By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
6. Ted Moreno
Santa Ana City Councilman. Forget that Moreno faces charges of bribery, extortion, money laundering, conspiracy to commit election fraud and a whole host of election violations. We don't like Moreno because he's just plain rude. MITIGATING FACTOR: While under indictment, he'll probably lose Tuesday's mayoral race.
7. Josef Bischof
Huntington Beach restaurateur. Bischof is a resident, developer and owner of Old World German Restaurant in Huntington Beach's Old World Village. He also owns land in Santa Barbara, where slow-growth county officials refused to allow Bischof to build as many homes as he had hoped. Bischof responded with Old World charm. He put up a sign on the property that read "AUST THESE NO GOOD SUPERVISORS. THEY DESERVE THE AUSCHWITZ TREATMENTS [sic]." Asked to explain, Bischof suggested Hitler was a lot nicer than any of your regular Santa Barbara officials: "The Third Reich took . . . land from my relatives in the 1930s. They paid a fair price for it," he said. The supervisors, by contrast, "are 10 times worse. They take your property and don't give you anything for it. . . . They should all go to Auschwitz [and] be incinerated. Make fertilizer out of them." MITIGATING FACTOR: Would have scored lower, but DataLab researchers had him confused with Newport Beach resident and ex-funny man Joey Bishop.
8. Peter Warren
Los Angeles Times reporter. Warren gambled his career on the hopes that a Republican district attorney, a Republican secretary of state, a Republican-packed grand jury or a Republican-controlled congressional task force could prove Bob Dornan's absurd claim that "1,789" unidentified Mexicans "conspired" to steal the 46th Congressional District's 1996 election. Recently, the humorless, bow-tied Warren has disappeared from the political beat. Nowadays, Dornan and his pal Warren are shamelessly courting Orange County's Latinos, the same people they self-servingly maligned for 18 months. Dornan, of course, wants Latino votes in his rematch with Loretta Sanchez. Warren-who rarely gets his name in the paper anymore, except for lightweight weather stories and such-recently wrote a sympathetic article about medical woes in the local Latino community. Nice try. MITIGATING FACTOR: Dornan will need a loyal press secretary if he wins.
9. Dana Reed
Costa Mesa attorney. His nickname says it all: "PAC Man." Reed is the attorney serious candidates retain for real campaign advice. He knows all the loopholes in Orange County's campaign-finance regulations. He helped funnel tens of thousands of political-action committee dollars in Jim Silva's 1988 Huntington Beach City Council race. He helped former 4th District Supervisor Don Roth raise money, until Roth got caught accepting gifts from rich business types and had to leave office in 1993. He was treasurer for Loretta Sanchez's abortive 1994 Anaheim City Council race. He helped the Chandler family (the majority owners of the Times) in its campaign to develop the Dana Point Headlands. He helped move Proposition 62 contributions into the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Group general fund-an act that landed him in court but brought no conviction. Most recently, Reed acted as "courier" between big public-relations firms in LA and the city of Newport Beach in the city's effort to promote El Toro International Airport. MITIGATING FACTOR: He's nondiscriminating; he'll work for anyone who can pay his retainer fee.
10. Jeanne Costales
Chairwoman of the Orange County Democratic Party. She got her gig as chairwoman not so much because of her energy or vision but because nobody else wanted it. With Costales running the party like a burned-out high school shop teacher, Democrats have become even slower targets for Republicans. Defeatism is pervasive, and the party has been continuously accused of not giving enough-or, in some cases, any-support to its own candidates. Needless to say, this has done nothing to energize the party's faithful: in the last primary, it seemed Democratic candidates were required to have been born before Roosevelt entered office (Teddy, not Franklin). Her shortcomings wouldn't be so bad if they weren't matched by her pettiness. She once told the Times that Tim Carpenter-the most dynamic, non-Republican, political activist in the county-was not representative of mainstream Orange County Democrats. (Note to Costales: that's because Carpenter can chew his own food.) MITIGATING FACTOR: She's the best friend local Green Party recruiters have ever had.
11. Kay Rager
Dana Hills High School principal. What is it about high school administrators and their fondness for reliving German history, circa 1933 to 1945? In early October, a single sophomore attended a Dana Hills High School football game trashed on vodka. Should Rager have been concerned? Absolutely. Should she have threatened to force every student to take Breathalyzer tests at future games? Absolutely not. It's easy for overzealous school officials to produce students who graduate without ever reading the Federalist papers or even knowing the Bill of Rights-and then to trample those students politically. Orange County's high schools shouldn't be U.S. Constitution-free zones. MITIGATING FACTOR: Rager backed off on her threat-at least temporarily-after mixed publicity.
12. Billy Zoom
Guitarist for X. How does a guy born Ty Kindell end up with a handle as deliciously flashy and absurd as Billy Zoom? How does a guy close to 50 look 30? Play brilliant, blazing guitar while standing stiller than a granite statue of himself? Peel off Ray Charles-like riffs at the Hammond B3? Blow cool jazz into a flute? Write what guitar god Dave Alvin calls "mathematically perfect arrangements" for a rawk band? MITIGATING FACTOR: Zoom says he's a Christian, but we're thinking it's gotta be a pact with Someone Else that animates this guy.