Why did Santa Ana’s “Usual Suspects” abandon Vince Sarmiento?

The unofficial head of Santa Ana’s “Usual Suspects,” Julie Stroud, attacked me in a comment posted here at the Orange Juice yesterday after I wrote that she supported the re-election of Santa Ana Councilman Vince Sarmiento.  That is what I had been told by one of her allies up to the election.  Apparently however she switched sides and backed our blogger Jim Walker at the eleventh hour.  What happened?

I was told recently that Sarmiento called another one of the “Usual Suspects,” Debbie McEwen, and he blistered her about her pet project – which is that the city should buy a dilapidated property in her neighborhood that is being rented to, gasp, Mexicans! 

Sarmiento explained, and rightfully so, that the city is BROKE.  How can she ask the city to blow a chunk of money at this time?  Well, in addition to that, the problem here is a lack of code enforcement.  The city already has laws on the books regarding the upkeep of properties – they just need to enforce them.  The “Usual Suspects”  should ask City Manager Dave Ream why our local regulations are not enforced.

McEwen is a study in contrasts.  There are times when she seems to be almost human.  I was at an event a few months ago where McEwen and her neighborhood association put on an outdoor movie at their little park.  They used a projector and a large movie screen suspended from a tree.  It was loads of fun.  They even had popcorn for the kids.  However, they were running late and so McEwen made an announcement.  When I offered to translate her announcement into Spanish, she snarled, “this is America” and stomped away.  There was the REAL McEwen – and it wasn’t pretty.

The irony in all this is that I personally did more to support Walker than any of the “Usual Suspects.”  But they never take such things into account.  They hate me because I do not join them in hating Latinos.  Stroud went as far as to say that I am a liar because I said she supported Sarmiento.  Well, it would appear that I was misinformed.  But she did support my opponent in Ward 3, Carlos Bustamante.  And he is a proven liar.  He lied about making his waterbra remarks and he lied in his mailers when he stated that Santa Ana is one of the safest cities in Orange County.  That is a baldfaced lie – we are rated number one in violent crime by the FBI.

Our returning blogger, Sean Mill, thinks that the “Usual Suspects” will continue to try to have him removed from the Planning Commission.  Good luck with that!  Mill isn’t going anywhere – but I am told that the city is going to shut down some of the Commissions and merge a few of the others.  It may well be that Parks and Recreation Commissioner Julie Stroud will find herself without a commission appointment.

As for Sarmiento, he doesn’t need the “Usual Suspects.”  His only job now is to help the rest of the City Council to find a way out of our $28 million deficit. Perhaps Team Pulido should not have given raises to our city managers and employees this year – and maybe those pension spikes weren’t a good idea after all?  I suspect we will see mass firings coming soon at City Hall.

Sarmiento isn’t the only Councilman that the “Usual Suspects” are vexed at.  They are targeting Councilman Sal Tinajero, who is running again in two years.  Good luck with that too.  Tinajero isn’t stupid.  He was attacked by Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and his cronies when he first ran for the Council.  This year his walkers delivered Team Pulido’s fliers to residents.  Team Pulido will back Tinajero 100% in two years.  And the “Usual Suspects?”  They will get punked again.  That’s how things roll in Santa Ana.  The “Usual Suspects” keep supporting Pulido and he and his Team keep ignoring them and doing whatever the Hell they want.  And no one ever learns…

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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.