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Posts Tagged ‘Greg Raths’

Live from the 45th Congressional District CRA Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 21, 2019

We are live from the 45th Congressional District forum for Republican candidates sponsored by the California Republican Assembly.  Participating are the four major Republican candidates:

Hosted at the Norman P. Murray Community Center in Mission Viejo by the the Saddleback Republican Assembly, Tustin Area Republican Assembly, and Anaheim Republican Assembly, the forum is moderated by OC Political’s own Craig Alexander, who is an attorney from Dana Point and former State CRA Executive Vice President.

Much appreciation to the City of Mission Viejo for supplying free WiFi.  (Most OC Political live-blogs are done typing into a smartphone due to most venues not having WiFi.  Thanks to the free WiFi, this live-blog will be done on computer, so there’ll be even more detail than usual.)

After the invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, and Star-Spangled Banner, moderator Craig Alexander is introduced.  He explains the candidate order was by random draw.  There will be several questions from the forum organizers, and then there will be audience-submitted questions via index cards.  CRA delegates will vote on a potential endorsement on January 11.

90-second opening statements begin at 7:20.

Don Sedgwick grew up in San Juan Capistrano and raised his four children here with his wife.  He served 18 years on the Saddleback School Board and two terms on the City Council, more elected experience than all the Democrats and Republicans combined in the CD-45 race.  He says Katie Porter does not reflect the values of the district.  He was ASB President, coached his children’s youth sports, and is involved in the community.  He says, “the freedoms of our country are at stake in this country…our economy is headed toward socialism, and I will do something to reverse that.”

Greg Raths welcomes everyone to Mission Viejo jokingly calling it “home field advantage.”  He introduces his wife as the First Lady of Mission Viejo.  He notes his city is the second largest in the district.  Six years ago, his children had grown up; he had retired after 30 years in the military, including assignments in the White House and Pentagon; and he decided to run for Congress after the election of Barack Obama.  Then he got elected to the City Council after his unsuccessful bid for Congress.

Lisa Sparks is Dean of Communications at Chapman University and serves this area on the Orange County Board of Education.  She speaks of her Midwestern upbringing and family values.  She has been a Republican since age 2.  She raised three of her four children in the 45th District.  She has written 12 books and published numerous articles.  As a college educator, she was frustrated with the way K-12 schools were treating students.  She decided to run for Congress on her father’s 80th birthday.

Peggy Huang is a Yorba Linda Councilwoman and Deputy Attorney General.  She came to the U.S. at the age of 7 after waiting 12 years to legally enter the country.  She described her Christian family fleeing from socialism.  She is frightened by the tyranny of socialism and does not want anyone in the room to endure what her family did.  She warns of the path that Katie Porter will lead us down.  At the Department of Justice, she worked to protect children.  She notes that she has worked on the issues that matter to the district.

7:28: Questions begin. Alexander asks which committees the candidates would like to serve on.

Raths picks Armed Forces (Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee), Homeland Security (Border Security subcommittee), Intelligence (National Security Agency subcommittee), Oversight (National Security subcommittee), Aeronautics, and Veterans Affairs.

Sparks picks Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education as well as Homeland Security, particularly on cybersecurity.

Huang picks Health and Human Services, Transportation, Commerce, Judiciary (Immigration subcommittee), Natural Resources (water subcommittee), Foreign Affairs, and Energy.

Sedgwick picks Education, Budget, and Judiciary.

7:32 PM: Alexander asks which caucuses the candidates would like to serve on.

Sparks picks Republican Study Committee and is interested in the Blue Dog Caucus.

Huang picks the Tuesday Group, the Freedom Caucus, the Asian-American Caucus, and the Taiwan Caucus.

Sedgwick picks the Freedom Caucus and the Problem-Solvers Caucus.  He says this election is about freedom versus socialism.  He says he will solve problems and get things done.

Raths picks the Freedom Caucus and the Problem-Solvers Caucus.  He speaks of speaking with Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows of the Freedom Caucus.  He says as a Marine, he took Marines of all parties into battle and in Congress, he will represent people of all parties.

7:35 PM: Alexander asks about the Equality Act (HR 5) and how they would have voted and why.

Huang says she would have opposed it to protect religious freedom.  She fears the risks to the First Amendment in the present environment, particularly due to social justice.  She says losing religious freedom will threaten Second and Fourth Amendment rights.

Sedgwick says Porter referred to thoughts and minds without prayer after a tragedy.  He says there should be separation of church and state but state should not be separate from God.  Doctors should not be forced to provide services they object to and religious organizations should not be required to insure services they object to.

Raths argues the federal government’s reach has gone too far.  He says national defense, common currency, and interstate commerce are its responsibilities.  He says government should not be in people’s bedrooms.

Sparks notes that protesters are trying to take away the ability to have invocations at the board of education.  She expresses agreement with the other candidates.

7:40 PM: Alexander asks Save the Internet Act (HR 1644) which would restore Obama-era regulations for net neutrality.

Sedgwick speaks of the importance of the Internet being able to transmit information, such as President Trump’s tweets.  He speaks out in opposition to hate speech but supports freedom of speech on the Internet.  He says parents should be able to opt out of things they object to in school.

Raths says he doesn’t know the details of HR 1644, but the federal government needs to get out of people’s homes.  He says his goal is to make Katie Porter a one-term Congresswoman.  She joined the Progressive Caucus and called for impeaching Trump.  Raths notes the district is Republican because every City Council in the district has a Republican majority.

Sparks speaks in support of free speech and speaks of encouraging it at Chapman University, noting the event they sponsored with Robert Gibbs and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  She says she despises hate speech but it must be protected under free speech.

Huang says the question was about net neutrality.  She notes the regulation forbids cable companies from charging other companies for using their Internet cables.  She says taxpayer dollars should not be used to pick winners and losers.  She says the market should decide.

7:44 PM: Alexander asks about signing the discharge petition to allow a vote on SR 962, which would provide immediate medical care for a child born alive after a failed abortion.

Raths speaks in opposition to abortion and urges adoption.  He opposes late-term abortions and all other forms of abortion.

Sparks says she is pro-life and especially opposes late-term abortions.  She supports adoption instead of abortion.

Huang says she would support the discharge petition.  She says they need to support President Trump.  She speaks of the Susan B. Anthony health clinics that provide women’s health services in contrast to Planned Parenthood, which she refers to as an abortion group masquerading as women’s health services.

Sedgwick says it took seven years for him and his wife to have children and were initially told they wouldn’t have any.  He expresses support for life and is pro-life.  He expresses opposition to Planned Parenthood programs in the schools.

7:49 PM: Alexander asks if the candidates had any reason where they wouldn’t vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

All four support defunding Planned Parenthood without reservation.

Sparks calls it an easy question.

Huang supports funding health groups like Susan B. Anthony instead of Planned Parenthood.

Sedgwick says Katie Porter is out of touch with the district.

Raths expresses disappointment that Trump and the Republican Congress did not do this in 2017-18.  He speaks of seeing the movie Unplanned.

7:52 PM: Alexander asks the first audience question.  The question asks for opinions on DACA, comprehensive immigration reform, and border security.

Huang supports immigration reform.  Her parents waited 12 years to get permission to enter the U.S. She calls for reform of skilled visas vs. unskilled visas.  She does not support DACA. She says federal law dictated that children under the age of 5 would be presumed to be Americans if found in the U.S.  She worked on legislation to undo that, but it was vetoed by President Bill Clinton.

Sedgwick wants to work on Day 1 to end illegal immigration.  He says it is not compassionate to expose children to human trafficking, the drug trade, and immigration coyotes.  He says the U.S. is a nation of laws and that sanctuary cities are wrong.

Raths says borders must be secured because drugs and human trafficking are a major problem.  He served as a Marine with DACA Marines.  He will not send them to a country of birth that they do not know.  He wants immigration reform.  The U.S. needs labor because there are 7,000,000 open jobs and only 6,000,000 unemployed.

Sparks wants to secure borders.  Her husband waited 10 years to immigrate and is finally a citizen.  Her stepson took 12 years to immigrate and still only has a green card because the system is so slow.  She has DACA students at Chapman.  She says the U.S. needs to know who is entering the country.

7:57 PM: Alexander asks the candidates: what would be their top three legislative priorities in Congress?

Sedgwick says the federal government should get out of the way on education.  He wants to pass a federal opt-out law, noting that parents can opt-out of everything by homeschooling, so parents should be able to opt out of individual things in schools.  He wants to work toward eliminating tariffs because he supports free trade.

Raths wants Veterans Affairs to be run better.  He says Trump has made progress but needs to do more.  He expresses concern about pay for medical personnel at the VA.  He wants a constitutional amendment for term limits for Congress, 6 terms in the House and 2 terms in the Senate.  He wants to break up health company cartels and allow health care across state lines while protecting pre-existing conditions.

Sparks wants to allow crossing state lines and protect pre-existing conditions.  She wants to find ways to allow 529 funds to provide relief for people who are caring for both their parents and their children.

Huang supports a bipartisan bill (Feinstein and Stivers) that will address mental health and homelessness, which Katie Porter has failed to coauthor.  She wants bonuses for employees with student loans where the bonus is not taxed for employees or employers.

8:02 PM: Alexander asks which think tanks would advise the candidates in the House.

Raths says he would work with the Club for Growth, who’s he’s met with.  He says free college is available if you join the Marine Corps, and you won’t have student loans.

Sparks picks the Heritage Foundation, Club for Growth, and Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, all of which she has already worked with.

Huang picks the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Children’s Defense Fund, all of which she has already worked with.

Sedgwick picks the Club for Growth, who he’s worked with.  He notes he is the only businessman and understands the challenges businesses face.  He expresses disgust that Katie Porter blasts “CEOs when she hasn’t even run the corner store.”  He says the people in the audience are the best think tank.

8:05 PM: Alexander slightly alters an audience question: the question asks how they support diverse ethnic groups in California and voice their concerns.

Sparks says the Republican Party needs to reach out to all groups and peoples.  She says the “Democrats have taken a lot of those groups hostage.”

Huang notes she is the only Asian-American on the stage.  She says she does not run on identity politics but she is running on freedom and liberty.  She says common issues are the best way to reach out to these groups because they all desire freedom and liberty.  She says Democrats have called minorities victims.  She says America is the land of opportunity where she could come not speaking English and then finds herself running for Congress.

Sedgwick speaks in Spanish (OC Political’s Spanish is rusty from college).  He says Hispanics are an important part of the fabric of the community.  He says most of his employees are Hispanics, and they support his stance on immigration.

Raths says television keeps talking about racists.  In the military, he says everyone worked together regardless of race.  He sees that as Mayor in his city.  He will fight racism and discrimination in Congress.  He says racism is overblown by the media.

8:10 PM: An audience question asks for candidates’ opinions on Common Core.

Huang has two children, and Common Core math makes no sense.  She calls for parental rights, local control, and electing school board members who will stand up to liberal mandates.  She says Integrated Science does not teach legitimate science and fails to prepare students for the future.

Sedgwick was President of the California School Boards Association even though he is a conservative.  Many people would boo him but others would come up to him privately to express support.  He calls for more local control and parental rights.

Raths’s wife was a teacher, and his daughters are both teachers.  He was a substitute teacher and jokes that it was the worst job he ever had, expressing his admiration for teachers doing this difficult work.  He calls for local control and getting the federal government out.

Sparks speaks of the craziness of Common Core that she is seeing on the County Board of Education.  She expresses concern about California Health Youth Act (CHYA) and holding a forum to inform parents.  She says health is the window dressing that is used to sneak all sorts of programs into schools.

8:15 PM: Alexander asks: What is your opinion on the Education Savings Accounts for Military Families Act which would allow military families to redirect funds for their children’s education to private school.

Sedgwick wants to give military families any leg up.  He wants to give more opportunities to children from Gold Star Families with increased educational tax deductions.  He wants the private sector healthcare expenses to be reimbursed for the military.

Raths is on the Orange County Veterans’ Advisory Committee for the Board of Supervisors.  He supports local nonprofit organizations assisting veterans in addition to the VA.

Sparks proposes each year of service for a military servicemember resulting in a year of free education for the military servicemember’s child.

Huang notes that military families are often forgotten.  She wants strong social networks and mental health care for military families, not just military servicemembers.  She wants to support nonprofits because government involvement results in inefficiencies from funding bureaucracy.

8:20 PM: Alexander asks: Do you agree with President Trump’s efforts for a better deal with China, including tariffs?

Raths says China nearly became the economic superpower until President Trump stopped them.  He says Trump has done a phenomenal job.  He doesn’t normally support tariffs but has found the tariffs on China are reasonable.

Sparks says “America wins when we lead at home and abroad.”  She praises the USMCA as an improvement over NAFTA.  She warns tariffs are taxes that are passed on to American consumers but has been surprised how well the tariffs on China are working.

Huang calls for student visa reform because students get shipped back to their countries and compete against the U.S.  She opposes tariffs because she is a free-market person.  She says tariffs hurt American consumers and companies.

Sedgwick says tariffs are a tax on consumers.  He supports President Trump’s efforts but believes it will eventually reach “zero, zero” tariffs.  He has been on Fox News six times in the past four months.  He warns the country to look to California to see what would happen if one of the Democrats wins the presidency.

8:26 PM: Alexander asks about policy on Iran and North Korea.

Sparks supports sanctions on Iran and North Korea.  She supports pressuring these dictatorships.

Huang supports Trump policy on Iran and North Korea.  She calls for putting enough resources for the 7th Fleet to strengthen the first line of defense against North Korea: South Korea and Japan.  She wants to protect Israel.

Sedgwick says the role of government is protection from threats, foreign and domestic.  He says socialism is a domestic threat.  He says the border needs to be protected.  He says Trump is right to open communications with North Korea.  He wants to keep the military out of battle.  He wants diplomatic solutions as much as possible.

Raths served two tours of duty in Japan and South Korea.  He had seven tours of duty in the Middle East.  He supports protecting Japan, South Korea, and Israel.  He says it is time to reduce American troops in “countries that don’t like us.”  He says troops should not be in Syria or Lebanon.

8:30 PM: Alexander asks an audience question asking about protecting the Second Amendment and opposing the Assault Weapons Ban.

Huang says she supports the Second Amendment.  She says she opposes all bans and jokes about the straw ban.  She says bans punish responsible people, not criminals.  She wants to reform HIPPA to allow families to speak to medical personnel about relatives’ mental health.

Sedgwick supports the Second Amendment and says, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  He notes gun control would not have prevented the Saugus High School shooting because the shooter already broke existing gun control laws.  He calls for more mental health services.

Raths says the Constitution is clear about the right to bear arms.  He says 99.9% of gunowners are responsible people.  He says the NRA has fantastic gun safety education programs.

Sparks supports the Second Amendment.  She speaks of going shooting with her family.  She notes her parents sent her to camp to get rifle training as a youth.  Her family was very diligent about gun safety.  She says families need to be helped when there are mental health problems in the home.

8:34 PM: Alexander asks the last audience question: “What do you plan to do when you get to Congress about the national debt?”

Sedgwick notes Laguna Hills will be debt free in 3 years.  When he joined OCFA six years ago, he put together a “snowball” plan to pay off the pension liability; he notes interest payments have decreased by nearly $25 million as a result.  He says that attitude is needed to balance the national budget instead of just supporting the presented budget.

Raths says Mission Viejo had a $6 million surplus this year due to $4 million in unexpected revenue and $2 million in cost savings.  He opposes omnibus bills.  He wants a 10% phased-in reduction of federal bureaucracy.

Sparks blasts the size of the deficit.  She opposes the previous budget deal.  She speaks of being on the County Board of Education, where she voted to remove 1% of the budget from expenses for lobbying and travel, and is fighting the Superintendent on that.

Huang notes Yorba Linda is the first city with OpenGov to show every dollar of City expenditures online.  She would start with Health and Human Services and with Education.  She calls for eliminating certain federal agencies, noting there are several in the EPA that should be eliminated.

8:39 PM: Alexander thanks the organizers and discusses the CRA.

8:41 PM: Closing statements begin.

Raths thanks the audience for attending.  He speaks of a life of service: being a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, 30 years as a Marine, 5 years as a Councilmember and now Mayor, and now he wants to go to Congress to represent the people of the 45th District.  He will ensure Katie Porter is a one-term Congresswoman.

Sparks is “an accomplished scholar-teacher and a builder.”  She built the Chapman University School of Communications.  She has only been in politics for a couple years.  She will represent the people of the district and fight for them just as she is fighting for freedom of speech through her work at Chapman.  She says Porter does not represent the district, and Sparks will be the one to beat her.

Huang thanks the audience for attending.  She says next month marks the 30th anniversary of her citizenship and her registration as a Republican the day she was naturalized.  She worked on affordable housing and human trafficking not through reading about them but by working in the trenches with people directly.  She says she worked on the Unabomber case.  She has fought sex trafficking and the drug trade.  She says Porter has worked in theory brainwashing the young offering nothing of value to the people of the district.

Sedgwick says a democracy is only as great as its people.  He wants to strengthen parent rights, local schools, institutions of faith, and the free-market economy.  He wants Congress to not be paid if they don’t pass a budget; he wants to run government more like business.  His city contracts for most services.  They have no pension liability because they have few employees.  He called it ironic that the LA City Council was complaining about the expense of construction when it was their regulations that made it so expensive in the first place.

8:47 PM: Alexander thanks the candidates, the organizers, and the audience and adjourns the forum.  Two raffle prizes (a Thanksgiving basket and a Trump hat) are awarded to the audience.

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45th Congressional District Republican Candidate Forum Hosted by CRA on November 21, 2019

Posted by Craig P Alexander on October 21, 2019

On November 21, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. the California Republican Assembly will be hosting a Candidate Forum for the major Republican Candidates for the 45th Congressional District which is currently held by Democrat Katie Porter and formerly held by Republican Mimi Walters.  Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. and the Forum will begin at 7:00 p.m.  It is scheduled to end at approximately 8:30 p.m.  The venue location is the Norman P. Murray Community Center (24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA  92692).   The current four major Republican candidates are the Honorable Peggy Huang, the Honorable Greg Raths, the Honorable Don Sedgwick and the Honorable Lisa Sparks. 

The event is being hosted by CRA’s local units in the 45th Congressional District – the Saddleback Republican Assembly, the Tustin Republican Assembly and the Anaheim Republican Assembly.  Former CRA Executive Vice President and attorney Craig Alexander of Dana Point will act as the moderator. CRA Orange County will hold its Orange County Endorsing Convention in early January 2020.

This forum will consist of a series of questions centering in on policy and the candidate’s position on issues regarding their potential responsibilities as a Congressman / woman from the 45th District.  Each candidate will be asked the same questions.   Members of the audience will be able to offer questions to the candidates in writing (not orally) at the event.  No candidate will receive a copy of the questions prior to the Forum event.

The event is open to the public.  For more information regarding this event please contact Saddleback Republican Assembly President Cynthia Cantrelle at cynthiacantrelle@yahoo.com.

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Live from the CD-45 Candidate Forum at OC GOP Central Committee

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 19, 2019

We are live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where tonight’s agenda includes the CD-45 Republican candidate forum and a pair of resolutions opposing recall efforts in Santa Ana and Westminster. The meeting began shortly after 7:00 PM.

Kathy Tavoularis delivers an invocation in memory of the late Orange County Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery, who had served on the Central Committee in the 1990s as Ethics Committee Chairman, Treasurer, and Second Vice Chairman. A number of people holding “Gene James for San Clemente City Council” signs continue talking during the invocation.

Orange County Treasurer Shari Freidenrich speaks in memory of Eric Woolery, while a smaller number of Gene James sign holders continue talking. Freidenrich then leads the Pledge of Allegiance.

Steve Sarkis and Cynthia Thacker are nominated by the 65th District caucus to replace Chris Norby and Jack Bedell. Jeff Barke is nominated by the 72nd District caucus to replace Jim Cunneen. All three nominations are approved unanimously by the full Central Committee.

The roll is taken, and elected officials are introduced.

Central Committee Chairman Fred Whitaker speaks in memory of Eric Woolery.

Whitaker speaks about the Democrats taking the lead in voter registration in Orange County, noting Republicans took the lead back after Democrats gained the lead in the aftermath of Watergate. He also notes Republicans still hold 2/3 of all elected offices in Orange County. He speaks about the importance of conducting voter registration. He speaks of the importance of winning Congressional and legislative seats.

Whitaker introduces the 45th Congressional District candidate forum for the Republicans seeking to unseat Congresswoman Katie Porter (D). He explains each candidate will get the same questions and will not be allowed to attack other Republican candidates.

He notes Democrats do not allow non-members to attend Central Committee while Republicans allow the public to attend, even pointing out a Democrat in attendance.

He requests that audience members be respectful and not yell or shout.

Whitaker introduces the candidates, who get three minutes to deliver opening statements.

Deputy District Attorney Ray Gennawey speaks about his deep roots in the district. He speaks about his work as a prosecutor. He talks about California’s rising crime and rising cost of living. He wants to end sanctuary for violent criminals. He wants to help the 7,000 homeless people in Orange County. He speaks of a human trafficking victim he worked with as a prosecutor and the value of her life.

Yorba Linda Councilwoman Peggy Huang legally immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 7. When she became a citizen, she registered as a Republican and became active in Republican causes. She expresses her support for Donald Trump and says her daughter is the youngest Trump volunteer. She speaks of her work as a Deputy Attorney General. She says she is running for Congress because of immigration, health care, and student loans. She wants to help the next generation with student loans.

Mission Viejo Mayor Greg Raths speaks of marrying his wife in the district, and raising his children and grandchildren in the district. He speaks of his career in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was an Eagle Scout like Gennawey. He discusses 30 years of USMC missions, joining during the Vietnam War. He speaks of his graduate education. He speaks of being assigned to the White House Military Office. He speaks of his election and re-election to the Mission Viejo City Council. He speaks of immigration, the military, personal freedoms, and the Constitution. He filed suit against the State of California over its exclusion of candidates from the presidential ballot.

Laguna Hills Mayor Don Sedgwick notes he is the only candidate who has signed both the front and back of the check. He speaks of curbing regulations that harm business. He speaks of illegal immigration and the rule of law. He notes that Congresswoman Katie Porter is a protege of Senator Elizabeth Warren and one of only two candidates to already be endorsed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He speaks about rising crime.

Orange County Board of Education Trustee Lisa Sparks grew up in a small Midwestern town. There she learned the principles of fiscal responsibility. She is a wife, mother, and the founding dean of the School of Communications at Chapman University. She is an international expert ranked in the top 10 of health care communicators. She speaks of her conservative record on the Orange County Board of Education. She argues Congresswoman Katie Porter is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation due to her liberal record. Sparks currently represents more constituents in the 45th Congressional District than any other candidate. She knows how to communicate to students, and notes UCI precincts went 91% for Porter over Walters.

Whitaker announces a lightning round asking each candidate how they will win the district.

Huang says she has an aggressive plan to walk all district precincts 3 times before the election.

Raths plans to reach out to veterans and win over their votes. His wife taught at UCI, and his children teach in Irvine.

Sedgwick notes his 23 years of experience in elected office in the 45th District surpasses all the other Republicans and Porter combined. He notes he has raised 2/3 of a million dollars already. He will use the money to get his message out to the voters, noting Porter raised $1 million, more than any other Congressional freshman.

Sparks speaks of her family’s roots in the district. She speaks of already representing 35% of the district. She has hired several members from Mimi Walters’s team.

Gennawey will go to places where candidates have not sought voters before. He points to the first-time volunteers in the room who are volunteering for him.

Whitaker asks the candidates what is the top issue in the district.

Raths states veterans are the top issue. He speaks of veteran mental health and suicide. He has spent $700,000 in the past raising his name ID in the district.

Sedgwick states immigration is important but highlights the opioid epidemic’s effect on homelessness.

Sparks notes her husband is an immigrant. She speaks about free market choices for health insurance, allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines. She speaks of her mother’s high cost for life insurance.

Huang speaks of the high cost of health care. She is a cancer survivor. She wants to expand Health Savings Accounts and make them more flexible. She wants free market options to allow people to buy health insurance across state lines. She wants small business owners, like her husband, to be able to get a tax deduction for health insurance.

Gennawey speaks the drug crisis and how it contributes to homelessness.

Whitaker asks how the candidates will deal with the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction limitation in the 2017 tax reform.

Sedgwick calls for lifting the SALT limit because it harms California families. He praises various administration accomplishments but blasts SALT as a detriment.

Sparks says she will fight to lower taxes for Californians. She says the recent tax reforms had 80% of people paying less and 5% of people paying more. She says it has largely helped American taxpayers but the SALT limitation and mortgage limitation must be repealed because it hurts Californians.

Gennawey says he will fight to repeal the SALT limitation but points out it is only a problem because California has high state taxes.

Huang blasts the SALT limitation but praises the economic opportunity zones in the tax reform.

Raths similarly opposes the SALT limitation but praises the rest of the tax reform bill.

Whitaker asks about health care reform.

Sparks speaks about the impact of health care costs upon seniors and families. She calls for an informed scientific approach to alleviate the costs.

Gennawey worked in the House of Representatives when the Affordable Care Act was passed. He says it has been anything but affordable. He calls for lowering prescription costs.

Huang calls for the expansion of Health Savings Accounts and the ability to buy health insurance in the free market across state lines. She speaks of her challenges battling cancer at age 44.

Raths jokes that his Marine recruiter lied to him about getting free health care for life through the VA. He speaks of market approaches on health insurance.

Sedgwick says government cannot afford to provide all things. He calls for a private sector approach, increasing competition in health insurance, including purchases across state lines. He calls for reducing regulations that keep prescription costs artificially high.

Whitaker announces an ultra lightning round. He asks for ways to control spending.

Huang cites various pork barrel projects that should be cut.

Raths has run a balanced budget at the City. He understands the Pentagon budget. He gives the example of a particular type of aircraft that is three times the cost of other military aircraft.

Sedgwick speaks of his budget in Laguna Hills. He calls for examining the proper role of government.

Sparks speaks of balancing the budget as a dean. She warns government cannot tax and spend its way to prosperity.

Gennawey blasts $22 trillion in debt. He says his generation is saddled by the spending of prior generations.

Whitaker asks if the candidates will support the Republican nominee if it is one of the other candidates.

All say yes.

Whitaker asks what endorsement each candidate is proudest of.

Sedgwick cites the endorsement of his entire City Council because they know he is someone who they can work with. He cites his conservative approaches when he was with the California School Board Association.

Sparks lists numerous elected officials and businesspeople but does not specify which one she is proudest of.

Gennawey says former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher gave him a surfboard and his endorsement. He also notes the Deputy District Attorneys have endorsed him.

Huang lists various elected officials but does not specify which one she is proudest of.

Raths lists various elected officials and cites Orange County Assessor Claude Parrish as the one he is most proud of.

Whitaker asks how much each candidate raised in the prior quarter and how much they plan to raise in this quarter.

Sparks raised $151,000. She plans to raise $300,000 more.

Gennawey raised $73,000 and plans to raise as much as he can.

Huang raised $264,000 and is aiming for $300,000.

Raths raised $212,000 and plans to raise $600,000.

Sedgwick raised $625,000 last quarter. He is aiming for nearly $1,000,000. He wants $1,500,000 by the general election.

Whitaker asks who the campaign consultants are.

Gennawey has hired Chip Englander and Michael Antonoupoulos.

Huang has hired Chris Emami, Erik Brown, and Lou Penrose.

Raths has a pro bono campaign consultant, Paul Jensen.

Sedgwick has hired John Thomas.

Sparks has hired seven members of Mimi Walters’s team, including Sam Oh, who is now with a 150-person consulting firm.

Whitaker ask what committee each candidate would want to serve on.

Huang cites Transportation, noting how much in taxes flow from Orange County and how little flows back in transportation dollars.

Raths cites Armed Services, Budget, and Ways & Means.

Sedgwick cites Judiciary, Budget, and Ways & Means. He notes the nation’s judges have a long, profound effect on the country.

Sparks cites Health Care, Education, Budget, and Ways & Means. She states she would like to help recruit more Republican women to run for Congress.

Gennawey cites Judiciary and Armed Services. He wants to help obtain federal funding for an Orange County veterans’ cemetery.

Whitaker asks about student loans and college affordability.

Gennawey notes he and his wife are still paying their student loans. He blasts high loan interest rates and opposes free college.

Huang is still paying her student loans. She calls for a tax deduction for employees who receive employer loan assistance.

Raths calls for more community college attendance, citing his daughters’ experiences. He also calls for limits on student loan interest rates.

Sedgwick opposes free college and questions whether people who already graduated should get refunds.

Sparks is a college dean. She calls for greater financial literacy education in K-12 schools and opposes free college as too expensive.

Sedgwick previously served two terms on Central Committee. He has walked precincts and phone banked for candidates.

Sparks was recruited to run for the Orange County Board of Education. She recalled her father’s values when deciding to run for Congress.

Gennawey speaks of various campaigns he volunteered on, he was College Republicans President, and he encouraged his mother to run for City Council while he was studying for the State Bar Exam. He notes, “She won, and I passed!”

Huang has volunteered for 30 years. She serves on Central Committee as Vice Chair and is a member of the Lincoln Club.

Raths has volunteered for numerous candidates and run in his own election.

After over an hour, the forum is complete.

Whitaker recognizes the RWF. He then recognizes the Volunteer of the Month, Cynthia Thacker.

Whitaker brings up resolutions opposing the recall efforts in Westminster and Santa Ana.

The Central Committee votes unanimously to suspend the rules to consider the resolutions.

The Central Committee then votes unanimously for the resolution to oppose the recall of Westminster Mayor Tri Ta and Councilmembers Kimberly Ho and Chi Charlie Nguyen.

The Central Committee then votes unanimously for the resolution to oppose the recall of Santa Ana Councilwoman Ceci Iglesias, though Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer recuses himself due to a complaint received by his office regarding this recall.

Various officer and club reports are delivered.

Whitaker thanks all the volunteers who helped register voters at the Republican Party booth at the OC Fair. He announces various upcoming opportunities to register voters.

The Central Committee adjourns at 8:58 PM in memory of Eric Woolery.

Posted in 45th Congressional District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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 »

CRA Endorsements for the June 7 Primary Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 19, 2016

CRA_LogoI live-blogged the Orange County CRA Endorsing Convention in this prior post, but I’ve been asked to put a condensed list of the results of the Orange County CRA Endorsing Convention. So here they are:

  • U.S. Representative, 39th District: Ed Royce
  • U.S. Representative, 45th District: Greg Raths
  • U.S. Representative, 46th District: Bob Peterson
  • U.S. Representative, 47th District: Andy Whallon
  • U.S. Representative, 48th District: Dana Rohrabacher
  • U.S. Representative, 49th District: No Endorsement
  • State Senator, 29th District: No Endorsement
  • State Senator, 37th District: John M.W. Moorlach
  • Member of the State Assembly, 55th District: (Los Angeles County will host this endorsing convention)
  • Member of the State Assembly, 65th District: Young Kim
  • Member of the State Assembly, 68th District: Deborah Pauly
  • Member of the State Assembly, 69th District: Ofelia Velarde-Garcia
  • Member of the State Assembly, 72nd District: No Endorsement
  • Member of the State Assembly, 73rd District: William (Bill) Brough
  • Member of the State Assembly, 74th District: Matthew Harper
  • Orange County Supervisor, 1st District: No Endorsement
  • Orange County Supervisor, 3rd District: Todd Spitzer
  • Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 1: Robert M. Hammond
  • Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 3: Ken L. Williams, Jr.
  • Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 4: Zonya Marcenaro-Townsend
  • Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 3: Megan L. Wagner
  • Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 40: No Endorsement
  • Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 48: Karen Lee Schatzle
  • Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 49: No Endorsement
  • Central Committee, 65th District: Jerry Jackson, Baron Night, David John Shawver, Alexandria A. “Alex” Coronado, Sou Moua, and Zonya Marcenaro-Townsend
  • Central Committee, 73rd District: Mary Young, Jennifer Beall, Tony Beall, Ed Sachs, Laurie Davies, and Mike Munzing

The individual units in the 55th, 68th, 69th, 72nd, and 74th Districts have not yet decided if they will endorse for those Central Committee races.

Last month, the Statewide CRA endorsed Ted Cruz for President and Tom Del Beccaro for U.S. Senate.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 29th Senate District, 37th Senate District, 39th Congressional District, 3rd Supervisorial District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Orange County, Orange County Board of Education, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CD-45: Walters vs. Raths – The Rematch

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 6, 2016

Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

2016 seems to be shaping up to be the year of the rematch.  Yesterday, I wrote about Assemblyman Don Wagner challenging Senator John Moorlach in the 2016 Primary Election for the 37th State Senate District after Moorlach prevailed over Wagner in the 2015 Special Election for that same seat.

On the same day that Wagner submitted his application for an OC GOP endorsement for the 37th Senate District (nearly a month after Moorlach submitted his application), Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo) pulled papers to challenge Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) in the 2016 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District after Walters prevailed over Raths in the 2014 Primary Election for that same seat.

(Ironically, it was the election of Walters to the 45th Congressional District that caused the 2015 Special Election for the 37th Senate District that sent Moorlach to the Senate.)

In the 2014 election, the four candidates were California State Senator Mimi Walters (R), Educator/Businessman Drew E. Leavens (D), Retired Marine Colonel Greg Raths (R), and Buena Park Library District Trustee Al Salehi (NPP).

(Why Salehi ran for Congress in a district that does not include his city of residence of Buena Park, I’ll never understand.  I wrote extensively on Salehi’s perennial bid for offices in my post on his latest bid for office in the February 9 Special Election for North Orange County Community College District.)

Walters easily defeated Leavens, Raths, and Salehi:

Vote Count Percentage
MIMI WALTERS (R) 39,631 45.1%
DREW E. LEAVENS (D) 24,721 28.1%
GREG RATHS (R) 21,284 24.2%
AL SALEHI (NPP) 2,317 2.6%

In the 2014 election, Walters spent nearly $1,200,000 while Raths spent $267,000.  Leavens spent $2,150, yet Salehi didn’t even open a committee.

As of September 30, Walters had more than $616,000 cash-on-hand in her Congressional campaign account.  Raths has no cash on hand, as he had terminated his Congressional committee in May and has not started a new one.

After losing the 2014 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District, Raths successfully won a seat on the Mission Viejo City Council in the 2014 General Election.

Consequently, while the 2014 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District featured State Senator Walters vs. Retired Colonel Raths, the 2016 Primary Election has Congresswoman Walters vs. Councilman Raths.

In the 2012 Primary, then-Congressman John Campbell (R) still captured 51% of the vote against Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang (D), who got 33%, and Small Business Owner John Webb (R), who got 16%. Campbell opted not to seek re-election in 2014, thereby creating the opening for Walters to run.  Kang termed out as Mayor of Irvine in 2012 and is now running against Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) for the 29th Senate District, which does not include any portion of the City of Irvine.

Posted in 45th Congressional District, Mission Viejo | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Special Election Qualifies for North Orange County Community College District Trustee Area 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 8, 2015

On June 30, North Orange County Community College District Trustee Donna Miller (D) resigned just seven months after being re-elected to a four-year term.

Five people applied to fill the vacancy in Trustee Area 3, including Daniel Billings (NPP) and Buena Park Library District Trustee Al Salehi (NPP).  The NOCCCD Board appointed Billings unanimously on August 25.  Billings would hold the seat until November 2016, when the seat would be up for a two-year short-term election.  The seat would then resume a regular four-year term in the November 2018 election.

Salehi then circulated a petition under Education Code 5091, which allows an appointment to be invalidated by a petition of 1.5% of registered voters submitted within 30 days of the appointment, which would then trigger a special election.  (1.5% of registered voters in NOCCCD Trustee Area 3 is 799 valid signatures.)

County Superintendent of Schools Al Mijares (R) must call the special election for a Tuesday within 130 days of certification of the petition (which occurred on Tuesday), so the special election for NOCCCD Trustee Area 3 will likely take place in late January or early February (no later than Tuesday, February 9).

NOCCCD Trustee Area 3 consists of the entire City of La Palma, most of the City of Buena Park, City of Cypress north of Orange Avenue, and two portions of Anaheim (one north of Ball Road and west of Beach Boulevard; the other north of La Palma Avenue and west of Magnolia Avenue).

Besides Salehi, rumored candidates include 21-year-old Centralia School District Trustee Connor Traut (D), Centralia School District Trustee (and former La Palma Councilman) Henry Charoen (R), La Palma Councilman Steve Hwangbo (R), and Anaheim Union High School District Trustee (and former La Palma Councilman) Brian O’Neal (R).  (Update 10/27: This list inadvertently left off Billings; OC Political regrets the error.  O’Neal sent an irate email denying any interest in the seat.)

In both 2012 and 2014, Salehi came in fourth out of eight for Buena Park City Council after moving into the city in 2010.  He won 2.4% of the vote when he came in fourth in the primary for the 45th Congressional District (on the other side of the county, where he had zero name ID) behind now-Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R), Drew Leavens (D), and now-Mission Viejo Councilman Greg Raths (R).

If the election is conducted as an all-mail ballot election (aka all absentee ballot election), NOCCCD taxpayers would pay $168,000-$197,000 for the costs of the election.

Posted in Anaheim, Anaheim Union High School District, Buena Park, Buena Park Library District, Centralia School District, Cypress, La Palma, North Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

OC’s Top 10 Primary Election Stories

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 4, 2014

Eric Woolery, Robert Hammond, Linda Lindholm, and Ken Williams

OC Board of Education Group Photo at the Custom Campaigns June 3 Election Night Party at BJ’s in Irvine:
Auditor-Controller-Elect/Orange City Treasurer/Former OCBE Trustee Eric Woolery, OCBE Trustee Robert Hammond, Laguna Niguel Mayor/OCBE Trustee-Elect Linda Lindholm, and OCBE Trustee Ken Williams.

Woolery achieved a historic margin of victory in his race for Auditor-Controller (story #6) while Lindholm knocked off Orange County’s longest-serving-in-a-single-office incumbent (story #5). 

As expected, it was a busy night in yesterday’s primary election.  Here’s a rundown of the top 10 stories:

  1. AD-74: Keith Curry and Matt Harper Advance, Emanuel Patrascu LastEmami called it, mostly.  Thanks to Karina Onofre spoiling the Democratic vote for Anila Ali, we have an all-Republican battle for AD-74 to replace Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.  Shockingly, Emanuel Patrascu who had the second most money in AD-74 came in fifth while Harper who spent next to nothing (and what he did spend focused on slate mailers) came in a comfortable second.  This comes down to a Newport vs. Huntington battle in the November runoff, as Newport Beach Councilman Curry fights it out with Huntington Beach Mayor Harper for the Assembly seat.  How much in Republican resources will be drained by the AD-74 race in November, as Republicans seek to capture SD-34 and AD-65 from the Democrats?
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  2. AD-73: Bill Brough Wins GOP Nomination, Anna Bryson Last – In this safe Republican seat, Bill Brough’s low-budget operation demonstrated that precinct walking does work for winning open seats.  With Democrat Wendy Gabriella advancing to the runoff with Brough, he is the prohibitive favorite to be the next Assemblymember from the 73rd District and the district’s first Assemblyman in 16 years after Assemblywomen Patricia Bates, Mimi Walters, and Diane Harkey.  Depending on completion of vote counts for absentees and provisionals, Anna Bryson’s IE-laden campaign may have cost well over $100 per vote.  (To put the massive IE spending for Bryson in perspective, here’s how much spending would have been needed for several other candidates in other races to match that rate: Michelle Steel would have needed $2.4 million, Linda Lindholm $3.1 million, and Eric Woolery $11.0 million.)  This race clearly demonstrated: money can’t buy everything.
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  3. AD-55: Ling-Ling Chang Captures Top Spot – In a brutal slugfest between Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang and Walnut Valley Unified School District Trustee Phillip Chen with Diamond Bar Councilman Steve Tye threatening to play spoiler, well-funded Chang managed to overcome very-well-funded Chen’s financial advantage to capture the top spot with 28% of the vote, pushing Chen into third place with 23% of the vote and Tye with 22% of the vote.  Democrat Gregg Fritchle came in second with 28% of the vote.  In this safe Republican district, Chang is the prohibitive favorite to be the next Assemblymember from the 55th District, replacing Curt Hagman.
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  4. SD-34: Janet Nguyen Captures Majority of Votes Cast; Republicans Take Almost 2/3 of Votes Cast – It was a foregone conclusion that Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen would be the Republican nominee against the Democrats’ nominee, former Assemblyman Jose Solorio, in the hotly-contested SD-34.  What is shocking is that despite the presence of Republican former Orange County Board of Education Trustee Long Pham on the ballot, Nguyen still managed to capture 52% of the vote to Solorio’s 34% in the two-county SD-34 race.  Pham captured 14%.  With Republicans capturing nearly 2/3 of the vote, and Nguyen herself capturing 52%, this builds significant momentum for Nguyen heading into the November race, with Republicans turning to Nguyen to break the Democrats’ supermajority in the State Senate and Democrats turning to Solorio to preserve the Democrats’ Senate supermajority.  (For the record, I am not related to Janet Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)
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  5. Orange County Board of Education: Linda Lindholm Unseats 32-Year Incumbent Giant Slayer Liz Parker – For the last few years, there was a joke in education circles that the way to win an Assembly seat was to lose an Orange County Board of Education race to Liz Parker.  Chuck DeVore lost to Parker in 1990 and won an Assembly seat in 2004. Don Wagner lost to Parker in 1998 and won an Assembly seat in 2010.  However, Parker is done.  After nearly a 1/3 of a century in office, Liz Parker has been unseated by Laguna Niguel Mayor Linda Lindholm.  No elected official in Orange County has held the same office longer than Liz Parker.  (Indeed, Parker graduated from college the same month she was elected to the Orange County Board of Education.)
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  6. Auditor-Controller: Eric Woolery’s Unprecedented Majority – In a five-way race with no incumbent for Auditor-Controller, Orange City Treasurer Eric Woolery won nearly 57% of the vote, nearly 40% better than the second-place candidate, Deputy Auditor-Controller Frank Davies, who won 17% of the vote.  In a race with three or more candidates with no incumbent, there has not been a candidate who has won by such a large margin in at least 30 years and, quite possibly, ever.  Indeed, there was only one candidate in those incumbent-free, 3+ candidate races who even averted a runoff: David Sundstrom, who received 50.3% of the vote for Auditor-Controller in 1998. (Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly won 41% of the vote in a five-way race for Clerk-Recorder in 2002 before winning the runoff.  Assistant Public Administrator Vicki Landrus won 41% of the vote and College Trustee John Williams won 36% of the vote in a four-way race for Public Administrator in 2002; Williams won the runoff.  OC Internal Auditor David Sundstrom won 50.3% of the vote in a three-way race for Auditor-Controller in 1998.  OC Assistant Assessor Webster Guillory won 26% of the vote in a seven-way race for Assessor in 1998 before winning the runoff.)
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  7. Irvine Unified School District: Ira Glasky Renders Special Election Moot, Beats Agran-Backed Candidate – After IUSD Trustee Gavin Huntley-Fenner resigned due to business and family obligations, the IUSD Board appointed Ira Glasky to fill the seat in November 2013.  Utilizing an obscure section of the Education Code, a petition drive gathered the necessary 1,643 signatures (1.5% of registered voters at the 2012 school board election) to invalidate Glasky’s appointment and force a special election.  The special election cost IUSD schools hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.  Three candidates filed to run: Glasky, Larry Agran-backed Carolyn Inmon, and Bob Vu.  Glasky won 42% of the vote to Inmon’s 37% and Vu’s 22%.  IUSD was forced to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a special election that had the same end result as if the special election had never happened.
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  8. Assessor: Webster Guillory vs. Claude Parrish Runoff – In 2010, Webster Guillory won 53% of the vote to Claude Parrish’s 47%, but Parrish ran as “Businessman/Tax Consultant” in 2010.  Parrish is “Taxpayer Advocate/Businessman” this year.  Last night, Guillory won 47% to Parrish’s 43%, with Jorge Lopez getting 10%.  Parrish’s stronger ballot designation narrowed the margin between Guillory and Parrish.  In Guillory’s favor is the fact that November voters are more favorable to incumbents than June voters.  In Parrish’s favor is the fact that he has a stronger ballot designation in 2014 than he did in 2010.  Also in Parrish’s favor is the investigation around whether or not Guillory’s nomination papers were signed by his subordinates at the office on County time; if this garners more publicity it helps Parrish; if it fizzles, it’s moot.
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  9. Supe-5: Robert Ming vs. Lisa Bartlett RunoffThe narrative in this race always had business interests spending on IEs for Mission Viejo Councilman Frank Ury to put him into the runoff for the Fifth District Supervisor’s race.  The conventional wisdom was wrong, as Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming and Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett each achieved 29% of the vote (Ming ahead of Bartlett by 0.4%), with Ury in third at 24% and Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams last at 18%.
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  10. Supe-2: Steel Beats Mansoor 2-1 as Both Make Runoff – Conventional wisdom held that the Second District Supervisor’s race would result in a runoff between Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel and Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.  What wasn’t expected was just how close to 50% Steel would get or how large her margin over Mansoor would be.  Surpassing most expectations, Steel pulled off 47% of the vote to Mansoor’s 24%, with Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno at 22% and Huntington Beach Councilman Joe Carchio at 8%.

These honorable mentions were things that happened as expected but may have interesting footnotes:

Honorable Mention #1 – CD-45: Raths Falls Short, Jockeying Begins for SD-37 and Even AD-68 – Republican Retired Marine Colonel Greg Raths fell 4% short of overtaking Democrat Educator/Businessman Drew Leavens to advance to the general election with Republican Senator Mimi Walters.  Did Walters’s hit piece (calling Raths a “Bill Clinton Republican” for his assignment to the Clinton White House while serving in the Marine Corps) move the needle 4%?  Jockeying for the special election for Walters’s SD-37 seat and even Assemblyman Don Wagner’s AD-68 seat has already begun since Walters is expected to crush Leavens in CD-45 in November.

Honorable Mention #2 – Shawn Nelson: OC’s Biggest Supervisorial Landslide Ever? With 84% of the vote, Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s reelection bid may well be the most lopsided victory ever achieved by an Orange County supervisor (excluding races where a Supervisor was unopposed or a Supervisor’s only opponent was a write-in candidate).

Honorable Mention #3 – Measure A: OC’s Biggest Landslide Ever? – With 88% of voters in casting ballots in favor of Measure A, the measure may well have achieved the highest percentage ever for a ballot measure in Orange County.

In the interest of full disclosure, clients of Custom Campaigns (the consulting firm that owns OC Political) include four IUSD Trustees (story #7: Ira Glasky, Paul Bokota, Lauren Brooks, and Michael Parham), three OCBE Trustees (story #5: Linda Lindholm, Robert Hammond, and Ken Williams), Eric Woolery (story #6), and Robert Ming (story #9).  Separate and apart from the consulting firm that owns OC Political, this blogger also did the staff work for Measure A (honorable mention #3).

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 34th Senate District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Could Hit Piece Backfire on Walters Campaign?

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on May 20, 2014

This hit piece was sent to CD 45 voters from the Mimi Walters this month:Raths_Hit_FrontRaths_Hit_Back

At first, I thought that this was a well-done hit piece that attacks Raths for serving in the Clinton Administration, but then I recalled reading Raths’ biography, which mentioned what he was doing for the White House. At the time, he served in the position of Assistant Chief of Staff of the White House Military Office. Generally, it is not a good idea for candidates to try and attack their opponent’s military service.

If Raths brings this to the attention of the OC Register to get some mainstream media coverage or sends out a mailer touting what has transpired, the CD-45 race could get very interesting.

Posted in 45th Congressional District | Tagged: , | 11 Comments »

AD-74: Curry Dominates Fundraising, Patrascu Distant Second, Harper Spends All on Slates

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 26, 2014

Well, it’s that time of the election cycle again: campaign finance reports are out. OC Political will be doing our in-depth analysis to help you get past the campaigns’ spin on the numbers.  First on the docket is the race for AD-74 to replace Allan Mansoor, who is leaving the Assembly to run for the 2nd District Supervisor’s seat, being vacated by the termed out John Moorlach.  AD-74 consists of Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, the southern half of Huntington Beach, and portions of Irvine.

Harper, Curry, Patrascu

The three Republican candidates in AD-74: Matthew Harper, Keith D. Curry, and Emanuel Patrascu.

There are three declared Republican candidates in AD-74: Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper, Businessman/Newport Beach Councilman Keith D. Curry, and Assemblyman Travis Allen’s District Director Emanuel Patrascu, an Orange County business owner.  H&R Block Franchise Associate Karina Onofre pulled papers as a Republican but filed them as a Democrat, so she’s on the ballot as a Democrat. Middle School Teacher Anila Ali, who has been a Democrat since she became a U.S. citizen in 2008, will also be on the ballot.  (For those wondering, Onofre was a Republican for 20 months, from July 2012-March 2014.  She has been a Democrat for years, other than during those 20 months.)

When OC Political analyzed the numbers for the end of the 2013 reporting, AD-74 was called the “Land of Small Warchests” in the post. Since then, Curry put his foot on the gas, and Patrascu stepped it up a bit, so those two are posting much stronger numbers (though still far behind races in other Assembly districts, but at the end of the day, to win this race, AD-74 only needs to worry about AD-74).  The other three candidates’ warchests remain rather small, however.

Before I start in on the numbers, it’s time to attack the $100,000 paper tiger loans.  We’ve been attacking the fiction of the $100,000 loans for months on OC Political.  (This July post is probably the seminal post on the issue, though it wasn’t until this August post that the paper tiger name was attached.)  In essence, these $100,000 paper tiger loans are loans candidates make to artificially inflate their campaign finance numbers to impress donors and scare opponents.  The reason $100,000 is the figure used is that’s the most a candidate can loan their own campaign and still get the money back.  Any amount the candidate gives above $100,000 is forever donated to the campaign under state law.  In AD-74, Republican Curry and Democrat Onofre gave their own campaigns $100,000 paper tiger loans.  It also appears Republican Patrascu gave his campaign a smaller paper tiger loan of $29,700.  Republican Harper has actually spent his negligible $4,100 loan.

Curry had a slow start to 2013, but of course he declared his entry in the race just three weeks before Christmas.  In the prior post on AD-74 warchests, I asked, ” If Curry can continue his pace of $21,200 per month, he will quickly amass the largest warchest in AD-74.  However, many candidates find their fundraising slows down after an initial burst after their campaigns launch when they pick up their low-hanging fruit donors; can Curry defy the odds?”  The answer is yes, he defied the odds.  In this latest reporting period, Curry raised $32,871 per month.

Curry added $83,768 this reporting period to his $21,200 from 2013, making him the first AD-74 candidate to break the $100,000 barrier in funds raised, with $104,968 in the course of his campaign.  Curry transferred a negligible $6,490 from his city council campaign account in 2013, but transferred nothing this reporting period.  He also gave himself one of those $100,000 paper tiger loans that we expect he won’t spend.  Curry spent $32,271 on a healthy mix of items, including campaign literature, slate mailers, fundraising, ballot filing fees, and consultant fees.  He has no unpaid bills.  Even after subtracting out his loans, Curry still has $78,506 cash-on-hand.

Patrascu added $25,679 in this reporting period to his $35,395 haul from 2013, bringing his total contributions to $60,974.  He made no transfers.  He has $29,700 in loans.  He was incredibly tight-fisted with his expenditures, spending only $5,098, all of went to fundraising expenses, campaign treasurer expenses, and ballot filing fees.  He has no unpaid bills.  After subtracting out his loans, Patrascu still has $54,021 cash-on-hand.

Harper only raised $2,150 in this reporting period ($1,900 from Rainbow Disposal and $250 from attorney Dave Bartels), adding to the $4,100 he raised in 2013 from Karen Harper last year, leaving Harper with $6,250 raised.  He transferred in $11,150 from his City Council account into his Assembly account, all during this reporting period.  He loaned himself $4,100.  He spent $15,674, with $13,700 going to Jim Lacy’s Landslide Communications slates, $1,906 going to his treasurer Dave Bauer for either campaign literature or treasurer fees, and $68 in small unitemized expenditures.  He has $17,763 in unpaid bills, with $13,700 on his credit card to pay for Lacy’s Landslide slates, $4,028 on his credit card to pay ballot filing fees, another $1,927 in small unitemized unpaid bills, and $35 on his credit card to pay for small office expenses.  After subtracting out the loans and accounting for his unpaid bills, Harper is $19,940 in debt.

The Democrats are easy to summarize.  Ali has not yet hit the $25,000 mark to require online campaign finance filing.  Onofre gave herself a $100,000 paper tiger loan.  She spent nothing and transferred nothing.  She has a single $100 contribution from Republican CD-45 candidate Greg Raths; from the date of the contribution, Onofre was still a Republican at the time.  I imagine Raths will be asking for his $100 back since Onofre has become a Democrat.

For visual learners:

Candidate 2013
Contributions
1/1/14-3/17/14
Contributions
Total
Contributions
Transfers Candidate
Loans
Unpaid
Bills
Expenditures Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
& Loans
Harper $4,100 $2,150 $6,250 $11,150 $4,100 $17,763 $15,674 $1,923 -($15,840) -($19,940)
Curry $21,200 $83,768 $104,968 $6,490 $100,000 $0 $32,271 $178,506 $178,506 $78,506
Patrascu $35,295 $25,679 $60,974 $0 $29,700 $0 $5,098 $83,721 $83,721 $54,021
Onofre $100 N/A $100 $0 $100,000 $0 $0 $100,100 $100,100 $100
Ali N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Campaign finance reports for January 1-March 17, 2014 were due Monday.

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