OC Political

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

Archive for January, 2013

Bob Citron, OC’s Bankruptcy Treasurer, Dead at 87

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 16, 2013

NBC 4 reports that former Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert L. Citron (D-Santa Ana) died earlier today at the age of 87.

A career employee of what was then the office of the Orange County Tax Collector, Citron was elected Tax Collector in 1970.  When Republican Orange County Treasurer Ivan Swanger retired in 1973, the offices were merged, with Citron becoming the first combined Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector.

Citron was re-elected in 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, and 1994.  Citron’s investment schemes brought high yields to the county investment pool, but his opponent in the June 1994 election accused Citron of making risky investments.  That opponent’s criticisms were dismissed by many as election rhetoric.  Six months after the election, in December 1994, Orange County declared bankruptcy and Citron resigned, before even taking office in the seventh term he had just won.  Under Citron’s watch in 1994, the $8 billion county investment pool lost $1.64 billion.

In March 1995, three months after declaring bankruptcy, the Board of Supervisors appointed Citron’s 1994 opponent as Treasurer-Tax Collector; John Moorlach would go on to serve as Treasurer-Tax Collector for 11 years before winning election to the Board of Supervisors in the June 2006 elections (and taking office that December after Supervisor Jim Silva resigned a month early to start his State Assembly term).

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

Supervisorial 5: Mimi Walters to Take this Seat

Posted by Dominus on January 16, 2013

In 2014 Supervisor Pat Bates of the 5th District will termed-out of this seat.  It is confirmed that state Senator Mimi Walters will run for this position next year to avoid political extinction herself.

This supervisorial district belongs to Mimi.  No one in this area have the high name identification and financial resources to challenge Mimi.

What is more interesting is the special election that a Mimi victory will trigger.  Assemblyman Alan Mansoor and Assemblyman Don Wagner are both eyeing this senate district.

Between Wagner and Mansoor, I don’t know who is the stronger candidate.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

1-14-2013 John Campbell Newsletter

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on January 14, 2013

This just came across the wire from the office of Congressman John Campbell:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Debt Limit: The president says that we should just extend the debt limit, or cede the authority to him to expand it as he wishes. I’m sure he probably doesn’t think we even need such a discipline at all. He says he will not negotiate on this issue. He says that Congress has already approved all the spending that led to these deficits. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 45th Congressional District | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

SD 34 Watch: Could be a Crowded Field

Posted by Dominus on January 14, 2013

Even though the 2012 Presidential Election just ended a few months ago, many candidates are already putting the pieces together for the next campaign.

In 2014, I suspect there will only be two competitive state legislative races in Orange County: SD 34 (Correa) and AD 65 (Quirk-Silva).  In this post, I will focus on SD 34 and save AD 65 for another day.

By any standard measures, SD 34 is a swing district.  Democrats outnumbered Republicans by less than a percentage point.  The district voted heavily in favor of Proposition 8.  The incumbent Lou Correa is termed-out in 2014.

Here is my analysis of this race:


The most active candidate on the Republican side is Supervisor Janet Nguyen.  She started plotting for this seat back in 2011 when she endorsed Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong for Congress over Los Alamitos Councilman Troy Edgar in exchange for the support of LA Supervisor Don Knabe.Janet-Nguyen-and-Baby-Tom-300x227

You may wonder why is the support of Don Knabe important? It is because the new SD 34 have a sizable portion of Los Angeles.

Janet also lucked-out when then-campaign treasurer Kindee Durkee cleaned out the accounts of Senator Lou Correa and Assemblyman Jose Solorio.  One of these two politicians were supposed to challenge Janet in 2012.  Instead, the 1st District Supervisor faced a token candidate and didn’t have to spend a whole lot of money for her re-election.  Janet could be sitting on $300,000 – $350,000 right now.

Another Republican candidate in this race is former Assemblyman Jim Silva.  I say potential because Jim is still wishy-washy about it.  Sure he is sitting on top of $400,000 but the idea of running in a brutal primary then go through a general election doesn’t sit well with Jim.  If anything, Jim wants to be drafted by the GOP establishment to run.

Jim may end up running after all, depending on the field.

Aside from these two Republicans, we have another one thinking about it – Long Pham.  The former Orange County Board of Education member and nuclear engineer who spent $100,000 of his personal money on a failed assembly campaign is talking to people about a potential run for SD 34.  Long have loyal followers in the Vietnamese community.  He just need to hire a better campaign consultant if he is to make another run at public office.


The front runner on the Democratic side is Jose Solorio, a trustee of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.  As a government consultant, Jose will have plenty of time and flexibility to campaign in this district.  I’m not sure how much money he is sitting on but financial resources should not be a problem if Jose is the only Democrat in the race.  Money from Sacramento will just flow into this war chest.Jose-Solorio-in-Sacramento

Jose’s best bet is to make it into the general November election where more Democrats are likely to vote.  Currently, I see a big problem for Jose – the person he is trying to succeed.

It is in Lou Correa’s interest to have Janet win the 34 SD in 2014 so that it will trigger a special election in 2015 for her supervisorial seat.  Lou and his staff will work behind the scene to help Janet (they can’t do it publicly).

The other Democrat in this race is former Garden Grove planning commissioner Joe Dovinh.  Joe likes to run.  Does he have a chance of winning? Sure, if he can make it through the primary with a Republican opponent.  It’s going to take a lot for Joe not to run and Janet knows it.

Later this week I will write about AD 65 and the likely Republican contender for this seat against incumbent Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva.

Posted in 34th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Governor Budget Proposal and Orange County Legislators Responds

Posted by Allen Wilson on January 10, 2013

Today, Governor Jerry Brown unveiled $97.7 Billion 2013-2014 Budget proposal to the State Legislature with a message to Members of the State Assembly and State Senate:

“California today is poised to achieve something that has eluded us for more than a decade — a budget that lives within its means, now and for many years to come.”

“Fiscal discipline is not the enemy of democratic governance, but rather its fundamental predicate.”

The proposal includes $1 Billion in reserves, implementation of the Affordable Care Act and ambitious goal to restructure education funding.

Orange County legislators responded swiftly:

GOP Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar, District 29):

“New funding to our classrooms is a positive step forward for California.  However, the Governor’s budget only seems to include $2.7 billion in new funding for K-12 schools and community colleges even though Proposition 30 taxes will generate $6 billion this year alone – Californians should be disappointed.

I remain concerned that while state spending is being increased by $5 billion over last year, much of this money is used to expand state programs and provides major pay and benefit increases for state employees.”

Basically, this budget is balanced by a $50 billion tax increase, and Californians have yet to see any real, long-term plan to bring back jobs and help our struggling families.”

Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills, District 55):

“I hope to be provided the opportunity to work with the Governor and Democrats to craft responsible solutions and be a part of the budget process.  Although general fund spending has dropped, overall state spending has increased $68 billion over the last decade. I agree with the Governor that California’s K-12 and college students should be the state’s top funding priority, but we need to be open and transparent when conducting the budget process, focus on curtailing spending growth in costly programs we cannot afford, and enact pro-jobs reforms that will help grow the economy and get people working again.”

Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point, District 73):

“While I applaud the Governor for budgeting within what appears to be a reasonable range of projected revenues, the 2013-14 proposal anticipates spending at record levels. The General Fund budget at $97.7 billion is actually $104 billion if previous realignment adjustments are included.  Hence the General Fund budget is again over 2007-2008 levels, or the highest ever in state history. Spending including all funds – federal, special, and bond funds – has gone from $231 billion in 2012-13 to $225 billion for the 2013-14 year. The passage in November of Prop 30 taxes reduced the Governor’s mountain of debt by in essence allowing the state to make the usual payments on time to schools without borrowing from the districts, as occurred last year. It is difficult to see how future reduction in the ‘mountain’ comprised of internal and Wall Street borrowing will occur at present spending levels. We cannot forget that our long-term debt at roughly $90 billion is also at record levels. I look forward to working with the Governor to create efficiencies to begin to reduce state spending, provide services in line with taxpayer priorities, and return solvency to our Great State.”

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton, District 65):

“For the first time in years, California will not be forced to make drastic cuts to keep our budget balanced as constitutionally mandated. It is heartening that there is increased investment in some key areas such as public education and health care, though there are certainly issues within these areas to examine more closely. I look forward to working with my Assembly colleagues in the coming months to find the best and most effective fiscal solutions for the residents of the 65th Assembly District and all Californians.”

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

3 Irvine Agenda Items Pass Last Night

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on January 9, 2013

Kudos to Allan Bartlett and Anthony Kuo for live tweeting the Irvine City Council meeting last night and allowing me to follow the juicy details.


In news that should come as no surprise to anyone the Irvine City Council passed 3 reform items at their meeting last night:

Item 3.2 was an amendment to the “Orange County Great Park Corporation Articles of Incorporation” which was detailed in the following way

1) Adopt the Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation attached to the memorandum dated December 31, 2012 establishing the composition of the Orange County Great Park Board of Directors to be five directors, who shall be the persons serving as the duly elected or appointed members of the Irvine City Council.

2) Reiterate that the personnel of the Orange County Great Park Corporation are employees of the City and, consistent with previously adopted City Council resolutions and a voter-approved initiative (“Measure R,” effective 2008-2012), shall operate under the general supervision of the City Manager.

3) Direct the City Manager and City Attorney to prepare documents effectuating a change of meeting times and days of regularly scheduled meetings of the Orange County Great Park Board of Directors, as recommended in the memorandum dated December 31, 2012, for the Board of Directors’ approval at the earliest possible date.

4) Direct the City Manager to direct Orange County Great Park Corporation President/CEO Ellzey to immediately schedule a special meeting of the Orange County Great Park Board of Directors at 10:00 a.m. on January 10, 2013 in the City Council Chambers for the purposes of 1) removing the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board and electing a new Chair and Vice Chair; and 2) adjusting meeting times and days for all future regular meetings of the Orange County Great Park Board of Directors.

In simplified terms this agenda item would remove the members of the Orange County Great Park Board of Directors that are not on the Irvine City Council.

Item 3.3 was agendized to immediately terminate the consulting contract with Forde & Mollrich as well as Townsend Public Affairs. This item was fairly straight forward in the way it was worded.

Immediately terminate all existing contracts with Forde & Mollrich and with Townsend Public Affairs, Inc. in accordance with the termination clauses included in the respective agreements.

Item 3.4 was the item meant to conduct an audit of all Orange County Great Park contracts in excess of $50,000. The item was laid out very clearly and is meant to uncover at least a little bit of waste I would assume.

1) Direct staff to solicit proposals for the performance of a comprehensive contract compliance/forensic audit of Orange County Great Park contracts in excess of $50,000, including any and all work efforts associated with the Orange County Great Park.

2) Appropriate $250,000 from the Orange County Great Park reserves (Fund 180 fund balance).

3) Appoint a two-member City Council subcommittee (and City staff) to work with the auditor to receive periodic updates of findings, and bring information to the full City Council.

In a meeting that was very contentious and dragged out into the early hours of the morning it became apparent that the new Republican majority is on the same page about reform. All 3 agenda items passed with Larry Agran & Beth Krom being the lone dissenting voted on items 3.2/3.3. Item 3.4 passed on a 5-0 vote which doesn’t surprise me based on the political ramifications that a no vote would mean.

One comment that struck me was when Agran pointed to the City of Tustin and the Tustin Marine Corps Air Station as an example of a development that has not moved. I often find myself traveling down to The District for a shopping trip to Whole Foods or to eat at Ra Sushi. Unless I am mistaken The District is part of the Tustin Marine Corps Air Station site.

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

Westminster Hiring Lobbyist to Revive 405 Freeway Fight

Posted by OC Insider on January 8, 2013

The Westminster City Council will vote tomorrow night on paying lobbying firm Townsend Public Affairs $5,000 a month for 6 months to try and get reconsideration of a previously rejected plan for widening the 405 Freeway.

Here’s how the agenda report describes the contract:

“The City of Costa Mesa has asked the cities of Westminster, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos and Seal Beach to volunteer to share in the cost for the professional services of Townsend Public Affairs to date in the amount of $5,000 each.

The City of Costa Mesa has also informed the corridor cities coalition that they have retained Townsend Public Affairs for future services related to the I-405 Improvement Project. The work includes the following objectives: prevent the reconsideration, adoption and implementation of Alternative 3; stop the implementation of Alternative 1; and promote the adoption and implementation of Alternative 2 as the locally preferred alternative for the I-405 Improvement Project.

The future services are expected to be completed in approximately six months, or when Caltrans adopts the locally preferred alternative. At that time, the City of Costa Mesa will ask the cities of Westminster, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos and Seal Beach to volunteer to share in the cost for these services for an amount not to exceed $5,000 each.”

Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley are also going to pay $5,000 per month, each, to hire Townsend for this effort, according to the agenda report.

A few weeks ago, the Westminster City Council members decided they could not afford a special election to allow residents to fill the vacancy created by Tri Ta being elected Mayor. But they think the financially distressed city, which has been laying off employees left and right can afford $5,000 a month to pay for Councilmember Diana Carey’s personal crusade. That’s on top of almost $13,000 the city has already paid to date to share costs with Costa Mesa for Townsend’s lobbying services on the 405.

The OCTA Board of Directors has already voted to recommend Alternative 1 to Caltrans, which makes the ultimate decision on the matter, sometime in the spring.  Alternative 1 adds 1 general-purpose lane in each direction on the 405. Alternative 2 adds 2 general purpose lanes. Alternative 3 adds 1 general purpose lane and 1 toll-lane in each direction.

To succeed, the OCTA Board would have to change its position and recommend Alternative 2 to Caltrans, instead of Alternative 1. There has been a lot of turn-over on the OCTA Board since it voted for Alternative 1, but that doesn’t mean the new directors want to re-open that can of worms.

But it is only taxpayers money, so why shouldn’t Diana Carey and Margie Rice spend it on a lobbying campaign with slim chance of success?

On the subject of the recently filled council vacancy, appointing Margie Rice was obviously planned in advance of the election. Rice could have run for council in November after she decided to not to run for re-election as mayor. Councilman Tri Ta, who she was backing, was a lock to be elected mayor, so Rice knew there’d be a vacancy.

Rice was already endorsing Sergio Contreras and Diana Cary for city council. She knew that if she ran for council, she would keep Carey from winning. But if she sat the election out, there’d be a vacancy on the council and if her slate won, they could put her back in office and spare her to expense and work of running a campaign.

Next time the City Council looks at approving more lay-off notices, they can tell the janitor getting a pink-slip that his livelihood is less important than paying for council members’ pet agendas. Too bad the voters won’t have a chance to be heard on this and other issues in a special election to fill the council vacancy that Margie Rice has filled for the benefit of her eternal political career.

Posted in Westminster | 21 Comments »

Garden Grove Council to limit public comments?

Posted by Thomas Gordon on January 8, 2013


This evening the Garden Grove City Council will be discussing an item that would reduce the amount of time for public comment.

Staff reports state “An inordinate amount of time is devoted to public comment, often of a repetitive nature.”

The Council seeks to cut the time per speaker from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.

I’ve heard from several residents and community leaders who state that they plan on objecting to the proposal at this evenings meeting which starts at 6:30.

Do you think the Council will place limits on speakers or find a better way to do the people’s business without limiting the people’s input?

Posted in Garden Grove | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

From Congressman John Campbell`s Laptop to Yours: Monday, January 7, 2013

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on January 7, 2013

This just came across the wire from the office of Congressman John Campbell:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fiscal Cliff: You may be wondering why you did not hear from me during the last few weeks of the “fiscal cliff” machinations in Washington. For one thing, I figured that many of you were enjoying the holidays with your families and friends and did not want me to interrupt that with depressing news. Additionally, however, things were moving so fast that anything I wrote you would have been obsolete by the time you read it. I had about a dozen “laptops” in my head each day, but, by the time I sat down to write them, the circumstances had already changed. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 45th Congressional District | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Jesse Petrilla Announces Candidacy for State Assembly

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on January 4, 2013

This came across the wire yesterday from Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Jesse Petrilla. He has decided his run for the 73rd Assembly district in 2014 when Diane Harkey leaves due to term limits:


Jesse Petrilla Announces Candidacy for State Assembly

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CA – Thursday, January 3, 2013 – Rancho Santa Margarita City Council Member Jesse Petrilla announced Thursday his plans to run for the California State Assembly in the 73rd District.

Petrilla, who recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan with the California Army National Guard, says he would be honored to be given the privilege to fight for Californians in the state legislature.

“California is where I was born and raised, and I want to do my small part to help ensure our future is the best possible for all our families,” said Petrilla. “I look forward to meeting with the voters of South Orange County between now and the election, and would be humbled to have their support.”

Petrilla says his top issues are fighting for lower taxes, pension reform, and bringing jobs back to California.

Jesse Petrilla was elected to a four year term in November, 2010, as the top vote getter to the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council. He is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton. Jesse was married to his wife Vesna in 2009.

For more information on Jesse, or to support his campaign, please visit http://www.JoinJesse.com

Posted in 73rd Assembly District, Uncategorized | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

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