Who are the ethical politicians in the OC?

Tim Whitacre’s latest move – starting an organization committed to ethical government – has been the talk of the town this week, and it got me thinking about the elected officials in the OC. Who are the electeds that are for good government – those who will stand up against their respective political machines? Who are the elected men and women that we can trust to do what is good for the public, not necessarily what is right for themselves?

We know who the bad guys are. Just look at this week’s headlines! Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido coerced his peers on the City Council to drop a proposed charter change that would have at last brought term limits to Santa Ana, as reported by the OC Register. Larry Agran and his clueless ally, Irvine Mayor Beth Krom, sold their city out to the Chicoms in order to bring more dinero to the Great Pork, as reported in the OC Weekly. Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle recently opted for the Earthlink wi-fi program that will cost his residents $22 each per month, instead of the google.com ad-supported service that would have provided free limited access to those without means, as reported in the OC Register. Coincidentally, Pringle’s compadre, Jeff Flint, just so happens to be a consultant for Earthlink. And Assemblymember Van Tran is mired in a scandal involving his wife.

So who are the OC politicos that we can trust? A few come to mind right away. On the GOP side of the aisle, OC Supervisor John Moorlach stands above all his peers. I would have said the same about his fellow supervisor Chris Norby a year ago, but he endorsed pro-eminent domainers Marty Simonoff and Lynn Daucher in the June primary. I forgive you Chris – but cut it out! Mike McGill, the Cypress Council member who took on pro-union squish Jim Silva for the 67th Assembly District, and Allan Mansoor, the Costa Mesa Council member, braved the OC GOP machine’s wrath by backing Lt. Bill Hunt against the unethical mendigo OC Sheriff Mike Carona. And Assemblymember Bob Huff appears to be on the right track – but I cannot think of any of his peers in the OC GOP legislative delegation that I trust entirely. I had high hopes for Chuck DeVore, but he tanked them by joining Norby on the Daucher bandwagon in the June primary. Norby I’ll forgive due to his long track record and Libertarian leanings; DeVore I won’t.

Any other ethical, inspired OC Republican elected officials? I respect Jim Lacy, of the Dana Point City Council, and Frank Ury, of the Mission Viejo City Council. But they each sipped from the Kool Aid by endorsing Carona this year. They remain however principled electeds who hopefully will learn from their mistake after Carona crashes and burns, presumably when the Jaramillo trial starts. Former Santa Ana City Council member, and current Santa Ana School Board member, Rob Richardson has always been respected by both Republicans and Democrats, and with the exception of his support for fellow Santa Ana School Board member Audrey Noji, he continues to hover above the fray.

What about the Democrats in the OC? The Liberal OC Blog asked who the Democrats are in Whitacre’s new group. That is a good question – but what about the electeds? Sergio Contreras of the Westminster School Board comes to mind. He is a union guy, but he bucked the Westminster Teacher’s Association by backing Kimoanh Nguyen-Lam for the superintendent position at the Westminster School District. That took guts! Tom Daly has never impressed me, but he hired Jean Pasco recently. You have to respect that move! I have crossed swords with Garden Grove City Councilman Mark Rosen in days of yore, but he has excelled as a councilman and he is now a solid candidate to take Lou Correa’s seat on the OC Board of Supervisors. Can anyone think of any other decent elected OC Democrats? I hope our readers will post their thoughts on this.

One Democrat I used to respect, OC Supervisor and soon to be OC State Senator Lou Correa, joined the ranks of the Carona Kool Aid drinkers by accepting a gun and a PSR badge from the Little Sheriff. Say it ain’t so Lou! At least Correa questioned Carona’s actions after the primary, when he went after Lt. Bill Hunt and his allies in the Sheriff’s department. There may be hope for him yet – but he ought to turn in his gun and PSR badge and renounce Carona once and for all.

There have to be more names to add to this list! Post away Orange Juice readers…

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.