The OJ Blog’s Guide to Your Whole Freaking Ballot!




Electoral Collage 2014

TOP ROW, L to R: Katrina Foley (Costa Mesa City Council), Sharon Quirk-Silva (AD-65), Wendy Gabriella (AD-73), Roman Reyna (Santa Ana Mayor), Roy Englehardt (Newport Beach City Council Seat 4); MIDDLE ROW: Katherine Daigle and Mary Ann Gaido (Irvine Mayor), Al Jabbar (Anaheim Union High School District), Neel Kashkari (Governor), Nader Shahatit (Board of Equalization Seat 4); BOTTOM ROW: Diane Harkey (Board of Equalization Seat 4), Robin Marcario (OC Water District Seat 1), Bao Nguyen (Garden Grave Mayor), Dr. Jose Moreno (Anaheim City Council).


(See below for all our thinking behind each recommendation – mostly Greg’s!)

Statewide Races:  Vote for the Democrat.  Sorry, none of the Republicans are good enough and none of the Dems bad enough to stray from that general good California preference.

Judicial “Races”:  Don’t waste your ink.  There are no choices here, and as far as we can tell none of these judges are bad enough to bother registering a protest vote AGAINST.  EXCEPTION: Superior Court Office 14 – we prefer KC Jones to Haskins.


  • Allan Mansoor, 2nd district.
  • Lisa Bartlett, 5th district.

ASSESSOR:  Claude Parrish.  Just so much less CORRUPT than the doomed Guillory.



  • 1, Water Bond – NO!  Waste, too much BS that won’t help.
  • 2, Rainy Day Fund – No preference, search your heart.
  • 45, Insurance hike controls – HELL YES!!!
  • 46, Kick Doctors in the nuts – NO.
  • 47, non-violent Felonies into Misdemeanors – HELL YES!!!
  • 48, a casino up north – LEAVE BLANK, let THEM decide UP THERE.


ASSEMBLY (mostly Democrats)

  • 55 – Fritchle
  • 65 – Quirk-Silva
  • 68 – Cameron
  • 69 – no preference
  • 72 – Block
  • 73 – Gabriella
  • 74 – Harper (just barely)


ALISO VIEJO – Cave, Tsunoda.

ANAHEIM – Mayor Tom Tait!  Council – Jose F Moreno, and whoever’s not Murray, Eastman, or the Fake Jose Moreno.  YES on L and M, no on N.   Yes on H and J.  Anaheim Union HSD – Jabbar, Randle-Trejo, Hoagy.  Anaheim City SD – Trejo.  Centralia SD – Montez.

BREA – Murdock, Parker, Kim.  Yes on J.   Brea-Olinda Unified – Maciel, Flanders

BUENA PARK – Beger, Ferguson.  Yes on J.  Centralia SD – Montez.   Library District – Montez.  Huh?

COSTA MESA – Humphrey and Foley!  No on O!  Leece for OCWD, and Manfredi for School Board!  Coastline CCD – Joel Flores! Pass on Pointless P.  Mesa Consolidated – Atkinson.  CM Sanitary – Ooten, Peotter.

CYPRESS – no idea.  Yes on J though.  Pass on Q and R.  Cypress School District – You can Count on Blount.

DANA POINT – Rathbone, Payne.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY – can’t get it up for an endorsement.  Pass on S as well.  Coastline CCD – Joel Flores!  Fountain Valley School District – Schultz, Stine.

FULLERTON – be brave and vote Paden and Rands!  Or if you like, Sebourn and Paden, or Sebourn and Rands.   Unsure on I.  Yes on J.  Fullerton Joint Union High School District – Fawley.  Fullerton School District – Berryman, Meyer, Halkyard.

GARDEN GROVE – Bao for Mayor, Monotya and O’Neill for Council, Marcario for OCWD!  (Yes on J if you have it.)

HUNTINGTON BEACH – Team HB (Shaw, Boardman, Bixby.)  For those of you who can’t stomach environmentalist Democrats, pick Peterson, Semeta, and HEK.  Keep Attorney McGrath.  Yes on T!  Unless you hate fireworks.  HB Union HS District – Castrey, Ryder, Iverson.  Coastline CCD – Joel Flores!

IRVINE – Melissa FOX!  And, we suppose, Agran … and a Mayor who’s not Choi.  Yes on V, No on W!  Irvine Ranch Water District, LaMar, and the legendary Peer Swan!

LA HABRA – no council election.  Yes on J though.  And La Habra School District – Aguirre, Corona Hanson, MacMurray.

LA PALMA – no idea.  Yes on J though.  Centralia SD – Montez.

LAGUNA BEACH – Grossman, Iseman.

LAGUNA HILLS – no election.

LAGUNA NIGUEL – Morton, Clements.

LAKE FOREST – McCullogh, Miller.  NO on X.  Sounds like a “get rid of that McCullogh lady even though everyone likes her” measure.

LOS ALAMITOS – no election.  Yes on J though.

MISSION VIEJO – Raths, Thornton.  LYNN HATTON for Capo Unified!

NEWPORT BEACH – Englebrecht, Duffield.  Daigle for OCWD!  No on Y!  Manfredi for Newport Mesa.  Mesa Consolidated – Atkinson.

ORANGE – Tita Smith, Kim Nichols – nobody else!   No on K.  Yes on J if you have it.  Orange Unified – Moffat, Perez.

PLACENTIA – no idea on Council.  Yes on J though.  Placentia-YL Unified – Buck, Freeman.

RSM – McGirr, Holloway, Vaughn.  Agnostic on Z.  LYNN HATTON for Capo Unified!

SAN CLEMENTE – Donchak, Brown, Ward.

SJC – too much of a mess.  No endorsement.  Why don’t some good people run in some of these towns?  Oh, GILA JONES for Capo Unified!

SANTA ANA – Yes on AA, BB, CC.  Write in Steve Rocco for Mayor.  Salmon, Tinajero, Padilla.  Godspeed the wheels of justice.  SA Unified School District – Palacio, Amezcua.

SEAL BEACH – Everyone sucks.  Yes on J though.  “Sure why not” on DD and EE.

STANTON – CARR AND PALOMARES!  And NO on GG – which would be the highest sales tax in the county on the poorest people in the county!  Yes on J if you have it.

TUSTIN – no choices.  and NO on HH.

VILLA PARK – no recommendations.  And NO on II.

WESTMINSTER – nobody is good.  Everybody sucks.  What is wrong with you people?  Oh, School District at least – Loomer and Bridgewaters. – the latter HIGHLY ENDORSED by the beloved Diana Lee Carey.

YORBA LINDA – Palmer and Ambrus.  Yes on J.  Whatever on JJ if that’s what you guys want.  Placentia-YL Unified – Buck, Freeman.


  • Brea-Olinda Unified – Maciel, Flanders
  • Capistrano Unified – Hatton, Gila Jones!
  • Newport-Mesa – Manfredi!
  • Orange Unified – Moffat, Perez!
  • Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified – Buck, Freeman
  • Santa Ana Unified – Palacio, Amezcua
  • Anaheim Union HSD – Jabbar, Randle-Trejo, Hoagy
  • Fullerton Joint Union HSD – Fawley
  • HB Union HSD – Castrey, Ryder, Iverson
  • Anaheim City SD – Ruelas
  • Centralia SD – Montez
  • Cypress SD – Blount
  • Fountain Valley SD – Schultz, Stine
  • La Habra SD – Aguirre, Corona Hanson, MacMurray
  • Westminster SD – Loomer, Mangold


  • OCWD – Marcario, Leece, Daigle!
  • MWDOC – Diamond, Varasteh!
  • Irvine Ranch WD – LaMar, Swan!
  • Mesa Consolidated – Atkinson


  • Costa Mesa Sanitary – Ooten, Peotter
  • Emerald Bay Service District – Veberroth
  • Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Parks Drpt – Shepston, Bates, Kearns
  • Buena Park Library Board – Montez



Here, gathered in one place, is a one-stop-shopping news and commentary post on everything that will be on your General Election ballot.  This is a work in progress, especially as commenters weigh in with their views, so if you want the latest possible word, check back in just before you vote.  This post appear separately will be broken down into smaller and less unwieldy parts (Statewide, City Council, School Boards, etc.) — but for those of you eager ballot-completing beavers who may want everything in one place — here it is.

I (OJB Managing Editor Greg Diamond speaking) am your primary author here, so recommendations and predictions without other attribution are mine alone.  Other comments may come from our Editorial Panel of Ryan Cantor (R), Cynthia Ward (R), and Chairman Vern Nelson (Mostly Libertarian, Usually D, Faking R).  Candidates where a family member of mine is involved as Campaign Treasurer (she’s both competent and far too reasonably priced) are marked with a “◊”; in no case has that affected my judgment about them.  My position on the DPOC Central Committee has prevented me from making a small number of endorsements that I’d otherwise make, but don’t presume that any lack of enthusiasm means that you’ve come across one of them, regardless of whether you’d be right.

Our endorsed candidates are in bold old gold.  Partially endorsed (or “leaning”) candidates are like This or This.  When we favor bullet voting, that means voting for fewer people than there are positions open, in the hope of  ensuring that thos candidates gets elected.)  Where people were elected by default, the entry is grayed out.

The main categories are

  • Statewide Executive Races and Judicial Retention
  • Statewide Ballot Propositions
  • State & Federal Legislative Races
  • City Executive and Legislative (Council) Races, Plus City Ballot Measures
  • County Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Races, Plus County Ballot Measures
  • School Boards — Community College, Plus District Ballot Measures
  • School Boards — K-12, Plus District Ballot Measures
  • School Boards — High School, Plus District Ballot Measures
  • School Boards — Elementary, Plus District Ballot Measures
  • Special Districts — Water Boards
  • Special Districts, other — Watery, Home-Rule-ish, Library
  • Ballot Initiatives, County and City [listed in two different places to make looking them up easier]

Statewide Executive Races and Judicial Retention

Overviews from our Editorial Board members:

Vern: I’m voting for the Democrats yo.  I know, BO–ring.  There just are no Democrats bad enough here, or Republicans good enough here, to make me abandon my usual ideological tilt.  Who am I voting for most enthusiastically?  Yee, Jones, Chiang!  (thanks Greg for the judicial picks)

Greg: Vote the whole Democratic slate: with a wary eye towards the futures of Newsom and Padilla; with joy in your heart regarding Harris, Yee, Chiang, Jones, and (Democrattier of the two Democrats) Torlakson; and with mixed feelings — just the way he likes them — towards Jerry Brown.  And, of course, we all must support Nader Shahatit for Board of Equalization Seat 4: “Vote Shahatit, He’s Not Diane Harkey!”

Ryan: Sean Paden and Greg Sebourn in Fullerton.

Cynthia: [see her comments on the Anaheim elections here: Yes on L & M, No on N, Yes on Tait and Vanderbilt, No on Murray/Eastman]


Will Jerry Brown break 60% against Neel Kashkari?  Very possibly.  He’s earned at least 55%, probably more.

Assistant Governor:

Will Lite Guv Gavin Newsom break 60% against Ron Nehring?  Even more possibly.  Anything over 50% is OK.

Attorney General:

Will Kamala Harris break 60% against Ronald Gold?  Close to it, which is a little sad as Gold is the best Republican in this pack, but she deserves it.  She’s made a huge impact on politics nationally in her term, notably for refusing to defend Prop 8.  It might have been a different world without her.

Secretary of State:

Will Alex Padilla break 55% against Pete Peterson?  Maybe, but Padilla probably wins by more like 5%.  Peterson has been a deficit hawk who wants to phase out Social Security, so why he’s in the race is unclear, but no good can come of it.


Will Betty Yee break 55% against Ashley Swearingen?  I think that she will.  She’s a great candidate — see her speech to the Democratic convention here — and Swearingen has no apparent traction, being spat at by conservative Republicans right and … righter.


Will John Chiang break 65% against Greg Conlon?  About that.  He’s my guess for the “Feinstein-Lockyer Award” for “top vote-getter by percentage.”  He’s also been a brave as well as a competent Controller.

Insurance Commissioner:

Will Dave Jones break 60% against Ted Gaines?  Maybe not, but he’ll very likely be over 55%.  He’s been the driving force behind Prop 45, which would give the person in his role the right to regulate health insurance premiums.  Despite incoherent but well-funded arguments to the contrary, that alone should warrant his reelection.

Superintendent of Public Education:

Will Tom Torlakson break 50% against Marshall Tuck?  Very tough race.  I’d like him to win, but I think that this  “teachers vs. charter proponents” race is 50-50.  Tuck has the media support; Torlakson has the teachers and the people who recoil from Michelle Rhee.

Board of Equalization:

Will Nader Shahatit break 80% against ethical cesspool Diane Harkey?  No, but she won’t break it against him either.

Supreme Court Judicial Retention Elections:

Forgot that these were on the ballot, didn’t you?  Vote to retain Justices Goodwin Liu, Kathryn Werdegar, and Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar!  All extremely respectable choices.

Appellate Court 4th District Judicial Retention Elections: 

If you think that I, as a practicing attorney, would ever tell you not to retain an Appellate Judge in my own district, you’re almost entirely wrong.  I would do so only in a case where (1) there was an organized effort that stood a chance of succeeding and (2) there was egregious misconduct — well beyond getting some important decisions wrong — that was somehow missed by the Board that monitors Judicial Behavior.  I know of no one among the ten judges to whom either of these two criteria apply, so you can go ahead and vote to retain them.  It’s more a matter of “saluting the uniform” than endorsing the person; you don’t become personally liable for any decisions they make.  If any attorneys out there have a different take on this, I’d love to have people read it.

Statewide Ballot Propositions

Prop 1 — the Water Bond

WATER QUALITY, SUPPLY, AND INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2014 (CALIFORNIA WATER BOND) —Provides a reliable supply of water to farms, businesses and communities, especially during droughts. It supports economic growth and protects the environment. It is fiscally responsible, is guided by a comprehensive state water plan and does NOT raise taxes.

I don’t buy a single word of the above propaganda — and it’s the only description of these six about which that’s so  The Water Bond has some huge flaws, due mostly to the compromises necessary to get it passed — seriously, we’re subsidizing almost growers sending their proceeds to China? — and it won’t solve nearly as much as it pretends.  But, we’re in the third year of a drought, and if it promises more water then there is no way that it isn’t going to pass.  My own vote will be held hostage in the interests of fair treatment for Prop 45: be nice to 45 or I vote NO!

Prop 2 — the Rainy Day Fund

STATE BUDGET. RAINY DAY FUND. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT — Requires annual transfer of state general fund revenues to budget stabilization account. Requires half the revenues be used to repay state debts. Limits use of remaining funds to emergencies or budget deficits. Fiscal Impact: Long-term state savings from faster payment of existing debts. Different levels of state budget reserves, depending on economy and decisions by elected officials. Smaller local reserves for some school districts.

Restoring a “rainy day fund” is a good idea — as is making up the money that has been kept from schools.  But, you can’t do both.  This measure will also pass.  The long string of Governors and legislatures that didn’t do the hard work that Gov. Brown has done to restore fiscal stability — or, in the case of Gray Davis, who did do the work and then quickly undid it when he realized that he’d fry for it — will never pay a price for it.  I’m also holding my vote on this one hostage too while I see what people do with Prop 45.  (Sometimes, only voter irrationality seems to work.)

Prop 45 — Insurance Commissioner Can Block Health Instance Premium Increases

Requires health insurance rate changes to be approved by Insurance Commissioner before taking effect. Requires sworn statement by health insurer as to accuracy of information submitted to Insurance Commissioner to justify rate changes.

YES, dammit, YES!  Thirty-five other states let their Insurance Commissioner rap the knuckles of overreaching insurers.  Dave Jones himself can do so with life insurance and auto insurance.  It’s just with health insurance — the most lucrative pot of money of all — the Kaiser and other health-insurers want to handcuff him.  Well, sorry, health insurers — you have shown yourself to be ENTIRELY untrustworthy — and if that wasn’t clear before your ads it certainly is now.  The notion from the Los Angeles Times that we have to wait to see how well Covered California holds down prices before the IC gets this authority is completely nuts; it’s the sort of thing you expect from people who are told to come up with an argument or lose their jobs.  These sorts of opportunities hardly ever come along; there’s always some Democrats like Lou Correa or Ed Hernandez or one or another Alarcon that are willing to strangle them in their crib.  This is the way to get around that.  If Prop 45 isn’t leading in the polls, I threaten to vote NO on Props 1 and 2 out of pure desperate spite, unless the lying bastards get called on their lies.  GOT IT?

Prop 46 — Medical Malpractice Cap and Physician Drug Testing

DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING OF DOCTORS. MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE. INITIATIVE –Requires drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive test to the California Medical Board. Requires Board to suspend doctor pending investigation of positive test and take disciplinary action if doctor was impaired while on duty. Requires doctors to report any other doctor suspected of drug or alcohol impairment or medical negligence. Requires health care practitioners to consult state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances. Increases $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in medical negligence lawsuits to account for inflation.

The Medical Malpractice award caps should be higher — and should be adjusted for inflation.  Drug testing doctors?  I was told that this polled really well, even as I recoiled from it in horror.  I get the sense that I was right that this provision not only wouldn’t thrust this measure to victory, but that it would help to sink it.  I’ll continue listening to the debate, but it seems like it’s going down and, with regrets, that’s not as disappointing as I expected.  I’d love to see what a plain vanilla measure might do without the distraction of drug testing.

Prop 47 — Ratchet Down the Crazy Penal Laws

CRIMINAL SENTENCES. MISDEMEANOR PENALTIES. INITIATIVE STATUTE. — Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for petty theft, receiving stolen property, and forging/writing bad checks when value or amount involved is $950 or less. Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for certain drug possession offenses. Allows felony sentence for these offenses if person has previous conviction for crimes such as rape, murder or child molestation or is a registered sex offender. Requires resentencing for persons serving felony sentences for these offenses unless court finds unreasonable public safety risk.

YES.  Our crazy penal laws are so crazy that they overcrowd our prisons — because they are a profit center for private industries.  This has to stop.  If this law were awful, people would be screaming about it from the rooftops.  They’re not — it seems like a modest reform — so it’s safe to vote “YES.”

Prop 48 — Tribal Gaming

INDIAN GAMING COMPACTS RFERENDUM —  This is a challenge to a state law previously approved by the Legislature and the Governor. The law ratifies two gaming compacts (with the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, and the Wiyot Tribe); and it exempts execution of the compacts, certain projects, and intergovernmental agreements from the California Environmental Quality Act. A Support position (Yes vote) supports the law, an Oppose position (No vote) backs the Referendum.

My party supports this law, which seems to benefit Indian gaming.  Whatever.

Vern:  NO on 1 and 46.  YES on 45 and 47.  I’ll try to write a piece about 47 because I’m very enthusiastic about it.  Haven’t decided yet on the Rainy Day Fund (2).

48?  For if the Mono Indians get to have a casino up north?  LEAVE IT BLANK.  Let the folks UP THERE decide.  The bigger question is, how did these Indians get mono in the first place?  I hope the white people up there aren’t handing out mono blankets. 

State & Federal Legislative Races (candidates most likely to win listed first)

CA-38: Linda Sanchez (D) vs. Benjamin Campos (R) — Come on, La Palmans, vote for Linda!  Otherwise, she may ignore you after she wins!

CA-39: Ed Royce (R) v. Pete Anderson (D) — Ed Royce deserves to lose, but Pete is not exactly giving him a Jay Chen-level challenge.

CA-45:  Mimi Walters (R) vs. Drew Leavens (D) — Vote against Walters.  That she goes to Congress while Rod Wright goes to jail for doing the same thing that she did is a scandal — and it sucks any pretense of honor out of the OCGOP.  Leavens would be very good, too.

CA-46:  Loretta Sanchez (D) vs. Adam Nick (R) — A vote for Loretta will prevent most of us from any more news about Adam Nick.

CA-47: Alan Lowenthal  (D) vs. Andy Whallon (R) — Vote for Lowenthal, obviously — but I’d vote for libertarian Whallon over Royce!

CA-48:  Dana Rohrabacher (R) vs. Suzanne Savary (D) — I support Savary, but I’ll always wonder whether Wendy Leece could have beaten Dana with Democratic support on a fusion ticket like what they’re doing in Kansas his year.  To clever for OC, I guess.

CA-49: Darrell Issa (R) vs. Dave Peiser (D) — Seriously, wouldn’t Issa’s losing be a huge relief to almost everyone?

SD-32: Tony Mendoza (D) vs. Mario Guerra (R) — If Mendoza somehow loses, for lack of CDP money, it will be Jose Solorio’s fault.

SD-34: Janet Nguyen (R) vs. Jose Solorio (D) — If Solorio somehow loses, it will be Jose Solorio’s fault.  (And, sadly for Al Lowenthal, against whom Janet will likely run in 2016 or 2020, it’s trending that way.  On the bright side, we could see Lou Correa against Solorio in a primary for the 1st District Supervisor seat.  (Of course, they might damage each other so badly that Chris Phan gets 50% outright.)

SD-36: Pat Bates (R) vs. Gary Kephart (D) — if Kephart somehow loses, it will not be Jose Solorio’s fault.  It’s sort of a tough race.

AD-55: Ling-Ling Chang (R) vs. Gregg Fritchle (D) — Ling-Ling Chang has lied badly, in both senses, about her educational achievement.  She should not be in the Assembly, period.  If she beats the intellectually and morally well-qualified Fritchle, I will seriously consider pushing for a recall against her on that ground.  All we need is a good candidate to oppose her, and I can think of one.  (No, not me.)

AD-65: Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) vs. Young Kim (R) — It’s no secret that I support Sharon, who has an outstanding record of accomplishment and could realistically become Speaker before she’s done.  But I’m truly surprised at what a lightweight Young Kim has turned out to be.  I understand from various Republicans — no names, and please no assumptions, as I talk to many — that I’m not alone in that.

AD-68: Don Wagner (R) vs. Ann Cameron (D) — I support Ann, but I think that Wagner cares more about Mimi’s race (and his prospects for advancement) than his own.

AD-69:  Tom Daly (D) vs. Sherry Walker (R) — Daly’s voting record has been good enough to forestall a revolt.  See, I praised him.

AD-72:  Travis Allen (R) vs. Joel Block (D) — Block is a sharp guy and would be a good legislator.  I hope he wins.  But Allen is the only one of the Republicans you see here except Wagner and maybe Curry who one could see in Republican leadership, so this is a steep climb.

AD-73: Bill Brough (R) vs. Wendy Gabriella◊ (D) — Gabriella, a first-time candidate, has turned out to be an absolute firecracker, while “experienced” candidate Brough has turned out to be a total dud.  The Republican argument for supporting Gabriella is that it avoids 12 years of Brough.  (There are plenty of more qualified candidates in this district.)  It would be shocking if Gabriella could beat Brough in such a Republican district — but I think that it would be a lot less shocking inside of OC than outside of it.  Do you want 12 years of “Unpaid Bill,” and a chance to try again, South County Republicans — or do you want a couple of years of a brilliant and fiscally conservative Democrat?

AD-74:  Keith Curry (R) vs. Matt Harper (R) — I hadn’t realized that the OCGOP didn’t endorse in this race.  Interesting.  The only Republicans I know who aren’t supporting Curry are those who don’t want Harper within the county borders much of the time.  Vern says that he supports Harper, but I don’t know whether he’s kidding.

Vern wishes the best to all noble sacrificial lambs, but can only get excited about WENDY GABRIELLA.  Yes I support Harper, just barely, over the slightly greater evil Curry, because Matt seems to have plans to fight the 405 toll lanes and keep the fire pits, and claims to be able to “talk to Democrats” to support him on these issues, and that’s better than I’m hearing from Keith.

County Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Races, Plus County Ballot Measures

NO on Measures E and G!

Assessor:  Claude Parrish (R) vs. Webster Guillory (NPP) — My position hasn’t changed.  Guillory has to go, less over the small campaign violation (which Racky will probably drop after the election, because we life in a corrupt county) than for the immense volume of self-serving wrongs that whistleblower Jorge Lopez and his business partner identified a few years back.  If Parrish would put Lopez and his co-whistleblower in charge of cleaning out the Assessor’s office, they’d have it done within a month as the people who feared being discovered quickly moved on and the many good employees there celebrated non-stop.  IF, he’d do that, I’d endorse him and tell every Democrat to support him.  Lopez is the only reason that there’s a runoff at all; could there really be a happy ending here?  [UPDATE:  Parrish now lists an endorsement from Jorge Lopez.  Good enough for me!  I hadn’t figured him for a reformer, but agencies rarely cry out so badly for reform.]

Supervisor 2:  Michelle Steel (R) vs. Allan Mansoor (R) — Mansoor’s better on the 405 toll lanes, which Steel can avoid by taking the 91 in from Palos Verdes Estates.  But I’m glad that I don’t have to vote for him.

Vern: Yes (grrr…) Mansoor.  He has slightly more integrity.  But I guess I’d better not trash Ms Steel too loudly, she’ll probably be my Supervisor for eight years.

Supervisor 5:  Robert Ming (R) vs. Lisa Bartlett (R) — I’m a lot more impressed with Bartlett’s supporters than Ming’s, who are mostly out-of-district honchos.  And I think that she’s been getting a raw deal in the attacks against her.  So, Dems and NPPs especially might want to consider her.  Other than that: your call, South County.

Superior Court: Kevin Haskins vs. K.C. Jones — I was more impressed with Jones, especially his willingness to reach out to disparate groups, than with Haskins, who did receive the OCGOP nomination.

City Executive and Legislative (Council) Races, Plus City Ballot Measures

Republican share of the 2-party registration figures (as of today) are indicated in the color of the city’s name on the “purple to pink” scale:

<40%40-45%45-50% 50-55%55-60%60-65%65-70%>70%

Aliso Viejo

Here’s something sad about Aliso Viejo: if you Google “Aliso Viejo City Council Election,” the third result that appears is Mission Viejo’s website.  (Yes, it works better if you put it in quotes.)  But Aliso’s not that tiny — 24,304 voters versus big bro Mission’s 55,174 — and we’re not going to give it short shrift!

The incumbents for the two open seats are Carmen Cave and Mayor Phil Tsunoda.  The challengers are Andrew AbrechtDave Harrington, and Gary Miller (who is not only not former Rep. Gary Miller but is also not Seal Beach’s Gary Miller.)  Here’s what we know about them.  Neither sought their party endorsement.   Art Pedroza apparently hates them, to the tune of 18 different stories attacking one or both over the past 18 months.  Reviewing them, and seeing the thin foundation of the slashing attacks, one comes to feel sorry for them.

Cave’s downside — she received a Woman of the Year from Dick Ackerman, is almost outweighted by her having an Educational Psychology Ph.D. from Stanford, so she gets some Psych Ph.D. solidarity support from me.  For Pedroza, Tsunoda’s crime against humanity is apparently in part his being a handsome Democrat — so he also gets solidarity points from me, on behalf of my brother-in-law.  I don’t know what to make of his having been both Chris Norby’s Chief of Staff and Director of External Affairs for Tom Daly for three years — so I’m not going to think about it.  Unless someone has something great to say about the challengers — speak up quickly! — I’m tentatively OK with them.


Yes on Measure L: City of Anaheim – District Elections.  It may not work, but doing nothing definitely won’t work.
Yes on Measure M: Expansion of Anaheim City Council from 4-6.  This should happen either way, but it works best if Measure L passes.
NO on Measure N:  I trust Denis Fitzgerald’s view more than I do Lucille Kring’s.

Mayor: Four candidates have pulled papers for Mayor.  Incumbent Republican Tom Tait, “Pringle Ring Republican” candidate Lucille Kring;  Democrat Lorri Galloway; and foul-mouthed but (often, not always) righteously zealous gadfly Denis Fitzgerald.  (Note: DPOC: that is Vern’s endorsement.  He owns the blog.)

Vern: I’ll come out and say it, for the first time:  ANOTHER DEMOCRAT FOR TOM TAIT.  The past year of Lorri’s campaign has convinced me.

Policywise, it’s essentially like this: Tait would continue opposing giveaways and corruption on City Council, but with success if he is also accompanied by two favorable City Council candidates; Kring would apparently support corruption and giveaways and as well as extra-judicial killings of suspected criminals (remember her line: “And the shooting saved us a trial. Always a good outcome.”) and she would spend the city down to the point where it could be annexed by Stanton; Galloway would be female and would fulfill her role in Anaheim’s history that was prophesied by God (which is all we can say, as most of her current positions on major issues have remained unexpressed for over half a year); and Fitzgerald (as he stated at the season’s first Candidate Forum) would be instantly recalled by Disney.

City Council:  We had eight candidates for the two vacant seats, which we can describe in pairs.  The first pair is of former candidates.

Former CandidatesJerry O’Keefe is a former Anaheim police officer, but withdrew from the race due to his wife’s health — and OJB wishes the couple well.  Business law attorney Doug Pettibone was the second seat on the “Tait Slate,” was the victim of a dirty trick campaign that in OJB’s opinion could yet send someone to jail — and it wouldn’t be him.  Let’s review this so that you the voter can get properly outraged about it.

Forces associated with the Pringle Ring obtained an erroneous history of his arrest (NOT a conviction, people!) for — I am not kidding — yelling at his then-wife during his custody dispute.  No guilty plea ever went into effect, and the whole unfortunate matter had been purged from public view after spurious battery charges had been dropped and he completed counseling — which was ordered not by a criminal court but by the family law judge handling the custody dispute.   The records were destroyed and not available online, until some anonymous person with big contacts and influence managed to get an erroneous (and possibly forged) version of the report reinstated — at which point they pretended that it had always been there.  (They weren’t.  Pettibone had others had looked for them.)  Pettibone’s bottom-feeding critics then used the fact of his arrest (not conviction) for a crime not involving a physical attack to literally link him in the public mind to wife-beating NFL player Ray Rice.  Pettibone decided, to protect his current wife and son (and ex-wife too), that he had had enough of this $%^& — and given that there were already two other candidates in the Council race who would support Tait’s positions (those being Vanderbilt and Dr. Moreno), he didn’t have to take it — so he dropped out.  Did that surrender stop vicious outlets like Matt Cunningham’s Anaheim Chamber of Commerce blog and its Democratic Party discount retailer The Liberal OC?  No, they continued to attack Pettibone anyway, presumably because if you don’t publish your attacks then you don’t get paid, and that would be a waste of research and writing time.  SICK AND VILE!

“Pringle Ring”: Incumbent Republicans Kris Murray and Gail Eastman, of the Pringle Rung, are more or less aligned with Pringle-critic-until-she-got-paid Kring.  Reelecting Murray, who is not well-liked, is the avaricious Pringle Ring’s top priority; reelecting Eastman, who compliantly provides her vote despite not being central to the plotting (or even particularly aware of what’s been said in her name), is somewhat of an afterthought.  This is a shame, because of the two Eastman is by far the less culpable, offensive, and impervious to reason.  She’d still sell out the City to stay on Council, but might do a “reverse Kring” once safely elected.

“Tait Slate”: Mayor Tait’s slate had included Pettibone and Anaheim City School Board member James Vanderbilt.  The OCGOP did not endorse Vanderbilt or Pettibone (or anyone else) for this race thanks to enormous pressure exerted by Former Mayor Curt Pringle and his clients, although the Anaheim Republican Assembly did endorse both Tait and Vanderbilt.  However, it’s no secret that Tait is on good terms with Dr. Jose F. Moreno,◊ Vanderbilt’s colleague on the School Board, and the Democratic Party endorsed candidate.  This is one of those weird situations where both political parties are on the side of good governance — which tells you how desperate the situation is in Anaheim. The good news is that Vanderbilt and Dr. Moreno will make for a good reformist team that transcends partisanship.

“Message Candidates”: Donna Acevedo has been active on police reform issues since the police killing of her son Joel two years ago under questionable circumstances that include allegations of police planting a gun on him to justify his murder.  She probably won’t come near winning, but she’s opening the eyes of people in the neighborhoods to electoral politics without compromise — and that truly is doing God’s work.  The message of Jose “Joe”  Moreno, aka “JoJo” (who has told too many people over the years of his plans to take advantage of his sharing a name with Dr. Moreno for him to credibly deny it now) is apparently “vote for me by mistake!”  He entered the race as a political dirty trick, to try to confuse people who want to vote for Dr. Jose Moreno — which is why, for clarity we now have to always call “Dr. Moreno” “Dr.”  While  “JoJo” (he ran using the “Jose ‘Joe'” name in 2012 and took out papers for Dr. Moreno’s school board race this year using it again, nut now he has dropped the nickname in an attempt to become an even greater source of confusion. Luckily, the law provides a response to such chicanery: the actual Dr. Moreno will be designated with the number “1” and the unqualified pretender will be designated as “2.”

OJB sees Vanderbilt, Dr. Moreno, and Acevedo as all being superior to Murray and Eastman.  To keep both incumbents out of office, you have to vote for two of them; no bullet voting here!  There is a sophisticated formula based on two questions: (1) “Are you willing to vote for a Republican for City Council?” and (2) “Are you Denis Fitzgerald?” that will give voters all necessary guidance.  That will most likely come out on Tuesday.  As a result, we have three Council endorsements in this two-person race: everyone but Fitzgerald should vote for Jose F. Moreno #1; for the second seat, Vanderbilt if you lean red and Acevedo if you lean blue.


The incumbents not up for election to the City Council are Christine Marick and Marty Simonoff, who tend to be opposed on major issues.  So control of the Council will depend on the other three seats.  (Control hasn’t been particularly a partisan matter; Republican former Mayor Ron Garcia has been pretty well allied with Marick.)  Mayor Brett Murdock◊, who has also worked well with Garcia (and I think Roy Moore as well) seems like a shoo-in to take one of the three available seats based on the Brea “size and number of signs” measure.  (Only Garden Grove has larger signs than Brea.  It’s crazy.)  Neither Garcia nor Moore are seeking reelection, so control of the Council hangs in the balance.  [Update: the attempts of a developer and homebuilder to “flood the market” with independent expenditures attacking Murdock and supporting Vargas and Hupp, presumably to create a Council that will approve their development proposal, greatly raises the profile of this race: now it’s definitely Murdock, Parker, and Kim!]

The five candidates other than Murdock — who easily warrants reelection (and not only because of the huge honking signs) are Glenn Parker, Steve Vargas, Michael Kim, Cecilia Hupp, and Marc Harris.  Parker, the well-regarded incumbent City Treasurer and former Council Member, is the likely favorite for the second largest vote total; among the candidate statements, his seems the most detailed and informed.  I may be misinterpreting the implicit targets of his criticism about discord and lack of coordination, but it sounds right to me.

The question becomes who is likely to snag the third seat.  Vargas is a Businessman and former Council member who was notoriously at odds with most of the rest of the Council when he served, though he would probably be allied with Simonoff.  (His statement favors government transparency, which I’d like — if he explained what he meant.  As stated, it comes off more as a threat.)  Harris does not have much of a campaign — no candidate statement — so Vargas’s competition would come from Hupp and Kim.  Hupp is a “Business Owner,” with a mostly boilerplate candidate statement.  Kim is both an Engineer and a Planning Commissioner, with a statement that shows that he understands its current issues.  While not a South County-style “planned city,” Brea is a well-planned city — so on the presumption that Kim was positively involved with that planning process he tentatively has my third vote.

Buena Park

Three seats are open in Buena Park.   Two incumbents, Republicans Steve Berry (who does not list himself as an incumbent in his candidate statement, so it’s lucky that I’m here to give him credit!) and Elizabeth Swift, are running for reelection.  The third who had at one time been expected to run, Miller Oh, is otherwise incarcerated.

The challengers are: Brian Beger, a Public Works Supervisor; Greg Ferguson, Transportation Coordinator; Paul D. Gonzales, a Staff Specialist/Businessman; Baron Night, Businessman and Cartoon Villain (even with quotes, Google returns images of “Night Baron,” a Japanese comic villain, so be forewarned); Al Salehi, Governing Board Member, Buena Park Library District; and Virginia Vaughn, a Businesswoman/Retired Manager.

Beger and Ferguson would have two of my votes.  Salehi is disqualified for all but emergency consideration because he ran for CA-45 in the primary — and that is on the other freaking side of the county and what the hell was he thinking?  (It would be one thing Mimi Walters had been unopposed — then doing so would have been admirable — but she wasn’t, and Salehi was an afterthought.)  if I don’t know much about Gonzales or Vaughn; perhaps readers will clue me in.  Baron Night doesn’t seem to have a great reputation as being anything beyond a party ideologue.  If he denounced Curt Pringle-type shenanigans, then maybe I could listen to him — but I’ll bet that he won’t!

Costa Mesa

No on O: Costa Mesa Charter Proposal — understand this: IF THE CHARTER DOESN’T EXPLICITLY PROHIBIT THE CITY COUNCIL FROM DOING IT, THEN THEY HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO DO IT.  Even those people who want Jim Righeimer as their Mayor should not want him as their dictator!

NO on P: Meaningless “Advisory Vote” on 405 Toll Lanes.  Sandy Genis’s and Wendy Leece’s ballot argument has convinced us to switch!  Measure P is too poorly written — and Costa Mesans shouldn’t reward a cheap political ploy!

Costa Mesa has no separate race for Mayor.  The Council minority needs to pick off both seats to change the direction of the City.  Jim Righeimer is running for reelection; if he’s elected, the “deformers” keep their majority over the reformers.  Former Councilwoman Katrina Foley and Jay Humphrey seem to be favorites of reformers who want someone to join with Sandy Genis and carry the flag of termed out Councilwoman Wendy Leece.  (Harold Weitzberg -gave the City a great gift by not following through with his filing.  His candidacy would have split the reformist vote; now it is easier for both Foley and Humphrey to displace Righeimer.  He gets enormous credit for putting the commonweal above his personal goals.)  The other candidates are Tony CapitelliLee Ramos, Christopher Scott Bunyan, and Rita Louise Simpson.  If you want more than that, you have to go visit A Bubbling Cauldron via our blogroll in the right column.

OJB recommendation: You have to remember three names: Foley, Humphrey, and Righeimer.  Vote for Foley and Humphrey.  If you make EVEN THE SLIGHTEST STRAY MARK that could possibly be construed as a vote for Righeimer, you have spoiled your ballot and should consider asking for a new one.  Take no chances.

Among Republicans, for those so disposed, we suggest a serious of coin flips: Heads/Heads, vote for Bunyan and Capitelli.  Heads/Tails, vote for Capitelli and Ramos.  Tails/Heads, vote for Ramos and Simpson.  Tails/Tails, vote for Simpson and Bynyan.  Remember, you don’t want to destroy these candidates’ viability for future office, so the closer you can come to a face-saving four-way tie between them — ideally ahead of Riggy — the better!

Vern: Honest Costa Mesans of any political stripe should be backing the candidates of the bipartisan Costa Mesans for Responsible Government:  Foley and Humphrey for Council, Wendy Leece for OCWD, and No on on the Mussolini-esque O!  AND LISA MANFREDI for Newport-Mesa Unified.


Neutral on Measures Q and R

Cypress has seven candidates for three available seats.  They are: Stacy Berry, Nancy Kyllingstad, Paulo Morales, Jon Peat, Mike Schoppman, Larry Smith, and Jay Sondhi.  None of the three Republicans ran for reelection; no word on whether they were eligible. No candidate statements are publicly available online. We’re completely flummoxed here and so we reach out to our commenters.  Are these seven supporting anyone in the many critical overlapping races — Cypress being the center of the universe this year given that AD-65, SD-34, and the 2nd Supe race (as well as Lowenthal’s race) overlap there?  We’d like to know!  Saying that they support Quirk-Silva over her lightweight opponent definitely gets candidates some bonus points!

Dana Point

Nine candidates here for three seats.  (Bartlett and Brough are among those leaving office.)  They are: Chuck Rathbone, Joe Muller, Jody Payne, Richard A. Viczorek, Nancy J. Jenkins, Alan Wickstrom, John A. Tomlinson, Harold R. Kaufman, and Roy “Ryan” Divel.

Chuck Rathbone, you have an impressive statement. Joe Muller, caliming recommendations from Ed Royce and Mimi Walters disqualifies you.  Jody Payne, you had me with “Sweeping financial decisions are being approved with little transparency.”  Richard A. Viczorek, Nancy Jenkins and Alan Wickstrom, your statements make you worthy of consideration, but you do not make our top three. John Tomlinson, citing your “experience in property management” as a qualification does not move me.  Harold Kaufman, your established record of accomplishments is impressive (see below).  Roy Divel, a candidate statement is not the place for lots of “scare quotes.”

OJB’s tentative verdict is: Chuck Rathbone, Jody Payne, and Harold Kaufman.  (Kaufman is reportedly bragging of support from Diane Harkey.  YOU LOSE, SIR!  Please report other atrocities to us directly.  The commenter reporting this suggests Jenkins and Wickstrom.)  We consider Richard A. Viczorek, Nancy Jenkins and Alan Wickstrom worthy of consideration.  As to the others: no offense, but no sale.  If any of you among the relatively favored six are ax murderers and failed to let us know, we will downgrade you accordingly.

Fountain Valley

Neutral on Measure S

Nine candidates are seeking Fountain Valley’s three open seats.  They include incumbents Mayor Michael Vo, John Collins, and Mark McCurdy and challengers Kim ConstantineJonathan Huynh, Tuan Nguyen, Patrick Tucker, Patrick Harper, and Tom Nguyen.

OJB plans to support whoever can best make the case that they would have the support of the late lamented former Fountain Valley Mayor Gus Ayer.  There is no other criterion.  Take it or leave it.  That means a definite yes vote for Collins and a definite NO for McCurdy.

Vern: Nobody exciting here, and nobody that Gus would particularly support.  Vo and Collins and McCurdy are all nice guys and mediocre Republicans.  Vo has the most beauteous wife in the county for what that’s worth.


This race looks awfully interesting.  Fullerton has no separate race for Mayor.  Six men and one woman will compete for two seats.  The incumbents are Mayor Doug Chaffee and Greg Sebourn.  Larry BennettRick AlvarezSean PadenBill Chaffee and Jane Rands.  Bill Chaffee is, I’m told, the estranged brother of Doug and his only effects in the race will be to either draw away confused voters about the Mayor’s first name or make some unknowing Chaffee supporters happy to think that they are in effect voting for him twice.  He won’t play a role in the rest of the analysis.

Chaffee (the Mayor, that is) — looks to be the clear favorite for one seat because he has no Democrats nearby with which to split up the vote.  (While Rands is well to Chaffee’s left, on the most contentious issues of police and pensions she’s also more likely to be allied with Bruce Whitaker than with Chaffee.)   Paden and Sebourn represent the insurgent Republic faction; Bennett represents the old guard; Alvarez — with whom Chaffee is probably most ideologically compatible — falls between the two.  Public safety unions will probably want to elect Chaffee and Alvarez or Bennett — but the success of Whitaker in 2012 suggests that the public hasn’t exactly forgotten about Fullerton’s recent history.  Frankly, I don’t know what to make of the presence of Larry Bennett — who led the anti-recall forces in 2012 — in the race, but my bet is that Rands will appreciate it.  I’m already on record as liking Rands and as not finding Sebourn especially offensive.  (Yes, I do have much higher praise for Republicans than that!)  Personally, though, I am required by my party to support no one but Chaffee — whom I do like and who will win one of the seats.  YMMV.

Vern: Jane Rands and Sean Paden.  I would love to see them both win but more realistically I’d like to see Sebourn keep his seat (which is a good chance with his OCGOP endorsement) and have Paden join him in a Whitaker-Sebourn-Paden police reform majority.  FUCK Alvarez and Bennett, and Chaffee is one of the least strong Democrats extant.  I still think brother Diamond has had Fullerton confused with Costa Mesa, and the dream of a civilian oversight committee in that town is much greater than any dangers of employee massacre.

Garden Grove

In the Mayor’s race, beleaguered and nepotistic incumbent Bruce Broadwater is being challenged by perennial candidate Albert Ayala and by the eloquent, educated, and bow-tie rocking Bao Nguyen.  Two Council seats are also open to nine competitors.  Kris Beard is running for reelection while Dina Nguyen is termed out and seems allied with Bao.  The other candidates include Phat BuiJoe Do Vinh (Dina Nguyen’s husband), Ruhina KhanPaul MarsdenRickk Montoya, John R. O’Neill, Quang “Mike” Tran, and James T. Ybarra.

OJB supports Bao Nguyen for Mayor and Kris Beard for Council.  I am not allowed to endorse anyone except Lou Correa’s candidate Mike Tran for the other seat; luckily, Vern gets to pick that one, not me.

Vern: BAO for sure.  But OJB DOES NOT support Kris Beard.  He has been a Broadwater puppet for years, and when he tells people he’s turned against Broadwater, he’s blowing smoke up our arses.

The two most honest council candidates you guys have there, according to my research, are Republican JOHN O’NEILL and Democrat RICKK MONTOYA, both longtime Garden Grove residents (unlike most of the others) and good union members.

And while you Garden Grovers are looking at this, vote ROBIN MARCARIO for OC Water District!

Huntington Beach

NO on Measure T

(First: If you haven’t done so already, go read Beach Baby and Publisher Vern Nelson’s stunning description of the vicious Mobile Home Park trying to shove their residents out of their homes and onto some place where they’ll have to be cared for by their overburdened families or the public.  His discussion at the very end of HB’s political layout goes well beyond mine here.)

Vern: You know what?  Thanks, Greg, but even better is my newer piece on High Density Development in my town.  And it contains my official HB Council endorsement, which is:


EVERYONE vote for TEAM HUNTINGTON BEACH (Joe Shaw, Connie Boardman, Mark Bixby)

IF you are someone who can’t bring yourself to vote for Democrats, liberals or environmentalists, at least pick these three worthy conservative/rebels:  Erik Peterson, Lyn Semeta, and Hector “HEK” Valdez.  They are honest, and good on SOME of the important issues.  And I don’t mind having ANY of them in a nice loyal minority keeping the rest of the council honest!

City Attorney:  HB doesn’t elect a Mayor, but it does elect a City Attorney, so let’s get it out of the way first.  Incumbent Jennifer McGrath will face challenger Michael Gates.  McGrath (a Republican, by the way) has done a good job and warrants reelection.

City Council:  Four seats are open.  Incumbent Joe Carchio was termed out — hence his bid for Supervisor — while incumbent Matt Harper voluntarily chose to commit political suicide by means of Keith Curry.

Eleven candidates filed.  Incumbents Joe Shaw and Connie Boardman are the top environmentalist tag team in Orange County politics; while one always has to run scared to win, and while they will be harried by a blizzard of negative mailers from consultants for the likes of Poseidon, it’s just hard for me to envision either of them losing.  They’ve done a great job — and with four seats open there’s plenty of room for them on the victory stand.  Their running-mate is newcomer Mark Bixby.  OJB endorses the whole set.

Recent incumbent Devin Dwyer pulled papers but did not file.  John NosichMaura Van Strien, and Clem Dominguez pulled papers but did not qualify.  So who is on the ballot besides the environmentalist trio?

Barbara Delgleize (champion of the evil Mobile Home Park owners) has obvious good recognition.  Erik Peterson is rumored to be the other Mobile Home Park Vultures top pick.  The GOP endorsed Peterson along with Mike Posey and Lyn Semeta,  They did not endorse Delglieze — and, if I read Chris Nguyen’s reviews correctly, it’s because they think her to be more pro-choice than they can handle.  Hmmm!

Four more round out the field: Alexander PolskyBilly O’ConnellHec Valdez, and Brendan Kenney.  Democrats will probably find this as good time to bullet vote their three.  This large of a field of little-known candidates bodes well for the incumbents, even if they do face the predicted avalanche of attack mailers from shadowy groups like the Atlas Group.  My suggestion to them: put all of the money they plan to spend in a doomed bid to beat the environmentalists into a wheelbarrow, wheel it to the end of the HB pier, and just dump it directly into the water.  This would be a much more efficient waste of money and it would boost tourism as the money washed back up onto the beach.


Yes on Irvine Measure V: Fiscal transparency
No on Irvine Measure W: Term limits

Mayor: Steven Choi will run for reelection against reformist Republican and 2012 Mayor Candidate  Katherine Daigle, who would give the City honest, competent, and non-partisan (even if not especially liberal) leadership, and Beth’s Krom’s appointment to the Planning Commission Mary Ann Gaido.  I’ve already spoken my piece on this and won’t repeat it again now.  It will surely come up again, though.

Democrats need to win either the two Council seats or the Mayor’s seat to take the majority — although Choi and Christine Shea could still prevent a Council majority from getting the 2/3 vote needed to overturn Choi’s increasingly brazen and despotic rulings from the Chair.  So good luck to Gaido, good luck to Daigle, good luck to Irvine, and good luck to Irvine’s Democratic strategerists.  Let’s move on.

City Council: Krom and Shea continue until 2016; but Larry Agran and Jeff Lalloway are on the hot seat.  Lalloway’s de facto ticket-mate will apparently be Tea Partier Lynne Schott, with whom (although some will dispute this) he makes an odd couple.  Melissa Fox, the second Democrat in the race, has kept prudent distance from the Great Park dust-ups while showing great leadership on the Vets cemetery and, I’m hearing, on the 405 Toll Roads, where Lalloway is on the wrong side.  I don’t think that Schott is likely to make it, but any of the others could — as might Evan Chemers, if he spends enough.  With all of the hammering done against Agran these days, no candidate is truly safe.

While I’m required to support the Democratic Party line, Vern isn’t, and it’s his blog.  The only things we can completely agree on are a clear endorsement  for Melissa Fox and one against Steve Choi.  The lesson: no matter what you think about Agran, vote for Melissa Fox.


La Habra

The incumbents, and only the incumbents, are running for reelection.  So congratulations to Tom Beamish, Rose Espinoza, and my future opponent for the 29th State Senate District Tim Shaw.

La Palma

Literally nine of the ten top hits on Google for {“La Palma” City Council Elections} are for the 2012 (or earlier) elections.  I know that Henry Chareon is termed out and that Steve Hwangbo’s term is up.  The City’s website has no information on the 2014 elections.  There is a Candidate Forum scheduled for 6:30 pm on October 23, 2014 at the La Palma Community Center on 7821 Walker St.  A woman named Christine Barnes is apparently running, claiming endorsement from both Ed Royce and Lou Correa.  I presume that Hwangbo is running.  No idea if anyone else is.  Cities, please — list your candidates!

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach has seven candidates for three seats: Kelly Boyd, Eli Grossman, Michele Hall, Toni Iseman, Jon Madison, Paul Merritt, and Robert Zur Schmiede.  Boyd and Iseman are incumbents; Elizabeth Pearson is leaving.  A local newspaper appears to be covering the election in some depth, which tells you that civilized Laguna Beach is still bobbing above the journalistic water in which most of the county is swamped.  The big story has been the apparent lies by Madison, the top fundraiser, about his education, work history, etc.  WHY DO WE CARE MORE ABOUT A CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE DOING THIS THAN WE DO LING-LING CHANG IN AD-55?

OJB likes what it has read about Iseman, who seems to have done a good job and who has a really fun-looking head of hair, and Grossman, who seems like a character — in a good way.  We expect that Boyd will win too.

Laguna Hills

The Lag Hills has three seats open, which currently belong to Randal BressetteBarbara Kogerman, and Melody Carruth.   Bressette isn’t running, so School Board member Don Sedgwick has been appointed to replace him.  No challengers, no 2014 election, thank you for playing.

Laguna Niguel

The seats that had been held by Linda Lindholm (now on the OC Board of Education, and apparently less of a disaster so far than was feared) and Robert Ming (in a death battle with Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett for Pat Bates’s Board of Supervisors seat.)  So all of the candidates are newbies.  They are: Jesse James, John Mark Jennings, Elaine Gennawey, Matt Clements, Randall Aaron Morton, and Fred Minagar.

Minegar is disqualified for posting a Royce endorsement.  Jennings and Gennaway have all manner of horrific endorsements, but both did manage to avoid Royce.  I’m inclined towards choosing among James, Clements, and Morton, who did not provide photos or endorsements.  (If they support Wendy Gabriella, whose opponent has endorsed their opponents, the deal is sealed.)  Morton describes himself as a “Constitutional Consultant/Author,” which sounds both dangerous and fun — especially given the name of his book, “Wyatt, the man called Earp” — so he has the inside track right now. Commenters, start your commenting machines!

Lake Forest

NO on Measure X

Three seats are up; they currently belong to David Bass, Scott Voigts, and Kathryn McCullogh (a female African American Democrat, ergo a pretty good campaigner to keep getting elected in South County.)  The City doesn’t print a list of candidates — NONE O’ YER BIZNESS! — but Pedrozaville reports that eight candidates are competing: the three incumbents plus Andrew HamiltonElizabeth MillerJames GardnerMike Healy, and Tom Cagley.  (The article is, by the way, written by Gardner.)

With one more election, McCullogh becomes the longest serving leader in Lake Forest’s history, so OJB says: give it to her.  We also favor Elizabeth Miller because South OC seems to be running out of what had been a respectably sized stockpile of female politicians.  Healey and Cagley may contact us for possible support; everyone else is, for various reasons, disqualified.

UPDATE: In light of the recent accusations that Lake Forest Councilmember and Santanaheim Congressional Candidate Adam Nick has been steaking Voigt’s signs, OJB is … well, actually, we’re not changing our recommendation.  But a special message to Adam Nick: dude….

Los Alamitos

The three incumbents on the Los Al City Council are: abortive City Clerk candidate Troy Edgar, Reform Party (remember them?), candidate Gerri Lee Graham-Mejia, and Warren Kusumoto.  Graham-Mejia isn’t running for reelection; Shelley Hasselbrink is, as are the other incumbents.  Three candidates, three spaces, no election.

Nobody ran against Troy Edgar.

Vern: Sounds like no election.  Still I’m-a go get our Los Al man, JM Ivler, for his pithy if bitter commentary…

Mission Viejo

Eight candidates are running for three seats.  Incumbents seeking reelection are Rhonda Reardon and Dave Leckness.  We favor anyone who will piss off incumbent Councilmember Frank Ury, so any comments to us seeking support may wish to be along those lines.

The other six candidates pair up nicely: City Commissioners Ed Sachs and Wendy Bucknum, military veterans Col. Greg Raths and Steven Thornton, and (we’re guessing) likely also-rans Desi Joseph Kiss and Grant Voss, the latter being the only one without a candidate statement or a website.

The OCGOP likes Reardon, Sachs, and Bucknum.  I’m likely to endorse Raths — an honest though conservative guy with a freaking “” email address who is campaigning on traffic management issues — and whoever Raths wants serving with him.  We’ll call him sometime.  Tentatively, OJB favors Raths and Thornton — but we won’t rule out Leckness, Kiss, and the guy with no candidate statement.

Newport Beach

NO on Measure Y — Do Not Trust Them!

Newport Beach elects councilmembers by “from-districts,” in which candidates must live in geographically disparate areas but the entire city votes on each seat.  Diane Dixon is running unopposed in Seat 1.  We agree with the OCGOP on Seat 3 in supporting Duffy Duffield over Mayor Rush Holt Hill; he has a plainspoken and serious candidate statement and we like that.  We disagree with the OCGOP on Seat 4: we support fight promoter and two-time Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commissioner Roy Englebrecht (who is not raising money out of principle — Vern, you’re gonna love this guy) over their choice, seemingly unbearable ideologue  Kevin Muldoon, and relatively normal conservative Tim Brown.  (If you’re conservative, vote for Brown; he seems less likely to embroil the city in “let’s make a constitutional point!” lawsuits.  In Seat 6, Scott Peotter, of powerful House Peotter (you don’t want to see their sigil), faces Mike Toerge.  Reading their statements, it’s surprising that Toerge didn’t get the OCGOP endorsement — Balboa Bay Club Member of the Year 2013!but we’re going to side with the OCGOP yet again and endorse Peotter (whose endorsement may have to do with his membership on the OCGOP itself.)  He states:

Newport Beach’s pension debt is the highest per capita in Orange County. We must use the current purported $140 million surplus to eliminate it.

I will repeal the recent fire pit ban. As an Eagle Scout, I know these traditional gathering places for family, church and local civic groups add fun and fellowship to our community.

Our conservative friends will like the pension hawkishness and Vern and I like the populism of sacking the fire pits ban.  Member of the Year vs. Eagle Scout?  Is it even close?




Before sailing away from Newport Beach, we just have to reprint Roy Englebrecht’s campaign statement in full: He both needs and deserves the help!

I’m seeking a seat on the Newport Beach City Council as I’m disappointed with the way the Council handled a number of important issues over the past several years.

If I’m elected to the Council, never again will there be a city issue voted upon that is not fully discussed by the council and alternatives presented.

I’ve also pledged that I’ll not display any campaign signs in our city. I’m always amazed that candidates would spoil the beauty of the city they want to govern in by planting a ton of campaign signs all over town. If a candidate can’t be any more creative than this, they shouldn’t be running.

I also announced that I will not raise any funds for my city council race. I believe that political contributions change the complexion of who you are, both as a person and how you govern, and I don’t want that hanging over me every time I vote. So every decision I will make and every vote that I will cast will be because I think it would be in the best interest of every one of the 85,990 residents of Newport Beach and not because of any donor or donors.

I hope that this guy isn’t crazy, because I totally love his candidacy.  Newport Beach, ELECT THIS MAN!

Vern:  NEWPORTERS who may be looking at this and not elsewhere, be sure to pick your councilchick Leslie Daigle over the oleaginous Steve Sheldon, for the OC Water District!  And LISA MANFREDI for Newport-Mesa Unified.  Thank you. 


NO on K until the Republicans tell us why they think that government is good

The City o’ Orange lineup looks like this:

Mayor:  Incumbent Teresa Smith versus Eugene Fields.

City Council: Whitaker, Jon DumitruKimberlee NicholsRay Grangoff, and Gayle Merino.  We’re now told that Bilodeau, is termed out.

OJB thinks that Tita Smith deserves reelection (well, I do, and I presume that Vern does) and welcomes suggestions as to who, among this group, is worth rooting for.  The “capital -A” Anon states that Bilodeau is supporting Whitaker and Dumitru, with Merino having been encouraged to run to split the femme vote with Nichols.  OK — so tentatively, by the Anti-Bilodeau Principle, we’re rooting for Nichols and Grangoff, then?

Nope — not so fast.  The Bilodeau-poisoned OCGOP is endorsing Whitaker and Grangoff.  OJB will not endorse Dumitru and this fits with the idea of Merino as a kamikaze.  It looks like Kimberlee Nichols is tentatively our sole choice.  If Gayle Merino wants to come and endorse Nichols, she may share in our endorsement as well.  Or she may not — depends on her credibility.

Vern:  TITA!  TITA!  TITA! 

Update: Orange Park Acres has circulated a graphic (we’re not sure who created it) that is worth including here.  It just reinforces our Tita + Nichols stand.

Orange Candidates 2014


Three candidates running for two seats: Joe Aguirre, Chad Wanke and challenger Craig Green, the City Treasurer.  Aguirre is part of the Council majority along with Constance Underhill and Scott William Nelson.  Green wants to replace Aguirre and bond with Wanke and Councilman Jeremy Yamaguchi in a new Council majority.  As everyone serving in or running for any office in Placentia seems to be Republican, we’d love to hear if any of these are candidates good witches, or if we’re looking at some horrific Kris Murray spending faction versus a Jim Righeimer outsourcing faction, in which event we leave it to our commenters to come up with recommendations.

Placentia also elects its City Clerk this year.  Someone tell us who is running.  We’ve had enough.

Rancho Santa Margarita


I did not know until this moment (or if I did, I forgot) that incumbent Steve Baric — as serious a candidate as his colleague Jesse Petrilla is not — was not running for reelection.  Incumbents Petrilla and Brad McGirr are running.  Their opponents for the three seats are Jerry HollowayMike VaughnLaurie BiehlDon Chadd, and John Webb.  I suspect that Vaughn, a Planning Commissioner, is the establishment candidate, but I’m not doing any reporting here — not it means calling RSM politicos.

They don’t have candidate statements available on the website, so all I have to go by are names and ballot designations.  My question is: what is missing from RSM’s mix?  RSM has long “punched above its weight” politically — a Beall family scion also sits on its Council — so what would give its members a better grasp of reality?  One answer is: losing Petrilla from the City Council.  Another: maybe elect a woman, which means Biehl.  Finally, maybe elected a retired principal like Holloway  or a retired school administrator like Chadd.  So that could be three votes right there — or you could vote for two of them and write in Baric’s name, just for old time’s sake.

[Update: a cranky commenter below finally provided evidence that our tentative picks Biehl and Chadd ARE running on a semi-slate with Jesse Petrilla — they have T-Shirts!!! — so we are dropping them.  We will instead support McGirr, Holloway, and Vaughn, who are probably little better, but at least aren’t tied to Petrilla.  Don’t worry, John Webb — we may end up endorsing you before this is over.]

San Clemente

The six candidates running for San Clemente City Council. The campaign season got started this week with a pair of informational forums, including one held at San Clemente Presbyterian Church Tuesday. Photo: Jim Shilander

From left: San Clemente City Council candidates Brown, Rathmann, Dahl, Donchak, Ward, and Nicol.

San Clemente, OC’s Hawaii to Brea’s Alaska, has three seats open: those held by Tim Brown, Lori Donchak, and Jim Evert.  Brown (who has the OCGOP nod and is probably not also the one running in Newport Beach) and Donchak are running for reelection.  They face five challengers, Jim Dahl, Ricardo “Rick” NicolFred OlsenMikii Rathmann, and Kathy Ward — one of whom, Olson, has withdrawn from the race (but remains on the ballot.)  Like all cities less evolved than Brea, St. Clem does not offer candidate statements online.  Luckily, it does have journalists, so check out these stories from their local Times affiliate, which has published something a lot like candidate statements.

I found Rathmann’s statement nice but a little light. Nicol’s, a little less nice, but a little less light. Brown’s hit the right notes.  Donchak’s was admirably specific.  Dahl’s was OK, but a little tightly focused on fire issues (he’s a retired Fire Captain, as well as a former longtime Council member.)  Ward’s was impressive, effusive, but also on point when it came to mitigating the effects of new development.  (I’d like to see what she’s done on the Planning Commission.)  So, I’m in a strange position here of my first impression being most favorable towards the two Republican incumbents and the most institutional of the remaining candidates.  If no one convinces me otherwise, I’m inclined to support the incumbents plus Ward.  Commenters?

San Juan Capistrano

Finally, a South County city with an Elections website as good as Brea’s!  Three seats open, with the incumbents being Larry Kramer (NPP), John Taylor, and Derek Reeve.  They have six challengers: five, Kerry FergusonStephanie Frisch, Pam PattersonJan Siegel, and Rob Williams — with a candidate statement and one, Greg Acho, without.  [Note: Chairman Vern, a man of the people (or at least the commenters), says that OJB is going with Reeve.)

I’m perfectly happy to go along with OCGOP recommendations where they make sense — see, for example, Newport Beach and San Clemente, above.  But I don’t like it when they try to silence useful watchdog voices.  They endorsed every incumbent but Larry Kramer; I like Kramer’s ballot statement, which has a “Gus Ayer” air about it, and his ability to keep a watch on the majority — so I endorse him.  Reeve’s statement was off-putting: if you’re going to talk about cutting business taxes, you should either say what other revenues you plan to collect, what spending you plan to cut, or how you expect to repeal the laws of math.  He’s out.  Taylor’s was better; he remains on the bubble.

Of the other five with statements: Ferguson’s was mostly vague fluffery, exceeding only Reeve’s.  Frisch’s was a little better that Ferguson’s, not as good as Taylor’s.  Patterson’s is about as good as Taylor’s, although the “[I’m] a constitutional attorney curbing an overreaching government” line can be either good or bad.  (I would say the same of myself, but I like my targets.  I don’t know whether I’d like hers.)  She complains about existing lawsuits against the City, so I’m guessing that it’s good.  Siegel is all about cultural heritage and preservation; it’s good to have someone like that on a City Council.  Williams strikes a good, if conservative preservationist, tone.

Overall, I find one statement compelling (Kramer’s), one appealing but limited in scope (Siegel’s), and three (Patterson’s, Taylor’s, and Williams’s) the sort that I may or may not agree with but that give the sense of someone open to reason.  Only one, Reeve’s, is a total clunker, and with other strong conservative voices represented I’m sorry that the OCGOP fell for it.  If I were voting  in SJC at this moment, based on these statements, I’d support Kramer, Siegel, and Patterson — but I could easily substitute Taylor and Williams for the latter two.  If you really want to support an OCGOP endorsed candidate, that would be Taylor; if you want nothing but people who sound both reasonable and pretty conservative, that would give you Taylor, Patterson, and Williams.  A vote for Reeve seems like a vote for civil lawsuits.


UPDATE: You see Vern’s choice below.  The other ones favored by commenters from on the scene have highlighted gold initials.

Vern: REEVE.  See well-informed comments below.   UPDATE – NEVER MIND.  NO ENDORSEMENT.

Santa Ana

YES on Measures AA, BB, and CC (despite that the latter two are in conflict)

[BUT!  For a late-arriving contrary argument opposing Measure AA, see Occupy Santa Ana’s Madeleine Spencer’s comments starting here.]

Mayor:  After Lou Correa and Vince Sarmiento both made false starts and unknown Mark Lopez has reportedly started telling people that they can vote for Roman Reyna, freshman Councilmember Reyna is essentially in a mano-a-mano against Mayor-for-Life Miguel Pulido, whose rumored indictment remains delayed.  Never bet against Pulido, but always vote against him!  Someday we’ll get lucky.

Seat #2: Incumbent Michele Martinez will be opposed by Gilad SalmonMirna Velasquez, and Rene Gomez.  This is her first election since her ill-fated 69th Assembly District primary, so she’s theoretically vulnerable, but probably not against this badly split of a field. I’ve had several positive interactions with Salmon, for what it’s worth.  Martinez gets props for going hammer-and-tongs against Pulido.

Seat #4: Incumbent David Benavides will be opposed by Alex Padilla, whose best chance is probably people confusing him the the Democratic Secretary of State candidate by that name.  And that’s not a very good chance.  OJB is OK with Benavides. 

Vern:  Greg may be OK with Benavides and Roman Reyna;  I am not, having seen them in action.  They are pompous prohibitionist demagogues.  I don’t like Michele either, and support Mirna Velasquez against her.  Worst of all is Pulido of course.  I don’t know from this Alex Padilla.  The only SA councilmember running for re-election that your Chairman supports is Tinajero.

And Greg is right, YES on BOTH marijuana measures, BB and CC.  Whichever gets the most votes will go into effect, and either one is progress over the status quo.  If the sneaky trick is to split the pro-MMJ vote, then don’t let them get away with that  –  YES ON BOTH!


Seat #6: Incumbent Sal Tinajero‘s sole opponent will be Mike GonzalezNam Pham had already qualified for the ballot, but then withdrew from the race.  It’s hard to imagine Tinajero losing.  We’ll stick with Sal.

Seal Beach

YES on Measures DD and EE

It’s an odd year in Seal Beach, meaning that the odd-numbered district seats are up.  According to the OC Breeze,  Ellery Deaton in District 1 (Old Town and Surfside) is eligible; Gordon Shanks in District 3 (Hill-Bridgeport-Trailer Park-Heron Pointe) and Michael Levitt in District 5 (Leisure World) are termed out.  Deaton will face Charles Antos and Tom Quinn in Seat 1.  In Seat 3, Mike Varipapa and Scott A. Weir face off.  In Seat 5, it’s Sandra Massa-Lavitt (and I’m wondering if that’s supposed to be “Levitt” and if she’s related to the incumbent vs. Anne M. Seifert.

OJB has no idea what to advise here.  Area residents, do you?


NO on Measure GG – Stanton – General Tax (No).  Unfortunately, the City’s current regime, led by Shawver and Ramirez, can’t be trusted.

Three seats will be filled.  OJB strongly endorses Kevin Carr and incumbent Brian Donahue. Incumbents David John Shawver and Rigoberto Ramirez have been responsible for squandering the City’s assets to the point where it can barely afford public employees and has to come to its overburdened voters for a tax increase to cover their own bumbling — which they should reject.  They can afford to run a campaign, though, so with offense to Bryan Palomares, bullet-voting for Carr and Donahue alone makes sense here.   If Palomares wanted to endorse Carr and Donahue, that might change that calculus, but that is not a request on our part.

Vern: No, bullet-vote for CARR and PALOMARES.  (See my new piece.)  And yes, NO on Measure GG!  Which would give the lowest-income city in the OC the highest sales taxes in the OC.


NO on Measure HH

Two seats are up, incumbents Al Murray and Rebecca Gomez are the only one’s listed on the website as having filed for office — are you sure that you’re having a City Council election, Tustin?  Anyway, OJB supports the incumbents on grounds of inevitability.  If it somehow dwindles down to one seat, then vote for Gomez.

Villa Park

YES on Measure II (possibly meant ironically, as this measure may burn down Villa Park)

Three seats are open, currently occupied by Brad ReeseDeborah Pauly, and Diana Fascenelli.  Only Fascenelli is running for reelection.  (I believe that Reese is termed out, maybe Pauly as well.)  Six candidates are competing; the other five are Bill NelsonRobert CollacottStephen B. MillerSanjay “Jay” Khetani, and Karl Kreutziger.  You can find their candidate statements here.

Let’s get real:  Villa Park is the most Republican city in OC.  It has 739 Democratic voters.  If you want to know what I think, you can have me over to ‘The Hidden Jewel” and I’ll let you know.  (Alternatively, let’s hear in comments from a Villa Park voter with a considered opinion; I know that there are some good ones.)


For Westminster Mayor, Andy Truc Nguyen is running against Tri Ta.  Tentatively, we … don’t know.  Anyone want to chime in?

For City Council, the seats of Andy Quach and Margie Rice are open.  Rice is running for reelection — and she deserves it.  The other candidates are Alin “Al” HamadeChi Charlie Nguyen, and Tyler Diep.  Unless Rice or Diana Lee Carey have a favorite among them, we recommend bullet-voting for only Rice.

Vern:  Don’t overrate old Margie, she does seem to be an immovable fixture but is well past her sell date and a meddling tyrant to boot.  Tyler Diep is a real snake in the grass, among other things working for Pringle and pushing 405 toll lanes behind the scene, against the interests of his own city and its businesses.  The ONLY half-decent candidate, Charlie Nguyen, is rumored not to really live in town.  Go up north a few blocks and campaign for Bao and Robin instead.

Yorba Linda

YES on Measure JJ

This, I promise you, will be confusing — but don’t blame me, blame the Yorba Linda recall election of October 7.  For background, Voice of OC does its usual bang-up job of reporting and this Register piece also looks pretty good.

Tom Lindsey — who, with Craig Young, survived the recall — remains on the November ballot.  The recall was sponsored by YLRRR, a Yorba Lindan anti-development group that is apparently incensed at one proposal for high-density housing.  (It is reportedly populated largely by retirees, but OJB will resist the impulse to nickname it “Old YLRRR.”  If the mnemonic works for you, though, fine.)  One incumbent supported by YLRRR, Brea Police Department contract-killer John Anderson, is retiring.  Jeff Decker and Nancy Rikel have been supported by recall proponents to replace the incumbents.  Minton Brown and Matt Palmer are the candidates of recall opponents in case the recall is successful.  Having two elections in 28 days stinks of Righeimer’s Costa Mesa, so despite our lack of love for developers we say No on the recall, putting us in some weird company.  And, basically, we do need more housing and some of it should be multi-family and some of that should be in Yorba Linda.  Fair is fair.

In the general election, in which two seats are open, Decker and Judy Murray are the YLRRR-friendly candidates while Palmer and Lindsey obviously are YLRRR-unfriendly.  Peggy Huang of the OCGOP is also running — we haven’t much liked her comments in the Chris Nguyen recaps — as is Paul Ambrus.  Someone will no doubt come along and tell us which of the latter two stand where on YLRRR issues.

[UPDATE: MATT PALMER HAS DROPPED OUT OF THE RACE, APPARENTLY FINALLY HAVING FIGURED OUT THAT HE WAS SPLITTING THE VOTE.  HE HAS ENDORSED ANTI-OLD YLRRRs LINDSEY AND HUANG.  HEY, I’M NOT SURE YOU CAN DO THAT!] OJB was leaning towards Palmer and Ambrus, largely because we knew the least about them.  We still support voting for Ambrus — and, given that you do have two votes, we also support voting for Palmer against his will.

Community College Boards

North Orange County Community College Board:  Incumbent Democrats Barbara Dunsheath (seat 1), Donna Miller (seat 3), and Jeffrey Brown (seat 6) have been reelected by default.

YES on Measure J – North OC Community College District Bond — based on what I know of the bond, I think that it’s justified.  But I’m not as convinced as I am with Anaheim HSD’s Measure H.

Coastline Community College Board: Incumbent Jim Moreno (seat 1) has been reelected by default.  In Seat 5, incumbent David Grant will be challenged by high school teacher and union organizer Joel Flores.

Rancho Santiago Community College Board:  Incumbents John Hanna (D, seat 2) and Phil Yarbrough (R, seat 6) have been reelected by default.

In Seat 4, incumbent Democrat Larry Labrado Sr. (D) is being challenged by Robert Douglas, a Democrat from Orange and Garden Grove Republican Trung Quang Nguyen.  Labrado has the DPOC endorsement.  I made a motion to endorse Douglas, who is far more independent minded — but I did not get a second, under the baleful glare of Labrado RSCC Board ally John Hanna.  Je ne regrette nien.

South Orange County Community College BoardIncumbents TJ Prendergast (NPP, seat 2) and Marcia Milchiker (R, seat 5) have been reelected by default. In Seat 4, incumbent Nancy Padberg is being challenged by Jim Leach and by Quinlan Rakin.

School Boards — Unified (K-12)

Brea-Olinda Unified: Still six candidates for four seats.  The elected incumbents, Republicans Bill Hall, and Joe Rollino, and appointed incumbents, Nicole Colon, and NPP Alicia Maciel, will face two challengers: Carrie Flanders and Holli Kittleson.  (None of them — admittedly, with the likely excuse of not having read this — went along with my proposal to provide bus service for students attending zero-period high school classes.  So I will have to find a different basis to decide.)  The best site I’ve found for information is “Brea Old and New,” which has published all of their candidate statements with photos (so that you can judge them on the basis of how they pose with their families.)

I don’t see anyone here who especially concerns me.  One of them, Maciel, seems ahead of the pack:  “Executive Director of The Prentice School, a private nonprofit school in North Tustin focused on serving K-12 students with learning differences … [and] former Executive Director of Strategic Development and Partnerships for THINK Together, the state’s largest nonprofit provider of after-school and summer programs,” so she’ll definitely have my vote.  A second, Flanders, also impresses me more than the rest.  My expectation is that longtime incumbents Hall and Rollino will be reelected — they have signs all over the place, too many of them sharing space in front yards with City Council candidates I don’t prefer — and while they tout lots of accomplishments it’s not clear to me how much of it is them and how much is the work of staff.  So even if I prefer inveterate volunteer Colon and inveterate booster Kittleson to them, it seems likely that the real race is among four candidates for the two other seats.  So I expect to bullet vote for Maciel and Flanders — without any real negativity towards the other candidates, but rather because I rate them all pretty much the same.  If I vote for only one (and I’m still wavering on that), it will be Maciel.

Capistrano Unified: In what had been Anna Bryson’s Seat 4Martha McNicholas will face Craig P. Alexander (a relatively frequent contributor to the infrequently updated OC Political blog.)  In Seat 6, incumbent Ellen Addonizio (R) will face Gila Jones.  In Seat 7, incumbent Lynn Hatton (D) will face Julie Collier.  This has been a contentious board in recent years, with a coalition of Democrats and John Alpay holding sway, so a shift of a single vote could turn it.  Jones has been a vicious antagonist of mine this year within DPOC, so you can well imagine that endorsing her is not pleasant — but she is the better candidate so I’m sucking it up and endorsing.

Garden Grove Unified: Lan Quoc Nguyen and Bob Harden have been reelected by default.

Irvine Unified:  Incumbents Sharon Wallin (D) and Ira Glasky (R) will face Bob Vu for two open seats  I am literally instructed by my party not to support the Democrat here.

Laguna Beach Unified:  For the three open seats, Incumbent Ketta Brown will face three challengers, Annette GibsonDee Namba Perry, and last-minute filer Carol Normandin.  OJB does not know these people, but is glad that its initial reading of Dee Perry’s middle name was mistaken.

Los Alamitos Unified:  Incumbent Republicans Jeffrey Barke and Diana Hill will face Cathy Larson and Greg Shellenbergar.

Newport-Mesa Unified: In Seat 2, which Katrina Foley, the current Board’s only Democrat, is giving up in her bid to return to Costa Mesa City Council;  Charlene Metoyer will face Michael Collier.  In Seat 7, incumbent Walt Davenport (R) will face Lisa Manfredi and Fidel Mora.  For the remaining two years of Seat 1’s term, appointed incumbent Vicki Snell (R) will face a challenge from Steve Smith.

Vern:  I support LISA MANFREDI, who has been much more active and progressive in the community for many years than Fidel Mora, even if she IS a Republican.  I know her from the Fairgrounds Struggle, and she was recruited by great Costa Mesa Democrat Greg Ridge before the union went out and got the unknown Mora.

In Seat 4, incumbent Karen Yelsey (R) has been reelected by default as Abraham Cassis did not qualify. In Seat 5, incumbent Judy Franco (R) has been reelected by default as Sandra Asper did not qualify.

Orange Unified: 

NO on Measure K — Bond measure of Orange Unified School District:  The OCGOP says no; the DPOC stays quiet.  I guess that neither really trust the existing Republican-dominated school board.

In Seat 1, incumbent Democrat Diane Singer in Seat 1 has been reelected by default.

In Seat 4, incumbent Kathy Moffat will face Brian Harrington and Larry Cohn, as Zachary Collins did not qualify.  In Seat 5, incumbent Republican Tim Surridge will face Labor attorney Florice Hoffman.  In Seat 7, incumbent Rick Ledesma will face college professor Tim Perez and former Board member — thanks to the efforts of blogger Matt Cunningham, let’s recall — Steve Rocco.  (Note: personally, I would give Hoffman the same pro forma endorsement as Gila Jones, but she went berserk on Vern at a DPOC meeting.  His blog, his choice, not mine.)

Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified: Incumbent Democrats Carrie Buck and Karin Freeman will face Jim Brunette and OC Political blogger Brenda McCune.  Steven Ehrich did not qualify.

Saddleback Valley Unified: Incumbent Republicans Dolores Winchell and Dennis Walsh face a challenge from C.J. Brower.  No overtime, so we know that at least the incumbents have qualified.

Santa Ana Unified: Longitme Trustee John Palacio is running for reelection.  His slate-mate is Valerie Amezcua.  The six other challengers are Cecilia Aguinaga,  Shuntelle AndrewsEverlena OliverRigo RodriguezAngie Rosario Cano and Mike Dalati.  I would probably co-endorse one other candidate among the list below, but: DPOC rules.

Tustin Unified: Republicans incumbents Lynn Davis and Jonathan Abelove will face Michael JonesElias Teferi, and David Yang.

School Boards — High School

Anaheim Union HSD:

YES on Measure H, the AUHSD School Bond.  They need and deserve the money and, past practice aside, under Superintendent Mike Matsuda they are worthy of trust regarding its implementation.

Seat 1:  Appointed incumbent Al Jabbar will face Maureen Christensen and Linda Lobatos.  (I like Linda, but Al Jabbar clearly deserves to stay.)

Seat 2:  This is a particularly interesting and competitive race.  Incumbent (districtwide, as AUHSD is moving to districts for the first time here) Annemarie Randle-Trejo will face former Trustee Thomas “Hoagy” HolguinEleazar Elizondo (who ran against Art Pedroza for the County School Board in 2012), and Roberto Baeza, the Principal who was transferred from an elementary school position for reasons unstated and then demoted, leading to lots of angry writing by journalist Gabriel San Roman.  I don’t know if Elizondo is running seriously (although he was at a candidate’s forum with me Wednesday night) or primarily to make trouble for Baeza.  The latter would be more entertaining, so I’ll root for that.  I prefer Randle-Trejo; Vern prefers Chuchua’s friend Holguin, whom I do like personally.

Vern: Funny, I don’t remember ever saying I prefer Hoagy, though he’s a nice guy. I don’t know the others.

Seat 5: Incumbent Republican Anna Piercy has been reelected by default.

Fullerton Joint Union HSD: This district continues to use at-large representation.  Its three incumbents are Marilyn BuchiRobert Hathaway, and Robert A Singer.  The trio will face four challengers:  Joanne FawleyZina Gleason, MJ Noor, and Ho Jeong Lim.

Yes, Probably, Maybe, on Measure I – Fullerton Bond.  I think that it’s appropriate, but I feel less strongly about it than I do about Anaheim’s Measure H.

Huntington Beach Union HSD: Democrats Bonnie Castrey and Kathleen Iverson are incumbents; Republican Duane Dishno is an appointed incumbent.  All are seeking reelection, and are being challenged by Cathey Ryder, Janis Mantini, and Matthew Westwell.  I’m not sure if there are slates expected.

School Boards — Elementary School

Anaheim City SD:  Incumbents Dr. Jose Moreno and and Sandy Blumberg chose not to run.  So here’s how things look:  Democrat Jeffrey Cole will face Ryan Ruelas, Cecilia Lopez, Carlos Llanos  (who appeared not to have qualified, but ultimately did), Esther Castillo (a Baezista who does not like photography) and D.R. Heywood (an endorsed Democrat and Jordan Brandman ally.)  DPOC likes Ruelas, Cole and Heywood.  Dr. Moreno likes Ruelas and Lopez.  We’ll endorse Ruelas and listening to your heart.

I’m going to presume that Cole is a favorite for reelection.  That means that the other seat will face competition from an “Anaheim Latino reformers” ally with DPOC support (Ruelas), one without DPOC support (Lopez), a Baeza ally (Castillo), a Brandman ally (Heywood), and and Mr. Llanos  That’s pretty good entertainment!

Buena Park SD:  Incumbent Helen Lee did not run.   Incumbents Samuel Van Hamblen and Brian Chambers and newcomer Rochelle Smith have been elected by default.

Centralia SD:  This is a candidate for weirdest race.  Incumbent Irv Trinkle pulled papers at the last minute.  Incumbent Lisa Jordan was going to run, but dropped out.  Last week, there was a third incumbent, appointee Kevin Segueira, but he was apparently removed from the Board and his seat is listed as vacant — and he is running.  Popular La Palma City Councilmember Henry Chareon is running.  On the Democratic side, we have a study in contrasts.  Former Trustee Art Montez has been in education policy for over 40 years.  Jordan Brandman’s young protégé Connor Traut — larval form of Simon the Likeable, an unforgettable Jack Gilford role on TV’s Get Smart — has been alive approximately half that time.  A commenter says that Lisa Jordan, a Republican, has stepped aside not for Charoen, but for Democrat Traut — which, if true, says something pretty interesting about Orange County politics.  The DPOC endorses Montez and Traut; the OCGOP takes no position.

Vern:  Connor makes me nervous.  He’s real good at getting everyone to like him, but he denies what everyone suspects, that he is one of the young “business Democrats” being groomed by Pringle – along with “business Latinos” to continue his hegemony over city issues after (and if) Districting takes place.  Some day I’ll have to write about all these Pringle Dems and Pringle Latinos.  The story of how Connor slipped into this Centralia race is really disturbing, from what I’ve heard.

Cypress SD: Republican incumbent David Geise didn’t file.  Incumbents up for election are Democrat Steve Blount and Valeri Peters Wagner, who will face challengers Sandra Lee and Lydia Sondhi.

Fountain Valley SD: Incumbents Jimmy Templin and Judy Edwards did not file.  Incumbent Sandra Crandall will face Jim CunneenLisa Schultz, and Gary Stine.  Samuel Lew pulled papers but did not qualify.

Fullerton SD: The Republican incumbents, Beverly BerrymanJanice Meyer, and Chris Thompson, will face Daniel Halkyard.

Huntington Beach City SD: Incumbent Democrat Celia Jaffe did not file.  Incumbents Shari Kowalke and Rosemary Saylor will face Paul MorrowBrian Donahue, and Rob Fishel.  Marilou Ryder did not qualify.

La Habra City SD:  None of the three incumbents filed.  Five candidates filed: Ida MacMurray, a retired teacher and well-respected Democratic activist, DPOC member Cynthia Aguirre,◊ and Ofelia Corona Hanson before  Deadline Day and Kevin Jacobson and Suzette Ornelas-Medina filed at the deadline. Monica Faith pulled papers but apparently decided not to file.  The colorful ambivalence you see up there is due to the fact that the DPOC at first endorsed MacMurray and Aguirre for the three seats, then (improperly, in my view) at the next meeting added Hanson, in part at Aguirre’s urging.  (So I see her as having given away half of her former endorsement.)  Aguirre and Hanson are running on a slate; MacMurray, a longtime teacher who is by far the best qualified of the three for the position, is not.  There’s an argument here for voting for all three, an argument for bullet voting for MacMurray, and an argument for voting for MacMurray plus one of the others.  Presuming that we don’t see both Republicans win, the worst case would be where we see one Republican and the two less qualified Democrats win.  I don’t think that I’d bullet vote MacMurray, because the total composition of the board matters to me — but I also don’t know that I’d treat her as if her election was no more important or warranted than those of her fellow Democrats.

If I were in the district, I might well vote for MacMurray plus one of the other two.  If Aguirre and Hanson really give a damn which of the others it would be, then perhaps they have a glimpse into the value of not treating all supported candidates as if they were equally supported.)

Lowell Joint SD:  Incumbents William Hinz, Darin W Barber, and Anastasia Shackelford have been reelected by default.

Magnolia SD:  Incumbent Republicans Clifford E Breeden Jr and Esther H Wallace and incumbent Democrat Barbara Quintana have filed and will face challengers Gary Shields and Forrest Turpen.

Ocean View SD: All incumbents, AI John Ortiz and Republicans Tracy Pellman and John Briscoe, have filed.  They will face challengers Joseph Gaglione, Jack Souders and Norm Westwell.

Savanna SD: Republican incumbents Edward Erdtsieck, Linda Weinstock, and John Shook will be challenged by John Novak.

Westminster SD: The incumbents are Democrats Penny Loomer and Mary Mangold and Republican David Bridgewaters.  They will face Justin WeilerBao Anh “Samantha” Nguyen, and now Khanh Nguyen.

Special Districts — Water Boards

If you want to see the more water district maps, as well as lots of additional discussion, go here.

Orange County Water District:

Division 1’s incumbent is Katherine Barr, who didn’t run, so filing remains open.  Termed out Garden Grove Councilwoman Dina Nguyen, educator and consumer activist Robin Marcarioand water quality engineer Zack Barrett (that bears investigation) are the current entrants.  OJB is on Team Marcario!

Division 5, which covers parts of Irvine and Newport Beach, has been represented by Stephen “Son of Lou” Sheldon — last seen casting a safe “yes” vote in favor of transparency (meaning recording of meetings) given that it was going to fail with him or without him.  He’s a big supporter of Poseidon.  He’ll be challenged by Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, whom OJB would like to support but whose ballot statement is disappointing.  (On the plus side, it’s also vague.  And even more on the plus side — she’s not Steve Sheldon.)  Allise Phillips and Dorothy Malsack were late entries into the race, and from surface appearances may be present to dilute the anti-Sheldon women’s vote.  That’s scummy — but this, is after all, a Water Board.

Division 7 covers Costa Mesa and parts of Fountain Valley, Newport Beach, and Irvine.  Incumbent Shawn Dewane — a huge supporter of Poseidon — will face termed-out, good-government-supporting, Costa Mesa Councilwoman Wendy Leece.

So, that’s Robin Marcario, Leslie Daigle, and Wendy Leece as possible additions to the OC Water District Board, replacing Barr, Sheldon, and Dewane.  And THAT is what I call TRADING UP!

Vern:  YES, our water candidates (above and below) will clean the place up!  Articles to come…

Municipal Water District of Orange County:

Division 1:  This district in North OC (again, minus Fullerton)  is served by lobbyist and huge Poseidon peddler Brett Barbre, another of our cover boys, last seen on these pages trying to shoehorn Los Alamitos’s Troy Edgar into the County Clerk’s race against Hugh Nguyen.  (Speculation holds that this was related to his longtime bond with former County Clerk and current Assemblyman Tom Daly.)  He’s been on these pages before that, too, with many of those links lead back to FFFF diatribes, ones very much worth reading. (And you will get that chance.)  Barbre is also one of OC’s four appointees to the 37-member Metropolitan Water District, which serves 23 million residents in Southern California — JUST where one wants to put a lobbyist cum PR flack!  He was running unopposed, but the prospect someone with his track record getting a pass was so irritating to one district resident that he now has an opponent: your humble scribe Greg Diamond.◊  Expect a substantive race about Poseidon and fracking — in addition to some character issues that you may have recently seen mentioned.  (Read this paragraph again if need be.)

Division 2: This district represents Central OC (eastern Garden Grove, most of Orange, Villa Park, and north and unincorporated Tustin.) Larry Dick has been elected by default.

Division 5: This district in mid-coastal OC (Newport Beach and portions of Irvine, Lake Forest and Laguna Woods) has been served by Wayne Clark, who is departing from the Board, meaning that filing remains open.  Four candidates will compete for the seat.

Qualifiers include “water engineer” Satoru “Sat” Tamaribuchi, apparently a longtime Vice President for Environmental Affaurs for The Irvine Company.  (Could be good; could be bad.  What does he think about Poseidon?)  Second is conservative Republican Jose Vergara of the tiny El Toro Water District.  The third is … can it be? … yes it is! … Dave Ellis.  Dave Ellis, of the attempt to sell the OC Fairgrounds to a group of people including Dave Ellis!  That guy!  This is definitely bad news, folks.  Well, not bad news for OJB, which can now go medieval on him, but bad news for everyone else.  The final candidate is former Congressional candidate Ron Varasteh.  Varasteh is the only Democrat running (probably — we don’t know about Tamaribuchi) and probably the only Poseidon opponent.  So, even if he has the least resources, he may have some real advantages with in a race with three opponents going after the same votes.  (Statement of Interest: I have represented Varasteh this year against both Tamaribuchi and Ellis in ballot wording challenges.)

California Water Districts

OC has four of these: the El Toro, Irvine Ranch, Moulton Niguel, and Santa Margarita Water Districts.  As you can see from the map (up at the link to material from previous installments), these cover most of the land in South OC that wasn’t incorporated before 1970.

El Toro WD is electing two at-large directors.  Incumbent Republican Republican Jerard Werner, apparently did not file .  Incumbent Democrat William Kahn and non-incumbent, water consultant Fred Adjarian have been elected by default.

Irvine Ranch WD is electing three at-large directors.  Incumbent Democrat Steven LaMar and Republicans Peer Swan and Douglas Reinhart will face challengers Boyd Schultz and Shane Jagow.

Moulton Niguel WD elects by districts (called Divisions.)  Seats 2, 3, and 4 are up.  Incumbents Scott Colton and Donald Froelich on this uniformly Republican 7-member Board have been reelected by default.  In Seat 4, incumbent Laurence Lizotte is being challenged by both Cal Olson and Julie Dean Larsen.

Santa Margarita WD elects two at-large Directors.  Incumbents Saundra Frances Jacobs and Justin McCusker (an appointee) have filed and will face Stanislaw Dziecielski.

County Water Districts

Then we have six County water districts: the East Orange County, Mesa Consolidated, South Coast, Trabuco Canyon, and Yorba Linda Water Districts, and the Rossmoor/Los Alamitos Area Sewer District.

East OC WD elects three at-large directors.  Incumbents Richard BellJohn Dulebohn, and appointee Sy Everett will face Douglas Chapman.

Mesa Consolidated WD has two seats open this year.  In Division 4, incumbent James Atkinson will face Ron Amburgey.  In Division 5Mark Abrams didn’t qualify, so Shawn Dewane has been reelected to this seat by default.

South Coast WD has two open seats.  Incumbent Richard Runge did not file.  Incumbent Bob Moore will face at least Bill GreenDennis ErdmanNorman Lee Denton, and Richard Gardner.

Trabuco Canyon WD has three open seats — and incumbents Michael SafranskiEd Mandich, and Glenn Acosta have been reelected by default.

Yorba Linda WD has three open seats.  The incumbents, Gary MeltonPhil D. Hawkins, and Robert Kiley have been reelected by default.

Rossmoor/Los Alamitos Area Sewer District incumbents Joel M Rattner and Linda Habermehl have been reelected by default.

Special Districts — Water-Related but Not Actual Water Boards

I’m just not going to explain how these creatures work.

Irrigation District

Serrano Water District elects by Division, this year it’s seats 1 and 4.  In Seat 1, incumbent Richard Freschi is being challenged by Brad Reese.  In Seat 4, incumbent Frank Bryant has been reelected by default.

Storm Water Protection District

Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District: Incumbent Jon Regnier, did not file for reelection.  Incumbents Gayle Mueller Winnen and John Kriss and challenger Lawrence Zero have been elected by default.

Sanitary Districts

OC has three Sanitary Districts, not counting Rossmoor’s, which apparently is a Water District.  They are:

Costa Mesa Sanitary District: The incumbents, Bob OotenMike Scheafer, and appointee Arlene Schafer, face challengers Brian Peotter and Chuck Perry.  (Note: we have promoted Bob Ooten.  If we find out that this Peotter is also using Execrable Dave Ellis as his consultant — well, justice will be swift.)  But he can keep the recommendation if he rats out three other people running for positions of comparable or higher stature.)

Midway City Sanitary District: The three incumbents, Margie L Rice, Frank Cobo, and Tyler Diep, have been reelected by default.

Sunset Beach Sanitary District: The incumbents, Gregory Griffin and appointee Bernard Hartmann, have have been reelected by default.

Special Districts — Home Rule-ish

Orange County has six Community Services districts in unincorporated areas, which provide something like limited home rule.  One of them is deceptively labeled; let’s see if you can find it!

Capistrano Bay Community Services District: This is the only seat in the entire county, not counting the various City races that were not online and so were too hard to cover, where available seats went begging.  Kurtis Breeding is the only person to file to run for the three available seats, and is not only elected, but gets to vote on who takes the other empty seats.  (That only one race went begging is pretty good, though!)

Emerald Bay Service District:  The incumbents are John McDermottKeri Ueberroth, and appointee Susan Thomas and then have been reelected by default.

Rossmoor Community Services District: Incumbent Alfred Coletta didn’t file.  For the two open seats, incumbent Bill Kahlert will face three challengers: Rich ButterfieldMark Nitikman, and David Burgess.

Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, full term seats: For the three open full-term seats, Ron Shepston and Gregory Bates and short-term seat incumbent Linda Kearns will face Kevin ToppDeborah Johnson, and Phil McWilliams .

Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park Districtshort term:  John Olson and Lisa Collins will face off.

Surfside Colony Community Services District:  Four seats; four candidates qualified — but two of the incumbents, Dan Nowak and Nora Straight, didn’t run..  Incumbents Donald Karich and John Kriss and challengers Paul Mesner and Laren Johnson were elected by default.

Three Arch Bay Community Services District: Incumbents Tim Hamchuk and Rhoads Martin have been reelected by default.

Special Districts — Library

Finally, OC has two independent Library Districts, named after Buena Park and Placentia.  They control, respectively, the weather and the stock market.

Buena Park Library District: Incumbents Mary Furhman and Al Salehi will face Art David Montez and Baron Knight.

Placentia Library District: Incumbents Al Shkoler and Jo-Anne Martin have been reelected by default.

County and City Ballot Measures 

Here’s a list of every last ballot measure on an Orange County ballot for the next month, including links to the Registrar of Voter’s pages.  After the list, we’ll see what we think of them:

E County of Orange – Authorize Ethics Commission to Enforce County Campaign Finance Rules
G County of Orange – Prohibit Supervisor Election Loser from Taking Office as Supervisor
H Anaheim Union High School District – Classroom and School Safety Bond Measure
I Fullerton Joint Union High School District – Improve Our Excellent Local High Schools Measure
J North Orange County Community College District – Fullerton/Cypress Colleges Repair and Student/Veteran Job Training Measure
K Orange Unified School District – Critical Upgrades and Repairs for Quality High Schools Measure
L City of Anaheim – Require City Council Members be Residents of and Elected by Districts
M City of Anaheim – Charter Amendments (Sections 500,508, 511); Increase City Council Members to Six
N City of Anaheim – Anaheim Local Services Measure
O City of Costa Mesa – Proposed Charter Establishing Home Rule
P City of Costa Mesa – Advisory Measure, Should Toll Lanes Be Built on the I-405 Freeway?
Q City of Cypress – Measure Q Rezones 9470 Moody St. From PS-1A to PC-14 in Compliance With Measure D
R City of Cypress – Measure R Rezones 6.8 Acres at 8721 Cypress Ave. from PS-1A to PC-13 in Compliance With Measure D
S City of Fountain Valley — Transient Occupancy Tax Increase
T City of Huntington Beach – Safe and Sane Fireworks
U City of Huntington Beach – Withdrawn
V City of Irvine – Orange County Great Park Fiscal Transparency and Reforms Act
W City of Irvine – Term Limits Measure
X City of Lake Forest – Establishing a Term Limit for the Mayor and City Council Members of the City of Lake Forest
Y City of Newport Beach – Amendment of the Newport Beach General Plan, Land Use Element
Z City of Rancho Santa Margarita – Initiative to Change Zoning Classification of Former Nissan Site
AA City of Santa Ana – Modernization of Utility User Tax
BB City of Santa Ana – Establishment of Medical Marijuana Collectives and Cooperatives
CC City of Santa Ana – Medical Cannabis Restriction and Limitation Act
DD City of Seal Beach – Utility Users Tax (UUT) Modernization/Tax Reduction
EE City of Seal Beach – Charter Amendment to Appoint the City Clerk
GG City of Stanton – 9-1-1/Public Safety and Essential City Services Protection Measure
HH City of Tustin – Increase in Hotel Room Tax
II City of Villa Park – Safe and Sane Fireworks Measure
JJ City of Yorba Linda – Eliminating Pension and Health Care Benefits for Future City Council Member Terms

GOLD will be YES, RED will be NO, and BLUE will be NO IDEA

Measure E (Countywide): The OCGOP say YES and the DPOC says ???? — and both of them are wrong.  The correct answer is NO.

This proposal gives over control over OC campaign finance laws to the FPPC, which it describes as an “ethics commission.”  As opponents note, the FPPC is not an “Ethics Commission.”  Calling it one stands in the way of our CREATING an OC Ethics Commission.  Open your voter’s guide.  the ballot measure’s proponents include Shawn Nelson, Todd Spitzer, and Lou Correa.  The opponents include Shirley McCracken, Fred Smoller, the President of the League of Women’s Voters, the former Chair of Common Cause, and the Foreman of the 2013-14 OC Grand Jury, which wrote compellingly about OC’s corruption problem.  You can study the issue if you’d like, or you can save some time and accept that the latter group is more informed about and dedicated to measures to stop political corruption than the former.

Measure G (Countywide): Again, the OCGOP says YES and the DPOC says ????.  The correct answer is NO.

This proposal addresses how to replace Supervisors who leave office during their final year, usually to ascend to some higher office.  Frankly, this “musical chairs” is a pain in the butt.  The current law allows the next highest vote-getter to take office temporarily to fill out the term — much as we see then the Lieutenant Governor is from a different party than a Governor who steps down.

Is this unfair?  Sure, a little — but so are gerrymandered districts that leave the Democratic Party without a single seat on the Board of Supervisors despite having 60% of the registration for the two major parties.  Do the Republican Supervisors not like this possible limitation on their absolute power over the County?  Then don’t leave office!  Meanwhile, the thing that we’d be sure to see is: better Democrats challenging the Supervisors, just in case this provision kicks in.  We would have, for example, seen a Democrat run in the 5th District, and we would have seen an actual officeholder — someone like Jan Flory or Art Brown or Rose Espinoza — taking on Shawn Nelson in District 4 rather than that duty falling to entirely overmatched Rudy Gaona.  And having better candidates is good.

Measure H (Anaheim Union High School District Bond): The OCGOP says NO and the DPOC says YES.  The correct answer is YES.

I’m not entirely unsympathetic to those who oppose school bond measures; they have a mixed track record.  And AUHSD apparently had a seriously bad track record with their previous bond a decade back.  But they have a new board now and, critically, some of the best leadership that one could hope for in Superintendent Mike Matsuda.  And the AUHSD is enormously over capacity.  There are times when the need is real and the staff is competent — this is one of those time.

Measure I (Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond):  OCGOP says NO; DPOC passes.  I’m less convinced about Measure I than Measure H — hence the color scheme — simply because the Fullerton JUHSD Board is in need of some of the changing of the guard that Anaheim’s Board has already received, but I’m inclined to favor it.  I look forward to some of our Fullerton residents chiming in with their thoughts, though.

Measure J (North Orange County Community College District Bond):  OCGOP says NO; DPOC says YES.  The Community Colleges are increasingly important — especially to the extent that they remains relatively affordable (compared to the CSUs and other alternatives.)  NOCCCD does a great job with Fullerton College and Cypress College; its board is composed of serious educators, rather than politicians marking time until the next gig.  They will do important things with this money — primarily building repair and programs for training mostly forgotten veterans.  When we have a board that works — make use of it.  And while it’s not a tax hike, it will feel like one — but keeping buildings from decaying and veterans from deteriorating is a pretty good reason to tap into one’s credit, isn’t it?

Measure K (Orange School Board Bond): OCGOP says NO; DPOC passes.  I’m looking at the mostly Republican composition of the Board and I have to say: I just don’t trust them to do a good job with this money.  As their own party doesn’t trust them, I don’t think that I should either.  But see Mudge’s musings about the measure here.

Measure L (City of Anaheim: District Elections): OCGOP passes; DPOC says YES.  The Correct Answer is YES.  Anaheim is the biggest city in OC — and it is among the most stratified and segregated by income.  The same groups — mostly voters in Anaheim Hills combined with money from the Resort District, dominate all five of its seats; it’s just the luck of the draw that Mayor Tom Tait unexpectedly showed real independence from former Mayor Curt Pringle so that there was at least one dissenting vote on the City Council these past two years.  (It’s not even clear that the Lorri Galloway of 2014 would have been the dissenter that she was in 2012 — essentially because of Resort Area money.)  To have a healthy ecosystem, you want diversity — which means that different sorts of people get to choose their own champion to represent them on the City Council.  That’s what Measure L is about — and for its opponents to tell those in Anaheim flatlands that they won’t be able to talk to all four Councilpeople when all four ignore them now is pretty close to obscene.

Measure M (City of Anaheim: Increase Size of Council to 7): OCGOP passes; DPOC says YES.  The Correct Answer is YES.  Increasing the size of Anaheim’s Council solely to match those of Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach is itself inadequate — but at least it’s a start.  More Council Members increases the likelihood of better representation.

Measure N (City of Anaheim: Renew 4% Utility Tax):  Everybody passes.  That moment when you realize that semi-mad gadfly and Measure N opponent Denis Fitzgerald probably does have a better idea of what best serves Anaheim residents fairly than does Loose-Pursed Lucille Kring.

Measure O (City of Costa Mesa: Imposing Dictatorship of the Righeimertariat):  OCGOP says YES; DPOC says NO.  The Correct Answer is NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!   Under a City Charter, WHATEVER IT DOESN’T SAY THE CITY GOVERNMENT CAN’T DO, IT CAN DO.  Jim Righeimer has been a bullying tinpot dictator for four years even without a charter.  Lately, with reelection coming, he’s been playing it relatively cool — but if he’s reelected and has the supercharged powers of a charter, Costa Mesa is going straight to hell.  Shame on the OCGOP for being party to this plan.

Measure P (City of Costa Mesa: Yes,We Do Not Want Toll Lanes):  Everyone passes on this one. The one really good thing about the Costa Mesa government is that it is united in its opposition to the 405 Toll Lanes — mostly because Costa Mesa gets screwed if they’re imposed.  So, of course, the Costa Mesa wrote the question backwards, so that YES means that “we OPPOSE the Toll Lanes” and NO means that “we SUPPORT them.”  Why do that?  Because it allows them to campaign on “YES on O and P.”  YES, it is that simple; NO, you should not fall for it.  Sandy Genis’s and Wendy Leece’s ballot statement convinced us that even though we agree with Diana Lee Carey on the merits, we should not give tribute to a “cynical political ploy.”  It’s not like this vote will matter anyway.

Measures Q and R (Cypress Rezoning): Everyone passes on this one, as do I. Cypriots, you are on your own on this one.  I can’t even find your candidates’ statements online!

Measure S (Fountain Valley, Hiking Transient Occupancy Tax): Everyone passes on this one, as do I. Well, I suppose that you can make a case that hiking the Hotel Tax from 9% to 10% is — HEY, WAIT A MINUTE!  WHY ISN’T THE OCGOP OPPOSING THIS?  Is hiking taxes OK when Republican City Councils do it?  I’m not supporting this without a clear explanation — one on which Scott Baugh himself signs off!

Measure T (Huntington Beach, “Safe and Sane” Fireworks): Everyone passes on this one.  The Correct Answer is NO.  The Fire Chief says that it’s a bad idea because it raises the likelihood of fires.  The Police Chief opposes it also, probably because it makes enforce the law against UNsafe and INsane fireworks that much more difficult.  The Matt Harper and Joe Carchio types support it, because freedom.

Vern: No strong opinion.  I’ll probably quietly vote NO, bearing in mind how terrified my and everyone else’s dog gets at that time of year.  But it’ll probably win, and it’s a good fundraising tool for schools and stuff, and I hate for us Democrats to look like we hate fireworks, which I actually love ’em in my sentimental patriotic heart.

Measure V (Irvine, Great Park Fiscal Transparency):   Everyone says yes.  Sure, why not?  Maybe it will set a useful precedent for other of the City’s dealings.

Measure W (Irvine, Lifetime Term Limits):  OCGOP says YES; DPOC says NO.  The Correct Answer is NO.  Regular term limits, making people take some time off so that they don’t become totally entrenched — sure, you can take a case for that.  LIFETIME term limits?  The might as well cal this the “We are So Afraid of Larry Agran and Beth Krom That We are Peeing on Ourselves Act”  LIFETIME term limits for a City Council are stupid, because sometimes the person who has the expertise, institutional knowledge, and temperament you want is the person that you just said can nevereverever serve on the City Council again.  Just calm down and compete in elections, Irvine Republicans.

Measure X (Lake Forest, Term Limits):  I generally don’t like term limits; it just empowers staff.  It’s Lake Forest, so it seems like it’s likely to be aimed at certain candidates.  Here’s an idea: vote them out of office instead.

Measure Y (Newport Beach General Plan, Land Use): After seeing what Newport Beach did with their City Charter omnibus “reform” last cycle, I simply do not trust them at all.

Measure Z (Rancho Santa Margarita, Zoning Former Nissan Site):  WHO DARES mess with the integrity of the RSM Auto Center?  Come on — the auto center is the closest thing RSM has to a tourist attraction; don’t let them change into a health food market or a Hooters.

 Vern:  It’s hard to tell, but I think Greg is saying NO.  We just got paid for a nice YES on Z ad.  Didn’t seem like a bad enough thing to turn down, but it is a paid ad.  (In 2012 I turned down Chevron for a Develop Coyote Hills ad, and spent the next few months wondering how much money I coulda wrung from them.)  Anyway, I got no opinion, don’t know enough.  You Ranchers do what you see fit!

Measure AA (Santa Ana – Utility Use Tax):  This is a tentative endorsement.  Reducing gas, water, and electrical taxes while imposing a new tax on high-end telecomm utilities, if I understand this correctly, seems reasonable.  OCGOP says no, though.  [BUT SEE resistance from Occupy Santa Ana in comments below!]

Measure BB (Santa Ana – Medical Marijuana – City Establishment’s Version) and
Measure CC (Santa Ana – Medical Marijuana – MMJ Business Owners’ Version):  These are competing bills for regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Santa Ana.  If local law is anything like state law, only the one that gets more votes goes into effect.  From what I can see, either would be an improvement over the status quo.  Some of the better City Councilpersons favor BB, but — having done only a limited amount of reading on this — the arguments for CC make more sense to me.  What I don’t know is how trustworthy the people that would be boosted by CC are.  The worst case is that both go down as a result of people against MMJ entirely, so I’m inclined to endorse both and wait for a later fix of the deficiencies in any such law in 2016, by which time we’ll know more about how whichever passes worked.

Vern:  YES ON BOTH!  Like I said above.

Measure DD (Seal Beach – Utility Tax Reduction): Seems a little like “something for nothing,” but whatever.  No one opposed it.

Measure EE (Seal Beach – Appointed City Clerk): Electing a City Attorney?  OK.  Electing a City Treasurer?  OK.  Electing a City Clerk?  Doesn’t seem necessary and only leaves more opportunity for lack of continuity in serves.  I’m OK with appointing them.

Measure GG (Stanton, “Please Bail Us Out” Act):  OCGOP says NO; DPOC passes.  Stanton has been poorly governed for some time; now the people who have governed it poorly want beleaguered taxpayers to bail them out.  No.  Elect better leaders.  Starting now.

Measure HH (Tustin, “Transient Occupancy Tax”):  Nope — not unless we get a written statement from the Republicans on the City Council explaining why they want to raise taxes.  Support from the Chamber of Commerce isn’t enough.  Justify your taxation, Tustinoids!

Measure II (Villa Park, “Safe and Sane” Fireworks): Normally we oppose “safe and sane” fireworks proposals because they make enforcement of bans on “unsafe and insane” fireworks more difficult to enforce and make burning down the town more likely.  This intrigues us, though, for three reasons.  (1) It might lead to burning down Villa Park — something that we don’t necessarily favor, but it’s their choice.  (2) Most of the fireworks sold would inevitably go to residents of the City of Orange.  (3) Orange may be so pissed off at Villa Park fireworks burning down parts of its City that its troops may finally invade and annex Villa Park.  (Note: if this happens, OJB thinks that the City of Orange should chance it’s name to “Villa Park,” just to be fair, which would eliminate us having to say “City of” so often to avoid confusion.)  Alternatively, you can vote no.

Measure JJ (Yorba Linda – No Pension and Health Insurance for Future City Council Member Terms):  Yorba Linda wants to make sure that all of its future City Council members will be other-pension-and-Medicare-receiving retirees.  Well, you get what you pay for!  The OCGOP didn’t take a position on most ballot measures, but they did rouse themselves to take a position favoring this one.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-disabled and semi-retired, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally ran for office against jerks who otherwise would have gonr unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.) His daughter is a professional campaign treasurer. He doesn't usually know whom she and her firm represent. Whether they do so never influences his endorsements or coverage. (He does have his own strong opinions.) But when he does check campaign finance forms, he is often happily surprised to learn that good candidates he respects often DO hire her firm. (Maybe bad ones are scared off by his relationship with her, but they needn't be.)