Is Steven Choi the Odd Man Out for Irvine City Council?

Councilman Steven ChoiWhat do IUSD Trustees Carolyn McInerney, Sharon Wallin and Sue Kuwabara 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.  But each of them have all endorsed Margie Wakeham for City Council.

With three seats open on the Irvine City Council, the smart money is on Beth Krom and Larry Agran snagging two of the seats. Krom, one of the most popular and effective mayors in Irvine history, won her last Mayor’s race with 60 percent of the vote against a well-funded candidate.  Even Frank Mickadeit laments in a recent Register column conceded that “History and the council-race lineup favor Agran retaining power.” (and I continue to resent the notion that those Irvine voters who support Krom, Agran and Kang are somehow clueless in Frank’s eyes).

It appears that Steven Choi’s former School Board colleagues 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 Shea’s trusty lap dog with deeper financial pockets than she has(lawsuit, anyone? ).  His rambling diatribes during City Council meetings, while not checking his Blackberry for instructions during meetings, are painful to watch and listen to; I’m sure they’ve caused more than one Irvine viewer to run screaming from the room. 

And Choi, who raised a lot of money in a failed attempt for the AD-71, has already formed a committee to run for State Assembly in the 70th district when Chuck DeVore is termed out.  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. She’s running with Choi and Patrick Rodgers (who’s raised far less money than Shea), but many of 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.  If elected, Wakeham says she’ll be 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.  Her interview in the Irvine Tattler pretty much confirms that she’s really the de-facto fourth member of the Shea-Choi-Rodgers team — but to get on the council, her best hope is to beat Choi.

  1 comment for “Is Steven Choi the Odd Man Out for Irvine City Council?

  1. OCNative
    October 4, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Umm…McInerney and Kuwabara endorsed Choi.

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