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Archive for November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on November 28, 2013

In honor of today being Thanksgiving, I am posting a press release that has been sitting around for quite a while:

Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America’s  national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration,  President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on  November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for  a local day of thanksgiving.

 Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln  on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving  made a National and fixed Union Festival.” She explained, “You may have observed  that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in  our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States;  it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become  permanently, an American custom and institution.”

Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different  times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln  responded to Mrs. Hale’s request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who  ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that  she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the  editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. George Washington was the first president  to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, issuing his request on October 3, 1789,  exactly 74 years before Lincoln’s.

The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November “as a day  of Thanksgiving and Praise.” According to an April 1, 1864, letter from  John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln’s secretaries, this document  was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original  was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member  Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on  his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

 The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with  the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these  bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to  forget the source from which they come, others have been added,  which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to  penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible  to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of  a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has  sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their  aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has  been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and  harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military  conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the  advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of  wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to  the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle  or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements,  and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals,  have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has  steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made  in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country,  rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor,  is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase  of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal  hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts  of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for  our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to  me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and  gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the  whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens  in every part of the United States, and also those who are at  sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart  and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of  Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth  in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up  the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances  and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national  perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those  who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the  lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and  fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal  the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be  consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace,  harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the  Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in  the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three,  and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State

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President Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Posted by Allen Wilson on November 28, 2013

AbrahamLincoln

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Thanksgiving

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Campaign Finance Database Is Coming Soon

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on November 27, 2013

I have completed the 2012 Campaign Finance Database and it will go up as a series on the blog starting next week. As a way to give our readers a taste of what they will get starting next week I am going to post the methodology behind the research today:

Methodology

Assignment

Clients have requested original research be conducted, and databases created for the 2012 election cycle[1] contributions to candidates who ran for County Offices, City Offices, School Districts, and Special Districts. Completed research may be found in the later parts of this document which was created from research beginning January 4th 2013 and ending November 18th 2013.

County Offices

  • County office research includes candidates who ran for Orange County Board of Supervisors and Orange County Board of Education.
  • The elections of Orange County Assessor, Auditor-Controller, Clerk-Recorder, District Attorney, Public Administrator, Sheriff-Coroner, Superintendent of Schools, and Treasurer-Tax Collector are not included in this database due to these elections taking place in 2014.
  • The “Form 460”[2] documents for each candidate running for these offices was acquired from the Orange County Registrar of Voters.
  • Once “Form 460” documents were acquired, the data from “Schedule A-Monetary Contributions Received”[3] was transferred to a Microsoft Excel database.
  • Once in the Excel database, each contribution was classified into a specific category for a candidate running for the office; Individuals, Unions, Businesses, Trade Associations, and Political Groups.
  • Once this data sort was finalized, Excel was used to calculate the total amount of money donated to that candidate in each category.
  • These steps were repeated for each candidate.
  • For purposes of this analysis, businesses are defined as a company that conducts any type of business.  Trade associations are defined as an organization that is founded and/or funded by businesses that operate in a specific business sector. Unions are defined as organizations of employees both in the private and public sector that are formed to advance the interests of their members. Individuals are defined as any individual person or couple. Political groups are defined as a Political Action Committee (PAC) which operates for political purposes (i.e. Political parties, candidate controlled committees, etc.)
  • This data once set, was then sent into chart format as well using a function in Microsoft Excel to show contributions (by category) in a pie chart to give a better visual depiction of where money came from for each candidate.
  • Finally, data from Excel was transferred into the later section of this document.

City Offices

  • City office research includes candidates that ran for City Councils, City Treasurers, City Clerks, and City Attorneys.
  • Certain races that did not take place in 2012 will not appear in this database.
  • The “Form 460” documents for each candidate running in these offices was acquired from the City Clerks of each individual city being researched.
  • Once “Form 460” documents were acquired, the data from “Schedule A-Monetary Contributions Received” was transferred to an Excel database.
  • Once in the Excel database, each contribution was classified into a specific category for a candidate running for the office: Individuals, Unions, Businesses, Trade Associations, and Political Groups.
  • Once this data sort was finalized, Excel was used to calculate the total amount of money donated to each candidates in each category.
  • These steps were repeated for each candidate.
  • For purposes of this analysis, businesses are defined as a company that conducts any type of business.  Trade associations are defined as an organization that is founded and/or funded by businesses that operate in a specific business sector. Unions are defined as organizations of employees both in the private and public sector that are formed to advance the interests of their members. Individuals are defined as any individual person or couple. Political groups are defined as a Political Action Committee (PAC) that operates for political purposes (i.e. Political parties, candidate controlled committees, etc.)
  • This data once set, was then sent into chart format as well using a function in Microsoft Excel to show contributions (by category) in a pie chart to give a better visual depiction of where money came from for each candidate.
  • Finally, data from Excel was transferred into this document.

School Districts

  • School District research included candidates who ran for Community College District, Union High School District, Unified School District, and Elementary School District.
  • Certain races that did not take place in 2012 will not appear in this database.
  • The “Form 460” documents for each candidate running in these offices was acquired from the Orange County Registrar of Voters.
  • Once “Form 460” documents were acquired, the data from “Schedule A-Monetary Contributions Received” was transferred to an Excel database.
  • Once in the Excel database, each contribution was classified into a specific category for a candidate running for the office: Individuals, Unions, Businesses, Trade Associations, and Political Groups.
  • Once this data sort was finalized, Excel was used to calculate the total amount of money donated to each candidates in each category.
  • These steps were repeated for each candidate.
  • For purposes of this analysis, businesses are defined as a company that conducts any type of business.  Trade associations are defined as an organization that is founded and/or funded by businesses that operate in a specific business sector. Unions are defined as organizations of employees both in the private and public sector that are formed to advance the interests of their members. Individuals are defined as any individual person or couple. Political groups are defined as a Political Action Committee (PAC) that operates for political purposes (i.e. Political parties, candidate controlled committees, etc.)
  • This data once set, was then sent into chart format as well using a function in Microsoft Excel to show contributions (by category) in a pie chart to give a better visual depiction of where money came from for each candidate.
  • Finally, data from Excel was transferred into this document.

Special Districts

  • Special District research includes candidates who ran for Community Services District, Water District, Sanitary District, Sewer District, Recreation/Park District, and Library District.
  • Certain races that did not take place in 2012 will not appear in this database.
  • The “Form 460” documents for each candidate running in these offices was acquired from the Orange County Registrar of Voters.
  • Once “Form 460” documents were acquired, the data from “Schedule A-Monetary Contributions Received” was transferred to an Excel database.
  • Once in the Excel database, each contribution was classified into a specific category for a candidate running for the office: Individuals, Unions, Businesses, Trade Associations, and Political Groups.
  • Once this data sort was finalized, Excel was used to calculate the total amount of money donated to each candidates in each category.
  • These steps were repeated for each candidate.
  • For purposes of this analysis, businesses are defined as a company that conducts any type of business.  Trade associations are defined as an organization that is founded and/or funded by businesses that operate in a specific business sector. Unions are defined as organizations of employees both in the private and public sector that are formed to advance the interests of their members. Individuals are defined as any individual person or couple. Political groups are defined as a Political Action Committee (PAC) that operates for political purposes (i.e. Political parties, candidate controlled committees, etc.)
  • This data once set, was then sent into chart format as well using a function in Microsoft Excel to show contributions (by category) in a pie chart to give a better visual depiction of where money came from for each candidate.
  • Finally, data from Excel was transferred into this document.

Variables & Other Issues

  • No other websites such as [http://www.followthemoney.org/] [http://www.opensecrets.org/] provide data as it relates to local campaign finance, as most data derived in research is from the California Secretary of State. This means that no other database exists which would provide a comparison for the data in this report.
  • The total amount of campaign contributions may appear slightly lower than might be expected, due to the amount of money that is spent on behalf of candidates through Independent Expenditures (I.E. s). This database consists only of money contributed directly to candidates.
  • Some candidates may have loaned money to their campaigns, which is also not included in this report.
  • Another variable is that reported numbers can change as candidates may amend original campaign finance reports and submit revised reports. All data in this report is accurate as of the day research was completed.

The accuracy of this database is heavily dependent on candidates/campaign treasurers accurately reporting data. Campaign data incorrectly reported due to human error is impossible to detect. Poor penmanship is another factor that causes transcription issues with this type of research.


 

[1] Includes all contributions reported by candidates running for local office on their “Form 460’s” which were turned in reporting contributions received from January 1st 2012 through December 31st 2012”

[2] “Form 460” is the official form as set by the Fair Political Practices Commission used by candidates running for office to report their campaign finance activity.

[3] This part of the “Form 460” includes information on who each contribution came from and what amount they donated to each campaign.

Posted in Campaign Finance, Orange County | Leave a Comment »

Irvine Great Park Vote A Success! All 3 Irvine Republicans Unite To Move Forward

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on November 27, 2013

UPDATE 8:01 PM- It was just brought to my attention that the decision to have the City of Irvine control the park is not quite as I portrayed it in the article. Jeff Lalloway was concerned (based on the arguments he made at the meeting) with having a lack of control over park hours and other important decisions that relate to operations. According to the recent knowledge I gained, it is still possible to have the park contracts put out to bid and this would still give the city a great opportunity to save some money.

I can never sleep after losing a basketball game. Tonight (technically this morning), it worked out for the best as I find myself able to write a brief recap of what happened last night/this morning at the Irvine City Council meeting. The end result was a huge win for Irvine residents with the Irvine Republicans fulfilling their promise to build “The Great Park.”Great Park Balloon

We shall start with a recap of the three key items that were on the agenda for this meeting.

The first Great Park item up on the agenda was Item 2.1 titled, “HERITAGE FIELDS PROJECT 2012 SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONE CHANGE IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51.” The EIR reads in the Irvine City Council agenda as follows:

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF IRVINE CERTIFYING THE SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (SCH NO. 2022101020, 00538162-PCLE) AND MITIGATION MONITORING AND REPORTING PROGRAM FOR THE HERITAGE FIELDS PROJECT 2012 GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONE CHANGE, FILED BY FIVE POINT COMMUNITIES ON BEHALF OF HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC; LOCATED IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51

For those of our readers that are not as familiar with the intricacies of “The Great Park” they can read the staff report on this item by clicking on the following link EIR_Staff_Report. This item passed on a 3-2 party line vote with Mayor Choi, Councilmember Lalloway, and Councilmember Shea voting to approve the item and Councilmember Krom and Councilmember Agran voting in opposition to the item.

The second Great Park item up on the agenda was item 3.1 titled, “SECOND ADJACENT LANDOWNER AGREEMENT BETWEEN CITY OF IRVINE AND HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC.” This adjacent landowner agreement outlined the following actions as part of the vote in the agenda:

1) It is recommended that the City Council consider the details of the proposal before it and determine whether the City will enter into the Second Agreement with City of Irvine as Adjacent Landowner (ALA II) proposed by Five Point Communities, together with the associated Ground Leases and Maintenance Agreements.

2) If the City Council elects to enter into the ALA II, Ground Leases, and Maintenance Agreements, it is recommended that the City Council withdraw its prior approval of the Western Sector Phase II Capital Improvement Program (CIP #371404) and re-allocate funds to one or more Capital Improvement Programs designed to improve the Western Sector of the Orange County Great Park and fund capital projects associated with expedited development of the Orange County Great Park under the ALA II.

3) If the City Council elects to enter into the ALA II, Ground Leases, and Maintenance Agreements, it is recommended that the City determine whether the “Design Package” proposed by Heritage Fields is substantially in conformance with the Orange County Great Park Master Plan.

4) If the City Council finds that the Design Package is substantially in conformance with the Orange County Great Park Master Plan, then it is recommended that the City Council approve the Design Package as a “Park Design” in accordance with Irvine Zoning Code Section 2-22-5.

5) If the City Council finds that the Design Package is not substantially in conformance with the Orange County Great Park Master Plan, then it is recommended that the City Council direct staff to commence processing of an amendment to the Great Park Master Plan, so that such amendment will be completed in accordance with City procedures and the requirements of the ALA II.

For those of you playing along at home that want more of a background click on the following link for the staff report on this item ALA_Staff_Report. This item was slightly changed during the meeting by Councilman Jeff Lalloway in that he proposed that the city run the park after it is built, get an extra $10,000,000 from the developer over 5-years, and improvements to Marine Way a street located within the development. It was clear that Shea and Choi were not completely on board with these amendments but went along with them as a compromise to get the deal done. This item was also passed on a 3-2 vote with Mayor Choi, Councilmember Lalloway, and Councilmember Shea voting to approve the item and Councilmember Krom and Councilmember Agran voting in opposition to the item.

I have no problem with Jeff Lalloway trying to get some extra money for the City of Irvine, but I disagree with him on the City of Irvine managing the park after it is built. Having a private sector company run the park seems like a great idea due to the cost savings that would benefit the city.

The third and final Great Park item up on the agenda was item 4.1 titled, “GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONE CHANGE IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51 (GREAT PARK NEIGHBORHOODS).” This general plan amendment outlined the following actions as part of the vote in the agenda:

A) Adopt – A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF IRVINE APPROVING GENERAL
PLAN AMENDMENT (00537028-PGA) TO COMBINE PLANNING AREA 30 AND AN 11–ACRE PARCEL
LOCATED IN PLANNING AREA 9 INTO PLANNING AREA 51; DELETE REFERENCES TO PLANNING
AREA 30 THROUGHOUT THE GENERAL PLAN; AMEND THE LAND USE DESIGNATION FOR THE
11-ACRE PARCEL TO BE ORANGE COUNTY GREAT PARK; AMEND GENERAL PLAN TABLES A-1 AND
A-2 TO REFLECT SHIFTS OF INTENSITY BETWEEN RESIDENTIAL AND NON-RESIDENTIAL
CATEGORIES AND ADD THE 11-ACRE PARCEL IN TABLE A-2; AMEND THE APPROPRIATE
GENERAL PLAN FIGURES TO ELIMINATE ROCKFIELD BOULEVARD FROM THE EASTERN PROJECT
BOUNDARY TO MARINE WAY CONTINGENT UPON APPROVAL BY THE ORANGE COUNTY
TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (OCTA); MODIFY GENERAL PLAN OBJECTIVE B-1, TO IDENTIFY
WHERE LEVEL OF SERVICE “E” IS CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE; AMEND GENERAL PLAN FIGURE
G-1 TO DEPICT THE LOCATION OF A FUTURE HIGH SCHOOL; AND REVISE GENERAL PLAN
FIGURE L-2 TO DEPICT THE RELOCATED WILDLIFE CORRIDOR FEATURE; FILED BY FIVE
POINT COMMUNITIES, ON BEHALF OF HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC FOR THE GREAT PARK
NEIGHBORHOODS DEVELOPMENT; LOCATED IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51

B) Adopt – A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF IRVINE APPROVING THE
SECOND AMENDMENT TO DENSITY BONUS AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN THE CITY OF IRVINE, A
CALIFORNIA MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, AND HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC, A DELAWARE
LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

C) Introduce for first reading and by title only – AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL
OF THE CITY OF IRVINE APPROVING ZONE CHANGE (00537029-PZC) TO REZONE AN 11-ACRE
PARCEL AND THE ENTIRE PLANNING AREA 30 TO 8.1/8.1B TRAILS AND TRANSIT ORIENTED
DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT AND COMBINE THESE PROPERTIES INTO PLANNING AREA 51; REZONE
PROPERTY TO 1.4 PRESERVATION TO ACCOMMODATE THE RELOCATED WILDLIFE CORRIDOR
FEATURE FOR SEGMENTS 2 AND 3, AND REZONE THE FORMER LOCATION OF THE WILDLIFE
CORRIDOR FEATURE TO 8.1 TRAILS AND TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT; MODIFY
THE RESIDENTIAL AND NON-RESIDENTIAL INTENSITY FOR A MAXIMUM 9,500 RESIDENTIAL
UNITS AND 6,135,200 SQUARE FEET OF NON-RESIDENTIAL INTENSITY IN PLANNING AREA
51; AND OTHER MINOR AMENDMENTS TO THE ZONING ORDINANCE TO IMPLEMENT THE PROJECT;
FILED BY FIVE POINT COMMUNITIES ON BEHALF OF HERITAGE FIELDS EL TORO, LLC FOR
THE GREAT PARK NEIGHBORHOODS DEVELOPMENT; LOCATED IN PLANNING AREAS 30 AND 51

As I have done with the previous two items, for those of you interested in reading the staff report for this item click on the following link Zoning_Staff_Report. As with the previous two items, this item was also passed on a 3-2 vote with Mayor Choi, Councilmember Lalloway, and Councilmember Shea voting to approve the item and Councilmember Krom and Councilmember Agran voting in opposition to the item.

I have to give some serious kudos to Jeff Lalloway who made an extremely classy gesture towards the end of this meeting in commending Christina Shea for being the driving force behind the agreement. In the past we have seen some minor tension between the two Councilmembers over a vote Christina Shea made on funding the Barclay Theatre and the vote that Jeff Lalloway made to delay “The Great Park” items for two weeks. This is a great chance for Mayor Choi, Councilmember Shea, and Councilmember Lalloway to rejoice in a great accomplishment that they achieved on behalf of the citizens of Irvine and to work together on future public policy items.

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

AD-74 Watch: Karina Onofre Announces That She Is Running

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on November 26, 2013

74Yesterday, former Santa Ana City Council candidate Karina Onofre announced that she is running for the 74th Assembly District which is currently held by Allan Mansoor. Mansoor announced last week that he will not be seeking a third term, instead opting to battle Michelle Steel for the 2nd Supervisorial District, held by the termed out John Moorlach. This announcement by Onofre caught me completely off guard as I had not even heard any rumors about this.  When I told Chris Nguyen about this, his reaction was, “WHAT?!?!?!”  (On a related note, does anyone know how to replace a burst iPhone speaker?)

Running a race in AD-74 also presents totally different demographics and challenges than running a race for Santa Ana City Council. AD-74 consists of Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, and Newport Beach.  In Santa Ana, Republicans are at a distinct disadvantage in voter registration, thus making it less likely to draw a crowd of Republicans who will fight for a seat. Two Republicans who have been able to overpower the Democratic stranglehold on elected offices are Orange County Board of Education Trustee Robert Hammond and Santa Ana Unified School District Trustee Cecilia Iglesias. (In the interest of full disclosure, Custom Campaigns served as the sole campaign consultants to both of these candidates.  Custom Campaigns is also the firm that owns OC Political.)

In AD-74, Republicans have a 12.6% registration advantage, which will lead to a rather bloody primary fight if last election is any indicator. In the 2012 Primary Election, Leslie Daigle (and the PACs supporting her) spent gobs of cash to fight incumbent Allan Mansoor by bloodying him up with lots of negative mail and negative television ads. Mansoor not only made it to the run-off in November, but he easily came in first place, and Daigle finished a distant third place:

MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY 74th District                                   
Completed Precincts: 392 of 392
                 Vote Count                 Percentage                
ALLAN R. MANSOOR 33,319 43.5%
ROBERT RUSH 25,120 32.8%
LESLIE DAIGLE 18,207 23.8%

These results would not be surprising if it weren’t for the fact that Charles Munger Jr. spent almost $500,000 on Daigle’s behalf to try to get her to the November run-off. Even Bob Rush, who was a Dem sacrificial lamb in this race, spent almost $100,000. These numbers are stunning in that this much was spent trying to beat an incumbent and not for an open seat. Generally, candidates will spend more money trying to win an open seat as opposed to trying to unseat an incumbent (since incumbency is so tough to overcome).

While we are still looking at 2012, Onofre had a rough time against Roman Reyna last election in the Santa Ana City Council Ward 5 race:

CITY OF SANTA ANA Member, City Council, Ward 5                                   
Completed Precincts: 108 of 108
                 Vote Count                 Percentage                
ROMAN A. REYNA 32,419 61.8%
KARINA ONOFRE 20,065 38.2%

I’m going to be very honest: Onofre only raised $3,250 in her race for Santa Ana City Council, and this was for an open seat! AD-74 already has a field of strong candidates with the ability to raise money. Onofre has no name identification in AD-74, has no fundraising base, and will face allegations of being a carpetbagger.

Huntington Beach Councilman Matt Harper, AD-72 staffer Emanuel Patrascu, and former CRP Treasurer Keith Carlson have already expressed an interest in this race. Harper is the early front-runner in this race since Huntington Beach is the second-most populated city in AD-74 (Irvine is the most populated, but no current candidate is based out of Irvine). Patrascu is not very well-known in AD-74 and hails from Laguna Beach (only about 6% of the population in AD-74), but he does work for Travis Allen and might get some decent help from his boss, who would want to get an ally elected to the Assembly. Carlson will likely have a ton of establishment support and will be able to raise quite a bit of money through his connections as former CRP Treasurer.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the real wildcard here is Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach. He is set to announce his candidacy for the 45th Congressional District at some point very soon. If for whatever reason, Moorlach decides that CD-45 is not the right fit (I actually think that he can win), he could easily destroy anyone in the field in AD-74 (assuming he doesn’t just clear the field outright) and walk into the Assembly.

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Final Thoughts Before the Irvine Council Vote on Great Park Proposal as Lalloway Speaks Out

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on November 24, 2013

Jeff LallowayThis is the third time I’ve written about the Irvine Council vote on the FivePoint proposal to develop the Great Park.  The Great Park is a major issue for this Orange County, considering its pivotal role in putting an end to the battle over the El Toro Airport that tour the County apart in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Additionally, after the gains Republicans had after the 2012 election, I feel this is still a critically important issue, which is why I’ve written three times on it before Tuesday’s meeting.  Until the 2012 election, Republicans had not had a majority on the Irvine City Council since 2000.  The reason Republicans won is Republicans ran promising to develop the Great Park.

Let me also address another issue.  I’ve heard a lot of rumors about me and Jeff Lalloway.  I will be crystal clear: Jeff has been a complete gentleman to me on this issue.  Our conversations on this topic have been absolutely cordial.  Any rumors that I have been threatened or intimidated by Jeff or anyone on this topic are patently false.  No one has been anything but professional to me on this topic.

One of the most impressive things about this proposal is that FivePoint is willing to give up 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space to build additional 4,600 homes.  Reducing the commercial space ensures that there is no increase in traffic from the additional homes.  Additionally, FivePoint proposes to develop most of the Great Park.  This proposal is an incredible deal for Irvine, and really a great deal for Orange County as a whole.  We will finally have the Great Park that the voters expected when Orange County residents voted to end the El Toro Airport in 2002.

I reached out to Jeff with a few questions but did not get a response by the time this article went up.  I did want to hear directly from him about his thoughts and concerns on the FivePoint proposal for the Great Park.  However, he published an excellent op-ed in the Register (it’s outside the paywall!) that outlined his thoughts on this deal.  Here are key excerpts:

I am excited to be able to vote in favor of this project. I look forward to casting that vote.

However, at the time that this complex proposal was brought before the council, it was clear from both the city staffs report and their presentations that they had time to conduct only a partial analysis of the impacts of this offer. In short, more work was required. In fact, the staff report highlights several areas that require “further discussion” and that their review is still a “work in progress.”

Areas requiring more analysis include such critical components as the design features, construction progress, and potential city liabilities. Separately, there are significant policy issues concerning public access to the park, as well as operating and maintaining the park amenities.

I don’t agree with Jeff renegotiating terms with FivePoint from the dais because the city staff had not had adequate time to vet the issues; he should have just let staff get their questions answered instead.  However, it’s clear from this op-ed that Jeff made the motion to delay two weeks, so that vote would allow staff to finish the last 10% of the agreement.  I think this amount of time should have been enough time to allow staff a chance to iron out the final 10%, and Jeff’s op-ed makes it clear he made the motion to allow them to do so.

Along with many other people in Orange County, I am looking forward to this issue being resolved promptly, and I hope that I will get the chance to write an article Tuesday evening that details the final result.

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

A Quarter Billion Dollars and a Decade Later: Where’s the Park?

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on November 21, 2013

Great Park BalloonAs I said in my last post on the topic, I was surprised by the 3-2 vote by the Irvine City Council on November 12 to delay consideration of the Great Park construction plan. Conservative Republican Jeff Lalloway unexpectedly joined liberal Democrats Larry Agran and Beth Krom in voting to delay for two weeks over the dissenting votes of Steven Choi and Christina Shea.

I like Lalloway, and Lalloway is a good conservative. Let me be unequivocally clear: I support Jeff Lalloway’s re-election to the Irvine City Council next year, just as I support Steven Choi’s re-election as Mayor in that same election, and I plan to support Christina Shea’s re-election to the Council in 2016. I just disagree with Lalloway on this one vote. Those who would attack Lalloway need to remember this: he only voted on a two-week delay to have more time to review this plan. I am confident that when he has fully examined the plan, he will be supportive of this effort to build the Great Park.

Lalloway made the motion to delay the item solely to have two more weeks to iron out the plan details. Choi and Shea voted against his motion to move the plan forward. Agran and Krom voted to delay in an attempt to kill this plan.

Irvine has already spent a quarter of a billion dollars and a decade since Measure W stopped the El Toro Airport in favor of the Great Park. What do they have to show for it? A giant orange balloon, a merry-go-round, a farm, an art display, and some soccer fields, ponds, and lawns.

The proposal by developer FivePoint Communities to build the Great Park would be a giant step forward. FivePoint Communities proposes to build 65% of the Great Park with a huge sports park, an 18-hole golf course, an agricultural site, and a woodland “Bosque” area.

What does FivePoint Communities want in exchange for these gifts to the City of Irvine? The right to build more homes on its own land. FivePoint Communities would only build homes on land that FivePoint already owns. This is a property rights issue. Protecting private property rights are a core principle of conservatism. FivePoint should have the right to build on its own land. It wishes to build an additional 4,600 homes on its own land and will construct a substantial proportion of the Great Park for the City of Irvine.

This seems like a very reasonable trade: FivePoint can build more homes on its own land and will build nearly 2/3 of the Great Park for the City of Irvine.

What’s often forgotten in the history of this land is that Lennar bought nearly the entirety of the old El Toro base from the Navy for $649.5 million. Then, Lennar gave 1,347 acres to the City of Irvine for the Great Park. (FivePoint Communities is a spin-off of Lennar.) Many of the significant steps forward that have occurred in the last decade in relation to the Great Park have been driven by the private sector.

My fellow OC Political co-founder, Chris Nguyen, often says, “The public sector exists only to do that which the private sector cannot do.” I believe that’s a core principle of limited government. If the Irvine City Council votes against the FivePoint Communities plan, then they will turn this on its head. That would mean the City of Irvine would try to build the park itself and reject an attempt by the private sector FivePoint Communities to do it.

The private sector generally does things more efficiently than the public sector. FivePoint Communities will not spend a quarter million dollars and a decade like the Agran majority did. Let FivePoint help build the Great Park.

Let’s not forget that the criticisms of the FivePoint plan in both the staff report and from the Council dais are being leveled by the people who spent a quarter billion dollars over a decade to build a balloon, a merry-go-round, a farm, an art display, and some soccer fields, ponds, and lawns. Agran and Krom’s nitpicking perfectionism is reminiscent of the busybody neighbor who calls the homeowners association when someone paints their house eggshell white instead of pearl white.

Agran and Krom are your classic big government liberals who believe in governmental centralized planning of all aspects of our lives. Just listen to Krom’s quote from the November 12 meeting in this Voice of OC video. It’s just frightening what she says about the FivePoint plan’s differences from the original master plan: “If you take the master plan and you blow it up, then the money we invested in the planning, you’re going to tell me we won’t even have a plan. So why would I support you destroying my plan, and then telling me ‘you wasted money on the plan?'”

It was Jeff Lalloway who put it best back in October, when the Orange County Register quoted him saying, “No master plan is sacred.”

Posted in Irvine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Endorses Ming for Supervisor

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on November 21, 2013

This came across the wire from the campaign office of Robert Ming late last week. With the endorsement of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, it is clear that Ming is the early frontrunner in this race:

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Endorses Ming for Supervisor

Group famous for protecting California taxpayers backs Robert Ming for OC Supervisor

ORANGE  COUNTY, CA – On the heels of the endorsement of Robert Ming by  Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Shawn Nelson, the Howard Jarvis  Taxpayers Association PAC has announced their endorsement of Robert Ming  for Orange County Supervisor.

The  Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, responsible for saving taxpayers  over half a trillion dollars, has been advocating on behalf of  California taxpayers for the past 35 years.

“We  believe you will be an excellent representative for taxpayers and look  forward to working with you in the years ahead,” said Kris Vosburgh on  behalf of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Political Action  Committee.

“I  am honored to have received the endorsement of the Howard Jarvis  Taxpayers Association PAC,” Robert responded, “their resounding voice  defending California taxpayers for all these years has been an  invaluable weapon against the overreach of government.  I am proud to  have their support in my campaign for Orange County Supervisor.”

In  the City of Laguna Niguel, Mayor Robert Ming has demonstrated how  government can operate efficiently, by reducing government regulation  and encouraging free enterprise.  As a fiscal conservative, Robert has  consistently opposed tax increases, supported balanced budgets and  contracted with the private sector whenever possible.  As Supervisor, he  would continue to protect taxpayers by providing fiscal oversight to  the Assessor’s and Treasurer-Tax Collector’s offices, and appointing  members to the Assessment Appeals Boards that hear appeals on property  valuations and tax assessments.

Robert  Ming is running for Orange County Supervisor in the 5th District,  currently represented by Supervisor Pat Bates, who is leaving due to  term limits.  Orange County’s 5th District includes the cities of Aliso  Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna  Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente,  San Juan Capistrano, as well as Newport Coast, Coto de Caza, Ladera  Ranch, Las Flores, and Wagon Wheel.

For more information about the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, visit their website at www.hjta.org.

# # #

www.robertming.com

Paid for by Ming for Supervisor 2014. ID#1358874.

 

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Mansoor Jumps Into 2nd Supervisorial Race

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on November 20, 2013

allanmansoorAssemblyman Allan Mansoor confirmed longstanding rumors last night by officially jumping into the 2nd Supervisorial District race to succeed the termed out John Moorlach.

First of all, I would argue that Mansoor is actually the front-runner in this race, having been on the ballot before when running for Assembly, as well as during his unusually high-profile tenure as Mayor of Costa Mesa. Michelle Steel, his chief opponent, may have more money but just recently moved into the district and will likely face numerous carpetbagger accusations.  Mansoor takes Steel head-on in his announcement email: “My decision-making process started a few months ago, when I was approached by many residents and local leaders who suggested I run to replace John [Moorlach]. One of their biggest concerns was that the only major candidate for this office recently moved to Orange County from LA for the sole purpose of running for Orange County Supervisor in hopes of furthering her ambition of running for Congress if/when Congressman Dana Rorhabacher retires.

Mansoor has also proven that he can defeat candidates with gobs of cash, after having defeated a challenge by Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle in 2012 despite her campaign’s vast financial resources from many wealthy contributors, including Charles Munger Jr.

Steel will also likely face accusations of supporting Larry Agran ally and Democrat Sukhee Kang in a past election.

This is the first of what I expect to be a couple of big announcements in the coming weeks with John Moorlach set to officially announce his candidacy for Congress in the very near future. Mansoor sent out an e-mail announcing the following:

Friends:

As you probably know, I’ve been thinking about running for Orange County Supervisor for several months. I want you to be among the first to know that I’ve decided to run.

John Moorlach has been a great voice for the 2nd District. As a longtime Costa Mesa resident and the County Treasurer who helped Orange County recover from the bankruptcy, he has very strong ties to our community, and his thoughtful and reasoned approach has been an asset in the county. I’m sorry to see term limits force him from office.

My decision-making process started a few months ago, when I was approached by many residents and local leaders who suggested I run to replace John. One of their biggest concerns was that the only major candidate for this office recently moved to Orange County from LA for the sole purpose of running for Orange County Supervisor in hopes of furthering her ambition of running for Congress if/when Congressman Dana Rorhabacher retires.

I’ve always been the first to admit that fundraising isn’t my greatest strength, and even though I’ve always raised enough to be be competitive, I’ve been outspent in every election I’ve run. This campaign won’t be any different, especially against a candidate whose greatest strength is her ability to raise money from interests outside the district.

So this wasn’t an easy decision. It required careful deliberation and long talks with family, friends, and supporters.

Ironically, this campaign reminds me of my first campaign for city council. In 2002, I ran against entrenched establishment incumbents because a group of people from my neighborhood felt like city hall didn’t care about what was happening in our community. While everyone wanted to improve city hall, no one wanted to run. I, somewhat reluctantly, stepped up because someone had to. Ever since, I’ve been happy and grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the community I grew up in.

Now, more than 10 years later, the community I love has chosen me to represent them not only for two terms on the City Council, but also for two terms in the State Assembly. The easiest path would be to cruise to reelection to a third term in the Assembly, but no one else is ready or willing to stand up and fight to make sure that our community has local representation on the Board of Supervisors.

It will be a lot of work. But I’m ready for it, and I hope to have your help and support. You can start by making a financial contribution by clicking here. Whatever you can contribute, whether it’s $10, $100, or $1000 will help. If you’d like to volunteer, or contact your neighbors, or host a coffee, let me know by replying to this email.

With gratitude,

Allan

P.S. If you would rather mail a check instead of making an online donation by clicking here, you can send a check to Mansoor for Supervisor 2014, 2973 Harbor Blvd #571, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Nathan Fletcher’s Political Career Is Likely Over

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on November 19, 2013

I don’t normally like to write about stuff from outside of OC but this one had so many Orange County activists, Orange County PAC’s, and Orange County Central Committee Members behind it that it has strong Orange County ties.Nathan Fletcher Republican Independent Democrat candidate for Mayor of San Diego has likely seen his political career come to an end this evening. Fletcher started the night in second place but has been trending downwards all night. He is down now by 2,000 votes after having started with a 3,000 vote lead, the most recent results come with 87% of precincts reporting. Here is a screenshot of the results:

Fletcher_Results

Congrats to Kevin Faulconer on advancing to the run-off and we wish him well in his likely race against David Alvarez.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »