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Orange to Hold November 5 Special Election for City Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 23, 2019

Yesterday, the Orange City Council voted unanimously to hold a special election to fill the vacancy on their Council that resulted from the election of Mark Murphy (R) as Mayor of Orange.

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

After winning 57.4% of the vote in the November 6, 2018, election, Murphy was sworn in as Mayor on December 11.  His former Council 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.

The Council special election is also less than eight months after the March 12 special election for Third District Supervisor, which includes the entire City of Orange.  This means voters in the City of Orange will have six elections in three years:

  • June 5, 2018 Primary
  • November 6, 2018 General
  • March 12, 2019 Special (Supervisor)
  • November 5, 2019 Special (Council)
  • March 3, 2020 Primary
  • November 3, 2020 General

Voters in Orange are certainly used to special elections, with the Council special election slated to be their fourth special election in just over four years.  They previously voted in a March 1, 2016 special election for the Orange Unified School District, just 3 months before the 2016 primary.  20% of Orange’s registered voters turned out in that special election.  They also previously voted in a March 17, 2015 special election for the 37th State Senate District, which included 96% of the City of Orange.  16% of Orange’s registered voters turned out in that special election.

The last special election for an Orange City Council seat was on June 5, 2001, when future Mayor Carolyn Cavecche (R) defeated future Judge Scott Steiner (R) 61%-35% (a third candidate, Michael Vogelvang, won 3% of the vote).  19% of registered voters turned out in that special election.

In a case of déjà vu, the 2001 special election was held to fill the vacancy on the City Council that resulted from the election of Mark Murphy as Mayor of Orange in the November 2000 election.

Murphy had first been appointed to the City Council on March 30, 1993, to fill the vacancy on the City Council that resulted when Councilman Bill Steiner (R) (Scott Steiner’s father) was appointed to the Orange County Board of Supervisors by Governor Pete Wilson (R) after the resignation of Supervisor Don Roth (R).

The Orange City Council had previously considered on January 8 whether to make an appointment or hold a special election, but opted to delay its decision to January 22.

City staff in Orange had proactively solicited applications for the vacancy before this vote, and 20 people had submitted them.  The application process was not mandatory, and even if the City Council had opted to appoint, it was not limited to considering only those 20 applicants.  The applicants consisted of 11 Republicans, 6 Democrats, and 3 No Party Preference registrants.  Six defeated 2018 candidates applied, including both of Murphy’s opponents from the mayoral election and four of the six defeated Council candidates:

  • John Aust (NPP)
  • Robert Baca (R)
  • Arianna Barrios (NPP), a Trustee of the Rancho Santiago Community College District who won 55% of the vote in her 2016 re-election
  • Connie Benson (D)
  • Zachary Collins (R), a defeated 2018 Council candidate who won 5% of the vote
  • Douglas Cohen (R)
  • Jon Dumitru (R), a former two-term Orange Councilman and defeated 2018 Council candidate who won 14% of the vote
  • Michael Eagan (R)
  • Adrienne Gladson (D), a former Orange Planning Commissioner and defeated 2018 Council candidate who won 11% of the vote
  • Ernest Glasgow (R), Chairman of the Orange Planning Commission
  • Windy Horton (R)
  • Adnan Maiah (D)
  • Mark Moore (D)
  • Robert Roman (D)
  • John Russo (R), a defeated 2018 Mayoral candidate who won 21% of the vote
  • Corey Schulz (NPP)
  • Betty Valencia (D), a defeated 2018 Council candidate who won 14% of the vote
  • Christian Vaughan (R), an Orange Traffic Commissioner
  • Doug Vogel (R), a defeated 2018 Mayoral candidate who won 21% of the vote
  • Brett Wyland (R)

Posted in Orange | Leave a Comment »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 21, 2019

We are live from OC GOP Central Committee, where the agenda includes the election of officers for 2019-2020, speeches from candidates for California Republican Party Chairman, and the endorsement request submitted by Don Wagner for the special election for the Third District vacancy on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. It is standing room only in a rather large room.

The Central Committee voted to fill a pair of vacancies on the Central Committee with Hon. Alberta Christy (69th District, succeeding Hon. Brett Franklin) and Hon. Jim Cuneen (72nd District, succeeding Hon. Tyler Diep, who had to give up his directly-elected Central Committee seat, as the Republican nominee for the 72nd Assembly District has an ex officio Central Committee seat, and he cannot hold two Central Committee seats). They are sworn in, as are several new alternate members.

The roll is called, and the elected officials present are introduced.

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker gives opening remarks reflecting upon the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Whitaker discusses the 2018 election, noting that more Republicans turned out to vote than Democrats did, in excess of registration margins. He notes polling indicates more Republicans voted for Democrats than vice-versa in 2018. He urges consolidating early behind candidates to deal with this, noting the Democrats have cleared the Third District Supervisor’s race for Loretta Sanchez and argues that the same should be done by Republicans for Don Wagner. He urges focusing on local issues, de-nationalizing the election, making sure OC volunteers focus on OC rather than calling into other states. He notes Democrats spent $60 million on OC Congressional races while Republicans spent $16 million. He notes $44 million was donated by OC Republicans and only $4 million came back to OC. He discusses how the Republican ballot harvesting pilot program was unsuccessful because Republicans simply do not hand over their ballots the way Democrats and No Party Preference voters do. He notes the Central Committee will vote on a political plan in closed session at the end of the meeting. He notes everyone on the Central Committee is a volunteer. He notes many people are here, yet only few signed up on the volunteer sheets at the entrance.

Central Committee Member Dean Grose calls on the entire Executive Committee to resign (despite the terms expiring today). He urges the elections be delayed to February and voted on one by one. (No one addresses Grose’s controversial past though most are aware.)

Whitaker notes elections for officers have been held every two years in January. He notes the terms expire today.

Former OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh speaks about 27 Republican Governors, 64 legislative chambers, and other Republican successes. He notes the party controlling the White House typically loses seats in midterm elections, noting 39 Congressional seats lost is typical and that the GOP lost 40 in 2018. He also notes Democrats lost more state legislative seats in 2010 under President Barack Obama than Republicans did in 2018. He expresses concern about local Republicans voting for Democrats. He warns of the threat of Democrats gaining a second seat on the Board of Supervisors. He urges fighting back.

Baugh then makes a motion to nominate candidates for OC GOP Candidates for 2019-2020, seconded by Hon. John Moorlach and Hon. Gene Hernandez:

  • Hon. Fred Whitaker for Chairman
  • Hon. Peggy Huang for 1st Vice Chair
  • TJ Fuentes for 2nd Vice Chair
  • Erik Weigand for Treasurer
  • Steven Nguyen for Secretary
  • Hon. Laurie Davies for Assistant Treasurer
  • Tim Whitacre for Sergeant-at-Arms

Baron Night moves and Hon. Dean Grose seconds for remarks from each of the candidates.

Hon. Anthony Kuo moves and Hon. Brett Barbre seconds to table the motion. The tabling passes easily by voice vote.

The officer nominees are re-elected by voice vote.

Whitaker proposes Hon. Kermit Marsh to the appointed position of Parliamentarian, with at-large Executive Committee appointments going to Jon Fleischman, Mike McClellan, and Hon. Mike Munzing. The committee confirms the appointments by acclamation.

Hon. Mari Barke gives brief remarks on behalf of the California Policy Center.

Whitaker notes the presence of various candidates for Californa Republican Party (CRP) positions by name.

Whitaker then introduces the candidates for CRP Chair.

Steve Frank says he wants to revive the CRP. He says it is a great day in America with Trump as President and 660 days to get him re-elected. He notes 1.7 million Republicans have switched to Decline to State. He says the CRP has not spent a dime on voter registration. He says he does more radio shows in a week than entire CRP Board. He expresses outrage about legislative seats that did not have Republican candidates because of Prop 14. He accuses Travis Allen of supporting Prop 14 and accuses Jessica Patterson of getting 400 proxies to kill Frank’s symbolic resolution opposing Prop 14. He wants to use churches to harvest ballots. He blasts vote fraud. He says over a million people were fraudulently registered to vote in LA County. He says Democrats blocked the seating of a Republican Congressional candidate from North Carolina due to Republican ballot harvesting. He says Republicans should have sought the same with the seven California Democrats who won swing seats. He then gives out his phone number.

Whitaker notes that there is no endorsement vote tonight, but candidates for CRP Chair can go through the endorsement application process.

Jessica Patterson started volunteering for the Republican Party at a local headquarters in Hacienda Heights. She interned for Assemblyman Bob Pacheco and the CRP during the 2003 gubernatorial recall election. She notes most counties do not have County Executive Directors and infrastructure the way Orange County does. She notes her work with the CRP’s program for expanding County Executive Directors. She oversaw the Central Valley for CRP during the Schwarzenegger campaign. She is endorsed by 14 of 20 Republican Assemblymembers, 7 of 10 Republican State Senators, and 6 of 7 California Republican Members of Congress. She says she will not speak ill of other Republicans because she says the real enemies are the Democrats. She notes the endorsements of Darrell Issa, Ed Royce, Mimi Walters, Pat Bates, Ling Ling Chang, Phil Chen, and Don Barnes.

Hon. Travis Allen shouts into the crowd and receives supportive shouts in return. He blasts the Republican establishment for its failures of the past 20 years. He asks the crowd if they want to be light versions of Democrats, to which the crowd shouts against. He notes the conservative leadership that once ran California. He wants to grow the CRP with 100,000 small donors in addition to major donors and pay for voter registration. He wants grassroots street captains and precinct captains to lead Republican voter registration efforts on their streets and precincts. He notes those captains will also serve as a ballot harvesting army during the campaign. He calls Frank a great conservative but questions his plan to create internal committees. He calls Patterson a great Republican and blasts her being paid by Charles Munger and Kevin McCarthy and that she ran the ineffective Trailblazers program. He says she ran proxy drills to control the results of CRP convention votes. He wants to end proxy voting at CRP conventions. Allen has 13 County Party Chairs endorsing him and numerous delegates. He notes he has 500,000 Facebook followers, more than any Californa Republican. He speaks of bringing donors and grassroots together.

Baron Night asks Patterson for specific plans, arguing she is much vaguer than Frank and Allen.

Patterson wants to work on messaging and wants to empower the grassroots. She says she has the support of the donor community who will help fund these activities.

John W. Briscoe asks about whether Patterson will change the proxy rules.

Patterson says each proxy is an active Republican who has given money or time to help Republican groups and candidates. She notes the story of a deployed soldier who successfully got his vote counted because of proxy voting.

Frank supports Allen’s proposal to get rid of proxies but argues Allen missed the deadline to change the bylaws. Frank says he understands the process.

Allen says Munger and McCarthy have gamed the proxy system. He says Patterson was their point person on proxy harvesting.

Hon. John Moorlach asks about Frank’s experience.

Frank chaired Youth for Nixon. He speaks of helping candidates for Congress, State, County, City, and other local offices.

A red-haired woman asks who is going to combat Democrat ballot harvesting and their access to DMV data.

Allen warns of consultants’ political plans that enrich themselves. He calls for grassroots efforts, pointing to his street and precinct captains. He wants to litigate ballot harvesting.

Frank calls for church ballot harvesting. He describes his 15-page plan for the CRP.

Patterson wants to empower County parties and retool messaging. She says growing the party requires year-round outreach to people who are not normally engaged with the party. She blasts grassroots precinct efforts being replaced by paid precinct efforts.

Whitaker thanks the candidates.

Eva, the November Volunteer of the Month, is recognized for her efforts in the 65th Assembly District during the 2018 election. Alexandria Coronado speaks of Eva immigrating legally from a Communist nation. Coronado lists numerous things Eva tirelessly did. Eva gives remarks of thanks, speaks about her immigration, and explains her belief in Republican ideals driving why she worked so hard as an election volunteer. Eva receives certificates from the offices of various elected officials.

Kristin, the December Volunteer of the Month, is recognized for her efforts volunteering on campaigns and at the Registrar of Voters after the election. She gives her remarks of thanks and receives certificates from the offices of various elected officials.

Katie Pringle is nominated and elected as the County Party’s delegate for the vacant 69th Assembly District at the CRP.

Whitaker brings the endorsement for Third District Supervisor.

Hon. Gene Hernandez moves and Mary Young seconds endorsing Don Wagner for Third District Supervisor.

Hon. Deborah Pauly objects.

Hernandez speaks of Wagner’s conservative leadership on union issues, education, and fiscal issues. He speaks of Wagner’s conservative record on the College Board, in the State Assembly, and as Mayor.

Pauly argues that Republicans voted for Democrats for reasons of honor and integrity. She argues Whitaker has a narrow definition of stakeholders. She says endorsing her opponent is a mistake. She claims he is bought and paid for by developers. She says filing has not closed yet, and no one has qualified for the race. She expresses concern about the potential Irvine mayoral vacancy.

By a voice vote, Wagner is endorsed in a landslide.

After his endorsement, Wagner speaks of his 14% victory for Mayor. Wagner shows a posting from Loretta Sanchez. He warns that this election is the first campaign of November 2020. He notes the Mayors of every city in the district are endorsing him, except for Irvine (because he is the Mayor of Irvine) and Anaheim (where Kris Murray is from), but notes he does have the endorsement of the Mayor Pro Tem of Irvine and that Anaheim is only 11% of the Third District.

Various club announcements are made.

The committee adjourns to closed session at approximately 8:50 PM.

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Republican Central Committee | 1 Comment »

OC’s Five Vacant Seats

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 8, 2019

As a result of the November 2018 elections, there are currently five vacant seats in Orange County.  Here’s a quick run-down on the five vacancies:

  • OC Supervisor, Third District
  • Fullerton City Council
  • Orange City Council
  • Seal Beach City Council, District 1*
  • Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education

*Seal Beach is not actually a vacancy, but there is an election this month (see below)

OC Supervisor, Third District – March 12 Special Election

The highest profile vacancy in Orange County is indisputably the Third District seat on the Board of Supervisors, which Todd Spitzer vacated when he was sworn in as District Attorney yesterday.  The special election has been called for March 12, with candidate filing closing on January 28.  There is no run-off, so whoever wins the plurality of the vote in this election will be Third District Supervisor through the remainder of Spitzer’s unexpired term that lasts until January 2021.  The seat would be up for election again in 2020 for a full four-year term lasting from January 2021-January 2025.  Since the new Supervisor would be filling less than half of Spitzer’s unexpired term, that person could hold the seat for nearly ten years before finally being term limited in the 2028 election.

Declared candidates so far are Irvine Mayor Don Wagner (R), former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D), and former Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray (R).  Between his Assembly and Mayoral tenures, Wagner has represented 85% of the Third Supervisorial District’s registered voters, the entire district outside of Yorba Linda.  In Congress, Sanchez represented 12% of the Third Supervisorial District.  On the City Council, Murray represented 12% of the Third Supervisorial District.

Wagner was last on the Assembly ballot in 2014, but he has since been on the Mayoral ballot in both 2016 and 2018 in the 37% of the Third District that is the City of Irvine.  Sanchez was last on the ballot for the House of Representatives in 2014, though she did have an ill-fated run for US Senate in 2016, which of course included 100% of the district since it was a statewide race.  Murray was last on the City Council ballot in 2014.

Here are the latest campaign finance numbers for each of the three:

  • Wagner had $35,868 in his Mayoral campaign account as of the October 20 campaign finance report filed with the Irvine City Clerk.  What isn’t shown is how much of this he spent between October 20 and November 6 since he was in a campaign for re-election as Mayor, as that campaign finance report is not due until the end of January.
  • Sanchez had $18,384 in her Congressional campaign account and $18,344 in her US Senate campaign account, as of the September 30 campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
  • Murray had $316 in her City Council campaign account as of the June 30 campaign finance report filed with the Anaheim City Clerk.  She had $886 in her Supervisorial campaign account as of the June 30 campaign finance report filed with the Orange County Registrar of Voters.

Wagner and Sanchez’s state campaign accounts have all long been closed.  Neither of their Supervisorial campaign accounts have been open long enough to file campaign finance reports.

Wagner and Murray have each issued December press releases declaring that they have more than $100,000 in their Supervisorial campaign finance accounts.  The next campaign finance reports are due later this month.

Fullerton City Council

In Fullerton, an at-large Council seat was vacated when Jesus Silva (D) was sworn in to the Council seat for District 3 on December 4.  The City Council may either fill the seat by appointment or special election.  It requires 3 votes of the 4 remaining members of the Council to act.  Whether elected or appointed, this person would fill the at-large Council seat for the remainder of Silva’s unexpired term through 2020.  The at-large Council seat will no longer exist after 2020, as it will be replaced by a District Council seat.

At their December 18 meeting, the Council deadlocked 2-2 on whether to make an appointment or hold a special election.  Mayor Silva (D) and Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Fitzgerald (R) voted to make an appointment while Councilmen Bruce Whitaker (R) and Ahmad Zahra (D) voted for a special election.  They will consider the issue again on January 15.  Even if the Council does opt to make an appointment, they must reach 3 votes on who the appointee is in order to actually do so.  If the Council fails to make an appointment by February 2 (sixty days after the initial vacancy), then it automatically goes to a special election.

Regardless of whether the City Council actively chose to call a special election or simply failed to make an appointment by February 2, a special election would take place on either August 27, 2019 or November 5, 2019, under the statutory dates available to Fullerton.

Orange City Council

In Orange, a City Council seat was vacated when Councilman Mark A. Murphy (R) was sworn in as Mayor on December 11.  As in Fullerton, the Orange City Council may either fill the seat by appointment or special election, and it requires 3 votes of the 4 remaining members on the Council to act.  Whether elected or appointed, this person would fill the Council seat through the remainder of Murphy’s unexpired term through 2020, at which point the Councilmember would be up for election for a full four-year term.

City staff in Orange proactively solicited applications for the vacancy, and 10 people have submitted them.  The application process is not mandatory, and the City Council is not limited to considering those 10 applicants nor is it limited to an appointment.

At its meeting this evening, the Orange City Council will consider whether to make an appointment or hold a special election.  Even if the Council does opt to make an appointment, they must reach 3 votes on who the appointee is in order to actually do so.  If the Council fails to make an appointment by February 9 (sixty days after the initial vacancy), then it automatically goes to a special election.

Regardless of whether the City Council actively chose to call a special election or simply failed to make an appointment by February 9, a special election would take place on November 5, 2019, the only statutory date available to Orange.

Seal Beach City Council, District 1 – January 29 Run-Off Election

In Seal Beach, there isn’t actually a vacancy, but rather, the Seal Beach City Charter requires a January run-off when no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the prior November election.

There is January 29 run-off election between Small Businessman Peter Amundson (R) and Retired Business Owner Joe Kalmick (D) for the District 1 Council seat.  District 1 Councilwoman Ellery Deaton (R) continues in office until the run-off election is certified.  Eight years ago when Deaton was first elected, she too had to go to a run-off election—against none other than Kalmick.

Republicans have a 7% registration advantage in Seal Beach District 1.  The Registrar of Voters began sending out ballots for this election on New Year’s Eve, so ballots started arriving in voters’ mailboxes on January 2.

Santa Ana Unified School District

The lone Republican on the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education, Ceci Iglesias (R), was elected to be the lone Republican on the Santa Ana City Council when she won the District 6 seat, to which she was sworn in on December 11.

At its December 11 meeting, the Santa Ana School Board directed their staff to open an application process to enable the School Board to fill the seat by appointment.  The School Board will meet this evening to conduct the first round of applicant interviews.  They plan to meet again on January 15 to interview the finalists and make the appointment.  They must reach 3 votes on one of the applicants to actually make the appointment.

If the School Board fails to make an appointment by February 9 (sixty days after the initial vacancy), then it automatically goes to a special election.

With a School Board appointment, unlike a City Council appointment, a petition of 1.5% of the registered voters of the school district can overturn the appointment and force a special election.  The petition must be submitted within 30 days of the appointment.  In this case, if anyone objects to the person appointed on January 15, they have until February 14 to submit a petition of 1,223 registered voters in the Santa Ana Unified School District to overturn the appointment and force a special election.  If this were to occur, the appointee would vacate the seat upon certification of the petition, and that person would not be entitled to incumbent status on the special election ballot.

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Fullerton, Orange, Santa Ana Unified School District, Seal Beach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OC’s Top 10 Stories From the November 2018 General Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 7, 2018

Here’s a quick look at the top 10 stories of the 2018 general election in Orange County:

  1. OC Congressional Delegation Now Consists of Five Democrats and Two Republicans
    In a political earthquake for Orange County, the 4-3 Republican majority in OC’s Congressional delegation is now a 5-2 Democratic majority.  The three senior members of the delegation are leaving Congress: Dana Rohrabacher (elected 1988), Ed Royce (elected 1992), and Darrell Issa (elected 2000); all three are Republicans and only Royce will be succeeded by a member of his own party.  While Royce and Issa both announced their retirements earlier this year, Rohrabacher has been defeated for re-election by businessman Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach).  Royce will be succeeded by former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) while Issa will be succeeded by Clean Energy Advocate Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano).  While Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) defeated Levin in Orange County, her undoing was Levin’s strong lead in San Diego County.  The three most senior members of the OC delegation are now Linda Sanchez (elected 2002), Alan Lowenthal (elected 2012), and Mimi Walters (elected 2014).  In a House of Representatives ruled by seniority, the OC delegation is severely lacking in seniority.
  2. Democrats’ Assembly Supermajority Hinges on Whether Matthew Harper Survives
    Orange County’s 5-2 Republican delegation could fall to being a 4-3 Republican delegation if Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) is unable to hold his narrow lead over Small Business Owner Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach).  Harper’s defeat would produce a Democratic supermajority in the State Assembly to go along with the Democratic supermajority in the State Senate (Democrats captured a Republican-held State Senate seat in the Central Valley last night).  Harper leads Petrie-Norris by 672 votes out of 120,164 votes cast, or 0.6%.  Late absentee ballots and provisional ballots have not yet been counted and most certainly could flip the lead.
  3. District Attorney-Elect Todd Spitzer
    For what appears to be the first time in Orange County history, a sitting District Attorney has been defeated for re-election.  20-Year District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (R) has been defeated for re-election by Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R).  Spitzer’s election also creates a special election in the Third Supervisorial District.  Spitzer’s victory was so sweeping that he leads in 27 of Orange County’s 34 cities, winning everywhere except Little Saigon and the northern beach cities.
  4. Tim Shaw Leads, But Fourth District Supervisor is Too Close to Call
    La Habra Mayor Tim Shaw (R) leads Fullerton Mayor Doug Chaffee (D) by just 1,610 votes out of 87,404 votes cast.  Chaffee won the Fourth District’s three largest cities, Anaheim, Fullerton, and Buena Park, but Shaw ran up the total in his wins in the three smallest cities, La Habra, Placentia, and Brea, particularly with the landslide in his own city of La Habra.  There are still an enormous number of late absentee ballots and provisional ballots that could still change the result in this seat.
  5. Assemblyman-Elect Tyler Diep
    In the race to succeed Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), Westminster Councilman Tyler Diep (R) defeated FreeConferenceCall.com CEO Josh Lowenthal (D-Huntington Beach) to retain this Assembly seat for Republicans.  Diep’s concurrent service with Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) makes California the first state ever with two Vietnamese-Americans serving in the State Legislature at the same time.
  6. Mayor-Elect Harry Sidhu and the New Anaheim Council Majority
    Anaheim voters delivered a new majority on their City Council.  Former Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu (R) was elected Mayor of Anaheim last night.  Businessman Trevor O’Neil (R) won the open Council seat in Anaheim Hills.  Former Councilman Jordan Brandman (D) defeated Councilman James Vanderbilt (R) in West Anaheim’s District 2 seat.  Councilman Jose Moreno (D) won re-election in Central Anaheim’s District 3 seat.
  7. Newport Beach Ousts Two Incumbents, Ending Council Majority
    While Councilmembers Diane Dixon (R) and Kevin Muldoon (R) won landslide re-elections, Councilman Scott Peotter (R) was defeated by Businesswoman Joy Brenner (R), and Councilman Duffy Duffield (R) is narrowly losing to Businessman Tim Stoaks (R).  With Peotter’s defeat and Duffield’s probable defeat, Newport Beach’s Council majority comes to an end.
  8. Lake Forest Sweep
    In a sweeping rebuke of incivility, Lake Forest voters elected Neeki Moatazedi (R) decisively over Sonny Morper (R) and elected former Councilman Mark Tettemer (R) to oust Mayor Jim Gardner (R) from office.  Moatazedi and Tettemer join Councilman Scott Voigts (R), who was unopposed for re-election when his opponent failed to qualify for the ballot, and Councilman Dwight Robinson (R) in a new 4-1 supermajority of civility.  Just ten months after the recall of Councilman Drew Hamilton (R) in which former Councilman Adam Nick’s allies won a 3-2 majority on the City Council, the voters have not only reversed the Nick majority but reduced down to 1 seat (which will be up for election in 2020).  A key turning point in the campaign came when Nick’s side sent a mailer so disgusting that multiple TV channels covered it, for it was so sexist that it called Moatazedi a “bikini model” and made up three fictional criminal record numbers with a photo of an inmate falsely implying that it was Moatazedi.  That mailer backfired into not only the media coverage but also campaign money and independent expenditures to oust Nick’s allies from the Council.
  9. Irvine’s New Councilmembers
    For the first time in 14 years, no incumbent Irvine Councilmember sought re-election (though Mayor Don Wagner (R) was re-elected last night).  Planning Commissioner Anthony Kuo (R) is the top vote getter while Businesswoman Farrah Khan (D) and Transportation Commissioner Carrie O’Malley (R) are neck-and-neck for the second Council seat, with Khan ahead by 389 votes, or 0.5%.
  10. Santa Ana Councilwoman-Elect Ceci Iglesias
    For the first time in a decade, Santa Ana citizens voted to elect a Republican to their City Council, with School Board Member Ceci Iglesias winning the Ward 6 seat by a decisive margin.  (The last Republican on the Santa Ana Council, Carlos Bustamante, was re-elected in 2008 to a term ending in 2012.)  Iglesias’s election creates a vacancy on the Santa Ana Unified School District Board, which will be filled by appointment.

Honorable Mention

  • There’s a New Sheriff in Town
    While it was widely expected that Undersheriff Don Barnes (R) would be elected Sheriff of Orange County, it’s always a major news story when there’s a new Sheriff.  Barnes decisively defeated Los Angeles County District Attorney Investigator Duke Nguyen (D) with 57% of the vote.

Upcoming News Story Due to Last Night’s Results

  • Race for Third District Supervisor
    With the election of Supervisor Todd Spitzer as District Attorney of Orange County, an early 2019 special election will take place to fill the remaining two years on Spitzer’s Supervisorial term.  Retiring Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray (R) and Businessman Andy Thorburn (D) have already announced for Spitzer’s Supervisorial seat.  Thorburn spent millions in his unsuccessful bid in the primary election for the 39th Congressional District.  Other early rumored candidates include Irvine Mayor Don Wagner (R), former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang (D), and Yorba Linda Councilwoman Peggy Huang (R).

(In the interest of full disclosure, Western American, the company that owns OC Political, serves as the political consultants for Sidhu, O’Neil, Voigts, Moatazedi, and Tettemer, as well as doing secondary consultant work for Kuo.  Additionally, this blogger is Spitzer’s alternate on the Central Committee of the Republican Party of Orange County.)

Posted in 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, 72nd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Anaheim, Irvine, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff, Santa Ana Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

LA Times Endorses 3 White Candidates in English, But Endorses Their Latino Opponents in Spanish

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 1, 2018

Los Angeles TimesCross posted to OC Daily:

In one of the more bizarre stories of the 2018 election, the Los Angeles Times endorsed 3 white candidates (and 2 ballot measures) in its English language edition, but the paper then endorsed their 3 Latino opponents (and the opposite position on 2 ballot measures) in its Spanish language edition.  Specifically, the Times endorsed:

  • United States Senator: Dianne Feinstein in English, Kevin de León in Spanish
  • Insurance Commissioner: Steve Poizner in English, Ricardo Lara in Spanish
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff: Jim McDonnell in English, Alex Villanueva in Spanish
  • Proposition 3 (Water Bond): No in English, Yes in Spanish
  • Proposition 7 (Daylight Saving Time): Yes in English, No in Spanish

This wasn’t a mere listing error: there’s 1-3 paragraphs of text for each endorsement, and the Spanish language edition even includes a photo of each endorsed candidate.  This appears to be a case of blatant pandering where the LA Times simply got caught.

First reported by Latino Rebels yesterday, followed by a story on KCAL 9, the LA Times claimed this was simply an error, in which the endorsements of Hoy were run as the endorsements of the LA Times en Español.  However, Latino Rebels points out that these endorsements were not only posted online and in the weekly print edition of LA Times en Español but also issued again in a print supplement.

OC Political noticed the LA Times en Español’s endorsements consisted of Gavin Newsom for Governor and seven Latino candidates.  The LA Times en Español completely left out the races for State Controller, State Treasurer, and Superintendent of Public Instruction, where there are no Latinos running, yet it included the 24th State Senate District in its endorsements.

The LA Times in English endorsed the full slate of Statewide offices, including Betty Yee for State Controller, Fiona Ma for State Treasurer, and Tony Thurmond for Superintendent of Public Instruction.  The LA Times in English did not have any state legislative endorsements.  While the LA Times en Español endorsed 7 Latinos and 1 white man, the LA Times English endorsements for Statewide offices were much more ethnically balanced, with 3 white people, 3 Latinos, 2 Asian Americans, and 1 African American for State office.

The full LA Times English language endorsements are here (permanently archived here).  The full LA Times Spanish language endorsements are here (permanently archived here).

Below, however, are all five conflicting endorsements.

US Senate

In the English language edition:

U.S. Senate: Dianne Feinstein

Feinstein is a senator from a more civil and productive era of governance and has accomplished a great deal with that approach. California should reelect her and more candidates like her who know when to stand firm on matters of principle and when to negotiate to get things done. It is doubtful that challenger Kevin de Leon, unwilling by his own admission to compromise, would be nearly as effective in the Senate as it exists today.

In the Spanish language edition:

Kevin de Leon para senador federal

El senador estatal demostró tener la experiencia y el pragmatismo necesario para producir leyes. Él conoce de cerca la realidad de la gente y el valor de los inmigrantes. Dianne Feinstein ha estado en el Senado desde 1992 y de ganar esta elección, sería su sexto término en el Senado. Sin duda, es mucho tiempo y ha llegado el momento de un cambio generacional.

En estos momentos de claro enfrentamiento de Donald Trump contra el estado de California, se necesita una voz más fuerte y directa que vele por los intereses de los californianos en Washington.

Translation:

Kevin de Leon for federal senator

The state senator has demonstrated that he has the experience and pragmatism necessary for lawmaking. He knows closely the people’s reality and the value of the immigrants. Dianne Feinstein has been in the Senate since 1992 and if she wins this election, this would be her sixth term in the Senate. Without a doubt, that is a long time, and the time has come for a generational change.

In these moments of clear confrontation by Donald Trump against the state of California, a stronger and more direct voice is needed who looks after the interests of Californians in Washington.

Insurance Commissioner

In the English language edition:

Insurance commissioner: Steve Poizner

Poizner was an able and innovative insurance commissioner for a four-year term that ended in 2011. The Republican-turned-independent earned a reputation as an advocate for consumers, not insurance companies. This isn’t the right job for rival Ricardo Lara, who lacks experience with insurance regulation.

In the Spanish language edition:

Ricardo Lara para comisionado de seguros

El senador estatal tiene un fuerte compromiso con la defensa del consumidor, una responsabilidad vital para este cargo. Su cruzada en la legislatura por una cobertura médica universal refleja la pasión por defender al más vulnerable.

Translation:

Ricardo Lara for insurance commissioner

The state senator has a strong commitment to consumer protection, a vital responsibility for this position. His crusade in the legislature for universal medical coverage reflects his passion to defend the most vulnerable.

LA County Sheriff

In the English language edition:

Sheriff: Jim McDonnell

It turns out that reforming the Sheriff’s Department is a long and complicated process. But McDonnell remains the better of two candidates to do the job, given his long experience leading large law enforcement agencies. Challenger Alex Villanueva has no such experience.

In the Spanish language edition:

Alex Villanueva para Sheriff

Alex Villanueva ha demostrado su deseo de conseguir un cambio dentro del Departamento del Sheriff de Los Ángeles, el segundo más grande del país. En su opinión, la corrupción es un mal endémico dentro del Departamento y el actual Sheriff, Jim McDonell, no ha hecho nada para combatirlo.

Villanueva ha dicho que no apoya la presencia de agentes del Servicio de Inmigracion en el interior de las cárceles, y considera que las leyes santuario ayudan a fortalecer la confianza de la comunidad con las autoridades. Villanueva garantiza un cambio desde el interior del Departamento.

Translation:

Alex Villanueva for Sheriff

Alex Villanueva has shown his desire to bring change from within the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the second largest in the country. In his opinion, corruption is an endemic evil within the Department and the current Sheriff, Jim McDonell, has done nothing to combat it.

Villanueva has said that he does not support the presence of ICE agents inside the jails, and he thinks that sanctuary laws help to strengthen the trust of the community with law enforcement. Villanueva guarantees a change from inside the Department.

Proposition 3

In the English language edition:

Proposition 3: ($8.877-billion water bond): No

Not all water bonds are created equal. This one would have all Californians pay for projects that would benefit only a few interests or regions, chiefly Central Valley agriculture.

In the Spanish language edition:

PROPOSICIÓN 3: Sí

Autoriza 8,900 millones de dólares para proyectos relacionados con agua. Los proyectos son extensos, cubren desde mejorar la calidad, almacenamiento y distribución.

Translation

PROPOSITION 3: Yes

Authorizes $8.9 billion for projects related to water. The projects are extensive, covering quality improvement, storage and distribution.

Proposition 7

In the English language edition:

Proposition 7 (Permanent daylight saving time): Yes

Passage of Proposition 7 would empower the Legislature, by a 2/3 vote, to express its desire to shift to year-round daylight saving time. But an actual shift requires an act of Congress.

In the Spanish language edition:

PROPOSICIÓN 7: No

Autoriza votar por el cambio de hora. La legislatura debe atender temas más importantes que este.

Aunque la Proposición 7 fuera aprobada por los votantes, California no podría hacer el cambio de horario sin el permiso del Congreso. La ley federal permite a los estados dejar de observar el horario de verano, pero no hacerlo de manera permanente.

En otras palabras, la Proposición 7 no detendrá el cambio de reloj, pero abre el camino para un debate que vale la pena tener. Pero creemos que en este momento la legislatura estatal tiene cosas más importantes y urgentes que abordar.

Translation

PROPOSITION 7: No

Authorizes voting for the time change. The legislature should address more important issues than this.

Even if Proposition 7 is approved by voters, California could not make the schedule change without Congressional permission. Federal law allows states to stop observing Daylight Saving Time, but not permanently.

In other words, Proposition 7 will not stop changing clocks, but it opens the way for a debate worth having.  But we believe that at this moment the state legislature has more important and urgent things to address.

Posted in California | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Are You Willing to Let Your Orange County Vote Be Bought by New York, Boston, and San Francisco?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 31, 2018

Cross posted to OC Daily:

Kathy Tavoularis

Kathy Tavoularis

OC Political presents an op-ed from former Republican Party of Orange County Executive Director Kathy Tavoularis, who directed and implemented the 2004 get-out-the-vote effort in Orange County, producing the highest vote margin of victory for George W. Bush of any county in the United States:

Bill Watterson said, “Selling out is usually a matter of buying in. Sell out, and you’re really buying into someone else’s system of values, rules and rewards.”

The question is: Can you really buy the third-most populous county in California, the sixth-most populous in the United States, and a county more populous than twenty-one U.S. states?

Orange County, for decades known as “America’s Most Republican County,” has seen an unprecedented amount of Democrat dollars spent to flip four traditionally Republican Congressional seats in order to take control of the House of Representatives. To be clear, the list of money to date includes, but is not limited to:

  • Over $10 million from the House Minority Leader, San Francisco liberal icon Nancy Pelosi
  • $5 million from liberal San Francisco environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer
  • Nearly $10 million from the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Over $5 million from former New York Mayor and Democrat Presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg’s PAC

That is roughly $30 million from outside Orange County that is being spent to buy your vote – whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. Democrats can’t win in Orange County without Republican votes. The numbers aren’t there. So Orange County Republicans voters are being targeted with outside money with San Francisco, Boston and New York values to tell you your values are wrong, that the way you live is wrong, that government is best when it runs your life. So vote Democrat.

Do they not understand the history of Orange County? They do not because they are not from here. Since 1888 when we separated from Los Angeles County, Orange County, a.k.a. “the OC,” has prided itself on being a separate, unique destination. One where you can live comfortably, raise your children and send them to good, safe schools, drive to work and enjoy your weekend on the beach or at an amusement park.

Now, Tom Steyer, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren want Orange County all to themselves and they are promoting four Democrat Socialists to take over four Congressional districts. You have never heard of these candidates before because they have no history of service in Orange County. But with all that money being spent on them by Tom, Nancy, Bernie and Elizabeth they might soon control you and represent “their” values on your behalf in Congress.

The Democrats’ talking point, especially to Republicans, is: “Hey, it’s great you like Trump, but he needs a check and balance. Give the Democrats the House, and we will make sure he doesn’t do anything crazy.” But don’t be fooled:

  • In Congressional District 39, a vote for Democrat Gil Cisneros is not a vote against Republican Young Kim or Donald Trump – but a vote FOR San Francisco Liberal Senator Kamala Harris.
  • In Congressional District 45, a vote for Democrat Katie Porter is not a vote against Republican Congresswoman Mimi Walters or Donald Trump – but a vote FOR Massachusetts Socialist Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren, a mentor of Katie Porter. In fact, Ms. Porter’s campaign Treasurer is Alexander Warren, Senator Warren’s son. And Porter named her daughter after the Massachusetts Senator.
  • In Congressional District 48, a vote for Harley Rouda is not a vote against Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher or Donald Trump – but a vote FOR San Francisco Liberal Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and her quest to be Speaker.
  • In Congressional District 49, a vote for Mike Levin is not a vote against Diane Harkey or Donald Trump – but a vote FOR Vermont Socialist Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders.

So, I ask, can your vote, values and way of life be bought on November 6?

Posted in 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

A Closer Look at Congressional Candidate Harley Rouda

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 18, 2018

Cross posted to OC Daily:

OC Political presents an op-ed from Laguna Beach businessman and philanthropist Steve Borowski:

Congressional Candidate Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach)

Congressional Candidate Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach)

The first I heard the name Harley Rouda was through a friend who invited me to a Rouda for Congress reception at her home. I couldn’t attend, which was probably a good thing given my propensity to ask questions. Once he displaced Hans Kierstead in the primary, I thought I should learn a little more about Harley Rouda who very well could be my next representative in Congress. What I found was not unexpected.

  • Although Rouda claims to be a champion of small business, he rails against the Trump “tax cuts for the rich.” I don’t know if this is simply a Democrat talking point he feels the need to parrot or something he truly believes. If the latter, he can’t be interested in promoting small business. 80% of private sector job creation comes from small to medium sized business. Proprietors of these small businesses are taxed at the personal level. Raising taxes will disproportionately affect those among us who have the ability and willingness to create jobs.
  • “Medicare for All” – Code for government-controlled single-payer health care. A standard mantra among the left. Medicare is a payment tool. Not a health care delivery tool. There’s a huge difference. How many doctors decline to take Medicare patients because they can’t get paid? Now expand that to 320 million people with no competitive options. And no more “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” Private health care would be illegal if Rouda had his way. If you’re one of the 160 million Americans with employer-provided health care, it’s gone. Picture government running our health care system with DMV-like efficiency. An unparalleled disaster waiting to happen. The Veterans Administration on steroids. Government controlled health care is rationing not to mention a $32 TRILLION price tag.
  • Rouda claims he accepts “No Corporate PAC Money,” but somehow, he thinks campaign cash from public employee labor unions and left-wing billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer is OK?
  • “Free Tuition” – How do you plan on doing that? I’m not paying for your Gender Studies degree. Starbucks has enough baristas.
  • A few weeks ago, Rouda was on the impeachment bandwagon. His website said his constituents tell him that Trump crossed the line in terms of impeachable offenses. Tellingly, that comment disappeared. I’m surprised Rouda hasn’t pulled his criticism of Kavanaugh once that allegation proved to be shady at best.
  • Also, a few weeks ago, Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement was prominently displayed on Rouda’s website. After her many meltdowns, she’s nowhere to be found. I’d be embarrassed too.

I have no doubt Harley Rouda is a good man. I don’t know if his public stance on issues is simply red meat for his base for election purposes, and then, as with most, he will govern in a different direction, or he believes his hyperbole.

I’m not taking that risk.

Posted in 48th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Final Round of Endorsements for 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 1, 2018

We are live from the OC GOP Central Committee for their final round of endorsements for the 2018 general election.

Tonight, the Central Committee will consider the recommendations of the Endorsements Committee from their September 19 meeting.

Recommended by the Endorsements Committee

  • Dave Wheeler for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Richard Nichols for Placentia City Council
  • Gene James for San Clemente City Council
  • Miguel Gonzalez for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 2
  • Hon. Cecilia Iglesias for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 6
  • Kelly Jennings for Moulton Niguel Water District

Not Considered by the Endorsements Committee But Eligible to Be Considered by the Central Committee

  • Hon. Steve Vargas for Brea City Council

Endorsement Request Withdrawn

  • Dr. Gina Nick for Newport Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 4

Candidates and ballot measures who were already endorsed by the Central Committee on April 16, June 18, July 30, August 20, August 30, and September 17 (or by the voters on June 8):

Federal

  • Ryan Downing – Congressional District 38
  • Hon. Young Kim – Congressional District 39
  • Congresswoman Mimi Walters – Congressional District 45
  • Russell Lambert – Congressional District 46
  • Hon. John Briscoe – Congressional District 47
  • Congressman Dana Rohrabacher – Congressional District 48
  • Hon. Diane Harkey – Congressional District 49

State

  • John Cox – Governor of California
  • Mark Meuser – Secretary of State
  • Konstantinos Roditis – Controller
  • Greg Conlon – Treasurer
  • Judge Steven Bailey – Attorney General
  • Joel Anderson – Board of Equalization, District 4
  • Rita Topalian – Senate District 32
  • State Senator Janet Nguyen – Senate District 34
  • State Senator Patricia Bates – Senate District 36
  • Assembly Member Phillip Chen – Assembly District 55
  • Hon. Alexandria Coronado – Assembly District 65
  • Assembly Member Steven Choi – Assembly District 68
  • Hon. Tyer Diep – Assembly District 72
  • Assembly Member Bill Brough – Assembly District 73
  • Assembly Member Matthew Harper – Assembly District 74
  • Yes on Proposition 5
  • Yes on Proposition 6
  • No on Proposition 10

County

  • Hon. Tim Shaw for Orange County Supervisor, 4th District
  • Don Barnes for Orange County Sheriff

City

  • Garrett Dwyer for Aliso Viejo City Council
  • Hon. Dave Harrington for Aliso Viejo City Council
  • Hon. James Vanderbilt for Anaheim City Council, District 2
  • Robert Nelson for Anaheim City Council, District 3
  • No on Measure L – City of Anaheim
  • Cecilia Hupp for Brea City Council
  • Steve Shatynski for Brea City Council
  • Brett Eckles for Costa Mesa City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Allan Mansoor for Costa Mesa City Council, District 5
  • Hon. Joe Muller for Dana Point City Council, District 1
  • Hon. Richard Viczorek for Dana Point City Council, District 2
  • Jamey Federico for Dana Point City Council, District 3
  • Patrick Harper for Fountain Valley City Council
  • Hon. Greg Sebourn for Fullerton City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Barbara Delgleize for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Hon. Erik Peterson for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Hon. Mike Posey for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Ron Sterud for Huntington Beach City Council
  • Hon. Michael Gates for Huntington Beach City Attorney
  • Hon. Don Wagner for Mayor of Irvine
  • Anthony Kuo for Irvine City Council
  • Carrie O’Malley for Irvine City Council
  • Erica Pezold for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Hon. Don Sedgwick for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Hon. Elaine Gennawey for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Hon. Fred Minagar for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Sandy Rains for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Neeki Moatazedi for Lake Forest City Council, District 2
  • Hon. Scott Voigts for Lake Forest City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Mark Tettemer for Lake Forest City Council, District 4
  • Hon. Dean Grose for Los Alamitos City Council
  • Hon. Wendy Bucknum for Mission Viejo City Council
  • Hon. Ed Sachs for Mission Viejo City Council
  • Hon. Diane Dixon for Newport Beach City Council, District 1
  • Hon. Duffy Duffield for Newport Beach City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Kevin Muldoon for Newport Beach City Council, District 4
  • Hon. Scott Peotter for Newport Beach City Council, District 6
  • Yes on Measure T – City of Newport Beach
  • Hon. Mark Murphy for Mayor of Orange
  • Chip Monaco for Orange City Council
  • Hon. Kimberlee Nichols for Orange City Council
  • Anne Figueroa for Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
  • Dan Bane for San Clemente City Council
  • Laura Ferguson for San Clemente City Council
  • No on Measure X – City of Santa Ana
  • Austin Lumbard for Tustin City Council
  • Hon. Tri Ta for Mayor of Westminster
  • Chi Charlie Nguyen for Westminster City Council
  • Hon. Peggy Huang for Yorba Linda City Council
  • Carlos Rodriguez for Yorba Linda City Council

School District

  • Dom Pham for Coast Community College District Area 1
  • Hon. Jim Cunneen for Fountain Valley School Board
  • Hon. Chris Thompson for Fullerton Joint Union High School District Trustee, District 4
  • Hon. Jeffrey Barke for Los Alamitos Unified School Board
  • Michelle Barto for Newport Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
  • Gracey Van Der Mark for Ocean View School District
  • Angie Cano for Santa Ana Unified School District
  • No on Measure I – Santa Ana Unified School District

Water District

  • Hon. Shawn Dewane for Mesa Water District, Division 5
  • Hon. Brett Barbre for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
  • Hon. Steve Sheldon for Orange County Water District, Division 5
  • Hon. Shawn Dewane for Orange County Water District, Division 7
  • Hon. Bill Green for South Coast Water District

Hon. Brett Barbre administers the oath of office to four newly-appointed alternates:

  • Hon. Cecilia Hupp for Hon. Peggy Huang
  • Kate Malouf for Erik Weigand
  • Alberta Christy for Hon. Robert Hammond
  • Hon. Al Murray for Hon. Jeff Lalloway

The minutes are approved unanimously.

Chairman Fred Whitaker notes there are 36 days until the election. He urges volunteerism and briefly discusses GOP efforts for the election.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills delivers the committee’s report in the absence of Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang.

Brett Barbre moves and Mike Munzing seconds the consent calendar.

Shawn Nelson pulls Richard Nichols off the consent calendar.

Barbre says Nichols’s opponent has received money from public employee unions and voted to raise the sales tax. He says Nichols should be endorsed because he went through the endorsement process.

Nelson says Chad Wanke is a family man and good Republican. He notes there are many other issues going on in Placentia. He opposes the sales tax measure but says that he agrees with Wanke on many other issues. He notes Tim Shaw did the same thing in La Habra. He does not want to pick every backyard fight and does not believe the Central Committee does either. Nelson said he has never met Nichols before Nichols filed for office. He notes Nichols didn’t even bother to submit a ballot argument against the sales tax measure.

John W. Briscoe asks how Endorsements Committee voted.

Your truly questions Nichols’s voter registration.

TJ Fuentes offers a substitute motion for neutrality.

Fuentes says there are two good Republicans, and the party should stay out.

Barbre says the Party should endorse over a bad Republican and notes five Republicans backed Bob Citron and voted for 3% at 50. He questions the Placentia embezzlement.

Steven Nguyen asks Nichols why he didn’t catch his voter registration in the 2016 presidential primary.

Nichols says his ballot was still Republican.

The motion for neutrality has 26 votes in favor with 9 against.

The party is neutral for Placentia City Council.

Next up is the only non-consent calendar candidate: Hon. Steve Vargas for Brea City Council.

Mills explains there was no recommendation because Vargas did not show up to Endorsements Committee.

Emily Sanford moves and Jon Fleischman seconds to endorse Vargas for re-election.

Fleischman says Vargas is a proven Republican voice for conservative principles. He says other Republican Brea Councilmembers grow government while Vargas opposes them.

Councilwoman Cecilia Hupp says she has been frustrated on the Council but must represent the entire community. She says on development fees, Vargas kept stating his agreement with increases and then voted against st the last minute. She says he voted for the first reading of a water fee increase and then against the second reading.

John W. Briscoe asks why Vargas did not go to Endorsements Committee.

Vargas describes a work emergency that kept him away.

Hupp argues he showed up at a candidate forum that night.

By voice vote, the committee votes against the motion for endorsement.

The committee adjourns at a shockingly fast 40 minutes.

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 1 Comment »

Live from Feet to the Fire: Costa Mesa Mayor 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 17, 2018

We are live from the second candidate forum tonight at Feet to the Fire: Mayor of Costa Mesa.

The Council Feet to the Fire was earlier tonight, which OC Political live blogged.

Both candidates are here tonight: Mayor Sandy Genis (R) and Councilwoman Katrina Foley (D).

Moderator Barbara Venezia introduces both candidates. She asks each candidate who they are supporting for Council.

Foley supports Andrea Marr, Manuel Chavez, and Arlis Reynolds.

Genis says she does not believe in machine politics and is not supporting any candidate because her Council district seat is not up for election.

Venezia asks about visions for the City.

Genis describes the small lot ordinance.

Foley wants a safer city and asks who is more effective. She says the moratorium on small lot ordinance was not possible because it needed a 4/5 vote. She blasts Genis for not supporting a motion to repeal it.

Genis says the motion simply repealed it and brought it back in January. She notes what was instead adopted had more open space and better parking, further noting that if Foley found it unacceptable, then why would she vote for it?

Foley says there are no differences in their voting records, with the exception of the Plant Project, which Foley called inspiring.

Genis noted the 2-acre Plant Project had 50 units on 1 acre, which was not sustainable, giving specific details about the units. The other acre was commercial. She said it was high-density that did not match the neighborhood.

Venezia asks about how to grow housing with limited land while dealing with high-density.

Foley says the City has been overdeveloped the last five years. She says projects have been placed in the wrong locations. She blasted building up to the sidewalk.

Genis says the definition of high-density matters. She says 12-20 units per acre is the definition in the General Plan. She blasts a 50-unit per acre project that Foley voted for.

Foley interrupted to say the project got rid of a slum motel.

Genis resumes noting the importance of transitions in development. She calls for walkability and bikability. She wants to break up blocks on the Westside to improve walkability.

Moderator John Canalis asks how they went from being allies in 2016 to opponents in 2018.

Foley speaks of all her campaign efforts, in both time and money, in 2016 on behalf of Genis because of their shared values. Foley says she has not changed and follows her principles. She says Genis has changed. She notes Genis nominated Foley as Mayor but despite her “Herculean efforts,” it was never enough for Genis. She says Genis then teamed up with Jim Righeimer and Allan Mansoor to oust Foley as Mayor.

Venezia attempts to interject.

Foley says she knows she has done nothing wrong.

Venezia asks why Foley still doesn’t know what happened.

Foley says there is no investigation into any wrongdoing against her. She says the meeting where she was ousted was the only time she has ever shouted at City Hall.

Venezia asks Genis for her perspective on the mayoral change.

Genis says it was the right thing for the City even though it was politically costly for herself. She believes in adhering to policy and precedent because they provide checks and balances. She found Foley would unilaterally change direction after there was a consensus. Genis expressed her concern that Foley did not respond well to dissent. Genis said the Mayor is not the boss of the city nor should she order around department heads because it is a council-manager form of government. She noted that she had the votes to be Mayor but decided to support Foley because Foley was the senior Councilmember who had not yet been Mayor. Genis expressed concern about Foley not following Brown Act comment limits. Genis expressed concern about Foley not following the sign ordinance Foley herself had voted for.

Moderator Norberto Santana asks for something that makes better headlines.

Genis speaks of the importance of respect, policy, and precedent. She says they are vital checks and balances. She says it is not okay to be a “benign despot.”

Santana asks Foley about muscling around City staff and bullying City staff.

Shouting ensues on stage between both candidates and multiple moderators.

Genis says she had heard that Foley had physically grabbed a City employee.

Foley argues these are not clear examples.

Venezia notes Genis says Foley doesn’t follow policy.

Santana asks if Foley bullies staff.

Foley notes she is endorsed by the Costa Mesa Employees Association. She says she has positive relationships with staff. She says she has high expectations for staff. She responds to nearly all emails and needs City staff to provide information for these.

Canalis asked Genis how she decided to vote to oust Foley.

Genis regretted by early Spring her vote for Foley for Mayor. She noted she campaigned for Foley in 2014. Genis says she told Foley repeatedly that she was exceeding her authority as Mayor.

Foley claims Genis never did this.

Genis says she repeatedly did so.

Audience shouting ensues.

Foley claims this was partisanship and that she has reached across the aisle. She speaks of a bipartisan coalition on sober living.

Canalis says it is still unclear.

Genis says she repeatedly spoke to Foley on the phone about her exceeding her authority as Mayor.

Foley says Genis mostly talked about her dogs.

Audience and candidate shouting ensues.

Foley says she changed the Mayor’s office into a Council office to be a collective office. She attacks Allan Mansoor, Jim Righeimer, and Steve Mensinger.

Venezia says it is clear there is a chasm between Foley and Genis.

Santana reflects on 2012 and asks what has changed on unfunded liabilities since then.

Foley says employees are paying more into City pensions than in any other City in California. She says the same is true of Costa Mesa firefighters. She has worked to increase non-PERSable benefits to prevent exacerbating the liability.

Santana asks how this will alleviate the liability from retirees.

Foley says it needs to be fixed for new employees, but for retirees it must be fixed at the State level.

Genis has pushed for a 115 Trust, which puts extra money away for pensions and other post-employment benefits. She says the trust can be added to in good economic times and drawn from in bad economic times. She warns that employee agreements must address the Obamacare tax that is coming in the next several years.

Venezia asks about finding new revenue.

Foley says she is always looking for new revenue without tax increases. She points to the Measure X marijuana revenue, including permit fees and sales taxes. She refers to the transport model for ambulance services as additional revenue. She wants to increase tourism, citing South Coast Plaza, the Performing Arts Center, Fairview Park, the Back Bay, and Disneyland. She wants to build another hotel in Costa Mesa.

Genis cites the marijuana revenue from research and development and manufacturing, but not retail via dispensaries. She says OC Fairgrounds revenue is up yet sales tax revenue from there is stagnant. She bought earrings at the OC Fairgrounds but the credit card charge went to Long Beach and is concerned the sales tax went there. She wants to use TOT revenue to fund security for tourists to ensure they feel safe, noting that San Francisco conventions are being cancelled due to tourists feeling unsafe.

Canalis asks for solutions to bathrooms, the homeless, and shelter beds.

Foley says the two of then voted the same yet it is somehow her issue. She says homelessness is the most important issue for the upcoming year. She says it is a multifaceted problem. One of the sources of homeless are “greedy sober living homes” that bring people in from out of state but then kick them out. She wants sober living homes to be declared businesses, so they can’t be in residential neighborhoods. She says a medical detox center has been built across the street from her. She wants 50 shelter beds in a series of facilities, like a women and children shelter and a co-ed shelter. This will allow enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance. She does not want Costa Mesa to become the Santa Ana Civic Center, which she walked through heading to court. She wants supportive housing and motel conversion.

Santana asks about permanent supportive housing at Fairview.

Foley says the State is not allowing that.

Genis notes permanent supportive housing is already at Fairview. She speaks of homeless people needing different levels of service ranging from those who simply need counseling to those who need permanent help to those who won’t accept services. She doesn’t like the emergency bed approach because it is unstable. She prefers transitional housing and permanent supportive housing because these transform their lives. She was concerned when she learned that Huntington Beach’s proposal for shelter beds was actually in another community. She notes the opioid crisis and soft on crime laws have made the problem worse, citing Prop 47 as an example.

Venezia asks what is something unique about each personality.

Genis can work with diverse people. Her college roommate joked they could never have parties because Genis’s friends included both peace activists and ROTC members. She has an ability to reach out to people and listen to people. She enjoys people. She appreciates the forms of government. She appreciates the Founding Fathers and that sometimes government is slow but that protects against rash decisions.

Foley says she is a “connector who gets things done.” She says she loves connecting people with those who can solve their problems. She says she is a loyal person who values loyalty. She says she reaches out when something is wrong. She notes some people are too far gone.

Santana praises civic engagement in Costa Mesa.

The moderators bring the forum to a close.

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Live from Feet to the Fire: Costa Mesa City Council Candidate Forum 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 17, 2018

Feet to the Fire

We are live from Feet to the Fire’s Costa Mesa City Council Candidate Forum. Immediately after this will be Feet to the Fire’s Costa Mesa Mayoral Candidate Forum.

Feet to the Fire is the liveliest candidate forum format this blogger has ever seen and may well be one of the best formats in the country. Apologies in advance for any omissions from the live blog; Feet to the Fire moves at such a quick pace that it is very difficult to get everything into the live blog.

Additionally, since Feet to the Fire is sponsored by the Daily Pilot and the Voice of OC, it is one of the few local candidate forums guaranteed to have media coverage.

We’ve live blogged from Feet to the Fire before in 2014 with the 74th Assembly District primary race, the 2nd Supervisorial District primary race, and the Costa Mesa Council race. Regrettably, scheduling conflicts prevented this blogger’s attendance at the 2016 Feet to the Fire Council forums.

Tonight’s moderators are Daily Pilot Columnist Barbara Venezia, Los Angeles Times Community News Executive Editor John Canalis, and Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana. Venezia and Canalis are the co-creators of Feet to the Fire while Santana has been a panelist since Feet to the Fire’s inception in 2010.

Every Council candidate is here tonight:

District 3

  • Brett Eckles (R)
  • Andrea Marr (D)

District 4

  • Manuel Chavez (D)
  • Michelle Figueredo-Wilson (R)
  • Steve Chan (NPP)

District 5

  • Rebecca Trahan (R)
  • Arlis Reynolds (D)
  • Allan Mansoor (R)

The District 3 candidates seem to be the friendliest set of opponents, chatting and laughing while waiting for the forum to start.

The forum begins with one of the Costa Mesa Police Department’s chaplains speaking in memory of Oscar Reyes, a Costa Mesa Police Officer who passed away of a heart attack on Thursday, followed by a moment of silence.

The Pledge of Allegiance is led by former Orange County Board of Education Trustee Elizabeth Parker.

Venezia gives an introduction of each candidate. She seems to have lost part of her paperwork for District 4, so Chavez, Figueredo-Wilson, and Chan give remarks about themselves in addition to Venezia’s comments about them.

Canalis opens asking if the Fairview Developmental Center is an appropriate location for the homeless.

Eckles urges using public-private partnerships. He points to the Network for Homeless Solutions program the City has. He wants to enforce the City’s existing ordinances, but there must be support services in the City available for the homeless, including permanent supportive housing. He opposes Fairview as a location for a shelter. He calls for permanent supportive housing instead.

Marr argues that anti-camping ordinances cannot be enforced until there are shelter beds. She says this situation is in flux and no one has a silver bullet.

Canalis asks Marr again about Fairview.

Marr says it is irrelevant because it looks unlikely.

Eckles says there must be 62 shelter beds in order to enforce the ordinances.

Chavez calls for enforcing the City’s ordinances but finding a place to build a shelter that has the least effect on the City.

Venezia asks Figueredo-Wilson for a solution to homelessness, noting the City’s active engagement on the issue.

Figueredo-Wilson notes the City has a plan that will soon be presented to federal Judge Carter to allow the City to enforce its ordinances. She says the City must engage with stakeholders. She warns of the sober living home-style situation sprouting up with the homeless.

Chan says America is a “Great Society” that “will solve” homelessness. He notes Costa Mesa was one of the five cities Judge Carter determined was actually carrying its weight on homelessness. He calls for all the cities in OC and with many across the country to pull their own weight on homelessness.

Santana asks Chan about Fairview.

Chan opposes using Fairview as a homeless shelter.

Trahan opposes using Fairview as a homeless shelter because it will add to the problem. She wants more public-private partnerships.

Reynolds says 50 additional shelter beds are needed in order to enforce the anti-camping ordinance. She opposes closing public restrooms. She wants to create a livelier community. She wants more park activities. She wants to pressure other cities on homelessness.

Venezia asks what the Council has done.

Mansoor says Fairview is certainly not a non-issue. He is concerned that Fairview could become the County’s solution to everything. He notes Costa Mesa has 12 shelter beds and needs 50 more. He notes the Network for Homeless Solutions. He challenges a mayoral candidate supporting portable toilets. He opposes the needle exchange program.

Reynolds says stakeholders need to be spoken to, and that she opposes Fairview as a homeless shelter.

Santana asks what should be done with Fairview if not a shelter.

Eckles opposes a homeless shelter there but is open to permanent supportive housing there since it is already zoned for it, if the City gains ownership of Fairview.

Chan cites the new Orange County Housing Trust as a solution for Fairview and the homeless.

Reynolds supports permanent supportive housing at Fairview. She wants to demand other cities meet their commitments on homelessness.

Marr cites Reynolds’s stakeholder approach, opposing fear mongering.

Mansoor says it is not fear mongering to demand other cities do their fair share. He supports permanent supportive housing if the City gains ownership of Fairview with strict sobriety rules.

Trahan is only open to it if residents are. She is concerned about the location and instead suggests tearing down drug hotels to build permanent supportive housing.

Reynolds attacks Mansoor for challenging the needle exchange and the portable toilets. She says the candidates are united in opposition to the needle exchange.

Chavez urges improving the homeless situation and supports permanent supportive housing.

Canalis asks about portable toilets.

Eckles opposed it, publishing an op-ed, noting it was poorly planned and were in flawed locations.

Santana asks what is the solution to public defecation and urination.

Eckles says getting them into permanent supportive housing. He notes there are restrooms in the parks.

Venezia asks about the City locking park restrooms.

Mansoor speaks about putting the safety of children first.

There is a lot of shouting from the audience when Santana interjects.

Mansoor opposes portable toilets and calls it a “mistake for our city.”

Santana interjects.

Mansoor calls for more supportive housing. He opposes needle exchange.

Santana, Mansoor, and the audience start shouting, and nothing is comprehensible.

Mansoor says the people supporting the portable toilets also support the needle exchange.

More audience shouting ensues as Santana interjects.

Venezia asks for a solution to needle waste. Santana asks Trahan to answer the bathroom question.

Figueredo-Wilson notes that once there is supportive housing and shelter beds, it is possible to enforce anti-camping ordinances. She says enforcing those ordinances will mitigate the toilet problem.

Santana interjects as the audience shouts.

Santana asks what is the solution for the homeless during the period the anti-camping ordinances cannot be enforced.

Figueredo-Wilson urges the City to reach out to the Sanitary District to help pick up needles.

Trahan calls for respect and decency for all, including “transients.” She blasts Katrina Foley for the portable toilets and points to how it made the problem worse in San Diego.

Santana interjects, asking about the toilets. The audience shouts at him again.

Trahan calls for enforcing ordinances.

Santana interjects, and more shouting ensues.

Chan says businesses want an attendant in public parks, so those restrooms could be opened.

Venezia changes topics to high-density development. She says housing and growth are needed but land is limited.

Chavez supports new housing but calls for mitigating impacts of new housing, specifically having sufficient parking.

Marr opposes more density in her district but says it would make sense to have high-density housing north of the 405. She opposes “spot zoning” and “developer giveaways.”

Venezia asks about spot zoning.

Eckles says higher-density housing needs to be put in places that make sense, working with expert land planners to ensure it reflects the character of the neighborhood.

Reynolds says the City Council needs to be more engaged with residents.

Venezia asks Mansoor why this seems to be a perennial problem no matter who is on the Council.

Mansoor says he has an open door policy. He returns phone calls and emails. He spoke against the first high-density development in Costa Mesa. He says overlays were not intended to be citywide. He says some overlays have gone too far.

Reynolds questions Mansoor for supporting Banning Ranch in Newport Beach.

Mansoor says he would call for traffic litigation and notes that Banning Ranch had significant open space.

Audience shouting ensues.

Reynolds says that Banning Ranch was blocked by the Coastal Commission.

Audience shouting ensues.

Mansoor challenges needle exchange supporters walking precincts for other candidates.

Audience shouting ensues.

Venezia asks who each candidate is supporting for Mayor.

Eckles, Figueredo-Wilson, Chan, Trahan, and Mansoor support Sandy Genis.

Marr, Chavez, and Reynolds support Katrina Foley.

Reynolds likes Foley’s approach to Banning Ranch.

Mansoor is concerned about Foley’s screaming at City staff while noting Genis’s professionalism.

More audience shouting ensues.

Venezia asks each candidate for one thing they like and one they want to fix in Costa Mesa.

Eckles says Costa Mesa residents are the best part of the city. He cites the city’s small businesses. He says he has a proven track record working with Councilmembers. He would fix working together for the common good.

Marr says Costa Mesa is a place where people live their dreams and open small businesses. She wants to fix sober living homes.

Chavez loves the sense of community, noting his principals and teachers still work here. He wants to fix infrastructure, like safer streets.

Figueredo-Wilson loves families and people. She is concerned about unfunded liabilities and calls for better economic growth and opportunities for working people and small businesses.

He loves Costa Mesa’s lifestyle. He wants to abolish the directly-elected mayor to ensure each district has one vote.

Trahan wants ethics and civility on the Council.

Reynolds loves the sense of community where everyone seems to know each other. She wants to fix homelessness.

Mansoor wants to fix homelessness and sober living homes. He loves thel families and kids of Costa Mesa.

And with that, the City Council candidate forum concludes.

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