Archives for category: Sharon Quirk-Silva

NewmanKangSigns

Matthew Leslie

The 29th District’s “Aloha” Bob Huff will be termed out of the California State Senate this year. Three candidates have filed to run for the seat that serves Fullerton and other cities in Northeast O.C. and Southeast L.A. Republican 55th District Sate Assemblywoman and former Diamond Bar City Councilwoman Ling Ling Chang has filed papers. On the Democrat side two candidates intend to run for the open seat. Former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang is one of them. Mr. Kang unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Congress, losing to John Campbell in 2012. The other is Fullerton’s Josh Newman.

Of the two Democrats, Josh Newman has the distinction of actually having lived in the district for some time, as opposed to opponent Sukhee Kang, who reportedly registered to vote in Fullerton just about a month before announcing his candidacy.

Mr. Kang’s website displays a list of Democratic Party endorsements longer than the distance between his former home in Irvine and our 29th District. One of these endorsements is by former Fullerton Mayor and former 65th State Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, who has chosen him over another Democrat who made Fullerton his home long before ever thinking about running for office here. Josh Newman, a veteran, runs an organization that assists “young veterans returning to the Orange County/Greater Los Angeles area in the pursuit of rewarding, career-oriented employment upon completion of their military service and return or relocation to Southern California”.

Sharon Quirk-Silva is also running for office again, trying to regain the 65th Assembly seat she lost to newcomer Young Kim in 2014. Her endorsement of a carpetbagging former Irvine mayor over a local Democrat demonstrates the influence major party political structures have on races for state and local offices. There was almost certainly never any possibility that a candidate running for a state office would endorse anyone not already anointed by the California Democratic Party. To do otherwise is to risk losing financial and organizational support from the state party—support that will be sorely needed in November.

It is lamentable that a candidate can be so shut out by his political party so early in an election cycle, by losing any chance of endorsements by local party political leaders before the race has even begun. The California Democratic Party itself issues endorsements to candidates months before voters have a chance to have their voices heard at the polls. It is no wonder that so many voters no longer identify with either dominate political party, choosing instead to designate themselves as Decline to State or seeking out third parties with more democratic political structures in place.

 

 

 

 

SQS St. Patrick's Day 2015

On Monday, March 16 Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva will host a fundraiser for her bid to reclaim the 65th California Assembly seat from freshman incumbent Republican Young Kim, who triumphed over her in one of the most expensive Assembly elections in state history last year.

In 2012 Sharon Quirk-Silva scored an upset victory over then-incumbent Chris Norby, helping the Democrats to secure a solid two-thirds majority in both legislative houses. While in office, she promoted the establishment of a federal cemetery for military veterans in Orange County. Her voting record can be found here at votesmart.org. It is generally favorable toward labor and immigration priorities, and shows support for limiting high capacity magazines for some guns–just the sort of issues to coax steam from the ears of conservatives. Her environmental record is mixed, showing two “Nay” votes against a statewide plastic bag ban. Lamentably, The Rag has no indication that she ever sought reform of POBR, the Peace Officers Bill of Rights, to require more transparency and accountability of law enforcement officers and agencies.

Her re-election in 2014 was all but impossible given the low voter turnout by Democrats in that year’s mid-term contest. Many voters quickly tired of receiving dozens of mailers from each campaign every week, but at least it was a contested election, something nearly unheard of thanks to gerrymandered legislative districts that normally favor one party over the other.

Barely three months into the job, Young Kim doesn’t have much of a record to run against, other than offering a bill that would prohibit adding toll lanes to OC freeways without direct approval of the electorate–something likely to be popular among voters. With Prop. 14 in place to eliminate third party candidates, it could be a very close election. Sharon Quirk-Silva is no doubt counting on higher voter turnout by her party in a presidential election year to put her over the top, but she may need a stronger message to motivate the electorate this time around.

Image taken from the L.A. Times (without permission).

Image taken from the L.A. Times (without permission).

65th District Assemblymember Young Kim has introduced a bill that would prohibit a controversial plan to add toll lanes to Interstate 405 without direct approval by voters. The move would prevent the addition of a toll lane to the freeway as part of Measure M2-funded improvements, which already include extra lanes in both directions on one of the most congested highways in the state. Arguing that Caltrans “does not have the legislative authority to own or operate toll lanes anywhere in the state,” and that no mention of tolls appeared in the ballot language for Measure M2, the half cent sales to fund transportation improvements, Ms. Kim introduced AB 1459, to require a two-thirds majority approval by voters before any “toll facility” could be built in Orange County.

The OC Register, who endorsed Young Kim for her seat last year, disagrees with her, contending that by transforming the existing carpool lane into one that still allows carpools but also allows single driver vehicles to use it for a fee, freeway traffic will move faster. The Register even acknowledges that the scheme smacks of double taxation, except that “use of these lanes would be entirely voluntary.”

Like her predecessor, Sharon Quirk-Silva, Young Kim sits on the Assembly Transportation Committee. Sharon Quirk-Silva supporter Vern Nelson over at the Orange Juice blog recently recalled that last year Ms. Quirk-Silva and fellow Democrat Tom Daly both allowed a similar bill penned by Allan Monsoor to “quietly die in committee last year by boldly abstaining (so as not to piss off the dread Teamsters and Building Trades who see toll lanes as a makework slush fund.)”

What’s a Republican to do when a left-wing blog supports her bill but the right-wing county newspaper doesn’t?

Here is one suggestion: Instead of rearranging the deck chairs on our Titanically dysfunctional freeway system, why not focus on long term solutions that include mass transit? If we can devote $15.8 billion to widening freeways, why can’t we upgrade our bus system to optimum functionality, and add bike infrastructure to get more drivers off of the road in the first place?

Sharon Quirk-Silva will host a fundraiser next week to kick off her bid to reclaim the 65th Assembly seat in 2016. The Rag challenges both candidates to identify ways to fund mass transit for commuters, instead of arguing over how to spend money to alleviate perennially congested automobile traffic.

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