State Democratic Party Stops Partying in OC Long Enough to Endorse Fossil-Fuel Divestment

Photo by flickr user Jenn Farr
Not from Refugio State Beach this week but Niger Delta in 2007.
Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) putting her Jimmy Choo (or heap big moccasin) in her mouth while addressing American Indians at her first big coming out as a U.S. Senate candidate was not the only moment of significance at the California Democratic Party convention in Anaheim this weekend past.

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Mike Carona Still Isn't Serving as a Cautionary Tale for SoCal Law Enforcement

Illustration by Bill Hunt
Policing authority is an ego boost. Just ask Mike Carona. Around a year before the FBI arrested the Orange County sheriff for corruption in 2007, Carona showed up at a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department facility with a four- or five-SUV entourage. South Central-hardened LA deputies who observed the arrival assumed a Secret Service detail had accompanied then-Vice President Dick Cheney. But OC's top cop--a glad-handing politician and career bureaucrat who'd never made a single arrest in his life--jumped out of a government vehicle amid heavy guard, a scene that prompted laughter at the absurd grandiosity.

From pampered office-holder to convicted felon (circa 2009), Carona's fall is now the stuff of history. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford issued a term of 66 months in prison and, in one of the most noble and necessary stern sentencing lectures in county history, slammed the disgraced cop for thinking he was above the law. Lying officers weren't tolerated in his courtroom, Guilford told a man who clearly didn't think he would serve a minute in prison. Following his conviction and on the way to the penitentiary, Carona earned a second identity: Inmate 45335-112.

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Slippery Loretta Sanchez Darts By TV News Crew After Making Native American Gaffe

Run, Loretta, Run!
Less than 48 hours into her U.S. Senate campaign, Loretta Sanchez made two, unforced gaffes and topped off the embarrassments by providing what could be the most inadvertently hilarious footage in the Democratic Party primary to replace retiring Barbara Boxer.

Sanchez first tried to tell a story to a gathering of native Americans at the state party's convention in Anaheim this weekend. The 19-year congresswoman tapped her hand on her mouth and said, "Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!"--the stereotypical battle cry of attacking Indian warriors. Her lame punchline served to distinguish American Indians and individuals from India.

A native American in the crowd wasn't amused and gave reporters his cell phone video of what he viewed as Sanchez's offensive remarks.

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Loretta Sanchez U.S. Senate Bid: It's Official!

Categories: Politics

Loretta Sanchez is ready to switch D.C. houses.
UPDATE NO. 2, MAY 14, 12:26 P.M.: It's official: "I am here to announce that I am a candidate for the United States Senate," Loretta Sanchez said this morning at the Santa Ana train station, where she was surrounded by family and supporters.

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Rancho Santiago College Foundation Considers "Unconditional" Open Meeting Law Compliance

Courtesy of Rancho Santiago Community College District
Chancellor Raul Rodriguez: Nothing to see here, folks!
Asked at a March forum about Rancho Santiago Community College District's controversial $105 million consulting contract with two technical schools in Saudi Arabia, Chancellor Raul Rodriguez stated that the public community college's private foundation that struck the deal was not subject to California's open meetings law, commonly referred to as the Brown Act.

So, naturally, the foundation's board is scheduled to meet at noon today in the district trustees' board room to consider "approval and ratification of unconditional commitment as to compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act," according to the agenda.

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Huntington Beach Activist's Voter Initiative Would End Alimony in California

Photo by flickr user Dr. John C. Bullas
Let him eat cake.
A Huntington Beach software consultant has received permission from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to collect signatures for a voter initiative aimed at ending alimony.

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Irvine Seeks Contempt Charge Against Ex-Mayor For Evading Great Park Questions

OC Weekly photo
Agran: He wants the right to remain silent about how he wasted Great Park project money
The City of Irvine has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to issue a contempt order against former mayor Larry Agran for refusing to answer questions under oath about financial benefits he may have received from Orange County Great Park contractors when he controlled the $1.6 billion project.

Anthony R. Taylor, the city's special counsel, filed the superior court case this week in hopes of forcing Agran, a 1992 Democratic Party presidential primary candidate, to field questions he adamantly refused to answer during a March deposition.

Failure to obey a court order could result in jail time.

Agran--a lawyer and longtime boss of a political machine that ran Irvine and its proposed Great Park project for 12 years until 2012--has had troubled explaining how he spent $250 million in taxpayer funds without building a single, major planned feature.

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CopWatch Activists in Santa Ana Imagine a Future Where Police No Longer Exist

Categories: Politics

Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly

Thirty-five activists gathered at Memorial Park in SanTana on Saturday afternoon to ponder the provocative question: "What does a world without police look like?"

CopWatch Santa Ana convened the regional encuentro. People from Oxnard, South Central and South Gate joined in the discussion, including Beatriz Paez, the South Gate woman whose phone was smashed last month while recording U.S. Marshals in her neighborhood. The footage has over one million views on YouTube. For all in attendance, though, filming the police is just the beginning...

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Weekender Updater: Sex Offender GPS Bills, Gang Banger's Murder Conviction and More

Megan's Law
New legislation is being proposed in the wake of serial killings to which Steven Dean Gordon is claimed to have confessed.
This weekend you are updated on: Orange County legislators trying to improve Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring of sex offenders; the murder conviction of a gang member who gunned down a young man on a bike and then handed his hood rat a flower; a man being ordered to stand trial on charges of kidnapping his former live-in girlfriend's teenage daughter and sexually assaulting her over 10 years; mercy shown for an ex-drug dealer who had been indicted for murder in his girlfriend's heroin overdose death; a lost appeal of Orange County's first guilty verdict for human trafficking of a minor under terms of Proposition 35; and the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit in an electrical worker's electrocution in an underground vault in Huntington Beach.

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San Diego Politician Seeks To Undermine OC Great Park Audit

In Legally Blonde 2, Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) works to pass anti-animal testing legislation. But her sly boss, a congresswoman (Sally Fields), secretly sabotages the effort on behalf of a money-hungry campaign contributor. Though naïve and ditsy, Woods uses her charm to turn once contemptuous politicians into admirers, wins a new law and everybody, including her Chihuahua Bruiser, lives happily ever after.

It's a feel good Hollywood tale that doesn't quite mirror reality, at least in Sacramento. On April 22, Assemblywoman Lorena S. Gonzalez tried to play the role of an Elle Woods-type do-gooder by advocating that the state auditor open an investigation into the City of Irvine. Her issue? In a rambling, semi-coherent statement, Gonzalez said the legislature has "a responsibility" to determine if the audit of Orange County Great Park spending was performed "for political reasons."

The reason for the audit is obvious. Flabbergasted Irvine residents wanted to know how city officials spent about $250 million in park funds without building a single, major, promised feature of the proposed project. And the answer is most definitely political, but not the way Gonzalez is spinning the issue.

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