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Posts Tagged ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’

SD 29: Mayor Whitaker Enters Race to Replace Senator Newman

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 10, 2017

Mayor Bruce Whitaker (R-Fullerton)

Mayor Bruce Whitaker
(R-Fullerton)

Cross-posted to OC Daily

First reported by Jon Fleischman at the FlashReport on Saturday night, Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker has become the first candidate to announce his entry into the race to replace Senator Josh Newman if Newman is recalled in the 29th Senate District.

The 29th Senate District recall election has centered on Senator Newman’s vote for the unpopular gas tax (58% of voters in a statewide UC Berkeley poll oppose the gas tax increase, and the percentage is likely higher in SD-29, as that district is more conservative than the state as a whole).  Whitaker is well-versed in recall elections and anti-tax battles, having helped lead a City Council recall and multiple efforts to repeal/defeat taxes, as his campaign biography notes:

Bruce began an intense and prolonged foray into political activism in 1992 when he became incensed at the largest federal tax increase in U.S. history during the George H.W. Bush administration, and the largest state tax increase in California’s history under Governor Pete Wilson. He became active in his own city of Fullerton in 1993 when he led — as a proponent and treasurer — a successful effort to recall a majority of the City Council and repeal unnecessary utility taxes. That accomplishment has saved more than $170 million for residents and businesses of Fullerton to date.

On the heels of the Fullerton recalls, the Orange County bankruptcy erupted in December of 1994. At that time it was the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. As the chief spokesman of the Committees of Correspondence of Orange County, Bruce debated Sheriff Brad Gates, county CEO William Popejoy, Chapman University president James Doti and others and authored many guest editorials which helped to defeat Measure R, the bankruptcy sales tax.  The defeat of that tax has resulted in more than $2.8 billion in taxpayer savings since 1995.

Bruce Whitaker founded the Fullerton Association of Concerned Taxpayers in 1996. He was president for eight years, following which FACT successfully brought suit against the Gray Davis administration for an unconstitutional $12.7 billion bond offering.

When Governor Davis was recalled from office, the Schwarzenegger administration and the Legislature attempted to pass a $2 billion pension obligation bond which also lacked voter approval. FACT and the Pacific Legal Foundation brought suit and won in both Sacramento Superior Court and the State Court of Appeals. 

Whitaker was first elected to the Fullerton City Council in 2010 and re-elected in 2012 and 2016.  In the citywide at-large vote, Whitaker came in first twice and second once in these three successful bids for council.

Whitaker also has name ID in other parts of SD-29, having been elected to the Republican Central Committee representing the old 72nd Assembly District in 1996 and re-elected in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010, before deciding not to run for re-election in 2012.  He was also the top vote-getter four times.  He came in second once, coming just 20 votes shy of first place in the race in which the top six places were elected.

Fleischman wrote:

Whitaker, a constitutional conservative, has been elected three times to the Fullerton City Council. Fullerton is the largest city completely within the boundaries of the 29th State Senate District.

Whitaker told me that, “Residents and taxpayers deserve respect from elected legislators. Senator Newman’s voting record proves that he does not reflect the values of this District.” He added, “Southern California needs strong leadership in Sacramento to protect and secure our rights, such as the right to vote on taxes. My record reflects that I’ve long been a passionate advocate for freedom, property rights, justice and fiscal responsibility.”

I was last with Bruce a few weeks at at a gas station on Harbor Boulevard where a massive effort took place to gather signatures for the recall of Newman. Whitaker appeared on the John and Ken Show, which broadcast their show live from that location.

Read the rest on the FlashReport…

In addition to his name ID from being elected to the City Council and the Central Committee, Whitaker may also have benefit from voters remembering the name of OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker, who has also been active in the recall.

Fullerton is the second-largest city in the district, behind only the portion of Anaheim in SD-29, but historically, Fullerton has produced the most voters in primary and special elections (which the SD-29 recall would be), as the SD-29 parts Anaheim has lower-propensity voters (Anaheim is split among three Senate districts, with voter-rich Anaheim Hills sitting in SD-37, represented by Republican Senator John Moorlach of Costa Mesa; the remainder of Anaheim is in SD-34, represented by Republican Senator Janet Nguyen of Garden Grove).

Posted in 29th Senate District, Fullerton | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Correa Probably Regrets Authoring SB 183

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 3, 2015

An OC Political reader with a strong knowledge of recounts pointed out SB 183 (Correa, 2011) to me.  I had earlier written about the difficulty of getting new results in recounts in California.  SB 183 is the bill that made successful recounts virtually impossible.

Prior to SB 183, recount strategy typically relied on getting ballots tossed for identifiable marks, such as the infamous flower ballot of 2007.

Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) put an end to that with SB 183.  Identifiable marks no longer invalidated ballots.  Consequently, the only way a ballot can be tossed is if the voter voted for more candidates than were available on the ballot (e.g. two candidates for Supervisor, four candidates for three city council slots) or voted both yes and no on a ballot measure.  Even then, the whole ballot wouldn’t be tossed, just the race in which the voter overvoted.

With more accurate ballot counting software and SB 183, recounts of anything other than provisional ballots are almost pointless in California.  That’s why the Garden Grove mayoral recount had no vote changes, the State Controller recount had 8 vote changes statewide, etc.

As one friend suggested while I talked to her about this situation, perhaps Correa wrote SB 183 in 2011 expecting to narrowly lead in a future election and wanted to prevent a recount from overturning his result.  Instead, he found himself narrowly behind in 2015 and wasn’t able to overturn the result.

Correa’s SB 183 of 2011 was actually identical to SB 387 of 2009 by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), which was vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who

The provisions of this bill allowing elections officials to process ballots that contain extraneous non-identifying marks are acceptable; however, I am concerned that remaking a ballot that contains personal identifying information compromises ballot secrecy and increases the opportunity for fraud.

The only difference two years later for SB 183 (Correa) of 2011 versus SB 387 (Hancock) of 2009 was a new Governor, Jerry Brown.

The two key changes in SB 183 were for Elections Code Sections 15154 and 15208:

SB 183 modified Elections Code Section 15154 as follows:

Any ballot that is not marked as provided by law or that is marked or signed by the voter so that it can be identified by others shall be rejected.

SB 183 struck this sentence out of Elections Code Section 15208:

Any ballot that is marked in a manner so as to identify the voter shall be marked “Void” and shall be placed in the container for void ballots.

SB 183 also replaced the voter instruction “All distinguishing marks or erasures are forbidden and make the ballot void” and replaced it with “Marking the ballot outside of the designated space to vote for a candidate or measure may compromise the secrecy of the ballot.”

Promoted by Common Cause and now-disgraced Secretary of State Debra Bowen, Correa introduced SB 183 on February 7, 2011. It passed the Legislature on near-party-line votes (oddly, Assemblyman Chris Norby voted against it in Assembly Appropriations and for it 12 days later on the Assembly Floor).  Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 183 into law on October 9, 2011, and it took effect January 1, 2012.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Why Neel Kashkari is a Non-Starter for this Fiscal and Social Conservative

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on February 10, 2014

Another entrant into the California Governor’s race, Neel Kashkari, is right out of the play book of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Meg Whitman – a rich businessman who has never held elective office and is socially liberal but claims to be a fiscal conservative. Mr. Kashkari, while likely a very nice gentleman and a great private industry success story, is not a candidate this fiscal and social conservative can support.

When the former Bush administration official entered the California Governor’s race he proclaimed that his emphasis for the Governor’s race is the high poverty rate in California and improving education. The successful Republican businessman has taken a position in favor of abortion and homosexual marriage. One of the chief creators and implementers of the Bush Administration’s Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP), he defends that program because he claims the government was repaid all of the loaned funds plus interest. In my opinion, on TARP, Mr. Kashkari seriously misses the point of fiscal conservatives’ objections to that program, some of which I will cover below.

Undoubtedly other voices in the Republican Party will soon be lecturing conservatives like myself that social issues are losers for Republicans in California and we need a successful businessperson who is “socially liberal” to lead California and the CRP out of its woes.  With all due respect we have heard this tune before and it has only been a disaster for California and the Republican Party.  This same tune was played to us in 2003 for the recall of Gov. Gray Davis.  We were told Tom McClintock could not win the Governorship so we all must get behind successful showman Arnold Schwarzenegger.  While Arnold’s early years showed promise (repealing the car tax which he later raised again), right after he was re-elected in 2006 he took a hard turn to the left and gave us things like the carbon cap and trade laws that are crippling business in California.

He also joined then Attorney General Jerry Brown by refusing to defend Proposition 8, which resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow homosexual marriage in California not because the people voted for it, or due to the courts actually finding it was proper on the merits, but solely due to the Governor’s (and Attorney General’s) refusal to do their job and defend the law.  This has severely weakened the initiative system in California as it allows the Governor and Attorney General to veto the people’s voice by simply refusing to defend a federal constitutional challenge to an initiative that the people voted yes on.  I lay this partially at Mr. Schwarzenegger’s feet.

The next time we heard this piped piper tune of “we need to run a rich social liberal Republican” was Meg Whitman’s run for Governor against Jerry Brown four years ago. Although Ms. Whitman is a very nice person (I met her a couple of times) and she is a rich and successful Republican, she had never held elective office and she is pro-abortion.  Her views on homosexual marriage seem to be both yes and no.  It is my understanding that she also supported TARP.  Ms. Whitman was rejected by voters who were tired of years of pseudo Republican Arnold as Governor in favor of re-tread Jerry “Governor Moon Beam” Brown.

And here we are again with another candidate right out of the Arnold / Meg mold.  We are being told take our sincerely held beliefs on social issues (and even fiscal issues); ignore them and recent history to support and vote for Mr. Kashkari.

For this conservative activist my answer is No Thank You.  Obviously as you have gathered Mr. Kashkari and I differ on abortion and homosexual marriage.  And while I realize the Courts have instituted homosexual marriage in California by judicial fiat and abortion is regularly made more and more legal and taxpayer supported by the Democratic legislature (and current Governor) that does not equate to any obligation for me to support a candidate that also believes in these policies.  There is no reasonable expectation that a Governor Kashkari would act any differently than the Arnold or Moon Beam.

However Mr. Kashkari’s actions as a Bush Administration Treasury official and his defense of his role in the TARP program, in my opinion, place him in at least a very questionable category on fiscal issues.  The TARP program should be called the Bail Out Wall Street Big Bankers program.  It put the federal government in the corporate boardrooms as an owner – a place it should never be in in a free enterprise economic system.

In addition, the companies the TARP program bailed out were, for the most part, companies that made very bad business decisions and should have been allowed to fail.  Even with TARP bailouts, many, many employees of these companies (who did not make the bad decisions for their employers) lost their jobs anyway.  Finally these big banks now have cash in their coffers but they are generally not lending to small businesses who find capital still very difficult to come by almost six years after the 2008 crisis.  Regular consumers also are still having a harder time obtaining loans, etc.  In short TARP was great for Wall Street but not for Main Street where the rest of us live.  Many on the left also opposed TARP which could hurt Mr. Kashkari’s prospects with voters in June.

This is the bailout program Mr. Kashkari is so proud of and is his only governmental claim to fame.  To me this does not make him qualified for the Governor’s office.

In the June “top two” primary election, we will most likely be given the choice of Governor Jerry Brown, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, Neel Kashkari and now Mayor Andrew Blount of Laguna Hills plus two or three more minor candidates.  Of course a late entry by another more established Republican candidate like Congressman Darrell Issa would up end the race – he has money, a very good track record, good name ID, etc.  But so far neither Mr. Issa nor any other well-known Republican has said they are even interested in entering the race.

Can Mr. Kashkari best Mr. Donnelly and now Andrew Blount in June to be one of the “top two” for the run off in November?  Yes he may do so.  But it is not “inevitable.”  First – voters in the “top two” primary vote for one of all the candidates – not for which Republican or Democrat they like.  Voters who like Jerry Brown over Tim Donnelly are going to vote for Jerry Brown not Mr. Kashkari.  That leaves voters who do not like Mr. Brown which will include most Republicans and many decline to state voters.  I will not predict how all Republicans will vote.  But I will predict that many fiscal and social conservative Republicans like me will choose Mr. Donnelly as more in line with their beliefs on public policy than Mr. Kashkari plus Mr. Donnelly’s experience at holding elected office.  I do not yet know enough about Mr. Blount (who describes himself as a Libertarian) to give any opinions about what voters will be attracted to him.  A lot will depend on how Mr. Donnelly, Mr. Kashkari and Mr. Blount conduct themselves on the campaign trial.

As for Decline to State voters – many are former Republicans who left the party for one reason or another.  For those who felt the party was too conservative – Mr. Kashkari might be their cup of tea.  But for those who felt the CRP was not consistent in presenting candidates and elected officials whose positions and decisions adhere to the Party’s own platform – it is illogical to think they would vote for Mr. Kashkari.   Some will vote for Tim Donnelly, some may vote for Andrew Blount and some may just skip that part of the ballot.

So I would say it is a toss up as to whether or not Mr. Kashkari will face Governor Brown in November.   But my vote in June will not be for Mr. Kashkari – that tune I have heard before and is not a dance I chose to join in.

Am I supporting Assemblyman Donnelly?  I have not given him any money or endorsed him  (or any other candidate at this point).  That may change, as we get closer to June.  Also, I am a practicing attorney and a Republican activist for limited and constitutional government.  I am not on any candidates’ payroll and I do not earn a living as a political consultant.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »