A New Chapter One for Santa Ana Politics?

State Assemblyman Jose Solorio is at an interesting crossroads in his political career.  He’s termed out in the State Assembly and was one of the biggest victims in the expanding Kindee Durkee scandal.  And he held court during the formal announcement of Santa Ana Council member Michele Martinez’s intentions to run for his seat in AD-69, even though its widely known she wasn’t his first choice to succeed him in the Assembly.

The big test for Solorio is his annual birthday party/fundraiser in Santa Ana next Thursday night. Its not only a big test for Solorio, but one for the future of the Democratic Party in Orange County. While we don’t agree with every vote the Assemblyman has taken, there’s no doubt he is an effective legislator who represents his constituents and the party well.  And even though he’s termed out of the assembly, he is clearly not done with public service.  He deserves our support and our money to rebuild his coffers to be in a position to run an effective campaign for his next political office. So comed next Thursday and bring your checkbook.

I was pleased to introduce my daughter to Rep. Solorio last night as we stopped by Chapter One as the Martinez fundraiser was wrapping up.  We stopped by for two minutes just to say hello to him and we met State Rep. Richard Hernandez, (and Adam Elmarek from Voice of OC) and we left.

 Thursday was one of those rare nights that it was just my daughter and I, so I decided to treat her to dinner.  Once she said she had a craving for fried chicken, I knew we were headed to Memphis in the Santorra.  With almost everyone associated with Santa Ana politics at Chapter One, I was surprised to see Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez dining with a small group of people at Memphis.

So much for Martinez having the support of the *entire* Pulido machine.

But one has to wonder, even if Alvarez’s apologies to the Jewish community and others could be construed as sincere, if the comments have made her a political paraiah of sorts. During my interview with Councilman Vince Sarmiento, he mentioned that Alavrez faces a burden in atoning for her statements. 

For some, the burden is simply too great.

  11 comments for “A New Chapter One for Santa Ana Politics?

  1. Edwin marinez
    September 23, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Is it true Claudia is trying to stage a showing of “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Yost?

  2. Edwin marinez
    September 23, 2011 at 11:34 am

    So does this mean you didn’t introduce your daughter to Snooki? Does this mean your supporting Martinez? Will we see the Snooki photo again?

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    September 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Edwin — answers to your questions:
    No.
    Too early to support anyone.
    Why not?

  4. OC Martini
    September 24, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Dan: I have to fundamentally disagree with your statement that the turnout at Jose Solorio’s birthday party is somehow a referendum on the OC Democratic Party. Seriously – Jose has been very disappointing in Scramento. I was a strong supporter of his when he initially ran for assembly, but he has not shown adherence to a specific set of values as an assemblyman, other than perhaps to advance his own career as opposed to the interests of his constituents. Need I remind you of his significant vote against the interests of Orange County stripping OC of $48 Million in funding at this cash strapped time? He tried to save face in OC by pushing legislation to restore the funding, but, predictably, couldn’t fix his initial gaffe. Make no mistake – this is straight up face saving b.s.: He shouldn’t have made the initial vote against the interests of his constituents, and only became worried when he realized people were paying attention and received what should have been a foreseen backlash at home.

    This is a pattern with Jose – he consistently takes votes as a “Mod Dem” that are against the clear interests of his core constituency and which are in favor of his corporate business sponsors like the insurance industry, and out of state businesses. Some examples?

    1. The Assembly Bill that would have banned BPA from baby bottles and infant formula and baby food containers. The battle in Sacramento was public health and education groups against chemical, pharmaceutical and packaging giants, and was being followed closely around the nation. Similar attempts to ban the chemical are being largely opposed by Republicans, with scattered support by “Mod Dems” like Solorio. With an overwhelmed FDA suffering major budget cuts (again driven by Republicans and “Moderate Dems” like Solorio), what is Solorio’s explanation for his vote? “Let’s leave it to the scientists”, ignoring more than 200 peer-reviewed studies on animals and humans have linked BPA to health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, liver problems, brain damage, cancer and hormone disruption. Who is most dramatically affected by these diseases? His core constituency of low income to moderate income latinos, which make up the 69th AD.

    2. The Underinsured Motorist Bill which would have corrected a misleading credit that robs insureds of teh full protection of their UIM limits. Again, this disproportionally has an adverse affect on Solorio’s core constituents. Instead of protecting them by voting for a bill that the Insurance Commissioner stated would have no material effect on UIM rates – which is optional (but necessary) coverage anyway -he cited the Insurance Industry lobbyists talking points and killed the bill in committee, denying the author a requested up or down vote on a procedural manuever in the Insurance Committee chaired by Solorio.

    Read for yourself, Dan. His M.O. is to work for his corporate donors behind the scenes to kill bills so he doesn’t have to take votes that will ID him as detached from his party’s – and more importantly his constituents, best interests.

    Saddened as I am by the appalling betrayal of Kinde Durkee, the one bright side is that perhaps it will help bring about an end to Solorio’s political career.

    • September 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      Word. As I reported a couple weeks ago, 85% of Jose’s contributions (the past 4 years) have come from outside his district, and over $100,000 – the second-largest chunk – came from insurance interests.

      Sorry, Jose, gotta call it like we see it here…

      • September 26, 2011 at 7:18 pm

        Vern — Jose’s district has a low mean family income; kind of hard to get a big check from a family struggling to put groceries on the table. And running for office is expensive. I don’t have a problem with where he gets his funds from as long as he represents the interest of this constituents. He does.

        • September 26, 2011 at 7:56 pm

          Maybe, but does that have to lead to his regularly voting against his constituents’ interests, as this Martini guy has so ably shown? (And those are just two good examples.)

        • September 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

          My “maybe” was in response to your first two sentences. My response to your last sentence is, no he doesn’t.

  5. friend of the blog
    September 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I have to agree with Martini. Solorio spoke on the Assembly floor against AB 52, which would have given the Insurance Commissioner the ability to regulate health insurance rates in CA. He ended up abstaining in the vote, but it was pretty clear where his loyalties were.

    Effective legislator? Meh. Does he hold important positions in the leadership or the Democratic caucus? Not so much.

  6. Anne Frank
    September 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Claudia is such a hater. Did you watch the meeting last week? She called her rebuke a “distraction”. She is evil.

    • September 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      Claudia’s World View…

      9/11 was a “Horrible Accident”

      Her censure for Anti-Semitic statements was a “distraction” from discussion about ending PBID.

      Ending PBID, which she has consistently voted in favor of, is MORE important than the City Budget shortfall.

      Tortured logic if you ask me.

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