This is Why Sharon Quirk-Silva Will Be Re-Elected: She Can Get This Sort of Thing Done


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Do you want the analysis first, or the press releases?  OK, fine — analysis first, but then you have to promise to go read the press releases below it.  Promise?  Well, whatever — analysis still comes first.

Sharon Quirk-Silva and Eric Garcetti

Sharon Quirk-Silva and new LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. I’m not sure that Young Kim could get a nice photo op with Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker — and least not one with him smiling naturally.

1. Why to Bet on Sharon Quirk-Silva’s Re-election

Assemblymember Sharon Quirk Silva has waded into the controversy over the County’s trying to flip off the state government regarding its share of the Vehicle License Fee.  The County lost big in Court and, as things, stand, faces a major hemorrhage of its budget as a result.  Quirk-Silva introducing a bill to fix the problem fairly — if one considers “fairly” getting the state to show mercy and overlook the County’s being led by arrogant dunderheads.

I admit to being a partisan of Sharon Quirk-Silva, so I’m trying to look at this as objectively as possible, but whatever way I look at it, I keep coming back to the same conclusion.  The state had a county that’s not all that popular in Sacramento over a barrel.  There’s no real reason for the state to be nice to Orange County about our attempted strong-armed grab for money that wasn’t rightly ours — except one: Sharon Quirk-Silva is asking them to do so, nicely and politely.

And so OC looks to make its way out of a huge jam of its own devising — because it has the right leader in place to make up for all of the ones who aren’t right.

Quirk-Silva can get this deal done — passed by both houses and signed by the Governor (who seems to be no fan of OC, except for certain major donors.)  Her likely opponent Young Kim would not likely be able to, because she’s a protege of Ed Royce and that’s a really unpopular thing to be.

Now, if we had a Republican majority and a Republican Governor, then maybe Young Kim would be better able that Quirk-Silva to yank Orange County’s bacon out of the fire — but we don’t, so she isn’t.  We have plenty of Republicans around who can get their party to do something nice and charitable for us, like forgiving the stupidity of our elected leaders, but not a lot of Democrats, and less so progressive Democrats who are on the same wavelength as our leaders.

Quirk-Silva has two big advantages at such a task.

One is that she is well-liked and well-respected in Sacramento.  Believe it or not, that doesn’t happen with everyone whom OC sends north — I won’t name names — but the verdict is apparently already in on Sharon: she’s someone who will be going places within the legislative leadership.  (I’m not saying Speaker, but I am saying no less than influential committee chair.)

That in itself would not be enough to allow her to successfully plead for mercy on behalf of Orange County.  The second advantage is what does the trick.

Democrats in Sacramento know that control of the State Assembly very likely turns on whether Quirk-Silva can hold on to AD-65 this year.  There are other ways that Democrats can hold onto power, but this is the most straightforward one.

Therefore, when Sharon wants something done, they will tend to say yes to her.  This is not to say that she doesn’t earn that consideration; she’s smart and she has a damn good staff.  But lots of legislators are good and don’t get that sort of consideration from the leadership in Sacramento.  Sharon does — and will continue to do so.  (Maybe not every time, but when push comes the shove on something critical — like this — she’ll be the one that people want to send to make the ask.)

Now, how will those people react to Young Kim?  They don’t have any reason to want to make her look good.  In fact, with 2016 likely to be a more Democratic year than 2014, they would have every reason not to make her look good.  So, if she were to propose this same legislation, it would be much less likely to pass.

Politicians know this.  Interest groups know it.  Voters will know it.  And that’s why, pretty much regardless of how much Ed Royce-generated money Young Kim has to spend, she’s still not going to beat Sharon Quirk-Silva.

The ironic part?  Young Kim — late of La Habra — might well have easily thumped the whole field if she had stayed in AD-55 and run from there.  But she moved to Fullerton.  It looks to me like her move was the result of a deal between Bob Huff — patron, for whatever reason, of Diamond Bar’s Ling-Ling Chang — and Ed Royce.  If so, Royce may not have done her any favors.

2. Press Release from Quirk-Silva’s Office — You PROMISED to Read This!

(SACRAMENTO) — Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D- Fullerton) will introduce tomorrow Assembly Bill (AB) 701 to settle a long-term VehicleLicense Fee Adjustment Amount (VLFAA) formula dispute between Orange County and the State of California, thus restoring critical county funds and preventing drastic budget cuts. AB 701 will allow Orange County to receive the same dollar-for-dollar amount of VLFAA property tax revenue as all other 57California counties.

“AB 701 is a bipartisan solution that ensures continued budget stability for Orange County and prevents additional cuts to county public safety programs in this fiscal year,” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “The entire Orange County Delegation of legislators has already pledged their support and I am confident that the rest of my colleagues will follow suit.”

Orange County owes the state $148 million as a result of 2013 court decision concerning the restoration of the county’s VLFAA property tax allocation as a result of the SB 89 transfer in 2011. Without a deal, the County would have been forced to consider severe budget reduction strategies that could have included laying off employees and making additional funding reductions for public safety programs in this fiscal year. AB 701 ensures both, more time to pay this debt, and that Orange County will receive the same proportion of funds distributed by the VLFAA as other county governments. Additionally, the state will adjust the baseline for this revenue allocation to $53 million.

“Orange County deserves to be treated no differently than any other Californiacounty,” continued the Assemblywoman. “It is a privilege to bring local and state officials together to achieve a resolution that so many can support.”

The measure is set to be heard on the Senate and the Assembly Floor next week.

3. Press Release from the County Board of Supervisors (Shortly After Sharon’s)

(Santa Ana, CA) — Assembly Bill 701 will be introduced in the CaliforniaLegislature Thursday to help resolve Orange County’s Vehicle License Fee Adjustment Amount (VLFAA) dispute.

The bill, to be introduced by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (65th District, Fullerton), would allow Orange County to be treated equally with California’s other 57 counties when it comes to the VLFAA funding formula. “This bill gets Orange County back into the VLFAA formula, like all other counties in California, and will provide us with a more secure revenue source,” said Shawn Nelson, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “It is also important that this revenue source has the potential for future growth as property values increase.”

The bill will be introduced in the Senate tomorrow and is expected to go to the Assembly on concurrence early next week. County staff will continue to work with Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva and the entire Orange County Legislative Delegation as the bill progresses in the California Legislature.

4. Final Thought

Of course, you can bet whichever way you want to bet on this race.  I’m just telling you which bet isn’t futile.


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.