Santa Ana City Council candidates debate draws a full house

Last night’s first Santa Ana City Council candidate’s campaign was well attended – the City Council chambers were almost full and some folks chose to stand in the back to watch the proceedings.

Mayoral candidate Michele Martinez arrived late after she reportedly was told that the debate started at 7:30 – it actually started at 7 p.m.  But she did arrive in time to answer the last question, as the mayoral candidates were the first ones to debate.

Mayoral candidate Stanley Fiala broke up the audience several times with his usual nutty Euro schtick.  Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido rambled about how we are out of money and Sacramento has no money.  Maybe he regrets handing out huge raises to our senior city administrators this year – not to mention doling out a vast pension spike to our city employees?

The Council candidates’ debate followed the mayoral candidates.  All of the Council candidates were there.  We each had a minute to introduce ourselves.  I spent that time asking the audience if they feel safe in Santa Ana.  The incumbents immediately started reciting their accomplishments.  They continued doing that all night – it was not well received.

The worst performance of the evening was not Fiala.  He was at least funny.  Instead the cattiest candidate of the night was Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez.  She kept talking about the “drug dealer” that represents Ward 2 – an obvious hit at Martinez.  The entire audience hissed her each time she did that, but she never learned.  She did this even though the moderator asked us to refrain from personal attacks.  A lot of attendees told me later that she lost their vote.

I am most grateful that so many folks attended – including many of my closest friends and supporters.  My wife and daughter were there too as was my Campaign Co-Chair, Mike Tardif.  And we had good representation from our blog as Thomas Gordon and Terry Crowley attended as well.  Thanks also to Comm Link, which put on the debate, and to the League of Women Voters, which moderated the debate.

One thing is clear after last night’s debate – if you want change you won’t get it from the Council incumbents.  In their closing statements they each admonished the voters not to embrace change but rather to go with the status quo.  That spiel has worked for 20 years – I am not so sure it is going to work this time.

I have a copy of the video footage that was shot last night.  Mayoral candidate George Collins is going to break it up into YouTube segments that we will post later today.  He also says he will have footage up on his website later today.


George Collins has loaded the entire audio of this meeting on his website, at this link.  Thanks George!

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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.