Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today’s OC Register‘s front-page story below is on the importance of voting.
BONUS: With every election cycle, I receive a number of telephone calls and e-mails asking me how I would vote in the upcoming election. Therefore, I am providing the first segment of my suggestions on county races below, an area of concern that is most important to me, after investing a third of my life in county elected offices.
My voter’s guide is rather simple to understand. As a life-long Republican and a former member of the Orange County and California Republican Central Committees, I am only permitted to endorse or recommend Republicans. However, I will note where there may be a deviation, as it is better to have a good Independent than a bad Republican.
If I have definitely endorsed a particular candidate, then that candidate’s name will be in bold. If there are two or more qualified candidates and one would be a good second choice, those candidate’s names will be in italics. If I have no position or am very neutral, then the candidates will be in normal print. Names will be provided in alphabetical order. Where applicable, I will provide a brief analysis.
For the state wide races, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Feet to the Fire — May 1, 2014. For the Congressional and State Legislative races (although there are no endorsements), see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Star Wars Day — May 4, 2014.
COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
MEMBER, COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, TRUSTEE AREA 2
David L. Boyd
Incumbents win 90 percent of the time. However, sometimes shaking up the paradigm is warranted. Although a registered Republican, David Boyd has taken some very liberal positions.
MEMBER, COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, TRUSTEE AREA 5
Elizabeth “Liz” Dorn Parker
Ms. Parker has been on the County Board of Education as long as I can remember. Shaking things up in this District may be warranted, as well.
COUNTY SUPERVISOR – 2ND DISTRICT
Allan R. Mansoor
Allan Mansoor and Joe Carchio have long-time public service records within the District. Michelle Steel’s main residence has been in the city of Palos Verdes for decades. Having a resident of Los Angeles County carpet bagging in Orange County is awkward and wrong.
Without the help of any polling data, this race will be difficult to predict. Joe Carchio is on the Huntington Beach City Council, giving him voter identification in a city that represents about one-third of the District. Allan Mansoor is the Assemblyman for the 74th District, which covers a good portion of the District and he served on the Costa Mesa City Council, including as its Mayor. Michelle Steel has raised significant funds, which accounts for her direct mail pieces already in District mail boxes. She is hoping her funding and her service on the State Board of Equalization will provide the necessary name identification to garner enough votes. Add to the mix a fourth candidate, a Democrat who just raised property taxes for those residing in the Coast Community College District a second time (under the dubious pretext of helping veterans), who may be reaching out to fellow Democrats for an assist.
It will be hard for one candidate to win 50 percent of the vote, plus one. The real battle is to end up in the top two positions on election night. The District would be well served if one of those two is Allan Mansoor and that he prevails in November.
COUNTY SUPERVISOR – 4th DISTRICT
Webster Guillory (No Party Preference)
I have worked with Webster Guillory since I arrived here at the County in March of 1995. The business community is comfortable with Webster’s leadership. The business community is very uncomfortable with Claude Parrish. It is critical to elect someone who is competent and experienced to a key position like that of Assessor. Claude is a nice man, but his managerial skills are of concern. I would recommend voting for the incumbent.
Hugh Nguyen was recently appointed to the position of Clerk-Recorder by the Board of Supervisors. He had to step into a position that was experiencing some turmoil as his predecessor, Tom Daly, had generated the largest Internal Audit Department report. There was plenty for Hugh to remediate, and he has tried his best. Again, voting for someone very familiar with the department and earnestly pursuing improvements is a wise vote.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY-PUBLIC ADMINISTRATOR
Shari L. Freidenrich
WHY THIS ELECTION MATTERS
Five reasons you’re going to want to vote in June 3 primary
BY MARTIN WISCKOL
Gubernatorial primaries usually attract the fewest voters of any statewide election, but the June 3 contest this year is important because it could define key political trends in Orange County and California.
The primary election officially kicks off today with the mailing of vote-by-mail ballots.
Among primary voters, a particularly high percentage cast ballots by mail – 61 percent of county voters cast mail ballots in the 2010 June election and 66 percent did so in June 2012.
Since 2012, the state uses a top-two open primary, which allows voters to cast ballots for any candidate regardless of party affiliation. The top two vote-getters advance – even if they’re from the same party.
In the upcoming weeks, the Register will feature indepth stories on the most important races. Until then, here are five areas in which your vote can make a difference.
SIDE EFFECTS OF GOVERNOR’S RACE
Votes in the governor’s race are important beyond the final outcome, in which Gov. Jerry Brown appears a prohibitive favorite to advance to November and win reelection.
Political observers say the top Republican finisher could affect turnout in November. That turnout is expected to decide tight down-ticket races.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, currently leading the Republican field in polls, is a polarizing figure who could suppress GOP turnout and spur Democratic Latino voters in November. The former Minuteman leader, popular among Tea Party activists, has repeatedly made headlines. He was arrested for bringing a loaded handgun into an airport in 2012 and has stood by his 2006 statement comparing the illegal immigration fight to war.
“It can’t be good news for Republican Party strategists in terms of how to win now and in terms of how the party rebuilds its image for the future,” said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles.
Laguna Beach’s Neel Kashkari, a former assistant secretary of the Treasury, is getting support from many in the GOP establishment, including Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Rep. Darrell Issa, and former Gov. Pete Wilson. But Donnelly supporters argue that the uncompromising idealist is exactly what the GOP needs.
“Donnelly might motivate some people who want something beside the wishy-washy pablum we’re getting from so-called Republicans,” said Anaheim’s Kenneth Fisher, an abortion foe.
Democrats are historically less likely than Republicans to vote in non-presidential year primaries. And the more Democrats who stay home for the primary, the more work it’s going to take to get them to the polls in November when their turnout will decide tight races in Orange County and elsewhere.
Also, look for a few Democrats to cast ballots for Donnelly in the belief that will help their cause in November and beyond.
GOP’S ASIAN GAMBIT
Asians and Latinos overwhelmingly favored President Barack Obama two years ago – 73 percent of Asian ballots and 71 percent of Latino ballots went to the incumbent nationwide.
Republicans have made little subsequent headway among Latino voters, but they’re hoping to buoy their popularity among local Asian voters this year. The GOP has five Asian candidates in three county contests for the state Legislature. Two of those will be hotly contested by Democrats, who have no Asian candidates running.
The primary will be a test of whether Asians will go beyond their national origin to vote as a bloc for candidates with Vietnamese, Taiwanese and Korean backgrounds. It will also check how strongly the candidates can distinguish themselves beyond ethnicity and appeal to non-Asian voters.
If the candidates perform well, it could mark a key inroad for county Republicans and raise GOP hopes here for November.
DEMOCRATS’ GROWTH IN ORANGE COUNTY
While county Democrats have held steady with about 32 percent of registered voters since 1996, the GOP share has dropped from 52 percent to 41 percent. The lost Republican share shows up among voters with no party preference, now 23 percent of the county electorate.
With that growth have come more Democratic legislators. In 1996, the county had no elected Democrats in the statehouse. It now has three –but two of those seats are expected to face strong challenges by Republicans this year.
If Democrats want to maintain their momentum in the county, they’re going to have to turn out to vote – and persuade some unaffiliated voters to join them. And while the final test comes in November, the primary will offer a preview of key head-to-head contests.
The two big state Legislative races in the county are the challenge to Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, by longtime Republican congressional aide Young Kim; and the battle for an open state Senate seat between Democrat Jose Solorio, a former Assemblyman, and Republican Janet Nguyen, a county supervisor.
Republicans almost certainly need a win from Kim to end Democrats’ two-thirds majority in the Assembly and for Nguyen to win to prevent Democrats from regaining the supermajority in the Senate. A second Republican, Long Pham, is also running in the Senate race, though Nguyen has support of the GOP establishment and a big lead in GOP fundraising.
Most legislation needs only a simple majority vote to win approval from the Senate and from the Assembly, and then advance to the governor for his signature or veto. But several issues require two-thirds approval, including tax hikes and confirmation of gubernatorial appointees.
Again, the primary will offer a preview of the final battle, in November.
COUNTY SUPERVISORS RACE
The Orange County Board of Supervisors has never received as much press as it did when the county went bankrupt in 1994. The budget has stabilized significantly since then, but pension obligations and cuts in state funding still have the county juggling its budget.
County government’s economic health and its funding priorities are in the hands of supervisors, who will get two new members to fill vacant seats at the beginning of 2015. If a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in June, he or she wins the seat, but more likely the field will be whittled from four to two in each of the contests.
Vying for the seat of outgoing District 2 Supervisor John Moorlach are Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel, Huntington Beach Councilman Joe Carchio and community college trustee Jim Moreno.
Competing for the seat of outgoing District 5 Supervisor Pat Bates are Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett, Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming, Mission Viejo Mayor Frank Ury and Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams.
CONTACT THE WRITER: mwisckol
This has been sent from my personal/campaign account.