Here’s what’s on my ballot for anything that isn’t municipal or judicial.
All of the Orange County offices are nominally non-partisan.
The liberal Orange Juice Blog has another set of recommendations.
US Representative, 45th District
Droll moron John Campbell is, mercifully, resigning. I've never seen anyone whiplash so fast between concern-trolling about Our Divisive Partisan Politics and calling Obama a lawbreaking socialist. Who wants his job, representing Irvine, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Tustin, Villa Park, and Anaheim Hills? Who's going to win?
Well, terrible Republican state senator Mimi Walters is going to win. But let's pretend we have a chance to forestall that disaster and see if we can send a progressive to the ballot.
- Drew Leavens is the only Democrat in the race. He was supposed to be challenging Darrell Issa but I guess he was redeployed. His positions on things seem basically fine (click on each of the little bubbles). He runs some kind of mental health policy consulting thing, which sounds interesting.
- Al Salehi is an independent loon who thinks he's going to solve special-interest politics by asking constituents to vote on every action he votes on. His policy statements are basically uninformative but he describes himself as a "liberal-minded Fiscal Conservative [sic]", which, vom.
So Drew Leavens it is I guess! Republicans, vote for Greg Raths, who isn't Mimi Walters!
State Assembly, 74th District
What happened to Republican incumbent Allan Mansoor? Looks like he's running for County Supervisor. Suits me fine.
There's three Republicans in this field and two self-styled Democrats.
- Anila Ali has the state party's support and endorsements from the local Democratic establishment. She clearly wrote her own Wikipedia page. Her issues page doesn't really make her case for her but it's at least coherent.
- Karina Onofre -- winner of the This Election's Worst Website award by a narrow margin -- is running as a Democrat. Her issues statement is dumb and uninformative but here she is addressing the Newport-Mesa Tea Party in January. She performed poorly at a candidate's forum. She ran as a Republican in Santa Ana.
Republicans have some thinking to do in this race but on the Democratic side it's a clear win for Ali by default I think.
State Board of Equalization, 4th District
Nader Shahatit is the only Democratic candidate running in a field of several Republicans. I don't know anything about him or the district; I'll update later.
County Superintendent of Schools
This is elected? Al Mijares, the incumbent appointee, is the only candidate on the ballot.
Job description, from the incumbent's website: "The State Constitution requires that the (Orange County) Assessor identify and value all property in the county for property tax purposes each year. The Assessor’s office publishes this information on assessment reports that are provided to property owners on their annual valuation notices. The Assessor does not establish tax rates or collect property taxes."
- long-time incumbent Webster Guillory. Guillory is I think the only black elected official in Orange County.
- Claude Parrish, who has prior service on the FTB and the Board of Equalization among other offices
- Jorge Lopez, who doesn't have his own website? Lopez served in the Assessor's office, apparently as Office Manager, with a whistleblower rep, and has the County Democratic party's endorsement.
Claude Parrish has challenged Guillory before; in 2010, Guillory won 53.4% to 46.6%. Parrish has endorsements from a large slate of terrible people, including Mimi Walters, Tom Donnelly, and rancid cretin Hugh Hewitt. He also gets a nod from the OC Register, which just parrots his candidate statement.
I'm guessing but do not know that Lopez' whistleblower rep is related to a 2007 investigation of Guillory that concluded Guillory didn't break any laws.
I don't trust anyone on Parrish's side but, ideology aside, I assume he's competent. I have no information about or opinions of the performance of the office under Guillory, but he seems vulnerable. I guess I'll trust the Party endorsement and vote for Lopez? If nothing else, maybe we'll force a runoff and learn a little more about the race.
Auditor-Controller is a fairly technical post. The A-C's website says: "Our mission is to promote public oversight, provide accountability, and support financial decision making for the County of Orange. We provide professional accounting services to many clients and stakeholders while also meeting numerous legal mandates. Our customer focus includes the public, County departments/agencies and employees, individuals, vendors, and other governmental agencies. Additionally, we provide services to various stakeholders who have a vested interest in the effective functioning of the office including the general public, the Board of Supervisors, regulatory agencies, and County bondholders. These responsibilities require a major investment in personnel and financial/accounting systems, and a significant effort to stay current with technology, legislation, and governmental accounting pronouncements."
- John Wayne Willard (lol; all of the Orange County names) is a County employee and manager.
- James Benuzzi (no website? and no cash it sounds like; probably not much momentum)
- Frank Davies, who says he's been with the Auditor-Controller office for 29 years. Endorsed by outgoing appointed Auditor-Controller Jan Grimes, who chose not to stand for election.
- perpetually disheveled Mike Dalati, who is engaged to (but has a better website than) trainwreck Assembly candidate Karina Onofre
- City of Orange treasurer Eric Woolery, who appears to have lots of money to spend
Woolery and Benuzzi were considered by the Board of Supervisors for appointment at the same time as Grimes; Woolery was the close second. Woolery carries the County Republican party endorsement.
In a race like this, idiotic dickering over job titles can make or break a candidate.
Who should win? I have no idea. It probably doesn't matter. Woolery looks like the front-runner. On the well-founded assumption that OC Republicans always do the wrong thing, I'm leaning towards Davies, since I think his experience works in his favor and people seem happy with Jan Grimes. Votes for anyone but Woolery will help us get a run-off so we can take a closer look in November.
- Gary Pritchard. Cerritos College professor and dean, UCI PhD alumnus in social sciences, Capistrano USD Board Clerk. Democratic endorsement.
- Hugh Nguyen, incumbent appointed clerk-recorder. Republican endorsement. Register endorsement; says he inherited a mess and executed a turnaround.
- Local cautionary tale and convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco
- Monica Maddox, MS in organizational development. Her website says almost nothing about her but makes racially tinged comments about Nguyen, which isn't a good first step for a county exec.
Nobody's really talking about this race except The Blogs, but even there, nobody seems unhappy with Nguyen. Normally I'd reject someone for getting the Register's endorsement but competency is probably more important than ideology in a position like this and executing a turnaround is good news. I'll probably vote for Pritchard but I don't think anyone thinks Nguyen is a bad choice.
County District Attorney-Public Administrator
- Tony Rackauckas, incumbent DA
- colorful local blogger Greg Diamond. Diamond gently objected to my blithe characterization, pointing out that he's a "colorful local blogger, social science Ph.D., longtime professor, Columbia Law School graduate with high honors, former Ninth Circuit Clerk, former litigation associate at a top Manhattan law firm, and currently undercompensated soft-touch do-gooder litigator Greg Diamond, to be more precise!" There's a little more about his candidacy here.
Diamond is principled and independent. He played an important role in calling attention to the recent Anaheim stadium and convention center debacles, which led to his ouster from his Vice Chair position with the OC Dems after labor threatened to drop their support for the party.
Make no mistake: Rackauckas will win; he hasn't been challenged since 2002, when he won by 22%. But does he deserve it? I applaud him for trying the officers who killed Kelly Thomas, but he lost the case; I thought it was a strange decision for him to return to the courtroom to argue the case personally. He also filed criminal charges against the Irvine 11, students who disrupted a campus appearance by a former Israeli official, and has been accused of abusing injunctions.
Incumbent Sandra Hutchens is the only candidate on the ballot.
County Treasurer-Tax Collector
Incumbent Shari Freidenrich is the only candidate on the ballot.
County Measure A: Pensions
The County wants to write into the County Charter that elected officials must pay their own pensions. The Board and other County employees already do. It's of course going to pass and that's probably fine but it's kind of an empty piece of showboating. I'll probably vote no out of spite, and because you shouldn't have to be rich to run for office.