It’s July. Not October, not September, but July. And for two high profile races, the OC Register editorial desk has already come out in support of two Republican candidates, backing Republican Young Kim, who’s trying to carpetbag her way into the AD-65 race, and County Supervisor Janet Nguyen over former State Rep Jose Solorio. In 2012, the Register’s editorial pages endorsed one Democrat for elective office, Orange Mayor Tita Smith (whom many would describe as “barely a Democrat”) and even in city elections such as Santa Ana that were overwhelmingly Democratic Party controlled, they endorsed Republican Charles Hart only.
The early endorsements of Kim, who has never held public office and moved into the district to run, over State Rep Sharon Quirk-Silva, a former Mayor and Council member for the City of Fullerton, and Nguyen, who’s term on the BoS, has been marked with controversy over the CalOptima fiasco, in July instead of October or late September doesn’t surprise us. The Democratic Party, liberals and elected Democrats in Orange County never get a fair shake from the Register — ever — in spite of this county being home to more than a half-million registered Democrats. I can’t wait for Calle & Company to endorse all the Republican candidates in Irvine and praise them for their transparency even thought the city of Irvine would not disclose Mayor Choi’s public calendar from March to June and the Forensic audit progress is being kept from the public.
At an Assembly debate in May, sponsored by the Lincoln Club and the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, that was moderated by the Register opinion editor Brian Calle, the Lincoln club presented Calle with an award of some sort — a plaque for his commitment to freedom or something like that. Bad form for the Lincoln Club to put a journalist on the spot like that but even worse for Calle to accept it. Maybe if the Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) presented some sort of award to Calle or the bigwigs at the paper, we’d get a fair shot. But we’ll instead steal a line from the free-market enthusiasts at the paper to “let the Market decide.” The Republican Party in Orange County is in serious decline and Democratic registration grows stronger. Your market is changing dramatically and you refuse to change with it. The occasional Erwin Chemerinsky or Gloria Romero Op-Ed rarely impacts local politics and isn’t nearly enough for those who are center-left. Keep alienating a huge market of readers whenever the paper favors inexperienced candidates over effective ones on political position alone and watch as newshole keeps shrinking and circulation declines even more.
We’d like to Register to hold off on the big endorsements for key races until election day is closer.
But perhaps there’s a better option for Democratic candidates. Boycott the editorial meetings anyway, since they have all the predictability of a parole hearing for Charles Manson. If the newspaper paper was intellectually honest, it would change its name from the Orange County Register to the Orange County Republican. Truth in advertising after all.