Orange County election outcomes are settled with the major exception of the 34th Senate District, so it's time to review the some of the biggest winners and loser from yesterday's election.
Jeff had a huge day yesterday as lead consultant in the two biggest initiative campaigns in Orange County: Yes On Measure M and No On Measure X. Vaulting over the two-thirds threshold renew Measure M was a very tall mountain to climb, especially in tax-averse Orange County, and the Flint led Yes on M team did it with 68.5%.
Measure X was a dagger pointed at the heart of property rights and representative government -- a virus that would have spread to other municipalities if it passed in Newport Beach. Kudos to Jeff for devising a successful campaign to drive a stake through its heart.
Both victories will no doubt make Jeff and SchubertFlint Public Affairs an even hotter commodity.
Even if Lynn Daucher is unable to hold on to her razor-thin lead, Team Daucher must still be counted in the Winners column. The post-primary conventional wisdom -- to which I subscribed for time -- was that Lou Correa would run her over over in the general. Team Daucher, led by Jim Nygren and on-site manager Bryan Lanza, did exactly what they said they were going to do, and which few people believed. They commenced an intense general election campaign even before the primary, and never let up. Lou Correa was caught napping and had to scramble to catch up.
Kudos to Lynn Daucher and her team for disregarding post-primary naysayers such as myself and powering forward.
John Lewis & Matt Holder
John and Matt had couple of big wins yesterday. They were an integral part of the Yes On Measure M team, steered Denis Bilodeau's campaign to victory in the teeth of the Rudat onslaught and tentatively seem to have scored a re-election victory for Anaheim Councilman Bob Hernandez.
Sen. Dick Ackerman
If Daucher's lead holds, this is a huge win for Dick. As Senate Republican Leader, his primary political task is electing more Senate Republicans. The 34th SD was his only opportunity to do so. Dick was on the receiving end of a lot of criticism for recruiting Assemblyman Lynn Daucher and muscling Assemblyman Van Tran out of the race. It was a risky strategy, but its pretty clear he knew what he was doing.
It took three tries to convince a majority of OC voters to approve the original Measure M, which created the OCTA. 15 years after the half-cent sales tax monies started flowing, 68.5% OC voters have renewed OCTA's revenue lifeline for another 30 years.
OCTA has its problems, but they have done a terrific job implementing Measure M and improving OC's freeways and roads (the CenterLine boondoggle notwithstanding). Measure M projects were finished on-time and under-budget, and OC motorists recognize the difference it has made and don't want to quit just as we are on the verge of getting ahead. I think the 68.5% of voters chose to renew Measure M in large part because they felt OCTA has been an effective steward of M monies, and as such is a vindication of the agency.
The narrow June 2006 victory of anti-property rights Measure B in Yorba Linda was a blow to property rights advocates and a boots to NIMBYs everywhere. It passage made the defeat of Measure X in Newport Beach even more imperative, because passage of two anti-growth, anti-property rights measure on conservative Orange County would have encouraged NIMBYs in other locales to launch similar initiatives.
The resounding, 62.2% thumping of X is an shining example that NIMBYism can be met head-on at the polls, and defeated.
It is a huge credit to Pat Bates that at after being on the receiving end of historically well-financed and astonishingly dishonest campaign by opponent Cassie DeYoung. she was the only one standing in the arena when the dust cleared. Pat is a class act, and she'll help move the OC Board of Supervisors further to the right and common sense.
Dave was the lead consultant for Pat Bates' campaign. The opposing campaign possessed what was, for all practical purposes, an unlimited campaign budget and a willingness to spend it. I haven't seen anything quite like it since I worked on the Huffington for U.S. Senate campaign in 1994. I spoke to a number of observers earlier in the year who were beginning to believe Cassie would overwhelm Team Bates with sheer volume of campaign spending.
By running a campaign that decisively out-polled DeYoung in both the primary and general elections, Gilliard maintains his status as one of the top consultants for OC campaigns.
The Agran Machine
Once more Orange County Republicans charged into the breach, and once more they were repelled by the Dark Knights of Agran. Defeating the Agran Machine is like trying to kill Rasputin. As much as we despise it, credit must be given to the evil genius of Larry Agran.
Orange County Business Council
Until recently, the Orange County Business Council had withered away to the vanishing point. It had ceased to be relevant and its staff had mostly departed, and just drifted along like a ghost ship.
That changed when Lucy Dunn left the Schwarzenegger Administration to take the reins of OCBC, and she quickly breathed new life into it. Measure M's renewal become OCBC's top priority, and under Dunn's leadership OCBC played a critical role in crafting a version acceptable to OC voters and then drumming up the fund raising necessary to conduct an expensive county-wide campaign for renewal. A big win on renewing M marks OCBC re-emergence as a political player in Orange County.
The Building Industry Association of OC was in a similar situation as OCBC, facing what could be charitably be characterized as internal problems. KB Homes executive Kristine Thalman was tapped to take over, and she's similarly revitalized BIA/OC as an unapologetic advocate of development and property rights. BIA/OC almost killed Yorba Linda's Measure B in a whirlwind campaign in the June primary, and then crushed the pernicious Measure X yesterday. NIMBYs beware.
BIA/OC also played a critical role in the passage of Measure M, convincing their homebuilder members to raise a large portion of the funds necessary for a costly county-wide campaign.
Next up, the big losers in yesterday's election.