Vern’s ADEM Choices. (Deadline extended to Feb 3!)

Boomer & Ivan.

This is just for OC Democrats who already requested (by last Monday night) their ballots to vote in the ADEM races, to help shape the policies and philosophy of our State Party.   Greg’s guide is a good place to start too, and he did invite me to italicize all the names on it I agree with, but I don’t presume to know much about most insider or outsider Dems throughout this county, so I’m focusing on my own Anaheim / Santa Ana / Garden Grove District 69.

And also, the Party of the People Slate (below) is a good place to start, but they don’t have anywhere near 14 candidates in each race.  And in some districts, it’s important to try to keep SOME candidates from being elected.  Especially certain male candidates (I’m sorry, “other than self-identified female” candidates) in the 69th.

Further complicating things, I like all six of the “OSIF” candidates in the 69th, but there are two guys I like even better – Boomer Vicente and Ivan Enriquez – who didn’t get onto that slate for one reason or another.  So I have had the painful task of choosing 7 of these fine candidates, all of whom are friends, out of 8.

I made some criteria.  Any candidate I’d vote for had to support reformer Delaine Eastman over establishment hack incumbent Rusty Hicks, for state Party Chairman.  It seems all eight of these guys are Down with Delaine; in fact I think everyone on the “Party of the People” slate supports Delaine, along with Medicare For All and the Green New Deal.

I sent out a questionnaire with tougher questions.  What is your position on Poseidon and WHY and WILL YOU SAY IT OUT LOUD.  What is your position on the Anaheim Stadium Heist and WHY and WILL YOU SAY IT OUT LOUD.  What’s your critique of the Party and how can it be improved?  “Should we stand up to unions when they make demands that are unaffordable and short-sighted, and can you think of examples?”  What politicians (Dem AND Reep) should be recalled or defeated? (I let them be confidential on that one.)

And all eight of these non-self-identified-females responded with good answers, I thought.  So, it is with extreme sadness that I leave out, from my endorsements, my (I hope still) friend Jorge Gavino, for the bad judgment of backing Avelino Valencia in this last election;  I hope I can support him again next time around.  He is a great critic of Jordan Brandman and Harry Sidhu, but how he could have nevertheless backed their ally Avelino and helped Sidhu grow his loyal majority (when he coulda backed either Jeanine or Annemarie) was some kinda severe lapse in judgment.

So, in the 69th AD, unless you’ve got some brilliant reason not to, please vote for:

  • the STALWART Jestin Samson!
  • the flamboyant talk-show host Joese Hernandez!
  • the youthful, earnest Ivan Enriquez!
  • the sincere Paul Gonzales!
  • the studious Benjamin Vasquez!
  • the great police critic (and Soros-funded, you hear that righties?) Bulmaro “Boomer” Vicente!
  • and the other great police critic, from Garden Grove, Robert Tucker, who’s also really pissed that Democratic-endorsed candidates don’t keep to their pledges!

For “self-identified females” in 69, Yenni Diaz is great, and I hope she also gets onto the “E-Board.”  (I don’t see the option to vote on E-Board – must be an insiders-only vote?)  Not knowing any reasons not to, I also added my union friend Adalgisa (Ada Tamayo) Jones, and Thai Viet Phan who seems like a good SA Councilwoman so far  (I hope she votes against Poseidon in that upcoming Santa Ana vote.)

NB Don’t forget to fill out your “Voter Registration Number” on the reverse side!

ALSO your ballot has to be RECEIVED by Wednesday the 27th, so try to mail it by Friday the 22nd!


***Edited MLK Day now that we understand how “E-Board” is chosen***

Now that we know that whichever ADEM candidate who is also running for E-Board, and gets more ADEM votes than the other E-Board candidates in that race, takes E-board (i.e. no separate race for E-Board) … AND GIVEN THAT THE E-BOARD IS VERY IMPORTANT … this changes the physics of the race and we will be a little more reluctant to endorse, AT ALL, an ADEM/E-Board candidate who is not our first choice for E-Board (did that make sense?) this is the new line-up:

AD 55:

Greg Diamond, Verronica Clements, Natalie Estrada, Wesley Smith, Lyndsey Lefevbre, Keri Kropke.

AD 65:

Bobbi-Lee Smart, Mike Rodriguez, Carolina Mendez, Alfredo Heredia, Rebecca Kovacs Stein, and Jose Trinidad Castaneda.

AD 68:

Dannet Abbot-Wicker, Anat Herzog, Dave Sonneborn, and Mani Kang.

AD 72:

Tracy La (of VietRise!), Dan Ma, Stephen Einstein, Nathan Searles, Gina Tiffany, Vincent P. Tran, Gina Clayton-Tarvin, Steve Lathus and Nicky Nguyen.

AD 73:

Sudi Farokhnia and Parshan Khosravi!

AD 74:

Lauren Johnson-Norris, Dean Inada, Lamba Najib, Ron Varaseh, Laura Robinson Oatman, John Stephens, and Kev Abazajian.

(Original Version)

AD 55:

  • Party of the People says Natalie Estrada Cruz, Verronica Clements, Wesley Smith,
  • OF COURSE my partner the prolix progressive GREG DIAMOND (whose candidate statement I’ll re-print below),
  • the wonderful Lyndsey Lefevbre, and
  • Brea racist-fighter Keri Kropke.
  • (Greg also says Gallagher, Hayakawa, Rawlings, Shah, Mann, Clements, Barnes, and Baig … and Greg should know cuz he lives up there.  And by Greg’s logic, Clements should be our E-board choice.)

AD 65:

  • my good friend Mike Rodriguez as well as Carolina Mendez and Alfredo Heredia,
  • Most definitely my good friend homeless advocate Rebecca Kovacs Stein, who shoulda been on the People Slate;
  • Jose Trinidad Castaneda who’s been fighting a lotta good fights lately;
  • Bobbi-Lee Smart for both this and E-Board;
  • and Greg says Tutor, Davis, Suliman, Wodka, Alvarez, and both Thakurs.

AD 68:

  • The great tigress Dannet Abbot-Wicker (also for E-Board)
  • My good old friends Anat Herzog, the slow-talking Dave Sonneborn, and the loud-talking Mani Kang!
  • The rest of that “People” slate whom I don’t know – Nina Baldwin, Andrew Swetland & Kyler Asato (I’ve got a problem with Jenny Lynn)
  • Lee Fink, Ashleigh Aitken, and Naz Hamid, although Katie Porter’s “Orange to Blue” slate is a problem with bad people on it;
  • And Greg also suggests McLaughlin, Perle, Futrel, & Baldwin.

AD 72:

  • I don’t know ANY of these Party of the People folks but I assume they’re good if they’re on the slate – you got your MA, you got your LA, you got Tran, Nguyen and Tiffany, and you’ve got a Lathus man who might be related to the way-cool Shayna
  • Greg swears that Einstein and Searles are “GREAT older candidates,” and us OLD FOLKS are starting to get under-represented around this joint. Also Tromp and… hey!  It’s Gina Clayton-Tarvin!  Well, NATURALLY her!
  • TRACY LA (who by the way is the brilliant founder of VietRise) FOR E-BOARD!

AD 73:

  • Don’t know ANY of these damn people.  Well I suppose I know *cough* Lenore unfortunately, and I also know Jenna Beck – Jenna really wants me to endorse her, and she’s progressive but she sure is high-strung!
  • In this district, Party of the People includes only Parshan Khosravi and Sudi Farokhnia.  A challenging district apparently – for spelling and pronunciation at least.
  • Beyond that Greg suggests Chaturvedi, Hurt, Eckert, Bacon, Tuohey, Ridley, Mosqueda and Lima, May, and Oddo.
  • Sudi F. for E-Board, tho Parshan K. seems great too!

AD 74:

  • People Slate includes my old quiet buddy Dean Inada as well as Anne Mohr, Lamba Najib, and Hanieh Jodat.
  • Lauren Johnson-Norris is one of this County’s GREAT Democrats and I hope she gets on Council next time!
  • Greg also suggests Harley-helper Oatman, our old Occupy pal Varaseh, former CM councilman Stephens, Irvine’s Abazajian, and some folks called Salgado, De la Cruz, and Bell.
  • For E-Board I’m rooting for Lauren J-N!


Boomer’s the only candidate to ask me for an endorsement QUOTE, and that was a pleasure to do:

APPENDIX 2: the Diamond Statement

Greg was too BASHFUL AND MODEST to copy his own candidate statement onto this blog, so I’ll copy it here instead:

I was raised in OC, returning to it in late 2006 after 22 years away for school and work. In 2010, I became the County Chair of Jerry Brown’s campaign for Governor. (OC became the only Democratic County Party to refuse to participate in the State Party’s “Coordinated Campaign” because its leaders didn’t want to promote Kamala Harris for Attorney General.)

In 2016, I became County Chair of Kamala Harris’s Senate campaign, when OC’s leaders recruited Loretta Sanchez to run against her. That same year, I became the first and main person within DPOC, where I had been Vice Chair, to support Josh Newman for State Senate against DPOC’s chosen insider candidate. My point is that I have a lot of experience with confronting party officials who are unreasonably wrong –- mostly because they (1) are extremely deferential to authority (and donors) and (2) oppose the party’s Left/Progressive wing, with which they do not want to share ACTUAL power. (But they still want support from the Left – and don’t seem to understand that they won’t get it if they treat leftist potential voters – whom they think are OBLIGED to support Dems no matter what they do – like shit.)

I’m proud of my support for Brown and Harris –- and of my supporting Bernie Sanders for President. I’m also proud that I could reach out to scorned voters MORE effectively in support of Biden/Harris because I DON’T bow to party leaders unquestioningly.

This (as some may inform you) has gotten me in trouble with leaders who value their personal advancement within the party without regard to what policies are right and good. But I’ve also been able to work productively with people both to the left and the right of our Party for (what should be) our comment goals –- usually fighting corruption that our party’s “realists” claim that we must abide for political reasons.

CDP has huge problems –- but also some of the best people I’ve ever known in almost 50 years in politics. The party flouts its rules to repress and freeze them out — but they fight on. The party doesn’t need a majority of people like me who don’t sacrifice ethics to ambition — but it DOES need SOME of us!

I’m one of the few who has done it very well –- “knocked down, but I get up again.” If want someone who will push to keep people honest within the party, I want your vote. You can read my political writing at

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.