Well then…if you don’t go to the newportindy.com website, you missed some angry comments about last week’s column…more than 100 comments calling me stupid, creepy, ignorant, and lots of other fun insults. All I can say to that…sticks and stones, people of Los Angeles (and a couple from Newport Beach), sticks and stones…
Anyways, back to ticking off only the usual dozen or so local folks with my political opinions.
The Summer of Political LOVE (i.e. Redistricting) is almost over. On Monday, the State Redistricting Committee stamped their final maps for the Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts. The County Board of Supervisors will have its new Districts done soon, as well as our City of Newport Beach. And as you can imagine, the maps drawn up by “Independent” folks on the State Redistricting Committee have created all kinds of havoc for Incumbents, while the map favored to be approved by our Newport Beach City Councilmembers was designed to protect their own, but more on that later.
In Congress, after seven years of Rep. John Campbell, 2012 will see the return of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to Newport Beach. Rohrabacher represented Newport Beach before the last redistricting, which occurred a decade ago. Campbell’s district essentially goes south, with the new lines separating Newport Beach from Irvine, and including in Campbell’s purview much of the latter’s Anti-El Toro Airport allies. Newport’s new Congressional District colleagues include Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Midway City, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Niguel – essentially Coastal Orange County, which suits the Surfing Congressman quite well.
As it looks right now, no big names are lining up to challenge Rohrabacher, but with the Open Primary election looming (thanks to Prop. 14), we might see a Moderate Republican step up to run, since it will no longer necessarily be a Democrat against a Republican in the General Election. But taking on an incumbent is always difficult, especially with half of Rohrabacher’s previous district (Costa Mesa, HB, and Seal Beach) in this new one.
In the State Assembly, Newport Beach will lose current Assemblyman Don Wagner, with the new Assembly map cutting Irvine down the middle and Wagner living in the wrong half. But we will now get someone Newporters might be familiar with, former Costa Mesa Mayor and current Assemblyman Allan Mansoor. Newport’s new Assembly District will now include Costa Mesa, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, half of Irvine and half of Huntington Beach.
This sets up an intriguing power shift in our Assembly District, as Irvine loses half of its voting bloc, while Huntington Beach will only have half of its voters in our District as well. The past two Assemblymen from the former 70th Assembly District were from Irvine (Chuck DeVore and Don Wagner) while the past two Assemblymen representing the former 67th Assembly District were from Huntington Beach (Tom Harman and Jim Silva). Now the newly created 74th Assembly District will essentially end those streaks and will probably send a Costa Mesa or Newport Beach resident to Sacramento for the next 10 years.
So…will the Newport Beach City Council finally break that 105-year jinx of never sending any of its Councilmembers to higher office? I hear that Newport Beach Councilmembers Steve Rosansky and Leslie Daigle have been making inquiries about such a run, but these were made before the new district maps were finalized, and if any of them asked me, which they probably (and smartly) won’t, I’d say that the only way to beat Mansoor would be to raise a Million Bucks and start becoming a Moderate, if not a Liberal, Republican because of that dreaded Open Primary again…but I don’t think anyone on the Newport Beach City Council could be confused for a Conservative based on their voting records…so maybe it wouldn’t be too hard for them to swing Left.
As for the Newport Beach City Council Districts, I hear that the status quo will remain, with the Keith Curry-designed map on the fast track for approval, with probably a few minor tweaks before being finalized. The newly expanded First District (represented by Mayor Mike Henn) will push all the way to the Huntington Beach border and the new map essentially cuts Newport Heights in half between the Second District (Steve Rosansky) and the Third District (Rush Hill), allowing Rush to stay within his Third District, as the map was designed to protect the incumbents.
What’s interesting though is what will be the Open Seat (District 2) in the 2012 Election. With Rosansky terming out, two of the major rumored candidates (Paul Watkins and Robert Rush) are probably going to be drawn OUT of the Second District, with the Curry map having District 2 including Newport Shores, Newport Crest, and most of Newport Heights (except for Rush Hill’s Kings Road). So get ready to see former City Council candidate Gloria Alkire surging ahead as a front runner for that District 2 seat in 2012. But more on that soon…
So…how was that? Back to my mundane diatribes on Politics, out of the Animal Rights realm. Won’t get the 100 comments, but will probably still be called a “Really Lousy Writer” …
This article would be better if it didn’t refer to Prop. 14 as an “open primary”. That term has been defined in political science textbooks since 1907 as a system in which each party has its own nominees and its own primary, but on primary day any voter is free to choose any party’s primary ballot. But under Prop. 14, parties don’t have their own nominees or their own primaries. It is not good writing to use the same term to refer to two different things, especially when there is confusion anyway. 21 states have true open primaries, but only 3 states have abolished party primaries (California, Washington and Louisiana).