ADEM Recommendations & Forum for AD-72 [UPDATED!]


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Ideally, you will have read the introductory post first — but if you’re here to “cut to the chase,” that’s fine.  I mean, we’re not going to do that, but you can skip down if you want to be left confused.  We’ll see you when you come back up here.

[Note that this is revised twice.  First, as of about 2 p.m. on Friday 1/25, to eliminate two candidates — one who has joined a slate with Lenore Albert and one who I believed had supported it.   Second, just before 7 p.m. on Saturday, when that candidate wrote in (as you can see below) to clarify that she had not intended to convey support.]

This ADEM has 22 female candidates and 18 male candidates (the actual terms are “self identified as female” and “not [that]”) for the position of Assembly District Delegate (“ADD”), which is … a lot.  I know of one actual slate (which has a lot of good people) and one semi-slate (which is to be avoided).

MALE CANDIDATES

Here are the men:

Benny Diaz, Brendon Perkins, Daren Ham, Eric Peterson, Hans Furtado Laursen, Jamison Power, Joel Block (E Board), Ken Arnold, Kenneth Cole, Matt Filler, Michael Kellner, Nathan Searles, Norman Dobrofsky, Oscar Rodriguez, Philip Silverthorn, Ray Cordova, Sergio Escobar, Steve Einstein, Trung Ta (E-Board)

Three of them are plain hideous and should not be supported under any conditions.  I just received a notification that Matt Filler is on a slate with Lenore — just the two of them, apparently — so he’s tossed out for being stupid.

Benny Diaz, Brendon Perkins, Daren Ham, Eric Peterson, Hans Furtado Laursen, Jamison Power, Joel Block (E Board), Ken Arnold, Kenneth Cole, Matt Filler, Nathan Searles, Norman Dobrofsky, Oscar Rodriguez, Philip Silverthorn, Ray Cordova, Sergio Escobar, Steve Einstein, Trung Ta (E-Board)

Three are so excellent that they don’t even require discussion.

Benny Diaz, Brendon Perkins, Daren Ham, Eric Peterson, Hans Furtado Laursen, Jamison Power, Joel Block (E Board), Ken Arnold, Kenneth Cole, Matt Filler, Nathan Searles, Norman Dobrofsky, Oscar Rodriguez, Philip Silverthorn, Ray Cordova, Sergio Escobar, Steve Einstein, Trung Ta (E-Board)

So after choosing three and throwing out three others, we’re left with choosing four out of the remaining 12.

ONLY AT THIS POINT will I look at Harley Rouda’s slate for hints about who’s best.  Because he didn’t recommend Block, he suggests five: Power, Ham, Laursen, and Searles.  (He also recommends School Board member Sergio Contreras, who is not listed as a candidate — and if Contreras pulled his candidacy because he got an appointment and decided to make way for another grassroots activist, I want to know so I can salute him!)  I’m adding Perkins, who just ran for Supervisor.  (One can also make a case for Arnold — an establishment figure, but a hard-working one, and also someone who spends most of his time in Sacramento — but he’s respected enough by establishment politicians that I expect he can get an appointment, especially being in Sacto.)  I’ll underline those on the bubble.

Benny Diaz, Brendon Perkins, Daren Ham, Eric Peterson, Hans Furtado Laursen, Jamison Power, Joel Block (E Board), Ken Arnold, Kenneth Cole, Matt Filler, Michael Kellner, Nathan Searles, Norman Dobrofsky, Oscar Rodriguez, Philip Silverthorn, Ray Cordova, Sergio Escobar, Steve Einstein, Trung Ta (E-Board)

At this point, you may end up wanting to read some of their statements — and you can do so at this link.  (Just navigate to District 68 from the drop-down menu.)

  • Perkins has a good statement. Just appointed to HB Planning Commission!  Congratulations!
  • Ham has a good statement.  Classroom teacher, active in CFT union.
  • Laursen has a good statement.  ER Doc.  Hillary/Obama campaigns.
  • Power is both more moderate and more establishment than I’d prefer, but he has a solid background and I wouldn’t object to him.  I suspect that he could get an appointment — maybe an out-of-district from Rouda (or otherwise from someone with whom Rouda makes an arrangement.)
  • Searles has a very good statement.

This really is a wealth of talent — with ample ties to the grassroots.  I think that Power is prominent and solid enough that he should be able to get an appointment rather than needing an ADD seat, though he’d be a fine choice.  That narrows it down to four..  Boldfaced names are recommended, underlines ones are reasonable choices, plainface names are unobjectionable.  Just please steer clear the crossed out names and you’ll be fine!  (A clearer summary is at the bottom.)

Benny Diaz, Brendon Perkins, Daren Ham, Eric Peterson, Hans Furtado Laursen, Jamison Power, Joel Block (E Board), Ken Arnold, Kenneth Cole, Matt Filler,  Michael Kellner, Nathan Searles, Norman Dobrofsky, Oscar Rodriguez, Philip Silverthorn, Ray Cordova, Sergio Escobar, Steve Einstein, Trung Ta (E-Board)

WOMEN  [Note: revised Saturday 7 p.m.!]

The women running are:

Carey Jo Chase, Debbi Parrott, Dorothy Howard, Holly Le, Gina Clayton-Tarvin, Julie Killeen, Kathleen Rockney, Lenore Albert (E-Board), Libby Frolichman, Lorelio Lachman, Lori Muller Gray, Louise Larsen, Mai Khanh Tran, Margaret Tomlinson-Lehman, Mary Elizabeth Tromp, Michele Newman (EB), Nadia Turner (EB), Natalie Newman, Olaina Anderson, Shannon Brooke Limbach, Shayna Lathus

There are three compelling reasons not to vote for Lenore Albert:

  1. She’s a complete horror show
  2. You have too many good alternatives
  3. Some elected horror-show fan will probably appoint her anyway

A couple are in without further discussion here: Gina Clayton- Tarvin and Shayna Lathus of Huntington Beach, who are both excellent, hard-working, and dedicated grassroots activists..

One, Mai Khanh Tran, might be considered to be expelled on the grounds that she could get a political appointment, so let’s consider her before we get to the others.

If Tran had not run for Congress in CA-39, she’d be an obvious candidate for an appointment: a wealthy Vietnamese pediatrician is someone many electeds would want on their side.  But she did, and it endangered what became Gil Cisneros’s eventual victory there, and I think that a lot of people are still irritated at her seeming unwillingness to consider the larger good until late in the game.  (I still think that she had a real shot for Supervisor.)  So I’m NOT removing her from consideration (and in fact will be endorsing her) for three reasons:

  1. She’s obviously well-qualified to be a party leader
  2. It’s not completely obvious to me that she would get an appointment
  3. She really does need to get closer to the grassroots to be a stronger candidate — and maybe being an ADD will help her do so.

In the long term, Dr. Tran will probably be a serious force for good within the county party — and while she may not think that she stumbled out of the gate, she really did, and the people who were telling her not to run in CA-39 were trying to help her.  Her upside is strong enough that she deserves an ADD seat.

I know less about the other candidates than those of most districts, so I’ll take a look at the Rouda slate and underline his picks, along with some candidates I know from their active participation in discussion forums (Larsen) and runs for office (Anderson), so that they get serious consideration.

So we start out with this lineup:

Carey Jo Chase, Debbi Parrott, Dorothy Howard, Holly Le, Gina Clayton-Tarvin, Julie Killeen, Kathleen Rockney, Lenore Albert (E-Board), Libby Frolichman, Lorelio Lachman, Lori Muller Gray, Louise Larsen, Mai Khanh Tran, Margaret Tomlinson-Lehman, Mary Elizabeth Tromp, Michele Newman (EB), Nadia Turner (EB), Natalie Newman, Olaina Anderson, Shannon Brooke Limbach, Shayna Lathus

We need to narrow eighteen names down to four additional choices.  Here’s what I get from reading their statements:

Impressive activism and background:

  • Debbi Parrott
  • Holly Le
  • Julie Killeen
  • Kathleen Rockney
  • Libby Frolichman
  • Lorelei Lachman
  • Louise Larsen
  • Mary Elizabeth Tromp
  • Michelle Newman
  • Olaina Anderson

Appointee Material

  • Shannon Brooke Limbach (Rouda’s Social Media Director)

Well-intentioned but less prepared:

  • Lorri Muller Gray (better prepared)
  • Carey Jo Chase
  • Dorothy Howard
  • Margaret Tomlinson
  • Nadia Turner
  • Natalie Newman

I’m eliminating the bottom seven names.  Limbach is exactly the sort of in-district appointment that Rep. Rouda should make — and if she needs an appointment to be out of district, he should arrange it.  Getting a smart industrious progressive in on the appointee leg of the stool will undo some of the damage from elsewhere.

Those in the bottom category — you all seem like strong activists.  If the competition weren’t so tough, you’d be perfectly good candidates.  But I suggest you read through the statements of those with whom your competing to get a sense of the combination of personal experience and good intentions that people want here.  You have lots of opportunity to gain it, and now you have some models to follow about how to convey that experience in an ADEM election.

So, now we’re down to wanting four more from the remaining ten, all of whom are solid candidates.

  • Debbi Parrott — Garden Grove teacher, exceptionally smart and organized
  • Holly Le — Retired aerospace software engineer, Viet-American Dem Club
  • Julie Killeen — DWOC, hard campaign worker, coordinated w/non-party
  • Kathleen Rockney — DWOC, Indivisible 48, programmer, oppo researcher
  • Libby Frolichman — DWOC, field protester, canvasser, anti-Gracey
  • Lorelei Lachman — 72nd AD Alliance, HB Huddle work, lots of festivals
  • Louise Larsen — social media maven; Indivisible 47 founder; allergy activist
  • Mary Elizabeth Tromp — Seal Beach LW Dem Club, pro-left policies
  • Michelle Newman — Incumb., Hill ’16 delegate, ALS health activism
  • Olaina Anderson — Ran for Los Al School Bd, gun control, journalism/Engl.

This group is scary good, full of talent the party should not want to waste.  Le, Lachman, Newman, and Tromp (despite her excellent policy stances) seemed a shade behind the others.  It strikes me that Al Lowenthal should want Anderson on the DSCC, so he should quickly announce his plan to appoint her, at which point that would free up a space.

I’m inclined towards adding Parrott, Killeen, Frolichman, and Anderson, with instructions to Al Lowenthal to appoint Larsen, Josh Lowenthal to appoint Le, Tom Umberg to appoint Lachman and Newman, and to someone somewhere to appoint  Le.

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS (top tier is underlined):

MenJoel Block (E Board)Oscar Rodriguez, Steve Einstein; Brendon Perkins, Daren HamHans Furtado Laursen, Nathan Searles.

Women: Gina Clayton-Tarvin, Shayna Lathus, Mai Khanh Tran, Debra Parrott, Julie Killeen, Libby Frolichman, Olaina Anderson

INTERLUDE — SOME NICE PHOTOS OF THE EVENT!

Both are courtesy of former DPOC West Vice-Chair Shelley Haggerty, who has our thanks!

The milieu, with tent and without (near) faces!

Mensches Joel Block and Victor Valladares

And .. RESULTS!

Photos from a Facebook post by Louise Larsen … with an “e”:

Males:

  1. Jameson Power, 297
  2. Brendon Perkins, 259
  3. Oscar Rodriquez, 226
  4. Steve Einstein, 225
  5. Philip Silverthorn, 214
  6. Trung Ta, 190
  7. Nathan Searles, 179
  8. (Alt.) Hans Furtado Laursen, 175
  9. (Alt.) Ray Cordova, 167
  10. [not elected] Ken Arnold, 155

Females:

  1. Lorelei Lachman, 250
  2. Shayna Lathus, 234
  3. Louise Larsen, 210
  4. Mai Khan Tran, 243
  5. Olaina Anderson, 202
  6. Julie Killeen, 201
  7. Libby Frolichman, 197
  8. (Alt.) Gina Clayton-Tarvin, 195
  9. (Alt.) Carey Jo Chase, 189
  10. [not elected] Michelle Newman, 181

OK, we got four male winners, five female winners, and one alternate in each group.  Our only unelected endorsees were Joel Block, Daren Ham, and Debra Parrott, all of whom I hope will get appointed.  I’m dismayed at Joel not winning, I’m shocked at Michelle Newman not winning, and I’m both dismayed and shocked at Gina not finishing in the top seven.  Appointing Gina outright should be Rouda’s top task; if she eventually takes over one of the seven ADEM position he’d then just have an extra appointment.

 

You can only become an E-Board rep through the ADEM if you win your ADEM election.  (I don’t actually know whether winning an alternate seat is enough.)  The only person on this list who won a seat was Trung Ta — and if he was on the same slate as Michele Newman (as I think he was), then this may suggest why Newman didn’t win her seat — because Ta’s people that wanted him on E-Board didn’t support her.  (This is not to say that Ta himself knew of or favored any such effort; treachery or simple lack of interest can come from elsewhere, as we’ll see when we discuss AD-69.)

Vern cackled at Lenore’s showing in his comment below: I’ll be more sober about it.  That she got ten more votes in the E-Board vote than the ADD vote suggests that there were at least ten people who didn’t vote for her as a delegate only due to lack of enough open spots.  On the other hand, the fact that she got 23 fewer votes than her slatemate Filler suggests that she didn’t get much of an advantage off of being on her slate.  As she’s no longer going to be the ex officio from AD-72 on DPOC, she can now only get onto DSCC  (1) if she can get appointed as an alternate of someone who has the right to appoint her — an AD-72 rep, elected, or maybe Melahat Rafiei and if Ada Briceño then decides to give her one of the few and coveted DPOC alternate spots) or (2) via a PLEO appointment (almost certainly from out of district).  This is significant not because I just like reporting on Lenore (I like it much less than she thinks I do), but because if she’s not on DSCC, she can’t run for CDP Chair — and that’s news.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)