AD-69, currently occupied by State Rep. Jose Solorio, is the lone assembly seat where the Democratic candidate should win in a walk. Currently, there are three declared candidates for the seat and they include, in order Tom Daly, Orange County’s clerk-recorder and former mayor of Anaheim; Michele C. Martinez, Santa Ana city council member, and Julio Perez, a labor activist from Anaheim.
Now there have been no polls conducted as of yet and no campaign reports listing how much money has been raised by each of the three candidates as of yet. So other than a list of endorsements, there is no way to ascertain which of these candidates is “the leading candidate for AD-69.” Assumptions that Latinos will only vote for Latinos or women will only vote for women or that caucasians will only vote for white candidates are exactly that — assumptions. The candidates that raise the most money (ideally from within the district) and have the strongest “get out the vote” efforts are the ones that will win.
This is the first of a two part series where we asked each candidate the same questions via email and we run their responses without edits. In fairness, these questions are easy softballs lofted to each candidate and follow up phone interviews are being scheduled to ask more personal and deeper questions of each candidate.
The original email to the candidates was sent on December 2 with responses requested by December 9. Both Julio Perez and Tom Daly met their deadlines and got us the information on time. We received no response from Michele Martinez. We spoke with her the week of December 12 and she promised to get back to us last week citing final exams at CSUF which concluded for most students on December 16. Another email was sent last week asking for her responses but none were forthcoming.
Frankly, we’ve been sitting on this story waiting for Michele and she’s had plenty of emails and a phone call from us asking for her answers, and she’s failed to deliver the responses when she said she would.
Here are the questions:
1. Why are you running for AD-69?
2. What skills sets and attributes to you bring to voters that other candidates (Democrats and Republicans) don’t have?
3. How has your current political and governmental experience prepared you for a seat in the Assembly?
4. What are the biggest challenges facing residents of AD-69?
5. What is your greatest strength?
6. Where has the Assembly failed voters during the last term?
7. What accomplishments can you point to in your current position that you believe will provide an asset to you in the Assembly?
8. Please list your current endorsements
9. Can you tell us how much you have raised for your election campaigns
10. If you are not one of the top two in the race, will you endorse one of the two or sit it out?
Tom Daly, OC Clerk Recorder:
1. Why are you running for AD-69? After a lifetime of service, I am frustrated by how so much of my work, and my constituents’ dreams, have been undercut by the State. I served on our school board because I care about kids. The state has undercut that work. I served as a Mayor, because I believe in the power of local government to build communities. The state has undercut that work. I serve in County government, where I built one of the most efficient and cost effective departments in California, only to watch the state waste the money I saved and billions more… robbing our schools, degrading our universities, and dumping its failures on local communities.
2. What skills sets and attributes to you bring to voters that other candidates (Democrats and Republicans) don’t have? I think each of the candidates running brings assets and value. I look forward to presenting mine to the voters. As Mayor of Anaheim, we built the largest budget surplus in the city’s history, reduced crime, increased police patrols, and opened after-school programs to help kids stay active and involved.
3. How has your current political and governmental experience prepared you for a seat in the Assembly? I believe I have shown that innovation can create savings, and savings can be converted to services that advance the public good.
4. What are the biggest challenges facing residents of AD-69? Our communities need jobs. Not minimum wage jobs. We need schools that prepare kids for those jobs. Consider this: for all the discussion about raising taxes, politicians ignore the fact that for every 100,000 good jobs created, the state’s General Fund gets healthier by $800 million in new revenues and $1.6 billion in reduced demand. That’s $2.4 billion. When you do the math, it becomes apparent pretty quickly that instead of raising taxes on working families, we can fix our budget by putting more people to work.
5. What is your greatest strength? It’s hard to talk about my greatest strength, because I am so aware of my weaknesses. Each of us has to work every day to become a better person, a better listener, and a better leader. I have tried to do that throughout my career, and I hope to always do so.
6. Where has the Assembly failed voters during the last term? I don’t think the Assembly failed us last year. They passed the Dream Act. They cut $12 billion to fix the state’s deficit. They did all that was humanly possible to protect education. As I look ahead, I see opportunities to do a better job in legislative oversight. Governor Brown cannot oversee the entire executive branch alone. In 2006, the Assembly passed $8 billion in infrastructure bonds to rebuild roads, schools, and put thousands of Californians to work. The voters approved those bonds. The State Treasurer did his job and sold those bonds. Yet here we are with $600 million paid out in interest on the bonds and nothing has been built – indeed none of the projects have been started. That kind of nonsense has to stop. I think I can help.
7. What accomplishments can you point to in your current position that you believe will provide an asset to you in the Assembly? As Orange County’s elected Clerk-Recorder, I lead an agency with among the lowest fees of the fifty-eight counties in California, while winning national and state awards for innovation. I think I can do more of this in the Assembly. And I think we need it.
8. Please list your current endorsements:
Bill Lockyer, State Treasurer
Jose Solorio, State Assemblymember
Gail Eastman, Anaheim Councilmember
Kris Beard, Garden Grove Councilmember
Bruce Broadwater, Garden Grove Councilmember
Steve Jones, Garden Grove Councilmember
Dina Nguyen, Garden Grove Councilmember
John Hanna, Rancho Santiago Community College District Board Member
Brian Conley, Rancho Santiago Community College District Board Member
David Chapel, Rancho Santiago Community College District Board Member
Leonard Lahtinen, North Orange County Community College District Board Member
Donna Miller, North Orange County Community College District Board Member
Jordan Brandman, Anaheim Union High School District Board Member
Jan Domene, Anaheim Union High School District Board Member
Anna Piercy, Anaheim Union High School District Board Member
James Vanderbilt, Anaheim City Elementary School District Board Member
Tom Umberg, State Assemblymember, 69th District (Ret.)
Dr. Maggie Carrillo-Mejia
Juan Carlos Flores
Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
William C. Waggoner
9. Can you tell us how much you have raised for your election campaigns? This will be reported to the Secretary of State in January, for the period of July 1 through December 31, 2011.
10. If you are not one of the top two in the race, will you endorse one of the two or sit it out? I will do all I can to see that the best person is elected to represent and protect our communities.
From Michele Martinez:
1. Why are you running for AD-69? No response provided.
2. What skills sets and attributes to you bring to voters that other candidates (Democrats and Republicans) don’t have? No respond provided.
3. How has your current political and governmental experience prepared you for a seat in the Assembly? No response provided.
4. What are the biggest challenges facing residents of AD-69? No response provided.
5. What is your greatest strength? No response provided.
6. Where has the Assembly failed voters during the last term? No response provided.
7. What accomplishments can you point to in your current position that you believe will provide an asset to you in the Assembly? No response provided.
8. Please list your current endorsements. No response provided, but endorsements are listed on her webpage.
9. Can you tell us how much you have raised for your election campaigns? No response provided.
10. If you are not one of the top two in the race, will you endorse one of the two or sit it out? No response provided.
From Julio Perez:
- Why are you running for AD-69? Watching my father get up before dawn every morning to get ready for work showed me the impact good-paying local jobs have on families. Both of my parents worked hard, played by the rules and got ahead. They taught me the value of hard work. Unfortunately, the same opportunities to get ahead are harder to come by. Throughout my career, I have made it my mission to develop opportunities for working families to have good-paying local jobs. As a member of the Orange County Workforce Investment Board, I want to take my successful local experience to Sacramento to help create good-paying jobs and help parents prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow.
2. What skills sets and attributes to you bring to voters that other candidates (Democrats and Republicans) don’t have? My ability to cut through the clutter, take the long view and bring groups together is what sets me apart from other candidates in this race. They may talk about creating jobs, or being opposed to outsourcing, but their record will tell voters a different story. The sad fact is many officials lose sight of their priorities after being elected. I plan to change that and be an effective Assembly Member who will work honestly and earnestly to make good laws that serve the people of the 69th Assembly District. From my first day in office until my last, my top policy priorities will be creating and protecting good-paying jobs, leveling the playing field by increasing educational opportunities and expanding access to quality health care.
3. How has your current political and governmental experience prepared you for a seat in the Assembly? To create jobs, it’s critical to move beyond a so-called “business versus labor” mindset and focus on what it takes to protect and create these good-paying jobs. My experience working with business and labor groups has taught me that jobs won’t exist without thriving businesses and these businesses won’t thrive without well-qualified and better educated employees. Sacramento is a mess. My experience has showed me the only way to get the state back on track is to bring people together and craft workable solutions. I’ve spent the last 10 years doing exactly that, bringing business and labor together to help businesses group and protect good-paying jobs. It’s not easy, but my experience shows it can be done.
4. What are the biggest challenges facing residents of AD-69? For the past several weekends, I have been canvassing neighborhoods to hear directly the needs and concerns of our local communities. The biggest challenges we face are the state’s jobless rate and access to educational opportunities. While the national economy is showing signs of recovery, there still are not enough good-paying local jobs here and our schools don’t have the resources they need to prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow.
5. What is your greatest strength? My greatest strengthen is the ability to cut through the clutter and help groups on opposite sides of the table see how compromise is beneficial by having a win-win situation. I know “compromise” is not the greatest rallying cry, but we have to change the dialogue from a sero-sum game in order to have our state back on track and to get our economy moving again.
6. Where has the Assembly failed voters during the last term? The biggest failure was how the Republicans held the budget hostage yet again for purely political reasons. Because of their tactics, the cost of higher education is going up once again and our schools do not have the resources they need.
7. What accomplishments can you point to in your current position that you believe will provide an asset to you in the Assembly? After earning a fellowship and completing my Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, I was selected to serve as policy analyst for the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) where I successfully led efforts that encouraged contractors to create good-paying jobs and provide affordable health insurance for workers. During this time, I analyzed local government proposals concerning Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and briefed Los Angeles Federation of Labor Executive Director and LAWA commissioner Miguel Contreras. Working in collaboration with local civic leaders, I led efforts to strengthen procurement policies to ensure that responsible contractors were selected and workforce training standards implemented. In these instances, and in all my successes since, the key has been bringing people together, helping them see how compromise is beneficial, and creating workable solutions.
8. Please list your current endorsements
Local Elected Officials
(ret.) State Senator Joe Dunn, 34th District
Betty Yee, CA State Board of Equalization Member
Lorri Galloway, Anaheim City Council Member
Michael Matsuda, North Orange County Community College District Trustee
John Hanna, Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee
Dr. Jose Moreno, Anaheim City School District Trustee
Bao Nguyen, Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee
John Palacio, Santa Ana Unified School District Trustee
Sergio Contreras, Westminster School Board Trustee
Kim Oanh Nguyen Lam, (ret.) Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee
John Santoianni, Anaheim City Commissioner & Measure G Citizens Oversight Committee Chair
Al Jabbar, Anaheim City Commissioner
Jeff Cole, Anaheim City School District Trustee
Connie Boardman, Huntington City Councilwoman
Amin David, Los Amigos of Orange County President Emeritus*
Dr. Jose Moreno, Los Amigos of Orange County President*
Benny Diaz, LULAC State Director*
Jess Araujo, civic leader & past President OC Hispanic Bar Association*
Ron Herrera, Teamsters 396 Secretary-Treasurer*
Rick Eiden, Orange County Labor Federation President*
Tefere Gebre, Orange County Labor Federation Executive Director*
Nick Anas, Orange County Young Democrats President*
Alfredo Amezcua, Santa Ana attorney
Valerie Amezcua, community activist
Jackie & Rudy Cordova, Santa Ana business owners
Dr. Art & Raquel Lomeli, Santa Ana business owners
Marti Schrank, Los Amigos of Orange County & Democratic Party activist*
Laborers International Union of North America
Orange County Labor Federation
AFSCME, District Council 36
AFSCME, Local 2076
UNITE HERE, Local 11
United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 324
IATSE, Local 504
Laborers, Local 652
Roofers, Local 220
Sprinkler Fitters, UA Local 709
Orange County Employees Association
*for identification purposes only
9. Can you tell us how much you have raised for your election campaigns? I will have raised more than $100,000 by the end of this year.
10. If you are not one of the top two in the race, will you endorse one of the two or sit it out? Yes, I would be willing to endorse after meeting with the candidates and reviewing their records on creating and protecting good-paying jobs. It’s unlikely I would support a candidate that has taken steps to outsource jobs.
We’re scheduling a follow up round of questions with these candidates and the softball questions are gone. These candidates will get hardball and curveball questions asked of each of them. Its not going to be a pleasant process for any of us, but it’s our belief if you’re running for the state assembly and can’t star down a fast ball or wait on a curveball, you have no business being up to bat in the first place/
Our thanks to Mr. Daly and Mr. Perez for participating.