Kudos to our friends over at the Liberal OC who released their Annual Top Ten Scariest Politicians list. Although none of the stalwarts on our city council made number one, I am pleased to announce that Hizzoner, Jerry “Boss Tweed” Amante made number 6 on the list. Considering the contenders, this is quite an, uh… well… honor.
From the Lib (because we couldn’t say it any better):
6. Jerry Amante — The Boss Tweed of Tustin is doing his best to make sure everyone knows he is a fiscal conservative when all evidence is to the contrary. From overspending on legal fees, to doling out no-bid contracts for things like cleaning services, to buying iPads for the city council that don’t save a penny in paper costs, Amante bears the shame of being the second mayor of the city to be the subject of a recall. He still owes an apology to council member Deborah Gavello and members of the TUSD board for claiming they were part of his politically motivated recall when they certainly weren’t. Our favorite recent action — Amante wants Tustin voters to vote on city council compensation – which won’t affect him because it takes place after he’s termed out. How convenient! Now Jerry could do the right thing and pay the city back for all his past checks or refuse to accept another dime moving forward, but we’re guessing he won’t because it’s part of the larger narrative — do as I say not as I do. The good news for city staffers — hang in there. Jerry is out in a year and you can get your lives back.
The Lib is definitely right about Jerry’s political career. It would take a major salvage job to rescue that. When even Chris “I’m not homeless – it’s a study” Norby stands a better chance of making politics a career, you should know you are in trouble.
Unfortunately, Jerry’s love of money is likely to keep his one-man lobbying firm going for years. With the right people on the city council, he could be haunting city hall for a long time.
Hmmm. Maybe Our Town Tustin will start the Scariest Lobbyists of the Year list.
The new legislative district maps are out and they show some changes to the legislative makeup of Tustin. One surprise is the change in state senatorial districts. According to the map, we no longer reside in District 33 that previously took in parts of 21 cities in Orange County. Our new district will be District 37. This District, carved out of the current one, looks to lop off Fullerton and RSM plus parts of a few other cities. The “new” district preserves the Republican makeup of the area with 44.2% Republicans and 22.2% DTS (which is just code for Republican fed up with hardcore Republican antics).
Our new Assembly District is even more refined. Taking in all of Tustin, it excludes, for better or worse, the City of Irvine and any city that begins with Laguna.
So, what will this all mean for our fair city? Likely, not much. For those of us used to state political dysfunction (I’m a former union board member and grassroots lobbyist for public safety), this should prove an interesting round of musical chairs. However, it should be noted that the number of registered Republicans has declined 7.4% and the number of Democrats has risen a modest .4%. As I said though, the DTS are running a strong “3rd party” at 21.1%.
It is interesting to note that the only commissioner to oppose the new districts was the commissioner from Orange County. Michael Ward from Fullerton, felt that too much attention was paid to ethnic groups. Federal law forbids splitting ethnic groups but apparently that was a minor point for Ward.
The maps, while not final final, are…. well, final. That is, they are in the public review period and will be made final in a vote on August 15th. Only technical, minor changes can be made at this point. I doubt we will see any change from the current maps. But, you can expect to see fireworks all around us as Santa Ana, Garden Grove and other heavily minority districts move to protest and lawsuit.