Lineup Set for March 9 Special 2nd Supes Race


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An agate rock revealed yesterday that looks like Cookie Monster? Yes — but OC’s politics buffs who look hard enough may also perceive the factes former State Senator John Moorlach (left) and Mayor Katrina Foley!  (Or not.  We just wanted to use the photo.)  As the saying goes: “What supervisorial district is it?  One … Two!”

We were not keeping close track of the candidate filings for the 2nd District Supervisor Special Election to serve out the rest of now-Rep. Michelle Steel’s term.  Frankly, we decided along time ago that this was essentially a Moorlach vs. Foley cage match and that other candidates willing to apply.  But, for better or worse, the candidates referenced in the above photo of a split rock, unveiled less than a week before filing for the race closed yesterday at 5:00 p.m., are not the whole story.

Eight candidates took out papers, but the “Number of the Day” is how many filed: One … Two … Three … Four … Five!

Video: Election Monster counts FIVE candidates!

[A note to anyone who might object to the whimsical “Cookie Monster” motif: why don’t YOU try your hand and making stories about municipal elections engaging to voters!]

Here they are, listed in what we presume must be order on the ballot*, each followed by their candidate statements!   (I challenge youVoice of OC!)  I added the bullet points for clarity.  At the end, I include some minor analysis of  the way in a way that shouldn’t get in the way of Vern holding an online candidate debate between at least the top two.  (If Vern doesn’t include them, I may hold a “second tier” online debate among the others, if all three accept — which they probably wouldn’t due to the phrase I just used.)

*We’ve listed the candidates in the order of their appearance in the “Candidate Log with Statements”: Foley, Murdock, Muldoon, Rappaport, Vo.  The VOC listed them in an article with a link to what it reported is the ballot “order listed by country election officials”: Moorlach, Foley Rappaport, Vo, Muldoon.  I clicked the link and found that it listed yet a third order: Muldoon, Moorlach, Vo, Foley, Rappaport.  I am NOT calling Neal Kelley to verify the correct order (but I presume it’s the last of these, so congratulations to Mr. Muldoon.  (Also, read that VOC story; it documents the RPOC freakout.)

Let the counting begin!

ONE is … Katrina Foley!

KATRINA FOLEY
Mayor/Orange County Businessowner

We need a leader on the Orange County Board of Supervisors who will focus on residents and businesses first, protect our neighborhoods and public spaces, address homelessness, keep our tax dollars secure, and our families safe.

My experiences as a Mayor, small business owner, former School Board Member and PTA president are unique qualifications that will benefit the residents of Orange County as we navigate these challenging times.

As your Supervisor, I will:

  • Protect public health through access to healthcare, including COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and treatment.
  • Support businesses so they can create and retain jobs.
  • Partner with cities to tackle the root causes of homelessness, provide transitional and permanent housing, and clean up our neighborhoods.
  • Combat the climate crisis and enhance our beaches and open space.
  • Sunshine the more than $7.5 billion budget for better transparency, accountability, and effective management of our tax dollars.

Over the past two decades, I diligently served in District 2 as the Mayor, a Councilmember for Costa Mesa and a School Board Trustee for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. I’m also a private sector employment law attorney and small business owner who knows what it’s like to make a payroll.

As Mayor, I fought for and secured emergency financial assistance and grants for local small businesses struggling to keep their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic. We developed creative ways for businesses to operate safely. As a result, Costa Mesa is one of the few cities with a budget surplus during the pandemic.

My husband Casey is a school teacher and we have two sons in college who graduated from local public schools. I am a proud graduate of HeadStart, earned my Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA and my law degree from Seattle University.

I am honored to be endorsed by Orange County firefighters, paramedics, nurses, teachers, Veterans, grocery workers, healthcare workers, the Orange County League of Conservation Voters, and more than 200 community and elected leaders. They know that new common sense leadership is needed on the Board
of Supervisors.

As your Supervisor, I will find new ideas to solve the unprecedented challenges we face.

I will not be afraid to take on the bureaucracy and fight for meaningful change. I have the experience, energy and work ethic needed to get things done.

I would be honored to earn your vote.

Learn more at www.KatrinaFoley.com or call me at (714) 367-6126.  Follow me on social media @katrinafoleyoc

TWO is … John Moorlach!

JOHN M. W. MOORLACH AGE: 65
California State Senator

Orange County faces a fiscal crisis that needs to be addressed now. The coronavirus is impacting the entire globe. And California is independently addressing COVID-19.

While a State Senator in Sacramento, I helped secure $500 million in funding to protect you until vaccines could be provided. I also obtained some 40,000 facemasks and delivered them to local hospitals and frontline workers. We must protect the vulnerable while balancing the viability of our business community and its critical workforce.

Locking down the local economy reduces the tax revenues needed to run our County and its municipalities. All at a time when they are assisting those in their greatest time of need. Difficult budgetary decisions need to be made.

Budget decisions should be prioritized with the taxpayers in mind.  It is critical to have appropriate and highly skilled staffing, but leading a large organization also requires an independence from the bargaining units. I have a track record of working professionally in the collective bargaining unit process. But I am also the only state legislator and county supervisor who did not take one dollar in political contributions from public employee unions. I view accepting such financial support as a conflict of interest.

Perhaps this balanced approach to municipal management is why the Orange County Business Journal recognized me as one of Orange County’s 500 Most Influential in 2020.

I predicted the bankruptcy in 1994, was appointed Treasurer- Tax Collector and assisted in the County’s exiting from Federal
bankruptcy court in 18 months. I also restored the department that was the epicenter of the fiscal calamity and served as a key witness in obtaining more than $800 million in litigation settlements. In 2006, I assisted in reducing the County’s unfunded retiree medical liability by $1 billion.

When I served as your County Supervisor, I was the inaugural Chair of the County’s Commission to End Homelessness. I worked diligently to adopt Laura’s Law to assist severally mentally ill individuals to receive assisted outpatient treatment.

I know how County departments are run. I know what Supervisors are responsible to do. And I have Sacramento contacts and knowledge to improve your County. I have also been licensed as a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner.

During this time of crisis, Orange County needs someone seasoned, experienced and qualified for the position of Supervisor. I respectfully request your vote (www.johnmoorlach.com).

THREE is … Kevin Muldoon!

KEVIN MULDOON
Councilman/Small Businessman

Six years ago I was elected to the city council as a fiscal watchdog and public safety advocate. I have served as mayor and currently represent the community as mayor pro tem.

I care deeply about Orange County and as your supervisor I will work to safely reopen businesses and rebuild our economy. I am optimistic about our future but it will require all of us to work together and support local businesses.

My accomplishments include:

  • Working with county and local leaders to effectively deal with the growing homeless problem.
  • Leading the city’s opposition to releasing over a 1,000 dangerous jail inmates into our neighborhoods.
  • Supporting our police and firefighters with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Our city has achieved historic lows in serious crime.

I am a lifelong resident of Orange County, Chapman University law school graduate, and former prosecutor. My wife Heather and I are proud to be raising our son here.

I ask for your vote. Thank you.

“As a former prosecutor Kevin is committed to ensuring that crime victims receive justice. We can count on him to always put victims ahead of politics. Crime Survivors PAC endorses him.”

-Patricia Wenskunas
Chairwoman, Crime Survivors PAC
www.VoteMuldoon.com

FOUR is … Janet Rappaport!

JANET RAPPAPORT
Tax Attorney

I am not a politician. You may not know my name. But you should know why I am running for this vacated seat before you vote.

www.vote4janetrappaport.com. Twitter @electjanetrapp

I grew up (Los Alamitos, Santa Ana) and have lived in Orange County for more than 55 years. I served in the Navy, am an international tax attorney with experience in tax, finance and infrastructure projects. I can review and dissect a budget. Supervisors mainly manage the County budget. I am committed to conservative and effective management of your tax dollars.

Politics has become divisive and disruptive to the everyday wellbeing of us all. No matter what “side” one is on I think everyone feels the same. I am committed to being the voice of civility and helping redirect our public discourse back to a path that leads to solutions rather than the complete breakdown we have experienced on all “sides” for years now.

To stabilize our economy and community, the virus must be controlled. To accomplish this, Orange County needs strong relationships with State partners and others on key issues like funding. I am committed to developing relationships and consensus so that Orange County gets the funding it needs. I know how to get this done.

FIVE is … Michael Vo!

MICHAEL VO
Mayor/Business Owner

Everyday, the hard working people of Orange County sacrifice to make a living, provide for their families, and make our economy run. The COVID-19 pandemic and response has placed a burden on families, businesses, and our communities as a whole.

I am Mayor Michael Vo. I am the story of refugee to public servant, from communism to freedom. As I fled communist Vietnam and found shelter in a refugee camp at the age of 17, I experienced being left in the cold and going to bed with an empty stomach. I know and understand your story of being a parent working multiple jobs to provide for your family, being a business owner struggling to stay afloat and make payroll, and stretching each dollar as far as it will go. I understand your struggles – I have lived them.

In 1980, my family was interviewed by the U.S. Immigration Officer who would determine if we could seek sanctuary in the refugee camp. I promised to myself – if the United States of America saves us, I will do all that I can to give back when I reach the Land of the Free – and that is exactly what I have done. I started my business 30 years ago providing much needed services to our community, and for the past decade I have given back to this Country that gave me everything by serving as Mayor and Councilmember.

As an experienced public official, I have contributed my real world experiences to the crucial policy making process. As your Supervisor, I pledge to:

  • Support and increase robust public safety efforts
  • Aid and support our small businesses and local economy
  • Champion fiscal responsibility
  • Lower taxes
  • Fully fund senior and veteran services programs
  • Address the homelessness crisis
  • Promote improving resources for mental health
  • Provide COVID-19 testing and vaccination to all Orange County residents
  • Advocate for local control

I would be honored to serve as your voice. I humbly ask for your blessing and vote.

www.voteformichaelvo.com

SUMMING UP!

Except maybe for Rappaport (whose pitch is essentially Moorlach’s without the track record), these are all credible candidates.  And, as Foley is the only woman and the only Democrat among the four officeholders, that’s good news for her.  It’s good enough news that it makes me wonder whether Rappaport was enticed into the race to pluck off a share of the women’s vote — but who can say?

I’m tentatively of the opinion that a victorious Foley should choose Moorlach as her Chief of Staff, and a victorious Moorlach should pick whomever Foley tells him to.  (She would not, presumably, leave the Costa Mesa Mayor’s job for second billing.)  But we’ll see how they fare in Vern’s debate!

Moorlach gets in an implicit dig at Foley for being a bought pawn of the public employee unions, though he does it more gently than that.  And yes, she’ll have to explain how she would say no to their reasonable demands that can’t be met because there’s just not enough money coming in.  But this is also a time to spend the rainy day fund, and I expect that Foley is better placed than Moorlach to do what needs to be done — and to do it well.  And frankly, having battled with county agencies a time or two, having a plaintiff’s employment lawyer on the Board strikes me as a wonderful thing, because the workers perspective has not been well served there.  That said, except for his making some egregious endorsements, Moorlach is in the top rank of Republicans, someone whose thinking adds value to the mix of ideas.

Muldoon and Vo will no doubt have their share of support — though I’m not sure that the law-and-order crowd Muldoon seeks is really unsatisfied with Moorlach, and while there are a lot of Viets in the district I don’t know that they’re plentiful enough to get Vo past Foley and the other challengers, who seem likely to be anti-communist as well but have more fiscal policy experience than what comes with running a business.  (I wonder whether Vo has Andrew Do’s endorsement; anyone know?)

Anyway, we can look forward to a vigorous and competitive race.  Foley should win — but that may depend largely on the organization abilities of local Democrats in small turnout elections — which have tended to be hard to underestimate.  On the other hand, when a county wants government from the Governor and Legislature of the State of California — and we do, we do! — there’s argument based on practical self-interest to have Supervisors with ties to the Democratic Party rather than the meager Republican Caucus.


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.)