Hey! We're all Liberals Now!

Did anyone else notice that Republican Party officials were either Manchurian Candidate-treated to go off at 10 p.m. election night or were reading from the same prepared index cards? In separate television interviews, central committee member Jo Ellen Allen, Representative Chris Cox (R-Newport Beach) and party boss Tom Fuentes claimed it's their party's ambition to protect social security, Medicare and public education. In that order. Did they get hit on the head by Bill Clinton and dosed with two hits of windowpane? Only on one issue did they sound their Neolithic selves—the federal budget surplus. And that, Allen said echoing George W., "is your money." She was talking to an OCN reporter, but we think she meant all of us. Which made us wonder: who in the hell did the Repub licans' deficit belong to? Orange Countians voted counter to conservative type on state propositions, killing school vouchers (Proposition 38) and—take that, asswipes in the District Attorney's office—approving drug treatment for nonviolent drug offenders (Proposition 36). It's conceivable Orange Countians thought they were being progressive when they approved Proposition 34, so-called "campaign-finance reform" that will actually open the spigots on soft money. We also voted overwhelmingly to approve Measure H, the proposal to spend the county's tobacco-settlement millions on health care—for the poor! Republican party activists have generated the myth that Loretta Sanchez beat Bob Dornan in 1996 and 1998 only because of her last-minute switch to a Latino last name. So how do they explain Sanchez's showdown in the 46th Congressional District with OC Weekly Scariest People Hall of Famer Gloria Matta-Tuchman? Matta-Tuchman, a co-author of anti-immigrant Proposition 187, tried to capitalize on her maiden name in the race against Sanchez. But she got her ass spanked so ferociously that, badly stung and maybe too tightly wrapped at the moment, she actually told OCN (in the freaking third person!), "Gloria will be back!" A week after Halloween, and now she shows up. Despite their drubbing in most other national and state elections, progressives did well in key local races. The biggest story: the new 3-2 slow-growth majority on the Irvine City Council. Larry Agran is mayor again, and two of his three slate candidates—Beth Krom and Chris Mears—now sit on the council with him. Look for Irvine to start planning something like Central Park at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Huntington Beach replaced councilmen Tom Harman (who's on his way to the state Assembly) and retiring Dave Sullivan with slow-growth activists Connie Boardman and Debbie Cook. More significant, embattled Mayor Dave Garofalo's hand-picked crony Bill Borden—the beneficiary of tens of thousands of dollars in Koll Co. money—lost. In that same city, anti-Wal-Mart activist Barbara Boskovich now sits on the Ocean View School Board —the very same government body that succeeded in inflicting the towering Wal-Mart big-box store on her low-slung, working-class neighborhood. Anti-airport activist Gail Reavis now sits on the Mission Viejo City Council and will, we hope, re-introduce the word "integrity" to that troubled crew's vocabulary. But the biggest upset win had to be the absolute blowout in Newport Beach, with the slow-growth Measure S completely destroying the Irvine Co.'s bogus Measure T, despite being outspent by many hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the downest of down-ticket races—Orange County Water District, Division 2—political newcomer and good-government guy Dennis Bilodeau beat 25-year incumbent John V. Fonley, who had never before run for election. —Will Swaim and Anthony "The Hammer" Pignataro

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