I attended the Latino Health Access City Council candidates forum tonight. Well part of it. After hearing their moderator, Voice of OC Editor Norberto Santana, harass Santa Ana City Councilman Roman Reyna and his Ward 5 challenger, Juan Villegas, I had to leave.
The problem is that Santana is anything but an objective moderator at these functions. As you can see in the video above Santana harangued the candidates when they refused to give the answer he wanted them to give.
Reyna and Villegas were asked by a panelist if they would be willing to dedicate 1-5% of the current SAPD budget for non-police uses. Now that is on its face a ridiculous question in a city that regularly logs over 800 crimes a week, according to crimemapping.com. Both Reyna and Villegas wisely said that there was no way they could commit to cutting the police budget further although they were both open to discussing the issue.
That is not the answer Santana wanted. So he yelled at them both and accused them of not knowing what is in the Santa Ana city budget. Santana even yelled at Reyna after Reyna admitted that he was the ONLY Santa Ana City Council Member who voted this year against hiring more SAPD police officers!
It is also totally ridiculous for Santana to scream at Juan Villegas about crime when Villegas has been fighting crime for over 25 years at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. I think Santana knows a Hell of a lot more about fighting crime than Santana ever will!
Now keep in mind the fact that several of the panelists at this event did not live in Santa Ana. Santana himself lives in Ladera Ranch, according to his Facebook page. The median household income in Ladera Ranch is $133,896. The median household income in Santa Ana is only $54,387. Ladera Ranch is safer than 90% of the cities in the U.S., according to Best Places. Your chances of becoming a victim of a crime in Ladera Ranch are 1 in 1,696.
So you see Norberto Santana can come to our city of Santa Ana and pontificate about how we ought to cut our police budget because every evening he drives home to Ladera Ranch where there is practically no crime.
Here in Santa Ana your chances of becoming a victim of a crime are 1 in 256. Our city is only safer than 36% of the other cities in the U.S., according to Best Places. There is over 100 times more crime in Santa Ana than in Ladera Ranch!
Ask most Santa Ana residents if they want to cut our police budget and the answer will be a resounding no! If anything most folks in this town want MORE police, not LESS.
The people of Santa Ana deserve to be able to participate in objective candidates forums. That is not what happens at Latino Health Access where they assembly panels of the most liberal people they can find (many of them don’t even live in Santa Ana!) and appoint an ultra-liberal moderator, Norberto Santa Ana, to harass the folks who are running for office. That is just not right! We deserve better.
I remember when the League of Women Voters used to run our candidates forums. And they did a damn better job of it than Latino Health Access and Norberto Santana.
Candidates for Santa Ana public offices should not participate in any candidate forums that are moderated by Norberto Santana. Also they should not agree to be questioned by Latino Health Access panelists who do not live in Santa Ana.