Weekend Open Thread: Who Should Replace Ceci If She Loses?




Vern has convinced me that voting to recall Ceci Iglesias under the conditions of the current Ward 6 recall is just wrong.  Personally, I’m less concerned about the pensions — the inevitable municipal bankruptcy this contributes to will take care of that — and more concerned about the attempt to block police accountability in Santa Ana.  I don’t know whether that consideration alone would have been enough to Ceci to vote against the police position, but at this point we have to give her the benefit of that doubt.

Thai Viet Phan, Angie Cano, and Nelida Mendoza seek to replace Ceci Iglesias if she is recalled in Santa Ana’s Ward 6.

For what it’s worth, I’m also not particularly concerned about Ceci advancing to higher office.  In fact, from a purely partisan standpoint, it’s probably better for Democrats for Ceci to be retained, because then the SAPD will blow its top and go all-in on removing her from office in November.  That’s less money that they have to spend on other races, including the Mayor’s race.

The only fault I find with Vern’s story is that, given the likelihood that the SAPD will succeed in removing Ceci, whether we like it or not, it’s better to suggest who people should vote for along with their vote against the recall.  I don’t have strong feelings about this, so I’ll leave it to commenters in this here Open Thread.

Election Information

A few election facts:

  • This is a 100% vote-by-mail ballot.  No polling places, nor voting centers, will be open.  Just U.S. mailboxes and ballot drop-off sites.
  • Monday May 4 is the last day to register to vote “normally” in this election.  Registrations from May 5 through May 19 will be “conditional registrations,” which may require a little more work to prove your eligibility after you vote.
  • Voting-by-mail began on April 20 and continues through May 12 — though there is “emergency” vote-by-mail voting through Election Day, May 19.  I’m not sure what entails, but it may require either a call or a visit to the Registrar of Voters office in Santa Ana.
  • You’ll find a list of ballot drop-off locations here.  The ROV’s drop-off is open until 8 p.m. on Election Night; I think that that’s true for all the others, but it’s not quite clear.  I presume (but do know know) that the procedure will be the same as with walk-up voting, such that if you’re in a line to vote by 8 p.m. — either on foot or in a car — you still get to vote … but this is one time I would not wait until the last minute!
  • You can request a replacement ballot, within whatever time limits exist — no deadline is listed on the calendar — here.  They were supposed to be out to you by April 27, so get on it if you didn’t get one (especially if you have moved since November!)  If you haven’t received a ballot, visit ocvote.com/replacement or call 714-567-7600.
  • You’ll find information about accommodations for disabled voters and language assistance for voters here in the Voter Information Guide.

Candidate Information

Three candidates are running to replace Iglesias if she is removed: Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Nelida Mendoza, Planning Commissioner and Attorney Thai Viet Phan, and Planning Commissioner and Iglesias protege Angie Cano.

DPOC has endorsed Phan.  I often consider that to be a bad sign, but let’s skip that discussion for now.  Mendoza, whom I generally like as a Trustee, lists three endorsements in her candidate statement: Lou Correa, Loretta Sanchez, and Tom Daly.  Well, that certainly sends a message.

I’m more than open to other people’s opinions (ideally Santanans, possibly even limited doses of Mike Tardif) on this race.  Here’s how I’d handicap it:

If your main motivation wanting to poke a stick into the eye of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, you’re probably going to vote for Cano, who is the only one who mirrored Iglesias’s position and called for a “no” vote on the recall in her candidate statement.  There’s a certain elegance to Iglesias and Cano working together to keep this seat: first Cano is elected to serve until November, then either Cano or Iglesias runs in November — and when they’re recalled sometime in 2021 the other can win a recall election and take over, and then when they are recalled the first one can go back into office, etc.  Eventually, the head of SAPOA gets deposed and everyone has a good laugh.  I’m no more a fan of Cano’s than I am of Iglesias’s, but I do like the Warner Brother’s cartoos where some overconfident reprobate ends up holding a bomb that they had planted in their hands just before it explodes — so I can’t say that I’d weep at this result.

I have expected to support Mendoza, but those Correa and Daly endorsements are not appetizing.  (The Loretta endorsemrny doesn’t move me either way.)  So I went to her website, where her endorsements appear near the bottom.  Sharon Quirk-Silva and Sal Tinajero are there, as are many unions — how did she not get the DPOC endorsement? — along with every other (mostly moderate establishment) members of the Rancho Santiago District — Claudia Alvarez included! — along with Valerie Amezcua, Mike Dalati, and several others.  (No Jose Solorio, so at least that’s something!)

Phan seems to have the support of the Vietnamese community,  The big photo of Janet Nguyen on her site freaked me out until I realized that it was part of the Viet TV station’s news graphic.  Oh dear.

ACK!  ACK!  ACK!  ACK!  ACK!  

I know that that’s a still from a video graphic of a TV station that gave her a 40-minute interview — but in her position I would still do everything I could to get that off of her campaign site.

Phan’s other endorsements give me political vertigo: they’re a mix ranging from the execrable to the admirable.

  • David Peñaloza and Phil Bacerra
  • Ahmad Zahra and Tiffany Ackley
  • Melissa Fox and Farrah Khan
  • Jamison Power and Andrew Rodriguez
  • Manny Escamilla and Walter Muñeton
  • Kim Bernice Nguyen and Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen

In addition, there are the OC Labor Fed and individual Building Trades.

I just don’t know how to process all of that.  I hope that some of the endorsers for each of the candidates might show up here and argue their case.  Figuring out an endorsement like this is can be a dirty job … but it has to be done, and not even primarily by me!

This is your highly belated, but still here, Weekend Open Thread.  Talk about that, or whatever else you’d like, within reasonable bounds of decency and discretion.


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.)