As usual, some attempt to share my efforts making an even slightly informed decision about voting. More blather about propositions later.

President: You probably don’t need my help here but um definitely Hillary?

Senate: Kamala Harris; she has almost literally everyone’s endorsement and seems less erratic than Loretta Sanchez, which is good, because this is a Senate seat in California, which means the incumbent’s going to be there until they feel like leaving.

US House, 45th District: Ron Varaseth; Mimi Walters is a terrifying right-winger.

CA Senate, 37th District: I’m voting for Ari Grayson because he’s a Democrat with good things to say about climate change etc and has the left’s endorsements, but I’m doing it with relatively warm feelings about Moorlach; he spends a lot of time beating the fiscal discipline drum and seems genuinely passionate about the work he does. I don’t always agree with Moorlach but I think he’s serving us well!

CA Assembly, 74th District: I’m voting for Democrat and perennial candidate Karina Onofre because I’ve never heard anything good about Matt Harper.

South Orange County Community College District, Governing Board, Area 3

Dana Point Times roundup of the SOCCCD trustee races

  • Peter J. Espinosa; impressive CV. Emeritus professor at Saddleback College and adjunct at CSU Fullerton. Seems to have lots of experience in university and school administration. Has a campaign website and everything. Decent ratings at RateMyProfessors.
  • Kimberly Clark; not the paper product conglomerate. “I have served as a school-site administrator and counselor, coordinated programs, and volunteered as a court appointed CASA advocate, education foundation board member, and community volunteer. Currently, I am the director of a 501 C(3) educational non-profit organization.”
  • Gary V. Miller; retired teacher? affiliated with the nutso American Independent Party. Hard pass.
  • Barbara “Bobbe” Jay; appointed incumbent, took her deceased husband’s seat. The Saddleback College Lariat has an article about the appointment. Official bio. Allegedly promised not to run for re-election.

Between Clark and Espinosa I’m leaning towards Espinosa based on his extensive experience with the community college system.

South Orange County Community College District, Governing Board, Area 6

  • James “Jim” R. Wright; incumbent. Official bio; long-experienced professor, dean, and administrator.
  • Mike Dalati; perpetual candidate, Karina Onofre’s husband. Also running for Irvine Ranch Water District board. No relevant experience?

What the hell is Mike Dalati doing? I’m happy to vote for Wright.

South Orange County Community College District, Governing Board, Area 4

It seems like Whitt and Leach both have relevant experience. I’ll probably vote for Whitt since I think inside experience is good; I’d rather see faculty here than lawyers.

Irvine USD Board

Vote for no more than 3 of:

  • Mark Newgent; had a fun Twitter beef with him about his awful ISIS-comin’-for-your-kids-gotta-elect-a-warrior messaging. Anyway, don’t vote for him.
  • Naz Hamid; website, endorsements from Irvine Teachers, OC Democrats, Planned Parenthood, Tom Torlakson, incumbent Bokota
  • Geri Zollinger; website, Harvey Mudd grad, Duke BME MS, lawyer. Weirdly mad about curriculum.
  • Betty Carroll; website, Irvine Public Schools Foundation chair, endorsed by incumbent Brooks, California School Employees Association
  • Paul Bokota; incumbent, Irvine Teachers endorsement
  • Lauren Brooks; incumbent, Irvine Teachers endorsement

The OC Register very briefly covered a candidate’s forum but it’s pretty redundant with the candidate statements.

Nobody seems to have a beef with the incumbents. Has controversy ever visited this board? Hamid and Carroll both have convincing stories about classroom participation; Zollinger and Newgent don’t. Hamid seems aligned with Democrats and Carroll seems aligned with Republicans. I’ll vote for Bokota, Brooks, and Hamid.

Irvine Mayor

  • Don Wagner; former Republican assemblyman. Has a committee open to explore an Attorney General run in 2018. Doesn’t even have a website? OC Register endorsement.
  • Katherine Daigle; perennial candidate, no website, LinkedIn still says she’s running for Assembly. (Daigle was running for 74th AD as a Republican until she lost the primary.)
  • Gang Chen; some skinny nerd, no government experience, has lots of yard signs. Questionable 1st Amendment credentials. Doing lots of outreach to the Chinese community. Running as a center-right candidate. Wildly attacking Gaido as “too radical” and Wagner as “a career politician”. Did a bunch of stupid saber-rattling about a recall effort in the spring.
  • David Chey; oh my god, how did he even get on the ballot
  • Mary Ann Gaido; website, council member 1976 - 1984, Democrat. Lost narrowly to Steven Choi in 2014. Really awful logo. Sierra Club endorsement.

Update: The Irvine candidate’s forum was posted to YouTube.

Update: Check out these interviews at Ask A Leader from KUCI!

I’m skeptical about all of these candidates. I do not understand the hysteria about growth and traffic that seems to be sweeping Irvine. The traffic’s fine. Growth can be healthy.

Understand while evaluating candidates that “Irvine Community News & Views” is a fake newspaper run by Larry Agran lieutenants. “Irvine City News” is likewise a threadbare Republican organ. You might, like me, find this deception upsetting.

The OC Register covered a candidates forum at UCI late last month. I like Daigle’s talk about affordable housing but I don’t think she’s a credible candidate.

Gaido is the only Democrat. Ironically, lots of dark money is being spent to attack Gaido, accusing her of taking too much money. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ She touts an “endorsement” from Larry Agran’s fake-ass newspaper on her website, which is unacceptably deceptive. I disagree with Gaido’s stance that voters should approve development projects, but it may not matter with an opposed Council.

I’ve historically disagreed with Wagner as a conservative in the Assembly. Wagner doesn’t have a website, which is insulting.

I think Chen, who is campaigning amateurishly but vigorously, is probably drawing votes from both Gaido and Wagner. I expect Daigle and Chey to be non-factors. The OC Reg noted that Gaido has $72k in fundraising, compared to $29k for Chen and $12k for Wagner. Wagner has also been the benefactor of $110k of supporting money and $243k of anti-Gaido money from PACs. Daigle has not solicited funds.

I’d like to see Chen, Gaido, and Wagner at a forum and I’d like to see them answer questions about Irvine’s role in climate change, transit-oriented development with respect to the Master Plan, and what Irvine police should learn from Black Lives Matter. Municipal power is really important and here we are, awash in banalities about traffic and who’s in whose pockets. So far, I’ve found out about two forums after they happened, with no recordings available. I don’t think that should be happening.

I’ll probably vote for Gaido unless I learn something surprising.

City of Irvine Council

Vote for no more than 2 of:

  • Farrah N. Khan; Democratic Foundation endorsement.
  • Anthony Kuo; worked for Christina Shea.
  • Chistina L. Shea; incumbent, Republican endorsement.
  • Courtney Santos
  • Ian Daelucian; on the Gang Chen “slate”
  • Matthew Ehorn; literally some UCI undergrad.
  • Hyunjoung “Genii” Ahn
  • Anila Ali
  • Dale Cheema
  • Melissa Fox; website, Democratic Foundation endorsement. I’ve spoken to her when she hosted an event in Uni Hills a couple years ago and I was impressed by her knowledge of Irvine’s history and planning. I’m enthusiastic about her opinions about bikes and development. She narrowly missed a seat in the last Council race by just a couple hundred votes. I think she’ll do a great job on the Council.
  • Shiva Farivar

Update: The Irvine candidate’s forum was posted to YouTube.

Update: Check out these interviews at Ask A Leader from KUCI!

I really want to see Melissa Fox on the Council. I think Christina Shea is likely to be re-elected. Therefore, I’m planning to vote only for Fox, to avoid helping any of the other candidates edge her out. I haven’t done any other research for this race. Khan was recently the target of some unreasonable, illegal, and anonymous yard signs and I’d support her on that basis alone.

Irvine Ranch Water District Directors

Incumbent bios

Vote for no more than 2 of:

  • John B. Withers; incumbent. Has an empty campaign Facebook page.
  • Mike Dalati; perennial candidate, also running for South Orange County Community College District governing board, no relevant experience
  • Mary Aileen Matheis; incumbent President. No Internet presence.
  • Margaret Brown; official site and Facebook page, currently Director of District Facilities at Garden Grove USD. Running on highlighting board compensation practices. Targeting Matheis. Observing that non-incumbents haven’t been elected to the board since the 70s; typically when directors leave, they’re replaced by an appointee who’s then re-elected.

I think IRWD is doing a good job of managing our water resources. I’ll vote for Brown and Withers, on the theory that a little bit of qualified new blood is rarely a bad idea, especially when incumbents aren’t putting any effort into their campaigns. Don’t vote for Dalati.