AD-69 Candidates get a F in Debate

The race for the Assembly seat in AD-69 is by far one of the most interesting and competitive to watch.  It’s a race that screams for a debate on the issues and yet we’ve had but one half-hearted debate in March, conducted in Spanish, attended by two of the five candidates. The race has become a battle of mailers, endorsements, and IEs — but no substansive debate between all five of the candidates running.

We’re big fans of debates for the simple reason it that they help undecided voters decide which candidates know what they are talking about and which ideas to get behind.

We received a press release from the Julio Perez for Assembly camp renewing a call for a debate (you can see it below), and while we couldn’t agree more, this announcement is about a month too late.  But props to Perez for even bringing it up.  Santa Ana council member Michele Martinez and OC Clerk Recorder Tom Daly, both of whom skipped a debate in March for scheduling conflicts, haven’t called for one either.  Francisco Barrigan, a Santa Ana activist, has already demonstrated his willingness to debate.  Republican Joe Moreno has run a phantom campaign with his only meaningful accomplishment was a rebuttal to a Daly mailer put out by an IE in hopes that Republicans will vote for huim simply due to the “R” next to his name and that others will confuse him with the “other” Jose Moreno in Anaheim.

There really needs to be a debate here.  But let’s be honest.  We’re three weeks away and it ain’t gonna happen unless the Orange County Register, the Voice of OC, KOCE, of the League of Women Voters can pull it off.  And now that voting by absentee ballot is underway, even if these organizations could schedule a debate, it’s doubtful candidates would even show up.  This isn’t a race that should be decided on who has the most endorsements or the prettiest lawn signs, but instead of which candidate has the experience and ideas to make a difference in Sacramento.

Here’s the Perez announcement, and while we appreciate the props from the campaign and certainly stand by what we wrote, this announcement should have come out a month earlier:

Assembly Candidate Julio Perez Renews Call to Rivals for Debate With 14 Days Before Election, Says We Need Open Debate So Voters Can Make Informed Decision  

Santa Ana, CA– Saying voters deserve to hear from candidates directly and unfiltered, Julio Perez today renewed the challenge to his rivals to debate their views in the race for the 69th Assembly District seat.

With only 14 days before the June 5th Primary Election, to date there has been only one debate held, but Michele Martinez and Tom Daly did not participate.

“Voters deserve to hear directly and unfiltered from the candidates running to represent them in Sacramento.  If my rivals are afraid to stand up to voters’ questions in an open forum, how can they possibly stand up to the special interests in Sacramento?” asked Julio Perez, who has speaking with voters directly through neighborhood canvasses for the past six months. “I’m proud of my record helping create jobs and producing opportunities for businesses to prosper. By refusing to debate, my rivals are proving they are afraid of their records.”

A recent article in one Orange County’s top political blogs uncovered the contradictions made by Julio’s rivals based on their written responses to questions from the Orange County Register, satirically saying that “Daly and Martinez plan to fund education with an all cuts state budget.”

“Martinez and Daly are advocating a budget balancing approach focused entirely on cuts to existing programs,” wrote political blogger Dan Chmielewski in the Liberal OC. “Perez focuses on a balanced approach that cuts existing loopholes, and broadens the tax base in addition to cuts. Martinez thinks performance based budgeting will work in an assembly district where schools in Santa Ana are consistently at the bottom… It’s also hard to see how a cuts-only solution is going to not hit working families that Daly hopes to protect.”

An open forum where candidates can discuss the issues is the best way for Daly and Martinez to explain their contradictory views on education and their support from major oil corporations Perez said.

“California faces complex problems that won’t be solved by pre-written sound bites,” added Perez. “Since I began my campaign, I have been clear and direct with voters about my plan to get California back on my track. Let’s have an open, honest debate so voters can make an informed decision on who will best represent them in the State Assembly.”

The primary election is June 5, 2012 and the general election is November 6, 2012.


  15 comments for “AD-69 Candidates get a F in Debate

  1. Daly Shows His True Republican Colors
    May 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Julio was one of the two candidates who showed up to the previous debate so don’t think you should be knocking him for calling for a debate “too late.”

    • May 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      In fairness, Julio’s been calling for debates all along and yes, he did attend the one debate held but that was two of the five candidates making it. But I think sending out a press release well after the point where one could be scheduled was self-serving.

  2. Joe Hill
    May 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm


    Did you forget that Julio called for debates when he announced his campaign?

    • May 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      So noted and he’s called for them several times, but I still thinking issuing a news release calling for them again when there’s no way it will happen is a bit self-serving.

  3. Joe Hill
    May 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    And Dan, what about the following quote from Julio in your post from May 2nd?

    Perez told Liberal OC in an email, “The voters have a right hear from us all, directly and unfiltered — not scripted and piecemeal. That why I’ve called for a series of debates. My sincere hope is you use your blog to amplify my call for all of us to come together and debate how to get California back on track. I’ll answer any question voters in the 69th want to pose to me. My cell is all my handouts. I’m happy to answer any question in an open forum.”

    Were not these demands early enough? Looks like Julio has asked to debate for months.

  4. May 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Joe — that quote was the response from the Perez camp to a detailed questionnaire with some admittedly hardball questions. That statement was made as I don’t believe they had plans to submit the questionnaire. Michele won’t respond to any media queries from us, and there’s no doubt she’d be offered by the questions. Daly’s camp, like Perez’s, was late in meeting the deadline but I did have calls that the answers were coming and he had some hardball questions to; so in this respect, Perez issued a blanket statement saying he’d answer any question in public whereas Daly was prepared to answer the questions put directly to him. You can’t run a series of hardball Q&As with only one response. Joe Moreno wouldn’t return our email request for an interview.

    • Dan is a gaseous beast
      May 22, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Tom Daly has never answered a question in his entire political career. And that is a LONG career, as he is a professional politician, whose family is employed by career politicians, and whose family gorges upon the tax payer filled trough. He will talk forever in a measured tone, but never take a position and never make any sense. When called on facts and asked to take an straight forward, principal based response, he will never do so. The debate was rescheduled to ACCOMODATE daly, and he was still a no-show. Why? See above.
      Dan, send Igor back to the lab, have him return the “abby-normal” brain and get a functioning one.

  5. May 21, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    So is your headline a bit misleading then? I’d think that Julio earned at least a “C” — probably more than that.

  6. May 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    And really, why the title? Julio and Paco do not deserve F’s. What have you got against Julio?

    • May 21, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Oh, Greg just said that! I didn’t see.

      He and Paco BOTH showed up to the one debate, and I imagine they both did well, they’re both brilliant. Tom and Michele get F’s.

  7. Tefere
    May 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Dan would vote for Daly if he lived in the district. Why would someone who blogs for a liberal blog keep advocating for the defacto GOP candidate?

  8. francisco barragan
    May 22, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I have asked for months for a series of debates:

    From Los Amigos of Anaheim (supposedly checking with the League of Women Voters for months);
    In the past the candidates have refused to debate except for Julio.

    I will debate the candidates anytime anywhere.

    It is amazing that the other candidates accumulate close to $1 million to get the message out, but refuse to get the message out in a debate and to provide a clear contrast to our voters.

    Their lack of participation shows disdain and disrespect of our voters.

    We know they are running for something, but it’s more likely they are running AWAY from their record or their lack of true solutions.

    This we also do know:

    Career Politicians & Narrow Special Interests Are Buying Our Future & Killing Our Future!

    They are doing this By killing Education; Job Creation, Healthcare Public Safety, Fiscal Sustainability, and Opposing necessary Reforms to improve schools & our economy.

    Can We Trust the Other Candidates When “What they Say”, is far different From “What they Do?

    *) Michele – takes $thousands of money from contributors and votes illegally for them, is taxing small businesses in Santa Ana into bankruptcy by quadrupling their taxes with the unconstitutional PBID. Disregards the community’s and family-owned business concerns, and has significant personal financial mismanagement issues.

    (*) Julio – I debated Julio & his stated and failed policy goals are to raise taxes (which is NOT the same as raising revenues), harming family-owned businesses; and to cut-off all financial incentives & technical assistance to small businesses which create 90% of all the jobs in California.

    Don’t be fooled his proposed tax increases will only go to fund bloated, excessive and unfunded pensions for state unionized employees – leaving nothing for education and job creation. Julio has personal delinquent debts of $35,000 and has been sued twice within the last year.

    (*) Daly – As a former janitor he is sweeping-up the most narrow special interest money that this year took $158 million from the citizens in Anaheim to give to well-connected interests. Anaheim Mayor Tait & Mayor Pro-Tem Galloway opposed this give-away.

    (*) as reported by several independent media.

    10% of our society is well represented by narrow special interests, leaving
    90% of our youth and working families unrepresented!

    We can and must change this.

    I am non-partisan and solutions focused, which is what our citizens want and need.
    Because of my pro-solutions focus I am supported by Republicans, Independents and Democrats (RIDs), who understand we must RID our state of narrow special interests and must focus on real long-term solutions.

    Francisco “Paco” Barragan
    For State Assembly 2012 – 69th AD
    Accountant, Auditor, Businessman, Veterans and long-term Community Leader

    (714) 605-2544 cell

    • May 22, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Too bad, Dan says that you and Julio are no different from “publicity shy” Tom and Michele. Everyone in the class gets an F!

      • francisco barragan
        May 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm


        There is a world of difference between myself and Julio, and Michele and Tom:

        I am the only candidate with the background and experience in accounting, auditing and business, and the only veteran.

        I am the only one to have led teams in private industry resulting in job creation and millions of dollars in savings.
        • I studied government accounting and audited large cities also resulting in millions in savings.
        • I found the improper and unjustified give-away of public funds by the City of Santa Ana in 2010.

        I have been helping our Working Families and our Youth by:
        • Helping businesses grow and creating well-paying dignified jobs
        • Raising & providing student scholarships; and professionally developing our young graduates
        • Advocating for Military Veterans, visiting our wounded warriors, and
        • Advocating for Victims of Violence & Fighting sexual exploitation of women and children.

        I have the judgment and unique experience in accounting, business, and auditing and leadership ability to fight for and collaborate with others to improve state operations and for:
        • Increased Job Creation with proper incentives & assistance, and strategic and fair tax policies
        • Improved access & affordability of higher education
        • Improved access to quality private affordable healthcare; Improved Public Safety; and
        • Reforms to excessive and unfunded state Pensions that are killing our budget and our priorities

        Additionally, because I am not beholden to any narrow special interests or a party, I am endorsed by a wide base of support including:
        • Academics/Educators and students from private and public colleges;
        • Job Creators/Entrepreneurs from throughout southern California; and Economists;
        • Military veterans, California law enforcement professionals, and people of faith;
        • Advocates of victims of domestic violence and human trafficking survivors; and
        • Long-term community leaders within well known organizations, and concerned citizens

        So there is a world of difference in values, philosophy, experience and approach.

        Francisco “Paco” Barragan

        • Snnnooorrrrre!!!
          May 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm

          Here comes Mr. BIG CORPORATION ACCOUNTANT pretending to be a working class stiff, saying he is “non-partisan” yet running as a democrat (not conicidentally in a predominantly democratic and hispanic district). Yep: Mr. Credibility.

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