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Quick Fact Check from Last Night’s Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 5, 2012

It’s only been 11 hours since last night’s OCGOP endorsements committee meeting ended, so we haven’t been able to investigate every claim, but here’s what we’ve dug up so far.

  • San Clemente Councilman Jim Dahl did endorse John Alpay for Capistrano Unified School District, as shown here for 2010 and here for 2012.
  • The San Clemente City Council increased water fees by 12.6% last year, according to the OC Register.
  • The SOCCCD Trustees voted 5-2 to remove Raghu Mathur as chancellor (not the 4-3 he implied last night), according to this OC Register article.  The article also indicated he received $262,000 in salary and attorney’s fees for his severance package even though he resigned.  Mathur is now running for Laguna Hills City Council.
  • SOCCCD Deans are appointed by the Board of Trustees, not the Chancellor, making Mathur’s claims that he was fired by SOCCCD for not appointing a certain dean specious (and I should again note he technically resigned).
  • The references to Irvine Council Candidate Lynn Schott’s Central Committee alternate, Patrick Rodgers, attacking Jim Righeimer are regarding the comments he left on The Liberal OC from two weeks ago, the comments he left on OC Weekly from two weeks ago, and the comments he left on Voice of OC the morning of the Endorsements Committee meeting.  (Ltpar is Lieutenant Patrick ARodgers.)
  • Irvine Council Candidate Evan Chemers is a registered Republican, according to voter databases available to OC Political.  Therefore, there are more Republicans running than slots available for Irvine City Council.

This is what we’ve found in the past 11 hours (although that 11 hours did include sleeping time, dinner, a meeting, etc.).  If there’s other fact check info that readers have, please comment below or contact us.

 

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Irvine, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OCGOP Endorsements Committee Discusses Non-Consent Calendar Candidates

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 4, 2012

All Endorsements Committee recommendations must be ratified by the Central Committee.

Endorsement Committee Members Present:
Mark Bucher, Chair
Chandra Chell
Thomas Gordon
Ray Grangoff
Matt Harper
Mary Young

San Juan Capistrano City Council

6:10 PM – San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Sam Allevato touts the fiscal state of his city and his endorsements from various Republican elected officials. He praises the city’s public safety record. He speaks of his efforts to build nature trails, preserve open space, build toll roads, and support the relocation of several car dealerships to his city. He speaks of his strength on private property rights issues and belief in the free market.

His supporter is a resident of San Juan Capistrano and is difficult to hear. He elaborates on Allevato’s earlier points.

An opponent is a resident of San Juan Capistrano and is also difficult to hear. She attacks his environmental record and another issue that was difficult to hear. She questions his commitment to conservatism.

Another San Juan Capistrano resident praises Allevato’s record on infrastructure.

People need to project when speaking.

Clinton R. Worthington of San Juan Capistrano attacks Allevato for squandering a 50-year reserve for city hall construction. Worthington states there were more lawsuits in 8 years of Allevato than in the previous 42 years. He attacks Allevato approving a $300,000+ city manager contract. He also attacks Allevato for collecting fees/taxes for a bond that was never issued.

Ian Smith of San Juan Capistrano elaborates on Allevato’s water tax and bond issues.

6:21 PM – San Juan Capistrano Council Candidate Virginia “Ginny” Kerr touts her community involvement, her support of planned development, and her support of more open equestrian space. She urges the committee to endorse both her and Allevato.

The first speaker against Allevato is also the first speaker against Kerr. She argues Kerr voted to impose taxes on a private religious school while a Planning Commissioner.

Robert Williams is San Juan Capistrano’s Planning Commission Chair and praises Kerr’s “well-prepared” status. Williams presents minutes that show Kerr recused herself on the private religious school vote mentioned by the previous speaker.

A San Juan Capistrano resident blasts the open space that Kerr pointed to because it is outside the boundaries of the city.

Dave Adams is a former San Juan Capistrano City Manager and praises Allevato and Kerr for making San Juan Capistrano what it is today.

A speaker complains that while on the Planning Commission, Kerr voted to send a “poor” plan to the City Council instead of rejecting the plan.

6:28 PM – Committee Member Matt Harper notes that Mimi Walters and Diane Harkey have endorsed Allevato and asks if they’ve endorsed Kerr. Kerr says they have.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asked why Allevato supported taxing a private religious school. Allevato pointed to the large growth in retail space and student enrollment that would impact the community.

Allevato refutes the argument about the land being purchased outside the city. He says it is inside the city and his hand was forced by a city ballot measure.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon asks how Allevato could vote to raise water fees when he signed the “no new taxes or fees” pledge. Allevato states these fees were necessary to build new water infrastructure in San Clemente.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher asks about the argument that Allevato had pushed for the removal of religious references from city council invocations. Allevato states his City Attorney said federal law does not allow use of specific religious references (e.g. Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed) but can reference God. He says he also doesn’t want to offend people.

6:37 PM – Bucher asks Kerr about her vote on a tax she supported. She explains its usage for open space, parks, and traffic mitigation, among other things.

One of the speakers in opposition to Kerr blasts the deal struck “behind closed doors” that did not actually create new open space.

One of the speakers in opposition to Allevato notes San Juan Capistrano is paying twice the water rate it should be if they had purchased the cheapest water instead of a groundwater recovery plant.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff asks about the private religious school’s consent to being taxed. The speaker in opposition to Kerr says the school was forced to consent to the tax in order to get their construction plan approved.

6:44 PM – Committee Member Matt Harper asks if the vote can be delayed until other candidates can weigh in. He states Allevato and Kerr made good presentations, and as a councilman, he understands the difficult decisions they have to make, but serious concerns have been raised. He wants to hear from other candidates and moves to delay the endorsement vote for San Juan Capistrano Council to October.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon expresses his concern that Allevato put the bond on the ballot in violation of the no new taxes pledge that Allevato signed.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher expresses concern about the per-student tax imposed on the families that attend the private religious school.

The committee votes 4-1 (Gordon dissenting) to delay the vote to October.

Laguna Hills City Council

6:50 PM – Laguna Hills City Council Candidate Bill Hunt touts his law enforcement background at OCSD and community involvement. He notes his endorsements from a slew of Republican electeds, including “5 of the 7 City Council Members Laguna Hills has ever had.”

Laguna Hills Mayor Melody Carruth speaks of her previous endorsement by the OCGOP and praises Hunt’s conservative values and communitywide respect. She praises his US Army service, his time as a Parks & Recreation Commissioner, and his decision to keep his children in public school.

OC Political blogger Craig Alexander is supporting Hunt’s record as a reformer, his conservatism, and his goal of cutting salaries.

6:55 PM – Laguna Hills Council Candidate Dore Gilbert speaks of his military service, his fiscal conservatism, his support of parks, his support of transparency, his belief government salaries should be kept to comparable levels with other cities, and his belief that the city council should be run like a corporation. He notes that he was 60 when he joined the military and outpaced younger soldiers as leading by example.

Laguna Hills Mayor Pro Tem Joel Lautenschleger praises the fiscal conservatism of Laguna Hills and speaks to Gilbert’s record as a school board member of fiscally conservative and very successful schools.

7:00 PM – Laguna Hills Council Candidate Raghu Mathur supports strong public safety and fiscal conservatism. He touts his record as a tough negotiator who kept SOCCCD fiscally solvent while constructing buildings without bonds. He touts his endorsement by the late OCGOP Chairman Tom Fuentes.

TJ Fuentes praises Mathur’s fiscal conservatism at SOCCCD, his founding of the Republican Indo-American group, and his general Republican activism. Fuentes says that had his father lived, he would have been here to support Mathur.

Mayor Pro Tem Lautenschleger talks about Mathur’s divisiveness, Mathur’s golden parachute from SOCCCD, Mathur’s hit piece against Councilman Allan Songstad.

Committee Member Mary Young bangs on the window asking someone to unlock the door so she can get inside the meeting.

Councilwoman Barbara Kogerman blasts the “old guard Council Members” for opposing modest pension reform. She blasts Hunt and Gilbert as “old guard” candidates.

Mayor Carruth points out her city’s pension is 2% at 60, the lowest in the county. She blasts Mathur’s divisiveness.

7:10 PM – Laguna Hills Council Candidate Andrew Blount shouts about his support of Mitt Romney, Elizabeth Emken, and Prop 32. He supports local control and touts his support from various Republican elected officials.

Mike Munzing praises Blount as the only person louder than him and touts Blount’s business record and his citizen-politician status. He praises Blount’s knowledge of local issues and his conservatism.

7:11 PM – Hunt says being endorsed by most of the City Councilmembers does not make him a non-conservative. They support his independence and commitment to principle.

Gilbert speaks of his dedication to public service in education, the military, and the community. He praises the whole pool of candidates.

Mathur speaks of his leadership and communication skills, his fiscal conservatism, and his battles with the unions. His “divisiveness” is a result of union complaints about his battles with them.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks Mathur about his time at SOCCCD when he was at odds with now-Assemblyman Don Wagner. Mathur says there were 4 conservatives and 3 liberals on the SOCCCD board. Mathur accused Wagner of attempting to get then-Chancellor Mathur to appoint a “female friend” of Wagner’s as a dean.

(7:43 PM – Emami says the accusation against Don Wagner is impossible, pointing out chancellors cannot appoint deans and disputes the accusation.)

Committee Member Matt Harper asks if any Democrats are running. There are only Republicans running for Laguna Hills City Council.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff motions for neutrality because they’re all great candidates.

Committee Member Matt Harper says he wishes the Laguna Hills candidates were running for Huntington Beach City Council. He praises all the candidates.

The neutrality vote passes 4-1-1 (Chell dissenting and Young abstaining).

(Meeting in recess)

Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 3

7:29 PM – Incumbent Alexia Deligianni notes that during her tenure, they’ve cut spending and never raised taxes. API scores are up and four schools became California Distinguished Schools. She touted her CRA record and her various Republican endorsements.

Committee Members quickly and unanimously support recommending an endorsement for Deligianni.

Irvine Unified School District

7:31 PM – Michelle Ollada Alipio speaks of her endorsements, including from Committee Members Matt Harper and Ray Grangoff. She speaks of fiscal and academic accountability, protecting, and school choice.

Yvette Ollada from Congressman Rohrabacher’s campaign praises her sister and was the one who encouraged her to run.

Committee Member Mary Young urges Rivera to teach her sister about safe drilling.

The members vote quickly and unanimously to recommend endorsing her.

East Orange County Water District

7:35 PM – Former Tustin Mayor Doug Davert speaks of his conservative record and his backing from various Republican elected officials. He spoke of the incumbents’ retroactive pension increase.

Jon Dumitru supports Davert by revealing how the incumbents granted retroactive pension increases and included themselves on it. He speaks of how one of the incumbents is running for two water boards at once in order to double dip on his pension.

After being threatened by Commitee Member Matt Harper, Denis Bilodeau simply says, “He’s a Republican in good standing, and I support him.”

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends endorsement for Davert.

Dana Point City Council

7:38 PM – Carlos Olvera touts his military service and conservatism. He speaks of his Republican endorsements and community service.

Councilman Bill Brough says he needs Olvera on the Council because it takes two Councilmembers to get anything on the agenda.

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends an endorsement for Olvera.

Santa Ana Mayor

George Collins speaks of the opportunity Republicans in Santa Ana have.

Collins’s wife speaks in support.

The committee quickly and unanimously recommends an endorsement for Collins.

The committee is now running 15 minutes early and recesses.

Santa Ana City Council, Ward 3

7:54 PM – The meeting resumes 6 minutes early.

Charles Hart speaks of his efforts for the past several years to advance the Republican Party in Santa Ana. He speaks of his 9 years of private sector experience and 9 years of public sector experience. He urges using defined contribution 401(k)-style retirement instead of defined benefit pensions.

Brett Franklin speaks about his birth in Santa Ana and his marriage to a Costa Rican. He speaks Spanish and has children with dual citizenship. He speaks of his previous election to the City Council. He speaks of his efforts to advance the Republican Party in Santa Ana in the 1980s and 1990s. He says he is precinct walking and fundraising.

Denis Bilodeau speaks of Franklin’s Republican activism all over Orange County. He speaks of Franklin’s warchest without fundraising. He speaks of Franklin’s previous elections to the same seat.

Robert Hammond speaks of Franklin’s missing 50% of Central Committee meetings. He spoke of Franklin’s unwillingness to support Hammond’s candidacy against Jose Solorio because Franklin said Franklin was friends with Solorio.

Jon Dumitru speaks of Franklin’s track record and their personal relationship.

Franklin acknowledges Hammond’s statements about Franklin’s absenteeism and states it was because of his son’s basketball league. Franklin says he simply didn’t know Hammond and didn’t know if he was a liberal.

Gwen Dyrud speaks of Franklin’s Central Committee absenteeism and his lack of an alternate. She speaks of Hart’s diligence as a Central Committee member.

Hammond speaks of Hart’s participation and attendance at many Republican events. He speaks of Hart’s activism, his precinct walking, and his efforts to register new Republicans.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks how long Franklin has been on the Central Committee. He has been on the Central Committee since 2004.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff suggests neutrality on the same basis as Laguna Hills and asks the candidates why there’s a need to endorse one or the other.

Franklin speaks of Democrat Eric Alderete who is backed by Democratic legislators, most Santa Ana City Councilmembers, and labor unions. He says Alderete has only lived in Santa Ana for two years after shopping for a seat and has close ties to Democrats on the LA City Council. He says Alderete wants to run for higher office including the Legislature and Congress.

Committee Member Mary Young asks if Franklin has fought rent control. Franklin says he has received an award for fighting rent control.

Committee Member Matt Harper speaks of his longtime work with both Hart and Franklin. He is concerned about Alderete.

Committee Member Mary Young speaks of Franklin’s record on the Council and of both men’s Republican activism.

Committee Member Chandra Chell expresses her concerns about Franklin’s absenteeism over many years.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff expresses that both candidates are excellent and wants to know about viability.

Franklin says he’s raised $25,000 since July 26 without holding a fundraising; he claims pledges of another $20,000. He says he raised $66,000 in his first council run, $87,000 in his council re-election, and $250,000 in his failed supervisorial bid.

Hart says he has grassroots support, with over 200 volunteers and in-kind contributions. These supporters are scattered throughout the city (although they must live in one ward, but the entire city votes).

Committee Member Thomas Gordon says Franklin was a good Councilmember but has been AWOL as of late. He says Hart helped restart Santa Ana CRA and Santa Ana RWF. He says Hart has built Republican grassroots.

Committee Member Matt Harper says they must decide the endorsement recommendation not on the best Central Committee Member but the best City Council candidate.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff moves to recommend endorsement of Franklin, with Young and Harper seconding.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff speaks of Franklin’s electoral record versus Hart’s.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon speaks of its “slap in the face” to Hart, who is working hard for the Republican Party in Santa Ana.

Committee Member Matt Harper argues a non-endorsement by the Republican Party in Santa Ana might not be a bad thing due to the Democratic tilt of the city. He thinks Franklin is the stronger candidate.

Committee Member Mary Young echoes Harper’s sentiments.

Committee Member Chandra Chell believes the party should back people active in the community and the Republican Party.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon sees that Franklin’s brochure speaks of preventing Santa Ana from going bankrupt. He asks Franklin if he voted 3% at 50. Franklin speaks of his “holding the line” in closed session but does not directly answer Gordon’s question.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher checks the rules and found that there is nothing prohibiting the party from endorsing two candidates for one seat.

Franklin says he would support a dual endorsement.

Hart says Franklin told him the Republican endorsement didn’t matter much in Santa Ana, and that’s why Hart decided to go for a single endorsement.

Franklin says he’s won the seat twice and was being gracious in wanting to avert a “food fight” at Central Committee.

Committee Member Matt Harper says he’s inclined to recommend a dual endorsement or a “neither” endorsement.

The vote recommending Franklin is split 3-3 (Grangoff, Harper, and Young in favor with Bucher, Chell, and Gordon opposed).

Committee Chair Mark Bucher moves to recommend a dual endorsement.

The committee votes 4-2 to recommend dual endorsement (Chell and Gordon dissenting).

Irvine City Council
8:34 PM – Lynn Schott argues her best contribution to the Republican Party is giving birth to three Republicans. She speaks of her involvement in the Tustin Area RWF. She is a Community Services Commissioner in Irvine. She speaks of the importance of fighting Agran, the ACLU, and Occupy Orange County. She notes she is the final lynchpin for the Irvine Republican slate (Steven Choi has already been endorsed for Mayor while Christina Shea has already been endorsed for one of the two Council seats).

Committee Member Ray Grangoff asks if three Republicans are running for two seats. Much discussion ensues about whether Evan Chemers is a Republican.

Committee Member Matt Harper asks about Schott’s Central Committee Alternate, Patrick Rodgers. Rodgers has spoken out against Jim Righeimer and the Costa Mesa Council calling them the “Four Stooges.”

Schott states she is unfamiliar with what is happening in Costa Mesa. She states she supports a two-tier pension plan and a defined contribution plan. She says she wants to pay police and fire as much as possible without bankrupting the city.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher expresses his grave concern about Rodgers attacking Righeimer, who Bucher calls a hero. Bucher asks if Schott would consider removing Rodgers as his alternate.

Schott says she got Rodgers to agree to back off on his criticisms of Righeimer. She says she disagrees with Rodgers’s position on this. She says the attempted framing of Righeimer is a deplorable attempt to intimidate City Council Members.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher expresses his grave concern about her unwillingness to remove Rodgers.

Committee Member Matt Harper urges Schott to forgive what happened in 2010 and mend fences with other Republicans.

The committee votes 5-1 to recommend to Central Committee Schott’s endorsement (Bucher dissenting).

Cypress School District

8:56 PM – Alexandria Coronado describes her electoral history in two sentences.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend Coronado’s endorsement.

San Clemente City Council

8:56 PM – Michael Mortenson speaks of his record as a Republican activist since childhood.

Norm Dickinson stands in for Councilman Jim Dahl who is at a Council meeting. Dickinson speaks of the fiscally conservative finances of San Clemente and Dahl’s conservative record and promises.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks if Dahl has ever endorsed John Alpay. Dickinson doesn’t know.

Committee Member Matt Harper asks if Mortenson has ever endorsed Alpay. Mortenson says he has not.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff moves to recommend endorsement of both.

Committee Member Matt Harper moves to divide the motion.

The committee quickly and unanimously votes to recommend endorsement of Mortenson.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff states that Dahl has a record of activism backed by Dickinson.

Committee Members Thomas Gordon and Mary Young express concern about Dahl’s stance on off-shore drilling.

After Dickinson reaches Dahl by phone, Dahl says he did not endorse Alpay.

The committee decides quickly and unanimously votes to delay Dahl to the October meeting.

The committee adjourns at a shockingly early 9:03 PM.

Posted in Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, Irvine, Irvine Unified School District, Laguna Hills, Orange Unified School District, Republican Central Committee, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Elections Where Candidates Went Unopposed

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 24, 2012

Congratulations to the candidates in the following races who went unopposed.  (It’s 1 seat per race listed below, unless otherwise noted.)

City Council

La Habra City Council (3 seats)

Newport Beach City Council

  • District 2
  • District 5
  • District 7

Seal Beach City Council

  • District 2
  • District 4

Villa Park City Council

  • Full Term (2 Seats)
  • Short Term

City Treasurers and City Clerks

Brea City Treasurer

Huntington Beach City Clerk

Huntington Beach City Treasurer

Laguna Beach City Clerk

Laguna Beach City Treasurer

Orange City Clerk

San Clemente City Clerk

San Clemente City Treasurer

Seal Beach City Clerk

Community College District

Coast Community College District

•Trustee Area 2

•Trustee Area 3

•Trustee Area 4

North Orange County Community College District

•Trustee Area 2

•Trustee Area 4

•Trustee Area 5

Rancho Santiago Community College District

•Trustee Area 1

•Trustee Area 7

South Orange County Community College District

•Trustee Area 6

Unified School Districts

Brea Olinda Unified School District (3 seats)

Los Alamitos Unified School District (3 seats)

Newport-Mesa Unified School District

•Trustee Area 1

•Trustee Area 3

•Trustee Area 6

Orange Unified School District

•Trustee Area 2

Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (3 seats)

Elementary School Districts

Buena Park School District, Full Term (2 seats)

Buena Park School District, Short Term

Fullerton School District (2 seats)

Huntington Beach City School District, Short Term

Savanna School District, Full Term (2 seats)

Savanna School District, Short Term

Special Districts

Capistrano Bay Community Services District (2 seats)

Emerald Bay Service District (2 seats)

Rossmoor Community Services District (3 seats)

Surfside Colony Community Services District

Three Arch Bay Community Services District (3 seats)

Serrano Water District

•Division 2, Full Term

•Division 4, Short Term

•Division 5, Full Term

Sunset Beach Sanitary District (3 seats)

Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District (2 seats)

Irvine Ranch Water District (2 seats)

Moulton Niguel Water District

•Division 1

•Division 5

Trabuco Canyon Water District (2 seats)

Yorba Linda Water District (2 seats)

Orange County Water District

•Division 4

•Division 6

Buena Park Library District, Full Term (3 seats)

Buena Park Library District, Short Term

Posted in Brea, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park Library District, Buena Park School District, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Coast Community College District, Emerald Bay Service District, Fullerton School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine Ranch Water District, La Habra, Laguna Beach, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Newport Beach, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, North Orange County Community College District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Rossmoor Community Services District, San Clemente, Savanna School District, Seal Beach, Serrano Water District, South Orange County Community College District, 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, Villa Park, Yorba Linda Water District | Leave a Comment »

South Orange Community College District: Fuentes & Meldau Out, Wright Unopposed, Williams Unimpeded Return?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 11, 2012

James Wright

James Wright

John Williams

John Williams

In the South Orange County Community College District, the Trustee Area 6 race went from being one of Orange County’s most interesting to a single-candidate affair, as neither Jolene Fuentes nor Julie Davis filed, leaving appointed incumbent James Wright unopposed at the end of candidate filing. After Trustee Tom Fuentes, Chairman Emeritus of the Republican Party of Orange County, died in May, Wright was appointed to the seat in June (effective July 1) despite the efforts of Jolene Fuentes to gain the appointment to her husband’s seat.  Wright was the sole candidate to complete filing, and so, his race will not even appear on the ballot.

In Trustee Area 7, appointed incumbent Frank Meldau opted to call it quits after less than two years in office.  Meldau had been appointed to the seat in January 2011 after Trustee John Williams resigned in December 2010.  Williams was also the Orange County Public Administrator until his resignation/unresignation/reresignation in January 2012.  With Meldau opting not to file for re-election, the filing period is extended until 5 PM on Wednesday, August 15.  Williams filed to run for his old seat on Wednesday, August 8.  Tim Jemal pulled papers on Thursday, August 9 but has not yet filed them.  If Jemal or someone new doesn’t file, then Williams will walk back into his old seat, despite the chaos of his resignations from two elected offices in the past 20 months.

Dave Lang

Dave Lang

David L. Martin

David L. Martin

In Area 1, Trustee Dave Lang faces off against challenger David L. Martin, who works as an attorney in Newport Beach.  Most of Newport Beach is in the Coast Community College District.

Bill Jay

Bill Jay

In Area 3, Trustee Bill Jay faces off against two opponents: Graduate Student Researcher Jennifer J. Long and Businesswoman/Arts Commissioner Arlene Greer.   Jay defeated Greer 62.5%-37.5% in 2008.  Long and Greer will split the anti-incumbent vote and the gender vote.

Posted in South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Hamlet of Orange County Politics: John Williams Pulls Papers to Run for Office He’d Resigned

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 31, 2012

 “To run or not to run?”  “To resign or not to resign?”  Those are the questions facing John Williams.

Williams (R-Irvine) is a former South Orange County Community College District Trustee and former Orange County Public Administrator/Public Guardian.  He resigned both posts in the last 20 months, but has pulled papers to challenge his SOCCCD successor.

You may recall his much-publicized flip-flopping on his resignation: In March 2011, Williams resigned as the elected Orange County Public Administrator, effective more than ten months later on January 23, 2012.  In June 2011, the Board of Supervisors stripped Williams of his role as the appointed Orange County Public Guardian.  Then, bizarrely, on January 23, 2012, the day his resignation was to take effect, Williams refused to leave office – not just from a legal sense, but he literally refused to leave his physical office; the Board of Supervisors had to order the locks on his door changed after he left for the day at 2:00 PM.  After two weeks of legal wrangling, Williams finally gave up.  The Board of Supervisors even put a measure on the June ballot to change the Public Administrator from an elected position to an appointed position to enable them to fire Public Administrators, but the measure was defeated by the voters.

However, forgotten in the bizarre story of his County position is the fact that Williams resigned as a Trustee of the South Orange County Community College District on December 2, 2010, effective December 31, 2010.  Williams was unable to make any attempt to rescind this resignation, as Education Code Section 5090 clearly states, “A written resignation, whether specifying a deferred effective date or otherwise, shall, upon being filed with the county superintendent of schools be irrevocable.”  Two weeks after the Williams resignation took effect, the SOCCCD Board appointed Dr. Frank “Mike” Meldau to replace Williams.

On July 23, Meldau pulled papers to run for a full term for the SOCCCD Trustee Area 7 seat.  Then earlier today, Williams pulled papers to try to regain the seat he had resigned by challenging Meldau – the man appointed to succeed him.

Anyone following the political career of John Williams could get whiplash trying to keep track of his decisions.  Presumably, the voters will be a bit more decisive in November.

Posted in Orange County, South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Douglas Chapman’s Dual-Office Seeking Leaves Him with Two Major Opponents: Denis Bilodeau & Doug Davert

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 25, 2012

Denis Bilodeau

Douglas M. Chapman

Doug Davert

As I wrote on Friday, Douglas M. Chapman filed to run for two offices at the same time, seeking re-election to the East Orange County Water District while simultaneously challenging Orange County Water District Director Denis Bilodeau‘s re-election bid.

Had Chapman simply sought re-election to the East Orange County Water District, he would likely have had a nice, quiet re-election campaign.  However, Chapman inexplicably decided to challenge incumbent Denis Bilodeau for the Orange County Water District while still running for re-election for the East Orange County Water District.

Needless to say, that drew attention to Chapman: running for two offices and challenging an incumbent.  (Do you really think OC Political or any other blog was going to cover an East Orange County Water District re-election campaign but for Chapman trying to run for two seats?) Yesterday, former Tustin Mayor Doug Davert pulled papers to run challenge Chapman for the East Orange County Water District.  (Davert left the Tustin Council in 2010 due to term limits.)

Now, Chapman faces a two-front war, with two very formidable, popular opponents.  In the Orange County Water District, Division 2 seat that Chapman is seeking, not only is Bilodeau the incumbent, but he is also the Mayor Pro Tem of Orange – the largest city in the division.  In the East Orange County Water District where Chapman is seeking re-election, the district consists of Tustin, slivers of Orange, and nearby unincorporated areas, but his challenger is former Tustin Mayor Doug Davert – and Tustin is the bulk of the district.  Both Bilodeau and Davert can raise substantial sums of money that Chapman will be unable to match.  To make matters worst for Chapman, their names are the rather similar “Douglas M. Chapman” and “Douglass S. Davert” on the ballot for EOCWD.  Not only that, but the Assembly Member who covers both seats is Don Wagner, whom Chapman ran against unsuccessfully for the South Orange County Community College District in 1998.

Challenging an incumbent like Bilodeau is no small task, and now Chapman faces a tough re-election bid – simultaneously.  Not only could Chapman lose his bid to unseat Bilodeau, but now he risks his own seat to Davert.  Chapman’s effort to win two water board seats in the same election could cause him to go from having one water board seat to none.

Posted in East Orange County Water District, Orange, Orange County Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Tustin | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

SOCCCD Appoints Fuentes Successor Over Family’s Objections; Will Petition Drive Launch to Invalidate Appointment?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 26, 2012

Thomas A. Fuentes (1948-2012)

Thomas A. Fuentes
(1948-2012)

Many of you may have read Frank Mickadeit’s column about the insensitive manner in which the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees dealt with the vacancy in the Trustee Area 6 seat that resulted from the untimely passing of Tom Fuentes.  For those of you who haven’t read it, here are some excerpts:

Tom Fuentes had been dead just 72 hours before the long-fractured community college board on which he sat decided to appoint a replacement.

It seemed like a rather stunning affront to the Fuentes family…

Fuentes died very late on Friday, May 18. That Monday, the board majority decided over the objection of trustee David Lang to immediately solicit applicants for Fuentes’ seat, with the selection to be made at the June meeting.

Before the formal vote, Lang once more begged his colleagues to let voters decide the seat in November and called them out for making such a nakedly political decision. The seat will be on the ballot in November anyway, but by giving the seat to Wright now, he’ll have the power of incumbency. “A majority of the board is slanting the election in a trustee’s favor,” he said.

This allegation seemed to perturb board President Nancy Padberg, who tersely replied, “The board has decided and will move on.” When T. J. Fuentes told the board he was “very disturbed by the fact that the board had decided to appoint somebody before my father was even buried,” Padberg replied that, “it had to be processed timely.”

A number of people have expressed their consternation with the way the SOCCCD Trustees handled the entire process.  Many have expressed the wish that the trustees had simply allowed the voters to fill the seat in the November election rather than fill the seat via appointment for the incumbency advantages Lang outlined above.

Last night, the trustees voted 5-1 to appoint James Wright, an outgoing dean at Saddleback College.  I’m not aware of any objections to Wright himself, but the objections to the appointment have centered on two different rationales:

  1. As Mickadeit wrote, “the manner in which the board went about it, and the dismissive, disrespectful way it treated Jolene Fuentes and her and Tom’s oldest son, T.J., both of whom expressed their anguish to the board on Monday only to receive stone-cold silence or indifference from the majority.”
  2. Trustee Lang’s argument that since the seat was up for election in November anyway, why not just let the voters pick the new trustee in November?

As it turns out, Education Code Section 5091(c)(1) lays out a procedure to invalidate the appointment (I’ve bolded the key portions):

If a provisional appointment is made within the 60-day period, the registered voters of the district may, within 30 days from the date of the appointment, petition for the conduct of a special election to fill the vacancy. A petition shall be deemed to bear a sufficient number of signatures if signed by at least the number of registered voters of the district equal to 11/2 percent of the number of registered voters of the district at the time of the last regular election for governing board members, or 25 registered voters, whichever is greater. However, in districts with registered voters of less than 2,000 persons, a petition shall be deemed to bear a sufficient number of signatures if signed by at least 5 percent of the number of registered voters of the district at the time of the last regular election for governing board members.

The last regular election for governing board members in SOCCCD was on November 2, 2010.  According to the Statement of Vote for that election, there 549,192 registered voters in SOCCCD at that election. From that number, 1.5% is equal to 8,238 signatures.

If those signatures are collected, the appointment will be invalidated.  Now some of you may notice the petition would create a special election.  Indeed a special election would be an obscene waste of money since the seat expires in less than five months.  As it turns out, Education Code Section 5093(c) deals with that:

If a special election pursuant to Section 5091 could be consolidated with the next regular election for governing board members, and the vacant position is scheduled to be filled at such regular election, there shall be no special election.

In other words, if the seat is up in a few months in the regular election anyway, the special election would be cancelled, and the voters would simply fill the seat at the regular election.  So if a petition is launched immediately and gathers 8,238 valid signatures from registered voters within SOCCCD by July 25, the appointment would be invalidated, and the SOCCCD Trustee Area 6 seat would remain vacant until the voters filled it for the usual four-year term at the regular election in November – and no one would have the advantage of incumbency in that regular election in November.

With the Fuentes family’s deep political ties across Orange County, will someone step up in the next few days to launch a petition drive to invalidate the appointment to the SOCCCD Trustee Area 6 seat, allowing the voters to pick Fuentes’s successor in November?

Posted in South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

In Memory of OCGOP Chairman Emeritus Tom Fuentes

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on May 20, 2012

Early yesterday morning/late Friday night, Scott Carpenter wrote this piece in tribute to Tom Fuentes.

This came over the wire from the Republican Party of Orange County yesterday evening…

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In Memory of Tom Fuentes

OCGOP Chairman Emeritus
Patriot, Leader, Husband, Father & Mentor
1948 – 2012 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Orange County, Republican Central Committee, South Orange County Community College District | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »