.

Sanchez seeks out experts. She notes her endorsement by Jim Doti because she always sought Chapman’s expertise. She trusts her gut.

Wagner says it is important to do homework and seek expertise but then run it through principles. He founded the OC chapter of the Federalist Society. He always seeks to increase liberty.

Murray says she is not a politician, but a public servant. She hosted town halls as a Councilwoman to get community input. She works hard and rolls up her sleeves. She seeks long term benefit for the people she serves.

Bales says honesty is his top priority and seeks to make the best decision possible. He wants to represent people not special interests. He says Prop 13 emerged from his work.

Closing statements begin.

Bales says he will represent the people. He believes in honesty and integrity. He has been retaliated against as a whistleblower.

Murray thanks the organizers and attendees. She wants to serve the people, work hard, and be accessible. Her cell phone is on her campaign web site. She cares about results, not rhetoric. She has not attacked any other candidate.

Wagner thanks the organizers and attendees. He came to OC in 1991 and loves this community. The people, not the government, built the community. He will help preserve it. He has the experience to serve this community.

Sanchez will protect the Third District. She will protect public safety and the homeless, both mentally I’ll and opioid-addicted. She notes she brought money back to OC as a Democrat in a Republican controlled Congress. She loves OC as her home and her family’s home.

Pauly speaks of people informing her. She says she is a fighter and scrapper. She says she will be the first line of defense for the people. She says she is the only candidate who put her cell phone and email address in the sample ballot.

The forum concludes at 8:35 PM.

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Santa Ana Unified to Hold November 5 Special Election for School Board

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 14, 2019

Santa Ana Unified School DistrictAfter two regular board meetings and four special board meetings, the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) was unable to fill the vacancy on their School Board that resulted from the election of Ceci Iglesias (R) to the Santa Ana City Council.  As such, they did not meet the February 9 deadline under state law to fill the vacancy by appointment, and the County Superintendent of Schools must call a special election for SAUSD.

The special election will take place on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, less than one year after the regular election for School Board (and City Council).  The regular election for the next term for the same School Board seat will be less than a year later on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

After winning 39.1% of the vote in a three-way race in the November 6, 2018, election, Iglesias was sworn in to the City Council on December 4.  Her former School Board seat will be vacant for nearly 11 months, with the special election winner holding the seat for just over a year before the term expires.

On December 11, the School Board voted to hold an appointment process.  Applications were due January 3.  The School Board held a special meeting on January 8 to interview the 10 applicants. During that meeting, 2 applicants were ruled ineligible because they did not live in the School District boundaries, and 3 finalists were picked from the 8 eligible applicants.

At a January 15 special meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on the appointee for the vacancy, with Board Members Rigo Rodriguez (D) and Alfonso Alvarez (D) voting to appoint Carolyn Torres (D) and Board Members John Palacio (D) and Valerie Amezcua (D) voting to appoint Bruce Bauer (D).  A compromise attempt by Palacio to appoint the third finalist, Sergio Verino (D), failed when no one else supported Verino.

At its January 22 regular meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on Torres and Bauer again.

At its January 29 special meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on Torres and Bauer a third time.

At its February 8 special meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on Torres and Bauer a fourth and final time.

Meanwhile at Santa Ana City Hall: Roman Reyna (D) resigned from the Santa Ana City Council, effective March 1.  The Santa Ana City Charter gives the City Council until March 31 to appoint someone to fill the resulting vacancy.  (Reyna had agreed to resign as part of a legal settlement to end a lawsuit accusing Reyna of being legally ineligible for the seat when he was elected in the November 6, 2018 election.  As part of the agreement, Reyna agreed not to seek appointment to fill the vacancy nor run for election to fill the vacancy.)

If the Council fails to fill the vacancy by March 31, then there shall be a special election for City Council on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, to fill the remaining three years on that Council seat.  In other words, most Santa Ana voters would fill both a City Council vacancy (through 2022) and a School Board vacancy (through 2020) in the November 2019 special election.  (95.7% of SAUSD voters are residents of the City of Santa Ana.  Conversely, only 73.7% of Santa Ana City voters are residents of SAUSD.)

The applicants for appointment to the School Board vacancy consisted of 7 Democrats, 2 Republicans, and 1 No Party Preference registrant.  Of those, 1 Democrat and 1 Republican were ruled ineligible since they are not residents of SAUSD.  The 10 applicants who were considered on January 8 were:

Receiving 3-4 Votes to Become Finalists

  • Bruce Bauer (D), a former Santa Ana Planning Commissioner, who came in 6th in the 2016 election for SAUSD
  • Carolyn Torres (D), a middle school teacher and an activist with Chicanos Unidos
  • Sergio Verino (D), a community college adjunct professor and a Santa Ana City Code Enforcement Supervisor

Torres and Verino both received four votes to advance to the finalist stage while Bauer received three votes (Rigo Rodriguez dissenting on Bauer).

Receiving 2 Votes

  • Shaulyn Barban (NPP), an 18-year-old high school senior
  • Irma Macias (D), a Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Commissioner, who came in 6th in the 2018 election for City Council, Ward 2
  • Mark McLoughlin (D), a Santa Ana Planning Commissioner and former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee, who came in 5th in the 2016 election for SAUSD

Valerie Amezcua proposed advancing Barban to the finalist stage, John Palacio proposed advancing Macias, and Rigo Rodriguez proposed advancing McLoughlin.  Alfonso Alvarez provided a second vote for each of the three to advance to the finalist stage.

Receiving 1 Vote

  • Jesus Montoya (D), a community college counselor

Only Rigo Rodriguez supported advancing Montoya to the finalist stage.

Receiving No Votes

  • Gisela Contreras (R), an insurance brokerage account manager
  • Abigail Aleman (D), ruled ineligible as a resident of Garden Grove Unified School District
  • Richard Lyons (R), ruled ineligible as a resident of Saddleback Valley Unified School District

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