Archives for posts with tag: 65th Assembly District

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.

 

 

 

 

Can you find the Manuel Ramos Arrest?

Can you find the Manuel Ramos Arrest?

Former Fullerton Police Officer Manuel Ramos, who was tried and acquitted for second degree murder in the 2011 beating death of Kelly Thomas, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence three weeks ago, but no news circulated about it until late this week. Police were called to an address on W. Oak Ave. in Fullerton to investigate a disturbance on July 16. Mr. Ramos was booked, and released on $ 10,000.00 bail, according to ABC News. The story first came to light on August 2, when an unnamed source informed Fullerton activist Stephen Baxter about the July arrest. Other local activists searched for records and alerted the media, eventually resulting in ABC and other media outlets covering the story.

Ron Thomas, father of the slain Kelly, thinks that the FPD were silent about the arrest because his civil suit over his son’s death is scheduled to begin next month. “They want it as quiet as possible…Ramos being arrested isn’t going to make him look good,” he tells Gabriel San Román of the OC Weekly in a story this morning.

Ron Thomas may be right, especially if we consider the contrast between the three week delay in reporting the arrest of Manual Ramos with the next day coverage of former state Assemblyman Chris Norby’s arrest for domestic violence on March 11, 2014. Mr. Norby was never charged with any crimes, and later divorced his wife, who was alleged to have battered him, injuring his eye. The arrest came during an election year amid speculation that he might be considering a run for Fullerton City Council. By any objective measure, the negative publicity following the arrest damaged his chances of succeeding in such a campaign.

During his 18 previous years on the Fullerton City Council, 7 years as OC Supervisor, and 3 years in the California State Assembly, Chris Norby was known as a critic of public employee unions, who lined up on the side of his opponent Sharon Quirk-Silva in 2012, helping to defeat him. In the State Assembly he authored a bill aimed at reforming asset seizure laws, which had been a boon to police departments throughout the state. He had also expressed frustration with the limits placed on reporting about problem officers included in the Peace Officers Bill of Rights. The prospect of his return to the Fullerton City Council would not have been a welcome one for the Fullerton Police Department, who have enjoyed a reliable three member majority of supporters in the form of Doug Chaffee, Jan Flory, and Jennifer Fitzgerald since November, 2012.

A year later, when the dust had settled, Chris Norby reflected upon his arrest in an April 28, 2015 letter to the Voice of OC. He noted in the letter that “During Family Court civil hearing, two independent witnesses testified personally of the physical abuse I had suffered. There were none against me.

One has to wonder, just how did the media find out so quickly about the arrest of Chris Norby, while the arrest of Manuel Ramos on the same charge (they even had the same bail amount of $10,000) went undetected by reporters for three weeks? The OC Register first reported about Chris Norby on March 12, less than 24 hours after his arrestThe LA Times had a story up by March 13. The Fullerton News Tribune, owned and published every Thursday by the OC Register, includes a weekly crime feature called The Blotter, showing selected arrests throughout the city. The July 23 edition lists two separate July 16 assaults for addresses on W. Malvern and W. Commonwealth, but nothing on W. Oak, the site of the Manual Ramos arrest. Not until August 6, did the OC Register finally pick up on the story.

Did someone tip off the press about the Chris Norby arrest last year, while laying low about the arrest of Manuel Ramos last month?

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.

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