O.C. public employee unions blew it with lame Primary candidates, again

Nick Berardino and the OCEA ended up with egg on their faces again after this year’s Primary Election

I almost feel sorry for Nick Berardino and his Orange County Employees Association (OCEA).  They always seem to spend a fortune on horrible Supervisorial candidates.  Remember when they backed anti-Mexican loon Dave Shawver against John Moorlach? 

They did it again this past Tuesday, gambling a fortune on Harry Sidhu.  The result?  Same as in the Shawver race.  Sure, Sidhu will face Nelson again in November, but that will give Nelson time to firm up his grasp on power.  Sidhu will lose and lose big.  Again.

The folks at the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) also blew it on Tuesday, betting the house on anti-Mexican candidate Bill Hunt.  The result?  Predictable.  Sandra Hutchens can now say she is the people’s choice for Sheriff. 

Here is how the O.C. Register summed it up in an editorial today:

The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs – the deputies’ union – was the biggest loser in Tuesday’s balloting. Its endorsed candidate for sheriff, Bill Hunt, lost handily to incumbent Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. Ms. Hutchens’ pulled in 52.4 percent of the vote, nearly double Mr. Hunt’s total, and, by exceeding 50 percent of the vote, won her job outright – no runoff with either Mr. Hunt or Anaheim Deputy Sheriff Craig Hunter. The deputies union spent $412,286 on the race.

Another loss for the deputies union and also for other county employees, represented by the Orange County Employees Association, was the 4th District Board of Supervisors election. The two local unions combined spent about $862,000 as of May 22 to support Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu and oppose Fullerton mayor Shawn Nelson, who we endorsed. The deputies’ union spent almost $608,000 on behalf of the Sidhu campaign while the OCEA spent $254,157.76. Mr. Nelson prevailed, with 30 percent, to Mr. Sidhu’s 18 percent, and will serve out the remainder of former supervisor Chris Norby’s term.

Now the OCEA and the AOCDS are going to have to deal with two more politicians who don’t like them.  What a mess!

But they weren’t the only losers on Tuesday.  Janet Nguyen, the Chair of the Board of Supervisors, openly backed Sidhu.  So did Supervisor Bill Campbell.  These two losers also backed Linda Ackerman against Chris Norby.  Campbell will now enter lame duck mode as he terms out in 2012.  As for Nguyen, she came in fourth in her campaign for the OC GOP Central Committee, in the 68th A.D.  Her former Chief of Staff, Andrew Do, came in dead last out of twelve candidates.

Nguyen and Campbell are shills for the OCEA.  Now all three entities find themselves in a leaky boat of their own making. 

I suspect that Nelson will run to the middle now.  It looks like he is going to make Dennis Bilodeau his Chief of Staff.  Bilodeau is as insider as they come.  He will steer Nelson away from controversy and may even force him to get along with the foul Nguyen and Campbell. 

Will Nelson be much of  a threat to the OCEA and the AOCDS?  No, I don’t think so.  I can only hope that he will continue to hammer for reform on public employee pensions.  And for more budget cuts and cuts of government waste.

In particular, the Supervisors need to create a registry for County lobbyists.  We the voters deserve to know who these scumbags are.  And I would like to see a focus on cutting waste.  There is no reason for Tom Daly and Janet Nguyen to maintain expensive field offices in Westminster and Fullerton.

Daly should also be made accountable for wasting a fortune on a vacant building that the County cannot afford to repair.  It should be sold. Daly should also be held accountable for wasting so much money on consultants and lobbyists.

Daly of course is being groomed to take over for Campbell in 2012.  This sort of corruption just keeps going and going…

Will the OCEA and the AOCDS learn their lesson?  Probably not.  I suspect they will go all in with Daly in 2012.  Conservatives and progressives have little reason to support career political hack Daly.  We need to find a consensus candidate to take him out!

And of course we will now have to contend with Berardino’s bogus “Voice of OC,” which I dubbed the “Voice of the OCEA.”  It is more obvious than ever that they are not a legitimate news organization at all, but are instead an extension of the OCEA.  They too lost cachet on Tuesday.  Readers beware!

About Art Pedroza