Some last minute shopping sent me to Trader Joe’s in Irvine’s Woodbury shopping center Sunday evening and I noticed a couple of Steven Choi signs close to the door. And as the clerk was scanning my purchases, I turned and saw Dr. No himself greeting departing customers and offering door hangers and a smile as folks tried to hustle their groceries into their cars — effective if you’re asking for a dollar for the homeless, but not so much if you’re running for office. Trader Joe’s has a policy against unwanted solicitation, but in this case, it’s done with the OK of the Irvine Company.
“Dr. Choi, why are you at Trader Joe’s?” I said. “Don’t you know Liberals shop here?” And I asked him about his mailers claims that he’s “The REAL education Mayor” when he’s against both Prop 30 and Prop 38 and only supported Measure BB in late July after it was apparent it was getting on the ballot. Choi told me to watch the video of the July council meeting, but he forgets there is video of earlier council meetings where he belittled Measure BB.
Rather than answer the questions, he just confirmed my identity and said I was stopping to Agran’s level. I mentioned he’d have to climb up to reach Agran’s level.
“I know you write misleading things,” he said.
At that point, I asked him to name a single fact I’ve gotten wrong. He didn’t and was trying to shoo me away so he could greet more exiting customers.
When he couldn’t, I told him what I thought of him (no bad language) and that I hoped he’d lose Tuesday.
There are two other elements of our chat Sunday night I’ll get to later. But what is apparent is Choi is unable to directly answer simple questions about his own record and his own claims in deceptive mailers his campaign has issued. The “Real” education mayoral candidate, as a member of the city council, has an unremarkable record for supporting education. If this is the best Irvine Republicans could do, all I can say is Choi is “weak sauce.”
My favorite moment was when I first greeting him, he handed me his literature which I placed on top of my grocery bag. After he realized who I was, he grabbed the brochure back from my cart.
Which is fine, as long as he left the grated Parm alone.