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Posts Tagged ‘Sharon Quirk-Silva’

Democrats Cast More OC Primary Election Votes Than Republicans for First Time Ever

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 8, 2016

Republican Presidential Nominee
Donald Trump

This is cross-posted to OC Daily.

In numbers that should scare Republicans across Orange County (and probably California, and maybe the United States), for the first time ever, more Orange County Democrats cast primary election ballots than Orange County Republicans did. Even in 2012, when Mitt Romney had sewn up the presidential nomination, more Republicans cast primary election votes than did in 2016. Even in the 2008 battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Democrats could not surpass Republicans in primary election ballots cast.

Party 2008 2012 2016
Democrat 317,859 (67.8%) 139,316 (27.5%) 231,638 (49.5%)
Republican 373,587 (52.2%) 234,396 (34.5%) 205,988 (36.9%)

The 2012 general election was a bloodbath for Republicans:

  • Democrats captured 2 Assembly seats from Republicans.
  • Democrats captured 3 Senate seats from Republicans.
  • Romney beat Obama by just 6.3% in Orange County.

Gerrymandered districts likely saved Republicans in 2008.  The 2016 elections will be conducted under the same district lines that were first contested in 2012.

2016 threatens to be worse than 2012.  Nowhere in Orange County is that more evident than in AD-65.  Here is how Assemblyman Chris Norby did against challenger Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva in the 2012 primary:

Vote Count Percentage
CHRIS NORBY (REP) 29,917 58.8%
SHARON QUIRK-SILVA (DEM) 20,936 41.2%

Here is how Assemblywoman Young Kim did against challenger ex-Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva last night:

Vote Count Percentage
SHARON QUIRK-SILVA (DEM) 28,840 53.0%
YOUNG KIM (REP) 25,575 47.0%

Norby led Quirk-Silva by 17.6% in the 2012 primary before losing to her in the general election by a 52%-48% margin.  Kim is behind in the 2016 primary by an even larger margin than Norby lost in the 2012 general.  Republicans will need to marshal massive financial and human resources in order to save the AD-65 seat.

Things look even bleaker in a swing seat that neighbors Orange County, where 66th District Assemblyman David Hadley is at 45.6% and trails ex-Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi:

Vote Count Percentage
AL MURATSUCHI (DEM) 36,832 48.3%
DAVID HADLEY (REP) 34,773 45.6%
MIKE MADRIGAL (DEM) 4,659 6.1%

The tri-county SD-29 is a good news, bad news situation for Republicans:

Vote Count Percentage
LING LING CHANG (REP) 52,131 44.8%
JOSH NEWMAN (DEM) 34,013 29.2%
SUKHEE KANG (DEM) 30,280 26.0%

As of the last reporting period ending May 21, Chang had $369,770 cash on hand, Newman had $21,835 cash on hand, and Kang had $173,086 cash on hand.  The good news is that Chang now faces a weaker, underfunded opponent for a key Senate target seat.  The bad news is Chang only got 44.8% of the vote in the primary.

Other scary numbers for Republican incumbents in Orange County last night:

  • Assemblyman Travis Allen has just 50.9% of the vote.
Vote Count Percentage
TRAVIS ALLEN (REP) 35,062 50.9%
LENORE ALBERT-SHERIDAN (DEM) 20,067 29.1%
NAM PHAM (DEM) 13,723 19.9%
  • Supervisor Andrew Do (R) is headed to a run-off with Michele Martinez (D), who he beat by 0.3% or 200 votes.
Vote Count Percentage
ANDREW DO 20,730 35.8%
MICHELE MARTINEZ 20,530 35.5%
PHAT BUI 11,026 19.1%
STEVE ROCCO 5,582 9.6%
  • Assemblyman Matthew Harper joins Assemblywoman Young Kim (who we discussed above) as the only two incumbents in Orange County who were not in first place.
Vote Count Percentage
KARINA ONOFRE (DEM) 33,570 42.5%
MATTHEW HARPER (REP) 30,614 38.7%
KATHERINE DAIGLE (REP) 14,885 18.8%
  • Orange County Board of Education President Robert Hammond (R) is breathing a sigh of relief that County Board of Education races are winner-take-all in June with no runoff, for he beat Beckie Gomez (D) by 1.9% or 961 votes:
Vote Count Percentage
ROBERT M. HAMMOND 21,100 42.4%
REBECCA “BECKIE” GOMEZ 20,139 40.5%
PAUL ZIVE 8,479 17.1%

There’s also the implications of California’s U.S. Senate race:

Vote Count Percentage
KAMALA D. HARRIS (DEM) 2,044,347 40.4%
LORETTA L. SANCHEZ (DEM) 939,107 18.5%
DUF SUNDHEIM (REP) 405,730 8.0%

With the top Republican vote-getter for U.S. Senate, Duf Sundheim, finishing a distant third, that means for the first time in California history, the November ballot for U.S. Senate will not include a Republican. Instead due to the top-two primary, only two Democrats will be on the U.S. Senate ballot in California.

Republicans face a tall order this fall to overcome the Democratic surge.  Republicans will have to unify behind Republican candidates.  The Republican Party must organize volunteers and raise significant funds.  The OC GOP must strengthen its financial and human infrastructure in order to defeat Democrats.  Otherwise, 2016 will be a bleak year indeed.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 29th Senate District, 65th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, California, Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

1st District Chaos: Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui Pulls Papers to Challenge Andrew Do

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 4, 2016

Andrew Do, Michele Martinez, Steve Rocco, and Phat Bui

Supervisor Andrew Do (R-Westminster), Councilwoman Michele Martinez (D-Santa Ana), Steve Rocco (NPP-Santa Ana), and Councilman Phat Bui (R-Garden Grove)

Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui (R) has joined convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco (NPP) in pulling papers to challenge the re-election bid of Supervisor Andrew Do (R).  Additionally, Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez (D) and the enigmatic Robert Bao Nguyen have also pulled papers to challenge Do’s re-election bid in the First Supervisorial District, which consists of Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Westminster, Midway City, and northern Fountain Valley.

Bui’s entry into the race had been rumored for days, with Bui himself reportedly seeking support for his race in Sacramento on Wednesday despite the Republican Party’s official endorsement of Do’s re-election.

Bui, who was just elected to the Garden Grove City Council just sixteen months ago with labor union support, is the third member of his council to make a bid for higher office in the last fourteen months, joining Mayor Bao Nguyen (D), who is currently running for the 46th Congressional District but trails former Senator Lou Correa (D) badly in polling, and Councilman Chris Phan (R), who made an ill-fated bid for First District Supervisor against Do and Correa, coming in a distant third.

Bui’s home had displayed signs supporting both Correa and Phan in the 2015 special election for Supervisor that Do had won.

By splitting the Vietnamese-American vote, the Republican vote, and the Garden Grove vote, Republican Bui’s entry into the race substantially increases the risk of forcing a Do-Martinez run-off, which many Democrats hope and many Republicans fear will pull resources away from the re-election bid of Assemblywoman Young Kim (R) against former Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) and the Senate bid of Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang (R) against former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang (D).

There’s no perfectly analogous race, but these are the four closest I’m aware of:

  • In 2014, there was a five-way race for Auditor-Controller, featuring Orange Treasurer/CPA Eric Woolery (R), Property Tax Director Frank Davies (R), Accountant Mike Dalati (D), Assistant Human Resources Director John Willard (NPP), and Audit Advisor Jim Benuzzi (D).  Woolery won 57%, Davies 17%, Dalati 11%, Willard 7%, and Benuzzi 7%.  Despite not being the incumbent, Woolery managed to avoid a run-off in a five-way race.
  • In 2014, Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen (R) was challenged for re-election by Businesswoman Monica Maddox (R), Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Gary Pritchard (D), and convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco (NPP).  Nguyen avoided a run-off by winning 61% of the vote to Maddox’s 18%, Pritchard’s 12%, and Rocco’s 8%.
  • In 2010, Public Administrator John Williams (R) was challenged by Superior Court Clerk Colleen Callahan, convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco (DTS), and Deputy Public Guardian Kevin Vann (D).  Williams avoided a run-off by winning 58% of the vote to Callahan’s 24%, Rocco’s 11%, and Vann’s 7%.
  • In 1998, Supervisor Jim Silva (R) was challenged for re-election by Huntington Beach Councilman Dave Sullivan (R), former Costa Mesa Councilwoman Sandy Genis (R), and a mysterious Ralph Silva.  Jim Silva won 45%, Sullivan 26%, Genis 17%, and Ralph Silva 11%.  In the run-off, Silva defeated Sullivan 56%-44%.

It appears the current Garden Grove Councilmembers are dreaming of replicating the success of their predecessors: in 2012, Phan won the seat that was once held by Do and once held by former State Assemblyman Ken Maddox (R); State Senator Janet Nguyen (R) also previously sat on the Garden Grove City Council (her former seat is now held by Councilman Steve Jones, also a Republican).

Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to the mysterious Robert Bao Nguyen, Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen, Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen, or State Senator Janet Nguyen.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Four Qualify for Special Election for North Orange County Community College District

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 16, 2015

Filing has closed for the North Orange County Community College District Special Election to fill the vacancy left when Area 3 Trustee Donna Miller (D) resigned on June 30 just seven months after being re-elected to a four-year term.  Miller had been on the Board for nearly 19 years.

Four people took out papers to run for the seat, and all four returned them and qualified for the ballot.  In alphabetical order, they are (with their party affiliation and ballot designation):

  • Daniel D. Billings (NPP), Contract Manager
  • Stephen T. Blount (R), Member, Cypress School District Board of Trustees
  • Steve Hwangbo (R), Orange County Businessman/Councilmember
  • Alan ‘Al’ Salehi (NPP), Trustee, Buena Park Library District

Exact ballot order will be determined by a lottery by the Secretary of State later this morning.

Daniel D. Billings

Married to a high school science teacher, Billings works for Southern California Edison. He was the appointee to the seat until Salehi overturned his appointment by petition.  A graduate of Fullerton College, he earned degrees from Whittier College and Azusa Pacific University; he also obtained a certificate at UCI.

Billings does not list any endorsements but does note his unanimous appointment by the NOCCCD Board.

Stephen T. Blount

A member of the Cypress School Board since 2010, Blount is a corporate controller.  He was a Democrat until 2014, when he reregistered as a Republican.  He was the Democrats’ nominee for the 67th Assembly District against Assemblyman Jim Silva (R) in 2008.  Holding a certificate from Cypress College, he earned degrees from Biola University and Azusa Pacific University.

He notes endorsements from Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno (D) and Centralia School District Board President Steve Harris (NPP).  Oddly, he also notes endorsements from several appointed staff: Cypress School District Superintendent.  Normally, staff do not endorse in political races because of the neutral position their offices are supposed to hold.

Blount has endorsed Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva’s bid to unseat Republican Assemblywoman Young Kim.

Steve Hwangbo

A La Palma City Councilman since 2010, Hwangbo is a businessman and engineer.  He was the top vote-getter in his 2014 re-election, coming in more than 13% ahead of the second vote-getter.  A community college graduate, he earned a degree at UCLA before going on to USC.

A longtime Republican, he notes endorsements from Senator Bob Huff, Senator John Moorlach, Supervisor Shawn Nelson, and Supervisor Michelle Steel.

How This Special Election Got Started & Info on Alan ‘Al’ Salehi

NOCCCD Trustee Area 3 consists of the entire City of La Palma, most of the City of Buena Park, the City of Cypress north of Orange Avenue, and two portions of Anaheim (one north of Ball Road and west of Beach Boulevard; the other north of La Palma Avenue and west of Magnolia Avenue).

Five people applied to fill the vacancy in Trustee Area 3.  In four rounds of voting on August 25:

  • In the first round of voting, the trustees voted: 3 votes for George O’Hara (R), 2 votes for Daniel Billings (NPP), and 1 vote for Jon Hultman (R).
  • In the second and third rounds, George O’Hara and Daniel Billings each got 3 votes.
  • In the fourth round, the NOCCCD trustees voted to appoint Daniel Billings.

Billings was to hold the seat until November 2016, when the seat would be up for a two-year short-term election.  The seat would then resume a regular four-year term in the November 2018 election.

However, Salehi, who the trustees did not support, then used Education Code 5091 and hired petition circulators to get signatures from 1.5% of registered voters within 30 days of the appointment, which invalidated the appointment (removing Billings from office) and triggered a special election.  (1.5% of registered voters in NOCCCD Trustee Area 3 is 799 valid signatures.)

Salehi is a colorful figure:

  • Last month, the Orange County Register reported that the Orange County Registrar of Voters successfully sued Salehi for $4,248 for not paying for his candidate statement in 2014.
  • The Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot reported that Salehi pulled papers for Laguna Beach City Council and Laguna Beach Unified School District in 2010, but on the last day of filing, he registered to vote in Buena Park and filed to run for the Buena Park Library District, where he realized he would be unopposed, as the second candidate to file for two seats.
  • Salehi has made no fewer than 8 unsuccessful bids for elected office:
    • 1996: Laguna Beach Unified School District (winning 11% and coming in last)
    • 1998: Laguna Beach Unified School District (winning 5.7% and coming in sixth out of seven)
    • 2000: Laguna Beach Unified School District (winning 6.5% and coming in last)
    • 2004: Irvine Unified School District (winning 4.8% of the vote and coming in seventh out of eight)
    • 2010: United States Senate (winning 27% of the American Independent Party vote and coming in last in the AIP primary)
    • 2012: Buena Park City Council (winning 9.5% of the vote and coming in fourth out of eight)
    • 2014: United States Congress, 45th District (winning 2.6% of the vote and coming in last)
    • 2014: Buena Park City Council (winning 12.1% of the vote and coming in fourth out of eight)

Posted in North Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

No Surprise with OC GOP Endorsements: Chang for Senate, Kim for Assembly, Do for Supervisor

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 2, 2015

The OC GOP Central Committee is convened in a special meeting tonight to consider early endorsements for Assemblyman Ling-Ling Chang for the 29th Senate District (being vacated by the termed out Bob Huff), Assemblywoman Young Kim for re-election in the 65th Assembly District, and Supervisor Andrew Do for re-election in the 1st Supervisorial District.

7:09 PM: Three new alternates were sworn in: J. Minton Brown (for Gene Hernandez), Ceci Iglesias (for Bob Huff), and Sara Catalan (for Ed Royce).

7:10 PM: Roll call began.

7:14 PM: Roll call was completed, and a quorum established.

7:15 PM: Chairman Fred Whitaker spoke about the OC GOP’s priorities in key State and County seats. County GOP endorsements are required before California Republican Party resources can help a candidate. In SD-29, that requires three county parties: Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino. In AD-65, it only requires Orange.

7:20 PM: Steve Sarkis moved and Lake Forest Mayor Scott Voigts seconded the endorsement of Supervisor Andrew Do’s re-election.

7:21 PM: Do spoke of his 43-vote victory over front runner Lou Correa earlier this year. He spoke of the importance of the OC GOP endorsement in the special election against Correa. He spoke of having an all-Republican Board of Supervisors. He spoke of his seat having a 12% Democratic registration advantage. He reminded the OC GOP of union expenditures from the special election. He spoke of his efforts for transparency, fiscal responsibility, and public safety.

7:25 PM: Whitaker asked if there were any questions.

7:26 PM: Supervisor Todd Spitzer praisee Supervisor Do as an excellent and honorable member of the Board of Supervisors.

7:27 PM: Lake Forest Mayor Scott Voigts called the question.

7:27 PM: Fountain Valley Councilman Mark McCurdy asked Do about his efforts on AB 109.

7:27 PM: Do said he works with Probation to keep track of trends and take action when there are spikes in crime in local areas.

7:28 PM: Allan Bartlett thanked Do for his efforts against redevelopment.

7:29 PM: Do endorsed unanimously 45-0.

7:30 PM: Whitaker reads a letter from Congressman Ed Royce that describes how she is an anti-tax, pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment Republican legislator.

7:31 PM: Young Kim thanks the OC GOP for its efforts last year to defeat Sharon Quirk-Silva and break the Democrats’ 2/3 supermajority in the State Assembly. She speaks of fighting against new taxes. She says she cast over 2,400 votes as an Assemblymember. She says she has a pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, and pro-taxpayer record. She says she has an
“A” rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. She says she helped stop $30 billion in tax increases. She notes she has to vote to represent her constituents. She warns she is the #1 target set, and Democrats have $16 million for Assembly seats across the State. She warns that Sharon Quirk-Silva has $350,000 cash on hand while Kim has $450,000 cash on hand. Kim spent $2.2 million in 2014 while Quirk-Silva spent $4.5 million.

7:37 PM: Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang asked when did Quirk-Silva began her campaign to unseat Kim.

7:38 PM: Kim stated that the day she was sworn in, the Speaker of the Assembly started seeking an Asian candidate to unseat Kim. In March, the Democrats gave up on finding an Asian challenger and backed a new bid by Quirk-Silva.

7:39 PM: McCurdy criticized Kim’s voting record on vaccinations, redevelopment, and civil asset forfeiture.

7:40 PM: Kim stated vaccinations were a very personal decision. Kim spoke of her daughter’s two brain surgeries and compromised immune system.

She stated on redevelopment, she expressed concern to the redevelopment bill’s author, Assemblyman Luis Alejo, on property rights and eminent domain. Alejo assured her he would fix those items. She voted for the bill based on Alejo’s promise to fix the bill. When the bill returned to the Assembly for a concurrence vote, she did not vote for it because the promise was not kept.

On asset forfeiture, she said she spoke to law enforcement in her district who stated the asset forfeiture bill would make it more difficult for law enforcement to fight crime.

7:44 PM: Alexandria Coronado says she received 26 emails in opposition to Kim on redevelopment and vaccinations. She stated the running theme on the emails was that she was not responsive to their concerns.

7:45 PM: Kim explained that she had scheduled a meeting with the group in question but ran into conflict with the legislative busy period. She tried to reschedule, but the bill vote occurred before this rescheduled meeting could take place during the very rapid end-of-session period when she was required to be in Sacramento and could not get down to the district. She offered to meet with them now and left voicemails with them. 

7:48 PM: Someone named Mike Glenn asked about civil forfeiture and redevelopment.

7:48 PM: Kim explained law enforcement’s needs on civil forfeiture. She reiterated she did not support the redevelopment bill when it returned to the Assembly for a concurrence vote.

7:50 PM: Ed Gunderson asked Kim why she supported the LGBT Pride Month resolution.

7:51 PM: Kim stated the resolution, which did not have the force of law, recognized the contributions of all people, including LGBT individuals. She noted the California Republican Party’s chartering of the Log Cabin Republicans. She stated she voted for tolerance and inclusiveness.

7:52 PM: Allan Bartlett asked about asset forfeiture.

7:53 PM: Kim stated she voted her conscience in the interests of her district.

7:54 PM: Sara Catalan moves and Steve Sarkis seconds an endorsement fof Kim.

7:55 PM: Stanton Councilman David Shawver supported Kim, speaking of how hardworking Kim is. He spoke of the party’s resources, including time, manpower, and money, spent to keep the 65th Assembly District seat. He calls for the party to unify behind Kim to keep the seat. He said she has repeatedly and consistently been a fixture in the district.

7:58 PM: Zonya Townsend proposed delaying Kim’s early endorsement, citing her vote on SB 277, the vaccination bill, preferring a later endorsement. She stated many Democrats left their party over SB 277. Townsend argued the OC GOP resolution was contrary to Kim’s position. She criticized Kim for speaking on the Assembly Floor in favor of SB 277.

8:00 PM: Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang spoke of Kim being the only candidate who could defeat Quirk-Silva. She warned that Quirk-Silva is everywhere and that Quirk-Silva would be a far, far worse vote in the Assembly. She plead for people to look at the bigger picture. She warned that Democrats would spend millions in a presidential election year to capture the 65th Assembly District seat.

8:02 PM: Mike Glenn stated property rights are important. He said law enforcement should not take people’s assets, their property. He stated people should have the right to do what they want with their own body, and cited the vaccination bill. He said eminent domain threatens property rights. He stated he wanted to delay Kim’s endorsement, not oppose it.

8:04 PM: Assemblyman Matt Harper warned that Quirk-Silva is a hard worker who believes she is a little Loretta Sanchez. He called Quirk-Silva a true believer in liberalism. Harper stated Kim is one of the most capable members of articulating conservative positions making liberals wince. Harper stated people are quibbling with literally just a handful of votes.

8:06 PM: Zonya Townsend raised a point of parliamentary inquiry about delaying Kim’s endorsement instead of opposing.

8:07 PM: Supervisor Todd Spitzer raised a point of inquiry about what would a delay accomplish.

8:08 PM: Ed Gunderson said he agreed with Kim on 80%-90% of issues. Gunderson attacked the California Republican Party’s decision to charter the Log Cabin Republicans. He stated his concern of Kim contacting law enforcement on the civil forfeiture bill. He criticized her vaccination vote.

8:10 PM: Lake Forest Mayor Scott Voigts made a point of inquiry noting that 5 votes out of 2,400 means 99.9% of her votes are not being criticized.

8:11 PM: Kim overwhelmingly endorsed for re-election with 43 votes.

8:13 PM: Whitaker described the 29th Senate District, including Democrats moving Sukhee Kang from Irvine to run for the seat.

8:15 PM: Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang spoke of giving up a safe Republican Assembly seat to run for a target Senate seat. She spoke of having reduced legislative tenure under the new term limits by switching houses. She spoke of her conservative record in Sacramento.

8:17 PM: McCurdy asked Chang about her votes on redevelopment and civil asset forfeiture. He asked if she endorsed or contributed to Democrats or if she is pro-life.

8:18 PM: Chang pointed out she voted against the redevelopment bill on concurrence. She stated that due process was still in place on civil asset forfeiture. She stayed she has never endorsed a Democrat in a partisan race and that she is personally pro-life.

8:19 PM: Zonya Townsend asked Chang’s position on abortion and Planned Parenthood.

8:20 PM: Chang reiterated she is personally pro-life, and there are no Assembly votes on funding Planned Parenthood.

8:21 PM: Steve Sarkis moved and Stanton Councilman David Shawver seconded an endorsement for Chang.

8:22 PM: No opposition speakers rise.

8:22 PM: Chang endorsed by voice vote with only McCurdy in opposition.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 29th Senate District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Three-Candidate All-GOP Race in SD-37 as Filing Closes: Wagner, Moorlach, and Namazi

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 26, 2015

Wagner, Moorlach, and Namazi

The three candidates in the SD-37 special election (all are Republicans): Business Owner/Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner, former Orange County Supervisor John M. W. Moorlach, and Naz Namazi

Filing has closed for the March 17 special election to fill the vacancy in the 37th Senate District left when Mimi Walters was elected to Congress.  As expected, Assemblyman Don Wagner and former Supervisor/former Treasurer-Tax Collector John Moorlach filed for the seat. Unexpectedly, Naz Namazi pulled papers on the final day of filing and then filed for the seat as well.

A head-to-head Wagner vs. Moorlach race would have ended this election on St. Patrick’s Day.  If Namazi pulls enough votes to prevent either candidate from breaking 50%, that would force a Wagner-Moorlach run-off on May 19.

Ballot Designations

Wagner is using “Business Owner/Assemblyman” as his ballot designation.  Moorlach unsuccessfully sought “County Supervisor/Businessman” as his ballot designation, receiving “Orange County Supervisor” instead.  Oddly, Namazi does not have a ballot designation.  Ballot designations can be challenged in court through Monday, February 2 (a week from today).

I’ve never understood why a candidate would refuse to have a ballot designation.  It costs nothing and is the one thing every voter sees because it’s right under the candidate’s name under the ballot.  It’s literally the last thing a candidate gets to say to every voter (and for a scary number of voters, it’s also the first thing).

Ballot Statements (or Lack Thereof)

Wagner and Moorlach both got statements for the sample ballot while Namazi did not.

There are only two scenarios why a candidate wouldn’t have a ballot statement for the State Legislature: 1) the candidate can’t afford it or 2) the candidate plans to spend more than the voluntary expenditure limit.  (For example, in November 2014, Young Kim, Sharon Quirk-Silva, Janet Nguyen, and Jose Solorio did not get statements because they all planned to spend more than the voluntary expenditure limit.)

The voluntary expenditure limit for this election is $846,000, and I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that Namazi isn’t going to spend more than $846,000.  That leaves only the logical conclusion that Namazi couldn’t plunk down the $5,376 for a ballot statement.

If a candidate can’t afford to even get the ballot statement, how is the candidate supposed to get their message out? The ballot statement is the opportunity for every candidate to get a 1/4 page message mailed out to every registered voter in the district, as it is included in the sample ballot.  Any mailer districtwide would cost more than the ballot statement.  Even the costs of ink and paper from printing literature on a home computer to hand deliver to every voter in the district would cost more than a ballot statement.

In a general election, it’s possible to win an obscure down-ticket race without a ballot statement because voters are exhausted from reading many seats’ ballot statements or voters aren’t paying attention to the down-ticket races. However, this is the only thing on the ballot; there is no down-ticket.  Anyone turning out for this election is turning out solely for the Senate race.  Plus, it’s a special election, and special election voters are far more likely to read the sample ballot than general election voters.

Who is Namazi?

Namazi was a paid staffer on Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s re-election campaigns in 2012 and 2014.  She also purportedly joined Rohrabacher’s Congressional staff earlier this month.  She has been a licensed real estate salesperson for 1 year, 8 months (since May 2013).

As I live blogged two years ago at the January 2013 OCGOP Central Committee meeting, Namazi received the Anna Woods Memorial HQ Volunteer of the Year Award for her efforts in the 2012 election at the OCGOP headquarters in Tustin and the OCGOP office in Huntington Beach.  (Ironically, as the highest-ranking elected official present at that meeting, Wagner helped present all of the volunteer awards, including the one to Namazi.)

Born in Pakistan, the 47-year-old Namazi had been registered to vote at her Laguna Niguel residence for 20 years but recently reregistered to vote in Irvine in the two-bedroom residence of 64-year-old Julie Tanha.  Property records do not show that Namazi has given up her residence in Laguna Niguel nor acquired Tanha’s residence in Irvine. Laguna Niguel is in the 36th Senate District while Irvine is in the 37th.

Born in Pennsylvania, the 54-year-old Wagner has been registered to vote at his Irvine residence for 23 years. Wagner has been a licensed attorney since 1987, an Assemblyman since 2010, and was a community college district trustee from 1998-2010.

Born in the Netherlands, the 59-year-old Moorlach has been registered to vote at his Costa Mesa residence for 12 years. Moorlach’s CPA license was issued in 1980 but is currently inactive; he was a County Supervisor from 2007-2015 and the County Treasurer-Tax Collector from 1995-2007.

Decoy Candidate?

Ordinarily, a candidate who pulls papers on the last day of filing, recently reregistered from a longtime out-of-district residence to an in-district residence, has no ballot designation, and has no ballot statement would have all the red flags of being a decoy candidate.

However, there is one big gaping hole in the decoy theory: who actually benefits from Namazi’s candidacy?  Unless she starts hitting either Wagner or Moorlach, there is no obvious beneficiary of her candidacy.  There is no reason to see how she would draw from more from one candidate or the other: her name isn’t similar to either Wagner or Moorlach, she doesn’t have a similar ballot designation to either Wagner or Moorlach, she’s a woman while the other two are men (indeed, her name doesn’t even make her gender obvious), she has an Iranian name while Wagner and Moorlach have European names, etc.  Now, if Namazi starts campaigning heavily against one of the two major candidates, then the decoy theory is worth another look.

Who Will Campaign to Democrats?

It had long been thought that Wagner and Moorlach would try to outflank each other on the right to win the safely Republican SD-37, but with the Democrats failing to field a candidate (and indeed, no non-Republican candidate filing at all), which one will attempt to win over Democrats?  Or will both attempt it?  It will be a delicate balancing act trying to hang on to Republicans and grabbing Democrats.  28.6% of SD-37 voters are Democrats.  It’s a huge voting bloc.  If one candidate goes for the Democrats but the other does not, the Democrats could well determine the result of the election.  (Leslie Daigle missed her chance; this race was tailor-made for her!)  However, it’s still a staunchly Republican district; tilting too far left could cost too many votes on the right.

The riskiest strategy would be sending a hit piece to Democrats accusing the opponent of being too conservative, as the target of that hit piece would presumably quickly send a piece to Republicans: “Look!  My opponent says I’m more conservative than he is!”

Of course, there is the ever safe strategy of non-substantive messaging, along the lines of “Democrats Trust John Moorlach” or “Democrats Support Don Wagner” without any political stances included whatsoever.

Full Text of Ballot Statements

Wagner’s ballot statement is below:

As an Assemblyman since 2010, I’ve been a proven, principled conservative voice in Sacramento. That’s why I’m endorsed for State Senate by our conservative Congressman Ed Royce and Congresswoman Mimi Walters.

As Senator, I’ll strongly support a balanced budget, with no new taxes. I’ve fought to eliminate the $500 billion “wall of debt” that liberal politicians have created and plan to leave to our children. I signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” to never vote to raise your taxes and am endorsed by the OCTaxpayers Association.

My fiscal credentials aren’t just talk. I have real experience balancing government budgets – as President of a local Community College District I balanced every budget and paid off all debts, without raising taxes. It can be done.

I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. I’ve been a leader in demanding that Washington secure our border and compensate California taxpayers for the enormous costs of illegal immigration. I’m on record strongly opposing President Obama’s actions to grant amnesty.

As a small business owner myself, I experienced how overregulation and over-taxation stifle business success and economic growth. That’s why I’ve worked to get government off the backs of business owners. And that’s why I’ve been endorsed by the California Small Business Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

I’ve been leading the fight for conservative values in Sacramento, not just talking about them from afar. I pledge to use my experience and proven conservative record to keep up that fight for responsive, responsible, limited government.

Moorlach’s ballot statement is below:

I will fight to end unnecessary government spending and reduce debts. I oppose raising tax rates and I believe government must be lean, efficient, and live within its means.

I began my career as a CPA and Certified Financial Planner. I believe government spending requires sound planning and must stand firm against pressures from special interests.

California has an unrestricted net deficit of $124 billion and is 46th out of 50 states in financial status! Billions in underfunded public employee pensions is one of our biggest threats. As a County Supervisor, I passed a ballot measure requiring voter approval on any new public employee pension enhancement.

We also renegotiated the county employee retiree medical plan, reducing the unfunded liability by 71% and saving Orange County taxpayers nearly $100 million a year.

In 1994, I was a partner in a local accounting firm. When Orange County declared bankruptcy that December, I was brought in to help clean up the mess. We immediately cut costs, eliminated risky investments, and put the County back on a fiscally conservative path.

In 2006, I was elected to serve as County Supervisor, where I helped to prudently guide spending through the Great Recession, thus improving the business climate. During my tenure, the County’s unrestricted net assets grew from a deficit to in excess of $300 million. Today Orange County is fiscally sound, and our economy is strong.

California needs a fiscally conservative accountant in Sacramento. I would be honored to continue serving you. http://www.MoorlachforSenate.com

As mentioned earlier, Namazi did not get a ballot statement.

Posted in 37th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

OC Democrats Hypocrisy: Poll Tax and the Judicial Process

Posted by Allen Wilson on April 29, 2014

DPOC

The Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) took up an issue regarding the actions of their Vice Chairman Greg Diamond which caused Orange County Labor Federation calls for his ouster.

Last night, DPOC removed Diamond by a vote of 35-15, which requires 2/3rds for removal of an officer of their organization.

Mr. Diamond wasted no time to pen the real story behind his ouster with explanations that the process was flawed and did not afford him adequate time to respond the charges leveled against him as he asserts:

“When a group of proponents in a quasi-trial come up with a set of procedures — known to them ahead of time but not to me — that is that insulting to basic principles of due process, the only response should be taken from Willy Wonka’s statement to Charlie after he violated the rules of the Chocolate Factory: YOU LOSE!  I asked for such a determination, I didn’t get it, and the DPOC will have a harder time living down that result than I will.”

Ironically in January, the same Democrats, notably Senate President Darrell Steinberg, in the State Senate will not remove or call for resignation of Senator Roderick Wright despite the guilty verdict has been rendered upon him.

Senator Steinberg said back in January:

“Where we stand today, there is no final conviction, but a jury verdict.  Unless and until there is a final conviction for a felony I do not believe it is appropriate or necessary to expel Senator Wright or ask him to resign.”

Mr. Diamond’s supporter challenged the legitimacy of certain votes that were cast by alternates of those ex-officio’s whom failed to pay dues and they are:  Bob Rush, Steve Young, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Jerry Tetalman and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.  The DPOC require all members and ex-officios to pony up $60 known as dues to be allowed to vote on all items as stated in their By-Laws, Article 18 – Dues, Section 1:

Dues shall be sixty dollars ($60.00) per year for each member including alternates and are due payable within 60 days of assuming membership.

Let me get this straight:  DPOC force members to pay $60 annual dues to vote on party matters for an office they have been elected to by their peers is pretty close to a “Poll Tax”, which is definitely violation of the 24th Amendment of the United States Constitution:

Section 1.  The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2.  The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

However, hypocrisy is nothing is new for the Democrats, but it sure is revealing of how they handled their own county party officer versus that of an elected official that was convicted by the jury of his peers who is now on a paid vacation.

Furthermore, the requirement of paying dues to cast ballot should give pause, because the right to vote should not be coerced via payment of dues for any political organization, but I will let that issue rest on the conscience of the Democratic Party of Orange County.

Posted in California, Democrat Central Committee, National, Orange County | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Fullerton Association of Concerned Taxpayers: Assembly Member Quirk-Silva votes for ACA 8 — a direct assault on Prop. 13

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 20, 2013

Our friends at the Fullerton Association of Concerned Taxpayers put out this post earlier this week regarding the party-line vote on ACA 8 (OC’s Tom Daly and Sharon Quirk-Silva voted for ACA 8 while Travis Allen, Curt Hagman, Diane Harkey, Allan Mansoor, and Don Wagner voted against it):

Assembly Member Quirk-Silva votes for ACA 8 — a direct assault on Prop. 13

In an unusual Saturday session, Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) joined other Assembly Democrats in approving and sending to the state Senate a proposed state constitutional amendment ballot measure that — if approved by voters statewide — would let local governments incur bonded indebtedness (which shows up on property tax bills) for “public improvements and facilities” that those local governments may specify and for “buildings used primarily to provide sheriff, police or fire protection services.” Under ACA 8, only a 55% local voter approval would be required instead of the current two-thirds voter approval required under Proposition 13.

Read the background in this story by CalWatchdog investigative reporter Katy Grimes, and read the analysis of ACA 8 in this commentary published today by Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

To see how all members of the Assembly voted, click here.

Posted in 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, State Assembly | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Project + Recording = Controversy

Posted by Allen Wilson on May 30, 2013

The cities of Cypress and Los Alamitos are in a cat fight over a 33-acre Prologis Project to construct 725,000 square foot warehousing and light manufacturing center.

Earlier this month a meeting was held at a venue between Cypress Councilman Doug Bailey, Los Alamitos Mayor Warren Kusumoto, Assemblyman Travis Allen and Allen’s Chief of Staff.

The initial purpose was to hammer out differences with regards to the Prologis Project between the two cities, but those differences took a ugly turn of allegations by Councilman Bailey that Mayor Kusumoto illegally recorded a conversation.

The Event News reports of much detailed accounts of the allegations made by Councilman Bailey.

The Controversy does not end there as a glossy flyer was disseminated through out the City of Los Alamitos with an Anti-Kusumoto hit piece from an anonymous group that calls themselves “Concerned Los Alamitos Residents”.

Los Alamitos Mayor Kusumoto disputes the claim of an illegal recording.

The Cypress City Council has sent a letter to the Los Alamitos City Council registering their concerns as they have no confidence in Mayor Kusumoto, which is a serious matter as Kusumoto’s integrity is being questioned by many inside and outside of Los Alamitos.

Though, the question needs to be raised with regards to the controversial project that cause spat between two neighboring cities:  Why is Assemblyman Allen in the midst of all of this?

Assemblyman Allen says, “We’re trying to get both sides to come together and talk.  I think the two communities need to come together and work together for the betterment of both communities.”

Assemblyman Allen has voiced his support on a project that is NOT even in his district, though he is on a “create jobs” mission.

Ironically, the project is in Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva’s district, which she appears to be MIA.

The recording incident is one thing, but the matter reeks corruption as backroom deals diminishes public trust of their own local government, especially when you have a state legislator sitting at the table that only raises eyebrows.

It is with hope that the controversy to be resolved soon so that the residents of Cypress and Los Alamitos get the answers that they deserve.

Posted in Cypress, Los Alamitos, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Forgot Some Electeds: Party Affiliation Part 2

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on March 23, 2013

A reader just sent me a new database that included some elected officials that I forgot about the first time around. These offices would be Congress, Senate, and Assembly which I cannot believe I forgot. Take a look at the short but informative database of these elected officials that represent at least a portion of Orange County.

IntraPartyElephantDonkey

Here you go:

Office Name Party Year

Congress

UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE 38th DISTRICT Linda Sanchez (D) 2014
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE 39th DISTRICT Ed Royce (R) 2014
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE 45th DISTRICT John Campbell (R) 2014
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE 46th DISTRICT Loretta Sanchez (D) 2014
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE 47th DISTRICT Alan Lowenthal (D) 2014
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE 48th DISTRICT Dana Rohrabacher (R) 2014
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE 49th DISTRICT Darrell Issa (R) 2014

Senate

STATE SENATE 29th DISTRICT Bob Huff (R) 2016
STATE SENATE 30th DISTRICT Ron Calderon (D) 2014
STATE SENATE 34th DISTRICT Lou Correa (D) 2014
STATE SENATE 36th DISTRICT Mark Wyland (R) 2014
STATE SENATE 37th DISTRICT Mimi Walters (R) 2016

Assembly

STATE ASSEMBLY 55th DISTRICT Curt Hagman (R) 2014
STATE ASSEMBLY 65th DISTRICT Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) 2014
STATE ASSEMBLY 68th DISTRICT Don Wagner (R) 2014
STATE ASSEMBLY 69th DISTRICT Tom Daly (D) 2014
STATE ASSEMBLY 72nd DISTRICT Travis Allen (R) 2014
STATE ASSEMBLY 73rd DISTRICT Diane Harkey (R) 2014
STATE ASSEMBLY 74th DISTRICT Allan Mansoor (R) 2014

Posted in 29th Senate District, 34th Senate District, 36th Senate District, 37th Senate District, 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, State Assembly, State Senate | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Two OC Legislators are the Leading Contenders for Assembly GOP Leader

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 5, 2013

Don Wagner (R-Irvine) and Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach)

Yesterday afternoon, the Sacramento Bee posted a story about the possible removal of Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway (R-Visalia).

Conway led her caucus into the 2012 elections and into its smallest size since 1883.  (In a ray of hope, while Republicans held 19 seats in 1883, the GOP gained 41 additional seats to reach 60 seats in 1885, thereby flipping a 61-19 majority for Democrats into a 60-20 majority for Republicans in two years).

While Conway’s failings and probable removal were the main thrust of the story,  the more interesting information for our readership is that the two leading contenders in the story to replace Conway are both from Orange County.

Second-term Assemblyman Don Wagner of Irvine and first-term Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach were cited as the two most likely contenders.

In the last 30 years, there have been 18 Assembly Republican Leaders, but only four have been from Orange County:

  • Ross Johnson (1988-1991)
  • Curt Pringle (1995-1996, 1996-1997; the interruption in Pringle’s tenure as Republican Leader is because he was Speaker in 1996)
  • Scott Baugh (1999-2000)
  • Bill Campbell (2000-2001)

In the same time span, there have been 10 Senate Republican Leaders, and three have been from Orange County (and four have represented Orange County):

  • Rob Hurtt (1995-1998)
  • Ross Johnson (1998-2000)
  • Dick Ackerman (2004-2008)
  • Bob Huff (2012-present) – Huff is not from Orange County but represents substantial portions of OC

First elected in 2010, Wagner terms out in 2016.  First elected in 2012, Allen terms out in 2024.  (In both cases, I’m assuming that they are both re-elected the maximum number of terms allowed and serve those terms consecutively.)

In either case, Wagner or Allen would be the first Assembly Republican Leader from Orange County in a dozen years.

The next Assembly Republican Leader has exactly two priorities: protecting seats currently held by Republicans and winning seats occupied by Democrats.  The top three seats the leader needs to protect are Jeff Gorell‘s Ventura County seat, Mike Morrell‘s San Bernardino County seat, and freshman Eric Linder‘s western Riverside County seat.  Target #1 is the Antelope Valley seat held by freshman Steve Fox (D).  Target #2 will be in the leader’s backyard (assuming Wagner or Allen is the next leader) with the North Orange County seat occupied by freshman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D).

Failure to preserve the existing seats 25 seats and failure to gain either of those target seats will result in the next leader going the way of Conway, and let’s not forget Conway became Republican Leader when Martin Garrick stepped down after losing a Republican seat in 2010.

Posted in 68th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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