Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 17, 2015
All the mail I got for the SD-37 special election.
I really hope that I’m wrong about the election going to a run-off on May 19. I hope whoever comes in first tonight, whether it is Don Wagner or John Moorlach, gets more than 50% of the vote. A run-off would be bad for both candidates, their campaigns, and the voters. The candidates and their campaign staffs would have their lives continue to be on hold for another two months, and the voters would be subject to another endless barrage of campaign mail and robocalls (not to mention the $1.974 million price tag to taxpayers for the run-off).
I imagine my aberrant voter behavior contributed to my voter contact level: I’m a poll voter who requested an absentee ballot on the first day you could request one, but then held on to it and surrendered it at the polling place to vote at the poll.
I personally received 11 robocalls, with 10 of them in the last week. The calls were from (in order of receipt):
- Congressman Ed Royce for Wagner
- Naz Namazi for herself
- Supervisor Todd Spitzer for Wagner
- John Moorlach for himself
- Supervisor Andrew Do for Wagner (in Vietnamese)
- Naz Namazi for herself
- Mayor Tom Tait for Moorlach
- Senator Janet Nguyen for Wagner (in Vietnamese)
- Shawn Steel for Wagner
- Ed Royce for Wagner
Additionally, I was even had a voicemail from Don Wagner personally phone banking.
Mailwise, I received:
- 5 mailers from Wagner (1 positive in Vietnamese, 2 mostly-positive comparison pieces, and 2 mostly-negative comparison pieces)
- 2 mailers from Moorlach (1 mostly-positive comparison piece and 1 mostly-negative comparison piece)
- 3 IEs from AOCDS and the statewide law enforcement union (1 anti-Moorlach piece, 1 pro-Wagner piece, and 1 that was both)
- 1 IE from the California Homeowners Association (a comparison piece)
The reason this race went so negative so fast is fundamentally, there are no real differences between Wagner and Moorlach. They will compile virtually identical voting records in the Senate. When there are no real policy differences, all you can do is go negative. As Jon Fleischman of the Flash Report put it at the beginning of this election, “The conservatives have already won.” The only real difference is one of style and priorities, but they’d vote the same, and Martin Wisckol’s piece in the OC Register was spot on.
Usually, when we say there’s no difference between the candidates, it’s a complaint. In this election, it’s a compliment. We’ll know the results in a few minutes, and hopefully somebody breaks 50%.
Posted in 37th Senate District | Tagged: Don Wagner, John Moorlach, Jon Fleischman, Martin Wisckol, Naz Namazi | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on May 20, 2014
As many of our readers may know I am a partner in the political consulting firm Custom Campaigns, which owns OC Political. We have been fortunate to have a great deal of success electing candidates in Orange County over the past few years. One of our success stories was electing Robert Hammond to the Orange County Board of Education in Trustee Area 1 replacing sitting board member Long Pham who decided to run for the 72nd Assembly District.
Long Pham is currently running for the 34th Senate District in a race against sitting OC Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio. The top two candidates will advance to the November election under the new Prop 14 rules. I want to preface that I have no problem with Long Pham running for the seat (although I would call his chances of advancing to November virtually impossible). However, Long Pham unsuccessfully tried to paint himself as the conservative candidate by vying for the endorsement of the California Republican Assembly (the CRA endorsed Janet Nguyen).
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a Republican when vying for the endorsement of the CRA is either endorsing on giving money to a non-Republican (especially when a CRA-endorsed candidate is running for the same seat). I have issues with Long Pham applying for the CRA endorsement because he refused to endorse Robert Hammond at the CRA endorsing convention in 2012, and I wanted to know why he refused to endorse the only Republican running for the seat (who went on to win the seat despite not having Pham’s support).
At the CRA endorsing convention that took place on March 22, 2014, I asked Mr. Pham why he refused to endorse Robert Hammond, the successful CRA-endorsed candidate for Trustee Area 1 on the Orange County Board of Education in 2012. Pham responded that because he did not know who was running at that point and felt that it would be improper to endorse before he knew who all was running. I was a direct witness to Robert Hammond asking Mr. Pham for his endorsement at the CRA meeting.
For the sake of our readers, I will note the timeline of June filing and the CRA endorsing convention back in 2012:
Filing for County Board of Education closed on March 14, 2012
CRA Endorsement Took Place on March 24, 2012
Based on this timeline, the field was set before the endorsement meeting took place. Here is a look at the candidates that were running for the seat:
Robert Hammond – Republican
Ken Nguyen – No Party Preference
Art Pedroza – Libertarian
Eleazar Elizondo – Democrat
Clearly, only one Republican was running, and he was the CRA-endorsed candidate. If Long Pham had some kind of issue with Robert Hammond, he should simply say so instead of trying to claim that he did not know who was running for the seat.
I am not the only one that has faced the issue of Pham’s odd recollections. A month ago, Martin Wisckol wrote an article for the OC Register where Mr. Pham appeared to contradict himself about his education. We will see what happens on June 3rd in this race.
Posted in 34th Senate District | Tagged: Janet Nguyen, Jose Solorio, Long Pham, Martin Wisckol, Robert Hammond | Leave a Comment »