OC Political

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

Posts Tagged ‘Jim Doti’

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

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 »

Board of Supervisors: Two Crazy Races on the Docket

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 10, 2012

Todd Spitzer, Deborah Pauly, Janet Nguyen, and Steve Rocco

3rd District Candidates Todd Spitzer and Deborah Pauly, 1st District Supervisor Janet Nguyen, and 1st District Challenger Steve Rocco

I’m not sure which supervisorial race will be more entertaining this June: Todd Spitzer vs. Deborah Pauly or Janet Nguyen vs. Steve Rocco.  The Spitzer-Pauly race in the Third District will have some great fireworks, as Spitzer and Pauly are two of Orange County’s most aggressive campaigners while the Nguyen-Rocco race in the First District will simply be entertaining by virtue of Steve Rocco.

Third Supervisorial District

Incumbent Supervisor Bill Campbell is termed out after nearly ten years on the Board of Supervisors; he was elected in a 2003 special election (indeed, this was Orange County’s first-ever Supervisorial vacancy special election, as all previous vacancies had been filled by gubernatorial appointment) to replace Todd Spitzer who had vacated the seat to enter the State Assembly.

The candidates (as expected) are:

Former Assemblyman and former Third District Supervisor Todd Spitzer is running to for his old job.   Originally slated to battle former Assemblyman Chuck DeVore for the seat, DeVore moved to Texas late last year.  With DeVore out, Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly stepped into the race.  Fireworks have sparked every time these two candidates have met in debates throughout the Third District.  The mail should be fun to read.  Spitzer definitely has the cash advantage in this race, as I posted here.  For other coverage of the race, you can view the, um, rather, um slanted perspective that HBK provides.

First Supervisorial District

The candidates are:

After Kinde Durkee wiped out Democrat Assemblyman Jose Solorio and Democrat Senator Lou Correa’s warchests, Supervisor Janet Nguyen was left with a warchest that dwarfed those of Solorio and Correa combined.  Solorio and Correa would have had to spend an enormous sum to unseat Nguyen.

With the fact that most of his money was gone and that Assemblymembers don’t have a very good track record of unseating incumbent Supervisors (see Guy Houston or Audra Strickland), Solorio opted to avoid a losing battle with Nguyen.

Faced with the fact that most of his money was gone, Correa opted to wait.  He could be hoping that Nguyen will go for his Senate seat in 2014 when he’s termed out, which will free up the First Supervisorial District seat for a 2015 special election, much like Correa did when he vacated this Supervisorial seat in 2006 causing a 2007 Supervisorial special election that Nguyen won.

So now we’re left with, um, what’s the polite way to put it, um, colorful former Orange Unified School District Trustee Steve Rocco.  I could also call him convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco.  Perhaps, Rocco’s previous election opponents can form a bipartisan coalition to give Nguyen advice on beating Rocco (or at least on how to keep Rocco from stealing her condiments), though I suspect the advice will be along the lines of: don’t steal mustard:

  • OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma (R), who defeated Rocco 72%-28% in November 2010
  • Former OC Public Administrator John Williams (R), who defeated Rocco 58%-11% in a four-way race in June 2010
  • Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante (R), who defeated Rocco 50%-18% in a four-way race in November 2008
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee John Hanna (D), who defeated Rocco 74%-26% in November 2006 and 71%-29% in November 2002
  • Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido (D), who defeated Rocco 71%-12% in a three-way race in November 2000

(Surprisingly, Rocco did not run for Governor in the 2003 recall.)

Don’t ask OC Park Ranger Phil Martinez, though, as he’s the one who lost 54%-46% to Rocco in the OUSD race in November 2004.

Will Rocco accuse Supervisor Nguyen of being part of “The Partnership” which Rocco previously claimed was the secret group ruling the United States?  Will Rocco accuse Supervisor Nguyen of trying to have him killed, similar to the accusation he leveled at “The Partnership,” Chapman University President Jim Doti, and Chapman Professor Fred Smoller?

Please read the Wikipedia article on Steve Rocco for your own entertainment.

(For the record, I am not related to Supervisor Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 3rd Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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