Failing Newspaper Endorses Cowering Candidate Shortly Before Unsettling Vote


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Seem a bit early for election endorsements?  Maybe the Orange County Register is acting quickly while it still has some staff left.  Maybe whoever vets its editorials is on furlough.

Quirk-Silva occludes Young Kim

The Register is up to its old tricks again in interceding in county politics.  I can only reprint their entire endorsement of Young Kim if I tear it apart paragraph by paragraph, a process known as “fisking” that takes advantage of the Fair Use exception for criticism — but, luckily, such will be my pleasure.

Editorial: Young Kim for Assembly District 65

Published: July 17, 2014 Updated: 5:14 p.m.

It was just in 2012 that Sharon Quirk-Silva won a massive upset against a redistricted Chris Norby. Now, Assembly District 65 is one to watch again as Ms. Quirk-Silva looks to hold on to the seat against a strong Republican challenger in Young Kim.

Orange Juice Blog readers know that this “massive upset” was predicted here five months ahead of time.  And how can one call Young Kim a “strong” challenger when she dare not speak to other than select audiences?

In a district where Democrats have a registration advantage of only a fraction of a percent, it will likely be the area’s sizable registration of independents – spurred by issues rather than partisanship – that will decide this hotly contested election. Ms. Kim is the better choice when it comes to protecting taxpayers and restoring the beleaguered California economy.

This brilliant analysis applies to any district where the number of independents exceeds the registration difference between the two parties.  (Golf clap for the Orange Lady!)  As far as “protecting taxpayers” — I happen to know a bit about that here in OC, so where does Kim stand on the avaricious giveaway-munching activities of the Pringle Ring?  As for “restoring the beleaguered California economy” — if those guys would read a real newspaper they’d understand what Gov. Brown has been able to accomplish over the past four years — in comparison to the disasters that state governments who follow the Register’s economic principles, such as Kansas and Wisconsin, are now facing.

As a former director of Community Relations and Asian Affairs for Rep. Ed Royce, Ms. Kim knows the district well. In her bid to serve the residents, she has focused on fixing the education system, making California more business-friendly, improving public safety and dealing with California’s crippling water and infrastructure issues.

As, in effect, Ed Royce’s Social Director, Kim knows the people who attend wealthy soirees.  And, sadly, she has certainly tried to round up the Asian community to drive wedges between them and Latinos.  I’m not sure one can say she has really “focused” on anything, as a focus requires more than just mouthing pap.

On education, Ms. Kim said she supports charter schools, vouchers and the conclusions made in the Vergara court decision striking down the state’s two-year tenure and seniority rules, noting that the “CTA is just flat wrong.” The state should end its court fight over the decision, she said, and work toward real reforms that will make education more competitive and efficient for the state’s children.

Honestly, I would pay money to see her go through an intensive joint interview with Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva on education issues — something that would get beyond surface level talking points.  If there are questions from the audience, I’d like her to evaluate Vergara in terms of judicial activism.

Ms. Kim also prefers lowering economic barriers to businesses across the board – rather than the targeted tax breaks to big businesses that have become popular in Sacramento – to get more people into jobs.

So she opposes the economic policies of Republican legislators from OC?  Do tell us more!

On the other hand, while Ms. Quirk-Silva touted her credentials as a moderate, she has simply not lived up to expectations as a politically independent trailblazer. Ms. Quirk-Silva has charted her own course on some issues, but the “moderate” Democrat has almost entirely voted with the majority on the session’s most controversial bills. Those include further prohibitions on the Second Amendment, such as a ban on lead ammunition for hunting, mandating paid sick leave, authorizing non-physician-performed abortions, granting the undocumented driver’s licenses, making the California Public Records Act optional for local governments and increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour.

I agree with the Reg on the CPRA — but I’ll bet that Young Kim wouldn’t!  As for the rest — even if elected, Kim wouldn’t affect the passage of these non-budgetary items.  (I’m not sure why putting toxic lead ammunition into animals is better than giving paid sick leave to humans, but apparently the Register thinks that you do.)

“The minimum wage isn’t a government responsibility,” said Ms. Kim, adding that she prefers to let individuals, rather than government, decide what wages they would be willing to work for in the entry-level positions that are fundamental building blocks to better careers.

So, theoretically, she’s willing to see the minimum wage go all the way down to a penny per hour if that’s where the “market” takes it?  Do tell us more about how this would play out, Ms. Kim!

In Ms. Kim, we found a candidate who offers sound policy prescriptions on a number of issues and who would be a welcome addition to the statehouse. We are confident she is willing to take the much-needed political risks. She has our endorsement.

“Political risks”?  Did someone say “political risks”?  Great, I have just the thing in mind — and she can do it next week!  So, here’s the comment I left in reply to the OC Register story:

It’s funny that you should bring this up today, just as the Irvine City Council prepares to vote next Tuesday on whether to donate land for a Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park — an initiative that Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva introduced as Chair of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee and has managed energetically, sensitively, and brilliantly.

Opponents to the plan argue that they must to kowtow to the developer, Five Point, that will build luxury houses in the Great Park. Five Point intends to market those homes to wealthy investors seeking to move their money out of the communist People’s Republic of China to the safer haven of Orange County. Those investors (who aren’t likely to live in the homes) object to the presence of a cemetery nearby because it violates the principles of “feng shui,” which dictate that it is bad luck to live near a graveyard — EVEN, APPARENTLY, A GRAVEYARD AND MEMORIAL FOR SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND AIRMEN WHO SAVED CHINA FROM JAPANESE DOMINATION IN WORLD WAR II AND SAVED SOUTH KOREA FROM SOVIET DOMINATION IN THE 1950S AND BEYOND.

As a Korean-American, Young Kim could show some actual leadership by coming to the Irvine City Council on Tuesday and supporting the interests of the many veterans who will attend. She could tell the Council that our responsibilities to our veterans (and their loved ones here in OC) FAR outweigh the demand to make a wealthy developer wealthier by allowing it to market its homes to foreign speculators who don’t want the honor of living next to a veterans cemetery. She could remind them that U.S. veterans from around the nation — perhaps not MUCH less of a lucrative market — might LOVE to purchase those homes.

Sadly, I’ve been unable to find evidence that Young Kim has taken ANY POSITION AT ALL on whether to build a Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park — a matter ON WHICH SHE WOULD BE VOTING IF SHE WERE IN THE ASSEMBLY — let alone that she takes the RIGHT position, the PATRIOTIC position, rather than agreeing with Mayor Steven Choi that we can’t possibly inconvenience a wealthy developer by finally putting something GREAT in the Great Park.

Now that you’ve endorsed her, perhaps you can convince Young Kim to come to the Irvine City Council meeting at 5:00 and speak on behalf of this project that is so critical to OC’s veterans. Or maybe you could convince her to even take a public position on the matter … or to make herself available to the public for questions … something, anything, any act that would show that, like Sharon Quirk-Silva, she is willing to talk to people beyond hand-picked donors and supporters. I encourage others reading this to call her campaign office at (714) 752-6747 and encourage her to speak for veterans — you had better specify “FOR” — on Tuesday.

Oh, one last thing: please cancel my subscription to the Register. I’ve had enough. I’ll follow up on that request by phone.

Go there and chime in yourself, if you’d like!  (I didn’t even get to go into my “Young Kim is the Bigoted Buttkicker” riff!)


About Greg Diamond

Prolix worker's rights and government accountability attorney and General Counsel of CATER. His anti-corruption work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, leading them to work with the Democratic Party of Orange County Chair and other co-conspirators (who had long detested the internal oversight his presence provided) to remove him from the position of DPOC North Vice Chair of in violation of party rules and any semblance of due process. He also runs for office sometimes. Unless otherwise specifically stated, none of his writings prior to that lawless putsch ever spoke 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 Beautiful Bountiful Brea, but while he may brag about it he generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for candidates including 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 (except where noted) without compensation.