Nelson Shines at Otherwise Dismal Event. WAND Candidate Forum Comes, Goes


UPDATE: Anaheim’s Cynthia Ward has an excellent summation of the forum on Red County, here. 

And what a depressing event it was. The WAND (West Anaheim Neighborhood Development Council) forum was almost as bad as the NUFF event in January. Give them credit for giving it a go, but they didn’t have a lot to work with.

This time Tom Daly was gone, but Harry Sidhu and Lorri Galloway actually showed up. Better for them if they hadn’t.

Apart from the consistently coherent and concise answers to audience questions by Fullerton Councilman Shawn Nelson, the remainder of the five candidates could only demonstrate their almost complete ignorance about what a County Supervisor does. Their answers were alternatively muddled, idiotic, or evasive. It was pretty painful to watch. But watch I did. And I filmed the event to harvest future fruits.

A summation: Art Brown is a typical government statist-type guy; Rosie Espinosa is truly virtually clueless, still knows nothing about the County government and isn’t afraid to show it; Richard Faher is actually starting to become annoying – running against the Federal government – except when it comes  to marijuana laws when he becomes a big government pussycat.

Of the seeming top tier candidates, I have to say that nothing has changed my previous observations. Harry Sidhu is just an empty suit; his answers, when intelligible at all, were evasive. He did admit to living in the district for only two and a half months – since February 1st – thus confirming his previous perjury. Galloway’s responses were generally equally feather-headed, and most seemed to hinge upon “collaboration” – that lefty cure-all for everything that ails us. She also made a big deal about pandering to the Anaheim residents about getting their “fair share”, bragged about the money she’s spent on them, and the need to elect somebody from Anaheim (presumably her). And significantly, neither Sidhu nor Galloway who are both making “jobs, jobs, jobs,” their platform, could name a single specific job that they, as a Supervisor would create.

On the High Speed Rail boondoggle Galloway came out as a big booster since there is no amount of your money she isn’t willing to flush down the toilet; Sidhu waffled hard, pretending for the evening that he wasn’t already bought and paid for by Curt Pringle’s money machine. Nelson, as he has in the past, came out strongly against the ill-conceived fiasco in the making. Ditto on Pringle’s massive ARTIC plan that requires $140,000,000 Measure M money. Incredibly, Galloway tried to claim that ARTIC was not tied to the HSR; and Sidhu got excited and blurted out that the cities of north Orange County voted for the extension of Measure M, despite the fact that the claim by Nelson was that what they had voted on did not include  all that dough for an Anaheim transportation center. Comically, Galloway claimed it would become the transportation hub of Southern California. Anybody wanna bet?

Except for Nelson, who demanded departmental audits and outsourcing, all the others completely botched the budget question – turning it into a Rock Candy Mountain wish for jobs, jobs jobs. Of course Galloway’s solution is to spend our way out of the budget hole with public works projects. Somehow.

On the really topical issue of County island annexation they all pretty much fumbled it, seeing it as an autonomy issue, and failing to recognize the inherent dysfunctionality of the County as a service provider, although to his credit Nelson was the only one to provide examples to fix some of that dysfunction. On the issue of equalization of funding none of the other five really knew what they were talking about, and showed it, although once again Nelson recognized the issue as a purely political problem. Sidhu’s feeble response was to work hard with others. Somehow. Galloway pandered to Anaheim, as usual.

On the question of code enforcement none of them could say much of anything that was informed. If any of them are aware of current County code enforcement policy or procedure, none of them shared that knowledge with the audience.

Questions on marijuana, eminent domain, bike trails in Carbon Canyon and the homeless invited meandering, uninformed responses, and got them.

Maybe the best question had to do with length of residence in the district with Nelson clocking in at 39 years and Art Brown at 36. Galloway claims she has lived in the district a whopping 7 months, although if she did, she spent the first four months living illegally in a Lincoln Avenue office use zone.  As noted above, Sidhu confirmed his perjury on voter registration documents.

The final wrap up statement provided a fitting end to the evening. Faher was out cutting the grass in left field – but not in his front yard, apparently. Espinosa was exploring County “crevices.” Brown was fixing non-partisan potholes. Galloway expressed her profound faith in the Almighty and the depth of her “compassion” and her “caring,” oblivious to the irony of having to publicly advertise one’s own empathetic excellence; of course this is just code for taxing us to satisfy her political agenda. Sidhu, sticking as closely as possible to his prepared script demonstrated his willingness to go down with the same, lame sinking “jobs, jobs, jobs” ship. And he almost seemed to get angry that somebody wouldn’t be impressed that he has represented 40% of the district for six years – even though he has almost nothing to show for it.

Which leaves us with Shawn Nelson. Of all the candidates he was the only one who could muster intelligent and informed and decisive answers. And in the end his closing statement reflected the same message, delivered unequivocally: accountable and conservative leadership for the 4th District.

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  1. #1 by rusty miller fonda on April 15, 2010

    collaboration is a good thing because it brings the community together under the control of those who know best,just ask pam kellar

  2. #2 by Inquiring Mind on April 15, 2010

    Excellent summation, Tony.

    Except for Nelson it appears that none of these candidates have an inkling about what the County government does or doesn’t do. Interestingly they are all city council members (except the Faher guy), and that’s all they can talk about – their experiences in staff-driven environments.

    Galloway is freaking dangerous.

  3. #3 by Chris Thompson on April 15, 2010

    Great and utterly depressing summary Admin. I am convinced that in the absence of high intelligence (Nelson) that extremely low intelligence is a prerequisite for having a shot at higher office. You have to be dumb enough to not understand how incompetent your really are. You know, I’m against poll taxes or property ownership mandates, but can we at least mandate that voters verify attendance to some kind of a candidate forum? I’m kidding of course, but just barely.

  4. #4 by Andy Martinez on April 15, 2010

    I though it was great when Shawn Nelson went after Tom Daly for wasting taxpayers money.

    Shawn forgot about the 2.1 million dollars building that is still sitting empty for two years that Tom Daly purchased.

  5. #5 by anonymous on April 15, 2010

    Not surprising, Tony. With the 58 counties facing tremendous budget problems over the next several years, it would seem that fiscal management, oversight, and responsibility would be at the top of the list of functions that an incoming supervisor, fully aware of what is going on statewide and in sacramento becuase of the direct impact on county governement, would be focused on. It sounds from your summary that Nelson was the only candidate fully up to speed on the impact of legislative decision-making in sacramento will be on the 58 counties. Galloway….her dog probably has more awareness of what is occurring statewide than she does….A sad commentary on what the Dems can put up as competition.

  6. #6 by Breathing Fire on April 15, 2010

    Ah I love the statement, “harvest future fruits” delicious!
    I was not able to attend this event but did attend the NUFF forum. The WAND group are pretty politically astute so their choice should be pretty easy for them.. As for the rest of the districts voters Chris, I agree with you..if you are going to vote..be informed not just influenced..

  7. #7 by nipsey on April 15, 2010

    The unincorporated islands question is interesting. I know there are some tiny islands where it is pretty obvious they could be absorbed into the surrounding city, but what about something like unincorporated North Tustin? It’s big, affluent, and historically pretty hostile to being incorporated in whole or parceled out to Tustin or Orange (and why wouldn’t they be hostile to having yet another layer of incompetent bureaucracy to mess with when they’re used to being mostly left the hell alone). Also, the idea of incorporating as a ‘foothills’ city has rightfully gone nowhere.

  8. #8 by Island Girl on April 15, 2010

    OPA is another “island” that will never go away. But the main Anaheim island is an embarrassment to everybody, as is Midway City.

    The foothills area can’t afford to incorporate.

  9. #9 by Krusty on April 16, 2010

    Still nothing from FFFF regarding the lawsuit against Shawn ???

  10. #10 by Colony Rabble on April 16, 2010

    Come on Krusty, the lawsuit is a red herring and you know it. People do that for political reasons, just before an election.

  11. #11 by Thor on April 17, 2010

    Stay with the facts Krusty, Lorri and Harry don’t live in the district. Carpetbaggers! Don’t shil for them…

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