Thanks to the Prop 14 Top-Two Primaries (it’s Abel Maldonado’s world, but YOU PROBABLY VOTED FOR IT) citizens of the 72nd Assembly District – northern HB, Fountain Valley, Westminster, parts of Garden Grove, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, etc. – get to choose this year between TWO REPUBLICANS:
TROY EDGAR, the young Los Al Mayor, Navy vet, and wunderkind fave of the insider establishment, currently facing serious questions into his campaign finance reporting;
and TRAVIS ALLEN, the feisty, slightly unhinged, tea-partyin’ HB businessman, who’s been keeping those questions at a boil by feeding them to the Weekly’s R Scott Moxley.
Travis barged into the race like a bull back in March, with an apparently bipolar publicist sounding calls of treason against any HB politicians who dared to endorse a candidate from a different town in the district – as though Surf City were at war with Los Alamitos. After barely edging out the competition for second place in the June primary, Travis completely vanished. Some of us tried repeatedly to get him involved in the 405 Toll fight and never heard back (which turned out all right when Mayor Edgar surprised us by coming out against the tolls himself.) I was getting ready to include Travis in a list of post-Prop 14 Potemkin candidates who’d probably been bought off to avoid intraparty bloodbaths.
But NO, and I’m glad I didn’t – Travis was merely lying in wait underground, gathering up his strength and nursing his anger like a badger, until suddenly bursting forth again a few weeks ago with near-daily tirades against the crimes and misdeeds of “Taxin’ Troy!”
So hopes, not to be dashed either, were high for conflict at last Thursday’s long-awaited debate between these contenders, a debate hosted at the Fountain Valley Council Chambers by the plucky “405/605 Tea Party Patriots,” a baggin’ outfit usually confined to nostalgia events at Seal Beach Leisure World.
Obviously, for such a staunch audience, the candidates would need to show which one is the better Republican, the more severe conservative, the most ruthless tax-cutter and gubmint-slasher. Would that be Troy Edgar, who WAS a Democrat till 2006 and proudly boasts the endorsement of slick Santa Ana Mayor-For-Life, Democrat Miguel Pulido? Or would it be Travis, the nephew of OC Democratic Party chairman Frank Barbaro, Travis who not long ago donated a big 2 GRAND to the hated Barbara Boxer? Tough one, there.
And who better to “moderate” this debate than deranged firebrand Deborah “Deb” Pauly? The running joke, which I’ll get out of the way, is “That’s the first time you’ll ever hear ‘Deb Pauly’ and ‘moderate’ in the same sentence.” But I have only limited enjoyment of Pauly jokes that Deb herself would also appreciate. Remember that Deb is the Villa Park councilwoman who regularly makes national news by such stunts as publicly threatening crowds of peaceful Muslim-Americans with death, comparing Obamacare to anal rape, and calling the Democratic Party “of the terrorists, by the terrorists, and for the terrorists.” I’d like to think that kind of talk is a little beyond Troy OR Travis.
I would have given my left nut to have witnessed this spectacle, but I work Thursday nights, so, left nut intact, I instead sent two woman commenter friends – “Merijoe” representing for the far right, and “Oddcat” representing for the far left. And what did my two red-headed correspondents report?
- Most memorably, Travis came right out and called Troy a “CRIMINAL,” based on the false campaign expense reporting as documented in Moxley’s article. Troy sniffed that these charges “didn’t deserve an anwer,” Travis roared that “the people deserve an anwer,” and Deb broke in that SHE would be the one asking questions, thank you very much.
- Troy feels HIS trump cards are experience (SIX years in government!) and endorsements (of which he has the lion’s share of mostly-skanky OC politicos.) He’s quite sure that OC voters should, and will, pick the guy with the most experience and endorsements. This made Merijoe “want to want to throw her flip flop at his greasy head,” but she was sitting next to his wife.
- Travis, riffing off his caricature of “Taxin’ Troy” highlighted by Troy’s principled refusal to sign the no-tax pledge that most Reeps including Travis sign happily, harped on Los Alamitos’ Measure DD which Travis mis-characterized as a tax hike on cell phone and internet users. It’s explained a lot better over here, and it actually saved Los Al citizens money, but Troy’s labored explanation sounded like he was distinguishing taxes from fees, making Merijoe even more pissed off and “wishing she had shoes WITH HEELS” that she could throw at his “greasy head.”
- But as it turned out, Troy and Travis basically agreed on so, so much, especially while in front of the 405/605 Tea Party Patriots: Both blaming the vast majority of California’s problems on too much taxes, regulations, and union power, they support the labor-crippling Prop 32 and vie for the most draconian pension reform. They both say they want to get rid of ALL gun control laws, roll out conceal-carry permits, and “turn on the water” to the Central Valley somehow – all California Teabag dreams. I’m surprised there were no immigration questions from the very racist Pauly – Troy and Travis would have had to compete over the height of their electrified fences.
Apparently my neighbors and I are gonna have to choose ONE of these two bozos, as much as we may disagree with both of them on MOST issues they’ll ever vote on. So, what do we have to go on?
What I like about Troy is that he has refused to sign the no-tax pledge, which generally takes guts for a Republican; it’s wrong for a politician to pre-tie their own hands like that, and their only pledge should be to the Constitution.
And I appreciate him signing the letter, as Los Al Mayor, of “corridor cities” opposing toll lanes on the 405 – even though his big supporter Mayor Pulido is the king of the Toll Trolls, craving the revenue for his own pet projects.
But it’s just my nature to back a scrappy outsider rebel (even a crazy rightwing one) over what looks like a pampered, possibly corrupt insider. And Travis is funny, and appreciates the blogosphere – big pluses to me!
And there’s also the consideration, when you’re a Democrat having to choose a Republican, of “Which one – given either inexperience or miscellaneous ineptness – is the least likely to do any serious damage in the legislature?”
So, given all of those considerations, I’m a-voting for Travis Allen!
[Thanks to Marselle, Merijoe, and John Crandall of the Fountain Valley Patch. Wish I coulda been there.]