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Posts Tagged ‘Roberta Reid’

OC’s Worst Ballot Designations

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 29, 2012

Ballot designations are the only piece of information that appear directly on the ballot other than a candidate's name.

The most important thing a candidate does in a campaign may well be selecting a ballot designation.  That little phrase underneath a candidate’s name are the last piece of information that voters see before casting their ballots.  In low-profile races (like Central Committee, where you can’t even get a candidate’s statement in the sample ballot), that little phrase may well be the only piece of information that voters see before casting their ballots.

Adam Probolsky has written about good and bad ballot designations, on (I believe) both Flash Report and old Red County, and he’s spoken about them in the press.  Inspired by his old commentary, I now present to you Orange County’s worst ballot designations (I’ll write about Orange County’s best ballot designations next week).

OC’s Ten Worst Ballot Designations

I would be shocked if any of these people with truly awful ballot designations win (with the possible exception of Lupe Moreno, who might be able to overcome her awful designation with her high name ID):

  1. Student (Roberta J. Reid in the Fullerton Recall, Kathryn Pena in the 73rd District Democratic Central Committee)
    The electorate does not vote for students.  Sorry, life’s unfair, but voters will not vote for a student.  Some of you will point to young candidates who have been elected, but guess what, they didn’t use the “Student” ballot designation.
    My advice to students running for office: pick “Community Volunteer” if you don’t have a job or “Businessman” or “Businesswoman” if you have a job (even a part-time job).
  2. Musician, Artist (Matthew Hakim in the Fullerton Recall)
    What on earth makes a musician or an artist qualified to hold elected office?  People like to listen to music and to look at art, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to vote for musicians or artists.
    My advice to musicians and artists running for office: pick “Businessman” or “Businesswoman”
  3. Homemaker (Patricia Ross in the 72nd District Republican Central Committee)
    While homemakers are absolutely essential to the well-functioning of people’s homes and ultimately, society, people are unwilling to vote for homemakers for elected office.  Sorry, as with students, life is unfair, and voters will not cast their ballots for homemakers.
    My advice to homemakers running for office: pick “Community Volunteer”
  4. Self-Employed Hairdresser (Heidi A. Bressler in the 74th District Democratic Central Committee)
    Why is anyone going to vote for a hairdresser?  Voters aren’t going to go for that.  What special attributes does a hairdresser bring to elected office?
    My advice to self-employed hairdressers running for office: pick “Small Business Owner” or “Businesswoman/Entrepreneur”
  5. Office Specialist (Lupe Moreno in the 69th District Republican Central Committee)
    What is an office specialist?  I think it’s something clerical.  (For the record, this is the County’s description.) If Lupe Moreno wins, it’ll be due to her long-term name ID in spite of her ballot designation.
    My advice to office specialists running for office: “Office Coordinator” or “Analyst” makes you sound more impressive.
  6. Plumbing Contractor (Kevin Richardson in the 73rd District Republican Central Committee)
    Unless you’re Joe the Plumber, I really don’t think voters are going to vote for anyone with “Plumbing” as part of their ballot designation.  People just aren’t big fans of plumbers.  Think of all the stereotypes of plumbers, and they aren’t flattering.
    My advice to plumbing contractors running for office: pick “Small Businessman” or “Business Contractor”
  7. Retail Sales Associate (Joshua Robert Morales in the 68th District Republican Central Committee)
    Why would voters cast their ballots for a retail sales associates?  What makes a retail sales associate uniquely qualified for office?
    My advice to retail sales associates running for office: “Businessman” or “Businesswoman”
  8. Retired Executive Secretary (Heide Krueger in the 74th District Democratic Central Committee)
    Executive secretaries are key players in what happens in an office and control access to the executives.  However, life’s unfair, and many people lack respect for the position and will not vote for one.
    My advice to [retired] executive secretaries running for office: “[Retired] Businesswoman” or “[Retired] Businessman”
  9. Executive Assistant (Erin Shawn in the 73rd District Democratic Central Committee)
    Executive assistants have virtually the same problem as executive secretaries, though there may be some people who make distinctions between the assistants and secretaries.
    My advice to executive assistants running for office: “Businesswoman” or “Businessman”
  10. Retired Recreation Supervisor (Glen Stroud in the 69th District Republican Central Committee)
    What would motivate people to vote for a recreation supervisor?  Stroud’s claims to fame as being a twice-ousted Santa Ana City Commissioner and a grand juror likely does not produce high enough name ID to overpower this bad ballot designation.
    My advice to [retired] recreation supervisors running for office: “[Retired] County Manager” or “[Retired] City Supervisor” (Stroud is the former, FYI); unfortunately, these are not interchangeable as “[Retired] County Supervisor” and “[Retired] City Manager” would be unacceptable due to their wildly different meanings.

(In all cases above from my advice, businessman/businesswoman/businessperson are interchangeable, of course.)

Worst Set of Ballot Designations in One Race: CD-46

  • Escrow Company Owner (Pat Garcia, Republican)
  • Tax Accountant (Jorge Rocha, Republican)
  • United States Representative – 47th District (Loretta Sanchez, Incumbent Democrat)
  • Local Independent Businessman (Jerry Hayden, Republican)
  • Strategy Manager/Accountant (John J. Cullum, Republican)

The old saying, “less is more” applies to all five of these ballot designations.  None of these in and of themselves would make the list of worst ballot designations, but collectively, they are the worst set of any one race.

  • Garcia should have just gone with “Small Business Owner” as his ballot designation.  I can’t imagine there’s a huge voter base of escrow officers.
  • Rocha should have just gone with “Accountant” or “Businessman” because a “Tax Accountant” sounds like some horrible agent of the IRS even though his job is actually helping people battle the IRS.
  • Sanchez should have left her district number off.  She inadvertently makes herself look like a carpetbagger when really her district was simply renumbered.  Fortunately for her, she has very high name ID in her district (high even for an incumbent) and throughout the county, and frankly it’s still by far the best ballot designation in this contest.
  • Hayden slapped on too many adjectives and picked odd wording.  People are more used to “Small Businessman” than “Independent Businessman” in their common vernacular.  Indeed, “Local Independent Businessman” sounds much colder and unfriendly than “Local Small Businessman” as a ballot designation.
  • On Cullum: what exactly is a Strategy Manager anyway?

So those are Orange County’s worst ballot designations.  I’ll write next week about Orange County’s best ballot designations.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, who served on the Fullerton City Council from 1984-2002.  One of my co-workers in the office is Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was elected in 2010 and is not a target of the recall.  Since I referenced him at the start of this post, I should also note I have not spoken to Adam Probolsky [nor Chris Norby or Bruce Whitaker, for that matter] about this post, although I hope he would be in agreement with my analysis above.  The opinions expressed in this post are exclusively my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Chris Norby, Bruce Whitaker, or Adam Probolsky.)

Posted in 46th Congressional District, Fullerton, Orange County, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Battle for Fullerton: Thirteen Pull Papers for Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 8, 2012

Fullerton City Council MeetingThe Fullerton recall elections will be on the same day as the June 5 Primary.  Fullerton voters will decide whether or not to recall Republican City Councilmen Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, and Pat McKinley.  I blogged about the recall here last week.

Here’s an update on the Fullerton Council candidates (thus far) in the recall replacement elections…

  • Richard Albarran: Registered as No Party Preference (Decline-to-State in the pre-Prop 14 parlance), Albarran pulled papers for all three seats.
  • Rick Alvarez: A Republican Fullerton Transportation & Circulation Commissioner, Alvarez pulled papers for all three seats.
  • Douglas Chaffee: A Democrat and former Fullerton Planning Commissioner, Chaffee pulled papers for all three seats.  He ran for the City Council in 2010.
  • David De Leon: A Republican, De Leon pulled papers for all three seats.
  • Glenn Georgieff: A Democrat and former Fullerton Library Trustee, Georgieff filed papers for Jones’s seat.
  • Matthew Hakim: A Democrat, Hakim pulled papers for Jones’s seat.
  • Travis Kiger: A Republican Fullerton Planning Commissioner and blogger at Friends for Fullerton’s Future, Kiger pulled papers for Jones’s seat.
  • Barry Levinson: A Republican Fullerton Parks & Recreation Commissioner, Levinson pulled papers for all three seats.  He ran for the City Council in 2010.
  • Jane Rands: The Chair of the Fullerton Bicycle Users Subcommittee and Treasurer of the Green Party of Orange County, Rands has filed papers for Bankhead’s seat.  She ran for the State Assembly in 2010.
  • Roberta Reid: A student registered as No Party Preference, Reid has filed for Jones’s seat.
  • Matthew Rowe: Registered as No Party Preference, Rowe has pulled papers for all thre seats.
  • Greg Sebourn: The Chair of the Fullerton Citizen’s Infrastructure Review Commission and Assemblyman Chris Norby’s Alternate on the Republican Central Committee, Sebourn pulled papers for all three seats.  He ran for the City Council in 2010.
  • Paula Williams: A Democrat, Williams pulled papers for Bankhead’s seat.

In a nutshell, here’s what it looks like…

9 possible candidates for Bankhead’s seat:

  • Richard Albarran (NPP)
  • Rick Alvarez (R)
  • Douglas Chaffee (D)
  • David De Leon (R)
  • Barry Levinson (R)
  • Jane Rands (G)
  • Matthew Rowe (NPP)
  • Greg Sebourn (R)
  • Paula Williams (D)

11 possible candidates for Jones’s seat:

  • Richard Albarran (NPP)
  • Rick Alvarez (R)
  • Douglas Chaffee (D)
  • David De Leon (R)
  • Glenn Georgieff (D)
  • Matthew Hakim (D)
  • Travis Kiger (R)
  • Barry Levinson (R)
  • Roberta Reid (NPP)
  • Matthew Rowe (NPP)
  • Greg Sebourn (R)

7 possible candidates for McKinley’s seat:

  • Richard Albarran (NPP)
  • Rick Alvarez (R)
  • Douglas Chaffee (D)
  • David De Leon (R)
  • Barry Levinson (R)
  • Matthew Rowe (NPP)
  • Greg Sebourn (R)

Candidate filing for the Fullerton Recall ends on March 9, the same deadline as most other offices on the June Primary ballot.

(As you might note, I’ve played it straight, reporting just the facts on this post, rather than doing any analysis.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, who served on the Fullerton City Council from 1984-2002.  One of my co-workers in the office is Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was elected in 2010 and is not a target of the recall.)

Posted in Fullerton | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Illegal Ballot Designations That No One Will Bother to Challenge

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 5, 2012

Looking through the candidate filing, I noticed a couple ballot designations that do not comply with the State Elections Code and Ballot Designation Regulations.  However, no one, not even their opponents, will bother to challenge them.

Fullerton City Council Recall Replacement

(Elections Code Section 13107(a) governs acceptable ballot designations.  Subparagraphs 1, 2, and 4 govern the designations of sitting elected officials, so only 13107(a)(3) applies to this post.)  A ballot designation must consist of the “principal professions, vocations, or occupations” of a candidate.  According to Secretary of State Regulation Section 20714(a):

  • “‘Profession’ means a field of employment requiring special education or skill and requiring knowledge of a particular discipline. The labor and skill involved in a profession is predominantly mental or intellectual, rather than physical or manual…”
  • “‘Vocation’ means a trade, a religious calling, or the work upon which a person, in most but not all cases, relies for his or her livelihood and spends a major portion of his or her time…”
  • “‘Occupation’ means the employment in which one regularly engages or follows as the means of making a livelihood…”

Roberta Reid has “Student” as her ballot designation.  Being a student is not a profession, vocation, or occupation, as defined by the Secretary of State’s regulations.  However, “student” is such a horrible designation that none of her opponents would challenge it.  Nearly any other ballot designation would help Reid, so anyone challenging the designation would probably be an ally.  I mean, really, who’s going to vote for a “student” on the ballot?

Note to all students running for office: Pick “Community Volunteer” as your ballot designation; it sounds good and is virtually unassailable for candidates without full-time jobs.

Democrats’ 55th Assembly District Central Committee

Molly A. Muro has “Business Opportunity Specialist” as her ballot designation.  Secretary of State Regulation Section 20716(e) specifically prohibits the word “specialist” as part of a ballot designation.  (Indeed, former Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi tried to user “Jobs/Economy Specialist” as his ballot designation in the 2010 Board of Equalization primary, but was forced to use “Jobs, Economy Analyst” instead.  Read more about Nakanishi’s attempt here from an old Red County post by Chris Emami and here from Nakanishi’s victorious opponent George Runner.)

However, no one is going to challenge Muro’s designation, even though “Business Opportunity Specialist” actually sounds pretty good.  The reason?  She’s one of three people running for six seats.  She will obviously win since three candidates for six seats means all the candidates win, and there’s still three vacancies left over.  Three more people could decide to run, and everyone running would still win.

Posted in Democrat Central Committee, Fullerton | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Battle for Fullerton: Rands, Reid, Kiger, Sebourn, Georgieff, and Anonymous Candidate Pull Papers for Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 27, 2012

Fullerton City Council MeetingOn Tuesday, the Fullerton City Council voted to consolidate the recall elections with the June 5 Primary.  Fullerton voters will decide whether or not to recall Republican City Councilmen Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, and Pat McKinley.

Fullerton’s voters will also vote on replacements for each councilman should one, two, or all three of the recalls succeed.  (Remember, the recalls are not an all-or-nothing proposition.  The recalls of Bankhead, Jones, and McKinley are technically three separate elections, so it is possible that rather than all three surviving or all three being recalled, one could survive with two recalled or two could survive with the other recalled.)  Most people do expect an all-or-nothing result since the recalls seek to remove the three for the same reason, but that doesn’t necessarily have to happen.

In November, the other two councilmembers, Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva and Republican Bruce Whitaker, are up for election.  If his recall fails, Jones is up for election in November.  If his recall succeeds, Jones’s replacement is up for election in November.

If their respective recalls fail, Bankhead and McKinley are each up for re-election in 2014; if their respective recalls succeed, their respective replacements are each up for re-election in 2014.

Now, here’s a look at the Fullerton Council candidates (thus far) in the recall replacement elections…

Wednesday, February 22 was the first day Fullertonians could pull papers to run in the recall replacement elections.  On that day, two candidates pulled papers:

  • Jane Rands: The Chair of the Fullerton Bicycle Users Subcommittee and Treasurer of the Green Party of Orange County, Rands pulled papers for all three seats.  She ran for the State Assembly in 2010.
  • Roberta Reid: Registered as No Party Preference (Decline-to-State in the pre-Prop 14 parlance), Reid pulled papers for all three seats (but filed for Jones’s seat the following day).

On Thursday, February 23, two more candidates pulled papers to run:

  • Travis Kiger: A Republican Fullerton Planning Commissioner and blogger at Friends for Fullerton’s Future, Kiger pulled papers for Jones’s seat.
  • Greg Sebourn: The Chair of the Fullerton Citizen’s Infrastructure Review Commission and Assemblyman Chris Norby’s Alternate on the Republican Central Committee, Sebourn pulled papers for all three seats.  He ran for the City Council in 2010.

On Friday, February 24, one candidate pulled papers:

  • Glenn Georgieff: A Democrat and former Fullerton Library Trustee, Georgieff pulled papers for Jones’s seat.

Oddly, the candidate filing log notes, “In addition, one person has pulled papers for all three seats, but has not yet provided contact information.” (The bolding is in the original log and was not added by me.)  This anonymous candidate will need to reveal himself/herself by the close of filing, of course.

In a nutshell for those keeping track, all six candidates (Rands, Reid, Kiger, Sebourn, Georgieff, and the anonymous candidate) pulled papers for Jones’s seat (and Reid already filed for that seat).  Rands, Reid, Sebourn, and the anonymous candidate also pulled papers for Bankhead and McKinley’s seats (Kiger and Georgieff did not; and of course, Reid has filed for the Jones seat).

To reiterate for those keeping partisan scores of the councilmembers and candidates, Rands is a Green, Reid is a No Party Preference, Georgieff and Quirk-Silva are Democrats, while the rest (Bankhead, Jones, Kiger, McKinley, Sebourn, and Whitaker) are Republicans.  Remember, Councilmembers Quirk-Silva and Whitaker are not recall targets.

Candidate filing for the Fullerton Recall ends on March 9, the same deadline as most other offices on the June Primary ballot.

(As you might note, I’ve played it straight, reporting just the facts on this post, rather than doing any analysis.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, who served on the Fullerton City Council from 1984-2002.  One of my co-workers in the office is Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was elected in 2010 and is not a target of the recall.)

Posted in Fullerton | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »