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Posts Tagged ‘OCEA’

1st District Special Election: Do Wins Ballot Order Lottery, Candidate Statements, & Who is Chuyen Van Nguyen?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 18, 2014

Supervisor's Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

The Secretary of State conducted the ballot order lottery on Tuesday and transmitted the results to the Registrar of Voters, and Andrew Do was the big winner, so here’s how each candidate will appear on the January 27, 2015, ballot (assuming their designations aren’t challenged in court by December 26):

  • Andrew Do, Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner
  • Lou Correa, California State Senator
  • Chris Phan, Councilmember/Deputy DA
  • Chuyen Van Nguyen, Television News Anchor
  • Lupe Morfin-Moreno, Office Specialist

Most OC Political readers are familiar with Do, Correa, Phan, and even Morfin-Moreno, but most have expressed little knowledge of Nguyen.  To fill everyone in, let’s take a closer look at each candidate:

  • Andrew Do (R-Westminster), 51 years old

    Do is a partner in a law firm who was a deputy district attorney for eight years and who served as Chief of Staff to former Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who vacated this Supervisor’s seat to become a California State Senator. As an attorney, he has served as President of the Asian Bar Association of California and the Vietnamese-American Bar Association of Southern California.  He is a former adjunct professor at Cal State Fullerton and judge pro tem in the old Orange County Municipal Court.  Fleeing Vietnam as a child, Do grew up in the First Supervisorial District, attending Junior High and High School in Garden Grove.  He is a graduate of Santa Ana College, UC Davis, and UC Hastings.

    Do was elected to the Garden Grove City Council in 2008 and served for three years. (He now lives in Westminster.)

    Do’s candidacy for Supervisor is endorsed by the Republican Party of Orange County, former Supervisors/current Senators Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates, Supervisor-Elect Michelle Steel, Congressmen Ed Royce and Dana Rohrabacher, Congresswoman-Elect Mimi Walters, and Assembly Members Young Kim, Travis Allen, Matt Harper, and Don Wagner.

  • Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), 56 years old (though he will turn 57 on January 24)

    Spending the majority of his career in elective office, Correa was an investment banker and real estate broker before entering the State Assembly.  He is a licensed attorney, though opted to go the banking and real estate route before entering politics.  A native Californian, Correa grew up in the Fourth Supervisorial District, attending K-12 in Anaheim.  He is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton and UCLA.

    After narrowly losing a 1996 Assembly bid by 93 votes, Correa became a State Assemblyman in 1998, termed out in 2004, and then held this same Supervisor’s seat from 2005-2006.  He resigned from the Board of Supervisors in 2006 to enter the State Senate, where he stayed until terming out last month.  His resignation from the Board caused a February 2007 special election, only the second special election for Supervisor in Orange County history.  Janet Nguyen won that special election to fill his old Supervisorial seat and now holds his old Senate seat.

    Correa’s candidacy for Supervisor is endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County, Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens, District Attorney-Public Administrator Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County Labor Federation (i.e. association of unions), the Orange County Employees Association (i.e. general public employee union), the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association (i.e. the fire union), and the Orange County Business Council.

  • Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), 40 years old (though he will turn 41 on January 14)

    Phan has been a deputy district attorney for two years.  He served on active duty in the United States Navy as a Judge Advocate General (anyone remember the TV show JAG?) from 2001-2008.  He was a JAG defense attorney from 2001-2003, JAG prosecutor from 2003-2005, and served generally as a JAG attorney from 2005-2008.  He is currently a lieutenant commander in the Navy reserve.  Fleeing Vietnam as a child, Phan grew up in Indiana and has lived in Orange County for six years.  He is a graduate of Indiana University and Southern Illinois University.

    Phan was elected to the Garden Grove City Council two years ago.  Ironically, Phan holds the exact same seat that Do held for three years.

  • Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), 65 years old

    Nguyen is currently an anchor on VNA-TV (Vietnam America Television), Channel 57.3.  He has previously been an aircraft parts manufacturing supervisor, marketing consultant, newspaper publisher (Tieng-Chuong), and staffer for former State Senator Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana).  He was a pilot in the South Vietnamese Air Force from 1970-1975 and was a Lieutenant when Saigon fell.  Politically, he was active in various Vietnamese organizations in the early 1990s.  After fleeing Vietnam, Nguyen settled in Texas before eventually moving to Westminster.

    In 1998, Nguyen ran for Mayor of Westminster and came in fourth out of five candidates (Tony Lam won his third election to the City Council in that same election); Mayor Frank Fry was re-elected, beating Mayor Pro Tem Joy Neugebauer by 3.5%.  (He now lives in Garden Grove.)  Considering his poor finish in 1998 when he held greater name ID than he does now and considering he didn’t even have the $2500 to get a ballot statement, he is expected to only play spoiler in this election by splitting the Vietnamese vote.

  • Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana), 57 years old

    Morfin-Moreno is currently an office specialist with the Orange County Health Care Agency.  Politically, she is best known as an anti-illegal immigration activist and Minuteman.  A former Central Committee member, she lost her Central Committee bids in both 2010 and 2012 (Central Committee members who were elected in 2012 now serve four-year terms, rather than two-year terms due to change in the California Elections Code, so the next Central Committee election is in 2016).  A native Californian, Morfin-Moreno grew up in the First Supervisorial District, attending elementary, junior high, and high school in Santa Ana.

    Morfin-Moreno previously ran for Mayor of Santa Ana in 2012 (coming in fourth out of six candidates), this same Supervisor’s seat in the 2007 special election (coming in ninth out of ten candidates after dropping out of the race), the State Senate in 2006 (losing the primary to Lynn Daucher, who then loss the general election to Correa), the Santa Ana Unified School District in 2002 (missing a seat by 486 votes) and in 2000 (coming in seventh of nine candidates).

Do, Correa, and Phan got ballot statements while Nguyen and Morfin-Moreno did not.

Here’s Do’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

At the urging of many Orange County leaders, I decided to run for County Supervisor. My experience includes:

Orange County Judge Pro Tem; Deputy District Attorney; City Councilman; Small Business Owner; Orange County Supervisor’s Chief of Staff.

As a Deputy District Attorney, I spent eight years fighting to make our community safe, prosecuting violent criminals and sex offenders.

As your Supervisor, I will fight hard for:

Local businesses and job creation, higher educational standards, health care programs, less waste in government, strong public safety, and anti-gang programs. I oppose tax increases.

Serving as Chief of Staff to California State Senator and Supervisor Janet Nguyen gives me valuable experience and an in-depth understanding of issues facing our area. Senator Nguyen urged
me to run for Supervisor.

I have deep family roots in central Orange County, having attended Jordan Jr. High, Bolsa Grande High School and Santa Ana College. I’m a graduate of the University of California, Hastings School of Law.

U.S Representatives Ed Royce and Mimi Walters, Senators Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates, Assembly members Young Kim and Matt Harper and Supervisor Michelle Steel have all endorsed me and I would be honored to receive your vote. Please visit www.AndrewDo2015.com. Thank you.

Here’s Correa’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

It’s been an honor to work for you as your State Senator. Now, I respectfully ask for your support as your County Supervisor.

In the Legislature, my priorities have been jobs, public safety and public education. My work has earned me endorsements from respected leaders and organizations, including:

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
Orange County Professional Firefighters Association
Orange County Business Council

I helped cut taxes on small businesses and stopped unnecessary regulations. As a result of my work, I’ve been honored by the Orange County Taxpayers Association and named the California Small Business Association’s “Legislator of the Year.”

I’ve made our schools better and safer. I brought more education money and local control back to Orange County. I also co-wrote the new law to protect our children from heinous crimes. That’s why the California School Boards Association made me their “Legislator of the Year”.

It’s been an honor to represent you during these difficult economic times. Now, I’d like to bring my understanding of our communities to work for you as County Supervisor.

No one will work harder. I respectfully ask for your vote.

For more information please visit: www.loucorrea.com

Here’s Phan’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

Embracing our diversity. Uniting our community. Serving our people!

As a former refugee, I am blessed to live the American Dream! I have served our country with honor and pride as a Navy officer for over 14 years. I am currently serving our community as an Orange County Deputy District Attorney and a Garden Grove City Councilmember. I humbly ask for your support to become your 1st
District Orange County Supervisor.

Military experience and public service taught me that our strength lies in our diversity. Orange County is truly a melting pot of culture, background, and ethnicity. As Supervisor, I will work hard to attract businesses to our District, increase employment, provide greater safety for our community, and protect our resources.

Over many months, I have walked and met many of our District’s residents. I have listened, learned, and shared many ideas with our residents so that I will be well-equipped and prepared to serve our County to the best of my ability.

Please learn about my candidacy at www.votechrisphan.com. I would be honored to have your vote and support. Together, we will ensure a brighter future for our County and forge a better tomorrow for our families. Thank you!

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: Senator Janet Nguyen and candidate Chuyen Van Nguyen are not related to each other, and neither of them are related to me.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Lisa Bartlett, The Union-Backed Candidate In The Fifth District Supervisor Race

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 23, 2014

Robert Ming and Lisa Bartlett, both Republicans, emerged from the June open primary as the top-two vote getters for the Orange County Board of Supervisors race in the Fifth District.  Ming (who I am supporting) and Bartlett will face off on November 4 for the privilege of representing most of south Orange County on the Board.  I have known Ming for several years, and I can attest to his conservative credentials, and his character as a man.  I do not know Bartlett, so I can only form an opinion based on her actions on the campaign trail, and, in my opinion, they do not reflect well on her.

In June, Bartlett issued a press release called “Ming’s Dings” that was an attack on Ming and his supposed policies “dinging the taxpayer.”  However, as I previously reported, the release was riddled with false facts and errors.  Despite being called out on those false assertions, I have not seen any retraction from Bartlett.  In addition, while that first installment of “Ming’s Dings” promised subsequent regular reports of how Ming was supposedly dinging the taxpayer, I have not seen another installment.  Apparently, Bartlett could only muster that one attack on Ming’s policies, and even that attack contained false facts.

On September 2, Bartlett issued a press release, again using false facts to erroneously claim that she was fundraising at a 2-1 clip against Ming.  In fact, the true fundraising numbers showed a small difference between the two.

I know that candidates often embellish their mailers and take liberties with the way they portray their opponents.  But what should not be tolerated is outright lies, and Bartlett has twice shown that she apparently cares more about smearing Ming than getting the facts right.

Equally troubling is that the public employee unions seem to be spending a lot of time and effort on Bartlett.  I recently received a mailer from a local PAC in support of Bartlett that smeared Ming with the same false facts that Bartlett used in her “Ming’s Dings” hit piece.  The PAC has received $18,000 from the Orange County Employees Association and the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, both public employee unions.  I reached out to Bartlett’s campaign for comment on whether her campaign had coordinated with the PAC on the mailer, or provided the PAC with the erroneous information, but she did not respond.

I recently learned that another public employee union, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has endorsed Bartlett.

As a conservative, all the union money and the endorsement thrown at Bartlett concern me.  Public employee salaries and benefits are a huge County expenditure, and the unfunded pension liability threatens not only the current financial stability of Orange County, but also the future for my kids.  Ming has a plan to reduce the unfunded liability by benchmarking public employee salaries to those earned in the private sector.  Ming also is an advocate of transparency in the labor negotiation process.  Ming also wants to solicit private-sector bids for services that are not core government functions.

Bartlett claims to be concerned with government spending, but her campaign website is short on any specifics about crushing salary and pension debt.  Maybe that is why the Orange County Register recently endorsed Ming over Bartlett, stating “we found many of [Bartlett’s] responses to our questions more vague.”

The Register feels that Ming’s knowledge of fiscal management makes him the best-suited to the Board, and I would encourage the readers to vote for Ming in November.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , , , , , | 39 Comments »

Union Money Invades Mission Viejo Council And Fifth District Supervisor Races

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 17, 2014

On Wednesday, I received a mailer from Citizens to Protect Mission Viejo.  On the front, calling itself the “Mission Viejo Taxpayers’ Voting Guide,” it asked for support for current council members Dave Leckness and Rhonda Reardon, and council candidate Wendy Bucknum.  On the back, it contrasts Board of Supervisor candidates Robert Ming and Lisa Bartlett, offering false facts (more about that later) about Ming, while recommending Bartlett.  (As I have consistently stated, I am supporting Ming in November)

The mailer was large, in full color, and on good paper stock, so I wondered how Citizens was paying for this apparently city-wide mailer.  My search at the Secretary of State and County websites came up empty, but I hit pay dirt at the City of Mission Viejo’s website (some are questioning whether Citizens was required to file with the County given that they are supporting a county-wide candidate).  On September 30, 2014, Citizens received a $5,000 donation from the Orange County Employees Association, and on October 10, 2014, it received a $13,000 donation from the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, both public employee unions.

When I see public employee unions getting involved with Republican candidates, I get curious as to how the candidates feel about union money being spent on their behalf, particularly such a large donation from two well-known public employee unions.  Union money contributed directly to Republican candidates is a red flag for most conservatives (and would violate the candidate’s GOP pledge to not take union money if they signed it), so unions backing a Republican typically will make a contribution to a PAC that will then send a mail piece out as an independent expenditure.  Often candidates claim they have no control of independent expenditures so they can disclaim any responsibility yet still reap the benefits of the mailer.  So, I reached out to Leckness, Reardon, Bucknum, and Bartlett for comment.

To their credit, I received responses from Reardon (who signed the pledge) and Bucknum, both of whom stated that they did not know about the mailer until they received it on Wednesday, and both also stated that they have not been offered or taken any union money.  After giving the candidates 24 hours to respond, I have not heard back from Leckness or Bartlett.

While I recognize that all candidates and their supporters embellish their mailers, outright lies should not be tolerated.  Curiously, the PAC’s mailer repeats the same lie that Bartlett previously made against Ming falsely stating that Ming approved a loan to the City Manager at below market rates, when in fact Ming only voted for the loan on the condition that it be at prevailing market rates. (here)  Unfortunately, I did not hear back from Bartlett to address whether her campaign provided any information, including the false interest rate, to the PAC for the mailer.

The PAC mailer also suffers from a lie by omission.  While touting Bartlett as a fiscal conservative by noting her efforts to balance the budget and reduce pensions, the mailer conveniently ignores the fact that Ming, too, helped balance Laguna Niguel’s budget ever year that he has been on the Council.

Union money has become all to prevalent in national, state, and local politics.  The unions extort dues from their members and use that never-ending supply to support candidates who they believe will further their cause.  I know Reardon and Bucknum personally, and I take them at their word that they did not know anything about the union-backed mailer supporting them.  I also know that Bartlett has been willing to use false facts in an effort to smear Ming, and has not retracted any of those false press releases, even when faced with undeniable evidence of the false facts.  Bartlett also failed to respond to my questions about the PAC mailer that uses the same false information she previously used.  I leave it to the voters to decide who to trust in November.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Mission Viejo, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Voice of OC(EA) SMEAR Campaign against Senate Republican Candidate Janet Nguyen

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 7, 2013

This just came across the wire from the Janet Nguyen for Senate campaign:

WARNING – Voice of OC(EA) SMEAR Campaign against Senate Republican Candidate Janet Nguyen

The self-described “non-profit investigative news agency” blog called Voice of OC has been conducting a relentless smear campaign geared towards keeping Republican candidate Janet Nguyen out of the California State Senate.

Recently they have focused on Janet’s involvement in making the County Organized Health System (CalOptima) operations more accountable and transparent. One out of every 4 residents of Janet’s district utilize CalOptima. She is proud of her advocacy efforts on their behalf as a member of the CalOptima Board of Directors. Janet has also co-hosted annual Central County Health and Senior Expos with numerous public agencies, non-profits, community organizations and local businesses since 2010 – this was recently chronicled by the OC Register. The Expos, through the generosity of thousands of volunteers, have served over 10,000 children, adults and seniors who do not have access to preventative health care, generating substantial savings for the taxpayers as preventive health care needs are addressed before these residents resort to costly emergency room services.

Unfortunately, Janet’s efforts to reform CalOptima and outreach to the community have been mischaracterized by the Voice of OC  blog whose only interest is to further their own political agenda through an organized smear campaign.

Some have asked why this Blog has taken such an interest in a smear campaign against Janet Nguyen?

The answer should be obvious. Just follow the money. A check of the Voice of OC’s most recent IRS filings shows that nearly all of their funds come from labor unions and Democrat donors. A full 63% comes from a single public employee union – OCEA.  The remainder from Democrat/liberal donors or groups. These entities all have a huge stake in making sure State Senate Dems keep their 2/3rds super majority.

Here’s the rundown according to the Voice of OC’s own tax returns:

TOTAL FUNDS RECEIVED (report from latest 2 year period) : $797,040

Orange County Employees Association – $499,500                                     63%
California Endowment – $121,012                                                                  15%
Wylie Aitken (Former Chair Democratic Foundation of OC) – $85,000       10%
United Food & Commercial Workers – $25,000                                             3%
Former Democratic Senator Joe Dunn – $14,635                                          2%
*Major Democrat Donors:  – $30,000                                                             4%
Unnamed small donors – $21,956                                                                  3%

*(donors to: Act Blue, DCCC, Barbara Boxer, Beth Krom for Congress, Alan Lowenthal for Congress, Loretta Sanchez for Congress)

Posted in 34th Senate District | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Voice of OCVoice of OCEA & Brothers!

Posted by Lassie on May 6, 2013

I rarely blog here, but I decided to unveil a post that I have been sitting on about the funding of Voice of OC. The Voice of OC has been jokingly referred to as the Voice of OCEA and the Voice of OCEA and Brothers by many insiders around Orange County, due to funding coming from the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA). It’s commonly known around the county that the unions fund the Voice of OC but no one that I’ve talked to know how much.

I decided to try to put the pieces of the puzzle together and determine where the Voice of OC receives their funding and what motives they might have. My presentation to you will be simply presenting facts and allowing you to come up with your own conclusion.

In order to start my investigation, I went to one of the best sources of information on non-profit organizations: www.guidestar.org. The information that was retrieved from this website was rather fascinating.

Here is a copy of the form 990.

1) According to the “People” tab on the www.guidestar.org website, the current board of directors is a well-known group. Here is the most recent Board of Directors list; Joe Dunn, Erwin Chemerinsky, Henry Weinstein, Daniel Weintraub, John Cruz, Mario Rodriguez, Robert Magnuson, Stanley Tkaczyk, Loren Blackwood, Wylie Aitken (Chairman), and Norberto Santana (Editor-In-Chief, who also received over $100,000 in 2010).

Joe Dunn – former State Senator who represented the 34th Senate District (currently held by Senator Lou Correa).  He unseated former Senator Rob Hurtt and caused the Republicans to lose its first State Senate seat in Orange County.  Republicans have not being able to take back this Senate seat since.  After he was termed out of office, Dunn was appointed as the CEO of the California Medical Association in 2006, and he is the current Executive Director of the State Bar of California and is a founding partner of The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP.

Wylie Aitken– A lawyer, but better known in the Orange County political arena as the Chairman and Founder of the Democratic Party Foundation in Orange County.  He is famously known for providing political strategy and as a major donor to Democrats nationally and especially in Orange County.

Erwin Chemerinsky – The founding dean of University of California, Irvine School of Law. He is the author of a few different books including most recently two books titled; The Conservative Assault on the Constitution and Enhancing Government. It is my understanding that Chemerinsky also teaches political science classes.

Henry Weinstein– He is a founding member of the faculty at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. He like Robert Magnuson (his profile is listed below) also held a position at the Los Angeles Times in the past.

Daniel Weintraub – He has been a public affairs columnist for the Sacramento Bee editorial pages since 2000. Before working up in Sacramento, he worked at the Los Angeles Times for 8 years and Orange County Register for 6 years.

Robert Magnuson – He is the owner of Magnuson and Company, a strategic communications and management consulting firm based in Laguna Beach. His background includes over 20 years of working at the Los Angeles Times, where he was Senior Vice President in the organization.

Stan Tkaczyk – He is the current President of Rainbow Disposal Company and is the husband to Orange County Register Columnist Barbara Venezia. He was recently appointed to serve on the OC Fair Board by Governor Brown in 2012, where he serves with OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino on the Orange County Fair board.  Both were appointed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Loren Blackwood – I could not find much information about her other than discovering that she co-founded the Newport Beach Winery with her boyfriend Richard Moriarty, who is the heir to the Segerstrom fortune. According to the article, she handles the marketing for Newport Beach Winery.

Mario Rodriguez – He is the chairman of the Hispanic 100 and former Chairman of the Latino Coalition.

John Cruz – He is also on the board of the Hispanic 100.  He was appointed as the Appointments Secretary for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Cruz is also an attorney.

2) In 2010, the Voice of OC took in $450,707 in total revenue. According to www.guidestar.org on the 2010 form 990 that was provided by the non-profit organization, here is the breakdown of where the cash is coming from.   I’m only able to provide the 2010 contributors because that was the last time they made it available for the public to view.

Orange County Employees Association:    $269,500
California Endowment:    $82,008
United Food & Commercial Workers:   $25,000
Wylie Aitken:   $25,000
Joe Dunn:   $14,635
Stephen Garcia: $10,000
Jeff Teller: $5,000
Anne Andrews: $5,000
Other Contributions (under $5,000): $14,564

You can expect to see this donor list in all of my future posts on this topic to serve as a reminder of where Voice of OC is receiving their funding and what their interest could be.

3) In order to provide a broader picture of the organization, I will also present that in 2010, the Voice of OC had $381,520 in total expenses. After searching through the 2010 Form 990, I could not find an itemized list of specifically what they purchased with the money they spent.

However, the only major expense they spent was for the editor-in-chief, Norberto Santana.  His salary in 2010’s report was listed as $120,000 and $16,900 in other compensation.

As stated at the beginning of this post, I will not make any conclusions in this post, but simply leave you with this question:

Can a news agency/blog that appears to receive over 75% of their funding from public employee unions and high-ranking Orange County Democrats, write news stories that are objective in Orange County especially on high-ranking conservative Republicans? Was there ever an article written that didn’t lean to the left? More posts to come.

Here is a response to this article from Jennifer Muir of OCEA:

It’s no secret that OCEA provided seed funding for Voice of OC, and that since then, a number of other organizations and individuals have seen the impact of Voice’s investigative reporting and chosen to become contributors, as well. OCEA will continue to contribute for the following reasons: Voice of OC’s nearly 100,000 visitors per month, its string of investigative reporting awards from the OC Press Club, its recognition from the USC Annenberg School for Journalism, its inclusion on the Associated Press wires, its partnership with PBS, and its bipartisan Community Editorial Board. Journalists across the Country recognize the high quality and impact of Voice’s reporting, and Orange County is better for it.

Posted in Orange County | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

His Master’s Voice

Posted by OC Insider on September 10, 2012

Anaheim city council candidate John Leos was on the OCEA Board of Directors from 2008 until early this year. OCEA is the union representing County of Orange employees. OCEA also represents its affiliate, the Anaheim Municipal Employees Association. He was also a director of the OCEA Political Action Committee. OCEA spent north of $200,000 trying to elect Leos to the Anaheim Council in 2010.

You get the picture: Leos is the public employee union candidate for Anaheim city council.

Leos has tried to distance himself from OCEA. He left the union board of directors this year. He and his supporters started putting out the word that he was unhappy with OCEA and its tactics. Sure. That’s believable.

But only last year, in an interview with OCEA Magazine, Leos had this advice for fellow union members looking to get more involved:

Q: What do you suggest other OCEA members do if they want to get involved?

A: Become a steward and attend rallies. Also, read all the emails (from OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino) and ask your co-workers to do so.

Oh my. “Read all e-mail from [Nick Berardino] and ask your co-workers to do so.” That’s a bit too much of a “We hear and obey, Dear Leader” mindset for our comfort.

You can read all of the interview here.

Oh wait – sorry. The OCEA has scrubbed that incriminating content from their website. Fortunately, you can see read it in the PDF version of the Winter 2011 OCEA Magazine here. Go to page 24.

Posted in Anaheim | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Voice of OC Pledged Feature on DPOC After OCGOP Article: Where Did it Go?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 6, 2012

On Thursday, August 16, with great fanfare, the Voice of OC published the OC GOP’s candidate endorsement questionnaire under the headline “Just What is an OC Republican?

The article notes, “While the questions are intended to vet local candidates for local offices, many focus on ideology as well as on national issues.”

It also states:

While party leaders insist the questions are not a “litmus test” for candidates, they are illustrative about what central committee members want to see in elected officials.

“It’s designed to philosophically reveal where a person is coming from,” said local GOP Chairman Scott Baugh. “There’s no litmus answer sheet that has the perfect answer.”

Despite Baugh’s comments, county Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbaro had his own opinion of the Republican questionnaire. “If it looks like a litmus test, smells like a litmus test and tastes like a litmus test, it is one,” Barbaro said.

Barbaro said county Democrats are issuing their own questionnaire for candidates. Voice of OC will feature that questionnaire Friday.

Let’s look at those last two sentences again: “Barbaro said county Democrats are issuing their own questionnaire for candidates. Voice of OC will feature that questionnaire Friday.”

Friday, August 17 has passed…so has Friday, August 24…and Friday, August 31.  No one has seen the DPOC questionnaire on Voice of OC.  They haven’t published an article on it.  Where is the “feature” they promised?  Why would they promise that and not deliver?

Best-case scenario, they just plain forgot.  Worst-case scenario, the article got spiked.  Either way, an organization that bills itself as “Orange County’s Nonprofit Investigative News Agency” has not exactly acted as a news agency should.

Will Voice of OC ever publish the DPOC’s questionnaire?

Many people have referred to Voice of OC as Voice of OC[EA] in light of its funding by Orange County labor.  Do they really want to add fuel to the fire behind that nickname?

Posted in Democrat Central Committee, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Lingering Questions From Cynthia Ward’s Lost Lawsuit

Posted by OC Insider on September 5, 2012

Mostly a Loss for Ward

OK, the court rejected Anaheim gadfly Cynthia Ward’s lawsuit to prevent council candidate Steve Chavez Lodge from using Chavez as part of his name on the ballot. Chavez is part of his legal name, but it’s not like Ward has been primarily concerned about facts or anything in this case as opposed to playing politics.

The outcome of that part of her lawsuit should never have been in doubt. Ward said because, in her opinion, Lodge was not “widely known” as Steve Chavez Lodge, that he should be barred from using it on the ballot. Too bad she wasn’t aware of Jim Lacy’s lawsuit in 2008 against Dana Point council candidate Lou Penrose, asking the court to bar him from using the name he was widely known by – Lou Penrose – and force him to instead use his legal name, Luigi Rossetti. The judge sort of split the baby and required Penrose to list himself as “Lou Penrose (aka Luigi Rossetti Jr.).”

Ward and her legal team were basically attempting the reverse of that.

She did squeeze out a little bit of victory when the judge ruled Lodge can’t use the “retired policeman” part of his “retired policeman/businessman” ballot designation.

Who’s Footing The Bill For The Lawsuit?

In comments around the blogosphere today, Ward served notice that she absolutely will not disclose who is paying her legal costs. Up till now, in her blogging and activism, Ms. Ward’s  has been upfront and candid about her motives, political relationships, etc. This cone of silence shtick is way out of character.  Since she still won’t even state “Yes, I am paying for my legal fees out of my own pocket,” it’s safe by now to assume someone else of taking care of Strumwaaser-Woocher’s bill.

Also, in her lawsuit, Ward puzzlingly did not include any request to recover attorney fees if she won the case. The judge made no mention of recovering legal costs in his decision. If Ward had won, she would have to sue to recover legal fees.

Anyone as confident as Ward was of winning their case would have included a request…unless you weren’t the one paying for the lawsuit and therefore didn’t need to worry about recovering legal fees.
Either way, Ms. Ward can still clear this point up very easily.

The John Leos Connection

Here’s another interesting connection to Ward’s lawsuit against Lodge.

Lodge was served with the lawsuit the evening of Tuesday, August 21. A few hours later that same evening, the campaign of a rival council candidate John Leo (the candidate of the city employees union) sent out this press release:

Lawsuit Challenges Lodge’s Use of Chavez Name for Race in Anaheim

ANAHEIM (August 21, 2012) — Anaheim resident Cynthia Ward has challenged City Council candidate Steve Lodge’s use of the middle name “Chavez” on the ballot and also the inclusion of “retired” in his ballot designation. Her lawsuit suggests the recent use of the middle name “Chavez” serves a political function.

“While I can respect Lodge’s apparent sensitivity to voter concerns about the lack of a Latino voice on the Council, it just seems opportunistic to put on a Latino identity for himself now that votes are at stake,” said City Council Candidate John Leos. “My family over the last 90 years experienced segregated Anaheim schools and other injustices, but I learned from them always to be myself — in season and out of season.”
So how did Leos find out so quickly not just that Lodge had been served, but obviously had knew the details of the lawsuit?

In a blog comment, Ms. Ward says she didn’t release any information, and doesn’t think her lawyers would have done so without her approval:

“These suits are filed routinely in elections all over the country, most without the fanfare and negativity that this one has been subjected to. Which leads one to wonder, how did the press even find out about this? I did not do a press release. Voice of OC was tipped off about 24 hours after the suit was filed, and to confirm factual information I posted a short notice to a new, raw, non-revenue generating blog I am working on, one that is not even tied into Google yet, so the media frenzy did not come from me. My attorney would not run a press release without me. Did Lodge or his campaign team generate the press attention? One has to wonder.”

Yes, one does have to wonder. The Lodge campaign didn’t alert the world (why would they?). But if someone else was paying for the lawsuit, like a certain public employee union that represents Anaheim city employees, and used to have Leos on its Board of Directors, and is backing Leos for Anaheim City Council, is paying for the lawsuit, then that union would have the details of the lawsuit and every motivation to pass them along to the Leos campaign.

That explanation makes a lot more sense than anything Ward or anyone else has come up with. We’re not going to hold our breath waiting for the Leos campaign to disclose how they learned of the lawsuit and its details so amazingly quickly. Only the willfully blind aren’t going to see the busy hands of the OCEA and the Leos campaign in this entire affair.

Posted in Anaheim, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

OCEA Robocall Targets Anaheim Council’s Murray, Eastman, and Sidhu – Again

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 28, 2012

OCEA had a Sunday, February 12 robocall and a Saturday, February 11 mailer targeting Anaheim Councilmembers Kris Murray, Gail Eastman, and Harry Sidhu.  The Anaheim Chamber dropped a Saturday, February 18 mailer defending the three Councilmembers.

Essentially, these robocalls and mailers are the result of a 3-2 Anaheim City Council (Mayor Tom Tait and Mayor Pro Tem Lorri Galloway dissenting) for a $158 million tax plan favoring GardenWalk Hotel I, LCC on January 24.  How the plan works in a nutshell is that GardenWalk Hotel I, LCC will retain 80% of the Transient Occupancy Tax money from the GardenWalk Hotel for the next 15 years.  (The Transient Occupancy Tax is known colloquially as the hotel bed tax.)  My post here explains the controversy.

Well, yesterday at 2:58 PM, the OCEA launched another robocall targetting Murray, Eastman, and Sidhu.  Read the transcript below or click to play:

Hello, I’m Larry Larsen, your Anaheim neighbor and local businessman.

If you want to tell Anaheim Councilmembers Murray, Eastman, and Sidhu it’s wrong to give wealthy corporate developers 158 million tax dollars while they cut public safety, libraries, and parks, now’s your chance: join us at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Tell them to give Anaheim citizens the right to vote and stop the giveaway.  Demand your vote!  Tell them to put it on the ballot.

Join me and our neighbors tomorrow: Tuesday, 4:30 PM, Anaheim City Hall, 200 South Anaheim Boulevard.

Paid for by Orange County Employees Association (714) 835-3355 HeartofAnaheim.com

This is the same Larry Larsen who did the last robocall.

It looks like Anaheim’s going to be embroiled in this $158 million controversy for the rest of this election year.

Posted in Anaheim | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

OCEA Hitting Anaheim Mailboxes as Well

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on February 13, 2012

You may have read the article that Nguyen wrote this morning that had the OCEA robocall up urging people to show up to a townhall forum to discuss the recent vote that took place regarding the hotel tax subsidy.

It appears that answering machines are not their only mode of communication to the people of Anaheim as they are also trying to reach people through mail as well. I have already received three mailers prior to today, but unfortunately OC Political did not yet exist to pot the mailers up for all to see. Saturday I received the fourth mailer from OCEA, this time without a picture of John Leos on it and also targeting a totally separate issue.

Mailer looked as follows:

Clearly OCEA is targeting Anaheim in the November election with John Leos and a second candidate. This is a very opportune time to target the largest city on Orange County with Harry Sidhu and Lorri Galloway both termed out.

It appears that November campaign season has started earlier than expected which could make for a lot of mail.

Posted in Anaheim, Mail | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »