MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#18 – #10) — October 12, 2018

This is the second of three Voter Guide editions for Orange County’s 27 school districts (for the first, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#27 – #19) — October 11, 2018). This is the middle third of school districts based on their Unrestricted Net Deficits in the county and the state. It’s the piece below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — LAUSD vs. OC School Districts — September 18, 2018).

The first column is the ranking within the county on a per capita basis. The second column is the statewide ranking, out of 940 districts reviewed, on a per capita basis. The fourth column is the ranking of just the Unrestricted Net Position (UNP). The fifth column provides you with the population that the district serves. The sixth column is the actual UNP according to the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. And the seventh column is the sum of the prior two columns, providing the actual cost per resident if they were to bring the district to a zero UNP.

Because we’re focusing on the finances, this is one opportunity for you to ask the incumbents what they’ve been doing to improve the situation. Accordingly, I’ve provided the names of the incumbents, regardless of party affiliation. One asterisk (*) signifies that the candidate is a registered Democrat. No asterisk means they are a registered Republican, and should be a safe vote. If the name is in bold, I have endorsed (which I have not done in this grouping). If in italics, they are a good vote for the position.

This group has four districts with no candidates this cycle. The blanks for areas means there are no Republican candidates.

Letters to the Editor in support of Proposition 6 and giving me a polite shout out continue to appear around the state. The second piece is from the Los Angeles Daily News. The third is from Calaveras County’s The Pinetree.net.

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LA-Daily-News

OPINION

Vote yes on Proposition 6:

Letters

By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

https://www.dailynews.com/2018/10/11/vote-yes-on-proposition-6-letters/

Vote yes on Proposition 6. For years, politicians in Sacramento have been raiding existing gas-tax revenue to pay for pet projects and general fund spending — not to fix our terrible roads and infrastructure.

State Senator (and CPA) John Moorlach released a report showing that only 20 percent of existing gas tax funds go to roads, and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

And as with most supplemental taxes, we can’t help but suspect this one indirectly offsets debt accumulated from unsustainable public-employee pensions.

Don’t be fooled by the misleading ballot title: “Eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding.” The Prop. 6 title should read: “Gas tax repeal initiative that sends a message to our state government: it’s time for fiscal accountability.”

— Kathy Bence, South Pasadena

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Vote Yes on 6 to Repeal an Unfair, Regressive Tax ~ Al Segalla

http://thepinetree.net/new/?p=68424

Copperopolis, CA…The cost of living is already too high in California, and the Gas and Car Tax hikes hurts working families that already struggle to pay bills. Estimates suggest the new increase in Gas Tax total will cost a typical family of four $779.20 or more per family, per year. This is about what a family spends on Christmas and two years of school lunches at a public school, or a year of college textbooks.

• The tax also hits business owners who rely on transporting goods, raising the cost of everything from apples to bread and everything in between.

• On Nov 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon of gasoline (and 20 cents more for diesel), also increasing auto registration fees as much as $175 a year – striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state.
The gas tax hike will NOT fix our roads – because politicians will continue to fraudulently raid and divert gas tax funds. This latest gas tax increase contains NO GUARANTEE that even a penny will go to roads.

• For years, the Sacramento politicians have been raiding the existing Gas Tax funds to pay for their pet projects and general fund spending rather than fixing our terrible roads and infrastructure.

• By voting Yes on 6, you send a message to the Sacramento politicians that Californians want raids of our existing gas tax funds stopped immediately.

• Prop 69 did not end the raids of existing gas tax funds and allows the governor to spend gas tax money to fund budget shortfalls.

State Senator John Moorlach – a CPA – released a stunning report showing that only 20% of existing gas tax goes to roads and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

• A 2016 study by the Reason Foundation shows that California spends 2.5x national average on roads.

• All the road projects that the politicians are claiming are being paid for by this most recent Gas Tax could be paid for if the politicians used the existing gas tax revenue for doing what it was supposed to do – repairing California’s infrastructure.

• Nobody is denying that California’s roads are crumbling, but there’s plenty of money to repair the roads if the politicians put 100% of the existing gas tax revenue into doing the right thing.

But that’s not all, our present state budget surplus provides plenty of money to fix our roads.

Please vote Yes on Prop 6.

Al Segalla
Calaveras County Taxpayers Association

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MOORLACH UPDATE — Ballot Opposition Arguments — June 6, 2018

It was nice to not be on the ballot. But, I did have plenty of campaign-related activities with Propositions 68 and 69. It is certainly a rare privilege to write two ballot opposition arguments that appeared in the voter pamphlet prepared by the California Secretary of State. The Daily Californian covers the predictable, but disappointing, results in the piece below.

Now, it is on to the General Election on November 6th. Congratulations to all of the Republican Primary candidates that made it to the top two. For those Republicans who ran and did not make it, please do not be bitter. Be better, and consider another attempt in the future.

The other two big news items are the success of the recall in the 29th Senate District and having a Republican challenger for Governor. I’m sure I’ll have more insights to share between now and November. Let’s see if I get another opportunity to write ballot arguments against expensive or non-beneficial propositions that are up in the General Election.

Majority of California, Alameda County measures pass in state primary election

BY AMANDA BRADFORD | STAFF

http://www.dailycal.org/2018/06/06/majority-california-alameda-county-measures-pass-state-primary-election/

Proposition 68 — which will fund parks, natural resources protection, water quality and supply, climate adaptation and flood protection — passed with 55.5 percent approval.

Prop. 68 will authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds for parks, natural resources protection, climate adaptation, water quality and supply, and flood protection.

It will increase state bond repayment costs, averaging $200 million annually over 40 years, and provide local government savings for natural resources-related projects, likely averaging several tens of millions of dollars annually over the next few decades.

California state Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, is opposed to the measure on multiple grounds, saying in a statement that the money would not be distributed fairly and equally across the state.

“Of the $4 billion dollar bond, only $1.3 billion is actually dedicated to improving parks,” Moorlach said in the statement. “A lot of the remaining money is given to politicians to spend on their pet projects.”

Proposition 69, which will require that certain new transportation revenues be used for transportation purposes, passed with 80.8 percent approval.

Prop. 69 will require that certain revenues generated by a 2017 transportation funding law, SB 1, be used only for funding transportation initiatives and bans the Legislature from using the funds for anything else.

The proposition would have no direct effect on revenues or costs but could affect the allocation of money.

Yes on Prop 69 campaign spokesperson Kathy Fairbanks said this proposition will ensure accountability within transportation groups.

“Prop. 69 would make sure the money drivers are putting in goes to repairing the roads, highway safety and relieving congestion,” Fairbanks said. “It should give people comfort knowing that transportation dollars will be spent efficiently and only on transportation.”

Proposition 70, which would have required a legislative supermajority vote approving the use of cap-and-trade reserve funds, failed to pass with 62.4 percent rejection.

Prop. 70 would have required that cap-and-trade revenues collect in a reserve fund until the Legislature authorizes use of the revenues by a two-thirds majority.

Revenue collected from the sale of state greenhouse gas emission permits would have been relocated into a separate fund beginning in 2024 — the deposits would only have been allowed to build, until the passage of a bill that spends money from that fund by the state Legislature.

The current state sales tax exemption for manufacturing and other equipment would have been suspended, while “auction revenue” would have been deposited into the special fund.

Proposition 71, which will set an effective date for ballot measures, passed with 77.1 percent approval.

Prop. 71 will mandate that ballot measures approved by a simple majority of voters will take effect five days after the election results are certified by the secretary of state.

Many state ballot measures, or propositions, will take effect about six weeks after Election Day — after the statewide vote has been counted and certified.

Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington said he supports Prop. 70 because it clarifies when measures will take effect after the election.

“It can look like something wins on election day, but people who send their ballots through the mail may vote differently than people on election day,” Worthington said. “Having measures go into effect after the secretary of state certifies the results is a common-sense reform.”

Proposition 72, which will permit the Legislature to exclude newly constructed rain-capture systems from the property-tax reassessment requirement, passed with 83.4 percent approval.

Prop. 72 will authorize the Legislature to allow construction of rain-capture systems without the property-tax revaluation requirement for systems completed on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

A system installed to collect and store rainwater on a property would not result in a higher property tax bill, according to the text of the measure.

The measure will likely result in a minor reduction of the annual property tax revenues to local governments.

Measure A, the “Alameda County Child Care and Early Education Measure” passed with 65.2 percent approval.

Measure A will expand access to child care and preschool for low- and middle-income families, solicit and retain child care workers, aid homeless and at-risk children — including with child abuse and neglect prevention help — and add child care spaces around the county.

This would be paid for by a half-percent sales tax lasting 30 years, to be enacted by the county of Alameda, providing about $140 million annually with citizens’ oversight, public disclosure of spending and mandatory annual audits.

The measure will need a two-thirds majority of “yes” votes to go into effect.

Measure B, which will fund school maintenance and services in the San Lorenzo Unified School District, passed with 67.9 percent approval, with 85.96 percent of precincts reported in San Lorenzo.

Measure B will upgrade outdated classrooms, restrooms and educational buildings at local schools; make health, safety and security system improvements; improve student access to technology; and replace and upgrade outdated heating, ventilation and electrical systems within the San Lorenzo Unified School District.

The measure will allow the district board to issue and sell bonds of up to $130 million in aggregate principal amount at interest rates within the legal limits.

Measure C, a measure concerning affordable housing bonds in Emeryville, passed with 71.6 percent approval, with 80 percent of precincts reported in Emeryville.

Measure C will provide affordable housing and prevent displacement of vulnerable populations — including low- and middle-income households, veterans, local artists, seniors and the disabled — as well as provide supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness and help low- and middle-income households purchase homes in Emeryville.

The measure requests voter authorization to issue general obligation bonds to finance affordable housing projects of $50 million, with an estimated average levy of 4.912 cents per $100 of assessed value — this would generate approximately $3.422 million annually to pay bonds over 27 years.

Measure D, which aims to maintain, protect and improve library services throughout Oakland, passed with 75.8 percent approval, with 80.73 percent of precincts reported in Oakland.

This measure will authorize a 20-year annual, special parcel tax that will raise revenue to protect and improve direct library services throughout Oakland.

The city can use the revenue only for the purposes specified in the ordinance, such as programs including early childhood literacy and student homework support for children, teens and adults, as well as employee staffing costs to maintain and expand library hours.

Regional Measure 3, the “Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan,” passed in Alameda County with 54.2 percent approval.

Regional Measure 3 will reduce auto and truck traffic, relieve crowding on BART, unclog freeway bottlenecks and improve bus, ferry, BART and commuter rail service.

The measure will increase the tolls on all Bay Area toll bridges except the Golden Gate Bridge to fund these projects. The tolls will increase by $1 in 2019, an additional $1 in 2022 and an additional $1 in 2025, for a total increase of $3 in the span of six years. After 2025, tolls can be increased for inflation.

In order to pass, Regional Measure 3 had to pass through nine counties — the city and county of San Francisco and the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma.

Worthington said BART will receive $500 million from the measure to replace old BART cars and build new ones, which will make BART less crowded.

“Old cars break down and cause the system to slow down,” Worthington said. “This measure is critically essential to the Bay Area.”

The above voting data is accurate as of press time, with 75.52 percent of precincts reported in Alameda County and 58.4 percent of precincts reported in California for state measures. As Measures B, C and D were not voted on by all Alameda County voters, the percentages of precincts reported are listed separately for each.

Contact Amanda Bradford at abradford and follow her on Twitter at @amandabrad_uc.

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

Also follow me on Facebook & Twitter @SenatorMoorlach

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — CA AG Reception Invitation — May 24, 2018

For me, this year’s June Primary has revolved around five major ballot items.

48th Congressional District –

The one receiving the most national attention has been the decision by Scott Baugh to challenge Dana Rohrabacher.

The OC Register covers this topic today. It can be seen at https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/23/after-three-decades-in-congress-rohrabacher-faces-bare-knuckled-fight-for-political-life-from-democrats-and-gop-contender/. Since it draws on previous articles on this topic, I’ll pass on providing the entire article below.

To see my other ballot recommendations for the June Primary and a previous discussion on the Baugh/Rohrabacher battle, go to MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — June Primary Antics — April 28, 2018.

Propositions 68 and 69 –

The next is the two Propositions 68 and 69 that have me garnering statewide attention. My last report on this subject can be found at MOORLACH UPDATE — Propositions 68 and 69 — May 18, 2018 , with my sincerest apologies for not including “CAMPAIGN” in the title.

I continue to receive multiple requests for interviews by radio stations and reporters from around the state. And, because I’m a signatory in opposition to these two ballot measures, I am mentioned in numerous articles due to the association, without an interview, as is the case in the four pieces below.

The Daily Press, in the first piece below, provides a column on the five ballot measures and recommendations, of which I agree 80%, disagreeing on Proposition 70, which I oppose. If you live in San Bernardino County, you’ll appreciate the author’s perspectives.

KTLA Channel 5 provides a voter guide in the second piece below, but I only include the first two propositions.

The Sierra Sun provides a lopsided perspective on Proposition 68 in the third piece below.

The Acorn also shows the allure of localities being the recipients of the bond’s proceeds and is the fourth piece below.

The Newspaper.com provides an overall analysis of the gas tax repeal efforts in the fifth piece below, with the potential non-necessity of Proposition 69 by the time the November ballots are cast.

With the minimal campaign activity on these two ballot measures, with just the Secretary of State’s pamphlet and these few news articles, I would find it a personal victory if the “no” vote on Proposition 68 is higher than 40 percent and higher than 30 percent on Proposition 69.

California Attorney General Reception –

The fourth is the statewide candidates. In this regard, I want you to meet the Republican candidate for Attorney General. I can give you a list of more than thirty reasons why this state needs a new AG.

I am hosting a reception for Judge Steven Bailey (Retired) in Orange County on June 1st, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the law offices of Cummins and White, 2424 S. E. Bristol, Suite 300, Newport Beach. There is no charge to attend, but bring your checkbooks, please. Please RSVP to Danielle@BaileyForAG.com.

Governor –

The fifth is the race for Governor. I have stayed neutral. I enjoy a relationship with both of the two main Republican candidates. I have always advised that, in a top-two system, only one Republican should be running in this field. The polling has consistently shown John Cox obtaining double the support of that garnered by Assemblyman Travis Allen. And President Trump has endorsed Cox.

For the sake of the Republican Party, it may be time for the Assemblyman to bow out and endorse John Cox. If this is not done, I believe that we will see Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as the top two.

BONUS: Remember to attend the reception on June 1st and to vote on June 5th.

Fewer propositions but lots of candidates for California voters to wade through

By RICHARD REEB

http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/20180523/fewer-propositions-but-lots-of-candidates-for-california-voters-to-wade-through

The unexpected effect of the incumbent-protecting top two nominating process was an explosion in the number of candidates, many Democrats and Republicans, quite a few Nones (17) and a scattering of third party hopefuls. So let’s take care of the unusually small number of legislatively sponsored ballot measures (five) first.

Whatever the merits of the three constitutional amendments and two statutes, note well that in all about two, the Assembly and the Senate were sharply divided. For example, supporters of Propositions 68 and 70 claim “bipartisan support,” but the truth is that the 40-member Senate split 27-9 and the 80-member Assembly 56-21 on the first and 27-13 and 59-11 on the second. At best, some Republicans voted for these measures but not many. Even Proposition 69 barely squeaked by 29-10 and 56-24 in the two houses. Remember, Democrats have huge majorities in both houses.

By massive contrast, Proposition 71 was backed 40-0 and 78-0, and 72 by 39-0 and 76-0. But whatever the support or lack of it for these measures, we must consider them on the merits.

Proposition 68 is a grab bag bond measure with a big price tag for a multitude of “park, natural resources protection, climate adaptation, water quality and supply and flood protection” fixes — who could oppose that? Certainly not the California Chamber of Commerce. But it comes with a price tag of $4 billion and a 40-year payment period the interest of which will double the cost. As State Sen. John Moorlach argues, California already leads all other states in total indebtedness at $169 billion. Vote NO.

Proposition 69 piously promises to donate all revenues from a 2017 “transportation funding law” to transportation needs. But there are at least two difficulties. Money previously so dedicated prior to 2017 was not spent on transportation, and the current measure includes monies for unwanted high speed rail, bike lanes and protecting habitat. Vote NO.

Proposition 70 has won some favorable reviews because it requires a super-majority of two-thirds in both houses of the state legislature to maintain the state’s cap and trade program, which rewards industries for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Here the opposing argument claims that “many Democrats and Republicans opposed putting Proposition on the ballot because it’s a bad deal for California.” That’s not quite true, at least in the State Senate, while proponents make the opposite claim.

Environmentalists are doubtless cool to the super-majority requirement which suits the Chamber of Commerce Just fine. Vote YES.

Proposition 71, which would make ballot measures effective whenever the definitive vote count is established, is headed for victory owing to its unanimous legislative support. With mail-in and absentee ballots coming in after election day, this precaution makes sense. Vote YES.

Proposition 72′s unanimous support derives from its relief from taxation of anyone who, at their own expense, adds rain-capture systems to conserve water. This is a no-brainer. Vote YES.

Now to wade through the multiple candidates for 12 state offices. Democrats and Republicans are scanning the many names looking for someone they recognize and/or they believe can be nominated and elected. Democrats, not surprisingly, have more prominent names than Republicans, particularly for Governor (Gavin Newsome, Antonio Villaraigosa, Diane Eastin, John Chiang), and the two most prominent Republicans are John Cox and Travis Allen. Cox is endorsed by Newt Gingrich, while Allen is endorsed by several state organizations, yet the latter’s campaign fliers have him endorsing several Democrats for other offices. I’ll go with Newt.

Democrat Dianne Feinstein, the four-term incumbent U.S. Senator, is challenged by state Senator Kevin De Leon. Both Republican hopefuls are pushing Arkun K. Bhumitra, but Tom Palzer got my attention with his determination to end the top-two nomination system.

Both Cox and Allen are endorsing Republican Cole Harris for Lieutenant Governor and Steven Poizner for Insurance Commissioner (officially None but actually Republican) on their fliers, while Allen is supporting Democrats Ed Hernandez for Lt. Governor and Dave Jones for Attorney General on other fliers! Go figure! Democrat Eleni Kounalakis is advertising an openly open immigration position in her bid for the No. 2 spot.

Democrat Betty Yee will be hard to beat for Controller, but Republican Konstantinos Roditis will probably face her in November.

Otherwise, likely Republican nominees are Mark Meuser for Secretary of State, Greg Conlon for Treasurer, Steven Bailey for Attorney General, Connie Conway for Board of Equalization and Shannon Grove for State Senate. Marshall Tuck is endorsed by both Democrats and Republican leaders for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

San Bernardino County Judge Arthur Harrison, District Attorney Mike Ramos and appointed Auditor-Controller-Treasurer Oscar Valdez will likely face November runoffs.

Of course, no one really knows who will wind up on the ballot in November, but the incumbents are hoping it’s them — again.

Richard Reeb taught political science, philosophy and journalism at Barstow Community College from 1970 to 2003. He is the author of “Taking Journalism Seriously: ‘Objectivity’ as a Partisan Cause” (University Press of America, 1999). He can be contacted at rhreeb

 

 

California Primary: A Simple Guide to the 5 Statewide Measures on the June 5 Ballot

BY KRISTINA BRAVO

http://ktla.com/2018/05/23/california-primary-a-simple-guide-to-the-5-statewide-measures-on-the-june-5-ballot/

In this file image, voters cast their ballots at a polling station in Alhambra on Nov. 4, 2014. (Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

In this file image, voters cast their ballots at a polling station in Alhambra on Nov. 4, 2014. (Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The state primary election is on June 5. In addition to selecting their top choices for governor, U.S. senator, members of Congress and other local offices, California voters will get to decide on these five statewide measures:

Proposition 68: Bonds for parks, the environment

Voting “yes” means the authorization of $4.1 billion in general obligation bonds (state debt) to fund parks, natural resources protection, climate adaptation and water infrastructure.

The measure would help pay for projects to maintain forests, rivers, coastal habitats and other natural and recreational areas; finance equipment to remove pollutants from water supplies; and fund levees to protect communities during floods and storms.

On top of the $4.1 billion, the bonds would mean repaying $3.8 billion in interest, according to a state analysis. That means an average repayment cost of around $200 million every year over the next four decades, or about a fifth of a percent of California’s current general fund budget, according to the analysis.

Voting “no” opposes the authorization of the bonds to fund local and state parks, natural resource conservation and water infrastructure.

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board calls Proposition 68 a “sound investment,” while The Orange County Register says it would leave the state with “unnecessary debt.”

Proposition 69: Spending for roads, transit

Voting “yes” supports a state constitutional amendment requiring lawmakers to continue spending revenues from recently enacted vehicle fees and fuel tax on transportation purposes only.

Voting “no” means lawmakers could in the future spend some of those revenues on purposes other than transportation.

State Sen. John Moorlach and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, both Republicans, oppose Prop 69. “A portion of money protected by Proposition 69 is for transit, which is NOT fixing our roads,” they say in a statement in the state’s voter guide.

Ballotpedia says it could not find any editorial boards against the measure and cited support from the L.A. Times, The Desert Sun and other publications.

“If that reassurance seems unnecessary, it’s because anti-tax opponents are readying a repeal of the gas tax …” says the San Francisco Chronicle in its editorial. California Republicans are seeking to put a proposed repeal of the 2017 gas tax increase on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

Voters to decide on $4 billion bond to fund clean parks and water conservation

Hannah Jones
hjones

https://www.sierrasun.com/news/local/voters-to-decide-on-4-billion-bond-to-fund-clean-parks-and-water-conservation/

On June 5 voters have a chance to secure $4 billion in general obligation bonds, to go towards park maintenance, environmental protection projects and clean water conservation.

If passed, Proposition 68 will be the largest statewide investment into outdoor conservation and restoration projects since 2006. Since that time California’s population has grown from 36 million to 39.5 million, leading environmental groups to fight for the protection of natural resources.

“The reason why these bonds are so necessary is because we can see that our region is changing,” said Chris Mertens, Sierra Business Council government affairs director.

“There’s dying trees, there’s more forest fires, extreme weather events. This bond will help give our region the tools we need to build a more resilient community. It provides and unprecedented amount of funding to protecting our community.”

SUPPORT IN THE SIERRA

Several environmental groups in the Tahoe region have endorsed the measure including the Sierra Business Council, Keep Tahoe Blue and the Truckee Donner Land Trust, voicing concerns about the future of Lake Tahoe and the natural resources it provides.

More than 60 percent of California’s water supply comes from the Sierra Nevada. Under Proposition 68, the California Tahoe Conservancy would receive $27 million. In addition to these funds, the Water Supply and Quality Act, scheduled for the Nov. 6 election would supply $100 million to the region.

“Our parks continues to get more and more visitors and the population is growing, so having money dedicated to protecting those resources in vital to this area,” said Darcie Goodman Collins, executive director of Keep Tahoe Blue. Collins said that because most state funding for such projects is competitive among other regions, the $27 million secured through Proposition 68 will “allow that certainty that we can start projects we know we can finish them,” she said.

‘WRONG WAY,’ OPPONENTS SAY

OPPOSITION TO THE MEASURE COMES MAINLY FROM TAXPAYERS WHO BELIEVE THE MEASURE WILL ONLY PLUNGE THE STATE FURTHER INTO DEBT.

“We need to protect and improve our state parks, but Proposition 68 is the wrong way to do that,” Andrea Seastrand, President of the Central Coast Taxpayers Association, said in a California official voter information guide. She argued that only $1.3 million will actually go towards parks and that the money will not be distributed equally throughout the state.

State Sen. John Moorlach, who represents most of Orange County, opposed the measure arguing against even higher taxes. In an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee, he cited data from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office reporting that taxpayers would owe $200 million a year for 40 years from the state’s general fund if the measure were to pass.

“That means not just our children, but our grandchildren will be paying it off,” he said.

IF APPROVED

Prop. 68 funding would be provided in three main categories, with about two- thirds going to parks and wildlife, and one-third going towards water conservation and flood protection. According to the Proposition 68 website, the money will be allocated as follows.

Water conservation

$540 million to ensure clean drinking water

$180 million to groundwater cleanup and water recycling

$550 million to flood protection

$367 million to rivers, lakes, and streams protection and restoration

Parks and recreation

$725 million to neighborhood parks in greatest need of restoration

$285 million to safer and cleaner park facilities in cities, counties, and local park districts

$218 million to repair and improve state parks

$95 million to promote recreation and tourism

Natural Resources

$765 million for conserving and protecting natural areas

$235 million to protect beaches, oceans and the coast

$140 million for climate change resiliency

Statewide, there are 280 state parks which all have a maintenance backlog estimate at $1.2 billion. In the 1980s, California State Parks began to put off maintenance on basic repair projects such as bathrooms, rooftops, fences and trails due to underfunding of the state park’s budget. With deferred maintenance from the past three decades, some of the measure’s money will go towards reducing that backlog.

The last parks bond that was passed was Proposition 84, which gave $5.4 billion in funding to water and flood control projects and park restoration.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Truckee Sun. She can be reached at hjones or 503-550-2652.

image23

 

Group hopes Prop. 68 funds can

save rural Agoura site from

development

By Stephanie Bertholdo
sberth

https://www.toacorn.com/articles/group-hopes-prop-68-funds-can-save-rural-agoura-site-from-development/

https://www.theacorn.com/articles/triangle-ranch-group-eyes-prop-68-funds/

The movement to protect Triangle Ranch in rural Agoura as open space has gained traction with the purchase of at least a portion of the property by local environmental groups.

But the status of the 320-acre ranch near Kanan and Cornell roads still remains up in the air, and its fate could be decided by voters in the June 5 election.

The first of four Triangle Ranch parcels have been bought and will remain undeveloped.

Paul Edelman, planning chief for the Mountains Restoration and Conservation Authority and the Santa Mountains Conservancy, said his agencies bought the land in March for $5.85 million from Sage Live Oak of Newport Beach. The cost included a $95,000 option to buy the entire property.

If money is not raised to acquire phases two through four, the Newport developer could move forward with its plans to build 61 custom homes at the ranch.

The conservancy gave a $2-million grant to the MRCA to buy the land for open space. Another $2.5 million came from Los Angeles County park funds. The Agoura Hills-based Hilton Foundation contributed another $50,000 toward the purchase.

Although more money is owed, Edelman feels the deal is finalized.

Other agencies and the City of Agoura Hills may contribute to the purchase—and if Prop. 68, a $4-billion statewide bond measure targeted for parks, environment and water issues, passes in next month’s election, even more funds could become available.

A part of the bond revenue— about $725 million— would be earmarked for construction of neighborhood parks in lower income areas.

Triangle Ranch lies in an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County, and the county could hold sway over how the money is actually spent.

Colleen Holmes, president of Cornell Preservation Organization, is hopeful the bond measure will pass.

“We still have some hills to climb to finish the funding of Triangle (Ranch), but we are optimistic now,” she said.

“If Prop. 68 is passed, we will get all the funding and it will close out by fall,” she said.

Holmes hopes that part of the Triangle property will be dedicated for a Chumash Educational Village to honor the Native Americans who originally occupied the land.

The City of Agoura Hills was approached late last year by Edelman and other agency leaders interested in preserving the land as open space.

The city was asked to contribute $2 million toward the purchase even though the land lies outside the boundaries of Agoura Hills.

Proponents of the project say that the city’s motto—Gateway to the Santa Monica Mountains— should serve as justification for the expenditure.

“We are all waiting to see what happens regarding Prop. 68,” Agoura Hills Mayor Bill Koehler said.

Opponents are worried and say the Prop. 68 bonds must be paid even if another economic recession should strike California and revenues dip.

“Bond measures are deceptive. You think you’re voting for something good. But, it will take approximately $8 billion to pay off the $4 billion of borrowed funds,” state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) said in his ballot statement against Prop. 68.

“That means you can expect a tax increase.”

The opponents say California’s fiscal managers aren’t to be trusted and point to the 2012 scandal in which the state Department of Parks and Recreation threatened to close 70 parks, saying it didn’t have the money to keep them open, when an audit proved otherwise.

California Gas Tax Repeal Efforts Heats Up
California poised to vote on ballot measure to repeal $54 billion in taxes on motorists.

https://www.thenewspaper.com/news/64/6469.asp

Bicycle laneElection officials are sampling signatures in the effort to roll back a massive hike in California’s tax on gasoline. Earlier this month, supporters of the proposed constitutional amendment repealing the gas tax increase submitted over 940,000 signatures — well more than the 585,407 required for a place on the November ballot.

Last year, the legislature boosted the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon and raised the annual vehicle registration fee to a maximum of $175 per year. The changes were expected to generate $54 billion in revenue over a decade. In response, Republican lawmakers circulated a ballot measure reversing the legislature’s move.

“California’s taxes on gasoline and car ownership are among the highest in the nation,” the proposal explains. “These taxes have been raised without the consent of the people. Therefore, the people hereby amend the constitution to require voter approval of the recent increase in the gas and car tax enacted by Chapter 5 of the statutes of 2017 and any future increases in the gas and car tax.”

A simple majority vote would be required to raise taxes in the future. The Public Policy Institute of California earlier this year found public support for the measure was evenly split, with 61 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of independents in favor of the amendment, but 56 percent of Democrats against the idea.

Supporters of the gas tax hike insist the funds are needed to “fix the roads,” but a large percentage of motorist funds are being diverted toward transit projects. Bus projects will receive $3.5 billion. Light rail projects will take another $3 billion.

This year, Los Angeles is getting a $525 million light rail station and bicycle hub. Orange County is getting $365 million for five hydrogen-powered buses and bicycle paths in Tustin. Sacramento is getting $452 million for HOV lanes and light rail. San Mateo is spending $570 million to turn existing freeway lanes into toll roads. Santa Barbara will get $17 million for bicycle lanes.

In June, California voters will consider Proposition 69, which would prohibit the legislature from transferring motorist funds into the general fund. Motorist funds would still be diverted toward non-motoring-related transit projects.

“How insulting can a ballot proposition be?” state Senator John M.W. Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) asked. “Last year, a two-thirds majority of state legislators voted for a gas tax and vehicle fee increase for transportation improvements. And now they are asking you to tell them to only spend the money on that intended purpose?”

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

Also follow me on Facebook & Twitter @SenatorMoorlach

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — June Primary Antics — April 28, 2018

Republican on Republican campaigns have not been pretty here in the OC.  The strategy seems to be simple.  Do polling.  If you’re behind, attack your opponent.  If you’re really behind, make negative stuff up.  Why?  To possibly close the gap.  Conclusion?  Mud-slinging is usually done by desperate candidates.  But, it is very embarrassing and unbecoming to the rest of us elected-Republicans in the vicinity.

I had to endure an incredible onslaught of false charges in negative campaign mail three years ago in my 2015 Special Election candidacy.  It was not fun and it backfired for my opponent.  But, three years later and I still hear laments about the nonsense I had to endure.

In the June, 2016 Primary for the 68th Assembly, one candidate also went over the line.  And this apparent leader did not have to do it.  So, I made mention of it in one of my UPDATEs (see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — June Primary – Part One — May 18, 2016).  I put the following at the bottom of the UPDATE:

NOTE: The Sidhu campaign has issued a mailer that is unconscionable, misleading and inappropriate. This campaign methodology is unacceptable. Innuendo and false implication is unseemly, and this Republican is repulsed by it.”

Why did I do this?  During the barrage that I endured in 2015, I can only recall one elected Republican taking my opponent to task over it.  So, I decided to change this “look the other way attitude” and make my disappointment public.

Candidate and then-Irvine Mayor Steven Choi used the above quote on a number of his final mail pieces.  The result?  We now call him Assemblymember Choi.

This year, candidate Scott Baugh is taking similar false charges against himself in a complaint to the Orange County Republican Party’s Ethics Committee.  And, I’ve signed a letter in support of this approach.

The Daily Pilot provides the details in the first piece below.

With that, let me also use Barbara Venezia’s column to provide my June Primary Voter’s Guide as the second piece below.

My rules are simple (also see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — June Primary – Part One — May 18, 2016).

1.  Endorse Republicans.

2.  When I endorse, show the name in bold.

3.  If there is a good second choice or two good first choices, list them in italics.

4.  If I don’t know who you are or are not endorsed, leave names in normal type.

For the second time in my life, I am an opposition signatory on ballot measure arguments, this time for two Propositions, 68 and 69.  I provided them for Proposition 68 at MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Proposition 68 — March 23, 2018 (also see MOORLACH UPDATE — 2017 State Per Capita UNPs — April 2, 2018).

For Proposition 69, which is a sad and embarrassing case of redundancy, telling the Legislature to spend transportation funding on transportation projects, my submissions are the third piece below.

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Oh, the irony! Politicians are asking for civil campaigning


http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/opinion/tn-dpt-me-barbara-venezia-column-20180426-story.html

 
 

Former Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh took exception last week to campaign mailers sent out by his chief opponent in the 48th Congressional District race, incumbent Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa).

“They are just making stuff up and throwing it out to see what sticks,” Baugh said of the accusations made about him in the fliers.

Rohrabacher’s campaign hasn’t responded to my questions about the assertions.

But Baugh isn’t letting this go.

On April 23, he wrote to OC GOP Chairman Ken Whitaker, requesting “an ethics investigation into the false, misleading, defamatory and distorted information used by Dana Rohrabacher’s campaign committee and Congressman Rohrabacher himself.”

The letter explains Baugh’s complaints about Rohrabacher’s mailers, which accuse him of being pro-amnesty and supported by “Never Trumpers.” Neither claim is true.

“If the lies in Rohrabacher’s mail were sent out against a favored Republican, the OCGOP would issue swift rebuke and condemn the liars,” Baugh says. “The OCGOP cannot have a double standard when applying ethics by applying a harsh standard to challengers and ignoring the lies of incumbents. Otherwise the party would lose credibility.

“At a minimum, I expect that Chairman Whitaker make certain the lies are stopped. As far as punishment, the OCGOP has options of admonition, reprimand, censure and even withdrawing an endorsement.”

Also on April 23, Baugh signed another letter to Whitaker along with over a dozen OC Republican Central Committee members, including state Sens. Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), school choice advocate Mark Bucher and Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill.

Newport council members Diane Dixon and Kevin Muldoon and Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer also signed.

“We write to request that you take immediate action to stop the Rohrabacher (for) Congress campaign from distributing false information about Scott Baugh, chairman emeritus the Republican Party of Orange County,” their letter stated.

The group defended Baugh as a Republican leader, saying he served the party “faithfully for decades,” walking precincts on behalf of candidates, volunteering and raising “more money (exceeding $20 million) for Republican candidates throughout Orange County and the entire country” — more than any other volunteer in OCGOP history.

In closing, they acknowledged that the party endorsed Rohrabacher before Baugh entered the race, but that “endorsement cannot be used as an umbrella to allow incumbents to engage in false and negative campaigning,” they wrote.

“These false accusations and negative campaigning tactics reflect poorly on each of us — especially when done by one of our endorsed candidates,” the letter stated.

I asked Dixon why she signed.

“I do not support a race to the bottom (or) campaign mudslinging,” she said.

And though she hasn’t endorsed anyone in this race, she does support “Baugh’s effort to run a campaign based on facts and important issues.”

Seeing signatures from the likes of Muldoon, O’Neill and Dixon seemed a bit hypocritical of them. They’ve all used Newport political consultant Dave Ellis, a guy not known for pulling punches in campaigns. And I should know: When I ran for Newport Beach City Council in 2006 one of my opponents used Ellis, who sent out fact-bending mailers about me. I asked Ellis to comment for this column, but he declined.

I asked Dixon about her Ellis connection; she wasn’t ready to talk about it.

“We are all big boys and know that campaigns can get nasty,” Baugh says. “That has gone on since before the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Candidates often distort and stretch the truth, but there is a bright line that cannot be sanctioned when the candidate is lying about his opponent.”

But isn’t that splitting hairs? Truth isn’t meant to be distorted or stretched.

Now, I agree with Baugh that this practice needs to end. And I’m glad notable elected officials are taking a stand.

But you can’t complain about these tactics one minute and belly up to the bar with those who’ve perpetrated the practice the next.

Baugh recently added former Anaheim blogger Matthew Cunningham to his PR team. Cunningham’s had his own go-around with controversy.

In 2013 he published a photo of a defaced teddy bear next to a Virgin of Guadalupe candle, which he says was misrepresented by the media as mimicking a “memorial shrine Latino families place at the locations where their sons and brothers have been shot by police.” It sparked outrage.

Cunningham says that wasn’t the intent of his blog post and tried to correct the story with reporters, telling them it was a satirical moment gone wrong, one which he regretted, and that he never intended to offend Latinos — his wife is Mexican — and would never do that.

He feels his political enemies helped perpetuate the damaging narrative, which cost him dearly financially and personally and remains a painful chapter.

Whatever side of the mudslinging you’re on, this negative political culture has been allowed to fester for decades, not only within the O.C. Republican Party but the Democratic Party as well.

Can Baugh be the instrument of change within his party, forcing the establishment to re-evaluate its definition of the “truth” and ethical behavior?

If he succeeds, it’s a game-changer.

BARBARA VENEZIA is an opinion columnist writing political and social commentary since 2007. She can be reached at bvontv1@gmail.com

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PROPOSITION 69

http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/pdf/69-arg-rebuttals.pdf

★ ARGUMENT AGAINST PROPOSITION 69 ★

How insulting can a ballot proposition be? Last year, a two-thirds majority of state legislators voted for a gas tax and vehicle fee increase for transportation improvements. And now they are asking you to tell them to only spend the money on that intended purpose? Do you see the lunacy of this request?

Is this measure supposed to make us feel better? Or is it an indictment that Sacramento can’t help itself when it comes to spending your money? It’s wasting billions of dollars for high speed rail, with massive cost overruns. And this proposition is supposed to prevent them from spending drift? Or is this an admission that, like an alcoholic, Sacramento is saying it won’t siphon off some of your gas tax for other boondoggles, this time? And, once again, they really mean it. How sad can California’s legislature get? Did you know that Caltrans wastes some $500 million per year? Because it’s overstaffed by nearly 3,300 architects and engineers and it is hiring more? That it only outsources ten percent of engineering work when most states outsource half? Did Sacramento streamline Caltrans before raising your gas taxes? No!

It embarrasses me, as a fiscal conservative, to have to ask you to tell Sacramento to spend a gas tax on highway repairs. It’s disingenuous and duplicitous. How long will the voters of this state enable free-spending liberals to drive our Golden State into the ground? Accordingly, I’m voting “No” on this tripe called Proposition 69. You should too.

 

SENATOR JOHN M.W. MOORLACH 37th Senate District 

★ REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF PROPOSITION 69 ★

NO ON 69: BROKEN PROMISES HAVE LED TO A RUNDOWN, OUTDATED, AND CONGESTED TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

Prior to the recent gas tax increases, Sacramento had plenty of your money through transportation-related fees and taxes to fix our crumbling roads, upgrade transportation infrastructure, and repair aging bridges. However, time and time again, the state spent YOUR money on everything BUT transportation. Now our roads are in complete decay, they promise that this time, they’ll spend it as intended. While protecting your money is commendable, Californians are already unnecessarily taxed at the pump. If Sacramento were judicious in the handling of your money, California’s transportation system would not be facing such crisis.

PROP. 69 PROTECTS TRANSPORTATION MONEY THAT WILL NOT FIX OUR ROADS

While the proponents argue protecting these dollars ensures traffic congestion relief, filling potholes, and safety improvements, it’s not quite the case. A portion of money protected by Proposition 69 is for transit, which is NOT fixing our roads; no new infrastructure, no updates to California’s crumbling roads, and no traffic relief. Other dollars can go to projects like high speed rail, bike lanes, and protecting habitat.

PROPOSITION 69 FAILS TO PROTECT OVER $1 BILLION

Proposition 69 fails to protect ALL transportation dollars. Sacramento will collect $1 billion annually in vehicle weight fees, which will go unprotected and backfill the State’s General Fund. Proposition 69 fails to fully protect transportation taxes from being diverted to programs that do nothing to fix our roads and highways. VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 69.

ASSEMBLYMAN FRANK BIGELOW 5th Assembly District

SENATOR JOHN MOORLACH 37th Senate District

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — OC Congressional Races — March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I was appointed to serve as the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector on March 17, 1995. I was elected to serve in the State Legislature for the 37th Senate District on March 17, 2015. So, let’s start the discussion on those willing to endure the process to serve the public.

Campaign season officially opened at 5 p.m. on March 9th for most of the races on the ballot. March 9th was the last day for a candidate to file to be officially recognized on the Primary ballot, unless the incumbent chooses to not rerun, thus giving a five-day extension. As this deadline was March 14th, what is affectionately known as “silly season,” is now upon us.

With campaigns come endorsements. My grid for making endorsements is rather simple. First, I usually stay out of races where two friends are running against each other, unless I have a long-time and close relationship with one of them. Second, as a member of the California Republican Party, the bylaws require that I only endorse Republicans, which I stick to rare exceptions in nonpartisan contests. And thirdly, in races with two or more Republicans, tradition dictates that I support the incumbent, with even rarer exceptions.

Today’s topic is the Orange County Congressional races. I’ll try to address the five ballot measures in a future UPDATE, as I am a signatory in opposition to two of the propositions, Propositions 68 and 69, something I haven’t participated in since Proposition 71 in 2004.

The Voice of OC provides a broad and in depth overview of all of the races in the first piece below. Note: It was released on March 12th.

The Laguna Beach Indy takes a closer look at the 48th Congressional District in the second piece below. When Scott Baugh contacted me, I reminded him of the protocol to not contest sitting incumbents. But, I was not there to tell him that Congressman Rohrabacher was a better candidate.

And the Daily Pilot provides an editorial perspective in the third piece below. The Congressman has stated he was going to retire in two years so many times in the past that he’s been dishonest and abusive to those that are ready to get some real work done in D.C.

After I reminded Scott Baugh of the Party’s protocol, I told him that if he decided to run anyway, I would support him.

I was there when Dana won in 1988. I oversaw the volunteer efforts of his campaign in 1992, finding volunteers to walk every precinct in Costa Mesa on his behalf. It was an effort that had a big impact on my life. But, 30 years later and that I cannot recognize any major committee chairmanships or legislative accomplishments by our Congressman is a tragedy. Especially from a District overloaded with talent. So, this is a very rare exception for me. A protocol should not be an umbrella that protects mediocrity and stagnation. The Republican Party deserves better. And, in my opinion, Dana has made severe missteps of late and I am one who really wants to improve the brand.

Candidates for OC’s Four Contested Congressional Seats

U.S. Capitol building. ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL

By SPENCER CUSTODIO AND THY VO

HTTPS://VOICEOFOC.ORG/2018/03/CANDIDATES-FOR-OCS-FOUR-CONTESTED-CONGRESSIONAL-SEATS/

The crowded field of candidates running for four Orange County Congressional seats narrowed slightly Friday, as several candidates failed to file paperwork by the 5 p.m. deadline for their names to appear on the June 5 primary election ballot.

Democrats nationwide are targeting the four Orange County Republican strongholds, the 39th, 45th, 48th and 49th Congressional districts, in a campaign to secure 24 seats across the country that would give them a majority in the House of Representatives. They consider at least some of the four Orange County GOP-held seats vulnerable because for the first time in 80 years, the four districts voted for a Democrat, Hilary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election.

Democrats are focused on two districts where longtime incumbents, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) of the 39th district and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) of the 49th district, aren’t running for re-election. Because the incumbents aren’t running, the deadline for filing in those two districts is Wednesday, March 14.

Orange County Democratic leaders have tried in recent weeks to narrow the field of candidates in order to avoid a scenario in June where Democratic voters split their power among several candidates, allowing two Republican candidates to receive the majority of votes and move onto the November general election. California has a “top two” primary where the two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary, regardless of their political party, face off in November.

But few candidates have stepped aside. In the 39th District for example, so far 19 candidates have filed, including 10 Democrats and seven Republicans.

The state Democratic Convention last month resulted in only two endorsements out of the four Congressional Districts because delegates from the 39th and 49th districts couldn’t decide who to recommend.

And there are no endorsements from state Republicans yet because their convention isn’t until the weekend of May 4.

39th Congressional District

There could be over 19 candidates will be on the June 5 primary ballot for voters in the 39th district, including nine Democrats. After 25-year Republican Congressman Royce announced in January he wouldn’t seek re-election, six Republicans entered the race. There also is one candidate registered as having no party preference and one from the American Independent Party.

More candidates could file by the extended 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline.

The 39th district includes most of north Orange County, including parts of Buena Park, Placentia and Anaheim Hills and contains all of Yorba Linda, Brea, La Habra and Fullerton. It also includes parts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Candidate filing data came from the registrars of voters those three counties but the Secretary of State will compile the official list of candidates after March 14.

Democratic candidate Andy Thorburn raised the most money last year at $2.5 million, including $2 million of his own money, but former one-term Republican Assemblywoman Young Kim gathered the most endorsements including Royce, whom Kim worked for before she was elected to the State Assembly in 2014.

Kim also is endorsed by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and 2nd District Supervisor Michelle Steel. Seven Republican Assemblymembers have endorsed her as have numerous city council members from communities in and outside the 39th district.

Republican county Supervisor Shawn Nelson, another 39th district candidate, has been endorsed by five California Republican officeholders including Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa, Assemblyman Phillip Chen of Diamond Bar, State Senator John Moorlach of Costa Mesa, Orange County 1st District Supervisor Andrew Do and San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman.

The Federal Elections Commission website has no campaign finance data for Nelson, Kim and the other Republicans who entered the race earlier this year. The next quarterly filing date for campaign finance is March 31.

Thorburn has garnered endorsements from some Democrats including Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer of Los Angeles.

Like Thorburn, Democratic challenger Gil Cisneros gave himself a little over $1.3 million, and raised $1.6 million last year. But unlike other high fundraising Democratic candidates, Cisneros is endorsed by several Democratic state and federal elected officials: eight members of Congress, including Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Linda Sanchez of Whittier; and three Assembly members, including Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton.

While the district spans three counties and has 361,000 registered voters, the bulk of voters are in Orange County at 223,000, according to a January voter registration report from the Secretary of State.

Republicans still hold a slight edge in the district with 35.5 percent of voters, with Democrats close behind with 34 percent. Voters with no party preference total 26 percent.

Election analysis website Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball lists the 39th as a toss up while another handicapper site, The Cook Political Report, lists the district leaning Democratic.

45th Congressional District

There are five challengers looking to unseat Rep. Mimi Walters in the southeast Orange County district, including five Democrats and one no party preference candidate. Walters raised the most money last year with $1.6 million, over half of it from a joint fundraising committee, Mimi Walters Victory Fund, which is used by other political action committees to fundraise and spend on events. Walters has been in office for three years.

So far, the closest anybody’s gotten to Walter’s war chest is Democrat Brian Forde, who raised $873,000. Around $100,000 of that was directed to his campaign through San Francisco-based Coinbase, a digital currency bank, but Forde’s web site doesn’t list any endorsements.

Katie Porter, a Democrat, is just behind Forde with $741,000 raised. She’s been able to score some high-level endorsements, including Democratic U.S. Senators Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Democrat Dave Min raised $678,000 last year. Min won the state Democratic party endorsement in late February, which means he’ll likely be able to increase his campaign fundraising ability. He’s been endorsed by Quirk-Silva and her husband, Fullerton Councilman Jesus Silva.

48th Congressional District

Voters in the 48th district will have 16 names on their primary ballot, including incumbent Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher has been in Congress for nearly 30 years. He’s going up against five other Republicans, including former state Assembly Republican leader Scott Baugh.

Rohrabacher raised nearly $1.1 million last year, with a sizeable chunk coming from various political action committees like the California Victory Fund, a political action committee that doesn’t have any financial information on the FEC website yet.

Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Harley Rouda Jr. also raised about $1.3 million last year. He self-funded most of his war chest at nearly $750,000. ActBlue, a Democratic fundraising organization, also has been giving to Rouda’s campaign.

Rouda is endorsed by former state Attorney General Bill Lockyer and state Senator Henry Stern of Canoga Park.

While Baugh didn’t raise any money last year, he enters the race with $545,000 in campaign finances left over from 2016 when he was setting up a run. He just entered the race last week.

Democrat Hans Keirstead raised $872,000 last year and, like Rouda, Keirstead also is self-funded, but much less at about $210,000. He’s also received numerous contributions from ActBlue. The state Democratic Party endorsed Keirstead at its convention last month. Keirstead also has endorsements from two Congressmen and State Senator Bill Dodd of Napa.

The district spans the coastal cities of Orange County from Seal Beach to Laguna Niguel and stretches east into parts of Westminster and Garden Grove. It also includes Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Newport Beach, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Beach.

Rohrabacher, who has been a member of Congress since 1989, won reelection in 2016 with a nearly 17-point margin over his opponent. But this year, the Cook Report and Crystal Ball classified the district as a toss up.

The district is home to 400,000 voters and the Republicans hold over 40 percent of the registered voters. Democrats are at just under 30 percent of voters, while the no preference voters make up just over a quarter of the district.

Like the rest of the districts, about half of voters turned out for the 2016 primaries, a presidential election year, up from about a quarter on average in primaries before that. In 2014, the turnout was just under 25 percent.

49th Congressional District

The 49th could have least 10 candidates heading into the primary election, after the district’s Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of Vista said in January he won’t seek reelection. Most of the district is in San Diego County but it also includes south Orange County.

There are four Republicans running for Issa’s seat, four Democrats, one Peace and Freedom candidate and one candidate from the K-9 party. The candidate filing data was pulled from Orange County and San Diego County registrars of voters. San Diego’s list doesn’t list anyone as qualified for ballot, even the candidates who’ve filed their nomination papers. The registrar’s website calls it the “unofficial list” of candidates.

Like the 39th district, the deadline to file candidacy papers has been extended to March 14 because of Issa’s announcement. The Secretary of State will make an official candidate list after that.

Issa, whose first term was in 2001, won reelection in 2016 by less than a percentage point against Democratic challenger Doug Applegate. Applegate, a retired Marine colonel, is running again this election.

Democratic challenger Sara Jacobs raised the most money last year with $1.3 million. She self-funded over $1 million of that amount. She’s received endorsements from three members of Congress.

On Jacobs’ heels is Democrat Mike Levin, who managed to raise $1.2 million, mostly through individual contributions and money from ActBlue. He’s received endorsements from eight Congress members including Adam Schiff of Burbank, two state Senators and three Assembly members.

Democrat Paul Kerr isn’t far behind with just over $1 million in his war chest. He self-funded the bulk of that at around $700,000.

Meanwhile, Applegate is behind at $680,000. He’s been endorsed by Assemblyman Tom Daly of Anaheim and former Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.

Republican candidates don’t have any campaign finance data available yet from the FEC website.

Applegate isn’t the only former Marine in the 49th District race, which encompasses Marine Corps Camp Pendleton in north San Diego County.

GOP Assemblyman Rocky Chavez of Oceanside, also a retired Marine colonel, is running. While there’s no campaign finance data available for his campaign yet, he’s started gathering endorsements from various city council members in San Diego county.

Another GOP elected official, Board of Equalization Chairwoman Diane Harkey, entered the race after Issa’s announcement and has garnered an endorsement from 45th District Congresswoman Walters. Additionally, Orange County Supervisors Do, Michelle Steel and Lisa Bartlett are backing Harkey, as is Sheriff Hutchens.

The district touches the most southern cities in the county, including San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente. The 49th also stretches down the west side of San Diego county, ending before La Jolla.

The 49th district is home to 380,000 registered voters in Orange and San Diego counties. Republicans still hold the majority at 37 percent, while Democrats are at 31 percent. Like the other districts, the no preference voters make up just over a quarter of registered voters.

The Cook Report and the Crystal Ball classify the district as leaning Democratic.

GOP Insider Enters Congressional Race

By : Andrea Adelson

https://www.lagunabeachindy.com/gop-insider-enters-congressional-race/

Eighteen people qualified as June primary candidates in the congressional race for District 48 along Orange County’s coastal communities, including the last-minute entry of former Orange County GOP chair Scott Baugh.

Baugh, who served five years in the state Assembly 18 years ago, said his decision to challenge fellow Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher was partly compelled by the urging of co-workers, neighbors and supporters.

“This chorus of people encouraged me to run because Dana has said he wants to retire and I think it shows in where he places his current priorities,” Baugh said in an interview Wednesday, a week after he turned in his candidacy papers to the Orange County Registrar.

Scott Baugh

Scott Baugh

Rohrabacher, of Costa Mesa and currently serving his 15th term, is “preoccupied with Putin, Assange and marijuana,” said Baugh. “The chorus I’m hearing is that 30 years is enough.”

California’s “jungle” primary catapults the top two vote getters onto the November ballot, regardless of party affiliation. Republicans hold 40 percent of the district’s registration to 30 percent each among Democrats and no party preference voters.

Some party insiders have expressed concern that eight or more Democratic contenders in District 48 will splinter support and jeopardize the chances that any one of them will succeed in the primary. Now the county GOP, whose state party followed protocol by endorsing the incumbent, is in a similar situation with five Republicans on the June primary ballot.

“The fact that Scott Baugh is moving forward regardless of the party endorsement shows there is now division within the Republican party,” said Omar Siddiqui, 50, of Costa Mesa, one of the Democratic rivals in the contest. “Anything is possible; the key thing is to get out the vote. The no-party preference vote can make a world of difference.”

Dan Walters, in a post on the political newsletter Calmatters, suggested that Baugh’s candidacy exploits the lack of discipline among Democrats and the California primary system to block Democrats from reaching the November ballot and thus preserving an embattled seat for Republicans.

“There is a lot of talk here of the two Republicans winning,” said state Sen. John Moorlach, a Republican from Costa Mesa, a friend of Baugh who nevertheless expressed surprise at his candidacy.

District 48 Democratic candidate Michael Kotick, 34, of Laguna Beach, disagrees with that scenario. He thinks Baugh lacks both name recognition outside of party insiders and a campaign infrastructure. “I don’t think this changes the game plan. I think it’s going to be won by who goes door to door and who puts in the work to connect with voters in the district.”

In anticipation of Rohrabacher’s retirement in 2016, Baugh, 55, of Huntington Beach, raised a campaign war chest that stands at $576,000, which now ranks third in the fundraising race among candidates, based on Dec. 31 Federal Election Commission filings.

Democratic challenger Harley Rouda, 56, of Laguna Beach, leads with $834,000, while the incumbent has $713,000 on hand, followed by Siddiqui with $540,000 and Hans Keirstead, also of Laguna, with $490,000. The district spans the coast from Seal Beach to Laguna Beach and includes Garden Grove.

“He’s proven he’s a money raiser,” Moorlach said of Baugh. “That’s impressive.”

As a lawmaker, Baugh developed good relationships with state Assemblyman Bob Hertzberg, now a state senator. “He displayed an ability to work across the aisle,” said Moorlach, but noted that Baugh’s candidacy upends the party protocol ceding deference to incumbents. “This is a rebellion,” Moorlach said.

Baugh denied trying to sabotage the chances of success by a Democrat in the primary in his own bid to unseat Rohrabacher. “That is not my intent,” he said. “This is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made,” he said, citing mutual friendships, his own friendship with the lawmaker and party protocol. “All of those make it really difficult.” Even so, Baugh said, “the time is now to start working on things that matter and I think Dana’s lost that focus.”

Baugh said his decision was also partly shaped by a recently forwarded 1993 article where Rohrabacher voiced his support for term limits. In explaining his position, Rohrabacher said, “you’re actually part of the system here rather than representing your people back home.”

“He’s become precisely what he predicted,” Baugh said.

Rohrabacher did not respond to a request for comment about Baugh’s candidacy. Neither did OC GOP chair Fred Whitaker.

In a statement, Keirstead, who has received the endorsement of the state Democratic party, said “Orange County voters have zero confidence that Donald Trump, Dana Rohrabacher, or Scott Baugh are looking out for them.”

The district is one of several in the county where Trump lost in 2016 but Republican incumbents were re-elected.

About the Author

The author is the editor of the Laguna Beach Independent. Prior to taking the job in 2005, she worked previously as a reporter at five daily newspapers, including the Daily Pilot in Costa Mesa, the Daily News of Los Angeles and the New York Times. Reach her by emailing andrea.

Congressional primary makes rivals of two old Republican friends

By BARBARA VENEZIA

http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/opinion/tn-dpt-barbara-venezia-column-20180314-story.html

A political insider goes rogue, challenges powerful friends and a core principle of his party: Thou shall not run against an incumbent.

An intriguing pitch for a TV pilot, sure, but this drama is actually the new reality facing the Orange County Republican Party.

Republicans have a renegade in the 48th Congressional District race with former O.C. Republican Chairman Scott Baugh challenging incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa.

In 2016 Baugh told me Rohrabacher made it clear to him that he was “looking for a departure in 2016 or 2018.” This prompted Baugh to file a statement of candidacy and start fundraising to the tune of about half a million dollars.

Baugh said he wouldn’t run for the seat unless Rohrabacher retired.

When that didn’t happen, Baugh backed off.

That was until last week, when he pulled papers to run against his pal and challenge his party’s principle.

Was his original strategy not to have a two-year fight with Rohrabacher, but rather a three-month primary battle now?

Baugh chuckles at that suggestion, saying that certainly wasn’t his long-term game plan, and tells me he didn’t make the decision to run lightly.

“We have big issues facing the country — from the debt, dysfunctional heath care, open borders — and we need everyone pulling together, working on solutions,” he says.

Baugh points to his work as party chairman, managing opposing viewpoints and coming to consensus.

“I have a record of reaching across the aisle with the Democrats and solving problems,” he says. “If you’re in public office and not doing that then you’re not doing your job.”

Baugh explains it’s not enough to “vote the right way, but more important to create the voting opportunities with coalition building,” to get things accomplished.

Squarely in Baugh’s corner is state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), who understands his party won’t be happy with him supporting Baugh, but there are bigger issues at stake.

Both Baugh and Moorlach feel Rohrabacher has been in this seat too long, 34 years, accomplishing nothing monumental, and it’s time for a change.

Considering the current fractured state of the party, disenchanted Republican voters might welcome this shake-up, offering someone other than Rohrabacher to support.

Couple that with the fact Baugh and Rohrabacher have been long-time friends (who knows your strengths and weaknesses better than a close friend?), this is going to be an interesting battle.

As party chairman, Baugh was a maverick of political strategy and fundraising, using these skills to support his candidates, including Rohrabacher’s past reelection bids.

He’ll certainly be a force to reckon with.

I wondered how Rohrabacher felt about all of this, but he wasn’t available for comment, according to his press person.

Rohrabacher’s already facing a crowded field of Democratic opponents. If this herd doesn’t thin, they risk splitting the opposing vote, because of California’s open primary, which means the top-two vote-getters face off in the general election.

In this scenario Rohrabacher could win, unless he faces another strong Republican, which Baugh is.

The county party isn’t happy with the prospect of this Clash of the Republican Titans.

On March 12, OCGOP Chairman Fred Whitaker sent out an email statement saying he’s “fielded dozens, if not a hundred emails and phone calls, asking why the Republican Party would allow Scott Baugh’s challenge to Congressman Rohrabacher in the 48th Congressional District.”

“Let me reiterate, we are a republic, not a dictatorship,” he wrote. “We can persuade, but we cannot prevent, nor should we want anyone to have that type of power. Party leadership actively communicated with Scott Baugh and others that challenging an endorsed Republican incumbent in good standing would not be well held.”

Whitaker acknowledges he holds the chairmanship in part because of Baugh.

“I would not be chairman, but for him asking me to run to succeed him,” he says. “I consider Scott to be my friend. I hope to work with him for our cause in the future. However, this path he’s taken is pitting Republican against Republican, taking dollars, donors and volunteers from our efforts to fight Democrats.”

Attached to Whitaker’s email notice was the letter sent to Baugh urging him not to run.

“Proceeding on your current path is destructive to the Republican Party of Orange County, which you helped build,” the letter warns. “It is divisive and presents an unnecessary distraction.”

As I read the release and the letter, nowhere did Whitaker call out specific accomplishments of Rohrabacher over the past three decades, but rather hung on to the principle that Republicans shouldn’t challenge incumbents.

​Baugh’s reaction to Whitaker’s letter?

“It was very immature,” and dropped at his doorstep at 10:30 at night, Baugh says.

Baugh questions an attached list of names, including Orange County-area elected officials, supposedly endorsing the letter.

“About half the people either never heard of the letter or called to apologize for the letter,” he says. “I also received several calls from people who were being pressured to sign it but declined. The party has some well-meaning people but they are following dogma that protects all incumbents, even those that have been there for 30 years and should retire. It’s time for a change. My campaign is focused on voters, not back rooms where schemes are hatched.”

Feet to the Fire plans to explore this interesting race, giving all parties an opportunity to face each other, with a candidates forum at 6 p.m. May 30 at the Orange Coast College Robert B. Moore Theater.

BARBARA VENEZIA is an opinion columnist writing political and social commentary since 2007. She can be reached at bvontv1

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