OC Political

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

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.

3 Responses to “Live from the 3rd Supervisorial District Candidate Forum”

  1. […] Finally, the premise of last night’s blog post was that the writer received “a forwarded email yesterday from someone who called herself, Dr. Something-or-other, Ph.D.” who provided a “representation that [Wagner] is the only ‘Pro Life’ Third District candidate is not only untrue, because there are two other ‘Pro Life’ Republicans in the race…”  It is rather unseemly to launch an attack on a candidate based on receiving a forwarded email originally penned by some random emailer.  I’m a resident of the Third District, and I’ve not seen a single mailer, social media posting, article, or press release from Wagner (nor from any independent expenditure claiming that Wagner is the only pro-life candidate.  Indeed, until last night’s blog post, I had not seen a single mention of abortion from any candidate literature or independent expenditure, nor was there any mention of abortion at the Third District candidate forum. […]

  2. Judith said

    Are you paraphrasing Wagner’s residency response “north Irvine.” Why would he not just say Irvine? Everyone else just said their city name. Not South Orange or North Tustin, etc.

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