SAUSD trustee and failed AD-69 candidate Ceci Iglesias has filed three complaints — one with the Orange County Registrar of Voters, one with the State Attorney General’s Office and one with the California Secretary of State’s office — all to ask for an immediate investigation of and the removal of AD-69 primary runner up Sherry Walker. Iglesias’ complaints are many: Walker changed her name prior to the election. Walker doesn’t live in the district. Walker filed false statements. Walker hasn’t lived in the district for a year, even though that requirement is no longer enforced in the State of California. Iglesias wants Walker removed as a candidate and wants to replace Walker on the November ballot since Iglesias finished third by 583 votes. Iglesias believes if this happens, she has a real chance of beating Assembly member Tom Daly who got 55 percent of the vote in June.
There’s a few problems with Iglesias’ requests. There’s no legal mechanism to replace a candidate they way Iglesias wants to have it done.
We contacted the Orange County Registrar of Voters and we were told that Sherry Walker met all the requirements of being a legal candidate. They suggested Iglesias contact the OC District Attorney’s office which would be the actual enforcement arm of any legal wrongdoing by Walker. We’re waiting to hear back from the DA’s office on if there’s a planned or open investigation.
We talked with Iglesias last Friday and she gave us permission to record the conversation. had folding chairs and no evidence that anyone lived there. Perhaps the entire family slept onsleeping bags in the one small bedroom. A big difference between Galloway and Choi but acceptable in my view as they were running for higher office to represent residents that they represented in their city council jobs.
Iglesias initially said even these examples weren’t permissible in her opinion.
“Being a carpetbagger is not acceptable in my book,” said Iglesias. “My complaint about Walker is there is no link to the district for her whatsoever. If the candidate lives outside of the district and has no represented people in the district before, there is no wiggle room and the carpetbagger candidate should not be allowed.”
She insisted the voters deserved candidates who lived in the district as she has. That’s when we talked about Tom Daly, the current Assembly representative who’s lived in the district for five decades and captured 56 percent of the vote in Santa Ana and 57 percent of the vote in SAUSD, where Iglesia’s press release claims she’s “popular.” Iglesia’s went out of her way to define how Latino the district was and even though she was the only candidate with a Spanish surname, she finished dead last.
But back to the carpetbagging for a moment, Iglesias is a member of State Senator Mimi Walter’s staff. We point out to Iglesias that her own boss “carpetbagged” during her last election to the state senate, claiming to have resided at a 575 square foot efficiency apartment in Irvine instead of the 14,000 square foot mega-mansion in Laguna Niguel, where Walters has listed as her address for her November run for Congress to replace Rep. John Campbell. You don’t have to live in the district to run for a Congressional seat. Walters’ Democratic opponent, Steve Young, a lawyer who field suit, was unsuccessful in having Walters charged with fraud in relation to her Irvine address. When confronted with this detail, Iglesias quickly said, “I don’t know. I don’t have any comment.” Then she added, “This isn’t about my boss.” Oh, but it is and she seemed unaware of the attention her complaint would bring to the Walters’ Irvine efficiency that is no doubt empty now with all mail being forwarded to Laguna Niguel.
She then seemed to be OK with the carpetbagging a la Galloway/Choi saying that Mimi has represented Irvine before. And that’s partially true; Walter’s previous district covered less than 15 percent of Irvine and not the part of town she moved to for her state senate run. But Iglesias reminded us again, her complaint has nothing to do with her boss. Apples and oranges.
In the press release Iglesias issued, she referenced “political party members” who advised her “not to pursue a formal complaint about these alleged criminal violations lest I be perceived as a sore loser, but my only motivation is to serve the residents of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange and Santa Ana. These voters have lower median incomes, higher high school drop out rates, greater public safety risks to their person and property than a majority of California’s 40 million residents.” If Iglesias is so concerned about high drop out rates, she’s in a position to do something about it as a SAUSD trustee — a position she’s held for less than two years without a record of accomplishment.
Back to the announcement: “Faced with all these challenges, why shouldn’t they have the very best representation from a true 69th Assembly District resident?” Well, these voters do. With Assemblyman Tom Daly, a Democrat in a district that is also predominantly Democratic. Why Republican Iglesias felt she could beat Daly head-on, because a different set of voters make it to the polls for the general as opposed to the primary is odd. We referenced Jose Solorio’s and Sharon Quirk-Silva’s primary campaigns stats, which Iglesias seemed to dismiss since Republicans candidates captured the primary in the SD-33 and AD-65 races.
Iglesias isn’t a sore loser. But she’s perhaps a little too ambitious and ignored advice from several Republican party members not to even run in AD-69 but instead build a record of accomplishment as a SAUSD trustee. Now she has the time to do that.