But low social skills or no, Moreno's got one thing that can't be taken away from him: he's the man of the (indicted) people.

Lan Tran
Student/Sales Rep

"I am a Democrat. I would want fewer Republicans in office. Plus, lower the cigarette taxes. This county is way too conservative. Everything is too depressing to think about. Minorities don't have a say. Hispanics are having too hard of a time getting a decent education. I'd fix that and get health-care programs up to par with other countries."

Megan Hart
Clerk, NaNa's

Power? She "wouldn't want the pressure. No matter what I'd do, it would piss people off."

David Wilcox
Sign Guy

When asked what changes he would make in the county, Wilcox answered, "Politics is the art of making a how and a what and a why. Changes are only made when our children listen. They need to be taught to trust. Character can only be taught with trust. That's not specifically a male or female role. It has been the father's role to cut to the bull. The mother's role is more important: nurturing. I try to advise single mothers to be more rational and direct with dealing with the lies. When kids are 3 or 4 years old, they are supposed to be getting in the habit of thinking. The kids who lean out of their parents' cars, asking what that sign means, and their parents shake their heads and say they don't know. . . Society tells people what to believe. Safety is only where you're not scared to know. It's a technique, a journey. Use it or lose it. Like faith. People shouldn't expect to arrive at answers. It's something you arrive at. My mother once asked me, 'Do I need to tell you everything?' There is a need to not be fools. Fools accept everything." Uh, okay, we can accept that. Thanks for clearing that up.

Brian Garcia
Hot-dog vendor

Garcia has some big changes in store for the county. They are good changes, though—for the health of those employed at the courthouse who depend on hot-dog stands for survival. "We have to store our carts in a filthy commissary," he said. "I'd like to be able to store it at home. Or if they'd at least clean the storage area. Also, I'd want stricter laws against the kids who spray paint."

Paul Brown
Graphic designer

"We need more access to free community skate parks. More skaters should be attending City Council meetings to get city parks to include skate parks, along with the tennis courts and playgrounds."

Christopher Gilbertson
President, Log Cabin Club of Orange County

The Web site for OC's gay Republicans (www.lcroc.org) says the group "is the home of mainstream gay, lesbian and heterosexual Republicans who want to make a difference in our Republican leadership." And local president Christopher Gilbertson won't let anything stop him from making that difference. Not former OC Congressman William Dannemeyer's comment that gays ought to be quarantined. Not GOP Great Black Hope Alan Keyes telling fellow Republicans that gay marriage "will destroy family life, the innocence of childhood and the very fabric of American life." Not Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush insisting that he would never appoint anyone working from "an agenda pushed by the gay and lesbian lobby." Not former Republican Congressman Michael Huffington describing himself as "homosexual" rather than "gay" because, you know, gay connotes something vaguely unpleasant. Not Wisconsin Republican congressional candidate Ron Greer citing polls to support his sense that civil-rights protections for gays are undesirable. Not Mississippi Republican Senator Trent Lott comparing homosexuality to kleptomania. Not Orrin Hatch saying Republicans are lucky that gays aren't members of their party. Not Phil Gramm saying that "5,000 years of recorded history" prove that gay marriage is intolerable. Not a Republican briefing on Capitol Hill that compared gays and lesbians to "an army of termites, secretly eating away the floorboards of the moral integrity in this country." Not Candace Gingrich, a lesbian, saying that she'd never vote for her own brother, Newt, a hypocrite. Not bitter, defeated ex-Congressman Bob Dornan saying in Congress, "You can get elected by proclaiming that you are a sodomite and engage in anal sex all the time. You will get elected." Which is perhaps the one thing Gilbertson has not advised his pet candidates to attempt. How long do you have to get screwed by creepy white (and now—it's a Grand Old Equal-Opportunity Party!—black) guys before the pleasure wears off and it just hurts?

Jeanne Brown and Laurie Lusk

Costa Mesa housewives

If former Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater was right in his noteworthy 1960 Conscience of a Conservative, then it is conservatives who are most vigilant in keeping "political power within its proper bounds." Being California's undisputed capital of arch-conservatism, Orange County should be the very model of governmental restraint. But don't tell that to Jeanne Brown and Laurie Lusk, two Costa Mesa housewives who voluntarily led their neighborhood's fight against excessively loud noise levels emanating from the Orange County Fair Board's residentially located Pacific Amphitheater. Along with hundreds of their neighbors, the women wanted the Fair Board to keep the noise level lower than that of a continual series of passing 18-wheelers. Not surprisingly, they were tired of their windows rattling into the wee hours of the night from the likes of Guns N' Roses. But the Fair Board—a quasi-government body that has been composed entirely of Republican Party lackeys and big contributors (including Donald Saltarelli, Emily Sanford and John Crean) appointed by then-Governor Pete Wilson—adamantly refused to agree to decibel levels that wouldn't disrupt the surrounding neighborhood. Earlier this year, Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert E. Thomas sided with the Fair Board, saying local residents could not restrict amphitheater noise levels. But the board wasn't satisfied with their victory. They said they wanted "to send a message" that the government board "can't be bullied around" by the likes of private citizens. They asked the judge to punish the two housewives by forcing them to pay the government's legal bills in the case, an amount that was preposterously represented as $4.3 million. (The board claimed it took 11 private lawyers in an international law firm more than 13,000 hours to fight the housewives.) Several weeks ago, the court reduced the amount to $48,000—still whopping for the 68-year-old Brown, who lives on her husband's military pension, and the 48-year-old Lusk, who is trying to save money for her children's college educations. A disillusioned Brown told the press, "All we asked was for them to keep the sound down."

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