OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Carolyn Cavecche’

BOE: Mission Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths Enters the Race

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 7, 2018

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths
(R-Mission Viejo)

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo) has entered the race for the State Board of Equalization seat being vacated by BOE Chairwoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point), who is not seeking re-election in order to run for the 49th Congressional District seat of retiring Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista).  The massive BOE seat includes all of Imperial, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties, with small slivers of San Bernardino County.

Raths join a race that already includes State Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine), former Assemblyman Ken Lopez-Maddox (D-Dana Point), former Councilman John F. Kelley (R-Tustin), and Board of Equalization employee David Dodson (D-Dana Point).  Orange County Water District Director and former City Councilman Denis Bilodeau (R-Orange) is exploring his candidacy for the seat.  Orange County Taxpayers Association President and CEO Carolyn Cavecche (R-Orange) ruled out running shortly before Senator Anderson entered the race.  (Here’s OC Political’s coverage of Anderson and Lopez-Maddox entering the BOE race, along with Lopez-Maddox’s unexpected party switch.  Here’s OC Political’s coverage of Bilodeau and Cavecche’s explorations of the BOE race that also discusses Kelley.)

Raths first ran for elected office in 2014 when he ran for the 45th Congressional District after Congressman John Campbell (R-Irvine) announced his retirement.  State Senator Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) won 45% of the vote in the top-two primary, with Drew Leavens (D-Poway) winning 28%, Raths 24%, and Al Salehi (NPP-Buena Park) 3%.  Since he did not make it to the general election for the Congressional seat, Raths was able to run for Mission Viejo City Council, in which the retired Marine Colonel was the top vote-getter in a race that saw two incumbent Councilmembers defeated.

In 2016, first-term Councilman Raths challenged first-term Congresswoman Walters’s re-election bid.  Walters won 41% of the vote in the top-two primary, with Ron Varasteh (D-Irvine) winning 28%, Raths 19%, and Max Gouron (D-Tustin) 12%.

Posted in Board of Equalization, Mission Viejo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

BOE: Cavecche & Bilodeau Exploring Candidacies

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 12, 2018

Carolyn Cavecche & Denis Bilodeau

Carolyn Cavecche and Denis Bilodeau

With Board of Equalization Chairwoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) ending her BOE re-election bid in order to run for the 49th Congressional District seat after Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) announced his decision not to seek re-election, former and current elected officials across Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial Counties are contemplating whether to launch bids to replace Harkey in the massive BOE district that covers 1/4 of California’s population.

Multiple sources inform OC Political that Orange County Taxpayers Association President and CEO Carolyn Cavecche (R-Orange) is examining whether she will launch a bid for BOE, the nation’s only elected tax board, since Harkey switched to CD-49.  Cavecche previously won a 2001 special election and 2002 regular election to the Orange City Council and then won three elections for Mayor of Orange in 2006, 2008, and 2010, terming out as Mayor in 2012.  Cavecche would bring a formidable ballot designation of “Taxpayer Association President,” “Taxpayer Association CEO,” or “Taxpayer Advocate.”  Harkey used “Taxpayer Advocate/Assemblywoman” as her ballot designation and defeated former Assemblymembers Van Tran and Shirley Horton.  My long-ago former employer, George Runner, won a hotly-contested BOE race in 2010 with a 10% margin of victory, using “Senator/Taxpayer Advocate” as his ballot designation, defeating Acting Equalization Board Member (and former Assemblywoman) Barbara Alby and former Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi.

Sources have also stated that Orange County Water District Board Member Denis Bilodeau (R-Orange) is pursuing a slate mailer strategy for the BOE race since Harkey switched to CD-49.  Bilodeau won two elections to the Orange City Council in 2006 and 2010, terming out of the Council in 2014.  He also won five elections to represent Orange, Villa Park, and portions of Tustin on the water board in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.  Bilodeau is also Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s Chief of Staff.  Bilodeau is reportedly making slate reservations for BOE, following the strategy that put Businessman/Corporate Controller Claude Parrish into the BOE seat in 1998.  Both of his successors, Michelle Steel and Diane Harkey, also used an aggressive slate strategy.

Former Councilman John F. Kelly (R-Tustin) had pulled papers to run against Harkey.  He won only 11% of the vote when he ran against her in 2014.  A former long-time tobacco shop owner, Kelly does have an odd boost in name ID now, thanks to White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.  Former Tobacco Shop Owner Kelly served one term on the Tustin City Council from 1986-1990, having been elected to office at the age of 24 and defeated for re-election at the age of 28.  He also made an ill-fated bid for Congress in 1988 for the seat eventually won by Chris Cox (who was succeeded by John Campbell who was succeeded by Mimi Walters).  No word on if Kelly will continue his campaign, now that Harkey is out.

The four most recent people to have held this seat and their current positions are:

Harkey and Steel used the combined ballot designation and slates strategy to win the seat. In 2014, Harkey bought up most of the slates and used a ballot designation of “Taxpayer Advocate/Assemblywoman” to defeat former Assemblymembers Van Tran and Shirley Horton after forcing Senator Mark Wyland out of the race.  In 2006, Steel used a ballot designation of “Equalization Boardmember’s Deputy” and bought up most of the slates to defeat Assemblyman Ray Haynes.

With Cavecche holding down the best ballot designation, if Bilodeau does hoover up all the slates, this will be the most closely-contested BOE race since 1998.  Lacking a great ballot designation in 1998, Parrish bought up every possible slate to defeat the formidable ballot designation of “Equalization Boardmember’s Deputy” Craig Wilson.  Parrish beat Wilson by a tiny margin of 0.7%.

Posted in Board of Equalization, Orange, Orange County Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Half are Republicans, Half are Democrats, and Other Random Stats on Orange County’s Directly-Elected Mayors

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 20, 2012

The New Republican Irvine City Council Majority:
Councilman Jeff Lalloway, Councilwoman-Elect Christina Shea, and Mayor-Elect Steven Choi

Partisan Breakdown

Since 2004, Republicans have held a 4-2 advantage among Orange County’s directly-elected mayors:

  • Anaheim: Tom Tait (since 2010), Curt Pringle (2002-2010)
  • Garden Grove: Bill Dalton (2004-2012)
  • Orange: Carolyn Cavecche (2006-2012), Mark Murphy (2000-2006)
  • Westminster: Margie Rice (Republican 2004-2012; Democrat 2000-2004)

The two Democrats were:

  • Irvine: Sukhee Kang (2008-2012), Beth Krom (2004-2008)
  • Santa Ana: Miguel Pulido (since 1994)

Anaheim’s Tait has Orange County’s only four-year mayoral seat, so he was not up for election this year. Major changes were in store with three mayors termed out (Garden Grove’s Dalton, Irvine’s Kang, and Orange’s Cavecche) and one mayor voluntarily retiring (Westminster’s Rice), leaving only Santa Ana’s Pulido seeking re-election this year.

While Steven Choi captured the Irvine mayoral seat for the Republicans, Bruce Broadwater of Garden Grove and Tita Smith of Orange captured their respective mayor’s posts for the Democrats.

The Republicans are:

  • Anaheim: Tom Tait (term limit: 2018)
  • Irvine: Steven Choi (term limit: 2016)
  • Westminster: Tri Ta (no term limit)

The Democrats are:

  • Garden Grove: Bruce Broadwater (term limit: 2020)
  • Orange: Tita Smith (term limit: 2018)
  • Santa Ana: Miguel Pulido (term limit: 2020)

It could be worse though, like the 2000-2002 line-up of directly-elected mayors, which had Orange’s Mark Murphy as the sole Republican:

  • Anaheim: Tom Daly (1992-2002)
  • Garden Grove: Bruce Broadwater (1994-2004)
  • Irvine: Larry Agran (2000-2004)
  • Orange: Mark Murphy (2000-2006)
  • Santa Ana: Miguel Pulido (since 1994)
  • Westminster: Margie Rice (2000-2004 as a Democrat; 2004-2012 as a Republican)

2012 Demographics

An odd sidenote about 2012: in an election that saw Asian Americans vote 3-1 for Barack Obama, Orange County’s Asian American directly-elected mayors went from consisting of one Democrat (Kang) to consisting of two Republicans (Choi and Ta).

While Cavecche was replaced by Smith in Orange, women lost ground as Rice was replaced by Ta in Westminster.

Term Limits

Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana have eight-year term limits (two four-year terms in Anaheim and four two-year terms in Garden Grove and Santa Ana).  Orange has a six-year term limit (three two-year terms).  Irvine has a four-year term limit (two two-year terms).  Westminster has no term limits (two-year terms).

Santa Ana’s mayoral term limit is the newest, having been adopted this month.  Irvine’s mayoral term limit is the oldest, taking effect in 1991.

Anaheim has the toughest term limit on Councilmembers who want to be Mayor.  A first-term Councilmember running for Mayor may only serve one mayoral term.  A second-term Councilmember may not run for Mayor.

Excluding Westminster’s non-limit, Garden Grove and Irvine have the most generous term limit for Councilmembers who want to be Mayor.  In both of those cities, when Councilmembers term out, they can run for Mayor, and when they term out as Mayor, they can run for Council, in a never-ending merry-go-round.

Age

After the 2012 election, the mayoral median age is 60.5 with a mean age is 59.3:

  • Garden Grove: Bruce Broadwater (74)
  • Irvine: Steven Choi (68)
  • Orange: Tita Smith (65)
  • Santa Ana: Miguel Pulido (56)
  • Anaheim: Tom Tait (54)
  • Westminster: Tri Ta (39)

Before the 2012 election, the mayoral median age was 58 with a mean age of 62.3:

  • Westminster: Margie Rice (83)
  • Garden Grove: Bill Dalton (69)
  • Irvine: Sukhee Kang (60)
  • Santa Ana: Miguel Pulido (56)
  • Anaheim: Tom Tait (54)
  • Orange: Carolyn Cavecche (52)

The biggest age change was in Westminster, where Margie Rice was replaced by Tri Ta, who is 44 years younger than her.  The smallest age change (excluding Tait and Pulido, for obvious reasons) was in Garden Grove, where Bill Dalton was replaced by Bruce Broadwater, who is 5 years older than him.

While Westminster had a dramatic age decrease for mayor, Garden Grove, Irvine, and Orange all had age increases for mayor.

The Democrat median and mean ages both increased from 58 to 65.

The Republican median age decreased from 61.5 to 54 while the Republican mean age decreased from 64.5 to 53.7.

Posted in Anaheim, Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Santa Ana, Westminster | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Eight File for Orange City Council: Alvarez, Grangoff, Labrado, and Murphy Clear Frontrunners

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 14, 2012

Mike Alvarez

Mike Alvarez

Ray Grangoff

Ray Grangoff

Larry Labrado

Larry Labrado

Mark Murphy

Mark Murphy

Eight people filed for Orange City Council by the close of filing Friday.  Two council seats are up, and they are held by termed-out Councilmembers Jon Dumitru (R) and Tita Smith (D), so there are no eligible incumbents in this race.  In alphabetical order by last name, the nine candidates (and their ballot designations) are:

  • Mike Alvarez (R) – Businessman
  • Richard Callahan (R) – Financial Professional/Author
  • Brian A. Del Vecchio (R) – Businessman/Educator
  • Robert L. Douglas (D) – Orange Business Owner
  • Ray Grangoff (R) – City of Orange Planning Commissioner
  • Lawrence R. “Larry” Labrado (D) – Governing Board Member, Rancho Santiago Community College District
  • Mark A. Murphy (R) – Businessman
  • Josh Nothom (D) – Educator

I’ll get back to Alvarez, Grangoff, Labrado, and Murphy in a minute, but let me briefly describe the other four first.  Douglas is a perennial candidate for council, having run in the last four elections, and only once surpassing 11% of the vote.  Callahan is a frequent letter writer to the Orange County Registerand is a former corporate executive, having been vice president and controller of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group.  Del Vecchio is a salesman, currently a national account representative at Equus Products (Equus sells “diagnostic & scan tools, test equipment, gauges and tachometers” for cars).  Nothom is a teacher at the Lila School of Orange County, is currently developing the Joberu Community School, and is also the lead guitarist in a band called ReaLEyeZ.

Here are the Big Four:

  • Alvarez is a former Orange City Councilman, who termed out in 2004.  He made an unsuccessful bid for Mayor in 2006 when Carolyn Cavecche defeated him 55.7%-33.2%.
  • Labrado is a sitting elected member of the Rancho Santiago Community College District, representing the people of Orange on that board since 1994.
  • Grangoff is an Orange Planning Commissioner.  He’s also Deputy Chief of Staff to Supervisor Pat Bates and was an elected official at the age of 18 when he was a school board member before opting not to run for re-election to attend graduate school.
  • Murphy is a former Orange Mayor and City Councilman, who termed out in 2010.  He was elected by the people of Orange in 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.

Posted in Orange | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Orange Councilman Jon Dumitru Proposes Business License Amnesty Program

Posted by OC Insider on May 2, 2012

On April 24, Orange Councilman Jon Dumitru proposed a business license amnesty program after being approached by a business that was being sued by the City of Orange.

The strangest thing about this business was that it had never actually opened – it only got the license because it was considering opening a branch in Orange but decided to let its license expire when it did not open the Orange branch.  However, the City of Orange is now threatening to sue the business.  Talk about bureaucratic insanity!

Dumitru proposed an awesome idea: a business license amnesty program.  This would allow businesses that have fallen behind on  license payments but not be forced to go to court.  In other words, if the businesses just pay their back fees, they won’t be pursued by the City.

Councilman Fred Whitaker supported the idea of allowing closed businesses to just let their licenses lapse without having to file any other paperwork.  Whitaker also seemed interested in Dumitru’s business license amnesty program.

Mayor Carolyn Cavecche supported Dumitru’s business license amnesty program.

Kudos to the Dumitru and the Orange Council for trying to ease the burden of government on small businesses during these challenging economic times.  It’s actions like theirs that get government out of the way and help start our economic recovery.

Here’s a transcript of the discussion from the April 24 Orange Council meeting…

Councilman Jon Dumitru: And real quickly, and I know you’ve [Mayor Carolyn Cavecche] been approached and I was approached last night. That’s why this is kind of last moment, but we have a business owner actually from the city of Tustin that approached me. It’s a traffic school, and I guess they at some point in time, were considering opening up a branch office here in the City of Orange.

They had pulled a business license but they had never actually opened, and in the process of the last year, their business license, of course, in Orange they let expire since they no longer operated, or ever operated, and now they’re being threatened with some legal action from the City.

I know we need to kind of get this fast-tracked. Their attorney reached out to me yesterday, Mr. English, about the procedure that has been going on.

But it, really overnight, as I’ve been thinking about this more and more, is we have a number of businesses actually that don’t pull or don’t renew their business licenses and then they start falling further and further behind, and the fees start mounting, and then there’s threats of court action. And I really think, it might behoove the City if we offer sort of a business license amnesty.

You know a number of times during our budgets, budget cycles, have asked to eliminate business license fees, but if we offered amnesty and allow these folks and these businesses to really get kind of government off their back. And the ability to come back and become compliant with what the city requires. It will also get their business licenses up to date and will end, also end, some of the City Attorney work from having to go to court and pursue these small businesses that are struggling these days, but I know – and it’s, I wrote it down, I wrote it down – Times Traffic School, but I think there’s another word to it. And I know, I think they’ve reached out to you [Cavecche], as well.

Mayor Carolyn Cavecche: Actually, I met with one of the City Attorneys on this today…

Dumitru: Oh perfect.

Cavecche: …already, so…

Dumitru: I just thought I’d bring that forward and maybe we can get staff to kind of put together a list or at least a kind of a rough number of how many businesses in our city are non-compliant with the business licenses. And maybe kick around the idea here in the near future of an amnesty program to really allow these businesses to succeed.

Cavecche: Any comments at all? Mr. Whitaker.

Councilman Fred Whitaker: Well, I think there’s kind of two elements. The first would be we need to really look at our code and see if somebody simply doesn’t renew because they’re no longer in business, how do we make sure that we just let that go? I mean somebody should have the freedom to not renew and not have to do anything about that.

And then the second would be, you know: how many folks are actually in business and not compliant and then, you know, just like a code enforcement thing, is there an amnesty program that we can have for those people to help them through and get back to the program? To me, it’s two different things we need to look at.

Cavecche: Any comments? Mr. Bilodeau?

Mayor Pro Tem Denis Bilodeau: Not on this one. Something else.

Cavecche: Okay.  You know, I’m fine with that too. So, Mr. Dumitru, why don’t you sit down and work with Rich Jacobs, our finance director, and kind of get a feel for what we have as far as, or with Mr. [City Manager John] Sibley, and if you’ll take care of that and work with him on that and…

Dumitru: Absolutely…

Cavecche: …kind of get a feel for what we’ve got going on that and then staff can bring that back at a future date, or brief us on it to kind of get a feel for how much is out there as well.

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