OC Political

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

Posts Tagged ‘Kinde Durkee’

Assemblyman Jose Solorio Pulls Papers for Rancho Santiago Community College District

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 16, 2012

According to the Orange County Registrar of Voters, Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) has pulled papers for the Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Area 1.  (There is no incumbent, as the RSCCD board recently switched from a multi-member three-area at-large election system to a vote-by-area system, but drew three incumbents into Area 5, with Brian Conley choosing to retire in June, leaving David Chapel and Mark McLoughlin to duke it out in Area 5.)

Solorio had been rumored for months to be interested in the RSCCD seat after the Bernie Madoff of California Democrats, Kinde Durkee, stole $700,000+ from Solorio, putting an end to his bid to challenge Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).  Between his Assembly campaign committee and a ballot measure committee, Solorio has over $200,000 cash on hand.

Due to the fact there are no contribution limits for the college board seat in Rancho Santiago, Solorio can transfer the entire $200,000 to his RSCCD account without raising another penny.

Santa Ana LULAC President Zeke Hernandez is rumored to be Solorio’s top challenger.

Will union anger at Solorio’s endorsement of Tom Daly for Assembly result in enormous contributions to Hernandez for college board?  (Remember, there are no contribution limits, so they can give all the money to Hernandez instead of doing an IE.)

Trustee Area 1’s eastern border follows Main Street in Santa Ana from 17th Street down to the 55 Freeway.  Its southern border is the Santa Ana city limit.  Its far northern border is 17th Street.  Its western border is a zig-zag involving Flower Street from 17th Street to 1st Street, Bristol Street from 1st Street to St. Andrew Place, Rene Drive from St. Andrew Place to Warner Avenue, and roughly Raitt Street from Warner Avenue to the city limit.

Posted in 69th Assembly District, Rancho Santiago Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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 »

CD-45: Durkee Embezzlement Case Freezes 40% of Sukhee Kang’s Warchest; John Campbell’s Warchest = $1.1 Million

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 15, 2012

Compared to most Democrats who had Kinde Durkee as their treasurer, Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang actually fared pretty well (Irvine is the largest city in the new 45th Congressional District, and Kang is a directly-elected mayor).  Kang raised $289,398 and spent $35,715 (for those looking at the FEC summary sheet, please note these figures account for a $1,000 refund), only $188,523 was frozen by the LA County Superior Court, pending resolution of the Kinde Durkee case.  He reports $189,559 cash on hand.  (I realize the math doesn’t seem to add up, but this is what’s on his FEC report.)  Kang’s best case scenario is he has all his money.  His worst case scenario is he gets none of the cash back, but that’s only 40% of what he’s raised compared to the wipe-out Jose Solorio and Lou Correa suffered.

Unfortunately, for Kang, even if he gets all of that money back, incumbent Republican Congressman John Campbell‘s $1,096,043 warchest still dwarfs Kang’s.  Not only that, Congressional finance disclosures indicate Campbell is California’s fourth wealthiest member of the House (behind only Darrell Issa, Nancy Pelosi, and Gary Miller), with a net worth between $8-$33 million.  (Including both houses of Congress, Senator Dianne Feinstein comes in ahead of Pelosi but behind Issa).  When Durkee embezzled $4.6 million from Feinstein’s re-election, the Senator loaned her campaign $5 million.  Needless to say, fantastically wealthy members of Congress can easily drop millions into their campaigns if they feel the need.

In the comparison of remarkably similar warchests, Todd Spitzer has $2,988 more cash on hand than John Campbell.

Republican challenger John Webb raised $23,047 and loaned himself an additional $3,200, but has already spent $23,786, leaving himself $2,460 cash on hand before accounting for debts (I assume the $1 differential on the math is due to rounding on his report).

For people wondering, the Registrar of Voters reports a 16.9% Republican registration advantage in this district.  Despite a challenge from the right and a challenge by the mayor of the district’s largest city from the left, John Campbell will still cruise to re-election.

Posted in 45th Congressional District, Fundraising | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Total Durkee Embezzlement: $1.4-$1.7 Million from Correa & Solorio; Combined Cash on Hand Far Less Than Nguyen

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 2, 2012

It had been well-reported in the Fall that Kinde Durkee is charged with embezzling “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from Senator Lou Correa and over $677,000 from Assemblyman Jose Solorio.  Well, now we know the totals: over $1.7 million between the two.

According to Solorio’s campaign finance filings from his four accounts, he lost $721,176, and another $154,053 is being held by the LA Superior Court pending resolution of the Durkee case.  This means Solorio’s losses could be as much as $875,229.  This leaves Solorio with $124,820 cash on hand.  However, he has $13,489 in unpaid bills, which leaves him with just $111,331.

From Correa’s campaign finance filings from his two accounts, he lost $795,739, and another $68,744 is being held by the LA Superior Court pending resolution of the Durkee case.  This means Correa’s losses could be as much as $864,483.  This leaves Correa with $52,683 cash on hand.  However, he has $2,346 in unpaid bills, which leaves him with $50,337. (He did set up a third account, which was a legal defense fund, in September after Durkee was charged, but that account only has a $200 personal loan from Correa).

The unintentional big winner in this is Supervisor Janet Nguyen.  Correa and Solorio are Nguyen’s two most formidable potential challengers.

Nguyen has $282,577 cash on hand and $11,826 in unpaid bills, leaving her with $270,751.  Solorio and Correa have $161,668 combined.

For visual learners:

Embezzled Held By
Cash on
Solorio $721,176 $154,053 $124,820 $13,489
Correa $795,739 $68,744 $52,683 $2,346
Nguyen $0 $0 $282,577 $11,826

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, 34th Senate District, Fundraising | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

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