OC Weekly 2012 Election Guide: Santa Ana!

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Long may he not reign...
One in an occasional series on the county's craziest political races...and while we don't endorse candidates, we can sure as hell tell you who's more pendejo than others!

Good ol' SanTana, the city that proved having Latinos running the city doesn't improve corruption, the place where progress is having said Latino pols gentrify poor Latinos out of existence, where much hubbub is being made that the long, long reign of Mayor-for-Life Don Papi Pulido is coming to the end because of community activism in this election...just like it was pronounced a couple of years back, and a couple of years before that, and a couple of years back...you get the quinceañera picture.

But is there a chance? Will los buenos finally take over the city? Can SanTana turn into a progressive's dream filled with community benefits agreements, kids graduating from high school, and nice neighborhoods where gabachos and wabs live in peace?

And the curandero says...¡no mames, güey!


Benavides: Looking mayoral...
This is the one that will draw the most attention, as the Don Papi is drawing a challenger in current councilmember David Benavides. If you believe David and his supporters, he's the toughest opponent Pulido has ever faced--but that's was said about Michele Martinez and Ted Moreno way back when. And while Benavides can count as supporters the majority of the SanTana City Council, the city's cops, firefighters, and employees, and even the Democratic Party of Orange County, he has a decided disadvantage--he's not Pulido, who only has to lift his pinkie to make the campaign money rain. And Pulido is a notorious dirty-tricks lover: remember how Martinez's brother was magically arrested near Election Day in 2008, and this fact was magically published in the Orange County Register? Let's just say expect a scandal to come out with Benavides--you heard it hear first.

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Collins: Loves Segways
In addition, Benavides faces a serious problem in that the only santaneros who want Pulido out are an ultimately small (though committed and awesome) group of activists; the majority of the city's wabs and gentrifying gabachos are either apathetic or think Pulido has been the stopgap that has kept SanTana from turning into Mexico, even though that train left 30 years ago. And there's the plant situation: running to challenge Pulido also are Segway lover George M. Collins, walking blob of hate Lupe Moreno, some wab named Roy Alvardo, and Miguel Angel Briseño, who's such an unknown that I originally thought he was my former student at Cal State Fullerton. Briseno and Alvarado will take votes away from Benavides, Collins from Don Papi, and Moreno from both. We wish Benavides well, but it doesn't look good...


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Rocco: Politics at its finest
SanTana is a ward city, so the three seats open this time around go by districts. Incumbent Vincent Sarmiento should win against nobody Estela Amezcua in Ward 1, so no real excitement there. Much better is Ward 3, where all the rich people live. Incumbent Busty Bustamante ain't running for reelection because he's an alleged groper, so Don Papi went back into his past and dug up former councilmember Brett Franklin. Franklin has said nice things about the Weekly in the past, so we won't be too harsh (see how easy it is to get a free pass from us, public officials), but SanTana doesn't need a retread. Angelica Amezcua (another Amezcua?) and Shane Ramon Barrows are the unknowns; current planning commissioner Eric Alderete is the chosen child of progressive Latinos; Charles Hart, of racists. But if we could endorse someone here, it'd be our favorite school board member EVER: Steve Rocco. This despite him being mad at me and leaving fliers at the Gypsy Den with my picture on them.

As for Ward 5: Karina Onofre has freaked out the city with her massive billboard off of Main Street, her vacant smile indicative of her politics; Roman Reyna, on the other hand, has long been known in SanTana as a youth advocate and currently sits on the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Trustees. I think he's Republican AND an evangelical, but we don't hold that against him--he's been good.


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Don't fuck with DREAMers
If there's any group of elected officials more ossified than this one in OC, they're no doubt holding court at Fairview Memorial Cemetery. Incumbent Rob Richardson has been bouncing around SanTana politics for nearly 20 years now, and has distinguished himself by doing jack shit. Incumbent José Alfredo Hernández has done the same, except it took him only one term to do that. A third seat is up because Reyna is running for council, and it's split between the relatives of SanTana politicos (Myriam Tinajero is the sister of councilmember Sal, and Valerie Amezcua is the daughter of former mayoral candidate Alfredo) an unknown (Robert Allen), and a verifiable liar: Cecilia Iglesias. Two years ago, she swore to me that she was for the DREAM Act; now, she plays footsies with Know Nothings, which ensures her defeat because you don't mess with DREAMers--look at what that got Loretta Sanchez. A la chingada with you, pendeja.

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Cecilia, help us in food service....or do we need to call Jamie Oliver?

Jamie Oliver U need 2really come 2 SAUSD...U would see what a lame excuse of a food service director we have and all the mistakes Mark Chavez makes and how the district pays consultants to do his job!!!!  All this with our tax payers money...

We are so despearete here..the State came back and SAUSD is keeping a tight lid on the results..YET Mark Chavez, former hamburger Mc Donald's graduate is still our director.....inquiring minds want to know how a person with approximately 4 years of school food service expirience has a job running a district of 33 million dollar budget?

These are all our opinions.....and ALLEGATIONS...just to be clear....but it seems like someone is doing this Napoleon rookie a political favor....funny...Mark Chavez's father works (so we are told) at LA Unified..did Mr. Bishop come from LA Unified?

We also know that Mark Chavez used to work with Thelma/Superintendent at another district, by the way SAUSD is the only district where Mr. Chavez has been a Food Service Director..prior to that he was an Operations Manager at a smaller district, then an Asst. Diretor, at another smaller district....totalling approximately 4 years....while working at Costco in the meat department...

So, we are compelled to ask...how did Mark Chavez land a Food Service Director job at a district our size???  Political favors?....we are not accusing..just asking....WONDERING!!!

SAUSD, we have a great Asst. Director now....he should be our leader...just our opinions


Cecilia "Ceci" Iglesias?  Go figure on her waffling.  She will have to continue to work at Behr in Santa Ana and continue the lie.




You are a funny guy! Are your articles fact or fiction?


Hola Gustavo,


I don't appreciate you spreading RUMORS that I don't support the DREAM ACT.. I have supported it from the beginning and will continue to support it. I believe that we should give students that graduate with a degree the opportunity for Legal Permanent Residence.  We should also have immigration reform.  I believe that is the humane and righteous thing to do.


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. My webpage is www.savesausd.com




Cecilia Iglesias




I am sure the public employee unions are working overtime to control this story. After all the CTA bought David and Emily thier first house.


If he can't be loyal to his wife how can the residents expect anything more?


When it does break, look for the usual "It's a private matter" blather from the left. Yeah well, it does offer a glimpse of what kind of guy Benavides really is.


"Let's just say expect a scandal to come out with Benavides--you heard it hear first."


The SCANDAL has happened. It has just not been reported!


WHY DO  David Benavides wife and kids live in an apartment in the shadows of the 55 freeway in Orange?


There is a lot to the story, not to mention insight to Benavide's character, honesty and ambition, but nobody seems to be interested. I wish the voters had the chance to review this.


SCARIER than the story, is why nobody is reporting on it!


@GustavoArellano Great piece, Gustavo. You hit the pendejo's on the head.


Eres un berraco! 


I have a theory that the almighty took away all the writing skills away from all the hijos de zacatecanos to give them to you! (do I make sense)  LOL


Keep you the great work.


 @d47ceci Aren't you tired of being a ringer for the GOP?  Como dice mi abuela, "El mono vestido de seda mono se queda." 


 @Mitchell_Young It's refreshing to hear you spout aztlanista nonsense instead of your usual fearful white-power nonsense.

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