OJ Blog Early 2016 Primary Recs, pt 1: President & U.S. Senator




IN BRIEF:  Sanders for President;  Vern says Loretta for Senate, Greg says Kamala;  our Republicans are unenthused with their choices.


These are our Early 2016 Primary Recommendations — intended for early voters.  Some of our thinking may change as we get more information and persuasive comments, but if you’re intent on filling out your ballot within the next few days, this are our current best recommendations on how to do so.  We don’t anticipate any changes, but every cycle a few of them do change.  (It’s your own fault for voting so early!)

A general tip: unless no one from your party is running for an office, don’t bother writing someone in.  Unless there’s an organized and recognized effort for the candidate, the votes aren’t counted and no one cares what you did — it’s like you whispered a really funny joke down a well.  If you just really want to be mischievous, we’ll give you some good pointers where appropriate.


The first question here is: in which party’s primary are you voting?  If you’re in the Republican, Green, or Peace & Freedom Party, you only get to vote in your party’s contest and only your fellow party members will get a vote.  If you’re a Democrat, Libertarian, or American Independent (this year), you still only get to vote in your own party’s contest — but you may be joined by all sorts of No Party Preference voters — so long as they request a ballot for that party!  So if you have a hankering to vote R, G, or P&F, you had better re-register in the party of your choice by the May 23 deadline.  If you want to vote D, L, or AI — the latter of which is not the same as “No Party Preference” or “Independent” — then you need to register either in the party of your choice OR as NPP (No Party Preference) by May 23.  (We think that NPPs don’t get to vote in the Party Committee offices.)

Everybody in the appropriate district gets to vote for everyone else, because we have the Top Two Primary.  Now to review them party by party, in the order in which the Registrar presents them:


The Democratic Presidential candidates are: Keith Judd, Michael Steinberg, Bernie Sanders, Willie Wilson. Roque De La Fuente, Hillary Clinton, and Henry Hewes.  OJB recommends voting for Bernie Sanders if you’re taking things seriously and for Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente  (who has run a nationwide campaign!) if you’re just trying to take the piss out of us.  If you want to poke the party in the eye with a sharp stick, there’s Hillary Clinton, but you had better hope that Donald Trump doesn’t have a heart attack in the next two months because then Paul Ryan or John Thune or someone will step in as the GOP nominee and mop the floor with Her Royal Unpopularity.  Our pick: Sanders!


The Republican Presidential Candidates on the ballot are Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Jim Gilmore.  Trump is the only one left campaigning, and if you’re a party regular with no sense of pride or shame then of course you’re going to vote for him.  But if you can’t stand him, and you can’t stand registering NPP to vote for Sanders (or Libertarian to vote for Gary Johnson), then why not use this chance to express yourself?  If you’re a corporate Republican, you can still vote for Kasich.  If you’re a motivational speaker loving Republican, you can still vote for Carson.  If you miss either the Salem Witch Trials or the Zodiac Killer, you can still vote for Cruz.  But OJB recommends none of these. If you must vote Republican for President, give a close look at Jim Gilmore.  Former Virginia Governor Gilmore has been coming in last among candidates among the Famous 17 almost everywhere he’s been on the ballot.  He hasn’t got even a single delegate.  Give Jim Gilmore a delegate from Orange County, dammit!  It’s the sort of protest of Trump that will make the news!  Our pick: Gilmore!

American Independent

The American Independent Presidential Candidates are Robert Ornelas, Alan Spears, Wiley Drake, James Hedges, Thomas Hoefling, Arthur Harris, and J.R. Myers.  OJB is under the impression that Ornelas is the favorite, but doesn’t really know and doesn’t really care.  While your management disagrees with Rev. Drake in many ways — starting with “imprecatory prayers” (asking God to smite one’s enemies), prayers that President Obama was somehow able to deflect onto Justice Scalia, and his virulent wocka-wocka-wocka level homophobia — he ain’t all bad.  He actually does walk the walk when it comes to caring for the homeless, he’s serious about opposing public corruption, and he’s from Buena Park!  If you’re registered as an American Independent intentionally rather than accidentally, then you aren’t going to do anything sensible with your vote anyway, so you might as well vote for your homeboy.  Our pick: Drake!


This is a serious choice, because some of you may end up voting Green if Hillary does even one more thing to piss us off — I mean it, now, just one more thing!  OK, one more thing after that thing she just did.  No, she’s not stopping.  IF SHE DOES TEN MORE THINGS TO PISS US OFF….  (Sigh.)  The candidates are Jill Stein, Darryl Cherney, William Kreml, Kent Mesplay, and Sedinam Moyowasifsa-Cutty.  Jill Stein is the only one who seems to have a serious national reputation, and she’s offered to take second banana to Bernie if he asks for it, so if you’re going to protest vote you might as well honk the loudest horn.  And besides, we’ve been waiting a long time for a woman to become President!  Our pick: Stein!


A lot of grumpy Republicans have been talking about voting Libertarian this year, because they are by now whatever word you use for someone who has traveled from satisfied to disaffected and then kept going three times as far down that path — and, again, all you have to do is switch from Republican to No Party Preference for a few weeks.  (And really — don’t you feel like it?)  So we’re taking this one seriously too.  The Libertarian Presidential Candidates are Gary Johnson, Marc Feldman, Rhett White Feather Smith, Joy Waymire, Steve Kerbel, John Hale, John McAfee, Cecil Ince, (take a deep breath if you’re reading this out loud) Austin Petersen, Darryl Perry, Derrick Reid, and Jack Robinson, Jr.  Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is good on cannabis, formally “qualified,” and so far as we can tell is the likely winner, although some people don’t seem to like him and we have a terrible feeling that they are going to show up here and tell us why.  John McAfee — yes, that John McAfee, “Computer Virus Dundee” — also has a following, but we’re worried that he actually may be able to fix an election if nominated.  So — ignoring the appeal of the middle name “White Feather” — we think that your meaningless protest vote should go to the guy who’s signed legislation before.  Our pick: Johnson!

Peace & Freedom

The Peace & Freedom candidates, who actually are real socialists, are Gloria Estela La Riva, Lynn Kahn, and Monica Moorhead.  If you’re voting Peace & Freedom, you’re not going to listen to us anyway. so you’re on your own.  Our pick: re-register as NPP & write in Sanders!


These 34 names (each with party identification) are, God help us, in ballot statement order.  We’ve boldfaced the leading Democratic and Republican names, coloring them in blue and red, and — and we don’t know what to say.  Reading through this list is part of the price of freedom.

George Yang (R), Jerry Laws (R), Gail Lightfoot (L), Mike Beitiks (NPP), Pamela Elizondo (G), Scott Vineberg (NPP), Steve Stokes (D), Duf Sundheim (R), Ling Ling Shi (NPP), Loretta Sanchez (D), Phil Wyman (R), Jarrell Williamson (R), Thomas Del Beccaro (R)Ron Unz (R), Greg Conlon (R), Jason Kraus (NPP), Don Krampe (R), Mark Matthew Herd (L), Von Hougo (R), Jason Hanania (NPP), Kamala Harris (D), Gar Myers (NPP), Paul Merritt (NPP), Massie Munroe (D), Eleanor Garcia (NPP), Tim Gildersleeve (NPP), Clive Grey (NPP), Don Grundmann (NPP), President Cristina Grappo (D), Herbert Peters (D), Tom Palzer (R), John Thompson Parker (P&F), Karen Roseberry (R), and Emory Rogers (D).

Obviously, the concern for Republicans here has to be that their twelve candidates will split the Republican vote more than the seven Democratic candidates will split the Democratic vote.  (As for the NPPs, who may split that vote eleven ways — aren’t you guys ever going to get more organized?)

Vern prefers Loretta Sanchez, Greg prefers Kamala Harris, Ryan says “Ick to either of those.”  Loretta will probably clean-up in Orange County — and almost nowhere else in the state.  The question is whether Kamala will hold a grudge against OC once she’s elected.  We can only hope so!

Vern for Loretta:  I believe Loretta is more progressive and intelligent than most people realize, despite her “Blue Dog” facade and her Valley Girl shtick;  witness her bold and wise votes against the Iraq War and the Patriot Act, her opposition to rotten corporatist trade deals from NAFTA to TPP, and her attempts to improve Obamacare with a Public Option.

And I think people read some imaginary progressivism into Kamala because she’s charismatic and mixed-race, the way we all did with Obama eight years ago.  She seriously devastated us here in OC with her refusal to investigate our horrible DA;  she’s been a drug warrior and part of the law enforcement establishment and is only NOW talking about criminal justice reforms;  and unlike Loretta has no experience in DC.

Even if all things were equal, I would go with the lady from Southern California – it’s OUR TURN, and we’ll finally have a Senate office in the OC.  Final sad note – either lady would be a step down from Barbara Boxer.

Greg for Kamala:  I do like Loretta, and I wish that she had stayed in the House, but her friends should be consoled that she does have a cabinet secretary awaiting her if she loses and Hillary wins.  (Maybe one like Secretary of Defense.)  But let’s be honest: she is simply not in Kamala’s league, and most everyone outside of Orange County knows it.  Anyone who reviews their respective speeches from this year’s California convention will see that one is eloquent and incisive Presidential timber (that’s Kamala) and the other is a rollicking, promise-spewing, ward heeler — which is not the best way to stanch corruption.  (We’ll try to get the links up sometime soon; don’t vote for Loretta until you’ve compared their speeches.)  Loretta would be a great Senator for us if we were, say, Arkansas — she has the homey, folksy style that they like — but this is California and our Senators are supposed to play on a different and higher level.

Yes, she’s done some good things over the years, but also some near-disastrous things — she almost voted against Obamacare after even Dennis Kucinich had already signed on because she wasn’t paying attention!  She also tends to shift her positions, vote for contradictory ideas — really, she’s a great protector of civil liberties, is that the hill you want to die on? — and often lands on both sides of issues like a milder (and much more benign) version of Donald Trump.

The other thing that Democrats — especially progressive Democrats — should keep in mind is that Loretta is planning on winning the general election, if she makes the Top 2, with Republican support.  You know the phrase “dance with the one who brung you”?  Republicans would be the ones who brung her if she somehow defeated Harris.  That’s great news if you’re a business Democrat, but if you’re a real Democrat, it should give you both hives and the heebie-jeebies.

OJB Serious Recommendation: MIXED.  Follow your heart.  OJB “Show Your Ironic Contempt for the Process” Recommendation: If someone changes their first name to “President” in order to run for U.S. Senate, how can you not vote for them?

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.