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Archive for April, 2014

OC Democrats Hypocrisy: Poll Tax and the Judicial Process

Posted by Allen Wilson on April 29, 2014

DPOC

The Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) took up an issue regarding the actions of their Vice Chairman Greg Diamond which caused Orange County Labor Federation calls for his ouster.

Last night, DPOC removed Diamond by a vote of 35-15, which requires 2/3rds for removal of an officer of their organization.

Mr. Diamond wasted no time to pen the real story behind his ouster with explanations that the process was flawed and did not afford him adequate time to respond the charges leveled against him as he asserts:

“When a group of proponents in a quasi-trial come up with a set of procedures — known to them ahead of time but not to me — that is that insulting to basic principles of due process, the only response should be taken from Willy Wonka’s statement to Charlie after he violated the rules of the Chocolate Factory: YOU LOSE!  I asked for such a determination, I didn’t get it, and the DPOC will have a harder time living down that result than I will.”

Ironically in January, the same Democrats, notably Senate President Darrell Steinberg, in the State Senate will not remove or call for resignation of Senator Roderick Wright despite the guilty verdict has been rendered upon him.

Senator Steinberg said back in January:

“Where we stand today, there is no final conviction, but a jury verdict.  Unless and until there is a final conviction for a felony I do not believe it is appropriate or necessary to expel Senator Wright or ask him to resign.”

Mr. Diamond’s supporter challenged the legitimacy of certain votes that were cast by alternates of those ex-officio’s whom failed to pay dues and they are:  Bob Rush, Steve Young, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Jerry Tetalman and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.  The DPOC require all members and ex-officios to pony up $60 known as dues to be allowed to vote on all items as stated in their By-Laws, Article 18 – Dues, Section 1:

Dues shall be sixty dollars ($60.00) per year for each member including alternates and are due payable within 60 days of assuming membership.

Let me get this straight:  DPOC force members to pay $60 annual dues to vote on party matters for an office they have been elected to by their peers is pretty close to a “Poll Tax”, which is definitely violation of the 24th Amendment of the United States Constitution:

Section 1.  The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2.  The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

However, hypocrisy is nothing is new for the Democrats, but it sure is revealing of how they handled their own county party officer versus that of an elected official that was convicted by the jury of his peers who is now on a paid vacation.

Furthermore, the requirement of paying dues to cast ballot should give pause, because the right to vote should not be coerced via payment of dues for any political organization, but I will let that issue rest on the conscience of the Democratic Party of Orange County.

Posted in California, Democrat Central Committee, National, Orange County | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Keith Curry Fundraiser Tomorrow

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on April 29, 2014

This just came across the wire:

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Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Live from the 2nd Supervisorial District Feet to the Fire Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 28, 2014

We’re live from the Feet to the Fire Forum for the Second Supervisorial District. Yours truly got promoted to the media table.

The candidates are seated in this order from left to right: Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel, Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno, Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, and Huntington Beach Councilman Joe Carchio. Moreno is a Democrat while the rest are Republicans.

The media panelists are Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC, Alicia Lopez of the Daily Pilot, Jack Wu of the OC Register, John Canalis of the Daily Pilot, and Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot/OC Register.

(7:02 PM): Canalis asks if the candidates would forego a Supervisorial pension.

Steel would forego the pension.

Moreno would donate the pension to an account to fund nonprofit organizations. He would do the same with his commission stipends.

Mansoor says he would take the pension because he is not independently wealthy and does not have a home in Rancho Palos Verdes (referencing Steel). He says he would take the lower of two pension formulas offered at the County (Editor’s Note: the voters approved a June 2012 ballot measure mandating Supervisors pick the lower pension formula.)

Carchio says he did not accept a pension in Huntington Beach and would not accept one at the County.

Canalis asks if the candidates would vote to outright ban Supervisorial pensions.

Moreno says he would not.

Wu asks Moreno about pension reform.

Moreno says pension management would need to be examined.

Venezia says all the candidates’ Web sites abstractly speak of pension reform without details.

Mansoor says he would lead by example.

Steel says unfunded liabilities are a problem and notes the County was 100% funded in 2000. She says economic growth and demographic shifts combined with rates of return must be accounted for. She speaks about the recent amortization changes at OCERS.

Mansoor says he left the Sheriff’s Department to go to the Assembly where he has no pension.

Carchio speaks of the need for employees to pay for their entire employee pension contribution.

Lopez asks Steel about her endorsement from Sheriff Hutchens. She asks about offering a raise to deputies in exchange for them paying their entire employee contribution.

Steel points to the example of OCEA. She says she wants to look at the numbers to be sure of what solution she would pursue.

Mansoor opposes the pay raise because it would increase the pension obligation.

Santana asks Mansoor about the risk of deputies being poached by neighboring agencies.

Mansoor says these are difficult times and difficult decisions need to be made to make the County solvent.

Wu asks Mansoor about leading by example by refusing the pension.

Mansoor says it would be irresponsible to ask employees to entirely give up their pensions.

Santana asks how would spending more to pay down the pension liability affect spending on other County programs and services.

Steel points to waste, fraud, and abuse. She gives an example of verifying welfare eligibility, modeling after a San Diego County program that saved $500,000. Steel says the OCERS investment returns should improve to reduce unfunded pension liability.

(Santana interjects several times demanding specifics.)

Moreno speaks about asking college employees to tell his college board about waste, and they found $10 million in waste.

Lopez asks Steel about how to fix CalOptima.

Steel says there needs to be more transparency and points to the appointment of two Supervisors at CalOptima.

Moreno says experts need to be brought in to fix the problems. He says the Board must have experts managing CalOptima.

Carchio says in Huntington Beach that they got employees to retire early, implement a 4/10 schedule, and other creativd ideas related to balance the budget after the loss of Redevelopment Agencies. (Editor’s Note: What does this have to do with CalOptima?) He says that all we heard about was RDA abuses, but RDAs did good things. He says creativity with RDAs shows how to solve these problems.

Venezia speaks about the 2012 election for Assembly. She asks about the criticism that Mansoor is leaving his Assembly seat early since he’s not termed out.

Mansoor said he supported Don Hansen and jumped in when Hansen dropped out. He criticizes Steel for moving to Orange County to run for Supervisor as a platform to run for Congress.

Venezia asks him to answer the original question.

Mansoor again points to Hansen dropping out.

Venezia and Wu ask if he will jump ship if elected Supervisor.

Mansoor starts to say that he wants a resident of Orange County to be Supervisor.

Wu interrupts to ask how long does someone need to be an Orange County resident. He points to Mansoor’s endorsement of Jim Righeimer for Costa Mesa City Council after Righeimer moved from Fountain Valley.

There’s crosstalk between Mansoor and Wu.

Steel jumps in to point out she’s lived in Orange County since 2011. She speaks about immigrating from Korea. She asks if she needs to be born here.

Carchio speaks about living in OC for 35 years and serving on numerous OC boards.

Steel asks if it’s so important to have a long-term Mansoor why he doesn’t support Carchio who’s lived in OC for decades.

Mansoor says he supported Hansen.

Lopez asks Mansoor what legislation he’s passed in Sacramento.

He points to various pending pieces of legislation.

Lopez asks if he’s accomplished something as a legislator.

Mansoor points to the challenges of being in the minority when there’s a supermajority.

Wu asks Steel about her accomplishments as a member of the Board of Equalization minority party.

Steel points to several items, including: *returning 1/2 of $267,000,000 to taxpayers
*switching late payment interest from monthly rates to daily rates, so taxpayers who are one day late only pay a day’s interest rather than a month’s interest

Steel lists several other items that this blogger can’t keep up with. She says she is a consensus builder who can get things done.

Moreno interjects that he has worked in the private sector, worked for an LA County Supervisor, served on the College Board, and been a father.

Venezia asks about Diane Harkey’s husband’s investment litigation since Steel has endorsed Harkey for Steel’s own Board of Equalization seat.

Steel says the courts already ruled that Diane Harkey was not part of this issue. She points to Harkey’s accomplishments in the Assembly.

Mansoor points to his track record in the Assembly. He says he was willing to stand up to the Mike Carona machine.

Santana asks who is part of the Carona machine now since Carona is in prison.

Mansoor says Steel is backed by a lot of people who backed Carona.

Santana repeatedly asks Mansoor to name names while Mansoor declines to do so each time.

Santana then asks what each candidate views is the role of a County Supervisor.

Moreno says the County is an arm of the state. He says the County takes care of social welfare, public health, and public safety issues. He says experts need to be running the agencies.

Santana asks for specifics.

Moreno speaks about solving constituent problems (i.e. casework).

Mansoor points to OCTA and the 405 toll lanes.

Wu and Santana ask Mansoor about other agencies.

Mansoor says they need to let him finish his answer. He speaks about public pressure forcing OCTA’s hand on the 405.

Santana asks about OCFA.

Mansoor says he would have a hands on approach.

Santana asks what that means.

Mansoor says he would audit the OCFA and points to his service on the Assembly Audit Committee.

Carchio says the OCFA board is too large and needs to be reduced in size from 25, pointing to his experience on the 35-member Vector Control Board.

Santana asks what size the OCFA Board should be.

Carchio says he doesn’t have enough information to determine an exact number.

Carchio argues he sits on more boards than Supervisors or Assembly members do.

Venezia asks how much each candidate has raised for their campaign to get their message out.

Wu says the candidates should exclude loans from their numbers.

Carchio says $75,000.

Mansoor says $100,000.

Moreno says $40,000.

Steel says $550,000.

Steel says raising money is hard work.

Mansoor speaks about issues mattering more and says he has a history of beating better funded candidates. He points to his endorsements from outgoing Supervisor John Moorlach and several district mayors.

Lopez asks Mansoor about his reputation on immigration and the Latino vote.

Mansoor says he is not anti-immigrant. He says he supports legal immigration and is the son of two immigrants. He says his actions in Costa Mesa only related to illegal immigrants who committed other crimes. He says Steel has said different things to different people, telling some that she opposes the Lincoln Club plan and telling others that she supports aspects of it. He says he supports eVerify, but Steel opposes it.

Steel says she is an immigrant. She supports a guest worker program. She supports the Lincoln Club plan. She opposes eVerify.

Wu asks Mansoor about the legislative letter he signed that got sent to members of Congress.

Mansoor says the published portion was out of context from the letter he signed.

Moreno speaks about the DREAM Act. He says these students are indistinguishable from kids born in the United States. He calls for prevailing wage in any guest worker program. He says LAX is where illegal immigrants come from. He points to the deportation of Australians.

Carchio says he went to a Sacramento press conference with Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez and his bill on human trafficking. Carchio speaks about high levels of human trafficking from China and Vietnam. He wants an equitable settlement where everyone is treated like a human being.

Venezia asks why she should vote for each of the candidates.

Steel speaks of her BOE track record and her efforts on behalf of taxpayers.

Moreno points to his experience working for an LA County Supervisor and his service on the Coast Community College Board.

Mansoor says he will stand up to special interests and political machines. He says he has an open door policy and will always listen to constituents.

Carchio points to his lengthy time as an OC resident. He speaks about his business owner experience, his experience on the City Council, and his experience on regional and state boards.

Despite starting slightly late, the forum ends right on time at 8 PM.

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

Commentary: “For The Love of Money” by Assemblyman Hagman

Posted by Allen Wilson on April 28, 2014

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Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) offers his thoughts regarding the corruption scandals of Senators Calderon, Wright and Yee that made headlines the past few months.

Hagman represents the 55th Assembly District and currently candidate for San Bernardino County Supervisor.

Recently, news of yet ANOTHER state senator being indicted for corruption sent shockwaves throughout California. When I heard the charges against San Francisco’s Leland Yee, I shook my head in disbelief. Could a man known for his gun control efforts be part of an international gun trafficking ring? We do not know all the facts, but I do know that the charges against him are so serious that the Legislature cannot pretend that it should conduct business as usual.

The troubles of three state senators now mean that more than 10 percent of the Democrat members of the State Senate are either under indictment or have been convicted of a felony. Senator Yee joins two other senators who are also facing serious legal trouble. One senator is facing bribery charges while another was recently convicted of a felony for lying about his residency – as he resides outside the district he represents.

And how did the Senate respond? They voted for Senate Resolution 38, which gave all three senators paid vacations. The Resolution also plans to give all senators and their staff additional ethics training. Presumably they will be told that trafficking rocket launchers, taking bribes and making deals with mobsters is inappropriate at any time. To be fair, the State Constitution currently gives no authority to the Senate to suspend legislators without pay and President Pro Tem Steinberg is proposing a constitutional amendment to finally fix that issue. I’m astounded this has not happened sooner.

All legislators understand the law and take an oath to follow it. However, no amount of ethics training will prevent a crooked politician from doing the “wrong thing.” According to the FBI affidavit against Senator Yee, he was well aware of the laws he was breaking. At one point, the senator reportedly said on tape, “I hope I don’t get indicted.”

Ultimately, all three senators should resign from office to remove the thick fog of corruption hanging over the State Capitol. As long as they are allowed to remain in office, it will be much more difficult to make progress on the issues that matter to all Californians such as jobs and public safety. The public is already deeply cynical about government and the least elected representatives can do is take responsibility for their actions.

Unfortunately, it is hard to ignore the fact that the alleged corruption took place in a political environment where one party has absolute control over Sacramento. As that popular saying goes, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When one party is accountable to no one, it makes it much more tempting for some to overreach and abuse the power entrusted to them by the citizens.

I have spent years as a volunteer for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s department and have seen firsthand that sitting behind bars is the last thing anyone wants to do. Perhaps all elected officials should take a prison field trip as part of our annual training? It would be a more powerful lesson than ethics training and suspension with pay.

I know that Californians are sick and tired of the mess in Sacramento and want to see an end to the culture of corruption. Elected officials need to be held accountable to the people of their district and the citizens of California. You, the voter, can help by electing men and women with integrity and character – who will do what’s right even when the FBI isn’t eavesdropping.

Posted in 55th Assembly District, California, Campaign Finance, Orange County, State Assembly | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Global Sounds Festival

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on April 28, 2014

This just came across the wire:

 

Global_Sounds_Festival

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

AD-55 Watch: Candidate Forum at Diamond Bar RWF

Posted by Allen Wilson on April 24, 2014

The Diamond Bar Republican Women Federated is hosting a candidate forum tonight at the Diamond Bar Golf Course.

7:08:  Diamond Bar RWF President Barbara Carrera called meeting to order

7:10:  Diamond Bar Mayor Carol Herrera led the pledge.

7:11: El Monte Councilman Jay Gomez was introduced as candidate for County Supervisor in the 1st District, which includes Walnut. Gomez stressed importance of public safety to protect all communities.

7:16: Attendees are proceeding to dinner.

BREAK

7:53: Barbara Carrera introduced Anthony Kuo, Communications for Ling-Ling Chang Campaign to make an announcement. Kuo explained that Chang is not present due to a family emergency and she had to leave. Steve Tye joked “My wife was called and she has to go.”

7:57: Phillip Chen introduced himself and appreciated those in attendance taking time out of busy schedule to listen the candidates. Chen thanked Republican Women efforts and being backbone for the party candidates. Chen spoked of his education and as a business owner and endorsements from Assemblyman Hagman, Supervisor Shawn Nelson and host of others joining the campaign.

8:01: Steve Tye introduced himself by introducing his wife, Patty Tye. Tye stressed the reason why he ran for Council in 2005 regarding the library tax and that the county library must step up to the plate to build a new library. Tye mentions experience as President of the Contract Cities.

8:05: Question about Common Core: Chen is against it with reminder to the audience that as a Board Member of Walnut-Valley School District he sees problems as the district is the lowest funded per pupil in the county. The problem is removing bad teachers. Chen stressed importance of change in the education funding formula.

8:10: Tye mentions his wife who is a Special Education teacher and he, too, is against Common Core. Tye brings up the need to audit all aspects of public education and importance to use resources properly with point that we have a spending problem not a revenue problem.

8:16: Question about the bullet train (High Speed Rail). Tye stress that it is time to get rid of it. Tye says, “We have a bullet train and it is called Southwest Airlines.” Tye attempts to make a point that HSR from Los Angeles to San Francisco would take 2 hours as it is shorter by air via airplane. Tye urges transportation funding to be used for infrastructure projects.

8:19: Chen spoke out against HSR as well with emphasis on the dollars currently being spent of $68 billion with no tracks in place. Chen brings up question of where is funding to repair the tracks highlighting example of the Alameda Corridor that flows through the San Gabriel Valley the cost or repairing tracks is at a price of $20 Million alone.

8:24: Who is your personal hero? Chen mentions Ronald Reagan. Tye mentions George W. Bush and efforts in Iraq.

8:28: How to handle the problem of birthing centers being used by women coming in from Asia? Tye stressed that the problem is illegal and spoke with Rep. Gary Miller about the ongoing problem with urgency of problems of the 14th Amendment.

8:31: Chen highlight the problems of “anchor babies” and the birthing centers are wrong as it is unsafe and unfair to neighboring residents in a community. Chen stress that if people want to come to the U.S. they must learn about USA and they must respect laws.

8:34: Former Assemblyman and Walnut Councilman Bob Pacheco spoke up with pressing question: “Are fees and taxes the same thing?”

8:35: Tye rebukes the question stressing that taxes and fees ARE NOT the same thing.

8:37: Chen agrees with Pacheco that fees ARE taxes.

8:41: Forum Closes.

Posted in 55th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Court Of Appeal Chooses Not To Keep Up With The Times In Refusing To Extend Public Records Act To Private Email And Text Accounts

Posted by Greg Woodard on April 24, 2014

The assault on the Public Records Act (“PRA”) has garnered a lot of attention recently.  Last year, the legislature attempted to make compliance with the PRA voluntary, rather than mandatory as it currently is.  The swift outcry led to a hasty, and wise, retreat and the bill died as it should have.  However, the Court of Appeal has again stepped in the PRA fray, and I believe it missed an opportunity to close a dangerous loophole created by technology outpacing the law.

In City of San Jose v. Superior Court, decided last month, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeal was faced with the question of whether emails and text messages sent to or from public officials’ and public employees’ private electronic devices, using their private accounts, were required to be disclosed pursuant to a proper PRA request.  The trial court had held that communications on private devices were “public records” under the PRA and were required to be produced.  Unfortunately, the Court of Appeal disagreed and reversed the trial court.

With the Court of Appeal now holding that communications using private devices are not subject to disclosure under the PRA, the potential for abuse is obvious.  In fact, the City of San Jose Court specifically stated “[t]hat city council members may conceal their communications on public issues by sending and receiving them on their private devices from private accounts is a serious concern. . .”  However, the Court left it to the legislature to deter such behavior with appropriate legislation.  I will note the irony given that the Democrats in the legislature recently wanted to gut the PRA by making it voluntary.

This trend towards making government less transparent is troubling. We already have seen that Obama’s EPA officials have used their private email accounts to aid environmentalists, with the head of the EPA creating fake email names to hide her actions.  It is likely that a large number of public officials and employees are using their private accounts for public business, whether it is to hide those communications from public view or not.

Given how slowly the state legislature reacts to decisions like these (and its own efforts to undermine the PRA), I believe that the best way to curb these abuses is for local cities, counties, and other agencies to implement their own policies prohibiting officials and employees from using their private devices or accounts to conduct public business.  These policies will only be effective if violations are dealt with severely.  This also could increase costs for local agencies should they choose to purchase electronic devices for each public official and employee, but the resulting transparency should be worth the cost.

Posted in California | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Bob Huff Supports Ling-Ling Chang

Posted by OC Insider on April 23, 2014

This is an excellent piece written by Bob Huff on Ling-Ling Chang and why she is the best choice for voters in the 55th Assembly District.

Senator Bob Huff

California’s 29th District | Senate Republican Leader

I’m supporting Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang for the State Assembly because she has the kind of experience and values we need in the Legislature.

On the City Council, Ling balanced every budget, never raised taxes, built a $17 million reserve and helped make her city one of the safest in California.

As an elected member of a local water board, she worked to ensure reliable delivery of water without raising taxes or rates. During her time as President and CEO of the Youth Science Center, she worked with young people to emphasize science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.

And, as a Councilmember, she’s working to create new jobs and cut her own pay to help the city stretch its tax dollars.

Ling-Ling Chang is the real deal. She has been solving problems in our region for almost 10 years as a Water Board member, City Councilmember and Mayor. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to rely on her advice and live in a city she helps govern.

Now, more than ever, we need honest and fresh leadership. I believe we have found, can find and will continue to find that leadership in Ling-Ling Chang. Ling has earned my support time and again, and I hope she can earn your support in the June primary, as well.

Bob Huff
Senate Republican Leader

Ling-Ling Chang for Assembly 2014

Posted in 55th Assembly District | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Orange County Needs a Watchdog as Auditor-Controller

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on April 23, 2014

This just came across the wire:

ORANGE COUNTY NEEDS A WATCHDOG AS AUDITOR-CONTROLLER

Why the Orange County Taxpayers Association Endorses Eric Woolery

By Carolyn Cavecche, CEO and President, Orange County Taxpayers Association

Election after election, “wanna-be” politicians have targeted specific elected offices at the County of Orange as their opportunity for an entrance into political life. Although these offices seem to be low profile and of little importance to many voters, they are actually positions of great importance with significant responsibilities. Sometimes, the unqualified manage to get elected, sometimes resulting in bad governance. Remember the county’s bankruptcy? Recently, the OC Board of Supervisors took the unusual step of consolidating one of these offices, the County Public Administrator, with the District Attorney’s office. This measure was taken to recover the high level of integrity such an important position should preserve, which was ignored by an unqualified elected official. The elected position of Orange County Auditor-Controller is one of those offices of great importance to the taxpayers, as it oversees all of our taxpayer monies at the County of Orange.

The Orange County Taxpayers Association has endorsed Eric Woolery in the Orange County Auditor-Controller’s race because he has the right set of skills and expertise to best serve as the watchdog over Orange County’s taxpayer funds. He is a CPA, a former small business owner, a former county school board member, and currently serves as Orange Treasurer. He understands the importance of vigilance and has a track record that demonstrates that he knows how to monitor how the county spends precious taxpayer resources in order to find and fight fraud and waste. He is a professional who is actually qualified for the position of Auditor-Controller.

As a taxpayer watchdog, Woolery will prepare both elected decision makers and the public to make the policy decisions that will protect Orange County taxpayers. Eric Woolery has created priorities based on his knowledge, and his proactive budgeting approach will not only get Orange County through these next few years, but will also protect us for years to come. His priorities include:

  • Exposing and fighting Sacramento’s raids on our local coffers. This year, he reclaimed $18 million for his county department.
  • Enhancing county productivity and performance through new processes and accountabilities. Through the recession, he cut costs in his agency by 25% while maintaining operational effectiveness.
  • Helping solve the current pension crisis while implementing safeguards to guarantee future sustainability.

Every year, the Auditor-Controller’s office issues the “OC Citizens Report.” Eric Woolery’s version of this report will include an analysis of the fiscal strengths and challenges for the county and its $5.4 billion budget. On day one, he plans to dig into fiscal matters and immediately start answering the following questions and finding solutions to them; if elected, next year’s report will include solutions to the biggest issues facing Orange County:

  • What is our pension liability? How does Orange County’s liability compare to other counties?
  • What policies has the Auditor-Controller offered to the Board of Supervisors as solutions?
  • How stable are the county’s revenue sources?
  • Is the state planning to raid our coffers again, and if so, what will the impact be? Can we prepare?
  • Are there plans afoot to find new sources of revenue without raising taxes?
  • Does the Auditor-Controller have plans to streamline, consolidate, or cut costs to improve efficiencies?

Please join the Orange County Taxpayers Association in voting for Eric Woolery and his proactive leadership to improve our quality of life and keep Orange County one of the most sought after regions to live.

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Posted in Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Meet me in the Middle

Posted by Brenda Higgins on April 22, 2014

This is a quote from one of my favorite politicians, Bill Clinton.  Not because I stand with him ideologically, but because he was effective in creating consensus and getting things done.  Bill Clinton’s biggest fan is Bill Clinton, and he certainly would never let any ideology stand in his way of making a deal.  Not saying we should adopt that approach, but certainly something we could learn from.

The OCGOP held its monthly meeting last night, and the agenda included a variety of important endorsements for state and local offices.  Clearly the big events of the evening were consideration of the application from Tim Donnelly to obtain the county party endorsement in his race for California Governor, and Carlos Vasquez, seeking an endorsement from the party in his effort to unseat Loretta Sanchez.

Neither candidate was successful.

Mr. Vasquez is sorely underfunded for a race against a behemoth of a politician like Loretta Sanchez.  While everyone appreciated his sincerity and courage, he seemed unprepared to deal with this crowd.  Both Mr. Vasquez and his opponent who was in attendance were give an opportunity to respond to questions. (Jim Collum is a candidate endorsed by the American Independent party and did not seek the endorsement of the OCGOP, he complained that some glitch in getting his paperwork in on time prevented him from seeking this endorsement)  When asked why we should give them our endorsement, the candidates both dodged the question and gave their stump speech about why they are running.  Two more committee members asked similar questions, and it was only after Chairman Baugh pointed out their non-responsiveness, and Kermit Marsh asked them directly about endorsements and funds, did they finally get to the point of how viable they are that they should have the important endorsement of this particular body.  It was practically comical at times, with the lack of direct and concise responses and the effort to sidestep and obfuscate the issues that were clearly important to this body.  Can you really take this on?  Are you a serious candidate or is this just a haphazard game?

Loretta Sanchez is a serious contender.  Agreeably, a serious problem that the GOP would love to eliminate.  Are you the guy to get this job done?  That was the topic of discussion. Did they really think we were interested in their high gloss, soft shoe, sales pitch?

Andrew Blount is the mayor of Laguna Hills.  He is a nice man, with seemingly good intentions.  He has even less money than Tim Donnelly and does not have the cheerleading section, the “boots on the ground” that Donnelly has.  I am not sure why he is running.  He has $7,000.00 in his campaign that he has self funded.   He is a nice man and should save himself the grief of this race and just stay home.

Tim Donnelly came flanked by what appeared to be about 50 enthusiastic supporters.  The same rhetorical question should be posed to those people.  Did you really think, the elected OCGOP Central Committee members in this room were interested in your signs, or T-shirts, or your Whooping and hollering?  Next time the Tea Party desires to bring a candidate for the support of this group, please feel free to exercise some, or any, restraint and someone please take a lesson on decorum.  This is a room of politicos of varying experience, but certainly all committed to pursuing what is best for the party, our county and the state and federal governments overall.  The cheering and the interruptions were not only not persuasive, they were uncalled for and lended strength to the arguments against their candidate, in that this may not be the right time or the right candidate.

One thing that would have made Donnelly’s presentation more effective, is for all of those supporters present, to make some immediate financial contributions. They could have gotten on phones earlier in the day and worked on raising him some immediate money, rather than spending all the time they must have spent coordinating their T-shirts and signs.  Donnelly would have been more persuasive if he had come by himself, professional and dignified, just like every one of the many candidates we did endorse that evening.  With nearly 50 people there,  it is impossible not to wonder why or if, they have done or given anything at all to give this campaign some financial credibility, and prepare or strategize for this meeting, rather than just have an obvious plan to be disruptive.  Donnelly told us he had $11,000.00 in the bank.  If every enthusiastic supporter there put in $50.00 RIGHT THEN, he could certainly have boasted that he raised $2,500.00 THIS EVENING. That would have been impressive and might have helped to convert some believers to their arguments about all the faith they have in their grassroots and ground swell.

I get it,  Meg Whitman, blah, blah, blah, money doesn’t win races, blah, blah.

A campaign is not a religious exercise requiring a vow of poverty either.  Money is necessary.  Money is required.  Donnelly also acknowledged that more than $100k is still needed.  I do not recall if that is debt from past expenditures or is needed for future printing projects, but clearly the campaign is not even realizing it’s own goals.  If there were more effort in this energetic group, put behind fund raising, coupled with their enthusiasm, certainly committee members like me, who came with a truly open mind, could be persuaded to get on the band wagon.  There is an enormous problem with credibility when there is such a disparity between reality and necessity.

Chairman Baugh confirmed that Jerry Brown has a war chest of $20million.  Twenty-million dollars.

The probation thing also doesn’t help, and Donnelly never even mentioned it.  It is out there, it will have to be addressed.  Ignoring the elephant in the room will not make it go away.

Although Mr. Donnelly, was polished and articulate, he was condescending and played to his crowd.  He was there to seek the endorsement of the committee, and frankly, it appeared he planned on not getting it.  Donnelly and his followers left the room as soon as the votes pertaining to him were complete. They were indignant and noisy, and continued to make  noise and commotion as they exited a meeting that was still in progress. The meeting was in progress in fact, to honor the hard work of our great volunteers.  Well played Donnelly camp.  Disrespect is not usually the way to win anyone’s support.  Volunteers are the heart of what we do, and in general the volunteers who are honored at this meeting are not people who just discovered the conservative movement last week, but generally have long histories of service.  Shame on you for such glaring disrespect of these people and the process.

The chronic defensiveness of the Tea Party continues to hurt their message.  Their premise is that they are right about all of their platforms and disenfranchised from the “establishment” without any access or appreciation for their enormous “grassroots” efforts. They came to the “establishment” and acted like jerks.  That is not inviting or attractive in anyway. Rodney Dangerfield got no respect because he went around saying it all the time.  You get what you give usually.

I WANT to support Tim Donnelly.  I WANT to believe that there is a tremendous ground swell effort in play, that grassroots are taking hold, that voters are fed up and they want change, BUT, if the captains of the grassroots ship, keep coming to the party with a chip on their shoulder about how disenfranchised they are, this movement will sink itself AND the party.  I hope that doesn’t happen, but based upon the display last night, I can’t help but feel we are all doomed, to eventually live in a completely and hopelessly blue state, in a completely and hopelessly blue nation.  We all remember where that one party experiment was last tried and failed.

Meet me in the middle, was about compromise, it was about reaching out, and if Bill Clinton was anything, it was persuasive.  We need people from the base and the Tea Party to develop attitudes of meeting in the middle. The ideaologues and dogma are a problem, the obvious one, but what was evidenced last night is both greater and easier to fix.  It was about respect.  Donnelly fans showed up, moderately hostile, anticipating to be disrespected and not to gain the endorsement they alleged to seek.  They left, fulfilling their negative self prophecy, not more enlightened in how their own behavior contributed to this.  I came with an open mind. I want to believe that there is a David who can kill Jerry Brown’s Goliath.  In the course of the meeting, though, they lost me.  Misguided efforts and the prevailing attitude were too prevalent to overlook.

Republican party voter registration is now down to 28%.  The increase in No Party Preference voters continues, with no end in sight.  We are almost tied, the GOP and NPP for voter registration.  Sad.  Our platform is that limited government would provide increased economic freedom to all, and as such, increased liberty to all.  Is that really so hard? Is there any concept or ideal that is more important than that?  That is our middle.  It is our foundation.  It is right. It works. If we can not figure out how to meet THERE, we continue to jeopardize our future.  I sincerely hope that both Tim Donnelly and Carlos Vasquez continue to work hard, step up and clean up their game, so that we see viable candidates to carry our message in November after the June primary.

If the Donnelly supporters are serious about truly helping him get this endorsement prior to November, it would behoove them to put a proverbial shoulder to the plow in good faith. There are always openings for Volunteers in the GOTV efforts at OCGOP.  Join us.

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