Saturday marked the annual Flag Day celebration by the Teamsters Union and some of their political allies at the Teamsters Local 952 Hall in Orange. The event was emceed by Ray Cordova and dominated by the beaming presence of Assemblyman Jose Solorio, who spoke at the event, presented the awards, and was inserted into a variety of photos with award recipients including Fullerton Mayor and 65th Assembly District candidate Sharon Quirk-Silva. (More on Solorio’s and Quirk-Silva’s remarks is likely to come later in the week.)
The room was dominated by the portion of the Labor movement that supported Tom Daly in last week’s 69th Assembly District primary. Daly, who had substantial report from the Republican Party in the race, will go on to face either unfunded Republican Joe Moreno in the primary — or, if he picks up votes in this week’s canvass of mostly provisional ballots — against the more broadly supported union candidate Julio Perez
Daly spoke for about two minutes at the event — substantially less than his political patron Solorio — but used the occasion to take a swipe at the patriotism of Republicans (although not all Republicans, as he said that he loved the ones in the room), and to lavish praise on the fifth-place candidate in the race, Orange Juice contributor Francisco “Paco” Barragan, whom he called “cool, cool,” “honorable, focused,” and “the embodiment of patriotism.”
We have a full program today and I want to make sure that we have enough room to honor all of the people who are receiving awards. I do want to thank the Teamsters, and Ray Cordova, and Jose Solorio, and 72nd A.D. activists who helped put this program on. It’s important for us to embrace our flag – not let the Republican Party be the party of patriotism. WE are the party of patriotism. [APPLAUSE]. And I knew there are a few Republicans in the room, and we love you also. You’re Americans. And a few of them are Buffalo Soldiers, who we love. Nevertheless, nevertheless I’m gonna thank the organizers of this event. It’s important to mark Flag Day. And I want to thank everyone who’s worked so hard on the campaigns.
A good point was made: we honor ALL the people who run for office. Every person who runs for office is sacrificing, paying the price, and a tribute to our democratic process. Paco Barragan is a person that I hardly knew until I ran for the 72nd [sic] Assembly District – and what a class act, what a cool, cool person, honorable, focused – you talk about patriotism and that’s the embodiment of patriotism right there. And it makes me proud as a citizen to participate with folks like Paco. And I mean it from the heart. I see his sincerity and I want you to know that it means a lot. You’re a great guy. [APPLAUSE].
So with that I want to thank Brother Ray for giving me a chance to speak and thank all of our sponsors today.
Daly’s focus on a large part of his speech on Paco, a veteran in attendance whom many people would like to see take on Carlos Bustamante for Santa Ana City Council this November — and, interest declared, your correspondent here is among them — was an unexpected bit of flattery. His slashing attack on Republicans as a less patriotic party than Democrats may have come as a surprise to Republicans who supported Daly and to the Orange County Party who refused to endorse Joe Moreno over Barragan in the primary — opening the door for the possibility of a come-from-behind victory by Julio Perez this week.