What do IUSD Trustees Carolyn McInerney, Sharon Wallin and Sue KuwabaraÂ all have in common (besides the fact that none of them have kids in Irvine schools anymore, but I regress)?
They all served with Steven Choi on the School Board.Â But eachÂ of them have all endorsed Margie Wakeham for City Council.
With three seats open on the Irvine City Council,Â the smart money is onÂ Beth Krom and Larry Agran snagging two of the seats. Krom, one of the most popular and effective mayors in IrvineÂ history,Â won her last Mayorâ€™s race withÂ 60 percent of the vote against a well-funded candidate.Â Even Frank Mickadeit lamentsÂ in a recent Register column conceded that â€œHistory and the council-race lineup favor Agran retaining power.â€ (and I continue to resent the notion that those Irvine voters who support Krom, Agran and Kang are somehow clueless in Frank’s eyes).
ItÂ appears that Steven Choi’s former School Board colleaguesÂ rooting for Margie Wakeham to take Steven Choi out in the upcoming election. The long standing rumor in town is that IUSD parents voted for Choi for City Council to get him off the school board, where his best gaffe was pitting parents of GATE students against those parents with special ed students (and for some families, there’s one of each).
While Choi complains about a lack of indenpendence of the council majority, his time of the council is marked as being Christina Sheaâ€™s trusty lap dog with deeper financial pockets than she has(lawsuit, anyone? ).Â His rambling diatribes during City Council meetings, while not checking his Blackberry for instructions during meetings,Â are painful to watch and listen to; I’m sure they’veÂ caused more than one Irvine viewer to run screaming from the room.Â
And Choi, who raised a lot of money in a failed attempt for the AD-71,Â has already formed a committee to run for State Assembly in the 70th district when Chuck DeVore is termed out.Â Which tells Irvine voters: “I don’t plan to be on the council much longer anyway.”
It kind of makes me wonder who Christina Shea is pushing behind the scenes. Sheâ€™s running with Choi and Patrick Rodgers (who’s raised far less money than Shea), but many ofÂ her key community endorsements track with those that Margie Wakeham has received (which leads me to believe Margie is a DINO – a Democrat in Name Only).
I have to believe Shea is using Choi for his wallet to compensate for her own anemic fundraising; the smart money is on Choi for funding the No on Measure S campaign from his assembly race bank accounts.Â If elected, Wakeham says she’ll beÂ independent, but I don’t believe any politician that governs by sticking a wet finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing.Â Her interview in the Irvine Tattler pretty much confirms that sheâ€™s really the de-facto fourth member of the Shea-Choi-Rodgers team â€” but to get on the council, her best hope is to beat Choi.