Why does the Democratic leadership team in Santa Ana include a Republican?

I dropped by Assemblyman Jose Solorio’s new Democratic “Santa Ana Leadership” office on Saturday as they had their grand opening.  Solorio was quite gracious.  He introduced me to a few folks and commented that I am running against Councilman Carlos Bustamante – who in Solorio’s estimate is not very popular in Santa Ana right now. Very true!

There were quite a few folks there when I arrived, from the very young to guys my age and beyond.  Solorio’s staffers had some nifty red t-shirts on, which I thought was funny as red is supposed to be the Republican Party’s color.  And sure enough a couple of Republicans showed up to the party – including SAUSD School Board Trustee Rob Richardson.  In fact he is part of the Solorio “Leadership Team” in Santa Ana, which is just plain weird.  I mean just a few days ago Rob was riding in the Fiestas Patrias parade in Santa Ana, with Republican congressional candidate Rosie Avila, who is taking on Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.  See the picture below for confirmation.

The odd thing about Richardson being included in the “Santa Ana Leadership Team” is that there are a plethora of Democratic candidates running against him.  One of them, Valerie Amezcua, was actually endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) – I guess that doesn’t carry much weight with the folks behind the “Leadership Team.”  Another candidate, Irene Ibarra, is running a terrific campaign – and she is picking up support all over the city.  There are a number of other Democrats running, including Gloria Alvarado, Cecilia Aguinaga, Roman Reyna, Mike Gonzalez and Richardson’s peer on the SAUSD School Board, Jose Hernandez.

It’s not like Richardson has done much since he was elected to replace ousted SAUSD Trustee Nativo Lopez.  Since Richardson came onto the SAUSD School Board the district has continued to tank.  Low test scores, a huge budget deficit, and an administration that excels at wasting money have been the hallmark of Richardson’s career on the SAUSD School Board.  Not to mention firing most of the classified workers then hiring some of them back with less pay and less benefits.  And yet he is part of the “Leadership Team.”  And other decent Democrats are overlooked while a Republican is embraced.  Very odd.

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido showed up late, and then became the center of attention.  You never realize how short he is until you see him standing up with other guys.  (see the picture below).

I am told that after I left Solorio took over – and then someone wondered why Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez was not there.  Apparently she told the boys she didn’t need the help.  I heard however that many of Pulido’s supporters want nothing to do with Alvarez.  So she doesn’t get to be part of their club!

And Councilman Carlos Bustamante apparently is also not part of the Santa Ana Leadership team.  He never showed up at the grand opening, according to my sources.

The other Republican who showed up for the festivities apparently forgot where he was running.  Garden Grove Councilman Steve Jones wandered off the reservation and ended up in Santa Ana.  He was appointed to replace Janet Nguyen when she was elected to the O.C. Board of Supervisors.  He is allied with notorious Mexican hater Assemblyman Van Tran – and he is pals with Santa Ana Councilman Vince Sarmiento.  I am told he is using the same Democratic consultant that Pulido and his team are using this year.  Bustamante is also using the same consultant, since his former Repbulican advisers, John Lewis and Paul Glaab, appear to have kicked him to the curb.

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.