Republicans Will Control the Board of Supervisors, Period

The Voice of OC’s election coverage has really gone up a notch this year, for which we congratulate them, and (*ahem*) we think that it may demonstrate the usefulness of competition in local online political journalism.

And Nick Gerda has been one of VOC’s best reporters — but there’s something about the vote-counting period for Board of Supervisors races that seems to bring out the worst in him. Take this story, currently in our sidebar:

It’s Neck-and-Neck: Who Will Control the Powerful OC Board of Supervisors?

The conceit of the story is that if Katrina Foley can hold off Pat Bates, “Democrats will control the Board of Supervisors” for the first time in decades.

No, they won’t. They really, really, really won’t.

It will provide the first majority of registered Democrats on the Board of Supes in generations, but that fact is very different from “Democratic control.” Chaffee’s top allies on the BOS have been Andrew Do and Don Wagner, and his top adversary has been Katrina Foley. That Lisa Bartlett will be gone and Vicente Sarmiento will be there does not matter for bean. Chaffee will continue to try to ensure that Foley has no real power, and that will likely extend to Sarmiento as well. Unless term limits intervene (and I’m not looking it up), replacing one of Do or Wagner with an functional rather than nominal Democrat in 2024 will be difficult, given their districts — but not impossible for the right candidate.

If Republican Supervisors check to see whether Doug Chaffee is still their guy, they won’t be disappointed. (We will.)

Chaffee’s “Doug Chaffee, DEMOCRAT” signs went away right after the primary, and as he pushed for Republican votes for the past five months even his nominal party registration has kept hidden. Three old men — two Republicans and one cynical, treacherous, and vengeful Joe Lieberman-like figure — will control the Board. Not Democrats. That’s exactly why Chaffee did not get the Democratic Party endorsement.

Sometimes you want to read someone’s signs to get what they’re all about; sometimes what’s not on signs can be even more important. And, dear friends at the VOC, the Supes’ signs don’t look good for Democrats over the next two years.

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.)