Wednesday, November 05, 2014

My Post-Midnight Take On The Election

Last night and this morning I tried to work as fast as I could to snatch the election numbers every time they were updated and throw them out there for your viewing pleasure.  Between phone calls and just being old and tired, it took me almost the full 30 minutes between updates last night to get it all done.  And, as reader Honeyman so kindly pointed out, I dropped the ball at 10:30.  Fortunately, no harm, no foul because - as it turned out - the fun was just beginning!

Here are a few impressions I've been left with from last night.  Regardless how the final vote now turns out in the Costa Mesa City Council race, a couple things are clear. First, Katrina Foley is an excellent campaigner.  She ran a positive, forward-looking, uplifting campaign and managed the mass communication and feet-on-the-ground part of it the best.  She and Jay Humphrey - thrown together as a de facto ticket by circumstances -  brought significant synergy to the race.
Second, even if he manages to defeat Humphrey - he leads him by 21 votes at this point, with the provisional ballots yet to be counted and the probability of a recount hovering overhead - it is crystal clear that Righeimer and his cronies have NO mandate from the voters.  While the final campaign expenditure numbers are not yet in, it looks like he will have spent nearly $200,000 on this campaign and Lee Ramos - his chosen running mate who finished far back in the field - spent another huge chunk of cash.  And that's not counting the huge piles of cash spent on their behalf by political action committees and other GOP sources.

And, his cronies - Ron Amburgey in the Mesa Water race and Brian Peotter and Chuck Perry in the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Race - failed miserably to resonate with the voters.  Peotter had a strange campaign - promising to fire himself if elected - and Perry apparently didn't really want folks to know who he was because he refused to use his whole name on his campaign signs.  I guess he assumed he'd get some positive input from folks thinking they were electing his brother, who already sits on the CMSD Board.  Both men finished well behind the incumbents, Mike Scheafer, Bob Ooten and Arlene Schafer.  Amburgey's casual-to-a-fault demeanor certainly didn't stack up with the voters when compared to incumbent Jim Atkinson.

The biggest story, by far, is Righeimer's showing.  The voters have made it clear that his approach to management of this city falls far short of their expectations.  No better indicator of that can be found than the abysmal showing by Righeimer's latest Charter scheme - Measure O.  That document, created by a hand-picked team of cronies, is even worse than Measure V two years ago.  The voters showed the good judgment to discard this one, too, by an even greater margin than Measure V.  The voters cannot make it any clearer - they are NOT ready to change the form of government by imposing a Charter with insufficient controls to prohibit mischief by those in charge.  Some of Righeimer's supporters - Andy Smith, a member of the Charter Committee and the man behind all the "Yes on O" signs around town, has already stated that another campaign for a Charter would begin immediately if Measure O was defeated.  Well, enough is enough!  What part of NO don't you guys understand?

And then there is the embarrassing Measure P situation.  In my opinion, Measure P was just a ploy to get Righeimer's face before the voters.  It is an advisory measure with no standing in law.  Apparently Righeimer wanted to use the results - he assumed the voters would overwhelmingly support the rejection of toll lanes on the I-405 Freeway adjacent to Costa Mesa - to point out to state officials that we didn't want those toll lanes.  Then came the debacle of the ballot language, in which somebody working for the City of Costa Mesa botched it - big time.  They placed two questions on the ballot - opposite ends of the issue - and the voters were supposed to figure out which one to answer, and how to answer it.  It cost about $12,000 to place that meaningless item on the ballot and probably at least that much on multiple mailers to the voters trying to salvage the situation.  The results indicate to me that those efforts failed.  The results - nobody will ever know what they are supposed to represent because of the ballot statement gaffe - certainly show no overwhelming outcry.
The school board races were interesting.  Incumbents Vicki Snell and Walt Davenport soundly trounced their challengers and Charlene Metoyer whipped Michael Collier in the race to fill Katrina Foley's seat - the one she defeated Collier to win four years ago.  Snell beat journalist Steve Smith and Davenport defeated activist Lisa Manfredi and Fidel Mora.

Legendary long time coach and former Orange Coast College President Dave Grant soundly thumped teacher and union activist Joel Flores for the seat on the Coast Community College District Board.

Incumbent Shawn Dewane, self-professed "financial expert" and also a member of the Mesa Water District Board, handily defeated termed-out councilwoman Wendy Leece for his seat on the Orange County Water District Board.
 I was surprised that Newport Beach councilman Keith Curry was so soundly defeated by Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper for the 74th Assembly seat being vacated by Allan Mansoor.  Curry's son-in-law, Tony Capitelli, also finished far back in the pack in the Costa Mesa council race.
Speaking of Mansoor, as of this writing it looks like carpetbagger Michelle Steel thumped him like a drum in the race for John Moorlach's Orange County Supervisor seat.  This is really no surprise.  She had the backing of the OC GOP and raised four times the cash than Mansoor for this race.  I kind of feel bad for the guy, since he was used and tossed aside by his "friends" in the OC GOP.
As usual, Dana Rohrabacher trounced Democrat Suzanne Savary in the "competition" for his congressional seat.  How many dozen times has he won this race now?  I've lost track.
Not Costa Mesa, but close to home, over in Newport Beach it looks very much like political king-maker Dave Ellis found a way for his entire stable of candidates to win.  Diane Dixon - Wendy Leece's sister, ran unopposed.  Kevin Muldoon beat Tim Brown and Roy Englebrecht.  Mansoor field rep. Scott Peotter seems to have defeated Mike Toerge in a very close race and, in a stunner, incumbent mayor Rush Hill was trounced by boat manufacturer Marshall (Duffy) Duffield, even though Duffield had heart surgery late in the campaign!  It looks like he got everyone elected except himself.  In a close race, he didn't win a seat on the Municipal Water District of Orange County.

And, the very controversial ballot measure that pitted neighbor against neighbor in Newport Beach, Measure Y, went down in flames.  Things got so contentious over the individual races and Measure Y that some wags began comparing Newport Beach politics to Costa Mesa's, for goodness sake!
That's all for now, folks.  It's well into Wednesday and we'll just have to see what happens with the council race.  As soon as I have information I'll post it.  Until then, I'm heading to bed with the visions - like sugarplum fairies dancing in my head at Christmas - of a Righeimer-free city council come the first week of December floating around in my dreams.  Ah.......



Blogger Honeyman said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, Geoff but wasn't Monahan up by 300+ votes over Stephens in 2012 before the conditionals were added up? John didn't get enough to win the seat but did make up over 100 votes after the election if I am not mistaken.

11/05/2014 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Honeyman said...

From the OC Registrar:

Total estimated number of ballots to count (after Election Day): 150,305

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots to count: 5792.
Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls to count: 66,000.
Total estimated number of provisionals to count: 38,513.
Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots to count: 40,000.

11/05/2014 06:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Pot, you missed on helluva party last night. Great food, music and company. Limos back and forth between parties. Wow...what a great time. Of course, we are hoping that we will have some good news later today and can celebrate some more. *HA* Proud of Humphrey and Foley for the clean and honest campaigns they ran. Not so proud of the dishonest (Democratic mailer) and downright lies on Rig's mailers. Simply blatant. But a good share of Costa Mesa bought his crap, so I guess to him its worth it. If he loses, he won't make it back here again. The lies will catch up to him.

But at least Bunyan with his "surge" was laughable. Rita Simpson even beat him. That was the laugh of the night. Thanks Harold, for taking him out of the running.

People were smart enough not to vote his cronies in office. That is a true blessing. And Rig having everyone steal all our signs didn't do him a bit of good either. What a shame that man is what he is.

We are hoping for tonight, to rid Costa Mesa of this cancer once and for all.

11/05/2014 07:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Davidonlorenzo said...

I voted by mail and I voted for Jay, so keep your fingers crossed!

11/05/2014 07:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

My wife dropped off her mail-in ballot at the polling place yesterday, so there's one more vote for Humphrey!

Regardless, I'm sure they were already planning the next charter upstairs at Skosh's last night, as well as Righeimer's 'mandate' to do whatever the hell he wants.

Today is gonna be interesting!

11/05/2014 07:44:00 AM  
Anonymous It has to be said...

The three stooges picture Larry, Moe and Curly, is PERFECT for Ronny, Rocket, and Chucky!

And I will never look at those knuckleheads the same way again...

11/05/2014 08:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Riggy shows up with a green face, sets Scarecrow on fire, then the voters throw some water...

11/05/2014 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

My recollection is the same as Honeyman's regarding the 2012 John Stephens pick-up.

11/05/2014 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Honeyman said...

Hmmm, where can I find what was written about the 2012 election and the critical days after.....WAIT, look at the right side of this blog! Cauldron Archives!!!

According to what was written then, Gary had 11,196 votes on that election Tuesday, Stephens had 10,877 (-319). The final tally was 13,945 to 13,790 (-155). So not only was a large chunk of votes made up, there were almost 6000 votes added to just the totals of these 2 guys.

As you look at the vote totals this election, you can see how many more people voted then, in a general election. However, it is my belief that there are MANY more vote-by-mail ballots this election to count.

I sure ain't giving up on this! I am very much looking forward to what we will learn at 5:00 today. The short-lived rush I had last evening when Jay pulled ahead is fresh in my mind and I want to feel that again.

Let's rip Riggy's heart out today!

11/05/2014 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Spoke with the Registrar of Voters office today around noon. Next update at 5 p.m. and it will continue until they're done counting. They still have a load of ballots to count - provisionals, like if you dropped off your mail-in ballot at a polling place. You're correct.. we didn't get the final numbers last time around until around the 17th! I don't know about you, but I can't hold my breath that long!

11/05/2014 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous seedling said...

I'm hoping and hoping....
Nothing will make me happier than see Humphrey pull out a win

Our two drop off vote by mails in our house for humphrey :) hopefully theres lots more!

11/05/2014 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

It was heartwarming to watch Katrina and Jay working as a team to get out the vote. Here’s hoping that the election results will give Costa Mesans the opportunity to continue to observe such cooperation and problem-solving on the dais for the next four years.

11/05/2014 09:28:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home