Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

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.

I thought at one time that Council Member Vince Sarmiento would make a play to replace Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez.  But he barely won on Nov. 6, over the unknown and outgunned Estela Amezcua.  Sarmiento got just over 21,000 votes and Amezcua got just over 18,000 votes.  She didn’t spend a dime.  Sarmiento spent over $70,000.  Lame!

So let’s tally up this mess.  Team Benavides sprung a leak.  In its wake only one of their challengers, Roman Reyna, won.  Eric Alderete, Valerie Amezcua and Myriam Tinajero all lost.  And Sarmiento?  He was utterly exposed as a charlatan – an Emperor with no clothes.  Speaking of which, the OC Weekly detailed Martinez’ behavior at the Team Benavides election night party – shaking her booty and her ta-tas on the dance floor with a guy old enough to be her father.

Really the only guy left intact in this stinking mess is Tinajero.  He has paid his dues.  He has defeated opponents – twice.  And he came to the City Council with political experience garnered on the SAUSD Board of Trustees.  He also enjoys tight relationships with labor leaders – relationships he underscored when he was asked to support Julio Perez, in June, for the 69th Assembly District. He did.  Perez and Martinez lost.  And Tinajero is the last man standing.

The only question now is can Tinajero line up the votes on the City Council to become our next Mayor Pro Tem? Will Martinez play ball?  Will Benavides continue to wallow in bitterness?  Will Reyna see the writing on the wall and do the right thing?  What about the other Amezcua – Angelica?

Sarmiento is tarnished.  Martinez is immature.  Benavides is finished.  Reyna is a rookie and Amezcua is a cypher.  Tinajero however is ready to lead.  Team Benavides is done.  Long live Team Tinajero…

By Editor

Art Pedroza started Orange County's first political blog, the Orange Juice, back in 2003. He now publishes the top civic blog in Orange County - New Santa Ana, plus other blogs including New Anaheim, New Fullerton and the Irvine News Blog, as well as the OC Politics Blog.

16 thoughts on “The new Santa Ana Council leader is incoming Mayor Pro Tem Tinajero”
  1. Pointless political move of the year.

    Sarmiento endorses Chavez Lodge for Anaheim City Council (because the police made him do it?)
    Then Chavez-Lodge is exposed as a former SAPD with record of police brutality.
    Chavez-Lodge burns all chances of winning Anaheim council for his puppetmasters.

    Is that why Perfect Sarmiento is tarnished? You did not clarify at all.

    1. Good stuff Mateo but he is tarnished because he spent $70K and only barely beat a woman who spent not one centavo. Clearly he is a lot less popular than he thought he was…

  2. I think that close call by Sarmiento probably had more to do with “low information” voters that comprise most of Santa Ana. OUch.

    Alfredo Amezcua or Amescua? could have ran against Pulido and not spent a dime and could have gathered as many votes as Benavides just did because people are familiar with that name. 3 Amezcuas running on the ballot.

    People really like those names Pulido and Amezcua.
    I am going to make a candidate.
    Arturo Pulido Amezcua 2014. “Vote Art”

    1. Except that Al lost. And now Valerie has lost twice.

      The voters who went with Angie and Estela did so because they rejected the liberal, tax raising Team Benavides.

  3. Sal Tinajero is the only honest person on the Santa Ana city council right now apart from Mayor Pulido. The rest are crooks in my opinion.

  4. Had we been able to get Eric elected we could have really moved forward the cause of our people but thanks to sellout Coconut voters we are stuck with Angie Oliver. Our community should be ashamed. Our only hope now is that Sal will bring our people back together and put the kids and education first. We can only hope.

    1. You have no clue what you are talking about, Chicano Power. Angelica is more “gente” than anybody you’ll ever meet.

  5. So Michele Martinez is freaking on the dance floor with a man old enough to be her father, I guess that’s what her and Claudia Alvarez have in common. Sounds like they have daddy issues.

    Michele’s dad was no where to be found and Claudia’s dad was a boracho (according to Santa Ana chisme).

    Santa Ana chisme also says Michele had her Butt Bucket in the ladies restroom, just in case she found someone to go home with.

  6. Admin,

    Is there any truth to the rumor that Benavide’s is entering a “COUNSELING PROGRAM” at the insistance of his wife as a condition of reconciliation?

    This is ironic, considering he championed the endorsement of Gavin Newsom.

    Or put another way:

    “A little re-hab and I’ll be back onthe PGA in no time” – Tiger Woods.

    We all know how well that last one turned out!

  7. Dear Art,
    So now Tinajero, Sarmiento, Martinez, Benavides are “in charge” according to Dr. Lomeli. They are soon to be joined by Roman Reyna and maybe Angie Oliver as the “new” leadership in Santa Ana.

    Art, have you seen a list of say 5 things they plan to change in the city of Santa Ana during the next 90 days? I heard at one time they had a demand list of 10 items for Mayor Pulido. Can you please now publish the list and tell pray tell what they plan to change? Will Jill Arthur stay or go? Paul Walters? What are these change and the new vision they kept talking about.

    I have a funny feeling that nothing is going to change. Lot’s of talk and no action.

    1. Good questions. The big issue that is looming is the police union contract. It is likely that they will try to force a citywide law enforcement assessment on us to pay the cops back for supporting Team Benavides in the election.

      Not sure what will happen with Arthur. She will at the very least stay on as Pulido’s Executive Assistant.

      Paul Walters is riding high right now. I don’t see that changing.

      Hopefully the PBID will stay dead.

  8. Lets give Paul Walters another 100,000 raise since he lives in south county…
    Pulido let’s give him another health insurance plan since he is a great mayor…..
    And tell the pbib to open more medical marijauna shops….
    Now that’s change here in this city…..

  9. David could have saved money, and killed two birds with one stone. He should have had Archer dress up like this Downtown Inc./ SAPOA cop. Coming soon to the Velvet Lounge!

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