Travis “Hot Dog” Allen to run for Governor; Who will be north HB’s next Assemblyperson?


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Tyler Diep, Travis Allen, Democratic contender.

SO.  Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen, of the 72nd district (northern half of HB, Westminster, Seal Beach, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, western Garden Grove) has today, as long rumored, thrown his hat into the ring for Governor 2018!  A vain quixotic quest at best for a Republican and we cheer his retirement decision!  Who will take his place in the 72nd though?  What Republicans will run, and what Democrat could have a chance?  First, let’s cut to the tape…

Nice video.  But since this is a Republican running for California Governor (and not an action-movie star), now is as good a time as any to look back at …

…the Brief Political Career of Travis Allen.

Oh, there were some good times.  Weren’t there?  Well, he talked a lot about saving Southern California’s fire pits, because there’s NOBODY against THAT, except a handful of spoiled Newport gazillionaires who didn’t get their way.  But four years later it’s getting a little old…

In his five assembly years he’s been best known for two things:  the highest number of unexcused absences in the state legislature, missing 503 votes (as of last fall) in order to appear on the media or enjoy junkets paid for by grateful corporations and foreign governments;  and getting himself onto FOX News with partisan pranks more often than any other California legislator, usually with some false or exaggerated anti-Democrat horror story.  Last time I wrote about Travis was five months ago in January, when he was broadcasting falsely to the nation that California Democrats had legalized child prostitution – a most disgusting but typical episode.

Notice how in the video above he names, as one of his top priorities, the completion of a big water plan?  What he really means by that is desalination, the most expensive way to produce fresh water known to mankind – he has always been, along with Matt Harper, Poseidon’s biggest cheerleader in the assembly, dependably either showing up or sending an emissary with a supportive letter every time the boondoggle is up for a vote.  As OJ readers know, not only is the plant an UNNECESSARY environmental disaster waiting to be built, it’s also a taxpayer-subsidized ripoff that will swindle the public while enriching the Boston-based hedge fund pirates beyond YOUR wildest dreams – Travis’ loyal contributors.

You also notice that he talks in the video about improving our state’s traffic “flow.”  You know what THAT means to us locally, and specifically in Travis’ record?  He has been a big, but quiet, proponent of putting toll lanes on the 405 between the 605 and the 55 (something even Harper opposed!)  Those who weren’t reading about this on this blog over the years, check out what an outrageous taxpayer ripoff that will be (and it does look like it’s doomed to happen in the next few years.)  OCTA and CalTrans plan to spend ONE AND A HALF BILLION of our Measure M money – money we voted to tax ourselves just to improve our freeway by widening it – they ARE going to widen it, which will take five years, involve the demolition and rebuilding of 13 bridges, and result in two new lanes in each direction … and THEN they are going to make those two lanes expensive TOLL LANES.  So us taxpayers get nothing from our one and a half billion dollars and five years of patience and suffering, unless we also want to ALSO spend money on TOLLS every day.

Every press account likes to call Travis a “conservative,” because he likes to bitch about taxes and regulations and insult Democrats, but as you can see from the above he is no conservative – he is a Crony Capitalist like the worst of Republicans and the worst of Democrats.  And all that blog readers need to know is that he pays Matthew Cunningham $3000 a month to shill for him.  And in HB, Chris Epting just thinks Travis is the cat’s pajamas!  Because – wow! – they both love Fire Pits.

Oh, his best-known assembly exploit (aside from slander of Democrats) was his outrageously anti-American and unconstitutional “anti-BDS bill”, punishing any American business or institution that dares to boycott of divest in the State of Israel in protest of their illegal settlements policy.  He is that kind of Zionist, and courts AIPAC support for what he hopes to be an ever-rising political career.

But to end on a positive note, the Orange Juice Blog would like to thank Travis for his early retirement, er, I mean, gubernatorial run, and wish him the best of luck when he returns to private life next year.

The 72nd Assembly District

The 72nd assembly district, created in 2011 with California’s fine anti-gerrymandering redistricting, is currently 38% Republican, 33% Democrat, and 25% independent.  Five years ago Travis beat fellow Republican Troy Edgar 56-44 (getting a lot of us Democrats and independents who believed possibly wrongly that he was less sleazy than Troy);  three years ago he wiped out Democrat Joel Block 65-34; and last year he beat some psychotic registered Democrat 58-42.  Is the district trending gradually more Democrat, or was the psycho a better candidate than Joel?  I suspect it’s more that it was a Presidential year, which is the only time many Democrats remember to fucking vote.

The district, for what it’s worth, is 39% white, one-third Asian (that’s mostly Vietnamese), and a quarter Latino.  Vietnamese still voting largely Republican, as well as being good at remembering to vote on off years, I’d expect the OC GOP establishment to favor, all things being equal, a Viet candidate.

Possible Assembly Successors

Tyler as Communist. I will elaborate further in a future post if necessary.

Tyler Diep.  The reptilian Westminster Councilman is my first choice for whom the OC GOP establishment might get behind.  He was all set to run five years ago until he received the word from On High to clear the field for Travis.  At the time someone gave me his cell phone number, and he told me glumly, “It is not yet my time” – a sad refrain I’ve heard from several Republican contenders in the years since.  I used that number for the second time this morning, and he had just heard the news: “Yes, I am seriously considering running.”  Tyler has got to be the worst of all Republican worlds – like Travis he is a kleptocratic devotee of Poseidon and 405 toll lanes, but he is also a Righeimer-style zealot for outsourcing and pension-slashing, and ran a brutal, slanderous campaign against my friend Diana Lee Carey last year.  If he ran I would pretty much support anyone who could beat him.

Patrick Brenden.  Some HB insiders have noticed the close friendship and general agreement on most issues between Travis and newly elected, Chamber-backed Brenden, and suspect the latter could be the former’s chosen successor.  Republican Pat doesn’t even have a pretense to “conservatism,” but he does share Travis’ most important streak – the kleptocratic one, favoring all high-density development and Poseidon.  [A close friend of Patrick’s just told me he’s definitely out. Of course, with politicians, “definitely out” can definitely change.)

Troy Edgar.  This Los Alamitos councilman was Travis’ original Republican opponent in 2012, whom he beat like a whatever despite all Troy’s money and endorsements.  Troy just seemed sleazy, and also shocked that so many people from his hometown as well as out of it were calling him both corrupt and overly ambitious, and “too big” for Los Alamitos.  On the other hand, the late lamented Los Al activist JM Ivler told me that the whole experience seemed to make Troy a much better councilman.  Stay away from the light, Troy!

Erik Peterson – now that HB Councilman is a Republican I could get behind.  I broke the news to him this morning – he really wasn’t expecting this gubernatorial run from Travis, although he had been thinking of running for the seat in 2020 when Travis is due to term out.  “I would really like to serve as councilman at least a couple years more, I don’t feel like I’ve done enough,” he protests to me, sounding like the opposite of Matt Harper, who nakedly used HB council as a springboard to assembly after only two years.  Erik laughs at the anecdote of “It is not yet my time” – “If Republican leadership tells me it’s not my time, I’ll look at my watch and say ‘Yes, it is.'”  Seriously, “I am going to have to think this over.”  A lot of us Democrats would be happy to support him.  He was the most supportive HB councilman of the Oak View neighborhood in their struggle against Rainbow Disposal, and his true conservatism leads him to oppose boondoggles like Poseidon and high-density development.

DEMOCRATS? – Are there any Democrats that we could be sure could win, on an off-Presidential year, against Diep or Brenden or Edgar?  We all love Diana Lee Carey but she doesn’t seem interested.  Gina Clayton Tarvin is devoted to her school district.  Would Joel Block run again? Bao Nguyen?  Any other thoughts anybody?

Or is it all just a Hoax?

That’s what some of the Republican insiders I’ve talked to today think. “Never impressed with that dude. Walks around everywhere with his shirt half unbuttoned. Thinks he’s God’s gift to the world. This is just a prank to get more attention and money, he’s going to back off and stay in the assembly.” But I want to believe! Run, Travis, run! For Governor!!!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.