Is Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido salvageable?

Miguel Pulido and Claudia Alvarez

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido is sweating it.  He has not faced a well-funded, legitimate opponent since the days of Councilman Ted Moreno.  But this November Pulido will indeed be facing off against another elected official, Councilwoman Michele Martinez.  And I expect that she is going to give him a run for the money.

In fact Pulido’s own supporters are wavering.  Many of them are unhappy that Pulido has allowed Clowncilwoman Claudia Alvarez to run amok at Santa Ana City Clowncil meetings.  I can’t blame them.  She is easily the worst of the worst!  But just take a look at the picture above.  Pulido appears to be quite comfortable whispering in her ear.

As for Martinez, is she any better than Pulido? She has voted with him 99% of the time.  And she has shown an amazing procilivity to stick her feet in her mouth.  Perhaps the best example of that was an infamous interview she had with a local magazine, just after she won her seat on the Council.  She told the magazine that she sold drugs as a teenager.  You just know that Pulido and his cabal will be sending out mailers to the voters telling them about Martinez’ past as a chola drug dealer.

Michele Martinez

Martinez is also vastly under-educated.  She is taking classes at Cal State Fullerton, but I am told she is not doing well and has even flunked a class or two.  She has dyslexia so I am sure it is difficult for her to study and to do her homework.  And to her credit she is trying.  But does our town need a Mayor who has no clue about most things?  It is one thing to be under-educated.  It is quite another to be almost completely ignorant.

I know Martinez about as well as anyone.  She has no clue about history, our economy, our country or much else.  Which brings me back to Pulido.  He is a college graduate.  He is a business owner.  He serves on all kinds of boards.  He owns a muffler manufacturing company in Mexico.  On paper he is amazing.  The reality unfortunately is that he has been in office for over 20 years and we have little to show for that tenure.

Pulido has been all about Pulido throughout his political career.  He is very well off now.  I am told that the only reason he sticks around is because he wants to be appointed to be ambassador to Mexico.  He needs to keep his title so that the Democrats will be impressed.  He supported Hillary Clinton but she lost her party’s primary.  However there are whispers in D.C. that there is now a very good chance that she will be Barack Obama’s runningmate.  If that happens, Pulido is back in play.  But he has to win in November.

We have all become accustomed to seeing Pulido go through the motions every two years.  This year will be different.  He is actually worried and I am told he has gathered all of his hacks together to help him in his campaign.  No need to list them here.  You know who they are.  And they are freaked out about the prospect of Martinez becoming our next Mayor.

I don’t think Martinez will get many votes from voters who are white, educated or who have a high income.  Her only hope is to get the rabble to the polls in November.  And that just might happen, particularly if Clinton is on the Obama ticket.  For some reason Latino voters just love Hillary.

Thomas Gordon

And the X-factor in all of this is my fellow blogger, Thomas Gordon (pictured above).  He ran against Pulido two years ago and did quite well.  Gordon got over 8,000 votes, without raising any money, while Pulido got just over 23,000 votes.  Now what might happen if Martinez gets half of Pulido’s votes?  That is certainly possible.  In that event Pulido would get about 11,000 votes, Martinez would get about 10,000 votes and Gordon, who I believe can raise over $50,000, could get the rest, which would mean victory for him if that comes to 12,000 votes or more.

Gordon only need to improve his results by about fifty percent in order to win!  I don’t expect local crazy Stanley Fiala to get any votes this time around.  He endorsed Pulido in the last election, but stayed in the race and got just over 2,000 votes.

The question that Pulido’s backers must ponder is, can he change his ways?  Can he actually lead?  Can he actually get results?  Personally, I don’t think so.  I think he is the ultimate empty suit.  He is easily the worst Mayor in the history of Santa Ana, if not Orange County.  Why does anyone think he can suddenly shift gears?  It just isn’t possible.

But Martinez is not much better.  So can Gordon raise enough money to be viable?  And can he do the job?  I think he can raise money.  He could visit with elected Republicans all over Orange County with a very simple message, “the Orange County seat is a complete disaster – and it is only a matter of time before our crime spreads elsewhere.”  Already the Cities of Orange and San Juan Capistrano have had to pass gang injunctions.  How much of the gang violence in our County came originally from Santa Ana?  Let’s face it, Santa Ana is Orange County’s Tijuana.  And it is Miguel Pulido’s fault.

So yes, I believe Gordon can raise money.  Now can he do the job?  I think so.  He is very astute when it comes to understanding corruption.  I don’t know anyone else who is better at reading through the City Council and School Board agendas and ferreting out the bad news.  And I know that Gordon can work with those he does not agree with.  He was an excellent city commissioner, on the EPIC/Gang Commission, before Clowncilman Sal Tinajero gave him the boot for political reasons.

Can we afford to elect Martinez?  No.  But should we once more put our faith in a man who has utterly failed for over 20 years?  No.  Simply put, we need to vote for Thomas Gordon.  If that means Martinez wins, so be it.  But at least we can take her out in two years.  This might be our last, best chance to dump Pulido.  We would be fools not to take that bet.  If that means Pulido doesn’t get to be the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, too bad for him.  He has enough money to live a much better life than the long-suffering people in Santa Ana.

UPDATE:

Michele Martinez emailed her official campaign announcement to supporters today:

As many of you know, I was elected to the Santa Ana City council in November of 2006, and in my role as a council member, I have earned a reputation for seeing that the concerns of my constituents are addressed no matter how large or how small. I have worked hard to earn my constituents trust and respect and I will continue to do so as Mayor. I pledge to create a new, positive city hall, a city where all people from all perspectives feel respected and get the services they deserve. We can make this a better city for all of us and bring hope and inspiration to our neighbors and neighborhoods that have been left behind.

I am asking you to move away from the past, and look to the future. I am urging you not to be afraid of disturbing the status quo. This job is not for one person; it’s a job for a community. I would like to leave you with the following quote from Margaret Mead “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. So let’s work together to improve this city we love.

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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.