OC Political

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

Archive for the ‘Saddleback Valley Unified School District’ Category

My Voter Recommendations For The November 3, 2020 Election

Posted by Craig P Alexander on September 23, 2020

Each election I create my “Craig’s Pics” voter recommendations for those who would like some suggestions on how to vote.  Of course I also encourage everyone to conduct their own research and come to your own determinations.  

For the November 3, 2020 election here are my Craig’s Pics November 3, 2020 General Election. I hope you find them helpful.  

There are two other sites I recommend for voter recommendations.  One is Robyn Nordell’s Conservative California Election Website   Robyn does A LOT of research and she has recommendations for races I do not comment on.  She is also a wonderful servant and a champion of the home school movement. Robyn kindly publishes my Craig’s Pics recommendations along with other conservative’s recommendations on her Orange County page. And we do not always agree! 

The other site is Nancy’s Picks which is run by Nancy Sandoval.  Like Robyn, Nancy spends A LOT of time researching candidates and issues.  Nancy’s Picks is one of the other conservatives Robyn Nordell publishes on her Orange County page.

Whatever you do please do vote this election.  Even if you feel your vote for President will not deliver the state to President Trump, there are so, so many other down ballot races that need your vote! Congressional candidates in your area need your vote.  State Senate and Assembly candidates need your vote.  Local races need your vote.  If you do not vote, your voice will not count in your local city council races, school board races, etc., etc.  Many men and women in the military have paid the ultimate price to secure our right to choose our leaders at election time.  I highly recommend you vote this election! To find out how to register to vote in Orange County go to the Registrar of Voters web site for voter registration.  

 

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 29th Senate District, 37th Senate District, 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, California, Capistrano Unified School District, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Mission Viejo, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, North Orange County Community College District, Orange County, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Orange Unified School District, Rossmoor Community Services District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, South Orange County Community College District, State Assembly, State Senate, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

OC’s Close Contests: 90.2% of Ballots Counted, D. Nguyen Within 17 Votes of Diep, Contreras Gains, Why TUSD Measure N is OC’s Closest Bond

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 11, 2020

The OC vote count continues, with approximately 9.8% of ballots still to be counted.

After counting 25,961 ballots yesterday, the Orange County Registrar of Voters reports 76,649 ballots remain while 706,425 have been counted, which means 90.2% of OC’s 783,074 ballots have already been counted (OC voter turnout in the 2020 primary appears to have settled at 47.9%).

As OC Political noted Thursday, the Secretary of State defines “Close Contests” as those races where there is a margin of 2% or less, so we are tracking Orange County’s close contests where there is a margin of 2% or less.

Because Central Committee races are exhausting to analyze and write about (and presumably exhausting to read about), only races where a new person is in sixth place (since the top six are elected in each district) are being covered, the count resulted in no changes in any of the Central Committee races in either major party.

72nd Assembly District

In the 72nd Assembly District race for the second slot to reach the top two against former Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Fountain Valley), incumbent Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) saw his lead shrink to just a razor-thin 17 votes (0.02%) against Councilwoman Diedre Nguyen (D-Garden Grove) as late Democratic ballots continue to fuel her rise.  In all likelihood, Diedre Nguyen will overtake Diep in the next count, and Diep will become one of those rare legislative incumbents who loses re-election in the primary.

Diep’s lead has continued to fall, having previously been 291 votes (0.29%), 309 votes (0.31%), 1,050 votes (1.19%), 1,286 votes (1.54%), and 1,975 votes (2.56%).

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
35,199 34.38%
25,797 25.20%
25,780 25.18%
15,597 15.24%

 

1st Supervisorial District

In the 1st Supervisorial District race for the second slot to reach the runoff against incumbent Andrew Do (R-Westminster), Councilman Sergio Contreras (D-Westminster) grew his lead over Mayor Miguel Pulido (D-Santa Ana) to 1,386 votes (1.70%).

While there has been one post-Election Night count with Pulido gaining, Contreras has gained in most of those daily counts. In the prior counts, Contreras’s leads over Pulido were 1,293 votes (1.63%), 1,207 votes (1.59%), 865 votes (1.22%), 968 votes (1.47%), and 514 votes (0.82%).

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
35,540 43.65%
17,506 21.50%
16,120 19.80%
12,250 15.05%

 

Tustin Unified School District Measure N

Tustin Unified School District’s Measure N continues to steadily inch up ever so slightly, but it is unlikely to reach the 55% required to pass a local school bond.  In the prior count, it was 53.01% (1.99% short of 55%).

So far, 19,648 voters have cast votes on Measure N.  Assuming the 90.2% of ballots counted is uniform across the County (which certainly isn’t the case, but it’s the only number available and is better than no estimate, and doesn’t account for undervotes or overvotes), that would leave 2,135 ballots for Measure N.  If there are 2,000 ballots remaining for Tustin Unified School District, that would require 73.08% of those ballots to be in favor of the bond.  That would be an astronomically high percentage for a 2020 primary election bond.

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
10,442 53.15%
9,206 46.85%

Former Fullerton Elementary School District Trustee Chris Thompson (R) inquired in the comments on yesterday’s post about if there were any theories as to why Measure N got closer to passage than any other school bond in an election when all nine school bonds failed.

Tustin Unified School District had a combination of things that worked in its favor.  No other school district had all three of TUSD’s factors in favor (though obviously TUSD still fell short):

  • TUSD’s Measure N was one of only two OC bonds on the March 3 ballot that listed projects by campus (the other was Saddleback Valley Unified School District’s Measure M, though that had an overwhelming 62.75% of voters opposed, but SVUSD’s electorate is much more conservative than TUSD’s, and there was organized opposition); all other bonds listed potential projects without linking them to specific campuses or listed campuses without specific projects.  Greater specificity of projects likely helped voter confidence that there were specific items being approved, as opposed to the perception of a giant block of money being provided to the school district for miscellaneous facilities.
  • TUSD used a school facilities improvement district (SFID), which meant only 2/3 of the school district was voting on this bond, as the other 1/3 were outside the SFID.  That 1/3 were areas that already had Mello-Roos that went to schools, per TUSD’s web site on Measure N.  This presumably was to prevent voters from those areas to be upset about growing their school bills.  (TUSD is still paying off several bonds.)  While Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) proposed bonds in two separate SFIDs (Measure H opposed by 56.36% and Measure I opposed by 54.60%), TUSD has a greater degree of trust with its community while CUSD has been roiled by community mistrust with recall elections, very rigorous campaigns where incumbents have been repeatedly tossed from office, etc.  Additionally, the CUSD electorate is simply more conservative than the TUSD electorate, and there was organized opposition.  Also, CUSD had a defeated bond just four years ago while TUSD’s last bond was eight years ago, but that one was successful.
  • TUSD had no organized opposition.  Brea Olinda Unified School District’s Measure G, Capistrano Unified School District’s Measures H and I, and Saddleback Valley Unified School District’s Meausre M all had organized opposition.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 72nd Assembly District, Capistrano Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Tustin Unified School District | 1 Comment »

BREAKING NEWS!! OC Realtors stand with taxpayers, unanimously opposing new taxes from measures I, H, M and Proposition 13 (2020).

Posted by Craig P Alexander on February 28, 2020

The Orange County Association of Realtors (OCAR) Board of Directors voted unanimously to Oppose new bond taxes in the form of Capistrano Unified School District’s Measures H & I, Saddelback Valley School District’s Measure M and the state wide bond tax of Prop. 13 (the March 2020 version – not the 1978 Prop. 13).

Here is OCAR’s press release:

Orange County REALTORS® Board of Directors Votes Unanimously to Oppose Ballot Measures H, I, and M, and Proposition 13 (2020)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: February 28, 2020

CONTACT:   Dirissy Doan, Government Affairs Director, Orange County REALTORS®
Phone: 949-586-6800 ext 119
Email: Dirissy@ocrealtors.org

Orange County REALTORS® Board of Directors Votes Unanimously to Oppose Ballot Measures H, I, and M, and Proposition 13 (2020)

The Orange County REALTORS® Board of Directors voted to oppose local school facility bonds Measures H, I, M, and the statewide school bond Proposition 13 (2020) which appear on the March 3rd primary ballot in Orange County.

Measure H was placed on the ballot by the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees. If approved by the 55 percent of the voters, it would authorize the District to borrow up to $120 million to repair and modernize CUSD schools located in San Clemente and Capistrano Beach.

Measure I was placed on the ballot by the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees. If approved by 55 percent of the voters, it would authorize the District to borrow up to $300 million to repair and modernize CUSD schools located in Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, and Laguna Niguel.

Measure M was placed on the ballot by the Saddleback Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) Board of Trustees. If approved by 55 percent of the voters, it would authorize the District to borrow up to $495 million to repair, improve, and modernize SVUSD schools located in the County of Orange and in Aliso Viejo, Irvine, Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, and Rancho Santa Margarita.

California Proposition 13: School and College Facilities Bond (March 2020) was placed on the ballot by the California State Legislature. If approved by 55 percent of the voters, it would authorize the issuance of $15 billion in state general obligation bonds for school and college facilities, including $9 billion for preschools and K–12 schools, $4 billion for universities, and $2 billion for community colleges.

Expressing concerns about the total amount of bonded indebtedness, the amount by which payment on these new bonds will increase property taxes annually, the way in which this increase may affect housing affordability, and the amount that interest on these bonds will cost homeowners over the lifetime of the bonds, members of the Local Government Relations South Committee voted at its meeting on February 3 to recommend that the Orange County REALTORS® Board of Directors oppose all four of these items, which the Board voted to do at its regular meeting on February 26th.

Here is the link to the Press Release.

For more about the opposition to CUSD’s Measures H & I go to http://www.nocusdbonds.com or http://www.capokidsfirst.com or on Facebook to CapoKidsFirst.

For more about the opposition to Saddelback Valley’s Measure M go to Facebook at No on Measure M Tax

Craig Alexander is an attorney and a resident of Dana Point, California.

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Voter Recommendations – A Reminder

Posted by Craig P Alexander on February 27, 2020

As March 3rd is only a few days away, I just wanted to remind voters (who have not cast a ballot yet) that there are voter recommendations by conservatives who do not get paid for their endorsements – people like Robyn Nordell and myself. And we do not always agree!

Here is the link to my prior post on this subject: Voter Recommendations.

Craig Alexander is an attorney and a Dana Point resident.

Posted in 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park School District, California, Capistrano Unified School District, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Fullerton School District, Lowell Joint School District, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, State Assembly, State Senate, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Voter Recommendations from Craig Alexander, Robyn Nordell and Other Conservatives

Posted by Craig P Alexander on February 18, 2020

If you are looking for Voter Recommendations from conservatives who research candidates, propositions and measures on the March 3, 2020 ballot they are now available.

My own “Craig’s Pics” voter recommendations are here: Craig’s Pics March 3, 2020.  For Robyn Nordell’s excellent one stop election shop (my term not hers) go to: www.robynnordell.com

At Robyn’s web site there is an Orange County section where Robyn’s recommendations and others like Kathy Dittner’s, Nancy Sandoval’s and my own are linked.  And we do not always agree on the candidates or issues! Evidence of that is we are evenly split on the race for the 73rd Assembly District.  One thing we all have in common – none of us is paid anything by any candidate, cause or issue group (or any PAC, Super PAC, etc.) for our recommendations.

One thing to note: most of the people who look for and read my voter recommendations, Robyn’s, Kathy’s and/or Nancy’s are conservatives who normally vote Republican.  This election is a Presidential Primary and President Donald J. Trump is running for re-election.  Given that he is the incumbent and it is highly unlikely he will not be the nominee for this state, it may be tempting for Republicans to sit out this election.  This is true whether you support the President or not.

Please do NOT stay home or not vote in this election.  Even if you decide to leave the ballot blank for the Presidential race, there are many, many down ballot races that need your vote.  Remember the “top two” jungle primary still applies to all other races such as Congress, Assembly, State Senate, local measures, etc.  Your vote is needed to help carry good people into other offices.  In addition there is a critical race for the Orange County Board of Education going on.  There are three seats up and all the have good conservative school choice candidates to vote for (you only get one vote if you live in that area).  They are Dr. Ken Williams (running for re-election), Jim Palmer, President of the Orange County Rescue Mission and Tim Shaw.

We also need your vote to vote NO on Proposition 13 which is a state wide bond tax (not the 1978 version) and No on local school bond tax measures like Measure M in the Saddleback Unified School District area and Measures H & I placed on the ballot by Capistrano Unified School District.  http://www.nocusdbonds.com http://www.capokidsfirst.com and http://www.facebook.com/noonmeasuremtax/

Craig Alexander is an attorney and Dana Point resident.

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Orange County Board of Education, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Free Voter Guides Available at Robynnordell.com

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 21, 2016

Are you looking for voter recommendations from people that do not get paid from politics (i.e. consultants and slate cards)?

Are you looking for voter recommendations from people that do not accept money to give a proposition, a ballot measure or a candidate the thumbs up (or down)?

Are you looking for advice on national, state wide and local races that include all of the state wide and local ballot propositions / measures?

Then you should go over to Robyn Nordell’s web site for Voter Recommendations from Robyn and some of her friends like myself.

Her general web site is: Robyn Nordell.

Her Orange County page is: Robyn Nordell Orange County.

Finally my favorite page at her site is Craig’s Pics my voter recommendations which Robyn kindly allows to be published there.

She also has information on some other counties in California.

Who is Robyn Nordell?  She is an Orange County homeschool mother and advocate, a pastor’s wife, a tireless advocate for open and transparent government, a social and fiscal conservative and one of the most talented, honest, brightest and kind persons I know.  Robyn does not get paid one penny for her work in researching candidates and ballot propositions / measures, putting together her voter recommendations and publishing them on her web site.  Plus she is gracious to publish others voter recommendation lists (like my own) even when we make recommendations different from her own. She is a Patriot!

Posted in 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Board of Equalization, Brea, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park, Buena Park Library District, Buena Park School District, California, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Coast Community College District, Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Cypress, Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, El Toro Water District, Emerald Bay Service District, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Fullerton School District, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Irvine, Irvine Ranch Water District, Irvine Unified School District, La Habra, La Habra City School District, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Lowell Joint School District, Magnolia School District, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Midway City Sanitary District, Mission Viejo, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Cemetery District, Orange County Sanitation District, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia, Placentia Library District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Rossmoor, Rossmoor Community Services District, Rossmoor/Los Alamitos Area Sewer District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Margarita Water District, Savanna School District, Seal Beach, Serrano Water District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Stanton, State Assembly, State Senate, Sunset Beach Sanitary District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Trabuco Canyon Water District, Tustin, Tustin Unified School District, Uncategorized, Villa Park, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Still Time to Run: 20 Races Where Incumbents Didn’t File for Re-Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 15, 2016

BeatTheClockUnder California law, the deadline for filing for most offices was this past Friday, August 12.  However, in races where there is an eligible incumbent who chose not to file for re-election, non-incumbents received an extra five days to file. Consequently, the deadline for non-incumbents to file has been extended until 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 17 for 20 races for college board, school board, and special districts. None of these require nomination signatures, so a prospective candidate could literally pull and file papers in the final minutes before 5:00 PM on August 17.

Three of these contests actually have more seats than candidates.  In other words, there aren’t enough candidates for these races, so anyone who files will go unopposed, but at this point, if no one else files, these three districts will have vacancies:

There’s an additional five contests where the number of seats equal the number of candidates.  In other words, if no one else files, all of these candidates will be elected unopposed:

Looking at the list below, some of you may be wondering why Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 1 is not listed.  In that case, incumbent Jose Solorio (D) actually resigned from the seat, so there is no incumbent.  When there’s no incumbent at all, there’s no extension.

For those of you who are curious

Here’s the complete run-down on the 20 contests where filing has been extended to 5:00 PM on August 17 because at least one incumbent failed to file, giving non-incumbents an extra five days to file:

  • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 2
    • Incumbent Leonard Lahtinen (D) did not file for re-election, opting instead to run for Anaheim City Council.  Three candidates have pulled and filed papers to replace him so far:
      • Centralia School District Trustee Art Montez (D), who was on the Centralia Board from 1998-2010, when he was defeated for re-election, lost a 2012 bid to return to the Board, and then finally returned to the Centralia Board in the 2014 election, but he’s already looking for another office just two years later
      • College Educator Ed Lopez (?)
      • Businesswoman/Student Ann-Marie Stinson (D)
  • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7
    • Incumbent Tony Ontiveros (R), the only Republican on the North Orange County Community College District Board, did not file for re-election.  Only one candidate has pulled papers to replace him:
      • Attorney Barry Wishart (D), who served on the North Orange County Community College District Board from 1985 until his resignation in December 2001, three years into his fourth term
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3
    • Incumbent John Alpay (R) did not file for re-election, opting instead to run for South Orange County Community College District.  Only one candidate has pulled papers to replace him:
      • Public Information Officer Laura Ferguson (R), who is the PIO for the City of San Clemente
  • Irvine Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Paul Bokota (D), Lauren Brooks (R), and Michael Parham (R).  Bokota and Brooks filed for re-election, but Parham did not.  In addition to Bokota and Brooks, four other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Irvine Businesswoman/Parent Betty Carroll (NPP)
      • Army Captain/Parent Mark Newgent (?)
      • Irvine Businesswoman/Parent Naz Hamid (D)
      • Attorney Geri Zollinger (D)
  • Laguna Beach Unified School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: William Landsiedel (R) and Jan Vickers (D).  Vickers filed for re-election, but Landsiedel did not.  In addition to Vickers, two other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Constitutional Lawyer/Author Howard Hills (R)
      • Community Volunteer Peggy Wolff (D)
  • Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 6
    • Incumbent Mark Wayland (R) did not file for re-election.  Three candidates have pulled papers to replace him:
      • Child Care Supervisor Nicole Baitx-Kennedy (NPP), the only one who has filed papers so far
      • Realtor Jeremy Wayland (R), the retiring incumbent’s son
      • Danielle Jacobs (R), who is director of operations for Sheldon Development, LLC, run by Orange County Water District Director Steve Sheldon (R)
  • Saddleback Valley Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Ginny Fay Aitkens (D), Amanda Morrell (R), and Suzie Swartz (R).  Morrell and Swartz filed for re-election, but Aitkens did not.  In addition to Morrell and Swartz, five other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Educator Edward Wong (NPP)
      • Teacher Bill Yarrington (R)
      • Water Agency Manager Mark Tettemer (R), a former Lake Forest City Councilman who retired in 2012 after two terms to pursue a Master of Public Administration
      • School Maintenance Specialist David Johnson (?)
      • Businessman Theo Hunt (D)
  • Santa Ana Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Jose Hernandez (NPP), Cecilia Iglesias (R), and Rob Richardson (R).  Iglesias filed for re-election, but Hernandez and Richardson did not.  In addition to Iglesias, seven other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Recreation Program Coordinator Gloria Alvarado (D)
      • Attorney/Santa Ana Commissioner Bruce Bauer (D)
      • Teacher/Parent Rigo Rodriguez (?)
      • Supervising Social Worker Alfonso Alvarez (D)
      • Congressional Liaison/Parent Bea Mendoza (D), who works for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D)
      • Educator/Santa Ana Commissioner Mark McLoughlin (NPP), a former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee
      • Santa Ana Businesswoman/Economist Angie Cano (R)
  • Huntington Beach City School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Bridget Kaub (R) and Brian Rechsteiner (R). Kaub filed for re-election, but Rechsteiner did not.  In addition to Kaub, three other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Elementary Principal Ann Sullivan (AI)
      • Rob Fishel (NPP)
      • Elementary Teacher/Parent Karrie Burroughs (R)
  • Ocean View School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Gina Clayton-Tarvin (D) and Debbie Cotton (R). Clayton-Tarvin filed for re-election, but Cotton did not.  In addition to Clayton-Tarvin, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Social Worker Amalia Lam (D)
  • Westminster School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Jamison Power (D) and Amy Walsh (R). Power filed for re-election, but Walsh did not.  In addition to Power, two other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Attorney/Business Owner Karl Truong (?)
      • Educator/Entrepreneur Frances Nguyen (R), a former President of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce
  • Capistrano Bay Community Services District
    • No one has pulled papers for these two seats!  There are two incumbents up for re-election: Ambrose Mastro (R) and Stephen Muller (R), the two Republicans on a board with one Democrat and two NPPs.  Neither Mastro nor Muller filed for re-election.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If fewer than two people file for these two seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint people to fill the vacancies.
  • Emerald Bay Service District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: William Hart (R) and John Marconi (R). Marconi filed for re-election, but Hart did not.  In addition to Marconi, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Real Estate Investor Phil De Carion (NPP)
  • Surfside Colony Community Services District
    • Incumbent Michael Farrell (NPP) did not file for re-election.  Two candidates have pulled and filed papers to replace him so far:
      • Retired Business Owner Rudy LaLonde (R)
      • Linda Garofalo (NPP), ex-wife of former Huntington Beach Mayor Dave Garofalo (R)
  • Three Arch Bay Community Services District
    • No one has pulled papers for the third seat!  There are three incumbents up for re-election: Alan Anderson (R), Elizabeth Gapp (R) and Gary Rubel (R).  While Anderson and Rubel filed for re-election, Gapp did not.  Only Anderson and Rubel have pulled and filed papers.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If a third person does not file for these three seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
  • Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: John Olson (D) and Chay Peterson (NPP). Neither Olson nor Peterson filed for re-election.  Four candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • IT Consultant Steven Duff (D)
      • Retired Educator Tara Saraye (D)
      • Realtor/Artist/Parent Heidi Murphy-Grande (?)
      • Dion Sorrell (D)
  • Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District
    • No one has pulled papers for the second seat!  There are two incumbents up for re-election: John Cahoon (L) and Stephen Rowe (D).  While Rowe filed for re-election, Cahooon did not.  Only Rowe has pulled and filed papers.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If a second person does not file for these two seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
  • South Coast Water District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Dick Dietmeier (NPP), Rick Erkeneff (R), and Wayne Rayfield (D).  Erkeneff and Rayfield filed for re-election, but Dietmeier did not.  In addition to Erkeneff and Rayfield, four other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Business Owner Bob Moore (R), a former South Coast Water District Director who lost a 2014 re-election bid after foolishly using a non-incumbent ballot designation
      • Retired Project Manager Bob Oakley (R)
      • Civil Engineer Douglas Erdman (NPP), who appears to be the son of South Coast Water District Director Dennis Erdman (R)
      • Former South Coast Water District Director Richard Gardner (D), who lost a 2012 re-election bid seeks a return to his old seat after losing a 2014 bid to reclaim a seat on this board (or he might not seek a return since he has also pulled papers for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 7)
  • Yorba Linda Water District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Michael Beverage (R) and Ric Collett (R).  Collett filed for re-election, but Beverage did not.  In addition to Collett, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Retired Business Advisor Benjamin Franklin Parker (R)
    • Incumbent Susan Hinman (R) did not file for re-election.  Three candidates have pulled papers to replace her so far:
      • Moulton-Niguel Water District Director Donald Froelich (R)
      • Business Owner/Consultant Evan Chaffee (R)
      • Registered Professional Engineer Raymond Miller (R)
      • Former South Coast Water District Director Richard Gardner (D), who has also pulled papers for South Coast Water District

Posted in Anaheim, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Emerald Bay Service District, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine Unified School District, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

US Supreme Court Splits 4-4 in OC’s Friedrichs v. CTA

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 29, 2016

Justice Antonin Scalia (1936-2016)This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued a one-sentence ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.”

That single sentence ruling while not setting a precedent leaves in place a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that it does not violate the First Amendment to require public employees (in this case, public school teachers) to object to having their dues used for political purposes rather than requiring they consent to political uses of their dues.  In other words, the Ninth Circuit ruled an opt-out system was constitutional, and unions did not have to subscribe to an opt-in system to use public employee union dues for political purposes.

This the second such 4-4 ruling since the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia.  Scalia had been widely expected to support striking down the Ninth Circuit ruling.

Had Scalia lived and the petitioners prevailed 5-4, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association would have represented a sea change in American and California politics and governance.

The 4-4 ruling in what would have been a landmark decision demonstrates the incredible impact of Scalia’s death on the closely-divided court.  This will only further highlight the importance of the nominee to succeed Scalia on the Supreme Court, which in turn will draw the Supreme Court further into the presidential election.

Public employee unions’ enormous sums of money for political campaigns have been fueled by the dues they collect from their members.  For an individual employee to opt out of contributing their dues for political purposes, that employee must during a six-week period each year send a letter to the union stating they wish to opt out (there’s even a confusing box on the CTA’s regular dues form that implies employees can opt out entirely but is actually a box that accomplishes a far narrower task).

Had the Supreme Court simplified the opt-out system or switched opt-out to opt-in, there would have been a precipitous fall in the amount of union money in politics.  This would have made it much tougher for union allies to win elected office in Congress, the State Legislature, and local government.  Fewer elected officials would have been beholden to teachers unions.

Led by Orange County teacher Rebecca Friedrichs, ten California teachers and the Christian Educators Association International had filed suit against the California Teachers Association (state teachers union), the National Education Association (national teachers union), and ten local teachers unions, including four from Orange County:

  • Savanna District Teachers Association
  • Saddleback Valley Educators Association
  • Orange Unified Education Association
  • Santa Ana Educators Association

Also among the respondents were the Superintendents of the Savanna School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Orange Unified School District, and Santa Ana Unified School District.

For those wondering about the Supreme Court’s first 4-4 ruling, it was issued last week in Hawkins v. Community Bank, a case on whether spouses who guarantee commercial loans constitute “applicants” under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which would trigger protection from marital-status discrimination.

Posted in National, Orange Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Savanna School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Education Revolution in Orange County: Part III of III – OC Teachers Lawsuit Against Unions Reaches Supreme Court

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 6, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Justices

This is the third in my series on the education revolution brewing in Orange County.  The first piece was on the growth of charter schools in Orange County to catch up to the number of charter schools in the rest of California.  The second piece was on the use of the Parent Trigger Law at Palm Lane Elementary School.  Today, in the final piece, we turn to an Orange County case that has reached the United States Supreme Court seeking to overturn the “agency shop” rules for California school districts and to overturn the opt-out procedure for the “nonchargeable” portion of union dues.

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is the most sweeping part of the education revolution in Orange County.  The plurality of the teachers, unions, and school districts in the case are from Orange County.

The growth of charter schools in Orange County is just OC playing catch up to its neighboring counties.  The Palm Lane Elementary School case is Orange County being one of the early adopters in the efforts around the Parent Trigger Law.  Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is Orange County seeking to pave the way for the nation.

If the petitioners (Rebecca Friedrichs, et al.) prevail in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, collective bargaining in this country changes forever and the influence of public employee unions in elections, particularly California elections, will wane significantly.

Public employee unions’ enormous sums of money for political campaigns are fueled by the dues they collect from their members.  For an individual employee to opt out of contributing their dues for political purposes, that employee must during a six-week period each year send a letter to the union stating they wish to opt out (there’s even a confusing box on the CTA’s regular dues form that implies employees can opt out entirely but is actually a box that accomplishes a far narrower task).

If the Supreme Court simplifies the opt-out system or switches opt-out to opt-in, you will see a precipitous fall in the amount of union money in politics.  With this fall in union money, it will be much tougher for union allies to win elected office in Congress, the State Legislature, and local government.  Fewer elected officials will be beholden to teachers unions.

If the petitioners prevail, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association will represent a sea change in American and California politics and governance.

What does “agency shop” mean?  What are “nonchargeable” portions of union dues?

(The petitioners describe describe “agency shop” rules as: “The State of California empowers school districts to require public-school teachers, as a condition of employment, to either join the union representing teachers in their district or pay the equivalent of dues to that union.”)

(California Government Code Section 3546(a) describes “agency shop” rules as: “the employee shall, as a condition of continued employment, be required either to join the recognized employee organization or pay the fair share service fee,” and the “nonchargeable” portion of union dues are the part of the “fee that is not devoted to the cost of negotiations, contract administration, and other activities of the employee organization that are germane to its function as the exclusive bargaining representative.”)

Who are the petitioners and the respondents?

Led by Orange County teacher Rebecca Friedrichs, ten California teachers and the Christian Educators Association International filed suit against the California Teachers Association (state teachers union), the National Education Association (national teachers union), and ten local teachers unions, including four from Orange County:

  • Savanna District Teachers Association
  • Saddleback Valley Educators Association
  • Orange Unified Education Association
  • Santa Ana Educators Association

Also among the respondents are the Superintendents of the Savanna School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Orange Unified School District, and Santa Ana Unified School District.

Posted in Orange Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, Savanna School District | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Saddleback Valley USD Board Member Dennis Walsh Is Latest Politician Accused of Behaving Badly

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on May 19, 2014

I have been extremely busy over the past few weeks and have not had a chance to blog very much. Luckily, I am going to be able to blog a little bit more over the next few weeks leading up to the June Election.

walsh

In the past we have reported about numerous politicians that have been accused of behaving badly including:

Buena Park Councilmember Miller Oh Charged With Perjury
Former Assemblyman Richard Robinson Being Arrested on Suspicion of DUI
Lake Forest Councilmember Peter Herzog Being Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

We now add a school board member to this growing list of politicians that have made the news for all the wrong reasons. The OC Weekly broke the story of Saddleback Valley Unified School Board President Dennis Walsh being arrested by Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies for resisting arrest.

Walsh allegedly ran into a fire hydrant with his car and fled the scene of the accident. Later, the car was spotted in the driveway by sheriff’s deputies and Walsh was informed that the car was evidence and would need to be towed. At this point Walsh apparently stopped cooperating with the deputies and was arrested.

One thing that was not mentioned in any of the articles is that Dennis Walsh is up for re-election this November and will likely face some issues with voters if he draws an opponent. The Saddleback Valley Unified School District has only had two elections in the past eight years and Walsh has never appeared on the ballot. We will find out this November how well both Dennis Walsh and Miller Oh will fare with both candidates slated to be up for re-election. Lake Forest Councilmember Peter Herzog opted to resign from office instead of facing what was likely to be a tough re-election.

It would not be unprecedented if either Walsh or Oh were to be re-elected. Back in 2010, Westminster Councilmember Andy Quach was able to win re-election despite pleading guilty to DUI.

CITY OF WESTMINSTER Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 64 of 64
Vote Count Percentage
* TRI TA 7,964 20.2%
* ANDY QUACH 7,076 18.0%
PENNY LOOMER 6,774 17.2%
KHOA DO 5,777 14.7%
ALIN HAMADE 5,725 14.5%
JOY L. NEUGEBAUER 4,298 10.9%
GINGER WAUGH-BORDEN 1,767 4.5%

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

Posted in Saddleback Valley Unified School District | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »