Rosie Avila embraces the Democrats in Santa Ana – but will that help them?

I heard today that Santa Ana School Board Member Rosie Avila is supporting four Democrats for the Santa Ana City Council – incumbent Mayor Miguel Pulido, Tino Rivera in Ward 2, David Benavides in Ward 4 and Jennifer Villasenor in Ward 6. Avila, a Republican, recently qualified as a write-in candidate for the 47th Congressional District.

I found out about Avila’s local endorsements from George Collins, the candidate endorsed by the OC GOP for Ward 6 on the Santa Ana City Council. Collins told me that when he asked Avila why she endorsed one of his opponents, Villasenor, without even talking to him, she said, “I did not endorse you because you are not printing mailers and signs.” Ironically, Avila was defeated in the June primary, by the now-infamous Tan Nguyen, when she failed to spend any money. He sent out perhaps a dozen mailers in the primary – Avila sent none. But she littered the city with her signs, some of which are still out there fading in the sun.

Collins endorsed Avila in the primary and he helpled her congressional campaign. His website has become a huge hit in Santa Ana, with over 8,000 hits in just a few weeks. He has also provided a substantial service to local residents by filming the candidate’s forums and making the video available on his site. Moreover, Collins has been filming the Santa Ana City Council meetings that Pulido does not allow to be televised, as well as the Planning Commission meetings. And Collins is arranging to have them televised by the local cable network.

I have had my suspicions about Avila for some time. She held a fundraiser in her last school board campaign at developer Mike Harrah’s restaurant, Original Mike’s, and she endorsed Measure A, which approved his outrageous One Broadway Project (OBP). Although the unsafe demolition that made way for OBP resulted in release of dangerous asbestos in our dowtown, near three schools, Avila never spoke out against Harrah.

Avila has been spectacularly ineffective as a member of the Santa Ana School Board. Some of her pet issues and public utterances have made her appear to be a bit of a nut, for lack of a better phrase. These include wild allegations that Mexico is planting devious books in our schools, which you can view online. Avila also is the author of Prop. 85, the Parental Notification Initative, according to her Smart Voter web page.

I wonder how the Democrats will feel about Avila’s support for Benavides and Pulido, as they were endorsed by the OC Democrat Party? Will they lose support from Democrats opposed to Prop. 85, the Parental Notification initiative? Benavides in particular told me he is pro-life, but he then told some of my liberal friends that he is pro-choice. And now Avila is openly supporting him. Awkward!

Avila also told Collins that she is endorsing Villasenor, “crossing party lines, because I hate Sal (Tinajero) so much and he deserves all the hate mail he gets. ” It is strange to hear a self-professed born-again Christian like Avila endorse hate. She is probably not happy that Tinajero turned on her after she helped to get him elected to the Santa Ana School Board. Then again, perhaps he was wise to distance himself from the divisive and sometimes caustic Avila.

I am particularly amazed that Avila is not supporting Evangeline Gawronski for Ward 2 on the Santa Ana City Council. Gawronski, to my knowledge, has always supported Avila. She is also a volunteer at Mater Dei, one of Orange County’s finest Christian schools. Maybe Gawronski is too Catholic for Avila, who attends Calvary Chapel?

It bears mentioning that Avila turned to Tim Whitacre, the chair of the OC GOP Central Committee 69th Assembly District Caucus, during her primary congressional campaign. He also served as her MC at one of the Avila fundraisers I attended. In turn she supported Bill Hunt for OC Sheriff – and Whitacre was Hunt’s campaign manager. Whitacre is now supporting Pulido and his Democrat candidates for the City Council. It is not hard to imagine that he asked Avila to follow suit.

I am disappointed that Avila has become yet another Pulido hack. I will not be supporting her for any political office in the present or future. Apparently most of the local voters agree as she received less than 38% of the vote in June, against a totally unknown candidate in Tan Nguyen. At this rate she may not be able to get reelected to the Santa Ana School Board in the future.


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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.