I was at an SAUSD school board forum last week and was shocked when some of the boorish radicals in the audience booed when they heard that I got a contribution from the Santa Ana Police Officers Association. Most folks in Santa Ana don’t hate the police. But a small, very vocal minority does. And they are backing a slate of candidates that we need to steer clear of.
If you see a meth addict begging for money outside a McDonald’s and you give him twenty bucks chances are that he will buy one item off the restaurant’s dollar menu and spend the rest of the money on drugs. Local governments act the very same way. No matter how much tax money they take from us they always find a way to blow most of it and then come back to us for more money.
That is precisely what is happening in Santa Ana right now. The Santa Ana Unified School District has already begged us for millions twice before with two previous bond measures. Now they are back with their hat in hand begging for millions more – even though other area school districts are finding ways to improve their facilities without passing bond measures. Continue reading
When I spoke with Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido earlier this week he was not yet sure if he was going to run for what will be his last two-year term. Since them Pulido has indeed pulled papers and he will be on the November 6 ballot. He will face off against termed-out Santa Ana City Councilman Sal Tinajero, who has been garnering a lot of media attention of late due to his leadership of the SAUSD Debate Team. The path for Tinajero was cleared when his colleague, Mayor Pro Tem Michele Martinez, opted to not run for Mayor after all. She too is terming out from the Santa Ana City Council.
No question about it – the Tinajero versus Pulido race will be the big contest in the General Election. But the race for Santa Ana’s Ward 2 will also be sure to garner a lot of attention as no less than six candidates have pulled papers. Here are the Ward 2 candidates: Continue reading
Perhaps the biggest knock on Santa Ana Mayoral challenger Benjamin Vazquez, besides his aggressively liberal politics, is the doubt that he can raise enough money to seriously contend against longtime Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido. Vazquez is attempting to answer that doubt with a campaign fundraiser set for Oct. 5, 2016, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Robbins Nest, located at 207 W. 2nd St., in DTSA.
The Vazquez fundraiser is hosted by SAUSD Trustee Valerie Amezcua and her dad, former Mayoral candidate Alfredo Amezcua, a criminal defense attorney who regularly defends Santa Ana gangbangers in court; as well as Dr. Arturo Lomeli, a Dentist; Eddie Quillares (a local insurance agent); Luis Mier (a local bail bondsman); and Santa Ana City Councilman Sal Tinajero. Continue reading
There might be a perfectly good reason for the recent trip to China by SAUSD officials, including former Superintendent Rick Miller, Deputy Superintendent Dave Haglund and School Board Members Valerie Amezcua and John Palacio. But since the district did not announce the visit, we have no idea what these folks are doing in China.
Who paid for this junket? Why? Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2014
Contact: Derek Humphrey
Cell: (951) 805-4167
VALERIE AMEZCUA WINS RACE FOR SANTA ANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD
Santa Ana, California – Valerie Amezcua has won a seat on the Santa Ana Unified School District Board. Final election results posted by the Orange County Registrar of Voters show Amezcua placed second in a field of eight candidates. The results are expected to be certified tomorrow.
“I’m humbled by the support our campaign received from families throughout the Santa Ana Unified School District,” said Amezcua. “I would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to all of the candidates that volunteered their time and talents to advocate for improving our schools. I look forward to working with Boardmember John Palacio and the rest of my new colleagues in helping to move our district forward.” Continue reading
A friend of mine who is a teacher was at the SAUSD School Board candidates meeting tonight. She said that Valerie Amezcua (pictured above) was one dimensional. She also felt that Mike Dalati was out of his league and apparently he ducked out before the question and answer session.
Amezcua has already lost in two previous SAUSD School Board elections. She lost by 75 votes to high school dropout Roman Reyna in 2008 and she lost again in 2012 by 537 votes to Jose Alfredo Hernandez. Continue reading
General Election, November, 2014:
Santa Ana City Council
Endorsed Candidate: Mayor Miguel Pulido
Note: Even Reyna’s friends and allies admit that he is not a capable candidate for Mayor of Santa Ana. This will be Pulido’s final term and in the next two years we need to recruit better candidates than the likes of Reyna, who has only served two years on the Santa Ana City Council. Continue reading
Team Santa Ana appears to be finished as Santa Ana Councilman David Benavides posted a snarky picture of the Team Santa Ana walk piece with Mayor Pro Tem Sal Tinajero’s face covered up. The picture was posted on Benavides’ Facebook page, Twitter account and Instragam account before he came to his senses and deleted the entries. The damage however was already done. The Santa Ana Spring is over.
What happened? This all goes back to the ongoing ruckus on the Santa Ana Planning Commission where Commissioner Phil Bacerra has dug in his heels and steadfastly refused to turn in his communication disclosure forms. All of the other Planning Commissioners have done so but Bacerra had to be threatened by the Santa Ana City Council’s Ethics Committee, which consists of Tinajero and Councilwoman Angie Amezcua, before he finally turned in what I am told are heavily redacted disclosure forms that may not in fact be all that accurate.
Why do these forms matter? It all comes down to transparency. The public deserves to know who the Planning Commissioners are talking to about city business. Why did Bacerra drag his feet for so long before finally turning in the forms, after being threatened with removal from the Planning Commission? That is the crux of the matter. Has Bacerra been shaking down those who have business with the Planning Commission for donations to the Benavides reelection campaign? Is this why Benavides has been running interference for Bacerra? Continue reading
This fall’s Santa Ana School Board race is shaping up to be perhaps the most interesting local election in awhile.
Candidates for the SAUSD School Board who already announced that they are running in November include Shuntele Andrews, a retired Valley High School teacher; Cecilia Aguinaga, a community activist who serves on the OC Vector Control Board; Eric Alderete, an attorney and Planning Commissioner; and Valerie Amezcua, a Supervising Probation Officer at the Central Youth and Family Resource Center in the City of Santa Ana.
Two SAUSD School Board Trustees are up for reelection – John Palacio and Audrey Yamagata-Noji. Both have been in office far too long. I hear Yamagata-Noji may be retiring from the School Board. I have not heard that about Palacio. I suspect he will run again. He almost has to. He says he is a political consultant but who would hire him? He needs the pay and benefits he gets from the SAUSD. Continue reading
Rumor has it that longtime SAUSD School Board Member Audrey Yamagata-Noji is finally going to retire this year. That means her seat will open up this November. The other incumbent who is up for re-election is John Palacio.
Cecilia Aguinaga has already started campaigning. I heard today that Valerie Amezcua, who like Aguinaga has run unsuccessfully before for the SAUSD School Board, will also be in the race. And local businessman Mike Dalati appears to also be running in what is quickly turning into a crowded race. Continue reading
Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido is currently leading his closes challenger, Santa Ana Council Member David Benavides, by over 12,000 votes. Pulido has 27,068 votes, or 48.2% of the ballots versus 14,982 votes, or 26.7% of the ballots for Benavides. There were four other mayoral candidates this year, including George Collins, Roy Alvarado, Lupe Moreno and Miguel Angel Briseno.
Pulido beat Alfredo “Al” Amezcua two years ago, in 2010, by just under ten thousand votes. Pulido got 21,588 votes, or 49.5% of the ballots, in 2010, versus 11,689 votes, or 26.8% of the ballots, for Amezcua, according to Smart Voter. There were three other mayoral candidates in 2010 – Alvarado, Collins and Charles Hart. Continue reading
Santa Ana Council Member Sal Tinajero got out of the way when his colleague, Council Member Michele Martinez, wanted to run for the 69th Assembly District. And he stepped aside when his colleague, Council Member David Benavides, wanted to run for Mayor this year.
Well, Martinez and Benavides were at the helm of the so-called “Santa Ana Spring,” even as it went into a death spiral. Most of Team Benavides lost. Now at last its Tinajero’s turn. Continue reading
What a night. To sum it up, Mayor Miguel Pulido won easily. Over in the RSCCD Area 5 race his longtime ally, Claudia Alvarez, also won.
What about Team Benavides? Well, David Benavides got beat, badly. So did Eric Alderete, in Ward 3, by an unknown candidate, Angelica Amezcua, who barely campaigned. And while Vince Sarmiento won in Ward 1, he did so barely over another unknown candidate, Estela Amezcua. The one guy in the Benavides cabal who won with a big margin was Roman Reyna, in Ward 5. Continue reading
Santa Ana Mayoral challenger David Benavides wasn’t on the ballot two years ago, as he had no opponent for his City Council seat. The last time he appeared on the ballot was six years ago, back when he still mentioned his wife and family on his fliers and websites.
So it was a daunting task for Benavides to ramp up his name I.D. this year in a few short weeks, having announced his mayoral campaign rather late in the game.
As such I think he is going to be toast on Tuesday, Nov. 6. But what about the other races? Who will win? Comment here with your picks, including estimated vote percentages and whoever gets the closest will win a free banner ad on our blog for one month, for the business or non-profit of their choice.
Here are my predictions: Continue reading