Cantor’s Last Minute Ballot Guide—Fullerton and Anaheim

Not from the actual CDP Chair Election Challenge

For our readers a little sick of the sappy liberalism exuding from Vern or Greg, I offer a few thoughts from a Conservative on key decisions in North Orange County.

Orange County District Attorney, Spitzer vs. Rackauckas

This is the most important item on your ballot.

This one is much too sad and much too long to explain.  If you’re tired of being a national embarrassment for lack of ethical conduct in law school lecture halls throughout the country, tired of letting murderers and felons out of prison due to legal and ethical misconduct, tired of regular sustained findings of Constitutional Liberty impairment, and tired of refusing to hold anyone accountable for any of this, vote for Todd Spitzer.

Todd’s the only person capable of affecting change in the District Attorney’s office.  The culture is entrenched, needs to be completely burned out of every nook and cranny, and if we don’t let Spitzer do what needs to be done, we’ll have another major scandal on our hands in six months.

Orange County Supervisor, District 4, Chaffee vs. Shaw

This really shouldn’t be a serious question, yet it is.

Doug has failed on every position possible, save one.  He’s an outstanding figurehead.  He gets the impact of symbolism, shows up at just about everything, shakes hands, kisses babies, all important things that every elected official should do and easily Doug’s best quality, but he’s wildly betrayed his constituents in three critical areas.

West Coyote Hills—Doug, from the dais, told all of Fullerton that Measure W permanently revoked prior approvals given to Chevron, meaning development of the hills was done.  After discussing SCUBA diving with a Chevron lobbyist (not a joke), Doug pulled a 180, voted to approve a vesting tentative track map, and actively opposed the Newman/Silva bill to protect West Coyote Hills through a state-run conservancy.  I’ve never seen a flip flop this massive and Doug shouldn’t be rewarded for it, though many voters will approve of where he landed after his gymnastics.

Fullerton District Maps—After months of community meetings and outstanding work by groups and individuals members, Doug inexplicably abandoned the recommendations of the city’s demographer and the recommendations of many good folks participating in the process to adopt an unvetted map developed by a downtown bar owner.  This was a tremendous smack in the face to local progressive groups and the entire downtown residential community.  Again, many voters will approve Doug’s dismissal of groups involved in the mapping effort.

Hunt Branch Library—Doug has gone on record stating that a building gifted to the City of Fullerton for the sole purpose of being used as a library should be sold and the funds should be appropriated for non-library purposes.  Aside from being legally dubious, the ethics of an elected official allowing a gift made to the public to be used for any purpose (read pensions, salaries, and deferred infrastructure repair) other than the one intended are repugnant.  While I feel Doug’s votes on WCH and District Voting are more significant betrayals, I do think this failure of public stewardship ought to bar Mr. Chaffee from serving in any public office going forward.

Contrast this with Tim Shaw, who has only voted for balanced budgets as the Mayor of La Habra, who has established excellent working relationships across party lines at several special districts to which he’s assigned, and whose wife was not caught red-handed on video interfering with a local election by stealing campaign signs.

From what I’ve seen, the only folks advocating for Mr. Chaffee to serve as Supervisor are either party hacks who believe all Democrats are preferable to any Republican or on the payroll of his $650,000 self-funded campaign.  This was the perfect campaign for DPOC to show the County it has principles and the backbone required to support them.  Sadly, the local party backed someone who actively undermined group objectives while serving as an elected official for six years.

**On a personal note, in the rare event that Doug or someone from his staff reads this post, people talk Doug.  I’m aware of what you’ve been saying about me in our shared community.  It’s wrong, it’s ugly, and if this post costs you the ten votes you need for Supervisor, you have it coming.**

AD-65 Assembly, Silva vs. Coronado

Looking at absentee returns, this race is going to Silva.  By party ID, Sharon is up by 500 votes before the polls open.  This seems largely consistent with a legislator who’s widely known, works very hard, and takes moderate positions.

AD-65 could do much worse.  Sharon knows her district and does an outstanding job bringing home pork spending (grants for Coyote Hills and the Fox Theater).  I certainly don’t agree with all her positions, but I do agree on many.

Here’s to hoping Sharon assumes a more definitive leadership style after this election.  She endorses too many Democrats who just aren’t good legislators (arguably people, e.g. Jordan Brandman), gets tossed around by competitive interests (e.g., building trades for the disgusting water pirates at Poseidon), and defers larger party leadership roles to others (i.e., the 10,000 Democrats running for Congress in CA-39 instead of her.)

Take some risks, Sharon.  You have the political capital to do so.  We need it and so do you.

Fullerton, District 3, Silva versus Sebourn

One of the more interesting races in Orange County for any fan of political theory.  Two incumbents running against each other for a single seat because of a district change (or establishment in this case)?  We’d normally see this in states with shrinking populations because of Congressional districts being eliminated.  It’s exciting stuff, as a lot of determinative factors related to incumbency get tossed out the window.

If I lived in District 3, I’d be voting for Greg Sebourn.

Greg has served Fullerton since winning a seat in the 2012 recall.  His decision-making approach is pragmatic, inclusive, and deliberate.  He doesn’t use his office for self-aggrandizement, he votes for fiscal responsibility, but more importantly, Greg votes his conscience.

I don’t have much negative to say about Mr. Silva.  I do wish he lived about 200 feet further south, so he’d be running in District 5.  Jesus is a genuinely nice person who wants to represent his community in a meaningful way.  I happen to like Greg’s voting record more than Jesus’s, but Mr. Silva is a credit to Fullerton as well.

Fullerton, District 5, Ybarra vs. Zahra vs. The Ghost of Marshall-Chaffee vs. Everyone Else

What a disaster.

If I stop writing for the Orange Juice Blog, District 5 will be the reason why.  More on that later.

First, if you happen to live in D5, do not vote for Paulette Marshall-Chaffee or her husband Doug.  She was caught on video taking political signs that do not belong to her, neither she or her husband have publicly apologized, and you can be darn sure that if you or I were caught on video stealing anything with the name CHAFFEE on it, we’d be filling out our ballots from behind bars and possibly missing a few teeth.

The lack of public accountability and apparent favor trading in this incident has, and apparently will be for the foreseeable future, absolutely disgusting.

Concerning the candidates who haven’t pseudo-dropped out, I think this race will likely be won by Johnny Ybarra or Ahmad Zahra.  Ybarra is the lone Republican in the race and Zahra has secured every progressive endorsement within 400 miles.

I don’t have a strong opinion on this race, but if your sole concern is fiscal responsibility, vote Ybarra.  That’s generally my primary concern, so Johnny would probably have my vote.

If your primary concern is anything other than fiscal responsibility, vote Zahra.  Ahmad’s campaign is well over a year old, I think he may have knocked on every door in D5 personally, and he genuinely wants to do right by his neighbors.  I do not agree with most of Ahmad’s platform, but I can tell you his arguments are well reasoned, that he listens to opposing viewpoints, and advocates for his neighbors before his ideology.  I respect that.  If Zahra wins on Tuesday, I hope criticism typical of Fullerton’s City Council doesn’t put a dour on his positive disposition.  ** Post draft edit, I just got a copy of a Zahra attack ad, slamming Ybarra for c-o-r-r-e-c-t-l-y identifying major structural issues with Fullerton’s budget.  Noted for future reference.  Nothing wrong with a hit piece, but this one is really dubious.**

No offense to everyone else running.  This post is long enough as it is, thank you for running to represent your corner of Fullerton and thank you for not stealing signs.

United States Congress, CA-39, Cisneros vs. Kim

Two months ago, I really wanted to roll into Tuesday voting for Kim.  North Orange County Republicans badly need to keep this seat, and I didn’t want to reward Cisneros for selfishly kicking out better candidates (e.g. Jay Chen) during the primary.

Yet here we are, the evening before the election, and I find myself unable to cast my vote for Young Kim.


Well, for two big reasons.

First, Young learned absolutely nothing from her loss to Sharon Quirk-Silva in 2014’s State Assembly race.  Despite spending record amounts of money, her entire strategy resolved around gutter slinging with mail pieces.  Of the 257 pieces of mail I received, not one advocated any real constructive set of policies, or even a single cornerstone policy, to underpin a thoughtful conservative campaign.

Two years later, I have another stack of mail from Young Kim.  Half of it slams her opponent because “_x_” reasons, the other features some lovely smiling pictures of Kim.  No platform. No critical thought.  No reason to vote for her, just plenty to discourage me from voting for her opponent.

Second, a few weeks ago, Young Kim stuck her nose where it didn’t belong concerning Anaheim politics.

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably pretty familiar with Anaheim’s state of being since 2010.  Two years ago, Anaheim voters ***finally*** pushed off the yoke of cronyism in favor of community focused politicians dedicated to improving the quality of life for its residents.  This required some unlikely bipartisan partnerships, which have a cost, but which also have a tremendous benefit.

When Young weighed in to support a OCGOP endorsement of Harry Sidhu, not only did she actively endorse a return to cronyism in Anaheim, she actually advocated that her personal political future is more important than the well being of 340,000 Anaheim residents.

Yeah, I’m not going to vote for someone that indifferent to cronyism or that politically vain.  Just won’t happen.

So, vote Cisneros or leave it blank. I’ll write in Shawn Nelson.

Anaheim Mayor, Sidhu vs. Aiken vs. Galloway vs. Ward

In a just world, this race goes to Cynthia Ward by ten points.  Cynthia is the only candidate to be involved in every single major public issue for the last decade.  Keep in mind this claim includes two former city council representatives, both of whom have been noticeably absent from public advocacy for the last four years.

But, as we all know, this isn’t a just world.  Cynthia isn’t funded by Disney or unions.  If I lived in Anaheim, she’d absolutely have my vote and more of my money.  Ms. Ward enjoys a substantive core of support attached to her many years of public advocacy.  We’ll find out how that core stacks up against large piles of money tomorrow.

When Ashley Aiken arrived on the scene as a political candidate last year, I had several long standing and well-respected Anaheim families call me to express support for her run for mayor.  These are people I know and trust and after observing Ashley’s campaign, I understand why so many have faith in her message.  She’s powerful, positive, and persuasive.  I wish she had a public record opposing cronyism instead of words of promise to do so in the future, but I’ll take promises over active attempts to take public property and tax dollars to gift them to political contributors.  Ashley is a reasonable choice for your vote.

Which brings us to Harry Sidhu.

Harry likes to pretend to be different things.  He’s pretended to live where he doesn’t to run for office.  He’s run for State Assembly and Supervisor, failed, then re-registered to vote where he lives.  He’s pretended to be a civil servant.  When interviewing with the OC Supervisors for an appointment to the vacant Clerk-Recorder position, Harry advocated putting satellite county offices . . . in space (that actually happened.)

Most recently, Harry pretended to be a veteran in the Anaheim Hills Fourth of July Parade (that he paid to sponsor . . . I don’t recall seeing that on his 460s.)  His excuse for wearing an olive jumpsuit with wings etched into the left chest while riding a camo Humvee?  It’s just his civilian helicopter uniform.

Really, Harry?  We’re all that stupid as to believe you were out and about flying your helicopter that morning and ran out of time to change before driving down to appear in the parade that you paid for?

So here we have a candidate who not once, but twice expected you to vote for him as a carpetbagger, who was so desperate to secure a public appointment that he suggested putting county offices in earth orbit rather than admit just how confused he really was, and someone who sees not a problem, but actual relevance, when wearing an olive jumpsuit in a camo Humvee during a parade.

Nope.  This guy belongs staring at his reflection in a pond, not on a dais representing 340,000 people.  I will never understand why Disney couldn’t find anyone else to be their choice for Mayor.  This was a train-wreck of a choice.  Burbank ought to take notice of yet another failure to do something right.

I won’t get much into Lorri Galloway’s campaign, but I have strong reservations about her attachment to political reality given her 2014 failed mayoral run combined with this year’s sub-par efforts.  Assuming I’m reading her latest 460 filing correctly, Ms. Galloway has loaned herself $188,000 to run for Mayor this time around.  She’ll likely finish a distant third, possibly fourth.

Just my opinion, but I don’t think that’s a rational mind at work, but perhaps I’m wrong about how good her chances might be.

Anaheim, District 3, Moreno vs. Caldwell

I’ll keep this one short.  The City of Anaheim would not finally be able to get out from Disney’s thumb without the efforts of Dr. Jose Moreno.  Vote for him because you must.  He cares about his community and will do the right thing even when it means doing something that limits his personal ambition.  I don’t like Dr. Moreno’s policies, but he’s the right man for the job.  He has a soul, he uses it, and we all benefit from it.

Mitch Caldwell is stuck in Anaheim circa 1992.  I’m sure he’s a nice guy with nice ideas, but he’s clearly being used to affect someone’s agenda that lives and breathes politics in 2018.

Anaheim, District 2, Brandman vs. Vanderbilt

Democrats of Orange County, you royally disappointed so many people with your endorsement in this race.

Let’s compare the candidates.

James Vanderbilt serves his country as an Army Reservist and was deployed at least twice.

While James was out fighting for your freedom, Jordan Brandman was getting paid $25,000 of your tax dollars to turn in a report plagiarized from Wikipedia.

He turned in the report late.

James Vanderbilt self-funds his campaigns.

Jordan Brandman’s campaigns are funded by anyone and everyone looking to receive money from City Hall.  Disney, the Chamber of Commerce, Anaheim Police, Anaheim Fire, Orange County Employee Association, the Building Trades Council, Hotel Owners, Apartment Developers, and water pirates.

James Vanderbilt hasn’t been censured by anyone at any time for any reason.

Jordan Brandman was censured by his own party for actively undermining residents’ efforts to transition to district elections.

James Vanderbilt can grow a badass Movember Mustache.

Jordan Brandman can recite the entirety of Robert’s Rules of Order, with occasional accuracy, to demand that he be the only one allowed to talk for the next three minutes.

Look, people, this one is the easiest choice on the ballot.  James Vanderbilt is a lifelong public servant for Anaheim and his county.  Jordan Brandman is a whiny child who needs to get a real freaking job.

Anaheim Measures J and K, Tax Giveaways to Millionaire Developers

No on J and K.  If Anaheim voters pass these two propositions, it’ll be open season on negotiating corporate taxes in the city.  You don’t get to negotiate taxes with the IRS or Sacramento, you pay what you owe.  Hotel Developers shouldn’t be treated any differently than you or your family.

Pay what they owe.  No more, no less.  No handouts, no corporate welfare, now go work hard to turn a profit like anyone else.

Anaheim Measure L, Expanding Bad Tax Giveways to Make It Worse for Everyone

As much as I’d love to see those on the receiving end of hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare get a smack in the face from the voting public, this measure simply makes everything worse.

Everyone in Anaheim should oppose giving away tax revenue to build hotels.  If voters believe that taxes are too high, lower the tax.  Allowing individual builders to negotiate tax rebates not available to the broader industry while making significant donations to the campaigns of city council members is properly labeled cronyism.

While Measure L would slap a penalty on those seeking to rip off the taxpayer, it also erodes the bulwark against the abuse in the first place.  Measure L will provide a strong incentive for additional employee unions to pressure public officials for tax giveaways to support hotel construction under the false aura of “creating good paying jobs.”

This is just code for wealth redistribution, specifically YOUR wealth to not you and your family.

Proposition 6, The Gas Tax Repeal

You should vote to get rid of this unnecessary tax increase.  You’re being lied to and that ought to be punished.

First, the gas tax funds high speed rail (HSR), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and a bunch of other nonsense you’ll never use.  It should only (as has been repeatedly promised) only fund road repair.  It doesn’t, so vote it out.  There are plenty of people lying to your face about a “lock box” concerning revenue. Read the code yourself, keyword “rail”.  Don’t get confused if it doesn’t say “High Speed Rail.”  Anyone familiar with how rail works in this state will happily explain how shared track and infrastructure works on existing commuter rail.  ALL OF THE RAIL FUNDING IN SB1 is critically necessary to minimize the bill presented to the public to fund high speed rail.  Classic shell game.  Don’t be fooled.

Second, there’s plenty of money for roads within the existing general fund.  The problem isn’t a lack of dollars, it’s a lack of will.  Politicians in Sacramento refuse to make the necessary hard choices to put road infrastructure repair and replacement ahead of buying votes from their constituencies.

Look at Fullerton as an example.  Our Assemblywoman made a big deal out of getting free tuition for Fullerton Junior College Students, a grant for FJC welding, millions for West Coyote Hills protection, and a million or so for the Fox Theater refurbishment.  Important?  Yes.  More important than, if you believe the firefighters on television, then life saving bridge and road repair?

NO!  Yet we’re being told that repealing the gas tax will kill people.  This is ridiculous.  The only things getting killed by getting rid of the nation’s second highest gas tax is a slow train to nowhere, a few pork projects, and hopefully voter ignorance and apathy.

Tell the liars no and repeal the gas tax.  Yes on 6.

About Ryan Cantor

Our conservative columnist, raised in North Orange County, works as an auditor.