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Choi cleans house

As they prepare for tonight’s swearing in ceremonies, the grapevine has tipped us off that Irvine council member Steven Choi has replaced all his city commission appointees and has parted ways with pollster Adam Probolsky.

The skinny has to do with the OC GOP’s decision to protect Choi’s candidacy by running a hit piece on Margie Wakeham, who finished 4th.  And Probolsky had a say in the decision to run the piece.

From the Register story:

Some county Republicans, however, argued that Wakeham’s candidacy threatened Choi’s re-election bid. With limited funds available for the Irvine election, Orange County Republican Party member Adam Probolsky said they decided to focus on protecting Choi.

Probolsky, who also serves as Choi’s appointee on the Irvine Planning Commission, said the mailers were effective.

“We got Steven Choi back on the council to live to fight another day,” Probolsky said.

The problem with this is Choi didn’t see himself as vulnerable. The OC GOP spent $14,000 on the negative mailers.  While Wakeham is a Democrat, she received the endorsement of the conservative Lincoln Club and was viewed by many to be closely aligned with the Shea-Choi-Rodgers ticket.

Call it arrogance on the part of Choi, but sacking his commission appointments seems to have more to do with Choi’s perception of their lack of faith in him than his loyalty towards the work they did on his behalf. 

And the great unwritten story in the post-election days?  There are two.  First, Choi will be running for Chuck DeVore’s termed out assembly seat after failing miserably to garner much support in a run for Todd Spitzer’s assembly seat. 

The second is that Larry Agran, by finishing third, gets a reset on the city council.  He finishes Sukhee Kang’s term on the council and is eligible to run for two more four yeear terms on the council.  That is unless Larry decides to play Irvine’s version of legendary Boston Mayor Curley and run a third time for mayor in 2012.

With Christina Shea termed out in 2010, and Progressives on the rise in Irvine (Obama won here and No on Prop 8 won here), the next election cycle could be a 4-1 margin for the city council.  Should Choi be elected to Sacramento, a 5-0 progressive city council is not out of the realm of possibilities.