So I Spoke to Mayoral Candidate Jesse Nestor…

Ron Paul REVOLUTION graphic
Who is Santa Ana Mayoral candidate Jesse Nestor? A 19-year old Ron Paul Libertarian, of course!

I did not know Santa Ana Mayoral candidate Jesse Nestor’s pronouns until I called him and a male voice (Still not definitive, but he seems cis.) So I called him. He’s 19 years old. He rents a room in an apartment in Santa Ana. What surprised me is that he’s a libertarian. Not a Gary Johnson libertarian, he quickly added — a Ron Paul libertarian. He had not been expecting a call from a reporter (“citizen journalist” seemed unnecessarily complicated to explain), but I assured him that we were the oldest political blog in Orange County and added that we were its most important news source about local elections. He may not have bought it, but he promised to read check us out. Just as he was not prepared to be interviewed, I was not prepared to conduct a full-on interview — but then I decided “What the hell, let’s just get to know the guy.” You can judge the results for yourself.

I’m going to put my questions in bold — they will be somewhat paraphrased, but not in what I think is a misleading way — and his answers in plainface. Facts and views already noted above will not be duplicated below. The order of some questions has been shuffled around for narrative reasons.

OJB: I’m calling you because you’re the only one who seems to be running against Valerie Amezcua for Mayor.

J.N.: Oh, I don’t think that’s true. [You are running for Mayor, right?] Yes, but I don’t think that I’m the only one. [I’m looking at the site. You’re the only one who has qualified. I guess someone else who hasn’t qualified still could, but no one else was very far along in filing.] Where did you see this? [On the city website. Sarmiento can’t run because he’s running for Supervisor. Marl I. Lopex, Solorio, Tinajero — none of them got beyond pulling papers. Looks like just you and Valerie unless someone did a whole lot on Friday.] I’m surprised. I almost didn’t take your call.

OJB: Where did you attend high school?

J.N: Foothill H.S. in Tustin. [Tustin? Do you live in Santa Ana?] Yes, I’ve always lived in Santa Ana. My parents both lived here, but now they’ve moved to in South Los Angeles County. [So you didn’t attend high school here?] I petitioned to transfer to Foothill both because it’s near where I lived and they have better resources in Engineering, etc. I don’t like how high schools are funded through taxing businesses, but they are, and Tustin is richer and so it had better resources. [Huh.] But now attending I’m Santa Ana College. [What are you studying?] I aspire to become a Mechanical Engineer; I’m studying 3-D modeling. [Where do you plan to go for your Bachelor’s] I’m considering Long Beach.

OJB: I looked for you on social media and couldn’t find you. Are you on social media?

J.N.: I have only private social media accounts. This is my first time running; I’m trying to get everything in order. You’ll probably see a website and more by the end of this month.

OJB: Are you a member of a political party?

J.N.: I’m a member of the national Libertarian Party. [Thinks: DAFUQ?!!] Oh, because we don’t have a state Libertarian Party anymore? That’s right. We were decertified. [Well, have you volunteered in any campaigns?] I haven’t volunteered before now. I’ve just spent a lot of time spreading the word about the party. [Begins a long sophisticated discussion of the differences between Democrats and Libertarians. I tell him that I’m familiar with them.]

OJB: OK, you don’t agree with Democrats on taxation and regulation. Why aren’t you a Republican?

J.N.: I believe that Republicans are just like Democrats; they’re only moderate for a short time.

OJB: OK, then I presume that you’re against U.S. involvement with foreign countries?

J.N.: Yes.

OJB: And I’m guessing you’re pro-gun rights?

J.N.: I’m a very strong Second Amendment supporter.

OJB: Is using guns to intimidate people OK? I mean people who take political acts or opinions they don’t like.

J.N.: They should have guns themselves.

OJB: What about gun owners trying to intimidate people who don’t have guns?

J.N.: I’d push them to have guns.

OJB: What if they don’t want to have guns?

J.N.: Well, in that case, we can always have police.

OJB: Domestic violence?

J.N.: Just arrest those perpetrating domestic violence.

OJB: I know that this may not have much to do with local politics, but do you have a view on abortion?

J.N.: Am very pro-life, but it’s a cultural issue. Santa Ana is very Catholic. But we as a city could vote to ban abortion so long as it’s unanimous. [You mean a unanimous citywide vote?] Yes. [So if one person stands against it it doesn’t happen?] Yes. [OK, say there’s just one person who’s blocking its passage — what if they are intimidated by people with guns?] They should have a gun. [Should they have to have a gun?] I guess some people shouldn’t live in some areas due to their beliefs.

OJB: Do you believe that U.S. is a Christian country?

J.N.: No, I believe in the separation between church and state. Don’t cram it down others’ throats.

OJB: Let’s start by talking about Vince … Vicente Sarmiento. Do you have any criticisms about his performance as Mayor?

J.N.: I didn’t know much about him; I learned a bit in 2020. I didn’t mind Vicente being progressive, though I’m a little wary. We’re similar on our goals, but libertarians want other sorts of policies with deregulation, lower taxes. I believe in lowering the cost of living, but I don’t believe in taxing local businesses. That will stop local companies from building there if they can’t make a profit. I’m a big supporter of private property. They worked hard for it.

OJB: Do you know the quote from OW Holmes: that taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society?

J.N.: If civilized society, we don’t need taxes. [Huh?] Taxation is theft; it’s not voluntary.

OJB: OK, let’s talk about former Mayor Pulido. What do you think about him?

J.N.: I’ve researched Pulido. I think that he did a good getting rid of gangs, but he should have stopped after a few terms. He had fulfilled his promises, should have stopped. [Do you know why he was considered controversial?] I assume that it was corruption, in contracts and things.

OJB: What’s your attitude towards SAPOA? I’m against unions; we shouldn’t force them to join. [Actually it’s not technically a union, but it functions — let’s move on. What about priorities in policing?] Policing does need reform; we need to move towards enforcing bigger issues, like physical aggression and property crimes, rather than smaller victimless crimes. We should have strong policies that intimidate criminals from committing crimes.

OJB: Do you have thoughts about the large number of police shootings in Santa Ana?

J.N.: SAPD has been slow to respond to crimes. There are other means available. We’re overmilitarized.

OJB: Do tiy gave any thoughts about homelessness?

J.N.: It’s a tragedy of the commons. Not everyone who’s homeless is just suffering from misfortune. We should focus just on the homeless from Santa Ana. We should cut regulation so that nonprofits can help them. Anyone not willing to come back off of the streets should be kicked out. They are not wanted here. [Well, where do you think they should go?] Kick them to anywhere in OC. [I’m not sure that you can just –] Santa Ana was paid a lot of money to provide for the homeless — and politicians just pocketed the money and gave it to big donors. Taxpayers are paying for this and we don’t even want them here.

OJB: Are there other issues on your mind?

J.N.: The OCTA rail system on 4th Street. Contractors lied about it. It’s over budget and it will be delayed another year. Businesses are suffering. OCTA should pay the business owners more. If they don’t, we could hire someone to replace them.

OJB: Do you believe that Joe Biden won the Presidency in 2020 fairly, or that it was rigged.

J.N.: All elections have been rigged against the people.

OJB: No, I mean do you believe that Donald Trump’s accusations of voter fraud were accurate?

J.N.: The claims are misguided; there was not enough fraud to overturn the results.

OJB: What are your thoughts on the January 6 Committee?

J.N.: I understand people’s frustration, but it’s getting blown out of proportion that it’s an attack on democracy. [How so?] Members of Congress who are willing to send people to wars to due were hiding there quivering in fear; I found that hypocritical. [Do you think that the investigation is useful?] I don’t think it’s going anywhere. I think it’s a distraction from more important issues. If they want to go after Trump, they should be focusing on war crimes — and against all previous Presidents.

OJB: Do you know who your opponent Valerie Amezcua is?

J.N.: She’s on Santa Ana School Board.

OJB: Do you have any criticisms of her?

J.N.: I’m researching her policies.

OJB: Would you want to debate her?

J.N.: Yeah, I’d be willing to, anytime.

OJB: Do you have a picture of yourself you can send me?

J.N.: Not really, I’m still getting things together here….

OJB: How about if I just use one of Ron Paul?

J.N. [brightly]: That’d be GREAT!


[Ed. Note: Valerie Amezcua and anyone else who does end up qualifying to run for Santa Ana Mayor this year will be welcome to ask us to interview them as well.]

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-disabled and semi-retired, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally ran for office against jerks who otherwise would have gonr 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.) His daughter is a professional campaign treasurer. He doesn't usually know whom she and her firm represent. Whether they do so never influences his endorsements or coverage. (He does have his own strong opinions.) But when he does check campaign finance forms, he is often happily surprised to learn that good candidates he respects often DO hire her firm. (Maybe bad ones are scared off by his relationship with her, but they needn't be.)