Thai Demolishes Tim Rush’s & Gerry Serrano’s Santa Ana Recall Arguments: DO NOT SIGN!

Thai Viet Phan, Tim Rush. Face of Santa Ana, face of Serrano’s recall.

  1. Good morning, Santa Ana! You who live in Wards 1 & 3 are lucky to be represented by Councilwomen Thai Viet Phan and Jessie Lopez, and you should NOT sign any Recall Petitions no matter what lies the paid signature gatherers tell you. Unless you write Mickey Mouse or Cantinflas.
  2. Santa Ana police and POA members are NOT so fortunate to be represented by Gerry Serrano, and THEY are the ones who should be launching a recall!

Two weeks ago, the Register printed a piece by Tim Rush, longtime Santa Ana gadfly and face of Gerry Serrano’s recall, entitled “Here’s Why Councilmembers Lopez and Phan Should be Recalled.” Since we are the very spirit of fairness, we link to it here, despite all its falsehoods.

Well, yesterday they printed Ms Phan’s expert rebuttal to those lies, and given how many dozens of times the Register has failed to credit the Orange Juice Blog when we’ve broken stories, we feel entitled to reprint most of Thai’s piece, minus just a few words:

I’ve Fought to Make Santa Ana Affordable, and Now I’m a Target.

The sham recall by Santa Ana Police Officers Association President Gerry Serrano and his corporate landlord allies is another brazen attempt to take money from hard-working Santa Ana residents to line their own pockets.

We know this scheme is based on lies because their first notice of intent to recall was quickly disqualified by the City Clerk. Why? Because they lied to voters about the law.

Recently, the chair of the recall committee Tim Rush penned a disinformation-ladened op-ed “explaining” why I deserve to be recalled.

The problem? Not one thing in his article warrants a recall. His op-ed does not point to any egregious abuse of power, ethical violations, or illegal behavior. Instead, it is a list of straw-man arguments and bald-faced lies.

His most blatant lie occurs when he claims I “voted to essentially kill future hotel development by supporting mandatory unionization requirements for new hotels.”

FACT: Hotel unionization has not been discussed in Santa Ana.

He also falsely alleges that I do not support public safety. For every vote he cites as a basis for recall, I voted the same way as other council members who were endorsed by public safety.

Here’s my record:

FACT: I voted to support enforcement against street racing spectators.

FACT: I voted not to repeal the anti-cruising ordinance and directed staff to find ways to establish a permitted event to allow safe cruising.

FACT: I voted to fund more police officers, expand the PAAL program, and pay for the equipment necessary to keep our officers and residents safe.

FACT: I voted with all my council colleagues to support a Police Oversight Commission with an independent director who has investigative authority. I specifically fought to ensure former law enforcement personnel and their family members can also serve on the commission. I support public safety, transparency, and accountability.

If my positions on public safety were the reason for the recall, what does it say when my record is the same as other public safety-endorsed council members?

But Mr. Rush doesn’t stop there. He continues with deliberate misinformation regarding rent stabilization and just cause eviction protections in Santa Ana. Here’s some basic fact-checking.

FACT: Not paying rent is a valid basis for eviction, full stop.

FACT: Rent stabilization does not apply to affordable housing units, and affordable housing developers have continued to build in Santa Ana.

FACT: Studies show that rent stabilization keeps families in their homes and is a powerful tool to help prevent homelessness.

Here’s our economic reality: Santa Ana residents are struggling, and 60% of those who live here are renters. I’m proud to stand with our residents and help make it easier for families to afford housing and stay in their homes. Why would Mr. Rush want to exacerbate the homelessness crisis?

If this recall were truly about public safety or renter protections, Mr. Rush and Mr. Serrano would be pursuing a recall against everyone who supported the policies with which they disagree. But they’re not. When confronted by journalists about this obvious contradiction, Mr. Rush said that other councilmembers weren’t as vulnerable and “there’s only so much room on the plate.”

His statement proves that this sham recall is nothing but dirty politics, targeting the only Vietnamese American councilmember in Santa Ana.

Ultimately, a recall election could cost Santa Ana residents over $1 million.

If Mr. Rush, Mr. Serrano, and their special interest backers are so concerned about the economic well-being of the city and truly care about taxpayers, they should wait until the next election or agree to cover the costs of this election themselves.

Santa Ana taxpayers are smart enough to see through this sham recall for what it is: a money-grab by Gerry Serrano and corporate landlords at the expense of working families.

The Orange Juice Blog adds:


Note: I asked Thai why Jessie is not mentioned in this piece; it is because the two women’s records are different, especially on “public safety votes.” We assume Jessie will write her own piece, and we will publish that too.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.