What is it about Loretta that causes all her opponents to completely meltdown. Since 1998, this woman has been targeted(despite how the GOP tries to spin it) by the Republicans for defeat, each time something seems to happen to her Republican opponents that cause a meltdown of epic proportions. One has to wonder, is someone practicing Brujeria on her opponents that causes them to have their meltdowns? All I have to say is this is some amazing luck, and with her supposed most serious challengers yet, they too seem to be succumbing to the Curse of Challenging Loretta.
First, we begin with Bob Dornan. When he began his rematch in 1998, it seemed like he might have a real shot. Then he did speeches comparing Chicano activists to the anti-christ, tried toÂ strangle R. Scott Moxley to death in public and then his sons started drunken fist fights with Republican activists. Lets just say this did not go over well with voters, and Loretta began the first of her double digit percentage victories over her opponents. We would have loved to have Dornan continue to run against her every two years, unfortunately the Republicans came back two years later with a Latina who seemed to have a chance.
Gloria Matta-Tuchman(who added the Matta back in so she could have some Latina street cred), built quite a resume in the lead up to 2000. She led a successful effort to end bilingual education with Proposition 227 and came within 10 points of defeating the incumbent Superindendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin in a year when Republicans were slaughtered statewide. So naturally, being from Orange County, she seemed to have a shot. Then the black magic struck. Although no one would ever beat Dornan in entertainment, her mistepts guaranteed a huge Loretta victory. First, when asked if she would move into the district, she said no and went on to claim it was essentially beneath her to move to Santa Ana. Then she told a group of Garden Grove seniors that they should have their Social Security privatized. WHOOPS! Loretta Sanchez began the streak of getting over 60% in every election since. Thanks Gloria.
Then came the wierdest meltdown, with Jeff Chavez in 2002. He had a primary opponent and blanketed the district in signs during the primary. He won and then dropped out the next day. Yeah, wierd. He then re-entered the race in October and did absolutely NOTHING.
Then came 2004, in what seemed to be a strong Republican year, with a new county chairman who was determined to turn all OC red, it seemed Loretta was in for a real challenge. Her challenger, OC Board of Education member Alexandra Coronado. Many pundits predicted this would be a race to watch. Unfortunately it turned into a side show as Alexandra listened to the wrong people such as Rosemarie Avila and her ilk and moved wayyyyyy to the right. SOme of the crowd were avowed John Birchers. The was enoughÂ to scareÂ off donors from the New Majority.Â Â The Avila cabalÂ made the race all about moral issues. People wondered who was actually running against Loretta, as it seemed the opponents seemed to only talk about her being pro-choice and pro-gay rights. To add to this, people who were avid Republicans decided to act on their own and went around the district to latino evanglicalÂ churches passing out homophobic fliers. Then there was the threat by these over-zealous supporters to create a loud protest at the one debate Coronado and Sanchez were supposed to have, which prompted police to suggest the cancellation. Nonetheless, these folks, who were more Avila followers than Coronado, went around the district and at any campaign event made it more of a laughing stock of themselves than an effective force.Â They would turn any discussion on the issues into one on abortion, even when debating the war or immigration. It seems the Avila bunch around up the nutcases of the district to volunteer for Coronado. Although Bush won the district, Loretta carried the day by over 20 points.
Then came 2006! Most people thought it would be the head to head battle between Loretta and Rosie Avila,(which 2004 turned into more of a de-facto battle). Instead Rosie ran a lackluster campaign in the primaryÂ and was defeated by Tan Nguyen. This time, even the GOP was treating him more like a sacrificial lamb than a real opponent and most Dems thought this would lack the entertainment of the past election. BOY WERE WE WRONG! There was some talk, because he was Vietnamese, that he could drag Loretta under 60%. Then came the letter to registered voters in the 47th COngressional District who were born in Latin America. The letter, which did not mention who paid for it, stated if you were born outside the US, you could not vote. Of course this is not true for those who had become naturalized citizens, but it was a clear attempt to intimidateÂ Latinos born outside theÂ USÂ into not voting.Â Then Councilman Jose Solorio andÂ my father were a recipients of the letter, for having the nerve to be born in Mexico. Â My father also received the lÂ It was quickly discovered that Tan Nguyen’s campaign was the culprit. He justified his reasoning for sending out the letter and quickly gained a following of the many racist Minutemen from throughout Orange County, including the living cigarette Barbara Coe. He was quickly ostracized by his own party and faced several investigations. Loretta had her largest margin of victory yet by the meltdown of Tan Nguyen, who many thought might drag her from her 60% perch.
Loretta’s amazing luck seemed to take a great new turn in 2008 with the potential candidacy of Minuteman founder and local nut Jim Gilchrist. Republican leaders scrambled to find a candidate and force Gilchrist out of the race, knowing not only would Loretta trounce him, he and his followers would run such a divisive campaign in a good Democratic that down ticket Republicans in the areas overlapping the 47th would be slaughtered. The GOP found a candidate, Rosemarie Avila. At long last, it seemed she would have her showdown with Loretta, that had been brewing since 2004.
Instead, the curse of Loretta struck again and Rosemarie Avila ran the most lackluster campaign. One would have thought she had pulled a Jeff Chavez and dropped out. There were no signs of any challenge, it seemed she put forth more of an effort in 2004 than she did for her own race in 2008. Nonetheless, Rosie Avila managed to help Loretta approach 70% of the vote and give her the largest margin of victory of any incumbent Congressmember in Orange County.
Now we come to 2010. With a climate that looks to be hostile to Democrats, it seemed Loretta’s amazing luck, it seemed the curse for the GOP had come to an end. VAN TRAN, a titan in the Vietnamese community and a sitting Assemblymember, HAD DECIDED TO TAKE ON LORETTA SANCHEZ. The Republicans were giddy with excitement, it appeared the curse of Loretta was finally over. But not so fast, it seems the CURSE has hit Van Tran earlier than past opponents. Within days of his announcement, a respected Vietnamese primary challenger came onto the scene. Then it seemed Van Tran’s thunder fizzled out like the lights to 300 households in Westminster. His right hand man, Andy Quach was arrested for a DUI after clipping a car, hitting a power pole and a brick wall and catching his car on fire. Then came Van Tran’s no no. He was apparently called to the scene by Andy, which he came and claimed to be Andy’s attorney. He repeatedly tried to interfere with the police’s investigation into the accident and was even threatened with arrest by police on the scene. The curse strikes again. The most recent meltdown was another Van Tran aligned politician, Lan Nguyen, who made racist statements to a Vietnamese newspaper claiming Latino and Caucasian children were intimidated to go to school with Asians. Wow, thanks for the hit pieces Van.
Of course his primary opponent seems to not be immune to the curse either. Quang Pham, should he pull off an upset has opened himself up to hit pieces with his cavorting with a man who helped hide child molesting priests, even harboring one in his home. Imagine the headline, Quang Pham’s fundraiser harbors child molestors. OUCH! Looks like Loretta’s curse on Republicans will continue into 2010. What is her secret? Is it the Bruja from Delhi who is keeping her safe. I am sure potential future RepublicanÂ challengers like Lucille Kring, Janet Nguyen or Carlos Bustamante have to be thinking twice about falling victim to “the curse.” Either way, each time it seems she has a challenge, they meltdown faster than the plastic dashboard in Andy Quach’s burning car. Go get em in 2010 Loretta, and stay on that Bruja’s good side.