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Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 1

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 24, 2016

We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee, who will make recommendations to the full Central Committee for endorsements on August 31.

Endorsements Committee Members present are:

  • Chair TJ Fuentes
  • Thomas Gordon
  • Peggy Huang
  • Jeff Matthews
  • Baron Night
  • Mary Young

Endorsements Committee Member Jeff Lalloway is not present.

First up is Huntington Beach City Council.

Lyn Semeta grew up as the daughter of an Air Force Serviceman. She is a member of the RWF who graduated from UCLA and USD Law School. She worked with school districts without litigation to help her autistic daughter. She is Vice Chair of the Planning Commission. She wishes to advance conservative ideals. She wants to attract private sector jobs. She wants to outsource more. She notes she narrowly missed a seat in 2014, when she was endorsed by both OC GOP and CRA.

Joe Carchio speaks of his service on the City Council, Vector Control, and LAFCO. He wishes to streamline government and keep taxes low or eliminate them. He wants common sense Republican leadership to help the conservative Council majority.

Patrick Brenden became a Republican under Ronald Reagan. He states unbeknownst to him his registration was changed to DTS and when he learned of this, he changed it back to Republican. He lists numerous endorsements from Republican elected officials. He walked precincts for John Moorlach and Matthew Harper. He held fundraisers for Michelle Steel and Michael Gates. He helped the new Council majority get elected. He speaks of his family. He is involved in the Boy Scouts, Kiwanis Club, and various other service groups that he listed faster than I could type.

Endorsements Committee Member Baron Night asks Carchio why he filled out that he wanted to remove the pro-life plank of the Republican platform. Carchio says he accidentally marked the wrong box and is pro-life.

Endorsements Committee Chairman TJ Fuentes states a fourth candidate submitted their application yesterday afternoon.

All three candidates present says the fourth candidate is new and threw his hat in the ring at the last minute.

Endorsements Committee Member Jeff Matthews moves to continue this to the August 30th meeting when the fourth candidate is scheduled to appear.

The fourth candidate had asked for August 30th rather than August 24th because he had a Huntington Beach RWF meeting to speak at and also preferred to be interviewed separately from the other candidates. Semeta, Carchio, and Brenden all indicate they are going to the RWF meeting after this.

Endorsements Committee Members Mary Young and Thomas Gordon object to Mathews’s motion.

Gordon moves and Young second to recommend endorsements for Semeta, Carchio, and Brenden.

Fuentes expresses concern about not hearing from everyone.

Night states this fourth candidate doesn’t seem interested in the endorsement.

Huang is very concerned that the fourth candidate didn’t want to be interviewed with the other candidates.

The Gordon motion passes 4-2-1 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, Lalloway absent).

BRENDEN, CARCHIO, AND SEMETA RECOMMENDED for HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL

Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 5

Mike Glenn was recently removed as an alternate for Central Committee after getting in a disagreement with another Republican. He is involved in the Republican Liberty Caucus, the RWF, and the CRA. He wants to bring change, or at least bring attention to key issues. He accuses Lowrey of spreading falsehoods about Glenn.

Lee Lowrey has been a Republican since he was 18 years old. He considers himself a movement conservative. He walked precincts for Chris Cox and Dana Rohrabacher in 1988. He speaks of his long service to the GOP. He is Rohrabacher’s alternate on Central Committee and was an alternate to the late Chairman Emeritus Tom Fuentes. He speaks of his work founding Atlas PAC. He was OC GOP Volunteer of the Year in 2002. He grew OCYR membership from 75 to 300 when he was President from 2002 to 2005. He speaks of raising money and precinct walking.

Night asks Glenn what falsehoods he was referring to. Glenn says a push poll falsely argued Glenn wants to defund the military. Glenn says Lowrey’s campaign manager accused Glenn of being involved in a criminal enterprise for using the same software as that enterprise.

Lowrey says he has proof at home from 2014 that Glenn opposes a standing military. Lowrey asks what is false about the email.

Glenn argues that the email speaks of Glenn’s use of bitcoin and about how bitcoin is used by criminals.

Night says the email seems to be he-said, he-said, and it is simply part of politics. Night says Glenn needs a tougher skin.

Matthews says the voters should decide who is correct in the he-said, he-said issue.

Gordon expresses concern about the Newport Beach Councilmembers (Duffy Duffield, Kevin Muldoon, and Scott Peotter) who have endorsed Lowrey since the city has tilted leftward despite having seven Republicans.

Fuentes notes that the three endorsing Lowrey are the three more conservative members and have pulled the Council to the right.

Gordon says there has only been a small correction and that the city needs to move further right.

Matthews moves for neutrality, with seconds from both Fuentes and Huang.

Young objects, pointing to Lowrey’s long history of volunteerism for the party for a quarter-century, listing a number of times where she’s called on Lowrey to help the OC GOP, and he has stepped up.

Young moves to recommend Lowrey but gets no second.

Fuentes says both are good conservatives.

Huang says both have had lengthy histories of GOP activism, Glenn in Newport Beach and Lowrey countywide.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 5-1-1 FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 5 (Young dissenting, Lalloway absent)

Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 7.

Will O’Neill speaks of his family’s long Republicanism. He speaks of his grandmother refusing to use Roosevelt dimes. O’Neill’s father was appointed to the bench by Governor Deukmejian and as a federal judge by President Reagan. O’Neill was a Stanford College Republican (Go Cardinal!). He wants to battle Newport Beach’s pension liability, for as a young man, his generation will be saddled with the debt.

Fred Ameri lived in Berkeley and found it full of Communists before moving to Orange County. He speaks of growing his business. He speaks of being business partners with the late OC GOP Chairman Tom Fuentes. He speaks of 35 years of contributions to Republican candidates, including 13 fundraisers in 2014 for Michelle Steel, Young Kim, Steven Choi, Diane Dixon, and others. He claims O’Neill’s campaign manager (Dave Ellis) is suing claiming that Ameri is using a false name.

Phil Greer speaks of working on George Deukmejian’s campaign and working for the California Senate Republican caucus. He says his first political lawsuit was defending Ed Royce against OC Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbaro. As an attorney, he has defended, among others: Janet Nguyen, Patricia Bates, Ken Calvert, and the Capistrano Unified School District conservative majority.

Young asks who sued Ameri. Greer denies it, as does O’Neill.

Night asks why Greer did not sign the no-new-taxes pledge or the union-free pledge.

Greer notes that if marijuana is legalized, he would like to tax it. He says talking to unions is important to get things done in government. He says he is not a union stooge. Greer speaks of compromise in Sacramento in the 1980s because of having relationships without compromising principles, and he points to the examples of Ed Royce and John Lewis. He says he doesn’t have Ameri’s money or O’Neill’s campaign staff. He points to the Jesse Unruh adage that people should be able to take money from people and vote against them to be in politics.

Fuentes asks the other two candidates to respond to Greer’s comments.

O’Neill says he has a fine relationship of communication with union leaders without taking union money.

Ameri speaks of being a Lincoln Club member and pushing the union-free pledge.

Young complains about people not doing anything for the OC GOP and wanting its endorsement.

All three say they have done much for the party and will continue to do so even if they don’t get the endorsement.

Night asks a follow-up about volunteering for the party beyond being paid for it.

Greer says some of his legal work was paid, some discounted, and some free.

Huang asks about Team Newport and what circumstances they would walk away from the team.

O’Neill states most votes have been 7-0 while split votes among Team Newport are common. He notes he is the only candidate who has served on city committees, pointing to Duffield appointing him to the Finance Committee with unanimous consent by the Council.

Ameri says the Central Committee endorsed Team Newport in 2014 because the team “played games.” Ameri attacks Dave Ellis.

Greer says he would not join any organization that would have him as a member, other than the Republican Party.

Gordon says he received an email attacking one of the candidates. Matthews received it, but none of the other members of the Endorsements Committee received it. He says an OCGOP-endorsed Councilman sent an email that “smacked of racism” against one of the candidates that Gordon said conjured up images of the Twin Towers.

Ameri asks O’Neill what if his name is Will or William and if he is a puppet of Ellis.

The committee quickly rules Ameri out of order.

Gordon blasts the email for its content.

O’Neill asks why Gordon is looking at him.

Gordon says Scott Peotter sent the email and signed O’Neill’s endorsement paperwork.

O’Neill condemns racist emails.

Fuentes says both O’Neill and Ameri are good men but he doesn’t know Greer well.

Gordon moves and Young seconds recommending an endorsement for Ameri.

Matthews urges neutrality because all three would make great Councilmen.

Night expresses concern about Greer’s union stance and O’Neill’s inexperience with the OC GOP. He says he is looking for the best Republican Party representative.

Matthews moves and Fuentes second for neutrality.

Gordon says he would have supported neutrality if it weren’t for Peotter’s email. Gordon says he is disgusted by the email.

Huang says she did not see the email. She says it is better addressed by Central Committee Chairman Fred Whitaker rather than at Endorsements Committee. Huang says she herself signs everyone’s paperwork for endorsement. She says she personally supports Ameri but is voting for neutrality because they’re all good Republicans. She says Ameri has done much work for the OC GOP but says Greer has done much work for the CA GOP while O’Neill is a young candidate who is trying to get his foot in the door.

Young says she feels bad for O’Neill because she doesn’t think he is at fault for the email. She is voting for Ameri due to his long record though.

NEUTRALITY FAILS 3-3-1 (Gordon, Night, and Young against; Lalloway absent)

AMERI RECOMMENDED 4-2-1 FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 7 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, Lalloway absent)

After an intermission, next up is Anaheim City Council, District 1.

Denise Barnes speaks of being a lifelong Anaheim resident with experience volunteering for community groups and nonprofits. She speaks of various West Anaheim community events she has helped in. She is a small business owner with an accounting background. She says she will advocate for sound fiscal policy to help residents not special interests. She wants to tackle Anaheim’s pension liability. She wants to improve streets and parks while increasing community policing. She is endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait and Councilman James Vanderbilt. She speaks of benefitting from Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics.

Orlando Perez says he is the son of Cuban immigrants. His grandfather was a Cuban mayor. He was born and raised in Bell and moved to Anaheim at the age of 21, living in Anaheim for the last 30 years. He says he is a realtor who has been a Republican since the age of 18. He says he is endorsed by Grow Elect. He says he has a notary license and an accounting background. His top priority is public safety. He wants to keep the Angels in Anaheim and wants to attract an NFL or NBA team.

Steve Chavez Lodge warns that Anaheim is in dangerous times. He warns that people just deciding to run now are not who should be on the Council. He says it should be experienced people, pointing to his service on the Anaheim Budget Commission. He warns of the chance of a liberal Democrat capturing the seat. He is endorsed by Councilwomen Kris Murray and Lucille King and former Councilmembers Gail Eastman and Harry Sidhu. He calls for logic and pragmatism by the Endorsements Committee.

Night asks Perez about his not answering a question on the questionnaire.

Neither Night or Perez is audible.

Gordon asks about their precinct walking efforts and hearing from the community.

Barnes says she wants to be the voice of her neighbors. She says as a property manager, she sees first-hand the squalor of West Anaheim.

Perez says he works in real estate and is recognizable and walks door to door.

Chavez Lodge says he has 15 precinct walkers who are experienced organizers. He speaks of his policy background helping with the homeless and with infrastructure.

Gordon asks about the Transient Occupancy Tax.

Chavez Lodge says he differs with Tom Tait, as he doesn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. He notes Tait spoke at his campaign kick-off in 2012. Chavez Lodge would like to compromise on incentives, which he feels are necessary.

Perez says he spoke with Tait and wants to compromise.

Barnes questions when using TOT for corporations would help the people.

Young asks about homelessness in Anaheim parks and having more parks.

Barnes says Anaheim is financially sound. She says West Anaheim has 52,000 people with just 5 parks due to the density of apartments and motels.

Mary Young says she never sees children in the 22 parks in her own city. She asks Barnes if parks are a waste.

Barnes defends parks and says community parks will bring children and after-school programs.

Huang asks Chavez Lodge about his law enforcement background and being a leader of the police union.

Chavez Lodge says he was on the Board of Directors and the Political Action Committee of his police union. He says he wasn’t let on to the PAC for years because the union thought he was too conservative. He said he was the conservative voice urging the police union to reflect the 90% of police who are Republicans. He says liberals have adopted dangerous policies like AB 109.

Huang asks if Chavez Lodge was ever on the negotiating team.

Chavez Lodge said he was not.

Huang asks all three candidates about Anaheim’s debt and specifically about ARTIC.

Perez gives a long rambling answer about needing productivity and people’s use of ARTIC. He says if it is ineffective, something different should be built.

Barnes says a lot of people are disappointed with ARTIC. She says it is a piece of art that won’t be truly used until at least 2029. She says the Council has rammed things down people’s throats without having a voice of the people.

Chavez Lodge notes this is a moot issue because ARTIC is already built and will last 100 years, during which time density will soar. He says the schedule is not customer-friendly. He says there needs to be better coordination with Metrolink. He says Metrolink was a mess until Shawn Nelson started improving it.

Huang asks about the bond for ARTIC.

Barnes says the city has given away too much money.

Fuentes asks the three candidates about whether they would have voted with the Council on TOT.

Barnes and Perez say no while Chavez Lodge says yes.

Fuentes asks about the Angel Stadium parking lease.

Barnes attacks Arte Moreno for renaming the Angels. She says the parking agreement was done out of panic.

Perez says there needs to be a future use and plan examined.

Chavez Lodge says the negotiations are ongoing. He notes $75-$100 million in renovation costs for Angel Stadium. He says the City cannot pay for the repairs, so it may be time to get the city out of the stadium business.

Fuentes asks all three candidates if they would have voted to support ARTIC.

Barnes and Perez say no while Chavez Lodge says yes because mass transportation, density, and technology are the future.

Fuentes asks about Chavez Lodge being on the union board.

Chavez Lodge says he pushed the board rightward and urged support of conservative candidates.

Fuentes asks Chavez Lodge if he supported Jordan Brandman or any Democrats.

Chavez Lodge says he gave Loretta Sanchez money 10 years ago as a personal friend.

Matthews moves and Night seconds for neutrality.

Night says they are all good Republicans. He says TOT and ARTIC are issues that should be decided by Anaheim voters.

Fuentes says these issues are important. He notes Tom Tait was the OC GOP Local Elected Official of the Year and points to ARTIC, hotel subsidies, and Angel Stadium.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 5-0-1-1 FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 1 (Gordon abstaing, Lalloway absent)

Next up is Anaheim City Council, District 4.

Lucille Kring speaks of her long Republican activism. She speaks of walking precincts for school vouchers. She warns of the Anaheim Council falling into Democratic hands. She says voters overwhelmingly voted for district elections with $50,000 of the $900,000+ for districts coming from Tom Tait. She says district elections create Chicago – style elections. She expresses concern about Councilmembers wanting district offices. She used to walk the whole city, including the Hills, but now only has to walk 1/6 of the city. She says the majority of short-term rentals are in her district. She says she respects property rights. She speaks of the Palm Lane Elementary issue. She speaks of having ten bonds on her property tax bill and not wanting another one.

Gordon asks about ARTIC.

Kring says much of ARTIC happened before she joined the Council, but she did vote for ARTIC, as did Tom Tait at first. She thought it should be more like a Japanese train station. She argues additional signage would help alleviate some of the problems. She says increased residential and mix-used will bring more traffic to ARTIC. She opposes high-speed rail. She notes that if it’s going to be built, she joins with Lucy Dunn in trying to get the rail to reach Anaheim.

Gordon asks about the stadium parking lease.

Kring says it was simply a starting point proposed by the former city manager. She says Tustin is off the table, and the city is negotiating with the Angels. She says there will be entertainment, restaurants, and bars, like L.A. Live.

Gordon asks Kring if she filled it out or if her consultant did.

Kring says she told her consultant her principles, so he filled it out reflecting her beliefs.

Gordon says Chavez Lodge had the same exact answer on one of the questions.

Kring says her seat is at risk of being captured by Democrats. She rails against the other candidates and points to Tom Tait supporting Jose Moreno and other Democrats.

Gordon questions Kring, asking her to express her own response. He is concerned about giveaways.

Kring says the city manager who made the deal before she was on the Council paid too much for the ARTIC land. She notes she is a lifelong Republican, was the Republican nominee for State Senate against Lou Correa, and has repeatedly been elected to Central Committee. She rails against Tom Tait, stating he has endorsed and donated money to Democrats. She says the Council supported a 50% TOT rebate to hotels in the 1990s by 5-0 votes, including Tom Tait. She said in the 1990s, hotels were being built in Garden Grove due to land giveaways and TOT rebates while Anaheim got no hotels until they voted for TOT rebates. She says Tait says he regrets the vote. She says the Register called for a blanket TOT rebate. Kring says 70% goes to the hotel, the city gets 10%, and bonds get 20%. She says the increased number of hotel stays increases revenue anyway, plus it goes to 100% in the future.

Young asks Kring why she left the Central Committee.

Kring says she was busy opening her new small business when she left.

Fuentes recommends endorsing for or against since she is an incumbent, rather than being neutral. He expresses concern about her challenging a sitting Republican mayor, her consultant filling out her questionnaire, and about her positions differing from what she promised the committee four years ago.

Night says these issues should be sorted out by Anaheim voters, not the Endorsements Committee. He says she has not violated any Republican platform planks. He expresses concern about a Democrat taking the seat.

Gordon argues the TOT and the quarter-billion bond violates the platform, and Young eggs him on.

Huang says she will abstain. She has problems with ARTIC and TOT. She does not like Kring’s position on the gate tax. However, she deeply respects Kring’s work for children, pointing specifically to Palm Lane Elementary.

Night moves for referring it to the Central Committee with no Endorsements Committee position.

The committee has spent nearly 45 minutes on this seat despite the schedule only giving it 10 minutes.

NO POSITION 6-0-1 FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4 (Lalloway absent)

Next up is Anaheim City Council District 5.

Mark Lopez notes he filled out his application himself. He has lived in Anaheim half his life. He spoke of working on campaigns for Ed Royce, Chris Norby, and Shawn Nelson. He says he is an alternate on the Central Committee and a member of the OCYR. He notes his volunteering to register Republicans at the OC Fair. He says he opposed the TOT because of the principles of limited government and free markets.

Steve Faessel says he has been a lifelong Republican and 48-year Anaheim resident. He was Chairman of the Anaheim Public Utilities Board during the energy crisis. He was on the Planning Commission during the financial crisis. He is currently Chairman of the Anaheim Budget Commission.

Night says he spoke to Lopez a year ago at the Rotary when Lopez spoke about bike paths and the Fourth District on behalf of Supervisor Shawn Nelson. Night says Lopez said he supported Obama. Lopez says that is incorrect. Night asks if he supported Sharon Quirk-Silva; Lopez shoots back that he worked for Chris Norby and worked with Young Kim in Ed Royce’s office. Night reads off a litany of liberal positions that he said Lopez supported, but Lopez disputes all of those. Night asks Lopez if he ever voted for Obama or Clinton. Lopez says no. Night asks if he voted for Obama or Clinton when he pulled the Democratic ballot in the presidential primary in 2008 or 2012. Lopez does not recall who he voted for, but it was not Obama or Clinton.

Night asks Lopez about his appearance at Democratic candidates’ events.

Lopez states that the seat is plurality Democratic, and he needs support from both parties to win, as he is running for Anaheim City Council, not Republican City Council.

Huang asks why Lopez was decline to state.

Lopez says he registered Republican, but objected to the Iraq War and supported Ron Paul. He switched to decline to state but worked for Republicans Ed Royce, Chris Norby, and Shawn Nelson.

Huang asks Faessel about ARTIC and bonds.

Faessel says the city must build for the future. He says ARTIC was mostly funded by transportation funds and very little Anaheim funds.

Gordon asks where transportation funds come from.

Faessel says from taxpayers.

Fuentes asks Faessel about hotel subsidies.

Faessel says he would have voted for them.

Fuentes asks Faessel about ARTIC.
Faessel says he would have voted for it.
Fuentes asks Faessel about the Angel Stadium parking lease.

Faessel says he would have voted for it.
Young moves and Matthews seconds for letting Central Committee decide.

NO POSITION RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).

Now on to Yorba Linda City Council.

Craig Young sits down.

Before Craig Young speaks, Huang moves and Mary Young seconds to recommend endorsement of Craig Young.

CRAIG YOUNG RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Laguna Hills City Council.

Janine Heft met her husband at a state Republican convention in 1998. She speaks of her lengthy record with RWF and CRA. She speaks of her service on the OCTA Citizens Advisory Committee and the County Assessment Appeals Board. She is a Christian and a mother. She speaks of bringing more business and improved public safety. She speaks of her numerous endorsements from Republican elected officials.

Mary Young asks if anyone in the world who is more conservative than Heft.

Heft suggests the NRA president.

Gordon asks about a city funding project.

Heft explains it.

Young moves and Matthews seconds recommending Janine Heft for endorsement.

HEFT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Santa Ana Unified School District.

Angie Cano expresses her thanks for the endorsement two years ago. She expresses support for stronger education options, like charter schools. She notes there are two open seats of retiring incumbents and she is running on a slate with the third incumbent, Republican Ceci Iglesias.

Night asks about her opinion on bonds.

Cano says there are too many bonds.

Fuentes says Cano is part of the effort to get good Republicans elected in Santa Ana.

Fuentes moves and Gordon seconds recommending Cano.

CANO RECOMMENDED 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 6.

Frank Ury opens with a joke about his initials. He speaks of being a member of the county and state central committees. As a school board member, he won the OC GOP’s first-ever Local Elected Official of the Year Award. He speaks of his work with Mark Bucher and Jim Righeimer on paycheck protection. He speaks of his pension reforms as a Councilman before PEPRA. He speaks of his health benefits reforms as a Councilman.

Jeff Thomas was a Tustin Councilman. He helped Tom Fuentes work on John Moorlach’s first run for Treasurer. He got Tustin’s money out of the County treasury before the bankruptcy. Supervisor Marian Bergeson convinced him to be a founding member of the County Treasury Oversight Committee, where he was Chairman for seven years. He was the OC GOP Local Elected Official of the Year the year after Ury was. He notes his water district does not have lavish pensions.

Matthews asks Ury what he would do differently from incumbent Thomas.

Ury says there are water rate improvements that could be accomplished. He wishes to place meetings online for transparency. He wants to start setting examples, like how he walked away from $200,000 of lifetime medical benefits.

Gordon asks about the $43,331 in compensation that Thomas received.

Thomas says it’s a double edged sword. Meetings are $256 each, per state code. He says skipping meetings would be not doing the job. He says he worked with Brett Barbre to make the agency more conservative. He notes they paid off MWDOC’s pension liability. He went on John and Ken to stop a Metropolitan Water District of Southern California pension hike. He says he spends three times as much time on MWDOC as on City Council.

Citing his technology background, Ury urges using techology to conserve water like in Mission Viejo, where they have used special technology to only water plants on demand when the plants themselves are dry.

Thomas argues that the technology described doesn’t work for potable water.

Night asks about MWDOC pay. Night says he donates his own foundation meeting stipends to nonprofits.

Thomas says the stipend offsets his lost salary from his day job. His take-home pay is $600 per month. He says the amount of pay is set by the state. He says there are meetings at 8:30 AM which is problematic for people with day jobs; he was unsuccessful in getting the meetings moved or consolidated.

Thomas says Ury still gets lifetime medical benefits.

Huang asks about $15,000 being paid to his pension under protest, as noted in his questionnaire.

Thomas says water boards are forced to take it, and they are working with Senator John Moorlach on this issue.

Ury says it never should have been in place in the first place. He produces a document with his irrevocable decision to opt out of lifetime medical benefits.

Thomas says the document is unenforceable and that Ury voted for the benefits before he voted against them.

Gordon blasts Thomas for getting $256 for a 39-minute meeting. He asks Thomas why he accepts this.

Thomas says he got on the Board to prevent a split in agencies that would cost over $2 million. He says he cut $600,000 from the budget. He says he cut director pay. He says he cut water rates by 3.8% in 2016.

Gordon rails about executive employee compensation.

Night moved and Huang seconds for neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent)

Next up is Orange County Water District, Division 6.

Cathy Green notes there are no pensions on her water district. She is a former city councilmember and Central Committee member. She left Central Committee to take care of her dying father. She is a long-time member of the RWF and just arrived from their event (as you may recall, the Huntington Beach City Council candidates headed there). She is endorsed by a litany of Republican elected officials.

Fuentes asks if she has ever been endorsed by the party.

Green was endorsed for City Council. When she ran for OCWD, both candidates were Republicans and agreed to not seek the endorsement. For her first re-election, the election was cancelled since she was unopposed.

GREEN RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 FOR REELECTION (Lalloway absent)

Next up is Los Alamitos City Council.

Dean Grose speaks of his multiple terms on the City Council and Central Committee. He says there are three candidates (all Republicans) for two seats. He tried to help register voters at the OC Fair, but gave up his shift to a married couple that wanted to work the booth.

Gordon asks about the questionnaire answer that Grose provided about seeking alternative revenue sources.

Grose speaks of selling City property. He also wants to sell City Hall. He wants to encourage more private businesses.

Night asks about the Los Alamitos Race Track.

Grose explains the race track is actually in Cypress despite being named for Los Alamitos. He speaks of working with the military at Joint Base Los Alamitos.

Matthews moves and Night seconds recommending Grose for endorsement.

GROSE RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 5.

Steven Nguyen is helping restart the Orange County Republican Liberty Caucus. He speaks of volunteering for various Republican campaigns. He is the sole Republican running for this seat, where there are two Democrats, one a Republican. He is endorsed by Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Supervisor Andrew Do, and various local elected officials. He hopes a split in the Latina Democrat vote will allow him to win, considering the large Asian population.

Night asks about his education.

Nguyen says he is a third-year college student. (Editor’s Note: Nguyen later contacted OC Political to say he meant second-year.)

NGUYEN RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 FOR ENDORSEMENT (Lalloway absent)

Last up is Fullerton City Council.

Larry Bennett speaks of his community experience and his litany of endorsements from Republican elected officials. He speaks of the Democrats running for City Council, including Sharon Quirk-Silva’s husband. He says there are four Republicans running for three seats: incumbents Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald, himself, and Suze Lupinski, who Mary Young noted is Pat Shuff’s daughter.

Huang asks how Bennett would have voted on marijuana dispensaries.

Bennett says he would have opposed agendazing the issue.

Huang asks which Councilmember he would be most aligned with.

Bennett says he would be like Greg Sebourn, who is a swing vote between Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald though he does say Sebourn has not endorsed him. He would like to bridge the two factions.

Huang asks about police-community relations and the recent police labor deal.

Bennett says he is a strong proponent of pension reform but has not studied the details of the recent labor deal with police. He says the city benefits from keeping officers employed beyond age 50 and both the city and officers benefit from a sustainable pension plan. He says outsourcing to the Sheriff’s Department did not make sense because Fullerton police officers are paid less than Orange County Sheriff’s deputies. He says the Fullerton Police Department was the first with body cameras.

Huang asks if Bennett has taken any union contributions.

Bennett says he has not taken any union contributions. He also has been a volunteer treasurer for various Republican campaigns.

Night asks Bennett which of the three Fullerton Rotary Clubs is a member of.

He started in Fullerton Sunrise, and then switched to Fullerton.

Matthews moves to recommend Bennett for endorsement.

BENNETT RECOMMENDED 4-2-1 FOR ENDORSEMENT (Fuentes and Huang dissenting, Lalloway absent).

The committee adjourn at 10:09, only 19 minutes behind schedule.

Posted in Anaheim, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills, Los Alamitos, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, Orange County Water District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Republican Central Committee, Santa Ana Unified School District, Yorba Linda | 5 Comments »

Complete List of OC GOP Early Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 18, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgThe Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee met on Monday night to consider endorsements for local offices and ballot measures.

OC Political live-blogged the meeting, but with the back and forth motions to modify the list, many readers were confused by what the endorsements were, so by popular demand here are the list of early endorsements (most non-early endorsements will be considered on September 1):

  • Aliso Viejo City Council: Mike Munzing
  • Costa Mesa City Council: Allan Mansoor, Steve Mensinger, Lee Ramos
  • Fullerton City Council: Bruce Whitaker
  • Irvine City Council: Anthony Kuo, Christina Shea
  • Laguna Niguel City Council: Laurie Davies, John Mark Jennings, Jerry Slusiewicz
  • Lake Forest City Council: Dwight Robinson
  • Orange City Council: Mark Murphy
  • Rancho Santa Margarita City Council: Tony Beall, Carol Gamble
  • Tustin City Council: Allan Bernstein, Austin Lumbard, Charles Puckett
  • Westminster City Council: Kimberly Ho
  • Yorba Linda City Council: Tara Campbell, Gene Hernandez
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 1: Wendy Shrove
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 2: Jim Reardon
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3: Laura Ferguson
  • Mesa Water District, Division 2: Jim Fisler
  • Moulton Niguel Water District, Division 6: Duane Cave
  • No on Measure K – Brea-Olinda Unified School District $148 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure M – Capistrano Unified School District $889 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure N – Centralia Elementary School District $49 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure O – Fountain Valley School District $63 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure S – Orange Unified School District $288 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure T – Westminster School District $76 Million Facilities Bond
  • No on Measure HH – Fountain Valley 1% Sales Tax Increase
  • No on Measure JJ – La Palma 1% Sales Tax Increase
  • No on Measure SS – Westminster 1% Sales Tax Increase

Posted in Aliso Viejo, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Irvine, La Palma, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Orange, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Republican Central Committee, Tustin, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Live from the Candidate Forum for Anaheim City Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 17, 2016

We are live from the Anaheim Phoenix Club for the City Council Candidate Forum sponsored by the Anaheim Republican Assembly (the Anaheim unit of the California Republican Assembly).

Uniquely for a CRA forum, non-Republican candidates are participating. (Editor’s note: 11 candidates participated, 6 Democrats and 5 Republicans.)

I estimate the audience to be nearly 100 people.

The moderator is David Florez.

District 1 Opening Statements

  • Denise Barnes (R) thanks the audience and says the districts mean Councilmembers are people’s neighbors. She says neighbors are struggling and children can’t visit their grandparents or go to parks while living in motels. She says the city is rich and has great resources but needs more fire and police. She states there are too many tax giveaways. She wants to fix parking, streets, and sidewalks. She says Anaheim Hills looks 100% better. She says a strong community can improve the city.
  • Mark Richard Daniels (D) says he was born in Anaheim in 1958 when the city was a small time full of farmland. He says he has lived in Anaheim his entire life. He states he will represent the people’s interests rather than special interests. He pledges to hold meetings across District 1. He says he does not have the donors, PACs, and interest groups behind other candidates and asks the audience for contributions. He pledges to work for the whole city.
  • Freddy Fitzgerald Carvajal (D) says he grew up in the district, attending local schools. He says his family still lives in District 1. He says District 1’s schools, parks, and streets have been neglected for years. He says all the candidates are wonderful people who bring something special to Anaheim. He notes his degree in public administration. He points to his work with the German “Congress.” He says there are no homeless people in Germany, streets are perfect, and pools are plentiful. He wants to bring the German experience to Anaheim.
  • Orlando Perez (R) says he has lived in West Anaheim for 30 years after being born and raised in Bell. He says he is not corrupt. He is the son of Cuban immigrants. He moved to Anaheim after 21 years in Bell. His top priorities are public safety, the economy, and homelessness. He wants to improve police and fire after the 2008 economic crisis. He recalls his childhood in Bell. He wants to work with business. He wants to solve homelessness. (He’s not very specific.)
  • Angel VanStark (D) is 24 years old. He was homeless when he was 19. A homeless man confronted him saying there are lots of opportunities for youth then died that night. VanStark has worked in government because of his belief in public service. He worked for a city with 88,000 constituents. He pledges to make Anaheim as successful as possible.

District 3 Opening Statements

  • Jose Moreno (D) opens by attacking Anaheim Blog for caricaturing him as a Communist. Moreno discusses being a plaintiff in the lawsuit that brought districts to Anaheim. He says there were previously districts anyway: the Resort District and the rest of the city. He states there is a Corporate Party and the People’s Party. He pledges to invest in the children of Anaheim rather than the children of tourists. He states there is no strategic plan for handling affordable housing for the staff of the three newly approved hotels.
  • Robert Nelson (R) says districts bring Councilmembers who understand neighborhood issues. He says he is on the City Public Safety Board and the Anaheim Union High School District Bond Oversight Committee. He cites his work with veterans and his efforts helping Anaheim Police. He wants to focus on public safety, parks, streets, and myriad other things he said too quickly to catch. He says he will not cater to Disney.

District 4 Opening Statements

  • Arturo Ferreras (D) speaks of his various community leadership roles. He states he would bring the community together. Over 5 years, he brought homeowners and apartment dwellers together.
  • Robert Williams (D) says everyone else is part of the establishment except him. He has lived on Anaheim for 13 years after living in Fresno. He says he has seen Anaheim at its best and its worst. He wants everyone to work together for the best interests for Anaheim. He wants to bring jobs, businesses, and education back to Anaheim. He says he has no agenda or long term goals. He just wants to serve the people of all six districts. He says electing the establishment would simply repeat existing problems. He calls for new blood and new energy.

District 5 Opening Statements

  • Sandra Angel (R) says she is a regular person who wants to fight Disney and ARTIC. She does not want to sell the city to Disney or Chinese investors.
  • Mark Lopez (R) welcomes the audience to District 5 and thanks the organizers and attendees. He says he has been involved in the community and has spoken to residents. He says there is a growing disparity. He says there is a focus on corporations and luring jobs. He says there is a better path for economic growth.  He says he wants to work on traffic, transportation, and civic upkeep. He speaks of slurry sealing and improving State College Blvd. He says Anaheim’s General Fund is barely larger than Santa Ana’s but points out Anaheim has the Angels, Ducks, Convention Center, Disneyland, and California Adventure. He says there should be greater resources, like restrooms in parks.

Questions

The moderator asks about the Anaheim street car and tax incentives.

  • District 1 Candidate Denise Barnes rambles before saying it is a waste of money.
  • District 1 Candidate Freddy Fitzgerald Carvajal blasts it as a waste of money and points to various other community programs it could be spent on.
  • District 1 Candidate Angel VanStark pledges to be more critical and fiscally responsible to help Anaheim residents, not tourists. He wants to prioritize children and society’s most vulnerable.

The moderator asks about short term rentals (e.g. Airbnb).

  • District 1 Candidate Mark Daniels says allowing short term rentals was one of the worst decisions in city history. He talked about people coming together to defeat them.
  • District 5 Candidate Mark Lopez says he refused to sell his late grandparents’ condo to an investor who wanted to turn it into a short term rental. He expresses concern about neighbor safety as a result of short term renters. He says he opposes short term rentals.
  • District 4 Candidate Robert Williams says he looked into the issue with an open mind and is now opposed. He says Anaheim is a small town. He will fight against short term rentals.

The moderator now asks the streetcar question again.

  • District 3 Candidate Jose Moreno blasts it as a giveaway that resulted from pay-to-play ordinances. He wants to ban major City contractors and vendors from spending in city elections whether as donors or IEs? (Editor’s note: is that even constitutional?)
  • District 4 Candidate Arturo Ferreras says no one uses streetcars or ARTIC. It is a waste of money, he says.
  • District 5 Candidate Sandra Angel says she will not waste money on streetcars.

The moderator switches back to the short term rental question.

  • District 1 Candidate Orlando Perez says short term rentals are abusive to property and neighborhoods.
  • District 3 Candidate Robert Nelson says he opposes short term rentals and there was one on his street. He wants to get rid of the existing 400 short term rentals without letting them become halfway houses for drug addicts.

The moderator switches to ask simply about “street car and luxury taxes.”

  • District 5 Candidate Mark Lopez asks what would a reasonable person would do. He says he opposes hotel subsidies and streetcars.
  • District 1 Candidate Denise Barnes says she opposes short term rentals. She speaks about kindness and listening to the community.
  • District 1 Candidate Mark Daniels says the streetcar is unnecessary because OCTA already provides world class service.
  • District 5 Candidate Sandra Angel says short term rentals lose the sense of community, and people could accidentally help burglars.
  • District 1 Candidate Freddy Fitzgerald Carvajal says he opposes short term rentals. He expresses conern about their impact on families.

The moderator asks about hotel luxury incentives.

  • District 4 Candidate Robert Williams opposes the incentives and wants to spend the money on education and homelessness. He says homeowners and small businesses were not subsidized.
  • District 1 Candidate Orlando Perez says the streetcar money should be used for something else. He wants to build better restaurants, education, and other “wise causes.”

The moderator returns to the short term rental question.

  • District 4 Candidate Arturo Ferreras blasts short term rentals as harming the social fabric of neighborhoods and weakening schools.
  • District 1 Candidate Angel VanStark says he is skeptical about short term rentals. He says hotels benefit on the other side. He opposes them because he saw developers took advantage of short term rentals in San Francisco.
  • District 3 Candidate Jose Moreno is opposed to short term rentals. He says neighborhoods should not be hotel zones, and businesses should not be in neighborhoods. He says affordable housing is not allowed in the Resort District, so short term rentals should not be allowed in neighborhoods.

The moderator switches back to the streetcar.

  • District 3 Candidate Robert Nelson calls it a waste of money.

District 5 Closing Statements

  • Sandra Angel says she was raised to do the right thin when no one was looking. She wants regular people to stand up to the City Council and corporate greed.
  • Mark Lopez asks if people are better off than they were 2, 4, or 6 years ago. He says the city council will make decisions that have implications for decades. He touts his endorsements by Mayor Tom Tait, Councilman James Vanderbilt, and Supervisor Shawn Nelson. He is guided by limited government and free market principles.

District 4 Closing Statements

  • Arturo Ferreras asks what have people done with what they have been given. He notes his success with small things and will he very successful with larger things like the City. He speaks of his commitment to service.
  • Robert Williams says a lot of opinions are the same or different. He cites public safety, new blood, new thoughts, new direction. He says people who have been involved in the community led Anaheim to where it is today and calls for new blood.

District 3 Closing Statements

  • Robert Nelson thanks the audience and says he is not part of the establishment just because he is involved in the community. He says transportation funds cannot be used for education legally. He says it is important to have an understanding of the system. He says he opposes giveaways.
  • Jose Moreno says District 3 has the highest density and poverty, so it has the highest need. He says he has a proven record of advocating for the community.

District 1 Closing Statements

  • Angel VanStark calls for representing the interests of the people by leading with them. He calls himself a “byproduct of the community’s efforts.” He says his parents and friends are struggling. He says luck is when opportunity meets preparation, and he wants everyone to be prepared.
  • Orlando Perez says he has lived in Anaheim for 30 years. He urges people to vote for someone with experience living in the community.
  • Freddy Fitzgerald Carvajal says District 1 is his home, where he grew up and where his family lives. He says District 1 issues are issues for all of Anaheim. He calls for voting for people with education, experience, and love of the community.
  • Mark Daniels says he has been involved in politics and in the community for 40 years. He says West Anaheim will finally have a voice for the people. He says there are candidates who are not present, yet they are well-funded and well-connected. He attacks where their support comes from.
  • Denise Barnes says she viewed many Council meetings online and says they would make a great reality show. She says it is more important to vote on issues than on race. She echoes Daniels’s statements about the absent candidates. She says her money, time, family, son, and dog are invested in this election. She urges people to put up yard signs.

Conclusion

Anaheim Republican Assembly President Benita Gagne apologizes for the group’s inability to find every candidate’s contact info in a timely fashion.

The forum ends at 7:55.

(Editor’s note: this alternating question format is one of the worst formats I’ve ever seen. It is difficult to follow for the audience and the candidates.)

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

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Early Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 15, 2016

We’re live from the OC GOP Central Committee for early endorsements tonight. Regular endorsements will be in September, and late endorsements will be in October.

The calendar of candidates for early endorsements tonight are below (the Central Committee can move a candidate from the consent calendar to Endorsements Committee to be brought back to Central Committee on September 1):

  • Hon. Mike Munzing, Aliso Viejo City Council
  • Steve Lodge, Anaheim City Council, District 1
  • Wendy Shrove, Capistrano Unified School District, Area 1
  • Hon. Jim Reardon, Capistrano Unified School District, Area 2
  • Laura Ferguson, Capistrano Unified School District, Area 3
  • Hon. Stephen Mensinger, Costa Mesa City Council
  • Hon. Allan Mansoor, Costa Mesa City Council
  • Lee Ramos, Costa Mesa City Council
  • Hon. Bruce Whitaker, Fullerton City Council
  • Hon. Steve Jones, Garden Grove Mayor
  • Patrick Brenden, Huntington Beach City Council
  • Hon. Christina Shea, Irvine City Council
  • Hon. Laurie Davies, Laguna Niguel City Council
  • John Mark Jennings, Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Hon. Jerry Slusiewicz, Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Hon. Dwight Robinson, Lake Forest City Council
  • Hon. Jim Fisler, Mesa Water District, Division 2
  • Hon. Duane Cave, Moulton Niguel Water District, District 6
  • Hon. Mark Murphy, Orange City Council
  • Hon. Tony Beall, Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
  • Hon. Carol Gamble, Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
  • Hon. Allan Bernstein, Tustin City Council
  • Austin Lumbard, Tustin City Council
  • Hon. Charles Puckett, Tustin City Council
  • Kimberly Ho, Westminster City Council
  • Hon. Gene Hernandez, Yorba Linda City Council
  • Tara Campbell, Yorba Linda City Council

Ballot measures being considered tonight are:

  • Sales Tax Increases – Endorse the “Oppose” Position
    • Measure HH – Fountain Valley 1% Sales Tax Increase
    • Measure JJ – La Palma 1% Sales Tax Increase
    • Measure SS – Westminster 1% Sales Tax Increase
  • Bond Measures – Endorse the “Oppose” Position
    • Measure K – Brea-Olinda Unified School District $148 Million Facilities Bond
    • Measure M – Capistrano Unified School District $889 Million Facilities Bond
    • Measure N – Centralia Elementary School District $49 Million Facilities Bond
    • Measure O – Fountain Valley School District Facilities Bond
    • Measure S – Orange Unified School District $288 Million Facilities Bond
    • Measure T – Westminster School District $76 Million Facilities Bond

The following candidates applied for early endorsements, but are being deferred to Endorsements Committee to return to Central Committee on September 1:

  • Mark Lopez, Anaheim City Council, District 5
  • Lyn Semeta, Huntington Beach City Council
  • Anthony Kuo, Irvine City Council
  • Dale Cheema, Irvine City Council
  • Hon. Dean Grose, Los Alamitos City Council
  • Hon. Jeff Thomas, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 6
  • Mike Glenn, Newport Beach City Council, District 5
  • Lee Lowrey, Newport Beach City Council, District 5
  • Will O’Neill, Newport Beach City Council, District 7
  • Steven Nguyen, Rancho Santiago Community College District, District 5

Speeches from Supervisor Andrew Do, Bryan Shroyer on behalf of Assemblywoman Young Kim, and Tara Campbell on behalf of Senate candidate/Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang were followed by Volunteer of the Month recognition.

Endorsements should be underway shortly.

7:49 PM: OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker gives remarks regarding party efforts for the November elections.

He speaks of the re-election bids of Congressman Darrell Issa, Assemblyman Travis Allen, and Assemblyman Matthew Harper.

7:54 PM: Whitaker gives an introduction to the endorsement procedures.

He says endorsements committee will meet August 24 and August 30 for a special Central Committee meeting on September 1.

7:58 PM: Whitaker reports that Garden Grove Councilman Steve Jones requested his endorsement for Mayor be considered at the Endorsements Committee. Motion passes unanimously.

Whitaker moves that Anaheim City Council Candidate Steve Chavez Lodge go to Endorsements Committee. Motion passes unanimously.

Baron Night notes that Irvine Council Candidate Dale Cheema had not submitted an application, so he is being removed from the Endorsements Committee agenda. No motion is needed.

8:00 PM: Thomas Gordon moves that Tustin Council incumbents Allan Bernstein and Chuck Puckett be sent to Endorsements Committee.

Gordon states that Bernstein and Puckett failed to endorse Robert Hammond for Orange County Board of Education against Tustin Councilwoman Beckie Gomez (D).

Brett Barbre states that Bernstein and Puckett are Republican incumbents in good standing with conservative records.

The motion fails, so Bernstein and Puckett remain on the calendar for the evening.

8:06 PM: Deborah Pauly moves that Huntington Beach Council Candidate Patrick Brenden be moved to Endorsements Committee especially in light of Huntington Beach Council Candidate Lyn Semeta being slated for Endorsements Committee and Brenden recently becoming a Republican. Motion passes unanimously.

8:08 PM: Tony Beall moves that Irvine Council Candidate Anthony Kuo be moved from Endorsements Committee to Central Committee because Kuo was erroneously sent to Endorsements Committee because no other Republican in good standing applied.

Whitaker rules it out of order and noted that Irvine Council Candidate Dale Cheema reregistered as a Republican last week.

Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh explains the rules behind Whitaker’s ruling.

Brett Barbre notes that MWDOC Director Jeff Thomas has applied for the endorsement while his opponent, Mission Viejo Mayor Frank Ury, has not.

Kathy Tavoularis questions why a brand new Republican can cause a Republican in good standing to be delayed to Endorsements Committee.

An unknown voice moves Christina Shea to the Endorsements Committee. The motion dies for lack of a second.

Secretary Peggy Huang appeals from the ruling of the Chair on the Kuo endorsement. The motion passes.

There is a unanimous voice vote in favor of the Beall motion to put Kuo back on tonight’s agenda.

8:21 PM: Thomas Gordon moves that Steven Nguyen for Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Area 5 be moved to tonight’s agenda from the Endorsements Committee agenda.

Brett Barbre moves that MWDOC Director Jeff Thomas be moved to tonight’s agenda from the Endorsements Committee agenda.

Someone moves that Huntington Beach Council Candidate Lyn Semeta be moved to tonight’s agenda from the Endorsements Committee agenda.

Deborah Pauly moves that Los Alamitos Council incumbent Dean Grose be moved to tonight’s agenda from the Endorsements Committee agenda.

Whitaker rules all four motions out of order.

Brett Barbre appeals the ruling of the chair.

After an impassioned speech by Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh about following the rules, Barbre withdraws the motion.

8:33 PM: The Central Committee votes unanimously to endorse the Republican nominees for Congress, the State Senate, and the State Assembly.

8:34 PM: Whitaker moves for passage of the entire list of candidates as amended.

Motion passes unanimously.

8:36 PM: Whitaker moves for passage of the list of three oppose positions on the sales tax increase measures.

Motion passes unanimously.

8:38 PM: Whitaker moves for passage of the list of six oppose positions on the school bond measures.

Motion passes unanimously.

8:39 PM: Various club announcements are being made.

8:48 PM: Whitaker adjourns in memory of former School Board Member/Assemblywoman/Senator/Supervisor/Secretary of Education Marian Bergeson.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 1 Comment »

Still Time to Run: 20 Races Where Incumbents Didn’t File for Re-Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 15, 2016

BeatTheClockUnder California law, the deadline for filing for most offices was this past Friday, August 12.  However, in races where there is an eligible incumbent who chose not to file for re-election, non-incumbents received an extra five days to file. Consequently, the deadline for non-incumbents to file has been extended until 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 17 for 20 races for college board, school board, and special districts. None of these require nomination signatures, so a prospective candidate could literally pull and file papers in the final minutes before 5:00 PM on August 17.

Three of these contests actually have more seats than candidates.  In other words, there aren’t enough candidates for these races, so anyone who files will go unopposed, but at this point, if no one else files, these three districts will have vacancies:

There’s an additional five contests where the number of seats equal the number of candidates.  In other words, if no one else files, all of these candidates will be elected unopposed:

Looking at the list below, some of you may be wondering why Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 1 is not listed.  In that case, incumbent Jose Solorio (D) actually resigned from the seat, so there is no incumbent.  When there’s no incumbent at all, there’s no extension.

For those of you who are curious

Here’s the complete run-down on the 20 contests where filing has been extended to 5:00 PM on August 17 because at least one incumbent failed to file, giving non-incumbents an extra five days to file:

  • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 2
    • Incumbent Leonard Lahtinen (D) did not file for re-election, opting instead to run for Anaheim City Council.  Three candidates have pulled and filed papers to replace him so far:
      • Centralia School District Trustee Art Montez (D), who was on the Centralia Board from 1998-2010, when he was defeated for re-election, lost a 2012 bid to return to the Board, and then finally returned to the Centralia Board in the 2014 election, but he’s already looking for another office just two years later
      • College Educator Ed Lopez (?)
      • Businesswoman/Student Ann-Marie Stinson (D)
  • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7
    • Incumbent Tony Ontiveros (R), the only Republican on the North Orange County Community College District Board, did not file for re-election.  Only one candidate has pulled papers to replace him:
      • Attorney Barry Wishart (D), who served on the North Orange County Community College District Board from 1985 until his resignation in December 2001, three years into his fourth term
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3
    • Incumbent John Alpay (R) did not file for re-election, opting instead to run for South Orange County Community College District.  Only one candidate has pulled papers to replace him:
      • Public Information Officer Laura Ferguson (R), who is the PIO for the City of San Clemente
  • Irvine Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Paul Bokota (D), Lauren Brooks (R), and Michael Parham (R).  Bokota and Brooks filed for re-election, but Parham did not.  In addition to Bokota and Brooks, four other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Irvine Businesswoman/Parent Betty Carroll (NPP)
      • Army Captain/Parent Mark Newgent (?)
      • Irvine Businesswoman/Parent Naz Hamid (D)
      • Attorney Geri Zollinger (D)
  • Laguna Beach Unified School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: William Landsiedel (R) and Jan Vickers (D).  Vickers filed for re-election, but Landsiedel did not.  In addition to Vickers, two other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Constitutional Lawyer/Author Howard Hills (R)
      • Community Volunteer Peggy Wolff (D)
  • Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 6
    • Incumbent Mark Wayland (R) did not file for re-election.  Three candidates have pulled papers to replace him:
      • Child Care Supervisor Nicole Baitx-Kennedy (NPP), the only one who has filed papers so far
      • Realtor Jeremy Wayland (R), the retiring incumbent’s son
      • Danielle Jacobs (R), who is director of operations for Sheldon Development, LLC, run by Orange County Water District Director Steve Sheldon (R)
  • Saddleback Valley Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Ginny Fay Aitkens (D), Amanda Morrell (R), and Suzie Swartz (R).  Morrell and Swartz filed for re-election, but Aitkens did not.  In addition to Morrell and Swartz, five other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Educator Edward Wong (NPP)
      • Teacher Bill Yarrington (R)
      • Water Agency Manager Mark Tettemer (R), a former Lake Forest City Councilman who retired in 2012 after two terms to pursue a Master of Public Administration
      • School Maintenance Specialist David Johnson (?)
      • Businessman Theo Hunt (D)
  • Santa Ana Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Jose Hernandez (NPP), Cecilia Iglesias (R), and Rob Richardson (R).  Iglesias filed for re-election, but Hernandez and Richardson did not.  In addition to Iglesias, seven other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Recreation Program Coordinator Gloria Alvarado (D)
      • Attorney/Santa Ana Commissioner Bruce Bauer (D)
      • Teacher/Parent Rigo Rodriguez (?)
      • Supervising Social Worker Alfonso Alvarez (D)
      • Congressional Liaison/Parent Bea Mendoza (D), who works for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D)
      • Educator/Santa Ana Commissioner Mark McLoughlin (NPP), a former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee
      • Santa Ana Businesswoman/Economist Angie Cano (R)
  • Huntington Beach City School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Bridget Kaub (R) and Brian Rechsteiner (R). Kaub filed for re-election, but Rechsteiner did not.  In addition to Kaub, three other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Elementary Principal Ann Sullivan (AI)
      • Rob Fishel (NPP)
      • Elementary Teacher/Parent Karrie Burroughs (R)
  • Ocean View School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Gina Clayton-Tarvin (D) and Debbie Cotton (R). Clayton-Tarvin filed for re-election, but Cotton did not.  In addition to Clayton-Tarvin, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Social Worker Amalia Lam (D)
  • Westminster School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Jamison Power (D) and Amy Walsh (R). Power filed for re-election, but Walsh did not.  In addition to Power, two other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Attorney/Business Owner Karl Truong (?)
      • Educator/Entrepreneur Frances Nguyen (R), a former President of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce
  • Capistrano Bay Community Services District
    • No one has pulled papers for these two seats!  There are two incumbents up for re-election: Ambrose Mastro (R) and Stephen Muller (R), the two Republicans on a board with one Democrat and two NPPs.  Neither Mastro nor Muller filed for re-election.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If fewer than two people file for these two seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint people to fill the vacancies.
  • Emerald Bay Service District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: William Hart (R) and John Marconi (R). Marconi filed for re-election, but Hart did not.  In addition to Marconi, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Real Estate Investor Phil De Carion (NPP)
  • Surfside Colony Community Services District
    • Incumbent Michael Farrell (NPP) did not file for re-election.  Two candidates have pulled and filed papers to replace him so far:
      • Retired Business Owner Rudy LaLonde (R)
      • Linda Garofalo (NPP), ex-wife of former Huntington Beach Mayor Dave Garofalo (R)
  • Three Arch Bay Community Services District
    • No one has pulled papers for the third seat!  There are three incumbents up for re-election: Alan Anderson (R), Elizabeth Gapp (R) and Gary Rubel (R).  While Anderson and Rubel filed for re-election, Gapp did not.  Only Anderson and Rubel have pulled and filed papers.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If a third person does not file for these three seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
  • Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: John Olson (D) and Chay Peterson (NPP). Neither Olson nor Peterson filed for re-election.  Four candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • IT Consultant Steven Duff (D)
      • Retired Educator Tara Saraye (D)
      • Realtor/Artist/Parent Heidi Murphy-Grande (?)
      • Dion Sorrell (D)
  • Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District
    • No one has pulled papers for the second seat!  There are two incumbents up for re-election: John Cahoon (L) and Stephen Rowe (D).  While Rowe filed for re-election, Cahooon did not.  Only Rowe has pulled and filed papers.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If a second person does not file for these two seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
  • South Coast Water District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Dick Dietmeier (NPP), Rick Erkeneff (R), and Wayne Rayfield (D).  Erkeneff and Rayfield filed for re-election, but Dietmeier did not.  In addition to Erkeneff and Rayfield, four other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Business Owner Bob Moore (R), a former South Coast Water District Director who lost a 2014 re-election bid after foolishly using a non-incumbent ballot designation
      • Retired Project Manager Bob Oakley (R)
      • Civil Engineer Douglas Erdman (NPP), who appears to be the son of South Coast Water District Director Dennis Erdman (R)
      • Former South Coast Water District Director Richard Gardner (D), who lost a 2012 re-election bid seeks a return to his old seat after losing a 2014 bid to reclaim a seat on this board (or he might not seek a return since he has also pulled papers for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 7)
  • Yorba Linda Water District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Michael Beverage (R) and Ric Collett (R).  Collett filed for re-election, but Beverage did not.  In addition to Collett, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Retired Business Advisor Benjamin Franklin Parker (R)
    • Incumbent Susan Hinman (R) did not file for re-election.  Three candidates have pulled papers to replace her so far:
      • Moulton-Niguel Water District Director Donald Froelich (R)
      • Business Owner/Consultant Evan Chaffee (R)
      • Registered Professional Engineer Raymond Miller (R)
      • Former South Coast Water District Director Richard Gardner (D), who has also pulled papers for South Coast Water District

Posted in Anaheim, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Emerald Bay Service District, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine Unified School District, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Former Assemblyman Allan Mansoor Announces Run For Costa Mesa City Council

Posted by David Mansdoerfer on July 6, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 2.14.33 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 6, 2016

Contact:  David Mansdoerfer

Email: david@clarkstrategygroup.com

FORMER ASSEMBLYMAN AND COSTA MESA MAYOR ALLAN MANSOOR ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN FOR COSTA MESA CITY COUNCIL

Costa Mesa, CA – Today, former State Assemblyman Allan Mansoor announced his candidacy for Costa Mesa City Council. Mansoor will by vying for one of three available seats on the Costa Mesa Council with Mayor Steve Mensinger and Councilwoman Sandy Genis up for reelection, and Councilman Gary Monahan termed out.

“Having lived here most of my life, I appreciate all of the different residential and business communities and the people who live and work here,” Mansoor stated.  “As a husband and a father, I will fight not only for the current residents, but for future generations to be able to live, work, and play in Costa Mesa.”

“As a former Mayor of Costa Mesa, Allan has the experience and understanding to tackle some of the biggest issues facing Costa Mesa including; crime, homelessness and economic development,” stated Mayor Mensinger.

“I’m proud to have the support of Mayor Mensinger in this endeavor,” stated Mansoor, “He has volunteered so much of his time for youth sports and the kids in our community, that says a lot about him.”

In the upcoming days, the campaign will release a comprehensive list of endorsements and announce a formal kick-off event.

Mansoor has hired Clark Strategy Group Consultant David Mansdoerfer to lead his effort. Mansdoerfer has a successful track record in Orange County including helping Senator John Moorlach win the 2015 special election for Senate District 37.

###

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Declaration of Independence

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on July 4, 2016

You really should be spending time with your friends and family celebrating Independence Day instead of reading a political blog, but since you’re here, let’s remember the principles and sacrifices behind this document that came over the transom 240 years ago today…

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

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

The Sacramento Leftist Elite’s Culture War Against All Dissent Continues – SB 1146

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on June 25, 2016

Meanwhile off the Presidential campaign trail, the California legislature continues to prove it is controlled by people who will not stand for any dissenting opinions even from religious colleges.  Recently the State Senate passed SB 1146 (Lara – D) the so called Equity in Higher Education Act (at the time of this post, SB 1146 is pending in the Assembly).  This bill vastly trims down exemptions from anti-discrimination laws for private religious colleges from, among other things, the LGBT agenda.  In other words, a religious college cannot require students and employees to adhere to a code of conduct that is in conformity with its faith based belief system unless that school is only a seminary preparing students to be ministers.  While this law is currently tied to Cal. Grant funds, the real issue is the heavy hand of government attempting to stamp out any dissenting opinions or beliefs.  Constitutional protections like Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Assembly, etc.?  Nope those are all subservient to the demands of liberal elite’s to agree with their viewpoints – which in this instance is the LGBT agenda and practices.

Andrew T. Walker of the National Review has an excellent article on this: California’s Culture War against Religious Liberty

Here is an excerpt:

“Tacked onto existing law, the proposed amendment to the state’s Equity in Higher Education Act attempts to stigmatize and coercively punish any religious belief system that might dare to offer a difference of opinion about sexuality and gender. The bill strong-arms religious schools into an untenable position: Either compromise their religious identity or risk losing access to grants and government-backed financial assistance like Cal Grants. How so? According to the legislation, any religious school that made admission decisions or laid out student-conduct expectations based on religious criteria that were at odds with the bill’s protected classes would risk losing access to state funds unless they affirmed the highly contestable categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” – categories at odds with views about marriage and sexuality in many religious traditions.”

I commend the rest of Mr. Walker’s article to your reading.  Another very good and short read on the implications of SB 1146 is by John Gerardi of California Family Council (See Update).

There is an argument that Christian schools should not take Cal. Grants and other government monies.  There are two problems with this argument. First if our tax dollars can go to schools that the government says it approves of its message but not those that do not, that is viewpoint discrimination by a government entity.  Plus that is forced public funding of one viewpoint over another.  Another problem with this argument is it is a ruse.  Today it is the application of this law to schools that accept Cal. Grant and similar college funding programs.  Tomorrow it will be to remove their tax exempt status for not conforming to the demanded viewpoint of the legislative majority (in other words the right to exist as a religious institution). And that logic can be applied without pause to churches. No room for dissent allowed and the U.S. and California Constitutional protections for Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association will be rendered historical footnotes.

Of course, the legislature also goes out of its way to state that the bill does not seek to impair any student’s right to file a lawsuit against the college for discrimination.

Will these Christian colleges and the churches whose pulpits they fill engage the culture and stand against this publically?  The colleges are expressing their opposition to the legislature now with the help of organizations like the California Family Council and Pacific Justice Institute.  But if Senator Lara (the bill’s author) and his fellow travelers in Sacramento pass SB 1146 and the Governor signs it, will they file lawsuits and organize a referendum campaign to stop it?  Will they engage the voters in a healthy debate over the role of religious belief and practice in public life, in education and the proper limits under the U.S. and California Constitutions on a government that tries to dictate belief systems?  Or will they just engage real estate agents in Texas to find new locations for their campuses?

I pray it is the former and not a retreat to Texas.

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

Lead Changes Galore: CD-46 (Nguyen), AD-68 (Choi), Sup-1 (Martinez), and Central Committee (Munzing)

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 14, 2016

(Top l-r): Bao Nguyen, Steven Choi, Michele Martinez, Mike Munzing (Bottom l-r): Bob Peterson, Harry Sidhu, Andrew Do, Roberta Turbow

CD-46 Candidate Bao Nguyen (D), AD-68 Candidate Steven Choi (R), Sup-1 Candidate Michele Martinez (D), Central Committee Candidate Mike Munzing (R)
CD-46 Candidate Bob Peterson (R), AD-68 Candidate Harry Sidhu (R), Supervisor Andrew Do (R), Central Committee Candidate Roberta Turbow (R)

This is cross-posted to OC Daily.

Yesterday was a crazy day in vote counting saw that saw lead changes in four different races.  It was definitely a good day for mayors, with Bao Nguyen (Garden Grove), Steven Choi (Irvine), and Mike Munzing (Aliso Viejo) each climbing into the last available spot in their races.  Additionally, Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez took first place in her race.  These races largely remain too close to call with an 87,000 ballots still uncounted countywide.

After Friday’s counts, Sheriff’s Commander Bob Peterson (R) was leading Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen (D) by 236 votes for the second spot to advance to the run-off in the 46th Congressional District against former State Senator Lou Correa (D).  After yesterday’s counts, Nguyen surged forward by 814 votes and now leads Peterson by 578 votes for the right to challenge Correa’s march to Congress.

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On Friday, former Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu (R) was leading Irvine Mayor Steven Choi (R) by 608 votes for the second spot to advance to the run-off (and victory in the general election) in the 68th Assembly District against Attorney Sean Jay Panahi (D).  After yesterday’s results, Choi swung 640 votes and now leads Sidhu by 32 votes for the run-off slot.  With results this close, both campaigns are gearing up with attorneys and ballot watch teams.

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Friday’s results showed Supervisor Andrew Do (R) with an 836-vote lead over Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez (D) in his bid for a full four-year term after winning last year’s special election for a two-year term.  With a massive 1,689-vote swing, Martinez now leads Do by 853 votes.  Who finishes first is mostly about perception by donors, parties, volunteers, etc., as Do and Martinez will face each other in the November run-off regardless of which is first or second, as Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui (R) is a distant third.

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Finally, in the forgotten close race for Republican Central Committee in the 73rd District, Friday’s numbers had Small Business Owner Roberta Turbow ahead of Aliso Viejo Mayor Mike Munzing by 234 votes for the sixth and final spot on the Central Committee from AD-73. A 343-vote swing now has Munzing leading Turbow by 109 votes.

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With 87,000 uncounted ballots left in Orange County, there’s still a whole lot of counting left and a whole lot of nail-biting.

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 46th Congressional District, 68th Assembly District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Democrats Cast More OC Primary Election Votes Than Republicans for First Time Ever

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 8, 2016

Republican Presidential Nominee
Donald Trump

This is cross-posted to OC Daily.

In numbers that should scare Republicans across Orange County (and probably California, and maybe the United States), for the first time ever, more Orange County Democrats cast primary election ballots than Orange County Republicans did. Even in 2012, when Mitt Romney had sewn up the presidential nomination, more Republicans cast primary election votes than did in 2016. Even in the 2008 battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Democrats could not surpass Republicans in primary election ballots cast.

Party 2008 2012 2016
Democrat 317,859 (67.8%) 139,316 (27.5%) 231,638 (49.5%)
Republican 373,587 (52.2%) 234,396 (34.5%) 205,988 (36.9%)

The 2012 general election was a bloodbath for Republicans:

  • Democrats captured 2 Assembly seats from Republicans.
  • Democrats captured 3 Senate seats from Republicans.
  • Romney beat Obama by just 6.3% in Orange County.

Gerrymandered districts likely saved Republicans in 2008.  The 2016 elections will be conducted under the same district lines that were first contested in 2012.

2016 threatens to be worse than 2012.  Nowhere in Orange County is that more evident than in AD-65.  Here is how Assemblyman Chris Norby did against challenger Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva in the 2012 primary:

Vote Count Percentage
CHRIS NORBY (REP) 29,917 58.8%
SHARON QUIRK-SILVA (DEM) 20,936 41.2%

Here is how Assemblywoman Young Kim did against challenger ex-Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva last night:

Vote Count Percentage
SHARON QUIRK-SILVA (DEM) 28,840 53.0%
YOUNG KIM (REP) 25,575 47.0%

Norby led Quirk-Silva by 17.6% in the 2012 primary before losing to her in the general election by a 52%-48% margin.  Kim is behind in the 2016 primary by an even larger margin than Norby lost in the 2012 general.  Republicans will need to marshal massive financial and human resources in order to save the AD-65 seat.

Things look even bleaker in a swing seat that neighbors Orange County, where 66th District Assemblyman David Hadley is at 45.6% and trails ex-Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi:

Vote Count Percentage
AL MURATSUCHI (DEM) 36,832 48.3%
DAVID HADLEY (REP) 34,773 45.6%
MIKE MADRIGAL (DEM) 4,659 6.1%

The tri-county SD-29 is a good news, bad news situation for Republicans:

Vote Count Percentage
LING LING CHANG (REP) 52,131 44.8%
JOSH NEWMAN (DEM) 34,013 29.2%
SUKHEE KANG (DEM) 30,280 26.0%

As of the last reporting period ending May 21, Chang had $369,770 cash on hand, Newman had $21,835 cash on hand, and Kang had $173,086 cash on hand.  The good news is that Chang now faces a weaker, underfunded opponent for a key Senate target seat.  The bad news is Chang only got 44.8% of the vote in the primary.

Other scary numbers for Republican incumbents in Orange County last night:

  • Assemblyman Travis Allen has just 50.9% of the vote.
Vote Count Percentage
TRAVIS ALLEN (REP) 35,062 50.9%
LENORE ALBERT-SHERIDAN (DEM) 20,067 29.1%
NAM PHAM (DEM) 13,723 19.9%
  • Supervisor Andrew Do (R) is headed to a run-off with Michele Martinez (D), who he beat by 0.3% or 200 votes.
Vote Count Percentage
ANDREW DO 20,730 35.8%
MICHELE MARTINEZ 20,530 35.5%
PHAT BUI 11,026 19.1%
STEVE ROCCO 5,582 9.6%
  • Assemblyman Matthew Harper joins Assemblywoman Young Kim (who we discussed above) as the only two incumbents in Orange County who were not in first place.
Vote Count Percentage
KARINA ONOFRE (DEM) 33,570 42.5%
MATTHEW HARPER (REP) 30,614 38.7%
KATHERINE DAIGLE (REP) 14,885 18.8%
  • Orange County Board of Education President Robert Hammond (R) is breathing a sigh of relief that County Board of Education races are winner-take-all in June with no runoff, for he beat Beckie Gomez (D) by 1.9% or 961 votes:
Vote Count Percentage
ROBERT M. HAMMOND 21,100 42.4%
REBECCA “BECKIE” GOMEZ 20,139 40.5%
PAUL ZIVE 8,479 17.1%

There’s also the implications of California’s U.S. Senate race:

Vote Count Percentage
KAMALA D. HARRIS (DEM) 2,044,347 40.4%
LORETTA L. SANCHEZ (DEM) 939,107 18.5%
DUF SUNDHEIM (REP) 405,730 8.0%

With the top Republican vote-getter for U.S. Senate, Duf Sundheim, finishing a distant third, that means for the first time in California history, the November ballot for U.S. Senate will not include a Republican. Instead due to the top-two primary, only two Democrats will be on the U.S. Senate ballot in California.

Republicans face a tall order this fall to overcome the Democratic surge.  Republicans will have to unify behind Republican candidates.  The Republican Party must organize volunteers and raise significant funds.  The OC GOP must strengthen its financial and human infrastructure in order to defeat Democrats.  Otherwise, 2016 will be a bleak year indeed.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 29th Senate District, 65th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, California, Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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