The latest trend in Irvine are signs against candidates. Two new ones popped up last night against City Council candidates Melissa Fox and Farrah Khan and the nature of the signs and the language used is a source of much speculation as to who sponsored them. These signs cost between $6 and $10 each depending on materials, size and quantity. None of them have identifying marks which make them illegal (unless you spent less than $1,000 on it but let’s be honest..no committee number is another way of saying you’re a coward).
Theory #1 — Gang Chen, Irvine Mayoral candidate who is hosting the batch of No Wagner/No Gaido signs, did it. But the signs are very different in terms of fonts, and material than previous signs Chen has admitted to putting up. But Chen has a track record of placing these signs and has the resources to do so in support of his new “slate” of candidates.
Theory #2 — Irvine Democratic candidates Anila Ali or Shiva Farrivar paid for them. Ali denied knowledge of these signs via email this morning; Farrivar’s campaign denied any connection to the signs.
Theory #3 — FivePoint is stirring the pot via an IE. The comment about carpetbagging, Agranista, anti-Israel, CAIR all come from the Republican playbook. These are dog whistles for Irvine Republican voters to get them to the polls in spite of the collapse of Donald Trump’s candidacy. And the lack of a committee ID harkens to the 2014 election when Hot Pink signs popped up promoting Steven Choi, Ira Glasky and Sharon Wallin as “Irvine’s Education Slate” even though Wallin had no knowledge of it and didn’t back Choi for re-election.
So when you’re out and about, feel free to knock down the signs along with the No Wagner/No Gadio signs for a lack of a committee number. You won’t get in trouble. And you’ll make Gang Chen upset.
Two weird developments among the Irvine Democratic candidates for council. Farrah Khan showed up at a UCI Potery Reading and her poem was a campaign pitch that didn’t go over very well with the audience. From The Tab:
Politicians do what they can to get the peoples’ vote. They smile for the camera and hand out flyers indicating key points in their policies. Yet often times in their eagerness to get the votes, their impressions fall flat as they pop in for ten minutes and leave out the door – before asking for your vote.
While they may have the best interests in the community, these tactics leave people feeling puzzled and, dare I say, used. This is how several people this Monday felt on the first meeting and open-mic session of the UCI-based poetry collective, Uncultivated Rabbits.
The room was over-packed and several first-time performers anxiously waited to get their turn on the mic. Ms. Khan, the first one up, mentioned she wasn’t from UCI before starting her performance. “Election year,” her poem began as she held her typed piece of paper. Members, old and new snapped their fingers in unison as she read each line of her stanzas.
Her poem stressed the importance of voting and soon everyone realized her purpose. “My name is Farrah Khan, I’m running for City Council,” she stated. Some members couldn’t help but laugh in disbelief as she gave a brief speech. “Remember, I’m the first one on the ballot,” she continued.
After a brief speech she left to attend other meetings. “Smooth,” one member remarks when they realize Ms. Khan used the stage for her own agenda. In a matter of ten minutes, the group experienced, in that tiny room, an event that occurs in all levels of politics; smiles and flyers.
Anila Ali sent out a flyer thanking several unions for their endorsement of her city council candidacy. The Plumbers and Steamfitter Union Local #582 is one of the unions acknowledged by Ali. But while the Union did make a contribution to Ali’s campaign, it wasn’t an endorsement. The union also wrote checks to other candidates for Irvine City Council.
Now in the grand scheme of things, neither of these issues rises to the level of Christina Shea using her elected position to benefit her “government relations” business — the basis of an open FPPC compliant against her likely to be resolved after the election or Shea’s leadership on the Audit of the Great Park that was wasn’t an audit but a taxpayer funded witchhunt. And it’s nothing remotely close to Anthony Kuo’s dishonest response to queries about his 1999 Hit and Run Accident that happened in Newport Beach.