Earlier this evening, the Democratic Party of Orange County made their endorsements for the local offices in Orange County. This year had the fewest number of contested races in recent memory, with only three races coming up for a vote. The most controversial was the Santa Ana Mayor’s race between Miguel Pulido and Alfredo Amezcua. Unfortunately, Endorsement Committee Chair Florice Hoffman decided to give the proverbial middle finger to Democracy and rig the vote for Mayor Pulido.
After the two speeches were given, which I must say, both did fairly well, the vote was taken. Unfortunately rules were put in place to prevent the candidate from going “negative”. In other words, Al Amezcua could not tell the Dems present that Miguel has been double dipping on his health insurance and car allowance. He was not allowed to inform the delegates present about Mayor Pulido’s past endorsement of Lupe Moreno, the Latina Minutewoman and Rosemarie Avila, who once mentioned AIDS is God’s punishment to gays.
The attendance was also pitiful, with only 24 of the potential 48 voting members there, in other words, they barely made quorum. When the vote went down, I counted the votes, it was 11 for Pulido, 9 for Amezcua. Definitely NOT the 60%Â that a longtime Democratic fixture like Miguel needed to get for the endorsement. One would think with his 26 years in politics, he should have been able to run away with the endorsement. Now here is where things get interesting. Suddenly Chairman Frank Barbaro walks up to the podium to stand by Florice Hoffman and they call for all eligible delegates to raise their cards. They do and suddenly it is announced Miguel Pulido has won the 60% threshold, 13 votes to 8 votes.
Outrage filled the room as people demanded that Alfredo had 9 votes and demanded to know where two extra votes for Pulido had come from. Florice then claimed she had now cast a vote, even though she was forbidden as chair of the meeting and then demanded that they were going to continue with the agenda. There were calls by Marti Schrank and Mani Kang toÂ division of the room, whereÂ supporters of each side go toÂ a sectionÂ of the room to get a fully accurate count. Frank Barbaro outright ignored them and responded by threatening to escort anyone out who was disagreeing with the decision and Florice kept demanding to move on with the agenda. I have long liked Frank Barabaro, but I was deeply disappointed with his clear and blatant shilling for Mayor Pulido and his taking part in Pulido’s Mexican style “Democracy.”
The nine people who voted for Alfredo Amezcua were rightfully outraged and all were willing to go on record as having voted for Alfredo. All nine are voting members of the Central Committee. They are:
By my count, that is nine votes. So even with Florice’s imaginary 13 votes,Â the total would be 22, whichÂ would putÂ Pulido under the 60% needed to get the endorsement. What took place was Mexican style (or Iranian style) Democracy pure and simple. Porfirio Diaz looked up from hell tonight smiling on Florice Hoffman for her blantant vote rigging for the Mayor. I challenge Florice, and Frank Barbaro, to prodice all thirteen names of the people who voted for Miguel, since by all counts from independent observer Henry Vandermeir, it was 11.
Now it has been proven there were NINE votes, so even with Florice’s imaginary 13, Miguel Pulido does NOT have 60% at this point. So will the DPOC stand up for Democracy and void this vote and call a new one at the next meeting. I do hope Gustavo Arellano and R. Scott Moxley join me in demanding that Mexican style Democracy has no place in the Democratic Party. This cannot be allowed to stand.
After the meeting, Marti Schrank, an Amezcua supporter and a longtime Democratic activist let her anger be known and vowed to continue the fight. Marti, you are our Corregidora. She too is going to fight to stop the new Porfiriato. We don’t need another Porfirio Diaz or Mahmood Ahmadinejad running the Democratic Party.