I’m posting this so friends stop calling me at night during the dinner hour. I am a AD-68 central Committee member-elect for the DPOC and I don’t take office until January. Even so, this post reflects what my ballot looks like for local elections in Irvine. This isn’t an endorsement post. But this is who I’m voting for.
For Mayor: Mary Ann Gaido. Mary Ann has lived in Irvine long before Larry Agran ever heard of the place. She’s been on the city council and has served in a number of commission appointments. The folks spending more than $1.1 million to lie and smear her are scared shitless she’ll be elected. She’s the only Democrat running is a filed with four Republicans in a year where Hillary Clinton is the top of the ballot. Every charge made by Republicans about her voting record applies to them as well. If you’re looking to disrupt the system, vote for Mary Ann. If you can’t vote for a Democrat, vote for the principled conservative Katherine Daigle. Unlike Wagner and Chen, she’s actually honest about her positions. Wagner is hoping for higher office in 2018 while Chen has hidden his true reason for running – moving the Veteran’s cemetery and memorial from its original site because it offends his Chinese heritage over the burial site of our patriots.
For City Council: Melissa Fox and Shiva Farivar. I’ve known both of them for years. Both are solid Democrats and both have served as city commissioners. I trust their judgment on the Veteran’s Cemetery and how to deal with FivePoint’s efforts to influence and buy city government. Melissa and Shiva are solid Democrats, solid Liberals, and will be effective on the city council serving the residents of Irvine and not the interests of FivePoint. Trying to connect both of them to Larry Agran by branding them “Agranistas” simply means you don’t either of them. Both Fox and Farivar are strong and independent candidates. And Irvine has no “Agran slate” this election cycle. If there was such a slate, there’d be a lot more money going into mail to combat the awful Republicans running. Want proof? There hasn’t been a single negative mailer against Christina Shea, arguably the most ethically challenged member of the city council.
I believe both Farrah Khan and Anila Ali are excellent candidates — for 2018. Both have been evasive to direct questions concerning the Vet’s cemetery and I like candidates who answer questions directly and honestly. I have found both Khan and Ali aren’t as direct as I’d like them to be. Happy to support both of them to replace Lynn Schott and Jeff Lalloway in 2018.
For IUSD Trustee: I’m voting for Lauren Brooks and Naz Hamid. And that’s it.
Lauren is perhaps one of my oldest friends in Irvine and she’s a Republican (in name only). Naz has the financial and technology experience I feel is lacking on the current board. Naz is a policital novice but brings a lot of smarts to the board that parents need and administration ought to worry about because she’ll hold them accountable.
Lauren Brooks made a name for herself as the parent who knew the ins and outs of the complex maze of policies IUSD is supposed to assist parents with but doesn’t make it easy. She’s been a PTA leader, a community leader, a volunteer for more organizations than I can think of, and has two amazing sons who are a credit to IUSD education. She’s helped dozens of families (my own included) with advice on working with the district to get help needed when the district was less than helpful (here’s a stack of paper; figure it out; Lauren had it figured out and made it easy). She’s the neighbor, the friend, the ally you went to when you were as frustrated as hell with the District and the School and Lauren armed you with facts, the law and questions to ask and rights you had. As a Board member and an IUSD chair, she’s not about politics and all about public service. If you see a quote from her on an IE, generally its something made up and there’s nothing she can do about it because its out. And I know it ticks her off.
Lauren Brooks deserves your vote for re-election — don’t let the “R” next to her name throw you.
Democrats in Irvine should also vote for DPOC candidate Paul Bokota. I’ve known Paul and his family for years ( I was in a radio commercial in 2005 with his wife Wendy against Governor Schwarzennger’s special election), and I’ll lobbied for his DPOC endorsement in 2012. It pains me to write this but Bokota’s failure to support any Democrat in the 2014 elections and his frugal endorsements for Democrats (Melissa Fox and Naz Hamid) this year just tell me he’s a better school board member than he is a Democrat. I’m certain he’ll be re-elected but he’s lost my support. if I were an active Central Committee member during the endorsement meeting, I would have pulled his name (I had two seconds to do so) and would have spoken against him. I told him so at the meeting. Since Paul isn’t willing to help other members of the party (beyond two), he doesn’t get my vote. Don’t let my decision stop you from placing your vote for Paul. He has the DPOC’s endorsement. I’m sorry he won’t lend his name to help others.
I’ll be voting for Sean Pahani for Assembly. Steven Choi is running as the Republican who willing wore images of Nancy Pelosi as a Nazi and Stalin on his back in 2009 oblivious to historical tragedy. Choi takes credit for $262 million in VC money coming into Irvine and reducing unemployment from over 5% to 3.5% in spite of the fact the city has no records that any of his policies are responsible for either. Choi is a bald faced liar and a bigot. Don’t send him to the assembly. Send him home, out of office.
If I could vote for her, I would. My neighbors in South Irvine need to send Karina Onofre to the State Assembly. She was the leading vote-getter in the primary but will need more help in a two way race against Matt Harper, an assemblyman so dumb, he tried to get a John Wayne Day established in California without consulting the Duke’s family. Additionally, Harper’s insistence on wearing a porkpie hat for official business makes him the sort of person that warrants a pop in the mouth instead of a handshake. Vote for Onofre. She’s honest and earnest.
Agree or disagree? That’s how I’m voting.