Introducing … ORTEGA WATCH!!!


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The excitement here at Orange Juice Blog Central Headquarters is palpable! (Seriously, go ahead — palpate it!)  We are beginning our ORTEGA WATCH, the vigil to see whether Orange Unified School District Trustee John Ortega will challenge Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez in CD-47!

How it is that we, humble Orange Juice Blog, are the ones able to break the story of our waiting for a story to break?

Well, the RSS feed helpfully lodged on this site (and perhaps other sites … and perhaps not) from New Santa Ana Blog shared what appeared to be some exciting news earlier today: that Trustee Ortega, listed in the bowels of the Community Foundation of Orange as a Board Member (whence the above photo of him comes), would be challenging Rep. Loretta (so called here to distinguish her from Rep. Linda) in 2012.  Republicans, we are given to understand, have been trying to unseat Rep. Loretta for years, “but they have never found a decent candidate” — special note to former Assemblyman Van Tram: that’s not coming from me, I got that language from the NSA’s RSS Feed — until now!

The news was published — otherwise it would not have gotten onto our feed — and then mysteriously disappeared!

The link to “OUSD Trustee John Ortega to challenge Rep. Sanchez in 2012” — an apparent NSA scoop! — leads to a link with this explanation:  “Error 404 – Page Not Found.”

Why has this scoop disappeared? This writer … does not know.  It seems impossible that NSA could have been wrong about this, or could have comically hit the “publish” button rather than the “fantasize” button, or could have inadvertently broken some tightly wound news embargo.  That leaves open the possibility that Trustee John may be wavering about entering the race! (And who, frankly, could blame him?  He is doomed, after all.)  What other explanation can there be?

I suppose that I could ask NSA or Trustee John himself, but that seems to violate local blogging rules.  So instead I asked Google, by typing in “John Ortega” and “Loretta Sanchez.”  I got these hits:

OUSD Trustee John Ortega to challenge Rep. Sanchez in 2012 
newsantaana.com/…/ousd-trustee-john-ortega-to-challenge-rep-sanch…
11 hours ago – to unseat Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez for years – but they have never Orange Unified School District Trustee John Ortega will be

John Ortega | New Santa Ana
newsantaana.com/tag/john-ortega/
11 hours ago – Orange Unified School District Trustee John Ortega will be announcing his …. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, 47th Congressional District

Could Tran defeat Supervisor Nguyen in 2012, if the County goes 
newsantaana.com/…/could-tran-defeat-supervisor-nguyen-in-2012-if…
Sep 26, 2011 – He did not beat the incumbent, Loretta Sanchez, but he garnered a lot of press, both negative …. OUSD Trustee John Ortega to challenge Rep.

Rep. Sanchez invites the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam to join human 
newsantaana.com/…/rep-sanchez-invites-the-u-s-ambassador-to-vietn…
Aug 18, 2011 – Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Representing California’s 47th Congressional District …. OUSD Trustee John Ortega to challenge Rep.

(My emphasis throughout.)  There’s somethin’ funny goin’ on here, but I don’t know what it is!  One possibility is that Google has figured out a way to read Admin Pedroza’s mind and that it has used this frightening capability to insert announcements of John Ortega’s doomed challenge to Rep. Loretta into four separate stories (ok, maybe three) over the past three months plus!!!

If this is what’s going on — if Google has really obtained this technology — then only one person outside of its clutches can set the record straight: Admin Pedroza.  We therefore implore him to explain: how has Google been inserting this information into NSA stories for what is now over three months? This story is NOWHERE ELSE! (Well, it’s listed in one OJB page, but that’s apparently only because of that RSS feed.)  Where else could Google have found it?  How is Trustee John’s equivocating, if it is that, worming itself into, but not out of (except somehow for at least a moment earlier today), the New Santa Ana blog?

We don’t know and are not absolutely sure that we care.  But, you should know more about John Ortega, shouldn’t you?  (Maybe not!  Maybe he’s not running!)  Well, anyway, here what CommFoundOrange has to say of him:

John Ortega, Trustee of the Orange Unified School District Board of Trustees, assists with the management of 3200 employees, 32,000 students, and a budget of $215 million. The District includes 30 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 4 high schools, and one continuation school. During his early years with OUSD, John was instrumental in the modernization of Fred Kelly Stadium.  In addition to serving on the school board, John works as a police captain in Los Angeles County.

Born in Orange, and a graduate of Villa Park High school, John received his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and will soon receive a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.

John is a member of the Legislative Committee of the California School Boards Association, the National School Boards Association, the Southern California Chaplains’ Association and has recently graduated from the FBI National Academy.

So in other words … he’s not from Santa Ana.  (We presume that this means that he doesn’t get NSA’s endorsement.  And, even if he does, he’s doomed anyway.)  But for heaven’s sake — why doesn’t that blog warn us?

By the way, my suggestion of earlier today, in a comment to a separate post –

My feeling is that, if this is true, Loretta should just have her husband file to run against her as well. Even splitting her share of the vote with her, he’d still probably beat Trustee Ortega for the second spot in the runoff — after which he could relax and Loretta could avoid spending even a dime to win in November.

– was intended as a joke.  It might well work if she tried it — but it was still intended as a joke.

So, anyway, we’re introducing an “Ortega Watch,” for which you’ll see I’ve already prepared a spiffy logo, to see whether Ortega eventually jumps in — or stops beaming information about the possibility of his doing so into Admin Pedroza’s mind and/or Google’s database.  We’ll keep the Ortega Watch going for as long as anyone out there is interested — which means that this may be the last time you see this feature.  (But, if it finally happens, we think that we still get part credit for the scoop, right?)


About Greg Diamond

Worker's rights attorney now moving into "good governance" litigation. North Vice Chair of Democratic Party of Orange County and occasional candidate. Proud to be prolix. Unless otherwise specifically stated, his writings never speak for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. He tries to either suppress or openly acknowledge his partisan, issue, ideological, and "good government" biases in most of his writing here. If you have a question about any particular writing, just ask him about it and (unless you are an pseudonymous troll) he will probably answer you at painful length. He lives in Brea but generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for Wendy Gabriella in AD-73; he doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. He does advise some campaigns informally and without compensation, although in 2014 he may receive some compensation for campaign consulting and fundraising for the campaign of Jorge Lopez for Orange County Assessor.