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A Word (or Two) about Judges on the Ballot

Posted by Craig P Alexander on October 14, 2022

Dear Friends,  

Almost every election I am asked about the judges on the ballot. Often I do not have a recommendation one way or the other. On this ballot you are going to find a long list of justices of the courts you are being asked to either approve with a yes vote or disapprove with a no vote. Let me give you some background about the elections for the California judicial system that might also help understand the old axiom “Elections have consequences.”  

California’s State Judicial System  

In California’s state judicial system (not Federal Court where the judges have lifetime appointments) there are basically three levels of judges. The first level is the Superior Court sometimes known as a “trial judge”. This is the judge you might meet if you have to file a lawsuit or “go to court” for any reason. You would be in a courtroom with only one judge who makes all of the decisions (or oversees the jury who makes many decisions at a trial). The other two categories of judges are actually “justices” who sit on the California Supreme Court or an intermediate Court of Appeals.  

Superior Court Judicial Elections

Superior Court judges are either elected to a six year term or appointed by the Governor and then stand for election at the next primary election (normally in June). An attorney who wishes to challenge a judge or run for an open seat (due to a judge passing away or who has retired) will become a candidate for that position. Sometimes there are several candidates for that one seat. If there are more than two candidates running and no one candidate gets 50% plus one vote, the top two vote getters have a run off election in November’s general election. This year in June in Orange County there were several Superior Court elections and only one of them resulted in a run off election. In that election attorney Peggy Huang is one of the top two vote getters and I highly recommend you vote for Peggy (https://www.peggyhuang.com/).   

California Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Retention “Elections”

When there is an opening on a Court of Appeal or the California Supreme Court, the sitting Governor appoints a person (often a Superior Court judge or a law school professor) and he or she is confirmed by the California Commission on Judicial Appointments. The justice then will stand for a “retention” election at the next general election (November of that year) and all justices stand for a “retention” election every twelve years. At this election the voters are asked if they wish to retain a justice (by voting yes) or to not retain a justice (by voting no). There is no opposition candidate running for that appeals court seat. Most often these justices are “retained” by yes votes of greater than 90% or even 95% of the votes cast. Most often if you ask a voter why they voted yes, they would have no idea why or what the justices’ rulings have been. It is rare that a justice of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals is ousted in this fashion. They normally retire or die in office. But it has happened before.

In 1986 Governor George Deukmejian and many, many business interests and conservative elected officials grew tired of what is often called the Rose Bird Court (named for then Chief Justice Rose Bird). This court was famous for issuing what many people believe were poorly reasoned and even emotional decisions that hurt individual liberties and business interests. The governor and the others organized (and raised funds for) a campaign to convince voters to vote “no” to oust several of the most liberal justices on the Supreme Court. They were successful and all of the three justices involved were ousted at the November 1986 general election.  What happened after that? Governor Deukmejian then appointed new justices including then new Chief Justice Malcom Lewis who served until 1996 when he retired.    

Today’s Situation 

Fast forward to today, there is no campaign to oust any sitting Supreme Court or Court of Appeal justice. Therefore it is highly unlikely that by just word of mouth enough No votes would occur to oust any sitting justice today. But even if that did happen, who would appoint a new set of justices to the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal? Governor Gavin Newsom! The last thing I would want to do is allow Gavin Newsom to have the opportunity to reshape the California Courts so dramatically and so much more to the left.   

So what is the answer to make changes in the California judicial system – better Governors and legislators being elected! Thus to the point that elections have consequences! Do you like the current United States Supreme Court after President Trump and the then Republican U.S. Senate appointed and confirmed three much more conservative justices? Well that was the result of many, many years of conservatives electing U.S. Senators and a President that in turn appointed conservative justices.    Can that happen in California? Yes but it is going to take many years to reverse the course of our state’s electoral politics. Basically re-educating the average voter why voting “liberal” is not going to get you a good result including a better state judicial system (unless you are a committed progressive liberal, then you are quite happy with the current state of affairs in California and welcome conservatives to move to Texas and Florida).   

There is no “quick fix” to the problem of years of voters voting into office progressive and aggressive politicians like Gavin Newsom. And I firmly believe it is the voters, not the elected politicians, who are most at fault for the outcomes of electing these types of people – high taxes, regulations, high government fees, employers fleeing the state, etc., etc. The power is in the voters hands to make this change and it is our responsibility as conservatives to educate them on why that is a better choice.       


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Craig Alexander’s “Craig’s PICs” Voter Recommendations for the Nov. 8, 2022 General Election

Posted by Craig P Alexander on October 10, 2022

Each election I post my “Craig’s PICs” voter recommendations. For those interested, here they are:

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“Republican” Chi Charlie Nguyen Cost Taxpayers Over $2.5 Million Dollars For ONE Project!

Posted by Dave Everett on July 21, 2022

Over my career I have worked with several non-union construction groups. With each organization the message to elected officials has been essentially the same, “If you restrict 80% of the construction workforce from working on your projects, your costs will go up.” It is obvious to anyone who has taken Economics 101. Unfortunately, this message was ignored by Republican Midway City Sanitary District Director Chi Charlie Nguyen. The Project Labor Agreement that Nguyen and his colleagues passed in 2021 has now come back to cost Midway City Sanitation District taxpayers over $2.5 million dollars – and that is just for ONE project!

Midway City Sanitary District does not post its agenda packets (including staff reports for agenda items) on its website. So information is limited, but it appears that last April, all 5 Midway City Sanitation District Directors voted to approve a Project Workforce Agreement (PWA) with Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council for their District Addition, Solar and Remodel Project. (https://www.midwaycitysanitarydistrict.com/files/a5114e8c1/04-20-2021_agenda.pdf)

In September 2021, the Midway City Sanitary District (MCSD) began accepting bids to build additions to the Midway City Sanitary District offices and a remodel of the Midway City Sanitary District offices. The original bid deadline was September 14, 2021, with an estimate of $2,800,000.

On October 5, 2021 the board rejected all bids. The board voted to advertise for bids again on December 7, 2021. Director Tyler Diep expressed concern that the the qualifications were too restrictive and they wouldn’t get enough bids. (https://www.midwaycitysanitarydistrict.com/files/b434a88f8/12-07-2021_minutes.pdf).

Diep was correct. After several more rounds of bidding, the estimate is now $4,650,000 and the bids that actually came in were even higher than that! The following six (6) Bids were received:

1. $5,401,240.00
2. $5,499,483.00
3. $5,607,231.00
4. $5,656,235.41
5. $6,745,218.74
6. $7,210,000.00

So if the initial bid estimate was $2.8 million and the MCSD accepted the lowest bid now available, the PLA will have cost the district $2,601,240 (about $2.6 million.)

If the MCSD accepts the highest bid of $7.21 million, then the PLA will have cost taxpayers over $4.4 million.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time Chi Charlie Nguyen has refused to defend taxpayers. Last year Councilman Chi Charlie Nguyen made a motion to approve a ballot measure keeping a 1% sale tax rate hike artificially high for another TEN YEARS! Thankfully, he failed to get enough votes. (https://voiceofoc.org/2020/08/westminster-council-again-fails-to-act-on-sales-tax-measure-as-financial-crisis-looms/.)

“But why should we hold Chi Charlie Nguyen responsible if all 5 Directors voted for the wasteful, discriminatory Project Labor Agreement?” you might ask.

To me, the answer is simple. You expect liberal politicians like Sergio Contreras or Andrew Nguyen to overspend and waste taxpayer money. It is part of their political philosophy. Tyler Diep has already come out as a PLA supporter in cities like Anaheim and Garden Grove. Mark Nguyen did not vote for the PLA because he was appointed to the Board of Directors on September 7, 2021 to fill the vacancy left by Director Margie Rice who passed away on July 25, 2021. 

You do not expect taxpayer rip-offs and overspending from Republicans like Chi Charlie Nguyen.

Unfortunately, Midway City Sanitary District voters can’t hold Nguyen accountable until November 2024. However voters in the City of Westminster will only have to wait a little over 100 days to hold Chi Charlie Nguyen accountable for his special interest deal that wasted over $2.5 million taxpayer dollars.

With rising inflation and gas prices, Chi Charlie Nguyen’s waste of our tax money could not come at a worse time for taxpayers. And who knows how much waste he will be responsible for when the final inflated contract is awarded.

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Craig’s PICs Voter Recommendations for the June 7, 2022 primary election

Posted by Craig P Alexander on May 8, 2022

Starting Monday, May 9, 2022, voters will start seeing their ballots in the mail. While “election day” is June 7, 2022, the vast majority of voters will likely vote early via the U.S. Mail, a secure dropbox, an early voting center or by taking their ballots to the Registrar of Voters office in Santa Ana, CA.

For those interested in my voter recommendations you can access them here:

I hope you find them helpful. I also recommend you check out Robyn Nordell’s voter web site at https://robynnordell.com/county/orange/ At this site you can find Robyn’s recommendations, mine and some other friends. We don’t always agree but we love that!

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Exclusive Footage: Airline Tries to Ban Passengers from Filming During Arrest Incident

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 7, 2021

American Airlines

Aboard American Airlines Flight 2289 earlier today (July 7) from Los Angeles to Miami, passengers were ordered to put their hands on their heads for 45-60 minutes before landing at 4:42 PM EDT. Passengers were repeatedly ordered by the flight crew to not film the incident. When the plane landed, law enforcement boarded the aircraft with assault rifles while yelling at all the passengers, with some of the weapons pointed directly at some of the passengers. One person was arrested. Passengers were again prevented from filming.

After the passengers de-planed, there was a scuffle, as frustrated passengers did not know what had happened, and American Airlines would not give out any information. The passengers had not been allowed to take anything with them off the plane, including carry-on luggage, purses, etc. Passengers were forced to stay in the airport for approximately 4 hours without clear instructions nor clear information.

See the bottom of this post for exclusive (though brief) video clips from Flight 2289 published first here at OC Political.

The Washington Post wrote in 2018 about efforts by airlines to ban passenger filming about a year after the infamous video of Dr. David Dao being dragged off of United Express Flight 3411:

Dao, you’ll recall, is the United Airlines passenger forcibly removed from a flight from Chicago to Louisville last spring. His ejection, captured on video and widely shared online, led to a quick out-of-court settlement and a series of minor but necessary reforms. A string of copycat videos followed, which embarrassed other air carriers.

There’s no federal law that prohibits in-flight photography. Instead, crew members invoke a regulation, 49 U.S.C. 46504, that forbids passengers from interfering “with the performance of the duties of the member or attendant or lessening the ability of the crew member to perform those duties.” That’s been broadly interpreted to mean: Obey your flight attendants. And that includes, but is not limited to, their orders to stop taking their picture or to delete the images.

Imagine a world where passengers had been reluctant to shoot footage of Dao, or to shoot any of last year’s other viral videos. There would have been no congressional hearings, no policy changes, however small, and United probably wouldn’t have settled with Dao.

And that’s why the cellphone is your last, best weapon against bad airline service. Everything else has been taken from passengers. But we still have our phones. We should be ready to use them.

A short clip aboard American Airlines Flight 2289 with all the passengers forced to place their hands on their heads, as the flight landed in Miami. This video had to be taken surreptitiously due to the flight crew’s orders forbidding the passengers from filming what was happening on the flight.
A video of the tense situation in the terminal after the passengers de-planed and remained stuck in the terminal.
NOTE: This video clips begins with some adult language.

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My Voter Recommendations For The November 3, 2020 Election

Posted by Craig P Alexander on September 23, 2020

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

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

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

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

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


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

Memorial Day – A Reminder that Freedom is not Free!

Posted by Craig P Alexander on May 24, 2020

See iconic D-Day black and white photos brought to life in color

Whenever I look at this photograph it reminds me that Freedom is not Free – as we celebrate Memorial Day this year let us never forget the men and women who “gave their last measure of devotion” by laying down their lives so that we could live in freedom.  We should all enjoy our BBQ, going to the beach or park or whatever you like to do (even in this strange COVID-19 situation we find ourselves in) on a holiday weekend.  But we should always remember those who fought and died to allow us that freedom and liberty – and never take those liberties for granted.

On Memorial Day I always remember my Great Uncle Peter Powell who died a year or so after the end of World War I – from complications of mustard gas he suffered in the trenches of France. Because of that I was never able to meet him.  But I honor him and look forward to the day I will meet him.  On that day I will say “Thank you Uncle Peter”.

For those of you who are too young to remember this photo – it was taken on June 6, 1044 – D-Day when the allies landed on the beaches of Normandy, France to liberate Europe and topple Nazi Germany.

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

Posted by Craig P Alexander on February 28, 2020

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

Here is OCAR’s press release:

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

DATE: February 28, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the link to the Press Release.

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

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

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

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

March Primary Voter Guide

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on February 27, 2020

These voter guides came over the wire from the Lincoln Club and Atlas PAC…

Atlas PAC:

Atlas PAC Newsletter Head 2
March Primary Election Voter Guide
February 26, 2020
President – Donald Trump
Vice President – Mike Pence
U.S. Congress
California, 4th CD – Tom McClintock
California, 8th CD – Tim Donnelly
California, 14th CD – Devin Nunes
California, 25th CD – Mike Garcia
California, 28th CD – Eric Early
California, 39th CD – Young Kim
California, 45th CD – Don Sedgwick
California, 48th CD – Michelle Steel
California, 49th CD – Brian Maryott 
California, 50th CD – Carl DeMaio
Ohio, 4th CD – Jim Jordan
New York, 21st CD – Elise Stefanik
State Senate
CA State Senate, SD 28 – Melissa Melendez
CA State Senate, SD 33 – Ling Ling Chang
CA State Senate, SD 37 – John Moorlach
State Assembly
CA State Assembly, 42nd AD – Andrew Kotyuk
CA State Assembly, 55th AD – Phillip Chen
CA State Assembly, 68th AD – Steven Choi
CA State Assembly, 72nd AD – Janet Nguyen
CA State Assembly, 73rd AD – Laurie Davies
CA State Assembly, 74th AD – Diane Dixon
Ballot Propositions
Proposition 13 – NO
Orange County
Orange County Board of Supervisors, District 1 – Andrew Do
Orange County Board of Supervisors, District 3 – Don Wagner
Orange County Board of Education, Area 1 – Jim Palmer
Orange County Board of Education, Area 3 – Ken Williams
Orange County Board of Education, Area 1 – Tim Shaw
Measures B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N – NO
About Atlas PAC
Atlas is an organization made up of business, political, and community professionals who share a passion for free enterprise, limited government, reduced government regulatory burdens, low taxation, and individual liberty. Atlas furthers its ideals by funding candidates and causes who aggressively advocate the values of Atlas.

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Voter Recommendations – A Reminder

Posted by Craig P Alexander on February 27, 2020

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

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

Craig Alexander is an attorney and a Dana Point resident.

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

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