The one who has taken the most hits for endorsing a Republican in a partisan race is definitely John Hanna. John Hanna was a longtime aide to Jerry Patterson when he was a Congressman and served as chair of the DPOC in the late 80′s. In recent years, Hanna has been a Trustee on the Rancho Santiago Community College Board, and an excellent one at that. He has worked tirelessly to improve the College District, and it is in trying to improve the District that got him into trouble.
In 2002 there was a bond proposal, and there was some hints that there would be Republican resistance to it. Hanna knew the importance of getting the bond passed, and with depressed turnout in Santa Ana, more registered Republicans than Democrats at the time(that has now changed) there would be more Republicans voting from the Orange and Anaheim Hills portions of the district. So Hanna and the board went to the devil for support, the devil being Ed Royce.Â Royce agreed to support the bond, and even campaigned for it in the most conservative part of the RSCCD. Personally I would have told Royce where to stick it, but Hanna cared a lot about the RSCCD and sought the help. So in 2004, Hanna, as a thank you to Royce, was officially listed on mail pieces and the website as an endorser of Ed Royce, who beat J. Tilman Williams by 30 points. Of course this caused a great uproar among many DPOC head cases and would spill over into 2006.
In 2006, Florice Hoffman was now the opponent against Ed Royce. To some, she appeared viable. She was raising money, garnering endorsements, seemed to have a strong volunteer following. She had also been very active in the Orange community, working a lot with the OUSD to ensure the students got a quality education. Unfortunately some ofÂ Â her followersÂ were still bitter at John Hanna for his “sin” in 2004 and demanded that Florice Hoffman make an example of him at the DPOC endorsement meeting in August. She listened and decided she was going to “punk” the endorsement from him.
That meeting, I arrived and was informed by Central Committee members that Hanna had, in fact, endorsed Ed Royce again. I was a little bugged, because I had heard just a few weeks before by Hanna he was staying out of the race. Then I learned the truth, HE HAD NOT ENDORSED ROYCE in this election cycle. I was even more mad at being lied to by this crowd, many of whom are now Galloway cheerleaders. I spoke in defense of Hanna, and provided specific details on how he has helped improve the education atmosphere for so many at Santa Ana College, where I was once a student. That did no good, and in fact the next day, many John Hanna opponents threatened to come after my job for supporting a “republican loving traitor.” Now some of them are Galloway’s biggest supporters.
Â Of course, after he lost the endorsement in 2006, heÂ wentand endorsed Royce again, I imagine as an F-U to those who screwed him out of a well-deserved DPOC endorsement. To this day, Hanna still gets pilloried by this crowd for his “sin” in 2004. All the good he as done as a Democrat seems to be lost on these people, and yet they continue to look the other way. Hoffman ended up losing by 30 points, no different than the traditional sacrificial lambs who, in the past, put their names on the ballot and do nothing else. Clearly the 40th is a district where the Democrat hasÂ no chance, and yet Hanna is still being punished to this day when the greatest sinner of endorsing a Republican over a Democrat inÂ a partisan race seems to be getting a free pass by the very people who condemned the previous three.
Yes, Hanna deserved to face some tough questions by the DPOC Central Committee for his backing of Royce. We all must be held accountable for who we choose to support or not support. Every action has consequences. Where I have a problem is those who screamed loudest and were ready to cast the first stones at Hanna are the same ones who now tell us we need to go easy on Lorri Galloway, who endorsed Lynn Daucher in the most competitive State Senate seat in California. A seat where us Democrats were playing defense. Somehow they think Lorri Galloway should not be held accountable for her actions because they were for noble purposes. Somehow I don’t believe that. At the time she was closely aligned with Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, which begs the question, what really went on behind the scenes. Did Pringle and Daucher offer her the thirty pieces of silver? I will say this, the treatment of Hanna compared to the treatment of Galloway by the DPOC Central Committee reveals a huge double standard that is inexcuseable.
We will conclude in A Tale of Four Democrats Episode 3: Revenge of the Eli