Last Day to Register to Vote June 8! and Vern’s PIX

Today’s the LAST DAY to register for June 8’s “Primary Election.”  Here’s how to do it:  You can grab a voter registration form from a library, a post office, a City Hall, a DMV, or the registrar’s office themselves at McFadden & Grand in Santa Ana – OR you can download/print one off of  Fill it out, sign & date it, and get it in the mail – it’s gotta be signed and postmarked today!  (Monday May 24.)

You have to do this, as well, if you’ve moved since the last time you voted.  If you’re not sure if you’re registered, or if they have your correct address, you can check at 714-567-7600.

Don’t let this be one of those low-turnout affairs – there are some vital issues to be settled this time: most notably the five initiatives, especially Proposition 15 for Fair Elections, and making sure Bill Hunt is not our next sheriff. Orange Juice Community, you’ve heard from Republican Brother Larry;  now it’s time for Vern’s Picks:


  • Prop 13, tax break for earthquake retrofits – YES!
  • Prop 14, Maldonado’s Jungle Primary – NO! (for many reasons)
  • Prop 15, California Fair Elections – YES, YES, YES!
  • Prop 16 and 17, corporate scams from PG&E & Mercury Insurance – HELL NO!

(There’s pretty much a consensus here on all of these except perhaps 15, which Larry’s against although he won’t say why.)

Non-partisan races

Kevin Vann for Public Administrator, and Hugh Nguyen for Clerk-Recorder.  Two posts where party and ideology don’t matter; competence, honesty, and taking the job seriously rather than as a political stepping stone do.  In these two cases, I hope Kevin and Hugh can beat incumbent, incompetent, career politicians John Williams and Tom Daly.  UPDATE – you can vote for either Kevin Vann or Colleen Callahan for Public Administrator – see my big article on why incumbent John Williams HAS to go!

Lon Hurwitz, Judge of Superior Court, office no. 50.  A friend who know him writes: “… Hurwitz is currently a court commissioner, which is a Court Officer and Judge. He’s the only commissioner in OC assigned to hear domestic violence cases. He hears about 50% of OC’s domestic violence cases, mostly the ones that involve children. He displays incredible leadership and was appointed by the Chief Justice of CA to serve as the Judicial Council Liaison to the State Domestic Violence Task Force. He helped start a program that helped Vets of DS1 and 2 who were charged with Domestic violence get the help they needed and have their service and PTSD taken under consideration in efforts to help that individual change for the better. Lon is seriously a great man, and you know how high I set my bar with politicos…”

David Boyd, County Board of Education Trustee Area 2. See Art’s new post. We don’t need hateful freaks like Alexandria Coronado calling the shots in our schools.

Tom Torlakson, Superintendent of Public Instruction. By far the most accomplished and progressive contender for this vital office.  Check out his VERY COOL website.

Incumbent Sheriff Sandra Hutchens – she’s been doing a fine job, but more importantly she’s the only way to keep Bill Hunt out of office.  Hunt just really seems to want to take Orange County to a place where I don’t think most of us really want to go – a hardline, inflexible immigration policy, and an expensive, draconian, lock-em-all-up policy on nonviolent crime.

Primaries – Democratic

[Remember, DTS – independents – can request a Democratic primary ballot.]

Hector De La Torre for Insurance Commissioner, a great & brilliant young public servant.  His opponent Dave Jones is also fine, but we Orange County folks owe a debt of gratitude to Hector for all the work he put into stopping the sale of our Fairgrounds to a private developer – he was more involved in that than even most OC legislators.  And read his plans for the insurance commission.

Pedro Nava for Attorney General – in this crowded and worthy field Pedro stands out for his courage and intelligence.  I think I should do a Nava post soon as well.  We have spoken about his oil extraction tax already.

Gavin Newsom for Lieutenant Governor. Granted hotheaded Gavin has done a few irritating things in the past;  but he’s been a tireless and accomplished champion in such vital areas as health care and gay rights.  He’ll be an invaluable assistant to Governor Jerry Brown, and I’d like to see him have that platform to run for Governor from in 2014!

Assembly candidates. These two are no-brainers:  Phu Nguyen in the 68th and Melissa Fox in the 70th.  Both charismatic progressives with a good chance of turning their red districts blue.  Their respective primary challengers Dovinh and Glover aren’t horrible people, but they’re sort of flaky, and lackluster campaigners with no chance of beating any Republican.

Orange Juice friend Ken Arnold has taken on the task of facing career nutjob Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in the 46th CD;  but now he has an unexpected challenger in the form of a Long Beach doctor with deep pockets and very limited English skills.  Show a Juice friend and longtime progressive activist (who did real well against Van Tran in ’08) some love!

Republican Primary – wait a seond – Vern is telling Republicans how to vote?

Yes, I do tell Republicans how to vote.

(I believe I understand and respect the true values of the GOP, and don’t want to see the second largest party become a home for anti-immigrant or anti-gay demagoguery, or corrupt career politicians like Ken Calvert and Gary Miller.)

On that note I think that 44th CD Republicans should choose Chris Riggs over incumbent Ken Calvert, and 42nd CD Republicans should choose Lee McGroarty over incumbent Gary Miller.  Say for example Chris doesn’t defeat Ken but does do surprisingly well – at least that will be a message to Ken to clean up a little.  And if Chris did win, a fight between him and progressive Democrat Bill Hedrick would at least be a fair fight over real values.

68th AD contender Long Pham is a real Long Shot, but any day you can vote against immigrant-basher Allan Mansoor is a good day.

Stephen Choi does seem like the lesser evil in the Republican field for 70th AD, compared to Don Wagner and Jerry Amante.

With great lack of enthusiasm, I also suggest:

  • Poizner over Whitman – they’re both heartless, but the billionaire thing…
  • Van Tran in the 47th *gasp!* just to keep that slimy Tan Nguyen beneath the rock he crawled out from.

(Did I mention my clerk-recorder endorsement Hugh Nguyen is a Republican?  Doesn’t matter.)

and Costa Mesa voters, don’t forget to vote yes on Measure C to keep our Fairgrounds safe!

(this post will be updated, based on your comments and further research;  and re-posted just before June 8.)

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.