The big scandal in town this week was Councilman David Benavides’ attempt to honor the folks who put on last week’s Santa Ana Independence Day event – which blew up in his face when several of them turned out to be Latino-hating Minutemen.
Others in the local blogosphere have taken pains to try to absolve these people, and Benavides, so I decided to do additional research and find out how many of these folks are Republicans. Here are my findings:
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- Lupe Moreno, Committee Chair, registered Republican, Past Member of the OC GOP Central Committee, Member of the Minutemen and the California Coalition for Immigration Reform. Moreno resides in Santa Ana.
- Rosie Avila, also a registered Republican, former SAUSD Trustee – not a Latina by the way. Her parents were Germans who settled in Guatemala. Avila resides in Santa Ana.
- Anne Menaldo, registered Republican, resident of Santa Ana.
- Thomas Gordon, registered Republican, Member of the OC GOP Central Committee. Gordon resides in Santa Ana.
- Stand and Marva Zubas, residents of Anaheim. Past donors to Rosie Avila’s campaigns. I could not identify their party registration.
- Ann Coil, registered Republican. She resides in Santa Ana.
- Fred Bella, registered Democrat. Resides in Santa Ana.
- Pastor Doug McMains. Does not reside in Santa Ana, as far as I can tell. Not sure as to his party affiliation. Appears to be a minister at Liberty Baptist in Newport Beach.
- Pastor Noe Granados. He does not appear to live in Santa Ana, as far as I can tell. Not sure as to his party affiliation. He, like McMains, appears to be a minister at Liberty Baptist in Newport Beach.
- Frank Bostrom, registered Republican. Past donor to GOP candidates. He does appear to live in Santa Ana.
- Kathy Goddard. Not sure as to party affiliation. Does not appear to live in town but may be an SAUSD teacher.
- Melanie Cole-Gomez. Does not appear to live in town. I could not find any information on her. Update: a reader says she owns a business and has some affiliation with the NAACP.
- Steve McGuigan, registered as a Decline to State voter. His mother, Pat, is a registered Republican and a former Santa Ana Council Member. They are registered at the same address in Santa Ana.
- Kathy McDonald. I could not find evidence that she lives in town. Nor could I find any party affiliation. I did find someone by that name who graduated from Santa Ana College.
- Anita and Gary Hynds – Minutemen who live in Yorba Linda. Most likely they are Republicans.
- Millie Lugo. I could not find any information on her. Update: a reader says she works at the library.
So what is the end result of this research? This event appears to have had one Democrat on its committee and one Decline to State voter. No other third party members. Most of the committee members were Republicans and many don’t live in Santa Ana.
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Was this committee reflective of the people of Santa Ana? There were few Latinos on the commitee and no Asians. Most of the people who live in our town are Democrats or Decline to State voters. No. This committee did not, in fact, reflect our people at all.
Whose idea was this event? As far as we can tell, this was Lupe Moreno’s show. She brought in Minutemen and stacked the committee with Republicans. An insider at City Hall tells us that her early event fliers even mentioned the Republican Party.
Should such groups be using public property to hold their events? Should our Council be recognizing them? No and no.
I recommend that if we are going to have an event like this next year it should be either run by the City of Santa Ana, or run by a non-profit that is non-partisan. No members of hate groups should be involved, period.
Or hold an event but make it available to all parties. A good example to look at is the Annual 4th of July parade in Huntington Beach, which features elected officials and representatives of both the Democratic Party and the GOP.
What will come out of this scandal? Well, Gordon is running for the Santa Ana City Council. This mess surely won’t help him. And Benavides is up for reelection. He also is said to be interested in running for the 69th Assembly District in 2012. I am guessing that he might get reelected, as he has no opponent, but his Assembly run is now heavily in doubt.