Observations from Primary Night

Primary night has come and gone.  And there’s a number of things the results of yesterday’s election reveal.  In no particular order, and noting that some results still can change, these observations:

  • In Wisconsin, voters returned control of the State Senate back to Democrats making Governor Scott Walker’s job harder not easier.  If Democrats in Wisconsin follow the model of Republicans in Congress, they can obstruct every legislative effort Governor Walker seeks to pass in his remaining two years.  Being only the third governor in our nation’s history to be the subject of a recall taints Scott Walker; and there’s more than a million reasons why he should be reaching across the aisle to govern the state as a whole better.
  • In Fullerton, the Tony Bushala majority takes over.  But how exactly they propose to run Fullerton as a smaller government instead of how its done now remains unclear.  We will ask if new council members Travis Kiger and Greg Seborn will forgo their council pay and benefits including their government paid healthcare and pensions.  Because if you don’t gentlemen, you’re not walking the walk after talking the talk. There’s a term for that — and it’s “hypocrite.”
  • In AD-69, Tom Daly’s vote total surpasses that of all three Latino Democratic candidates combined.  Unless there’s a huge surge for Julio Perez with the uncounted ballots, this race marks the first time the Labor-backed candidate in the race failed to win the primary for this assembly district ever.  If Perez manages to squeeze out a second place finish, this race will become much more heated.  Should Daly and Jose Moreno maintain the top two spots, will the other Democrats in the race back Daly publicly?  This doesn’t mean Labor’s influence is diminished. It just shows Daly’s experience in politics prevailed and Moreno convinced enough Republicans to pull ahead to #2.  If Moreno stays, will the county suddenly up the ante on the Hatch Act forcing Moreno to chose between his paycheck-topaycheck job that supports his six kids or running for an office he’s unlikely to win?
  • In AD-65, Sharon Quirk-Silva jumped into the race very late and Norby’s fans predicted he’d crush her in the primary.  With a motivated turnout of mostly conservative voters and Dems who didn’t care much for the recall not really showing up, Norby’s margin of around 6,000 votes suddenly makes him very vulnerable.  Especially with a contested presidential race getting motivated Democrats to the polls, Quirk-Silva is poised to send Norby packing so he can start collecting on his multiple government-paid pensions that he’s so critical of others about.  Do not be surprised if the results of the primary are opposite in November.
  • The Tea Party candidates lost big last night.  From Deborah Pauly to Allan Bartlett, voters are starting to note the fact that Tea Parties are for Little Girls with Imaginary Friends.
  • Neither Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez not Senator Dianne Feinstein seemed to suffer from the slings and arrows of the Kinde Durkee scandal; good for both of them.
  • Occupy candidates also lost big last night, but OJ blogger and Occupy lawyer Greg Diamond still qualifies for the ballot.
  • Candidates backed by the Santa Ana City Council majority lost big last night.  Michele Martinez’s fourth place finish is an embarrassment for her and her council colleagues.  And the fingers are already pointing at tepid support from Mayor Miguel Pulido.  Outside of showing up at some fundraisers, what else did Martinez’s council colleagues do for her?  Ken Nguyen, the Council’s endorsed candidate for OC BoE, and Art Pedroza, who was endorsed by both Martinez and Council member Sal Tinajero, both lost.  For Pedroza, it’s his third election loss in four years.  Strike three.
  • There’s already talk of Spitzer challenging Tony Rack for DA in 2014.
  • Lots of complaining about IEs doesn’t negate the fact that voter turnout is critical.  For example, a lot of voters for Quirk-Silva sat out yesterday’s election waiting for November.  Daly did suprisingly well in the Floral Park neighborhood of Santa Ana. And you can’t complain about your opponent getting IEs when you got them too; wahh, your slice of pie is bigger than mine.
  • The fact of the matter, not a single candidate in any race offered much of a plan for jobs, education, or fixing the economy.  Lots of claims about what they support but little mention of how to get it done.
  • I hope this isn’t the last time we see Julio Perez on a ballot.
  • Post election parties are a time to be gracious and appreciative.  Janet Nguyen had a mix of righties and lefties at her celebration in Garden Grove.  Tom Daly has a considerable number of Anaheim and Santa Ana residents at his.  Julio Perez had a ton of hard working supporters at his.  An official from DPOC called the Martinez campaign about her party last night and was told it was closed for volunteers and donors only.  Chips and dip for about 10 people we’re guessing.
  • We’re disappointed that there’s no solid Democrat to oppose either Janet Nguyen or Todd Spitzer for BoS; but those who voted for Steve Rocco were clearly the anti-incumbent, pro-Van Tran crowd.  A vote for Pauly is a solid vote for bigotry and a vote against Spitzer for his vote on pensions during his last go-around on the BoS.  Is bigotry a conservative value?  With some, those who voted for Pauly, the answer is yes.  War chests matter. And Nguyen and Spitzer have lots of cash.
  • The Middle is a dangerous place to be.  Independents did poorly in the election.  Matt Rowe in Fullerton failed to impress voters by straddling the middle.  Something to remember for city council candidates in November.  Pick a side.  You might think you have support from the left or right, but the truth is you don’t have it from either.  Some support, but not enough to win.
  • Don’t complain about not getting a DPOC endorsement if you are not a Democrat.
  • Conservatives refuse to consider anyone a Republican if they have any moderate views; this lack of flexibility in the Republican party simply accelerates their status as a fringe player in California politics with only pockets of support and permanent political minority status.  Even more fun, conservatives who steadfastly refuse to believe actual facts (that we pay less in taxes today on a federal, state and local level as a percentage of our income than we did in the 1950s — nope, they won’t believe it no matter what).
  • Almost unnoticed in the election fluff is the Santa Ana city council, with only five members present, took about five minutes to pass the budget with little debate, and appoint Paul Walters the supreme poombah of the city.  Walters is now city manager/police commissioner.  The police commissioner’s job is a whole new thing designed to let Walters retain his peace officer status.  Do you remember any public debate on this?   So when the city appoints a new police chief, will that person have any actual power or just all the responsibility with none of the authority?  Oh, and Council member Martinez skipped the meeting for her election and Councilman Tinajero attended his son’s Little League game instead.  Priorities.  Budget, smudgeit.
  • A dig at our favorite failed candidate Art Pedroza who’s now oh-for-four when it comes to elective office outside of a central committee vote, he’s been hyping Martinez and Leslie Daigle at “leading candidates” in their respective assembly races — they finished fourth and third respectively.  Pedroza declared himself the “leading candidate” in his own OC BoE race.  Two years ago, Hugh Nguyen was “the leading candidate” and Daly thumped him for clerk recorder.  Repeat a lie often enough and it’s true I guess.  What this all means is if Art Pedroza says someone is “the leading candidate” in anything, that means they finish no better than second in a two horse race, and no better than third or fourth if there are more than four candidates.  If Joe Moreno really wants Art’s help in November, he’ll ask Pedroza to go all in for Daly.  Half the crowd at Daly’s “victory” party was Latino and many from Santa Ana.  So much for the notion Daly is “too white” for the district.
  • Lastly, back to the Fullerton Recall for a moment.  We don’t expect the DA’s office to investigate any complaint against Chris Thompson for using the recall petitioner’s email list to pitch the Pro-Bushala candidate’s slate, but in a few shared emails Thompson keeps trying to brand the three recalled council members as “liberals.”  Nice try but Fullerton’s troubles — the complaints of the illegal water tax, and everything else Bushala’s bunch complains about — are the result of years of conservative Republican rule on the city council.  Chris Norby and Shawn Nelson could have both done something about the water tax, and didn’t.  Shawn Nelson’s description of Tony Bushala standing up to a bully just tells me the hair dye is affecting his logic.

  8 comments for “Observations from Primary Night

  1. June 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Hey dummy, the Wisconsin legislature’s not even in session. Walker’s work is done and if affect, and the Rs still have the house.

    Nice try on twisting the idea he’s one of three recalled Governors — you forgot to mention he was the only one to fight it off. Quite an accomplishment. Maybe you ought to lie about all the money sloshing around the recall — the unions did.

    It’s the beginning of the end for public sector unions — a huge win for the right.

    You also neglected to mention the enormous wins in pension reform in San Jose and San Diego. They made national news.

    Your “analysis” seems awfully “selective”.

    • junior
      June 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      That’s right Gargoyle – the Wisconsin legislature is not in session until January – and there is a little thing called an election coming up in November – a whole lot can change.

  2. Jon
    June 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Gargoyle, first off, leading with “hey dummy” makes you look petty and childish. Secondly, are you choosing to ignore the millions that Walker received from out of state sources like the Koch Brothers?

  3. LeadingCandidate
    June 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Hey Pedroza, how is Michele’s leading candidacy working out for you. Perez might have lost but she did worse. Your track record for candidates sucks. If Joe Moreno wants to win he should run far from you.

  4. Micheles Papi
    June 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Martinez is a joke. Move back to San Antonio and get a job Michelle.

    • June 8, 2012 at 10:10 am

      Michele is still mired in fourth place in this race. Steve Rocco got more votes for supervisor than she did for assembly. Shoot, even Republicans in the Central Committee AD-69 race got more votes than she did.

      She’ll have at least one more term on the council unless someone challenges her. So about six more years.

  5. Gericault
    June 8, 2012 at 9:32 am

    There was also a little race in the newly minted 74th assembly district where (Dem) Bob Rush trounced (Rep) Leslie Daigle even though she spent hundreds of thousands trying to knee cap him. I’ve actually had “friends” tell me that Bob was a “spoiler” in this race. As if running a moderate fiscally Conservative Democrat against Rapid Right Wing Anti- everything Allan Mansoor, is the “spoiler”. I would like to remind the Democratic Party Establishment and their Labor Sacramento $$$ friends, that backing Republicans over Independant Democrats is weak, stupid, ineffectual, and mutinous……but that pretty much sums up how they’ve addressed the entire section of West OC for decades.

  6. MorenoHatchActViolation
    June 8, 2012 at 9:39 am

    The case cited by Moreno, WASHINGTON STATE GRANGE v. WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY ET AL 552 US 442, does NOT address the Hatch Act at all. rather, it addressed a challenge by a party to the open primary system, on the grounds it denied the party the ability to choose it’s own party candidate.

    However, For purposes of the Hatch Act, an election is deemed partisan if political party designations appear on a ballot next to candidates’ names. Special Counsel v. Mahnke, 54 M.S.P.R. 13, 16 (1992). A nonpartisan election is one in which none of the candidates is nominated or elected as representing a party any of whose candidates for Presidential elector received votes in the last preceding election at which Presidential electors were selected. 5 U.S.C. §§ 1503 and 7322(2).

    Usually, a nonpartisan election is so designated by state or local laws. Such state and local laws, however, create only a rebuttable presumption that an election is nonpartisan. See Special Counsel v. Yoho, 15 M.S.P.R. 409, 413 (1983), overruled on other grounds, Special Counsel v. Purnell, 37 M.S.P.R. 184 (1988). Evidence showing that partisan politics actually enter the campaigns of the candidates may rebut this presumption. See In re Broering, 1 P.A.R. 778, 779 (1955). For example, if a candidate solicits or advertises the endorsement of a partisan political party or uses a political party’s resources to further his or her campaign, these actions may transform a nonpartisan election into a partisan one.

    The fact that Moreno took issue with the Daly campaign’s assertion that there was no Republican in the race when Daly pitched for Republican votes (real dem, that Daly is), tends to nail the partisan aspect of the race down for Hatch Act Purposes.

    So, Is Moreno an employee subject to the Hatch Act? It certainly appears so:

    “The Hatch Act restricts the political activity of individuals principally employed by state or local executive agencies and who work in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by federal loans or grants. Usually, employment with a state or local agency constitutes the principal employment of the employee in question. However, when an employee holds two or more jobs, principal employment is generally deemed to be that job which accounts for the most work time and the most earned income.”

    Moreno works for the County of Orange as an “eligibility technician”, the decription of which states in pertinent part:



    Under supervision, determine initial and continuing eligibility for one or more benefit assistance programs (such as Medi-Cal, exempt CalWORKs, General Relief, and Food Stamps); refer applicants and recipients in need of social services or employment opportunities to appropriate staff; perform specialized functions and perform other duties as required.


    The Eligibility Technician is primarily a case carrying class responsible for explaining and administering laws and policies pertaining to Federal/State/County assistance programs.”

    As such, would Moreno be “employed by state or local executive agencies and who work in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by federal loans or grants”? There are three branches of government: Executive, Judicial, and Legislative. Moreno is employed as a COUNTY employee working in connection with programs financed IN WHOLE OR IN PART by federal loans or grants. Medi-Cal is a state administered, but partially federally funded by the Federal government: “The Medi-Cal program pays for health care for low-income individuals. The Medicare program pays for health care for the elderly and disabled. The federal government pays for a portion of both programs, but pays a larger portion of the costs of health care for people enrolled in both programs. An outreach program should be implemented to more aggressively encourage Medi-Cal beneficiaries to enroll in the Medicare program” ( http://cpr.ca.gov/cpr_report/Issues_and_Recommendations/Chapter_2_Health_and_Human_Services/HHS26.html )

    As such, Moreno is squarely within the scope of people governed by the Hatch Act. This may be why he got no support from the OC GOP.

    The next question is what the consequences of the violation are, and any potential impacts on the race. The sole penalty available for a Hatch Act Violation is suspension or termination of the violator’s employment. If the employer does not so act, the violating agency/program faces loss of federal funding. For Moreno’s employer, Orange County, that would mean loss of Federal funds to Orange County’s Medi-Cal/CalOptima/health programs for the low income individuals.

    No wonder he is a Republican.

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