Irvine Chamber’s AD-74 Candidate’s Forum Will Now Feature Democratic Candidates

icc_candidates_forum_april_4_2014_wide

The Irvine Chamber of Commerce is co-sponsoring a candidates forum on April 4 for AD-74 and, if you were to look at the website this morning, it was a Republican only affair…until this morning when we made a call.

This morning, the Chamber’s website promoted the forum, also sponsored by The Lincoln Club, which proudly featured “the candidates for the 74th California State Assembly.” The only candidates mentioned were Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry, Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper, and Emanuel Petrascu.”  There are five candidates for Assembly not three.

Democratic candidates Karina Onofre and Anila Ali weren’t invited, initially, but “invitations were being sent to both candidates this morning,” according to Chamber president Tallia Hart in a phone interview with TheLiberalOC this morning.

“We’ve been working on this (event) for awhile and the two Democrats filed their candidacy papers late,” she said, assuring us that not only both AD-74 Democratic candidates were in the process of being invited as we spoke would be invited but that CD-45 congressional candidate Drew Leavens would also be invited along with Mimi Walters and Greg Raths, to address the audience.

However, Hart’s explanation of Democratic candidates filing candidacy papers late as a reason for excluding them just doesn’t wash.

According to the Orange County Registrar of Voters, the order in which candidates submitted their filing papers might depend on which date you consider and which candidacy designation you select.  For example, both Onofre and Petrascu both filed dead last on 3/12 but Onofre wasn’t invited while Petrascu was.

As a public service, we’ve posted every filing date and category for candidacy below.

KARINA “KARINA” ONOFRE
Small Business Owner CANDIDATE STATEMENT

Qualified Date: 3/12/2014 6:01:00 PM Candidate Statement Issued: 3/3/2014 Candidate Statement Filed: 3/12/2014 Sigs In Lieu Issued: 1/15/2014 Sigs In Lieu Filed: Filing Fee Paid: 3/3/2014 Nomination Papers Issued: 3/3/2014 Nomination Papers Filed: 3/7/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Issued: 3/7/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Filed: 3/12/2014 User Code:

KEITH D. CURRY
Businessman/City Councilmember CANDIDATE STATEMENT

Qualified Date: 2/26/2014 6:11:00 PM Candidate Statement Issued: 2/21/2014 Candidate Statement Filed: 2/26/2014 Sigs In Lieu Issued: 1/9/2014 Sigs In Lieu Filed: 2/10/2014 Filing Fee Paid: 2/21/2014 Nomination Papers Issued: Nomination Papers Filed: Declaration of Candidacy Issued: 2/21/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Filed: 2/26/2014 User Code:

EMANUEL PATRASCU
Orange County Business Owner CANDIDATE STATEMENT

Qualified Date: 3/12/2014 5:39:00 PM Candidate Statement Issued: 3/12/2014 Candidate Statement Filed: 3/12/2014 Sigs In Lieu Issued: Sigs In Lieu Filed: Filing Fee Paid: 2/20/2014 Nomination Papers Issued: 2/20/2014 Nomination Papers Filed: 3/12/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Issued: 3/12/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Filed: 3/12/2014 User Code:

MATTHEW HARPER
Huntington Beach Mayor CANDIDATE STATEMENT

Qualified Date: 3/10/2014 6:09:00 PM Candidate Statement Issued: 2/21/2014 Candidate Statement Filed: 3/10/2014 Sigs In Lieu Issued: 12/27/2013 Sigs In Lieu Filed: 2/20/2014 Filing Fee Paid: 2/21/2014 Nomination Papers Issued: 2/21/2014 Nomination Papers Filed: 3/10/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Issued: 2/21/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Filed: 3/10/2014 User Code:

ANILA ALI
Middle School Teacher

Qualified Date: 3/6/2014 3:44:00 PM Candidate Statement Issued: Candidate Statement Filed: Sigs In Lieu Issued: 1/29/2014 Sigs In Lieu Filed: 2/10/2014 Filing Fee Paid: 3/5/2014 Nomination Papers Issued: Nomination Papers Filed: Declaration of Candidacy Issued: 3/5/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Filed: 3/6/2014 User Code:
Regardless of which standard you select, Democrats were most certainly deliberately excluded from the candidate’s forum co-sponsored by the Irvine Chamber and this fact would have to make any pro-business Democrat that’s a member of the Irvine Chamber reconsider the value of this membership.
What is apparent from the filing deadlines is that at least one of the Republicans invited and featured in the Chamber’s website promoting the event filed at the same time or later than the Democratic candidates.  We believe this Candidate’s forum would never have included Democratic candidates for AD-74 or CD-45 had we not questioned it.
The candidates for Congress is CD-45 have also been invited to address the crowd, but not debate.  Democratic candidate Drew Leavens was contacted by TheLiberalOC this morning and knew nothing about the event and had not yet been invited even though he was certified about a week after GOP frontrunner Mimi Walters and a day after Republican Greg Raths.
When contacted this morning, Leavens still had not received an invitation and got his information about the event from this blog.
drew_leavens
GREG RATHS
Retired Colonel/Businessman CANDIDATE STATEMENT

Qualified Date: 3/6/2014 1:05:00 PM Candidate Statement Issued: 2/25/2014 Candidate Statement Filed: 3/6/2014 Sigs In Lieu Issued: 12/27/2013 Sigs In Lieu Filed: 1/3/2014 Filing Fee Paid: 2/25/2014 Nomination Papers Issued: Nomination Papers Filed: Declaration of Candidacy Issued: 2/25/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Filed: 3/6/2014 User Code:

MIMI WALTERS
California State Senator CANDIDATE STATEMENT

Qualified Date: 2/28/2014 2:12:00 PM Candidate Statement Issued: 2/10/2014 Candidate Statement Filed: 2/28/2014 Sigs In Lieu Issued: Sigs In Lieu Filed: Filing Fee Paid: 2/10/2014 Nomination Papers Issued: 2/10/2014 Nomination Papers Filed: 2/28/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Issued: 2/10/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Filed: 2/28/2014 User Code:

AL SALE-HI
Trustee, Buena Park Library District CANDIDATE STATEMENT

Qualified Date: 3/12/2014 7:07:00 PM Candidate Statement Issued: 3/12/2014 Candidate Statement Filed: 3/12/2014 Sigs In Lieu Issued: Sigs In Lieu Filed: Filing Fee Paid: 3/5/2014 Nomination Papers Issued: 3/5/2014 Nomination Papers Filed: 3/11/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Issued: 3/5/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Filed: 3/12/2014 User Code:

DREW E. LEAVENS
Educator/Businessman CANDIDATE STATEMENT

Qualified Date: 3/7/2014 7:26:00 PM Candidate Statement Issued: 3/6/2014 Candidate Statement Filed: 3/6/2014 Sigs In Lieu Issued: 2/10/2014 Sigs In Lieu Filed: 2/20/2014 Filing Fee Paid: 3/6/2014 Nomination Papers Issued: Nomination Papers Filed: Declaration of Candidacy Issued: 3/6/2014 Declaration of Candidacy Filed: 3/6/2014 User Code:
Karina Onofre

Karina Onofre

When Hart returned my call this morning, I mentioned I had just spoken with Ms. Onofre who was planning to crash the event, and Hart said,”well she was a Republican and now she’s a Democrat and what does that say?”  I noted for Ms. Hart that Ms. Onofre was a Democrat before registering Republican in 2012 and she registered back as a Democrat for the 2014 elections, but the comment led to our researching the filing dates.  Regardless of party affiliation, Ms. Onofre’s filing status places her on par with at least one Republican candidate in the race who’s featured on the graphic above. Hart assures me her staff was busy clearing the attendance of Democratic candidates with the event co-sponsor and contacting the candidates to invite them.

An Update with a comment from Karina Onofre:

“I am not surprised by the disrespect that the Republican Party bestows on minorities and women. It is clear to see in this example, how their chauvinistic ways of not wanting women to lead, led them to exclude me and Ms. Alina Ali from speaking at the forum having a fair time expressing our vision, our qualifications, and our candidacy for State Assembly in the 74th District. It continues to be a “Good Old (White) Boys’ Club” and the women -whether white or of color are not welcomed! I am also disappointed about the partisanship shown on behalf of the leadership at the Irvine Chamber of Commerce because as a small business owner, I make sure I service everyone, because after all, in business, like in politics, it is about serving the people not about serving ourselves. I appreciate the gesture to change their minds and send us an invitation to the forum. I was planning to be there as an inquisitive guest, now I can attend as a speaker. For that, I thank Dan Chmielewski for making it possible.”

We asked if the Irvine Chamber believes its members are Republican only and Ms. Hart was quick to respond Chamber members are from both parties.  But when you look at the track record of those elected officials who win the Chamber’s “Legislator of the Year” award, they almost always comes with an R affixed to their names. When he was mayor, Sukhee Kang was presented with a “Business Leader of the Year” award by the Irvine Chamber.  But I don’t believe a Democrat has ever been awarded the Chamber’s “Legislator of the Year.”

Before the Democrats were belatedly included and invited (Wednesday, March 19), the Orange County Register’s Opinion Editor Brian Calle had already agreed to moderate the event. Calle and the Register editorial board endorsed exactly one Democrat for office in the 2012 elections – Orange Mayor Tita Smith.  The Register’s editorial pages skew from the right to the hard right, so now that Democrats have been invited, we’ll be curious to see the questions Calle throws their way.

The bigger question is why would Calle agree to moderate what was to be an overtly partisan event?

  2 comments for “Irvine Chamber’s AD-74 Candidate’s Forum Will Now Feature Democratic Candidates

  1. March 19, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Email invite from the Chamber to Karina Onofre; email addresses redacted, but the Chamber seems to think Onofre’s last name is “Curry.”

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Invitation – Lincoln Club/Irvine Chamber/OCRegister
    From: name < @irvinechamber.com>
    Date: Mar 19, 2014 9:45 AM
    To: “karina”>

    March 19, 2014

    Karina Onofre Curry for State Assembly

    Dear Karina:

    One of the long-standing and principal goals of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce is to inform and educate our members, and the greater community, about vital public policy issues. In keeping with that goal and with our tradition we are pleased to invite you to participate in our Candidates Forum for the 74th Assembly District. We are pleased to announce this forum will be co-hosted by the Lincoln Club of Orange County and moderated by Brian Calle, Opinion Editor of the Orange County Register.

    The forum will be held at the Double Tree Hotel, Irvine Spectrum on Friday, April 4, 2014. The program will begin promptly at 8:00 a.m. and run until 9:30 a.m. Candidates should plan to arrive at 7:30 a.m. for check-in and a briefing with the moderator, prior to the start of the program. Breakfast will be served.

    The format will begin by an introduction of each candidate, followed by questions prepared by the Chamber and the Lincoln Club. Each candidate is requested to e-mail a photo and short bio (300 words or less) for the event program.

    The forum will provide an opportunity for the business community, and the community at large, to hear directly from the candidates, the various perspectives on key policies affecting businesses, and allow the candidates the opportunity to speak directly to those in attendance. Additionally, space will be available for your campaign material for guests to take away.

    We greatly appreciate your time and effort to help us fulfill our mission by participating in our forum. We trust that you will equally welcome these opportunities to make your views known to the voters.

    To confirm your participation in the forum, please call or email Gladys Rojas at (949) 502-4121. Your bio and photo can also be sent to her at grojas@irvinechamber.com. We would appreciate your confirmation at your earliest convenience, no later than March 24, 2014.

    Sincerely,

    Tallia Hart

    President & CEO

    • March 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Karina since received a note apologizing for the error, blaming it on a system reboot. More than likely just some sloppy editing which everyone is guilty of from time to time

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