Election 2010: Moxley Watches The OC Republicans

Jonathan Ho / OC Weekly
Tran: Not time to concede.
1:00 a.m.: Van Tran Remains Hopeful
Inside the converted Garden Grove Blockbuster store, Van Tran continues to hold onto his dream of defeating Loretta Sanchez. Tran is trailing by more than 5,000 votes--and the gap seems to be getting larger. But he says, "It's not over. There are many, many more votes to count." His wife gives him a warm hug. But around the campaign headquarters, the mood is somber. People are consoling each other. One says, "Well, we scared Loretta." Others are speaking rapidly in Vietnamese and I can hear Sanchez mentioned in every couple of sentences. In a corner, Tran continues to give media interviews. His words are positive but he looks exhausted and his words come out slowly. His wife gives him another warm hug. "We just have to wait," he tells me. "But there won't be any concession tonight." In the distance, a woman yells, "Does anyone want to take any rice home?" 
11:30 p.m.: Carly Knocks Exit Polls
At a point when her votes were nearly tied with Senator Barbara Boxer, challenger Carly Fiorina took the stage to ridicule "all those people who declared this race over" as soon as the polls closed. Fiorina described herself as "tireless, fearless" and said it's "not a smart thing to" underestimate her campaign. She then told her supporters to prepare for a long night. "We may not know for many, many hours" she said. Many of her supporters, holding cocktails, seemed okay with the idea. As she left the stage, the band played, "The Beat is on" from the soundtrack of Beverly Hills Cop.

11:15 p.m.: How Not To Recruit Latinos into the GOP, Lesson 682
California Republicans have been their own worst enemy when it comes to driving potential Latino voters away and they didn't help themselves again tonight. Lt. Governor 
Abel Maldonado--the highest ranking Latino candidate in the state (running against Gavin Newsom to retain his office)--walked onto the stage with his family and was loudly booed. Not just once or twice but three times. I guess Maldonado shouldn't have cast that deciding vote to pass a Democratic budget.

10:45 p.m.: He Shut Them Up
This crowd is too busy drinking and chatting to listen to any of the speakers. But then Irvine's Damon Dunn, the Secretary of State candidate, began his speech and the room went silent for him. Dunn delighted everyone when he said liberals rely on "The gubment. The gubment. The gubment." In contrast, he said Republicans believe in "the individual . . . and we just happen to be right!" He then mocked President Barack Obama, saying, "No, we can't just all get along as long as you don't use central-right policies." 

10:33 p.m.: Sightings
A gum-chewing Todd Spitzer, the ex-prosecutor/state assemblyman/county supervisor. (Oh, come on, Todd. Can't say hello?) Outgoing Irvine City Councilwoman Christina Shea. OC GOP boss/lobbyist Scott Baugh (drinking white wine) and the man he replaced: Thomas Fuentes. Susan Kang Schroeder and her husband, Mike. Jon Fleischman pretended again to be a journalist to get a media badge. Frank Mickadeit, the Register columnist. And good guy: businessman/author Quang Pham, who challenged Van Tran for the Republican nomination before dropping out.

Radio Personality Said What?
Conservative radio personality Dennis Prager addressed the crowd but the chatting is so intense that nobody seemed to be paying attention. In fact, he sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher: "wah wah wah wah wah." But there was one line I did hear.

"Today, America said, 'We will not be changed.'"

The crowd went nuts in appreciation.

Orange County Republicans Start Their Festivities With The Screamer
Joseph Kung, state co-chair for the Meg Whitman, campaign loves to come to Orange County GOP events wearing campaign stickers all over his body and screaming. 

He's been doing this stunt for years and this year was no exception.

"Caaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrlllllllllyyyyyyyyyy," yelled Kung, who is wearing about a dozen Whitman and Carly Firorina for U.S. Senate stickers on his body.

He performed on cue for several Los Angeles television new reporters who wanted a noisy backdrop--even though the grand ballroom was relatively empty at the time.

GOP Whale Sighting Could Be Election Omen

The omens for Republicans are looking great for tonight.

Today, Dana Rohrabacher--the self-styled surfin' congressman--found a non-threatening, spent two-foot wave, climbed on a surf board and--will miracles never cease?--had someone in the exact position to snap a picture before his plump frame plopped back into the water.

The congressman now has his one surfin' photo he can use to sell his image for the next two years. 

Here's photographic evidence, which Rohrabacher immediately posted on Twitter:

Does a GOP House Takeover Mean OC Has More DC Power?
The Sacramento Bee today published an impressive list of California Republican congressional representatives who would become ranking members of powerful committees if the GOP knocks Nancy Pelosi out of power today. That list includes Rep. Darrell Issa, the San Diego car alarm businessman, who would takeover the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The Bee also mentioned a Los Angeles Times article that claims Orange County GOP congressmen Ed Royce of Fullerton and Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa are eyeing top leadership posts. If Rohrabacher--a rabid chicken hawk who avoided Vietnam War military service but who has become trigger happy in his elderly years--succeeds, look for the GOP to push for military skirmishes all over the planet.

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Beth Krom Takes Her Last Shot
Underdog Beth Krom will need the heavens to part for one big miracle today if she's to defeat incumbent Congressman John Campbell.

Krom and Campbell are feuding in an Irvine-based congressional district that is dominated by conservative Republican voters. Krom is a progressive Democrat; Campbell is a conservative.

Do the math.

But Krom is going down fighting. She has posted her 48 reasons Campbell deserves defeat.

HERE for her list.

Christopher Victorio / OC Weekly
Odd campaign photo: Either the LA Lakers are playing or Loretta Sanchez can single-handedly stop OC's usual traffic nightmare.
Want To Party With The Pols Tonight?

The polls close at 8 p.m. and then the partying begins. Here are the event listings:

--Orange County Republicans host their statewide party, featuring U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, at the Irvine Hyatt; 8 p.m. to midnight; 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine. (Governor candidate Meg Whitman is expected at the election night party in Universal City.)

--Orange County Democrats along with the Elections Committee of the County of Orange (ECCO) host their "Rock the Vote OC!" party at Original Mike's restaurant with student groups from area colleges; 8 p.m. to ?; 100 South Main, Santa Ana.

--Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is scheduled to be at the Promenade at the Santora Building; after 8 p.m.; 207 North Broadway, Santa Ana.

--Irvine Democrats--Sukhee Kang, Larry Agran and Shiva Farivar--are hosting their party at Crystal Jade Restaurant; 8 p.m. to midnight; Quail Hill Shopping Center; 6511 Quail Hill Parkway, Irvine.

--Laguna Woods Democratic Club is set to gather behind the community's closed gates in Clubhouse Seven for big screen election coverage; for more information, call 949-855-6965.

--Orange County Equality Coalition (OCEC), the LGBT group, is hosting a party at Durty Nellys; 20915 Red Hill Avenue, Costa Mesa; 8 p.m. to ?; wear a "Working for Equality" button and get happy hour prices all night.

--Orange County libertarians are meeting up with their Los Angeles counterparts for a party at Luminarias Latin Restaurant; cost is $40, which covers dinner; 3500 Romona Blvd., Monterrey Park, CA; 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Contact: Bob Booth at freebob@cox.net.

Santa Ana Polling Spot Starts Off Sleepy

When the polls opened in the First United Methodist Church at 7 a.m. for Santa Ana precinct 68296, a lone voter--a young Latino--was the only person there to vote. Five minutes later, another young Latino arrived.

But by 8 a.m, more than 30 residents--more Latinos, Vietnamese and Caucasians--had cast their votes in the area near the old, red-brick Orange County Courthouse. The election staff of six were polite and excited even if voters did their civic duty quietly.

Andy Saavedra, one of the chief poll workers, said many in the precinct had opted to vote by mail, but he expected at least 300 total votes in person by the time the polls close at 8 p.m. "Things are going real well," Saavedra said.

The Gray Lady Still Calling For Loretta Sanchez Victory
Recent Republican polling companies have placed Republican challenger Van Tran in a tie with Rep. Loretta Sanchez in what is expected to be Orange County's closest congressional race.

But in it's final pre-election prediction,
The New York Times is forecasting this morning that Sanchez has an 89.1 percent chance of winning the race.

The paper predicts,
based on a series of models, that Sanchez beats Tran, the Little Saigon state Assemblyman, by an 8.2 percent margin, 52.5 percent to 44.3 percent.

Sanchez has trounced her Republican challengers in past elections, but
the feisty if physically petite Tran is hoping to be the Manny Pacquiao of 2010 politics by defeating the undisputed giant of the OC Democratic Party.

Both candidates say the other is ethically corrupt.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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