Can Carlos come out and play?

I have been sitting on this story for a couple of weeks – but it has become especially relevant with the addition of Thomas Gordon to the Santa Ana Mayor’s race. If you go to the Orange County Republican Party’s website and click on “What’s Going on in Your City,” and then select “Santa Ana” you will find a photo of Santa Ana Council Member Carlos Bustamante. So one would expect that Bustamante would take a lead role in backing Republicans running for office in his area. However, the truth is very far from that.

Ryan Gene Williams, the likeable college student running for the 69th Assembly District, is a Republican who has been asking Bustamante for help – and when he did so at the recent Lynn Daucher reception in Santa Ana, according to a GOP insider who was at the event, Bustamante said that he first needed to talk to Jose, as in Jose Solorio, his peer on the Santa Ana City Council. Well, it is common for council members to get friendly with each other, but here’s the rub – Solorio is William’s Democrat opponent. Oops.

Williams playfully approached Solorio at a meeting yesterday and asked him if “Carlos could come out and play.” Of course Solorio had no idea what that meant, so Williams elaborated – within earshot of several pajaritos. I am told that Solorio was incredulous. He intimated that were he in Bustamante’s shoes he would have already endorsed Williams. Say what you will about Solorio – but unlike Bustamante he knows how to be a partisan – he supports his fellow Democrat candidates.

Will Bustamante redeem himself by backing fellow Republican Gordon in his mayoral campaign? Fat chance of that. Miguel “El Rey” Pulido, Gordon’s Democrat opponent, spoke on behalf of Bustamante at his recent fundraiser – you know the one, where he famously compared himself to Forest Gump. Perhaps “Bubba Gump” Bustamante wasn’t kidding. He appears to be a bit slow when it comes to politics. Where’s Lt. Dan when you need him?

All kidding aside, the OC GOP has a lot of work to do in Santa Ana. We now have a mayoral candidate who is popular with both Democrats and Republicans, in Gordon, and an Assembly candidate who appeals to the young people who are the majority of the residents in Santa Ana, in Williams. But our GOP efforts in the area are tied to a council member who simply does not know how to be a Republican – and who appears unwilling to help his fellow GOP candidates, with the exception of Daucher. But of course Bustamante is probably wishing that Daucher loses so he can run for Lou Correa’s seat on the OC Board of Supervisors – which was the unspoken point of his aforementioned fundraiser.

I wonder if Bustamante has endorsed Tan Nguyen, the businessman running against Loretta Sanchez for the 47th Congressional District? Will he support George Collins, the Republican running for Santa Ana’s Ward 6? Will Solorio let him “come out and play” with regards to Williams? Or is Bustamante going to keep pretending that he is a GOP leader?

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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.