Political “Musical Chairs” in the OC

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Term limits for state office and some local offices like the Orange County Board of Supervisors have resulted in a game of musical chairs where office holders facing a term limit look around for another office to seek. Orange County’s former First District Supervisor Jim Silva, now a State Assemblyman after being termed out of his Supervisor office, and soon to be termed out of his Assembly office, is reportedly considering a move back in this game of musical chairs. His old County Supervisor seat looks tempting since current incumbent John Moorlach is now in his final term. Look for Moorlach to run for State Assembly or the State Senate to further advance the art of political musical chairs.

In another form of political musical chairs, Todd Spitzer, who had his sights on the Office of District Attorney until he was recently dismissed by our DA amidst much controversy is apparently eying the office of Third District County Supervisor that he once held. That office will soon be vacated by Bill Campbell, a former Assemblyman who is facing the end of his term limited stint as Supervisor. The press reports that Spitzer has a campaign war chest in excess of $1 million amassed when he was an Assemblyman before being term-limited out of that office, which would make him a formidable candidate. Orange City Councilwoman Carolyn Cavecche has had considerable personal interest and support to run for that supervisorial office herself, but Spitzer’s sudden change of circumstances clouds the picture. Will Spitzer and Cavecche face off in a primary, or will some kind of smoke filled room power brokering see one of them bowing out in deference to the other? Something to watch.

Then there is newly elected Fourth District County Supervisor Shawn Nelson. We are to believe that despite demonstrating considerable intelligence carrying him through law school, passing the bar and then becoming a practicing attorney, he failed to grasp the paperwork associated with taking office and signed up for the county retirement plan with the greatest level of benefits all the while having a public stance in opposition to lucrative public sector retirement plans. When called out on that self-serving pension enrollment he reversed course and canceled that enrollment, saying he did not understand what was before him. So, we are to believe this intelligent lawyer did not understand the paperwork. Not to be outdone, Nelson subsequently urged his Board colleagues to reduce or eliminate retirement benefits for elected county officials, including the Supervisors. Should this happen, it is but one more detriment to anyone who is not independently wealthy seeking such a public office. The common man will have to go eat cake somewhere else. Though this idea of Nelson’s was not DOA it seems to lack much support within county government.  At this point the Supervisors and the County CEO are studying Nelson’s idea.

What other musical chairs are we seeing in Orange County these days?


About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.