OC Dem Party Executive Director Rafiei to step down

Melahat Rafiei HeadshotTonight at the Central Committee meeting of the Democratic Party of Orange County Executive Director Melahat Rafiei announced that she will be stepping down from her position on December 31, 2009. Rafiei has been with the party since December 0f 2006. She has been working for part time for the past several months.

Rafiei will not be moving far. She will be managing the Congressional campaign of Irvine Councilwoman Beth Krom. we will have a bit more detail in a follow up story, but we wanted you to know right away.

Don’t forget about the Democratic Party’s Truman Awards Dinner on Friday, December 4, 2009. The keynote speaker will be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Tickets are going fast so if you want to go, visit http://www.ocdemocrats.org .

  11 comments for “OC Dem Party Executive Director Rafiei to step down

  1. Dan Chmielewski
    November 23, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Melahat had a tough act to follow but made this position her own and made enormous progress for the Party in Orange County. She deserves thanks and our gratitude.

  2. Yeah but
    November 23, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Melahat did some good for the party however, her use of lies and back talking made her a divisive figure and often hurt Democrats. And despite all her self promotion, there was a net loss of Democratic council and mayoral seats during her tenure. Good riddance.

  3. November 23, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Dear Yeah But,

    If you had the courage to put your name on your statement you might have a little more credibility. I have never found Melahat to be a liar, and she can hardly be blamed for the number of Council seats there are. Although, I thought the number increased.

    At anyrate, your unsubstantiated claims have been noted. If you have any thing to back them up, feel free to return and share them.

  4. duplojohn
    November 24, 2009 at 3:30 pm


    Truth is she did very little to further the cause of Democrats in OC.

    She spent too much time waving the silly Obama flag, smiling and refused to take on the important fights.

    I don’t know if she is a liar, but she certainly was not effective.

    Why did’nt she work to get a viable canidate against Dirty Garry? Why did she turn her back on MacMurray? How could she possibly let Janet Ngyuen win in that district (forget the Jannie BS)?

    Dude, if you rate her as sucessful, people oughtta start questioning YOUR party loyalty.

    In my view she was a TOTAL FAILURE.

  5. Steven A.
    November 25, 2009 at 10:49 am

    duplojohn….are you kidding? The 42nd is probably the most gerry-mandered and unwinnable district in Orange County. Throwing resources there would have been a waste!

    And MacMurrary? I’m sorry, but being a Democrat in 72nd and having met him, I did not find him to be particularly compelling. I did get several emails from the party, but what else was she supposed to do, drop everything she’s doing and run his race? She was not his campaign manager.

    The only winnable congressional districts in Orange County in the foreseeable future are the 44th, the 48th, and possibly the 46th.

    Thank god you weren’t in charge. Your strategy would in equivalent to targeting Tennessee in an election year rather than Ohio.

    Finally, the Chair of the Party, the executive board, and the central committee are the ones who decide where to allocate resources and run the party, the executive director implements their will. If they had told her to throw all their efforts behind MacMurray or Chau or whoever then she would have executed their plan.

    Get off your high horse duplojohn

  6. November 25, 2009 at 11:07 am

    McMurray continued to cut into Duvall’s advantage. Hoa Van Tran wasn’t that good a candidate; he simply wasn’t good at communicating with or reaching the voters. His decision on who he hired as his campaign manager spoke volumes. Simply put, we need better candidates to step up. Janet is very beatable but there needs to be a compelling Democrat to vote for.

    We have three great candidates for 4th district supes. We have Democrats elected in Tustin, Irvine, La Habra, Fullerton, Anaheim.

    Under Melahat’s watch, there’s a significant increase in voter registration. Obama carried CD-48 and No on 8 won in Irvine. You can’t come in and transform the area overnight. But Melahat is leaving the DPOC and Democrats here in better shape than she found it and she built off Mike Levin’s huge strides forward.

    10 years ago, these gains would have been inconceivable in the Red County OC claims to be.

  7. curious one
    November 26, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    You are touting Mike Levins efforts as positive strides? Youve got to be kidding. and as far as Hoa van Tran is concerned, you obviously joined the enemy in supporting janet nguyen with your attacks on Hoa. I dont think he ould have beaten janet but he certainly could have pushed her to a run off where we could have communicated the Democratic message to the vietnamese community.

  8. Dan Chmielewski
    November 26, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Curious one — I disagree. I think Mike did a nice job and I think Melahat did too.

    As far as Hoa Van Tran is concerned, we get bashed over here for not going after bads Democrats. Hoa Van Tran was a bad candidate and his campaign was poorly run. Even if he got to a run off, he could barely articulate any vision to voters.

    I reject the notion that not supporting Hoan Van Tran meant we supported Janet Nguyen; it simply isn’t true. Some races, there are no good choices; take last year’s Ward 2 council race in Santa Ana? Four pretty awful candidates. But there was a clear cut winner.

    Based on Janet Nguyen’s endorsement in that race and her support for Sue Perez against State Senator Lou Correa, it should be no surprise to anyone that she’s a partisan Republican. If she aspires to higher office, she’ll need the support of her party. Does that mean this blog supports her? Absolutely not. You must be thinkingf of the other blog in town — where bloggers wrote her checks. It wasn’t us.

  9. duplojohn
    November 30, 2009 at 9:13 pm


    Perhaps too late, Been on vacation (as much as I can be).

    I don’t like horses. In fact I hate them. High or Low.

    Using your logic, we should just fold up the tent and abandon the County. While unwinnable, it is the “ideal” turn around district, a corrupt, little known rep. If the OCDP got a Coto “baseball player” to run, he would CRUSH Dirty Garry.

    Further, I am well aware of how things work and thats why Melahut’s tenure pisses me off so much. Her job was’nt to carryout the wishes of a select few, it was to move the ball forward.

    Good luck to her and her autographed picture of President Obama. Meanwhile the TENS OF THOUSANDS of convertable voters in the county are watching Emeril.

    Let’s talk Prop 8 if you want to talk campaign management!

  10. Howard be my name
    December 1, 2009 at 8:32 am

    “If the OCDP got a Coto “baseball player” to run, he would CRUSH Dirty Garry.”

    You are so clueless! Yet you claim to be “well aware of how things work.” If only that were true!

    1) It is very hard to find people to run in these districts. There were attempts to get Joe Dunn to challenge Miller. Joe used to live in the 42nd and could credibly move back there. He’s got some name ID, plenty of governmental experience, terrific fundraising ability, and many other advantages. He wouldn’t do it.

    2) Someone like a baseball player would have certain name ID advantages over Miller, but being a sports figure alone won’t win you elections. You still have to know how to speak well, and particularly how to raise money. You need to persuade people that you know something about something other than sports.

    3) No matter what, the situation is stacked against a challenger. A huge majority of people will vote for the person of their party NO MATTER WHAT, and in a district with a very large Republican advantage that’s an issue. Another large number of people will vote for the incumbent NO MATTER WHAT.

    4) The DCCC is not very interested in districts like the 42nd because the Republican registration is so much higher than Democratic. Look at how little attention they paid to the 44th, where an infusion of as little as $50,000 might have won them a new seat.

  11. duplojohn
    December 1, 2009 at 6:00 pm


    With all due respect, in regard to your #2 comment,

    I have heard Gary speak and it leavess a lot to be desired! And one could aurgue Loretta’s oratory skills played little part in her victories.

    I understand your point, battles must be picked carefully, but I feel like there was WAY too much backslapping with Raifai around.

Comments are closed.