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Recount Begins Monday for 34th Senate District

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on December 6, 2018

This just came over the wire this morning from the Orange County Registrar of Voters:

Public Notice 34th Senate District Recount

December 6, 2018 – Pursuant to California Elections Code section 15628 the Orange County Registrar of Voters will be conducting a recount of the ballots cast in the 2018 November 6th General Election, 34th Senate District, (Orange County’s portion) contest.

The election was conducted on November 6, 2018. The recount process will begin at the Registrar of Voters’ office, 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana, on Monday, December 10, 2018 beginning at 9 a.m. Details on the recount status will be located on our website at ocvote.com.

Posted in 34th Senate District | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Ballot Harvesting

Posted by Brenda Higgins on December 3, 2018

Since the blue wave that swept Orange County in November 2018, there has been much discussion and outrage at the multiple victories of the Democrats.  I have looked in vain for a thoughtful analysis of the relatively new law known as “Ballot Harvesting”.  The reactions of conservatives and Republicans to the election results have been shock and outrage.   Those sentiments are fueled by party leadership’s failure to provide meaningful explanation of the law, and the lack of party strategy in addressing it during the 2018 cycle.  A productive discussion is needed, with truth about what the statute says and doesn’t say, and what party leadership did and did not do.  There may very well have been fraudulent activity, but it is impossible to discern that, unless and until we appreciate what was permissible under the law, and the utter lack of response to the possibilities.

In September 2016, Governor Brown signed AB-1921 , it was codified as Elections Code Section 3017.  In past elections, (i.e. prior to 2016) a “Vote by mail” voter, which most Republicans are, could mail their ballot, drop it off at the polling place, or have a relative or member of their household drop it off at the polling place.  It had to be received at the polling place before the polls closed, or received by the Registrar of Voters (if by mail) prior to the closing of the polls on election day.

It is easy to see that even with the Vote by Mail ballots, there are impediments for some people.  If you live alone, if you have no relatives, if you are unable to get to the polling place and can’t or just forgot to mail it on time, maybe you don’t have the $1.00 in postage (It does require two stamps that are $.050 now), or you can’t get to the post office to get stamps.  For elderly or disabled persons in particular, it is easy to see how these things could prevent a person from exercising their constitutional right to vote.

The new law provides that you can turn your ballot over to anyone you want to, and have them drop it off at the polling place.  The law provides that the person transporting the ballot can not be paid for doing so, not by a campaign or party or political action committee.  The Ballot “Harvester”, if you will, just has to be a well intentioned person who wants to help a voter out.  On its face, seems like a great idea, ask your neighbor or the nice lady you know from church to take your ballot to the polls for you.  The opportunity arises though, for a grassroots army, of well organized volunteers, who could be working the Get Out the Vote process in a way that visits voters at their home to make sure they get registered, offer some helpful advice and information on what the issues are and about the candidates, offer to pick up the ballot on election day and take it to the polls for you.  It all sounds like a wonderful program, a win-win situation.

There is a window of opportunity created by this new law.  The law itself is impartial, and not a terrible idea in that it increases the ability and likelihood that someone can exercise their constitutional right to vote.  The problem with any window of opportunity, is that if you don’t move to make it work for you, it becomes a liability.  That seems to be what happened to Orange County Republicans in the 2018 election.

Before the primary in June, the California Republican Party engaged in a pilot program to call on consistent Republican voters and volunteers would offer to pick up their ballot and take it to the polling place.  The problem was, many Republican voters who were contacted refused.   This is the same thing we have seen in recent past elections with polling.  The polls have tended to favor Democrats, never forget the “sure thing” of a Hillary presidency, because Republican voters are disinclined to share their opinions or information with strangers.  They were similarly disinclined to turn over their ballots.  The OCGOP therefore abandoned any effort to organize and/or leverage the new law in their favor in the November election. They stuck to the old tried and true phone banking and canvassing calling on the RWF to round up the woman power to Get Out The Vote.

Democrats maximized their leverage of the new law  by registering new Democrat voters, getting out the vote from low propensity voters (who haven’t often voted), increasing the voter contact and then, ‘harvesting’, offering for volunteers to pick up and deliver voters ballots to the polls.

The Registrar in Orange County has been quoted as saying that the numbers of ballots dropped off on election day in the November 2018 election was unprecedented.

On November 19, at the OCGOP monthly meeting, a very contrite Chairman Fred Whitaker, discussed Ballot Harvesting and indicated that he had significantly underestimated the impact it would have in the 2018 races.  By that date, it had become clear that the county had lost every congressional seat, as well as State Assembly and State Senate seats.   On election night, the early returns had Republicans in slim leads in the congressional and state legislature seats.  As the hundreds of thousands of “Harvested” ballots were tallied, those leads disappeared.  On that evening of November 19, it was clear that no congressional seats were saved and the words of Chairman Whitaker dismissing Democrat challengers earlier in the year “Let them die on the hill in Orange County”, had come back to haunt him in the worst way.  Similarly, Mimi Walters, when asked in March if she had any concerns about being re-elected, she exerted a confident “No”.   This arrogance did not serve the party well, and translated to losses even for those who took the threat of harvested ballots seriously.

Young Kim was talking about harvested ballots. Travis Allen was talking about the threat of harvested ballots.  It is of little benefit for single candidates to recognize an existential threat to their candidacy when the party has affirmatively decided to ignore it.

The ballots turned in through the harvesting of volunteers, are not per se, ‘fraudulent’ votes.  That is the distinction that so many who are outraged over this result are missing. The elucidation of the new law herein, is not to say there was no election fraud, but to point out, it is a different issue.  In the November 19 meeting, Chairman Whitaker and others told stories of many long hours spent at the County office of the Registrar, observing the ballots being counted to look for any anomalies.  Mark Meuser and others did the same in many other counties.  Fraud may very well have been at work in this election and affected the result.  Deborah Pauly, OCGOP Central Committee representative noted that this new procedure  “May further have denigrated election integrity”, as there have been myriad other concerns  raised about election integrity in this election where not just Ballot Harvesting, but Motor Voter law, and an incompetent and recalcitrant DMV, have created a brave new world of election fraud possibilities.

The new law permitting Ballot Harvesting in California, should also not be confused with the ban on such harvesting in Arizona.  The Arizona law prohibiting ballot harvesting was challenged in the 9th Circuit.  On an emergency basis, in a remarkably brief, two line ruling,  the court refused to stay the Arizona law.  So, as of the 2018 election, ballot harvesting was banned, by law in Arizona.  That legal matter is still pending with the 9th Circuit and scheduled for a full  hearing  in January.  That case may shed some light on the California law, but it is important to know that the law is opposite in the two states.

Many factors likely contributed to the blue sweep of this famously red county.   It is disappointing and the sheer magnitude of the defeat is breathtaking.  The party has emphasized this ballot harvesting as being the problem.  It is onerous sounding, “Ballot Harvesting” without an understanding of the law.  This fueling of outrage though, does work in keeping constituents upset, and in their outrage, they fail to analyze and appreciate all of the other malfeasance by party leadership.  Given the classic behavior of liberals and conservatives, everyone should have known that the harvesting would dramatically favor democrats.  Given the make up and rhetoric surrounding the House of Representatives on a national level, they knew the efforts of the Democratic National Convention would be focused, aggressively  here.  In the constant refrain of polling and strategy, party leaders knew that demographics were changing and the market share of the Grand Old Party was shrinking in this region.

What the party missed was a set of cohesive messaging and ideas, conservative philosophy, simply communicated to voters.  Conservative ideals, of smaller government and greater civil liberties, law and order and government that stays out of your way…this is the ideal that sells that has always been the heart of the Republican party.  But, in their effort to distance themselves from Trump, because a pollster told them to, they forget what they were about.   The party, again in this election, let the liberals set the tone and the agenda and stuck to statistical models and polls, instead of revisiting our foundation, of greater freedom through smaller government.

In the current environment, if a candidate can not make the case for conservatism, then that candidate is finished. That is the battle field.  It will no longer work to just make voting easier and pander to a demographic, with slick mailers and repetitive phone calls. Voters are more sophisticated than that and they want to have a sense of the party’s core beliefs and the candidate’s willingness to adhere to that.  The party also put up “recognizable” names, without any appreciation for the baggage and displeasure that may be associated with the names.  Polls can’t tell you that.  Only involvement with the non-political constituents can give a reading on that.

Ranting about fraud or ballot harvesting, and encouraging others to rant about it,  is just a failure to accept full responsibility for an abject failure to see and plan for what was to come.  There is so much more the party needs to be doing to come into being a force to be reckoned with in the new political environment.  One thing is for sure, what we have always done, and ignoring and discounting what has occurred nationally, is not the right plan forward.  Other than attempting to gloss over the massacre of 2018, by congratulating the local officials who were endorsed and won races, the party has not communicated what the plan forward is.  There’s been no indication of leadership change, little acknowledgment of fault or malfeasance, no indication of what if anything will be done to address real irregularities that came up and were reported during the election season.  It will behoove and be incumbent upon leadership to forge and communicate a new path forward, and it would seem to be prudent to do that sooner rather than later.

There is an election in 23 months. Orange County, has no Republican incumbents in Congress.  Rebuilding, if it is going to be attempted, needs to be happening now.

 

Posted in 34th Senate District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, 74th Assembly District, California, Orange County, Republican Central Committee, U.S. Politics | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

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 »

OC’s Top 10 Races to Watch

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 5, 2018

Here are OC’s top 10 races to watch tonight when the polls close at 8:00 PM, and the Registrar of Voters begins reporting results at 8:05 PM, 9:30 PM, and then every half-hour after that until 1:00 AM.

The Big Three: Congress

  1. 39th Congressional District
    This could well be the most chaotic seat in the country.  There are 17 candidates running, and only two can advance to November to succeed retiring Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton).  A whopping $14 million has been spent in this primary, as this is one of the most competitive seats in the country, but it is entirely possible that two Republicans could make the top two, thereby turning a highly competitive seat into a guaranteed Republican win in November.  Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding first-time candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  The front-runners (in alphabetical order) are lottery-winning philanthropist Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda), former State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), former State Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton), Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton), and businessman Andy Thorburn (R-Villa Park).

    Of the $14 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent over $10.6 million while there has been nearly $3.4 million in Independent Expenditure (IE) spending from PACs and other outside groups. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) alone spent nearly $2.1 million, with more than $829,000 against Huff, nearly $679,000 against Nelson, and over $560,000 supporting Cisneros.

  2. 49th Congressional District
    The 49th District was the closest Congressional race in the country in 2016, when Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) won re-election over Retired Colonel Doug Applegate (D-Oceanside) by 0.5%.  A staggering $15.5 million has been spent in this seat.  While it is possible for two Republicans to make the top two, it is more likely that this one will be a traditional Republican vs. Democrat race in November.  As in the 39th, Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding never-before-elected candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  The front-runners (in alphabetical order) are 2016 Candidate Doug Applegate (D-Oceanside), Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside), Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point), Qualcomm Heiress Sara Jacobs (D-Encinitas), Real Estate Investor Paul Kerr (D-Rancho Santa Fe), and Attorney Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano).

    Of the $15.5 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent nearly $9.6 million while there has been over $5.9 million in IE spending from PACs and other outside groups.  Women Vote! has spent nearly $2.3 million alone to support Jacobs.  The DCCC spent nearly $1.7 million against Chavez.

  3. 48th Congressional District
    The 48th Congressional District race was upended when former Assembly Republican Leader and OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach) jumped in the race against Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach).  A relative piker compared to the 39th and 49th, “only” $9.6 million has been spent in this seat.  While it is possible for two Republicans to make the top two, it is more likely that this one will be a traditional Republican vs. Democrat race in November.  As in the 39th and 49th, Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding first-time candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) is widely expected to win the plurality of the vote.  The three candidates vying for the second slot (in alphabetical order) are Baugh (R-Huntington Beach), Scientist Hans Hans Keirstead (D-Laguna Beach), and Businessman Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach).

    Of the $9.6 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent nearly $5.3 million while there has been nearly $4.3 million in IE spending from PACs and other outside groups.  The DCCC alone spent over $1.8 million, with nearly $1.7 million against Baugh and $137,000 to promote Republican Businessman John Gabbard (R) in an attempt to siphon votes from Baugh.  Gabbard has condemned the DCCC’s spending.

Would-Normally-Be-The Big Three if Congress Hadn’t Descended Into Chaos

  1. 29th Senate District Recall
    Will Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) survive the recall?  What would ordinarily be one of the biggest races in the state has seen both pro-recall and anti-recall forces battling just to get voter attention, as the millions spent in SD-29 have been swamped by the mega-spending 39th Congressional District, with more than 2/3 of all SD-29 voters residing in CD-39.
  2. 72nd Assembly District
    As the sole Democrat in the race FreeConferenceCall.com President Josh Lowenthal (D-Huntington Beach) is expected to win the plurality in his race against 4 Republicans to replace Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) who is leaving this seat to run for Governor.  The two leading Republicans are Councilman Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) and former OC GOP Executive Director/current Pepsico Government Affairs Director Greg Haskin (R-Fountain Valley).  Diep and Haskin spent over $650,000 combined, a healthy sum for an Assembly race.  Unfortunately for them, they were swamped by the mega-spending 48th Congressional District, with more than 62% of all AD-72 voters residing in CD-48.
  3. 4th Supervisorial District
    In the race to succeed termed out Supervisor Shawn Nelson, the candidates in this race got drowned out by the 39th Congressional District and the 29th Senate District Recall Election.  Retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr (D-Placentia) and Mayor Tim Shaw (R-La Habra) are the endorsed candidates of their respective political parties.  However, Mayor Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton) and Councilwoman Lucille Kring (R-Anaheim) came roaring in after their parties endorsed with spending to match Kerr and Shaw and outsized name ID from years in elected office in the two largest cities in the district.  Unfortunately for them all, they were swamped by both the mega-spending 39th Congressional District and the high-spending 29th Senate District recall, with nearly 62% of all BOS-4 voters residing in CD-39 and almost 85% of BOS-4 voters residing in SD-29.

The Rest of the Top 10

  1. 32nd Senate District
    This is the race that OC forgot, as only Buena Park lies in the LA County-based 32nd Senate District.  This is the seat vacated by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) who resigned in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal.  Mendoza filed to run for his old seat in hopes voters will send him back to the Senate.  The anti-Mendoza vote among just Democrats is split between two Mayors, two City Councilmembers, a Community College Board Member, and a former Assemblyman.  There are exactly two Republicans running.  This chaos could well send Mendoza back into the top two – and possibly against a Republican.  It is unclear what would happen if the top two were Mendoza and a Republican in this strongly Democratic district.  Also, voters have to cast two votes for this seat: one for the special primary election today for the six months remaining on Mendoza’s term when he resigned and one for the regular primary election today for the four years of the 2018-2022 term on the seat.
  2. District Attorney
    When a County Supervisor with high Countywide name ID and a campaign warchest far exceeding $1 million decides to challenge the sitting District Attorney’s re-election bid, how could this not be a major race? Virtually everyone expects this to go to a run-off, including the candidates themselves judging by their campaign spending.   While Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) spend several hundred thousand dollars on mail and slates, he appears to be holding $900,000 back for a run-off.  District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (R-San Clemente) seemed to have only bought slates and digital advertising for the primary.
  3. Sheriff
    Undersheriff Don Barnes (R-Lake Forest) is the front-runner to succeed Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.  The question is whether Retired Sergeant/Mayor Dave Harrington (R-Aliso Viejo) and Detective/Senior Investigator Duke Nguyen (D-Tustin) can pull enough of the vote to prevent Barnes from getting to 50%.  Harrington has relied heavily on slates while Nguyen has done direct mail to Democrats.
  4. County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5
    For eight straight elections, the incumbent was elected time and time again, even defeating future Assemblymen Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) and Don Wagner (R-Irvine) for this seat.  Yet, now for the second election in a row, the voters will be electing a new trustee. In 2014, Linda Lindholm (R-Laguna Niguel) knocked off 32-year Incumbent Liz Parker (R-Costa Mesa), who was running for a ninth term.  Parker had been elected to the County Board of Education the same month she graduated from UCLA at the age of 22.  After a single 4-year term, Lindholm chose not to run for re-election.  Chapman University Dean Lisa Sparks (R-Newport Beach) is the front-runner to succeed Lindholm.

Snoozer in June, Battle in November

  • 45th Congressional District
    Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) is the sole Republican in the race.  The question is which Democrat will face off against Walters?  This is the safest of the four OC Congressional seats held by a Republican.
  • 34th Senate District
    Former Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park) is almost certainly the Democrats’ standard-bearer against Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).  Nguyen beat Umberg 11 years ago in the race for County Supervisor when front-running Umberg fell to third behind two candidates named Nguyen.  As a non-incumbent, Nguyen handily won the Senate seat in 2014 against former Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana), who was a stronger candidate than Umberg.
  • 65th Assembly District
    Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) and former County Board of Education Trustee Alexandria Coronado (R-Cypress) are the only candidates on the ballot in June, so they will both advance to November due to the Top Two rule for Legislative and Congressional races.

Near-Snoozers

  • 55th Assembly District
    This one should be a snoozer, but it gets awkward if a second Republican gets into the top two with Assemblyman Phillip Chen (R-Diamond Bar) since there’s two Democrats running who could split the vote, allowing a Republican to slip into second behind Chen.
  • 74th Assembly District
    This one should be a snoozer, but it gets awkward if “Republican” Katherine Daigle (R-Irvine) gets into the top two with Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) since there’s three Democrats running who could split the vote.
  • Assessor
    With two opponents, there’s a tiny chance Assessor Claude Parrish (R-Tustin) could be forced into a run-off, but it is more likely he breaks 60%.
  • County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2
    While there has been immense spending by charter schools for Mari Barke (R-Los Alamitos), there has also been immense spending by unions for David Boyd (D-Costa Mesa).  However, while this spending is immense in a school board race, it’s not much compared to the spending in a Congressional race or an Assembly race.  Most of this trustee area was drowned out by the 48th Congressional District and the 72nd Assembly District.  Additionally, there’s a third candidate, Matt Nguyen (D-Westminster), who will split the anti-incumbent vote, but unlike most other seats on the June ballot, there’s no run-off for County Board of Education.

Total Snoozer That Could Have Been Interesting

  • 73rd Assembly District
    For some reason, Mayor Ed Sachs (R-Mission Viejo) raised and spent literally nothing in his bid to unseat Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point).  Sachs’s campaign finance reports show he didn’t raise or spend a single dollar after paying to get on the ballot.  Had Sachs actually spent money, the 73rd could have been interesting.

Total Snoozers

  • Judge Ted Howard, Supervisor Michelle Steel (R-Sunset Beach), Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery (R-Orange), and Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen (R-Santa Ana) will cruise to victory in June, probably each with more than 70% of the vote. 38th District Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood), 46th District Congressman Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), 47th District Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), 36th District Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), and 68th District Assemblyman Steven Choi (R-Irvine) will cruise to victory in November; they can’t end their elections in June due to the Top Two rule for Legislative and Congressional races.

Virtually Unopposed

  • 69th District Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) has one opponent: Libertarian write-in candidate Autumn Browne (L-Santa Ana).  She will come in second and appear on the ballot in November.

Unopposed

  • Superintendent Al Mijares (R-Tustin), Supervisor Lisa Bartlett (R-Dana Point), and Treasurer Shari Freidenrich (R-Huntington Beach) are literally unopposed.  As long as at least one person in all of Orange County (or the 5th Supervisorial District) remembers to vote for each of them, they’ll all be re-elected.

(In the interest of full disclosure, Choi and Woolery are clients of Western American, the firm that owns this blog.  For his City Council campaign, Sachs retained Custom Campaigns, the defunct firm that previously owned this blog, as did Lindholm for her County Board of Education race.  The writer of this article is Spitzer’s alternate on the Republican Central Committee and is the Legislative Manager in Woolery’s office.  Finally, the writer of this article is [as far as he knows] not related to Janet Nguyen, Matt Nguyen, or Hugh Nguyen.  Nguyen is the most common Vietnamese last name, held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 29th Senate District, 2nd Supervisorial District, 32nd Senate District, 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, 4th Supervisorial District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Independent Expenditures, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector | Leave a Comment »

SD-34: Villa Park’s Tom Umberg to Challenge Janet Nguyen

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 22, 2018

Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and former Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park)

Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and
former Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park)

Yesterday, former Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park) announced his entry into the race to challenge the re-election bid of Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) in the 34th District.  Unfortunately for Umberg, in a case of unlucky timing, the news of his entry was completely drowned out by the news that Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) had introduced a resolution to expel Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia/Buena Park) due to allegations of sexual misconduct against Mendoza.

Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump by 23% in the 34th Senate District, and Umberg is already trying to make Trump an issue in the State Senate election by declaring in the second sentence of his announcement: “I am running for State Senate because I believe that our community needs a strong fighter in Sacramento who will stand up to President Trump and his Administration on important issues like health care, immigration, energy, the environment, civil rights, education, and consumer issues.”

Congressman Lou Correa led a list of Umberg’s endorsements by various Democratic elected officials.  Correa was Nguyen’s predecessor in the 34th Senate District seat.  There is no word on if former Councilwoman Gerrie Shipske (D-Long Beach) will continue her bid for the seat or drop out in favor of Umberg.

Umberg’s biography is formidable as a former State Assemblyman, former federal prosecutor, retired Army Colonel, and former Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (under Bill Clinton), and former Co-Chair of the U.S. State Department’s Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan (under Barack Obama).

Democrats currently hold a 9% registration advantage over Republicans in the two-county 34th Senate District.  When then-Supervisor Nguyen defeated former Assemblyman Jose Solorio for the seat by 16% in 2014, Democrats held a 5% registration advantage over Republicans.  Additionally, midterm elections have historically resulted strengthened voter turnout for the party opposing the President’s party.  In 2014, with Democrat Barack Obama in office, that produced a bump in voter turnout for Republicans.  In 2018, with Republican Donald Trump in office, that should produce a bump in voter turnout for Democrats.

However, Nguyen is a tough and tireless campaigner, and it is often said in political circles: “Nobody outworks Janet Nguyen.”  Umberg is a daunting opponent, but Nguyen has beaten him before (2007 Supervisorial election, though that seat had dead even political registration with 32.1% of voters registered in each party) and has repeatedly beaten formidable opponents election after election, often as the underdog.  There is no doubt that Umberg will provide a tough challenge, but Nguyen’s experience with arduous campaigns will likely give her a close win in November.

Umberg’s long biography also includes a long record.  The Nguyen campaign likely still has its opposition research file from their 2007 battle with Umberg, who has a voting record of three terms in the State Assembly.  Of course, Umberg is surely assembling a new opposition research file from Nguyen’s 7 years on the Board of Supervisors and 4 years in the State Senate.

Umberg has lost 4 of his last 5 campaigns for office over the last quarter of a century: a 1994 bid for State Attorney General when he lost to incumbent Republican Dan Lungren by 14%, a 2002 bid for the Democratic nomination for Insurance Commissioner when he lost to John Garamendi by 10%, a 2006 bid for the Democratic nomination for 34th Senate District when he lost to Correa by 19%, and a 2007 bid for the 1st Supervisorial District when he came in third by 3% in the legendary Nguyen-Nguyen special election in which Councilwoman Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) defeated School Board Member Trung Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) by the slimmest of margins (Trung Nguyen led by 7 votes after the Registrar’s initial count, Janet Nguyen led by 7 votes after the Registrar’s recount and then by 3 votes after litigation was completed).

Umberg’s sole win in the last 25 years was his 2004 bid for State Assembly, winning by 30% over then-hapless, later controversial Otto Bade.

As of February 5, Umberg was still registered to vote at his home in Villa Park in the district of Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa).

Here’s an excerpt of an Orange County Register story on accusations of Umberg’s carpetbagging from January 2007:

State Sen. Lou Correa, who beat Umberg in the Senate primary and whose vacated supervisor seat Umberg hopes to win, is among those with reservations.

“Everybody seems to think that they can move into central Orange County and they can run for office,” said Correa, who has not endorsed a candidate. “But there are plenty of qualified individuals living in central Orange County that can run for office.”

Nonetheless, Umberg is the best-known candidate, having twice represented much of the district in the Assembly. He’s won the endorsement of the county Democratic Party and four key labor unions.

And many, including some Umberg opponents, downplay residency as an issue.

“I think it is a nonissue,” said veteran consultant Dave Gilliard, who’s representing Umberg opponent Janet Nguyen. “Central Orange County has a history of carpetbagging. There are many better reasons to oppose Umberg.”

There’s also the ever awkward press coverage of his extramarital affair.

Here’s the full text of Umberg’s press release announcing his candidacy:

RETIRED U.S. ARMY COLONEL & FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR TOM UMBERG ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR STATE SENATE

Also Announces Endorsements From U.S. Congressman Lou Correa, State Assemblyman Tom Daly, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, State Senator Betty Karnette (Ret.), and former Long Beach Mayor Robert Foster

SANTA ANA – U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) & former Federal Prosecutor and State Assemblyman Tom Umberg announced today that he is running for State Senate to represent California’s 34th Senate District.

“I am running for State Senate because I believe that our community needs a strong fighter in Sacramento who will stand up to President Trump and his Administration on important issues like health care, immigration, energy, the environment, civil rights, education, and consumer issues,” said Umberg who previously represented the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and Westminster during three terms in the California State Assembly.

Umberg also announced that his candidacy has been endorsed by U.S. Congressman Lou Correa, State Assemblyman Tom Daly, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, State Senator Betty Karnette (Ret.), and former Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster.

“When Tom served in the Legislature, he was a leader in cutting through partisan bickering to achieve results,” said former State Senator Betty Karnette of Long Beach who served with Umberg in the California Legislature.  “He had an impact.”

Tom Umberg is a retired U.S. Army Colonel who has served in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division, with NATO forces in Italy, and as a paratrooper with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, U.S. Army Special Warfare Center, and XVIIIth Airborne Corp. As a JAG officer, he tried over 50 felony cases in Korea, Italy, and the United States.

He was recalled to active military duty in 2004 as a war crimes prosecutor, and in 2009-10 to lead the U.S. military effort to attack corruption within the Afghan Army and Police, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone.

As a federal criminal prosecutor he had a 100% conviction rate, trying numerous white collar, civil rights, and gang cases.  He successfully tried over 100 cases to verdict or judgment, including complex matters involving health care, real estate, work place harassment, construction defects, and protection of employee pension plans.

Tom Umberg served three terms in the California Legislature representing central Orange County.  While in the State Assembly, he successfully authored and secured legislative passage of 76 new state laws, brought more than $563 million in state and federal grant funds into Orange County, and assisted more than 2,500 individuals with government red tape and state bureaucracy problems.

In 1997, Umberg was selected by President Bill Clinton to serve as Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).  In this capacity he was responsible for the development and coordination of United States policy to reduce the supply of illegal drugs, including negotiation and coordination with foreign governments to enhance U.S. counter-drug intelligence and interdiction.  In 2011, he was also appointed Co-Chair of the U.S. State Department’s Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan.

Umberg is a founding partner of Umberg Zipser LLP and previously served as a partner at both Morrison & Foerster and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and is Chair of the Veterans Treatment Court Committee.

Tom is married to Brigadier General (Ret.) Robin Umberg.  They met while they were on active duty in Korea.  “Tom and I have been proud to serve our country together for over 60 years combined — in the United States and overseas,” said Robin Umberg.

#####

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to Senator Janet Nguyen or former School Board Member Trung Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 34th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New State Legislators Sworn in Today

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 1, 2014

California State CapitolIt’s the first Monday in December of an even year, so California’s new and re-elected state legislators will be sworn in today at 12:00 PM.  27 of 80 Assembly Members (33.75%) and 10 of 40 Senators (25%) will be freshmen.

Republicans picked up enough seats to break the Democratic supermajorities in both houses.

Orange County’s delegation will have proportionally even more freshmen, with 4 out of 7 Assembly Members (57.14%) and 3 of 5 Senators (60%) holding their first terms in their respective houses.

While the new Senators already have their official web sites up, the new Assembly Members do not, presumably waiting for the swearing-in at 12:00 PM.

As of 12:00 PM, Orange County’s Assembly delegation will consist of:

  • Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), 55th District (far northern Orange County, southeastern LA County, and Chino Hills) – First Term
  • Young Kim (R-Fullerton), 65th District (northwestern Orange County) – First Term
  • Don Wagner (R-Irvine), 68th District (eastern Orange County) – Third Term
  • Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), 69th District (central Orange County) – Second Term
  • Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), 72nd District (Orange County’s northern coast and Little Saigon) – Second Term
  • Bill Brough (R-Dana Point), 73rd District (southern Orange County) – First Term
  • Matt Harper (R-Huntington Beach), 74th District (Orange County’s central coast) – First Term

As of 12:00 PM, Orange County’s Senate delegation will consist of:

  • Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), 29th District (northern Orange County, southeastern LA County, and Chino Hills) – Midway Through Second Term
  • Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), 30th District (Buena Park and portions of LA County)
  • Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), 34th District (central Orange County and portions of Long Beach) – First Term
  • Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), 36th District (southern Orange County and northern San Diego County) – First Term
  • Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), 37th District (eastern Orange County) – Midway Through Second Term

Walters is still a State Senator, as she will not be sworn into the United States Congress until January.

Posted in 29th Senate District, 30th Senate District, 34th Senate District, 36th Senate District, 37th Senate District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, State Assembly, State Senate | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

OC’s Top 10 Election Stories

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 5, 2014

Last night was definitely a big night in OC politics.  Here are the top 10 stories:

#1. “Year of the Asian Woman” for OC Republicans – Republican Asian women dominated the electoral landscape last night.  I can demonstrate that with one simple photostrip of winners:

Year of the Asian Woman - 2014

The women in that photostrip are:

  • State Senator-Elect Janet Nguyen
  • State Assemblywoman-Elect Young Kim
  • State Assemblywoman-Elect Ling-Ling Chang
  • OC Supervisor-Elect Michelle Steel
  • OC Supervisor-Elect Lisa Bartlett
  • Yorba Linda Councilwoman-Elect Peggy Huang
  • Cypress School Board Member-Elect Sandra Lee
  • OC Water District Director-Elect Dina Nguyen

These candidates not only won their elections, but seven of the eight won in commanding fashion:

  • Janet Nguyen won 60% of the vote against former Assemblyman Jose Solorio in the most competitive Senate seat in the state.
  • Young Kim defeated incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva 56%-44% in one of the most competitive Assembly seats in the state.
  • Ling-Ling Chang won 64% of the vote after coming through a grueling primary.
  • Michelle Steel won 62% of the vote in a Supervisorial runoff against Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.
  • Lisa Bartlett won 55% of the vote in a Supervisorial runoff against Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming.
  • Peggy Huang came in first in a six-person field, even coming in ahead of her re-elected incumbent running mate, Tom Lindsey.
  • Sandra Lee came in first in a four-person field, far outpacing three other candidates, who consisted of two incumbents and a former Mayor.
  • Dina Nguyen was the only one with a close race, winning by 45.8%-42.1% in a three-way race for Orange County Water District.

The only Republican Asian woman who lost in Orange County last night was Westminster School Board candidate Bao Anh “Samantha” Nguyen.  (Garden Grove City Council candidate Ruhina Khan is a Democrat.  Laguna Woods City Council candidate Rae Tso and Fullerton Joint Union High School Board candidate Ho Jeong Lim are both NPP.  Republican Cypress School Board Member-Elect Lydia Sondhi is not Asian; Sondhi is her married name.)

#1A. Janet Nguyen and Young Kim Capture OC Swing Seats to Break Democratic Supermajorities – Of the Republican Asian women who won last night, clearly Janet Nguyen and Young Kim’s victories were the biggest stories, as they each struck a blow to the supermajorities held by Democrats in the Senate and in the Assembly.

Janet Nguyen’s 60%-40% victory was so sweeping that she won 8 of the 10 cities in SD-34, losing only Anaheim and Santa Ana (she even won Long Beach).

Young Kim’s 56%-44% victory was so sweeping that she won 5 of the 6 cities in AD-65, losing only Stanton.  Kim is the first Republican challenger to unseat an incumbent Democrat in a legislative race in 20 years.

#1B. Michelle Steel and Lisa Bartlett to Join Board of Supervisors – Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel was widely expected to win the 2nd District Supervisor’s race after crushing Assemblyman Allan Mansoor by 25% in June and almost avoiding a run-off.  She ended up beating Mansoor by 24% in the November run-off yesterday.  Steel’s landslide victory was so strong that she carried every city in the district, including Costa Mesa, where Mansoor had served on City Council and as Mayor; she also won Mansoor’s 74th Assembly District.

Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett was in the toss-up in the 5th District Supervisor’s race after coming in just 2% behind Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming in June.  She ended up beating Ming by 10% in the November run-off yesterday.  Bartlett’s victory was so sweeping that she won every city in the district, except Lyndon Johnson Laguna Niguel (I have no idea why I typed Lyndon Johnson; it was clearly a long election night).

This marks the second time two women will be serving on the Board of Supervisors concurrently (the first time is actually the present day wherein Supervisors Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates are serving concurrently).  This is the first time two Asian Americans will serve concurrently on the Board of Supervisors.

#2 AD-74: Matt Harper Defeats Keith Curry, Even Winning Newport Beach – With independent expenditures helping Huntington Beach Mayor Matt Harper overcome Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry’s massive fundraising advantage, Harper won by 18% yesterday after coming in 3% behind Curry in June.  Harper’s victory was so sweeping that he won 5 of the 6 cities in AD-74, losing only Laguna Woods. To add insult to injury for Curry, Harper even won 55% of the vote in Newport Beach.

#3 Major Changes in Anaheim – Voters in the County’s biggest city cast their ballots on a number of meaty issues.  First, 68% of Anaheim voters approved switching from the current at-large Council election system to a vote-by-district system.  53% of Anaheim voters approved increasing the size of the Council from 5 to 7 (Mayor and 6 Council members).

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait was easily re-elected, with 54.1% of the vote in a four-way race, outpacing the nearest candidate. Tait ally James Vanderbilt appears to have defeated Anaheim Councilwoman Gail Eastman, thereby shrinking the 4-1 majority against Tait to a 3-2 majority instead.

#4 Irvine Forms Republican Supermajority, Ousting Larry Agran – In a sweeping victory, Republicans won every seat on yesterday’s ballot for Irvine City Council.  Mayor Steven Choi was re-elected.  Council candidate Lynn Schott came in first, and Councilman Jeff Lalloway came in second place to win re-election.  Democrat Larry Agran, who lost control of the Council majority in 2012, found himself in fourth place, falling behind even his own ally Melissa Fox, who fell 0.4% short of winning a Council seat.  Republicans now wield a 4-1 supermajority in Irvine.

#5 Republicans Take Huntington Beach – In another sweeping victory, Republicans swept all four seats available on the Huntington Beach City Council, unseating incumbent Democrats Joe Shaw and Connie Boardman.  (The other two seats are held by termed-out Republican Joe Carchio and Assemblyman-Elect Matt Harper.)  This sweep replaces the liberal majority with a conservative majority on the Huntington Beach City Council.

In the Huntington Beach City Attorney’s race, conservative Republican Michael Gates unseated Republican incumbent Jennifer McGrath.

#6 Yorba Linda Supermajority Against YLRRR – In yet another sweeping victory, the slate of Peggy Huang and Tom Lindsey won both seats on the ballot in Yorba Linda.  For the first time since it began fielding candidates in 2006, Yorba Linda Residents for Responsible Representation failed to win any Council seats in an election.  YLRRR held a Council majority from 2008-2012 and even held a supermajority from 2010-2012.  YLRRR has a pesky habit of turning on the people they formerly supported (no fewer than three Councilmembers backed by YLRRR over the past eight years found themselves targeted for defeat by YLRRR).

With YLRRR-backed Councilmen Mark Schwing and John Anderson, YLRRR found themselves one seat short of a majority this year.  They launched an ambitious recall bid to try to gain a Council supermajority.  With the October recall defeated by the voters, the November re-election of Tom Lindsey, and the November election of Peggy Huang (see story 1 above) to replace the retiring John Anderson, YLRRR’s ambitious bid for a 4-1 supermajority in 2014 has ended with them on the losing end of a 4-1 supermajority, with only Schwing in office.  This could well spell the beginning of the end for YLRRR.

#7 Newport Beach Clean Sweep – In one more sweeping victory (anyone notice a recurring theme in these stories?), the slate of Duffy Duffield (of Duffy Boat fame), Kevin Muldoon, and Scott Peotter captured the three contested Newport Beach City Council seats (Diane Dixon won the uncontested District 1 seat).  In the District 3 seat, Duffield even managed to unseat Mayor Rush Hill by a stunning 2-1 margin.  Duffield, Muldoon, and Peotter pledged to bring fiscal responsibility to Newport Beach City government, opposing the dock tax and expensive new City Hall.

#8 Rancho Santa Margarita Eliminates Council Minority – In possibly the County’s most sweeping victory, the two-man Rancho Santa Margarita Council minority has been eliminated.  Majority Councilmembers Tony Beall and Carol Gamble were not on the ballot this year.  Three seats were on the ballot this year.  Majority Councilmember Brad McGirr was re-elected.  Candidates Jerry Holloway (himself a former Councilmember) and Mike Vaughn were elected to replace minority Councilmembers Steve Baric and Jesse Petrilla.  Baric was simply retiring and was not seeking a second term.  Petrilla (who had run unsuccessfully for the Assembly in June, coming in second among Republicans to Beall-backed Bill Brough) was running for re-election but ended up 3.7% behind third-place Vaughn who captured the last Council seat.  Additionally, voters rejected Measure Z, an initiative to change the zoning classification of Rancho Santa Margarita’s former Nissan site, by a margin of 54%-46%.  The Council minority had supported Measure Z while the Council majority opposed it.  The newly elected candidates both opposed Measure Z.  As with Anaheim, Newport Beach, and Yorba Linda, the majority and minority members on this year’s ballot are all Republicans.

#9 Unions Strengthen Grip on Capistrano Unified School District and Ocean View School District – In a rare liberal sweeping victory in Orange County, the teachers’ union won all three seats on the ballot in the Capistrano Unified School District, growing their 5-2 supermajority into a 6-1 supermajority, leaving Jim Reardon as the sole trustee to oppose the teachers’ union.  Union-backed Martha McNicholas defeated OC Political blogger Craig Alexander for the Trustee Area 4 seat being vacated by the retiring Anna Bryson.  Union-backed incumbent Lynn Hatton beat back a challenge by Julie Collier in Trustee Area 7.  Most surprisingly, in Trustee Area 6, union-backed Gila Jones unseated incumbent Ellen Addonizio, and Jones won by a larger margin than McNicholas or Hatton did.  (Jones was the Democrat who ran against Republican State Senator Mark Wyland in 2010.)

In the Ocean View School District, union-backed Jack Souders and Joseph Gaglione won two of the three seats up for election this year, unseating incumbents Tracy Pellman and John Ortiz.  While Souders and Gaglione were openly backed by the union, Pellman and incumbent John Briscoe (who won the other seat up for election) each accused the other of being secretly backed by the union.

#10 Claude Parrish Unseats Assessor Webster Guillory – In only the second time in the last half-century, a sitting Countywide elected official has been defeated for re-election.  With controversies over his nomination signature collection and three felony charges from the District Attorney related to the nomination signature collection, incumbent Webster Guillory was unable to survive a challenge from former Board of Equalization Member Claude Parrish.  Guillory had defeated Parrish 53%-47% in 2010.  In this 2014 rematch, Parrish defeated Guillory by the same 53%-47% margin.  (The last time a Countywide elected official lost a re-election bid was when John Dean unseated six-term incumbent County Superintendent of Schools Robert Peterson in 1990.  No one else has lost since at least the mid-1960s.)  With Republican Parrish replacing NPP Guillory as Assessor and Republican Eric Woolery replacing Democrat Jan Grimes as Auditor-Controller, Republicans will hold every Countywide office for the first time in recent memory.

Honorable Mention: Special Elections on the Way – With the elections of Supervisor Janet Nguyen to the State Senate and State Senator Mimi Walters to Congress, there will now be a flurry of special elections.  Early in 2015, special elections will need to be held to fill the remaining two years on Nguyen’s Supervisorial term and Walters’s Senate term.  In the likely event that an Assemblymember wins the race to replace Walters, another special election will be triggered in mid-2015 to fill the Assembly seat.

Honorable Mention: City Treasurers and Board of Equalization – Two Secret Paths to Power – It’s quite interesting what useful platforms City Treasurer’s seats and Board of Equalization seats can be for gaining other elected offices:

  • November 2010: Huntington Beach City Treasurer Shari Freidenrich elected Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, defeating Deputy Treasurer
  • June 2014: Orange City Treasurer Eric Woolery elected Orange County Auditor-Controller, defeating Deputy Auditor-Controller
  • November 2014
    • Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel elected an Orange County Supervisor, defeating Assemblyman
    • Former Board of Equalization Member Claude Parrish elected Orange County Assessor, defeating incumbent
    • Brea City Treasurer Glenn Parker elected a Brea City Councilman, defeating incumbent
    • Placentia City Treasurer Craig Green elected a Placentia City Councilman, defeating incumbent

On a related note, State Controller-Elect Betty Yee is the second consecutive Board of Equalization Member to be elected State Controller. Eight years ago, Board of Equalization Member John Chiang was elected State Controller, and last night, he has been elected State Treasurer.

Honorable Mention: Mimi Walters Elected to Congress – This doesn’t merit reaching the top 10 because it was a foregone conclusion that Senator Mimi Walters would crush Democrat Drew Leavens in the 45th Congressional District.  The real contest was in June when Walters managed to be the top Republican vote-getter and ensured a Democrat made the top two.  The only reason this gets an honorable mention is because of how rare it is to have a new Member of Congress.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 34th Senate District, 45th Congressional District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Board of Equalization, Capistrano Unified School District, Cypress School District, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Newport Beach, Ocean View School District, Orange County, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Water District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Yorba Linda | 5 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 »

O.C. Senate Candidate Jose Solorio Voted Illegally To Give Construction Contract To His Political Donors

Posted by Dave Everett on August 18, 2014

Jose Solorio Plans On Giving Away $29 Million Dollars of Santa Ana College Funds To Special Interests This Monday (3/24/2014)! This money should go to new buildings and improving conditions for our students, not to pay off Jose Solorio’s political donors. Worse yet, this special interest deal discriminates against over 80% of local construction workers in favor of Big Labor bosses and union companies from Los Angeles.

Jose Solorio Voted To Give Away $29 Million Dollars of Santa Ana College Funds To Special Interests! This money should have gone to new buildings and improving conditions for our students, not to pay off Jose Solorio’s political donors. Worse yet, this special interest deal discriminates against over 80% of local construction workers in favor of Big Labor bosses and union companies from Los Angeles.

…In the recent vote to limit the construction at Santa Ana College with one of these forced union agreements, Orange County State Senate candidate Jose Solorio voted illegally to give construction contract to his political donors.

Because of the two illegal votes that began and finalized this forced union agreement (or Project Labor Agreement; PLA) have now come to light, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southern California will be submitting a letter to the Rancho Santiago Community College Board of Trustees today (August 18, 2014) asking them to invalidate the forced union agreement on the nearly $200 million dollar Measure Q bond passed by voters in November 2012. ABC So-Cal will request that the RSCCD Trustees open the bidding up to everyone in the free market, including the 84% of California construction workers who choose not to be in a union. This will ensure that the bidding is legal, first of all, but also will allow more local Santa Ana residents to work on the project.

As you may know, political contributions are exempt from the 1974 Political Reform Act, but gifts are not. If there was a gift of $250.00 or more in the last 12 months that was reported, usually on form 700, then that would exempt Jose Solorio from voting on the PLA due to a conflict of interest.

Solorio not only took a gift over the legal limit within 12 month prior to voting to begin the PLA negotiations, he took another gift over the legal limit just two months after the final PLA vote. Both entities that he took gifts from were Big Labor unions that would directly benefit from the PLA. If you have any doubt about their direct benefit, just scroll to the last page and look at the list of union bosses that are to sign the forced union agreement…

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

Posted in 34th Senate District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

One Race May Determine Whether Taxes Go Up By Billions In The U.S.’s Largest Economy

Posted by Thomas Gordon on August 8, 2014

Received via email:

The top prizes up for grabs in the 2014 mid-term elections are control of the U.S. Senate and 30 of the nation’s governorships, but of more immediate consequence to taxpayers in the most populous state in the union – California – is one single state legislative race that is likely to determine whether or not taxes will rise by billions in the world’s eighth largest economy.
A two-thirds vote is required to raise taxes and fees in California; meaning that if Republicans cannot win over a third of the seats in the Assembly and Senate this fall, they will have no ability to stop Democratic proposals to raise taxes. The only reason that California Democrats are temporarily without a supermajority in both chambers right now is due to the indictment of three Democratic state senators this year. Many of the Golden State’s top political and electoral experts say Democrats’ unchecked ability to raise taxes in 2015 and 2016 depends on one state legislative race in Orange County: California’s 34th state senate district.

“Even with California’s already inhospitable tax climate, the public employee unions desperately need higher taxes to keep their unsustainable pensions and bloated salaries afloat, and they can be expected to pump millions into this one state senate race to ensure that they can continue to advance their agenda at the expense of California taxpayers,” said Jon Fleischman, publisher of California’s Flash Report.

Fortunately for California Republicans, they have a strong candidate in Janet Nguyen, a current Orange County Supervisor, to go up against former Democratic Assemblyman Jose Solorio in this crucial race. Nguyen, who emigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam at age 5, describes herself as “a believer in limited government,” and says that if elected, she would spend taxpayer dollars the way she spends her own. That would certainly represent a stark contrast between both the status quo in Sacramento and her opponent’s legislative record.

During his time in the state Assembly, Solorio was a champion of higher taxes and the state’s high-speed rail project, which is shaping up to be a boondoggle of historic proportions. Solorio, like most California Democrats, also appears to be a candidate safely in the back pocket of the state teachers union. As the Orange County Register recently noted, “he disagrees with the recent landmark Vergara ruling that struck down California’s two-year tenure and seniority (“last-in-first-out”) rules for teachers, saying he would not change those rules.”

“Janet Nguyen’s candidacy for state senate is the most important political fight in 2014 for Californians,” said Brian Calle, Opinion Editor for the OC Register and Editor-in-Chief of CalWatchdog.com. “And if Nguyen is victorious,” added Calle, “Democrats would not have the necessary two-thirds majority in the Legislature to unilaterally raise taxes in the Golden State”

California Democrats have made no secret of their desire to further raise taxes. Many of their proposals have already been filed as legislation. Proposals have been put forth in the past two years that would impose statewide tax increases on soda, energy production, the profits of companies whose executive salaries exceed some arbitrary threshold set by Sacramento bureaucrats, and business property taxes, just to name a few. In fact, California lawmakers are using this time before their September recess to push a plastic bag ban and ten cent tax on paper shopping bags. This bill, which Solorio voted for while in the Assembly, would then take this tax on every paper bag, which will disproportionately harm lower income households, and then turn and give it to the likes of Safeway SWY +0.47%, Ralph’s, and other large corporations.

Republican ability to stop the tax increases is even more important given that the Golden State is already one of the most heavily-taxed jurisdictions in the U.S., and the world for that matter. According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, California has the fourth highest state and local tax burden in the nation, consuming 11.35 percent of the average California taxpayer’s income. Following passage of the personal and corporate income tax increases championed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012, California is now home to the nation’s highest top marginal income tax rate (13.3 percent) on California workers and small businesses. Extending those “temporary” personal and corporate taxes is something California Democrats could do all by themselves if they return to Sacramento in 2015 with a supermajority.

“We have three Democratic state senators that were either convicted or indicted this year alone. Some would say that such corruption is a symptom of the one-party rule that has existed in Sacramento for years,” said Fleischman. “This race,” said the OC Register’s Calle, “will decide whether there is balance of ideas in state government or one-party rule.”

Like George Wallace standing in front of the schoolhouse doors telling Yankees to butt out, many California politicians are fond of telling folks from around the country to mind their own business while the state runs off the rails. However, California’s economy is simply too large and too important to the nation’s economic health for the rest of the country not to be concerned. Keep an eye on California’s 34th state senate district this November. Depending on the outcome, it could cost taxpayers billions.

Read Patrick Gleason’s original story at Forbes HERE

Posted in 34th Senate District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »