Welcome to the Orange Juice!

We are getting a lot of new readers this week, because of all the publicity regarding our battle with the City Council of Santa Ana, which recently asked three of us who are both bloggers and city commissioners, to stop blogging or face removal from our city commissions.

For those of you who are new to the Orange Juice!, this will serve as an introduction. I started this blog in 2003. I was the first person in Orange County to launch a political blog. In December of 2005, I asked Claudio Gallegos to join me as we became a bipartisan blog.

Over the last two years I have added many other writers, including:

  • Larry Gilbert, a nationally recognized expert on property rights and eminent domain. Gilbert also covers politics in Mission Viejo, where he resides.
  • Joe Shaw, a business owner and political activist in Huntington Beach. Shaw has his own blog, and he is nice enough to blog here at the Orange Juice! as well.
  • Ron and Anna Winship are very active in Republican politics in Newport Beach, where they reside. They have run for office and are involved in filming interviews with many interesting people over at the Cutting Edge. They too have their own blog.
  • Thomas Gordon lives in Santa Ana. He has helped us to crack open the secrecy and corruption at the Santa Ana Unified School District. Gordon is also involved in local GOP politics. And he is a member of Santa Ana EPIC (Early Prevention and Intervention Commission) which is working to stop gangs in our city. No one knows Santa Ana’s neighborhoods like Thomas does!
  • Luis Rodriguez lives in Santa Ana. He was a teacher and now manages a senior living facility. Rodriguez has been involved in local politics for many, many years.
  • Sean Mill lives in Santa Ana. Like Rodriguez, Mill has been involved in local politics for a long time. He is on the Santa Ana Planning Commission. Mill, a former Republican, is also involved with the local Democratic Party.
  • Claudio Gallegos lives in Santa Ana. He is VERY involved with the Democratic Party of Orange County, as he serves on their Central Committee. He is also connected at the statewide level. He writes about many issues, including politics in Santa Ana and Costa Mesa.
  • We also have three new bloggers! Chris Emami is a coach at Esperanza High School, and he is very involved in local Republican politics. Aria Ghafari is a student at UCLA, and he grew up in south Orange County. He plans to go to the new UCI law school. He is a very active college Democrat. Julie Meigs is a lifelong Orange County resident, who grew up in Huntington Beach. She attends Chapman University and is currently in her senior year. She is majoring in Politcal Science and is the current President of the Chapman University Democrats.

As for myself, I left the Republican Party this year, after being elected to the OC GOP Central Committee last year. I was a lifelong Republican. I am now an independent DTS (decline to state) voter. I was the inaugural Hispanic Outreach Director for the OC GOP. I served on the State GOP Central Committee and I ran several local political campaigns.

As you can see, our group of writers is very politically and culturally diverse. We reflect the TRUE Orange County, which is not as red as you might think. We are on the cutting edge, as far as political blogs go, as very few of them offer political perspectives that are not one-sided, ie. either entirely left or right.

Our goal as bloggers is to OPEN UP local government to the people and to examine the issues of the day from all perspectives.

Also, unlike a lot of the other blogs, all of us use our real names when we post here. We don’t mess around with pseudonyms.

One way to quickly catch up with what we have been writing is to look at our Week in Review columns. This week’s is available at this link. Last week’s column is at this link, and the week before is at this link. Every Sunday we put up a new Week in Review, where we revisit our hottest stories of the week.

We were recently recognized by OC Weekly as the “Best Local Blog.” We are working hard to live up to that award!

Thanks for visiting our blog!


About Admin

"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.