OC Political

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Archive for August, 2012

Quirk-Silva Campaigns In Santa Ana Which Doesn’t Even Border AD-65

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on August 30, 2012

AD-65 candidate Sharon Quirk-Silva is campaigning in Santa Ana today: she’s holding a meet and greet at the Martinez Book Store at 216 N. Broadway at 5 PM.


AD-65 is Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Palma and Stanton.  None of those cities even border Santa Ana.

Credit goes to Meridian Pacific for posting these maps on their website.

Maybe she’s in Santa Ana because she wants to be Loretta Sanchez’s successor.  That would make sense since Santa Ana is completely in CD-46.  She’s sharing campaign offices with Sanchez, too.  Maybe that’s what this AD-65 campaign really is about.  She’s trying to raise her profile to run for CD-46.  CD-46 doesn’t include Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Palma, or Stanton, by the way.

Maybe Quirk-Silva’s campaigning in Santa Ana because they’ll be friendlier to her pro-tax message there than they will be in AD-65.  She must be supporting Governor Jerry Brown’s Prop 30 sales tax and income tax hike.  Prop 30 will probably fail miserably in AD-65 but pass in Santa Ana.  As Steve Sarkis pointed out in the OC Register, Quirk-Silva’s entire “ending partisan gridlock” argument is just code for increasing taxes.  See Steve’s letter (third one down): http://letters.ocregister.com/2012/05/26/primary-distinctions-between-candidates/

Maybe Quirk-Silva’s campaigning in Santa Ana because she has as many Santa Ana City Councilmembers endorsing her as she does in all of AD-65.  She has four Santa Ana Councilmembers endorsing her (David Benavides, Michele Martinez, Sal Tinajero, and Vince Sarmiento).  Of the four AD-65 Councilmembers endorsing Quirk-Silva (Anaheim’s Lorri Galloway, Fullerton’s Doug Chaffee, and tiny La Palma’s Ralph Rodriguez and Steve Shanahan), Galloway can’t even vote for her since she lives in AD-68 (Anaheim is split into AD-65, AD-68, and AD-69).  By the way, Norby has 21 endorsements from AD-65 City Councilmembers.

Maybe Quirk-Silva’s campaigning in Santa Ana because she’ll hope it’ll get the Assembly Dem leadership’s attention by pretending to run in a Dem city like Santa Ana.  I wrote a couple weeks ago in my post “Leading Assembly Democrat Headlines Norby Fundraiser” that “She isn’t endorsed by the Speaker or the Assembly Majority Leader either.  It looks like the Democrat leadership is abandoning Quirk-Silva.”

It looks like the Democrat leadership is abandoning Quirk-Silva.  On Monday, the Assembly’s top Democrat, Speaker John Perez, announced the Dems’ November target list: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/08/assembly-democrats-target-four-races-for-november-election.html

Quirk-Silva wasn’t on it.

Has Quirk-Silva given up on even campaigning in AD-65?

Posted in 46th Congressional District, 65th Assembly District, Santa Ana | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Prop 29 Recount Rolls into Orange County

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 29, 2012

Prop 29 went down in defeat in June with 2,592,791 voting against the measure and 2,568,715 voting for the measure (a 50.2%-49.8% margin or 24,076 votes), according to the results certified by the Secretary of State on July 13.

Four days before certification, on July 9, Dr. John Maa (D-San Francisco) filed a request for a partial recount of the results.  Maa is being represented in the recount by attorney Brad Hertz (R-Woodland Hills) of the Sutton Law Firm.  Maa indicated he would spend up to $250,000 to pay for the recount (remember, under California law, anyone requesting a recount must pay for it; a refund will occur only if they succeed in overturning the election results).

On July 16, the partial recount commenced in Los Angeles County.  The recounting continued until August 11, at which point Maa’s recount added 464 “Yes” votes and 246 “No” votes, a net gain of 218 votes for the “Yes” side.

On August 6, the recount commenced in Placer County, but with Steven L. Heilig (G-San Francisco) rather than Ma as the person requesting the recount.  The recounting continued until August 13, at which point Heilig’s recount subtracted 10 “Yes” votes and 18 “No” votes, a net gain of 8 votes for the “Yes” side.

The recount is now rolling into Orange County, with the Registrar of Voters announcing the recount will commence on Wednesday, September 5.

Although the No on 29 side is gaining votes in the recount, it seems unlikely that they’ll achieve enough to overturn 24,076 considering they’ve only netted 226 votes so far.

If Maa sounds familiar, he was in a “Yes on 29” commercial:

Since we’re showing Prop 29 commercials, click here to see Orange County’s own Dr. Ken Williams (R-Villa Park) in a No on 29 commercial.

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

Two Candidates Insert Office Title into Their Names on the Ballot (Sort of)

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 27, 2012


Sorry that I couldn’t find a picture of Stan “The Water Man” Dziecielski or Gary “Water Watch Dog” Langdale. This picture of Aquaman will have to suffice.

While peering through the various candidates running for office in Orange County, I came across two who had something very odd in common:

  • Stan “The Water Man” Dziecielski, Candidate for Santa Margarita Water District
  • Gary “Water Watch Dog” Langdale, Candidate for South Coast Water District

Usually, the nickname in quotation marks in the middle of a candidate’s would be for something like Robert “Bob” Baker or Daniel “Skip” Marshall.  Stan “The Water Man” Dziecielski and Gary “Water Watch Dog” Langdale are certainly unusual, though both nicknames certainly have a nexus with the office the candidates seek (i.e. water board).

While having a nickname that relates to the office might seem like a good idea at first, I doubt that voters would take “The Water Man” or “Water Watch Dog” seriously.

But then again, it’s happened before.  Byron Looper ran unsuccessfully for the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1988, the same year he was a campaign worker for Al Gore’s presidential campaign.  In 1992, he was a campaign worker for the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign and became a Republican.  In 1994, he ran unsuccessfully for the Tennessee House of Representatives.  In 1996, he inserted “Low Tax” into his name, and voters in Putnam County, Tennessee elected Byron “Low Tax” Looper as County Assessor.

(Unfortunately, Low Tax Looper’s tale does not end there.  In 1998, Looper challenged five-term incumbent State Senator Tommy Burks (D).  Burks was shot and killed on October 19, 1998, just 15 days before the election.  On October 24, Looper was arrested for assassinating his opponent.  Due to the way Tennessee law was structured at the time, the deceased Burks was removed from the ballot while the arrested-but-not-convicted Looper remained as the sole candidate on the ballot.  Senator Burks’s widow was drafted into launching a write-in campaign for her late husband’s seat.  On November 3, 1998, Charlotte Burks won the seat with 30,252 votes versus 1,531 votes for Looper, or a 95.2%-4.8% victory.  She continues to hold that Senate seat to this day.  In August 2000, Looper was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after the Burks family asked that Looper not be given the death penalty.)

If Stan “The Water Man” Dziecielski and Gary “Water Watch Dog” Langdale win their elections, I am left with this question: What’s next?

  • Barack “Commander-in-Chief” Obama
  • Mitt “Business Leader” Romney
  • Dana “Reagan Speechwriter” Rohrabacher
  • Loretta “Financial Analyst” Sanchez
  • Tony “Orange County’s Top Prosecutor” Rackauckas
  • Todd “Orange County Crime Fighter” Spitzer
  • Diane “Taxpayer Advocate” Harkey
  • Tom “The Centrist” Daly
  • Claudia “College Leader” Alvarez
  • Lou “The Taxpayer’s Friend” Correa
  • Larry “Safest City in America” Agran
  • Tom “Hi Neighbor” Tait

The possibilities are endless!

Posted in National, Santa Margarita Water District, South Coast Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Norby Notes 15 – End of Session Rush & Norby-Solorio ELL Hearing Findings

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 27, 2012

This came over the wire from Assemblyman Chris Norby’s office on Friday…


AUGUST, 2012 | ISSUE 15

Posted in 65th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Orange County Registrar of Voters Presidential Election Update

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 27, 2012

This came over the wire from the Registrar of Voters on Friday…

Increase in Candidates

More Candidates Than Four Years Ago

Our planning is in full swing for the upcoming Presidential Election. We will have 455 candidates on the ballot (317 school, special districts and 246 city candidates). This is an increase of 25 since November 2008.

Neal Kelley
Registrar of Voters

Drive Thru Operations

We are currently planning to offer many services for voters in our parking lot in Santa Ana close to the election. This will allow voters to register, vote, drop off vote-by-mail ballots and more.

City Candidate Info

We have been posting city candidate information online once we receive it from the cities. We should have a complete city candidate log online early next week, which will display all candidates in all city contests.

Verizon Wireless Concert Tonight

Summer Concert Series Continues

We have a full calendar of events through the November election. We register voters and recruit poll workers during these events. Tonight look for us at the 311 concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine.

Poll Workers 1,421  | VBMs Mailed: 0  | VBMs Returned: 0

Early Voting Returning to Orange County in October

We will be offering early voting again for the Presidential Election here in Orange County. These polling places will operate in 12 locations throughout the county. Voters will be able to cast their ballot early and avoid any crowds on Election Day. We will be announcing these locations shortly.

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

Shawn Nelson’s Fourth District Update

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 27, 2012

This came over the wire from Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s office on Friday…

Supervisor Shawn Nelson - Fourth District Update Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 4th Supervisorial District | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Bill Campbell’s Third District Report

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 25, 2012

This came over the wire from Supervisor Bill Campbell’s office yesterday…

Photo of Supervisor Campbell, Bill Campbell Supervisor 3rd District, Newsletter, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Campbell Gives Strong Support to Romney’s Energy Independence Strategy

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 25, 2012

This came across the wire this week from the Campbell for Congress Campaign. His quote is the one at the bottom:

Governor Romney Releases North American Energy Independence Plan

Caucus released the following statements in response to the Governor’s plan:
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 48th Congressional District | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Elections Where Candidates Went Unopposed

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 24, 2012

Congratulations to the candidates in the following races who went unopposed.  (It’s 1 seat per race listed below, unless otherwise noted.)

City Council

La Habra City Council (3 seats)

Newport Beach City Council

  • District 2
  • District 5
  • District 7

Seal Beach City Council

  • District 2
  • District 4

Villa Park City Council

  • Full Term (2 Seats)
  • Short Term

City Treasurers and City Clerks

Brea City Treasurer

Huntington Beach City Clerk

Huntington Beach City Treasurer

Laguna Beach City Clerk

Laguna Beach City Treasurer

Orange City Clerk

San Clemente City Clerk

San Clemente City Treasurer

Seal Beach City Clerk

Community College District

Coast Community College District

•Trustee Area 2

•Trustee Area 3

•Trustee Area 4

North Orange County Community College District

•Trustee Area 2

•Trustee Area 4

•Trustee Area 5

Rancho Santiago Community College District

•Trustee Area 1

•Trustee Area 7

South Orange County Community College District

•Trustee Area 6

Unified School Districts

Brea Olinda Unified School District (3 seats)

Los Alamitos Unified School District (3 seats)

Newport-Mesa Unified School District

•Trustee Area 1

•Trustee Area 3

•Trustee Area 6

Orange Unified School District

•Trustee Area 2

Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (3 seats)

Elementary School Districts

Buena Park School District, Full Term (2 seats)

Buena Park School District, Short Term

Fullerton School District (2 seats)

Huntington Beach City School District, Short Term

Savanna School District, Full Term (2 seats)

Savanna School District, Short Term

Special Districts

Capistrano Bay Community Services District (2 seats)

Emerald Bay Service District (2 seats)

Rossmoor Community Services District (3 seats)

Surfside Colony Community Services District

Three Arch Bay Community Services District (3 seats)

Serrano Water District

•Division 2, Full Term

•Division 4, Short Term

•Division 5, Full Term

Sunset Beach Sanitary District (3 seats)

Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District (2 seats)

Irvine Ranch Water District (2 seats)

Moulton Niguel Water District

•Division 1

•Division 5

Trabuco Canyon Water District (2 seats)

Yorba Linda Water District (2 seats)

Orange County Water District

•Division 4

•Division 6

Buena Park Library District, Full Term (3 seats)

Buena Park Library District, Short Term

Posted in Brea, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park Library District, Buena Park School District, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Coast Community College District, Emerald Bay Service District, Fullerton School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine Ranch Water District, La Habra, Laguna Beach, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Newport Beach, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, North Orange County Community College District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Rossmoor Community Services District, San Clemente, Savanna School District, Seal Beach, Serrano Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Sunset Beach Sanitary District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Trabuco Canyon Water District, Villa Park, Yorba Linda Water District | Leave a Comment »

The Ongoing Saga of the Two Robert “Bob” Bakers Running for San Clemente City Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 23, 2012

Robert "Bob" Baker #1

San Clemente Councilman Robert “Bob” Baker 1 (R) is being challenged for re-election by Businessman Robert “Bob” Baker 0 (D).

Ordinarily, we’d run press releases and op-eds under the “Newsletter Reprint” account, but this is such an odd situation that I’m providing separate commentary here.

I’ve previously written about San Clemente Councilman Robert “Bob” Baker (R) being challenged by businessman Robert “Bob” Baker (D).

Elections Code Section 13118 provides that in cases of identical names, the candidates will select a distinguishing mark on a first-come, first-served basis, and that “The distinguishing mark shall be a number and shall be printed in large boldface type at the left of the name on the ballot.”  The incumbent Baker filed the number selection paperwork first and picked the number 1.

Sounds easy enough, right?  Well, not exactly.

The challenger Baker selected the number 0.  Whichever Baker has the lower number gets listed first on the ballot.  The Orange County Registrar of Voters and San Clemente City Clerk determined the number 0 is lower than the number 1 (amused/sad sidenote: only in election law does that need to be determined).  Therefore, the Registrar and Clerk concluded that 0 Baker would be listed before 1 Baker.

Had I been in the second Baker’s shoes and couldn’t get the number 1, I would have selected the number googol (yes, that’s how it’s spelled):

There is nothing in the Elections Code stopping a candidate from selecting googol to distinguish themselves from an identically-named candidate.

The Robert “Bob” Baker issue in San Clemente shows that the 85-year-old process for distinguishing identically-named candidates needs reform.

Perhaps identically-named candidates should be forced to use middle names if they both have middle names and the middle names are different.  (By the way, it’s Donald for Councilman Baker and John for Challenger Baker.)

Another option is to require the Clerk/Registrar randomly select a positive integer between 2-9 for each identically named candidate.  We already do a ballot order lottery in California to randomize the alphabet, so it would make sense to have a random number assigned to identically-named candidates.  The rationale on the range 2-9 is you’d keep it at a single-digit number without having the number connotations that come with 0 or 1.  (Obviously, there’d need to be a backup clause in case a dozen people with the same name ran: perhaps, a random positive integer between 21-99 could be selected, so everyone has a two-digit number without the connotations attached to the numbers 10 or 13.)

Nonetheless, the two Robert “Bob” Bakers of San Clemente must proceed under the current rules.  Barring judicial intervention that declares 0 is not a number for purposes of the Election Code (it could happen: after all, the U.S. Supreme Court case of Nix v. Hedden determined that while the tomato is botanically a fruit, it is legally a vegetable), Councilman Baker has implied a messaging strategy on the numbers in his his press release: calling challenger Baker a zero.  With the positive connotation of the number 1, the incumbent Baker could promote himself as “San Clemente’s #1 Choice” or something like that while continuing to blast the other Baker as a zero, with that number’s negative connotation.

Incumbent Bob Baker made a smart pick with 1 but just had the misfortune of facing off against a more Machiavellian Bob Baker, who picked 0.

We’ve received no word from the other two San Clemente Robert Bakers (one Republican, one Democrat) on which Robert Baker they’re backing, though since there’s two Council slots available, they could back both Bakers on the ballot.

I must say that I can sympathize with Councilman Baker: there are 21 Chris Nguyens and 62 Christopher Nguyens registered to vote in Orange County.  There were even 2 Chris Nguyens in my class in college (one from the Bay Area and another from Florida).

Here’s the press release from incumbent Robert “Bob” Baker 1 that came over the wire on Friday…

Incumbent Councilmember “Bob Baker 1” Says Sham Challenger “Bob Baker 0” Gamed the System To Gain an Unfair Advantage.

Robert “Bob” Baker  (“Bob Baker 1”) is seeking reelection to the San Clemente City Council this November.  A second Robert “Bob” Baker (“Bob Baker 0”) has appeared out of thin air to challenge his namesake, leading voters to ask “Will the real Bob Baker please stand up?”

The California Elections Code calls for similarly named candidates to use numerical distinctions to differentiate themselves for the voters.  City Clerk Joanne Baade is listing the Bob Baker who chose the lowest number to appear first among the two Bob Bakers on the ballot.  This is where the situation gets “curiouser and curiouser” like something out of Alice in Wonderland.

The incumbent Bob Baker, who was the first Baker to file his candidacy papers and to select a number, chose the number “1,” reasonably concluding that he had secured the first, and thus lowest, number and would appear above the newcomer Bob Baker on the ballot.  The new Bob Baker, however, instead of logically choosing any number from 2 upward, was allowed to select “0.”  The story should have ended there, with the Clerk rejecting the Johnny-Come-Lately Baker’s selection and requiring him to choose number 2 or any other positive integer besides 1.

But no, instead, the Clerk issued a statement that “Robert ‘Bob’ Baker No. 0 will appear immediately before Robert ‘Bob’ Baker No. 1 on the ballot because zero is a lower number than one.”  Really?

Political scientists have proven, and the California Supreme Court has acknowledged, a “primacy” effect in which the higher up a candidate’s name appears on the ballot, the more likely that candidate is to gain extra votes (often in the amount of several percentage points) over and above those whose names appear lower on the list.  So ballot position matters, which is why the Secretary of State performs a “randomized alphabet drawing” for each election.

Bob Baker 1 expressed surprise at this development, stating “Someone can be 1st in line, but no one can be 0st in line, can they?”  “And do winners of races come in 1st place or 0th place?”  Baker 1 surmised that another candidate recruited Baker 0 to run in order to confuse the voters and dilute Baker 1’s votes.  “San Clemente’s voters are quite intelligent,” said Councilman Baker, “and they will see through this charade and vote for the Bob Baker who doesn’t play games with the electoral process but merely wants to continue serving the City as a member of the Council.”  A voter, who did not want her identity revealed, said “Having served in the U.S. Navy for 7 years and as a commercial pilot for 30 years, Bob Baker 1 is a hero, whereas Bob Baker 0 is a “zero.”

Election law expert Brad Hertz of the Sutton Law Firm, who teaches Election Law at Chapman University Law School and is former President of the California Political Attorneys Association, said “The City Clerk’s actions make no sense, and Bob Baker 0 should not have been allowed to designate himself as such.”  Hertz pointed to Elections Code section 13117, which states that “… all state measures … shall be numbered in a continuous sequence, commencing with the number “1” and continuing in numerical sequence for a period of 10 years from the year of commencement.  At the completion of a 10-year cycle, the numbering sequence shall recommence with the number “1” at the next election….”  Hertz, who commonly litigates election law matters, and with whom Baker 1 has consulted, said “If common sense does not carry the day, then at least this analogous Elections Code section should guide the City Clerk to realize that “1,” not “0,” is the first and lowest number in the context of ballot position.”

Posted in San Clemente | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

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