Tag Archives: OC Democratic Party

Another Groovy Surf City Independence Day!

(Cross-posted at Ditch Crazy Dana and Obama OC)

History was made again yesterday. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Huntington Beach once again for the Fourth of July Parade. And once again, the OC Democrats had a fantastic time being a part of the largest Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi River. And the party didn’t stop when the parade ended, as local activists pitched up tent by the pier to wake up the neighbors, and let them know about the importance of next year’s election. All in all, we all had a great time!

Follow me after the flip as I take you on a tour of the biggest and best party one could be at on the Fourth of July!

For twenty-five years, the Democratic Party of Orange County has been a part of the parade. And every year, we continue to delight the crowds with our rockin’ music and jubilant marchers. This year’s theme of our float was “Opportunity, Diversity, & Freedom”, and boy could everyone see all that and more yesterday! We had young Democrats and long-time Democrats who are still young at heart. We had gay Democrats and straight Democrats. We had black Democrats, brown Democrats, and white Democrats. We had Democrats supporting Barack Obama, Democrats supporting John Edwards, Democrats supporting Hillary Clinton, and Democrats supporting other Democratic Candidates for President. And what brought all us Democrats together yesterday was that we’re all part of the Democratic Party of Orange County, and that we all stand for the right of working families in Orange County to have that opportunity to succeed.

So who was there yesterday? Here I am (left to right) with our newest OC Democrat Mitch Star, the one & only Mike Lawson of The Liberal OC, and Elizabeth and Jason of Orange County Young Democrats (OCYD).

Here I am with (left to right) Garden Grove City Council Candidate Paul Lucas, Mitch, and Mike.

Here’s Former State Senator & Current California Medical Association CEO Joe Dunn with some young Democrats as they prepare for the moment of truth.

Here I am with the great Vern Nelson, the fearless Orange County organizer for Healthcare for All California.

And here’s the float in action!

Now all these great Democrats were a part of the parade, but they weren’t the only Democrats busy in Surf City! Obama OC laid out some blankets on the beach by the pier, put up a canopy, and got to work registering new voters and letting others in the ‘hood know about Barack Obama and the 2008 Election. We had over 30 new registrations yesterday, including a Republican and a Green who switched to Democrat because they’ve been inspired by Obama. And of course, we had dozens more come on over to our beach party, just to talk to us about the election and show their appreciation of us being out in the community.

OK, so a few of us Obama Girls did manage to get in the parade! ; )

And here’s our great booth!

Oh yeah, and could we have possibly held a beach party at a better location than this? : )

Yep, I’d say that yesterday was a huge success for OC Democrats! At the parade, we let the community know that we’re 454,000 voters strong and we’re making a difference for working families in this county. At the beach party, Obama OC showed the folks by the pier that there are progressives who care enough about changing the same old politics of despair and destruction that we get out in the community and let them know that hope is still here. Now what could be more American than this?

Perhaps a terrific fireworks show? What the heck, why not! ; )

Come to the Strawberry Festival This Weekend!

Hey, now! Guess what’s happening this weekend? Yes, it’s that time again. It’s the Strawberry Festival! Starting today, and continuing through Memorial Day Monday, Downtown Garden Grove will be berry, berry fun!

And guess what? It gets better! The Democratic Party will be at the festival, too! Look for the pretty booth with the big Democratic banner. Oh yes, and if you’re free this weekend and you want to help, the schedule’s still open!

Follow me after the flip for all the details…

Here’s the email I got from the Democratic Party of Orange County:

The Democratic Party of Orange County needs your help! We need volunteers to help staff our Voter Registration and Information booth at the 49th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival.

Admission is free. This festival is the second largest city festival in the Western United States. It’s held at the Village Green between Main Street and Euclid Avenue in downtown Garden Grove. Festival opens Friday evening, May 25th with the ceremonial cutting of the world’s largest strawberry shortcake which is served free to over 2,000 people attending.

To volunteer to staff the booth for the Democratic Party, please contact the event volunteer coordinator, Marko Markovich at (714) 964-5514 or [email protected]

Come on, now! You know you want to come to the Strawberry Festival. Where else can you have such a berry good time? ; )

Could Jerry Brown Have Taken Tan Nguyen to Court?

“I speak Spanish very well and (the letter) was offensive,” she said. “And it was offesnive and intimidating to many voters who talked to our office.”

She also said the law seemed to by on Nguyen’s side — for better or worse.

“If you read the state and federal laws, it’s very difficult to get a conviction. The laws are vague,” she said.

That was my fabulous Congresswoman, Loretta Sanchez, speaking to OC Register reporter Martin Wisckol about Attorney General Jerry Brown’s decision NOT to pursue criminal charges against Tan Nguyen for intimidating over 14,000 LEGALLY registered voters. Now maybe it really is quite difficult to get a conviction for a charge like this, but it shouldn’t be impossible. Chris Prevatt took another look at state election law at The Liberal OC, and he arrived at quite an interesting conclusion.

Follow me after the flip to see the law for yourself, and decide whether Jerry Brown really wants to enforce the law here…

Here’s what Chris dug up at The Liberal OC:

18540.  (a) Every person who makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence, or tactic of coercion or intimidation, to
induce or compel any other person
to vote or refrain from voting at
any election
or to vote or refrain from voting for any particular
person or measure at any election, or because any person voted or
refrained from voting at any election or voted or refrained from
voting for any particular person or measure at any election is guilty
of a felony
punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 16
months or two or three years.

  (b) Every person who hires or arranges for any other person to
make use of or threaten to make use of any force, violence, or tactic
of coercion or intimidation, to induce or compel any other person to
vote or refrain from voting at any election or to vote or refrain
from voting for any particular person or measure at any election, or
because any person voted or refrained from voting at any election or
voted or refrained from voting for any particular person or measure
at any election is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in
the state prison for 16 months or two or three years.

18543.  (a) Every person who knowingly challenges a person’s right
to vote without probable cause
or on fraudulent or spurious grounds,
or who engages in mass, indiscriminate, and groundless challenging of
voters solely for the purpose of preventing voters from voting
or to
delay the process of voting, or who fraudulently advises any person
that he or she is not eligible to vote
or is not registered to vote
when in fact that person is eligible or is registered, or who
violates Section 14240, is punishable by imprisonment in the county
jail for not more than 12 months or in the state prison.

  (b) Every person who conspires to violate subdivision (a) is
guilty of a felony.

OK, the law seems quite clear. This letter clearly violates state law. So why didn’t Jerry Brown take this case to court, and at least try to achieve justice for all the voters in Orange County who were nearly scared away from the polls by Tan Nguyen?

I have to concur with Chris here:

We all know that the letters went to 14,000 legally registered voters.  As registered voters these individuals are entitled to the right to vote, without intimidation or obstruction by anyone.  The only way a voter may be challenged is if an  elections official has specific and compelling evidence that the voter is not eligible to vote.  Elections officials are the only people who may directly intervene to stop someone from voting illegally.

I’ve got ju[s]t one question for AG Moon Beam and his Senior Assistan[t] AG in San Diego; How on earth can you conclude that section 18543 was not violated when eligible voters were challeneged without probable cause, by a mass and indiscriminate mailing to legally registered voters?  I cannot find anything in the code that talks about “intent.”  It is that act of intimidation that is the crime.  From what I can see, intent is nothing more than icing on the cake.

I just don’t get their reasoning here.

Neither do I, Chris. Neither do I.

AG Brown: Why Let Tan Nguyen Off the Hook?

“The right to vote is fully protected under the XV Amendment of the US constitution. Anybody that uses any intimidation tactics should be prosecuted with the full power of the law. When Mr. Nguyen or anybody else uses the printing materials such as letterhead of an anti-immigrant organization it shows intent to intimidate. How more clear can it be? I feel disappointed that it was LULAC that had to call the State Attorney General’s office to find out the results of the investigations rather than the AG call us. When I spoke with Mr. Schons he said that the case was closed back in February, they really dropped the ball. We are going to ask the US Attorney General to fully investigate this issue.”

That was Orange County LULAC President Benny Diaz, speaking to The Liberal OC about how he found out that Jerry Brown would not be pursuing a case against Tan Nguyen for illegally intimidating over 14,000 legal voters. So why didn’t Jerry Brown follow through on the case that Bill Lockyer was trying to make? And what do the people in Orange County who had the misfortune of having front-row seats to the Tan Nguyen debacle have to say about what happened yesterday?

Follow me after the flip for more…

Here are a couple more comments from The Liberal OC on Tan Nguyen and Jerry Brown’s decision not to prosecute him t the fullest extent of state law:

While Tan Nguyen is clearly not out of the woods yet, given the federal voting rights investigation that is still ongoing, he has clearly gotten a pass from Attorney General Moon Beam.

Frank Barbaro, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County commented tonight saying;

“This is a classic case of wrong without remedy. Everybody agrees that what Tan Nguyen did was very wrong, and was done with the intent to discourage people from voting.”

Democratic Party of Orange County Vice-Chair Rima Nashashibi, who is an American-Palestinian born in Jerusalem, was a bit more blunt;

“The letters were offensive, to me and they were offensive to the legally registered voters who received them. At the time Tan Nguyen’s involvement in this attack on the voting rights of U.S. citizens was revealed, both Democrat and Republican leaders condemned his actions. Despite the decision of the State Attorney General on this matter, I hope GOP Chairman Scott Baugh will continue to stand by his repudiation of Tan Nguyen’s acts of voter intimidation.”

Tan Nguyen has never apologized for his actions and he needs to be held accountable. Hopefully, this will occur at the federal level. Only time will tell. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Yes, Tan Nguyen should be held accountable for sending this letter to over 14,000 legally registered voters in Central Orange County. So why didn’t Jerry Brown do that? Why didn’t he pursue a case against Tan Nguyen? Why didn’t he stand up for Californians’ right to vote… And NOT be intimidated away from doing so?

I really don;t like speculating about these matters. That’s why I’d like an answer from our Attorney General. Why didn’t he do his job of prosecuting those (like Tan Nguyen) who commit crimes against innocent people (like scaring them away from the polls)? Why, Jerry? Why?

Farewell, Mike Levin.

I just saw this on Total Buzz. Now I have a feeling that this would be better as a “Quickie“, but I wanted a little more space to give my heartfelt thanks to Mike Levin. Mike Levin took over as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Orange County about eight months ago. Back then, the party headquarters was in complete shambles. The office was cluttered with old boxes filled with old papers, and the dust was literally covering the original paint color of the walls. Mike Levin came in, and he cleaned shop. The first time I walked in the office after he took over, I was literally astounded that the office was actually clean and orderly!

But of course, Mike did much more than just clean the office. He helped give this party a clean bill of health again. Thanks to Mike’s fantastic leadership, Democrats held the 34th State Senate District by helping Lou Correa win that historically close election last year. Thanks to Mike, OC Democrats fought hard like never before in the effort to fill the County Board of Supervisors vacancy (left by Lou when he became a Senator) with Tom Umberg. And overall, Mike has been a part of this successful effort to make the Democratic Party relevant in Orange County again.

And now, it’s time for him to move on from here. Follow me after the flip for more on where Mike Levin is going from here…

Well, I guess Martin Wisckol’s question has now been answered:

County Democrat boss Frank Barbaro displayed his sincerity in cranking up the party’s local activity level when he hired Mike Levin in September. The young Stanford graduate took the reins as executive director and immediately proved himself to be sharp, responsive and energetic. At one point I think I ask Barbaro how long he’d be able to keep him.

I got the answer today. Levin is leaving next month for the Bay Area and a job with Better Energy Systems, whose first product, the Solio, is a solar charger for small electronics.

But hey, there’s no reason for us to fear. Current Political Director Melahat Rafiei will likely take over as Interim Executive Director of the party. And boy is this a good thing! Melahat has done great things for DFA Orange County, and she fought hard in the 46th Congressional District as Jim Brandt’s campaign manager. I’m very confident that she’ll do a great job for our party, and that she will only help the Democratic Party continue to strengthen in Orange County.

But still, I’ll miss Mike. I’ll miss his shrewd political sensibility, and I’ll miss his pragmatic approach to idealism (or is that idealistic approach to pragmatism?). I’ll miss his sunny smile, and I’ll miss that take-charge attitude he brought to the party office. We’ll all miss Mike here in OC, but that shouldn’t stop us from wishing him the best of luck up in the Bay Area! : )

Stop the Wal-Martian Invasion This Weekend!

I just got this in my email inbox from Frank Barbaro, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County:

Wal-Mart’s destructive impact on communities is well- documented. Local competition is driven out, noise and traffic increases, and local governments and taxpayers get a raw deal.

Wal-Mart is planning to open a 170,000-sq. ft. supercenter at Chapman Avenue and Brookhurst Street in Garden Grove and the only thing standing in their way is the City Council.

Come help to keep a Wal-Mart Supercenter out of Garden Grove. We will be walking door to door to educate residents and build support for the Main Street Coalition. We hope to see you there!

So how can YOU support what’s best for local small businesses and healthy communities in Southern California? Well, follow me after the flip for all the details…

OK, so we know that Wal-Mart isn’t good for workers. We know that Wal-Mart doesn’t provide its workers adequate health care… So they just dump the workers into taxpayer-funded Medicaid programs. We know that Wal-Mart’s “low prices” don’t do anything to alleviate poverty. And yes, we know that Wal-Mart loves to bleed taxpayers dry with all those subsidiesBut they don’t even have the decency to pay their taxes!

So why the heck would Garden Grove want all this trouble in their city? We need to educate people in the community about why Wal-Mart doesn’t really save us money. We need to let folks know just how much money Wal-mart costs us every year! We need to get out and talk to our friends and neighbors in Garden Grove, and the OC Democrats are ready to team up with the Main Street Coalition to do just that!

Date: Saturday, May 12
Time: 10:00am-2:00pm
13252 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Meet in the Courtyard

Residents will be able to sign support cards, join the coalition, and receive more information about the campaign.

As we build in numbers in the community, the stronger our voice becomes to before the council. It is imperative the community become aware and involved in this campaign so that we can keep Wal-Mart out!

Yes, let’s keep Wal-Mart out! And let’s keep good jobs and good living in Garden Grove! Wal-Mart may be big and powerful, but we won’t let them take away what we like about our community. : )