Orange Juice: The return of the column dedicated to local politics in the County of Orange



Orange Juice: The return of the column dedicated to local politics in the County of Orange

By: Art Pedroza

It has been a long time since I e-published the last edition of “The Orange Juice,” but I am bringing this column back in great part because there is so much to write about at this moment, with regard to local politics in Orange County. Also, I am folding my “Maddox Madness” updates into this column, and this particular edition has some fascinating information about the Maddox-Campbell battle for the 35th State Senate District. Read on!

In this issue:

1. Maddox Madness: Ken votes for pro-union binding arbitration

2. Pringle told Maddox to back the Orange County PLA

3. Anti-prayer Mayor backs Maddox

4. Conservative Council Member Disavows Maddox Endorsement

5. Newport Council Member Facing Recall over Racist Comments

6. Pacheco Faces Local Competition for the 60th Assembly District

7. Political Opportunity: the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board of Trustees

8. Contested Primary in the 69th Assembly District

Maddox Madness – Ken votes for pro-union binding arbitration

I ran into Assembly Member Ken Maddox while I was in Sacramento recently on a one-day lobbying trip for a trade association. Ken was sore about my recent editorials (see my letter in the latest edition of the Orange County Business Journal) and email updates, and I had to remind him that this is what politics is all about. When I write about the political record of a candidate, it is not my intention to demean said candidate; my goal is to help edify the voters, particularly when the seat in question is a safe Republican district. That of course means that the primary election is in fact the de facto general election. In Ken’s case he is vying against solidly pro-business Assemblyman John Campbell for the 35th State Senate District.

Ken mentioned in our brief conversation that he has been trying to reform workers compensation. However, his work on that issue is offset by a voting record that has to be seen to be believed. Ken has voted in the affirmative for dozens of Democrat-authored bills on issues ranging from prevailing wage and forced union membership, to the 8 hour workday. Remarkably, while Ken says that he has tried to reform workers compensation, the record shows that he voted “yes” on workers compensation bills authored by anti-business Democrats including Assembly Members Kehoe, Calderon and Shelley.

To make matters worse, Ken is now being listed as a “co-author” of a dangerous new law, Senate Bill 440 (authored by arch-liberal Democrat John Burton), that will, according to the League of California Cities, “undermine the fiscal independence of California Cites and counties.” This bill seeks to remedy the overturning of a previous bill, SB 402, by the California Supreme Court. Both bills impose expensive binding arbitration procedures on cash-starved California cities and counties.

Ken is not the only Republican Assembly member who has signed on as a co-author of SB 440. He is joined by one of his supporters, Tony Strickland, as well as liberal Republican Abel Maldonado, and the infamous Steve Samuelian, who according to the Sacramento Bee “was stopped by Fresno police in a notorious prostitution “stroll” on Feb. 1.” Please contact these legislators and tell them to vote no on SB 440. You can look up their contact information online at

Maddox Quote: “Pringle told me to back the Orange County PLA”

One of the more amazing comments that Ken made during our conversation was that Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle asked Ken to support the Orange County Project Labor Agreement (PLA) back when Curt was representing the Airport Working Group, which supported the failed El Toro Airport concept. Ken says now that he did not know much about the issue, and that he wrote a letter to O.C. Supervisor Chuck Smith in support of the O.C. PLA as a favor to Pringle.

It is hard to give anyone a free pass when it comes to PLAs. These foul measures actually ban non-union construction companies from bidding on public works projects that fall under the auspices of a PLA. The work then goes to union companies only, unless a non-union company is willing to send its employees to the labor hall and then rehire them through the union. The unions of course make a ton of money and a lot of that ends up in the hands of the Democrats.

PLAs cannot come to pass unless government bodies, such as city councils and school boards, vote to pass them. The Democrats and the unions know this and so they each spend a lot of money and time trying to take over city councils and especially school boards. Every time a local school bond measure passes, you can be sure that the unions won’t be far behind with a PLA.

The allegation by Maddox that Pringle was the main force behind the Orange County PLA is a damning one. You can rest assured that contractors in Orange County will take note of this the next time that Pringle runs for office.

Anti-prayer Mayor Backs Maddox

We reported recently that Debbie Cook, the Mayor of Huntington Beach, is supporting Ken Maddox over John Campbell for the 35th State Senate District. Now comes word from a CRA member in Huntington Beach that Cook is well known locally for moving to ban prayers at the city council meetings when she became Mayor of that city. Why would Ken seek out her support? I would be embarrassed to list her endorsement, as would most Republicans.

Conservative Council Member Disavows Maddox Endorsement

Patsy Marshall, a Council Member in Buena Park, alerted me recently to the fact that her name should not have been listed by the Maddox campaign, as an endorser. Her policy is to not endorse anyone in primary elections. She previously had endorsed Ken when he first ran for Assembly and was representing Buena Park but she did not endorse him in his last campaign. Marshall writes that she is “very pro business,” and that is certainly good news for those who live in Buena Park.

Newport Council Member Facing Recall over Racist Comments

Newport City Council Member Richard Nichols is facing a possible recall due to his recent comments about Mexicans “taking over” the grassy areas at Corona Del Mar beaches. Francisco Avalos, a local community activist, is trying to put together a recall election, which may not be necessary if the Newport City Council succeeds in convincing Nichols to step down from his seat. Avalos is also asking folks to show up to a BBQ in Coronal Del Mar at 2 pm next Sunday to protest Nichols and to show the spirit of the Hispanic community. If you would like to find out more about this, contact Avalos at

I have been contacted by several conservative friends of mine in the last week or so asking me to back off from criticizing Nichols. I cannot in good faith do that. It makes me sick to think that if I took my children to the beaches in question, Nichols might well show up and give them dirty looks. My older son is very fair, but my other kids, and my wife, are brown and they don’t deserve to be maligned due to their appearance. Nichols should step down, and I would caution my friends in the Republican Party to steer clear of him.

MacAloney to run against Pacheco for the 60th Assembly District

The Orange County Register has reported that conservative Villa Park Council Member Bill MacAloney, who owns the Jax chain of supermarkets, has announced that he will be running for the 60th Assembly District against a slew of fellow Republicans, including: Gayle Pacheco, the wife of the incumbent Bob Pacheco; Denis Bilodeau, the president of the Orange County Water District; and Diamond Bar Mayor Bob Huff.

The Pacheco’s, who are both attorneys, are in some hot water at the moment due to campaign discrepancies that have resulted in a $14,000 fine from the state Fair Political Practices Commission. Bob Pacheco has been fairly solid on business issues, but he has not been very supportive of other Republican Latino candidates.

There is also a sentiment, as espoused by State Senator Dick Ackerman, that the 60th Assembly District should be held by someone hailing from Orange County, as the district includes parts of Yorba Linda, La Habra, Villa Park, Orange and Anaheim. It is my understanding that a majority of the district lies in Orange County.

Political Opportunity: the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board of Trustees

Recently the Democrat-dominated Rancho Santiago Community College District Board of Trustees voted to pass a PLA that will take over $300 million in construction projects away from non-union companies. This Fall we have a chance to replace three of the trustees who voted for this PLA. The district includes both Anaheim Hills and Santa Ana, and is divided into several wards. The good news is that the voting is at large, so Republican candidates can win these seats. It costs about $1,000 for the filing fee, and most candidates spend some money on slate mailers. If you have an interest in serving in elective office, think about this and contact me for more information.

Contested Primary in the 69th Assembly District

Believe it or not – there will actually be two Republicans vying for the 69th Assembly District, which is currently held by Lou Correa, a Democrat who is running for the O.C. Board of Supervisors. Reuben Ross will face off against Otto Bade, a restaurant owner who has been active in the downtown Santa Ana business community. Ross and Bade are both Latinos, but Ross is thought to be more conservative, while Otto has better connections and apparently he has been talking to the O.C. Lincoln Club about his campaign. Neither candidate is a lock, since the Democrats hold a huge advantage in voter registration in this district, but it is exciting to see Republicans trying to represent this area.

Democrats vying for the 69th include Santa Ana Council Member Claudia Alvarez, who supports the new tax that the city manager has proposed on basic services (in the guise of a special municipal assessment); Sal Tinajero, the Santa Ana School Board Member who lost face by supporting recall trustee Nativo Lopez and by voting for the Santa Ana assessment; Armando de Libertad, a banker who used to work for Loretta Sanchez; and possibly Nadia Davis, the former Santa Ana school board member who recently married State Attorney General Bill Lockyer, after he got her pregnant after meeting Davis at a Democrat function in the Bay Area. Davis married Lockyer after the fact and she recently delivered a healthy baby boy.

That’s all for this edition of Orange Juice – stay tuned for more in the next week or so.


About Art Pedroza