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Archive for July, 2013

Former Assemblyman Robert Pacheco returns as Councilman

Posted by Allen Wilson on July 31, 2013

Former Assemblyman Robert Pacheco served in the lower house of the California legislature from 1998-2004 in the 60th Assembly District has been appointed as Walnut City Councilman by a vote of 3-0-1.

Mr. Pacheco fills out the remaining term of former Councilman Tom King who resigned on July 1st to move to Orange County.

The Diamond Bar-Walnut Patch broke the news.

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

City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works $134K Commissioners

Posted by Allen Wilson on July 31, 2013

City of Los AngelesThe Los Angeles Times reported yesterday about former Mayoral candidate Kevin James who was grilled by the Los Angeles City Council for a seat on the Board of Public Works.

James was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti and confirmed by the city council on a vote of 11-0.

Then, Times goes on to explain at the bottom of the article that each Commissioner on the Board of Public Works pulls a six-figure salary of $134,000, which is the ONLY city commission that pay such hefty sum.

The Board is comprised of 5 members, which includes former Assemblyman Mike Davis.

If Angelenos didn’t know their hard working taxpayer funds are being used as a salary for a city commissioner should give City Hall a piece of their minds.

So, Kevin: Are you going to call for fiscal restraint by cutting back on the salary as a newly install Commissioner?

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

55th AD Watch: Phillip Chen announces candidacy for State Assembly

Posted by Allen Wilson on July 29, 2013

OC Political just received this Press Release from Phillip Chen for Assembly Campaign:

Phillip Chen Reports $334,000 Raised, with $319,00 Cash on Hand for Assembly Campaign

Yorba Linda, CA – – Republican School Board Member Phillip Chen is reporting $334,000 raised through June 30, and $319,000 cash on hand in his newly formed Assembly committee. Chen, a member of the Walnut Valley Unified School Board, is running in the 55th Assembly district currently represented by Assemblyman Curt Hagman, who is not running for reelection due to term limits.

“I am deeply honored and grateful for the overwhelming support I am receiving from the community,” Chen said. “Our district is fortunate to be represented by Assemblyman Hagman and I look forward to continuing the standard he has set.”

Phillip Chen is a small business owner and USC Professor who was the top vote-getter in the Walnut Valley Unified School District Board election in November of 2011. He is a top advisor on health care issues to Supervisor Mike Antonovich and a reserve Deputy Sheriff for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

“The legislature needs to focus on the important things that impact our quality of life: improving schools, keeping us safe and healthy and creating an environment that will allow our businesses to grow,” Chen stated. “Our local businesses face many threats, from mandates imposed by the President’s healthcare initiative to onerous state regulations to high fees and taxes. I believe my experience in education, law enforcement, business and on health issues will help me take the lead in the legislature on the issues that are most crucial to our district.”

Commenting on the impressive fundraising efforts, Chen consultant Dave Gilliard, stated, “Early fundraising ability is important to candidates. Most insiders use the initial fundraising numbers as a tool to gauge a candidate’s viability and local support. This fundraising number will show Phillip has both the support in the community and the resources to fully fund a victorious campaign.”

Phillip’s prior experience includes being appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to serve in the Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning, where he worked on legislation involving foster care, gang prevention, drug awareness, and mental health.

Phillip is a Doctoral Candidate at USC, he has a Master’s in Public Administration from USC and holds a B.A. in Communications from Cal State Fullerton. In addition, Phillip currently teaches Public Administration as an Adjunct Professor at USC.

Posted in 55th Assembly District, Brea, La Habra, Orange County, Placentia, State Assembly, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

GOP Picks Up Competitive Senate Seat

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on July 26, 2013

I waited a few days to post about the 16th Senate District race in order to make sure that I did not jinx it for Andy Vidak. The good news is that the California Republican Party has announced that the results appear to be official. In the near future stay tuned for an article praising new CRP leader Jim Brulte for being somebody that understands campaigns in the post Prop 14 world.

Here is the press release issued by CRP earlier today:

Congratulations to Senator-Elect Andy Vidak

The California GOP congratulates Republican Andy Vidak who has been elected to the California State Senate from the Central Valley’s 16th Senate District.

Andy and his team ran an outstanding campaign reaching out to thousands of voters in Kings, Kern, Fresno and Tulare Counties. He worked hard and earned this win.

This victory also demonstrates the power of the Republican Party when we work together.

Hundreds of volunteers from throughout California drove to the Central Valley and walked precincts in the scorching heat. The last weekend alone we had over 500 volunteer days from outside the district volunteers. Volunteers also went to phone banks throughout California and made over 30,000 phone calls into the district. This was in addition to the thousands of callers and walkers who reside in the district.

Kudos also go to Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff. He and his caucus spent hours on this race walking precincts, talking to voters and raising funds to support Andy in his campaign. The Assembly Republicans, under the leadership of Connie Conway, also supported the campaign by walking, recruiting volunteers and contributing funds.

Our Volunteer groups…with the Young Republicans, College Republicans and California Federation of Republican Women leading the way, provided an unprecedented level of volunteer support in this critically important race.

Finally we congratulate you, the dedicated volunteers and supporters of the California Republican Party. Your ongoing support and encouragement has helped in this victory.
Thank you for helping us rebuild this party from the ground up. We have a lot of work to do, but we now know that when we pull together, we can win.

Congratulations again, Senator-elect Andy Vidak.

Sincerely,

Senator Jim Brulte, Chairman
California Republican Party

Posted in California | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

$100,000 Loans Sprinkled Across OC Assembly Campaigns

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 25, 2013

Ling-Ling Chang, Paul Glaab, and Steve Baric

$100,000-Loan Club: AD-55 Candidate Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), AD-73 Candidate Paul Glaab (R-Laguna Niguel), and AD-73 Candidate Steve Baric (R-Rancho Santa Margarita)

$100,000 is the magical amount sprinkled in loans across campaigns for Assembly representing portions of Orange County.

  • In AD-55, OC Political’s Allen Wilson reported earlier on initial indications of $100,000 from Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang to her own Assembly campaign.  Her Form 497 shows she loaned herself $100,000 on June 30.  (Although Chang is from the LA County city of Diamond Bar, the tri-county 55th Assembly District includes the OC cities of Brea, La Habra, Placentia, and Yorba Linda.)
  • In AD-73, former Laguna Niguel Councilman Paul Glaab loaned his own Assembly campaign $100,000 on June 30, according to his Form 497.
  • Also in AD-73, the law firm of Baric & Tran loaned Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Steve Baric‘s Assembly campaign $100,000 on July 10, according to his Form 497.

So why do candidates loan $100,000 to their own campaigns?  On rare occasions, a candidate may actually spend the money. However, 99% of the time, the candidates will not spend the money, as they are simply loaning their campaigns the $100,000 to inflate their warchests with every expectation of repaying the entire loan once the election is over.  By inflating their warchests by $100,000, the candidates hope to:

  • scare potential opponents (who would be afraid to face down another $100,000)
  • convince donors to contribute more to the campaign (donors tend to give money to candidates who show they have money in a bandwagon effect)
  • both of the above

As they are not yet due, the Form 460s (the complete campaign finance reports for each reporting period) have not been filed by any campaigns for AD-55 or AD-73 for the January 1-June 30 reporting periods.  Due to the $100,000 loans, the Chang, Glaab, and Baric campaigns had to submit their Form 497s, as those must be filed within 10 business days of receipt of more than $5,000 from any one source (in the final 90 days before an election, Form 497s must be filed within 24 hours of receipt of more than $1,000 from any one source).

Chang and Glaab both loaned their campaigns the $100,000 on June 30.  The significance of that date is that June 30 is the final date of the reporting period for the first half of 2013.  The next reporting period doesn’t close until December 31.  Due to their loans, Chang and Glaab will be able to show an additional $100,000 on their Form 460 reports and then spend the latter half of 2013 raising money before the next reports are due.

The $100,000 loan from Baric & Tran on July 10 is a puzzling case, as it is not a personal loan and it was made very early in the reporting period and won’t appear on Baric’s Form 460 until after December 31.

What is the magic of the specific $100,000 figure?  It’s the most a candidate can loan their own campaign and still get repaid.  Any amount loaned to the campaign that exceeds a $100,000 balance is considered a contribution to the campaign, rather than a loan, so it cannot be repaid to the candidate.

Specifically, Government Code Section 85307(b) prohibits candidates for state office (i.e. the Legislature, the Board of Equalization, and all statewide offices other than U.S. Senator) from having an outstanding balance of more than $100,000 in personal loans to their own campaigns.

The candidate is the only person (or entity) who can loan a campaign more than the contribution limit.  Any other person or entity is subject to the campaign contribution limit of $4,100 per election for a state legislative race (this limit is in place through the end of the 2014 General Election).

Posted in 55th Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

$24 million Property Give Away

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on July 20, 2013

This just came across the wire from Redevelopment Oversight Committee Board Member Phil Yarbrough:

$24 million Property Give Away

City of Orange officials have asked the Redevelopment Oversight Committee to approve granting 23 properties purchased for $23,899,161 by the former Redevelopment Agency to the City of Orange without any reimbursement or compensation.  Eight of these properties were originally owned by the City of Orange and sold to their Redevelopment Agency for $16,195,000.  The Redevelopment Agency sold bonds to purchase these properties from the City of Orange and others, bonds which must be repaid by taxes imposed upon the residents of Orange.

“This is tantamount to me selling you a car, then asking you to give me back the car for free and sticking you with the bill”.  “Rational people would not agree to do this, neither should the taxpayers of Orange.” says Phil Yarbrough, Board Member of the City of Orange Redevelopment Oversight.

Mr. Yarbrough will be asked to vote in favor of the City’s request to grant these properties to them on Wednesday night.  “I won’t vote in favor of this, no reasonable person would”.

“This makes absolutely no sense, unless you are the City of Orange.” says Mr. Yarbrough.  “The City already spent the $16 million that they were paid for these properties.  Now they have the audacity to ask we give these properties back to them for free, and the residents of Orange get stuck with the bill.  I don’t expect this type of hubris, even from government.”

The Oversight Board of the Successor Agency to the Orange Redevelopment Agency meets to vote on granting these properties on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at Orange City Hall, Weimer Conference Room, 300 E.   Chapman Avenue, Orange, CA.

 

# # #

Posted in Orange | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Let’s breathe some CA AIR back into America.

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on July 18, 2013

This piece just came across the wire from Yorba Linda Councilmember Craig Young:

Let’s breathe some CA AIR back into America.
By: Craig Young

 Last night council voted to again approve Yorba Linda’s share of $3.1 Billion in entitlement funding. Though not the lone voice, I ultimately was the only vote in opposition.

 I think it is MY responsibility to support the poor, not the cities’ nor the states’ and certainly not the federal government’s.  My vote last evening against the HUD Community Development Block Grant Program was cast not because I naively thought there was a chance of reversing this large entitlement program. Nor was the vote cast without careful consideration of the adverse consequences to us as a city both financially and programmatically.

I voted the way I did because
it was the right thing to do…and change begins with me.

Do I support the very-poor (the principal purpose of the program)? Most definitely. I have taken my family on extended mission trips to Africa, Indonesia and Mexico. To him who has been given much, much is expected.  The needs locally are just as compelling.

But herein lies the key; I took my family. I didn’t leave it to big government to do my bidding; to do so would have shunned my responsibility and cost me the joy in giving.  When government gets involved, expenses go up and accountability goes down. Out of the $3.1 Billion for this national program, local agencies are allowed to lop off 20% for administration expenses, that’s a whopping $620 Million which funds the local administrative machine. Through my research, I haven’t found how much HUD keeps for its monitoring but would anyone be surprised if HUD retains at least as much as they allow the local agencies? This would be another 20%.

2 Problems: Expense & Accountability.  With a 20% assumption, it takes approximately $3.9 Billion of our tax dollars to create a $3.1 Billion entitlement program to fund $2.5 Billion of aid.  That’s a dollar of administration for every $1.78 of purported aid. And does the aid really support those with the most need? Or do some agencies artificially create need simply to keep their share of administration fees?

My city is blessed with honest administrators and caring citizens, more so perhaps than most places. We call ourselves after all the Land of Gracious Living.  When “free” money is being doled out however, one’s constitution must be fortified to return the money, particularly when refusing only means someone perhaps less deserving will take the cash. Entitlement Communities like Yorba Linda (that’s actually what we’re called) must qualify for and spend the allotted share every year. I’m told staff has to work hard to find people to give this money to.  Recently our distributions fell in to three categories.  Last year part of the money went to fund home improvements, another part went to administer meals for 500 seniors (the grant didn’t fund the food, just the wait staff and incidental support) and the final block funded a low income owner of an investment retail building.

Were all three of these block funds given to classes of people who earn less than the average person in Orange County? Certainly. Yet most of them drive nice cars, many own homes, and at least one owns investment real estate. So my challenge is, as supported by my vote last night, should we really rob from Peter to pay Paul, after of course diluting the tax by $1.4 Billion in administration fees? My vote is, NO.

 

Craig Young is a local attorney, active member in the Lincoln Club, and serves as Mayor Pro Tem in Yorba Linda, CA.

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: | 11 Comments »

Sidhu Opens Committee for 68th Assembly District

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 15, 2013

Harry Sidhu

Harry Sidhu

Lending credibility to rumors swirling in the Spring, former Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu opened a new campaign committee this month: “Harry Sidhu for Assembly 2014.”

Sidhu filed a Form 501 (Candidate Intention Statement) for the 68th Assembly District when opening that committee.  On the Form 501, Sidhu also indicated he would not accept the voluntary expenditure limit of $544,000 in the primary and $953,000 in the general election.

The only catch with a 2014 bid for AD-68 is a gentleman by the name of Don Wagner.

There are four possibilities for this committee:

  • Sidhu is crazy enough to challenge Wagner, who would cream Sidhu in the June 2014 primary
  • Sidhu is banking on Wagner running for CD-45 in 2014 (win or lose, Wagner would have to give up his Assembly seat if he chose to run for CD-45 since the elections for the two seats occur concurrently)
  • Sidhu is using the Assembly committee as a placeholder to raise funds for another office (Sidhu would then presumably launch a surprise by filing for another office at the last minute and then slide the money over)
  • Sidhu is using the 2014 committee as a placeholder for a future vacancy in the AD-68 seat in 2015 (Wagner leaves the seat early) or 2016 (Wagner terms out)

Sidhu has a 2-3 record in the five times he’s sought elected office.

  • In 2010, Sidhu ran unsuccessfully for 4th District Supervisor, losing to Supervisor Shawn Nelson 63.1%-36.9%.  Just 0.1% of AD-68 voters live in the 4th Supervisorial District.
  • In the 2008 general election, Sidhu was the top vote-getter for Anaheim City Council, winning 23.2% of the vote.  16.8% of AD-68 voters live in the City of Anaheim, which is the third-largest city in AD-68.
  • In the 2008 primary election, Sidhu ran unsuccessfully for the 33rd Senate District, losing to then-Assemblywoman Mimi Walters in a 74.0%-26.0% landslide.  (For comparison, Supervisor Janet Nguyen defeated Steve Rocco 74.2%-25.8% in 2012.)
  • In 2004, Sidhu was first elected to the Anaheim City Council, winning 18.4% of the vote, coming in second behind Lorri Galloway.
  • In 2002, Sidhu made an unsuccessful bid for Anaheim City Council, winning 10.7% of the vote, coming in fourth behind Bob Hernandez, Richard Chavez, and Bob Zemel.

Posted in 68th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

55th AD Watch: Chang Self-Funds $100K

Posted by Allen Wilson on July 14, 2013

OC Political has learned that GOP Assembly Candidate Ling-Ling Chang has dumped $100K for her Assembly campaign.

We can’t determine if the donation was a contribution or a loan, but it appears to be a contribution rather a loan.

Though, we will have to wait for the campaign finance reports that should be posted online by the end of the month.

We reported that Chang had her first campaign fundraiser on May 31st in Rowland Heights and her only reportable donation since then was $4,100 was an individual of Portland, Oregon.

However, the $100K donation is a pretty hefty sum for a 30-something candidate running for State Assembly.

Late and $5000+ Contributions Received 
 
NAME OF CONTRIBUTOR CITY STATE/ZIP
LING-LING CHANG DIAMOND BAR CA / 91765
ID NUMBER EMPLOYER OCCUPATION
  STATE ASSEMBLYWOMAN CANDIDATE
AMOUNT TYPE TRANS. DATE FILED DATE TRANS #
$70,000.00 AMENDMENT #1 6/30/2013 7/11/2013 1773465-INC219
 
NAME OF CONTRIBUTOR CITY STATE/ZIP
LING-LING CHANG DIAMOND BAR CA / 91765
ID NUMBER EMPLOYER OCCUPATION
  STATE ASSEMBLYWOMAN CANDIDATE
AMOUNT TYPE TRANS. DATE FILED DATE TRANS #
$30,000.00 AMENDMENT #1 6/30/2013 7/11/2013 1773465-INC217

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Incredible Shrinking Capitol Press Corp

Posted by Allen Wilson on July 9, 2013

A very interesting discussion took place today over at twitterverse with regards to the departures of seasoned capitol bureau reporters who are moving on to new gigs and assignments.

Wyatt Buchanan @thewyatt, Sacramento Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Chronicle, tweets his departure:

Excited to announce I’ll be moving on to Phoenix and a gig at the @ journalism school at the end of the month.

Aaron McLear @aaronmclear, former Press Secretary for Governor Schwarzenegger now partner at Redwood Pacific Affairs, tweets with a reminder:

With @thewaytt’s departure, the Bay Area now has zero reporters in Sac covering state gov’t. Same w Central Valley.

Ben Alder @alderben, Capitol Bureau Chief for Capitol Public Radio, chimed in and echoed:

That’s zero PRINT reporters.

Judy Lin @JudyLinAP, Captiol Reporter for the Associated Press, quips:

With latest loss of @ and @, Sacramento Capitol press corps looking more like @‘s comms staff.

Lin was referring to Brown’s Press Secretary Gil Duran who has moved on as Communications Director for Attorney General Kamala Harris and Brown’s Deputy Press Secretary Elizabeth Ashford who is now Chief of Staff for Attorney General Kamala Harris as well.

Dan Morain @DanielMorain, Political affairs columnist and editorial writer for The Sacramento Bee, notes:

A few years back, I did count showing that in, as I recall, 2003 70-plus newspaper reporters covered the Capitol. Times change.

Aaron McLear expands the discussion with a worthy point:

Skeleton crew of a press corps explains relative lack of scrutiny current pols enjoy. Reporters are spread too thin

Dan Walters @WaltersBee, veteran political columnist for the Sacramento Bee quickly replied:

Bee bureau probably producing more now than at any other time, head-to-head with big LA Times output. Tough stuff, too.

Paul Mitchell @paulmitchell of Redistricting Partners notes:

have to agree with @ – more news coverage plus blogs and crazy twitter accounts means incessant coverage of pols.

Ben Alder makes a key point:

I think Aaron’s point might be that the coverage is more shallow, less investigative than before.

The incredible shrinking number of capitol bureau reporters should be concerning for Californians who are anxious about policy matters that affects their communities, pocket books and the future in the Golden State.

It is with hope that various newspapers and media up and down the state will reverse the trend by dispatching more reporters to cover the state capitol with much more scrutiny of the pols and policy matters.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »