No doubt you have been reading Claudio’s posts about DPOC endorsements in the Orange Juice. Not only was I there, but I claim full responsibility for what went on. I still feel like a rug after a few good whacks of a broom.
Overall, things went well, considering what has to be done to make it work. Thank you Ray! My BIGGEST disappointment was the treatment of John Hanna, Democrat Extraordinairre, Conscientious Trustee for Rancho Santiago CCD (Community College District), and I hope, a Friend. Unfortunately, another friend (who may not remain one after this) did John dirty.
Let me begin by saying that John Hanna is an encyclopedia of political savvy and someone who has a strong sense of history with the DPOC. He has served as Chair or the DPOC back in the “Feel Good” seventies (sorry to date you John) and I believe an original member of the “Raucus
Caucus”. If you were to look at photos of John from the seventies, I swear he looked like George Harrison. John has served as a Chair for the State Party’s Resolutions Committee and is conscientious and fair. As a Trustee for the Rancho Santiago CCD, his primary goal is to do what is best for the students enrolled RSCCD.
What many of us hard-core partisans fail to respect is the fiduciary responsibility of our friends who are elected to non-partisan office. You must take care of your constituants before you get into the partians stuff. I seriously believe that constituants want the potholes filled, public buildings clean and safe, and tuitions reasonable – you don’t need an :R” or a “D” behind your name.
Because John puts the students and employees at RSCCD first, he is the guy who gets the PLA’s to assure decent wages for employees and capital improvements. He also works very hard to secure the necessary funds to make sure that the buildings are safe, and students have the necessary equipment for study and vocational training. This generally requires putting a bond measure on the ballot.
Since Reps hate anything that even suggests the word “investment”, in 2004, John had to make a “deal with the devil” to obtain the support he needed to pass a bond measure that would benefit RSCCD. He got the support he needed for the bond, but ended up having to endorse a
Republican (remember, he is a non-partisan trustee) in a partisan race. It cost him his membership with the County and State Democratic Central Comittees. I am not sure if it was necessary to do it again in 2006, but perhaps it was insurance. In both cases, John assumed responsibility for his decision and resigned from both COunty and State Central Committees.
Interestingly, one of our County Committee members continues to appoint him to the DPOC Central Committee AND the State Democratic Party continues to reappoint John to the State Central Committee where he does such an excellent job as Resolutions Chair. Does John like endorsing Reps – of course not – however he puts his district ahead of partisanship and has the respect of politicos on both sides of the aisle.
Our friends in Labor may be unhappy with a non-partisan to non-partisan endorsement in the June Primary, but the other Republican had spearheaded the Gray Davis recall. As a Democrat, John could not endorse Labor’s preferred candidate. Party loyalty came first for John on that one.
Unfortunately for John, one of our members could not wait to pull John Hanna from the consent calendar (he is the only Dem running in the only contested seat at RSCCD). My friend went on about John’s past transgressions, but implied (based on conversations the next day) that
John had made the Republican endorsement again for this election cycle. Another friend, who was assisting me thought John had also made an endorsement for Marilyn Brewer in last Novembers special election to fill Cox’s seat. 4 individuals spoke in favor of John and attempted to remind DPOC Central Committee members of John’s accomplishments as a Democrat and as a Trustee. These individuals were booed and cat-called. Needless to say, John was not endorsed.
For the record: John Hanna HAS NOT endorsed any Republican for this election cycle nor did he endorse Marilyn Brewer for last year’s special in the 48th CD. I asked him the day after his non-endorsement and he told me. Of course, now that the DPOC Central Committee has repudiated John for acting in the best interests of his district, he may as well endorse anyone he chooses, including any Rep.
I confess to being a Yellow Dog Democrat. (Voting/Endorsing republicans only encourages them), but I respect the situations our non-partisan Democrats are in and have learned to forgive and move on. So long as those Reps are working with our local representatives to improve our community (which is rare). IT does not mean that I will support any Rep for any office, but I will support my Dem friends in non-partisan office if it benefits the constituancy.
As a reminder to my friend and others who voted with her (and I do understand where you are coming from) we need to continute to support and cultivate out friendships with our brethren who hold non-partisan office, not vilify them. That’s what the OCGOP does.
In the meantime, I will help John Hanna in his bid for re-election (does anyone really want to vote for Hanna’s opponent?). John has a fundraiser here in beautiful downtown Santa Ana on September 19. I hope you can be there to support a real public servant.