OC Political

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

Posts Tagged ‘Travis Allen’

OC’s Top 10 Stories From the November 2018 General Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 7, 2018

Here’s a quick look at the top 10 stories of the 2018 general election in Orange County:

  1. OC Congressional Delegation Now Consists of Five Democrats and Two Republicans
    In a political earthquake for Orange County, the 4-3 Republican majority in OC’s Congressional delegation is now a 5-2 Democratic majority.  The three senior members of the delegation are leaving Congress: Dana Rohrabacher (elected 1988), Ed Royce (elected 1992), and Darrell Issa (elected 2000); all three are Republicans and only Royce will be succeeded by a member of his own party.  While Royce and Issa both announced their retirements earlier this year, Rohrabacher has been defeated for re-election by businessman Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach).  Royce will be succeeded by former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) while Issa will be succeeded by Clean Energy Advocate Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano).  While Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) defeated Levin in Orange County, her undoing was Levin’s strong lead in San Diego County.  The three most senior members of the OC delegation are now Linda Sanchez (elected 2002), Alan Lowenthal (elected 2012), and Mimi Walters (elected 2014).  In a House of Representatives ruled by seniority, the OC delegation is severely lacking in seniority.
  2. Democrats’ Assembly Supermajority Hinges on Whether Matthew Harper Survives
    Orange County’s 5-2 Republican delegation could fall to being a 4-3 Republican delegation if Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) is unable to hold his narrow lead over Small Business Owner Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach).  Harper’s defeat would produce a Democratic supermajority in the State Assembly to go along with the Democratic supermajority in the State Senate (Democrats captured a Republican-held State Senate seat in the Central Valley last night).  Harper leads Petrie-Norris by 672 votes out of 120,164 votes cast, or 0.6%.  Late absentee ballots and provisional ballots have not yet been counted and most certainly could flip the lead.
  3. District Attorney-Elect Todd Spitzer
    For what appears to be the first time in Orange County history, a sitting District Attorney has been defeated for re-election.  20-Year District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (R) has been defeated for re-election by Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R).  Spitzer’s election also creates a special election in the Third Supervisorial District.  Spitzer’s victory was so sweeping that he leads in 27 of Orange County’s 34 cities, winning everywhere except Little Saigon and the northern beach cities.
  4. Tim Shaw Leads, But Fourth District Supervisor is Too Close to Call
    La Habra Mayor Tim Shaw (R) leads Fullerton Mayor Doug Chaffee (D) by just 1,610 votes out of 87,404 votes cast.  Chaffee won the Fourth District’s three largest cities, Anaheim, Fullerton, and Buena Park, but Shaw ran up the total in his wins in the three smallest cities, La Habra, Placentia, and Brea, particularly with the landslide in his own city of La Habra.  There are still an enormous number of late absentee ballots and provisional ballots that could still change the result in this seat.
  5. Assemblyman-Elect Tyler Diep
    In the race to succeed Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), Westminster Councilman Tyler Diep (R) defeated FreeConferenceCall.com CEO Josh Lowenthal (D-Huntington Beach) to retain this Assembly seat for Republicans.  Diep’s concurrent service with Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) makes California the first state ever with two Vietnamese-Americans serving in the State Legislature at the same time.
  6. Mayor-Elect Harry Sidhu and the New Anaheim Council Majority
    Anaheim voters delivered a new majority on their City Council.  Former Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu (R) was elected Mayor of Anaheim last night.  Businessman Trevor O’Neil (R) won the open Council seat in Anaheim Hills.  Former Councilman Jordan Brandman (D) defeated Councilman James Vanderbilt (R) in West Anaheim’s District 2 seat.  Councilman Jose Moreno (D) won re-election in Central Anaheim’s District 3 seat.
  7. Newport Beach Ousts Two Incumbents, Ending Council Majority
    While Councilmembers Diane Dixon (R) and Kevin Muldoon (R) won landslide re-elections, Councilman Scott Peotter (R) was defeated by Businesswoman Joy Brenner (R), and Councilman Duffy Duffield (R) is narrowly losing to Businessman Tim Stoaks (R).  With Peotter’s defeat and Duffield’s probable defeat, Newport Beach’s Council majority comes to an end.
  8. Lake Forest Sweep
    In a sweeping rebuke of incivility, Lake Forest voters elected Neeki Moatazedi (R) decisively over Sonny Morper (R) and elected former Councilman Mark Tettemer (R) to oust Mayor Jim Gardner (R) from office.  Moatazedi and Tettemer join Councilman Scott Voigts (R), who was unopposed for re-election when his opponent failed to qualify for the ballot, and Councilman Dwight Robinson (R) in a new 4-1 supermajority of civility.  Just ten months after the recall of Councilman Drew Hamilton (R) in which former Councilman Adam Nick’s allies won a 3-2 majority on the City Council, the voters have not only reversed the Nick majority but reduced down to 1 seat (which will be up for election in 2020).  A key turning point in the campaign came when Nick’s side sent a mailer so disgusting that multiple TV channels covered it, for it was so sexist that it called Moatazedi a “bikini model” and made up three fictional criminal record numbers with a photo of an inmate falsely implying that it was Moatazedi.  That mailer backfired into not only the media coverage but also campaign money and independent expenditures to oust Nick’s allies from the Council.
  9. Irvine’s New Councilmembers
    For the first time in 14 years, no incumbent Irvine Councilmember sought re-election (though Mayor Don Wagner (R) was re-elected last night).  Planning Commissioner Anthony Kuo (R) is the top vote getter while Businesswoman Farrah Khan (D) and Transportation Commissioner Carrie O’Malley (R) are neck-and-neck for the second Council seat, with Khan ahead by 389 votes, or 0.5%.
  10. Santa Ana Councilwoman-Elect Ceci Iglesias
    For the first time in a decade, Santa Ana citizens voted to elect a Republican to their City Council, with School Board Member Ceci Iglesias winning the Ward 6 seat by a decisive margin.  (The last Republican on the Santa Ana Council, Carlos Bustamante, was re-elected in 2008 to a term ending in 2012.)  Iglesias’s election creates a vacancy on the Santa Ana Unified School District Board, which will be filled by appointment.

Honorable Mention

  • There’s a New Sheriff in Town
    While it was widely expected that Undersheriff Don Barnes (R) would be elected Sheriff of Orange County, it’s always a major news story when there’s a new Sheriff.  Barnes decisively defeated Los Angeles County District Attorney Investigator Duke Nguyen (D) with 57% of the vote.

Upcoming News Story Due to Last Night’s Results

  • Race for Third District Supervisor
    With the election of Supervisor Todd Spitzer as District Attorney of Orange County, an early 2019 special election will take place to fill the remaining two years on Spitzer’s Supervisorial term.  Retiring Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray (R) and Businessman Andy Thorburn (D) have already announced for Spitzer’s Supervisorial seat.  Thorburn spent millions in his unsuccessful bid in the primary election for the 39th Congressional District.  Other early rumored candidates include Irvine Mayor Don Wagner (R), former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang (D), and Yorba Linda Councilwoman Peggy Huang (R).

(In the interest of full disclosure, Western American, the company that owns OC Political, serves as the political consultants for Sidhu, O’Neil, Voigts, Moatazedi, and Tettemer, as well as doing secondary consultant work for Kuo.  Additionally, this blogger is Spitzer’s alternate on the Central Committee of the Republican Party of Orange County.)

Posted in 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, 72nd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Anaheim, Irvine, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff, Santa Ana Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

For Poll Voters There are still Voter Guides Available At Robyn Nordell’s Web Site and Another Response to Brenda Higgins

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on June 2, 2018

Its T-minus 4 days to Election Day June 5th! Starting June 6th we all get a short reprieve from endless TV political ads, Facebook arguments and mailers in our mail box from politicians and their friends and enemies over who we should vote for.

By now the vast majority of vote by mail voters have sent in their ballots.  Its now time for those who vote at their polling places to start reviewing their sample ballots.  If you need some well done recommendations by people like myself and Robyn Nordell (and Nancy Sandoval and Kathy Dittner) who do not receive any money for our recommendations for any candidate or proposition those are offered online (for free).

Here is a link to my recommendations: Craig’s Pics June 2018 – Final.

Here is a link to Robyn Nordell’s Orange County page on her web site: Robyn’s Orange County Page.  You can find a link to my recommendations along with Nancy Sandoval’s and Kathy Dittner’s at this page. Here is a link to her main web page: Robyn Nordell’s web page.

I have written about the Governor’s race on this blog before mostly about Travis Allen’s poor voting record on the life (abortion) issue: Travis Allen – Not So Pro-Life.  This was after my friend Gina Gleason researched and put together her memo on Mr. Allen’s many, many abstentions on bills and resolutions about the abortion issue.  Here is the memo if you wish to see it yourself (it is also in my voter recommendations): Travis Allen 2018.

I hope you find the voter recommendations helpful.

Brenda Higgins (who supports Travis Allen) has also commented twice now on this blog of her reasons for her support of Mr. Allen.  Once again I appreciate that Brenda is taking the high road and not attacking people like myself with personal character attacks. Brenda is a class act!  This is in contrast to some people on Facebook whose response to our concerns are “You are evil for saying these things!” Thank you Brenda!

However as I said in my original response on this blog to Brenda (Voter Recommendations Still Available…), Mr. Allen himself has been completely silent in explaining his abstentions to these bills and resolutions.  He knows of these concerns but he has said nothing.  Silence is still not golden Mr. Allen!

The fact remains that if Mr. Allen is such a fighter for the causes he believes in and he says he is pro-life, his abstentions are not evidence of a fighter for the pro-life cause but of someone running away from the issue.  An abstention is not a no vote.  It is saying “I choose to be neutral” and to do so consistently on this issue overall!  Folks World War II was not won by Switzerland who remained neutral.  It was won by Britain, France, the United States, Russia and other allies who put their treasure and lives on the line.  One abstention may be forgiven but a sting of them is a pattern and a conscious choice to duck the issue!

As I said in my prior post: “Finally one of the criticisms of John Cox has been that he voted for Gary Johnson for President in 2016.  A bad decision but Mr. Cox has publicly admitted this was a mistake.  The other argument against Mr. Cox is he has no voting record on the life issue.  True – but I do for Mr. Allen and it is not good.  So I am going to cast my vote for John Cox for the June 5th primary top two election.  But if Mr. Allen and not Mr. Cox advances to the top two I will support his candidacy in November.  Either Mr. Allen or Mr. Cox will be better than Gavin Newsom.”

I will add that I would like to see a Republican Governor’s race in the November run offMr. Cox is the best chance of that happening especially after his being endorsed by President Donald J. Trump.  Otherwise we split the vote and it will be Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa – two very leftist Democrats as our choices come November.

As an aside today I read that Arnold Schwarzenegger will not back either Mr. Cox or Mr. Allen (Schwarzenegger won’t vote for…).  Given that Arnold Schwarzenegger did terrible damage to the Republican brand in California and continues to support ultra liberal causes like fake news climate change (a.k.a. government take over) legislation – I consider this a back handed endorsement of both of them.

Craig Alexander is an attorney at law and a resident of South Orange County.  He practices law in the areas of the California Public Records Act, Office / Commercial Leasing, Insurance Law,  HOA law, Business Law and Litigation.  He can be reached at Craig@craigalexanderlaw.com

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Senator John Moorlach Says it May be Time For Travis Allen to Step Aside and Endorse John Cox

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 24, 2018

Today I received an e-mail from Senator John Moorlach in which he called upon Assemblyman and Gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen to withdraw from the race and endorse John Cox.  Rather than me giving you a point by point description of Senator Moorlach’s statement here it is:

Governor –

The fifth is the race for Governor. I have stayed neutral. I enjoy a relationship with both of the two main Republican candidates. I have always advised that, in a top-two system, only one Republican should be running in this field. The polling has consistently shown John Cox obtaining double the support of that garnered by Assemblyman Travis Allen. And President Trump has endorsed Cox.

For the sake of the Republican Party, it may be time for the Assemblyman to bow out and endorse John Cox. If this is not done, I believe that we will see Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as the top two.

Here is a link to Senator Moorlach’s web page: John Moorlach’s Postings.

I also received in the mail today an “Independent Expenditure” mailer that bashed John Cox and advocated voting for Travis Allen.  Only problem – it was from the same committee who have been putting out mailers and TV ads in favor of former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa a Democrat also running for Governor (at the bottom of the mailer it says: Paid for by “Families & Teachers for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor 2018”).  Now you may ask why would they do that?  Easy – if Republicans split the vote between Mr. Allen and Mr. Cox, only Mr. Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom will be in the top two runoff in November.  To put it more plainly – no Republican will be on the ballot for Governor this November which is exactly Senator Moorlach’s point in his appeal to Mr. Allen to withdraw.

Update: California Republican Party’s National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon (a San Francisco attorney) also has called on Travis Allen to drop out and endorse John Cox.  She wrote in a post on Facebook:

“Since it is not numerically possible for Travis to make it into the top two — something that we Republicans really need for the down-ballot — it’s time for all Republicans to support the Republican front-runner, including Travis Allen,” “He can be a spoiler, or he can be a gracious future candidate and a hero. #Unite.”

Craig Alexander is an attorney at law and a resident of South Orange County.  He practices law in the areas of the California Public Records Act, Office / Commercial Leasing, Insurance Law,  HOA law, Business Law and Litigation.  He can be reached at Craig@craigalexanderlaw.com

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Voter Recommendations Still Available at Robyn Nordell’s Web Site and a Response to Brenda Higgins

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 22, 2018

Here at Casa Alexander we have received our mail in ballots.  We will vote soon and end the string of political mail we have been getting every day.

As I noted before, if you are looking for help in voting Robyn Nordell has a very comprehensive web site with voter guides by people who are not paid a penny for their “endorsements” of any candidate or proposition.  Here is my prior post on this: Looking for Voter Recommendations? Here are some?

Robyn has been kind enough to put my own voter recommendations there in her Orange County section of her web site.  Here are my recommendations for those who would like to check them out: Craig’s Pics June 2018 – Final.

I have already written about one race – the race for Governor: Travis Allen – Not So Pro Life!  

Here is a link to Robyn’s web site:  Robyn Nordell.

Today I read Brenda Higgins’ post on this site about why she is voting for Travis Allen and her criticism of the analysis by persons like myself who have concluded that Mr. Allen’s many and consistent abstentions on bills, etc. on the life issue are incorrect.  First I wish to say I appreciate her tone as she is not attacking anyone’s character – too many times in this campaign season I have seen the reaction to these facts has not been to refute the facts but to cry out “You are evil for saying these things!”  Thank you Brenda for being civil about this.  I have said this consistently (on Facebook and here) that either Travis Allen or John Cox would be a better Governor than any of the Democratic candidates and I will support Mr. Allen if he is one of the two candidates running in November (I believe the chances of both of them being the “top two” candidates is very slim indeed).  Ms. Higgins respectful tone helps towards that end and I wish more people in both camps would take that route so we can unite behind one of the two after June 5th.

With all of that said I disagree with Ms. Higgins analysis.  First if anyone needs to step up and explain Travis Allen’s votes it is Travis Allen himself.  Yet he is very, very quiet on this issue and I am sure he knows of the criticism and position of people like myself.  Why doesn’t he contact people like Gina Gleason who was one of the people who researched all of these votes and put out the memo I linked to in my prior post? Here is that memo again: Travis Allen 2018Mr. Allen – silence is not golden!

In addition, while Ms. Higgins’ review of one of the pieces of legislation brings up good points about that specific bill, that does not explain at all why he abstained for so many bills and resolutions on the life issue.  Why he did not join his fellow Republicans in voting no?  Ms. Higgins states that Mr. Allen’s vote would not have mattered given the huge majority the Democrats have in the Assembly.  By that logic none of the Assembly Republicans should have voted yes or no on any of the bills.  Hum…we elected members of the Assembly to vote on bills even if they lose the votes.  Otherwise why are they there? In fact, by this logic none of the Republicans in the Assembly should ever vote on any bill where they know their position will not win the day.

In my opinion the statement on behalf of Mr. Allen that “my vote doesn’t matter” does not square with the claim that Travis Allen is a fighter – a fighter for the pro-life cause or any other cause does not stand down and not register a vote of No to bad legislation!

What this string of abstentions (until 2018 as a candidate for Governor) tells me is either he was ducking the issue or he is “Not so Pro-Life” as he claims.

Finally one of the criticisms of John Cox has been that he voted for Gary Johnson for President in 2016.  A bad decision but Mr. Cox has publicly admitted this was a mistake.  The other argument against Mr. Cox is he has no voting record on the life issue.  True – but I do for Mr. Allen and it is not good.  So I am going to cast my vote for John Cox for the June 5th primary top two election.  But if Mr. Allen and not Mr. Cox advances to the top two I will support his candidacy in November.  Either Mr. Allen or Mr. Cox will be better than Gavin Newsom.

Craig Alexander is an attorney at law and a resident of South Orange County.  He practices law in the areas of the California Public Records Act, Office / Commercial Leasing, Insurance Law,  HOA law, Business Law and Litigation.  He can be reached at Craig@craigalexanderlaw.com

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Travis Allen – Not so Pro-Life!

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on April 19, 2018

Assemblyman Travis Allen is one of the candidates for Governor of California (web site).  He and John Cox (web site) are the two major Republican candidates.  Either of them would make a far better Governor for California than any of the Democratic candidates.

However, for people who value a politician’s voting record to see how he or she will vote and act on policy issues in the future (here as Governor of California), Mr. Allen’s voting record on the life issue is not consistent with his alleged “pro-life” campaign trail statements and claims.

On a consistent basis Assemblyman Travis Allen has steadily avoided voting yes or no on many, many bills (legislation and resolutions) in the Assembly that deal with the life (i.e. abortion) issue.  The document I have attached here: Travis Allen 2018 was painstakingly researched and put together by my friend Gina Gleason.  It reveals that Mr. Allen has abstained over and over again on bills on the abortion issue.  As an example from Mrs. Gleason’s list:

AB 569 (Gonzales/Fletcher) The bill prohibits an employer (INCLUDING A CHURCH) from requiring employees to sign a code of conduct that prohibits the employee from having an abortion. The bill was sponsored by NARAL Pro Choice California. (9/14/17) Note: Even Gov. Jerry Brown opposed this bill and it was vetoed. Assemblyman Travis Allen was present but abstained.
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billVotesClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB569

SJR 19 (Jackson) Both the CA Assembly and Senate urged the President and Congress to support access to abortions, including the services provided by Planned Parenthood, and to oppose efforts to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. (5/23/16) Assemblyman Travis Allen was present but abstained.
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billVotesClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SJR19

In addition, Planned Parenthood (the largest provider of abortions in the United States) has twice given Mr. Allen a rating of over 50%: 2014 55% and 2016 67% (to be fair he received a zero rating in 2013, 2015 and 2107).  Here is PP’s web site for its scorecard (also listed on Mrs. Gleason’s document about Mr. Allen).

The life issue was the main public policy issue that motivated me to get involved in politics as an activist many years ago. Therefore Mr. Allen’s voting record on this issue is very important to me and who I decide to vote for in June.  If Mr. Allen is one of the top two candidates out of the June primary and the other top two candidate is a Democrat (none of them have stated they are pro-life) I will certainly vote for him as the better of the two choices.  But for the June primary, I have more than two choices and I will be exercising that choice.

I hope you find this information useful in your voting decision on the race for Governor for the June primary.

Craig P. Alexander, Esq. is an attorney at law who practices law in Dana Point, California.  He can be reached at craig@craigalexanderlaw.com.

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AD-72 Fundraising: Diep $455K, Lowenthal $313K, Haskin $13K

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 1, 2018

72nd Assembly District Candidates: Tyler Diep (R-Westminster), Greg Haskin (R-Fountain Valley), Josh Lowenthal (D-Huntington Beach)

72nd Assembly District Candidates:
Tyler Diep (R-Westminster), Greg Haskin (R-Fountain Valley), and Josh Lowenthal (D-Huntington Beach)

With Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) leaving the Legislature to run for Governor, Democrats are making a play for the 72nd Assembly District seat that Allen is vacating.  Campaign finance reports for all candidates were released yesterday for the period ending December 31, 2017.  Josh Lowenthal (D-Huntington Beach), son of Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and former Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), raised $313,247 in three months since entering the race in October.

Vice Mayor Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) has ample resources to battle Lowenthal and defend the seat for Republicans, as Diep brought in $455,140 in spendable dollars for this Assembly account in five months since entering the race in July, raising $206,223 and transferring $248,917 from his City Council account.  However, one of Diep’s challenges will be determining how much to expend to battle Pepsi Government Affairs Senior Director Greg Haskin (R-Fountain Valley), which would drain precious campaign dollars that Diep could otherwise save for his campaign to keep the seat in Republican hands against the Lowenthal bid to seize the seat for Democrats.

A former Executive Director of the Orange County Republican Party and District Director to former Congressman Chris Cox (R-Newport Beach), Haskin raised $12,770 in two months since entering the race in mid-November.  Haskin also loaned his campaign $100,000.  OC Political has long separated $100,000 loans from contributions and transfers, with this five-year-old article giving our most comprehensive explanation of why candidates use $100,000 loans to inflate campaign finance figures, and OC Political has even been quoted by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune regarding these loans.

Diep spent $18,848 with a $350 bill to be paid, leaving him with $435,942 cash-on-hand.  Lowenthal spent $41,204 with two bills to be paid totaling $6,900, leaving him with $265,143 cash-on-hand.  Haskin spent $12,324 with a $100,000 loan, leaving him with $446 cash-on-hand.  If we credit his loan to his cash-on-hand, Haskin’s $100,446 would still be less than half of Lowenthal’s cash-on-hand and less than a quarter of Diep’s cash-on-hand.  If we don’t credit the loan, Diep has 977 times Haskin’s cash-on-hand while Lowenthal has 594 times Haskin’s cash-on-hand.

Lowenthal, the ex-brother-in-law of former Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and the brother of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Daniel Lowenthal, is the President of FreeConferenceCall.com.  FreeConferenceCall.com is a prolific service: I myself was on a conference call yesterday that used a FreeConferenceCall.com number and am scheduled to be on a conference call today also using a FreeConferenceCall.com.  These two conference calls were both set up by other people, both calls only have Republican participants, and the two calls have completely different participants other than me.

There is a 36% overlap between CD-47 and AD-72, with 85,000 of AD-72’s 239,000 voters living in the overlapping area.  With Congressman Alan Lowenthal on the ballot at the same time as Josh Lowenthal’s Assembly candidacy, expect an unprecedented amount of re-election mail and other expenditures for Congressman Lowenthal in an effort to boost his son’s name ID.  Congressman Lowenthal has already given the maximum contribution to his son’s campaign under law, and the Congressman’s campaign has also given the maximum contribution to his son’s campaign.  By spending a significant amount of his Congressional campaign money in the overlap with the Assembly District, Congressman Lowenthal has the ability to use an unclosable loophole to help his son (you can’t ban the man from running for re-election to block him from helping his son since they have the same last name).

Not to be forgotten is Republicans hold only a 4.5% registration advantage over Democrats in AD-72.  Diep’s cross-over ability in attracting votes from Vietnamese Democrats would help buffer that small registration advantage.  In addition to his name ID from the Westminster City Council, Diep is also a prolific presence on Vietnamese language television as an on-air television personality.

Diep has built his own name ID as a City Councilman and through his work on Vietnamese language television.  Lowenthal has built-in name ID, courtesy of his father, the sitting Congressman running for re-election.  Haskin will need to spend significant sums of money to build his own name ID in the face of his two better-known opponents.

Of Haskin’s $12,770, he only raised 9% from his district: a single $1,200 contribution from his wife.  In fact, including his wife’s contribution, he only raised 22% from Orange County ($2,850) donors.  More starkly, 60% of Haskin’s fundraising ($7,600) has actually come from out-of-state donors.  While OC Political rarely notes the geographical origins on contributions, when a candidate only has 12 donors, it makes it rather easy to do a geographic analysis.

A closer look at Lowenthal’s campaign contributions reveals this frightening fact for Republicans: Lowenthal hasn’t raised any union money yet.

For visual learners:

Candidate Contributions Transfers Loans Unpaid
Bills
Expenditures Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills and Loans
Tyler Diep (R) $206,223 $248,917 $0 $350 $18,848 $436,292 $435,942 $435,942
Josh Lowenthal (D) $313,247 $0 $0 $6,900 $41,204 $272,043 $265,143 $265,143
Greg Haskin (R) $12,770 $0 $100,000 $0 $12,324 $100,446 $100,446 $446
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

 

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Allen Suing Attorney General for Questionable Title and Summary for Gas Tax Repeal Initiative

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 13, 2017

Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach)

Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach)

California law requires the Attorney General to prepare the title and summary of every proposed statewide ballot initiative before it is allowed to circulate for signatures.  As I briefly mentioned in my live blog of the OC GOP Central Committee’s unanimous vote to endorse the proposed initiative by Gubernatorial Candidate and Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) to repeal the gas tax and car tax that were recently passed by the Legislature and will take effect in the next few months (the gas tax in November, the car tax in January), a number of committee members jeered when the title and summary were read, due to the biased title and summary written by the office of Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles).  Here is the full text of that title and summary:

ELIMINATES RECENTLY ENACTED ROAD REPAIR AND TRANSPORTATION FUNDING BY REPEALING REVENUES DEDICATED FOR THOSE PURPOSES. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Eliminates recently enacted state and local transportation funding for repair and maintenance of streets, highways, bridges, safety projects, and public transportation by repealing portions of the tax on gasoline ($0.12 per gallon) and diesel fuel ($0.20 per gallon), sales and excise taxes on diesel fuel (4% per gallon), vehicle registration fees ($25-$175, depending on vehicle value), and $100 zero-emission vehicle fee. Eliminates Independent Office of Audits and Investigations, which is responsible for ensuring accountability in the use of revenue for transportation projects. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Reduced annual state transportation revenues of $2.9 billion in 2018-19, increasing to $4.9 billion annually by 2020-21. These revenues would otherwise primarily support state highway maintenance and rehabilitation, local streets and roads, and mass transit. (17-0004).

(Note: the bolding and all-caps are required by law.  It’s the content that is disputed.)

Assemblyman Allen intends to sue the Attorney General to force the title and summary to be changed to more neutral wording.  As I have spoken to Assemblyman Allen and his attorneys regarding the lawsuit, out of an abundance of caution, so as not to accidentally endanger his lawsuit, I will simply share snippets of other people’s commentary on this.

Though opposed to the gas tax repeal, the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board (yes, the San Francisco Chronicle) actually condemned Becerra’s title and summary:

California AG stacks the deck on gas-tax measure

Once again, California voters are getting more spin than clarity from a ballot summary of gas tax repeal that’s at the signature gathering stage. The hazy wording from Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office is rightly infuriating the conservative architect of the measure…

Make no mistake, repealing the gas tax passed by Democrats in the state Legislature is a bad idea, given the crumbling condition of California’s roads. But the Becerra summary of the issue shades the argument unfairly. It shortchanges criticism that the money may be sent elsewhere and states that an oversight agency will be eliminated — though it doesn’t exist now.

It’s just plain wrong for a Democratic attorney general to offer a skewed legal summary of a Republican-backed initiative…

Click here for the rest of the San Francisco Chronicle editorial…

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley is a former Deputy Attorney General, and here are his comments, as quoted by Joel Fox, Editor and Co-Publisher of the Fox and Hounds Daily:

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who authored a bill to give the Legislative Analyst the power to write titles and summaries on initiatives, said of the gas tax repeal measure,  “There is no question that the ballot title and summary are a cynical effort to mislead, misdirect, and misinform.”

And here’s Joel Fox’s own commentary:

The title of the initiative written by the Attorney General is a dodge avoiding the blistering word “tax.”…Feels like funding headed for the roads is being taken away but doesn’t indicate that the money comes from the new “tax.”

However, in the body of the summary the AG makes up for the absent word “tax” by being quite specific that a 12-cent gas tax, 20-cent diesel tax, and vehicle fees up to $175 would be eliminated. All, well and good, although the summary did not mention that the taxes and fees are tied to inflation.

…there are features of the tax increase bill, such as bicycle and pedestrian projects and state park and agricultural programs outside of road repair that a reader of the title and summary would know nothing about.

The financial analysis as part of the summary says the money is “primarily” for state and local highways and roads and mass transit. I suppose “primarily” is supposed to cover bicycles and parks.

Allen also protests the sentence in the summary that the Independent Office of Audits and Investigations will be eliminated. That office was created by the bill in which the gas tax was increased and the office does not exist yet. Allen argues that when gathering signatures for the initiative the summary speaks of eliminating an office that is not there. From the Attorney General’s perspective, the argument is that if and when the measure is on the ballot in November 2018, the office will exist and that the initiative would cancel it.

…clarity for the voters understanding a measure and facts should prevail in writing titles and summaries. Including the direct fact that the initiative repeals a tax in the title would have been fairer and more accurate.

Click here for the rest of Joel Fox’s piece in Fox and Hounds Daily

Here’s the Los Angeles Times, including a quote from Assemblyman Allen himself:

Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), the leading proponent of the initiative, said he will go to court to have the title and summary changed.

“We’re going to challenge it in Superior Court,” Allen said late Monday. “Gov. Brown’s attorney general has issued a misleading title and summary,” Allen said. The lawmaker said “almost everything” in the short summary would mislead voters. We will wait to win in court and then we will be gathering signatures up and down the state…

Critics of the new law have said it lacks sufficient safeguards for the money to be spent only on road repairs and transportation and could allow money to be spent on other functions.

The summary also highlights that the ballot measure “Eliminates Independent Office of Audits and Investigations, which is responsible for ensuring accountability in the use of revenue for transportation projects.” Such an office has not existed and is called for by the new law.

Click here for the rest of the Los Angeles Times article…

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AD 72: Mayor Pro Tem Diep Becomes Early Frontrunner in Race to Replace Assemblyman Allen

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 11, 2017

Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Diep (R-Westminster)

Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Diep (R-Westminster)

Cross-posted to OC Daily

As reported by OC Daily in English and Viet Bao in Vietnamese, Westminster Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Diep has officially thrown his hat in the ring for the 72nd Assembly District, finally confirming rumors that had swirled since mid-June.  The seat is being vacated by Assemblyman Travis Allen, who is running for Governor.

Diep comes out of the gate wielding a $260,000 City Council warchest that he can easily transfer to his Assembly race.  Diep also wields the most useful endorsement for this seat: the incumbent, Travis Allen.  The endorsement of the current occupant of the seat being sought is always uniquely helpful in a campaign, but Allen’s endorsement has an extra degree of usefulness in 2018 due to his increased name ID from his bid for Governor.

The two dominant population centers of AD-72 are Little Saigon and Huntington Beach.  In these two areas, Diep has locked up the endorsements of nearly anyone who could run against him.  He has sought to not only clear the field but win the support of the field.  It is difficult to launch a bid against someone when you have already endorsed them.

Diep quickly rounded up the endorsements of all three rumored candidates from Huntington Beach: Councilmembers Barbara Delgleize, Mike Posey, and Patrick Brenden.  (Posey is so popular that he was rumored for AD-72 despite being a resident of AD-74.)

Diep has locked down the endorsements of nearly every Vietnamese-American elected official in AD-72: Westminster Mayor Tri Ta, Westminster Councilwoman Kimberly Ho, Fountain Valley Mayor Pro Tem Michael Vo, Garden Grove School Board Members Dina Nguyen and Lan Quoc Nguyen, and Westminster School Board Members Frances Nguyen and Khanh Nguyen.  (In fact, Diep has the endorsement of every Vietnamese-American school board member in AD-72.)

The only other Republican Vietnamese-American City Councilmember in AD-72 (or actually, in all of Orange County) is Phat Bui of Garden Grove.  However, Bui was so badly bloodied in the First Supervisorial District race last year in which he came in third behind Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez and Supervisor Andrew Do that an AD-72 bid by Bui would be quixotic.  The Democrats’ sole Vietnamese-American City Councilmember is Thu-Ha Nguyen, who was just elected last year, but the AD-72 seat will remain in Republican hands and Councilwoman Nguyen occupies a small district seat since Garden Grove switched to by-district elections last year, so her name ID is confined to a small portion of Garden Grove.

At this point, it is difficult to see any viable opponent to Diep since virtually any viable candidate for AD-72 has endorsed Diep.

In my conversations with other people about the Diep candidacy before he officially announced, I commented that Diep appeared to be borrowing a page from the Mimi Walters strategy, and his official announcement bears that out.  In June 2013, when Congressman John Campbell announced that he would not seek re-election in 2014, Walters came barreling out of the gate with a large warchest and a slew of endorsements that included nearly every potential opponent.  The strategy worked well for Walters who won her seat and worked to help elect so many other Republicans that she was quickly elected by freshmen Members of Congress to serve as their representative in the House Republican leadership after the 2014 election and then again as the sophomore representative after the 2016 election.

And, yes, Walters has endorsed Diep.

Here’s the full text of the Diep’s announcement:

Councilman Tyler Diep Launches Campaign for 72nd Assembly District
Diep Enters Race with Significant Momentum: $260k COH & Key Endorsement

(Westminster, CA) – Westminster Councilman Tyler Diep announced today that he is running for State Assembly.

The announcement comes after 72nd District Assemblyman Travis Allen opted to vacate the seat in 2018 to run for Governor. Allen has endorsed Diep’s campaign to succeed him in the Assembly.

“Tyler is the right person to represent us in the State Assembly,” said Assemblyman Allen. “He is a dedicated public servant and has a proven record of fighting higher taxes and job killing regulations.”

Councilman Diep will begin the campaign with significant campaign resources – he will transfer approximately $260,000 from his council campaign account to his assembly race.

“I am passionate about public service, my community and fighting to make Orange County a better place to raise a family and start a business,” said Diep. “I look forward to taking my experience in Orange County to Sacramento and between now and election day I’ll work hard to earn the vote of every neighborhood in the 72nd district.”

The 72nd District includes all of Westminster, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, a portion of Huntington Beach and the unincorporated county island of Midway City.

Axiom Strategies will serve as general consultants for Diep’s campaign, John Bovee of Capital Development Strategies will assist Diep with fundraising, and Lysa Ray will serve as his treasurer.

Diep was first elected to the Westminster City Council in 2008.  He has been a strong taxpayer advocate, is committed to job creation and supporting small businesses by keeping taxes low, and has prioritized hiring more police officers and road repair while on the city council.  He also serves as Director of the Midway City Sanitary District and works for the State Board of Equalization where he helps small businesses navigate through the bureaucracy of the IRS and Franchise Tax Board.

To learn more about Diep and his campaign, please visit: www.TylerDiep.com

###

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to Garden Grove Councilwoman Thu-Ha Nguyen, Garden Grove School Board Member Dina Nguyen, Garden Grove School Board Member Lan Quoc Nguyen, Westminster School Board Member Frances Nguyen, or Westminster School Board Member Khanh Nguyen.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 72nd Assembly District, Westminster | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Republican OC Assemblyman Travis Allen Enters Race for Governor

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 22, 2017

This video came over the wire this morning from Travis Allen for Governor

Posted in California | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee on Efforts to Stop the Car Tax

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 19, 2017

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgWe are live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where the committee is considering a resolution of support for Assemblyman Travis Allen’s effort to repeal the gas tax via his plan to qualify a statewide ballot measure to repeal SB 1 in the next statewide general election (in November 2018). After the Attorney General issues the title and summary of the proposed measure, Allen will need the signatures of 365,880 California voters to put the measure on the ballot. Upon reaching the ballot, the measure needs a simple majority of voters to pass.

Tonight, however, to get the resolution of support for the proposed ballot measure, Allen needs 2/3 of the Central Committee members to vote in favor of the resolution.

Before that, general Central Committee business must be completed.

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker gives opening remarks.

RNC Western Regional Political Director Alexis Valdez-Darnell explains her role, the RNC’s efforts in Orange County, and what they can do to help the OC GOP.

Chairman Whitaker recognizes each of the local elected officials present.

OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang recognized the OC GOP Volunteer of the Month for April: longtime activist Joyce Van Schaack, who also received certificates from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the office of Assemblyman Bill Brough, the office of Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates, the office of Board of Equalization Chair Diane Harkey, the office of Assessor Claude Parrish, the Laguna Niguel Republican Women Federated, the Orange County Federation of Republican Women, and OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker, joined by his father, former LA GOP 41st Assembly District Chairman Fred Whitaker, Sr.

OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang recognized the OC GOP Volunteer of the Month for May: college student Thea Dunlevie, who also received certificates from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the office of Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates, the office of Assemblyman Bill Brough, the office of Congressman Darrell Issa, the office of Board of Equalization Chair Diane Harkey, the NextGen Republicans, and OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker.

Chairman Whitaker discusses the work of First Vice Chairman John Warner for Saturday’s Flag Day dinner, as Warner is out ill.

Second Vice Chairman TJ Fuentes, Treasurer Erik Weigand, and Assistant Treasurer Laurie Davies 

Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Whitacre and Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh had no report.

Assemblyman Allen speaks in favor of the urgency. He describes the measure’s provisions repealing the gas tax and car tax.

Chairman Whitaker speaks against the urgency. He states that Carl DeMaio, who is leading the recall effort against Senator Josh Newman, is not yet on board with this measure because DeMaio may be drafting another one.

Committee Member Mike Munzing asks if it is possible to endorse Allen’s now and then endorse the other if it materializes.

Chairman Whitaker states it is possible but not advisable.

Committee Treasurer Erik Weigand asks if a special meeting is possible.

Parliamentarian Marsh express concern about the ability to get quorum.

Committee Member Taylor Strand asks if a special meeting would be timely to meet Assemblyman Allen’s measure deadlines.

Parliamentarian Marsh states it is possible to call an electronic meeting.

Chairman Whitaker suggests July 10 or July 12 for a special meeting.

Committee Member Baron Night asks about the timeline for the measure.

Allen explains that title and summary will be released in early July and signatures due in early December.

Allen states the special meeting would be fine for endorsement but he requests the resolution of support tonight.

Because Whitaker is the only speaker in opposition to declaring an urgency regarding the repeal of the gas tax and car tax, Allen is the only speaker in favor allowed to speak despite others wanting to speak in favor.

Committee Member Deborah Pauly asks about getting quorum at a special meeting.

Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh notes that quorum is easy to attain because Central Committee members can appoint and remove alternates at will.

Committee Member Anthony Kuo asks if the Central Committee action will affect signature gathering.

Allen explains that the endorsement would be helpful in getting donations and volunteers for the ballot measure signature gathering effort.

Committee Member Jennifer Beall asks if any other measure has actually been filed. She notes Allen is a member of the OC legislative delegation and therefore, a member of the Central Committee.

Chairman Whitaker is unsure.

Allen says no other proposed measure has been filed.

Committee Member John W. Briscoe asks if it would be possible to pass the resolution now and the endorsement in July.

Chairman Whitaker says it would be possible.

Committee Member Jennifer Beall asks about resolutions of support and opposition in the past two months on various recalls.

Chairman Whitaker states they were general resolutions of support, not endorsements.

The vote is 31 in favor of declaring an urgency and 19 against declaring an urgency. The urgency fails to achieve 2/3. With 50 people voting, 34 votes in favor were needed to declare an urgency. Consequently, the resolution will not be considered tonight.

The committee goes to club reports.

The committee adjourns at 8:48 PM.

Posted in 72nd Assembly District, California, Orange County, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »