I don’t endorse candidates I don’t know personally considering that partisan politicking is usually a waste of my time. We started this site too late to get a candidate questionnaire out and honestly those things are a waste of space with few candidates returning them and fewer candidates willing to be honest or go into substantial details with their responses.
I’ve likewise been out of the loop in regards to local politics for the better part of the last two years and have to be honest with that while making any recommendations for voters who are simply looking for an outside view on their ballot.
All that being said, I’ve knocked together this really simple analysis of the candidates running in and around Fullerton based upon what I know at this moment in time. I can’t promise it’ll be super-helpful but it might give you some insight into how I look at candidates and what the election holds:
This guy ran in District 5 four years ago but now he’s a proud homeowner in District 3? Opportunism reeks here. He also changed from a (R) to a (D) recently and he didn’t even do it for a fun reason like trolling other candidates (which is what I did in the Senate Recall of Josh Newman). His plans are pretty much boilerplate nothingness with the notable exception of possibly selling the airport – which amusingly is one of the few assets in Fullerton that we DON’T lose money on year in and year out. I have to question Ybarra’s knowledge of the City on display here when that’s a serious consideration (a one time sale of a profitable asset to cover longterm costs). This is right up there with Fred Jung not knowing that Fullerton already had a Costco when he ran in 2020.
Everything about Miss Charles screams worthless socialist. She lost me when she spoke at City Council and made a comment “for the sake of transparency” while leaving out the part that she was being, at that moment, endorsed by the very Fullerton Firefighters Union that she was shilling for in that very comment. This is just another clout chasing commie. Pass.
I served with Arnel Dino for a few weeks (months?) on the Economic Development Committee a few years back and he’s as partisan as they come and supports the worst elected offenders in local divisive politics. Mr. Dino won’t vote for anything without vetting it through his party leadership and as such can be relied upon to vote against the people of Fullerton at every opportunity. While on INRAC Mr. Dino also voted with the committee on a specific tax and immediately threw the committee under the bus when the (D) majority on Council opted to push a general tax (Measure S) instead. This is not a man of principles based upon my experience.
Survey Says? No Endorsement.
I’ve never met a (D) that wouldn’t stick it to the voters at every possible chance so this race is just a losing proposition all around by the look of things.
I would never vote for Ahmad Zahra as I’m not in the habit of voting for people who used the full force of local government to attack me, my family and my friends. Zahra had a chance to hold government accountable for their own screwup and he instead voted to come after me personally. For that he will never earn an endorsement from me, or much in the way of respect. I had a conversation with Zahra sometime after the settlement and he doubled down on his excuse making and couldn’t understand why I would expect bureaucrats and functionaries to actually be held accountable for their incompetence.
I know nothing about this man other than what I have read elsewhere and I haven’t seen a single plan from him for anything. I see a lot of vague platitudes and empty nothingburger words but that’s pretty much par for the course for most candidates. I’m not sure he knows why he’s running or what he would even do should he win and that’s always a cause for concern.
This dude has more platitudes than most candidates and he seems to confuse the power of local government with that of State or Federal authorities. I’m not sure he even understands what office he’s running for in this election. I found no reason why I would want him on council.
Survey Says? No Endorsement, Just Not Ahmad.
Second verse same as the first. Based on how the campaigns are being run I’m going to assume that Ahmad Zahra wins and I’d like to endorse an opponent but I don’t see anything BUT anti-Zahra reasons to vote in this election and I have to know or like a candidate to actually endorse them if the policy positions are likely to be the same. Simply swapping a (D) for a (D) on every issue that matters isn’t worth much consideration or lost sleep. I don’t like Zahra personally but it’s also fun to annoy him at council meetings so this is largely a wash for me.
Fullerton School Board, Trustee Area 4
A lot can be said about somebody based on who they hang around with and why. For example, I like to hang around with malcontents and activists in local politics. Disgruntled and cynical people are my jam because they have the best conversations. Ruthi, mind you, hangs around with the “progressive” establishment crowd of Fullerton. The crowd that can never be bothered to hold a single teacher or bureaucrat accountable for anything. The excuse making, grandstanding, make government as big and useless and unaccountable as possible crowd. A group of people more interested in publicity than actually solving real world problems. That’s quite telling and quite damming.
That the Observer ran a ridiculous hit piece to boost her right before the election is reason enough to not support Hanchett as is her endorsement by the Fullerton Elementary Teacher’s Association.
I met Lisa Wozab at a local event and she seemed nice enough and seemed to care about local issues. She was engaging and willing to listen to my ranting which takes some patience and patience is what one needs when running for office so there’s that. She’s the only candidate in this race that I met but I don’t know much about her policy positions and the statements I’ve read overall don’t really wow me. Everybody says they care and she has a lot of talking points about how she’ll talk to people but I didn’t see any real policy positions about what she hopes to accomplish which puts me off a bit.
I’ve read some statements from Garcia and they’re… inconsistent to say the least. My best guess is that Mr. Garcia would be the type of Trustee that gets under the skin of all of the other Trustees to great amusement but I’m not sure he has a single real policy position besides saying he’d listen to [insert list of people here] before making any decisions. That doesn’t exactly offer much confidence even if he does seem to care that the district wastes money. But any candidate to the right of Lenin can be relied upon to offer that rhetoric.
Survey Says? No Endorsement, Leaning Lisa Wozab.
We need somebody who is going to into the schools and lay the smack down in the name of honest bookkeeping and real accountability because these days the schools seem to do nothing but beg and cry about money while having a top-heavy bureaucracy and overpaid, under-accountable educrats running things. I’m inclined to support Wozab but a few sporadic articles aren’t enough to make me comfortable with an endorsement.
FJUHSD Trustee Area 4
Klatzker, as the incumbent, has a record as a Trustee and it isn’t a good one and it isn’t a good one in a very specific and damning way. You see, back in 2019 the blog I wrote for at the time, Friends for Fullerton’s Future, broke a story that a Fullerton Police Officer by the name of Jose Paez, assigned to Fullerton High School as a School Resource Officer, had used his body camera to film up the skirt of a 16 year old student. While this was quite disturbing, the investigation performed by Fullerton PD was even more damning as it appeared, at least based on the documents FFFF published, that Paez was storing and perhaps sharing lewd photos of students that he had received in his official capacity.
Lauren couldn’t be bothered to address this nightmare scenario publicly or even make sure that there were public policies in place to protect our children.
Matthew Van Hook
Like Wozab I don’t know much about Matt Van Hook despite meeting him at a local event. I honestly rolled my eyes when he went on about his military service because precisely zero of that translates into dealing with the problems facing our schools. He seemed nice enough and he ran late getting back to his family in order to answer my questions so I have to give him credit for politeness. I don’t know much about his serious policy positions however.
Survey Says? Matthew Van Hook.
There were and still are plenty of questions around privacy, chain of custody and a host of concerns regarding the collection, storing and dissemination of child pornography by officials and police officers on our High School campuses and I won’t let that issue rest.
Accountability was ignored, transparency was avoided and any pertinent details were swept under the rug and buried. Klatzker, like all Trustees at the time, was asked to comment on the Paez issue and the Board was asked what their policies were (as was Fullerton PD) and nothing but silence was returned. Lauren Klatzker is so inured in bureaucracy and politics that she can’t be bothered to assure parents and local residents that the privacy of our children, especially in moments of poor judgement that could haunt them forever, is important and worth protecting.
She can say anything she wants about accountability or listening to the community but when a real crisis reared it’s head on a local campus, on her watch, she ran and cowered and left us all in the dark. For all we know embarrassing photos of our children are still being collected and shared by members of staff and FPD. Personally I need to be able trust a Trustee and Klatzker failed us all on that front.
For this reason and this reason alone I’m supporting Matthew Van Hook.
OC Board of Supervisors, District 4
Doug Chaffee wasn’t very good on Fullerton’s City Council and he hasn’t been any better as a Supervisor. My real beef with Chaffee is that he wastes taxpayer dollars (like all of the Supervisors do) during election season to send out “Community Updates” and meeting notices that he somehow just can’t be bothered with during the rest of his term in office. He recently partnered with the Fullerton Police Department on 22 October on a “Gun Buyback” which as far as I can tell was the first time that FPD has done one of those in memory. That the City Council and Police Department allowed this to be scheduled as a campaign stunt is shameful and that Chaffee arranged it as one is worse.
The only thing I know about Sunny Park is that she stole some campaign signs a few years ago (on the basis that they were lacking FPPC information) when she ran for office in Buena Park. This means she’s at least got something in common with Doug Chaffee’s wife Paulette (except Paulette had no excuse). She’s also pro-union which means you can expect more taxes and less in return as in the norm on that front. There is no compelling reason to support Park.
Survey Says? No Endorsement.
There isn’t an option here that will work for the voters so it’s up to you to decide if the “lesser of two evils” is worth your time here, except that they both hail from the same party so it’s really just a matter of degrees.
CA Assembly, 59th District
Chen used to represent Brea and I had an acquaintance (former co-host of my podcast) who liked him quite a bit. He’s on board with the rhetoric of Climate Alarmism so that sets me back a bit but he also thinks we need to scrap the boondoggle that’s high-speed rail which is a plus. He offers plenty of boilerplate (R) talking points that always go nowhere so do with that what you will.
This 19yo candidate is all over the place in his comments to the OC Register and I can’t get a read on his views. He seems aware that the government is incompetent and incapable of doing much right but then simultaneously wants to keep it all funded with allusions to “oversight” that has never been forthcoming in the history of ever. I’m not overtly annoyed by most of what he says but I’m also not impressed either. His brand seems pretty run of the mill centrism which often confuses having no solid stance with being a moderate.
Survey Says? No Endorsement.
I’m inclined to say Phillip Chen on the merits but I don’t know the man so no official endorsement can be forthcoming. Rhetoric is nice and all but records matter more and I haven’t taken the time to dive into his as he’s outside my district.
CA Assembly, 67th District
I’ve never been impressed by Sharon Quirk-Silva’s rhetoric and nonsense. She votes to send tax dollars back to her district, which I guess is something but she also acts like it was HER money and her own charity at play as opposed to the money of the citizens being allocated for favored projects. My biggest beef with SQS is her unabashed backing of police unions, up to and including voting against transparency laws for police misconduct. Quirk-Silva voted no on SB1421 which means she doesn’t believe that the public has the right to know when an officer sexually assaults somebody, causes great bodily injury to somebody or lies under the color of authority. There’s backing the blue and then there are politicians like SQS who lick their boots and thank them for their crimes.
I recently met Soo Yoo at a local event and I, well, honestly had no idea what she was talking about even when she was talking to me directly. She seemed to think people should do anything to help her win (mostly contribute money) because something, something (D)s bad. I didn’t hear any ideas, plans or honest critiques of the other party and frankly I’m too old to care if you’re a (D) or an (R) when all you seem to want is power. The biggest strike against Soo Yoo, for me personally, is the sheer number of text messages I got from her campaign as I think I was up to 4 in one day. That level of spam would turn me against my friends so that’s an issue.
Survey Says? No Endorsement, Barely Leaning Soo Yoo.
Same as the Supervisor’s race, I just can’t be bothered to care. I dislike SQS enough to think about voting for anybody but her, but at the same time it won’t flip the Statehouse so I also kind of don’t care. I’d meagerly say vote for Soo Yoo just because we KNOW that SQS is a disingenuous liar but that’s hardly an endorsement.
US Congressional District 45
Steel is new to this district owing to the nonsense maps that the State draws for said districts. I haven’t followed her time in office nor do I know much about her outside of the basic partisan rhetoric and allusions to “tax fighting” which usually amounts of nothing of value. I haven’t seen anything by Steele to wow me or annoy me so there’s that I suppose. But I also haven’t been watching this race closely enough to care.
This guy lost me when he mentioned the OC Streetcar. This is somebody looking into problems of today and offering solutions from a century ago. Yay, more incompetence and graft. Hard pass.
Survey Says? No Endorsement, Leaning Michelle Steel.
The only reason to vote in this race is if you care about the political makeup of the House of Representatives. I’d be sympathetic to a Michelle Steel vote here simply for the purposes of having a divided government. Nothing good ever happens when one party controls all of the levers of power in Congress and the White House. With a (D) POTUS it makes some sense to vote for a (R) House.
And there you have it. I officially endorse nearly nobody because the candidates I *DO* know annoy me and I can’t be bothered to pretend to have inside knowledge about the candidates I don’t know and partisan flag-waving does nothing for me. Most of these races are “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose” for the taxpayers and my recommendations illustrate as much. I will vote against particular candidates when the opposition offers some semblance of a stark contrast and they’re simply THAT bad but it takes a special set of circumstances.
Going forward I will work to get to know the people running in future elections and vet things more thoroughly to make better and legitimately useful recommendations (even though there will still be some “No Endorsements” ratings in all elections). I hope this was of some use to those of you voting.