Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Michele Martinez

So it begins.  I am told, on good authority, that a Santa Ana businesswoman and resident named Cherie Kerr allegedly went to City Hall today to begin the process of recalling Santa Ana Council Member Michele Martinez.  This is, no doubt, fallout from Martinez’ attack on Mayor Miguel Pulido and City Manager Paul Walters.  Martinez, and the Council Majority, have recently declared war on Walters, even though he has done a fine job as our City Manager and previously as our Chief of Police.

I have been saying for awhile that eventually the Council’s ridiculous behavior would end up in a recall and here we are.  Remember that Pulido and his supporters previously recalled former SAUSD Trustee Nativo Lopez, who at the time was allied with current Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Sal Tinajero – who previously served on the SAUSD School Board.

Martinez has made bad headlines before.  She told OC Metro Magazine that “My mom was a drug addict and my uncles were drug dealers.”  And she admited that she was making $2,000 a week selling drugs, when she was 17 years old.

Worse yet Martinez has bragged that when selling drugs she was working for the “Godfather” of the Mexican Mafia in Orange County, Peter “Sana” Ojeda.  Ojeda, who is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted on R.I.C.O. charges, also has close ties to Martinez mentor and failed Mayoral candidate Alfredo Amezcua.  Those ties were noted in a 2011 article that stated, “Santa Ana defense  attorney Alfredo Amezcua was Ojeda’s favorite, and he was also the legal  and political advisor to Eme and Calli Cartel associate Art Romo.  Alfredo Amezcua was also an advisor to the Orange County Gang Council.  This friend and advisor to the Ojeda faction made a run to be elected as  Santa Ana’s mayor in 2010.”

Last year Martinez was overhead talking loudly about money that a gambling tribe was going to spend on her Assembly campaign, which failed, in the form of independent expenditures, according to the Voice of OC.

And Martinez was embarrassed when her half brother was arrested during her failed mayoral campaign in 2008.

Will the recall sweep up other Council Members?  Maybe.  But Martinez, Tinajero and Council Member David Benavides are all up for re-election in 2014.  But should we let them continue to screw up our city in the meantime?

This is the same sad bunch that Tinajero dubbed the “Santa Ana Spring.”  Well that turned out to be a fraud.  These lame politicians are not about change.  They are about power.  They have no good ideas.  They just want to take over and get their way, as previous crooked Councils have done repeatedly in East Los Angeles, where Benavides was born and raised.

With the R word now raised will the Council bullies back off and let Walters do his job?  We shall see about that…

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

63 thoughts on “Exclusive: Recall campaign against Council Member Martinez may be underway”
  1. What a great idea. I’ve never met Ms. Kerr but I have a world of respect for her and her business. Martinez must go and go soon. Let’s also get a ballet measure to make Council term limits 8 years like the Mayor.

    At the very least she’ll be forced to spend her campaign money defending her recall instead of her re-election. Where do we sign? Can you provide the link?

  2. Nativo was a crook and the residents of SA knew it, these people are acting under Miguel’s commands because this is the only way he can intimidate the majority since he no longer has control.

    That man is smart!

    She shouldn’t be scared there are no grounds for a ligidamte recall this is all a move by the man who has had control of the chamber for 25 years.

    People don’t fall for these games Pulido simply wants his power back and everyone is falling for his stunts.

    1. Martinez came in second to last place in the June primary election despite spending a quarter million dollars promoting herself. She was attacked heavily by Julio Perez. She has no support and will be easy to recall.

      And then our popular Mayor will once again have the majority of the Council on his side. This then is the beginning of the end for the faux Santa Ana Spring.

      1. “And then our popular Mayor will once again have the majority of the Council on his side”……. Hmmmmmmm

        If Benavides, Sarmiento, Martinez, Tinajero, Reyna were the majority and Pulido and Amezcua were minority than removing Martinez will not give Pulido his majority back unless Tinajero (Trojan Horse Candidate) will come back with his tail between his legs.

    2. I believe that the only grounds necessary for a recall are the desires of the people.
      Martinez stated that ‘the city manager serves at the pleasure of the council.’
      Well Michelle, the city council serves at the pleasure of the residents of the city…and we are not pleased.

  3. This actually brilliant.

    It will destroy her politically. She already has trouble raising money. What little she has in her campaign account will be forced to defend a recall.

    She will quickly be exposed when the pockets of those outside the city start to dump cash her way (or simply abandon her). Either way she loses.

    Further, Those same pockets which her and her “majority” are comfortable rolling around in will be forced to put pressure on the other sell-outs complicating thier reelection bids.

    I heard last week a vocal gay couple in Morrison park bash David for something, of which I had no concern. But, the old adage even bad publicity is good, does not hold true with an angry electorate.

    I wonder how Art Lomeli will vote in the recall?

  4. Associating Martinez, a true dope, with Nativo Lopez is quite a combination. Maybe she can claim temporary insanity too and save her fat ass.

    Carpetbagger’s right — recall her just to drain her campaign account — or refer her to Kindee Durkee.

  5. After some public speaking classes maybe Barragan coun run for her seat. he makes about as much sense as Reyna!

  6. It’s about time! Michele, who acts like a child with ADD at the council meetings, deserves to go. She adds nothing to the city, in fact, takes away more than she has ever given. She needs to go back to her gangbangers, where she will be a princess. Let’s see, who will be next…maybe David? He is kumquats are ripe for picking! We should systematically recall each council member who is involved with getting rid of Paul Walters.

  7. It’s amusing to hear the rants and raves of the afflicted. I personally welcome a recall of Michelle Martinez because it gives those of us who care about our city, another chance to walk our neighborhoods in her support. I may not believe in everything she has done. But I support the need for positive change. We can again have a fair and open discussion about what’s best for our city.

      1. Joe if you are going to show undying support for Martinez, you may want to start by spelling her name correctly……one L hahahah

  8. Art, What do you know about the Festival Hall in Downtown Santa Ana? I’ve heard it has been a major source of Police Calls for decades and yet no one shuts it down? Is it true it’s owned by Councilman Sarmiento and his mom?

  9. to have a recall for any of the councilmembers or mayor, you need to find 12 to 18 thousand voters to sign on to it.

  10. Tell you what. At the next artwalk, have two booths set up in the promenade.
    One for “Recall Martinez”
    One for Support Michele Martinez for such and such political office. Have it manned by the party girls in that picture you posted. lets see how it all works out.

    1. A) Where were those votes for Michele in June?
      B) How many of those Art Walk hipsters actually live and vote here?
      C) What percentage of young people actually vote frequently in Santa Ana?

      This will be the easiest recall ever.

  11. it is your job to get young Santa Ana people turned onto voting.
    Unless you have no faith in Santa Ana Democracy.

    1. You left your name off your last few comments. It wasn’t identity theft. Just user error. I fixed it for you just now.

      Have a great weekend!

  12. Like cook says: 20K signatures; NO PROBLEM.

    Here’s how this works:

    Beggining this weekend: RECALL posters and banners get posted Gurrilla style all over Santa Ana.

    POUND THE RECALL message home. Make her respond.

    Michele responds = POLITICAL DEATH.

    Hopefully she drags the other losers into the fray, Roman Reyna opens his mouth = POLITICAL DEATH.

    Let the foam rise to the surface. Beat them at thier own game: Benavide’s Brags that he plays East LA politic’s. The Recall plays Tijuana politics: AT EVERY PUBLIC EVENT: RECALL.

    Get the fringes of society involved. Get the Non voting population to OPPOSE MICHELE.

    She will be done by Easter.

    She can go back to her $104K per year TAX FREE drug dealing (which was a lie to begin with. Nobody nets $2K a week at the street level).

    Michele is TOAST.

  13. “It’s amusing to hear the rants and raves of the afflicted”

    How funny is it Joe? When a broad based group of Santa Ana residents from across the city come together to voice their anger at the Gang of 5 led by Martinez…is that funny? When and if you walk for her Joe you are going to find out she now has a record (or lack their of) she has to run on. Michele has disrespected the residents of Santa Ana and they will recall her and replace her with someone who is willing to sit through a councilmeeting even when it’s not fun and really listen to the voices of our community.

    1. Joe’s wife Nelida was just elected to the Santa Ana College Board of Education. Please note Joe’s comments and be ready to replace her in four years!

  14. I don’t think it would be easy, just two years ago no one would run against her. And she does represent a significant portion of the voting population.

        1. Daly benefited from a Latino vote split but the voters rejected Martinez. That is an undeniable fact. And Perez badly damaged her. Thanks Julio!

  15. You have lost all perspective here, Art. I don’t think you give a damn about Walters, other than you are a paid attack dog for Pulido to retain power in the Council. You used to be paid by Martinez to increase her positive profile and now that you are being paid Pulido, you happily trash her.

    Now that the majority appears to question whether Walters is the best City Manager for the job (he has, after all, been on the job for less than two years, including his interim tag). What makes you think Walters is the right choice, particularly as he appears to be enabling Pulido’s continuing and unprecedented grip on City Hall? Is it because of his incredible and unprecedented move (note sarcasm here) to outsource the fire department to the county to “save the city from financial ruin.”? Quite frankly, there is nothing in Mr. Walters’ resume that indicates he has what it takes to lead the management of all facets of a city better than any other candidate that a city such as Santa Ana could attract. Put simply, a police chief does not necessarily make a good city manager. And the fact that Mr. Walters was voted 5-0 as City Manager in June of last year doesn’t mean he should stay on indefinitely.

    And why is Pulido spending so much political capital defending the City Manager position? Is it out of an altruistic love for a long-standing city employee who he feels is best suited to lead the city, or is it out of self-interest to protect all of Pulido’s self-dealing that has gone on in city hall for ages? Again, why has the mayor pulled out all the stops to protect this position? Wshat is wrong with a City Manager that is not beholden to any one individual, but rather a City Council as a whole?

    By the way, have you ever stopped and wondered how Pulido has been able to rise from an apartment to a near two-acre estate in Floral Park during his time at City Hall? Is it as a successful businessman? I don’t think so. Almost all his businesses have been suspended by the California Secretary of State for failure to pay taxes. And the compensation he receives from all the boards he serves on, when added up, could not possibly support the lavish lifestyle the mayor leads.

    How could you defend this? And that is exactly what you are supporting by calling for this recall, simply because Michele has the guts to call out a City Manager who serves at the beck and all of the mayor for whatever the mayor (not the Council as a whole) wants.

    You may not like Michele anymore (now that she does not pay you), and we may not all agree with everything Michele has done. But do not pretend you give a damn about transparency in government, which is all what Michele (and a majority of the Council) is seeking by asking that the City Manager and staff provide the information the Council requires so that they (and the informed public) can make informed choices as to city business. Are you afraid of what will be found if there are finally true audits of the city’s books and records and true transparency from the mayor down to the staff level? Because that is what the council and us Santa Ana residents want and what you seem to be fighting against.

    1. Thanks for that Dr. Lomeli.

      You would have much more credibility if you used your real name.

      In response:

      1) Less than seven months ago your Council “Majority” unanimaously approved Walters contract. What’s Changed?

      2) Walters has performed well (saving the city from BK) in the short time he has been in the position.

      3) Pulido has lived in the same house for twenty years, everyone of us in the surrounding homes know this, know him and his family. A lot of peoples fortunes raised since 1992. I bet your’s has.

      4)YOU are not a Santa Ana resident. You are a business owner. YOU HAVE AN ECONOMIC INTEREST. You have no vote, you are concerned with your pocketbook (or your wife is). YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, ALONG WITH IRV CHASE and the others EXPLOITING the city.

      I would love to see you be so passionate about your community.

      Instead, why don’t you let Michele and her drug dealing ilk, Roman Reyna and his convict brother, or even David Benavide’s move in with you in Orange Hills.

      Now, I know that last comment was out of line: you have teenage daughters, the kind that Benavide’s likes to prey upon. Actually, you might be able to leverage a vote or two, I mean if she doesn’t have college plans, and is just answering phones………

      Hey, Maybe she could move into the Daisy Street pad.


    2. LOL! You know I did Michele a favor a few years ago and designed a campaign blog for $300. Do you realize what a pittance that was? Do you really think that is some kind of motivation? Quite frankly she should have asked for my help against Daly. My advice was to rip him and she ignored it. and she lost.

      I didn’t turn on Michele – but she sure has taken a turn for the crazy. Since her failed Assembly campaign she has gone nuts and now we have no choice but to take her out.

      You clearly have a weak grasp of local history. I am the one who brought change to this city via my old Orange Juice blog. And to this day I continue to stand for the hard working people and families in our city. This lame Council majority isn’t about transparency or doing the right thing. They are greedy politicians who want more power, period.

      Tinajero and Sarmiento better wake up before they get added to the recall.

  16. I think you can’t have a successful recall of Martinez without having at least the leader in it too…Councilman David B.

    Considering Miguel’s landslide win in November, which indicates there are plenty of voters against him already and adding the current political moves David brought on to the beloved Walters, a well run recall might seal his fate.

    Consider that the voting electorate might think. ” There is a voting block targeting Walters but only michele is being targeted…Why?” You want to avoid a gender, ethnic economic or even neighborhood reference in this recall? Meaning the person(s) who pulled the papers or running the recall should be a cross section of Santa Ana.

    If a recall is done right it most be done not for what it sounds like the easiest way but what is the smartest way, getting the best bang for the buck and considering previous elections.

    If anything while you are collecting one signature, it would be easy to get another.

    Remove any false assumption that this is a targeted gender, ethnic, neighborhood, etc issue.

    Make sure that if it the recall is approved and the subsequent candidates found by the recall movement are picked considering election history.

    I’m sure you can find a lot of issues in both Michelle and David work in and outside the council chambers, so need to hire a good intell agent.

    Good Luck!

    1. My 2nd paragraph might be confusing but I was writing that Miguel has plenty of support shown in november election and David’s has less support that with this political move toward Walters a recall of David will be highly successful if done right.

  17. “Put simply, a police chief does not necessarily make a good city manager.”

    Unless you are a high crime city like Santa Ana where you can’t afford to have a City Manager who is NOT a former Police Officer.

    “By the way, have you ever stopped and wondered how Pulido has been able to rise from an apartment to a near two-acre estate in Floral Park during his time at City Hall?”

    It goes a little something like this:

    The Mayor and his wife married late in life and already owned real estate seperately. He owned a Condo in Studio City and she owned one in Laguna Beach purchased when they were single. They kept those two pieces of real estate as rentals and also purchased a home on South Garnsey in Santa Ana’s Wilshire Square neighborhood where they lived for many years. They then sold all THREE homes (Studio City, Laguna Beach, South Garnsey) and bought the one home they now live in for around $900,000.

    It’s not magic, it’s called hard work, leverage, appreciation, and combining assets when getting married later in life.

    School is out.

    1. Meanwhile, Daivid Benavide’s uses his wifes job as a teacher to get a low interest subsidized loan to buy the Daisy But, she leaves after he is caught cheating with an intern.

      So now she lives in a low rent apartment in the shadows of the 55 freeway with the kids and he keeps the house and the dog.

      To make matters worse, he is on his “Chica Run” in Mexico right now, while his “Fam” is trying to keep the aprtment warm during the cold snap.

      Now that’s a the kind of man we want making decisions about the management of a city of 400,000 right???

  18. “I personally welcome a recall of Michelle Martinez ”

    Joe W. Yanez
    Santa Ana Neighborhood Leader and husband of Rancho Board Member

    Hey Joe, Thanks for providing the first quote for Martinez Recall brochures and web site. Would you mind providing a photo of yourself as well to save organizers a little time?

  19. Who can be put up against David in 2014?

    There has to be a better representitive considering the reach into South Santa Ana Ward four has!

    Let’s start grooming someone now, meanwhile as the truth about David’s infidelity (I heard from Joe Hill that she is madder than ever, since he has failed to make good on financial help).

    IMagine the BAD publicity he’d suffer when the family voters in South City learned that he bailed to Mexico,to party like Antonio Villagrosa, leaving his wife and kids behind.

    Put a photog on him, the Bachelor pad, it won’t take long for the truth to be realized. He’ll be finished.

    Dig up the girl from Chapter One who spit on him, Quote her in a hit piece.

    Then ask the SAPOA, why they support a philandering Liar, who has accosted young women.

    Finally, use the death quote:

    “I’ll be in Mexico eating seafood, while she’s serving Mac-N-Cheese”.

    How would that sit with the Mom’s?????

    FIND A CANIDATE: It’s an easy race to win.

  20. What is that old saying?

    It is better to be quiet and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    Michele Martinez should have kept quiet because now well all know she’s a FOOL!

    Hurry up and start the recall and get rid of her.

  21. Martinez can’t be recalled alone!

    The recall must name troika Benavides, Tinajero and Martinez so there is a conspiracy shown.

    In contrast, if she will be alone named in recall she will gain enormous support and finally political power to defeat Pulido in 2014.

    People like underdog fighter especially a woman.

    However, she is self destructive and surrounds herself with losers…… so???

    There is old saying: If you dig a grave for someone you may fall into it…… Pulido!

      1. That is even worse!

        It shows a cat fight. It will not work!

        Unless she will do herself in, she will come out from recall stronger. Trust me!

        You do not understand human psychology.

          1. “it shows that the community is quickly rallying against Martinez”……. Hmmmmmm

            And community is quickly forgetting about Benavides?
            And community is quickly forgetting about Tinajero?
            And community is quickly forgetting about Sermentio?
            And community is quickly forgetting about Reyna?

            If so the community will fail because the voter will ask question: What about them?….. Huh?

            Why they are of the hook?

            Any reasonable person will smell a Rat.

            For years, I have been noticing that there is some short circuit in your bran Zorro.

            As I said, unless she calls me for an advise she may destroy herself as she always did.

          2. She won’t be calling you. She already has several advisers, including Bacerra, Palacio, Sarmiento and Al Amezcua.

            Sarmiento almost lost to an unknown candidate in November. This Benavides got his butt kicked in November. Tinajero is afraid of Gordon. These people are acting out of fear, not strength.

  22. Quite smart targeting Michele, she is the weakest among the council and certainly not the smartest.

    Benavide’s and Sarimento will leave her behind faster than a used napkin. Roman is in the ELA club, plus he just got here and hasn’t had the chance to embarass himself to badly yet.

  23. Is Santa Ana ready to Cede control to the likes of Irv Chase and Art Lomeli.

    These two Millionares who already are manipulating people for monetary gain should have NO SAY in how our city is run.

    Do these these two think they can buy the power?

    We know Lomeli ran for RSCCD illegally. He is a skunk out to enrich himself and his Villa Park High School amigo’s.

    He’s found some electeds willing to prostitute themselves for his gain.


  24. From a Voice Of OC article from June:

    “Council members also said Walters’ approach to the budget was different and much better than his predecessor’s. Some council members have pointed fingers at Ream for misleading them into the budget crisis, keeping veiled for years the truth about the city’s budget health.

    “Finally, someone has been listening. So thank you, Paul,” said Martinez at a previous council meeting.”

    Talk about politically expedient.

    What a liar. She needs to take Benavide’s balls out of her mouth.

  25. As much as I’d like to believe this recall is possible, if it’s the same old group of 11 Tea Baggers and other white people, then I’d say it’s DOA. Unless you see a couple hundred LATINOS marching on City Hall with bags full of cash to pay for it, then you can kiss that recall idea good-bye.

    (Unless Latino leaders like Art head it up and runs the campaign.)

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