YOUR “MARCH PRIMARY” BALLOT – Start at the Bottom and “Vote UPBALLOT!”


1. NOTE: “March” is in quotation marks because your ballots should be coming in the mail EARLY THIS WEEK you should ALREADY have your ballot. And so you’ll probably want to get your votes in soon, in February, so you don’t forget. Because, life, you know.

2. “Primary” is also in quotation marks because this is the first and ONLY vote for many important things – education, judges, the measures, and possibly both Supervisor races.

3. For the above reason, we are encouraging voters to start at the BOTTOM OF YOUR BALLOT – the measures, education, judges and supervisors – the races that most busy and normal people don’t get around to… and THEN “VOTE UPBALLOT.” President last! So here we go, down to the bottom…

Proposition 1

This state initiative, already passed by your legislature but requiring your okay because it’s so expensive, is nicknamed “Treatment Not Tents,” and authorizes a $6.4 BILLION bond to “build mental health treatment facilities for those with mental health and substance use challenges and providing housing for the homeless.” HERE are the arguments for and against.

First of all, how can we trust anyone who repeatedly claims that taking out a $6.4 BILLION BOND will “NOT RAISE TAXES?” The “NO” folks are correct that our children and grandchildren would be paying this off for decades. Just like Anaheim is still paying off the bond we took out to help Disney in the 90’s.

Joining conservatives and Republicans on the “No” side are folks who are already doing this work on mental illness and homelessness under 2004’s “Mental Health Services Act” (MHSA, funded by the “Millionaire Tax”) and they say this’ll interfere with what they’re already doing. Both the “Yes” and “No” arguments seem to be written by people with skin in the game, and the “Yes” side is signed by the Chamber of Commerce and “OC Cops” (police and sheriffs) – i.e., folks who never mind wasting public money as long as it benefits them.

The “NO” side decries supplanting LOCAL CONTROL with a huge state BUREAUCRACY – and we have yet to see humanity evolve to where bureaucracies don’t inevitably lead to a shitload of waste and unaccountability. The “Yes” side could point out that conservative localities like Orange County have been spectacularly FAILING the homeless and mentally ill, like in 2018 when Judge Carter caught the Board of Supervisors “chipmunking away” hundreds of millions of funds meant for those causes, and funding their pet projects with the interest. But that’s why we’ve been working so hard to get a better Board of Supervisors (which is why it’s so important to get Frances Marquez in there.)

I’m inclined to vote NO on a $6.4 billion bond, no matter how good the cause is, but you do you.

Update: the ACLU comes out against Prop 1.

Hi, this is Greg. Just poking up my head here to say that I agree with what Vern has written here, but I’m undecided about Prop 1: (Lots more research to do on it.) But I completely agree with his focus on the OC Board of Ed races and on Frances Marquez, who may be the bravest person in OC politics. And it’s SO INTERESTING that Cypress is now giving up on its opposition to District Elections — what an unexpectedly well timed vindication of Marquez! She’ll be a great supervisor. And of course on the next entry, you don’t want to do ANYTHING that the neo-Confederate (and that is not an exaggeration) bought-and-paid-for Huntington Beach Council majority wants you to do! Back to Vern!

Huntington Beach: A, B & C – NO, NO & NO!

Easy NO. I think most of us, even in Surf City, are against voter suppression and banning books and the gay pride flag. The conservative OC Register nails the HB Council majority for its “comic political theater” and its “MAGA virtue signaling” (love that phrase) as they once again move to flout state law and waste more millions in lawsuits just to get some time on FOX news and get their culture warrior rocks off. NO, NO, and again NO.

Irvine: Measure D – Yes.

Should the City of Beige catch up with the 21st century and have district elections like the rest of us civilized towns? Can’t see why not.

Westminster: Measure E, Sales Tax Hike (dubbed “Safety & Stabilization Measure”)

Didn’t Westminster already do this a few years ago? I understand that the real reason that town is always in fiscal crisis is that most businesses in Little Saigon don’t bother paying their taxes, and nothing can be done about that without people getting called racist. Well, I’m glad I don’t live in Westminster, and I wouldn’t presume to tell you guys if you should raise your own sales taxes or lose some cops.

Now, let’s take a step UP your ballot to…

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OC Supervisor

TWO of OC’s five Districts get to vote this month, and in THESE races, if one candidate gets over 50% the race is over and they’ve won; if none of them do, then it’s a primary and the top two go on to face each other in November.

District 1 (HB, Seal Beach, FV, Westminster, GG, Los Al, Cypress, La Palma)

Democrats and other folks of good will really have to come out in droves here for the impressive Cypress Councilwoman Frances Marquez, who is up against a handful of corrupt Viet Republicans all of whom hate each others’ guts, and are angling to take the place of disgraced, termed-out Andrew Do. This will probably be a primary, UNLESS Frances (or God forbid Janet Nguyen) breaks 50% – that’s how Supe races work.

So for God’s sake, District 1, get your ballots in for Frances, whose watchwords are accountability and transparency – concepts dearly needed on the BoS but anathema to Janet Nguyen, who already made a mess of this County for 8 years.

Greg: Yes, Marquez vs. Janet seems like the likeliest outcome here, but I think Viets know that most of them will get a better deal without Janet’s corruption! Better keep an eye on her visits to the local nursing homes for votes to pick up and drop off!

District 3 (Yorba Linda, some Orange & Irvine, Lake Forest, RSM, MV)

This is Democrat Farrah Khan vs. incumbent nutjob Don Wagner, and since there are only two candidates, this race will be over March 5. It’s painful to write, but the Board WILL be better WITHOUT Don Wagner. (Plus if Frances wins and Wagner is defeated, that would leave Doug Chaffee as the only remaining Republican on the Board of Supervisors.)

Greg: Farrah is a liar and a cheat and we’ll have to do what he can to stop her before she gets into Congress — but she’ll probably stop herself with a scandal or two or twelve that people will pay more attention to once she’s outside of Irvine’s horrific “no one to root for” local politics. It’s a sad commentary on OC that Farrah can be what and how she is … and still be preferable to Chaffee’s buddy Wagner. By the way, Vern likes to call Chaffee a Republican, but of course he isn’t: he’s a Democrat, a terrible and self-serving Democrat, and Democrats’ failure to denounce him speaks more loudly than any endorsement. He’s living proof that you shouldn’t vote for based on the label — but on the contents of the package.

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EDUCATION!!!

This is the first and ONLY vote for these races, and most folks don’t get down this far on their ballots, which is how we end up with the waste, corruption and craziness that make the headlines. Let’s not make that mistake again!

OC Board of Education

It’s time for Orange County’s sane, normal people – the ones who care about public education and fiscal responsibility and aren’t consumed with Culture War issues – to TAKE BACK THIS BOARD. (And yes it’s accurate to say “take back” – less than a decade ago, when there were still sane moderate Republicans in power, BEFORE Ken Williams became the de facto ringleader of the Board, this WAS a real Board of Education, working WITH the fine Superintendent Mijares instead of persecuting him.)

The incumbents on this Board are all backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Charter School industry, and in return they approve ANY AND ALL charter schools that come before them, good or bad – because, ideologically, they aim to starve public education — or like schoolyard bullies, to trip up public schools and eat their lunch.

The northwestern THREE-FIFTHS of this County has a voice this month in taking back the Board of Education, by electing the “Trifecta of Sanity” who are taking on three incumbents. IF ANY OF THESE NAMES ARE ON YOUR BALLOT:

  • Vote Beatriz Mendoza over incumbent Jorge Valdes;
  • Vote David Johnson over incumbent Tim Shaw;
  • and especially vote Dr. Nancy Watkins (who has a doctorate in education) over incumbent education saboteur Dr. Ken Williams (who has a doctorate in hair restoration, not joking.)


Again, this is one of your most important votes this month.

UPDATE: the debate, which the incumbents skipped. (You can hear their statements if you back up the video.)

Orange USD Recall – YES and YES!

If you live in Orange, Anaheim Hills, or some areas nearby, you probably know all about this recall, led by a coalition of outraged parents of all Parties. Since the 2022 election of Madison Miner (funded by the Charter School industry and pushed by a few megachurch pastors) this once decent and competent board has become another headline-making Culture War clown show, bleeding public education money on losing lawsuits and charter school giveaways.

They started outraging local parents right out of the gate by firing (with no notice, no cause, and no plan) the very popular and successful Superintendent Dr. Gunn Hansen (who was snatched right up by David Johnson’s Westminster School Board.) Fast forward through a LOT of bad stuff and wasted money to today – Fearing the success of this recall, these board members are now shoveling property and money to their favorite charter while they still can: The controversial OC Classical Academy, where Madison’s kids attend. (No, these zealots who are running our public schools don’t even send their kids to public school. It’s all an ideological war. AGAINST US.)

This recall is an ESSENTIAL FIRST STEP to the parents and sane folks of Orange USD TAKING BACK THEIR SCHOOL BOARD!

They GOTTA GO.

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JUDICIAL

Lucky you, you get to pick three judges this year, so you be the judge:

Superior Court Office No. 3

Superior Court Office No. 16

Superior Court Office No. 35

The names in bold above are endorsed by the DPOC – Jacobson, Zimmer, Kern. We are generally sick of every judge starting off as a deputy DA, so we only wonder about the choice of Zimmer and maybe on principle would check out the public defender Binh Dang, whose website is here.

Greg: Dang’s website doesn’t much impress me, but it’s interesting to see that so many Prosecuting Attorneys think that he’d make a great judge. I was somewhat taken aback at John Moorlach being one of his endorsees, but not as much as when I saw that Zimmer is endorsed by close to the entire OC judicial establishment — AND BY the Santa Ana Police Officers Association (among many others) and the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC). The endorsements by DPOC and the the OC Labor Fed are betrayals of everything they pretend to stand for. Ironically, endorsement-wise, this is pretty much a Spitzer vs. Moorlach race … and there’s DPOC, sucking up to Spitzer! I can enjoy the irony.

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***POLITICIANS in Top-Two PRIMARIES!***

Assembly

Hard to feel too much urgency on Assembly races – not like Congress – when Democrats already have a supermajority in Sacramento (AND it’s been a few years since there were any Republicans worth supporting.) Add to that, some of these top-two primaries have only two candidates, so if you’re low on ink, maybe you could economize here? But let’s see what we have:

AD 59 (Brea, YL, Placentia, some Fullerton & Orange, Chino Hills)

  • PHILLIP CHEN, longtime Republican incumbent, vs.
  • DAVE OBRAND, Democrat challenger & deputy county counsel.

AD 64 (La Habra, the rest in LA county)

  • BLANCA PACHECO, one-term Democrat incumbent, vs.
  • RAUL ORTIZ JR, Republican pest control manager!

AD 67 (West Anaheim, Fullerton, BP, La Palma, Cypress, Cerritos, Hawaiian Gardens)

  • SHARON QUIRK-SILVA, longtime Democrat incumbent and OJB friend, vs.
  • BETH CULVER, retired Republican “entrepeneur,” AND
  • JACOB WOO HO LEE, independent “pastor.” Betting we’ll lose the pastor March 5.

AD 68 (Santa Ana, eastern half of Anaheim flatlands, some GG)

  • AVELINO VALENCIA, one-term Democrat incumbent, vs.
  • MIKE TARDIF, retired Republican sheet-metal guy and cranky OJB friend.

AD 70 (Little Saigon – Westminster, GG & FV, Los Al, Stanton, Rossmoor & a little HB)

  • TRI TA, one-term Republican incumbent, vs.
  • JIMMY PHAM, Democratic city commissioner & attorney

AD 71 (MV, RSM, Coto/Ladera/etc, Temecula-ish)

  • KATE SANCHEZ, one-term Republican incumbent, vs.
  • GARY KEPHART, Democrat software engineer & OJB friend, AND
  • BABAR KAHN, a businessman from the PEACE AND FREEDOM PARTY!

AD 72 (HB, Seal Beach, Newport, Laguna Hills Woods & Beach, Lake Forest, Aliso V.)

  • DIANE DIXON, one-term Republican incumbent, vs.
  • DOM JONES, Democrat “TV Personality.”

AD 73 (Costa Mesa, Irvine & Tustin)

  • COTTIE PETRIE-NORRIS, three-term Democrat incumbent, vs.
  • SCOTTY PEOTTER, Republican Nutter, AND
  • HENGAMEH ABRAHAM, educator and Vagabond of Parties.

[Only this race inspires comment. Cottie will be truly blessed with Scotty as an opponent once coastal Republicans reject the partisan nomad Ebrahim – Scotty HAS been an enthusiastic Republican his whole life, and was recently a Newport Councilman. And somehow I am on his e-mail list “The Straight Scott” which is really funny. He is one of those old-school holy-roller Republicans who blames sea-level rise on The Gay in America, and right now his obsession is that Irvine schools are tricking teenage boys into getting sex-change operations. COTTIE vs. SCOTTY – can’t wait! You lucky girl.]

Greg: Yeah, when the Top Two primary turns into de facto party nominations there’s not much need for commentary. I will note thought that Abraham does have a following and might get as much as 20-25%, which would largely come from Cottie’s column. So I expect that Peotter will get the plurality in the primary, will suck up lots of bad-government money as a result — and that that money will have been wasted when Cottie beats him by eight or so points in the runoff.
CA-74, South County. A rematch between:
  • LAURIE DAVIES, two-term Republican incumbent, vs.
  • CHRIS DUNCAN, Democrat Mayor of San Clemente & former federal prosecutor.

Laurie is especially awful, both MAGA lunatic and kleptocrat tool, and now a crusader against district elections which she blames (falsely) on her old nemesis, rare honest Republican Bill Brough. In ’22 Chris lost to her by 5 points; this Presidential year we hope he cleans her clock. But then of course this is only the primary so who cares. COMING THIS FALL…

“Bad Yogi” insurrectionist Alan Hostetter and not-Marjorie-Taylor-Greene.

Greg: I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED, that Vern, a man who shared my formative cartoon culture, did not think to label this image “Yogi and Boo-Boo”!

State Senate – only in one district

Only one State Senate District in the OC is up for election this year: the newly-drawn 37th which stretches down from Anaheim Hills & Orange, snatches up Irvine, Tustin & Costa Mesa, gulps down Newport & half of HB, and does a lot of damage in between. A lotta people are running for this prized seat:

  • JOSH NEWMAN, Democrat incumbent (but not in this exact district) & OJB friend
  • STEVEN CHOI, mumbling Republican former assemblyman beaten by Cottie in ’22
  • ANTHONY KUO, former Irvine Councilman beaten by OJB friend Kathleen Treseder in ’22
  • ALEX MOJAHER, progressive Democrat upstart & “civil service advocate”
  • Democrats Gabrielle Ashbaugh, Stephanie Le, Leticia Correa, Jacob Niles Creer, & Jenny Suarez
  • Republicans Guy Selleck & Crystal Miles.

Funny. When we first backed Josh Newman (successfully, against the DPOC) in 2016, he was the scrappy progressive underdog going against the establishment Party favorite Sukhee Kang. NOW Josh is the establishment Party favorite, and Alex is the scrappy progressive underdog going against him.

Josh has been one of our best senators, accessible and honest, and we USUALLY agree with his votes… and he deserves another four years. Alex should start next time with something smaller like council or school board. Of course, now I think of it, that’s exactly what the Party told Josh 8 years ago. Are we getting old? All right, vote for either Josh or Alex.

Nah, there’s no comparison to 2016. Josh’s primary opponent then didn’t have the stature that Josh had now. I know that this shows that I’m out of touch with the millennials, but Alex predicating his campaign on his superior intersectionality as an queer Iranian Muslim rankles me. I’m happy to see more LGBTQ, Iranians, and Muslims in political office and have often endorse each category with their personal characteristics being a nice plus factor — but subject status is no guarantee of good political performance. I give you Clarence Thomas, Bob Menendez, Lauren Boebert, etc. Know what is a useful sign of good political performance? An established record of it. If this ends up with a Choi vs. Kuo Top Two runoff — and it could! — Mojaher will be the reason why.

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“Representative in Congress”

OKAY. Back to important races. THE NATION TURNS ITS LONELY EYES TO O.C., because if we don’t make/keep THREE OF OUR KEY CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS Democratic, the chances are very slim of The People taking back the majority from the Republican Clown Car nationally, and ever doing ANYTHING:

  • to slow down climate change,
  • to protect democracy in America,
  • to restore women’s rights,
  • to rein in the national plague of gun violence,
  • to finally fix our broken immigration system,
  • and to work for peace in the Middle East and a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine.

Yes, all THAT comes down to THREE O.C. DISTRICTS. (The three others we’re not worried about: LOU CORREA will win CD 46, MIKE LEVIN will win CD 49, and LINDA SANCHEZ will once again win CD 38.)

But this month, in each of the three IN-PLAY districts, voters have to decide TWO things – 1. which Democrat would be the best Congressperson, AND 2. which Democrat has the best chance of beating their Republican opponent in November? Maybe we’re crazy, but we think the best ones also have the best chances winning. And so we present:

Allyson Damikolas can beat Young Kim in CA-40!

To meet Allyson is to be impressed, swept off one’s feet; to meet the other Democrat in the race, JOE KERR, is the textbook definition of getting “underwhelmed.” I’ve been hearing that from a lotta people in District 40. I wanted to give ol’ Joe a shot back when he was running for Supervisor in the north County in 2018, claiming to have moved up here despite EVERYBODY saying “The guy has a mansion in Coto de Caza.” I wanted to give him a shot because he seemed better than Doug Chaffee or Tim Shaw. I wanted to give him a chance, this fellow who starts every sentence with “As a former firefighter” – maybe he really had moved! He said, “Sure, you can interview me at my new place, we’ll have a beer!” A day before our appointment he called and said “You know what? Let’s meet at a Placentia fire station instead – I am a former firefighter you know! We can have a beer!” I didn’t bother. Since then he’s run for several other offices and lost. The more conservative and corrupt unions all love him.

And now Gavin “French Laundry” Newsom sticks his thumb on the scale, endorsing Joe, and the OC is not impressed. Gavin thinks of Orange County as a dumping ground, and wanted to force the Poseidon desalination boondoggle down our throats – Poseidon that woulda been a billion-dollar taxpayer ripoff, a disaster for the environment, and was lobbied for by his French Laundry friends and crooked labor leaders. So, to help make Poseidon happen, Gavin put Joe Kerr on an important “Water Quality board” just to help Kris Murray push it through – Joe wouldn’t listen to any arguments against it and I had his phone number, but he was following orders. The Coastal Commission wisely said no to Poseidon, and we should say no to a politician like Joe Kerr, fire hero or no. And…

ALLL-YSON, you know Young Kim is killing us,

Oh, ALLL-YSON – your aim is true!”

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Derek Tran can beat Michelle Steel in CD-45!

Of our OC Republican lawmakers, Michelle Steel is the worst. All around. We’ve documented that plenty. And in the majority-Asian 45th district, three bold Democrats are vying to take her on. There’s some social media influencer named Cheyenne Hunt, and you don’t hear much about her. Then there’s Kim Bernice Nguyen-Penaloza, with whom I’ve had lots of problems in the past, but the state and county Democratic parties endorsed her, and I figured if she’s the Democrat who can beat Steel, we’ll just have to put up with her conservative politics, love affair with law enforcement, and general nastiness.

But people in District 45 have been telling me that they don’t see or hear anything from Kim, and Politico has recently dubbed her the “BIGGEST UNDERACHIEVER” in fundraising, pulling in only $75k this whole last quarter. We know she’s just had a baby (and congrats) but is she really going to quietly lose to Michelle Steel?

Fortunately, and late in the game, enters one DEREK TRAN, an army veteran and attorney who’s proven a staggering fundraiser – in fact he pulled in over $500k during the quarter that Kim got $75k. Well, what does Derek stand for? Jay Chen, whom we revere, looked long and hard at both Kim and Derek before endorsing Derek. Me I ran into Derek this weekend at the Black History Parade, and I JUST WROTE A NICE PIECE ABOUT HIM HERE! But yeah, this looks like the guy who can finally rid us of lying race-baiter Steel and her evil husband. And help us get back the House!

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… and Joanna Weiss can beat Scott Baugh in CD-47!

The moment white-board entertainer Katie Porter won her razor-thin, expensive, hard-fought 2022 victory against valueless kleptocrat Republican Scott Baugh, she announced she was moving on up to the Senate, and anointed thin-skinned establishment corporatist Dave Min as the guy who could keep the seat for Democrats. And Baugh licked his chops. (Not only Min, Katie also gave her blessing to establishment corporatists Joe Kerr and Kim Nguyen, in both a betrayal of her purported progressive-populist values and an evident deal for mutual-endorsement log-rolling – anything to propel Katie into the upper chamber!)

We already didn’t like Dave’s politics – his subservience to special interests like the prison guard union, and his hostility to Latino advocates who tried to lobby him for rent control. We already preferred this charismatic progressive activist Joanna Weiss – even if she’s not the totally perfect candidate herself (who is?) with her residence issue and her husband’s law firm making some of its money from the Catholic Church.

And then Dave went and sealed his fate with his DUI (you would think.) I know a lotta Irvine Democrats just LOVE them some Dave Min, but if he makes the top-two primary and the race becomes Baugh vs. Min, you-all are going to hear NOTHING for 8 months but “DUI Dave.” (As someone who had his share of DUIs, I can promise you this.) And you-all may as well get used to saying “Congressman Baugh,” and Vern saying “I told you so.” (And no, “Carpetbagger Weiss” or “Catholic-defender-spouse Joanna” will not pack the same wallop with coastal independents as “DUI Dave.”)

So think long and hard, coastal voters, before you go with Dave. The Orange Juice Blog is hoping for a Baugh-Weiss race which will be much more competitive.

Oh, nearly forgot. I’d been meaning to post this video. It is very newsworthy.

Greg: At this point, I’m supposed to step in and drive home some thoughts that Vern left out, but Vern hoovered up all the good points to be made and licked the plate clean. I’m left with only one thought to add: I CHALLENGE SCOTT BAUGH TO MAKE HIS OWN SURFING VIDEO!

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U.S. Senator for California

I’m not gonna list the DOZENS of characters running for this seat, or bother with the headache that it’s two races (whoever you think you should be the next Senator, you’ll have to just mark ’em twice.) There are only FOUR serious candidates:

  • Dem-establishment-crowned anti-Trump TV celebrity ADAM SCHIFF, corporatist centrist & Zionist
  • Republican baseball star and empty vessel STEVE GARVEY
  • Ambitious white-board entertainer and purported populist KATIE PORTER
  • Brave anti-war progressive & 13-term Congresswoman BARBARA LEE.
Greg: NO NO NO! There are FIVE serious candidates, and the fifth is ERIC EARLY — the freaking Senatorial NOMINEE last go-round! — and we should not sell short either — or the possibility of an Garvey-Early Top Two runoff! And by “we shouldn’t sell it short” just because it’s not going to happen, I mean that Katie should stop complaining about Adam Schiff prematurely moving into generally election mode (which is the right thing strategically to do) and instead start dismissing Garvey as the equivalent of a batboy and start building up EARLY as the one to beat — because the more primary votes EARLY gets, the fewer GARVEY gets and the more likely PORTER is to get nominated. Why isn’t she doing that? She seems to have a strong sense of entitlement to the position, because she’s JUST THAT GOOD!, which is simply hubristic. She’s better a POLICY than Schiff, but she’s nowhere nearly as good at POLITICS. The funny thing is that Katie did have a counterintuitive winning move here once Barbara Lee got into the race: she could have conceded the spot to Lee (who would not be in the Senate for long) and ingratiated herself with the African-American community and the Left generally by boosting Lee and tearing down Schiff. That would have won her loyalty for 2030, when I’ll bet Lee would retire. But no, Katie is so great, in Katie’s considered opinion, that KATIE should not HAVE to EAIT until age 56 to get into the U.S. Senate, because she deserves it NOW! Katie seriously needs to work on her political skills: she’s got the ambition and derision parts down, but she needs work on the false modesty and warmth that gets people ahead. Schiff, despite his Burbank-area corrections, is not even that great of a candidate — I had a lot higher opinion of him before I saw Jamie Raskin in action, taking the 2nd impeachment further with almost no time to prepare than Schiff was able to do with the first impeachment, where despite plenty of prep time he was not able to war game his way past scumbag Alan Dershowitz — and someone like Eric Swalwell could have beaten him. But Katie seems shocked that the Progressive Change Campaign Coalition can’t get her through. But again, Katie START BOOSTING ERIC EARLY AS THE REAL ENEMY AND MAYBE YOU’VE GOT A CHANCE!

Only two of these candidates will proceed to the November election, and one of ’em will definitely be Schiff, the favorite of the Democrat establishment from Pelosi on down, and who’s been polling way the highest.

It is a sticky wicket. Barbara Lee is the best and the bravest, and deserves this seat after her decades of service in Congress, after all the death threats she weathered for standing up against the Bush-Cheney wars, and as the only candidate who cares about Palestinians’ rights. And California deserves a Senator who opposes most wars, who advocates for Palestinians, and who is courageous enough to stand up to Israel when they go too far.

And I’m voting for Barbara Lee, because sometimes you just gotta VOTE YOUR VALUES. But here’s the thing – Barbara is currently polling in fourth, and voting for her instead of Katie COULD risk useless Garvey coming in second. And a Schiff-Garvey race in November will be no race at all – may as well coronate Adam right now. While a Schiff-Porter race… well at least we’d have the choice of someone who PURPORTS to be a populist and progressive.

So you do you. But this could be a reason to wait till closer to March 5 and keep an eye on the polls. Damn it. Katie, what have you wrought?

Greg: I’ve decided to vote for Barbara Lee in the “short term” race for the unexpired term of Dianne Feinstein. I think Lee just flat-out deserves it and she’ll have my support. But “showing the flag” for the Left in the short term election does not mean that I think that I have to do so for the full-term election. I’ll be watching the poll numbers as well — and getting a sense of how I really feel by reacting to them. I’d say I’m a little more likely to support Katie than Lee for the full-term at present, but I’d feel a lot better about her if she could achieve the sort of empathy with voters that hundreds of female U.S. politicians have been able to do in the past fifty years since we had almost none of them in Congress. She needs an acting coach — one also wise enough to advise her to not believe her own press clippings, especially when she’s the one who wrote them.

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(County Central Committee Members for Parties)

***sigh*** If you’re lucky enough to be a member of a Party (Democrat or Republican at least) you have a chance to pick who you want to be on your Party’s Central Committee. Maybe if we have time we’ll make a separate post for that. I see a lot of insiders listed, and a lot of shady characters from both Parties. My money’s on all the insiders staying insiders. In my district (AD 68) I think I’ll vote for Jessie Lopez and the guy who calls himself a “janitor” (Cenorino Gomez Sarabia), no offense to the insiders some of whom are my friends…

US President

Here your vote means the least, especially in the primary – California is Biden’s, and Trump will get the Republican delegates.

If you want to save the world from Trump as we all do, the best thing you can do is give money (if you have it) to trustworthy groups trying to re-elect Biden and strengthen the Senate for Democrats. Or, better, plan to spend your October in a swing state like Nevada or Arizona, working on the ground to put a stake into the Ochre Abomination and all he represents. That is all. Vern out.

Greg: I’m not yet out; I’m still going to come up with my recommendations for delegates. So that means that YOU MUST NOT VOTE until I’ve finished that and published it. And by “MUST NOT VOTE,” I mean if you really care what I have to say about this, which, frankly, puts you deeply into the minority! But give me a week or so and I’ll have it done.

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About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.