URGENT and UPDATED! Irvine Dems MUST Vote for BOTH KHAN AND FOX! Here’s Why!

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Farrah Khan and Melissa Fox. Or the reverse -- we have trouble telling them apart.

Farrah Khan and Melissa Fox. Or the reverse — we have trouble telling them apart.

[Additions to this piece on Oct. 30 are in purple.  Deletions will be obvious.]

There are huge fissures within the Irvine Democratic Party right now, largely over the question of whom to support for City Council.  People associated with the DPOC-endorsed Melissa Fox campaign have been quietly telling their voters that they should vote only for her, or for her and another candidate who doesn’t have a chance of edging her out for the second spot, rather than for the other DPOC endorsee, Farrah Khan. In return, some of us who think that Farrah Khan is truly something special — honest, populist, modest, and unlikely to be either a captive or an antagonist of traditional Irvine Democratic interests — care only about voting for her.

You may have noticed that I initially endorsed only “Farrah Khan + 1 Democrat” in the OJB endorsements.  I prefer Shiva Faravar to Fox — whom I supported strongly in 2010 and 2014 — but it now seems clear that neither Faravar nor Anila Ali has any serious chance to win.  The choice is between Farrah Khan and Melissa Fox versus one of the two leading Republicans on the ballot, Christine Shea and Anthony Kuo.  For Democrats, that should be a easy choice.

Today, therefore, I’m changing that endorsement — I endorse both Farrah Khan and Melissa Fox for Irvine City Council.  And I call on Fox and Khan to cross-endorse.  And the only way I’d back off from that is if it appears that the faction of the party to which Fox belongs is unwilling to reciprocate.  (Incidentally, I am not coordinating with the Khan campaign and she will learn of this only when she reads it.)

In that spirit, I challenge Beth Krom, Larry Agram, Mary Ann Gaido, Paul Bokota, Sukhee Kang, the Democratic Foundation of OC, and and all other figures in Irvine’s Democratic establishment and non-establishment to do the same.  (And I call on the DPOC to act more like they are endorsing both, matching the recent contribution to Fox with an equal one to Khan.  We don’t know which of them is ahead and more likely to beat Kuo for the second seat.)

Until now, it has not been clear where our Democratic Party interests lie because if two Democrats are competing for the second spot we each want the one from our faction to win it.  The DPOC wisely split the difference, endorsing the leading candidate from each of its factions.  But now we know critical that we did not know then!  We know that in the three weeks before the election the Republican Party and its associates are spending gobs of money — $50,000 last Thursday alone! — against only one Irvine City Council candidate: and that is Farrah Khan.

Farrah, in other words, is “on the bubble.”  Faravar is not; Anila Ali is not.  ; and most importantly Melissa Fox is not on the bubble because otherwise they would be spending that level of money against her as well — because she would be in a position to edge out at least one of their candidates.  This does not mean that Melissa is destined to lose; it means that she’s probably either in first place or in fourth place — and distant enough in either case not to attack.  Farrah is most likely either in second or third place (although possibly in first.  No one spends $50,000 twelve days before the election to knock out a distant fourth-place candidate.)

Under such circumstances, where they are not in second and third places competing for the final spot, Melissa’s and Farrah’s interests are (or at least should be) perfectly aligned.  Each should want the other to succeed, so that there is at least one Democrat on the City Council and ideally two.

It had appeared that Melissa Fox was not on the bubble because I hadn’t seen that ATLAS PAC had made a $46,000 expenditure against Fox on October 17; ATLAS PAC, unlike Dishonest Dave Gilliard’s PAC “California Homeowners Association” (“CAHOA”), had not been a player in this election until recently.  But with the information about ATLAS PAC, she too is on the bubble.  But Khan had gained enough momentum by mid-last week that Gilliard dropped his entire allocation on her, rather than spending more to take out Fox.  So they’re both within range.  The GOP is spending twice as much money on Kuo as it is on Christine Shea, suggesting that Shea is probably safely in first (or conceivably hopeless in fourth, but I doubt that) and Kuo is hoping for Fox and Khan to encourage their supporters to buller vote or to — as it now seems would clearly be the case — waste a vote on Faravar, who was endorsed a while back by Fox supporter Beth Krom.  That is no longer a viable strategy to beat Kuo.  All Democratic players should endorse both.

(Don’t worry, Republicans, Farrah is not interested in becoming an Agran autobot and Fox is too politically savvy to do so.  Even if Gaido wins the Mayorship, she won’t be leading a coalition seeking an Agran Restoration.  But they also would go along with fair investigations — although not an anti-Agran crusade.)

I’ll be posting a companion piece tomorrow that documents both Republican party and independent expenditure support and opposition for Irvine’s City Council (and Mayor and School Board) candidates.  But I don’t want the data that will be found in that post to dilute that larger message in this one: it is time for Irvine Democrats to come together in support of the endorsed DPOC candidates.  Only those two can win — and if the Republicans are spending money rationally then they are not a threat to each other. — and the most sure way for them both to lose to Kuo us for them to spend their time trying to beat the other rather than him.  They need to cross-endorse.

Let’s see who among them cooperates.  Hopefully both will — along with their supporters.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go 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.)