OC Political

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Archive for February, 2019

Is Don Wagner the “Pro Life” candidate?

Posted by Brenda Higgins on February 28, 2019

I received a forwarded email yesterday from someone who called herself, Dr. Something-or-other, Ph.D.  I have known some people with Ph.D.’s and rarely do the credible ones have to mention it twice in their name, but I digress.  I don’t know the person who allegedly originated the email, but it urged a vote for Don Wagner for the vacant Third District Supervisorial seat in the upcoming special election.  It alleged that the reason for voting for Don Wagner, was because he is “Pro Life”.

Here is what the email doesn’t mention.

The entire Republican platform says that it is “Pro Life”.  In spite of this, the OCGOP endorsed THREE candidates for local office last election that were adamantly Pro Choice, NOT in any way Pro-Life.  I wrote about that here, and I spoke to two of the candidates.  Both of them nice women, who won those local elections, but decidedly contrary to anything the Republican party purports to stand for.  If this is your issue, at a minimum, the time has come to do a gut check level evaluation of what that really means, to you, to your party and to the candidates that we all vote in lock step with, because the party “endorsed” them, or because some Dr.-Ph.D. told us to.

And, while, we continue to stew in our outrage about the fact that 44 Democrats voted AGAINST Senator Ben Sase’s Bill to require medical aid be given to infants born alive after a botched abortion…..why don’t we ask our selves WHY it took until 2019, for such a bill to actually make it to the Senate floor.  Many botched abortions have occurred in the past 46 years, NOW we realize that?  Have we just learned this, or have the Republicans been asleep at the switch?  While Obama was president, several times the Republican controlled congress managed to get a bill to Defund Planned Parenthood to the President’s desk, only to have it vetoed.  The outrage was measured and predictable.  Doesn’t anyone find it odd that no such bill was forwarded to the desk of President Trump, who promised to sign it?

Don Wagner, is the GOP endorsed candidate for the Supervisorial seat vacated by Todd Spitzer.  Incumbent Irvine mayor, Don Wagner was just re-elected to that position on November 6, 2018.  He was easily endorsed by the OCGOP, at the February meeting of the GOP, even before he was qualified as a candidate for the Third District Supervisor seat.  No one seems concerned or bothered by the fact that he vacates the seat he just ran for, and will leave his city in a special election lurch,  a process that can cost a city hundreds of thousands of dollars, but yay for fiscal responsibility.

Prior to being elected Mayor, Don Wagner was in the State Assembly from 2010 to 2016.  While every Republican in Sacramento portends to be “Pro Life”, they have managed to return to their districts every year and with the same shrug of the shoulders, declare that it is really tough in Sacramento and they just can’t get anything done.  What we must ask ourselves then, is what good are they, and why do we even need them.  Taking up space and collecting salaries and benefits while they lament about their own ineffectiveness.

The actual votes of the Assemblymember, are irrelevant. Just as legislators do in Washington D.C., they can feign outrage and do nothing, as long as they are in the minority.   They pick their issues, and negotiate on them. They can choose which “hill they will die on”, so to speak.  The bottom line in Sacramento, is that all of the Republicans, (save one lone woman from middle of the state) are utterly unwilling to put their limited bargaining power on the line for the unborn.  If the unborn were constituents that Don Wagner and his colleagues had to face, it is easy to imagine they would make the curtailing of abortion in California a higher priority.  As it stands, it is a free for all for the abortion cartel in Sacramento, because there is no incentive for anyone to make a real stand for Life.

Here are some of the victories for the abortion cartel that occurred on Don Wagner’s watch while he was in Sacramento (2010 – 2016):

  • AB777 – Required Pro Life medical clinics and Pregnancy Resource centers to promote and provide referrals to Abortion providers.  (This legislation was so reprehensible that the Supreme Court struck it down last year, see the analysis of Nifla V. Becerra at Political Vanguard)
  • AB154 – Nurse Practitioners, Midwives and Physicians Assistants can perform abortions. The purpose of this is obvious, to employ more professionals who will perform abortions because, more and more doctors are unwilling to participate in the procedure.  This decline in the number of abortionists is making it difficult for the abortion cartel to expand their business, so they expand it in the way they always have, by endangering women and offering sub-par care.
  • AB980 – Cloaked as a building codes revision, this law makes it easier for buildings to be converted into surgical abortion facilities by reducing the standards for plumbing and patient treatment rooms.  Because abortion is a surgical procedure that produces medical waste (i.e. dead babies) and because it potentially involves a life threatening complications, there should be safety, health considerations and ability to transport a patient or for emergency personnel to obtain access to a patient.  These parameters however, can become expensive for a clinic to bring a facility up to those standards.  The way the California legislature responded the the Planned Parenthood sponsored bill, was the lower, rather than raise, those standards for abortion clinics.  Plumbing.  This bill was promoted and sponsored by Planned Parenthood as a plumbing standards legislation.  Ask yourself why they are concerned about plumbing.
  • SB128 Assisted Suicide – this appears to have survived it’s court battle.  It was passed in a “special session” in 2015 that was supposed to be dealing with budgetary issues only, this euthanasia law was pushed forward anyways. The stories that have come out about this, place the responsibility for pushing this at this inappropriate time,  upon Governor Brown.  It passed, was signed by the governor, and faced legal challenges shortly after.  The law designed to shorten the life of people with diagnosed illnesses, seems to have survived the court process, as of 2018.  Euthanasia.  California is working to become a leader in killing.

For Don Wagner or any Republican legislator to call themselves “Pro Life” while they served in a State Assembly that fast tracked abortion and other anti-Life legislation in California, is disingenuous at best.  The representation that he is the only “Pro Life” Third District candidate is not only untrue, because there are two other “Pro Life” Republicans in the race, but it is an unfair representation of his do nothing approach to life and abortion issues while he was in Sacramento.  Having had an opportunity to stand for Life, Don Wagner chose to have a seat and not make any difference at all.

Here is a list of Assemblyman Wagner’s accomplishments. The question that should be asked, is, what really, is the difference between Wagner and Loretta Sanchez?

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Anaheim, Irvine, Villa Park | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

Live from the 3rd Supervisorial District Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 15, 2019

Foothill Communities Association and League of Women Voters

We are live from Third Supervisorial District Special Election candidate forum, sponsored by the Foothill Communities Association, moderated by the League of Women Voters. Five of the seven candidates are present at this forum. (This is the second forum for front-runners Don Wagner, Loretta Sanchez, and Kris Murray who appeared at a January 31 forum sponsored by the Orange County Public Affairs Association.)

The candidates (and their ballot designations) present are:

Absent are:

Coincidentally, neither Daigle nor Bayliss submitted a candidate’s statement for the sample ballot mailed to all voters, though Bayliss did submit a candidate’s statement for the online sample ballot.

Although their partisan affiliations are not listed on the March 12 ballot since County Supervisor is a nonpartisan office, Sanchez is a Democrat and the other six candidates are all Republicans. Sanchez is endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County while Wagner is endorsed by the Republican Party of Orange County.

The candidates are seated in the following randomly selected order: Pauly, Sanchez, Wagner, Murray, and Bales.

After welcomes and introductions by the FCA and LWV, opening statements begin at 7:15 PM.

Deborah Pauly thanks attendees and organizers. She has been active in the community since moving to OC in July 1999. She served in the Air Force in public affairs. She has lived all over the US and around the world due to her service, which made her value the US more. She notes each part of the district has different needs. She says she is available, responsive, and action oriented. She served two terms on the City Council.

Loretta Sanchez thanks the organizers, attendees, and opponents. She attended public school and then Chapman University, received various scholarships, and joked that she is a public-private partnership. She served in Congress representing OC for 20 years. She notes her effectiveness in bringing transportation funding, water funding, and education funding back to OC. She notes she is the only one on stage who voted for the Affordable Care Act. She has raised funds for local nonprofits.

Don Wagner thanks the attendees and organizers. He notes he is the only one of the seven candidates who has represented the unincorporated North Tustin area (the area represented by the forum organizers). He notes that he carried legislation drawn from the district. He was the Republican who passed the most bills of any Republican in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

Kris Murray speaks of being a mother. She was on the City Council and Mayor Pro Tem. She points to various accomplishments, including on homelessness, Taxpayer Protection Act, and stopping mobile needle exchange. She is supported by two of the oldest neighborhood associations. because of her accessibility.

Larry Bales is the descendant of military veterans back to the Revolutionary War. He worked in the County. He claims credit for getting 45 political corruption convictions, including that of Congressman Andrew J. Hinshaw. He claims credit for empowering Howard Jarvis to pass Proposition 13. He claims credit for turning in Assessor Webster Guilliry for election crimes.

Moderator asks what are the most important issues in OC?

Sanchez speaks of fire suppression and helping evacuate her mother. She is endorsed by the fire union. She says mental health is another major issue. She points out that mental health emergencies are clogging emergency rooms for everyone else.

Wagner points to homelessness. He says many solutions are required, not one-size-fits-all. He says his city has reduced the homeless population, pointing to the point-in-time homeless count. He begins to address public safety but runs out of time.

Murray points to open space expressing opposition to development of unincorporated areas. She improved police response times in Anaheim and would like to do the same for County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Fire Authority. She points to her boots on the ground record reducing homelessness on the riverbed.

Bales wants to protect property values. He opposes special interests and dark money. He has few specifics and ends early.

Pauly cites undeveloped County-owned land. She suggests voters examine campaign finance reports. She says only she stands for the people first. Pauly opposes “the invasion of illegal immigrants.” She points to eradicated diseases coming back, due to illegal immigration.

Moderator asks about ensuring neighborhood preservation.

Wagner says as Mayor that he will seek community input to preserve community character. He points to his blocking a developer’s project in Irvine to preserve the specific plan. He notes homeowners should get what they bought in community character.

Murray says she will adhere and enforce specific plans. She points to successfully fighting slumlords in Anaheim. She notes the importance of property values and community safety.

Bales says avoid special interest money. He then speaks about the veterans cemetery.

Pauly blasts developers for “not having skin in the game.” She says they care only about making money. She will fight against high density and low-income housing.

Sanchez notes she grew up in OC and loves its nature. She says developer money is flowing to the two candidates to the right of her (Wagner and Murray).

Moderator asks about the California Disclose Act.

Murray says she led efforts for transparency in Anaheim, including lobbyist registration. She wants to help bring greater transparency to the County. She has hundreds of donations from individual people. She says she offers her cell phone number to be accessible.

Bales blasts Disney’s spending in Anaheim elections and the Disneyland parking structure. He blasts Irvine developer spending.

Pauly says she has a record of fighting for transparency. She would prefer to receive small donations, rather than large donations. She got Council meetings online when she was on the Council.

Sanchez tried to pass the federal version of the Disclose Act. She points to the example of the information box on credit card bills that she says is nicknamed the Sanchez Box. She says credit card companies spent $3 million against her.

Wagner noted Irvine just increased its Sunshine Ordinance. He notes Democrats in Sacramento have failed to pass the Disclose Act, so Sanchez should explain why they haven’t done so. He points to development projects he opposed, including those from Five Points and Irvine Company. He says he has approved no apartments, blasting an accusation that he approved 10,000 apartments.

Moderator asks about keeping the County budget balanced.

Bales speaks of pespecial interest spending in Washington.

Pauly wants to reduce spending and oppose special interest spending. She says she will rely on subject matter experts from outside government. She wants to reduce fees, fines, and licenses, but she does support cost-recovery. She will not spend more than the County takes in and says there is plenty of money in the County budget.

Sanchez says property money goes up to Sacramento and most counties get 17 percent back while Orange County gets 5 percent back. She says she will go to both Sacramento and Washington to get more money.

Wagner says it is ludicrous that changing the partisan composition of the Board will suddenly result in more money for Orange County. He note his fiscal management record at both South Orange County Community College District and Irvine. He supports Prop 13.

Murray wants zero-based budgeting. She wants to attract more employers to grow the economic pie. She notes Anaheim has 50% of its revenue from private investment. She says the Anaheim Ducks are now taking over ARTIC expenses in a deal she helped strike near the end of her Council term.

Moderator asks if the candidates represent the changing demographics of the district.

Pauly says she looks like the room. She says high taxes and fees are driving young people out due to the cost of living. She says seniors face the same challenges.

Sanchez has lived in OC for 55 years. She played in orange groves. She says the County is much more urban and diverse now. She says she knew what OC was and what it now is. She wants to be a bridge to new residents who have new needs on healthcare and education.

Wagner says OC is changing. He embraces it and notes Irvine is extraordinarily diverse. He says his City can boast of its safety and fiscal responsibility. 75+ languages are spoken in Irvine schools. Safe schools, safe neighborhoods, and good jobs are all things people seek, and there is strength in diversity.

Murray says OC is changing. She says diversity is a great strength. She loves OC’s history. She has no sidewalks and streetlights in her neighborhood and wants to protect communities and keep them intact. She speaks of Anaheim’s history as OC’s oldest city.

Bales has lived in OC for 40 years and hates the traffic. He wants to curtail new construction. He blasts the gas tax.

Moderator asks about each person’s biggest policy mistake.

Sanchez says, “Wow” and pauses for a time. Eventually she cites getting funding for high speed rail, which she notes didn’t get done.

Wagner says it’s a tough question but he regrets supporting people who weren’t up to policy challenges. He says some people have disappointed him either in their votes or their personal scandals.

Murray says she trusted staff too much and should have pushed back more when she started on the Council. She says she will stand up for residents for public safety, on the economy, and on homelessness. She regrets contracting out park maintenance, though she has since fixed that.

Bales talks about tech companies being special interests in Washington. (There is snickering in the audience as it repeatedly becomes clear that Bales doesn’t understand most of the questions.)

Pauly cites Murray and says Pauly should have trusted her gut and common sense against City staff. Pauly says Sanchez’s vote on ACA and Wagner’s votes on cemeteries are their failures. The moderator cuts Pauly off.

Moderator asks about the new joint powers authority (JPA) on homelessness.

Wagner warns of JPAs being subject to state pressure, pointing to Sanchez’s union allies. He speaks of various homeless solutions, including shelter beds and mental health programs.

Murray says the JPA was set up by cities to ensure there is funding for local communities for homelessness. She says this will come from local communities up to the JPA, not top down from the State or the JPA.

Bales says homeless shelters should be selectively placed. He wants basketball court-style sheltering.

Pauly opposed the JPA as expanding government. She says homelessness has been hardened. She blamed electeds officials for not taking care of homelessness sooner and now permanent homeless shelters are being imposed on communities. She calls for temporary shelters, like “tent cities.”

Sanchez says it is sad that a federal judge had to intervene. She blasts Anaheim for letting homelessness grow for 2 years. She blasts the proposal to place a homeless shelter at a school in the canyons. she speaks of the need for mental health programs and wraparound services.

Moderator asks about rising hate crimes.

Murray calls hate crimes a tragedy, pointing to faith, lifestyle, and culture. she says she is being attacked by Howard Ahmanson who she says funds hate groups. She says she stands with all diverse communities.

Bales speaks of opposing prejudice and being friends with people of all races.

Pauly speaks of the First Amendment, protecting free speech and freedom of religion. She says the Human Relations Commission is keeping itself busy. She says there are professional victims. She says certain groups are a threat, but scream hate to defend themselves.

Sanchez has been attacked for being a woman, poor, Latina, Christian, and even a Democrat. She says it is important to stand for all people. She calls for increased funding for the Human Relations Commission.

Wagner says the Human Relations Commission fights “yahoos” in the community. He speaks of helping to defend a vandalized synagogue by offering a reward for the “yahoo” who attacked it, and he worked with Christian and Muslim leaders on this.

Moderator asks about making toll roads more profitable.

Bales says developers want toll roads to access their land.

Pauly says transportation, and particularly roads, are a basic function of government. She says the toll roads are empty while freeways are jam packed. She says the toll roads are not profitable and should be free.

Sanchez notes the 73 is not profitable and the 241 barely breaks even. She points to the toll roads pouring on to high-traffic roads. She says there needs to be bigger picture planning.

Wagner cites Sanchez’s arguments and calls for comprehensive solutions for getting people across the county in both emergency and day-to-day situations.

Murray says the toll roads are critical redundancy and will be free once the bonds are paid off. She supports the 91/241 toll road connector which will help organically reduce traffic. She says that the 5 and 57 cannot be further widened.

Moderator asks for residency.

Pauly: Orange

Sanchez: Orange

Wagner: North Irvine

Murray: Anaheim Hills

Bales: Tustin

Moderator asks what drives choices of support, proposals, and votes.

Pauly says there are problems we may not anticipate. She reads all material. She asks staff questions. She does further research. She goes to her outside experts. She emails constituents.

Sanchez seeks out experts. She notes her endorsement by Jim Doti because she always sought Chapman’s expertise. She trusts her gut.

Wagner says it is important to do homework and seek expertise but then run it through principles. He founded the OC chapter of the Federalist Society. He always seeks to increase liberty.

Murray says she is not a politician, but a public servant. She hosted town halls as a Councilwoman to get community input. She works hard and rolls up her sleeves. She seeks long term benefit for the people she serves.

Bales says honesty is his top priority and seeks to make the best decision possible. He wants to represent people not special interests. He says Prop 13 emerged from his work.

Closing statements begin.

Bales says he will represent the people. He believes in honesty and integrity. He has been retaliated against as a whistleblower.

Murray thanks the organizers and attendees. She wants to serve the people, work hard, and be accessible. Her cell phone is on her campaign web site. She cares about results, not rhetoric. She has not attacked any other candidate.

Wagner thanks the organizers and attendees. He came to OC in 1991 and loves this community. The people, not the government, built the community. He will help preserve it. He has the experience to serve this community.

Sanchez will protect the Third District. She will protect public safety and the homeless, both mentally I’ll and opioid-addicted. She notes she brought money back to OC as a Democrat in a Republican controlled Congress. She loves OC as her home and her family’s home.

Pauly speaks of people informing her. She says she is a fighter and scrapper. She says she will be the first line of defense for the people. She says she is the only candidate who put her cell phone and email address in the sample ballot.

The forum concludes at 8:35 PM.

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Santa Ana Unified to Hold November 5 Special Election for School Board

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 14, 2019

Santa Ana Unified School DistrictAfter two regular board meetings and four special board meetings, the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) was unable to fill the vacancy on their School Board that resulted from the election of Ceci Iglesias (R) to the Santa Ana City Council.  As such, they did not meet the February 9 deadline under state law to fill the vacancy by appointment, and the County Superintendent of Schools must call a special election for SAUSD.

The special election will take place on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, less than one year after the regular election for School Board (and City Council).  The regular election for the next term for the same School Board seat will be less than a year later on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

After winning 39.1% of the vote in a three-way race in the November 6, 2018, election, Iglesias was sworn in to the City Council on December 4.  Her former School Board seat will be vacant for nearly 11 months, with the special election winner holding the seat for just over a year before the term expires.

On December 11, the School Board voted to hold an appointment process.  Applications were due January 3.  The School Board held a special meeting on January 8 to interview the 10 applicants. During that meeting, 2 applicants were ruled ineligible because they did not live in the School District boundaries, and 3 finalists were picked from the 8 eligible applicants.

At a January 15 special meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on the appointee for the vacancy, with Board Members Rigo Rodriguez (D) and Alfonso Alvarez (D) voting to appoint Carolyn Torres (D) and Board Members John Palacio (D) and Valerie Amezcua (D) voting to appoint Bruce Bauer (D).  A compromise attempt by Palacio to appoint the third finalist, Sergio Verino (D), failed when no one else supported Verino.

At its January 22 regular meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on Torres and Bauer again.

At its January 29 special meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on Torres and Bauer a third time.

At its February 8 special meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on Torres and Bauer a fourth and final time.

Meanwhile at Santa Ana City Hall: Roman Reyna (D) resigned from the Santa Ana City Council, effective March 1.  The Santa Ana City Charter gives the City Council until March 31 to appoint someone to fill the resulting vacancy.  (Reyna had agreed to resign as part of a legal settlement to end a lawsuit accusing Reyna of being legally ineligible for the seat when he was elected in the November 6, 2018 election.  As part of the agreement, Reyna agreed not to seek appointment to fill the vacancy nor run for election to fill the vacancy.)

If the Council fails to fill the vacancy by March 31, then there shall be a special election for City Council on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, to fill the remaining three years on that Council seat.  In other words, most Santa Ana voters would fill both a City Council vacancy (through 2022) and a School Board vacancy (through 2020) in the November 2019 special election.  (95.7% of SAUSD voters are residents of the City of Santa Ana.  Conversely, only 73.7% of Santa Ana City voters are residents of SAUSD.)

The applicants for appointment to the School Board vacancy consisted of 7 Democrats, 2 Republicans, and 1 No Party Preference registrant.  Of those, 1 Democrat and 1 Republican were ruled ineligible since they are not residents of SAUSD.  The 10 applicants who were considered on January 8 were:

Receiving 3-4 Votes to Become Finalists

  • Bruce Bauer (D), a former Santa Ana Planning Commissioner, who came in 6th in the 2016 election for SAUSD
  • Carolyn Torres (D), a middle school teacher and an activist with Chicanos Unidos
  • Sergio Verino (D), a community college adjunct professor and a Santa Ana City Code Enforcement Supervisor

Torres and Verino both received four votes to advance to the finalist stage while Bauer received three votes (Rigo Rodriguez dissenting on Bauer).

Receiving 2 Votes

  • Shaulyn Barban (NPP), an 18-year-old high school senior
  • Irma Macias (D), a Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Commissioner, who came in 6th in the 2018 election for City Council, Ward 2
  • Mark McLoughlin (D), a Santa Ana Planning Commissioner and former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee, who came in 5th in the 2016 election for SAUSD

Valerie Amezcua proposed advancing Barban to the finalist stage, John Palacio proposed advancing Macias, and Rigo Rodriguez proposed advancing McLoughlin.  Alfonso Alvarez provided a second vote for each of the three to advance to the finalist stage.

Receiving 1 Vote

  • Jesus Montoya (D), a community college counselor

Only Rigo Rodriguez supported advancing Montoya to the finalist stage.

Receiving No Votes

  • Gisela Contreras (R), an insurance brokerage account manager
  • Abigail Aleman (D), ruled ineligible as a resident of Garden Grove Unified School District
  • Richard Lyons (R), ruled ineligible as a resident of Saddleback Valley Unified School District

Posted in Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

3rd District Supervisor Candidate Forum on Friday with All 7 Candidates

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on February 13, 2019

The Foothill Communities Association has organized a candidate forum for the Third District Supervisor Special Election, with moderators from the League of Women Voters.  The forum is scheduled for Friday evening and is the first (and probably only) time all seven candidates will be at the same forum.  It will be the second forum for front-runners Don Wagner, Loretta Sanchez, and Kris Murray who appeared at a January 31 forum sponsored by the Orange County Public Affairs Association.

Here is the release from FCA and LWV:

Foothill Communities Association and League of Women Voters

Candidates Forum for Third District Supervisor

The seven candidates running to be the next Third District Supervisor in Orange County will participate in a forum to discuss their qualifications and policies. The candidates will also take questions from the audience. This is likely the only opportunity that Third District residents will have to compare all the candidates and have them address their individual specific concerns.

Date and time: Friday, February 15, 2019 at 7pm

Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church (Fellowship Hall)
13922 Prospect Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705
(corner of Prospect Ave. and 17th St.)

The special election will be on March 12, 2019.

The Third District includes all or parts of Anaheim, Irvine, Orange, Yorba Linda, El Modena, North Tustin, Orange Park Acres, and the Canyon Communities.

The event is organized by the Foothill Communities Association and will be moderated by The League of Women Voters. Both organizations are nonprofit entities and are politically impartial. Neither will endorse candidates.

Check www.FCAhome.org for more details.

Note: the last day to register to vote for this election is February 25, 2019.

For further information contact Richard Nelson
(714) 730-7810 rnelson@FCAhome.org

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »