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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.

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee Round 5

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 5, 2018

We are live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee. The recommendations from tonight’s meeting will be considered on September 17 by the full Central Committee.

On tonight’s agenda are:

  • Anne Figueroa for Rancho Santa Margarita City Council
  • Hon. Wendy Bucknum for Mission Viejo City Council
  • Dom Pham for Coast Community College District, Area 1
  • Robert Nelson for Anaheim City Council, District 3
  • Angie Cano for Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Hon. Don Sedgwick for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Tam (Nick) Lecong for Fountain Valley City Council
  • Steve Shatynski Brea City Council
  • Amy West for Westminster City Council
  • Hon. Cecilia Iglesias for Santa Ana City Council, Ward 6
  • Mark Tettemer for Lake Forest City Council, District 4

Present are Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang and Members Leroy Mills and Erik Weigand. Member Laurie Davies is on the phone. Member Gene Hernandez is en route to the meeting. Member Tyler Diep is absent.

Wendy Bucknum for Mission Viejo City Council

Councilwoman Wendy Bucknum notes there are three Republican incumbents and two challengers, one who is endorsed by the Democratic Party and the other also a Democrat. She speaks to Mission Viejo High School’s civics class every year on behalf of Republicans. She speaks of her family.

Councilman Ed Sachs speaks of working with Bucknum for the past four years and praises her understanding of the demands of the office and her energy in engaging on the issues and with the community. He praises her Republican governing philosophy.

Laurie Davies speaks of Bucknum’s involvement on legislation, highlighting AB 448, the Housing Trust.

Erik Weigand calls this a no-brainer and speaks of her Republican volunteerism.

Peggy Huang asks about the City’s legislative public safety efforts, referencing Bucknum’s efforts.

Bucknum and her colleagues have ensured the City’s advocates are heard in Sacramento, and if necessary having Councilmembers testifying. She keeps residents informed and participates in town halls.

Huang moves and Weigand seconds to recommend Bucknum. The motion passes unanimously.

Anne Figueroa for Rancho Santa Margarita City Council

Councilman Tony Beall speaks on her behalf as she is in Europe celebrating her anniversary. Beall says Anne Figueroa is a Republican activist and entered the race when Councilman Mike Vaughn decided to not seek reelection 10 days before filing closed and asked her to run. She is endorsed by the entire City Council, Congresswoman Mimi Walters, Senator Pat Bates, and Assemblyman Bill Brough, among others. He warns that a Bernie Sanders activist is her top rival among the 7 candidates running for 3 seats.

Erik Weigand calls this an important seat. He notes her volunteerism.

Laurie Davies moves and Erik Weigand seconds to recommend Anne Figueroa.

Peggy Huang asks about the City’s finances.

Beall speaks of the City’s surpluses and fully-funded reserves. He does warn that the increasing costs of the Sheriff’s contract is a long-term spending item on the horizon.

The motion passed unanimously.

Dom Pham for Coast Community College District, Trustee Area 1

Dom Pham is on the phone and hard to hear. He speaks of his current education and his work in compliance for gun stores. His current job is in Congressman Ed Royce’s office. He says he realizes he is a longshot, but wants to ensure Republicans have a choice in this seat.

Leroy Mills expresses concern about the $1,200 raised by Pham.

Pham says he hopes to raise more money. He is still in school.

Laurie Davies expresses concern about his time constraints with both campaigning and managing both his work and school schedules. She urges him to get friend and family to help him precinct walk because it can help overcome funding issues.

Peggy Huang asks if he is involved with the College Republicans.

Pham is not but has tried reaching out to some.

Huang suggests he reach out to Paula Prizio to get assistance.

Erik Weigand applauds Pham for entering the race. He notes John Lewis is Pham’s consultant and Shawn Steel is supporting.

Weigand moves and Mills seconds for Pham. The motion passed unanimously.

Steve Shatynski for Brea City Council

Steve Shatynski is on the phone from the East Coast, specifically at the US Naval Academy because he works on USNA admissions covering North Orange County. He notes there are two incumbent Republicans and an incumbent Democrat in the race for three seats, as well as Republican Bill Hall. He says he is getting campaign help from Young Kim, Councilwoman Cecilia Hupp, and Brea RWF. He has been awarded the Department of the Navy Meritorious Service Award for his work on USNA admissions.

Erik Weigand asks if Hall was a proponent of the failed school bond.

Huang confirms he was. She also confirms Hall has not sought the endorsement.

She asks about Brea’s unfunded liability.

Shatynski believes it is approximately $45 million but does not recall the exact number. He calls it “a huge problem” and notes that John Moorlach called it the second largest per capita of any OC city.

Weigand moves and Davies seconds to recommend Shatynski.

Huang asks about “dynamic and prudent growth” that Shatynski wrote in his questionnaire.

Shatynski praises the construction of the Brea Mall. He speaks of the importance of his children being able to afford to live in the City. He speaks of the need to balance traffic concerns.

The motion passes unanimously.

Robert Nelson for Anaheim City Council, District 3

Robert Nelson told OC GOP staff that he would call in, but he has not done so.

Cynthia Ward says Nelson is trustworthy. She says he is Tom Tait’s appointee to the Public Utilities Board. She says he is involved in the community. She says he ran in 2010 and 2016. She says the other two candidates are Councilman Jose Moreno and Mitch Caldwell, who are both Democrats. She says an outside interest is interested in spending for Nelson.

Huang asks what would be different considering Nelson is running against the same opponent in Moreno and if Tait has endorsed.

Ward says Tait has not endorsed Nelson. She says she hopes he can slip up the middle as the two Democrats fight it out.

Huang asks about the voter registration.

Ward doesn’t remember the number but it is predominately Democrat.

Huang asks if he has any endorsements.

Ward says the California Impact Republicans have endorsed him. She expects the Anaheim Republican Assembly to endorse him soon, as it did in 2016.

Leroy Mills asks why Nelson hasn’t signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Ward says the City needs to allow bonds to go before voters. She argues the Taxpayer Protection Pledge prevents the placement of bonds on the ballot.

Mills clarifies the pledge is about taxes and fees.

Mills also asks why Nelson did not sign the union-free pledge.

Ward does not know.

Weigand moves to recommend Nelson, with the caveat that he sign the pledges by September 10, before it goes before Central Committee.

Ward argues Nelson being in the race forces Democrats to spend in District 3.

Huang notes the two Democrats would spend against each other in District 3. She also argues the Democrats have historically ignored Nelson in his prior races.

Weigand urges getting stronger candidates for seats like this.

Ward agrees that candidate recruitment needs to be improved.

Huang urges mentoring and recruiting qualified candidates even if it means sitting out a cycle to prevent a candidate going too early and gaining the reputation of being unelectable. Huang is concerned Nelson appears to be unready.

Ward says outside money may be spent for Nelson and that he may spend more personal money than he has in the past.

Mills seconds Weigand’s motion.

Davies does echo Huang’s comment that endorsing unready candidates may not be wise.

The motion passed unanimously.

Mark Tettemer for Lake Forest City Council

Committee Member Gene Hernandez arrives.

Mark Tettemer is on the phone. He says there is one seat and his sole opponent is Mayor Jim Gardner. He is a former two-term Councilman. He was on the OCFA Board and served as Chair. He speaks of his community volunteerism. He stepped away from politics to earn his MPA and is now returning.

Mayor Jim Gardner is Deborah Pauly’s alternate on the Central Committee. Gardner speaks in opposition because the OC GOP should not endorse against incumbent Republicans.

Huang asks if Gardner was endorsed by the OC GOP in 2014.

Gardner did not seek it.

Weigand asks if Gardner is seeking the endorsement.

Gardner is not seeking it because there are two Republicans but he would if the Central Committee is considering an endorsement.

Gardner says Lake Forest is debt free and has historically low crime. He says there is online participation in Lake Forest’s Council meetings. He says he holds town hall meeting. He says he attends more events than the rest of the Council combined.

Hernandez asks if this is an application.

Huang says it is not. Weigand notes his question may have caused Gardner’s discussion.

Councilman Scott Voigts speaks on behalf of former Mayor Mark Tettemer. He speaks of Tettemer’s record. He says Gardner violates property rights and has with Adam Nick twice supported the recalls of Andrew Hamilton, Scott Voigts, and Dwight Robinson. Voigts noted CPA Andrew Hamilton got the City to pay down its debt to be debt-free. He urges the committee to recommend Tettemer. He says Gardner attacks Councilmembers publicly and online. He speaks of Tettemer’s involvement in Relay for Life, 2008 endorsement by the OC GOP, and his family’s roots in the community.

Huang asks who else has endorsed Tettemer.

Tettemer lists the founding Mayor and other Councilmembers who have endorsed him.

Mills asks about his lack of fundraising.

Tettemer plans to self-fund as he has in the past but will also fundraise.

Mills moves for neutrality. There is no second.

Gene Hernandez asks Tettemer what he can do to clean up the dysfunctional 3-2 Council.

Tettemer says he has always had good working relationships and a sense of decorum. People reached out to him to run to stop the caustic atmosphere and lack of civility on the Council. He wants to work on good policy to move Lake Forest forward.

Gardner keeps attempting to interject, but Huang says this is the committee’s time for questions.

Weigand expresses concern about Gardner repeatedly supporting recalls that the party has opposed. He suggests allowing Tettemer, Gardner, and Voigts to speak more.

Hernandez expresses agreement with Weigand.

Davies also objects to Republicans recalling Republicans.

Reflecting on the parallels between Yorba Linda and Lake Forest, Huang discusses the resources expended to defend the Republicans against the recall backed by Gardner. She expresses concern that Gardner backed a primary challenger to Congresswoman Mimi Walters, tying up resources that could have gone to other Republicans.

Gardner makes “no apologies for being passionate and fighting for what I believe in.” He says he had no involvement in the second recall. He says their recall was based on a dangerous road being ignored.

Weigand asked if he supported the recall.

Gardner says he supported the recall. He says Hamilton belittled citizens and ended meetings.

Hernandez asked about the philosophy of recall usage. He says it is over illegal, immoral, or unethical conduct.

Gardner argues Hamilton badgered residents in a disgraceful fashion and held timeouts.

Hernandez asks if Gardner would recall President Trump.

Gardner says Trump has accomplished much.

Weigand asks how many recalls there have been in Lake Forest.

Gardner says there were two but only the second succeeded.

Huang asks Gardner if he gathered signatures for either recall or donated money.

Gardner donated money to the second recall but did not collect signatures for it. He did not donate to the first recall but cannot remember if he collected signatures for it. He claims Voigts has made 15 lies from the dais.

Hernandez urges that disagreements should be discussed and are healthy. He opposes attacking at the level of helping recall efforts.

Gardner writes articles on the Lake Forest Patch daily.

Hernandez asks if attacking Councilmembers on the Patch is productive.

Gardner argues Tettemer was a distant second in the recall replacement election.

Gardner accuses Voigts of lying about wearing a wire.

Weigand asks about the effort to elect Dwight Robinson to AQMD.

Voigts says it was at the same time as the recall signature gathering.

Voigts notes Gardner was the largest donor to the first recall. Voigts notes Gardner’s team launched a recall to urge closing a road down before construction was even completed. Voigts notes Gardner was even a signature counter on the recall. Voigts was requested to wear a wire by request of the District Attorney’s office and could not disclose it during an active investigation. He explained the timeout Hamilton called was after warning the disruptive audience three times to stop interrupting the Council meeting.

Davies calls the question and moves to recommend Tettemer. Hernandez seconds.

Weigand asks if there is a way to recommend a debate at the full Central Committee while still recommending Tettemer for endorsement.

Hernandez says there would likely be a debate at the Central Committee anyway given that Gardner is an alternate.

Huang says she could pull the name for discussion at the Central Committee.

The motion to recommend Tettemer passes with a unanimous 5-0 vote.

Weigand notes there is a mountain of evidence that Gardner has worked against the OC GOP. He notes Gardner is only able to speak at the Central Committee of Deborah Pauly steps out of the room during that meeting.

Amy West for Westminster City Council

Amy West is an American who was a Vietnamese refugee. She speaks about the principles of American democracy and the importance of local government. There are 13 candidates for 2 open seats (incumbents are both leaving).

Mills asks West about her lack of funding at just $2000.

West speaks of precinct walking gaining votes for her.

Weigand asks if she is a Central Committee alternate.

West is the alternate of Supervisor Andrew Do.

Jeremy West, her husband, gives his speech to OCDE Trustee Mari Barke. Barke does not use it but says West is an amazing woman who she wanted to recruit for school board but the school board seat is not available until 2020.

Amy West reads a supportive text from Supervisor Andrew Do.

Hernandez asks if she has been endorsed by Tyler Diep or Tri Ta.

West says both have been supportive but neither have formally endorsed.

Weigand asks if Senator Janet Nguyen has endorsed.

West says Nguyen has endorsed another candidate.

Weigand notes the Westminster City Council meeting is in progress, so that is why Tyler Diep is not present. He is concerned about endorsing prematurely in Westminster.

Hernandez argues candidates need to show initiative in getting applications in.

Mills is concerned that endorsing eliminates the opportunity to endorse others.

Davies echoes Hernandez’s comments.

Huang notes the 2016 Huntington Beach debacle in which more Republicans sought an OC GOP endorsement after there were none left.

Huang references West’s questionnaire answer of intending to reign in expenditures while also expanding services.

West says “safety is key” and says streets and parks don’t matter if there isn’t safety. She says Andrew Do runs Orange County and she has spoken to them about battling homelessness. She has spoken to the Police Chief about how to help. She describes pushing for Neighborhood Watch. She says there is much waste including beautifying the Westminster Police Headquarters.

Hernandez asks if West would entertain dissolving the Westminster Police Department and contracting with OC Sheriff instead for cost savings. He notes Yorba Linda saves $2 million.

West is surprised by the suggestion but says she is open to it.

Hernandez notes that her goals are expensive and that she will need to prioritize because there is only so much money.

Hernandez moves and Davies seconds to recommend West. The motion passes unanimously.

Don Sedgwick for Laguna Hills City Council

Don Sedgwick was endorsed by the OC GOP for school board. He speaks of volunteering for various candidates and raising money for them. He is endorsed by all the other candidates and all the incumbents. There are three seats on the ballot. He speaks of his conservative views.

Hernandez works with Sedgwick on the OCFA Board. Hernandez praises his work ethic,diligence, and intelligence on the Board.

Davies echoes Hernandez’s comments. She also notes Sedgwick’s work on strong cross border relations since they are neighboring cities.

Weigand praises Sedgwick’s leadership.

Mills asks about Sedgwick endorsing Ginny Aitken for school board.

Sedgwick says Aitken was more conservative than other Republicans running. She was pro-life and fought the unions. He calls her a Democrat in Name Only. He couldn’t get her to reregister.

Huang asks why so many Republicans seem to be voting for Democrats.

Sedgwick notes that is not happening in Laguna Hills where no Democrat holds elected office. He speculates Republicans are losing young voters. He notes Laguna Hills is an aging community with a rising median age.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds recommending Sedgwick. The motion passed 4-0-1 with Mills abstaining due to being bothered by the Ginny Aitken endorsement.

Angie Cano for Santa Ana Unified School District

Angie Cano was 39 votes from being elected in the last election and only 400 votes short in the prior election. She wasn’t going to run this time but decided to do so when union activists from outside Santa Ana convinced the school board to put a bond on the ballot.

Mills asks Cano about shall issue status for California.

Cano would be supportive.

Mills asks if Cano is pro-life.

Cano is pro-life.

Mills asks about a constitutional amendment prohibiting the State government from taking local money.

Cano would support such an amendment.

Hernandez moves and Weigand seconds to recommend Cano. The motion passed unanimously.

Gracey Van Der Mark for Ocean View School District

Gracey Van Der Mark and her husband own a small business and have 7 children; 6 attended OVSD schools. She is running after seeing a lack of transparency when she got on the OVSD bond oversight committee.

Former OVSD Trustee Debbie Cotton speaks in favor of Van Der Mark, praising her work on the bond oversight committee. She speaks of Van Der Mark’s conservative views. She speaks of the attacks Van Der Mark has suffered.

Hernandez asks how much she has raised and if other Republicans are running.

Van Der Mark has raised $3400. She says there are three Republican incumbents.

Cotton notes the incumbents are union backed and that one reregistered today as a Democrat.

Mills asks about sex education being forced on school districts by the State Department of Education.

Van Der Mark agrees with Mills that she would fight these efforts.

Huang asks about how she switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Van Der Mark grew up in Los Angeles and was the daughter of Democrats. She opened her own business and became a Republican.

Mills blasts Democrats bullying Republicans. He blasts the movie about the moon landing that leaves out the planting of the US flag on the moon

Mills moves and Davies seconds recommending Van Der Mark. The motion passes unanimously.

The committee adjourns at 8:54 PM.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Live from the Anaheim Republican Assembly Candidate Forum for Anaheim City Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 22, 2018

We are live from the Anaheim Phoenix Club for the City Council Candidate Forum sponsored by the Anaheim Republican Assembly (the Anaheim unit of the California Republican Assembly).

We were here for the last edition of this forum in the 2016 elections, and based on the volume of feedback this blogger received in 2016, we are back to live blog it in 2018.

As noted in 2016: “Uniquely for a CRA forum, non-Republican candidates are participating.” Even two years later, I’m not aware of any other unit of the CRA that has non-Republican candidates participating in their forum since the CRA seeks to promote Republican candidates.

In 2016, this blogger wrote that the “alternating question format is one of the worst formats I’ve ever seen. It is difficult to follow for the audience and the candidates.” OC Political has been told the format has been changed based on feedback received, and this blogger looks forward to seeing how the new format holds up.

Mayor of Anaheim

Of the eight candidates for Mayor, five are present.

Lorri Galloway delivers her opening statement. She says she has experience as a two term Councilwoman and was Mayor Pro Tem. She was a nonprofit director and nexcerpts fromotes that and her Council campaigns give her high name ID. She wants to make decisions so that “all rise.” She says she understands the heartache of impoverished families. She calls herself “freedom friendly” while supporting a living wage. She says she is not beholden to any political party or special interest group. She wants to connect law enforcement to the communities that need them. She says that while she lives in Anaheim Hills, she does her work in West and Central Anaheim. She speaks of her parents’ struggles in the Salinas Valley and her values. She says those with money, wealth, and power should enrich and empower others.

An audience member asks the source of her campaign funds.

Galloway says they come from campaign donors and personal loans.

An audience member asks about Measure L.

Galloway says she supports a living wage, but prefers solutions that businesses come up with themselves, pointing to Disney’s recent actions. She says she supports Measure L.

An audience member asks about the needle exchange program.

Galloway states there are holes in the needle exchange program. She says it was intended to fight AIDS and Hepatitis, but instead is negatively impacting communities.

Tony Martin opens with a joke about Republicans not hearing the words “affordable” and “free” much. He is a father of two and an Army veteran. He is certified state firefighter and a Cal State Fullerton student. He calls for nonpartisanship. He blasts the removal of homeless “to appease tourists.” He wants everyone to own a home. He says 1/3 of homeless are veterans, and that disgusts him. He wants to improve school curricula and pay teachers more. He calls for more art and effective field trips. He wants to shift spending from prisons to schools. He wants to open community centers for after school programs.

An audience member says he came to Anaheim for affordable housing, but his children sought affordable housing in Texas. The audience member feels people should seek affordable housing and not get it from government.

Martin says he is saddened the audience member’s “heart was not softened” by his children moving to Texas. He wants to work with the real estate industry to lower the costs of land. He says this would reduce homelessness.

Some sort of incomprehensible exchange about business proximity to homes between gadfly Bryan Kaye and Martin occurs.

An audience member asks about constructing an Orange County Veterans Cemetery in Anaheim.

All the mayoral candidates raise their hands in support.

Fuji Shioura says his first name stands for family, unity, Jesus, and integrity. He is a computer coder. He praises Anaheim and wants to diversify the economy. He wants to pass a right to work city measure because he feels unions are too powerful. He expresses his pro-life views. He reiterates that he is a Christian. He says he is self-funded. He says artificial intelligence will displace many jobs. He wants to consolidate school districts and increase charter schools.

An audience member asks the TOT in Anaheim.

Shioura says he believes there is a time and place for TOT incentives, but he says the economy must diversify away from tourism. He says public safety is necessary for Anaheim’s tourism economy.

An audience member asks about privatizing police and fire.

Shioura opposes privatizing police. He wants to hire more police officers to protect public safety. He praises APD’s performance.

Martin blasts APD performance, pointing to allegations of brutality.

Shioura says APD is not racist. He worked in inner city schools, and APD is not racist.

Martin says he didn’t say APD was racist but had major performance issues.

Cynthia Ward opens by saying she is speechless. She notes that Anaheim is her home and where she married her husband and raised her children. She wants a safe community to retire in. She says Anaheim owns a convention center and two sports facilities but have not drawn the benefit from it. She calls for “a leader with a spine to take it back” in reference to herself. She says she has stood “shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Tait.” She says she has been fighting for Anaheim residents for years. She says she has identified tens of millions of dollars in the City budget that could be redirected to police and fire. She says Anaheim has not had a strategic plan in her adult life. She says a strategic plan will tone down the bickering and weaken the lobbyists. She celebrates Disney’s decision this week to not build a hotel.

An audience member asks how Ward can get all this done since Anaheim is not a Strong Mayor government.

Ward notes the City Manager is the strongest figure in City government. She says she has no unfunded pension liability at the Orange County Cemetery District. She stated she negotiated with SEIU for full pension reform.

Shioura asks Ward if she would have the City become a direct authorizer of charter schools.

Ward says that is the purview of school districts, not the City.

An audience member asks about affordable housing.

Ward says she is saddened that families are leaving due to affordability issues but government should not intervene. She calls for helping those who cannot help themselves. She calls for innovative sanitation system solutions.

An audience member asks about budgeting to train new police.

Ward says she would do so.

Robert Williams says “pro-business = jobs = life.” He decries “Disney bashing” pointing to “Berkeley bashing North Face,” which then left for San Leandro. He calls for new blood and new ideas but wants to use the experience of former officeholders. He urges people to work together and be willing to hear each other out. He promises to serve only one term. He calls for getting jobs for the homeless by imposing a jobs requirement with RFPs for City contracts. He wants private vendors to pay for two miles of street repair every time they dig up part of a road. He says it should be “the price of doing business in Anaheim.” He wants Anaheim to be “the small city we are” where people know each other.

Former Senator John Lewis of Orange asks if Williams feels Disney exerts too much influence in the City with “millions of dollars” in campaign spending.

Williams says Disney does not exert too much influence. He says Disney is not the source of all of Anaheim’s problems. He says “Disney is not the big bad wolf. We created the big bad wolf.”

An audience member asks if Disney had donated to Williams.

Williams says he has no campaign contributions and is self-funded.

Next up is City Council.

Anaheim City Council, District 2

Of the five candidates for District 2, three are present.

Donald Bruhns has called Anaheim home for 22 years but his parents grew up here and his grandfather was a City employee. He has volunteered for Anaheim YMCA. He wants “viable after-school” options for youth. He is on the CalOptima Provider Advisory Committee among other health-related government bodies. He opposes partisan politics at City Hall. He says he would do right by his neighbors and family.

Shioura asks about the after school options.

Bruhns speaks of sports programs and the Anaheim Achieves program.

An audience member asks what are the top two priorities of West Anaheim.

Bruhns says West Anaheim is neglected compared to Anaheim Hills and the Colony. He says both his priorities are more funding for District 2.

Duane Roberts is a 50-year resident. He teaches at a local English school. He is an activist on “affordable housing, police misconduct,” and holding “public officials accountable.” He wants to fix parks and roads. He wants to “fight corporate welfare” and blasts the TOT program in Anaheim. He says hotel construction is a scheme to attract pharmaceutical companies to the convention center. He wants to reduce homelessness via a countywide strategy to get them into homes. He supports rent control. He wants to “keep law enforcement responsible…with a strong police review board.” He says he serves the residents, not corporate interests and his campaign contributions reflect that.

An audience member asks about his vision for rent control.

Roberts says rent control should control property owner profits but not eliminate them.

An audience member asks what is the proper profit and proper rent.

Roberts says a separate board would be set up with economic studies on rent while examining the finances of property owners.

An audience member asks about low-income housing having 3-4 years of waitlists.

Roberts supports affordable housing for both low and middle income. He supports the Anaheim Housing Authority issuing bonds, buying land, and developing housing. The tenants would pay off the bonds.

Councilman James Vanderbilt thanks the attendees and laments low voter turnout in Anaheim. He thanks the forum organizers. He thanks the other candidates for running. He reads from his 2014 ballot statement. He states he has asked lots of questions and challenged “giveaways.” He says he is self-funded. He has turned down salaries, benefits, and the parking space from the City Council. He donates his travel reimbursement to charity. He speaks of answering constituent casework issues. He says districts allow a more specific focus by Councilmembers while the Mayor can have a broader focus for the whole city.

Lorri Galloway asks Vanderbilt about Disney deciding not to open its hotel.

Vanderbilt says he would support broader subsidies that were open to more entities. He refers to subsidies for restaurants or even supermarkets.

An audience member asks about voter approval of lease-revenue bonds.

Vanderbilt says it depends on what the bond is for, giving the example of supporting school bonds because they are “for the children.”

Anaheim City Council, District 3

All three candidates for District 3 are present.

Mitch Caldwell introduces his family. He moved into District 3 in 1983. He spoke of high crime during that time. He blasts the redevelopment agency tearing up the city in the 1980s. He organized a group that threatened to sue the City and preserve the neighborhood. He says this allowed young families to move into the community. He supported the TOT program for the O’Connell hotel in 2009/2010 because it was the only way to make it financially viable. He says there are five areas in the City are not as safe as they should be: they are not Anaheim Hills. He says whether you like the Anaheim Resort or not, it generates $160 million annually fleecing people from other parts of the country while sparing Anaheim from sales tax increases that are occurring in many OC cities. He wants to improve neighborhoods to get young families back to Anaheim.

Former Senator John Lewis of Orange asks if Caldwell is accepting contributions from hoteliers and has a fundraiser at a lobbyist’s house. He says no one owns him and that he accepts many contributions. He notes neither Disney nor SOAR have given him any money.

An audience member asks him about immigrant family street vendors, as he is pictured on his web site.

Caldwell will treat all people equally and enforce the law fairly. He says equal treatment applies regardless of their origin.

An audience member asks Caldwell why he is running for Council if he opposed district elections.

Caldwell praises district elections are cheaper and easier to campaign in. Conversely, he expresses his frustration that he only gets to vote for 2 of the 7 Council members (Mayor and District) instead of voting for the entire Council.

Jose Moreno thanks the organizers, attendees, and candidates. He notes he is a Democrat. He wants to better understand the “human condition.” He says the City had to be sued to get district elections. He blasts “big money interests” and praises the voters for passing district elections. He says the westside did not have a Council representative for 20 years. He says anger and public comment are a sign that people feel they can better hold people accountable. He calls for “not big government, not small government, but relevant government.” He created a lobbyist registry. He added a project notification system. He has created task forces to work on homelessness. He says it is untrue that he does not collaborate or work with others, pointing to his task forces. He says he is “pushing for the people’s voice at City Hall.”

An audience member asks about the lobbyist registry.

Moreno says it applies to contract lobbyists, not direct employees of entities like Disney.

An audience member asks about how to help homeless people who do not want help.

Moreno says it is difficult to reconcile small government with using governmental power against the homeless. He says it takes 7-9 attempts to actually get the homeless to accept services. He says there must be shelter space in order to enforce anti-camping ordinances. He notes he is endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait.

Robert Nelson says he is the Mayor’s appointee to the Public Utilities Board. He joined a Blue Ribbon school district committee because better schools are critical to the community. He speaks of his wife and children. He says he is a retired businessman. He says he wants to serve Anaheim. He grew up in a “bad neighborhood” in the San Gabriel Valley with car thieves, drug dealers, and gangs. His father refused to leave the neighborhood and fought back. Once, when his father was not at home, his mother and he had to fight an attempted break-in. He does not want this to happen to Anaheim. He says his slogan is “Neighborhoods, Not Giveaways.” He wants to build revenue, improve neighborhoods, and diversify the economy. He wants to partner with Cal State Fullerton and Chapman University to bring in high-quality jobs. He wants to enforce the existing laws that are being violated by the homeless.

Shioura asks about having a City right-to-work ordinance, which would help attract technology companies.

Nelson opposes the right-to-work ordinance but supports technology companies.

Jose Moreno asks Nelson about his work on the police review board.

Nelson says it was an informative experience. He says he supports police but supports accountability. He made the motion to investigate the former Anaheim Police Chief for timecard fraud.

Anaheim City Council, District 6

Of the three candidates for District 6, one candidate is present and a second candidate has sent a representative.

Moderator Bob Walters notes that Patty Gaby is an active member of the Anaheim Republican Assembly, the group that organized this forum.

Patty Gaby speaks of years of residency in Anaheim Hills and her family. She speaks of being active in her children’s schools and the San Antonio Catholic Church. She is on the Parks Commission and was on the Golf Commission. She is a retired teacher. She says public safety is her top priority. She said, “Today is a great day!” in response to Disney “waving the white flag” and not building the hotel; she says that the City now has $267 million more in its coffers as a result. She says people need to work together to solve homelessnes. She wants to know what the City Manager and Police Chief suggest in homelessness. She says Anaheim pensions are unsustainable.

An audience member asks Gaby thoughts on the City’s role in homeless policy.

Gaby says more shelters need to be built and funded from City taxpayer dollars, such as from the $267 million saved today.

An audience member asks about the TOT and if Gaby knows where the $267 million comes from.

Gaby says there is no subsidy so the $267 million can be used.

The exasperated audience member explains the money does not exist yet because the $267 million is a rebate from revenues; those revenues do not exist until collected from hotel guests.

Bob Walters notes the wheelchair of the representative from Trevor O’Neil. O’Neil had a pre-existing scheduling obligation. O’Neil is a conservative who has lived in Anaheim Hills for 23 years. His children went to Canyon High School. He owns a business that employs 75 people. O’Neil is endorsed by Mimi Walters, Steven Choi, Young Kim, Philip Chen, Matthew Harper, Ling-Ling Chang, Don Wagner, Allan Mansoor, the Orange County Taxpayers Association, and the California Women’s Leadership Association.

(Editor’s Note: While improved from 2016, the format was still rough for voters. Each candidate gave an opening statement then got all their questions and answers, then it moved to the next candidate. It also meant most candidates got different questions. This made it quite difficult for audience members to compare candidate responses.)

Posted in Anaheim | Leave a Comment »

Live from Part of OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 4 for November 2018

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 22, 2018

We are live from the first part of OC GOP Endorsements Committee’s fourth meeting for the November 2018 General Election. The committee’s recommendations will be considered by the full Central Committee at its August 30 meeting. Prior endorsements by the full Central Committee were completed as recently as their August 20 meeting.

Regrettably, your blogger has a scheduling conflict and will need to depart early. However, the fireworks in this meeting are expected to be in San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3, which is at the top of the agenda, where three Republican incumbents are running for the same seat as San Juan Capistrano moves to district elections for Council for the first time; two of those incumbents are seeking the OC GOP endorsement.

Tonight’s agenda consists of:

  • Hon. Kerry Ferguson for San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3
  • Hon. Derek Reeve for San Juan Capistrano City Council, District 3
  • Chris Thompson for Fullerton Joint Union High School District Trustee, District 4
  • Jamey Federico for Dana Point City Council, District 3
  • Marice DePasquale for Mesa Water District Director, Division 3
  • Hon. Fred Minagar for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Hon. Don Wagner for Mayor of Irvine
  • Dan Bane for San Clemente City Council
  • Laura Ferguson for San Clemente City Council
  • Hon. Richard Viczorek for Mayor of Dana Point
  • Erica Pezold for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Hon. Brett Barbre for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
  • City of Santa Ana Measure X (Against)
  • Santa Ana Unified School District Measure I (Against)
  • California Proposition 5 (Support)
  • California Proposition 10 (Oppose)

Present are Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang and Members, Gene Hernandez, Leroy Mills, and Erik Weigand. Committee Members Laurie Davies is on the phone. Absent are Committee Members Mark Bucher and Tyler Diep.

San Juan Capistrano City Council District 3

Laurie Davies seeks clarification on how many candidates, incumbents, and seats there are. There are 4-5 Republicans, of whom 3 Republicans are incumbents, of whom 2 are seeking the endorsement, and 1 seat available.

Councilman Derek Reeve was endorsed by the OC GOP in 2010 and 2014. He states he is a limited government, constitutional conservative. He has fought tax increases and fees.

There are significant difficulties with Davies being on the phone that delays the meeting.

Reeve resumes. He is an advocate of the Second Amendment.

Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson says she is a loyal Republican. She volunteered for US Senator Gordon Smith. She was President of her RWF group. She has organized schools teaching about the constitution. She says she has “resisted oversized developments” on the Council and has worked to be a uniter. She brought $7 million in street repairs. She has worked on the water system, street lights, and a skate park.

A public commenter named Paul Jekinson who is a CFO speaks in support of Ferguson. He speaks of her attention to detail, her willingness to listen, and her engagement with citizens as a Councilwoman.

Erik Weigand calls this a very challenging seat and urges neutrality, considering all three Republican incumbents seeking this single seat were previously endorsed by the OC GOP, and both Reeve and Ferguson have been solid Republicans.

Gene Hernandez expresses frustration with districts. He asks Ferguson to respond to an allegation that she endorsed a Democrat over a Republican.

Ferguson says she has only endorsed a Democrat running against another Democrat.

Hernandez agrees with Weigand’s call for neutrality.

Laurie Davies says she has worked with Ferguson on regional issues at ACC-OC and has been a strong vote for local control and conservative causes.

Leroy Mills asks if Ferguson has ever been a keynote speaker at a Sergio Ferias fundraiser.

Ferguson says she has not.

Mills also wishes to stay neutral.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds for neutrality.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang expresses her support for the neutrality motion and thanks both Councilmembers for attending.

Hernandez calls Ferguson a hardworking conservative and knows her through their work at OCFA, but he doesn’t know Reeve.

The vote for neutrality in San Juan Capistrano City Council District 3 is 5-0.

Jamey Federico for Dana Point City Council, District 3

Jamey Federico is a retired USMC Lieutenant Colonel who flew 1000 flights. He speaks of his long military career. He speaks of his leadership in Dana Point. He expresses his concern about obstructionist NIMBYs in Dana Point.

Jennifer Beall speaks in support of Federico. She warns of the liberalism of Mayor Deborah Lewis who has endorsed Charles Payne (Federico’s opponent). She blasts Lewis’s stances on property rights. She notes Lewis was livid when Dana Point Councilmembers wrote a letter opposing the sanctuary state bill. Diane Harkey and Joe Muller endorse Federico.

Hernandez expresses support for Federico.

Mills asks about Federico’s stance on the pro-life plank being in the California Republican Party platform, as Federico wrote on the form that it is turning off some voters from the party.

Federico notes that Chief Justice John Roberts and Judge Brett Kavanaugh have called Roe v. Wade settled law. He says he has spoken to many voters for whom this has been the sole issue preventing them from voting Republican.

Davies expresses her support for Federico because liberals are gaining ground on seats in coastal areas.

Weigand says it speaks highly of Federico for being honest about his position in front of the OC GOP.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds to recommend Federico. The committee votes 5-0 for the motion.

And with that, your blogger must regrettably depart. OC Political will get the rest of the results and report later.

What happened after your blogger’s departure:

  • Chris Thompson recommended 5-0 for Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Trustee Area 4
  • Marice DePasquale recommended 5-0 for Mesa Water District, Division 3
  • Fred Minagar recommended 5-0 for Laguna Niguel City Council
  • Don Wagner recommended 5-0 for Mayor of Irvine
  • San Clemente City Council
    • Dan Bane recommended 5-0
    • Laura Ferguson recommended 4-1 (Leroy Mills dissenting because Ferguson is pro-choice)
  • Richard Viczorek recommended 5-0 for Mayor of Dana Point
  • Erica Pezold recommended 5-0 for Laguna Hills City Council
  • Brett Barbre recommended 5-0 for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
  • Opposition recommended 4-0 on Measure X in Santa Ana (Leroy Mills abstaining)
  • Opposition recommended 5-0 on Measure I in the Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Support recommended 5-0 on Proposition 5
  • Opposition recommended 5-0 on Proposition 10

Posted in Republican Central Committee | 2 Comments »