John and Ken’s 2012 Orange County Voters’ Guide. By Vern.


Happy couple JOHN Turrell and KEN Boronsky celebrated their fourth anniversary last month.

I understand there has been some confusion resulting from my dedicating my voters’ guide, as I traditionally do, to my gay friends John and Ken.  Some of the fans of the famous radio guys of the same name have been calling up their KFI show furious – they googled the rightwing pair wanting to know how THEY want them to vote, and instead ran into this.  The Orange Juice Blog sincerely regrets any confusion.  If you want to see the FAMOUS John and Ken’s voter guide (which lacks Orange County choices) you can click HERE – it’s perfect for if you are interested in helping comfort the comfortable, afflict the afflicted, make the rich richer and poor poorer, increase criminal penalties for everything but white collar crime, and remain blissfully ignorant of what’s in your food.

But it that’s NOT your agenda  I give you MY John and Ken’s 2012 Orange County Voter’s Guide.  Take it, print it out, and use it well, brothers and sisters.

California’s 2012 Initiatives!

As always, but now more than ever, in this election We The People are fighting mainly against unlimited billions of money and shameless, expert LIES.  On that note, if only to show that the wealthiest liars can’t always win, AT LEAST vote NO on 32 to stick it to Karl Rove, Exxon and the Koch brothers’ attempts to shut us up;  NO on 33 to stick it (once more) to Mercury Insurance’s attempts to rip us off, and YES on 37 to stick it to the efforts of Monsanto – the most evil corporation in history – to not tell us what they put in our food.

  • Prop 30 – YES!  Governor Brown’s temporary, modest, 5-year tax increase, as compromised with us progressives’ original “Millionaires Tax,” is crucial for our state’s schools, health, public safety and infrastructure, which have already been cut down to the bone during the recession, and we can afford it – we’ll hardly notice the extra 1/4% sales tax for 5 years.  Vote YES on 30 so that Capistrano USD schools won’t have to put cell phone towers, swap meets, and strip clubs on their campuses.
  • Prop 31 – No. – A perverse amendment to force the legislature, who is already trying to do their job with both hands tied behind their back, to also have those hands hogtied to their feet.  Vote yes only if you really really hate the government and don’t want them to be able to do ANYTHING.
  • Prop 32 – HELL NO!  The same old union-busting “paycheck deception” scam that Californians have rejected numerous times, but THIS time it’s cruelly masquerading as “campaign finance reform.”  This does nothing to limit the power of corporations and billionaires, which is why the oceans of TV and radio ads you see in favor of it are paid for by the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, oil companies, and Wall Street.  DON’T BE A DOPE.  To vote for this in the wake of the cataclysmic “Citizens United” decision would be like handing over our nunchucks while our enemy has a daisy cutter.
  • Prop 33 – NO, NO, NO!  Every election, Mercury Insurance tries to pass this scam, it is always rejected, and they never give up.  People can generally just sense that Mercury is looking for excuses to raise most of our rates, even if they are claiming the opposite while they try so hard to get this passed.  My popular 2010 piece “Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote for Prop 17” hardly needs to be re-written at all, except for the number of the initiative and the fact that they’ve now made an exception for the military.
  • Prop 34 – Yes.  End the death penalty in California.  To save millions and millions of dollars, and ALSO because I’m not a murderer and you probably aren’t either.
  • Prop 35 – NO!  Diamond has written a highly persuasive and influential essay explaining why NO.  (We should probably re-post that.)  The initiative will probably pass easily due to people’s kneejerk reaction of Who don’t hate human trafficking?  Then it will be overturned in court.  It’s just a sneaky puritanical ruse to make serious crimes out of all manner of harmless consensual sexual activity.   Only vote yes if you want to have the government controlling our private lives even more, while growing the prison population and the number of unemployable pariahs.
  • Prop 36 – Yes.  On three strikes reform.  I met guys in jail and prison, nice guys, who were there on a third strike for an ounce of pot or having a utility knife in their tool box.  We don’t need to keep wasting millions of dollars keeping guys like that incarcerated.
  • Prop 37 – HELL YES!!!  My trust in human intelligence and evolution will be dashed if this doesn’t pass – how could Californians vote that they DON’T want to know what’s in their food?   But the most evil corporation in history, Monsanto, the creators of styrofoam, Agent Orange, saccharine, RoundUp, GMOs, currently on their way to owning the planet’s food supply, have been pulling out all the stops to convince YOU that you’ll have to pay MORE MONEY if they have to label.  Call bullshit, friends.
  • Prop 38 – No.  This vanity measure is competing with Prop 30, and 30 is better.
  • Prop 39 – Yes.  Sounds like yes.  Read the essay on it by our own brilliant Boutwell, if you want to understand every little detail and nuance, and then spend the next couple of weeks feeling like Hamlet.
  • Prop 40 – Yes, I guess.  Everyone’s voting yes on this now, right?  Even the dumb Republicans who first put this on the ballot and WANTED you to vote NO, but now regret the whole thing.  Right?  Or do I have this backwards?

US President – So Many Choices!

The eyes of the nation and the world will be on the Presidential race next week, but here in the Golden State we are in a blessed condition – there’s just no way California will go to Romney, so it won’t be a bad thing at all if a couple thousand Orange Juice readers give a boost to the four worthy “third-party” candidates.  I’m voting for Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party, whom you won’t see on the California ballot, but he’s an approved write-in candidate.  A lot of my good Republican friends are voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson because they just can’t stomach Mitt Romney, for obvious good reasons.  The way I see it, when we pick one of these four, we are telling President Obama, “We want YOU to be a little bit more like THIS person in your second term.”

Anderson, Stein, Johnson, Barr.

In other words, when we choose Rocky, Gary,  or Green candidate Jill Stein, we are telling the President we want less war, less military spending, more respect for civil liberties, and an end to the Drug War in his second term.  When we pick Rocky or Jill, we’re telling him we want him to be a lot tougher regulating financial crooks on Wall Street and elsewhere.  When we pick Rocky, we’re letting him know how disappointed we are on the lack of justice or even investigations into the criminality of the Bush-Cheney years.  When we pick Gary, we’re letting him know we want less big government solutions to our problems and more free market solutions.  And when we pick Roseanne, who used stupid celebrity tricks to yank California’s Peace and Freedom candidacy away from Rocky, we’re letting the President know that we want him to gain some weight, talk louder, be funnier, and grab his crotch during patriotic moments.

Vote Elizabeth Emken for California Senate.

No, I can’t think of anything good to say about Republican Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken, and I wouldn’t want to risk losing a Senate seat to the Rethugs.  But Dianne Feinstein pisses me off, and again, there’s no way a couple thousand Orange Juice votes will swing the election away from the perpetually anointed one.  But still you can let DiFi know how disgusted you are with her arrogance in refusing to debate Elizabeth, and how frustrated you are with the octogenarian hawk’s refusal to retire gracefully and let a better, younger Democrat take her place … by VOTING EMKEN!!!

Congress – Pick the Democrat!

No matter what, vote for the DEMOCRAT for Congress this year.  Don’t even think about them individually;  Democrats NEED to regain the majority in Congress, or pretty much NOTHING will get better.  Even if you like your own Republican incumbent, even if you think the Democrat challenger is a twat, a vote for a Congressional Republican is one more vote for endless assaults on women’s rights, for several hundred more make-believe repeals of Obamacare, and for two more years of economic strangulation.


Tetalman, Chen, Lowenthal.

…special mention goes to THREE OC Congressional races:

  1. With the new districts that take effect next month, Vista dirtbag Darrell Issa is now aiming to represent our southernmost reaches of San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Dana Point.  (Richard Henry Dana rolls in his grave.)  This makes Darrell our WORST Orange County Congressman, edging out racist Wall Street servant Ed Royce, psychotic Dana Rohrabacher, and useless fake tea-partier John Campbell – because Issa does real damage to the nation, ten times more than those other are could even dream of.   And this means that we’re counting on all the good people of the South County to come out and vote for Jerry Tetalman, whoever the hell HE is.  (I’ll try to find out more soon.)
  2. It could be true that Jay Chen actually has a shot at beating the very self-satisfied and evil Ed Royce, given the demographics of the new district, Jay’s tireless work, and the fact that he goes around telling the truth when all Ed has is lies.  And given the ferocity and viciousness of Ed’s attacks on Jay.  We’re counting on you up in the North County to do your part here!  The financial crisis of 2008-9 is as much Royce’s fault as anybody’s, and his struggle against Wall Street regulation has not slowed down one iota.
  3. Then, the good news – but don’t get complacent! – is that folks around Garden Grove and Westminster are highly likely to be represented by the OC’s second Democratic Congressman, Long Beach’s Alan Lowenthal, a guy who really believes in investing in our infrastructure.  His opponent Gary DeLong is so far behind that he’s resorted to paying Adam Probolsky for polls telling him he’s not!  Still, don’t get complacent, get out there and vote for Alan!

And if you live somewhere else in the County, be a mensch and vote for Ron Varasteh over the deranged embarrassment Dana Rohrabacher, or the worthy Sukhee Kang over the useless tool John Campbell.  And oh yeah, in SanTanaheim there was … some woman .. oh, right, Loretta Sanchez.  She seems pretty decent.

State Senate – Pick the Democrat Lawyer!

Steve Young, Greg Diamond.

Only half of the County gets to vote for a new State Senator this year, and those of you who do can easily remember to vote for – the Democratic attorney over the corrupt Republican incumbent.  That is, in the coastal South County you can vote for brilliant trial lawyer Steve Young over the corrupt Mimi Walters who doesn’t even live in the district, but has sworn in court that she does.  And of course all North Countiers should vote for our own distinguished Greg Diamond, both on his own merits, and to help defeat (or at least rattle the cage of) the “quarterback for redevelopment,” hinky Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff.

Diamond also deserves great credit in recent weeks for, nearly single-handedly, keeping the OC Weekly‘s R Scott Moxley too busy to either write more hagiographies of union bashers OR to expose himself in airports.  Seriously, Scotty hasn’t done EITHER of those things since he’s become obsessed with our Diamond!  (As far as we know.)

For Assembly – Travis Allen and the Democrat Teachers!

Allen, Quirk-Silva, Corbett.

In the Republican vs. Republican race of the 72nd Assembly District – northern HB, Fountain Valley, Westminster, parts of Garden Grove, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, etc, I’ve gone through the reasons I’m voting for feisty upstart businessman Travis Allen over sleazy insider Los Al Mayor Troy Edgar, despite disagreeing with the politics of both.  My thoughts were confirmed eloquently by a commenter familiar with both cats:

I have lived with six years of Troy Edgar. I would do anything to get him the hell out of my town.

Good points about Mr. Edgar:

  • I will say that Troy is a man of his word. When someone buys him he stays bought through thick and thin.
  • He doesn’t require any actual facts before making a decision.
  • He is great at shaking his head up and down when what he is really doing is shaking it from side to side.
  • Unlike the regular slugs found in gardens, Troy Edgar doesn’t leave a visible trail when he passes by.

……… [skipping a bit more invective] ………

…That leaves me with a guy who I have spoken to a few times. Unlike Edgar he actually listened, and we had a very healthy discussion of alternative ways that we can address the current jobs crisis in California without “giving away” tax dollars or even spending them on things that don’t create jobs (like tax breaks for the wealthy). Allen doesn’t appear to be in anyone’s pocket and he seems to be something Edgar isn’t; honest.

Being a (D) with no horse in this race, I find that when I remove the desire to just vote for Edgar to get him the heck off my City Council there really seems to be only one choice. I have watched Edgar manipulate the system locally for personal political gain for six years now. I have watched him hurt fine people doing nothing more than being involved in making their community better, just because they don’t support what his corporate backers want. I have watched him belittle the people he is supposed to represent. And while sending him to Sacramento would get rid of him from here, the down side is that he will swim like a shark in that cesspool of corruption.

I guess I’m voting for Allen.

Beyond that, I’m excited about a couple of Democratic candidates who both happen to be teachers – the very secular and eccentric Professor James Corbett who’s running against the crooked, nasty Diane Harkey in the South County, and the radiant liberal Sharon Quirk-Silva who’s taking on slightly unhinged conservative Chris Norby up north, and might actually have a chance.

It’s hard to get up even enough energy to write a sentence about the other OC Assembly races.  I’ve become convinced that Bob Rush, the “Democrat” running against Mansoor in the Newport/Mesa area, is a fake Prop 14 candidate whose only function was to knock Leslie Daigle out of the race.  The best we Dems could put up against wingnut Don Wagner in the Irvine area was a pretty perennial candidate who is also the quietest woman in the world.  And in SanTanaheim … there basically IS no race any more.

Do what you want.


OC’s Cities:  The Laboratories of … something.

Costa Mesa: the tip of Scott Baugh’s Spear

NO on V!  NO on the Baugh/Righeimer charter!  If Goat Hill must have a charter, it should be one written in the interests of the people, not in the simple short-term interests of today’s politicians and their desire to quickly outsource the City’s workforce with no resistance. The people of this town are tired of living in a Petri dish for the OC GOP’s rightwing social engineering.

And if that’s how they feel, as I believe they do, they should vote for the TOP THREE names on their ballot – Sandy Genis, John Stephens, and Harold Weitzberg.  Damn.  That will be a great council, with those three on it.

Anaheim – can it break out of its “Pringlehold?”

The defining struggle this year in Anaheim, is much different – will Orange County’s largest city break free of its complete political control by local corporate interests – Disney, the resorts and developers, and above all ex-Mayor / master lobbyist / puppeteer Curt Pringle.  And that means cutting down the Pringle-ites’ current three-member council majority to two.  And that essentially comes down to, what we always say, DEFEATING JORDAN BRANDMAN Keeping Pringle candidate Jordan Brandman off the Council.

Otherwise none of Mayor Tait’s reforms will move forward this year:  “Letting the people vote” on future corporate subsidies;  Moving to district-style elections and settling the ACLU suit;  and forming a citizens’ oversight committee to keep the police in line.  So, like I said in my last Anaheim article, Democrats and progressives who want to vote for the candidates who most reflect their values should NOT vote for “Democrat” Brandman, but for Duane Roberts and John Leos;  while if you want to be more pragmatic and pick the two candidates who are MOST LIKELY to beat Brandman, you should go for the Mayor’s choice: Leos and Lucille Kring.

Leos – Kring – Roberts

And for the school board, my friends John Santoianni and Al Jabbar!  (If you live in the Hills, though, you’re in Orange USD, so see Orange below…)

Fullerton:  How scary IS Bushala?  More than Chevron?

Fullerton, where the two biggest issues are whether to let Chevron do whatever it wants to Coyote Hills, and support serious reform of the Police Department.  NO ON W, and vote Jane Rands and Barry Levinson for Council!  I’ve just met Barry Levinson, and he is in NO WAY the Bushala puppet OR anti-government libertarian that some have caricatured him as.  He and Jane are the only candidates who BOTH oppose Chevron’s Measure W AND back serious reforms of the FPD, including a citizens’ oversight committee.  Candidates Rick Alvarez, Jan Flory and Jennifer Fitzgerald are in the pockets of both Chevron and the police union;  Republicans Alvarez and Fitzgerald appear to be empty suits with no records in the community who will say anything to anybody, and Flory has a TERRIBLE, embarrassing record that no Democrat should embrace.

The honest Fullerton candidates, separated by a coyote.

I’m helping organize a “candidate meet and greet” tomorrow night at 7 (Monday Oct 29) at the church where I work – Orangethorpe United Methodist Church on Orangethorpe, near Gilbert.  Flory, Alvarez, Rands, Levinson, and Jaramillo will be there.  I’ll be writing more about this gathering later;  come and see for yourselves!  Monday night, tomorrow, at 7.

Huntington Beach

NO ON Z!  What a stupid, destructive, deceptive stink bomb departing Mayor Don Hansen has left us.  NO!  They claim this will “end” a “pension tax” – the pension obligation ain’t going anywhere.  What it WILL do is force EVEN MORE CUTS in city services, after all the cuts Surf City denizens have already suffered through for the past decade.  I mean, look right here for what-all will be cut, and pension obligations won’t be touched.  Your taxes may go down unnoticeably, but you’re not gonna want to live there any more.

And the best candidates – the ONLY good candidates for City Council in HB this year – are Jill Hardy and Jim Katapodis.

Additional HB tips, from Debbie Cook:

  • Keep the good school district incumbents for the High School District:  Michael Simons, Susan Henry, and Duane Dishno.
  • Yes on Measure AA – Sunset Beach paying the same taxes as the rest of us.
  • And yes on the education bonds.  Hey, Debbie’s a fiscal conservative and I trust her.

Santa Ana

Having become all too familiar with the baneful influence of the Small Dark Lord, Santa Ana’s Mayor For Life Miguel Pulido, on the OCTA Board and elsewhere in the County and state, I’m all for this Glorious Revolution.  And my new old buddy Councilwoman Michele Martinez summarizes this revolution thusly: 

  • David Benavides for Mayor!  (I count him as an accidental hero of the 405 – anything to get Toll Troll Miguel off the OCTA Board!)
  • Sarmiento, Reyna, and Alderete for Council
  • Valerie Amezcua and Miriam Tinajero for School Board; and
  • YES on GG!  (Good Government.)

City of Orange

My progressive environmentalist troublemaker pal in the famous Ruled-by-Clowns city weighs in:

  • Most Imporantly, No on FF!  Orange Needs Parks, and plus Jerbal’s for it, so you KNOW it’s wrong!
  • TITA Smith for Mayor
  • Mark Murphy and Mike Alvarez for Council!
  • Orange USD – Vote AGAINST the incumbents – vote for Tracey Columbo-Curtis and Robert Ausmus!

*Los Alamitos*  (NEW)

ONLY Richard Murphy for Council.

NO on Measure DD.

See JM Ivler’s comment below for more details.  (Thx JM)


Diana Lee Carey, heroine of the 405, and nobody else.  A friend continues, “Sergio Contreras is still trying to figure out the school board agenda after 8 years. Nice but just plain dumb, and a professional staffer to a legislator to boot. Stop him now before he becomes the next Lou Correa.”

Fountain Valley = A Nice Place to Live!

A longtime Fountain Valley insider writes:

“Cheryl Brothers and Steve Nagel. Even though she comes with the endorsements of The Moorlach, OCTAX and Janet Nguyen, she is one of the smartest and  hardest working people out there. With dimwits Mark McCurdy and Michael Vo joining drunken John Collins on the dais, you need every single IQ point you can get, when they go to replace long-serving City Manager Ray Kromer.

“Nagel’s not great, but the others suck so badly. Duy Nguyen doesn’t even bother to show up…”

I have to add another Hero of the 405 here (in anticipation of my article “Heroes of the 405”) – termed-out FV councilman and OCTA Board member Larry Crandall is running for Municipal Water District of Orange County Division 3.  I have no reason to think he’s better or worse than the guy he’s running against, but if he shows the common sense, honesty, hard work and responsibility he’s showed while keeping toll lanes off the 405 while on the Water Board … well, then ándale!

*BREA* (new!)

Our distinguished contributor Greg Diamond weighs in from the northeasternmost corner of the County with these Brea picks, supported with typical eloquence over here:

  • NO on Measures T and U and Steve Vargas!
  • Instead, for Council, he’ll vote for (without actually endorsing) Christine Marick and Marty Simonoff!


Our brand new MV blogger The insufferable Dan Avery pontificates:

  • Mission Viejo Council: Frank Ury and Wendy Bucknum
  • SOCCD: Dave Lang, William Jay, Timothy Jemal  (Chairman Vern hears bad things about Lang, but there’s not really much choice)
  • Saddleback Valley School District: Ginny Fay Aitkens, Suzie R. Swartz, Don Sedgwick
  • Capo School District: you guess is as good as mine, they all seem corrupt  (Chairman Vern says Alpay, Pritchard, McCormick and Hanacek are NOT corrupt!)

Capistrano Unified School District

You KNOW we back the bipartisan pro-education moderates of “Capistrano Unified Children First” – John Alpay, Gary Pritchard, Amy Hanacek, and Carol McCormick.  And that’s not just because they pay me thousands and thousands of dollars to advertise on this blog.  Not at all.  In fact, it’s the other way around.

South OC Community College Board

Finally, and this is very disturbing – Word on the street is that the infamous John S Williams, whom we thought we’d driven off to Tampa after his tragicomically disastrous stint as Public Administrator – Public Guardian, is BACK for more pension money, trying to get back his old seat on this College Board.  A dazzlingly diverse array of figures has united to try to stop that from happening – from Don Wagner and Todd Spitzer to Loretta Sanchez and Roy Bauer – and what they want you to do is VOTE FOR TIM JEMAL!  (And also William Jay.)  I will have much more on this in a couple of days.  Civilization hangs in the balance.

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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.