Is it any surprise to anyone that Santa Ana Council Member David Benavides chose to break the news that he is running against Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido on the Republican OC Political blog? That is exactly what I have come to expect from Benavides.
When Benavides was first elected, back in 2006, he had a great story to offer. He had come to Santa Ana as part of a ministry and he decided to stay here and put down roots. But he very quickly was compromised by Santa Ana’s racist old guard – the Usual Suspects. Mostly old and angry Republicans they brought him up through the Neighborhood Association movement – which pretends to represent the people of Santa Ana but realistically represents at most 1% of our community – and is heavily subsidized by our tax dollars. He declared on his Smart Voter page that he was the winner of the “Neighborhood Hero Award,” the penultimate badge of honor for these metiches.
Once elected Benavides quickly went about appointing Mexican-bashers to our City Commissions. While the Council has since gotten rid of most of them, some remain to this day. And Benavides is still their champion. He in fact gave a bunch of them awards a couple of years ago, for their service on the Santa Ana 4th of July committee, which was chaired by notorious Mexican-basher Lupe Moreno. One of Moreno’s Minuteman allies showed up to the 4th of July event and called a Santa Ana resident a “wetback.” How did Benavides respond? He gave awards to Moreno and her pals. It was so disgusting that the rest of the City Council got up and walked out rather than honor these haters.
Even after the City of Santa Ana took over the 4th of July event Benavides’ Usual Suspect allies continue to serve on that event’s committee. And sure enough Benavides shows up every year to speak at the event – alongside his best friend on the City Council, Republican Council Member Carlos Bustamante. Yes, the same Bustamante who was recently arrested for various felony sex crimes and public theft. And yes, Benavides is the only Council Member who has continued to refuse to demand that Bustamante resign from the Council.
Does Santa Ana need a change at Mayor? Not if that change is Benavides. I will never support him for any office – not as long as he continues to serve the Usual Suspects. Mayor Pulido wisely tossed them aside a few years ago – but Benavides continues to cling to them. God only knows why.
Can Benavides beat Pulido? Consider that Benavides has never had to run a tough race in his life. He easily beat the overmatched Nelida Yanez in 2006 (with Pulido’s support). And in 2010, Benavides ran unnoposed. Can he raise money? Who knows? Can he raise an army of volunteers? Sure, but half of them will be Usual Suspects.
And what exactly does Benavides stand for? According to his new campaign website his issues include:
- Fighting gangs and graffiti. (Response – aren’t we already doing that?)
- Supporting our Neighborhood Associations (Response – Why? They don’t represent the majority of our residents – and we are the only city in the County to subsidize these busybodies!)
- Create more open space and youth programs (Response – How? How is Benavides going to pay for all this? Will he try to pass a parks assessment and raise all of our property taxes?)
- He wants to create a Mayor’s Office of Community Engagement (Response – More bureacracy? Really? How is he going to pay for this? Don’t we already have several city staffers working in community affairs? This is an obvious bone to the Usual Suspects)
- Create a a Mayor’s Business Improvement Task Force comprised of local businesses (Response – again, how is he going to pay for this? Why not just support getting rid of the Downtown PBID – a tax that is ruining many small businesses in Downtown Santa Ana?)
- Streamlining business and development application processes to assist the expansion of new and existing businesses into Santa Ana (Response – great idea. He has been on the Council for six years – why hasn’t he already proposed this? What are his concrete ideas – or does he even have any?)
- Launching a City of Santa Ana branding campaign highlighting all that Santa Ana has to offer to local residents, businesses, and visitors (Response – more grandstanding. How is he going to pay for this? Didn’t we already spend millions of redevelopment dollars to accomplish this? Wasn’t this the point of the Artists Village? Why is this even a priority? Don’t we have bigger fish to fry?)
- Embracing Santa Ana as a place for arts and culture and promoting our city as a regional destination place (Response – We have already spent MILLIONS promoting the arts and culture in our city – and shouldn’t we be more worried about serving our residents – not folks who don’t live here but come to our town just to get drunk?)
Sigh. What a load. Any fool on Com-Link could have drafted these pipe dreams. I don’t see one original – or even realistic – idea coming from Benavides. Nor do I expect to.
The guy is a realtor and mortgage specialist. That’s it. Say what you will about Pulido, but he is an engineer and he has served for years on the boards of the OCTA and the AQMD, becoming an expert in transportation, energy and infrastructure. He isn’t perfect but Pulido has a vision for our city. His plans to install a light rail system that will traverse the poorest areas in our city is a game-changer. Benavides has not one concrete idea – just a bunch of regurgitated Usual Suspect malarkey. No thanks. I will be voting for Pulido again this November. Change is good – but pointless, needless change is just a waste of our time.