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3 Weeks, 3 More Vacant Seats: Irvine, Santa Ana, and Stanton

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 14, 2019

In January, I wrote about OC’s Five Vacant Seats: OC Supervisor for the Third District, Fullerton City Council, Orange City Council, Seal Beach City Council District 1, and Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education.

Well, in the last three weeks, three more vacancies have developed in Orange County.

Irvine

The most well known vacancy is the one in Irvine that will result when Supervisor-Elect Don Wagner (R) vacates the Mayor’s seat.  However, there are numerous misconceptions about which vacancy in Irvine will result.

Some candidates claimed during the Supervisorial election that if Wagner won, there would be a special election for Mayor.  That is false.  Some press accounts claimed that the Council would appoint the new Mayor.  That is based on out-of-date information.

Under current Irvine ordinances as authorized by the Irvine City Charter, Mayor Pro Tem Christina Shea (R) will automatically succeed Wagner as Mayor once he vacates the Mayor’s seat.

The vacancy in Irvine is for Christina Shea’s Council seat.  Under the Irvine City Charter, the City Council has 60 days to appoint a new Councilmember after Shea vacates her Council seat (i.e. after she becomes Mayor after Wagner resigns).  If the Council fails to appoint a person to fill the vacancy, then there will be a special election.  Whether appointed or elected, Shea’s successor will serve through the November 2020 election.

Santa Ana Ward 4

The next most well known vacancy is in Santa Ana.  Ward 4 Councilman Roman Reyna (D), who was just elected in November, resigned effective March 1 as part of a settlement agreement in a lawsuit that challenged his eligibility to run for the Council seat in the first place.

Under the Santa Ana City Charter, the City Council has 30 days to appoint a new Councilmember to serve through the November 2022 election.  If the Council fails to appoint a person by March 31, then there will be a special election on November 5, which will be consolidated with the Santa Ana Unified School District special election.

Six people met Tuesday’s deadline for applications.  The Council is scheduled to interview the applicants next Tuesday, March 19.  The applicants are:

  • Phil Bacerra (D), a former Santa Ana Planning Commissioner who lost the Council election to Reyna and was the plaintiff in the lawsuit that led to Reyna’s resignation
  • Kenneth Khanh Nguyen (NPP), a Santa Ana Planning Commissioner
  • Jennifer Oliva (D), a Santa Ana Arts and Culture Commissioner
  • Gale Oliver, Jr. (NPP), a Baptist bishop
  • Phillip Ortiz, Jr. (NPP), an Internet installer
  • Maricela Vallejo (NPP), a Santa Ana Personnel Board Member

Stanton

The least publicized vacancy is the one in Stanton.  Mayor Pro Tem Al Ethans (R) resigned effective February 28 after more than 22 years on the Stanton City Council.

As Stanton is a general law city, the City Council has 60 days to appoint a new Councilmember to serve through the November 2020 election.  If the Council fails to appoint a person by April 29, then there will be a special election on November 5.

Applications for the seat are due at 5:00 PM today.  A City Council subcommittee is scheduled to meet with the applicants the last week of March, and the Council is slated to meet on April 23 to vote on a potential appointee.

Status of OC’s Eight Vacancies

Here’s a quick run-down on every vacancy in Orange County since the November 2018 general election.  There are 2 completed elections (Supervisor and Seal Beach), 1 appointment completed (Fullerton), 2 pending special elections (Orange and Santa Ana School Board), 2 pending appointments (Santa Ana and Stanton), and 1 pending vacancy (Irvine).  All of these seats are up for election again in 2020, except for Santa Ana and Seal Beach which will be up for election again in 2022:

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Irvine, Santa Ana, Stanton | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Receiving 3-4 Votes to Become Finalists

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

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

Receiving 2 Votes

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

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

Receiving 1 Vote

  • Jesus Montoya (D), a community college counselor

Only Rigo Rodriguez supported advancing Montoya to the finalist stage.

Receiving No Votes

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

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

Updated Voter Recommendations And Help With All Of Those Judge Races

Posted by Craig P Alexander on October 17, 2018

Updated 10-17-18 – Judges!?!?

Every election year I put together my “Craig’s Pics” voter recommendations for conservative voters. As with every election, what we as voters do at the polls (who we elect or initiatives we pass / vote down) matter greatly. As you will see in my recommendations this year, I believe there is a stark contrast between electing Republicans versus Democrats.

I posted about this a few weeks ago “It’s Voting Time Again: Absentee Ballot Edition – Here are My Recommendations for Voters!

Since posting my recommendations, I have been getting a lot of folks asking “What about those judges on the ballot?”  Great question!  For judges (they are actually Justices of the Appeals Court and Supreme Court up for a “retention vote”).  For these races I recommend people go to Robyn Nordell’s Orange County page. If you don’t live in Orange County go to: Voter Recommendations then find your county.

Here is the link to my updated recommendations: Craig’s Pics Nov 2018 Updated 10-17-18. My updated Pics have a couple of races I did not have recommendations for a few weeks ago (State Controller and Molton Niguel Water District).

Nancy Sandoval’s web site is Nancy’s Picks.

A few weeks ago I posted here at O.C. Political why I recommend voters vote for Republicans for the Congressional Districts in Orange County (well all over California but I am just focusing on the O.C. Districts). Here is a link to that post: “What’s At Stake…” I suggest you go take a look at my post and consider why voting this year is critical. I will repeat what I stated in that post and in my voter recommendations: “For a Conservative Voter to stay at home (not vote) is to cast a ballot for Democrats.”  In addition for the 49th Congressional District (where I live) I posted about the race between conservative Diane Harkey and resist liberal Democrat Mike Levin.  If you live in the 49th or have friends who live there I recommend that post too.

I hope you find my Updated Voter Recommendations helpful!

Craig P. Alexander is an attorney whose office is located in Dana Point, CA. He practices law in the areas of Office and Commercial Leasing, Business Contracts, Insurance Coverage, HOA law, Civil Litigation and the California Public Records Act (California’s Freedom of Information Act).

Posted in 34th Senate District, 36th 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, Board of Equalization, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fullerton, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Newport Beach, Orange County Sheriff, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, South Coast Water District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

During Homeless Crisis, Councilwoman Michele Martinez Charged Taxpayers for European Junket, Trip to Vegas, and $3000 Per Hour Phantom Meetings

Posted by Brenda Higgins on October 28, 2016

Is Michele Martinez traveling again? Maybe she went golfing?

Is Michele Martinez traveling again? Maybe she went golfing?

While the City of Santa Ana was experiencing a “public health and safety homeless crisis,” Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez was charging taxpayers for stays in five-star hotels in London and Milan, a party in Las Vegas, and dubious per diem payments for phantom meetings of the city’s housing authority.

A review of expense reports, travel records, and emails shows a shocking pattern of Michele Martinez living large at the public’s expense, raising questions whether the Councilwoman has violated government travel policies, state disclosure rules or state ethics laws.
This July, as local law enforcement agencies were training judges and courthouse staff how to safely navigate downtown Santa Ana, Councilwoman Michele Martinez was checking in to London’s five-star Mondrian Hotel, rated the third best bar in the world.
$53,340 Trip to London and Milan
Martinez’s three nights in London were followed by three nights in Milan at NH Collection Milano President Hotel. The estimated cost to taxpayers for Martinez’s flights, hotels, and meals was $4,500.
 
It’s just one of the many perks Martinez has received as Santa Ana’s representative on regional boards and commissions. Organized by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), a multi-governmental agency tasked with solving regional issues, the summer trip to Europe cost taxpayers $53,340.
 
The European junket appears to have violated SCAG’s own travel policies. According to a May 5, 2016 report from SCAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata, “Per SCAG Travel Policy, foreign travel requires Regional Council approval.” However, a review of meeting minutes shows no evidence that the trip was approved by the Regional Council.
 
But London and Milan weren’t Martinez’s only taxpayer-funded trips in 2016. As a member of the Metropolitan Water District Board, Councilwoman Michele Martinez arranged two taxpayer-funded junkets, including one to Las Vegas.
 
$15,551 Trip to Las Vegas
Travel records obtained from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California show Martinez arranged a taxpayer-funded trip for herself and nearly two dozen friends at a $15,551 cost to taxpayers. The previous year, Martinez arranged a trip for 32 people to tour the state water project at a $26,059 cost to taxpayers.
 
“I am certain the pairs I choose will be good roommates,” Martinez wrote in one email to water agency staff. “The good news is that I know almost everyone attending but one person.”
 
Martinez micro-managed every detail of the trip – right down to the snacks, which included “M&Ms, Snickers and Cookies.”
 
Although Martinez found time to pick out snacks on her taxpayer-funded trips, she couldn’t find time to attend the Metropolitan Water District’s meetings.
 
As Santa Ana’s representative on the regional water board, Michele Martinez skipped 35 meetings, including 14 meetings of the district’s important Finance Committee. Martinez showed up on-time for just a single meeting of the Water Planning and Stewardship meeting, which is responsible for drought planning and conservation. After months of absences and tardiness, Martinez’s colleagues voted to remove her from that Committee after serving for less than a year.
 
$3,000 Per Hour at Phantom Meetings
 
Santa Ana City Councilmembers, who are seeking a 700 percent raise next month, earn $125 per council meeting, health benefits, and a $500 monthly car allowance. Yet, Martinez and her colleagues on the city council have also found creative ways to boost their salaries with phantom housing authority meetings.
 
Michele Martinez and her colleagues have collected an additional $50 in per diem payments from the city’s Housing Authority. Most meetings have lasted less than 2 minutes.  Some meetings lasted less than 30 seconds – providing councilmembers with the equivalent of $3,000 per hour for their work.
 
This year, the City of Santa Ana’s Housing Authority has met for 15 minutes – not per meeting, that’s the total time for the first 10 meetings of 2016. In the past six years, Michele Martinez has spent 3 hours and 40 minutes participating in Santa Ana Housing Authority meetings. That’s the cumulative total of meetings that Martinez has attended over the past 6 years. 
 
Less than 4 hours. That’s how much time Martinez has spent on housing in the past 6 years. Since 2011, Martinez has attended 56 Santa Ana Housing Authority meetings that lasted 2 minutes or less. Only 6 meetings lasted more than 5 minutes. Martinez was absent from another 13 meetings. 
 
At these phantom meetings, councilmembers have ignored the Housing Authority’s charter of finding solutions to the city’s affordable housing crisis. “We need to figure out how we permanently house people,” Martinez told the Orange County Register. Maybe she should have taken time to review her city’s annual housing plan.
  • In 2011, the Santa Ana Housing Authority approved the annual housing plan at a 1-minute-long meeting.
  • In 2012, the Santa Ana Housing Authority approved the annual housing plan at a 1-minute-long meeting.
  • In 2013, the Santa Ana Housing Authority approved the annual housing plan at a 1-minute-long meeting.
  • In 2014, the Santa Ana Housing Authority approved its annual report in low income housing at a 1-minute-long meeting.
  • In 2015, the Santa Ana Housing Authority approved its 5-Year Housing Plan at a 1-minute-long meeting.
  • In 2016, Martinez was absent at the meeting, where the Santa Ana Housing Authority reviewed its annual housing plan.
European junkets. Parties in Vegas. $3,000 per hour for phantom meetings. All billed to the taxpayer. Perhaps Michele Martinez is right about one thing: “We have a priority problem,” she told the Voice of OC

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, Santa Ana | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

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 »

OC GOP Endorsements So Far

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 1, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgThe Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee met on August 15 and August 31 to consider endorsements for local offices and ballot measures. Further endorsements will take place on September 19 (and possibly more after that).

OC Political live-blogged the August 15 meeting and the August 31 meeting, but by popular demand here is the list of endorsements so far:

  • City Councils and Mayors
    • Aliso Viejo City Council: Mike Munzing
    • Anaheim City Council, District 4: Lucille Kring
    • Anaheim City Council, District 5: Mark Lopez
    • Costa Mesa City Council: Allan Mansoor, Steve Mensinger, Lee Ramos
    • Dana Point City Council: Michelle Brough
    • Fountain Valley City Council: Steve Nagel
    • Fullerton City Council: Larry Bennett, Bruce Whitaker
    • Garden Grove Mayor: Steve Jones
    • Huntington Beach City Council: Patrick Brenden, Joe Carchio, Lyn Semeta
    • Irvine Mayor: Don Wagner
    • Irvine City Council: Anthony Kuo, Christina Shea
    • La Habra City Council: Tom Beamish, Dawn Holthouser, Tim Shaw
    • Laguna Hills City Council: Janine Heft
    • Laguna Niguel City Council: Laurie Davies, John Mark Jennings, Jerry Slusiewicz
    • Lake Forest City Council: Francisco Barajas, Dwight Robinson
    • Los Alamitos City Council: Dean Grose
    • Newport Beach City Council, District 5: Lee Lowrey
    • Newport Beach City Council, District 7: Will O’Neill
    • Orange City Council: Mark Murphy
    • Rancho Santa Margarita City Council: Tony Beall, Carol Gamble
    • San Clemente City Council: Dan Bane
    • Tustin City Council: Allan Bernstein, Austin Lumbard, Charles Puckett
    • Westminster City Council: Kimberly Ho
    • Yorba Linda City Council: Tara Campbell, Gene Hernandez, Craig Young
  • College Districts
    • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7: Ryan Bent
    • Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 5: Steven Nguyen
  • School Districts
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 1: Wendy Shrove
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 2: Jim Reardon
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3: Laura Ferguson
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 5: Jake Vollebregt
    • Santa Ana Unified School District: Angie Cano
  • Water Districts
    • Orange County Water District, Division 6: Cathy Green
    • Mesa Water District, Division 2: James R. Fisler
    • Moulton Niguel Water District, Division 6: Duane Cave
    • Yorba Linda Water District: Ric Collett, Andy Hall
    • No on the Yorba Linda Water District Recall of Directors Bob Kiley and Gary Melton
  • Ballot Measures
    • No on Measure J – Anaheim Elementary School District $318 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure K – Brea-Olinda Unified School District $148 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure M – Capistrano Unified School District $889 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure N – Centralia Elementary School District $49 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure O – Fountain Valley School District $63 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure P – Garden Grove Unified School District $311 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure Q – Huntington Beach City School District $159.85 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure R – Ocean View School District $169 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure S – Orange Unified School District $288 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure T – Westminster School District $76 Million Facilities Bond
    • Yes on Measure U – Anaheim 2/3 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
    • No on Measure Y ­ Costa Mesa initiative to amend Municipal Code to require voter approval of certain changes in land use, retroactive to July 17, 2015
    • No on Measure HH – Fountain Valley 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)
    • No on Measure JJ – La Palma 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)
    • No on Measure LL – Laguna Beach 2% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 12%)
    • Yes on Measure MM – Newport Beach 5/7 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
    • No on Measure OO – San Clemente 3% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 13%)
    • No on Measure PP – Santa Ana 700% Pay Raise for City Council (from $125/mtg to $1000/mo for Council and $200/mtg to $1000/mo for Mayor)
    • Yes on Measure QQ – Stanton 1% Sales Tax Repeal (from 9% to 8%)
    • No on Measure SS – Westminster 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)

Posted in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Newport Beach, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Stanton, Tustin, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Michele Martinez Pulls Papers for Supervisor, But Warchest Can’t Buy Denny’s Moons Over My Hammy

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 22, 2016

Andrew Do, Michele Martinez, Steve Rocco

Supervisor Andrew Do (R-Westminster), Councilwoman Michele Martinez (D-Santa Ana), and Steve Rocco (NPP-Santa Ana)

Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez (D) has joined convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco (NPP) in pulling papers to challenge the re-election bid of Supervisor Andrew Do (R).  Additionally, the enigmatic Robert Bao Nguyen has also pulled papers to challenge Do’s re-election bid in the First Supervisorial District, which consists of Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Westminster, Midway City, and northern Fountain Valley.

Martinez clearly wasn’t planning a challenge to Do until recently, as she still doesn’t have a campaign account for Supervisor open, and her City Council account had $8.16 in it as of December 31.  No, that’s not a typo: she had eight dollars and sixteen cents.  If she had a campaign meeting at Denny’s, she wouldn’t even be able to buy the $8.99 Moons Over My Hammy with her Council account.  The good news for her is she has no loans or unpaid bills, so she has the $8.16 free and clear.

Even if she is depending on independent expenditures to assist her in a bid against Do, IEs alone cannot power a campaign.  The candidate has to have some funds available.  Additionally, most IEs like to see candidates be able to give themselves self-help before the IEs will intervene, particularly when a challenger is seeking to unseat an incumbent.

Martinez is clearly the Democrats’ last-minute replacement candidate, as Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Vince Sarmiento (D) had been exploring a run for Supervisor for quite some time, even opening a campaign committee for Supervisor on January 8 (interestingly, an IE PAC supporting Sarmiento for Supervisor opened on January 7).

By entering the 2016 race against Do, Martinez continues her decade-long streak of alternating between bids for higher office and bids for re-election:

  • In 2006, Martinez won her bid for City Council with 32.6% of the vote in a four-way race, narrowly edging Republican Evangeline Gawronski, who got 30.2% of the vote.
  • In 2008, Martinez made an ill-fated bid to unseat Mayor Miguel Pulido, who crushed her 55.0%-29.3% in a four-way race.
  • In 2010, Martinez was unopposed for re-election.
  • In 2012, Martinez won only 16.7% of the vote for the open 69th Assembly District seat, coming in second-to-last out of five candidates.
  • In 2014, she won 52.0% of the vote in a four-way race in her bid for a third term on the City Council.

Martinez raised $31,108 in her 2014 re-election bid for Council.  Do reported $113,786 cash-on-hand at the end of 2015.  Rocco has never raised money in any of his numerous bids for office.

Awkwardly, the same day that Martinez pulled papers against Do, CBS 2/KCAL 9 ran a story entitled, “On Average, 1 Shooting Reported Each Day In Santa Ana In 2016.”  It’s safe to assume the campaign of former prosecutor Do will highlight the rising crime in Martinez’s city.

Convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco, a former Orange Unified School District Trustee, pulled papers in early January and completed filing on Tuesday.  He is running as “Retired Educator/Writer” on the ballot.

Curiously, on Wednesday, the enigmatic Robert Bao Nguyen pulled papers to challenge Do.  It is unclear if he is simply another Rocco-type running, or if there is a more sinister motive behind his candidacy, such as pulling Vietnamese American votes away from Do in an effort to force him into a November run-off against Martinez.  Even the name Robert Bao Nguyen seeks to benefit from the name ID of Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen (D), who is running for Congress in the 46th District, which includes, among other places, Santa Ana and small portions of Garden Grove.

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to the mysterious Robert Bao Nguyen nor Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, Santa Ana | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Why is Lou Correa still hanging campaign signs on public property?

Posted by Thomas Gordon on January 27, 2015

IMG_6432

It was brought to my attention recently that the Lou Correa campaign for Supervisor had hung a large campaign sign at Santa Ana Valley High School. I wrote about it here

I received many calls and text messages alerting me to other signs hung on public property such as schools, parks and flood control channels.

Pictured above is another shameful example of the disrespect afforded taxpayers.

Why would the Lou Correa campaign hang this sign at Santa Ana’s Godinez High School after it was revealed the sign at Valley was illegal?

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Why is Lou Correa hanging signs on Santa Ana Schools?

Posted by Thomas Gordon on January 23, 2015

LOU

I was alerted to the fact that Lou Correa has a sign hung on Santa Ana Valley High School.

Doesn’t he know that this property belongs to the taxpayers and that candidates should respect the taxpayers by not blighting it with political graffiti?

This isn’t the first time that Lou Correa or a member of his staff have abused the public trust.

State owned computers in then Assembly member Lou Correa’s office were traced to dozens of e-mails sent out for political purposes, per a report in the Orange County Register.  E-mails praising Mr. Correa and attacking his opponents were sent to a chat room called SantaAnaCitizens.

Mr. Correa fired an aide, Douglas Vogel, because of the incident. The OC Register stated that it was discovered that two computers, those of Mr. Vogel and chief-of-staff Chris Leo, were used during work hours to send the e-mails.

Mr. Vogel denied sending the messages. Mr. Chris Leo, using as a defense his lax work habits, said his computer is accessible by others as no password is required to sign on and he does not lock the door to his office. 

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District | 6 Comments »

Jose Solorio is the Most Corrupt Politician in Orange County

Posted by OC Insider on October 13, 2014

The name calling from Jose Solorio in this election is just LAUGHABLE. Jose and his Sacramento cronies are the most corrupt bunch of politicians in the State!

While he was voting to increase our taxes 80 times, Fat Cat Jose was lining his pockets with boat loads of special interest money to the point that the FPPC stepped in and found he accepted illegal gifts from the MOST CORRUPT LOBBYIST IN SACRAMENTO HISTORY!

Jose’s top paid advisor, Ken Nguyen, was fined $700,000 for piracy by the federal court!!

And why isn’t anyone talking about his 4 Senate cronies that are facing criminal charges of bribery, corruption, voter fraud and putting lives at risk with reckless drinking and driving??? Maybe Jose’s paid for blogs could write about that!! Guess not.

I love it when political mail sources its claims from a BLOG! Nice try Jose.

Oh ya, and the blog source they are using, is not only funded by special interests, but chief blogger in charge himself, Art Pedroza, the source for Jose’s claims was sued and lost for linking people’s personal URL’s to pornographic websites including NAMBLA!

Maybe Jose should choose his friends more carefully… or who he decides to pay on his campaign. A quick browse through Jose’s financial disclosures show payments to Art Pedroza. I hope Jose’s donors know that.

Jose is the most corrupt politician in Orange County.

Posted in 34th Senate District, 69th Assembly District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Santa Ana | Tagged: | 12 Comments »