This last Sunday I was contacted by a person who was doing polling for political races. This one focused on Santa Ana, particularly the Mayor’s race. The person began by going over a list of names and organizations and wanted to know if I Approved (Strongly or Somewhat), Disapproved (Strongly or Somewhat) or No Opinion. The list was Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Mayor Miguel Pulido, Councilmembers Michele Martinez, David Benavides and Sal Tinajero, Mayor Pro-Tem Claudia Alvarez, Greater Santa Ana Business Alliance, Santa Ana Police Officers Association, Santa Ana Benevolent Firefighters Association, SEIU and Federation of Labor.
The person then read the list of all 5 candidates for Mayor and asked which one I planned to vote for and if it was definite or likely to change. They then read a list of positive statements about all 5 candidates for Mayor and for each one, asked if I was more likely to vote for that person or less likely to vote for that person or no change. They repeated this process for the 3 candidates for Ward 6.
Then came the negatives. The person was going to read a list of negatives regarding the Mayoral candidates and wanted to know if it made me less likely to vote for the person, no change or did not believe it to be accurate. The interesting part, Mayor Pulido and Alfredo Amezcua were the only two mayoral candidates to have the negatives polled. The Mayor went first. Negative 1) He has been Mayor for over 15 years and has presided over the worst financial crunch in city history, Under his watch, he has allowed the deficit spending to spiral out of control. Negative 2) He is a corrupt mayor who is of the mold of Bell Councilmembers, he has been double dipping on his health insurance, triple dipping on his car allowance, has given jobs to unqualified friends and family with high salaries when most families are struggling to make ends meet. Negative 3) The Mayor is out of touch with the people of Santa Ana. He is inaccessible, keeps City Hall closed to the public with little transparency and uses his influence to grant access to developers rather than the people.
Now for Amezcua’s negatives. Negative 1)He is a rich lawyer trying to “buy” the Mayor’s office for him and his rich special interest friends. As a lawyer he defends murderers, rapists and drug dealers. Negative 2) Amezcua is in the pocket of “big labor” and is out to help them win high paying pensions they don’t deserve. Negative 3) He lacks character and morals, having failed at two marriages. Last questions they asked were regarding a proposed half cent sales tax increase to fund police and fire.
Now for my take. Although the person who called was not even sure who commissioned the poll, I feel it was likely from the Miguel Pulido camp. Other experts I spoke with also feel the same. What they are likely doing is preparing for the campaign itself and trying to figure out who is going to be the “face” of the campaign, such as using Police and Firefighters as the face of the campaign to get the Mayor re-elected. They are also testing to see if the recent revelations of the Mayor’s double dipping and past negative accusations are going to hurt him now that there is a candidate with enough money to get that message out to the masses. They are also testing to see what will damage Alfredo Amezcua more, but seriously, going into the personal life. You think people would have learned from Bill Clinton, unless the person is a moral conservative, most of the masses think it is none of our business.
Either way, I am curious to see the results of this poll. Of course I am going to get calls from Democratic insiders claiming they have seen numbers that put Miguel Pulido 50 points in the lead. First, that is unbelievable considering Thomas Gordon did not lose by that much in 2006 with no money and no real campaign. Next, I say this because I have heard those claims already, about polls that show Amezcua has no chance, even though the Mayor and his cronies act like bats out of hell regarding this election. So my challenge to anyone who is going to call and tell me a new poll came out and has Pulido crushing Amezcua, guess what, I was one of those polled this time so I know there was one. Yet I want to know, who told you, and I want to see the actual data. If it was so favorable to the Mayor, I am sure they would want to wave this data all around town.
Then again, weeks before Lou Correa beat Jim Morrissey by double digit, there was supposedly a poll that put Correa 30 points behind. Once again, no one seemed to be able to show the data. Let’s see if we get the data to this recent poll, but I have a feeling there was not the greatest of news for the Mayor