OC Political

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

Live from CRA Endorsing Convention

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 19, 2016

We’re live from the CRA endorsing convention this morning where endorsements will be considered for Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, County Supervisor, County Board of Education, Superior Court Judge, AD-65 Central Committee, and AD-73 Central Committee.

To be endorsed, a candidate must get 2/3 of the vote.


The consent calendar consists of:

  • Congressman Ed Royce
  • Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
  • Congressman Darrell Issa (pulled)
  • Senator John Moorlach
  • Assemblywoman Young Kim
  • Assemblyman Travis Allen (pulled)
  • Assemblyman Bill Brough
  • Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer
  • Orange County Board of Education Trustee Robert Hammond
  • Orange County Board of Education Trustee Ken Williams

9:35 AM: The consent calendar was approved, except for Congressman Darrell Issa and Assemblyman Travis Allen, who were both pulled by individual delegates.  (Editor’s note: See 12:18 PM near the end of this post for the convention’s discussion of Issa and Allen)


9:39: The first race up is 45th Congressional District between Mimi Walters and Greg Raths.

Raths speaks first. He notes that he is a Mission Viejo City Councilman. He talks about being from a large Catholic family and followed his father into military service. He served in the Marine Corps for 30 years. He moved into the 45th Congressional District in 1978. He blasts Congresswoman Walters’s residency. He speaks of the Constitution. He speaks of the national debt exploding. He says he wants to be part of a coalition of patriots in Congress to fight the debt.

A delegate asks Raths about his plan to secure the border.

Raths says Walters has low scores from various conservative groups. He blasts her for voting for the omnibus appropriations bill and the TPA. He says he would shut down the border, build a wall, and deport illegal immigrants. He notes Republicans took control of the Congress, yet these bills still passed. He states he wants adoption clinics to replace abortion clinics. He says he is pro-life. He says he is a 100% conservative like Dave Brat (who defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary).

Walters is not present.

Balloting begins.


9:52: The 46th Congressional District begins.

Louie Contreras says he is an NRA member. He supports the 2nd Amendment. He says he is a Christian. He says he is pro-life. He opposes funding Planned Parenthood.

A delegate asks about physician assisted suicide.

Contreras says he opposes suicide in any form.

Bob Peterson states his family was homeless in 1982. They lived in a warehouse. He graduated from Loara High School. In 1987, he got a job washing jail clothes at the Sheriff’s Department. By 2009, he was Commander of that unit. He speaks about being a hardworking Christian who worked his way through the ranks in his career. He speaks about the challenges of law enforcement. He has been married 23 years. His son is in law school. His daughter is getting a master’s degree in Ireland.

A delegate asks if he is accepting union money.

Peterson states he has not done so but would consider accepting money from law enforcement union members to help get out his message. He speaks of Prop 47 and rising crime.

A delegate asks if he is a resident of the district and speaks Spanish.

He says he lives in Orange and speaks Spanish “mas o menos.”

A delegate asks about his #1 priority.

He says immigration is. He gives the example of locking the door at his home but allowing guests in.


10:03: Ballots counted in CD-45: RATHS ENDORSED.


10:04: No candidate in the 47th Congressional District is present.


10:05: Ling-Ling Chang did not submit an application and is not present.

10:05: Intermission

10:07: Voting commences in the 29th Senate District.


10:08: Ballots counted in the 46th Congressional District: PETERSON ENDORSED.


10:10: The big one begins: 68th Assembly District.

Deborah Pauly thanks the delegates for attending. She speaks of getting good candidates elected, passing good ballot measures, and fighting bad measures. She speaks of gratitude and thankfulness. She speaks of having many volunteers stepping forward and people encouraging her. She speaks of her love of the United States. She says it is important to her to be accessible to her constituents. She says most delegates have her personal cell phone number and personal email address. She says she wants to be a servant in Sacramento and not get pulled off the right path due to the trappings of office.

No delegates have questions for Pauly.

Steven Choi states he is the Mayor of Irvine, a former Councilman, and a former School Board Member. He notes that he defeated the liberal Larry Agran coalition. He speaks of his faith in Jesus Christ which led him to his career in public service. He states he is pro-life, anti-tax, and pro-limited government. He says he is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. He says he will stand up to liberals and defend Judeo-Christian values. He states he started he is pro-business, starting the Business Advisory Council. He states he added In God We Trust to the City Council Chambers.

A delegate asks about what his Business Advisory Council has done.

He states it gathers opinions from business leaders, which led to the Tech Valley Initiative, which brought $636 million of business and jobs to Irvine.

A delegate asks about having a military cemetery at the Great Park.

He speaks of getting wasteful spending under Agran audited. He says the Council approved a cemetery 5-0.

Alexia Deligianni-Brydges speaks of volunteering for Republican causes. She points to her OCYR service, having been CRA State Vice President, and having started the Orange-Villa Park CRA unit. She speaks of her family fleeing from Communism, and citing that as a reason she opposes socialism and liberal ideas. She states she is a real estate businesswoman and educator. She has served two terms on the school board and was the sole vote on the school board against a bond. She opposes Common Core. She supports cutting taxes.

A delegate asks about her CRA unit’s growth.

She says she grew it from nothing, as she founded it. She speaks of monthly meetings. She says she since passed its leadership on to others.

A delegate asks about how she plans to lower taxes since she stated it.

She blasts Prop 30 as an anti-business tax. She expresses concern about jobs fleeing California.

Harry Sidhu speaks of immigrating to the United States. He says he has had 28 different businesses. He blasts state regulations. He expresses concern about jobs leaving the state. He wants to oppose tax increases. He says he will fight the Sacramento spending problem. He says he will use his business experience in the Assembly, like he did on the City Council. He calls for government to take a haircut like business has to.

An Anaheim delegate asks how they can match what Sidhu says with his record.

Sidhu points to the Platinum Triangle. He speaks of helping 17,000 people find employment. He points to reducing pensions for new firefighters and police officers. He speaks of the City business development plan.

A delegate asks why Sidhu takes union money.

He denies it. He says he only took police union money on Anaheim City Council.

Kostas Roditis calls for challenging people’s world view. He says people do not own their land; they lease it from the government since people must pay property taxes. He wants to end property taxes for owner-occupied homes by having people pay a one-time 8% property tax.

A delegate asks why did Roditis enter the race so late and what city he lives in.

He says he lives in Anaheim Hills and is a businessman who is fed up with what is happening in Sacramento. He wants to propose his property tax and business ideas.

A delegate asks if a state legislator can implement his property tax plan.

He says yes by amending the constitution.

A delegate asks how long he has been a Republican.

He says he has gone back and forth. He says he was a College Republican, became a Democrat in his 20s, then an independent, and eventually switched to Republican but doesn’t remember when.


10:39: Superior Court Judge Office No. 3 Candidate Megan Wagner is allowed to speak early on her judicial race due to a scheduling issue.

She says it’s ironic she is speaking after the 68th Assembly District candidates and that she’s the kinder, smarter Wagner. She urges the delegates to be careful and proactive in examining the judicial candidates. She cites her unanimous endorsement by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, which she notes is unusual. She is endorsed by Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. She speaks of her career as a prosecutor.

Craig Alexander asks about whether she has taken any union money.

She says she has not taken any.

Another delegate asks about whether she will take any union money.

She says she would consider law enforcement union money because her opponent is a criminal defense attorney from LA who previously spent $250,000 on his own race.

Kermit Marsh asks where she stands on the death penalty.

She says she would enforce the law.


10:45: Ballots counted in the 47th Congressional District: WHALLON ENDORSED.


10:45: Ballots counted in the 29th Senate District: NO ENDORSEMENT.

Voting begins in the 68th Assembly District.

10:48: Vote count released for the 29th Senate District at request of delegates: 11 for Ling-Ling Chang and 10 for No Endorsement.

10:49: Intermission


10:51: 74th District Assemblyman Matthew Harper speaks of being a Huntington Beach CRA member since 1995. He speaks of volunteering for Republican causes in high school and college. He speaks of being statewide chair of the Young Republican Federation of California. He speaks of being on the school board and being mayor. He says he overturned a racial preference policy at the school board and got a court precedent. He speaks of opposing SB 277 on vaccinations while in the Assembly. He says he has a 100% record against taxes. He says he is pro-life. He has a 100% record with numerous conservative organizations, including the CRA. He notes low scores and zero scores from various liberal groups.

Balloting begins.


10:59: Ballots counted in AD-68: PAULY ENDORSED.


11:01: Tim Whitacre speaks on behalf of Ofelia Velarde-Garcia. He speaks of her work helping the all-Republican Board of Supervisors. He says she is pro-life, pro-family, anti-tax, and pro-business. She is a lifelong Republican resident of the district. While Whitacre served in the military, Velarde-Garcia tried but was medically discharged.

A delegate asked where she is this morning.

Whitacre explained she had a family matter in Arizona and had to leave yesterday.

Voting begins.


11:06: Ballots counted in AD-74: HARPER ENDORSED.


11:07: Orange County Board of Education Trustee Area 4 Candidate Zonya Marcenaro Townsend speaks of her marriage and her birth in El Salvador. She speaks of Education being important for her life. She speaks of America being the greatest country on earth. She says she doesnt have the money or name ID of her opponents. She says Jack Bedell has $150,000 from the California Teachers Association. She says Chris Norby has high name ID. She says she opposes Common Core. She says she supports vocational schools. She says Common Core data will be used to market to children for life. She says the money came from the Gates Foundation.

A delegate asks where she stands on charter schools.

She says they need to be carefully vetted. She says many are businesses that seek to undermine America’s Judeo-Christian values.

A delegate asks how she would differ from Jack Bedell.

She says he has not taken a stand against Common Core and against the threat of wireless.


11:13: Ballots counted in AD-69: VELARDE-GARCIA ENDORSED.


11:14: Voting begins in Orange County Board of Education Trustee Area 4.

11:18: Ballots counted in Orange County Board of Education Trustee Area 4: MARCENARO-TOWNSEND ENDORSED.


11:19: First Supervisorial District begins.

Phat Bui jokes about his name. He talks about a flash mob video he did in 2014. He thanks the delegates for their attendance. He speaks of fleeing Vietnam and being grateful for the generosity of the American people. He registered as a Republican when he became a U.S. citizen. He wants minimalist government. He says the Vietnamese government preys on its citizens. He wants to give back to America. He says his company saved the California state government $1 million per year.

Long Pham asks about the Orange County Board of Supervisors competing against Bui’s group on the Tet Festival. Pham asks about open bidding.

Bui says he would support open bidding and would not allow the Board of Supervisors to compete for the Tet Festival against Bui’s group. He accuses Supervisor Andrew Do of saying one thing in English and another thing in Vietnamese.

11:25: Bui’s city council campaign consultant, Tim Whitacre, speaks on behalf of Supervisor Andrew Do’s re-election. He says this is difficult because Whitacre played such a key role in Bui’s City Council race. Whitacre says Do is at a community seminar on taxpayer rights. Whitacre highlights Do’s strongly conservative voting record. Whitacre reminds everyone that the First Supervisorial District is more than just the Vietnamese community and squabbles over Tet should not be a reason to topple a sitting Supervisor. He says Bui has made a number of allegations but no factual statements.

Pham asks if Whitacre believes that Vietnamese voters will vote for Democrats if there is no alternative to Do.

Whitacre disputes Pham’s premise.

Voting begins.


11:31: In Superior Court Judge Office No. 3, neither Andrew Stein nor Wayne Phillips are here. Megan Wagner spoke earlier.


11:33: Ballots counted leave a deadlock in the First Supervisorial District.

Tim Whitacre repeats that Do is a good sitting incumbent who has followed the Republican platform and the CRA platform. He urges that Do winning in June frees up Republican money for school board races, city council races, and legislative races.

Phat Bui accuses Do of being a former Democrat and accuses him of donating to Democrats in 2000-2002.

11:39: Still no result in First Supervisorial District: Do 4, Bui 3.

Phat Bui alleges he did the research on Do’s campaign finance contributions. He says he was worked in IT, which could help streamline County government.

Whitacre notes Do fought for an anti-tax plank in the County legislative platform and a fiscal transparency measure for the ballot. Whitacre notes the unanimous endorsement of the Board of Supervisors and the early endorsements of the Republican Party of Orange County. He says Bui is a divider casting aspersions against a good Republican. He says Bui will only represent a small constituency not all the people of the whole district.

Ballots were counted: NO ENDORSEMENT (4 voted for Andrew Do while 3 voted for Phat Bui).


11:57: Voting is underway for Superior Court Judge Office No. 3 between Megan Wagner, Andrew Stein, and Wayne Phillips.


11:58: Superior Court Judge Office No. 48 Candidate Karen Lee Schatzle is challenging Judge Scott Steiner. She points to Steiner’s admissions of sex in his judicial chambers and trying to get them jobs. She blasts his endorsers. She says she is a career prosecutor. She speaks of being a peace officer before being a prosecutor. Her parents immigrated from Argentina. She says she is running to stand against abuse of power and protect judicial power. She makes it clear she is running against Scott Steiner, not Bill Steiner.

A delegate asks where she stands on sanctuary cities and immigration.

She says she opposes sanctuary cities and regulated legal immigration. She believes people need to follow the law. She says both judges and immigrants need to follow the law.

Craig Alexander asks her viewpoint on the separation of church and state.

She says there will be no separation in Hell. However, she says judges must follow the laws on the book. She will not make policy from the bench. She wants to go back to God and country. She believes the separation of church and state is in the Constitution.

A delegate asks for an example of walking the talk.

She talks about working full-time to support her way through school. She was pregnant while taking the bar. Her children are working while in school.

Voting begins Superior Court Judge Office No. 48.


12:07 PM: Ballots counted for Superior Court Judge Office No. 3: WAGNER ENDORSED with 44 of 54 votes cast.


12:09: No candidates for either Superior Court Judge Office No. 40 or Superior Court Judge Office No. 49 are present.

Convention Chairman Dale Tyler asks for unanimous consent for no endorsement in either seat. In Office No. 49, no endorsement is approved unanimously between Mike Murray and Thomas Martin.

In Office No. 40 between Democrat Larry Yellin and unknown registration for Thuy Pham, Benita Gagne of Anaheim objects because one of her delegates likes Pham.

A delegate asks why Pham should be endorsed when he didn’t seek an endorsement.

The Gagne objection is withdrawn.


12:17: Ballots counted in Superior Court Judge Office No. 48: SCHATZLE ENDORSED.


12:18: In the 49th Congressional District, Craig Alexander opposes Congressman Darrell Issa’s endorsement for a number of votes. Among those, he cited were the House Budget reconciliation bill that didn’t repeal Obamacare (HR 3762). He voted for the continuing resolution that included Planned Parenthood funding (HR 719). He voted for the Import-Export bank (HR 597).

(Editor’s Note: Alexander sped through his list of Issa’s votes faster than this blogger could type: In addition to those noted above, Alexander objected to Issa’s votes for Transportation, Housing, Urban Development Appropriations (HR 329); No Child Left Behind Reauthorization (S. 1177), and $1.1 Trillion Year-End Omnibus Spending Bill.  Alexander also objected to Issa’s failure to co-sponsor the First Amendment Defense Act (HR 2802), Transportation Empowerment Act (HR 2716), and Employee Rights Act (HR3222).  In his remarks to the convention, Alexander noted that he had written to Issa months ago about HR 2802.)

Voting begins.


12:21: In the 72nd Assembly District, the objector to Assemblyman Travis Allen declines to speak.

Voting begins.


12:23: There is unanimous consent for the CRA President’s Council to make any remaining endorsements for the June 7 ballot, excluding Central Committee and races affecting only one CRA unit.


12:24: Ballots counted in the 49th Congressional District: NO ENDORSEMENT.


12:28: Ballots counted in the 72nd Assembly District: NO ENDORSEMENT.

12:28: The 72nd Assembly District objector from Fountain Valley decides to speak against Travis Allen in the second round. She says Allen did not respond to her inquiry about his stance on abortion. She says another woman said that Allen is pro-choice.

12:33: Ballots counted in the 72nd Assembly District: NO ENDORSEMENT (No Endorsement 12, Allen 1).


12:35: The endorsements process is beginning for Central Committee in the 65th and 73rd Districts.

Both districts are voting in caucuses.

1:08: The endorsements for 73rd District Central Committee are:
Tony Beall
Jennifer Beall
Mike Munzing
Laurie Davies
Ed Sachs
Mary Young

1:33: The endorsements for 65th District Central Committee are:
Alexandria Coronado
David Shawver
Jerry Jackson
Zonya Marcenaro Townsend
Sou Moua
Baron Night

The convention is complete.

5 Responses to “Live from CRA Endorsing Convention”

  1. […] from CRA Endorsing Co ocpolitical.com/2016/03/19/liv… […]

  2. Mark Cohen said

    Thank you for this. I appreciate the coverage since I could not make it.

  3. Mark Cohen said

    Thank you for this report.I really appreciate it since I could not make it today.

  4. Robyn Nordell said

    Chris, thanks for the great coverage of this CRA endorsing convention!

  5. Cynthia Ward said

    Thank you, excellent reporting. You caught some statements that I missed, especially the issues with Phat Bui’s objections to Andrew Do. I had not completely understood what his issues were, only that it was obvious Mr. Bui was taking on an incumbent over a personal beef. You caught that it was the Tet Festival (which seems like a stupid reason to take on someone when your own campaign manager says your opponent has a solid voting record.) I was sad to see no endorsement, but not living in the district it isn’t my call.

    Karen Schatzle was mesmerizing, I can see how she would be very effective in a courtroom. She handed off legal documents from a Judicial Discipline Board that censured the Judge, and it is clear she is telling the truth about his encounters with two women under his authority. The Judicial board was unanimous in finding him guilty, and several wanted to discipline him even further! I hope many residents come out to help Ms. Schatzle get the truth told, and get this predator off the bench. I think she would be a very dynamic and honest judge.

    Again, thank you for covering the convention. I always show up to these dragging, and thinking of other things to do on a Saturday, and I always leave glad I took the time to be a delegate, it is a great learning experience and well worth the time, once I drag myself away from my coffee cup, man, and dogs on a sunny Saturday morning. My only objection is considering candidates that neither appear, nor submit an application. Why do we waste time on those who have not ASKED for our endorsement? It almost feels like we are forcing ourselves on them. Change of rules to discuss for future conventions, perhaps?

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