Tag Archives: Adam Sanchez

Election 2007: Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley Turning Further Blue

Well, it looks like the totals are now in this a.m.  This was an excellent day to be a Democrat in the Coachella Valley!!!  Democrats easily won the race for Mayor in Palm Springs, one of two City Council races in Palm Springs, one of two City Council races in Desert Hot Springs, and one of two seats on the Desert Water Agency.  In addition, No on C easily won as well.

What these wins mean is that progressive Democrats have gained control of Palm Springs City Council and now have a presence on both the Desert Hot Springs City Council and on the Desert Water Agency.  This is evidence of the continuing surge of progressive Democratic leadership in the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley!  Next step?  Solidify the wins and take over the CA 80th Assembly District where Democrats now outnumber Republicans by 13,000 voters!  Congratulations to all candidates, volunteers, and their supporters for fighting the good fight!

Regarding irregularities, a poll watcher reported that in some instances, the chain of custody was not completed with at least four vans arriving at the central location with only one occupant.  Less serious concerns involved the ‘packaging’ of some of the cartridges as they were not in clear plastic bags as apparently required. 

Concerning campaigning and mudslinging, Republican candidates and/or their backers issued a mailing over the weekend that was a smear campaign clearly aimed at either suppressing or redistributing the vote.  Republican candidates had also been consistently attacking Pougnet, Hutcheson, Williams, and Mahlowitz as minions of ‘Ma Foat,’ hardly an effective approach to winning.  (Ginny Foat is a City Councilwoman who during the 2005 election received the largest vote totals for any Councilperson ever and remains highly popular in Palm Springs).  Republican candidates and their lackey, The Desert Sun also engaged in subliminal homophobic attacks against the above candidates, calling for a ‘balanced’ City Council.  Most recently, City Council included three openly-gay members including Mayor Ron Oden, Foat, and Pougnet.  If Pougnet, Hutcheson, and Williams all won, then four of five councilmembers would be openly-gay.  (Presently, three of five Councilmembers in Cathedral City are also gay, though only two openly).  ‘Balanced’ is now the code word amongst the Republicans in the Coachella Valley for electing White Republican heterosexuals.  Another concern is the developing story involving the alleged ‘illegal activities’ of the General Manager and CBS affiliate Channel 2.

As expected, Steve Pougnet (D) won handily.  In its editorial endorsement, the Desert Sun predicted him to win about 75% of the vote, and he almost met that estimate with 71.07%.  Arlene Battishill, a resident who divides her time between Palm Springs and Los Angeles, garnered 17.73%.  It is clear that Pougnet has a mandate for his first term.  With this election, Palm Springs now has a Democratic mayor who will actually vote according to Democratic principles.  Congratulations, Steve!!!

I’ll have to check these total versus totals from prior year elections in a future post to shed further light on these amazing wins.

More below the flip…

Palm Springs Mayor (NP – Non-Partisan)
36/36 100.00%

Vote Count Percent
NP – BILL FERRA 458 4.93%
NP – JOHN TYMON 210 2.26%
NP – STEVE POUGNET (D) 6,601 71.07%
NP – DON COOK 372 4.01%
Total 9,288 100.00%

The overall numbers for Democrats in the races for Palm Springs City Council are impressive.  Of the 18,056 votes, 11,506 or 63.72% were given to Democrats (Hutcheson, Williams, Mahlowitz, and Gainer).  Unfortunately, at least thus far, the votes were diffused between the four Democrats, and as a result, we did not thump as clearly.  Rick Hutcheson (D) is a clear winner with 25.23% of the vote.  John Williams is a close second with 20.08% of the vote, but trails Lee Weigel by 104 votes!  Although these votes mimic the Vote By Mail totals that I cited earlier today, they may not include the late Vote By Mail or the provisional ballots.

In an early assessment, it looks like the major contributing factor is the fact that the major Democratic Clubs in Palm Springs did not coallesce on two candidates.  The Riverside County Democratic Central Committee cited this as the deciding factor in its decision not to endorse for Palm Springs City Council.  Other factors also probably include the negative campaigning conducted by Republican candidates and the sandbagging of Williams by the Desert Sun once again on a non-issue for most of Palm Springs residents (i.e., that so-called pornography had been filmed at his Warm Sands hotel.  When last we looked, pornography was legal and protected by the U.S. Constitution as an expression of Freedom of Speech).

Nevertheless, Hutcheson and Williams both need to be proud of their positive and issue-based campaigns, and Congratulations to Rick! and hopefully to John as well!!

Palm Springs City Council

36/36 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
NP – ROXANN PLOSS 1,128 6.25%
NP – RICK HUTCHESON 4,555 25.23%
NP – LEE WEIGEL 3,729 20.65%
NP – JOHN WILLIAMS 3,625 20.08%
NP – SHEILA GRATTAN 1,442 7.99%
NP – VIC GAINER 880 4.87%
NP – BOB MAHLOWITZ 2,446 13.55%
Total 18,056 100.00%

In the race for Desert Water Agency, Craig Ewing (D), unseated a Republican incumbant and came in second with 32.31% of the vote.

Dir, Desert Water Agency
94/94 100.00%
  Vote Count Percent
NP – TOM KIELEY, III 7,469 38.63%
NP – CRAIG A. EWING 6,247 32.31%
NP – WILLIAM ”BILL” BYRNE 5,619 29.06%
Total 19,335 100.00%

Regarding Measure C, an attempt to open up the Chino Cone for more unrestricted development, No on C won 60.03% of the vote.  Proponents of Measure C spent $750,000 in a failed attempt to change development code.  Congratulations to activists involved in furthering reasonable and measured development on and near the Chino Cone!!!

Measure C – City of Palm Springs

36/36 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
Yes 3,822 39.97%
No 5,741 60.03%
Total 9,563 100.00%

In Desert Hot Springs, Adam Sanchez (D), barely lost to Yvonne Parks by 113 votes!

Desert Hot Springs Mayor

14/14 100.00%
  Vote Count Percent
NP – ALEX BIAS 252 14.10%
NP – ADAM SANCHEZ 578 32.34%
NP – YVONNE PARKS 691 38.67%
Total 1,787 100.00%

On another positive note, Karl Baker rebounded from his earlier loss in the election for the City Council seat of the late, great Gary Bosworth by winning his first term as Desert Hot Springs City Councilman with 17.87% of the vote.  Congratulations to Karl!!!

14/14 100.00%

Vote Count Percent
NP – RUSSELL BETTS 906 26.80%
NP – KARL BAKER, JR. 604 17.87%
NP – MARY K. STEPHENS 359 10.62%
NP – TERRY SCHEURER 395 11.69%
NP – AL SCHMIDT 400 11.83%
Total 3,380 100.00%