An OC Liberal’s Cheat Sheet To City Races

Here are a few races Orange County liberals should be watching in the coming months:

The Westminster School Board

The Westminster community is pissed over the hiring and immediate firing of KimOanh Nguyen-Lam as the superintendent. The board voted to hire Nguyen-Lam, but then Judy Aherns and James Reed changed their votes a week later.

Nguyen-Lam would have been the first Vietnamese-American Superintendent in the United States. Some (including two members of the board that were present during the closed door discussion) say that the decision to fire Nguyen-Lam was based on race.

There are three seats up for grabs in November (including Aherns & Reed’s). A grass-roots group of predominately Vietnamese-Americans called “Our Children, Our Vote” has endorsed Thanh Phan and Lupe Fisher.

Sergio Contreras and Blossie Marquez both say that they would want to give Nguyen-Lam the superintendent job, but they are lacking a board majority—which they hope will change in November.

Santa Ana City Council

Councilman Mike Garcia was flirting with the idea of running for mayor or running for re-election to the council, but he gave both up and decided to run for nothing.

When Garcia pulled the papers for Mayor, a bunch of people got excited about running for his ward. The official list of candidates for the 6th won’t be available until Wednesday because Garcia decided not to run.

This does mean that 3 of the city’s seven council seats will go to new council members.

As far as the mayoral race, I’d like to see how Thomas Gordon plans on fighting Godfather Pulido. I’ve got an open mind on this one.

Then, we’ve got Stanley Fiala. He ran for the council in 2002, and for the mayor’s seat in 2004. He’s running for mayor again. His listed occupation is “immortality concepts researcher” and in his last race he talked about how to segregate the city of Santa Ana according to race. He’s also suggested that council members Lisa Bist and Claudia Alvarez should do the can can every council meeting. This election he doesn’t have the pleasure of getting the entire “Anyone but Pulido” vote.

Garden Grove City Council

The Republican Mayor of Garden Grove will be re-elected without a fight; nobody filed papers for the mayor’s race beside incumbent Bill Dalton. In all honesty, Dalton has done a decent job as the ruler of GG.

On the council, there are 2 open seats. Mark Leyes is termed out (thank god we don’t have to waste city time with his long-winded jabber about national political issues, or that stupid story of the bronze Ronald Regan bust he has in his living room) and Harry Krebs is running for re-election (he was [controversially] appointed to his seat in 2004 when Dalton won the mayor’s seat)

There are 8 people that are running for the two seats. The list includes 2 prominent dems: Bruce Broadwater and Benny Diaz. Robin Marcario is a long-shot candidate that I wish could raise enough money to get taken seriously, but I won’t hold my breath.

  3 comments for “An OC Liberal’s Cheat Sheet To City Races

  1. Anonymous
    August 14, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    My friends have held elected office. Don’t trust what papers say about closed session meetings. Isn’t it fortunate that Blossie and Sergio can accuse fellow trustees of “racism” without those same trustees being able to defend themselves and talk about those closed session meetings. I’m sounding supportive of Ahrens and Reed because although I’m disappointed they had to rescind a job offer publicly, I’m more disappointed they voted for Dr. Kim when she had no superintendent experience. Let’s get a qualified Superintendent for our city and our kids. Saying Dr. Kim should be the Superintendent because she is Asian and will help build bridges to the Asian community in Westminster is racists in itself!

  2. August 14, 2006 at 7:10 pm

    Anon 5:47,

    Logical argument. You had me all the way until the end.

    Racism is discriminating based solely on race. Hiring a Vietnamese-America, or even searching for a Vietnamese-American to represent a district where more than half of the student body is Vietnamese-American is not discrimination.

    But I think that you and I aren’t far from agreeing here.

  3. Anonymous
    September 7, 2006 at 11:34 am

    “An OC Liberal’s Cheat Sheet to City Races”

    “Westminster School Board”

    The selection of the Westminster superintendent was flawed from the beginning. When Ms. Marquez and Mr. Contreras came out from the meeting they were furious and called Mrs. Ahrens a racist. I was suprised they were so upset until I begin to receive e-mails and research the relationship between Mr. Contreras and Dr. Lam. I have a campaign mailer that I received in the mail during th 2004 election that shows a picture of Sergio and Lam together. I also have a copy of Sergio’s campaing statement with a $100 donation from Lam. I also have a article that quotes Lam complementing Sergio on a vote he made regarding the vietnamese liason position in the WSD. So, I would like to know why Sergio did not tell the other board members and the public that he has known Lam for at least three years or more!!! Also, after the board meeting Ms. Marquez was so upset yelling and made a remark to me and a friend that she has known Dr. Lam. I say this whole process was not only flawed, it was based on unethical behavior.

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