Feet To The Fire Forum - Again
While we're all sitting around (Ha!) waiting for the court ruling today, I thought I'd better remind you of a very special event next week.
BABS IS BACK!
On April 5, 2012, the irrepressible Barbara Venezia, who promises to wear her flame outfit again, will host yet another in her series of Feet To The Fire Forums at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Avenue. (Lions Park) Doors open at 6:30 and the festivities begin at 7:00.
In this iteration Barbara will be joined by Daily Pilot Editor John Canalis, new Daily Pilot self-styled conservative columnist Jack Wu, former publisher of the Daily Pilot and new head honcho of the Orange County Register's The Current, Tom Johnson, Newport Independent Editor Roger Bloom and Voice of OC Editor-in-Chief Norberto Santana, Jr. as they put the screws to the three remaining candidates for the recently-configured new California 74th Assembly District.
TWO REPUBLICANS AND A DEMOCRAT (OR IS HE?)
Scheduled to be grilled by those stalwart journalists are two Republicans, Allan Mansoor and Leslie Daigle, and a guy who became a registered Democrat simultaneous with filing his papers to run for this seat, Newport Beach's Bob Rush.
Mansoor is trying to run as an incumbent, but he's not. His old district was manipulated so he doesn't live there anymore. But, he's the closest thing to an incumbent in this particular race, for all the good that will do him. His two years in the Assembly has been undistinguished - his peers barely knew he was there. None of the three bills he initiated went anywhere. When you're in the minority (seems strange to refer to him as such, considering his history in this city) you have to be a consensus-builder to get anything accomplished. He is NOT a consensus-builder by any stretch of the imagination. His role in Sacramento has been as a lock-step lemming mouthpiece for the far, far right.
DAIGLE'S UPHILL BATTLE
Daigle, a Newport Beach council member, is challenging the OC GOP on this run. Mansoor has the support of Scott Baugh and his cronies, so she's up against it with this run. We've seen how aggressive Baugh and his pals can be when folks run against their "chosen ones", so Daigle will have her hands full. She is viewed by many as a more moderate candidate - one that might actually be able to accomplish something in Sacramento - but those are fighting words for the OC GOP establishment.
RUSH - WHO IS HE AND WHY IS HE RUNNING?
Rush is an enigma. He has been described by some as a council gadfly, which isn't necessarily bad. There seems to be no real reason for him to be running, but he's putting up some serious cash to do so. Some folks think he may be a spoiler, placed in the race to split Daigle's votes and, maybe, attract enough Democrat voters to the primary to squeeze Daigle out, leaving Mansoor and Rush to compete in the General Election. Considering the demographic in this new district, that almost certainly guarantees a Mansoor win in November. Since California has an open primary - where partisans can vote for their enemy's candidates - the fact that Democrats can vote on the Republican ticket could make this an interesting race.
THEY'RE READY TO RUMBLE
Based on recent reports, all the candidates have a little over $100,000 in their campaign war chests to spend so far. Daigle has captured many important endorsements but Mansoor has the party behind him. It's going to be fun, to say the very least.
LOCAL TV WILL RECORD IT
Thursday's forum should be VERY interesting. It's being held on Mansoor's home turf, so we can likely expect a crowd that leans in his favor. Certainly, you could expect to see a covey of GOP sycophants in attendance. It's my understanding that three community television crews, Costa Mesa Television, Newport Beach Television and Irvine Television, will be on hand to record the event for taped replay on their respective community access channels. But, don't let that stop you from turning out to see the show.
JOIN ME WATCHING THEM SWEAT
So, join me on Thursday. Barbara always puts on a good show and it is really fun to watch politicians, and would-be politicians sweat a little. See you there...