The people of Santa Ana lose again, as the Council takes away Mayoral term limits

To understand fully what happened at tonight’s Santa Ana City Council meeting you have to first go back to last December, when Councilwoman Michele Martinez tried to get enough votes to put a mayoral term limits measure on the ballot. She failed then on a 3-3 vote when Councilman David Benavides broke his campaign promise by voting with the Mayor against the proposal.

Then in August of this year,
the Council brought back the mayoral term limits issue. But this time they tied it to an extension of Council terms by four more years. And their idea of mayoral term limits was an astounding 4 four year terms, for a total of sixteen years. At the time I could not help but ask “What did King Pulido promise Tinajero?

Fast forward to tonight’s meeting. Councilmen Sal Tinajero and Vince Sarmiento decided to change the ballot measure they voted for in August. This time they took out the mayoral term limits altogether. And, to add salt to our wounds, they kept their Council extension in the ballot measure. And they voted to place a separate measure on the ballot regarding a “Code of Conduct” for elected and appointed officials. This measure is clearly an attempt to silence the Orange Juice bloggers who are also Santa Ana City Commissioners.

Tinajero, in particular, was unbelievably venomous tonight. He sat there quietly while Benavides and Martinez spoke. Then he pounced like a diseased troll. And Benavides was his unsuspecting victim.

It was painful to watch. Tinajero, who was later joined by Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez, beat Benavides to a bloody pulp. It reminded me of the infamous prison rape scene in the film “American History X.” It was beyond ugly.

Tinajero stated that “Benavides had the opportunity to vote then (in December) but he voted against it (mayoral term limits).”

Tinajero then took Martinez and Benavides to task for not supporting the former proposal, of 4 four year mayoral terms. Never mind that the proposal in question was a stupid one. Who in their right mind would consider sixteen years to be any kind of term limit?

Then Tinajero said that because the Council did not have a united front last time around, presumably in August, he was now voting for the new measure.

It was quite a performance, even by Tinajero’s low standards. This man has a long history of betraying his associates. He betrayed the pendejo Republicans who paid for him to join the Santa Ana Unified School District’s Board of Trustees. Then he betrayed his new pals, Nativo Lopez and John Palacio, when he got on board with Tim Whitacre and Mayor Miguel Pulido, in the Lopez recall campaign.

You simply cannot trust Tinajero. Ever. Tinajero is for Tinajero. Period. He does not care one bit for what happens to our city or to our people as long as he comes out on top.

Councilwoman Alvarez is the equal to Tinajero in overall vapidity. Tonight she screeched about how unfair it is that the mayor has no term limits, so really the solution in her warped mind is to give the Council Members four more years to stick it to the people of Santa Ana.

Alvarez then ripped Assemblyman Jose Solorio, without naming him. Solorio beat her like a drum in last year’s Assembly primary. She said that we don’t know who is running the California legislature. That because of term limits, the legislators who have zero experience end up chairing important legislative committees. She asserted that the people who really run the state are the lobbyists and the staffers.

I guess Alvarez still can’t believe that Solorio punked her last year. And yes, he now chairs a number of committees. It is obvious that Alvarez wants his job. And really, that is what the Council extension is all about. It puts her in prime position to run for Solorio’s seat when he terms out.

Alvarez then told us that she agreed with Tinajero, which sent chills up everyone’s spines. She said that Benavides had a chance previously to support mayoral term limits and he did not. She then said that part of the reason that Benavides votes against the limits was because he wanted a raise. Ouch.

And Alvarez closed her comments with a plea for parity. But it was inadvertently funny. The only way we can deal with city staff is to have more years in office, she said. You know, they could always FIRE the bad staffers, couldn’t they? Alvarez, like Tinajero, is a lost cause. Her only goal is to advance what is good for her.

Councilman Sarmiento then jumped in with his own ridiculous spiel. The essence of his comments was that term limits are bad because politicians have a learning curve and they need more time to figure out what they are doing. Really? Most Santa Ana Council Members spend four to eight years on City Commissions before they get elected to the Council. And despite that they still need twelve years to figure out the job? They must not be very bright to begin with.

Then Sarmiento said that because of short terms (it is hard to believe anyone would refer to eight years in office as a short term) politicians end up doing the expedient thing. Their projects are not sound, intelligent or thoughtful. Really? And what would one call the Pulido agenda, which appears to be to sell out to any and all developers of luxury homes and high-rise condo towers, even thought he real estate market has crashed?

Then Sarmiento said we need a Code of Conduct and he referenced what is going on with the O.C. Treasurer and Sheriff. But don’t their mutual troubles point to the fact that the system, such as it is, does work? Carona is looking at YEARS in a federal penitentiary.

Why do elected officials in Santa Ana need an extra Code of Conduct? Don’t they already promise to follow the law and uphold the Constitution? It’s not like Pulido and company are paragons of virtue. Far from it!

Councilwoman Martinez then jumped on Tinajero’s case, as she defended her record. She was after all the Council Member who originally, last year, tried to get the Council to vote for a mayoral term limits measure. Not Tinajero. He has NEVER been a leader in this, or any other, regard. Tinajero’s solution to this issue, back in August, was to introduce the mentally impaired sixteen year mayoral limits.

Then Tinajero went berserk as he accused Martinez of grandstanding for the people “she brought” to the Council meeting. He was quite perturbed by the massive applause that Martinez received.

Ironically, the only two people who got up to defend Tinajero’s position were failed Mayoral candidate, and convicted wife-beater, Stanley Fiala, and Alex “Swap Meet” Vega, who said that this issue was all about race. I don’t know how anyone can say that the Pulido cabal cares about immigrants, but that is the stupid point that Vega tried to make.

Finally, Pulido spoke. He said that he is constantly running for office. He said that the people can always vote him out. What he didn’t say is that it is almost impossible for anyone to compete with Pulido, given the massive amounts of money he gets from the unions, developers and other special interests.

Pulido then said he has met other Mayors, at conferences, who have served in office longer than he has. And he mentioned that part of the problem in Mexico is that their Mayors can only serve for three years. My dad used to say they only needed three years to clean out the ci
ty treasuries! But Pulido thinks they just need more years in office. In Mexico, they would just finish ruining their cities in that extra time frame.

Here is the bottom line. Pulido went to Tinajero, Sarmiento, Alvarez and Bustamante. He asked them if they wanted to serve in office four more years each. They said yes. Then he said, I would love to help you raise money to pass this measure, but why should I when it includes mayoral term limits? So he asked them to remove that part of the ballot measure. And tonight, they did.

Only Benavides and Martinez voted no. The rest of them, greedily, selfishly voted to extend their terms by four more years. But now the voters will have a chance to nullify the banality of these horrible Council Members.

And Pulido will win again in the end, because in either case, there will be no mayoral term limits in Santa Ana, for the foreseeable future. Pulido will be free to continue to add to his bank accounts, while he waits for Hillary Clinton to become President and appoint him to be the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. You can read more about that story by clicking here.

Now it is up to the voters to vote down this abominable measure. I doubt Pulido will do much to help it win. Why should he? He already won.


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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.