Carpetbagging Steven Choi: from Princely to Pauper?

Gentle reader, you’ll need to read this post all the way to the finish because there’s a surprise ending here. 

With all the bluster on the Orange Joke and Fullerton Fringe sites about carpetbagging apparently being a political sin worse than say child abuse or murder, when it comes to AD-70 Candidate and current Irvine council member Steven Choi, there have been crickets about his carpetbagging. 

We secured Choi’s new address via voter registration forms. He lives pretty close to Dan who drives by this neighborhood on his way to the Organic Produce stand on Bryan Avenue all the time.  And while we find the notion of drive-bys of a candidate’s home residence distasteful, Dan was in the neighborhood last Friday morning. Choi’s old address, at 36 Grassland in Irvine’s new Woodbury development (a public record BTW) to see what he was giving up.  Powder Blue and Red County blogger Allan Bartlett corrected us in 2008 when we asked how Choi could run for Assembly in AD-71 when he lived in AD-70, and Allan and Adam Probolsky both chimed in via comments that Choi lived in AD-71 in Woodbury.  At the time, Choi launched a run for the seat in AD-71, only to realize he had no chance.  After dropping out of that race, Choi launched a successful re-election bid for Irvine city council. 

With State Rep. Chuck DeVore termed out, Choi would have to secure a residence in AD-70 in order to run. 


As we rounded the corner of Choi’s “old” Woodbury address, there were two cars parked at the residence — a nice white Mercedes in the driveway and a blue Honda on the street.  We took the following photos and have since confirmed that Choi does drive a white Mercedes.  We’re in the process of confirming the plates. 

Steven Choi's "old" home in Woodbury, March 19, 2010

Notice the dew on the window of the car. Must have been here all night.

Note that City of Irvine bumper sticker

a wide shot of Choi's "old" residence in Irvine's Woodbury neighborhood

We couldn’t help but notice the morning dew still glistened on the back window as we shot video, which means the car was likely there all night.  That done, we fired up the NAV system to take us to Choi’s new AD-70 residence in Woodbridge.  It’s an apartment complex.  We walked on the sidewalk and took some photos.  No one was home and from the items left on the front door, no one had been there for some time.  We didn’t see any other “Yellow Pages” directories on anyone else’s front steps. 

The windows were non-obstructed by the vertical blinds. Using the zoom of the camera, we could see a cheap card table and some inexpensive folding chairs from the sidewalk.  There were washed dishes left on the counter to dry and a blue dish towel handing from the refrigerator door.  Certainly signs that someone had been there recently, but no couch, no recliner, no TV set visible from our vantage point.  The living room and kitchen were tiny compared with the expansive Woodbury estate.  See these pictures for yourself. 

The apartment complex in Woodbridge where Choi "lives"Choi's new front door; taken from sidewalkThe front door at Choi's AD-70 "home" - taken from the sidewalk

Yep; this is Steven Choi's place.

Note those classy folding chairs through the vertical blinds

What seems to be the case here is that Choi may have established a new residence in Woodbridge to run for office in AD-70, but it’s clear no one lives in this apartment (at least there’s no evidence of anyone sleeping here).  The new apartment is a real step down from Woodbury and it needs furniture. 

Since Choi filed an in-kind contribution from Art Pedroza and the OJ blog for a free ad, perhaps some readers with “gently used” furniture can donate these items for Choi’s new residence so the guy doesn’t have to sit at a card table on folding chairs using a cheap lamp for light.  Some art for the walls might make the place more like a home.

So Orange Jokers and Fullerton Fringers, what’s the standard for carpetbagging?  Is Tony Bushala going to write Tony Rack another letter calling for a criminal investigation of Dr.Choi?  Will Art Pedroza make excuses that Choi lives a block away from the border between AD70 and AD71 (what if Choi lived a block away from the US border in Mexico? Would he be able to run for office in the US?  Just asking when a border means something or when it doesn’t).  Will Allan Bartlett come over here and pat us on the back for a job well done?  Will Sean Mill check on Choi’s title to see if he still owns that big house in Woodbury?  We’re going to say, no they won’t.

Lorri Galloway and Harry Sidhu both clearly live in the district.  FFFF blogger Tony Bushala was met at the Sidhu resident by Harry’s wife at Harry’s new house in the Fourth District.  Lorri hosts coffee meet-and-greets at her new Anaheim home.  But Choi….it looks like his new address is just for show.  A card table and folding chairs as the centerpiece of one’s new living room?  No one is sleeping in this house (now tonight might be a different story).

Galloway and Sidhu already represent a significant segment of voters in the County’s Fourth District as members of the Anaheim City Council.  Moving 4.5 miles in Choi’s case and 8 miles in Lorri’s case and more than 10 miles in Harry’s case really isn’t that big of a deal.  Is it?  Because if it is, where is the outrage form the Orange Joke blog and the Fullerton Fringe blog over Choi?  Where is the “Steven Choi: Carpetbagger” signs for people to download?

Selective outrage just means you have inconsistent standards. 

Thanks for staying with us this long readers.  Here’s the payoff.  So what if Steven Choi is a carpetbagger?  He is running for an Assembly seat that represents a significant number of Irvine residents he already represents as a member of the Irvine city council.  So. What. Indeed.  We don’t have a problem with his carpetbagging.  That’s for the voters to decide.

  38 comments for “Carpetbagging Steven Choi: from Princely to Pauper?

  1. Allan Bartlett
    March 22, 2010 at 10:39 am

    This one of the reasons I support Don Wagner.

  2. March 22, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Beyond the carpetbagging – and it should be noted that Sidhu is a double carpetbagger, there are major differences in political philosophy between Sidhu and Nelson. Sidhu, for example, supports the high speed rail boondoggle.

    And, as you referenced, Choi moved the least of the three candidates in question who moved.

    The moves made by Galloway and Sidhu were particularly egregious as they moved from wealthy Anaheim Hills to the Anaheim lowlands.

    Now if you look at the other GOP candidates you will find that Wagner is unknown to the district’s voters. I have seen polling suggesting that less than 3% of the voters know who he is. And he is a hard right nutter to boot.

    Jerry Amante is a League of Cities type who cannot be trusted to stand up to unions.

    Choi then is the best choice that fiscal conservatives have. And he has the greatest name I.D. Of the three GOP candidates.

    Ultimatley Choi will win because the same Irvine voters who voted for him instead of Agran will do so again.

    As for Sidhu, he will be finished and will be too wounded to run for Bill Campbell’s seat. Janet will run another of her stooges instead.

    • Claudio Gallegos
      March 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      Translation: If they approach me, Art Pedroza and agree to meet with me, the royal highness, they can carpetbag all they want and do whatever they want and be as corrupt as they want and I will give them a free pass.

  3. March 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    “Choi moved the least..” Sounds like the excuse he’s only a little pregnant.

    C’mon Art. You’re being a hypocrite here. And we’re being consistent. At least Harry and Lorri live in their new homes in the district.

    Well, the neighborhood Choi left for the one he’s “residing” in is also “wealthy.”

  4. March 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Allan — does that constitute a pat on the back?

  5. Sean H. Mill
    March 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm


    Did Sidhu send you a bucket of El Pollo Loco too? You, Tommy Boy and Jerbal sure are trying hard to distract the public from the fact that he most likely perjured himself when he said he lived in the apartment on Lincoln.

    • March 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      Sean — Thanks for reading the post. Care to comment on Art’s hypocrisy that Choi didn’t move as far so his carpetbagging is OK when Harry Sidhu and Lorri Galloway moving into the 4th is not? Sidhu’s case would have to be acted upon by the DA’s office which rarely goes after political candidates. Surely, the voters in the Fourht District, like the voters in AD-70, are bright enough to figure out which candidate will best serve their interests. But there’s a difference here Sean — we’re being consistent on the issue of carpetbagging and you guys aren’t.

    • Art Pederasty
      March 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

      dear angry sean. why do you hate so? why all the gay bashing and comments bashing immigrants? so what if harry sidhu uses a different first name than the one he was born with? so does your pal robert shawn nelson. why do you insist on calling everyone some childish name? you look like an idiot when you do that? grow up.

    • Art Pederasty
      March 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm

      dear angry hate filled sean. why do you bash the gay community and toss around insults at the immigrant communities? do you think its funny to insult immigrants because the choose to use a different first name than the one they were born with? even your sugar daddy robert shawn nelson changed his first name, and i dont see you getting so enraged about that. quit bashing immigrants and gays.

  6. Sean H. Mill
    March 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    “we’re being consistent on the issue of carpetbagging”

    You consistently support carpetbagging? Sidhu’s issue is much more than carpetbagging. The PI’s report is pretty damning. If it is found to be true we are talking about perjury.

    Seeing as how Sidhu is a Reep and you claim to be “challenging the right wing noise machine” I would expect you guys to join the calls for an investigation and potential prosecution. Why are you silent on that? Why are you creating a smokescreen to give Sidhu cover?

    I think that you hate the OJ and company so much that you and Jerbie would rather focus on challenging us and throw the principles you claim to support out the window.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 23, 2010 at 9:49 pm

      Sean — I think candidates who run for a higher office and by running for that higher office still represent the people they already represent shouldn’t be an issue. I honestly don’t think the DA is going to press charges since Harry lives in the home he’s registered to vote in. Sean, I’m being consistent in that I support Lorri Galloway’s candidacy but the approach both Harry Sidhu and Steven Choi are taking is OK as candidates for office too even if I don’t support them. OJ on the other hand is inconsistent in its support of carpetbagging candidates. Harry and Lorri should be pariahs in your eyes but its OK for Choi to carpetbag. I’m the one sticking to my principles here; you are the one adjusting yours.

  7. kenlaysnotdead
    March 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Here’s my take, if true, which I have no doubt the report is accurate. STEVEN CHOI is a carpetbagger.

    He is a guilty as Ackerwoman, Bobby Kennedy, Dan Lundgren, Lori G. and Harish. He is another opportunist. I have not studied the district lines, and Woodbridge to Woodbury may be close, but so is a First Down!

    I find this disengenuous however, because the post is co-authored by a guy who by all apperances LIVES IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 23, 2010 at 9:51 pm

      You forgot Tom McClintock.

  8. March 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm


    Consistent? Really? Or are you just pissed that Choi beat your boy Agran? And that he is now going to win the primary?

    Huff and puff all you want. I don’t think Choi’s situation is comparable to that of Sidhu’s and Galloways. Not remotely.

    And the neighborhood he is in now is comparable to the one he was already living in.

    At any rate, none of your readers were going to vote for Choi anyway. I would hope that they would be voting for Melissa Fox.

    Your post will have ZERO impact on the GOP primary. So, as Sean pointed out, I hope you at least got some free Pollo Loco chicken from Sidhu…

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 23, 2010 at 9:57 pm

      Art — you’re wrong again as usual. Don’t you think my post is going to be used by Jerry Amante or Don Wagner as debate foder or in mailers.

      There is no such thing as a bad neighborhood in Irvine Art, but to compare the apartment in Woodbridge to the stately manor in Woodbury tells me you don’t know your butt from a hole in the ground about Irvine.

      Choi beating Agran actually means when Larry wins this fall, he resets and can serve on the council for another eight years instead of being termed out like Choi will be in 2012. And Choi’s greatest fundraising asset is Sukhee Kang’s fundraising list which Choi uses to shake down the Korean-American community. My friends who are Korean-American who give to Kang get contacted by Choi shortly afterwards.

  9. Justin
    March 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    You really shouldn’t flash his license plates like that, I know this is a blog, but most media respects that. Otherwise, fine article.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 23, 2010 at 9:37 pm

      How better to provie it’s his car?

    • March 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      Point taken. I have pixelated the plates.

      • Dan Chmielewski
        March 25, 2010 at 8:52 am

        Unpiexlate them. Bartlett confirmed the car is Choi; it’s parked in the open on a public street. There’s no privacy violation whatsoever.

  10. March 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Pat on the back from this conservative. Well done. This wasn’t even on my list of why I’m supporting Don Wagner, but it is now. Keep up the journalism and I migh have to come back more often.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 23, 2010 at 9:57 pm

      Come back anytime Nick.

  11. Mark Dobrilovic
    March 23, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Ahhhhhh!!!!! Seriously, we can’t support these people who \move\ so they can live in the district with an attractive open seat!!! NO, NO, NO, NO,!!!!!! I don’t care if it is Ackerman, Sidhu, Choi, or Thomas Jefferson Himself!!!! THIS IS THE PROBLEM!!!!

  12. Allan Bartlett
    March 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    A pat on the back for Choi? Please clarify Dan. I will confirm that that is Steven’s car. I think Steven is getting carpetbagging pointers from Harry Sidhu.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 23, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      No Allan, for us?

      • Allan Bartlett
        March 24, 2010 at 8:58 am

        Oh, yeah good job on the sleuthing.

  13. kenlaysnotdead
    March 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Let’s see if this one does’nt get censored too.

    A post about a carpetbagging politician, co-written by a guy who lives and votes in Long Beach.

    Thats genuine.

    Twice now my fair and left leaning critical comments have been censored. Let’s see if this one makes it.

    What business does Chris have writing about Steve Choi? I could care less bt it seems like the “John and Ken” model to me.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 23, 2010 at 9:34 pm

      Ken – we had a glitch in comments due to an upgrade of software; nobody is censoring anything

  14. Dan Chmielewski
    March 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Mark – it is NOT a problem. Choi already represents most of the people in the biggest city in the Assembly District. He literally lives hundreds of feet from the border. There are two other Republican candidates running. But the best candidate for this seat is Melissa Fox

  15. Ltpar
    March 24, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Dan, it is clear that with this “trash” attack on Steven Choi, an honorable man, you and your other jerk off liberal bud, Prevatt, have too much time on your hands. If nosing around in the private life, taking photos and posting them on the internet is going to be the new standard, perhaps we should spend some time looking at your boy, Larry Agran. By the way, does he still make those weekend trips to the desert? I bet photos from those excursions would be worth looking at? But then again, that is a private matter isn’t it and should be none of our business?

    Bottom line is, fortunately, most people don’t read the trash you guys write. I do suspecthowever, that anyone who cares about privacy rights, politician or otherwise, would condemn your actions.

    You guys need to get a real job.

    • Howard be my name
      March 24, 2010 at 10:24 am

      Steven Choi, an honorable man? Don’t insult the intelligence of the readers of this blog. If you know him personally you can’t help but realize he is an egomaniac with a barely-normal IQ. (Yeah, I realize he has a PhD — in Library Science! Hardly proof of intelligence.)

      Choi was one of those who insulted the Speaker of the House at the recent Truman Dinner. While he’s welcome to the blessings of the First Amendment, no “honorable man” who was elected to public office would do such a thing. “Honorable,” my ass.

      • Dan Chmielewski
        March 25, 2010 at 10:35 am

        Pat —
        Be honest. If Larry Agran moved for carpetbagging to run for another office, you’d be all over him for unethical behavior. In Choi’s case, this is more than unethical.

        Of course, Dr. Choi can come over here and defend himself. But he’ll just accuse me of attacking him when all I am doing is shining a light on his behavior.

      • Ltpar
        March 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

        The Speaker of the House deserves a lot more than to be insulted and who knows, Pelozi, may one day soon get what is coming to her? At least I will give your buddy, Larry Agran credit, he is not Anti-American like Pelozi and the rest of Obama’s stable of Socialist/Marxist donkeys. However, as we all know, “what goes around, comes around,” and November 2010, will be the time.

        • March 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm

          Pat-the Speaker of the House and the President of the United States and his cabinent are not anti-American. But it’s people like you who say they love America when they have such distain for Americans is beyond me. But thanks for inspiring me on my next Choi piece which I’m sure the thin-skinned councilman will think is an attack piece.

  16. Dan Chmielewski
    March 24, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Pat —
    I believe it’s a felony to be registered to vote in one address while using another as a primary residence. If you want to be an apologist for someone who clearly doesn’t live at the address he’s registered to vote, be my guest.

    As far as privacy rights go, I took photos from the street without leaving my car and I stood on the sidewalk outside his apartment; the window blinds were open. His voter registration form was obtained through a public records search.

    I’ll be happy to write about Larry’s weekend trips to the desert if you think that’s important. Should I write about the guys Christina Shea dates too? I haven’t, because I think that’s an instrusion on her privacy.

    Pat — you missed the point of this post; Two other blogs believe carpetbagging is a total politcal sin, yet one gives Choi a free pass and another is still silent on the matter. If you read the post all the way through, we say we have NO problem with Choi being a candidate in AD-70. It’s up to voters to decide on Choi’s honesty and fitness to servce them in AD-70. All we did is report, accurately, that he doesn’t appear to live at his new address.

    • Ltpar
      March 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm

      Dan, understand your position on the residency and since Steven does not discuss his campaign plans with me, I had no idea about the apartment, until recently. Frankly, I do not hold much with carpetbagging myself and believe people are best represented by those who are permanent and long term residents of an area. When Steven asked me about the privacy issues, I told him the same thing you stated. No one appeared to be in any place they were not legally entitled to be and as such, there was neither tresspassing or a privacy violation. My personal dislike is in diverging from the issues and getting into the private life of a candidate. The answer is “No,” I don’t care what, Larry does in the desert, or with whom. If it makes him happy, all the more power to him. Wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see him move out there permanently. As far as his on the job performance, obviously we will have to agree to disagree on those issues.

  17. Mike
    March 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Hold off crowning Choi. Despite that he’s a sitting councilman in Irvine, he has only been able to raise $9K within the 70th. So much for his broad appeal with the electorate.

    But I do agree that the article didn’t get everything right — Choi isn’t really guilty of carpetbagging — since that would require that he actually moved. Instead, he’s simply guilty of voter fraud.

  18. kenlaysnotdead
    March 24, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for the response Dan.

    Let me restate this from my missing post:

    If in fact, Steven Choi is carpetbagging (living elsewhere), based on your report it looks to be the case, he needs to be run out of town on a rail, politically speaking. If this is important to the LOC, a page from FFFF book, should be used.

    If nobody cares, then thats another story.

    I would hope that if this is founded in fact, others would condemn it. But to be clear, this is the job of the citizens of the 70th district. Tony Bushala, defends his district(s) with zeal. You have to respect that. Nobody in Irvine seems to even care who and where thier leaders are!

  19. March 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Ken– Steven Choi already represents a significant portion of the AD-70 district as an Irvine city council member. Lorri Galloway and Harry Sidhu already represent a significant portion of the 4th district for the BoS race by serving on the Anaheim city council. I don’t have a problem with any of them moving to run for office to represent citizens they already do in another capacity.

    My choice for AD70 is Melissa Fox.

Comments are closed.